A Dictator We Can All Get Behind
A Review of the Kaiser by Avery Brewing Co.
Posted on 11/8/2011 by Chops
                   
Exquisite
As the Oktoberfest season draws to a close, I can think of no greater send off than Avery Brewing Co.'s Imperial Oktoberfest: The Kaiser. This beer is part of Avery's notorious Dictator Series, which includes The Czar Imperial Stout and The Maharaja Imperial IPA. Nothing about The Kaiser is small. Big flavors, big aromas, big damn bottle. I could tell right off the bat that cracking this beauty open was going to be one hell of an interesting experience. So without further ado, let's get this review started.

In the glass, The Kaiser has a deep rich amber coloration with a semi-hazy appearance. As oktoberfest brews go, this is a very intimidating appearance. It's quite a few steps in a harsher direction. The aroma is very thick and very malty. It's still the classic oktoberfest malt aroma, just significantly amplified. There is also a prominent boozy character that resembles a barleywine or old ale smell. Stylistically, this is one intimidating brew.

Luckily the first sip was properly foreshadowed: big malty boozy. It is quite strong and takes several sips to get used to. But once you do, you are treated to an array of bready notes from toasted rye to sourdough. The mouthfeel is rich, thick and always at the mercy of an alcohol burn that carries well through the finish. The hop profile is very thin and is significantly muted by the malt character and alcohol burn.

The middle ground is where this beer thrives. Once you can tame the big overarching flavors, then many others emerge. I was able to pick out some toffees, apricots, caramels and a peppery spiciness. It's a good thing that this beer comes in a 22 oz. bomber because you need the entire bottle to pick out all the flavors. Use the first half to acclimate yourself to the flavor train, then the last half to study the middle ground.

Overall, The Kaiser Imperial Oktoberfest from Avery Brewing Co. is a stylistic gem. To say this beer is unique would be a gross understatement. It's unlike anything I have ever had in the style. This is definitely a beer for adventurous drinkers. Novices will not be able to handle The Kaiser and I doubt many mid-experience drinkers could either. To even begin to appreciate this beer, you have to be a big fan of oktoberfest brews and you have to have a honed imperial palate. Otherwise, The Kaiser will shred your taste buds and punch the back of your throat. So to all imperial fans, your Oktoberfest journey ends here. Respect The Kaiser and he will reward you handsomely.

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The Kaiser by Avery Brewing Co.
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