Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

1,847 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

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Reviews: 1,847 | Ratings: 5,569
Photo of TuckerCarlson
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank on-tap out of a tulip glass. Cloudy amber with a decent head to it and better lacing than I would have expected, given the alcohol content.

Beautiful floral smells. I could have spent the entire time just breathing in the aroma and feel like I'd gotten my money's worth.

Strong hoppy citrus flavors in the introduction, followed by decent malt flavor. Finishes with overpowering piney oils that may be a bit over the top.

Incredibly rich mouthfeel, among the best I've had, though it missed the 5 by having a bit less carbonation than I felt it deserved. Could have been a fluke, though, because I've had other draft beers come across as under-carbonated because they were either from the bottom of the keg or from a keg that wasn't finished quickly enough.

Drinkability goes down because this beer is so overpowering that it almost precludes conversation. As a friend who sipped my beer said, "that's work", and then immediately afterward commented that his Lagunitas IPA tasted a bit insipid by comparison. Also, I had donated blood earlier in the day, and the effects of the alcohol were downright distracting by the time I got to the bottom of the glass. Not that I would have considered not finishing it, however.

I will definitely order this beer the next time I'm at Korova, a bar on the Commons in Ithaca, NY.

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Photo of steamingheap
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber with a huge white frothy head. The aroma is primarily evergreen hops and a touch of sweet malt with underlying citrus just to add to the complexity. Citrus hops dominate the initial flavor before being backed by and blending with a substantial sweet malt background. The high alcohol content shows up after the malt and just before the dry hop bitterness finish. A hefty mouthfeel rounds everything out nicely.

Overall, this is a great double IPA. It is good for an hour of enjoying the smells and flavors. The flavor profile moves through 3 to 4 phases at every sip. I've had beers with this much alcohol that hide it completely. Given that this one gives a slight alcohol burn that interrupts the other flavors, I can't give it the "5". Still, this is a supurb beer.

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Photo of TheSarge
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Maharaja Imperial IPA is a brew to behold. I was used to Avery’s Belgian style brews and it’s nice to try something a bit different from this brewery.

Judging initially by its appearance, I can see this is what I’d expect from an Imperial IPA. It produces a large amount of off-white head that sticks around until the very end. The body is hazy and amber/caramel in color. There is a slight amount of sediment visible here too.

The aroma this produces is obvious of a strongly hopped IPA; with dominate piney and spruce aromas.

Taking a sip of this brew is like biting into a grapefruit, to put it simply. I describe this to my wife (who doesn’t like beer much), and she tasted this brew the same.

Maharaja is thirst quenching at first, but finishes very dry. There is a slight warmness from the moderate amount of alcohol content.

Overall this brew is quite good. This is definitely comparable to Stone IPA with a bigger alcoholic kick. Schukria!

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Photo of onehomesickalien
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another winner from Avery.

Very similar to Great Divides Hercules Double IPA. This one has slightly more hops and a little less on the sweet side, but the difference is minimal.

Appearance: Golden/Amber with a light but consistent lacing that sticks to the glass.

Smell: Very strong Hops with Citrus overtones. Grapefruit and pine are very strong.

Taste: Excellent! From start to finish this one impresses. It does have a strong lingering hop and alcohol taste and warmth, but this is not a bad thing.

Mouthfeel: Sticks to you a little, but not annoyingly so. Overall very good.

Drinkability: This one pint bottle is all I would want, but I enjoyed every sip!!!

Highly Recommended.

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Photo of westweasel
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber bottle.

Appearance - The beer poured out a hazy apricot with about a 1/4 inch off-white head. As I drank, the glass displayed lots of belgian lace.

Aroma - Wonderful - Pine, peaches, mango, grapefruit, and a little background biscuit.

Taste - Wow... Dreadnaught is my favorite beer, and this one is almost dead-on. Biscuits, pine, grapefruit, and lemons - all mixed together.

Mouthfeel - Full with a dry finish.

Drinkability - Excellent - I love it. The only thing that would limit the amount you would drink is the fairly high alcohol content. You wouldn't drink this all night - but I'd like too.

