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Maharaja - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,940 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,940
Reviews: 1,769
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.38%
Wants: 303
Gots: 494 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,940 | Reviews: 1,769 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of womencantsail
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh bottle March 2010. Thank you, Avery Brewing Co. for putting a bottling date on this DIPA.

A: Clear orange with a decent head and some sticky lacing

S: Pleasant grapefruit aroma with beautiful fresh hops, slight alcohol

T: Very tasty. Grapefruit and citrus are huge, with sweet hops sticking to your mouth at every sip. Although the alcohol is hidden very well, it is obvious when drinking this that it is a big beer.

M: Maharaja is a bit syrupy and sticky for my taste. Warming finish with a nice lingering aftertaste.

D: 1/2 bottle was just right.

Photo of Mistofminn
3.61/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color, with a slight haze to it. A creamy and sticky, wet off-white head about two fingers in width sits on top with great retention and leaves excellent lacing.

When this thing is first poured, I get tons of malts on the nose. I was under the impression this is a fresh bottle, but maybe I got last years batch? Hops are only slightly present in the background. Alcohol isn't a big factore, which makes me lean towards this being an older bottle.

The taste is smooth and sweet malts, toned down, with a bitter finish. I was expecting a huge bitter punch, and I didn't get it. This must be an older bottle, as normally Avery's hoppy beers are very very good. A little disappointed in this.

My favorite part, is the mouthfeel. About medium in body with a low carbonation, this thing is incredibly smooth and easy drinking. Although it lacks the fresh hop character, it makes up for it in other areas. Drinkability is good.

Overall, fresh or not, this is a good beer. I'll have to pick up another bottle from another store to compare to find out if this was fresh or not, but judging by others reviews I'll bet this is older. Still a good beer, though.

Photo of mdfb79
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 3/12/10 notes.

a - Pours an amber color

s - Smells of hops and sweet malts. A little citrus as well.

t - Smooth sweet malts, as well as some citrusy hops. Hints of fruit as well. Quite enjoyable.

m - Full body with moderate carbonation, pretty smooth. Easy to drink considering the high ABV.

d - I liked this DIPA a lot. I thought there was a nice combination of citrusy hops and sweet malts that created a nice smooth taste that's easy to drink. Would definitely try again.

Photo of Xul
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a translucent dark-ish orange, capped by a two finger slightly-off-white head.

S: A strong blend of piney and citrusy hops. The pine tends away from the earthiness a bit, while the citrus is a bit of a darker, heavier citrus tone. A caramel base is detectable but the hops are the show here.

T: Taste doesn't entirely live up to the smell - the piney hops take on a more earthy tone, and there's not nearly as much citrus going on. Perhaps it's just a preference issue, but I find the more prevalent citrus of the aroma to be more enjoyable.

M: Full-bodied with a smooth feel all the way through. Carbonation and body are spot on.

D: A bit big to drink more than one of, even by IIPA standards.

Photo of backfat
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

good trade with a very nice and knowledgeable BA, khumbard. thanks buddy! ive been waiting for this one for awhile.
pours a gorgeous, hazed amber. "that's pretty" -my gf compliments for behind my shoulder. my thoughts exactly. two finger pearl head that almost completely dissipates after about three minutes with great lace. the aroma is earthy, with grapefruit hops up front and then very nicely balanced with some caramel malt. a bit fruity and pleasing. the taste is east coast and comforting. mellow malt, tangy hops, and fruity pebbles. it is at this moment, that i am thinking (and thanking) about the second bottle in my fridge. creamy, velvet texture. thanks again kevin. i could drink these all day.

Photo of APetitfils
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice golden orange color with slight light brown. Overall very bright colors that are extenuated even more by the off-white/ivory head that has tightly knitted bubbles and retains decently well. Slightly murky consistency

S: An unexpected citrus/sweet hops aroma that gives you a pleasant wake up call to the sniffer. I got strong alcoholic aromas out of this too, which did not hurt the overall quality but gave it a balance that really sets you up for the taste.

T: Great earthy and piney hops flavors that hit first like they should. Sweet malts: grapefruit, lemon, and citrus. The alcohol plays an important role in the taste as well and specifically balances out the citrus and bitter malts to be more rounded and complex (I think that's where the more tropical signatures are coming from). Real great.

M: Medium bodied that gives you the bitterness that an Imperial IPA should have (102 IBUs on this one), touch of the sweet malts that makes this one unique, and the alcohol that brings it full circle

D: To start I liked the way that maharaja isn't about specifically showing off a hoppy bitterness. There is much more involved then sucking your tongue out your face. Also, with a 10.69% abv, I would have thought the alcohol (though also appreciated) would have drowned me out a bit... It didn't. Its not to be taken lightly, but not feared at all. I liked it a lot and in many ways solidified my good opinion of Avery in stone. A great try and recommend snagging one. For those out there wanting to match food, I had maharaja with a dank roasted turkey sandwich with some biting jack cheese, made it all the better.

