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Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

1,830 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Maharaja is derived from the sanskrit words mahat, meaning “great”, and rajan, meaning “king”. Much like its namesake, this imperial IPA is regal, intense and mighty. With hops and malts as his servants, he rules both with a heavy hand. The Maharaja flaunts his authority over a deranged amount of hops: tangy, vibrant and pungent along with an insane amount of malted barley – fashioning a dark amber hue and exquisite malt essence. Welcome to his kingdom!

The Maharaja is the second installment in our Dictator Series.

102 IBUs

ABV varies slightly batch to batch.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-03-2005

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,830 | Ratings: 5,440
Photo of Reaper16
3.81/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

served from a 22oz. bottle -- batch 9, Feb. 2009 -- into a goblet

Looks like an IPA should. Nice and ruby-orangy with a decent, off-white head. The head recedes quickly, but leaves a neat, solid wall of lacing behind.

The hops are already faded; I can tell from the nose. I suppose I should have figured from the bottled-on date. It smells like, well, months-old HopSlam: the citrus, mango and pineapple scents are there, but fleetingly so. Some astringency. Various undistinguished malts dominate the nose.

This definitely tastes like a past-its-prime double IPA. But that doesn't mean that its bad or without merit. Caramel malt sweetness meets an initial earthiness from the hops. Around the middle of the drink, the fruits make themselves known. Tangerine and something that tastes like plum (the aging has affected that flavor, I take it) dance around before giving way to a slightly astringent earthy finish. Its old, sure, but its still good. I've had less flavorful fresh double IPAs.

I love the mouthfeel on this beer. Perhaps its months-old age has something to do with it, but this beer strikes a superb balance for me. Its just thick enough to be luscious but also thin enough to be refreshing and drinkable. Thanks in no small part to the mouthfeel it is not a chore to polish off the whole bomber. Most people aren't going to want to drink more than one 22.oz bottle of this at a time, so I'd say that this beer is drinkable enough.

Despite having some age on it my bottle of Maharaja was pretty good. I'd love to see how intense the fruit flavors and the IBUs are in a fresher bottle.

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Photo of AaronHomoya
3.81/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz brown bottle brewed in 2005 as stated on label.

Deep amber-red or auburn color with a nice, big, fluffy head and great lacing and head retention. Beautiful. Aroma is fruity and sweet with hops and a hint of alcohol. The flavor is sweet, bready with noticeable alcohol, some piney hops and bitterness in the finish. I would have liked more hops, but there were enough to balance all the malt. Medium body and a clean finish. A bit sticky feeling, though. Overall, a good beer but not as hoppy as I think an IIPA should be and the alcohol was too noticeable in the taste.

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served on tap in a tumbler glass

color was deep copper with a light fluffy white head. light retention.

smell was very bitter citrus, huge hop scents

taste was bitter in the finish, but with a stronger malt backbone up front. lots of biscuit notes. very bitter hops, little floral presence.

very smooth overall and rather full. kind of syrupy.

very drinkable, but over time. not a session beer by ANY means. but this is a GREAT DIPA that i will be drinking over the next few months. i also had this from the bottle, and i preferred the bottle hands down.

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Photo of organicbrewer
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled March 2010, batch 11. NICE!

A-clear but not brilliant bronze. Huge off white head.

S-tangarine. slight dank. some mango. Juicy fruit. Hops are really hiding the malt.

T-Firmly bitter (who woulda thought). Candy like. Piney. Earthy. More citrus in the aroma than the flavor.

M-medium bodied. Thicker than I thought it would be, but still nice. Some alcohol. Medium carbonation.

D-The alcohol and thickness make this a hard beer to drink a lot of. Really nice aroma with a decent flavor. Maybe dry it out a bit, or not. Still good.

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Photo of moosington
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful medium amber with a quickly dissipating one-finger head that leaves a healthy ring and nice lacing.

Aroma of a balanced sweet citrus and malt and a nice piney hop. Smells like an Imperial IPA.

