Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

1,839 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: 1,839 | Ratings: 5,531
Photo of Estarrio
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy, copper with a big, off-white head. Decent retention, with significant, chunky lacings throughout.

Orange, grapefruit and sweet malt aroma blend with a big, pine hoppy presence.

Orange slices up front with a grapefruit and hoppy finish. I expected this to be a bit more bitter, but the hop presence is definitely felt. The aftertaste is also surprisingly, not dry. The saving grace is that this has a very smooth taste, with almost no alcohol presence. Still, not what I expected from a DIPA.

Very well carbonated with no syrupy texture, this is a very drinkable DIPA with a light, nice mouthfeel.

This is a nice, smooth brew but it just does not deliver the high hop profile that one would expect from a DIPA.

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Photo of EvilKeith
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours into the glass a crystal clear deep amber hue with two fingers of tan batter-like head. The lace is remarkably thick and inviting.

The smell is tropical fruits, grapefruit, pineapple, sweet caramel malt, apricots, and a strong spiciness.

The taste is a solid sweet malty base. The hops show a variety of faces here, grassy, tangy, and citric acidity. The alcohol comes across as both spicy and warming. The finish is bitter, spicy, and alcoholic.

I guess 102 IBUs is not something to be afraid of. I used to avoid DIPA’s. Apparently my palate has begun to devolop. I found this to be quite enjoyable. Higher quanities of hops nicely playing off the two-row and caramel, well done.

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Photo of Blakaeris
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours slightly hazy deep copper in color with a generous head that leaves nice lacing.

Smell is massive, with huge sweet caramel malt and herbal hop.

Taste is sweet malt up front, then the aggressive herbal hop takes over. Finish is awash in hop bitterness with lingering pleasant citrus fruit and warming alcohol. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, full and round. Slick with a nice hop oiliness.

A very tasty treat for a hophead. Flavor is quite robust and not for the uninitiated. I will definitely get this one again.

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Photo of WAP
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright, hazy orange with a 2" fluffy white head that leaves gorgeous sticky billows on the sides of the glass.

Smell is pure sweet grapefruit and the taste is more of the same. A very nice, sweet IPA with a bitter hop bite on the back end. Nice, distinct flavor without being overly sweet or bitter. I am getting hints of pineapple as well...

The taste hides the alcohol well and the brew feels deceptively drinkable - definitely worth a second try.

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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.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a clear bright red-orange color. The head is massive, billowy white, and leaves thorough lacing. The aroma is outstanding: lots of grass, lots of pine, lots of citrus, lots of grapefruit, and lots of strength. The taste is very bitter; it is one of the most bitter beers I have ever consumed. The grapefruit comes out a bit more in the taste than it does in the aroma, while the pine does the same in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice smoothness. Overall, this is a darn good IIPA, and I would drink this agian in a heartbeat. The only beef I have with this brew is the complete lack of a malt backbone which would add a little extra to the taste and mouthfeel.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - deep golden honey color, cream colored head that is short-lived but is sticking to everything.

Aroma - deep, pungent, intense aroma of hops, so over the top and concentrated it smells like that oil you put on your electric train wheels. Curious, interesting, I kinda like it.

Taste - very intense, totally hop-dominated. It has plenty of bitterness and low citrus factor, very different to me. Lots of sharp and oily pine flavor, turning grapefruit but not citrus if thats possible. A distinctive I2PA and a great entry for the style. Develops some juicier citrus flavors as it warms up, very nice.

Mouthfeel - moderate carbo, heavy and coating, on target.

Drinkability - a tasty complex sipper, very nice.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy copper in color, with a nice fluffy thick white head. Very good head retention, and a great deal of lace left clinging to the sides of the glass. Big piney and citrusy hop aroma. A huge sweet malt backbone combines with sappy, piney, and citrusy hop flavor. The bitterness not only outweighs the malt, but compliments it as well. Very nice and sticky. Very full body. A very solid and sweet Double IPA. Very good.

