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Maharaja - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,987 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,987
Reviews: 1,774
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.38%
Wants: 313
Gots: 519 | 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: 4,987 | Reviews: 1,774
Photo of PatronWizard
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

DO NOT pour aggressively. This sucka shot up at least four inches of head. Thick frothy mush of a head. With a slight yellow tint. All atop a thick opaque light caramel body. Lots o'lacing.

Smells good. May be maltier than I prefer in my DIPAs, which should be absolutely sick with hops. Still smells good though; just short of mouth watering.

Taste is ... wow. This is a big beer. Big big bitterness. This punch in the mouth made me inspect the bottle. 102 IBUs. 9.65% ABV. Awesome so far. Bottled May 2007. What the fuck? I need to gets me a fresh bottle fo'sho. I bet it's even better.

You can feel the sting but the beer is very smooth. Make sense? Don't need to. Carbonation is almost unnoticeable.

Overall: very good, would really like a fresh one

Photo of BigBry
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split a bottle while at the Flying Saucer in Nashville. Label as shown above (I should have asked to keep the empty bottle).
The beer pours a deep golden color with a thick off white head. Foam slowly fades, lacing looks good. It has lots of hoppy smell, as expected. The taste is great, big hop kick but with enough solid maltiness to balance, complex not overdone. High alcohol is there but doesn't burn or overpower the rest of the flavor. The mouthfeel is full bodied, good level of carbonation. Balanced aftertaste, big and full of character. Very enjoyable.

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

Pours a very coppery color that's fairly cloudy. very nice creamy white head with great retention.

Smells extremely hoppy and piney almost fresh cut grass like.

Very extreme hop taste, maybe the strongest I've had. Quite malty as well. Not too much else going on aside from a pine and grass aftertaste. Able to taste a bit of the alcohol which got more noticeable with warmth.

Quite thick and creamy, but not overly thick. A bit of carbonation. Pretty good overall really depends on how you like your DIPA and how strongly you like to taste your alcohol. I enjoyed it very much and look forward to trying more from Avery.

Photo of Absumaster
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Northyorksammy for this amazing beer!

It pours a deep copper color with a big head that stays on the entire glass.

Smell is citric and has a spicy hop character. There is an earthy hint that makes me suspect that some other non-American hops have been used. The malt is not very strong, although it is biscuity and pale malty.

Taste is bitter with a citric US hoppiness. The citric hops are somehow blended with less citric hops and make the beer not as mouth puckering as some other DIPA's. It tastes almost like a strong German hop. The beer has a syrupy mouthfeel that goes well with the biscuity malt. Balance is nice and aftertaste is lingering bitter and has a strong syrup maltiness.

Photo of PerzentRizen
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This marks the first Avery brew that I've had the pleasure to try. I bought this bottle about five weeks ago in Cincinnati. And at 6.99 a bomber I feel like its priced great.

This was poured into a bell shaped footed ale glass and it looks to be a dark hazy amber color. The frothy foamy head on top is a shade darker than pure white and has some real variance in bubble sizes.

The smell is of fresh hops and grainy malt. It has the same basic aroma of DFH 90 min. There is a lot of sweetness in the nose, plenty of fresh hop aromas, and I can feel the alpha acid as I inhale.

The taste is very smooth and full of hop bite but yet it sits on a bed of deep malty flavor. There is a chewy texture that compliments the flavors amazingly. The finish is long and flavorful. I really enjoy this ale.

I think at such a great price, with so much flavor, and despite the 10.21 abv this beer is very drinkable.

Photo of ncstateplaya
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This review is for 2008 Batch 8, at 10.21% ABV.

Appearance: My glass was filled with an amber ale with golden edges, a nice off-white 1/4" head that quickly receeds to form a wispy sheet over the surface. There was a little lacing throughout the glass.

Smell: The abundance of hops is mouth watering. There are fruity aromas reminiscent of apricots and grapefruit.

