The Czar | Avery Brewing Company

very good
2,077 Ratings
The CzarThe Czar

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Wildman on 01-05-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,077 |  Reviews: 942
Photo of Murrhey
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Reviewed live. Expectations are drunk.

A- Very thin khaki head that fades away quickly. Lacy remnant on the glass after a swirl. Dark ruby red color. Surprisingly light color for the style in my opinion. Looks deadly.

S- Booze is very present, as is toffee and rich malts. Maybe some cocoa buried in there, but a light smell of alcoholic esters floats above everything else. Surprisingly pleasing.

T- Bourbon like booziness with rich coffee, velvety chocolate and a burnt malt taste on the end to finish bitter. Tastes like Irish coffee or something akin, like a sweet, dark chocolate treat.

M- Smooth and wet with minimal carbonation to clog the feel.

O- Wonderful flavor, huge booze presence and lovely color. This beer's a winner.

 778 characters

Photo of mugsy62388
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of stoutlover1978
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of kornkid8600
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of leefx
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of bonez05404
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of chrispoint
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of mscudder
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed from HopCity and poored into a Duvel tulip. Batch No. 10, November 2011

A - Dark but not the darkest I've have ever seen, viscous, minimal brown head with poor lacing.

S -Caramal, dark fruits, light chocolate, faint notes of alcohol and a bit of coffee.

T - Lots of roasted malts, sweet flavors deriving from chocolates and vanilla. Towards the end I am getting some lighter herbal notes which aid in the progression. Very good!

M - Thick and warm with a clear presence of alcohol, yet it does not leave a "burn" of any kind. This has a great body, and excellent low carbonation to compliment the taste.

O - I picked this up after being blown away by the Maharaja. Needless to say, this is a fine RIS, but I believe I have had better. The high ABV is noticeable and I must recommend a DD if you are throwing one of these down out at the pub! If you see this on your store shelf and you are a fan of RIS then I recommend picking this up, otherwise I believe there are better alternatives.

 1,000 characters

Photo of Popp24
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of poopsmitherson
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of AndyTaylor
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Mantooth
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Whole Foods in Chapel Hill, NC - poured into a Residence Inn wine glass (that's planning!)

A: Inky black pour with an ample head that dissipates quicky, thick lacing.

S: Caramel, malt, hints of raspberry.

T: Milk chocolate, caramel, tobacco, molasses, lot's of earthiness & smoke.

M: Substantial & syrupy.

O: A nicely complex brew that seems a bit underrated on BA.

 383 characters

Photo of HumphreyLee
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Tyrawlings
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Scotchboy
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft to tulip @ Brewforia Beer Market, Meridian ID.

A: Opaque & jet black, viscous, good lacing from a mocha-colored head.

S: Rich dark malts, hint of anise, definite darker fruits mixed with molasses, good roasted quality underneath, touch of hop complexity, herbs.

T: Follows the nose, with more alcohol to be found than on the nose, though its quite drinkable. Chocolate, hints of molasses and anise. Proper hopping for a RIS, some espresso-like bitterness and light toasted quality. Pretty nice.

MF: Creamy, soft carbonation, medium feel...not quite full.

O: A good drinker and a solid RIS. Quality stuff, without too much booze. Recommended.

 653 characters

Photo of TechTriumph
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled: Nov. 2011; Poured in a snifter.

A - One inch of light tan creamy and bubbly head with good retention; Beer is black as night; Nice web of lacing left behind

S - The smell is not overly strong, but pleasant; Balanced presence of rich chocolate, sugar, caramel, figs, and toasty notes

T - Nice complexity here; Up front, there's a combination of sweet molasses, tobacco, dark fig-like fruits, and a faint hint of alcohol; This is followed by mellow, warm chocolate with a toasty flavor and very subtle hop bitterness; Figs step to the front again in the finish and linger with just a hint of alcohol

M - Light, but tingly carbonation; Full bodied; Leaves the mouth pretty dry and moderately warm

O - I really enjoyed getting to try this beer. I'd say it's spot on for the RIS style and does a great job of balancing the chocolate, molasses, dark fig-like fruits, and toasty aromas/flavors. The presence of alcohol is nearly hidden and really works well with the overall taste. This is a beer that I certainly would like to purchase again for both drinking fresh and trying with some age as well.

 1,107 characters

Photo of Briken
4.36/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, very dark with thin brown head and poor retention. Spice and brown sugar with hints of chocolate aroma. Molasses initially with spicy balanced sweetness. Notes of raisin and chocolate followed by roasted malts and herbs. Smooth, with a light mouthcoating and stickiness.

Great balanced flavor and complexity for sipping. It’s flavorful from start to finish with it tending toward sweetness by the end and a gentle alcohol warming. A highly enjoyable beer.

