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The Czar - Avery Brewing Company

The CzarThe Czar

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

1,531 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1531
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: 1,531 | Reviews: 852 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of cvm4


3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch No. 10, Nov. 2011.

A - Pours your regular thick/black as motor oil. Has a tan head with minimal lacing.

S - Big roasted malts along with cocoa.

T - Lots of roasted malts along with semi-sweet chocolate & vanilla. The ending is caramel/toffee & slight licorice and just overall on the sweet side.

M - Thick, good carbonation, coats the mouth well.

O - A great "standby" stout that isn't going to blow you away but you can come to it time & time again and it won't disappoint. It really comes into its own as it warms up.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2012 00:53:15 | More by cvm4
Photo of Ranz


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

A: Black as sin, this imperial pours nicely in my Duvel tulip, but even with a fairly vigorous pour, it produced little head. The lacing is even and thick, producing some good character after what's gone.

S: Roasted malt, Colombian coffee, bitters, and a sharpness I can't quite define define waft up. It's got some character.

T: The alcohol certainly isn't shy here. A long ethanol finish pairs with the thickness of it all. Caramel pronounces for me, too. Once you start pounding through it a bit more, the alcohol really warms you up. This would make for a great, thick dessert beer alongside some rich chocolate or velvet cake.

Otherwise, there's not too much here. Maybe Avery brews these specifically for cellaring? I remember having this before and being much more impressed.

M: Speaking of which, the beer sits like a fat czar on his throne; he's despotic and doesn't give a damn. It's almost a bit heavy-handed, even for a stout, for it's not as balanced as the flavor.

O: It's not quite up to the snuff that I've come to expect from Avery, but it's still a solid effort nonetheless. If I find it again, the cellar should do the trick.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2012 02:12:38 | More by Ranz
Photo of venneman


4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled this beer at the Parade of Darks in Denver, Colorado, and I was quite pleased. The batch I had was tested at 11.1% ABV. Flavors of chocolate, coffee, and hints of what tasted like molasses washed over my palate, while the fairly mild carbonation made for a smooth sip without breaking up the full mouthfeel. This beer pairs very well with milk chocolate treats or a slice of parmesan cheese.

Serving type: growler

12-02-2012 04:55:44 | More by venneman
Photo of josephwa


2.53/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Purchased a bomber just after the release date.

A - dark brown with lovely thick head. Stays well carbonated through drinking process.

S - skunky stench on the nose. Almost smells spoiled. I get a little brown ale scent from this one.

T - decent taste but lacking depth of flavor. Not what I'm going for with a Russian imperial stout. Aftertaste is bothersome. I do get some coffee and roasty taste further down the bottle though.

M - well carbonated feel. Alcohol burn isn't noticeable at all.

O - overall was very disappointed considering Avery's great brew lineup. Would not recommend this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2012 22:23:09 | More by josephwa
Photo of genitempo


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

A - Poured a 2008 cellared bottle into a snifter. Pours heavy but smooth, sooty core with a tanned head. Thin, stubborn lace.

S - Hits heavy with the pop of the bottle cap, but settles out nicely. Heavy licorice and toasted malt. Indications of caramel in the background. Ethanol, as well.

T - Very solid and combined effort from all the flavors. The cellaring really allowed a well-orchestrated taste. Heavy licorice and malt mimic the nose. Booze are apparent. Mild chocolate undertones.

MF - Big bodied with a level of subdued carbonation that gives off an ashy presence on the tongue. (Sounds terrible but it was one of the more appealing aspects of the beer.)

O - I've had the Czar many times over. When comparing the 2012, 2011 Draft, 2011 Bottle, and now the 2008 Bottle, I feel like they all bring something a bit different to the table. This 2008 pushes more licorice than I would have ever imagined. Still, a very solid, complex beer. The Czar allows the drinker to see it's many faces, depending on how long you leave it on your shelf.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2012 08:30:21 | More by genitempo
Photo of metter98

New York

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

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a thin tan head that has very good retention properties and hardly died down, leaving some lacing running down the sides of the glass.
S: Aromas of licorice stand out in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of roasted malts and licorice along with and a light amount of bitterness. There are some hints of alcohol in the finish.
M: It feels rather full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of alcohol warming in the finish along with some roastiness.
O: Although this beer is quite strong, it's not too difficult to drink because the alcohol flavors are not too prevalent and do not really detract from the taste.

