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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

1,744 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,744
Reviews: 878
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: 1,744 | Reviews: 878 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of phisig137
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%

Pours a clear darker amber color, with a one finger head. Large sheets of lacing are left behind as you drink, and a blanket of foam remains on top of the glass throughout. Quite surprising considering the ABV.

The aroma is delightfully filled with citrusy hops, and a bit of caramel. Reminds me of many imperial IPA's, but with a touch more malt character. No alcohol present on the nose. The flavor is incredibly round and balanced. Malty and sweet up front, hoppy (citrus) and slightly bitter on the finish. Flavor lingers for quite a few minutes. Mouthfeel is heavy and full, and doesn't beg for another sip.... this one lets you savor the flavors. Despite the ABV, this one is dangerously drinkable, and hides the alcohol well. Towards the end of the bottle, you do begin to feel a bit of warming in your mouth, but only a little.

Once again, Avery amazes me. I simply love every single beer of thiers that I have ever had. This one does not disappoint. Although it doesn't NEED it, I would be curious what would happen to this in the cellar for a year or two.

phisig137, Aug 11, 2006
Photo of DogFood11
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%

Bomber poured into a Stone barleywine glass it forms a rather respectable head considering the style. Has an IPA type appearance, copper to orange in color, medium carbonation, eggshell white head leaves behind sliding DNA.

Hoppy, Citrus and raw all at the same time dominate the nose. This strikes me up front as a beer that may do well with some time laying down. I have no experience with this brew but it comes across rather raw up front and maybe that would settle a bit. Malt profile is on the soft side. Licorice seems to be the them of the malts, darker fruits creep in but mostly Licorice. You get a bit of that syrupy, sticky, mouthfeel then it cleans up with a hop splasher towards the finish.

Notes: Reasonably priced and dynamic enough to warrant the purchase...at least in this household.

DogFood11, Jul 29, 2006
Photo of HoustonTX
4.78/5  rDev +20.7%

22oz. bomber, poured into a Chimay goblet.

A - Pale cloudy amber in color, with a brownish hue. Not much of a head, but what's there has incredible retention.

S - Hops/Malt, melded together in quite perfect harmony.

T - Taste upfront hits a massive hop spike, quite lovely and really grabs you. After the initial hop rush, citric waves of sweet malts pronouncly grapefruit and ripe cherries plow the palate. Inviting you to take another sip. Piney tones also cross the palate about halfway through, that fade slowly and linger for quite some time. Aftertaste(well-balanced bitter) does not linger long, and finishes extremely clean and dry. Alcohol warming is present, yet alcohol presence in taste is almost non existant, very well disguised.

M - Full bodied, crisp, and finishes dry.

D - Excellent for 9.20%abv.

An excellent Barley Wine, and one of my favorites from Avery thus far. If you can get your hands on these, definitely pick one up.

HoustonTX, Jul 22, 2006
Photo of froggyfrog
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%

Flesh-pink colored label adorned with winged Suidae gracefully floating over a background of white clouds and blue sky. The neck of the bottle is embellished with silver foil, the peeling away of which adds to the anticipation for what lays inside.

The liquid escapes its 22 ounce brown glass resting place seeking new adventures as it slips into a Spiegelau Crystal snifter.

The view is of cloudy peaches with both red and orange in the bloodline. This fluid stained glass is capped with an enticing two-finger head of the softest billowy white. Clinging to the glass is thick lacing of Victorian proportions.

Sweet southern tea pummels the nose just before Columbus hops arrive and claim this olfactory world as their own. Alcohol and earthy/herbal spiciness also contend for the nostrils' attention.

This beer is dominated by strong American-style hops that have never heard the word "moderation" whether in reference to aroma, flavor or levels of bitterness. The fulcrum is tipped to a wringing high-alpha bitter leaving the intensely sweet malt backbone with its feet dangling, high in the air.

Black tea carries on the herbal tradition of this beer into the realm of flavor. Here a strong sweet graininess comes to life. But again the heavily citrus (read: grapefruit) lupulin troops occupy this territory making their presence no secret.

Alcohol is elevated and chooses not to be meek. The hops offer no resistance to this powerful player. Alcohol roams free leaving a numbing warmth in its wake.

