Ale To The Chief - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ale To The ChiefAle To The Chief

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

378 Reviews
THE BROS
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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 Crosling
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper color with a small head. They nailed the nose, with an intense blend of west coast hops that deliver loads of grapefruit and lemon. Flavor packs a wallop with a lovely, beautiful hoppiness. Lemon, citrus, resin, pure, oily hops. Well utilized hops and also hops of high quality. Delicious display of hops. Basically a 1.5 IPA here. (338 characters)

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

Somehow I neglected to have this on Election Night.

Neat label.

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

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

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

Smooth mouthfeel. Ok drinkability.

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

Photo of atsprings
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
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! (714 characters)

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

A strawberryred with a good creamy head and great retention. Great lace.
Smell is hops, floral, pine, with some malt way in the back.
Taste is hops all over, some floral, pine and alcohol.
Medium body, light effervescence, crisp finish. All hops in aftertaste with alcool note. Good with a high ABV apparently but kind of a "one trick pony". (341 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Having on draft at Bukowski's Cambridge.

Appearance: The beer is a copper color with great clarity and bubbles rising up through the glass. It poured a small head that remained and left super nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Caramel, butterscotch, and toffee maltiness. Some light citrus hops in there too.

Taste: same as above with the citrus more noticeable in the rear. Very balanced.

Mouthfeel: super smooth, low to medium carbonation, medium bodied, a bit dry, and a nice treat.

Overall: Awesome stuff. The malts balance out the hops and dry hops. Nice nightcap. (594 characters)

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bomber bottle into my imperial pint glass. Appears a mildly cloudy rich golden yellow color with about two fingers of fluffy off-white head. A moderate amount of lacing sticks to the inside of the glass with each sip. Smells of citrus and floral hops followed by sweet malt. This is unusual for a DIPA - the caramel malt is the first thing I taste followed by a pleasantly bitter rush of hops. Citrus notes such as lemon and grapefruit as well as pine are the dominant flavors with a nice caramel malt base. Finishes dry with a slight alcohol burn on the tongue and throat. Medium in both body and carbonation. This is a very well done DIPA and worth seeking out if you can. (694 characters)

Photo of BretSikkink
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale orange-copper body, with a nice tight ivory-colored head. Awesome, heavy amounts of lacing with plenty of stick. This is a damn good, archetypal-style double IPA. The looks are perfect.

The nose is quite strong and to the point: tons of citrics, a little pine for complexity, and tons of high alpha acid resin. Hooray for hops! The malts really have nothing to say, just a mild sweetness.

The flavor is solid, not quite as good as the nose promised, but very pleasant. Not as rip-roaring as other double IPAs - where it loses flavor points I'm giving it back in drinkability.

The palate picks up plenty of hops: oily and resinous, lots of grapefruit. Pithy, earthy, even lemongrass flavors emerge. The malts can hardly be called a backbone: there's almost nothing there besides an intimation at sweetness (caramel) that is overwhelmed by the hops.

The finish is characterized by an ethanol bent, plenty of bitterness that coats the tongue for a while, and a low carbonation point that still gets the scrubbing job done well enough: this beer has been very well attenuated to allow for maximal hop distribution with minimal interference from sweetness and bubbles.

I give the drinkability a huge thumbs up, as the minimized malt makes this a wonderful vehicle for the bright, citric hops, but without a cloying or scathing bitterness. The 8.75% abv is not on trial nearly as much as it could be; very well done on that end. This is a masterful double IPA, something that you could bring to any number of social events and be enjoyed by a wider variety of drinkers than your average DIPA. I've had a ton of these, and this is a damn good one. (1,655 characters)

Photo of portia99
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle received as an extra in a trade with bryanbrick. Thanks Bryan! Poured into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Bottle was a gusher...but once I finished cleaning up the counter and the floor...Pours a cloudy, yeasty copper orange color with a thick, whipped cream like head that settles to a high rimmed collar around the glass with islands of bubbles on the surface.

S - Rich and malty aromas, lots of caramel, some bread, sugar sweetness, a bit of dish detergent (definitely not from the glass either), and a little bit of grapefruit on the nose.

T - Malt centered but with a nice bitterness to it. Not sharply bitter, but round and full. A bit of grapefruit and a touch of pine. Sweet sugar and toffee flavors, some bready, yeasty flavors. Alcohol has a presence in the flavor too, but not at all hot.

M - Pretty full bodied and malty. Carbonation is on the high side and pretty creamy in feel - just a little bit of tingle around the mouth. Lingering malt sweetness in the mouth and quite chewy too.

