Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

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5,691 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,691 |  Reviews: 1,876
Photo of TheNapkin
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A strong contender for the best Imperial IPA available. The best thing about this beer is that as it warms up the hop bouquet really becomes more and more complex: wild, grassy, dare I say wild oniony/garlicky? Weird, I know, but somehow it works. Pineapple and syrup mix with honeyed grapefruit. A must have for any hophead.

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Photo of movingtrain
4.74/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle reads: 102 IBUs, and 10.54% ABV. From the "Dictator Series."

Pours a copper-reddish color, very little head, and not much carbonation. The head is kind of a soapy film clinging to the sides of the glass.

The aroma is buttery, rich, and massively hoppy. Grapefruit, dense pine, rich caramel, rosemary, and peppercorn fill the nose. The smell is very heavy, and quite rich.

The flavor here, too, is remarkable. Very balanced and creamy. Deep grapefruit/citrus notes, caramel, rye bread, and some light oats/malt backing it up. The flavor is outstanding, and very, very big.

Another main proponent that stands out here is the alcohol. There is a major alcohol burn going down, one that reaches even up through the nose. This isn't a negative by any is just powerful and pungent.

Overall, this is an excellent beer. It does what it set out to do: conquer the senses. Well done.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter. The date on the bottle is June 2011.

A Pours a deep caramel color with a thick off white head that leaves a lot of lacing. A pretty nice looking beer.

S The smell is very fruity and sweet. There is a distinct smell of pineapple, and other tropical fruits. Smells quite nice.

T The taste is obviously hop forward but not to the point that its overpowering the malts. It starts with a bit of bitterness, then there are notes of tropical fruit like pineapple. The finish is caramel malts. I like the balance of this one.

M Thick body, but not syrupy with just a hint of alcoholic burn. Quite pleasant feeling.

Overall this might be my favorite DIPA. It nicely balanced with a good nose and mouthfeel, and I don't feel like I'm pouring hop oil down my mouth when I drink it. A great beer I would not hesitate to drink again.

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Photo of greenmonstah
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 13, bottled March 2011 and reviewed in July

A - Caramel in color with a thin off white head. Weak retention.

S - Tropical fruit bonanza - grapefruit and pineapple, and some grassy notes.

T - Similar to nose. Very fruit forward, with a sweet (mango or maybe papaya) character joined by grapefruit and some pineapple. This is all followed by a grassy bitterness and a malt backbone which smoothes and rounds out the beer. No booze flavor.

M - A bit sticky sweet. Round with some carbonation sharpness. A bit cloying, slightly dry finish. Medium body.

O - Overall a delicious, complex brew. Plenty of flavors working together perfectly, but somewhat sticky in the feel. Amazing job of hiding the alcohol.

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Photo of Briken
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber orange with big off-white head with great retention. Earthy, sweet orange, floral English hops. Resinous complex flavors follow the nose. Great malt backbone with lightly sweet finish and light hop linger. Very silky smooth feel.

Fantastic balanced DIPA. It has a great feel with no alcohol burn and only slight warming. A wonderful complex flavor though it could use a little more on alpha hops. This is a very easy drinking beer for such a big brew.

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Photo of harrymel
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

June 2011 batch

A: Pours a copper ale with a single finger of peanut head. This falls slowly to a quilt of the same capping an ale with brilliant clarity. Rings of lacing.

S: Grapefruit, bubble gum, cotton candy, lemon, sweet malts with caramel flavors. I can smell the bitterness coming through and some really slight pine smells.

T: Sweet and bitter and earthy and alcoholic. I really, really like this beer. The hops are sweet, the bubble gum and cotton candy feels really nice against a resiny and citrus rind bitterness. The malt profile is sweet with flavors of caramel, toffee, tobacco, reduced apricot. Really a great beer.

M: Medium mouth feel with low on moderate carb. The beer is a bit chewy with a dry finish for the style. I like it, the heat from the alcohol makes my mouth water and compels me to drink more.

O: Seriously, to all those in the Avery market, if you haven't tried this beer, or you love HopSlam, Pliny, Sculpin, Hop Stoopid, then pick this up, you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of draheim
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle (Batch 14/June 2011) poured into a tulip.

