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Ale To The Chief - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ale To The ChiefAle To The Chief

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

498 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 498
Reviews: 378
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 10.12%
Wants: 23
Gots: 11 | FT: 2
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:
Brewed occasionally during election years.

(Beer added by: GilGarp on 07-22-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 498 | Reviews: 378 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of garymuchow
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I guess I'm a little late to the game on this one. Oh well.
The requests on the label seem sincere, if not incompatible/unrealistic (how's that hopey changey thing working out), but what's that got to do with what's inside? Nothing. So let's give it a go. Poured into an imperial pint Sierra Nevada glass. I should also note that this is the first on a several DIPA journey. Wonder where this might take me?
Nice expressive sound as the carbonation escapes from its imprisonment. Full rich tannish head caps a very clear gold-reddish amber of the attractive kind. Cap becomes rocky as it settles.
I suppose, in part due to age, the balance on the nose is more balanced as the toasty malt character nearly overcomes the hop aroma of mild spiciness and a slightly intense resin, characteristic of so many in this style. I think age may have hurt this part a bit.
In my mind the unique quality of this drink continues to be the toastiness of the malt. It's quite apparent and unusual (as compared to the others in this style of which I've imbibed). A mild sweetness starts the drink, with an occassional touch of caramel (yum). A growing intensity of hop flavor (resiny again) and bitterness appears about mid drink and finishes after the liquid as passed, but the malt flavors are never really vanquished and help prevent a complete hop bomb. I'm not fond of oppressive hops.
Moderate body aids in reasonably quick drinking. Nicely carbonated as I'm not distracted and it lightens the feel.
The lightness helps the drinkability. However, I'm not inclined to indulge beyond this bottle. I'm not sure the blending worked quite right on this. It's an unique and interesting malt profile for style, but I guess in the end it's not something I'd consider trying to emulate or to excitedly seek out. But I"m pleased for the opportunity and I like the notion of creating a special beer for the hope that comes with the significant transitions in our life.

garymuchow, May 15, 2010
Photo of BeerHunter76
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

BeerHunter76, Dec 04, 2012
Photo of beachbum1975
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

With today being the third and final Presidential Debate between Obama and McCain - what's a more perfect beer to try?

"This is Shane ... oh, I mean beachbum1975 and I approve this beer review!"

On a related note, God, I can't wait for this election year to be over!!!

A: Gold foiled cap with large red "A" ob the brown bomber. Pours a clear solid amber with an off-white, creamy foam head that has decent retention. Minimal lacing on the walls of my tulip.

S: Smells mostly of pineapple hops, followed by some pine and trails with sweet malts.

T/M: Taste is much like the nose, only richer. Lots of pineapple and resinous pine hops throughout. There was a strange bitterness in the middle, almost burnt? It almost reminds me of a salty, burnt potato chip! Sorry, that's what I got. Now, I know that's weird, but it's not bad overall - just more bitter than I was expecting. As is to be expected for an 8.75 abv beer, alcohol becomes more prevalent as it warms. This beer is semi-thick and "chewy" at times and has a quick finish with a lingering bitterness.

Overall, nice but thing outrageously unique. Good price and enjoyable, nonetheless.

beachbum1975, Oct 15, 2008
Photo of jlindsey
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

jlindsey, Mar 20, 2013
Photo of Mack
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Mack, Sep 03, 2014
Photo of TheJollyHop
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Excited to try this beer, and figured Jan 20, 2010 was the perfect day to do so.

I decanted the beer into a tulip glass, noticing its cloudy amber color. A thin finger's worth of head was produced, and no lacing was left behind in the glass.

Strong malt aroma with a very faint pine hop presence. Ample fruity esters and some faint alcohol.

Light caramel upfront with some orange and raisin sweetness followed by some pine flavor. Bitterness builds and gives way to an alcohol burn. Very boozy; I mean full on wave of alcohol heat. Bitterness tingles on the tongue long after the swallow. Not bad tasting, just a little unbalanced.

Medium carbonation but full-bodied and extremely chewy.

