Hog Heaven Barley Wine | Avery Brewing Company

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Hog Heaven Barley WineHog Heaven Barley Wine

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-05-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 909 | Ratings: 2,023
Photo of Billolick
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Blind Tiger, NYC. Poured dark almond and cloudy, ruby notes. Nice lacing, hoppy nose. Medium bodied. Hops are up front, grainy and resiny and rich. Malt backbone comes onto palate later for balance. This is a very drinkable BWine, Very tasy and enjoyable . Wish we could get this much more often on the east coast. Seek this one out and enjoy.

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Photo of bditty187
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear reddish, coppery-bronzy hue with a vague peachy highlight, it is an attractive color, the off-white head reached a modest finger in height before quickly fading to a bubbly collar. The subsequent lacing was minimal and very patchy. The nose was boldly hoppy, obviously this is an American barleywine; I detect nothing English/traditional about it. Behind the juicy citrus and piney hops was a weak note of toasty malt. I’m in love with the aromas of the hops; it is mouthwatering with its invitation. Will the palate live up to the hype created by the nose? The palate is a load, wow; it staggers the senses with flavor. Both the massive hops bitterness (and flavor) and the burning alcohol angrily vie for the focal point of this beer. Who wins? Both. They both kicked my tongue’s ass. The hoppiness was very flavorful, raw pine needles, grapefruit and lime zest, and fleshy citrus too; it is amazingly dry and raw at the finish. What the malt brings to the table, flavor-wise, is frankly little. The toasty caramel-toffee sweetness is weak in comparison to the alcohol heat. It burns so sweet! I really like the flavor “construction” on this beer; it is huge, unbalanced, forceful but very tasty. Granted I couldn’t, nor would I want too, drink this everyday. I found the mouthfeel to be indifferent, I’d say it is medium-full in bulk, modest carbonation but there is nothing noteworthy about the physical impression. It could be fuller, maybe even rounder; yes, I’d like more malt. The alcohol is not hidden. The drinkability is quite good. I think this is on par with Old Crusty, Bigfoot, or Arrogant/Double Bastard. If you enjoy any of those beverages, seek this one out. If you don’t like any of those beers, avoid Hog Heaven. I purchased a 22-ounce bottle in Loveland. I wish I had another.

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Photo of merlin48
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber pours a slightly hazy apricot color with no head. Patchy, beige colored lace leaves a collar and patching on the glass.
Lovely aromas delight the nose with apples, sweet caramel, smoked walnuts, and an odd, but interesting, Scottish style malt, all on a backbone of piney hops.
Mouthfeel reveals a strong hops presence and plenty of carbonation.
Taste is complex. Granny Smith apples dipped in caramel, some vinous alcohol presence, tangerine and citrus hoppiness, and a delighful, smoky, nutty, bitterness.
Very tasty, with an interesting array of complex flavors. This is what I think a good barleywine should be.

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Photo of mikeys01
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 22oz bomber, nice flying pig artwork. Pours out a brownish-copper color with a thick tan head and long-lasting lacing. Aroma is very sweet and hoppy, smells more like a double IPA than a barleywine. Taste is full of columbus hops, very distinct right away. After the hops you do get a good dose of malt, more than I expected from the nose, a nice sweet caramely character that carries through to a subtly bitter finish. Spicy notes and alconhol become more apparent as the Hog warms up a bit. Body isn't very heavy at all for a barleywine, but the sweetness would make it tough to drink more than one of these. Definitely a different barleywine, I give credit for uniqueness.

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Photo of BierReise
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bomber No freshness date I love the label on this bottle. Flying pigs, love it. Poured a deep and clear amber with a thick and generous head that retains well and provides some serious lacing. Nice big hop aroma which seems to be the trend in BW's lately. If this continues, I may designate this as my favorite style. It seems to be coming in very close to the super hopped Imperial IPA's. On second pour the bready malt aroma rears itself. It's warming now and coming alive with great aromas. The body on this is quite full and smooth. The bittering hops are noticable in the finish which is also just a tad dry. There's a sweet caramel malt flavor also that is blending superbly with the hop onslaught. The carbonation is even. Not too sharp or flat. Overall I found this an exceptional brew. One I would buy often if only it were available locally.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a sample cup at the Lupulin Slam. This keg was dry-hopped with Columbus hops two, count 'em, two times. It was called Avery Double Dry Hopped Hog Heaven Barleywine at the event, but this does not merit a new entry.

