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 | 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:
385
Ratings:
545
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
11.88%
 
 
Wants:
25
Gots:
21
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 385 | Ratings: 545
Photo of mentor
3.06/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Slight gusher. Stored in my cellar since it was released, about 2 years ago. Pours a four finger tan-pink head over a clear brown copper liquid. Smells light lemon & pear fruity, clean hops, a mild phenolic edge. Has a furniture polish smell about it that I'm not fond of.

Tastes fruity esters and malt sweet with some hop grassiness, orange peel bitter, strong clean alcohol, and a mild belgian-like phenol that's not quite clovey. Malt flavor is nearly absent, perhaps a dusty munich. Hop flavor has a bit of baby aspirin with orange and pine that's a bit unpleasant in a sour piercing kind of way. Hop bitter is both clean lemony pith and grassy columbus-like hops and has a spicy zip in the finish, similar to a czech pils. Esters are dried pears and some apricot.

Md yet creamy mouthfeel and a bit more carbonation than I'd like. Drinkability is meh. I could see this improving with age. It's much better now than it was fresh.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a relatively bright, but slightly hazed golden orange. Head is big, with crackling bubbling of off-white foam. Lace is crazy and intricate. Body looks surprsiginly light, but if it's a "pale ale" as they describe, it fits. Looks pretty big and impressive overall, while still remaining true to its stylistic roots.

Nose is pleasantly sweet, with that really classic fresh American hops character. Lots of hops giving citrus oil buoyancy, but it mingles with sweet butterscotch and caramel. Sudsy aromas come off it too. Bit of pepper berry, sharp and sweet but spicy as well. Really nice aromas, and well integrated.

Pine on the palate, with a good citrus bite. Sweetness comes through, hints of peach and vanilla. The only sign of the ABV, is a touch of sharp phenols on the back, but only very lightly so - so well covered by all the really pleasant characters otherwise. Lovely drop of beer.

Surprisingly easy to drink for its alcohol, and bursting with flavour, but never overdone on any of the potentially offensive characters. Really well restrained in places, but let loose in others. Cracking beer.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
3.55/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into an oversized snifter. Pours a hazy pumpkin orange with a cream-colored sticky head. A fair amount of sediment was in the bottle, but none has transferred into the glass.

Smell is orange citrus and yeasty, almost bready. Some woodiness lies underneath.

Definite orange blossom citrus hits the tongue, with some creamy yeast. Spicy, almost metallic taste hits the tongue, and a coppery taste hits the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel is medium.

Drinkable enough, I suppose; I'm worried that its age is starting to show.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.06/5  rDev -24.3%
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".

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Photo of scottfrie
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Old, but worth a shot.

A: Pours a deep amber with a thick, slightly oily tan head that slowly faded into a thin film that left a sheet of sticky lacing down the glass.
S: Strong scent of citrus hops. Notes of lemon and caramel malt.
T: The hops have faded a bit with this one. Notes of caramel malt, alcohol, sweet fruits, orange rind, and lemon zest. This very much tastes like a barleywine. As another reviewer put it, I guess that's what over a year and a half does to this beer. The hops lend a touch of bitterness to the finish.
M: Medium syrupy-slick body with a wet finish and tingly carbonation. The alcohol is noticeable in the finish with a touch of warmth.
D: I wish I hadn't waited so long to drink this one because now it really does taste like a barleywine. As a barleywine though, it's not bad, but this isn't the greatest beer.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle on 12/19/09.

A - pours a murky chestnut/copper color with very little foam, just a layer of fine bubbles that disappeared quickly

S - strong lemon & orange citrus aromas, very nice indeed

T - lemon and orange, light malts, very sweet tasting, slightly bitter finish

M - crisp, well carbonated, smooth mouthfeel

D - very tasty even at a year old, would have loved to try it fresh, still amazing though.

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Photo of hu5om
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

got it on the wheel at Bodega in La Crosse. Not bad for 3.25! Poured from bottle to Duvel tulip, (need to get a tulip bad). Cloudy medium orange in a appearance, fluffy white head that stuck around for a while. Tart, citrus smell. Not as many hops as I was hoping for, but for a retired IPA to be expected. Not sure how old it was. Taste reminded me of a mix of old ale and pale ale. Not nearly as many hops as I hope for in something labelled an imperial, but still good. I think for me it was more of a changing my expectations and accepting it for what it is at this point. Big bottle at 8.75 % and you can feel it. Not sure I'd order it, but if it came back on the wheel again, I would not be opposed. Excited to try some of Avery's stuff fresh!

