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The Czar | Avery Brewing Company

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The CzarThe Czar
Very Good
2,091 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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,091 |  Reviews: 947
Photo of csiewert
3.57/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pour a dark ruby brown color with a trace of off white head that retains pretty well but doesn't leave much lacing. The aroma is strong with caramel and roasted malt, and the taste is similar with some fig flavor added. The mouthfeel is a little harsher than I would like and burns slightly. Overall a decent imperial stout.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into large snifters

Pours very dark, not quite opaque around the edges. Little bit of light beige head, fine bubbles, fades fast. Smell is sweet and fruity with a roasty malt background.

Taste has a lot of alcohol (detracts, I think), very chocolatey, very bitter, some coffee in the aftertaste. I can't detect any of the fruitiness from the smell in the taste, which is a little bit of a shame.

Mouthfeel is dry, a little bit grainy or chalky. Overall, pretty decent beer, but not stellar. Too much alcohol in the taste makes it much harder to drink.

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

on tap in goblet 10 oz pour

A- deep black/brown with a touch of garnet it displays a tan head and some thick lacing

S- is roasted malts.chocolate,cocoa/coffee.with fruit

T- follows the nose with a roasted coffee/malt/toffee taste ,followed but some chocolate it finishes with some bittersweet hops and some heat

M- is full with medium carbonation with malt roasting..it has a creamy texture that made it a pleasure to drink

O- delicious RIS that was smooth and creamy a easy to drink..did not notice the 11.3 abv that much..but i felt it later...good stuff

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Photo of dtivp
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark black with hints of crimson, a very nice two finger dark tan head with very good retention that settled into a nice ring with good lacing.

Aroma of roastiness, sweet dark fruits and coffee.

Taste follows the nose with roasted malt, sweet dark fruit, raisins, figs and then balances nice with the bitterness of dark coffee and dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel is medum body with moderate carbonation, very creamy and a slight warming from the alcohol, however, the alcohol is very well masked for 11.03% ABV.

Overall this is a very nice sipping beer, creamy smooth, well balanced.

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Photo of BBP
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark brown nearing black. Good carbonation although somewhat slim head. Fairly good lacing. Fair retention of the head that it had.

S- Carmel boozy sweetness stood above most other aromas. Hints of molasses and a smidge of cocoa or perhaps roasted malt bitterness.

T- This is getting towards the heavier side of imperial stouts. I don't dare say that it's more flavorful, but it seemed to have some definite boozy sweetness to it. There's some hop bitterness to this and some definite cocoa notes but it seems to be in vain as the sweetness is coming out on top. It's not overly sweet, but leaning towards the sweet side.

There's a ton of rich toffee flavor to this which works considerably well with the cocoa which is literally just behind it. It's like a chocolate bar with toffee in it, but the other way around. The hops have some bitterness, but it's largely noticeable in the finish only.

M- Creamy, smooth, but it seemed slightly over-carbonated. It leaves a fairly dry and sticky finish. It's got a medium body, that could be thicker, but feels pretty nice as it is.

D- It's considerably drinkable, and scarily drinkable as it warms up. There's an ever present warming sensation, but it didn't interfere once with the drinkability.

My only real complaint is that the focus of this is on the sweeter toffee notes and everything bitter seems to fall behind in it. For an ~11% beer, it's hard to expect it to be balanced superbly, but I would have loved to see the hops upped ever so slightly. I expect others would love this more than me as I don't like sweetness much, but I still found this a pretty solid beer. I wasn't disappointed at all, but wasn't blown away either.

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Photo of ChugginOil
3.54/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

czar impy stout

Pours a dark amber brown and settles black with cola colored edging. Over an inch of light mocha colored head sits briefly, dissipating, leaving some sticky legs.

In the nose, a lot of molasses and anise is noticed. A little bit of cocoa is noticed. Some smoke a booze is faintly noticed on the end of the scent.

When tasted, molasses and booze stick out the most. A colaboration of dark fruit is paired with a tad of sweet cocoa on the finish, alongside some hoppy bitterness. The sweetness going on is a bit cloying.

