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Hog Heaven Barley Wine - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hog Heaven Barley WineHog Heaven Barley Wine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,783 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,783
Reviews: 883
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 11.36%
Wants: 53
Gots: 158 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-05-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,783 | Reviews: 883 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cjgator3
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into an imperial pint glass. The bottle states the bitterness level at 100 IBUs, which increases my anticipation to feed my hop craving. The beer pours a . The aroma is just exploding with flavors, sweet malt and caramel accompanied by a burst of piney hops. The taste is sweet malt up front with an explosion of bitter hops in the finish that linger in your mouth well after the sip. The taste is a lot smoother than most barleywines and the malt and hops seem to be working together in harmony to provide exceptional balance. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Overall, this is one of the better barleywines on the market. If you haven't tried this one yet, do yourself a favor and get your hands on a bottle. Recommended.

cjgator3, Apr 20, 2008
Photo of IPAcraig
4.72/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice ruby red body with big cream head. Nice lacing.

I swear this smells like sweet cake icing with some nice strong, floral hops.

HUGE flavor. Damn this beer is massive. It starts sweet with only a hint of bitterness; just when you think the beer is done, the hops show up in force. Alcohol is big, yet provides just a bit of warmth in the end. An intense experience. Caramel, oak, grapefruit goodness.

Big head yet thick body = great

There seems to be a current backlash for extreme american beers. These beers are slandered for being over the top and lacking nuance. Count me as a fan of any well done excessive american beer. This one definitely is that.

IPAcraig, Apr 19, 2008
Photo of boogles
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

In practical terms, this is my favorite barleywine because it's heavy on hops less pronounced on the "wine." The very reason it deviates from the style is why I like it--sort of in between IPA and barleywine.

As for Avery's selection of bombers (the double IPA) and similar bombers that are readily available to me (such as Hop Rod Rye), I'd say this is a good one but not the best. Granted, I like the hopped bomber category a lot.

boogles, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a pretty good Barleywine, however the line between this and a DIPA is extremely thin - a huge hoppy malty brew.

Poured part of a bomber into a snifter glass.

Appearance - It pours a hazy amber red color, and produced a decent 1 finger head that slowly dissipated to a thin crown. It left some light lacing behind the further along I drank. Not a bad looking brew.

Smell - This would smell good to any hophead. I can detect resinous hops, with grapefruit and lots of pine. It has a woody scent that is tied closely to a light sweetness.

Taste - IMO it tastes like fresh Bigfoot divided in half. It has a bold resinous hop flavor that is nicely balanced by a malty sweetness. Grapefruit and pine with a heaping dose of caramel. It is definitely an American style Barleywine, reminiscent of some from the West Coast.

Mouthfeel - It is a full bodied brew. It is slightly oily as it washes over the tongue, but it has a decent carbonation level to cut through its slickness.

Drinkability - This isn't a bad Barleywine by any stretch. It is a really easy drinking hoppy barleywine. This is one of those beers that make the line between Barleywine and DIPA extremely thin. Whenever I can't decide whether I want a DIPA or a BW, and Bigfoot isn't in season, I reach for this one.

MiguelMandingo, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of SIRIUS2
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a chalice style glass.

A: Mostly clear coppery color with an excellent frothy white head. Head retention throughout the experience with white lacing down the glass.

S: Mostly malty on the nose but a noticeable presence of mild hops as well.

T: Complex medium-toast malt flavors well matched with hop bitterness - but not balanced. Although a touch sweet with malt, the flavors a bit more dry compared to other barley wine styles previously sampled but is a compliment to the overall taste. The finish is long and malty with a bit of warming.

M&D: Mouthfeel is heavy, smooth, and complex and has the effect of a creaminess as it rolls over the tongue. Carbonation only enhances everything else and helps to bring everything together nicely. Fantastic example of the style.

SIRIUS2, Mar 30, 2008
Photo of jdoncbus
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber-orange, mildly hazy with a solid tan head and heavy lacing. Enjoyed the rings left after each sip.

Nose is a sour, sweet malt - somewhat biscuity. Heavy notes of apricot, pear, sour cream frosting, and piney hops.

Creamy-oil on the palate with a toasted-wood, caramel malt. Bitter hops slam the taste buds, extremely piney and grassy. The mouth is left very tart and dry. Alcohol makes no bones about it, it's there and leaves a warmth down the throat into the stomach.

A nice offering and I am glad that I picked it after seeing it for years. Not sure I will rush to pick another one up though I appreciate its complexity with my continued venture into this style. Sip slowly, packs a punch.

jdoncbus, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of boston2bburg
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Mostly clear ruby orange with a light, creamy khaki head. Three fingers that settles to a modest cover. A couple big patches of lacing. Served at about 60 degrees.

