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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

1,884 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,884
Reviews: 894
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.39%
Wants: 59
Gots: 179 | FT: 6
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: 1,884 | Reviews: 894 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of timtim
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

although this one looks, smells and tastes more like an iipa than a barleywine to me, what counts is that it is an awesome beer. slightly hazy dark amber color with a huge light tan head that has decent retention and tons of lace. Smells hoppy, hoppy, hoppy. Piney, citrusy, yummy. Hint of caramelly malt in the background. Taste... the hoppiest barleywine I've ever had, and this one is fresh, so maybe it needs to mellow a bit. The hop taste is divine though, and there is definitely a sweet, caramelly, bready malt backbone. Full body. Strong drink. Easily and pleasurably quaffed by me, but this is a big big beer, and may be a challenge for some.

Photo of Tballz420
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear deep copper colored, medium khaki head. Fair amount of lace. Big caramel malt nose. Malt front backed up with some bitter hops in the back. This could fall into an IPA but for the advanced level of malt. Some lemony notes, a bit a nuttiness. Alcohol makes its way into the picture. Creamy mouthfeel. Overall, pretty solid.

Photo of alexmpino
4.64/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good barley wine. Uncommonly smooth and great carbonation. just right.I have drank lots of different barley wines and this one is great. one of my favorites for sure. Also an important feature; for me at least, is how consistent this ale is. It's recipe is right on every time I've had it.

Photo of Tolann
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cute label. The foil on the bottle cap was pretty, but annoying...

I usually shy away from barley wines, but I was assured this one had a good hop influence and wasn't going to be overly sweet. I'll agree to that.

Appearance - Reddish in color. Nice head, not too much. leaves a lace as it dissipates. Clear in appearance with few cascading bubbles
Smell - Sweet, but less hoppy. lemony/floral smell?
Taste- big kick of hops, yet still a little sweet. hops outlasts the sweet. not bitter
Mouthfeel - smooth feel. not a lot of carbonation, caramelly, not light
Drinkability - very easy to drink. Very enjoyable. Almost scary easy to drink knowing the alcohol content.

Photo of biggmike
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy copper color with good head that stayed forever. Nice hoppy aroma with hint of citrus, grapefruit. Taste is hoppy and citrusy with a malty finish. Pretty well balanced. Tastes very much like an English IPA, but stronger. I wish I had some more of this that I could let age, but I live in Mississippi so unavailable here. Lacing was decent. Good, but to me, not great. Still, I enjoyed.

Photo of zealot
4.04/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 750ml bottle poured into a chalice.

Decent head, but diminished to a few bubbles soon thereafter. A thick, rich amber color with minimal lacing.

Aroma is a sweet caramel with accents of the nice stone fruits we all love so much. There is a definite sweetness that comes out in the aroma, and that transitions well to the flavor.

The taste starts out with some sweetness in berries that might not be typical of barley wines, but quickly moves to the darker stone fruits that I got in the nose - plums & raisins mixed with the earthy quality that you might get if you chew on a piece of straw. It is all combined with a significant hop punch (more in the finish) that balances the sweetness extremely well. It has a nice alcohol warming quality, but even as it gets up to room temp, it doesn't overtake the rest of the beer. All aspects are detectable throughout the life of the glass.

I split this with my friend who just got in to grad school and ended up drinking the majority of the bottle. I think the year of cellaring really helped this beer. To be honest, it could probably stand a little while longer.

Photo of kajerm
2.48/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bomber, pours amber with a slight reddish hue. Massive head-- about three fingers-- and lacing cascading over the side of the glass. A few minutes later, it recedes to about a finger and remains stable.

The aroma is pretty hoppy, in a resinous, nonspecific sort of way-- it might be cascade. Some biscuity, buttery, slightly toffeeish malts are present, with a background of residual sugar.

Holy shit, it tastes like dimes. Or maybe nails. There is almost no opening to speak of, with grapefruit rind-hops showing up mid-palate. The finish is hop bitterness, and a little bit of fruitiness. Lots of alcoholic heat in the chest.

Over time, the hoppiness calms the metallic taste down, but the coiny taste never really subsides completely. The mouthfeel is heavy in carbonation, medium in body, and boring in every conceivable way.

This beer is totally one-dimensional, and drinking it makes me feel like somebody punched me in the chest.

All told, not my favorite barleywine.

Photo of KarlHungus
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear brownish-amber color. The head is massive, billowy, and creamy tan in color. Lacing is thorough with big chunks of foam sticking all over the sides of the glass. The aroma is of grapefruit, caramel, plums, dates, and is moderately hot. The taste is like the aroma with the grapefruit up front, followed by dry caramel, and dates and plums. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with nice carbonation. It is a bit drier than most other barley wines I have had which I think detracts from the beer a little bit, but not too significantly. Overall, this is a nice beer. It isn't the best barley wine out there, but it is still good, and I would drink it again.

Photo of zdk9
4.41/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a very dark amber, moving into ruby, like quality maple syrup. There’s a finger of dirty white head that billows and lasts for quite a while. Strong lacing sticks to the sides of the glass like a cloud canopy over the beer.

S- Carmel notes dominate the nose with hints of bright-sweet oranges in the background, along with alcohol. Unfortunately the hops don’t come out as brightly as they do in the taste.

T- A rich caramel maltiness with a hint of light huskiness hits first. Later more fruity flavors come through- the oranges as in the nose which are accompanied by cherries and raspberries. Before the beer warmed there was a good load of piney flavors hitting the top and back of the mouth, but not in a resinous way, more like a light pine juice.

M- The alcohol is strongly warming, not overwhelming but definitely strong. I would say it’s right in the middle of the creamy/watery spectrum. Carbonation is excellent.

D- My first barleywine (I think…) and I’m loving it. A great balance of hops and elegant caramel tasting malt. I’m excited the explore the genre more and hope that there are more beers like this one out there.

Photo of BigJTrucker
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review is from notes taken last month.

Pours a deep ruby/mahogany color. No noticeable carbonation. Cream colored head settles fairly slowly to leave a nice layer of foam and lacing on the glass. Aroma tends towards dried fruit like apricots or raisins. Possibly even some tobacco notes as well. Taste is somewhat pink grapefruity. Some resiny sweetness. Heavy malt flavor, but to me, it tastes more like a really good DIPA. Mouthfeel is fairly thick. Sticky aftertaste last for a while. Drinkability is very nice, slightly lower abv than i would've expected. Well Done Avery, I'd like to try this again. On tap if i could.

Photo of Hemi
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Flawless transparent copper color. Wonderful lacing, very few co2 bubbles rising. Two finger head with fabulous retention.

S - Carmel Maltiness. Warm alcoholic aroma. Some fruity esters including peach. Hoppy profile with citrus character, maybe cascade hops.

T - Creamy carmel profile comes out first then citrus hop flavors ending in a bitter bite. Warm alcoholic taste with a bit of residual sweetness.

M - Creamy sticky and thick in mouth feel with very little co2 burn.

D - This is a sipping beer however, can see drinking a few glasses of these which would be a considerable amount based on the abv and can quickly sneak up on you.

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of Budro
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of Ratman197
4.72/5  rDev +19.5%
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!

Photo of Atron67
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
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

Photo of waldowin
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of Blupoet03
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of zeff80
4.39/5  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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Photo of bluegrassbrew
4/5  rDev +1.3%
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!

Photo of yourunclewalt
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

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.

Hog Heaven Barley Wine from Avery Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,884 ratings.