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

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Reviews: 395 | Ratings: 575
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
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 morimech
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
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 Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Way to go Avery.
First for the political sentiments (anti Bush/Republican) on the label...
Second for the high quality almost DIPA in the bottle.
Pours clear, glowing darker amber, with that olive oil almost green tint thing going on, tight off white head, leaving better then average fine lace. Nose is the expected oily, gritty, hoppyness. Tasty easy drinking offering, hops quite evident but not overpowering in their approach. Whole wheat toast underlying malt and coating the palate for the approaching hop crunch. Love the this beer...highly recommended for all hoppy beer lovers.

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

a: pours a honey/copper body, white head.

s: Citrus hops and pine.

t: Caramel malt upfront, but this is a double IPA, so let's get to the hops: pine, grapefruit and notes of pineapple. Hops are pretty resiny and juicy.

m: Medium body, sticky.

d: I still prefer Maharajah, but its not really fair to expect Ale to the Chief to live up to that one. But, this is a very good IPA.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.51/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a crystal clear and rosy cherry amber and topped with a huge, lusciously bubbly two inch head, strong ropes of carbonation bubble up from the bottom and support the massive head, this beer leaves behind some considerable lacing as well, just beautiful.

S: Greasy orange peel and grapefruit, just resiny layer upon resiny layer, decent amount of caramel malty sweetness.

T/MF: Interesting, sweet, almost candy like and juicy. Mild pine and caramel mix together well with mild melon and a decently bitter grapefruit and orange juice acidity. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and almost silky smooth if it were not for the considerable bitterness and tiny pin pricks of carbonation.

D: This beer is incredibly smooth and balanced, this beer is for anyone who is seeking a well balanced and super tasty DIPA. While not the biggest hop bomb, this beer is incredibly tasty and about the smoothest DIPA I've been in contact with in some time.

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Photo of Murchmac
3.43/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a one finger head nice lacing, golden orange. Like the doilies on the lincoln bedrooms couch.

Burst of hops hits your nose like the secret service bum rushing you. Malt, straw, lemon?

Sweet floral, sweet hops, not too full bodied. A little thin. More Paula Jones than Monica Lewinsky.

Some burning alcohol finsh. Some sweetness.

Overall an ok beer. I think it says its a double pale ale, kinda confusing, like how our current regime gets away with what it does.

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Photo of hurleymanvw
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Avery did a great job with this one.

Aroma of citrus (grapefruit), pine, and hop with a nice white head. Strong lacing on the glass.

Nice citrus taste with a nice floral hop punch. Malt was used nicely to balance the beers finish.

Mouthfeel is not very heavy the hops are nice to the tongue but do not over power the mouth. The alchol is hidden in this one. Nice balance.

Finish was great with a slight hop bite but not too harsh. I would highly recommend this beer.

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Photo of champ103
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep orange color with a good two finger head. Decent lace is left behind as the head recedes.
S: Piny and floral hops. Grapefruit, orange and lemon peal. A touch of buttery malt to balance everything out.
T: Follows the nose, but the flavors are not as pronounced as they are in the nose.
M/D: Slick and oily. A medium body that is well carbonated. Decent drinkability, but the high ABV is a little much. Good to sip on though.

I enjoyed this. A very good example of a style I am not all that fond of to begin with. I would recommend this to people that love DIPA's.

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Photo of bosco7
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper color with a substantial offwhite head. Heavy lacing.

Smell is great. Pungent pine, grapefruit, mango, and strawberry aromas. Nothing new but very pleasant.

Starts with caramel and then moves into tobacco and melon flavors. Some orange peel in there as well. The finish is bitter and full of resinous pine flavors. Nothing is harsh or overbearing and alcohol is not apparent. Diplomatic flavors I suppose. The taste is definitely unique.

Mouthfeel isn't heavy or light and carbonation is balanced. I enjoyed this beer for sure. I think Avery does an excellent job at differentiating their DIPA's hop character, giving us a unique but ultimately hoppy experience. Highly recommended.

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Photo of bigbelcher
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lot's of well deserved hype about this beer. Big rocky head that lingers for quite a while. Exceptional amount of Belgian Lace indicating the great body of the beer. Color is deep golden.
Aroma is very fruity and crisp hop aroma of citrus. Flavor resembles a smoother version of Maharaja with more malt sweetness. Alcohol is well disguised and masked by the malt and hops. Veery well carbonated as indicated by the lingering head. Wish is were a regular Avery beer instead of a seasonal.

