Avery Brewing Company

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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #158
Ranked #1,180
4.25 | pDev: 10.12%
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 1,902 | Ratings: 5,783 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Abbott:
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Abbott from Canada (QC)

3.89/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Apr 18, 2017
More User Reviews:
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BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue VI:

Maharaja quickly became classic among the über hopheads. We guess we fall into the group somehow, bring on the hops!
More than ample lacing from this extremely hoppy beer, bright copper hue. Big punget oily hop aroma of tobacco, hemp seeds, grapefruit zest and fresh mint leaves. Big oily smoothness in the medium to full body. Lots of hop flavor on the palate, fresh hop oil, herbs and mint, bitter tobacco, a touch of hemp oil with some earthiness. Maltiness stands strong with spikes of caramel and bready flavors. Alcohol brings some warmth and fruitiness to the table with more of a subtle pear and mango flavor. Hop bitterness is all around and never leaves even far into the bittersweet finish, more of a mellow bitterness that's thick.

American beer at its best here, hopefully it's one more known example where the industry is going and how far it can reach when it comes to the level of flavor. If you are a hophead and have yet to try this beer, what are you waiting for?!!

Sep 10, 2010
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BranfordBound from Connecticut

3.92/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Super big DIPA brewed for an older time when making a DIPA instead of an IPA meant the malts were doubled and the hops were almost doubled and all put in the kettle. Double dry hopping and leaving the malts lighter and adding oats and flour would come much later. It's weird to say that a 10+ year old beer is a bit of a relic but I think in the insanely trendy and dynamic craft beer world it is a bit true. This DIPA was no doubt a king for its time but has now been usurped by more agile and younger DIPAs looking to make their claim.

Drink this in the cooler days of fall and think of the craft movement from years back with rose colored glasses, if necessary.

Sep 07, 2017
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SwellSwill1 from Kentucky

4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured six weeks from canning into an oversized wine glass. Golden color with no sediment and looks clear. One inch head with medium lace.
Smells fruity and sweet like a tropical chew candy.
Tastes sweet and fruity with medium carbonation. Mildly dry on the tongue with no piney notes.
At first taste I though this beer would be too sweet and overpowering in flavor to want to finish but I was wrong. I now want to lower the abv so that I can sessions this wonderful brew. I will look for this beer again.

Apr 23, 2018
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Keithkam from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is such a good IPA. I've had it many times in the past, and each time I have it I think about how I really have to seek it out more often. Look: classic light golden semi opaque west coast IPA look. Smell:. Exactly what you would expect from a juicy and fruity hoppy beer. Taste: delicious. How well of a job they do hiding the high abv is very commendable. Taste upfront of nondescript fruits (citrus, a bit of peach) and a touch of pine. Nice dry finish that makes you want more. Feel: standard IPA mouth feel. I tend to care about the mouth feel more for stouts than iPas, so as long as it's not too thin tasting it's all good in my book. Highly recommend!

May 23, 2018
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rockaroo from Virginia

4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I'm not the hop expert but this is "tropical" and "bitter/onion/garlic" hops combined. My saliva 5 minuets after drinking this tastes better than half the beers I drink. There is a great extra long taste cycle from the first thing you taste to the last.
Maybe the best xIPA for me this year. Avery goes back to the top of the brands after the disappointing or misunderstood Kaiser release a few months ago knocked them down for me.
Thanks Avery guys. This compares to the most savory stuff I can concoct on the grill. Can't give anything a perfect cuz I know it is something still out there , ya'll are probably drinking it now.

Jun 18, 2015
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metter98 from New York

4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is slightly hazy light amber-orange in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that died down but thick rings of bubbles on the surface around the edge and down the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of citrus hops in the nose—grapefruit stands out in particular.
T: Like the smell, the taste is filled with flavors of grapefruit and also has notes of caramel malts, pine resin hops and hints of sweetness. There is a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and relatively crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness and hints of stickiness in the finish.
O: This beer is definitely a sipper given its strength. However, it’s not all that difficult to drink because only hints of alcohol are noticeable in the taste.

Aug 26, 2011
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MJSFS from Florida

4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Extremely well balanced DIPA. Hops and malts share equal billing on the nose and tongue. ABV is hidden very well and it goes down smooth. However, I'd much rather spend half the money and get an equally good if not better DIPA in Lagunitas Hop Stoopid.

