Origin: Avery Brewing Co., Boulder, CO
Style: Imperial/Double IPA
IBU: varies, but way up there (I’m guessing somewhere between 85-100+)
I drank this: on tap at Barley’s
Let me preface this by illustrating what a beer of this caliber can do. First of all, it made my brother’s Grimbergen (a Belgian ale, but I’m not sure what variety)(because of the Maharaja)(the Maharaja is, shall we say, STRONG) taste like apples. Apples. Really. The Grimbergen could have been a cider for all my tastebuds could tell.
That was after one sip of the Maharaja. Hops are awesome.
Do not, under any circumstances, go near this beer if you don’t love hops with a passion bordering on the psychotic (I do love hops this much, so I’m good here). This is glorious, glorious hops all the way through, from the nose to the taste to the aftertaste. The hops here are predominantly grapefruity, with a slight herbal/pine tinge, and a strongly bitter (but not sour/mouthpuckering) aftertaste. It’s glorious. The malt is there insofar as it gives this beer a nice mouthfeel – nice and round and smooth but not imperial stout-level thick and heavy. (I’m picky on malt in IPA. IPAs which forget their malts – Granite City’s IPA is a notable offender here – tend to be really thin, like drinking bitter water. Beer should be thicker than water, in my opinion.)
I want a perfume of this beer so that I could smell of its lovely hop bouquet. The Maharaja is pretty much everything an Imperial IPA should be – intensely hoppy, malty enough to carry that much hop flavor, grapefruity, sparkling, enough alcohol to notice its presence but with enough hops that the alcohol flavor blends in with everything else. This is glorious.
Final note: really, you should probably drink only one of these unless your tolerance far surpasses mine. To give an idea of the effect of half of one of these, let me explain the conversation that took place between my husband, my brother, and my funemployed self while sipping this beer. There aren’t millions of full-time jobs out there for writers, so I asked Alan and Tony what I should do for a living as a backup plan. Here are their suggestions:
– master thief
– giant robot pilot
– professional assassin
– Cookie Monster
– Tony: “A carnie.” Alan: “No carnies.”
– Power Ranger (there was some disagreement as to whether or not this should be considered a subcategory of the giant robot pilot career path)
– mad scientist
– Dr. Horrible
So. Like I said. This should probably be a one-only type of beer.