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Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

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1,836 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: 1,836 | Ratings: 5,520
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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Photo of alohaC
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O’Brien’s recently. Had the distinct pleasure of having a pint with Adam Avery at lunch. Pours a beautiful copper orange and red with a nice inch+ thick head that stayed around. Wow, does this beer smell terrific. Maybe it’s just a really fresh keg, but the pine and sweet citrus/grapefruit hops are just jumping out of the glass on this one. Obviously dry-hopped very well. Taste is all about the high alpha hops, but is very well balanced with a sugary malt backbone. Very hop candy-ish with a resinous, oily mouthfeel. Not hot with alcohol in the least bit. Smooth and terrifically drinkable. Not sure how the latest bottled version matches up, but this one is a winner. If I hadn’t needed to drop fartingdog off at the SD airport, I would have stayed and drank several more throughout the afternoon. A rock solid IIPA.

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Photo of tonistruth
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap @ Churchill's in San Marcos, CA

A- partly cloudy burnt orange from top to bottom with a thin, foamy 1 finger white head, good retent, thin white lacing

S- grapefruit, plenty of hops

T- surprisingly decent balance, grassy, citrus (lot of grapefruit), orange flavors as well, alcoholic heat at finish, residual sugars provide sweetness as well, hop oils in there

M- not as palette crushing as you'd think, medium body, soft and smooth through 'til the alcohol brings some fire, dry and sticky at finish as well. the hop attack does start to happen as the brew warms

D- highly drinkable for a 2IPA, good flavor, nice balancing act, enjoyable, I'd have another, well done

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Photo of biking4beer
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Feb. 07

Poured into a large snifter. Nice big head. Foamy around the edges, and rocky in the middle. Holds a finger after settling down. Color is a deep hazy orange with slight red hues.

Wow, the aromas. Pine smacks you right up front. Followed by a lot of fruitiness. Pineapple, strawberry, and peach. There is a slight herbal presence and even a touch of spice. At times it seems as if I'm smelling bubble gum.

The taste is a lot of the same. Starts of with a slight caramel. A bit of creamy butterscotch in the middle, and it finishes with citrus. A little orange and a slight grapefruit bitterness finish. No alcohol to speak of. A surprise considering the ABV.

Mouthfeel is great. Creamy. Not too oily. Not too much carbonation. Slightly dry finish. Can moutfeel be balanced?

Wow, what a great beer. This is a shining example of the style in my opinion. It's a big beer, but it's nicely balanced. I could definitely try to put back a couple of bombers of this. I would probably pay for it due to the 9.8% ABV. A must try if you can find it. Find it now. Drink it fresh.

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

Haven't had this one in almost a year(!) and I remember really enjoying it last time...

Pours deep orange-gold with a thick finger of bright white head. Carbonation appears to be high.

Aroma: Caramel at first, then a burst of fresh cut grass with resinous grapefruity, salty almost chemical aroma. Moderate alcohol, rich malt with a slightly fruity (raisin-like) character underneath.

Taste: More pine-like hop dominance, a caramel-like, slightly toasty maltiness (not sweet, however) fading into moderate hop bitterness and a slightly fruity, almost peach-like hoppiness at the back end. (Checked the Avery site, it says they use Simcoe - I really get this fruitiness from that particular hop). Slightly metallic aftertaste - OK, but not as pleasant as the beer. Maltiness really starts coming through as it warms.

Mouthfeel - Medium-full body, moderate carbonation - slightly slick on the palate, nice creamy sensation.

Drinkability - barring the 9.9% ABV, I could put this beer away like there was no tomorrow. I could sip or quaff this beer.

Overall - good beer, but IMO walks a fine line between barleywine and DIPA. I realize the two styles are similar, but I think this beer could fall into either camp depending on how fresh it is. Aged, it would make a very nice BW. Fresh, it has the hoppiness to bring it to true DIPA standards. I still think it could have more hop presence, most notably in the flavor area. Still a great beer and one I will be trying more often.

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Photo of smellody
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank at World of Beer in Westchase - Tampa, FL.

Before taking 1st sip, color is nice and reminicent of amber. Smells strong of hops, and has a long fresh hop after taste. Has a bit of an alcohol after taste - not surprising for a 10%abv. Not for the faint IPA drinker, but definitely one I'll be ordering again soon.

