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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 MrHurmateeowish
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber obtained at The Liquor Shoppe in Tyngsborro, MA. Bottled May 2008 (batch 8). Pours a fairly clear amber-red body with virtually no head. Citrussy and floral hops dominate with a fair bit of caramel malt for balance. Citrus floral hops dominate the flavor initially with a rich caramel toffee malt presence to balance things out. Silky-smooth in texture with light carbonation. Despite the full body and flavor (not to mention the alcohol, which is barely noticeable), this beer is surprisingly drinkable, leaving me wanting more. A phenomenal example of the style, a great beer. My first Avery, looking forward to many more soon!

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have recently conducted two IPA/DPA tastings and both times this was the unanimous winner.

This beer simply ROCKS! I wish I could emphasize that this review is not only my own but also comes with the backing of 4 other Hop Head buddy's of mine.

Stop reading this review and go get some right now!

For those who have stayed, I will tell you this beer has a bright copper color and is surprisingly clear. Big Pine/grapefruit aroma that tells you that you are going to be tasting some big hops.

The flavor does not disappoint. Wonderful spice notes to go along with the chewy Pine/citrus flavor. Very nicely balanced with the big malt flavor and higher alcohol content.

You do not get that boozy flavor that sometimes comes with DPA's

Awesome beer. I think you should leave now to get some.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My good friend The Sage gave me the heads-up on this beauty a couple months ago, having tried it on tap at the dazzlingly good Pizza Plant in Williamsville, NY. Boy, does this deliver. A big, bold, and burly Imperial/DIPA, Maharaja pours two fat fingers off-white foam on a somewhat cloudy copper body, with veritable curtains of lacing adorning the glass as it's consumed--fantastic start.

The smell is chock full of hops but more--lots of malt and caramel to sweeten the deal. It's sweet in taste but not cloying, really delicious and smooth, enhanced by balanced carbonation to expertly meld the flavors and texture. It's never lost that it's well-hopped, but the balance serves Maharaja very well. I'm really impressed. It also went well with my plate of spicy shrimp and penne pasta, working itself, with my food, on its way into my heart and soul.

Maharaja is fabulous, and the high ABV (9.70%) never becomes obstreperous. A fantastic DIPA, this makes my short list of favorite DIPAs and IPAs. A treat not to pass up; you'll thank yourself later.

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Photo of kaseydad
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Maharaja is da man!

Poured into a pint glass and had a huge foam explosion! Huge creamy head with major lacing throughout the experience. Spider web city!

Malty grapefruity aroma. Almost calls the drinker to consume more and more.

Tastes amazing. Hoppy, grapefruit goodness with a huge malty backbone. Tastebuds hold the bitterness for awhile which is a nice feeling.

Drinkability is somewhat lower because of the high alcohol content but it shouldn't damper any desire to taste this awesome brew.

At around the $6 mark...this is a must have! Just wish it was brewed year around.

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Photo of toddhett
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Nice off-white head that quickly fades. Little lacing. Redish-brown color.

S - Surprisingly soft but thick aroma. Very fruity...perhaps apricot and pineapple. Not piney. Not a terribly complex aroma, but quite pleasant.

T - Sweetness that reminds me of the Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA. This is not a West Coast IPA, there's no hop bite. Sweetness and fruit (pineapple without the tartness) on the front end with increasingly bitterness and then a gradual fade. While the bitterness is there, I don't find it to be as assertive as the 102 IBU's might suggest. Perhaps the sweetness from the malt keeps it at bay. Apparently, it's made with Magnum, Crystal, Centennial & sweet-sweet Simcoe hops. The bottle lists an ABV of 10.54% (seriously, they list the ABV to the hundreths place), but I don't taste the alcohol or feel much warming.

M - Good thickness, creamy bordering on syruppy.

D - What a great beer. Almost too good. The bottle was gone before I knew it. There's something to be said for a beer that fights you on the way down....at least then you acknowledge every mouthful.

This is comfort beer for hopheads. I'm going to buy a few more bottles.

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Photo of Maestro
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Awesom brew! I picked up a bomber while visiting Chicago. You see, I didn't feel like paying a lot of money for a guiness at my overpriced hotel, so I walked around the "neighborhood" and found a great store that had this and many other great beers for sale.

