1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.

Ale To The Chief - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ale To The ChiefAle To The Chief

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

502 Ratings
THE BROS
-
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 502 | Reviews: 378 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of genog
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was really looking forward to trying this one. I really like Avery, and was excited to get this new beer.
Pours a dark ruby red color with plenty of white sudsy hops leaving a lot of lacing along the side of my glass. Smell is pine, grapefruit, and a lot of biscuity malt pokes through. Taste is very similar to the aroma big on the hops and sweet malt as well. Plenty of carbonation making this one a very filling beer. Another great success from avery.

Photo of AltBock
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was able to try this new Avery beer on tap at High Street Grill on 8/12/2008. They served it to me in a standard River Horse pint glass.

This Double IPA poured a beautiful clear mahogany amber. I liked how the color of the beer was 2 different colors. No amber highlights in a mahogany colored beer, but 2 colors together. The head of foam was 3/4 of an inch in hight and a pure white color. It had excellent retention that left behind a skim of white foam and a ton of sticky white streaks of lace all around the glass. Great appearance!

It had a strong hoppy aroma of bitter citrus hops, a few pine needles, a drop of lemon zest, a hint of orange peel, a slice of grapefruit, and then ends on a slightly sweet side with a touch of sweet yeast. I thought there would be some alcohol in the aroma, but the hops probably covered it up.

What kind of taste am I going to get after a strong hoppy aroma? Malty? Sour? If you guessed it was going to be a hop bomb, you are somewhat correct. Beside the bitter citrus hops was a strong taste of ruby red grapefruit. Hiding behind the grapefruit and all the hops was a few select citrus fruits, a ton of pine needles, a drop of sweet yeast, and then it finishes up on a subtle touch of dry toasted malts.

This was a full bodied beer that contained a full flavored hoppy aftertaste of bitter citrus hops, grapefruit, pine needles, and a hint of citrus fruits. You better watch out for this one because the 8.75% ABV will sneak up on you.

It was another great Avery beer. This beer's hops will assault your tastebuds, so you better watch out. Since it has a big hop bite to it, it's one of those once in a while hoppy beers. It's a must try Avery beer in either a bottle or on draft.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another great beer from Avery. Cheers to the Grandwazoo on his election victory. We enjoyed this last night as a celebration of his candidates victory.

This was a very nice beer. Poured with a thick and creamy off white head. Lots of structure and excellent retention. A good amount of lacing remained. The beer itself was slightly cloudy and an orange amber color.

Aroma was fantastic and fresh. Lots of citrus and grapefruit.

Well balanced for such a big beer. The fresh hops were certainly the star, but there was a significant and nice malt backbone. Grapefruit, ripe pineapple, resinous hops flavors.

Mouth feel was very smooth and this was really drinkable. Nice beer.

Photo of thethrone
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours golden amber with very generous stiff head.
Good retention. Generous lacing

S - Terrific hoppy aroma; Orange, pine, grapefruit, and a hint of lemony bread.

T - Taste matches the nose, citrus, pine, yeast. I was surprised by the sweetness, which gives way to a mild citrus bitterness.

M - Medium body, very smooth. No dominating bitterness or alcohol burn that you often find in this category.

D - Very drinkable, despite is relatively high alcohol content and hop profile. Would definitely come back to this one again.

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic! I've only just begun to appreciate the distinction between the American and English "bitters". This American version is quite good. Though the ABV and hoppiness is a higher than the English bitter it is a bit lower than the "big" American bitters. I would call this a very happy medium. The color is a vibrant amber/orange color with a strong enough head and apparent lacing throughout. The smell is pleasing but the taste does, as promised, packa punch. The citrus and hop are the most apparent flavors and are not strong simply for the sake of being strong. I would recommend this beer to most and I must say that I was pleasantly suprised, as someone who is not a "hop head".

Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Way to go Avery.
First for the political sentiments (anti Bush/Republican) on the label...
Second for the high quality almost DIPA in the bottle.
Pours clear, glowing darker amber, with that olive oil almost green tint thing going on, tight off white head, leaving better then average fine lace. Nose is the expected oily, gritty, hoppyness. Tasty easy drinking offering, hops quite evident but not overpowering in their approach. Whole wheat toast underlying malt and coating the palate for the approaching hop crunch. Love the style..love this beer...highly recommended for all hoppy beer lovers.

Photo of mbunje
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into small snifter-type glass.

Love the label...it is presidential pale ale, not imperial pale ale.

