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Maharaja - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,785 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,785
Hads: 5,190
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.26%
Wants: 333
Gots: 623 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Maharaja Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,785 | Hads: 5,190
Photo of T-34-85
3.15/5  rDev -24.8%
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. (538 characters)

Photo of JoshuaMason
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Translucent Copper; Some Floaties; Bubbly, Off-White Head; Vigorous Carbonation; Great Lace
Smell: Dank; Catty; Citrus Rind; Herbal Hops; Over-Ripe Banana, but not in a wild-yeast way.
Taste: Dank; Crème Brule; Herbal Hops; Oniony?; Alcohol
Mouth-feel: Medium Body; Medium Carb, Resinous, Dry Alch Finish
Overall: Wonderful DIPA
Comments: If anything, I would like a little less Alcohol on the finish. (418 characters)

Photo of McStagger
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Re review. Got a bad bottle a couple days ago.

A: Pours a nice reddish/amber. Finger of tight off white head. Retention is moderate. Lacing is stellar.

S: Lots of malt in this monster. Spicy, caramel, lots of toffee. Hints of tropical fruit come up from the glass. Banana, bubblegum. Some dankness.

T: Immediate malt sweetness, and a lot of it. This is hit by an expertly balanced bitterness from the hops. That's when things get interesting. Hoppiness is heavily tropical in nature, with fruity esters running wild. Mango, pineapple, again with the banana. Some heat fro the alcohol runs to the sinuses. There is a firm bitterness that asserts itself about mid palate. Firm, but not aggressive. The malt eventually takes over. More tropical fruits and the bready, yeasty element rears its head. The flavor takes on a definite spice component, almost akin to that of rumcake or spice cake. Slightest hints of citrus astringency on the finish, but this is almost lost in the re explosion of malt goodness.

M: Glides across the palate. Very smooth. Alcohol presence is noted, but subdued. Not heavy, but ample bodied.

O: I get it now. I seem to forget that not all IPA's are west coast in style. While high in IBU's, the overall bitterness of this beer is actually relatively low. It's fruity and a touch spicy. It has notes of citrus and evergreen, but they are subdued in the context of this brew. Great stuff, and I'm surprised I hadn't picked it up sooner. (1,468 characters)

Photo of pkalix
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

dark peach color, little head. bitter hop aromas and tropical fruit, indiscernible which ones; and a cat urine taste (not in a bad way, I think). a little bitter, old hop generations, but a definitive standby. very decent. very consistent. I didn't know this was a seasonal, but glad I got an opportunity to try it this season.... (330 characters)

Photo of MaillardRx
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Really liked this beer. Bottle poured into a stein.

A: Very pretty copper color with an ivory head. Decent head size and good lace down the glass.

S: Beautiful aromas of hops. And then come the smells of more hops. Repeat.

T: Definitely taste the hops. Lots of pine and citrus

M: Not overly carbonated, but a good enough mouthfeel

O: Liked this beer. Lives up to the bill and fits the DIPA profile well. (419 characters)

Photo of utopiajane
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This pours a light and fiery copper color with a fat creamy head of off white foam. The beer is lightly hazed and has a constant stream of bubbles making their way to the top. Leaves glorious lace, a cap of loose bubbles and a ring. Nose is outstanding. Crisp and tart grapefruit. Fresh leafy mint. Herbal and a sweet little caramel that is gonna surprise you later. There is a pungency to this nose that is like tobacco and really the most authentic tobacco I have seen in a DIPA. As it warms a subtle and tropical sweetness from fruit like guava takes the nose to a new height with a bit of orange as well. There is a hemp seed scent on this that you might recognize as almost nutty but not quite. Never have I seen hemp so authentic before.

Taste is sensational. Strong malt. Like a spike in the glass around which all the flavors will revolve. Caramel and bread. Earthy and pungent with herbs and grapefruit. There is a middle sweetness in this that is tropical like guava but it's so delicate. This beer is big and bold. There is no alcohol on the nose or on the palate, just a tiny bit of warmth. Juicy orange, earthy grapefruit and something leafy like tobacco. Pine. Like you did not expect that there would be no pine? In so many ways this beer is like a conversation with you. This has a bitter that starts at the roof of your mouth and continues to the finish but this beer is mellow with so many flavors and with such a tremendous malt to sweeten it so deeply. Medium mouthfeel and sticky like a baked pastry. Finishes dry and bittersweet.

Hot damn! Get this beer. This beer has a most successful bitter. (1,619 characters)

Photo of abeerwiseguy
4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I found a bottle of this brew in a local grocery store with a reasonable release date of No. 17 2013. The bottle was labeled 10.4% ABV and 1 pint 6 oz. (22 oz.). I had read about this Imperial Pale Ale from Avery Brewing Co. and considered it a lucky opportunity just to give it a test flight.