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy orange color with a white head. The aroma is orange citrus with a lot of caramel malt. It smells a lot like a hoppy barleywine. The flavor is again like a barleywine. It tastes like caramel-coated oranges. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. I didn't know what a year and a half old Double IPA would taste like but I am happy with the way this one aged, even if it is now more of a barleywine instead of a Double IPA.

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Photo of MikeBrandman
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
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 garymuchow
3.76/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

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

Old review notes from the Bistro 9th annual DIPA fest.

Hazy orange. Good hop aroma, light. Texture was syrupish, sticky hop taste. Average heft on the palate. Not overly bitter. Seems to have been a little heavier than the Dugana in the malt. Grapefruit and caramel to a lesser degree. Enjoyable, but nowhere near my favorite DIPA that day.

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
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 emmasdad
4/5  rDev -1%
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 JasonA
3.86/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a good finger and half of fairly thick off white head. Ample head, with ample staying power. Gonna let this one sit a min

Piney citrus caramel malt bouquet. Boozy malt.

Tastes like it smells. I will say I get a bit of dry biscuit in there.

I would say it might be a tad over piney pale. Not bad, but not exactly what im looking for.

Overall a good beer. Ive had better and I will probably have better in the future. For the most part it felt like a common Pale Ale albeit more boozy.

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Photo of myost88
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bomber into Tulip pint.

Appearance: Copper along the edges with a reddishe hue center. Two finger. Very cloudy. Excellent lacing like tinsel strung on a christmas tree.

Smell: Citrus hop aroma dominates the smell. Huge sweet malty presence as well. Slight floral aroma. It smells great to be honest.

Taste: Hops are almost nonexistant, though to be fair I am drinking this almost a year old. Very sweet is the only way to describe this. It's almost sugary. I would think this one was always on the sweet side. Were this an amber ale, the taste would have been spectacular. But as it is an IPA it is no longer appropriate for the style.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth. Not highly carbed and peppery like many IPAs. I have to say this has aged very well in this regard.

Drinkability: Alcohol remains well hidden. Proof that the malt profile was and remains remarkable. At almost 9 percent, one bomber is plenty. Gulping is appropriate.

Overall: I have given this beer marks which I believe to be fair. It is no longer hoppy as one would think, but I believe that to be an aging issue. I still thoroughly enjoyed drinking this beer. Had this been an Amber Ale I suspect it would have received top marks. If you still have some, I recommend you drink it ASAP as age will not benefit it any longer.

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Photo of Parrotbeak
2.98/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amber with a 3/8 inch white head that thins out fairly quickly, becoming a little patchy.
Smell is dominated by a sweet, malty aroma. Almost no hop presence. Some faint overripe pineapple.
The taste had the same, sweet malty bulge that is on the nose. Slightly sour breadiness follows, with some stale crackers. Murky, overripe, dark fruit. Faint hint of cinnamon on the finish. No hops.
Mouthfeel is fairly flat and somewhat sticky.
Drinkability is fair. Taste is a bit of a mess, and all other aspects of this beer combined fail to redeem.
Maybe past its prime. I can't believe this one was ever an imperial IPA, however.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of WhiteOak
4.54/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Avery Ale to the Chief

A- Yellow-amber with a touch of haze. Expansive head settles quickly, leaving copious hanging lace and lace rings.

S- Bright citrus-rind hops, nicely pronounced buckwheat honey, bushels of apricots, coconut, pineapple, golden raisins, caramel, Riesling, and strangely and surprisingly... chocolate. Very nice aromatic characteristics.

T- Astringent attack of sour, bitter hops dominates the slightly sweet, medium bodied malt. Honey flavors. Hops also dominate the mid-palate and bitter finish.

M, D- I have noted some bottle variation. Always the flavors are appealing, but two bottles had their balance a bit off as the astringency & bitterness were quite forward, with the malt backbone slightly lacking. This leads to the mid-palate falling off abruptly, leaving a lighter finish with a tart final impression.
All other bottles have been excellent, in balance, and delicious - and are reflected in the grading.

