Hog Heaven Barley Wine - Avery Brewing Company

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Hog Heaven Barley WineHog Heaven Barley Wine

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very good

904 Reviews
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Reviews: 904
Hads: 1,964
Avg: 3.97
pDev: 16.37%
Wants: 68
Gots: 224 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-05-2002

This dangerously drinkable garnet beauty is a hop lover’s delight. The intense dry-hop nose and the alcohol content are perfectly balanced for a caramel candy-like malt finish. This is a serious beer for serious beer afficianados and it only gets better with age. Cellarable for 3 years.
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Reviews: 904 | Hads: 1,964
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another Avery hopped-up beer. Piney aroma. Good retaining head and lace. Looks like an IPA. Citrus, carmel malted down bitterness, easy drink. More IPA than barleywine but a forced marriage of the two, that allows one to consume the 100 IBUs. Thanks Tupalev.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour a slightly hazy copper orange with a 1 inch puffy off-white head that settles to a small cap. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and lots of citrus zest aromas. Alcohol aromas come out as the beer warms. Taste is of sweet malt, caramel, and zesty citrus zest flavors. A mild bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a crisp carbonation with a slightly sticky mouthfeel. An alcohol warmth hits the back of the throat after each sip. Overall, this is a good but hoppy barleywine with an alcohol kick.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 1.5 finger head with good retention and lacing on a crimson, murky body.

S: Floral, pine and red apple. Caramel malt in the background and a touch of alcohol.

T: Definitively hoppier than your average barleywine. Fruity and hoppy. Spicey with a subtle vanilla note.

M: moderate carbonation and medium body. fairly smooth for a barleywine.

Overall a fairly unique barleywine. Not too boozy but still more than I like.

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Photo of metter98
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy reddish brown in color. It poured with a finger and a half high beige head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Sweet aromas of caramel malts arepresentbin the nose along with notes of pine resin hops.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has some notes of toffee.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little sticky on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. A bit of warming from the alcohol is also noticeable.
O: This barleywine isn't too difficult to drink given its strength and that the alcohol doesn't stand out in the taste.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this is a wild beer. not a conventional barleywine at all. pours a thick brown color with an amber glow and a minimal head into a snifter. smells really hoppy and sweet. flavor is very very hoppy, must be dry hopped. also though there is a huge sweet malty strength to this beer. note of toffee and pine in the finish. mouthfeel is pretty heavy, not very carbonated and not very drinkable. this bomber was almost a chore to get through. overall not my favorite barleywine. im not sure this style is meant to be so aggressively hopped, but it is something new anyway. avery's big bottles always push the envelope

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.32/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewery in August 2009. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate copper color with a very thin off white bit of lacing after a small head on the initial pour. Sell brings citrus and floral hops and a large amount of caramel malt sweetness. Taste is a bit of a mess with a large dose of hops that are somehow overpowered by an even larger dose of sweetness. Doesn't carry very much depth. Feel is fairly heavy with low to moderate carbonation. Drinkability is hampered by the taste just kind of being everywhere. A strange barleywine that might do better with some age.

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Photo of brentk56
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a small head and some lacing

Smell: Grapefruit topped with sugar; a healthy start to the morning

Taste: Toffee malt flavors up front with a blast of grapefruit developing by mid-palate; after the swallow the toffee flavors return to blend into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium/heavy body with moderate carbonation; significant alcohol warming on the way down

Drinkability: A little closer to a malty Douple IPA than is typical for the style, but nonetheless an exceptional beer

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a great beer. Smooth for a BW. Nice redish coper color with a firm foamstand that laced all day. Big malt and fruit aromas. Even bigger hop character--spicy and earthy. Sweet caramel malt and fresh fruit flavors up front. Everywhere from brown sugar and honey to grapefruit and berries. Hop character never overwhelms, but continues to deliver more flavors and complexity. I get a lot of toffee, nuts, and spices into the body. Finishes firm and warm. Alcohol sweetness is always present, but never harsh. Never grainy or astringent. Melow and silky from start to finish. This one will sneak up on you.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.7/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a clear amber color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of caramel sweet malt is omnipresent with some citrus hops. Taste is a mix between sweet caramel malt and some bitter hops. Alcohol is way too hot for my liking and body is definitely too thin for the style. I’m starting to wonder if it’s just me or are most of Avery beers a bit too hot for their own good.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another label feeling the need to proclaim apparently hitting the 100 IBU benchmark...

