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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

1,835 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,835
Reviews: 885
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: 1,835 | Reviews: 885 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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.

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).

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.


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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

Photo of ericj551
4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I brought this all the way back from California on a recent trip. Hog Heaven pours a deep ruby red with a thick off white head. Smell is huge grapefruit and floral hop aroma, coupled with an odd earthiness. Alcohol is slightly apparent if I really look hard. Hop flavor and bitterness come in first, but much lighter then anticipated, very smooth. The rich malt flavor really shines, balancing the resiny hop flavor. The beer is really smooth and drinkable while maintaining all the bold characteristics I would expect from an American Barley Wine. I wish I could get this beer locally.

Photo of wavz
2.88/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a deep orange copper hue with not alot of head to speak of. Head disappears within a few seconds of the first pour. But there is a bit of lacing that sticks to the glass.

S- Not as malty and spicy as other barley wines I have tried latley. Does give off alot of an orange citrus aroma. With a lot of hops in the smell too.

T- If your ready for and IPA Barley wine this is it. The hops are all over this one which I enjoy, but not for a barley wine. I was hoping for a lot more malt. I think this beer was mislabled from an imperial IPA to a Barley Wine Style Ale.

M- Alot more carbonation then I was expecting. And a lot less viscus then I was expecting. Again more like an imperial IPA then a Barley Wine.

D- Relabel this one Avery.


Photo of Georgiabeer
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange amber with a good head and nice lacing. The smell is of honeyed grapefruit. Sweet malt and spicy hops interplay nicely on the nose. The taste is quite hoppy for a barley wine. Bitter hops throughout as well as lots of honeyed malt that builds throughout. This is followed by a winey flavor, a pleasant waxy taste, and a finish of black tea, bitter hops,and grapefruit. Very nice. The Mouthfeel is very smooth with nicely restrained carbonation and no stickiness. Very drinkable.The intense hops keep the sweetness in check and hold your interest. The underlying malt zips in and out and is quite delicious. Nice offering.

Photo of BlindPig
3.28/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Late 2006 edition (shiny label)
A- 1/2" light tan head on a clear deep amber body that have hues of dark pink also (which is fitting to the name).
S- Big citrus hop aroma. Tons of grapefruit in there. Some light malt in the back. Hint of some kind of candy sweetness.
T- Big grapefruit flavor. A big bitterness cuts through it all. Very sweet. Some kind of candy with cherry flavorings. Light caramel malt in back too. Theres one flavor I just can't put my finger on. It is sweeter and just doesn't feel like it belongs. The bitterness lingers on into the aftertaste. Light warming from the alcohol too.
M- Medium to full body (a lot more on the full side). Low to medium carbonation (more on the medium side).
D- It's pretty good but not really a barleywine. It really is a different kind of flavor but is still good. Just I wouldn't call it a barleywine. Maybe something like a DIPA mixed with a american strong ale?

Photo of AaronRed
2.75/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

At first, I liked this beer, it poured a nice amber head with enough lace to make me want to drink this brut. Smelled flowerly, with hints of bitterness even in the nose. At first sip it was nice, I could tastt the hops and was pleased. Then after a few more, it became kind of medicinal and metalic almost- too much on one note. I don't fancy myself a barley wine drinker, I think I prefer it sweeter and more complex.

Photo of Byeast
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: mainly deep ruby , slightly brownish orange , with a thick , small offwhite head that quickly dissipates to a lace leaving ring.

Smell: deep and lightly red-fruit accented malt , a definate earthy undertone, and a good dose of hops.

Taste: quick bitter hop flash , then lots of full , rich , sweet malt fills the mouth. The malt flavors of bisquit etc. mingle very nice with the hops , grapefruit , slight red fruit/ berry , nice lingering hoppiness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: full bodied , slick

Drinkability: A very nice barley wine indeed. Great aroma , pleasant high hoppiness and balance. I had a chance to try a 2004 and 2000 vintage this year (06) , it ages quite nicely.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This category has such vast array of differences. Reading the bottle and noting the dry hopping info I was expecting a hop monster.

A - hazy amber brown, billowy tan head on top.
S - IS that a hop flower I just whiffed? Intense aroma Citrus and pine.
T - Solid malts dominated by caramel and toffee. Some citric hop tang in there as well but way way less than the aroma led me to believe. Not sure how old this bottle was. By the aroma it seemed relatively recent.
M - medium to full bodied. smooth and clean accross the tongue.
D - went down much faster than I thought it would for 22oz. Easy to drink this one for sure.

A tasty middle of the road american barleywine. I would have another. In fact, I have another in the beer cellar - yeah me.

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

It pours a shiny, hazy amber, ready to embed bugs for all eternity. A finger of off-white head drops to bubbly hillocks in moments. Runes of lacing code the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, toasty sweet caramel malt dances with dry citrus hops and raisins and cherries glance off a flash of pine. The alcohol is mild but omnipresent.

Upon sipping, the malt is sweet and fruity, with caramel and blueberry joining dried sloe. The hops deliver a frame of grapefruit and pine, nicely crisp and lightly floral. Crusty baked bread comes through in the grain near the close before the IBU's take over and draw to a lingering bitter finish. It's got enough going on, and going for it, to be interesting and enjoyable.

