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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

1,748 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,748
Reviews: 879
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 11.62%
Wants: 51
Gots: 150 | FT: 2
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: 1,748 | Reviews: 879 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Cyberkedi
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has a strong, rather fruity aroma with a little bit of an alcohol nip. Color is a clear dark amber brown with a thick and large-bubbled head. Flavor is fruity and has a strong bitter undertone; the alcohol bite is quite noticeable. It is nice and smooth, very drinkable, but better sipped since it is a "high-gravity" beer.

Cyberkedi, Aug 29, 2007
Photo of Budro
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22-oz. bomber of 2006 vintage into a pint glass.
A: Foaming two-finger head the color of cafe con leche atop a deep amber body with cherry hues and good clarity. A sheet of creamy-looking foam holds across the surface after the head dissipates.
S: Caramelized sugar and melted butter notes provide the foundation for a misty aroma of slightly sour blueberries.
T: There's a pronounced bitter front, and the bitter notes seem to bounce all over the palate when the brew is cold. Malt-based sweetness acute as maple syrup backs it up and balances the bitterness nicely. After you've swallowed, the force of the sweetness fades, leaving a pleasantly sour aftertaste. As the brew warms, the bitterness fades and the sweetness grows more pronounced.
M: Thick and somewhat creamy. The front of the tongue tingles with a glow that warms the entire mouth. The beer coats the palate, leaving the tongue dry, especially as the beer warms, ready for another swallow...
D:...but don't go back to the glass too quickly! As the high ABV indicates, this beer will knock you down in a hurry if you quaff it too eagerly. This is a brew to savor, probably over a couple of hours if you're tackling all 22 ounces by yourself. Taking a long time with this one is rewarding, as the flavors linger and evolve between swallows, particularly as it warms. Cracking open a second one for further study, however, would be a fool's mission.

Budro, Aug 25, 2007
Photo of Ratman197
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a clear dark copper with a good sized lingering amber head leaving behind nice lacing on the sides of the glass as I drink it.

The nose is carmel, grapefruit, pine and a touch of earthiness.

The taste is smooth carmel quickly followed by grapefruit, pine and a hint of earthiness all playing nicely togather.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth. Light to medium carbonation. Alcohol is not very noticable.

Overall I find this a very drinkable Barleywine I can drink year round. Some say it ages well but I prefer it fresh and full of Hops!

Ratman197, Aug 25, 2007
Photo of Atron67
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 bottle poured into a duvel snifter

A- coppery red clear with a light brown big 3 finger foam that lasted and lasted, left some decent lacing on the bottle as well

S- some piney hops provide a nice strong backbone, and a strong malt presence as well.

T- has a really nice balance between the malt and the hops, there hops is stronger, however they go together nicely

M- light, but fine, carbonation throughout, strong body, and slightly heavy body s it rolls over the tongue

D- a very solid barleywine

Atron67, Aug 20, 2007
Photo of waldowin
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber, with a *dense* tan head made of bubbles nearly too small to be seen. It's over an hour since the pour, and there's still a ring on the beer, and solid lacing on the glass, the head lasted a good twenty minutes or more.

The smell is almost overwhelmingly malts, brandy, scotch, caramel, and a bit of grapes. There's a hint of citrus hops, but not nearly enough to put an edge on the smell. A bit more hops would have made it perfect.

The beer is rich, thick, and sweet; very, very sweet. Tastes a bit of cognac and cherries, and then a very slight grapefruit bite at the end as an astringent; not quite enough hops to balance this out. Though I suspect if there were more hops with this level of malt, this beer would be massive enough as to be undrinkable.

The mouthfeel is syrupy, thick, and sticky, the hops only barely cracking the cloying sweetness.

Overall, a very drinkable beer, much like a strong IPA, though there is too much malt to keep it in that category. A hint less malt, and a bit more hops, would have made this perfectly balanced. The one bottle is plenty for me.

waldowin, Aug 10, 2007
Photo of Blupoet03
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Avery doesn't fail to deliver:

This beer pours the color of ice tea, reddish/rose with a pillowy thick head.

The aroma of citrusy hops is immediately apparent, bringing the smell of grapefruits and pineapples and a slightly bready smell.

It is very smooth, and starts out quaffable, but becomes less smooth as it warms up.

The taste is citrusy and snappy, that lingers pleasantly. It is slightly bitter at the finish and dry on the tail.

