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Maharaja - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.

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4,864 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,864
Reviews: 1,750
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 10.4%
Wants: 286
Gots: 447 | 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: 4,864 | Reviews: 1,750 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kevinglin
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, amber beer with an off-white head that dissipated fairly quickly, but left a nice lacing on the glass.

Spicy, floral aroma was backed up with a pronounced hop bite and a pleasant aftertaste that let you know you'd just tasted a hop monster. Aggressive bitterness, which you expect from this style - it's probably the reason you picked up this beer - and you won't be disappointed. The malt is more than capable to stand up to the hop dominance.

An excellent beer that Hopheads will thoroughly enjoy.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have recently conducted two IPA/DPA tastings and both times this was the unanimous winner.

This beer simply ROCKS! I wish I could emphasize that this review is not only my own but also comes with the backing of 4 other Hop Head buddy's of mine.

Stop reading this review and go get some right now!

For those who have stayed, I will tell you this beer has a bright copper color and is surprisingly clear. Big Pine/grapefruit aroma that tells you that you are going to be tasting some big hops.

The flavor does not disappoint. Wonderful spice notes to go along with the chewy Pine/citrus flavor. Very nicely balanced with the big malt flavor and higher alcohol content.

You do not get that boozy flavor that sometimes comes with DPA's

Awesome beer. I think you should leave now to get some.

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

A - Pours a clear copper/red with a solid creamy head.

S - Lots of pine, tangerines, grapefruit juice. Sugary tropical fruit as well.

T - Heavy apple flavour, grapefruit and big big bitter finish. Quite sweet and generally huge. Hoppy, boozy, fruity and sweet.

M - Chewy, heavy body. Al dente would be an accurate description.

D - Just a big, big, hoppy IPA. Not the most refreshing thing, but loaded with flavour and hophead's delight.

Photo of cvstrickland
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 7, bottled Feb 2008.

Double-deuce bomber poured into a tulip yields a clear red-copper body with pink-gold highlights and three fingers of sticky ecru foam that recedes to a finger and sticks like mad to the glass. Additional pours from the bottle solidify the foam into a sweet and fragrant edible hockey puck that coats the glass with gobs of foamy, webby lacing.

Aromatic hop-notes of green grass, watermelon rind, grapefruit and pine-- with more than just the slightest tinge of funky cat pee-- work in concerto with a rich pale caramel malt backbone that almost feels-- rather than smells-- syrupy, sticky, and sweet.

A rich and full-bodied blast of smoky caramel leads the flavors, but aggressive hops take over the second half with astringent, citrusy, bitter authority, the drying so aggressive it makes my teeth squeak when they touch. Though somewhat medicinal and astringent at moments, the drink is really big with mellow malty gentility, red apple sweetness, and a vivid citrus zippiness of cleansing hops that make it finish wonderfully dry and bitter. Alcohol shows itself a little as the drink warms, but to no ill effect.

As drinkable as a beer as big as this can be, this one is exceptionally smooth and wonderfully tasty. A bomber's good for me, though.

Photo of ATPete
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Capped/foiled bomber.
Batch 7, Feb 2008, 10.54%

A- pours a yellow/orange color, it sports a small, quickly dissipating white head. A ring of bubbles, like barnacles appeared on the bottom of my 25cl Chimay glass. Hazy.

S- Mostly hoppy, winey, some semi-sweet malts and some alcohol.

T/M- Real heavy, meaty hop character. Winey even greater still, lots of fermented grape notes as well as some ripe citrus fruits and a grainy corn whiskey like feel, dried apples and some booze. It got more intense in its hop bite as the beer warmed up. Its body thickened up as well. Very coating and a light helping of carbonation. Smooth going down until about 20 minutes out of the fridge, than this thing becomes a chore to get down. I love IIPA's but wasn't completely charmed by this one. I enjoyed the complexity and its very powerful hop profile but i think its downside are its balance, body and drinkability issues.

