Ale To The Chief | Avery Brewing Company

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Ale To The ChiefAle To The Chief
BA SCORE
4.02/5
Exceptional
623 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#3,925
Reviews:
405
Ratings:
623
pDev:
9.7%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
26
Gots:
38
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 623 |  Reviews: 405
Photo of KarlHungus
4.78/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a pale amber-orange color. The head is huge billowy and off white. It last forever, and sticks all over the glass until the beer is gone. The aroma is of pine, citrus, pears, and a hint of herbal hops. The taste is tea like with a tons of herbal and floral hops, and it has a hint of citrus in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a great beer. It is like a West Coast DIPA meets an English IPA, and I really like that. I will certainly drink this up while its around.

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Photo of Greggy
4.7/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a hazy orange/amber color with a thick 1 finger white head. Nice clinging lace is present.

S- Aromas of pineapple, pear, green apple skins, a slight herbal note. Extremely balanced.

T- Huge herbal tea notes. Peach Oolong tea comes to mind. Also notes of marmalade, piny hops. This is extremely well balanced. The finish is very long and very herbal.

M- Nice low carbonation, full body, nice herbal finish that lingers.

D- This is dangerously drinkable. A bomber won't be a problem drinking alone. I will definitely drink this again while it's still around.

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Photo of magictrokini
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Pours clear copper with a short white head. Big hop wallop in the nose. Grapefruit, pine oil, caramel, and orange zest. Smooth taste. Thought this was an IIPA, but it doesn't matter. Huge hops, the cascades really come through without blowing it up. Grapefruit, resin, pineapple, and mango flavors, all with the caramel malt back. Great beer.

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Photo of drperm
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, poured into a tall pilsner glass.

Notes: 2 December 2008...obviously, I also couldn't wait until Inaguration Day to whip this puppy out, but I might try to find another to replace it with!

Appearance: Enticing and intriguing, with the beautiful orange color of apricot or mango nectar. A thin -- yet tenacious -- creamy white head laces the top.

Aroma: The first thing that hits the nose is the alcohol, but it quickly flows into a nice bouquet of hops and sweet malt, with some mysterious fruitiness lurking beneath the surface...

Taste: The nose does NOT prepare you for the treasure trove of flavor that greets the tongue! Cantaloupe, persimmon, apricot, peach ice cream, and sweet resinous hop (sorry, folks, I get no grapefruit) lead into a finish that *almost* hints at fresh cardamom. The finish is dizzying and, strong as it is, begs -- nay, dares -- you to take another sip. And another.

Palate: Oh, boy, do you ever feel that 8.75%! It definitely finishes like an Imperial/DIPA. Based on the nose and preliminary tongue, I fear the sweetness that seems to be on the way -- but somehow it all works. It flirts with being too sweet, but never commits. The spicy hop finish tames the candy corn and sends it away.

Overall: This is one of THE best new beers I've had in a long while. It is quite complex and enjoyable. I doubt I could have more than one at a time (it's just too strong, and the 22 oz almost defeated me!) -- but, after all, one *can* only have one beer at a time...It's so heady, it's almost in league with certain barleywines.

Try with spicy Indian food. It worked great with a Senegalese peanut soup we made. I'd also be tempted to try this alongside pistachio ice cream or even a hot peach cobbler.

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Photo of nickss
4.39/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice deep orange with a smallish, but resilient head.

One of the best aromas from a brew I've drank in quite some time. Huge grapefruit aroma with a very strong hop presence.

Huge piney aroma... lots of hops in this one. That said, there is a bit of balance. Pretty nice all around.

Nice crisp mouthfeel... good and chewy... pretty much what you would want in a DIPA

Very drinkable for a brew of this abv. I could certainly knock a few of these back in one sitting. I have really come to appreciate Avery's hoppy brews, and this is certainly a credit to the brewery.

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Photo of zeff80
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, orange/amber color with an off-white, foamy, bubbly, long lasting, three-finger head. It left sticky traces of lace.

S - It smelled of pine, citrus (grapefruit) and floral notes.

