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Maharaja - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,806 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,806
Hads: 5,287
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 17.86%
Wants: 348
Gots: 693 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Maharaja Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,806 | Hads: 5,287
Photo of MarkIntihar
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into my Russian River Belgian glass. June, 2011 bottling.

A - Pours pure red-amber with a finger-plus of cream-white head. The head fades fairly quickly, but still leaves a decent ring around the glass. A bit dark looking for a DIPA, but still a good looking beer. I particularly like the way the head laces the outside of the glass as I drink more of it.

S - Hmm, interesting. Very sweet and malty smelling. The hops don't necessarily punch you in the face like you'd expect from a DIPA. Perhaps because the bottle is a couple months old? Anyway, behind the sweet and malty start is a dark citrus scent, can't place my finger on exactly what it is, but it's fairly pleasant. Still definitely reminds me more of a barleywine than a DIPA, which throws me off.

T - AHA! So here are the hops! Starts with an excellent blend of bitter, citrusy hops as well as sweet malts. This is one interesting beer to say the least... While it starts as any DIPA should with a barrage of hops and citrus, the finish is almost purely malts. It's almost a bit chalky in the finish. Very sweet in the finish as well, despite the fact that the bitter bite sticks to the tongue. Truly a complex beer, and I can't quite decide if I'm into it or not. It's definitely not bad though.

M - As mentioned in the taste, there is a decent bite to this beer, as well as the effect of drying the mouth with the almost chalk-like finish. Not entirely unpleasant though, as the malt profile does help to kill the bitterness of the hops a bit.

O - I still can't quite figure this one out. I want to like it, but there's something about the finish that is too barleywine for me. I hope it's just a case of the hops fading over the couple months since bottling, but I'll just have to revisit and find out for myself another time!

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Photo of ballz50401
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle (May '10, batch 12) into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a glowing copper with a orange/reddish hue. Head is big and frothy with an off white, almost light tan color. This one looks very inviting. Be careful, there is alot of chucky yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle.

Smell: This has alot of malt sweetness in the nose. Heavy caramel/toffee in the aroma. Light citrus hops in the back. Hop aroma probably faded some from aging 3-4 months.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Starts with a thick malty base that is sticky with caramel, toffee, and some bready notes. It then finishes with a semi-sharp hop bitterness. Again, hops are pretty much muted at this point. Mouthfeel is very full, creamy, and smooth.

Drinkability: This has turned into a nice drinking "barleywine". I'm sure it would've been much better fresh, but the hops do not hold up very well with 3 months in the bottle.

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Photo of Forb
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from Batch No. 13; March 2011...

Appearance: Orange, copper, amber hue with a frothy creamy colored minor head with medium leveled lacing.

Smell: An immediate sweet hop kick is most notable of this beer. Malt backbone to mellow out the complexity of this IIPA.

Taste: Very sweet malty characters first noted amongst a bitter hop intensity that carries a great balance over the sugary quality to finish. The intensity here is not for the faint.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full creamy, carbonated body that goes down smooth and mellow.

Overall: A great representation of the style and a first for me from Avery Brewing. As this is a style I have been interested in as of late I can say it is similar in taste to the Twin Sisters from Left Hand but undoubtedly I will recommend the Stone Ruination as the premier chose for this style.


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Photo of claminat420
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 9 Feb 2009 on bottle

A- poured a hazy amber color with a thick off white head. heavy lacing.

S- just real earthy hops. maybe alil piney. caramel malt is easily noticed.

T- alcohol shows up just alil. the hops aren't attacking as i thought they were gonna. malt is more apparent.

M- medium light bodied. nice carbonation.

D- really good! wish i had two of these 22's.

Overall- the hop smell and the taste really are different. the high 10%abv is pretty well hidden. i say pick it up but nothing for the crazy hop heads like myself.

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Photo of Auracom
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes. On-tap at Kelleher's on May 13th, 2011.

Pours a dark amber with a reddish-hue and a soft, white head. Smells strongly of west-coast profiled hops with grapefruit and lots of other citrus. Probably the heaviest grapefruit quality I've yet to come across in a DIPA. The drink exudes more caramel malt than I was expecting, similar to Dreadnaught. Less forward in the hops. It's decently-balanced but maybe lacks the bitter punishment one tends to expect out of the style. Honey sweetness underneath. Medium-length finish. Not quite enough carbonation but is smooth. Slight ABV heat on the backend.

