Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

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5,720 Ratings

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,720 |  Reviews: 1,888
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at La Cave Du Vin in Cleveland.

Pours orangey copper and hazy with a huge rocky snow white head. Tons of lacing, some thick and some fine works it's way down the glass. Smell is very citrusy, strong bitter hops.

No doubt about it, this beer is a little hot. Alcohol up front that quickly smooths into a sweet tangerine flavor that even more quickly slips into hoppy flavors that become much spicier. Eventually the hops build to an tooth enamel ripping level. They are everywhere and dominate the body of this beer. After the first couple of sips that is about all you taste. Long lingering bitterness, numbing the toungue. Haven't had an experience quite like this since I first tried Ruination. All in all though it's tasty and I would have it again. It's quite unbalanced and that doesn't work well with this beer. Probably the only thing keeping it from being truly great would be a weak (relatively speaking) malt profile.

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Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice to try another big bad double IPA,pours a slightly hazy deep orange with a tight one finger head that leaves a sheet of lace behind on the way down,well what would you expect from a double IPA aroma wise HOPS and more hops in the aroma pine and definent grapefruit coming thru srong not much malt profile but it wasnt expected.This beer coats the tongue somewhat thick in the mouthfeel dept the alcohol flavor doesnt overpower though by any means,big resiny and citrusy can make the tongue curl.Not quite as good in my opinion as its Colorado cousin Great Divid Hercules double IPA but this is no chump damn fine beer.

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Photo of ejquin
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

App: Amber with a nice white head. Great lacing.

Smell: Citrusy hops, bready yeast with some maly mixed in.

Taste: Very malty and carmely. Some citrus but not as much as you would think from the aroma, and less than most DIPA's. Balanced pretty well with a bitter semi-dry finish.

Mouth: Thick and heavy but smooth. Good carb level,

Drink: Good

Overall: This is a very good brew. I felt it was a bit light in the flavor department for a DIPA or else it would have been great.

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Photo of phishgator
3.22/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Too young! Too hoppy! And that's from a hophead. The balance is not there and the malt is too weak. A sticky hop oil mouthfeel leaves too much of an after taste. Not a good offering from Avery; who makes some pretty good products. Not sure of the hop variety, but too much was used!

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

Pours a clear copper color with a nice foamy cream colored head that falls to clumps of foam surrounded by a ring. That leaves lots of stickey lace stuck to my glass.

Aroma is floral mixed with light fruit pineapple, tangerine and apricot sweet fruity aroma intead of the usual bitter citrus aroma. All this fruit is floating on a nice caramel canvas.

Taste is nice mellow fruit/floral hops that seem soft and sweet blending with the caramel for near perfection. Finish is lingering caramel mixed with some bitter grapefruit mellowed with a dash of sweeter pineapple. This is a strange well balanced I2PA 112 IBU's and the 9.7 % ABV are all well hidden hardley noticed its lots of hops but more mellow without the big bitterness.

Mouthfeel is almost full lots of malt in this baby adding sweetness to the fruity flowery hops.

Drinkability is great a nice sweeter I2PAthat has some bitterness to balance this all out. Diffrent from the other Avery I2PA's but still very nice
and enjoyable glad I bought an extra for myself wishing I had bought a few more.

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Photo of mentor
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Preview: Overall, I must say, the flavors were subtle on a cream smooth background. Really strange IMO. Never had an IPA or DIPA that was subtle. But I found this to make the beer intriguing. It gave a nice background on which many different flavors could play and interact. So, no flavor was in your face. It was a really complex orchestration that was challenging and enjoyable. Although DIPAs are not a style I see putting in the cellar, I see this beer improving over the course of a couple years.

On to the review...

Should I? To late, I already opened it. Bomber obtained from Superior Liquor (Colorado) in July 2005 and consumed later that evening. Pours a finger and a half light tan head over a nearly clear rust/dark orange liquid. Smells, OMG, hoppy wonder. Grapefruit flesh (not pith bitter, it's the sweet fruit) and fresh sharp pine needles. A search for malt or fruit esters failed, but I did stumble on oranges and pineapple in the hop aroma. Sharp clean hop, I love it.

Taste...I love it. From the thick smooth creamy mouthfeel that starts at the lips to the sweet and fruity malt finish that hangs on my tongue, this beer battered me with an assortment of flavors that rise and fall and blend into each other in a frenzy of...well, you know. It's going to take me the whole bomber to describe this. I apologize in advance if I begin to slur my speech before I'm done.

