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The Czar - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The CzarThe Czar

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,602 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,602
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: 1,602 | Reviews: 856 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nomad
nomad

Kansas

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

2002 vintage, aged 2 years

Dark but easily brown to see, this beer showed great lace - super thin but wide ranging and coating. A humble beginning.

Smelled of chocolate, espresso, fruity esters, cherries, licorice, a strong nutty presence, and opening to light wafts of currants and candied alcohol. Everything you could want in an Imperial Stout is there, with grace and power.

Tastes of tons of black malt, roast malt, chocolate malt, and espresso with fruity but snappy anise flavors. Has a small alcohol taste that gives warmth and a touch of spice, but nothing more. After two years this beer has settled in extemely well, as the malts are diverse and delicious while the hops have blended into severe complexity. The finish is the key: minutes upon minutes long, it is never anything but tasty, displaying a great balance of sweet chocolate, estery fruitiness, a slight rough toasty edge, and the warmth of alcohol.

This beer floored me, in obvious strength of alcohol, but in immense flavor as well. A slightly dense mouthfeel, but just a touch thin for drinkability, it has the size of a cake, the complexity of a wine, and the comfort and accessibility of a cookie.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2004 16:09:44 | More by nomad
Photo of SheepNutz
SheepNutz

Kentucky

3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a pitch black color with one finger of light tan foam. There is a little bit of lacing left on the glass. The smell is fairly sweet and malty, with some coffe notes. There is just a little bit of hops in there as well. The smell is a little weak though for an imperial stout. The taste starts malty, with coffee, chocolate, and toffee. The finish is slightly hoppy with a good dose of alcohol. The mouthfeel is very thick and heavy, yet smooth. The drinkability suffers a little due to the high alcohol content. A good overall imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2004 04:56:31 | More by SheepNutz
Photo of granger10
granger10

Wisconsin

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

Man alive this was a good beer. It poured quite dark with ruby highlights. The head was small (understandable considering the abv) but held nicely. When I smelled it I got a TON of different flavors including coffee, chocolate, earthy hops, lots of alcohol, soy sauce, etc. The taste was like the smell but more intense. The initial hit is a wallop to my tongue. Real sweet molasses and candied currants. Alcohol is strong the whole way through which was actually fitting for the taste. There was an underlying earthiness here and slight hop flavor, but not bitter. More sweetness comes in the form of chocolate, brown sugar, and maybe some vinous flavors. The body was a little thin and not quite carbonated enough. I'm going to age some of these and just wait for the phenomenon that will be "The aged Czar".

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2004 17:27:52 | More by granger10
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

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

Appearance: vastly black, thorough and complete in it's darkness and opacity, with a fine, toasted tan coating of froth atop.
Nose sticks out from afar, and is rather distinct from other IS's, in it's creaminess, like Bailey's and ice cream with an extra dollup of whiskey, and a hint of rum. Quite appealing, maple and mollasass and more.
In the taste, all that and then some, but basically, sweet, dark, sticky, and strong. Commandeers the palate, conquers and coats...rich is an understatement, warm is a redundancy, for it's all those things times a thousand, with the alcohol riding high in the saddle as the flavors thicken and coalesce into a wondrous mix, twisted, thick, delicious!
Licorice flavors peek in, too, mingling with dark rum, and meeting up with charcoal and smoke as well, rising handily from glass into mouth.
Full bodied? Duh! Rich texture? Uh, huh! Long, luxuriant, rewarding finish? ...um, ya THINK???
This was a great Imperial Stout, though it didn't upseat any of my previous favorites, it ably made a case as a stand-in, and that's pretty damned good!
Enormous thanks to prAna for this'un!

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2004 09:20:59 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of benmiliron
benmiliron

Ohio

4.58/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Paid $5.99 for a 22 oz. bottle.

Wow! I'm more impressed with Avery every time I try one of their brews. A great black, heavy stout for this winter. The alcohol (12%!) is hidden, but not as well as could be I think. I hint of berry, molasses, mocha, and a ton of other stuff I can only guess at. A bit sweeter in the aftertaste, though in the mouth it's still quite bitter, which seems backwards! Beautiful though. This isn't quite up to par with Storm King and the like, but it's their first stout! Next year's will undoubtedly be even better. I can't wait!

The high ABV makes it tough to drink this one all night. After one, you're about done.

