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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

1,744 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,744
Reviews: 878
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 11.62%
Wants: 51
Gots: 150 | FT: 2
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: 1,744 | Reviews: 878 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kegerator
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

poured a deep brown with copper tones and ruby tints when held to the light. A nice big fairly fizzy head appears and sticks around leaving nice lacing.
smell is malty, apple pie like aromas and definte hop aromas.
tast started a little to bitter from the hops but as the beer warmed up the balance shiined through. weird the bottle states to keep it refridgerated. Its better when it warms. Big Malt flavors, hints of brown sugar, cherry, apples and pears then the hops follow that up and leave a nice bittering aftertaste on the tongue. Finishes smooth and warming.

kegerator, Jul 13, 2005
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%

Citrusy. Piney. Not overly done in strength. Maltiness remains. Balanced.

It pours a clear, ruby-accented dark auburn body beneath a 1/4" head of rocky yellowed-ivory foam. The head retention is quite good, and it drops but maintains a thin surface covering and leaves nice rings of lace about the glass.

The nose is fruity, citrusy, gently piney, and subtly woody with a touch of sweetly caramelish & biscuity malt sneaking through here and there.

It's dextrinous and full-bodied in the mouth with a very-fine-bubbled and restrained carbonation that lends a gentle caress to the tongue. It never becomes creamy, but it is superbly smooth.

The flavor starts malty and fruity (berries, appple), but soon allows it's citrusy (tangerine, sweet grapefruit, pineapple) and piney flavors to break through mid-palate. Its solid bitterness steps in to balance it; and it finishes dry with some light, residual, honey-glazed biscuity maltiness and lingering notes of citrusy/piney hops.

Quite nice!!!

NeroFiddled, Jul 12, 2005
Photo of kaszeta
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%

Sampled at the American Beer Fest '05 in Boston.

Pouring with a coppery-red body, this barley win has a thin wispy head. The smell is mostly a very sweet malt, with an edge of alcohol, and some subtle hops creeping in about the edges. Taste was very similar, smooth and malty, but with the alcohol a lot more noticeable than in the aroma. A subtle hops bitterness without much of the rest of the hops flavor, leaving a slight dry aftertaste. The mouthfeel is a bit carbonated for a barley wine, but not unpleasant. Fairly drinkable, and a good barley wine.

kaszeta, Jul 08, 2005
Photo of phishgator
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%

Great blend of juicy, citrus hop flavor and aroma mixed with malty alcohol. The dark ruby color gives a slight rose tint to the frothy head. The alcohol is strong but mixed in with the flavor profile. True West Coast style Barleywine! One of the best out there. It will leave our taste buds numb for about half a day, so don't plan on drinking anything exciting later on.

phishgator, Jul 05, 2005
Photo of rajendra82
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%

The beer came in a bomber donning a label depicting flying pigs, but no freshness date. The beer poured out nice and dignified, with a deep copper tone body, half inch thick persistent foamy head, and restrained slow rising carbonation. Aromatically, the hops were the primary smell with a rollicking grapefruit, mango, pine straw goodness. The malt was detected as a roasted nut and oak background smell.

The taste was a smooth mix of vanilla, toffee, grapefruit, raisins, peat smoke, and mango. The thick juicy body coated the tongue with each sip, and allowed these flavors to linger. Alcohol was evident, but not overpoweringly so. Warm and soft when sipped gingerly, but a bit stinging if gulped. A beer good enough to be included among the upper echelon of American Barleywines in my opinion. Lacks the intense hop punch of Bigfoot, Old Ruffian, or Old Crustacean, but makes it up with suave mellow demeanor making it more approachable.

rajendra82, Jul 04, 2005
Photo of thinkbreakfast
3.8/5  rDev -4%

App: Head is thick, chunky and clings to the side of the glass exceptionally well. Color is dark brown/amber.

Smell: By far the most enjoyable aspect of this beer. The smell is incredibly complex with a strong prune backbone and hints of everything from lemon to chocolate. Hops barely come through at all.

Taste: Follows the smell closely. Lots of thick prune malt. Flash of chocolate at the end. Hops are present more in the puckering aftertaste. Alcohol is warming in both the mouth and the stomach. Aftertaste is bitter and dry.

Mouthfeel and drinkability: Very thick and smooth. Slight pleasant burning from the alcohol. Drinkability is average for the style.

