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Maharaja - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.

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4,860 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,860
Reviews: 1,750
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 10.4%
Wants: 287
Gots: 443 | FT: 4
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: 4,860 | Reviews: 1,750 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hopstorm
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Wow, quite impressed with this one. Thanks to hearing about it on BA I picked one up at my sisters local store while in town over Easter. Whats great about this beer is that I let my friend try it (not really into hops, but I'm changing him) I was expecting bitter beer face but he said "wow, this is really good." And I thought this is awesome I have finally got him to really appreciate hops! Some reviews called it extremely bitter. I dont think so, and thats why my friend liked it - because it isnt. Its way more aroma and flavor. Piney and resiny while grapefruit and dank buds shine against a strong malty backbone. Delicious. I would have expected it to be a little fuller in body and there is a little alcohol bite. Definitely a sipper because it is a strong one. Almost in between Arrogant Bastard and Ruination, But very different indeed. Wish I could get it on the regular.

Photo of jminsc76
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

With alexd3891 at the Daily Pint in Santa Monica, and he insists we both try the Maharaja on tap. So we do. Exhibits a thick creamy head with slight carbonation. Great lacing as the head dissipates, like rings of smoke from a well-puffed cigarette. The color of the body is a golden reddish and dark honey gold (I stole the latter description from alex3891).

The smell is fresh, intense, and very piny, making the mouth water for the flavors to come. Strong flavors including the typical pine, citrus, and vanilla you come to expect from any good non-West Coast Imperial IPA. And it exhibits them nicely. Also exhibits hints of caramel and maltiness. In fact, after repeated sips the taste is virtually divided between hops and malts. Very hot on the palate, almost a slight burn, but the intensity of the flavors cools it down.

Not for the uninitiated to the realm of strong hoppy beers. And definitely something I can't see myself enjoying for more than two per sitting. Could also be a little more refined - like the present king of double IPAs Pliny the Younger - but the overall taste, appearance, and aromas puts Maharaja among my top five Imperial IPAs.

Photo of coldmeat23
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Tulip
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

BATCH 9 (Bottled in Feb. 2009)

Pours a nice, clear, medium shade of amber with some orange overtones. Big three-finger head of creamy white foam that has a slight hint of orange to it, also. Retention is great and lacing is very good.

Well, how about that? It's got a big hoppy nose.
Big pine notes mix with citrus notes. Grapefruit, orange peel, pine needles, and a slight hint of cannibus. A light swirl brought some malt notes to the surface, but they were quickly overpowered. Definite spicy presence, too.

"Hops, Attack!!"
Huge hops presence (Surprise!), hits you hard. Orange peel and yellow grapefruit combine for a heavy dose of bitterness. Nice pine notes and floral hop presence. Big level of hops spiciness. You can totally tell that there is a nice, big, sweet, malty backbone in here, but it's getting pummeled by the hops. Don't get me wrong, though. There is a lot of balance in this brew. Just not enough to get me to drink it too often.

The body is creamy, yet light. Upper end of the medium scale, almost full-bodied. Carbonation level is almost perfect.

Still too hops dominant for me to enjoy on a regular basis, but then again, it IS an IIPA. As an every now and then, or special occasion type of beer, it's great.

BATCH 7 (Bottled in Feb. 2008)

Pours a medium copper color. Two-finger head of loose orange/tan hinted foam. Retention is good. Lacing is very good.

While still present, the hops have definitely faded. The malts have come proudly forward.
Sweet caramel malts mix with hints of pine. Brown sugar sprinkled on ruby red grapefruits. Light grass notes.

The bitterness level is turned way down, now. It's still here, but more of a background player.
Sweet caramel presence with strong hints of molasses. Spiciness is almost gone. Hints of apple with pine tar. Light notes of sweet grapefruit.

This now qualifies as full-bodied. Quite smooth and creamy. Almost velvet-like.

This now has a much better level of balance, than fresh. Nothing overpowers the rest. This is totally drinkable, now. It's big, rich, and delicious. The alcohol remains well-hidden. I like this.

Overall:4.15 (A-)

Photo of Kegatron
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

Photo of JoeBloe
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is quickly becoming one of my favorite brews - pours a slightly hazy orange with a frothy 2 finger cream colored head - thickest lacing i've seen all the way down the glass - the sweetest hop aroma - followed by the sweetest hop flavor, with notes of pine and citrus, with the sweetest malt(?) backbone - good carbonation with a heavy, but not cloying, mouthfeel -one of these(22oz) puts on a good beer buzz, but i always want(but may not have) another - real good stuff!

Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into snifter

A- Orange amber color. Poured a decent 1 finger head, that was fairly fluffy.

S- Huge hops overwhelm the smell. Detect both citrus, and pine notes from the hops. Smell very little malt.

T- There is a malt sweetness that comes through in the taste. The hops dominate though. Grapefruit taste from the hops is what is dominant for me.

M- Somewhat thick mouthfeel. Dry finish.

D- The 22oz bottle that I sampled was probably all my taste buds could take of this one. Definitely a solid DIPA.

Photo of robbyc1
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Long Room in Chicago

Great off orange clear look with a nice little off white head, lots of carbonation.

Wow, big nose, the hops are there with orange, lime, and lemon notes, as big as any i've tried, no sign of the malt, but who cares?

The hop flavors mentioned come through, very refreshing, with enough malt behind so it's not too bitter, nice dry finish that lingers.

Silky, heavy, round in the mouthfeel, very easy drinker given the abv, but hard to finish a small glass, just enough bomb taste for one. I would compare this to Goose's DIPA, very good drinker.

Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 9 (Bottled 2/09)

A: Dark brown reddish in color, beautiful fluffy white head that stuck around a minute and some lacing noticed.

S: Very aromatic! Big hop blast, pine notices come in first followed by some citrus. Some cat urine, sweet hop nectar, tangerine zest.

T: Yes, some big hops in the front, sticky sweet malts in the back. The hops win, but the malt in there is perfect. The star of the beer is the contrast between the entry and the withdraw when inhaling.

M: Medium bodied, little sticky, space between gulps are a little higher.

D: Overall, its superb. It is on the sweet side, but the overload of hop action kind of makes the situation pleasant. Great closer to a session. Recommended.

Photo of jfunkk79
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Cambridge Common.

Color is a hazy, amber, sunrise.

Smells and tastes a little sweet/fruity but is really creamy. Hops come through in the end mostly with malt up front. Overall an extremely tasty beer but a tiny bit malty. Very drinkable for a 10%!

Photo of sgoodship
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was beer was most generously given to me by Hophead101. Thanks Greg.

A: Incredibly deep, murky coppery amber. Very fine carbonation rising rapidly. It delivered a nice cream colored one finger head without any effort. The head retention is great and it sticks to the glass nicely, leaving a very impressive bubbly and intricate lacing.

S: Nice fresh grass. Strong hop resin. Big fruit - mostly grapefruit. The caramel malt comes through loud and clear too. There's a little alcohol that takes over the nose a little too much as the drink progresses. The overall smell is incredibly sweet.

T: Very tasty. Powerful stuff. Much as you would expect from the smell but the bittering hops come through on the finish and deliver a death blow. The aftertaste is tangy has some alcohol and the bitterness leaves you with that nice dryness that makes you want to do it all over again. As it promises, it takes no prisoners in the hop or malt arenas. I usually love malt but I'd love to know what this would taste like with the malt dialed down a wee tad. Balance is in the palette of the beholder!

M: Medium bodied but the huge amount of malt makes it feel very round and creamy. The medium carbonation keeps it lively and stops it from being too heavy. The alcohol is turned up a little too much and delivers a little burn to the back of the throat.

D: An amazing brew. Would drink again in a second and it is way up there in my list of DIPA's. Now, if I am going to nit pick, I have to say that for my personal taste, the sweetness was a touch too sickly and the alcohol flavor is too exposed. Again, pay attention to my score to realize that these points are minor in the overall experience. At the end of the day, it was an incredibly bold DIPA that was thoroughly enjoyed!

Photo of aglose45
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Fairly clear with some non-fermentables floating. Head was close to white.

S: Pineapple and grapefruit, with a bit of mango coming in real late.

T: PINEAPPLE!!! .. with a bit of grapefruit and mango. Hard to find a malty backbone per say, but I believe the sweetness of those tropical fruits do a pretty good job. Love the tropical fruits accompanying the bitterness.

M: Not too sticky, but some oiliness remains on the tongue post-swallow. Excellent carbonation.

D: The only thing that hinders the drinkablility is the abv, 10.27 is a bit high. That being said, I can't put this beer down and I've stopped trying..just have a longer morning.

