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The Czar - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The CzarThe Czar

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

1,598 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,598
Reviews: 856
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.96%
Wants: 67
Gots: 199 | 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: 1,598 | Reviews: 856 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerceller99


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

2003 bottling from the cellar.
Pours black with a light brown head. Strong nutty, slight chocolate smell. The head fades quickly to sheen.
Light-medium bodied ; swishes smoothly about the mouth.
Strong, dark, almost burnt malt dark chocolate pudding flavor with a boozy alcohol taste to finish.

This beer tastes better closer to room temperature.

A good stout but a little on the thin side for such a big beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2005 01:37:37 | More by beerceller99
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

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

Appearance: Dark espresso color with a modest head and a reasonable bit of lacing

Smell: Lots of dark fruit, chocolate and alcohol on the nose

Taste: Lovely dark fruit and bitter chocolate profile up front with a hoppy character developing by mid-palate; the finish is rich and chocolatey; the alcohol makes its presence felt early, but after the swallow, as the brew warms up, a complex dark fruit aftertaste is a pleasant surprise

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with modest carbonation

Drinkability: Wonderful flavor but a bit too alcoholic

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2005 18:28:26 | More by brentk56
Photo of guinnessman


3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was quite excited to try this imperial stout because I'm a big fan of them. I poured this one into a mug and examined a decent head of a tan color and a dark hue. I smelled aroma of chocolate smoked malt, raisons, and apricot. The taste was sweet at first then became very bitter sweet chocolate, while next I took note of the smoked malts that were less noticeable to my palate then my nose. I also picked out a bit of lingering coffee taste. The beer finishes with a deeply warming alcohol taste (similar to that of vodka) that gives a great addition to the character of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2005 04:45:11 | More by guinnessman
Photo of Shaw


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

Super black with a dense, very short head that vanishes. It smells of roasted malt, bread, alcohol and coffee. I also note a tiny funky smell right before taking a sip. The label implies that anise and other ingredients may have been added, so I'll attribute this smell to them.

The taste is strong, as expected. The biggest flavors I'm noting are roasted malt notes and alcohol. At 13 percent ABV (according to the bottle) the alcohol flavor should not be surprising. I also like the creamy taste. Yum. Not as extreme as some other Imperial Stouts, this beer goes for more balance. In fact, it is probably a little on the sweeter side than most of this style.

I love this beer's mouthfeel. I think this is probably the first beer I've given a 5 in that category. It is wonderfully silky and smooth. The high ABV gives it a light weight. This practically floats in my mouth.

This is an excellent Russian Imperial Stout. Enjoy it in moderation, which may be tough considering it comes in 22 oz. bottles. I got pretty snookered by this beer. Sharing is recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2005 05:40:26 | More by Shaw
Photo of GreenWBush


3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Blackened ruby with transparent highlights; greyish brown slowly cascading head. A few sandy lines of lace.

Roasty hops jump to the nasal forefront. A crazy interpolation of Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout with its leathery yeast profile. No coffee or chocolate until almost warm.

Surprisingly, this is one thin beer for its strength and hop quotient. This lack of chewiness allows a few off, candy-like flavors to come through.

Even with this beer's major alcohol and congealingly acrid roastiness, there's just not enough depth of balance (or complete overkill) to keep me that interested to pay almost $10 a bomber. Went very well with pizza.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2005 02:07:13 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of Gagnonsux


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

My bottle states that the ABV is 13%, BA lists it as 12.2%. Slight recipe change? Czar's color is almost black with a ruby hue when looked at against the light. Head is slightly below average height and is tan, and creamy. The aroma is of dark, mildly bitter chocolates with a touch of alcohol smell. Czar's taste is rich to say the very least. Flavors include dark somewhat bitter chocolates, mild coffee, light alcohol, and some butteriness. This is very complex and full-flavored. A strong warming effect is quickly noted. This is a beer I'll definently be picking up again, imperial and double stouts have become one of my favorite styles.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2005 04:00:21 | More by Gagnonsux
Photo of noclue


4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving type: 22oz. bottle served in a wide-bowled tulip.

Appearance: Jet black opaque. Small light brown head that faded quickly, leaving a beautiful lacing on my glass.

Smell: Enticing chocolate and roasted malt aroma makes you want to get right to the punch.

Taste: smooth and chocolatey up front, then comes the phenolic bite. The high alcohol content is very present in the long, pleasant finish.

Mouthfeel: Not as much body as I'd expect from such a wholesome stout. This one definately tingles the palate for along time!

Drinkability/Overall: Though very enjoyable, One bottle of this beast will probably suit me. Another great one from Avery!