Medium bodied, at least initially, it slides away thinly, though the bitter glow is lasting.

LSU just got screwed out of an interception, but this beer is helping to make it a bit more bearable. It's big, bitter, and brash, but it's also well-done and fun to drink. It's not complex so it's easy in spite of a hot and heavy ABV. So hopefully Notre Dame wins when pigs fly, and if I'm not truly in heaven, at least I'm plenty far from hell.

Photo of jordanmills
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours light golden with a moderate amount of varying head that laced out as it went down. Smells a tad sharp but not hoppy. Tastes nice and sweet, balanced with moderate hoppiness. There's something complex in there but I can't quite place it. Feels smooth on the tongue with a clean finish. I'd put down a few of these in a night.

Photo of mjc410
2.15/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Shared with Br. Forner in an amazing brother-building event.

The pour into my snifter raises a thin layer of surface bubbles, which are just a tad tan. The legs on the beer are quite nice, very thick and viscous. Lacing is certainly impressive, considering its ABV. Quite hazy, with a golden copper body. The nose is filled with juniper notes, and a strong caramel profile. Almost burns the nostrils - seems to have a high alcohol profile. The first taste does not impress me - despite the IBUs, the beer doesn't showcase much bitterness: the first and foremost taste is alcohol. There is initial hop bite, but the flavor recedes quickly. There's a bit of bisciuty malt, but not much. This is the most watery BW I've had - there's just so little there. The carbonation is adequate for the style, though. A lackluster BW.

Photo of RobertDwight
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a crystal clear reddish congac color with a little white head that fades away. Strong whiffs of lovely citrusy hops and some alcohol though..not harsh in anyway but very welcoming. Tastes of yummy hop flavor and bitterness, balanced by a good malt profile. Mouthfeel is pretty good, and this beer can be consumed quite easily. I would really like to stock up on this brew especially since it is so decently priced.

Photo of jmz62565
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear reddish mahogony with a pretty large tan foamy head. A nice head for a b/w. The smell is strong with dark fruit and a real "bisquity" aroma. Very bakery like. The taste is also filled with dark fruit and bread yeast,but also has a real hop flavor to it. This reminds me of Bigfoot. A very good beer,but hoppier than most b/w's. The m/f is medium with all flavors mixing well,although the hops do overpower this abit. A damn good beer that should not be missed.

Photo of joe1510
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. Bomber
Binny's Orland

100 IBUs. I could smell the citrus the second I opened the bottle. Hog Heaven poured a dark ruby red that shown bright red in my palm when held to the light. Fairly clear. The color is really nice. There was a one finger slightly off-white craggy head that fades to a half finger but stops there.

The nose makes my mouth water uncontrollably.There is a big sweet caramel backbone. As big as the caramel is the citrus hops just blow it away. There is bitter orange peel and fresh squeezed orange juice. A few pine needles in there as well. Slight alcohol as the beer warms. The smell is excellent. I can't remember smelling so much orange in any beer I've had in the past.

The taste isn't as bitter as I anticipated. It's nicely balanced but I was expecting a hop bomb. A solid caramel backbone hits hard first and is followed by a hop wave by mid-palate. There's a more pine in the flavor than the nose. The pine pushes through the malt and really shows itself in the finish where things dry out. A moderate bitterness lingers till the next drink. Very nicely balanced. Big malt and big hops hold each other in check.

Feels viscous as it crosses my lips but when in my mouth and on the swallow it's really not. It's on the heavier side of medium and slick. There's a good amount of carbonation that pushes everything through. Finishes dry and lets the bitterness come through.

Drinkability for a big beer is superb. Everything balances out so nicely that it would be extremely easy to drink this way to fast without realizing what you've been doing.

I think back to Bigfoot and as I drink Hog Heaven I actually think I enjoy this a little more. It's not as intense which is something I really like but the drinkability is where it's at with this barleywine. Avery Brewing did an excellent job.


Photo of SchaefMan
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got a couple of 22oz bombers of this, just to try the variety.

It poured a dark reddish brown, with a thick cascading light tan head that hung around to lace the sides of the glass as I drank.

The smell was malty, with a hint if what may have been black pepper, but I am not sure.

Taste was also malty, with a definie hoppy finish. I am not so much a fan of the bitter finish, but the taste was rich and full.

Mouthfeel was sort of viscous, and smooth, with decent carbonation. Very pleasant.

Drinkability was lower because it was sort of filling, and I couldn't see myself drinking more than 1 in a sitting.

Photo of BeerSox
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into snifter.

Clear ruby-red amber color with a light tan head that reduces to a frothy cap at a medium pace. Strong lacing along the glass.

Strong piney and citrusy hops are the dominating aroma with bits of alcohol in the background. Light sweet fruit flavors become available as the beer warms.

Citrusy bittering hops are in the forefront with a touch of sweeter breadlike malts. Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation and an oily mouthfeel. The warming alcohol is well hidden behind the hops. The finish consists of acidic hops that linger for a while and some drying alcohol.

This thing is a major alpha oil bomb. According to the label, it rings in at about 100IBUs. This one is along the lines of an American Double IPA as far as hop bitterness goes, however it has a little stronger malt presence. Recommended.

Hog Heaven Barley Wine from Avery Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,835 ratings.