The Czar
Avery Brewing Company

The CzarThe Czar
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Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Stout - Russian Imperial
ABV:
10.1%
Score:
89
Avg:
3.97 | pDev: 11.08%
Reviews:
953
Ratings:
2,104
From:
Avery Brewing Company
 
Colorado, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  91
Gots
  356
SCORE
89
Very Good
The CzarThe Czar
Notes:
Reviews: 953 | Ratings: 2,104 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Sigmund
Sigmund from Norway

3.04/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Sampled bottle, RBNAG 2007 in Grimstad. ABV was 11.03%. Black colour. Sweetish and sickly aroma of molasses, malt syrup, ?, spices and tar. Intensely sweet and tarry flavour with a substantial bitterness. Overkill.

Apr 23, 2021
Photo of HipCzech
HipCzech from Texas

4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 2011 release, on tap at The Hay Merchant, served in a 10 oz snifter.

Appearance: Inky black-brown with a creamy head of fine tan bubbles; spotty lace.

Smell: Aromas of dark, dried fruit (prunes, figs, dates) along with roasted malt and chocolate.

Taste: Roasted malt, chocolate and coffee notes emerge more strongly. Dark, dried fruit remains along with livelier esters and oxidized hints. Gentle boozy warmth and sherry notes, finishing with clean, earthy bitterness and tobacco.

Mouthfeel: Rich, full, creamy and smooth with very fine, soft carbonation.

Overall: Complex but smooth, definitely benefited from its aging.

Jan 29, 2021
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2010 vintage out of the cellar
Pours a tan foamy smaller head with lower retention, little lacing, basically pitch black

Nose is good, aged well, no alcohol, lots of cookie dough and baking spices, a bit of chocolate and cocoa, touch of winey aged character, little paper oxidation, fudgey

Taste rich malt, a bit fruity with fruity esters and more winey oxidation notes, little powdered cocoa and fudgey, touch of paper oxidation, more baking spices, hint of roast and coffee, no alcohol, soft nougat and cookie dough notes, med light bitterness into med bitterness on the finish, touch of spicy hop and cocoa coffee lingering

Mouth is fuller bod, rich but creamy soft thanks to age, pretty much no alcohol, med foamy carb

Overall great ris, the base is nice and the aged version is very nice as well

May 17, 2020
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mothmanscott from Georgia

4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From notes 9/3/13: This was from Supremely Limited Batch Number 11. Pours a deep brown bordering on black with swirling particulates. The pour produces 3 fingers of frothy, somewhat lasting, mocha head that leaves a wash of speckled, webby lacing. Aroma is chocolate fudge, dark roast, nuts, spice and floral with a faint hint of oaky vanilla (even though it says nothing of being barrel aged). Taste is extra rich dark chocolate fudge and vanilla ice cream cake, hints of caramel, toffee, molasses, a little dark fruit and and anise. A little peppery in the finish with bitterness, anise, light smoke, burnt coffee and chocolate in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is heavy bodied, low carbonation, creamy, silky and smooth. My goodness what a dessert beer!

Nov 14, 2019
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Beergirl93 from Michigan

4.7/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle dated oct 2014, batch 13.
Love this stuff, came out for a special event. Excellent flavor, slightly mellowed, still sweet, tons of flavor. Lots of malt and sweetness. Glad to have waited on this one.

Aug 01, 2018
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ajm5108 from Pennsylvania

3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pretty sweet for a Russian style stout - some chocolate, candi sugar, black licorice along with some charred oak and tobacco, nice balance between smokey and sweet

Apr 23, 2018
Photo of maximum12
maximum12 from Minnesota

3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Avery – one of my first gateway breweries waaaaay back in the day. Sad to see this one go. 22 oz. bottle, my last, split with my wife, batch #14 dated November 2015.

The pour is black, though not as dark as the current batch of crazy ass, liver-banging, tasty-as-breast-milk-in-May batch of Avery stouts. Smells like dark chocolate, dark malts, dark roast.

The Czar – somebody ought to send a case of this to the Donald. Except he’d probably flip it. To the Philippine President. Opens up with a deep sweetness that gets into my gums. The mid-section brings molasses infused with dark fruits, tarred leather, licorice. Supremely smooth & rich: I feel like I should run upstairs & grab my silk bathrobe, fake pipe, & furred slippers. No alcohol; goes down like Megan Rain. Or so I see.

Once a very good beer, always a very good beer. Avery knows how to use the malts to build a big stout, & this is no exception.

Nov 04, 2017
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Mindsculptor from Texas

5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best RIS I've ever had. Avery, why do you have to be poor and discontinue your excellent but expensive to make beers?

Note: This review is transcribed from Untappd. I got to try Darkstar November after this, and well... This is now my 2nd favorite Imperial Stout.

