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Ale To The Chief | Avery Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
379 Reviews
THE BROS
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Ale To The ChiefAle To The Chief
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
379
Ratings:
510
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
11.63%
 
 
Wants:
25
Gots:
16
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 379 | Ratings: 510
Photo of Overlord
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the highlights of Stone's 12th anniversary.

Pours an orange amber, small off white head.

Hops literally leap at you; grapefruit, citrus, and pine. Taste is explosive, with sticky, resinous grapefruit, some nice tropical/malty backing, and a lively mouthfeel. Could drink all day.

Great.

 298 characters

Photo of dsa7783
4.97/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Single bomber bottle just copped from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
This has to be one of the best Avery beers ever produced and possibly a highly unrated one as well..
Pours a dark-copper, orange, tawny, ruddy hue with a minimal head that quickly dissipated and deposited a thin film of lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Mild aroma blended with hops, slight malts, caramel...
Taste was unbelievable, truly refreshing without the slightest trace of the hefty 8.75% ABV...
This is a very interesting beer in that it seems to straddle the fence between an Imperial IPA and an Imperial APA... The hop essence is there, but not at all overwhelming as in some DIPA styles... Nuances of lemon, caramel, rich hops, citrus and minor vanilla collide to produce an outstanding beer...
Highly recommended...

 823 characters

Photo of wagenvolks
4.08/5  rDev +1%
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"!

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Photo of Crosling
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper color with a small head. They nailed the nose, with an intense blend of west coast hops that deliver loads of grapefruit and lemon. Flavor packs a wallop with a lovely, beautiful hoppiness. Lemon, citrus, resin, pure, oily hops. Well utilized hops and also hops of high quality. Delicious display of hops. Basically a 1.5 IPA here.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.13/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Somehow I neglected to have this on Election Night.

Neat label.

Clear copper body, topped by four fingers of loose bubbly sticky white froth.

Big citrusy nose, plenty of grapefruit with bits of orange. Not quite fresh though. Hint of alcohol.

Starts with a malty sweet foothold. Juicy citrusy hops quickly overwhelm the malt. Finishes dry, almost dusty. Hit and miss alcohol sensation. No real big bite, finish, or aftertaste.

Smooth mouthfeel. Ok drinkability.

Overall, a bit of a letdown. I expected more. Perhaps excess. This lacked a core.

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Photo of Kendo
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on 1-20-09. Bush's last day, Obama's first.

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip. Body is golden-honey amber with a foamy 1-finger light khaki head. Some lace slowly recedes.

S: Grapefruity, citrusy & piney hops over sweet malt: honey and caramel malt. Very pleasant nose.

T: Grapefruit & citrus in general and tropical fruit. Also some caramel malt and brown sugar, providing nice balance. Finishes with slight bite of heat and pepper. Lingering dry pine and grassy bitterness.

M: Medium weight. Some slight resiny grittiness.

D: Excellent. Went down very easily for an almost-9% ABV DIPA.

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Photo of atsprings
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber into a Duvel tulip. Pours a nice slightly hazy copper with a decent frothy off-white head that slowly diminishes to a thin layer but leaves great lacing. Aroma is crisp cascade hops overpowering sweet malts. The taste is a fairly well balance of both citrus and pine hops with caramel malts, pine and caramel linger nicely in the finish. The beer is medium bodied with some warming slightly sticky alcohol, but it's somewhat well hidden. This is a very enjoyable Double IPA, and I certainly hope Barack Obama enjoys the "ample amount of our Presidential Pale Ale" that Avery will inevitably bestow upon him this January! I'll certainly be picking up more before election night to celebrate his victory!

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Photo of snaotheus
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a 22oz mug.

Pours a nice cloudy golden with a slight orange tinge. Big poofy head and super lacing. Pretty carbonated. Smells bright, citric, and hoppy. Spicy.

Taste is pretty balanced -- the hops are very strong, but not overwhelming, and there's muted citrus sour and smoky nuttiness and fruity sweetness to even it out.

Feels a little abrasive in the mouth -- probably partially due to the heavy carbonation. Pretty drinkable beer -- not that I would recommend downing six of these in a night, but I might be willing to try it.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Kiefdog for this 'extra' brew in a recent trade. Knocked one off my wants list...

First off, this is a very pretty beer. Pours a deep gold honey color with a huge off-white head bursting forth. Excellent retention, and it leaves some very pretty sticky lacing on the glass. Smells very sweet like caramel and buttered bread. Some faint floral in there, but nothing overpoweringly hoppy. I'm a little surprised at this as it's a DIPA.

Mouthfeel is a little slick and watery. Could stand a little more carbonation. Flavor is very sweet, mirroring the scent. Big malty caramel flavor all over this. Finishes bitter, but faintly. This is an interesting DIPA. This is more like an Imperial Pale Ale, rather than a Double IPA. A little too sweet for the style, but a good beer nonetheless.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Ale to the Chief! - A Presidential Pale Ale to celebrate Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009"

"Not an 'imperial' pale ale, this is a democracy."

