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Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

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MaharajaMaharaja
BA SCORE
4.23/5
Exceptional
5,659 Ratings
MaharajaMaharaja
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
averybrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#860
Reviews:
1,872
Ratings:
5,659
pDev:
10.17%
Bros Score:
4.28
 
 
Wants:
395
Gots:
880
Trade:
7
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,659 |  Reviews: 1,872
Photo of neonbrown82
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the 2006 bottling. I'm somewhat pissed, since this was bought on the day of release in 2007, and the store clerk said it just came in that day. I suspect it was probably a distributor dumping old beer. It happens all the time at my store, though usually with Oktoberfest. I'm hoping to pick up a fresh 2007 bottle as soon as I can find one, in which case I'll update the review. It is still good, but I don't think this year old batch gives the beer justice.

The beer pours to a nice clear golden color with an amber hue. Huge white head with good retention and excellent lace. Still has a nice carbonation. Looks good.

The smell is plenty hoppy. Pine resin and grapefruit. Lots of citrus. A fair bit grassy as well. The malt shines through quite strongly as well, showing off a biscuity grain aroma. I think this would be more muted and more pungent with the hops if it were fresher. Extrapolating from a year of age, this is something I think I would really enjoy.

The taste is also pretty good. Sweet and grainy up front, with lots of bread and biscuity malt flavors. Then comes the hops. Resinous pine and an intense grapefruit and lemon citric hops finish. Very grassy. Has a fairly rough cohumulone content. Once again, I suspect this would be much juicier without a year of age. As it is, it is very good, however it tastes more like an aged barleywine, almost like a two year Bigfoot.

The body is medium to heavy. Carbonation is very smooth to the palate. Plenty of bitterness with a rough, grainy cohumulone. Also a lingering grassy finish with a hint of ethanol. Fairly drinkable. I can't wait to try a 2007.

 1,635 characters

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - A faint haze in an amber brew with a slight reddish tint. A frothy head that is long lived with thick clumps of lacing.

S - Floral (roses), grapefruit pulp and pine in the aroma. A touch of white pepper.

T - A lot of floral (roses and lillies) hops, grapefruit pulp with some faint smoky caramel maltiness that lingers to the aftertaste where it is joined by a pepper alcohol finish. The aftertaste is mostly a floral bittermess. There is a very faint medicinal presence throughout the beer.

M - Medium bodied and smooth. It isn't refreshing though.

D - No problem finishing this one. I might have it again if I find it on tap somewhere. Worth a try.

 667 characters

Photo of biggred1
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy,deep orange that I can barely see through.Big, thick foamy tan head that leaves nice fine, sticky lace on the glass.Smells like toffee, grapefruit and ripe bananas. Big complex flavors of toasted grains and fresh grassy hops smoothed out perfectly with a nice hit of sweet maltiness.Nothing dominates the palate, very well balanced.Pleasant bitterness that leads to a nice lingering warm honey alcohol quality in the finish. Smooth creamy mouthfeel that is not overly carbonated.A damn fine beer that nails the style perfectly.

 532 characters

Photo of rrski198
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of scottwurst
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Bloodbuzz99
5/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of HopsHopenstein
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of SStein
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of alamode
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 12
Bottled May 2010
10.48% ABV
1.090 OG
102 IBUs

Pours a very cloudy orange/caramel body that's chock full of suspended particles. Huge chunky off white head that leaves patches of lacing all over my Duvel glass.

Orange marmalade, lemon zest, grapefruit flesh, rich caramel, and resiny hop oil aromas. This is one massive bouquet, you can smell it from across the room.

The flavor is just as over the top as the aroma. With an ABV just a hair shy of 10.5%, it should be no surprise that Maharaja has an ample malt backbone. But with boat loads of hops and 102 IBUs, you better believe there are more than enough hops to not only balance things out, but to pull this beer over the line and deep into hoppy territory. Caramel malts, bright citrus, resiny pine, and an aggressively bitter finish.

The body is full, rich and sticky.

Batch 12 of Maharaja was perhaps the best batch Avery ever made. It was bottled 5 months before I wrote this review and as you might expect, today it is not half the beer that it was when it was fresh. This review is an attempt to preserve a record of the greatness of a fresh Batch 12. Unfortunately, I never took tasting notes on a fresh bottle, but I did drink several and I had it on tap several times too, so I think I have a pretty good memory of what it was like.

Batch 12 was a unique beer. At the time that it was being brewed, Avery was experimenting with a centrifuge for filtration purposes. Avery, like many brewers, uses diatomaceous earth to filter its beer. The problem with diatomaceous earth, is that when using it to filter a very hoppy beer, many of the chunky hop bits that it filters out were saturated with beer. So not only do you lose some flavorful hop goodness, you also lose a lot of beer. Centrifuges allow a brewer to strip out the big chunky stuff, but keep a higher percentage of the beer. Avery wanted to switch to a centrifuge eventually and a company that sells them lent one to Avery so they could experiment with it in an attempt to convince Avery to buy the centrifuge now rather than in a year or two.

