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The Czar - Avery Brewing Company

The CzarThe Czar

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,533 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1533
Reviews: 852
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.96%


Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.57% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Wildman on 01-05-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,533 | Reviews: 852 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Buschyfor3:
Photo of Buschyfor3
Buschyfor3

Kentucky

4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2006 vintage bottle. A steal of a find at $7.99 for a 11.04% ABV Russian Imperial Stout with 3 years of age on the bottle. Served in my Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. Served slightly chilled but I know it will take me some time to work through this bomber so it should warm to room temp nicely.

A: A sluggish, viscous pour produces a rich, deep mahogany brown with some lighter cola highlights around the edges of the glass, but by no means is this beer translucent - definitely opaque through and through. Not the darkest looking RIS I've come across though. Good head on the pour, a creamy, dark khaki/beige top easily a couple finger thick. The initial head dissipates to a sheet of lacing and bubbles that arise near the edges of the glass. Coats the side of the glass with an oily film on each sip... nice.

S: Alot of dark fruits on the nose, with raisins being the most prominent note, and possibly some hints of dried cherries. There is also a licorice note in there as well. Somewhat sugary sweet on the nose - brown sugar and molasses for sure. Not really getting any kind of hop bitterness, and I wouldn't expect any with 3 years of age on the bottle. A slightly salty, soy sauce note sneaks in late, blending in with some of the bready, malt aromas. Not really getting much any booze on the nose, which I hear can be quite prominent on fresh bottles.

T: There is alot going on under the surface here. First sip delivers fruity, raisin-like flavors, followed by dashes of brown sugar and molasses. A bit of dark cocoa gets added to the mix, as well as some black licorice. The initial sweetness is surpassed by the malt background which delivers strong bready flavors along with glimpses of roasted malts and a nutty/buttery note akin to the aftertaste you get from swallowing a spoonful of peanut butter... can't really say I've ever had another beer produce that taste phenomenon but I really like it. A touch of alcohol kicks in near the finish, offering some warming spiciness but it never dominates the flavors on offer. Aftertaste brings out some stale bread flavors and a lingering hint of cocoa and raisins. Flavor profile is quite smooth and layers blend together quite well, probably enhanced by the age on the bottle.

M: Frothy, creamy smooth thanks to some superfine carbonation. Syrupy on the tongue and it coats the mouth. To be honest, I'm pretty impressed with the mouthfeel on this beer... it surprised me. This really feels like velvet on the tongue. I think I have to give this a 5 because this just feels exactly how I imagine a big, imperial stout should feel.

D: 11.04% ABV listed on the label, and while you can feel the booze creeping up as the bottle warms, the alcohol seems kept in check in both the aroma and the flavor profile. I think the aging probably smoothed out the sharp, boozy edges that other reviewers noted from fresh bottles, but the alcohol is still there and you still feel it warming your insides as you go along. One bomber is definitely enough to get you going for a night or to prolong your buzz. This beer is a sipper... and while it is probably one of the easiest-drinking sippers I've had, one bottle is enough to keep my buzz going for the night. A second bomber would be overkill, if not because of the richness of the flavors found in The Czar, it's because the alcohol is so stealthy, even with age. If anything, the fact that the alcohol is felt but not tasted is a testament to how well crafted this beer really is and how it has held up over 3 years.

This is the first Avery offering I've ever tried. I spied a '06 vintage bottle at my local bottle shop, and knowing that they are pretty considerate when it comes to storing bottles properly, I thought "What have I got to lose? A killer price for a 22oz bottle that has been aged 3 years for me.... I'll give it a shot!" I'm really glad I picked up The Czar. Smooth and delivering a nice blend of flavors backed by a delicate and devilishly smooth mouthfeel. Really enjoyed this one. Not sure how a fresh bottle would compare, but with age, this is quite a nice RIS to enjoy. With age, could this compete with some of the best of the best RIS? Perhaps. I think this bottle proves that The Czar is mighty fine with some age on its side. In the overall picture, however, The Czar probably falls just shy of RIS greatness - there are other examples that are better in each of the rating categories. Still, don't let that convince you to pass over this stout... it is worthy of a spin for anyone looking for a solid, enjoyable RIS.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2009 03:19:17 | More by Buschyfor3
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The Czar from Avery Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,533 ratings.