Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

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5,692 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: 5,692 |  Reviews: 1,878
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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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Avery's Maharaja has a clear, orange-brown body and an off-white head that is thick and rocky. A pretty nice sheen of lacing is left behind on my glass.

The aroma certainly packs some hops. Bitter pine and grapefruit are aggressive, but they are paired with a pretty large caramel malt to balance them out.

The first sip of Maharaja brings a pretty intense bitterness from the hops that features a load citrus peel, a bit of grapefruit and the sizable flavor of pine sap. After the initial hop blast, I like Maharaja a little bit less. The caramel malt provides a big, chewy, sweet backbone that is a little too strong for my liking. The finish is all booze and bitterness, but it is skewed toward the burning flavor of alcohol.

The mouthfeel is nice. Big and creamy, it makes sure that you sip this boozy bad boy.

Drinkability is OK. The hops in Maharaja are huge, which I like, but the malt and the booze take away from it a little bit. Overall, this is still a pretty good IIPA though.

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4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into pint glass. from notes
A: A bold, hazy orange that sparkles in the light, with a thick white head that leaves frothy lacing.
S: The best grapefruit/citrus hop profiles known to the realm of IIPA. Just perfect, IMO nothing to change.
T/M: As the nose suggests grapefruit and citrus hop profiles are massive. Mouthfeel of a thick soup, but still refreshing. A dry hoppy finish upon first pour, but as brew warms the malt characters come out.
D: This is one of those IIPA that I could come back to time and time again, and do, where you are impressed, just as much as the first time. An outstanding beer.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from City Beer Store in San Francisco, and lugged back to Australia to share with @LaitueGonflable and @ToBeerOrNotToBe.

Pours a thick and heavy dark golden colour, with a fine bubbled and frothy head of pale orange foam. Lacing is good, and it forms some very pleasant cascades. Extremely nice overall.

Pleasant sharp hops on the nose, but sweeter than pure aggressive citrus. More candied orange, with subtle pepper spice and a bit of cut grass. Pretty pleasant overall.

Taste is surprisingly smooth and gentle. Pleasant orange and tangerine bite, very clean with a pleasant dry finish. Minimal sweetness except for the esters off the hops, but it leaves it very subtle and very approachable. Mouthfeel is slick, but with lots of tiny fine bubbled carbonation. It's perfect for the style.

This is a really, really good beer. So pleasantly subtle, extremely drinkable, but with such characters and fragrant hoppiness. Lovely drop.

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

A - Dark golden color with a good, foamy head and decent lacing.
S - Spice, herbs, grapefruit, maybe some raisins
T - Malt and hops up front, with some spiciness, citrus, and maybe some raisins again
M - Some carbonation, medium bodied, with a bit of a creamy texture to it.
D - Fairly hoppy, and the there's enough malt that makes this not a super refreshing beer. Plus, the alcohol is pretty high. Still, it's quite delicious, and I'll give this a 4 for drinkability.

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Photo of velosuds
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In my never ending quest to find a great, bottled, DIPA above 10% ABV, I decided to give this a try. My favorite DIPAs tend to range between 7.7 and 9.4% ABV. It must be very difficult to stay true to style above 9.5%. This is no different, but closer than others, in that it also was too much like a barleywine.

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a clear pint glass. May 2010 Batch 12. Paid $8.99 at John's Market.

A-Poured a hazy, medium, golden-amber hue with a two finger bone white, frothy head with nice retention and gorgeous, sticky lacing. Nice appearance.

S-At 102 IBUs there are plenty of hops present, mostly of the citric and piney essences, but not fragrant enough. There is also too much sweetness from the malt bill. The high ABV is not masked adequately. Smells a bit more like a barleywine.

T-This was too malty for style. Much more like a barleywine than a DIPA. Too pungent from the alcohol noticeable in the taste at 10.48 ABV. Somewhat disappointing. Not a bad taste, by any means, just not a great DIPA. But, Avery already has an excellent barleywine in Hog Heaven.

M-Is very smooth, but a little heavy from the high ABV. Its roughness mellows as it warms.

D-This was probably the best DIPA >= 10% ABV I have had and it comes closer to the DIPA style than the others I have reviewed. A bit pricey, but I will look forward to trying a fresher batch in the future, willing to modify the scores if warranted.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010-09-14 in Kansas City, MO from a 22oz bomber batch 10 from June 2009.

A - hazy copper with white head and good lacing.

S - grapefruit, mango, hop oils

T - delicious hop resin/pine, roasted malt with caramel sweetness. Pepper, earthy, mineral, biting. Alcohol noticeable. Lingering delicious aftertaste that is sweet and bitter but dries out.