Photo of exparte
3.26/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber bottled June 2009, Batch 10. Sweet, sweet malt aroma fills the room the second the bottle is opened. There's some piney hops in the nose as well but you really have to concentrate to distinguish them from that huge malt aroma. Pours bright orange with a thick and sticky white head that laces beautifully if you can manage to drink that much of it. Body is medium full with significant carbonation that combines to produce quite a pleasant sensation on the palate. It's just so cloyingly sweet. There's a considerable hop presence but it has no chance at all of competing with the malt. Tastes a lot like fresh unfermented wort. The malt profile is really pretty complex but I just can't get past the sweetness enough to enjoy it. The label claims an OG of 1.090 and ABV of 10.69% so, without actually breaking out the hydrometer, the FG should be about 1.007. I just don't buy that for a second. It's far too sweet to have finished that dry. I've heard really good things about this beer so I'm hoping this is just a bad batch. It's going to take a long time before I try this one again.

Photo of claminat420
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 9 Feb 2009 on bottle

A- poured a hazy amber color with a thick off white head. heavy lacing.

S- just real earthy hops. maybe alil piney. caramel malt is easily noticed.

T- alcohol shows up just alil. the hops aren't attacking as i thought they were gonna. malt is more apparent.

M- medium light bodied. nice carbonation.

D- really good! wish i had two of these 22's.

Overall- the hop smell and the taste really are different. the high 10%abv is pretty well hidden. i say pick it up but nothing for the crazy hop heads like myself.

Photo of BetterDarker
4.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber poured into tulip

A- Looks like unfiltered golden honey. I tend to like my beer clear, but this looks great. Small <1 finger head of head, lasted during most of the drink. Great lacing.

S - Citrus hops all over the place but unlike many DIPA's I've had there is a malt presence in the nose. Smells great.

T - Dare I say this is a greatly balanced DIPA? Great balance of the aforementioned citrus hops with a solid malt backbone that is not too sweet.

M - Very smooth with a subtle bitterness in the after taste

D - Alcohol is well masked and the beer is well balanced making for one highly drinkable brew. Well done!

Photo of Gmann
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky golden brown color with a creamy off-white head that settles into a light ring. The aroma is of tropical fruit hops and some grapefruit. There is also a sweet aspect to the aroma, honey or brown sugar. The taste is of bitter grapefruit rinds, piney hops, some resin. This is followed by a sweet malt that does a good job supporting the hop flavor and enhancing the citrusy and floral aspects of the hops. There is some tropical fruit sweetness in this brew. Moderate body with tingly carbonation; sweet throughout but finishes bitter, light asprin dryness. The ABV can produce some belly burn from time to time. Very tasty brew. I like that it showcases the hop flavors instead of the bitterness. The sweetness is well balanced with the hops. The ABV limits this sucker to one 12oz.

Photo of phantomwyse
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a very orange honey color, densely turgid, active carbonation, patchy soapy head.

S: Lots of grapefruit, dry pine, heavy bread overtones, sweet alcohol.

T: Ultra sweet - almost bubblegum like, dried grapefruit, sappy pine.

M: Medium bodied, chewy, ends dry.

D: Much more in the English IPA vein with a heavy maltiness. Enjoyable for one round, certainly appreciated.

Photo of nc41
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For a big double the nose is a fooler. I bought this one at Total Wine and I thought here's another spoiled beer again. But.... I was wrong the first sip and everything was most definitely right. IMO a very complex mixture of flavors, you get some fruity. citrus notes, some earthy tones too. Most in this style group tend to go one way or the other, but this one did both. Nicely bitter, and for a big double not really very sweet, but just enough to temper the punch in the face ABV, and surprisingly not hot. If I didn't know the ABV I never would have guessed it to be that high. A great Double from Avery by any measure. It gets knocked down a little on the nose, but that's being picky I suppose, and the 10+ ABV kills some drink ability, but that's not really a deterrent, you just have to be respectful.

Photo of bobsy
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally get to write this one up from some hazy notes. Picked up a bomber in Buffalo and shared on a crazy evening.

Bright orange pour with a finger of sticky white head that put down nice lace and had great retention. Big tropical fruit aroma mingling with grapefruit and pine resin. Large citrus flavour, with tangerine and grapefruit, though the prominent force at play is tropical, with strong mango and pineapple notes. The bitterness is staisfying, but reined in a little by sweet, lightly bready malts. Alcohol is expertly hidden. Quite a full mouthfeel, but with a zingy carb that alleviates any stickiness.

