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Maharaja - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,806 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,806
Hads: 5,286
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 17.86%
Wants: 348
Gots: 693 | FT: 6
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
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Reviews: 1,806 | Hads: 5,286
Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fresh on-tap at Pizza Plant, good example of style and quite drinkable when I am not a big fan of the style. Looks like an aged peach with small soap bubbly white head. Fruity aroma, a bit citrus. Taste is substantially grapefruit, and smooth. Last beer of evening as it is a direct impact on you taste buds from the hops. A lot of grapefruit and the malts to make it drinkabale and it is.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Pours a clear honey brown with a khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Huge foamy rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus zest and herbal hops, honey, and malt. Taste is of citrus zest and herbal hops up front with a nice honey, brown sugar, and malt finish. There is a medium bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good DIPA with a very nice balance in both the aromas and flavors.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Nose is an assertive orange/grapefruit/lemon nose in a golden honey colored brew with thin white head.

Huge hop flavors of grapefruit and lemon and lemon mouse with front palate of stone fruit giving way to a gigantic grapefruit/lemon finish that goes on forever. Nice. Good balance of hops and malt.

This is a very good and drinkable IPA. This is actually my "go to" IPA and "regular" beer when I just want something that I know is good and it goes with all sorts of food!

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Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is slightly hazy light amber-orange in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that died down but thick rings of bubbles on the surface around the edge and down the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of citrus hops in the nose—grapefruit stands out in particular.
T: Like the smell, the taste is filled with flavors of grapefruit and also has notes of caramel malts, pine resin hops and hints of sweetness. There is a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and relatively crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness and hints of stickiness in the finish.
O: This beer is definitely a sipper given its strength. However, it’s not all that difficult to drink because only hints of alcohol are noticeable in the taste.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pretty damn good avery! pours a dank reddish color with a thick white head on er. smells incredible, sticky hops and booze. genuinely would wear this as cologne! taste is complex for an imperial ipa. more than just that hop smack, its got a lot of fruity stuff happening, some lemon or orange in there as an acidic and complementary thing. there is also a sort of earthy naturalness to it, a purity. mouthfeel is perfect to, chewy thick hops with a bright carbonated finish. this one is a keeper

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Photo of Knapp85
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Such a big brew. I love this one, had it a while ago from a bottle then later from a bottle and it wasn't as good. I saw it was on tap at Tap & Table in Emmaus so shot over after work. Got myself three wonderful glasses of this. The aroma and flavor mix well with each other the fruity hop aroma hits your nose on every sip. Then the piney sting of hops hits your tongue and just attacks it till you sip again and it just keeps coming. The color is a very nice golden color with a minimal head on it about 1 fingers worth. The brew is very tasty and if you haven't tried it please do so.

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Photo of brentk56
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a nice head and good lacing

Smell: Wonderful grapefruit and pineapple hops on the nose

Taste: Extraordinarily well-balanced with a grapefruit and pineapple hops flavor on top of a sweet, malty backbone; after the swallow, the grapefruit bitterness builds along with the sweet malt to a powerful finish of minty intensity

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This is a wonderful brew where a ton of hops are well-balanced by the malts and the combination masks the high alcoholic content of the beer

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very good Double I, but from the Avery 10 and 11, this is a slight step down. The hops are outragously flavorful and bitter. The aromas are a boquet of floral and earthy hops with a strong underlying malt presence. Big on the malts without becoming sweet. The hops IBU's keep this barley heavy beer dry and balanced. The feel is just short of thick. Greatly drinkable if not for the heavy and complex flavors. Spicy and dry in the aftertaste. The downside is that the northwestern hop character and malt fermentation leaves the beer a bit metalic and salty, thus slight of high drinkability. The 10% shows good heat and presence without becoming harsh or overwhelming. I'll be trying a few more in the future.

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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 Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a light beige color ale with a huge foamy head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of funky yeast with some nice spices and light ester. Taste is also dominated by some sweet fruit notes as well as some spices and the funky yeast. Average body with great carbonation. I thought it was a bit too sweet for my own palate but still enjoyable overall.

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Photo of largadeer
3.6/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Feb. '08 bottling, batch 7.

Appearance: Sunset amber with plenty of hop haze. The head never rises very high, but it does retain well, especially for a beer weighing in at almost 11% ABV.

Smell: Fresh pine and ripe tropical fruit; melon and mango in particular.

Taste & mouthfeel: Pine and alcohol dominate the flavor leaving little room for subtleties. Hints of tropical fruit do appear as the brew warms. Mouthfeel is thick and a tad syrupy, but it's thankfully not overly sweet. Warming alcohol in the finish, slightly astringent. Pretty boozy stuff overall. This beer would probably be better with less alcohol.

Notes: Good but not quite stellar. Avery's regular old IPA is better. Just goes to show, stronger ain't always better.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This bomber pours out a reddish medium copper hue, with lots of foamy white head, and lacing all around the glass. The smell contains a whole lot of citrus hops and strong caramel malt essence, and is quite wonderful. The taste starts with a big citrus hop blast at the front, which mellows quickly and smoothly into the sweet raisiny malt body. There is low carbonation, and a warming from the alcohol. This is quite an intensely flavoured beer, true to the style, and quite good, and sharing the bomber is just about right.

