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Maharaja - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,805 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,805
Hads: 5,283
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 17.86%
Wants: 346
Gots: 688 | 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: 1,805 | Hads: 5,283
Photo of LarryK
3.17/5  rDev -24.5%
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.

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Photo of Stunner97
3.18/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

appearance- amber red in color with a nice thick foamy head, very good clarity with a few small bubbles, very nice appearance

Smell- very beautiful and brightly hopped nose, grapefruit, pineapple, and citrus hops really dominate a very nice smelling nose,

Taste- strongly hopped is the first impression that jumps out on me at this beer, strong bitter finish and only small touch of malts, the finish was medium to long in length, stronlgly hoppy is the most present characteristic on this one, lacks a bit of balance flavor wise in what I like in a douple ipa with some more malt presence,

Mouthfeel- medium to light b odied and relatively creamy feel, leaves a decently drying finish

Drinkability- very nice drinking and a beer that is just extremely hop bombed with tons of citrus flavored hops leaving a very long finish, the alcohol is not very noticeable except for slight warming, this is clearly a nicely made beer and for some people who absolutely crave a pure hop bomb with little malt side kick this maybe a knock out in drinkability but for me this just lacked a touch of balance to keep in check a touch of the boatload hops, worth a shot if you love lots hops, and to much just a bit to much to imagine ever having alot of this in night, sadly to my tastes quite off balance but unique

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Photo of darksunshaman
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was let down by what I think is best described as the body of this. I think I was expecting more of a fullness rather than a distinct and almost overwhelming booziness. As far as hoppiness, I like a much more bitter IPA then this. To me the bitterness was almost overwhelmed by the alcohol. I also tend to like more carbonation in my I DIPA, the mouthfeel of this was definitely short of what I was wanting. I think now, my standards for DIPA / IIPA are Alchemy Hour / Leviathan respectively. As much as I love Avery IPA in a can, this just falls disappointingly flat for me. Wouldn't recommend.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.21/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My wife flew this bottle home along with many others. We split it I in my new belgium tulip and she in a pilsner glass.

The beer is golden amber in color with a slightly darker then white head. It hugs the glass and laces all over.

The nose is sweet malty slihght floral citrus and hints of grass but very subdued. The alcohol cuts a lot of the smell. Id expect the temperature to be the problem but i pulled this out of my celler so its around 50 degrees.

The taste matches the aroma in many ways. The taste starts piny with hops, the middle is malty and the fresh malt flavor persist until it is cut by alcohol and hop bitterness.

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Photo of phishgator
3.22/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Too young! Too hoppy! And that's from a hophead. The balance is not there and the malt is too weak. A sticky hop oil mouthfeel leaves too much of an after taste. Not a good offering from Avery; who makes some pretty good products. Not sure of the hop variety, but too much was used!

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Photo of SaucyA
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottled Feb 2008, Batch 7

A - 2 finger, off-white head atop a bronze, slightly chill hazed body. Head is chunky and clings to the side of the glass.

S - Lots of pine, spruce, fresh cut grass. Very light grapefruit but evergreen overload. Even some unburnt marijuana in the mix.

T - Great upon the first drink but finishes with an odd astrigency that's almost plastic-like. Alcohol is present and warming. Gets better as it warms but still has bizarre off-flavors. This was bought fresh and cold, and has been kept that way since.. so it's not oxidized.

M - Thick and medium carbonation. Oily finish.

D - Good enough minus the off-flavors. I wish I knew if this is consistent... I have another bottle I'll crack to see if that's just how it tastes.

Notes: For all the praise this beer receives, I'm a bit dissapointed. I'm really hoping my next bottle is better.

