Maharaja - Avery Brewing Company

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5,096 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,096
Reviews: 1,797
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.38%
Wants: 326
Gots: 559 | FT: 5
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: 5,096 | Reviews: 1,797
Photo of n2185
2.79/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear, coppery orange with a finger of off-white head that recedes into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: Some caramel malt at first followed by lots of sweet orange and pineapple aromas. Nice--smells like a tropical citrus blast.

T: Sticky sweet caramel malts at first followed by a strong resiny pine kick with a lot of bitterness. There are some slight grapefruit flavors in there as well. The finish has a strong alcohol burn to accompany the lingering bitterness.

M: Medium body with low carbonation, this beer is a bit thick and sticky for the style.

O: Unfortunately, the flavors cannot live up to the nice aromas of this beer. The nose promises a tropical citrus fruit blast and the flavor delivers a hot, thick, bitter mess. This beer is ~2 months old at this point, but it just showed up in my area and I'm of the opinion that the best DIPAs are still great even with a few months on them.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
2.83/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Grabbed a few bottles of this at my local spot.

Pours a clear amber with a very nice frothy white head and lacing.

Aroma isn't as strong as other DIPA's I've had but good. Very citrucy. Kinda pineapple and citric.

Taste is good. But it has a weird grainy flavor. Don't know what it is. The bitterness left on your tongue is weird as well. But it's citrucy and juicy.

Mouthfeel is weird because of the above flavors. Leaves a resonus feeling on your mouth.

Overall an ok DIPA. Better than alot but not in my top IPA's


I'm havin a hard time finishing this. It really has a weird bitterness and taste. It's not infected. Just must be this years batch. Not very good. I think I'll be pouring the rest.

Photo of rfbenavi80
2.86/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle was ket in fridge. Batch 13, March 2011.
Poured into a tulip.

A- Pours a sunset orange, hazy, creamy yellowish head that lingers
for a while.

S- hoppy. Strong malts.

T- Sweet, dark caramel. Hops, lots of bitterness from the hops.

M- Good carbonation. Can taste the alcohol.

O- Not the best DIPA that i've tried. Don't get me wrong, it's
drinkable, just not my favorite.

Photo of blakelive784
2.87/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

1 pt, 6 fl oz bottle served in a nonic pint glass, reviewed from notes:

A - Pours a semi-transparent amber/copper color with a 1.5 finger head of decent creaminess. Retention is OK at best.

S - Strong grapefruit notes, musty citric hops, sweet caramel. The hops are fresh, but a bit generic.

T - Musty, grassy hops and strong citric notes are countered (but not balanced) by some sweet caramel malt. The citric hops are overbearing and far from balanced, but I still find it a bit refreshing.

M - Light bodied with medium carbonation. I think it's a bit to smooth, however.

D - It's not bad, but it's not good. Just an average offering in my book. I appreciate the freshness of the hops, but it's entirely unbalanced.

Photo of ArrogantB
2.87/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A friend scored a bottle of the brand new batch from the brewery and was kind enough to share. This wasn't first time trying the Maharaja as I had last years batch sometime in the summer. This batch was amazing! The color was orange and hazy. The smell was straight pine and grapefruit but not at all cloying. the taste was so hoppy and delicious. I can't wait until this hits the shelves so I can snag a few while they are fresh. A truly outstanding beer and Avery's best in my opinion.

update - batch 9 02/2009

cat-piss, cat-box just a really poor taste and not what I am used to tasting in this beer. I think this beer was a lot better when it was 9.7% and I thought it was pretty good but now it is just a pungent (not in a good way) stinky mess, goddamn...this sucks.

Photo of mactrail
2.91/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks are nice, with a white foam on the typical orange amber brew in the small globe. Sharp on the tongue. Warm and spicy, with vast sweep of tropical fruity flavors. Plenty of hops. Smell of green vegetables, like fresh green beans. Murky flavor of something like hummus.

