Maharaja | Avery Brewing Company

5,587 Ratings

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 jkaufman
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 22oz. bottle into a tankard.

A: Pours slightly cloudy and amber, with a thick, frothy, krausen-like head. Excellent lacing and head retention. Looks spectacular.

S: Initially Cascade hops dominate, but once things settle down after the pour, it smells very malty with a bit of aromatic hops. Somewhat surprising for something called an "imperial IPA".

T and M: Bittering hops are not as overwhelming as expected. Instead, this ale is fairly balanced with the scales tipped in favor of hops. The head (which is practically guaranteed to stick around until the end) tastes very hoppy but is welcome in this context. Goes down bubbly and syrupy, finishes syrupy and sweet with a hop bite.

D: Very drinkable for such a big ale, but one bomber is enough.


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Photo of srobertson59
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a 22 oz. glass.

I found this at a local Deli shop (thanks Pimpp!) and after reading some reviews was a bit anxious to give it a go. Could it possibly knock out my current favorite of Stone’s Ruination?

A - Pours a somewhat cloudy/hazy honey-amber with a generous tight head. Some sediment is visible lofting through the carbonation. Good retention with ample amount of lacing on the glass.

S - BAM! An oily hoppy infusion to the nose with hints of citrus and tart apple with toasted malt shining through.

T - Mmmmm. Now this is EXACTLY what I was expecting! A huge explosion of hops, followed closely by a sweetness that seems to compliment the hops instead of hiding them. Just the slightest bit of warming from the well hidden alcohol.

M - A very creamy viscous feel all the way down the throat. All of the flavors seem to linger at the same levels. At no time do any of them overpower the pallet in aftertaste. And the finish on this one lasts a long, long time.

D - HELL YEAH! I have found my #2 favorite brew. If you enjoy the experience of Stone's Ruination, then you'll definitely enjoy this offering from Avery.

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Photo of smerrell
4.76/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Spring 2012 release, in a bottle

A: Deep amber color, clear as day with a nice head and good lacing.

S: A pleasant, light grassy aroma

T: Excellent - great malt flavor and well-balanced hops. The big flavor dissipates very quickly
M: big, bold, and dry.

o: I've been looning forward to trying this for a long time, and I'm glad Ive had the chance. This is a beer that I wouldn't hesistate to recommend

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

A-This beer pours a beautiful deep golden copper color. The head pours medium but finishes off very thin. There is some nice lacing in the head. The carbonation level in this beer pour is very good.
S- The beginning is somewhat surprising because the citrus notes are not as overpowering in this beer as they tend to be with most Double IPAs. The notes are a mix of grapefruit and spices.
T-The taste hear is also a nice balance and does not blow you away with citrus or pine hoppiness. The is a great balance with in this beer with the ABV being 10.3 because the after notes are not too boozy or hot as they tend to be with many DIPAs.
M- The mouthfeel on this beer is somewhat of a thin taste and not as full as some other DIPAs. Some of this is due to this DIPA is not a big of a hop explosion as some others.
O- This is a very well balanced DIPA and depending on your tastes it can be average or great. If you like a citrus explosion this might not be the one for you but i think it is pretty well balanced all around. For the price this is a very solid DIPA

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Photo of ccm414
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BeerMaverick!
Poured from the 1 pint 6 fl oz bottle...

A- Pours a nice amber/golden color. Looks very nice. Has a 3 finger off-white, almost tan head that leaves an amazing thick lace around the glass. Very inviting.

S- Heavy on the hops! Nice and citrusy, mango and grapefruit here. Love it.

T- Just like the smell, fruity, citrus hops. Nice and bitter, but well complimented with the sweet malt. Excellent bitter finish that destroys the palate, but i'm liking every second of it. At 10.54% abv, it is hidden rather well.

M- Nice and creamy. A medium to heavier bodied DIPA. Slight alcohol burn, but nothing overwhelming.

D- Very drinkable, and at 10.54% it could become dangerous. While it destroys the pallet with its bitterness, I want more and more.


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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 mutterfudder
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured in to a Stone IPA Tulip-ish glass.

A - Copper and somewhat hazy. Thick white head that settled down to a thin layer of foam. Lacing down the glass of foam and bubbles. Quite nice looking!

S - Fresh hop, citrus and spice. Ahhh.. I haven't had a hop bomb in a bit and it smells darn good.

T - Hmmmm. Malty up front, almost sweet. Oh, there are the hops! They don't really hit as hard as I thought they might. Very piney and bitter by the finish, pretty complex for the style I thought.

M - Surprisingly not very carbonated. It left a bit of a oily taste in my mouth. Not bad but not good either.

D - I liked this beer well enough, but one was enough. There are other beers to try.