Taste doesn't follow aroma as such. Though the sweetness is there (bit of pineapple) at first, it is almost instantly dominated by a solid hop kick, though it is a nice hop kick with a grapefruit bitterness that stays on the back of the tongue as a bridge to the next sip. I get no heat and the 10+% is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel is a highlight. Nice and full for the style with more than adequate carbonation to coat the tongue and open the tastebuds.

While I probably wouldn't spend the whole night drinking this, I could handle a few pints to start. Overall a very good Imperial IPA and worth checking out.

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Photo of Naes
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a very clear light amber colored IPA with hues of orange around the edges. Its head is a tall layer of white that laces and retains quite well.
The aroma is full of citrus (grapefruit and orange rinds) and has a slight piney presence.
The flavor has a surprising amount of malt to it, but it is still dominated by the hops. Grapefruit and pine are very distinctive but it does remain balanced. The alcohol is noticeable, but does not take away from the flavor.
Mouth feel is medium in body and nicely carbonated, but the drinkability is hindered by its strong alcohol content.

Overall verdict: this is a very good beer, but the alcohol content mixed with the bottle size will keep me from getting this brew again.

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Photo of ghetto90007
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was really interesting.

Color was a bold copper. Great lacing all the way down the glass. Nice head on pour that had great resilience.

Smelled citrusy, but also a very strong sweet malt aroma - surprising for a DIPA.

Incredibly rich. Anise, caramel, along with the expected smooth hoppiness of a DIPA.

Moutfeel - full-bodied, creamy, and heavy.

This was a really rich imperial IPA with a high ABV. If there is a such thing as a winter IPA, this would be it.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into my Rochefort glass...Pours a dark orange with nice white and very sticky head...Really nice aroma of grapefruits, sweet, very similar to dreadnaught. Light hops on the back end...The taste is down a little, malty caramel backdone not much of the grapefruits. Mostly pine resin from start to finish. Its not too overpowering as far as this flavor goes, but a little one dimensional.

Above average ipa, worth trying but not worth searching out or trading for.

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Photo of peabody
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a cloudy orange amber/redish with two fingers of white suds.
Smell is malt and sugar and grapefruit. The alcohol seems pretty strong here. As it warms a bit, the piney hops come in. Really a nice aroma in this brew.
Taste is a bit dirty but sweet and warm alcohol-wise. Apple and cherry and dark bitterness,,,very dark bitterness. The sugars don't balance the bitterness very well.
Aftertaste is a warm alcohol with the hops ending up on the roof of the mouth is a warm bitter dryness that does make you want another drink. Then the warmth finally hits the gut. Whoa!
Mouthfeel is good but drinkability is low here cause of the 9.7% abv.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: burnt orange. nice head, about a quarter to a half inch. good retention, nice lacing.

S: lots of tropical fruit. some citrus and pine. but the tropical fruits dominate.

T: resinous pine. I get orange, peach. some mango on the finish. A nice crisp bitter finish too. AT 10.2 % abv, this is a bit dangerous. Very well hidden. Easy to drink.

M: thick resinous mouthfeel.

O: a good beer. I'd drink it again. I don't know that I'd buy it again. I prefer Double Jack....but not much else holds a candle to Double Jack.

good beer.

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Photo of cokes
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Brassy peach topped with an evaporating pyre of downy suds.
Nose is all metal and wet ferns up front, but settles towards caramlized pineapples and peach syrup gin as it rests.
While chilled this is a vapid and simple, merely toasted malt and orange pekoe tea-tinged bitterness. It also has to sit for a while, because the frenzied, microscopic carbonation is like a sandblaster right away....abrasive to say the least.
Fortunately, it does cohere and gain intrigue after time, caramel grows and clings after it settles and warms, with backings of brown sugar and maplewood. Orange marmalade and cinnamon and cedar. Backed with a florescent, buzzing, floral petal hoppiness and metal lime rind hoppiness.
I rather hated this at first, but it grew together over time, especially once the carbonation evened itself out, and it warmed back up to cellar temps.
All told, I think the 11 was superior, but this is interesting at the very least.