D - This is a good DIPA, but not a great one. To be fair, I think this is probably a bit past its prime, but not really old either. Malt is a bigger focus than I prefer, but there is still enough hops to enjoy it. Alcohol is on the high side at 8.75%, and it's presence is made known too. Good beer - I think one is enough for me though. (1,347 characters)

Photo of Kendo
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
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. (596 characters)

Photo of armock
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a copper color with a tan head that leaves lacing

S - Is of citrus hops grapefruit and some malt backing it up

T - Starts with hops up front then gets balanced a little by the malt and finishes bitter

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - I myself enjoyed this beer not as balanced as I'd like but it is a DIPA so its meant to be a hopbomb its a good beer thats worth trying (417 characters)

Photo of sholland119
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful clear amber with a thin white head. Nice lacing.

A beautifully balanced aroma. Hops are strong but not overpowering. Malt is strong but not overpowering. Very promising.

What an amazing DIPA. Perfect balance of hops and malts without going over the top on either. Flavor is plenty big enough but not too big. Outstanding!

Good medium carbonation and a nice lingering bitterness.

The most drinkable DIPA I have ever had. I could drink these all night, provided I was at home already.

HV (508 characters)

Photo of Onenote81
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Kiefdog for this 'extra' brew in a recent trade. Knocked one off my wants list...

First off, this is a very pretty beer. Pours a deep gold honey color with a huge off-white head bursting forth. Excellent retention, and it leaves some very pretty sticky lacing on the glass. Smells very sweet like caramel and buttered bread. Some faint floral in there, but nothing overpoweringly hoppy. I'm a little surprised at this as it's a DIPA.

Mouthfeel is a little slick and watery. Could stand a little more carbonation. Flavor is very sweet, mirroring the scent. Big malty caramel flavor all over this. Finishes bitter, but faintly. This is an interesting DIPA. This is more like an Imperial Pale Ale, rather than a Double IPA. A little too sweet for the style, but a good beer nonetheless. (800 characters)

Photo of Rayek
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like many here, I drank this on Inauguration Day. I made the mistake of waiting until the big day to buy it, however. Luckily, I was able to track down two bottles after a bit of a search.

A: Copper colored with a slight haze. Cream colored head is big and rocky. Head retention is great, and much lace stays behind in its wake.

S: Kind of like stepping into a forest. Pine and oak scents dominate the experience, plus a hint of grapefruit citrus. There is also an anise aroma that's along for the ride.

T: Not the hop bomb I was expecting and certainly different. Hops do dominate the experience, but not in the form of bitterness. Instead, the theme from the nose continues with intense pine forest flavors. The anise theme comes through and adds an extra bit of complexity. Alcohol adds warmth and an additional bitter bite.

M: Medium body feels oily and a touch leafy. Carbonation level is just right.

D: A very nice beer overall. It felt a little rough around the edges though. I've kept a second bottle to cellar for bit so I can see if this beer mellows with age. All in all, a perfect beer for my 300th review. (1,123 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
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. (718 characters)

Photo of bashiba
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a nice slightly hazed dark amber with a thick and pillowy tan head.

The smell is very nice, big and bold fresh citrusy hops with a nice touch of bready malts.

Wow, I can't believe how mild and balanced the flavor is. Has a nice smooth fresh bread malt flavored backbone with a lightly clean citrusy hop finish. Very balanced and suprisingly only slightly bitter. The alcohol is dangerously hidden.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy with a bit of warmth.

This is a double IPA that drinks like a 4.5% session beer. Outstandingly drinkable. (543 characters)

Photo of GilGarp
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
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! (567 characters)

Photo of far333
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy brownish orange colored with a thick half inch of dimpled meringue.

Aroma of honey and tangerine, some grapefruit and green apple.

Rich and sharp flavor of orange rind, ripe fruit, tea leaves, sweetish biscuit malt, and honey. Slight warming of the cheeks and tingling tip of the tongue.

Thick and full mouthfeel, finishes crisp and a bit dry. Very tasty and drinkable for a big beer, but rich flavor may overwhelm after a few. (444 characters)

Photo of CrellMoset
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from Beer Run, Charlottesville, VA. Poured into a 22 oz. Terrapin snifter.

Appearance: A clear, filtered amber, medium dark red, with a foamy, meringue-like tan head. Its retention is above average generally, though possibility only average for the style. Carbonation appears to be very attractive, with tons of medium-sized bubbles racing upwards towards the head around the periphery of the snifter. Lacing is splotchy on the sip side, solid and swiss cheese-like on the non-sip side.

