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Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

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5,666 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:
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Ratings: 5,666 |  Reviews: 1,873
Photo of begforme4484
3.63/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in March 2010. Hopping to get my hands on a fresh one and give it a new review.

Pours a very beautiful dark amber, almost brown. A few fingers width of thick white head that retained very well. Heavy lacing on the glass.

Smell is of citrus and floral hops. Some mellow malt tones in the background and slight hint of alcohol.

A nice citrus bitterness right upfront. The beer is then overtaken by a robust and chewy maltiness. The high abv and age of the bottle more than likely the cause of it.
But the reminant tastes are very good. There is a decent bitterness to the beer, and I would love to experience this fresh. Slight hint of alcohol warms you up too.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, mildly carbonated and a bit chewy.

Drinkability on this particular bottle, being somewhat aged, the flavor is definitely depreciated. And the high abv make it a sipper.

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Photo of JMOvechkin
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought this in a bomber and poured it into a snifter. I found this at a local liquor store that doesn't carry too many craft beers. On this small shelf off to the side they had Trappiste 10 and 8 along with some Stone and this bad boy was sitting in the back covered in dust, aged, just like I like it. It was wonderful.

A: First I love the art and description on the bottle. The color of the beer was beautiful and the head was thick and inviting.

S: I really enjoyed the light citrusy and fruity waves I received upon opening it, it put butterflies in my tummy

T: Delicious. The blend of ingredients were perfect. The ABV was perfectly masked and there was no overpowering flavor, very smooth and hoppy.

M: Light and smooth with small bubbles distributed evenly over my tongue.

D: Almost too easy. If I had this in a pint, I might have drank it too quickly. I will certainly drink this beer again. One of the best IIPA I have had to date.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Bottled in March 2010...hoping its not a malty mess.

A- pours a ridiculously cloudy shade of orange with a one finger white head. Lacing is beautiful. Sediment EVERYWHERE in the beer. Overall feelings on this are mixed, so I'll give it a 3.5 and move on

S- super strong citrus hops...like really really pungent and awesome. Just what I love about a good DIPA

T- bitter citrus hops, though I imagine they'd be stronger if this were fresh...still really good though.

M- malty, with a thick body. Flavorful, strong beer so I'm fine with it

D- its a sipper, but a damn good one. Tastes like a boozy, bitter orange juice...one hell of a combination

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.55/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured into a tulip.

Pours a nice slightly dark amber/ruby color with a small creamy slightly off white head. Nose is malty and a bit hoppy but not over the top.

Taste is quite sweet and very rich and malty. There are hops here but to me it's more like a barleywine. Mouthfeel is thick and bready with a bit of a hop bite on the finish.

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Photo of cmillard
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Hazy copper color, LOTS of sediment throughout, medium head and good lacing.

S- strong smell of pine and hops with fruity undertone

T- Even though an extremely hoppy beer still not overpowering, the taste of the beer is balanced nicely with a strong malt flavor, the aftertaste leaves a bitter and citrus flavor in the mouth, though 10.5% ABV not an overpowering alcohol taste

M- Very smooth and creamy, almost a pillowy feel with decent carbonation

D- Great beer, a bit sweet but overall delicious, very easy to forget its a 10.5% beer

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

First pour from a 1L growler into a clean pint glass. Nice golden / copper color, 2 fingers of creamy off-white head leaving nice lacing. Wonderful hop aroma, citrus, pine, earthy, some caramel malts as well. Big, bold flavors in this DIPA - the hops are very upfront and in your face (bitter citrus and a piney / resiny bite), but are eventually balanced out by a sweet malt finish. Some nice warmth to this beer, especially as it reaches room temp. Medium bodied and well carbonated. A wonderful all around DIPA - as someone that doesn't like malty examples, this was quite refreshing and something i would buy again when available.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Dirty Truth last night, reviewed from notes.

Poured a hazy dark orange with a small white head, retains decently and leaves good lacing.

Smell hints at the intensity to come but the taste blows it away, huge flavor. Grapefruit rind, pineapple, resin, very dry rye/seedy notes. Extremely hoppy and sticky sweet with just slight caramel malt present. Booze well-hidden, pretty full mouthfeel.

