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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,839 | Ratings: 5,530
Photo of dzni
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark golden color with a good, foamy head and decent lacing.
S - Spice, herbs, grapefruit, maybe some raisins
T - Malt and hops up front, with some spiciness, citrus, and maybe some raisins again
M - Some carbonation, medium bodied, with a bit of a creamy texture to it.
D - Fairly hoppy, and the there's enough malt that makes this not a super refreshing beer. Plus, the alcohol is pretty high. Still, it's quite delicious, and I'll give this a 4 for drinkability.

 469 characters

Photo of velo343
3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A nice deep orange with a medium beige head.

Smell: Grassy hops, some sweetness, and a little bit of alcohol.

Taste: A general hoppiness, not too snappy or distinct, that is felt all the way through the drink. The malt is fairly bready, but with a tartness reminiscent of sourdough. An underlying sweetness that is fairly indistinct.

Mouthfeel: The beer is syrupy, leaving a thick, slightly bitter coating in the mouth.

Drinkability: A little disappointing for the style. The hops seem to be overshadowed by the syrupy, creating an unbalanced DIPA. A decent beer, but not my top choice.

 612 characters

Photo of dizknee24
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lets start off by saying how great this beer was! poured very hazy orangish. had a good one finger frothy head. smelled of great hops and light aroma of fruits. Mouth feel was great. I really could not get enough of this. but my favorite thing about this beer had nothing to do with the taste. it has to do with the bottle. it displays the ABV not as 10.30 but more accurately as 10.27% amazing.

 395 characters

Photo of colt45n
3.55/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a wonderful dark orange/amber haze with a light sticky head.

S: Getting a lot of sweet malt upfront on this, there are some grapefruity hops there as well but not as there was in previous years.

T: Sweet malt very little hops, sweet sticky malt is all am getting.

Overall I thought it was a "good" beer but unlike the other years I have had a was disapointed with the lack of hops, I love the sweetness but I thought it would be better with more hops in taste.

 473 characters

Photo of BingCrosby7
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

a A deep orange, almost encroaching on copper/amber/red territory, with a little white bubbly head. Pretty decent looking beer
s Nice hoppy nose with a little bit of citrus and sugary malt--not very boozy on the nose.
t A little piney and floral on the front end, but there is a definite undercurrent of citrus that washes in after the initial fast has subsided; this is a pretty well balanced beer, and, considering there is so much alcohol, this is a feat. I appreciate this beer--it is about the ingredients and their expression, rather than the booze or hop smacking. Good stuff.
m Pretty standard in this department
o I respect this beer--I like it when brewers worry more about the fullest expression of their ingredients. And though I respect it more than I enjoy it, I thought this was a fine beer.

 807 characters

Photo of bryanbullock
3.44/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

After race reviews from friends I went into my tasting with high hopes. The aroma was odd, kind of musty and odd, that of "beer sweat" I was not pleasant on the nose. The visual was of an dark maple syrup hue with slow flowing micro bubbles that cling to the edge of the class with a death grip. Strong hoppy taste with some pine, clearly and imperial IPA. Overall a good beer but the aroma was hard to get over.

 419 characters

Photo of AMoceri7
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just when you were pretty sure you have had the hoppiest DIPA around, you try Maharaja. This, is amazing.

A: Burnt orange with lacing till the last drop. Nice thick head and continual lively carb. bubbles. Beauty.

S: This is the only time I have ever given out a 5 before and I mean it to every extent. The first wiff is the most delicately aggressive mixture of fruit, malt and citrus flowers I have ever smelt in an IPA. Absolutely incredible.

T: First thing that hits your tongue is the hops, then again with more hops and what do you know, more hops. Balanced out by gauzy delicious caramel malt. But not overbearing like some DIPAs, just enough. The hops used in this mixture of breath taking stew is beyond me. Imagine taking every flavor there is out there to take in hops and mix them together, then balance them out, giving way to mystery all over. Farther into it reveals a grapefruit dominance. So damn good.

M: Was near perfect. I am a huge barleywine fan and almost would rather it be a tad more thick, but no disappointments.

D: Second to some, as getting through the bomber was a trek to say the least. Not that it was unbearable, just hard to walk.