Photo of Beernoisseur
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the more talked about IIPAs, I've been excited to drink this one for a while now. I don't want to let it age any more that I have to.

Bomber => Pilsner glass.

A - Hazy, unfiltered apple cider look, with a thin head that retains well. Good lacing.

S - Citrus, and pine with moderate sweetness behind. Almost like a grapefruit flavored hard candy.

T - Delicious. Grapefruit with good bitterness. Alcohol sweetness, but also a stong malt character, Toasty carmel malt adds fantastic pastery like sweetness. I am usually a big fan of hop strong IIPAs, but this one suits me very well, because the sweetness, while strong, is not overdone.

M - Medium bodied, good mouthfeel. It probably got rated lower because I had a Rochefort trappiste 10 earlier in the day, and that had the best feel I've ever experienced in a beer.

D - A little strong on the alcohol content to be an extremely drinkable beer, from a session standpoint, but i would love one of these every so often.

Photo of rwdkosak
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap poured into pint glass though probably would have been better to have been a snifter or tulip as this was a fairly full beer to sample. A thick light head formed on top of golden, slightly copper tones with lacing that clinged to the glass.

The nose was full of floral and hops...sweet and quite fresh. Taste followed suit with (obviously) fully hopped, floral notes and sweetness in front then slight bitterness that grabs the tongue toward the finish. Not as much alcohol that was initially expected from the 9+% ABV though as I say..a pint was quite a full sample especially as it was preceeded by a Mattingly's Dead Flower which is hopped to the hilt!!

Nonetheless, this is a really good beer. Very drinkable a great Imperial IPA.

Photo of ocelot2500
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber, copper color with a nice size off white head that sticks around. Lots of lacing.

Smells of grassy and citrus hops and some malty sweetness.

Tastes of hops up front. The citrus and grass taste comes through upfront then followed by a nice sweetness that really keeps everything balanced. This is a hop bomb, but it is cushioned by the malty sweetness to make a really even beer. The alcohol also comes through in the end, but that is not unexpected given the abv.

The mouthfeel is a nice medium. Would like a little more carbonation.

This is very drinkable. The balance is key to the drinkability.

Photo of BarrelO
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass. Batch 9, bottled in February of 2009.

A: Pours deep orange. Impressive three-finger head that leaves plenty of lacing.

S: Grapefruit and pineapple. Almost as good as Hopslam. Becomes grassier as it warms up.

T: Grassy hops dominate with a hint of sweet malt. Some points off for a rather odd peppery flavor.

M: Resiny and syrupy.

D: This is 10.27%? It may not drink like it, but it definitely hits you later. Anyway, this is definitely recommended if you're a hophead.

Photo of jjanega08
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A= Pours a brownish orange color with a one finger almost green tinted head on it that leaves great lacing a nice retention.
S= Huge grapefruit hops come through in the nose. It's got that sweet candy hoppy kinda smell to it making the nose not too bitter smelling and just enough sweet. Makes my mouth water.
T= Huge grapefruit and sweetness to it. Very very smooth. Long lasting bitter finish on it but the taste is very grapefruity and outta this world.
M= light. As it touches the tip of my tongue it feels like I'm licking a pillow. Not much carbonation and a crisp finish
D= Amazing beer right here. Smooth and delicious. Great grapefruity DIPA

Photo of brow1901
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Foil top bomber, label says it was brewing February 2009 batch 9.

A- Beer pours a dark orange amber color, with a bone white head. The head is decent but doesn't stay, it leaves pretty lacing down the glass. The beer is very clear, no haze or cloudiness at all.

S- The Beer really stinks of hops, it literally cleared my sinuses on my first whiff. I like the smell of hops and all but It doesn't allow me to get hints of much else. Some DIPA's aren't as overwhelming as this one. I should note that the hops smell more like pine than citrus.

T- The taste is really balanced compared to other DIPA's. Obviously the hops stand out and shine, but I think that the malt plays an amazing supporting role in this brew. I taste smoke and burnt carmel flavors in the malt. But before the tastes can be fully appreciated the hops come through and smash your tongue.

M- Not much to write home about here. The beer is full bodied with little carbonation. Leaves the mouth wet but not sticky or slick.

D- At 10.2% this beer is very drinkable and highly enjoyable. Probably not my first choice for a DIPA but overall a great beer.

