Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

1,850 Reviews

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Maharaja is derived from the sanskrit words mahat, meaning “great”, and rajan, meaning “king”. Much like its namesake, this imperial IPA is regal, intense and mighty. With hops and malts as his servants, he rules both with a heavy hand. The Maharaja flaunts his authority over a deranged amount of hops: tangy, vibrant and pungent along with an insane amount of malted barley – fashioning a dark amber hue and exquisite malt essence. Welcome to his kingdom!

The Maharaja is the second installment in our Dictator Series.

102 IBUs

ABV varies slightly batch to batch.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-03-2005

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Reviews: 1,850 | Ratings: 5,587
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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Photo of BabaJohn
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is certainly a nice beer, but my main complaint is that the alcohol actually seemed to dominate the taste at times. At this point I generally expect the hops in an IPA to kick the ass of everything else, but in this case the alcohol took control. I couldn't quite bring myself to dock the taste rating but I had to take it out of drinkability. Still, I wouldn't turn this one down for a second, unless I had to choose between the Maharaja and a Stone... Otherwise, looked nice, smelled nice, was nice.

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Photo of jamie2dope
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked this one up in Porter Square. Pours a nice dark orange, with a nice heading that soon became a white lacing. Smell is excellent, with loads of juicy fruit, sweet sugar, some mild hop presence in background, a mild honey aroma as well. Taste was very sweet, with lots of alcohol up front, and a somewhat sour finish. It was very barleywine like, with all of the alcohol flavors and dark fruit. Mouthfeel was medium bodied....not half bad, seemed to get thicker as it warmed up a little bit. A nice sipping beer, but I would have like a bit more hop bitterness. The sweetness factor just seemed to overwhelm the beer in general. Still worth a try though. Enjoy

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

Bomber into a Corsendonk tulip.

Appearance: A golden copper color with some light yellow hues on the bottom. Some sticky lacing that I wish was a bit thicker. The head stays charged due to the carbonation, where the bubbles are small but all over the place.

Smell: Tons of orange zest, which is very warranted with the bit of lemon, slight grapefruit. A bit of acidic orange juice. Sweet malt, and bitter hops. Lots of orange, and I dig it immensely.

Taste: And the orange comes through again, especially with a fruity lingering orange peel at the finish. Lots of other bitter hops, and other citrus fruit both in the malt and hops department. Smooth and lingering with tons of flavor. Singular and tasty stuff.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and full overall, with the carbonation never really bursting out but doing well in spacing itself out and contributing to the former.

Drinkability: A great experience and I definitely want to get more bottles of this. Delicious, complex, and highly balanced. One of my favorite Avery brews and one of the best big beers they produce.

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

Another fine example of a great Double IPA! Big Beer.
Nice amber color, with a large creamy head.... super lacing all the way down. Rather sweet flowery with some grassy hoppiness aroma. My notes keep saying SUPER. Hoppy oils on my tongue.
Big hoppy flavor with good balancing of maltiness, sorta sweet. Man i gotta order this stuff. As will all cask conditioned, nice mild carbonation. It appears that San Diego might be heading up the cask- conditioned part of this world.

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Photo of FranklinPCombs
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark honey color, just shy of crystal clear (adding a bit of depth). Just a finger of orange beige head, not much lacing (though it is unusually humid today), head dying to a light sheet. Smell is big on honey and caramelized pineapples and general citrus, with some pine hints and a bit of an alcohol kick on the back of the nose. Taste is fairly standard for the Double IPA, lots of hops on the front end, hints of malt and burnt pine. The hop's bitter was a bit sour on the back of the tongue, and the alcohol vapor seems to seep down the throat. Mouthfeel is ever so slightly dry and bitter

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled in Feb. 2006 - Batch 3.
1.085 Original gravity – Alcohol 9.9% by Vol.
1 Pint 6 fl.oz. 102 IBUs

Presentation: Silver foil covers the black logo’d Avery crown cap and upper neck. The main label looks just like the one shown in the BA Database with a familiar Imperial design that revolves around a picture of an Indian Maharaja.

Appearance: Soft edges shine with an orange-amber persistent shine that reminds me of polished Aztec copper. The head is white with a soft beige influence that sleights the setting sun and reminds me of those dirty white shirt collars, you know, sort of white but with a faded yellow look. Solid conditioning.

Nose: Oily-tastic pungent rasping distilled hop oils soaked in chocolate Orange liqueur. Freshly skinned oranges impart a zesty distilled Curacao peel aroma in the air. Supreme carbonation lends a feisty feel to the taste profile…..big swirls punctuate the air with a metric tonne of orange flavored high alcohols.

