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The Czar - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The CzarThe Czar

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,787 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,787
Reviews: 880
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.45%
Wants: 71
Gots: 249 | FT: 9
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
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Ratings: 1,787 | Reviews: 880 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of montageman
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle says "Bottled in 2004."

As an aside, I really like finding these pre-aged "backstock" beers at my local stores. I've even found a 2000 bottle of Grand Cru of the Emperor at a place very close to me. The prices don't match the rareness either, which is cool.

Back to the Czar. Poured into a pint glass. Looks deep red to black pours thin with a thin head that sticks around for a little and disappears leaving a bit of lacing. Smell is molasses, coffee, and a bit of roastedness. Taste is strange almost medicinal - there is some coffee but the alcohol totally overpowers the flavor. Mouthfeel is thin, much too thin for an imperial. This is a decent brew, but the 13% is way too evident - I'd cut myself off at one of these monsters. Mild recommendation.

Photo of hunteraw
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured out of a bottle indicating 2006 production. Very dark, with purple highlights. Some head, with limited retention and lacing.

Smell: Dark fruits, alcohol, a bit of molasses or caramel, maybe. A bit medicinal, however.

Taste: Slightly medicinal with some anise notes. Alcohol is present, but I wouldn't have guessed over 12%. Dark fruits and some spicy hops.

Mouthfeel: A big bodied beer. Carbonation on the lighter side, as expected in the style.

Drinkability: Good, but I think would probably benefit from cellaring. I dislike anise and liquorice, and I found those flavors present here. Maybe next time I'll set a bottle away instead of drinking immediately, and see if those fade with age.

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

Poured from a 650 mL into a pint glass. Looks dark and opaque with a thick creamy beige head. Smells a little sharp, with some maltiness. Makes me want more. Tastes even better - thick, rich, well balanced hops, a little coffee sharpness, has a long and smooth finish. I'd drink this one all night, except it would fill me up fast.

Photo of mobius024
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A little heavy on the coffee and light on the chocolate, I thought. If this beer were a motor oil, it would be 20 weight; Imperial Stout should be more like 40. The mouth feel is decent, curls around the tongue with a light hoppy resonance, but the alcohol creeps in and tangles with what complexity there is. With an Imperial Stout, you ought to have to look for the alcohol, not have it mug your experience. And just to kick an actually decent beer while it's down, the label design could be better. All in all not bad, but not great. I'll look elsewhere next time I'm in the mood for that Russian rush -- and for some reason, in contradistinction to what other reviewers report, this bottle was more reluctant to give head than my maiden aunt Gertie.

(Ah, correction--in retrospect, not agressive enough on the pour.)

Photo of mcallister
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Good looking beer. Large creamy, full tan head. I would descibe the color as nearly black similar to that of a micro-display television that can't quite hit the blackest of black levels. Oh yeah, sticky lace engulfs the glass with great retention.

Burnt caramel, molasses, some dark chocolate, raisin and dried berries fill the aroma. Sweet flowery hops and sweet malt mingles non chalantly about.

You notice the full fledged full mouthed roasted chocolate maltiness that leads into a charcoal, long hop finish that lingers and lingers. Not as deep as some stouts I've witnessed however this type of unique approach sest this stout apart from others. No alcohol present in the mouth but it does leave a warming feeling on the finish.

Mouth for a stout as mentioned earlier is not what I'd call thin but lacking for a RIS. Drinking many of these could be difficult and deadly considering the ABV.

Photo of barrettds
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poors a nice black with a tan foamy head.

Smell is that of coffee, choclate, dark fruit and alcohol.

Taste was heavy on the chocolate, with minor notes of sweet coffee and fruit. Hops were almost non-existent.

Mouthfeel was intense and carbonated. The alcohol made a huge presence, moreso than any other imperial I've had.

Drinkability is the killer. Wicked on the alcohol, kind of kills the whole experience. And I'm an imperial stout lover.

My bottle was brewed in 2005, and I had this in the winter of 2006. The alcohol was intense at 11%. Tasted a bit stale, the age and care for the bottle before I got my hands on it may have played a part in it's drink for me. If I have more, I'll re-review.

