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The Czar - Avery Brewing Company

The CzarThe Czar

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

1,533 Ratings

(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:
Photo of LambicPentameter


4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap at Bier Station into a 6 oz tulip style glass.

Appearance - Pours with a healthy tan, toasted marshmallow head sitting atop a body of dark walnut to black. Holding up to light yields pretty much zero translucence. Solid lacing as the ample one-finger head clings to the side of the glass as I drink it down.

Smell - Roasted malt and dark, dried fruits are the dominant aroma. Doesn't quite kick me in the nose like I would expect of an 11% Russian imperial.

Taste - Definitely drinkable, Heavy with molasses, burnt sugar giving way to more of a bittersweet chocolate flavor. Notes of coffee bean bitterness as well. I can't help but wonder if the tamer aroma plays into the way the flavor is rich and decadent without being overpowering.

Mouthfeel - Exceedingly pleasant and smooth. Taste lingers, but without a cloying bitterness that I sometimes get from the style. It reminds me of the smoothness of a stout on nitro, but this one definitely is not on nitro.

Overall a wonderful representation of the style in my opinion. I could drink this by itself, with dessert, or poured over ice cream, quite honestly. The taste is definitely where it shines.

Serving type: on-tap

05-03-2013 04:29:27 | More by LambicPentameter
Photo of Oakenator


4.46/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black with a tan colored head. Good body to the head at pour but disappates. Aroma is not remarkable - wasn't bad but may improve with age. Rich flavor. Alcohol is present but not overbearing. Chocolate, deep, dark malts. Starts with sweeter chocolate and then finishes with a nice dry bite.

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2013 02:10:45 | More by Oakenator
Photo of denver10


4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a mocha head. A smooth aroma offering some chocolate, caramel, currants, and just a touch of some roastiness. Flavor starts off with some molasses and caramel, a little currants mid stream, and some roastiness and chocolate in the finish. Not sure I noticed any alcohol either (it was final beer of the evening, however). A nice fuller, creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very nice, very smooth, stout. As has come to be expected from Avery.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2012 00:01:48 | More by denver10
Photo of DrinkSlurm


4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a 2007 vintage on tap at Falling rock denver. Poured into oversized duvel-like tulip. Pours a jet black oil looking with a thin tan head. Smell is of chocolatey dried fruit, a bit of coffee, and roasted malts. Taste is quite good...roasted smooth malts, coffee and dried fruity fig. Alcohol is present and slightly bitter mouthfeel.
Wow...a really great brew! Based on some other reviews, I will assume aging this beer is the way to go. Really amazing, and super lucky to try this 5 year vintage!

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2012 01:15:09 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of Darkmagus82


4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served a deep dark brown, nearly black color with a light brown head. The head faded quite fast and gave way to a good amount of lacing.

Smell – The aromas are sweeter in this stout. Dark fruit aromas of cherry , raisin and prune are the heaviest. There are some nice roasted aromas of chocolate and malt mixed in with the nose as well.

Taste – The taste is quite roasted malt up front. Hints of chocolate meet the tongue and very soon mingle with some of the potent dark fruit flavors that were detected in the nose. The sweeter fruit flavors meld quite well with the roasty flavors. The fruit flavors really keep strong, but a nice bitterness starts to work its way into the tongue and balances out some of the sweet quite well. There is a nice semi-sweet, roasty flavor left on the tongue at the end of the taste with a little bit of a warming from a light alcohol flavor.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is nice and creamy. The brew coats the tongue and mouth allowing the sweet and more biter flavors to really permeate the tongue. The carbonation level is quite low and really accentuates this feel.

Overall –This is a nice imperial. It has some nice balance between sweet and bitter flavors. While it is a bit pricey, it is well worth a try. Give it a go!!

Serving type: on-tap

04-10-2012 00:00:52 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of Scotchboy


4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft to tulip @ Brewforia Beer Market, Meridian ID.

A: Opaque & jet black, viscous, good lacing from a mocha-colored head.

S: Rich dark malts, hint of anise, definite darker fruits mixed with molasses, good roasted quality underneath, touch of hop complexity, herbs.

T: Follows the nose, with more alcohol to be found than on the nose, though its quite drinkable. Chocolate, hints of molasses and anise. Proper hopping for a RIS, some espresso-like bitterness and light toasted quality. Pretty nice.

