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Maharaja - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,798 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,798
Hads: 5,231
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 17.86%
Wants: 345
Gots: 649 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-03-2005

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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Maharaja Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,798 | Hads: 5,231
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled in Feb. 2006 - Batch 3.
1.085 Original gravity – Alcohol 9.9% by Vol.
1 Pint 6 fl.oz. 102 IBUs

Presentation: Silver foil covers the black logo’d Avery crown cap and upper neck. The main label looks just like the one shown in the BA Database with a familiar Imperial design that revolves around a picture of an Indian Maharaja.

Appearance: Soft edges shine with an orange-amber persistent shine that reminds me of polished Aztec copper. The head is white with a soft beige influence that sleights the setting sun and reminds me of those dirty white shirt collars, you know, sort of white but with a faded yellow look. Solid conditioning.

Nose: Oily-tastic pungent rasping distilled hop oils soaked in chocolate Orange liqueur. Freshly skinned oranges impart a zesty distilled Curacao peel aroma in the air. Supreme carbonation lends a feisty feel to the taste profile…..big swirls punctuate the air with a metric tonne of orange flavored high alcohols.

Taste: Immense oily orange pip start with some mastic-like adhering viscous hop oils raping the cheeks. Sweet malts in the middle add some balance, whilst the finish has a fiery orange burn on the cheeks, mixed with alcohol bite. Citric tones in the back end add yet more bite. Barley sugar traits in the lingering finish seem to referee the balance between the sweet malts and hop oils.

Mouthfeel: Stretches its muscles big style, thick torso and upper arms but it has a very small brain and a little dick. Bitter, oily but averagely hoppy. Thin feel at times which is juxta-posed.

Drinkability: Decent enough but it has that Avery “harshness” that somehow belies sensibility and common sense, often a tad annoying yet intriguing to the beer geek not restricted by boundaries. Unbalanced and harsh with a ‘play-free’ “My Dad is bigger than your Dad” feel. One Bomber takes some downing and is more than enough.

Overall: I ended up reviewing this one again and replacing my old review, the last one was under duress, or do I mean the influence!? This is a strange brew though and you may have to be half out of it to even half understand it – least it seems that way. This is my third bottle now, the first time I rather enjoyed it (albeit being a bit wrecked), the second time I was put off by its orange arrogance, but the third time I’m back to liking it again. Weird! Nice enough, a Double IPA that always treats the adventurous mind but I guess in real terms it fails to live up to the better examples of the genre and more balanced drinkable versions of the Double IPA style.

This is a likeable odd-ball Imperial IPA, sort of Arnold Layne meets Jugband Blues - very Syd Barrett - if you know what I mean. A fitting beer to finish the day with considering.

Music: Piper at the Gates of Dawn, (The) Pink Floyd

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Photo of Phelps
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looks: Like an old grapefruit. Pours a hazy mahogany wooden color with a foamy light-orange head tha fades quickly to a ring but leaves impressive sheets of lace. The liquid itself looks unfiltered and hazy enough to obscure everything behind it.

Smells: like sugared grapefruits. Sweet tangerines, pine, grass, clove, pink peppercorns and sourdough, with a candy glazing.

Tastes: like biting into an unpeeled tangerine. Holy bitterness, Batman! The first sip reveals an explosion of tangerine citrus, which is soon met by the accompanying harshness of pith. The malt backbone is fighting back valiantly, imparting a heavy caramel sweetness. I almost feel like I'm picking up some hefeweizen flavors: wheat, clove, coriander, rose petals. As the beer rises in temperature, it becomes almost like drinking warm grapefruit concentrate, with a bitter finish to match.

Feels: meh. Smooth, but with high, nearly painful carbonation and a medium-light body.

Drinks: with increasing difficulty. Maharaja is decent at first sip, but became increasingly bitter and tart as it warmed. Even my tulip glass seemed too much for me by the end.

