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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: 5,285
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 17.86%
Wants: 347
Gots: 691 | 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: 5,285
Photo of mwill7287
4.87/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into what is essentially a GLBC short-stemmed wine glass, perhaps a large snifter.

A - A deep, rich golden-amber color, very clear and crisp looking. Active carbonation swarms about the glass. Healthy layer of head, about a fingertip deep, settles after the pour, retaining through the drink. Wonderful lacing left behind all over the glass. She's a beaut.

S - Highly hopped, with floral and mostly fruity scents emanating bountifully from the nose. Despite the high ABV, the beer gives off only slight hints of booziness. Delectable.

T - Very fruity. Grapefruit and other citrus tones, perhaps almost a fruit punch, dominate the taste. Great balance of malts and hops - alternately sweet and bitter. Aftertaste is mildly bitter with lingering hints of citrus hops and some sweetness. This is a tasty, tasty beer, yet not completely overpowering as DIPAs tend to be.

M - Like with the nose and the taste, this imperial IPA does not destroy your tongue. It is medium bodied and goes down very well for a beer of this high ABV and style.

O - I'm enjoying this about as much as I did when I had it on draft in Boston. Avery Brewing Co. has simply created a standard-setting brew with the Maharaja Imperial IPA.

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Photo of magine
4.87/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel glass.

Pours a cloudy, deep dark amber copper. Has a thick, creamy off white yellowish head. Really nice tight bubbles. Excellent lacing and head retention. Big chunky island sits up top. Top notch looking brew.

Wow, massive hop profile; big resin and oil. Grapefruit, citrus, pine earth, lots going on. Big malted barley. A extremely good, mouthwatering flavor. Awesome nose.

Brew is very, surprisingly creamy from that always present head. Tremendous mouthfeel here. Insane subtle feel here. Finish is a bit peppery and drying. Really nice bitterness here. Wow tremendous flavors here; oily resin, big fruits, creamy caramel and barley malts. Wow this is an unbelievable brew here. Massive flavor and maybe the best full bodied mouthfeel I have had in an double IPA. Worldclass stuff here.

This brew is world class and maybe the best example I have had for the style. It is so damn good all around and I would session this stuff until I feel asleep. I am torn when giving a perfect score, but man this brew is just that good. For me you cant do much better in terms of looks, nose, taste and feel. Tremendous.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.86/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is truly a WOW brew for me!
Pours an amber and orange color with a nice frothy head and sticky lace.
Big juicy citric and tropical fruit aroma, oily hops, sweet malts and a whiff of alcohol on the back end.
What an amazing big juicy taste! Arguably perfectly balanced. Really sweet on the tongue, toasted malts and tropical fruits, yet, it is also a hop bomb. Piny, dank, oily and resinous.
Big mouthfeel but unbelievably drinkable for the high ABV. I guzzled two of them in no time!
Amongst IPAs, I've given Pliny the Elder a 5 and Heady Topper a 4.9.(Would have been a 5 for appearance if not for the can) This is right up there and pretty damn close and perhaps right at there level. I will definetely have again and reevaluate if it does indeed make that 5.

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Photo of merlin48
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been looking unsuccesfully for the Raj for months. Thanks to mntlover for coming to the rescue with this attractively labeled bomber. Pours into an imperial pint glass a chill hazed apricot body with a creamy beige head that stabilizes at an inch in height. Retention is excellent and a plentiful amount of sticky patch lace is left on the sides of the glass.

Lovely aroma is pungent with oily citrus. Pink grapefruit, tangerine, and spruce pine notes provide an enticing opening. Roasted caramel is apparent underneath all the citrusy hoppiness. Lovely bouquet!

Mouthfeel is thick, coating, and sticky. Hop resins meld with the moderate carbonation and big maltiness to produce a chewiness and nearly full body that defines what I expect out of an excellent double IPA.

Taste mirrors the aroma, with big citrusy hops and malts. Pink grapefruit, orange, and tangerine tart sweetness mingle well with the underlying caramel malt base. Bitterness is not ashamed to be assertive, with notes of pine resin adding to a tasty balance. I did not notice any distracting alcohol as have many reviewers. This one is full flavored, thick and rich, and awash in a pleasant field of bittersweet citrusy and tropical hops that meld very well with the chewy caramel maltiness. Finishes with a long aftertaste that is slightly bitter with spruce resin and grapefruit rind. Very yummy.

This one is what I expect out of a Double IPA. Very similar to Avery 10 and 11 in taste and character, but this has a better balance and more pronounced flavor and aroma profile. This is the best product I've sampled from the folks at Avery. This is the kind of beer that the BA website has led me to fall in love with. Nirvana in a bottle, this one. Supremely drinkable! This is one that I would take to a deserted island. Very highly recommended.