Appearance: Hazy orange topped by a frothy white head that recedes to a rocky film. Nice wisps of lacing were left on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Peppery, aggressively so. Piney and sulfury with caramel overtones and peach fruit. Rather intense.

Taste: Sweet, malty, fruity, mildly bittersweet pine. A nice metallic tang from the hops.

Mouthfeel: Thick and burly, like west coast barleywines gotta be.

Drinkability: A very over-the-top West Coast barleywine. I'll have to try the normal formulation for comparison. I've heard good things about it.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a auburn color with a large white head. Minimal lace is left but lots of alcohol tannins on the goblet.
Aroma is highly hopped, Citrus, pine and chalk or linme hits me. Caramel malt and a musty and nutty note come through. Faint hint of some dark fruits as it warms.
Flavor is very IPA-ish, big hops, high pH level and heavy grapefruit from the hops appear on the palate.
Mouthfeel is pleasant, not outstanding, nice alcoholic kick on the backend.
Drinakability is good, so much like an IPA could drink several.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is a glowing deep and clear ruby-brown with a thin light tannish fluffy head, very thin, intricately whisped curtains and ink blot lacing surrounds the glass. Aroma is a bit subdued with an overall malty sweetness of caramel and some nice pine sap and dry hop wood-like variants. Taste withstands some nice sweet tones in its malts touching on some caramel with some very light and dulled dried citrus. Finishes with a good hop dryness of wood and pine, very easy on the bittering scraping up some grassy notes late. Feel is a smidgon under medium bodied lacking some girth, creamyness, smoothness, and nearly everything I desire out of a BW. Hops make for a nice finish, but I needed more out of it. For me, this stuff needs a boost, its missing a thicker volume in both flavor and body; length too. Not bad, more of a mediochre-close-to-good BW. Seems more like a very good Red ale like Bear Republic's Red Rocket then a BW. I do like the flying pigs on the label though.

Thanks goes out to Gusler for the Avery samples!

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Photo of nomad
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A murky brownish-auburn, it pours out a large off-white head with beady lace and stain aplenty.

Smells of Columbus hops: piney, chalky, lots of leafy scents. This is backed up by a smell of spiced caramel sauce, with a musty roasted sense mixed in there, too. An almost melon note creeps out. All told, the overall scent doesn’t hold well, though.

This is a barleywine? It smacks immediately of big tasty hops, piney dry, with lots of high alpha acidity for flavor. Lots of grapefruit bitterness without grapefruit flavor, the caramel body grows with time - its there but covered in hop effects. This beer slowly begins to become fruity but even more spicy, but are rasped by the rough bitters in the finish. Thin mouthfeel from the high attenuation.

This beer needs some time, and even then, this thing is much more of a double IPA. It lacks any sense of malt - even young Bigfoot has some! Regardless, I had no problem enjoying it.

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Photo of Brent
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

There are few beer styles to which I haven't taken an immediate liking. Loved over the top with hops IPA right away. Stygian black imperial stouts - no hesitation. But barley wine is one style at which I've had to work to develop an appreciation. Perhaps that is why I was so taken with Hog Heaven, as it seems to bridge, or perhaps defy, a strict classification as a barley wine. Big malty sweetness, edging into Belgian territory with a rock candy sweetness. Offsetting this to perfection was an aggressively pungent, piney hops bittering. I'm amazed that the high degree of sweetness in the beer was not cloying, but somehow they managed to balance the act. This could almost be put in the strong ale or imperial IPA category, with the show of big hops, but that would seem inappropriate for the malt profile. Very much an in-your-face beer, and yet most drinkable.

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Photo of aracauna
4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is very hoppy. It has a big aroma and a sweet finish. There's a good balance, but it's more of a big IPA than a barleywine. Instead of the essence of a barleywine, it seems to have the flavors of an IPA with just the hint of strength like an I2PA would. As big of a beer as it is, that actually make it an impressive brewing feat.

