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Ale To The Chief | Avery Brewing Company

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Ale To The ChiefAle To The Chief

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.75%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed occasionally during election years.

Added by GilGarp on 07-22-2008

For Trade:
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Reviews: 396 | Ratings: 578
Photo of dickroop
4.69/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at Birreria Paradiso in DC, shortly after the Innaugural. Served in a pint tumbler, it was light copper-amber. The nose on this brew was unbelievable. Citrus (to say the least), lemony, floral, with enormous hits of lemon grass. Pure pleasure to inhale.

It tasted good too, just enough malt backbone to be present. If you could put a color on this hop flavor, it would be bright white. Mouthfeel was light to medium. This stuff is light on the tongue, clean and bright and yummy.

It's too strong a brew to quaff many, but as a delightful sipper, it's great. Paired well with a gourmet 4-cheese pizza. Drinkability would have to be good or better, I sure wanted to drink more! Avery delivered a hop-head's ideal salute to our new Prez.

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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

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Photo of gabeerfan
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy burnt orange-amber with a nice big bubbled off white head.
The first whiff reminded me of orange-pineapple juice. Lots of pineapple and citrus rind. Not a lot of sugar sweetness coming through. Some very light brown sugar and honey aromas.
Flavor is pretty similar to the aroma. Again, the first sip kind of reminded me of pineapple-orange juice. But, later sips reveal bits of pine, grapefruit rind. The malt sweetness is still a little hidden, but it is present and offers an attempt at balancing the hops. Despite how hoppy this beer is, it is not too bitter.
Medium bodied. A little sticky/syrupy, but not too thick. Nice carbonation.
Quite drinkable. Very nice flavors make this a good drinker, maybe not an all-night drinker, but a good bottle to share.
We've been using this as an electoral themed beer the last few months, at an Election night party and at an Inauguration "celebration," and I've enjoyed this beer each time. Definitely recommended even at a non-political event.

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Photo of jim102864
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber bottle into the new Sam Adams custom glass. Copper with a lusty, sticky head with lace web.

Nose is caramel with some floral notes; butter; malty with hidden Cascade hops. Nice.

Mouthfeel is smooth particularly as it warms, with modest carbonation.

Mild taste with slight hop finish. Buttery smooth and creamy as it warms.

This is a one "term" ale, not a session brew. A good effort by Avery.

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

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden orange with a medium off white head.

Smell: It has a wonderful pineapple smell to it. There are also hints of caramel and banana and pine.

Taste: Sweet and bitter all atthe same time. Oranges and hops blend well with the malts.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Leaves a good aftertaste in your mouth. A medium body and light carbonation make this easy to drink.

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

Service Temperature, 50 degrees farenheit. Service Glassware, 12 ounce tulip (with stem)

Appearance, is dark amber with a sap like density. As I pour this out of the bottle I see an initial strong, tapioca head, that dissipates slowly (more than a minute for complete evaporation), leaving only an antique, table cloth like lace.
The nose on this is interesting, with a dance of playful sweet citrus and notes of berries. Slight floral quality alongside some minor earthiness.
Sipping initially I detect a nice smooth caramel malt, that gives way to some minor citrus hoppiness. A very mellow overall taste.
Mouthfeel is medium.

Man I would love to have a ham sandwich right now.


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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.

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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.

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Photo of Zadok
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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 MikeBrandman
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - I have to admit, I overpoured this beer a little bit. I got at least 5 fingers of head before it overflowed. This is the first bottled beer I've had where it actually made a hissing sound, like soda, as it poured. Head is a light brown and rocky; extremely rocky, almost marshmellow like. I swirled it up a bit with my finger and it got an almost frappachino like consistency. Lacing is spotty yet copious and sticky. Body is a transparent deep golden brown with slight orange hues and little effervescence.

S - The smell on this beer is powerful and pungent. Citric hops and piney notes. Rich, deep smell. Slightly malty. If the beer tastes as good as it smells it's going to be a good time. I'm surprised the smell is as fresh and strong as it is, seeing as I imagine this beer is a little passed it's prime. The smell has a slightly lemoniness to it which adds to the refreshing quality.

