Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

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1,836 Reviews

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

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

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Reviews: 1,836 | Ratings: 5,520
Photo of jsprain1
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Medium-dark amber. Half finger frothy head. Decent lacing.
S- Smell is not quite as hoppy as I expected or would like. It's kinda sugary on the nose, with toffee and grapefruit aromas. Alcohol is perceivable.
T- Tastes much better than it smells. Still a touch sugary. Piney and actually really grapefruity. The alcohol is a bit too noticable.
M- Low carbonation. Sugary on the tongue. Warming in the finish from the alcohol.
O- A decent IIPA, but there are several better out there. A bit too sweet and it could use more hops on the nose. Good but not spectacular.

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Photo of 2xHops
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It had a copper color to the beer and unsurprisingly not as much head as I thought there would be.

The beer was first served to me somewhat chilled, so initially it had hints of grapefruit to the flavors along with the hops. However, you also could taste the alcohol seeping through because it had 10% ABV. As the beer start to warm up, the hops really come alive. As I finished off the glass, I could smell and taste the alcohol coming through a bit more strongly.

The hops really does linger in your mouth for a while especially when the beer warms up to room temperature.

This is a good beer for anybody that wants a serious beer with a serious punch. I would drink it again with a dinner or perhaps at a beer tasting party.

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Photo of jbhuxley
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter.

Pours orange copper in color, with 1/2" of head, which quickly subsides to a ring around the edge of the glass, leaving rings of runny lacing.

Earthy hops dominate giving in to a sweet malty smell. Grapefruit and pine is also present.

Starts with strong brown sugar malt notes, moving into an earthy bitterness. Finishes crisp and bitter with a warming alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel is creamy but chewy. Carbonation is adequate, but not over the top. The smoothness lends itself to a decent drinkability.

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Photo of CampusCrew
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: nice lacing and golden amber color

smell: good whif of citrus and pine

taste: this is a big DIPA and has nice hop flavors of citrus and pine

mouthfeel: full bodied and maybe the highest for it's style that I have had. thrown off a bit

drinkability: very solid DIPA, highly recommend and would seek out again

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Photo of callmescraps
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok, had this a long time ago, didn't love it. But I've been hearing good things, and I'm in to second chances.

Appearance - Hmmm. A nice deep copper color. Almost amber. It's got a real nice couple of inches of pretty firm, off-white head. Good looking beer.

Smell - Hops in the house. It's been way too long since I had a nice DIPA, so I'm pretty stoked. Plenty of grassy pine. A little bit of that citrus goodness, a hint of red grapefruit.

Taste - Up front it's a little soft on it. Then it comes on real hard. It's kind of sweet, almost that grapefruit or pineapple, with a lot of sticky hops. The finish is like chewing on a pine tree. Some of that citrus comes in, but it's got a sort of sweet caramel malty, hoppy as hell thing going on. It's pretty harsh, but the finish has a sweet hoppiness that I enjoy. Someone described it as hot, and I'd second that.

Mouthfeel - Almost a little thin? I like my DIPA's a little on the syrupy side, and this one doesn't coat the tongue the way I'd prefer.

Drinkability - Well, I'm thirsty. But that pine forest thing is making it difficult to want another.

This is a pretty good beer. Definitely great if you're into those piney hops, and sweet malt, then this beer is right up you alley. Saw it next to a Hop Henge at the store, and this beer reminds me of that one.

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Photo of L0ne
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle, June 2015 batch.

Amber-orange, with a pillowy, off-white head that leaves delicate lacing across the inside of the glass.

Smell is citrus and herbal hops alongside sweet caramel malts, with a little funkiness playing in the background.

Taste follows smell and seemingly hits the palette all at once, almost surprising in its assault of herbal, orangey, bitter hoppiness and bright, in your face, caramel sweetness. Sweetness lingers, with just a bit of bitter hop flavor in the corners of the jaw.

The viscosity of this is typical DIPA, and there isn't a lot of carbonation, barely enough to leave a prickly sensation on the tongue. However, this works in its favor, and it is way too drinkable for having a 10+ abv.

Brings to mind 471, if you are looking for a comparison. But, I feel like the flavors of 471 hit in layers, rather than all at once, right at the front.

Overall a tasty brew, but I don't know if I'll seek it out again. I'm having a hard time laying a finger on why. I guess it boils down to the abundance malty sweetness going on, and the hop profile just not sitting quite right.

