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The Czar - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The CzarThe Czar

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

1,601 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,601
Reviews: 856
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.96%
Wants: 67
Gots: 201 | FT: 7
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: 1,601 | Reviews: 856 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bigeyedfish


3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz foil-capped bottle poured into the Ommegang Rare Vos tumbler. Bottled in 2007 written on the bottle, along with the alcohol (11.73%/volume) the IBU's (70) and Original Gravity (1.104), along with a little information about the beer.

Really dark black body with a little bit of caramel-brown three-quarters of a finger of head that quickly dissipates into a thin sheen with most of the remaining head on the outer rim of the glass. Some lacing, but it is quick to slide down the side of the glass.

Really interesting aroma package. Not much coffee/chocolate aromas to speak of, which seems to be the stock flavor profile of a lot of russian imperials. A pretty under-whelming smell of chocolate malt and alcohol, with, believe it or not, a little hint of tobacco. Which is totally unexpected.

Almost a sweet stout, which is, like the flavor profile, nothing if not interesting; it's almost like this is an Imperial Milk Stout. Some anise-like components, along with some cocoa-power/cinnamon spice-like elements. It's a spicy stout, that is for sure, and yet very sweet at the same time. It's confusing almost. Really pronounced caramel flavor, almost at a point of being offensive. There's a lot of over-sweetness that you find in Starbuck's frapuccino's and drinks of the like. It absolutely becomes more flavorful as it warms; I'm almost at the point of saying this is not a good thing. The Frapuccino seems even more valid now; where one over sweetens to cover up for a often-off-putting flavor (coffee) the other does the same thing to cover up for an equally often-off-putting flavor (alcohol).

It's a really really smooth beer. That's the good. The bad is that it's so overly sweet and spicy it actually becomes a beer that is a challenge to drink. It borders on being uncomfortable.

Drinkability? See you in a couple years.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2008 01:20:51 | More by bigeyedfish
Photo of goRideYourBike

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Max's Taphouse

a= not quite black dark, with brown edges
s= stings the nostrils, hot, sugar
t= stings the throat, dark dark berries, just like raspberry filling in one of those round shortbread cookies. little bit o chocolate.
m= gooey and thick. booze infused home made jam.
d= found this to be much different than deuce deuce oz. bomber- sweeter, dark fruitier, chocolate-ier. will revisit some '06 bottles I have to compare but right now prefer it on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2008 16:56:13 | More by goRideYourBike
Photo of SargeC


4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black with a fizzy tan head. The brew had some visible carbonation.

Smell: Roast malt, molasses, coffee, toffee, berries and alcohol.

Taste: Sweet malt and fruit with hints of chocolate. An interesting wave of bitterness finishes this brew off.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied brew. Smooth waxy and syrupy. Slightly acidic after the sweet qualities disappear.

Drinkablity: Solid and enjoyable Russian Imperial Stout. Reasonably priced too.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2008 05:35:58 | More by SargeC
Photo of dnichols


4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I shared samples (about 5 ounces) from a couple of bottles with co-workers after work today from 22 ounce capped bottles.

A: It poured a dark thick black body with a shiny, sticky chocolate head consisting of large and medium sized bubbles. The head was robust and easily regenerated and although it fell fast it supported a nice lacing that lingered before pouring back into the brew.

S: The aroma was dominated by mollassas and dark sweet ripe fruits with hints of chocolate and coffee.

T: It tasted of roasted sweet malts flavored with dark bakers chocolate and burt molassass. The back end was lightly bittered and tasted of deep coco and expressso. It finished dry and warm.

M: Chewey and full bodied with a sweet malty front, biting expresso back and clean warm finish. This is a sweet bomb with spikes of bakers chocolate, expresso and alochol.

D: One and done. Its packed with body, sweetness and alcohol. Too much for a session beer but just right for a nice stout treat.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2008 00:59:07 | More by dnichols
Photo of ColForbinBC

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a tulip pint, bottled in 2007

A very easy pour yielded a huge root beer float like head, which sat on top of a used motor oil colored body. I think I might see some ruby red colored highlights, but it just might be the reflection of my orange Mets shirt in the glass. The head faded before my first sip and left no lacing.

Unique smell going on here. Smells of smoke, wood, alcohol, raisins, and bittersweet chocolate roasted malts.

The cool roasted chocolate malts hit first and lend way to raisins and dark fruit. Very evenly mannered and then the alcohol takes over and digs deep.

