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Ale To The Chief - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ale To The ChiefAle To The Chief

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

378 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 378
Hads: 507
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 8.62%
Wants: 27
Gots: 15 | FT: 1
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:
Beer added by: GilGarp on 07-22-2008

Brewed occasionally during election years.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 378 | Hads: 507
Photo of myost88
3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (1,311 characters)

Photo of number1bum
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a burnt orange amber color with a slight haze to it and three fingers of creamy light beige head. Lacing is very good, with a thick and very full lace and a ton of stick on the sides.

Smell is full of resiny pine, as well as earthy and bitter grapefruit hop aromas. Big malt presence as well, with bready and toasty grain as well as some caramel.

Taste starts off ok, with some caramel sweetness, toasted malt and a blast of pine. Midway through it starts to go downhill, however, with a gritty, very earthy and otherwise off flavor that I can't completely place. It becomes most acute in the finish, which is very bitter and tastes of soap scum, dirt and metal. I found myself needing to cleanse my mouth with another sip, the first half of which is pretty good, or a splash of water to wash the bitter, unpleasant aftertaste from my mouth. This off flavor really killed this one for me; it was so persistent that even a 3.5 was too high.

Mouthfeel is a bit more than medium bodied and pretty creamy, but not all that smooth owing to the gritty, dirty off flavor in the finish. Has a bit of a slick, oily feel to it but finishes chalky and somewhat dry.

Whether this is a DIPA, IPA, Pale Ale or somewhere in between two of the three, I must admit to being disappointed by this one. I'm a huge fan of Maharaja and Avery in general, but the off flavor in this one was unexpected and unpleasant. It's an ok beer, but doesn't come close to Avery's typical standard. I have another bottle in the fridge to share with my dad this weekend, so if this bottle seemed to be an anomaly I will revisit as appropriate. If not, I won't revisit this one again. (1,656 characters)

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - this Avery beer pours an amber/copper color with a thin light tan head and average amounts of visible carbonation

S - aroma is pretty basic, the hops have faded a bit as this is about 8-10 months old, but still balance the malts pretty well, there is another characteristic that my buddy and i cannot place, and some background sweetness

T - the roasted malts lend a particular nuttiness to the flavor, which are dominant over the hop profile, which has been diminished some over time, also a rich sweetness, like molasses or brown sugar

M&D - smooth, time has mellowed the hops to balance the malts into nearly a light barleywine-esque-ness, it was smooth and medium bodied, even after time, this is a nice beer (719 characters)

Photo of selecter70
3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I grabbed one of these in November, awaiting Inauguration Day, as the bottle cellared awaiting me! The excitment & anticipation was I think, the best element to this no so exceptional IPA style ale. The pour was a vibrant & bright pale orange with 2 finger head that snuck away soon, leaving white lace & a floral-grass hoppy aroma. The mouth was smooth and the flavor a strong but not bitter hops, with heathery grass & lemon tones. Nice IPA but sadly not everything I hoped the Inauguration would bring! (505 characters)

Photo of illidurit
3.33/5  rDev -18%
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. (454 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.32/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy, amber-hued body with a wispy, white head.

Smell: Aroma of juice-dripping tropical fruits ahead of the pale maltiness, hint of grass, and minor note of Oval Office dankness.

Taste: Pale and caramel malts with a sugary, candyish sweetness. A bit grassy. Fruity mix of tangerines, melons, and pineapples, then WHAM -- bitterness, a moderate hop bitterness, maybe even moreso. Light undercurrent of astringency. Finishes quite bitter, with a lingering taste of tropical fruits.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Oily, slightly sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: I vote 'no' on this hopferendum. Geez, could you imagine struggling through 8 years of this one? (701 characters)

Photo of vtfan77
3.32/5  rDev -18.2%
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. (1,095 characters)

Photo of goatgoat
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber that pours with a thick creamy tan head which falls quickly to a thin cap. Very little lacing on glass. Aroma is strong earthy spice and citrus hops with a slight honeyish malt. Also a tint of alcohol. Flavor is more balanced than most double IPAs. Maybe because Avery bills it as a double pale, or possibly because of age. The hops are moderated by the malt, producing a pretty balanced flavor. The bitterness doesn't really pull in front until fairly late, keeping on in the aftertaste. Medium body.

A little light for a DIPA. I expect an over the top experience from this style and I didn't really get that. (623 characters)

Photo of yelterdow
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$9.99 for this 22oz. bomber, served between fridge and cellar temperature in an inperial pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a deep reddish gold, the head climbs eventually to four fingers of bisque foam. Popping away slowly, it levels off to a thick coating and leaves patches of gobby lacing behind.

Smell- The citrusy twang of dry-hopped Cascades permeates the nasal passages, not too aggressive for a DIPA.

