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Maharaja - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,810 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,810
Hads: 5,361
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 17.86%
Wants: 362
Gots: 727 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

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: 1,810 | Hads: 5,361
Photo of sinistermadman
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled Feb. 2006 - Batch 3

Pours a clear golden maple color with a nice burly,creamy pancake head. Laces the glass with a vengeance.

Aroma is quite appealing. Floral aroma melds with sweet fruit to create a pleasant olfactory experience. Very crisp hop aroma.

This brew is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Rather creamy in its mouthfeel considering the hop ratio. Sweet fruit and malts work symbiotically with the rather citric hops to create a balance that nods in the hop direction, but remains quite palatable. Interesting complexity that brings new flavors in successive drinks. Very intense flavors. A well crafted brew that doesn't have any reservations and doesn't compromise.

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Photo of OliasOfSunhillow
4.82/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 bottling. Differences from last year's batch: 1. More hops in the nose. Unbelievably rich, spicy, floral hop aroma. 2. Alcohol "hotness" is greatly reduced from 2005. Perhaps Avery's high-gravity brewing is becoming more refined and less aggressive. 3. Lower level of carbonation, plus very low head retention -- kind of barleywine-like in appearance.

All in all, a more elegant, much more drinkable Maharaja this year. Kudos to Adam and the boys down on Arapahoe Ave.

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Photo of jaluria
3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly cloudy orange colro with a moderate level of carbonation and intense lacing. A thick and wavey head that stayed put. Aromas of hops, alcohol, and yeast. The taste was quite hoppy with minimal malt presence. Biting bitterness that develops its potency over time. Refreshing texture and mouthfeel with a mellow finish. Good drinkability and good example of the style, but not the best out there. Alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of 3Vandoo
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A ruby burgundy beer with a shy head retention, some hints of light golden.

Smell is quite hoppy, very floral hops comes out of this beer with a shy malty finish.

Taste wise is very hoppy, aromatizing floral hops come out very strongly followed by a malted hint.

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Photo of Oxymoron
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ive been sitting on this for awhile (2005). Poured a hazy light orange with tan coloring that reminded me of a wheat beer. Very frothy pour with tiny bubbles that left good lacing throughout the tasting.

The smell is hoppy and quite noticeable even for DIPA standards. A citrus vine smell is dominates with minor notes of grapefruit and floral essence. The malt is sweet with more of a sugary or syrupy smell to it.

The taste is very good and well balanced. The malt was stronger then expected with good hop flavoring and finishing. The malt to start was sweeter with touches of biscuit and caramel. I picked up a trace of honey but this was very faint. The hops were piney, especially noticeable for the bittering hops. But finishes well with a smoothness and a citurs grapefruit, tangerine flavor.

The body had a slightly higher mid range. The ABV was noticeable but still easy to drink and really was a background taste. Well balanced and a sweet taste for a DIPA.

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Photo of EStreet20
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle poured into a large tulip glass.

A - A slightly hazy dark golden color with a nice two finger off white head. A great looking DIPA.

S - Wow a lot of citrus/floral hop aroma with some fruity smell that I can't really identify but am definitely enjoying. The hop rush is huge but very pleasant if you're a hophead. A bit of alcohol present in the nose as well.

T - A lot of hops and an aggresive alcohol kick. This is actually very malty for a DIPA as well. I;ve got to say the taste isn;t exactly what I was expecting from the aroma but it's not bad, just seems a little out of balance, almost as if they tried to pile some malts in there solely to compete with the hops.

M - Nice and smooth on the tongue. The sweetness makes it feel slick in the mouth.

D - Not bad at all for someone who likes extreme type beers, however the lack of balance and tiny bit "too far" on the sweetness does make the drinkability fall off a little bit.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very good Double I, but from the Avery 10 and 11, this is a slight step down. The hops are outragously flavorful and bitter. The aromas are a boquet of floral and earthy hops with a strong underlying malt presence. Big on the malts without becoming sweet. The hops IBU's keep this barley heavy beer dry and balanced. The feel is just short of thick. Greatly drinkable if not for the heavy and complex flavors. Spicy and dry in the aftertaste. The downside is that the northwestern hop character and malt fermentation leaves the beer a bit metalic and salty, thus slight of high drinkability. The 10% shows good heat and presence without becoming harsh or overwhelming. I'll be trying a few more in the future.