M - Med body and carb. Smooth and oily.

D - suits my pallet. Really nice imperial IPA. Curious what it is like fresh.

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 12, bottled May 2010

A - Typical unfiltered, deep orange/light brown in the middle fading out to a light orange. Little head but excellent lacing. Average amount of carb.

S - Lots of pungent hops up front but not the freshest smelling I've ever experienced, but by no means the weakest. Hops are slightly citric (grapefruit and lemon) with a hint of floral. Malt backbone not too present but residual sugars from the high ABV can be detected.

T - Much different than the aroma IMO. The hops are definitely there but they take on a much more sap, sticky alpha acid resin, and floral flavor. Again, the maltiness is completely overpowered by the hops but can be picked up at the end with some starchy sugar. Hops finish a little on the citrus side as well.

M/D - Typical thick DIPA body, beautifully carbonated to break up the intense flavors, and the palate is left completely dry. Not the most complex flavor but very well done as this beer is a complete hop bomb.

Pretty much your typical DIPA with a kick in the mouth hop flavor. This one leaves the mouth dry as the Sahara but is a wonderful example of its style

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Photo of fastsrt
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured 22 ounce bottle in pint glass (bottled may 2010)

A: golden orange, off white fluffy head,

S: fruity form a foot away, citrus, sweet, expecting a blast in the mouth this one is extremely aromatic.

T: the hops have probably mellowed out quite a bit by now, they are more earthy, piny. residual sweetness.

M: has a greasy full body feel.

D: heavy beer and quite a sipper.

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Photo of thecarster1
2.93/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a- bomber poured into a tulip, two plus fingers creamy head slow to recede, hazy golden brown coloring.

s- aromatic, lots of ambiguous citrus, slight sweetness, malty backbone.

t- strong, citric, smooth malty backbone again. where is the bitterness? wish i had some more of that in here. sweet/citric alcohol kicks in the finish - and is a bit dry.

m- full, big, and sticky.

d- okay, not great because of the high abv. i've gotta say i'm really disappointed that i'm not loving this - i think this is another one like hopslam that i'm really pissed i'm not enjoying as much as i'd like to be.

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Photo of keith712
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured from a 22oz bomber bottle into a slightly chilled pint glass. Beautiful light amber head, 2-3" thick from an agressive pour. Medium amber in color and cloudy, you can tell this is going to be a substantial beer! Lacing that lasts and lasts in layers as the beer level drops.

Nose: Citrus, pine, sweet malty-ness, BOOM! HOPS! Very crisp and sharp. Pungent and prominent IPA.

Taste: HOPS assault, sharp and bitter, immediately followed by an awesome malt smoothness that is mildly sweet and really smooths out the flavor!The after taste is piney and crisp, still mildly sweet and hoppy all at the same time. My tastebuds are excited! A very surprising IPA, I was expecting more bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium thick, leaves a nice coating on the tongue and cheeks. Still can "feel" the hops and malts distinct from each other but combined to make it unique.

Drinkability: VERY much so! At 10.4% abv, it is quite well hidden, but you can feel the warmness from it. Very pungent and exciting! This is what I would call a strong IPA, but for a non-experienced IPA drinker, it is rather well done. Most IPA's hit me too hard, this doesn't, but leaves me knowing it's a "hot" IPA. The malts that Avery brags about are very smooth and powerful to combat the bitter/strong hops.

Overall, I give this a PHAT 9 of 10. Very surprised at the wonderful compliment of flavors.

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

Had on tap at the Cincinnati Brew-haha, review from notes.

Received in a plastic cup, appearance was a murky orange with a slight whit head. Smells are hops, citrus hops and maybe some pineapple. Taste is citrus fruit, orange, some grapefruit, really sweet at first but with a nice hop kick at the end to even things out. Damn good beer. Mouthfeel is medium and sticky.

Drinkability is unreal with this, my girlfriend and I were getting 12 oz. pours for $4, and I had around 3 or so, no wonder I got sloshed, I had NO idea it was this high of an ABV., glad I took notes!

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

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue VI:

Maharaja quickly became classic among the über hopheads. We guess we fall into the group somehow, bring on the hops!
More than ample lacing from this extremely hoppy beer, bright copper hue. Big punget oily hop aroma of tobacco, hemp seeds, grapefruit zest and fresh mint leaves. Big oily smoothness in the medium to full body. Lots of hop flavor on the palate, fresh hop oil, herbs and mint, bitter tobacco, a touch of hemp oil with some earthiness. Maltiness stands strong with spikes of caramel and bready flavors. Alcohol brings some warmth and fruitiness to the table with more of a subtle pear and mango flavor. Hop bitterness is all around and never leaves even far into the bittersweet finish, more of a mellow bitterness that's thick.

