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Maharaja - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,686 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,686
Reviews: 1,738
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 10.64%
Wants: 259
Gots: 396 | 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:
Maharaja is derived from the sanskrit words mahat, meaning “great”, and rajan, meaning “king”. Much like its namesake, this imperial IPA is regal, intense and mighty. With hops and malts as his servants, he rules both with a heavy hand. The Maharaja flaunts his authority over a deranged amount of hops: tangy, vibrant and pungent along with an insane amount of malted barley – fashioning a dark amber hue and exquisite malt essence. Welcome to his kingdom!

The Maharaja is the second installment in our Dictator Series.

102 IBUs

ABV varies slightly batch to batch.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-03-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,686 | Reviews: 1,738 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MrMonkey
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy dark copperish amber with a one-finger off-white head that fades slowly to a thin cap leaving some thick lacing. Concentric rings left with each sip.

Smell is almost nothing but hops. There's some floral notes, grapefruit rind, orange peel, and lots of pine. There's also a hint of spearmint and some alcohol.

Taste starts with some oily, resinous pine and bitter grapefruit rind. There's some caramel malt trying to balance things out, but it is quickly lost to some warming alcohol and more resinous hop oils. Mango and toasted bread lead into some more bitter grapefruit with a touch of caramel, for a wonderful bittersweet finish.

Oily, but smooth, full-bodied mouthfeel.

An incredible DIPA. If it wasn't for the high ABV, I'd want to drink this one all the time.

MrMonkey, Aug 08, 2008
Photo of roadhouse
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber bottle indicating ABV of 10.54% & bottled in February of 2008. A little old so hops might be a little lighter, but it was in the refrigerator. I'll have to keep that in mind while reviewing.

Appears a cloudy but nice looking shade of red-orange with a one and a half finger off-white head. Has pretty good staying power, there's a few spots of lace on the side of the glass.

Aroma is loaded with big juicy citrusy and piney hops. Beneath that is some honey and sweet caramel malts and a hint of alcohol in the back. Doesn't seem to have taken much shit from age.

The taste begins with a big kick of grapefruity hops, some honey-like sweetness creeps in, then it ends up on the floor after the citrusy and piney hop flavors come back for another round of beating. There's some tropical fruit flavors there as well. A bit too much alcohol flavor all around, but it kind of adds a certain zing. Either way, it's still too much and it knocks the taste down a half point for me.

Mouthfeel is nice and thick without quite being syrupy. Nice level of carbonation.

Overall I was pretty damn pleased with this one. The only downside really is the overabundant alcohol taste. Take that down a level and this might be one of the best tasting DIPAs. Reminds me a lot of Hopslam.

roadhouse, Aug 08, 2008
Photo of thequeen711
2.93/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Another hoppy beer from the wonderful guys at Avery (a self professed HopHead).
Beer poured a deep copper/amber colour, medium body, ended with a light head and lacing that lasted throughout the entire consumption. Nose distinctively HOPPY, and ended with a bitter aftertaste, as true IPA's do. I am not a hophead and it was nice to taste this treat, but wouldn't want more.

thequeen711, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of phattysbox
3.03/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Small head, but thick lacing, nice orange/amber color. HOP BOMB in the nose, too overpowering/stale. Same in the taste, grassy, raw hops just too powerful. Sweetness cloys and acts funny in trying to balance the hops. Not my favorite but is OK when it warms.

phattysbox, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of unionturf
2.42/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Stopped by Brawley's looking for another SN Harvest and got this as a suggestion for something "similar"...not similar at all.

A: Pours beautifully, great 1+" head and lacing during the drink. Color is clear and great.

S: Grapefruit hoppy smell is strong but good, looking forward to the drink.

T: First taste hit like a grapefruit and quickly becomes oily and very alcohol taste...not good once my tastebuds recovered a little. This is very sweet and taste to me like a mix between a IPA and a bourbon (as far as strong alcohol taste)...and I think that's why I didn't like it. And when I burped it was all alcohol.

