Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

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1,834 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: 1,834 | Ratings: 5,515
Photo of keith712
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured from a 22oz bomber bottle into a slightly chilled pint glass. Beautiful light amber head, 2-3" thick from an agressive pour. Medium amber in color and cloudy, you can tell this is going to be a substantial beer! Lacing that lasts and lasts in layers as the beer level drops.

Nose: Citrus, pine, sweet malty-ness, BOOM! HOPS! Very crisp and sharp. Pungent and prominent IPA.

Taste: HOPS assault, sharp and bitter, immediately followed by an awesome malt smoothness that is mildly sweet and really smooths out the flavor!The after taste is piney and crisp, still mildly sweet and hoppy all at the same time. My tastebuds are excited! A very surprising IPA, I was expecting more bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium thick, leaves a nice coating on the tongue and cheeks. Still can "feel" the hops and malts distinct from each other but combined to make it unique.

Drinkability: VERY much so! At 10.4% abv, it is quite well hidden, but you can feel the warmness from it. Very pungent and exciting! This is what I would call a strong IPA, but for a non-experienced IPA drinker, it is rather well done. Most IPA's hit me too hard, this doesn't, but leaves me knowing it's a "hot" IPA. The malts that Avery brags about are very smooth and powerful to combat the bitter/strong hops.

Overall, I give this a PHAT 9 of 10. Very surprised at the wonderful compliment of flavors.

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Photo of youngblood
4.69/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 7, Bottled Feb. of 2008. ABV listed as 10.54% on this one.

Pours a very nice copperish color. There's some cloudiness, but it could be from the temp. of the beer. Clears as it warms. Two finger head, fairly persistent.

Smells sweet. Very sweet. Some honey hides behind these big citrusy hop oils. This is the way I love my DIPA's to smell.

Taste follows nose, with a bit more focus on the bite of the hops. I can't imagine what this is like fresh. Some caramel sweetness at the back. Ends in that honeyesque sweetness.

A bit slick on the tongue, nice mouthfeel overall. Good weight. very nice.

Very drinkable for a 10.5%. Had zero alcohol bite to it. Fantastic DIPA overall.

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Photo of DerelictPI
4.69/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a wonderful beer!

Taste: Malt upfront, which leads into tropical fruit, and grapefruit, hoppiness. The aftertaste is quite long as you love hops! The alcohol is well hidden but the little that comes through is very enjoyable and enhances the flavor.

Overall: Definitely up there with other world class double IPAs.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.69/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 oz. Bomber
Gold Foil/Capped
Bottled: 1-6-16

Been A Long Time Coming!

Pours a very nice cloudy dark golden orange color, with some very nice carbonation, which leaves a very nice thick/creamy one-finger off-white head, which also leaves some really nice thick/creamy sticky lacing behind. The nose is very nice hoppy, some malts, very nice citrus/pine notes. The taste is very nice, hoppy, slightly malty, citrusy, piney, nice sweetness. Full body, ABV hidden very well, very nice chewiness, with a very nice dry/bitter finish. Overall, definitely one of the best DIPAs out there. Nice to see it available to me. Highly Recommended!

WOW! This is an awesome DIPA, one of the best I've ever had.

Pours a cloudy dark golden color, small head, but some nice lacing/islands thoroughout the drink. Scents of hops aplenty, some citrus, and some slight spices. The taste is very sweet and hoppy, a nice bitter bite finish. Medium body, pretty complex for a DIPA. This DIPA is very drinkable, an awesome brew from Avery, highly recommended.

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Photo of Natural510
4.69/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a murky blood-orange color. No head when it came my way, and it can't be determined whether or not this is due to bartender's pour. Love the color, tho.
I can smell this one two feet away; very bright and sweet with fruity malt goodness. Quite unique; no other beer, especially IPA, smells like this.
Also sweet upfront. Very juicy, as in orange, mango and grapefruit. Honey and brown sugar notes also factor into the sweetness. Nice dropkick of piney hops to balance out the malts.
Creamy and admittedly heavy in the mouth.
This is a wonderfully complex beer. Much more going on than the standard floral/grapefruit in many offerings of the style. Be careful, the alcohol is well-hidden in this one, and hits you hard if you're not careful.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.69/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours golden, dark amber with finger width foamy head that quickly dissipates. Lacing dissipates quickly as well. Boozy, citrus odor. Can detect hints of apple as well. There is a mild hoppy tastes up front with a strong, malty, boozy aftertaste. It goes down very smooth. Definitely a beer for cold weather. Will warm you up like a Brandy or Congac. Very little hoppy aftertaste. Definitely a beer you want to sip by a warm fire.

