Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA
Avery Brewing Company

Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPAHog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA
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Red Ale - Imperial
Ranked #17
Ranked #9,308
3.98 | pDev: 10.8%
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Very Good
Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPAHog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA
Notes: Formerly Hog Heaven Barley Wine

Or is it hop heaven? This dangerously drinkable garnet beauty was designed to satisfy the most zealous hop devotees. Intense bitterness and the dankest of dry hopped aromas are intertwined with a rich caramel malt backbone. Oink!
Reviews: 937 | Ratings: 2,129 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.64/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

$ 22.00 (Including tax)/six-pack of 12 oz cans ($ 0.305/oz) from Franklin Beer, Franklin, PA. Reviewed 11/30/18.
“Canned on 08/14/18” on bottom of can. Stored upside down at 42 degrees and served at 42 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 4.25.
Body – Amber, hazy.
Head – Large (Maximum six cm, aggressive center pour), off-white, low density froth, good retention, slooowly diminishing to a four mm ring and a heaped partial layer. Multiple pieces of torn lacing remain as the head retracts.
Lacing – Excellent. In addition to the above, as the level drops, a wide, somewhat thick, band of tiny to small bubbles emerges, displaying stalactites and connected to the next band by thin columns.
First pour – Dark gold, clear.
Aroma – 4 - Citrus flowers and pine initially. This morphs into caramel maltiness.
Flavor – 3.5 – No citrus or pine (as suggested by the nose) are present. There is a bit of caramel malt which ends slightly bitter. Several minutes after swallowing, a mild gastric warming occurs. No alcohol (9.2% ABV), no diacetyl, no dimethylsulfide.
Palate – 3.25 – Medium, approaching creamy, almost lively carbonation.
Impression and interpretation – 3.5 – When I first had this back in August 2010, it was a barley wine. Now Avery claims that it’s an “Imperial Red IPA”. So, did they added more hops to their barley wine formula or did they tweak their basic formula to try to make it more of an IPA? Either way, IMHO, they lowered the quality and made a brew that’s overpriced and neither fish nor fowl.

Nov 30, 2018
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SLeffler27 from New York

4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

SRM 11-14 rich amber and almost clear. The one-half inch white foam is dense, leaving a thick white lace on a PBGC Aromatic snifter.

The aroma opens with a strong, sweet, caramelized brown sugar. Floral hops give way to a pleasant alcohol while warmth brings out pinesap.

Bitterness is high and contrasted by equally high sweetness. The flavors generally follow the nose with emphasis on the caramelized sugar that is just short of burnt. Warmth reveals dates, while a long finish has modest strength playing to the caramel and alcohol.

The alcohol is as expected and just short of warm. The silky texture and full body allow fine carbonation to transition from prickly to creamy. Residual sugars are less than expected.

This is a sipping beer that reveals progression with warmth. I will finish this while reading and snacking on creamy Bleu cheese. Much thanks to Rodney and Louise.

Oct 20, 2018
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puck1225 from Texas

4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a tulip glass.

Brownish orange color with a decent head and lacing. Slightly boozey smell and taste. Flavors of toffee, caramel and vanilla. Thick feel. Good imperial red IPA.

Aug 02, 2018
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Rogerlb from California

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh, yeah, I see, Hog Heaven used to be marketed as "barley wine" but is now an "imperial red ale." Did it change the formula or the marketing?

Can is marked 7/31/17, and it's 10 months later but it's a barley wine so it should age well (he said, hoping).... It pours a clear amber and boy oh boy that smell is barley wine with a capital B. Sweet malt, some hops, really good rich promise. 2 finger head slowly dissipates, slower than I'd expect for a 9.2%.

Taste is sticky, caramel, dank and bitter. 10 months on the shelf have not diminished the hops much. Dry-hoppiness, an earthiness like fuggles (?guess?) grows as it warms. This certainly has more body and mouth feel than most ambers you might be used to, regardless of what it says on the can.

It's boozy, because it's Avery. Really fits into barley wine style by taste. So rich and malty, calling it a red is simple description. Maybe closer to a DIPA without the cloying sweetness. Quite a chewy brew and a bit loud.

Jun 25, 2018
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KLHBB from Colorado

2.52/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Beautiful color, but smells like rotting vegetables in a machine shop. The taste is all alcohol and bitterness. I read some of the other reviews and wonder if this is the same beer. No fruit,no sugar just a lot of barley and hope and bitterness. I realize it's just me and my taste but I'm ranting so I won't get sucked in by the cute link can again.

Jun 17, 2018
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mothmanscott from Georgia

4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From notes 10/5/12: Pours murky brownish/reddish orange with lots of particulates swirling about. Remarkably the brew clears as it warms, about 25 minutes into the drink. The pour produces 2 strong fingers of moderately lasting, creamy, chunky, tan head that leaves moderate stringy, webby lacing. Aroma is caramel, vanilla with pine resin and citrus hops. Taste is boozy, rich caramel malt sweetness balanced with spice, wood, cedar, pine and citrus hops up front with the hops dominating by mid-sip; becoming full throttle by the finish and tongue numbing delightful in the aftertaste. All in a very earthy/dank undertone. Alcohol pervades the sip. Starts predominately sweet for a millisecond before it turns hoppy; finishes dry, extremely hoppy and bitter. Might be described as Dogfish 90 Minute IPA on hop steroids. Going into this blind I would have guessed to be a Imperial (Double or Triple) IPA, but other than alcohol and intensity I'm not sure what defines it as am imperial Amber/Red Ale. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and nicely carbonated, tongue coating and sticky it is silky to creamy yet a little prickly. Astringent.