Aroma: Spicy west coast hop aroma, decently complex. Thick, resinous pine needles blanket a forest of grapefruit trees, lush, ripe, pregnant with their ruby red jewels. Ok, not really, but it's still pretty nice, with lots of doughy bready notes and caramel.

Taste: A surprisingly mellow beer, though that could be the age on it. Obviously, being a DIPA, there are a few hop undertones ... ok, overtones ... tones? Anyway. Doughy roasted caramel supports an array of probably-once-glorious but now-somewhat-faded spruce notes, minty, basil notes, other leafy vegetal overtones, and varying degrees of citrus zest. It's interesting, pleasant, and, again, decently complex, but not very "robust," if that makes sense.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation on this one is pretty big, both in terms of activity, speed, and bubble size. As a result, the mouthfeel is a little less creamy and/or even than I might like in a DIPA, but it still does an admirable job of maintaining a level of smoothness.

Drinkability: I haven't had the opportunity to taste this one fresh, but I know faded hops when I see 'em. It's a shame Avery released this one when they did - wait 6 months and they could have had a perfect Inauguration Day DIPA on their hands. As it stands, this is still a pretty solid, above average DIPA, with a well-hidden and tolerable abv% and an interesting and semi-complex array of flavors and aromas. Give it a shot ... but soon. (1,926 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 bonbini26
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap @ the Blind Tiger 10-03-08

A: Medium dark amber with a one finger head with excellent retention. As i drink this, it leaves a beautiful lacing on the side of the glass

S: Excellent citrus (orange) and floral hops. Mild malt backbone

T: Starts off hoppy with a wonderful citrus bouquet. Mild malt sweetness is present before a long, bitter finish takes over. A little better than average than most DIPA's ive had

M: Carbonation is great but the finish is a little bitterer than I'd like

D: Very drinkable for a DIPA, leaves a nice hop finish and the alcohol isnt overpowering (586 characters)

Photo of woemad
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes.

22oz bomber purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane at least two months ago, for $7.99. It may be a tremendous cliche, but I drank this on Inauguration Day (20 January, 2009, for you future beer historians).

Glorious looking beer! A burnt-orange color with a big, creamy off-white head that dropped in stately fashion and left lots of lace on the sides of my glass. Tiny, grainy sediment can be seen if one stares with enough intensity to risk eyestrain.

Hops, hops, hops. Big, piney, sappy (in the best sense of the word) hops, citrusy hops, peppery hops - all present and accounted for. Biscuity maltiness in the background. Way in the background.

Big piney hop blast that is quickly matched up with a citrusy, grapefruit-like bite. A peppery, spicy taste is in the background. The malts are present, but cowering at the rear, if taste has a rear. Bone-dry note at the swallow.

Medium bodied, with a prickly yet oily mouthfeel. Just like a DIPA should be.

An outstanding "occaision beer", and while it doesn't have the same effect upon the palate as, say, a bomber of Ruination or a big RIS, I don't think it's something I'd pair with food or attempt to session. I'm not sure that this beer is the best tasting DIPA I've had, but it ranks up there. If I could be guaranteed that this is a beer version of how the newly-installed administration will be, I could submit a re-election ballot right now. (1,418 characters)

Photo of mentor
3.06/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Slight gusher. Stored in my cellar since it was released, about 2 years ago. Pours a four finger tan-pink head over a clear brown copper liquid. Smells light lemon & pear fruity, clean hops, a mild phenolic edge. Has a furniture polish smell about it that I'm not fond of.

Tastes fruity esters and malt sweet with some hop grassiness, orange peel bitter, strong clean alcohol, and a mild belgian-like phenol that's not quite clovey. Malt flavor is nearly absent, perhaps a dusty munich. Hop flavor has a bit of baby aspirin with orange and pine that's a bit unpleasant in a sour piercing kind of way. Hop bitter is both clean lemony pith and grassy columbus-like hops and has a spicy zip in the finish, similar to a czech pils. Esters are dried pears and some apricot.

Md yet creamy mouthfeel and a bit more carbonation than I'd like. Drinkability is meh. I could see this improving with age. It's much better now than it was fresh. (934 characters)

Photo of BeerSox
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
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. (1,167 characters)

Photo of GJ40
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle purchased from Sam's in Durham, NC.

A - Golden with a slight haze and a moderate white head. Minimal lacing.

S - Yeasty, malty and a bit fruity.

T - Very balanced contributions of malt, alcohol and hops. Very even and smooth with none of them dominating. No off flavors at all.

M - Low to moderate carbonation with a nice, silky consistency.

D - A solid, entertaining beer. Not particularly aggressive in any way but very good. (459 characters)

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

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

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