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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

1,825 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,825
Reviews: 884
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.39%
Wants: 54
Gots: 164 | 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: 1,825 | Reviews: 884 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bjohnson
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
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 +17.7%
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
Photo of karengarys
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This pours an oddly hazy dark amber, leaving a nice fluffy head.

Smell is lemony and spicy.

Taste is... Strong. Thick alcohol sweetness, malty, a bit of hop like pine, and somewhat - edgey. The alcohol is coming through I guess.

Mouthfeel is pretty creamy, but somewhat typical of any beer.

Finish is a bit acrid. Creaminess, but sharp.

This is a decent beer, but I'm not sure it is screaming "this is a barlewine". I think it is saying "this is a strong as hell beer". It is worth trying if you have little to choose from.

karengarys, Apr 22, 2007
Photo of BryanCarey
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Avery Hog Heaven pours to a reddish- orange- tan color and it offers an aroma that is fruity, spicy, and quite enticing. The head of foam is good and it takes time to subside, leaving plenty of lace on the sides of the glass as it settles down.

Among the flavors present in this beer, the taste of peppery hops is most evident. It is followed by flavors of pine and citrus. But that isn’t all- there is also a nice, caramel malt backbone with this ale, and it helps to balance out the flavor, even though it remains bitter overall.

One of the surprises with this barleywine is the bitterness rating. It exceeds 100 IBU, which I would never have guessed based on the taste. It most certainly leans toward the bitter side but it doesn’t seem this bitter. The contribution from the caramel malt is the reason. It prevents the ale from crossing the line into bitter beer face territory.

Avery has produced a very good tasting barleywine with this brew. It isn’t as full bodied as some of the really BIG barleywines available on the market, but it is still a very tasty ale that really hits the spot when you get a craving for hops.

BryanCarey, Apr 22, 2007
Photo of mwearl
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Copper in color with a thick almost pearlescent head with lacing that lasts. Excellent citrus and floral aroma. Taste is very hoppy and complex with a slight hint of vanilla in the middle and a little "perfume" quality at the finish. Mouthfeel was medium with a bite in front and back and made the roof of my mouth tickle (odd). Drinkability is good for a high gravity beer. Most won't drink more than one at a sitting.

mwearl, Apr 22, 2007
Photo of bruachan
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i've been sitting on this guy for some time now. carbonation is robust and provides enough reinforcements to keep the head alive. nice stratified lace. there's a little chill haze coming out of the fridge but the color is a reddish amber

big hop presence in the aroma. deep sweet malts abound. brown sugar, butterscotch

strong, but not a particularly large beer. it's more drinkable than old guardian. some nutty characteristics, with even a chocolate hint. i have the feeling that age treated this beer well: it's strong, but completely manageable and flavors are united

bruachan, Apr 21, 2007
Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass. A large, white, bubbly head forms and leaves tons of lacing around the glass. A ruddy, bronze colored beer lies beneath.

Aroma is a nice blend of hops and malts. Doesnt seem to lean either way which indicates nice balance. Although some BW have tons of hops, I prefer the lesser hop aroma. This one does just fine.

Flavor profile is more on the malty side than the hoppy side; again, fine with me.

Almost cloying, but not quite. Nice flavors here. Some bready and even oatmeal qualities. A very nice BW. Possibly one of my faves. This bottle is about one year old so it seems more mellowed than others I have had on draft (at Tylers in Durham). I think I prefer the version now to the fresh version, but that is just my opinion. Somewhat sweet, but a very nice BW. With its high abv, this is surprisingly quaffable.

(on a side note, I just had Stones 10th anniversary, and Stone was even sweeter than this, although it is a DIPA. And this was much better as well!)

SaCkErZ9, Apr 19, 2007
Photo of Onibubba
2.8/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a fairly dirty looking amber brown with a small white head. Smell is hops. Taste is hops. Barleywine? Seems more like a DIPA to me, and not a good one. Hop taste is bitter, not citrusy. Mouthfeel is thin and watery. Alcohol is not suppressed very well either. Drinkability is poor. Reminiscent of a watered down DIPA. Dissappointing and not a contender. Much better DIPA and Barleywines to be had.

Onibubba, Apr 13, 2007
Photo of ArrogantB
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle split with a friend. This poured a ruby red with a rocky white head on top. The smell was really hoppy and a little sweet. The taste was hops, hops, hops. Also some raisin flavor and caramel. Overall this was excellent. The first bottle I had must have been infected because it tasted like barnyard funk. This bottle was excellent.