Taste: A tongue twisting hoppy bitterness greets your mouth upon introduction. It is by far the most dominant characteristic of this brew. The bitterness accompanies the apricot and grapefruit aromas very well. There is also a malty backbone that mellows out the taste.

Mouthfeel: It is a medium to full bodied IPA that feels somewhat viscous and chewy. The malts tend to coat the mouth and quench your tastebuds. And of course the alcohol warms on the way down.

Drinkability: I really enjoy this beer, but @ 10.21% it is hard to drink more than 3 or 4 pints. But honestly, that is more than enough to do the trick. I always seem to catch myself buying the Maharaja, I just can't seem to pass up this royal beverage, it literally is an imperial ale.

Photo of onecrazybreeze
4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle, first batch of 2008. Poured cloudy orangish yellow with a nice thick head. Nose reeked of colombus hops, fruity and piney. Tastes mainly hoppy with sweet, fruity and piney notes, slightly boozy (second batch of 2008 tasted slightly sweeter). A personal favorite Imperial of mine, love it, can't wait til February.

Photo of PirateUlf73
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Label says it was bottled in Feb. of 2008 and was part of Batch 7. Not sure if that's pertinent information, but here we go...

A: Came out a slightly cloudy orange-amber color. Slightly off-white head retained very well and left superb lacing. Bubbles were nice and tight, which surprised me a little, but in a good way.

S: Hops, hops and more hops! Citrus hops dominated, but I also detected hints of grass and sweet fruits... pomegranate if I had to guess. Nice floral aromas all over the place. I can even smell it when sitting a few feet from my glass. I can already tell this is gonna be an experience.

T: Quite bitter indeed, but not overpowering as I was expecting. All the aforementioned hops are present, but there's a nice malt backdrop to keep them in check and save my tongue from obliteration, a feature which I personally appreciated having. The malt sweetens it up somewhat and the alcohol is mostly present as a warming sensation in the back of the throat. Still, it's a DIPA and is still every bit the hop bomb I expected!

M: This was perhaps the most surprising aspect of this tasting. I would say it was medium, bordering on slightly heavy bodied. Nice and substantial thanks to the amount of malt used, which helps whisk things down smoothly. There was also just enough carbonation to keep the flavors moving around. Absolutely sublime!

D: Being higher in alcohol, this is obviously a brew to be sipped and savored. That being said, it goes down nice and smooth and dries the tongue just enough to prepare me to take that next sip.

My first real go at a DIPA was a rousing success. Powerful flavors, smooth body, it's everything I was hoping for. It's beers like this that make me proud of the strides American brewers have made in recent years. Definitely give this a try if you can find it!

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 7/6/08. Bottle, batch 7, bottled in Feb 2008. Pours an orange/red with a thick light tan head that leaves nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of hop oils, citrus, pine, grapefruit, and passion fruit. Aroma is very delicious and inviting. Flavor is surprisingly fruity for an IIPA--lots of grapefruit and citrus. As the beer warms, a nice cracker flavor presents itself. Super drinkable for 10.5%. Delicious! One of my favorite IIPAs.
8/4/8/4/16 (4.0/5)

Photo of AltBock
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber bottle with a green grass colored label that a vintage map of India in the back. In front of the map is the name of the beer in big bold black and gold letters with 2 small pictures of a Maharaja in the corners and a big colorful picture of the last (I'm assuming)Maharaja smack dab in the middle. This colorful picture has yellow spikes going around the picture and then they placed this picture on top of two crossed swords. Below the main picture is a bottled on date of February 2007 and a batch number of #5. If that wasn't enough, in the lower left and right hand corners was the beer's specifications. 102 IBUs? This should be fun. To the far left of the label is the Government warning and barcode. To the far right was a hefty paragraph that talked about the name of the beer and what went into this beer. Long story short, an insane amount of hops went into this beer. Cool classic label!

