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Maharaja - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
MaharajaMaharaja

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

4,979 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,979
Reviews: 1,774
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.38%
Wants: 311
Gots: 516 | 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: 4,979 | Reviews: 1,774
Photo of washburnkid
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in February. Reviewed keeping the freshness factor in mind. Thanks to jdmek9 for this bomber. Enjoyed in a snifter.

A: Dark amber and copper tones. About a finger of frothy white head that retains well and leaves some lacing.
S: Big hops still discernible up front, regardless of how "old" it is now. Tons of citrus grapefruit. Spices that, for some reason, remind me of my grandma's kitchen. Alcohol is there with deeper pulls. Not much malt on the nose but I imagine this will be different with the first sip or with warmth.
T: Indeed, bready malts are there. Still has a good hop presence, mostly citrus notes. Hops are clearly mellowed out. Oranges and apples with other fruit notes. A solid dirty earthiness is present. Some pine in there as well.
M: Big creamy body leaves bitter residuals throughout.
D: This brew is big and strong. I can't wait to try the freshest batch!

Photo of krisandajt
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a bottle into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass I see before me a cloudy, amber colored brew. Sitting atop this beverage is an inch worth of head composed of tiny bubbles and craggy peaks. Retention is decent, and the brew leaves behind plenty of sticky rings of goodness when it settles.

Smell: Plenty of bitter hops with a slight bit of booziness. The hops are a nice mix between citrus and pine, with no one quality really standing out. Not picking up much of a malt backbone, something I find surprising for a DIPA. I'm hoping for a major hop bomb with this one.

Taste: Plenty of hoppy goodness here. The hops which were hinted at in the nose come at you full force here. I believe the pine taste of the hops is a more prominent when compared to the citrusy grapefruit. There is a slight boozy tinge to this brew, but it's not so potent to be a detriment to the beer. Instead, it lets you know you're going up against a heavy hitter.

Mouthfeel: A nice medium to full body with plenty of crisp carbonation. Rather well done here.

Drinkability: A top notch DIPA. Not too heavy on the malt, plenty of hop character, and just enough booziness to remind you that you are drinking a "big beer". As much as I would like to, I don't think I could drink more than one of these in an evening...though with a brew as tasty as this it would certainly be worth a try.

Photo of Tilley4
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at The Ginger Man in Dallas..

Arrived looking a murky light golden with a thick creamy head... Lots of lacing as well... looks really hazy and hoppy..

Huge pungent aromas of citrusy hops ooze off of this brew... Damn, this smells hoppy as hell... Pineapple, orange, loads of tropical fruits reign with this...

Sweet tangy hops explode on my taste buds sip after sip here and don't let up. I don't detect any alcohol at all and not much malt presence to speak of but I didn't buy this for the malts. I'm happy as all get out here... It's pungent and sweet and hoppy...

Perhaps not quite as good as the bottled version but still a top notch elite Imperial IPA in my opinion... I love this beer and I'm glad I got to try it on tap finally..

Photo of vtfan77
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From what I understand, only a few cases of Maharaja were shipped to Virginia this year, and I was fortunate enough to score a bottle of this brew. My good luck almost turned sour when, upon returning home with my score, I dropped the bottle on the pavement. Thankfully it did not break. Hopefully the beer did not suffer as a result of my clumsiness.

A- The beer pours a crystal clear copper with a healthy head and great lacing. This looks like a good indication that the beer survived the fall without harm.

S- Intense hop aromas emanate from the beer. Tons of citrus and floral are present. Hints of honey and alcohol come through as well.

T- Sweet upfront with big flavors of orange and pine. The malt is a force as well. It does more than just provide a backdrop for the hops; it asserts itself with a strong caramel and honey flavor. Alcohol is present too, but it's not too strong. The bitterness is strong on the finish, but it's not too much.

M- The body is thick and almost a little syrupy. The carbonation level is fairly low, but still tingles the tongue a little.

D- It's rich and alcoholic, so the drinkability is limited in that respect. Still, the beer is good enough that the bottle can be consumed in one sitting.

This is a very good DIPA. It reminds me a good deal of Bell's Hopslam; too bad it's so rare in these parts. If you're a DIPA fan, you should definitely try this if you can find it. Recommended.

Photo of jlb307
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this from my buddy Dave. Poured from the bomber into a snifter.

A: Golden brown in color, hazy and almost opaque. Developed a 1/2 inch off-white head that was nice and fluffy. Retained nicely and developed nice sticky lacing along the sides of the glass.

S: Almost nothing but hops. A little sweetness akin to ginger, and an overlying grapefruit aroma.

