Ale To The Chief - Avery Brewing Company

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Ale To The ChiefAle To The Chief

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

502 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 502
Reviews: 378
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.15%
Wants: 25
Gots: 11 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.75% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed occasionally during election years.

(Beer added by: GilGarp on 07-22-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 502 | Reviews: 378 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ironarrow42
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliant orange-amber hue with an off-white layer of foam. Looks very much like an English ale. Aroma of sweet caramel malts with a hint of butterscotch, light earthy & flowery hops, and orange oil.

Has a distinctive flavour of orange peel and orange oil over caramel malt. Pleasant, smooth bitterness balances the malt. Moderately full body with a very fine carbonation bead. Slight sour edge complements the orange notes and gives this a dessert-like quality.

This is a big, substantial and flavourful brew with a lot of English character. Really well-made and distinctive.

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.

Photo of StoneTSR
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

Photo of Kendo
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on 1-20-09. Bush's last day, Obama's first.

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip. Body is golden-honey amber with a foamy 1-finger light khaki head. Some lace slowly recedes.

S: Grapefruity, citrusy & piney hops over sweet malt: honey and caramel malt. Very pleasant nose.

T: Grapefruit & citrus in general and tropical fruit. Also some caramel malt and brown sugar, providing nice balance. Finishes with slight bite of heat and pepper. Lingering dry pine and grassy bitterness.

M: Medium weight. Some slight resiny grittiness.

D: Excellent. Went down very easily for an almost-9% ABV DIPA.

Photo of tadowdaddy
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- light amber color with 2 fingers of off white head and tremendous lacing.

S- Floral, citrus, and piney hops. A touch of maltiness comes across as well in the smell.

T- Delicious combination of floral and citrus hops with a really good caramel malt on the background to balance it out. Tastes more like a regular IPA than a double, but is a very delicious beer. Not as bitter as I'd have expected from a DIPA.

M- A bit chewy, leaves a nice aftertaste of hops on the tongue.

D- Very drinkable! Wish I had another one!

Photo of donteatpoop
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whew. This was awesome. Found some on tap at Vintage in Boardman.

Poured a hazed amber color with a finger of white head.

Smelled strongly of woods and floral hops.

Holy shit, the hops in this brew are beautiful. They really hit the palate nicely. So glad I tried this. Normally I get one glass of something and then a glass of something else when I find quality beers on tap. But I stuck with this one, I didn't want to pressure any other beer into following this act.

Great mouthfeel. Went down smooth and left me craving more.

Photo of Oxymoron
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Only in Boulder. Pours a lighter amber color with some darker hues throughout. Sparklingly clear with a soft white head and good retention through out.

The nose is along the lines of a west cost IPA. Mostly piney hop notes come out with a light citrus/grapefruit aroma on the back end. Some sweeter almost candi like malt aroma, but nothing really comes out as hop dominate the nose. Some lighter yeast/esters notes and noticeable alcohol, but nothing over the top.

The taste is similar. A strong piney flavor comes out up front with some resins and green flavors. The piney does go into the finish but the citrus orange and minor grapefruit comes out more than the nose indicates. Very taste and a hop head delight. The malt is non-descript but does have enough backing to somewhat back the hop notes. Some alcohol notes but not as big as the nose indicated. Some pepper and vanilla notes on the back end, and are detectable once you tongue gets use to the strong hop flavor.

The body is moderate and smooth considering the ABV. Carbonation is light but the hops still shine. Overall a great IPA that is boardline IIPA. Very easy to drink. I really like the hop bomb characteristics but would have liked the piney-ness to back off a bit and more of a balance with the citrus. Enjoyable beer!

Photo of aerozeppl
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle enjoyed during the pregame to the last game at Yankee stadium.

A: Nice copper color with surprising clarity. Poured with 2 fingers of white head. Excellent lacing.

S: Simply amazing nose. Tons of fresh hops. Floral and citrus as well.

T: Amazing taste. Tons of citrus. Grapefruit and just moist hops. This is what wet hopping is all about. The malt is there as well but this is all about the hops.

M: Nice and creamy. Just a nice crisp beer. I love it when a super hoppy beer gets that nice creamy mouthfeel.