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2005 04:39:19 | More by noclue
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

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

The beer poured into the glass black yet translucent, the head rose tall, but fell like a rock and then laced the glass.

The aroma was fruity with vinous to almost cidery esters. Also some chocolate and coffee existed in the aroma along with caramel and a strong alcohol presence.

The flavor was chocolate and coffee and caramel. The malt was prevalent and ruled the flavors. Alcohol in the flavor was noticeable and strong. The fruity esters were present as well along with some dark fruits. The vinous and cidery aromas did not translate into the flavor.

The finish was roasty with lasting coffee and chocolate along with alcohol burn long into the aftertaste. The body was full, slick, and viscous, but actually could have been just a smidge bigger for a stout.

22 ounce bottle, bottle marked as 11.9% ABV. The cidery aromas were most likely a result of the high alcohol level of this brew. The flavor was much more impressive than the aroma.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2005 00:32:41 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of Truh

New Hampshire

3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Was thrown down a well and covered in lime with this one on 11/18/2004. 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bomber poured twice in a shaker glass.

Fine, thin initial candied yam cream of head with kaleidoscopic bubbling craters at edges. Held right up next to a light there are hints of deep, blood red tinges in the black, but core remains impenetrable. Treacly, currant cake sweetness to nose with scorched sugar, black licorice, and wind-swept now-darkened woods. Sweet crank of caramel and English toffee at start, alcohol lightening bolts to the medulla oblongata, and roasted characters of bonfire charred driftwood. Coolly calming vicissitude.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2005 22:23:07 | More by Truh
Photo of mgdeth


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

Appearance - Black with garnet highlights. Huge tan head with good beer lace.

Smell - The first thing that reaches the nose is a whiff of alcohol. Then I pick up a plum or raisin/prune smell. The smell is not a strong as I would expect from such a big beer.

Taste - 13% alcohol is right. The alcohol hits sort of mid-palate, but not until you pick up a good raisin/prune flavor. There is also a burnt flavor (not strong), and this might be better described as molasses. Hop bitterness does not jump out at me, but it lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Very thick body. Even a bit sticky. The body is what I hope for in a big beer like this.

Drinkability - Highly drinkable, despite the huge flavor. It is just so inviting, I keep wanting more of it.

Comments - The Czar does not disappoint. This is really awesome stuff, and an imperial stout drinker's dream come true.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2005 01:42:01 | More by mgdeth
Photo of Wonka


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

Alcohol 13% by Vol.
1 Pint 6 Fl. Oz.
1.107 OG
70 IBUs

Appearance – red, grape body; the occasional large bubble in the head creates the expectation of a short-lived head; its there and gone but the 13% abv is expected to cut in; lace is sparse

Smell – lovely molasses; some prunes and dates; mildly astringent

Taste – pleasant level of molasses; light prune; mildly roasted; hops enter late; alcohol is condensed in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel & Drinkability – prickly but not overwhelming carbonation lend to a solid experience but the alcohol tries to lift the roasty nature off the tongue late; it succeeds; alcohol cleans out all but the Hallertau bitterness

This was very enjoyable but that aftertaste leaves a mark. What a brute of a Russian Imperial Stout. I'm seriously interested in the product as it ages. The Czar is a tremendous offering from Avery.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2005 02:00:09 | More by Wonka
Photo of goodbyeohio


4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004 vintage

pours beautiful, dark as night and topped with a mild lace around the edge of the surface. tan/cream color foam. almost no carbonation. smells wonderful though, with dark chocolate most pronounced, coffee, licorice and peanut butter hitting my nostrils at different intervals. some alcohol in the nose, but well hidden by the bouquet of rich, earthy scents.

yum! this beer tastes spectacular. it's like a belgian quad with after-dinner notes. perfect evening sipper.. perfect for exercising the palate. hoppy malt flavor is complemented nicely by raisin and mocha in the aftertaste. upon immediate ingestion, this beer is more spice and slick mouthfeel than flavor (which is better appreciated in the finish anyway.)

i will have no problem finishing the bomber, could care less about the alcohol content.

a beer drinker's dark beer. high marks for the best thing i've seen from avery. ever.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2005 14:37:18 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of Shultzerdugen


4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. brown bomber with bottling date of 2003.

Poured black with tan, big bubbled head.

Molasses first in the aroma, followed by a grainy sweetness and smooth toffee. Prunes or plums, alcohol was lost in a forest of malts.

My first impression was a big time sweetness. Big time mellow malts, nice and roasty. I was expecting some coffee notes from this style, but none were found. In time the hops came around and were nice and aromatic. Alcohol very well hidden. An exceptional mouthfeel, smooth and round; a slick and groovy coating to the pallette.

The age of this beer could've only helped its greatness, a real treat. Hell, it pretty much kicked ass!