T: Definitely like it smells. Started off almost too bitter, but then mellowed a bit as it approached room temp. Really bitter aftertaste clung to the roof of my mouth.

M: Excellent balance with the carbonation. Sticky resin feel that left my mouth feeling like I just drank maple syrup.

D: Very easy to drink if you are into the really hoppy beers. Because of the 10%+ ABV, it can be a bit dangerous too. A bit more than I'm used to, but would gladly have it again.

Photo of Magery
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JG-90
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a large tan, creamy head, with good retention. Beer is brownish orange in color. Leaves a ton of lacing. Smells mostly of caramel malt and earthiness, also has some orange and other citrus as well. The interesting thing about this is that it is still a little bit "juicy" smelling even with all the malts.

Taste also showcases the caramel malts and earthiness at first. At first sip, I feel that these combination of these will keep it from being a DIPA I truly enjoy, as I usually go for more hop forward. However, the caramel and earth give way to a bit of spice and the hint of juicyness from the nose, orange seems to be the most noticable citrus. Has an incredible bready, juicy, resinous aftertaste that lingers and to me, makes the time in between sips even better than the sips themselves. Has a heavy mouthfeel, average for a DIPA, and high carbonation, above average for a DIPA.

Photo of TheSarge
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Maharaja Imperial IPA is a brew to behold. I was used to Avery’s Belgian style brews and it’s nice to try something a bit different from this brewery.

Judging initially by its appearance, I can see this is what I’d expect from an Imperial IPA. It produces a large amount of off-white head that sticks around until the very end. The body is hazy and amber/caramel in color. There is a slight amount of sediment visible here too.

The aroma this produces is obvious of a strongly hopped IPA; with dominate piney and spruce aromas.

Taking a sip of this brew is like biting into a grapefruit, to put it simply. I describe this to my wife (who doesn’t like beer much), and she tasted this brew the same.

Maharaja is thirst quenching at first, but finishes very dry. There is a slight warmness from the moderate amount of alcohol content.

Overall this brew is quite good. This is definitely comparable to Stone IPA with a bigger alcoholic kick. Schukria!

Photo of Cascadia
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beauty of a beer. Deep orange-amber color with a really solid white head. Smells of noble hops. Hops hops hops and more hops. Tastes as the style should, good and hoppy, with citurs and piney hops, but the malt does come through and balences nicely at the end. Warming the belly on the second sip, this is a nice one. Good all-around double IPA, one I will try again for sure.

Cheers!

Photo of jimilayne
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Disclaimer: I purchased a bottle in August 2012 that was a Sept 2011 batch. I know the purists will discount the review because of that, but what do you want from me?

Appearance - beautiful golden maroon with a thick creamy head.

Smell - overpowering hops

Taste - way too hoppy and intense for me, but not in a good way like the Dogfish Head 120.

Mouthfeel - Very oily, greasy and thick.

Overall - too much for my taste. Overly hoppy and oily on the tongue. I might go back if I find a fresher bottle and give it another go.

Update: I found a fresher bottle and went back. Boo-ya! Love it.

Photo of dbalsock
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: so the bottle said that this would pour a scarlet color... and it didn't... it was maple syrup colored (not scarlet at all!) There was good lacing and decent head for the style, but it makes me angry when they say it will be one color, and it's different.

smell: I really liked the aroma; lots of different hops. I picked up some perfume/flowery hops as well as some deep fruity hops. There was a notable malt background with the hops and I'm left rather impressed.

taste: this was pretty good too... similar to the aroma, but even more balanced in taste. the malt background shines through significantly when near room temperature and creates an interesting mix of flowery hops and sweet, almost buttery, malt.

mouthfeel: this was near perfect near room temperature, but lacking a little at colder temperatures. It went down easy, provided a substantial, but not overwhelming bitterness and coated the mouth in a nicely smooth yet textured way...

drinkability: once it warmed it was easy to down. the alcohol was unnoticeable and the brew was so balanced that I could have gone through another glass without needing a break. I'm pretty impressed.

Photo of thedoubler55
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A hazy golden orange with a dark tint to it as well, had a very small head at the top that left a bit of lacing around the glass.

S: The nose is very fruity, lots of tropical fruit and brown sugar. The hops and malts are very present and slight hint of caramel on the tail end.

T: The tropical fruit is very present as it was on the nose, the taste is somewhat boozie with the fruit and sweetness throughout.

M: Medium carbonation, and a nice stickyness to this one as well.

O: Lots of booze with this beer, but I enjoyed it anyway a very good brew by Avery.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from batch 10 of June and 2009. Got it off of an online website and thought it was fresh. I'll put an additional review up once i get to have it fresh.