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Photo of OKCNittany
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a huge, three finger, off-white head with great retention leaving plenty of lacing. Slightly hazed caramel/orange body.

S: Aroma boasted of fresh pine and citrus hops. Too bad it wasn't stronger, because it was damn good.

T: On the tongue, the sweet caramel malt wilted under a mountain of hops - bitter and citric, like a bitter orange. The everpresent alcohol added to the fruity & spicy characteristics.

M: Body was full, with light carbonation - almost creamy. Finishes with alcohol warming and a lasting, bitter aftertaste.

D: The '08 version had more alcohol than '07, yet it was hidden better. It's still not one of my favorite DIPAs, but overall it's a pretty solid offering.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy, caramel-colored body with a bubbly white head.

Smell: Pungent, heavily hopped aroma with sweet-smelling notes of ripe apricots, grapefruit, and pine oils. The fragrant hop scent overlays some hints of freshly made dough and candy sugar.

Taste: Initial biscuity, toffee maltiness drops off into a tangy, sweetened citrus flavor. Grapefruit, mainly. Maybe some oranges, too. Finishes with a middling, restrained bitterness and a touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, although its especially oily, and syrupy on the palate.

Drinkability: This beer does a fitting job of balancing both the bitter and sweet elements to make for a fair Double IPA.

*4/19/08: Feb. '07 bottle. For me, a toned down citrus character and a dialed up peppery lemongrass character, both in aroma and taste. Otherwise, it's fairly similar and received a score consistent with the original review.

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Photo of philbe311
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Great pour... Ridiculous fluffy off-white head off of mild pour... Slow carbonation... Hazy orange tinted straw color... Couldn't wait to take a sniff and sip...

S - GRAPEFRUIT... Ruby red grapefruit to be more exact... Floral earthy aromas are present as well... Hop resins...

T - Grapefruit and other hints of citrus... Hops... Malt come through as well... As well balanced an Imperial IPA I've ever tasted...

M - Creamy, smooth, and rich... Oily hop resin finish lingers... Quality of mouth feel gradually declined as beer continued to warm to room temp...

D - Very smooth for an Imperial IPA... It takes more than a "hop bomb" to make a wonderful IPA, this one has it... Again, it should be noted that the what started at as great drinkability wained as the beer warmed... Additionally, I felt the effects of this brew for quite a while... I typically handle high ABV beers without issue, but this one really kicked by butt...

Bottle / Artwork - Love it... Great Red/Yellow font on time of a lively green label... Holographic sables and an interesting spiritual warrior in the center... The foil overtop the cap was a bit much...

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Photo of Docer
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off... How in the hell did I find a bomber of this in Portland... Whole Foods that is... amazing.. (15th NE Fremont..)

- Rather clear and copper colored... Lovely eggshell head... lacing all over... just a small wee-bit of cloudiness.... so small..

- Smells like a Hop Stoopid... huge citrus extract... price way over a Lagunitas... Strong alcohol.. caramel malt...

- A very pleasant and drinkable ale.. in flavor the malt and hop is quite balanced.. some caramel.. and citrus hop... but with a bitter pine hop after-bite..

- Oily.. very chewy... rather extra strong...

- I could drink this stuff for a long time though... because it does have a very citrus extract sort of Lagunitas Hop Stoopid taste.... or is it almost the same thing... just a tad stronger?

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Photo of JayS2629
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a cool amber with moderate white head that fades slowly and leaves descent lace.

The smell is of orange, grapefruit, and pine with a sweet caramel and honey backbone. Floral elements throughout as well.

The taste is overly sweet for a DIPA with rich honey and caramel. A small booze bite that lingers and loads of grapefruit, melon, sweet orange and pine. Black pepper notes and some grassy, floral elements.

Overly sweet for this style. A bit cloying, sticky and but interesting and descent DIPA. A big sipper that goes crazy on spicy hops as it warms.

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Photo of hmf05
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautifully clear dark copper with a one and a half creamy head. The aroma is bizarre. It smells like mango cereal. The cereal graininess is very off-putting to me and I don't get much of a hop aroma at all. The taste is nothing like the smell. I get tons of mango and papaya. The graininess is nowhere in the taste. This ale is pretty sweet, but insanely bitter at the same time. In a weird way this beer is balanced. Overall a good experience. I don't know what's up with the aroma, but the taste is well worth it. DuganA is much better and drinkable IMHO. A nice DIPA and I may enjoy this better fresh.