The mouthfeel is carbonated pretty well done although the body is a bit thin in character.

Overall, i think this stout demands a few years of age to cool down. Although it does have some tasy characteristics, it doesnt grip me

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Photo of BlastBeats
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Upon signing up for a tour of the brewery at Avery Brewing Company, the server asks you which beer you would like to take along with you. I chose The Czar, and a pint was immediately poured in a genuine Avery tour glass which you are encouraged to keep.

Appearance: Black with traces of crimson along the edges of the glass. Slightly murky.

Smell: Compelling smells of alcohol and chocolate.

Taste: The 11.03 ABV is hidden quite well. Flavors emanate from the roasted barley. Molasses and chocolate are evident in finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous. This beer has a near syrupy mouthfeel.

Overall: A fine example of a Russian Imperial Stout. I would certainly buy it again.

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Photo of Vierenner
2.4/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

High expectations ... underwhelmed. Take prune juice, throw in bitterness and carbonation, and you get this beer. The bitterness is unusual too ... not like typical hop bitterness ... it lingers in a different, pungent sort of way. The first second or so after a sip tastes nice but then it goes downhill from there.

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Photo of JizackFH
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review taken from notes.

A - This beer pours a very dark brown color, and it glows with amber highlights on the edge of the glass when held to the light. It has a decent sized mocha colored head on it. The head has decent retention, and leaves behind good lacing on the glass.

S - It smells of dark roasted malts and some caramel sweetness. There are also notes of dark fruits, brown sugar, grapes, toffee, and a touch of alcohol.

T - It tastes of roasted malts and toffee up front. There is quite a bit of dark chocolate, as well as good notes of caramel, dark fruit, brown sugar, coffee, condensed milk, and some very subtle spice notes. The finish has a lingering roasted bitterness and a bit of alcohol warmth as well.

M - It has a full body with good carbonation. It's smooth, rich, and creamy. There's also a bit of an oily feel to it. There is a lingering roasted bitterness, and some alcohol warmth in the finish.

D - This has good drinkability. I really enjoyed this one. The flavor was awesome, and it goes down easy. It is a sipper for sure, but easily drinkable none the less. The alcohol is pretty well hidden in the taste. Overall, I like this and I'd definitely try it again.

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Photo of BigB415
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For an 11% ABV stout it's very mellow. Little alcohol burn and as the beer warms up it becomes smoother and more flavors come out such as chocolate and roasted malt. I've been searching for this for about 2 months and I'm glad I found it. I recommend this to anyone looking for a good stout and the price wasn't that bad(about 7.49 for a bomber)

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Photo of KTCamm
2.78/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from the bomber into my Duvel glass.

Pours dark black with a thick creamy persistent tan head of snowy foam. Laces from second one. Scent has notes of raisins, plums, blended around a roasted coffe. Licorice too.

The taste - here's sadly where we got off track. Opens smooth, but then a plummy hop pokes through and smacks you in the mouth. This kind of spoiled burnt fruit taste lingered long after every pour, and I could not shake it. Tough to drink - a sipper.

No sir, I did not like it. Dumped a few ounces and went to bed.

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Photo of PDXHops
2.05/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On tap in a shaker pint. A shade or 2 beyond cola brown. Minimal head, poor retention. A bit of lace is teased but mostly drips back in.

A bit of roasted malt in the nose, but the dominant aroma is brown sugar. Unsurprisingly, roasted flavors take a backseat (perhaps as far back as the trunk; this is a very sweet beer). Somef earthy bitterness puts up a bit of a fight in stead of the retreating roast, but the sweetness is thisclose to overpowering. This sweetness isn't even of chocolate; it's mainly brown sugar and molasses. Moderate thickness. A touch of char in the finish, but really lacking in roasted and chocolate flavors to round out the flavor profile. Not something I'd recommend or try again.

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Photo of OldIronLungs
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into dark a Duvel glass with aggressive pour getting only a couple fingers before settling into a medium bubbled lacing of swirled light coffee.

Nose is roastyness and dark sweet fruits, some chocolate...and boozy.