This bomber pours a clear dark ruby colour, with two fingers of foamy, creamy ecru head, which leaves spaced webbed lace around the glass as it recedes. It smells strongly of grapefruit and pine hops, and light caramel/toffee malt. The taste is more grapefruit and other bitter citrus, an understated caramel malt, and mild warming alcohol. The carbonation is quite low, the body heavy, oily, slick, and smooth, and it finishes off-dry, the caramel sweetness popping back up to counter the persistent tangy citric bitterness.

An excellent Yankee Barleywine, but that's the hophead in me talking, 100 IBUs FTW! This is very much more akin to a big DIPA, an example of the blurring in practice of the two theoretically distinct styles.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cherry caramel with bright orange trim. The beer looks faintly murky on the coaster, clearing when backlit with bright afternoon sunshine. The tight-bubbled cap is a wonderful color that resides somewhere between ivory, gold and orange. Not only does it look good, but it lays down quite a bit of sticky lace; especially when the ABV is taken into consideration. This is one beautiful looking hog.

Since this bomber is an estimated two years of age, I'm surprised at how much Columbus hoppiness is still present in the nose. Hog Heaven smells like chunks of candied grapefruit and orange drizzled with melted caramel. No alcohol is evident. Not... one... bit. I think I'm gonna like this one.

I'm sure age has everything to do with it, but my first impression is how tame and how damned drinkable this big ale is. Unlike the nose, alcohol plays a role on the palate. That said, it's as well-incorporated as it is in most versions of the style that weigh in at close to 10.0%. That is, just about all of them.

More hop bitterness has survived (a surprising amount, in fact) than hop flavor. Bitter white grapefruit pith and bitter orange are still easily identified, zinging this way and that through the raging river of caramel malt that slides down my throat with each eager sip. Barleywines don't need to be complex to be good, they just need to deliver lots of flavor and hide their generous ABVs reasonably well. Mission accomplished on both counts.

I was a little concerned about the body/mouthfeel initially. Once the beer reached the barely cool stage (right now, as it happens), it's as full and as velvety smooth as I could have hoped for. Alcohol and alpha acids lightly sting the tongue while sticky malt sugars caress it.

Avery Hog Heaven Barleywine looks like a dream, smells like a dream, feels like a dream and drinks like a dream. I'm tempted to nudge the flavor score to the same dream-like position, but something is holding me back. In any case, I like this big hog just fine. Looks like I'll have to buy a few bombers the next time I'm in Ohio. Looking to start a cellar? Look no further.

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Photo of zeff80
4.39/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an garnett color with a creamy, egg shell, one-finger head that left tons of lace.

S - It smelled of toasted malt and hoppy grasses.

T - It had a powerful malt flavor, like burnt toast. Also, a sweet and spicy hoppiness lending toward a bittersweet kick. Also, the alcohol flavor was present.

M - It was crisp and sharp. It was also warm due to the alcohol. A heavy-bodied beer.

D - This is the most drinkable barley wine that I've had. It is not overpowering and is easily consumable in one sitting despite the high alcohol content and size of the beer.

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Photo of oberon
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured a deep red/brown color with light but rocky head,the aroma was suprisingly hoppy.The head was pretty creamy and sticky.This is a uncompromising beer here,nutty and somewhat medicinal with a hugely dry finish.Quite a beer here maybe a little overwhelming.Never heard of Avery even when living in Denver for awhile had never seen it,man this is a big beer.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a deep, hazy nearly opaque, stained glass like orange. A nice little off white head graced the top and faded leaving a nice film of lace on the top, which proceeded to drip down the glass with a spider web like sudsy appearence.

S - Smell was very sweet, candy store like sweet. Best way to describe it would be an orange pop sickle. Slight hint of alcohol as well.

M & T - First impression was very creamy, with good carbonation and lots of bitter citrus hops and a slight hint of alcohol. Nice smooth delivery and a definate hop bomb of a barley wine. Lots of citrus hops, big flavors of orange, tangerine and pineapple. Some malty balance tried to break through, but just made it very sweet, and did a fine job at covering up the abv.

D - Overall this was a very nice Barleywine....but would make a great DIPA. I would not turn this down. Maybe needs to sit for a while to bring out some of the more complex flavors, must I can take it as it is as well.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.23/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer pours a copper sort of color with a finger of off-white head.

S: Opens up with some caramel and brown sugar as well as toffee and a bit of molasses. Mostly sugar type aromas but there is a nice breadiness, a touch of citrus, and a mild amount of oxidation to it.

