Ale To The Chief - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ale To The ChiefAle To The Chief

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

378 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 378
Hads: 507
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 8.62%
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
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Reviews: 378 | Hads: 507
Photo of Frosty80
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color: hazy golden brown

Smell: very hoppy/piney. hint of pineapple and malty/sugary sweetness. wonderful aroma

Taste: great balance of strong hop presence and malt. character carries over from aroma. little bit of yeast in the finish

Mouthfeel: low carbonation. medium body

Notes: a centerfold of an imperial IPA. hops and alcohol tingles all the way through. gives Ruination a run with a little more fruit in the nose and on the tongue (441 characters)

Photo of Foxman
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a slightly hazy amber, amply carbonated. A finger of dense, eggshell head sustains long enough to leave a frothy moustache after the first couple sips. Thin wires of lacing circuit the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, the hops are all the rage, with dry citrus, lemon zest, and resiny pine playing wantonly. The malt bubble through from under, with a slightly sweet cast and a caramel complexion. The alcohol punctuates the air with a hot shaft of vapor.

Upon sipping, the malt this time comes first, with a manageably sweet character boating caramel and distant berry. The hops elbow in impatiently, casting forth showers of crisp, dry grapefruit, mandarin orange, and thick, oily pine. Esters boast a bit of peach that soon disappears in the wake of a brash wash of alcohol. Residual grain presence is mostly biscuit with a touch of sugar. The finish is very crisp, very dry, and very bitter, but in a homey, hop-head pleasing way. Simply, the impressive balance leaves nothing to not like.

Medium bodied, the malt has nice body, which is buoyed and borne by the oozing lubricant of the hops, leaving a crisp glow for the effort.

Thanks to Taylor at the Mexican Food Factory for the heads up on this, because I would not have wanted to miss it. It's big, bold, brash, and a few other good B's as well, with a balance that juggles some very hefty elements, and yet leads to a very fetching blend. And I can say definitively that it holds up impressively to a sassy quesadilla, often a daunting task but one this beer responds to with aplomb. Yes, the ABV is muscular, but it's not sly, so one can take heed easily. The only issue is knowing when to say when, because it goes down very well. Avery is always solid in my book. But this time, they went above and beyond. (1,786 characters)

Photo of Overlord
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the highlights of Stone's 12th anniversary.

Pours an orange amber, small off white head.

Hops literally leap at you; grapefruit, citrus, and pine. Taste is explosive, with sticky, resinous grapefruit, some nice tropical/malty backing, and a lively mouthfeel. Could drink all day.

Great. (298 characters)

Photo of Crosling
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper color with a small head. They nailed the nose, with an intense blend of west coast hops that deliver loads of grapefruit and lemon. Flavor packs a wallop with a lovely, beautiful hoppiness. Lemon, citrus, resin, pure, oily hops. Well utilized hops and also hops of high quality. Delicious display of hops. Basically a 1.5 IPA here. (338 characters)

Photo of Seanibus
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A winner, no matter who wins.

Pours a bright amber with a fluffy, long lasting head with a bit of lacing. The aroma is huge, with a giant blast of grapefruity hops that you can smell from feet away. The taste is lovely, balanced, carmelly and malty with huge, fresh-tasting citrusy hops, with a bit of alcohol on the tongue. The mouthfeel is a bit clingy, leaving a lasting bitterness. A delicious, balanced, and beautiful offering. (433 characters)

Photo of PhillyStyle
4.46/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle at Great Northern Tavern (Denver, CO):

Very nice hazy orange with a very nice white fluffy head that was very well retained and very nice lacing. There were also noticeable particles floating in the beer. A thin cap remained through out the beer. This is possibly one of the best looking beers that I have seen to date.

The aroma was very hoppy, floral with a hint of sweetness from the malted barley. That was really it, but it was well done.

The taste is very hoppy with a very nice malt backbone as well that really balanced the beer nicely. I also got some bready/biscuit flavor, but overall the flavor of the beer is very nice.

