Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

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5,680 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: 5,680 |  Reviews: 1,875
Photo of beerinator
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: tannish red. Ruby infused with dark brown sugar. Clear beer. The head is rocky but not too retentive, off-brown.

Aroma: Piney fruit. The aroma of trees strikes first followed by sweetness of fruit. The malt seems subdued by the piney floralness.

Taste: The body is bolstered by the malty sweetness. There seems to be less bitterness than expected. The piney bitterness is complemented well with the hints of citrus and the bready malt sweetness. This beer is strikingly balanced compared to other big hoppy beers from Avery. This is not to say that there isn't any bitterness, just not as much as I expected from past experience. The hops linger on the tongue for minutes after the swallow.

Notes: Balanced, but not expected to be balanced. Leaving an educated drinker slightly bewildered. Very easy to drink. Maybe the hops have faded, but there was only a couple of days between my purchase and my consumption, so it didn't fade on my watch. Regardless, the beer seems quite balanced, and I would definately enjoy this one more often if it weren't almost 10 percent abv.

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

Wow, you can actually smell pungent and citrusy hops just upon opening the bottle! Avery usually delivers, and this one is no exception. It pours a slightly hazy reddish-copper body with orangeish highlights beneath a short but creamy head of white. Unfortunately, the head doesn't hold quite as well as might be hoped for (but with 9.7% alcohol by volume that's to be expected!), and it does leaves some thin rings of lace about the glass. A firmly caramelish and delicately biscuity malt comes into play within the aroma, although the hops are still clearly present with notes of grass, pineapple, orange peel, dried pine needles, and muddled grapefruit. In the mouth its filling and dextrinous as the very-fine-bubbled carbonation warms and becomes airy before sliding away like silk pajamas on silk sheets. The flavor delivers a heavier blow than the aroma suggests with its solid maltiness ducking and weaving between punches of hop flavor and hits of solid bitterness. There's no real pattern to the way that it appears on the palate, and slaps of hops or hits of malt seem to come and go in a different fashion with each sip. Everycomponent is always there, but certain characteristics just seem to pop at times. The one constant, however, is it's lingering, resinous and citrus-fruit-rind finish. There's bitterness there as well, but it doesn't come across as being raspy because of the thin but sticky layer of sweet malt that so stealthily hides itself while slowly receeding. It's a really nice, very well-balanced IPA that offers a decent amount of changing character in its profile; but might actually be lacking in complexity due to it's being "too balanced" - if that's possible. Still, this IPA rocks! The alcohol rarely appears, and its bitterness never overwhelms the palate! You can't drink too many because of the strength, but it's definitely drinkable.

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Photo of TheJudge
3.76/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a chimay goblet, is a pretty light amber color with a frothy thick white head. Looks extremely nice. Not nearly the nose I would have expected from a double IPA, the hops aroma is present, but subtle. You do not smell the alcohol. Taste is quite good. While not in the nose, the hops are strong in the drink. Not overwhelming, but they nicely balance the alcohol. Feels thick in the mouth, somewhat less carbonated that my taste. This affects the drinkabilty as well, and too heavy in effect to drink all night

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Photo of cokes
3.78/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Brassy peach topped with an evaporating pyre of downy suds.
Nose is all metal and wet ferns up front, but settles towards caramlized pineapples and peach syrup gin as it rests.
While chilled this is a vapid and simple, merely toasted malt and orange pekoe tea-tinged bitterness. It also has to sit for a while, because the frenzied, microscopic carbonation is like a sandblaster right away....abrasive to say the least.
Fortunately, it does cohere and gain intrigue after time, caramel grows and clings after it settles and warms, with backings of brown sugar and maplewood. Orange marmalade and cinnamon and cedar. Backed with a florescent, buzzing, floral petal hoppiness and metal lime rind hoppiness.
I rather hated this at first, but it grew together over time, especially once the carbonation evened itself out, and it warmed back up to cellar temps.
All told, I think the 11 was superior, but this is interesting at the very least.

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

Had this one on-tap at Spuyten Duyvil.

My sample poured with a small amount of lacing, deep orange, almost amber.