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Photo of froghop
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a clear dark amber-copper with a large white head, with good lacing.

smell is of hops, caramel, dry leaves, and some nuts.

taste is thick and creamy, roasted toffee, malt, and some light grapefruit, finish is on the dry side and slightly bitter.

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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 sholland119
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful clear amber with a thin white head. Nice lacing.

A beautifully balanced aroma. Hops are strong but not overpowering. Malt is strong but not overpowering. Very promising.

What an amazing DIPA. Perfect balance of hops and malts without going over the top on either. Flavor is plenty big enough but not too big. Outstanding!

Good medium carbonation and a nice lingering bitterness.

The most drinkable DIPA I have ever had. I could drink these all night, provided I was at home already.


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Photo of OlieIPA
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint on tap from Hollingshead.

A: Amber color with just the right amount of head. Didn't pay too much attention to the lacing, so can't say too much about that.

S: It was actually hard to pick out one thing. I actually had to ask my buddy what he thought. We both picked out a fruity aroma from the beer with hops mixed in.

T: A little bitter up front and at the end. The mixture of hops and malts was perfect after the intial taste. As it warms up, the bitterness kicks in a little too much.

M: Medium-body. Feels almost unfilitered.

D: The first half of the pint was excellent, but it got kind of difficult to swallow towards the end.

Overall: A very good beer that was worth trying.

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Photo of pleasewearpants
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Pours a nice amberish color with minimal head. This beer smells fantastic. A lot of mellow Cascade I think but with a nice clean pine smell. This would be an extremely pleasant shampoo.

Body is surprisingly light and refreshing. The hops add a really nice cooling sensation to the palate, almost like a Fisherman's Friend but in a good way. The finish is very clean with a nice bitterness at the end. Yeah. The menthol/eucalyptus taste is fantastic. Carbonation is very nice, a tiny bit more than the average Imperial IPA = exceptionally clean.

This beer has a lot more to offer than the DNC commentary I am hearing from my TV in the other room. I think I just found my write-in candidate. Go Avery!

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The color is an awesome deep amberwith some hint of light ruby. LOts of awesome bubbles, it just needs some better head and foam retention. The aroma has a noticeable walnuty aroma with some musky hops smacking my nosrils to life. The aroma is more on the sweet side than bitter. I get nutty toastd breads upfront fast, but are quickly mixed with and overtaken with the musk-like flavor of hops. Not scorching, but thik and long lasting on the palate. The hops really give a lot of body to this beer. The bitterness lasts and then recedes gracefully.

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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 Floydster
3.91/5  rDev -3%
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 Foxman
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a slightly hazy amber, amply carbonated. A finger of dense, eggshell head sustains long enough to leave a frothy moustache after the first couple sips. Thin wires of lacing circuit the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, the hops are all the rage, with dry citrus, lemon zest, and resiny pine playing wantonly. The malt bubble through from under, with a slightly sweet cast and a caramel complexion. The alcohol punctuates the air with a hot shaft of vapor.

Upon sipping, the malt this time comes first, with a manageably sweet character boating caramel and distant berry. The hops elbow in impatiently, casting forth showers of crisp, dry grapefruit, mandarin orange, and thick, oily pine. Esters boast a bit of peach that soon disappears in the wake of a brash wash of alcohol. Residual grain presence is mostly biscuit with a touch of sugar. The finish is very crisp, very dry, and very bitter, but in a homey, hop-head pleasing way. Simply, the impressive balance leaves nothing to not like.

Medium bodied, the malt has nice body, which is buoyed and borne by the oozing lubricant of the hops, leaving a crisp glow for the effort.

Thanks to Taylor at the Mexican Food Factory for the heads up on this, because I would not have wanted to miss it. It's big, bold, brash, and a few other good B's as well, with a balance that juggles some very hefty elements, and yet leads to a very fetching blend. And I can say definitively that it holds up impressively to a sassy quesadilla, often a daunting task but one this beer responds to with aplomb. Yes, the ABV is muscular, but it's not sly, so one can take heed easily. The only issue is knowing when to say when, because it goes down very well. Avery is always solid in my book. But this time, they went above and beyond.