ArrogantB, Mar 29, 2007
Photo of terrabyte
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark orange color with a large creamy-colored head that quickly recedes to a long lasting skim. Waves of lacing remain behind.

The aroma has a strong hops smell bordering on citrus. A rough grain and woody background.

Flavor is similar to the aroma. Rough and unbalanced hops and grains, followed by a strong bite of alcohol. Despite that, I wouldn't have guessed it to be 9.2% ABV.

Mouthful is medium and decently smooth.

Drinkability is fine. Strong flavors is always good in a bland world. I could drink these all night if need be. I'd be drunk off my stool, though.

This is a barley wine? Nothing like what I've been drinking locally. If this had been labeled "Sierra Nevada's Not-So-Pale Ale" I would have been more likely to believe it. The only thing that resembles a barley wine for me is the alcohol content.

terrabyte, Mar 21, 2007
Photo of Kendo
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got it on tap at the Ginger Man in NYC. . . .

A: Cloudy ruby-amber with a 2-finger off-white head that left sheets of lacing.

S: Mainly piney and citrusy hops, but with a touch of malt sweetness and some definite alcohol spice. A very pleasant nose all around, though the peppery alcohol had me nervous that this would be too hot, as I've found with some other big Avery brews (see for example: Mephistopheles).

T: Hops and alcohol are the first thing you notice upon taking that initial sip. Hops are mainly piney, but there's something sweet there as well that may be attributable to the malt or it could be the hop -- reminds me of sugary dark berries. Finishes with an alcohol warmth that is felt on the way down to the belly with each sip. There's a nice combo of bitter hops and alcohol lingering on the aftertaste; the hops seem to become drier as it warms, and that sweetness dissipates.

M: Pretty close to full-bodied, with a slightly chalky feel at first that seemed to disappear as I got used to it.

D: Pretty good, though the alcohol is pretty high here and it's noticeable, telling you to take it easy -- I didn't know it was 9.2% ABV, and frankly, from the taste and feel, I would have guessed it was a little higher. I put down a 20 oz pint pretty quickly in spite of that, however.

Notes: The hops are definitely big here, and the alcohol is center stage as well. I thought it was odd that the hops seemed to become drier as it warmed; I usually find big barleywines to get sweeter and maltier as they warm. It did make my think that in many ways this was closer to a DIPA than a barleywine, or rather fell somewhere in the middle, style-wise. I would definitely recommend this to confirmed hop-heads. Be careful, though, as that alcohol packs a nice buzz to it. Especially if you're drinking a 20 oz pint in the afternoon.

Kendo, Mar 15, 2007
Photo of Kudashov
3/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 .oz bomber with KEXP playing through the Hi-Fi . U. of Washington's radio station . Jolly good station with a jolly good website too .

Poured into a pint glass the brews color is tan / brownish , solid off white / eggshell color . Aroma of hops , fruit , and caramel . Nice lacing all over the glass . Taste is ok . Not as good as the Killer Penguin that I had during the Patriots playoff run but not bad . Just like the Penguin the booze is well hidden . Thanks to Dan at Marty's in Newton for this pick . Not bad but not as good as the pesky Killer Penguin .

Stone's barleywine offering is next ...

Kudashov, Mar 09, 2007
Photo of rallison
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cellar temp into a Stone RIS goblet.

A: Clear red brown color with a 2 finger off-white head that sticks around pretty well.

S: Nice bit of piney hops and caramel malts. I like the smell - something a bit different about it.

T: Nice piney hops upfront, immediately balanced by a heavy malt bill. Some caramel/toffee sweetness back there. Hops last throughout the sip and stick around on the tongue even after swallowing. Nice - not extremely complex, but still well done.

M: Nice and full with a bit of alcohol at the very end.

D: This is relatively drinkable. Not the best in class, but, all in all, quite drinkable.


rallison, Mar 08, 2007
Photo of meadhead
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pine Berry
Brown sugar
over- sweetened caramel
with bitter,
dry and clearing finish
of hoppiness -
alcohol linger.

Pours a brown ruby amber
with translucence and small head

Smells of syrupy Pine malt
and alcoholic soaked sugar bread

Taste is strong, sweet and bitter
almost a bit too much
yet its drying slightly fizzy
helps to moderate its touch
(hops disappear somewhat as it warms to room
temperature and flavor weakens)

Still the mouthfeel
with less than perfect
flavor baste

Nonetheless a decent
which might mellow with age
and seem just fine
Yet something is just slightly
a skilter
or perhaps its just me
and my own palate's filter

meadhead, Feb 27, 2007
Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pale clear amber in color. The retention is amazing.