Nice copper tone and a good 1 inch head. Medium lacing going down the glass. Very much par for the course for an IPA

Smell is awesome...Cascade hops. Great aroma. Well done

Taste is no let down very nice cascade hop flavor but not overly bitter (dare I say...Presidential)

Smooth, medium carbonation, crisp finish. Very good for this style.

After about 16oz of this 8.75% beer, I feel like I can drink 4-5 more. But I'm gonna say that 2 bombers is all I should take down. Not a session beer, but a great IPA.

MUST Try this if you like IPA

Photo of GilGarp
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Ale to the Chief! - A Presidential Pale Ale to celebrate Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009"

"Not an 'imperial' pale ale, this is a democracy."

"We the Brewers..."

Just a few of the literary gems on this fine bottle of beer!

22oz. brown bomber bottle topped with gold foil.

Pours a redish golden amber with ample head.

Lots of fresh hop aroma with citrus and pine notes.

Flavor is that of a IPA or imperial IPA but you didn't hear it from me...

Nicely bittered but also well balanced. This is really an exceptional beer.

I know what I'll be drinking 1/9/09!

Photo of MMAJYK
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Inauguaration Day January 20, 2009.

A. Hazy and burnt orange. Head is loose and sticky hanging out for quite a while. 4

S. Some grapefruit and pineapples, over ripened--hops are citrusy and very reiseny. Honey and light brown sugar round out the nose.

T. Fruity and sweet with cherries, oranges, pineapples, and grapefruit. Alcohol and bitterness are the only two things keeping this from tasting like fruit punch. Great hop profile and a pronounced bitterness make this beer what it is.

M. Thick and chewy with middle of the road carbonation.

D. The perfect beer for Inauguration Day as it says on the label, good timing and a great beer make for a nice experience. I'll grab more of these babies for later.

Photo of GRG1313
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Honey color with a nice big white head.

Lovely yeast/white bread nose with undertones of grapefruit and pine.

Tastes of grapefruit, citrus, bitter hops, pine with hints of resin.

Finish is big hops. This is a big hoppy ale but with a bitterness that's is pleasant and welcoming not off-putting. Big hop grapefruit character and finish. This one's a winner and reeks of quality, something I've found in most Avery beers.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from tap into a snifter and produced a 2 finger head above a deep reddish amber color.

Smell is complex with an abundance of piney hops with hints of what seems an almost fruity base.

The taste is equally deep with hints of caramel that get almost immediately crushed by the overpowering taste of hops. One of the most satisfying imperial IPAs that I have ever tasted.

Slight carbonation complements the taste with an initial strong bite followed by a smooth finish.

Photo of TasteTester
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I heard many disappointing experiences before I bought and tried this brew. Needless to say, my hop head love was well fed. Will definitely buy a few more just to have on that "hmm, what to drink night".

A-Clear, copper/amber body. Heavy head that slowly disappeared. Creamy and cloudy head appearance. Lacing was present.

S-Sweet DIPA goodness. Hops, Piney something-or-other, love in a mug.

T-Everything I want in a DIPA. Right amount of bitterness and right amount of hop punch. Not overbearing. If this is what Bush leaving office feels like, I'm all in.

M-Resiny, sticky, good to the last drop.

D-Will drink all day and all night, til I have none.

Photo of smcolw
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large, thick, slowly receding rocky head. It leaves some chunky lace. Light amber with a touch of orange. Mildly chill hazed.

Caramel with pepper is my first impression of the smell. There is also a cream aroma. I also detect alcohol in the background.

Creamy with a timid caramel sweetness...then the bitter and floral hop takes over. It's not over-hopped like so many of this style. In fact, I'd call it well-balanced. The swallow is even features some great malt roundness. Rich texture.

While this is my favorite style, this is still a great example of the style with lots of complexity.

Photo of cvstrickland
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just couldn't wait around until Inauguration Day to try this, and besides, the hops onboard the brew weren't getting any younger, so I decapped the chilled 22-ounce bomber bottle and poured it into my DFH pint glass. When held to the light, the body of the beer glows a bright orange-amber with a dusky crimson-tinted heart. A thick cap of milk-bubbled, bright white foam rests atop the drink, retaining throughout the serving, leaving fine, sticky rings of lacing clinging to the glass.

The smell of the drink is tropically fruity and sweet, with a rich perfumey bouquet of ripe mango, grilled pineapple, honeydew melon, fragrant key lime-- all underscored with a savory note of toasted bread crust dipped in sourwood honey.

