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The Czar - Avery Brewing Company

The CzarThe Czar

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

1,528 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1528
Reviews: 852
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.96%

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: 1,528 | Reviews: 852 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of TMoney2591


3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Gotta love the cooler weather, if for no other reason than the widespread rising of big imperial stouts like this one. It pours a straight onyx topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, dark chocolate powder, and a twinge of toasted molasses. The taste brings in more of the same, but the roast is deeper, the chocolate is darker, and there's a strong current of bitter darkness, like treacle mixed with strong coffee and booze. It becomes a bit much over time. The body is pretty hefty, with a light moderate carbonation and a chewy feel. Overall, a solid impy stout, though the roast is a touch strong for its own good. Still, I'd gladly take another.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2013 04:20:31 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of BrownNut


3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - 3.75 - Rootbeer on the pour, midnight in the glass until it gets low, at which point it's rootbeer again. A more diffuse and less creamy head than expected for the style. Lingers for a couple minutes.

S - 4.0 - Very fragrant and nice. There's a fruity note, somehow without being a specific fruit, over a gentle baked goods something. Chocolate liqour. Something at the nexus of chocolate, caramel, and pastry - so sort of brownielike. Smells promising

T - 4.0 - A little hint of that vague fruit. The black malt char note leans metallic without quite getting there, thankfully. It jumps out sharply in that way. That segues into a dark chocolate pastry like the hard parts at the edge of a pan of overdone brownies, in a good way. Overall it makes for a nicely assertive body. Yet its still missing a bit of depth. More like a 3.9.

M - 3.75 - Medium body. Moderately dry, which makes it seem a bit thinner still. Very nice booze heat wafting up the throat a little while after swallowing.

O - 4.0 - A nice, flavorful imperial stout with great booze heat that comes off a bit thinner and less substantial than many. That moderate insubstantiality hurts it in my view, unfortunately offsetting the effect of its flavorfulness. I'll want to get another and see if a year does anything to it. More like a 3.9.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2013 02:24:25 | More by BrownNut
Photo of arlingtonjoe


3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2010 vintage - opened 5-13-2013

a: pours black with a 2 finger dark tan head. nice burgundy color when held to the light

s: raisins, plum, breadiness, licorice, hint of vanilla and earth

t: roasted malt, char, bakers chocolate, molasses, licorice, and still has some hallertau hop present in the dry finish.

m: light carbonation with medium body and resinous finish.

o: liked it from first time I tried it in 2010 and glad I cellared some. licorice has developed nicely and was one of the reasons I first purchased it. gonna have to break in to a fresh one soon to compare.


Serving type: bottle

05-19-2013 04:04:13 | More by arlingtonjoe
Photo of LambicPentameter


4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap at Bier Station into a 6 oz tulip style glass.

Appearance - Pours with a healthy tan, toasted marshmallow head sitting atop a body of dark walnut to black. Holding up to light yields pretty much zero translucence. Solid lacing as the ample one-finger head clings to the side of the glass as I drink it down.

Smell - Roasted malt and dark, dried fruits are the dominant aroma. Doesn't quite kick me in the nose like I would expect of an 11% Russian imperial.

Taste - Definitely drinkable, Heavy with molasses, burnt sugar giving way to more of a bittersweet chocolate flavor. Notes of coffee bean bitterness as well. I can't help but wonder if the tamer aroma plays into the way the flavor is rich and decadent without being overpowering.

Mouthfeel - Exceedingly pleasant and smooth. Taste lingers, but without a cloying bitterness that I sometimes get from the style. It reminds me of the smoothness of a stout on nitro, but this one definitely is not on nitro.

Overall a wonderful representation of the style in my opinion. I could drink this by itself, with dessert, or poured over ice cream, quite honestly. The taste is definitely where it shines.

Serving type: on-tap

05-03-2013 04:29:27 | More by LambicPentameter
Photo of papat444

Quebec (Canada)

3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

***Batch No. 11***

Thanks to mklever42 for this one.

Poured from a 1 pint 6oz. bottle, bottled Nov. 2012.

Appearance: A very dark brown pour with a light brown head that fills up the glass nicely and lazily sits there while forming a seal around the glass. Chunks of lacing are left behind and as it slowly recedes, makes for a mountainous head.

Smell: Roasted/burnt coffee, nut;, sweet, milky chocolate.

Taste: Strong bittersweet chocolate, raisins, sweetened bitter coffee, very rich.

Mouthfeel: Bit of bitterness that is covered by a mostly thick creaminess.

