I anxiously awaited the arrival of the Maharaja at Total Wine in McLean. I haven’t had it in at least 3-4 years, but I remembered liking it well enough on a visit to Avery in Boulder that I got a t-shirt. It generally comes in a 22oz bomber. It pours an orangey copper color with a small white head. The aromas are of grapefruit and mango. The flavor is noticeably malty for an IPA. There is some fruitiness and a citrus-y bite from the hops, but it’s very mild. This is a big beer at 10.2% ABV. In order to get there, they had to add a bit of malt. If you were a fan of brutally hoppy beers, you might be disappointed. I really like this beer though. I would not put at my favorite IPA, but it’s definitely in my top 10. I would give it four out of five proper pints.
I tried this beer after grilling on the first relatively warm day in March in the DC area after a long Polar Vortex Winter. This is a surprising beer for a Barleywine. Of course, I would expect no less from Stone. Firstly, it poured with a large white head, which I might not have expected from a Barleywine. It had the bread, malty aroma I expected, but it was pleasantly mixed with a floral hops aroma. It was not as syrupy as some Barleywines I’ve tried in the past. In fact, I would say it was not truly sweet at all. It did have a malty flavor with some notes of yeast and alcohol, some bread and molasses as well. However, the distinct floral notes from the hops created a pleasantly refreshing and drinkable beer. You did not notice the strength of it at all. I would definitely have this one again. I give it four out of five proper pints.