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Ale To The Chief | Avery Brewing Company

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Ale To The ChiefAle To The Chief

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.75%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed occasionally during election years.

Added by GilGarp on 07-22-2008

For Trade:
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Reviews: 395 | Ratings: 577
Photo of Phillyduke
3.86/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: 22 oz. bomber stored at 55 degrees since it's purchase last fall, and poured into an Imperial Pint glass on Inauguration Day 01/20/2009 as per the brewery's intentions (I think). Color is a copper orange and hazy with a 1+ finger head of rocky, dense off-white foam. Head shows nice retention and leaves some fine lacing with a bit of stick on the glass. Not much carbonation noticeable in the drink.

S: Bready sweet malts are the most prevalent in the nose. The hops are there and their floral/herbal presence is inviting, but not overpowering. They definitely take a backseat to the malt.

T/M: Doughy and yeasty up front. Slightly astringent. There's a nice hop bitterness in the finish that lingers on the back of the tongue for awhile. The bitterness is the only truly detectable hop characteristic, but it balances out nicely with the bready malt sweetness. I wish the hop character was a little more aggressive, but I'm not totally disappointed. Feel is medium-bodied with a mouth-tingling carbonation.

D/O: I followed Avery's orders and waited until today to enjoy this beer, but I wish the experience was a little more hop-forward. To me the beer was more about the malt than the hops, which isn't an APA in my book, but I may have missed this beer's sweet spot by letting it sit for so long. I wish I had tried one completely fresh to see if there was a difference. Regardless, the result was an extremely enjoyable, eminently drinkable beer (though on a less-than-full stomach I was feeling the effects by the time I finished), just not one that lived up to my expectations. I pray the Presidency it celebrates lives up to our country's expectations of it.

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Photo of lynx1245
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A light orange brown with good amount of white head and lacing.

Smell: It's all the hops. Piny and citrus. Also could smell malt sweetness and cranberries.

Taste: This one is bitter. But after drinking it for a while you begin to notice more of the sweet malts than the piny hops. Tastes very bready. Unfortunately I also could taste a lot of the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and medium bodied. Tastes a little bit flat but the with decent alcohol warming.

Drinkability: I only had half the bottle and the alcohol hit me pretty hard. I personally prefer less malts in my DIPAs because I feel like it makes them taste less clean and crisp. Overall a solid brew however.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bought this a while ago in anticipation of the current occupant's exit from the white house and replacement by obama. both the beer and the events of last night were worth the wait. copper in color with a creamy white head and lacing. top half of the bomber is clear with some fine sediment clouding the remaining half. aromas of caramel, pine, and vague fruit (grapefruit? apricots?) led to a nicely balanced taste of sweet malts and a prominent but smooth hop bitterness. mouthfeel is big but not too thick or viscous, making this quite drinkable for it's abv. lightly carbonated with a finish somewhere between lingering and crisp/drying despite the big malts.

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Photo of czfreeman
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ale to the Chief pours a amber-apricot color, two-finger head on initial pour,highly carbonated, yet settles quickly.
Smells of grapefruits, cantelopes, citric piney hops, and malty sweetness, a bitter-sweet caramel hoppiness in the nose profile.
tastes of briny hoppy citric fruits, lavender, salty-sweet toffee,cloves, piney grapefruits.
A light pilsner-amber mouthfeel is presented,much like the Majaharaja IPA, only a little more full-bodied. Instead of just quick "hops" fix as in the case of Majaraja, a fuller, more complex taste is presented this bier. This is a full bodied, yet lightly enjoyable brew. Well done Avery yet again.


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Photo of becktone
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From notes 1-20-09

Eye: At first this one poured with a big billowing pillowy off white head. Now it has diminished to a fat dome in the middle of the glass surrounded by soapy looking thin dry rotted blankets. Color is a hazy orange-copper. I was happy with the cascading head when poured but now am disappointed in the look of this one, it should, and could be more. Lacing looks like a negative of mini-blinds.

Nose: Huge sweet malt and citrus hop aroma fills the room once the beer is poured into the glass. In the nose spicy alcohol notes are present along with the aforementioned strong malt and citrus hops. Malt aroma is similar to that of a barleywine-big, alcoholic, and sweet. However, it is still in check, unlike a barleywine, malt here is a supporting role, hops are the lead. Good amount of complexity among the hop aroma, green, citrus, some spiciness, some earthiness/leafy qualities. Overall nice aroma.