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Photo of Osiris9588
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wonderful beer. It has an amber color with a golden glow. It was delivered with a creamy two-finger head with great substantiation. The aroma is of roasted malt and citrus. The diverse flavor sings with strong, bitter, and dynamic hops, toasted malt, citrus, and caramel. The mouth is complex and pleasing--slightly bitter and sweet on the front palate, finishing nice and toasty. Drinkability through the roof. Good stuff indeed, lads.

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Photo of bonbini26
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottled on Feb 2006, Batch #3, poured from a 22oz bottle

Great Amber color, also pours a decent head

Smell- is what really makes this beer stand out from other double IPA's ive had. Has a very citrus (grapefruit like) aroma.

Taste- great hops, spicy finish, high alcohol content is hidden nicely

Mouthfeel- Taste of it really stays with you, strong after taste

Drinkable IPA, def. feel that 9.9% alcohol content after finshing it

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Photo of Riggo
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A great hop monster from Avery. Pours a beautiful orange, looking like pekoe tea. A sturdy, long-lasting head. It's the smell that's the stunner on this one. Absolutely gorgeous aroma; one the best-smelling beers I've come across. Smells of roses, rainwater, lime zest and spicy, piney hops. On palette, there is a major orange and pineapple thing going on. Finish is cedary/piney then, finally, lemony. Mouthfeel is solid with some prickliness on the tongue. Considering the 9.9% abv, this is surprisingly drinkable. On the other hand, it's still 9.9%, so... Hopheads should definitely seek this one out.

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Photo of hero27
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle...silver foil over the cap & neck.
102 IBUs
9.9% abv as stated on the label.

Rusty/copper color. Off-white foam sticks like velcro and covers the glass with each sip.
Thick, pungent aroma of juicy, fresh hops. Just beautiful.. thick toasted malt in the background, but the headliner here is the grapefruit and abundant hop character.
Great bitterness throughout. Alcohol is perceived, but not overwhelmingly so. They could have forgotten about the malt altogether and made this a hop monster, but there's a thick residual caramel malt that helps keep this beer sane. Finishes dry, while the hop aftertaste continues for ages....

at 10% abv, I actually think the alcohol was pretty well concealed. The bomber didn't last long and it's certainly a double IPA that can be downed without much of a problem (which can prove to be difficult with some of them).
Overall, the fresh hop aroma & rich flavors are incredible, and this is one IIPA that deserves to be considered with the best of them.

Thanks go out to Quaffer for the bottle.

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Photo of teg8612
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally found this on tap, Score! Served in a Snifter. Nice!

A- Deep, Rich copper. Orange tinged head, very fluffy, and thick lace.

S- Bam! Hops, I like hops, hops, hops, hops. Very aromatic, spicy with a large dose of citrus and ripe/sour fruits. Alcohol is in the building.

T&M- Very balanced. Carmel malt with fruity sweatness. Grapefruit and citrus with some pineapple. Spicy hops with herbal grassy qualities. Very complex and delicious. Hops are crazy but don't dominate and kill any chance of a non-hophead enjoying this one. Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Silky smooth and slick on the tongue. Alcohol will loosen that tongue too. Watch out!

D- Awesome! IPA's aren't my usuall thing as I don't believe more hops make a better beer. Double IPA's scare me more. This, however, has the goods and I whole heartadly recommend this. Can't session because of the high alcohol but you won't need to as one should do you right.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is clear and crisp, very impressive with a slight lacing and a very little head. The smell is very fruity and hoppy. Fruity smells of strawberry, also flowery and vibrant. Taste is great with fruit and hops and the aftertaste has a definite strawberry flavor to it. This is a very drinkable brew with some great characteristics.

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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!

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Lightly hazed orange body, good sized head, looks nice.

Smell: Big hoppy characters, fruity, piney, herbal, with a malt base to match, a nice carmel presence.

Taste: Oh so sweet and bitter, rich and hoppy. The flavors end a little bit minty, but the bitterness is very well done. As good as I remember it on tap. The alcohol does turn out a little medicinal, which makes this a little annoying towards the end of the bottle, but still good.

