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Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

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

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Rotating

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

The Maharaja is the second installment in our Dictator Series.

102 IBUs

ABV varies slightly batch to batch.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-03-2005

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,830 | Ratings: 5,441
Photo of bignick
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Purchased at Bauer Wine and Spirits in Boston. Poured into an Ommegang glass.

This is a very good douple IPA from Avery. It pours an dark orangey color with a moderate head. It smells of piney and citrus hops with a slight, but not overbearing, alcohol presence. The taste is all hops, without being too much of a kick in the mouth, due to the nearly-hidden malt backbone. It has a wonderfully creamy mouthfeel that makes each sip a pleasure. Overall a terrific offering from Avery. This is suitable for both special occasions and regular drinking.

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

Wow this is a huge beer. Cool label.

Pours a brilliant orange copper with an long lasting egshell head. Lace webs and blankets coat the glass. Loads of fresh grapefruit, orange lemon and melon hop aromas fill the nose. As does a fusel alcohol that isnt too strong. There isnt much room for malt but it hides meekly in the back.

Two things explode in my mouth on the first sip 1) a sinus clearing bombardment of piney bitter citric hops and 2) An immodest alcohol flavor that never seems distracting, only complimentary. Very high amounts of orangey, tropical, citrusy, melon-like hops completely dominate the palate throughout. A mouth numbing combination of bitterness and alcohol last for what seems like forever. Malt flavors are very subservient, this is simply an unbalanced beer.

I really like this. Its probably the most intense DIPA Ive tried so far. Not as herbaceous and deep as Ruination but extremely drinkable.

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Photo of ggaughan
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Spuyten Duyvil. The beer poured a hazy amber color into the glass with a nice tan head and good lacing down the sides. The nose is a wonderful bouquet of floral hops and a bit of orange. Very pleasing. The taste is even more enjoyable with a nice hops bit and some malty sweetness all surrounded by nice carbonation in the body. What a treat. Although the abv is rather high in this beer, it is masked well with the tastes going on inside but leads to a rather full body.

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Photo of SwillinBrew
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought several bottles at Hollingshead.

Drank from a standard pint glass. Poured a amber ice-t color with an eggshell colored head that left a good ring of laces. The aromas were very floral orange blossoms and freshly peeled citrus.
The taste was equisite. Rounded tangerine and citrussy orange pulp up front ending on a bitter note. Flavors of pulpy orange juice and mandarin oranges are what constantly come to mind. Smooth, medium bodied and nicely carbonated this hop gift from god comes over as. This is a beer not to miss if you love the hops and is my favorite from avery.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Big Beer.
The snazziest, classiest born on date I've yet to see on a beer bottle, right under the main picture in a little, pronounced oval frame; Feb 2006, batch 3.
Cool fonts, pretty shiny label. These things do well with me.
Impressive looking in the glass as well. Attractive bronze/copper color with some foamy white head and some lacing.
Smells very... big. Big citrus notes. Similar deal in the flavor. Tangerine, lime rind, ruby red grapefruit juice... all packed in there in a fighty little bundle. This is the kind of thing that can anger up the blood.
Has an enjoyable texture. Very lingering hop party in the mouth and everyone is invited.
Maharaja= Great King... I'm not quite sure if this beer quite qualifies, but it's at least in the running.
Hop heads take heed!

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Photo of scooter231
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rusty, clear color with some big bubbles and a little bit of lacing. Smell is hooooppy. Earthy, grassy hops, to be more specific. Damn that'll wake you up in the morning. Taste is also hoppy in a grassy, earthy way. Some breadyness makes its way through as well. Just.... soooo hoppy. Mouthfeel is alright, and it's pretty drinkable. Man. Hoppy. Good. Try.

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Photo of jamesdergen
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a golden transparent honey with an ample foamy cream-colored head that sticks around for the whole glass.

Smell: Intense floral/herbal hop aroma.

Taste: Follows the nose with a full-on assault on the tastebuds with the intense floral/herbal hops leading. There is some caramel/nutty maltiness lurking in the background, just enough to complement the hops. A bit too much of the vegetable/hop taste for my liking.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and medium bodied. Not overly carbonated.

