1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

The Czar - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The CzarThe Czar

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,847 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,847
Reviews: 889
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.42%
Wants: 80
Gots: 271 | 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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 1,847 | Reviews: 889
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.

Photo of stakem
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of zebco
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark as oil. Thick, light brown head. Retained well at first. Faded pretty quickly, but didn’t quite leave entirely. Warming feel of alcohol. Dry. Quite strong. Roasted malts. Chocolate. Bitter aftertaste but not unpleasant. Pretty flavorful beer and strong. New to the style an excited to try more.

Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Looks dark brown while pouring but ends up black in my snifter with about one finger of tan head that has pretty nice retention and lacing.

S - Has a much more caramel/toffee sweetness aroma than most imperial stouts. Minor hints of roasted malts, dark cocoa, and molasses. Slightly milky as well.

T - Much like the nose, rather sweet, mostly caramel, toffee, molasses, hop bitterness. Bittersweet cocoa and roasted malts are masked by the bitter hops that linger and the boozy nature of this brew.

M - Slightly thin in body and over carbonated for the style. Still, smooth and creamy and coats the mouth well.

O - I still think this is a really good beer, just not what I look for in an imperial stout. Caramel sweetness is overpowering and there is quite a bit of booze present, which doesn't really bother me, but may bother others. Just different.

Photo of Krakistophales
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very dark amber, not nearly black but the darkest shade of red on the color spectrum, and an intentionally generous pour yields about a finger's worth of cream colored head that recedes into just a small layer of film

S: Roasted malts, caramel, black cherry, raisins, barley

T: Dark sugar, black cherry, plums, and star anise is the first flavor profile, followed by a caramel and toffee finish, with just the slightest hint of coffee to finish it off.

M: This is rather thick and sticky, goes down well and not much burn, however it leaves the mouth a bit dry, dryer than most

O: I like this one. This is what I'd call a "fruity" stout. Not as fruity as DFH world wide stout, but this isn't along the lines of southern tier, KBS, or all the other chocolate/cocoa centered stouts. Still, a great treat.

Photo of russwbeck
2.86/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared with rjochman during Blue White weekend.

A: Dark pour with a nicely sized light brown head. Retention isn't great but it laces nicely.

S: Sweet roasted malts with a coffee undertone. A hint if booze.

T: Sweet chocolate up front on the taste. Booziness and some coffee roastiness finishes it. The taste seems a bit off. Too sweet without a lot of balance.

MF: Heavy body with the alcohol very present. Carbonation is on point though.

O: Not great. Seemed to be average at best, too sweet and boozy for me.

Photo of csiewert
3.57/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pour a dark ruby brown color with a trace of off white head that retains pretty well but doesn't leave much lacing. The aroma is strong with caramel and roasted malt, and the taste is similar with some fig flavor added. The mouthfeel is a little harsher than I would like and burns slightly. Overall a decent imperial stout.

Photo of snaotheus
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into large snifters

Pours very dark, not quite opaque around the edges. Little bit of light beige head, fine bubbles, fades fast. Smell is sweet and fruity with a roasty malt background.

Taste has a lot of alcohol (detracts, I think), very chocolatey, very bitter, some coffee in the aftertaste. I can't detect any of the fruitiness from the smell in the taste, which is a little bit of a shame.

Mouthfeel is dry, a little bit grainy or chalky. Overall, pretty decent beer, but not stellar. Too much alcohol in the taste makes it much harder to drink.

Photo of gatornation
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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

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

Poured a dark black with hints of crimson, a very nice two finger dark tan head with very good retention that settled into a nice ring with good lacing.

Aroma of roastiness, sweet dark fruits and coffee.

Taste follows the nose with roasted malt, sweet dark fruit, raisins, figs and then balances nice with the bitterness of dark coffee and dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel is medum body with moderate carbonation, very creamy and a slight warming from the alcohol, however, the alcohol is very well masked for 11.03% ABV.

Overall this is a very nice sipping beer, creamy smooth, well balanced.

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

A- Pours a dark brown nearing black. Good carbonation although somewhat slim head. Fairly good lacing. Fair retention of the head that it had.

S- Carmel boozy sweetness stood above most other aromas. Hints of molasses and a smidge of cocoa or perhaps roasted malt bitterness.

T- This is getting towards the heavier side of imperial stouts. I don't dare say that it's more flavorful, but it seemed to have some definite boozy sweetness to it. There's some hop bitterness to this and some definite cocoa notes but it seems to be in vain as the sweetness is coming out on top. It's not overly sweet, but leaning towards the sweet side.

There's a ton of rich toffee flavor to this which works considerably well with the cocoa which is literally just behind it. It's like a chocolate bar with toffee in it, but the other way around. The hops have some bitterness, but it's largely noticeable in the finish only.

M- Creamy, smooth, but it seemed slightly over-carbonated. It leaves a fairly dry and sticky finish. It's got a medium body, that could be thicker, but feels pretty nice as it is.

D- It's considerably drinkable, and scarily drinkable as it warms up. There's an ever present warming sensation, but it didn't interfere once with the drinkability.