"We the Brewers..."

Just a few of the literary gems on this fine bottle of beer!

22oz. brown bomber bottle topped with gold foil.

Pours a redish golden amber with ample head.

Lots of fresh hop aroma with citrus and pine notes.

Flavor is that of a IPA or imperial IPA but you didn't hear it from me...

Nicely bittered but also well balanced. This is really an exceptional beer.

I know what I'll be drinking 1/9/09!

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bomber bottle into my imperial pint glass. Appears a mildly cloudy rich golden yellow color with about two fingers of fluffy off-white head. A moderate amount of lacing sticks to the inside of the glass with each sip. Smells of citrus and floral hops followed by sweet malt. This is unusual for a DIPA - the caramel malt is the first thing I taste followed by a pleasantly bitter rush of hops. Citrus notes such as lemon and grapefruit as well as pine are the dominant flavors with a nice caramel malt base. Finishes dry with a slight alcohol burn on the tongue and throat. Medium in both body and carbonation. This is a very well done DIPA and worth seeking out if you can.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.2/5  rDev +4%
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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Photo of portia99
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle received as an extra in a trade with bryanbrick. Thanks Bryan! Poured into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Bottle was a gusher...but once I finished cleaning up the counter and the floor...Pours a cloudy, yeasty copper orange color with a thick, whipped cream like head that settles to a high rimmed collar around the glass with islands of bubbles on the surface.

S - Rich and malty aromas, lots of caramel, some bread, sugar sweetness, a bit of dish detergent (definitely not from the glass either), and a little bit of grapefruit on the nose.

T - Malt centered but with a nice bitterness to it. Not sharply bitter, but round and full. A bit of grapefruit and a touch of pine. Sweet sugar and toffee flavors, some bready, yeasty flavors. Alcohol has a presence in the flavor too, but not at all hot.

M - Pretty full bodied and malty. Carbonation is on the high side and pretty creamy in feel - just a little bit of tingle around the mouth. Lingering malt sweetness in the mouth and quite chewy too.

D - This is a good DIPA, but not a great one. To be fair, I think this is probably a bit past its prime, but not really old either. Malt is a bigger focus than I prefer, but there is still enough hops to enjoy it. Alcohol is on the high side at 8.75%, and it's presence is made known too. Good beer - I think one is enough for me though.

 1,347 characters

Photo of woemad
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes.

22oz bomber purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane at least two months ago, for $7.99. It may be a tremendous cliche, but I drank this on Inauguration Day (20 January, 2009, for you future beer historians).

Glorious looking beer! A burnt-orange color with a big, creamy off-white head that dropped in stately fashion and left lots of lace on the sides of my glass. Tiny, grainy sediment can be seen if one stares with enough intensity to risk eyestrain.

Hops, hops, hops. Big, piney, sappy (in the best sense of the word) hops, citrusy hops, peppery hops - all present and accounted for. Biscuity maltiness in the background. Way in the background.

Big piney hop blast that is quickly matched up with a citrusy, grapefruit-like bite. A peppery, spicy taste is in the background. The malts are present, but cowering at the rear, if taste has a rear. Bone-dry note at the swallow.

Medium bodied, with a prickly yet oily mouthfeel. Just like a DIPA should be.

An outstanding "occaision beer", and while it doesn't have the same effect upon the palate as, say, a bomber of Ruination or a big RIS, I don't think it's something I'd pair with food or attempt to session. I'm not sure that this beer is the best tasting DIPA I've had, but it ranks up there. If I could be guaranteed that this is a beer version of how the newly-installed administration will be, I could submit a re-election ballot right now.

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Photo of babaracas
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber a slightly hazy amber with white head which fades to a few clumps with thick lacing. Smell: pine, grapefruit, apricot, pineapple, sweet malt and grassy/floral notes. Taste: interesting progression: pine, grainy+caramel, pink grapefruit and sweet orange, earthy and caramel. Some astringent and citrus rind flavors at the end of the sip. This is a fairly sweet, malt forward dipa, but then again it's a democratic pale ale, so it's ok that it brings the change.

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Photo of sholland119
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

HV

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Photo of armock
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a copper color with a tan head that leaves lacing

S - Is of citrus hops grapefruit and some malt backing it up

T - Starts with hops up front then gets balanced a little by the malt and finishes bitter

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - I myself enjoyed this beer not as balanced as I'd like but it is a DIPA so its meant to be a hopbomb its a good beer thats worth trying

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Photo of far333
4.08/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.42/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours on opaque orange amber into a pint glass with a frothy half inch head. This beer has very little smell initially(served rather chilled) yet opens up as the beer warms. Notes of caramel malts and light hops initially. Yet Belgian yeasts soon dominate.

Taste is somewhat malty, yet this is no Maharaja, and that is a good thing. Not nearly as complex in the malts nor as sweet as Maharaja, this brew offers a nicely balanced malt structure. And with a touch of Belgian yeast sourness. Anyway, that aside I find this brew neither enticing nor enthralling.