Very odd, when I put a swallow in my mouth, I get almost no flavor to start. I guess, a gentle toasted grain and apricot. The most noticable feature is the silky smooth (almost oatmeal-like quality) to the mouthfeel. Upon the swallow some hop bitter arises, but much less than I was expecting based on the smell. Hop flavor at the time is oranges and tangerine bolstered by caramel in the malt and pear in the ester. The aftertaste is hop orange, apricot, clean hop pine, mango ester (not often I find *that* in a beer), hop tangerine, strawberry-rhubarb ester, and a gentle sting of alcohol. Oh, alcohol! You warm my belly tonight as you've warmed my life, like a booster supporting his favorite college team.

Thick body and mild carbonation. Silky smooth on the tongue and gentle going down. No CO2 acrid here or stingy bubbles forming on the tongue. Really smooth, thick, and creamy. Lacing on the glass is about as good as it gets. Pull it over me like a blanket...I'm lit and ready for bed.

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Photo of blackie
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle. White/off white head. Color is a medium amber. No freshness date indicated.

Immediate smell is of floral hops...grassy, citrusy, piney, in your face hops. Some sweet malt is hiding in there as well. Hints of tropical fruit (mango stands out). Ethanol is only evident if I look for it, inhaling deeply. Smells great.

Carbonation is very low, I wish there was just a little more to better carry those hops to my nose. Body is medium.

Hops are at the front again, but it seems that there is enough malt to balance them out pretty well. The hops are great...piney, fruity, citrusy, and tickling the senses. Finishes with a considerable hop bitterness and some slick malt remaining on the tongue.

A good one to try if you haven't had it, but a bit pricey (I paid $5.99). Could have been hoppier, especially on the tongue. Tasty as hell in any case. Drank this one at around 55 degrees.

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

Appearance - Rich amber color, creamy off white head. Low visible carbonation. Good lace, maybe a little bit of haze.

Smell - Solid floral hop aroma dominates the aroma profile. Some alcohol is also present, as are fuity esters.

Taste - A strong bitterness that lingers is the calling card of this beer. This is backed up by a big malt backbone. Fruity esters also abound. In the background there is some alcohol flavor that also lingers on the palate.

Mouthfeel - Thick and somewhat sticky, this is indeed a big beer. The carbonation is just about right - not so fizzy that it masks flavors, but strong enough so that it helps bring them out.

Drinkability - The drinkability improves as the beer warms up. Floral hops + abundance of fruity esters = one appealing beer.

Comments - What a great beer this is! One of Avery's top offerings, in my opinion.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.43/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A good amber orange pour forms a bubbly white head on top. Little spots of lacing appear all over the glass. Bright and vibrant...looks pretty good to me. Aromas of sweet, sugary caramel malts, cotton candy and citrusy hops that have a piney twang. The hops seem too subdued in the nose for me and a bit off overall. Still has a nice aroma overall.

First sip brings a sweet, nearly cloying caramel maltiness upfront with a mix of bitter citrusy/piney hop flavors across the palate. The hops seem to be a bit muddled to me and the candy like sweetness gets to me after a few sips. I have to say I was expecting more out of this one. Drop this one and bring back the Eleven!

Mouthfeel is creamy and medium bodied..slightly slick with good carbonation. This one left me longing for something more...I'll have to pass next time and hope they re-use the recipe for Eleven one of these days!

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

deep red, no head.

100 orbs on the syrupy surface, swampy. virtually no aroma save a deep maltiness.. some corn syrup and orange blossom. sugary, and such is the taste. buttery brown sugar, malts, with an almost insufficient amount of hops for a double. but somehow just enough. perfect for a lover of creamy, malty IPAs like myself. alcohol is nowhere to be found in this beauty.

bitterness wears off fast and gives me a tangy peach aftertaste that lingers with savoury delight. alcohol contributes a mild warmth, thats it. 9.7%?!?! stays just shy of the barleywine profile that it flirts with.

perfectly balanced for an experimental hop devil. solid body and mouthfeel without thickening it up too much. a near-perfect double IPA in my mind.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a nice, cool bottle of this last Saturday (25JUN05) as the temp outside hit 100.9F. Ouch!! Pours a deep copper hue, with sporadic carbonation, and it's clear throughout (from what I can tell, with all the condensation on the glass!). Topped by a creamy, light tan head, solid at 1/2", and leaves decent lacing.

Toasty malt and caramel aromas emanate, with a pungent citrus hop overlay. Mmmm... Body is a very solid medium, almost chewy; and it passes silkily and smoothly on the tongue.

