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 giblet
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a very good brew. poured nicely into the glass with rich one inch head. smells of hops but not overpowering. malty flavor but the hops are right on ya. good lacing down the glass

not as much heavy hops as i expected but a very good and balanced brew just the same.

suckem up and movem out!


 299 characters

Photo of yelterdow
3.3/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$9.99 for this 22oz. bomber, served between fridge and cellar temperature in an inperial pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a deep reddish gold, the head climbs eventually to four fingers of bisque foam. Popping away slowly, it levels off to a thick coating and leaves patches of gobby lacing behind.

Smell- The citrusy twang of dry-hopped Cascades permeates the nasal passages, not too aggressive for a DIPA.

Taste- The malt begins to come forth, but the massive hops continue to dominate the palate. The swallow brings lots of lemony goodness, with a reserved bittering with regard to the style.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Surprisingly thin and average, the texture doesn't bring anything interesting to the table... It's just mildly fizzy, with a watery consistency. Easy enough to drink, just nothing I'd come back to in the future.

 834 characters

Photo of citan133
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From a 22oz bomber purchased at Nikkis in Providence into a 12 oz snifter.

Thick, foamy head, two fingers worth that ever so slowly settles down to about a finger. Isn't doing much from there and looks like its here to stay. hasn't moved in 5 minutes. Lots and lots of lacing as as I drink it. Nice dark dark amber color, pretty hazy, can really only see through it if you hold it right up to the light. Looks delicious.

Nice citrus hops in the nose, some grapefruit and just lots and lots of citrus. It pretty much smells exactly like I would want this to smell. If that makes sense. Just tons and tons of hoppy fruit with a little bit of malt as it warms up.

More malt than I expected intially, gives way to the citrus and bitter hops in the middle with a very nice, very long lasting grapefruit finish that lingers for quite a while. It seems like its more of a double pale ale than a double IPA, though. Might just be me. Very nicely balanced, almost a 50/50 with all malt in the beginning and hops in the end. Maybe a little too much malt for me but still very good. Alcohol only slightly noticeable right before the finish kicks in, even kind of warm. The more sips I have the maltier it gets.

Kind of creamy, though I think a lot of it is what I'm getting from all that head going down with each sip. Leaves a nice bitterness on your tongue, medium to heavy.

I'll definitely finish off the bottle myself but I have a feeling the last snifters worth won't be nearly as enjoyable as the first. The maltiness might get to me by the end. A very solid beer, one I dig drinking but not one I would seek out again. Would definitely take one if offered to me though. The nose is the best part.

 1,697 characters

Photo of sweetbrew82
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber/ bottled on 11/08 (according to website)

P: This "Presidential Pale Ale" sits a beautiful orange-tinged copper in my snifter. The nice and healthy white head is thick and creamy, with an almost whipped texture that shows good retention.

A: Hmm...These juicy hops are bringing my nasal passages to their knees with their power and brilliance. They smell amazingly fresh for being locked up for for more than 5 months! The lightly toasted pale malts hit the deck and cover their heads as the barrage of pineapples, melons, peaches, & tons of citrus to match come on a kamikaze mission for my sweet spot.

T: I usually don't even review really hoppy brews that are this old. But my first impression...once again, I'm amazed at how well this puppy has held up for the past 5 months! So just the fact that you're reading this is a compliment to the brewers at Avery. Just like Maharaja, this hop beast hasn't lost its greatest characteristic over time; Hoppiness!

Those hop flavors pretty much follow the nose. Citrus and tropical fruits with a hint of pineyness underneath. The pale malts know their role in the deal. They are just enought to support the brew and add a touch of caramel sweetness to slightly contrast the bitterness. If I'm not mistaken, those Magnum hops hijack the finish and release their acidic bitterness that bites your tongue on the finish. I really like this!

M: Ale to the Chief is a medium-bodied brew that is already pretty clean and smooth, with a creaminess underneath. But upon warming, it becomes much more heavy as well.

Notes: I wish I could have had this fresh! As is, this is a deliciously-hopped brew that was perfectly suitable for the onset of Spring. I love Pale Ales this time of year!

 1,743 characters

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

Presentation: 22 oz bomber with what looks a lot like the Constitution on the label, golf foil on the neck. Couldn't find a date brewed, but it says in celebration of Inauguration day (January 20).

Appearance: Pours clear copper colored, nice dense head with good retention.

Smell: Resinous piny hop aromas, a bit of malt sweetness.

Taste: Fairly sweet, the hops are present but not a lot of bitterness, this is edging torwards the barleywine side of the DIPA spectrum.

Overall impression: Nice flavors, but it seems more like a BW to me. Reminds me of something like Bigfoot. That said, I definitely enjoyed it!