T - I've never tasted grapefruit in a beer quite like this. Simply put the strongest grapefruit flavor I've ever tasted in a beer. It also had a biscuity/caramel flavor with a subtle grassy bite.

M - It was sharp, crisp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good beer. Again, the most grapefruit taste I've ever had in an IPA.

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Photo of tadowdaddy
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- light amber color with 2 fingers of off white head and tremendous lacing.

S- Floral, citrus, and piney hops. A touch of maltiness comes across as well in the smell.

T- Delicious combination of floral and citrus hops with a really good caramel malt on the background to balance it out. Tastes more like a regular IPA than a double, but is a very delicious beer. Not as bitter as I'd have expected from a DIPA.

M- A bit chewy, leaves a nice aftertaste of hops on the tongue.

D- Very drinkable! Wish I had another one!

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just couldn't wait around until Inauguration Day to try this, and besides, the hops onboard the brew weren't getting any younger, so I decapped the chilled 22-ounce bomber bottle and poured it into my DFH pint glass. When held to the light, the body of the beer glows a bright orange-amber with a dusky crimson-tinted heart. A thick cap of milk-bubbled, bright white foam rests atop the drink, retaining throughout the serving, leaving fine, sticky rings of lacing clinging to the glass.

The smell of the drink is tropically fruity and sweet, with a rich perfumey bouquet of ripe mango, grilled pineapple, honeydew melon, fragrant key lime-- all underscored with a savory note of toasted bread crust dipped in sourwood honey.

The taste is sweet and really fruity, even moreso than the aroma would have indicated-- and that's really saying something! Crisp notes of limeade, freestone peaches, and smashed muscadine grapes, clover honey, bitter grapefruit pith, and just a tingle of resinous rosemary, work well with a mild toasted maltiness that becomes more prominent as the drink warms. Just a touch of lingering bitterness in the finish keeps the drink from becoming overly sweet, and that bitterness evolves, growing in size and potency, becoming oilier and more grapefruity as the engagement continues. This is easily the fruitiest DIPA I have ever encountered, and I find that I am really liking the take on the style.

The drink is on the heavier side of medium-bodied with very good carbonation and great drinkability. Avery's Ale to the Chief is a worthy brew, and one I proudly raise in toasting the success of the newly-elected future Leader of the Free World! He'll need all the help he can get. Cheers, America!

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Photo of stcules
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish amber color, slightly hazy, with very low carbonation. One finger of white compact head.
Hoppy smell, a lot. Strong grapefruit notes.
In the mouth the hop is almost chewable, with a lot of grapefruit again.
In any case, a good cleaniness, and in the hoppy territory, balanced.
Also some tangerine note.
It is not an easy beer, even if the alcohol is well hidden.
Good.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Obviously, the brewers at Avery are not fans of President George W. Bush! On to the beer!

Pours a lovely clear mahogany with a thin but lingering khaki head. Big citrusy hops in the nose and rich caramel malt.

Citrusy hops in the mouth, herbal hops too. Grapefruit and tangerine from the hops but very malty too. Lots of rich caramel malt with just a hint of fruitiness. Well balanced but clearlymore malt forward overall. Thick, sticky finish, blurring the lines between "Presidential" IPA and a hoppy barleywine. Big full body. Very tasty ale and very smooth. The nearly 9% ABV sneaks up on you so be careful. It hit me with quite a buzz by the time I finished the bomber!

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Photo of jonballs
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Rich, clean orang-ish amber pour, outstanding foamy head retention with exceptional lacing.
S - Like any big IPA, rich in florals; presence of citrus with a touch of piney aroma, mellowed out by a small touch of maltiness.
T - Much like the smell, a smooth (but not overpowering) flavor of bitter hops balanced with a bit more maltiness than some other big IPA's I've had, citrusy with the alcohol bite on the way down.
M - Thick like the taste, almost like you could chew this beer.
D - This is a pretty good big IPA, although if you're looking for tounge-splitting hoppiness, look elsewhere. I like the balanced mellow hoppiness of this brew.

