Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

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1,834 Reviews

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Maharaja is derived from the sanskrit words mahat, meaning “great”, and rajan, meaning “king”. Much like its namesake, this imperial IPA is regal, intense and mighty. With hops and malts as his servants, he rules both with a heavy hand. The Maharaja flaunts his authority over a deranged amount of hops: tangy, vibrant and pungent along with an insane amount of malted barley – fashioning a dark amber hue and exquisite malt essence. Welcome to his kingdom!

The Maharaja is the second installment in our Dictator Series.

102 IBUs

ABV varies slightly batch to batch.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-03-2005

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Reviews: 1,834 | Ratings: 5,515
Photo of VncentLIFE
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is daeep amber with a decent white head. No carbonation, as usual. I get a balance of pine and citrus, but the smoke in the biergarten is messing with me. hm pine, all pine. Powdery sweet malt, with the pine losing to the sweetness of the malt. After hopslam and hop notch, this is kind of second best.

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Photo of SirSketch
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

S - Nothing but hops in the nose, mainly aromas of grapefruit and mango. There are no 'bright' or fresh hop flavors, but more of the juicy, fruity hop character.

T - Surprisingly chewy malt flavor, but an abrasive bitterness and fruity hop flavor swoops in and takes center stage. Flavors include grape juice, lemon and a sour, puckering grapefruit. A good amount of heat, too.

M - Thick, chewy, almost overwhelming mouthfeel. A little hard to take another sip.

O - Maharaja is a great IIPA, but nothing I haven't tasted before in the style. Also, a little too thick, which takes away from the excellent hop flavors.

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Photo of hopsleeroy
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle

A-Clear amber with decent white head
S-Like somebody slapped me in the face with a pine branch soaked in alcohol. Very sweet on the nose but lots of hops.
T-Very sweet almost candy/honey sweetness with an alcohol burn, sharp pine and more orange than grapefruit, a fair amount of alcohol in the taste, detracted from the flavor somewhat, Not a delicate flavor but in your face
M-Medium to full full in mouth, fairly creamy, good carbonation
D-High alcohol in taste and in abv would prevent drinkning too much, but I'd drink more than one pint.

Not a very sublt beer and a little overpowering in the alcohol department which is usually what I think of the big Avery beers.

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Photo of RomanW70
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Julian's in Providence. Pours clear amber with a white head. Strong grapefuit/hop aroma. Hop taste presents very strong up front. Very strong grapefruit and pine notes. Bitter finish slides into citrus notes. Nice hoppy character, and flavorful. While I appreciate the strong hop character of Maharaja, the ber doesn't have a strong enough malt backbone. The malts get a little dominated here. Still a good beer.

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Photo of spicelab
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber with massive thanks to mulder1010.

Brilliant clear amber, with a modest relatively dense off-white head. Falls gradually leaving a minor raised ring. Swirling generates decent lace trails.

Massive pine branch and resin underpinned by hefty amounts of savoury malts. Also prominent are mandarin and pineapple, with occasional high candied notes of lemon sherbet, bubble-gum and pineapple lollies. Seems a little too big for its boots courtesy of an overt booze presence.

Something of a pine battering ram. Pine needles, pine branches, pine roots, pine oil. Citrusy and tropical hop character tries to compete, but mostly in vain. Some strong herbs are evident, like bay leaves and sage.

Palpably heavy in the mouth immediately the liquid leaves the glass. In fact I can't think of a beer I've had that feels this heavy - even around 15%. Carbonation is suitably mild at least, and the ABV makes the bitterness quite agreeable.

Perilously close to a booze-bomb. There's no obvious reason why this needs its 10.3%, given the hop profile is not particularly complex or challenging. Would be a very nice beer at 8-9%.

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Photo of Tyrawlings
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On Tap and poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark amber in color with orange hues. Huge fluffy white head pours two fingers thick. Good retention. Nice sticky lacing.

S: Citrus juice. Pine resin. Wet earth. Biscut and alcohol.

