Ale To The Chief | Avery Brewing Company

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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
Ratings:
607
Reviews:
402
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
9.68%
 
 
Wants:
23
Gots:
36
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 607 |  Reviews: 402
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up this bottle for $6.99 in Columbus. The beer is copper colored and very clear with a thick spitty textured white foam that dries into lace on the glass. The smell is really hoppy, but with a hint of sweet malts in the background. The taste is pine needles and grapefruit but not too astringent, with a very sweet malty flavor in the distant aftertaste. This is a very good imperial pale ale (description on the bottle), but just possibly it steps into DIPA territory.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber served in a Duvel tulip. Plenty of carbonation, opened with a pretty good pop. Poured a reddish gold with a thick white head. Fresh citrus/pine hop aroma. Solid malt backbone. Smooth mouthfeel. Restrained hop bitterness. Some citrus in the middle. Dry hop finish but not mouth puckering. Very drinkable at 8.75% abv. Nicely balanced beer, not a hop bomb.

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Photo of Wheels2532
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of hozersr
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Casey3236
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have held this bottle awhile,I was hoping to open this bottle on election night....but things didnt go the way I had hoped,but enough bout that.Poured into a 22oz nonic a dull bronze with a big blooming slight off white head that left broken chumks of lace behind as it settled very slowly.Big pine resin and grapefruit rind in the nose along with some caramel biscuit.Obviously a hop dominate brew on the palate,grapefruit and leafy with a big dose of caramel sweetness,a lingering leafy/green note finishes.Its not over the top but its damn good,I bet it would have been great more fresh,damn voters!

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Photo of BeanBone
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on Inauguration Day

Appearance: A rich burnt-orange, crystal clear body with a firm, off-white head on top. Lacing is good.

Aroma: As you'd expect from a Double IPA, as soon as the bottle is opened, hops flood the air. They're of the classic Cascade profile: bright citrus and pine. There's a caramel base under all the hops, but I'm not getting the amount of booze I was expecting.

Taste: Good hops up front, followed by lots of sweet caramel malt. The hops could be a bit more assertive for my tastes, but everything meshes well here. There's a long hoppy finish, with a bit of booze around the edges.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with fine carbonation and a bit of warming alcohol. Dries in the finish.

Drinkability: Double IPAs are not know for their drinkability, but I would say this is slightly more drinkable than your average example. The booze is hidden excellently, I'd never guess this was over eight percent.

Verdict: Not just a gimmick, Avery have crafted a great beer for this occasion. This is a perfect accompaniment to today's events. I only wish that I was able to source more than the one bottle I managed to find. Ale to the chief!

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Photo of UA8
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a bright and clear amber orange with a tall and puffy soft white head.

S- Flows forth dominated by citrus scents of tangerines and orange rind slight hints of mango and pineapple sweetness in the background.

T- Starts in with a tropical fruit sweetness, mid palate blends with tangerines and finishes nice and bitter with clementine peel.

M- Much fuller than you expect for such a transparent beer. Nice amount of carbonation that seems to really come to life in the mouth.

D- This is a really solid IIPA. It could have touch more complexity to the palate and nose but doesn't miss the mark heavily in any category. I would recommend trying this while its available.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a relatively bright, but slightly hazed golden orange. Head is big, with crackling bubbling of off-white foam. Lace is crazy and intricate. Body looks surprsiginly light, but if it's a "pale ale" as they describe, it fits. Looks pretty big and impressive overall, while still remaining true to its stylistic roots.

Nose is pleasantly sweet, with that really classic fresh American hops character. Lots of hops giving citrus oil buoyancy, but it mingles with sweet butterscotch and caramel. Sudsy aromas come off it too. Bit of pepper berry, sharp and sweet but spicy as well. Really nice aromas, and well integrated.

Pine on the palate, with a good citrus bite. Sweetness comes through, hints of peach and vanilla. The only sign of the ABV, is a touch of sharp phenols on the back, but only very lightly so - so well covered by all the really pleasant characters otherwise. Lovely drop of beer.

Surprisingly easy to drink for its alcohol, and bursting with flavour, but never overdone on any of the potentially offensive characters. Really well restrained in places, but let loose in others. Cracking beer.