Overall: A good stout, maybe a bit unbalanced and slightly too sweet (and this is me talking) but overall a nice pick.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2013 11:28:15 | More by papat444
Photo of Sludgeman

District of Columbia

4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Batch 11, Nov 2012. A 22oz bomber. $9.99. Poured into a chalice.

A - Slightly viscous, black, opaque with a two-finger rocky head. Nice lacing. Well carbonated.

S - Sweet, maltly, some dark fruit (but not overwhelming like some), some spiceness).

T - Raisins, roasted malt, coffee is there but in the background. Slight sweetness. Mild hoppy bitterness. Some spiceness up front. Alcohol in the finish. Immediately warming.

MF - Slight creaminess, but a bit thin.

O - A very complex beer that shows its 11.1% ABV. Rather balanced. Maybe could do with some cellaring to smooth it out. Made me think of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. One of the more unique imperial stouts I have tasted. Definitely a beer that should be a the proper temperature and maybe even a little warmer.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2013 01:44:56 | More by Sludgeman
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Wow that is jet black used motor oil if the descriptor was ever more apt, I haven't seen it. This is where CCB's Marshal Zhukov got the idea to be itself. Dark brown head about 3/8" deep, oily retention.

Aroma was bitter, kinda harsh alcohol.

Taste, oof, hits you with all the force of dark prune bitterness it can. This is already telling you that it hits hard. It didn't help things that koufax21 decided to bust this out in the Oakland A's parking lot before gametime, on a very hot 4th of July weekend. Yeah bro, heat up the czar on hot asphalt why don't you? Toffee and dark fruit (mostly prune and raisin) dominate throughout the beer.

As it warms well above room temperature, the alcohol heat gets more pronounced. Damn, the hops are strong in this one too. I think there's some licorice/anise used as well. Wishing more chocolate was there. Sweetness falls off more and more as it warms. Very thick texture to it. Softer carbonation.

One of the biggest RIS I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2013 17:03:42 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of Braz


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

Purchased at Tacoma Boys. Very black in color, tan head that disappears like a vanishing act. Leaves little behind. Warm yeast or bready smells, faint though. Sweet at first; everything has a delayed effect on this. The sweetness to the carbonation. Fairly rich and thick but delicious. I think you could put this on vanilla ice cream. Very very good. Not a ton of experience on this brewery but this is a solid offering for the style. Top class.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 03:38:40 | More by Braz
Photo of ncketchum


3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Batch No. 10, Nov. 2011

Cellar temp, imperial pint glass

A - pours dark brown, not thick as I'd expect an imperial stout. Fluffy light brown head, fades to leave a nice lacing

S - aroma is chocolate, oak, malt, some alcohol on the nose

T - heavy on the roasted malt and coffee, little bit of dark cherries, good amount of bitterness of hops

M - very smooth initially, lingering burn of alcohol in the end

O - this is a pretty nice big stout. Not spectacular, but solid nonetheless

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 02:48:57 | More by ncketchum
Photo of ElCommodoro


4.36/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Another home-run from Avery. This is a highly delicious stout. It is far from the BEST stout I've ever had. It's just very very yummy. They did what Avery does best: make it very sweet and very alcoholic with a backbone of one delicious flavour at the forefront of the beer. It's not especially complex, but it works. I do feel that stouts are supposed to be very complex to be truly exceptional, so this one lags behind the true champions in that way. Chocolate malt seemed to dominate the flavour profile of this, which went surprisingly well with the flavour of Avery's unusually delicious yeast, which adds a very fruity flavour to their beers. This was supremely yummy. Thanks again, Avery.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2013 11:26:37 | More by ElCommodoro
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.44/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

22 oz bomber into a nonic.
The pour is almost black with a generous, creamy tan head. The head has good retention and leaves very fine lacing.
Smell is a bit unusual for a stout, being a bit yeasty and funky, with hints of fresh wood and light smoke.
Taste: bitter/sweet, rich and complex; seems too aggressive and over-the-top to me. Hoppy for style.
Well, at least the mouthfeel is excellent: full and creamy with just the right level of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2013 23:37:07 | More by chinchill
Photo of thecheapies


4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Batch No. 10; brewed in November, 2011. Poured into Courvoisier snifter glasses.

Pours extremely dark brown... but not quite black, I'd say. A little sudsy. Just a lip of foam that kept as a ring.

Berries and dark chocolate in the nose. A little bit vinous, perhaps from the age, so not full-blown roasty as I was expecting. Hints of plum and raisin and caramel creme. Light nuances of pine and floral hops. Smells rich and full-on.