A fairly one-dimensional flavor profile. Something about the combination of spritzy carbonation and the flat sweet flavor is not very inspiring. Bitterness comes along to take over the mid-range and aftertaste. A little lemon, and even more like grapefruit soda.

Sweet yet harsh, carbonated yet flat-flavored, hoppy yet murky. I will have to taste this again, but this bottle is not much to brag about. Release No. 15 Winter 2011/12.

Photo of thecarster1
2.93/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a- bomber poured into a tulip, two plus fingers creamy head slow to recede, hazy golden brown coloring.

s- aromatic, lots of ambiguous citrus, slight sweetness, malty backbone.

t- strong, citric, smooth malty backbone again. where is the bitterness? wish i had some more of that in here. sweet/citric alcohol kicks in the finish - and is a bit dry.

m- full, big, and sticky.

d- okay, not great because of the high abv. i've gotta say i'm really disappointed that i'm not loving this - i think this is another one like hopslam that i'm really pissed i'm not enjoying as much as i'd like to be.

Photo of thequeen711
2.93/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Another hoppy beer from the wonderful guys at Avery (a self professed HopHead).
Beer poured a deep copper/amber colour, medium body, ended with a light head and lacing that lasted throughout the entire consumption. Nose distinctively HOPPY, and ended with a bitter aftertaste, as true IPA's do. I am not a hophead and it was nice to taste this treat, but wouldn't want more.

Photo of sellmeagod
2.99/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A supreme, ultra-fancy looking bottle covered in aluminum and colors. A pour that leaves monstrous head and an orange golden glow. Incredible appearance that only loses points because of the excess floating sediment.

The taste is so powerful, all about the hops at 100+ IBU. I actually think this started to taste better as it warmed up, but still the hops nearly mask any other taste, and hops for hops sake is more of a novelty than a necessity.

A bit of citrus smell and a very powerful hop aroma.

The problem with the price comes down to this - the 22oz size and the 10 dollar price tag makes this require dedicated drinking, and the payoff (other than the awesome look) does not come. This won't be a common purchase simply out of value reasons (there are much better/cooler economic choices).

Drinkable? Well, for the 10.5 abv and being an IPA, I'd say it does decently. But what beer will you feel cooler drinking? Not many.

Photo of gdrydenc
2.99/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 13, March 2011

A - Pours a very nice dark amber. The only issue is the odd lack of head. I poured it fairly aggressively, and still no head!

S - Well, there is not a great smell. There's hints of a typical DIPA, but the hops are hidden and the malts overwhelm them pretty badly.

T - Malts, more than I'd like. There is a little malt character, but only in the finish and only a sharp bitterness.This is such a disappointment, as I've had Maharaja before and it was a wonderful DIPA. For a (very) fresh DIPA, this has the worst hops I've had.

M - Syrupy and hot. Typically I'd expect the hops to take away some of the heat, but without much hops, I can't do anything about it.

Overall, this is a sub-par beer. If I were any less stingy, I would drainpour this. I love everything that Avery has done before this, so this is very, very queer.

Photo of ms11781
2.99/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottled on 3/21/2011. Reviewed on 04/04/2011. 22oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a clear ruby red color with a finger of white foam. Head dissipates quickly and leaves a soap-like lacing around the glass.

Great hop aroma from the nose. Huge citrus and pine aromas are present along with some tropical fruit. There is also a sweet characteristic to the nose. Caramel malt and some ripe fruit seem to be here as well.

The taste is considerably different from the nose due to a huge presence of alcohol. The big citrusy and piny hops are here, but not as assertive as they were in the nose. Sweet caramel malt is here as well but the alcohol that is present completely changes the profile. Slight bitter finish that lingers a bit but the alcohol is prevalent towards the back end.

Slick, oily and sticky. Bitterness isn't all that strong but it sticks a bit. Normally these work well with a DIPA but they don't work with the alcohol in this one.