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Photo of Morbo
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden-amber with about an inch of foamy head that doesn't stick around for long, though some lovely lacing makes up for it.

The nose is sweet grapefruit juice and pine, with a hint of caramel maltiness.

There is some caramel and toasted bread upfront that is quickly washed away by oily grapefruit juice and a moderately bitter herbal tea flavor.

Medium body and carbonation round things out nicely. The finish is dry and bitter with just a bit of alcohol warmth - less than would be expected from a beer pushing 9%.

Surprisingly well rounded, the bitterness isn't as overpowering as it is in many IIPA's though the bite of grapefruit does linger at the end. At $7 a bomber I would definitely drink this again, but I prefer the Maharaja.

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Photo of joe1510
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber
$6.99
Binny's Orland

Ale to the Chief, Avery's newest creation, fills my imperial pint glass a tarnished copper similar to rust. There is a good deal of orange highlights when backlit through the semi hazy body. Streams of carbonation start off slow but quickly speed up on their way to the surface. A slow pour brought about a dense three fingered head that slowly fell to a thick cap leaving intricate lacing on its way. Each drink I take ends up leaving behind a section of sheet lacing and the intricate spider webbed lacing the rest of the way. This is a good looking IIPA.

This beer has a good helping of hops for sure. I like the direction they went with this, there is a huge amount of tropical fruit and enough pine sap to level the playing field. As delicious as the hops smell the malt is no slouch either and there is enough present to keep the hops from running wild. The malt has just enough sugar and comes across as cake frosting with caramel poking up here and there. I like where the smell of this is taking me. Hopefully the flavor can live up to the aroma.

The flavor is actually quite a bit different than the aroma led on. There's not near as much tropical fruitiness. Caramel is the first thing that coats the tongue and it lays down a solid base for the dominant hoppiness. The hopping at first brings along a moderate pine needle and sappy bitterness but quickly becomes a buzzsaw of hoppiness mid palate and ends up putting a hurtin' on the tongue. The buzzsaw does mellow on the swallow and allows what tropical fruitiness is there to come forward. A tropical fruit mixture of tangerine, orange, and pineapple combine with the pine needles on the finish. While the flavor doesn't live up to the aroma it's still very good.

This beer has a great mouthfeel for the high abv. The body is moderate but has a nice silkiness with a healthy carbonation that never keeps this beer moving. The bitterness grows quickly and is like a buzzsaw on the tongue. After half a pint my entire tongue is numb and down for the count. The body gets nice and light on the back of the tongue through the swallow.

For a beer with such high abv and such a big bitterness it goes down incredibly easy. The alcohol is barely noticeable which could end up being a dangerous thing with how easy this beer flows. I have to slow myself down because I'm reaching for the glass often.

Ale to the Chief is probably my favorite beer from Avery and I'm hoping it's a year round offering. I'm impressed with Avery's use of hops in this beer. I wouldn't hesitate picking this one up again when in need of a hop fix. For the style of beer the alcohol is moderate enough to finish a bomber, by yourself, without a problem.

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Photo of largadeer
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark yet almost perfectly clear amber. A one finger creamy white head rises from a vigorous pour, retaining incredibly well and lasting until my last sip.

Smell: Candied grapefruit, oranges and a touch of honey. The balance of hops and malt is excellent, both providing depth but hops eventually rising to the forefront.

Taste & mouthfeel: Malty sweetness is the first thing to hit the palate, reminding me of orange marmalade on lightly toasted bread. Hops follow, full of citrus and pine, grapefruit and orange in particular - for a cascade-oriented beer, this tastes like no other cascade beer I've had. Impressive hop flavor, though the finish is a bit rough and astringent; less bittering hops would be to this beer's advantage. Nonetheless, I found myself really enjoying this, much moreso than Avery's other Double IPA, Maharaja.

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Photo of GJ40
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle purchased from Sam's in Durham, NC.

A - Golden with a slight haze and a moderate white head. Minimal lacing.

S - Yeasty, malty and a bit fruity.

T - Very balanced contributions of malt, alcohol and hops. Very even and smooth with none of them dominating. No off flavors at all.

M - Low to moderate carbonation with a nice, silky consistency.

D - A solid, entertaining beer. Not particularly aggressive in any way but very good.