Full bodied beer, very good carbonation, smooth, creamy with an excellent aftertaste. I was really surprised, as most DIPA's that I have tried have a very thick feel, almost like syrup, but this beer steered clear of that and was most enjoyable to drink. Drinkability is very good, but given the ABV probably not more than one at a time, besides, this is a beer that should be savored and not rushed. I would have to say that this is an excellent to world class beer. (1,117 characters)

Photo of fightingirishcmk
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden orange in color, with a decent two finger white head with good lacing. A beautiful beer.
S: To be honest, I'm not usually big on IPAs or an imbalance of hops. But this smelled great! Citrusy grapefruit, orange, and and overall fruity smell tickled my nostrils. The piney smell of the hops was small, and the malt smelled sweet.
T: So much hop smell, but I found it to be a perfect balance of sweet malt and hop bitterness. The bitterness wasn't cloying like in some other IPAs, but balanced the malt perfectly. I was pleasantly surprised.
M: Perfect amount of carbonation and medium body. Very good feel in your mouth.
D: Highly drinkable. This was the first IPA of any sort that my girlfriend actually drank with me. I was very impressed. (749 characters)

Photo of hoplover82
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a beautiful clear pale copper color. Has a small dissapating off white head.

Smells of sensational citrusy-floral hops. No real malt aromas. The hops are just fine for me. Seems like more than Cascades to me.

Average to pretty nice lacing.

The flavor is of spicy, piney, citrusy hops and a little bit of malty goodness.

Pretty smooth on the palate, a little alcohol sting. And a little thin, but full bodied. A nice bitterness that lingers nice. (462 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought on my latest trip to CO for $6.79

This pours a clear deep amber gold with a 2 finger head of foam. There's plenty of nice lacing.

The smell is very big on caramel malt with also big notes of bread and earthy hops. A very nice aroma so I can't wait to dig in.

The taste doesn't let me down after such a rich mix of smells. Plenty of sweet malt character with the caramel and the bread with nice citrus and piney hops bringing THE balance and whoa...I'm loving it. It makes me wonder why I waited so long to pick up a bottle and even why I didn't pick up more than 1 bottle. It's also a strong puppy but the flavours I'm enjoying pretty much put the abv on the sidelines where it belongs so I can enjoy this Double/Imperial IPA's obvious talents. This is a great tasting example of the style. I make no bones about it.

It feels full bodied to me with a lightish amount of carbonation so it has a very creamy overall feel to it. One of the best mouthfeels I've experienced in any beer of any style.

Drinkability? Ha! No interference from the abv, delicious and enough complexity in the flavours to keep me on the edge of my seat, not to mention the superb balance....I could sip on more than 1 bottle at a sitting. Easily. Pure joy to drink and well worth the price I paid. This is now one of my favourite brews from the folks at Avery!

Oh and...head retention is top notch. (1,384 characters)

Photo of dancinwillie
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased at Brennan's in Madison, Wisconsin for $6.99.

Poured a beautiful medium shade of bronze, with a pillowy head of off white foam. A little lighter color than I was hoping for. Good head retention, however, and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere soon. I was smelling this even as I poured, even before I stuck my nose in there for closer inspection. Once I did though, images of resin coated hops fill my head. Smells of sticky pine resin, and citrus fruits dominate.

Oh my, this is a flavorful beer. I have to take a few small sips to take it all in. Orange juice, fresh grapefruit, pine tree sap that you know you shouldn't taste when you were a kid, but you did anyway. At least I did. It's not all hops here though, the sweetness of the malt is substantial. It's a damn good thing there is so much delicious hop flavor, to cut through that sweetness. I don't detect any of the alcohol in the taste, although half way through my first glass, and I'm feeling pleasantly warm.

Good mouthfeel. It's a little creamy, a little chewy, carbonation is at a fine level that let's the bitterness dance all over your tongue. Finish could be a bit dryer.