T - Moment of truth. Will a retired IIPA still taste good? Kinda. The hop bitterness, at least in this one, has subsided a bit. Slightly grapefruity hop bitterness. Malt is strong and assertive here. No alcohol taste, surprisingly. Roasted malt character. An interesting IIPA, just not entirely tastey.

MF - A little thin and on the watery side. Carbonation doesn't get in the way here.

D - High alcohol heat makes this a little hard to drink a lot of. Not quite a sipper. The taste isn't really intriguing enough to make you want more and more however. Would have settled for a 12oz over 22oz.

A little stale, but still pretty good. Not my favorite of the series, but maybe a little fresher would have been better.

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Photo of Fnord
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Slightly translucent gold color, with a dense, white, lasting head.

Smell - Grass, flowery pine, and citrus.

Taste - Much like the nose, but also with sweet malts for balance. Some alcohol in the finish. Got very sweet as it warmed up.

Mouthfeel - Medium-light body, which is aided by the thick head. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability - One is good, but I wouldn't want more than that in one night.

Notes - The dry hopping really brings out the juiciness of the hops; this was the juiciest beer I've had in a while.

I have mixed feelings about this one. It's clearly a well-crafted beer, with a lot of hoppy complexities. It's just not my cup of tea, as I prefer drier malts to the sweet stuff balancing this ale. I'm not going to buy it again, but I'm glad I tried it, as it's quite a bit different from other IPA's.

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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...

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Photo of slayer3604
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4.5's across the board with this puppy!

A-Drapery of white frothy almost whipped cream head (served at room temp so it would be heady as all shit!) a mild amber color and plumes of carbonation reaching the blanket of head.

S- creme` friache, alcohol, citrus, a foreshadowing of nice hops, and apricot esters.

T- Up front spice, acidic character, almost like bighting a lemon, but in a good way. the lemon is soaked in booze, and fresh malt that dropkicks your tastebuds into submission!!! Such a powerful and refined beer.

M-chewy, sweet but ballanced by a good amount of hop!

D- This might be a new favorite from avery. they never cease to amaze me.

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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.

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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.

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

Missed out on having this for the occasion it was intended it for. Oh well, here it goes anyway. Bomber poured into a Duvel glass. Luxurious dense, cream colored head that has all kinds of sticking power. Hazed orange in color. Smell includes pine, naval orange, pineapple, toffee, bit of earth, and light caramel. Great intense, balanced aroma. Flavor starts out with a bitter and sweet tangerine combo. Floral bitterness follows with sugar coated orange peel and lemon. Finished with a stern, earthy bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium-full, sweet and thick with a nice, modest level of carbonation. Bit of warmth on the way down. Intense flavors on both sides, bitter and sweet, in addition to high alcohol, don't make this a very easy drinking ale.

This beer was better than I expected it to be. The aroma was outstanding, still holding on to some of its pleasant hop character. There was also good balance between an intense bitterness and solid citrusy sweetness.

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Photo of jhu1995
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orange color, somewhat cloudy, with a nice head and lacing throughout. Smell is both sweet and tart fruits; some lemony citrus aromas, but faint and not overpowering. Some minor alcohol notes as well. Nice balance of sweetness with bitterness, well-rounded. Medium-bodied and refreshing. Overall a very good beer and worth seeking out.

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

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

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Photo of 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.

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Photo of skizziks
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A limited release from Boulder Colorado's Avery Brewing in celebration of the inauguration of our latest president. The TTB disallows the use of a president's name, but the clever label makes it very clear that Avery is not a stronghold of the John Birch Society and I would bet the break room TV is not tuned to Fox News.

I am immediately greeted by a big hop aroma with plenty of sugary malt coming through. Fresh bread, a little red apple, papaya, and a significant but not distracting alcohol aroma round things out. The tropical and resinous hops play well with the apparent and restrained esters.

A big 3" off-white fluffy head forms off the pour. It quickly dies down to a few thin patches with minimal lace, not surprising with the high alcohol content. The beer is a nice light copper color with some haze that appears to be more from hops than protein.