MF: Creamy, soft carbonation, medium feel...not quite full.

O: A good drinker and a solid RIS. Quality stuff, without too much booze. Recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2012 02:58:32 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of Stinkypuss


4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Avery Brewing
The Czar

Pours a dark brown bordering black color. Off white, khaki colored head forms. Retention is low, leaving by only traces of lace.

In the aroma, pretty straight forward imperial stout scents. Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, anise, and some semblence of floral hops.

Pretty malt forward in the taste, lots of coffee and bitter roasted malts. It opens up into a more savory vanilla/chocolate concoction with some alcohol showing. Mild anise, molasses and herbal tones are in the background but not detracting.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, creamy and medium carbonation. The roasted qualities of the malts and a vanilla taste are there in the finish.

Overall, this is a pretty good example of a Russian Imperial Stout. Big body, lots of flavor, and could certainly survive a long trek overseas. It got from Colorado to Pittsburgh in pretty fine condition.

Serving type: on-tap

01-30-2012 19:31:14 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of birchstick


3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark color with nice brown hues around the edges of the snifter. The nose has a nice combination of coffee and chocolates with a little bit of apple. Taste falls in line the aromatic qualities. Starts off with some darker chocolate malt that holds strong through most of the palate. This is really chocolaty as it moves down the tongue. A little bit of bitter coffe and piney hops show up on the backend. Pretty nice flavor. Mouthfeel is medium with more carbonation than expected. Overall, this is a pretty decent RIS. It won't blow you away but it won't disappoint at the same time. Recommended, but I don't think this would be my first choice.

Serving type: on-tap

01-07-2012 02:00:47 | More by birchstick
Photo of 57md


4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is dark brown, almost black with a thin layer of head that has no retention. The nose is distinctly anise. The flavor certainty has the classic stout bitterness present. But, it also includes some dark fruits and a mild alcohol warmth on the finish.

Serving type: on-tap

01-05-2012 04:49:58 | More by 57md
Photo of haazer


4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Craft Ale House.

A- The brew is pitch black with a very thick consistency. A thin mocha head is produced from a tilted pour, but it makes for a nice cap that lasts for some time.

S- Strong aroma of cream and vanilla extract. Heavy amounts of dark roast coffee suggesting burnt malt. A good bit of molasses also.

T- Coffee upfront, followed by lots of molasses. Theres a hint of dark fruits in the background. The malt is so burnt that this has some bitterness to it. A nice warming, and some heat from the booze. Also the smallest amount of vanilla.

M- Full bodied with medium carbonation. Thick and almost chewy in the mouth. This is how all stout's should be.

O- Delicious RIS. Big and bold, complex flavors that can be picked out but challenge the palate. This stout is somewhat underrated in my opinion.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2011 22:54:17 | More by haazer
Photo of StoneTSR


4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Some light does escape through the bottom of this glass creating a ruby red glow at the bottom and near the surface when held to the light. A nice head with good retention sits on top.

SMELL: Coffee dominates the nose, with a bit of roasted malt and a subtle note of hoppiness.

TASTE: The Czar is a complex beer. The coffee is the most noticeable flavor, but chocolate and a touch of citrus lurk in the background. Everything comes together in the end though with a nice, solidly bitter and hoppy finish.

MOUTHFEEL: The Czar is smooth and dry, making it a nice beer to pair with food. It leaves no residue as many of RIS do.

OVERALL: This is a complex beer now, but I am looking forward to cracking a few bottles of these after I've aged them for a few years. I have heard good things about the aged Czar and I am excited to find out for myself.

Serving type: on-tap

12-05-2011 21:41:26 | More by StoneTSR
Photo of tylerprince


3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

10 oz. Snifter on draught. The alcohol from this beer hits like a ton of bricks.

A: Pours an extremely dark brown, practically black, with mahogany hues sneaking through around the edges. One-finger head is fairly persistent, and gives off a good amount of lacing.

S: I feel somewhat unsophisticated for saying it, but there's just too much going on here. Dark fruits dominate: figs, dates, licorice. The coffee and chocolate scents I expect from a stout are but an afterthought - the chocolate pokes through at the end but the coffee not so much. Finishes with a port-like alcohol odor.