The alcohol presents itself as an effervescence in the nose instead of a burn in the throat.

This is my new favorite American barleywine.

Blupoet03, Aug 09, 2007
Photo of zeff80
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

zeff80, Aug 07, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 24, 2007
Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a very brownish red with a small white head that drops to a slight ring. No real lacing.

Smell is very grapefruity. Hops galore. More like a DIPA than a barley wine.

Taste is quite hoppy, yet balanced well with the sweet malt. Starts out with citrusy hops. Becomes more malty in the middle and finishes with some hop bitterness.

Slightly thin mouthfeel.

Overall, a very tasty brew. Balanced well. Thoroughly enjoyed!

bluegrassbrew, Jul 10, 2007
Photo of yourunclewalt
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Reddish amber body, tan creamy one finger head. Surpisingly clear.

S- Sweet malts, pear esters, fusel alcohol

M - Heavy / thick / buttery with a tangy alcohol burn finish

T - Bready yeasts, bitter, spicy hops, vodka

D - This was a lot hoppier than expected, and is definitely a very easy-going barleywine, unlike some.

yourunclewalt, Jun 24, 2007
Photo of atsprings
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crisp dark amber with a decent head that lasts and leaves some spotty lacing. The aroma is dominated by hops with some malts and a hint of alcohol. The taste is very pleasantly hoppy with a great malt backbone. The beer is somewhat heavy but the alcohol is very well hidden. This one certainly seems to be treading awfully close to DIPA territory, but therefore, this one is very enjoyable even on a warm late spring afternoon.

atsprings, Jun 14, 2007
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich red almost plum color / clear / mild carbonation / decent head

HOPS! Strong American hops grace, or attack, the nose. Citric and very floral, just like an all-too-enticing flower beckoning me to drink it sweet, malty nectar.

Smooth full bodied flow of not-too sweet malt. The tart balancing hops are floral and citric with a strong full hop flavor and a nice woody, earthy, plant feel – really feels natural – like an herbal tea. Decent bitterness too. Dark roasted sugary element to the malt. Finishes dry and still a little earthy.

Good subtle carbonation. Smooth, nice, and thick.

“Mmmmm,” I say, “mmm.”

MrHungryMonkey, Jun 04, 2007
Photo of ccrida
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into my St. Feuillien goblet, the Hog Heaven is garnet with a slight chill haze and a very thick, long lasting egg shell head that leaves lots of sticky, bubbly lace.

The aroma is very strong and rich, typical barelywine malt, lots of diacetyl butterscotch and grapish fig, with spicy hops, pine and some citrus.

The taste is similar to the nose, rich buttescotch with a nice resinous, piny hop backbone, caramel and a touch of booze, but a fairly clean finish. Like most barleywines, theres not a lot of room to hide, it either works or it doesn't, and in this case, it fermented pretty nicely. I've sat on this bottle for a few months, so the hops are soft and the malts are well blended, but it's still plenty robust. I'm sure it can run for a few years at least. Luckily for me, it's not my last one - yum!

The moutfeel is maybe on the thicker side, nice and chewy, and exceptionally creamy.

This was a very nice barleywine, very enjoyable. I'm glad they didn't push the ABV too much, as it's still very rich but not too hot. If you see these, buy a few, drink one right away and sit on the rest for a long while.

ccrida, Jun 03, 2007
Photo of Grundle20
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours brown with a slight haze in to a snifter. There's a nice Belgian like head to the beer producing both good lacing and some great staying power.

The hops and malts take equal shifts here. Up front there is an intense bitter hop aroma that's a little on the green side. This slowly melds in to a more buttery caramel sweetness with a touch of currants and apricots in the back. This is probably one of the more complex and pleasant smelling beers I've had in a while.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
As one would expect the taste plays out similarly to the smell. There's initially a strong and piney hop bitterness. The malts are fruity and sweet with a taste kind of like caramel apples and a hint of strawberry in the end. The beer drinks pretty smooth for the most part but there is a little bit of astringent alcohol character in the finish.

If it wasn't for the alcohol sting at the end of a drink it would be pretty easy to forget that this beer is just under 10% ABV but unfortunately that isn't the case. It's simply too apparently strong for extended drinking despite how tasty it is.