Very good, a bit too much of a resiny grapefruit hop bomb for my tastes, but I'd definitely get this again when I'm in the mood for such a thing.

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

Batch 12
Bottled May 2010
10.48% ABV
1.090 OG
102 IBUs

Pours a very cloudy orange/caramel body that's chock full of suspended particles. Huge chunky off white head that leaves patches of lacing all over my Duvel glass.

Orange marmalade, lemon zest, grapefruit flesh, rich caramel, and resiny hop oil aromas. This is one massive bouquet, you can smell it from across the room.

The flavor is just as over the top as the aroma. With an ABV just a hair shy of 10.5%, it should be no surprise that Maharaja has an ample malt backbone. But with boat loads of hops and 102 IBUs, you better believe there are more than enough hops to not only balance things out, but to pull this beer over the line and deep into hoppy territory. Caramel malts, bright citrus, resiny pine, and an aggressively bitter finish.

The body is full, rich and sticky.

Batch 12 of Maharaja was perhaps the best batch Avery ever made. It was bottled 5 months before I wrote this review and as you might expect, today it is not half the beer that it was when it was fresh. This review is an attempt to preserve a record of the greatness of a fresh Batch 12. Unfortunately, I never took tasting notes on a fresh bottle, but I did drink several and I had it on tap several times too, so I think I have a pretty good memory of what it was like.

Batch 12 was a unique beer. At the time that it was being brewed, Avery was experimenting with a centrifuge for filtration purposes. Avery, like many brewers, uses diatomaceous earth to filter its beer. The problem with diatomaceous earth, is that when using it to filter a very hoppy beer, many of the chunky hop bits that it filters out were saturated with beer. So not only do you lose some flavorful hop goodness, you also lose a lot of beer. Centrifuges allow a brewer to strip out the big chunky stuff, but keep a higher percentage of the beer. Avery wanted to switch to a centrifuge eventually and a company that sells them lent one to Avery so they could experiment with it in an attempt to convince Avery to buy the centrifuge now rather than in a year or two.

So, Avery ran a fresh batch of Maharajah through the centrifuge rather than diatomaceous earth. Everything seemed to go pretty well. Then, after the beer had been in bottles for a few days, small particles began appearing in the beer. It turns out that Maharaja was so full of hops, that they simply couldn't remain in solution. In fact, Batch 12 was so chunky, so full of sediment, the folks at Avery considered a recall. Then they tasted it. The excess hop particles that made Batch 12 look more like a Hefeweizen than an IPA also gave it an extraordinary aroma and flavor. And thus, the best batch of Maharaja EVER was released and I am so glad it was.

All Maharaja is amazing. It is one of the best IPAs in America and that is really saying something. But this batch, this was something of truly rare quality. I'm just happy I got to enjoy it.

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Photo of bark
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The liquid is cloudy; the colour is orange-brown. The finger thick head slowly sinks down to a thin lid, leaving some lace curtains.

The smell is hoppy and bitter with distinct notes of grapefruits, grapes and butter/butterscotch. Some alcohol and pine-needles, fresh timber and a touch of maple syrup.

The taste is brutally bitter with lots of grapefruit juice, wood, pine-needles and sweet toffee. Notes of cookies, tobacco, raw rhubarb, fruit candy and a hint of anise. Lots of American hops, of course. The powerful aftertaste is very bitter with some warming alcohol, butter and fresh vegetables. The long finish is citric and bitter.

The carbonation is strong with lots of small fresh bubbles. The liquid is a bit sticky.

A very good DIPA that managaes to hide the alcohol better than, say, Double Dog.

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Photo of HopsyTurvy
4.77/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love this beer. Simple as that. Ok, ok so I am a bit of a hop head and the heavy hand of hops used in the creation of this bad boy definitely plays to my tastes. But, the 2010 release of this is quite well balanced with a sweetness that comes through after the initial hop assault. The 10.5% ABV does not overwhelm with an alcohol bite like other high % beers I've had, in fact if one's not careful that 10.5 will sneak up on you by the end of the bottle. Trust me I know. Indeed going through a bottle of this is quite easy as its a surprisingly drinkable beer. This beer is a must try for all, even the non-hop heads.