T: Again, a bit overwhelming, almost more barley wine than stout, although I suppose that's the whole Russian thing. Hits the palate with less dark fruit and more molasses, syrup, pine and anise. Completely misses the whole "chocolate/coffee" stout archetype, but is still pretty tasty if you're in the mood. Finishes with a peppery rum taste.

M: Somewhat heavy on the carbonation, and not as creamy as other stouts. Extremely warming; nothing hides that 11% ABV.

O: As a stout, I feel this beer somewhat misses the mark - it's big, it's bold, it's brash - but it lacks the classic coffee/chocolate essence and creaminess that a stout should have. While certainly weak for a barley wine, to me it's complexity and brazen character put it more in that category, even for a Russian Imperial.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2011 05:01:45 | More by tylerprince
Photo of ehammond1

3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2011 22:06:41 | More by ehammond1
Photo of litheum94


3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Whole Foods. Keg aged a year.

Deep black with a decent brown head. Settles to almost notjing, with some lacing left.

Chocolate, roasted malts and barrel aged booze aromas.

Starts off with bitter sweet chocolate and leads into a giant alcohol burn. Burns forever. Some coffee bitterness, but mostly booze.

Can't believe how hot this is for being a year old. A good beer, but needs to be tamed down.

Serving type: on-tap

11-02-2011 23:04:46 | More by litheum94
Photo of Tschnab

New York

3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- a dark totally black pour with a khaki head about a finger, some alcohol legs.

S- Booze, raisins, plum, licorice, roasted malt, char.

T- Sugary sweet with a licorice aftertaste. winter fruit and alcohol shine through, as well as caramel and toffee.

O- Not my favorite, but still pretty good. Wish it wasn't as sweet, wish there was coffee or some other bittering agent.

Serving type: on-tap

10-26-2011 23:42:27 | More by Tschnab
Photo of claytong


3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

one thing i love about avery among many others is that at the brewery you can have a 4 oz pour of almost anything for a buck. brilliant in the case of many of their beers.

A - black with hints of mud, big muddy head

S - roasted malts, caramel, toffee, candy!

T - much like the nose except a big hop bitterness at the end which i didnt much care for and the roasted malts seemed charred

M - creamy and sticky at the same time. the charred malts killed

Serving type: on-tap

05-31-2011 19:00:43 | More by claytong
Photo of emmasdad


4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap ($1 for a 4 oz pour--AWESOME). Poured black, with an inch or so of nice tan foam. Aromas of alcohol, a whole assortment of dark fruits (plums, prunes, raisin, figs), molasses, and dark chocolate. On the palate, this one is rich and full bodied, with flavors of black licorice, bitter dark chocolate, roasted malt, a little coffee and some warming alcohol.

Serving type: on-tap

05-27-2011 07:08:09 | More by emmasdad
Photo of stakem


3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Als of Hampden on 4/25/11 served in a tulip. This brew appears black in color with a dark tan head that holds around the edge of the glass and produces faint spotty lace on the glass. A swirl revives a half finger of large bubbles to the surface.

The smell of this brew is roasty and fruity like raisins laden with alcohol. There are notes of chocolate and more grainy character emerges as it warms with a fusel burn of alcohol.

The taste is also fusel with alcohol along with hints of dark fruit. A modest bitterness from the fruity hops and roasted grain. The alcohol is bold with a slight medicinal character. An aftertaste lingers of licorice that is reminiscent of jagermesiter as it couples with the fruit and alcohol.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. It is fusel and bold with alcohol that is not hidden but remains enjoyably roasty and bitter to balance it out. A short pour instead of a full glass would have been more than enough but I had no issues finishing the glass. I wouldn't mind getting a bottle of this with some age on it to see the difference.

Serving type: on-tap

05-12-2011 17:51:57 | More by stakem
Photo of gatornation


4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap in goblet 10 oz pour

A- deep black/brown with a touch of garnet it displays a tan head and some thick lacing

S- is roasted malts.chocolate,cocoa/coffee.with fruit

T- follows the nose with a roasted coffee/malt/toffee taste ,followed but some chocolate it finishes with some bittersweet hops and some heat

M- is full with medium carbonation with malt roasting..it has a creamy texture that made it a pleasure to drink

O- delicious RIS that was smooth and creamy a easy to drink..did not notice the 11.3 abv that much..but i felt it later...good stuff

Serving type: on-tap

04-11-2011 14:52:29 | More by gatornation
Photo of BlastBeats


3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Upon signing up for a tour of the brewery at Avery Brewing Company, the server asks you which beer you would like to take along with you. I chose The Czar, and a pint was immediately poured in a genuine Avery tour glass which you are encouraged to keep.

