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
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Ratings: 2,077 |  Reviews: 942
Photo of 57md
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is dark brown, almost black with a thin layer of head that has no retention. The nose is distinctly anise. The flavor certainty has the classic stout bitterness present. But, it also includes some dark fruits and a mild alcohol warmth on the finish.

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Photo of pushstartnow13
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of AApparel
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of IdrinkGas
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of Stoffel
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of PhineasGage
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Avery’s big, bad Dictator brews have left Indiana as of now. This bottle I found at a hole-in-the-wall shop in Lafayette, IN – a testament to the proverbial “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Hope this one ages well, since it’s probably been on the shelves for a while now.

Bottled over three years ago (“Bottled in 2008” on the label).

A: From the slick blackness of the first pour comes a clamor of dark bubbles, transforming into a two-fingered tan pillow. Light and low it falls, to a patchy, uneven film; lace strings delicately around the side. Overall impression is bold and frothy, with a body that’s greasy and dark.

S: Chocolate and marshmallow cream swell up from the nose like I just opened a fresh box of sugary cocoa cereal. Adorning that central taste is a little chili pepper, a little rye, tart pine hops and some cinnamon roll yeast. Slender, smooth, and memorable.

T: All bread and chocolate at first – this isn’t an in-your-face stout, and I enjoy that. Reminds me of Nutella and toast. Bit of fruit comes through on the secondary, along with pepper, toasted malts, Band-Aid & alcohol, cinnamon/sugar, and strong anise. Finishes with spicy hop pines and a bit of garlic, even. I like this beer – though it’s an odd profile for an RIS.

M: It has an effect similar to spicy food: instant sizzle on the tongue. Goes down bubbly, possibly from the age more than anything. It greatly augments the spices in the palate; a memorable sting.

O: Beers like this show that the RIS style is quite pliable – chocolate aromas and caramel malts aren’t the only things that make this dark brew what it is. Still, this beer is bold and impressive; I’d be very happy to finish out the rest of Avery’s Dictator series.

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Photo of DavidST
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter, from the 2009 batch. This pours a pitch black color with a very small head which quickly dissipated to a thin film. The smells are of molasses, very sweet, and dark roasted malts. The feel is medium to thick. The taste is a little different, very sweet at first, loads of molasses and then I get a nice bitterness from the roasted malts, but with all the sweetness this almost reminds me of a barleywine / irs hybrid.

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Photo of throwback
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of usofar
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of cycoduck
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Jawn
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bomber bottled 2010

I poured czar into a pint glass and observed a one finger pillow of tan head atop a black beer. I dug my nose in there and smelled a wave of dark fruits and molasses, reminiscent of a dubbel. The taste is more of the same with an addition of dark chocolate and hot hot booze. These fruit and chocolate flavors pop out more as the beer warms, along with notes of vanilla and licorice. It's pretty heavy on the tongue and moderately carbonated, which I think is works great for Czar. A fantastic brew overall and a real pleasure to drink.

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Photo of Grebdioz
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of StlHopHead77
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage into my Duvel tulip and consumed on 10-15-11.

A-Pours a deep,dark,opaque brown body just on the verge of black with one inch of fleeting, tawny foam that deposited wispy islands of lacing on the glass.

S-Chocolate covered raisins,medium roast coffee,charred malts,touch of Anise,prune and burnt sugars.

T-Semisweet and dark chocolate flavors,currant,molasses,sweetened coffee,burnt toast,a touch of earthy hops and fruity alcohol notes on the finish.

M-Just a touch thinner than I would like.Nice bitter,roasty flavors and well-maintained sweetness with mild carbonation that produces a nice medium body.

O-A very adequate RIS that I will definitely revisit.

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Photo of Holland
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Kirch
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of Lee45102
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of StoutHunter
2.81/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of Avery's The Czar a couple days ago for $7.49 at The Lager Mill. I was looking for a strong RIS and since I have had pretty good luck with Avery lately I decided to give The Czar a try, so lets see how it goes. 2011 Vintage. Poured from a brown 22oz foiled bottle into a snifter.

A= The label looks good with a fitting picture of an old school Russian guy. It poured a very dark brown color that was right on the edge of being black with a finger and half worth of light tan head that died down to a thin layer that left a little bit of lacing. It looks on par for an RIS.

S- The aroma is sweet and boozy which makes for a smell that is similar to a fine liquor. It starts off with some dark roasted malts that are pretty sweet and impart a slight coffee and chocolate aroma. Next comes some molasses and maple syrup along with a little bit of vanilla. The booze is pretty apparent in the aroma and sticks out all the way through. I could go for more roasty RIS aromas and less booze.

T- This isn't your typical tasting RIS. It starts off with some dark roasted malts that have a high amount of medium sweetness and when mixed with the hops they have a pretty earthy and herbal flavor that is followed by a sweet cough medicine like flavor then comes some dark fruits, mainly plums and raisins. I do pick up some coffee and chocolate flavors but they are pretty light and the booze isn't as strong as it was in the aroma but it is still pretty noticeable. I also pick up some molasses and anise. The finish has a high amount of medium bitterness with a metallic and medicinal like aftertaste. This tastes like a combination of a Barleywine and a Stout, not sure how I feel about it.

M= Somewhat sticky, not that smooth, thick, full bodied, and it had a medium amount of carbonation.