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Photo of MarkBlackout
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Interesting brew. Pours nicely for the high ABV, with a consistent, thin head and nice lacing on the glass. Smell threw me off a little at first.. I got some citrusy hops right off the bat, then I was overwhelmed w/ sweet malt and a pleasant though foreboding alcohol presence. Tasting revealed a more balanced brew than the smell; the excessive alcohol fits quite well with the excessive malt and hops. Good shit. (2004)

edit: I tried this right around a year later, almost to the day. I adjusted the scores down a little bit; this isn't quite as good as I remembered. I don't quite remember just what i liked about it so much, but it ain't thrillin' me no more.. (2005)

edit #2: This is one of my favorite beers now. Huge, malty, hoppy DIPA. very balanced, pleasantly medicinal/herbal/citrus flavors. Nothing wrong with this beer at all, I get a bomber when I can afford to pay $8. Really it's a bargain I'm just poor (Dec. 2011).

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Photo of stewart124
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a very hazy amber/orange color with a thick and viscous tan head. This ends up leaving a pretty lacing down the glass.

The nose is very piney, citrusy and spicy. Powerful hints but still very pleasing.

The taste is awesome! Really a great blend of everything. No one particular ingredient sticks out. The hops are beautifully done and give a nice tingling feel. There is more pine and citrus that blend well with caramel malts and there is also a toasty, malty feel to this beer.

There is obvious alcohol in the aftertaste but it is not overpowering and continues to blend well with the overall beer. Citrus and pine continue hit the palate and leave a nice flavor. There is a left over sweetness from the caramel malts.

A really great Double IPA overall. Very drinkable.

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Photo of ryrust5301
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark honey color with a picture perfect off white head that leaves plenty of lacing around the glass. Nose is swarming with hops and malt, but it's a little biting. Could use a little more depth in the aroma. Taste is everything I want in a double ipa. Extremely well balanced between biting hops, and a sweet slab of caramel malt. This beer is perfectly married! Mouthfeel is medium bodied yet crisp, and not overly chewy like some double ipa's. Feel definitely leads to the overall drinkability getting a perfect score. Highly drinkable and hard to put down.

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Photo of AndrewMichael
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle poured in a stemmed glass. Hop aroma, outstanding bitterness, and a unique finish. To me, borderline 5 star beer. A few subtle differences but would compare to Stone Enjoy Bys, which I had before ever trying this one.

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Photo of SeaOfShells
4.84/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber into Duvel Tulip
Batch 13, March 2011

A: Dark burnt orange, clear with a bit of hop haze for good measure. 2 finger white head rounds things out.

S: This is easily the best smelling beer I've ever had. Huge, HUGE pineapple scent that literally engulfs the room. A bevy of citrus fruits join the party deeper down, but the pineapple in this one steals the show

T: Follows the scent. A pineapple explosion followed by a nice hop bitterness. Alcohol is present the more it warms. I actually like this one a little warmer than most IPAs. A nice malt backbone helps to round out the hop bomb.

M: Full bodied, modestly carbonated. It's a real winner.

O: This is my favorite IPA of all time. It's a fantastic monster of a beer that lives up to, nay, exceeds the hype. Not for everyone I suppose, but I love it.

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Photo of EkimGram
4.84/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: 22oz bottle poured into a large snifter. Colour is a translucent orange-brown. Small head fades very quickly to an extremely thin layer. The beer turns opaque as it settles. No visible carbonation.

Smell: Aromas in general are strong; floral and citric hops, sweet and bready malts, barley, and alcohol mixed with some spices.

Taste: Incredibly balanced flavours of piney hops, strong sweet malts, a sweet taste of brown sugar or nutmeg, and a warming alcohol bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, velvety texture, strong carbonated bite, finishes sticky.

Overall: The balance is simply amazing. This brew succeeds in having a strong hop flavour but is perfectly balanced by the malts. Delicious, strong, and very enjoyable.

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Photo of Citadel82
4.84/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow! This brew is inspirational and awesome, balanced and tasty. The fact that it has such a high ABV is almost disappointing. To badly misquote Robert E. Lee "it is well that this beer is so terribly strong otherwise we should grow to love it too well..."

Pours a rich copper color with a rocky and clingy white head that retreats with the same tenacity as George Thomas "The Rock of Chickamauggua".
The aroma of this heady brew is sweet malt peppery and spicy hops with healthy dose of bread and not the least bit of shoddy... and somewhere in ther I foud sweet cantaloupe...

The taste is sublime and balanced between sweet malt and tangt pine and citrus hops. Notes of melon and a nasal burn of drying alcohol.

Mouthfeel is light carbonation and slick smooth malt. Neither excessively thick nor watery with average carbonation.

