Ale To The Chief - Avery Brewing Company
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Ratings: 495 | Reviews: 378 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev -1.2%
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.
09-18-2011 22:30:47 | More by tjkinate
3.35/5 rDev -17.3%
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.
07-25-2011 07:09:11 | More by illidurit
4.22/5 rDev +4.2%
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.
05-14-2011 04:44:50 | More by Schmittymack
3.93/5 rDev -3%
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.
05-09-2011 01:49:41 | More by mikesgroove
4.25/5 rDev +4.9%
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!
05-03-2011 16:38:58 | More by Jules11788
4.55/5 rDev +12.3%
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
02-25-2011 05:25:02 | More by whatthehull
4/5 rDev -1.2%
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.
02-12-2011 23:09:40 | More by SiepJones
4.03/5 rDev -0.5%
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.
02-05-2011 01:34:33 | More by JRed
3.7/5 rDev -8.6%
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.
02-03-2011 19:47:32 | More by micmillon18
4.22/5 rDev +4.2%
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.
12-14-2010 18:51:01 | More by superspak
3.08/5 rDev -24%
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.
12-12-2010 04:55:48 | More by mentor
4.15/5 rDev +2.5%
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.
10-24-2010 17:58:36 | More by lacqueredmouse
3.55/5 rDev -12.3%
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.
10-03-2010 01:53:38 | More by TheHoppiest
3.05/5 rDev -24.7%
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".
09-16-2010 03:02:10 | More by PorterLambic
3.48/5 rDev -14.1%
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.
07-12-2010 01:13:31 | More by scottfrie
3.95/5 rDev -2.5%
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.
07-07-2010 14:43:42 | More by mikereaser
4/5 rDev -1.2%
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!
07-01-2010 14:44:46 | More by hu5om
4/5 rDev -1.2%
The beer pours a hazy orange color with a white head. The aroma is orange citrus with a lot of caramel malt. It smells a lot like a hoppy barleywine. The flavor is again like a barleywine. It tastes like caramel-coated oranges. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. I didn't know what a year and a half old Double IPA would taste like but I am happy with the way this one aged, even if it is now more of a barleywine instead of a Double IPA.
06-23-2010 02:02:56 | More by Mora2000
3.63/5 rDev -10.4%
A - I have to admit, I overpoured this beer a little bit. I got at least 5 fingers of head before it overflowed. This is the first bottled beer I've had where it actually made a hissing sound, like soda, as it poured. Head is a light brown and rocky; extremely rocky, almost marshmellow like. I swirled it up a bit with my finger and it got an almost frappachino like consistency. Lacing is spotty yet copious and sticky. Body is a transparent deep golden brown with slight orange hues and little effervescence.
S - The smell on this beer is powerful and pungent. Citric hops and piney notes. Rich, deep smell. Slightly malty. If the beer tastes as good as it smells it's going to be a good time. I'm surprised the smell is as fresh and strong as it is, seeing as I imagine this beer is a little passed it's prime. The smell has a slightly lemoniness to it which adds to the refreshing quality.
T - Moment of truth. Will a retired IIPA still taste good? Kinda. The hop bitterness, at least in this one, has subsided a bit. Slightly grapefruity hop bitterness. Malt is strong and assertive here. No alcohol taste, surprisingly. Roasted malt character. An interesting IIPA, just not entirely tastey.
MF - A little thin and on the watery side. Carbonation doesn't get in the way here.
D - High alcohol heat makes this a little hard to drink a lot of. Not quite a sipper. The taste isn't really intriguing enough to make you want more and more however. Would have settled for a 12oz over 22oz.
A little stale, but still pretty good. Not my favorite of the series, but maybe a little fresher would have been better.
05-19-2010 01:27:41 | More by MikeBrandman
3.75/5 rDev -7.4%
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.
05-15-2010 02:03:45 | More by garymuchow
4/5 rDev -1.2%
Old review notes from the Bistro 9th annual DIPA fest.
Hazy orange. Good hop aroma, light. Texture was syrupish, sticky hop taste. Average heft on the palate. Not overly bitter. Seems to have been a little heavier than the Dugana in the malt. Grapefruit and caramel to a lesser degree. Enjoyable, but nowhere near my favorite DIPA that day.
05-07-2010 23:49:30 | More by Beerandraiderfan
3.6/5 rDev -11.1%
Pours a luminous amber color with thin white head that remains thin for awhile. Nose has some light citrus, but not much more. Some black tea aromas are noted. Again there's black tea noted on the palate, with a touch of caramel, and then some mouth drying hop bitterness towards the finish. Hop dryness lingers afterwards.
04-24-2010 01:59:28 | More by yemenmocha
4/5 rDev -1.2%
Pours from the bottle a nice cloudy orange color, with a decent amount of white head. Aromas of sweet caramel malt and citrusy hops. Nicely balance IIPA, with a good blast of hoppiness and some good malt sweetness/alcohol. A nice effort, worth brewing again.
04-17-2010 21:29:21 | More by emmasdad
3.88/5 rDev -4.2%
Pours a good finger and half of fairly thick off white head. Ample head, with ample staying power. Gonna let this one sit a min
Piney citrus caramel malt bouquet. Boozy malt.
Tastes like it smells. I will say I get a bit of dry biscuit in there.
I would say it might be a tad over piney pale. Not bad, but not exactly what im looking for.
Overall a good beer. Ive had better and I will probably have better in the future. For the most part it felt like a common Pale Ale albeit more boozy.
04-03-2010 21:17:08 | More by JasonA
3.33/5 rDev -17.8%
Poured from 22 oz bomber into Tulip pint.
Appearance: Copper along the edges with a reddishe hue center. Two finger. Very cloudy. Excellent lacing like tinsel strung on a christmas tree.
Smell: Citrus hop aroma dominates the smell. Huge sweet malty presence as well. Slight floral aroma. It smells great to be honest.
Taste: Hops are almost nonexistant, though to be fair I am drinking this almost a year old. Very sweet is the only way to describe this. It's almost sugary. I would think this one was always on the sweet side. Were this an amber ale, the taste would have been spectacular. But as it is an IPA it is no longer appropriate for the style.
Mouthfeel: Very smooth. Not highly carbed and peppery like many IPAs. I have to say this has aged very well in this regard.
Drinkability: Alcohol remains well hidden. Proof that the malt profile was and remains remarkable. At almost 9 percent, one bomber is plenty. Gulping is appropriate.
Overall: I have given this beer marks which I believe to be fair. It is no longer hoppy as one would think, but I believe that to be an aging issue. I still thoroughly enjoyed drinking this beer. Had this been an Amber Ale I suspect it would have received top marks. If you still have some, I recommend you drink it ASAP as age will not benefit it any longer.
03-24-2010 04:03:38 | More by myost88
Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 495 ratings.