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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.

378 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 378
Hads: 507
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 9.9%
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 Sammy
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An Avery very hoppy beer. C-hop aroma. Initially, very grapefruit and then as the taste buds numb, there is less hop intensity felt, its more like a pale ale. Average mouthfeel. Less than average grapefruit colour with some white head.Appropriate carbonation. Decent DIPA.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

back on for election time at the tap room. listed at 8.1% abv this time. pours a rich cherrywood color, with brassy highlights and a lacey white head an inch high. the nose and taste are more balanced than i thought they would be, knowing avery and their huge hop beers. theres some biscuity malts, lightly toasted, some caramel sweetness, and of course a big bold hoppy finish, but it isnt bitter at all. more piney and holiday feeling to me. very drinkable as the alcohol is well disguised, the body isnt too huge, and the carbonation is enough to keep it moving. i really enjoyed this beer, its perfect for the occasion of fall politics and chilly weather. i didnt know they bottled this, and would like to try that format if it makes it there this year.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Insanely good aroma straight out the shoot. It has that signature Avery mouthwatering blend of sweet oranges, pineapple, ruby reds, and a good tropical blend of fruit coctails. Beers just don't smell any better.

...ooh and there's the heafty malt supports underneath with a near syrupy swirl of caramel, malted barley, and confectionate sugars. Fruity esters compliment the citrusy notes that the hops contribute and round out the acidic nature of the grapefruits, lemon zest, and orange rinds.

The malts hold firm from the tranfer of nose to flavor. But the hop flavors settle into a standard citrus and pine character that's generally found in average IIPA's. That juicy, generous aroma gives up a lot going into the taste. The alcohols give an unsettling bitterness and the yeast gives some soapy, nail polish flavors that's tough to accept.

As most IIPA's also do, Ale to the Cheif has a lush, full texture that forgoes the crisp, well-attenuated character that standard IPA's offer for the sweeter, heavier, more syrupy textures that sacrifices drinkability in the end.

Of course it's a fantastic IIPA-- that's what Avery does as well as anyone in brewing. But that aroma promises a perfect 5 that the flavors and body cannot possibly attain. Good job Avery!

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a copper color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some minimal lacing. Aroma of C-hops is pretty strong and dominating with some nice clean citrus notes easily detectable. Taste is also dominated by some cascade hops with some clear citrus notes and a medium dry caramel malt body. Good carbonation with a full body and no alcohol was apparent. Nothing to write about home but very well done for the style nonetheless.

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Photo of largadeer
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark yet almost perfectly clear amber. A one finger creamy white head rises from a vigorous pour, retaining incredibly well and lasting until my last sip.

Smell: Candied grapefruit, oranges and a touch of honey. The balance of hops and malt is excellent, both providing depth but hops eventually rising to the forefront.

Taste & mouthfeel: Malty sweetness is the first thing to hit the palate, reminding me of orange marmalade on lightly toasted bread. Hops follow, full of citrus and pine, grapefruit and orange in particular - for a cascade-oriented beer, this tastes like no other cascade beer I've had. Impressive hop flavor, though the finish is a bit rough and astringent; less bittering hops would be to this beer's advantage. Nonetheless, I found myself really enjoying this, much moreso than Avery's other Double IPA, Maharaja.

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Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good DIPA all around. Dull orange body, visible carbonation. Great head retention, well over half an hour now. Initial head is creamy and has the consistency of whipped egg whites. Sticky lace rings.

Caramel and melon aromas, not as sharp or pungent as some DIPA's. Sort of soft and mostly malty in the nose.

Full bodied feel, it glides across the palate, and sinks in slowly, allowing the subtle hop oils to increase their bitter intensity. Fruity, although the sweet caramel malt shines through the most. Slightly dry in the finish with a sticky feel on the lips. One to sip and savor, while W's last days count down.

$6.99 bomber from Corner Cottage in Elmhurst.

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Photo of zeff80
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, orange/amber color with an off-white, foamy, bubbly, long lasting, three-finger head. It left sticky traces of lace.

S - It smelled of pine, citrus (grapefruit) and floral notes.

T - I've never tasted grapefruit in a beer quite like this. Simply put the strongest grapefruit flavor I've ever tasted in a beer. It also had a biscuity/caramel flavor with a subtle grassy bite.

M - It was sharp, crisp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good beer. Again, the most grapefruit taste I've ever had in an IPA.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.23/5  rDev -20%
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.

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Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have held this bottle awhile,I was hoping to open this bottle on election night....but things didnt go the way I had hoped,but enough bout that.Poured into a 22oz nonic a dull bronze with a big blooming slight off white head that left broken chumks of lace behind as it settled very slowly.Big pine resin and grapefruit rind in the nose along with some caramel biscuit.Obviously a hop dominate brew on the palate,grapefruit and leafy with a big dose of caramel sweetness,a lingering leafy/green note finishes.Its not over the top but its damn good,I bet it would have been great more fresh,damn voters!

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another gem from the cellar for the avery night over at the in laws. i had this once before when it first came out, but i wanted to see what time had done to it. served into a pint glass.

Poured an exceptional clear, dark amber with a big fizzy off white head that faded to reveal a thin layer of lace that stayed throughout, and in fact a smallish quarter inch head lasted till the end as well. Lots of carbonation, in fact rings of bubbles were still streaming till the last sip, very nice looking.