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Photo of exparte
3.26/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber bottled June 2009, Batch 10. Sweet, sweet malt aroma fills the room the second the bottle is opened. There's some piney hops in the nose as well but you really have to concentrate to distinguish them from that huge malt aroma. Pours bright orange with a thick and sticky white head that laces beautifully if you can manage to drink that much of it. Body is medium full with significant carbonation that combines to produce quite a pleasant sensation on the palate. It's just so cloyingly sweet. There's a considerable hop presence but it has no chance at all of competing with the malt. Tastes a lot like fresh unfermented wort. The malt profile is really pretty complex but I just can't get past the sweetness enough to enjoy it. The label claims an OG of 1.090 and ABV of 10.69% so, without actually breaking out the hydrometer, the FG should be about 1.007. I just don't buy that for a second. It's far too sweet to have finished that dry. I've heard really good things about this beer so I'm hoping this is just a bad batch. It's going to take a long time before I try this one again.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.26/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Avery The Maharaja Imperial India Pale Ale is a hazy red-orange ale with a bubbly, dense, off-white head. The aroma is huge, spicy, grassy, sweet, malty and boozy. It smells like a strong ale. It is medium-full bodied and quite slick. The finish is dry and a little acidic. The bitterness is heavy, but not sharp. It seems like more flavor comes from the malt than from the hops. There is a long, bitter aftertaste, after the sweetness shows its face. It's a bit bottom-heavy for my taste. Very boozy. This tastes more like an American strong ale to me.
(rated Jan 17, 2008)

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Photo of MiScusi
3.28/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the Stone Bistro. Pours a cloudy orange with a thin eggshell white head. The aroma is lots of orange rind. The taste was highly hopped in the citrus variety. Orange comes through in the taste as well, the most of any beer I've tried, even the Craftsman Orange Grove Ale. Mouthfeel was in the double IPA syrupy sweet variety but still lots of citrus in there to balance out the sweetness. Pretty good DIPA overall.
4.5 out of 5

On tap at O'Brien's. Great looking IPA- orangish red and super clear. Smell is quite pungent with citrus hops, and heat. The alcohol is present everywhere in this beer. It comes across as a little harsh and very bitter, and the bitterness seems much more alcohol-derived than from hops. Can't or wouldn't really want to drink that much of this beer.

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Photo of Dspohn
3.28/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber into an oversized wine glass. Batch 10, bottled June 09 so this beer is a few months old.

A. Pours a couldy orange color with a nice solid off-white head. Decent retention with some lacing.

S. Big fruity/juicy smell. Big on orange and some tropical fruits. There's also some slightly spicy malt.

T. 102 IBUs?? Maybe some of the hop kick has faded but it doesn't seem quite that bitter. I found it to have a pretty solid hop kick right off the bat with an orange rind and piney taste, but a pretty sweet aftertaste and overall profile. This beer has a pretty big malty body too. The malt flavor was quite interesting actually and I detected some plum flavor that I'm not really accustomed to with IPA's. Alcohol warmth present also. Pretty balanced DIPA. Tasty.

M. Smooth with subtle carbonation, medium body, good but nothing fantastic.

D. A good beer but the alcohol is fairly present which limits its drinkability. I'm curious to try the next batch when it's fresher to compare.

Edit: Re-rating this beer after trying some fresher bottles and on tap as well. Unfortunately I still don't care for this beer much, I find every time I try it I enjoy it less, so I'm actually lowering the score. In general I find it to be overly hot with a fusel alcohol presence. Bitterness never really pops as I'd like even fresh and on tap. Heavy booze soaked oranges and pineapples with a warm sweeter malt finish.

Some people really dig this big bold DIPA but it always seems overly heavy on alcohol, sweetness, and malt to me. Not to mention at around 10 bucks a bomber where I usually find it in CA I feel like I've given this beer a fair chance but don't plan on buying any more of this. A decent DIPA but for the price point I'd much rather get a 6-pack of Odell's or Racer 5. Hell I can get 2 bombers of Just Outstanding for the same price and I'd say its also twice as good.

