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Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

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1,836 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: 1,836 | Ratings: 5,523
Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

1pt6 fl oz bottle poured into tulip glass, no freshness date.

A: Pours a murkey amber copper with an off-white head that leaves pretty nice lacing down the glass

S: Mango, pinapple any other deep and sweet fruit, there really is no need to go into this, but smelling this for the first time made we want to dive right into this one. Just juicy fresh fruits everywhere!

T/MF: Bitterness not too bad, quite smooth actually the alcohol seems to be hidden decently as well, hop oil stays sticky on the tongue but does not dry out the mouth too bad, the beer is far to juicy for that. There are hints of pine here and there mostly in the finish along with a bit of bready sweetness that builds as the beer warms, but this beer is about the fruit. I feel like I'm drinking a boquet of fruit. More sweet than bitter or at least the feeling of sweetness anyways (I'm suprised to see the 102IBU on the side of this beer). Mango is very prevalent when I first sipped this beer but the warmer it gets the more that fades and a fruit syrup flavor cuts in and the pine and grapefruit takes over and now I can see why this is labeled at 102IBU because my tongue is starting to dry out a bit more, but still not too bad.

D: Here's a tip: drink this one with a friend and you will be sure to have a good time if you both are hopheads or enjoy hops to a reasonable about, because drinking a whole big bottle of this by yourself is not recommended. Still the best DIPA I've tried to date in my young life.

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Photo of jsh420
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

batch #9 feb09
split a bomber

pours clear copper orange with a good 2.5 finger head that leaves lacing notches all down the glass. smells of strong citris, pine, and sweet malts. taste starts of with big grapefruit hops and sweet malts and finishes with bitter pine bite. this beer has a medium body creamy finish but leaves just enough hop resin to coat you mouth. drinkability is off the charts even @10.27abv. now i need to go back to the store and pick up a few more.

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Photo of BeTheBall
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber in to a Deleriem Tremens snifter. Hazy golden color with a very lively and creamy head. Immense lacing down the glass. Smell is all hops; pine and grass with grapefruit and other citrus.
Taste is massive hops, lots of citrus and flowers up front, followed by huge bitterness all the way down. The bitterness amazingly lasts for minutes, never quitting.
Mouthfeel is good, but nothing exceptional. Drinkability? The high ABV stops me during or after 1 bomber, but this is incredibly delicious if you like an old-fashioned hop bomb.

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Photo of Tolann
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - orange copper with a white head. very little cloudyness.

S - big citrus hop bomb. Love it! sweet grapefruit/orangy citrus. Tangy and clean, but still balanced and not offending. Smell is hard to miss on this one.

T - Again, just how it smells. It's a big citrus hop bomb. Some sweet and lots of citrus hops. Some bitterness near the end of the sip. It is all very good.

M - Medium body. Some carbonation and not perfectly smooth. Doesn't coat or feel thick in your mouth. Good aftertaste that may help you to slow down and enjoy. You don't feel the big alcohol presence. (bottle says 10.54% abv)

D - Can't have much of this in 1 sitting, but you'll absolutely enjoy the bit you have. Doesn't feel heavy.

Really like this one. Would highly recommend it to any hop head out there.

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Photo of sitarist
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 11.

Pours an amber color into my snifter. There is about an inch of head that fades to a top coating and ring that leaves some heavy lacing.

Smells of candied orange rinds, tropical fruits, wet dog, and something beyond my ability to explain. The smell is strong and welcomes me to take a sip.

Taste like candied hops! This is bitter but not astringent. The flavors match the nose with an added peppery bite. There is a nice malt backbone but the hops are the star of this game. This beer highlights the similarities between hops, and kush.

Medium body, sticky, and dry.

Despite the big, strong flavors this is very drinkable. Just beware, the ABV will get you.

edit 2011: I would score and describe this years batch the same as last years.

2-29-12: Year after year its one hell of a beer!

1-31-13: This years batch seems pretty consistent with previous ones. I am noticing an herbal/minty scent, and flavor that I do not recall. Also, the body seems a little lighter than I remember. I cant wait till the next batch.

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Photo of tronester
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On gravity pour cask, at the Flying Saucer, Ft. Worth 4/9/2010

Served cool with a hazy golden amber body and rocky, creamy light tan head. Smell was of fresh hops, extremely dank and pungent. Taste was very similar to bottled Maharaja, BUT, with an even more intense super fresh grapefruit flavor. The hops change to an herbal bitterness in the finish, very nice. Still a nice malt backbone to match up with the supreme hop flavors. Mouthfeel was super lush and creamy, nice low carbonation. Drinkability is good, though a single 12oz serving of this strong ale is plenty. Much better on cask than in the bottle. If you see this on cask, get it!

