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The Czar - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The CzarThe Czar

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,819 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,819
Reviews: 882
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.42%
Wants: 79
Gots: 265 | FT: 11
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: 1,819 | Reviews: 882 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jjayjaye
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an opaque black with a finger deep, fairly stiff, dark brown head that fades to a lingering surface sudz with a particular washy light lacing.

S - Smells a timid earthy rich malt and chocolate, but is balanced with hops and more than a hint of the alcohol.

T - Tastes great, very filling. Just the right balance of malt, chocolate, coffee and hops. Not overly roasty.

M - Medium-heavy almost overwhelmingly creamy.

D - I'm very partial to this style. Where did it go? One of my favorites. I find it similar to Yeti in a way...another one of my go-to beers!

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.63/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A - Very dark brown with a ruby tint. A small head that is short lived. Only a few isolated specks create the lacing.

S - Heavy, sweet dark fruits. Dates, tons of molasses and figs with a touch of coffee.

T - Actually not as sweet as I would have thought. It has a bit of dark malt in the foretaste with an extremely bland bitter finish. There is a lot of alcohol too.

M - Thin, smooth, seems refreshing, butt the alcohol dries you up quickly.

D - Pretty awful, but I can finish it. It is booze and bitterness. Not much character, I like the smell, that is all. I'll pass on the Czar in the future. IMO, one of Avery's worst.

D -

Photo of scruffwhor
2.91/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

2006 vintage 11.04% 1.104 o.g.

Givene to me as a Christmas present by a good friend.

The color was that of a darker brown beer bottle. Still allows some light to penetrate and give some deep blood highlights. The head is a little lax for an RIS, but the retention and foam are pretty good. The aroma is not part of the template most impy stouts follow. Smells of bananas and unmalted grains with alcohol. Unique, but not my idea of RIS material. The taste seems to be lacking and huge or robust cream or coffe flavor. The unmalted grain and alcohol stil retain. With the now obvious Hellertau spice making itself known. The palate lacks the viscocity of most good RIS's in my mind. I like the thickness that this beer lacks. The alcohol leaves a lasting impression on the back of the tongue.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.56/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the silver aluminu wrapped bottle into an imperial pint glass. A huge, stiff head forms immediately, light tan in color. About two fingers worth and stays throughout the consumption. Generous lacing left on the glass. I think that is Rhode Island on the outline of the lacing.

Aroma is a bit lacking. Lots of molasses and black cherries. The alcohol is also noticeable in the aroma. Some coffee but not much.

Dark cherries dominates the flavor. A nice coffee bite in the finish gives some body and pizzazz to this otherwise mediocre offering. The alcohol becomes more evident as the beer warms but doesnt dominate. Cherry stout possibly?? The 70 IBUs are detected in the finish as there is a nice hop bite at the end..

Not bad but Ive had much better. A lot of cherry flavor here which is unusual for me. Almost medium bodied but a little thin altogether. Not as impressed with this offering as I am with Avery's other beers. Maybe some aging will mellow this out a bit and make it more cohesive.

Photo of homebrewhawk
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 Vintage, 22 oz. Brown Bomber, 11.04% ABV

Poured into a brandy snifter.

Opaque black with a brown head. Hoppy aroma with some chocolate, and a little alcohol.

Medium body, very dry with a good dose of hops. Not much malt or roasted flavor that I would expect from a stout. It seemed more like a dark barley wine. I was a little disappointed in this one. Let it warm up a bit and the flavors intensify, but still not very complex.

Photo of gunnerman
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated 2006, poured into a snifter, it is a very pitch black murky color with a bit of head, not much though. I was a bit dissapointed with the looks, being it such a expensive buy. Smell is very citrusy to me with hints of sweet molasses and candy. Taste is pretty good the, it does leave a bit of a alchol burn but the alcohol is pretty hidden, I can taste coffee, raisons but that is about it. I was really looking forward to this but it let me down a bit, maybe it may get better with age.

Photo of peabody
3.28/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Whoa, way tooo much alcohol.
Pours out a very dark brown.
One finger of tan suds with a medium lacing. Strong smell of coffee and caramel.Raisin and grape come to mind here. I don't smell the strong alcohol smell I thought I would smell.
Taste is sweet. Sweet and alcoholy. Caramel and alcohol is what this brew is about.

Photo of montageman
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
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 -3.6%
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 +12.4%
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 -8.6%
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 -4.1%
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 -4.1%
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 +18.5%
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 +11.2%
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 -5.3%
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 -10.2%
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 -6.6%
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 -11.9%
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 +4.6%
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 -23.9%
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 -8.1%
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 -1.5%
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 -4.1%
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 +3.6%
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.

The Czar from Avery Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,819 ratings.