Overall the boozy, wild alcohol hinders drinkability. If the alcohol was better masked this beer would be very drinkable.

TheJollyHop, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

zestar, Jul 13, 2014
Photo of rsuske
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

rsuske, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of nick76
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is very malty and hoppy with pine citrus and caramel. The appearance is amber with a nice head. The flavor is like the aroma. The palate is average. Overall a tasty beer however you can really feel the alcohol in this one. Maybe that's your thing.

nick76, Nov 24, 2008
Photo of MarkyMOD
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

MarkyMOD, Sep 13, 2012
Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

KAF, Jul 02, 2014
Photo of rajendra82
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The label on this 22 oz. bomber was especially well designed, with a look reminiscent of the declaration of independence. The beer, when poured into a tulip, was hazy amber in color, and the head formation was two fingers thick. The aroma was notable, only due to the mild nature of it, with a distinct lack of hops typical of most other Avery beers. The taste was well balanced between the malt, and the hops, with the former contributing an apricot fruitiness, while the latter showing up as spicy and bitter flavors. The body was quite a bit thicker than I had anticipated, with a a rough hewn rustic character reminiscent of some stronger Saisons. The alcohol was a bit obtrusive, and I think some age would mellow this beer out to more presentable package. I think it would be just right by inauguration day next year.

rajendra82, Sep 15, 2008
Photo of dgherm
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

dgherm, Jul 05, 2013
Photo of badesign
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served from a bomber in August 2009- no freshness date on bottle so.

Appearance is all but the stereotype of an ideal (D)IPA, marked in my notes as a 'hazy golden sunset.' The aroma is highly complex and fantastic: peach, grapefruity west coast hops, a forest after the rain, butterscotch candy, and just a little booze. The flavor starts with a citrus onslaught, tart and sweet, followed by a long honey sweetness and toasty, buttery malts. Finishes with a big, biting resiny pine and again just the smallest bit of booze.

Mouthfeel is not as sticky as I would expect but is adequate, drinkability is ok but I'm sure I couldn't finish more than one.

An excellent DIPA with plenty of hops but also plenty of malt to back it up, a good beer to spend a night sipping on, and certainly an inspiring premise on which to brew a beer regardless of your politics. Here's a campaign promise: if I ever, against all odds, end up in a position of any power and responsibility whatsoever, all my official events will disavow fine wine in favor of fine beers, just like this one. THAT is change you can believe in.

badesign, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of skizziks
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A limited release from Boulder Colorado's Avery Brewing in celebration of the inauguration of our latest president. The TTB disallows the use of a president's name, but the clever label makes it very clear that Avery is not a stronghold of the John Birch Society and I would bet the break room TV is not tuned to Fox News.

I am immediately greeted by a big hop aroma with plenty of sugary malt coming through. Fresh bread, a little red apple, papaya, and a significant but not distracting alcohol aroma round things out. The tropical and resinous hops play well with the apparent and restrained esters.

A big 3" off-white fluffy head forms off the pour. It quickly dies down to a few thin patches with minimal lace, not surprising with the high alcohol content. The beer is a nice light copper color with some haze that appears to be more from hops than protein.

Hits the tongue with bread, dry biscuit, brown sugar, oranges and papaya. Resinous hops smeared all over with some raw hop cone astringence. Fairly well balanced with an increasingly coarse bitterness building against the sugary malts. Finish is long with lingering hop and warming alcohol.

Full bodied with moderate carbonation. A little heavy on the palate. This isn't a small beer by any means, and the alcohol is never hot or boozy, but it drinks like a stronger beer. The bitterness becomes harsher through the glass and begins to really impact the enjoyability. Some similarities to their Hog Heaven barleywine, but with more emphasis on the bitter instead of the malt. I'll stick to the Hog Heaven in the future.

skizziks, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of Zorro
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear coppery amber colored ale with a dense off-white to light tan colored head. Quite a good looking ale.