D: Nothing beats a fresh dry hopped beer and this is no exception. Super easy drinking with a ton of taste. The hop head inside of me is moist. Track this one down soon to get this wonderful beer.

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.

Photo of hurleymanvw
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Avery did a great job with this one.

Aroma of citrus (grapefruit), pine, and hop with a nice white head. Strong lacing on the glass.

Nice citrus taste with a nice floral hop punch. Malt was used nicely to balance the beers finish.

Mouthfeel is not very heavy the hops are nice to the tongue but do not over power the mouth. The alchol is hidden in this one. Nice balance.

Finish was great with a slight hop bite but not too harsh. I would highly recommend this beer.

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.

Photo of weeare138
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes. On tap at Capone's...
Appears a semi-transparent copper toned amber with a small white head that slowly fades out. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of super hoppy, grapefruit, pine, herbs, and bown sugar.
Taste is of a hoppy, sugary mix with some standout citrus, and spicey pine notes that make the beer extremely interesting.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, chwy, and balanced for such a hop-filled monster.

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a crystal clear amber gold with a huge volume of creamy off-white head.

Aroma is a gorgeous medley of sweet malts, caramel, fresh-baked bread, and piney/citrus hops.

The taste is quite malty upfront. Creamy with caramel and toffee while finishing with a piney hoppiness. The alcohol is well hidden.

Medium bodied, rich and chewy, and moderately carbonated.

Bravo. I love this IIPA from Avery. A great drinker from start to finish.

Photo of ImHereForTheBeer
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We brought this beer with us to the Inauguration in Washington DC to celebrate... (video here: http://www.hereforthebeer.com/inauguration-day-ale-to-the-chief-washington-dc/)

It pours a clear amber with an orange hue. The smell has a beautiful bouquet of cascade hops and a fresh floral aroma. The taste begins bold, bitter and hoppy yet finishes with a citrus... I'd say grapefruit like characteristic. The mouthfeel is great, very smooth covering many areas of ones taste buds. This was an easy and enjoyable beer to drink.

This beer was a nice "change" and leaves us with a sense of "hope".

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a hazy, obscure but bright amber. A thin but creamy, soapy head atop, nice sticking lace around most of the glass.

Aroma - orange, syrupy, heavy. Definitely a Double IPA on the nose.

Taste - chewy malts and orange juice. Fresh and vibrant, the swallow bends more towards a grassy grapefruit flavor. A kind of kiwi taste as the palate clears, plenty of citrus throughout. Quite a tasty beverage; finishes warm in the belly with a lengthy, mildly bitter end. Shows some crackery, almost rye-like graininess on the finish. A little medicinal touch at times, late if at all. Probably not bitter enough for the DIPA-heads, but I prefer it.

Mouthfeel - smooth and slightly slick, heavier than normal. Carbonation is up but fighting through much body to make its presence known.

Drinkability - one of the more drinkable DIPAs I've come across. I'll save the other one for 1/20 or thereabouts. I toast the end of the campaign season (how I *hate* the commercials), congratulate those who've won, and toast the beginnning of what I hope is a brighter future. Cheers.

Photo of opwog
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now listening to: Clash - Magnificent Seven

A-Golden body and a firm white head that lasts though a good amount of the drink
S-less hoppy than expected and much more sweet with elements of muted fruit
T-very nice. Much more hop in the taste than the aroma.
M-slight bite that almost makes the hops feel to the rest of the beer, as Ben&Jerry's may swirl caramel into a vanilla bean ice cream.
D-simply put...totally drinkable. If there wasn't such a long list of beers that I was looking to have, I would have had more of this one.

Photo of TonyT
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(Had this on tap @ Shady's in HBG)

This was first time that I've had this and I enjoyed it very much. Decent lacing. Great Hop smell. The way it smells is the way it tastes, nice hops that last from the from the front to the back. The hops taste also lasts through the whole pint. The malt balance is very level and they do not take over 3 quarters through the pour.