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Photo of PlaywrightSam
4.69/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Slightly hazy amber-gold, head that retains fairly well. S: I've had a lot of double IPA's, and this is really outstanding. Hops that slap you in the face offset by a wonderful apricot-citrus note that really balances well. T: The balance continues, a nice rich malt backbone painted thickly over with hops. The fruitiness is what really makes this beer interesting, the grapefruit/pine/apricot that permeates the whole experience. M: Thick and chewy, moderate carbonation. D: I could drink this all night long. A really outstanding beer.

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Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Don't know if they "upped" the alcohol on the Maharaja but the label on this one readys 10.21% ABV.

22 oz. bomber purchased for a high $10.99 price tag. I hadn't seen this one around for a while so I quickly snatched it up and could not wait to taste the contents of the bottle...

Poured into a tulip...

A- Dark ruby/amber orange color. Would have liked more head on this one, but still, the Maharaja yielded a nice 2 finger cream colored head. Some lacing here as well, but quickly dissipated.

S- Lots of malts in the nose. Sweet like candy with mostly caramel dominating. Malts are there, but I got malt and alcohol.

T- No hint of alcohol in the taste AT ALL. Well-balanced imperial here with a massive hop punch. Simcoe and citrus hops come through with a bang, followed by a really sweet and smooth malty presence. This will surely satisfy the hop loves palate for sure.

M- Rich and sticky imperial IPA here. Just how I like em. This one will fill you up quickly, beware.

D- ABV creeping up as we speak. Amazingly drinkable imperial IPA here, one of the best I have ever had. Grab a few bombers if you see em. I am sure I can do better than a $10.99 price tag though, well worth it for my first experience though.


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Photo of jtingue
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Batch 14 June 2011. Poured into a tulip.

Appearance. Deep amber in color with a copper tint. Pours with 3 fingers of thick creamy tan head. This barely dissipates leaving thick meringue like peaks where it does.

Smell. Lots of hop, of course, the most predominant of which are grassy and piney. There is definitely some nice sweetness to the nose as well. In the background there is a nice spice that is hard to define.

Taste. Starts with a sharp resinous bitterness that lingers for a bit. This slowly transitions into an intensely sweet and piney flavor which really just bombards the palate. There is a building presence of fruit during this burst that is reminiscent of both grapefruit and pineapple. Bitterness builds to a very high level, but is accompanied and balanced by a hard candy-like sweetness. This transitions nicely into a dry bitter finish with lingering grapefruit notes.

Mouthfeel. Fairly heavy in body for this type of beer with a moderate amount of carbonation.

One of the most complex dIPAs I've ever had. So many layers or waves of flavor that it takes a while to sift through. An intense and enjoyable drinking experience.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Avery's original IPA's was one of my all-time favorite depictions of the style, so I was extremely eager to try their Imperial... Looked high and low for this seasonal release and finally found it for $7.99 at Super Saver in Somerville...
"Bottled In May 2007 - Batch 6" on the green front logo sticker...
Beautiful light-brown, copper, mahogany appearance with a fairly large foamy head and slight sediment visible at the bottom of the bottle and glass...
Smell is all hops and very fruity, with a strong suggestion especially of bittersweet grapefruit... Judging from the aroma, I knew I was in for a treat...
Taste was top-of-the line for an Imperial IPA, bursting with fresh hop, lime, citrus, floral, and of course, grapefruit flavor... Very noticeable citrus presence delineates this sample from other representations of the style... This one is certainly much more sweet than bitter, with a pleasant, creamy, rich mouthfeel and perilously drinkable without the slightest hint of the 9.7% ABV...
Another winner from Avery...
Definitely recommended...

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Photo of JayQue
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

During my pilgrimage to Half Time in Poughkeepsie, NY I mentioned to a few of the staff that I am a hophead. They immediately dragged me over to this beer and said I had to try it. WOW!!! A great IPA. Cloudy amber color, huge slightly off-white head that hangs in there at about 1/2 inch. Lacing is thick sheets. Aroma stands out as good as Celebration Ale. Hops, grapefruit and spiciness. I could inhale the whole 22 oz through the nose. The taste is exceptional, easily as good as Celebration Ale...hoppy....spicy... grapefruit and incredibly smooth. No hint of the 9.7 abv. Rich mouthfeel and highly drinkable. If I found this on tap somewhere, I would call this a session beer and deal with the after effects!!! This is a great beer for hopheads.

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Photo of jhartley
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on April 12, 2012. Release No. 15 Winter 2011/2012.
Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a Poco Grande flute glass.

A-Beautiful hazy orange with a thick 1 finger head, tremendous amount of lacing.

S-Grapefruit! Mango! Orange! Peaches! Hops explosion, slight alcohol on the end.

T-Taste is exactly like the smell at first. Tropical fruits, grapefruit and mango. Sweet malt finish. Alcohol is hidden pretty well.

