Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

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5,701 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: 5,701 |  Reviews: 1,880
Photo of silentjay
3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a copper with a nice mahogany hue. a decent sized eggshell colored head recedes quickly and laces pretty well.

lots of tropical fruits mixed with pine and bitter citrus, as well as plenty of leafy hops that bring some mint and tobacco into play on top of some sugary sweet malts. plenty of alcohol (rum?) on the nose as well.

alcohol jumps out first with some sticky sugary sweetness behind the onslaught of hops. tropical fruits, leafy hops, and bitter citrus are all accounted for, but the pine seems to have disappeared, unfortunately.

hot and syrupy with plenty of resin and sticky sweetness.

not my style of DIPA. a bit too boozy and sweet for my liking. its very well brewed for what it is, just not what I look favor. will definitely drink again, but I wouldn't go out of my way to acquire it.

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Photo of SFC21
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into Sam Adams pint glass

A - Amber colored body with an inch of creamy head. Great lacing.

S - Lots of sweet malts, some floral hops, heavy booze presence.

T - Starts with heavy malts upfront, almost barleywine-esque, followed by a bitter, but not too bitter, earthy hops finish. The alcohol makes itself known.

M - Nice and creamy.

O - Very complex beer. It took me a few sips to warm up to this one but I came to appreciate it.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into 13oz tulip. A very clear copper, with a sticky white two inch head. Smell is very bold, grapefruit, breadeness, some orange, and some booze. Smell is all that, but even more intense. It lingers for some time. Big mouthfeel, enough carbonation given the Abv. This is the real deal. A large Imperial IPA that you can't forget.

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Photo of ms11781
2.99/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottled on 3/21/2011. Reviewed on 04/04/2011. 22oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a clear ruby red color with a finger of white foam. Head dissipates quickly and leaves a soap-like lacing around the glass.

Great hop aroma from the nose. Huge citrus and pine aromas are present along with some tropical fruit. There is also a sweet characteristic to the nose. Caramel malt and some ripe fruit seem to be here as well.

The taste is considerably different from the nose due to a huge presence of alcohol. The big citrusy and piny hops are here, but not as assertive as they were in the nose. Sweet caramel malt is here as well but the alcohol that is present completely changes the profile. Slight bitter finish that lingers a bit but the alcohol is prevalent towards the back end.

Slick, oily and sticky. Bitterness isn't all that strong but it sticks a bit. Normally these work well with a DIPA but they don't work with the alcohol in this one.

Overall, this one has a great nose. It's very enticing but the rest of the beer doesn't live up to the aroma. The alcohol is overwhelming at some points and provides a harsh finish at others.

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Photo of DavidST
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter, this is Batch no. 14, June 11.

I had this on tap before and I got pretty toasty not realizing its high ABV which was pretty well hidden. I'm looking forward to the bottle and hoping its just as good.

Pours a slightly hazy dark amber color or a copperish color, it has a nice off white head which looks pretty nice and seems to have decent retention for the ABV. The smell is full of strong citrus hops, some grapefruit followed by lots of caramel malts. Feel is medium to thick and creamy, I'm getting a nice coating of hops as I swirl it around, excellent feel. The taste is pretty balanced, you get a load of mouth coating hops, followed by a wave of sweet malts followed by a long lingering grapefruit hops bitterness. To me the alcohol is very well hidden, there is a reason why I didn't realize the AVB of the pints of this on tap I was having.

With this one and hop stoopid a couple of nights ago, I'm warming back up to the Imperial IPA style, normally I find them too sweet but this one is great even with the sweetness, this might be perhaps my favorite Imperial IPA (assuming that Runiation is a double IPA and slightly different). Great stuff.

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Photo of gdw2
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #14 from June 2011

A - Lighter amber color with a great initial thick off white head. Head died down slightly after a little bit. Lot's of lacing the whole way down the glass.

