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 JoeAmerican77
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
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 +2.3%
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 -18.2%
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 +10%
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 0%
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 +6.6%
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 -3.6%
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 0%
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%
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 -34.3%
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 -9.2%
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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Photo of mklinger
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10 oz pour at the J Clyde. Jet black with a creamy, mocha head. Good looking stout.

Rich aroma. Molasses and chocolate and alcohol in the aroma. Inviting!

Taste was similar. This is a big rich stout with a strong chocolate liquor base. Just enough bitterness to provide balance.

Thick, rich, creamy mouthfeel. Nice drinking imperial stout that was very filling. Nice beer.

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Photo of JonathanG
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Not much of a head, to speak of... retention could've been better.

Aromas were of coffee and chocolate liqueur, a faint/mellow/sweet smoke note, as well as a faint hint of coconut. Some apparent sweetness on the nose.

The palate resembled the nose, again with coffee and chocolate liqueur, as well as a little welcome bitterness from the hops to balance out the sweetness of the mid-palate, finishing mid-dry. The hops helps avoid a cloying finish. Certainly a bit of perceptible alcohol on the palate as well... not surprising since the ABV is 11.69%.

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Photo of riored4v
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 12/7/10

Poured in to a pint glass. Pitch black body. Even up to the light I couldnt see through it. Silky, tan colored head about 1 finger thick. Good lacing.

Smell was roasty and bitter. Notes of molasses, coffee and toffee. Some good maltiness helps pull it all together.

Tasted excellent. Big toffee and roast. Lots of coffee and roast flavor with a mildly spicey hop bitterness in the finish. Light sweetness in finish as well. Creamy mouthfeel is followed with some chocolate flavors. Complex and delicious.

Mouthfeel was heavy body, medium carb. Sticky mouthfeel with a dry finish.

Drinkability was very good with just a hint of ABV warmth. Regardless, its a huge beer and that limits it.

Overall and excellent beer. Bold and drinkable. Would love to age this one.

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

"bottled in 2009" on label. at cellar temp, poured into a pint glass, split with a friend.

pours out nearly opaque black, just a touch of rubiness in the light. big frothy, light tan colored head, good rocky looking retention and lots of sticky lace.

lots of dark dried fruits in the aroma, raisons, prunes. behind that a bit of sweet heavily roasted malt and some spicy rum like alcohol.

again lots of dark dried fruits, spicy rum like alcohol, and heavy roasted malts at the forefront. bits of chocolate, vanilla, and burnt marshmallow. a decent amount of sweetness comes out the warmer it gets.

super smooth and creamy on the palate, carbonation is appropriate for the style, heavy, thick body. warming alcohol finish.

drinks like most impy stouts, one glass is prolly enough in a session. a decent stout for a decent price, i recommend it, but im not in a hurry to buy it again. although i would like to try a fresh bottle to compare.

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Photo of benclimbs
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours black and thick looking with a bit of lacing and a slight head.

smell is very imperial stoutish, classic raisin/dried fruit, coffee, chocolate and a bit of alcohol.

taste is decent but not great - not very balanced at all, very very boozy and ultra warm on the finish with not a whole lot of gears - some rich leathery notes, some nice prunes and some chocolate but was pretty much lacking the nice espresso bitterness some imperials have. Honestly, there are way better imperial stouts for the money...would have it again, but wouldn't run to it.

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Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Avery The Czar is sweet, syrupy, and sticky.

The Czar poured black with no head and left next-to-no lace. The smell and taste were very sweet, dominated by licorice but with hints of coffee syrup and dark chocolate covered fruit. The feel was thick, slippery, and syrupy with only slight stickiness left behind.

The Czar smells good and has a lot of bold sweet flavors. The truly great Russian Imperial Stouts have a balancing bitterness that makes them great for any occasion. The thickness that The Czar leaves on the tongue makes it far more suited to dessert and more of a delicious, but too-sweet, one dimensional stout.

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Photo of Naugros
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The 22 ounce bottle reads, "Bottled in 2010".

Dark, dark, dark with an off-white thick head. The head sticks around a little but then gives into the alcohol vapors coming off the surface. These vapors drive the smell right up to you without putting your nose in the glass. Besides the whiskey-like nature of the booze, vanilla and sweet dark fruits waft up. Further exploration reveals a smoky, bitter note from the roasted malts.

Very bitter in taste even after settling down a while and warming up considerably. The first sensation is actually booze...too much of it. Yes, this is nearly 12% alcohol (above says 11.01, but the bottle claims 11.69) but it is not well masked at all. The IBUs are reported at 70, but I think the alcohol enhances the bitter sense which follows as a secondary flavor and then sits around and surrounds any redeeming flavors, kills them and lasts long on the tongue. That bitterness is from the roasts and not a hops-like bitterness. I liken it to Starbucks coffee...someone seems to have burnt the beans before brewing.

