The Czar - Avery Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,533 | Reviews: 852 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Buschyfor3:
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
More User Reviews:
3.98/5 rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
22oz bottle (Batch 10, bottled November 2010) into a snifter. Pours a dark cola brown w/ a 1-finger mocha head that settles to a thin film w/ a collar.
Aroma is dark and roasty, bitter, earthy, nutty. Chocolate, molasses, dark fruit, a hint of alcohol.
Taste is equal parts malty sweet and sharply bitter. More molasses and dark fruit on the palate. Chocolate and caramel.
Mouthfeel is velvety smooth and just sticky enough. Finishes moderately dry.
Overall a solid offering. Perhaps lacks complexity, but it's drinkable and enjoyable.
Serving type: bottle
04-09-2014 05:24:05 | More by draheim
3.78/5 rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
A: Black body, no light even around the edges. Given that darkness, it has a surprisingly light-colored tan head, which looks pretty creamy, with excellent retention. Trace sticky lacing.
S: Roasted malt, light vanilla bean, caramel, bitter chocolate near the end. After such an assertive appearance, this is a little tame.
T: Same as the nose, but more potent/expressive. Nothing held back. Nice and dark, smoke on the finish... yet something just isn't right. :(
M: Also strange; only medium-bodied, but smooth. No alcohol burn.
O: A good stout, plenty dark with good depth of flavors. But sadly unremarkable, beyond the hidden ABV. Maybe my expectations were just too high from this renowned brewery.
Serving type: bottle
03-28-2014 05:06:08 | More by 1000lbgrizzly
4.11/5 rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
appearance is black and about a finger of fast leaving head. smell has chocolate cake, coffee, dark chocolate, bit of cherry plum and grape. flavor similar and completely well balanced with spice bite, some dark wine characteristics, palate coating and not too dry, highly drnkable for abv
Serving type: bottle
03-25-2014 01:30:14 | More by dank203
The Czar from Avery Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,533 ratings.