Ale To The Chief | Avery Brewing Company

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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 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:
394
Ratings:
570
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
11.91%
 
 
Wants:
24
Gots:
25
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 394 | Ratings: 570
Photo of MikeBrandman
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - I have to admit, I overpoured this beer a little bit. I got at least 5 fingers of head before it overflowed. This is the first bottled beer I've had where it actually made a hissing sound, like soda, as it poured. Head is a light brown and rocky; extremely rocky, almost marshmellow like. I swirled it up a bit with my finger and it got an almost frappachino like consistency. Lacing is spotty yet copious and sticky. Body is a transparent deep golden brown with slight orange hues and little effervescence.

S - The smell on this beer is powerful and pungent. Citric hops and piney notes. Rich, deep smell. Slightly malty. If the beer tastes as good as it smells it's going to be a good time. I'm surprised the smell is as fresh and strong as it is, seeing as I imagine this beer is a little passed it's prime. The smell has a slightly lemoniness to it which adds to the refreshing quality.

T - Moment of truth. Will a retired IIPA still taste good? Kinda. The hop bitterness, at least in this one, has subsided a bit. Slightly grapefruity hop bitterness. Malt is strong and assertive here. No alcohol taste, surprisingly. Roasted malt character. An interesting IIPA, just not entirely tastey.

MF - A little thin and on the watery side. Carbonation doesn't get in the way here.

D - High alcohol heat makes this a little hard to drink a lot of. Not quite a sipper. The taste isn't really intriguing enough to make you want more and more however. Would have settled for a 12oz over 22oz.

A little stale, but still pretty good. Not my favorite of the series, but maybe a little fresher would have been better.

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Photo of micmillon18
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. I considered cellaring this in hopes that it would still be good in time for the next inauguration. However, Double IPA's have a poor track record for cellaring and this one already has nearly two years on it already. I figure I'll try it now and deduce whether its up for the task.

A - Pours a pretty amber color. The complexion is dark enough to prevent one from seeing through the glass. Small bubbly head that dissipates quickly. Medium lacing.

S - Very hoppy, some light floral notes. It's a little funky at times which can have an adverse effect on the smell. This may be due to its age.

T - Lots of hoppy flavor. I'm picking up orange peel or some sort of a citrusy tanginess. Tasty but not up in your face. The hops have certainly mellowed and that tartness has become more pronounced. The funkiness I mentioned in the scents seems to be present in the after taste as well. However, it luckily doesn't hurt the flavor, its just kind of different.

M - The body seems slightly heavier than any other double IPA Ive had. Finishes easy. Carbonation is in check.

D - Overall a good beer. I wouldn't say its aged well nor would I say the opposite. Time has certainly created some interesting tastes. The flavors would suggest its some kind of hybrid. Perhaps cellaring is out of the question for I don't see things improving.

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

On tap at Beachwood BBQ

A- poured into a shaker pint glass, clear light orange in color, fluffy thin head on top.

S- Very resiny hops. Pine, earth, spice.

T- Lots of sweetness initially. Hops come later and they remind me of a cross between Green Flash and Sierra Nevada hoppy beers.

M- Slightly on the thicker side of an IPA. Medium probably, but not syrupy.

Wasn't really something I wanted to drink a whole pint of but a smaller sample would have been better I think.

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

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

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

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

From a 22 ounce bottle - Pours a beautiful clear bright orange/red with low carbonation, and slightly below average lacing. The aroma is dominated by heavy sticky hops in a DIPA sort of way. First sip is surprisingly fruity sweet but balanced by bitter hops and a strong complimenting malt backbone. This is one great beer worthy of secret service protection.

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

Poured from a bottle into a Wiehenstephan glass this brew pours a burnt orange haze with a creamy white head. Very reminiscent of a west coast ipa.
Moderate carbonation, with very sticky-icky lacing.

Smells like a west coast ipa. Piney/citrus profile backed with a peppery note. Sweet malts dance on grassy fields of hops.

Tastes Grrrreat! A malty sweetness balanced well with the hop pine/grapefruit flavors.

Sticky mouthfeel that lingers for a while. Powerful flavors make themselves known.

Not an easy drinking brew, but it is an easy sippin brew.