Note: Batch No. 10, November 2011 vintage

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2012 02:57:03 | More by metter98
Photo of DonDirkA


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

Bottled in 2009. Poured into Stone IRS glass.

Nose is dark chocolate, heavy roasted coffee notes, anise, kind of sweet, kind of smells like cream and there's definitely still some booze in there. I feel like there's something else buried in there too but I can't quite identify it. Maybe some toffee? The taste is great. There's notes of anise, chocolate and coffee all at once but they push each other back and forth and weave in and out. I wanna say chocolate into coffee then it dives into anise and kicks back to the coffee (almost a mocha flavor) before it fades into anise and a bit of alcohol heat. The after taste is mostly roasted malts and coffee. The mouthfeel is substantial but not overwhelming. The heat sticks around in the pit of the stomach, it would definitely be nice on a cold night. I don't remember what I thought of this when I tried it years ago but right now its pretty fantastic. Thanks Whole Foods for doing my aging for me ;-)

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2012 00:09:19 | More by DonDirkA
Photo of mactrail


3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Handsome brew in the Leffe goblet, with the mahogany brown color. Nice beige head with every pour. A little bit viscous but virtually no lacing along the glass. Quite creamy carbonation, pleasing tiny bubbles to go with the thick mouthfeel and rich flavors.

Dark and fruity with a bitter undertone. Toffee is the big malty taste to me. Flavors of dried figs, molasses, dried cranberries. Quite sweet and borders on a candy taste. A sharp taste takes over as the hops come forward. Label says 55 IBUs. Then you get some dark roast malt and a little charred flavor.

Quite sippable. It's a different sort of RIS, with warmer notes and a restrained sweetness. Label says this is Batch no. 10, Nov. 2011.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2012 05:46:26 | More by mactrail
Photo of JamesMN


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

Cracked open a 2011 vintage bomber and poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a completely opaque black with a tan head that has all but disappeared. When swirled, the head regenerates nicely but fizzles away again in minutes.

Aroma: Molasses and black licorice. Definitely a hint of alcohol in there.

Taste: Almost abrasive on your tongue at first. Then roasted caramel comes next, along with a brighter flavor(the hops I think) that goes to the top of your palate. The molasses is thankfully not as apparent in the flavor. There is a nice black coffee aftertaste along with some dates/figs or other dried fruit taste. Leaves a bit of lingering hop bitterness on your tongue that is surprising given the age of the bottle. After each sip different flavors come out seemingly one by one, each fading before the next surfaces. The flavor continues to develop nicely as it warms. Really don't taste that 10.75% abv at all but can feel it in my throat a bit, giving a nice warming sensation.

Mouthfeel: This beer has a medium to heavy body and below average drinkability. It's surprisingly effervescent given that there was almost no head(gave it an aggressive pour but to no avail). Tiny bubbles attack your tongue adding to the bitterness from the hops. After a few swirls in the snifter, the carbonation has died down a bit, revealing that the hops can do the same amount of damage without the bubbles to aid them. The bitterness that's left on your tongue is great.

Final Thoughts: This is my first experience with The Czar(or any Russian Imperial Stout for that matter) and it was a pretty good one. I knew what to expect going into this and it basically met my expectations. While I won't be seeking this one out again, it's easy to see why this style is so revered.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2012 00:57:14 | More by JamesMN
Photo of chugalug06


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

Vintage 2010 into a Bruery Tulip

Three-finger, caramel colored, thin foamy head. Brew is nice thin black color.

Heavy chocolate and caramel. Slightly metallic.