This beer is a personal ad reader's dream come true: sexy, sweet and strong. But beware the unbridled bitterness. And know this: at 100 IBUs and 9.2% ABV, Hog Heaven truly wears the pants.

froggyfrog, Jul 11, 2006
Photo of garymuchow
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%

Initial aroma really hop driven, grassy, fresh and then a nice sweetness of fruitiness (orange?, cherry?). The malt character builds somewhat and balances the hop qualities. This is nice.
Attractive creamy head with a thick smear marking the spots it's been. Clear dark amber of orange-brown-gold.
Hops are balanced better in flavor. Malt is pleasant and somewhat sweet with a light fruity qualtiy (very, very tasty). Hops present with a solid bitterness mid-way that remains throguh a very long finish. Hops taste qualtities are piney and grapefruit. Alcohol is there but light.
Very nice feel. Soft in feel and carbonation. Moderate to highly heavy but not thick. Significant warmth.
This is really nice and not such an assault on the senses as others can be. Goes down thick, yet smooth. I wonder what an aged bottle might develop into, but this is truly one beer I'd have a hard time waiting for (and I'm very patient). I'd like to see how the oxidation flavors might develop. No data on the bottle that I can see about the date. I love the sweet (but not excessive) fruitly malt character.

garymuchow, Jul 02, 2006
Photo of AaronHomoya
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%

22 oz brown bottle.

Dark auburn in apperance with a nice head. Smell is strong of sweet malt and citrus hops. Taste is big and sweet with a hoppy, citrusy finish and a bit of alcohol. Mouthfeel is nice, not too thick or carbonated. Drinkability suffers just a touch for the strength and noticeable alcohol. A very good beer.

AaronHomoya, Jun 24, 2006
Photo of EStreet20
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%

22 ounce bomer poured into a snifter glass.

A - A nice chestnut brown color with a bit of a red tint. Approaches orange when held to light. Nice sized light tan head that sticks around and leaves nice lacing rings. Very nice.

S - Nice hoppy punch with sweet malts as well. Good balance I can tell with slight alcohol aromas.

T - A nice hoppy taste with some alcohol flavors. Not a whole lot in the way of fruits here which I usually find in barleywines. A bit of sweetness. Pretty good.

M - Pretty nice smooth feel. Medium bodied

D - Pretty good overall but nothing to write home about compared to some of the great American BWs out there

EStreet20, Jun 17, 2006
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

This beer pours a crystal clear golden amber with some subtle hints of red. When out of the light, it takes on some far more cherry colors. The tall, vanilla, irregular head stayed around for awhile but dissipated into a collar half way through, leaving behind some sporadic lace.

At first smell, I was immediately reminded of a 2IPA. There are some big mandarin orange, pineapple and cedar hops here with a gooey caramel and oat backbone.

The flavor starts with a shot of dry, woody pine with a little golden raisin beneath. This then fades into red licorice and creamy oat along the sides of my tongue with a crisp, dry, chalky oak and white flour on top. Finishes with a crisp sappy pine. From beginning to end, there are slight overtones of cherry and a light alcohol hiding off in the distance.

The mouth feel is medium bodied with a huge, frothy, small bubbled carbonation that fills my mouth up.

This is an exquisite blend of flavors with a great change up. What really caught my attention was how drinkable this was. For a Barley Wine, I was really impressed that after I finished the bomber off, I still wasn’t overcome by it. Most BWs are so thick, or sweet that a glass will normally sate the palate, but with Avery, I wanted to crack another bomber! I think that’s a pretty good testament to its drinkability.

DarkerTheBetter, Jun 03, 2006
Photo of skybluewater
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%

Pours a light amber color. Smells of grapefruit, along with pine sap. Very hoppy, but with quite bit of malt. Mouthfeel is full, but not syrupy so. I find this to be a very drinkable barleywine.

