Ale To The Chief | Avery Brewing Company

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
614 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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
Ratings:
614
Reviews:
404
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
9.68%
 
 
Wants:
23
Gots:
37
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 614 |  Reviews: 404
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)

 255 characters

Photo of UA8
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a bright and clear amber orange with a tall and puffy soft white head.

S- Flows forth dominated by citrus scents of tangerines and orange rind slight hints of mango and pineapple sweetness in the background.

T- Starts in with a tropical fruit sweetness, mid palate blends with tangerines and finishes nice and bitter with clementine peel.

M- Much fuller than you expect for such a transparent beer. Nice amount of carbonation that seems to really come to life in the mouth.

D- This is a really solid IIPA. It could have touch more complexity to the palate and nose but doesn't miss the mark heavily in any category. I would recommend trying this while its available.

 679 characters

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

I tried to save this until inauguration day but...didn't happen.

A: Orangey and pretty dark for an IPA. Mostly clear with lots of bubbles coming from the bottom. One finger tannish head that doesn't have much retention but does have a lot of lacing.

S: Really big malt base with a sort of figgy/molasses smell. There's bitterness to the scent, but tough for me to characterize.

T: First sip is all malt, taste like it smells. I really didn't note any hops at all in the first sip...they seem to come on really really late. The hops are mostly resiny to me, maybe a bit of grass. The bitterness seems to come out of the sweetness, but the flavor of the hops isn't particularly strong...just the bitterness.

MF: Medium bodied and a bit sticky, with low-to-moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is similar to Maharajah, and that's a very good thing. The warming is fairly intense, and the alcohol hits right away.

D: This is a tasty, malt-heavy IIPA...and I like it quite a bit. It almost gets to the point of being a strong ale or an imperial red, but there's certainly enough hops in there. Reminds me a bit of summer Yulesmith I suppose. This is obviously not a sessionable beer, but it seems to be a "get a nice little buzz" beer. I'm not convinced that providing Mr. Obama an ample amount of this would make him a better president, but at least it would make him a president with good taste in beer. Anyway. I think when it's all said and done I like Maharajah more, but this is really quite good and I would be happy to drink it again.

 1,538 characters

Photo of GJ40
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle purchased from Sam's in Durham, NC.

A - Golden with a slight haze and a moderate white head. Minimal lacing.

S - Yeasty, malty and a bit fruity.

T - Very balanced contributions of malt, alcohol and hops. Very even and smooth with none of them dominating. No off flavors at all.

M - Low to moderate carbonation with a nice, silky consistency.

D - A solid, entertaining beer. Not particularly aggressive in any way but very good.

 459 characters

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

Bomber from Beer Run, Charlottesville, VA. Poured into a 22 oz. Terrapin snifter.

Appearance: A clear, filtered amber, medium dark red, with a foamy, meringue-like tan head. Its retention is above average generally, though possibility only average for the style. Carbonation appears to be very attractive, with tons of medium-sized bubbles racing upwards towards the head around the periphery of the snifter. Lacing is splotchy on the sip side, solid and swiss cheese-like on the non-sip side.

Aroma: Spicy west coast hop aroma, decently complex. Thick, resinous pine needles blanket a forest of grapefruit trees, lush, ripe, pregnant with their ruby red jewels. Ok, not really, but it's still pretty nice, with lots of doughy bready notes and caramel.

Taste: A surprisingly mellow beer, though that could be the age on it. Obviously, being a DIPA, there are a few hop undertones ... ok, overtones ... tones? Anyway. Doughy roasted caramel supports an array of probably-once-glorious but now-somewhat-faded spruce notes, minty, basil notes, other leafy vegetal overtones, and varying degrees of citrus zest. It's interesting, pleasant, and, again, decently complex, but not very "robust," if that makes sense.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation on this one is pretty big, both in terms of activity, speed, and bubble size. As a result, the mouthfeel is a little less creamy and/or even than I might like in a DIPA, but it still does an admirable job of maintaining a level of smoothness.

Drinkability: I haven't had the opportunity to taste this one fresh, but I know faded hops when I see 'em. It's a shame Avery released this one when they did - wait 6 months and they could have had a perfect Inauguration Day DIPA on their hands. As it stands, this is still a pretty solid, above average DIPA, with a well-hidden and tolerable abv% and an interesting and semi-complex array of flavors and aromas. Give it a shot ... but soon.

 1,926 characters

Photo of lynx1245
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A light orange brown with good amount of white head and lacing.

Smell: It's all the hops. Piny and citrus. Also could smell malt sweetness and cranberries.

Taste: This one is bitter. But after drinking it for a while you begin to notice more of the sweet malts than the piny hops. Tastes very bready. Unfortunately I also could taste a lot of the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and medium bodied. Tastes a little bit flat but the with decent alcohol warming.

Drinkability: I only had half the bottle and the alcohol hit me pretty hard. I personally prefer less malts in my DIPAs because I feel like it makes them taste less clean and crisp. Overall a solid brew however.

 682 characters

Photo of Shaw
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper in color with a nice thick foamy head.

The aroma is all about citrus hops.

The taste is very good. It's -- again -- all about the hops, with both citrus and herbal flavors mixing with a backbone of malt sweetness. There is also a great warming effect from the alcohol. The bitterness, while big, isn't overpowering like some beers in this style.

