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Maharaja - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,799 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,799
Hads: 5,234
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 17.62%
Wants: 345
Gots: 651 | 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
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Reviews: 1,799 | Hads: 5,234
Photo of neonbrown82
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the 2006 bottling. I'm somewhat pissed, since this was bought on the day of release in 2007, and the store clerk said it just came in that day. I suspect it was probably a distributor dumping old beer. It happens all the time at my store, though usually with Oktoberfest. I'm hoping to pick up a fresh 2007 bottle as soon as I can find one, in which case I'll update the review. It is still good, but I don't think this year old batch gives the beer justice.

The beer pours to a nice clear golden color with an amber hue. Huge white head with good retention and excellent lace. Still has a nice carbonation. Looks good.

The smell is plenty hoppy. Pine resin and grapefruit. Lots of citrus. A fair bit grassy as well. The malt shines through quite strongly as well, showing off a biscuity grain aroma. I think this would be more muted and more pungent with the hops if it were fresher. Extrapolating from a year of age, this is something I think I would really enjoy.

The taste is also pretty good. Sweet and grainy up front, with lots of bread and biscuity malt flavors. Then comes the hops. Resinous pine and an intense grapefruit and lemon citric hops finish. Very grassy. Has a fairly rough cohumulone content. Once again, I suspect this would be much juicier without a year of age. As it is, it is very good, however it tastes more like an aged barleywine, almost like a two year Bigfoot.

The body is medium to heavy. Carbonation is very smooth to the palate. Plenty of bitterness with a rough, grainy cohumulone. Also a lingering grassy finish with a hint of ethanol. Fairly drinkable. I can't wait to try a 2007.

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

This was a very decent beer, one of the better double IPA's I have tried. The head and lacing were relatively long lasting. The smell was pretty strong, sweet and syrupy. Taste is a bit weaker than other DIPA's but very good none the less. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both above average.

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Photo of ArrogantB
2.87/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A friend scored a bottle of the brand new batch from the brewery and was kind enough to share. This wasn't first time trying the Maharaja as I had last years batch sometime in the summer. This batch was amazing! The color was orange and hazy. The smell was straight pine and grapefruit but not at all cloying. the taste was so hoppy and delicious. I can't wait until this hits the shelves so I can snag a few while they are fresh. A truly outstanding beer and Avery's best in my opinion.

update - batch 9 02/2009

cat-piss, cat-box just a really poor taste and not what I am used to tasting in this beer. I think this beer was a lot better when it was 9.7% and I thought it was pretty good but now it is just a pungent (not in a good way) stinky mess, goddamn...this sucks.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 3 Bottled Feb 2006

A - Pours a murky copper with orange highlights and a small white head with a tiny bit of lacing.

S - Grassy, citrus, piney hops with peppery spice and a solid sweet caramel backbone.

T - Very sweet up front followed by juicy hops of grapefruit and citrus. On the sweet side without enough bitter backbone.

M - Medium bodied with a mouth coating resiny, slightly syrupy characteristic.

D - Good DIPA but on the sweeter juicier side as far as DIPA's go

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Photo of BRLockwood
3.57/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A cloudy golden/amber color. It didn't have a large head but it may have been the pour. Carbonation isn't great either. It does, however, look rather inviting.

S: Smells a little roasty and a little piney.

T: It is definitely a well built beer and well balanced but what I'm looking for is an over the top hopfest, especially in an Imperial IPA! Hands down the Avery 11 Anniversary IPA is leaps and bounds tastier.

M: It has a real good mouthfeel, not overly heavy, and it is smooth going down. Very well on the carbonation too - not overly or under carbonated.

D: It's very easy to consume. If it wasn't listed at 10% abv on the bottle I'm not sure I would have beleived it - very well hidden. The second pour of the bomber gave a much better head - not great lacing though.

Overall impression leaves me wanting more and more hops.

Avery please return to making the 11 and make it a regular!

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Photo of JMD71
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ap: Pours a copper/gold color with a vocal head of tight laced bubbles. Head recedes fairly quickly. Vigourous carbonation.

