Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

1,850 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,850 | Ratings: 5,587
Photo of taylorhamrick
3.34/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours out an almost amber color with a big off-white head. The bubbles look dense and clingy and started to lace the glass early, though the head kind of falls back relatively quickly, leaving only a few swirls of bubbles after the first few sips. Looks pretty good. Smells very good too. I can immediately smell the fruity hops, grapefruit yes, but also tropical fruit, mango etc. There's a hint of sweetness and peachy alcohol, but really the hops dominate with whiffs of pine, resin, and grass as well. As usual, Avery has thrown in the huge ABV, with this bottle saying 10.27%, and I can really taste it, which hurts on the hop front for me. But there is enough hop flavor in there to see past it. I get the alcohol burn and hop bitterness first, followed by an intense grassy taste with just a kick of tropical fruit behind it. Finishes with a little battle between tart dryness and malty sweetness. The huge alcohol note hurts the mouthfeel, giving me primarily burn, but I kind of like the resinousy feel from the hops. Almost chewy from the hoppy flavors, though the malty liquid itself is kind of thin with alcohol. And this one really wears on you. Its a very enjoyable beer, but I was already slowing down after 4 sips or so. The alcohol just warms you and starts to make your head spin a bit quick. I would recommend it, but you might want to split it between friends to enjoy it the most - too much booze.

 1,418 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.35/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

32oz growler from De Cicco's in NY after the captain. In a glass.

A- Deep orange shaded bronze metallic with a gorgeous tanned foam on top with vigor. Notches down the side of the glass, spray paint like.

S- Smells like a nugget nectar with more booze, nugget, simcoe? semi citrusy hoppy with a malt overlay. Sweet boozy, hoppy.

T- A real malty double I. Maha comes off with mild citrus, orange and something else. Malt is up there with sugar and sweet. Some booze, it shows, a small caramel bite, no pine.

M- A sweet rush followed by a muted hopping under the malt and barley. A big medium body that does not shield the booze to much. Carbed up well off the spout.

D- I got through it, not my favorite double, not one i'll seek out again. Too east coast for me, this is nearing Stoudt's DIPA territory for me, not a good look.

 834 characters

Photo of cavedave
3.35/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a cloudy, translucent, golden amber, topped by one finger of well knit beige foam. The head recedes to a cap in a minute. A gentle swirl leaves finely clinging lacicles on my snifter.

The smell is a strong bouquet of dark caramel, yeast, and estery notes of ripe plum, fenced by lighter citrus, and a lighter, but deep, herbosity. It is a pleasant if not sensuous smell, with major complexity. Subsequent inhales reveal earthy tones, and a bitterness hard to decipher.

The taste is very malt forward, full of the same dark caramel, and yeast, of the nose. Alcohol is strongly present. Missing are the familiar hop notes of American DIPA's. I have the feeling this is not a fresh bottle, but I couldn't find a bottling/best by date when I bought it, and can't now. The sip resolves into notes of peach and plum, a spicy character, and ends long and sweet with a pleasing bitterness that swims in plenty of alcohol. This is far from the best DIPA I've tried, but it is good. Perhaps I will be able to confirm the age of this, and try a fresher bottle if this is indeed outdated, and edit this review. Not much more to add.

Mouthfeel is standard thick and resiny, with light carbonation, and no cloying or metallic feel to it.

Drinkability is poor, perhaps due to suspected outdatedness. It will be a struggle to finish this 22 oz.'er.

 1,342 characters

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.35/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 3/27/2006 (750mL bottle):

Pours an amber red color body that is very clear. Can get almost no head out of the pour, it is off-white, and diminishing. A strong aroma of hops, bitterness. Hoppy taste but not overly bitter, semi-sweet, and has a bitter aftertaste.

 271 characters

Photo of gezondheid
3.36/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

10oz. goblet pour at Canal Street Pub, Reading, PA

A – Cloudy copper holds nice swirls of foam
S – Subdued nose, no alcohol notes belie ABV of 10%
T – Sharp upfront, alcohol emerges here
M – Drying yet creamy carbonation release bitters as it warms
D – Not a repeat beer, one and done, moving on …

 310 characters

Photo of morimech
3.36/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle which had a "Bottled in May 2007 Batch 6". So it is over a year old. Not a good sign for a DIPA. It has an copper color with orange hues. A one-fingered off-white head sits atop the beer. Head retention was very good and large amounts of lacing is left on the glass.

