I have said it before, and I will unbashfully do so again: I'm not that into IPAs as they too often tend to be hop bombs with little depth. Avery's Maharaja is one that gets it right, imperial style. It was on tap at Latah Bistro last week, so run down there or any other place carrying it right now, to experience the full enjoyment factor.
And enjoy it you will. It pours a nice golden amber color with about a finger's worth of blinding white head. A whiff will push you down to the floor as the beer smacks you around with the hops, teasing you with a pungent smell of fruit. A hint of orange is definitely notable.
Then, when the beast is tamed and you can finally sip it -- and at 10.3% ABV this is definitely a sipping ale -- it all pays off. The flavor is excellent. Very hoppy, yet balanced by the sweet fruits on the finish. The orange lingers, massaging the roof of your mouth. It's like giving your tastebuds a taste at the spa.
Adding to the greatness of the flavor is the mouthfeel. It's creamy yet medium-bodied. I sipped it with some scallops, and the sweet delicate balance complimented the scallops nicely. The hopiness did not feel overpowering at all.
The Maharaja is a great IPA. It is definitely a challenging one, what with the hops and depth, and I mean that in the best way possible. Grab it on tap or pick up a bottle. It's well worth it.