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Photo of Ristaccia
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dfillius
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass on Inauguration eve 2009. This is the second bottle I had, as I couldn't resist trying the first a couple months ago. I was impressed with the first bottle, let's see about this one. This bottle may have frozen during our move across to the Midwest this winter.
A: Gentle pour yields 1/2 finger of off-white head. A small layer remains with a nice ring. Cloudy reddish brown liquid. A little too cloudy :-( It is a DIPA though so maybe I should not be so critical...
S: Delightfully hoppy nose but strong malt as well. Fairly balanced. Main hop smell is of pine resin.
T: Bitter front with fruit behind. Pine, molasses, grapefruit, a bit of oxidation flavor (from freezing?). Reminds me of Yulesmith - which is a very good thing.
M: Pleasing bitterness, well carbonated.
D: Delicious Presidential Pale Ale/PPA. I wish this was a year round one. It is one of the best beers I had in 2008.

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Photo of zeff80
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, orange/amber color with an off-white, foamy, bubbly, long lasting, three-finger head. It left sticky traces of lace.

S - It smelled of pine, citrus (grapefruit) and floral notes.

T - I've never tasted grapefruit in a beer quite like this. Simply put the strongest grapefruit flavor I've ever tasted in a beer. It also had a biscuity/caramel flavor with a subtle grassy bite.

M - It was sharp, crisp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good beer. Again, the most grapefruit taste I've ever had in an IPA.

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Photo of mnapier
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Service Temperature, 50 degrees farenheit. Service Glassware, 12 ounce tulip (with stem)

Appearance, is dark amber with a sap like density. As I pour this out of the bottle I see an initial strong, tapioca head, that dissipates slowly (more than a minute for complete evaporation), leaving only an antique, table cloth like lace.
The nose on this is interesting, with a dance of playful sweet citrus and notes of berries. Slight floral quality alongside some minor earthiness.
Sipping initially I detect a nice smooth caramel malt, that gives way to some minor citrus hoppiness. A very mellow overall taste.
Mouthfeel is medium.

Man I would love to have a ham sandwich right now.

Cheers

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Photo of 2GOOFY
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of asabreed
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a Chimay chalice. Big price tag at around $8.50, but was told it was limited, at least in Richmond. Plus the label's badass, so I had to snag it. Huge and initially frightening "pop" as the gold around the top puffed up as the cap came off. Luckily it was just gassed up right and now too much; I would've been pissed had it gone all over the floor, though Avery's really never steered me wrong.

Appearance: Slightly hazy lighter amber body with copper in the right light. Lacing and retention is moderate.

Smell: A great malty caramel backbone with sweeter fruit like strawberries and cherries in the mix, and citrus hops. Nicely balanced, and certainly good, but nothing I'm flipping my lid over.

Taste: What I like here is the fruity earthiness that I don't see a lot in either DPAs or DIPAs, though it's a bit hard to describe. There's a good balance, a pretty great balance, of malt fruitiness, hoppy earthiness and citrus, and almost something like Belgian candi sugar -- the secret ingredient X -- congealing everything, but in that cohesion it's altering the normal path of the brew, and throwing around these weird, earthy, sweeter and rootier flavors. Not necessarily insanely different from a lot of others, but it has an edge, a lot of flavor, and a ton of balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavier-bodied, though it has a good amount of creaminess with the carbonation to it.

Drinkability: Unfortunately the price tag lowers this a bit, as close to $9 doesn't seem like it should be right. A very solid brew, but there are other DPAs or DIPAs I'd be trying again over this in the future. Still, it's very good, and worth your time at least once, as some folks seem to really love it.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 received as part of the LNBA BIF... big thanks to Redwood21.. Very cool... I've been wanting one of these for a while.

2 finger head and alot of lacing.. brew is hop hazed amber.

orange pith and grapefruit.. the hops are very heady.. nice.. very nice.

I thought the flavor would be better... plenty of hops and malts.. but not nearly as much as the nose made me think... still.. very fruity.. nice toasty malts mid palate.. very balanced for sure.. smooth without ever verging on abrasive.. long fruity finish.. body is lighter than I would have expected.. but in this case, it helps the drinkablity.

Thanks David!! I've been wanting one of these for quite a while.. it still tastes very fresh.