Not as good as I was hoping but not bad by any means.

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Photo of ISmith87
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tried this one while I was in Missouri for a while and can honestly say it's not that great. Jai Alai is way better, Maharaja is waaay to earthy/dirty tasting, like a cheaper IPA. It's way to malty and does not live up to the hype. I would not buy it again.

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Photo of gpogo
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled in Feb. 2006 - Batch 3.
1.085 Original gravity – Alcohol 9.9% by Vol.
1 Pint 6 fl.oz. 102 IBUs

Presentation: Silver foil covers the black logo’d Avery crown cap and upper neck. The main label looks just like the one shown in the BA Database with a familiar Imperial design that revolves around a picture of an Indian Maharaja.

Appearance: Soft edges shine with an orange-amber persistent shine that reminds me of polished Aztec copper. The head is white with a soft beige influence that sleights the setting sun and reminds me of those dirty white shirt collars, you know, sort of white but with a faded yellow look. Solid conditioning.

Nose: Oily-tastic pungent rasping distilled hop oils soaked in chocolate Orange liqueur. Freshly skinned oranges impart a zesty distilled Curacao peel aroma in the air. Supreme carbonation lends a feisty feel to the taste profile…..big swirls punctuate the air with a metric tonne of orange flavored high alcohols.

Taste: Immense oily orange pip start with some mastic-like adhering viscous hop oils raping the cheeks. Sweet malts in the middle add some balance, whilst the finish has a fiery orange burn on the cheeks, mixed with alcohol bite. Citric tones in the back end add yet more bite. Barley sugar traits in the lingering finish seem to referee the balance between the sweet malts and hop oils.

Mouthfeel: Stretches its muscles big style, thick torso and upper arms but it has a very small brain and a little dick. Bitter, oily but averagely hoppy. Thin feel at times which is juxta-posed.

Drinkability: Decent enough but it has that Avery “harshness” that somehow belies sensibility and common sense, often a tad annoying yet intriguing to the beer geek not restricted by boundaries. Unbalanced and harsh with a ‘play-free’ “My Dad is bigger than your Dad” feel. One Bomber takes some downing and is more than enough.

Overall: I ended up reviewing this one again and replacing my old review, the last one was under duress, or do I mean the influence!? This is a strange brew though and you may have to be half out of it to even half understand it – least it seems that way. This is my third bottle now, the first time I rather enjoyed it (albeit being a bit wrecked), the second time I was put off by its orange arrogance, but the third time I’m back to liking it again. Weird! Nice enough, a Double IPA that always treats the adventurous mind but I guess in real terms it fails to live up to the better examples of the genre and more balanced drinkable versions of the Double IPA style.

This is a likeable odd-ball Imperial IPA, sort of Arnold Layne meets Jugband Blues - very Syd Barrett - if you know what I mean. A fitting beer to finish the day with considering.

Music: Piper at the Gates of Dawn, (The) Pink Floyd

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Photo of Phelps
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looks: Like an old grapefruit. Pours a hazy mahogany wooden color with a foamy light-orange head tha fades quickly to a ring but leaves impressive sheets of lace. The liquid itself looks unfiltered and hazy enough to obscure everything behind it.

Smells: like sugared grapefruits. Sweet tangerines, pine, grass, clove, pink peppercorns and sourdough, with a candy glazing.

Tastes: like biting into an unpeeled tangerine. Holy bitterness, Batman! The first sip reveals an explosion of tangerine citrus, which is soon met by the accompanying harshness of pith. The malt backbone is fighting back valiantly, imparting a heavy caramel sweetness. I almost feel like I'm picking up some hefeweizen flavors: wheat, clove, coriander, rose petals. As the beer rises in temperature, it becomes almost like drinking warm grapefruit concentrate, with a bitter finish to match.

Feels: meh. Smooth, but with high, nearly painful carbonation and a medium-light body.

Drinks: with increasing difficulty. Maharaja is decent at first sip, but became increasingly bitter and tart as it warmed. Even my tulip glass seemed too much for me by the end.

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Photo of kbub6f
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The head is small, still, bumpy and thick. The beer is a clear, still, copper-amber. Runny sheets of lacing. Nose is sweet: sugar, grass, pine, citrus. Nice, hoppy. Huge hoppy pine in the front with major pepper and spice. Some roasty nuts. The middle is very thick, sweet and malty. But the hops are never far from sight. Huge alcohol finish (a little rubbing alcohol) and more mountains of hop. Bitter aftertaste with loads of pepper. It's not bad. The alcohol is pretty raw, but the hops are fresh and juicy. And there's enough malt. Quite nutty with temperature. It's a decent drink.