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Photo of Pooba001
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours into my Duvel tulip glass a deep coppery amber color, with a healthy white, fluffy head that persists well. Aroma is of tart cirtus and grass, thoroughly mouthwatering. Resiny hops do dominate the flavor, but there's a lot of malty sweetness to back it up. This could almost pass for a Barleywine, as the 112 IBUs never overwhelm. Well, maybe not a Barleywine, but there IS balance in this beer. Mouthfeel is smooth and a little slick, could be better there. The drinkability is ok for a DIPA, or any 9.7% ABV beer for that matter, but the alcohol is noticable as the brew warms, so that is an area that could be slightly improved as well. Still one of my more favorite DIPAs and definitely a beer I like to keep one of around.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

01/05/06- Purchased at John's Marketplace in Portland, OR.

Presentation- 22oz bottle. No freshness info to be found on the label. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Darker oraange rust coloration. 1/2 inch very creamy white head. A bit better than average lacing for a DIPA.

Smell- Wonderful smell of grapefruit and lemon rind resin with a heavy dose of powdered sugar. Lots of floral nose as well. Not really a significant amount of pine noticed. What seems like a fairly dark malt underneath.

Taste- Was quite happy to find this was pretty well balanced. Maybe a tad more malt would have pushed this into greatness. Very healthy dose of mid range bitter hops. Both floral, dare I say a bit herbal and definitely fruity and sugary. Grapefruit and maybe a apricot taste? Just enough malt to make this one very good.

Mouthfeel- Nice bitter backlash on the tongue, mid range mouthfeel. Lower to mid range carbonation.

Drinkability- This one is quite nice. Maybe breaks into my top 10 favorite DIPA's. Very drinkable and the abv seems a bit higher than it feels. Recommended.

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

This beer pours a golden amber with a slight fogginess. The head is a fluffy light yellow that left huge clumps of lace.

Smells of oats, caramel, molasses and honey with a slight tangy citrus and pine. There’s a subtle underlying sourness here as well.

There’s an initial citrus in the taste that then transfers to a powerfully sweet taste like oats and honey that just sticks to my tongue, but then finishes an amazing dry and piney hop. Fantastic dynamics. Probably the best change up I’ve ever had.

The mouth feel is very thick with a light carbonation, but the clean finish makes this very enjoyable.

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Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. brown bomber.

Poured a mostly clear ruby red with a goodly sized beige head, especially considering the high alcohol content.

A very enjoyable nose of vibrant hops- herbs, evergreen, and citrus- matched by sweet malts.

Full bodied and round with a resinous mouth coating. Big hops come out first carrying on the traits mentioned above plus a floral note, paired with a by a candy tinged malt sweetness that really holds its own. Alcohol is all but hidden under the massive flavor.

A new favorite and one I hope to find again soon.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Somewhat hazy, slightly orange tinged amber color. Nice head atop a 22 ounce glass. Great hop aroma. I could smell it wafting up from the glass as I poured. Extremely fresh and pungent hop aroma-I almost get a visual of the hop oils. Great balance of hop and malt flavor. Floral taste-again the hops are so clearly defined its almost scary. Finishes slightly sweet with a hint of bitterness. Nice, slick mouthfeel. Very evenly balanced throughout. Very, very drinkable beer. Well worth trying and consuming on a regular basis.

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

Poured from the bomber into a pub glass.

Appearance: This pours a clear light amber into the glass. The head was honey colored and a powerful two inches high. The head had major staying power. The lacing clung to the glass in thick coats.

Smell: Combines the smell of fresh baked bread and spicy floral citrus.

Taste: Leads with a very sweet introduction. This gives way to a spicy peppery, floral, piney combination. Finish is a buttery sweetness. Alcohol is present in the flavor but is not distracting.

Mouthfeel: This beer is a medium plus body. There is a very nice buttery feel to the mouth.

Drinkability: This beer is very smooth in spite of its size 9.7% alcohol by volume. Very tasty and very nice buttery mouth feel.

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Photo of dren
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an apricot hue oooh, and smells like fruit and other good sweet citrusy stuff. Head is thin but exists right where it should be, on top of the godly liquid. Well, as it goes down the sweetness hits you up front with the hops following and some slight citrus flavors towards the end. You really don't drink this beer, you chew through it. And for as thick as it feels, the beer is pretty light so to speak. I was able to down the bottle and not feel bloated. I could have had another and another and... The alcohol content is fairly high too, a good thing if you just want to relax and have one brew. Great brew to sit back and drink while watching a movie. Drink her slow and enjoy.