T: Sweet caramel malts and soft roasted barley come to the forefront. Citrus, pine, and simcoe hops quickly assert themselves with a nice bitter bite. Tastes of grapefruit, apple and peach are followed by a wet grass flavor. Beer finishes sweet and warm due to the high alcohol content.

M: Syrupy and smooth. Minimal carbonation. Warm and dry.

D: A sweet hop bomb in a bottle. High ABV limits the amount consumed in one evening. An interesting beer. Try it.

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Photo of mechamifune
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was the latest in my continuing attempt to find a new favorite DIPA, as Pliny and Dreadnaught are no longer available to me. I had heard good things about this, so I was very eager to give it a try.

Pours a somewhat hazy, orangish color, with a light head and evident but not overwhelming sense of carbonation.

Slight sense of citrus in the smell, but nothing over the top (though with DIPA's, over the top is usually what I go for). On tasting, has a relatively heavy complexion, and a slight sense of alcohol. Hops are evident, but not overpowering. Leans more towards being a balanced DIPA. While I still enjoyed it, I really doubt I could do more than one at a sitting. I would place it in what I consider the middle tier of DIPA's.... wouldn't tell any hop lovers to not get it (especially since price point is reasonable), but there are probably 10 other DIPA's i'd get before it.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The new top 100 is encouraging me to put in some old handwritten reviews!

Pours a reddish amber with a nice off-white head and decent lacing as it goes down. Smell is tropical fruits, some citrus, and a few hints of earth. The taste is much the same, but it lacks the punch of the nose and some of the more-intense West-coast DIPA's. Medium body and somewhat dry. Drinkability is affected by a bit of an alcohol taste and a slight lack of cohesion to the hop flavor and intensity.

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fair DIPA that seems to have lost a sense of its past extraordinary character.

Presentation: 22 oz bottle. Tongue in cheek gold and green label with the portrait of the "Maharaja". Side tongue-in-cheek narrative describing intent and ingredients. New design, still with a resonance of the old, which I feel was actually better, although this one keeps in line with their overall series. Displays date of bottling (Mar 2011, Batch 13), shows IBUs (102), gravity at 1.090, and Alc/Vol (10.54%) Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Clear deep gold pour. Good frothy head and retention, fair surface memory with some nice lacing as it goes down.

S - Nice nose, a bit subdued, resinous, citric, the floral memory is almost missing in this incarnation...

T - Good hoppy range riding on top of nice caramel sweetness. Resin, grapefruit, and… boozy rawness in the finish? Ugly fusel alcohol as it closes. It is not overwhelming but it is not a pretty touch.

M - Medium body with a good sticky sense in the finish.

O - Still drinkable but the fusel finish and lacks of the full spectrum of nuances hinder its drinkability a couple of notches.

Notes: Pity… The memories were better. This is not the Maharaja I remember. Barely a month after bottling and the aroma is nowhere near the richness I remember. And the taste… It starts well with some subtlety but the way it closes over the touch of fusel alcohol is disappointing. Here´s hoping this is an off batch or recipe (or bottle) and things go back to where I had placed this brew.

Preceding Score from 8/15/2009 with batch 10
A: 4.5 S: 4.5 T:4.5 M:4.5 D:4.5

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Photo of taigor
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap poured into 8oz glass.

A - Golden, hazy look with big head that dissipates slowly leaving almost no lacing.

S - Citrus and some other fruits, lots of hops and a hint of malt.

T - Sweet which immediately turns into bitterness like eating a grapefruit with hops.

M - Full bodied with a lot of carbonation. Slight bitter aftertaste.

D - Fair and definitely worth exploring more.

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Photo of TLove
3.69/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

22oz bomber into an open-face Chimay glass.

Has the appearance of a complex beer. Very light head, murky amber color with light, continuous carbonation.

Amazing smell. Flavors are incredibly crisp and apparent. Strong hops, sweet nectar, apricot and a little sourness.

Over 10% ABV, strength not hidden under the bitters. 102 IBUs. Still retains sweet and sour flavors from the smell.

