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Ale To The Chief - Avery Brewing Company

Ale To The ChiefAle To The Chief

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

488 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 488
Reviews: 378
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 10.12%


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: 488 | Reviews: 378 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BierJager89
BierJager89

California

4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Hazy, semi translucent orange with a foamy white head.

S: Nose is like an old ale. A really old ale. Alcohol, old malt and grains, orange, strong hop character, but overshadowed by the oldness of the smell, probably because it's three years old and under 9% abv. Also, I'm sure it's a very hoppy style.

T: Grass, pine, orange, bitter citric and floral notes.

M: Medium bodied, feels like an IPA.

O: It actually tastes good, but because of the age Im not willing to drink more than a couple small sips. I would imagine a fresh bottle being excellent, for which reason I am giving it these ratings.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 23:39:22 | More by BierJager89
Photo of Flounder57
Flounder57

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Having on draft at Bukowski's Cambridge.

Appearance: The beer is a copper color with great clarity and bubbles rising up through the glass. It poured a small head that remained and left super nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Caramel, butterscotch, and toffee maltiness. Some light citrus hops in there too.

Taste: same as above with the citrus more noticeable in the rear. Very balanced.

Mouthfeel: super smooth, low to medium carbonation, medium bodied, a bit dry, and a nice treat.

Overall: Awesome stuff. The malts balance out the hops and dry hops. Nice nightcap.

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2013 02:27:39 | More by Flounder57
Photo of BucannonXC5
BucannonXC5

California

3.13/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Type: Draft
Glass: Half pint glass
From: URGE American Gastropub
in Rancho Bernardo (San Diego, Calif.)
Price: $4.00
Misc.: N/A

Poured a red caramel color with a finger (when I got it) of off-white head that lasted for awhile. Good looking circular lacing on the sides. Nice layer of on the top as it went down.

Smelled soap, butter and bitter piny hops.

Tasted bitter piny hops, grapefruit, weak floral hops and soap with a huge alcohol bite.

Medium body. Thin-to-oily texture. Lively (above average) carbonation. Bitter finish.

Just wasn’t a fan of his beer. Lots of alcohol in the taste, but the flavor just didn’t match up.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2012 00:27:45 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-19-2012 01:53:05 | More by drabmuh
Photo of StoneTSR
StoneTSR

Colorado

4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-12-2012 06:16:55 | More by StoneTSR
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

back on for election time at the tap room. listed at 8.1% abv this time. pours a rich cherrywood color, with brassy highlights and a lacey white head an inch high. the nose and taste are more balanced than i thought they would be, knowing avery and their huge hop beers. theres some biscuity malts, lightly toasted, some caramel sweetness, and of course a big bold hoppy finish, but it isnt bitter at all. more piney and holiday feeling to me. very drinkable as the alcohol is well disguised, the body isnt too huge, and the carbonation is enough to keep it moving. i really enjoyed this beer, its perfect for the occasion of fall politics and chilly weather. i didnt know they bottled this, and would like to try that format if it makes it there this year.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2012 16:28:43 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of denver10
denver10

Colorado

4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got to admit, this is definitely my favorite IPA from Avery. Not saying its their best, but definitely the one I have enjoyed the most. The first IPA of theirs I have tried, enjoyed, and left wanting more.

Pours a golden orange with a white had. Not a huge aroma but an enjoyable aroma of some bready malts paired with some citric hops. Flavor was much of the same offering a nice bready malt base paired with some nice sweet citrus and a just slightly grassy bitter finish. A fuller mouthfeel, some activity, slightly creamy. Overall, I really enjoyed this one. As previously mentioned this is by far my favorite IPA from Avery, not the most complex or "big" but enjoyable and balanced. This strikes me as more of an Imperial Pale Ale than an Imperial IPA, which worked for me as I prefer Pale Ale's to IPA's usually.

Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2012 01:49:56 | More by denver10
Photo of abrand
abrand

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

23 ounce bomber from the cellar. Poured into a snifter

Pours a bright yellow color with a huge pillowy pure white head that leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. Still plenty of carbonation there. Smells somewhat funky with lots of yeast. Breads and toffee are also noted. Not much of a hop presence is left. Taste is pretty mellow with breads and malts making up most of the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Overall for being way past its prime this was still decent. I had this fresh and the only thing truly missing is the hop presence. Still very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2012 13:53:41 | More by abrand
Photo of tjkinate
tjkinate

Texas

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found a bottle on the shelf of a small liquor store near my place. A worker there told me they just cleaned out their cellar and found a case of some old beers, this being one of them. Decided I would give this nearly 3 year old beer a shot, after drinking it I was glad I did.

A: A hard pour into a standard pint glass produced a MASSIVE soapy, cream colored head. It dissipated slowly and inconsistently, showing holes throughout. The body exhibited an burnt orange hue with a yellow perimeter and remained completely transparent. Blotchy remnants from the head remained behind and were so thick that if left untouched would have remained indefinitely.

S: Very malty and full of yeast, caramel and toffee were most pronounced, but hints of spice were still detectable. Completely lacking the floral hops from it's former glory.

T: Alcohol was first to strike, but faded beautifully revealing dough and bread like flavors. Sweet toffee followed with some unexpectedly strong bitterness. The floral and pine notes, usually the forefront of an IPA, could now only be noticed well into the beer's aftertaste.

M: Medium/heavy, yet surprisingly clean and crisp.

O: Would have really liked to compare this brew to one that was fresh. Using other DIPA's as examples instead, I really enjoyed this tasting and being afforded the opportunity to identify how a beer can change over time.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2011 22:30:47 | More by tjkinate
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

3.35/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber shared at the July Santa Cruz tasting. Pours hazy bronze with a light tan head. Aroma is chiefly caramel malts and aged hops, a bit dusty but still with some life to it. Flavor displays some big pineapple notes, just as strong and hoppy as a lot of fresh double IPAs. There is however plenty of aged character with muddled crystal and caramel malts and mild isovaleric notes. Respectable bitterness, heavy syrupy body. Not bad for an ancient DIPA.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 07:09:11 | More by illidurit
Photo of Schmittymack
Schmittymack

Colorado

4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pulled this one out of the "cellar" and I gotta say, it's held up quite nicely. Poured a kind of hazy amber color with a pretty creamy head the disapated within a couple minutes, leaving a nice lingering lacing on the glass and a small "froth" on the top of the brew. Aroma of bread, yeast, and citrus with a little pine for good measure. Taste is (still) very nice: malt, bread, yeast, a touch of pine, and citrus. For being two years old, this one still packs a decent hop bitterness which is an unexpected but nice finish. Maybe I should've held onto this one longer? It's still mighty tasty.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2011 04:44:50 | More by Schmittymack
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another gem from the cellar for the avery night over at the in laws. i had this once before when it first came out, but i wanted to see what time had done to it. served into a pint glass.

Poured an exceptional clear, dark amber with a big fizzy off white head that faded to reveal a thin layer of lace that stayed throughout, and in fact a smallish quarter inch head lasted till the end as well. Lots of carbonation, in fact rings of bubbles were still streaming till the last sip, very nice looking.

Lots of aromas of bread and yeast after it warmed, but these were drowned out by a nice piney hop presence. The taste was quite intresting. As this was my first taste of the brew, and being a huge fan Impeccably crisp and clean feeling going down, almost effortless. Lots of hop presence here, citrus flavors, biteer with grapefruit and pineapple. Nice balance on the back with bready malts and cereal flavors. Great dry, leave you wanting more finish rounded this out nicely.

overall quite impressed that it stayed soo fresh i have to admit. really still quite a solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2011 01:49:41 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Jules11788
Jules11788

California

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2011 16:38:58 | More by Jules11788
Photo of whatthehull
whatthehull

California

4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium snifter

A - Blood orange/brown. One finger off white head, with lacing following almost every sip