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Photo of kbub6f
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The head is small, still, bumpy and thick. The beer is a clear, still, copper-amber. Runny sheets of lacing. Nose is sweet: sugar, grass, pine, citrus. Nice, hoppy. Huge hoppy pine in the front with major pepper and spice. Some roasty nuts. The middle is very thick, sweet and malty. But the hops are never far from sight. Huge alcohol finish (a little rubbing alcohol) and more mountains of hop. Bitter aftertaste with loads of pepper. It's not bad. The alcohol is pretty raw, but the hops are fresh and juicy. And there's enough malt. Quite nutty with temperature. It's a decent drink.

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Photo of BabaJohn
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is certainly a nice beer, but my main complaint is that the alcohol actually seemed to dominate the taste at times. At this point I generally expect the hops in an IPA to kick the ass of everything else, but in this case the alcohol took control. I couldn't quite bring myself to dock the taste rating but I had to take it out of drinkability. Still, I wouldn't turn this one down for a second, unless I had to choose between the Maharaja and a Stone... Otherwise, looked nice, smelled nice, was nice.

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Photo of kbnooshay
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a slightly hazy orange golden color with a massive frothy tan head. The lacing is spotty and chunky. Ahhh now this is how a double IPA should smell! This smells super yeasty and doughy. There's a nice lemony citric smell to it. Whiffs of alcohol. Taste is a combination of super piney hops and the caramelly sweet malt backbone. It has a strong brown sugar taste but i wouldn't say that its cloying. Alcohol certainly makes its presence in the flavor. Feel is smooth and creamy.

The only thing that hurts this beer is the alcohol pushing its way to the front which leads to a diminished drinkability.

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Photo of jdense
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

TV on the Radio Beer Tour Review #5.

Getting close to showtime, so moved downtown to Bailey's Taproom, served in 10 oz. shaker.

Opaque copper brown body underneath tan head, not much lacing to speak of. Big hop profile in the nose, but some Lorna Doone cookieish malt presence. A nice balance on the tastebuds, big piney oily hops with the cookie goodness. A definite sipper, and at this ABV, one is plenty. Not by favorite DIPA, but certainly worth a try.

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Photo of BeefTongue
3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer lent a nice one finger head that laced well on the pour. The floral aroma of the brew, a product of the lovely hoppiness, came out powerfully--the smell was my favorite part of this beer, it was delightfully refreshing, perhaps more intoxicating than the beer itself, I'd jest, but with its nearly 10% ABV, this brew packs a punch. The taste is good, but not terribly outstanding with regard to other nice IPA's. The bitterness of the hops predominates alongside a mild malty sweetness. The carbonation foams up in the mouth yielding a nice velvety mouthfeel; the beer goes smoothly down the throat. Overall, it's a tasty drink, but not one that I'd buy again over more preferable (and less expensive imperial IPA's). It's good's the point, but there are better beers of this sort.

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Photo of jaluria
3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly cloudy orange colro with a moderate level of carbonation and intense lacing. A thick and wavey head that stayed put. Aromas of hops, alcohol, and yeast. The taste was quite hoppy with minimal malt presence. Biting bitterness that develops its potency over time. Refreshing texture and mouthfeel with a mellow finish. Good drinkability and good example of the style, but not the best out there. Alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of rangerred
3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter out of a 22oz bomber. 2013 edition.

Pours a slightly hazy dark orange with just a tiny white head. Practically no head retention but a few streaks of lacing cling to the sides of the glass. Not terrible considering the abv.

Alcohol, overripe citrus, and some pine/spruce on the aroma. I'm picking up a little lemon as well. A little toast and caramel from the malt rounds it all out.

My first impression of the flavor is that the alcohol isn't well hidden at all. I can definitely taste the entire 10.4 percent. Lemon and spruce are prominent along with some bitter orange peel. Tons of hop bitterness throughout that honesty borders on harshness at times. There is a real earthy quality of tree bark and moss. A little bit of caramel and dark bread from the malt but it is pretty well buried. Finish is only moderately sticky but the bitterness lingers for a long time.

