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Ale To The Chief - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ale To The ChiefAle To The Chief

Educational use only; do not reuse.

378 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 378
Hads: 507
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 27
Gots: 15 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.75% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: GilGarp on 07-22-2008

Brewed occasionally during election years.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 378 | Hads: 507
Photo of smcolw
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large, thick, slowly receding rocky head. It leaves some chunky lace. Light amber with a touch of orange. Mildly chill hazed.

Caramel with pepper is my first impression of the smell. There is also a cream aroma. I also detect alcohol in the background.

Creamy with a timid caramel sweetness...then the bitter and floral hop takes over. It's not over-hopped like so many of this style. In fact, I'd call it well-balanced. The swallow is even features some great malt roundness. Rich texture.

While this is my favorite style, this is still a great example of the style with lots of complexity.

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Photo of rxdrewthejew
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I tried to save this until inauguration day but...didn't happen.

A: Orangey and pretty dark for an IPA. Mostly clear with lots of bubbles coming from the bottom. One finger tannish head that doesn't have much retention but does have a lot of lacing.

S: Really big malt base with a sort of figgy/molasses smell. There's bitterness to the scent, but tough for me to characterize.

T: First sip is all malt, taste like it smells. I really didn't note any hops at all in the first sip...they seem to come on really really late. The hops are mostly resiny to me, maybe a bit of grass. The bitterness seems to come out of the sweetness, but the flavor of the hops isn't particularly strong...just the bitterness.

MF: Medium bodied and a bit sticky, with low-to-moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is similar to Maharajah, and that's a very good thing. The warming is fairly intense, and the alcohol hits right away.

D: This is a tasty, malt-heavy IIPA...and I like it quite a bit. It almost gets to the point of being a strong ale or an imperial red, but there's certainly enough hops in there. Reminds me a bit of summer Yulesmith I suppose. This is obviously not a sessionable beer, but it seems to be a "get a nice little buzz" beer. I'm not convinced that providing Mr. Obama an ample amount of this would make him a better president, but at least it would make him a president with good taste in beer. Anyway. I think when it's all said and done I like Maharajah more, but this is really quite good and I would be happy to drink it again.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to tburkhart for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Poured into a chalice a nice hazy dark golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy one-finger head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy, with some nice malt notes, citrus and pines. The taste is hoppy, nicely balanced malts, very nice citrus and slight pine notes. Medium body. Very drinkable, I really like this one, it's been awhile since I've had a really good brew from Avery, and this one fit the bill perfectly. Thanks Tim.

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Photo of giblet
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a very good brew. poured nicely into the glass with rich one inch head. smells of hops but not overpowering. malty flavor but the hops are right on ya. good lacing down the glass

not as much heavy hops as i expected but a very good and balanced brew just the same.

suckem up and movem out!


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Photo of Zadok
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light copper of a crystal clear variety. A monstrous head sits atop this beauty.

The fragrance of delicious hops emanate from the ever bubbling head. Very floral tones as well.

Has a nice floral fruity hop flavor. Also has a light coriander quality.

Nice, crisp mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Has an enjoyable hop bite on aftertaste.

Actually consumed this on election night and have been busy since. A very delicious brew with some great balance in flavors and mouthfeel.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce snifter in draft at Churchkey. Beer is amber and clear a little orange with a thin white head of small bubbles, lots of lacing, moderate to low carbonation. Moderate retention. Looks good.

Aroma is earthy, piny, sweet. Smells good.

Beer is medium in body, malt presence but not malty. Very bitter in the finish all from hops. Clean, no aftertaste. Very enjoyable. A nice CTZ hoppiness in the midpalate and good connectivity. This is exactly what I wanted today. A big, bitter, aggressive, not fruity west coast DIPA. And I got it in this beer. I would have this again for sure.

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Photo of Jmoore50
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a little old, sitting nicely on a BevMo shelf in the San Fran.

I liked the appearance, it was great. It comes with a nice copper amber color that is a slight hazy because of sediment floating around. I also like the two finger frothy head that came about, and the sticky medium lacing that covered the sides of my glass.

The smell was good, hops, hops, and hops. I also got a little sweet alcoholic smell, goes well with the taste.

The taste was good. Still has a hop bite, but mellowed out now because of the age on it. I get a sweetness and a honey influence as well. There is a little alcoholic tinge to the experience but I think that it adds a sort of complexity that I am really liking right now. I also get a dry malt taste that responds with the palate very well.