M: This and oily and heavy....

D: Since I poured from a 22oz bottle I have another glass left...not sure I can do it....

EDIT: Actually I couldn't finish the second glass, not a good balanced beer at all.

unionturf, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of andrewm190
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love supporting Colorado beers and this one certainly is worth the time and money. Perhaps, what stands out most to me in this beer is the appearance--a beautiful red. It pours a modest head, and quickly fills the nostrils with a declaration of hops. The bottle describes the hops as "tangy, vibrant, and pungent." This, I wholeheartedly concur with. Avery's Maharaja arrived at my pallet highly recommended. Smooth mouthfeel, one should definitely expect a bitter aftertaste (as the style commands), and be satisfied.

andrewm190, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of DoubleJ
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle bought at the Wine Exchange. This is Batch 8, which was bottled in May 2008, and lists 102 IBU's, 1.090 OG, and a heavy 10.21% ABV. This is going to be fun. On to the beer:

Pretty to look at: orange amber color with good clarity and a foam head made up of tiny bubbles. Good retention. The hops are BIG in the aroma with some bready caramel, and sweet & sticky piney fruits. As for the taste, it is quite smooth with a palate numbing kick of alcohol. Herbal and grassy upfront, the hops turn sharp and piney with just a bit of malt and pinneapple to balance. The alcohol adds a peppery and fusel zip to the beer, which lingers long on the palate afterwards.

Shit, am I sweating because of this brew, or is it just hot in here? Mellowing out this brew over time could cool off the heat.

DoubleJ, Aug 03, 2008
Photo of Dalem
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pop the cap and get ready to get hit in the face with a huge grapefruit. The scent jumps right out of the bottle and fills the room while pouring into a glass. Cloudy, malty orange in color with a fluffy quarter inch head that hangs tight for a bit. Even after it fades a slight foam cap sticks around leaving lace on the glass through it's entire duration. Letting it breathe a bit some honey and malt come out in the aroma but the hoppy grapefruit bang still dominates. The taste is all about sweet hop city. A mixture of pink grapefruit, tangerine and of course the expected pine are the up front flavors. A hint of apples and brown sugar come out too as the brew warms a little. Quite bold with mellow bitter but not eye watering as was expected from the smell. The beer itself has a creamy fluffiness in the mouth which is something Avery has mastered and they don't mess with that formula here at all. It finishes with a lingering hop tang in the mouth and an slight alcohol warming down the throat but at 9.6 abv and 102 ibu's surprisingly not all bossy and overbearing as it might have been if put in the hands of other brewers.

Dalem, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of Rainintheface
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled May 08 Batch 8

A: deep copper, a little cloudy with a one finger off-white/orange tinged head

S: bitter grapefruit, oranges.sweet malt/caramel aromas behind all the citrus. floral

T: Wow. citrus tanginess followed by some caramel malt. orange and tangerines

M: bordering on full bodied. has some slick creaminess to it. alcohol is there but not detrimental

D: Great. I'll have again and again. But just one bomber at a time.

Rainintheface, Jul 31, 2008
Photo of Ben4881
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Avery Brewing Co.

Maharaja is a transparent orange color with orange-yellow highlights. There is a small white head that dissipates quickly while bubbles continue to erupt from the base of the glass. Spotty lacing sticks to the glass, as well.

Citrus hops hit my nose right away. Then something a little softer enters the aroma. I can't really put my finger on it. It comes close to a yeasty Belgian Ale scent.

Oily, piney, and citrus hop flavors sting the tongue immediately. The bitterness subsides, momentarily, to let a subtle malt flavor pass by the roof of the mouth. Along with that malt flavor, this brew brings a yeasty, alcohol flavor I recognize in Belgian Ales. The aftertaste is bitter and semi-dry. Some piney bitterness sticks to the tongue, but does not overwhelm. A warm alcohol feeling in the belly accompanies and compliments the aftertaste.

