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Ale To The Chief | Avery Brewing Company

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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:
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Reviews: 395 | Ratings: 575
Photo of opwog
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now listening to: Clash - Magnificent Seven

A-Golden body and a firm white head that lasts though a good amount of the drink
S-less hoppy than expected and much more sweet with elements of muted fruit
T-very nice. Much more hop in the taste than the aroma.
M-slight bite that almost makes the hops feel to the rest of the beer, as Ben&Jerry's may swirl caramel into a vanilla bean ice cream.
D-simply put...totally drinkable. If there wasn't such a long list of beers that I was looking to have, I would have had more of this one.

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Photo of gmcfarre
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into imperial pint glass

A - Pours a fairly clear light orange color with a good sized off white head that leaves impressive lacing. Head lasts well.

S - Beautiful floral and piney hop scent that screams "Cascade!" A bit of citrus accompanies. Wonderfully well rounded and appealing. Good sweet malt backbone that makes even the scent seems smooth.

T - It somehow starts off bitter (hopefully our next president won't do the same). A little bit sweet with gallons of hop flavor. Pine and grapefruit come to mind. Very bitter overall, with a nice finish. Pleasant in every way (at least for the common DIPA drinker)

M - Starts with moderate carbonation and a medium to heavy body. Finish is very bitter as expected.

D - Moderate alcohol for the style, but don't let that fool you into guzzling this delicious beer. Hopefully this one is available for many months to come.

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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.

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

Pours a dark amber in color with just a minimal head forming on the pour. Smell is all hops. Taste is more of the hops. Very balanced and a good amount of bittering. Medium feel on the mouthfeel. Had this with other beers and it was the best of the day. Solid offering from Avery.

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Photo of sevopie
4.72/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Caramel Golden color; pours a generous almond colored head. Laces well.

Smell - Caramelly sweet, and citrus/piney hops bitter.

Taste - Piney hops, not so much citrus. Buttery flavor as well, with touches of sweet and malt.

Mouthfeel - Solid texture, slightly oily, good on the carbonation.

Drinkability - This brew makes me think a little bit of Stone's Ruination in a good way, because it has the hop bite I was looking for in that one. A finely crafted DIPA, I'm going to have to search this out again. Fantastic!

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Photo of RocketFrog
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This will be a bit of a mini review.

There's really only one thing you need to know about this beer. It smells like December 3rd, You and your family are out cutting down your christmas tree.

That's what The Chief smells like. If we elect a president that smells like this it beats any new car.

The flavor and mouth feel follow suit. For a hophead this beer is a freaking religious experience. Jebus is in the hops.

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Photo of Scoobydank
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L:Thick off white yellowish head. The color itself is a fantastic crystal clear amber orange. Very sporatic tiny little bubbles.
S:Holy crap, insanely pungent fresh pine needle hops. Just a touch of citrusy grapefruit. Very mild candy apricot sweetness.
T:Whoa, there come those pine needle hops I smelled. Rich and vibrant pine needle hops just continue to pound your sense through out tasting this beer. There is a little bit of wheaty maltiness to balance out those hops.
M: Tight sharp little bubbles keep pounding the sides of your mouth. Yet the beer still feel rich and fat. Very nice round feeling
D: Very cool beer. Not much balance involved. Just hoppy goodness on top of hoppy goodness. Very good.

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Photo of joe1510
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber
Binny's Orland

Ale to the Chief, Avery's newest creation, fills my imperial pint glass a tarnished copper similar to rust. There is a good deal of orange highlights when backlit through the semi hazy body. Streams of carbonation start off slow but quickly speed up on their way to the surface. A slow pour brought about a dense three fingered head that slowly fell to a thick cap leaving intricate lacing on its way. Each drink I take ends up leaving behind a section of sheet lacing and the intricate spider webbed lacing the rest of the way. This is a good looking IIPA.

This beer has a good helping of hops for sure. I like the direction they went with this, there is a huge amount of tropical fruit and enough pine sap to level the playing field. As delicious as the hops smell the malt is no slouch either and there is enough present to keep the hops from running wild. The malt has just enough sugar and comes across as cake frosting with caramel poking up here and there. I like where the smell of this is taking me. Hopefully the flavor can live up to the aroma.

The flavor is actually quite a bit different than the aroma led on. There's not near as much tropical fruitiness. Caramel is the first thing that coats the tongue and it lays down a solid base for the dominant hoppiness. The hopping at first brings along a moderate pine needle and sappy bitterness but quickly becomes a buzzsaw of hoppiness mid palate and ends up putting a hurtin' on the tongue. The buzzsaw does mellow on the swallow and allows what tropical fruitiness is there to come forward. A tropical fruit mixture of tangerine, orange, and pineapple combine with the pine needles on the finish. While the flavor doesn't live up to the aroma it's still very good.

This beer has a great mouthfeel for the high abv. The body is moderate but has a nice silkiness with a healthy carbonation that never keeps this beer moving. The bitterness grows quickly and is like a buzzsaw on the tongue. After half a pint my entire tongue is numb and down for the count. The body gets nice and light on the back of the tongue through the swallow.

