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Maharaja - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,654 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,654
Reviews: 1,736
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 10.64%
Wants: 252
Gots: 386 | 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:
ABV varies slightly batch to batch.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-03-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,654 | Reviews: 1,736 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Hojaminbag


3.48/5  rDev -17.7%

Avery's Maharaja has a clear, orange-brown body and an off-white head that is thick and rocky. A pretty nice sheen of lacing is left behind on my glass.

The aroma certainly packs some hops. Bitter pine and grapefruit are aggressive, but they are paired with a pretty large caramel malt to balance them out.

The first sip of Maharaja brings a pretty intense bitterness from the hops that features a load citrus peel, a bit of grapefruit and the sizable flavor of pine sap. After the initial hop blast, I like Maharaja a little bit less. The caramel malt provides a big, chewy, sweet backbone that is a little too strong for my liking. The finish is all booze and bitterness, but it is skewed toward the burning flavor of alcohol.

The mouthfeel is nice. Big and creamy, it makes sure that you sip this boozy bad boy.

Drinkability is OK. The hops in Maharaja are huge, which I like, but the malt and the booze take away from it a little bit. Overall, this is still a pretty good IIPA though.

09-22-2010 19:59:27 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of Jeffo


3.48/5  rDev -17.7%

Got this at The Cracked Kettle in Amsterdam.

From a bomber into a snifter.
Batch 12

APPEARANCE: Pours a nice, big, fluffy, three finger, medium-thick, off-white head with good retention. Perfectly clear tenne orange with zero carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a good wisp and ring, leaving some immediate lacing at the top. Good wisp remains and leaves lots of nice lacing. Second pour is very opaque with lots of floaties, but I'm all over the floaties. Good looking.

SMELL: Medium strength nose of pale malts, citrus and floral hops. Some lemon and grapefruit for sure, as well as some sweet caramel malts. A bit of booze in the nose gives it a slight spicy quality, which is unique.

TASTE: Pale malts up front with heaps of bitter hops, grapefruit, some floral hops, and some decent spices from the booze. A malty underbelly with sweet caramel malt hangs on for the ride. Aftertaste is big and bold, lingering with lots of bitter hops and spicy booze, the combination of which makes it a little abrasive. Very bitter finish. This is a huge bomb with a splash of booze for good measure. Take the latter away and you'd have a real bitter treat.

PALATE: Medium body and semi-creamy on the palate. Goes down smooth with an alcohol burn after the swallow, and finishes slightly mouth coating. Some heat in there as well. Good feel, minus the heat.

OVERALL: Finally Avery makes a big beer worth drinking twice. Enjoyed working my way through this one. Quite tasty with lots of flavor and bitterness, as well as a great look. Definitely a bit too harsh and boozy for the style, which makes it either difficult or unique, depending on your preferences, but nevertheless, this is the first Avery beer I've had that was worth the effort.

12-21-2010 14:14:53 | More by Jeffo
Photo of Quaffer


3.48/5  rDev -17.7%

22 oz. bottle with a nip cap.

Appearance: This beer poured a lovely, deep copper color. The head was off-white (with a hint of orange) and rose up easily, being fluffy and mounding up above the rim of the glass. It lingered for quite awhile, slowly sinking back into the beer and leaving a lot of itself behind on the side of the glass. The lace was thick and abundant.

Smell: The hops came through strong, nice and spicy, with hints of juniper and a large dose of citrus. Smooth vanilla and light, bready malt backed it up, with an occasional hint of spirit-like alcohol. Overall, a classic IPA aroma.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and silky. Almost coating as it flowed effortlessly back through the mouth. On the top end of medium-bodied.

Taste: As the beer hit the tip of the tongue, there was not a lot of flavor evident. Then in the middle, smeet malt and a pine-like hops flavor and bitterness arose. There was a light spiciness in the background. The pine quality of the hops became stronger on the finish and was joined by a relatively strong alcohol flavor; a little too strong for my tastes.

Not a bad beer, but the flavor lacked depth and the alcohol came on a little strong. Every other aspect of this beer was terrific, though.

08-07-2006 01:02:10 | More by Quaffer
Photo of bryanbullock

District of Columbia

3.48/5  rDev -17.7%

After race reviews from friends I went into my tasting with high hopes. The aroma was odd, kind of musty and odd, that of "beer sweat" I was not pleasant on the nose. The visual was of an dark maple syrup hue with slow flowing micro bubbles that cling to the edge of the class with a death grip. Strong hoppy taste with some pine, clearly and imperial IPA. Overall a good beer but the aroma was hard to get over.

