Ale To The Chief | Avery Brewing Company

Ale To The ChiefAle To The Chief
BA SCORE
4.02/5
616 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#3,437
Reviews:
404
Ratings:
616
pDev:
9.7%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
24
Gots:
38
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 616 |  Reviews: 404
Photo of cvstrickland
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
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!

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Photo of stcules
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.3/5  rDev +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!

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Photo of jonballs
3.98/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of Viggo
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of sprucetip
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
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!

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Photo of yourefragile
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
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).

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Photo of bigkahunas4
4.1/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of nick76
3.74/5  rDev -7%
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.

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Photo of andrewt960
4.8/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer was recommended by the beer guy in my local beer store, and well worth the nine dollars. Anyway, smelled of great hops, citrus hops, pine hops, every hop you can pick up; it's here. Taste is great, so smooth and really a fine beer. The hops linger for a while and it's remarkably fine finish.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear, golden color, with a thick and fluffy off white head, with a yellow tint. The head fades slowly, leaving a massive lacing.

This beer has a grassy hop aroma. It smells citrusy as well. A very slight piney aroma is present. It also smells floral.

This beer tastes just like it smells. Grassy. Some pine and citrus flavors as well. Good.

This beer is full bodied. It goes down smooth, leaving a grassy hop aftertaste. It is carbonated to perfection.

This beer would probably make a good session beer. It is a little high in alcohol, and it is aggressivly flavored, but I could see myself drinking it a bit.

Overall: This is a good beer. I love a good DIPA, and this one didnt let me down.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Revisit: 5 Sep 16
22 oz. Bomber
Gold Foil
Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017
ABV: 8.1%

Pours a very nice clean/clear dark golden amber color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger off-white head, which leaves an oil slick and some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, malty, with some citrus. The taste is mostly malty, with some hop notes, citrus, nice sweetness. Medium body, ABV hidden very well. Overall, a different take on an DIPA, tasty though.

Thanks goes out to tburkhart for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Poured into a chalice a nice hazy dark golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy one-finger head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy, with some nice malt notes, citrus and pines. The taste is hoppy, nicely balanced malts, very nice citrus and slight pine notes. Medium body. Very drinkable, I really like this one, it's been awhile since I've had a really good brew from Avery, and this one fit the bill perfectly. Thanks Tim.

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Photo of Zadok
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light copper of a crystal clear variety. A monstrous head sits atop this beauty.

The fragrance of delicious hops emanate from the ever bubbling head. Very floral tones as well.

Has a nice floral fruity hop flavor. Also has a light coriander quality.

Nice, crisp mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Has an enjoyable hop bite on aftertaste.

Actually consumed this on election night and have been busy since. A very delicious brew with some great balance in flavors and mouthfeel.

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Photo of hopdog
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Poured a medium and clear copper color with an averaged sized off whte head. Aromas of citrus, pine, with some caramel. Tastes of citrus, pine, floral hops, and caramel. Overall the alcohol content was well hidden.

Notes from 8/23/08.

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Photo of CoolJosh
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A. A glowing golden orange, with an awesome 4 finger head from pour that dissipitates moderately

S. An elbow of hops to the nose, tons on fresh bitterness that comes straight out, right away and let's you what's going on, some grapefruit is present as well

T. So smooth, runs like butter. As my newly acquainted friend pointed out, there's caramel in the beginning of the sip but you've gotta look for it from the get go. Really creamy in taste, phenomenal, and refreshing representation of the style. Great hop bitterness in the middle, with smoothness all around.

This has been the best IPA that I have had to date thus far, I really enjoyed this beer, and it was phenomenal when I had it. However, I will be re-reviewing this beer when I can get my hands on some more, my newly acquainted friend explained how much different the beer tasted this time around for him...

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Photo of Tilley4
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hmmmm... I was wanting this to be special....not quite there..

Well, it pours a beautiful clear honey golden color with an ample foamy head and terrific lacing..

