Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

1,850 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,850 | Ratings: 5,587
Photo of LCB_Hostage
1.57/5  rDev -62.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.75

This is one nasty beer. I will admit that this bomber has been sitting in my fridge for 4-6 weeks, so maybe the problem is that it ages horrifically, but my god, this was awful.

It looked pretty as I poured it into an imperial pint glass, but it was all down hill after that. The aroma was subdued, but what there was was bitter in a way that I can't associate with any known type of hops.

The taste was also bitter, but not in a pleasurable, hoppy way. More of a getting a mouthful of gasoline when you do a shitty job of siphoning way. It just burned itself into the roof of my mouth and back of my tongue and would not go away.

I see from the reviews here that a lot of people have had a much better experience with this beer than I did, so it may have been a bad bottle or at least a bottle with too much age on it. I couldn't find any dating on the bottle, but unless it was several years old, there's no excuse for it going THIS bad. But there are so many great DIPAs out there that I enjoy regularly, I will not be giving this one another shot.

 1,055 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
1.64/5  rDev -61%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

First off, I love Avery Beers and their IPA is among my favorites..that said....
Pours a clear golden orange amber with a single finger head that melts to a very small lace for this type of beer.
Aroma is....aroma is...aroma is a mistake. Bitter hops with nothing piney or citrusy...just sort of nasty bitter.
Taste is also a mistake...something I can't identify...bitter hops with strong alcohol...maybe medicinal alcohol. Sweetness that can't really be identified with the malts...just extremely unbalanced...the flavors don't seem to belong together.
Aftertaste and mouthfeel is creamy with an alcohol burn afterwards.
Drinkablility? Sorry...I'm not even going to finish this one.

 688 characters

Photo of blackfish73
1.73/5  rDev -58.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Alas, I endeavored to infestingly enjoy this beer, but only succeeded in cooperating with it. Cooperating to the extent of making it disappear down my gullet while recalling the tastes and aromas I could pleasurably parse and attempting to mollify the tastes and aromas that nauseated me.

My initial thoughts on aroma were barnyard, sauteed mushroom, blue cheese, and flower - each of which I enjoy. However, I subsequently and inescapably entered an aromatic realm of cow anus, Limburger, and durian.

Luckily, the palate, perhaps by virtue of liquid, perhaps by temperature, the anus, Limburger and durian were held in abeyance, though maybe only slightly so before finishing dry, and painting my tongue with three coats of its threatening vomitousness.

Reading other reviews, perhaps I had a bad bottle. To me, this was not an enjoyable IIPA. It was bordering on nasty.

 874 characters

Photo of xare
1.82/5  rDev -56.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured as a lovely burnt orange / amber color with a white head that has constant carbonation. Nice appearance.

Aroma was of alcohol and I had to strain really hard to get a faint hint of grapefruit... but malt was the rest of the aroma. This is a DIPA? Definitely doesn't smell like one to me.

Taste was of malt, alcohol, and no hops whatsoever. Turned me completely off. I demand some hops or at least for the beer to not be so boozy / hot.

Mouthfeel was decent at first but then heats up rather fast due to the alcohol.

Drinkability was very low due to the massive alcohol content and the letdown that this brew was for me. I won't be purchasing this beer again. DIPA without hops whatsoever makes no sense to me.

 720 characters

Photo of zoolzoo
2/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Bottle dated June 2011

A: Pours a sinister looking copper orangish color, almost mahogany toward the center of the glass. Slightly off white head rises up and sticks around.

S: Soapy, almost caustic mix of detergent and booze. Big impression of bitterness. Definetly pulling some non descript sweetness out of the nose as well.

T: Salty crackers, sugar coated whatever. Very, very sweet and bready, lots of residual sugars. Hops are bitter and resinous, not
much else.

M: Mouthfeel is thick as hell, carbonation is on the lower side of medium.

O: Lots of off flavors, really missed the mark in my book. The taste is literally sweet and salty, hops bring little to the table. This beer is 3 months old not 3 years old....not buying that it would be much better if it were brewed last week.