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Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Goblet at Long Room.

Amber tinged orange, bright with a fine clarity. Bursting with citrusy orange, grapefruit aromas, approaching tropical proportions. Smooth bodied, a little bit syrupy, with sturdy anchoring malts holding down the fort under the huge dank/fruity hop load. The foam is lasting to the end, and leaves generous lace. A really nice DIPA that i'm glad to have discovered. Locally comparable to Flossmoor and FFF in quality and taste.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Batch 13, bottled March 2011.

A: Pours a hazy amberish copper with a billowy white head which leaves a smeared lace.

S: Nose is citrus (grapefruit) and floral combined with a malty carmel sweetness.

T: Taste follows the nose but in reverse. Big sweet malts with a floral hop overload. Piney and bitter.

M: Oily, resinous and sticky sweet.

O: Not the best batch I've had. I recall others seemed much more hop forward in both the taste and smell. ABV is well hidden, but its presence is definitely felt by the end of the bottle.

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Photo of zeff80
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in June 2006 Batch #4

A - Poured out a copper/amber color with a foamy, two-finger head. Very good lace.

S - It smelled of hops and grasses.

T - It tasted of hopas, grass and a little malt.

M - It was crisp and and sharp on the tongue. A heavy-bodied beer.

D - Very good. Another great Avery product and another great DIPA.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Burnished orange-copper with golden butterscotch accents. Even though the pour wasn't overly aggressive, the head filled most of the pint glass. It's somewhere between palest caramel and ivory in color, with an upper surface that is occupied by thousands of fragile, glassy bubbles. A thick blanket of lace is currently visible.

The nose is the hop monster that was anticipated. However, two things keep me from being wildly enthusiastic. The citrus and spruce of Centennial and Simcoe aren't helped by what I assume is the contribution from Magnum. The second thing is that the almost double digit alcohol is incompletely buried.

The same faults apply to the flavor profile, although I hesitate to use that word in what is still a delicious beer. The bulwark-like maltiness practically oozes sweet, sticky caramel. I'm not sure about an 'insane quantity of malted barley', as the label claims, but it's at least mentally unbalanced. Maharaja is sweeter than most DIPAs. Probably too much so.

What would a DIPA be without hops? Relax, that's strictly a rhetorical question. While this DIPA has a massive amount of them, it doesn't have the 'deranged amount' that the label would have us believe. What is it with Avery and mental illness? (rhetorical again). Like the aroma, the flavor is dominated by candied citrus peel and pine sap, but the less desirable flavor qualities of the Magnum hops keep getting in the way.

Any beer with this much malt is bound to have a killer mouthfeel. It's expansive, smooth as heavy silk and some kinda likeable. It promotes sipping rather than gulping, which is a good thing since the beer tastes like a 12%'er and drinks like one too. Time and warming have smoothed some of the initial rough edges.

Maharaja Imperial India Pale Ale is the antithesis of a well-mannered DIPA. It's big, bold and bombastic. Avery has a penchant for brewing Big Beer, but they tend to forget that refinement is a necessary quality in even the biggest beer. The relatively high scores that I've granted are a testament to my love of all things hoppy. I'm guessing that those of you who don't belong to 'Hopheads For Life' won't feel so generous.

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Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice to try another big bad double IPA,pours a slightly hazy deep orange with a tight one finger head that leaves a sheet of lace behind on the way down,well what would you expect from a double IPA aroma wise HOPS and more hops in the aroma pine and definent grapefruit coming thru srong not much malt profile but it wasnt expected.This beer coats the tongue somewhat thick in the mouthfeel dept the alcohol flavor doesnt overpower though by any means,big resiny and citrusy can make the tongue curl.Not quite as good in my opinion as its Colorado cousin Great Divid Hercules double IPA but this is no chump damn fine beer.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The second beer of the sample I took last night. I was very excited to finally be able to try this one on tap. Consumed on 04/03/2009.

The pour was very nice with a rich light golden amber. Smooth and very cloudy, this thing looked like it was about to kick my ass, and as I was about to find out, it was defintley going to. Lots of ripe grapefruit and pineapple hops that just tore through the air as soon as I leaned in to it. Huge notes of hops dominated the entire flavor as well. Sharp flavor here as the resin like hops took all the moisture out of my mouth and left me parched, dry and looking for more. One of the best finishes I have had in a big IPA in a very, very long time. I would love to try this one again and will defitely be on the lookout to try it again.

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Photo of oline73
3.94/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful dark amber with a finger of light tan head that leaves some lacing and a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Quite sweet and malty, carmel and fruity apricot notes.

Taste: Bitter citrus peel hops kill the tongue. Sweet malt with mild fruity notes and some alcohol in the finish. Simultaneously a hop bomb and a malt bomb.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I enjoyed the balance of the hops and the malt. I enjoyed the fruity notes. I'm not sure how fresh this was, but I thought it was quite good.