A sip is lightly prickly and sweet, slick, lots of caramel and raisins...and booze.

That burn! That lovely burn. This one lingers with raisins and some hop pine.

I'm not running out for another, but I may walk. A solid RIS more fit for a FREEZING WINTER.

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

This was bottled in 2009, drinking in a regular pint glass,

A - Very dark brown, poured a finger lacing, clings to the glass.

S - Doughy with a slight maltiness and abit of hops, slight pine notes.

T - Chocolate, roasted maltwith a biscuit after taste. Complex mouth feel with a malty sweetness.

M - Mild carbonation, can sense the sweetness of the malt.

D - I like this brew, has a lot going on

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

ANearly pitch ike tar with a thick luxurious finger of head... grand lacing.

Hop oils in the nose, citrusy and pine, very dominant, also dough and bread.

Slurp into a hop garden, if you were aiming for a malty roasted concoction... well you got one with 60 IBU's as well. Good roasted malts, and evergreen needle bite as well.

Mouthfeel medium bodied, good amount of small bubble carbonation leads to a clean cream texture.

Heck yes I'd recommned this, but at almost 12% booze, pack em lightly my friends.

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

Appearance: Poured from 22oz bomber (dated 2009) into large snifter. Very dark colour, almost pitch black. Finger head dissipates quickly, leaves thin lacing.

Smell: Sweet, milky, roasted malts, and alcohol in that order.

Taste: Lots of roasted malt and coffee. Finishes sweet and boozy.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy, sticky, very faint sense of carbonation.

Drinkability: A solid Russian Imperial Stout. The alcohol level is high but bearable. Nothing particularly special about this brew but it is still very good.

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Photo of ImpairedPirate
3.2/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The Czar by Avery Brewing Company poured into a glass Jan 2011.

A - 98% black. 2% dark brown. No light passes through.

S - Raisins. Caramel. Roasted malts.

T - Tastes like Alcohol.

M - Lingering taste, heavy on the tongue.

D - I wouldn't want more than one. This beer has too much burn for me, not disguised with any spectacular flavors. So while it's good, the overall experience does not position this as a go-to selection for me.

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Photo of DaveAnderson
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It has been a while since I last tried The Czar, and my favorite beer bar brought it back on tap, so I gave it a whirl. Good thing, too. The Czar is better than I remember. **UPDATE: I just found out this was a 2009 keg. The Czar ages very well!**

A - Pours very dark (although light can still pass through, unlike another RIS I could name), with a thick, tan head, and good retention.

S - A lot of butterscotch, which I find unusual for a RIS. There's cocoa, tar, and toffee, too. Little hop evidence. This smells more like a chocolate stout than a RIS.

T - If I didn't know better, I'd say I was drinking a chocolate stout. This has a very strong chocolate taste. Well balanced, too. Not too sweet, and nicely bitter on the finish. Yum.

M - Good body - maybe a smidge light for an imperial - and pleasant carbonation.

D - Is there some way to forget this is 10%? This is great. Give me another.

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Bierkraft into a Duval snifter.

Very strong dark fruit and raisin aroma with a bit of malt/roast malt and a very strong alcohol undercurrent. The pour is deep and dark and it's anyones guess if it's brown or black - smooth lacing over the top left over from solid light tan head.

The taste is precisely what you would look for in a RIS with the possible exception of the alcohol being poorly masked - despite this the toasted malts are front and the multitude of layers fall nicely beneath with plum and raisin being the most evident.

The mouthfeel leaves a little to be desired, with the body weak at the end, though solid upfront and through the middle. Certainly given the high abv and obvious booze feel to this youay expect a lower drinkability but I appreciate the honesty here - they do not mask the booze and that is both refreshing and well executed.