Rich amber color with a thick off-white head. Perfectly clear, gorgeous color.

Aroma is citrus & pine at first, then pineapple and other tropical fruit... then eventually some faint pumpkin and peach. Never smelled pumpkin in my beer before, but there it is.

Taste generally follows nose with a solid, unmistakeable malt backbone. Plenty of booze to back this one up, with a bitter hop finish.

Nice mouthfeel, coats the tongue and a little chewy.

This is one bold, balls-out DIPA. I'm more impressed with Batch 14 then what I remember about Batch 13, which seemed somewhat more malt-forward. They dumped a hell of a lot of malt and a hell of a lot of hops into this brew.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a golden color with good carbonation and a small white head.

S: Nose is big hops, grapefruit, caramel, booze, lightly toasted bread.

T: Taste is booze, pineapple, caramel, pine and bready. Pretty chewy for an IIPA. Plenty of hop bitterness from beginning to end. Big malt body, bigger than I expected

M: I thought it was pretty slick, big on body

O: I had a growler of it I was done after half. Just to much of a good thing. Very good in small doses.

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Photo of oline73
3.94/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful dark amber with a finger of light tan head that leaves some lacing and a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Quite sweet and malty, carmel and fruity apricot notes.

Taste: Bitter citrus peel hops kill the tongue. Sweet malt with mild fruity notes and some alcohol in the finish. Simultaneously a hop bomb and a malt bomb.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I enjoyed the balance of the hops and the malt. I enjoyed the fruity notes. I'm not sure how fresh this was, but I thought it was quite good.

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Photo of lynchtae
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This a malty hoppy monster. A bit more malty than hoppy, and at over 100 ibus that is a lot of malt. Cracked this open after a long day of work on a chair in my's really complex, I am just figuring it out. This one starts off sweet, but finishes bitter - like a woman. it has a really nice bitter core surrounded caramel and toffee malts and hops that I would call earthy rather than citrusy. Clever name, king of IPA's...

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Photo of Forb
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from Batch No. 13; March 2011...

Appearance: Orange, copper, amber hue with a frothy creamy colored minor head with medium leveled lacing.

Smell: An immediate sweet hop kick is most notable of this beer. Malt backbone to mellow out the complexity of this IIPA.

Taste: Very sweet malty characters first noted amongst a bitter hop intensity that carries a great balance over the sugary quality to finish. The intensity here is not for the faint.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full creamy, carbonated body that goes down smooth and mellow.

Overall: A great representation of the style and a first for me from Avery Brewing. As this is a style I have been interested in as of late I can say it is similar in taste to the Twin Sisters from Left Hand but undoubtedly I will recommend the Stone Ruination as the premier chose for this style.


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Photo of daledeee
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 22 oz bottle available across the river in Illinois.

It pours a nice dark orange with great head and lace.

Nose is piny and spicy but not real strong.

Taste is another story. Very pine, spice and orange peel. Alcohol warms the finish. There is a big dose of malt in this one as well and it is fairly sweet. I personally like the malt to balance out this strong hop character. I find this to be a truly great example of the DIPA and what I like.

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Photo of wscaffe
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 13 bottled March 2011. Poured from a bomber into a tulip.

I realize this should have been consumed earlier but I just got my hands on it.

A - Light orange/amber color. One finger head that leaves a decent lace on glass. Head lasts a few minutes then dissipates.

S - Strong malt character but the hops are definitely there. Hints of grapefruit and other citrus. I also get a bit of pine on the nose.

T - Hop character is still there after three months but it is definitely subdued. Slightly boozy. Good caramel taste. I am really enjoying the various fruit flavors found within this brew.

M - Medium to heavy bodied with a good level of carbonation. Some alcohol but it is hidden fairly well by the malt character.

Overall a representation of a DIPA. Hop character is still there even though the bottle I had was three months old. Alcohol is a little too evident but overall I would drink this again.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clean orange-ish color with a small white head. In the aroma, mango and grapefruity hops. In the taste, a dry grapefruit like hop and a small alcohol like burn. A small hop bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry grapefruit rind aftertaste. Sweet aroma, and dry taste, with big hops and a nice presence of alcohol.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a nice amber with a thin white head that leaves some slight lacing.