Overall, I really feel this beer could use some aging time to mellow out the harsh hop bitterness. There is definitely a substantial malt backbone that would better balance out the hoppiness if some of the bitterness was gone. Might have to pick another bottle up to stash away for 6 months or so.

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Photo of ghebel
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours clear gold/ orange color with a creamy, tall off-white to yellow head. Leaves nice lacing on the way down to a thin ring.

S - Hops dominate. Citrus, floral, and pungent hop aromas with a background of sweet malt that is barely perceptable over the hops. Smells vegetal, like bunches of dry hopping was used. Alcohol is present as well.

T - Taste profile follows aroma. Lots of floral hop flavor with a raw component. High bitterness, correct for the style. Malt is secondary and there is an alcohol twinge on the tongue.

M- Smooth, moderate body. Lingering bitterness with alcohol on the breath.

D - Drinkable double IPA. I would be on the floor if I drank a few.

Overall - Maybe a bit too much raw hop component and the ABV will sedate a small horse, but a good beer overall. Not for the faint-of-heart.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This review is a redo for me, because my initial review was an outdated bottle. Poured on-tap in a goblet, the beer is a hazy orange-amber coloring, with a frothy, thick beige colored head of about an inch. The head is airy and light, and it settles a bit, but leaves a strong lace along the glass as it does. Aromas of white wine (almost muscat), pear, citrus, and a subtle resinous highlight. The beer is fruit forward, with grape, grapefruit, and mango, with a solid booze characteristic, wine highlights, and some woody notes. The beer is bold and full bodied in mouth, and has a slightly bitter, richly sweet and resinous aftertaste. The finish is lingering, with booze and bitterness throughout. Heavy hitter.

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Photo of DRyan
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served at about 50 degrees in a Ranger Creek tulip

A: Ruddy orange with a strong white head that recedes semi-slowly and laces really well
S: Hoppy up front, piny and a little citrusy, with a strong malty sweetness in the background
T: Hops hit you right away with a strong bitter kick, followed by a bit of that sweetness from the nose. The aftertaste is all hops and some alcohol burn. Could be a bit sweeter to balance the extreme hoppiness.
M: Smooth, with really really fine carbonation that tingles the mouth.
D: Not bad. Could be a bit more balanced, could hide the alcohol better, but overall a very nice IIPA.

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Photo of Mavajo
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a golden copper color with a good white head. Moderate lacing. Nose is a generous offering of hops and some malt. The taste falls a bit short, in my opinion. The hops are there with a tropical flavor, backed by a good malt backbone...but it doesn't doesn't do it for me. I can't put my finger on what I didn't like, but it just didn't do it for me. Mouthfeel was good.

All in all, a decent DIPA, but not one I intend to buy again. The package just didn't come together for me.

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Photo of smcolw
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an orange, slightly dark amber. Some chill haze, but still able to read through it. Impressive large-bubbled head that dies off slowly. Thick large lace, which with the popped bubbles looks a little like polluted water scum.

Lots of fresh, green hops; very fresh smelling. Highly dry-hopped. Low malt and surprisingly low alcohol aromas

Too bitter? This may be the one. Even as a hop head, the bite here is quite strong. Still, this beer is multidimensional--lots of malt up front which quickly gives way to the bitterness. The aftertaste is like sucking a hop pellet. Full bodied with higher carbonation, which I think cuts the high alcohol content flavors.

An interesting beer to try. I'd be fascinated to try this against other double IPAs. Could be summed up: Love your hops, love this beer.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap at Haven Gastropub in Orange, Calif. Reviewed from notes.

A- Little retention on a white head. Exsquisite lacing. Coppery brown and nice clarity.

S- Bitter hops with a metallic sort of nose. Aggressive smell but quite pleasing.

