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Maharaja - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,738 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,738
Reviews: 1,743
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 10.4%
Wants: 265
Gots: 411 | FT: 7
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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-03-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,738 | Reviews: 1,743 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jimilayne
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Disclaimer: I purchased a bottle in August 2012 that was a Sept 2011 batch. I know the purists will discount the review because of that, but what do you want from me?

Appearance - beautiful golden maroon with a thick creamy head.

Smell - overpowering hops

Taste - way too hoppy and intense for me, but not in a good way like the Dogfish Head 120.

Mouthfeel - Very oily, greasy and thick.

Overall - too much for my taste. Overly hoppy and oily on the tongue. I might go back if I find a fresher bottle and give it another go.

Update: I found a fresher bottle and went back. Boo-ya! Love it.

jimilayne, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of bosco7
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a chill hazed burnt orange with creamy and voluminous head.

Big pine, grapefruit juice, strawberry, mango, catty and candy orange in the nose. Reminiscent of Nugget Nectar. Tons of Simcoe.

First the beer starts very pithy with tons of pine cone and then a barrage of fruity hop flavors dominate. Grapefruit, orange juice, mango, pineapple, and cat piss. Bitterness just barely outweighs the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is slick and very luxurious. It is about as drinkable as a +10 ABV beer can be. I think that Hog Heaven has a better hop character. Much cleaner yet being pungent and in your face at the same time. Still the Maharaja is delicous and highly recommended.

bosco7, Mar 31, 2008
Photo of barroomhero1234
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Smell: Pineaple and citrus nose, alcohol warmth and sweet back ground.
Taste: nice home bitterness with a really nice malt backbone. citrus fruits mixed with a nice sweet backbone, alcohol warmth at the back of the throat.

Nice II IPA, good bitterness and not harsh, but low drinkability recommend sharing a bomber.
All and all a pretty nice beer, would recommend for hop heads and beer lovers.

barroomhero1234, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of ahalloin
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In addition to great beer, Avery does such great work with the "other stuff"! They have the classy foil tops on the bottles, a name for the beer that eludes to the style, and a beautifully artistic picture and description. The Maharaja is no exception! As one of the kings of the uber-competitive Imperial IPA category, this beer rules with an iron fist. Certainly not for the faint of palate, this beer pours a burnt orange color with a big head and great lacing retention. The aroma reveals a massive amount of hops, adding touches of citrus, pine, and even a candy-like sweetness not typical to the category. I'm having trouble placing it, but lemonheads come to mind. The flavor on the nose packs a good wallop of malts and hops and seems fairly balanced (a warm fair king, good to his subjects!) However, the beer finishes with a stinging mix of alcohol and hops that reminds you not to mess with this hard a**! I love it and will buy it every year. "All hail Maharaja!"

ahalloin, Jun 30, 2008
Photo of jrenihan
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Release 15, winter 2011/2012

Beer is dark amber, chestnut-like. Smell to medium white head. Good retention.

Smell consist of pine, citrus fruit (orange), sweet caramel malt, a bit toasty. Maltier than expected.

Taste consist of pine, orange, sweet caramel malt. Booze is noticeable- a bit hot. Moderately bitter in the finish.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation. A bit chewy. Good.

Overall, pretty good, but not the monster I expected. Perhaps this bottle is a bit past its prime.

jrenihan, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of thedoubler55
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A hazy golden orange with a dark tint to it as well, had a very small head at the top that left a bit of lacing around the glass.

S: The nose is very fruity, lots of tropical fruit and brown sugar. The hops and malts are very present and slight hint of caramel on the tail end.

T: The tropical fruit is very present as it was on the nose, the taste is somewhat boozie with the fruit and sweetness throughout.

M: Medium carbonation, and a nice stickyness to this one as well.

O: Lots of booze with this beer, but I enjoyed it anyway a very good brew by Avery.

thedoubler55, Apr 17, 2013
Photo of CharlieMopps
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

May 2007 Vintage, Batch 6

A: A crystal-clear shade of burnt orange with a fluffy, white head that easily takes up half the glass on a moderate pour. Pockets of lace adhere to the sides as the head slowly recedes, finally settling to a raised island of foam with a crescent of liquid surrounding it.

S: The bouquet seems to be a grab-bag of hops. Part citrusy grapefruit, part floral and grassy, part pine. There is a spicy aroma, and a sharp, stinging scent that may be from the alcohol. Malty sweetness is also noticeable, and swirls in with the incredible array of smells. Smells quite complex and delicious.

T: Solid malt base adds a touch of sweetness up front, which is followed by a hop profile that seems to pull the flavor back almost immediately in the middle. A faint streak of alcohol is detectable on the tongue, as the bitterness draws back into the finish. Still, for all this, the flavor fades smoothly and rather quickly, with a minimal aftertaste. Cloying sweetness is present, along with some residual hop oil.