The aroma had a strong whiff of vanilla and some diacytel, but plenty of hops as makeup.

The taste was well-balanced, a lot of fusel alcohols pervading.

The beer was medium to full-bodied, a little viscous.

Overall, a sipper and not a quaffer.

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

On tap @ Sunset Grill

Deep orange hue, excellent lacing. Semi-pungent citric oil hop aroma, hints of pineapple & granny smith apple skin as well. Super smooth and creamy viscous mouth feel. Hay like, citric zest, toasted malt, fruit with passion fruit and a fruit punch like flavor. Soft yet muscular bitterness ... lots of hop petal flavor, aka "grassy". Warming alcohol has not problem showing off a bit.

A "kick in the pants Double IPA".

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

A goblet full of Maharaja appears to my awaiting meditating liver with a dark golden apricot hue on tap, topped with a thin collar of khaki halo radius.

Perky scents of apricot schnapps and awl-kee-hawl nose buzz that holds no secrets and gives up the ghost.

First swigs: Orange wedges and tangerine juicy hops characters overtake the palate. Some awl-kee-hawl gullet waring is going on, with more citus fruit.

A medium bodied 2IPA with a slickness that lends to easy drinkability, despite the acclaimed 10% ABV. Enjoyable.

Last swigs: Runs the obstacle corse between Troegs Nugget Nectar and 90 minute. Warrior hops are in there somewhere! AVERY's Eleven is better. Send more kegs this way as this was only on a sixthel at McMennamin's where they refused to allow this to be a growler fill. We went home with Yards TJ in lieu.

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Photo of brentk56
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a nice head and good lacing

Smell: Wonderful grapefruit and pineapple hops on the nose

Taste: Extraordinarily well-balanced with a grapefruit and pineapple hops flavor on top of a sweet, malty backbone; after the swallow, the grapefruit bitterness builds along with the sweet malt to a powerful finish of minty intensity

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This is a wonderful brew where a ton of hops are well-balanced by the malts and the combination masks the high alcoholic content of the beer

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

Another bottle generously provided by BA Pegasus, listing 1.092 OG, 112 IBUs (oh momma) and 9.7% abv. Serious numbers.
Aroma: I’m normally unsure of what type of hops I’m smelling, but this one just seemed like I was putting my nose in a bag of Hallertauer. After my nose adjusted a bit, I could get whiffs of the substantial base of sweet malt.
Appearance: Copper amber glass with a crow of crisp white froth. Pretty.
Flavor: First sip was a hop assault. The second sip was a sweet rush of candy like sugars and malt. Third and following sips were nice balances of the first two impressions. The hops seemed to poke out at odd times, but always supported by the malt.
Mouthfeel: Medium heavy body with an optional chew and a fairly gentle finish.
Overall Impression: The Maharaja rules firmly but fairly. His harsh hop slap is backed by a caring malt base of support. His alcoholic strength is hidden until it is too late and you have succumbed to the inevitable. I would join his court happily when I gain the opportunity in the future. I welcome you to join me.

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

Light clear golden orange with a small 1/2" head that dies out but leaves som funky lace patterns. The aromas are very sweet. Sweey and hoppy with some honey notes, and biscuity malts as well. The taste is weet with some nice citrusy zesty hoppy notes, and some biscuity malts and booze. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, drinkability is hindered, because this Double IPA is just too sweet and one dimensional. Bound to get cloying before this bomber is done. Still Avery has done much worse (and much better!)

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

Pours clear copper with a thick off white head.
Fruity and piney in the nose,with slight quanine finish.
Melon rind and a slight woodiness. On the dryish side of juicy.
Crisp and juicy on the pallet.
An initial sweetness gives way to fresh hops in the flavor and a lingering bittering texture.
Sweet malt well balanced with alcohol and citrusy hops.
Not the most aggresively hopped IIPA, but very yummy.
High marks for drinkability.