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Photo of hylton44
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A hoppy bomb. Not overpowering as it first hits your tongue, but really leaving a powerful, dry vapor in your mouth after you swallow; almost like you just chewed up a flower petal.

Very citrus-y and pine-y in aroma and flavor, with the bitterness and alchoholic character far outweighing the malt, which is was both expected and appreciated.

I shared this with a friend to celebrate the adoption of his second child. Cheers, Shawn! May Audrey grow up slow and sure.

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Photo of TTAmod
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Spring 2012 dated bottle poured into pint glass. Listed as 10.39% ABV.

A: The Maharaja pours a brilliantly clear dark amber with a one finger toffee head. Retention and lacing are good.

S: This smells amazing. A nice full bouquet of fruit flavors are given depth by pine and strong caramel malt.

T: Starts sweet, with pineapple and mango hop flavors, but it's balanced with a strong dose of herbal undertones, pine, alcohol, and a strong, strong malt backbone. Ends alcoholic and bitter.

Not my cup of tea when it comes to DIPAs. This one is way too herbal.

M: Medium-thick and creamy. Pretty good.

O: It's good all around, except for the overly herb-y taste. I'd like to see it a tad more fruit and piney and less herbal.

But, still, for an $8 bomber, you can't go wrong with this one.

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Photo of divineaudio
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

bomber into a weizen glass. batch 10 - june 2009.

pours a hazy, reddish amber. forms a finger of thick foamy head that calms slowly to a thin film. gives up quite a bit of thick sticky lacing.

smell is very fruity with notes of tangerine, tart berry, and maybe some green apple. also notes of fresh cut grass, a mild yeast funk and a bit of alcohol presence.

taste is very malty with a strong alcohol presence. slightly spicy, with a toasty, biscuity character and herbal hop bitterness that hangs on the tongue. definitely tastes more like a barleywine than a dipa, but i'm sure that's due to it's age.

mouthfeel is medium bodied. slightly chewy with the right amount of co2. definite alcohol warming going on.

delicious, but drinkability is average at best. considering the abv, i doubt anyone could have more than one of these. i think i'm going to have to track down a fresher bottle of this and re-review it.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally I get to try this one. Pours a clearer than clear amber,with some lighter golden highlight's Tremendous off white heading that was a thick as cool whip.Amazing lacing throughout the tasting and a nice white cap stuck around the entire ride.

Amazing hoppy nose with not really a trace of this being a high ABV beer.Biscuit malts are apparent as well and a slight fruity character to it.

Well ok I jumped the gun a bit.ABV is not hidden whatsoever.Unlike what the nose suggests this is a very heavy malt bomb in which is kind of crude on the palate. The bitterness is there but just not keeping up with maltiness and it only comes into play when the heat of the higher alcohol pushes through. Slight burn in the throat after it is consumed.

Full bodied,with some excellent carbonation a bit thick in the mouth and kind of sappy.

A good IIPA. A bit overrated in my book,but I would really like to try this again fresh. The bottle I had was bottled in March it is now June.

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Photo of hreb
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle. Crystal clear amber with a big off white head. Big all-hop aroma: grapefruit, citrus. Very American IPA so far. Big all-hop flavor too. I'm really enjoying the combination of floral, citrusy, and spicy hop flavors along with a little bit of bite. The finish is actually a little bit creamy...yeah, I'd bet the final gravity on this one is higher than many IPAs start fermentation at. But if this beer has any flaws, they're in the finish. It's too oily, and along with the high residual sugar and alcohol, it limits drinkability. But making a double/imperial IPA this well balanced is a feat and Avery has made something I'm happy to drink. Even if I still like Dogfish better. :P

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Photo of wingman14
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light orangish amber with a foamy white head. The hoppy aroma hits first, very loud and tangy. Hints of fruit are there, most likely from the hops. The taste is extremely hoppy as suspected, and the flavor is also very loud. A giant flavor yet still has that bitter bite at the end. The aftertaste is dominated by the hops with a high ABV taste. The balance isn't quite there, the power of the hops drives the beer but there isn't much else. A good imperial IPA, worth checking out. I enjoyed this beer, but couldn't drink too many because the strong flavor could get annoying.

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Photo of Mosley1212
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Batch 13, March 2011
Poured from the bomber into my DFH Signature Glass.

A--Dark orange in color with a cream/off-white head. My aggressive pour produced a 2" head that dissipated down to a 1/4" permanent head. It had syrupy retention on the glass. There were lots of carbonation bubbles throughout the brew.