Overall: By far my new favorite DIPA. Blows all others out of the water and every idea of what DIPAs should taste like. Lets just say I had a Stoudts DIPA after this and it tasted like a pale ale. Oh and by the way its 10.27% ABV.

 1,403 characters

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.

 825 characters

Photo of Frothboss
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clean with little to no head. Dark golden color, transparent. Smells sweet, citrusy and hoppy. Tastes really good, bitters sit on the back of the mouth with a nice citrus finish. Bold citrus and hops with sweet malty undertones. Feels smooth with light carbonation. Very tastey for its class, will delightfully drink again.

 329 characters

Photo of Anker13
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2/16/13 Avery Brewing Company | Maharaja | 22oz Bottle

Appearance- brilliant deep copper, off white creamy head, lacing, beads of CO2

Aroma- The aroma is pleasantly subdued. Doesn’t smell like a hop-bomb, but it also doesn’t smell like a pushover. Dank hop aroma, earthy with a little pine, slight yeasty aroma, bready malt character as well

Mouthfeel- light co2, kind of oily and viscous, slightly coating, warming

Taste- Really well balanced, surprisingly malty. It’s a fairly complex DIPA, you brace for the bitterness but it never really hits you too hard. Earthy and piney hops make way for a juicy malt center, rounds out with another wave of hops.

Residual- Pleasant aftertaste, the right mix of sweet and bitter

Overall- This is unlike most DIPAs I’ve had. Not saying it’s the best one out there, but it carves out its own identity. Tough to really put my finger on what makes it unique. Perhaps it’s the interplay between the strong malty backbone and the light hearted bitterness. Thoroughly enjoying this one.

 1,038 characters

Photo of ghengisflan
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Poured a dark amber with a tan head from a 22oz bomber, a little dark for an IPA.

Smell - Floral and fruity hops are pretty strong; there is some malt aroma to balance it out.

Taste - Sweet, fruity, somewhat malty, and slightly herbal. The 10.40% can be tasted, but the alcohol is pleasant in this beer. A good amount of harmony for all the complexity.

Mouth-feel - Definitely full-bodied.

Overall - Somewhat dark, sweet, and malty for an IPA, Maharaja is still refreshing and a pleasure to drink.

 514 characters

Photo of Lledd
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Even with a small pour there is a nice one finger head. Really beautiful, rich copper/orange color. Lots of webby lacing. Very attractive.

Wonderful caramel malt notes up front, slightly bready. The hops don't stand out in the nose. What's there is crisp and piney. The sweetness of this brew dominates the nose.

Wow the malts in this are outstanding. Bready, and caramel sweet. The hops finish the swallow with mostly bitter notes. Just a tad of astringency on the finish.

Mouth is creamy with soft and large carbonation. This is a thick brew which could be expected at 10.4%.

This is really a great beer. It's not as hoppy as you might expect for an ipa but its hoppy enough and very malty. I wouldn't mind having another one in the fridge.

 750 characters

Photo of jkaufman
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 22oz. bottle into a tankard.

A: Pours slightly cloudy and amber, with a thick, frothy, krausen-like head. Excellent lacing and head retention. Looks spectacular.

S: Initially Cascade hops dominate, but once things settle down after the pour, it smells very malty with a bit of aromatic hops. Somewhat surprising for something called an "imperial IPA".

T and M: Bittering hops are not as overwhelming as expected. Instead, this ale is fairly balanced with the scales tipped in favor of hops. The head (which is practically guaranteed to stick around until the end) tastes very hoppy but is welcome in this context. Goes down bubbly and syrupy, finishes syrupy and sweet with a hop bite.

D: Very drinkable for such a big ale, but one bomber is enough.


 786 characters

Photo of srobertson59
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a 22 oz. glass.

I found this at a local Deli shop (thanks Pimpp!) and after reading some reviews was a bit anxious to give it a go. Could it possibly knock out my current favorite of Stone’s Ruination?

A - Pours a somewhat cloudy/hazy honey-amber with a generous tight head. Some sediment is visible lofting through the carbonation. Good retention with ample amount of lacing on the glass.