I like smelling it more than drinking it.

thinkbreakfast, Jun 30, 2005
Photo of BeerFink
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%

Splitting this bomber with a worthy companion, my glass is filled with a lovely sanguinous ale. This scarlet hue is so damn inviting. Big malts and sweet caramel with some toffee greet my nasal passage and are blessed by citrous and spicy hops. Its 100 IBUs are immediately apparent in the nose. Big alcohol flexes its muscle in the aroma. Flavor is much more balanced than I would have expected based on the smell. Of course, the big malt bill makes itself known with smoothness and sweetness. Sugar and caramel are there and do not go away. Spicy hops attempt to mutiny, but are turned back. Some citrous comes in but is also put down by the malts. Warm alcohol has the last say, but the sweetness carries though into the finish. Interestingly enough, hops have the last say with a citrous aftertaste. Hell of a brew to split with a fellow BA.

BeerFink, Jun 11, 2005
Photo of goodbyeohio
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

dark amber in a duvel glass.. only with a vigorous pour does some bubbly froth emerge from the liquid. pretty dense, clear but hard to see through. lacing is sparse but sticky.. aroma here is burnt sugar, demented hops and alcohol. slight ginger notes. overwhelming with heat and spicyness in the nose. taste is far too bitter for the conflicting sweet vanilla malt. alcohol bite in the finish mixed with a cedary, chalky hop bitterness really offends after the initial sweetness disappears. warmth brings it a little further into drinkability.. not surprising considering the style, and the fact that it's avery, but for 9.2% i'd expect something a little more developed and well balanced between extremes. barleywines are best when the potency fades into a complex mellow vibe.. not when your mouth is accosted from all sides.

probably much better in a year or two, i'll hold a bottle (when i can get another) and sit on it.

thanks unionmade, ill stick to the storm!

goodbyeohio, Jun 04, 2005
Photo of WesWes
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%

The beer pours a ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It has a rich malty scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with a killer hop aroma that is really bitter and floral. The taste is good. It has a warm, rich malt base with a very bitter hop flavor and aftertaste. It goes down smooth and finishes dry and hoppy. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good barley wine, but I've had better. The aroma is great. It really has quite a hoppy character. The taste is more hops than malts though. This is a good drinking beer.

WesWes, May 22, 2005
Photo of Beaver13
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%

22 oz bottle. Pours a copper-orange with a good sized rocky off-white head that stays creamy the whole way down and leaves a wall of lacing.

The aroma is sweet malts and grapefruits and earthy spicy piney hops with some sour woody and leather notes.

The flavor is sweet and fruity (melon) caramel malts with a decent bitter hop finish that lingers in the aftertaste. I remember this being more bitter, but my palate has probably changed quite a bit since I last has this. As is, I find it very nicely balanced. The alcohol is dangerously well hidden. It's medium bodied, a little on the watery side, yet still smooth.

Overall, an excellent brew! I would say it's more of an American Strong (like Arrogant Bastard) than Barleywine. But however it's classified, it is yummy! I'll be coming back to this in the future.

Beaver13, May 17, 2005
Photo of isthisme2
3.35/5  rDev -15.4%

The beer opened up well. Great color and aroma. The aroma leads the beer well, hops and alcohol present with a hint of fruit. The alcohol really drives the flavor, (bit too much). The beer has a great mouth feel and finishes well. Think of a beer like “Anchor Steam” on Steroids…

I personally won’t be going back to this one, but it does stray way outside the realm of my personal tastes. I would recommend a try for sure… I could see this beer fitting well with some tastes.


isthisme2, Apr 24, 2005
Photo of brentk56
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a small head and some lacing

Smell: Grapefruit topped with sugar; a healthy start to the morning

Taste: Toffee malt flavors up front with a blast of grapefruit developing by mid-palate; after the swallow the toffee flavors return to blend into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium/heavy body with moderate carbonation; significant alcohol warming on the way down

Drinkability: A little closer to a malty Douple IPA than is typical for the style, but nonetheless an exceptional beer

brentk56, Apr 22, 2005
Photo of Shaw
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%

This is a beautiful deep cooper colored ale with a short head that reduces to just a thin layer of foam. It smells like a barley wine: floral and hoppy. I see on the bottle that it is dry-hopped with Columbus, one of my favorite hops.

The taste is pure barley wine. Lots of hop bitterness to balance the malt sweetness and an overriding warmth from the very noticeable alcohol. This barley wine isn't as aggressive as some others. In fact, it is rather smooth. It doesn't have the burning aftertaste many of its peers have. It is almost more like an American Double IPA than a barley wine, thanks to its smoothness.

The body is silky smooth and glassy, thanks to the higher ABV.