Lots of caramel malt, leaving a lovely amount of sweetness. Malt base here is rock solid. Hops are layered upon this abundantly, with spicy characteristics as well as citrus-notes, though not puckery. Maltiness actually lingers longer on the palate, producing a tasty finish. A luscious IPA.

Zum Wohl!

overall: 4.4
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5


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Photo of Sephiroth
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a familiar guest in my tulip. It pours deep orange with a thick, off-white head. Sticky lacing clings to the side of my glass. The smell is of sweet, piney, resinous hops. Ahh.

My first sip is normal. Normal, for the Maharaja, that is. The sweet hops battle with the malt at first, eventually sweeping it aside completely. The hops contribute grapefruity, piney flavors that are coating of one's mouth, yet the sweetness is not cloying. This beer has fantastic head retention for the ABV. Mouthfeel is right on for the style. I have yet to find a IIPA that isn't just a little bit syrupy. The moderate to low carbonation found in this brew give it a creamy mouthfeel that begs for sipping which borders on gulping. As with most other IIPAs, I find this beer to be extremely drinkable. I am almost finished with the bomber and have yet to get the usual hop hiccups, knock on wood.

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Photo of DocBrown
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this beer is a fine double ipa.

pours the color of, well, the color of most doubles, but a nice hue of it. the head is thick and creamy, and the lacing on the glass is quite nice.

the nose is pretty low-key in terms of a double ipa. no huge hoppy or alcohol smells overtaking anything. in fact, if anything the nose is sweet, and although permeating, doesn't jump from the glass.

the taste and mouthfeel are excellent. from start to finish on the pallate this one is great. starts sweet-sih and ends hoppy, but in good onder and appropriate balance.

i love the doubles, and this is a good one. a session beer? i mean, it's an session has to be relative. can a drink more than a glass or two? definitely.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft @ Sunset Grill & Tap

Served up as part of the Colorado beer-themed ABF post-party, I gravitated to this beer almost immediately. Maharaja had a hazy peach color, a blizzard of finely wrought carbonation, and a dense vanilla-hued head that gripped the glass and left chunks of sticky lace behind.

The aromas of sweet caramel malts and sappy pine hops just belt you in the nose before you even get close to the glass. Running behind its blockers is the note of slightly fusel alcohol. It’s actually pretty subdued, given Avery’s penchant for big-alcohol beers that don’t hide the alcohol aroma.
After a couple pulls my tongue was ravaged by a blast of thickly resinous pine-infused hops, clearly the dominant feature. Yes, there’s a nice sweet caramel malt and tropical fruit (think pineapple and mango) counterpoint but the argument is worn down by the overriding hops that embed themselves on the tongue. The feel was full and creamy.

Maharaja is in keeping with Avery’s “not hiding anything” approach with their beers. In this case, Avery has done a really good job crafting a big, bad, smash-mouth double IPA. No one aspect is insanely over the top (re: Beast’s alc. content); rather they all work well to produce a dangerously drinkable double IPA. Well worth trying out.

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

Excellent! Control one’s Avery expectations, and just sample the brew. It starts with the eye catching labeling, and progresses to an amber/orange pour with ivory head. PUNGENT floral, grassy, hoppy aroma. Dry (duh) hoppy taste, balanced out well with malts and citrus. Different mouth, very oily and slick, coats the tongue & throat. As it warms, the flavors increase accordingly. Sneaky 9.7% will give ya a poke by the end of the bomber.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy, rich orangey amer hue. Moderately thick white head with dallops of foam. Veeeery appetizing.

Hop aroma dominates, with a big steel-metallic quality. Also citrusy, maybe lime. Lime steel, yes.

Explosion of bitterness up front, with more metallic qualities. Literally a mouth full of hops with a suggestion of malt near the end. Moderately full bodied. Creamy.

Finish has is dry with a hint of sweetness and hop tang. Long lasting. Very good beer, not excellent, and questionably worth the high entrance price.

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Photo of granger10
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great looking pour with a dark ruby, amber color. Medium sized white head, lots of lacing. Aroma explodes of hoppy piney citrus upon opening the bottle. Very aromatic and resinous right away. Kind of sweet too. Taste gives me a bit more syruppy sweetness than I would like but that helps out the biting piney hops which are in full force. The main flavor is citrus fruit which is sweet and tart and bitter all at the same time. The body is light for the alcohol strength and hop bitterness, I'd like it to be a bit fuller. Finish is piney, raw hoppiness. Good beer, almost great but not quite.

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

Thanks gabe

The newest member of Avery's royal family pours darker than expected, a medium amber wearing a thick head of light beige.

