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Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

1,830 Reviews
For Trade:

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-03-2005

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,830 | Ratings: 5,441
Photo of beerogre
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow! - This is a beer that I've been meaning to try for a while.

Every time I've been in the beer store in the past few weeks this Maharaja guy has been staring out at me, like a puppy at the Animal Shelter, willing me to pick him.

Well today was the day, and it turned out to be a fine purchase.

I also bought a Rogue Brutal Bitter today, which I drank just before the Maharaja and whilst it was okay, I don't forsee a repeat purchase of that one. Whereas this Avery product frankly blew the Rogue offering out of the water.

If anyone examines the beers I've reviewed, they may correctly deduce that I am not a big IPA man - but I am an admirer of Avery (particularly Old Jubilation) and this beer has been calling out to me from the beer store shelf for quite some time.

As loathe as I am to dish out 5's the Mouthfeel, Drinkability and Taste (even though I generally prefer different "flavours" of beer to this) thoroughly deserve to receive them.

Well done Avery again. Once more, totally out of the blue, relocation to Colorado suddenly springs to mind when drinking one of your beers.

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Photo of eisbock1
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured in tulip glass from 22oz bottle. Thick soapy off white head...nice lacing. Pours a golden amber hue, little carbonation. Strong grapefruit, citrus, pine, on the nose. Taste is suprisingly sweet and tangy, palate further illustrates citrus and pine profile. Smooth and full bodied, drinkable but cautiously so at just under 10%. Thoroughly enjoyed overall and would buy again.

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Photo of ZAP
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A very tasty, enjoyable DIPA...pours a dark golden color...great fruity nose...tangerines, pinneaple, oranges, grapefruit,..smells more sweet than bitter..

Taste is excellent. Bitterness is low to medium but hop flavor is extremely high...again some of those same sweet citrus fruits...also a little bit of pineyness and some slight weed...malt is more biscuity and complements perfectly...

Body is about perfect....medium to full....carbonation is spot on...

Excellent, excellent DIPA...Taste is about a 4.75..same with the smell so I am moving the smell to a 5.0 to make the scores more accurately reflect how I feel about it..

Highly recommended..just don't expect a bitter hop bomb..

Finishes with a nice dry hoppiness....

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Photo of gonzo138
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance-amber in color, cream colored head with good retention, nice carbonation
Smell-refreshing piney juniper berry aroma
Taste-strong hoppy taste that lingers on the palette, nice and bitter like an IPA should be
Mouthfeel-very clean, goes down easily
Drinkability-nice and smooth, good bitter kick, finishes strong

a good ipa, definitely worth, buying again, i enjoyed it very much.

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Photo of Mdog
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep orange with a large head.

Smell: Big grapefruit aroma.

Taste: Starts sweet but then a big kick of citrusy hops. However, the malts hold their ground so this isn't brutally bitter.

Mouthfeel: Pleasant sweet and hop aftertaste.

Drinkability: It's pretty easy to burn through a bomber of this in a hurry since it's so good.

I haven't had a lot of this since it's somewhat rare in the Twin Cities, but it is really an excellent DIPA. If it was in 12oz bottles and more available this would be in my top five. Highly recommended!

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Photo of AaronHomoya
3.81/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz brown bottle brewed in 2005 as stated on label.

Deep amber-red or auburn color with a nice, big, fluffy head and great lacing and head retention. Beautiful. Aroma is fruity and sweet with hops and a hint of alcohol. The flavor is sweet, bready with noticeable alcohol, some piney hops and bitterness in the finish. I would have liked more hops, but there were enough to balance all the malt. Medium body and a clean finish. A bit sticky feeling, though. Overall, a good beer but not as hoppy as I think an IIPA should be and the alcohol was too noticeable in the taste.

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Photo of yelterdow
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2005 edition, served at just over fridge temperature in a pint glass.

Appearance- Pours an almost clear frothy orange, with a monstrous four-finger head that lathers up real nice. Sheets of lacing linger behind, decorating the sides of my glass.

Smell- Cartloads, wagonfuls, suitcases of hops on the nose... sweet and more grapefruit characteristics than pine needles here... a terrific balance of malt to even things out. No alcohol aromas or indications, but damn this smells *huge*.