Overall, this one of the best beers I have tasted. Tomorrow I will walk down to Whole Foods and grab a few bombers to check for my flight home. I normally carry on but this is well worth the otherwise inconvenient checiking of a bag and picking up at the far end.

Sad, but true...

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Photo of Dmann
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An exceptional beer! The pour was a perfect dark amber color with a super fluffy white head that left much lace on the glass. The smell was pure piny hops and a very small hint of orange zest which was very inviting. With the first sip, the pine flavored hops explode in your mouth and are almost too intense if not for the great malt balance that comes next, followed by a slight alcohol flavor in the finish. The great thing about the flavor is that the malt balance is not overly sweet, it is dry in a way and really does well to balance out the hops but not get in the way. This is and excellent beer and if you are a fan of hops, you will love it for sure!

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Photo of notyourdadsbeer
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap poured into a tulip at Euclid Hall.

A: Bright orange to copper with amber hues, great lacing and a thick of white head.

S: Big massive piney hops, resinous almost and very chronic like. Touch of tropical fruit sweetness and stick thick malt.

T: Surprisingly very well balanced! While the hops are present and seductive with intense bitter quality, the malts thicken up this brew with perfect balance making this a sipper. Tropical fruits- pineapple and mango are present but only sweeten out the hops.

M: Full bodied with a an even coat across the palate. Great carbonation and a finish that's to die for.

D: Fantastic beer! This is a staple for hop heads and IPA's across the board. The alcohol is very well masked and the hops are seductive and balanced with a solid malt backbone. Great beer for winter or summer.

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Photo of rockaroo
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I'm not the hop expert but this is "tropical" and "bitter/onion/garlic" hops combined. My saliva 5 minuets after drinking this tastes better than half the beers I drink. There is a great extra long taste cycle from the first thing you taste to the last.
Maybe the best xIPA for me this year. Avery goes back to the top of the brands after the disappointing or misunderstood Kaiser release a few months ago knocked them down for me.
Thanks Avery guys. This compares to the most savory stuff I can concoct on the grill. Can't give anything a perfect cuz I know it is something still out there , ya'll are probably drinking it now.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1 pt 6 fl oz brown bottle, served in a goblet.

Semi-hazy, golden-highlighted peach in color. Foamy, finger-high white head that attacks the goblet's sides and puts up a fight in receding. Sticky, webbed lacing around the majority of the glass.

Bright, ripe fruit: peach, pear, green apple, and grapefruit. Clean pine that adds a pleasant spice. Juicy hop resins that jump out of the glass.

Juicy pear, peach, orange, and apple. Notes of semi-sweet tropical fruit: honeydown, kiwi. The malt character is smooth; almost creamy, yet nearly non-descript in flavor; hefty enough however to balance the hop intensity. The bitterness is there, but far from being abrasive. In flavor, this is nirvana for any hophead. What an amazing concoction!

Medium bodied; silky smooth and creamy, despite being an aggressive hop monster.

If you're a hophead, then trust me and buy a case of the Maharaja. Seriously, this is the real deal.

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Photo of ritter57
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours soft with a smooth light head and rich caramel slightly opaque color.

S: Light floral and citrus with some sweet undertones. The hops are immediately anticipated and almost tasted.

T: Malt first, quickly balanced by hops. Then you taste the high alcohol but only briefly. Then the malt and hops take over and balance almost perfectly for a very long finish. The taste of this beer lingers, wonderfully, for a long, long time. It is exactly what I expect of a DIPA. For me, this beer defines the style.

M: Lingering tart, sweet, and chewy - almost like it's still there long after you swallow. I find myself drinking this beer slower because the taste lasts so long.

D: This is one of the best of my favorite style. Will drink it whenever I get the chance. Excellent!

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Photo of philerman
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased a bomber on Superbowl Sunday and fridge-aged since then from Batch 17 (2013). ABV appears to be dialed up one notch (bottle says 10.4%). All the hype over Hopslam and I think this is every bit its equal, maybe a bit less fruity but has the same drinkability. Goes down easy and doesn't disappoint. A true winner from the Rocky Mountains and definitely in the rotation.

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Photo of Beantownron
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Amazing IPA never disappointed by the maharaja. Always get the citrusy grapefruit notes and right upfront with the hops. finishes nice and dry.tasty as hell! love it! I give it an A + top 3 IPA's all time. Avery is quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries . it's like they can do no wrong.

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Photo of pat61
4.82/5  rDev +14.8%

Big rich piney, resiny, floral hop nose backed rich malt.
3" snow white persistent very finely bubbled foam cap floating on a brilliant iced tea deep amber body. Lacy. Beautiful beer.
Palate: clean - no big yeast flavors, spicy light malts with light caramel support big piney, resiny hop flavors and bitterness.
Medium full body with medium low carbonation, warming.

