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Maharaja - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
MaharajaMaharaja

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,742 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,742
Reviews: 1,743
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 10.4%
Wants: 266
Gots: 411 | FT: 7
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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-03-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,742 | Reviews: 1,743 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of guzzle211
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bomber poured into an imperial pint glass

A- vibrant golden orange pour, white head explodes
S- first smell was of grapefruit vodka, mellowed as it warmed to flowery.
T/M - very well balanced hops flavor, but still tastes and feels like a big beer. avery has taken big beers to the in-your-face extreme. hint of orange. very fizzy. alcohol only emerges if over appropriate temp.
D- on a hot day like this (96, heat index of 104) it went down incredibly smooth for a 9.7% abv brew.

guzzle211, Aug 01, 2006
Photo of BabaJohn
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is certainly a nice beer, but my main complaint is that the alcohol actually seemed to dominate the taste at times. At this point I generally expect the hops in an IPA to kick the ass of everything else, but in this case the alcohol took control. I couldn't quite bring myself to dock the taste rating but I had to take it out of drinkability. Still, I wouldn't turn this one down for a second, unless I had to choose between the Maharaja and a Stone... Otherwise, looked nice, smelled nice, was nice.

BabaJohn, Jul 25, 2006
Photo of jamie2dope
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked this one up in Porter Square. Pours a nice dark orange, with a nice heading that soon became a white lacing. Smell is excellent, with loads of juicy fruit, sweet sugar, some mild hop presence in background, a mild honey aroma as well. Taste was very sweet, with lots of alcohol up front, and a somewhat sour finish. It was very barleywine like, with all of the alcohol flavors and dark fruit. Mouthfeel was medium bodied....not half bad, seemed to get thicker as it warmed up a little bit. A nice sipping beer, but I would have like a bit more hop bitterness. The sweetness factor just seemed to overwhelm the beer in general. Still worth a try though. Enjoy

jamie2dope, Jul 24, 2006
Photo of asabreed
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Corsendonk tulip.

Appearance: A golden copper color with some light yellow hues on the bottom. Some sticky lacing that I wish was a bit thicker. The head stays charged due to the carbonation, where the bubbles are small but all over the place.

Smell: Tons of orange zest, which is very warranted with the bit of lemon, slight grapefruit. A bit of acidic orange juice. Sweet malt, and bitter hops. Lots of orange, and I dig it immensely.

Taste: And the orange comes through again, especially with a fruity lingering orange peel at the finish. Lots of other bitter hops, and other citrus fruit both in the malt and hops department. Smooth and lingering with tons of flavor. Singular and tasty stuff.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and full overall, with the carbonation never really bursting out but doing well in spacing itself out and contributing to the former.

Drinkability: A great experience and I definitely want to get more bottles of this. Delicious, complex, and highly balanced. One of my favorite Avery brews and one of the best big beers they produce.

asabreed, Jul 20, 2006
Photo of ReDave
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another fine example of a great Double IPA! Big Beer.
Nice amber color, with a large creamy head.... super lacing all the way down. Rather sweet flowery with some grassy hoppiness aroma. My notes keep saying SUPER. Hoppy oils on my tongue.
Big hoppy flavor with good balancing of maltiness, sorta sweet. Man i gotta order this stuff. As will all cask conditioned, nice mild carbonation. It appears that San Diego might be heading up the cask- conditioned part of this world.

ReDave, Jul 19, 2006
Photo of FranklinPCombs
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark honey color, just shy of crystal clear (adding a bit of depth). Just a finger of orange beige head, not much lacing (though it is unusually humid today), head dying to a light sheet. Smell is big on honey and caramelized pineapples and general citrus, with some pine hints and a bit of an alcohol kick on the back of the nose. Taste is fairly standard for the Double IPA, lots of hops on the front end, hints of malt and burnt pine. The hop's bitter was a bit sour on the back of the tongue, and the alcohol vapor seems to seep down the throat. Mouthfeel is ever so slightly dry and bitter

FranklinPCombs, Jul 17, 2006
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled in Feb. 2006 - Batch 3.
1.085 Original gravity – Alcohol 9.9% by Vol.
1 Pint 6 fl.oz. 102 IBUs

Presentation: Silver foil covers the black logo’d Avery crown cap and upper neck. The main label looks just like the one shown in the BA Database with a familiar Imperial design that revolves around a picture of an Indian Maharaja.

Appearance: Soft edges shine with an orange-amber persistent shine that reminds me of polished Aztec copper. The head is white with a soft beige influence that sleights the setting sun and reminds me of those dirty white shirt collars, you know, sort of white but with a faded yellow look. Solid conditioning.