American beer at its best here, hopefully it's one more known example where the industry is going and how far it can reach when it comes to the level of flavor. If you are a hophead and have yet to try this beer, what are you waiting for?!!

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

Appearance has a nice cloudy amber color with a thick head that sticks around awhile with good lace. Smell of rich malts, tangy sweet fruits with nice background earthiness. Taste is rich in malts, sweet grapefruit with a nice balance of floral hops. Mouthfeel is medium with a good spike of carbonation. A good sipping IIPA to watch the first opening game of the 2010 football season.

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

Snatched at Beertopia, Omaha, NE.
Bottled: March 2010 (Batch 11)
Sampled: September 2010

The amber body was quickly distracted by a mass of creamy head. Extremely dense and alive, the filmy monster slowly receded leaving a wall of lace with bubbly cutouts.

The nose was as expected, a hop beast, yet glimpses of balancing malt snuck it's way in, adding the complexity. Sweet and bitter, the hop profile had juicy citrus, soapy, and earthy floral characteristics. Bubblegum and spice kept the mind guessing.

The alcohol content was very sneaky (over 10% ABV). It's a no chugging beer, but I was never under the impression I needed to sip it like wine. Warm and juicy fruit and caramel flavors greeted the mouth before the bitter brigade reminded me what I was drinking. Overall, it wasn't the brutal hop assault I was expecting, but I didn't sample it too soon after it was bottled.

The feel can really only be described as completely mouth-coating. It didn't seem too heavy, but certainly creamy and full. The carbonation is mild, adding only an acceptable amount of crispness, but that's all I wanted.

I can feel this one creeping up on me, with about 1/3rd to go. Yet it leaves the mouth watering for more. Don't let the man on the label start diabolically laughing at you while waiving his sword and stroking his mustache...

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Photo of zoso1967
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours wonderfully rich copper amber that I could almost swear is glowing. The head is parchment and tightly packed, clinging to the sides of my glass like crazy and leaving equally crazy lace.

The aroma is wonderfully fresh and full of perfume citrus and pine hops. Grapefruit, lemon zest, orange and pine all mingle with sweet caramel malt background that has just a hint of toffee to it.

The flavor is surprisingly different from the aroma and brings out tons candied character from the hops. Orange, some pithy white grapefruit and loads of pine needles are the result of the hop additions. The malt backbone is very sweet with some caramel notes, but otherwise is surprisingly (from the color) plain. This beer does not hide its strength all that well, but it is far from too boozy and does not really take away from the flavor. If I have one complaint it is that the malt is so sweet that it detracts a bit from the hop character. Bitterness is quite high, but balanced out by the malt.

The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth and medium bodied with an amazing finish that seems to just evaporate off the tongue, leaving bitter dank hop flavors on my palate.

I would describe this as dangerously drinkable, and the imperial pint is disappearing at an alarming rate. I really enjoy this beer and can see why it is so popular.

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Photo of Ipameister
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a fine pour. A bit too much hop haze for my like, but the color is beautiful. The head is too big. Suggest they reduce priming sugar. Regardless it's a fine pour. Taste is better as it goes. For a 10+AVB the high BU covers nicely. In our State of Florida, it's better than most. Available at Whole Foods.

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Photo of tjfinkle
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this beer from a bottle poured into my Bruery tulip after dinner. Labeled as Batch 11.

Appearance- Pours from the bottle a nice orange color with light carbonation creating some soft white head that settles out to a nice lacing that sticks around.

Smell - Citrusy piney hops up front followed with some nice malts.

Taste - The hops are very noticeable up front. Some serious pine and floral notes, also some noticeable grapefruit. Some nice soft malts on the finish that are then overpowered by the bitterness of the hops.

Mouth- Bitter, but balanced adequately by the carbonation, however the alcohol is a little more noticeable for the style. Granted, this is a 10.4% beer, but was still a little too much.

Drink- Tasty beer, but still a tough beer to enjoy a lot of. The 10.4% alcohol is very noticeable as is the significant amount of hops. Would still recommend to someone who is interested in this style.

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Photo of sellmeagod
2.99/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A supreme, ultra-fancy looking bottle covered in aluminum and colors. A pour that leaves monstrous head and an orange golden glow. Incredible appearance that only loses points because of the excess floating sediment.

