Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

1,839 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: 1,839 | Ratings: 5,531
Photo of midaszero
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bottle into pint glass

A - Clear orangish amber with with 1.5 fingers of tan head

S - Citrus with some floral and a touch of sweetness

T - Bitter hops (grapefruit?) with some good sweet malt flavor.

M - Some burn with medium body and medium to high carbonation

D - If you are a hop head you could probably session this. Personally one pint is good but enough.

I know I am commiting an IPA crime but putting 2 bottles of this down in my cellar but I tried a 1 year old bottle awhile back and really enjoyed it.

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

Bottled Feb. 2008, Batch 7.

Unfortunatly my snifter is in the dishwasher, so this was poured into a pint glass.

A: Slightly cloudy burnt orange with one finger of creamy off white head. Very nice spotty lacing that lasted the entire glass.

A: Huge citrus hops. Lemon, orange, and grapefruit. Sweet pine as well.

T: Hops again dominate this brew. Malts try to balance it out, but the hops are overwhelming. Finishes with a very crisp alcohol sensation.

M: Oily, medium body beer. Good amount of carbonation.

D: This is a big beer, definately not for the novice. One 22 oz. bomber at 10.54% ABV is more than enough. This is a good offering for the style. Skal.

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

A supremely hoppy high gravity Double IPA, this beer poured copper colored with a nice foamy head and lacing that lasted forever. Smell very hoppy with definite grapefruit and floural odor with a light green grape scent. Taste was smooth for such a hoppy high ABV brew. As expected, the hops really stand out but its not completely out of balance. Mouthfeel is rather light with a slight alcohol burn on top of tongue. Drinkability depends on your tolerance for a stout beer. I'd never drink more than one per session but will definitely drink more.

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Photo of Floydster
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber from Cooke's Market in El Segundo

275th review on here, every 25 or so, I am going to try to drink a special brew from here on out

Poured into my Dogfish Head snifter and was a cloudy light brown, bottled was released in Febraury and let sit until tonight, and surprisingly, it was still very hoppy

Head was about 1/4 inch and fizzled immediately, slthough lacing was evident throughout my entire glass until the last sip

Smell was a little malty with some citrus accents, mostly oranges and not too much lemon

Taste was hoppy at first, followed by sweetness, then a charcoal-like aftertaste, this beer tasted strong, being that it is an Imperia IPA, about as dry as they get and took me an hour and a half to drink even though it was not too heavy, could have drank more, just took my time to enjoy the dry everlasting taste

Could probably be cellared even more, at least 3 more months, seven months did not seem to have an effect on the hops, too bad it is only seasonal, need to try the Czar and Kaiser next to esnure that Avery's seasonal brews are as good as they are cracked up to be

Highly recommended

Would have again, especially if I see it at Holingshead's Deli in Orange on tap again some time

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Photo of northaustin
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

yummy yummy i love these world ruler beers that avery makes the maharaja tastes like an ipa should. its high abv is perfectly countered by the hops. the label on the bottle is beautiful like most of averys select beers. perfect seasonal to try just a few times while its around. beware of overpricing on this and other avery beers

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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 kaiyote
3.81/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber with about a finger of head that slowly dissipated and left a capping on the liquid. Decent lacing left behind as I drink it. Smells like walking through a pine forest, but the taste seems more about malt than it does hops. There's still a decent hop bitterness there, but (and especially on the first sip) there is an overriding malty sweetness. Carbonation is very low, but a burn from the ABV helps lighten it up some.

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Photo of Roguer
3.81/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Surprisingly dark reddish brew. Fairly small off-white head with decent retention. Looks fairly clear, but difficult to tell in poor lighting.

The aroma is fairly neutral; you can tell that it falls in the IPA or ABW family, but everything is kind of subdued. A touch of pine and citrus hops meld with caramel grains and brown sugar.

Sweet, big, and bold on the palate; the hops really kick in on the last third. Fairly juicy and barleywine-esque. One of those big DIPAs that really straddles the line.