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 13

I had this beer two years ago and it wasn't too memorable. That was the time when I just started drinking craft beers regularly, so my palate has probably changed.

Appearance-Clear orange color with little to no haze. About 2 fingers of head which turns into a ton of lacing. Ring of lacing rests on top of the orange beauty. Love the bomber look too.

Smell-I was expecting a complete hopbomb but on the first whiff I get some very sweet malt. Citrus hops come through and I get a ton of Grapefruit, and Orange. Hints of pine and flower come through as well, this scent is amazing.

Taste-Like the taste it starts off with a sweet malt. Once it gets to the back of your through you get the extreme citrus and bitter hops. Dry finish makes you want to go back to another sip to get that sweetness again. The perfect balance between sweet, malty, bitter and citrus.

Mouthfeel-Medium-Full bodied with just enough carbonation. After the first sip by mouth felt a little numb and instantly warmed the body.

Overall- This may be the most dangerous beer I have ever had. 10.54 ABV and this is so drinkable. The dry finish makes you coming back for more, and I did. I almost regret buying 3 bombers at a time because I'm going to want to have to restrain myself for going for another 22 ounces. All in all best beer I've had in 2011.

8/16/11-Drank the Batch 14 and it was horrid. Smelt sour, like popcorn and charcoal and just wasn't right. I drank it within 2 months of bottling date, Ended up w/ a Drainpour.

Batch 13 gets an A+
Batch 14 gets a D-


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Photo of SkipWeathers
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Love the new label, "Dictator's Series." I love dictators. The beer has a wonderful aroma, citrus, melon, and flower-like sweetness, much like Hopslam. Taste - buttery, earthy, and herbal, like drinking an herb garden in a bottle. Appearance - very golden red, with ample foam. Drank in a snifter for optimum aroma. Kind of a combination between a barleywine and double IPA. Will try to acquire more of this tomorrow.

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Photo of
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a-deeper amber color with a nicely formed off white head. Little carbonation in the beer. The head turns into a fluffy cloud on the top.

s-beautiful. Smells like a fresh cut ruby red grapefruit, but with much more bitterness from the rind, not a ton of sweet from the pulp. There are malts in here too, they are fairly big for this being a hop forward beer. Smell has some smal hints of the strength of this beer.

t-like it smells, big hops that play nicely with the malts in here. Has a little tang on the back sides of the toung. Some cinnamon, some spice to the taste too. The big hops shine through the entire experience.

m-has some syrup, but it rolls around the toung well. No real burn from this big beer.

o-they did well with this beer again this year. Has a lot going on, and demands to be sipped. Nice layering of the flavors that gives the drinker a lot to think about while enjoying. Glad it's summer again!

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Photo of timmick
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really liked this DIPA poured from a 22oz bomber.

A: Clear, dark orange color with two fingers of slightly off-white head. Plenty of lacing left on the glass as I drink this down.

S: Wow! Love the smell of this... Citrus, pineapple, and grape... very fruity. Nice sweet malty notes come through the big hop aromas. Very enjoyable to the nose.

T: Nice and hoppy with juicy citrus in the front end with a bitter bite to the finish. Nice sweet malty backbone balances nicely with the abundance of hops for a nice bitter/sweet complexity that leaves me wanting another sip. Slight alcohol warming, but not heavy, lets you know you are drinking a 10+% beer.

M: Bitterness hangs around with a slight alcohol finish. Carbonation is good with a nice medium, smooth feel.

O: Nice, easy to drink DIPA. I will buy this again.

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Photo of maximum12
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my wife's favorite beers, shared a bomber of this. I said it was average quite some time ago, & she took offense; I now stand corrected.

Nice cloudy orange color, a little murkier than most IPAs. Smells divine, Pine-Sol cleaner & aggressive hops & a vague medicinal whiff.

Very good beer. Tastes just like it smells, with a nice little kick at the end & a nice dry bite. Easy drinking. A perfect summer beer to go with the pasta & mushrooms simmering on the stove.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Such a big brew. I love this one, had it a while ago from a bottle then later from a bottle and it wasn't as good. I saw it was on tap at Tap & Table in Emmaus so shot over after work. Got myself three wonderful glasses of this. The aroma and flavor mix well with each other the fruity hop aroma hits your nose on every sip. Then the piney sting of hops hits your tongue and just attacks it till you sip again and it just keeps coming. The color is a very nice golden color with a minimal head on it about 1 fingers worth. The brew is very tasty and if you haven't tried it please do so.

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Photo of treyrab
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very glad to still see this on tap at Zeno's last night...Had it served in a pint glass...

A: Extremely hazy orange color with a solid one finger head. Looks like carbonated orange juice! It is so hazy it is hard to see the carbonation creeping up the glass...