Tongue: Hop bitterness is present here, but the flavor is a little odd. I've never got anything like this from any kind of pale ale before. What's odd is the malt flavor, its interesting, but at the same time almost seems out of place, maybe thats because I've never experienced it before. Anyway its like a real lightly toasted/kilned unmalted barley flavor. It just has this real grainy taste, and that grainy taste is pinpointing one grain, not a combination, its not a grainy taste such as GLBC, but rather its more like I've been eating crystal malt before its been cracked or mashed. This flavor is long lasting and is always there behind and sometimes infront of the hops. I'm not really getting alcohol, its pretty well hidden, as far as the taste goes...once its swallowed you can get it in the aftertaste. Not as much hop flavor and bitterness as I would have thought...but then again this is an Imperial/Presidential Pale Ale not an DIPA. That raw graininess is interesting and adds a uniqueness to this one that I can dig.

Feel and Drinkability: Body is on the heavier side and carbonation is low, giving it a more imposing and heavy feel. Nothing real special about the feel. This is one I'll gladly finish, but as to purchasing again, not to sure...That graininess while interesting and enjoyable isn't something that I'm really looking for...kinda like a one time thing..."Hey thats cool, but not really gonna want to go for it again." Overall this is a beer that is worth trying, but not something to be searching for.

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Photo of RJLarse
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I bought a bomber of Ale to the Chief at a grocery store, just after Election Day 2008, and carefully stored it for January 20, 2009. It is now 9:00 PM PST and I am seeing the video of the day's proceeding for the first time while drinking this beer. Poured into a snifter.

Pours a bronze/gold color and is slightly hazy. Modest creamy white head. Not particularly sticky, little lacing.

Smell is very good. An aroma of sweet soft malted pine needles, and citrus fruits.

Taste is also sweet, a sweet spicy bread flavor, a little soft fruit and citrus flavor, with a mildly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is fullbodied and smooth, with just hint of alcohol heat.

Not a real sessionable brew, but a drinkable one. I'm not convinced it is an Imperial IPA. The label calls it a "Presidential Pale Ale" an I think that is accurate.

I'll keep the bottle in my collection of 4 or 5 bottles and almost 50 beer steins.

In closing I'll leave this for the historians among us. This was a great beer for the day. So may God bless Avery Brewing, may God bless George W. Bush (he meant well but knew not what he did), may God bless Barack Obama (we'll see about him), and may God bless the United States of America.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Citric hoppy nose with floral, leafy, and earthy/herbal tones. Hint of roasted malt, chocolate comes to mind.

Pours a light caramel color, good clarity, moderate head with lasting retention.

Fruity, earthy, mildly vegetable-like (with leafy lettuce and root vegetables), and hoppy-bitter. It tastes healthy, and tasty. Herbal flavors kick in with more garden flavors (Swiss chard, for example) complimented by bitterness; also I get some earthy spices like cinnamon and their correspondingly prickly mouthfeel in addition to the already spicy carbonation. Finishes very dry.

Pretty good, but distinctively odd. As it warms, these earthy/garden flavors intensify to tongue-numbing/paint-stripping hop-like abuse that leaves me wondering whether I drank a beer or smoked a cigar.

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Photo of Parmesan
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Dark amber/ ruby red color with a creamy white head that dissipates fairly slowly ,nice webs of lacing around the glass.

S: Pine, slight bit of fruit and citrus, lots of sweet biscuit and cereal malt. Smells quite malty for a Pale Ale/Imperial IPA.

T: Pine, with quite a bit of tropical fruit, quite a bit of sweet biscuity and cereal malt. A medium bitterness. Quite sweet for a pale ale/IPA type beer.

F: Thick body and creamy carbonation.

O: A nice beer, not world class but still quite tasty. Will have to look for it in another 4 years.

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Photo of ccrida
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Ale To The Chief is a clear dark copper with a large, amber tinged white sand the leaves lots of heavy, clingy lace.

Smell is heavy, sugary, over ripe citrus hops and sweet cat piss. Not as bad as that probably sounds, but fairly one-dimensional, although it picks up some nice tropical citrus as it warms.

Taste is similarly dominated by the singular hop, sour citrus and brown sugary malt, with some vegetable character before the dry, lingering spicy finish. Not bad, but could stand a more complex hop bill and less fusels.

Mouthfeel is nice, the creaminess helps lighten the body and soften the bite and slick oiliness.

Drinkability is pretty good, not a bad pale, a nice study in cascade's, it's actually little better when it's warms. I give Avery big bonus points for the whole concept of this beer, and having the balls to declare it on the label! Cheer's to whoever wins, I love to hear if Avery sends them any, and if they enjoyed it.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another gem from the cellar for the avery night over at the in laws. i had this once before when it first came out, but i wanted to see what time had done to it. served into a pint glass.