Oily and syrupy on the palate. Normally, that's a detractor for a DIPA in my book, but the way this brew presents itself (think: the smaller, lighter cousin of Devil Dancer or 120 min), it's actually a very enjoyable feel. 10.2% alcohol is very smooth.

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Photo of Jwburns75
3.81/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a HF snifter/wine glass. Pours a dark, rusty auburn color with about a one finger head. Laces well, and there is an abundance of sediment floating around in there. The bottle has been sitting in my fridge for about 3-4 weeks. Medicinal smell, some alcohol in the nose. Taste is sweet, caramel like. This is a malty imperial IPA, alcohol is present in the taste but not overwhelming. This one is a sipper.

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Photo of Reaper16
3.81/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

served from a 22oz. bottle -- batch 9, Feb. 2009 -- into a goblet

Looks like an IPA should. Nice and ruby-orangy with a decent, off-white head. The head recedes quickly, but leaves a neat, solid wall of lacing behind.

The hops are already faded; I can tell from the nose. I suppose I should have figured from the bottled-on date. It smells like, well, months-old HopSlam: the citrus, mango and pineapple scents are there, but fleetingly so. Some astringency. Various undistinguished malts dominate the nose.

This definitely tastes like a past-its-prime double IPA. But that doesn't mean that its bad or without merit. Caramel malt sweetness meets an initial earthiness from the hops. Around the middle of the drink, the fruits make themselves known. Tangerine and something that tastes like plum (the aging has affected that flavor, I take it) dance around before giving way to a slightly astringent earthy finish. Its old, sure, but its still good. I've had less flavorful fresh double IPAs.

I love the mouthfeel on this beer. Perhaps its months-old age has something to do with it, but this beer strikes a superb balance for me. Its just thick enough to be luscious but also thin enough to be refreshing and drinkable. Thanks in no small part to the mouthfeel it is not a chore to polish off the whole bomber. Most people aren't going to want to drink more than one 22.oz bottle of this at a time, so I'd say that this beer is drinkable enough.

Despite having some age on it my bottle of Maharaja was pretty good. I'd love to see how intense the fruit flavors and the IBUs are in a fresher bottle.

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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 hooliganlife
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served on tap in a tumbler glass

color was deep copper with a light fluffy white head. light retention.

smell was very bitter citrus, huge hop scents

taste was bitter in the finish, but with a stronger malt backbone up front. lots of biscuit notes. very bitter hops, little floral presence.

very smooth overall and rather full. kind of syrupy.

very drinkable, but over time. not a session beer by ANY means. but this is a GREAT DIPA that i will be drinking over the next few months. i also had this from the bottle, and i preferred the bottle hands down.

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Photo of organicbrewer
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled March 2010, batch 11. NICE!

A-clear but not brilliant bronze. Huge off white head.

S-tangarine. slight dank. some mango. Juicy fruit. Hops are really hiding the malt.

T-Firmly bitter (who woulda thought). Candy like. Piney. Earthy. More citrus in the aroma than the flavor.

M-medium bodied. Thicker than I thought it would be, but still nice. Some alcohol. Medium carbonation.

D-The alcohol and thickness make this a hard beer to drink a lot of. Really nice aroma with a decent flavor. Maybe dry it out a bit, or not. Still good.

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Photo of moosington
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful medium amber with a quickly dissipating one-finger head that leaves a healthy ring and nice lacing.

Aroma of a balanced sweet citrus and malt and a nice piney hop. Smells like an Imperial IPA.

Taste doesn't follow aroma as such. Though the sweetness is there (bit of pineapple) at first, it is almost instantly dominated by a solid hop kick, though it is a nice hop kick with a grapefruit bitterness that stays on the back of the tongue as a bridge to the next sip. I get no heat and the 10+% is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel is a highlight. Nice and full for the style with more than adequate carbonation to coat the tongue and open the tastebuds.

While I probably wouldn't spend the whole night drinking this, I could handle a few pints to start. Overall a very good Imperial IPA and worth checking out.