Mostly malt is smelled with some citrus and alcohol notes. I am afraid age has got the best of this one. The taste lacks any hop flavor. There is a bitterness present but I can not detect what kind of hops were used. It has a nice malt base and the finish is hot alcohol. Medium bodied with a creamy consistancy. Just enough carbonation to liven it up just a touch.

Someday I would like to try a much fresher version. I only noticed the date after I got it home and am very surprised that the store which is held in high esteem in the region would sell it when it is past its prime.

 873 characters

Photo of ne0m00re
3.36/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Served on-tap at Mad Mex in Columbus, Ohio in a snifter glass.
A: Red dark honey, it poured with a big creamy head that died to a good film.
S: Sweeet hops and alcohol, with a strange moldy twang on earthy, citrus, and piney hops combined with some grapefruit. The moldy twang is pungent like cheese.
T: Caramel sweet malt with candied oranges and piney, citrus hops. The bright hops and candy linger.
M: Syrupy, creamy, frothy, but crisp with the hops.
D: Only OK for the style.

 479 characters

Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.36/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tapped into a tulip.

Appearance - Medium amber body. Small white head with fine lacing.

Smell - Candy sweet. Hoppy. Great balance.

Taste - Acidic. Fruity. Crisp. Slight bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied.

Overall Drinkability - Good beer, but for the style, thoroughly unimpressive.

 293 characters

Photo of vobr0002
3.36/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- hazy amber with thick off white head that last a long time.

S- bread, malt, caramel are the first smells. Then you get some pine hops along some floral and citrus after.

T- malty just like the smell. Very bitter. Hops taste like the smell indicated.

M- full body for an iipa and good amount of carbonation for style.

O- not that impressed with this beer, too malty not enough hop aroma. Maybe I got an old bottle. I'll have to give it another try at some point if I can get a bottle.

 491 characters

Photo of assurbanipaul
3.37/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy orange with a thin head. Aroma is sweet and juicy hops, nicely malty without being too bitter or pungent.

Taste is a rich, oily pungent hop base. Not a friendly, chirpy citrus hop -- this has some seriously dark and strong bitterness, like the time your first wife met your new wife. Some mandarin oranges macerated in syrup, a decent caramel malt backbone, reminds me of a good rye beer.

Mouthfeel is heavy, resiny, can't drink this too fast. No trace of alcohol, just a thick, juicy bitterness keeping it in check. It has a really raw quality that puts me off just a little, maybe just a bit too sweet. Nice, but I prefer my hop-bombs with just a little more lightness…. like a Bigfoot.

 708 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.38/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours slightly hazed deep amber with a thick, bubbly, off-white head that slowly descends to a thin, lasting cover. Rings of lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is of tangy, pungent citrus with pine/resin. Slight caramelish and spicy alcohol backing.

The taste is of alcohol spiciness and pine/resin. The alcohol brings out the resin to the point that the citric fruitiness is almost lost in the shuffle. Sweet malt is there, but this is so much of an overload of resin and alcohol it becomes difficult to make out the complexity of it. After a show of sweetness, raw bitterness hangs on in the finish.

Full-bodied, but an overload on the palate, especially of the burningly sharp heat of the alcohol. Burnt plastic aftertaste.

Well, it disappeared faster than expected so there is something to it. And, it is a big brew, but almost too big to be enjoyable. I correctly chose this as a nightcap, as the tastebuds are shot after it. Interesting, and I can appreciate big beers, but this was too over-the-top and almost lost under persistent alcohol and resin. Worth having once to try it, but I can't see returning to it.

 1,133 characters

Photo of TVolt1
3.38/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very hazy orangish/golden color but extremely cloudy.

S: Smells a little nuttiesh with a strong malt smell. Does not smell like a typical IIPA - verry little hop smell. Doesn't make me very excited to drink it.

T: Tastes just as malty as it smelled. Nice and bitter finish but still not a ton of hop flavors with it. Can taste a hint of piney hops with the bitterness of the beer.

M: Medium bodies thickness with a small amount of carbonation.

O: Overall, this is an alright beer. Probably wouldn't buy again or recommend it. Just average.

 546 characters

Photo of bball208
3.38/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Meh, not sure what the hype is all about. I wanted to love this beer so much since a lot of people I know like this, but it just didn't taste like an IPA.