The delicate balance tips in the wrong direction on the backside of the mouth. Alcohol and strong hops filter out softer, fruity flavors in the mouth.

Finishes like an uber-strong malt liquor. Way too much alcohol and carbonation on the back end.

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Photo of phisig137
3.69/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice amber color, but I had to work a bit to get any head out of this one. Nice lacing

Aroma is pleasantly, and aggressively hoppy. Very piney hops, with some cirtus balance.

Flavor is rather malty up from, with huge hop flavors, and finished solidly bitter. Quite enjoyable. Mouthfeel is full, but I feel it's slightly overcarbonated. Drinkability is decent, but the bittering hops begin to take thier toll on your tongue after 1/2 a glass.

Quite a nice beer overall, as are most of Avery's offerings.

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Photo of DearthVader
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've had this before, but this bottle was compliments of LSUPT.

Pours an golden amber with a 1 finger white head on top. The head dissipates rather quickly and leaves it with just a crown.

Smell is of grapefruit, citrus, orange peel, and booze.

Taste is again of the grapefruit and citrus hop. Is almost a malt bomb, but the fruity flavors do it justice.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied for a DIPA. It is too boozy for me, personally.

Maharaja is a good beer. I can tell why people would like it so much and why it is deserving of an A-. Unfortunately, it just doesn't agree with my palate. Far too boozy for me to really enjoy. Still a likable beer though.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap into a tulip glass at Lizardville

A- Poured a clear dark orange color with a frothy head that dissipated quickly and left no lace

S- Big pungent aroma with floral notes, grapefruit, sweet sugary candy notes, and lots of alcohol

T- A big candy sugary taste, grapefruit syrup, some citrus notes, some spicy/herbal notes, big alcohol presence.

M- Syrupy, full bodied, big alcohol warming, and a slight alcohol burn

O- This is a super sweet DIPA that also has quite a bit of bitterness. Big, boozy, and sweet, which i usually do not like but it works here pretty well. The beer this most reminds me of is Unearthly, I think this is a bigger, boozier beer than that, but both are very sweet candy-like DIPAs.

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Photo of ABCJiugui
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- orangey copper clear, 3 finger head, 1 mm cap, consistent lacing with thin broken rings per each sip.

S- pine and citric, sweet caramel notes

T- piney and citric, aggressive hops but not overpowering in either bitterness or finish. Slightly medicinal.

M- active fine carbonation, full bodied and fairly smooth.

Overall a nice double, not an outright hop bomb, but not short on it either.