Very cool and smooth on the tongue.

Come on, its an 11+% RIS, it's a definite sipper.

This is a well-rounded beer of its style. It does some things that I like, but not enough to really put it over the top. A very nice offering, not the best, but very nice nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2008 04:00:08 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of jbphoto88


3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark motor oil looking beer. A nice brown head that has some nice creaminess and is slow to fade. It leaves light rings on the glass as you drink.

Smells like sweet currants, molasses and smooth dark chocolates.

Taste is of sweet candied dried fruits and alcohol.

I know this is a high ABV beer but the flavors just haven't come together yet. Printed on the bottle Avery says the beer is ready to drink now but would better develop with some cellaring. I agree with everything except the beer being ready now. I wish they held onto this a little more at the brewery before releasing it to the public. Its not ready yet.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2008 00:58:04 | More by jbphoto88
Photo of srandycarter


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

A - Almost impenetrable dark brown with red hue. Nice conservative head leaves quickly. Very thin, small bubble lacing. Not much.

S- Dark Chocolate dominates, roasted malt and coffee. Dark fruit notes as well.

T - Biggest flavor is bitter dark chocolate with cooked dark fruit, bittering nicely at finish.

M - Low carb works with this beer. Very coating, medium to heavy body.

D- One bomber is enough for anyone before you need a break.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2008 04:20:06 | More by srandycarter
Photo of drseamus

New York

4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to dmeadows for sharing this bottle of 2003 vintage.

A: It pours dark black but light actually gets through at the sides lighting it up ruby colored.

S: Pretty sweet aroma, almost more like an old ale than a RIS. A good helping of raisin in there and a bunch of caramel.

T: Damn good. Candy sweetness with raisins. Again, almost more of an old ale but very tasty. There is some detectable alcohol but still pretty smooth.

M: Very smooth. The age on this bottle has done wonders. Somewhere between medium and heavy bodied.

D: Very smooth, very mellow. Great sipping beer. Almost won the night versus Darkness, Stone IRS, and Siberian Night.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2008 02:07:27 | More by drseamus
Photo of IBUnit63


4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep dark chocolate/dark roast coffee color. Heads up decently. Aroma of chocolatey/coffee malt is a little too subtle for my taste - minimal hop character. Taste is typical for style - nice blend of heavy alcohol with deep dark roasted malt with hops in the distant background. Easily palatable - maybe more than the average bear, but overall fairly typical (which isn't a bad thing). Very well done but no significant standout here.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2008 22:53:58 | More by IBUnit63
Photo of aerozeppl

New York

4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2003 Bottle courtesy of dmeadows. Thanks for sharing a great bottle.

A: Super dark brown with minimal head.

S: Raisins and dates. Some generic dark fruit mixed in there as well. Wonderful smell.

T: The best way I can describe this is smooth. We sampled quite a few other RIS this night and this one stood out.

M: Very mellow for the style. The age on this bottle really did wonders.

D: In a word smooth. I have had this beer fresh and it is nothing compared to this. If I was not already aging beer I would begin based on this tasting alone. Avery beers tend to be very rough when fresh. This tasting showed me what they can become given a little time. This was my favorite in a tasting that featured Darkness, Stone RIS, and Siberian Night.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2008 04:54:46 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of ruckzuck


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

Enjoyed on tap several times this weekend.

A - dark, hints of red shining through at the pub, off-white head

S - Roasted malts, chocolate, hops

T - again roasted malts, sugary, alcohol really comes through

M - full body, nice carbonation

D - a really enjoyable beer, but really strong and sweet. Having a small glass of this at the pub is the way to go. I couldn't imagine drinking 22 oz! Give it a shot on tap or share a bottle with someone else

Serving type: on-tap

01-22-2008 17:56:21 | More by ruckzuck
Photo of esch


3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice and dark. Hints of ruby peeking through.

S: Roasted malts, definite sweetness and just a touch of smoke.

T: Full of roasted flavors with some competing molasses and dark fruits. The 12% alcohol comes through hugely, making the finish reminiscent of bourbon or dark rum.

M: Mouthfeel is just about perfect. I think it's kept a tad light by the high ABV.

D: This is a very good beer. ABV is way too high for a 22oz serving though.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2008 03:21:22 | More by esch
Photo of AlephNull


3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a dark brown color with 2 fingers of chunky light-brown head that rises slowly.

S - Smells of dark fruity esthers and berries with a strong citrus hops scent.