Nose is strange... Its hoppy, I can smell the Cascade but its also sort of metallic as well... Smells a little sharp...

Well, its hoppy but not Maharaja like or anything. The hops provide plenty of bitterness but little else. Yeah, they're present but they don't really do anything...a little malt shows up at the backend to try and save this one but I just don't get it...

I wish now that I'd gotten the Maharaja...

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Photo of Douglas14
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A little disappointed with this one. Not that it isn't good but because I was expecting more. I suppose it is my fault for loving Avery so much. Pretty traditional DIPA but with an Avery twist. The twist comes through because of it's unique hop bouquet that smells almost nutty...first time I've gotten that experience from an IPA. The taste is similar with the nuttiness turning more into a woody flavor. Good beer but not what I was expecting.

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Photo of oakbluff
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22 ounce bomber. Pours a dark iced tea colour with a one figer white head and nice lacing. Nose- sweet fruit and caramel. Taste- intial taste is off hops- more tea like than anything, very sweet, big candied orange flavour. Rather thick mouthfeel, leads to a drying finish. Maybe a little past its prime? Very balanced but the hop profile leaves something to be desired.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.23/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Polished kumquat with polished bronze borders. As always, a little yeasty haze would improve the appearance. A fantastic looking three finger crown more than makes up for the beer's (slight) shortcomings. The foam is pastel orange-tinted ivory in color and has significant character. Thick swaths of cobbled lace stick like glue.

Cascade hops are featured prominently in the nose. Although it could be brighter and more loaded with lupulins, the fact that almost no caramel and no alcohol is noted makes me think that this could be pretty tasty stuff. Crystal ball says... good, but probably not special.

Something must've happened on the way to the inauguration because Ale To The Chief doesn't taste anywhere near as good as it smells. Since the initial review was less than four months ago, it's highly unlikely that age has taken a toll. Still, this tastes like a DIPA that is past its prime.

First the bad news. The beer has an underlying off-flavor that's part paint thinner, part metal and part moldy hops. I hate to say it, but I've had some organic beer that tasted just like this. You didn't try to sneak some organic hops past us, did you Mr. Avery? It doesn't ruin things, but it comes pretty close.

The good consists of a lack of cloying sweetness and some pleasant orange citrusiness. Avery is usually more generous with the hops than this. Since I haven't blown out my tongue on hop bombs lately, that can't be it. A dollop of pine sap veers dangerously close to pine resin. The simple, unvarnished truth is that this just isn't a very well-constructed DIPA. If anything, the flavor and drinkability scores are overly generous. On second sniff, the nose isn't that good either.

The mouthfeel is no more than medium for the style and begins to wander away too soon on the finish. The carbonation gives up the ghost too early in each mouthful and things fall a bit flat when they should still be buoyant.

Ale To The Chief is not one of ABC's better efforts and does not deserve to be brewed again unless some major changes are made. Oh well. Avery has more hits than misses, so I'm not too bent out of shape about this one. Bottom line: vetoed.

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Photo of cokes
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Twilight golden bodied with a large stack of eggy white suds. It's generally transluscent with plenty of tiny particles in suspension.
It noses of rusted iron, pine sap, pineapple, lemon rind, and graham crackers...and Gin.
In to the mouth, it begins with a honey-slathered graininess. It inches toward caramel, but the hops intercept. And that's not unusual for a big / double IPA. But the hops don't have all that much to say, apart for a bit of stinging bitterness. There are citric tones. There are pineapple tones. There are floral tones. There are reeferous tones. There are metallic and cinnamon-woody and minty tones. But all of these lack the gumption to stand up and assert themselves. Over time, it just becomes more grassy bitter and metallic.
First impression, you'd say "this is hoppy". But when questioned, you'd say, "I'm not sure, just generally". Then there is a drying inhale of Gin and tonic with its booze and minerals.
Full bodied, hanging heavy in the mouth, but given just enough lift to stave off a cloying or oppressive feel. This is like Congress, it can't get anything done right, but somehow manages to appease.
It's not hard to drink, but it's hard not to let one's mind wander to dreaming of DIPAs with a better overall constitution.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.13/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Somehow I neglected to have this on Election Night.