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

This is an okay DIPA. It's not my favorite DIPA, a bit bitter, a bit harsh, a bit metallic. The beer looks very nice, big orange-amber body with a an off-white head. The aroma is also very nice. There's some good citric hoppiness and a yeasty note. The flavor is very hoppy, but there isn't enough supporting malt. I dearly love Avery's Maharaja, and this beer lacks the lush, rich depth of flavor that the great DIPAs possess. The feel is also a tad off. The alcohol comes through more than expected. It's not bad, otherwise, but DIPA is a competitive category.

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Photo of AChamberlain
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this on election night, watching the numbers come in. Orange, hazy. Orangish creme head. Wet hop aroma reminiscent of maharajah. Sweet tea flavor, grassy. Hoptastic. Subdued bite. Alcohol warming. Pretty smooth drinker. Good, but to boozy and sweet to be highly drinable. Tasty, though.

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

Had a pint on tap from Hollingshead.

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

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

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

M: Medium-body. Feels almost unfilitered.

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

Overall: A very good beer that was worth trying.

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Photo of corby112
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark amber color with a thin off-white foam head that quickly settles into a thin lasting ring that streaks the glass with spots of soapy lacing.

Crisp floral hop aroma with subtle hints of citrus and earthy pine as well as a strong caramel malt presence.

Nicely balanced and very quaffable considering he high ABV. The malt backbone is a bit too strong for my liking but it provides nice balance to the dry earthy hops. Earthy pine and sweet citrus notes. Slightly dry finish.

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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)

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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.

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

Appearance- Body is a beautiful orange/amber color. A bit opaque for the style, but very inviting. A decent, tenacious, tight, foamy white head laces the top.

Aroma- Nice malt sweetness with a nice mix of hops. Nicely fruity.

Taste: Tastes great. Good, aggressive malty sweet with a good melange of flavoring and bittering hops. Hints of a number of dark fruits (raisin, plum, etc), with several light fruits (yellow apple, fig). Finishes with a sweet resinous hop. There is some kind of aftertaste I really don't care for as it warms, but it has to be very warm. Overall, very well balanced.

Mouthfeel- Fairly heavy body for the style. Carbonation is right on. Nice an chewy.

Drinkability- I will definitely be buying this one again. Well done.

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Photo of grs8313
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from my notes, I had this on the night of the Presidential election.

Appearance: 1pt 6oz bottle pours a clear light amber with a nice white head. Lots of nice lacing as the beer recedes.

Smell: Hops, malts, citrus, dough and rasins.

Taste: Hops, plums, and resin flavors with a hoppy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Thick, chewy and creamy. The mouth is left feeling a little dry.

Drinkability: Sippable, but not drinkable for me. I do like the hop flavor, I have not had a beer this hoppy in a while, it is a good change of pace. A good beer but a little to thick of a mouthfeel for me.

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Photo of kegger22
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a cloudy orange with a modest head that faded to a collar. The aroma was malt sweet. The taste was not sweet, like the aroma, but bitter and burnt tasting. The feel was full bodied with some carbonation. Drinkability was average. I didn't care for the bitter/burned taste combo.

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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 SirSketch
3.59/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So long, Bush. Hello change!

A - Appearance was by far the high point of this beer... very beautiful! Wonderful deep red color with dark yellow highlights. Very clean/clear as well. Has a frothy white head that sticks well. Perfect in this respect.

S - Spicy hop character with citrus and wet grass notes. Malt aroma is present but doesn't make much of an impact.

T - Hop character is dominant and ranges from citrus to grassy. Bitterness is high and there is no real malty sweetness to counter balance, but some biscuit maltiness is detectable. Not too much residual sweetness either. Nice, but not incredible, by any means.

M/D - Very 'sticky' in the mouth, but the amount of carbonation makes it incredibly drinkable.

An enjoyable beer, though I may have scored it lower than I would have normally if it wasn't Obama's Inauguration. Hail to the Chief!

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Photo of andylipp
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Poured a clear copper with 2+ inches of yellow-tinged head. Lots of lacing as it died down in my Corsendonk tulip (my standard bomber taster).

Smell - Grapefruity hop aroma dominates with some fruitiness thrown in as well. Not much malt in the nose.

Taste - My first reaction was that I did not like the compliment of hops used. While there's a bit of sweetness at first taste, that quickly gives way to an odd, almost off hop flavor. That in turn gives way to a more familiar resiny, citrusy hop character with a long, bitter piney finish. The abv becomes apparent in the very last throes of the finish.

Mouthfeel - Low to moderate carbonation, with medium viscosity in the body.