There's a healthy nose of citrus hops (apparently all Columbus) balanced with sweet apricot, orange marmalade and candied malts. Fresh smelling and very pleasant. Even with the relatively warm pour temperature the aroma grows

This is a very well-balanced barleywine. For 100 IBUs, there isn't an overpowering bitterness. The hops provide a subtle citrus flavor, while plenty of candied caramel malts make the finish smooth and creamy.

Personally I prefer full-bodied, thick, syrupy barleywines but this one sacrifices some body for drinkability. The alcohol is mostly unnoticeable anywhere except in my body, and if I stand up now I'm probably in danger of falling over. As long as I'm sitting I think I could drink these all night.

boston2bburg, Mar 28, 2008
Photo of TheBierBand
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 22 oz. Bomber into a pint glass. There is no freshness date on the bottle. However, I know that it was recently stocked because it was still in the case it came in.

The pour poroduced a head of off-white/dense foam that lasted forever! When it finally subsided... it left thick lace on the sides of the glass. The beer is light amber and crystal clear.

The nose is rather slight... smells more like a DIPA to me.... more emphasis on hops than malt. A slight floral essence from the hops but not much else.

Taste: Again, more like a DIPA... emphasis on the hops.... now tasting more citric... like grapefruit peel. There is a touch of sweetness... like honey, to balance out the hop bitterness. I certainly believe the bottle's claim of 100 IBU.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is appropriate, fairly thick and robust. Bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability: OK.... not great.... not the most complex of barleywines.

TheBierBand, Mar 28, 2008
Photo of Pencible
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured a slightly hazy light brown with a fluffy tan head. It smelled pretty bitter, like a lot of hops and a bit of spice. It had a very strong flavor of mostly hops with some yeast. The aftertaste was of more hops and alcohol, making this beer definitely better to sip. The texture was moderate but a little thin, with decent carbonation. Overall it was a good drink, but not one of my favorites.

Pencible, Mar 27, 2008
Photo of DIM
2.1/5  rDev -47%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

a: This was a light coppery amber color. It pours with a big craggy, lacey, slightly dirty white head.

s: Artificial sweetner and some kind of cherry candy dominated along with some harsh alcohol and piny hop smells. Unpleasant.

t: Harsh, prickly, and artificial flavors of obnoxiously sugary cherry candy and some abrasive, bitter, yet strangely flavorless hops that burned my tongue. Highly alcoholic, almost solventy.

m: The carbonation and viscosity were both up to snuff, but the harsh aftertaste hurts the score here.

d: I couldn't bring myself to finish it. This just isn't for me.

DIM, Mar 27, 2008
Photo of JDV
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap. Pours a clear amber color with some offwhite head and a bit of lacing. Smell is big and vibrant fresh and awesomely fruity hops with notes of juicy apricot like hop aromas. Taste is blanced and nicely hopped but with a caramelly sweet maltiness and a hint of alcohol as well. Ridiculously smooth and easy to drink for a barley wine. Slightly viscous body, and a fantastic smooth example of the style. Great beer.

JDV, Mar 24, 2008
Photo of pmcadamis
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - The flying pigs on this bomber remind me of the Boys in the Hall skit..."Wee! Look at me!" Those crazy Canadians! A big pinkish head rises to three fingers above a caramel colored brew that shows reddish purple highlights at times. The head is creamy and sticks around for a long time. Tons of really pretty lace is left on the glass, and it looks crusty...like candy icing. Nice!

S - Sweet fruity taffy candy and massive hops jump out at me before I even get close to the glass, and intensify as I approach the snifter. The hops really dominate as I sniff this one...juicy, fat, wet, mandarin orange hops. I can appreciate a little bit of alcohol, but it's well integrated and never detracts from the aromas found here. I can smell something familiar that I can't quite place my finger on...it's like cherry bubblegum or something. Remember Zebra Stripe bubblegum? That's it!

T - Dirty, ashy, burnt malts remind me of a roasty stout or a leafy Altbier, and the hops are on par with the dankest double IPA! That elusive Zebra Stripe Gum flavor is here too, along with some really fat juicy fruit. This is quite sweet too, like a cherry pie or a dried cherry studded fruitcake.

M - Full bodied, but never flabby. This is only gently carbonated, but it's held together by the really fresh and juicy hops and the acidic alcohol tightness. This one has a bit too much residual sugar IMHO, and the finish could be a touch more dry but I'm just nit-picking! This is good.

