Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

1,844 Reviews

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

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Reviews: 1,844 | Ratings: 5,552
Photo of jaluria
3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly cloudy orange colro with a moderate level of carbonation and intense lacing. A thick and wavey head that stayed put. Aromas of hops, alcohol, and yeast. The taste was quite hoppy with minimal malt presence. Biting bitterness that develops its potency over time. Refreshing texture and mouthfeel with a mellow finish. Good drinkability and good example of the style, but not the best out there. Alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of rangerred
3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter out of a 22oz bomber. 2013 edition.

Pours a slightly hazy dark orange with just a tiny white head. Practically no head retention but a few streaks of lacing cling to the sides of the glass. Not terrible considering the abv.

Alcohol, overripe citrus, and some pine/spruce on the aroma. I'm picking up a little lemon as well. A little toast and caramel from the malt rounds it all out.

My first impression of the flavor is that the alcohol isn't well hidden at all. I can definitely taste the entire 10.4 percent. Lemon and spruce are prominent along with some bitter orange peel. Tons of hop bitterness throughout that honesty borders on harshness at times. There is a real earthy quality of tree bark and moss. A little bit of caramel and dark bread from the malt but it is pretty well buried. Finish is only moderately sticky but the bitterness lingers for a long time.

Overall, I really feel this beer could use some aging time to mellow out the harsh hop bitterness. There is definitely a substantial malt backbone that would better balance out the hoppiness if some of the bitterness was gone. Might have to pick another bottle up to stash away for 6 months or so.

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Photo of ghebel
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours clear gold/ orange color with a creamy, tall off-white to yellow head. Leaves nice lacing on the way down to a thin ring.

S - Hops dominate. Citrus, floral, and pungent hop aromas with a background of sweet malt that is barely perceptable over the hops. Smells vegetal, like bunches of dry hopping was used. Alcohol is present as well.

T - Taste profile follows aroma. Lots of floral hop flavor with a raw component. High bitterness, correct for the style. Malt is secondary and there is an alcohol twinge on the tongue.

M- Smooth, moderate body. Lingering bitterness with alcohol on the breath.

D - Drinkable double IPA. I would be on the floor if I drank a few.

Overall - Maybe a bit too much raw hop component and the ABV will sedate a small horse, but a good beer overall. Not for the faint-of-heart.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This review is a redo for me, because my initial review was an outdated bottle. Poured on-tap in a goblet, the beer is a hazy orange-amber coloring, with a frothy, thick beige colored head of about an inch. The head is airy and light, and it settles a bit, but leaves a strong lace along the glass as it does. Aromas of white wine (almost muscat), pear, citrus, and a subtle resinous highlight. The beer is fruit forward, with grape, grapefruit, and mango, with a solid booze characteristic, wine highlights, and some woody notes. The beer is bold and full bodied in mouth, and has a slightly bitter, richly sweet and resinous aftertaste. The finish is lingering, with booze and bitterness throughout. Heavy hitter.

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Photo of DRyan
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served at about 50 degrees in a Ranger Creek tulip

A: Ruddy orange with a strong white head that recedes semi-slowly and laces really well
S: Hoppy up front, piny and a little citrusy, with a strong malty sweetness in the background
T: Hops hit you right away with a strong bitter kick, followed by a bit of that sweetness from the nose. The aftertaste is all hops and some alcohol burn. Could be a bit sweeter to balance the extreme hoppiness.
M: Smooth, with really really fine carbonation that tingles the mouth.
D: Not bad. Could be a bit more balanced, could hide the alcohol better, but overall a very nice IIPA.

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Photo of Mavajo
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a golden copper color with a good white head. Moderate lacing. Nose is a generous offering of hops and some malt. The taste falls a bit short, in my opinion. The hops are there with a tropical flavor, backed by a good malt backbone...but it doesn't doesn't do it for me. I can't put my finger on what I didn't like, but it just didn't do it for me. Mouthfeel was good.

All in all, a decent DIPA, but not one I intend to buy again. The package just didn't come together for me.

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Photo of smcolw
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an orange, slightly dark amber. Some chill haze, but still able to read through it. Impressive large-bubbled head that dies off slowly. Thick large lace, which with the popped bubbles looks a little like polluted water scum.

Lots of fresh, green hops; very fresh smelling. Highly dry-hopped. Low malt and surprisingly low alcohol aromas

Too bitter? This may be the one. Even as a hop head, the bite here is quite strong. Still, this beer is multidimensional--lots of malt up front which quickly gives way to the bitterness. The aftertaste is like sucking a hop pellet. Full bodied with higher carbonation, which I think cuts the high alcohol content flavors.

An interesting beer to try. I'd be fascinated to try this against other double IPAs. Could be summed up: Love your hops, love this beer.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap at Haven Gastropub in Orange, Calif. Reviewed from notes.

A- Little retention on a white head. Exsquisite lacing. Coppery brown and nice clarity.

S- Bitter hops with a metallic sort of nose. Aggressive smell but quite pleasing.

T- Hoppy with distinct dark bitterness. Like some dark fruits with a dark linger.

M- Thick and syrupy almost sort of feel. Not my favorite, but not repulsive.

O- Not my preferred style of beer, but a reasonable example of a DIPA.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to quirkzoo for this bottle...

A: Pours a translucent apricot color with about a half finger of pure white head. The foam settles quickly, and there is only minimal lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is big and boozy with a big malt backbone, a good amount of pine, and some mild grapefruit.

T: The beers starts out with a big burst of pine and grapefruit that totally blows up my palate. The malt in this beer comes on strong in the middle, and I'm a bit overwhelmed with alcohol. I know this beer is above 10%, but the boozy burn, the big hops, and the sweet malt are super intense. I'm actually a bit taken aback by how hot this beer is.

M: This is a full bodied beer. It's biting to start, sticky and oily in the middle, and super boozy in the back end. The flavors linger on the palate for quite some time.

O: I'm not overly impressed by this beer. It just seems to be too much. It's over the top hop up front, over the top abv, and it's way more malty than I would have wanted out of a DIPA. This is not going to make my favorites list. In fact, I don't see myself ever seeking this beer out again in the future. There are just way too many better DIPA option out there.

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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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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,552 ratings.
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