M: For all the carbonation, thinner body than expected. Still, there is a medium quality of thickness. For all the hops present, there is minimal hop oil clinging to the palate.

D: Quite a bit more drinkable than other Imperial IPAs that try to go way over the top. That being said, it does not live up to the expectations I had for this particular offering. The mouthfeel seemed a bit weak, and the flavor profile was rather thin, especially for an assertive style. Balance was obviously more skewed to the hops, but the sweetness of malt did not seem to fit as well as it could have. Nevertheless, worthy of a taste, as this does feature some incredible aromas and varying hop varieties while attempting balance.

CharlieMopps, Nov 09, 2007
Photo of BarrytheBear
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle with a snazzy new label and a bottled date of March 2011

Full disclaimer....my previous experiences with this beer have been less than stellar. Going in, I feel this beer to be grossly overrated and cloyingly rotten garbage fruit. Enough talking up this beer.

Pours a translucent peach with thin film of egg whites. Near microscopic bubbles lazily rise from the deep at random intervals.

As a rabid lover and imbiber of Indian food, my subconsciousness plays tricks on me. This beer smells exactly like the Mango ice cream I devour as a post buffet dessert nearly weekly at my local favorite restaurant. Try as I might, it's the predominant scent I draw from the glass coupled with crushed baby aspirin.

Peach, pine, grass, and some alcohol heat and lingering bitterness. Aggressive hops with malt playing a minor role. Thankfully, this plays better than my memory recalls.

Rich, thick mouthfeel with a heat burn that reminds of the 10+ abv tag. A sipper, but one that I would reach for more often when guaranteed fresh bottles.

BarrytheBear, Mar 12, 2011
Photo of isaac
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. to pint glass.

bright copper/orange/reddish body sits hazily under a long-lasting 1.5 fingers of creamy foam. when i opened the bottle (and note that i was at work, after hours - a coffeeshop with VERY strong smelling, and quite delicious, coffee) the room was instantly full of piney, riseny, fresh-outta-the-woods-still-wet-from-morning-dew hoppiness, but also slight sweetness, and i mean SLIGHT, from the malts. taste is much expected from a DIPA, with a big (background of) toffee-ish, caramelly-sweet malts, and, yup, you guessed it, boat-loads of hops: juicy, resiny, piney, and finishes somewhat fruity. nice big, smooth moutfeel and well concealed ABV, but, this took me an hour or two to finish as i cleaned up behind the counter and in the shop... man, this ain't no lawn-mower beer!

isaac, May 02, 2007
Photo of JDV
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich semi cloudy amber color in a snifter with a big lasting, dense offwhite head. Looks really nice. Smell is piney and fruity, and intensely hopped with notes of fresh sweet pineapple as well. Taste is equally as intense with loads of hops. Bitter pine flavor with a lot of pink grapefruit and bitter rind in the finish. A touch astringent at times, but almost seems to mellow a bit as it warms. Some tea flavors at moments, and an appropriate amount of sweet fruity malt to balance just enough. Quite drinkable, and a really good all around DIPA that hides the alcohol very well for over 10%. Great beer that I'd like to try again for sure.

JDV, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of belgbeerdrinker
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: hazy amber color, nice foamy head settling to thin veil, decent lacing
s: piny hops coupled with hints of malts
t: like riding in a bitter hoppy car throughout (start to finish), with splashes of sweet malts, spices and citrus fruit, finishing lots of hop bitterness
m: good balance of carbonation (espec front & back) and smooth
d: definitely provides a kick over 9%, but a good mix of hops & malts

belgbeerdrinker, Nov 05, 2007
Photo of ejquin
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

App: Amber with a nice white head. Great lacing.

Smell: Citrusy hops, bready yeast with some maly mixed in.

Taste: Very malty and carmely. Some citrus but not as much as you would think from the aroma, and less than most DIPA's. Balanced pretty well with a bitter semi-dry finish.

Mouth: Thick and heavy but smooth. Good carb level,

Drink: Good

Overall: This is a very good brew. I felt it was a bit light in the flavor department for a DIPA or else it would have been great.

ejquin, Jul 10, 2005
Photo of CuttDeez
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into my Snifter.

A - A nice orange burnt autum color for the body that is slightly cloudy. The head got off to a strong start. Creamy in color, thick, but filled with tiny bubbles. After a little the head died to a sticky lacy ring.

S - Hop bomb for sure. The pine is strong with this beer, but it does open up with some nice fruity notes on the from end. It smells like it will be hoppy and have tons of pine sweet sugar.

