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
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Reviews: 378 | Hads: 507
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 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 HalfFull
3.42/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours on opaque orange amber into a pint glass with a frothy half inch head. This beer has very little smell initially(served rather chilled) yet opens up as the beer warms. Notes of caramel malts and light hops initially. Yet Belgian yeasts soon dominate.

Taste is somewhat malty, yet this is no Maharaja, and that is a good thing. Not nearly as complex in the malts nor as sweet as Maharaja, this brew offers a nicely balanced malt structure. And with a touch of Belgian yeast sourness. Anyway, that aside I find this brew neither enticing nor enthralling.

I would consider this to be an oddball of an American DIPA and more of a Belgian IPA with a well disguised ABV, perhaps a 'White Rascal' on malted steroids. (717 characters)

Photo of sonicdescent
3.42/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

In Celebration of our chief's speech!

Pours a beautiful golden color with some thick fluffy head that leaves great lacing.

Smell is unusually weak. I smell citrus hops but it is barely there.

Taste is not weak, in fact one of the more robust dipas that I have had. Very bitter with citrus hops.

Mouth is medium in both carbonation and body.

Drinkability is low as this is kind of harsh after more than a few sips. (422 characters)

Photo of Murchmac
3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a one finger head nice lacing, golden orange. Like the doilies on the lincoln bedrooms couch.

Burst of hops hits your nose like the secret service bum rushing you. Malt, straw, lemon?

Sweet floral, sweet hops, not too full bodied. A little thin. More Paula Jones than Monica Lewinsky.

Some burning alcohol finsh. Some sweetness.

Overall an ok beer. I think it says its a double pale ale, kinda confusing, like how our current regime gets away with what it does. (481 characters)

Photo of damienblack
3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to HopsAreOverrated for getting this to me by Inauguration Eve!

Pours medium golden brown, with a spiral jet of air weaving its way up the center of my goblet. Big light-peach head is sticky, doesn't leave much lacing. Yet it smells soapy. Slick. soapy and flowery, with the smell of a mango-like tropical fruit backing a big pine scent. To my untrained nose, the soapy smells dominate, and the hops and things I should be smelling take a back seat. I'm not the biggest fan of IPAs, so this will be interesting.

First impressions: Slick and soapy. Malts lead to a slightly sweet body before the hops kick in. It's not a hop bomb by any stretch, once that grapefruity pineyness kicks in, its a slow burn to the finish as the alcohol also makes itself very evident. There's a lot going on here. As time goes on, it makes for a better experience, but to me, the soapiness up front detracts from the experience. I'd rather it be drier, and without the cloying stickiness/soap taste. Nevertheless, I'd give it "good but not great" marks across the board. If you can look past that facet, I like how the hop sensation lingers without overloading you. Medium bodied, good carbonation and feel, and for me, okay drinkability (even though it's a sipper here), as it really takes a hit with the unpleasant soapiness. (1,319 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.47/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a four-finger thick, frothy, light tan colored head. The beer is a bright, amber-copper hue that shows a full copper hue when held up to the light. The aroma is clearly hop focused with stick ruby-red grapefruit notes, lighter lychee, sweetened orange zest, a touch of tart grapefruit towards the middle / end and some not quite ripe orange notes. The malt character provides a dusty, crushed cracker, pale malt note that has just a touch of a snap to the finish.

Much stickier and sweeter than I was expecting, the body is quite viscous and thick as well. This definitely has the heft of a Barleywine to it. The amply sweet malt definitely accentuates hop flavors of lychee, tropical fruit, ripe peaches, and sweet orange zest. A touch of warming alcohol, some toasty pale malt and medium bitterness that is not enough to cut through the sticky malt are all present in the finish. A touch of pine is noticeable towards the finish as well, though it seems to get drowned out by the sweet malt character at times. This is a very clean beer, almost devoid of yeast character, which is to be expected from Avery.

I wasn't expecting this to be quite so sweet as it is, it is not bad, but I expected something calling itself a "Pale Ale" to try and capture the drinkability of said beer, even if it is an amp'd up version. The vibrant hop character is nice, but it can't hide the overt sweetness. This does get quite a bit less sticky as it warms up from its initial 50°F / 10°C serving temperature, but it is still a bit much.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ (1,614 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
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. (876 characters)

Photo of jjanega08
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A= darker orange color hinting on brown. Decent lacing and a respectable head that falls quickly to a ring.
S= resiny pine and citrus hops. Grassy with a little malt sweetness coming through.
T= just like the smell with the tasty hops. Some alcohol is detected late.
M= Good. Less creamy than most doubles however.
D= pretty high. This beer was ok... Not totally impressed with it but I suppose it was worth trying. This is my first from Avery and prolly not my last. I won't buy this one again but I can see myself exploring more of their beers. (547 characters)

Photo of alkemy
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

(From notes)Hazy orange/copper with a big whipped off white head. Hops is there, but in an earthy pine and orange scent. The caramel malts dominate. Taste is much of the same. This may or may not be the brewer's intention. After all, this beer was brewed some 10 months ago so I'm sure the hop character is not as it was at that time. Some odd flavors here and there. Hints of honey and maybe grilled pineapple. Liked the slick feel, but just couldn't get totally into this. (474 characters)

Photo of jbphoto88
3.49/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Behind a smart and witty label lies a 22oz bottle that contains the 2008 Avery offering. The pour yields a cloudy haze of a beer that is amber/ orange in color with a thick white head. Some nice webbing coats the edge of the glass.