Photo of Franchise
4.67/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This offering from Avery pours a onyx black leaving a thick tan head that quickly disappears. The aroma is very pleasant strong choclate, plum, espresso coffee, fruity sweetness in the nose. The taste is phenominal, fruit upfront of dark plums, prunes, tons of pitted fruit taste throughout, followed by a bitter espresso coffee, dark chocolate, hoppy bitterness that leaves you with a nice balance of flavors on your palate. The finish is sweet like choclate dipped plums, with a nice earthy hop profile that brings forth a warming alcohal finale.

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

Very nice pour from a big bottle. Good sound, too. Very dark, black with some slight hints of burgundy. Good two finger, light brown head. Foam had some craters and laced nicely.
Smell was a bit weak; coffee, toffee and sweet cocoa.
Taste was big. Molasses, coffee, cocoa, roasted malt, cassis, dark fruit and nice dry hops
A warming feel to it. Not too big as to make you mouth 'think' too much. Dryness helps with the drinkability.
A nice brew.

Photo of geexploitation
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer looks huge right off the bat, pouring a thick and viscous jet black with a collar of lacy brown head. The nose is rather slight for a brew of this strength (in ABV and taste), with some berry fruits and doughy/yeasty notes evident -- it reminds me of the nose on Victory Storm King. On the palate, the relatively wimpy nose is replaced by huge flavors. A bit of carbonation first off, then sweet berry and coffee notes, followed by roasted malts coming out at the mid-palate. Present alcohol throughout, especially on the finish, which is hot at 65 degrees and above. Thick and chewy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good imperial stout, but it could display some deeper flavors. It ranks among the very good of its genre, but not the greats.

Photo of kirok1999
3.54/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bubbly very dark black/red. 2 finger dark head and moderate lacing. Not much in the smell department. Some dark fruit, slight toasted malts.
Taste if mostly fruity, almost a medicinal cherry/raspberry. Nutty in the finish with a very lingering bitter aftertaste. Very hoppy for a stout, the citrus hops perhaps adding to the fruity taste.
A little too carbonated and wierdly medicinal for my taste. Slightly watery and thin.
I expected more from Avery, not that it is bad, just not what I expect from the style.

Photo of amatuerbeerguy
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out black, with a dark red hue. Head was a slight tan color, large with a quick dissipation. Also left some lacing.

Aroma of chocolate, wood, smoke, coffee, and toffee

Flavors are among the roast, coffee, some metallic, along with milk chocolate, and smokiness

Mouth feel is a medium body, with low to medium carbonation.

As a RIS it is average to better than. It is a must try, for the RIS drinker.

Photo of MmmIPA
3.47/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Dark black body with no head at all.Very thick body.

S-Fruity and booze.

T-Very boozy and fruit tasting,malty tasting also.

M-Very thin mouthful,and almost flat tasting.Maybe the alcohol overpowers the mouthful.

D-Not bad,but I dont know if ide drink more after this.I dont know if most RIS are like this style.It wasnt bad for the price.We will see in the future.


Last time I had this stuff it was way to much for me but Ive grown to like Impy stouts and this bottle was bottled in 2003.Let see how it rates.

BLACK body with a small tan ring,there was no head at all.I think the beer thinned out some in its age.Not much lacing on my glass.3.0

The taste is powedered chocolate.Then some dark fruit and then some bittering chocolate.You can taste the alcohol somewhat.There is a berrie taste 5.0

The smell is berries and some hopiness.4.0

Mouthful is very creamy and carbonation is pretty much non existent.Warming feeling in your chest.4.0

This beer becomes a whole different beer once its aged for four years.The alcohol kick is pretty much gone.I hope they have the same bottles when I go back to get some more from the store.Awesome job Avery.4.0

Photo of biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"*2003 Edition aged 2 full years*
This beer sure gives you alot to think about, "big beer" is for certain. Just shy of a whopping 13% the alcohol is evident on some sips, but not all. Perhaps the bottle became a little oxidized over its aging because the mouthfeel was a little thin, which could also simply be a sharp texture due to its high gravity. Flavour was a little less than I had aticipated by near perfect aroma. I think the high alcohol comprimises it alittle. God I love the smell of these stouts. I liked this beer though it did have some shortcomings. All in all enjoyable for certain, suitable for a Czar anytime.