Jul 07, 2017
Photo of BladesOfBarley
BladesOfBarley from Illinois

4.36/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Im back again, ye boozers and beer nerds! It has been a while (work is a demanding whore, so check me out on Untapped; BladesOfBarley) so Im cracking a beer I've been saving for a long time now, Avery's The Czar, a Russian Imperial Stout, Batch No.14 Nov 2015. I love nothing more than a good vintage beer, and this one really takes the cake.

The moment you crack this bad boy, aromas of dark chocolate, vanilla and brown sugar fill the air, matching the almost pitch black depth of color. Lacing is thick, but fades with time. What this beer has though, is one thing that many stouts of this strength seem to lack; balance. This beer not only coats the tongue, but it lingers beautifully. Dark fruits, chocolates, vanilla, and the slightest hint of wood (I know, this is not BA).

Beers of this style and this strength definitely benefit from some time in your basement, cellar, or patch of woods (DFH fans know the reference), and this is an excellent cellar dweller. While this batch/year is drinking well now, I can see it improving with a few more years on it. You see this vintage or have the chance to try it, go for it. A true stout lovers dream.

Jul 05, 2017
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Dewsby from Kentucky

4.7/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I snagged a bottle when I heard it was going to be discontinued. This batch was from Oct 2014, so it has rested for a good three years before I cracked it open.

L: Little light penetration. A lovely, oily black that rolls in slow waves when jostled around. The head was an inviting tan color, but the retention was not nearly as long as I would have hoped. Decent lacing.

S: The smell is outstanding. Intense roastiness, dark fruit, caramels, chocolates, and Belgian candies can be detected on the nose. Hardly any booze can be detected on a whiff. The only gripe I have with the nose is I would like it to be even stronger, the combination and balance is intoxicating, but I wish it was also overwhelming.

T: Everything present in the aroma is also well represented on the palate. The addition of a distinct coffee note was a pleasant surprise since I did not detect too much on the nose. The taste lingers for quite some time, and there are no off-putting grass like or acrid bittering flavors to taint this lovely profile.

F: The mouthfeel is your standard RIS expectation. It is quite oily as one's eyes can easily detect, with a low medium carbonation. It is a pleasure to sip on.

O: This is a fantastic representation of the style. I would have snagged another a while back if I knew it was going to be this pleasant, especially at its typical price point. What a shame it is no longer being produced. Maybe 3 years aging did it some drastic good, and fresh it was a bit green, but either way, I am glad I was able to experience it.

Jun 26, 2017
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Ltdsaint from North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Didn't think too much of this beer when I first bought a bottle, but then I later saw one on the shelf that was already aged three years. Big change of scenery.

Jun 08, 2017
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MaximalC from Illinois

4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

*Bottle dated Nov. 2015

Pours seal brown with only the barest skim of khaki frogspawn. Dark, earthy aroma smells of molasses, peanut brittle, and peat, with a hint of spicy hops and even some char.

The taste features molasses and toffee up front, well-balanced by the same zesty noble hops suggested by the nose. The back end takes on a fruitier character, with dates and currants moving to the fore. Warming reveals notes of anise and char. Alcohol delivers a pleasant, sophisticated warmth in the finish. Surprisingly heavy body and negligible carbonation deliver a hefty, slightly oily, sticky mouthfeel that's noticeable from the first sip.

Overall, this is a full, complex, and drinkable RIS that delivers on multiple flavor facets of the style at once. Whether you like your stout sweet, roasty, or even fruity, there's something here for everyone.

Feb 26, 2017
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PaulElk from New Jersey

5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tons of flavors from roasty to sweet. Heckuva head from a forceful pour. Delicious in every way. Batch No. 14 from Nov. 2015. Glad I have another one to age

Feb 24, 2017
Photo of BWood
BWood from California

4.51/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! First off, I'm a huge Avery fan. But this beer is great. Might be my favorite non ba stout. I'll put this up with 1050 all day. Nice head. Extremely soft and creamy mouth feel. And a superbly balanced taste. Malt and rich chocolate.

Feb 09, 2017
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TreyIsWilson from Michigan

3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours jet black with a thin tan head. Light soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is roasted malts, dark chocolate and black licorice.

T - The taste follws the aroma with dark chocolate, black licorice, coffee and roasted malts.

M - Full bodied with low carbonation. Soft creamy mouthfeel with sticky dry finish.

O - Nice Russian Imperial Stout. The flavors are big and balanced. Very enjoyable especially for the price.

Dec 24, 2016
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dcscientist from Colorado

4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Man, I'm sad they are retiring this beer. I finally got my hands on one and that may have been the only one I'll get. This was a very good Russian Imperial Stout, though surprisingly a little lower ABV than you'd expect from an Avery small-batch bomber beer. Really dark, full-bodied, and great on a cold night...just as you'd want it if you lived in Russia.

