Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

5,632 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

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Ratings: 5,632 |  Reviews: 1,868
Photo of Jules11788
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a delirium tremens snifter.

A: Clear, orange-copper color; very small head, no retention; medium lacing

S: Earthy, slightly hoppy-citrusy smell with hints of malts. Overall the smell is subtle; its not overpowering or super hoppy, just faint

T: WOW. Rich and creamy at first with a delicious malty sweetness, then transitions into a slightly spicy-hoppy bitterness with a little malt back there for balance. There's nothing that sticks out too much or explodes on the tastebuds, but its just so amazingly well balanced and richly sweet.... the best Imperial IPA I've ever had.

M: Very thick and creamy; full-bodied and ridiculously smooth; absolutely no hint of the 10.5% abv that this thing carries. It's like drinking liquid silk.

O: One of the best Imperial IPAs I've ever had. Period. It's not a super tropical-y, fruity DIPA (which I adore), rather it's more of a smooth and subdued creamy brew. Don't pass this one by

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

This was my departing beer from Denver. Had on tap at Falling Rock.

Pours a crystal golden copper color. Little bit of head, decent lacing throughout the session.

Truckload of hops on the nose. Floral, citrus, exotic fruits.

Even more hoppy awesomeness on the palate of this beer. Mimics the smell, but the floral and fruity hops really take precedence. But don't let that fool you. Incredible malt backbone balances quite well with the hops. Sweet, biscuity tons of malts, tons of hops. It just WORKS. There's no hiding the ABV in this beer either. Not a bad thing, but just be expecting it.

Overall this is a fantastic double IPA. I drink so many Cali hop bombs that it's really nice to drink a double IPA that also showcases its malt profile. Definitely seek this beer out.

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Photo of JCaweinstein
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer I poured was bottled Mar 2011 and was noted as batch no 13.

Poured into a pint glass. The color is a dark amber, really quite stunning with a lot of carbonation. I got a two finger, off white, and rocky head. This is a beautiful beer.

Smells sweet, like pineapple. I picked this aroma up as soon as the beer hit the glass.

I first taste the malty sweetness, then some orange citrus. Finishes with a little hoppy bitterness. At 10.54% I can also taste the alcohol on this one. This is a very tasty yet very strong bold beer.

Medium bodied, fairly boozy yet in a pleasant complimentary way. This leaves a malty sweet after taste but it's not over powering and quite enjoyable.

As soon as I poured this I got hit with the sweet smell of pineapple and was also very pleased with how this beer looked. I will buy more of this, just so long as I can find it.

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Photo of mwill7287
4.87/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into what is essentially a GLBC short-stemmed wine glass, perhaps a large snifter.

A - A deep, rich golden-amber color, very clear and crisp looking. Active carbonation swarms about the glass. Healthy layer of head, about a fingertip deep, settles after the pour, retaining through the drink. Wonderful lacing left behind all over the glass. She's a beaut.

S - Highly hopped, with floral and mostly fruity scents emanating bountifully from the nose. Despite the high ABV, the beer gives off only slight hints of booziness. Delectable.

T - Very fruity. Grapefruit and other citrus tones, perhaps almost a fruit punch, dominate the taste. Great balance of malts and hops - alternately sweet and bitter. Aftertaste is mildly bitter with lingering hints of citrus hops and some sweetness. This is a tasty, tasty beer, yet not completely overpowering as DIPAs tend to be.

M - Like with the nose and the taste, this imperial IPA does not destroy your tongue. It is medium bodied and goes down very well for a beer of this high ABV and style.

O - I'm enjoying this about as much as I did when I had it on draft in Boston. Avery Brewing Co. has simply created a standard-setting brew with the Maharaja Imperial IPA.

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

Poured a deep, clear orange-amber into a tulip with a finger of bright, fluffy white head. Juicy aroma of grapefruit with lots of caramel malt.

Moderate carbonation and mouthfeel that manages to be both resinous, creamy, and full without becoming too syrupy. Mild grapefruit and tangerine up front with a strong caramel/honey sweetness and some distinct boozy warmth. Fairly astringent pine on the finish with a slightly odd earthy, vegetal quality.