You should definitely pick this one up.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2004 00:33:01 | More by benmiliron
Photo of sideshowrob
sideshowrob

Maryland

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

Tis the season for Russian Imperial Stouts. This one is at the top of the long list of such brews I've had of late. This beer is smooth. It hides the 12%+ Abv like a stealth fighter. Molasses notes are very prominent in the brew, sweet, but not candy-like. Very dark brew. Tiny taste of currants, approaching a barley wine in overall complexity. Excellent brew, one to stock the closet AND beerfridge with.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2004 05:46:29 | More by sideshowrob
Photo of maxpower
maxpower

Missouri

3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2003, pours reddish-brown that turns black in the glass, has a creamy brown head that leaves some lacing. Sweet roasted chocolate, coffee and fruity aromas, sweet fruity plum-chocolate and coffee flavors. Nice burnt bitter-sweet well hopped finish. Medium body with creamy and smooth mouthfeel, not as thick as I expected, still very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2004 22:49:22 | More by maxpower
Photo of HiroProtagonist
HiroProtagonist

Maryland

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

Poured into a Duvel tulip...no head, just a minimal foam ring around the edges. Black with some dark red-brown peeking out at the edge of the glass. Aromas of malts, chocolate and alcohol waft out of my glass. I can tell this is a strong Imperial. Up-front tastes of dark chocolate, with just the right amount of bitterness. Subtler undertones of cherry, smokyness, and nutty-ness. Perky and well balanced. Very tasty and delicious. One complaint: normally, imperials can take up alot of alchohol, melding it well with the flavors (Strong ales are my favorite). In this case however, there is a little bit too much alchohol getting through in the aroma and taste... holding it back from getting better scores. Mouthfeel is lovely... silky and smooth. The errant alcohol detracts from the drinkability somewhat, but still quite drinkable. Overall, a very good imperial stout with a minor flaw.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2003 04:23:56 | More by HiroProtagonist
Photo of Beaver13
Beaver13

Colorado

4/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2003 05:21:18 | More by Beaver13
Photo of Ellbert
Ellbert

Ohio

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

The appearance was wonderful. It was pitch black with a beautiful tan head... it was huge. There was lace and a thin layer of bubbles the whole glass.

The smell was great and had it's own unique qualities. It smelled a lot of chocolate along with the roastedness. There where some nice hop prescence in the aroma also.

Taste was very good. I loved it. It is pretty mild for some IS that I have had. This is very malty and sweet that cuts right into hop bitterness and alcohol zing then mellow chocolate coffee. It is wonderful.

The mouthfeel is just a little thin for the style. Not exactly what I look for in an imperial stout. Not thin enough to mark down many points either.

Drinkablitity is not exceptional being 11.9% and being sold only in bombers here. other than that I could drink it all night.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2003 04:40:42 | More by Ellbert
Photo of Rastacouere
Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2003 23:29:49 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of Crosling
Crosling

Colorado

4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

The 2003 version is actually 11.9 % alcohol instead of 12.2 %. The Czar pours pitch black with some brown specks towards the rim of the glass. The head lasted for a few minutes and then settled to a nice rim around the glass and towards the middle some bubbles and some small sheets of foam shaped the islands of Hawaii. A very poor lace left on the glass and large bubble throughout the small head.

The aroma is full of alcohol, mocha, chocolate and some deep roasted coffee. Pretty nice nose but the alcohol was very noticeable and virtually no hops were present in the nose.

The flavors were very complex but didn't seem to work well with each other. Dark Roasted Chocolate was present along with ground coffee, prunes or perhaps dark cherries, black licorice, some vanilla (but hardly noticeable) and some English Toffee. The alcohol was also very evident especially when the beer warmed. I also noticed that this Imperial Stout seemed to be lacking some hop flavor which seemed odd considering the brewery.