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Photo of Viggo
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber, big thanks to Torontoblue for cracking this one, shared also with the Denver.

Pours a clear dark amber/orange, very bright, big thick off white head forms, lots of sticky lacing on the glass, nice retention, head really sticks around. Smell is nice and hoppy, lots of pine and grapefruit, caramel malts, light fruits, pineapple, dry hop cones, not bad. Taste is similar, caramel and malty up front, pineapple, grapefruit and pine hops, floral, alcohol, pretty bready, nice bitter kick in the finish, very dry and resiny. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, pretty smooth. Nice bitterness and very hoppy, but doesn't distinguish itself from the thousand other DIPA's out there.

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Photo of sprucetip
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From bottle into Midnight Sun goblet.

Very clean, clear, medium orange-ish, modest foamy white head with some retention and good lacing.

Smells strong but smooth, citrusy, floral hop aroma is very prominent but the burly malt base balances.

Malty sweetness and hop bitterness hit immediately and simultaneously battling for attention, with hops taking initial advantage then fading as the sweetness takes the lead through the middle. The grapefruity bitterness returns, though more subdued, for the finish and beyond. The diversity of influences and flavor is aggressive and appreciated, but slightly out of balance, especially when it is colder. Strong abv fairly well hidden.

Full bodied, plenty of carbonation and noticeable warming.

I really like this ale, but it is in some ways out of balance and sharp. Some fans of big, aggressive IIPA's will love it, some won't. Best sipped and or shared due to its size and complexity of flavors.

I love the label! If I could give it extra points for that I would. Had some on hand for election day. When I showed a bottle to the host of one election party I attended, though she and most of her guests were wine drinkers, she made a run to the liquor store and bought a case!

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Photo of yourefragile
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

On tap at McGrady's in Bethlehem, PA.

A: Bright, amber golden cloudy color with a thick and retentive white head that leaves rings of sticky lacing.
S: Obviously big hop punch, though a little sweeter than expected, strong grapefruit and malt aroma.
T: So far this walked and talked like a big DIPA should, but it let me down where it matters. Not to say this isn't a quality DIPA, but with all the options available (common and rare) this is one I won't be returning to. Starts with a strong hop punch, that is fairly sweet and grapefruit like and then the sweetness from the malt body takes over and the hops fade away. Body goes from initially feeling very full and prickly from the hops to finishing rather thin and watery, ruining the overall experience. Nice flavor in this beer, but overall, nowhere near the league of other DIPAs, even the Maharaja (I killed the spelling, I know).

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Photo of bigkahunas4
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 22oz bomber into my snifter.

I bought this assuming I'd consume it on election night, but for whatever reason that did not occur. Thus I cracked her open a few weeks later, and discovered a very nice orange caramel brew. There was about a half-finger bubbly head, with some very stormy lacing. The lacing was probably the highlight of its visual aesthetics. There also was a big aroma with this, as a breeze of orange citrus hops really took over your nasal passages. Very nice, and very inviting.

Taste characteristics leaned towards the nutty side, very much like it's pale ale style. There was a lot of stale bread, some smoky wood, as well as some spicy pine to finish. It is very pleasing to the mouth as it's smooth as butter, but really lights up your lips and tongue with some vibrant viscosity.

Overall, Ale to the Chief is quite complex. A few reviews and the style above note it's a DIPA, however, I believe the bottle states it strictly a Pale Ale. The hop characters, I feel, are certainly that as well. While I found this brew interesting and different, the flavors just weren't appealing to me. Probably not something I will specifically seek out again.

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Photo of nick76
3.74/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is very malty and hoppy with pine citrus and caramel. The appearance is amber with a nice head. The flavor is like the aroma. The palate is average. Overall a tasty beer however you can really feel the alcohol in this one. Maybe that's your thing.

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Photo of andrewt960
4.8/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer was recommended by the beer guy in my local beer store, and well worth the nine dollars. Anyway, smelled of great hops, citrus hops, pine hops, every hop you can pick up; it's here. Taste is great, so smooth and really a fine beer. The hops linger for a while and it's remarkably fine finish.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear, golden color, with a thick and fluffy off white head, with a yellow tint. The head fades slowly, leaving a massive lacing.