Good brew, worth the money paid.


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Photo of everetends
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle from Five Points Bottle Shop in Athens, GA. Poured into a DFH shaped pint.

A: Pours a really nice, deep amber that is crystal clear. Carbonation is very nice, with active streaming. Got a good three fingers of creamy head on the first pour. Had great retention, hung around for a long time. Nice sticky lacing all over the glass. I like the look.

S: Smell is really balance. Nice floral and piney hops put up against some nice, bready malt. The scents are almost equal in power. Grapefruit is so nice. Touch of lemon. Lets do this.

T: Taste is of some serious, piney and spicy hops. Grapefruit is very nice, heavy citrus. Grapefruit is more bitter than sweet. Malt is very bready, very nice. Sweet. Tasty. The flavors are very nice and balanced. Simple. Good. The flavor is bitter hops but not too bitter.

M: Medium in body. Very nice. Oily as hell. Really sticky. Carbonation is nice. Hops are all over the palate. Aftertaste is hops. Alcohol is nonexistant. Is there alcohol in here? I don't know. This is good.

D: This beer is nice. So easy to drink. Nice and tasty. Feel is good. Look is good. Aroma is good. I want more. This beer is awesome. Avery did a solid here. Good brew.

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Photo of jera1350
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a snifter a hazy coppery orange with thick and fluffy light tan head that leaves quite a bit of sticky lace.

Glorious smell of citric and pineapple hops with a big sweet malt presence consisting of caramel and brown sugar. Moderate alcohol smell as well.

The taste matches up with the nose pretty well, but on a slightly lighter stage. A buttery homemade caramel taste with a lighter hop presence. I would call this extremely balance with a big malt profile and nearly as big hop profile.

Maybe a little more than medium bodied. Creamy smooth with a pretty juicy finish that begs you to drink more.

A very good DIPA. Avery puts out some consistently good brews and this one is no exception. I would have no trouble having this one again.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Obviously, the brewers at Avery are not fans of President George W. Bush! On to the beer!

Pours a lovely clear mahogany with a thin but lingering khaki head. Big citrusy hops in the nose and rich caramel malt.

Citrusy hops in the mouth, herbal hops too. Grapefruit and tangerine from the hops but very malty too. Lots of rich caramel malt with just a hint of fruitiness. Well balanced but clearlymore malt forward overall. Thick, sticky finish, blurring the lines between "Presidential" IPA and a hoppy barleywine. Big full body. Very tasty ale and very smooth. The nearly 9% ABV sneaks up on you so be careful. It hit me with quite a buzz by the time I finished the bomber!

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Photo of hopdog
4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Poured a medium and clear copper color with an averaged sized off whte head. Aromas of citrus, pine, with some caramel. Tastes of citrus, pine, floral hops, and caramel. Overall the alcohol content was well hidden.

Notes from 8/23/08.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another great beer from Avery. Cheers to the Grandwazoo on his election victory. We enjoyed this last night as a celebration of his candidates victory.

This was a very nice beer. Poured with a thick and creamy off white head. Lots of structure and excellent retention. A good amount of lacing remained. The beer itself was slightly cloudy and an orange amber color.

Aroma was fantastic and fresh. Lots of citrus and grapefruit.

Well balanced for such a big beer. The fresh hops were certainly the star, but there was a significant and nice malt backbone. Grapefruit, ripe pineapple, resinous hops flavors.

Mouth feel was very smooth and this was really drinkable. Nice beer.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A darker amber with some reddish highlights, and a nice head that sticks around for quite some time and leaves behind a beautiful lace lattice.

S: That big Cascade scent... grapefruit with some piney notes. Are there Centennial in this, as well? An additional scent of wet earth, kind of reminiscent of the smell of the ground after a rainfall.

T: I'd love to be able to say I can taste that fresh Rocky Mountain water... but it's not happening. This is a hop explosion all the way. Grapefruit/citrus rind, and a resiny flavour. Some residual alcohol on finish/post-finish.

M: Quite a dry brew, and I tend to enjoy that - especially when it is appropriate to the flavours and overall presentation of the beer. A rich and fuller body, though it's not too heavy... still on the medium side of the fence. A crispy carbonation, followed by a little suggestive stickiness, only to finish with that dryness. Quite nice.

D: Certainly a sipper, but still a delicious brew. I'd most definitely pick up another few bottles - however, there ARE other fabulous hop conocotions out there that will be available more than this will be. That's the only complaint that I think I'd have.