S: Fore! A huge hop bomb just landed. Tons of citrus hops that are very robust. Tons of orange and lighter fruits in the nose as well.

T: The taste is exceptional! So much orange and citrus hops in the taste without being too bitter. Very slight pine notes, this one is all citrus! Some light fruits like orange and lemon and grapefruit.

Overall, this is what a DIPA should be! Tons of hop flavors, but it doesn't make you pucker with bitterness.

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Photo of Coutastic
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served out of the tap into a 8oz snifter. Pours a dark caramel with a 2 finger head that doesn't hold very long. Good lacing lasts as long as the beer does.

Smells of deep citrus and very well balanced hops, both of which come out strong on the palate. A lot of grapefruit! Hops, Hops, Hops! It's almost PERFECT! Some Earth tones.

Love the carbonation, it dances. Leaves the mouth feeling dry, and an aftertaste of grapefruit and hops. I'll have another!

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Photo of PirateUlf73
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Label says it was bottled in Feb. of 2008 and was part of Batch 7. Not sure if that's pertinent information, but here we go...

A: Came out a slightly cloudy orange-amber color. Slightly off-white head retained very well and left superb lacing. Bubbles were nice and tight, which surprised me a little, but in a good way.

S: Hops, hops and more hops! Citrus hops dominated, but I also detected hints of grass and sweet fruits... pomegranate if I had to guess. Nice floral aromas all over the place. I can even smell it when sitting a few feet from my glass. I can already tell this is gonna be an experience.

T: Quite bitter indeed, but not overpowering as I was expecting. All the aforementioned hops are present, but there's a nice malt backdrop to keep them in check and save my tongue from obliteration, a feature which I personally appreciated having. The malt sweetens it up somewhat and the alcohol is mostly present as a warming sensation in the back of the throat. Still, it's a DIPA and is still every bit the hop bomb I expected!

M: This was perhaps the most surprising aspect of this tasting. I would say it was medium, bordering on slightly heavy bodied. Nice and substantial thanks to the amount of malt used, which helps whisk things down smoothly. There was also just enough carbonation to keep the flavors moving around. Absolutely sublime!

D: Being higher in alcohol, this is obviously a brew to be sipped and savored. That being said, it goes down nice and smooth and dries the tongue just enough to prepare me to take that next sip.

My first real go at a DIPA was a rousing success. Powerful flavors, smooth body, it's everything I was hoping for. It's beers like this that make me proud of the strides American brewers have made in recent years. Definitely give this a try if you can find it!

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Photo of kkrez
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The Maharaja pours a bright copper orange with a thick and sticky head.

As soon as you crack this beer you get engulfed in citrusy, tropical, dank, grassy, hop aromas. Once you pour it you find even more pungent hop aromas oozing out of the glass with a faint caramel malt backbone.

The taste, oh the taste! A barrage of pineapple, mango, pine, citrus, grass, tangerine, orange, floral, then cut slightly by a caramel, honey biscuit, and toffee malt backbone accompanied by a warming alcohol flavor and then finishing with a biting bitterness.

The mouthfeel is oily and thick. You can almost feel the astringent hop oil stripping the enamel off your teeth and it tickles your tongue and throat all the way down. This beer should be rated low on the drinkability scale but it is just so amazingly delicious that it always goes down faster than you would hope.

Overall, I love Maha, bow to him.

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Photo of blackjack000
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Really handsome and rich amber with a skimpy, fizzly head. The color looks pretty spot on for the color of honey. I'm pouring a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass, so on my second pour I dropped it in there vigorously, and that gave it a nice and creamy eggshell-colored head. This is a really good-looking beer.

Smell: I smell fresh cut wood. This is weird, I keep trying to sniff and see if I'm imagining this, but I smell meat. Something between smoked meat and salted pork. I can't put my finger on it. There's sugar drifting in and out, also. Yeah, there's that ambiguous, smoky smell again. It works in well, but it's a little confusing, because I can't seem to taste anything resembling that smell in the beer. Oh well.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Mmm...it has that lip-smacking taste and texture right off the bat. A good dose of fresh, woody hops layered on top of a smooth and sticky sweet malt. A perfect balance of sweetness, hoppy twang, and bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability: It's packed full of flavor and experiences, without being overpowering. Most things that begin with "imperial" I would be hesitant to consume more than two before I start squandering the tasting experience in exchange for haziness. However, this is just smooth enough that I could see myself enjoying a few of these in a night while still enjoying all its subtleties in full.

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Photo of GimpyCane
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. Bomber

A: Poured a hazy copper with a slight orange hue shining through. A three finger off white head accompanied that also left a sticky sea foam curtain of lace down the glass.

S: Upon opening a blast of ruby red grapefruit rushes out the bottle. In the middle hints of sweet dates, white raisin and light caramel came through. I also got bits of biscuit and pine resin towards the ends.