4/4/4.5/4/4

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a Unibroue tulip glass. Ale to the Chief pours a light amber color with a nice, fluffy light beige head that sticks around nicely. Some lacing.

Piney hops are in the forefront. I get alot of tropical fruit and hints of wheat bread. Smells good, if not a bit one-dimensional.

Wow! This beer is rich and creamy - very chewy. Sweet tropical colada flavors burst out of the gate and fade to a piney, earthy resinous hop bitterness. Some alcohol warming, but not overbearing.

I must say, this is a very unique tasting beer. I keep thinking "Tropical Fruitcake"...I wish Aunt Mabel would make these instead! Definitely recommended.

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Photo of jaxon53
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another hoppy beer from Avery. It's gotta be good, right? Let's see. Served this chilled, in a pint glass, from a twenty two ounce brown bottle.

Appearance: Ale to the Chief pours out a beautiful amber copper color that has great clarity. A somewhat vigorous pour yields just about two fingers of creamy looking, tight, off-white head. Pretty good head retention, leaving plenty of sticky, webby lace clinging to the glass.

Smell: Awesome nose on this one. Nice citrusy hop aromas. Grapefruit, orange peel, and a touch of lemon. Some faint astringent pine notes in the background. Nice malty and bready aromas with hints of yeast.

Taste: A nice bitter hoppy burst out front, followed by a sweet malty flavor that balances this beer out. Plenty of citrus fruit flavor with notes of pine. Finishes dry with another bitter hop bite. Just a touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, with a perfect amount of tongue tickling carbonation. Almost has a slick feel to it.

Drinkability: Pretty drinkable despite the higher ABV. Ale to the Chief, in my opinion, has a few subtle qualities that remind me of Maharaja. This is a whole different animal though. I can't get enough of this beer. Great job Avery!

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Pours very hazy orange-amber color with a thick 2 finger off white head with great retention and amazing lacing on the glass. Aromas of caramel, floral hops, and bread. Taste of orange, caramel, and floral hops. Starts out sweeter with a very nice bitterness on the finish. Medium carbonation and body, nice balance. Awesome. Avery has not disappointed me yet so far.

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Photo of Schmittymack
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pulled this one out of the "cellar" and I gotta say, it's held up quite nicely. Poured a kind of hazy amber color with a pretty creamy head the disapated within a couple minutes, leaving a nice lingering lacing on the glass and a small "froth" on the top of the brew. Aroma of bread, yeast, and citrus with a little pine for good measure. Taste is (still) very nice: malt, bread, yeast, a touch of pine, and citrus. For being two years old, this one still packs a decent hop bitterness which is an unexpected but nice finish. Maybe I should've held onto this one longer? It's still mighty tasty.

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

Pale orange-copper body, with a nice tight ivory-colored head. Awesome, heavy amounts of lacing with plenty of stick. This is a damn good, archetypal-style double IPA. The looks are perfect.

The nose is quite strong and to the point: tons of citrics, a little pine for complexity, and tons of high alpha acid resin. Hooray for hops! The malts really have nothing to say, just a mild sweetness.

The flavor is solid, not quite as good as the nose promised, but very pleasant. Not as rip-roaring as other double IPAs - where it loses flavor points I'm giving it back in drinkability.

The palate picks up plenty of hops: oily and resinous, lots of grapefruit. Pithy, earthy, even lemongrass flavors emerge. The malts can hardly be called a backbone: there's almost nothing there besides an intimation at sweetness (caramel) that is overwhelmed by the hops.

The finish is characterized by an ethanol bent, plenty of bitterness that coats the tongue for a while, and a low carbonation point that still gets the scrubbing job done well enough: this beer has been very well attenuated to allow for maximal hop distribution with minimal interference from sweetness and bubbles.

I give the drinkability a huge thumbs up, as the minimized malt makes this a wonderful vehicle for the bright, citric hops, but without a cloying or scathing bitterness. The 8.75% abv is not on trial nearly as much as it could be; very well done on that end. This is a masterful double IPA, something that you could bring to any number of social events and be enjoyed by a wider variety of drinkers than your average DIPA. I've had a ton of these, and this is a damn good one.

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Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 607 ratings.
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