Definitely want to get a couple of bottles of this fine pour.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: Slightly hazy deep amber body beneath a frothy off-white head. Excellent head retention and beautiful lacing.

smell: Hoppy with notes of delicate pine and mild citrus. Slightly sweet caramelish malt.

taste: Whoa! Bam! This is loaded well-beyond anything the nose suggests. Hops appear right upfront with lots of soft pine and a citrus edge awash in a delicately sweetish caramel-accented malt.

mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a delicately spritzy, very fine-bubbled carbonation that lends a mild zing to the tongue and helps cut though the malt and accentuate the bitterness.

drinkability: I was highly impressed with this. I like the way that the hops come on strong, bolstered by the carbonation but held in check by the maltiness of the mouthfeel; and how they then subside but leave a dollop of malt behind before leaving the palate fairly clean for another go-round. You don't usually find that. Either there's too much malt and everything just sticks, or there's too much hop and you're left with a coating of hop acidity that just won't quit and quickly dulls the palate. No, this one's much more like a larger - rather than super-charged - IPA. That said, it maintains drinkability through allowing you to continue to taste it, number one, and then to even note some evolving flavors as you go. Superbly balanced in all ways: malt sweetness vs bitterness, caramel level of the malt versus sweetness, hop flavor profile both integrated and put up against malt, start-middle-finish... etc. very well done!

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!

Photo of soupyman10
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber color with a nice fluffy white head on top that leaves very good lacing.

Nose is very fruity hops, a nice balanced malt background. Smooth pineyness in there as well.

Taste is some fun, light cotton candy and light grapefruit. This is obviously a hoppy beer, but man oh man. Tons of big malt and hop flavors. Sort of a rough hoppiness to the backbone. I wouldn't call this the most unique DIPA I've had, but it's so freakin' tasty I don't care. Extremely well balanced, especially with such a huge flavor.

Body is excellent, good and full, with perfect carbonation.

Honestly, not a huge Avery fan. I've found most of their stuff quite mediocre, but this big delicious DIPA is excellent. Almost epitomizes what the style is.

Photo of tpd975
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up from Whole Foods Sarasota

A: Pours a nice golden hue nice bright and clear. The head is big, tall, and fluffy. One huge sheet of lace covers nearly 1/3 of the glass.

S: Bold hop aromas. Tons of sappy sweet pine. Tinges of grapefruit and orange juice poke thru.

T: Very much like the aroma. Big on the pine, bold and sweet. Hints of grapefruit and sunsweet orange juice. Rater bold, er Presidential.

M: Medium in body, with a big blast of carbonation.

D: Rather. The taste is big and the price is right at whole foods. Wish I had grabbed a few more.

Photo of atsprings
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber into a Duvel tulip. Pours a nice slightly hazy copper with a decent frothy off-white head that slowly diminishes to a thin layer but leaves great lacing. Aroma is crisp cascade hops overpowering sweet malts. The taste is a fairly well balance of both citrus and pine hops with caramel malts, pine and caramel linger nicely in the finish. The beer is medium bodied with some warming slightly sticky alcohol, but it's somewhat well hidden. This is a very enjoyable Double IPA, and I certainly hope Barack Obama enjoys the "ample amount of our Presidential Pale Ale" that Avery will inevitably bestow upon him this January! I'll certainly be picking up more before election night to celebrate his victory!

Photo of brewdoc75
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from the bottle into a snifter.

A: Orange-yellow-amber color with an intially rock head. Beautiful lace along the sides.

S: Sweet malts intially with citrus/piney hop aroma. I get a few esters as well. Finishes sweet at the end.

T: Really solid hoppy flavors. Strong, but not too abrasive bitterness at first. The sweet malts hit the palate next. The beer finishes with grapefruit and piney flavors. Very well balanced.

M: Smooth, but crisp. Not too heavy and not too light. Reasonable carbonation.

D: A damn good DIPA. Not epic, but not run of the mill. Definitely worth a try. A good example of the cascade hop.

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.

Photo of nickss
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice deep orange with a smallish, but resilient head.

One of the best aromas from a brew I've drank in quite some time. Huge grapefruit aroma with a very strong hop presence.

Huge piney aroma... lots of hops in this one. That said, there is a bit of balance. Pretty nice all around.

Nice crisp mouthfeel... good and chewy... pretty much what you would want in a DIPA

Very drinkable for a brew of this abv. I could certainly knock a few of these back in one sitting. I have really come to appreciate Avery's hoppy brews, and this is certainly a credit to the brewery.

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