Drinkability: A solid DIPA, I am glad this is finally available in Minnesota.

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Photo of bjohnson
3.3/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz. bomber. $6.95 from Liquor World Porter Sq. Shared with a friend.

A: Pours a cloudy dark amber color with a nice frothy white one finger head. Dissipates nicely and leaves a thin film on the sides of the glass.
S: Deep piney and grapefruity notes hit the nose first with a nice malty background. Second sniff gets more malt than hop notes.
T/M: Big dark fruit maltyness comes through first with an ever so slight hop background. Slight grapefruityness is noticeable, but not huge. Malt is the most dominant flavor here. Nice spicyness can be noticed after a sip and a breadth out. High abv is can be felt by a warm chest after about a half a glass. Thick and creamy in the mouth with a medium to thick body. Coats the mouth well. Where are the hops man? This isn't what it should be...
D: Drinkable, but more drinkable on tap at TPH or Redbones, which both currently have it. This rating would be through the roof if I rated it on tap. This was a drain pour casualty.

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Photo of Quaffer
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle with a nip cap.

Appearance: This beer poured a lovely, deep copper color. The head was off-white (with a hint of orange) and rose up easily, being fluffy and mounding up above the rim of the glass. It lingered for quite awhile, slowly sinking back into the beer and leaving a lot of itself behind on the side of the glass. The lace was thick and abundant.

Smell: The hops came through strong, nice and spicy, with hints of juniper and a large dose of citrus. Smooth vanilla and light, bready malt backed it up, with an occasional hint of spirit-like alcohol. Overall, a classic IPA aroma.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and silky. Almost coating as it flowed effortlessly back through the mouth. On the top end of medium-bodied.

Taste: As the beer hit the tip of the tongue, there was not a lot of flavor evident. Then in the middle, smeet malt and a pine-like hops flavor and bitterness arose. There was a light spiciness in the background. The pine quality of the hops became stronger on the finish and was joined by a relatively strong alcohol flavor; a little too strong for my tastes.

Not a bad beer, but the flavor lacked depth and the alcohol came on a little strong. Every other aspect of this beer was terrific, though.

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Photo of Dakotablue
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Tylers in Carrboro, NC. It was quite a pleasant surprise, since it was my third choice (they were out of the Alt bier for Rogue's JPLS and the Hercules DIPA on stop) last night. No head (i think it sat for a bit before being delivered to my table), but the smell and color were enticing...

Strong!!! Hop smell - citrus, grapefruit, crisp apricot

The color was a dark, intense orange similar to the Nugget Nectar of Troegs - very appealing, especially on a 90+ degree day in NC.

Taste was fantastic - took five long draws before I knew what I was doing - I must say that while Avery has not really stepped out from other breweries for me in the past, this is definitely a keeper...I will be looking to pick a few of these suckas up before they are gone...

As for the alcohol content, I didn't notice it as much as some of the other reviewers - it might be because it was on tap....I don't know. All I do know is that I wanted another soon after.

Great Beer...

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Photo of Mitchster
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

$7.49 for a 22oz bomber. Brewed with 2-row barley, caramel 120L, and victory malts. Hopped with Magnum, Crystal, Centennial & Simcoe.
OG=1.085, 9.9% ABV, 102 IBU's. Bottled in Feb 2006, Batch 3.

Pours out to a sparkingly clear dark-honey colored amber, forming a whipped light yellow head with average retention (less than expected) and good lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Filtered. The aroma is stinging with fresh juicy hops...grapefruit, pine needles, and skunkweed. Very cleanly fermented. The mouthfeel is sharp and pungent with a ton of hop-burn acidity and a dense body. The taste is what one would expect..basically a ton of hops, yet the moderately strong bitterness is kept in tow with abundant malts and a lightly sweet aftertaste. The finish is dry and pungent with some orange peel hanging in there as well. Alcohol definitely warms the belly, but I don't really taste it.

