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Ale To The Chief | Avery Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding
401 Reviews
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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
Reviews:
401
Ratings:
599
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
11.91%
 
 
Wants:
24
Gots:
33
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 401 | Ratings: 599
Photo of anon
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Comes out of the bottle thick and cloudy, deep orange hue leans close to amber, with a creamy head that leaves a good amount of lace as it dissipates and continues to stick on the way down.

Aroma is absolutely malt-forward with caramel and toffee coming through strong. Butterscotch, orange peel, pine and dry hops. As in the aroma, the taste is heavily malty; loads of caramel, toffee and bread in this one. Orange peel and dried fruits. Lightly tropical. As this warms the hops come through a bit more with a deep, piney, grassy earthiness along with some dry wood.

Medium bodied and dry. Boozy with some lingering malt sweetness. Wild card brew. Decent.

 659 characters

Photo of Rogerlb
4.39/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Got the new version for Inauguration Jan 20, 2017. Bottled in August.

Pours amber but clear. Has a sudsy if slight 1/2 finger head that hangs around and laces you till you can't take it anymore. Aroma is malty and raisins up front. Caramel hint as well.

Taste is sweet malty goodness. Has that Avery booziness although this one at 8.75% won't kill you too fast if you keep your eyes open. Toffee, raisin, buttered bread which slowly steps aside for a hoppiness that's welcome. Nice reversal on the promise of the aroma. Spice, too. Peppercorns. Almost saison? No, it is clutched from my grasp.

In the middle I'm getting a pineapple, slight bitter, not too dank (no earth), hops just there to keep you anxious. The sweet malts are rather forward; I might call this a barleywine take on an American strong ale. There is confusion but the two sides of the aisle seem to be getting along for now.

Grapeiness and light carbonation make it very drinkable. Sticky finish, pleasant aftertaste. Great beer.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a signature Avery snifter glass.

Appearance: Darker Amber with medium bubbles and the body is a bit hazy. Head is off-white with a slight orange tint.

Smell: Malts and wood.

Taste: Complex sweet and bitter wood notes and heavy malts. You can feel the citrus but won't hurt you, comes off pretty smooth.

Mouth: Medium bubbles and carbonation and average stickiness. Is a bit dry but sticky which is good.

Overall: Very good beer, especially for Election Day...no pun intended. Salud!

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Photo of mactrail
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Rich and massively malty, with a jolt of hoppy citrus. Handsome golden amber brew with plenty of foam in the Rodenbach Grand Cru goblet. The aroma is all fruit and hops. Sweet and bitter.

A little bit of "ick" goes along with the sweet malt. Interesting, though. Faint sourish tang, like there's something wild lurking. Overall, it's a jolly Barleywine gone bad. Rather bitter aftertaste, just like the elections. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Ibis Market in San Diego.

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Photo of beergoot
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pumpkin orange body; creamy, dense head. Sweet, candied aroma; charred sugars. Fruity flavor balanced with crystal and caramel malt tones; savory hop bitterness complements it all. Heavy body; smooth and velvety; heavy yet blunt sweetness, finishing on a dry note.

I'd categorize this beer as an American strong ale. There is some fine hop things going on yet there is also some excellent malt flavors, too. Damn fine aroma and taste with a big, satisfying body. Worth the wait for the next election cycle...

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Photo of brentk56
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a clear copper color with an impressive head that stands three fingers tall; excellent retention and a nice pattern of lacing

Smell: Malt forward, with caramel, grains, earthy tones and tangerine peel

Taste: Quite malty, with caramel and grainy tones forward; through the middle, the tangerine peel and earthy tones build, creating an orange marmalade effect; earthy and resiny, through the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: This beer really verges on barleywine territory though it has an odd combination of powerful malt sweetness combined with an orange marmalade bitterness; I am not a big fan

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Photo of CHickman
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
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!

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Photo of avalon07
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had an amber color and a clear consistency. There was an inch and a half of foamy, somewhat long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A nice aroma of hops, malt, pine, and citrus fruit.

T: Tasted of some citrus (lemon, orange), a fair amount of pine, light malt, a big shot of hops, an earthy quality, a hint of caramel, and a bready quality. In general, a well-balanced flavor, with a whole of complexity. Not quite as hoppy as other DIPA flavors, but still very tasty.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a sharp finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This isn't my favorite DIPA, but it's well made and easy to drink.

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Photo of MikeWard
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

on tap at sabatinis, in exeter, pa

10oz serving in a small goblet.

hazy amber color with small off white head. very good lacing.

mix of malt, alcohol, and faint hoppiness on the nose.

pleasant tasting dipa. smooth, alcohol comes through in the finish.

well above medium on the mouth.

overall, and enjoyable beverage. nothing spectacular, but well put together and pleasing.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a copper orange body with two-finger head that quickly died and left lace down the glass. Aroma is dry and bitter hops w/ bits of citric and grapefruit. Like the dry, biting hop taste with some spiciness and grassiness along with citric notes and minimal grapefruit sweetness but not much malt base for a balance and gets a little too dry for my liking at times.

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Photo of IronLover
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark red in color poured with a moderate, ligbt beige foam with good retention. Medium floral hop aromas with dark, pitted fruit aromas, light toffee and malt. On the lighter side of medium bodies with a light creamy feel and medium light carbonation. Definitive warming sensation from middle to end. Medium high floral hop flavors up front followed by sweet dark fruits. Medium high yet mellow spicy hop flavors through the middle. Malty backbone throughout. Spicy hops muddle with warm booziness down the backstretch. Finished semi-dryly with a malty sweetness and pleasant spicy bitterness. Fabulous combination of hop and caramel characters.

