The Czar - Avery Brewing Company

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The CzarThe Czar

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,892 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,892
Reviews: 901
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 84
Gots: 283 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.57% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Wildman on 01-05-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,892 | Reviews: 901
Reviews by Rastacouere:
Photo of Rastacouere
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Body is tar black with a small tan head which slowly fades into a ring around the glass. Big pronounced aroma, powerful grapes and cherries meeting a serious hops palette (resin). Basically generous on the malt for an imperial stout. It's sweet, slightly tart, very vinous, most potent with 12.2% alcohol relatively well-hidden, but still noticeable. Aftertaste is rich figs. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a generous beer. Thanks Ecrvich.

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.74/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Intro: There is an English thief among us that steals our prose and claims to have a wit all his own. Alas, the poor dolt is folly, for his pint-sized emasculated unimportantness is second only to the sorry desperation of an attention-starved hormone-injected gender-balanced transvestite on the eve of its wedding night trying to distinguish true asexual desires from pornographic fantasies involving John Wayne, Matt Damon, and an offset fence pole in the back of Mrs. Smyth’s tomato garden. In the end, the bum of the beach that is said to be long is a day late and a few x chromosomes short. Onward to better things . . .

Appearance – The ruby cherry blackness in the body signals that this is a significant Stout of substantial proportions. There’s not much of a head, but I guess when you tip the scales over a 10 ABV it’s to be expected.

Smell – “Complex,” doesn’t begin to describe this RIP. The base itself is solid roasted malts. The beverage then takes its cue from the Grand Cru and throws out a plethora of fruity notes. The Rainier cherries, ripe apricots, subtle bananas, and star fruit are soaked in alcohol. This is not day-old gin at 3.99 a fifth from the Stank Ho Stop & Go, this is fine imported East European vodka unbruised from well-water ice and the occasional eight pound Costco olive.

Taste – This is an event of a lifetime. The myriad notes from the nose all migrate downward to the tongue. A promise is a promise, and this Stout is true to its olfactory word.

The roasted malt base is in effect, strong and supportive. The huge fruits come galloping along. There are even a few hop notes to keep things totally interesting. What a treat!

Mouthfeel – Almost full in the mouth with some moderate dryness. There’s a bitter nature to this one that begs to be hit again.

Drinkability – Work, wife and maybe some mild long-term health concerns are the only things keeping me from drinking a bottle of this every night.

Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours like an oil slick completely black with a mocha colored head that is gone pretty quickly,big buttery aromas almost of butterscotch and dark roast coffee.Typical big Impy stout flavors vanilla spiced rum and some butter along with some unsweetened chocolate with the high alcohol coming thru more as it warms.Incredibly smooth mouthfeel went down to easy for me even in the hot NC weather today.A damn solid impy stout glad I gotta chance to try it thanks to hopped up for the chance.

Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Avery Czar Russian Imperial Stout. 10.82% alcohol as stated on bottle.(2009)BD

A- Pours a pitch black fluid that does allow some light to pass on the lower part of my pint glass that glows a firey dark amber. Small quarter inch light tan head falls to a froth leaving rings of lacing.

S- Upfront is a raging alcohol scent that burns the nose with fury. Second is a mild coffee and cocoa. Last is very light sweet molasses and hops.

T- Quick warming effect of a hell of alot of estery alcohol bite. After is a smooth hit of bittering hops followed by coffee and sweet caramel malts. Mouthfeel is creamy after the alcohol burns off its unhidden state. Alittle rough and hot in the mouthfeel department but hell its for drinking.

D- Massive alcohol bomber and i'll remember when a moderate priced stout with more than enough alcohol is wanted and some flavor is recieved.

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

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue I:

Pours a nearly opaque pitch-black, with ruby hues marking the edges and a cascading tan head that crowns to a good two fingers. Aroma is of rich, sticky, deeply ripe fruits--raisins, prunes and figs come to mind--followed by a smooth chocolate note, freshly-milled malts and an alcoholic sherry back. Ultra smooth on the palate: full-bodied, round, viscous and creamy from a lively carbonation. The chewy malt flavors are bold with a strong chocolatey presence, mild espresso, some tangy molasses, deep rooted toffee candy, caramel, honey, golden syrup and an anise-like edge; we're picking up pumpernickel bread, too. Hops are leafy, spicy, even a bit resiny and provide just enough pushback on the malty sweetness. Alcohol is quite warming and hot, producing a bit of a rummy sensation that's both sweet and peppery. Finish is dry, with lingering char notes, faint tobacco and a dusting of malt husks.