T: Unfortunately, the flavor is quite bland. Slightly watery with most of the flavor coming in the form of bread. Some decent toffee along with floral and earthy hops and just a hint of bitterness.

M: Medium in body with a moderate carbonation.

O: Really mediocre and underwhelming. I guess at least it wasn't harsh and hot like a lot of high gravity Avery beers.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.49/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours out with a deep red hue, capped by an ivory head with moderate retention, though no lacing.

Smell: Grapefruit amidst a surging scent of hops and alcohol.

Taste: Astringent bitterness (without ever being flavorful) from start to finish, even harshly so, and with little to no malt base to balance it back out. The finish is caustically acidic and develops into a rather stinging aftertaste. I did not detect the "explosion of sweet malts" mentioned on the label. This brew is simply *crawling* with bitterness.

Listen, the denizens of the beer world won't beg for balance, we're above that. But look at what's happening here, folks! I, for one, long for the Salad Days that balanced beers provided.

Hint: this beer is really a Double IPA.

Avery Brewing Co. thought they could pull the wool over my eyes by calling this a barleywine, but I've shown them that they need to get up a *little* earlier in the morning if they wanna think about tricking me!

Mouthfeel: Medium, though a tad bit thin for a barleywine. Low carbonation.

Drinkability: Somewhere, one of the multitude of hopheads out there is nodding with satisfaction. "A job well done!" they may say.

However, I found this singularly one-dimensional beer to be unpleasantly unbalanced and disappointing for a barleywine (which I feel should display at least a modicum of balance and harmony within the fabulous potency of it's flavors).

This beer is a step in the wrong direction for Avery Brewing Co.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at the VH WhirlyBall.

I'll drink this when pigs fly...oh...apparently, the label has informed me that the time has come. It pours a lightly hazy ruby-amber topped by a finger-and-a-half of cream foam. The nose comprises toffee, caramel, slight pine, and a vague sense of red wine (more a rose, but, hey, I ain't no wine expert here!). The taste holds notes of strong pine and grapefruit rind, light onion, and a thoroughly dominated caramel/toffee blend in the background. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation, a dry finish, and a nearly chewy feel. Overall, a solid b-wine, but a bit much for me to necessarily enjoy regularly.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Citrusy. Piney. Not overly done in strength. Maltiness remains. Balanced.

It pours a clear, ruby-accented dark auburn body beneath a 1/4" head of rocky yellowed-ivory foam. The head retention is quite good, and it drops but maintains a thin surface covering and leaves nice rings of lace about the glass.

The nose is fruity, citrusy, gently piney, and subtly woody with a touch of sweetly caramelish & biscuity malt sneaking through here and there.

It's dextrinous and full-bodied in the mouth with a very-fine-bubbled and restrained carbonation that lends a gentle caress to the tongue. It never becomes creamy, but it is superbly smooth.

The flavor starts malty and fruity (berries, appple), but soon allows it's citrusy (tangerine, sweet grapefruit, pineapple) and piney flavors to break through mid-palate. Its solid bitterness steps in to balance it; and it finishes dry with some light, residual, honey-glazed biscuity maltiness and lingering notes of citrusy/piney hops.

Quite nice!!!

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Photo of Kegatron
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz foil capped bottle into my Brewer's Art goblet.

Pours a hazy (that eventually clears out) medium dark amber with a medium sized off-white head that eventually settled down and left some great lacing. Aroma is straight up the nose thick with the huge grainy sweetness of caramel. Another deep whiff unveils fresh piney hots and some alcohol in the background.

Taste is a hugely smooth yet chewey malt background of caramel and oats. That is outset nicely by an extremely intense hop blast of citrus and resin. Bitterness lasts well into the finish and helps smooth out some rather noticable heat causing both to linger prominently on the palatte. Mouthfeel is moderately thick and viscous with a moderate alcohol presence that I think adds to it's beefy nature.

This is a great example of a big American Barleywine. A large and flavorful malt background balanced nicely by a equally huge hop profile and it isn't afraid to wear a little alcohol on it's sleave. A steady sipper for sure, that's quick to consume and one that I'm quite glad to have enjoyed.

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Photo of mactrail
3.27/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A seriously hoppy strong ale. Wonderful nose of flowers, fresh straw, and warm barley. Hits a high note of fresh aromatic hops. Bubbly and thick bodied. Very tart on the tongue, between the alcohol and the heavy hops. Orangey amber in the wine glass.

