Ale To The Chief | Avery Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
395 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 395 | Ratings: 575
Photo of gford217
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with slight hints of red with a huge fluffy white head that lingered for a long while and left good lacing.

The aroma is fairly tame for a DIPA, starting with some floral pine hop aromas with a big sweet malty backbone. Citrus hops come on in the finish.

The taste is much more hop-forward than the nose let on. The pine hops hit hard up front with a nice abrasive bitterness that also shows up the finish. In between, the sweet caramel malts are present but less dominant than the aroma.

The mouthfeel follows on from the taste with a hop resin stickiness and good carbonation.

The drinkability is good but pretty abrasive with hops. This is a decent DIPA and one that I recommend.

 706 characters

Photo of illidurit
3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber shared at the July Santa Cruz tasting. Pours hazy bronze with a light tan head. Aroma is chiefly caramel malts and aged hops, a bit dusty but still with some life to it. Flavor displays some big pineapple notes, just as strong and hoppy as a lot of fresh double IPAs. There is however plenty of aged character with muddled crystal and caramel malts and mild isovaleric notes. Respectable bitterness, heavy syrupy body. Not bad for an ancient DIPA.

 454 characters

Photo of KTCamm
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Pours a burnt copper amber copper with lots of fizzy white foam. Ridicoulously long lasting, with lacing even before the foam recedes to the level of the beer. Very sticky.

Sweet malty smell with some orange. Not getting the hop rush I expected.

Taste opens bitter, but holds with anise, licorice, and orange flavors throughout. Finish is bitter, mildly peppery. Lingering hop aftertaste. Good solid carbonation.

At the beginning I thought this was going to be too much hop for me, but the malty mixture held up very well and ended up being more drinkable than I expected. Good taste as well.

 635 characters

Photo of argock
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.75.

A: Murky dark amber with billowing, rock off-white 2-3 finger head with excellent retention and craggy lace deposits mainly at the top but down the glass as well.

S: Pungent floral and citrus hops aromas with a sweet, caramel malt center. A bit boozy in the nose.

T: Solid if typical DIPA flavor profile which fits the "balanced" DIPA category with orange and pine hops flavors met with a fairly big dose of sweet pale and caramel malts for the style. The alcohol is not perfectly hidden, but it doesn't detract much from the flavor experience.

M: Fully slick and mouth-coating with low carbonation as expected. Aftertaste is bitter and tangy sweet.

D: A very good but not great DIPA -- I prefer Avery Maharaja, Oskar Blues Gordon, and Great Divide Hercules to this one -- but it's solid and enjoyable with plenty of hops chops.

 968 characters

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

Twilight golden bodied with a large stack of eggy white suds. It's generally transluscent with plenty of tiny particles in suspension.
It noses of rusted iron, pine sap, pineapple, lemon rind, and graham crackers...and Gin.
In to the mouth, it begins with a honey-slathered graininess. It inches toward caramel, but the hops intercept. And that's not unusual for a big / double IPA. But the hops don't have all that much to say, apart for a bit of stinging bitterness. There are citric tones. There are pineapple tones. There are floral tones. There are reeferous tones. There are metallic and cinnamon-woody and minty tones. But all of these lack the gumption to stand up and assert themselves. Over time, it just becomes more grassy bitter and metallic.
First impression, you'd say "this is hoppy". But when questioned, you'd say, "I'm not sure, just generally". Then there is a drying inhale of Gin and tonic with its booze and minerals.
Full bodied, hanging heavy in the mouth, but given just enough lift to stave off a cloying or oppressive feel. This is like Congress, it can't get anything done right, but somehow manages to appease.
It's not hard to drink, but it's hard not to let one's mind wander to dreaming of DIPAs with a better overall constitution.

 1,266 characters

Photo of jsh420
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours cloudy amber orange with a big 2 finger pillowy head that has great retention and covers the glass with lacing

smells of sweet carmel malts along with piney hops

taste - this beer is over a year old and has changed from DIPA to Barley Wine - i drank many of these when they were fresh and now instead of being overwhelmed by bitter hops now you get a bigger fruity carmel candy malts upfront blended in with piney hops that are just perfect

mouthfeel is a medium body beer that now after a year+ has gone from a DIPA with bite and zip into a BW that is so smooth and creamy

drinkability is great - i have a few more bottles stashed away and will break one out every year at least for the next 3yrs - hail to the chief! cheers!

 736 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another great beer from Avery. Cheers to the Grandwazoo on his election victory. We enjoyed this last night as a celebration of his candidates victory.