Ar: Floral, herbal, hoppy aroma offset by sweet caramel malt. Slight alcohol notes. Candied orange peel, orange marmalade.

Ta: Sweet caramel melt flavor in the front leads to a blast of hoppy bitterness in the middle which fades to a warming alcohol finish. Beautifully balanced between sweetness & bitterness, along with nice alcohol bite.

Mo: Full bodied! Very rich & chewy. A true meal! You can feel the loads of malt in the body. Very smooth for the high ABV.

Dr: Easy drinking for the strength. The fuller bodied mouthfeel does not detract from its drinkability. A nice sipper....

Comments: My first offering from Avery & well worth it. Very well balanced DIPA which masks the high ABV well behind the bountiful malt & hops. This one is a must for all hopheads!

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

SAMPLE- 2006 Edition, poured from 22oz. bottle.

This is the second time I have tried this beer. Color is a deep amber, almost scarlett. Upon pouring, the head is about two inches thick and frothy as I have ever seen in a double IPA. The beer expresses a heavy hop aroma with hints of key lime, pineapple, grass, and pine. On the palate, it starts very sweet, with hints of honey and almond. It's almost overwhelming for this style. On the tail end, the beer finishes with the full force of hops, expressing notes of citrus, candied fruit, and foliage. A very full-bodied beer, the resiny oils of the hops coats the mouth and the flavor lingers for minutes to come.

Overall, I found the Maharaja to be slightly unbalanced, but still very approachable. I have a feeling that a few years in the cellar will turn this release into something almost magical.

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

Into a pint glass, pours a pretty clear orange copper, with a decent beginning half inch head and later thin, bubbly film, little lacing. Aroma is hoppy, with lots of citrus, orange at first, grapefruit, pineapple, with a good malt backbone, enough caramel and biscut to keep the hopping in check.

Taste is also delicious, lots of hops, but a surprising amount of yummy malts. The hop profile is wide, from subtle pine needles, to sweet fruits, grapefruit rind, orange peels, pinapple, and has the signature high hop bite that a true hophead demands. But the caramel malt backing is very good too, biscut in the mix, sweet and balancing to the heafty hopping. The finish is noticably long, bitter, fruity, then drying at the end, leaving you yearning for another sip. The mouth is remarkable smooth, silky, just enough carbonation but just barely, very drinkable, slightly warming, very nice.

One thing I liked about this beer is that is seemed to change both sip to sip and as it warmed. Small changes, big changes, just a lot of changing, it was really odd, making it hard to review, but quite enjoyable. At first sip, I didn't think I'd give it such a high score, but as I'm finishing, I really enjoying it!

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Photo of Globetrotter
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the Whole Foods Market in Arlington, VA, back in August, then hand-carried to Vienna, where it sat in a wine cellar for five months. Bottle looks like the one in the picture. Ingredients listed conform to the purity law. No best by date, but the label says this baby was bottled in June 2006. I opened it on 1/28/07.

Pours a cloudy copper hue under a 1.5 finger beige head with nice contour and great retention, leaving lovely sheets of lace. The nose is crisp and strong of citrus and pine sap - very enticing. The mouth is quite viscous, coating the tongue, while the carbonation tingles the entire oral cavity. The hops are the main attraction here, strong, tangy and bitter, with a distinct pine tone and espresso-like dryness. Malt is a supporting actor, with a bit of caramel sweet to go with the grain. The finish is all pine, leaving a nice dry aftertaste. Very, very enjoyable.

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Photo of Alkey
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured a cloudy reddish/brown color with small white cap that leaves some lace around the glass. Smells of malt and yeast in the nose and taste big and malty with an equal portion of earthy, floral hops. It also has a yeasty thickness to the feel and leaves a bit of an alcohol dryness to the aftertaste. This brew is easy to drink and is very balanced between the malt and hops but doesn't seem to have anything that jumps out at me and I would probably not go out of my way to obtain this one again.

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

I have enjoyed Maharaja several times at tastings but this is the first time to study it one bomber at a time in the comfort of my own den.

Appearance: This is a gorgeous beer. Pours a dull orange color with a large creamy ivory head (tight like foam), great retention and lots of lacing.