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

Poured into a goblet. Not much head, decent lacing. Balance of all the usual hop smells. Very strong but holds up nicely. Plenty bitter for hop heads but worked for me too. Moderate body & slickness, boozy and oily, above average overall feel without sacrificing drinkability -- definitely doesn't give away its entire >10% nature.

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Photo of chrisgn
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Lord Hobo (Cambridge, MA)

A- Hazy copper color with a thin, but rich head with great lacing.

S- citrus and piney hop aroma hits you right in the nose.

T- Such a huge beer. Very hoppy, but not biting. The malt sweetness comes through to great a nice balance. Would like a little more hop flavor and less sweetness, but it is still a great beer.

M- Super rich and creamy!

D- Beer is balanced and super tasting. 10.5% though so be careful

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

A- Hazy copper color topped with an off white head. Head falls quickly to a cap but leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

S- Big nose of sweet grapefruit, some little notes of fresh cut grass and pine in the background.

T- Initial taste is sweet pineapple and citrus that leads to the bitter grapefruit middle follow by a drying pine resin finish. Finish is slightly viscous and drying. Nice balance between the sweet and the bitter and beautiful transitions between the different hop flavors..

M- Medium in body and decent carbonation. Has a slightly oily feel but not unpleasant .

D- oh so drinkable for fans of the DIPA style, but at 10.3% ABV be careful.

One of my favorites

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Photo of kpr121
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I never review beers, but I always enjoy reading up on here when I am planning on a purchase. I just had to share my experience with this beer, so here goes:

Bought at Growlers, Hilton Head SC while on vacation this week. Growler cost me 14 bucks, figured it was a steal. Store is very nice with a good selection of brews. Not too pricey overall but definitely some good some bad buys there.

Brought it back to the beach house, got to pour one into a large tumbler (one of the only things in the pantry). Got about halfway through, then the SWMBO and the puppy wanted to go for a walk on the beach. "Chug it," they said! There was no way! The thick syrupy mouthfeel alone would make be gag let alone piss off the beer gods.

So I poured it into a not-so-obvious coffee mug and we went on our way. I have to say that it is the best beer I have ever drank out of a coffee mug while walking on the beach at sunset. I ended up sipping it even slower than I would back at the house, enjoying the moment with family I love.

As far as an actual review, the appearance was so-so, didnt really look like anything amazing. Smell was great, there are alot of things going on there including citrusy hops, biscuit malts, and a slight alcohol burn as it warms up. Taste was more of the same, I actually liked it better when it got warm. It tasted more like a liquor than beer. Mouthfeel like I said was thick and syrupy. Drinkability is low, I might have a hard time finishing the growler by the end of the week without help. Overall a great strong ale that I will definitely remember whenever I think about this vacation spot!

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Macadoodles in Joplin, Missouri.

Appearance- coppery color, medium size head

Smell- caramel, some piney hops

Taste- mostly malt in the beginning, some hops in the finish, doesn't really taste like a DIPA to me

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- I thought it was pretty good but I thought it was a little too sweet for a DIPA.

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Photo of rarbring
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is amber orange and clear, a large off-white head that leaves lots of lacing.

The smell has it all citric grape-fruit, orange, floral with grass, pine and resin.

The smell has it's upfront sweetness with toffee and caramel, then red grape-fruit juice and tea made on pine needles.

Medium low carbonation, a soft but full and rewarding body, a long dry feeling.

A very very good D/I IPA, as most possibly a little too sweet for me. But close to perfect ...

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Photo of CHickman
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours cloudy copper orange in color with a 1 finger creamy tan head that faded on the fast side, leaving very good lacing; a creamy ring remains on top of the beer the whole time with bubbles racing up the brew in speeding frenzy.

Smells very sweet and malty up front, with citrus hops, orange peel, caramel, wet bread, grapefruit, toffee, herbs, spices and alcohol; this nose has a rum or bourbon-like presence that really neutralizes the hops. Not the aroma I expected from a DIPA, as this smells more like a barleywine.

