The Maharaja – Avery Brewing Company
10.2% ABV, 102 IBUS, 21 degrees Plato
Purchased at Corti Brothers ($7.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into pint glasses.
This famed Double IPA is part of Avery’s “Dictator Series” (along with their excellent Czar, a Russian Imperial Stout that we reviewed here ), and it pours a deep gold with a frothy, eggshell white head. Classic DIPA aromas make an impression on the nostrils even two full feet away from the glass. Upon closer olfactory inspection, Maharaja offers a very sweet nose of fruit syrup, strawberries, browned toast, and honey, an aroma that doesn’t seem like it could possibly be the prelude to a triple-digit IBU beer. The first swallow follows the lead of the nose, doling out honey-drizzled fruits like strawberry, peach, and pineapple, but ending in a wave of hop bitterness that closes on a note of spiced crackers. Maharaja is thick as tree sap and sweet as syrup, with a malt presence that is overstated for my taste, and an almost tyrannical mix of tastes that varies from spicy to sugary to full-on hop burn.