Smell: biscuity malts, lemon, orange rind and grassy hops hide a bit of alcohol in a pleasant loaded pine nose.

Taste: The hopheads will not be disappointed but the rest of us can appreciate the depths and balance of the beer as well. The scales are tipped to the orange peel / grassy hop side but the hops are not intense. The hope bill is clearly mixed and balanced and the malts make a notable effort and milky malts, caramel peach, pine sap and pineapple syrup sweeten things up a bit. The alcohol shows through in the flavor the whole way across the palate and build to a boozy kick at the back end. The aftertaste is lip smacking and last for a solid moment or three before beginning to fade.

Mouthfeel: Warming and dry due to the alcohol. Smooth due to the malts and solid body. Fluffy due to the carbonation and hops. Lip smacking aftertaste, very good all around.

Drinkability: The drinkability is not lacking (as DIPAs go) but it does suffer a bit from the alcohol content. After and evening of tasting a few beers, this will end the night.

Hope this is helpful.

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

"Bottled in June 2006, Batch 4."

A: Into a Duvel tulip, a moderate pour yielded a huge, 2-finger beige/off-white foamy head with good staying power. This settled over a coppery-orange body with just a hint of haze. Bubbles rise from the etched Duvel "D" in the middle of the bottom of the glass to fortify the head. It eventually recedes, leaving craggly rings of lace at the top of the glass and dripping stalactites (stalagmites?) down the side of the glass. A nice looking beer for sure.

S: Fruity and sweet -- candied grapefruit, with a hint of peppery spice and solid caramel malt underneath. Alcohol becomes very noticeable as it warms, but still it's a nice overall scent.

T: Sweeter than expected for a DIPA -- there must be a LOT of malt in there to offset what the label claims is 102 IBUs. The sweet malt lays a nice foundation, which is followed by fruity, juicy hop flavors. Candied orange peel and sugar-coated grapefruit comes to mind -- any bitterness seems to be tempered by a sweetness, and frankly the fruity sweetness seems to prevail. The only real bitterness, in fact, is in a lingering, oily, tongue-coating presence of fruity hops that leave a slight tang at the finish. The alcohol is also very noticeable, especially as it warms.

M: Pretty smooth, nicely carbonated. Finishes with a dry twang at the end of an oily, resiny mouth-coating.

D: Good, but not very good or excellent. I sipped this bomber over the course of an hour-plus. There are DIPAs that I would down more easily much more quickly.

Notes: this is almost two different beers warm versus cold. When cold it's more crisp and dry with a woodsy lingering finish, while when it's warm it's dominated by juicy, fruity hops, an oily feel and alcohol in the nose and taste. All in all I though this was a good DIPA -- my favorite style lately -- but IMHO it doesn't measure up to some better versions I've had recently. At 9.9% ABV (according to my bottle's label), it does provide a nice buzz, however.

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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 Cresant
3.43/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet glass. Bottled in June of 2006, batch 4. Chill haze cleared quickly to reveal a clear, pale golden amber body. Two fingers of Yukon-Gold-potato colored head. Sheets of tiny bubbles slide down the glass after each sip.

Smell was sweet and citrusy. Spicy grains (rye?). Floral hops are faintly discernible. Fruity.

Taste was grapefruit juice and rinds. Hints of walnut skins bitterness. Alcohol flavors increased as it warmed. Ripe stone-fruits. Big, bold, and rich.

Mouthfeel was slick and oily. Medium to full bodied.

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Photo of velo343
3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A nice deep orange with a medium beige head.

Smell: Grassy hops, some sweetness, and a little bit of alcohol.

Taste: A general hoppiness, not too snappy or distinct, that is felt all the way through the drink. The malt is fairly bready, but with a tartness reminiscent of sourdough. An underlying sweetness that is fairly indistinct.

Mouthfeel: The beer is syrupy, leaving a thick, slightly bitter coating in the mouth.

Drinkability: A little disappointing for the style. The hops seem to be overshadowed by the syrupy, creating an unbalanced DIPA. A decent beer, but not my top choice.