The taste is so powerful, all about the hops at 100+ IBU. I actually think this started to taste better as it warmed up, but still the hops nearly mask any other taste, and hops for hops sake is more of a novelty than a necessity.

A bit of citrus smell and a very powerful hop aroma.

The problem with the price comes down to this - the 22oz size and the 10 dollar price tag makes this require dedicated drinking, and the payoff (other than the awesome look) does not come. This won't be a common purchase simply out of value reasons (there are much better/cooler economic choices).

Drinkable? Well, for the 10.5 abv and being an IPA, I'd say it does decently. But what beer will you feel cooler drinking? Not many.

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Photo of IronLover
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish-orange in color with a deep haze. Lots of active carbonation along with tons of yeasty floaties makes this one very interesting to look at. Big floral bouquet, pine and tropical fruit. Despite the high ABV no hint of alcohol. Medium bodied with medium carbonation and a dry finish. Sweet malty character that is quickly overcome by the piney hop flavor. Finishes with a complex tropical fruit hoppiness and a touch of alcohol heat. Definitely a sipper, but easy to drink.

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Photo of Soonami
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The second of 2 DIPA's I had on-tap at City Taphouse in Philadelphia.

Avery Maharaja was served in a 10 oz tulip that came to the table a bright copper color with dissolving foam that started leaving lacing on the glass. The beer smelled very resinous with good pine notes, sweet tropical fruit, and rich doughy malt.. The beer was very bitter with a sweetness from the malts as well as fragrant ripe pineapple. The low level of carbonation allowed the flavors to really come out of the beer and gave the beer a very thick smooth texture.

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Photo of samie85
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-The first pour yields a crystal clear orange amber color with a dense, two finger cream-colored head. Leaves behind thick, sticky lacing.

S-Dank piny, pineapple, and grapefruit hop notes with some caramel in the background.

T-I get mildly bitter pine and some pineapple right away with some alcohol notes (but not in a negative way) with some lingering pineapple and caramel flavors.

M-Thick bodied and creamy with low, prickly carbonation. It also leaves you with a warming mouth- and throat-feel from the alcohol.

D-This is dangerously drinkable in that the alcohol is there, but not at the nearly 10.5% ABV (my bottle says 10.48%) that this one clocks in at. If I had to guess what the ABV on this one was, I'd mid to high 8%. Probably my favorite DIPA to date.

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

A: Poured from a 22oz. bottle dated May 2010, Batch 12 into my go-to DFH snifter.

Pours a burnt orange with a cream colored, finger thick head with some nice lacing down the glass that sticks around for a while.

S: Massive amounts of floral and hops hit the nose right off the bat. The scents of citrus and slight amounts of caramel are disguised by the powerful hops.

T: Very hoppy taste up front with the taste of alcohol lingering behind. Tastes almost exactly as it smells, very small amounts of caramel in the taste with hints of citrus. The finish is pretty bitter and works with this beer.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with average carbonation and a very hoppy aftertaste left behind well after the beer has left. Very nice.

D: Although alcohol is prominent with every sip, the 10.48% goes down smooth. A great IIPA with lots of character.

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Photo of Kinsman
3.76/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into glass, bottles in May 2010

Appearance is a medium amber hue with light orange highlights. A semi-sticky off-white head provides a large crown for the beer and sticks around for quite a while.

Hop aromas are both a bit piney and citrusy. Simcoe hops help give a more pine/earthy scent, white the cascade give their typical grapefruit. At this point the hops still seem fresh enough to dominate the nose.

Taste is not quite as hoppy as the aroma would have suggested. The strong malt backbone provide a lot of sweeter malt syrupy flavors, almost like a barleywine. The hops may not be super fresh, but still have enough in them to give a good kick. With the finish, the alcohol comes in to make the beer feel a bit warmer.

Mouthfeel is a very creamy texture that goes down well. Overall an enjoyable D.I.P.A. but nothing I'm going to go out of my way for (since we dont get it locally).

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pour is deep orange/copper with a rather small off-white head that leaves pretty nice lacings.

S: Loads of American hops - pine, pineapple and citric notes. Sweetness from caramell malt.

T: Not as great as the taste, at first nice floral hops - American style, but then the taste gets a bit weaker to be really bitter in the end. My guess is that the malt isn't full enough to balance the greatness from the hops.

M: Body is medium to full and carbonation is mild. Aftertaste lasts a long time with a very nice bitter bite to it.

D: A nice DIPA, but I would have liked a stronger maltyness to balance the great hops.

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 5,692 ratings