Taste: Immense oily orange pip start with some mastic-like adhering viscous hop oils raping the cheeks. Sweet malts in the middle add some balance, whilst the finish has a fiery orange burn on the cheeks, mixed with alcohol bite. Citric tones in the back end add yet more bite. Barley sugar traits in the lingering finish seem to referee the balance between the sweet malts and hop oils.

Mouthfeel: Stretches its muscles big style, thick torso and upper arms but it has a very small brain and a little dick. Bitter, oily but averagely hoppy. Thin feel at times which is juxta-posed.

Drinkability: Decent enough but it has that Avery “harshness” that somehow belies sensibility and common sense, often a tad annoying yet intriguing to the beer geek not restricted by boundaries. Unbalanced and harsh with a ‘play-free’ “My Dad is bigger than your Dad” feel. One Bomber takes some downing and is more than enough.

Overall: I ended up reviewing this one again and replacing my old review, the last one was under duress, or do I mean the influence!? This is a strange brew though and you may have to be half out of it to even half understand it – least it seems that way. This is my third bottle now, the first time I rather enjoyed it (albeit being a bit wrecked), the second time I was put off by its orange arrogance, but the third time I’m back to liking it again. Weird! Nice enough, a Double IPA that always treats the adventurous mind but I guess in real terms it fails to live up to the better examples of the genre and more balanced drinkable versions of the Double IPA style.

This is a likeable odd-ball Imperial IPA, sort of Arnold Layne meets Jugband Blues - very Syd Barrett - if you know what I mean. A fitting beer to finish the day with considering.

Music: Piper at the Gates of Dawn, (The) Pink Floyd

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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 rhoadsrage
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an Imperial pint glass)

A- This beer has a pale golden body with a slight brown tint and is very clear showing off a strong carbonation. There is a tiny film of white foam that stays for a good bit.

S- The smell of pineapple weed hops has a slight skunky note (that is a good skunk) with an apricot smell to it. The hops are very fresh and earthy and I can't stop sniffing them.

T- The taste of green pineapple hops with lots of grassy flavors is supported by a slight sweet caramel malt flavor and the finish is a nice bitter hop flavor.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a slippery texture with no alcohol heat noticed.

D- This beer has a good fresh complex hoppy profile with depth and a malt flavor that can stand up to the hops without being too sweet or alcohol tasting.

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Photo of dgallina
3.08/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1 pint, 6 fluid ounce brown bomber "bottled in Feb 2006 batch 3."

Very clear dark orange with half-inch of creamy white head, thin sticky lacing. Strong sweet grapefruit hops and grain on the nose; not much else gets through. Lots of grapefruit-tasting hops intertwined with chewy sweet biscuit malts; very strong dry and bitter hop finish. Thick oily body with lazy carbonation.

I found this one exceedingly boring and difficult to finish. A typical over-the-top over-hopped American IPA IMHO.

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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 eisbock1
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured in tulip glass from 22oz bottle. Thick soapy off white head...nice lacing. Pours a golden amber hue, little carbonation. Strong grapefruit, citrus, pine, on the nose. Taste is suprisingly sweet and tangy, palate further illustrates citrus and pine profile. Smooth and full bodied, drinkable but cautiously so at just under 10%. Thoroughly enjoyed overall and would buy again.

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

A very tasty, enjoyable DIPA...pours a dark golden color...great fruity nose...tangerines, pinneaple, oranges, grapefruit,..smells more sweet than bitter..

Taste is excellent. Bitterness is low to medium but hop flavor is extremely high...again some of those same sweet citrus fruits...also a little bit of pineyness and some slight weed...malt is more biscuity and complements perfectly...

Body is about perfect....medium to full....carbonation is spot on...

Excellent, excellent DIPA...Taste is about a 4.75..same with the smell so I am moving the smell to a 5.0 to make the scores more accurately reflect how I feel about it..

Highly recommended..just don't expect a bitter hop bomb..

Finishes with a nice dry hoppiness....

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Photo of gonzo138
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance-amber in color, cream colored head with good retention, nice carbonation
Smell-refreshing piney juniper berry aroma
Taste-strong hoppy taste that lingers on the palette, nice and bitter like an IPA should be
Mouthfeel-very clean, goes down easily
Drinkability-nice and smooth, good bitter kick, finishes strong

a good ipa, definitely worth, buying again, i enjoyed it very much.

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Photo of Mdog
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep orange with a large head.

Smell: Big grapefruit aroma.

Taste: Starts sweet but then a big kick of citrusy hops. However, the malts hold their ground so this isn't brutally bitter.

Mouthfeel: Pleasant sweet and hop aftertaste.

Drinkability: It's pretty easy to burn through a bomber of this in a hurry since it's so good.

I haven't had a lot of this since it's somewhat rare in the Twin Cities, but it is really an excellent DIPA. If it was in 12oz bottles and more available this would be in my top five. Highly recommended!

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
4.2 out of 5 based on 5,587 ratings.
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