Hazy orange, with nice head. Looks beautiful. The aroma was if biscuits and more breads. Kinda strange for an IPA. Taste was not bitter although it said 102 IBUs. Tasted like biscuits, little hops, some grapefruit, but overall it was muddled by the malt. Not too balanced, definitely not a refreshing IPA. It's a wintertime beer, I would never drink this on a hot day. I've had way more IPAs that were tasty, more floral, and more appealing than this one. This just was not a very good beer, despite its complex flavors. I guess I like more of the floral beers like heady topper


 857 characters

Photo of airheadmtrcycle
3.4/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'll be honest; I've been anxious about getting my hands on a Maharaja for some time. Everything I've read and all my friends who know what I like suggest this will be a DIPA that I will like.

Poured from a bomber into a Duvel tulip yields a deep copper ale with a large off-white, almost tan head. The head recedes and leaves a little lacing. Soon all trace of head and lacing are gone.

The aroma is strong of resin, some citrus and biscuit/bread dough which only heightens my anticipation and causes my palate to salivate. To my immediate disappointment my first sip has a spicy, obtrusive alcohol presence that is a turn-off. The hops are quite pine-y and spruce-y and less citrus-y and sweet than I had hoped for. Do Simcoe hops work well with all the "C" hops? The huge malt bill does make for a sweet ale, though, maybe a little too sweet for my preference. The bitterness is huge, and one I'm sure many hopheads will love, but I'm not as enamored as I hoped I would be. This Maharaja does rule with a heavy hand as Avery's website claims. The mouth feel is oily and somewhat flat, and has a little too much bite from the alcohol.

Overall, Maharaja doesn't hide its big alcohol well enough for me. Its hop profile is a little out of my flavor preference and it's too sweet.

 1,282 characters

Photo of angrybabboon
3.4/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for this beer

Review adapted from notes taken 6/24/11

Appearance: An orange-amber color, hazy, fluffy beige head - sticky lacing, nice retention

Smell: Very hoppy and very malty - oily hops, grapefruit, citrus, pine - some herbal characteristics - sweet, caramel and amber toasted malts, and straight-up sugar

Taste: Boozy, boozy, boozy - yes, it it bitter and hoppy, but the taste is dominated by the sweetness and booze - maybe it's just this batch - some orange and grapefruit rind, some herbal flavors - the malts taste more like a malt extract syrup than something like a biscuit - regardless, not a trainwreck, just a very strange balance

Mouthfeel: Heaver than average, almost syrupy, sticky - just tastes wrong - this beer needs to dry out

Overall: A malty, hoppy, booze bomb

I guess this beer really varies batch to batch. I wasn't really impressed by it. Maharaja certainly isn't a bad DIPA, but it's kind of the opposite of what I look for in the style. It's too malty to be balanced, too much booze, not crisp.

 1,053 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.4/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2005.

Appearance: cloudy yellow / orange in color with a short 1/4" head. A spot or two of lace develops. A few carbonation bubbles are seen rising from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: tons of alcohol, citrus, and a piney bitterness that is overwhelming and not very enjoyable.

Taste: huge malt backbone, loads of grapefruit slices and piney bitterness. Alcohol is quite evident. Nicely balanced but an overload for the tastebuds.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start. The finish is dry and smooth. Medium heavy in body. The aftertaste is very long on the bitterness and alcohol tones.

Drinkability: a true slow sipper, and an over the top version of a double IPA. There are better ones out there that aren't so in your face.

 755 characters

Photo of ChanChan
3.4/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Maharajah I was extremely excited to try this beer! Poured from a 22OZ Bomber into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Copper in color with a nice two inch tan head. Lacing in this beer is decent.

Aroma: Tropical fruit, mango peach, grapefruit as well as pine and resin.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with good carbonation.
Taste: Heavy malty caramel, tropical fruit again but not as present as in the nose. This beer is sticky and cloying.

Overall: This beer is suppose to be better than a Pliny the Elder. I had this side by side with a PTE and it is certainly not as good as a Pliny!! It is boozier and a lot more cloying but it’s nowhere as good! For anyone who disagrees he or she should try it this way. I’m just giving my honest opinion. Good beer though.

 757 characters

Photo of heebes
3.41/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy golden orange with a nice two finger off white fluffy head. Nose is remenants of faded floral/citrus hops and big caramel, bread malts. Taste is similiar, bitter in the middle and lingering finish, but predominately malt now that the hops are diminished. Medium bodied mouthfeel. Undeserving of this review and the hunt will continue to try this years batch.

(Another dusty bottle on the shelf at Ryan's. Batch 12.)