Smell - Citrus hops and caramel malt. Grapefruit and maybe some orange is here as well but it is the hops running the show here folks.

Taste - Hops! Once that mellows you get the sweet malt and grapefruit and some sour cherries. There is some pine here as well. Surprisingly the aftertaste does not linger long with a nice clean and dry finish.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied and crisp.

Drinkability - Wonderfully drinkable for the ABV. The alcohol is masked well but still provides the nice warming feeling.

stereosforgeeks, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of khiasmus
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

-Beautiful caramel color with very light head that settles quickly to a slight lace.

-Almost like an IPA... very faint caramel that is overshadowed by the hops that jump out. Little balance in the nose, especially hoppy for a barleywine.

-Initially very hoppy, quickly followed by sweet notes of caramel and dried fruit. leaves a hoppy aftertaste, and becomes more balanced as it warms.

-Slick and buttery with high carbonation and astringency in the finish.

-If you're a barleywine freak, and you love imperial IPA's, you will love this beer. However, you still probably won't be able to drink more than a couple.

khiasmus, Feb 23, 2007
Photo of uberabr
3.13/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a bomber into a belgian-style goblet. Head is minimal, some hop oil up top, decent carbonation and good lace. Color is a murky pale brown. Smell is of apples and ethanol. Burns my nose a little, actually. Nothing too special in this department.

Tastes of crisp green apples dipped in rich molasses. Sweet malty hints of cinnamon, caramel, and taffy linger, accompanied by a mix of fruits and sugars that fade, leaving you with a strong sour ethanol aftertaste...too strong for my liking. Very similar to Lagunitas' Brown Shugga in a lot of ways, only a lot less hops and a lot more booze. It's funny how a few subtle things make such a difference. Hops are not detectable in the nose or palate. Mouthfeel is a little light, making this one even more difficult to drink. My throat is burning. I don't think i'll finish the bottle. All in all a decent Barleywine with a lot of potential and a couple unfortunate flaws.

uberabr, Feb 20, 2007
Photo of aforbes10
3.35/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle i've been cellaring for a while for no particular reason other than that i had other thinks i wanted to drink first. Pours red like strawberry jelly as it looks in the jar. White head, no bubbles happening. Heavy floral hop odor, smells sweet and slightly nutty. Taste is sweet and malty. Not overbearingly hoppy like a really young b.w. can be. Kind of like a malt syrup might taste. A bit thinner than i'd like. Doesn't really stand out among the barleywines i've had.

aforbes10, Feb 20, 2007
Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A clear burgundy to ruby body with about half a finger of steady head. Copious scattered lacing all down the sides.

S - Strong, yet soft, pine aromas dominate with a faint peppery alcohol.

T - First a bit of faint caramel maltiness and potent pine hops and a touch of peppery alcohol. The aftertaste is a sharp pine bitterness balnced by a biscuity finish and a touch of lingering caramel malt.

M - Thick, smooth, pretty refreshing.

D - Hog heaven Is pretty good. There are a lot of better barleywines out there, but drinking this is no cruel fate. I might have this one again (if I ever find it on tap or something). A winner from Avery that clocks in at a measley 9.2% (measley by Avery standards of course).

mrasskicktastic, Feb 20, 2007
Photo of cooncat
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving was from a 2006 vintage 22 oz. bomber. Reviewed on Feb. 9, 2007.

I was intrigued by the beer when I found it at my local beverage store. A "Barleywine Style Ale" with an IBU of 100 ??? That alone made me curious to try it. (I was thinking to myself, "Old Horizontal meets Ruination".)

The pour produces a deep garnet colored brew, with a surprisingly good head (most barleywines have little or no head). The head is short lived, but lacing is evident throughout the drinking experience. I stuck my nose into the glass and was hit with a bold piney/citrusy hop aroma. Ah Ha, I thought, the 100 IBUs coming to greet me. The taste is not puckering (like Ruination, for example), even at 100 IBU. There is bready malt galore that just levels things right out. This produces a wonderfully full mouthfeel that is almost chewy. The 9.2% abv is almost completely hidden by the full flavors that assault your palate. Technically, the bold hoppiness is not what you normally expect in a barleywine (most of which are very malty). Still, this is a very well balanced brew, with drinkability that is way too good for a 9.2% abv beer. Best to sip and enjoy with conversation or in front of a nice fire. Another fine brew from Avery, which is what I've come to expect.


cooncat, Feb 10, 2007
Photo of Derek
3.08/5  rDev -22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Amber/reddish-bronze; light tan head; some retention, great lace.