Appearance: Black with traces of crimson along the edges of the glass. Slightly murky.

Smell: Compelling smells of alcohol and chocolate.

Taste: The 11.03 ABV is hidden quite well. Flavors emanate from the roasted barley. Molasses and chocolate are evident in finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous. This beer has a near syrupy mouthfeel.

Overall: A fine example of a Russian Imperial Stout. I would certainly buy it again.

Serving type: on-tap

03-28-2011 08:14:04 | More by BlastBeats
Photo of PDXHops

South Carolina

2.05/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On tap in a shaker pint. A shade or 2 beyond cola brown. Minimal head, poor retention. A bit of lace is teased but mostly drips back in.

A bit of roasted malt in the nose, but the dominant aroma is brown sugar. Unsurprisingly, roasted flavors take a backseat (perhaps as far back as the trunk; this is a very sweet beer). Somef earthy bitterness puts up a bit of a fight in stead of the retreating roast, but the sweetness is thisclose to overpowering. This sweetness isn't even of chocolate; it's mainly brown sugar and molasses. Moderate thickness. A touch of char in the finish, but really lacking in roasted and chocolate flavors to round out the flavor profile. Not something I'd recommend or try again.

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2011 22:32:36 | More by PDXHops
Photo of JoeAmerican77


3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

ANearly pitch ike tar with a thick luxurious finger of head... grand lacing.

Hop oils in the nose, citrusy and pine, very dominant, also dough and bread.

Slurp into a hop garden, if you were aiming for a malty roasted concoction... well you got one with 60 IBU's as well. Good roasted malts, and evergreen needle bite as well.

Mouthfeel medium bodied, good amount of small bubble carbonation leads to a clean cream texture.

Heck yes I'd recommned this, but at almost 12% booze, pack em lightly my friends.

Serving type: on-tap

03-09-2011 22:51:22 | More by JoeAmerican77
Photo of DaveAnderson


4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It has been a while since I last tried The Czar, and my favorite beer bar brought it back on tap, so I gave it a whirl. Good thing, too. The Czar is better than I remember. **UPDATE: I just found out this was a 2009 keg. The Czar ages very well!**

A - Pours very dark (although light can still pass through, unlike another RIS I could name), with a thick, tan head, and good retention.

S - A lot of butterscotch, which I find unusual for a RIS. There's cocoa, tar, and toffee, too. Little hop evidence. This smells more like a chocolate stout than a RIS.

T - If I didn't know better, I'd say I was drinking a chocolate stout. This has a very strong chocolate taste. Well balanced, too. Not too sweet, and nicely bitter on the finish. Yum.

M - Good body - maybe a smidge light for an imperial - and pleasant carbonation.

D - Is there some way to forget this is 10%? This is great. Give me another.

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2011 23:25:47 | More by DaveAnderson
Photo of CooperEllis

New York

3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Bierkraft into a Duval snifter.

Very strong dark fruit and raisin aroma with a bit of malt/roast malt and a very strong alcohol undercurrent. The pour is deep and dark and it's anyones guess if it's brown or black - smooth lacing over the top left over from solid light tan head.

The taste is precisely what you would look for in a RIS with the possible exception of the alcohol being poorly masked - despite this the toasted malts are front and the multitude of layers fall nicely beneath with plum and raisin being the most evident.

The mouthfeel leaves a little to be desired, with the body weak at the end, though solid upfront and through the middle. Certainly given the high abv and obvious booze feel to this youay expect a lower drinkability but I appreciate the honesty here - they do not mask the booze and that is both refreshing and well executed.


Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2011 00:44:28 | More by CooperEllis
Photo of mklinger

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10 oz pour at the J Clyde. Jet black with a creamy, mocha head. Good looking stout.

Rich aroma. Molasses and chocolate and alcohol in the aroma. Inviting!

Taste was similar. This is a big rich stout with a strong chocolate liquor base. Just enough bitterness to provide balance.

Thick, rich, creamy mouthfeel. Nice drinking imperial stout that was very filling. Nice beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2011 12:10:28 | More by mklinger
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The Czar from Avery Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,533 ratings.