The body is nice and thick, but smooth. There's nothing watery about this.

Overall this is a good DIPA. It's more approachable than better examples. A good gateway to bitterness.

 549 characters

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

I poured this one from a 22oz brown bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A= This ale poured a cloudy but bright (if that's possible) orange-amber color with a 1/2" white head. There was a fairly active carbonation release and the head slowly dropped to a thin skim. Tons of sticky lace down the glass.

S= Aromas of pine and citrus hop notes, followed by a bistuity malt base and a fair amount of alcohol.

T= Flavor was also dominated by pine and citrus hops throught each sip. Midway a slight burst of bakery malt sweetness broke through, only to be covered up again by the hops. The finish was a long dance of sweetness/hop bitterness/ and alcohol.

MF= Medium body with a slightly crisp to crisp mouthfeel. Carbonation was near perfect for the style in my opinion.

D= This was a very good Imperial/Double IPA. I thought the body and the carbonation were nearly perfect, but the base bitterness could have been just a bit higher. Still, a damn good beer and one I will certainly have more of soon.

 1,000 characters

Photo of Traquairlover
2.82/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Nice off white foamy head which leaves heavy lacing. That was the good part, liquid is a hazy light amber with a yellowish tinge that really looks a little sick to me, not a pleasant color for a beer.

S = Standard piney hops smells, tart lemon, some underlying breakfast muffin with marmalade. Not bad, but pretty average for the style.

T&D = Strong tastes of canned yellow grapefruit juice followed by strong bitterness that gets cloying in the finish. Frankly, I do not find this all that drinkable. The hops flavors are there, but they just do not seem all that well integrated into the beer. I really feel like I am drinking a Texsun grapefruit juice with a little everclear and something to add carbonation. It just doesn't have enough to set it apart from other DIPAs while having this mass produced fruit juice character. Very disappointing.

M = Medium-light bodied but with a watery feeling at mid-palate, carbonation stung a little bit, alcohol became too noticeable.

 1,022 characters

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

I have held this bottle awhile,I was hoping to open this bottle on election night....but things didnt go the way I had hoped,but enough bout that.Poured into a 22oz nonic a dull bronze with a big blooming slight off white head that left broken chumks of lace behind as it settled very slowly.Big pine resin and grapefruit rind in the nose along with some caramel biscuit.Obviously a hop dominate brew on the palate,grapefruit and leafy with a big dose of caramel sweetness,a lingering leafy/green note finishes.Its not over the top but its damn good,I bet it would have been great more fresh,damn voters!

 604 characters

Photo of weeare138
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes. On tap at Capone's...
Appears a semi-transparent copper toned amber with a small white head that slowly fades out. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of super hoppy, grapefruit, pine, herbs, and bown sugar.
Taste is of a hoppy, sugary mix with some standout citrus, and spicey pine notes that make the beer extremely interesting.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, chwy, and balanced for such a hop-filled monster.

 447 characters

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.

 590 characters

Photo of hoplover82
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a beautiful clear pale copper color. Has a small dissapating off white head.

Smells of sensational citrusy-floral hops. No real malt aromas. The hops are just fine for me. Seems like more than Cascades to me.

Average to pretty nice lacing.

The flavor is of spicy, piney, citrusy hops and a little bit of malty goodness.

Pretty smooth on the palate, a little alcohol sting. And a little thin, but full bodied. A nice bitterness that lingers nice.

 462 characters

Photo of ckeegan04
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Crystal clear dark copper color. Big off-white head that quickly fades into a thin bubbly top. Bubbly laces on the glass,

S - Big nose of pine hops. A hint of bready pale malts underneath as well. Alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming.

T - Rather sweet initially with hints of caramel and biscuits. Hops are not near as strong in the taste as they are in the nose. Primarily piney notes in the nose. A little spice to them as well.

M/D - Medium to full bodied and decent carbonation. Very easy drinking and the alcohol is very well masked.

An interesting idea with the labeling. A little hokey, but it is right for the season. A very easy drinking DIPA.

 667 characters

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.

 751 characters

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I popped the cap the beer foamed all over my floor, I quickly poured and the head was giant. It almost overflowed out of the glass but soon settled into a craggy, dense mountain of a cap. Massive cordillera of lace are plastered to the glass. The aroma is of cotton candy, grape fruit, lemonade and toasty malts. The taste is lavishly hoppy with grapefruit, apricot and lemon flavors coming to the fore. The malt balast is not shy, with a hefty dose sweet doughyness to provide ample balance. Alcohol heat makes itself known throughout. The mouthfeel is full and highly carbonated. The finish is long, fruity, bitter and a bit boozey.

This was a very nice DIPA. If it was a bit more bitter and less boozey it would be perfect.

 732 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
4.78/5  rDev +18.6%
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.

 555 characters

Photo of Greggy
4.7/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

 571 characters

Photo of magictrokini
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

 347 characters

Photo of drperm
4.23/5  rDev +5%
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.

 1,746 characters

Photo of nickss
4.39/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

 578 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.19/5  rDev +4%
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.

 548 characters

Photo of tadowdaddy
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
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!

 524 characters

Photo of cvstrickland
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
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!

 1,728 characters

Photo of stcules
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

 376 characters

Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 614 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.