04-04-2014 02:30:56 | More by bryanbullock
Photo of Wobbly


3.45/5  rDev -18.4%

Not worth the hype.

08-26-2014 23:45:42 | More by Wobbly
Photo of orbitalr0x


3.43/5  rDev -18.9%

A good amber orange pour forms a bubbly white head on top. Little spots of lacing appear all over the glass. Bright and vibrant...looks pretty good to me. Aromas of sweet, sugary caramel malts, cotton candy and citrusy hops that have a piney twang. The hops seem too subdued in the nose for me and a bit off overall. Still has a nice aroma overall.

First sip brings a sweet, nearly cloying caramel maltiness upfront with a mix of bitter citrusy/piney hop flavors across the palate. The hops seem to be a bit muddled to me and the candy like sweetness gets to me after a few sips. I have to say I was expecting more out of this one. Drop this one and bring back the Eleven!

Mouthfeel is creamy and medium bodied..slightly slick with good carbonation. This one left me longing for something more...I'll have to pass next time and hope they re-use the recipe for Eleven one of these days!

07-02-2005 03:43:13 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of heebes

Ontario (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev -18.9%

Pours a cloudy golden orange with a nice two finger off white fluffy head. Nose is remenants of faded floral/citrus hops and big caramel, bread malts. Taste is similiar, bitter in the middle and lingering finish, but predominately malt now that the hops are diminished. Medium bodied mouthfeel. Undeserving of this review and the hunt will continue to try this years batch.

(Another dusty bottle on the shelf at Ryan's. Batch 12.)

03-28-2011 18:51:10 | More by heebes
Photo of Cresant


3.43/5  rDev -18.9%

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet glass. Bottled in June of 2006, batch 4. Chill haze cleared quickly to reveal a clear, pale golden amber body. Two fingers of Yukon-Gold-potato colored head. Sheets of tiny bubbles slide down the glass after each sip.

Smell was sweet and citrusy. Spicy grains (rye?). Floral hops are faintly discernible. Fruity.

Taste was grapefruit juice and rinds. Hints of walnut skins bitterness. Alcohol flavors increased as it warmed. Ripe stone-fruits. Big, bold, and rich.

Mouthfeel was slick and oily. Medium to full bodied.

01-10-2007 04:01:13 | More by Cresant
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.43/5  rDev -18.9%

Bottled in 2005.

Appearance: cloudy yellow / orange in color with a short 1/4" head. A spot or two of lace develops. A few carbonation bubbles are seen rising from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: tons of alcohol, citrus, and a piney bitterness that is overwhelming and not very enjoyable.

Taste: huge malt backbone, loads of grapefruit slices and piney bitterness. Alcohol is quite evident. Nicely balanced but an overload for the tastebuds.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start. The finish is dry and smooth. Medium heavy in body. The aftertaste is very long on the bitterness and alcohol tones.

Drinkability: a true slow sipper, and an over the top version of a double IPA. There are better ones out there that aren't so in your face.

04-29-2006 00:30:49 | More by Gavage
Photo of BigDaddyWil


3.43/5  rDev -18.9%

Label states bottled in 2005.
This might be a little old.
Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a pint glass.

This double ipa pours a deep copper color, with bright orange highlights. Very hazy. One finger thick, off white head, fades quickly. Leaves a good amount of sticky lacing. This is the first double ipa where the malt smell is greater than the hop smell. Tons of big malts smells, almost roasted malt. The usual floral and citrusy smells are taking a back seat to the malts. Quite a strong peppery smell also. Taste mimics the smell, tons of big malt flavor upfront and finishes with very little hop bitterness. Some citrusy flavors are there. Full bodied brew, kinda heavy, with a slight oily texture. Overall, not my favorite imperial ipa, but this is an old bottle, so I will have to try this again sometime.

06-06-2006 01:07:26 | More by BigDaddyWil
Photo of BigMike


3.43/5  rDev -18.9%

A: Dark golden orange in color. Pretty clear overall. A finger of khaki colored head.

S: Very sweet on the nose. Lots of toffee and brown sugar. In the background are some tropical fruits. Lots of mango.

T:Hops take a back seat to caramel malts in this one. It's sugary sweet with lots of toffee. Tons of bitterness. Some over ripened pineapple and mango

M: Above medium bodied. Pretty heavy but expected for over 10%. Good carbonation.