The Czar is a bit hot out of the gate, but surprisingly balanced and definitely a must-try for RIS fans. Avery's website notes, "The 2007 Vintage is showing beautiful notes of chocolate right off the bat." They also recommend aging the Czar to allow it to mature, becoming more dense and complex. We agree.

Photo of Dmann
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really wanted to love this beer because it had been hyped up to me so much, but it fell short of the mark in my opinion. The look was definantly not that of an Imperial Stout. The lack of carbonation was a sign but the beer was more of a dark ruby color rather than the pitch black that I am used to. The smell was quite subtle with prunes, malt and alchohol dominating. I was really expecting more from the taste but it was still good. The 13% abv was hidden with great skill and was not overpowering in the flavor, only in the warming effect as it went down. There was a hint of alchohol in the flavor but it was mostly malt sweetness with a touch of dark chocolate and an even smaller touch of coffee in the background. This tastes more like a bock to me rather than a Imperial Stout, IMO. Still a decent beer and one worth cellering just to see what will come of this in the next few years.

Photo of blitz134
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opaque black. Small fleeting tan colored head on the pour. Only a quarter inch to start and finished with a dense foam ring around the glass.

I find the aroma really light and have a hard time picking out much. I do pick up dart toasted malts with some signs of heavy roasting. Dark fruits, raisins and plums come forward. Needs more strength for a higher score.

Dark roasted flavors come through again as expected, dark chocolate and some roasted coffee with hints of toffee. Dark fruit presence again, fig and raisin. Alcohol is evident but isn't overbearing and works well...which is a surprise for its strength. I knew this was strong when I first tasted it but I wasn't expecting 12+%.

Mouthfeel is thick, full and slick on the tongue. Coats the mouthwell. This still has some prickly carbonation on the tongue as well.

Good drinkability overall. Decent flavor and a nice mouthfeel. Slightly alcoholic but the flavor profile works with it well. Surprisingly not as warming on the stomach as one would expect with the ABV. Good brew...

Photo of warnerry
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottle

A - Pours deep brown with a touch of red and two fingers of tan head that has decent retention but leaves no lacing.

S - Smell starts sweet, with toffe, roasted malt, dark chocolate and black licorice. A bit of alcohol in the aroma.

T - Taste also starts sweet and malty, with dark chocolate, roasted malt, anise and dark fruit. Taste starts to dry out a bit bit and adds some bitterness. Some alcohol in the taste as well.

M - Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of full, but still coats the palate.

O - Pretty good RIS. This is one of the first RISs I ever had. In the years since then, I have had many that are better, but this is still a good RIS at a decent price.

Photo of dill
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured at room temperature from a 22 oz bottle into a sampling glass (all that was available).

A - deep brown color with a thick foamy light brown head.

S - not too strong but some coffee notes.

T - a nice balance of coffee and molasses.

M - nice creamy texture. little carbonation.

D - quite easy to drink for a RIS. not quite as tasty as my favorites in this style, but a decent brew nonetheless.

Photo of Beaver13
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The Czar poured a deep, dark, opaque black. It had a small brown head that only showed up due to a vigorous pour and went quickly down to a thin lacing and collar. It had a very subtle aroma of sweet malts, with some floral and yeasty and tangy alcoholic tones. It was definitely a thick and chewy beer, with a sweet molasses start and a hoppy finish with a big alcoholic bite that got stronger as the beer warmed. It started off a little over the top, but the more I drank it, the better I liked it.

Photo of alarmclock314
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle, batch #13, Oct 2014. The label also lists: 22.8 deg Plato, 55 IBUs, and 8.5% ABV. Pours brownish black with a somewhat small tan head which leaves some good lacing behind. Smells of slightly floral hops, roasted malts, cocoa, and espresso. Taste follows in the same order; floral, roast, cocoa, and espresso bitterness. Slightly sweet and not overly bitter. The carbonation is low-medium and the body feels proper for the style. Would have liked a touch more alcohol sizzle. Overall, I enjoyed the bold flavors and felt they worked well together.

