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The Czar - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The CzarThe Czar

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

1,730 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,730
Reviews: 866
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.68%
Wants: 70
Gots: 218 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Wildman on 01-05-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,730 | Reviews: 866 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mscudder
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed from HopCity and poored into a Duvel tulip. Batch No. 10, November 2011

A - Dark but not the darkest I've have ever seen, viscous, minimal brown head with poor lacing.

S -Caramal, dark fruits, light chocolate, faint notes of alcohol and a bit of coffee.

T - Lots of roasted malts, sweet flavors deriving from chocolates and vanilla. Towards the end I am getting some lighter herbal notes which aid in the progression. Very good!

M - Thick and warm with a clear presence of alcohol, yet it does not leave a "burn" of any kind. This has a great body, and excellent low carbonation to compliment the taste.

O - I picked this up after being blown away by the Maharaja. Needless to say, this is a fine RIS, but I believe I have had better. The high ABV is noticeable and I must recommend a DD if you are throwing one of these down out at the pub! If you see this on your store shelf and you are a fan of RIS then I recommend picking this up, otherwise I believe there are better alternatives.

Photo of Popp24
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of poopsmitherson
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of AndyTaylor
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of Mantooth
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Whole Foods in Chapel Hill, NC - poured into a Residence Inn wine glass (that's planning!)

A: Inky black pour with an ample head that dissipates quicky, thick lacing.

S: Caramel, malt, hints of raspberry.

T: Milk chocolate, caramel, tobacco, molasses, lot's of earthiness & smoke.

M: Substantial & syrupy.

O: A nicely complex brew that seems a bit underrated on BA.

Photo of HumphreyLee
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Tyrawlings
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Scotchboy
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft to tulip @ Brewforia Beer Market, Meridian ID.

A: Opaque & jet black, viscous, good lacing from a mocha-colored head.

S: Rich dark malts, hint of anise, definite darker fruits mixed with molasses, good roasted quality underneath, touch of hop complexity, herbs.

T: Follows the nose, with more alcohol to be found than on the nose, though its quite drinkable. Chocolate, hints of molasses and anise. Proper hopping for a RIS, some espresso-like bitterness and light toasted quality. Pretty nice.

MF: Creamy, soft carbonation, medium feel...not quite full.

O: A good drinker and a solid RIS. Quality stuff, without too much booze. Recommended.

Photo of TechTriumph
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled: Nov. 2011; Poured in a snifter.

A - One inch of light tan creamy and bubbly head with good retention; Beer is black as night; Nice web of lacing left behind

S - The smell is not overly strong, but pleasant; Balanced presence of rich chocolate, sugar, caramel, figs, and toasty notes

T - Nice complexity here; Up front, there's a combination of sweet molasses, tobacco, dark fig-like fruits, and a faint hint of alcohol; This is followed by mellow, warm chocolate with a toasty flavor and very subtle hop bitterness; Figs step to the front again in the finish and linger with just a hint of alcohol

M - Light, but tingly carbonation; Full bodied; Leaves the mouth pretty dry and moderately warm

O - I really enjoyed getting to try this beer. I'd say it's spot on for the RIS style and does a great job of balancing the chocolate, molasses, dark fig-like fruits, and toasty aromas/flavors. The presence of alcohol is nearly hidden and really works well with the overall taste. This is a beer that I certainly would like to purchase again for both drinking fresh and trying with some age as well.

Photo of Bfarr
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, very dark with thin brown head and poor retention. Spice and brown sugar with hints of chocolate aroma. Molasses initially with spicy balanced sweetness. Notes of raisin and chocolate followed by roasted malts and herbs. Smooth, with a light mouthcoating and stickiness.

Great balanced flavor and complexity for sipping. It’s flavorful from start to finish with it tending toward sweetness by the end and a gentle alcohol warming. A highly enjoyable beer.

Photo of Fitzmke
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of BeardedRiker
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, as it turns out I've already reviewed The Czar. However, my first review was not up to my current standards so I'm drinking this RIS again and giving it a proper review! It's not often I drink an Avery beer but since the weather was getting a bit colder down here (in Texas) I thought I'd buy me an RIS to help keep away the cold. As it turns out, an aunt and uncle of mine live eight miles away from the Avery brewery. I need to make a trip up there ASAP! But enough about me. How about the beer?

At first I thought the head on The Czar would be disappointing because it was not forming but it only takes awhile to form, like the Czar's (Nicholas II) will to satisfy the Russian people late in his reign. The head rose to about two fingers high, fluffy and bubbly, and a light brown. It fizzes away pretty quickly, though. No lacing. Liquid-wise it's pitch black until held up to a light where it reveals a mostly opaque, darkest ruby color.

The smell from this surprises me a bit. It's much stronger with the dark fruits than I thought it would be rather than the roastiness I would usually expect. The fig/plum/raisin/dark cherry sweetness comes through, as does a more molasses-ish sweetness. Next in strength of the smell comes the roastiness I expected, coffee and some cocoa. There's some decent hoppiness in there too that is usual for an RIS. Pretty damn boozy too. You know you're drinking an RIS when you smell the alcohol!

