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Maharaja - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,928 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,928
Reviews: 1,768
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.38%
Wants: 300
Gots: 493 | 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:
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: 4,928 | Reviews: 1,768 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
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 -6.8%
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 -3.8%
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
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
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
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
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 -5.7%
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 -5%
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
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
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
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
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
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
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
3.73/5  rDev -12%
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
4.45/5  rDev +5%
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
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
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
4.44/5  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 -5.7%
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
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
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
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
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
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at O'Brien's. The beer is medium orange with a nice frothy and pillowy white head. Retention is good.

This is one citrus-hopped DIPA. It's brimming with fresh bitter grapefruit and orange pith. Some pine notes are evident. There's a crackery, bready, and caramely malt backbone that makes a valiant effort at balancing out the hops, but thankfully it doesn't succeed. This beer has a fantastic citrus hop aroma.

This is definitely a Double IPA. The alcohol is strong, but the hop flavor is complex enough to accommodate. The beer has a high level of bitterness and tons of citrus. Oily, grapefruit, orange, and some resiny pine. The malt profile is of caramel and a breadiness. It's almost well balanced, but the hops don't quite relent. The finish incorporates all the aforementioned delicious citrus flavors with some alcohol and a bitterness that lingers.

The beer is medium bodied with medium carbonation, and a dry, sticky, oily mouthfeel.

It's been a while since I revisited this beer, and I think I'd forgotten how fantastic it is fresh. I'm glad to say that it's just as good as I remembered.

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

on tap at alchemy

cellphone notes

appearance: served in a snifter from the gaudy tap handle, bright amber body with a thin beige lace

smell: punchy and tropical, really fruity with nice citrus notes, piney hops...quality

taste: awesome DIPA - i've always neglected the avery presence on shelves here but this a nice beer. tropical punch, nice and sweet, ruby red grapefruit, pine. very nicely hopped

mouthfeel: creamy and coating

drinkability: good

Photo of Riverwarrior
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S = Enormous hop and citrus aromas with floral hops in the background.

T = Hop explosions! Mostly a strong pine hops with citrus near the end. Hop bitterness hits you from start to finish. There is a wave of semi-sweet maltiness, but it gets pushed over by the pine cone flavors. Finish was all pine and citrus hops that lingered for a long time. No alcohol was detected, but the warmth was felt half-way through the bottle.

MF = To me, it had a thick body with moderate carbonation. It was very crisp and went down easy.

Overall, this was easily one of the most "hopped" beers that I've tasted. It is head and shoulders above many other DIPA offerings. Highly recommended.

Photo of BeTheBall
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber in to a Deleriem Tremens snifter. Hazy golden color with a very lively and creamy head. Immense lacing down the glass. Smell is all hops; pine and grass with grapefruit and other citrus.
Taste is massive hops, lots of citrus and flowers up front, followed by huge bitterness all the way down. The bitterness amazingly lasts for minutes, never quitting.
Mouthfeel is good, but nothing exceptional. Drinkability? The high ABV stops me during or after 1 bomber, but this is incredibly delicious if you like an old-fashioned hop bomb.

Photo of AMoceri7
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just when you were pretty sure you have had the hoppiest DIPA around, you try Maharaja. This, is amazing.

A: Burnt orange with lacing till the last drop. Nice thick head and continual lively carb. bubbles. Beauty.

S: This is the only time I have ever given out a 5 before and I mean it to every extent. The first wiff is the most delicately aggressive mixture of fruit, malt and citrus flowers I have ever smelt in an IPA. Absolutely incredible.

T: First thing that hits your tongue is the hops, then again with more hops and what do you know, more hops. Balanced out by gauzy delicious caramel malt. But not overbearing like some DIPAs, just enough. The hops used in this mixture of breath taking stew is beyond me. Imagine taking every flavor there is out there to take in hops and mix them together, then balance them out, giving way to mystery all over. Farther into it reveals a grapefruit dominance. So damn good.

M: Was near perfect. I am a huge barleywine fan and almost would rather it be a tad more thick, but no disappointments.

D: Second to some, as getting through the bomber was a trek to say the least. Not that it was unbearable, just hard to walk.

Overall: By far my new favorite DIPA. Blows all others out of the water and every idea of what DIPAs should taste like. Lets just say I had a Stoudts DIPA after this and it tasted like a pale ale. Oh and by the way its 10.27% ABV.

Photo of KeefD
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a fresher bottle of this beer, 2009 version. Color and look is exactly the same, aroma is much fresher than I remember, more citrus is prevalent, pineyness is outstanding, flavor is bitter but well integrated and balanced. Much better fresh than with a few months age on it.

Original Score: 3.95
4-1-09 Score: 4.3


Review from 6-21-08: Pours a clear copper color with a tan colored head that recedes very slowly, leaving some lovely lacing along the sides of the glass. Aroma is extremely floral with hints of tropical fruits and some nice piney hop characteristics. Taste is extremely piney. Nice use of caramel malts to back it up giving a slight malt sweetness, but the pine notes are completely dominant. Hints of grapefruit round it out, extra-bitter for the hop-heads, slightly grassy and somewhat balanced. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with delicate carbonation. Drinkability is low due to the high alcohol content. A nice representation of the style, but missing my favorite American hop varieties.

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

At the Map Room, served in a Unibroue tulip. Bright deep amber. Darker than a lot of IIPAs. Two inches of thick bubbly Bailey's-colored head. Gloppy, heavy lacing. Carbonation is incredibly fine and not even really visible.

Hoppy aromas aplenty. Sweet fruity pineapple and grapefruit. mint leaf. Sticky hops. Incredibly fresh aroma.

Explosive flavor. Some nice tartness jumps out from fresh citric flavors. Most pineapple of any IIPA I can recall. Sticky resinous fresh hops. Too much of that to observe much of the malt. That must be a truckload of hops to cover the malt in a 10% beer that barely has a hint of alcohol in the taste. Grapefruit bitterness is pleasantly puckering. Finishes with fresh hop aftertastes and some dry bitterness.

Fluffy. Not boozy. A tiny sip seems to coat the tongue and go a long way. Very smooth, carbonation is incredibly fine.

Screams out for sip after sip, even at over 10% abv. (Listed at 10.54% on their menu.) I followed this with a Pranqster, which at 7%, tasted boozier than Maharaja. Delicious. I'm not sure how this compares to fresh WC IIPAs, but if those are so much better than this, I need to make a trip ASAP. Starts to taste very sweet when it warms, which slowed me down a bit. Maybe it is all that booze kicking in, but one glass felt like enough. Could have been palate fatigue as well. The lack of malt complexity shows as a bit of a weakness over time, and is one reason why I can drink 90 Minute all night long, but would probably top out at a bomber of this.

Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 4,928 ratings.