Maharaja has a medium to light body with a decent amount of carbonation that lightens the load and foams up very quickly with agitation.

Great flavor and not overwhelmingly bitter. The warmth and high ABV keeps this beer from being extremely drinkable. One and done for me, but I would definitely grab it again sometime.

Ben4881, Jul 30, 2008
Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If you're looking for an approachable DIPA this is your beer. It won't blast your palate like Ruination, and it's still strong and rich enough to stand up with the best.

The flavor here rolls around the fruity hops spectrum with, orange, tangerine, grapefruit, and citrus zest with a little floral perfume and spice around the edges. The malt sweetness, I think, is a tad much - overbalanced sweetness for a double IPA. In a sense, this beer is a bit like a hoppy fruit punch. A must-try DIPA, not like the rest.

tempest, Jul 30, 2008
Photo of Beerking721
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A winner of a brew in the traditional "West Coast" style. Lines up closely with Bell's Hopslam which is of a similar style.

A = Thick, rich dark amber color with volumes of head and white lace.

S = A beautiful enticement of sweet, ripe grapefruit and hint of pineapple and fresh cut pine.

T = A rich display of sugery grapefruit and requesite hoppiness loads the palate. A slightly more acidic and complex nature than Hopslam, the flavors are very satisfying.

M = Early carbonation was released through aeration. The result was smooth, substantial character that encouraged another sip.

D = A reasonable and easy quaff that "Shakelton" would approve of. Several bottles was just the ticket for me.

Beerking721, Jul 24, 2008
Photo of 100floods
4.95/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I, among many others, love hops. I have searched for the perfect hop beer and I think I have found it.

I've had this beer, always in a bottle, at least 4 times since I first saw it at City Beer. The initial smell upon opening is more than what i look for in an Imperial IPA. This is what a strong IPA should smell like. It has notes of citrus which, together with all the other hop madness, gives a very fresh hop smell. If the smell doesn't win you over, the taste will. I am guessing this was intensely dry hopped.

Avery is known for being brutal on the buds, but safe to say that this hoppy delight starts and finishes smooth. There's even a hop-bite shortly after each sip. Each sip fills your mouth with a slightly heavy texture, but not too carbonated. Avery really wants you to taste this beer.

This tour de hop is beyond exceptional. The only beer in comparison is the Anderson Valley's anniversary IPA, which has a strong hop taste.

buy it, chill it, drink it. GODDAMN

100floods, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of TheViceBlog
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful amber cherry pour. Frothy, fruity, sugary, tons of hops, and very alcoholic. Complex, a terrific finish, and very drinkable. I could have these until I fell off the barstool.

I liked it so much the next day I went to Whole Foods and snagged a bomber of it which I found equally tasty. I'm gonna put this one into my regular IPA rotation.

A pretty damn perfect double IPA. I think it's probably Avery's best beer too.


TheViceBlog, Jul 19, 2008
Photo of spoots
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 vintage, served from a bomber and poured vigorously into a Rodenbach tulip.

Words alone cannot describe what an immense beer this is. A stunning example of an Imperial IPA. Close to flawless.

A: Gorgeous. Huge, thick two-fingered head. A thing of beauty.

S: Explosive. Dangerous. A slut of an IIPA.

T: An absolute bomb on the tongue. Again, words fail to adequately describe the complexity...

M: Couldn't be improved. Thick. Creamy. A hop milkshake.

D: Boom goes the dynamite!

This beer is as good as the style gets. Show me a better example of an IIPA. I dare you.

spoots, Jul 19, 2008
Photo of udubdawg
3.43/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle, May '08 batch

pours amber, quite bright, excellent clarity. Even emptying the bottle into the second glass shows little sediment. Creamy-light yellow tinted head, quite frothy and leaves more than adequate lacing behind as it fades to a ring by midglass.

Smells of citrusy hops abound, with pine well underneath, but never come close to overwhelming the rampant alcohol. 10.2%? Despite the strength of the hop profile, most of that % seems to be showing up here. But that's hardly a reason to seriously downgrade what is otherwise a fine-smelling brew...