M-Tart and bitter bite, just coats the inside of the mouth with hoppiness.

O-Wow! An awesome DIPA! Exactly what I am after when it comes to a DIPA. Alcohol is hidden well and you gotta be careful drinking this one, before you know it, it's gone.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber gold with a modest creamy head leaving curtains of lacing on the glass.

Very fresh aromas of malt, hops, vanilla, sugar, mixed fruit.

Sweet malty taste with a fruit salad of banana, strawberries, kiwi and finishing with pronounced hop bitterness. The sweetness upfront and then an intense, tongue burning and numbing concentrated red grapefruit bitterness in the finish gives the palate a roller-coaster ride.

Medium body, somewhat creamy, with a refreshing level of carbonation.

There is a lot to like in this beer. I am liking it since my favorite style is Belgian IPA. The fruit flavors are here along with the highly concentrated hop bitters. On my list of the very best Imperial IPAs. Drink in moderation!

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Photo of rodrot
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been looking forward to sampling this beer ever since NC lifted the cap and I eagerly snatched up several bottles as soon as they appeared on the shelves. This brew poured a beautiful bright orange amber hue into my glass with a half inch head that left sticky lacing along the sides. Aroma was an incredible fusion of pungent, grassy hops, grapefruit and apricots in the nose. Taste was a hop lovers wet dream, very hoppy, fruity and with notes of peaches, apricots and grapefruit on the tongue. This beer had a very smooth and creamy mouthfeel and was easy drinking for it's strength. The 9.9% abv stated on the label is not noticeable. I polished off two 22oz bottles in just a couple of hours. This is by far one of the tastiest beers that I have ever had and gives any other DIPA a run for it's money.

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Photo of d4114
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch No. 13 Mar. 2011
A- Really nice looking golden orange amber; finger of off white head; Tiny bubbles and very clear

S- Huge citrus and pine notes; Malt backbone comes through to balance the smell and make it richer; Huge smelling beer

T- This is really complex and big; Don't even really taste the alcohol, maybe a little at the end; Very very bitter but smooth at the same time; Taste pine and lemon and orange peel; Sweet at the end. Super good

M- A little syrupy when first drinking it but it smooths out; Dry finish, creamy, and no alcohol burn

A- I thought this one was going to taste very classic to IIPA's but it sort of did its own thing a little. Almost too much going on to describe but it all blends for one of the best beers I have ever had.

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Photo of AmericanGothic
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into 2 Sam Adams pints.

A: Pours a transparent, dark orange with one finger of off-white head. Very good retention and lace.

S: Grapefruit and sweet malt, pretty intense.

T: Wow. Sweet grapefruit, well balanced, turns more into the sweet direction in the middle and then ends with bitter rose on the finish. Fantastic.

M: Light, very smooth, with a bit of oil.

O: A great beer, really loved it. Will be looking for this one wherever it can be found.

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Photo of ncbeermonger
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


This beer is OUTSTANDING!

Simply hard to beat. It pours a dark almost amber and orange, head sticks to the sides and is outstanding!

The smell is of hops, hops, and more hops!

the taste is outstanding citrus, and hops mixing in an outstanding mix!

The mouthfeel is second to maybe just Bells HopSlam, yup that's it!

This beer even at the price is very, very drinkable! Pick onbe up like NOW....if you can find it!


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Photo of mfhlucky13
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow!!! Now that's a big ol' smack in the hops!

A: Beautiful coppery orange with a small but thick head. There was plenty of lacing as sipped from the glass.

S: A blast of hops hits you right in the nose with plenty of citrus and pine notes to keep you interested.

T: Tastes even better than it smells. You definitely get get tons of hops dancing in your cheeks followed by just the right balance of malt to mellow it as you swallow it down. There is plenty of citrus and pine in there as well.

M: Bitting you at first and then sucking you in with it's smooth finish. Nice carbonation as well.

D: You will want to drink this DIPA slowly so that you get all it has to offer. I had no problem drinking two and could have easily gone for a third. Remember it's high abv.

This is my new favorite DIPA.

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Photo of beerogre
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow! - This is a beer that I've been meaning to try for a while.

Every time I've been in the beer store in the past few weeks this Maharaja guy has been staring out at me, like a puppy at the Animal Shelter, willing me to pick him.

Well today was the day, and it turned out to be a fine purchase.

I also bought a Rogue Brutal Bitter today, which I drank just before the Maharaja and whilst it was okay, I don't forsee a repeat purchase of that one. Whereas this Avery product frankly blew the Rogue offering out of the water.

If anyone examines the beers I've reviewed, they may correctly deduce that I am not a big IPA man - but I am an admirer of Avery (particularly Old Jubilation) and this beer has been calling out to me from the beer store shelf for quite some time.