D - I like this a lot, but it's way too sweet to be a good session beer, and the ABV could knock you flat after two bombers. This is just about the fruitiest barley wine that I've ever tasted, and I prefer my BWs to be a bit more dry. All of that aside, this is a damn good after dinner sipper, or a heavy hitting night cap.

pmcadamis, Mar 24, 2008
Photo of far333
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazed caramel-orange colored with an inch-and-a-half high head that lingers long and leaves lacy ringlets up the glass.

Rich and inviting aroma of sweet honey and citric hops, light brown sugary malt and ripe fruit.

Flavors of grainy raw sugar, roasted and caramelized sweet apple, toffee and butterscotch, and citrus hops that morph in and out from sweet tangerine to biting grapefruit to piney bitter and back to the beginning again. ABV is well hidden.

Rich and full mouthfeel, but crisp and somewhat tannic on the tongue.

Very flavorful beer, rich and complex, scarily drinkable.

far333, Mar 23, 2008
Photo of Gehrig
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of the few readily available Avery offerings that I had yet to try, Hog Heaven came into my possession through the sterling Sun Singer. It presents itself very well, pouring a clear amber body topped by two and one-half fingers of slightly tan froth, with minimal lacing but very durable head. The smell is fruity, with orange, apple, and pineapple present. Yet the aroma is much too subtle for a big barleywine such as this. Hops emerge from seeming hibernation in the taste, balancing the fruit nicely.

I'm rarely one to knock a beer because of mouthfeel. Yet this warrants criticism, with the mouthfeel strangely reminiscent of cough syrup--certainly not enjoyable.

This is on the whole fairly good. But it's also certainly one of my least favorite offerings from Avery. I'd love to see Avery add lots of caramel to Hog Heaven, which would doubtlessly improve the taste and mouthfeel of a beer that lacks a definitive identity.

Gehrig, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of HokieNoPokie
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This delicious offering had a nice natural cherry red color to it. The subtle nose had hints of citrus, pine, and cake. Very pleasant.

I tasted the hops first, followed by the malts and complimented with a faint alcohol flavor. Sweet. Delicious but not overpowering.

This is a great barleywine. It's assertive without being forceful. Solid.

HokieNoPokie, Mar 14, 2008
Photo of ROMER79
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a Chestnut brown with a tan one finger head right from the tap into a tulip glass. It wreaked of hops, wheat and fruits. The tastes were extremely hoppy with hints of grapefruit and malts. The hops definitely hid the malt flavor. It is a good hop beer and if your are afraid of hops, this may not be for you. It was easy to drink for me, but definitely not a session.

ROMER79, Mar 10, 2008
Photo of ballewblake
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 bottle poured into a generic tulip.

One finger head with good lacing. Dark amber in the glass. Very mellow hop aroma that gets better as I go through the glass. Slightly sweet at first with mild carbonation twigging my tongue. Very low hop bitters, malts are disguised in the hops. Alcohol seems very mild in this, not getting it in the taste or aroma. A lite and mild brew.

ballewblake, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of blakesell
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Found on tap at Chappy's in West Carrolton/Moraine, OH. Poured from the tap into a 10oz snifter glass.

Appearance- A gold/red amber poured into the snifter and a one and a half finger head of bone coloured foam. Lacing is glued to the sides of the glass.

Smell- Hop spiciness with stone fruits, plums, cherries and a bit of vanillanin tannin scent. I catch a bit of red apple in there as well. Hops dominate overall with a rich floral scent. A lot of smells going on in this beer.

Taste- Fruity and hoppy as all hell. I know I have had this before from the bottle but it never tasted like this! Candi and big grapefruit, grape, plum, kiwi, citrus rind, a big deep malty backbone of wonderful hop bitters.

Mouthfeel- Creamy and thick with very adequate carbonation. Full bodied to be sure.

Drinkability- Wow. I would give this a 4.5 on drinkability even with the 9.2 ABV that clings and sticks. This is quickly on my top 5 American barleywines list.

blakesell, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of charlzm
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on 02/09/08.

Pours a clear dark orange/copper. Lots of small, active bubbles. Initial head grew larger than I anticipated with my pour, making a three-finger off-white foamy head of fine, pillowy consistency.

Spicy hop nose with metallic note. Slightly thicker and creamier than water.

First blush on tongue is spicy hops with a sweet malt flavor right behind. Dry without being parching, the finish has loads of bitter hops but is balanced into a sublime, lingering aftertaste that fades into spicy warmth.

Avery sure does make some good beer.

charlzm, Feb 29, 2008
Photo of SurlyDuff
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber. Brick colored body with very bubbly, tall head.