Photo of merlin48
4.64/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Silver foiled, capped bottle of 2002, vintage here. Very dark, mostly opaque pour, with garnet hues on the edges. Not much of a head, an no lacing(not surprising for the 12.2 abv).
Aroma is a "WOW"....Lots going on here to suggest that this will be lots of fun to review. Spices and burnt coffee hit the nose first, immediately followed by lilac floral notes, which are quickly erased by campfire smoke, dark fruits, and licorice. There seems to be some alcohol punch hidden in the background.
Mouthfeel is tantalizing, with alcohol burn and hops bite eclipsed by a savory, creamy, richness that leads into the complex taste.
Complex and delicious, describe the experience in simple terms. You have dark chocolate on the back of the mouth, rum soaked grapes and cherries in the middle, raisinbread for the malt presence, and a European style hops bitterness to further befuddle your senses. The big alcohol is a pleasant, warming experience, hidden behind a wall of a bittersweet hops background playing off the dark fruitiness and toasted malt backbone.
The big abv hides behind the complexity of flavors quite well, but it's hard to disguise the warming sensation this is going to impart. This imperial stout will, absolutely, smother your olfactory and taste buds with flavors and aromas that you will not soon forget.
Very highly recommended!

Photo of Billolick
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Bottled in 2002"-Bomber bottle with foil over the cap. 12% wooohaaa. Pours black as night, little head, low carbonation, but does leave some minimal lacing. Nose burnt grain and black coffee. Notes of chocolate, coffee, cocoa, licorish, whiskey. Subtle, sophisticated and strong. Warming and intoxicating. Serious stuff were dealing with here. Not for the faint of heart, wo wimps and no whiners allowed. Seek, cellar and enjoy.

Photo of tigg924
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10 ounce sample--2009 edition at Avery tap room

Appearance: dar black in color, 1/4 inch head

Smell: toasted malt and chocolate

Taste: toasted malt, chocolate, alcohol, oak, and some cream at the end

Mouthfeel: heavy, can feel the carbonation, very sweet at the end

Drinkability: This is a very good RIS. It has multiple layers and is a sipper. The aftertaste and last taste are very sweet, but the body of the beer is not. I would say it is actually less sweet than others in the style. I look forward to having this again.

Photo of badbeer
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep black with an off white head leaving a pretty nice lacing around the glass. Chocolate, brown sugar, molasses in the smell, small hop presence too. Chocolate upfront, then toffee, then a lingering hop bitterness followed by a roasted coffee finish, pretty nice. Full bodied, low carbonation, just about right. Pretty drinkable, but I don't think I'll have this that often.

Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage, I believe this is the last year with the old label.

As expected, the beer pours a pitch black color with a small off-white head. The aroma is heavy on the chocolate and roasted malt, with a very light hint of smoke. The flavor is fairly similar. There is a little bit of warming from the alcohol, but what really stands out is a big, bold chocolate character with some roasted malt. There is a good bit of sweetness from the malt, as well as some dark cherry and prune notes. Thick, creamy mouthfeel and low carbonation. A very nice imperial stout, which is drinking very well with 2 years of age on it.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the Pop The Cap gathering in Raleigh.

Good heavens! This is one ballistic Impy stout! Extremely dark and mysterious, with a miniscule layer of dark brown head that lasts and laces. Aromas are excellent, with chocolate, raisins, toffee, coffee beans, and Jack Daniels. Flavor is very well done. Mimics the aroma, with a rum-soaked fruit wrapped in a chocolate coating. The ABV only shows up for a brief cameo at the end. Surprising, given the potency of this bad boy. Mouthfeel is huge. All sorts of palate coating going on here. Drinkability is way up there, too. Very well-balanced, given all that is going on with this beer. I would love to try this after it ages or, dare I say, on cask? Try will like it.

Photo of amidabha
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage

a vigorous pour gave me a minimal light tan head that dissipated quickly with a decent amount of lacing. this is a deep espresso brew with low carbonation and a wonderful rich smell.

this has aged wonderfully over the years, i drink this on a regular basis and aging it makes it better. the sweetness and creaminess is minimal compared to a fresh bottle. the fruit notes pop out a lot more and it hides almost any alcohol bite that was once there.

glad i have six more of this year left in the basement since this is one of my top favorite stouts. thanks avery.