Dec 19, 2016
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superspak from Ohio

4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 12/10/2015. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toffee, molasses, vanilla, toasted dark bread, and nuttiness; with lighter notes of coffee, raisin, fig, date, licorice, char, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toffee, molasses, vanilla, toasted dark bread, and nuttiness; with lighter notes of coffee, raisin, fig, date, licorice, char, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate roast and herbal/spicy hop bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toffee, molasses, vanilla, toasted dark bread, nuttiness, dark fruit, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/hop bitter/sweet balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Slight dryness from hop/roast bitterness as well. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy, lightly slick/silky, and slightly chalky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Minimal warming alcohol. Overall this is an outstanding Russian imperial stout. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to drink for the ABV. This is not nearly as roasty or dense as others in the style; but still has awesome malt complexity, in combination with fruity yeast and earthy hop flavors. A highly enjoyable offering.

Dec 04, 2016
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SD-Alefan from South Dakota

4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque black with a tan head that fades fast an leaves lots of lace. The aroma is chocolate and roast with scents of char, dark fruit, milk chocolate and cocoa. Big roasty notes lead the flavor: dark chocolate and coffee. Dark fruit, and char follow. Slightly boozy. Mouthfeel is medium, creamy and smooth.

Oct 25, 2016
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HopHunter19 from Missouri

4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - nice off white head that sticks on a dark black/brown beer
S - big roasty, coffee, vanilla, milk chocolate, oatmeal, little bit of toasted marshmallow
T - again big roasty, coffee, dark chocolate/cocoa, milk chocolate, vanilla
M - heavy, alcohol covered, aftertaste is roasty malts, chocolate
O - great beer. Better with some age.

Sep 28, 2016
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GStone899 from Minnesota

3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bought this at Casanova liquors in Hudson Wisconsin in May 2016.

Has a very robust toffee flavor followed by a nice smokey char flavor. Mild char but balances well with the toffee. Has a real buttery aftertaste that is quite pleasant. Like a lot of complex stouts this one tastes better as it warms.

Sep 18, 2016
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justinp444 from Michigan

4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip OCT 2014 batch drank on 6/11/16, it has a black body and a inch and a quarter thick beige head of fine foam. Smell of roasted malt, chocolate, lots of a bread-y yeast, vanilla, caramel. and some slight toffee. Taste is Burnt sugar, roasted malt, bitter chocolate, coffee, vanilla, bread-y malt, caramel, and some slight cinnamon. Mouth feel is full, body is moderate, and a light to moderate carbonation.

Jun 12, 2016
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JJKBeerLvr from Pennsylvania

4.68/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sampled June 2016 from bottle in pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark color, dark tan head that quickly disappeared. I would have liked the head to last longer.

Smell: Sweet with strong toasted coffee aromas, also some hops, more hops than most stouts.

Taste: Full-bodied with great balance of malt and hops. Dominated by roasted coffee, but with a nice bitterness and kick from the hops. There is also a sweet flavor like molasses. The strong alcohol adds to the flavors as well. Taste starts sweet with malts, then comes the roasted coffee flavors, and then bitterness from the hops. Overall a great combination and a great taste.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, but very smooth.

Overall: Nice imperial stout. Best if you enjoy a combination strong malts and bitterness from the hops. Great aftertaste of hops, more than I get from other stouts. I love the hoppy aftertaste that I typically only get from an IPA. I will buy this again.

Jun 04, 2016
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omahawk from Nebraska

3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is dark almost black with a hint of red tint. Little carbonation and small head that diminished quickly. Taste is slightly boozy, balanced to the sweet side with some caramel and dark malt notes. My preference would be for more hop buttering and roast character. This is a solid, albeit not my favorite big stout,

Jun 04, 2016
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TH28 from Florida

3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle. Oct 2014 bottle date. Appearance: Black, opaque, with a light khaki head that dissipates quickly. Aroma: Plum and dark cherry fruitiness is quite strong, with dark chocolate and a light roast. Taste: A sharp dark roasty malt, with a touch of wood and cherry. Bitterness is on the lower end of the style. Mouthfeel: Medium body with low carbonation. Alcohol is noticeable and accentuates the astringency of the roast Finish: Leaves a touch of roast and a slight oxidized malt. Overall: A decent but not spectacular imperial stout. Aroma has a nice cherry character to counter the roast. Taste comes off as a bit harsh, especially for a beer with 18 mths on it at 8.5 ABV, as the alcohol and roast come off a little astringent.

May 30, 2016
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breadwinner from California

3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Sharp/acrid nose, a little black marker-y, clearly lots of acidic roasted malt in there. Palate was smoother, more chocolate-forward. It's fine. It's a RIS. It'll do the job, if that's what you're going for. But I wouldn't bother with this when stuff like Expo, Stone IRS, etc. are readily available.

May 11, 2016
The Czar from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 2104 ratings