 617 characters

Photo of joshuadlight
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Here's to President Obama!

I was a little disappointed in the appearance. Nice gold amber color but very little carbonation and no head to speak of. Also there was no lacing.

Still smelled and tasted like a very solid DIPA. Tons of hops in the nose and mouth. Citrus aromas and flavors help back up the bitterness, which is way up there.

Not too much carbonation which hurts the mouthfeel a little bit, and though I couldn't taste the near 9% ABV, I could certainly feel it. Its a potent beer.

This is a very good beer, and if you come across one I recommend that you at least try it.

 590 characters

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

Not an Imperial Ale, but Presidential Pale Ale! I love it.

Brewed in the spirit of our new leader, and in celebration of the long over due end of an era. While I love the spirit this was brewed in, I don't think this is a remarkable brew.

Pours a nice coppery color, very clear, and a small but stiff tan head. Smells like American C-hops, lots of them. A bit of malt, but truly a hop-forward beer.

Taste is good, nothing special. Again, citrus piny American hops.

Nice and smooth mouthfeel, and its about as easy to drink as anything near 9% and proabably 100 IBUs.

I wish I had ponied up for this one earlier, like on 1/20/09...

 635 characters

Photo of becktone
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From notes 1-20-09

Eye: At first this one poured with a big billowing pillowy off white head. Now it has diminished to a fat dome in the middle of the glass surrounded by soapy looking thin dry rotted blankets. Color is a hazy orange-copper. I was happy with the cascading head when poured but now am disappointed in the look of this one, it should, and could be more. Lacing looks like a negative of mini-blinds.

Nose: Huge sweet malt and citrus hop aroma fills the room once the beer is poured into the glass. In the nose spicy alcohol notes are present along with the aforementioned strong malt and citrus hops. Malt aroma is similar to that of a barleywine-big, alcoholic, and sweet. However, it is still in check, unlike a barleywine, malt here is a supporting role, hops are the lead. Good amount of complexity among the hop aroma, green, citrus, some spiciness, some earthiness/leafy qualities. Overall nice aroma.

Tongue: Hop bitterness is present here, but the flavor is a little odd. I've never got anything like this from any kind of pale ale before. What's odd is the malt flavor, its interesting, but at the same time almost seems out of place, maybe thats because I've never experienced it before. Anyway its like a real lightly toasted/kilned unmalted barley flavor. It just has this real grainy taste, and that grainy taste is pinpointing one grain, not a combination, its not a grainy taste such as GLBC, but rather its more like I've been eating crystal malt before its been cracked or mashed. This flavor is long lasting and is always there behind and sometimes infront of the hops. I'm not really getting alcohol, its pretty well hidden, as far as the taste goes...once its swallowed you can get it in the aftertaste. Not as much hop flavor and bitterness as I would have thought...but then again this is an Imperial/Presidential Pale Ale not an DIPA. That raw graininess is interesting and adds a uniqueness to this one that I can dig.

Feel and Drinkability: Body is on the heavier side and carbonation is low, giving it a more imposing and heavy feel. Nothing real special about the feel. This is one I'll gladly finish, but as to purchasing again, not to sure...That graininess while interesting and enjoyable isn't something that I'm really looking for...kinda like a one time thing..."Hey thats cool, but not really gonna want to go for it again." Overall this is a beer that is worth trying, but not something to be searching for.

 2,463 characters

Photo of Biggness
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a semi cloudy amber with a one fingered head and lots of lacing. The smell is nice of carmel and malt, not alot of pine/citrus that I would expect from a dipa, but it is very nice. The flavor is the same, a very nice malt base but a tad low on the hop bill in my opinion for a DIPA, BUT in my opinion this is a wonderful double Pale. The mouthfeel is nice, not too creamy and the slightest dry aftertaste. A nice drinkablility for a high ABV beer.

 463 characters

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

Enjoyed in a pint glass on Inauguration eve 2009. This is the second bottle I had, as I couldn't resist trying the first a couple months ago. I was impressed with the first bottle, let's see about this one. This bottle may have frozen during our move across to the Midwest this winter.
A: Gentle pour yields 1/2 finger of off-white head. A small layer remains with a nice ring. Cloudy reddish brown liquid. A little too cloudy :-( It is a DIPA though so maybe I should not be so critical...
S: Delightfully hoppy nose but strong malt as well. Fairly balanced. Main hop smell is of pine resin.
T: Bitter front with fruit behind. Pine, molasses, grapefruit, a bit of oxidation flavor (from freezing?). Reminds me of Yulesmith - which is a very good thing.
M: Pleasing bitterness, well carbonated.
D: Delicious Presidential Pale Ale/PPA. I wish this was a year round one. It is one of the best beers I had in 2008.