S-Smells sweet from the alcohol, some hops and caramel malts.

T-Much like the nose, very boozy and sweet. Though hops dominate the malt nearly balances things out. Not overly complex flavor just alcohol sweetness, bitter hops, and some caramel malt.

M-Pretty thick for the style.

D-The high abv, sweetness, and lack of complexity make this a one and done for me.

Overall, this doesn't match up to many other versions of the style. Its not that complex and is very boozy.

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Photo of zrab11
3.82/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a nice orangeish color with a small white head. Decent lacing

S- Had the aroma of oranges and grapefruit and sme sweet carmel as well. Also picking up some pine and hops.

T- Wow this was a kick in the face DIPA. Smooth at the begginning with the carmel sweetness but then a bitter hops and grapefruit flavor till the end

M-Medium to light bodied with good carbonation

D-Overall i was exspecting this to be a faded DIPA b/c i estimated this bottle to be abot 4 weeks old. But it was toatly the opposite. The hops and grapefruit flavor were way to much for me to enjoy this beer. glad i was sharing this with a friend or i would of drain poured the rest. Its not a bad beer by any means. Its just that anything with a big grapefruit taste i tend to stay away from. Glad i tried it and i reccomend everyone try it but it just wasn't doing it for me.

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Photo of rowingbrewer
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark orange with some floaties color and a thick fluffy off white head that lasts. the smell is grapefruit and pine with a hint of malt sweetness. the flavor is piney and citrus as is followed b an intensely bitter finish. there is also some residual sweetness that adds to a medium body and the only thing that takes away form the beer. overall a really good beer, just a little to thick

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Photo of JayS2629
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a cool amber with moderate white head that fades slowly and leaves descent lace.

The smell is of orange, grapefruit, and pine with a sweet caramel and honey backbone. Floral elements throughout as well.

The taste is overly sweet for a DIPA with rich honey and caramel. A small booze bite that lingers and loads of grapefruit, melon, sweet orange and pine. Black pepper notes and some grassy, floral elements.

Overly sweet for this style. A bit cloying, sticky and but interesting and descent DIPA. A big sipper that goes crazy on spicy hops as it warms.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours pours a dark copper color with a litt bit of jead that laced. The smell is infused with hops and is bitter. The taste the is very bitter; very hoppy. Strong flavor stays on the palletee. Overall fanstastic, strong flavor very hoppy, strong flavor.

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Photo of nhindian
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Surly Darkness tulip.

Batch No. 13, March 2011 release.

A - Pours a deepish orange, amber color with a little bit of haze in it. Not exactly translucent, but not cloudy. The head is a dense cloud of microscopic bubbles, with larger ones interspersed, and is off-white in color. Retention is moderate, lasting a few minutes, and the lacing is nice as well.

S - Almost immediately this beer takes me by surprise. This is not hop-forward in the slightest. They are there, of course, but this is sweet and malty. I'm not sure if it's the age on this or just the malt bill, but I almost immediately thought of a dry-hopped barleywine when I smelled this. It smells thick and syrupy for sure. As it warms and the smell lingers, however, the hops do shine. There's a lot of orange peel and almost tropical hop influence coming through that gives it a nice bite at the end.

T - As in the nose, this is extremely malty for a DIPA. It's not bad, but it's something to take into account, as it is not the typically effervescent, light and citrus DIPA. It begins very sweet and syrupy, again, like a West Coast Barleywine in my opinion. But it blazes a trail that the IPA contrast thrives on. It brings influences of oranges and mango and pineapple, which when combined with the malts, gives off impressions of sugar-coated fruit which is addicting. The finish is long and a good mix of orange peel and sweetness.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy-bodied with lowish carbonation. This is probably one of the heaviest, syrupy thick DIPAs I've had, and in my opinion blurs the line between it and a barleywine. It's heavy in the mouth, but flows easily and finishes rather dry for how big it is.