This IPA was great in that it was extreme but not overwhelming. I look for that in an/a Imperial/Double IPA. This beer had the textbook pale ale look, but the nose was great--more malty than hoppy. This beer tasted very balanced and the hops didn't kill my tastebuds. The pale malt was plentiful and balanced out the high abv, leaving a smooth feeling in my mouth.

Drinkablity...watch out for this guy is so smooth you may end up with a mess on your hands.

Nice job, Avery!

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Photo of ChillMike
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a copper color with some light tan head, that doesn’t last long, a bit of nice lacing on the way down. A nice earthen, pine smell that reeks of hops, also a hint of what I’m thinking is grapefruit, a citrus anyway. The taste is magnificent, I really really like this beer. Massive amount of pine flavored hops, and it also has a really nice after taste of grapefruits and oranges. Wow I’m totally head over heals in love with this beer.

My only complaint is the price, I can only find a bomber for around $6 yikes!

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Photo of srroos
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle (marked May 2007, Batch 6) into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy orange with a two finger head, covering the glass in lacing as it goes down.

S: Very sweet with loads of citrus. Awesome!

T: Tastes mostly sweet with a hoppy finish. Like a barleywine in many regards. Very tasty!

MF: Medium bodied and creamy. Very well balanced.

D: Very smooth and easy to drink despite nearly 10% ABV. The sweetness makes me want to drink more and more! Perfect!

This bottle probably mellowed out over the 10 months since bottling. I'm very pleased with the results, but I'm going to have to track down a fresh bottle for comparison.

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Photo of uncle8gil
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my favorite beer of late to drink. I love 'em bitter, and this brew does nothing but satisfy. On first pour, it looks a dirty amber tan, too cloudy to see clearly through. Almost an orangy light brown. Beautiful. A clumpy head rims the glass and dissipates to cling to the edge. Gorgeous. The taste is terrific, nearly perfection, and this is one heck of an IPA. It is fruity, noting tastes of grapefruit and tropical fruits, but the sweetness is balanced by the terrific bitter kick of the hops (very bitter, as my friend sara's puckered face will attest to). The carbonation is easy and not overwhelmingly prickly, but could be a bit more pronounced, and the mouthfeel is medium due to a bit too much creaminess: this beer's one downfall. But the ending bitter kick and awesome aftertaste more than make up for that. This is one fantastic beer. Drink up, friends, and take the bus home. And the bottle is totally cool.
Oh, this is only a summer release, so stock up for those cold winter months…

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Photo of jmaharaj
4.61/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful amber color with a bright orange glint. Head doesnt pour overly thick but seems lively and lingers. Absolutely wonderful aroma! Big grapefruit and citrus rind. Earthy tobacco notes, wet hay.Smells like a cirus orchard after rain. That grapefruit isnt just hints or notes its the whole fruit- rind, pulp, it smells like a ripe grapefruit was just cut. It smells somewhat thick on the nose. The malt doesnt do a whole lot for the aroma but the hop profile is so complex, from fruit to earth, spicy to damp, that is smells balanced.
Equally wonderful on the tongue. That grapefruit is as potent as promised, it engages the tongue while the earthy notes keep everything grounded (no pun intended). the malt is simple and sweet, but this beer doesnt need it to be much else.
Very good mouthfeel. Thick and oily, its coats the tongue.carbonation is noticable but not overly lively. As the beer finishes the overt flavors subside and for a moment the malt sweetens and then a vicious bitternous closes things down.
This is one of the best beers I have ever had.

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Photo of lanciloti
4.61/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber into a snifter glass. (release #18 2014)

Appearance: A dark amber color, not like most. Nice fluffy head just a little off white.

Smell: Awesome hop aroma. Get a lot of caramel smell as well.

Taste: Very nice, has great amount of malty sweetness that has a caramel taste. You also get all the hops and bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Amazing mouthfeel, probably because of the malt. Very full bodied and creamy. Goes down great.

Overall: One of my favorite brews. Must try, Avery did a great job on this one. Got this as an extra in a Pliny trade and I think I may like it a bit more (although they re very different) Cheers!

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Photo of Rutager
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Pours an almost clear, deep, deep amber. Almost two fingers of thick and sticky looking, yellow head that lasts a while and leaves some heavy curtains of lace.

Smell. Oranges, honey, pink grapefruit, mango and some lemon. A little caramel and light grain but mostly sweet, sticky tropical fruits.