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Photo of granger10
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a murky copper color with a head that fit it perfectly. The smell is strong on the hops dept. which seemed odd for a barleywine. The taste starts out with a syrupy sweetness but that soon fades to a citric flavor that's not quite tart. Hops are there the whole time and are really strong in the finish. The body seems a little thin but it is well carbonated at the same time. This one was quite good and definitely a must buy for hop heads who want to try a barleywine.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.02/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Orange body with almost no head. I make an effort to pour straight and a small head quickly disappears to let a sticky ring surround the glass. Big and intense hop aroma. I don't know if that's typical to Columbus hops, but it pretty much reminded me of sweat which the first sip confirmed. In mouth, I'm very disappointed with the weak palate. I expect more from a beer with that much ingredients (although the hop flavors' intensity are just overpowered and remove from the complexity). On the other hand, the malts are there to calm down those 100 IBUs and ensure a good drinkability, but WHERE IS THE BODY! Overall, very tasty, but with some glitches I couldn't really tolerate, especially in a barley wine, this seemed more of a double IPA. Enjoy hopheads. Thanks Mr Crvich.

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Photo of Crosling
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This definately hit the spot after a night full of obnoxious Keystone Light drinkers. I have had a few sessions with hog heaven before and decided to make sure what I got was tasty. I was stressed out and wanted to put a detonator on the side of that Keystone Light barrel and set it for 10 seconds. tick tock tick tock.

I just sat on the couch with my 22 Oz of Hog Heaven and let all my stresses melt away.

Hog heaven poured a light copper with a dense heavy white head that lasted long and then layed the top of the liquid evenly and freely. Nice lacing left down the glass.

The nose was poor. Alcohol was the most dominant scent in the nose. Hops and Tropical fruits rose up as well.

I enjoyed the flavor of Hog Heaven but it could be improved. Being over 100 IBU's I was expecting it to be really hoppy, which it was but there was not enough malt presense to balance it out. Some grapefruit up front on the palate as well as some woodiness on the mid-palate and then just straight bitterness on the finish. It was pretty tasty!

A very solid offering from Avery. I love barley wines!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.2/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Deep ruby almost takes on a plum amber color with a nice tan head creamy textured at that leaving nice bands of lacing with each sip. Aroma: Honey caramel mixture of malt blended with a nice dose of pine cone scented hops, with fruit undertones coming out and a biscuit malt character as well as the semi bready notes of the yeast used appear as well. Taste: Alcohol isn't hidden very well at all with piney hops and sweet malt definitely more bitterness than malt sweetness going on there is somewhat of an off tone from yeast sediment that turns the flavor in the wrong direction. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied smooth carbonation nothing spectacular here. Drinkability: One thing is for sure of the big beers from Avery I haven't been too impressed they just don't pull it off very well I am equally disappointed in this one as I was the Salvation triple, cloyingly unbalanced in my opinion.

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Photo of clvand0
3.4/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled in a 22oz bottle. Pours a dark amber color with a medium tan head and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is very hoppy with malts and some grassy hints. The flavor is surprisingly smooth for the high alcohol content. The hops don't carry through as strongly into the flavor, but the taste starts sweet and ends with a bitter/dry taste. I really enjoyed this barleywine.

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Photo of Winter
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper in color with a thick creamy tan head. Aroma consists of hops (grapefruit) and sweet malt. Soft, thick full-bodied mouthfeel. Full of flavors of piney hops and fruit. Taste is very juicy, yet the bitterness leaves a dry finish. Hop flavors bury the alcohol completely. This barley wine is less malty than I expected. The dominant hop characteristics do more than just reveal that just is a West Coast influenced barely wine. Good, but just not great.

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Photo of skar
4.67/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Blind Tiger, NYC 10/22/03 2nd Annual VSK

Appearance/Head: Rich red color, light head.

Aroma: Subtle hops and malt. Notes of pine needles, resin, and a hint of aromatic oils.

Taste: It starts with a massive malt backbone that provides a wonderful fruityness. Then the intense hops come in and provide a welcome balance and a flavorful, long finish. The complexity here is astounding with toffee, fruit, and sour flavors plus others that are more difficult to pin down. Both the malt and the hops are very powerful and the brewers deserve a lot of credit for making them play so well together.

Bottom line: For me and others in attendance, this beer was the highlight in a night of incredible beer. One of the very best barleywines in the world. Tasting this makes me long dearly for availability of Avery products I had in Minnesota.