 795 characters

Photo of Plinythechugger
2.01/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Excited to try this new bottling (March 2010) of Maharaja; unfortuantely this beer did NOT live up to the hype.

Poured into a Riedel Tulip Glass

A: Inviting! About one finger head, followed by a touch of lacing on the glass; this is gonna be great!

S: A bit herbal(wink wink), hops are present but they are not overwhelming. A touch of skunk to it as well. Hmmmm....

T: First drink is pleasant. Bitter, very bitter. Whoa - on the second drink, the bittering hops have taken over - game over.

M / D: The mouthfeel is stringent and harsh. The drinkability of this beer is horrific! Don't get be wrong...I love Imperial IPA'S! But this beer is very poorly crafted. Green Flash, Blue Dot, PTY - all make this beer look as if some homebrewer thought, "Hmmm - what would happen if I constructed a beer based on only bittering hops???"

Answer - Maharaja. One of the worst beers I have ever had.

 894 characters

Photo of mater
2.05/5  rDev -51.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

March 2011 date

A-Pours a nice dark orange amber color with a OK head and lacing.

S-Strong citrusy hop smell, but also a solid malt smell. Kind of a strange smell for a DIPA. Little bit of booze coming through.

T-This is where everything went wrong. On first sip this thing burnt my throat. Strong alcohol taste, then malts with a bitter hop finish.

M-Very thick and very sweet. Very surprised by this.

O-I was really looking forward to this beer, because I love any type of IPA, but this thing seemed more like a high abv barleywine. I drank half the bomber and had to drain pour the rest. After looking at other BA's reviews it seems like I had a different beer.

 669 characters

Photo of KyleVick4
2.26/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

22 oz

A: Pours beautifully. A nice thick head which leaves a delecate lace. The color is amber with golden sides. I think this is the ideal IPA color. Plus it is crystal clear. Very nicely done.

S: Overpowering hops. Grapefruit like wow. Not to excitied bc it has a grassy smell of just too much dry hopping for to long. Also a strong sweet malty nose, once you get past the overpowering hoppiness.

T: Whoa, too much. Im a pretty big hop head and have enjoyed both of the Pliny beers, but jesus. This really attacks the tounge. Literally. Aftr my first few sips I think my tounge has gone a touch numb. Never thought I would meet an IPA that is overly hopped. Has the grassy taste I was afraid of, kinda harsh with the malt, it is unbalanced and to sweet. Maybe a year might bring out the best in this IPA. But for now it tastes harsh and overpowering.

M: A thick almost creamy mouthfeel isn't bad but also isnt really what I have in mind for this style. Tough to really describe the mouthfeel bc the flavor interferes so much...

D: I have a half of a bottle left? Normally I am thrilled with this, but dont know if I can put down the rest. This is not a very drinkable beer as it just stings the mouth with the grassiness of the hops and the overpowering sweet flavor of the malt.

 1,296 characters

Photo of rayjay
2.37/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

From Colorado, to the Foodery in Philly, to me in CA, perhaps the long route but that's what it takes to buy beer sometimes! First time drinking anything from this brewery.

Pours beautiful, big pillows of foam that coat the glass, full, malty looking orange body and light carbonation.

Smell is weird, like the stalest hops I've ever come across. Sweet malty alcohol smell too. Smells heavy.

At first I really hated the taste, but I warmed up to it a little bit as time went by. NOT your typical 2xIPA. The beer tastes old and stale, and it tastes like the hops were also very old when they were used. The IBU's are way over 100, and I've found over the years that my favorite 2xIPA's are in the 60-80 range.

As time went on, I began to see what the flavor was all about. Very unique, more along the British IPA tradition, very different hop aroma. Not that it assaults you, it just tastes funny. The body is creamy and sweet. Note: once the funny tastes go away, the aftertaste is actually really nice and lasts over 10 minutes.

My first instict was to dump it down the drain, but I'm kinda glad I didn't once my palate adjusted. It was still just okay but it was a different kind of experience.