This was a very nice beer. Poured with a thick and creamy off white head. Lots of structure and excellent retention. A good amount of lacing remained. The beer itself was slightly cloudy and an orange amber color.

Aroma was fantastic and fresh. Lots of citrus and grapefruit.

Well balanced for such a big beer. The fresh hops were certainly the star, but there was a significant and nice malt backbone. Grapefruit, ripe pineapple, resinous hops flavors.

Mouth feel was very smooth and this was really drinkable. Nice beer.

 678 characters

Photo of prototypic
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It pours a very clear, dark amber color (darker than normal) and has a slight reddish tint to it. It's capped with a two finger, vanilla covered that stuck around for quite a while. A really thick, sticky coat of lace lined the glass.

Smell: Very impressive here. Hops are literally leaping out the glass. It's a very piney scent and a little resiny. There are some floral characteristics intertwined. They make it a little grassy and earthy. There's some citrus sweetness underlying the strong hop aroma. It's mostly grapefruit, lemon, and a little orange. There's some secondary malt aromas that emerge. They add some more sweetness and a bit of a biscuity smell. Remarkably, no alcohol is noted. Very nice job on the nose.

Taste: The flavor isn't quite what I'd hoped, but it's still very good nonetheless. It is hoppy and bitter, but isn't anywhere near a palate crusher. There's a mix of piney and floral elements. The floral side appears to give it a pretty nice earthy and grassy flavor. The citrus flavors are grapefruit and lemon mostly. They're a little sweet, but are clearly a secondary flavor. Malts provide a nice, sweet foundation, but perhaps negate some of the hop attack. It's still primarily bitter, but there's some malty sweetness lingering. It finishes sweet and bitter. Again, I'm not picking up much in the alcohol department.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and has a nice, smooth feel. Carbonation is dialed in pretty well. I'm really close to awarding a "4.5" here. Drinkability is very good. Not only does it taste good and feature a smooth feel, it's also a big beer in disquise. It really is deceptively strong.

Ale to the Chief. I really like the name and the concept for this beer. It's incredibly fitting for an election year. I'm unsure of how well it will hold up until inauguration day given its strong hoppy character. That's why I decided to enjoy one today. In any event, it's a fine beer celebrating the inauguration. I'll drink to that...whomever may be elected.


 2,039 characters

Photo of tpd975
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up from Whole Foods Sarasota

A: Pours a nice golden hue nice bright and clear. The head is big, tall, and fluffy. One huge sheet of lace covers nearly 1/3 of the glass.

S: Bold hop aromas. Tons of sappy sweet pine. Tinges of grapefruit and orange juice poke thru.

T: Very much like the aroma. Big on the pine, bold and sweet. Hints of grapefruit and sunsweet orange juice. Rater bold, er Presidential.

M: Medium in body, with a big blast of carbonation.

D: Rather. The taste is big and the price is right at whole foods. Wish I had grabbed a few more.

 564 characters

Photo of arizcards
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber at Total Wine and More back in late February for $7.49.

Beer poured orange-amber with a huge fluffy head that is leaving lacing behind. Nose initially said malt bomb. Hints of perfumed northwest hops come out with a bit of warming. Taste is big on pale malts balancing nicely with a fair amount of floral hops. Mouthfeel is pretty full and pretty darn smooth. Drinkability is good as the abv is pretty well hidden. This is a big beer geared for the hop heads. Definitely a winner, recommended to try.

 520 characters

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

Reviewed on 10/11/08. Bottle. Pours a clear dirty orange with a thick, foamy white head. Aroma of bitter citrusy hops, cracker malt, and iced tea. Flavor of nice bitter hops and slight iced tea. Pretty good ASA, but it's a little sweet.
7/4/8/4/14 (3.7/5)

 255 characters

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a crystal clear amber gold with a huge volume of creamy off-white head.

Aroma is a gorgeous medley of sweet malts, caramel, fresh-baked bread, and piney/citrus hops.

The taste is quite malty upfront. Creamy with caramel and toffee while finishing with a piney hoppiness. The alcohol is well hidden.

Medium bodied, rich and chewy, and moderately carbonated.

Bravo. I love this IIPA from Avery. A great drinker from start to finish.

 457 characters

Photo of hopdog
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Poured a medium and clear copper color with an averaged sized off whte head. Aromas of citrus, pine, with some caramel. Tastes of citrus, pine, floral hops, and caramel. Overall the alcohol content was well hidden.

Notes from 8/23/08.