First off, this is definitely a beer you'll want to let sit out for a bit and warm up because if you drink it cold you'll mostly get the lighter malt flavors and BOOZE. Seriously, if you drink this at a restaurant or something you better have a DD. The bottom line is this thing is what you'd expect from an RIS. Like the smell this is much more fruity than I would expect but that's not a bad thing. I tend to enjoy stouts that are very roasty but this has plenty of delicious dark fruit flavors. They bring a sweetness that's balanced well by some hop bitterness. Underneath comes the roasted coffee and cocoa. Also present, and previously mentioned, is the molasses sweetness. And again, the alcohol is strong. It is felt over all the flavors and gives some good warmth. There's a lot of complexity here but personally I'd prefer just a tad less booziness and more roastiness. Perhaps The Czar is meant to contrast with the "Mad Monk", Old Rasputin?!

This is medium-bodied and never feels too heavy. Sweetness coats the mouth, making is syrupy, but there's good medium-high carbonation that helps The Czar out, especially with breaking up the strong booziness.

You know, this is a complex beer that's different than what I expect. It has good flavors but it's a bit too boozy for my liking. I'm not saying it's bad, though. I'd definitely have this again.

Photo of Meerkey
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: No real head. Really dark brown black.

S: Hops and molasses. And annis, alas. Something kind of fruity - currents.

T: Hops and fruits. Annis, which I hate, but doesn't affect my opinion of the beer much. Some alcohol too.

M: Some carbonation, smooth a viscous. Nice.

O: Pretty tasty, but I do wish the annis were a little less noticeable. Recommended.

Photo of TenHornsProud
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage

Pours a thick, solid black with a small tan head that lingers and laces.

Smells of wood, coffee, sweetness, grain, some dank hop...slight notes of oxidation. Earthy, chocolate/coffee, and weedy hops dominate. Smells almost creamy...really nice.

Taste is chocolate malt/chocolate milk shake up front with some more earthy/herbal hop notes in the middle that fades into a big bitter finish with sherry notes...some wood. The finish is sweet caramel with hints of chocolate that lasts for a long time. Absolutely fantastic finish.

Thick and viscous mouthfeel with notes of alcohol and low carbonation.

Age has been quite kind to this brew. It is big, complex, earthy/dank with a chocolate shake and woody undertone. Fantastic.

Photo of jfcaa193
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of iSip
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Avery Czar Imperial Russian Stout: 22 oz. bomber, Batch 10, Nov 2011. I expect big things out of these expensive “designer” beers packaged in the bomber format, and got mixed results with this one. The Avery Maharaja and Salvation were outstanding, but this review is of the Czar. When pouring this beer into a glass, it is not pitch black as other stouts I have tried recently, some glimmer of light shines through. The head is thin, but off-white rather than the deep brown of other offerings in this category. Good and plentiful aroma meets your nose with notes of molasses, toffee and coffee grinds. Lots of flavors working together in this stout, but the predominant ones are of molasses, rock candy, and bitter chocolate. The alcohol is there in a good way. The Avery Czar, a great stout in so many ways, was just a bit too sweet for my tastes. Maybe cellaring for a few years can tone down the sweetness, but I am not into aging beers, there are too many out there ready to go.

Photo of brewbaker
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of cdwil
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of GuisseppeFranco
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of Danny1217
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of jegross2
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Reviewing the The Czar from Avery Brewing Company out of Colorado.
Score: 87

Fall 2011 vintage bottle served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 01/19/12.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color with brown/soda-colored highlights at the top of the glass. Totally opaque otherwise. One finger of creamy/bubbly tan colored head at pour settles into a bubbly ring around the glass and clump of bubbly head in the center. Splotches of bubbly tan lacing and oil residue stick to the side of the glass. 4/5

Smell: Roasted chocolate, burnt (brown) sugar, a little black licorice, sweet milk chocolate and dark fruit. Light booze backbone. 4/5

Taste: Raw chocolate, dry dark fruit and a little booze. Some roasted malts and hops on the midpalate and towards the finish. There might also be hints of coffee present at points too, but that just might be because I had a cup o' joe about fifteen minutes before drinking this. Finish is boozy roasted/milk chocolate. The ABV is pretty high (11%), and it's noticeable in the flavor, but the booze is not overly present to a distracting or detracting degree. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, light carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel. Finishes bitter and with some acidic booziness. 4/5

Overall: A perfect example of the Russian Imperial Stout style with a little extra booziness. Not stand out or particularly special by any means, but a very solid and tasty beer that is not overly expensive. I'd certainly come back to this one again.

Recommendation: Although I cannot recommend going out of your way to get ahold of this one, I can recommend purchasing it if you see it on the shelf (or have easy access to it).

Pairings: Hershey's milk chocolate bar.

Cost: $7.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

Photo of nas4atu
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of videofrog
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of BlakeMatt
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of jhimstedt
4/5  rDev +1.5%

The Czar from Avery Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,730 ratings.