A-pours a hazy golden orange color with a creamy looking white head that has a lot of bubbles in it. it has decent retention and leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

S-the nose is much like a barleywine which typically happens to high alcohol ipa's with age. big malt nose comes in with lots of brown sugar, hints of caramel, some hop presence left with citrus and lots of pine.

T-the taste again is more like a barleywine. it does have a better hop profile than the nose. the brown sugar and caramel are present and the malts have a slight edge in terms of presence. the hop profile brings a light citrus hop with some grapefruit but brings more pine than any of the others.

M-this is quite thick and a fuller medium body. it is extremely smooth, slightly syrupy, and leaves a coating on the mouth in a good way.

D-drinks great as an american barleywine! really wanna try one fresh!

Photo of JDV
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich semi cloudy amber color in a snifter with a big lasting, dense offwhite head. Looks really nice. Smell is piney and fruity, and intensely hopped with notes of fresh sweet pineapple as well. Taste is equally as intense with loads of hops. Bitter pine flavor with a lot of pink grapefruit and bitter rind in the finish. A touch astringent at times, but almost seems to mellow a bit as it warms. Some tea flavors at moments, and an appropriate amount of sweet fruity malt to balance just enough. Quite drinkable, and a really good all around DIPA that hides the alcohol very well for over 10%. Great beer that I'd like to try again for sure.

Photo of gpatt55
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New Label, Dictator Series, Batch 13, March 2011

Pours a majestic crystal clear deep orange/red with a thick fluffy white sudsy head. Gorgeous richness and clarity on the appearance. On the nose this has a lot of citrusy, piney hops with some biscuit malt in the background and a bit of heat. The first sip hits you with a considerably weighty mouthfeel. This is a sweet, oily, viscous high alcohol brew. Spicy malt notes mingle with plenty of bitter hops. The richness makes this hard to drink a lot of but not surprising given the 10%+ abv. All in all a massive DIPA that impresses with it's power. Go big or go home!

Photo of BeerMaverick
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This beer is stunning: about a half inch of white head with strong lace deposits all around the over-sized wine glass. Golden orange in color, similar to Nugget Nectar. Very translucent and fresh-looking with no sediment.

S - Strong hop aroma with a malty backbone. Bitter piney esters - what you would expect from a 102 IBU beer...just hops.

T - Extremely bitter tasting...this beer destroys the palate. Strong piney and malty background that attempts to obscure the 10.3% abv., but doesn't completely suceed.

M - Spicey piney feel that completely numbs the tastebuds and the entire mouth for that matter...just drink one of these before you have your teeth removed at the dentist.

O - Overall this beer is one of the best DIPAs that I've had. It is ludicrously bitter and well deserving of all the fame that it recieves. Its bitterness is right up there with Hop Stoopid. I would recommend this beer, but only a bottle at a time or else you can count on praying to the porcelain gods at some point.

Photo of PatandDavid
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked this one. I can see where some might think it was a bit sweet, but I couldn't get over the aroma and pretty much kept my nose in the glass. I almost dipped my finger in to dab some of this behind my ears! Alright, on tap at redbones, served in a goblet. Deep copper in color, the small white head dissipated a bit and left that petri dish look floating on the top. I dug and dug and dug again the piney and candied hop arroma. Man did this beer smell good. I thought the body was a bit chewy, but still enjoyable. Tastewise, you start with some initial hop sweetness, prickly carbonation, and then you end with some hop bitterness (but not too bitter).

Photo of RobAM
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A very good and powerful brew.

Photo of Cunningham26
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Amazing, a clean white head that left layers of intricate lacing throughout. Color was a really great orange, like a hazy sunset, clarified as it settled into a great looking imperial beer.

S- big hops. big grassy, citrusy, earthy hops. big time. one of the best smells out there

T- again, big hops, but to be expected. great, refreshing, full hop flavor. Delivers on its promise of 103 IBUs. after the rush, it settles a bit into a really great IPA maltiness that pervades for the second act. the hops are the first flourish, and remain a backbone throughout, but they give way to a delicious maltiness that rounds out the brew. hop flavor not as well rounded as stone ruination (the only other iipa i can compare with) but does a really great job, getting almost all the way there

M- wonderful. maltiness became sticky at moments, but nothing a BA can't handle.

D- I was very nervous about this because I was handling a bombing mission solo, getting my 22oz hop fix in soliloquy. the reviews made mention of the 10%, so i expected this to be one hot hop bomb, but honestly the booze masks itself extremely well and though I knew it was there, it didn't take anything away overall.

really great brew, would possibly get again, but only if ruination wasn't available.