Bottom Line:
Not the most mind blowing American barley wine I've ever had but it's pretty good, especially considering how people I know tend to dump on Avery pretty bad. A solid beer for hop heads or big beer folks.

Grundle20, Jun 02, 2007
Photo of budgood1
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out of the 22 oz. bomber a rather clear, burnt amber colour with an inch thick sticky head and lots of lacing left to adorn the glass. the nose can be smelled across the room...lovely aromatic piney and citrusy hops dominate. i wish there were air fresheners that smelled like this. upon tasting, it's apparent that the relativley slight malt profile is going to ride bitch versus the huge hop overload that is driving this BW. it's not overly bitter, but just loaded with a mountain of massive hop flavours of citrus and pine. quite delicious in it's 100 IBU's. there are some wooden notes that mingle a bit with a sweet malted barley base, along with some fruity notes peeking in and out, covered by a spicy alcohol boost...but the star of this show is the piggish hop presence. hog heaven for hop lovers is right. gotta love it. anyway...the body of this BW is sufficient enough...the mouthfeel is smooth as can be for a hop bomb...and the drinkability is quite addictive due to the need to coat my tastebuds constantly in hoppy goodness. it finishes dry and whatever leftover bitterness lingers forever. damn tasty. too much of this and you will be seeing flying pigs.

i wish this was bottle conditioned.

budgood1, May 21, 2007
Photo of Phatz
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a transparent dark scarlet color with a frothy tan head and spotty lacing

Smell: More rich sticky sweetness than I expected with gentle fruity esters. Very nice; with a bold and yet not overly aggressive hop attribute.

Taste: Sweet rich pineapple caramel and bread, with a grapefruit center, a perfect balance of candy malts and fruits meet bitter hops with a rind like bitterness left on the cheeks long after the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly not as hot as I expected from Avery. Smooth thick juicy malt backbone.

Drinkability: I could not be more surprised, this with this. I was fearing a disappointment like Salvation and was surprised with a sweet balanced easy drinking Barley Wine.

Hope this is helpful.

Phatz, May 17, 2007
Photo of SaltyLime
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Very red, nice lacing from the head and tiny carbonation bubbles that made me smile (maybe it was triggered by the pigs on the label)

Smell - piny hops, sweet and inviting, orange rind

Taste - excellent balance of hops and sweetness, this one was remarkably controlled on the bitterness, I was impressed

Mouthfeel - medium to full body, controlled carbonation

Drinkability - went down too easy, ABV was not a factor, I had no hesitation at all tipping the glass into my pie hole

SaltyLime, May 16, 2007
Photo of mikesgroove
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

mikesgroove, May 08, 2007
Photo of rkuhnel
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 oz bottle (I love that label).. This poured a red to amber with a medium tan head and decent lacing. Nose is floral hops, and mouthfeel is very smooth. Flavors are dominated by the nops with some sweet caramel malts. Finish ls long and slightly bitter. This is amazingly easy to drink and hides the alcohol well. A first rate barley wine.

rkuhnel, May 03, 2007
Photo of neonbrown82
3.4/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Definitely not one of my favorite Barleywines. Decent, but none too impressive. I'm unsure of its freshness, since there is no bottle date.

The beer pours to a hazy amber color with a dark plum hue. There is a decent amount of head that cascades its way up the glass, but the retention is not too great. Lacing is good, however. A lot of fine carbonation bubbles as the glass is tipped back.

The smell is mostly malty. Toasted bread with fig and plum. Highly caramelized malt. The hops are hard to define. Almost as if they are faded, like it was from last year perhaps. Not much focus on aromatic hops, but it does have a slightly grassy and bitter aroma.

The taste is much as I would expect form the nose, but the bitterness is more clearly defined. Piney and floral, herbal and spicy. The malt still shines through more so than the hops. Biscuity and toasted bread. Lots of raisin and fig esters as well as some dark earthy fruits. There is a lingering grassy bitterness that is quite intense. Seems like there was more of a focus on bittering hops than late-boil aromatics, aside from a bit of dry hop grassy flavor. The alcohol is apparent in the finish, though it isn't too terribly biting for what I expected.

