The Maharaja Imperial IPA

Avery Brewing's The Maharaja Imperial India Pale AleEver since I blogged about The Maharaja last month, I’d been dying to try it. Fortunately it showed up here in town at Newport Market and I was able to snag a bottle.

Wow. The Belmont blog was spot on, this is one seriously hoppy beer. And strong; here are the stats from the label: 102 IBUs, and 9.9% alcohol by volume. The style is the ever-popular Imperial IPA, and Avery Brewing is taking it to the extreme. Don’t like hops? Avoid this beer.

Appearance: Poured a clear amber with two fingers of foamy slightly tan head.

Smell: Hops! Resiny green hops… they are the overwhelming aroma character here. They’re spicy, piney, grassy, but not fruity or citrusy like the Cascade variety (which a lot of brewers use in this style).

Taste: Big hops! Explosive and resiny. Heat from the alcohol, the malt is creamy and rich and smooth. The hops are pitchy and piney and big and brassy and right in your face… I quite like this beer.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and even-bodied. The hops coat the mouth like an oily resin.

On BeerAdvocate: 89 out of 100, with 97% approval. On RateBeer: 3.83 out of 5, in the 96th percentile.

I quite liked it, but then I’ve had a thing for super hoppy beer of late. This is a beer for people who are serious about hops—there is no middle ground here, I’m thinking. Generally though—I’d say buy it if you can find it.


  1. I must try that. Another Colorado beer worth trying is Great Divide’s Hercules IPA. Got hep to it at last years’s International Beer fest in Portland. Extremely hoppy…and fresh. Do you know of any similar Oregon beers? Great site, btw…

  2. I’m glad you liked it! It’s nice to know my taste buds and descriptive powers are still operational. A couple days after that post I was sitting on my porch having another Maharaja when I snapped this picture:

    Oh, and jc is right, the Hercules is a darn fine hop bomb. It’s also available in 12oz bottles now so you don’t have to polish of a bomber in one sitting 😉

    The only regularly available OR beer that comes close to that level of sticky hoppyness is the Pelican. The new Inversion from Deschutes has lots of similar hop aromas/flavors, but obviously not the strength and alcohol heat of the Maharaja, so it would make a good "session" IPA.

    Thanks for the link love, and keep fighting the good beer fight.

    ~Chris @ Belmont Station

  3. I had one of these at Flying Saucer the other night. Soon afterwards I was peeling my buddy Derrick off my lap. or was that the other way around?

    No matter. A delicious brew!!

  4. My favorite beer of all time right now. Most cannot find it but the Exponential hoppiness and the pure hoppiness from Alpine beer co in San diego, Ca is very much like this beer. Honestly, there couldnt be a better imperial IPA than the Maharaja!

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