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Photo of Durge
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From bomber to pint glass, slightly chilled, this Avery ale shows a hazy, bright amber color with a solid white head and great lacing. The aroma is a nice pine hop and nutty grain. The flavor says much the same and it says it so well. Somehwhat woodsy with some sweet grass notes which is all nicely blended in a smooth malt bath. Mid to full bodied, real nice smoothness while plenty of lively carbonation. Woodsy grain, almost a rye quality, slightly resinous and just a delicious brew. This is very drinkable to me but it has some alcohol presence. It's just so tasty. Avery does it again!

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Photo of genog
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was really looking forward to trying this one. I really like Avery, and was excited to get this new beer.
Pours a dark ruby red color with plenty of white sudsy hops leaving a lot of lacing along the side of my glass. Smell is pine, grapefruit, and a lot of biscuity malt pokes through. Taste is very similar to the aroma big on the hops and sweet malt as well. Plenty of carbonation making this one a very filling beer. Another great success from avery.

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Photo of AltBock
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was able to try this new Avery beer on tap at High Street Grill on 8/12/2008. They served it to me in a standard River Horse pint glass.

This Double IPA poured a beautiful clear mahogany amber. I liked how the color of the beer was 2 different colors. No amber highlights in a mahogany colored beer, but 2 colors together. The head of foam was 3/4 of an inch in hight and a pure white color. It had excellent retention that left behind a skim of white foam and a ton of sticky white streaks of lace all around the glass. Great appearance!

It had a strong hoppy aroma of bitter citrus hops, a few pine needles, a drop of lemon zest, a hint of orange peel, a slice of grapefruit, and then ends on a slightly sweet side with a touch of sweet yeast. I thought there would be some alcohol in the aroma, but the hops probably covered it up.

What kind of taste am I going to get after a strong hoppy aroma? Malty? Sour? If you guessed it was going to be a hop bomb, you are somewhat correct. Beside the bitter citrus hops was a strong taste of ruby red grapefruit. Hiding behind the grapefruit and all the hops was a few select citrus fruits, a ton of pine needles, a drop of sweet yeast, and then it finishes up on a subtle touch of dry toasted malts.

This was a full bodied beer that contained a full flavored hoppy aftertaste of bitter citrus hops, grapefruit, pine needles, and a hint of citrus fruits. You better watch out for this one because the 8.75% ABV will sneak up on you.

It was another great Avery beer. This beer's hops will assault your tastebuds, so you better watch out. Since it has a big hop bite to it, it's one of those once in a while hoppy beers. It's a must try Avery beer in either a bottle or on draft.

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Photo of bosco7
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper color with a substantial offwhite head. Heavy lacing.

Smell is great. Pungent pine, grapefruit, mango, and strawberry aromas. Nothing new but very pleasant.

Starts with caramel and then moves into tobacco and melon flavors. Some orange peel in there as well. The finish is bitter and full of resinous pine flavors. Nothing is harsh or overbearing and alcohol is not apparent. Diplomatic flavors I suppose. The taste is definitely unique.

Mouthfeel isn't heavy or light and carbonation is balanced. I enjoyed this beer for sure. I think Avery does an excellent job at differentiating their DIPA's hop character, giving us a unique but ultimately hoppy experience. Highly recommended.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer was served in my Imperial Pint glass.

Appearance: The beer has a bright amber / orange coloration. The head is thick and a off white biege. The head is long lasting and leaves rings of foam. Tight bubbles of carbonation escape to the top of the beer. In short the beer looks deliscious.

Smell: The aroma of the beer is full of hoppy promises. Oily pine tar resins combine with a citrus and tropical fruits explosions of grapefruit, lemon, mango and pineapple bombard my nose.

Taste: The flavor of the beer is milder on the hops than I expected. The beer leads in with a resinous pine. This gives way to a subdued grapefruit and citrus combo. The beer then turns grassy in notes on the backend. The malt backbone of this beer is a constant companion in the taste. The flavor is very long lasting.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The most notable quality of mouthfeel is the oilyness. This oilyness streches the flavor of the beer out and is very welcome. The body of the beer is medium. This is a very nice DIPA. I could drink a few bombers of this in a setting.

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Photo of Jules11788
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On a side note, I drank this and thoroughly enjoyed it, but hadn't realized that it was retired until I came on to review it! If only I had come on BA first then I definitely would have cellared this and waited for a special occasion, but oh well.