Aroma is really nice! Brighest citrus and hops than anything iv'e drank for weeks, including some IIPA's. Bright citrus, almost over the top...like shampoo or hand lotion, kind of an artificial citrus.

Bright flavor. Sweet beginning with piny citrus. Grape and cherry there too. Very floral. A barley wine? fooled me!

A fine drink though. I am enjoying this one a lot. Light spice of alcohol, highly drinkable, despite being way above what you'd expect for a session beer.

SurlyDuff, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of sweetkness
4.93/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Beautiful dark amber color. Creamy off-white head, leaving lots of tiny bubbles.

S-Lots of things going on here. The first thing that jumps out when you open the bottle is hops, lots of them! But this does not dominate, as the estery character of dark fruits comes through, along with caramel and wonderful malt characters.

T-COMPLEX! and I mean incredibly complex. You definetely notice the 100 IBU's of hops in here. But as in the aroma, it still allows the other characters to show through. A wonderful array of malt characters, from roasted to biscuit to caramel. A noticable brown sugar character along with various dark fruits (raisins, cherries, prunes, etc.) and there is also a citrus character, possibly from the hops. The alcohol shows through enough just to remind you its there. Like I said, complex, but none of the characters dominate too strongly.

M-Not too overcarbonated, which I like in this style. Strong body. Slightly syrupy, yet crisp, if thats possible.

D-This was probably the best Barleywine I have had. Wonderfully malty, then "americanized" with tons of hops. Obviously you're gonna put down many of these, but it's a wonderful to break out for special occasions...whatever those are for you. Despite the complexity and strength, it goes down quite well.

sweetkness, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of bosco7
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice copper color with a creamy tan head.

The nose is full of hop cones. Grapefruit, pine needle, tobacco, strawberry and a hint of caramel.

My first impressions: Extremely well balanced, more malt than the nose would indicate, and I could drink a whole lot of this stuff. The start has some sweetness with a touch of toffee and nuttiness. Then the brew moves into those wonderfully intense Columbus hop flavors; pine bark, grapefruit juice, strawberry, and wild flowers. I can't tell if I am drinking a DIPA or a Barleywine! The beginning is such a different experience than the finish. The finish is bitter and full of citrus.

Mouthfeel is a little thin for the style but pleasant. Drinkability is unmatched by any other Barleywine in my opinion. This thing drinks beautifully.

This is the first beer from Avery that has truly wowed me. I don't care if this is a DIPA or Barleywine or somewhere in between, it tastes great. I am now curious to see how this thing ages. Highly recommended.

bosco7, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of NBake
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber listing this one at 100 IBUs. Oh boy.

Hog heaven whets your palate before it even wets your palate, pouring an orange/amber with a moderate sticky head. Lace will follow.

The nose is sweet and flowery with a bit of alcohol.

The first tentative sip brings a glorious nectar of citrusy floral hop domination with an underlying sweet candy malt that does hold its own. Hog Heaven is bitter through and through. It finishes very piney and resiny.

This one is smooth and creamy with moderate carbonation. Somehow it is light enough to still be refreshing. Very nice.

Avery has done a great job on this barleywine. It is very bitter, but if you are hop head like me, it won't phase you. Hog Heaven is balanced and light enough to drink all night if you can handle the booze. This is one of my favorite barleywines.

NBake, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of jim102864
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Apple cider and copper color in my Trois Pistoles goblet. Coudy with little head and no carbonation. Aroma bursts with hops, but at 100 IBU's, what do you expect? Understated sweet fruit like strawberries. Candi sugar too. The tatse is suprisingly mildy hoppy even with the high IBU. Little evidence of hop bite in the finish. Mild fruity esters but very flavorful particularly as it warms. Nice viscous mouthfeel. The candi sugar and malt sweetness shines. A barleywine with understated hoppiness? Fasinating and yet again another stellar effort by Avery.

jim102864, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of stephens101
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours reddish-brown into a snifter. Has a nice fluffy tan head with decent retention. A spotty, persistent lacing is left behind. Smells of hops and pine surrounded by sweet caramel. A deeper whiff reveals the malts, dark fruits and a hint of esters. Big malts fill the palate with a definite alcohol heat in the back. Some fruitiness and hop balance bring things to a slightly bitter fruition. Mouth-feel is medium bodied. Carbonation is excellent, leaving clusters of tiny active bubbles down the side of the glass. The complexity and tastiness of this brew lands it near the top of my barley wine list.

stephens101, Feb 22, 2008
Hog Heaven Barley Wine from Avery Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,783 ratings.