Poured an exceptional clear, dark amber with a big fizzy off white head that faded to reveal a thin layer of lace that stayed throughout, and in fact a smallish quarter inch head lasted till the end as well. Lots of carbonation, in fact rings of bubbles were still streaming till the last sip, very nice looking.

Lots of aromas of bread and yeast after it warmed, but these were drowned out by a nice piney hop presence. The taste was quite intresting. As this was my first taste of the brew, and being a huge fan Impeccably crisp and clean feeling going down, almost effortless. Lots of hop presence here, citrus flavors, biteer with grapefruit and pineapple. Nice balance on the back with bready malts and cereal flavors. Great dry, leave you wanting more finish rounded this out nicely.

overall quite impressed that it stayed soo fresh i have to admit. really still quite a solid beer.

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Photo of joshuadlight
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Here's to President Obama!

I was a little disappointed in the appearance. Nice gold amber color but very little carbonation and no head to speak of. Also there was no lacing.

Still smelled and tasted like a very solid DIPA. Tons of hops in the nose and mouth. Citrus aromas and flavors help back up the bitterness, which is way up there.

Not too much carbonation which hurts the mouthfeel a little bit, and though I couldn't taste the near 9% ABV, I could certainly feel it. Its a potent beer.

This is a very good beer, and if you come across one I recommend that you at least try it.

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Photo of Floydster
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle purchased from the BevMo in Redlands for around eight dollars, split with my dad last night, poured into an oversized wine glass

A-Mix between medium orange and amber color, huge 1 1/2 inch creamy white head, stuck around for over five minutes, nice retention, awesome lacingf
S-Spices, alcohol, citrus, lemon juice, lots of hoppiness, esters, tangerines, apricots, and herbs, aroma was all over the place
T-Starts off with malt and spices, has a bit of berry flavor mixed with some citrus, lots of hops in the finish but that is the only place you really taste them, aftertaste also has some straw, taste gets less dry as time goes on, could have used more hoppiness but still good
M-Dry, sticky, and slightly chewy mouthfeel, medium bodied, nice level of carbonation, taste lingers as well
D-Could drink a full bottle of this probably, ABV is not huge but still strong, not too heavy, smooth and not overly sweet, on the lighter side for a DIPA or double pale ale like they call it

I am a sucker for Avery's special brews and this was no exception, had to buy it regardless of the price tag, better than the Maharaja in my opinion, less sweet and malty, would drink again, recommended

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a copper color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some minimal lacing. Aroma of C-hops is pretty strong and dominating with some nice clean citrus notes easily detectable. Taste is also dominated by some cascade hops with some clear citrus notes and a medium dry caramel malt body. Good carbonation with a full body and no alcohol was apparent. Nothing to write about home but very well done for the style nonetheless.

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Photo of gpogo
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear orange golden body with a large bright white head. The head dissipated to a small foamy covering and left a decent lacing.

A- Immediately upon opening I was hit with some grapefruit aromas as well as some piney resiny aromas.

T- Wow, there is quite a bit more malt backing than I initially expected from the aroma and look of the beer. Sweet malt with a spicy kick. Wonderfully bitter. I got a lot more piney hop flavors than grapefruit.

M- Medium-full body, moderate carbonation. Quite a bit more body than I originally expected.

D- It was certainly a fun idea, and not too bad of a beer either. Not exactly an Imperial IPA, perhaps somewhere in between an IPA and an IIPA.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Crystal clear dark copper color. Big off-white head that quickly fades into a thin bubbly top. Bubbly laces on the glass,

S - Big nose of pine hops. A hint of bready pale malts underneath as well. Alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming.

T - Rather sweet initially with hints of caramel and biscuits. Hops are not near as strong in the taste as they are in the nose. Primarily piney notes in the nose. A little spice to them as well.

M/D - Medium to full bodied and decent carbonation. Very easy drinking and the alcohol is very well masked.

An interesting idea with the labeling. A little hokey, but it is right for the season. A very easy drinking DIPA.

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Photo of meatmallet
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden orange with a medium off white head.

Smell: It has a wonderful pineapple smell to it. There are also hints of caramel and banana and pine.

Taste: Sweet and bitter all atthe same time. Oranges and hops blend well with the malts.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Leaves a good aftertaste in your mouth. A medium body and light carbonation make this easy to drink.

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Photo of morimech
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with a large white head that has good retention. Large amounts of sticky lacing is left on the glass.

The aroma is all about the hops. Very citrusy with just a whiff of alcohol.

The flavor is likewise dominated by hops. Resiny, citrus, and slightly sweet. The sweetness is cut on the finish by a slight alcohol flavor.