May 14, 2016
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

4.08/5  rDev -4%
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.

Oct 15, 2005
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mkh012 from Colorado

4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned 2 months ago, so not peak freshness but still very much in the realm of drinkability.

Pours rusty amber-orange with a soapy finger of white head.

The nose is deep, resinous hops, herbaceous green, white pepper, mulled citric fruits, and spicy grass.

Medium to high bitterness but smooth for 10% ABV. Big, almost creamy, with dank, oily hops, orange rind, fermented honey, and potpourri. The malt character is almost raisin-y mid-palate.

Mouthfeel is medium to full.

Overall, this is a good DIPA but a touch rough around the edges.

Mar 05, 2017
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MA_hops from Vermont

4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Wow…very tropical in both smell and taste, but that MALTY SWEETNESS!!! It hits your palate hard!! Such sweet, malty goodness combined with a noticeable booziness makes it a very good DIPA!!

Jun 13, 2015
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brokensail from California

4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to knucks999 for sending a fresh bottle of this to me as an extra in a recent trade!

A: The pour is absolutely gorgeous and just about perfect for an IPA. Amber in color with great clarity and a fluffy white head which leaves some great lacing.

S: The nose if full of grapefruit, pineapple, and some other tropical fruits. A blast of pine finishes things off quite nicely.

T: The flavor is fairly sweet with plenty of fruit notes. The grapefruit is not all that bitter and there is a lot of pineapple. The fruit is followed by a sweet caramel malt flavor and the sip is finished off by bitter pine.

M: The body is medium to full (for an IPA) with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: I was very pleased by this beer. I had it back when I first started getting into beer and wasn't impressed (very likely an old bottle), but this is really a great DIPA and very easy to drink.

Mar 17, 2010
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mikesgroove from South Carolina

4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The second beer of the sample I took last night. I was very excited to finally be able to try this one on tap. Consumed on 04/03/2009.

The pour was very nice with a rich light golden amber. Smooth and very cloudy, this thing looked like it was about to kick my ass, and as I was about to find out, it was defintley going to. Lots of ripe grapefruit and pineapple hops that just tore through the air as soon as I leaned in to it. Huge notes of hops dominated the entire flavor as well. Sharp flavor here as the resin like hops took all the moisture out of my mouth and left me parched, dry and looking for more. One of the best finishes I have had in a big IPA in a very, very long time. I would love to try this one again and will defitely be on the lookout to try it again.

Apr 04, 2009
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UCLABrewN84 from California

4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Pours a clear honey brown with a khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Huge foamy rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus zest and herbal hops, honey, and malt. Taste is of citrus zest and herbal hops up front with a nice honey, brown sugar, and malt finish. There is a medium bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good DIPA with a very nice balance in both the aromas and flavors.

Mar 22, 2012
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oberon from North Carolina

4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice to try another big bad double IPA,pours a slightly hazy deep orange with a tight one finger head that leaves a sheet of lace behind on the way down,well what would you expect from a double IPA aroma wise HOPS and more hops in the aroma pine and definent grapefruit coming thru srong not much malt profile but it wasnt expected.This beer coats the tongue somewhat thick in the mouthfeel dept the alcohol flavor doesnt overpower though by any means,big resiny and citrusy can make the tongue curl.Not quite as good in my opinion as its Colorado cousin Great Divid Hercules double IPA but this is no chump damn fine beer.

Jul 10, 2005
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DrewBeechum from California

4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drunk in honor of recently departed Mr Jackson. 22oz bomber with foil. Poured into a standard American Shaker.

Pours into the glass with a tall white head that hangs through the drink and leaves a well defined ring structure for every sip.

Brightly clear copper with a streaming effervesance that keeps things moving and propels a prodigious hop aroma of pine that rides over a toasted bread malt.

The flavor is malt first followed by a very smooth yet assertive resiny bitterness. Given that this is an older bottle, the younger versions must pack a stronger hop wallop.

Very nice beer. would prefer it to be finish drier so that the pint is less sweet on the lips.

Aug 31, 2007
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Phatz from Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have enjoyed Maharaja several times at tastings but this is the first time to study it one bomber at a time in the comfort of my own den.

Appearance: This is a gorgeous beer. Pours a dull orange color with a large creamy ivory head (tight like foam), great retention and lots of lacing.