Drinkability: The 9.7% ABV is well hidden and this brew goes down super smooth for the style and strength.

My friends and I have long been fans of Avery's The Reverend and Salvation, so when I saw this one at Cellar's I had to get it. Overall a very solid brew, but not my favorite IIPA.

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Photo of blitz134
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been wanting to try this one for a while. JUST picked it up at the store and I'm already in the bottle (a bit earlier in the day than usual, hehe).

Hops hiss out from under the cap when I crack it open. Bottled in Feb '06, so this is pretty fresh. Orangish, light caramel colored clear body. White head on top. Not overly big, but a nice layer sticks around capping this one off. Grips the sides of the glass.

Hops abound in this one as expected. Lots of pine and citrus explode from the glass. Some straw, grassy aromas come in too. A bit of caramel malt sweetness sneaks in the aroma as well.

Spicy hops hit the tounge initially. Resinous and pine hops dominate the flavor. Balanced really well with some biscuity malts with a touch of caramel once again. Finishes pretty bitter (nothing I can't handle or don't enjoy though). Its more bitter than hop flavored. I'm not saying the flavor isn't hoppy, because it definately is, but the flavor disappears quickly once its down. Some lingering effects outside of the bitterness could be good. No hint of alcohol at all...might be a bit troublesome later on.

Mouthfeel is fairly full. A bit of oiliness, but not too slick going down. Good feel though, but like I mentioned above, the bitterness lingers and the flavor goes away. Drinkability is nice. Nicely hopped and well balanced, really quaffable for this level of ABV. Definately a must pickup if you see it...

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

I'm of the lot that prefers to call excessively hopped IPAs - "Double IPA". "I2PA" is a trendy way to make it internetty. "DIPA" cuts to the chase. For Avery Brewing Co , with other big beers such as The Czar and The Kaiser have a theme going, only "Imperial" will do.

A seasonal release for the summer, is now available in California's better liquor shops in early April. It pours a dark amber color with a remarkable 2 finger head. It looks glorious. It smells glorious too - full on hops: a great balance of piney and sweet. The taste fills out with a nice, smooth tanginess. It has that bitter bite but is cut with the almost honey resin.

It's very easy drinking for the 9.9% ABV. I was a bit shocked to see it running that high. I've found Avery to be a decent brewery, but there wasn't any beer I'd go out of my way to get. Until now...

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Photo of BadBadger
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, what a beer!!! The Maharaja is something else: it rules. Take the cap of the growler and the smell takes over your senses (no hint of alcohol here just pure pleasure). It is the most absolutely wonderful aroma of any beer-period! An herbal delight for the olfactory system. Pours from the growler with a nice amber color and a nice foamy head. Yum, the taste is hoppy but not excessively bitter. A pleasantly well balanced flavor profile. There is a mild sticky factor on the tongue, which is forgivable and does not diminsih this taste treat. This is a dangerous beer, given the ABV, with no hint of the high alcohol content. Search this out and enjoy. Beware all other DIPAs will no longer suffice.

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

Pours a copperish color with a very good amount of frothy white head. Wonderful lacing that does not seem to dissipate. Aromas of cotton candy, bubblegum, citrus, peach, hops, grapefruit really get the mouth salivating.

Well what can I say. I've always been a big Avery fan and the Maharaja does not dissapoint. Not to say it's the best IPA I've tried but nonetheless it is extremely balanced, and easy to drink. This beer has great flavors that are pretty much what's in the nose. The only thing that seems lackluster about this brew is that for an IPA it could be a little hoppier. But I do think the IBU's in this brew make it what it is and that's one of the easiest, smoothest drinking IPA's I've tried to date.

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

A - this IPA pours a light brown with a frothy thin tan head, there is also faint carbonation

S - theres an unusual slight cured ham deli meat aroma, was confused at first, upon a second whiff, there is a sweet honey aroma, like clover honey

T - wow, intense honey sweetness, a perfect balance of sweetness and bitter hops, a great job

M - there is a sweet thickness with accomapnied mouth coating, full-bodied, great job Avery

D - very high, a great IPA, one of the best ive ever had

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Photo of BeerBuilder
4.56/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a clear bronze color with an off-white head that diminishes to a ring. It leaves spotty lacing when sipped down.

