This is what happened...
My beautiful and gracious girlfriend offered to stop at Beer Run to pick up some brews for me, and I made a wish list. I asked her to bring back a full growler, preferably with Beer A, and if not, Beer B, and if not, Beer C. Etc. I also asked her to pick up several bombers and 12's for me. Based on my apparent taste, given the bottles I'd asked for, the guy at Beer Run told Kay that he felt certain that the best possible beer to put in the growler would be The Maharaja Imperial IPA by Avery. That wasn't even on my list, but this is what she brought home, and I rolled with it.
I was loving this beer within a couple of sips. This is the kind of IPA that hits a reset button and changes what I want from a beer. Great God, it's delicious. It's pretty, too, with a clear, varying amber body and a medium head that leaves a lot of lace. The aroma has a malty, buttery, rich quality with a big, dominant hop on top, and the flavor lives up to that promise. God, it's complex. There are a number of things going on here, and the harmony is the kind of thing I'd expect from a black IPA. The hops hit up front and dance all over the middle of the sip, and the malt just floods the back of the tongue in the finish. This beer constantly seems to be on the verge of something. It's sweet, but never cloying. It's citrus, but never stays on one note. This is a delicious, complex IPA. There are candy notes, along with almonds and molasses and liquor (10.5 ABV) and rye, and it never gets boring. The dude at Beer Run nailed it, this is the beer for someone with my taste, and I will have it again soon. (This is as much praise for Beer Run and their understanding of their customer base as it is for the beer itself.)
After I posted my review at RateBeer.com, I saw that the math worked out so that this thing had worked it's way into my top ten. That seems about right.
Keep in mind that this is a review of the draft version, consumed while fairly warm. For whatever that is worth to you.