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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 378 | Hads: 507
Photo of WillieMoe
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful opaque amber with a nice thin head of froth, that quickly dissolves.

Has a big old piney hop smell that dominates the nose. Mild hints of malt, but they are very mild.

This has a heavy hop taste up front, with some nice sweetness and malt creating a wonderful balance.

Although it is hop heavy, it goes down smooth. The body is a bit above medium.

This is a top notch brew, that I have now had on three separate occasions, and seem to love it more after each tasting.

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Photo of skizziks
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A limited release from Boulder Colorado's Avery Brewing in celebration of the inauguration of our latest president. The TTB disallows the use of a president's name, but the clever label makes it very clear that Avery is not a stronghold of the John Birch Society and I would bet the break room TV is not tuned to Fox News.

I am immediately greeted by a big hop aroma with plenty of sugary malt coming through. Fresh bread, a little red apple, papaya, and a significant but not distracting alcohol aroma round things out. The tropical and resinous hops play well with the apparent and restrained esters.

A big 3" off-white fluffy head forms off the pour. It quickly dies down to a few thin patches with minimal lace, not surprising with the high alcohol content. The beer is a nice light copper color with some haze that appears to be more from hops than protein.

Hits the tongue with bread, dry biscuit, brown sugar, oranges and papaya. Resinous hops smeared all over with some raw hop cone astringence. Fairly well balanced with an increasingly coarse bitterness building against the sugary malts. Finish is long with lingering hop and warming alcohol.

Full bodied with moderate carbonation. A little heavy on the palate. This isn't a small beer by any means, and the alcohol is never hot or boozy, but it drinks like a stronger beer. The bitterness becomes harsher through the glass and begins to really impact the enjoyability. Some similarities to their Hog Heaven barleywine, but with more emphasis on the bitter instead of the malt. I'll stick to the Hog Heaven in the future.

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Photo of dakid618
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into 10 oz glass. Pours a golden amber color with a finger of white head with tons of retention on the glass. Smell is very citrusy. Taste is upfront citrus hopswith biscuit malt aftertaste. Very balanced beer. Light dry mouthfeel. I could drink this all day and night. Extremely drinkable.

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Photo of Phillyduke
3.86/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: 22 oz. bomber stored at 55 degrees since it's purchase last fall, and poured into an Imperial Pint glass on Inauguration Day 01/20/2009 as per the brewery's intentions (I think). Color is a copper orange and hazy with a 1+ finger head of rocky, dense off-white foam. Head shows nice retention and leaves some fine lacing with a bit of stick on the glass. Not much carbonation noticeable in the drink.

S: Bready sweet malts are the most prevalent in the nose. The hops are there and their floral/herbal presence is inviting, but not overpowering. They definitely take a backseat to the malt.

T/M: Doughy and yeasty up front. Slightly astringent. There's a nice hop bitterness in the finish that lingers on the back of the tongue for awhile. The bitterness is the only truly detectable hop characteristic, but it balances out nicely with the bready malt sweetness. I wish the hop character was a little more aggressive, but I'm not totally disappointed. Feel is medium-bodied with a mouth-tingling carbonation.

D/O: I followed Avery's orders and waited until today to enjoy this beer, but I wish the experience was a little more hop-forward. To me the beer was more about the malt than the hops, which isn't an APA in my book, but I may have missed this beer's sweet spot by letting it sit for so long. I wish I had tried one completely fresh to see if there was a difference. Regardless, the result was an extremely enjoyable, eminently drinkable beer (though on a less-than-full stomach I was feeling the effects by the time I finished), just not one that lived up to my expectations. I pray the Presidency it celebrates lives up to our country's expectations of it.

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Photo of ironlung
3/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on-tap @ hollingsheads a couple of months ago and it was great. Since then, I've got 2 bottles from liquor wherehouse, and they've both been as I like to say "butterscotch bastards".In lement, I wish I'd have written a review at hollingsheads. Alas... here I am with a new prez, wanting to ale to the chief; but insted holding my nose. Again this beer was tits on tap, but both bottles I've had were really bad!

