Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

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5,705 Ratings

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,705 |  Reviews: 1,880
Photo of Hartebreak
1/5  rDev -76.4%

Photo of fishguyac
1/5  rDev -76.4%

Photo of thearsenal
1/5  rDev -76.4%

1/5  rDev -76.4%

Photo of LCB_Hostage
1.57/5  rDev -62.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.75

This is one nasty beer. I will admit that this bomber has been sitting in my fridge for 4-6 weeks, so maybe the problem is that it ages horrifically, but my god, this was awful.

It looked pretty as I poured it into an imperial pint glass, but it was all down hill after that. The aroma was subdued, but what there was was bitter in a way that I can't associate with any known type of hops.

The taste was also bitter, but not in a pleasurable, hoppy way. More of a getting a mouthful of gasoline when you do a shitty job of siphoning way. It just burned itself into the roof of my mouth and back of my tongue and would not go away.

I see from the reviews here that a lot of people have had a much better experience with this beer than I did, so it may have been a bad bottle or at least a bottle with too much age on it. I couldn't find any dating on the bottle, but unless it was several years old, there's no excuse for it going THIS bad. But there are so many great DIPAs out there that I enjoy regularly, I will not be giving this one another shot.

 1,055 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
1.64/5  rDev -61.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

First off, I love Avery Beers and their IPA is among my favorites..that said....
Pours a clear golden orange amber with a single finger head that melts to a very small lace for this type of beer.
Aroma is....aroma is...aroma is a mistake. Bitter hops with nothing piney or citrusy...just sort of nasty bitter.
Taste is also a mistake...something I can't identify...bitter hops with strong alcohol...maybe medicinal alcohol. Sweetness that can't really be identified with the malts...just extremely unbalanced...the flavors don't seem to belong together.
Aftertaste and mouthfeel is creamy with an alcohol burn afterwards.
Drinkablility? Sorry...I'm not even going to finish this one.

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Photo of ejmontoy1
1.71/5  rDev -59.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

Photo of blackfish73
1.73/5  rDev -59.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Alas, I endeavored to infestingly enjoy this beer, but only succeeded in cooperating with it. Cooperating to the extent of making it disappear down my gullet while recalling the tastes and aromas I could pleasurably parse and attempting to mollify the tastes and aromas that nauseated me.

My initial thoughts on aroma were barnyard, sauteed mushroom, blue cheese, and flower - each of which I enjoy. However, I subsequently and inescapably entered an aromatic realm of cow anus, Limburger, and durian.

Luckily, the palate, perhaps by virtue of liquid, perhaps by temperature, the anus, Limburger and durian were held in abeyance, though maybe only slightly so before finishing dry, and painting my tongue with three coats of its threatening vomitousness.

Reading other reviews, perhaps I had a bad bottle. To me, this was not an enjoyable IIPA. It was bordering on nasty.

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Photo of chippo33
1.75/5  rDev -58.6%

Photo of Beercounter1
1.75/5  rDev -58.6%

Photo of xare
1.82/5  rDev -57%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured as a lovely burnt orange / amber color with a white head that has constant carbonation. Nice appearance.

Aroma was of alcohol and I had to strain really hard to get a faint hint of grapefruit... but malt was the rest of the aroma. This is a DIPA? Definitely doesn't smell like one to me.

Taste was of malt, alcohol, and no hops whatsoever. Turned me completely off. I demand some hops or at least for the beer to not be so boozy / hot.

Mouthfeel was decent at first but then heats up rather fast due to the alcohol.

Drinkability was very low due to the massive alcohol content and the letdown that this brew was for me. I won't be purchasing this beer again. DIPA without hops whatsoever makes no sense to me.

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Photo of texasMade281
2/5  rDev -52.7%

Photo of ScrimshawFan
2/5  rDev -52.7%

Photo of SlowWideTurns
2/5  rDev -52.7%

Photo of zoolzoo
2/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Bottle dated June 2011

A: Pours a sinister looking copper orangish color, almost mahogany toward the center of the glass. Slightly off white head rises up and sticks around.

S: Soapy, almost caustic mix of detergent and booze. Big impression of bitterness. Definetly pulling some non descript sweetness out of the nose as well.

T: Salty crackers, sugar coated whatever. Very, very sweet and bready, lots of residual sugars. Hops are bitter and resinous, not
much else.

M: Mouthfeel is thick as hell, carbonation is on the lower side of medium.