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Photo of SaintArnold
4.82/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am just now getting around to reviewing this beer. I waited a year for this batch to come out and bought two cases of this most excellent beer. This is the only IPA that I have found so far that can stand toe to toe with Stones Ruination. I love this beer. Bow down to his holiness the Maharaja and he may just let you sample this nectar of the gods.

It was poured from a 22oz bomber into my fancy smancy Sam Adams glass.

A- The appearance is of honey that poured a beautiful fluffy white 2" head that left excellent lacing on the glass.

S- The smell of hops punches you in the face in a way that only a hophead could appreciate. I smell pineapple, grass and faint traces of spice.

T- You have to let this one warm up just a bit to truly appreciate all the wonderful flavors this beer has to offer. Its only after it warms up that the malt can compete with the hops.

M- There was a velvety smooth feel to the tongue, with a very nice tingling of the hops that was left on the back of the pallet.

D- I personally think this beer is very drinkable. I love this beer and waited a whole year to have it again. However, if you are not into hops you should stay the hell away from this beer. I will deduct some points for that reason alone.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.82/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Label reads “Bottled in Fed. 2006 Batch 3”. Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color, with a short foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is intense and is a well-blended combination of hops and citrus, very pleasant. There are some notes of caramel and vanilla in the back ground, but it’s pretty much hops and citrus all the way as a good 2IPA should be.

T: The taste is very well-balanced. The strong hops bitterness and sweet citrus flavors couple each other excellently. The malt character provides just enough substance to make the beer smooth. The after-taste maintains the balance of hops & citrus.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, very clean finish.

D: Very tasty, goes does easy enough, not-too-filling, excellent representation of style, I liked this beer a lot. The only thing I regret about buying this beer is that I didn’t buy it sooner. Looking forward to trying more beers from Avery as this was my first from them.

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Photo of MrMonkey
4.82/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy dark copperish amber with a one-finger off-white head that fades slowly to a thin cap leaving some thick lacing. Concentric rings left with each sip.

Smell is almost nothing but hops. There's some floral notes, grapefruit rind, orange peel, and lots of pine. There's also a hint of spearmint and some alcohol.

Taste starts with some oily, resinous pine and bitter grapefruit rind. There's some caramel malt trying to balance things out, but it is quickly lost to some warming alcohol and more resinous hop oils. Mango and toasted bread lead into some more bitter grapefruit with a touch of caramel, for a wonderful bittersweet finish.

Oily, but smooth, full-bodied mouthfeel.

An incredible DIPA. If it wasn't for the high ABV, I'd want to drink this one all the time.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.82/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Man oh man- fresh Maharaja on-tap at the Brick Store Pub. Gotta love it. Well, I do anyhow. I love this beer, and the fresher the better. This is fresh! Pours a dark orange amber with a very full head that fades to thin cap but leaves lacing that coats the glass. Smells nicely of summit hops, and is hugely herbal. Taste is similar- a citrus and herb explosion with enough sweet malt to balance things. Very smooth in the mouth and juicy. A great experience!

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Photo of circus_cat
4.82/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Beautiful clear burnt orange all the way through with a soapy white head that has disappeared to a ring around the sides of the glass and a bubbly island in the middle. Scattered lacing and alcohol legs are revealing themselves.

S: Punched in the nose by hops and all the glorious things that come with them. Definitely a West Coast aroma filled with sweet tarts, hop resin, all the tropical fruits (notable mango, passion fruit, and pineapple). Grapefruit bomb in the background with just a TOUCH of pine.

T: Candy sweetness and tropical fruits on the tip of my tongue. A surprising touch of biscuity yeast through the palate that is overwhelmed by grapefruit all the way through. Then the end comes and your taste buds really feel those hops with a blast of bitterness that lingers on. As it warms I get a bit of pine.

M: Thick, almost chewy--and smooth. A bit strange for an IPA but I really like it. Never had my tastebuds scraped off by velvet like this before :)

O: I would say that a picture of this beer would appear in the dictionary next to "Huge American IPA" but it has these qualities that make it superior to other hopbombs I've had, namely its drinkability (shocking for a 10% ABV beer) and balance with the yeastiness.

I haven't had Heady Topper or either of the Plinys yet, but if they're better than this (which I imagine they are) I'm excited for the day I try them.

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Photo of OliasOfSunhillow
4.82/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 bottling. Differences from last year's batch: 1. More hops in the nose. Unbelievably rich, spicy, floral hop aroma. 2. Alcohol "hotness" is greatly reduced from 2005. Perhaps Avery's high-gravity brewing is becoming more refined and less aggressive. 3. Lower level of carbonation, plus very low head retention -- kind of barleywine-like in appearance.

All in all, a more elegant, much more drinkable Maharaja this year. Kudos to Adam and the boys down on Arapahoe Ave.

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