The Czar | Avery Brewing Company

The CzarThe Czar
Liked This Beer
3.95 w/ 2,086 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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,086 |  Reviews: 946
Photo of Briken
4.36/5  rDev +10.4%
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 +1.3%

Photo of BeardedRiker
4/5  rDev +1.3%
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 +1.3%
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 +9.4%
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 -11.4%

Photo of iSip
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
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 -11.4%

Photo of cdwil
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of GuisseppeFranco
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of Danny1217
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of jegross2
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Reviewing the The Czar from Avery Brewing Company out of Colorado.
Score: 87

Fall 2011 vintage bottle served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 01/19/12.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color with brown/soda-colored highlights at the top of the glass. Totally opaque otherwise. One finger of creamy/bubbly tan colored head at pour settles into a bubbly ring around the glass and clump of bubbly head in the center. Splotches of bubbly tan lacing and oil residue stick to the side of the glass. 4/5

Smell: Roasted chocolate, burnt (brown) sugar, a little black licorice, sweet milk chocolate and dark fruit. Light booze backbone. 4/5

Taste: Raw chocolate, dry dark fruit and a little booze. Some roasted malts and hops on the midpalate and towards the finish. There might also be hints of coffee present at points too, but that just might be because I had a cup o' joe about fifteen minutes before drinking this. Finish is boozy roasted/milk chocolate. The ABV is pretty high (11%), and it's noticeable in the flavor, but the booze is not overly present to a distracting or detracting degree. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, light carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel. Finishes bitter and with some acidic booziness. 4/5

Overall: A perfect example of the Russian Imperial Stout style with a little extra booziness. Not stand out or particularly special by any means, but a very solid and tasty beer that is not overly expensive. I'd certainly come back to this one again.

Recommendation: Although I cannot recommend going out of your way to get ahold of this one, I can recommend purchasing it if you see it on the shelf (or have easy access to it).

Pairings: Hershey's milk chocolate bar.

Cost: $7.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

 1,753 characters

Photo of nas4atu
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of videofrog
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of BlakeMatt
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of jhimstedt
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of redfacedshooter
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of BuffaloBill12
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Avery Brewing
The Czar

Pours a dark brown bordering black color. Off white, khaki colored head forms. Retention is low, leaving by only traces of lace.

In the aroma, pretty straight forward imperial stout scents. Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, anise, and some semblence of floral hops.

Pretty malt forward in the taste, lots of coffee and bitter roasted malts. It opens up into a more savory vanilla/chocolate concoction with some alcohol showing. Mild anise, molasses and herbal tones are in the background but not detracting.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, creamy and medium carbonation. The roasted qualities of the malts and a vanilla taste are there in the finish.

Overall, this is a pretty good example of a Russian Imperial Stout. Big body, lots of flavor, and could certainly survive a long trek overseas. It got from Colorado to Pittsburgh in pretty fine condition.

 877 characters

Photo of jdougherty
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of redliner8
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of hopfacebrew
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Poured from a bomber bottle to a pint glass.

A - The beer pours a deep black with touches of very dark brown on the edges. Slight head which disappears quickly with slight lacing.

S - The beer has a decent aroma of roasted malts with some coffee or mocha notes and chocolate along with a noticeable alcohol tone.

T/M - Very similat to the aroma with roasted malts with some coffee or mocha notes and chocolate along with a noticeable alcohol flavor. Full bodied and finishes with a strong alcohol note.

D - Its good but it's strong and it tastes like it.

Overall, I am glad to have tried it but won't be back.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 02-04-2011 03:10:35

 807 characters

Photo of jskennedy
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of Schimms
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of poppyjohn
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

The Czar from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 78.1% out of 100 with 2,086 ratings
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