Overall: A decent DIPA but a little too malty for my liking. Probably nothing i would drink again.

04-18-2011 23:07:50 | More by BigMike
Photo of dankbrew21


3.43/5  rDev -18.9%

No freshness date.

Appearance is a redish orange, medium white head. No rising bubbles. Good head retention.

Smell is of VERY strong bitter hop resins, kind of citrusy.

Taste is super heavy! The hops wrek the weigh the tongue down and completely destroy the palate. I have had this beer a few times now and it never fails to kick my ass! Very strong alcohol presence. Super bitter hop resins attack the palate de-arming its defenses and leaving it completely vulnerable to attack. Medium consistency. Medium carbonation. I can honestly say, maybe to many hops were used for this concoction, or not enough balance of other ingredients. This is a good example of extreme beer at its most extreme.

Drink this beer slowly. Sip on it. It will fuck you up if you don't take it seriously, trust me, I know from experience.

04-18-2009 23:47:15 | More by dankbrew21
Photo of udubdawg


3.43/5  rDev -18.9%

22 oz bottle, May '08 batch

pours amber, quite bright, excellent clarity. Even emptying the bottle into the second glass shows little sediment. Creamy-light yellow tinted head, quite frothy and leaves more than adequate lacing behind as it fades to a ring by midglass.

Smells of citrusy hops abound, with pine well underneath, but never come close to overwhelming the rampant alcohol. 10.2%? Despite the strength of the hop profile, most of that % seems to be showing up here. But that's hardly a reason to seriously downgrade what is otherwise a fine-smelling brew...

...but experiencing the same in the taste is. I've had this beer many times where it was months older, and the hops were showing their age. The alcohol was muted, but we were left with a very, very caramelly sweet beer - too much so in my humble opinion. So I find myself torn - fresh, as I'd like to consume this beer, it is too hot. Aged, and you've lost the fresh hop profile that I would think is this beer's raison d'etre.
anyway, I hasten to add that this is a tasty beer - I'm not afraid of a little alcohol warming! The hop level doesn't seem as crazy as the label would suggest, though even as I type this a burp brings a ridiculous amount of pine back up (apologies for that visual) Bitterness is kept in check, though it lingers long after the swallow. Caramel and citrusy hops - no real complaints here.

Sticky - far from clean, but that's hardly a bad thing. Full body, excellent carbonation. This beer looks great in the glass, smells good, and my mouth luxuriates in the experience as it rolls across my palate - there's nothing really wrong here, and I'll gladly have it again. That I can't rate it higher is simply a testament to the number of absurdly good double IPAs in this country. Hooray Beer!

07-18-2008 19:57:38 | More by udubdawg
Photo of ne0m00re


3.4/5  rDev -19.6%

Served on-tap at Mad Mex in Columbus, Ohio in a snifter glass.
A: Red dark honey, it poured with a big creamy head that died to a good film.
S: Sweeet hops and alcohol, with a strange moldy twang on earthy, citrus, and piney hops combined with some grapefruit. The moldy twang is pungent like cheese.
T: Caramel sweet malt with candied oranges and piney, citrus hops. The bright hops and candy linger.
M: Syrupy, creamy, frothy, but crisp with the hops.
D: Only OK for the style.

04-15-2010 22:34:56 | More by ne0m00re
Photo of TVolt1


3.4/5  rDev -19.6%

A: Very hazy orangish/golden color but extremely cloudy.

S: Smells a little nuttiesh with a strong malt smell. Does not smell like a typical IIPA - verry little hop smell. Doesn't make me very excited to drink it.

T: Tastes just as malty as it smelled. Nice and bitter finish but still not a ton of hop flavors with it. Can taste a hint of piney hops with the bitterness of the beer.

M: Medium bodies thickness with a small amount of carbonation.

O: Overall, this is an alright beer. Probably wouldn't buy again or recommend it. Just average.

