Hog Heaven Barley Wine - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hog Heaven Barley WineHog Heaven Barley Wine

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very good

1,840 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 1,840
Reviews: 887
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: 1,840 | Reviews: 887 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of garymuchow
4.55/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of AaronHomoya
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz brown bottle.

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

Photo of EStreet20
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomer poured into a snifter glass.

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

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

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

M - Pretty nice smooth feel. Medium bodied

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

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of skybluewater
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.68/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a clear amber color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of caramel sweet malt is omnipresent with some citrus hops. Taste is a mix between sweet caramel malt and some bitter hops. Alcohol is way too hot for my liking and body is definitely too thin for the style. I’m starting to wonder if it’s just me or are most of Avery beers a bit too hot for their own good.

Photo of trep
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of ultralarry2006
5/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of Oxymoron
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

Photo of russpowell
4.58/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours deep caramel to copper with a 2 fingers+ sand colored head. Excellent lacing and head retention

Smell: Malt, slight smokiness, & piney hops

Taste: Hige earthy hops& fruittyness. Finishes hoppy & dry

MF: Thick woth slight oilyness and perfect carbonation

Pretty enjoyable, but a little too big & hoppy to do more than one, or suffer the consequenses! Damn good BW

Photo of shbobdb
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Thanks ColoradoBobs.

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

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

Very drinkable for a Barleywine. Very drinkable indeed.

Photo of Blakaeris
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of bashiba
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

Smell is full of nice citrusy hop odors.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Man, this tastes like WALNUTS!!!!

Photo of kbnooshay
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

Photo of TheSarge
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

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


Photo of Imstillthegman
3.15/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

Photo of Metalmonk
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of RedHaze
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy coppery brown, with very thick two finger head that fades slowly to a thick cap, and leaves a thick webbing of lace.

Smell; a nice citric and piney hop aroma stands out initially, and there's some caramel and toffee present as well. I was expecting some alcohol as well with the high abv, but I couldn't smell any.

Taste; those hops make there presence known up front, but they're not overpowering. There's solid caramel and toffee malt presence that balances out the hops with a nice sweetness, without being cloying. Mouthfeel is full bodied and very creamy, and this is surprisingly easy to drink with the high alcohol content.

There was no best by, or packged on date, but I've had this for atleast six months.

Photo of sevineyes
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown bottle with a flying pig on the label.

A: Poured with a frothy head that reduced rapidly. Even so, does leave some lacing. Color of a robust iced tea.

S: Initially, a very subdued aroma. What is there is a weak, clean orange. It builds into some much more pronounced pine. Finally there are some bready, even yeasty aspects. In the end I think some of the alcohol creeping through pops the pine aspects even more to the forefront like pine resin. Eventually the pine makes me pull my head back because it's such a punch to the nose.

T: Bready sweet beginning, but still packs a punch with pine eating up quite a bit of the flavor profile. Goes into red grapefruit. Overall the sweetness is still pretty balanced by the bitterness. Not a complex flavor, but up front with everything it does have. It's really the other aspects the hops imparts that makes this over the top. The bitterness itself is not overpowering at all. Aftertaste is a mild bitter that does last for a good long while.

M: Quenching. Big bodied. Thick. Good carbonation. Ends with a tip-of-the-tongue dryness that seems somehow appropriate.

Overall: It's really difficult for me to think of this as a barley wine. Reminds me a lot more of a dipa and even though it has elements I might like in a dipa, it just doesn't work for me as a barley wine. Having said that, the only thing that really bugs me about the beer after a while is the piney nose. The rest of it is surprisingly drinkable for a 9.2% beer. If that element were cut back I could see this as being something I could come back to again and again.

Photo of jameaterblues
4.6/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this beer on Feb 14 and it sat in the fridge for about a month and a half. Hogs Heaven poured a dark amber/copper color with some red and orange tints from a 22oz bomber. It had 1/2 to 3/4 inch head that was a dark tan color.

Smell was of strong sweet caramel malts and herbaly/spicy hops and a bit of red fruit.

Taste was of sweet caramel malts at the beginning, and that was quickly followed by some sweet residual sugars and fruitiness. The end of the body was had lots of hops(IBU's 104). The hops seem really strong, but just as you finish the sip there is a last little bit of malt to balance it out. There is a slight bit of alcohol right before the finish, but it is almost non-existent.

Drinkability/mouthfeel: Surprising to me I was just a bit tipsy after drinking this monster 22oz with abv of 9.2(I was afraid of the condition it might put me in so I was saving for a relaxing night). The balance of malt and hops is almost perfect(hence the very little alcohol taste), and I was very impressed with my first from Avery. This is definitely something that I will pick up again.

Photo of budsboy
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, deep and rich amber with a healthy three-finger tan head that sticks.

Over-the-top pine hop aroma, toasty malt and a bit of vanilla and alcohol.

Sour and piney from the onset: Puckering in bitterness and a touch grassy on the finish. Burnt pinecone flavor lingers. A certain weird balance is had between the hopped out pine and a nearly cloying sweetness. This is a wild one. All over the place, not all good, but certainly not bad.

Smooth and slightly oily mouthfeel, but big and round nonetheless.

Good beer. Interesting beer. Well-crafted, alcohol warms up quickly. Nice sipping barley wine. All-in-all, worth the price of admission.

Hog Heaven Barley Wine from Avery Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,840 ratings.