 250 characters

Photo of garymuchow
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I guess I'm a little late to the game on this one. Oh well.
The requests on the label seem sincere, if not incompatible/unrealistic (how's that hopey changey thing working out), but what's that got to do with what's inside? Nothing. So let's give it a go. Poured into an imperial pint Sierra Nevada glass. I should also note that this is the first on a several DIPA journey. Wonder where this might take me?
Nice expressive sound as the carbonation escapes from its imprisonment. Full rich tannish head caps a very clear gold-reddish amber of the attractive kind. Cap becomes rocky as it settles.
I suppose, in part due to age, the balance on the nose is more balanced as the toasty malt character nearly overcomes the hop aroma of mild spiciness and a slightly intense resin, characteristic of so many in this style. I think age may have hurt this part a bit.
In my mind the unique quality of this drink continues to be the toastiness of the malt. It's quite apparent and unusual (as compared to the others in this style of which I've imbibed). A mild sweetness starts the drink, with an occassional touch of caramel (yum). A growing intensity of hop flavor (resiny again) and bitterness appears about mid drink and finishes after the liquid as passed, but the malt flavors are never really vanquished and help prevent a complete hop bomb. I'm not fond of oppressive hops.
Moderate body aids in reasonably quick drinking. Nicely carbonated as I'm not distracted and it lightens the feel.
The lightness helps the drinkability. However, I'm not inclined to indulge beyond this bottle. I'm not sure the blending worked quite right on this. It's an unique and interesting malt profile for style, but I guess in the end it's not something I'd consider trying to emulate or to excitedly seek out. But I"m pleased for the opportunity and I like the notion of creating a special beer for the hope that comes with the significant transitions in our life.

 1,946 characters

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

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.

 784 characters

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

22oz. bomber into new Sam Adams glass. Shared with brewslut in celebration of Barack Obama's victory.

A - Clear copper-tinged amber/orange body with ample carbonation and one-finger creamy off-white head that receded into a thin ring of retention and left plenty of lace around the glass.

S - Fairly pungent mélange of citrus, pine and grassy hops backed by a caramel sweetness. A slight tinge of alcohol rounds out the aroma.

T - This DIPA's definitely got a West Coast vibe with a flavor profile combining juicy grapefruit, citrus zest and hints of pine. While this brew packs quite a hoppy bite, there is ample support from the sweet caramel malt backbone. There's also just a touch of toasted grain in the finish.

M - Medium body with smooth, creamy texture and moderate carbonation. Some stickiness from the hops is also present. Finishes a bit dry with a nice lingering bitterness on the palate.

D - I'm glad I saved this bomber for such a momentous occasion. While this is a solid DIPA, it isn't quite as aggressive as The Maharaja. It's quite tasty, though. I'm happy to be drinking this in celebration rather than defeat.

 1,139 characters

Photo of Beaver13
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pours a clear golden orange with a big frothy head head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is melons and peppery piney hops with some spices and alcohol.

The flavor is sweet sugary melons and some toasted malts followed by a big fruity piney hop resin finish. The alcohol is well hidden, but gives a nice warming. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth velvety carbonation.

Overall, a very nice IPA. Not too over the top like many of Avery's big beers. Just not tailored enough to my tastes to be top tier for me.

 556 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
3.06/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A strawberryred with a good creamy head and great retention. Great lace.
Smell is hops, floral, pine, with some malt way in the back.
Taste is hops all over, some floral, pine and alcohol.
Medium body, light effervescence, crisp finish. All hops in aftertaste with alcool note. Good with a high ABV apparently but kind of a "one trick pony".

 341 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.

 594 characters

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!

 2,286 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Room temp bottle poured into a snifter. The beer pours a bright copper hue with frothy eggshell white head of 2 cm foaming up and leaving large windowpane lattice as it fades.
Aroma is citrusy grapefruit and pine sap hops right from the pour. First sip reveals an average body with tingly carbonation. Flavor is a hit of caramel and rolls quickly to citrus hops like the nose advertised. There is a little astringent bitterness on the finish, but not overwhelmingly bitey flavor. A clean crisp beer that isnt very complex but is pretty tasty if you like hops. Not an all out hop bomb though, just nice hop flavors mixing together in this brew.

 643 characters

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

Ale to da man! Here it comes with a slightly hazy amber pour into the NB tulip glass, darn nice frothy eggshell topping - for such a high alcohol brew (8.7%).
Reminding me of a west coast IPA with the citrus pine and orange aroma. Woody resin checks in at the quaff, this brew is packed with malt along with all the hops. Nice sipping fall brew while watching football.

Just another solid Avery brew, this DIPA nails the style to a tee - and this bomber only set me back $6.

 475 characters

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.

 1,080 characters

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.

 365 characters

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.

 237 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!