The Czar - Avery Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,597 | Reviews: 856 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Chrysostom:
3.89/5 rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Here's a beer for a cool day. This is from the 2012 release (11.1% ABV, right in the middle of the range), cellared (at somewhat too cold a temperature) until now. $9 for a 22 ounce bomber.
CONTRARY TO my usual practice and disclaimer, this review is not 100% live. I already drank half the bottle with a meal (less than an hour ago) and took notes on paper while drinking it. I am incorporating an exact letter-for-letter transcript of those hand-written notes in to this review, which is live insofar as I gain any new insights as I'm finishing the second half of the bottle while writing it.
A: (transcribed from notes) "Appearance: Frosty dark chocolate, opaque wit/ [sic] translucent ruby highlights. Small head, larger than [a] fresh [bottle], recedeth [very slowly] to ring and cap, [moderate] thin sheet lacing [with good retention, showing this beer has hops, able to retain a head or lacing of any sort at 11% ABV]."
S: (transcribed from notes) "Smell: Subdued booze, baker's coca [sic]. Very little going on in the nose relative to the bigness of the beer - maybe too cold? An effect of aging or improper storage?"
T: (transcribed from notes) "Taste: Astringent alcohol bite up front, accentuated by spicy hops. Roast[ed] & mild [subdued] dark fruit flavours advance as alcohol & hop bite recedes, but doth not vanish. [Leather and blackstrap molasses become notable upon warming. This is very much like an imperial version of Meantime London Porter. However, hops dominate the flavour to too-great of a degree for a stout, in imbalance with everything else, likely due to the synergistic effect of hop spice and alcohol burn, leading to a full one-point subtraction for this alone.]"
M: (transcribed from notes) "M: Sharp and clean, a rarity for imperial stouts of any IBU or ostensible [level of] hopping. [Very warming in the throat and stomach with little-to-no burn, like good liquor.] "
Drinkability: Moderate; somewhat rich and a bit compromised by the alcoholic bite. I can finish a bomber of this, but would not want a second.
Overall: My numerical ratings do not do this beer justice. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, even its "overall" rating (which is just one component part of the true "overall-ness"). It is a solid 4 out of 5, maybe higher. This is, as said above, like a Meantime London Porter (one of my all-time favorite porters, up there with Samuel Smith's) done bigger in every way, but retaining the same contours of profile. This is an excellent cold-weather libation, best consumed in moderation (even by alcoholics: switch to something lighter after a bottle of this).
A truly "imperial" ale, this one should bear wearing the purple instead of red.
To style: 72/100 (10 points subtracted due to poor masking of alcohol for style)
To taste: 80/100
Serving type: bottle
09-25-2013 04:39:59 | More by Chrysostom
More User Reviews:
4.16/5 rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
2011 vintage. Poured on tap and served in a snifter, the beer is jet black, with subtle ruby highlights, and a dense, foamy, dark tan head. Aromas of coffee and booze forward, with old world fruit sweetness, woody notes, and an underlying coffee bitterness. Beast. Flavors are a blast of rich sweetness on the tongue, with black strap molasses leading the charge, followed by cocoa nibs, bitter coffee, vanilla, oak spice, and a ribbon of booze. Holy hell, this is big! Smooth and velvety in mouth, with a rich, darkly sweet aftertaste of molasses and brown sugar. Slick, smooth finish. Wow...this is a greay beer!
Serving type: on-tap
07-13-2014 21:20:09 | More by GarthDanielson
4.06/5 rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Appearance: It has a nice jet black color to it. It has a nice creamy tan head that dies down moderately slow and leaves some nice lacing.
Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, coffee and some dark fruit (mainly raisins).
Taste: Like the aromas, it has a some sweet roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, a slight nuttiness, vanilla and raisins.
Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.
Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by good flavors and aromas.
Serving type: bottle
07-11-2014 19:14:22 | More by SebD
The Czar from Avery Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,597 ratings.