S - SO MUCH CITRUS HOPS, sweet and bitter malt and grains, lemon grass, nuts, oak, soil. This is such a complex beer

T - Mango, flowers, bath soap, alcohol, wine and whiskey barrels, pineapple, sweet corn, orange, lemon, lime, bitter sweet chocolate, the tastes and smells never seem to end

M - Coats the mouth in a thin bitter and sweet film, fluffy and carbonated

D - Strong meets awesome complexity. I love this beer, wish it was made year round

Final thought - YES! Hate what this beer stands for, love the awesomeness

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2011 05:25:02 | More by whatthehull
Photo of SiepJones
SiepJones

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009

Pours a deep copper that is almost orange. Hazy, with a lot of murky carbonation. Nothing can be seen through the glass. Head is fluffy but quickly turns soapy. Leaves a touch of of lacings on the glass.
Aromas of sweet bready malt. The hops are gone on this one but it smells like it has mellowed out nicely.
Tons of rich bready malt, a hint of caramel. There are no hops or hop resin.
The body is smooth, the carbonation is balanced, the finish is neither sweet nor bitter, but simply balanced.
I have had this beer back in 2009 and really enjoyed hit, I was excited to have it again and to see how it matured. It is good, however I just don't know how much longer it has before the flavor wastes away to nothing. Tonight I will have no problem finishing this bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2011 23:09:40 | More by SiepJones
Photo of JRed
JRed

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Bottle:Thick, murky, dark orange in body with small white bubbly head that dissipates. Smells of deep citrus, hop resin, caramel, tropical fruit. Tastes of citrus, tropical fruit, hops, hop resin, booze, slight caramel, coating sweetness, and slight echoes of bubblegum. A bit biting in carbonation and thick in mouthfeel. A tropical punch DIPA worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2011 01:34:33 | More by JRed
Photo of micmillon18
micmillon18

Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. I considered cellaring this in hopes that it would still be good in time for the next inauguration. However, Double IPA's have a poor track record for cellaring and this one already has nearly two years on it already. I figure I'll try it now and deduce whether its up for the task.

A - Pours a pretty amber color. The complexion is dark enough to prevent one from seeing through the glass. Small bubbly head that dissipates quickly. Medium lacing.

S - Very hoppy, some light floral notes. It's a little funky at times which can have an adverse effect on the smell. This may be due to its age.

T - Lots of hoppy flavor. I'm picking up orange peel or some sort of a citrusy tanginess. Tasty but not up in your face. The hops have certainly mellowed and that tartness has become more pronounced. The funkiness I mentioned in the scents seems to be present in the after taste as well. However, it luckily doesn't hurt the flavor, its just kind of different.

M - The body seems slightly heavier than any other double IPA Ive had. Finishes easy. Carbonation is in check.

D - Overall a good beer. I wouldn't say its aged well nor would I say the opposite. Time has certainly created some interesting tastes. The flavors would suggest its some kind of hybrid. Perhaps cellaring is out of the question for I don't see things improving.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2011 19:47:32 | More by micmillon18
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Pours very hazy orange-amber color with a thick 2 finger off white head with great retention and amazing lacing on the glass. Aromas of caramel, floral hops, and bread. Taste of orange, caramel, and floral hops. Starts out sweeter with a very nice bitterness on the finish. Medium carbonation and body, nice balance. Awesome. Avery has not disappointed me yet so far.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2010 18:51:01 | More by superspak
Photo of mentor
mentor

Colorado

3.08/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Slight gusher. Stored in my cellar since it was released, about 2 years ago. Pours a four finger tan-pink head over a clear brown copper liquid. Smells light lemon & pear fruity, clean hops, a mild phenolic edge. Has a furniture polish smell about it that I'm not fond of.