T - Similar to the nose, the slightly toffee-like malts are enhanced by fruity esthers -- plums and blackberries. The hops dry the finish and the alchohol, while there, isn't too strong.

M - Very heavy body with moderate carbonation. It's a little bit chalky, but not too bad.

D- Not bad -- I think they focused a little too much on making this "imperial" and a little too little on making a nice stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2008 06:33:57 | More by AlephNull
Photo of ksbrainard


4.7/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2007

Appearance: Clear and very, very dark brown, practially black. There's a tiny head that's really just a hint of a ring around the edge of the glass. Even that's gone before too long.

Smell: The first thing I think of is motor oil. This is quickly overcome by a big roast smell. There's a hint of metallic, followed by a clean dark chocolate smell. There's somewhat floral and even citrus hop aromas.

Taste: Massively roasty flavors make a sneak attack, jumping out from behind the hops bushes that first greet your mouth. A fiery trail of alcohol trickles down your throat. Bitter coffe flavors punctuate the barley perceptible sweet dark fruity alcohol flavors. This is awesomely HUGE, and leaves a lengthy bitter roast and boozey finish, almost as a taunt, "ready for another sip?"

Mouthfeel: Of course, it is gigantic. But at the same time, the fruits and hops seem to prevent it from being as thick as peanut butter.

Drinkability: I had been scared of this 22-ounce bottle, but now I wish it were bigger. This proved to be the big extreme experience I was hoping for from this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2008 23:46:12 | More by ksbrainard
Photo of warmstorage


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

22 ounce bomber, approx. $5.99 from Brown Jug Warehouse. (I kinda forget the exact price.) Bottles states 11.73% ABV, 70 IBU, OG 1.104, no dating noticed.

Appearance: super deep brown, mostly opaque, but not black. Light medium brown lacing, limited to light lacing.

Aroma: roasty, plums, prunes, deep fruity esters.

Taste: huge fruity esters, tangy sweetness, lots of roast, and some deep stonefruit. A little thin and not super complex for such a huge beer. Deep in the aftertaste there is distinct smokiness, but it doesn't show up in the main body.

Mouth: Again, somewhat thin. Warm alcohol, but certainly not hot, especially for such a high gravity and high ABV beer.

Overall: Tasty, drinkable, even sort of fun, but not amazing. My ratings are conscious as to each category: it's a little above average in each case, but not much else.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2008 07:31:56 | More by warmstorage
Photo of eberkman


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

Pours an oozy opaque black with a tan head that reduces to nothing fairly quickly. Not surprising for the style. The smell is a knockout -- a huge wafting of dark-roasted coffee, sweet chocolate and what seemed almost like bourbon. Tastes similar -- dark chocolate, coffee, bourbon and a hugely creamy vanilla. Delicious. But somewhat offset by an overly bitter finish. I like the bitter bite for balance, but it lingers a little too long. Nice, thick, oily, chewy mouthfeel. Drinkability is good for something this powerful, but perhaps a little sweet for more than one. Still, something to savor. A real winner.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2008 05:15:40 | More by eberkman
Photo of Slynger


3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A deep blackish brown with a subtle ruby-violet highlights at the bottom of my glass. A light and creamy light brown head settles nicely atop. Dark roasted malts and dark chocolate in the nose. A nutty and rum-like alcohol lingers in the background. Not quite as strong of a nose as I would like, but it does have some good qualities to it. Thick and syrupy mouthfeel matches up with some sweet molasses and bittersweet chocolate flavors. Roasted malty nuttiness and rum finish this one out. Overall this one ain't bad; I like the flavor combinations and the nuttiness especially, but it doesn't have enough complexity to hang with the big dogs.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2008 02:35:14 | More by Slynger
Photo of AKBelgianBeast


3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I remember waaayyy back in the day, this is the first imperial stout I ever had and I thought it was nasty as hell! i have not had one since then. Man has my palate developed!!

The czar pours a thick almost impenetrable black with very little off white head and some slight (very) ruby highlights. Clearly thick and soupy when poured. The nose on this brew is very weak. There is some vanilla and slight chocolate and coffee flavors on the nose and in the first taste. Quite sugary. A decent hop kick at the end but nothing to write home about. The finish is very smooth, and the mouthfeel is quite thick and thats how i like em! nice sugars in here as a residue remains on the lips. A good offering, lacks a bit in taste resonance but is very smooth and the aftertaste does linger. Good beer, Im gonna cellar two of these and see how they are in one and two years. Try it, its pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2008 08:56:41 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of KUpolo


4.78/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2007 bottling

Poured jet black and very thick. I allowed my glass to warm a bit after the pour from the fridge.