S - Strong citrus/hop smell with strong notes of pineapple and grapefruit.

T - Pretty strong hop bomb in your mouth at 102 IBU. Strong citrus taste from the hops with a little bit of malt flavor at the end. Alcohol taste is there, but well masked by the hop flavor.

M - Thicker but refreshing. I almost would like a little bit more carbonation, but maybe that is just personal preference. I have had beers in the same style with a little bit better mouthfeel, but this one is definitely far from bad!

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Photo of BeardedRiker
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My brother had me try this not too long ago and I liked it. I don't buy enough Avery so the next time I saw this I decided to pick it up. And it's an imperial IPA. I know I'll like it!

The Maharaja looks lovely when poured out. The head takes awhile to form it's creamy-foamy texture and off-white, a bit tannish color. There's some good head retention and a lot of lacing left behind. And I mean a lot of lacing. By a lot of lacing I mean after drinking half of it there is lacing all the way down. I don't remember the last beer I've had that did this. The beer is an orange copper color. Not too much bubbles rising to the top.

How does the Maharaja smell? Like heaven, if heaven was really fruity and hoppy. Honestly, when I poured this out I thought I was smelling pineapple juice and I wasn't even trying to smell it. So yes, extremely fruity. Pineapple and mango smells are very strong but that's not all. Floral hops are there too that add the spicy yet caramel sweetness pine aromas. After letting it warm up a bit I'm getting some grassy malts. The only reason I don't give it a 5/5 for smell is because I don't know what a perfect smell is. :P

Flavors are much like the smell. The tropical fruit flavors jump out adding acidity and sweetness, then comes the pine spice and caramel sweetness, and finally hop bitterness. I'd say it's more sweet than bitter, more fruity than hoppy, but it's a good balance. If you let it warm up a bit the malts come out more and the spiciness from the hops becomes more present. The malts bring the sweetness and help smooth it all out. It's definitely bitter but it's also sweet, fruity, acidy (word? whatever...), spicy, and smooth. Big flavors but good balance. Yum, yum, yum!

I really enjoy the sort of buttery feel this beer has. It may be buttery but because of its strong sweetness it's also sticky. It's medium-bodied and has a lower carbonation but I don't think it detracts from the beer at all. It's not too little though. I really like how this one feels.

This is one of the better imperial IPAs I've had. I generally don't like the fruitier beers and even though this one is very fruity I liked it. It looks beautiful and taste great. Fruity, hoppy, spicy, sweet, and smooth. A great imperial IPA. Is this the "Great King" of imperial IPAs? It just might be.

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Photo of rootbeerman
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours dark copper, finger of head that was off white.
S: sweet malt caramel with mainly grapefruit hop.
T: again sweet caramel malt upfront, hop hits on the back end with mainly grapefruit with a little bit of pine. There also is a general fruit hidden in with the hops.
M: thick a little bit sticky and coating but its not a complaint. Carbonation is a touch low.
O: I've had this many both on tap in bottle and now growler, this is in my top ten dipa/ipa's

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Photo of AmericanGothic
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into 2 Sam Adams pints.

A: Pours a transparent, dark orange with one finger of off-white head. Very good retention and lace.

S: Grapefruit and sweet malt, pretty intense.

T: Wow. Sweet grapefruit, well balanced, turns more into the sweet direction in the middle and then ends with bitter rose on the finish. Fantastic.

M: Light, very smooth, with a bit of oil.

O: A great beer, really loved it. Will be looking for this one wherever it can be found.

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Photo of biglobo8971
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

have had this beer many times, first time in growler.
has a great amber orange color, lacing is present the whole glass.
smells like citrus and spice, most notably is lemon.
taste is a little bit to malty sweet for me, its got a great after bite of hops bitterness, just the middle is a tad bit to careamel sweet for my likings.
easy to drink, if your into sweet hops.
Overall, I would drink this beer again, but I would not seek out via trade.

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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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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 5,701 ratings