...but experiencing the same in the taste is. I've had this beer many times where it was months older, and the hops were showing their age. The alcohol was muted, but we were left with a very, very caramelly sweet beer - too much so in my humble opinion. So I find myself torn - fresh, as I'd like to consume this beer, it is too hot. Aged, and you've lost the fresh hop profile that I would think is this beer's raison d'etre.
anyway, I hasten to add that this is a tasty beer - I'm not afraid of a little alcohol warming! The hop level doesn't seem as crazy as the label would suggest, though even as I type this a burp brings a ridiculous amount of pine back up (apologies for that visual) Bitterness is kept in check, though it lingers long after the swallow. Caramel and citrusy hops - no real complaints here.

Sticky - far from clean, but that's hardly a bad thing. Full body, excellent carbonation. This beer looks great in the glass, smells good, and my mouth luxuriates in the experience as it rolls across my palate - there's nothing really wrong here, and I'll gladly have it again. That I can't rate it higher is simply a testament to the number of absurdly good double IPAs in this country. Hooray Beer!

udubdawg, Jul 18, 2008
Photo of blackjack000
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Really handsome and rich amber with a skimpy, fizzly head. The color looks pretty spot on for the color of honey. I'm pouring a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass, so on my second pour I dropped it in there vigorously, and that gave it a nice and creamy eggshell-colored head. This is a really good-looking beer.

Smell: I smell fresh cut wood. This is weird, I keep trying to sniff and see if I'm imagining this, but I smell meat. Something between smoked meat and salted pork. I can't put my finger on it. There's sugar drifting in and out, also. Yeah, there's that ambiguous, smoky smell again. It works in well, but it's a little confusing, because I can't seem to taste anything resembling that smell in the beer. Oh well.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Mmm...it has that lip-smacking taste and texture right off the bat. A good dose of fresh, woody hops layered on top of a smooth and sticky sweet malt. A perfect balance of sweetness, hoppy twang, and bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability: It's packed full of flavor and experiences, without being overpowering. Most things that begin with "imperial" I would be hesitant to consume more than two before I start squandering the tasting experience in exchange for haziness. However, this is just smooth enough that I could see myself enjoying a few of these in a night while still enjoying all its subtleties in full.

blackjack000, Jul 17, 2008
Photo of chefnash51
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Feb 2008 Batch. Bomber was refrigerated since the first day it was in my beer store.

I had doubts that it wouldn't be as fresh as I wanted and I really wanted to find the May batch.

I was not disappointed at all.

A: Beautiful amber color with a thick, creamy white head. Tons of sticky lacing the whole way down the glass.

S: All the sweet notes I love in DIPAs were here. This one smells exceptional to me. Sweet grapefruit, floral, hints of pine.

T: This one drinks with very little bitterness to me, at least not in the pucker yur lips sense. Lots of citrus.

M: A delight in my mouth. Not too thin, or too think.. perfect carbonation.

D: This was a refreshing DIPA, I loved every sip of it and I want more. This was one of my first DIPAs years ago and I don't know why I waited so long to revisit. Very easy to drink.. I could do 2 bombers, but one laid a nice buzz on me.

Paired this with (don't laugh I was hungry and getting a bit drunk) Cracked Peppercorn Triscuits - American cheese - and roasted turkey breast. It tasted great to me!

chefnash51, Jul 17, 2008
Photo of midaszero
3.78/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bottle into pint glass

A - Clear orangish amber with with 1.5 fingers of tan head

S - Citrus with some floral and a touch of sweetness

T - Bitter hops (grapefruit?) with some good sweet malt flavor.

M - Some burn with medium body and medium to high carbonation

D - If you are a hop head you could probably session this. Personally one pint is good but enough.