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Photo of itcomesnpints
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a gooey orange amber. Stark white head with sticky lacing.

Smell is of sweet oranges, malt, light hops.

Taste is very malt-heavy. Normally I wouldn't like this, but here the malt is amazingly tasty and smooth. Little hop flavor or bitterness. Mostly syrupy malt. Hints of citrus.

Mouthfeel is deep and thick. Interesting. Hides the alcohol well, but makes it hard to drink too much of this stuff.

A great malty DIPA. Sweet, thick. Good but in definite need of more hops.

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Photo of StrangeBrewer76
4.62/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased just after election day. I've had to keep this out of sight in the back of the fridge so as not to be consumed prematurely. Moments ago I took it out and noted that it was way too cold to drink. After warming by hand as best as possible I popped the top and got a satisfying champagne cork -type pop. This is a celebratory ale.

Poured gently into a DFH 22oz snifter the color is a copper-ish orange. The head, if you could call it that, is a few islands of medium-sized bubbles surrounded by a sea of smaller more permanent bubbles and a thin but solid ring around the outside.

Smell is almost exclusively caramel to my nose. Not just caramel malt but the actual caramel candies that came in cubes I ate as a child.

A gentle swirl creates a half-finger head, off white with some scattered cous-cous sized lacing.

Taste is big caramel in the middle and a gentle bitter cascade hop finish that lingers. A slight booze burn pokes up in between the two but it does not make a scene.

The mouth feel is terrific. Nice creamy bubbles balance the caramel body making it easy to take double sips. Though there is a hop presence that lingers a bit, this is not a hop bomb as many doubles strive for. It's big but balanced.

Overall the drinkability is perfect. I would have a hard time refusing another one of these under safe circumstances.

I would really like to see this as a year round beer but they would have to modify the the label, which is extraordinarily cool. The bottle is worth keeping but knowing that I will at some point have to throw it out here is the text on the labbel in its entirety, minus the government warnings.

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

We the Brewers of Avery Brewing Company, in order to form a more perfect ale, require new leadership that can liberate us from our quagmires in foreign lands; embrace environmentally sound energy alternatives to imported oil; heal our ailing health care system; free us from tyrannical debt and resurrect the collapsing dollar. We hereby pledge to provide him with an ample amount of or Presidential Pale Ale to support in the struggle for the aforementioned goals!

Hail to the New Chief!
<signed by the brewers>

This is all on the main parchment-looking main label. Up the side it also reads:

Not an "Imperial" pale ale, this is a democracy. It's Presidential! Take the all-American pale ale, a bipartisan blend of malt and hops, increase both to Avery Brewing standards, and then, of course, dry hop the result with that most quintessential of American hops, Cascades, and you get this ... Ale to the Chief. A brew worthy of the Oval Office!

Brewed with Rocky Mountain water, malted barley, hops and yeast.

That's it. If I ever see this on the shelves again anywhere I will likely buy them all. It's that good.

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Photo of mbunje
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
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

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Photo of imagineiii
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

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Photo of SPThirtyThree
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a murky golden orange with two fingers of foam that dissolves to a thin, wispy head.

S: Grapefruit and honey. The hops impart a nice sticky, resin-y west-coast smell. Caramel malts shine through like rays of golden sunshine. Overall, VERY hoppy nose.

T: Hot and estery...? What? This isn't what I was expecting. Most of the flavor is identical to the smell (grapefruit, pine, and resin from the hops, some sweet Crystal malts), but there is a hot, metallic flavor that does not belong. Maybe this is Avery's way of letting you know you're drinking a DIPA and not just an IPA?

M: Medium-astringent, and sticky.

D: Medium. More bitter than a really drinkable beer.

