Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Ale To The Chief | Avery Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Ale To The ChiefAle To The Chief
BA SCORE
4.02/5
Exceptional
618 Ratings
Ale To The ChiefAle To The Chief
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
averybrewing.com

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.75%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Originally brewed to celebrate Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009, we elected to give Ale to the Chief a second term to commemorate the 2012 election!​ ​Not an “Imperial” pale ale, this is a democracy. It’s Presidential! Take the all-American pale ale, a bipartisan blend of malt and hops, increase both to Avery Brewing standards, and then, of c​​ourse, dry hop the result with that most quintessential of American hops, Cascades, and you get this…a brew worthy of the Oval Office!

Added by GilGarp on 07-22-2008

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,549
Reviews:
404
Ratings:
618
pDev:
9.7%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
24
Gots:
38
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 618 |  Reviews: 404
Photo of Rainintheface
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: copper with the slightest cloudiness. has a one inch off white head which clings nicely most of the way down.

S: freshly sliced grapefruit, orange, mint and a cabbagey/vegetation kind of smell

T: has a rye-like spiciness. citrus with some malt lingering in the back

M: moderate in body, rather crisp with some hop bitterness. very nice feel

D: great drinkabilty

 368 characters

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well forget the Presidential marketing brew-ha-ha. What's this beer really like?

It pours a clear coppery amber, with a nice head.

Smells grassy--haylike--with some sweet butterscotch and dried fruits; I taste figs, and some tropical notes.

Tastes malty, fruity, with some serious hop bitters, like a Stone Ruination. Ruin Nation--now that would have been a beer for the past 8 years, and hopefully not the next 8 years!!!

Mouthfeel is pleasant, with a good thickness and carbonation,
yielding a creamy ale, with a nice lingering grassy bitterness.

I think this is a good ale, a well balanced presentation, and quite enjoyable. However, if the Administration drinks this too regularly, nothing will get done at 8.75% ABV.

 730 characters

Photo of EStreet20
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber, 20 ounce nonic.

A - A nice amber color with a tint of red. Brew is a little hazy and has a big off white head which stays well. Rings of lacing stay on the walls of the glass.

S - Smell has some citrus hops giving way to a tea like aroma.

T - Brew has a bit of a sugary sweet taste. Tea like flavors throughout along with hints of fruit. Caramelly malts also play in here. Not huge on hop bitterness but nice tea like hop flavors.

M - Nicely done. Smooth medium body with subtle carbonation.

D - The alcohol is hidden which might fool some people. Fairly smooth, nice tasting DIPA.

Notes: A nice brew on the sweeter side of many DIPAs. Will disappoint some looking for a big bitter West Coast style DIPA but a nice brew to sit and sip.

 759 characters

Photo of denver10
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got to admit, this is definitely my favorite IPA from Avery. Not saying its their best, but definitely the one I have enjoyed the most. The first IPA of theirs I have tried, enjoyed, and left wanting more.

Pours a golden orange with a white had. Not a huge aroma but an enjoyable aroma of some bready malts paired with some citric hops. Flavor was much of the same offering a nice bready malt base paired with some nice sweet citrus and a just slightly grassy bitter finish. A fuller mouthfeel, some activity, slightly creamy. Overall, I really enjoyed this one. As previously mentioned this is by far my favorite IPA from Avery, not the most complex or "big" but enjoyable and balanced. This strikes me as more of an Imperial Pale Ale than an Imperial IPA, which worked for me as I prefer Pale Ale's to IPA's usually.

 819 characters

Photo of epyon396
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I popped the cap the beer foamed all over my floor, I quickly poured and the head was giant. It almost overflowed out of the glass but soon settled into a craggy, dense mountain of a cap. Massive cordillera of lace are plastered to the glass. The aroma is of cotton candy, grape fruit, lemonade and toasty malts. The taste is lavishly hoppy with grapefruit, apricot and lemon flavors coming to the fore. The malt balast is not shy, with a hefty dose sweet doughyness to provide ample balance. Alcohol heat makes itself known throughout. The mouthfeel is full and highly carbonated. The finish is long, fruity, bitter and a bit boozey.

This was a very nice DIPA. If it was a bit more bitter and less boozey it would be perfect.

 732 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of peabody
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out amber with one finger of white suds.
Not much carbonation though.
Smell is part pine but mostly malt and sugars followed by some strong yeast that burns the nose a bit.
Taste is grapefruit and dark berry skins. Just a tad of darkness in the aftertaste and not a lot of phenol from the alcohol is present here. A very pleasant mellow brew for sure.
Mouthfeel is a bit dirty and leaves the mouth with a slight oily feel.
Drinkability is good here. Would like to try this on tap.

 486 characters

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber in color with just a minimal head forming on the pour. Smell is all hops. Taste is more of the hops. Very balanced and a good amount of bittering. Medium feel on the mouthfeel. Had this with other beers and it was the best of the day. Solid offering from Avery.