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Photo of isaac
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. to pint glass.

bright copper/orange/reddish body sits hazily under a long-lasting 1.5 fingers of creamy foam. when i opened the bottle (and note that i was at work, after hours - a coffeeshop with VERY strong smelling, and quite delicious, coffee) the room was instantly full of piney, riseny, fresh-outta-the-woods-still-wet-from-morning-dew hoppiness, but also slight sweetness, and i mean SLIGHT, from the malts. taste is much expected from a DIPA, with a big (background of) toffee-ish, caramelly-sweet malts, and, yup, you guessed it, boat-loads of hops: juicy, resiny, piney, and finishes somewhat fruity. nice big, smooth moutfeel and well concealed ABV, but, this took me an hour or two to finish as i cleaned up behind the counter and in the shop... man, this ain't no lawn-mower beer!

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

According to the label, this beer was bottled in February 2007 (batch 5). Yellowish orange out of the bottle and hazy orange in the glass. A quarter inch head bubbled up from the pour, but dissipated pretty quickly leaving just a bit of foam around the edge. Aroma was strongly hoppy, floral, and a bit piney. Wow, what a hop profile! Tasted like it was freshly dry-hopped--I had an IPA on cask once with hops added directly into the cask, and Maharaja reminded of that. The mouthfeel was pretty clean (maybe a little bit of stickiness in the finish), not syrupy like Stone Ruination, but not thin or watery either. When the beer was cold, the hops completely dominated the malt (unlike AleSmith's and Sierra Nevada's IPAs); as it warmed, though, a bit more of the malty sweetness showed up. I liked it, but it was almost overpowering. I needed some Indian food to eat with it.

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Photo of beerphan
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber -> goblet
Bottled in Feb 2007
Batch 5

Pours a clear ambered orange in the light, but appears murky rust color out of the light. A huge clumpy slightly oft white head rest on top and stays put. Spiderwebbed clumped lace all over. After the last pour,.huge cliffs of lace make me want to use my finger and just get a taste. Carbonation appears medium and persistant.

Nose: Wow, hop blast. Dried whole hop scent, very earthy. Pine, orange juice, peach, mango.

Thick and juicy mouth. Smooth even flavor. Hops dominate flavor, but a supberb malt back balances this beer and keeps things in check. Some good fruity flavors on top of the malt, than a mellowed bitterness that finishes, simply smooth.

A smooth ride for sure. One bomber is probably just about right for a warm spring Sunday afternoon.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

torn between 4.5 and 5.0 on appearance and taste.

This is one hell of a dipa. Great head and lacing. Nice hoppy smell. Not as malty as some other dipas.

Taste is malty with a malt backbone that doesn't get in the way of a hopfix. Alcohol is deceptive at 9.7%.

Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing. Not too thick like other dipas.

This is one hell of a dipa. It is one of the most sessionable that I have ever had. I highly recommend this beer.

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

Avery Maharaja
22 oz brown bottle
Bottled in Feb. 2007 - Batch 5
Served in an Allagash tulip glass

Pours a dark amber with a hazed-induced peach tint. Awesome head on top that leaves marvelous trails of sticky lace all over the glassware. This one looks good from the start.

Whoa...powerful nose up front. A tad floral, piney and fruity sweet. Lemon citrus twang meets power after a couple of whiffs.

Sweet and juicy flavors dominate the palate. Grainy backbone with a syrupy malt presence.

The hop profile is off the charts. WTF !?! We're talking fresh orange slices, pineapple, mango, pine resin & black pepper. Incredibly smooth, a tad spicy and super enjoyable overall. A monster brew and incredible Double IPA offering from Avery.


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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.


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Photo of rsvlbrwr
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Strong citrusy hop aroma. Excellent dark orange color with lingering head. Pine abnd grapefruit flavors from hops predominate with a definite lingering bitterness. Balanced well by malt though with slight sweetness in the finish. Alcohol is present but not overbearing. Truly a great beer! I wish I could get it in Sacramento.

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Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into my Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance - Everlasting head and tons of lacing. Below that is deep transparent amber. There isn't much Avery could do to improve its looks.

Smell - A full on hop sucker punch in the nose, but the hops soaked its fists in orange/lemon zest and booze before pummeling you.