Really nice double IPA, but not the most drinkable; the sharp booziness and sweetness slowed me down somewhat.

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Photo of mater
2.05/5  rDev -51.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

March 2011 date

A-Pours a nice dark orange amber color with a OK head and lacing.

S-Strong citrusy hop smell, but also a solid malt smell. Kind of a strange smell for a DIPA. Little bit of booze coming through.

T-This is where everything went wrong. On first sip this thing burnt my throat. Strong alcohol taste, then malts with a bitter hop finish.

M-Very thick and very sweet. Very surprised by this.

O-I was really looking forward to this beer, because I love any type of IPA, but this thing seemed more like a high abv barleywine. I drank half the bomber and had to drain pour the rest. After looking at other BA's reviews it seems like I had a different beer.

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Photo of tbrown4
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up this bottle in the Philly area about a month ago. It's been in the fridge since. Shared this bottle with my wife and her sister.
Labeled as "Batch No. 13 Mar. 2011"

22 oz -> Weyerbacher tulip

A - Crystal clear copper, one finger white head, medium lacing, thin head is retained through the tasting, middle clears up. Light carb streams

S - Piney, resinous hops, creamy

T - Huge piney citrusy hops up front, darker caramel malt feel in the middle, long sharp bitter finish. As it opens up it almost tastes of dark butterscotch.

M - Thin to medium, light alcohol warmth

O - This is a huge aggressive double IPA, beautiful floral hop notes in the nose and mouth. It's very bright, alive and sensory. Its almost a palate killer. I'd buy this again and would imagine this is even more spectacular when it's super fresh.

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Photo of maltstress
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Avery Brewing Co. Their dictator series. The Maharaja IPA. Batch #13. March 2011. 102 IBU'S. 10.54% abv.

This IPA is all sorts of interesting. Vanilla or Caramel hint? Citrus, which is to be expected from an IPA. Grapefruit. But something almost smells sweeter, like a sweet melon. Or even a grape or pear. I'm having a hard time pin pointing the specific fruit. But it's not the normal citrus I encounter with IPA's. It is, but there is also so much more to this. Very floral, but not extremely aromatic. Less pine and less bitter, but only to the aromatic component to the brew for the later, not in it's taste. It's very malty, which seems unusual for an IPA. It also carries with it a strong alcoholic bite to it, but not as strong as a Belgian (thought it carries with it the alcohol content of a higher Belgian). It's clean. Crisp, but not very light. Amber pour, slight head. Still drinkable.

I never thought I’d say this, but this is an IPA I would like to try pairing with an interesting dessert, like a creme brulee. Or perhaps a fruity, nutty, or poppy salad. A lighter marinated chicken, or a lemon zested fish, but not peppered or heavily spiced. This is a very majestic brew. I imagine royalty would enjoy it. I wouldn't choose to drink this on its own again, but pair it with food.

But it must be noted that if this was brewed in March, its effect might be completely different as I consumed it a little into May. It's very common for aromatic compounds to be lost during this time frame.

[Question to others and what I'm unaware of is if the strong taste of alcohol would increase with time, and if there are IPA"s that can be slightly cellared? Also, is the degradation of aromatic compounds the melon or malty flavors I now detect? Or is this the actual purpose of the brew?]

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Photo of mizzouguy
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden copper and crystal clear with no haze. The head is fluffy and white. A great looking beer. It smells sweet and citrusy with a little bit of booze smell. The taste is sweet up front with some hop blast in the back. It is smooth and easy to drink. Very pleasant beer and will drink again!

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Photo of DWilliams76
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lucky enough to find this. Orange gold color with fluffy white head that leaves traces on the pint glass. Huge aroma: oine and citrus. The taste is a very high end malt bill with intense pine and hop flavors, very bold and sharp. Finish is great.This beer is all it's cracked up to be from everyone else's review.

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Photo of adamette
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Live review. Poured from the brown bomber that I bought at Save-On Tobacco & Beverage in Mentor, Ohio for $8.99 (they had it on the shelves and in the cooler!) a few hours ago into my Brewery Ommegang Westvleteren style goblet. Batch # 13 March 2011 written on right front of label (on the Maharaja’s left arm as it were).

