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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
89
very good

501 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 501
Reviews: 378
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.15%
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: 501 | Reviews: 378 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of deereless
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Crystal clear, medium copper with a hint of ruby red, nice thin layer of dense foam - 4.50, S: Some intense aromas, strong overripe pineapple, some malts in the depth of the beer - 4.25, T: As the aromas led me to believe, this beer has pineapple on the palate, the tail end is distinctly bitter, some woodiness to it as well - 4.00, M: Quite silky and smooth while still being sticky - 4.25, D: A bomb of a beer as one might expect from an Avery Double IPA, enjoyable but somewhat lost in all the weightiness of the brew - 3.75

deereless, Oct 11, 2008
Photo of cbn
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks good, deep golden amber body, slight chill haze. Foamy head retreats to leave a thin cap, good lacing.

Aroma of candied hops, coniferous and citral , fresh pine cones and grapefruit rind, with a pungent alcohol end-note.

Light, clean malt sweetness carries a truck-load of fresh, high alpha hop bitterness. I also noticed a celery or raw carrot end-note.

Medium body with a very slightly oily mouthfeel, good carbonation delivers a bit of creaminess.

Very tasty, hopiness is balanced with good carbonation and impeccable malt.

cbn, Oct 10, 2008
Photo of murdoch22
4.4/5  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.

murdoch22, Oct 08, 2008
Photo of cjgator3
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle

A- Pours a beautiful golden amber color with a large sticky off-white head that possesses excellent retention.

S- The aroma is sweet malt and hints of caramel with a lot of citrusy hops. The hop aromas lean most closely to that of grapefruit with hint s of orange as well.

T- The taste starts off pretty smooth and malty with a good dose of hops in the finish. I love the balance in this brew. There is a good amount of hops, with a nice malt base to back the hops up.

M- Medium bodied mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This beer is pretty damn drinkable despite the high ABV. Another solid beer from Avery that is recommended!

cjgator3, Oct 07, 2008
Photo of bonbini26
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap @ the Blind Tiger 10-03-08

A: Medium dark amber with a one finger head with excellent retention. As i drink this, it leaves a beautiful lacing on the side of the glass

S: Excellent citrus (orange) and floral hops. Mild malt backbone

T: Starts off hoppy with a wonderful citrus bouquet. Mild malt sweetness is present before a long, bitter finish takes over. A little better than average than most DIPA's ive had

M: Carbonation is great but the finish is a little bitterer than I'd like

D: Very drinkable for a DIPA, leaves a nice hop finish and the alcohol isnt overpowering

bonbini26, Oct 06, 2008
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 received as part of the LNBA BIF... big thanks to Redwood21.. Very cool... I've been wanting one of these for a while.

2 finger head and alot of lacing.. brew is hop hazed amber.

orange pith and grapefruit.. the hops are very heady.. nice.. very nice.

I thought the flavor would be better... plenty of hops and malts.. but not nearly as much as the nose made me think... still.. very fruity.. nice toasty malts mid palate.. very balanced for sure.. smooth without ever verging on abrasive.. long fruity finish.. body is lighter than I would have expected.. but in this case, it helps the drinkablity.

Thanks David!! I've been wanting one of these for quite a while.. it still tastes very fresh.

4/4/4.5/4/4

JohnGalt1, Oct 05, 2008
Photo of WesWes
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

WesWes, Oct 05, 2008
Photo of elniko
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber into snifter.

A: Copper reddish coloring, very little head. Average looking Imperial IPA.

S: Wonderful grapefruit and citrus tones, did not really pick up any alcohol notes. Nice smelling brew.

T & M: This is one of the smoothest tasting Imperial IPAs that I've had. Slight bitterness twinge on the finish but other than that hops not very apparent. Taste has some slight grapefruit notes as well.

D: For an Imperial IPA, very drinkable. Alcohol not apparent at all. Another solid brew from Avery.

elniko, Oct 04, 2008
Photo of dogger6253
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Well, to say I'm stoked about a new imp. IPA is an understatement. The pour is a hazy, dark amber color topped with a huge, tan head. The head lasts forever and has a nice density to it. Great lacing!

The smell is wonderfully fresh. A nice, flowery hop scent with a little bit of citrus mixed in. The scent hints at this being a heavy beer, but at the same time is light and airy.

Hmm... It's hard to put my finger on what I'm tasting. Without a doubt, I can taste a bitter grapefruit and a grassy hop flavor. Later comes lemon zest and an almost chocolate-like bittersweetness. Each sip finishes a little sweeter than the one before.