Photo of ghebel
3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours clear gold/ orange color with a creamy, tall off-white to yellow head. Leaves nice lacing on the way down to a thin ring.

S - Hops dominate. Citrus, floral, and pungent hop aromas with a background of sweet malt that is barely perceptable over the hops. Smells vegetal, like bunches of dry hopping was used. Alcohol is present as well.

T - Taste profile follows aroma. Lots of floral hop flavor with a raw component. High bitterness, correct for the style. Malt is secondary and there is an alcohol twinge on the tongue.

M- Smooth, moderate body. Lingering bitterness with alcohol on the breath.

D - Drinkable double IPA. I would be on the floor if I drank a few.

Overall - Maybe a bit too much raw hop component and the ABV will sedate a small horse, but a good beer overall. Not for the faint-of-heart.

Photo of jdskinns
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just had the newest, Feb. 09 version of this beer. Always thought it was too sweet and malty in the past, but really loved this beer this time. Poured a transparent dark orange color with the carbonation maintaining a steady crawl up the sides of the glass. Smelled very sweet and good. Tasted of fruity hops, a very good, fresh taste that I was pleased with. Mouthfeel and drinkability were great. I could definitely drink on this with no problem which says a lot for this beer considering its ABV. Very good overall and this is one I look forward to trying every year.

Photo of StrangeBrewer76
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 9, Bottled in Feb. 2009.

Pours golden copper into a large snifter. The head dies quickly into a white ring with islands of relatively large bubbles bordered everywhere by tiny ones.

The smell is rich and powerful like earth and the hearts and stems of fresh flowers possibly orange blossom as well as the seeds. Really rich and complex. This is far beyond your average beer and even most DIPAs.

Taste is overall orange at first. Not acidic citrus like grapefruit or lemon juice but the zest and seeds and pith and all. That's odd, and dare I say unique. There are caramel toffee notes that compliment the orange well.

Mouthfeel is really good. Foamy and creamy at first then settling into a full bodied liquid that reverberates after the swallow. The finish just seems to echo causing me to swallow several times for every sip.

It may just be the batch but as far as traditional hop flavors here there is only a slight bitterness but otherwise this is a different I2PA altogether. H/T to the brewers for this unique interpretation on the style.

I'd love to try this on tap to see of there's any difference and I'll likely get at least another one of this batch a few months from now but I also look forward to future batches.

Photo of gunnerman
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beast on tap at a new bar in Boca Raton, FL. The look of this beer is your standard IPA with nice redish yellow tone and nice fluffy head. Smell is where this beer is at, this was so fresh that the hops were dancing in my nostrils. I could smell strong tangerine, summer morning a bit of lemon zest. The taste hits like a brick very hoppy and malty, the hops lingers on your tongue and a sweet candy like finish. The alcohol heat up as it warms. This was truly impressive fresh and on tap made it even better.

Photo of badmoon
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip from a bomber.

A: Nice orange body. Decent head with excellent lacing. Light carbonation rising from the bottom. Lacing continues until the end.

S: This is difficult for me to place. I'm getting some grassy aroma along with mixed fruit...almost reminds me of pears. Quite unique.

T: The front end of this gives me some sweet notes. The finish is big and hoppy. I'm really getting the grassy vibe in the finish. I've never had anything like this.

M: Very dry and clean feel. You will also feel a slight alcohol burn in the back of your throat during the finish.

D: At over 10%, I can't image more than one of these. It's a big and complex brew. As it warms up, the flavor notes continue to change.

Overall: I love this one! I've never had it before and am very impressed. If you love hops, give this a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed!

Photo of unskinnyhop09
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

had both tap and bottle
tap is amazing - bottle is decent
i would almost argue that they put grapefruit juice in this beer. it is really good...just MUCH better on tap than in bomber.
if it's on tap, get it. it tastes great...it smells better.
warning...it will knock you on your ass.

Photo of puboflyons
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Provided to me during a family function on April 4, 2009.

A -An attractive looking copper tone with a limited amount of head but good lacing.
S - Defintely the hops are the lead aroma on this. That came on strong.
M/T - The mouthfeel is bold. It starts out quickly like a stong ale but the hops come on very strong after the first sip. There is no aftertaste.

This ia a powerful IPA and really hopped up to the point of extreme. But it has a good handle on the style.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 4,860 ratings.