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

Drank on-tap at the Publick House, Brookline, MA

Poured a slightly hazy, ruddy, orangey, coppery-amber with a tight, frothy, off-white, one-finger head that slowly faded. A thick blanket of lacing clung to the sides of the glass and lasted most of the drink.

The aroma was absolutely amazing. Rich, sweet and smooth with intense tropical fruits (passion fruit, star fruit and mango), citrus and flowery hops.

The taste was hoppy, zesty and flavorful, yet so smooth. Sweet malts blended with orange peel and pine sap to create a seamless balance. Some ripe fruits were detectable as well. Tangy notes of grapefruit were noticeable in the somewhat dry, clean and short-lived finish.

Mouthfeel was frothy, pillowy, rich and smooth.

This was one of the most drinkable double IPA's I have had to date. With such a perfect melding of flavors, an almost undetectable alcohol presence, and an unparalleled "smoothness" in regard to aroma, flavor and mouthfeel, this is truly an outstanding example of the style.

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Photo of prototypic
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled February 2007

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a thick, creamy two finger head. Excellent retention and nice foamy lacing down the mug.

Smell: Very strong piney hops are rolling off the top. An abundance of citrus notes are present (grapefruit, orange, mango, and even a hint of peach). There's also a suprising malt aroma in there. But, hops are the main feature as they are extremely strong.

Taste: A sweet fruity taste is the first thing to hit. It's a blend of the various citrus notes mentioned above, but primarily grapefruit. It's followed by a nice, bitter hop kick. Very nice pine taste. Malt is blended extremely well and balances it out a bit. But, the hop bitterness remains.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and has a bit of a syrupy feel to it. At nearly 10% ABV, drinkability is limited. I think one bomber would suit me. Overall, this is a very good beer. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of khiasmus
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a reddish orange color that is slightly cloudy, and has a single finger of white bubbly head that settles to a ring quickly, and laces decently.

S- Smells like hop juice. Very faint malt in the back, but almost all overpowering hops... which is good for an imperial IPA. :-)

T- Wow. Hits you in the face with a hop monster that Sir Malt tries to vanquish, and almost does, but then gets his head bitten off. The more you sip, the more you taste the malt... but it still finishes bitter, so the monster wins.

M- Smooth, somewhat thick and syrupy, slightly astringent in the finish.

D- Fairly drinkable for an imperial IPA... but what imperial IPA is not meant to be shared?

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

1 pt 6 fl oz brown bottle, served in a goblet.

Semi-hazy, golden-highlighted peach in color. Foamy, finger-high white head that attacks the goblet's sides and puts up a fight in receding. Sticky, webbed lacing around the majority of the glass.

Bright, ripe fruit: peach, pear, green apple, and grapefruit. Clean pine that adds a pleasant spice. Juicy hop resins that jump out of the glass.

Juicy pear, peach, orange, and apple. Notes of semi-sweet tropical fruit: honeydown, kiwi. The malt character is smooth; almost creamy, yet nearly non-descript in flavor; hefty enough however to balance the hop intensity. The bitterness is there, but far from being abrasive. In flavor, this is nirvana for any hophead. What an amazing concoction!

Medium bodied; silky smooth and creamy, despite being an aggressive hop monster.

If you're a hophead, then trust me and buy a case of the Maharaja. Seriously, this is the real deal.

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

22 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Wow. Maharaja pours a burnt orange hue with a generous off-white head that stays well throughout. Lacing sticks quite well to the glass. Everything you can ask for in a DIPA in terms of smell: citrus (lemon, orange, pineapple) and pine, Pine, PINE! Taste is amazing. Taste was great with a little bit of everything. The hops overpower with a zesty straw background. Very floral in flavor as well, but not overwhelming in that aspect. Mouthfeel is smooth for such a potent DIPA. Carbonation is quite mild which I enjoy. Drinkability is there for a DIPA, but for someone who isn't used to such a powerful brew...watch out. This brew has really impressed me. Pick this baby up if you see it on the shelf!

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Photo of jbsteiny
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

10 oz. serving in a wine glass poured a cloudy golden orange with a thick head. Very interesting lace patterns left on the glass. I hope heaven smells like this beer. Mangos and cream. I love when brewers use hops and malts to such good effect. Tasted like the tropics -- ripe pineapple and rum. Creamy sweet with a slightly bitter finish. I wanted to keep drinking this all night, but I felt like they'd probably need a spatula to peel me off the bar. Going back soon for another.

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,520 ratings.
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