A Fluffy light brown, short lived head over a light caramel, translucent body that reminds me of a very “liquidy” honey. Good look and very appropriate to the style. 4.0

S Nice hopped up honey sweetness that my favorite DIPA’s feature. This is a full smelling beer for sure. I would guess that there are lots of calories in this beer! Since that is not only to style but the honey goodness balancing the bitter hops is like icing on the cake, I will assign the following score: 4.5

T Yes, I am happy to report that the taste flows right from the very good smell. There is an explosion of tastes of sweet honey, bitter hops but it is all balanced, probably a little bit more on the sweet side and I can readily tell why this beer is so popular. It reminds me of my favorite beers in this style, Southern Tier 2XIPA and Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster. 4.5

M Appropriately big, sticky, bitter, balanced. 4.0

D Not that high but drinkability is not the point of this beer, in my opinion. This is a big, attention demanding, sweet, bitter explosion of a beer that, at least to me, has to be sipped and enjoyed. I will finish the bomber but certainly would not attempt another. In fact, I can readily see enjoying the bomber with a friend. That being said, I enjoyed every bit of it. 3.5

Notes: This might be my favorite from Avery, a brewery that I have been tough on in the past for what I recall to be some average and even some below average (at least for a micro brewery) beers. This is certainly not one of those. Perspective is funny. I wonder if I had this one earlier on would my impression of Avery be more favorable overall? Anyway, I am really happy that I bought this one and I think that you will be as well.

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Photo of Tripphop
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber gold color with busy white head that rocks and clumps all over the glass. Aromas are intense and hoppy, very piney and citrusy. Flavors are of orange, pineapple, intense pine and hop resin, very bold and sharp. Finish is rippingly bitter and fantastic. Solid beer, a little pricey, but gets the hop fix.

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Photo of b3shine
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft to snifter. Looks good, but more amber than most double IPAs. The bouquet is excellent. Hoppy with malt and alcohol notes. Tastes great as well; hoppy and warm. I like it on draft much better than the bombers, but that could be an artifact of freshness (or lack thereof). Mouthfeel is good too, but warm, as I mentioned. Overall, an excellent brew that I'll be having again.

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Photo of TenHornsProud
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden color with a big white head.

Smells of piney hops and some fruit/tropical fruit...hops lead the way of course.

Tastes of grapefruit, pineapple, some earthy/pine. Malty sweetness/bread flavor presents itself in the finish and compliments the hops.

This is a full-bodied beer, smooth on the palate, some lingering bitterness that is well balanced by the malt.

One of the best DIPAs I've had, along with Pliny and Myrcenary. It has a great fruity-hop taste with a complex malt body. Not quite chewy but substantial.

Note: Get this beer fresh. I grabbed a bottle from the brewery and also had one from a bottle shop...the difference was noticeable.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear, sweet 'tater orange color. Large off white head. So-so retention but lace aplenty.

Aroma is up there with he DIPA greats. Peach ring, Juicy Fruit and Orange Julius. Great stuff.

Wow, Maharaja is really, um...sweet. Too sweet actually, so much so that it detracts from the orange sherbet and peach Jelly Belly hops. Ample bitter, a relaxed and confident bitter if you will.

Too hot and too sweet. Toned down it has the potential for a top 10 DIPA in my humble opinion.

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Photo of output01x
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle (no date) into a snifter glass.

A moderate pour yields a 2 1/2-finger cream-colored head atop a clear amber copper body with very few slow-rising carbonation bubbles. The head slowly recedes and in a few minutes is litttle more than a sloppy, clumpy dusting and thick foam ring. Thick lacing latches onto the sides of the glass throughout consumption.

Bold citrus and pine hop aromas explode off the head. Grapefruit, lemon rinds, and pine resin notes combine with a sweet malt background to create a complex and nostril-piercing smell.

A surprisingly malty start slides like velvet over the tip of the tongue. A citrus and pine hop flavor with a striking bitterness rests on the middle of the tongue. A great, dry bitterness creeps in from the back of the tongue and overtakes the entire mouth.

Full bodied with moderate carbonation, this beer is surprisingly thick for a DIPA. While it isn't exactly sticky, it definitely has a syrupy mouthfeel. A little more carbonation would have helped the drinkability considerably.