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Photo of UTCengOwl
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought this at Central Market before hearing that I could get St Arnold Divine Rreseerve #11 today. Compared thte two and this got crushed. I remembered liking this more in previous batches... hrm. Bottle dated 3/2011. Served in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

It looks perfect on the pour. A caramelly translucent brown with a pillowy white head. I could sleep on that. Unfortunately, the head dies down a bit fast. Damn you, high ABV.

The nose has hints of a double ESB. Hoppy as all heck, but still caramelly and somewhat medicinal fruit. Could have used more citrus hops. Something brighter would have balanced this a lot better. Is this a pretend barleywine? One of my friends says peaches. Let's go with that.

The taste is thick. Damn. Maybe a bit too sweet, too. I think this is a mediocre American Barleywine instead of a DIPA. The hops aren't bright enough or have enough citrus. Not as peachy. Quite bitter, but that's balanced by the malt.

This is a good offering, but I think it could be improved. I'd take a DR 11 over this almost every time.... or even a SN Bigfoot.

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Photo of AwYeh
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from Spring 2012; thanks to madvermin for picking this up to share.

A: Pours a clear, golden amber color, with two fingers of frothy off-white head.

S: Sweet bready and caramel malts are most noticeable here, complemented by sweet citrus and piny hops.

T: Big doses of dank, resiny pine hops and fresh grapefruit control things here. While malts dominated the smell, here they provide balance and body, and do that job quite well.

M: Thick, syrupy, and sticky, with a bit of alcohol heat remaining on the finish.

O: Solid DIPA; I like the stickiness and prevalence of pine hops. Looking forward to my next glass.

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Photo of sophisticated
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My 2nd brew by Avery (the first one I ever tried was THE BEAST so I've been a little hesitant.) Nevertheless, I'm glad I gave this a whirl.

Got on 6/25/09 at Doherty's in RI.
$8 on tap poured into a tulip glass.

A) Like cloudy ruby-red grapefruit juice. Lovely 1.5 inch fluffy head of off-white foam. Slowly dissipated into a white ring; left lovely rings of lacing all over glass.

S) Major hops! Piney, citrus, just plain ol' hops. Also something a little sweeter in there, like apple.

T) Like it smells. Ends on a definite bitter note.

MF) Crisp, well-carbonated, medium-thickness

D) Good. Obviously it's a DIPA, and I do love my IPAs. But even for me it's a *bit* too bitter. But it's a pleasure to have one of these over the course of 30-45 minutes or so, and I definitely felt the buzz after a short while. No need for a 2nd one but it was a pleasure.

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Photo of ABOWMan
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was one of several IPA's I had this evening and I must say I was thoroughly impressed with this offering from Avery. Poured a full fluffy light head of three fingers which faded quickly, little to no lacing on the galss. The color was a rich copper/golden and the clarfity was cloudy.

The aroma was of citrus and malt, in that order.

The flavor was a well blended malt sweetness and hop bitterness. Huge flavor impact lowers the drinkability factor, but not the enjoyment factor for this ale. Avery has a number of very good offerings and represents one of my favorite lagers in their Kaiser offering. This Maharaja in an atypical IPA with huge flavor impact that is an exceptional value at $7 for this 22 oz. bottle. Wouldn't call it a must drink IPA but it is unusual enough to merit some attention.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch #3 bottled in February 2006.

Pours a peachy orange with very docile carbonation and not much head retention. I'm aware of the abv of this, but I've had dipas at or around this abv that maintained more of a head. Some flecks of spotty lace. This smells like grapefruit and pine resin. Grapefruit and pine resin. The hops don't so much come at you out front with each sip, rather, I get the malt sweetness and some slight breadiness which segues into a big citrus hops flavor. The bitterness really doesn't hit me until the aftertaste really, to which it lingers. Not as balanced as I'd like. Kind of sharp carbonation up front, but slides over the tongue more smoothly. There's a viscous alcohol slickness as I swallow that just doesn't sit right with me. Good flavor makes this really drinkable, but that slick mouthfeel kind of knocks it down a bit.