S: Grapefruit-orange citrus & grassy/piney hops, sweet caramel, hints of biscuity malt.

T: Grapefuit-orange citrus & pine; toffee; caramel. Alcohol flavour is masked. There's a syrupy sweetness up front, assertive (some might say harsh) bitterness through the middle, with some more syrupy sweetness in the finish, yet a bitter aftertaste. It's a battle of bitter & sweet, pounding your taste buds with every sip. Although columbus hops have some depth, it just isn't enough. For a beer this strong, it's lacking depth of flavour.

M: Somewhat syrupy, plenty of hop acidity, modest carbonation.

D: My taste buds have been assaulted.

It reminds me of a barley wine I brewed: The yeast gave up & it didn't attenuate... so I dumped in the dry hops to compensate. It didn't really work either.

Derek, Feb 07, 2007
Photo of Mdog
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy dark amber with a moderate head.

Smell: Sweet fruits, a little citrusy hop aroma.

Taste: Since I pulled this from my fridge the taste evolved as it warmed. Initially it had a biscuity, caramel roast flavor with a little hop bitterness. As it warmed up, the hops went more to the forefront.

Mouthfeel: Seems a little thin for a barleywine, but improves as it warms up.

Drinkability: Almost dangerous when cold, it went down fast since it was a little thin. As it warms up it's a good sipper.

This bottle was probably about a year or two old when consumed (it was in my cellar). It's a pretty good beer but seems a little thin for a barleywine. Not too bad for the price.

Mdog, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of mpyle
3.23/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reddish amber color and good clarity. Medium head, slightly off-white in color. Very moussy and creamy with excellent retention.

Alcohol and piney/citrusy American hop aroma. Hop aroma absolutely dominates, which makes the aroma a bit too one dimensional for the style.

Malt dominated by alcohol/hop bitterness. Hop bitterness is a bit coarse. Strong malt presence is perceived, but lost behind the hops in the flavor. Again, a bit one dimensional. Finishes moderately dry and bitter.

Med-full body, and medium carbonation. Alcohol warming well controlled but evident, and entirely appropriate for the style. A bit of astringency from the hops detracts from the mouthfeel.

Lacks any semblance of balance. Too hoppy and/or overly attenuated. Needs to taste better to drink a high ABV beer from a 22 oz bottle. I paid decent $$ for it, though, so I'll choke it down (and then pass out).

mpyle, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of NEhophead
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pt 6 fl oz brown bottle topped with silver foil.
Served in a snifter.

Clean copper with a slight reddish hue. Dense, bright white finger's length foam that clings to the snifter's sides while slowly receding. Ringed and webbed lacing with good strength.

Bright, citrus hop aromas that are rounded despite carrying a moderate tartness. Sweet, honey-scented malt creaminess. Sharply acidic hints of immature alcohol whaffs.

Slightly tart hints of dark, unripened vinous fruit: apple, orange, and grape that are brough to a lively bitterness by a coating of juicy hop oil. The unripened fruit flavors are brash and bold that I'm sure would age and mellow quite nicely. At mid-sip a sharp alcohol presence comes through and leaves a robust, yet light flavor of hop resin.

Medium bodied, although at most points throughout the sip, drinks much lighter. Abrasive, oily, and also creamy without really bleding either texture together at once.

An aggressive and flavorful Barleywine; in which, the hops are main attraction. Too young and unripe to be considered a great version of the style. Fairly potent, especially in bitterness, but ultimately lacking the balance required to pull off the style.

NEhophead, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of crwills
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of two Avery beers that I drank late in 2006 around the time my son (Avery!) was born/baptized/had his first christmas/1 month birthday/etc. I can't remember which beer I drank when. Sad, isn't it?

Bomber poured a golden brown with a good 1/2" head into an oversized wine glass. Tons of lacing.

You can smell this brew as soon as the cap is popped off the bottle. Overpowering citrus and pine -- sinus clearing, almost like a mild detergent. Sourdough bread is also prominent.

This is honestly one of the bitterest beers I've had. Don't know if it was just my palate that day or what, but wow. Huge citrus hop presence with a big, malty backbone. The alcohol in this is very well hidden. Roasted malt notes throughout, as well as some wood and, as it warms, a little bit of cinnamon or nutmeg. Mouthfeel is very, very dry (possibly a little astringent). Aftertaste sweet, like maple syrup.

Pretty decent, but damn bitter!

And no, I did not name my kid after the brewery.

crwills, Feb 01, 2007
Hog Heaven Barley Wine from Avery Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,825 ratings.