Smell is malt and citrus mostly pineapple and mint. Pine and grapefruit are present in lesser amounts and a little lemon, but this really smells like a pineapple cream pie.

Taste starts out malty melon flavor with a little but of woody and oak aftertaste. Quite mildly flavored the melon lasts all they way to the bottom of the glass. Considered giving this a "4" for the mildness, but this just isn't complex enough for a score that high.

Good Mouthfeel.

Not a bad beer at all but not a great one either. Mild and a good choice for introducing someone to the style. But this lacks complexity, not top of the class like a Pliny much less a second tier near great beer like Green Flash Imperial IPA. Wouldn't refuse a free one but I would choose a Green Flash after having tried this for $3 less a bottle.

Zorro, Sep 30, 2008
Photo of maddogruss
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got a bottle of this from the Cloverleaf Tavern.

A: Pours an amber body with a white head with nice retention and lacing along the sides of the glass. Both attributes are held through the finish.

S: A fairly strong, hoppy smell with some balancing, grapefruit notes.

T: A bitter, hoppy taste with a smooth, grapefruit aftertaste that did very well to balance the beer. Definitely a nice beer overall and very good.

M: A little watery, but still fairly smooth. Fairly formidable on the palate.

D: A nice combo of mouthfeel and taste makes this beer a good drinking one. A slight alcoholic burn with some warming, but nothing overwhelming. Probably more of a fall season beer, but very good to drink.

maddogruss, Aug 25, 2008
Photo of portia99
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle received as an extra in a trade with bryanbrick. Thanks Bryan! Poured into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Bottle was a gusher...but once I finished cleaning up the counter and the floor...Pours a cloudy, yeasty copper orange color with a thick, whipped cream like head that settles to a high rimmed collar around the glass with islands of bubbles on the surface.

S - Rich and malty aromas, lots of caramel, some bread, sugar sweetness, a bit of dish detergent (definitely not from the glass either), and a little bit of grapefruit on the nose.

T - Malt centered but with a nice bitterness to it. Not sharply bitter, but round and full. A bit of grapefruit and a touch of pine. Sweet sugar and toffee flavors, some bready, yeasty flavors. Alcohol has a presence in the flavor too, but not at all hot.

M - Pretty full bodied and malty. Carbonation is on the high side and pretty creamy in feel - just a little bit of tingle around the mouth. Lingering malt sweetness in the mouth and quite chewy too.

D - This is a good DIPA, but not a great one. To be fair, I think this is probably a bit past its prime, but not really old either. Malt is a bigger focus than I prefer, but there is still enough hops to enjoy it. Alcohol is on the high side at 8.75%, and it's presence is made known too. Good beer - I think one is enough for me though.

portia99, Dec 04, 2009
Photo of MisterClean
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared with friends at poker night.

A - Pours a copper-orange with a 2 fingered white head. Little retention, which gives way to no lacing.

S - Honey, caramel, and hearty notes of grapefruit.

T - Honey, caramel, and the hearty notes of grapefruit have been turned on by bittering hops.

M - Moderate bodied, well-balanced, and slightly sweet. May not have fully attenuated.

D - Good, could use some more aroma hops and attenuate a little further.

MisterClean, Jul 16, 2009
Photo of RedChrome
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An orange color to the hazy body. Inch and a half of white head had a soapy consistency and faded slowly. A few steady streams of tiny rising bubbles. Thick lace webs.

A good mic of pine hops scents and malted barley backing hit the nose first. A citric note of tangerines and clementines follows in other nose fulls.

Hops are a bit stronger on the tongue then they were in the nose. The malt get overwhelmed behind citric oils. A bit of a girt to the taste.

Nice thickness and a good cling to the liquid. Carbonation burst is sharp but not overwhelming.

A very good brew. Would work well with a thick sauced chicken dish. Was a bit surprised it held up the well since brewing. If you can find one that was stored well, try it.

RedChrome, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of Patrick999
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on a whim at Abraxas....poured into a fairly large, straight-sided glass. Orange-y body, soapy looking head that really looked like it wanted to stick on the glass, but didn't....I'm pretty sure that was the fault of the glass, possibly some detergent residue, as I never get any lacing at Abraxas. I'll give the beer the benefit of the doubt.