O: Lots of off flavors, really missed the mark in my book. The taste is literally sweet and salty, hops bring little to the table. This beer is 3 months old not 3 years old....not buying that it would be much better if it were brewed last week.

 795 characters

Photo of Plinythechugger
2.01/5  rDev -52.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Excited to try this new bottling (March 2010) of Maharaja; unfortuantely this beer did NOT live up to the hype.

Poured into a Riedel Tulip Glass

A: Inviting! About one finger head, followed by a touch of lacing on the glass; this is gonna be great!

S: A bit herbal(wink wink), hops are present but they are not overwhelming. A touch of skunk to it as well. Hmmmm....

T: First drink is pleasant. Bitter, very bitter. Whoa - on the second drink, the bittering hops have taken over - game over.

M / D: The mouthfeel is stringent and harsh. The drinkability of this beer is horrific! Don't get be wrong...I love Imperial IPA'S! But this beer is very poorly crafted. Green Flash, Blue Dot, PTY - all make this beer look as if some homebrewer thought, "Hmmm - what would happen if I constructed a beer based on only bittering hops???"

Answer - Maharaja. One of the worst beers I have ever had.

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Photo of mater
2.05/5  rDev -51.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

March 2011 date

A-Pours a nice dark orange amber color with a OK head and lacing.

S-Strong citrusy hop smell, but also a solid malt smell. Kind of a strange smell for a DIPA. Little bit of booze coming through.

T-This is where everything went wrong. On first sip this thing burnt my throat. Strong alcohol taste, then malts with a bitter hop finish.

M-Very thick and very sweet. Very surprised by this.

O-I was really looking forward to this beer, because I love any type of IPA, but this thing seemed more like a high abv barleywine. I drank half the bomber and had to drain pour the rest. After looking at other BA's reviews it seems like I had a different beer.

 669 characters

Photo of KyleVick4
2.26/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

22 oz

A: Pours beautifully. A nice thick head which leaves a delecate lace. The color is amber with golden sides. I think this is the ideal IPA color. Plus it is crystal clear. Very nicely done.

S: Overpowering hops. Grapefruit like wow. Not to excitied bc it has a grassy smell of just too much dry hopping for to long. Also a strong sweet malty nose, once you get past the overpowering hoppiness.

T: Whoa, too much. Im a pretty big hop head and have enjoyed both of the Pliny beers, but jesus. This really attacks the tounge. Literally. Aftr my first few sips I think my tounge has gone a touch numb. Never thought I would meet an IPA that is overly hopped. Has the grassy taste I was afraid of, kinda harsh with the malt, it is unbalanced and to sweet. Maybe a year might bring out the best in this IPA. But for now it tastes harsh and overpowering.

M: A thick almost creamy mouthfeel isn't bad but also isnt really what I have in mind for this style. Tough to really describe the mouthfeel bc the flavor interferes so much...

D: I have a half of a bottle left? Normally I am thrilled with this, but dont know if I can put down the rest. This is not a very drinkable beer as it just stings the mouth with the grassiness of the hops and the overpowering sweet flavor of the malt.

 1,296 characters

Photo of rayjay
2.37/5  rDev -44%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

From Colorado, to the Foodery in Philly, to me in CA, perhaps the long route but that's what it takes to buy beer sometimes! First time drinking anything from this brewery.

Pours beautiful, big pillows of foam that coat the glass, full, malty looking orange body and light carbonation.

Smell is weird, like the stalest hops I've ever come across. Sweet malty alcohol smell too. Smells heavy.

At first I really hated the taste, but I warmed up to it a little bit as time went by. NOT your typical 2xIPA. The beer tastes old and stale, and it tastes like the hops were also very old when they were used. The IBU's are way over 100, and I've found over the years that my favorite 2xIPA's are in the 60-80 range.

As time went on, I began to see what the flavor was all about. Very unique, more along the British IPA tradition, very different hop aroma. Not that it assaults you, it just tastes funny. The body is creamy and sweet. Note: once the funny tastes go away, the aftertaste is actually really nice and lasts over 10 minutes.

My first instict was to dump it down the drain, but I'm kinda glad I didn't once my palate adjusted. It was still just okay but it was a different kind of experience.

It's clear that this would not hold it's own in a lineup of 2xIPA's, I would probably rate this last. I would, out of curiousity, drink this beer again. Cheers!