A bit thin. Deep and roasty. Lots of heavy milk chocolate. High carbonation, but doesn't detract from the flavors. Heavy molasses too. A bit strong and bitter. No heat and slight sugary sweetness.

Recommended to age for a while it's better with age then fresh, IMO, but both are hard to beat. Happy Birthday to me!

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2012 02:08:58 | More by chugalug06
Photo of IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

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

Picked this up in Ponderay, Idaho. From a 22 oz. brown bomber, gold foil around the neck and cap. Pours out a dense translucent black, nearly opaque but exhibits deep mahogany highlights when held to direct light. Tight creamy beige head that retains to a thick cap.

Rich aroma of cocoa dusted tiramisu, molasses, figs, currants and cherry skins, and melon rind.

Rich flavour of chocolate, coffee au lait, currants and cherries, along with molasses, figs, and dry cocoa towards the finish, with a growing espresso character, and some mild spicy herbal hops. Soft roasted malt throughout, as well as a low lying alcohol warmth presence. Intense yet approachable.

Medium-full bodied mouthfeel, full creamy and silky smooth texture, with moderate carbonation.

Gorgeous RIS, lots going on while not getting out of control, lots of finesse exhibited here. Seek this one out, an excellent interpretation.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2012 03:47:22 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of Mora2000


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

2010 vintage, I believe this is the last year with the old label.

As expected, the beer pours a pitch black color with a small off-white head. The aroma is heavy on the chocolate and roasted malt, with a very light hint of smoke. The flavor is fairly similar. There is a little bit of warming from the alcohol, but what really stands out is a big, bold chocolate character with some roasted malt. There is a good bit of sweetness from the malt, as well as some dark cherry and prune notes. Thick, creamy mouthfeel and low carbonation. A very nice imperial stout, which is drinking very well with 2 years of age on it.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2012 04:37:40 | More by Mora2000
Photo of DrinkSlurm


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

This is a 2007 vintage on tap at Falling rock denver. Poured into oversized duvel-like tulip. Pours a jet black oil looking with a thin tan head. Smell is of chocolatey dried fruit, a bit of coffee, and roasted malts. Taste is quite good...roasted smooth malts, coffee and dried fruity fig. Alcohol is present and slightly bitter mouthfeel.
Wow...a really great brew! Based on some other reviews, I will assume aging this beer is the way to go. Really amazing, and super lucky to try this 5 year vintage!

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2012 01:15:09 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of brandonlovesbeer

South Carolina

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

Pinky finger of Medium khaki colored head that only stuck around for a minute

Nice Creamy foam buildup on top.
Constant carbonation.
When swirled it foams up but falls back in quickly.
Black as night.

Wonderful smell.
Sweet. So much chocolate
Smells similar to the aroma that eminates when you make your own invert sugar (Belgian Candi Sugar).

Wow! Really thick.
Chocolate is the first thing you'll notice.
Taste the raisens. There is a tobacco flavor to it.
I can taste the alcohol. It's not overwhelming, but it's definitely there. It actually suites this beer well. The sweetness and the warming from the alcohol are a nice combination.

It's not the best Imperial stout, but it is extremely good.
I give this a B+. It's good. Not great. But I'd definitely have another without any argument.

Worth the Money?:
It's worth what I paid for it ($6.99 for 22oz). It was an enjoyable experience. I'd pay that for this again.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2012 05:21:27 | More by brandonlovesbeer
Photo of warnerry


3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottle

A - Pours deep brown with a touch of red and two fingers of tan head that has decent retention but leaves no lacing.

S - Smell starts sweet, with toffe, roasted malt, dark chocolate and black licorice. A bit of alcohol in the aroma.

T - Taste also starts sweet and malty, with dark chocolate, roasted malt, anise and dark fruit. Taste starts to dry out a bit bit and adds some bitterness. Some alcohol in the taste as well.

M - Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of full, but still coats the palate.