I would consider this to be an oddball of an American DIPA and more of a Belgian IPA with a well disguised ABV, perhaps a 'White Rascal' on malted steroids.

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Photo of joe1510
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
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 Rayek
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like many here, I drank this on Inauguration Day. I made the mistake of waiting until the big day to buy it, however. Luckily, I was able to track down two bottles after a bit of a search.

A: Copper colored with a slight haze. Cream colored head is big and rocky. Head retention is great, and much lace stays behind in its wake.

S: Kind of like stepping into a forest. Pine and oak scents dominate the experience, plus a hint of grapefruit citrus. There is also an anise aroma that's along for the ride.

T: Not the hop bomb I was expecting and certainly different. Hops do dominate the experience, but not in the form of bitterness. Instead, the theme from the nose continues with intense pine forest flavors. The anise theme comes through and adds an extra bit of complexity. Alcohol adds warmth and an additional bitter bite.

M: Medium body feels oily and a touch leafy. Carbonation level is just right.

D: A very nice beer overall. It felt a little rough around the edges though. I've kept a second bottle to cellar for bit so I can see if this beer mellows with age. All in all, a perfect beer for my 300th review.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle enjoyed during the pregame to the last game at Yankee stadium.

A: Nice copper color with surprising clarity. Poured with 2 fingers of white head. Excellent lacing.

S: Simply amazing nose. Tons of fresh hops. Floral and citrus as well.

T: Amazing taste. Tons of citrus. Grapefruit and just moist hops. This is what wet hopping is all about. The malt is there as well but this is all about the hops.

M: Nice and creamy. Just a nice crisp beer. I love it when a super hoppy beer gets that nice creamy mouthfeel.

D: Nothing beats a fresh dry hopped beer and this is no exception. Super easy drinking with a ton of taste. The hop head inside of me is moist. Track this one down soon to get this wonderful beer.

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Photo of bashiba
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a nice slightly hazed dark amber with a thick and pillowy tan head.

The smell is very nice, big and bold fresh citrusy hops with a nice touch of bready malts.

Wow, I can't believe how mild and balanced the flavor is. Has a nice smooth fresh bread malt flavored backbone with a lightly clean citrusy hop finish. Very balanced and suprisingly only slightly bitter. The alcohol is dangerously hidden.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy with a bit of warmth.

This is a double IPA that drinks like a 4.5% session beer. Outstandingly drinkable.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from Beer Run, Charlottesville, VA. Poured into a 22 oz. Terrapin snifter.

Appearance: A clear, filtered amber, medium dark red, with a foamy, meringue-like tan head. Its retention is above average generally, though possibility only average for the style. Carbonation appears to be very attractive, with tons of medium-sized bubbles racing upwards towards the head around the periphery of the snifter. Lacing is splotchy on the sip side, solid and swiss cheese-like on the non-sip side.

Aroma: Spicy west coast hop aroma, decently complex. Thick, resinous pine needles blanket a forest of grapefruit trees, lush, ripe, pregnant with their ruby red jewels. Ok, not really, but it's still pretty nice, with lots of doughy bready notes and caramel.

Taste: A surprisingly mellow beer, though that could be the age on it. Obviously, being a DIPA, there are a few hop undertones ... ok, overtones ... tones? Anyway. Doughy roasted caramel supports an array of probably-once-glorious but now-somewhat-faded spruce notes, minty, basil notes, other leafy vegetal overtones, and varying degrees of citrus zest. It's interesting, pleasant, and, again, decently complex, but not very "robust," if that makes sense.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation on this one is pretty big, both in terms of activity, speed, and bubble size. As a result, the mouthfeel is a little less creamy and/or even than I might like in a DIPA, but it still does an admirable job of maintaining a level of smoothness.

Drinkability: I haven't had the opportunity to taste this one fresh, but I know faded hops when I see 'em. It's a shame Avery released this one when they did - wait 6 months and they could have had a perfect Inauguration Day DIPA on their hands. As it stands, this is still a pretty solid, above average DIPA, with a well-hidden and tolerable abv% and an interesting and semi-complex array of flavors and aromas. Give it a shot ... but soon.

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

I poured this one from a 22oz brown bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A= This ale poured a cloudy but bright (if that's possible) orange-amber color with a 1/2" white head. There was a fairly active carbonation release and the head slowly dropped to a thin skim. Tons of sticky lace down the glass.

S= Aromas of pine and citrus hop notes, followed by a bistuity malt base and a fair amount of alcohol.

T= Flavor was also dominated by pine and citrus hops throught each sip. Midway a slight burst of bakery malt sweetness broke through, only to be covered up again by the hops. The finish was a long dance of sweetness/hop bitterness/ and alcohol.

MF= Medium body with a slightly crisp to crisp mouthfeel. Carbonation was near perfect for the style in my opinion.

D= This was a very good Imperial/Double IPA. I thought the body and the carbonation were nearly perfect, but the base bitterness could have been just a bit higher. Still, a damn good beer and one I will certainly have more of soon.

 1,000 characters

Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 379 ratings.
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