Wanting to have a thematically appropriate beverage to get me through election night, I felt like I had a winner when I saw this at a local bottle shop. I think one of the few things most of can agree on this year was that a beer was most certainly needed while waiting for the results to come in.
Beer Name: Ale to the Chief
Brewer: Avery Brewing Company
Style: Curiously, I have seen this listed as DIPA and as a Strong Ale.
Description: Going by the bit of detail provided by the brewery, this beer been brewed twice before, originally in celebration of the 2009 Presidential Inauguration and again during the 2012 election. It is now on a four-year brewing cycle, seemingly to help take the edge off election nights. This imperial, ahem, presidential pale ale was dry-hopped with Cascade. The price on a 22 oz. bomber in downtown Boston was $11.00.
Appearance: It had a deep reddish amber and slightly orange body topped off by foamy white head.
Smell: Sweet caramel malt with a nearly hidden hint of piney bitterness.
Taste: As with the smell, the taste started out sweet with a nice mix of caramel and biscuity malts. From there it took on notes of grapefruit and citrus zest combined with fresh tasting grassy and floral hops. Hoppy, but not aggressively bitter.
Mouthfeel: It had a creamy medium-plus body with a relatively low-level of carbonation. A sticky, sappy finish allowed the hops and sweetness to really stand out at the end.
Hype: Not much that I was aware of. I’ve had some good beers from this brewery in the past, but bought this based on the name alone. Dangerous, I know.
Overall: I liked this beer, but I think if someone picked it up wanting a DIPA in today’s market they might be disappointed. The strong ale categorization is much more accurate, as the beer’s prominent malts and complimentary hop profile make it more at home in this style. Indeed, this reminded me a bit of Stone’s Double Bastard Ale. As for myself, I’ve made no secret of my love for caramel malts and I felt all aspects of this beer came together perfectly. A good beer on a sad night.