Tastes like a barleywine and not an IPA; the flavor is good, but Imperial IPA to me normally means a hop-bomb and this is moderately hoppy. The flavor is a nice combo of sweet malt, citrus hops, piney hops, orange peel, caramel, cinnamon, wet bread, grapefruit, toffee, brown sugar, herbs, spices like pepper, yeast, pear, perhaps mango or guava, light roasted grains and alcohol; the alcohol is strong and present throughout, and the malts and hops are equal in play and flavor, but this is just not as hoppy a brew as I had hoped for. I am a little disappointed in the taste, and while I think it's a good beer I feel this would have been better with more hops in the mix.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with an oily feel on the tongue which is slick and slides down with ease; this is a heavy beer and chewy, and I felt the alcohol kicking in towards the end.

Medium drinkability on this brew, which is a heavy hitter; the alcohol jabs at you the whole beer and the bomber did some damage on a Thursday night. It's sweeter than most DIPA's and probably stronger, but overall it was a good beer and just not a great DIPA. I'd have it again, but would choose other Avery beers over this like Hog Heaven or Collaboration, not Litigation Ale!

1/10/14-Release No. 17 (2013) Second time reviewing and it looks basically the same except the head faded slowly and it left nice rings as it went down (score went up). Aroma is very sweet, like fresh hop juice mixed with pineapple, mango, orange and a handful of citrus hops; barleywine sweetness again, with caramel, brown sugar, toffee, molasses, strong piney notes, graham cracker and sweet malt. Really sweet with a nice hop presence. Tastes like it smells, with strong citrus hops, pineapple, mango, orange, piney hops, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, cinnamon, spices like pepper and coriander, graham cracker, sweet malt and light booze that trails off very sweet. Malts are strong for an IPA but still let the hops tale the spotlight, and this hides the ABV very well. Overall pretty drinkable but a tad bit too sweet. It's bold and complex, but manages to be easy enough to drink while being rather aggressive so I upped the overall rating a bit. One bomber will do some damage as the ABV is hidden by the sweetness and hop assault.

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

Pours a vibrant orange colour, very slight haze in the body. Head is mostly thin but leaves some pretty nice sheets of off-white lacing around the glass. Slow bead, looks pretty good.

Smells very malty, but with nice - and slightly odd - fruity notes. Some sort of tangerine on there and hints of pomegranate as well. Overall it's very malty with a huge caramel hit, but that tang just really peps it up nicely. I do maintain, though, that it's a bit odd.

Taste is quite heavy, but enjoyable. Huge maltiness to it, almost earthy with burnt toffee and some really nice orangey notes - orange syrup and orange blossom floral notes. Yeah, a fair amount of hop on the back, nice bitterness that doesn't quite quell the sweetness, it's all blended together with that sweet nectar and golden syrup lasting right to the end. An odd soft drink tang to it right at the end, not unpleasant, just odd. Yeah, I maintain, even now, that there's an oddness to this beer but it certainly doesn't put me off.

Fair foamy texture with a warmth from the alcohol on the back. Nice soupiness to it; pretty good.

Yeah, that tang gives this beer a pop! But otherwise it's still sweet and pleasant. A little heavy, a little odd, but really delicious anyway.

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Photo of zhanson88
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So I'm going to re-review this one....I can clearly tell that my previous review was of an old bottle. This is the 2011 version that I had on tap at the Flying Saucer in KC. From a snifter.

Appearance: Maharaja comes out a burnt orange color with one finger of pure white head. Both lacing and retention are very good. Outstanding looking beer. The head really sticks around very nicely throughout the duration that the beer lasts.

Smell: I get a big citrus component as well as a caramel malt sweetness that is nice without being too malty. Citrusy and piney hops on back end.

Taste: Again the caramel malt sweetness up front, followed by a great, strong citrus component. Piney hops, followed by quite a bit of alcohol on the back end. The alcohol really shows on the finish, which is what prevents this one from grading out higher.

Mouthfeel/Overall: The feel on this beer is outstanding. Between light and medium bodied, nice fine carbonation. This beer is very near to creamy, which I don't get very often in this style. Overall, very good DIPA. A touch too much alcohol on the palate hurts it somewhat, but it is still very good.