Drinkability- Medium. I don't hate it but halfway through the bottle I was already thinking about what I'd drink next. Each sip started off a bit underwhelming, but the finish was impressive enough to get me to take the next one.

Comments- I think that on inauguration day this beer might be drinking a bit better. The hops used make it a bit tough to drink right now and may round out a bit by January. I think I'll buy one to put away until then, but won't seek one out until the new President is sworn in.

I'm confused as to what Avery was after with this beer. They already have the amazing Maharajah in the DIPA/IIPA category, so why another? Reading the label I thought that this might be more of an Imperial Pale Ale with more of a malt presence, but that's not the case to these taste buds.

Note- About a month later I had this beer on tap and it was a much better experience. The "off" hop flavor wasn't present and the malt character was much more obvious.

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Photo of rmasen
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: nice amber color with a large amount of carbonation running through it. the head poors pretty thin and dissipates quickly leaving a strong lacing.

S: Overtly sweet malt character with a hint of citrus y hops.

T: leans to the maltier side, very little flavor/bittering/aroma hop character coming through and a strong malt character that sometimes leans on the sweet side.

M: for me personally I would like to see more carbonation for how thin the liquid is.

D: not sure how many of these I would like to have. sweetness pulls me away, especially because of the style.

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Photo of Fnord
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Slightly translucent gold color, with a dense, white, lasting head.

Smell - Grass, flowery pine, and citrus.

Taste - Much like the nose, but also with sweet malts for balance. Some alcohol in the finish. Got very sweet as it warmed up.

Mouthfeel - Medium-light body, which is aided by the thick head. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability - One is good, but I wouldn't want more than that in one night.

Notes - The dry hopping really brings out the juiciness of the hops; this was the juiciest beer I've had in a while.

I have mixed feelings about this one. It's clearly a well-crafted beer, with a lot of hoppy complexities. It's just not my cup of tea, as I prefer drier malts to the sweet stuff balancing this ale. I'm not going to buy it again, but I'm glad I tried it, as it's quite a bit different from other IPA's.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

10/24/08- Purchased at Ledger's, in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info (2008 release). Poured into my Smuttynose pint glass.

Appearance- Rich copper-amber colored pour. Large 1 inch plus head which is thick and foamy. Leaves light patchwork and trails of lace behind.

Smell- Sugary tropical and citrus fruited hops plus a mid range caramel malted nose.

Taste- Heavy orange rind sugary hop flavor. Maybe a bit of grapefruit and tangerine as well. Malt is medium to light roasted caramel in taste. Needs something though to pull both factors together.

Mouthfeel- Right amount of carbonation with a good amount of juicy hop bitterness in the aftertaste.

Drinkability- Needs to be a bit more assertive. Malt could be a bit more roasted and robust. Just missing that special something to pull together all the flavors and make this a really good beer. As is though, it about your average DIPA.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance was a gold, sparkling, clear, brilliant body with a fine but short-lived head. Aroma was distinctly bitter and hoppy, with some sweetness which struck me as not being very fruity or citrus-like. This dry hoppy smell reminded me of Avery Maharaja, which might be no accident. Flavor was very dry and very bitter with a lot of hoppiness and no sweetness. Mouthfeel was quite astringent.

Probably the best beer of the night.

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Photo of bkilpatr
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. 10/25/08.

Pours a copper golden-orange color with about two fingers of beige head. The head dropped slowly and left some nice lacing. Aroma is piny and citrusy hops and some caramel malt.

Taste is sweet caramel malt followed by piny and grassy hops. Quite a bitter finish. A bit of citrus, mostly grapefruit. Not the most balanced beer; it could use a bit more sweetness to balance it out. The alcohol is very well hidden in the taste.

Feel is medium bodied and well-carbonated. Just the right thickness and not sticky at all. Drinkability is decent. The taste is a bit unbalanced but the alcohol is very well hidden.

Overall, pretty good for a pale ale. It's a bit pricey (~$8) and maybe not worth the price, but it's a pretty good beer.

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Photo of abrand
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

23 ounce bomber from the cellar. Poured into a snifter

Pours a bright yellow color with a huge pillowy pure white head that leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. Still plenty of carbonation there. Smells somewhat funky with lots of yeast. Breads and toffee are also noted. Not much of a hop presence is left. Taste is pretty mellow with breads and malts making up most of the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Overall for being way past its prime this was still decent. I had this fresh and the only thing truly missing is the hop presence. Still very enjoyable.

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Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 570 ratings.
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