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Maharaja - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
MaharajaMaharaja

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,985 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,985
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: 4,985 | Reviews: 1,774
Photo of ewright
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bomber labeled Batch 7, Feb 2008 into a DFH snifter, 2 fingers of coarse bubbles top a slightly hazy deep orange beer.

S: Huge hop aroma up front with notes of grapefruit, evergreen and maybe a bit of spearmint.

T: There is significant hop bitterness, but it isn't astringent at all. There is plenty of malt backbone to balance all the hops, but not overwhelm them. Carbonation levels are just right.

M: A bit heavy on the tongue, but the carbonation prevents it from being too cloying.

D: Very tasty, drink slightly lighter than 10.5% ABV, but not by much. A beer to drink AS a session.

Photo of srroos
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle (marked May 2007, Batch 6) into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy orange with a two finger head, covering the glass in lacing as it goes down.

S: Very sweet with loads of citrus. Awesome!

T: Tastes mostly sweet with a hoppy finish. Like a barleywine in many regards. Very tasty!

MF: Medium bodied and creamy. Very well balanced.

D: Very smooth and easy to drink despite nearly 10% ABV. The sweetness makes me want to drink more and more! Perfect!

This bottle probably mellowed out over the 10 months since bottling. I'm very pleased with the results, but I'm going to have to track down a fresh bottle for comparison.

Photo of timbro81
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been waiting for this one to come to the state for a while and boy am I not let down at all. Bottled on March 4th, about as fresh as its going to get! Pours a very slightly hazy orangish color topped with a beautiful dense 1/2 inch head that leaves nice lacing and is not too quick to settle to a nice ring. Words don't do the smell justice. A nice dose of pine balanced with some citrus. The taste combines the hops with some sweetness, thanks to the high O.G. Its like drinking a candied hop cone. The mouthfeel is rather light considering how big this beer it. The alcohol is well hidden but lets you know that it is there. An absolute must for any hophead. I love this beer so much that I don't want to drink it. I want to build a temple or a shrine to it and pray at it. Highly recommended.

Photo of ClassicBrad
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An amazing and unique experience-- and that's exactly what an outstanding IPA needs to do.

Appearance was a beautiful copper body with a soapy white head; lacing was sparatic.

The smell and taste on this bad boy was CITRUS!

Big nose and mouth full of grapefruity hop juice! Big hop taste battled with big malt character-- it works very well.

I drank the whole bottle by myself alongside an enthralling episode of Law & Order or two.

I will seek this out again.

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

Poured a lively amber with a smallish head and impressive lacing.

Smell is a wonderful hop blast of grapefruit, orange, and lemon with some spice. It is rounded out with a firm toasted malt.

The hops attack the palate with an impressive citrus wave. The mouth is left nice and dry and the back of my throat is puckered and mildly swollen from the IBU. The high ABV is hidden well but does leave the throat and belly pleasantly warm.

Forgot how much I love this beer and the first time I have enjoyed it on tap. I hope they don't blow throw it quickly because I already want another.

Photo of dsa7783
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Avery's original IPA's was one of my all-time favorite depictions of the style, so I was extremely eager to try their Imperial... Looked high and low for this seasonal release and finally found it for $7.99 at Super Saver in Somerville...
"Bottled In May 2007 - Batch 6" on the green front logo sticker...
Beautiful light-brown, copper, mahogany appearance with a fairly large foamy head and slight sediment visible at the bottom of the bottle and glass...
Smell is all hops and very fruity, with a strong suggestion especially of bittersweet grapefruit... Judging from the aroma, I knew I was in for a treat...
Taste was top-of-the line for an Imperial IPA, bursting with fresh hop, lime, citrus, floral, and of course, grapefruit flavor... Very noticeable citrus presence delineates this sample from other representations of the style... This one is certainly much more sweet than bitter, with a pleasant, creamy, rich mouthfeel and perilously drinkable without the slightest hint of the 9.7% ABV...
Another winner from Avery...
Definitely recommended...

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

Service Temperature, 45 degrees. Service Glassware, 12 ounce tulip.

Appearance, is a deep amber & clear, with a strong off-white foamy head & a nice lace decorating the inside of the glass.
To the nose, I detect a nice waft of strong pine hops, some grapefruit, and slight vanilla.
Sipping this and swishing it around I get a medium alcohol tongue, pine, the familiar grapefruit citrus, some earthiness, and a medium pine bitterness.
Overall, the mouthfeel is medium and overall a nice sipping beer.

Cheers

Photo of ccrida
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is brewed twice a year, I had the pleasure of the first batch of 2008. "This Royal Edition is 10.54% abv with a bigger hop edition to match." On cask at the Avery tasting room, pulled into a shaker, the appearance is an unassuming cloudy burnt gold with a small white collar that leaves scattered lace.