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

A - Nice syrupy pour into my favorite Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Beautiful amber and rust color, with a fine,frothy cream colored head. Lacing is nice as well

S - DAMN! I was just asking my wife to smell this beer, and as she turned around, she accidentally hit the glass out of my hand and broke it and spilled half the bomber of beer. Im so pissed right now, that all i smell is pine-sol from mopping the floor. But what i do notice is that this is not a piney beer. I smell pineapple, mango and sweet smelling hops. I'm expecting this to be on the sweeter side. Pretty pleasant overall.

T - Taste is kind of what i had expected. Malt forward and on the sweeter end. Pleasant pineaple and citrus bite with a nice dry finish.

M - Mouthfeel is perfect for this style of beer. Nice and slick, but with lots of tiny fine bubbles.

D - This is a great example of this beer style. I wouldn't hesitate to drink it again, but if you put it next to Sculpin and Pliny it loses. Overall though, its extremely drinkable and great smelling, but i prefer more piney, citrusy hop bombs.

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Photo of SamuelJackson45
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- A nice orange amber look.

S- Smell cirtus notes and hops and barley.

T- Very strong hop base with citrus notes and a malty background.

M- Dry hops and malts linger through out sip.

D- Very good beer. To me it comes off alittle different then your double IPA But I thought Ipmerial IPA are double IPA. But it just me I guess.


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Photo of Naugros
3.94/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange and hazy yet giving off a pleasant, welcoming glow. The head is off-white and can only be described as luscious. Lace grips the sides and makes pretty patterns all the way down.

The smell is heavenly. The hops sing a concerto of grapefruit and pine. The malts come through in the background, all biscuity goodness.

Very, very bitter...an American hops lovers delight. The taste is not nearly as balanced as the smell. Any sweetness brought about from the malts is lost in the hops assault.

There are pleasant bitter aftertastes and there are unpleasant ones. This has the latter and it sticks around. Some hop heads look for this, so don't go by word if you like the grapefruit pith to stick around but if you prefer a smoother aftertaste, this will not make you happy and send you looking for something to clear your palate when your done.

If they could somehow knock down that aftertaste by an hour or two (kidding) this would be one phenomenal IPA, but it's still pretty damn good.

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Photo of jhtipton
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thank you Bierkraft. What a wonderful thing to find in my mail box. Pours a nice 1/2 inch head after jumping out of the bottle. Nice dark dark golden colour with a wonderful aroma. Almost syrupy consistency. Has the piney citrusy taste. I hope it gives me the carb loading I need for my 50 K bike ride! Mouthtaste is like a hop sandwich. Full bodied. I would say it is vey drinkable but not my choice for a session. I will try again and again, though.

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Photo of Kadonny
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a tap into a snifter glass.

A: A medium amber orange color with a one finger perfect white head. Not a ton of glass lacing, but some.

S: Wow, citrus hops pound through the nose with grapefruit, orange, grass and pine coupled with some caramel malt sweetness.

T: Bitter citrus is huge up front with the flavors of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, grass and earthy flavors and some nice deeper pine notes. The malt is caramel and almost sugar sweet but the hops bitterness quickly quiets it and takes over to finish the beer with a long lasting bitterness. Wow, so good. Alcohol comes out near the end, but is nice and warm. Awesome.

M: Full, coating, prickly, alcoholic, wonderful!

D: Well, for 10% it's pretty damn good, but can you really sit and drink a few of these? Not really.

Overall a world class DIPA that was so tasty when fresh from tap. What a treat. Recommend highly.

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Photo of Blanco
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 2L growler into my ommegang glass.

Pours a nice amber color with a white head and excellent lacing. This is one of the most pleasant smells of hops I've ever experienced, with a lovely piney overtone. The taste is bitter upfront with some decent malt coming up on the finish to balance it out. The presence of pine disappears from the taste and is not apparent at all is it is in the nose. Some sweetness fights to break through, but isn't quite able to overcome that bitter upfront taste. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied, despite the dark color. Very drinkable. So drinkable, I bought a growler of this home after having a glass with dinner. An excellent double-IPA, probably only 2nd in my experience to Pliny.

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 5,666 ratings
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