 280 characters

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have no idea about people saying this one isnt' hoppy. They must have had something else before hand. It's definetly not bitter as hell, but there is a hell of a lot of dry hopping.

Pours a 1 finger head that fades decently quickly, but leaves a good lace and a nice cloudy orange color from the hop oils.

A bunch of dry hopping will yeild a nice aroma. This smells like raw hops. I smell cascade, centennial and I want to say perle as there is a tiny bit of mintyness in there with the citrusy aspect. Golly.

This beer is not excessively bitter, but it's hoppy. They obviously dry hopped the shit out of it. A lot of hop flavor and aroma and not a lot of bitterness. NICE IDEA! The maltyness could be a bit thicker as the hop oil dominates over the rest. There is this mintyness on the finish as well. The dry hopping is really awesome.

The malts are a bit weak, but somehow there is decent crispness within the hop oil.

Nice concept. Dry hop the shit out of your beer, but don't go over the top with the bittering. I like it.

 1,035 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Room temp bottle poured into a snifter. The beer pours a bright copper hue with frothy eggshell white head of 2 cm foaming up and leaving large windowpane lattice as it fades.
Aroma is citrusy grapefruit and pine sap hops right from the pour. First sip reveals an average body with tingly carbonation. Flavor is a hit of caramel and rolls quickly to citrus hops like the nose advertised. There is a little astringent bitterness on the finish, but not overwhelmingly bitey flavor. A clean crisp beer that isnt very complex but is pretty tasty if you like hops. Not an all out hop bomb though, just nice hop flavors mixing together in this brew.

 643 characters

Photo of far333
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy brownish orange colored with a thick half inch of dimpled meringue.

Aroma of honey and tangerine, some grapefruit and green apple.

Rich and sharp flavor of orange rind, ripe fruit, tea leaves, sweetish biscuit malt, and honey. Slight warming of the cheeks and tingling tip of the tongue.

Thick and full mouthfeel, finishes crisp and a bit dry. Very tasty and drinkable for a big beer, but rich flavor may overwhelm after a few.

 444 characters

Photo of argock
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.75.

A: Murky dark amber with billowing, rock off-white 2-3 finger head with excellent retention and craggy lace deposits mainly at the top but down the glass as well.

S: Pungent floral and citrus hops aromas with a sweet, caramel malt center. A bit boozy in the nose.

T: Solid if typical DIPA flavor profile which fits the "balanced" DIPA category with orange and pine hops flavors met with a fairly big dose of sweet pale and caramel malts for the style. The alcohol is not perfectly hidden, but it doesn't detract much from the flavor experience.

M: Fully slick and mouth-coating with low carbonation as expected. Aftertaste is bitter and tangy sweet.

D: A very good but not great DIPA -- I prefer Avery Maharaja, Oskar Blues Gordon, and Great Divide Hercules to this one -- but it's solid and enjoyable with plenty of hops chops.

 968 characters

Photo of arizcards
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber at Total Wine and More back in late February for $7.49.

Beer poured orange-amber with a huge fluffy head that is leaving lacing behind. Nose initially said malt bomb. Hints of perfumed northwest hops come out with a bit of warming. Taste is big on pale malts balancing nicely with a fair amount of floral hops. Mouthfeel is pretty full and pretty darn smooth. Drinkability is good as the abv is pretty well hidden. This is a big beer geared for the hop heads. Definitely a winner, recommended to try.

 520 characters

Photo of wagenvolks
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber into a Löwenbräu mug.

Absolutely gorgeous appearance--fiery, golden-copper color with a nice clarity. Streams of carbonation rise up from all sides to fuel a thin cap of light khaki head. Nice retention and thick webs of lacing. Aroma is solidly IIPA-esque, but with a twist: notes of bubblegum, grapefruit, toffee, caramel malts, and fruit cocktail syrup.

Beneath a behemoth wallop of pine & grapefruit hops lurks a surprisingly solid backbone of sweet toffee & caramel malt. The sweetness isn't cloying, but it keeps the hops' bitterness in check a bit too much. The body is down-the-middle medium thickness, with a lively carbonation level that keeps the drink crisp and surprisingly refreshing for a IIPA. Drinkability is top-notch; I'd gladly have this again, hopefully while "ailing" Obama as the "Chief"!

 829 characters

Photo of deereless
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Crystal clear, medium copper with a hint of ruby red, nice thin layer of dense foam - 4.50, S: Some intense aromas, strong overripe pineapple, some malts in the depth of the beer - 4.25, T: As the aromas led me to believe, this beer has pineapple on the palate, the tail end is distinctly bitter, some woodiness to it as well - 4.00, M: Quite silky and smooth while still being sticky - 4.25, D: A bomb of a beer as one might expect from an Avery Double IPA, enjoyable but somewhat lost in all the weightiness of the brew - 3.75

 531 characters

Photo of CHickman
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy copper color with a 2 finger beige colored whipped foamy head that was full of bubbles and dissipated very slowly and left outstanding foamy lacing and thick foamy rings as it went down. No way I was holding onto a Presidential Pale Ale until January 2017, so I busted this out tonight while the candidates are still making a mockery of democracy. Second half of the bomber poured looks just as impressive as the first half.