So, Avery ran a fresh batch of Maharajah through the centrifuge rather than diatomaceous earth. Everything seemed to go pretty well. Then, after the beer had been in bottles for a few days, small particles began appearing in the beer. It turns out that Maharaja was so full of hops, that they simply couldn't remain in solution. In fact, Batch 12 was so chunky, so full of sediment, the folks at Avery considered a recall. Then they tasted it. The excess hop particles that made Batch 12 look more like a Hefeweizen than an IPA also gave it an extraordinary aroma and flavor. And thus, the best batch of Maharaja EVER was released and I am so glad it was.

All Maharaja is amazing. It is one of the best IPAs in America and that is really saying something. But this batch, this was something of truly rare quality. I'm just happy I got to enjoy it.

 2,933 characters

Photo of jaemeno3
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of rand
3.76/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From tap to sniffer, 10 oz pour at Urge Gastropub

A: Copper-tan in color, little carbonation or head. Looks dense.

S: Subtle notes of honey-malts and grapefruit float from the glass, but this has perhaps the most delicate nose I've come across for this style. It almost smells like the booze and hops are cancelled out by the malt-backbone.

T: The subtlety stops at the nose. Big, biting, pine notes scrape the palate, along with citrus and floral notes. Burning booze mixes with the sweet malts, bordering on something like a beer liqueur. The onslaught of hops dry towards the end, keeping the bitter aspects front and center. Finished resinous and bitter, with a touch of lingering honey sweetness.

M: Medium-bodied, surprisingly light for the style and huge ABV. Could use a bit carbonation.

A big hopbomb, I've had this several times and never taken the time to review. I can't remember a beer that had a bigger disconnect between the nose and the palate. But if you're in the need for a hop-fix, you could do a lot worse.

 1,036 characters

Photo of BierFan
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a tulip. Bottled in February 2009, batch 9. ABV of 10.27%.

Appearance: Tan head, hazy dark amber body. Looks like a maltier DIPA, which I prefer to the thinner bodied DIPAs.

Smell: Oily and fruity. Tart green apples and pine. Little bit of alcohol is present.

Taste: Quite a bit of pine, but not overwhelmingly piney. Finishes with a minty flavor. I've never experienced so much mint in a DIPA before, and I really like it.

 462 characters

Photo of CaptainNomihodai
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of wertschy
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of eulerthegrape
5/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of Denzo
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Giantspace
2.75/5  rDev -35%

Photo of teraflx
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of elgiacomo
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Update May 3, 2010

22oz bottle, bottled March 2010, Batch 11.

Pours amber with a two finger off white head, leaves some nice lacing and retains a modest cap.

Aroma is quite fruity, citrus, tropical fruits, even some melons, along with a good helping of pine, some funk.

Flavor is citrusy, resinous hop bitterness with a lot of creamy sweet caramel malt in the middle, finishes quite bitter, sticky and with some alcohol.

Mouthfeel is oily, low to medium carbonation.

Glad to try this fresh batch, very good overall, bitterness really picks up in the second half of the bottle. Also, in typical Avery 22oz fashion, this packs a helluva punch...

___

Original Review, Sep 25, 2007:

22oz. bomber. Pours orange/amber with a nice white head.

Hoppy grapefruit aroma, very pronounced.

Flavor follows with more citrus hops although not quite as strong as the aroma.

Quite heavy and very potent like the Czar from Avery. An excellent DIPA. I have a hard time finishing a bomber by myself. Great for getting plastered if thats what you are after, but prolly better suited to share with a friend.

 1,101 characters

Photo of GuttaMane138
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of mattsmith413
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of npendres
4.93/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of meathookjones
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At almost 10% I was worried this one would be a little hot given my experience with some of Avery’s stronger beers. This was a deep orange color body with reddish highlights topped with a light tan small head. Light webbings of lace were left around the glass. Sweet hop juicy citric aroma with plenty of malt to be had. This could use a bit more hops and bitterness. The flavor retains the citric juice hops that were gong on in the nose but with more bitterness to help it along. Nice maltiness here with a light sweetness than the nose. Finishes with a nice hop juiciness and a light bitter bite. Pretty big mouthfeel here but none of the prickly hop feel on your tongue I expect form Double IPAs. Good drinkability as well, the taste is hoppy yet balanced. Good overall effort but a boost in the nose and bitterness would do this one a world of good. Also the alcohol was no where to be found.

 898 characters

Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 5,659 ratings
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