Photo of TechMyst
3/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

FRESH: 2004 on bottle; cons. 10/7/06
COST: $6
HEAD: minimal, slightly brown
LACE: medium formations; lasting
AROMA: roasted malts
MOUTHFEEL: heavy burning cond.
PALATE: slick
TASTE: Much like Exped/Bells Porter...cola and vicks
COMMENTS: at 13% (2004) this give a thick, sleepy buzz...I imagine myself falling asleep at the fireside...

Photo of NolanGTI
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was bottled in 2003 and consumed in October 2006. bottle reads 70 IBUs and 11.9% ABV with an OG of 1.10. In other words, this is a monster.

There was no head to speak of, just a wisp on the initial pour, which isn't surprising considering the style and it's age. No lacing to speak of. color was deep mahogany.

Nose was like an avalanche of alcohol. I was shocked by how hot this beer smelled three years out, I guess I shouldn't have been considering it's ABV. Hard to discern some of the subtler scents but there was more of a rich raisin scent than anythign else.

This beer tasted like it was way over the top on the first few sips. Just too hot to really be considered a great example of the style. As my tounge got used to the alcohol I was able to enjoy some more, but I really think there needs to be another few years on this before you can tell if it was a well constructed beer or simply an ABV bomb.

The mouthfeel was weak due to the almost complete lack of carbonation and the high ABV.

Photo of jmz62565
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a jet black,no light would shine thru, with a giant foamy tan head. Nice head retention and lacing make this a very good looking beer. The smell is a pungent roasted malt, dark fruit, and alcohol. The taste is chocolate,coffee, roasted malt,dark fruit, and ALOT of alcohol. The alcohol gives this a very good warmth,but it is a harsh taste and I think this may be better with some cellar aging. The m/f is heavy with the flavors only OK mixing because of the high alcohol flavor. This is a very good Imperial Stout,not the best, and like I already said I think some aging would help.

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

Appearance: Black, then brown when held up to a light.

Smell: Chocolate, sweet malt, some alcohol. Kind of faint overall.

Taste: Roasty chocolate, then moves toward sweet fruit like raisins, finishes with some alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly not very coating, ok by me.

Drinkability: Strong stuff, had about half a bomber and got pretty tired! Very drinkable for an imperial stout.

Found this for about $2 cheaper in Wisconsin so I picked up a bottle to try. Better than I thought, and I don't usually like imperial stouts. Maybe a good beer to have for a special occasion.

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

appearance: The low head is a deep tan in color and soon recedes to a slight ring. The beer is a very deep brown in color, black to the eye except for around the edges.

smell: Big milk and dark chocolates upfront, with underlying notes of American high AA hops and ethanol. A moderate roasted character is also found.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is low, and the body very heavy. Could be a little drier.

taste: Big, sweet chocolate malts upfront bring to mind mainly milk chocolate but some darker chocolates as well. Some roasted malts are found behind. Low hop flavor (at least behind all the malt) and a light bitterness. Not overly complex on the tongue, but very solid and tasty. I'd prefer a little more roasted character and hop presence to counteract the sweetness.

drinkability: Quite easily drinkable. For 11.03% ABV, the ethanol is very well hidden on the tongue (save for some obvious stomach warming).

2005 Vintage, cellared since last winter. Very good aroma and taste, almost warranting a 4.5 but lacking the roasty depth that I prefer in a RIS.

Photo of BeerSox
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1pt 6floz. bottle into a brandy snifter. Red label with storing directions along wth detailed ingredients.

Pours opaque black with no red edges. Slow forming head with little retention. Fades to a thin light tan rim.

Light fruity scents which lead the warm alcohol notes.