T & M - Awesome hop bomb with great carmalized malt character. I am suprised that all the flavors mingle so well to create a nice balance. It could have easily overwhelmed in some areas. Instead the taste is smooth throughout with a slight chew and slean minty citrus finish on the back end.

O - A good DIPA! The taste is what sticks out as it manages to represent the characters you expect from the style in a strong yet very balanced way. I noticed this in particular when I looked to see double digit ABV that I did not notice initially.


CuttDeez, May 04, 2011
Photo of spointon
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one from a 22oz brown bombe bottle into a tukip pint glass.

A= This ale poured a hazy burnt orange color. With an aggressive pour, the white head rose 1.5" and then settled to a thin cap. Tons of web lace stickage down my glass.

S= Sweet caramelly malt and citrusy hops dominate the show. A whiff of tropical fruit in there too.

T= Much as the smell indicated, the flavors lead off with caramel and biscuit malt sweetness followed by a burst of grapefruit hop character. Base bitterness was not really overpowering but the hop flavoring was top notch. Some odd but pleasant tropical fruitiness in there too as well as an earthy/grassy note. Short finish with a slightly spicy alcohol pop.

MF= Medium body with a slick and smooth tongue feel. Carbonation was a bit too low and soft for me, but that's a matter of opinion.

D= A fine example of a DIPA that hides its alcohol well. I could easily drink a few pints of this in a sitting!

spointon, Feb 09, 2009
Photo of gpatt55
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New Label, Dictator Series, Batch 13, March 2011

Pours a majestic crystal clear deep orange/red with a thick fluffy white sudsy head. Gorgeous richness and clarity on the appearance. On the nose this has a lot of citrusy, piney hops with some biscuit malt in the background and a bit of heat. The first sip hits you with a considerably weighty mouthfeel. This is a sweet, oily, viscous high alcohol brew. Spicy malt notes mingle with plenty of bitter hops. The richness makes this hard to drink a lot of but not surprising given the 10%+ abv. All in all a massive DIPA that impresses with it's power. Go big or go home!

gpatt55, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of BeerMaverick
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This beer is stunning: about a half inch of white head with strong lace deposits all around the over-sized wine glass. Golden orange in color, similar to Nugget Nectar. Very translucent and fresh-looking with no sediment.

S - Strong hop aroma with a malty backbone. Bitter piney esters - what you would expect from a 102 IBU beer...just hops.

T - Extremely bitter tasting...this beer destroys the palate. Strong piney and malty background that attempts to obscure the 10.3% abv., but doesn't completely suceed.

M - Spicey piney feel that completely numbs the tastebuds and the entire mouth for that matter...just drink one of these before you have your teeth removed at the dentist.

O - Overall this beer is one of the best DIPAs that I've had. It is ludicrously bitter and well deserving of all the fame that it recieves. Its bitterness is right up there with Hop Stoopid. I would recommend this beer, but only a bottle at a time or else you can count on praying to the porcelain gods at some point.

BeerMaverick, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of PatandDavid
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked this one. I can see where some might think it was a bit sweet, but I couldn't get over the aroma and pretty much kept my nose in the glass. I almost dipped my finger in to dab some of this behind my ears! Alright, on tap at redbones, served in a goblet. Deep copper in color, the small white head dissipated a bit and left that petri dish look floating on the top. I dug and dug and dug again the piney and candied hop arroma. Man did this beer smell good. I thought the body was a bit chewy, but still enjoyable. Tastewise, you start with some initial hop sweetness, prickly carbonation, and then you end with some hop bitterness (but not too bitter).

PatandDavid, Apr 16, 2005
Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- beautiful beer. Bright amber body with thick foamy white head that has great retention. Plenty of lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Big grapefruit smell. Some hops and malts noted.

T- This is a very well balanced DIPA. Initial taste of sweet caramel malt and tart grapefruit. Big hoppy aftertaste. The tart grapefruit lingers and covers the alcohol.

M- High carbonation and juicy body. Makes the beer somewhat smooth.

D- The high ABV is well hidden. This was a great brew that I would have again. One was enough for the night though.

PittBeerGirl, Jun 12, 2007
Photo of grittybrews
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep, clear orange-amber into a tulip with a finger of bright, fluffy white head. Juicy aroma of grapefruit with lots of caramel malt.

Moderate carbonation and mouthfeel that manages to be both resinous, creamy, and full without becoming too syrupy. Mild grapefruit and tangerine up front with a strong caramel/honey sweetness and some distinct boozy warmth. Fairly astringent pine on the finish with a slightly odd earthy, vegetal quality.