Overall I thought that this was a pretty average RIS, I was expecting a strong and roasty RIS and what I got was more like the combination of an RIS and Barleywine, more Barleywine like flavors came through in the taste then RIS flavors and that was a little disappointing but it made for a unique tasting and liquor like beer. This beer doesn't have good drinkability, between the high sweetness, booze, and bitterness I was glad the bottle was split three ways, taking out the whole thing might become a chore after the second glass. What I liked most about this beer was the mouthfeel, it was just what and RIS should be like. What I liked least about this beer was the heavy Barleywine like presence, I like my RIS's roasty and robust and it seems like a lot of Barleywine flavors drowned out that roastyness and the booze could have been hidden better. I don't think I would buy this beer again, it just isn't what I think of when I want a nice RIS. This may be worth a try to see where you stand on a hybrid of a Barleywine and RIS, but the I don't think the aroma and flavor are anything to brag about. In the end it was nice to try but it really isn't my kind of beer, I would have much preferred a more straightforward and traditional RIS. Avery really tried something different with this beer and when it came together it's a little all over the place, so far my least favorite brew from them and not a very note worthy RIS.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We crack the top on this 2008 vintage and pour an oily brew. It’s color is chocolate brown, like a tootsie roll, showing lighter hues around the edges. The head is half a finger high and whitish in color. It recedes quickly, leaving little lacing. Carbonation is light, with the bubbles rising slowly through this syrupy brew. No sediment or haze is noted. The aroma bursts with stinging chocolate and molasses. There is mocha coffee bitterness sitting between deeply roasted and caramel malts. The latter are chalky and drying. There is berry fruitiness of dried strawberries, black cherries, and figs. With warmth comes fusel alcohol with soy sauce saltiness. As we sip, we are met by big booze, chalky and drying malts, and bright bitterness of raw chocolate. There is the faintest hop sweetness, which is resiny and piney. Through the middle there is a calming sweetness of milk, with light lactics. This is transient as strong espresso coffee beans and a stark roast of wood crash in. There is a little wet musk and moss here as well. We finish on a bright chemically note that reminds us of medication or bittering Tylenol. This actually functions to effectively cut the sweetness set up earlier, which is, as this point, reminding us of a tootsie roll candy, surprisingly. The aftertaste breathes with puckering, wet grain, a fishy saltiness, and bittering chocolate. There are also Band-Aid phenols, and a final wash of dirty malts and booze. The body is medium to full and the carbonation is medium to high. There is sticky slurp and nice cream, with a hearty froth to each sip. The massive abv lends with its big warming quality, but this is well hidden throughout most of the taste. This is a definite sipper.

Overall, the best thing about this brew is the rich and chocolate aromas. The fruit inclusions are also nice, in both the taste and aroma. The look could have been a bit stronger, and the hops advertised are not as present as they could have been, but then again this beer has been aging for three years, so it’s to be expected to some extent.

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Photo of TexAggie011
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Thingus
3.51/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottling into tulip, live tasting...

Appearance; pours a wonderful jet black, I couldn't get any head to form, minimal ring of medium brown bubbles that dissipate quickly... No lacing whatsoever.

Smell; struck me as sort of odd, rather than the roasty, malty coffee, chocolate aromas I was expecting, Im getting tons of olive, both green and black and not much else at all...

Taste; jumped right in with black and green olives, had an interlude of cocoa and chocolate, coffee and malt before switch right back to olives... Not entirely sure what caused that, and not a bad flavor but not something I'd expect for the style...

Mouthfeel; fairly thick and quite smooth but certainly not chewy or as viscous or syrupy as I'd like...

Overall; definitely not a terrible beer but I am fairly certain I wouldn't drink this one again unfortunately... I'm a huge fan of the IRS style and in the flavor department it just isn't doing it for me unfortunately...

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Photo of xpdrinker
2.59/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22oz bottle poured into Libbey stout/porter glass. Batch #10, November 2011. Purchased at Total Wine & More 12-23-11.

A- Dark brown during the pour but settles black, not opaque. Viscosity appears thin. Tan inch-thick head settles into a thin film with fat bubbles scattered throughout. Plenty of lacing.

S- Nose is hard to accurately discern thanks to my mother-in-law cooking in the next room (ie: burning something). Picking up a candy-like aroma, like sweet paint thinner. Rum and raisin come through. Not picking up any roast coffee or other trademark stout aromas.

T- Christ, this is a sweet mess. Tastes like a 50/50 blend of stout and barleywine. The molasses, candied currants and hint of anise that are mentioned on the label are at the forefront (and just about everywhere else). The sweetness is just way more than I was expecting. Aftertaste shows hints of dried strawberry astronaut ice cream and artificial grape.

M- Body is spot-on for my preference in stouts - thick, viscous, coats the mouth. Medium-low carbonation. A bit sticky.

O- It looks great, doesn't smell like very much, but tastes like a candied kick in the mouth. Sweetness is overbearing. The mouthfeel is just about right but I don't think I can finish this bottle. Big disappointment. Stupid gold foil over the cap and upper neck of the bottle makes me wonder what that adds to the overall cost of the bottle and annoys me every time I look at it.

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Photo of jophish17
1.5/5  rDev -61.6%

Photo of gtermi
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark brown with a thick tan head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

S: The smell is very nice. I get a little burn on the nose from alcohol. There is a lot of different things going on with the smell of this beer. It is very strong with roasted malt, some slight liquorice and even a little sweetness. Very nice indeed.

T: First thing that hits my palate is chocolate and roasted coffee, later it leads to the roasted malt.

M: The mouthfeel isnt anything extrodinary, but its above average. It has a nice amount of crispness that tingles on the tonuges and tingles down the throat.

O: This is a very solid beer. It didnt blow me away and for sure not the best Imperial Stout I have ever had, but it deserves credit for being a solid beer.

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