The only big Avery beer I've ever had that didn't taste like someone threw a shot of vodka in the bomber. I suppose when you use this much hops it's to be expected. Good, but not worth the $7.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap in a tulip at Barley's Smokehouse on 6/24/10

Faded amber color with a copper twinge. One finger head. Almost no retention; good lacing though.

Simcoe & C-hops are loaded for bear in the aroma. Lots of pine & tropical citrus: grapefruit, tangerine & hints of pineapple. Smells zesty - quite nice. Faint malty sweetness. Dank aroma as it warms.

The nose suggests but doesn't fully prepare for the onslaught of hops & malts. Scathing pine digs right in & doesn't leave. Citrus notes are dense but seated under the pine; as such they are not particularly vibrant. Malts are more assertive than the nose; caramel, nips of toasted bread & biscuit.

Full bodied for the style. Slick with some alcohol heat. Underlying grittiness; kind of sticky, actually. Carbonation is appropriately low. Pine & a touch of sweetness linger.

Drinkability is fine, yet at 10% abv it's a heavy hitter. It's too hot, in my opinion. One is plenty. I'd been considering getting a bottle; I'm glad I held out for the tap.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

note: bottle states bottled in feb 2008-very useful info. also nice to see listed are IBUs, OG, and abv.

poured into a tulip, this was a beautiful deep reddish copper, glowing almost, with a slight haze. off-white head and lacing is thick and persistent. bouqet is powerful and wonderfully fruity-apricots? ruby red grapefruit? pineapple? also noted are floral, resiny, and honeyed aromas. kick ass nose. exudes freshness. taste is a great balance of the big caramelly bready malts and a huge but smooth hop bitterness. mouthfeel is thick and viscous with a long, complex bitter finish that lacks any puckering astringency or sharp bite. perfect natural carbonation. boozy alcohol is nowhere to be noted in the nose or mouth, just a slight warming sensation after it's been down awhile. this is a really good fucking beer, very well done. Almost in the class of a dreadnaught.
Mar 2011/apr 2013: have revisited this fresh...nose is tropical fruit with an oniony/banana/earthy/garlic note...not much of the latter but simcoe? Not that citrusy. No chill haze-clear. thick and syrupy. Pretty decent but more like a hopslam/hercules/gubna combo than the perfection that is dreadnaught.

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Photo of quasimoto
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- It started with a nice off white head covering a clear amber body.

S- It has very strong hops on the nose of grassy pine, and some sweet ness. Almost wheat grassish.

T- There are nice background hints of a woody taste to the creamy heavy mouthfeel.

M- The beer coated my mouth but left it crisp and dry.

D -I particulary like this beer simply because its a basic well flavored Double IPA,

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Photo of Kinsman
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into glass, bottles in May 2010

Appearance is a medium amber hue with light orange highlights. A semi-sticky off-white head provides a large crown for the beer and sticks around for quite a while.

Hop aromas are both a bit piney and citrusy. Simcoe hops help give a more pine/earthy scent, white the cascade give their typical grapefruit. At this point the hops still seem fresh enough to dominate the nose.

Taste is not quite as hoppy as the aroma would have suggested. The strong malt backbone provide a lot of sweeter malt syrupy flavors, almost like a barleywine. The hops may not be super fresh, but still have enough in them to give a good kick. With the finish, the alcohol comes in to make the beer feel a bit warmer.

Mouthfeel is a very creamy texture that goes down well. Overall an enjoyable D.I.P.A. but nothing I'm going to go out of my way for (since we dont get it locally).

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Photo of TheJudge
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a chimay goblet, is a pretty light amber color with a frothy thick white head. Looks extremely nice. Not nearly the nose I would have expected from a double IPA, the hops aroma is present, but subtle. You do not smell the alcohol. Taste is quite good. While not in the nose, the hops are strong in the drink. Not overwhelming, but they nicely balance the alcohol. Feels thick in the mouth, somewhat less carbonated that my taste. This affects the drinkabilty as well, and too heavy in effect to drink all night

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Photo of rand
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From tap to sniffer, 10 oz pour at Urge Gastropub

A: Copper-tan in color, little carbonation or head. Looks dense.