The taste is sweet and really fruity, even moreso than the aroma would have indicated-- and that's really saying something! Crisp notes of limeade, freestone peaches, and smashed muscadine grapes, clover honey, bitter grapefruit pith, and just a tingle of resinous rosemary, work well with a mild toasted maltiness that becomes more prominent as the drink warms. Just a touch of lingering bitterness in the finish keeps the drink from becoming overly sweet, and that bitterness evolves, growing in size and potency, becoming oilier and more grapefruity as the engagement continues. This is easily the fruitiest DIPA I have ever encountered, and I find that I am really liking the take on the style.

The drink is on the heavier side of medium-bodied with very good carbonation and great drinkability. Avery's Ale to the Chief is a worthy brew, and one I proudly raise in toasting the success of the newly-elected future Leader of the Free World! He'll need all the help he can get. Cheers, America!

Photo of John_M
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Quotations the other night, where I picked up a growler. I thought this a very nice tasting beer, though perhaps not unexpectedly, it reminded me quite a bit of the Maharaja.

The beer pours a peachy orange amber color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose this beer is all DIPA, with aromas of orange citrus, pine and even some skunkiness. As the beer warmed a bit, I also got an interesting cinnamon aroma. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose (except for the cinnamon), and the beer comes across as a hugely hoppy, mouthfilling DIPA. There is some mild sweetness from the malt, which balances out the hoppiness to some extent. The beer is medium bodied, and while the abv. is certainly noticeable, it's not overwhelming. The beer is actually pretty drinkable, all things considered.

Very nice beer. Glad I had a chance to try it, especially on draft.

Photo of jhu1995
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orange color, somewhat cloudy, with a nice head and lacing throughout. Smell is both sweet and tart fruits; some lemony citrus aromas, but faint and not overpowering. Some minor alcohol notes as well. Nice balance of sweetness with bitterness, well-rounded. Medium-bodied and refreshing. Overall a very good beer and worth seeking out.

Photo of rxdrewthejew
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I tried to save this until inauguration day but...didn't happen.

A: Orangey and pretty dark for an IPA. Mostly clear with lots of bubbles coming from the bottom. One finger tannish head that doesn't have much retention but does have a lot of lacing.

S: Really big malt base with a sort of figgy/molasses smell. There's bitterness to the scent, but tough for me to characterize.

T: First sip is all malt, taste like it smells. I really didn't note any hops at all in the first sip...they seem to come on really really late. The hops are mostly resiny to me, maybe a bit of grass. The bitterness seems to come out of the sweetness, but the flavor of the hops isn't particularly strong...just the bitterness.

MF: Medium bodied and a bit sticky, with low-to-moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is similar to Maharajah, and that's a very good thing. The warming is fairly intense, and the alcohol hits right away.

D: This is a tasty, malt-heavy IIPA...and I like it quite a bit. It almost gets to the point of being a strong ale or an imperial red, but there's certainly enough hops in there. Reminds me a bit of summer Yulesmith I suppose. This is obviously not a sessionable beer, but it seems to be a "get a nice little buzz" beer. I'm not convinced that providing Mr. Obama an ample amount of this would make him a better president, but at least it would make him a president with good taste in beer. Anyway. I think when it's all said and done I like Maharajah more, but this is really quite good and I would be happy to drink it again.

Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to tburkhart for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Poured into a chalice a nice hazy dark golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy one-finger head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy, with some nice malt notes, citrus and pines. The taste is hoppy, nicely balanced malts, very nice citrus and slight pine notes. Medium body. Very drinkable, I really like this one, it's been awhile since I've had a really good brew from Avery, and this one fit the bill perfectly. Thanks Tim.

Photo of Zadok
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light copper of a crystal clear variety. A monstrous head sits atop this beauty.

The fragrance of delicious hops emanate from the ever bubbling head. Very floral tones as well.

Has a nice floral fruity hop flavor. Also has a light coriander quality.

Nice, crisp mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Has an enjoyable hop bite on aftertaste.

Actually consumed this on election night and have been busy since. A very delicious brew with some great balance in flavors and mouthfeel.

Photo of drabmuh
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce snifter in draft at Churchkey. Beer is amber and clear a little orange with a thin white head of small bubbles, lots of lacing, moderate to low carbonation. Moderate retention. Looks good.

Aroma is earthy, piny, sweet. Smells good.

Beer is medium in body, malt presence but not malty. Very bitter in the finish all from hops. Clean, no aftertaste. Very enjoyable. A nice CTZ hoppiness in the midpalate and good connectivity. This is exactly what I wanted today. A big, bitter, aggressive, not fruity west coast DIPA. And I got it in this beer. I would have this again for sure.

