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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: 395 | Ratings: 577
Photo of myost88
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bomber into Tulip pint.

Appearance: Copper along the edges with a reddishe hue center. Two finger. Very cloudy. Excellent lacing like tinsel strung on a christmas tree.

Smell: Citrus hop aroma dominates the smell. Huge sweet malty presence as well. Slight floral aroma. It smells great to be honest.

Taste: Hops are almost nonexistant, though to be fair I am drinking this almost a year old. Very sweet is the only way to describe this. It's almost sugary. I would think this one was always on the sweet side. Were this an amber ale, the taste would have been spectacular. But as it is an IPA it is no longer appropriate for the style.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth. Not highly carbed and peppery like many IPAs. I have to say this has aged very well in this regard.

Drinkability: Alcohol remains well hidden. Proof that the malt profile was and remains remarkable. At almost 9 percent, one bomber is plenty. Gulping is appropriate.

Overall: I have given this beer marks which I believe to be fair. It is no longer hoppy as one would think, but I believe that to be an aging issue. I still thoroughly enjoyed drinking this beer. Had this been an Amber Ale I suspect it would have received top marks. If you still have some, I recommend you drink it ASAP as age will not benefit it any longer.

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Photo of Morbo
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden-amber with about an inch of foamy head that doesn't stick around for long, though some lovely lacing makes up for it.

The nose is sweet grapefruit juice and pine, with a hint of caramel maltiness.

There is some caramel and toasted bread upfront that is quickly washed away by oily grapefruit juice and a moderately bitter herbal tea flavor.

Medium body and carbonation round things out nicely. The finish is dry and bitter with just a bit of alcohol warmth - less than would be expected from a beer pushing 9%.

Surprisingly well rounded, the bitterness isn't as overpowering as it is in many IIPA's though the bite of grapefruit does linger at the end. At $7 a bomber I would definitely drink this again, but I prefer the Maharaja.

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Photo of brewjones
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber

Lots of hops in the aroma, along with some grassiness and piney notes. Good looking beer with a large head that stays with the beer. Slightly too large at first but then fell to a nice level. Nice large malty flavore that is actually fairly balanced by the hops. Slight tilt toward hops but not overwhelming. Overall, a good beer to drink no matter what side of the aisle you are on.

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Photo of Beauregard
3.13/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a medium copper from the tap with average white head. Aroma is faint, hints of caramel and a mixture of sweet, piney, and citrusy hops. The flavor is muddled, and caramel and residual sugar overpower the malt base. Alcohol taste is present. A kitchen sink full of hop flavors drown in the caramel without enough bitterness at the back end. Hops flavors are resiny sweet, flowery, somewhat citrusy, and unfortunately vegetal and even a bit cheesy. Mouthfeel is too heavy for my tastes. Not bad tasting, but unfocused in my opinion. Not what I'm looking for in a double IPA.

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Photo of ironarrow42
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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Photo of thisisbigrob
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. Sadly, I was unable to drink this on Inauguration Day and had to settle for the following weekend.

A: Dark orange-red with a small offwhite head that dissolved quickly leaving a slighty oily film.
S: Very hoppy and very rich.
T: Slightly bitter and very full. Reminiscent of Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot Barleywine.
M: Very light carbonation, perfect for a beer this size.
D: Tastes great but too strong for prolonged sessions.

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Photo of citan133
3.72/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of badesign
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served from a bomber in August 2009- no freshness date on bottle so.

Appearance is all but the stereotype of an ideal (D)IPA, marked in my notes as a 'hazy golden sunset.' The aroma is highly complex and fantastic: peach, grapefruity west coast hops, a forest after the rain, butterscotch candy, and just a little booze. The flavor starts with a citrus onslaught, tart and sweet, followed by a long honey sweetness and toasty, buttery malts. Finishes with a big, biting resiny pine and again just the smallest bit of booze.

Mouthfeel is not as sticky as I would expect but is adequate, drinkability is ok but I'm sure I couldn't finish more than one.

An excellent DIPA with plenty of hops but also plenty of malt to back it up, a good beer to spend a night sipping on, and certainly an inspiring premise on which to brew a beer regardless of your politics. Here's a campaign promise: if I ever, against all odds, end up in a position of any power and responsibility whatsoever, all my official events will disavow fine wine in favor of fine beers, just like this one. THAT is change you can believe in.

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Photo of ImHereForTheBeer
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We brought this beer with us to the Inauguration in Washington DC to celebrate... (video here: http://www.hereforthebeer.com/inauguration-day-ale-to-the-chief-washington-dc/)

It pours a clear amber with an orange hue. The smell has a beautiful bouquet of cascade hops and a fresh floral aroma. The taste begins bold, bitter and hoppy yet finishes with a citrus... I'd say grapefruit like characteristic. The mouthfeel is great, very smooth covering many areas of ones taste buds. This was an easy and enjoyable beer to drink.

This beer was a nice "change" and leaves us with a sense of "hope".

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Photo of enso
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz.bottle poured into a large snifter.

Appearance: Billowing dense head that lasts most of the glass. Sienna orange slightly hazy glow. Sticky lacing.

Aroma: Pine and fruit. Pineapple? Dense head obscures the aroma some it is still present.

Flavor: Malty caramel sweetness immediately sliced through by spicy hops, and then pineapple and citrus sweetness followed by more hop bite.

Mouthfeel: Luscious creamy mouthfeel. Chewable but not too dense. Pleasant tangy carbonation.