D/O - Drinkability is moderately high. This is an interesting beer for sure and I'm almost glad it's not a proto-typical DIPA. I think the thickness and sweetness is something that Avery does well to include in this beer. I'm sure it's exaggerated with some of the age on this, so I'd love to try it fresh, but as it stands now it is a unique beer that sort of shatters some preconceived notions I had coming into it.

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Photo of ADTaber
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

reviewed from notes, 22 oz bomber poured into an Avery pint glass, 12th edition, May 2010

A: pours a clear dark amber with some sediment floating in the glass with a thick off white head with good retention and leaves a nice lacing pattern

S: floral and citrus hops, sweet oranges, malt, some alcohol

T: floral and citrus hops as in the smell, some sweet and sugary malt but the hoppy bitterness lingers and overpowers the sweetness, the alcohol is definitely detectable

MF: medium bodied, moderate carbonation, a slight burn/tingle from the alcohol

O: Well-balanced hoppy bitterness and sweet malt, alcohol not very well hidden, but stilll very drinkable and enjoyable

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Photo of Mosstrooper
4.92/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on-tap on 4/18/2011 at the Gingerman in NYC. Typed from notes. Served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: Copper color with a large off-white head that dissipates slowly and leaves thick lace.

Smell: Lots of melon and citrus with a hint of sweet malt.

Taste: Begins bitter, rounding out to some sweet malt before finishing with grapefruit, melon, and blood orange flavors. These hops are sweet!

Mouthfeel: Medium body with sharp carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: A perfect IPA. This brew has all of the great IPA flavor with lots of unique melon characteristics I have never experienced in a beer of this style. Try it NOW!

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Photo of gopens44
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Translucent amber with a well maintained beige head of about an inch in height.

S - Just simply bursting with grapefruit goodness.

T - Like the nose, giant grapefruit funtime taste with a nice well balanced touch of honey sweetness.

M -Smooth, decent level of carbonation and a wonderfully citrus bitter aftertaste.

O - Well worth the hype. Great all the way around.

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Photo of mikereaser
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Avery Majaraja 2011
A - Pours a clear amber with a nice amount of off white foam that slowly faded and left lots of lacing stuck on the glass
S - really wonderful citrus aroma, pineapple, mango & lemon blend well into a juicy smell.
T - tropical fruit hops come through with alot of mango, lemon peel, malty sweet with just a bit of alcohol warmth from the 10+ percent. It all finishes with a slight pepper spicy note
M - full bodied with alot of creaminess to it, the carbonation is there but comes out in the finish, there is a bit of alchol warmth but that seems to disappear with a dry finish.
D - I could drink alot of this, but it does get a bit much with the alcohol, so I'd stick to a bottle or two and enjoy it on special occasions.


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Photo of chocosushi
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage

Just wanna say that I am so happy to finally OPEN & review this beer, as the
forces that be have made it unavailable in Oklahoma as of a few
months ago.


Bomber -> CHOC Rastal Pint

A ~ Poured slowly a cloudy, Rusty-Mahogany-Red that I could not possibly see through. For being almost 2 years old, this still has a pretty intense, sticky-pillow of a head. With some lacing that was pretty difficult to clean out after all was said and done. Visible yeast sediment in glass that I can only assume is from conditioning for so long. Can't wait.

S ~ An astringent & acrid bouquet of fermented apricot, Pomander, Lime Zest, Citrus Peels, and some definite Pine Sol. Chemically, Bitter, Dusty Earth. Super Excited.

T ~ HOPS!!! Spice and Citric Acid hits first. Shocks tounge, then mouth, then throat, teeth & tummy. This is some amazing stuff, straight up hop juice. Aged grapefruit, lemon & mango slathered in tree sap. Less boozy than expected but there is still a definite bite to this one. Almost a cat pee like acridness on the finish. This is one that I am glad I split with friends. Aggressive.

M ~ Attacks mouth in all levels in almost a specific order. Pretty incredible how complex this beer is. Silky smooth bubbles and almost every flavor profile achievable from hops; Spicy, Citric, Earthy, Fruity, Bitter, Piney. ABV comes out more halfway through.

Spicy Hop bomb for sure. Recommendable to any hop head. Wish I had copped more when I had the chance.

I <3 Avery

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 5,691 ratings