Hits the tongue with bread, dry biscuit, brown sugar, oranges and papaya. Resinous hops smeared all over with some raw hop cone astringence. Fairly well balanced with an increasingly coarse bitterness building against the sugary malts. Finish is long with lingering hop and warming alcohol.

Full bodied with moderate carbonation. A little heavy on the palate. This isn't a small beer by any means, and the alcohol is never hot or boozy, but it drinks like a stronger beer. The bitterness becomes harsher through the glass and begins to really impact the enjoyability. Some similarities to their Hog Heaven barleywine, but with more emphasis on the bitter instead of the malt. I'll stick to the Hog Heaven in the future.

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Photo of dakid618
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into 10 oz glass. Pours a golden amber color with a finger of white head with tons of retention on the glass. Smell is very citrusy. Taste is upfront citrus hopswith biscuit malt aftertaste. Very balanced beer. Light dry mouthfeel. I could drink this all day and night. Extremely drinkable.

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Photo of Phillyduke
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: 22 oz. bomber stored at 55 degrees since it's purchase last fall, and poured into an Imperial Pint glass on Inauguration Day 01/20/2009 as per the brewery's intentions (I think). Color is a copper orange and hazy with a 1+ finger head of rocky, dense off-white foam. Head shows nice retention and leaves some fine lacing with a bit of stick on the glass. Not much carbonation noticeable in the drink.

S: Bready sweet malts are the most prevalent in the nose. The hops are there and their floral/herbal presence is inviting, but not overpowering. They definitely take a backseat to the malt.

T/M: Doughy and yeasty up front. Slightly astringent. There's a nice hop bitterness in the finish that lingers on the back of the tongue for awhile. The bitterness is the only truly detectable hop characteristic, but it balances out nicely with the bready malt sweetness. I wish the hop character was a little more aggressive, but I'm not totally disappointed. Feel is medium-bodied with a mouth-tingling carbonation.

D/O: I followed Avery's orders and waited until today to enjoy this beer, but I wish the experience was a little more hop-forward. To me the beer was more about the malt than the hops, which isn't an APA in my book, but I may have missed this beer's sweet spot by letting it sit for so long. I wish I had tried one completely fresh to see if there was a difference. Regardless, the result was an extremely enjoyable, eminently drinkable beer (though on a less-than-full stomach I was feeling the effects by the time I finished), just not one that lived up to my expectations. I pray the Presidency it celebrates lives up to our country's expectations of it.

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Photo of ironlung
3/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on-tap @ hollingsheads a couple of months ago and it was great. Since then, I've got 2 bottles from liquor wherehouse, and they've both been as I like to say "butterscotch bastards".In lement, I wish I'd have written a review at hollingsheads. Alas... here I am with a new prez, wanting to ale to the chief; but insted holding my nose. Again this beer was tits on tap, but both bottles I've had were really bad!

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Photo of itcomesnpints
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a gooey orange amber. Stark white head with sticky lacing.

Smell is of sweet oranges, malt, light hops.

Taste is very malt-heavy. Normally I wouldn't like this, but here the malt is amazingly tasty and smooth. Little hop flavor or bitterness. Mostly syrupy malt. Hints of citrus.

Mouthfeel is deep and thick. Interesting. Hides the alcohol well, but makes it hard to drink too much of this stuff.

A great malty DIPA. Sweet, thick. Good but in definite need of more hops.

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Photo of mbunje
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into small snifter-type glass.

Love the label...it is presidential pale ale, not imperial pale ale.

Nice copper tone and a good 1 inch head. Medium lacing going down the glass. Very much par for the course for an IPA

Smell is awesome...Cascade hops. Great aroma. Well done

Taste is no let down very nice cascade hop flavor but not overly bitter (dare I say...Presidential)

Smooth, medium carbonation, crisp finish. Very good for this style.

After about 16oz of this 8.75% beer, I feel like I can drink 4-5 more. But I'm gonna say that 2 bombers is all I should take down. Not a session beer, but a great IPA.

MUST Try this if you like IPA

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Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 578 ratings.
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