Smell is strong and super pungent fresh hops. Nice and resiny, a bit more floral I'd give it a 5.

Taste is spicy hops and sweet malt. Citrus, skunky, resinous, wow! Sure there's some noticeable alcohol, but wow are those hops fresh, so big and bold!

Mouthfeel is super nice and creamy thanks to the cask conditioning, dried by the high ABV. Sometimes cask ales can be a bit too thin for me, but with such a big beer, it really works perfectly!

Drinkability is really dangerous for me! This is one of my absolute favorite DIPAs, so to have it fresh on cask at the brewery for such a reasonable price, I could be here all night!

Photo of kirok1999
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy coppery gold with nice sticky legs and a slight wispy head.
Smells absolutely delicious, tons of sweet citrus hops with some malt to fill things out. Sweet but difinitely an IPA.
Taste is almost as good as the smell. Lots of sticky hops, oily and full of citrus and pine goodness. There's a ton of malt to back up the hops which makes for a great IIPA for me. Avery proves you can make a hop bomb that has a great balance and is easy to drink.
This thing is thick and creamy and just plain juicy. Really well done.

Photo of abankovich
3.15/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I opened this bottle and could immediately smell the citric aroma of the hops trying to get out. That's definitely a good start to what I'm hoping this beer turns out to be.

The pour into my snifter showed a very hazy, orange color with a full finger white head. The head faded to some spotty bubbles on top with respectable lacing around the sides of the glass.

Smelling after pouring into a glass, the citrus from the hops isn't what I smell anymore. I can taste the bitterness in the back of my throat. They weren't lying about the 102 IBUs in this one. Another sniff and I notice some heavy malting as well.

That smell of malt is very present in the taste as well. There's actually a lot more of a malt taste in this IIPA than I was hoping for or am used to with others in the same style. A little bit of a burnt taste present as well.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, some very sharp flavors going on here.

As with most IIPAs that come in 22oz bombers, it's not really a sessionable beer. I did notice that this was bottled about a full year ago, even though I just got it at the store recently. This might have something to do with the lack of noticeable hop taste (compared to others in the same style). I'm definitely going to try and find a fresher bottle and see how differently it tastes. This one wasn't very enjoyable but I'm hoping the date had something to do with that.

Photo of IPALOVER
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

If you're looking for a hoppy beer that has a lot of citrusy and pineapple notes up front, look no further than the Maharaja!

I poured most of a bomber into an imperial pint glass. It smelled great and looked strong-- not much head or lace at all.

I was a little surprised that the taste up-front was an almost overpowering pineapple zing! As I kept sipping and the beer warmed, it mellowed out a bit.

Overall a great brew-- one I will have again!

Photo of cswhitehorse
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Maharaja pured a lovely light red hue with a 2 finger head with ridiculous retention. The lacing was sticking to the sides like the stick icky hops.

The aroma was a hop lovers paradise. I could of married the brew if I didn't already have a wife. What a beautiful smell.

The taste was a punch in the face hopness. I wished and hoped that the bomber would not end. Strong hopness up front with a maltiness on the back end.

The resinous hops comes in the mouth and leaves you with a peaceful hop feeling for a long long time. Don't leave Maharaja.

For me this was quite possibly the most satisfying Double IPA I have had to date.

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

This batch is super fresh...bottled in February of 2008.
Pours a deep burnt orange color. It's got a medium to moderate head that can be kept under control with a less aggressive pour.
Smell is actually really fruity...but that's due to the insane amount of hops. Pineapple, citrus, and a strong smell of peaches. It smells potent in terms of flavor, but not necessarily boozy.
The taste is a tour-de-force of hops, but with a malt backbone that doesn't hide. Fruity and sweet, but with a lingering bitter-hop finish. Lots of tropical fruits coming out of the woodwork.
It's smooth and goes down like a normal IPA. I'm picking up the sweetness of a higher ABV% beer, but no burn or lack of drinkability. I split this bottle, but I think I could handle 2 bottles myself.

Excellent. My new top DIPA!

Photo of Mexinate
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

As my first beer review ever I decided to pick a style that I'm very familiar with and try a beefed-up version of it. I started carrying Avery's Dictator line because of a combination of the brewery's exceptional reputation and the outright marketability of this cool concept. Plus, the gigantic ABV percentages are a nice bonus.

Out of a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint, it pours a hazy copper with a two finger creamy head that dissipates fairly quickly. Pretty much exactly what I was expecting - no surprises here.

Big big smells. My nose stays focused on a piney, dank smell surrounded by some fruit smells I can't identify. outright. Lots of people mention pineapple - I don't get that. Some also mention passion fruit but we don't get a lot of passion fruit at the grocery stores here in Minnesota so, who knows? Maybe it's there.