Tastes fruity esters and malt sweet with some hop grassiness, orange peel bitter, strong clean alcohol, and a mild belgian-like phenol that's not quite clovey. Malt flavor is nearly absent, perhaps a dusty munich. Hop flavor has a bit of baby aspirin with orange and pine that's a bit unpleasant in a sour piercing kind of way. Hop bitter is both clean lemony pith and grassy columbus-like hops and has a spicy zip in the finish, similar to a czech pils. Esters are dried pears and some apricot.

Md yet creamy mouthfeel and a bit more carbonation than I'd like. Drinkability is meh. I could see this improving with age. It's much better now than it was fresh.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 04:55:48 | More by mentor
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a relatively bright, but slightly hazed golden orange. Head is big, with crackling bubbling of off-white foam. Lace is crazy and intricate. Body looks surprsiginly light, but if it's a "pale ale" as they describe, it fits. Looks pretty big and impressive overall, while still remaining true to its stylistic roots.

Nose is pleasantly sweet, with that really classic fresh American hops character. Lots of hops giving citrus oil buoyancy, but it mingles with sweet butterscotch and caramel. Sudsy aromas come off it too. Bit of pepper berry, sharp and sweet but spicy as well. Really nice aromas, and well integrated.

Pine on the palate, with a good citrus bite. Sweetness comes through, hints of peach and vanilla. The only sign of the ABV, is a touch of sharp phenols on the back, but only very lightly so - so well covered by all the really pleasant characters otherwise. Lovely drop of beer.

Surprisingly easy to drink for its alcohol, and bursting with flavour, but never overdone on any of the potentially offensive characters. Really well restrained in places, but let loose in others. Cracking beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 17:58:36 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of TheHoppiest
TheHoppiest

Ohio

3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into an oversized snifter. Pours a hazy pumpkin orange with a cream-colored sticky head. A fair amount of sediment was in the bottle, but none has transferred into the glass.

Smell is orange citrus and yeasty, almost bready. Some woodiness lies underneath.

Definite orange blossom citrus hits the tongue, with some creamy yeast. Spicy, almost metallic taste hits the tongue, and a coppery taste hits the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel is medium.

Drinkable enough, I suppose; I'm worried that its age is starting to show.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2010 01:53:38 | More by TheHoppiest
Photo of PorterLambic
PorterLambic

Florida

3.05/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A strawberryred with a good creamy head and great retention. Great lace.
Smell is hops, floral, pine, with some malt way in the back.
Taste is hops all over, some floral, pine and alcohol.
Medium body, light effervescence, crisp finish. All hops in aftertaste with alcool note. Good with a high ABV apparently but kind of a "one trick pony".

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2010 03:02:10 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Old, but worth a shot.

A: Pours a deep amber with a thick, slightly oily tan head that slowly faded into a thin film that left a sheet of sticky lacing down the glass.
S: Strong scent of citrus hops. Notes of lemon and caramel malt.
T: The hops have faded a bit with this one. Notes of caramel malt, alcohol, sweet fruits, orange rind, and lemon zest. This very much tastes like a barleywine. As another reviewer put it, I guess that's what over a year and a half does to this beer. The hops lend a touch of bitterness to the finish.
M: Medium syrupy-slick body with a wet finish and tingly carbonation. The alcohol is noticeable in the finish with a touch of warmth.
D: I wish I hadn't waited so long to drink this one because now it really does taste like a barleywine. As a barleywine though, it's not bad, but this isn't the greatest beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2010 01:13:31 | More by scottfrie
Photo of mikereaser
mikereaser

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle on 12/19/09.

A - pours a murky chestnut/copper color with very little foam, just a layer of fine bubbles that disappeared quickly

S - strong lemon & orange citrus aromas, very nice indeed

T - lemon and orange, light malts, very sweet tasting, slightly bitter finish

M - crisp, well carbonated, smooth mouthfeel

D - very tasty even at a year old, would have loved to try it fresh, still amazing though.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2010 14:43:42 | More by mikereaser
Photo of hu5om
hu5om

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -1.2%
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!

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2010 14:44:46 | More by hu5om
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Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 488 ratings.