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Photo of geexploitation
3.28/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a slightly cloudy, perfectly gold color with a dense, sticky head that leaves lace on the glass but doesn't last to see it. Huge, resiny, piney, citric hop aroma that could probably be duplicated by sticking some Centennial hop pellets up your nose. At higher temperatures, some more earthy and fruity notes come out to play in the aroma. On the palate, thin, razor sharp mouthfeel and hops that will smack you around. Huge piney and resiny notes, with very little malt backbone -- massively imbalanced. Orange, mint, all the stereotypical flavors of American hops make an appearance here. It's got hop complexity in spades, but pretty much nothing from the malt end. This beer is like sucking on a hop pellet. Well, it's a little sweeter than that, if only from the ABV, but this seems to me a beer that only a hophead should love. Sure, I can look at this objectively and say it's a well-executed Double IPA, but that doesn't mean I'd want to drink it a second time. Good for the style, but it loses points for massive imbalance in my (utterly subjective) world.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.28/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A n IPA I purchased when out west a few weeks ago. For those in the Mid-West, I feel Maharaja is not as good as a Three Floyd Alpha King or Gumballhead, but it is a decent IPA. Very decided bitterness but a bit short on the grapefruit or pineapple esters present in the other beers I mentioned, so it felt kind of unbalanced to me.

There is a lingering bitterness that seems to stick the rear of the top of my mouth.

Odor is dry hop. Not very fruity for an American IPA.

Appearance is hazy, orange, abundant head.

Recommended, but not best in the style.

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Photo of jakenunes
3.29/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a clean snifter. Batch No. 13 March 2011

Copper / dark amber color, head disappears pretty quickly.

Smells like dried apricots and that smell when you get when you crack open a pumpkin for making a Jack-O-Lantern.

Not a lot of fizz, a little viscous. Decent lacing.

Super wet grassy hop and pumpkin seed flavors. Caramel malt. Sweet, lingering aftertaste. Lots of alcohol.

Overall, not as delicious or aromatic as I had hoped.

Was this a bad batch?

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Photo of bjohnson
3.3/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz. bomber. $6.95 from Liquor World Porter Sq. Shared with a friend.

A: Pours a cloudy dark amber color with a nice frothy white one finger head. Dissipates nicely and leaves a thin film on the sides of the glass.
S: Deep piney and grapefruity notes hit the nose first with a nice malty background. Second sniff gets more malt than hop notes.
T/M: Big dark fruit maltyness comes through first with an ever so slight hop background. Slight grapefruityness is noticeable, but not huge. Malt is the most dominant flavor here. Nice spicyness can be noticed after a sip and a breadth out. High abv is can be felt by a warm chest after about a half a glass. Thick and creamy in the mouth with a medium to thick body. Coats the mouth well. Where are the hops man? This isn't what it should be...
D: Drinkable, but more drinkable on tap at TPH or Redbones, which both currently have it. This rating would be through the roof if I rated it on tap. This was a drain pour casualty.

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Photo of maddogruss
3.32/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a bottle of this into a glass mug.

A: Pours a dark amber body with a small, off-white head with decent retention adn ok lacing.

S: A nice, hoppy smell with some grapefruit undertones that seemed quite enticing. Some additional citrus (perhaps orange?) undertones were noted.

T: A nice, hoppy taste with a slightly burning and alcoholic aftertaste. As I drank the beer, some earthy notes replaced the alcohol aftertaste, which did well to balance the beer.

M: A full-bodied and very smooth beer that is typical of this type of style. A nice, smooth mouthfeel was very pleasant on the palette.

D: A fairly drinkable DIPA based on the mouthfeel and taste combination, but it might get to you later because of the decent ABV. Still, a pretty good beer overall.

While the only other beer I've had from Avery is the Kaiser, this brewery - like some other Colorado based breweries I've had - proves to be quite good at their offerings.

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Photo of
3.32/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had a 22oz. bomber. Poured a dark gold/copper color with very little head. Aroma was all hops. Taste was mainly citrus & hops, but the malt came through as well and I thought this was sweeter than other IPAs I have tried. The mouthfeel was smooth, but the beer came across as "heavier" than I would expect from an IPA. Drinkability is a hard one to call, it was smooth, but heavy. Alcohol was not noticeable at all. Pretty easy to drink one, but not a session beer.

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Photo of PSU_Mike
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bomber poured into an IPA glass

A - Pours a hazy auburn color loaded with sediment. Big fluffy khaki head.

S - Muted citrus with a hint of dankness. Pretty bland.