It's clear that this would not hold it's own in a lineup of 2xIPA's, I would probably rate this last. I would, out of curiousity, drink this beer again. Cheers!

 1,376 characters

Photo of bobhits
2.41/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Feb 2007 batch 5

A. A nice thick head that leaves an ok lacing down the glass. Kinda of expected more there. It has an orange copper hue, seems a bit thinner than some of the bigger badder IPAs.

S. Over poweringly sweet. I'm not great with picking up on fruit smell or flavors, but this has a nice fruity smell and the sweetness reminds me of honey for some reason. The sweetness is a bit off setting after the first impression (which was great).

T. Sugary malt to start followed by a funky hoppy finish. I often under score an IPA the first time I have it and then it will grow on me. I'm nearly 10oz into this and I'm just not enjoying it. The smell once you start drinking becomes off putting. The hops don't have a clean finish but instead leave this off putting finish of hops and sugar or something. There are a lot of great things going on here, but they don't work together.

M. Nice an smooth texture in the mouth. A good bit of carbonation. There is a bit of hop oil here but nothing like some IPAs.

D. There is no way I would pick up on the near 10% abv. The problem is this beer is just too sweet. It just doesn't scream drink me. One of the things I like about a big IIPA is that they can be almost addictive. I'm struggling to finish this to write this review.

I came in here hoping for something special and this really didn't live up to. I highly recommend if you try this to do so with some friends. There are certainly things here to like, but it doesn't come together for me.

 1,501 characters

Photo of ChadQuest
2.45/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Newest batch. Hit the shelf not long ago.

Body is clear, amber, a good amount of lacing.
The aroma and flavors are juicy. Not very crisp citrus but a rounded juicy citrus note. Some pine resins, which is what i was expecting since this is a DIPA that has been made for years before the new school of hops were experimented with.
Personally, i think there is quite a bit of malt flavors in here, more then what a DIPA should have. The feel is far from dry and bitter and i do not expect a toffee flavor in a good version of the style.

Overall. i think this is a classic that needs to be put to rest or tweaked into a better version of the style. Less Pine, Less Malt, More Tropical Fruit and a cleaner finish.

 712 characters

Photo of Honus1
2.48/5  rDev -41%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Split a bomber with a friend. I have been looking for this for a while. Apparently in the wrong places. This one was bottled early in 2012. The look was there, but man was the nose off. The taste was worse. All the loads of hops that every raves about were all oxidized. Like a bad overhopped American barley wine. This was a drain pour. I will have to revisit a fresh bottle, then I will re-review. Lesson learned. Check the date before you buy!

 446 characters

Photo of BDLbrewster
2.48/5  rDev -41%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a nice cloudy worthers original hue of amber with an off-white sticky looking head that leaves a coating of lacing.

The nose is loaded with resinous pine and lots of sugary sweet toffee notes. No real citrus to speak of, but there is an apparent booziness at the end of the nose.

The taste is heavily pine resin forward with a monstrous malty backbone. Thick sugary caramel under layers of pine-sol bite. The booziness is somewhat harsh and rears its head all the way through the flavor spectrum.

The mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied and syrupy with little carbonation to cut through the heavy flavors.

Overall, I just have never been able to enjoy this one. Looks like nothing has changed. I know the style doesn't demand it, but there is no hint of balance at all here. Sorry Avery this is my last re-visit to your flagship DIPA.

 842 characters

Photo of SupaCelt
2.49/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Beauteous honey-copper-orange pour. Buoyant pillow head of one finger stature. Superb cap retention that locks the aromas beneath with steadfast resolve. Multidimensional lacings are cast forth, creating a topographical masterpiece of peaks and valleys. Isolated squadrons of carbonation bubbles move en mass into their future. Diffusely gaseous, and quite alright in appearance.

Hop scents emanate from the glass. Resinous. Extract? At any rate, hopped for certain. There is also a malty, thick aroma that disturbs the sappy, pine influences. Slight alcoholic vapors tingle the turbinates. This one smells crusty and too sugared out or something. This crushes the appeal of the hops. It is not all that pleasant to smell.