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Photo of jmich24
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 13 Poured into a Duvel Tulip.

A: Crystal clear amber in color. Big one finger head. Great sticky lacing.
S: Sweet carmel malts up front, touch of honey. Big citrus, some pine, spicy, and herbal aromas. Booziness come through as it warms.
T: Hopforward yet well balanced. Tastes as smell suggests. A touch hot as it warms. Great Hop flavors mostly citrus.
M: Medium mouthfeel, lingering bitterness.
O: I had very high expectation for this beer and that may be why I feel somewhat disappointed. This is 2 months old and may be past its prime. Too balanced for my ridiculous hoppy tastes.

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Photo of mlazzaro
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was one of the first big American IPAs that I was introduced to. And a great example of one it is.
22 oz 'current release' bottle.

Pours a dark amber color, with a healthy looking white head. Head clung to the glass as I drank. Smells like it received a good portion of American grown dry hops. Bitterness is pretty strong followed by a floral citrusy punch of flavoring hops. Truly grapefruity in flavor. Bitterness lingers just a little but is complimented with a satisfying sweetness. Acidic and crisp, really refreshing. And with a decent ABV that is surprisingly smooth and bright in flavor. I like this beer a lot, and have for many years.

If you liked this beer, I suggest a "Gordons" or now is called the "G'Knight" from oskar blues brewing co. Very similar and also delicious.

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Photo of ccm414
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BeerMaverick!
Poured from the 1 pint 6 fl oz bottle...

A- Pours a nice amber/golden color. Looks very nice. Has a 3 finger off-white, almost tan head that leaves an amazing thick lace around the glass. Very inviting.

S- Heavy on the hops! Nice and citrusy, mango and grapefruit here. Love it.

T- Just like the smell, fruity, citrus hops. Nice and bitter, but well complimented with the sweet malt. Excellent bitter finish that destroys the palate, but i'm liking every second of it. At 10.54% abv, it is hidden rather well.

M- Nice and creamy. A medium to heavier bodied DIPA. Slight alcohol burn, but nothing overwhelming.

D- Very drinkable, and at 10.54% it could become dangerous. While it destroys the pallet with its bitterness, I want more and more.


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

From tap to pint glass at Whole Foods in Fairfax, VA on 4/29/11
*From notes

Big up's to Lee for hookin' a brotha up with this one - cheers!

A: Clean and clear sun-tan amber. Great bubbly 1.75 finger head and drool-inducing lacing.

S: Holy shnikes - big league pine and resin, just dripping down the glass like a fresh cut Christmas tree.

T: Boozy tropical fruit that hits like a Mack truck. The finish is bitter, with a rich, robust caramel and buttermilk thing going on. This is a killer DIPA.

M: Smooth and chewy, it suits the beer perfectly.

O: Delicious. This is easily one of the top ten to twenty DIPA's I've consumed. I'm stoked to have had this on tap, and even happier to know I've got a 64oz growler sitting in the fridge. A hearty recommendation from Rhettroactive.

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Photo of
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Very bright orange in the glass. Small white head, decent retention, nice lacing.

Smell - Strong spicy pine aroma over deep malt and caramel with just noticeable alcohol.

Taste - Sweet and boozy flavour with citrus and floral notes, strong caramel malt backbone. Nice bitter finish.

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Photo of 05Harley
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in March 2011 (Batch #13)
Lot# 11030B7

Purchased @ Julio's Liquors, Westborough, Mass

Price - $9.99/bomber (well priced)

Pours a clean shade of orange, free of sediment. A one inch fluffy white cap adorns the glassware. Little to no lacing but a steady stream of bubbles continue through the experience.

Served in a snifter, the aroma is strong citrus hops with grapefruit, mango, orange peel and pine.

A strong flavor of pine starts things off but quickly changes to fruit, caramel and a touch of honey revealing it's complexity.

Powerful at 102 IBUs but don't let it discourage you, it's quite enjoyable. Medium body with a noticeable bitter bite followed by a slite dry finish.