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Photo of nortmand
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber-red pour with a nice sized off-white head.

Huge grapefruot-lemon-lime citrus notes in the nose. A bit of raisin as well.

Huge west coast hops dominate the flavor from front to back. Ends with a moderate bitterness.

Medium bodied, and moderat carbonation, this would be a very interesting beer in cask, or even through a randall. Very nice.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The more DIPA's I try the more I realize that their finite characteristics are that much tougher to find. Besides the obvious characteristics of this style, big alcohol, fruity, hop bomb, bitter messes...it tastes good.

This beer falls directly in the middle of all this mess. Orange zest accompanied by a smoky hop aftertaste defines this beer. The nose on this beer is quite nice as well; fruit and other citrus (peach) give off a nice odor.

A pretty good offering, as mentioned the difficulty in reviewing this style hurt this beers review. At $6.00 a bottle, I'll be trying others before revisiting this one.

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Photo of nvsblman
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with about a finger of frothy white head. Some nice lacing as I drink it. The malt is the first thing I smell, but is soon joined by citrusy and grassy hop notes. The taste is full of citrusy hops and caramel. The malt stands up to the hops making this very drinkable. This is a full bodied drink that is great to sit and relax with.

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Photo of fisherman34
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amber in colour with medium-high carbonation. Huge grapefruit and pine hop nose, along with a good strong caramel malt note. While I had been expecting a thick and syrupy brew, there was actually a dimention of lightness to the palate which was quite refreshing. The up-front flavors are dominated by sweet caramel malts, which evolve into a more grainy note before the assault of orange and grassy (almost minty) hops. Not the most complex example of an IIPA out there, but definitely one of the more easy drinking ones.

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Photo of merlin48
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been looking unsuccesfully for the Raj for months. Thanks to mntlover for coming to the rescue with this attractively labeled bomber. Pours into an imperial pint glass a chill hazed apricot body with a creamy beige head that stabilizes at an inch in height. Retention is excellent and a plentiful amount of sticky patch lace is left on the sides of the glass.

Lovely aroma is pungent with oily citrus. Pink grapefruit, tangerine, and spruce pine notes provide an enticing opening. Roasted caramel is apparent underneath all the citrusy hoppiness. Lovely bouquet!

Mouthfeel is thick, coating, and sticky. Hop resins meld with the moderate carbonation and big maltiness to produce a chewiness and nearly full body that defines what I expect out of an excellent double IPA.

Taste mirrors the aroma, with big citrusy hops and malts. Pink grapefruit, orange, and tangerine tart sweetness mingle well with the underlying caramel malt base. Bitterness is not ashamed to be assertive, with notes of pine resin adding to a tasty balance. I did not notice any distracting alcohol as have many reviewers. This one is full flavored, thick and rich, and awash in a pleasant field of bittersweet citrusy and tropical hops that meld very well with the chewy caramel maltiness. Finishes with a long aftertaste that is slightly bitter with spruce resin and grapefruit rind. Very yummy.

This one is what I expect out of a Double IPA. Very similar to Avery 10 and 11 in taste and character, but this has a better balance and more pronounced flavor and aroma profile. This is the best product I've sampled from the folks at Avery. This is the kind of beer that the BA website has led me to fall in love with. Nirvana in a bottle, this one. Supremely drinkable! This is one that I would take to a deserted island. Very highly recommended.

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

The color is a bright, mid-range shade of copper with a high level of carbonation. The off-white head is thick and has great retention. The aroma begins with a strong whiff of oily hops, but soon a strong, rich, and somewhat fruity malt smell takes over. The flavor has an interesting combination of hop and malt flavors; and is a little bit different from the few other 2XIPAs I've had. The malt flavor is strong, almost like a weak barleywine, with a distinct fruitiness. The hop flavor is strong, resinous, but not quite distinctly piney or citrissy. More than just a touch of alcohol flavor is noted towards the finish. This is great stuff, different from what I was expecting, but always interesting.

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Photo of budsboy
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber dated 2005.

The first thing you notice on the pour is the aroma. You could smell it from ten feet. More on that later. Somewhat cloudy, reddish, with a big sticky rich head and lots of lacing.

Warm, piney hop aroma, very pungent. Woody malt aromas mix to a mouth-watering climax. I do love that hoppy aroma.