Taste- The malt begins to come forth, but the massive hops continue to dominate the palate. The swallow brings lots of lemony goodness, with a reserved bittering with regard to the style.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Surprisingly thin and average, the texture doesn't bring anything interesting to the table... It's just mildly fizzy, with a watery consistency. Easy enough to drink, just nothing I'd come back to in the future. (834 characters)

Photo of Tdizzle
3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Purchased at BevMo! in Brea.

A- Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass, this beer pours amber with a billowy two-finger head that's white in color. The head settles to a thin layer that never completely dissipates, leaving some web-like lacing on the glass after each sip.

S- A decent amount of piney hops with a faint malt backing that has a slightly sweet, vegetable-like aroma to it. The 8.75% ABV becomes more noticeable as the beer warms.

T- The bitterness is not nearly as intense as I would have hoped for from an Imperial Pale Ale. That vegetable-like maltiness that the aroma possesses is also present in the flavor of this beer. The finish is only slightly dry and leaves a mild bitterness on the back of the tongue, along with a bit of a kick from the alcohol.

M- A full-bodied feel with medium carbonation.

D- I had trouble finishing an entire bomber of this beer. I just didn't care for its flavor, and the 8.75% ABV is more pronounced than I would have expected. (1,000 characters)

Photo of jnn4v
3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

What can I say? I had very high expectations for this beer, but it fell flatly short of all of them.

A: It had a nice golden color, bordering on amber. I bit hazy, but still translucent. Nothing wrong here. Looking good.

S: Not the smell I anticipated from the description on the bottle. I'd say it was mostly that of tea leaves, lemon, and possibly some orange zest. Interesting, but odd. I'll give it "above-average" just for being interesting and not offensive in any way.

T: Bitter, but not a typical hop bitterness. Again, it tastes like someone made iced tea but left the tea bag in way too long. That sort of astringent, unpleasant bitterness not often tasted in quality beers. The mid-taste lemon hits you followed by a trailing hint of sweetness and orange zest and then an even harsher bitter aftertaste. Fortunately, as it warmed to 55-60 degrees, it did mellow out a bit and more of the malt was evident.

M: Good texture for a high-caliber ale. Relatively thick, moderate carbonation with small bubbles. This is one of the better attributes of this beer.

D: Started below average, ended above average once it warmed, so I'm giving it "average" overall. (1,174 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.23/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not sure why this beer was brewed exactly. For the president? I'm confused...but then again, it doesn't really matter.
Poured a semi-clouded amber/acorn color with a head that was off white/brown and billowed up nicely. Good density and lacing. Endured quite a while.
Tame aroma. Mild characteristics all the way around. Some sweet, wet malt, a touch of floral and citrus hops, a pinch of smoke or toast. Can't say I was impressed much.
A taste that was solid at best. Good balance again, but nothing that would suggest the 2IPA label was justified. This is a good beer, but reviewing with the style I think it misses a bit. drinkable, though. (643 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.23/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Polished kumquat with polished bronze borders. As always, a little yeasty haze would improve the appearance. A fantastic looking three finger crown more than makes up for the beer's (slight) shortcomings. The foam is pastel orange-tinted ivory in color and has significant character. Thick swaths of cobbled lace stick like glue.

Cascade hops are featured prominently in the nose. Although it could be brighter and more loaded with lupulins, the fact that almost no caramel and no alcohol is noted makes me think that this could be pretty tasty stuff. Crystal ball says... good, but probably not special.

Something must've happened on the way to the inauguration because Ale To The Chief doesn't taste anywhere near as good as it smells. Since the initial review was less than four months ago, it's highly unlikely that age has taken a toll. Still, this tastes like a DIPA that is past its prime.

First the bad news. The beer has an underlying off-flavor that's part paint thinner, part metal and part moldy hops. I hate to say it, but I've had some organic beer that tasted just like this. You didn't try to sneak some organic hops past us, did you Mr. Avery? It doesn't ruin things, but it comes pretty close.

The good consists of a lack of cloying sweetness and some pleasant orange citrusiness. Avery is usually more generous with the hops than this. Since I haven't blown out my tongue on hop bombs lately, that can't be it. A dollop of pine sap veers dangerously close to pine resin. The simple, unvarnished truth is that this just isn't a very well-constructed DIPA. If anything, the flavor and drinkability scores are overly generous. On second sniff, the nose isn't that good either.

The mouthfeel is no more than medium for the style and begins to wander away too soon on the finish. The carbonation gives up the ghost too early in each mouthful and things fall a bit flat when they should still be buoyant.

Ale To The Chief is not one of ABC's better efforts and does not deserve to be brewed again unless some major changes are made. Oh well. Avery has more hits than misses, so I'm not too bent out of shape about this one. Bottom line: vetoed. (2,163 characters)

Photo of hughesm4
3.17/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is not anything that I expected. The bottle states that is a pale ale, but beer advocate lists it as a double ipa. It is very possible that we had an old bottle.
A. There is a copper brown color with a very small amount of head

S. Smells extremely dtrong of malt with maybe a slight hint of hops but not much.

T. Tastes like watered down malt with a little hop after taste.

M. A bitter malty aftertaste

D. struggled through this one. I hope that i just had a bad bottle. This unfortunately was the worst avery that i have had. (537 characters)

Photo of mwa423
3.15/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I can't tell if this is an old bottle or if ba has the style wrong. The bottle specifically says it is a pale ale with some extra hops. I suppose that could be a DIPA that has just aged but I am quite confused about what this is supposed to be.