The body is about as heavy as I expected, but with some carbonation lightening the mouthful. Crisp finish, very refreshing as well. This stuff is pretty good, it's a shame it's a one-time brew.

dogger6253, Oct 04, 2008
Photo of peabody
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out amber with one finger of white suds.
Not much carbonation though.
Smell is part pine but mostly malt and sugars followed by some strong yeast that burns the nose a bit.
Taste is grapefruit and dark berry skins. Just a tad of darkness in the aftertaste and not a lot of phenol from the alcohol is present here. A very pleasant mellow brew for sure.
Mouthfeel is a bit dirty and leaves the mouth with a slight oily feel.
Drinkability is good here. Would like to try this on tap.

peabody, Oct 02, 2008
Photo of Larrytown
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The pours a reddish-tan with a small head, but lots of nice lacing. The smell is clear pine, but some sweetness too. Just enough to let you know what you're in for.

This is the best DIPA I've tasted. Obviously the hop presence is right out front, but it's still extraordinarily well balanced. There's a solid backbone here from which the hops and caramel tones are able to burst out onto the tongue. There's a touch of alcohol, but I don't think I'd have guessed that it was pushing 9%.

This is a truly excellent beer. If you come across it, don't hesitate to pick up a few.

Larrytown, Sep 30, 2008
Photo of vtfan77
3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a light gold with an orange tinge and a decent off-white head that only sticks around for a few seconds.

S- Nice hoppy aroma with pine, sweet oranges, and a touch of alcohol.

T- There's a touch of sweetness upfront but the beer quickly dries out as the hops come in. The hop flavor is kind of hard to pick up; maybe a little pine sap, maybe some citrus... I can tell it's there, I just can't put my finger on what it tastes like. The nearly 9% abv is quite noticeable at times. The finish brings a moderate bitterness, lower than it seems like it should be. Overall, the flavor is pretty bland.

M- Medium-bodied with decent carbonation.

D- Too alcoholic and not enough flavor to keep me interested. I'd definitely stop at one.

I'd have to say this was a bit of a disappointment. Almost everything I've had from Avery to this point has been great, so I was expecting good things from this beer. What I got was a run-of-the-mill IPA with not a lot of flavor. It certainly wasn't horrible, but it's not even close to Maharaja, and I won't be getting it again. I wouldn't recommend it.

vtfan77, Sep 30, 2008
Photo of Zorro
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
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 Georgiabeer
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy orange amber with a quite nice initial head that fades to a thin ring. Smells sweet with quite a bit of honeyed malt followed by a light nose of spicy, piney hops with a dose of citrus and a whiff of alcohol as well. The taste is fairly bold and hoppy to start with lots of pine, but as the beer opens up and warms it becomes maltier and a little waxy. The hops drop off some as well. There is a somewhat strange hint of marmite like yeastiness as well and a somewhat tannic finish. It is an enjoyable enough beer, but it doesn't make any of my tops lists. The mouthfeel is full and perhaps the tiniest bit sticky. Rich and probably best with food- perhaps a nice curry?

Georgiabeer, Sep 29, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy amber gold. Creme head. Citrus piney nose. Flavor is citrus sweet with some noticeable alcohol. Feel is kind of sticky on the liquid and the carbonation is even. This is a dangerous DIPA. Highly drinkable even though there's a bit of a burn from the higher alcohol. A nice production.

RblWthACoz, Sep 28, 2008
Photo of Vancer
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ale to da man! Here it comes with a slightly hazy amber pour into the NB tulip glass, darn nice frothy eggshell topping - for such a high alcohol brew (8.7%).
Reminding me of a west coast IPA with the citrus pine and orange aroma. Woody resin checks in at the quaff, this brew is packed with malt along with all the hops. Nice sipping fall brew while watching football.

Just another solid Avery brew, this DIPA nails the style to a tee - and this bomber only set me back $6.

Vancer, Sep 28, 2008
Photo of jmz62565
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden/amber with a giant tan foam head.The head is gigantic and lasts forever. The smell is pungent with a citrus hop scent with bread yeast. A decent aroma,but not as strong as I hoped. The taste has a mixture of bitter and citrus tasting hops along with bread yeast,and alcohol. A nice mixture,but the taste is harsh and it tastes like it has more alcohol than it does. The m/f is medium and like I mentioned , it is abit harsh. Not a bad beer, if you can find it buy it.

jmz62565, Sep 27, 2008
Photo of asabreed
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a Chimay chalice. Big price tag at around $8.50, but was told it was limited, at least in Richmond. Plus the label's badass, so I had to snag it. Huge and initially frightening "pop" as the gold around the top puffed up as the cap came off. Luckily it was just gassed up right and now too much; I would've been pissed had it gone all over the floor, though Avery's really never steered me wrong.