Certainly this isn't a beer you'd slam in 20 minutes after just getting home after a long day at work. Rather, I'm savoring it at 3 AM, long after getting home from a long day at work. I think Iike this one the most out of Avery's lineup.

skybluewater, Jun 03, 2006
Photo of orfeu
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%

Poured into a 17 ounce snifter, Hog Heaven is burnt orange in appearance with a light beige foam crown, large bubbles glistening with hop oils. Nose is extremely hop-forward; fresh pine sap and the most bitter grapefruit pith imaginable. Nostril-stinging in the way that only the most aggressive Double IPAs can be. At first the malt presence seems understated because the hops are so prevalent in the taste. Bitter hop finish with an ever-so-slight mineral twang at the end. Aftertaste of pine-laced grapefruit rinds. Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin for the style, which lends an easiness to the drinkability, but in the end leads me to believe that they just didn't put enough malt into this beer. There is also a subtle oily slickness on the palate. Cannabis-flavored burps. As it warms, the malts emerge a bit more with a dark caramel flavor, but it's still insanely hoppy. Overall, it seems that Hog Heaven is quite a bit off for the style -- it strikes me as more of an DIPA along the lines of Southern Tier's Unearthly Imperial IPA (although that one has a much thicker, more syrupy mouthfeel). Lots of grey between many styles, I know....This is just a good example of the arbitrariness of such lines. In any case, I enjoyed this beer.

orfeu, May 25, 2006
Photo of Phyl21ca
2.68/5  rDev -32.3%

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.

Phyl21ca, May 24, 2006
Photo of trep
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%

Nice frothy cream-colored head sitting atop a ruby red body. Lacing forming as the head slowly fades.

Floral hop aromas, followed by rich malty undertones. Hardly any alcohol.

Sweet and juicy as hell. Fruity goodness and floral hops. A little hop bitterness up front, that takes you down a fruity road into a brick wall of malt. Finishes clean with little aftertaste that tastes like white grapes. Hardly any alcohol present for a beer of this abv.

No carbonation in this one. Medium-Full body that coats your mouth like maple syrup.

Not sure if I could drink more than a bomber of this considering its pretty heavy. Good stuff though.

trep, May 20, 2006
Photo of ultralarry2006
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber. Left a one finger tan head with very good retention, and left some pretty good lacing down the glass. Color was a red-brown-amber, slightly hazy.

Smell - Pine, grapefruit, lemon all from the hops. Bread and caramel malt under the hops, slight hint of the high abv. But, hops are dominant.

Taste - like the nose. Hops are the dominant flavor with the aforementioned pine, grapefruits, and lemons. The counterbalance to this is a bready, caramelly malt. The hops do prevail with a pleasant, slightly drying piney bitterness, yet the malt backbone provides a hearty, strong backbone. Moreover, the high abv is entirely concealed in the taste, seriously, I could not detect it at all, there was no burning warmth, and I would not have realized its strength had it not been for both reading the label, and then the buzz that snuck up on me. This taste couldn't be more straightforward - bitter pine hops and bready malt - pleasantly bitter and satisfyingly hearty. And no, I mean none, no complexity, but don't let that fool you; maybe the seeming simplicity is this ale's complexity. Lemony tea and hearty bread in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - full, smooth, some slickness with slight pleasant drying, low carbonation.

Drinkabilty - this is delicious and satisfying, I'd definietly have another 22 oz. bomber in a session, in spite of high abv. I was going to ding this a half point down on this attribute for high abv affecting the sessionablilty of this, but I simply can't - just have water before and after, and don't drink anything else if you knock back two (or more !! ) of these !!

ultralarry2006, May 19, 2006
Photo of AltBock
3.88/5  rDev -2%

22oz. bomber bottle with a nice pink label with 3 Flying Pigs flying around in the sky or since this was called Hog Heaven, they might be flying around heaven. There is no back label, but the front label has the nice picture, Govt. warning, and the beer information. No date or even a year the beer was brewed. The cap had some kind of silver type foil around it. 9.2% ABV and 100 IBUs! Oink!!

Appearance: When poured into a Snifter, the beer was a brownish/amber color with a thin off white colored head of foam. The head of foam dissipated away fast leaving very few rings and little white lace around the glass. Basically the head of foam was like the picture, it just flew away! :-)

Smell: I was really surprised by the aroma when I first popped the cap. It had this sweet like candy citrus hops aroma. When I poured it, the beer still had the initial aroma, but what was a little different was the fact that there was just a hint of sweet malt in the background. No hogs in this aroma!