S--Lots of pine and fresh grass. Grapefruit and a syrup-like sweetness on the back end.

T--Booze is the first thing that hits me. Tastes very dry. Lots of hop flavor, with an ever present taste of pine. The problem is a real funky taste on the back end of the drink. I don't know what the funk comes from. There's also a lot of booze and syrupy sweet taste to this.

M--Whatever the funked aftertaste is, it leaves the mouth feeling awful. The carbonation in the beer is nice and I like the hops, but I can't overcome the funk.

O--It's going to get a 4 from me because I think it represents the style well, but it is far from my favorite DIPA. There are plenty others out there that I would rather have. It's a shame, the nose and look of this one led me to believe it was going to be simply amazing.

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Photo of BigRedDog
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%

Very interesting nose, and I'm not really sure what I'm smelling. Piney, resinous hops, slight citrus, but not very noticeable.

Taste begins light and floral, but explodes into a resinous, earthy, piney, hop taste. Lots of resin taste with a nice warming feeling from the abv I'm guessing. Lingers heavily on the finish. Pretty earthy.

Mouthfeel is fairly heavy.

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Photo of SpruceFish
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- copper in color with white head and white lacing that sticks to the glass the whole time

S- HOPS HOPS HOPS with some citrusy undertones

T- again tons of hops really fresh again with some citrusy undertones maybe some pine in there too yet kind of boozy

M- pretty heavy for an DIPA but still pretty good

D- the high ABV kind of takes away on this one

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Photo of meathookjones
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At almost 10% I was worried this one would be a little hot given my experience with some of Avery’s stronger beers. This was a deep orange color body with reddish highlights topped with a light tan small head. Light webbings of lace were left around the glass. Sweet hop juicy citric aroma with plenty of malt to be had. This could use a bit more hops and bitterness. The flavor retains the citric juice hops that were gong on in the nose but with more bitterness to help it along. Nice maltiness here with a light sweetness than the nose. Finishes with a nice hop juiciness and a light bitter bite. Pretty big mouthfeel here but none of the prickly hop feel on your tongue I expect form Double IPAs. Good drinkability as well, the taste is hoppy yet balanced. Good overall effort but a boost in the nose and bitterness would do this one a world of good. Also the alcohol was no where to be found.

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Photo of Benish
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Probably one of the sweetest DIPA's I drank. Poured in to snifter glass. Minimal head appeared, I did pour aggressively. Beer was amber colored, seemed more darker than other DIPA's I tried.

Just after opening I smelled citrus, nothing more really. After pouring into glass I smelled primarily pineapples, honey, and some oranges. Very very sweet and fruity.

Wow this beer is malty! It's so sweet it's not even funny. Maybe some hops noted but not a lot. It just seems so rich or maybe cloyingly sweet, then followed by a bitter finish. Hard to define the flavors specifically, maybe pineapples, just really sweet. As the beer warms up, the alcohol is definitely noticeable, not well concealed. The beer has a full bodied mouthfeel.

Overall it's not a bad beer. It has flavor but at the same time it seems so sweet. A little hard to get past the sweetness as I really appreciate bitterness from hops which I did not get a whole lot of in this beer. It is different than other DIPA's, a very malty beer overall.

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Photo of mtstatebeer
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle, Batch 8, May 2008. Pours an orange-amber color with a decent off-white head, pretty good lacing. Aroma is pine, citrus hops with a decent malty backbone, caramel and pale malts. Taste is initial citrus hops with a good amount of maltiness, finishes fairly bitter. Mouthfeel is astringent (esp. the finish), fairly thick, and fairly active carbonation. Good beer, a more malty DIPA than I've had recently.

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Photo of tjfinkle
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this beer from a bottle poured into my Bruery tulip after dinner. Labeled as Batch 11.

Appearance- Pours from the bottle a nice orange color with light carbonation creating some soft white head that settles out to a nice lacing that sticks around.

Smell - Citrusy piney hops up front followed with some nice malts.

Taste - The hops are very noticeable up front. Some serious pine and floral notes, also some noticeable grapefruit. Some nice soft malts on the finish that are then overpowered by the bitterness of the hops.

Mouth- Bitter, but balanced adequately by the carbonation, however the alcohol is a little more noticeable for the style. Granted, this is a 10.4% beer, but was still a little too much.

Drink- Tasty beer, but still a tough beer to enjoy a lot of. The 10.4% alcohol is very noticeable as is the significant amount of hops. Would still recommend to someone who is interested in this style.

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,520 ratings.
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