As loathe as I am to dish out 5's the Mouthfeel, Drinkability and Taste (even though I generally prefer different "flavours" of beer to this) thoroughly deserve to receive them.

Well done Avery again. Once more, totally out of the blue, relocation to Colorado suddenly springs to mind when drinking one of your beers.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark saffron orange with a touch of haze. Buttercreme head is nice and fluffy..not too sticky just creamy.

S: Huge amounts of tangerine and grapefruit rind. Some malt resin there as well.

T: Its like strawberry candy. Intense red fruit with mingling orange occasions. Hop resins blend with caramel moments to give this beer a superb drinkability. Moves towards a more tame veggie maltyness, perhaps squash. Finishes with present alcohol phenols and lingering bitterness.

M: Medium body with a full mouthfeel.

D: This is a nice, straight forward DIPA with very nice flavor. Very sweet but nothing cloying about this one. Great complexity

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Photo of WheelsPSU
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Got a 22 oz. bomber from Beverage Barn in East Meadow, Long Island. I was extremely excited to try this year's batch of the most hyped beer in the Dictator Series.

Pouring gave me a large, soapy head that seemed to last for quite awhile. The color was a glowing amber. The lacing at the top of the glass was light but sat around in funky patterns until I was done.

The smell had two distinct flavors: peach/orange and biscuit malt.

The taste was great. It reminded of tropical flavored gum. The hop profile is there as is the caramel taste was the beer warms.

I was surprised at how drinkable this beer is for 10.4%. It's a DIPA but with a sweet side. Not bitter, rather well balanced.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Strong aroma is very hoppy, nearly evergreen, with a firm citrus underpinning that is mainly grapefruit with some sour orange. It pours a beautiful clear coppery brown with a thick and fluffy pale copper head. Scrumptious and highly pleasing hoppy flavor has tones of grapefruit, orange and caramel, with a hint of sweetness that perfectly balances the hoppy bitterness. Full-bodied texture is quite fizzy and lively, leaving a lip-smacking tingly, hoppy, slightly sweet finish. Strongly recommended to all IPA fanatics.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I can't believe I've never reviewed this! It's one of my absolute favorite IIPA's.

22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Front label says "Bottled in May 2010, Batch 12."

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber with thick rich creamy off-white head with great retention.

Nose: Big pine forest! Lots of bitter orange, pink grapefruit, agave nectar maybe?

Palate: Big and creamy carbonation, lots and lots of piney bitterness, bitter grapefruit rinds, thick caramel malt. Big bittersweet finish!

Notes: Tries to be East Coast style in malt body, but has West Coast drying hop character. A perfect style bender and one of my favorites!

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Photo of glid02
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this a few times but have never gotten around to reviewing it - on-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a 1.5-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of bright and intense tropical fruit, citrus, and floral hops. Backing everything up are mild amounts of grainy caramel malt aromas. As the beer warms hints of pine waft out as well.

Tastes similar to how it smells, although not quite as robust. A combination of caramel and pale malt flavors kick things off and are overtaken almost immediately by tropical fruit, herbal, and citrus hop flavors, in that order. The hop flavors run the gamut of my favorite flavors and meld almost flawlessly with the malts. The hops carry through to a solidly bitter ending, leaving hints of citrus flavors lingering on the palate.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is great. I finished my glass with absolutely no problem and could have entirely too many of these.

Overall this really is one of the best DIPA's out there. I feel as though it chagnes a bit from batch to batch; however the best you can do is world-class and the worst you can do is great. Well, well worth a shot.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Feb. 2008. Batch 7. ABV listed at 10.54%. Pours a pillowy head, creamy and bubbly as can be, sitting on top of a chill-hazed rust-orange glow.

All bow to the hop gods. This is an insanely beautiful smell. Glorious piney hops, bright and electric, backed up by candy-like gooey malts. The hops take the spotlight and leave the malts to act as mere support to their sticky, evergreen, citrus-rind majesty.

Hops explode on the tongue, ranging from spicy (ginger, cinnamon, pine) to tangy (grapefruit, pineapple, orange); malts keep things from getting too messy by providing a creamy, starchy foundation. Alcohol is well-incorporated, popping up mostly in the finish with a slight warmth that mingles well with lingering hop-spice. Texture is as creamy and round as you could ever want in a double IPA.

No need to overanalyze this. If you want one of the tastiest, biggest, fullest flavors this style can offer, you won't find many more worthy examples than this. It's an enormous wallop of flavor without being over the top. I'll be if this had more "exclusive" (ie. limited) distribution like Alesmith, Russian River and Three Floyds versions of the style, it would be hailed alongside those. That's beer-nerd elitism for you. All hail Avery...once again.

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