 912 characters

Photo of ironarrow42
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliant orange-amber hue with an off-white layer of foam. Looks very much like an English ale. Aroma of sweet caramel malts with a hint of butterscotch, light earthy & flowery hops, and orange oil.

Has a distinctive flavour of orange peel and orange oil over caramel malt. Pleasant, smooth bitterness balances the malt. Moderately full body with a very fine carbonation bead. Slight sour edge complements the orange notes and gives this a dessert-like quality.

This is a big, substantial and flavourful brew with a lot of English character. Really well-made and distinctive.

 586 characters

Photo of oracle
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A 10 oz pour consumed at the Gravity Head festival.

Nice light golden yellow orange color, with decent head and heavy lacing.

Wonderful huge hop aroma, with strong citrus notes.

Huge hop bite to the flavor, with very little fruitiness in the finish and a very dry finish.

 274 characters

Photo of Cresant
2.73/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a Sam Adams glass. The body was a golden amber with some haze. Two fingers of foamy white head settled slowly.

Smell was malty, sweet fruit. Yeasty. LifeSavers candy. Whole wheat bread crust. I suppose the hops have faded in this one.

Taste was fruit, maybe peaches. Light hops flavor leaves a bit of oil on the lips. Bready/crust. Some wood/pine. A little too sweet. I think the hops have left the building.

Mouthfeel was medium to full. Some slickness. I've never been a big Avery fan, and I'm not starting now.

 554 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
4.87/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I wonder if our commander-in-chief could clear an hour in his busy schedule for some quality time with this beer. He deserves it, and man, can he use a break from the stress or what? I wouldn't want that job, no matter how kick-ass the perks are.

This beer is a thing of beauty. Super-duper creamy head leaves oodles of lace as it lessens (but it remains thick at half-an-inch the entire way down). Bubbles are plenty and the color is a rusty copper-red.

A wonderful aroma offers butterscotch/butter-rum candies, toffee, pine, tangerine, lemon and melted butter. Hoppy, yeah, but so much more going on. Even a little alcohol, to flare the nostrils, but very well-controlled. Excellent.

Flavor is all one could ask for in a double IPA. Hops are front and center, a fantastic balance of resiny pine and citrus sweetness and the tart/sour pucker of citrus rind. Big malt backbone provides not only a wonderfully creamy body, rounded and full, but lots of toasty caramel/toffee goodness in abundance. Alcohol, though on the lower end for the style, makes its presence known with a blanket of warmth over the primary flavors.

I've really been lucking out with the double IPAs lately. Ale To The Chief is tremendous, though I can't say I'm surprised, considering the brewery. A.T.T.C. hasn't been out long, but I feel like it's underrated. An incredible double IPA up there with Avery's own Maharaja, and the best in the style from Three Floyds, Alesmith and Southern Tier. Wowza.

 1,479 characters

Photo of gdfan47
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a nice amberish brown with a little white head
S- hops, sugar, a touch of malt, corn
T- hops, more hops, hops , finishes with a little malt and sweet but not too sweet
M- really smooth, easy to drink
D- wow its really hard to detect the extra alcohol here.. be careful with this one

a really solid dipa

 312 characters

Photo of CHSLBrew
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber shared with a friend, poured into a pint glass.

A-Slighly hazed amber beer. Tan head on top, reduces to a thin layer, sticky with layered lacing.

S-Dank piney hops, with some bright cirtus. Malts are surprisingly minimal (considering a double pale ale), really just a dry breadiness slightly coming through. Some estery characters.

T-Big on the citrus and piney hops, with perhaps a hint of something herbal. Toasty, bready, and full-bodied malts stand guard behind the bold hoppiness, with some fruity esters providing the backup. Bitterness balances the semi-sweet malts, but still allows the ohp and malt characters to shine, as well.

M-Medium carbonation, very smooth, present but not overpowering. Medium body, clean and crisp feel.

D-Good drinkability, as this is a very good, very different beer. As a double pale ale (according to the label), this brew seemed to rely ona strong malty foundation with the hops prominent, but not overpowering in flavor or bitterness.

 986 characters

Photo of Spidey13
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ale to the Chief pours a beautiful, hazy, amber/honey color with a small off-white head. The smell is mostly sweet, citrussy/tangerine hops.

The taste is sweet and hoppy; mainly citrus hops flavors. There is a strong but smooth bitterness on the finish. Other than the hops, there are some toast and caramel notes. The mouthfeel is full with medium carbonation.

Overall, I really liked this beer. A fairly simple Double IPA, but very drinkable.