This is a very drinkable barley wine. I am a big fan of the style and this is a great example of it. I highly recommend it.

Shaw, Apr 05, 2005
Photo of quasimoto
2.9/5  rDev -26.8%

It's a real nice amber/ copper color. I like to think that it has more of a red color than copper. But what do I know. First off the smell is really sweet. i can smell the malt balanced out very well by the hops, but only a hint of hops. There are also hints of citrus, caramel, and other scents that I'm not really in tune with. The mouth-feel leaves something to be desired. The high alcohol content gives it a harsh fell that I don't like. Overall, for being my first barleywine, I am now a fan of barleywines. But if they all have this harsh mouth-feel. I dont see myself going out of the way to hunt these down.

quasimoto, Mar 26, 2005
Photo of Truh
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%

Rutted around in fresh mud with this one on 11/16/2004. 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bomber poured twice in a shaker glass.

Nice, low froth of initial large-bubbled chilly white foam, and plentiful ciro-cumulus cloud lacing. Vermillion, ruby red hue with just a hint of oozy action in a crystal quiet lake. Closer to an imperial IPA in hop bouquet, but the equally huge malt helps to balance it a little, all adding to an anticipated alcohol crank. Fruit flora hop bunch explodes in mouth, but it magically dissipates in the blink of an eye; craisin sweetness. Lighter on the tongue than many other barleywines in total; far less sticky and alcohol doesn’t run roughshod.

Truh, Mar 05, 2005
Photo of kosmoraios
3.38/5  rDev -14.6%

Pours a deep golden color with some ruby glints in the light. Nice-sized white head that sticks around for a while. Smell is definitely of rasins, caramel, hops, and pure-D alcohol. Taste is somewhat nutty, again with the raisins and caramel, and a light sourdough baguette flavor. Hops and malt dominated again by the alcohol. Complexity increases as the ale warms. Hints of plum and citrus begin to become evident. The mouthfeel was peppery and smooth, with a bit of oilyness. Not extremely drinkable, though, as one was almost more than enough for me. I'm not sorry I tried it, but it won't be a frequent purchase for me.

kosmoraios, Feb 28, 2005
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%

Pours a brilliantly clear, amber color that shows a beautiful copper hue when held up to the light. It is topped by a frothy cream to tan colored head that has been generated by the low level of carbonation in this beer. The aroma is thick and concentrated with aromas of candied citrus fruits, alcohol, strawberries, and lightly toasted biscuits. This beer has a light sweet with definite notes of caramel and citrus. It is fairly light on the palate, especially for a Barlywine. This beer has a fair amount of hoppy bitterness in the finish as well as a bit of astringent earthy woody hops. This is not quite as explosively hoppy as I was hopping and the alcohol is a bit too hot and evident in the finish. There is a fair amount of malt presence here, the sweet caramel malt notes help to accentuate the citrus hop notes. In the end though, I am once again a bit disappointed in another Avery big beer.

Gueuzedude, Feb 26, 2005
Photo of oxmasterscream
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%

Poured into a tulip glass a cloudy, iced-tea amber with bright cherry highlights. Spotty head, mostly just a ring. Immediate smells of huge grapefruit mixed with strong pine notes and some sweet caramel malt that intensified as it came up to room temperature. Taste was a whopper, as its smell forecast. Huge hop flavors dominated. Big, citrus flavors, mainly grapefruit coupled with the massive taste of pine. Also quite spicy. Not as malty as I would've expected at first but as it warmed, big sweet caramel flavors began to show through. This stuff really tasted more like a super IPA than a barleywine but nonetheless, still a solid beer. Overall, it tasted like an over-the-top Celebration. ABV creeps up on you and can begin to be tasted and felt as it warms but it's hidden pretty well. Mouth is thick, rich and full. Big and chewy. Heavy duty. A fine example of an American barleywine with that West Coast taste.

oxmasterscream, Feb 11, 2005
Photo of mgdeth
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%

Appearance - This beer is a medium copper-gold color. Excellent clarity. Large creamy head.

Smell - The initial smell on this one is all about the hops, man. Excellent floral hop aroma.

Taste - Fruity and estery. Hops tend to hit hardest on the aftertaste. Something about the beer makes me think "double IPA." The malt aspect of the beer is played down. The flavor is complex and warming.

Mouthfeel - This is a full-bodied beer, and it feels smooth despite the hoppiness.

Drinkability - This is one bitter beer . . . so much so that it detracts a bit from the drinkability. Since it is a barleywine, this is not such a bad thing.