Smells of caramel, toffee and sweet grainy malts up front, more English IPA to start. Next wave of the aroma is orange peel, tangerine, pineapple, mango, light brown sugar, gummy bears, tropical fruit, earthy notes, candied sugar and faint piney hops. I got whiffs of buttered wheat bread and honey as it faded, bringing together a lot of elements that complimented each other and provided good balance. Not a American DIPA nose, but a real nice pale ale or English IPA.

Flavor brings a lot of malt to the table with wheat bread, caramel, toffee, graham cracker and sweet grains up front just like the nose, but the taste turns a bit more bitter with grapefruit, guava and maple syrup joining the orange peel, honey, tangerine, pineapple, mango, brown sugar, gummy bears, tropical fruit, earthy notes, candied sugar and piney hops. The 8.1% ABV peeks through but is generally covered up well by the malty sweetness and fruity citrus notes. This beer is balanced yet confusing as I don't know what style they were going for, but overall it tastes pretty damn good.

Mouthfeel is really creamy and almost slick with a buttery feel across the tongue, a medium body that had average an carbonation level, a little chewy feel and a slightly bitter citrus finish that turns malty and sweet before it fades. It has a lot going on in the sweetness department, but it's all good as it never crosses the line into cloying territory. Quite an enjoyable ale, I could drink this more often than every 4 years.

From the Avery website: "Take the all-American pale ale, a bipartisan blend of malt and hops, increase both to Avery Brewing standards, and then, of c​​ourse, dry hop the result with that most quintessential of American hops, Cascades, and you get this…a brew worthy of the Oval Office! Availability: Every 4 Years." Cheers Avery, great stuff!

 2,286 characters

Photo of oldvines
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of magictrokini
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Pours clear copper with a short white head. Big hop wallop in the nose. Grapefruit, pine oil, caramel, and orange zest. Smooth taste. Thought this was an IIPA, but it doesn't matter. Huge hops, the cascades really come through without blowing it up. Grapefruit, resin, pineapple, and mango flavors, all with the caramel malt back. Great beer.

 347 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a clear coppery-orange body with a strong carbonation of big bubbles supporting a light tan head.

S- There is a earthy orange hop aroma that fills the air during the pour with a leafy hop aroma to it. There is a fruity quality to the hops as the beer warms.

T- This beer has a big green hop favor with a cheese quality to it and a pine note. There is a pale malt note and some toasted hints to it that support the big hops. The finish is a soft spicy quality to a pungent big hop finish.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with the only real alcohol heat coming in the last few sips.

D- This beer has some full fresh hops that are supported by a nice malt flavor with some depth. This is big and fresh hoppy beer.

 782 characters

Photo of bum732
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy pale orange, beautiful fluffy head leaving fantastic lacing. Smells of earthy, grassy and piney hops, hop aroma kind of subdued for a DIPA. Bisquity malt aromas complement the hops. Tastes of bisquit like malt followed by a nice earthy hop bitterness. Finishes fairly sweet. Decent carbonation for the style.

A very good beer, reminds me of a Sierra Nevada beer. Hops were kind of subdued, i think because this is an older bottle. Nonetheless, a very good DIPA and a fav from Avery.

 499 characters

Photo of BlueSpader
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Thankin_Hank
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A nice copper color and unusual smell that is malty and maybe sweet. Tastes like slightly sweetened tea. Needs ice and a straw. I wonder if a lemon would put the icing on the cake. That's pretty awesome stuff. You could floor people if you insisted it was iced tea. The alcohol is undetectable. My wife even liked it but doesn't get the tea flavor I do. This is so easy to drink. A fine brew by a fine bunch of brewers. Avery always reliable. From a 22 oz. magnum dated 7-17-16 into a snifter.

 493 characters

Photo of 57md
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with a half finger of head. The nose is only mildly hoppy. The flavor has a sweetness that seems to come from both a citrus quality and the ample malt profile. The finish is much hoppier than the nose would indicate.

 237 characters

Photo of thisisbigrob
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. Sadly, I was unable to drink this on Inauguration Day and had to settle for the following weekend.

A: Dark orange-red with a small offwhite head that dissolved quickly leaving a slighty oily film.
S: Very hoppy and very rich.
T: Slightly bitter and very full. Reminiscent of Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot Barleywine.
M: Very light carbonation, perfect for a beer this size.
D: Tastes great but too strong for prolonged sessions.

 465 characters

Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 618 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.