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Photo of Naes
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a very clear light amber colored IPA with hues of orange around the edges. Its head is a tall layer of white that laces and retains quite well.
The aroma is full of citrus (grapefruit and orange rinds) and has a slight piney presence.
The flavor has a surprising amount of malt to it, but it is still dominated by the hops. Grapefruit and pine are very distinctive but it does remain balanced. The alcohol is noticeable, but does not take away from the flavor.
Mouth feel is medium in body and nicely carbonated, but the drinkability is hindered by its strong alcohol content.

Overall verdict: this is a very good beer, but the alcohol content mixed with the bottle size will keep me from getting this brew again.

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Photo of ghetto90007
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was really interesting.

Color was a bold copper. Great lacing all the way down the glass. Nice head on pour that had great resilience.

Smelled citrusy, but also a very strong sweet malt aroma - surprising for a DIPA.

Incredibly rich. Anise, caramel, along with the expected smooth hoppiness of a DIPA.

Moutfeel - full-bodied, creamy, and heavy.

This was a really rich imperial IPA with a high ABV. If there is a such thing as a winter IPA, this would be it.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into my Rochefort glass...Pours a dark orange with nice white and very sticky head...Really nice aroma of grapefruits, sweet, very similar to dreadnaught. Light hops on the back end...The taste is down a little, malty caramel backdone not much of the grapefruits. Mostly pine resin from start to finish. Its not too overpowering as far as this flavor goes, but a little one dimensional.

Above average ipa, worth trying but not worth searching out or trading for.

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Photo of peabody
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a cloudy orange amber/redish with two fingers of white suds.
Smell is malt and sugar and grapefruit. The alcohol seems pretty strong here. As it warms a bit, the piney hops come in. Really a nice aroma in this brew.
Taste is a bit dirty but sweet and warm alcohol-wise. Apple and cherry and dark bitterness,,,very dark bitterness. The sugars don't balance the bitterness very well.
Aftertaste is a warm alcohol with the hops ending up on the roof of the mouth is a warm bitter dryness that does make you want another drink. Then the warmth finally hits the gut. Whoa!
Mouthfeel is good but drinkability is low here cause of the 9.7% abv.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: burnt orange. nice head, about a quarter to a half inch. good retention, nice lacing.

S: lots of tropical fruit. some citrus and pine. but the tropical fruits dominate.

T: resinous pine. I get orange, peach. some mango on the finish. A nice crisp bitter finish too. AT 10.2 % abv, this is a bit dangerous. Very well hidden. Easy to drink.

M: thick resinous mouthfeel.

O: a good beer. I'd drink it again. I don't know that I'd buy it again. I prefer Double Jack....but not much else holds a candle to Double Jack.

good beer.

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Photo of cokes
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Brassy peach topped with an evaporating pyre of downy suds.
Nose is all metal and wet ferns up front, but settles towards caramlized pineapples and peach syrup gin as it rests.
While chilled this is a vapid and simple, merely toasted malt and orange pekoe tea-tinged bitterness. It also has to sit for a while, because the frenzied, microscopic carbonation is like a sandblaster right away....abrasive to say the least.
Fortunately, it does cohere and gain intrigue after time, caramel grows and clings after it settles and warms, with backings of brown sugar and maplewood. Orange marmalade and cinnamon and cedar. Backed with a florescent, buzzing, floral petal hoppiness and metal lime rind hoppiness.
I rather hated this at first, but it grew together over time, especially once the carbonation evened itself out, and it warmed back up to cellar temps.
All told, I think the 11 was superior, but this is interesting at the very least.

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Photo of UTCengOwl
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought this at Central Market before hearing that I could get St Arnold Divine Rreseerve #11 today. Compared thte two and this got crushed. I remembered liking this more in previous batches... hrm. Bottle dated 3/2011. Served in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

It looks perfect on the pour. A caramelly translucent brown with a pillowy white head. I could sleep on that. Unfortunately, the head dies down a bit fast. Damn you, high ABV.

The nose has hints of a double ESB. Hoppy as all heck, but still caramelly and somewhat medicinal fruit. Could have used more citrus hops. Something brighter would have balanced this a lot better. Is this a pretend barleywine? One of my friends says peaches. Let's go with that.