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


Pours a deep copper that is almost orange. Hazy, with a lot of murky carbonation. Nothing can be seen through the glass. Head is fluffy but quickly turns soapy. Leaves a touch of of lacings on the glass.
Aromas of sweet bready malt. The hops are gone on this one but it smells like it has mellowed out nicely.
Tons of rich bready malt, a hint of caramel. There are no hops or hop resin.
The body is smooth, the carbonation is balanced, the finish is neither sweet nor bitter, but simply balanced.
I have had this beer back in 2009 and really enjoyed hit, I was excited to have it again and to see how it matured. It is good, however I just don't know how much longer it has before the flavor wastes away to nothing. Tonight I will have no problem finishing this bottle.

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Photo of beerkittycat
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Slightly hazy amber-orange. Frothy off-white head. Good lacing.

S: Mmm! Hops! Pine, orange, grapefruit, mint, woodsy, complex.

T: Lots of hops. Good maltiness of toasted grains and biscuit.

M: Very smooth for 8%. A bit harsh and dry at the finish.

D: Very easy drinking for the strength. A well balanced beer.

Comments: Best Double IPA. Period.

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Photo of soccerman7
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at holy smoke

A - A very nice bright light copper appearance. A nice thick head that laced down the glass.

Smell - Very similar to the Maharaja but far sweeter almost rummy.

Taste - very sweet citrus. Tastes very close to the Maharaja only sugary. No pine flavors though only citrus. malts hid in the back.

Mouth - very coating in the mouth and the sweetness lingered but pleasantly.

Drink - being a one off from a great brewery it is worth trying to get and sample. Was rather unique for the style. A good brew.

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Photo of Larrytown
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The pours a reddish-tan with a small head, but lots of nice lacing. The smell is clear pine, but some sweetness too. Just enough to let you know what you're in for.

This is the best DIPA I've tasted. Obviously the hop presence is right out front, but it's still extraordinarily well balanced. There's a solid backbone here from which the hops and caramel tones are able to burst out onto the tongue. There's a touch of alcohol, but I don't think I'd have guessed that it was pushing 9%.

This is a truly excellent beer. If you come across it, don't hesitate to pick up a few.

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Photo of cbn
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks good, deep golden amber body, slight chill haze. Foamy head retreats to leave a thin cap, good lacing.

Aroma of candied hops, coniferous and citral , fresh pine cones and grapefruit rind, with a pungent alcohol end-note.

Light, clean malt sweetness carries a truck-load of fresh, high alpha hop bitterness. I also noticed a celery or raw carrot end-note.

Medium body with a very slightly oily mouthfeel, good carbonation delivers a bit of creaminess.

Very tasty, hopiness is balanced with good carbonation and impeccable malt.

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Photo of FrognutUnl
3.69/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Amber in color with a mighty two inch head that takes quite awhile to retreat leaving significant lacing in its wake.

S - Grassy, resinous, and citrus odors are supported by a great bread-like malt character and a bit of tropical fruit. This stuff truly smells delicious.

T - In taste it lacks the hop punch one would expect from the nose. Outside of that there are notes of tropical fruit intermingled with the grassy resinous taste from the hops, but the taste is fairly subdued. A slight amount of alcohol is detectable in the finish which is crisp and dry becoming a bit sweeter as the glass warms to near room temp.

M - Medium in body and slightly sticky

D - Overall it is a fairly solid brew, but nothing particularly amazing. I wish the complexity present in the nose would have carried over into the flavor a bit more.

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Photo of hughesm4
3.17/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is not anything that I expected. The bottle states that is a pale ale, but beer advocate lists it as a double ipa. It is very possible that we had an old bottle.
A. There is a copper brown color with a very small amount of head

S. Smells extremely dtrong of malt with maybe a slight hint of hops but not much.

T. Tastes like watered down malt with a little hop after taste.

M. A bitter malty aftertaste

D. struggled through this one. I hope that i just had a bad bottle. This unfortunately was the worst avery that i have had.

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Photo of tadowdaddy
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

D- Very drinkable! Wish I had another one!

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Photo of micmillon18
3.66/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. I considered cellaring this in hopes that it would still be good in time for the next inauguration. However, Double IPA's have a poor track record for cellaring and this one already has nearly two years on it already. I figure I'll try it now and deduce whether its up for the task.