Taste is hops hops hops all day. Pine again, with a really smooth bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth as well - there's lots for your tongue to do while your brain figures out what's going on. As soon as a flavor freaks you out a little bit it's replaced with something just a little different to keep you on your toes.

Overall, this is a serious IPA with a big reputation to uphold. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but this was a good drinking session with lots to occupy and educate. This is a great beer, but for me not very sessionable, probably thanks to the 10.54% ABV. Still, highly recommended for fans of the style that want to move above and beyond the basics.

Photo of JJJ22
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My brother-in-law called me last night to tell me Grapevine had the 2008 Maharaja, but only six cases. Went first thing this morning to get a couple.

A: Copper, with a good 1 inch cream-colored head, that leaves a beautiful lace down the glass. Only flaw is a touch of haziness

S: Pine, pine, and more pine. Adam must have cornered the market on Simcoe just for this beer.

T: Hops. A hop-heads dream, with just enough maltiness to balance it out. Peppery carbonation, with just a touch of alcohol bite. Probably due to this year's 10.54% ABV.

M: Chewy. Coats the tongue just right, insulating it from the alcohol.

D: Dangerously drinkable. Easy to drink all 22oz in a hurry.

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

Appearance
Burgundy/iced tea color; big head; some lacing

Aroma
Huge! Extremely pungent - citrus, floral, sweet, candy-like, fruity (berry) and tart

Taste & Mouthfeel
Super hoppy; burns a bit in the nose; an explosion of flavor - awesome; big hop flavor with enough malt to hold it in place but still show off, certainly not a 50/50 split; silky and creamy texture

Overall
Lived up to my expectations; I really enjoyed this seasonal and will grab a few more before they're gone

Side Note
Mix this 50/50 with a Dogfish Head 90-Minute and you're in for a treat!

Photo of boogles
4.74/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sometimes I like the Maharaja better than at others. Lately, I have been impressed. What I used to not like about it was overbearing bitterness, but I am noticing more citrus hops. In other words, it's similar to the Avery single IPA, but with more bitter, grassy hops, and they are both distinguishable. I used to prefer the single, now I think I like the Maharaja better. In a nutshell, it's a double with a multi-dimensional nose and a taste consistent with the nose, and no big surprises. If anything is lacking, it's refinement and subtle flavors that come out with time (for example, as with Stone's Ruination).

Photo of Gehrig
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My good friend The Sage gave me the heads-up on this beauty a couple months ago, having tried it on tap at the dazzlingly good Pizza Plant in Williamsville, NY. Boy, does this deliver. A big, bold, and burly Imperial/DIPA, Maharaja pours two fat fingers off-white foam on a somewhat cloudy copper body, with veritable curtains of lacing adorning the glass as it's consumed--fantastic start.

The smell is chock full of hops but more--lots of malt and caramel to sweeten the deal. It's sweet in taste but not cloying, really delicious and smooth, enhanced by balanced carbonation to expertly meld the flavors and texture. It's never lost that it's well-hopped, but the balance serves Maharaja very well. I'm really impressed. It also went well with my plate of spicy shrimp and penne pasta, working itself, with my food, on its way into my heart and soul.

Maharaja is fabulous, and the high ABV (9.70%) never becomes obstreperous. A fantastic DIPA, this makes my short list of favorite DIPAs and IPAs. A treat not to pass up; you'll thank yourself later.

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

I sat down and had a bottle poured into a pint glass last night, good beer.

Appearance - Nice gold amber color, nice amount of head on the pour, head remained for a good amount of time.

Smell - Loved the smell of this beer. Nice smell of hops and citrus.

Taste - When I first tasted it, I was hit with on unexpected crispness. I did not expect it to be so sharp. As the beer warmed up the sharpness turned into a good smooth taste, but it was unexpected. The taste of hops is very strong with this beer, but very good. I could enjoy this beer over and over.

Drinkability - Very good, I could see myself drinking this more often than not. Good buy.

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

Got a chance to get a growler of Maharaja, as it was on tap at Half-Time, my local distributor.

Apperance is rather cloudy, with a golden tinge towards the bottom of the glass, becoming amber colored towards the top. The aroma has a rather sweet, mildly fruity smell. Very malty, and of course, very hoppy. Compared to some of the other major Double IPAs out there (Weyerbacher's Double Simcoe, Stone's Ruination, Great Divide's Hercules), this beer isn't quite as hoppy. Still, a nice bitter bite with an excellent pine-peach finish. Whether you prefer this over the other Double IPAs I mention is probably more of individual preference, rather than an innate superiority. Of course, that's usually the case.

Overall, great stuff. Easy to drink for such a thick, heavy beer. A beer I could drink over & over again, and not get tired of.

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

Pours a ruddy orange into my snifter. 1 finger white head.