The taste is thick. Damn. Maybe a bit too sweet, too. I think this is a mediocre American Barleywine instead of a DIPA. The hops aren't bright enough or have enough citrus. Not as peachy. Quite bitter, but that's balanced by the malt.

This is a good offering, but I think it could be improved. I'd take a DR 11 over this almost every time.... or even a SN Bigfoot.

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Photo of sophisticated
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My 2nd brew by Avery (the first one I ever tried was THE BEAST so I've been a little hesitant.) Nevertheless, I'm glad I gave this a whirl.

Got on 6/25/09 at Doherty's in RI.
$8 on tap poured into a tulip glass.

A) Like cloudy ruby-red grapefruit juice. Lovely 1.5 inch fluffy head of off-white foam. Slowly dissipated into a white ring; left lovely rings of lacing all over glass.

S) Major hops! Piney, citrus, just plain ol' hops. Also something a little sweeter in there, like apple.

T) Like it smells. Ends on a definite bitter note.

MF) Crisp, well-carbonated, medium-thickness

D) Good. Obviously it's a DIPA, and I do love my IPAs. But even for me it's a *bit* too bitter. But it's a pleasure to have one of these over the course of 30-45 minutes or so, and I definitely felt the buzz after a short while. No need for a 2nd one but it was a pleasure.

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Photo of ABOWMan
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was one of several IPA's I had this evening and I must say I was thoroughly impressed with this offering from Avery. Poured a full fluffy light head of three fingers which faded quickly, little to no lacing on the galss. The color was a rich copper/golden and the clarfity was cloudy.

The aroma was of citrus and malt, in that order.

The flavor was a well blended malt sweetness and hop bitterness. Huge flavor impact lowers the drinkability factor, but not the enjoyment factor for this ale. Avery has a number of very good offerings and represents one of my favorite lagers in their Kaiser offering. This Maharaja in an atypical IPA with huge flavor impact that is an exceptional value at $7 for this 22 oz. bottle. Wouldn't call it a must drink IPA but it is unusual enough to merit some attention.

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

Batch #3 bottled in February 2006.

Pours a peachy orange with very docile carbonation and not much head retention. I'm aware of the abv of this, but I've had dipas at or around this abv that maintained more of a head. Some flecks of spotty lace. This smells like grapefruit and pine resin. Grapefruit and pine resin. The hops don't so much come at you out front with each sip, rather, I get the malt sweetness and some slight breadiness which segues into a big citrus hops flavor. The bitterness really doesn't hit me until the aftertaste really, to which it lingers. Not as balanced as I'd like. Kind of sharp carbonation up front, but slides over the tongue more smoothly. There's a viscous alcohol slickness as I swallow that just doesn't sit right with me. Good flavor makes this really drinkable, but that slick mouthfeel kind of knocks it down a bit.

The only big Avery beer I've ever had that didn't taste like someone threw a shot of vodka in the bomber. I suppose when you use this much hops it's to be expected. Good, but not worth the $7.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap in a tulip at Barley's Smokehouse on 6/24/10

Faded amber color with a copper twinge. One finger head. Almost no retention; good lacing though.

Simcoe & C-hops are loaded for bear in the aroma. Lots of pine & tropical citrus: grapefruit, tangerine & hints of pineapple. Smells zesty - quite nice. Faint malty sweetness. Dank aroma as it warms.

The nose suggests but doesn't fully prepare for the onslaught of hops & malts. Scathing pine digs right in & doesn't leave. Citrus notes are dense but seated under the pine; as such they are not particularly vibrant. Malts are more assertive than the nose; caramel, nips of toasted bread & biscuit.

Full bodied for the style. Slick with some alcohol heat. Underlying grittiness; kind of sticky, actually. Carbonation is appropriately low. Pine & a touch of sweetness linger.

Drinkability is fine, yet at 10% abv it's a heavy hitter. It's too hot, in my opinion. One is plenty. I'd been considering getting a bottle; I'm glad I held out for the tap.

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,531 ratings.
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