Toasted caramel throws the first punch. Pine afterburners kick in and dry out the flavourscape for a nice finish that is actually not overly dry. There is perhaps too much malt presence here. More than I had expected. There is just something sickening about the flavour. A dirty, gritty sweetness hangs on like a pit bull. Nearly impeccable body for the style though. I was expecting an overly hoppy and novel taste when in fact, The Maharaja is laying down a huge cloying maltiness in his flavour kingdom. I am going to need my turban rewrapped after this splash. Overall, a bit nauseating.

 1,320 characters

Photo of blackheartbilly
2.51/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

First off, I wanted a traditional IPA, and maybe its too much for me. I bought a 22ounce bomber, and poured it into a pint glass.

Appearance: amber almost orange/gold in color. I poured it nicely, yet a 1 inch head still appeared, and took awhile to dissapear.

Smell: FRUITY! Grapefuit, orange, not a scent of malt in my opinion.

Taste: BITTER!!! Hops very heavy, no malt after taste. Hops, Hops, and more hops, way too strong.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, slight carbonation, Oily-hops character, slightly acidic.

Drinkability: Terrible, can only drink one, if that, too much alcohol, too much hops, too bitter. Not a fan, wouldn't buy it again. If you want high alcohol, and strong hops, try it, you may like it.

 715 characters

Photo of unionturf
2.53/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Stopped by Brawley's looking for another SN Harvest and got this as a suggestion for something "similar"...not similar at all.

A: Pours beautifully, great 1+" head and lacing during the drink. Color is clear and great.

S: Grapefruit hoppy smell is strong but good, looking forward to the drink.

T: First taste hit like a grapefruit and quickly becomes oily and very alcohol taste...not good once my tastebuds recovered a little. This is very sweet and taste to me like a mix between a IPA and a bourbon (as far as strong alcohol taste)...and I think that's why I didn't like it. And when I burped it was all alcohol.

M: This and oily and heavy....

D: Since I poured from a 22oz bottle I have another glass left...not sure I can do it....

EDIT: Actually I couldn't finish the second glass, not a good balanced beer at all.

 827 characters

Photo of david18
2.6/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I had to try this beer when the local had it on tap but I have to say i was even more disappointed than when I had the bottle. The brewery has great beers and is very creative but this one is very unbalanced on the alcohol side. I can't taste the malt or hops over it.

The color, which is a deep gold, and the aroma are both very good. If you like alcoholy beers, try this one.

 378 characters

Photo of ehammond1
2.61/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

A beautiful beer. A very dark orange and amber. Thin white head, great lacing. Nearly perfect.

An obviously hoppy aroma but lacks the citrus or pine nuances that I truly love. I smell quite a bit of melon though which is unexpected and nice. Some alcohol.

Disappointing taste. Loads of bitterness and a huge amount of sweet malt presence but this beer seems completely out of balance and hot with alcohol. A bit syrupy. A little citrus and some melon, but only in the background. Not for me.

A rich mouthfeel, plenty of carbonation, but overly hot.

This beer really disappointed me. I was hoping for a world class DIPA but this one seems closer to a mess than it does anything spectacular. Hot with alcohol, a ton of hop bitterness, and little of anything else very pleasant. Wanted to enjoy it, but it wasn't anything to write home about.

 893 characters

Photo of aaronxsubaru
2.68/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I'm really sorry guys, i know i should think this is a god beer but i don't. it was highly recommended by my bartender. It tatsed like pine sap to me. Other than that it was a pretty good beer, but it was to hard to get past this taste for me. I've had other, more balanced tasting IPAs that didn't hit me over the head with pine taste. i prefer more citrus than pine.

 368 characters

Photo of Beaver13
2.69/5  rDev -36%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle. Pours a golden amber with a creamy white head that goes to a thin film that leaves a lot of lacing.

The aroma is much more reserved that I was expecting. At first, all I get is earthy metallic hops. Then some sweet melon and tangerines come out to dominate. I also pick up some medicinal alcohol astringency.