Poured into a 22 ounce glass the color was amber with a thick head that left substantial lacing. The aroma was very busy with hops, citrus, and malty sweetness dominating.

The taste was thick and rich with the malt balanced simultaneously with the bitter hops along with grapefruit and floral flavors. The flavor profile was solid all the way through to the long, lingering finish.

The beer has a rich, luscious mouth feel throughout all the way past the light to medium carbonation and lovely lingering finish.

Overall this beer adds new and welcome taste dimensions to the Imperial IPA battle ground and I highly recommend it. While this is my first beer from Avery Brewing, it won’t be my last. (998 characters)

Photo of bball208
3.38/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

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

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


Photo of jimilayne
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (595 characters)

Photo of aquazr1
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a golden amber with a short, off-white head. Leaves some minor lacing around the glass.

S - Has a real nice nose. Hints of citrus are plentiful, grapefruit and orange are prominent.

T - Nicely balanced with malts at the forefront followed by the slightly bitter hops.

M - A medium bodied beer with low carbonation.

O - A very well done beer that is highly drinkable. The alcohol content is well hidden, which shows how well this beer was made. A definite add to the must have again list. (502 characters)

Photo of reebtaerG
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-has a nice amber color with a nice white head and great lacing
S-great smells of pine, grapefruit, orange zest, and hops
T-taste is pungent with oily hops and malt the pine and floral still present
M-great balance with all the malt and hops
Love this DIPA for sure (266 characters)

Photo of MacQ32
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reviewing Release 18/2014.

A - Pours a superbly clear copper/orange color with around 2 fingers of fluffy, dense creamy finger+ mountainous head nearly 5 minutes later. Retention is perfect, lacing looks to be fantastic as well.

S - Smells of resinous hops, grapefruit, lemon zest, peppery notes. Decent thicker malty backbone.

T - Initially some sweeter mango and resinous grapefruit flavors followed by a caramel sweetness which becomes quite dominated with overpowering resinous/peppery flavors and alcohol. The alcohol and sweetness mix to create a bit of a medicine quality. Aftertaste is quite bitter/resinous but pleasant.

M - quite full bodied for the style, definitely a big beer, fairly smooth, not too carbonated, probably closer to a sipper than an easy drinker but its somewhere in between.

O - Decent, looks absolutely fantastic, but as I always feel. Alcohol and resinous hops are just too overpowering - just not well enough balanced IMO (958 characters)

Photo of ISmith87
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tried this one while I was in Missouri for a while and can honestly say it's not that great. Jai Alai is way better, Maharaja is waaay to earthy/dirty tasting, like a cheaper IPA. It's way to malty and does not live up to the hype. I would not buy it again. (257 characters)

Photo of TheBullsHorn
4.66/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep straw, almost amber orange with a persistent head and nice lacing. The nose is wonderfully complex bouquet of honey, pine, grapefruit, passion fruit, lime and malt. The thick malty sweetness acts as a backbone for both the high alcohol and bitterness of the hops. Layering over the malty sweetness are again flavors of grapefruit and resin/pine with hints of honeysuckle and mint. The after palate one this beer lasts forever, with a pleasant dance of malt and bitterness lingering on your tongue. An absolute delight to drink and revisit. (552 characters)

Photo of BethanyB
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very clear. Medium amber color. Soft, yet substantial cream-colored head.

Smell: Spicy and citrusy hop aromas mix with apricot jam and a very slight smell of grainy malt. Complex and intriguing.

Taste: Earthy hops are reminiscent of tea leaves. In this case, their flavor outweighs their bitterness, which is moderate and lighter than expected. Lightly toasted malt with a touch of toffee create a sweetness that mixes well with the bitterness, both of which last into the finish. Outstanding complexity. Could be just a touch hoppier.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium-high carbonation that tingles on the tongue. Light alcohol warmth is felt at the back of the throat.

Overall: A delicious, unique IPA that has both traditional and surprising elements to it. Manages to be both round and complex. The hops didn't take a backseat or anything, but I did feel they could have packed a bit more of a punch considering the style. (946 characters)

Photo of mrz200
4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I'm a fan of everything of Avery's that I try and as an IPA guy, Maharaja is at the top of the list. For a cant miss hop fix, this is your beer (although if bang for the buck is a factor, I'd probably put Hop Stoopid a slight notch above). The hops are big, but there is enough complexity that it gets very interesting as it warms up, without gaining a ton of bitterness as the super hoppy ales tend to do.

One question: was there any difference between Maharaja and the 25th anniversary ale from earlier this year? Didn't see the point in the 25th anniversary ale for that reason. (583 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz.bottle was poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a two finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper clarity with breast clarity and bubbles seen coming up through the glass. Nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank too.