O - Pretty good RIS. This is one of the first RISs I ever had. In the years since then, I have had many that are better, but this is still a good RIS at a decent price.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2012 19:06:02 | More by warnerry
Photo of Hopdaemon39

New York

3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle marked "Bottled in 2009". Poured into a Corsendonk Christmas chalice- pours a thick black color with less than a finger of bubbly tan head, minimal retention, minimal lacing.

Smells similar to the aged Mephistopheles that I had- a thick but light smell with cream, very dark chocolate, a rounded booze scent and what smells to me like mint.

Tastes is somewhat consistent with smell. A lot more chocolate, and a big dose of roasted dark malt, which I guess is similar to licorice in this case. Booze is still pretty well concealed for the ABV (on this bottle it says 10.82), but still there as it should be. A little cream up front as well. Very nice flavor- perhaps not as smooth as it could/should be.

Mouthfeel is about normal- strange bitterness of the roasted malt and the alcohol get in the way a little bit. Full bodied with very light carbonation. Another good Russian Imperial Stout, but in a very crowded field.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2012 00:23:03 | More by Hopdaemon39
Photo of fox227


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

A: Black (no, it's green, stupid!) with a tan head, which has little to no retention.

S: Smells of booze and cherries, some chocolate as well. There might be more depth than that, but you're reading the text of an allergy sufferer!

T: I've never had Sherry before, but I'm tempted to use that as a descriptor anyways: it's like a sweet tangy flavor of sharp alcohol that has a slight granny smith apple like tartness, and finishes with slight chocolate undertones.

M: Not as thick as I like from an Impy Stout. The sharp character is predominate, mild carbonation.

O: Good, not great.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2012 22:23:32 | More by fox227
Photo of Rizalini


3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Recieved in a trade from StlThrash. Thanks for sending me this one Todd. Batch No. 10, November 2011. Poured from a bomber into mt Stone tulip glass.

A - Pours a very dark brown, with a 1/2 finger of brown head that doesn't leave much lacing as it fades. The had goes away pretty quickly too.

S - Roasty malts and caramel. Slightly sweet, but nothing out of the ordinary going on here for a stout.

T/M - Hmmm, different. Has a dark plum, black licorice flavor. Slightly sweet, with a little alcohol burn. The black licorice kinda clings to my tongue, and sticks around longer than I would prefer. Medium sticky mouthfeel.

O - I think I was just expecting more out of the dictator series. The sweetness and black licorice flavors was definately a different combination than I was expecting. Good but not great. I would not seek this one out again if I had the chance.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2012 07:25:58 | More by Rizalini
Photo of wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650ml bomber poured into tulip 15/4/12 batch10 Nov 2011

A doesn't look that dark as it pours out of the bottle, in the glass its the darkest brown possible with a cola edge that extends to the middle of the glass, two fingers of tan head leaves a thick ring of lace followed by random lace

S fairly fruity with some plum and cherry, cold coffee, licorice, and molasses, there's just a little booze but its well hidden

T slight smoke and hard dark toffee on top of what I smell, more booze in the mouth but still fairly mellow all things considered

M some what thin for a stout this big but there's enough bubbles to cream it up a bit, a little heat but not that bad, faint aftertaste of molasses

O not overly thick or dark but it's decent stuff, pretty easy to drink for the strength

perhaps I should listen to the bottle and let it thicken with age. With only one bottle I'd be lacking the second to even make a comparison, I'd love to age one for a few years but for now I'm thanking Rutager for sending me yet another want

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2012 02:45:05 | More by wordemupg
Photo of Immortale25

North Carolina

4.65/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Dogfish pint glass. Label says Batch No. 10 NOV. 2011.

A- Pours an almost entirely opaque black color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains quite well before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and shadowy surface foam. Jagged, spiky lacing.

S- Bold roasted malts with a semisweet chocolate element. Very little amount of booze fume for such an extreme ABV. A bit sweet

T- Tastes so great, it makes me angry! Luscious and complex roasted malts with little to no alcohol burn. Notes of dark chocolate, caramel, mollases, brown sugar and dark bread. A little bitter but the flavors stay even with each other across the board.