Appearance: I decided to pour this big time hoppy Ale into my Samuel Smith Imperial pint glass. Maharaja poured a murky apple cider reddish orange color. If there wasn't a head of foam on this beer, I could have sweared that there was a pint of apple cider in my glass. Loved that color! Sitting on top of my apple cider colored beer was a beautiful creamy 3/4 to 1 inch head of white foam. Now for the confusing part, the color of this foam. This white color was somewhere in between being a pure white color and an off white color. I didn't know such a shade of white existed, but thanks to Maharaja, now I know there is one. This creamy head of foam had excellent slow retention that left behind a long lasting milky white film and a huge amount of sticky white streaks of lace. A top notch appearance!

Smell: Wow! This beer smelled exactly like wet grass. You know after a mild rainfall, the grass has a certain aroma. Well, this beer had that same aroma. Once my nose was able to get pass the wet grass aroma, I found out that this beer contained another strong aroma. That strong aroma was that of toasted caramel malts. There wasn't much after the two strong aromas. All I got was a hint of overly ripe cantaloupe and a hint of pineapple. When this beer was swirled around, the overly ripe cantaloupe got stronger. The grass and malts didn't need to wake up. They were already strong enough.

Taste: After the enormous aroma of wet grass, I thought this beer was going to be overly grassy. That wasn't the case. After about 22 months of age, I'm sure this beer's hop content probably diminished a little bit, but despite that fact, it was still very hoppy. It was very hoppy with grassy hops of course, but for some reason it tasted like they lowered the caramel malt content from what it was in the aroma. If there was one flavor that shouldn't have been lowered, it would have to be the caramel malts. They were needed to tame down the grassy hops. Behind all of the grassy hops and malts was a hint of overly ripe cantaloupe and a subtle touch of pineapple. Basically, the taste had all the same flavors that were in the aroma. The only thing that was different between the two was that the caramel malt content was a lot lower in the taste than in the aroma.

Mouthfeel: It was very hoppy, but despite its high grassy hop content, this beer was more on the medium bodied side. This medium bodied beer featured a mild grassy and dry aftertaste of grassy hops, a pinch of toasted malts, and a drop of cantaloupe. Surprisingly, this hoppy aftertaste doesn't last long. It comes and goes in about 5 seconds. Don't worry, this aftertaste will not linger on.

Drinkability: I'm damn sure that 22 months of age has lowered the hop content a little bit, but not even time could tame this beer's huge hop content. It was still overly hoppy! If a vintage bottle is this hoppy, I would love to try a fresh bottle Maharaja. It was nothing short of being a great hoppy beer. I'm positive that I could easily enjoy this beer again.

Photo of DownDaHatch
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a bomber at a local establishment while much of the area was digging out of recent snowfall. A big beer like this was just what the doctor ordered. Poured from a bomber into a traditional pint glass (bummer). Beer cascades well with a orange color into a thick, rich ivory head. The head leaves great lacing. The smell is wonderful with several citrus and floral tones upfront, the hops are certainly there but not overpowering, your nose can easily search and find the malts and some undetermined spices. Drinking this beer upfront you aren't overly assaulted with the hops but rather the floral and citrus tones. It gets abit chewy in the middle with some malts and finishes strong with the long lasting hop bitterness. It is very close to being a genuine full-bodied beer with medium carbonation. The drinkability of this beer is wonderful because the hops aren't overly assaulting but last a long while on your palate. The high ABV might slow down a longer drinking session but it is well worth a try. I will certainly be drinking it again.

Photo of mltobin
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a bomber of this at a local package store.

Poured into a tulip glass, the appearance is brown with a thick head.
The smell is rich, sharp, and drew me in for my first sip.
The taste is hoppy, with an interesting combination of spice and flora flavors.
Mouthfeel lingers a strong aftertaste, it is a rich boozy brew, so cleansing the palate with some water is a good idea.
Overall, I was very pleased with this beer from Avery.

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

I remember having this on tap at Tyler's in Durham last year and I couldn't believe how good it was. I taste tested it against the Hopslam and discussed the merits of each with the knowledgeable bartender. I hope the bottle stands up to that experience. This Raja pours a muted orange and slightly hazy with a creamy off white head and lace that covers everywhere the beer has been.