My only real complaint is that the focus of this is on the sweeter toffee notes and everything bitter seems to fall behind in it. For an ~11% beer, it's hard to expect it to be balanced superbly, but I would have loved to see the hops upped ever so slightly. I expect others would love this more than me as I don't like sweetness much, but I still found this a pretty solid beer. I wasn't disappointed at all, but wasn't blown away either.

Photo of ChugginOil
3.54/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

czar impy stout

Pours a dark amber brown and settles black with cola colored edging. Over an inch of light mocha colored head sits briefly, dissipating, leaving some sticky legs.

In the nose, a lot of molasses and anise is noticed. A little bit of cocoa is noticed. Some smoke a booze is faintly noticed on the end of the scent.

When tasted, molasses and booze stick out the most. A colaboration of dark fruit is paired with a tad of sweet cocoa on the finish, alongside some hoppy bitterness. The sweetness going on is a bit cloying.

The mouthfeel is carbonated pretty well done although the body is a bit thin in character.

Overall, i think this stout demands a few years of age to cool down. Although it does have some tasy characteristics, it doesnt grip me

Photo of BlastBeats
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of Vierenner
2.4/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

High expectations ... underwhelmed. Take prune juice, throw in bitterness and carbonation, and you get this beer. The bitterness is unusual too ... not like typical hop bitterness ... it lingers in a different, pungent sort of way. The first second or so after a sip tastes nice but then it goes downhill from there.

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

Review taken from notes.

A - This beer pours a very dark brown color, and it glows with amber highlights on the edge of the glass when held to the light. It has a decent sized mocha colored head on it. The head has decent retention, and leaves behind good lacing on the glass.

S - It smells of dark roasted malts and some caramel sweetness. There are also notes of dark fruits, brown sugar, grapes, toffee, and a touch of alcohol.

T - It tastes of roasted malts and toffee up front. There is quite a bit of dark chocolate, as well as good notes of caramel, dark fruit, brown sugar, coffee, condensed milk, and some very subtle spice notes. The finish has a lingering roasted bitterness and a bit of alcohol warmth as well.

M - It has a full body with good carbonation. It's smooth, rich, and creamy. There's also a bit of an oily feel to it. There is a lingering roasted bitterness, and some alcohol warmth in the finish.

D - This has good drinkability. I really enjoyed this one. The flavor was awesome, and it goes down easy. It is a sipper for sure, but easily drinkable none the less. The alcohol is pretty well hidden in the taste. Overall, I like this and I'd definitely try it again.

Photo of BigB415
4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For an 11% ABV stout it's very mellow. Little alcohol burn and as the beer warms up it becomes smoother and more flavors come out such as chocolate and roasted malt. I've been searching for this for about 2 months and I'm glad I found it. I recommend this to anyone looking for a good stout and the price wasn't that bad(about 7.49 for a bomber)

Photo of KTCamm
2.78/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from the bomber into my Duvel glass.

Pours dark black with a thick creamy persistent tan head of snowy foam. Laces from second one. Scent has notes of raisins, plums, blended around a roasted coffe. Licorice too.

The taste - here's sadly where we got off track. Opens smooth, but then a plummy hop pokes through and smacks you in the mouth. This kind of spoiled burnt fruit taste lingered long after every pour, and I could not shake it. Tough to drink - a sipper.

No sir, I did not like it. Dumped a few ounces and went to bed.

Photo of PDXHops
2.05/5  rDev -48%
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.

Photo of OldIronLungs
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into dark a Duvel glass with aggressive pour getting only a couple fingers before settling into a medium bubbled lacing of swirled light coffee.

Nose is roastyness and dark sweet fruits, some chocolate...and boozy.

A sip is lightly prickly and sweet, slick, lots of caramel and raisins...and booze.

That burn! That lovely burn. This one lingers with raisins and some hop pine.

I'm not running out for another, but I may walk. A solid RIS more fit for a FREEZING WINTER.

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

This was bottled in 2009, drinking in a regular pint glass,

A - Very dark brown, poured a finger lacing, clings to the glass.

S - Doughy with a slight maltiness and abit of hops, slight pine notes.

T - Chocolate, roasted maltwith a biscuit after taste. Complex mouth feel with a malty sweetness.

M - Mild carbonation, can sense the sweetness of the malt.

D - I like this brew, has a lot going on

Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

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

Appearance: Poured from 22oz bomber (dated 2009) into large snifter. Very dark colour, almost pitch black. Finger head dissipates quickly, leaves thin lacing.

Smell: Sweet, milky, roasted malts, and alcohol in that order.

Taste: Lots of roasted malt and coffee. Finishes sweet and boozy.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy, sticky, very faint sense of carbonation.

Drinkability: A solid Russian Imperial Stout. The alcohol level is high but bearable. Nothing particularly special about this brew but it is still very good.

Photo of ImpairedPirate
3.2/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The Czar by Avery Brewing Company poured into a glass Jan 2011.

A - 98% black. 2% dark brown. No light passes through.

S - Raisins. Caramel. Roasted malts.

T - Tastes like Alcohol.

M - Lingering taste, heavy on the tongue.

D - I wouldn't want more than one. This beer has too much burn for me, not disguised with any spectacular flavors. So while it's good, the overall experience does not position this as a go-to selection for me.

Photo of DaveAnderson
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Photo of CooperEllis
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
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.


to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
The Czar from Avery Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,847 ratings.