Smell: Caramel and bready malts, candied orange, grapefruit, tangerine, and a little booze. This beer has a nice floral bouquet to it too. A little alcohol on the nose too.

Taste: Citrus characteristics and hop bitterness is more noticeable on the palate and the caramel and bready malts balance this out a little bit. Bitterness does linger for a little bit too.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, malty, boozy, full bodied, medium carbonation, a little dry, and more enjoyable as it warmed.

Overall: Pretty solid beer from a solid brewery. Extremely drinkable, balanced, hoppy, and enjoyable. (845 characters)

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer was a copper color in the glass with a bubbly white head. Some sediment was noted in the glass.

Smell - A very pleasant malty citrus aroma set the tone. The malt was obvious, but the sweetness of the citrus was masked.

Taste - At the front, one notes a dry resin explosion. There is a sweetness toward the back, but it is not sweet enough for a DIPA. In a DIPA, I look for the clash between the sweet and the bitter. I seemed to be lost in a sea of bitterness with each swallow.

Mouthfeel - The thickness was on target with the hops remaining on the tongue well after each swallow. Sediment was noted and may have contributed to the lingering aftertaste.

Overall - I was looking forward to this one, but found myself a little disappointed. (765 characters)

Photo of scotorum
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If I'm deciphering the code correctly, this was bottled on January 8th 2013. Yikes. I cringe to think what the hop bite was like when this was "fresh."

Poured into a Sierra Nevada IPA glass from the 22 oz. bottle.

a: Dazzling clear amber with a two inch tall off white head which persisted awhile before receding to a heavy surface foam and considerable spotty lacing.

s: Moderate pine.

t: Attention-grabbing and yet very agreeable pine hops up front over a sweet malt base. Bitterness lingers at the sides of the tongue as it should with an IIPA, but does not become annoying. The huge ABV over 10% is amazingly well covered.

m: Medium due to the hops, Slick silky smooth.

o: One of the best, most enjoyably drinkable hop bombs (102 IBUs) I have had yet. A real gem, worth every penny it cost. Enough to make any BA a DIPA baby. (837 characters)

Photo of ckollias
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this bottle of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a copper hue with a 2-finger white head that leaves a great trail and persistent lace.

S: Hoppy citrus aroma with a good malt background.

T: Sweet malt and bitter hops mixed well. Citrus caramel mix and finishes on the dry side of sweet.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Excellent DIPA – would definitely grab this again. (392 characters)

Photo of FLima
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep amber color with a two fingers head with medium retention and leaving lots of laces.
Delicious explosion of tropical fruits, citrus and pine aromas. Notes of grapefruit, oranges, peaches, passion fruit and pineapple.
Flavor is less complex than nose, but more intense and assertive. Very bitter and citrusy flavor, predominant notes of grapefruit and pine needles with slightly toasted malts, resins and caramel. Bitterness does not go away, and it does not lose its grace, sneeze type quality. Also, it is has a yeast spicy touch.
Dry with a long lasting bitter aftertaste.
Medium to full body with medium carbonation. ABV is felt much lower than its 10.4%.
Excellent DIPA, perfect sweet level and assertive with a strong hoppy punch. But still very balanced, considering it’s an Imperial IPA. Recommended for hops heads or adventurous. (844 characters)

Photo of WheelsPSU
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Got a 22 oz. bomber from Beverage Barn in East Meadow, Long Island. I was extremely excited to try this year's batch of the most hyped beer in the Dictator Series.

Pouring gave me a large, soapy head that seemed to last for quite awhile. The color was a glowing amber. The lacing at the top of the glass was light but sat around in funky patterns until I was done.

The smell had two distinct flavors: peach/orange and biscuit malt.

The taste was great. It reminded of tropical flavored gum. The hop profile is there as is the caramel taste was the beer warms.

I was surprised at how drinkable this beer is for 10.4%. It's a DIPA but with a sweet side. Not bitter, rather well balanced. (689 characters)

Photo of JG-90
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (895 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.33/5  rDev -20.5%
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. (733 characters)

Photo of MistahBeah
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep murky orange with frothy white head. Chunky lacing and decent retention. Some visible carbonation

Smells of big juicy citrus flavors especially grapefruit. A little orange possibly. Sweet bready malts and caramel. Some earthy undertones

Tatse is a little more pronounced than the nose would suggest. The sweet caramel malts are apparent throughout. The hop profile is big. Lots of grapefruit and resiny pine. There is a robust dank earthiness in the finish. Very well-balanced. The high ABV is hidden perfectly

Feels creamy and smooth. Crisp carbonation. Medium bodied

Overall an awesome DIPA. Approachable for fans of the style and the uninitiated alike. The IBUs might be too much for some but not most. Very well done. Balanced, tasty, and very affordable for the quality (791 characters)

Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 1,785 ratings.