Taste is a burnt pine flavor atop a mellow malty sweetness, a hoppy punch toward the swallow and a lasting, palate busting bitterness in the end. There is no way to tell this is nearly ABV 10. Dangerous stuff.

Creamy, full mouthfeel. Not smooth, SMOOVE, almost jelatinous in its fullness. A little oily afterwards.

A big beer, one I will seek out again, if not again and again. A treat and a nice change from latest infatuation with dark, rich, alcoholic stouts (weather is getting colder). Good stuff again from Avery, who has yet to dissappoint me. Try some.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the glass murky amber brown with a golden hue. The head was off-white and frothy, yet low and lasting to lace the glass.

The aroma was malty and full of caramel coupled with a light citrusy hop presence and a grassy and resinous aroma that lingers and melds with the malt in the nose. Some alcohol was present in the aroma.

The flavor was malty with a strong hop flavor and bittering. The hop flavor was piney and slightly resinous, but the bittering was never overdone and the hops were not over the top either. The balance was well achieved between malt and hops and thus created a very drinkable brew. Some alcohol played into the flavor, but it added without taking away from the flavor. The malt flavor was caramel and nicely achieved.

The finish was dry with a lasting resinous and piney hop flavor that gradually fades into the final aftertaste with a pleasant malt flavor. The body was medium full and the mouthfeel was just almost creamy though not highly carbonated. The only real gripe with the Marharaja is he is one cloudy dude...

22 ounce bottle. Purchased at Vintage Cellar in Radford, VA.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber

Pours a hazy orange amber. Nice creamy eggshell head that fades, but not completely. Nice lacing on the glass.

Smells very citrusy an piney. Beautiful aroma. Extremely inviting.

Lots of upfront hops followed by a somewhat buttery aftertaste. I can't decide if that effect is from the hops or if it's more diacetyl. Whatever it is, it's delicious! Ringing in at 9.7%, I get no sense of the alcohol in the flavor.

Big, full body. Perfect for the style, very satisfying.

Consumed this bomber with ease. My wife has been circling me like a vulture and stealing gulps at every chance, so it's a true winner in this house.

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Photo of quasimoto
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- It started with a nice off white head covering a clear amber body.

S- It has very strong hops on the nose of grassy pine, and some sweet ness. Almost wheat grassish.

T- There are nice background hints of a woody taste to the creamy heavy mouthfeel.

M- The beer coated my mouth but left it crisp and dry.

D -I particulary like this beer simply because its a basic well flavored Double IPA,

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

Burnished orange-copper with golden butterscotch accents. Even though the pour wasn't overly aggressive, the head filled most of the pint glass. It's somewhere between palest caramel and ivory in color, with an upper surface that is occupied by thousands of fragile, glassy bubbles. A thick blanket of lace is currently visible.

The nose is the hop monster that was anticipated. However, two things keep me from being wildly enthusiastic. The citrus and spruce of Centennial and Simcoe aren't helped by what I assume is the contribution from Magnum. The second thing is that the almost double digit alcohol is incompletely buried.

The same faults apply to the flavor profile, although I hesitate to use that word in what is still a delicious beer. The bulwark-like maltiness practically oozes sweet, sticky caramel. I'm not sure about an 'insane quantity of malted barley', as the label claims, but it's at least mentally unbalanced. Maharaja is sweeter than most DIPAs. Probably too much so.

What would a DIPA be without hops? Relax, that's strictly a rhetorical question. While this DIPA has a massive amount of them, it doesn't have the 'deranged amount' that the label would have us believe. What is it with Avery and mental illness? (rhetorical again). Like the aroma, the flavor is dominated by candied citrus peel and pine sap, but the less desirable flavor qualities of the Magnum hops keep getting in the way.

Any beer with this much malt is bound to have a killer mouthfeel. It's expansive, smooth as heavy silk and some kinda likeable. It promotes sipping rather than gulping, which is a good thing since the beer tastes like a 12%'er and drinks like one too. Time and warming have smoothed some of the initial rough edges.

Maharaja Imperial India Pale Ale is the antithesis of a well-mannered DIPA. It's big, bold and bombastic. Avery has a penchant for brewing Big Beer, but they tend to forget that refinement is a necessary quality in even the biggest beer. The relatively high scores that I've granted are a testament to my love of all things hoppy. I'm guessing that those of you who don't belong to 'Hopheads For Life' won't feel so generous.

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,810 ratings.