This beer has a grassy hop aroma. It smells citrusy as well. A very slight piney aroma is present. It also smells floral.

This beer tastes just like it smells. Grassy. Some pine and citrus flavors as well. Good.

This beer is full bodied. It goes down smooth, leaving a grassy hop aftertaste. It is carbonated to perfection.

This beer would probably make a good session beer. It is a little high in alcohol, and it is aggressivly flavored, but I could see myself drinking it a bit.

Overall: This is a good beer. I love a good DIPA, and this one didnt let me down.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Revisit: 5 Sep 16
22 oz. Bomber
Gold Foil
Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017
ABV: 8.1%

Pours a very nice clean/clear dark golden amber color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger off-white head, which leaves an oil slick and some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, malty, with some citrus. The taste is mostly malty, with some hop notes, citrus, nice sweetness. Medium body, ABV hidden very well. Overall, a different take on an DIPA, tasty though.

Thanks goes out to tburkhart for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Poured into a chalice a nice hazy dark golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy one-finger head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy, with some nice malt notes, citrus and pines. The taste is hoppy, nicely balanced malts, very nice citrus and slight pine notes. Medium body. Very drinkable, I really like this one, it's been awhile since I've had a really good brew from Avery, and this one fit the bill perfectly. Thanks Tim.

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Photo of Zadok
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light copper of a crystal clear variety. A monstrous head sits atop this beauty.

The fragrance of delicious hops emanate from the ever bubbling head. Very floral tones as well.

Has a nice floral fruity hop flavor. Also has a light coriander quality.

Nice, crisp mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Has an enjoyable hop bite on aftertaste.

Actually consumed this on election night and have been busy since. A very delicious brew with some great balance in flavors and mouthfeel.

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Photo of hopdog
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of CoolJosh
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A. A glowing golden orange, with an awesome 4 finger head from pour that dissipitates moderately

S. An elbow of hops to the nose, tons on fresh bitterness that comes straight out, right away and let's you what's going on, some grapefruit is present as well

T. So smooth, runs like butter. As my newly acquainted friend pointed out, there's caramel in the beginning of the sip but you've gotta look for it from the get go. Really creamy in taste, phenomenal, and refreshing representation of the style. Great hop bitterness in the middle, with smoothness all around.

This has been the best IPA that I have had to date thus far, I really enjoyed this beer, and it was phenomenal when I had it. However, I will be re-reviewing this beer when I can get my hands on some more, my newly acquainted friend explained how much different the beer tasted this time around for him...

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Photo of Tilley4
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hmmmm... I was wanting this to be special....not quite there..

Well, it pours a beautiful clear honey golden color with an ample foamy head and terrific lacing..

Nose is strange... Its hoppy, I can smell the Cascade but its also sort of metallic as well... Smells a little sharp...

Well, its hoppy but not Maharaja like or anything. The hops provide plenty of bitterness but little else. Yeah, they're present but they don't really do anything...a little malt shows up at the backend to try and save this one but I just don't get it...

I wish now that I'd gotten the Maharaja...

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Photo of Douglas14
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A little disappointed with this one. Not that it isn't good but because I was expecting more. I suppose it is my fault for loving Avery so much. Pretty traditional DIPA but with an Avery twist. The twist comes through because of it's unique hop bouquet that smells almost nutty...first time I've gotten that experience from an IPA. The taste is similar with the nuttiness turning more into a woody flavor. Good beer but not what I was expecting.

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Photo of oakbluff
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22 ounce bomber. Pours a dark iced tea colour with a one figer white head and nice lacing. Nose- sweet fruit and caramel. Taste- intial taste is off hops- more tea like than anything, very sweet, big candied orange flavour. Rather thick mouthfeel, leads to a drying finish. Maybe a little past its prime? Very balanced but the hop profile leaves something to be desired.

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Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 623 ratings