Somewhat disappointed in this, after hearing all the raves. A good DIPA but not one I'd reach for often.

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Photo of BeerFiend2002
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

We have a deep orange to amber color body with a 3-finger light sand colored head. The head retention on this one is awesome. It hung around darn near forever and left a ton of lacing.

Nose is of grapefruit, tangerine, and orange coupled with big biscuity malt sweetness.

Taste was nice. A very complex brew, although a little maltier than I generally prefer my IPAs. Its sweet, but bitter on the back end. There are citrusy and piney hops that are racing to your tongue against a big biscuity caramel malt backbone. The malt keeps this one very drinkable, but dulls down the 100+ IBU assault on the tongue considerably. For a 10.5% ABV beer, there is a remarkable absence of alcohol in the taste. Dangerously drinkable out of a 22 oz bomber.

Mouthfeel is rich. Its creamy, smooth, and almost chewy. Its a thick beer, like a strong imperial IPA often is, but its not an overly resinous syrup bomb like I feared it could be.

Overall, it didnt quite make my top 5, but it was a very good beer and I definitely could drink it again. Very complex, drinkable, well-crafted brew. The malt presence could be dialed down some, but it still gets a thumbs up from me.

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Photo of pvo
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Out of the bottle on 4/4/13, 2013 release. I've had these in previous years, and always try to get at least one per year.

Appearance: Dark amber, hazy.

Smell: hoppy, as one would expect.

Taste: Hoppy, but less biting due to the high ABV.

Mouthfeel: substantial, lasting.

Overall: thoroughly enjoyable. It's still identifiable as an IPA, has more flavor between the hops and alcohol than most DIPAs, and I really enjoy the citrus and floral notes that dominate the hop flavors.

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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 dankbrew21
3.45/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

No freshness date.

Appearance is a redish orange, medium white head. No rising bubbles. Good head retention.

Smell is of VERY strong bitter hop resins, kind of citrusy.

Taste is super heavy! The hops wrek the weigh the tongue down and completely destroy the palate. I have had this beer a few times now and it never fails to kick my ass! Very strong alcohol presence. Super bitter hop resins attack the palate de-arming its defenses and leaving it completely vulnerable to attack. Medium consistency. Medium carbonation. I can honestly say, maybe to many hops were used for this concoction, or not enough balance of other ingredients. This is a good example of extreme beer at its most extreme.

Drink this beer slowly. Sip on it. It will fuck you up if you don't take it seriously, trust me, I know from experience.

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Photo of mwill7287
4.87/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into what is essentially a GLBC short-stemmed wine glass, perhaps a large snifter.

A - A deep, rich golden-amber color, very clear and crisp looking. Active carbonation swarms about the glass. Healthy layer of head, about a fingertip deep, settles after the pour, retaining through the drink. Wonderful lacing left behind all over the glass. She's a beaut.

S - Highly hopped, with floral and mostly fruity scents emanating bountifully from the nose. Despite the high ABV, the beer gives off only slight hints of booziness. Delectable.

T - Very fruity. Grapefruit and other citrus tones, perhaps almost a fruit punch, dominate the taste. Great balance of malts and hops - alternately sweet and bitter. Aftertaste is mildly bitter with lingering hints of citrus hops and some sweetness. This is a tasty, tasty beer, yet not completely overpowering as DIPAs tend to be.

M - Like with the nose and the taste, this imperial IPA does not destroy your tongue. It is medium bodied and goes down very well for a beer of this high ABV and style.

O - I'm enjoying this about as much as I did when I had it on draft in Boston. Avery Brewing Co. has simply created a standard-setting brew with the Maharaja Imperial IPA.

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Photo of Jfriz25
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep rich amber. Very nice looking beer.

S- On first smell I was really excited. Tropical fruit type hops, couldn't wait to taste it.

T- Starts great and follows the nose but a blanket of bitterness follows in the middle and it never recovers.

M- Perfect in my opinion for a iipa. I get the resiny sticky feel without feeling like it is coating my

O- I liked it but the bitterness in the middle took what could have been an awesome beer and made it merely good.

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Photo of leadpaint76
4.86/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is an awesome IPA. If you love piney and citrus notes you must try. My friend and I shared a bomber and we both wanted much more. Have a great day my friends.

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

Enjoyed a bomber at a local establishment while much of the area was digging out of recent snowfall. A big beer like this was just what the doctor ordered. Poured from a bomber into a traditional pint glass (bummer). Beer cascades well with a orange color into a thick, rich ivory head. The head leaves great lacing. The smell is wonderful with several citrus and floral tones upfront, the hops are certainly there but not overpowering, your nose can easily search and find the malts and some undetermined spices. Drinking this beer upfront you aren't overly assaulted with the hops but rather the floral and citrus tones. It gets abit chewy in the middle with some malts and finishes strong with the long lasting hop bitterness. It is very close to being a genuine full-bodied beer with medium carbonation. The drinkability of this beer is wonderful because the hops aren't overly assaulting but last a long while on your palate. The high ABV might slow down a longer drinking session but it is well worth a try. I will certainly be drinking it again.