Overall I thought this was a solid example of a DIPA and pretty well balanced. I expected it to have a much drier finish but was pleased with it. I really dig this one and I'm glad I have a few more bottles to enjoy.

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Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: it has a pale amber look to it, or very dark yellow depending on the hue you see, similar to most imperials, but with a bit less carbonation, perhaps that was due to my pour

S: I smelled this aroma from over 3 feet away, the hop profile is overwhelming. when you get into the mix of it its a cascade of various elements, sweetness, but with a lemony followup, a bit herbal, but nothing exceptionally bittering that makes you think of juniper or the ilk

T: Wow, where to start, first the warmth of the alcohol is nestled between a cacauphony of cascading tastes, it is present but takes a back seat like a patient master, waiting for his minions to dispatch until the final cleaning swallow. Mixed metaphors aside, the first taste is a sweet candy apple hop finish that quickly sets in to a deep bitter hoppiness, foresty, verdant, and kudzu? viney? it feels like a fresh camping trip is the best way to describe this. There's almost a zucchini zest, a strange unifying element of herbal tastes on the finish that makes it a bit intimidating, but very satisfying.

M: The mouthfeel is as expected, not too malty, with a crazy character for the alcohol and hops to duke it out in the thin canvas. The mouthfeel is nothing exceptional, but considering there is a complex battle for sweet and bitter being fought in the foreground, it hardly loses points in this area. I would like several, however, I dont feel that I would comfortably enjoy more than a bomber in a night without moving on to other pursuits, simply due to the overture of minor, major, and mixolydian notes playing in concert at the same time, it is fulfilling yet exhausting.

D: very drinkable. the finish is fast and ends abruptly, you ruminate on it a moment and you are left with a piney citrus taste wondering what happened to the various elements taking place moments before. I enjoy this beer, but it is certainly not a session beer and its abv 10.5% certainly precludes it (well depending on the demons you are escaping) from being so. Enjoyable, but not one to keep in the stable as a hackneyed coach.

Narrative: "Place my equipage on the center rug and take care not to scuff the well adorned mahogany sides" You work busily to comply with his requests but his bitter nature and biting commentary is almost too much. "A little something for your troubles." he presses a crisp $100 bill into your hand, for what? Bringing some cumbersome trunk to the front foyer? This is treatment you can handle, and somehow welcome. He walks and surveys the split landing of the threadbare banister. "THIS WILL NOT DO." running a finger lightly over the worn wood, he looks to you for approval, you somehow gain a sense of commoradery in his majesty, knowing the complexity in his thought and manner, here you just a vagrant chimney sweep moments ago, now bitterly at the receiving end of his jansenist nature. "What do you feel this is a vestibule for peregrine mendicants? obtain your composure and tend to the rest of my articles, as resolutely as I am sure you are capable." That was his way, you saw him cooly surverying the premises in his ivory suit, casuistically wiping the sweat from his brow in a manner that showed poise and decisiveness. The drying extraction of his remarks place you in a humble yet hopeful state, not unlike a teeball coach whom you welcome the reprimand if only for a dose of the gratifying approval. "Also, take care of yourself..." his eyes glint a flash of knowing understanding, as though he too had been one toiling with luggage and taking care not to scratch the italian marble, a harsh but culling master, your maharaja.

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Photo of bierguru
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - About a half inch of off-white head forms. The beer is a mahogany red color and pretty clear.

S - Nothing but hops in the nose, mainly aromas of grapefruit. There is a slight sweet smell to it as well.

T - Surprisingly chewy malt flavor, but the taste is mostly filled with an abrasive bitterness. During the taste a fruitiness flavor joins the party.

M - Thick, chewy, and fairly oily

O - Maharaja is advertised as a 2xipa tyhat will suck the enaml off your teeth i feel well i feel it meets the billing

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Photo of lstokes
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden amber with a two-finger head, smells of caramel malt, pine/citrus hops. It's a sweet beer, but it's a really wonderful one: rich caramel malt, rich pine and citrus/mango hops, a smooth, silky, sipping mouthfeel. Booze and barley around the margins. Very well balanced overall. Maybe I'm in a good mood because I'm watching a good NHL game, but this beer is helping too. Would happily drink again.

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,632 ratings.
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