As with a lot that I've had from Avery, one element of the beer has been overdone and that imbalance in the flavor profile overpowers everything else. This is one of my least favorite Imp Stouts. Previous reviews are all from 2009, so it seems that was a better year. Perhaps this one could use a year or two on its side? The 2004 version seems to have done well from a six year rest, if one of the previous reviews is the be believed...and I do believe it.

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

2009 bottling date on the bottle.

A: Pours a solid black with hints of dark dark brown around the outside edges. What little white head was generated with the poor quickly diminishes to essentially nothing.

S: Dark roasted malts, some bitter chocolate, mocha and a distinct boozey-ness accompany the nose.

T: Again with the roasted malts, dark chocolate, a bit of vanilla, a somewhat bourbon-y taste, not overwhelming, but enough to be noticeable. A bit of booze seeps through in the taste as well.

M: Big body, light carbonation, alcohol is definitely present on the finish.

D: Enjoyable to drink, but the boozey-ness might stop me from having another right away, but it's definitely a purchase again.

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Photo of BurpingtonDC
2.66/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I tried some Avery brews at a beer festival in Charlottesville, VA and was impressed so I picked up this Imperial Stout on that reputation. I don't claim to have much experience with Imperial stouts because they tend to run sweet, and I don't.

I found myself saying WOW! with every sip. I'm not sure how I feel about this brew other than that. It's taste was at once pleasing and off-putting. Poured into a pint glass from a 22oz. bottle.

A - Black with a slight mahogany cast. One-fingered cafe au lait head, dissipated rapidly.

S - Coffee, vanilla, and very boozy

T - Strong notes of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and bourbon. Also a smokey fig-like flavor. Unfortunately the finish is a prominent saccharine flavor.

M - I suppose a brew such as this should have a substantial presence in you mouth and this one does.

D - It's a shame, this stout starts out with a delicious chocolate flavor abut end in such an offensive (to me) way with n artificial sweetener taste that made it very hard to drink more than half the glass ( I soldiered through to the bottom though).

Perhaps I'm not the best to review this stout ale because it isn't my thing. Just a little sweet for my liking, thus I haven't tried many Imp stouts so maybe it's everything one should expect.

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Photo of aasher
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This 2004 Czar is actually 13%, not 11%. It poured a chocolaty black with a slight, light khaki head. It smells of smoke, sweet malt, and has a richness but I don't get any coffee from it at all. It tastes very smoky and almost has a raisin or fig like sweetness to it. It's flavorful and presents itself differently with every sip. This six year old bottle is drinking excellently right now. I'm surprised at much carbonation is left. It leaves your tongue tingling but isn't overly smooth. This beer is hurt by the alcohol still present, but this is a more alcoholic year than normal. Good beer overall.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 2009 release bottle into a tulip.
Look: Deep brown, near black. Small head with very nice lacing.
Smell: Chocolate, dates, earth and a tiny bit of booze.
Taste: Much like the taste with a strange mineral flavor in the background. It isn't too off-putting but it is a minus.
Mouth: A little thin but it goes down very easy. Almost velvety, but with some heat.
Drink: I could sip through a bottle if one was in front of me, not at the top of my list though.

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Photo of katan
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz into a pint

A - Pours a deep dark brown color with a few amber highlights. Mocha colored head, about 1/4" in size, slowly breaking down to a film. Little lacing.

S - Strong roasted malts, chocolate. Some yeast breadiness comes through as well as a light amount of american hops.

T - Starts off super malty, chocolate and roast. Mid-stream gets a really strong chocolate note as well as some hopping. A strong yeast note, bready, shows up in the mid-stream. Finishes with the bitter balance. Aftertaste is a combination of retained bitterness and some roasted, almost burnt flavors. Alcohol is not strong on the taste.

M - Very full bodied, thick mouthfeel. Carbonation is light, not very strong on the tongue. Alcohol warmth is very pronounced, very hot.

D - Moderate drinkability. ABV is super strong. Not filling. Seems to fit as an after dinner drink. Not totally palette wrecking.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into slender shaker. Poured a deep dark brown almost black with hints of red-brown around the edges when in the light with a half finger tan head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, caramel, and subtle nutmeg. The flavor was of roasted malt, caramel, slight chocolate, and big alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this thing was amazingly boozy. I was honestly shocked upon my first sip with the flavor of booze in this one. The aroma did nothing to prepare me for what I was about to experience. It did have a decent flavor and aroma despite the boozy aspect, but it was not awe-inspiring. Wish the alcohol content was a little lower or less intense to allow some other flavors to make their way through.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Almost black, traces of amber light along the edges.

S - Sweet porridge, condensed milk, touch of alcohol, coffee

T - Bitter dark chocolate and warm milk opening. Bitter hop cameo in the mid profile that's overtaken by dark dried fruits, touch of brown sugar, bitter concord grape. Light coffee and bitter-smoke aftertaste.

M - Smooth with a robust body.

D - Flavors are powerful and might slow you down, but they do a ridiculous job of hiding the alcohol.

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