I would have to say for myself, drinkability is rather high for this one. This is a highly hopped beer, perhaps even a bit unbalanced on the hop side but sometimes, that's just what I want. I was craving a hoppy, fresh tasting, pick me up beer. And that's just what I got. I'll be picking up more as soon as I am able. Ale to the Chief! (1,496 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark golden/amber color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a warm, pale, Carapils, and bisquit malt scent along with a kick ass hop aroma. The taste is good. It has a very bitter hop flavor that goes down slow and smooth and resinates in the finish. The malt bill is complex and flavorful, but the hop content takes center stage. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer. It's hoppy as hell, but with good malt balance; a wonderful beer. (568 characters)

Photo of murdoch22
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured during the second presidential debate into a brandy snifter.

This stuff is beautiful and resilient. Pour it however you please. Dump recklessly, and watch the foam fly. Drip carefully, if you have that kind of patience. Drink from a sequined champagne flute with a chihuahua in your pink purse. Drink from the crusty skulls of your vanquished enemies. Whatever the pour, whatever the vessel, this is a beautiful beer. Dive through the head to the bottom of the glass and experience a nearly smooth gradient from foam-white to ale-brown.

To appreciate the genius of this brew, you need only smell it. It's like an oolong beer--pour a glass to smell, and one to drink. But give me the one you were smelling. I'll drink it, too. To be completely abstract, it's a smell with a matte finish. Not sharp, not smooth, not sweet, not bitter, not hot, not astringent. It's like nothing i've ever smelled before, except for the last time i had a bottle of this. Beer at it best is senior-level chemistry; mixing aromatic compounds to create something that leaves a unique impression between the olfactory and memory centers of the beer drinker's brain. This is an honors-level achievement, to be sure.

The flavor is appropriately hopsy, with a near-balance of malts. It's classic Avery--expecting you to accept their throat-constricting sour and bitter hops and praise them for their courage in making a beer that tastes like a grapefruit-appreciation class crammed into a single afternoon and making you love them for it. In this case, though, the harsh and sap-soaked hops are mellowed by some alchemy into a divine seasonal orn that i can't get enough of.

Again, i don't know how they do it, but the typically flat, thin taste of overhopped limited-release beers is filled out with something else; hence i say of both the smell and taste that it has a matte finish, rather than being a smooth veneer. It doesn't feel like it just soaks in and slides down. It lingers, and you like it.

As far as drinkability, let's don't fool ourselves. This is on the strong side. While stronger beers with shorter release windows tend to score A- to A+ on this site, most of those are not the kind of thing you would drink bottlewise at your local pub. While i've had no problem polishing off a 22 ouncer of this tonight, i probably won't do it tomorrow. That said, your weekly bottle has a good chance of being empty well before you initially intended it to be. (2,451 characters)

Photo of StoneTSR
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: I love the colors of this beer. The liquid itself is a dark, golden color and the head is stark-white. It has decent retention and a few streams of bubbles slowly reaching towards it from the bottom of the glass. The beer is nearly perfectly clear and the lacing is good up top, but fades towards the bottom of the glass.

SMELL: Just as pretty as the color, the smell begins with a big dose of pine and citrus. Some caramel lingers behind it to round it out.

TASTE: The caramel is no longer lingering behind anything once this beer hits your tongue. Instead, it is the lead flavor paired up with a lot of pine. Some brighter citrus notes, including a solid helping of grapefruit, and a touch of anise help to bring a very nice balance to what would otherwise be a pretty malty beer.

MOUTHFEEL: Silky is the right word for the mouthfeel. Creamy and smooth along with a light carbonation. As I mentioned above, this beer has a great balance. The front end is heavier on the sweeter malts and the finish is heavy on dry, hoppy bitterness.

OVERALL: This is an excellent example of just how well Avery can execute a solid beer. While they didn't try anything completely out of the box (as they have with many other beers) they simply nailed this one and made a wonderful beer. Big, hoppy beers should all taste a lot like this. (1,339 characters)

Photo of Kendo
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on 1-20-09. Bush's last day, Obama's first.

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip. Body is golden-honey amber with a foamy 1-finger light khaki head. Some lace slowly recedes.