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Photo of bobhits
2.41/5  rDev -43%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Feb 2007 batch 5

A. A nice thick head that leaves an ok lacing down the glass. Kinda of expected more there. It has an orange copper hue, seems a bit thinner than some of the bigger badder IPAs.

S. Over poweringly sweet. I'm not great with picking up on fruit smell or flavors, but this has a nice fruity smell and the sweetness reminds me of honey for some reason. The sweetness is a bit off setting after the first impression (which was great).

T. Sugary malt to start followed by a funky hoppy finish. I often under score an IPA the first time I have it and then it will grow on me. I'm nearly 10oz into this and I'm just not enjoying it. The smell once you start drinking becomes off putting. The hops don't have a clean finish but instead leave this off putting finish of hops and sugar or something. There are a lot of great things going on here, but they don't work together.

M. Nice an smooth texture in the mouth. A good bit of carbonation. There is a bit of hop oil here but nothing like some IPAs.

D. There is no way I would pick up on the near 10% abv. The problem is this beer is just too sweet. It just doesn't scream drink me. One of the things I like about a big IIPA is that they can be almost addictive. I'm struggling to finish this to write this review.

I came in here hoping for something special and this really didn't live up to. I highly recommend if you try this to do so with some friends. There are certainly things here to like, but it doesn't come together for me.

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Photo of ChadQuest
2.45/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Newest batch. Hit the shelf not long ago.

Body is clear, amber, a good amount of lacing.
The aroma and flavors are juicy. Not very crisp citrus but a rounded juicy citrus note. Some pine resins, which is what i was expecting since this is a DIPA that has been made for years before the new school of hops were experimented with.
Personally, i think there is quite a bit of malt flavors in here, more then what a DIPA should have. The feel is far from dry and bitter and i do not expect a toffee flavor in a good version of the style.

Overall. i think this is a classic that needs to be put to rest or tweaked into a better version of the style. Less Pine, Less Malt, More Tropical Fruit and a cleaner finish.

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Photo of Honus1
2.48/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Split a bomber with a friend. I have been looking for this for a while. Apparently in the wrong places. This one was bottled early in 2012. The look was there, but man was the nose off. The taste was worse. All the loads of hops that every raves about were all oxidized. Like a bad overhopped American barley wine. This was a drain pour. I will have to revisit a fresh bottle, then I will re-review. Lesson learned. Check the date before you buy!

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Photo of BDLbrewster
2.48/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a nice cloudy worthers original hue of amber with an off-white sticky looking head that leaves a coating of lacing.

The nose is loaded with resinous pine and lots of sugary sweet toffee notes. No real citrus to speak of, but there is an apparent booziness at the end of the nose.

The taste is heavily pine resin forward with a monstrous malty backbone. Thick sugary caramel under layers of pine-sol bite. The booziness is somewhat harsh and rears its head all the way through the flavor spectrum.

The mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied and syrupy with little carbonation to cut through the heavy flavors.

Overall, I just have never been able to enjoy this one. Looks like nothing has changed. I know the style doesn't demand it, but there is no hint of balance at all here. Sorry Avery this is my last re-visit to your flagship DIPA.

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Photo of SupaCelt
2.49/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Beauteous honey-copper-orange pour. Buoyant pillow head of one finger stature. Superb cap retention that locks the aromas beneath with steadfast resolve. Multidimensional lacings are cast forth, creating a topographical masterpiece of peaks and valleys. Isolated squadrons of carbonation bubbles move en mass into their future. Diffusely gaseous, and quite alright in appearance.

Hop scents emanate from the glass. Resinous. Extract? At any rate, hopped for certain. There is also a malty, thick aroma that disturbs the sappy, pine influences. Slight alcoholic vapors tingle the turbinates. This one smells crusty and too sugared out or something. This crushes the appeal of the hops. It is not all that pleasant to smell.

Toasted caramel throws the first punch. Pine afterburners kick in and dry out the flavourscape for a nice finish that is actually not overly dry. There is perhaps too much malt presence here. More than I had expected. There is just something sickening about the flavour. A dirty, gritty sweetness hangs on like a pit bull. Nearly impeccable body for the style though. I was expecting an overly hoppy and novel taste when in fact, The Maharaja is laying down a huge cloying maltiness in his flavour kingdom. I am going to need my turban rewrapped after this splash. Overall, a bit nauseating.

 1,320 characters

Photo of Bluestar
2.5/5  rDev -40.9%

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 5,705 ratings