Taste. Sweet caramel grains up front that are rapidly drowned out by building sweet pineapple, orange and grapefruit rind. Hints of lemons, lime and pine sap in the perfectly bitter finish. Alcohol is dangerously hidden. This is some awesome stuff.

Mouthfeel. On the lower side of full bodied with medium-light carbonation. Slightly oily feel.

Overall. This is the stuff right here. I can't stop gulping it back even with the high abv. Me and Raj are pretty much bro's now.

Big thanks to JayAre46 for getting this one to me.

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Photo of Jree261
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Beautiful copper amber out of the bottle with bright egg shell foam.

Smell: Not that it matters particularly to the technical aspects of the nose but I walked to put the bottle back in the fridge and I could smell the beer out of the glass from across the room. That being said; it's an incredibly potent strawberry, red fruit and pine hopped nose. Great aroma.

Taste: The smell gives way to a butterscotch and chocolate with wood and charcoal and a long finish.

Mouthfeel: The heat of the alcohol is readily apparent but given the fact that it is 10.8% it's neither surprising nor overpowering. A strong, heavy beer that should (and really has to be) drunk slowly.

Overall: Wonderful nose, great flavor and balance, one of the best beers I've had in several months.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle a clean orange-amber color with a thin bright white head.

Aroma of grapefruit, pine, flowers, pineapple, and sweet malts.

The taste is wonderful. A nice balance of the citrusy hops and a rich malty presence. The alcohol is subtle, but there.

Medium-to-full bodied, smooth, and moderately carbonated.

I'm in love with this IIPA from Avery. Nicely balanced and so easy to drink it's scary.

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Photo of crossovert
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bomber. "Dictator Series".

It ours an orangeish amber with a foamy, frothy off-white head. It sticks for a bit and recedes to some nice lacing.

The smell is pretty powerful. It is mainly tropical fruit with a bit caramel whiff and some alcoholic notes. A very nice one, very ho nectar-like.

The flavor is very nice. It has a noticeable fruity sweetness at first with some mangos and citrus. It really tastes like there is fresh fruit in there at first, then it goes into an almost cloying sweetness and finishes pretty bitter and dry with an awesome piney hop bitterness. It is a comlex dipa, it isn't an extreme bitter hop bomb, but it isn't what I would classify as full-on hop nectar. It is a little bit boozy.

All in all though this one is a beast, it is more hopy than malty but it is not one-dimensional in the least bit.

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Photo of 02maxima
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler from the GBX poured into stemless wine glass.

Amber appearance with a deep reddish hue. Very clear. Quarter-inch head the settled quickly into a thin collar of small bubbles and a dusting of tiny bubbles on the surface.

Grapefruit and other tropical smells dominate the nose. A hint of pine and some booze also come through.

A big sweet double that tastes a lot like it smells. Citrus, pine and booze. The malt comes through in the middle and the finish is bitter and smooth. Alcohol warms all the way down.

Medium carbonation that feels good in my mouth.

This is an awesome double ipa. I can't get enough of the might maharaja but I'll probably limit myself to two tonight. If it wasn't a school night I would take down the entire growler.

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Photo of GlassFreeek
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a large tulip glass.

A: Dark sun burnt orange, I guess you can call than an amber. Egg shell color but a little darker than normal, overall very pleasing. You can tell this one is going to be nice.

S: Complex, complex, complex. a lot going on in the aroma. Not your typical west coast IPA right here. A lot of fruit, citrusy, sour grapes, ripe pineapple, almost dank and astringent but it also has a malty backbone to it. Very enjoyable. Found my nose more in the glass more so than normal, which is a good thing! No alcohol what so ever!

T: Wow, I like this a lot. This is right up there with the best, and most balanced IIPA's out there, IMO. Awesome, notes of grapefruit, pineapple, sour fruit, and a malty background that just balances it out completely. and once again not many traces of alcohol for an 10.5% abv. Just a really good drinker.

M: Just the right amount of carbonation to cleanse the pallet and keep it enjoyable. I am digging this brew. Smooth and enjoyable, without being too heavy or sweet.

Overall, this is one of the BEST IIPA's I've ever had. You won't regret searching this one out and picking up a few bottles, a must try, IMO. Very underrated Imperial Pale Ale right here.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

deep red, no head.