Taste: The initial taste was very sweet like candy and that made the malts after that sweet also. Then after that, this strong bitter citrus hops taste comes out of nowhere to subdue the sweet candy taste of malts. The label stated that it would have an explosion of sweet malts, but it failed to mention the surprise of bitter citrus hops! I've never had a Barleywine like this before.

Mouthfeel: I found this to be full-bodied with a long lasting aftertaste of bitter citrus hops. This one I could feel the alcohol go to work.

Drinkability: Overall I found this to ba a very surprising and good Barleywine! Since this has a high ABV and a sweet candy like taste to it, this beer to me would only be good once in a while. May not be be Barleywine Heaven, still worth a try!

AltBock, May 11, 2006
Photo of Oxymoron
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%

When pigs fly. Pours a somewhat cloudy amber color with reddish orange hues throughout. A good foam when poured that lasted during the entire tasting. Decent lacing as well.

The smell was strong with sweet caramel malt backings. Some piney hop presences followed by citrus and a touch of grapefruit backing. Some esters are noticeable but light for style. Good presence overall all.

The taste is not as present as the nose, but still ample taste then most. A good malt flavor upfront with some lighter caramel and toasted strings mix in. Somewhat of a spicey taste but more noticeable near the end. The hops are well represented. Mostly on the bittering side with some grapefruit and earthy tone mix. The finishing hops are lighter with a citrus mix but trails of the grapefruit tastes are there as well. The finish is a little wispy, not exactly watery, but would have liked more body/dextrin feel.

The body is mid and carbonation is ok. Overall this is a good Barelywine but little things could be improved. Now if we could just get the pigs to land.

Oxymoron, May 08, 2006
Photo of russpowell
4.58/5  rDev +15.7%

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

russpowell, May 06, 2006
Photo of shbobdb
4/5  rDev +1%

Wow. Thanks ColoradoBobs.

This beer tastes like Walnut Baklava. I'm not kidding. A friend of mine and I tried to make Walnut Baklava liquor when I was in college, we were missing the pastry component, but this beer found it!

Yeah, walnut Baklava with a twist of hops. Oh, and carbonation. I dig, I dig.

Very drinkable for a Barleywine. Very drinkable indeed.

shbobdb, May 02, 2006
Photo of Blakaeris
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%

Pours cloudy deep orange with a thick creamy head. Lacing is moderate.

Smell is sweet carmel malt and generous piney hops. Peach and apricot notes. Smells quite tasty.

Taste is similiar to the nose. Flavors are big but balanced. Apricot fruitiness takes a stronger role. Sweet malt up front that blends to a smooth hop finish. Fruit notes linger on the pallet along with a mild bitterness slight alcohol flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, with the characteristic Avery oily hop mouthfeel that coats the tongue. Very nice.

This brew is surprisingly smooth and balanced. Extremely high ABV is dangerously well hidden. This brew is interesting and complex.

Blakaeris, May 01, 2006
Photo of bashiba
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%

Poured a nice cloudy dark orange with an inch of creamy head.

Smell is full of nice citrusy hop odors.

Taste is full of nice semi sweet malts and strong floral and citrusy hop flavors mixing well.

Mouthfeel is thick and oily with a long lasting tongue coating.

Overall a nice drinkable beer, the high abv is pretty well hidden.

bashiba, May 01, 2006
Photo of cracgor
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%

brown color with a thick creamy head that leaves plenty of lace. A nice piney strong smell comes out of this. A nice sweet hoppy smell. It just doesn't taste strong enough. Similar tasting to the smell. A little sweeter, and the hop is more smooth than I would anticipate. A thick sweet syrupy mouthfeel. More drinkable than a lot of barley wines because it is well balanced between hop and malt. No real alcohol taste in it which is kind of surprising from the flavor/alcohol by volume.

cracgor, Apr 29, 2006
Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%

22-ounce bomber. No freshness date, but at 9.2%, the older it is, the better it's likely to be.

Moderate pour produced a one-finger off-white head over a nice, clear amber body, with the slightest amount of apparent carbonation. Lots of thick lacing.

Smell is roasted malt nuttiness, with piney metallic hops very prevalent.