Ah, yes. Big and roasty. Uber-creamy body with a whole lotta syrupy heft. Sticky on the upper lip and on the fingers from touching a drip on the glass. Dark chocolate, blackberries, severe roast, spicy alcohol, licorice, dark roast coffee, creme caramel, plum, and a little grape. Aged like a champ. Carbonation has survived with a mild crackle-and-pop. Very light hop sizzle with the bitterness to follow. A little sweet for an RIS. Finishes drier and medium in length.

A great beer. Tasty and full-bodied. Absolutely, the beer I should be drinking tonight. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2013 04:32:23 | More by thecheapies
Photo of SolipsismalCat


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

Poured into a snifter.

A: Black with two-and-a-half-finger, tan, creamy head that lasted several minutes. Great lacing.

S: Sweet dense bread. Subtle coffee and other roasted aromas.

T: Moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Bready malt, chocolate and coffee. Alcohol.

M: Medium to full bodied with fizzy carbonation. Smooth and warm going down.

O: The Russian Imperial looked and felt great. The smell was too bready with not enough roasted characteristics. The taste was too sweet and chocolatey with alcohol. Again, not enough roast.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2013 02:58:41 | More by SolipsismalCat
Photo of jvillefan


3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: I hesitate to call this beer black, it is more of a dark brown then anything. A little lighter then I was expecting. There was a small brown lace of a head the disappeared immediately.

S: It had some roast character to it but bread was the predominate aroma coming off this beer.

T: The taste was an improvement from the appearance and smell. There was a deep roast flavor, chocolate and toffee. Virtually no bitterness present though.

M: A little on the light side which is very odd for an 11+% beer. Poor carbonation but the 11% probably played into that.

O: Good not great. If you have the opportunity to try it for cheap then do it. If you have to pay more than $5 then let this one pass by.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2013 03:43:08 | More by jvillefan
Photo of Oakenator


4.46/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black with a tan colored head. Good body to the head at pour but disappates. Aroma is not remarkable - wasn't bad but may improve with age. Rich flavor. Alcohol is present but not overbearing. Chocolate, deep, dark malts. Starts with sweeter chocolate and then finishes with a nice dry bite.

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2013 02:10:45 | More by Oakenator
Photo of King_KongDCO93


4.48/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a grand Snifter. dark motor oil color and you can't see throw the glass. Mildly carbonated with an off with 1/4inch head that dissipates gradually.

S: Right of the bat looks of caramel and mocha aroma. also has some vanilla aroma

T: Amazing!!! At 11.1% ABV the alcohol is well hidden. Has a chocolate milk shout taste (nice and sweet). it also has some licorice, caramel, vanilla, molasses, and mocha/coffee flavor.

M: mellowed out. medium body and slightly bitterness that doesn't linger.

O: Great Imperial stout

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 20:47:21 | More by King_KongDCO93
Photo of Sark


4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

ABV= 11.1% Batch no. 11

Appearance- Nice smooth caramel colored head when given a vigorous pour. Two layers are seen from the side of the glass. The slow dissipation allows the release of aromas. Nice and deep dark brown, not the darkest I've seen though.

Smell- Roasty and toasty, but not in your face. True to the stout fashion. Not getting any hops.

Taste- Sweet bitterness and bread notes hit the front and mid-tounge. Alcohol warmth noted in the back of the mouth. Pure Russian boldness.

Mouthfeel- Smooth almost to the point of soapy? It feels almost slippery initially but leaves with a nice warm full-bodied finish.

Overall- Intense. True to the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2013 02:39:21 | More by Sark
Photo of BucannonXC5


3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Type: 22-oz. bomber
Glass: Oversized Sea Smoke wine glass
From: Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, Calif., on Dec. 27, 2012
Price: $8.29
Misc.: Batch No. 11, Nov. 2011; Label said 11.1 percent alcohol

Poured a black color with three fingers of frothy, tan head. Nice, layered spider web lacing on the sides all the way down. Average-to-above average retention on the top that lasted.

Surprisingly smelled a sharp whiff of hops up front. The hops, which seemed to be floral (later saw that the bottle said Hallertau) and some spicy notes, quickly gives way to flavorful malts. Specific malts were toffee, caramel, dark chocolate and light coffee. Could definitely smell the alcohol. Really comes together well, reminding me more of a black IPA than anything else.

Tasted a potent whiff of alcohol up front, but then the flavorful malts come in strong. Slightly bitter coffee, dark chocolate and toffee malts. Slight hops, but not as obvious as the smell. Some dark fruits come in, maybe plum? Also light molasses, liquor (not sure which type) and roasty malts.

Full body. Slick texture. Average texture. Long, smooth finish. Nice warming feel all the way down.