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Photo of nickfl
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - One and a half fingers of off white head on a hazy, dark copper colored body. Good retention and lace.

S - Lots of hops, balanced by equally powerful caramel malt. Citrus, grapefruit and pineapple with some toffee.

T - Spicy hops up front; pineapple, lemon and basil. Sweet, sugary malt powers up in the middle. Caramel, toffee and brown sugar. Bitter hops balance out the sweet finish.

M - Moderately thick body, medium carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - This is a heavy, thick DIPA and despite its huge flavors, it is balanced enough to remain relatively quaffable. This beer is full of pungent hops, especially in the aroma, but it is one of the few examples of the style that is just as much about malt as hops and bitterness. The rich toffee and caramel not only balance the hops and preserve drinkability, but also add complexity and make for an excellent drinking experience.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to knucks999 for sending a fresh bottle of this to me as an extra in a recent trade!

A: The pour is absolutely gorgeous and just about perfect for an IPA. Amber in color with great clarity and a fluffy white head which leaves some great lacing.

S: The nose if full of grapefruit, pineapple, and some other tropical fruits. A blast of pine finishes things off quite nicely.

T: The flavor is fairly sweet with plenty of fruit notes. The grapefruit is not all that bitter and there is a lot of pineapple. The fruit is followed by a sweet caramel malt flavor and the sip is finished off by bitter pine.

M: The body is medium to full (for an IPA) with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: I was very pleased by this beer. I had it back when I first started getting into beer and wasn't impressed (very likely an old bottle), but this is really a great DIPA and very easy to drink.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy, caramel-colored body with a bubbly white head.

Smell: Pungent, heavily hopped aroma with sweet-smelling notes of ripe apricots, grapefruit, and pine oils. The fragrant hop scent overlays some hints of freshly made dough and candy sugar.

Taste: Initial biscuity, toffee maltiness drops off into a tangy, sweetened citrus flavor. Grapefruit, mainly. Maybe some oranges, too. Finishes with a middling, restrained bitterness and a touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, although its especially oily, and syrupy on the palate.

Drinkability: This beer does a fitting job of balancing both the bitter and sweet elements to make for a fair Double IPA.

*4/19/08: Feb. '07 bottle. For me, a toned down citrus character and a dialed up peppery lemongrass character, both in aroma and taste. Otherwise, it's fairly similar and received a score consistent with the original review.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ Shady McGrady's (Harrisburg, PA) on 4/10/09. Served in a tulip glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper with a 1/2 finger of foamy brite-white head. Beautiful looking creamy layer of retention stays robust, leaving some massive, drenching lace back. The aroma is just a huge hoppy nose of spicy and floral hops and juicy tropical citrus, and some additinal tangy notes of caramel hiding out in the back. This aroma is so rich, I can actually smell and enjoy it over the thick cloud of smoke that is hovering around me in this ash-pit of a beer bar.

The taste is exceedingly bitter and spicy with a mouth puckering resinous hoppiness. A potent blend of citrus, caramel, and toasted malts tries valiently to even things out some but..DAMN!..this sucka is bitter and proud of it! The mouthfeel is fuller bodied with a beefy feel but overall creamy carbonation to it. There is some definite alcohol heft to the body that combines with the extreme bitterness to impart a sharp sting to the feel but I never do get that medicinal taste, which is a very good thing.

This is just a MASSIVE hop bomb of a DIPA from Avery. Huge body, bitterness, and tropical fruits are the highlights, even though they might not always mesh at times. If your looking for a hoppy punch in the face, definitely check this out.

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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 NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, you can actually smell pungent and citrusy hops just upon opening the bottle! Avery usually delivers, and this one is no exception. It pours a slightly hazy reddish-copper body with orangeish highlights beneath a short but creamy head of white. Unfortunately, the head doesn't hold quite as well as might be hoped for (but with 9.7% alcohol by volume that's to be expected!), and it does leaves some thin rings of lace about the glass. A firmly caramelish and delicately biscuity malt comes into play within the aroma, although the hops are still clearly present with notes of grass, pineapple, orange peel, dried pine needles, and muddled grapefruit. In the mouth its filling and dextrinous as the very-fine-bubbled carbonation warms and becomes airy before sliding away like silk pajamas on silk sheets. The flavor delivers a heavier blow than the aroma suggests with its solid maltiness ducking and weaving between punches of hop flavor and hits of solid bitterness. There's no real pattern to the way that it appears on the palate, and slaps of hops or hits of malt seem to come and go in a different fashion with each sip. Everycomponent is always there, but certain characteristics just seem to pop at times. The one constant, however, is it's lingering, resinous and citrus-fruit-rind finish. There's bitterness there as well, but it doesn't come across as being raspy because of the thin but sticky layer of sweet malt that so stealthily hides itself while slowly receeding. It's a really nice, very well-balanced IPA that offers a decent amount of changing character in its profile; but might actually be lacking in complexity due to it's being "too balanced" - if that's possible. Still, this IPA rocks! The alcohol rarely appears, and its bitterness never overwhelms the palate! You can't drink too many because of the strength, but it's definitely drinkable.

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,806 ratings.