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2005 21:29:36 | More by Shultzerdugen
Photo of karst


4.93/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Czar is up for its 100th review on this February friday night tasting of 10 brews that covered a wide spectrum of styles.

Three tasters interacting with a 2 year old Imperial Stout ( the line up: Ayinger Celebrator, the Czar, Samiclaus, Arogant Bastard, OFallon Smoked Porter, Goudenband Flanders Red Belgium Ale, Cutthroat Porter, Meuller Pale Ale -Springfield Brewing Co., and last and by FAR least a St. Louis macro - not that one . . . Dirt Cheap Beer) List is reversed with the DCB as a pre-rinser for the various glasses used.

Tan head quickly nods under the influence of 12% ABV chocolate-coffee (from over roasted malt) with dense fruity esters suggesting chocolate coated black cherry injected with alcohol. Low - Hallertau hops get lost in taste of spiced coffe and chocolate. fruit, drying mouth with alcohol and finishing off with soft bitterness. Flavors come on harse in this medium-full bodied RIS.

Surgeon-poet Yury Zhivago struggling to survive the winters of the Russian Revolution was torn between fidelity and passion for two women. The Czar is rough, passionate winter warmer that struggles beyond the Old Imperial wanting passionately to be a revolutionary Black Barleywine.

"May you live as long as you want to and Want to (drink fine beer) as long as you live" - capre diem. - Thanks to Shultzerdugen for bring this Avery giant.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2005 18:06:04 | More by karst
Photo of oxmasterscream

New Jersey

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

22 oz. bomber.
Poured a deep but clear, dark brown with cherry highlights. No head, barely a ring, as expected with a beer so high in alcohol. Not as opaque as I'd expect from an imperial stout.
The smell, wow. All things sweet, dark and ripe... raisins, plums, prunes, black cherries, chocolate, spice, burnt sugar, blackberry brandy – can you say "da-yamn?" Unbelievable. Exactly how an imperial stout should smell.
Taste was almost identical to its bouquet - All things detected in its smell came through sooner or later while tasting. Heavily sweet and fruity up front with some spicy noble hops intermixed, then some tangy flavors, followed by a clean, bitter-sweet finish. Surprisingly, almost no coffee flavors are present. It's a full-on, eruption of dark fruit in your mouth.
Mouth was a little less than I had hoped it would be. While syrupy with barely any carbonation, it came through just a tad too thin for an imperial stout. It almost felt like a flat cola at times. Luckily, the flavors were so huge that I ended up paying little attention to the lack of thickness in the mouth. ABV is definitely there and warms your stomach from the get-go. Unfortunately, it's so damn good that you end up drinking it way faster than you should and it kicks your ass quickly.
This stuff's smell and taste are downright amazing. If it weren't for some minor appearance and body issues, it would've garnered a much higher score from me. Wicked stuff that should never be passed up.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2005 15:07:09 | More by oxmasterscream
Photo of Boto


4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber: 2003 Vintage: This beer pours a dark, opaque brown color. There is a small tan head that formed on mine. First off, I’m suprised that the aroma is a bit weak for an Imperial Stout. It is a nice mixture of chocolate, some fruits, and a candy-bar like hard caramel. The taste is a bit sweet also. There are notes of that candy bar in there, as well as chocolate and roasted malts. The taste lingers nicely on the tongue. Nice. A little different from the normal imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2005 01:16:33 | More by Boto
Photo of Dmann


3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2005 09:34:09 | More by Dmann
Photo of Winter


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

Pours black with a thin tan head that settled to the surface. Cocoa, fig and alcohol on the aroma. Coating, full-bodied mouthfeel. Vinous, husky and grainy front. Licorice and sweet dark molasses introduce themselves. The nearly 13% alcohol doesn't wait long to punch its way through and remind you that this is an Imperial stout. The Czar is smooth and not really oily. Hop bitterness arrives toward the back. Slightly more hoppy than desired. Maybe that's it's American influence. Regardless, though, the taste is right on target for a good Imperial Stout. This was very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2005 01:40:44 | More by Winter
Photo of ypsifly


3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours almost black with a thin, tan head that fades quickly and leaves decent lacing.

Smells sugary with some hints of hop. No real coffee or chocolate odors were detected. Was hoping for a more roasted aroma.

Taste is mostly malt with some hop in the finish. Feels lighter in the mouth than most Imps. Although I would label the mouthfeel as somewhat weak, it does lend to the drinkability of this brew. Not tasting any alcohol helps too.