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Photo of ryno09
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely love the nose on this beer. Big grapefruit and lemon aroma with a bit of malt and maybe some other fruits. Definitely my favorite type of IIPA style. Tastes like it smells. Just a huge beer in terms of taste and alcohol content. The downside for me is that it lacks some of the smoothness that other IIPAs have.

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Photo of travis224
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper color with a nice white head. The nose is amazing. Lot's of pineapple, grapefruit, citrus, really amazing. The taste has more of a malt backbone, but the high ABV isn't really noticeable. Definitely a lot of hops in there. This is an outstanding IIPA. There's only one I can think of that I like better.

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Photo of mrz200
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I'm a fan of everything of Avery's that I try and as an IPA guy, Maharaja is at the top of the list. For a cant miss hop fix, this is your beer (although if bang for the buck is a factor, I'd probably put Hop Stoopid a slight notch above). The hops are big, but there is enough complexity that it gets very interesting as it warms up, without gaining a ton of bitterness as the super hoppy ales tend to do.

One question: was there any difference between Maharaja and the 25th anniversary ale from earlier this year? Didn't see the point in the 25th anniversary ale for that reason.

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Photo of TheBullsHorn
4.66/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep straw, almost amber orange with a persistent head and nice lacing. The nose is wonderfully complex bouquet of honey, pine, grapefruit, passion fruit, lime and malt. The thick malty sweetness acts as a backbone for both the high alcohol and bitterness of the hops. Layering over the malty sweetness are again flavors of grapefruit and resin/pine with hints of honeysuckle and mint. The after palate one this beer lasts forever, with a pleasant dance of malt and bitterness lingering on your tongue. An absolute delight to drink and revisit.

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Photo of milehighhop
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really enjoyed this one, nice cloudy copper color with a light tan head. Good balance between sweet & bitter. Over 10%, but went down nice and smooth. Great stuff, will purchase again for sure.

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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 dnolan36
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Probably the best IIPA I have ever had. Had it on tap at Cape Fear Wine And Beer in Wilmington, NC.

Poured a beautiful golden orange color with a nice frothy white head.

Smelled strongly of citrus, mainly grapefruit and orange. Also a nice malt smell on the back end.

The tasted is similar to the aroma, very strong citrus hops taste upfront followed by the nice malty finish.

I wish they brewed this year round. It is a must try and I recommend it to everyone that asks me about IIPA's.

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Photo of smallbatchbrewer
4.97/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the first beer I am reviewing on BA, ever. And it's a great place to start, too. This beer is just hands down amazing. I refuse to say one single beer is my favorite, but if someone made me single a beer out, I could see this one coming in at the top. I tried it first at a beer tasting for guest brewers up in Connecticut, and I was instantly looking for more. The guys from Avery were awesome and had any information I could imagine asking for.

This is a supremely hoppy, citrusy, complex beer that will linger on your pallet's memory for ages.

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Photo of sellmeagod
2.99/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A supreme, ultra-fancy looking bottle covered in aluminum and colors. A pour that leaves monstrous head and an orange golden glow. Incredible appearance that only loses points because of the excess floating sediment.

The taste is so powerful, all about the hops at 100+ IBU. I actually think this started to taste better as it warmed up, but still the hops nearly mask any other taste, and hops for hops sake is more of a novelty than a necessity.

A bit of citrus smell and a very powerful hop aroma.

The problem with the price comes down to this - the 22oz size and the 10 dollar price tag makes this require dedicated drinking, and the payoff (other than the awesome look) does not come. This won't be a common purchase simply out of value reasons (there are much better/cooler economic choices).

Drinkable? Well, for the 10.5 abv and being an IPA, I'd say it does decently. But what beer will you feel cooler drinking? Not many.

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Photo of RattleheadKV2
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 22oz bomber into Duvel tulip

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a nice 2 fingers of off white head that leaves some amazing lacing.

Smell: Fruity tropical, piney hop aromas; grapefruit, mango, and pine. Followed by a kiss of sweet caramel malt.

Taste: Dank, piney, tropical hop goodness! Some nice pine needle type flavors going on as well as a really great earth dankness, followed by some citirus, and tropical undertones.

Mouthfeel: Nice full body to stand up to the hop barrage, with moderate prickly carbonation.

Overall: Very, very good DIPA, stands up there with greats IMO, would love to be able to get my hands on some more of this sometime.

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