I really liked this one - its tropical character reminded me of masala mama, and it was a nice drinkable double IPA. I love this style!

Photo of hophead247
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not much aroma from an IMPERIAL IPA, but that is OK., the beer rebounds in strong fashion The appearance of this beer is beautiful. Light at the narrow bottom of my glass and dark at the top. Picture perfect! This is a TRUE beer. No sweetness, no fruit, just a lot of hops. There is plenty bitterness to start and I'm sure it will scare off the weak but if you can hand around long enough you'll enjoy the lingering flavor. One of the best IPAs I've had and certainly one of the best beers out of Avery.

Photo of ballenc
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this monster on tap at the 501 Club. I've had this before but only from a bomber bottle and at that time, the hop bitterness was too much for me (and I'd consider myself a big-time hophead).

Poured into a 10 oz. tulip glass.

A: Golden yellow, strawlike color; quite hazy but not completely cloudy. Two fingers of off-white head that is slow to dissipate and leave minimal lacing.

S: Wonderful on the nose. A mix of citrus (muted orange) and grassy hops coupled with sweet, sticky caramel malts. ALso a hint of sweeter tropical fruits like pineapple or even mango.

T: Again, wonderful taste for a high ABV beer. Big hop flavor but not the overly resinous, tongue scrapper you'd expect. The sweeter notes from the malts balance it out on the tongue. Similar flavors on the tongue as on the nose.

M: Suprisingly smooth and even for a DIPA. Not as harsh as I remember when I had it in the bottle. No prominent alcohol burn like I remembered. A bit heavy and weighty on the tongue but that is to be expected with most DIPAs.

D: You'd expect something that knocks you off your chair at almost 11% ABV but this beer is very, very drinkable. I have two 10 oz. glasses and could have handled at least 1 more. I followed this up with a Surly Furious that seemed excessively bitter compared to the Maharaja (and I love Furious). While not sessionable, I'd highly recommend Avery Maharaja especially if you can get it on tap.

Photo of ritzkiss
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle courtesy of bobsy - thanks for sharing!

Pours a standard burnished caramel orange with 2 plus fingers of sticky head that leaves some light lacing.

Pineapple is the dominant smell coming out of this one along with citrus fruits, a hint of pine and a big billboard stating: Warning, major caramel malt!

Yep, the billboard wasn't lying. Hefty sticky sweetness with a touch of acridity and roast, pine and citrus hops keeping up though. BIG is the word I'd use, no surprise though from Avery. Pretty typical American DIPA, big all around, plan is to knock your socks off. Pretty well executed.

Plenty of crisp carbonation keeps this one from weighing your mouth down, yet the hefty nature of this and the sweetness of the malt make this a no-more-than-one-bottle beer. Thanks Bobsy!

Photo of smulkowski
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, Batch 9, bottled in Feb. 2009

A- Orangey-oak color. Low carbonation, one finger head very quickly dissipating.

S- Grapefruit rind and conifer, classic west coast IPA aroma. Warm fragrances of spicecake in the malt.

T- Relatively inconspicuous malt profile opens to an explosion of bitterness. Good hop flavor, highly resinous and floral, but as complex as expected.

M- Somewhat light, relatively silky.

D- For 102 IBU, pretty drinkable.

Photo of eat
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not sure who brought this one, too many beers in too little time. Thanks ritzkiss, bobsy and viggo for the beer hang.

Translucent and glowing-honey coloured with a thin covering of off-white head. Bits of lacing.

Strong smell of pineapple and grapefruit, soymilk (?) and caramel malt. Wicked, powerful smell.

Tastes like pineapple, grass, pine. Serious malt base with a bitter hoppy finish. Smooth for the ABV. Very well balanced between sweet and bitter.

The feel is not quite there. Medium-thin body with a mild carbonation. Leave me wishing for more body.

Awesome. This is a great double IPA, I could drink this all the time.

Photo of longbongsilver
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had a chuckle at the store over the label, then noticed the strength & wondered how a 10% IPA worked, so I picked up a bottle. Pours out a dark orange, w/ a really thick light peach head, takes a bit to fill the mug. Kinda gives off a herbal smell, a bit of pear in there too (at least that's what it smells like to me), though that doesn't stay for long. So where's it go? Only one way to find out...

Wow...there it is! The hops come in on a warming, somewhat boozy wave, prominent without annoying my mouth. More savory than bitter, very little carbonation and not much malt note to speak of. Shifts towards a sweetness as it goes down, surprising considering the style.

I've got to say, the Imperial IPA style is a nice change of pace, and if the rest of it is in the league of this beer then count me as a fan.