Comments - If you dislike hops, look elsewhere. Hopheads rejoice!

mgdeth, Feb 09, 2005
Photo of warriorsoul
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%

Thanks to Downtown Wine & Spirits in Somerville for keeping these on hand.

Pours a copper color w/ a pillowy tan head that fades quickly.
First smell is all hop...a fruity scent w/ orange and grapefruit mixed in. Reminds me more of an IPA at this point...the taste better change my mind real quick.

Nope...the taste is real hoppy too, but I have to admit...I like it alot.
I may have to dock it a half a point in taste because it is not hitting me like a Barleywine...we'll see once it warms up a bit.

The mouthfeel is pleasant and I am now getting a bit of the alcohol...warming me up nicely. It becomes fairly bitter in its aftertaste, but again...at this point, it is not what I expected.

I could have two of these 22oz. bombers tops...drinkability is a bit low at this point.

This is my first experience w/ Avery...a bit of a surprise, but I will buy this and their others in the future.

warriorsoul, Feb 06, 2005
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%

The beer poured crystal clear deep amber with a tan frothy tall head which fell slowly to coat the glass.

The aroma was deeply malty and aromatic with American hop aroma (Columbus on label). The aroma was strong with caramel and fruitiness.

The flavor was malty with American hop flavor and bittering. The bittering and maltiness were well achieved and the balance kept the beer from being overy hoppy or overly malty. The bittering was well done for the style. The label listed the IBU as 100, but it somehow seemed to be less.

The finish was dry with lasting caramel, fruit and hop flavor long into the aftertaste. The body was full and viscous.

22 ounce bottle. No dating on label. Some alcohol was present in the aroma and some in the flavor, but for the most part it was restrained in the beer.

GCBrewingCo, Feb 06, 2005
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%

Appearance - a foggy colored, carefully decanted pour, somewhere between plum and sunset reddish-purple. No visible sediment but you cannot see into the beer. A packed layer of sediment rests in the bottom of the bottle. Small head and light lacing on this one.

Aroma - heavy sweetness with a tell tale fruity citrus bend. Very pleasing, very playful like a baby pig with wings... Good persistence of aroma.

Taste - big fruit-punch sweetness combined with a hop profile that has smoothed out some but still has an edgy bitterness.. It's a quick 1-2 punch, the malt and sweetness hit ya' in the gut right before the hops smack yer head. Plenty to taste, sometimes after a larger mouthful, I get a licorice after-impression. This beer has the extremeness of the barleywine style and the extremeness of a high-IBU beer at the same time. The aftertaste is somewhat of a blend of the two.

Mouthfeel - carbonation has held up well after a year to 18 months in the cellar. The weight is decidedly thin and below par however.

Drinkability - a very interesting barleywine, worth the try for posterity's sake, I'd have it again beyond that.

brewdlyhooked13, Feb 04, 2005
Photo of Dmann
4.6/5  rDev +16.2%

I really dug this brew from Avery. It porued a medium amber color with a very thick frothy head that left nice lacing down the glass. The smell was very nice and sweet with alot of malt, citrus and woody scents. The flavor was quite nice with a touch of malt sweetness in the beginning, then it opened up with a nice hop bitterness followed by a fruity finnish and aftertaste that tasted like alchoholic pinapple. This was a very enjoyable beer and one I would definantly buy again.

Dmann, Feb 03, 2005
Photo of Suds
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%

From a twenty-two ounce bottle with cute little flying pigs on the label: pours a clear, deep, earth color. Moderate, but respectable cream-colored head and simple lacing. The aroma is forceful mashing of alcohol, hops, raisins, plums, toasted grains, citrus, and malt. Smells just like a barleywine should…and a hoppy one at that. A rich, thick sweetness is in the front of the taste, with a powerful bitterness to back it up. Warming is present immediately. Fruit qualities continue through the taste, along with a fleeting yeastiness. This is an enjoyable, decidedly West-coast barleywine. Very nice!

Suds, Jan 30, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%

Poured from a 22oz bomber.

Dark ruby in color with a fat tan head. Lots of lacing when it finally started to settle.

The smell is the best attribute of this brew. Starts off fruity with a piney/hoppy finish. I could sniff this mug all day.

The taste mirrors the aromas with a good dose of malt thrown into the mix. Nice hoppy finish that doesn't paralyze the tongue like Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot.

This is one of the best balanced and most drinkable examples of this style.

ypsifly, Jan 27, 2005
Hog Heaven Barley Wine from Avery Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,744 ratings.