The scent is sweet and hoppy. It smells like one great IPA with layered hop scents like grapefruit and other citrus like fruits mixed with a little floral earthiness. There is also a freshly milled pale malt scent that is very nice. I can't wait to drink this beer.

I wouldn't say the taste is a disappointment, its just not this beer's best feature. There is a solid malt backbone that initially assaults the taste buds but it is quickly eclipsed by a strong astringency that basically over powers everything else. A shame because there is a nice underlying floral and citrus flavor that should be more available to the palate. The finish is a malty apology for the overall bitterness but you have to wait for the bite to subside.

I wish this one followed through on the flavor. The taste and mouthfeel really drop the ball. It has an unbalanced bitterness that obliterates all the great malt and citrus flavors. Almost unbelievable that the smell of this beer doesn't deliver in the flavor department. What a shame. Despite the one sided aspect this beer isn't to bad of a drinking experience. Its worth buying for the scent alone and by the time you get to the bottom of the glass you won't notice the Über bitterness. (1,457 characters)

Photo of cokes
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Twilight golden bodied with a large stack of eggy white suds. It's generally transluscent with plenty of tiny particles in suspension.
It noses of rusted iron, pine sap, pineapple, lemon rind, and graham crackers...and Gin.
In to the mouth, it begins with a honey-slathered graininess. It inches toward caramel, but the hops intercept. And that's not unusual for a big / double IPA. But the hops don't have all that much to say, apart for a bit of stinging bitterness. There are citric tones. There are pineapple tones. There are floral tones. There are reeferous tones. There are metallic and cinnamon-woody and minty tones. But all of these lack the gumption to stand up and assert themselves. Over time, it just becomes more grassy bitter and metallic.
First impression, you'd say "this is hoppy". But when questioned, you'd say, "I'm not sure, just generally". Then there is a drying inhale of Gin and tonic with its booze and minerals.
Full bodied, hanging heavy in the mouth, but given just enough lift to stave off a cloying or oppressive feel. This is like Congress, it can't get anything done right, but somehow manages to appease.
It's not hard to drink, but it's hard not to let one's mind wander to dreaming of DIPAs with a better overall constitution. (1,266 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 650 mL foil-wrapped bottle purchased at State Line.

A: The DIPA is a ruddy amber color, translucent with a half a finger of head across the mouth of the glass.

S: I took a brief whiff from the bottle and was blasted back with a barrage of hops. Out of the glass, the hops are murky with a big aroma that reminds me of a barleywine (or a DIPA that sat around too long).

T: The ale is huge, full of both hops and malts. The flavors are wet and concentrated, a veritable barleywine. The malts are caramel and biscuits, chewy and sweet. They match up admirably against the hops. Those hops are citrusy with a touch of pine resin. The finish is the best part of the ale, a melange of pine and citrus flavors that lingers long.

M: The ale is big and swirling, a barleywine wiht a fresh hop kick. The flavors overwhlem the palate.

D: One bottle is enough. The ale is a bomb. I'm just not sure if it is a hop- or malt- one. (923 characters)

Photo of oakbluff
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22 ounce bomber. Pours a dark iced tea colour with a one figer white head and nice lacing. Nose- sweet fruit and caramel. Taste- intial taste is off hops- more tea like than anything, very sweet, big candied orange flavour. Rather thick mouthfeel, leads to a drying finish. Maybe a little past its prime? Very balanced but the hop profile leaves something to be desired. (382 characters)

Photo of Tilley4
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hmmmm... I was wanting this to be special....not quite there..

Well, it pours a beautiful clear honey golden color with an ample foamy head and terrific lacing..

Nose is strange... Its hoppy, I can smell the Cascade but its also sort of metallic as well... Smells a little sharp...

Well, its hoppy but not Maharaja like or anything. The hops provide plenty of bitterness but little else. Yeah, they're present but they don't really do anything...a little malt shows up at the backend to try and save this one but I just don't get it...

I wish now that I'd gotten the Maharaja... (582 characters)

Photo of TheHoppiest
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
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. (551 characters)

Photo of andylipp
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Poured a clear copper with 2+ inches of yellow-tinged head. Lots of lacing as it died down in my Corsendonk tulip (my standard bomber taster).

Smell - Grapefruity hop aroma dominates with some fruitiness thrown in as well. Not much malt in the nose.

Taste - My first reaction was that I did not like the compliment of hops used. While there's a bit of sweetness at first taste, that quickly gives way to an odd, almost off hop flavor. That in turn gives way to a more familiar resiny, citrusy hop character with a long, bitter piney finish. The abv becomes apparent in the very last throes of the finish.