Taste- Sweet bitterness, in a nutshell... but that would be far too simplistic. The citrusy, honeyed grapefruit hop elements defer midway to the rich, deep malt notes... a big, potent blend of the two players.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Heavy and extremely smooth going in... almost syrupy in its texture. I would have liked some more effervescence, but this isn't bad. This 22 oz. bomber is like an anvil, dead weight and bad ass. The sucker punch to the stomach is delivered almost at the end of my tasting, and one of these is certainly enough. Big, bold, and loud as hell.

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Photo of VoodooBrew
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3 -- Bottled Feb. 2006.

I am pleased to announce that Avery seems to have refined the Maharaja since I last sampled it.

This time around, I was struck by more boldness, a more pronounced bitterness, and most especially a cleaner hop flavor. All the elements of a great big DIPA are there too: huge citrusy hop aroma, bracing resinous bitterness, and an ABV to be reckoned with.

Another in the continuning and continually expansive line of high quality, highly satifsying American DIPAs. Bravo Avery.

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Photo of Zorro
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled through the efforts of 120/190 BIF and lostbearbrew.

As I gaze in to my glass I see an amber colored beer with nearly no head formation that is common with a mega IPA class beer.

Smell is spicy first and foremost. Deeper smelling reveals grapefruit and tropical fruit aromas. Spice is quite strong in this beer, mostly black pepper but cardamom and cumin too.

Taste is mostly melon, peaches and wood in the first sip. Wood, strong tea are all present but this one is quite fruity too. Fruit is mostly papaya and mango here. Not bad at all in flavor. The taste of melons never really goes away.

Mouthfeel is good.

Not at all a bad beer here. Very close to the best in the DIPA class but not quite. Easy to drink and highly recommended.

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Photo of PartyHatjo
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Copper body with a sticky, off-white head. Good lacing down the glass.

Aroma: Citrus (Grapefruit, kumquats), biscuity overtones in the background round out a good malt presence.

Taste: Malty sweetness balanced well with an oily citrus hoppiness. Biscuit comes through in the aftertaste well. Complex malt backbone hides the alcohol well and makes this a very solid DIPA.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, well balanced brew that hits the back of the tongue with a good bitterness and some hop oils. Carbonated well for the style.

Drinkability: Lighter in body would make this a dangerous brew to slam down, but I'm glad it's not. Good beer to enjoy over a long period of time.

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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 BigDaddyWil
3.43/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Label states bottled in 2005.
This might be a little old.
Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a pint glass.

This double ipa pours a deep copper color, with bright orange highlights. Very hazy. One finger thick, off white head, fades quickly. Leaves a good amount of sticky lacing. This is the first double ipa where the malt smell is greater than the hop smell. Tons of big malts smells, almost roasted malt. The usual floral and citrusy smells are taking a back seat to the malts. Quite a strong peppery smell also. Taste mimics the smell, tons of big malt flavor upfront and finishes with very little hop bitterness. Some citrusy flavors are there. Full bodied brew, kinda heavy, with a slight oily texture. Overall, not my favorite imperial ipa, but this is an old bottle, so I will have to try this again sometime.

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Photo of BeerAmbassador
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a one finger head, deep copper color. Nice lacing.

Great aroma, lots of citrus and very floral.

Tasted amazing lots of citrus and hops but not overly bitter (for a double IPA) finished with a little alcohol burn and good malty character.

Very full bodied beer. Maybe the most full bodied IPA I have tried.

This beer blew me away. It is one of the best IPA's I have ever had, double or not. It is expensive but if you like this beer style you need to try it at least once.

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Photo of plaid75
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep copper hue with a one finger creamy head. There was good retention and excellent sticky lacing.

The smell was pure pungent and citrus hops.

The taste was upfront citrusy grapefruit. There was a slight malt presence and some alcohol burn. Finished with a slight banana and pineapple flavor.

The mouthfeel was full, with some alcohol tingling.

This beer is a flavor event. A killer DIPA that put me on my ASS.