Appearance: Slightly hazy lighter amber body with copper in the right light. Lacing and retention is moderate.

Smell: A great malty caramel backbone with sweeter fruit like strawberries and cherries in the mix, and citrus hops. Nicely balanced, and certainly good, but nothing I'm flipping my lid over.

Taste: What I like here is the fruity earthiness that I don't see a lot in either DPAs or DIPAs, though it's a bit hard to describe. There's a good balance, a pretty great balance, of malt fruitiness, hoppy earthiness and citrus, and almost something like Belgian candi sugar -- the secret ingredient X -- congealing everything, but in that cohesion it's altering the normal path of the brew, and throwing around these weird, earthy, sweeter and rootier flavors. Not necessarily insanely different from a lot of others, but it has an edge, a lot of flavor, and a ton of balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavier-bodied, though it has a good amount of creaminess with the carbonation to it.

Drinkability: Unfortunately the price tag lowers this a bit, as close to $9 doesn't seem like it should be right. A very solid brew, but there are other DPAs or DIPAs I'd be trying again over this in the future. Still, it's very good, and worth your time at least once, as some folks seem to really love it.

asabreed, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of mnapier
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Service Temperature, 50 degrees farenheit. Service Glassware, 12 ounce tulip (with stem)

Appearance, is dark amber with a sap like density. As I pour this out of the bottle I see an initial strong, tapioca head, that dissipates slowly (more than a minute for complete evaporation), leaving only an antique, table cloth like lace.
The nose on this is interesting, with a dance of playful sweet citrus and notes of berries. Slight floral quality alongside some minor earthiness.
Sipping initially I detect a nice smooth caramel malt, that gives way to some minor citrus hoppiness. A very mellow overall taste.
Mouthfeel is medium.

Man I would love to have a ham sandwich right now.

Cheers

mnapier, Sep 25, 2008
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.

1759Girl, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of everetends
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

everetends, Sep 24, 2008
Photo of Kegatron
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a tulip.

Pours a clear amber copper with 1 1/2 fingers of creamy off-white head that sits there as a big ole' dollop with a solid 1/4 finger of retention that hangs tough, leaving gigantic rings of sticky lacing behind. The aroma is a hoppy fume of piny esters, big citrus character (including grapefruit and some sweeter notes of pineapple), some additional underlying malt sweetness, and a nose tingling waft of heat.

The taste is just as bold as the aroma, with tongue curling spicy, resinous hops, sticky citrus character, and an underlying backbone of grainy malts that barely keeps things in check. Finishes warm and bitter on the palette. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a touch of oiliness to it and a beefy alcohol presence. The heat isn't stinging but it gets real borderline at times.

I liked the big attitude and hoppy boldness of this DIPA but the hefty alcohol feel that it brings to the table killed the overall drinkibility of this somewhat. A 22 oz was more than enough for one sitting.

Kegatron, Sep 23, 2008
Photo of ZAP
4.97/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is simply one of the most enjoyable IPA's I have ever had. A great example of what hops can add to a beer besides bitterness.

The aroma is outstanding with fresh citrus, tropical fruits, floral notes, and sweet caramel like maltiness.

As good as it smells it tastes just as good or better....great fruit flavors of peaches, mango's, mandarin oranges, and papaya....backed with a perfect caramel like maltiness.

Finishes with a juicy hop impression rather than a bitter drying note.

This is an awesome beer. A bit pricey at $8 a bomber but this one is well worth it. I'd love to see this become a regular offering.

ZAP, Sep 23, 2008
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy tangerine appearance, solid slab of bone-white foam above.

Gorgeous aroma, plenty of pith, a lovley swirling blend of pinte and citrus, orange, tangerine, grapefruit and mango.

More of that in the mouth. Bitter and hoppy, yes, but smooth and creamy, too. Long, hoppy finish. Medium bodied. Nice and dry, yet still fruity and juicy.
8.75%? Really? Okay...

Delicious, really. A pinier, more poppin', hoppin', vibrant kind of a pale ale, nearly a double ipa.
Brewed for the inauguration, although available in time for the DNC in Denver. I hope we have reason to celebrate come January 20, 2009.
Oh, we will! No more Bush!

feloniousmonk, Sep 23, 2008
Photo of BeerSox
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

BeerSox, Sep 22, 2008
Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 501 ratings.