Overall, a solid beer, but I have had much tastier Imperial Stouts.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2003 06:15:14 | More by Crosling
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

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

Normally, I'm not at all a fan of Imperial Stouts, so I approached this one wit h a negative mindset. I was pleasantly surprised. Pours a very dark color with a small head. The aroma was nice - roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, slight alcohol. The taste was very full-bodied and lovely. Tasted of dark malts, chocolate, coffee, hints of alcohol, but as smooth as silk. The body is full and the mouthfeel is great. This is one of the best Imperial Stouts I've had in a long long time. Two thumbs up ... this coming from somebody who doesn't care much for the Imperial Stouts.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2003 19:17:14 | More by clvand0
Photo of GambrinousIan
GambrinousIan

Hawaii

4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This one is great after a long day on the slopes. It's very warming due to to the high alcohol content. It seems to have many flavors going on. Some people think it's a little too sweet with an almost syrupy texture. I find it very balanced as far as sweetness and bitterness. This is easily one of my favorite stouts. It's meant to be enjoyed in moderation in front of the fireplace.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2003 08:32:27 | More by GambrinousIan
Photo of BierReise
BierReise

Florida

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

22oz. Bomber bottled in 2002.One of the sweetest Imperials I've had yet. I can actually see through this one which is surprising. Sweet coffee aroma like a Cuban espresso with a hint of mocha and caramel. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel with a good alcohol kick that warms. Very sweet and syrupy with a slight bitterness at the end. Flavor is like Kahlua and sweet molasses. A very nice Imperial and extremely drinkable which can be dangerous

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2003 19:57:53 | More by BierReise
Photo of StevieW
StevieW

Florida

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

Another bottle compliments of the BelgianBum up the road. We had this one at our recent Imperial Stout and Porter tasting. Impressive 22 oz bomber bottle with foil wrap and Czar Nicholas I guess pictured. Pretty Cool stuff.
More impressive is the beer. It was the expected blackness with a tight bubbly tan head. Lots of sweet molasses aromas, hints of whiskey and chocolate and touch of hops. Taste was eye-rolling good. Sweet chocolate candy, melted over roastes coffee and figs. Wow. Just a really powerful flavor. Touch of cheek puckering bitterness ends it. Espresso like at times. Lots of sweet molasses again, nearly slick but more of a slightly oily taste and feel. One of the better Imperial Stouts I have had. Cheers to the Bum for lugging this one back from Colorado.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2003 01:14:02 | More by StevieW
Photo of Mitchster
Mitchster

Michigan

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

Bottled in 2002. Pours out to a very dark brown..in the glass it appears quite black with dark brown accents. A very vigorous pour forms a poofy tan head atop fine bubbles with poor retention and minimal lacing. Carbonation is mild. Aroma is suprisingly tame for an Imperial Stout...red apples, caramel, faint toffee, vanilla, distant black walnut, and very weak coffee and chocolate. Hop aroma is noticeably absent, and alcohol is imperceptable. Mouthfeel is very creamy and luxurious with a dense, oily body. Taste has more character than the aroma, with strong notes of vanilla, walnuts and rotting bing cherries, however there is a potent espresso and chocolate note that builds up toward the end and lingers with a touch of leafy sweetness. Darkly roasted grains are relatively mild with suggestions of prunes, but no raisins, figs or dates. Alcohol is perceptable towards the finish, with a peppery wave of fumes rolling off the tongue, however this is free of acetones and fusels. The hops intensity is very subdued compared to most, yet adequate to balance the hearty malts. This Imperial is noticeably sweeter than most I've had, but this is a good thing in my book.

This is a very simple yet enjoyable Imperial Stout...it doesn't hold a candle to the complexities of Expedition or Rasputin, but in it's own way, it has an elegant sexiness in its simpleton attitude. Of note...one 22oz bomber, and I have a serious buzz. Phhhhlart.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2003 22:50:06 | More by Mitchster
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

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

2002 vintage, this might benefit from a little more age, as it seemed the flavors had some room to mature. Concentrated flavors of molasses and roasted prune. The alcohol spices things up a bit. Heavy but not overwhelming, your basic "meal in a bottle." A classic interpretation of the imperial stout with just a touch more hops. It would be nice to revisit this in a year or two to see if the flavors gain some additional depth.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2003 20:22:20 | More by Brent
Photo of beerguy101
beerguy101

California

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

Dark black color, smallish head. Aroma is roasted malt, chocolate and vanilla. Full-bodied Imperial Stout. Deeply roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, toffee and vanilla. Although this is most definitely a stout, it has many qualities of a both a barley wine (oilyness and maltyness) and an Abbey ale (Vinous and brown sugary). Complex as anything. Well balanced. Very smooth taste. Hides the 12.2% alcohol very well. Very drinkable. Extremely dangerous beer. This beer will be outrageous with a couple of years of bottle aging. Amazing this young, but with some aging!! Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly biter, some alcohol bite. Amazing beer. Thanks to hopsrus for this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2003 09:13:05 | More by beerguy101
Photo of jcalabre
jcalabre