T- Hoppy with distinct dark bitterness. Like some dark fruits with a dark linger.

M- Thick and syrupy almost sort of feel. Not my favorite, but not repulsive.

O- Not my preferred style of beer, but a reasonable example of a DIPA.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to quirkzoo for this bottle...

A: Pours a translucent apricot color with about a half finger of pure white head. The foam settles quickly, and there is only minimal lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is big and boozy with a big malt backbone, a good amount of pine, and some mild grapefruit.

T: The beers starts out with a big burst of pine and grapefruit that totally blows up my palate. The malt in this beer comes on strong in the middle, and I'm a bit overwhelmed with alcohol. I know this beer is above 10%, but the boozy burn, the big hops, and the sweet malt are super intense. I'm actually a bit taken aback by how hot this beer is.

M: This is a full bodied beer. It's biting to start, sticky and oily in the middle, and super boozy in the back end. The flavors linger on the palate for quite some time.

O: I'm not overly impressed by this beer. It just seems to be too much. It's over the top hop up front, over the top abv, and it's way more malty than I would have wanted out of a DIPA. This is not going to make my favorites list. In fact, I don't see myself ever seeking this beer out again in the future. There are just way too many better DIPA option out there.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is daeep amber with a decent white head. No carbonation, as usual. I get a balance of pine and citrus, but the smoke in the biergarten is messing with me. hm pine, all pine. Powdery sweet malt, with the pine losing to the sweetness of the malt. After hopslam and hop notch, this is kind of second best.

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Photo of SirSketch
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - About an inch of off-white head forms. The beer is a mahogany red color and pretty clear.

S - Nothing but hops in the nose, mainly aromas of grapefruit and mango. There are no 'bright' or fresh hop flavors, but more of the juicy, fruity hop character.

T - Surprisingly chewy malt flavor, but an abrasive bitterness and fruity hop flavor swoops in and takes center stage. Flavors include grape juice, lemon and a sour, puckering grapefruit. A good amount of heat, too.

M - Thick, chewy, almost overwhelming mouthfeel. A little hard to take another sip.

O - Maharaja is a great IIPA, but nothing I haven't tasted before in the style. Also, a little too thick, which takes away from the excellent hop flavors.

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Photo of hopsleeroy
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle

A-Clear amber with decent white head
S-Like somebody slapped me in the face with a pine branch soaked in alcohol. Very sweet on the nose but lots of hops.
T-Very sweet almost candy/honey sweetness with an alcohol burn, sharp pine and more orange than grapefruit, a fair amount of alcohol in the taste, detracted from the flavor somewhat, Not a delicate flavor but in your face
M-Medium to full full in mouth, fairly creamy, good carbonation
D-High alcohol in taste and in abv would prevent drinkning too much, but I'd drink more than one pint.

Not a very sublt beer and a little overpowering in the alcohol department which is usually what I think of the big Avery beers.

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Photo of RomanW70
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Julian's in Providence. Pours clear amber with a white head. Strong grapefuit/hop aroma. Hop taste presents very strong up front. Very strong grapefruit and pine notes. Bitter finish slides into citrus notes. Nice hoppy character, and flavorful. While I appreciate the strong hop character of Maharaja, the ber doesn't have a strong enough malt backbone. The malts get a little dominated here. Still a good beer.

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Photo of spicelab
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber with massive thanks to mulder1010.

Brilliant clear amber, with a modest relatively dense off-white head. Falls gradually leaving a minor raised ring. Swirling generates decent lace trails.

Massive pine branch and resin underpinned by hefty amounts of savoury malts. Also prominent are mandarin and pineapple, with occasional high candied notes of lemon sherbet, bubble-gum and pineapple lollies. Seems a little too big for its boots courtesy of an overt booze presence.

Something of a pine battering ram. Pine needles, pine branches, pine roots, pine oil. Citrusy and tropical hop character tries to compete, but mostly in vain. Some strong herbs are evident, like bay leaves and sage.