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Photo of mmcave
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased this at grapes of mirth in columbus ohio, during christmas time. Poured into red wine glass , huge inch and a half white head that slowly dissipates, with foamy lacing that grows thin. The body is a musty red orange, lightens up at the bottom of the glass. Smells of hops right up front particularly flowers, pine, citrus, grass, a little sharp and tense. Subtle hints of caramel malt, biscuits are back there too. Taste is a bit easier going, a refreshing bitterness is present backed by a malt backbone, not very much sweetness though. Some nice caramel notes emerge toward the middle and a nice pine finish with a tinge of malt sweetness. Personally my only real complaint is the alcohol becomes a little too apparent as this warms up, but still this is a good interpretation of an imperial IPA, fits every well with in the style, and its very much worth a try.

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Photo of Backer2004
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this one on Christmas Eve paired with lobster tail, flank steak, and shrimp. Hmm boy, does this one compliment food well. Lots of fruit and citrus balance the large amount of hops used to make this Double IPA. Not as pungent on the tongue and easy to finish the whole bottle. Yes sir, a good one for the style.

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

Glowing orange body, medium carbonation, off-white head with a yellowish tint. Head dissipates quickly, just a little lace.
Sharp hoppy scent, strong but faint caramel malt, biscuits and grass.
Taste is heavy on the hops and juicy good, strong caramel malts and some spice. Aftertaste is mostly bitter hops topped with masl of toffee character.
Full and chewable mouthfeel, medium coating and slick.
If in the mood for hops this is the one to have. The alcohol was not apparent at all.


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Photo of IceAce
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper-penny body with a sticky, lacy collar of foam. Clarity is excellent. Aroma is laced with alphas...this one is going to sting.

Entry is smooth with limited carbonation tickling the inside walls of the cheeks. Midtaste shows off the voluminous depth of the malt while the alpha acids from the bountiful hops line up to strip the enamel from my incisors. The finish is hoppy-dry with the emphasis on pine.

This is an excellent example of DIPA and would pair well with Thai food.

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Photo of kernalklink
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This double really packed in the flavor- the cloudy gold brew left generous lacing and creamy head. Sweet malty notes were overwhelmed by hard citric hops- perfect combination. The aroma gave way to the soft bready malts, some honey sweet with the same citrusy hop profile and a slight warming alcohol undertone. Very slick and smooth on the mouth and easy to drink considering its pedigree.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.82/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Label reads “Bottled in Fed. 2006 Batch 3”. Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color, with a short foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is intense and is a well-blended combination of hops and citrus, very pleasant. There are some notes of caramel and vanilla in the back ground, but it’s pretty much hops and citrus all the way as a good 2IPA should be.

T: The taste is very well-balanced. The strong hops bitterness and sweet citrus flavors couple each other excellently. The malt character provides just enough substance to make the beer smooth. The after-taste maintains the balance of hops & citrus.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, very clean finish.

D: Very tasty, goes does easy enough, not-too-filling, excellent representation of style, I liked this beer a lot. The only thing I regret about buying this beer is that I didn’t buy it sooner. Looking forward to trying more beers from Avery as this was my first from them.

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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 MmmIPA
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had high hopes for this offering from Avery and im sad to say that it didnt live up to it.Bomber poured into a big wine glass.

A-Hazy golden body with no head,some small lacing on the glass.

S-Citrus and booze,the booze overpowers all other smells here.The citrus smell is oranges and grapefruit.

T-Biscuit malt and citrus and booze.Taste like a barleywine.

M-The feel is medium and creamy.Not overly carbonated either.

D-Not bad for a 22 oz. I dont think I will be buying this stuff again.I think this is more on the lines on a barleywine and thats not really my cup of tea.Now give me a ipa and im in heaven.Not worth the price of 7 bucks.

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Photo of HopasaurusRex
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dusky caramel colored ale with good head retention.

Pungent scent of Juicyfruit bubble gum, grapefruit, and resiny, piney hop cones. Clearly a fresh bottle.

First punch of heady alcohol followed by slick lingering bitterness. Some notes of toffee and smoke.

Although it's a multi-dimensional alcoholic hop bomb, I had no difficulty finishing the 22 ounce bomber.

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,799 ratings.