Sunday, May 30, 2010
The Maharaja Imperial India Pale Ale 2010
In celebration, I pulled out The Maharaja Imperial India Pale Ale 2010 brewed by Avery Brewing Company in Boulder, Colorado. I pretty much already know that this is going to be a spectaculiferous beer, and also that it's best fresh (if you like the intended bitterness). What I mean is that I had 2009 Maharaja before, but I also had the opportunity to sample a completely mellow 2007 Maharaja (see #12) three years after bottling. Both delicious, but I love me some bite! The label says 102 IBUs which pretty much means beware and be ready. Bottled March 2010 Batch 11. And I'm pretty sure I've captured the bottle story above in my photo.
I didn't serve this too cold, definitely key. I actually only put it in the fridge this morning (it was 7 am, but don't judge my early Sunday rising). Holy Moly! Fruity pineapple and peach nectar aroma with a touch of pine tree in the distance. Fruity sweet flavors start things off, very tropical, with a hint of honey and perhaps some caramel, too. That's before a rush of burning and biting hops overwhelm those fruits. But you know what? As aggressive as that tangy bitterness was, it never crossed past the balanced line to assholeness. Now I'm not suggesting this wasn't bitter with a gigantic kick, just that enough sweet balance was there for total enjoyability.
Spicy black pepper then comes in about that time you realize that undetectable 10.41% alcohol is warming you up. Yes, I know I said "realize" and "undetectable" in the same sentence, seemingly contradicting myself. That's just part of the joy of me! Pine flavors and oily texture; yes a medium, chewy body. And the carbonation, as fine and creamy as the bubbles were, well, was still prickly in my mouth. This is an A++ beer and you should seek it out. The best that Avery has to offer, hands down!
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