M- Thick and chewy but very smooth. Full body and medium carbonation.

O- I said God damn, son! Nearly flawless.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2012 02:16:56 | More by Immortale25
Photo of Darkmagus82


4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served a deep dark brown, nearly black color with a light brown head. The head faded quite fast and gave way to a good amount of lacing.

Smell – The aromas are sweeter in this stout. Dark fruit aromas of cherry , raisin and prune are the heaviest. There are some nice roasted aromas of chocolate and malt mixed in with the nose as well.

Taste – The taste is quite roasted malt up front. Hints of chocolate meet the tongue and very soon mingle with some of the potent dark fruit flavors that were detected in the nose. The sweeter fruit flavors meld quite well with the roasty flavors. The fruit flavors really keep strong, but a nice bitterness starts to work its way into the tongue and balances out some of the sweet quite well. There is a nice semi-sweet, roasty flavor left on the tongue at the end of the taste with a little bit of a warming from a light alcohol flavor.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is nice and creamy. The brew coats the tongue and mouth allowing the sweet and more biter flavors to really permeate the tongue. The carbonation level is quite low and really accentuates this feel.

Overall –This is a nice imperial. It has some nice balance between sweet and bitter flavors. While it is a bit pricey, it is well worth a try. Give it a go!!

Serving type: on-tap

04-10-2012 00:00:52 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of yamar68


4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one definitely stands out in the now-standard Imperial Stout genre... Pours an ominous black syrup with two or three fingers of brownish head in the pokal. The nose doesn't showcase roasty malts like I'm use to, it's almost geared more towards a Belgian quad than a stout. Big, boozy dark fruits, some yeasty bits, smells tasty. And it is. The booze plays a very welcome role along with caramel and booze soaked plum and raisins. Little bit of cherry. Really a nice surprise from a beer style that I thought I knew pretty well. Guess I was wrong.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2012 02:51:06 | More by yamar68
Photo of Dizzle32


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

I get a few Avery offerings a year. Had this one in 22oz bomber poured into a tulip. It pours dark with a light head that disappears quickly.

The smell is good with a hint of chocolate that seems to sneak through the coffee. A very nice aroma overall.

It taste a lot like it smells. There is a hint of caramel when drinking. Dangerous at 10% because it goes down smooth. There is a very slight hint of Alcohol that is not over bearing. This would be a great fall beer by the camp fire. Very easy drinking and wish I had a couple more.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2012 03:23:31 | More by Dizzle32
Photo of Greywulfken

New York

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

A: exactly what you'd expect: tar black with a creamy head that leaves lots of lace but doesn't persist itself

S: strongest impression is roasted bitter malts; there is some of what is described as chocolate

T: the malts and chocolate are complimented by some anise/licorice-iness

O: dry as much as sweet, maybe even a tad bit drier than sweet; some alcohol astringency; very slight stickiness. Slightly lighter than I'd expected, and some mild coating of the mouth after

O: man, I love a good stout. I have to be strict with this review because I love a good stout - this beer didn't disappoint. I've only had a few Avery ales and these guys know what they're doing. Definitely a repurchase (if it's around) for my stout cravings.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2012 02:19:27 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of BlurryVisi0n

New York

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

Served in a chalice.

Appearance: This is some superior dark beer, after a somewhat hard pour tan head rose to maybe a 1/3 of an inch.

Smell: light chocolate, and malts, not as strong as I was hoping.

Taste: Bitter chocolate, molasses, malty and I can't complain and neither should you.

Mouth: Medium carbonation, closer to the light side. It is smooth, but usually with imperial stouts I expect a little more.

Overall: The Czar is a real good beer but not up to the standards of other imperial stouts (i won't name names). I like the taste just feel a little jipped that's all. Avery has yet to disappoint me; this is a premium beer I just want more out of it. Salud!

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2012 02:48:00 | More by BlurryVisi0n
The Czar from Avery Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,531 ratings.