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Hog Heaven Barley Wine - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hog Heaven Barley WineHog Heaven Barley Wine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,863 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,863
Reviews: 891
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.39%
Wants: 55
Gots: 173 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-05-2002

This dangerously drinkable garnet beauty is a hop lover’s delight. The intense dry-hop nose and the alcohol content are perfectly balanced for a caramel candy-like malt finish. This is a serious beer for serious beer afficianados and it only gets better with age. Cellarable for 3 years.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,863 | Reviews: 891 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of atsprings
4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
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.”

Photo of ccrida
4.03/5  rDev +2%
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.

Photo of Grundle20
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of budgood1
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Photo of Phatz
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of SaltyLime
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
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

Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of rkuhnel
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of neonbrown82
3.4/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of prototypic
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
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.


Photo of bjohnson
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Photo of vtfan77
4.62/5  rDev +17%
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.

Photo of karengarys
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

Photo of BryanCarey
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Photo of mwearl
4.07/5  rDev +3%
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.

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

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
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!)

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.

Photo of ArrogantB
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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.

Photo of Kendo
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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 ...

Hog Heaven Barley Wine from Avery Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,863 ratings.