S: Grapefruity, citrusy & piney hops over sweet malt: honey and caramel malt. Very pleasant nose.

T: Grapefruit & citrus in general and tropical fruit. Also some caramel malt and brown sugar, providing nice balance. Finishes with slight bite of heat and pepper. Lingering dry pine and grassy bitterness.

M: Medium weight. Some slight resiny grittiness.

D: Excellent. Went down very easily for an almost-9% ABV DIPA. (596 characters)

Photo of tadowdaddy
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- light amber color with 2 fingers of off white head and tremendous lacing.

S- Floral, citrus, and piney hops. A touch of maltiness comes across as well in the smell.

T- Delicious combination of floral and citrus hops with a really good caramel malt on the background to balance it out. Tastes more like a regular IPA than a double, but is a very delicious beer. Not as bitter as I'd have expected from a DIPA.

M- A bit chewy, leaves a nice aftertaste of hops on the tongue.

D- Very drinkable! Wish I had another one! (524 characters)

Photo of Oxymoron
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Only in Boulder. Pours a lighter amber color with some darker hues throughout. Sparklingly clear with a soft white head and good retention through out.

The nose is along the lines of a west cost IPA. Mostly piney hop notes come out with a light citrus/grapefruit aroma on the back end. Some sweeter almost candi like malt aroma, but nothing really comes out as hop dominate the nose. Some lighter yeast/esters notes and noticeable alcohol, but nothing over the top.

The taste is similar. A strong piney flavor comes out up front with some resins and green flavors. The piney does go into the finish but the citrus orange and minor grapefruit comes out more than the nose indicates. Very taste and a hop head delight. The malt is non-descript but does have enough backing to somewhat back the hop notes. Some alcohol notes but not as big as the nose indicated. Some pepper and vanilla notes on the back end, and are detectable once you tongue gets use to the strong hop flavor.

The body is moderate and smooth considering the ABV. Carbonation is light but the hops still shine. Overall a great IPA that is boardline IIPA. Very easy to drink. I really like the hop bomb characteristics but would have liked the piney-ness to back off a bit and more of a balance with the citrus. Enjoyable beer! (1,295 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle enjoyed during the pregame to the last game at Yankee stadium.

A: Nice copper color with surprising clarity. Poured with 2 fingers of white head. Excellent lacing.

S: Simply amazing nose. Tons of fresh hops. Floral and citrus as well.

T: Amazing taste. Tons of citrus. Grapefruit and just moist hops. This is what wet hopping is all about. The malt is there as well but this is all about the hops.

M: Nice and creamy. Just a nice crisp beer. I love it when a super hoppy beer gets that nice creamy mouthfeel.

D: Nothing beats a fresh dry hopped beer and this is no exception. Super easy drinking with a ton of taste. The hop head inside of me is moist. Track this one down soon to get this wonderful beer. (718 characters)

Photo of ironarrow42
4.41/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliant orange-amber hue with an off-white layer of foam. Looks very much like an English ale. Aroma of sweet caramel malts with a hint of butterscotch, light earthy & flowery hops, and orange oil.

Has a distinctive flavour of orange peel and orange oil over caramel malt. Pleasant, smooth bitterness balances the malt. Moderately full body with a very fine carbonation bead. Slight sour edge complements the orange notes and gives this a dessert-like quality.

This is a big, substantial and flavourful brew with a lot of English character. Really well-made and distinctive. (586 characters)

Photo of nickss
4.39/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice deep orange with a smallish, but resilient head.

One of the best aromas from a brew I've drank in quite some time. Huge grapefruit aroma with a very strong hop presence.

Huge piney aroma... lots of hops in this one. That said, there is a bit of balance. Pretty nice all around.

Nice crisp mouthfeel... good and chewy... pretty much what you would want in a DIPA

Very drinkable for a brew of this abv. I could certainly knock a few of these back in one sitting. I have really come to appreciate Avery's hoppy brews, and this is certainly a credit to the brewery. (578 characters)

Photo of hurleymanvw
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Avery did a great job with this one.