Really nice double IPA, but not the most drinkable; the sharp booziness and sweetness slowed me down somewhat.

grittybrews, May 15, 2011
Photo of Crosling
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper hued liquid sitting below a clan a microscopic bubbles desperately clinging together, first growing large, then dying into a smooth film that barely coats the surface of the liquid. The aroma first reminds of opening two ounces of fresh whole flower Centennial buds, a very dry, spicy, medicinal, resinous, but most of all, extremely woodsy hop aroma. I didn’t detect much of a aromatic malt contribution, perhaps a bit of caramel, biscuit and fruit, but I did detect a somewhat unpleasant vitamin scent, which I attribute to yeast, although I could be wrong. The flavor does indeed exude much more malt flavor than any of Avery’s previous double IPA’s, especially Eleven, providing a huge base of caramel and toffee which serves to balance the onslaught of hop flavors that I simultaneously experience. The general flavor is a resinous blend of several hop varieties, which is well balanced by all the other elements of the beer. A tasty one for sure, and a unique way of approaching the style.

Crosling, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of yelterdow
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2005 edition, served at just over fridge temperature in a pint glass.

Appearance- Pours an almost clear frothy orange, with a monstrous four-finger head that lathers up real nice. Sheets of lacing linger behind, decorating the sides of my glass.

Smell- Cartloads, wagonfuls, suitcases of hops on the nose... sweet and more grapefruit characteristics than pine needles here... a terrific balance of malt to even things out. No alcohol aromas or indications, but damn this smells *huge*.

Taste- Sweet bitterness, in a nutshell... but that would be far too simplistic. The citrusy, honeyed grapefruit hop elements defer midway to the rich, deep malt notes... a big, potent blend of the two players.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Heavy and extremely smooth going in... almost syrupy in its texture. I would have liked some more effervescence, but this isn't bad. This 22 oz. bomber is like an anvil, dead weight and bad ass. The sucker punch to the stomach is delivered almost at the end of my tasting, and one of these is certainly enough. Big, bold, and loud as hell.

yelterdow, Jun 23, 2006
Photo of tonistruth
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap @ Churchill's in San Marcos, CA

A- partly cloudy burnt orange from top to bottom with a thin, foamy 1 finger white head, good retent, thin white lacing

S- grapefruit, plenty of hops

T- surprisingly decent balance, grassy, citrus (lot of grapefruit), orange flavors as well, alcoholic heat at finish, residual sugars provide sweetness as well, hop oils in there

M- not as palette crushing as you'd think, medium body, soft and smooth through 'til the alcohol brings some fire, dry and sticky at finish as well. the hop attack does start to happen as the brew warms

D- highly drinkable for a 2IPA, good flavor, nice balancing act, enjoyable, I'd have another, well done

tonistruth, Apr 03, 2007
Photo of JoshuaMason
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Translucent Copper; Some Floaties; Bubbly, Off-White Head; Vigorous Carbonation; Great Lace
Smell: Dank; Catty; Citrus Rind; Herbal Hops; Over-Ripe Banana, but not in a wild-yeast way.
Taste: Dank; Crème Brule; Herbal Hops; Oniony?; Alcohol
Mouth-feel: Medium Body; Medium Carb, Resinous, Dry Alch Finish
Overall: Wonderful DIPA
Comments: If anything, I would like a little less Alcohol on the finish.

JoshuaMason, Jan 30, 2014
Photo of Bone53
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap.

Appearance: Light amber with a one finger off white head

Smell: Bright fruits, pine, caramel, booze

Taste: Definitely on the pine spectrum for a DIPA with undertones of tropical and citrus fruits. Caramel for good measure

Mouthfeel: Medium body; A tad boozier than I prefer

Overall: This doesn't hold up to the greats. A bit too boozy and bitter for my liking. I had GL Chillwave before this and found that to be more enjoyable. However, I will consider reaching for this again when available

Bone53, Apr 21, 2014
Photo of washburnkid
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in February. Reviewed keeping the freshness factor in mind. Thanks to jdmek9 for this bomber. Enjoyed in a snifter.

A: Dark amber and copper tones. About a finger of frothy white head that retains well and leaves some lacing.
S: Big hops still discernible up front, regardless of how "old" it is now. Tons of citrus grapefruit. Spices that, for some reason, remind me of my grandma's kitchen. Alcohol is there with deeper pulls. Not much malt on the nose but I imagine this will be different with the first sip or with warmth.
T: Indeed, bready malts are there. Still has a good hop presence, mostly citrus notes. Hops are clearly mellowed out. Oranges and apples with other fruit notes. A solid dirty earthiness is present. Some pine in there as well.
M: Big creamy body leaves bitter residuals throughout.
D: This brew is big and strong. I can't wait to try the freshest batch!

washburnkid, Jun 13, 2009
Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 4,738 ratings.