Photo of Hopnobbin
4.89/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The Maha is definatly the best, most unique ipa i've tried to date (some years have been better than others), but very few ipas will come close to this one.

Smell and taste of the hops and grapefruit rind flavors paint your tongue for hours. High Alc. content.

When aged for over a year, hoppiness diminishes somewhat, different flavor but still excellent.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from batch 10 of June and 2009. Got it off of an online website and thought it was fresh. I'll put an additional review up once i get to have it fresh.

A-pours a hazy golden orange color with a creamy looking white head that has a lot of bubbles in it. it has decent retention and leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

S-the nose is much like a barleywine which typically happens to high alcohol ipa's with age. big malt nose comes in with lots of brown sugar, hints of caramel, some hop presence left with citrus and lots of pine.

T-the taste again is more like a barleywine. it does have a better hop profile than the nose. the brown sugar and caramel are present and the malts have a slight edge in terms of presence. the hop profile brings a light citrus hop with some grapefruit but brings more pine than any of the others.

M-this is quite thick and a fuller medium body. it is extremely smooth, slightly syrupy, and leaves a coating on the mouth in a good way.

D-drinks great as an american barleywine! really wanna try one fresh!

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

Appearance: Poured from a bottle into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass I see before me a cloudy, amber colored brew. Sitting atop this beverage is an inch worth of head composed of tiny bubbles and craggy peaks. Retention is decent, and the brew leaves behind plenty of sticky rings of goodness when it settles.

Smell: Plenty of bitter hops with a slight bit of booziness. The hops are a nice mix between citrus and pine, with no one quality really standing out. Not picking up much of a malt backbone, something I find surprising for a DIPA. I'm hoping for a major hop bomb with this one.

Taste: Plenty of hoppy goodness here. The hops which were hinted at in the nose come at you full force here. I believe the pine taste of the hops is a more prominent when compared to the citrusy grapefruit. There is a slight boozy tinge to this brew, but it's not so potent to be a detriment to the beer. Instead, it lets you know you're going up against a heavy hitter.

Mouthfeel: A nice medium to full body with plenty of crisp carbonation. Rather well done here.

Drinkability: A top notch DIPA. Not too heavy on the malt, plenty of hop character, and just enough booziness to remind you that you are drinking a "big beer". As much as I would like to, I don't think I could drink more than one of these in an evening...though with a brew as tasty as this it would certainly be worth a try.

Photo of gmfessen
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22 oz. bottle (bottled June 2009 - Batch 10) into a pint glass, Maharaja is an apricot-honey color with a huge pillowy hop-froth head that leaves a nice ring of lacing about the glass. The smell is huge; I can smell it from 2 feet away, citrus dominates in the form of grapefruit, orange and lemon - some resinous pine in there also. The taste starts malty sweet with caramel and lightly toasted notes and transitions into a slightly bitter pine slap across the face. The beautiful thing about Maharaja is that there is no lingering face-puckering bitterness, it is very well balanced. Also although the alcohol is 10.69%, you might guess it is elevated but not to that level, also well done. The mouthfeel is full bodied and slick, slightly drying on the finish but not a desert like some beers. Overall, very drinkable given the IBUs and ABV. Definitely a good DIPA, pick it up if you have the chance.

Photo of eternaljester81
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

First off, I consider this to be Avery's second best DIPA - behind the absolutely awesome Dugana - which is saying something, considering how much I enjoy this beer.

A - Pours a very nice, hazy/cloudy amber, with a decent white head that holds well. The lacing is minimal, but the little bit that's there is decently sticky. Overall, this is quite the attractive beer.

S - The smell is a full-on assault of almost dessert-like citrusy hops and caramel malts, mixed with a bit of spiced rum-like alcohol. It's pleasant in small doses, but on the overbearing side when enjoying a full bomber.

T - It's hard to believe that Maharaja is 11.0% ABV, and 102 IBUs, as this is an incredibly tasty, and well-balanced beer. There's next to no heat from the alcohol, and the hops, while definitely present, are well rivaled by sweet, caramel malt. The finish is a bit odd, as it's both drying, along with a lingering sweetness that begs you to take another drink to try to discern all of the complexities.

M - Smooth, slick and little oily, the mouthfeel is quite nice. The malts give that illusion of chewiness, while the hops coat the mouth wonderfully.

D - Maharaja is dangerously drinkable at the high ABV, as it hides its strength exceptionally well. A bomber goes down quite effortlessly.

It's amazing that Avery has crafted two of the best DIPA's available (at least in my area), as both Maharaja and Dugana are simply excellent. While Dugana is more of hop-bomb, Maharaja is one of the most balanced - and best flavored - DIPAs I've come across.

Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 4,940 ratings.