The aroma is bold and hoppy, featuring sweet citrus and pine hops and a big juicey honey caramel malt presence.

The flavor is filled with notes of tangerine and grapefruit, floral and pine, and a very pronounced caramel malt backbone. Well balanced and hoppy, but really 112 ibu's???

The body is lacking for beer this big, weighing in on the lighter side of medium. Mouthfeel is oily and juicey slick with a looong citrus drenched hop finish.

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Photo of MarkBlackout
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Interesting brew. Pours nicely for the high ABV, with a consistent, thin head and nice lacing on the glass. Smell threw me off a little at first.. I got some citrusy hops right off the bat, then I was overwhelmed w/ sweet malt and a pleasant though foreboding alcohol presence. Tasting revealed a more balanced brew than the smell; the excessive alcohol fits quite well with the excessive malt and hops. Good shit. (2004)

edit: I tried this right around a year later, almost to the day. I adjusted the scores down a little bit; this isn't quite as good as I remembered. I don't quite remember just what i liked about it so much, but it ain't thrillin' me no more.. (2005)

edit #2: This is one of my favorite beers now. Huge, malty, hoppy DIPA. very balanced, pleasantly medicinal/herbal/citrus flavors. Nothing wrong with this beer at all, I get a bomber when I can afford to pay $8. Really it's a bargain I'm just poor (Dec. 2011).

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

This beer is a nice clear, dark amber with a quarter inch of off-white head. The smell is filled with the promise of lots of hops, there is also a sweet fruity aroma. The taste is very hoppy but well balanced. At first it tastes a litle too sweet, but that doesn't last long. The hops kick in quickly. Overall it is a little too sweet, or more correctly it could use more hops. There is not much of an aftertaste. The mouthfeel is very good. It is smooth and juicy with alcohol evident as well. While I would say the drinkability is good for this kind of beer, it is definitely not a session beer.

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Photo of assurbanipaul
3.37/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy orange with a thin head. Aroma is sweet and juicy hops, nicely malty without being too bitter or pungent.

Taste is a rich, oily pungent hop base. Not a friendly, chirpy citrus hop -- this has some seriously dark and strong bitterness, like the time your first wife met your new wife. Some mandarin oranges macerated in syrup, a decent caramel malt backbone, reminds me of a good rye beer.

Mouthfeel is heavy, resiny, can't drink this too fast. No trace of alcohol, just a thick, juicy bitterness keeping it in check. It has a really raw quality that puts me off just a little, maybe just a bit too sweet. Nice, but I prefer my hop-bombs with just a little more lightness…. like a Bigfoot.

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

Pours very clear, light amber color with gold streaks. Big and fluffy large bubbled bright white head that leaves a very thcik layer of pillowy lace on the pint.
Aroma of citrus, pine, resins overpowering a sweet caramel base.
Flavor of caramel with some bread tones is the base and layered on top is a heavy resin hop note. Real gritty and ripping with hop oil and pine cone.
Mouthfeel has a teeth numbing bittering hidden and cut by citrus sweetness and a big time resin hit and a large dry finish. Just a hint of alcohol appears.
Drinkability is relatively high. Little bit over the top but a real solid hop lovers delight.

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Photo of hustlemuscle
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a glorious amber with golden highlights. Thick, pillowy head, with thick lace marking each sip as it receeds. Nice piney hops blast when you give it a sniff. A very nice brew, taste-wise, but not particularly extraordinary. Unfortunatly. Good hops, but enough to make it an 2IPA? What is there tastes good, but more like a slightly larger IPA than it's bigger brother.

A real smooth drink though. Creamy, with the hop oils being barely noticable. An easy sipper, but still not hoppy enough.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

hazy orange almost pumpkin ale colored, with thin tan sticky head. grassy citrusy hops aroma with a good caramel malt base that holds its own against the hops. a candied aroma develops as it warms. big hop bitterness and flavor. citrusy herbal hops, with lots of caramel sweetness. some more subtle juicy fruit flavors underneath, mostly pear. the bitter hop aftertaste is nearly perfect with just the right amount of bitterness. it walks the fine line between excellent and too bitter. verysilky smooth full body with mild carbonation. an excellent imp IPA, i regret not getting this on tap the last time i saw it. a must try if you're a fan of the style.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

part of sampler tray at Kclingers. Amber color with slight white head. Smell is of fruitiness and citrusy undertones.Taste is of hoppiness with a continuation of the citrusy fruitiness. Mouthfeel leaves a slight dryness. Extremely enjoyable beer. I was amazed when I found out it was 9.7%

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 5,720 ratings