 447 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An Avery very hoppy beer. C-hop aroma. Initially, very grapefruit and then as the taste buds numb, there is less hop intensity felt, its more like a pale ale. Average mouthfeel. Less than average grapefruit colour with some white head.Appropriate carbonation. Decent DIPA.

 272 characters

Photo of bum732
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy pale orange, beautiful fluffy head leaving fantastic lacing. Smells of earthy, grassy and piney hops, hop aroma kind of subdued for a DIPA. Bisquity malt aromas complement the hops. Tastes of bisquit like malt followed by a nice earthy hop bitterness. Finishes fairly sweet. Decent carbonation for the style.

A very good beer, reminds me of a Sierra Nevada beer. Hops were kind of subdued, i think because this is an older bottle. Nonetheless, a very good DIPA and a fav from Avery.

 499 characters

Photo of jnn4v
3.28/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

What can I say? I had very high expectations for this beer, but it fell flatly short of all of them.

A: It had a nice golden color, bordering on amber. I bit hazy, but still translucent. Nothing wrong here. Looking good.

S: Not the smell I anticipated from the description on the bottle. I'd say it was mostly that of tea leaves, lemon, and possibly some orange zest. Interesting, but odd. I'll give it "above-average" just for being interesting and not offensive in any way.

T: Bitter, but not a typical hop bitterness. Again, it tastes like someone made iced tea but left the tea bag in way too long. That sort of astringent, unpleasant bitterness not often tasted in quality beers. The mid-taste lemon hits you followed by a trailing hint of sweetness and orange zest and then an even harsher bitter aftertaste. Fortunately, as it warmed to 55-60 degrees, it did mellow out a bit and more of the malt was evident.

M: Good texture for a high-caliber ale. Relatively thick, moderate carbonation with small bubbles. This is one of the better attributes of this beer.

D: Started below average, ended above average once it warmed, so I'm giving it "average" overall.

 1,174 characters

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

Pours a beautiful opaque amber with a nice thin head of froth, that quickly dissolves.

Has a big old piney hop smell that dominates the nose. Mild hints of malt, but they are very mild.

This has a heavy hop taste up front, with some nice sweetness and malt creating a wonderful balance.

Although it is hop heavy, it goes down smooth. The body is a bit above medium.

This is a top notch brew, that I have now had on three separate occasions, and seem to love it more after each tasting.

 490 characters

Photo of Pencible
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured a nearly opaque light copper color with some light tan head. It smelled like apricot and honey wheat and caramel malt, with some lemon hops and alcohol. It tasted like bitter orange peel and grapefruit hops, with honey malt and tea leaves, and a bit of caramel. It was fairly thick with some carbonation, and had a lasting bitter aftertaste. Overall this had a pretty good scent and clean flavor with very nice body, but it just wasn't that tasty. The bitterness was unbalanced and had a strange tea aspect that didn't mesh well with the other flavors. The alcohol was also apparent, so it wasn't very easy to drink. Certainly not a bad beer, but I'd much rather just stick with Maharaja.

 700 characters

Photo of sonicdescent
3.42/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

In Celebration of our chief's speech!

Pours a beautiful golden color with some thick fluffy head that leaves great lacing.

Smell is unusually weak. I smell citrus hops but it is barely there.

Taste is not weak, in fact one of the more robust dipas that I have had. Very bitter with citrus hops.

Mouth is medium in both carbonation and body.

Drinkability is low as this is kind of harsh after more than a few sips.

 422 characters

Photo of JBogan
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Somewhat of a hard pour created a very large creamy white crown atop a caramel body. Nice looking beer.

Smelled of caramel malts, with an ever so slight touch of citrus. No sign of the alcohol.

Tasted much as it smelled. Mostly caramel along with a very small aftertaste of bitter hops. There was a touch of butter in the aftertaste. The alcohol well well concealed. Somehow though the smell was more pleasing than the taste.

Mouthfeel was exceptionally smooth and creamy, and on the thick side. However there was a flatness about it which kept me from giving it a higher score.

Overall this is a nice ale, but lacks something in the taste department to put it up there with the best of the bunch.

 701 characters

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

22 oz. bottle tried 20 Feb 2009.

Poured in 0.5 L Adamabrau becker. Large light yellowish head. Medium carbonation. Clear light copper color. Smells of citrus, pineapple and spicy ginger. Alcohol hits you upfront along with lots of resin, pineapple, ginger, pepper. Lots of nice caramel malt and resin throughout. Bitterness builds towards the finish with a nice bittersweet aftertaste. Medium body, buttery mouthfeel.

I would vote for this.

 443 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 FestĀ® 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!