 464 characters

Photo of Fitzmke
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of BeardedRiker
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, as it turns out I've already reviewed The Czar. However, my first review was not up to my current standards so I'm drinking this RIS again and giving it a proper review! It's not often I drink an Avery beer but since the weather was getting a bit colder down here (in Texas) I thought I'd buy me an RIS to help keep away the cold. As it turns out, an aunt and uncle of mine live eight miles away from the Avery brewery. I need to make a trip up there ASAP! But enough about me. How about the beer?

At first I thought the head on The Czar would be disappointing because it was not forming but it only takes awhile to form, like the Czar's (Nicholas II) will to satisfy the Russian people late in his reign. The head rose to about two fingers high, fluffy and bubbly, and a light brown. It fizzes away pretty quickly, though. No lacing. Liquid-wise it's pitch black until held up to a light where it reveals a mostly opaque, darkest ruby color.

The smell from this surprises me a bit. It's much stronger with the dark fruits than I thought it would be rather than the roastiness I would usually expect. The fig/plum/raisin/dark cherry sweetness comes through, as does a more molasses-ish sweetness. Next in strength of the smell comes the roastiness I expected, coffee and some cocoa. There's some decent hoppiness in there too that is usual for an RIS. Pretty damn boozy too. You know you're drinking an RIS when you smell the alcohol!

First off, this is definitely a beer you'll want to let sit out for a bit and warm up because if you drink it cold you'll mostly get the lighter malt flavors and BOOZE. Seriously, if you drink this at a restaurant or something you better have a DD. The bottom line is this thing is what you'd expect from an RIS. Like the smell this is much more fruity than I would expect but that's not a bad thing. I tend to enjoy stouts that are very roasty but this has plenty of delicious dark fruit flavors. They bring a sweetness that's balanced well by some hop bitterness. Underneath comes the roasted coffee and cocoa. Also present, and previously mentioned, is the molasses sweetness. And again, the alcohol is strong. It is felt over all the flavors and gives some good warmth. There's a lot of complexity here but personally I'd prefer just a tad less booziness and more roastiness. Perhaps The Czar is meant to contrast with the "Mad Monk", Old Rasputin?!

This is medium-bodied and never feels too heavy. Sweetness coats the mouth, making is syrupy, but there's good medium-high carbonation that helps The Czar out, especially with breaking up the strong booziness.

You know, this is a complex beer that's different than what I expect. It has good flavors but it's a bit too boozy for my liking. I'm not saying it's bad, though. I'd definitely have this again.

 2,803 characters

Photo of Meerkey
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: No real head. Really dark brown black.

S: Hops and molasses. And annis, alas. Something kind of fruity - currents.

T: Hops and fruits. Annis, which I hate, but doesn't affect my opinion of the beer much. Some alcohol too.

M: Some carbonation, smooth a viscous. Nice.

O: Pretty tasty, but I do wish the annis were a little less noticeable. Recommended.

 360 characters

Photo of TenHornsProud
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage

Pours a thick, solid black with a small tan head that lingers and laces.

Smells of wood, coffee, sweetness, grain, some dank hop...slight notes of oxidation. Earthy, chocolate/coffee, and weedy hops dominate. Smells almost creamy...really nice.

Taste is chocolate malt/chocolate milk shake up front with some more earthy/herbal hop notes in the middle that fades into a big bitter finish with sherry notes...some wood. The finish is sweet caramel with hints of chocolate that lasts for a long time. Absolutely fantastic finish.

Thick and viscous mouthfeel with notes of alcohol and low carbonation.

Age has been quite kind to this brew. It is big, complex, earthy/dank with a chocolate shake and woody undertone. Fantastic.

 742 characters

Photo of jfcaa193
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of iSip
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Avery Czar Imperial Russian Stout: 22 oz. bomber, Batch 10, Nov 2011. I expect big things out of these expensive “designer” beers packaged in the bomber format, and got mixed results with this one. The Avery Maharaja and Salvation were outstanding, but this review is of the Czar. When pouring this beer into a glass, it is not pitch black as other stouts I have tried recently, some glimmer of light shines through. The head is thin, but off-white rather than the deep brown of other offerings in this category. Good and plentiful aroma meets your nose with notes of molasses, toffee and coffee grinds. Lots of flavors working together in this stout, but the predominant ones are of molasses, rock candy, and bitter chocolate. The alcohol is there in a good way. The Avery Czar, a great stout in so many ways, was just a bit too sweet for my tastes. Maybe cellaring for a few years can tone down the sweetness, but I am not into aging beers, there are too many out there ready to go.

 988 characters

Photo of brewbaker
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of cdwil
4/5  rDev +2.3%

The Czar from Avery Brewing Company
3.91 out of 5 based on 2,077 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.