Photo of Stygr
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer a couple two three times, and it keeps getting better. I first bought on a whim, it hit the right IBU's for my preference, and the alcohol wasn't off the chart.

I can't say enough good things about this beer. Excellent smell, middle of the road color, rich and crisp mouthfeel, moderate head, excellent clarity, and DAMN tasty. I feel it a contender for my favorite DIPA, favorite being three floyd's dreadnaught.

I would love to create a beer of this quality some day, just so I could drink it for the rest of my life.

Great, now I want one...gotta go before the price goes up, see ya.

Photo of SpecialK088
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Delirum Snifter, bottled in feb. '08 batch 7

Pours a dark orange/copper color with about 1 1/2 finger head and a little lacing down the glass as you drink it. The nose in this beer is extremly powerful, very floral, hops and then there is almost a sweet citrus smell that come through. Taste is very strong hops, hops, hops along with the grapefruit notes its very smooth and easy on the way down, leaves that good bitterness in the back of your mouth, this one will stick with you from drink to drink. Good carbonation level and sliky smooth.

Not something i could kick back quickly or on a real regular basis, but overall a great brew and i'll get another for sure when it comes my way again.

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 7, bottled in February 2008. Bottle says 10.54 ABV as opposed to the 9.7 listed here.

A: Poured a hazy golden amberish orange with a large, thick off-white, orange tinted head that leaves some nice rings of lace on the glass.

S: Mmm, hops. Powerful citrus and piney hop aromas and a general fruity sweetness dominate the nose. A faint biscuity/sweet malt is detectable, as well. Maharaja is a hoppy explosion in a bottle--when I popped the cap I got a fresh rush of hop aroma.

T&M: Intense and bursting with flavor. There is definitely a strong malt backbone to this--a biscuity/caramel sweetness underlies everything. Citrus (grapefruit) and pine dominate the hop profile of this, but there is some other kind of earthy, musky kind of flavor that detracts a bit from the flavor. The body is silky smooth, bold, and wonderful. Finish is lingering and dry, beckoning one back for another sip. Excellent feel.

D: Maharaja is a strong, bold, and powerful DIPA. At over 10% though, it's on the strong side for the style. The flavor profile is not quite as dynamite as I expected, but it's still very drinkable for a 10% ABV brew.

Photo of nrbw23
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle states Batch #7 bottled Feb. '08

A- Pours a hazy golden orange color with a foamy off white head that has a decent amount of retention leaving a nice webby like lacing.

S- A nice bold citrus/floral and pine hop smell. Also could pick up some sweet smells.

T- Very nice taste both sweet and bitter. A great amount of hops both piney and citrus (grapefruit and maybe orange). Maybe even a little bit of malt and spice at the very end of this one.

M- Medium in body and also creamy. Very well balanced.

D- Outstanding all the way around brew. Very well done and goes down so easy.

Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.77/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

note: bottle states bottled in feb 2008-very useful info. also nice to see listed are IBUs, OG, and abv.

poured into a tulip, this was a beautiful deep reddish copper, glowing almost, with a slight haze. off-white head and lacing is thick and persistent. bouqet is powerful and wonderfully fruity-apricots? ruby red grapefruit? pineapple? also noted are floral, resiny, and honeyed aromas. kick ass nose. exudes freshness. taste is a great balance of the big caramelly bready malts and a huge but smooth hop bitterness. mouthfeel is thick and viscous with a long, complex bitter finish that lacks any puckering astringency or sharp bite. perfect natural carbonation. boozy alcohol is nowhere to be noted in the nose or mouth, just a slight warming sensation after it's been down awhile. this is a really good fucking beer, very well done. Almost in the class of a dreadnaught.
Mar 2011/apr 2013: have revisited this fresh...nose is tropical fruit with an oniony/banana/earthy/garlic note...not much of the latter but simcoe? Not that citrusy. No chill haze-clear. thick and syrupy. Pretty decent but more like a hopslam/hercules/gubna combo than the perfection that is dreadnaught.