For a beer with such high abv and such a big bitterness it goes down incredibly easy. The alcohol is barely noticeable which could end up being a dangerous thing with how easy this beer flows. I have to slow myself down because I'm reaching for the glass often.

Ale to the Chief is probably my favorite beer from Avery and I'm hoping it's a year round offering. I'm impressed with Avery's use of hops in this beer. I wouldn't hesitate picking this one up again when in need of a hop fix. For the style of beer the alcohol is moderate enough to finish a bomber, by yourself, without a problem.

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Photo of Tolann
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - golden in color and crisp in appearance. White head and great lacing. Not a lot of cascading bubbles.

S - Sweet fresh hops. kind of grassy and floral

T - Hops. All hops. Citrus and big hops. doesn't bite you tho. so smooth and so nice. Wow. YUM!

M - Smooth but light feel. great after taste. Not too bitter at the back of your throat. Super nice. Not too sweet either,but its there

D - Makes you wanting more. gimme gimme gimme! I think I need more of these bombers

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Photo of Domingo
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with a huge rocky head even after a relatively careful pour. After sipping a little, it's clear that lacing on this is second to none. By the time I finish, my glass has a dozen tiny foam rings.
Smells hoppy (think pineapple, not floral), but it has a fruitiness, too. It has some potency, but it's not boozy smelling.
The taste is pretty sublime. It captures the hoppiness of an IPA (or even a DIPA) but with a malt balance. Even more amazing, it does it without being overly boozy or sweet. Reminds me a little of a kicked up APA as it maintains the balance between hops and caramel-like malt body.
It's creamy and thick, but not syrupy thick. It's just got a heavy body with lots of foam.
I split this one and think I could've certainly finished it myself.
I like this. I'm not usually much of a DIPA fan (although I do love the Maharaja) and stylistically I don't think this is one. I like how this skirts a few different styles while taking the attributes I like from each.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is pretty clear. Copper body and dense ivory white head. Lacing is quite full. This is about as good as it gets aroma wise for a hoppy beer. Raw resiny pure hops. Hop oils and pungent grapefruit and yes, Mary Jane. This has a good hoppy flavor, but it's not quite as full as the nose promised. Still good, no doubt, just not top shelf in my opinion. Some of the grassy tones come through more on the palate along with a more emphasized ethanol presence. And I like andylipp's comment from his review "odd, almost off hop flavor." That fits. Still, there's some of that oily, resiny hop flavor that I like and a nice pleasant bitterness, if not tongue scathing. Solid DIPA.

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Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good DIPA all around. Dull orange body, visible carbonation. Great head retention, well over half an hour now. Initial head is creamy and has the consistency of whipped egg whites. Sticky lace rings.

Caramel and melon aromas, not as sharp or pungent as some DIPA's. Sort of soft and mostly malty in the nose.

Full bodied feel, it glides across the palate, and sinks in slowly, allowing the subtle hop oils to increase their bitter intensity. Fruity, although the sweet caramel malt shines through the most. Slightly dry in the finish with a sticky feel on the lips. One to sip and savor, while W's last days count down.

$6.99 bomber from Corner Cottage in Elmhurst.

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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 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 russpowell
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up today! Read the label, pretty interesting

Pours honey/peach with some effervescence & 2 fingers of beige head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Some pine, leafy hops & apricot

T: Pineyness, grapefruit, & a bit of caramel up front. Leafy hops, slight dose of orchard fruit, then back to grapefruit & then tropical fruit (pineapple & passion fruit) & a kiss of booze. Finishes with toffee, resiny & earthy hops, plus some grapefruit

MF: Medium bodied, a bit chewy, slight carbonation, a bit of booze burn, & good balance, although I'm not in love with all the hop additions

Drinks pretty good, hides the abv well, A decent take on the style, no Maharajah, but worth seeking out

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Photo of brewjones
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber

Lots of hops in the aroma, along with some grassiness and piney notes. Good looking beer with a large head that stays with the beer. Slightly too large at first but then fell to a nice level. Nice large malty flavore that is actually fairly balanced by the hops. Slight tilt toward hops but not overwhelming. Overall, a good beer to drink no matter what side of the aisle you are on.

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

22oz bottle $6.99. Perfectly clear orange color with a huge foamy white head clinging to the glass. It smells like juicy oranges, pretty nice. It tastes very hoppy, green hops, some vegetal flavors like melon rinds, grass, a little pine. There is a nice dryness and a little astringency. Overall this seems like a West Coast hop bomb to me and reminds me of Coronado Idiot IPA.

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

A: Clear, deep amber to slightly copper. Coarse two inch apricot colored head that settled into a quarter inch and held. Ample lacing all the way down..

S: Mmm...plenty of hop aroma. Distinct citrus bite.

T: Quich flash of sweet malt soon overtaken by grapefruit and and distinct piney taste. Actually reminds me a bit of IPA's. Nice clean bitter finish.

M: Medium to full bodied. Bitters bring the beer to a nice balance.

D: Great balance make this an easy drinking ale. Clean bitter finish makes me want another drink. Good thing I bought two bombers.

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