Overall, this one has a great nose. It's very enticing but the rest of the beer doesn't live up to the aroma. The alcohol is overwhelming at some points and provides a harsh finish at others.

Photo of Frozensoul327
3/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Hazy orange color with hints of reddish yellow hues. Medium levels of carbonation, and a dense, rich head of orange/white foam. Lots of lacing.

S: Smooth, yet dense aromas of hops, citrus, pine, malty grain and a earthy grassy sweetness.

T: Strong hop presence that overpowers all the nuance flavors; grapefruit, pine, sweet & sour citrus notes. They're all washed away by a dry hop presence. Malty backbone quickly gets thrown to the back of the palate. Very hoppy, and a bit too much "one sided". Flavor doesn't really develop.

M: Oily, slightly sticky and dense. Otherwise, the carbonation remained in the glass and didn't translate to the palate.

D: One and done. This one was way too flat and boring for me. There are far better DIPA's out there. The abundance of alcohol didn't help things, either.

Photo of dgallina
3.08/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1 pint, 6 fluid ounce brown bomber "bottled in Feb 2006 batch 3."

Very clear dark orange with half-inch of creamy white head, thin sticky lacing. Strong sweet grapefruit hops and grain on the nose; not much else gets through. Lots of grapefruit-tasting hops intertwined with chewy sweet biscuit malts; very strong dry and bitter hop finish. Thick oily body with lazy carbonation.

I found this one exceedingly boring and difficult to finish. A typical over-the-top over-hopped American IPA IMHO.

Photo of paytoplay
3.08/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

My 1st impression of this beer was Ok and over rated. I drank it right when it came out, maybe beer like wine suffers from bottle shock? My friends over the coming weeks were really impressed with the beer buying large quantities of the Bombers around town. Judgement reserved with higher hopes for the other bottle I bought.

Photo of phattysbox
3.08/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Small head, but thick lacing, nice orange/amber color. HOP BOMB in the nose, too overpowering/stale. Same in the taste, grassy, raw hops just too powerful. Sweetness cloys and acts funny in trying to balance the hops. Not my favorite but is OK when it warms.

Photo of tai4ji2x
3.11/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on cask at deep ellum, in allston, MA. tasted in mid-late march, 2009. served in "fluted teardrop" stemware

amber, with slight haze. bubbly foam, fades to wispy suds. splotchy lace.

aroma and taste are hoppy, but subdued, as is the caramel character. a more subtle apple fruitiness comes out, but this is not very dynamic. hops just become annoyingly resinous, without that great citrus freshness, which the keg and bottle versions have.

nah... it seems that most of the time, these extra-fresh/hoppy double IPA's just don't benefit from the cask...

a wasted effort on one of my favorite beers.

Photo of Brew_42
3.12/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

As far as IPAs go this must be decent because I tend to not like IPAs and I still enjoyed this. The after taste is super bitter (which is why I don't like IPAs) but the initial taste is fairly fruity and citrus-y. I would recommend it to IPA lovers or perhaps even people like myself who are really trying to like IPAs.

Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
3.14/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

As is my custom I poured this beer into my snifter. I was greeted by a pleasant amber colored beer with a less than spectacular head that soon dissipated into the the beer.
The aroma was harsh and hoppy, mostly grassy and piney with some malt fighting through.
The first sip presented a slight nutty malt taste that was soon overtaken by bitter hops that finished somewhat harsh with pine and grass dominating the finish.
Although I love IPAs, I will not be adding this one to my list of regulars. Avery likes to push the envelope of drinkability and that is certainly what they did here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of T-34-85
3.15/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Was really looking forward to trying this beer after reading about it, but was very disappointed in the beer. I was unable to find any dates on the beer, but I drank it within 3 days of purchase from the store.

The beer is very high alcohol, and has significant malt to balance that out, but it does not seem to have worked. The alcohol essence is somewhat overpowering. In addition, there seems to be too much malt sweetness in the beer as well.