Starts out with flavors such as dark roasted coffee, molasses, and tastes akin to dry fruit. Slowly transitions to a strong alcohol presence, then finishes with hop bitterness. The alcohol masks some of the other flavors.

Medium bodied with lighter carbonation. Very dry finish.

Not bad overall, but the alcohol seems to overpower a small lack of flavor. I recommend you to at least try it, with the caveat that you may mostly taste alcohol.

Photo of scott
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours thick, syrupy/coke-like with very little carbonation. Head is thin and has a burnt color to it.
Smell is pleasant with a hint of alcohol, roast & just a little fruity funk.
Taste is average-think double espresso, not coffee, with little to no chocolate. Not very expressive, not very intense.
It ended exactly the same way it started; it didn't open up and develop into anything else.

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

grabbed a bomber at yankee spirits
not a chance of light shining through this bad boy. black black, but with a respectable head given the %, and some fine lacing. very smoky aroma plays off the less prevalent coffee

it's a thick, dextrinous brew, and this really carries the heavy mocha and roasted toffee flavors. there's a slight heat at the finish, and an even slighter bitterness. no chocolate or licorice, as far as i can tell. my only criticism is that it's deep, but maybe not too complex (know what i mean?)

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

Thanks Csims on the trade

A - Pours a dark brown in color, some carbonation, tiny head, some lacing throughout the drink.

S - Scents of malts, toffee/caramel, and slight alcohol.

T - The taste is of sweet malts and caramel toffee. There is a slight alcohol undertone.

M - Medium body.

D - Very drinkable. This is a very nice Imperial Stout, does not taste like a 12+% ABV at all. Highly recommended.

Photo of Phatz
4.62/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a kick you in the ass, beat you down and take names, bad ass *great* beer. It's freaking huge 12.2% ABV and I don't doubt it. I split a bomber tonight with froggyfrog and I asked the wife to drive home after dinking half a beer ;?) I'm a wuss. What an experience. I am writing from note but I have another bottle to extrapolate greater from. The aroma is loads with burnt berries, black malts, molasses and alcohol. This beer does not hide the alcohol but it is a crucial part of the flavor and aroma and melds together with the coffee raspberry chocolate flavors with sheer genius. The mouthfeel was silky smooth beginning to end and more thin than expected but then so is rum, which this beer seemed to be a cousin to. Don't even try to be ridiculous about drinking this beer fast or in excess. It would be a sin punishable by death ;).

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of blitz134
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opaque black. Small fleeting tan colored head on the pour. Only a quarter inch to start and finished with a dense foam ring around the glass.

I find the aroma really light and have a hard time picking out much. I do pick up dart toasted malts with some signs of heavy roasting. Dark fruits, raisins and plums come forward. Needs more strength for a higher score.

Dark roasted flavors come through again as expected, dark chocolate and some roasted coffee with hints of toffee. Dark fruit presence again, fig and raisin. Alcohol is evident but isn't overbearing and works well...which is a surprise for its strength. I knew this was strong when I first tasted it but I wasn't expecting 12+%.

Mouthfeel is thick, full and slick on the tongue. Coats the mouthwell. This still has some prickly carbonation on the tongue as well.

Good drinkability overall. Decent flavor and a nice mouthfeel. Slightly alcoholic but the flavor profile works with it well. Surprisingly not as warming on the stomach as one would expect with the ABV. Good brew...

Photo of cbl2
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8/3/2005 $6.99 22 oz. 13.00% Bottled in 2004.


Pours almost pitch black with some touches of dark brown, and a thin film of off-white head. Not as viscous as most RIS's I've seen.


Plums, figs, chocolate, coffee and a touch of smoke.


Hints of dark ripe fruit with a touch of coffee. Some sweetness, and a subtle hop bitterness that nicely balance the high alcohol, which is nicely masked. Not nearly as sweet as what is on tap, this is more balanced, and palatable. Could use some more cellaring, but as this was my only bottle, I'll never know how it will improve…

The Czar from Avery Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,787 ratings.