Medium body with low carbonation. Semi-slick mouthfeel that is liven up just enough by the carbonation.

An enjoyable ale. Not sickenly sweet like other DIPAs and comes with a big hop presence. One bottle will satisfy most hop heads.

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Photo of gford217
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with slight hints of red with a huge fluffy white head that lingered for a long while and left good lacing.

The aroma is fairly tame for a DIPA, starting with some floral pine hop aromas with a big sweet malty backbone. Citrus hops come on in the finish.

The taste is much more hop-forward than the nose let on. The pine hops hit hard up front with a nice abrasive bitterness that also shows up the finish. In between, the sweet caramel malts are present but less dominant than the aroma.

The mouthfeel follows on from the taste with a hop resin stickiness and good carbonation.

The drinkability is good but pretty abrasive with hops. This is a decent DIPA and one that I recommend.

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Photo of baggio
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

[email protected]

A: Orange/Red with a huge, compact, head.

S: Pine, Citric notes, Hops, Fruit.

T: Pine, Citric notes, Exotic fruit, Sweet malt and some caramel.

M: Nice balanced brew with alot of hops in it. Gets somewhat bitter at the end but worked perfectly to sip away at during an hour.

Great DIPA/Strong Ale from Avery that i'll gladly try again!

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Photo of mikereaser
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle on 12/19/09.

A - pours a murky chestnut/copper color with very little foam, just a layer of fine bubbles that disappeared quickly

S - strong lemon & orange citrus aromas, very nice indeed

T - lemon and orange, light malts, very sweet tasting, slightly bitter finish

M - crisp, well carbonated, smooth mouthfeel

D - very tasty even at a year old, would have loved to try it fresh, still amazing though.

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Photo of Hop_God
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Deep amber to neon orange glow. some deep reds in there also- very thick fluffy redish white head

S: Hops, resin, biscuits, citrus pith.

T: super sweet holy shit, malty biscuit sweet bread bite. some raw hops and raw alcohol also. very clunky.

F: thick and viscous. the sweetness is almost cloying and coats the palate. like a roller coaster ride.

O: I had high hopes for this, but its just kinda crazy and really more of a barleywine than an IPA.

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Photo of thekanna
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted during inauguration weekend in D.C. to celebrate the swearing in of President Barack Obama.

A: Clear radiant orange with decent head.

S: Orange, grapefruit, pomelos, fresh cut flowers... yep, this one's definitely an IPA.

T: Multi-layered: the citrus interchanges with the hops in an almost playful manner. First a citrusy-orange hits the tongue, followed by the first hop bite. Then, interestingly enough, it becomes mellower again and devolves to citrus-flavored caramel candy before hitting the second, more pronounced, hop bite.

M: As concurrent with the taste, creamy/bitter/creamy/bitter.

D: If you like the feel of hop bitterness and tartness in your mouth, then by God you've found the right beer.

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Photo of soccerman7
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at holy smoke

A - A very nice bright light copper appearance. A nice thick head that laced down the glass.

Smell - Very similar to the Maharaja but far sweeter almost rummy.

Taste - very sweet citrus. Tastes very close to the Maharaja only sugary. No pine flavors though only citrus. malts hid in the back.

Mouth - very coating in the mouth and the sweetness lingered but pleasantly.

Drink - being a one off from a great brewery it is worth trying to get and sample. Was rather unique for the style. A good brew.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 1-24-09

Pours a hazy orange/gold, with a filmy head that lasts awhile. Lacing is huge, and covers the entire glass.

Smell is huge hops, very fruity and earthy. Very complex, with a malt sweetness to back it up. The alcohol adds a distinct quality I can't quite place.

Taste is all big, fresh hops, sweet at first and finishing with a huge vegetable/earthy character. Bitter and a little thin at the end.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side, not bad, but less than I was hoping for.

Drinkability is good, but the abv is there.

Overall, this is a good beer that lacks the sweetness and complexity to be great.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy orange amber with a quite nice initial head that fades to a thin ring. Smells sweet with quite a bit of honeyed malt followed by a light nose of spicy, piney hops with a dose of citrus and a whiff of alcohol as well. The taste is fairly bold and hoppy to start with lots of pine, but as the beer opens up and warms it becomes maltier and a little waxy. The hops drop off some as well. There is a somewhat strange hint of marmite like yeastiness as well and a somewhat tannic finish. It is an enjoyable enough beer, but it doesn't make any of my tops lists. The mouthfeel is full and perhaps the tiniest bit sticky. Rich and probably best with food- perhaps a nice curry?

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Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 577 ratings.
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