Appetizing citric hop aroma.

So, I was bracing myself for a grapefruit hop explosion, but what I got was more of a hit from what seemed like flowery noble hops. Not complaining - it was tasty, but I was surprised. This did not taste like your normal American DIPA. Staunch malt backbone. I don't think I'd call this a DIPA, but whatever it is, I liked it.

Slithery, soapy mouthfeel to go along with the soapy looking head.

It was pretty easy-drinking. Glad to have tried it.

Patrick999, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of coldmeat23
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees
Consumed on Inauguration Day

A golden amber tinted medium brown liquid. Two fingers of creamy light tan colored foam. Great retention and excellent lacing.

Good mix of citrus and pine hops. Big pine notes are combined with big, lush, tropical notes. Nice pineapple presence. Slight presence of caramel sweetness. Big grassy notes. Decent notes of yeasty bread.
It really smells delicious.

Not nearly the hop bomb that the nose had me prepared for. Still a good hop presence, just not as dominant as expected.
Main component of taste seems to be big, butterey, yeasty bread. It has faint traces of caramel on it. It's been dipped in pine sap and some sort of tropical/citrus juice. The whole thing is covered in fresh, green, grass.

Feels thin, crisp and sharp. I like beers to be more full and lush. Lightly sticky.

Fairly decently drinkable, overall. Although, for me, I think that I prefer to smell it.

coldmeat23, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of PatronWizard
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Political beer. I'm afraid I shouldn't say anymore.

Light opaque caramel. Huge big bubbled head.

Nose is thick with sweet malts. Too thick if you ask me. Small hint of hops. Completely opposite of what I would like to smell.

Taste is definitely over malted. Not bad. I was just expecting something different from this DIPA. Slight grassy hops are there, but just overpowered. Not one of my favorites.

Overall: vote your conscience

PatronWizard, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An Avery very hoppy beer. C-hop aroma. Initially, very grapefruit and then as the taste buds numb, there is less hop intensity felt, its more like a pale ale. Average mouthfeel. Less than average grapefruit colour with some white head.Appropriate carbonation. Decent DIPA.

Sammy, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of Ek0nomik
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured In: Snifter Glass
Purchased At: Surdyk's (Minneapolis, MN)

Avery Brewery, check.
IIPA, check.
Celebrating the new POTUS, check.

I know this beer is past its prime, but I found this lonely looking bottle on the shelf this past weekend. Since it's a one time brew, I figured I shouldn't pass it up and I crated it.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy copper color with a finger of head. Although it's too cloudy to see how effervescent it is, you can hear a quiet stream of bubbles grasping for air. I can tell from the smell of sweet sticky malt that lacing will be covering this snifter. Yep, sheets of lacing are scattered across the glass.

Smell: A nice blend of earthy notes with a strong sweet malt backbone. There's also a slight hint of citrus, including some grapefruit and orange peel. The alcohol just every so slightly shines through, with a little harshness climbing into my nose.

Taste: After a few splashes cross the palate, I think I'm ready. First, very sweet caramel malt. They seem to be lending themselves well to the amount of alcohol and hops in this. The sweet malt unravels into earthy notes including pine resin and grass. With the beer leaving my mouth I'm left with a slight bitterness and citrus aftertaste including orange peel and grapefruit rind.

Mouthfeel: A medium bodied beer, slightly on the more full of medium side. The carbonation was a little high when I first cracked open the bottle, but now that it's been sitting for an hour it's just right.

Drinkability: Another well put together beer by Avery. I wouldn't mind seeing the sweet malt cut back just a tad, and a few more cascade hops thrown in, but still a great beer. The ABV makes it a tough one to have on a weeknight, but I'm doing it anyways.

I wish I would have had this in my hand after the election last November after I lit up the cigar to celebrate.

Ek0nomik, Nov 03, 2009
Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 498 ratings.