1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.

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

502 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 502
Reviews: 378
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.15%
Wants: 25
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 502 | Reviews: 378 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gmcfarre
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into imperial pint glass

A - Pours a fairly clear light orange color with a good sized off white head that leaves impressive lacing. Head lasts well.

S - Beautiful floral and piney hop scent that screams "Cascade!" A bit of citrus accompanies. Wonderfully well rounded and appealing. Good sweet malt backbone that makes even the scent seems smooth.

T - It somehow starts off bitter (hopefully our next president won't do the same). A little bit sweet with gallons of hop flavor. Pine and grapefruit come to mind. Very bitter overall, with a nice finish. Pleasant in every way (at least for the common DIPA drinker)

M - Starts with moderate carbonation and a medium to heavy body. Finish is very bitter as expected.

D - Moderate alcohol for the style, but don't let that fool you into guzzling this delicious beer. Hopefully this one is available for many months to come.

Photo of bound4er
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 22 oz. bomber. My first Avery beer.

Dark amber to light orange appearance. Clean looking off-white head that settles quickly to a full-covering skim. More malts than hops on the nose - biscuit and cracker-like aromas that are very nice. A slight citrus note pokes through from the hops. Starts out sweet upon entry and then turns bitter with a good hit of piney, somewhat weedy hops. Though present, the sweetness isn't really bothersome. Medium bodied with prickly carbonation. Pretty good drinkability and a good beer but not really a must have DIPA for me, especially after downing two HopSlams last night, which blows Ale To The Chief away.

Photo of sonicdescent
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

In Celebration of our chief's speech!

Pours a beautiful golden color with some thick fluffy head that leaves great lacing.

Smell is unusually weak. I smell citrus hops but it is barely there.

Taste is not weak, in fact one of the more robust dipas that I have had. Very bitter with citrus hops.

Mouth is medium in both carbonation and body.

Drinkability is low as this is kind of harsh after more than a few sips.

Photo of CoolJosh
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A. A glowing golden orange, with an awesome 4 finger head from pour that dissipitates moderately

S. An elbow of hops to the nose, tons on fresh bitterness that comes straight out, right away and let's you what's going on, some grapefruit is present as well

T. So smooth, runs like butter. As my newly acquainted friend pointed out, there's caramel in the beginning of the sip but you've gotta look for it from the get go. Really creamy in taste, phenomenal, and refreshing representation of the style. Great hop bitterness in the middle, with smoothness all around.

This has been the best IPA that I have had to date thus far, I really enjoyed this beer, and it was phenomenal when I had it. However, I will be re-reviewing this beer when I can get my hands on some more, my newly acquainted friend explained how much different the beer tasted this time around for him...

Photo of bkilpatr
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. 10/25/08.

Pours a copper golden-orange color with about two fingers of beige head. The head dropped slowly and left some nice lacing. Aroma is piny and citrusy hops and some caramel malt.

Taste is sweet caramel malt followed by piny and grassy hops. Quite a bitter finish. A bit of citrus, mostly grapefruit. Not the most balanced beer; it could use a bit more sweetness to balance it out. The alcohol is very well hidden in the taste.

Feel is medium bodied and well-carbonated. Just the right thickness and not sticky at all. Drinkability is decent. The taste is a bit unbalanced but the alcohol is very well hidden.

Overall, pretty good for a pale ale. It's a bit pricey (~$8) and maybe not worth the price, but it's a pretty good beer.

Photo of pwsoldier
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a snifter.

A - dark amber with a creamy off-white head that slowly dissipates into a ring of foam. Light lacing.

S - Pine and grapefruit with a vague hint of caramel sweetness.

T - An incredibly well-balanced beer. The piney hops are offset by a strong malt backbone that provides a great deal of caramel sweetness without stealing any thunder from the hops. Very impressive balance.

M -Full-bodied with a very smooth finish. Carbonation doesn't get in the way.

D - Delightfully smooth and enjoyable. The only thing that kept me from having another was the high abv, which is barely noticable when you're drinking it.

Photo of andylipp
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Poured a clear copper with 2+ inches of yellow-tinged head. Lots of lacing as it died down in my Corsendonk tulip (my standard bomber taster).

Smell - Grapefruity hop aroma dominates with some fruitiness thrown in as well. Not much malt in the nose.

Taste - My first reaction was that I did not like the compliment of hops used. While there's a bit of sweetness at first taste, that quickly gives way to an odd, almost off hop flavor. That in turn gives way to a more familiar resiny, citrusy hop character with a long, bitter piney finish. The abv becomes apparent in the very last throes of the finish.

Mouthfeel - Low to moderate carbonation, with medium viscosity in the body.