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thick white, creamy head, (poured into a Duvel snifter), copper-orange body. Very nice.

Nose is pungent citrus with a pear or peach component, really gets the mouth watering.

First sip is all tangy citrus. Sweet, but not too sweet. Malt is there, and generally in balance, but hoppiness comes first. Subsequent tastes get sweeter, but the hops remain to make it a taste sensation. Alcohol is nearly absent for a high gravity brew. This is seriously good stuff.

Mouthfeel is satisfyingly tooth-stripping. A great, tart, tangy mouthful.

Drinkability is outstanding! This brew does not drink like 9.7%. I dare say that I could and would session it, but for the exorbitant price and certain hangover that would follow.

Final thoughts: Avery continues to put out great brews and then price them into the stratosphere. I'm really glad I sampled this IIPA, it rocks! But at this price, ($7.45 for a 22 oz bomber), I am not sure when, if ever, I will buy it again.

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Photo of ChillMike
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a copper color with some light tan head, that doesn’t last long, a bit of nice lacing on the way down. A nice earthen, pine smell that reeks of hops, also a hint of what I’m thinking is grapefruit, a citrus anyway. The taste is magnificent, I really really like this beer. Massive amount of pine flavored hops, and it also has a really nice after taste of grapefruits and oranges. Wow I’m totally head over heals in love with this beer.

My only complaint is the price, I can only find a bomber for around $6 yikes!

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Photo of OStrungT
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a very clear golden color with a thick fluffy off white head. The head fades slowly, leaving thick laces.

This beer has a nice citrus hop aroma. I smell some lemon, and grapefruit. Behind that I detect a slight piney aroma. The alcohol is also very slightly noticable in the aroma.

This beer has a very sweet citrus flavor. It has a strong lemon and grapefruit flavor. The alcohol is noticable in the flavor. I can also taste some piney hops. I can not taste any grassy flavors at all.

This beer is thicker than I expected. It is very full bodied. It leaves a citrus hop aftertaste. The alcohol warms slightly as it goes down.

This beer would probably not make a great session beer. It is high in alcohol, so too many would be a bad idea. Also, the flavor is pretty aggressive, so it might be overbearing after a few. This is a great beer, and I look forward to getting more of it.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.61/5  rDev -14%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured aggressive it forms a decent head, minimal lacing, copper color, medium carbonation.

Citrusy, hops in the nose. Clingy and creamy mouthfeel that takes a bit to clean up. Resin comes to mind as the mouth is like pine tar at times. Pretty good sized malt presence, just a touch of any roasted quality comes up front.

Notes: I thought it was decent. This would be considered extreme just a few years ago but now its mild and on the sweeter end of a DIPA.

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Photo of Shaw
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lovely amber color with a massive, frothy off-white head. Very nice.

It smells -- surprise! -- of floral hops, and lots of 'em. I can also smell the alcohol in this brew.

The taste is big, bitter and hoppy. The alcohol flavors are quite apparent. But other than bitterness, this beer doesn't have that much going on.

It's a bit disappointing. Overall, I'd say this is one of the lesser DIPAs I've had. While it's not bad by any stretch; there are better beers of its style out there.

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Photo of kosmoraios
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one says "Bottled February 2006 - Batch 3" on the label. I'm enjoying it, as you can see, on Jan. 2, 2008, so it's been in the bottle nearly 2 years.

Pours a murky orange-red into a pint glass. Head is off-white and 1 finger high, with several minutes of decent retention and very slight lacing.

Aroma is of citrus and spices, namely black pepper and cardamom. Some pine in the nose, but mainly fruit/citrus hops.

Taste is of apricots. Dried sour apricots. Lovely hop bitterness, but the malt is quite evident as well. Interestingly complex.

Mouthfeel is phenolic and spicy. I only had one 22-oz bottle, but I would have cracked another if I had it.

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Photo of Foxman
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a crystal clear rusty amber. A full finger of tight beige head settles slowly to islets of froth. Sheets of lacing veil the inside of the glass.

The aroma delivers an equal opportunity mix of toasted malt and resiny hops, yielding caramel, some light sweetness, grapefruit, and pine. A soft presence of alcohol drifts by lazily.