S: Subtle notes of honey-malts and grapefruit float from the glass, but this has perhaps the most delicate nose I've come across for this style. It almost smells like the booze and hops are cancelled out by the malt-backbone.

T: The subtlety stops at the nose. Big, biting, pine notes scrape the palate, along with citrus and floral notes. Burning booze mixes with the sweet malts, bordering on something like a beer liqueur. The onslaught of hops dry towards the end, keeping the bitter aspects front and center. Finished resinous and bitter, with a touch of lingering honey sweetness.

M: Medium-bodied, surprisingly light for the style and huge ABV. Could use a bit carbonation.

A big hopbomb, I've had this several times and never taken the time to review. I can't remember a beer that had a bigger disconnect between the nose and the palate. But if you're in the need for a hop-fix, you could do a lot worse.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served in a chalice at WhirlyBall - Vernon Hills.

Been a while since I last visited the old Raja; let's see what he's up to today, shall we? This stuff pours a clear sunset amber topped by a half-finger of off-cream foam. The nose comprises ruby red grapefruit rind, light leek, orange peel, pine resin, and plenty of toffee. The taste brings in more of the same, with a heavier influence of grapefruit and pine, a more caramel-y tone in the backbone, and some grass tossed in for good measure. The body is a solid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a fine and dandy hop bomb, indeed.

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Photo of MarkIntihar
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into my Russian River Belgian glass. June, 2011 bottling.

A - Pours pure red-amber with a finger-plus of cream-white head. The head fades fairly quickly, but still leaves a decent ring around the glass. A bit dark looking for a DIPA, but still a good looking beer. I particularly like the way the head laces the outside of the glass as I drink more of it.

S - Hmm, interesting. Very sweet and malty smelling. The hops don't necessarily punch you in the face like you'd expect from a DIPA. Perhaps because the bottle is a couple months old? Anyway, behind the sweet and malty start is a dark citrus scent, can't place my finger on exactly what it is, but it's fairly pleasant. Still definitely reminds me more of a barleywine than a DIPA, which throws me off.

T - AHA! So here are the hops! Starts with an excellent blend of bitter, citrusy hops as well as sweet malts. This is one interesting beer to say the least... While it starts as any DIPA should with a barrage of hops and citrus, the finish is almost purely malts. It's almost a bit chalky in the finish. Very sweet in the finish as well, despite the fact that the bitter bite sticks to the tongue. Truly a complex beer, and I can't quite decide if I'm into it or not. It's definitely not bad though.

M - As mentioned in the taste, there is a decent bite to this beer, as well as the effect of drying the mouth with the almost chalk-like finish. Not entirely unpleasant though, as the malt profile does help to kill the bitterness of the hops a bit.

O - I still can't quite figure this one out. I want to like it, but there's something about the finish that is too barleywine for me. I hope it's just a case of the hops fading over the couple months since bottling, but I'll just have to revisit and find out for myself another time!

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Photo of ballz50401
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle (May '10, batch 12) into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a glowing copper with a orange/reddish hue. Head is big and frothy with an off white, almost light tan color. This one looks very inviting. Be careful, there is alot of chucky yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle.

Smell: This has alot of malt sweetness in the nose. Heavy caramel/toffee in the aroma. Light citrus hops in the back. Hop aroma probably faded some from aging 3-4 months.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Starts with a thick malty base that is sticky with caramel, toffee, and some bready notes. It then finishes with a semi-sharp hop bitterness. Again, hops are pretty much muted at this point. Mouthfeel is very full, creamy, and smooth.

Drinkability: This has turned into a nice drinking "barleywine". I'm sure it would've been much better fresh, but the hops do not hold up very well with 3 months in the bottle.

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,830 ratings.