May 28, 2018
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Form the 11 oz bottle in a snifter. This nice ale pours a deep moderately murky
red tinged brown with a nice head of off white foam that settles to a thick ring, nice
chunky layer, and displays some very nice lacing. Nose of rich caramel malts with
orange zest, pineapple notes, heavy pine, and floral hop notes. Flavors show depth
of use of the hop field with pine and citrus hops showing notes of orange and mango
with floral and herbal hops rounding out the back of the taste with rich caramel malts
and a touch of spice akin to rye. Smooth and very nice mouth feel; medium low carbonation
like a barley wine (ahem), medium body, and a rich hop accentuated sweet finish.

Overall, a solid little brew that most likely gains more attention from the moniker'
of being a imperial red IPA than a barley wine---sheesh---who likes those things????

Your soaking in it Madge!


May 19, 2018
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micada from New York

3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2018 12 oz can poured chilled. Light red/amber color. Poured aggressively to a snifter. Medium head that dissipates quickly to a lingering lace. Nose is piney, some citrus. First sips follow the nose, with good sweetness from the malt. Mouthfeel is light to medium. After warming a little, the hops jumped forward more, but never got bitter. The alcohol hides throughout. I don't usually drink reds, as those I've tried all had strange aftertastes, but this one didnt fall into that funk. Another very enjoyable, easy to drink beer that will knock you on your butt if you don't use your head to remember it's an imperial.

Mar 26, 2018
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stevoj from Idaho

4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This one has it all, just hiding out of sight. Nice reddish body with minimal head. Aroma is malt and grains, alcohol also tickles the nose. Taste is more malt and (?)....don’t know. I agree with Indiana Red that it might be worth while trying a cellared bottle. Very smooth and drinkable, alcohol hides nicely, and becomes apparent slowly.

Mar 05, 2018
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.86/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Refrigerated 2 oz can with a canning date of March 2017.
Pours with a lightly hazed, reddish copper body and a decent white head. Moderate lacing.
Herbal and fruity hop notes dominate the aroma. The flavor follows, but with substantial caramel malt and low bitterness given the aroma. Moderate bitterness for style. Lasting fruity hop flavor.
Medium+ body and lively carbonation.
Overall: near juicy; easy drinking for style. This "Imperial Red IPA" drinks more like a barleywine.

Jan 07, 2018
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Thankin_Hank from Texas

4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A very rich caramel red color, goood carbonation and a thin head. Great hop aroma. Taste is strong on the alcohol and the hops really compliment this beer so very well makes it different to an awesome point. This beer has the drinkability of a lighter IPA that bursts with flavors. Awesome beer. On draft at Ron’s Corner Tavern.

Sep 25, 2017
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TreyIsWilson from Michigan

3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy amber with a creamy two finger off white head. Tons of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is caramel malts and resinous hops.

T - The taste is caramel malts, pineapple, orange peel, grapefruit and resinous hops. The finish has a light lingering bitterness.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a crisp dry finish.

O - This is a solid Imperial Red.

Sep 14, 2017
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tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.56/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A thanks goes out to the admiral of amber ales, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a copper/amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of caramel, mixed fruits. Taste is alcohol, pine, light fruits and malts, more alcohol. Feels medium/full bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer, but a bit boozy for my liking.

Aug 05, 2017
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MikeWard from Pennsylvania

3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can into a pint glass. canned 3/28/17, so closing in on 3 months old.

looks good, clear amber/red body 1" thick foamy head leaving excellent lacing.

aroma is mostly of sweet malt with a hint of dankiness.

nice drink. at 3 months is not likely the hop assault it once was, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing.
hops are still present, nice strong sweet malt background. alcohol is quite well hidden.

getting towards full on the mouth, sweet & bitter on the finish.

overall, it would be interesting to taste one fresh off the line, but at 3 months, this is a pretty tasty well balanced aggressive drink.

Jun 25, 2017
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BB1313 from Ohio

3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Canned on 3/28/17. 12oz can poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy glowing auburn with a big fluffy light khaki head that slowly falls leaving great thick retention and sticky lacing. The aromas have some pineapple along with some caramel malts. Some rubber in the mix. The flavors follow the nose perfectly. More pineapple with some herbal tropical notes. Some lemon in the mix. More hints of rubber with some garlic and onion notes. Hints of pine. Caramel is there. Strong malt backbone. Moderate bitterness. It's ultimately bittersweet and balanced. Mild warmth in the finish, but it's not hot or boozy. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with moderate to light carbonation. It's fluffy and slightly thin, but it's very smooth. Dangerously drinkable.