The mouthful is a bit thinner than I expected as well. Still fairly full, but the carbonation is very smooth. Sticky, finish with a residual sweetness, yet it still dries out the palate. Alcohol burn. Not too drinkable. I'll be avoiding this one in the future.

neonbrown82, May 02, 2007
Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cellared for 18 months. Pours a hazy orange-copper with an off-white three-finger head- dense and creamy. Outstanding retention leaves sticky spiderweb lacing. Strong American hop aromas like grapefruit, citrus, pine needles and peaches dominate; with toasted pale malt and a hint of alcohol in the background. Sweet caramel and toasted nut flavors upfront, followed by slight dextrin and faint vinous alcohol. The aftertaste displays highly fruity hop tones of orange peel and grapefruit rind, and an equally agressive resinous pine character. Medium-full bodied with an even and smooth carbonation that lifts enough sweetness to prevent cloyng, but leaves hop resins and residual caramel on the tounge. Finishes a touchy fruity with a hints of vinous alcohol and a diliberate bitterness. The hop flavor and bitterness have faded somewhat over time but still balance this out very well, allowing the malt profile to become more pronounced and giving the beer a more well-rounded flavor. That being said, your average hophead would enjoy this brew even greater fresh, while the alpha oils are more fragrant and the hop flavor is more aggressive.

PBRstreetgang, May 02, 2007
Photo of prototypic
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark amber to copper color with a foamy one and a half finger head. Retention was very good, as was lacing. Nice coat all the way down the mug.

Smell: It's a little light on the nose. But, there are scents of grapefruit and a nice blend of hops and malt. Neither really seems to overpower the other.

Taste: It's pretty sweet initially. It's not too sweet, but the grapefruit and other citrus notes (orange and perhaps some pineapple) do present a nice sweet factor. Hops kick in and provide a bitter kick. It is balanced out quite well by caramel and toffee malt flavors.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied. ABV is a little too high to session, but it's very drinkable. Carbonation is very good and it's very smooth. Overall, it's a good beer. I'd recommend it.

prototypic, May 02, 2007
Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Vancer for a bottle from the BA Anny Club. Pours with a bit of foam that settles down. Smells very sweet. Listed at 100 IBUs but the beer is not really hoppy in taste but is close to the DIPA/barley wine border. It tastes almost like an aged DIPA. Mouthfeel is smooth & the ABV is not noticed. A good brew.


SkinnyElvis, May 02, 2007
Photo of bjohnson
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky burnt rust color with a one and a half fluffy cream colored head. Soft looking, like a pillow. Frosted lacing down the glass. Sweet caramel malt notes with a bit of breadyness. Citrus hops, grass, and pine needles. Abv lends to the spiciness in the nose, but that could also be part of the hop profile.

Sweet malt flavors overpower the hops right from the start. Extra sweet with caramel. Burnt sugar notes follow the sweetness of the caramel. Malt backbone is pretty hefty. 100 ibus? In the nose definitely, but the hops in the flavor are a bit subdued--probably due to me sitting this aside for awhile. Citrus fruit, pine needles, spicy hops, and a tad of grassyness. Prickly hop notes dance on the tongue. Dryer finish with a sharp bitterness. I bet the hop profile would be a bit more punchy if this were fresh. It had been sitting in my basement for half a year or so. Definitely still quite drinkable with a high abv that doesn't make you cringe. Oink oink.

bjohnson, Apr 27, 2007
Photo of vtfan77
4.65/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep, clear orange-red with a nice off-white head. Good head retention and nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Big hop character; lots of pine and citrus. There's a good underlying sweetness from the malt. Combined, the hops and malt create a sweet tart-like aroma... only it's much better than actual sweet tarts.

T- Wow, nicely balanced. The hops, malt and esters blend together so nicely it's almost impossible to pick them out individually. The hops give the beer a nice lemony citrus bite while the malt creates a great bread-like backing. The esters contribute some pear and apple fruit notes. Bitterness is not as high as I would have expected, probably due to the fantastic balance.

M- Not too highly carbonated. Maybe a little thinner in body than I was expecting. Nice creamy texture, though.

D- Very good, especially for a beer of this strength. The alcohol didn't come into play at all. This is one that I could drink a whole lot of, only to have it catch up to me in a hurry.

Great stuff here. This has instantly become one of my favorite barleywines, if not my favorite. The balance is superb, and it doesn't seem all that strong. It's got a great hop profile, but enough malt backing to let you know that it's not an IPA. Highly recommended.

vtfan77, Apr 27, 2007
Hog Heaven Barley Wine from Avery Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,748 ratings.