Neat label.

Clear copper body, topped by four fingers of loose bubbly sticky white froth.

Big citrusy nose, plenty of grapefruit with bits of orange. Not quite fresh though. Hint of alcohol.

Starts with a malty sweet foothold. Juicy citrusy hops quickly overwhelm the malt. Finishes dry, almost dusty. Hit and miss alcohol sensation. No real big bite, finish, or aftertaste.

Smooth mouthfeel. Ok drinkability.

Overall, a bit of a letdown. I expected more. Perhaps excess. This lacked a core.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.63/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is full of floral hops along with fruity citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts with a big burst of grassy hops bitterness that is quickly followed by sweet flavors of citrus and caramel. The malt character is a bit thinner than most 2IPA's but is still pretty hearty. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Very crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, strong kick, excellent representation of style, not quite as good as Maharaja but this is still a very good 2IPA that is worth drinking for a whole evening.

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Photo of SouthAtholSuds
4.7/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 22oz bottle.
Pours a hazy orange glow with a full head that never seems to dissipate.
Sweet sticky strong smell of hops and notes of citrus.
This is an exceptional tating beer. The malts are very well balanced with the strong hop taste that takes over in the end.
Creamy malty mouthfeel with a powerful punch from the hops.
The drinkability of this beer is exceptional. If not for the high ABV I could drink it all night. Tastes even better now that the election is all over!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: Slightly hazy deep amber body beneath a frothy off-white head. Excellent head retention and beautiful lacing.

smell: Hoppy with notes of delicate pine and mild citrus. Slightly sweet caramelish malt.

taste: Whoa! Bam! This is loaded well-beyond anything the nose suggests. Hops appear right upfront with lots of soft pine and a citrus edge awash in a delicately sweetish caramel-accented malt.

mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a delicately spritzy, very fine-bubbled carbonation that lends a mild zing to the tongue and helps cut though the malt and accentuate the bitterness.

drinkability: I was highly impressed with this. I like the way that the hops come on strong, bolstered by the carbonation but held in check by the maltiness of the mouthfeel; and how they then subside but leave a dollop of malt behind before leaving the palate fairly clean for another go-round. You don't usually find that. Either there's too much malt and everything just sticks, or there's too much hop and you're left with a coating of hop acidity that just won't quit and quickly dulls the palate. No, this one's much more like a larger - rather than super-charged - IPA. That said, it maintains drinkability through allowing you to continue to taste it, number one, and then to even note some evolving flavors as you go. Superbly balanced in all ways: malt sweetness vs bitterness, caramel level of the malt versus sweetness, hop flavor profile both integrated and put up against malt, start-middle-finish... etc. very well done!

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Photo of HoustonTX
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Burnt sienna color with fluffy white lace.

Nice fragrent hops in the aroma, citrus layers with pine and backings of florals. The whole shabang with a crisp and underlaying malt backing.

Huge influx of sappy sugar encrusted resinous dank piney hops right off the bat. Explosions of delicate perfume and rosey florals delicately hit the palate to accenuate the aggressive bitterness. Near the finish a nice wave of sour citrus rinds and some woody pines.

The hopping on this one is absolutely extrodinary. Otherwordly exactly how hoppy, yet how extremely well balanced this one is. The hop burps from this surpass almost any other DIPA to date. Yet the balance, and refined palate on this one just go so wonderfully together.

This is definitely my favorite Avery beer to date, and for sure, one of my top 5 DIPA's. It's up there with PTE.
Absolutely one of the worlds best DIPA's.
Avery you scored big time with this one.
Damn fine job, keep it up guys.

Ale to the whatever, this ones a damn keeper.

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Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 616 ratings
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