Upon tasting, there's a meaty push of toasty malt sweetness, boasting homey caramel and light sugar. The sweetness is promptly negated by a potent hop bitterness toting an oily note of pine sap and some citrus at the back of the tongue. An airy current of alcohol is more apparent here and further dries any residual malt presence. A bit of yeast crops up near the close, and the finish is a lingering bitter hop legacy. Refreshingly simple and full-flavored, it's quite a positive experience.

A bit more than medium bodied, the beefy malt is chewy and sinewy hops resinous, coating and flowing together sensually.

I'll steer clear of any cheesy Taj Mahal references and just say it's big and full and well balanced. Quite sweet to start, the hoppy backbone keeps things in check. It's a flavorful combo of elements that does nothing to disappoint. The ABV is substantial, quite apparent, warming, and limiting as well, if you're still thinking clearly after one. Because of its bigness, it's enjoyable in a big way. I will do this again, just on another day.

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Photo of libertygrails
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Everything about this DIPA is World Class-esque. Lovely floral resiny nose, rich amber orange in the pint glass, very complex piney/citrus/malty finish....

Definitely worth a try if it's available in your area. Was struck by how similiar to Stone's Arrogant Bastard it left me. Again a World Class DIPA.

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Photo of lflesh
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

wow, this is a big beer. im in awe after every sip. grapefruit and pine are all over this thing. maybe some red licorice. get some! if you like double ipa's you need to try this. this is an amazing beer. i wish it was a little less $$. $8 =for a 22oz. excuse me i want more.

music: thievery corporation-cosmic game- track 4 -Satyam Shivam Sundaram

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Photo of DaggerEyes
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle labeled as "Batch 3, February 2006" poured into an oversized wine glass.

Pour with rowdy carbonation and a one finger head that fizzed down to about half that size. A beautiful amber color with a slight slight touch of haze. Resinous and sticky with lots of nice lacing this beer clings for dear life to the side of the glass.

Woah a total dried christmas pine and grapefruit hop explosion,very floral... Strong strong scent, a bit earthy and spicey, scents of pineapple, tangerine, very ripe fruit and Warm alcohol sent is present in the back of the nose.

Sweet and Very Tart Grapefruit and other cirtic flavors, like sweet little tangerines blast the pallete and mix lightly with a bit of pine. The alchohol is pretty well masked in the taste but can be detected in the after taste, and a subtle warm feeling. My only complaint with the taste holding it from being a 5 is that perhaps it is TOO SWEET at times

Wonderful viscous mouthfeel, light but not too thin, a bit syrupy. Carbonation tickles the tip of the tounge, a real smooth wet finsih.

A bit dangerous with it's high ABV and a bit of an intense hop beating on the pallette...but all in all very drinkable

(paired incredibly well with a creamy blue cheese)

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Photo of instrumentality
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Officially labeled "Maharaja Imperial India Pale Ale."

Bottled February 2006, batch 3.

This brew poured a transparant amber, nothing exciting, but with nice, dense, creamy white head.

The odor smelled almost purely of fresh pears. While it wasn't what I would expect from a beer, it was a pleasing scent in its own right.

At the first sip, the scent was transferred to my palate - it was like experiencing the crispness and tart sweetness of biting into a fresh pear. But this is no pear cider; immediately following the pear taste was a rush of heavy hops. The alcohol taste was present but relatively subtle. The aftertaste was primarily the lingering taste of hops, but a little of the pear sweetness remained on my lips.

Mild carbonation made for a mellow mouthfeel.

Drinkability...well...at first, this unique blend of pear and hop flavors was a pleasing shift from other IPAs I've tried, and I actually thought this might become my new favorite in this category. However, by the time I had finished about half a pint, the sweetness started to bother me a bit.

It's a tough call. My opinion changes from one sip to the next. Given that I enjoyed it more early on, and that I like the beer more when I take longer breaks to write, I think this is a beer best consumed in small doses to allow the palate to cleanse itself a bit such that each time you take a taste, it's like you're drinking it for the first time.

I'm curious to see where the flavor goes after some cellar time.

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,830 ratings.