Lots of aromas of bread and yeast after it warmed, but these were drowned out by a nice piney hop presence. The taste was quite intresting. As this was my first taste of the brew, and being a huge fan Impeccably crisp and clean feeling going down, almost effortless. Lots of hop presence here, citrus flavors, biteer with grapefruit and pineapple. Nice balance on the back with bready malts and cereal flavors. Great dry, leave you wanting more finish rounded this out nicely.

overall quite impressed that it stayed soo fresh i have to admit. really still quite a solid beer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.32/5  rDev -17.8%
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?

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Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this guy from BEERchitect in a great trade. Not much else to say here, so here comes teh review.

A: Pours a huge 2 finger frothy head on top of a pretty clear amber pale orange color.

N: This thing was beaming with aromas as soon as i started pouring. A sweet malt just bashes everything in its path. Some light hints of spices I think, nuttiness. Some nice hops seem to make their way though but keep it light. I got some alcohol as well, a thick malty sweet alcohol. There's also some raisiny smells erupting from it.

T: Starts pretty creamy and malty with some raisin and dried fruits, lots of malty tastes and more and more raisin. SOme alcohol taste starts to find its way through. Some interesting hops seem to come through, but not the usual noble piney fruity hops, but it does have some hints. Some juicy hop flavors also seem to be there. It has a strong imperial red ale flavor.

M: Pretty thick and creamy, warming alcohol but not burn, decent carbonation.

F: Finishes semi dry and very bitter. The hoppy bitterness pieces its way through the finish and really hits you. The dried fruits and some earthy flavors seem to linger as well. More sweetness seems to hint at you in the end, but doesn't take over as it slowly dries off.

Final thoughts: Pretty much an imperial red ale with lots of malts, fruits, sweetness, alcohol, raisins, and lots of hops and bitterness. Pretty good winter or fall beer and warmingness.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a tulip.

Pours a clear amber copper with 1 1/2 fingers of creamy off-white head that sits there as a big ole' dollop with a solid 1/4 finger of retention that hangs tough, leaving gigantic rings of sticky lacing behind. The aroma is a hoppy fume of piny esters, big citrus character (including grapefruit and some sweeter notes of pineapple), some additional underlying malt sweetness, and a nose tingling waft of heat.

The taste is just as bold as the aroma, with tongue curling spicy, resinous hops, sticky citrus character, and an underlying backbone of grainy malts that barely keeps things in check. Finishes warm and bitter on the palette. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a touch of oiliness to it and a beefy alcohol presence. The heat isn't stinging but it gets real borderline at times.

I liked the big attitude and hoppy boldness of this DIPA but the hefty alcohol feel that it brings to the table killed the overall drinkibility of this somewhat. A 22 oz was more than enough for one sitting.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
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!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.63/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is full of floral hops along with fruity citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts with a big burst of grassy hops bitterness that is quickly followed by sweet flavors of citrus and caramel. The malt character is a bit thinner than most 2IPA's but is still pretty hearty. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Very crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, strong kick, excellent representation of style, not quite as good as Maharaja but this is still a very good 2IPA that is worth drinking for a whole evening.

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Photo of russpowell
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up today! Read the label, pretty interesting

Pours honey/peach with some effervescence & 2 fingers of beige head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Some pine, leafy hops & apricot

T: Pineyness, grapefruit, & a bit of caramel up front. Leafy hops, slight dose of orchard fruit, then back to grapefruit & then tropical fruit (pineapple & passion fruit) & a kiss of booze. Finishes with toffee, resiny & earthy hops, plus some grapefruit

MF: Medium bodied, a bit chewy, slight carbonation, a bit of booze burn, & good balance, although I'm not in love with all the hop additions

Drinks pretty good, hides the abv well, A decent take on the style, no Maharajah, but worth seeking out

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy amber gold. Creme head. Citrus piney nose. Flavor is citrus sweet with some noticeable alcohol. Feel is kind of sticky on the liquid and the carbonation is even. This is a dangerous DIPA. Highly drinkable even though there's a bit of a burn from the higher alcohol. A nice production.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Pours very hazy orange-amber color with a thick 2 finger off white head with great retention and amazing lacing on the glass. Aromas of caramel, floral hops, and bread. Taste of orange, caramel, and floral hops. Starts out sweeter with a very nice bitterness on the finish. Medium carbonation and body, nice balance. Awesome. Avery has not disappointed me yet so far.

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Photo of smcolw
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy tangerine appearance, solid slab of bone-white foam above.

Gorgeous aroma, plenty of pith, a lovley swirling blend of pinte and citrus, orange, tangerine, grapefruit and mango.

More of that in the mouth. Bitter and hoppy, yes, but smooth and creamy, too. Long, hoppy finish. Medium bodied. Nice and dry, yet still fruity and juicy.
8.75%? Really? Okay...

Delicious, really. A pinier, more poppin', hoppin', vibrant kind of a pale ale, nearly a double ipa.
Brewed for the inauguration, although available in time for the DNC in Denver. I hope we have reason to celebrate come January 20, 2009.
Oh, we will! No more Bush!

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Photo of jwc215
4.62/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours bright amber orange with a creamy head that has nice retention and leaves plenty of uneven lines of lacing.

The smell is of Cascade in full-force. It may be called Ale to the Chief, but could be Ale to Chief Cascade. If you like the smell of Cascade done right - you'll love this one. Citrus - grapefruit - and sappy pine.

Like in the nose there's an onslaught of Cascade, with rounding caramel sweetness. It has a long, bittering, dry finish.

It has a nice, chewy body with a butt-kicking hop punch. An awesome beer for Cascade hop lovers!

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Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

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