Overall impression: Inspiring. Revolutionary. Our forefathers may have birthed the idea of our nation over a pint of ale. This one is certainly capable of inspiring a rebirth of greatness and a new positive direction.


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Photo of rmasen
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: nice amber color with a large amount of carbonation running through it. the head poors pretty thin and dissipates quickly leaving a strong lacing.

S: Overtly sweet malt character with a hint of citrus y hops.

T: leans to the maltier side, very little flavor/bittering/aroma hop character coming through and a strong malt character that sometimes leans on the sweet side.

M: for me personally I would like to see more carbonation for how thin the liquid is.

D: not sure how many of these I would like to have. sweetness pulls me away, especially because of the style.

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Photo of CJN11
4.77/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Outstanding Pale Ale. Nice crisp flavor, not too hoppy. Excellent finish, somewhat fruity but well balanced. Limited aftertaste. Usually an IPA guy, but this American Pale Ale beats them all. Only negative is that at 8.7% I can't have more than two..

 250 characters

Photo of SouthAtholSuds
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
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 RocketFrog
4.62/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This will be a bit of a mini review.

There's really only one thing you need to know about this beer. It smells like December 3rd, You and your family are out cutting down your christmas tree.

That's what The Chief smells like. If we elect a president that smells like this it beats any new car.

The flavor and mouth feel follow suit. For a hophead this beer is a freaking religious experience. Jebus is in the hops.

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Photo of eewhiz
4.62/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The bartender told me this was a double IPA, which I am usually not that all enamored with D-IPA's. I thought I would give it a try anyways....

This is one smooth beer and full-flavored with a very clean finish.
The color was a nice copper color, with little head. Certainly the stronger taste of hops were evident, however, there is a very nice orange and pineapple flavor, which went very well with the hops...there was a nice malt foundation to keep all the flavors together - Nice taste!

I was very pleased and will certainly look forward to a re-visit!

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Photo of murdoch22
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured during the second presidential debate into a brandy snifter.

This stuff is beautiful and resilient. Pour it however you please. Dump recklessly, and watch the foam fly. Drip carefully, if you have that kind of patience. Drink from a sequined champagne flute with a chihuahua in your pink purse. Drink from the crusty skulls of your vanquished enemies. Whatever the pour, whatever the vessel, this is a beautiful beer. Dive through the head to the bottom of the glass and experience a nearly smooth gradient from foam-white to ale-brown.

To appreciate the genius of this brew, you need only smell it. It's like an oolong beer--pour a glass to smell, and one to drink. But give me the one you were smelling. I'll drink it, too. To be completely abstract, it's a smell with a matte finish. Not sharp, not smooth, not sweet, not bitter, not hot, not astringent. It's like nothing i've ever smelled before, except for the last time i had a bottle of this. Beer at it best is senior-level chemistry; mixing aromatic compounds to create something that leaves a unique impression between the olfactory and memory centers of the beer drinker's brain. This is an honors-level achievement, to be sure.

The flavor is appropriately hopsy, with a near-balance of malts. It's classic Avery--expecting you to accept their throat-constricting sour and bitter hops and praise them for their courage in making a beer that tastes like a grapefruit-appreciation class crammed into a single afternoon and making you love them for it. In this case, though, the harsh and sap-soaked hops are mellowed by some alchemy into a divine seasonal orn that i can't get enough of.

Again, i don't know how they do it, but the typically flat, thin taste of overhopped limited-release beers is filled out with something else; hence i say of both the smell and taste that it has a matte finish, rather than being a smooth veneer. It doesn't feel like it just soaks in and slides down. It lingers, and you like it.

As far as drinkability, let's don't fool ourselves. This is on the strong side. While stronger beers with shorter release windows tend to score A- to A+ on this site, most of those are not the kind of thing you would drink bottlewise at your local pub. While i've had no problem polishing off a 22 ouncer of this tonight, i probably won't do it tomorrow. That said, your weekly bottle has a good chance of being empty well before you initially intended it to be.

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Photo of kevinboyer
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a New Belgium snifter.

I am relatively new to DIPA, but this is unlike any DIPA I've had before. Much more caramel sweetness; much less initial hop intensity. Smell is of floral 'caramely' hops, almost maple syrup. Initial taste is s grapefruit syrup, almost tastes of caramelized scallops. Aftertaste is nowhere near as sweet as expected, more of the floral hop I expect from a double. Mouthfeel is a bit thicker than I prefer, but I find it quite drinkable.

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Photo of Chumley
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have had this beer last summer when it came out, in the fall on tap and now this summer after about a year of resting in the cellar. Very enjoyable beer.

A - Orange Brown color, sustained head.

S - Sweet and Caramelly, floral and Citriusy

T - Bright, balanced lively - Something chocolaty?

M - Smooth, nicely carbonated

D - Impressive, I enjoyed it very much.

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Photo of jonballs
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
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 Crosseyed
2.16/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Big fan of Avery limited releases, but this one wasn't my cup of tea. Lots of malt up front, a bit sweet, not much hops to balance it out, rather long lasting and unpleasant finish. Pains me to give a bad review to Avery after all the wonderful beers ive had from them, but this one is just off..IMHO. I was excited to try it but it didn't live up to the expectations. Got it July 21st 2016 in Denver drank it July 21st wouldn't get it again unfortunately. On to the next. Cheers!

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Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 577 ratings.
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