The aroma is of fresh pink grapefruit all the way. It is juicy and resiny in the aroma. There is a bit of pineapple too. The caramel maltiness is there, but the fresh, juicy hops are taking the mainstage. Just wonderful.

The flavor is juicy, and a bit resiny, with the grapefruit flavors coming through. The caramel maltiness forms a solid backbone, but it is the hops that are making themselves known. It has a pleasant bitterness, it is not over the top....it doesn't take one's attention from everything at play here.

It is medium in body, and somewhat drying in the finish. This one really masks its strength...it will sneak up I'm sure.

A very nice surprise...very enjoyable...I do recommend.

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Photo of Chaz
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

BANG! Nose of medicinal hops. Dole pineapple juice christmastreeoverload . . . wow! Pours copper-gold with an off-white head of moderate duration and notable lacing. JUICEY hops, creamy texture and lively on the palate. Medium bodied, oily-resiny texture, dry and astringent. Berry notes in its aromatics, reminds me of (gulp) the white/pineapple-flavored jelly beans at Eastertime (in a good way of course.) Mostly dry, but semi-sweet, with bitterness running the full length of the spectrum (beginning, middle, and end-of-palate.) The big alcohol is extremely well-hidden, with a hop profile that is on-par with Avery's other alpha-rich brews, and that's exactly what I'd expect of a double IPA from Avery. Herbal, vegetal hops . . . it's like walking into a greenhouse at the end of winter! This is an easy step-up from their very-palatable year-round I.P.A., and poured next to Hog Heaven (for comparison's sake), Maharaja's intense hop profile is pervasive, intruding on the (by comparison) delicate profile of Hog Heaven (and btw, Maha followed by H.H. is a deadly 1-2 punch!) Maharaja is everything I'd expect of the style from a consistent, top-notch brewery like Avery. Batch 3 (2/06 bottling 3/27 decanting.)

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Photo of benito
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 3 (2006) is just as impressive as Batch 2.

Amber with a nice white head, this brew's defining characteristic is its bouquet: a strong mix of grapefruit and pine that portends the strength of the flavor itself. This is one of the most forceful and enticing IPAs, strike
that beers, that I've ever smelled.

As for flavor, no surprises here. The strength follows through and starts with a hop wallop on the front of the tongue that is offset by only the slightest malt sweetness and alcohol. The earthiness is matched by a spiciness that I've never seen in an IPA before: the mix of bitter and spicy creates a wonderful balance. My only gripe is that the flavor dies off quickly at the back of the tongue, but, given how complex the preceding flavors and harmonies had been, I think anything more would have sent me into a (good) sensory overload.

This is a beer designed to for sipping and contemplation--a heady mix of traditional IPA flavors with a strength and bite that puts it in a class all by itself. This is a must-have beer. Kudos to Avery.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.87/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

AP: Clear coper. Yellow tinted tan head. Full coat of lace is left behind.

AR: Huge pink grapefruit pulp tones. Huge fresh hop aroma. Huge resiny, canabis tones. Huge pungency. One of the best smelling DIPAs I've come across.

TST: This DIPA is more about Hop Flavor than actual hop bitterness. Juicy, grapefruit driven hop flavors are Huge. Bitterness is quite clean and long lasting, but not OverTheTop. Also pungent, rind-like qualities. Rich caramel malts lay down the foundation and don't get in the way.

MF: Lightly carbonated and medium bodied. Alcohol is barely detectable. It blends in nicely with the spiciness of the hops.

DK: One of my favorite DIPAs. Extremely rich, yet quite drinkable as well. This one could be dangerous.

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Photo of nickss
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled Feb. 2006, Batch 3. 1.085 OG, 9.9% abv

Pours a bright, amber hue.... moderate apparent carbonation with a nice 1/2" rocky, cream colored head. The head is risilient, and leave some nice clumps of lacing on the glass as the brew it consumed.

HUGE hop aroma.... huge outdoorsy, fresh cut grass smell. Completely and unabashedly unbalanced. I give them huge marks for originality here.