T - Big piney explosion that I did not see coming from the smell. Just a tiny hint of citrus in the back ground. Not much in the way of malt, just a hint of a cracker malt backbone.

M - Really not too pleasant. Excessively bitter and hot. Prickly on the tongue and finishes SUPER dry, it's only saving grace.

O - Pretty let down by this. I didn't get much hop presence other than pine and the mouth was pretty off. Very hot and bitter. I'd like to give this another go when I know it's super fresh but I couldn't see what the bottled on date was.

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Photo of masikon
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour as a toasty tennessee orange, with some red suggestions. Head is dense off-white, but not that aggressive...maybe a weak pour. Nose is soft but contains lots of grapefruit or citrus as would be accepted, also some malt suggestions, more than usual for the style. Taste is good but actually too balanced for my tastes, I like a little more in the way of oily hops than this offers. The taste is pleasant but his a malty sweet finish rather than the bitter pucker i prefer. The bottle I sampled was a 2008 batch 8, if that means anything to anyone, it's printed on the bottle.

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Photo of maltstress
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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?]

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Photo of MmmIPA
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had high hopes for this offering from Avery and im sad to say that it didnt live up to it.Bomber poured into a big wine glass.

A-Hazy golden body with no head,some small lacing on the glass.

S-Citrus and booze,the booze overpowers all other smells here.The citrus smell is oranges and grapefruit.

T-Biscuit malt and citrus and booze.Taste like a barleywine.

M-The feel is medium and creamy.Not overly carbonated either.

D-Not bad for a 22 oz. I dont think I will be buying this stuff again.I think this is more on the lines on a barleywine and thats not really my cup of tea.Now give me a ipa and im in heaven.Not worth the price of 7 bucks.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottle purchased from Beers of the World in Henrietta, NY.

Pours a golden brown, almost clear with slight haze. One inch head, with a lot of lacing.

Smells like sweet caramel malt, honey, and pine.

This is one of the more malt-forward IPAs, I've had, almost like a hoppy barleywine. This could be due to the age (not sure how old), but I've heard Maharaja is really malty anyway. Big boozy burn spikes up front, with very sweet, almost cloying malt character, followed by pine bitterness. This just isn't simply my type of IPA, it's a malty boozy mess.

Medium bodied, sticky sweet mouthfeel. Low carbonation. Not all that drinkable. Very present alcohol.

This failed for me. I'd try it again if I found that I had an old bottle.

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Photo of tjthresh
3.34/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pretty let down by the aroma. Mostly sweet malt and alcohol. The beer looks great. Deep red and oranges with a sticky off white head. After a couple of drinks my mustache is very sticky. Very sweet with a lot of burn. And it doesn’t hang around long enough. Don’t get me wrong. I’d never turn down the Maharaja, but there are a few that I’d pick before.

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Photo of Squelch
3.34/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of donniecuffs
3.34/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
3.34/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours out an almost amber color with a big off-white head. The bubbles look dense and clingy and started to lace the glass early, though the head kind of falls back relatively quickly, leaving only a few swirls of bubbles after the first few sips. Looks pretty good. Smells very good too. I can immediately smell the fruity hops, grapefruit yes, but also tropical fruit, mango etc. There's a hint of sweetness and peachy alcohol, but really the hops dominate with whiffs of pine, resin, and grass as well. As usual, Avery has thrown in the huge ABV, with this bottle saying 10.27%, and I can really taste it, which hurts on the hop front for me. But there is enough hop flavor in there to see past it. I get the alcohol burn and hop bitterness first, followed by an intense grassy taste with just a kick of tropical fruit behind it. Finishes with a little battle between tart dryness and malty sweetness. The huge alcohol note hurts the mouthfeel, giving me primarily burn, but I kind of like the resinousy feel from the hops. Almost chewy from the hoppy flavors, though the malty liquid itself is kind of thin with alcohol. And this one really wears on you. Its a very enjoyable beer, but I was already slowing down after 4 sips or so. The alcohol just warms you and starts to make your head spin a bit quick. I would recommend it, but you might want to split it between friends to enjoy it the most - too much booze.

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,805 ratings.