Nose: Oily-tastic pungent rasping distilled hop oils soaked in chocolate Orange liqueur. Freshly skinned oranges impart a zesty distilled Curacao peel aroma in the air. Supreme carbonation lends a feisty feel to the taste profile…..big swirls punctuate the air with a metric tonne of orange flavored high alcohols.

Taste: Immense oily orange pip start with some mastic-like adhering viscous hop oils raping the cheeks. Sweet malts in the middle add some balance, whilst the finish has a fiery orange burn on the cheeks, mixed with alcohol bite. Citric tones in the back end add yet more bite. Barley sugar traits in the lingering finish seem to referee the balance between the sweet malts and hop oils.

Mouthfeel: Stretches its muscles big style, thick torso and upper arms but it has a very small brain and a little dick. Bitter, oily but averagely hoppy. Thin feel at times which is juxta-posed.

Drinkability: Decent enough but it has that Avery “harshness” that somehow belies sensibility and common sense, often a tad annoying yet intriguing to the beer geek not restricted by boundaries. Unbalanced and harsh with a ‘play-free’ “My Dad is bigger than your Dad” feel. One Bomber takes some downing and is more than enough.

Overall: I ended up reviewing this one again and replacing my old review, the last one was under duress, or do I mean the influence!? This is a strange brew though and you may have to be half out of it to even half understand it – least it seems that way. This is my third bottle now, the first time I rather enjoyed it (albeit being a bit wrecked), the second time I was put off by its orange arrogance, but the third time I’m back to liking it again. Weird! Nice enough, a Double IPA that always treats the adventurous mind but I guess in real terms it fails to live up to the better examples of the genre and more balanced drinkable versions of the Double IPA style.

This is a likeable odd-ball Imperial IPA, sort of Arnold Layne meets Jugband Blues - very Syd Barrett - if you know what I mean. A fitting beer to finish the day with considering.

Music: Piper at the Gates of Dawn, (The) Pink Floyd

TheLongBeachBum, Jul 12, 2006
Photo of cbl2
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle. Bottled in Feb. 2006, batch 3.

Appearance:

Pours a crystal clear copper with fine champagne-like carbonation that leads to an inch of tight white head.

Aroma:

Juicy red ripe grapefruit fresh from the tree with a dollop of maple syrup thrown in for good measure.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Big juicy grapefruit flavor upfront overwhelming in its freshness, coupled with a smooth mouthfeel tinged by a touch of rough carbonation. Finish is long and bitter with the heady almost 10% ABV making an appearance. This is a fantastic beer, perhaps the best DIPA I've ever had. I knocked a few points off for the strong alcohol showing in the finish, but otherwise this is superbly balanced between mouth blistering hops and sweet malts.

cbl2, Jul 11, 2006
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an Imperial pint glass)

A- This beer has a pale golden body with a slight brown tint and is very clear showing off a strong carbonation. There is a tiny film of white foam that stays for a good bit.

S- The smell of pineapple weed hops has a slight skunky note (that is a good skunk) with an apricot smell to it. The hops are very fresh and earthy and I can't stop sniffing them.

T- The taste of green pineapple hops with lots of grassy flavors is supported by a slight sweet caramel malt flavor and the finish is a nice bitter hop flavor.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a slippery texture with no alcohol heat noticed.

D- This beer has a good fresh complex hoppy profile with depth and a malt flavor that can stand up to the hops without being too sweet or alcohol tasting.

rhoadsrage, Jul 11, 2006
Photo of dgallina
3.08/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

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

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

dgallina, Jul 10, 2006
Photo of beerogre
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

beerogre, Jul 08, 2006
Photo of eisbock1
4.13/5  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.

eisbock1, Jul 06, 2006
Photo of ZAP
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
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....

ZAP, Jun 28, 2006
Photo of gonzo138
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

gonzo138, Jun 28, 2006
Photo of Mdog
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
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!

Mdog, Jun 28, 2006
Photo of AaronHomoya
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

AaronHomoya, Jun 26, 2006
Photo of yelterdow
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

yelterdow, Jun 23, 2006
Photo of VoodooBrew
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

VoodooBrew, Jun 19, 2006
Photo of Zorro
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Zorro, Jun 11, 2006
Photo of PartyHatjo
4.18/5  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.

PartyHatjo, Jun 08, 2006
Photo of
3.3/5  rDev -22%
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.

, Jun 07, 2006
Photo of BigDaddyWil
3.43/5  rDev -18.9%
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.

BigDaddyWil, Jun 06, 2006
Photo of BeerAmbassador
4.63/5  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.

BeerAmbassador, Jun 05, 2006
Photo of plaid75
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

plaid75, Jun 04, 2006
Photo of ghostwalker
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

ghostwalker, Jun 03, 2006
Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 4,742 ratings.