The flavor is sweet melon followed by some harsh alcohol (that becomes less noticeable as time goes on) and a bitter almost metallic hop finish with a lingering bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium-full and creamy.

Overall, another Avery "big beer" disappointment for me - they sound soooo good, but don't live up to expectations for me. I've had much better IIPAs. I don't like the sweet melon in an IIPA, the alcohol is a bit much, and I don't care for the hop flavor and finish. Great Divide's Hercules is MUCH more up my alley. To be fair, as I finish the 22, it becomes less un-appealing.

 931 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.75/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Fort Collins Brewing pilsner glass. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a 3.5 finger head of fair cream, good thickness, and pretty good retention for the ABV. A semitransparent copper colour. Filled with floating yeast.

Sm: Hops. Fresh and inviting. A mild to moderate strength aroma.

T: Very hoppy, but with too much overdone bitterness. Some artificial cream is present. Too bitter, and quite boring. The bitterness overshadows all the other flavour. The finish is far too bitter. The first act is okay.

Mf: Too coarse, and wet. A generic approach to the style.

Dr: Drinkable but imbalanced and boring. I might try it on draught, but otherwise I wouldn't have it again.

 745 characters

Photo of smakawhat
2.77/5  rDev -34%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Didn't seem to care much for this out of the bottle so let's see if on tap makes a difference.

Looks great for starters, a real nice orange bodied slightly cloudy with a creamy off white head and some lacing. Gorgeous body color.

Smell. I am not getting it but a big butter thick sensation... not of diacetyl either. I am looking for hop presenece here and I am not finding it this is really odd, I smell next to nothing everything seems very muted.

Hop ambush on taste with a big grassy chew somewhat but a lingering grain and melted butter slick and thick spiced hop finish. Oily once again as I remember it. Barely a hint of citrus perhaps some orange zest but not able to get passed a lingering just basic bitterness that wont go away. If I want bitter give me some flavor with it for starters.

Overall I find this thick, syrupy and it's even a bit boozy uneccesarily, and I can't get rid of this aftertaste which is just an unpleasant bitterness, and not even a pleasant hop bitter. I feel like I drank a stick of butter also which really isn't fun. Still can't get into this brew and I am never having this again, this isn't for me.

 1,142 characters

Photo of DrDCon
2.78/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I am truly disappointed in this brew. It poured from the bottle nicely with a pale orange color and white foamy head that stuck around.

Sour-mash, grapefruit, balsam tree smells.
Tastes of orange initially, fading into an radically bitter pine-tree, almost of unripened juniper berries. Mouthfeel is dry, makes my taste buds desire water over more of this beer, the beer's greatest downfall in my opinion. I struggle to drink it because of the lingering balsam-juniper taste which I feel is uncomplimentary to the initial fruity flavor.

 538 characters

Photo of denver10
2.78/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a coppery orange with a white head. A floral and piney aroma sitting on top of a hefty malt base. Flavor follows suits. A fuller, kinda syrupy mouthfeel to this. Overall, can't say I was a fan of this one at all. I prefer my IIPA's to be fruity, this one seemed to be lacking in that completely.

 301 characters

Photo of n2185
2.79/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear, coppery orange with a finger of off-white head that recedes into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: Some caramel malt at first followed by lots of sweet orange and pineapple aromas. Nice--smells like a tropical citrus blast.

T: Sticky sweet caramel malts at first followed by a strong resiny pine kick with a lot of bitterness. There are some slight grapefruit flavors in there as well. The finish has a strong alcohol burn to accompany the lingering bitterness.

M: Medium body with low carbonation, this beer is a bit thick and sticky for the style.

O: Unfortunately, the flavors cannot live up to the nice aromas of this beer. The nose promises a tropical citrus fruit blast and the flavor delivers a hot, thick, bitter mess. This beer is ~2 months old at this point, but it just showed up in my area and I'm of the opinion that the best DIPAs are still great even with a few months on them.

 915 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,587 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.