A: Deep coppery-red color; pours a medium head with slight retention; good lacing

S: Very sweet smelling; strong notes of malt and toffee with some figs lingering around; the smell can almost be described as "thick"

T: Very sweet, malty flavor; almost no hint of alcohol at all, very smooth; flavors of toffee, malt, and sticky sweet sugar

M: Medium-bodied; extremely smooth, a little sticky; lightly carbonated

O: This brew was delicious! Very sweet and filling, it felt like something I could sip not just as a dessert beer, but for dessert itself. If this wasn't retired I'd definitely go buy another bottle.

Also, this doesn't taste ANYTHING like an imperial IPA. It's heavy on the malt and sweetness, but only has a very slight bitterness; it feels and tastes more like a barleywine than a pale. If you're looking for a seriously hoppy brew then you're in the wrong place!

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Photo of kevinboyer
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a New Belgium snifter.

I am relatively new to DIPA, but this is unlike any DIPA I've had before. Much more caramel sweetness; much less initial hop intensity. Smell is of floral 'caramely' hops, almost maple syrup. Initial taste is s grapefruit syrup, almost tastes of caramelized scallops. Aftertaste is nowhere near as sweet as expected, more of the floral hop I expect from a double. Mouthfeel is a bit thicker than I prefer, but I find it quite drinkable.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is pretty clear. Copper body and dense ivory white head. Lacing is quite full. This is about as good as it gets aroma wise for a hoppy beer. Raw resiny pure hops. Hop oils and pungent grapefruit and yes, Mary Jane. This has a good hoppy flavor, but it's not quite as full as the nose promised. Still good, no doubt, just not top shelf in my opinion. Some of the grassy tones come through more on the palate along with a more emphasized ethanol presence. And I like andylipp's comment from his review "odd, almost off hop flavor." That fits. Still, there's some of that oily, resiny hop flavor that I like and a nice pleasant bitterness, if not tongue scathing. Solid DIPA.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a 22oz mug.

Pours a nice cloudy golden with a slight orange tinge. Big poofy head and super lacing. Pretty carbonated. Smells bright, citric, and hoppy. Spicy.

Taste is pretty balanced -- the hops are very strong, but not overwhelming, and there's muted citrus sour and smoky nuttiness and fruity sweetness to even it out.

Feels a little abrasive in the mouth -- probably partially due to the heavy carbonation. Pretty drinkable beer -- not that I would recommend downing six of these in a night, but I might be willing to try it.

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Photo of froghop
4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a clear dark amber-copper with a large white head, with good lacing.

smell is of hops, caramel, dry leaves, and some nuts.

taste is thick and creamy, roasted toffee, malt, and some light grapefruit, finish is on the dry side and slightly bitter.

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Photo of Buebie
4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip. Nice gold foil wraps the neck and cap. Cool bottle with all the brewers signatures printed on the lable.
Well themed beer with a quirky name.

Big juicy foam like head, 3 fingers deep. Retention is the best I've seen in a beer to date, a good finger that wont go away. hence the exeptional appearance rating.
Thick sticky lace, resembling real sponge along the glass. Color is a golden transparent amber.

Smell is very fruity and sweet with grapefruit hop aroma. marshmellow cream, pinnaple, sour apples. A hint of caramel.

Taste resembles a smoother version of Maharaja.
Big hops here and not sour like some. Good amount of grapefruit hops, some pine, hop oil?
Smooth mellow carbonation. Finishing dry with a good hop linger and a small bite from the carbonation. Alcahol warming at the swallow.

Very nice indeed. Now I understand the hype behind this beer. This will age very nicely.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a beautiful hazy orange color with lots of a thick white head. the head has some solid retention, takes some time to go down, and leaves lots of lacing on the glass.

S-the nose is strong and brings huge caramel and brown sugar malts, some breadiness, and lots of a resign piney hop aroma

T-the taste follows the nose with the malt but brings a much nicer hop profile to it. the caramel malts come in first and meld with the big resign and pine flavors. this gives way to a sweet citrus hop with hints of mango and grapefruit finishing with a slight hop bitterness

M-it is a lighter medium body but very syrupy with a wet feeling. lots of carbonation in this one.

D-very tasty, huge flavors, tons of malt and hops. the alcohol is present throughout so it wouldn't be something to drink all night, but very enjoyable!

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Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 378 ratings.