Photo of jshusc
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Drank on-tap out of a tulip glass. Cloudy amber with a decent head to it and better lacing than I would have expected, given the alcohol content.

Beautiful floral smells. I could have spent the entire time just breathing in the aroma and feel like I'd gotten my money's worth.

Strong hoppy citrus flavors in the introduction, followed by decent malt flavor. Finishes with overpowering piney oils that may be a bit over the top.

Incredibly rich mouthfeel, among the best I've had, though it missed the 5 by having a bit less carbonation than I felt it deserved. Could have been a fluke, though, because I've had other draft beers come across as under-carbonated because they were either from the bottom of the keg or from a keg that wasn't finished quickly enough.

Drinkability goes down because this beer is so overpowering that it almost precludes conversation. As a friend who sipped my beer said, "that's work", and then immediately afterward commented that his Lagunitas IPA tasted a bit insipid by comparison. Also, I had donated blood earlier in the day, and the effects of the alcohol were downright distracting by the time I got to the bottom of the glass. Not that I would have considered not finishing it, however.

I will definitely order this beer the next time I'm at Korova, a bar on the Commons in Ithaca, NY.

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

22 oz. bottle poured into 2 pint glasses. I'd like to say I shared it... but I didn't.

Appearance - Dark amber color. Very dark for an IPA. Quite clear for an IPA, too. Cream head that disappears quickly, not much lacing, but there's a good amount of residual on the top of the beer.

Smell - Dominated by grapefruit. Great aroma. Sweet background caramel smell. Smells great and lets you know it's not a light IPA by any means.

Taste - Citrusy hop flavor. Not bitter at first. The fresh hoppiness gives way to a strong malt sweetness very quickly. The end is a bitter finish. As it warms it picks up a slightly odd aftertaste I can't quite pinpoint.

Mouthfeel - Has the mouthfeel of a barleywine. Syrupy with all the sweetness. Much like a Bigfoot's mouthfeel. Very heavy bodied for an IPA.

Overall - I've had two bottles. The first I was not happy with. The second one I am much happier with. There's definitely an off-flavor in there. The second time around I didn't detect it as much. I have a couple bottles left that I'll definitely drink, but I won't by as much next year until I try it first.

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

A: This pours a very nice copper with a one finger thick head that quickly fades. As the head fades, it leaves a lot of lace on the glass.

S: Lots of hops and malt. The hops give of a nice citrus and pine smell. There really isn't much else to the smell, but it honestly doesn't need it. It just smells so good!

T: At first there is a lot of hops, but then I start to get a nice amount of malt. The hop taste lingers on the back of the tongue and the malt on the front.

M: There is a strong amount of crispness on the front, middle and back of the mouth. It feels like I have a lot of foam in my mouth. It also has a strong crispness going down the throat.

O: This is a very solid DIPA. It is far from my favorite, but it does have a lot of great qualities.

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

22 oz. bottle. White/off white head. Color is a medium amber. No freshness date indicated.

Immediate smell is of floral hops...grassy, citrusy, piney, in your face hops. Some sweet malt is hiding in there as well. Hints of tropical fruit (mango stands out). Ethanol is only evident if I look for it, inhaling deeply. Smells great.

Carbonation is very low, I wish there was just a little more to better carry those hops to my nose. Body is medium.

Hops are at the front again, but it seems that there is enough malt to balance them out pretty well. The hops are great...piney, fruity, citrusy, and tickling the senses. Finishes with a considerable hop bitterness and some slick malt remaining on the tongue.

A good one to try if you haven't had it, but a bit pricey (I paid $5.99). Could have been hoppier, especially on the tongue. Tasty as hell in any case. Drank this one at around 55 degrees.

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

Deep golden amber. Mountainous sand colored head of fine bubbles which settles slowly leaving strands, bands, and ribbons of thick lace. A handful of moderately active carbonation streams are visible. Rich resinous pine and tree sap and orange and grapefruit rinds are distinctly noticeable from a distance. The orange citrus oil flavor fills the front end along with an ample dose of pine resin. A thick malt body sports a thick coat of hops. The finish is warming deep in the throat and filled with spiciness and more citrusy resinous flavors, but they do not cling to the tongue and the finish is substantially shorter than anticipated. Certainly not a palate wrecker of a double IPA. Full bodied and on the thick side, the carbonation is relatively low. The hops oils are only a bit sticky and slick, but the malt weighs them down. Overall, the hops are big, but not huge and the alcohol is noticeable after the fact with its spicy heat. I could enjoy a few pints of this on draft and would be interested in seeing how it shines on cask.

Thanks go out to Heath for trucking me a box of fresh CO beers on a recent east coast visit.

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 4,979 ratings.