The smell is all malty sweetness, almost reminds me of malt extract. The appearance was a half finger of head and a cloudy straw color. Appearance was closer to a hefeweizen then anything else.

The taste was all malt and relaticely unimpressive. It is almost like drinking watered down malt. I will have to read a bunch of reviews to get a better idea of what this beer is supposed to be (634 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.14/5  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. (639 characters)

Photo of Beauregard
3.13/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a medium copper from the tap with average white head. Aroma is faint, hints of caramel and a mixture of sweet, piney, and citrusy hops. The flavor is muddled, and caramel and residual sugar overpower the malt base. Alcohol taste is present. A kitchen sink full of hop flavors drown in the caramel without enough bitterness at the back end. Hops flavors are resiny sweet, flowery, somewhat citrusy, and unfortunately vegetal and even a bit cheesy. Mouthfeel is too heavy for my tastes. Not bad tasting, but unfocused in my opinion. Not what I'm looking for in a double IPA. (578 characters)

Photo of RonfromJersey
3.13/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Somehow I neglected to have this on Election Night.

Neat label.

Clear copper body, topped by four fingers of loose bubbly sticky white froth.

Big citrusy nose, plenty of grapefruit with bits of orange. Not quite fresh though. Hint of alcohol.

Starts with a malty sweet foothold. Juicy citrusy hops quickly overwhelm the malt. Finishes dry, almost dusty. Hit and miss alcohol sensation. No real big bite, finish, or aftertaste.

Smooth mouthfeel. Ok drinkability.

Overall, a bit of a letdown. I expected more. Perhaps excess. This lacked a core. (549 characters)

Photo of TeeCee
3.08/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Quick review - while I'm not an IPA guy, I've found a few recently that I like. This isn't really one of them.

Color - an orangey amber, cloudy. There was yeast in the bottle. Apparently, it's bottle conditioned. The pour, my pour, created about an inch of head, collapsing in short order, leaving lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - flowery, piney, and when agitated, some overripe fruitiness.

Taste - all the hops I was smelling, some maltiness that I couldn't smell, and that mysterious overripe fruit (not so much that it's the reason that I don't like this beer). The finish is all bitterness to the point that it dries my mouth.

Mouthfeel - medium thin in the mouth. I would have expected a little thicker to balance the hops, but not today.

Closing notes - the Shiner Cheer this past year had a rotten peach flavor to me. That's a bit of what I'm tasting here. (879 characters)

Photo of Drew966
3.06/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ale to the Chief pours a hazy orange with an off white head from a brown twenty two ounce bottle. The aroma has a bit of piney hops, but caramel is more prevalent. The flavor is disappointing, there is some caramel and some hops, but it's poorly balanced. Alcohol is pretty noticeable. This one just does not do it for me, Avery usually does significantly better. (363 characters)

Photo of mentor
3.06/5  rDev -24.6%
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. (934 characters)

Photo of PorterLambic
3.06/5  rDev -24.6%
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". (341 characters)

Photo of ironlung
3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on-tap @ hollingsheads a couple of months ago and it was great. Since then, I've got 2 bottles from liquor wherehouse, and they've both been as I like to say "butterscotch bastards".In lement, I wish I'd have written a review at hollingsheads. Alas... here I am with a new prez, wanting to ale to the chief; but insted holding my nose. Again this beer was tits on tap, but both bottles I've had were really bad! (420 characters)

Photo of Parrotbeak
2.98/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amber with a 3/8 inch white head that thins out fairly quickly, becoming a little patchy.
Smell is dominated by a sweet, malty aroma. Almost no hop presence. Some faint overripe pineapple.
The taste had the same, sweet malty bulge that is on the nose. Slightly sour breadiness follows, with some stale crackers. Murky, overripe, dark fruit. Faint hint of cinnamon on the finish. No hops.
Mouthfeel is fairly flat and somewhat sticky.
Drinkability is fair. Taste is a bit of a mess, and all other aspects of this beer combined fail to redeem.
Maybe past its prime. I can't believe this one was ever an imperial IPA, however. (624 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
2.98/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a lovely clear orange-amber with a fairly thick and fluffy white head. Aroma is odd, more like a cider or fruit beer than an IPA, strongly of fruit - mainly orange and a hint of grape - but with some hop smell. Flavor is strongly hoppy and fairly fruity, tasting almost like a good IPA mixed with grapefruit juice. Finish is smooth, hoppy and citrusy, a little bitter and a little sour. (392 characters)

Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 378 ratings.