100 orbs on the syrupy surface, swampy. virtually no aroma save a deep maltiness.. some corn syrup and orange blossom. sugary, and such is the taste. buttery brown sugar, malts, with an almost insufficient amount of hops for a double. but somehow just enough. perfect for a lover of creamy, malty IPAs like myself. alcohol is nowhere to be found in this beauty.

bitterness wears off fast and gives me a tangy peach aftertaste that lingers with savoury delight. alcohol contributes a mild warmth, thats it. 9.7%?!?! stays just shy of the barleywine profile that it flirts with.

perfectly balanced for an experimental hop devil. solid body and mouthfeel without thickening it up too much. a near-perfect double IPA in my mind.

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Photo of oldn00b
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a fantastic DIPA. Looks gorgeous out of the glass. I do wish it had just a bit more bite or bitterness from the hops but the malt is all around fantastic. I think it's only a few weeks old - I'd think that's fresh enough but maybe some of the brighter notes already faded. Still, great DIPA I'd definitely have again. It's a lot less expensive than most of their offerings which is nice too.

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Photo of Gushue3
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The date on the bottle is March 2011 today is April 4th, pretty fresh.

A- pours clear dark copper/amber that leads to a generous head that has great retention and lacing

S- Very sweet off the bat. loads of citrus with some pine and flowers. hops are spicy. this smells awesome

T- citrus. the sweetness and bitterness remind me of biting into a grapefruit. pine notes in there too along with light malt to smooth it out. pretty nicely balanced but almost too sweet for me. Alcohol is extremely well hidden as well

M- quite smooth and warm. smaller carbonation bubbles.

O- this is the real deal. taste is fantastic, drinks awesome.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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Photo of Klutch14
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

First time actually reviewing a brew. And this beer is the reason I signed up. So I'll keep this simple and base purely on my drinking experience of this IPA

The most unique tasting IPA I've had since I've been a fan of IPA's

Almost belgian style appearance; with little head

Very fragrant, not the hoppiest smelling, a bit surprised with my first sip because of this.

Malt, hop, citrus. First three words that popped into my mind.

Great feeling from first to last sip

And at 10.4% alc, the alcohol was not overpowering at all.

Will be investing more in this brew

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Photo of cbl2
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle. Bottled in Feb. 2006, batch 3.


Pours a crystal clear copper with fine champagne-like carbonation that leads to an inch of tight white head.


Juicy red ripe grapefruit fresh from the tree with a dollop of maple syrup thrown in for good measure.


Big juicy grapefruit flavor upfront overwhelming in its freshness, coupled with a smooth mouthfeel tinged by a touch of rough carbonation. Finish is long and bitter with the heady almost 10% ABV making an appearance. This is a fantastic beer, perhaps the best DIPA I've ever had. I knocked a few points off for the strong alcohol showing in the finish, but otherwise this is superbly balanced between mouth blistering hops and sweet malts.

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Photo of ccrida
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is brewed twice a year, I had the pleasure of the first batch of 2008. "This Royal Edition is 10.54% abv with a bigger hop edition to match." On cask at the Avery tasting room, pulled into a shaker, the appearance is an unassuming cloudy burnt gold with a small white collar that leaves scattered lace.

Smell is strong and super pungent fresh hops. Nice and resiny, a bit more floral I'd give it a 5.

Taste is spicy hops and sweet malt. Citrus, skunky, resinous, wow! Sure there's some noticeable alcohol, but wow are those hops fresh, so big and bold!

Mouthfeel is super nice and creamy thanks to the cask conditioning, dried by the high ABV. Sometimes cask ales can be a bit too thin for me, but with such a big beer, it really works perfectly!

Drinkability is really dangerous for me! This is one of my absolute favorite DIPAs, so to have it fresh on cask at the brewery for such a reasonable price, I could be here all night!

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Photo of mklinger
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. A very hazy deep golden color with an inch of creamy off-white head. Nice looking beer.

Smell was robust with fruit -- apricots and citrus -- both oranges and grapefruit. Some malt sweetness, too.

Flavor was really awesome. Big bold hop flavors with supportive but not overwhelming bitterness. Lots of malt richness & sweetness, too. Clearly a bunch of alcohol present to top it all off. Lots of balanced complexity here.

Mouthfeel was nice, though perhaps a bit too rich and thick for my IPA tastes. Not so far off from a barley wine.

One of my favorite double IPAs. Really enjoyed this beer.

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