Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

5,600 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

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Ratings: 5,600 |  Reviews: 1,856
Photo of alamode
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 12
Bottled May 2010
10.48% ABV
1.090 OG
102 IBUs

Pours a very cloudy orange/caramel body that's chock full of suspended particles. Huge chunky off white head that leaves patches of lacing all over my Duvel glass.

Orange marmalade, lemon zest, grapefruit flesh, rich caramel, and resiny hop oil aromas. This is one massive bouquet, you can smell it from across the room.

The flavor is just as over the top as the aroma. With an ABV just a hair shy of 10.5%, it should be no surprise that Maharaja has an ample malt backbone. But with boat loads of hops and 102 IBUs, you better believe there are more than enough hops to not only balance things out, but to pull this beer over the line and deep into hoppy territory. Caramel malts, bright citrus, resiny pine, and an aggressively bitter finish.

The body is full, rich and sticky.

Batch 12 of Maharaja was perhaps the best batch Avery ever made. It was bottled 5 months before I wrote this review and as you might expect, today it is not half the beer that it was when it was fresh. This review is an attempt to preserve a record of the greatness of a fresh Batch 12. Unfortunately, I never took tasting notes on a fresh bottle, but I did drink several and I had it on tap several times too, so I think I have a pretty good memory of what it was like.

Batch 12 was a unique beer. At the time that it was being brewed, Avery was experimenting with a centrifuge for filtration purposes. Avery, like many brewers, uses diatomaceous earth to filter its beer. The problem with diatomaceous earth, is that when using it to filter a very hoppy beer, many of the chunky hop bits that it filters out were saturated with beer. So not only do you lose some flavorful hop goodness, you also lose a lot of beer. Centrifuges allow a brewer to strip out the big chunky stuff, but keep a higher percentage of the beer. Avery wanted to switch to a centrifuge eventually and a company that sells them lent one to Avery so they could experiment with it in an attempt to convince Avery to buy the centrifuge now rather than in a year or two.

So, Avery ran a fresh batch of Maharajah through the centrifuge rather than diatomaceous earth. Everything seemed to go pretty well. Then, after the beer had been in bottles for a few days, small particles began appearing in the beer. It turns out that Maharaja was so full of hops, that they simply couldn't remain in solution. In fact, Batch 12 was so chunky, so full of sediment, the folks at Avery considered a recall. Then they tasted it. The excess hop particles that made Batch 12 look more like a Hefeweizen than an IPA also gave it an extraordinary aroma and flavor. And thus, the best batch of Maharaja EVER was released and I am so glad it was.

All Maharaja is amazing. It is one of the best IPAs in America and that is really saying something. But this batch, this was something of truly rare quality. I'm just happy I got to enjoy it.

 2,933 characters

Photo of ackeeper
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of brureview
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014: This year there is an added sweetness and pronounced tropical fruit.
The aroma is strong tropical fruit, sweet, grape, and apple.
The mouthfeel is very carbonated.
The taste is one of the best in all the DIPAs I have tasted: tropical fruit, grapefruit, apple, sweet, grape finished with a hoppy, refreshing bitterness.

One of my two favorite DIPAs- the other is Heady.


Wow! I had this DIPA on tap, and it was great. It was served in a tulip and poured a beautiful tea color, with little head. The aroma was strong grapefruit.

The mouthfeel was very smooth for an IPA. No bitterness to speak of. The taste was excellent-fruity-especially strong grapefruit. A winner!

 680 characters

Photo of Bustersuess
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of jaemeno3
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of BierFan
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a tulip. Bottled in February 2009, batch 9. ABV of 10.27%.

Appearance: Tan head, hazy dark amber body. Looks like a maltier DIPA, which I prefer to the thinner bodied DIPAs.

Smell: Oily and fruity. Tart green apples and pine. Little bit of alcohol is present.

Taste: Quite a bit of pine, but not overwhelmingly piney. Finishes with a minty flavor. I've never experienced so much mint in a DIPA before, and I really like it.

 462 characters

Photo of CaptainNomihodai
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of eulerthegrape
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of Denzo
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of JLaw55
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice malty DIPA, that has a pretty smooth finish and minimal bitter. It also hides that 10.2% ABV in a way that I can only assume is magic or sorcery of some kind. Very nice, but be careful. It will mess you up in a hurry.

Would Drink Again: Yes
Would Purchase Again: No

 278 characters

Photo of Timtac
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of teraflx
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of GuttaMane138
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of elgiacomo
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Update May 3, 2010

22oz bottle, bottled March 2010, Batch 11.

Pours amber with a two finger off white head, leaves some nice lacing and retains a modest cap.

Aroma is quite fruity, citrus, tropical fruits, even some melons, along with a good helping of pine, some funk.

Flavor is citrusy, resinous hop bitterness with a lot of creamy sweet caramel malt in the middle, finishes quite bitter, sticky and with some alcohol.

Mouthfeel is oily, low to medium carbonation.

Glad to try this fresh batch, very good overall, bitterness really picks up in the second half of the bottle. Also, in typical Avery 22oz fashion, this packs a helluva punch...


Original Review, Sep 25, 2007:

22oz. bomber. Pours orange/amber with a nice white head.

Hoppy grapefruit aroma, very pronounced.

Flavor follows with more citrus hops although not quite as strong as the aroma.

Quite heavy and very potent like the Czar from Avery. An excellent DIPA. I have a hard time finishing a bomber by myself. Great for getting plastered if thats what you are after, but prolly better suited to share with a friend.

 1,101 characters

Photo of mush
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

 898 characters

Photo of Stevenw7474
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of StephRai
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of LarryMyers
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of TripelMark
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of McBraniel
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of IBUnit63
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Classic-looking apple-honey-caramel body. Reasonably clear but a little rustic. Above-average carbonation rising to thick cappucino foam head with nice lacing.

Sweet, oily alcohol with powerful floral hops and maybe a little pine. Caramel-apple malt presence. Slightly disjointed but enticing, but maybe a little heavy on the alcohol burn. Some weird stewed vegetable scent - maybe sweet potatoes?

Sweet and savory - the sweet potato undertone comes out here too. Alcohol definitely provides a hot burn. Malt backbone is more dominant - braised apples and vegetables. Hop presence exists in background but is restrained. Very interesting but not as expected.

Creamy mouthfeel at first. The thin but strong alcohol burn evaporates quickly without leaving an aftertaste. A little lean overall but pleasasnt.

As mentioned, this one drinks a little hot from the alcohol...almost slightly astringent. The components are quite nice but more beautiful chemistry is in order.

 971 characters

Photo of ridgeline23
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,600 ratings.
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