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The Maharaja

The Maharaja

Judges Rating: 
95
Aroma: 
24 / 24
Appearance: 
6 / 6
Flavor: 
38 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

For the last two decades, Avery Brewing has shown they know hops and are not afraid to use them. The Maharaja, Avery’s contribution to the world of Imperial IPA’s, boasts over 100 bittering units and tons of flavor and aroma hops. This is truly a paean to Humulus lupulus. Redolent of Clementine peel interlaced with aromas of mist-shrouded pine forests, the nose fairly screams American hops – yet it rides over a substantial maltiness to keep things in balance. In addition to the citrus fruit and pine needle assault, Lee detected “rich, overripe mango” laced through with sweet, almost gummy malt – likening it to “a full-on firefight between malt and hops.” Like Lee, Tim felt the hops dominated the nose (in a good way), but worked to unravel traces of “ripe apples, sweet cantaloupe, and bergamot.” A deep, burnished amber, this beer lies in the glass emitting occasional ruby sparks around its edges, and is crowned by a low, off-white head. As goes the nose, so goes the flavor, with boat loads of hops layered underneath, between, and over a chewy caramel maltiness, all riding over an almost punishing bitterness. Pete praised the “firm bitterness tamed by the dense caramel-like malt,” and enjoyed the interlaced notes of pine needles and orange zest. Released in January of each year, The Maharaja can be elusive, yet the rewards are worth the search once you find it.

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