Ale To The Chief | Avery Brewing Company

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
607 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:
607
Reviews:
402
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
9.68%
 
 
Wants:
23
Gots:
36
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 607 |  Reviews: 402
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

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

Obviously, the brewers at Avery are not fans of President George W. Bush! On to the beer!

Pours a lovely clear mahogany with a thin but lingering khaki head. Big citrusy hops in the nose and rich caramel malt.

Citrusy hops in the mouth, herbal hops too. Grapefruit and tangerine from the hops but very malty too. Lots of rich caramel malt with just a hint of fruitiness. Well balanced but clearlymore malt forward overall. Thick, sticky finish, blurring the lines between "Presidential" IPA and a hoppy barleywine. Big full body. Very tasty ale and very smooth. The nearly 9% ABV sneaks up on you so be careful. It hit me with quite a buzz by the time I finished the bomber!

 676 characters

Photo of jonballs
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Rich, clean orang-ish amber pour, outstanding foamy head retention with exceptional lacing.
S - Like any big IPA, rich in florals; presence of citrus with a touch of piney aroma, mellowed out by a small touch of maltiness.
T - Much like the smell, a smooth (but not overpowering) flavor of bitter hops balanced with a bit more maltiness than some other big IPA's I've had, citrusy with the alcohol bite on the way down.
M - Thick like the taste, almost like you could chew this beer.
D - This is a pretty good big IPA, although if you're looking for tounge-splitting hoppiness, look elsewhere. I like the balanced mellow hoppiness of this brew.

 649 characters

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

22 oz bomber, big thanks to Torontoblue for cracking this one, shared also with the Denver.

Pours a clear dark amber/orange, very bright, big thick off white head forms, lots of sticky lacing on the glass, nice retention, head really sticks around. Smell is nice and hoppy, lots of pine and grapefruit, caramel malts, light fruits, pineapple, dry hop cones, not bad. Taste is similar, caramel and malty up front, pineapple, grapefruit and pine hops, floral, alcohol, pretty bready, nice bitter kick in the finish, very dry and resiny. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, pretty smooth. Nice bitterness and very hoppy, but doesn't distinguish itself from the thousand other DIPA's out there.

 712 characters

Photo of sprucetip
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From bottle into Midnight Sun goblet.

Very clean, clear, medium orange-ish, modest foamy white head with some retention and good lacing.

Smells strong but smooth, citrusy, floral hop aroma is very prominent but the burly malt base balances.

Malty sweetness and hop bitterness hit immediately and simultaneously battling for attention, with hops taking initial advantage then fading as the sweetness takes the lead through the middle. The grapefruity bitterness returns, though more subdued, for the finish and beyond. The diversity of influences and flavor is aggressive and appreciated, but slightly out of balance, especially when it is colder. Strong abv fairly well hidden.

Full bodied, plenty of carbonation and noticeable warming.

I really like this ale, but it is in some ways out of balance and sharp. Some fans of big, aggressive IIPA's will love it, some won't. Best sipped and or shared due to its size and complexity of flavors.

I love the label! If I could give it extra points for that I would. Had some on hand for election day. When I showed a bottle to the host of one election party I attended, though she and most of her guests were wine drinkers, she made a run to the liquor store and bought a case!

 1,230 characters

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).

 892 characters

Photo of bigkahunas4
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 22oz bomber into my snifter.

I bought this assuming I'd consume it on election night, but for whatever reason that did not occur. Thus I cracked her open a few weeks later, and discovered a very nice orange caramel brew. There was about a half-finger bubbly head, with some very stormy lacing. The lacing was probably the highlight of its visual aesthetics. There also was a big aroma with this, as a breeze of orange citrus hops really took over your nasal passages. Very nice, and very inviting.

Taste characteristics leaned towards the nutty side, very much like it's pale ale style. There was a lot of stale bread, some smoky wood, as well as some spicy pine to finish. It is very pleasing to the mouth as it's smooth as butter, but really lights up your lips and tongue with some vibrant viscosity.

Overall, Ale to the Chief is quite complex. A few reviews and the style above note it's a DIPA, however, I believe the bottle states it strictly a Pale Ale. The hop characters, I feel, are certainly that as well. While I found this brew interesting and different, the flavors just weren't appealing to me. Probably not something I will specifically seek out again.

 1,180 characters

Photo of nick76
3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is very malty and hoppy with pine citrus and caramel. The appearance is amber with a nice head. The flavor is like the aroma. The palate is average. Overall a tasty beer however you can really feel the alcohol in this one. Maybe that's your thing.

 257 characters

Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 607 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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

    Subscribe