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Photo of philbertk
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Maharaja Imperial India Pale Ale Batch 4--Bottled June 2006. 22 oz. Bottle. 9.90% ABV--102 IBU's. (4.9 / 5.0) Tight lacy rich ochre head. Cloudy bright amber orange color. Huge floral hop front. Smooth dry sweet caramel citrus pine grapefruit ester malty body. Hot balanced hop spice mild EtOH dry end. Huge. Balanced. Sampled 5/9/2007. Batch #5 Bottled Feb. 2007. 22 oz. Bottle. 9.78% ABV--102 IBU's. (4.75 / 5.0) Rich lacy head. Hazy bright amber orange color. Huge floral hop front. Creamy sweet delicate crisp pale malt caramel pine citrus body. Rich balanced sweet smooth clean rich hop spice no EtOH end. Wonderful! Sampled 5/10/2007. Batch #6 Bottled May 2007. 22 oz. Bottle. 9.65% ABV--102 IBU's. (4.75 / 5.0) Rich lacy off white head. Clear bright deep dark gold color. Sweet huge floral pine hop front. Thick floral sweet rich malty resinous caramel grapefruit ester body. Rich bitter hot hop spice end. WOW! Sampled 7/4/2007. Batch #7--Bottled Feb. 2008. 22 oz. Bottle. 10.54% ABV--102 IBU's. (4.5 / 5.0) Lacy mild head. Clear rich bright enticing amber color. Rich floral hop front. Mildly thick creamy sweet rich caramel spice body. Cloying sweet malt rich hop spice balanced over the top end. Huge IPA. Smooth & Balanced, but almost too much. Sampled 3/22/2008. $6.57 Each. Batch #8--Bottled May 2008 22 oz. Bottle. 10.21% ABV--102 IBU's. (4.25 / 5.0) Mild lace head. Clear dark gold color. Huge floral hop pine front. Tangy creamy sweet huge hop infused citrus pine caramel malt body. Spicy bitter sweet cloying hop citrus piney end. Hot EtOH hint. Sharp fresh flavors need Age. Sampled 7/13/2008. $8.99 Each. 4 Left For Aging and Tasting. Batch 9--Bottled in Feb, 2009. 22 oz. Bottle. 10.27% ABV--102 IBU's. (4.25 / 5.0) Huge floral pine Cascade hop opening. Thin lacy white head. Clear bright rich amber gold color. Huge floral grapefruit pine citrus grass front. Spicy sweet hop oil caramel grapefruit pine body. Balanced cloying hop spice lingering malt Stoner WOW! HOPBOMB end. Sampled 4/5/2009. 4 @ $8.99 Each. 3 Available For Aging or Trade. Batch 10--Bottled in June 2009. 22 oz. Bottle. 10.69% ABV--102 IBU's. 3 @ $7.39 Each. Aging and Available For Trade. Batch 10--Bottled in June 2009--2009-B 22 oz. Bottle. 10.69% ABV. 102 IBU's. (3.5 / 5.0) Thin lacy off white head. Cloudy bright hazy amber orange color. Huge pine hop front. Sweet orange citrus rich fruity caramel estery malty bitter body. Rich hop spice earhy hot EtOH tangy end. Over the top Hops. Rich & Smooth, but too much malt sweetness. Sampled 6/24/2010

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Photo of CaptainIPA
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured into a Hennepin flute. Pours a brilliant blood orange haze with a thin white cap of frothy lacing. Active carbonation and dramatic lacing throughout session.

S: Grapefruit, tangerine, mango, juicy pineapple. Lots of spiced citrus hops - to the point where fruit flys began divebombing the surface.

T: Insane hop blast counterbalanced with spikes of sweet malted barley. Opens with big notes of grapefruit rind, then fades into tropical essences of tangerine, mango and pineapple before turning moderately bitter. Noticeably salty on palate. Alcohol brings some heat to the equation. Thick, bittersweet finish.

Avery's Maharaja rules over a well-balanced kingdom of pungent hops and benevolent maltiness. That's right, it's the 9.78% ABV talking.

M: Medium-bodied. Chewy, sticky, syrupy, oily and resinous.

D: Uber-hoppy with a high ABV. One and you're way done.

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Photo of JohnWaynes44
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured dark hazy orange. Thick off white head stuck all the way around the glass. Smells of figs, dates and apricots, toasty sweet malts and citrus. First a sudden burst of piney hops and heavy malts. Hints of orange and caramel peak through the hot alcohol taste at the end. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. Drinkability suffers because ABV is not hidden as well as some in the style. Overall pretty good.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at tapestry in philly

Pours a clouded grapefruit orange color with a thick layering of white head resting on top. Retains nicely with a plenty of film and leaves rings of lacing all down the glass.

Spiky grapefruit hops pierce the nose with some pith and rind. Juicy and sweet with caramel and honey. Bready malts with a smack of booze too.

Bitter and juicy up front with grapefruit and oranges. Smack of pineapple sweetness and sticky resin. Sweet tropical tones give way to a malty backbone with caramel, bread, and honey. More grapefruit and pineapple towards the finish, which is dry and boozy.

Medium body, decent carbonation, sticky and lingering on the tongue. I thought this was a little too sweet and boozy this time, although I've had it a bunch of times before and thought it was really good.

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Photo of Nuggethops
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a hazy but bright copper color with a nice frothy off white two finger head that disspates quickly to a thin cap. Decent lacing leaves a light layer of suds on the glass. Smell is of a minty grapefruit zest and a grainy earthy quality as well.