A - Pours a pretty amber color. The complexion is dark enough to prevent one from seeing through the glass. Small bubbly head that dissipates quickly. Medium lacing.

S - Very hoppy, some light floral notes. It's a little funky at times which can have an adverse effect on the smell. This may be due to its age.

T - Lots of hoppy flavor. I'm picking up orange peel or some sort of a citrusy tanginess. Tasty but not up in your face. The hops have certainly mellowed and that tartness has become more pronounced. The funkiness I mentioned in the scents seems to be present in the after taste as well. However, it luckily doesn't hurt the flavor, its just kind of different.

M - The body seems slightly heavier than any other double IPA Ive had. Finishes easy. Carbonation is in check.

D - Overall a good beer. I wouldn't say its aged well nor would I say the opposite. Time has certainly created some interesting tastes. The flavors would suggest its some kind of hybrid. Perhaps cellaring is out of the question for I don't see things improving.

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Photo of fightingirishcmk
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden orange in color, with a decent two finger white head with good lacing. A beautiful beer.
S: To be honest, I'm not usually big on IPAs or an imbalance of hops. But this smelled great! Citrusy grapefruit, orange, and and overall fruity smell tickled my nostrils. The piney smell of the hops was small, and the malt smelled sweet.
T: So much hop smell, but I found it to be a perfect balance of sweet malt and hop bitterness. The bitterness wasn't cloying like in some other IPAs, but balanced the malt perfectly. I was pleasantly surprised.
M: Perfect amount of carbonation and medium body. Very good feel in your mouth.
D: Highly drinkable. This was the first IPA of any sort that my girlfriend actually drank with me. I was very impressed.

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4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Avery's Ale to the Chief was an Imperial IPA, one of my favorite styles!

The beer poured beautifully into an Imperial Pint Glass (of course, there was a bit left in the bottle to save for later-- though not much later!). It was a rich amber color, and the head never really dissipated-- left a nice lace on the glass as I drank.

The beer had citrusy undertones, but not overpowering. I thought it had a great balance and truly enjoyed the blending of the hops with malt-- hoppy but not too much on the fruity side! For a higher alcoholcontent beer this was very easy to drink-- I could have had another!

All in all an excellent beer, one I will definitely have again!

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Photo of thethrone
4.34/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

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Photo of grs8313
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from my notes, I had this on the night of the Presidential election.

Appearance: 1pt 6oz bottle pours a clear light amber with a nice white head. Lots of nice lacing as the beer recedes.

Smell: Hops, malts, citrus, dough and rasins.

Taste: Hops, plums, and resin flavors with a hoppy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Thick, chewy and creamy. The mouth is left feeling a little dry.

Drinkability: Sippable, but not drinkable for me. I do like the hop flavor, I have not had a beer this hoppy in a while, it is a good change of pace. A good beer but a little to thick of a mouthfeel for me.

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4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a radiant clear amber with two fingers of fluffy, sticky head that, for some reason, left little lacing.

S: Caramel malt and pine.

T: Burnt sugar and caramel malt hit me first followed by a backdrop of piney hop bitterness. The two marry beautifully.

M: Chewy and viscous with light carbonation. Very satisfying to sip.

D: I could easily put back way too many glasses of this.

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Photo of TeeCee
3.08/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Quick review - while I'm not an IPA guy, I've found a few recently that I like. This isn't really one of them.

Color - an orangey amber, cloudy. There was yeast in the bottle. Apparently, it's bottle conditioned. The pour, my pour, created about an inch of head, collapsing in short order, leaving lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - flowery, piney, and when agitated, some overripe fruitiness.

Taste - all the hops I was smelling, some maltiness that I couldn't smell, and that mysterious overripe fruit (not so much that it's the reason that I don't like this beer). The finish is all bitterness to the point that it dries my mouth.

Mouthfeel - medium thin in the mouth. I would have expected a little thicker to balance the hops, but not today.

Closing notes - the Shiner Cheer this past year had a rotten peach flavor to me. That's a bit of what I'm tasting here.

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