Instant withering hops greet me as I take a slow skip. Citrus and especially pine are the active players. The malt then steps in with dark fruit flavors and caramel and chocolate tones. The finish returns to the hops and the aftertaste shows elements of both. Mouthfeel is thick and oily in the finish. I like this beer but I'm not overawed with it the way I was on tap.

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

Avery The Maharaja Imperial India Pale Ale is a hazy red-orange ale with a bubbly, dense, off-white head. The aroma is huge, spicy, grassy, sweet, malty and boozy. It smells like a strong ale. It is medium-full bodied and quite slick. The finish is dry and a little acidic. The bitterness is heavy, but not sharp. It seems like more flavor comes from the malt than from the hops. There is a long, bitter aftertaste, after the sweetness shows its face. It's a bit bottom-heavy for my taste. Very boozy. This tastes more like an American strong ale to me.
(rated Jan 17, 2008)

Photo of CHSLBrew
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared with a friend, poured into snifters.

A-A deep-amber/orange-red beer, somewhat hazy. Topped with an attractive, lightest tan head which retains nicely.

S-Strong bitterness, which subsides into fruity and earthy aromas, very heavy-feeling (if that's possible). Just a hint of boozy harshness.

T-Dank, resiny, flowery hop flavors dominate the start of this flavor. These persist quite well, but as they slightly fade, the bitterness is able to enter the stage with a fruitiness, maybe the likes of tropical fruits. I like the balance of this beer's flavor. Some smooth alcohol flavor emerges at the end of the flavor.

M-Grainy with bitterness and hop flavor, it almost feels rough moving around my palate. This is accentuated by the beer's full body. A pleasing alcoholic warmth in my stomach, but the alcohol flavor is not harsh.

D-The nice balance of this brew lends good drinkability, regardless of the fact that the bitterness and hoppiness dominate the flavor profile. I know, I know, this beer isn't balanced, it's f*ing hoppy! But I still felt that the other flavors were represented well and vital to the overall profile for the beer.

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

A - Poured an amber color with an off white head that leaves lacing

S - Is of a lot of piny hops with some citrus notes in the smell

T - Lots of nice piny hops has a good bitter finish to the taste

M - This beer has a fuller body with medium carbonation to it

D - This DIPA is very easy to drink if the abv was lower I would drink it all night but at almost 10% gotta take it easy very good beer worth trying

Photo of magictrokini
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Simply one of the best Imperial IPA's out there. Pours clear orange with a wuge white head. Aroma is grapefruit, hops, and pine. A sweeter Imperial versus, say Ruination or Pliny, but very good. Grapefruit, orange, and mango hops are all over the place, but with a sweet citrus-candy back. Caramel malt must be there to tame the hops, but can't really taste it. Great balance, incredible beer.

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

deep dark amber pour with a small off white head. Glorious hop aroma with both citrus and floral hops present. nice medium to full bodied mouthfeel with citrus and pine hops in the forefront, balanced with a nice sweet caramel malt backbone. very nice.

Photo of sweetbrew82
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass: Label states that it was bottled in May 2008, batch #8.

P: Poured a light golden-amber color from the bottle with a nice cascading effect. Slightly hazy as it sits in the glass, displaying a beautiful deep amber color that is glimmering with tangerine highlights. The icing on this liquid cake is a sturdy, two-fingered off-white head that is made up of small to medium-sized bubbles. Retention is quite good, as it finally sinks down to seal the top with an even-layered cap of foam. Leaves fat patches of spider-webbed lacing all down the glass. Just beautiful!

A: Big whiffs will register a generous amount of toasted malts, clean barley, citrusy-sweet hops that resemble orange peels, a twist of lemon, and some clementines to boot. Smells yummy!