Taste - A full on hop kick in the mouth. The malt, though it takes a back seat to hops, does make an appearance. Very complex. Very balanced. The taste lingers and makes me want to take another sip. It is strange, I can almost taste butter toffee in the far background, right behind the malt... Delicious.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, slightly oily with just the right amount of carbonation. I would describe it as a medium bodied ale.

Drinkability - I would save this for the end of a drinking session, but I could easily put away two bombers. Very smooth doing down.

This is a fantastic beer. Try it if you haven't. Avery's best beer in my opinion. Thanks for the awesome suggestion from the beer guy at Spec's in Austin. This beer is going to make its way into my beer rotation.

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Photo of dogger6253
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There are a couple layers to this beer's color; starting from the top, we see a mass of foamy, off-white head almost seep over the rim of my glass. Then we work into a brown color below the head, not dark brown where it's basically black, brown like crayon brown. A true brown color. This brown fades into a honey-amber at the bottom. Lots of lacing left behind, incredibly impressive appearance.

The smells are mostly floral hops with a spiciness I couldn't really pull out exactly what it was from. I felt the scents were subdued and overpowered by the hops. Not much in the nose at all, but still pleasant.

The taste is really nice, hops and caramel sweetness are major players here. I nice, malty taste as well. The hops aren't overly bitter and play well against the sweetness.

Medium amounts of carbonation, medium bodied and slightly syrupy; this is really easy to sip. I'd imagine this as a good introduction into the style for newcomers or for people who don't like extremely bitter beers. The hops definitely make the finish moderately dry, but the scale of sweet-to-bitter favors on the side of sweet. I felt much more of the hops in the smell than I actually tasted. All-in-all, another great beer from Avery.

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Photo of BeerZack
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brownish-red, amber, color with nice fluffy head.

Smells of sweet malt and lots of piney hop spice.

Not much distinct flavor to describe, maybe a sweet earthiness with citrusy hop bitterness. Not that this beer is lacking anything in flavor, just not much stands out besides the sweetness and hops.

Mouthwateringly acidic in the mouth and the head is still nice and soft on my lips...anyway- this is a good and drinkable Double IPA, pretty well-balanced.

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Photo of BadRockBeer
3.62/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Serving Type Sampled: On tap at the Pump House in Longmont CO.

Appearance: This beer poured a hazy amber in color. Atop the pint is a chunky head that’s full of goodness. This head dwindled a little but still managed to slide all the way down the glass.

Smell: Need I say hoppy! I smell a symphony of hoppy notes, fresh orange zest, and alcohol.

Taste: The taste is so complex that I’m not sure that I can put words to it properly. The overwhelming hops are complimented nicely with a biscuity malt flavor that is mildly sweet. There is also a citrus note that is very unpronounced but still apparent. The taste of alcohol is very mild. There is a bit of a grainy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy in body, Carbonation is mild.

Drinkability: Fair, This is a great IIPA; however is very much an extreme beer. This limits your intake to about one bomber or so. It also has a odd harshness that makes it almost cloying after awhile.

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Photo of ERASE21
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Read other reviews about how it poured. This is how it tasted to me...

The best Double IPA I've currently had. It sold out at my local best liquor store in about a week. I hope they get more. I'll be buying a case. It's better I thought, than Stone's 10th Anniversary Double IPA . Perfect balance of shock & comfort. Not your typical over-the-top punch in the face you might get from other overly hopped-up double IPA's, just perfect. The other ingredients are just as important here and they work perfectly together. Beware the ABV's. It doesn't taste like it has close to 10% at all. 2 bombers will go down smooth and then you will go down.

Just thinking about it makes my mouth wet.

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Photo of Duster72
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep orangey amber with a small tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves minimal lacing. Aroma is sweet carmel malts and hops. Taste is piney hops with some citrus hops and lots of sweet malts. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Very drinkable for 10% ABV. Not my favorite DIPA, but very good.

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Photo of Dmann
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An exceptional beer! The pour was a perfect dark amber color with a super fluffy white head that left much lace on the glass. The smell was pure piny hops and a very small hint of orange zest which was very inviting. With the first sip, the pine flavored hops explode in your mouth and are almost too intense if not for the great malt balance that comes next, followed by a slight alcohol flavor in the finish. The great thing about the flavor is that the malt balance is not overly sweet, it is dry in a way and really does well to balance out the hops but not get in the way. This is and excellent beer and if you are a fan of hops, you will love it for sure!

