The Badass Tap: Avery ‘The Maharaja’ Imperial IPA
Now that July is almost at an end and so, therefore, are all the festive beers*, let's get back to the plain old, run-of-the-mill, common-or-garden Badass beers.
Well, not quite. There's nothing plain or ordinary about Avery Maharaja (or any of the Badass beers!). It's one of the three beers in Avery's Dictator series, the other two being The Kaiser (Imperial Oktoberfest) and The Czar (Russian Imperial Stout). Maharaja is the summer release of the three and Avery makes two or three batches each year.
Brewed in Colorado and therefore closer to the west coast than the east, Maharaja's profile is correspondingly located towards the hoppier end if the IPA spectrum (remembering that east coast IPAs tend to be sweeter while west coast are hoppier), but with a strong malt backbone providing plenty of sweet, caramel balance. Don't let that lull you into a false sense of security though. This beer sits at 102 IBUs, which some folks consider bitter enough to suck the enamel off your teeth. It also comes with a respectable 10.3% ABV, so I'd call this a sipping beer.
From the moment your server sets the glass down in front of you, you'll know there are hops in the vicinity. Centennial, Chinook, Columbus and Simcoe varieties give the beer hints of grapefruit, orange and pineapple plus a delicious bitterness, while the balance comes from caramel and victory malts.
For those of you who want to know the details, we have two kegs from batch 12, kegged on June 4th. And I'm told that this is the tastiest, hoppiest batch of Maharaja that Avery have made because they put the beer in a centrifuge to extract even more flavour from the hops. This has given some kegs a strange cloudiness that results from the coagulation of proteins... but since I'm not a chemist I don't have much else to say about that other than I've tried some of this cloudy Maharaja and it tastes just fine to me.
Jim Hughes, Head Beer Nerd, Alamo South Lamar
“If I had all the money I’ve spent on drink… I’d spend it on drink.” ~ Sir Henry Rawlinson
*The Christmas beers aren't quite done yet - we still have a few bottles of St Bernardus Christmas left and a small amount of '09 Real Ale Coffee Porter.