The flavour matches the aroma perfectly. Unbalanced hop bomb... grassy flavour.... a fair bit of citrus in here as well.... nice.

Moderate thickness and a nice level of carbonation... pretty spot on for an IIPA, although I could use a bit more thickness... but thats just me being nitpicky.

This brew gets hurt in the drinkability category for simply being overwhelmingly hoppy. Dont get me wrong, I am savoring every second of this bomber, but I doubt I'll be able to taste anything for the rest of the day.

All in all... typical Avery.... in-your-face brewing... delicious hop belches follow the finish of the bottle... certainly a must-try if you're a hop head.

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Photo of Crosling
4.03/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Photo of rodrot
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been looking forward to sampling this beer ever since NC lifted the cap and I eagerly snatched up several bottles as soon as they appeared on the shelves. This brew poured a beautiful bright orange amber hue into my glass with a half inch head that left sticky lacing along the sides. Aroma was an incredible fusion of pungent, grassy hops, grapefruit and apricots in the nose. Taste was a hop lovers wet dream, very hoppy, fruity and with notes of peaches, apricots and grapefruit on the tongue. This beer had a very smooth and creamy mouthfeel and was easy drinking for it's strength. The 9.9% abv stated on the label is not noticeable. I polished off two 22oz bottles in just a couple of hours. This is by far one of the tastiest beers that I have ever had and gives any other DIPA a run for it's money.

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Photo of evanackerman
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

this beer pours a very beautiful deep orange with a fluffy white head, leaving chunky lacing.

aroma is exceptional. dominated by american hops - citrusy greatness and a hint of malt

mouthfeel is superb, very very smooth as is typical of quality double IPA's

drinkability is low onloy due to high alc. content.

overall, a fabulously delicious doble IPA, pretty standard for the style (compared to other good ones). right up there with Great Divide's Hercules.

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Photo of sinistermadman
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled Feb. 2006 - Batch 3

Pours a clear golden maple color with a nice burly,creamy pancake head. Laces the glass with a vengeance.

Aroma is quite appealing. Floral aroma melds with sweet fruit to create a pleasant olfactory experience. Very crisp hop aroma.

This brew is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Rather creamy in its mouthfeel considering the hop ratio. Sweet fruit and malts work symbiotically with the rather citric hops to create a balance that nods in the hop direction, but remains quite palatable. Interesting complexity that brings new flavors in successive drinks. Very intense flavors. A well crafted brew that doesn't have any reservations and doesn't compromise.

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

2006 bottling. Differences from last year's batch: 1. More hops in the nose. Unbelievably rich, spicy, floral hop aroma. 2. Alcohol "hotness" is greatly reduced from 2005. Perhaps Avery's high-gravity brewing is becoming more refined and less aggressive. 3. Lower level of carbonation, plus very low head retention -- kind of barleywine-like in appearance.

All in all, a more elegant, much more drinkable Maharaja this year. Kudos to Adam and the boys down on Arapahoe Ave.

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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 3Vandoo
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A ruby burgundy beer with a shy head retention, some hints of light golden.

Smell is quite hoppy, very floral hops comes out of this beer with a shy malty finish.

Taste wise is very hoppy, aromatizing floral hops come out very strongly followed by a malted hint.

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Photo of Oxymoron
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ive been sitting on this for awhile (2005). Poured a hazy light orange with tan coloring that reminded me of a wheat beer. Very frothy pour with tiny bubbles that left good lacing throughout the tasting.

The smell is hoppy and quite noticeable even for DIPA standards. A citrus vine smell is dominates with minor notes of grapefruit and floral essence. The malt is sweet with more of a sugary or syrupy smell to it.

The taste is very good and well balanced. The malt was stronger then expected with good hop flavoring and finishing. The malt to start was sweeter with touches of biscuit and caramel. I picked up a trace of honey but this was very faint. The hops were piney, especially noticeable for the bittering hops. But finishes well with a smoothness and a citurs grapefruit, tangerine flavor.

The body had a slightly higher mid range. The ABV was noticeable but still easy to drink and really was a background taste. Well balanced and a sweet taste for a DIPA.

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