03-05-2012 23:16:48 | More by TVolt1
Photo of loftisCT


3.4/5  rDev -19.6%

Release 15 Winter 11/12, Drank Feb 21, 2012
A: Amber-colored with a very slight haziness, nice head and retention for a 10% beer.
S: Very tropical nose. Definite citrus aspect, but a very sweet citrus, also a little pine. Almost no dank or catty aspect to these hops. While I love the hops flavors, a sharp caramel note is also present and there's a little more alcohol than I would like.
T: Both very hoppy and very malty. The hops flavors are very fruity as in the smell. The malt is sweet and caramelly. A little too much caramel for me. I like caramel when it integrates with the hops to give them a candyish or sweet flavor. Conversely, I think here the caramel is stealing the show from them a little. The bitterness is relatively light, alcohol is more prevalent in the finish than the hops.
T: Mouthful is very nice on this beer. Approaching full-bodied and almost pillowy.
O: I love the hop blend and the mouthfeel for this beer. A little too much alcohal and caramel for my liking. While this beer is very hoppy, the hops can't fully unleash their glory because the prevalent alcohol and sharp caramel.

02-21-2012 22:00:37 | More by loftisCT
Photo of bball208

New Jersey

3.39/5  rDev -19.9%

Meh, not sure what the hype is all about. I wanted to love this beer so much since a lot of people I know like this, but it just didn't taste like an IPA.

Hazy orange, with nice head. Looks beautiful. The aroma was if biscuits and more breads. Kinda strange for an IPA. Taste was not bitter although it said 102 IBUs. Tasted like biscuits, little hops, some grapefruit, but overall it was muddled by the malt. Not too balanced, definitely not a refreshing IPA. It's a wintertime beer, I would never drink this on a hot day. I've had way more IPAs that were tasty, more floral, and more appealing than this one. This just was not a very good beer, despite its complex flavors. I guess I like more of the floral beers like heady topper


01-03-2014 23:29:13 | More by bball208
Photo of gezondheid


3.38/5  rDev -20.1%

10oz. goblet pour at Canal Street Pub, Reading, PA

A – Cloudy copper holds nice swirls of foam
S – Subdued nose, no alcohol notes belie ABV of 10%
T – Sharp upfront, alcohol emerges here
M – Drying yet creamy carbonation release bitters as it warms
D – Not a repeat beer, one and done, moving on …

04-29-2011 01:41:40 | More by gezondheid
Photo of Squelch

United Kingdom (England)

3.38/5  rDev -20.1%

Appearance: Copper colored with an off white head the slowly dissipates. Nice Lacing. Low Carbonation.

Smell: Missing hop aroma I was expecting. More malt aroma comes through. Some fruity esters.

Taste: Piney hop flavor shines through. A tad harsh. Overuse of caramel malt to compensate for bitterness brings the rating down a bit. Bitterness Lingers....

Mouthfeel: Light for the style. Still syrupy thick but not as much as other IIPA's

Drinkability: Not bad but not the best.

08-13-2008 02:28:33 | More by Squelch
Photo of donniecuffs

New Jersey

3.38/5  rDev -20.1%

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter glass. Nice amber/orange hue, with a decent head that seemed to lace well. The smell had subtle hints of pineapple and passion fruit as well as some woodiness, but it was all overpowered by pink grapefruit to the point where if I closed my eyes, I'd have swore that I had my beak in a glass of Tropicana. The flavor was more subtle than the nose in terms of the grapefruit; certainly more balanced, and more evidence of malty/molasses sweetness. However the finish devolves into as sweet, and not-so-subtle alcoholic burn. Admittedly, this is where I differ from most of the other reviews on BA; the bottle I had (maybe a bad batch?) seemed to have too much burn for my taste. I wouldn't use the 10% abv as an excuse, as I have had Dbl IPAs just as strong where the burn is non-existent. The mouthfeel was nicely balanced; a little creamy. The drinkability is slightly above average.

09-04-2009 17:24:47 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of jujubeast6000


3.38/5  rDev -20.1%

Reviewed 3/27/2006 (750mL bottle):

Pours an amber red color body that is very clear. Can get almost no head out of the pour, it is off-white, and diminishing. A strong aroma of hops, bitterness. Hoppy taste but not overly bitter, semi-sweet, and has a bitter aftertaste.

11-08-2008 05:31:51 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of maltstress


3.35/5  rDev -20.8%

Avery Brewing Co. Their dictator series. The Maharaja IPA. Batch #13. March 2011. 102 IBU'S. 10.54% abv.