Aroma of citrus (grapefruit), pine, and hop with a nice white head. Strong lacing on the glass.

Nice citrus taste with a nice floral hop punch. Malt was used nicely to balance the beers finish.

Mouthfeel is not very heavy the hops are nice to the tongue but do not over power the mouth. The alchol is hidden in this one. Nice balance.

Finish was great with a slight hop bite but not too harsh. I would highly recommend this beer. (470 characters)

Photo of BeerSox
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into 8oz snifter.

Slightly hazy deep orange hue with hints of ruby. The head is cream colored, and about one finger high with a moderately aggressive pour. In its place, a one finger tall wall of lacing is perched above the orange.

The sharp hops lend a good amount of sour grapefruit, and at the same time, sweet peach and pineapple. The malts add a little bit of sweet candy in the background.

A mix of sour and sweet flavors mix as they do in the aroma. The sweeter flavors contain notes of pineapple and apple, and outlast the citrusy bitterness of the Cascades. The malts don't contribute much to the flavor, except to add a little soft grain. Full bodied with good carbonation. The sweet and bitter hops both linger after each sip, with the sweetness lasting a bit longer.

Out of all of the super hopped beers I have tried this is the first that had such a strong sugary sweetness that came from the hops. It's not cloyingly sweet either like certain Barleywines or DIPAs. This is one that should certainly be enjoyed as fresh as possible to enjoy what the hops have to offer. On top of everything, it's not too aggressively bitter. Recommended. (1,167 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes. On tap at Capone's...
Appears a semi-transparent copper toned amber with a small white head that slowly fades out. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of super hoppy, grapefruit, pine, herbs, and bown sugar.
Taste is of a hoppy, sugary mix with some standout citrus, and spicey pine notes that make the beer extremely interesting.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, chwy, and balanced for such a hop-filled monster. (447 characters)

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a crystal clear amber gold with a huge volume of creamy off-white head.

Aroma is a gorgeous medley of sweet malts, caramel, fresh-baked bread, and piney/citrus hops.

The taste is quite malty upfront. Creamy with caramel and toffee while finishing with a piney hoppiness. The alcohol is well hidden.

Medium bodied, rich and chewy, and moderately carbonated.

Bravo. I love this IIPA from Avery. A great drinker from start to finish. (457 characters)

Photo of ImHereForTheBeer
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We brought this beer with us to the Inauguration in Washington DC to celebrate... (video here: http://www.hereforthebeer.com/inauguration-day-ale-to-the-chief-washington-dc/)

It pours a clear amber with an orange hue. The smell has a beautiful bouquet of cascade hops and a fresh floral aroma. The taste begins bold, bitter and hoppy yet finishes with a citrus... I'd say grapefruit like characteristic. The mouthfeel is great, very smooth covering many areas of ones taste buds. This was an easy and enjoyable beer to drink.

This beer was a nice "change" and leaves us with a sense of "hope". (596 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a hazy, obscure but bright amber. A thin but creamy, soapy head atop, nice sticking lace around most of the glass.

Aroma - orange, syrupy, heavy. Definitely a Double IPA on the nose.

Taste - chewy malts and orange juice. Fresh and vibrant, the swallow bends more towards a grassy grapefruit flavor. A kind of kiwi taste as the palate clears, plenty of citrus throughout. Quite a tasty beverage; finishes warm in the belly with a lengthy, mildly bitter end. Shows some crackery, almost rye-like graininess on the finish. A little medicinal touch at times, late if at all. Probably not bitter enough for the DIPA-heads, but I prefer it.

Mouthfeel - smooth and slightly slick, heavier than normal. Carbonation is up but fighting through much body to make its presence known.

Drinkability - one of the more drinkable DIPAs I've come across. I'll save the other one for 1/20 or thereabouts. I toast the end of the campaign season (how I *hate* the commercials), congratulate those who've won, and toast the beginnning of what I hope is a brighter future. Cheers. (1,080 characters)

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