Photo of sholland119
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a hazy honey amber with a thin white head. Nice stickiness.

S-Some moderately sweet fruits with a nice hop aroma behind it.

T-Delicious all the way through. Nice hop flavor but not too bitter with a sweet peach finish. A nice surprise in the balance of flavors. Still clearly a DIPA in the hop presence but not just a hop bomb.

M-Light hop bitterness remains on the tongue but otherwise light.

D-Yes, very much so.

A delicious beer.


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

Bottled in Feb 2008, Batch 7

A: Pours a copper brown color with a very thin head into my Terrapin snifter. The 1/4 inch head is very small but has pretty good retention.

S: The only thing I can smell is hops and more hops. Of course, that is what I want to smell from one of this style. If it had something else mixed in with it, I would give it a 5.

T: Hop bitterness is the first taste on the lips. There is a citrus taste that persists even after the beer is consumed. There is a hint of sweetness that makes the overall profile much more balanced than you would expect from the aroma and the initial taste. It finishes very clean. Yet another great beer from Avery.

M: Very oily consistency, I assume due to the hops. It has a medium body with good in mouth carbonation.

D: This one is hard to knock back quickly. The hops just add too much bitterness and the alcohol has some warming effect as well. It is an excellent beer, but is not sessionable for me.

Photo of markaberrant
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - beautiful orange hue, slight hazy. Chunky, solid offwhite head. Pretty much leaves a sheet of lace down the glass.

S - lucious nose of sweet tangerine, citrus and pine.

T - Wow! Where to begin? Great hit of tropical hops to start (more of that tangerine, but there is something else there like mango/papaya). A good bit of grapefruit slips in, and then everything is oblitered with hoppy bitterness. Aftertase is a nice mix of hops and alcohol. I can't believe I forgot to even mention the malt... I think it was in there somewhere... but who really cares when the hops are this tasty!

M - Body is relatively light, but swirling it in my mouth gives it a very creamy feel. Pretty tough to hide the alcohol in this monster, but it's smooth and doesn't really show up until the finish. Med low carbonation.

D - The best IIPA I've tasted to date!

Outstanding! The aroma was respectable, but the first taste you get of the hops is glorious. It's dominated by hops, you don't even notice the malt, but it is there doing it's job and nothing more (just how I like an IPA, I don't care for a lot of malt character in this style). Just a beautiful, beautiful beer. I'm now inspired to attempt a homebrew IIPA.

Thanks to Demcorhip for the bottle!

Photo of blakesell
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the tap into a Belgian style tulip.

Appearance- Beer pours dark amber yet clear with a hefty two finger head of foam. This looks more Belgian than imperial IPA, but I know better. Lacing clings round the sides forever and looks to be quite chunky.

Smell- Rich sweet citrusy hops, Amarillo, and Cascade. Buttery caramel malts provide ample balance. No hints at the alcohol hidden within. A big feast of hops is certainly hidden in this glass.

Taste- Creamy, sticky, leafy, and thick with full hop sweetness. Not terribly piney or biting. Malt adding amazing balance to this DIPA. Alcohol lingers only the slightest bit on the finish. The balance on this hopbomb is phenomonal.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, thick, chewy, sticky, fully carbonated, medium-full bodied, and not astringent.

Drinkability- I'm surprised to say it, but this is actually better than it is in the bottle. Damn near a perfect DIPA.

Photo of IBUnit63
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Classic-looking apple-honey-caramel body. Reasonably clear but a little rustic. Above-average carbonation rising to thick cappucino foam head with nice lacing.

Sweet, oily alcohol with powerful floral hops and maybe a little pine. Caramel-apple malt presence. Slightly disjointed but enticing, but maybe a little heavy on the alcohol burn. Some weird stewed vegetable scent - maybe sweet potatoes?

Sweet and savory - the sweet potato undertone comes out here too. Alcohol definitely provides a hot burn. Malt backbone is more dominant - braised apples and vegetables. Hop presence exists in background but is restrained. Very interesting but not as expected.