S - BAM! An oily hoppy infusion to the nose with hints of citrus and tart apple with toasted malt shining through.

T - Mmmmm. Now this is EXACTLY what I was expecting! A huge explosion of hops, followed closely by a sweetness that seems to compliment the hops instead of hiding them. Just the slightest bit of warming from the well hidden alcohol.

M - A very creamy viscous feel all the way down the throat. All of the flavors seem to linger at the same levels. At no time do any of them overpower the pallet in aftertaste. And the finish on this one lasts a long, long time.

D - HELL YEAH! I have found my #2 favorite brew. If you enjoy the experience of Stone's Ruination, then you'll definitely enjoy this offering from Avery.

 1,160 characters

Photo of smerrell
4.76/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Spring 2012 release, in a bottle

A: Deep amber color, clear as day with a nice head and good lacing.

S: A pleasant, light grassy aroma

T: Excellent - great malt flavor and well-balanced hops. The big flavor dissipates very quickly
M: big, bold, and dry.

o: I've been looning forward to trying this for a long time, and I'm glad Ive had the chance. This is a beer that I wouldn't hesistate to recommend

 405 characters

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

A-This beer pours a beautiful deep golden copper color. The head pours medium but finishes off very thin. There is some nice lacing in the head. The carbonation level in this beer pour is very good.
S- The beginning is somewhat surprising because the citrus notes are not as overpowering in this beer as they tend to be with most Double IPAs. The notes are a mix of grapefruit and spices.
T-The taste hear is also a nice balance and does not blow you away with citrus or pine hoppiness. The is a great balance with in this beer with the ABV being 10.3 because the after notes are not too boozy or hot as they tend to be with many DIPAs.
M- The mouthfeel on this beer is somewhat of a thin taste and not as full as some other DIPAs. Some of this is due to this DIPA is not a big of a hop explosion as some others.
O- This is a very well balanced DIPA and depending on your tastes it can be average or great. If you like a citrus explosion this might not be the one for you but i think it is pretty well balanced all around. For the price this is a very solid DIPA

 1,063 characters

Photo of Rejis
3.16/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a cloudy brownish-orange. Smells very malty and sugary sweet. Taste is similar: malty and sweet with light hoppy bitterness. The feel is strange, smooth with a lingering creamy thickness. Overall, it's not what I expected. I was hoping for more of a juicy IPA than a sweet candied ale.

 291 characters

Photo of KettleBellFreak
4.51/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Extremely impressed with this beer. Not a fan of IPAs normally, but this beer is something far from the IPA that I've had.

Pours a lovely pale brown with slight orange/red hues. Great head on the beer with a lot of foam and beautiful lacing.

Smells sweet, malty and vegetal. EXTREMELY pleasant. Nothing outstanding but just so damn calm and easy.

Taste is super pleasant stone fruit, malt, citrus and a slight bitterness from hops. Absolutely no alcohol. Can't believe this is 10%. Such a crisp and refreshing drink, so easy to sip, but a mouthful that puts some imperial stouts to shame.

 594 characters

Photo of ccm414
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BeerMaverick!
Poured from the 1 pint 6 fl oz bottle...

A- Pours a nice amber/golden color. Looks very nice. Has a 3 finger off-white, almost tan head that leaves an amazing thick lace around the glass. Very inviting.

S- Heavy on the hops! Nice and citrusy, mango and grapefruit here. Love it.

T- Just like the smell, fruity, citrus hops. Nice and bitter, but well complimented with the sweet malt. Excellent bitter finish that destroys the palate, but i'm liking every second of it. At 10.54% abv, it is hidden rather well.

M- Nice and creamy. A medium to heavier bodied DIPA. Slight alcohol burn, but nothing overwhelming.

D- Very drinkable, and at 10.54% it could become dangerous. While it destroys the pallet with its bitterness, I want more and more.


 785 characters

Photo of BabaJohn
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is certainly a nice beer, but my main complaint is that the alcohol actually seemed to dominate the taste at times. At this point I generally expect the hops in an IPA to kick the ass of everything else, but in this case the alcohol took control. I couldn't quite bring myself to dock the taste rating but I had to take it out of drinkability. Still, I wouldn't turn this one down for a second, unless I had to choose between the Maharaja and a Stone... Otherwise, looked nice, smelled nice, was nice.