One of the more drinkable Imperials, but I was hoping for more roasted notes in both taste and smell.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2005 05:11:25 | More by ypsifly


3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So this is a fairly dark brown, nearing blackness. Woopty doo, an imperial should be pitch black. The little head can be described as a slight floating froth.
From 9" away I can smell bananas from this beer. Green-ish bananas. When I actually take a whiff, other fruity esters are detectable as well, with only a mild toasted malt aroma.
Quite the interesting flavor. Initially I was shocked by a spiciness but quickly grew accustomed. The candied currant addition noted on the bottle is more pronounced than expected. Not overwhelming, but I figured it might be altogether phantom. This climbs to a borderline cloying level of sweetness but the bitter German hops close out the deal before all is lost. That being said, I think this one could use more hopping to clean things up a bit.
Alcohol is not the problem I thought it might be with this. It is noticed, of course, but only really speaks on a nasal exhale. But, as this warms, that alcohol gets a bit more physical. Other candy sweetnesses show up when this is warmer, especially the toffee aspect.
This seemed somewhat thin in the mouth for an imperial. But, good enough, with an appetizing stickiness I would attribute to toffee and caramel additions. This is not all that carbonated, which I think is probably for the best in this situation. I think high carbonation would make The Czar one jagged mofo. Overalll, not bad. This is definitely one of a kind if nothing else. I have never had anything like it.
Unless you want to be a bit teetery, get a helper to tackle a whole bomber. I didn't, but that's me.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2005 18:24:32 | More by GIVEMEBACKMYSON
Photo of maltedmilk

New Jersey

3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one serious beer.

It pours a very dark brown with a very small head which quickly fades.

Smells are of sweet chocolate and coffee.

Tastes are malty , chocolate and pretty strong alcohol .However, it becomes much smoother with each sip.

This is a very strong beer. One bomber of this is enough to get me very mellow.

A great beer for a snowy winter night and a great beer to share with someone you love.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2005 03:59:57 | More by maltedmilk
Photo of OStrungT


3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours dark brown. The head is tan. The head retention is quite good. The alcohol is apparent in the smell. There is also a smell of carmel as well as licorice. The taste is malty and a little sour. There is a slight hint of molasses. There is something else, but I cant put my finger on it. This beer is quite full bodied. It goes down smooth. This beer might be hard to drink since it is so alcoholic, but give it time, and you might be able to drink a few in one night. This is a good beer, but there are imperial stouts out there that are, IMO, better. Definately worth a try though.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2005 02:52:20 | More by OStrungT
Photo of BrewMaster


4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pouredf rom the bomber into a tall Arrogant Bastard glass. The color is dark chocolate brown with a tan head on top. The head has mad crazy retention. You can slap it, kick it, curse at it, say things about its momma, but the head is not going away. Very nice. Asit dwindles down the head leaves nice rings around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Very sweet and malty smell. Some roasty notes as well.

Taste: Whoa. This different from other RIS's I've had. First flavor is a sour and bitter roastiness that settles in the middle of my tongue. It's got a very appealing sweetness to the roastiness. It's sharp but not offensive. There is a strong molasses and carmel character to this beer. Also a nice brown sugar note. The malt profile hides under a well done hop bitterness. There is also a nice warmth to the alcohol

Mouthfeel: Clean and sweet on the palate with improving qualities as it warms up.

Drinkability: The flavors come together well and make this a very enoyable beer. At 13% ABV it is something I will enjoy but only sparingly. Well done and well hopped rom Avery.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2005 02:41:49 | More by BrewMaster
Photo of ncbrewerbun

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A powerful back-in-the-Cold-War Russian kind of stout!

This beer pours out like black ink, with a creamy tan head that lasts long enough to appreciate it.

The aroma is worth the price of the beer. The smells just keep coming at you. There's caramel, candy-like sweetness, huge malt, chocolate, some licorice and as it warms molassas. All this and the alcohol still is evident.

Flavor, as the aroma would suggest, is complex. Toffee, malt, a hint of molassas and again the alcohol.

Overall an experience to be had by those who appreciate an RIS. I'd not attempt to drink a bottle of this on my own.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2005 02:49:53 | More by ncbrewerbun
Photo of HogHill


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

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, this was bottled in 2004
-- ABV on bottle is 13% -- 70 IBUs -- 1.107 OG --
Paid $7.20 at Colonial Liquours in Acton, MA.
This black beauty left a thin tan head which soon faded to lace around my glass. It smells of dark chocolate and coffee. This is definitely an Imperial on first sip, strong malty presence backed by some hops, which are taken over in the end by the malts and the 13% abv. It seems to have a good balance of carbonation, I like the feel. I don't think I could handle more than one of these, as a previous review mentioned, they should indeed be shared. Avery has done themselves good with this years Czar.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2005 21:25:17 | More by HogHill
The Czar from Avery Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,598 ratings.