First sip is much maltier than I expected with a strong bitter grapefruit-esque bite at the eng and definitely a slight hotness from the alcohol. Fells oily yet smooth in the mouth again with a strong alcohol presence. I easily polished off the 22oz myself but probably would not reach for another one right away as I am feeling the first one already and I would probably opt to go for something with a little less alcohol in the flavor if I were to have another.

Overall this is a nice complex DIPA with a stonng malt profile upfront and a unique hop profile of grapefruit and mint aas well as a strong boozy bite. A wonderful beer best to be shared with a friend in my opinion.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in March 2010, Batch 11. Could be a bit fresher, I need to look for a brand new one...

A- Pretty darn dark for an IIPA. Deep, burnt orange thats almost ruby. Big head that stays forever. Lots of lacing. I really like the head. Its a whole new type of foam.

S- Equal parts pine and citrus. Tree sap and orange rinds. Some caramely sweetness.

T- At first sip its pretty strongly malted. Caramel and toasted malts. The bitterness comes after a few more sips. Lots of pine and grapefruit. The finish is resinous, lingering and bitter. An aftertaste of medicine lasts. You get a taste of alcohol from time to time.

This batch came out to be just over 10.4%. The alcohol is apparent, more so than in many other beers of similar style and ABV.

This is a good beer but I was expecting more. I need to hunt for a super fresh bottle.

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Photo of Beefeater57
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light orange/gold that bubbles up to an amber color. Off-white sudsy head with great retention.

S: Malts, grassy hops and a mild citrus smell that I can't place.

T: Strong sweetness up front - caramel malts, slight toffee flavors. Hops develop in the aftertaste, but are not as strong/noticeable as I would expect an Imperial IPA to be. Hops have a earthy/grassiness to them, and I do get some lemon peel as well.

M: Smooth, a little fizzy. There is some warmth of alcohol.

D: Pretty good, but not as good as I thought it would be. Nice malt flavor though, just wanted the hops to pop through more. High ABV in a 22oz bottle makes one of these plenty.

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Photo of Jmoore50
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought this at a BevMo and was surprised how much I did not like it.

The appearance is a GREAT golden amber color that is really thick for an DIPA. It has a really nice oily texture and the alcohol consistency does wonders for this one. Looks great with a big white two finger head. Also left a lighter lacing.

The smell was great. It had a great citrus pine smell that made my mouth water. Once the bottle is opened it just explodes with smell. Also smells sugary sweet.

The taste is like WHAT?!? Great first impression then there is a pine or herbal bitterness that just shocks you midway and after. What the hell? I paced back and forth trying to figure out what the hell was going on and I just figured it was the bitterness with the mouthfeel that just lets me down. I love unique DIPA's, but this is not for me. The alcoholic taste is not masked very well and makes the bitterness even worse. I do not know and people will think I am crazy but this was a HUGE letdown. Honestly Avery has not showed me anything spectacular. I have some more of their brews to try but overall this was sub par.


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Photo of Shaw
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lovely amber color with a massive, frothy off-white head. Very nice.

It smells -- surprise! -- of floral hops, and lots of 'em. I can also smell the alcohol in this brew.

The taste is big, bitter and hoppy. The alcohol flavors are quite apparent. But other than bitterness, this beer doesn't have that much going on.

It's a bit disappointing. Overall, I'd say this is one of the lesser DIPAs I've had. While it's not bad by any stretch; there are better beers of its style out there.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - A faint haze in an amber brew with a slight reddish tint. A frothy head that is long lived with thick clumps of lacing.

S - Floral (roses), grapefruit pulp and pine in the aroma. A touch of white pepper.

T - A lot of floral (roses and lillies) hops, grapefruit pulp with some faint smoky caramel maltiness that lingers to the aftertaste where it is joined by a pepper alcohol finish. The aftertaste is mostly a floral bittermess. There is a very faint medicinal presence throughout the beer.

M - Medium bodied and smooth. It isn't refreshing though.

D - No problem finishing this one. I might have it again if I find it on tap somewhere. Worth a try.

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,515 ratings.
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