Drinkability- Medium. I don't hate it but halfway through the bottle I was already thinking about what I'd drink next. Each sip started off a bit underwhelming, but the finish was impressive enough to get me to take the next one.

Comments- I think that on inauguration day this beer might be drinking a bit better. The hops used make it a bit tough to drink right now and may round out a bit by January. I think I'll buy one to put away until then, but won't seek one out until the new President is sworn in.

I'm confused as to what Avery was after with this beer. They already have the amazing Maharajah in the DIPA/IIPA category, so why another? Reading the label I thought that this might be more of an Imperial Pale Ale with more of a malt presence, but that's not the case to these taste buds.

Note- About a month later I had this beer on tap and it was a much better experience. The "off" hop flavor wasn't present and the malt character was much more obvious.

Photo of kotzbauerm
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a pint glass. Color is a somewhat hazy/dark red which turns orange into the light. A nice white head that retained itself for quite a while and some killer lacing throughout the session. Smells are of some piney hops and some earthy tones. I sense some biscuit and bread starter which brings back old memories. Taste is of somewhat a citrus-pine hit of hops, little bitter, but very plausible. Medium bodied, sticky on the palate with nice carbonation. Very drinkable imperial that doesn't do any harm. I recommended very much so.

Photo of hu5om
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

got it on the wheel at Bodega in La Crosse. Not bad for 3.25! Poured from bottle to Duvel tulip, (need to get a tulip bad). Cloudy medium orange in a appearance, fluffy white head that stuck around for a while. Tart, citrus smell. Not as many hops as I was hoping for, but for a retired IPA to be expected. Not sure how old it was. Taste reminded me of a mix of old ale and pale ale. Not nearly as many hops as I hope for in something labelled an imperial, but still good. I think for me it was more of a changing my expectations and accepting it for what it is at this point. Big bottle at 8.75 % and you can feel it. Not sure I'd order it, but if it came back on the wheel again, I would not be opposed. Excited to try some of Avery's stuff fresh!

Photo of gunnerman
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, pours a copper color with a fluffy 2 finger head that leavs some nice lace on the glass. Smell is a fresh citrus hop with grapefruit, nectar, honey, lemon smells coming from this beer. Taste is dead on nice thich sweetness with a hop bitterness, very fresh and hoppy, this had that slick feel to it as it warmed up I noticed the sweetness fade a bit. Overall this was a damn fresh fine offering. I am not sure how it would taste a few months from now, time to celebrate to the new chief.

Photo of OlieIPA
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint on tap from Hollingshead.

A: Amber color with just the right amount of head. Didn't pay too much attention to the lacing, so can't say too much about that.

S: It was actually hard to pick out one thing. I actually had to ask my buddy what he thought. We both picked out a fruity aroma from the beer with hops mixed in.

T: A little bitter up front and at the end. The mixture of hops and malts was perfect after the intial taste. As it warms up, the bitterness kicks in a little too much.

M: Medium-body. Feels almost unfilitered.

D: The first half of the pint was excellent, but it got kind of difficult to swallow towards the end.

Overall: A very good beer that was worth trying.

Photo of TheMistler
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on Inauguration Day (natch), as a warm-me-up to follow being on the mall, where it was cold (but heart-warming and full of good tidings). It seemed to pour a rather bright, light, and clear orange but the beer in my tulip is a cloudy (to the point of being opaque) and rather dark orange / copper. Creamy (in color and texture) head ended up settling, after a nice retention time, to a whispy but thick, island-filled cap and a pretty darn thick ring. Impressive tree-ring lacing.

Lots of grapefruit to the aroma, but there is also a strongly discernible caramel malt base.

Nougat and caramel in a strong malt flavor that is established before citrus, lemon zest and hops in general start to heavily compete for attention. A sharp, whole-grain bread flavor evinces itself slightly alongside the CO2. Finishes with grapefruit and some pine bittering, but also a sweetness that seems to come alongside a slight buttery taste and sensation (resin?).

Crisp carbonation, a very "solid"-seeming, refreshing beer that nonetheless has hints of a slippery feeling. Thickens as it warms.

Photo of Hophead101
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

drank on 1.20.09 - the night Barak Obama was inagurated. Was in a hotel in White Plains NY. I brough this bottle with me so I could be sure to have it on the proper night. The only glassware I was able to use were the 8 oz water glasses in the room. I don't think I ever drank a beer by myself in a hotel before, but I couldn't drink the special beer on a different day. It all worked out OK.

The policitally charged beer poured a good hazy amber color. good frothy head which stuck around for quite some time. There were some significantly big bubbles on the edges of the glass. Before I could even smell it, I could smell it. Which only goes to indicate this one must have a pretty decent aroma to it. Without waiting any longer I went in for the smell. A slight piney but mostly citrusy smell. Predominate scents the popped out to me were oranges and grapefruits.