Aroma is of freshly cut pineapples. Some tangerine tanginess too.

Taste is rindy citrus with an herbal hop finish. A nice grainy caramel maltiness is subdued but appreciable. Nice terminal bitterness.

Carbonation is nice and despite the richness in body, the finish is bone dry.

Photo of pmcadamis
4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - A big foamy three finger head rises above a red-orange (grapefruit juice) brew and stays around for quite some time. Enormous amounts of chalky, sticky, crusty lace sticks to the glass. The brew is slightly cloudy, and the color is amazing. Head retention is outstanding...especially for a high ABV beer.

S - Big time funky grapefruit and tangerine. Lots of apricot and canned mandarin oranges here too. Smells wonderfully juicy and hoppy, and the citrus is backed up by sweet syrupy malt notes. There is an almost sea salt air freshness to this, and a big earthy funk lays down some real complexity.

T - Big grapefruit hops with a lot of herbal notes too. Extremely fruity and fresh with huge mandarin orange syrup flavors, bitter herbs and grasses, and some nice salty....almost fishy notes. Green tea and fish food come to mind also. Tastes tropical to me...lots of jungle fruits (like mango) and herbal grassy flavors.

M - Sandy, gritty, juicy, acrid, and extremely dry. This stuff sucks the moisture out of your mouth and leaves a gritty dirty feeling behind. The aftertaste lasts for days....I'll be intermittently tasting big herbal hops the rest of the night for sure.

D - Outstanding. There really isn't anything about this one not to love...I couldn't drink more than one bottle though. An outstandingly complex and satisfying DIPA. This doesn't have quite the malt muscle of other top notch DIPAs though, but it makes up for it with the earthy herbal complexity and juicy freshness.

Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours with a beautiful dark butterscotch/caramel body. The head is a one finger off-white/brown head that settles into a half-finger. The lacing is absolutely stunning: spotty, caligraphic, and mountainous simultaneously, this beer first settles into a sort of fingerprint pattern on the rim of the glass. Or, on second look, a wave's sea foam. This lasts well into five minutes. Outstanding.

Smell: Beautiful, beautiful Double IPA. Nutty tangerine, orange, lemon, and lime combine at first. A sort of citrus jelly candy-like aroma. Next is the harsher but still sweet grapefruit and the backwash of pine. All incredibly balanced, and showcased in such a n unusual and fantastic way, that this is currently one of my favorite beers.

Taste: Again, beautiful: caramel leads into orange candy syrup, followed by lemon, some lime, a slight tangerine and a swift orange. Pine dominates the citrus in, again, a backwash or background of flavor. Gorgeously satisfying.

Mouthfeel: Hate to keep giving a 6 month old Double IPA its kicks, but damn: creamy, thick, and tasty.

Drinkability: One of the best DIPA's I've ever had. That being said, it's a sipper, despite the lack of alcohol taste.

Photo of lightindarkness
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber, marked as bottled in May, 2007, batch 6. Thanks to Hypnoz123 for this great beer.

Pours a deep hazy dirty orange-pumpkin color. Big creamy head leaves frothy lace all over.

Strong initial hop scent rich in pine, pineapple, and grapefruit. A fresher hoppy aroma works its way forward, full of pine needles, lime, and herbs. Also has a very soft and underpowered floral nose.

Tastes rich and strong, with a surprising presence of caramelly malt and robust depth despite the intense hops. Hop flavor is characterized by a sharp, narrow bitterness, along with strong piny resin and a somewhat dank finish. Nice roasty grains run underneath from beginning to end, even more as the beer warms. What begins as a sweet ethery taste burns off as alcohol flavor, finishing with a bitter warmth, leaving a faint chemical aftertaste from the notably present 9.65%abv.

Definitely has a nice sticky feel for the style, but alcohol presence literally lifts the beer off the palate at times while drinking. Very strong astringent and ethery feel, gives a slippery oily quality to an otherwise sticky heavy beer.

I really like the flavor of this beer, but the notable presence of the alcohol is somewhat of a deterrent. Even among other high ABV IIPA beers, I notice the alcohol taste and feel in this more than most.

Photo of mattster
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber from batch 6, bottled May 2007. Poured into snifter glass.

Layer of bubbles across top of glass, but otherwise a thin head. Appears very thick on pour - a nice hazy amber.

Smell is wonderfully piney, nice hoppy aromas. Taste is definitely hoppy, nice citrus zest and sweetness that complements the the beer and doesn't overpower. Bitterness is balanced. Mouth feel is very nice and full, very drinkable with a nice earthy touch on the finish. A pleasure to all five taste senses.

Avery has this one right. I've enjoyed several of their brews now, definitely worth trying this one. Really good beer.

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 4,985 ratings.