 506 characters

Photo of mutterfudder
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured in to a Stone IPA Tulip-ish glass.

A - Copper and somewhat hazy. Thick white head that settled down to a thin layer of foam. Lacing down the glass of foam and bubbles. Quite nice looking!

S - Fresh hop, citrus and spice. Ahhh.. I haven't had a hop bomb in a bit and it smells darn good.

T - Hmmmm. Malty up front, almost sweet. Oh, there are the hops! They don't really hit as hard as I thought they might. Very piney and bitter by the finish, pretty complex for the style I thought.

M - Surprisingly not very carbonated. It left a bit of a oily taste in my mouth. Not bad but not good either.

D - I liked this beer well enough, but one was enough. There are other beers to try.

Somewhat disappointed in this, after hearing all the raves. A good DIPA but not one I'd reach for often.

 796 characters

Photo of BeerFiend2002
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

We have a deep orange to amber color body with a 3-finger light sand colored head. The head retention on this one is awesome. It hung around darn near forever and left a ton of lacing.

Nose is of grapefruit, tangerine, and orange coupled with big biscuity malt sweetness.

Taste was nice. A very complex brew, although a little maltier than I generally prefer my IPAs. Its sweet, but bitter on the back end. There are citrusy and piney hops that are racing to your tongue against a big biscuity caramel malt backbone. The malt keeps this one very drinkable, but dulls down the 100+ IBU assault on the tongue considerably. For a 10.5% ABV beer, there is a remarkable absence of alcohol in the taste. Dangerously drinkable out of a 22 oz bomber.

Mouthfeel is rich. Its creamy, smooth, and almost chewy. Its a thick beer, like a strong imperial IPA often is, but its not an overly resinous syrup bomb like I feared it could be.

Overall, it didnt quite make my top 5, but it was a very good beer and I definitely could drink it again. Very complex, drinkable, well-crafted brew. The malt presence could be dialed down some, but it still gets a thumbs up from me.

 1,163 characters

Photo of pvo
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Out of the bottle on 4/4/13, 2013 release. I've had these in previous years, and always try to get at least one per year.

Appearance: Dark amber, hazy.

Smell: hoppy, as one would expect.

Taste: Hoppy, but less biting due to the high ABV.

Mouthfeel: substantial, lasting.

Overall: thoroughly enjoyable. It's still identifiable as an IPA, has more flavor between the hops and alcohol than most DIPAs, and I really enjoy the citrus and floral notes that dominate the hop flavors.

 483 characters

Photo of mfhlucky13
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow!!! Now that's a big ol' smack in the hops!

A: Beautiful coppery orange with a small but thick head. There was plenty of lacing as sipped from the glass.

S: A blast of hops hits you right in the nose with plenty of citrus and pine notes to keep you interested.

T: Tastes even better than it smells. You definitely get get tons of hops dancing in your cheeks followed by just the right balance of malt to mellow it as you swallow it down. There is plenty of citrus and pine in there as well.

M: Bitting you at first and then sucking you in with it's smooth finish. Nice carbonation as well.

D: You will want to drink this DIPA slowly so that you get all it has to offer. I had no problem drinking two and could have easily gone for a third. Remember it's high abv.

This is my new favorite DIPA.

 803 characters

Photo of dankbrew21
3.45/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

No freshness date.

Appearance is a redish orange, medium white head. No rising bubbles. Good head retention.

Smell is of VERY strong bitter hop resins, kind of citrusy.

Taste is super heavy! The hops wrek the weigh the tongue down and completely destroy the palate. I have had this beer a few times now and it never fails to kick my ass! Very strong alcohol presence. Super bitter hop resins attack the palate de-arming its defenses and leaving it completely vulnerable to attack. Medium consistency. Medium carbonation. I can honestly say, maybe to many hops were used for this concoction, or not enough balance of other ingredients. This is a good example of extreme beer at its most extreme.

Drink this beer slowly. Sip on it. It will fuck you up if you don't take it seriously, trust me, I know from experience.

 820 characters

Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,530 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

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.