T: ...Oh baby, this is absolutely delicious! Hits the palate with a pungent, yet very pleasing, sourness that is quite nicely balanced out with a sturdy-enough malt backbone that provides the ying to the yang. Clean and tight undertones of barley pop up about halfway through, while the citric notes of freshly-picked Valencia oranges weave in and out very gracefully. The twangy hops in the semi-dry finish provides a nice tingling sensation on the back of the tongue, while leaving a slight hop oil residue behind. There is an ever-so-slight alcoholic spice that cuts through towards the back-end, but for a 10.21% ABV Imperial IPA, it is so extremely well-masked that you hardly even notice it. It's mellow, yet fierce at the same time. This is truly a masterpiece to behold!

M: The mouthfeel to the Maharaja is superb. It's just a smidgeon below being full-bodied. Slightly chewy, mouth-coating, velvety smooth, crisp, and perfectly carbonated. Very well-done!

D: Oh, hell yeah! I could drink this stuff all day and night, baby. It's so damn tasty, so unbelievably silky smooth, and such a pleasure to indulge in. Seriously, where's the alcohol here?

Notes: This is one kick-ass Imperial IPA! The Maharaja (interpreted to mean "Great King") lives up to every expectation that its moniker implies. This is definitely the best Imperial IPA I've had to date. From the outset, the flavor just explodes on the tongue, releasing a shockwave of subtle malted barley, in-your-face citric hops, and a pungent kick that works just perfectly. Definitely a must-try for any IPA lover! What a great way to round out Turkey Day! Wish I had another...

Photo of nick76
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The aroma has lots of pine and grapefruit hops with sweet malt and mint. The appearance is amber with a light haze and a large foamy head. The flavor is not complex but it fits the style very well by matching the aroma exactly with a small addition of spices. The bitterness is present from start to finish. The palate is thick and sticky with an earthy aftertaste. Overall it's really darn good!

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

A: Hazy copper/amber color. Poured a 2 finger light tan head with good retention. Generous, thick lacing. Decanted continually.

S: Big piney hops with grapefruit and pineapple notes. Resiny pine lingers. Also plenty of sweet caramel malt.

T: Very clear and assertive citrus bitterness with resiny pine. Sweet caramel malt brings a bit of balance. Bitter grapefruit finisch with warming alcohol.

M: Medium to full body. Well balanced carbonation. Creamy, warm and coating with a lingering hop finish.

D: Good for a10+% ABV DIPA. Nice blaance of citrus bang, sweet malts and bitter finish.

Photo of Greggy
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a amazing ruby orange color with nice sediment dancing around. The head is thick, creamy white in color, and 2 finger in height. As it recedes, it leaves some ample lacing.

S- Incredible thick grapefruit, pine, and pineapple aromas. Thick sweet malt is balanced well with the aroma.

T- Starts out with a very piney maltiness with a clove note followed by nice hoppy malt. The finish is dry hops with the sweet malt in balance.

M- This thing is THICK. Appropriately low carbonation.

D- This is a nice DIPA, and very thick. Definitely a sipper. If you're into big IPA's, give this one a shot. The alcohol on this one slightly hurts the drinkability, it's still pretty good.

Photo of hopdog
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to egadzis!

Poured a clear 'see through' amber color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of grapefruit, pine and caramel. Tastes of citrus (oranges and grapefruits), caramel and light pine. Nice sweet to bitter balance. Citrus burps. Chewy body.

Notes from 5/9/05

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

Slightly cloudy, light amber. Pours almost like syrup. Great lacing, thin head, slow and slight carbonation. Smells piney and sweet. Feels thick and chewy.

Slight clove and caramel taste, but dominated by pine and hops with a nice sweet taste throughout. Powerful hops aftertaste.

2014-03-23, Release Number 18

I cannot argue with my previous self, which is surprising because of the ~5.5 year difference in visitations.

Photo of ironlung
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Burnt orange. Nice soft pour with very tiny head. Nice lacing.

S: Big-time malt with a little hop twinge.

T: Very smooth, I'm in awe of this monster. Lots of pineapple and tons of grapefruit and maybe a twist of lemon for good measure.

M:Too-nice. Leaves a hint of malt on the tounge, but like I said SMOOTH!

D: A one bomber beer. Don't push it (I tell myself!).

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 4,987 ratings.