Mouthfeel - Low to moderate carbonation, with medium viscosity in the body.

Drinkability- Medium. I don't hate it but halfway through the bottle I was already thinking about what I'd drink next. Each sip started off a bit underwhelming, but the finish was impressive enough to get me to take the next one.

Comments- I think that on inauguration day this beer might be drinking a bit better. The hops used make it a bit tough to drink right now and may round out a bit by January. I think I'll buy one to put away until then, but won't seek one out until the new President is sworn in.

I'm confused as to what Avery was after with this beer. They already have the amazing Maharajah in the DIPA/IIPA category, so why another? Reading the label I thought that this might be more of an Imperial Pale Ale with more of a malt presence, but that's not the case to these taste buds.

Note- About a month later I had this beer on tap and it was a much better experience. The "off" hop flavor wasn't present and the malt character was much more obvious. (1,669 characters)

Photo of rmasen
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: nice amber color with a large amount of carbonation running through it. the head poors pretty thin and dissipates quickly leaving a strong lacing.

S: Overtly sweet malt character with a hint of citrus y hops.

T: leans to the maltier side, very little flavor/bittering/aroma hop character coming through and a strong malt character that sometimes leans on the sweet side.

M: for me personally I would like to see more carbonation for how thin the liquid is.

D: not sure how many of these I would like to have. sweetness pulls me away, especially because of the style. (575 characters)

Photo of Fnord
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Slightly translucent gold color, with a dense, white, lasting head.

Smell - Grass, flowery pine, and citrus.

Taste - Much like the nose, but also with sweet malts for balance. Some alcohol in the finish. Got very sweet as it warmed up.

Mouthfeel - Medium-light body, which is aided by the thick head. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability - One is good, but I wouldn't want more than that in one night.

Notes - The dry hopping really brings out the juiciness of the hops; this was the juiciest beer I've had in a while.

I have mixed feelings about this one. It's clearly a well-crafted beer, with a lot of hoppy complexities. It's just not my cup of tea, as I prefer drier malts to the sweet stuff balancing this ale. I'm not going to buy it again, but I'm glad I tried it, as it's quite a bit different from other IPA's. (835 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

10/24/08- Purchased at Ledger's, in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info (2008 release). Poured into my Smuttynose pint glass.

Appearance- Rich copper-amber colored pour. Large 1 inch plus head which is thick and foamy. Leaves light patchwork and trails of lace behind.

Smell- Sugary tropical and citrus fruited hops plus a mid range caramel malted nose.

Taste- Heavy orange rind sugary hop flavor. Maybe a bit of grapefruit and tangerine as well. Malt is medium to light roasted caramel in taste. Needs something though to pull both factors together.

Mouthfeel- Right amount of carbonation with a good amount of juicy hop bitterness in the aftertaste.

Drinkability- Needs to be a bit more assertive. Malt could be a bit more roasted and robust. Just missing that special something to pull together all the flavors and make this a really good beer. As is though, it about your average DIPA. (922 characters)

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance was a gold, sparkling, clear, brilliant body with a fine but short-lived head. Aroma was distinctly bitter and hoppy, with some sweetness which struck me as not being very fruity or citrus-like. This dry hoppy smell reminded me of Avery Maharaja, which might be no accident. Flavor was very dry and very bitter with a lot of hoppiness and no sweetness. Mouthfeel was quite astringent.

Probably the best beer of the night. (433 characters)

Photo of bkilpatr
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. 10/25/08.

Pours a copper golden-orange color with about two fingers of beige head. The head dropped slowly and left some nice lacing. Aroma is piny and citrusy hops and some caramel malt.

Taste is sweet caramel malt followed by piny and grassy hops. Quite a bitter finish. A bit of citrus, mostly grapefruit. Not the most balanced beer; it could use a bit more sweetness to balance it out. The alcohol is very well hidden in the taste.

Feel is medium bodied and well-carbonated. Just the right thickness and not sticky at all. Drinkability is decent. The taste is a bit unbalanced but the alcohol is very well hidden.

Overall, pretty good for a pale ale. It's a bit pricey (~$8) and maybe not worth the price, but it's a pretty good beer. (788 characters)

Photo of abrand
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
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. (573 characters)

Photo of SirSketch
3.59/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So long, Bush. Hello change!

A - Appearance was by far the high point of this beer... very beautiful! Wonderful deep red color with dark yellow highlights. Very clean/clear as well. Has a frothy white head that sticks well. Perfect in this respect.

S - Spicy hop character with citrus and wet grass notes. Malt aroma is present but doesn't make much of an impact.

T - Hop character is dominant and ranges from citrus to grassy. Bitterness is high and there is no real malty sweetness to counter balance, but some biscuit maltiness is detectable. Not too much residual sweetness either. Nice, but not incredible, by any means.

M/D - Very 'sticky' in the mouth, but the amount of carbonation makes it incredibly drinkable.

An enjoyable beer, though I may have scored it lower than I would have normally if it wasn't Obama's Inauguration. Hail to the Chief! (859 characters)

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