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

On tap poured into a half-pint glass. It pours a slightly hazy medium orange color with one finger of head. There are lace rings left down the sides of the glass. The smell is full of floral hops. There's a nice citrusy aroma as well. It really comes out at you. The taste has a whopping fresh hop blast, but there's a good amount of maltiness to it as well. There is a good balance between hop bitterness and hop flavor. Neither is overpowering. There's 9.7% alcohol in this beer, but almost none shows up in the flavor. The mouthfeel is exceptionally thick and strong, and coats the tongue wonderfully. The drinkability is superb for a double IPA. I could just keep drinking and drinking this fine fine brew. This is Avery's best beer hands down.

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

Presentation: Foil wrapped and capped with a paragraph on the label that talks about the Maharaja being a "great king". We shall see....

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear burnt orange with a pancake-like ivory cap. Carbonation cascades up through the body.

Smell: A deep pine resin smell hits the nose hard. Maybe some tea-like hop notes but pine is the dominant characteristic.

Taste: Alternating layers of pine bitterness, carmel sweetness, fresh squeezed orange juice, orange zest, then back to the pine bitterness. Multi-dimensional and very interesting. There is some malty sweetness in the background but it quickly gets kicked to the curb by the hops. This is definitely a drier and more bitter double IPA. But that's perfectly fine with me.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and bitey due to the hops. There is some mild alcohol that gets left in the back of the palate that dries up the taste.

Drinkability: Very refreshing on a warm spring day and dangerously drinkable. This will definitely tear up your palate.

Notes: Not for the faint of heart. Slightly unbalanced for me but I think it's a very good example of the style. Still, there are more out there for me to sample...

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

Baby! Tornado of bubbles rise to old snow peaks. Tendrils of bubbles float like jelly fish. Golden to the verge of amber with green around the gills. Pine and lime zest aromas. Caramels. Scones.
Not too sweet, but assertive caramelly malt. Like the caramel over a sour granny. Chewy side bites. Great sour, tangy, piney, hop portfolio. Lime zest sorbet between bites of butterscotch cookies. Such a joy to spin the glass and watch the bubbles tornado around. Cool. I love the mouth on this.

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Photo of PatandDavid
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked this one. I can see where some might think it was a bit sweet, but I couldn't get over the aroma and pretty much kept my nose in the glass. I almost dipped my finger in to dab some of this behind my ears! Alright, on tap at redbones, served in a goblet. Deep copper in color, the small white head dissipated a bit and left that petri dish look floating on the top. I dug and dug and dug again the piney and candied hop arroma. Man did this beer smell good. I thought the body was a bit chewy, but still enjoyable. Tastewise, you start with some initial hop sweetness, prickly carbonation, and then you end with some hop bitterness (but not too bitter).

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Photo of rajendra82
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From warriorsoul, this IIPA came in a 22 oz. bomber with a regal label and silver neck foil. The beer was poured out into a tulip, and looked clear glowing reddish orange with a well proportioned creamy dense head.

The aroma was thick in its tropical fruit lustiness with grapefruit rinds, mangoes, and guava. The background was earthy and ripe like a mellow cheese.

The taste was as pleasurably intense as I was anticipating. The hops came up front with a peppery and citric snap. The malt was thick and chewy with a tongue coating caramel sensation. Overall the effect was like chewing on a hop flavored hard candy. The mouthfeel was smooth and the carbonation soft. The aftertaste lingered, making this more of a sipper.

Not a complex beer, but with such a solid cohesive structure, additional complexity would just get in the way.

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Photo of BierReise
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber $7.25. Bottled in 2005. This is god damn delicious. Some shade of amber and clear.Thick clinging head. Sweet fruity citrus hop aromas with notes of peaches, oranges, pine and tropical fruits of delight. Doughy aromas from malt also add to the pleasure. Body is full, syrupy and slightly sticky. Lots of bitterness in the flavor from start to finish. Sweet and super hoppy. Alcohol well hidden. Overall pretty much in line with most other good Imperial IPA's.

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

What a find. A really bold (duh!) yet drinkable double IPA. The color is a bit lighter than I was epxecting, but a nice clean look with some honey around the edges.