 645 characters

Photo of brureview
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a reddish copper color in a Stone snifter with a 2F head, which quickly resolved in a few minutes.

Nice aroma: toffee,fruit. The aroma is not typical of a DIPA, more like a wee heavy or a more complex ale. The brewery calls it an "Imperial APA." Hmm... Well, style is not important here.

Enjoyable MF: malty, dry, not very carbonated, and a with a light bitterness.

Taste follow the aroma: fruit, toffee. More fruit in the taste: orange, and smooth citrus.

Smooth little bitter finish.

I really enjoyed this beer. I served it colder, starting at 45°.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle:
Pours a fairly deep copper, with an orange tan frothy head. Lacing is strong in my hotel plastic cup.

Nose has more caramel notes than expected, with a bit of minty hops (or a mix of pine and spice).

Taste is a toasted caramel malt base upon which a candied orange note is added. In some sips I avtually get a little dark bread and banana as well. The hops bitterness is neutral initially, and becomes slightly forest-like in its evergreen notes eventually. There's a light bite of either spice or alcohol (I tend to think the latter).

I appreciate the execution of this Imperial Pale Ale, as they describe it, but the malt flavors are a little darker than "pale" for me. The flavors seem to blur some style lines as well, in a way that didn't work overly well for me.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L - Copper, with 2 fingers of head and nice lacing left all over the glass. Gorgeous

S - Dry hopping evident, very piny and pungent. Earthy

T - Pine and citrus, but not an IPA (which may be a hard sell at 8+%). Very well balanced. Tasty

F - High carbonation and medium body

O - An excellent strong Pale. Well done Avery, extremely enjoyable

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium coppery amber with a half finger ivory head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of biscuit malt with a suggestion of caramel, piney, citrus and slightly dank hops. Flavor is sweet caramel malt with light biscuit, floral, citrus and piney hops with light fruit esters in the background. Finishes with nice resinous piney and citrus hop bitterness and residual sweet malt. Medium bodied with good creaminess. A big, malty imperial IPA with nice floral and light fruit in the hop flavors, as well as sufficient pine and citrus. I really liked the fruit flavors in the background, which tasted like a strain of Belgian yeast used by some local breweries for Belgian style ales. This is my style of big IPA, big malt and big, flavorful hops. t. Looks, tastes and smells great. I will definitely be voting to have this on election night. Wish I liked the candidates as much as this.

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Photo of bump8628
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An old school double IPA with that rather big malt base that nearly balances the massive hoppiness. Hop character is old school too with that rough citrus and pine needle punch that lingers just a bit before the wave of malt pushes back with a firm caramel backbone. Nice oily mouthfeel thanks to the hops rounds it out. Worth picking up a few now since it won't be back for 4 years and it's a solid DIPA for those that prefer a more "balanced" DIPA.

 450 characters

Photo of Parmesan
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
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 Hop_God
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
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 rodbeermunch
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

An orange color with substantial haze, not east coast flour added kind of juice box haze. But it also didn't seem to be from dry hopping exclusively either, this had it, but not anything beyond what I would describe as a light dry hop finishing hop stage.

Malt was big and brown like. Real thick, viscous kind of hoppy ale. Lots of caramel. Grapefruit bitterness.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I know this comes out only once every four year, but I do not remember it being like this. I will leave it at being way too perfumey for my liking. Cheers!

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Photo of 57md
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of Korbynlehr
4.64/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great, clean, smooth with just the right amount of hop flavor. Too bad it only comes out during election years. I'm starting a bill to have this all year. Call your congressman.

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Photo of Crosseyed
2.16/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Big fan of Avery limited releases, but this one wasn't my cup of tea. Lots of malt up front, a bit sweet, not much hops to balance it out, rather long lasting and unpleasant finish. Pains me to give a bad review to Avery after all the wonderful beers ive had from them, but this one is just off..IMHO. I was excited to try it but it didn't live up to the expectations. Got it July 21st 2016 in Denver drank it July 21st wouldn't get it again unfortunately. On to the next. Cheers!

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Photo of BierJager89
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Hazy, semi translucent orange with a foamy white head.

S: Nose is like an old ale. A really old ale. Alcohol, old malt and grains, orange, strong hop character, but overshadowed by the oldness of the smell, probably because it's three years old and under 9% abv. Also, I'm sure it's a very hoppy style.

T: Grass, pine, orange, bitter citric and floral notes.

M: Medium bodied, feels like an IPA.

O: It actually tastes good, but because of the age Im not willing to drink more than a couple small sips. I would imagine a fresh bottle being excellent, for which reason I am giving it these ratings.

 603 characters

Photo of Flounder57
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Having on draft at Bukowski's Cambridge.

Appearance: The beer is a copper color with great clarity and bubbles rising up through the glass. It poured a small head that remained and left super nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Caramel, butterscotch, and toffee maltiness. Some light citrus hops in there too.

Taste: same as above with the citrus more noticeable in the rear. Very balanced.

Mouthfeel: super smooth, low to medium carbonation, medium bodied, a bit dry, and a nice treat.

Overall: Awesome stuff. The malts balance out the hops and dry hops. Nice nightcap.

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Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 599 ratings.
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