A pretty good Russian Imperial Stout overall. Plenty of nice flavors and warming all the way down.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2013 04:37:04 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of BigBarley


4.65/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So this beer is not a standard Imperial Stout. If you are expecting the usual roasty, malty flavors and chocolate notes, you might wanna trade in for a Yeti. BUT... if you want an amazing, unique, and delightful walloping brute of a beer, this might be what you need. It looks like a black, foreboding, creamy-headed stout. But that's the only thing you might consider typical here. The best way I can sum up both flavor and smell, are if I were to advise you to smell/taste a deliciously balanced, well brewed Imperial Stout with heavy chocolate and toffee notes, and then immediately smell/taste a barrel of various fresh hops. I mean it, this is a hop master. I don't know much about this brew, as I decided to review it on first impressions, but from the first taste, let me say WOW! I was in for a treat, as this is a monstrous dose of both black and green. This will satisfy the urge for a thick, dark, creamy beer, while still delivering a fatal fix of the hops.

I think tomorrow I'm grabbing a few more for the cellar (or, ya know... beer closet. Whatever)

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 19:14:31 | More by BigBarley
Photo of beergoot


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

Deep, dark brown (nearly black) body topped with a thick, creamy light tan head. Excellent malt scents, heavy on the chocolate and cocoa nibs (which I can honestly say I'm familiar with -- some of the bird baths I've encountered at work at delivery have been packed with burlap sacks that were used for cocoa). Bittersweet chocolate flavor infused with equal amounts of hop bitterness and alcohol heat; marshmallows; slightly phenolic; lightly charred grains. Medium-heavy body; soft and smooth; dry.

Good, bold imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 00:56:56 | More by beergoot
Photo of scratch69


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

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Black with two fingers worth of foamy and lingering, tan head. Large amount of sticky lacing.

Smell- Aromas of roasted malt and dark fruits with notes of chocolate, toffee, and coffee.

Taste- Roasted malt flavor with a dark fruit and dark chocolate presence. I also detect notes of toffee, licorice, black coffee with some hop bitterness at the finish.

Mouthfeel- Very full bodied and smooth. Low level of carbonation with some warmth from the high ABV. Dry finish.

Overall- A decent R.I.S. but it isn't mind blowing. If I have it again I will try cellaring it first.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2012 20:35:26 | More by scratch69
Photo of DaftCaskBC

British Columbia (Canada)

3.05/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: 1/8" tan head over black liquid.

S: Roasted malts, molasses, coffee, grass and earth.

T: Molasses, roasted malts, grains, coffee, earth, and grass.

M: Medium viscosity and a medium to low level of fine carbonation.

O: If you like Russian Imperial Stouts that taste like molasses and dirt, then this one is for you.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 02:52:31 | More by DaftCaskBC
Photo of PeterIngemi


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

Poured from a 22ox bottle of the 2012 vintage I to a duvel glass

A: pours almost completely black, just some ruby mahogany hues around the edges when held to the light. Two finger of frothy mocha head,'nice retention. Ridiculous lacing coats the walls of the glass the whole way down, great looking brew.

S: dark fruits and chocolate are what I pick up on first... Then as the brew warms a bit I begin to get notes of caramel/toffee, light notes of toasted malt and alcohol. Nose really opens up as the beer reaches room temp. Tons of thick dark malt aroma.

T: the roasted malts step up a bit from the nose, which is nice, I get a nice mocha note along with some light dark fruit notes and caramel underneath, hops deffiantly come Into the play balancing out the malt sweetness. It also seems that the alcohol, although present, is toned down a notch from the aroma... Nicley rounded and tasty.

M: thick, heavy, creamy, everything you'd expect from a big boy stout. Carbonation Is on the lower end, while the roastyness and hop bitterness finish this one of on the dry side.

O: a nice imperial stout, that is very well balanced and tasty, if your a fan of the style deffiantly give this one a go.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2012 02:02:37 | More by PeterIngemi
Photo of Kevin73


2.9/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a silky black with nice lacing despite the thin head. The nose is spicy with the slightest hint of mocha. Flavor is equally spicy and extremely hoppy. A little sweetness would go a long way toward balancing these flavor but this stout is on the dry side. The medicinal flavor of the alcohol is very apparent and this is what ultimately put me off the most.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2012 01:15:00 | More by Kevin73
Photo of denver10


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

Pours black with a mocha head. A smooth aroma offering some chocolate, caramel, currants, and just a touch of some roastiness. Flavor starts off with some molasses and caramel, a little currants mid stream, and some roastiness and chocolate in the finish. Not sure I noticed any alcohol either (it was final beer of the evening, however). A nice fuller, creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very nice, very smooth, stout. As has come to be expected from Avery.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2012 00:01:48 | More by denver10
The Czar from Avery Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,528 ratings.