Creamy mouthfeel at first. The thin but strong alcohol burn evaporates quickly without leaving an aftertaste. A little lean overall but pleasasnt.

As mentioned, this one drinks a little hot from the alcohol...almost slightly astringent. The components are quite nice but more beautiful chemistry is in order.

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

Bottled in Feb 2008 - Batch 7. Poured a nice dark copper color with a thick white head that fell slowly. Some head retention and great lacing.

Grassy hoppy smell with a hint of citrus.

Initial hop rush in the mouth followed by a sweet sensation. Some orange peel taste. More of a grassy aftertaste.

Crisp and refreshing mouthfeel. Somewhat of a dry aftertaste.

The alcohol is hidden fairly well. I had some hints of it at first but that has mellowed out. I would certainly seek this beer out again.

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

A - Medium honey with thick sudsy head, leaves quick. Lacing persisitent throughout.

S - Deep thick malt aroma, orange zest and some brine quality that reminds me a bit of oysters.

T- Malt O Meal followed by strong Hop catalyst. Nice clean balance in the end.

D - Definitely not a session beer, although the flavors do not tire easily. The ABV would get you eventually.

Photo of jbphoto88
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I haven't had a beer this good since my hopslam supply ran out. It pours a cloudy copper orange color with a beefy tan head. Superb retention from the endless supply of bubbles and beautiful webbing.

Smell is mouth watering. It has a potent citrus, pine and sweet malt nose. All the good things an imperial IPA should have. This one smells full bodied and with a slight floral tone.

Taste, oh Lord the taste (can you tell by now I like this beer). It is full bodied, starts sweet and malty and then moves to a citrusy bitterness. The hoppiness has a light pine note but also a floral hop oil taste. The maltiness comes back in the aftertaste and leaves you with a little roasted caramel/toffee that has a medium intensity and last quite a bit. There is also a pinch in the cheeks and tongue from a beautiful astringency.

The one draw back I feel is that this beer isn't as spring fresh as it could be. It has all the right flavors but I think they are slightly muted. Not poorly muted but enough to make me miss abundant, cheap, fresh hops. Besides that I can't say anything else poor about this beer. It looks good, it tastes good, it smells good. Buy some before I get to your store and buy it before you.

Photo of AylwinForbes
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dulcie says: "As good as Dreadnaught!" and I'm inclined to agree; and that is our benchmark for greatness - yet to be exceeded. From the bottle a clear pale orange amber with a modest head (poured slowly), fairly viscous and syrupy, some lacing on the glass. Immediately the smell intoxicates: intense piney citrus aromatic and sensual (perfect air freshner). Even better on the palate as it begins with sweet, citrus (orange and orange peel), transforming in the mouth to a lingering, mouth-coating bitter aromatic finish which lasts an eternity or until the next sip.

Very classy, very well structured, very well resolved.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Feb. 2008. Batch 7. ABV listed at 10.54%. Pours a pillowy head, creamy and bubbly as can be, sitting on top of a chill-hazed rust-orange glow.

All bow to the hop gods. This is an insanely beautiful smell. Glorious piney hops, bright and electric, backed up by candy-like gooey malts. The hops take the spotlight and leave the malts to act as mere support to their sticky, evergreen, citrus-rind majesty.

Hops explode on the tongue, ranging from spicy (ginger, cinnamon, pine) to tangy (grapefruit, pineapple, orange); malts keep things from getting too messy by providing a creamy, starchy foundation. Alcohol is well-incorporated, popping up mostly in the finish with a slight warmth that mingles well with lingering hop-spice. Texture is as creamy and round as you could ever want in a double IPA.

No need to overanalyze this. If you want one of the tastiest, biggest, fullest flavors this style can offer, you won't find many more worthy examples than this. It's an enormous wallop of flavor without being over the top. I'll be if this had more "exclusive" (ie. limited) distribution like Alesmith, Russian River and Three Floyds versions of the style, it would be hailed alongside those. That's beer-nerd elitism for you. All hail Avery...once again.