Smell: biscuity malts, lemon, orange rind and grassy hops hide a bit of alcohol in a pleasant loaded pine nose.

Taste: The hopheads will not be disappointed but the rest of us can appreciate the depths and balance of the beer as well. The scales are tipped to the orange peel / grassy hop side but the hops are not intense. The hope bill is clearly mixed and balanced and the malts make a notable effort and milky malts, caramel peach, pine sap and pineapple syrup sweeten things up a bit. The alcohol shows through in the flavor the whole way across the palate and build to a boozy kick at the back end. The aftertaste is lip smacking and last for a solid moment or three before beginning to fade.

Mouthfeel: Warming and dry due to the alcohol. Smooth due to the malts and solid body. Fluffy due to the carbonation and hops. Lip smacking aftertaste, very good all around.

Drinkability: The drinkability is not lacking (as DIPAs go) but it does suffer a bit from the alcohol content. After and evening of tasting a few beers, this will end the night.

Hope this is helpful.

Jan 27, 2007
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Beerenauslese from California

4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber gold with a modest creamy head leaving curtains of lacing on the glass.

Very fresh aromas of malt, hops, vanilla, sugar, mixed fruit.

Sweet malty taste with a fruit salad of banana, strawberries, kiwi and finishing with pronounced hop bitterness. The sweetness upfront and then an intense, tongue burning and numbing concentrated red grapefruit bitterness in the finish gives the palate a roller-coaster ride.

Medium body, somewhat creamy, with a refreshing level of carbonation.

There is a lot to like in this beer. I am liking it since my favorite style is Belgian IPA. The fruit flavors are here along with the highly concentrated hop bitters. On my list of the very best Imperial IPAs. Drink in moderation!

Apr 06, 2010
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surlyseth from Minnesota

4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! This is an acrobatic beer. It tries really hard...and succeeds!

A: Deep orange to rust with white-tan head. Insane lacing, frothing. Persistence!

S: Pineapple and bubblegum.

T: There is a lot going on here. Big malty backbone. Characteristic citrus. But way, way more. Is that bubblegum? No, I'm serious. Is that bubblegum? Okay, maybe it's fruit punch.

M: Thick, soft, cozy and oily.

D: I can't believe its 10% ABV. This is a must try for any hophead.

Sep 16, 2007
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Joecaddie from Delaware

4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mar 21, 2015
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fields336 from Virginia

4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, poured into SN Snifter
Batch #14 June 2011

A: Dark honey/Amber color, with 2 fingers fluffy golden head, that is very bubbly, Stays around for a while, leaving some nice lacing and bubbles on the side of the glass. Alcohol legs visible which is expected for a 10.46% ABV monster

S: Big grapefruit and citrus notes on this one, filled the room when I opened the bottle. Getting a lot of fruits and honey as well. Caramel and bready malts are also present. Alcohol is present, along also with some grassy/piney hops as well

T: Honey sweet when it hits your tongue and warms your mouth up instantly, (if that makes any sense) the malts are really prominent, but balanced for the amount of hops here.Then the hops set in, with their citrusy and piney goodness, A bit syrupy, but as it warms, not as much.

M: Creamy and full bodied, this one is a sipper. Really drinkable for 10.5% though and extremely tasty. The finish is nice and dry for such a creamy beer.

O: Really nice, gives hopslam a run for its money for sure.

Aug 06, 2011
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beergod1 from Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Mar 31, 2013
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clausm76 from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Jun 26, 2013
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StlHopHead77 from Illinois

4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P-Pours a cloudy,deep burnt orange with a fleeting,1/2 inch,off-white head that left gorgeous,clingy lacing.

S-Orange blossom honey,pine and pink grapefruit
with some noticeable sweet malt.Fragrant but not too aggressive.

T-Piney hops,white pepper,sweetened grapefruit and apricot.Good hop bitterness balanced by a nice caramel malt base.No real boozey character considering the ABV.

M-Full and viscous.Good resinous character.Coats and tingles the mouth nicely.Medium bodied with a moderately dry finish and limited carbonation.

D-A truly delicious and easy drinking beer.A deceptively high ABV that could be dangerous.

Aug 19, 2010
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cosmo4u from New York

4/5  rDev -5.9%

Aug 23, 2014
Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 5783 ratings