This seems surprisingly acidic for a Barleywine. The hops are so powerful they overwhelm the malt, except for a little sweet aftertaste. Lots of sugary tastes, with caramel and toffee. Hops are more on the dank side, woody and intense. A touch of chamomile and canned peaches. Boozy and verging on the harsh.

This used to be one of my favorites years ago, but I have not tried it lately. From the 22 oz bottle.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light reddish brown color with a short and dense off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, brown sugar, fruit and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste is well-balanced with sweet flavors of caramel, bourbon, fruit and brown sugar that are quickly followed by a strong hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty and there's a slight alcohol burn. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, although there are better ABW's out there, this is a good high-octane beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this in a tulip at Al's of Hampden.

A deep ruby/rust color combo with an off white rocky cap which settles to a ring of beads which are tight. The lace clings well in rings, the clarity is gently hazy. I enjoy the way the aroma has a nice blend of piney hops with fruity malt esters and subtle citrus accents with slight alcohol odors. The feel is good with some bitterness up front followed by a mildly sweet middle and semi dry finish with some alcohol heat.

The taste is quality with good hop flavor and mild caramel in the malt, more stone fruit than anything coming from the yeast/malt blend and mild piney bitter hop accents. The taste has subtle sweetness in the finish which seems to lessen the impact of the alcohol which is present in the taste. Overall I think this is a quality barlewyine - I am not sure why it took me this long to review it. Perhaps I did but misplaced the notes -I have had it a few times and still remember the first time at Kclinger's in Hanover. I think it fits the style well and I am glad I got to have it again.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.46/5  rDev -38%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded silver foil-ed over pry-off pressure cap and uninteresting label art acquired at a local bottle shop a year ago and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip/wine glass hybrid glass in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high given its current rating and the brewery. Reviewed as a barleywine because the label clearly identifies it as such. 9.2% ABV confirmed. 104 IBUs.

Served cold - straight from the freezer - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a two finger wide head of white-khaki colour. Decent creaminess and thickness. Okay lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is pretty good - about 6+ minutes. Decent consistency.

Body colour is a glowing translucent light amber. Clean; no floating yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Overall, it's an appealing if standard appearance for the style. I'm looking forward to trying it, but it isn't unique or special. There are no egregious flaws here.

Sm: Floral hop character, pale malts, cream, caramel, marshmallow, bread crust, and caramalt.

No alcohol or yeast character is detectable.

Overall, it's a pleasant but non-ideal aroma of moderate strength.

T: Marshmallow, floral hop character, caramalt, heavy caramel, bread crust, bready malts, and some amber malts. Rotten orange. Stale/overripe grapefruit. Pithy. Way too bitter and horribly imbalanced. Build is neither cohesive nor gestalt. Very unimpressive. Too hoppy for the style - which should be malt-dominant. Lacks sufficient sweetness. Still, it has some subpar candi sugar notes. Below average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. Lacks complexity; it's pretty simple. Not nuanced, intricate, or subtle.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Has some alcohol warmth. Has an unbecoming coarseness. The smoothness/dryness is also off. Overcarbonated. Doesn't suit the flavour profile really at all. Bad presence on the palate. That said, it doesn't have the weight of most barleywines.

Not oily, astringent, or gushed.

Dr: Downable but very unremarkable. Far from Avery's strongest work. I certainly wouldn't get it again. Age hasn't done it any favours either. I wouldn't recommend it to friends. It's a pretty mediocre barleywine. I expected far better. It'll get you drunk, but it won't please the discerning drinker. Quite poor for a barleywine, all around. Badly executed.


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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hog Heaven pours a clear dark brown and red with a lot of head of course. The nose is fairly muted with what seems like a mild pineapple skin smell. The flavor is smooth with a fruity edge...maybe raspberry and oranges together....but just a little bit. Overall it is a smooth and even brew with little going against it.

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Photo of russpowell
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours deep caramel to copper with a 2 fingers+ sand colored head. Excellent lacing and head retention

Smell: Malt, slight smokiness, & piney hops

Taste: Hige earthy hops& fruittyness. Finishes hoppy & dry

MF: Thick woth slight oilyness and perfect carbonation

Pretty enjoyable, but a little too big & hoppy to do more than one, or suffer the consequenses! Damn good BW

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Hog Heaven Barley Wine from Avery Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 904 ratings.