I know I am commiting an IPA crime but putting 2 bottles of this down in my cellar but I tried a 1 year old bottle awhile back and really enjoyed it.

midaszero, Jul 17, 2008
Photo of BrewerB
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma included pepper/spicy and floral hops most prominently and rather intense. The orange-like citrus we usually get from Cascades and other American hops was present though to a much lesser degree. A little too much malt sweetness for the style. Expected more American hop character though lack of is OK for this style.

Appearance was a hazy, orangish-copper. Formed a tight 1 finger off-white head which thinned out but persisted.

Very intense hoppy flavors were most focused in the floral/herbal/grassy range. Citrusy presence in the background. Malt sweetness was a bit out of character as was the lack of a nice dry finish. Bitterness was very high and lingered on after swallow. Alcohol.

Medium/medium-full bodied, slight syrup-like consistency feels out of place. Moderate carbonation with warming from the alcohol.

Overall its an IIPA with lots of spicy/floral hop but a little too much sweetness to contend with. Dry this out and we'd be drinking a much better beer. I could finish a pint but no more.

BrewerB, Jul 15, 2008
Photo of masikon
3.33/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour as a toasty tennessee orange, with some red suggestions. Head is dense off-white, but not that aggressive...maybe a weak pour. Nose is soft but contains lots of grapefruit or citrus as would be accepted, also some malt suggestions, more than usual for the style. Taste is good but actually too balanced for my tastes, I like a little more in the way of oily hops than this offers. The taste is pleasant but his a malty sweet finish rather than the bitter pucker i prefer. The bottle I sampled was a 2008 batch 8, if that means anything to anyone, it's printed on the bottle.

masikon, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of willjschmidt
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber (brewed in Feb 2008, batch 7) into a New Belgium globe glass.

A: Deep orange color, fantastic lacing.

S: A blast of pungent hops. Tons of citrus: grapefruit, orange and pineapple. A bit of pine at the end as well.

T: A damn fine DIPA. A big blast of citrus which is what I love in a DIPA. Nice malt bill as well. Nice balance on the sweetness as well.

M: Viscous, creamy and just a little on the thick side.

D: A very good DIPA, one of the better ones I've had. The alcohol comes through a bit but it doesn't dominate.

willjschmidt, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of hopsleeroy
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle

A-Clear amber with decent white head
S-Like somebody slapped me in the face with a pine branch soaked in alcohol. Very sweet on the nose but lots of hops.
T-Very sweet almost candy/honey sweetness with an alcohol burn, sharp pine and more orange than grapefruit, a fair amount of alcohol in the taste, detracted from the flavor somewhat, Not a delicate flavor but in your face
M-Medium to full full in mouth, fairly creamy, good carbonation
D-High alcohol in taste and in abv would prevent drinkning too much, but I'd drink more than one pint.

Not a very sublt beer and a little overpowering in the alcohol department which is usually what I think of the big Avery beers.

hopsleeroy, Jul 10, 2008
Photo of Zadok
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a bottle at The Flying Saucer in downtown KC.

A- The beer pours a deep copper with a 1 finger head that hung around awhile.

S- Bursting with hoppy goodness at the first smell. Everything from citrus to honey presents itself.

T- Due to the ABV and explosion of hops its best to consume in a seated position. An overflow of flavor on this one, with a bitter ending that only drives you to refresh the experience with another gulp.

M- Light to medium body, moderate carbonation.

D- One of these per setting is all I would be able to muster, that being said this was a delightful experience and will be anticipating the next shipment.

Zadok, Jul 10, 2008
Photo of Gitboxer09
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a great dark orange color with excellent lacing after a few sips in. Definitely catch a whiff of oily hops- It smells as though I have a handful of hops in my hand.

Initial sip is sweet on the tongue with citrus and toasted malts coming to mind, while it finishes with a blast of alcohol and pungent hop-flavor.

One of the strongest finishes for an IPA that I've had, I'd even put it up against Ruination despite the significant difference in IBUs. Great DIPA all around.

Gitboxer09, Jul 08, 2008
Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 4,686 ratings.