T & M: Middle to full body which added a lovely sweet syrupy malty start. Somewhere in the middle I experienced a mix of tangy and oily rind of ruby red grapefruit and mango. The finish was well balanced by the alcohol and hoppy bitterness.

D: Surprisingly, for a DIPA this brew is pleasantly drinkable. The alcohol is well masked underneath it other elements. However, be warned it will kick your ass if taken lightly.

Overall, this brew rocks! Great taste, great balance and a great session. The only bad thing about this brew is that it came to a finish. I'll revisit this one again. Enjoy.

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Photo of evilkalla
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into an ale glass.

A: Cloudy amber, with half a finger of head that gives way to decent lacing on the side of the glass.

S: My nose is a little stuffy at the moment but I detect some strong, resinous hops. Had to get my nose into the glass to smell it though. Probably my nose's fault.

T: Wow! Super heavy malt sweetness balanced by a noticeably high level of hop bitterness. Very, very well balanced. Hard to tell that this one's 10% ABV.

M: A slightly thick, syrupy feel to this one. It stays in the mouth for quite a long time. Very, very good.

D: Exceptionally good, I would drink this IPA all night until I fell off my chair.

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Photo of kennylopez
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 22 oz bottle into a DFH goblet.

Appearance: a hazy darker golden color with a white head that leaves loads of lacing with the great carbonation.

Smells: a lemon hop with grass and slight toasted amber malts.

Tastes: a super flavorful DIPA with a beautiful balance. there are citrus notes like orange/lemon zest that blends with a hay like grassy note and a wonderful balance with a crispy malt.

Mouthfeel: at 10.3% this is a potent ale without even a burn from the high abv. The great carbonation makes this refreshing and smooth with a full of flavor bitter aftertaste.

Overall: I was excited to try this one. I was selling for $9 by me and to be honest with you I feel that its money well spent and I would constantly pick this up on the regular if it stayed available.

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Photo of johnnieoz
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 10, 22oz bomber bottled in June 2008 (on June 4th to be precise, as stated on the case). 10.69% abv, 1.090 O.G, 102 IBUs.

This is a beautiful beer to behold, crystal-clear amber topped with a snow white head. There is plentiful lacing and the foam layer remains at an inch or so.

The aromas are of the forest, I feel like I am still in Sequoia National Park. And not to be forgotten, there is grapefruit...

And this is just how it hits the palate, only more so. The malt backbone is silent and invisible, yet its presence makes the hop explosion an exceptional and unique delight. Ever so balanced.

The carbonation seemingly forces the hops into the gums, which are soon comfortably numb while swimming in hoppy oils. I am beginning to sense the power of the Maharaja, yet on a good night I am beginning to believe that I could down two of these marvels.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: deep orange body, finger head, amazing lacing

S: pine, grass, peach/mango aroma

T: mango, firm malt middle, long sticky bitter finish

M: med body, big sticky mouth

O: Delicious, another fine Avery bomber.
Well done. Big sipping hop bomb here
and I will get this beer again for sure.


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Photo of Sephiroth
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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

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

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Photo of jeonseh
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a GI tulip

A - Ruby, copper hue. Mildly opaque with a nice cooper sheen to it. There is a one finger head that settled down to only a few drops on top.

S - Very fragrant nose. Smells of tropical fruit dominate with hints of pineapple, orange, and tangerine making the main nose. There is a hint of grapefruit up there as well. This is one of those beers you just want to keep smelling.

T - Here again the tropical fruit aspect dominates as pineapple is the main flavor I note. However, there is a slight grapefruit hoppy bitterness that comes on the backend. This combined with a twinge of alcohol give this a slight kick. These aspects are crucial to keeping this a well balanced DIPA instead of an overly sweet beer. There is a slight grapefruit bitterness that lingers on the tongue just to leave you with a reminder that the hops are there.

O - A surprisingly good beer from Avery that is one of the best DIPAs I've ever had. A great nose, well balanced flavor and a mouthfeel that fits perfectly. Definitely pick some up if you see it!
MF - Thick and sticky with good carbonation to prevent this from being cloying. Somehow they manage to take this big body and make it almost refreshing.

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Photo of seniorcleaver
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a great amber color with lots of creamy head. Make sure not to pour it too fast!! Smells of hops with great notes of grapefruit and other citrus fruit. The bitterness is balanced almost perfectly with the malty side of the beer. Alcohol is noticeable but not overpowering as you might expect from the ABV. I could drink these all day long but it may be too much for someone who doesn't love the HOP! I have had this beer before while visiting the brewery and it was on cask. All I can say is HOLY CRAP!!! Awesome!! Go there and try it.

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,523 ratings.
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