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Photo of BabaJohn
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is certainly a nice beer, but my main complaint is that the alcohol actually seemed to dominate the taste at times. At this point I generally expect the hops in an IPA to kick the ass of everything else, but in this case the alcohol took control. I couldn't quite bring myself to dock the taste rating but I had to take it out of drinkability. Still, I wouldn't turn this one down for a second, unless I had to choose between the Maharaja and a Stone... Otherwise, looked nice, smelled nice, was nice.

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Photo of kbnooshay
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a slightly hazy orange golden color with a massive frothy tan head. The lacing is spotty and chunky. Ahhh now this is how a double IPA should smell! This smells super yeasty and doughy. There's a nice lemony citric smell to it. Whiffs of alcohol. Taste is a combination of super piney hops and the caramelly sweet malt backbone. It has a strong brown sugar taste but i wouldn't say that its cloying. Alcohol certainly makes its presence in the flavor. Feel is smooth and creamy.

The only thing that hurts this beer is the alcohol pushing its way to the front which leads to a diminished drinkability.

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Photo of jdense
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

TV on the Radio Beer Tour Review #5.

Getting close to showtime, so moved downtown to Bailey's Taproom, served in 10 oz. shaker.

Opaque copper brown body underneath tan head, not much lacing to speak of. Big hop profile in the nose, but some Lorna Doone cookieish malt presence. A nice balance on the tastebuds, big piney oily hops with the cookie goodness. A definite sipper, and at this ABV, one is plenty. Not by favorite DIPA, but certainly worth a try.

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Photo of BeefTongue
3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer lent a nice one finger head that laced well on the pour. The floral aroma of the brew, a product of the lovely hoppiness, came out powerfully--the smell was my favorite part of this beer, it was delightfully refreshing, perhaps more intoxicating than the beer itself, I'd jest, but with its nearly 10% ABV, this brew packs a punch. The taste is good, but not terribly outstanding with regard to other nice IPA's. The bitterness of the hops predominates alongside a mild malty sweetness. The carbonation foams up in the mouth yielding a nice velvety mouthfeel; the beer goes smoothly down the throat. Overall, it's a tasty drink, but not one that I'd buy again over more preferable (and less expensive imperial IPA's). It's good's the point, but there are better beers of this sort.

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Photo of jaluria
3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly cloudy orange colro with a moderate level of carbonation and intense lacing. A thick and wavey head that stayed put. Aromas of hops, alcohol, and yeast. The taste was quite hoppy with minimal malt presence. Biting bitterness that develops its potency over time. Refreshing texture and mouthfeel with a mellow finish. Good drinkability and good example of the style, but not the best out there. Alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of rangerred
3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter out of a 22oz bomber. 2013 edition.

Pours a slightly hazy dark orange with just a tiny white head. Practically no head retention but a few streaks of lacing cling to the sides of the glass. Not terrible considering the abv.

Alcohol, overripe citrus, and some pine/spruce on the aroma. I'm picking up a little lemon as well. A little toast and caramel from the malt rounds it all out.

My first impression of the flavor is that the alcohol isn't well hidden at all. I can definitely taste the entire 10.4 percent. Lemon and spruce are prominent along with some bitter orange peel. Tons of hop bitterness throughout that honesty borders on harshness at times. There is a real earthy quality of tree bark and moss. A little bit of caramel and dark bread from the malt but it is pretty well buried. Finish is only moderately sticky but the bitterness lingers for a long time.

Overall, I really feel this beer could use some aging time to mellow out the harsh hop bitterness. There is definitely a substantial malt backbone that would better balance out the hoppiness if some of the bitterness was gone. Might have to pick another bottle up to stash away for 6 months or so.

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Photo of ghebel
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This review is a redo for me, because my initial review was an outdated bottle. Poured on-tap in a goblet, the beer is a hazy orange-amber coloring, with a frothy, thick beige colored head of about an inch. The head is airy and light, and it settles a bit, but leaves a strong lace along the glass as it does. Aromas of white wine (almost muscat), pear, citrus, and a subtle resinous highlight. The beer is fruit forward, with grape, grapefruit, and mango, with a solid booze characteristic, wine highlights, and some woody notes. The beer is bold and full bodied in mouth, and has a slightly bitter, richly sweet and resinous aftertaste. The finish is lingering, with booze and bitterness throughout. Heavy hitter.