The taste is amazing. Somehow they have managed to make a truly staggeringly hoppy beer, but with a smoothness and drinkability to it. It is just such a clean and crisp taste. Not overly metallic or too grapefruity in taste - considering the amount of hops in this thing.

Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of carln26
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright copper to orange in color with a thick tan head made of tight, dense bubbles. The nose has a great hop forward flavor. Citrus, hop flower, and dare I say a little cannabis is delivered up front. There is a mild candy malt aroma. Caramel with a hint of dates. More malt than I expected. Wow, very nice flavor. A lot of citrus grapefruit up front, but the balance of malt sweetness is very refreshing. This isn’t just another hop bomb. The balance of the caramel and citrus come together for a pleasant tanginess on the finish. It’s all tied together nicely with a slight alcohol warming, a mild, slightly slick mouth feel. Very nice beer.

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

22 oz bottle pours a clear copper- amber with a nice off white head that leaves a sticky lacing in my glass. Pineapple, pine and grapefruit aromas, citrus, pine, melon, pineapple and grapefruit flavors. Full bodied with a thick and creamy mouthfeel, finishes dry and bitter, alcohol well hidden and very drinkable.

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

Followed all proper etiquette with this one on 4/2/2005. 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. foiled bomber (purchased at Downtown Wine & Spirits) poured twice in a shaker glass.

Currents of frothy, big bite foam run through the middle of a quiet lake of covering head, about ¼ inch thick that, once settled, has corpuscles of lace and generous stick. Juicy orange hue with 100% clarity and some slower than molasses going uphill on a cold day action. Nose is full of hop, like a green-leafed nose gay, and I can almost see the srystals; seems like an almost orange/raspberry sweetness to it. Very deep hop core, but not overly bitter, and a big enough malt profile where I think this almost verges on a barleywine; clover and some rock candy sweetness later. Better than the Wailing Wench.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip. Label sez bottled in '05.

Orange/amber with an off-white head that rises quickly and then falls to a very thin sheet.

Smells of sweet malt paired with a hop strain I can't ID. Something west coast? Whatever it is, it works out nicely.

Surpisingly, the malt flavors take up most of the taste with the hops jumping in to share in the finish. Very clean and balanced. Where's the alcohol?

I was expecting a mouthfeel that is bigger than a standard IPA and that is what I found. Just enough carb to get a slight tingle.

This is a big beer and as such has limited drinkability, but it goes down fairly easy.

I'm impressed with this brew. Its weird (in a good way) how malts take center stage yet it has enough hop to satisfy all but the most rabid of hopheads. One of Avery's better "big beers" for sure.

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

This beer poured a copper amber color and formed a nice off white foamy head that left latticed lace as it subsided. A small amount of carobonation is present. An aroma of hops, pine and a touch of caramel and malt. The flavor was of hops and heavy on the caramel sweet aspect. It had a medium body and a slightly creamy texture. The finish was sweet with just a touch of astrigency. A sweeter style for a double IPA, but still very good.

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

A big thanks to Nick, aka BeerPanther at Bauer Wine @ Spirits for this rare one.
Pours a brilliant cloudy copper w/ a full finger of dancing tan head, full of large it was anxiously awaiting release from its bottle.
Lacing is very clingy and web-like...real attractive.
The first aroma is malt, which blows my mind...but keep the nose there for a few seconds and the hops make their way up front. It is not pushing its way up front, just waiting patiently in line...gotta respect that.
The taste is also very balanced...mild in the hops department for a double, but a very unique twist on the style...even detect a touch of pumpkin spice.
Following is a sweet caramel, citrus, cherries in a warming bitter crunch.
Alcohol is detected, but very slight.
Could I throw back a few....yes.
One heck of a fine offering from Avery...continuing to impress me time after time.

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Photo of Billolick
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Baby oh baby --- a new Avery brew on tap at the Blind Tiger, life is good! a double IPA , even better, this poured a brilliant shade of amber, clear and left big time lacing. White head, hoppy/grapefuit nose. Crunching blast of citric hops, balanced upon lucious layers of malt. Very enjoyable brew. Royally enjoyable, a fine creation in brewing, seek and enjoy!

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 5,680 ratings