The taste was pretty darn good. It was quite creamy, in a good way. There wasn't as much hop in the flavor as there was in the aroma, but that ended up being a good thing. It was relatively light on the palate, but was bitterly smooth. I think any more hops in this beer and it would have thrown it off balance. Definitely a nice beer, and will have some of this again.

Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber to pint glass.

A: Pours an orange body with a huge, beautiful white head that becomes very rocky and has great retention. They don't get better looking than this.

S: Smells of strong pine hops with some breadiness and a decent balance of malts.

T: Taste is right now with the smell. Strong bitter hops with and even malt balance. There's a bit of a caramel note, but not much. The bitterness dominates the finish.

M&D: Mouthfeel is nice and thick with good carbonation, almost perfect. Very drinkable for the thickness and bitterness.

Great beer from Avery, they rarely disappoint. I have another bottle I'm going to cellar for a year and see what happens.

Photo of nrombes
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of 1759Girl
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This was recommended to me by some brewer friends while we could find it on tap:)
Appearance> Hazy, red-amber in colour, lacing was asi-asi. Not much head to speak of.
Smell> Excellent resiny hop aroma
Taste> Sweet, strong, complext, hoppy, but smoothes out to a smooth finish.
Mouf> okay... foamy... okay
Drinkability> Sure.

Photo of Douglas14
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A little disappointed with this one. Not that it isn't good but because I was expecting more. I suppose it is my fault for loving Avery so much. Pretty traditional DIPA but with an Avery twist. The twist comes through because of it's unique hop bouquet that smells almost nutty...first time I've gotten that experience from an IPA. The taste is similar with the nuttiness turning more into a woody flavor. Good beer but not what I was expecting.

Photo of corey0212
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a glowing honey/orange color, sturdy & foamy two-finger head fades extremely slowly into a 1/4" layer, thick sheets of lacing coat the inside of the glass....this is an incredible pour. Smell is rich with caramel malt, piney hops take a backseat, but they come through nicely. Really nice balance on this one...thick/gooey caramel flavors, lots more pine on the tongue, some faint bitter grapefruit. Sticky mouthfeel, lots of lingering bitterness and piney aftertaste. A really nice Imperial IPA.

Photo of drperm
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, poured into a tall pilsner glass.

Notes: 2 December 2008...obviously, I also couldn't wait until Inaguration Day to whip this puppy out, but I might try to find another to replace it with!

Appearance: Enticing and intriguing, with the beautiful orange color of apricot or mango nectar. A thin -- yet tenacious -- creamy white head laces the top.

Aroma: The first thing that hits the nose is the alcohol, but it quickly flows into a nice bouquet of hops and sweet malt, with some mysterious fruitiness lurking beneath the surface...

Taste: The nose does NOT prepare you for the treasure trove of flavor that greets the tongue! Cantaloupe, persimmon, apricot, peach ice cream, and sweet resinous hop (sorry, folks, I get no grapefruit) lead into a finish that *almost* hints at fresh cardamom. The finish is dizzying and, strong as it is, begs -- nay, dares -- you to take another sip. And another.

Palate: Oh, boy, do you ever feel that 8.75%! It definitely finishes like an Imperial/DIPA. Based on the nose and preliminary tongue, I fear the sweetness that seems to be on the way -- but somehow it all works. It flirts with being too sweet, but never commits. The spicy hop finish tames the candy corn and sends it away.

Overall: This is one of THE best new beers I've had in a long while. It is quite complex and enjoyable. I doubt I could have more than one at a time (it's just too strong, and the 22 oz almost defeated me!) -- but, after all, one *can* only have one beer at a time...It's so heady, it's almost in league with certain barleywines.

Try with spicy Indian food. It worked great with a Senegalese peanut soup we made. I'd also be tempted to try this alongside pistachio ice cream or even a hot peach cobbler.

Photo of natelocc787
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darker IPA. Nice 3 finger head with lasting retention. Nose is both caramel malt and orange peel with light spruce. Big time orange in the taste as well with caramelized pineapple and tree sap. Sticky on the sides of the glass as it disappears. One of the maltier Imperial IPA's I've had but good. I would get this one again.

Photo of nickss
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photo of TheJollyHop
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Photo of GFish
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of AChamberlain
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this on election night, watching the numbers come in. Orange, hazy. Orangish creme head. Wet hop aroma reminiscent of maharajah. Sweet tea flavor, grassy. Hoptastic. Subdued bite. Alcohol warming. Pretty smooth drinker. Good, but to boozy and sweet to be highly drinable. Tasty, though.

Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 502 ratings.