California

4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Originally sampled on 29 March 2003. A very short-lived head leads you quickly into a delicious black body. Flavors of toffee & chocolate abound. The nose is of roasted chocolate. This full bodied baby is pure pleasure to drink. I'm storing some away and looking forward to doing a side by side w/ other world class Imperial Stouts

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2003 12:30:06 | More by jcalabre
Photo of beerluvr
beerluvr

Ontario (Canada)

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

2002 version. "Don't turn around, oh oh...the CommiCZAR's in town, oh no"! The Czar slips out of his bottle with only a light tan colored head settling over super dark ruby...none more ruby liquid. Notes of coffee, dark fruit are smelled with an undercurrent of strong solvent alcohol rounding out der nose. A rich and warming mouthfeel reveals flavors of roasted malt, fruit, chocolate, rum, ...in that order. Finishes with a mighty alcohol presence...one high alcohol Imperial Stout that lives up to the hype, make no bones about it! Another exquisite label adorns the bottle.

Thanks to Gusler.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2003 22:23:32 | More by beerluvr
Photo of mzwolinski
mzwolinski

California

4.8/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Boo-yah. This is a beer! I'd had a few others from Avery when I sampled this and so had high hopes even before I saw the label. And you can just tell from the care they put into designing the label that they're pretty proud of this beer -- mine was the 2002 edition. Pours jet black, with only the scantest traces of a dark tan head lining the edge of the glass. But hey, at 12.2% ABV, who can blame 'em. Pour little cabron dioxide bubbles are probably too drunk to find their way to the surface. Aroma is huge, enveloping, overpowering and rich. Coffee, chocolate, and a cherryish/licorice like dark sweetness. Terrific! The beer feels great too, oily, very smooth and full-bodied. Sweet molasses dominates the first part of the taste, with the malt developing a toffee-like toastiness mid-palate. Alcohol spiciness comes through at the end, tingly and peppery, though you'd never guess 12.2% (did I mention it's 12.2% ABV) from the taste. Hallertau hops lend a pleasant though very understated herbal character to the finish, and a nice balance. Chocolate overtones becomes more noticeable as the beer warms. This is an ass-kicker of a beer, but I'll take a beating from it any chance I get.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2003 21:22:32 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

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

Well what better beer for my 1000th review on “BeerAdvocate.Com” than an Imperial Stout, “The Czar” by Avery Brewing, and what a beautiful label, a class act all the way around is this brewery.

Ebony in color, the head is Bunyanesque in size, the head spumescent in texture, the color a light chocolate, as it dissipates, the lace left behind a thick glutinous sheet to conceal the glass. Nice aroma of toasted grains, chocolate sweet, light hints of coffee, fresh and a real treat for the senses, start is sweet, thick malt, the top is chewy like taffy. Finish has an applicative hop spicy bite, the acidity germane, the aftertaste droughty and long lasting and slightly alcohol bitter a real nice “Belly Warming” feel from the 12.2% ABV, a real load and a real treat for this “Lover of the dark side”.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2003 16:54:59 | More by Gusler
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

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

2002 Bottle: I could kiss Governor Bob Taft on the lips for making beers like this available in Ohio. Pours black as octopus ink with a slight ruby halo. Very thin beige head and thin lacing. Yummy aroma of coffee, chocolate, toffee and malt that gets even better throughout the glass. Flavor is an interesting concoction of coffee, chocolate, tart soy sauce, and alcohol. Perfect hops counterbalance in the finish. I don't even know how this bottle disappeared so fast but I want another.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2003 07:28:55 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of jtw5877
jtw5877

Ohio

4.83/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a murky blackish garnet hue, with a tannish white head. Utterly smoooth. A big malty chocolate, coffee, toffee, caramel whap across the face. This stuff hides its ABV better than Iraq hides it's missles. I love this stuff, big, black, powerful, and smooth. The Shaft of Imperial Stouts.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2003 14:16:54 | More by jtw5877
The Czar from Avery Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,602 ratings.