The strong of chocolate and coffee. These flavors become more apparent upon the first taste. There is a good deal of alcohol in it, but it is balanced by very strong flavors from the brew.

Nice carbonation gives it a pleasant mouthfeel. The high alcohol detracts a little from the drinkability score, but this is a fine beer.

I purchased a couple bombers and plan to age a few as I feel that it is going to mature very well.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2008 18:08:04 | More by KUpolo
Photo of Upgrayedd


3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The label indicated that this was bottled in 2006. This is obviously a dark, viscous beer so nothing new there. The head was a nice dark brown and died off about halfway through the session. This one is definately a good beer, but unfortunately there is nothing to distinguish it to make it stand out in the Imperial Stout category. What I mean to say is that it is average compared to other Imperial Stouts, but because it is an Imperial Stout, it is better than your average Pilsner, for example.

One other thing, at 11% I expected to be knocked on my ass. I was not, and I am skeptical to believe it was due to a miraculous increase in my alcohol tolerance.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2008 20:27:57 | More by Upgrayedd
Photo of Mikeyboxx

New York

4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was fresh which means I didn't age long. Bought it from a shelf in a highly rotated store in a trendy neighborhood in Brooklyn (Bierkraft)

Popped bottle and poured into my 'Yeti Russian Imperial Stout' glass. Thin dark head that lasts. Nice carbonation. Great nose.

First sip was chewy, roasted barley with dark fruits and hot finish. This beer is enjoyable sip to sip.

If buying this beer (buy two to age one)

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2008 21:14:36 | More by Mikeyboxx
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

3/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Speakeasy in Carrboro, NC served in a snifter

A: Hmm, it looks very very dark brown, but not quite black. Given that I can make this distinction even in crappy light of this bar is surprising. Think, off white/tan head that dissipates pretty quickly, not much lacing. Visually, nothing special
S: Again, nothing remarkable, expected roasted, sweet smells but also strong, also pungent alcohol smell
T: Some chocolate and roasted flavors, actually surprisingly nutty. Then, bam, way too strong punch of alcohol, but I won't hold my rating of the taste down just because of that as over time that should be more tolerable. Still, not the best RIS I've had.
M: Very, very thick and creamy, mouthfeel is great if you ignore the alcohol
D: Ok, here is where I'm going to hold the alcohol against it. Obviously at 12 whatever percent it's going to be present but this is just too fresh and ends up burning the throat and is difficult to finish one glass and couldn't imagine having another immediately after. I'd love to try an older bottle of this but would not try one so fresh again

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2008 21:10:42 | More by yourefragile
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a head that fades to a wispy cap with no real lacing. Toffee aromas, quite sweet, and roasty grains as well as a good bit of alcohol in the nose. Taste is similar. Quite sweet for the style. Sweet up-front, bitter on the finish, but there is an underlying toffee sweetness throughout. Mouthfeel is a little strong and hot. Overall this is big and sweet, I like a little more tannins or hops in mine for balance.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2008 02:07:45 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of beersabound


3.08/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2007 bottling. It's jet black but the head is lacking. I know it's 11.73% but it could give some better head than a little fizzle and then splitsville. The aroma has some dark fruit but is restrained. Also, I get some rubbing alcohol which surprises me. The flavor of roasted malts is reserved and the dark fruit and other spices blend in well. The alcohol flavor is present but not unpleasant. The mouthfeel is slick without a lot of lift. Not bad but not the mouth filling experience I love. Overall, it's a decent RIS (better than I could make) but there are others that have more character, flavor and a better overall drinking experience. I'm sure a couple of years would help improve this one too.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2008 01:29:11 | More by beersabound
Photo of LittleBreeze

New York

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 Release...

Dark wit a creamy tan head.

The smell is pretty standard for a RIS. Chocolate, some dark fruits and molasses.
Being the 2007 release, it is still hot. However, this is a solid beer. Very nice flavors coming out as it warms.

Mouthfeel is good. Drinkability isn't there yet. But lay down a few. Czar ages extremely well.

2003 Release (thanks dmeadows)

Age really makes a difference in all areas. Mouthfeel and Drinkability are outstanding. So smooth. I grabbing a few more to age.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2007 04:52:38 | More by LittleBreeze
The Czar from Avery Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,601 ratings.