Palpably heavy in the mouth immediately the liquid leaves the glass. In fact I can't think of a beer I've had that feels this heavy - even around 15%. Carbonation is suitably mild at least, and the ABV makes the bitterness quite agreeable.

Perilously close to a booze-bomb. There's no obvious reason why this needs its 10.3%, given the hop profile is not particularly complex or challenging. Would be a very nice beer at 8-9%.

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Photo of Tyrawlings
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On Tap and poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark amber in color with orange hues. Huge fluffy white head pours two fingers thick. Good retention. Nice sticky lacing.

S: Citrus juice. Pine resin. Wet earth. Biscut and alcohol.

T: Sweet caramel malts and soft roasted barley come to the forefront. Citrus, pine, and simcoe hops quickly assert themselves with a nice bitter bite. Tastes of grapefruit, apple and peach are followed by a wet grass flavor. Beer finishes sweet and warm due to the high alcohol content.

M: Syrupy and smooth. Minimal carbonation. Warm and dry.

D: A sweet hop bomb in a bottle. High ABV limits the amount consumed in one evening. An interesting beer. Try it.

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Photo of mechamifune
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was the latest in my continuing attempt to find a new favorite DIPA, as Pliny and Dreadnaught are no longer available to me. I had heard good things about this, so I was very eager to give it a try.

Pours a somewhat hazy, orangish color, with a light head and evident but not overwhelming sense of carbonation.

Slight sense of citrus in the smell, but nothing over the top (though with DIPA's, over the top is usually what I go for). On tasting, has a relatively heavy complexion, and a slight sense of alcohol. Hops are evident, but not overpowering. Leans more towards being a balanced DIPA. While I still enjoyed it, I really doubt I could do more than one at a sitting. I would place it in what I consider the middle tier of DIPA's.... wouldn't tell any hop lovers to not get it (especially since price point is reasonable), but there are probably 10 other DIPA's i'd get before it.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The new top 100 is encouraging me to put in some old handwritten reviews!

Pours a reddish amber with a nice off-white head and decent lacing as it goes down. Smell is tropical fruits, some citrus, and a few hints of earth. The taste is much the same, but it lacks the punch of the nose and some of the more-intense West-coast DIPA's. Medium body and somewhat dry. Drinkability is affected by a bit of an alcohol taste and a slight lack of cohesion to the hop flavor and intensity.

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fair DIPA that seems to have lost a sense of its past extraordinary character.

Presentation: 22 oz bottle. Tongue in cheek gold and green label with the portrait of the "Maharaja". Side tongue-in-cheek narrative describing intent and ingredients. New design, still with a resonance of the old, which I feel was actually better, although this one keeps in line with their overall series. Displays date of bottling (Mar 2011, Batch 13), shows IBUs (102), gravity at 1.090, and Alc/Vol (10.54%) Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Clear deep gold pour. Good frothy head and retention, fair surface memory with some nice lacing as it goes down.

S - Nice nose, a bit subdued, resinous, citric, the floral memory is almost missing in this incarnation...

T - Good hoppy range riding on top of nice caramel sweetness. Resin, grapefruit, and… boozy rawness in the finish? Ugly fusel alcohol as it closes. It is not overwhelming but it is not a pretty touch.

M - Medium body with a good sticky sense in the finish.

O - Still drinkable but the fusel finish and lacks of the full spectrum of nuances hinder its drinkability a couple of notches.

Notes: Pity… The memories were better. This is not the Maharaja I remember. Barely a month after bottling and the aroma is nowhere near the richness I remember. And the taste… It starts well with some subtlety but the way it closes over the touch of fusel alcohol is disappointing. Here´s hoping this is an off batch or recipe (or bottle) and things go back to where I had placed this brew.

Preceding Score from 8/15/2009 with batch 10
A: 4.5 S: 4.5 T:4.5 M:4.5 D:4.5

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,798 ratings.