The beer has some nice hoppy aromatic notes, with a nice the malt sweetness in the aroma.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.15/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22oz bottle, bottled May 2007/Batch 6, served in a pint glass.

A - murky, burnt orange with a sandstone color foamy head that thinned to a layer, leaving sticky trails of lacing on the glass. There was a mass of floaties in the bottle and I managed to keep them there!

S - sweet citrus aroma, like a tangerine.

T - sweet tangerine or apricot flavor, I can taste the alcohol, dry and somewhat bitter at the finish.

M - creamy, medium/full bodied brew, lightly carbonated.

D - not worth the price of admission for me.

Photo of StarlightSeraph
3.16/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours an opaque and hazy dirty-orange, with a one finger white head. The head receded fairly quickly, but left a nice blanket of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Surprisingly strong on the malt sweetness - in fact, the hop scent is minimal. Honey and bready malts dominate. I got a whiff of the hops when I opened the bottle, but can barely detect any out of the glass. Smells good...but not like an IPA.

Taste: Malty sweetness up front, notes of honey, with a bitter hop bite only showing up in the aftertaste. The hop bite lingers for a while. The 10% ABV is definitely noticeable. I understand some IPAs are more balanced than other, but this one is dominated by malt flavors. Not what an IPA should taste like.

Mouthfeel: Intensely carbonated, thick in the mouth. The high cabonation accentuates the harshness of the alcohol.

Drinkability: This is not an IPA. This is a barleywine in a DIPA's packaging. I'd love to see what age does to this one. It's definitely a sipper. I probably won't get this one again - unless I want a barleywine. I did enjoy it, but it's not a good representation of the style at all. If I were comparing it to other barleywines I'd have graded it higher.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.16/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. May 2010 vintage. Purchased from a cooler at K&L in Redwood City, so I expect it'll taste pretty fresh. $9 or so.

A: Pours a clear amber with a finger of long-lived cream-colored head. Initially it deposits some nice sticky lace on the glass, though that ceases as I get past the first 25% or so.

S: Citrus bomb. Unlike Kern's Citra, which I had recently, this is more of a straightforward orange aroma, with grapefruit, tangerine, and pine coming after. It's not as pungent as I would like, though it's certainly not dead.

T: Wow, this is like drinking orange juice and melted caramel -- kind of a candied orange effect. It's initially really enjoyable, but halfway through the bottle I find myself starting to get sick of the sugar and the noticeable booze burn. Pine in the aftertaste.

M: Medium-full body. A malty finish with a bitter aftertaste from the pine. I definitely notice the booze on this one, though it doesn't prevent me from finishing it.

D: It's pretty solid at first, but that's about the kindest thing I can say about it. It aspires to greatness but is ultimately not. By the second half of the bottle, the candied-grapefruit and booze one-two is starting to win the battle, and I'm contemplating throwing the rest of my glass out. You win this one, Avery. I won't buy again.

Photo of TheBigBoy
3.17/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Split a 22oz bomber. This one was highly recommended by local spirits store. Certainly a high quality craft brew, but this one was too big of a beer for me. Lots of complex tastes and subtle punch but just not something I could drink/enjoy beyond a taster. If big imperial IPA's are your favored, you probably will enjoy this one as reviews are very high. Back to regular IPAs for me.

Photo of LarryK
3.17/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Had on tap last week at Third Avenue Ale House, and was substantially underwhelmed, given the high marks this brew has received. Like Waldos' Special Ale, this to me drank like a barleywine masquerading as a double IPA.

Appearance: Too deep an amber for a double IPA.

Smell: Almost no hop aroma, malty, sweet.

Taste: Sweet, cloying, malty, syrupy, hard to get down. Taste absolutely nothing like a double IPA and everything like a barleywine.

Mouthfeel: Ridiculously thick and viscous, hard to get down.

Overall: I'm not sure I've ever had anything I've been particularly wowed by from Avery -- was hoping this would change things, but it appears the search continues.

Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 5,096 ratings.