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Photo of slayer3604
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4.5's across the board with this puppy!

A-Drapery of white frothy almost whipped cream head (served at room temp so it would be heady as all shit!) a mild amber color and plumes of carbonation reaching the blanket of head.

S- creme` friache, alcohol, citrus, a foreshadowing of nice hops, and apricot esters.

T- Up front spice, acidic character, almost like bighting a lemon, but in a good way. the lemon is soaked in booze, and fresh malt that dropkicks your tastebuds into submission!!! Such a powerful and refined beer.

M-chewy, sweet but ballanced by a good amount of hop!

D- This might be a new favorite from avery. they never cease to amaze me.

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Photo of Seanibus
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A winner, no matter who wins.

Pours a bright amber with a fluffy, long lasting head with a bit of lacing. The aroma is huge, with a giant blast of grapefruity hops that you can smell from feet away. The taste is lovely, balanced, carmelly and malty with huge, fresh-tasting citrusy hops, with a bit of alcohol on the tongue. The mouthfeel is a bit clingy, leaving a lasting bitterness. A delicious, balanced, and beautiful offering.

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Photo of maddogruss
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got a bottle of this from the Cloverleaf Tavern.

A: Pours an amber body with a white head with nice retention and lacing along the sides of the glass. Both attributes are held through the finish.

S: A fairly strong, hoppy smell with some balancing, grapefruit notes.

T: A bitter, hoppy taste with a smooth, grapefruit aftertaste that did very well to balance the beer. Definitely a nice beer overall and very good.

M: A little watery, but still fairly smooth. Fairly formidable on the palate.

D: A nice combo of mouthfeel and taste makes this beer a good drinking one. A slight alcoholic burn with some warming, but nothing overwhelming. Probably more of a fall season beer, but very good to drink.

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Photo of John_M
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Quotations the other night, where I picked up a growler. I thought this a very nice tasting beer, though perhaps not unexpectedly, it reminded me quite a bit of the Maharaja.

The beer pours a peachy orange amber color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose this beer is all DIPA, with aromas of orange citrus, pine and even some skunkiness. As the beer warmed a bit, I also got an interesting cinnamon aroma. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose (except for the cinnamon), and the beer comes across as a hugely hoppy, mouthfilling DIPA. There is some mild sweetness from the malt, which balances out the hoppiness to some extent. The beer is medium bodied, and while the abv. is certainly noticeable, it's not overwhelming. The beer is actually pretty drinkable, all things considered.

Very nice beer. Glad I had a chance to try it, especially on draft.

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

Poured from the 22oz foil wrapped bottle into a Belgian style goblet.

Appearance- Beer pours a clear golden amber with a substantial one and a half finger head of foam that clings and leaves lacing all across the sides of the glass.

Smell- This is clearly a hop bomb with loads of cascades, simcoe, Amarillo, and cat pissy hops, pines galore, there smells to be some malt in there, but I sure as hell can't pick it out. I can catch a little of the Avery yeast, which must be geared for IPA's as this one smells damn near perfect.

Taste- Crisp fresh hops nearly as much as a harvest ale, they say on the bottle that it's dry hopped, but it tastes as if it was wet hopped as well. Very fresh hop flavor with much citrus, pine, and hop oils all throughout the flavor. Malts do provide a nice balance on this beer.

Mouthfeel- Lightly sticky, bitter, lightly astringent, highly carbonated, and full bodied.

Drinkability- Very nice for the repeat drinking, I will likely buy another bottle for swilling at a future date and I'll try to find it on tap as well.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear brown amber with a dense patch of off-white head cresting atop it; moderate lacing and duration resonate well with the reviewer. The nose is simply incredible--oily, very hopped, a DIPA through and through and, as the inimitable Bighuge says, this wreaks of Mary Jane. There is an unmistakable weed aroma to this hopped-up beauty. Very good taste that nonetheless falls a little short of the aroma--caramel malt, thick floral and citrus hops, a pinch of spice--very well done. Great to see the DIPA tongue emerge with Ale To The Chief, very hoppy but fairly smooth--a terrific testament to the malty balance that at long last emerges in the second half of its consumption.

I'm very impressed with Avery's latest, an excellent DIPA that it should market and distribute far and wide this fall and beyond. A tremendous accomplishment, not one to be missed.

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Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 575 ratings.
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