Photo of Jmoore50
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a little old, sitting nicely on a BevMo shelf in the San Fran.

I liked the appearance, it was great. It comes with a nice copper amber color that is a slight hazy because of sediment floating around. I also like the two finger frothy head that came about, and the sticky medium lacing that covered the sides of my glass.

The smell was good, hops, hops, and hops. I also got a little sweet alcoholic smell, goes well with the taste.

The taste was good. Still has a hop bite, but mellowed out now because of the age on it. I get a sweetness and a honey influence as well. There is a little alcoholic tinge to the experience but I think that it adds a sort of complexity that I am really liking right now. I also get a dry malt taste that responds with the palate very well.

Good brew, worth the money paid.

J

Photo of gabeerfan
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy burnt orange-amber with a nice big bubbled off white head.
The first whiff reminded me of orange-pineapple juice. Lots of pineapple and citrus rind. Not a lot of sugar sweetness coming through. Some very light brown sugar and honey aromas.
Flavor is pretty similar to the aroma. Again, the first sip kind of reminded me of pineapple-orange juice. But, later sips reveal bits of pine, grapefruit rind. The malt sweetness is still a little hidden, but it is present and offers an attempt at balancing the hops. Despite how hoppy this beer is, it is not too bitter.
Medium bodied. A little sticky/syrupy, but not too thick. Nice carbonation.
Quite drinkable. Very nice flavors make this a good drinker, maybe not an all-night drinker, but a good bottle to share.
We've been using this as an electoral themed beer the last few months, at an Election night party and at an Inauguration "celebration," and I've enjoyed this beer each time. Definitely recommended even at a non-political event.

Photo of everetends
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle from Five Points Bottle Shop in Athens, GA. Poured into a DFH shaped pint.

A: Pours a really nice, deep amber that is crystal clear. Carbonation is very nice, with active streaming. Got a good three fingers of creamy head on the first pour. Had great retention, hung around for a long time. Nice sticky lacing all over the glass. I like the look.

S: Smell is really balance. Nice floral and piney hops put up against some nice, bready malt. The scents are almost equal in power. Grapefruit is so nice. Touch of lemon. Lets do this.

T: Taste is of some serious, piney and spicy hops. Grapefruit is very nice, heavy citrus. Grapefruit is more bitter than sweet. Malt is very bready, very nice. Sweet. Tasty. The flavors are very nice and balanced. Simple. Good. The flavor is bitter hops but not too bitter.

M: Medium in body. Very nice. Oily as hell. Really sticky. Carbonation is nice. Hops are all over the palate. Aftertaste is hops. Alcohol is nonexistant. Is there alcohol in here? I don't know. This is good.

D: This beer is nice. So easy to drink. Nice and tasty. Feel is good. Look is good. Aroma is good. I want more. This beer is awesome. Avery did a solid here. Good brew.

Photo of imagineiii
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably a big bump in the reviews of this beer today: Just got it in a trade with SincereNC, literally today.

Poured into my trusty DFH snifter. Decent inch of creamy white head with moderate retention. Light orange copper color, moderately hazy.

Avery has a very distinct smell to me: Sweet and tart, plump grapefruit, honey, floral. Very rich.

Very floral, almost grassy. Nut and honey are prominent. Grapefruit and citrus is not as strong as I thought it might be, but theyre there. Caramel smoothness.

Moderately light on the tongue, but heavy on the aftertaste. Hop bitterness is prominent.

Drinkable? Today it is. But seriously, itll still be pretty drinkable tomorrow.

This beer reminds me alot of the year or so old Maharajas I recently came across. It has alot of similarities to the Maharaja but the hops are muted, leaving behind a caramel sweetness. Throw in a couple new tastes (grass and nuts) and youve got a pretty good beer.

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Obviously, the brewers at Avery are not fans of President George W. Bush! On to the beer!

Pours a lovely clear mahogany with a thin but lingering khaki head. Big citrusy hops in the nose and rich caramel malt.

Citrusy hops in the mouth, herbal hops too. Grapefruit and tangerine from the hops but very malty too. Lots of rich caramel malt with just a hint of fruitiness. Well balanced but clearlymore malt forward overall. Thick, sticky finish, blurring the lines between "Presidential" IPA and a hoppy barleywine. Big full body. Very tasty ale and very smooth. The nearly 9% ABV sneaks up on you so be careful. It hit me with quite a buzz by the time I finished the bomber!

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