 431 characters

Photo of BigMike
3.41/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark golden orange in color. Pretty clear overall. A finger of khaki colored head.

S: Very sweet on the nose. Lots of toffee and brown sugar. In the background are some tropical fruits. Lots of mango.

T:Hops take a back seat to caramel malts in this one. It's sugary sweet with lots of toffee. Tons of bitterness. Some over ripened pineapple and mango

M: Above medium bodied. Pretty heavy but expected for over 10%. Good carbonation.

Overall: A decent DIPA but a little too malty for my liking. Probably nothing i would drink again.

 539 characters

Photo of SierraFlight
3.42/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into shaker pint and shared with Tim K. Orange and clear body with an off-white head that sticks and leaves lace patches. Aroma is citrus (mostly grapefruit), tobacco, honey, and caramel malt. Taste is moderately bitter with a touch of malty sweetness, centered around grapefruit peel, pine, hop resin, and caramel. Medium body, slightly creamy texture, average carbonation, bitter finish with a hint of alcohol.

 426 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.43/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A good amber orange pour forms a bubbly white head on top. Little spots of lacing appear all over the glass. Bright and vibrant...looks pretty good to me. Aromas of sweet, sugary caramel malts, cotton candy and citrusy hops that have a piney twang. The hops seem too subdued in the nose for me and a bit off overall. Still has a nice aroma overall.

First sip brings a sweet, nearly cloying caramel maltiness upfront with a mix of bitter citrusy/piney hop flavors across the palate. The hops seem to be a bit muddled to me and the candy like sweetness gets to me after a few sips. I have to say I was expecting more out of this one. Drop this one and bring back the Eleven!

Mouthfeel is creamy and medium bodied..slightly slick with good carbonation. This one left me longing for something more...I'll have to pass next time and hope they re-use the recipe for Eleven one of these days!

 891 characters

Photo of Cresant
3.43/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet glass. Bottled in June of 2006, batch 4. Chill haze cleared quickly to reveal a clear, pale golden amber body. Two fingers of Yukon-Gold-potato colored head. Sheets of tiny bubbles slide down the glass after each sip.

Smell was sweet and citrusy. Spicy grains (rye?). Floral hops are faintly discernible. Fruity.

Taste was grapefruit juice and rinds. Hints of walnut skins bitterness. Alcohol flavors increased as it warmed. Ripe stone-fruits. Big, bold, and rich.

Mouthfeel was slick and oily. Medium to full bodied.

 582 characters

Photo of jeffthecheff
3.43/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch 10, June 2009

Orange color with slight haze, with a head that builds up nice at first, settles down with some large bubbles and then to just a cap.

Aroma is nice, but misses the strong, raw, fresh hop aroma that I want in a DIPA. It has a slight grass aroma, herbal, and with a slight citrus, and maybe apricot. When it warms it smells to boozy.

Taste is nice, bitterness is about as strong as you can imagine. Wintergreen type of sensation, sticky hop flavor, and a touch of sweetness. Much better when it was cold then as it warms.

Bitterness is so numbing I have a hard time describing mouthfeel. As it gets towards room temp, it feels a bit sticky. Drinkability is about what you expect. High ABV so it gets better towards the end of the bottle.

 759 characters

Photo of BigDaddyWil
3.43/5  rDev -18.3%
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.

 819 characters

Photo of loftisCT
3.43/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Release 15 Winter 11/12, Drank Feb 21, 2012
A: Amber-colored with a very slight haziness, nice head and retention for a 10% beer.
S: Very tropical nose. Definite citrus aspect, but a very sweet citrus, also a little pine. Almost no dank or catty aspect to these hops. While I love the hops flavors, a sharp caramel note is also present and there's a little more alcohol than I would like.
T: Both very hoppy and very malty. The hops flavors are very fruity as in the smell. The malt is sweet and caramelly. A little too much caramel for me. I like caramel when it integrates with the hops to give them a candyish or sweet flavor. Conversely, I think here the caramel is stealing the show from them a little. The bitterness is relatively light, alcohol is more prevalent in the finish than the hops.
T: Mouthful is very nice on this beer. Approaching full-bodied and almost pillowy.
O: I love the hop blend and the mouthfeel for this beer. A little too much alcohal and caramel for my liking. While this beer is very hoppy, the hops can't fully unleash their glory because the prevalent alcohol and sharp caramel.

 1,112 characters

Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,587 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.