Photo of Gtreid
3.82/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled Feb. 2008, Batch 7.

Unfortunatly my snifter is in the dishwasher, so this was poured into a pint glass.

A: Slightly cloudy burnt orange with one finger of creamy off white head. Very nice spotty lacing that lasted the entire glass.

A: Huge citrus hops. Lemon, orange, and grapefruit. Sweet pine as well.

T: Hops again dominate this brew. Malts try to balance it out, but the hops are overwhelming. Finishes with a very crisp alcohol sensation.

M: Oily, medium body beer. Good amount of carbonation.

D: This is a big beer, definately not for the novice. One 22 oz. bomber at 10.54% ABV is more than enough. This is a good offering for the style. Skal.

Photo of saintwarrick
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep copper amber with a big creamy white IPA head; a big looking beer. Aroma is very strong and can be smelled a room away. Big on the pine forest with a lot of molasses. Hops dominate; a thick smelling brew. Taste is strong as the hops immediately take over, piney and citrusy, has decent semi-sweet malt backbone, but the bitter hops overwhelm. Alcohol is pretty noticeable A good brew, but not one of the more easy drinking DIPAs. A slow sipper.

Photo of gpogo
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle Says: Bottled in Feb 2006 Batch 3 9.9ABV

A- Opaque orangish brown with small off-white head. I find the colour fascinating, it is unfortunate the head is lacking as every other Avery beer I have had has a lovely head leaving beautiful lacing. This may be in part to the extensive aging this beer has undergone.

A- Smells of a pine forest with a backed with a heavy malt profile leaving a hint of sweetness on the nose.

T- The hop flavor seems to have mellowed, but there is plenty of bitterness for any hophead. It leaves for a very interesting balanced malty sweetness, having never have had such an old brew myself.

M- Medium body, low carbonation.

D- The extensive aging gave it a much more mellow taste than most other IIPAs that I have had. I would love to try a fresh bottle to get an idea of what the years of waiting for me to come along and drink it did to the beer. It was delicious though and as with all Avery brews I've had previously I would not hesitate to have another.

Photo of redneckchugger
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

smell is a huge burst of grapefruit, intense hop blast. tase is more of the same, but but the malt fines its way through, out of balance, but balance is overrated in dipas. a bit hot from the alcohol, a think a bout a year or ten will serve this beer well. all in all this is the best avery brew i have had to date.

Photo of GilGarp
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle with redish golden color and good clarity. Nice amount of head that settled quickly.

I'd heard lots of great things about this beer (especially at the Falling Rock Tap House in Denver where it was all the rage) but this was my first try.

Aroma is hoppy and strong as I expected but not the kind of pleasant fresh hop I hoped it would be.

Taste is bitter hoppiness and not far from overwhelming. Pine is dominant with citrus in the background. Very dry finish. I calculated a final gravity of 1.012 so that explains it.
There's a burn on the finish as well. No surprise at over 10% ABV.

I understand the point of an imperial IPA is to be hoppy but sometimes it goes too far. This is a perfect example of both.

Edit: 2/24/09

Batch 9, bottled February, 2009. 10.27% ABV.

I picked up a few bottles at Avery today (before it even hit the stores) for a trade. It doesn't get any fresher than this.

Pours a nice golden orange color with just a slight bit of haze. Thin white head settles quickly but leave some sparkling crystaline lacing behind.

Aroma is sweet and super hoppy. Nice citrus and grapefruit notes to it. Really pleasant.

Flavor is very well done. Somehow I didn't enjoy it saying it was too hoppy even when it was several months old but then I love it when it's fresh! Maybe my tastes have evolved. It has all the great bitterness that a double IPA should have but it's nicely balanced with a big malt backbone.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a nice low level of carbonation. Drinkability is good for the style but not something I would drink all night. Too bitter and high in alcohol for that.

Overall very good DIPA and I'm glad I came back to give it a second chance.

Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 4,864 ratings.