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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:
598
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
11.91%
 
 
Wants:
24
Gots:
33
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 401 | Ratings: 598
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 brewdlyhooked13
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a hazy, obscure but bright amber. A thin but creamy, soapy head atop, nice sticking lace around most of the glass.

Aroma - orange, syrupy, heavy. Definitely a Double IPA on the nose.

Taste - chewy malts and orange juice. Fresh and vibrant, the swallow bends more towards a grassy grapefruit flavor. A kind of kiwi taste as the palate clears, plenty of citrus throughout. Quite a tasty beverage; finishes warm in the belly with a lengthy, mildly bitter end. Shows some crackery, almost rye-like graininess on the finish. A little medicinal touch at times, late if at all. Probably not bitter enough for the DIPA-heads, but I prefer it.

Mouthfeel - smooth and slightly slick, heavier than normal. Carbonation is up but fighting through much body to make its presence known.

Drinkability - one of the more drinkable DIPAs I've come across. I'll save the other one for 1/20 or thereabouts. I toast the end of the campaign season (how I *hate* the commercials), congratulate those who've won, and toast the beginnning of what I hope is a brighter future. Cheers.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours lovely honey, almost white .25 inch head, reduces to ring with sudsy lacing.

S - Hop damn. A pine forest that has been pelted by citrus. Some malt floating around in there, too.

T - Tasty caramel candy bar down the center, beautiful offsetting bittering hops.

M - Nice, comforting weight and mouthfeel. Good carb and coat.

D - Deceptive and drinkable.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cute label on this beer: it's certainly clear who they're hoping wins, as well. Anyway, I poured it into a NB chalice glass. It's a nice dark orange color with a frothy white head topping it. It features a nice aroma with plenty of citrusy hops.

Wow, I admit I was expecting a fairly ordinary PA flavor, but this really impressed me: it's got a wonderful very zesty hop flavor, with a lot of citrus character, a nice orange/lemon-peel flavor with a touch of resin. This is a masterpiece of hoppiness, not too bitter but just right. There's not a lot of other flavors going on here--malt is subordinate and the yeast character is clean, but this is one of the best hop-beers I've had.

Very satisfying! Very tasty!

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a luminous amber color with thin white head that remains thin for awhile. Nose has some light citrus, but not much more. Some black tea aromas are noted. Again there's black tea noted on the palate, with a touch of caramel, and then some mouth drying hop bitterness towards the finish. Hop dryness lingers afterwards.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.97/5  rDev +23.3%
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...

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.87/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I wonder if our commander-in-chief could clear an hour in his busy schedule for some quality time with this beer. He deserves it, and man, can he use a break from the stress or what? I wouldn't want that job, no matter how kick-ass the perks are.

This beer is a thing of beauty. Super-duper creamy head leaves oodles of lace as it lessens (but it remains thick at half-an-inch the entire way down). Bubbles are plenty and the color is a rusty copper-red.

A wonderful aroma offers butterscotch/butter-rum candies, toffee, pine, tangerine, lemon and melted butter. Hoppy, yeah, but so much more going on. Even a little alcohol, to flare the nostrils, but very well-controlled. Excellent.

Flavor is all one could ask for in a double IPA. Hops are front and center, a fantastic balance of resiny pine and citrus sweetness and the tart/sour pucker of citrus rind. Big malt backbone provides not only a wonderfully creamy body, rounded and full, but lots of toasty caramel/toffee goodness in abundance. Alcohol, though on the lower end for the style, makes its presence known with a blanket of warmth over the primary flavors.

I've really been lucking out with the double IPAs lately. Ale To The Chief is tremendous, though I can't say I'm surprised, considering the brewery. A.T.T.C. hasn't been out long, but I feel like it's underrated. An incredible double IPA up there with Avery's own Maharaja, and the best in the style from Three Floyds, Alesmith and Southern Tier. Wowza.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.14/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Type: Draft
Glass: Half pint glass
From: URGE American Gastropub
in Rancho Bernardo (San Diego, Calif.)
Price: $4.00
Misc.: N/A

Poured a red caramel color with a finger (when I got it) of off-white head that lasted for awhile. Good looking circular lacing on the sides. Nice layer of on the top as it went down.

Smelled soap, butter and bitter piny hops.

Tasted bitter piny hops, grapefruit, weak floral hops and soap with a huge alcohol bite.

Medium body. Thin-to-oily texture. Lively (above average) carbonation. Bitter finish.

Just wasn’t a fan of his beer. Lots of alcohol in the taste, but the flavor just didn’t match up.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a pretty clear golden amber color with a nice head. Head has great retention and leaves a lot of lacing.

S- All hops here citrus and pine!

T- Sweet citrus upfront hops. Has nice hop bitterness on the end. Just a hint of malty sweetness keeps this from being one-dimensional.

M- Medium body and good carbonation. Almost feels like its unflitered.

D- Easy to drink and wonderful flavour.

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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 emmasdad
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a nice cloudy orange color, with a decent amount of white head. Aromas of sweet caramel malt and citrusy hops. Nicely balance IIPA, with a good blast of hoppiness and some good malt sweetness/alcohol. A nice effort, worth brewing again.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.27/5  rDev +6%
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 Overlord
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of Kendo
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
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 wagenvolks
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
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 +10.9%
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 GilGarp
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
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 RonfromJersey
3.13/5  rDev -22.3%
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 atsprings
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
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 Onenote81
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
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 woemad
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
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 ClockworkOrange
4.15/5  rDev +3%
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 babaracas
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
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 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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Photo of portia99
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 598 ratings.
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