Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

MaharajaMaharaja
BA SCORE
91.9%
Liked This Beer
4.23 w/ 5,649 ratings
MaharajaMaharaja
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
averybrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#845
Reviews:
1,870
Ratings:
5,649
Liked:
5,191
Avg:
4.23/5
pDev:
10.17%
Alströms:
4.28
 
 
Wants:
395
Gots:
879
Trade:
7
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,649 |  Reviews: 1,870
Photo of LarryMyers
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of GarbageMan10
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Bustersuess
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of zoso1967
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours wonderfully rich copper amber that I could almost swear is glowing. The head is parchment and tightly packed, clinging to the sides of my glass like crazy and leaving equally crazy lace.

The aroma is wonderfully fresh and full of perfume citrus and pine hops. Grapefruit, lemon zest, orange and pine all mingle with sweet caramel malt background that has just a hint of toffee to it.

The flavor is surprisingly different from the aroma and brings out tons candied character from the hops. Orange, some pithy white grapefruit and loads of pine needles are the result of the hop additions. The malt backbone is very sweet with some caramel notes, but otherwise is surprisingly (from the color) plain. This beer does not hide its strength all that well, but it is far from too boozy and does not really take away from the flavor. If I have one complaint it is that the malt is so sweet that it detracts a bit from the hop character. Bitterness is quite high, but balanced out by the malt.

The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth and medium bodied with an amazing finish that seems to just evaporate off the tongue, leaving bitter dank hop flavors on my palate.

I would describe this as dangerously drinkable, and the imperial pint is disappearing at an alarming rate. I really enjoy this beer and can see why it is so popular.

 1,328 characters

Photo of ritzkiss
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle courtesy of bobsy - thanks for sharing!

Pours a standard burnished caramel orange with 2 plus fingers of sticky head that leaves some light lacing.

Pineapple is the dominant smell coming out of this one along with citrus fruits, a hint of pine and a big billboard stating: Warning, major caramel malt!

Yep, the billboard wasn't lying. Hefty sticky sweetness with a touch of acridity and roast, pine and citrus hops keeping up though. BIG is the word I'd use, no surprise though from Avery. Pretty typical American DIPA, big all around, plan is to knock your socks off. Pretty well executed.

Plenty of crisp carbonation keeps this one from weighing your mouth down, yet the hefty nature of this and the sweetness of the malt make this a no-more-than-one-bottle beer. Thanks Bobsy!

 796 characters

Photo of k47k
3.84/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of Benesi88
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of BMoney575
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 6-9-07

Pours an awesome neon orange color with a huge off-white head that settles to a half inch with immense lacing.

Smell is super sweet piney hops, with an equally huge amount of malt to back it up.

Taste is all sweet hops, with flavors of citrus fruits and grassy pine. The malt character comes in next to lend a meatiness in the middle. The finish is bitter and dry and very good. No noticeable alcohol at all.

Mouthfeel is perfect, you can feel the hop flavors in the middle of your tongue and the bitterness on the sides.

Drinkability is surprisingly good, considering the huge flavors.

Overall an outstanding beer. One of the best double IPA's I've ever had. Ridiculously recommended.

 721 characters

Photo of Techichi
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of neonbrown82
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the 2006 bottling. I'm somewhat pissed, since this was bought on the day of release in 2007, and the store clerk said it just came in that day. I suspect it was probably a distributor dumping old beer. It happens all the time at my store, though usually with Oktoberfest. I'm hoping to pick up a fresh 2007 bottle as soon as I can find one, in which case I'll update the review. It is still good, but I don't think this year old batch gives the beer justice.

The beer pours to a nice clear golden color with an amber hue. Huge white head with good retention and excellent lace. Still has a nice carbonation. Looks good.

The smell is plenty hoppy. Pine resin and grapefruit. Lots of citrus. A fair bit grassy as well. The malt shines through quite strongly as well, showing off a biscuity grain aroma. I think this would be more muted and more pungent with the hops if it were fresher. Extrapolating from a year of age, this is something I think I would really enjoy.

The taste is also pretty good. Sweet and grainy up front, with lots of bread and biscuity malt flavors. Then comes the hops. Resinous pine and an intense grapefruit and lemon citric hops finish. Very grassy. Has a fairly rough cohumulone content. Once again, I suspect this would be much juicier without a year of age. As it is, it is very good, however it tastes more like an aged barleywine, almost like a two year Bigfoot.

The body is medium to heavy. Carbonation is very smooth to the palate. Plenty of bitterness with a rough, grainy cohumulone. Also a lingering grassy finish with a hint of ethanol. Fairly drinkable. I can't wait to try a 2007.

 1,635 characters

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - A faint haze in an amber brew with a slight reddish tint. A frothy head that is long lived with thick clumps of lacing.

S - Floral (roses), grapefruit pulp and pine in the aroma. A touch of white pepper.

T - A lot of floral (roses and lillies) hops, grapefruit pulp with some faint smoky caramel maltiness that lingers to the aftertaste where it is joined by a pepper alcohol finish. The aftertaste is mostly a floral bittermess. There is a very faint medicinal presence throughout the beer.

M - Medium bodied and smooth. It isn't refreshing though.

D - No problem finishing this one. I might have it again if I find it on tap somewhere. Worth a try.

 667 characters

Photo of biggred1
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy,deep orange that I can barely see through.Big, thick foamy tan head that leaves nice fine, sticky lace on the glass.Smells like toffee, grapefruit and ripe bananas. Big complex flavors of toasted grains and fresh grassy hops smoothed out perfectly with a nice hit of sweet maltiness.Nothing dominates the palate, very well balanced.Pleasant bitterness that leads to a nice lingering warm honey alcohol quality in the finish. Smooth creamy mouthfeel that is not overly carbonated.A damn fine beer that nails the style perfectly.

 532 characters

Photo of seedyone
3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

02/02/14 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Tons of horsepower hops-wise but well under control. At 10.5% this can & will be deceptive. Great brew.

05/13/2015 On tap at Rattlen Hum, NYC. Not sure where the difference is since last time, but I found this to be most disappointing. So much pine/resin in the taste made it unpleasant.

 326 characters

Photo of rrski198
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of jewellrunner
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of scottwurst
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of HopsHopenstein
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of SStein
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Gerred
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of alamode
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of addiwilliams
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
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 kaseydad
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Maharaja is da man!

Poured into a pint glass and had a huge foam explosion! Huge creamy head with major lacing throughout the experience. Spider web city!

Malty grapefruity aroma. Almost calls the drinker to consume more and more.

Tastes amazing. Hoppy, grapefruit goodness with a huge malty backbone. Tastebuds hold the bitterness for awhile which is a nice feeling.

Drinkability is somewhat lower because of the high alcohol content but it shouldn't damper any desire to taste this awesome brew.

At around the $6 mark...this is a must have! Just wish it was brewed year around.

 588 characters

Photo of puck1225
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is really good stuff. Poured from a can into a snifter, beautiful fluffy head and great lacing. The smell is great, fruity and fragrant. The taste is very citrusy and subtle and sweet. The bitterness is well integrated into the overall taste and nicely compliments the other flavors. An excellent beer!

 309 characters

Photo of jaemeno3
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91.9% out of 100 with 5,649 ratings
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