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Photo of JayS2629
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thick, inky, motor oil color with a thin creamy head that fades fast into a thin tan ring. Very little lacing. The aroma is robust roasted malts, hints of coffee, cocoa, dark chocolate, some earthy elements and a hint of licorice. Sweet on the front with a milky, thick and creamy body. Chocolate layers the front tounge. Mixed dark and milk chocolate notes are followed with some robust coffee and roasted notes. There is a tinge of earthy bitter in the middle with a grassy hoppy character that is followed with a hint of licorice. Slight burnt, ashy notes. Complex and well balanced as the sweet gives way to more nutty bitter notes. The beer is a little bitter for my tastes on an imperial stout, but very complex and easy to drink...especially for such a heavy and high alcohol beer. Booze peeks through but overall is well hidden.

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Photo of Fenris244
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours black with a thin tan head, kinda what I expect from an imperial stout, when there's just a little bit of beer left in the glass it's a really dark red which I thought the shade was pretty cool. The head retention was pretty good, left a sticky lace down the side of my snifter

Coffee smell and fruit aromas, there's a sweetness in the aroma I wasn't expecting, good chocolate smells home through as well.

Very chocolaty up front, the alcohol is quite pronounced and the flavors of the beer don't do much to mask it, licorice flavor is pleasant and the roasted bitterness is a nice balance to the initial sweetness

The czar is heavier in body and the light carbonation gives it an almost syrupy mouthfeel, the alcohol factor inhibits it's drinkability, the alcohol isn't unpleasant but a bit overwhelming, 1 bomber in an evening is enough for me, it started to feel like a chore as I was having my last glass, good for a glass or 2 but if I want the whe bottle I might have to lay this beer down for a year or 2

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Photo of crossovert
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage.

It pours a deep, inky black with a huge tan head that sticks for a nice bit before receding to some nice lacing.

The smell is super doughy and fruity. It is heavy on the dates, port wine, dried cherries, and raisins with also some dark bread. There is a little bit of chocolate and caramel, but absolutely no roastiness to speak of.

The flavor is big, sweet, and again, fruity. It is big on the dark fruits and dark bread with accents of cocoa and alcohol. The difference form the smell to the taste is there is a big hit of roasty bitterness in the flavor which helps balance the sweetness.

It is big and thick and sweet, not quite cloying, with a little bit of alcoholic burn.

Overall a solid imperial stout, it doesn't get the day devoted to it but I don' see it being much different than say a Darkness.

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Photo of deadbody
3.44/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow. Pretty much the definition of a hot mess. Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Good dark appearance, good head. Smell was a little boozy, but with some good malt to it. Taste was super boozy. like over the top. Mouthfeel was decent, thick and rich, but not quite right. Drinkability is not great. Maybe with some age on it to mellow the booze it would be outstanding, but as of now, it was not great.

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Photo of diomz88
2.57/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - jet black, creamy looking, thick tan head, recedes slowly with minimal lacing.
S - dark chocolate, coffee, great aroma. roasted malts.
T - too much alcohol right away. minimal amount of chocolates and coffee flavor. too sweet. there's hoppy bitterness but not alot. compared to the other russian imperial stouts, this has less hops in it.
M - full bodied, thick, creamy, not as I expected. had a bad aftertaste with this one.
D - not drinkable for me, doesn't taste like beer for me. maybe others might appreciate this brew but not me. Hopefully it was only a bad batch from Avery.

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Photo of adamhimself
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber served in my Sierra Nevada hop tulip glass.

The appearance is pretty standard for a Russian Imperial Stout. Very dark black. The head was an off white. It barely seemed carbed when pouring properly, but when I started just pouring it straight in, it foamed up a bit.

The smell isn't anything amazing. I could smell slight chocolate and roast. Toffee came to mind, but I don't know if thats the right word.

The taste isn't bad at all. It was quite nice. I like the subtle chocolate flavor. The roastyness isn't overpowering either. The downside is it is a bit boozey. You could definitely taste the alcohol and the alcohol gave that slight alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel was typical as well. It comes across as a bit watery with a little creamyness. It wasn't as thick as I thought it should be, and lost some points for that.

Drinkability isn't bad. I don't think I could drink this all night or really do more than one bomber. I would drink it again, but given the choice there are a few other Imperial Stouts I'd go for first.

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The Czar from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 2,091 ratings
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