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Photo of SeanChouffe
3.15/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a copper/red color with low effervescence, and a golden/yellow head (with very low retention). Lacing is sticky and moves slow. The aroma is of hops!, with a fruity background and a hint of caramel. The taste has a slightly sweet start, with a quick dry middle and lasting hop bitterness at the finish. The Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy at the start with low CO2 and a residual hop bite that remains on the palate.

Hops, hops, hops. This brewing company boasts of having a beer with 100IBU's. Dude! I just don't get the attraction to such an overdose.

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Photo of Jables
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark amber color with white head and great head retention.

The aroma is sweet, citrus and pine, and alcohol.

The flavor reflects that balance of malt, hops, and alcohol. The malt and hops are both equally big and neither really dominates. The malt is sweet and potent like a barleywine should but the hops play a huge part in making this beautifully balanced. The alcohol plays its role without getting in the way.

This is a beer that is fantastic when it is served at the proper temperature and actually resembles Three Floyds Dreadnaught a great deal. Truly a fantastic brew

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Photo of maxpower
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep cloudy dark amber-copper color with a small creamy off-white head that leaves a sticky lacing in my glass, sweet fruity aromas of apples and pears. Sweet and malty like a good barleywine, sweet and sticky finish, very smooth and full bodied with a full and syrupy, creamy mouthfeel, very complex and very smooth, nice.

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Photo of marcobrau
3.56/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours dark copper color with a good amount of foam that settles to a thin collar. Fairly big citric hop and malt aroma that fades rather quickly. Spicy start gets spicier towards the finish, which is a mix of caramel malt flavors, spicy and bitter hops mixed with alcohol. Mouthfeel seems to be a bit thin for a barleywine. This beer's strength and bitterness is very evident. Almost more of a double or Imperial IPA than a barleywine. Could use more malt, or a different name, but otherwise a fine strong, hoppy ale.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Nice, clear, orangish-brown body with a gigantic head that somehow laced the glass with a 9.2 ABV. The head pitted well, leaving an artful display on my Ruination glass.

Smell – This one is big on the hops. There seems to be a complex mix, which lots of pine, rind, and grass aromas. I can pick up a little malt for balanced (lightly-toasted) but the hop mix carries the day here.

Taste – All of the scents blend quite well at the tongue. The hops lose their edge and mix well with a light sugar sweetness. This is terrific.

Mouthfeel – Flat and to the point. Full-bodied and very dry. Not a hint of the astronomical ABV.

Drinkability – I’m embarrassed to say how quickly I drained this bottle. This is a personal favorite of mine.

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Photo of ADR
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Medium sienna color, hazy. Better-than-expected 1/4 inch pale ochre head of mixed bubble sizes and good duration. Laces like thick shimmering toothpaste. Slightly vinous nose, allspice and malt with some hop prickle. Medium body, malt is similar to lemon and sweetened ice tea, with repectable but not overwhelming IBUs taking over the citrus rind duties later in the mouth. Nicely balanced in my mind, good alcohol but more drinkable and maltier than Bigfoot and Old Horizontal. Seems fresher and tastier than some other American hop monster Barleywines.

Source: Liquid Solutions

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Photo of Quaffer
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle sporting some flying pigs. The label claims 100 IBUs.

Appearance: This beer poured a stained cherrywood color with a dense, light-tan head. It thinned out very quickly, but was pretty sticky, leaving quite a bit of lace on the glass.

Smell: A potent hops aroma dominated the nose of this brew. It was combined with smells of light caramel, roasted malts and cracker, dark fruit, and wild grass. As the beer warmed, the alcohol started to emerge, but not very strongly.

Mouthfeel: The feel is very smooth, slightly coating, with just a hint of tingle on the sides of the tongue.

Taste: Sweet malt and a sharp cherry tartness hit the tastebuds immediately. Then, in the middle, some caramel and a floral bitterness arose. The finish was a combination of bitter hops, residual sweetness, and a touch of alcohol.

This was a decent barley wine that hid its alcohol content very well. It definitely did not seem to have the 100 IBUs that the label claims. While good, there are many other beers of this style that I would choose over this one. There was nothing special about this one to help it stand out in the crowd.

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Hog Heaven Barley Wine from Avery Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 909 ratings.