Photo of magictrokini
3.76/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The pour is impressive; dark brown, almost black, with a thick light brown head. Aroma is full of toffee and currants. Unfortunately, the taste does not live up to the pregame show. Currants, raisins, licorice, and mocha are prevalent, but the taste is flat. I thought the beer may have been too cold, but the only flavor that got stronger as it warmed was the alcohol. Overall, a good but disappointing beer.

Photo of RiverCityBrews
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Apperance - One finger head in an 8 oz snifter. Head Retention is long lasting. Once poured, this beer boasts robust crimson waves snaking around in an inky darkness. Note: Other than head, this is partly the brewers description but I found it very accurate.

Smell - Malty and slightly biscuity. The Belgian Candy Sugar Avery uses adds a swirling ice cream cone goodness to the dense dark cloud.

Taste - Rich and full. Hits the tongue with what can be described as an onslaught of high quality ingredients from one end to the other, without any degree of insult. The above mentioned Belgian Candy Sugar holds the ingredients together and smooths the strong malts. The malts are powerful but graceful.

Mouthfeel - A truly well balanced mouthfeel. No swish or foam. Just the right amount of stick. Almost feels like it's rolling along your mouth instead of sticking.

Drinkablitiy - The mouth and taste part of drinkability are not a problem. For one, I could (and have) drink just this beer all night. The only problem one might come across is if they are not used to thick beers it may be a little heavy on the stomach after 440z or so.

Photo of Franziskaner
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Midnight black with a fingernail of khaki colored head. Sweet aroma of plums and fig while roasted barley takes a backseat. The taste is very much on the sweet end of the spectrum with strong plum notes with raisins and some gentle bitterness from the roasted barley at the back of the palate. The mouth is velvety smooth,oily and viscous.

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Bottled 11/2011, enjoyed 11/2013.
Pours deep mahogany with some brightness under a thick light tan tinted off-white film that provides rich lace.
Nose: prune, some sherry notes, dried fig, mild roast.
Palate: Big dried fruit soaked in sherry backed by roast malts that suggest light coffee.
Chewy, creamy, warming, luscious, medium low carbonation.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"bottled in 2009" on label. at cellar temp, poured into a pint glass, split with a friend.

pours out nearly opaque black, just a touch of rubiness in the light. big frothy, light tan colored head, good rocky looking retention and lots of sticky lace.

lots of dark dried fruits in the aroma, raisons, prunes. behind that a bit of sweet heavily roasted malt and some spicy rum like alcohol.

again lots of dark dried fruits, spicy rum like alcohol, and heavy roasted malts at the forefront. bits of chocolate, vanilla, and burnt marshmallow. a decent amount of sweetness comes out the warmer it gets.

super smooth and creamy on the palate, carbonation is appropriate for the style, heavy, thick body. warming alcohol finish.

drinks like most impy stouts, one glass is prolly enough in a session. a decent stout for a decent price, i recommend it, but im not in a hurry to buy it again. although i would like to try a fresh bottle to compare.

Photo of ehammond1
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On Tap

Pizza Port
Carlsbad, CA

Black throughout with no head--rings and sheets of lacing smear the glass.

Sweet and fruity aroma consisting of roasted malt and tons of dark fruits: figs, plums, and raisins. This is a diversion from most typical big American stouts--there's very little chocolate or coffee aroma present.

The flavor follows the aroma with the dark fruits, plums, figs, and cherries, leading the way along with some sticky molassess essence as well. There's very little coffee or chocolate character, if any at all. Atypical, that's for sure.

Medium to thick bodied with ample carbonation.

While not a bad beer by any stretch, this isn't at all how I prefer my big stouts.

Photo of MattyG85
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Bottled in 2010

Appearance: Very dark and black with no color coming through when held to light. Pours a nice big tan head that fades into a thin layer. Good lacing.

Smell: Roasted caramel and toffee malts with a smoked character are followed by a very sweet aroma that reminds me of sugary cereals such as Fruit Loops. Hints of chocolate and coffee.

Taste: Sweet chocolate and roasted malts up front are followed by some hop bitterness. Finishes with a good kick of coffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Very creamy and smooth.

Overall: Probably the sweetest stout I've tasted. It kind of lacks balance but it is still a tasty and drinkable beer.

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The Czar from Avery Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,892 ratings.