Taste is bready, biscuity malt, then an immediate huge wallop of walnut! Wow. Do they brew this with walnuts IN it? The nuttiest tasting beer I've ever had. The malt is not particularly sweet, just nice and doughy. The hops roar right in with the nutty taste. Shockingly nutty at first, but it kind of grows on you.

Mouthfeel is pretty decent, but a little thinner than I expect in a barleywine.

A bit too strong to come in a 22-ounce bottle. Avery should bottle this in 16 or 12 ouncers.

Overall, not exactly hog heaven. Nice, but not heavenly.

Man, this tastes like WALNUTS!!!!

ColoradoBobs, Apr 27, 2006
Photo of kbnooshay
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%

a- This poured a gorgeous orangey tinted amber with a nice creamy tan head that didn't retain for long.

s- Wow! Earthy, citiric and fruity. This is very hoppy of course, but has a very heavy pine scent. Now I have smelled pine in many beers, but this is perhaps the the most accurate and fresh i have come across. Ever smell pine tree sap when it gets on your hands at christmas time? Pungent as fuck!

t- Another barleywine that tastes more like a double ipa. Hoppy as hell and the pine is there. There is even some malt in there which attempts to balance things out. oh, and wow, the alcohol is hidden REALLY well. damn.

mf/d- Mouthfeel was thick and smooth on the tounge. Not a lot of carbonation generated prickliness. Hoppy as hell, but this is very drinkable. Like bigfoot this doesn't taste like a barleywine, but I guess it is different than a double ipa. Im not sure I feel about the blending of those styles though.

kbnooshay, Apr 21, 2006
Photo of TheSarge
3.88/5  rDev -2%

The name and bottle art seemed a bit cheesy, but I picked up a bomber anyways to give this brew a shot.

As I poured this beer I noticed it's thickly carbonated. I have to pour slowly and carefully, this is easily agitated. Hog Heaven barley wine is dark amber in color, with a slight orange tint and a slight haze. The massive carbonation allows for generous head, as well as head retention. If you let the brew sit for about five minutes, the head eventually will become more of a lace.

This smells sweet, toasty, and citrusy all at the same time. This is packed with hops, but it doesn't smell overwhelmingly hoppy.

As I sip on this, I can tell you it's full of hops (that’s a good thing). There's a hint of a smoky flavor here, but the malt is primarily sweeter than smoky.

This brew has a kick of carbonation for sure. With the spiciness, carbonation, plus the relatively moderate alcohol content, this is not boring at all to consume.

Overall, I like this product. I recommend this to anyone who likes a strong hops presence as much as I do. Lastly, I must say Colorado has been pumping out some good beers that I’ve tried recently. Maybe I’ll move there someday, instead of New England.


TheSarge, Apr 16, 2006
Photo of Imstillthegman
3.15/5  rDev -20.5%

Pours a hazy, dark amber-brown color with an inch of dense, light tan head. Light rings of lacing left behind. The aroma is sweet and toffee like with a doughy background. The taste follows suit with a bit of sweetness up front. I didn't really smell much from the hops but I can taste them. Sweetness is taken over by a spicy, piney hit of hops. The finish is bitter with an alcohol burn. I thought the abv would have been a little less noticeable, but you can tell it's up there. I've had better barley wines.

Imstillthegman, Apr 13, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
4/5  rDev +1%

Beautiful ruby body with an inch-thick head that settles down to a thin frothy collar. Mellow bubbles. Sticky honeycombs of lace.

Aroma is nutty, spicy, and sweet. Complexity and depth in the smell, somewhat hard to identify specifics in the nose, but brown sugar and figs come to the surface readily.

Hugely warming sensation hits with each sip, and lots of flavors: black licorice, caramel, grapefruit, figs, even a sprinkling of vanilla and banana. Strong dark fruits with generous hops sting at the back of the sip. Subtle alcohol. Not the kind of "huzzah!" I get with boozier Barleywines, but no big complaints either.

Feels like a mellow brandy in the mouth, slightly syrupy with a cool creaminess.

Good drinking with a wide variety of flavors. It doesn't compare to other better Barleywines, such as Talon or Old Horizontal. Still a fine offering.

Metalmonk, Apr 12, 2006
Hog Heaven Barley Wine from Avery Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,744 ratings.