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Photo of DRyan
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served at about 50 degrees in a Ranger Creek tulip

A: Ruddy orange with a strong white head that recedes semi-slowly and laces really well
S: Hoppy up front, piny and a little citrusy, with a strong malty sweetness in the background
T: Hops hit you right away with a strong bitter kick, followed by a bit of that sweetness from the nose. The aftertaste is all hops and some alcohol burn. Could be a bit sweeter to balance the extreme hoppiness.
M: Smooth, with really really fine carbonation that tingles the mouth.
D: Not bad. Could be a bit more balanced, could hide the alcohol better, but overall a very nice IIPA.

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Photo of Mavajo
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a golden copper color with a good white head. Moderate lacing. Nose is a generous offering of hops and some malt. The taste falls a bit short, in my opinion. The hops are there with a tropical flavor, backed by a good malt backbone...but it doesn't doesn't do it for me. I can't put my finger on what I didn't like, but it just didn't do it for me. Mouthfeel was good.

All in all, a decent DIPA, but not one I intend to buy again. The package just didn't come together for me.

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Photo of smcolw
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an orange, slightly dark amber. Some chill haze, but still able to read through it. Impressive large-bubbled head that dies off slowly. Thick large lace, which with the popped bubbles looks a little like polluted water scum.

Lots of fresh, green hops; very fresh smelling. Highly dry-hopped. Low malt and surprisingly low alcohol aromas

Too bitter? This may be the one. Even as a hop head, the bite here is quite strong. Still, this beer is multidimensional--lots of malt up front which quickly gives way to the bitterness. The aftertaste is like sucking a hop pellet. Full bodied with higher carbonation, which I think cuts the high alcohol content flavors.

An interesting beer to try. I'd be fascinated to try this against other double IPAs. Could be summed up: Love your hops, love this beer.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap at Haven Gastropub in Orange, Calif. Reviewed from notes.

A- Little retention on a white head. Exsquisite lacing. Coppery brown and nice clarity.

S- Bitter hops with a metallic sort of nose. Aggressive smell but quite pleasing.

T- Hoppy with distinct dark bitterness. Like some dark fruits with a dark linger.

M- Thick and syrupy almost sort of feel. Not my favorite, but not repulsive.

O- Not my preferred style of beer, but a reasonable example of a DIPA.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to quirkzoo for this bottle...

A: Pours a translucent apricot color with about a half finger of pure white head. The foam settles quickly, and there is only minimal lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is big and boozy with a big malt backbone, a good amount of pine, and some mild grapefruit.

T: The beers starts out with a big burst of pine and grapefruit that totally blows up my palate. The malt in this beer comes on strong in the middle, and I'm a bit overwhelmed with alcohol. I know this beer is above 10%, but the boozy burn, the big hops, and the sweet malt are super intense. I'm actually a bit taken aback by how hot this beer is.

M: This is a full bodied beer. It's biting to start, sticky and oily in the middle, and super boozy in the back end. The flavors linger on the palate for quite some time.

O: I'm not overly impressed by this beer. It just seems to be too much. It's over the top hop up front, over the top abv, and it's way more malty than I would have wanted out of a DIPA. This is not going to make my favorites list. In fact, I don't see myself ever seeking this beer out again in the future. There are just way too many better DIPA option out there.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is daeep amber with a decent white head. No carbonation, as usual. I get a balance of pine and citrus, but the smoke in the biergarten is messing with me. hm pine, all pine. Powdery sweet malt, with the pine losing to the sweetness of the malt. After hopslam and hop notch, this is kind of second best.

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Photo of SirSketch
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - About an inch of off-white head forms. The beer is a mahogany red color and pretty clear.

S - Nothing but hops in the nose, mainly aromas of grapefruit and mango. There are no 'bright' or fresh hop flavors, but more of the juicy, fruity hop character.

T - Surprisingly chewy malt flavor, but an abrasive bitterness and fruity hop flavor swoops in and takes center stage. Flavors include grape juice, lemon and a sour, puckering grapefruit. A good amount of heat, too.

M - Thick, chewy, almost overwhelming mouthfeel. A little hard to take another sip.

O - Maharaja is a great IIPA, but nothing I haven't tasted before in the style. Also, a little too thick, which takes away from the excellent hop flavors.

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,806 ratings.