This IPA is all sorts of interesting. Vanilla or Caramel hint? Citrus, which is to be expected from an IPA. Grapefruit. But something almost smells sweeter, like a sweet melon. Or even a grape or pear. I'm having a hard time pin pointing the specific fruit. But it's not the normal citrus I encounter with IPA's. It is, but there is also so much more to this. Very floral, but not extremely aromatic. Less pine and less bitter, but only to the aromatic component to the brew for the later, not in it's taste. It's very malty, which seems unusual for an IPA. It also carries with it a strong alcoholic bite to it, but not as strong as a Belgian (thought it carries with it the alcohol content of a higher Belgian). It's clean. Crisp, but not very light. Amber pour, slight head. Still drinkable.

I never thought I’d say this, but this is an IPA I would like to try pairing with an interesting dessert, like a creme brulee. Or perhaps a fruity, nutty, or poppy salad. A lighter marinated chicken, or a lemon zested fish, but not peppered or heavily spiced. This is a very majestic brew. I imagine royalty would enjoy it. I wouldn't choose to drink this on its own again, but pair it with food.

But it must be noted that if this was brewed in March, its effect might be completely different as I consumed it a little into May. It's very common for aromatic compounds to be lost during this time frame.

[Question to others and what I'm unaware of is if the strong taste of alcohol would increase with time, and if there are IPA"s that can be slightly cellared? Also, is the degradation of aromatic compounds the melon or malty flavors I now detect? Or is this the actual purpose of the brew?]

05-14-2011 02:32:43 | More by maltstress
Photo of airheadmtrcycle


3.35/5  rDev -20.8%

I'll be honest; I've been anxious about getting my hands on a Maharaja for some time. Everything I've read and all my friends who know what I like suggest this will be a DIPA that I will like.

Poured from a bomber into a Duvel tulip yields a deep copper ale with a large off-white, almost tan head. The head recedes and leaves a little lacing. Soon all trace of head and lacing are gone.

The aroma is strong of resin, some citrus and biscuit/bread dough which only heightens my anticipation and causes my palate to salivate. To my immediate disappointment my first sip has a spicy, obtrusive alcohol presence that is a turn-off. The hops are quite pine-y and spruce-y and less citrus-y and sweet than I had hoped for. Do Simcoe hops work well with all the "C" hops? The huge malt bill does make for a sweet ale, though, maybe a little too sweet for my preference. The bitterness is huge, and one I'm sure many hopheads will love, but I'm not as enamored as I hoped I would be. This Maharaja does rule with a heavy hand as Avery's website claims. The mouth feel is oily and somewhat flat, and has a little too much bite from the alcohol.

Overall, Maharaja doesn't hide its big alcohol well enough for me. Its hop profile is a little out of my flavor preference and it's too sweet.

04-02-2011 05:19:08 | More by airheadmtrcycle
Photo of angrybabboon

New Hampshire

3.35/5  rDev -20.8%

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for this beer

Review adapted from notes taken 6/24/11

Appearance: An orange-amber color, hazy, fluffy beige head - sticky lacing, nice retention

Smell: Very hoppy and very malty - oily hops, grapefruit, citrus, pine - some herbal characteristics - sweet, caramel and amber toasted malts, and straight-up sugar

Taste: Boozy, boozy, boozy - yes, it it bitter and hoppy, but the taste is dominated by the sweetness and booze - maybe it's just this batch - some orange and grapefruit rind, some herbal flavors - the malts taste more like a malt extract syrup than something like a biscuit - regardless, not a trainwreck, just a very strange balance

Mouthfeel: Heaver than average, almost syrupy, sticky - just tastes wrong - this beer needs to dry out

Overall: A malty, hoppy, booze bomb

I guess this beer really varies batch to batch. I wasn't really impressed by it. Maharaja certainly isn't a bad DIPA, but it's kind of the opposite of what I look for in the style. It's too malty to be balanced, too much booze, not crisp.

10-02-2011 20:58:50 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of ChanChan


3.35/5  rDev -20.8%

Maharajah I was extremely excited to try this beer! Poured from a 22OZ Bomber into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Copper in color with a nice two inch tan head. Lacing in this beer is decent.

Aroma: Tropical fruit, mango peach, grapefruit as well as pine and resin.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with good carbonation.
Taste: Heavy malty caramel, tropical fruit again but not as present as in the nose. This beer is sticky and cloying.

Overall: This beer is suppose to be better than a Pliny the Elder. I had this side by side with a PTE and it is certainly not as good as a Pliny!! It is boozier and a lot more cloying but it’s nowhere as good! For anyone who disagrees he or she should try it this way. I’m just giving my honest opinion. Good beer though.

09-05-2011 04:40:19 | More by ChanChan
Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 4,654 ratings.