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Photo of Hautacam
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber..not much of a head.
The smell is mostly piney hop....almost makes your eyes water.
This is like IPA concentrate....everything about it is intense. Very dense super sweet malt..almost syrupy...alcohol....huge bite from the hops...mouth puckering..grapefruit rind.
Mouthfeel is very full bodied...carbonation light.
This was good , but almost too intense....especially the sweetness.
Had a 12 oz. on tap and decided to split it with someone.

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Photo of adams82
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper colour with a nice big sticky white head that clings to the sides of my glass, leaving lots of lacing. Aroma is lacking a little, sweet, slight alcohol and hoppy, not much there. The taste however is awsome; very warming, nice flow of sweetness, big malt body and a little alcohol followed by a birage of citric and grapefruit like hops. Full bodied, smooth and highly drinkable considering the ABV.

This is an awsome DIPA! The hops and malt are well balanced, one doesn't overpower the other and this will certainly please a hophead but would also work well as an introduction to the style.

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Photo of ChrisA
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can't believe I actually found this on tap in Florida. Upon visiting the Dunedin Brewery in the Clearwater area, I needed to do a double take as I stared at the tap handles. $4 for an eight ounce pour. But the bartender bought that round since I am from Colorado. I tipped him generously for the fine gesture.

What a beer. I had this last year at the Brewers Rendevous in Salida, CO. However, I don't remember it being quite this good. Incredible citrus nose and flavor throughout. Huge grapefruit taste and an excellent balance of malt.

Thanks to the World of Beer, in the past week I have had Hercules, 90 Minute, and Stoudts Douple IPA, and I can definitely say that Maharaja is a contender for my favorite Double IPA.

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

Poured out a murky orange brown with a small tan head. Nose is fruity, grapefruity hops, some spice. The taste is lovely, grapefruit pith, some minor cherry, a bit of piney hops, very well balanced and accessible for such a hoppy and high ABV beer. Easy going body, not overly carbonated. Not particulalry cloying, actually very drinkable.

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Photo of russpowell
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I figure I'll give this another review, had it since my original review. I believe I shorted it, we'll see...

Pours a light amber with 3 fingers of rocky offwhite head. Super lacing & head retention.

S: Huge hops potpurri! Pine & grapefruit

T: Grapefruit, pineyness & some lemmon notes up front. Malt & caramel sweetness sneak around the hops as this warms, but not for long. Also jammy & fruitty notes infiltrate before getting crushed by the hops (herbal & piney). Finishes warming, uber herbal hoppy & a little fruitty (dates & apricots). A great total DIPA taste package

MF: Medim bodied, slightlty oily, with medium carbonation, skews hoppy, duh

Drinks fairly easy, a little to intense to session on, but I could if forced too! Still a bit pricey @ $6.50 a bomber

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Photo of demcorhip
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a damn fine IIPA. Bottled Feb 2007 Batch 5 from the label.

A beautiful beer. A ruby hued deep amber body with a fine yet vigorous level of carbonation which produced a 4 finger rocky offwhite head on a fairly gentle pour. Sticky lacings clumped and defied gravity, and the head eventually settled to finger's worth, and persisted until the glass was gone.

A big pineapple blast, with a touch of papaya. Strong notes of ruby red grapefruit and pine resin also present. Malty notes of toasted bread and a touch of caramel are perceptable underneath the wall of hops.

Damn tasty. Pineapple and grapefruit take the front, a touch of papaya, and the bitter hops finish in resiny pine. The big, tasty and bitter hops dominate the solid malt backbone of toasted bread with a hint of caramel sweetness.

Hop bitterness strips the tongue, roof of the mouth and back to the throat. The stripping is slightly mellowed by alcohol warmth and a creamy mouthfeel. A big bold beer, medium to full bodied, that should appeal to anyone looking for a hop blast.

Pretty drinkable for a big and bold brew. Would fit in nicely into any hop head's session. I enjoyed this bomber all by myself and it just went down too easily, leaving me wishing for more. Will be buying this again soon.

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,569 ratings.
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