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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 mklinger
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
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 -0.8%
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 +8.4%
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 +6.3%
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 -10.1%
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 -9.4%
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 -18.2%
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 +1.3%
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 -32.7%
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 +3%
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 -6.1%
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 -1.8%
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 -7.1%
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 +15.2%
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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Photo of RickS95
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's good looking. Very dark, not quite black as there are shades of brownish red. The head is decent, a khaki color. Pours thick.

Grapes, toffee and figs fill the nose. A little bit of roasted malt and tree barks comes through as well.

Roasted malts hit the palate first, just before the toffee. I pick up some wine notes as well.

This is a manly beer and it's not smooth like a lot of stouts...but it's an imperial and it means business. There's some bitterness from the hops and a lot of heat in the finish.

Lots of alcohol. The bitterness gives way to more heat from the alcohol. Not sure I could drink more than the 22 ounces in the bottle. It's a good beer, nothing bad about it, it's just intense.

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

Poured into a tulip glass from a 22oz bomber. Bottled in 2008.

A - Pours a nice oily black beer with some slight dark ruby hues. There is a nice .25 inch dense head that is tan in color with some nice tight bubbles and some good sticky lacing. Pretty good retention as well.

S - Aroma of dates, raisins some nice burnt sugar and caramel. There are some slight boozy sweet hints as well. The dark fruit sweetness is delicious. The sweetness is intense and warming. There are some chocolate notes as well as some nice syrup notes.

T & M - Starts off with some nice sweet caramel notes with some dates and raisins. Some slight burnt and roasted notes are mixed in with the great boozy heat and some nice maple syrup and dark fruit hints. The beer tastes pretty much as it smells. There is a nice oily and smooth mouthfeel to this beer with a full complex body. This beer is definitely a sipper with the higher ABV and the strong booze character to it.

D - Good beer and stout. I wish it was a bit less boozy but its still good.

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Photo of imbibehour
3.13/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle giving off a very dark walnut brown consistency looking a little watery. Large bubbles of a light natural brown color. No lacing.

Faint yeast and some interesting malt characteristic at first, but a strange "funk" quality as well with some molasses. Bizarre nose for an imperial stout. Weak coffee like scent. Not a pleasant nose but intriguing...

Taste manages a very good balanced body, has a licorice/anisette quality like finish. Very good masking of a high ABV content. Pleasant mouthfeel nothing overpowering or overbearing/dominant among the flavors that are presented.

I could have another one, but I am not desiring it...

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Photo of OakedCanuck
2.83/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz poured into snifter. From notes

This beer pours a very dark black with small brown edging. Tan to brown head that left quickly and minor lacing. It smelled interesting, you get the roasty coffee and chocolate, then some plum/currant/raisin, some hops and then the alcohol (daring you to take a sip). Yes, the alcohol was the main attraction, unfortunately. You do get some of the roastiness you expect but this one is mostly just hot and bitter. Mouthfeel is unbalanced, heavy. Harder one to drink, not the best from Avery.

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

06/14/2010 poured into snifter
Darkness topped off with thick and creamy off-white head. I find roasted malt, slight toffee, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and... a yeasty smell? The taste follows nicely with some added booze heat. Perhaps some age would mellow this one. Full body and full carbonation. Good not great but worth having again.

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Photo of Chaney
2.85/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Wow, It poured out like oil, as black as night, and with very little head.... maybe 1/2 finger or so. Very fast disipation.

S: Very faint on the nose, but I still got a bit of chocolate, molasses, a hint of toffee, and unfortunately.... booze.

T: Alcoholic and then some... and I mean, it actually stains your teeth! The dark fruit taste that did exist was immediately put in it's place by pure grain alcohol. That was especially evident on the finish. I think MORE sweetness would have done wonders for this brew... perhaps some honey?

M: Very thick stuff, fairly creamy, but once again, it's overbearingly, nail-bitingly bitter and boozy.

D: Not very. That's a real shame because I respect Avery very much. I had this same problem with the Goose Island "Nightstalker." To my taste, this one doesn't even come close to hitting the mark, especially in the RIS category.

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Photo of HiLLWiLLiam
2.63/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I am most certainly not a stout aficionado, however I do feel I have experienced a few delightful ones in my day. The Czar would NOT BE one of those stout's. Perhaps I did not know what I was getting myself into when I looked at the 11.00% ABV, however that has never bothered me previously. I would compare the taste to sticky motor oil. Maybe I'm a freak. I don't give a shit.

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

I had this on tap at the Flying Saucer in Houston.

A - This beer is a dark brown with a thin creamy head and little carbonation.

S - I get the aroma of brown sugar and some chocolate. Definitely getting the aroma of alcohol of the top.

T - Wow. This has a very complex taste to me. Dark, not to sweet syrupy flavor with warming alcohol and little to no hops. Delicious.

M - Medium mouthfeel, not heavy enough to affect the drinkability.

D - Definitely drinkable accept for the high alcohol content. Not to hoppy to overpower your taste buds and definitely warming as you go.

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Photo of robhunta
4.54/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark black/brown, aromas of dates, sweet. Aromas of currant and molasses. Minimal hops flavors and aromas. Somewhat syrupy mouth-feel, otherwise delicious. Some heat from alcohol feel. Very sweet, a complex beer, will do very well over time. My only issue is drinkability.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 2007 Vintage bottle marked at 11.73% ABV and 70 IBUs. Poured into my Portsmouth Brewery tulip glass and served at room temperature.

Appearance: Midnight black in colorwith a slight dark brown head. Not bad retention considering the high ABV.

Aroma: Dark chocolate notes really flourish here. Some toffee and molasses notes are also present with a nice backing of licorice. A little bit of heat is present here too, but its surpirsingly smooth for the ABV.

Taste: The dark chocolate really stands out here. It's not overly bitter as molasses and toffee notes add a muhc needed sweetness. Some nice smoke notes weave there way in and out as well. Some anise and licorice flavors provide a nice contrast in the background as well.

Mouthfeel: Really sharp bit of carbonation here. Almost stings the tongue. Other than that, full bodied and smooth. Maybe even a bit syrupy.

Drinkability: For this ABV, it is incredibly smooth. Definitely nice to sip over an evening and certainly more drinkable than most of the style.

Overall, a really smooth and remarkble stout. The age on this really did wonders for it. All the flavors are pleasant melded together brillantly. As a fan of the style, I'm really impressed.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.3/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz Bomber poured into a pint glass

A-- Poured a dark reddish black and settled black with tints of red at the bottom. Got a massive 3 finger head to start and it settled to just under one finger of light brown sugar colored head.

S-- Toffee, molasses, mocha, candied cherry and some spice. Toffee being the largest smell of the bunch.

T-- Toffee, Molasses, and cane sugar. A bit of floral hop bite and also some licorice.

M-- Starts as mocha and toffee and becomes a lot of sweet licorice. Medium body and carbonation. Hops do not offset the amount of licorice this becomes. Bigger licorice as it gets warmer. Very sweet finish to this.

D-- Well hidden ABV but needs something to offset the sweetness and the licorice. The hops could work well in this but they need to be bigger to cut into the sweetness of it. Too sweet for me. One is fine and should be a 12 oz bottle to make it better as it is now.

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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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