I remember sharing some Avery IPA with Adam at the brewery and it reminds me of this. This beer tends to capture the intense hoppiness that the draft IPA has, but is somewhat muted in the bottle. There is a harshness here that the very best IPAs don't have, but it may be because this is an IIPA and the alcohol and hops are on another level. This is a very good beer, but for the money, I'll stick to a 6'er of Founder's Centennial which is much more drinkable. Still definitely recommended. Thank heaven for Avery's envelope pushing.

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Photo of scottoale
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh on-tap this week at (you guessed it) O'Brien's Pub and served in a pint glass, this has an irridescent amber-orange glow with lots of activity from the carbonation. A finger of tan colored head that eventually leaves some thick, sticky lacing.

Smells very strong of an evergreen forest, very pine-sappy in overall fragrance. You can faintly smell the malt after a few sniffs.

Wow, the taste...heavy citrus, mainly of grapefruit and oranges and more nouth-puckering than sweet. Then your mouth fills with resinous, piney hops that just don't seem to want to end...and they for the most part, don't! Avery has a way of pushing hops in such massive quantities, it just about sends the IBU's off-the-chart, in several of their fine brews.

Full-bodied and plenty of alcohol and a puckery mouthfeel you won't forget, hopheads don't want to miss this one. Good stuff? Yeah it is!!!

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Photo of ElGordo
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Maudite tulip glass. Body is a beautiful, glowing amber hue topped by a tall, full-bodied tan head that subsides after about 1 minute. Aroma is first and foremost heavy on the alcohol. Sweet, fruity hops are also prevalent, with notes of apricot accenting the sweetness. Palate is a nice blend of lightly sweet malt, huge fruity hops, and fruity notes. The warming alcohol comes through on the finish, but is fairly well concealed for such a strong brew. Body is a touch thick, but manages to not be too syrupy. Very drinkable, especially given the alcohol content. Overall, an absolute pleasure to drink.

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Photo of HaVoKnYnJ
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First: I've NEVER been a fan of IPAs, having always found them far too bitter, and far too lacking in taste to make up for the bitter. However, when I realized I could get this Avery concoction locally, I knew I had to try it. However, I have no previous experience with IPAs, except for having avoided them in various mixed cases, probably much to the delight of other serious beer drinkers!

That said: Holy crap!

When poured into my Ommegang Hennepin glass, the beer was a deep orange color, yellow in the highlights...somewhat cloudy. The head was a small-bubbled tan, which faded to a nice thick lace...

Smell was a little off-putting at first...but I've come to realize I equated the ability to smell hops with the beer being skunked. So, after my initial 'ew' reaction, I gave it another sniff. mmmm...a complex weave of hops aromas....

The bitter taste I feared was well represented, but surrounded and enfolded in citrus-y hops, somewhere between lemon and grapefruit in acidity. There was also a solid bit of maltiness behind it, rounding out the taste quite a bit. Surprisingly drinkable, I sipped my way though a large bottle of my first Imperial IPA in a *very* short period of time.

I have no idea how it stacks up against other ipas, but now I've ready to go find out!

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Photo of bruachan
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i get it. avery has a dictator series (and the website puts the IBUs at 102! how authoritarian)

amber/copper color. huge head off the bat; it dropped fairly quickly, but left behind a height of great lacing

smells great. the hop aroma is superb—citrus, grassy
it's a hefty beer, and somewhat hot. the citrus carries through here as well—competing with thick caramel malt. certainly very sweet, with the simcoe contributing noticeably. actually, not all that bitter; not in any lingering sort of way

edit: not hot. dunno what the hell i was talking about

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Photo of guzzle211
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bomber poured into an imperial pint glass

A- vibrant golden orange pour, white head explodes
S- first smell was of grapefruit vodka, mellowed as it warmed to flowery.
T/M - very well balanced hops flavor, but still tastes and feels like a big beer. avery has taken big beers to the in-your-face extreme. hint of orange. very fizzy. alcohol only emerges if over appropriate temp.
D- on a hot day like this (96, heat index of 104) it went down incredibly smooth for a 9.7% abv brew.

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,531 ratings.
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