Ruler of the Double IPA: @AveryBrewingCo – Maharaja IPA

Maharaja_badge200Hooray.  This is the first beer I’ve reviewed after my “I only review great beers, now” posting.

And me, oh my, this is one hell of a great beer.  Rated pretty-much consistently above 4.5 by the folks on beer advocate and achieving a ratings of “Outstanding” and “World-Class” you have to go a long way to find anything like it.

Now, there’ll be some that won’t like it:  It’s a double IPA, it’s 10.2% alcohol and it’s 102IBU – so it’s clearly not going to appeal to everyone.  But I like it.  I like it because it’s so over-the-top.

I had Maharaja on draught at Lock27 Brewing in Dayton, Ohio – where I also got to try their Sunfish Pale and Mouth Breather IPA, both of which were very good indeed.

Maharajah arrives a happily-hazy dark orange, with a little slick of off-white head that sticks around and leaves excellent lacing all down the glass.

The Aroma preceded the glass’s arrival at the table and was strongly citrus pithy with some highlights of tropical, there’s some pines, lots of dank resinous notes and a little honey, and malt.

The taste was not as bitter as I would have expected for 102 IBU and has some malty sweetness, but the show was well and truly stolen, wrestled to the ground, beaten senseless and mercilessly throttled by an absolute landslide of hops.  I mean, this is BIG hopping; nay, mighty hopping.

Yes, there’s some dark caramelly maltiness and a gorgeous solid body – but it’s the hops that form a crowd around you as you lay flailing about on the floor on a leary-esque lupulin trip: glorious bitter-burnt-orange and grapefruit pith varnish your teeth, tongue, trousers and just about anything else that gets Maharaja on it.

You don’t even notice the alcohol…until you’ve downed the first one and everything goes a bit carnival whirly.

I though the alcohol would have been more prominent in the taste, but it’s not…it just hides out in and amongst the greenery like a thuggee of old India – ready to literally strangle you of your sensibilities.

Holy cow, it’s good…

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