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Photo of jera1350
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a snifter a hazy coppery orange with thick and fluffy light tan head that leaves quite a bit of sticky lace.

Glorious smell of citric and pineapple hops with a big sweet malt presence consisting of caramel and brown sugar. Moderate alcohol smell as well.

The taste matches up with the nose pretty well, but on a slightly lighter stage. A buttery homemade caramel taste with a lighter hop presence. I would call this extremely balance with a big malt profile and nearly as big hop profile.

Maybe a little more than medium bodied. Creamy smooth with a pretty juicy finish that begs you to drink more.

A very good DIPA. Avery puts out some consistently good brews and this one is no exception. I would have no trouble having this one again.

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Photo of TheJollyHop
3.72/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Excited to try this beer, and figured Jan 20, 2010 was the perfect day to do so.

I decanted the beer into a tulip glass, noticing its cloudy amber color. A thin finger's worth of head was produced, and no lacing was left behind in the glass.

Strong malt aroma with a very faint pine hop presence. Ample fruity esters and some faint alcohol.

Light caramel upfront with some orange and raisin sweetness followed by some pine flavor. Bitterness builds and gives way to an alcohol burn. Very boozy; I mean full on wave of alcohol heat. Bitterness tingles on the tongue long after the swallow. Not bad tasting, just a little unbalanced.

Medium carbonation but full-bodied and extremely chewy.

Overall the boozy, wild alcohol hinders drinkability. If the alcohol was better masked this beer would be very drinkable.

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Photo of SPThirtyThree
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a murky golden orange with two fingers of foam that dissolves to a thin, wispy head.

S: Grapefruit and honey. The hops impart a nice sticky, resin-y west-coast smell. Caramel malts shine through like rays of golden sunshine. Overall, VERY hoppy nose.

T: Hot and estery...? What? This isn't what I was expecting. Most of the flavor is identical to the smell (grapefruit, pine, and resin from the hops, some sweet Crystal malts), but there is a hot, metallic flavor that does not belong. Maybe this is Avery's way of letting you know you're drinking a DIPA and not just an IPA?

M: Medium-astringent, and sticky.

D: Medium. More bitter than a really drinkable beer.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a beautiful hazy orange color with lots of a thick white head. the head has some solid retention, takes some time to go down, and leaves lots of lacing on the glass.

S-the nose is strong and brings huge caramel and brown sugar malts, some breadiness, and lots of a resign piney hop aroma

T-the taste follows the nose with the malt but brings a much nicer hop profile to it. the caramel malts come in first and meld with the big resign and pine flavors. this gives way to a sweet citrus hop with hints of mango and grapefruit finishing with a slight hop bitterness

M-it is a lighter medium body but very syrupy with a wet feeling. lots of carbonation in this one.

D-very tasty, huge flavors, tons of malt and hops. the alcohol is present throughout so it wouldn't be something to drink all night, but very enjoyable!

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Photo of jsh420
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
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!

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

Poured from the 22 oz bottle into a Fin Du Monde glass. It is a nice hazy orange-amber and the ample head is off-white and leaves a lot of lacing.

Nose is caramel, anise, coriander and hoppy pine. There is also some dried-good/fish-store smell I cannot place, maybe caraway.

Taste is tangy and hoppy and bitter with little to no sweetness, but a good malt balance and a spicy aftertaste. And an earthiness that seems to go with the smell I couldn't place.

The mouthfeel is round but not real big, well carbonated and clean and dry.

I would be happy to drink more of this and it goes down with relative ease.

Avery makes some nice beers and this is no exception. There is a complexity that I cherish in beers but find on few occasions. I hope to revisit and see if I can place the smell and taste a bit more specifically.

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Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber to pint glass.

A: Pours an orange body with a huge, beautiful white head that becomes very rocky and has great retention. They don't get better looking than this.

S: Smells of strong pine hops with some breadiness and a decent balance of malts.

T: Taste is right now with the smell. Strong bitter hops with and even malt balance. There's a bit of a caramel note, but not much. The bitterness dominates the finish.

M&D: Mouthfeel is nice and thick with good carbonation, almost perfect. Very drinkable for the thickness and bitterness.

Great beer from Avery, they rarely disappoint. I have another bottle I'm going to cellar for a year and see what happens.

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Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 385 ratings.
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