This is a nice "Imperial Red IPA". It's basically exactly what you would expect from the style. Solid hop profile. The malts do their thing. Well done.

Apr 27, 2017
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GoneARye from Washington

4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the better IRAs I've ever had. Pours a Ruby Red with a reasonable fluffy head. Good lacing as the glass is enjoyed. Aroma is full of variety. Rich malt and doughy bread. On top of that sits a wonderfully dank hop profile, so fresh I get a cheesey, soy sauce, umami quality. Taste follows the nose, with the hops filling my mouth and remaining after I swallow. Medium carbonation and a chewy mouthfeel without being oily or slick. Would happily drink again.

Apr 15, 2017
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. canned on 03/03/17

Pours clear reddish copper amber with a creamy off-white foam head. Smells like strawberry jam, roasty caramel malts, molasses, toffee, graham cracker, some vanilla, grapefruit, orange citrus, with dank floral earthy herbal grassy resinous pine. Tastes like strawberry jam, roasty caramel malts, molasses, toffee, graham cracker, vanilla, grapefruit, orange citrus, with dank floral earthy herbal grassy resinous pine. Feels medium bodied, creamy and smooth with low carbonation. Overall a really nice imperial red IPA.

Apr 05, 2017
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beergoot from Colorado

4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark amber body; thick, sculpted head; sticky sheets of foam adhering to the glass. Spicy, malt aroma; excellent blend of caramel and crystal malt scents. Heavy body; sweet and sticky mouthfeel.

A very fine, very malt-forward IPA. There delivers a lot of spicy, heavy malt sweetness, but without any cloying, saccharine overtones. There is some fine boozy notes yet they are well wrapped amidst some rye-like grain notes. An awesome offering...

Mar 28, 2017
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HorseheadsHophead from Colorado

3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Hazy, opaque amber with a creamy beige head that sticks around a little while, but eventually dies down. A thin sticky off white lacing is left behind.

S: Caramel, toast, dried apricot, white grape raisin, dried papaya, dried pineapple, candied figs, and brown sugar.

T: Caramel, toffee, toasted bread, and brown sugar; accompanied by dried pineapple, mango, papaya, candied figs, raisins, and plums.

F: Medium-full bodied, smooth, chewy, and bready. Medium carbonation, moves well enough along the palate.

O: I don't know the age of this bottle, but it comes across more as an old DIPA than a barleywine. However, it holds up as pretty drinkable.

Mar 05, 2017
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Blackop555 from Michigan

3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours amber/copper with a thick, creamy, tall off white head that slowly fades. Good lacing. Cap lasts throughout.

Smells of caramel malts, earthy, dank, resinous pine.

Caramel malt and bitter pine, light citrus hints of pepper. Finish is mostly dry with a pine linger. Light alcohol flavor. Medium body and medium carbonation. Smooth with some picky carbonation

Jan 21, 2017
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polloenfuego from Canada (NB)

3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hog Heaven pours a nice deep golden brown with a small but frothy head that breaks leaving nice wisps on top of the beer and great lacing as you drink. The smell is a rich combination of hops and sweet malts and dark fruits. The smell is something that draws you in and sits pleasant on the nose just before you taste the beer. The taste in my case was hop forward with a bit of a soapy taste to them. Then the typical barleywine flavors come in: caramel sugar malts, some musty dark fruits and a little bit of leather. The feel is medium with a nice amount of carbonation that plays well with the flavors.

A good barleywine, but not one I would put into my favorites. Perhaps I am better suited to English barleywines, but I generally prefer the style overall to be a little maltier/sweeter than this one was. Still, worth a try and if you like a hoppy barleywines this is probably right up your alley.

Jan 20, 2017
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ManapuaMan from Massachusetts

3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber poured into a glass. Nice looking beer - amber/gold pour with a frothy head. Aroma let's you know it's a big beer - sweet malt, pungent fruit, dark fruit and booze. Taste is a hop-assault with a barleywine backdrop. Sticky hop resin, pungent fruit, dark fruit, candied malt, caramel and boozy heat. Finishes bitter and sticky. Every sip is a chewy mouthful of beer.

Nov 21, 2016
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GoBearsWalter34 from Illinois

4.52/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky, rustic orange with a thin, off-white head.
S- Huge smell of bitter hops, malt, and funk.
T- Much pine bitternesd bite. Carmel malt really takes the edge off. Lots of oak. Hint of dark berries.
F- All comes together very well. Lots if pine resin sticks around. Grapefruit in the finish. Warming feeling for sureO- wonderful barleywine.

Nov 19, 2016
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Chestertonian82 from Ohio

4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Has a soapy smell of citrus and caramel; color is a cloudy but attractive garnet. Taste is VERY similar to 90 Minute IPA, but with a sharpness and dryness not to be found there. I prefer the richer taste of 90 MInute; that to me is a world-class beer, while this falls slightly short of that mark. A very nice beer nonetheless, well worth a try or occasional buy.

Oct 03, 2016
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mac31 from California

3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap, tulip

A big beer with big flavor. First sip is of cranberry sweetness, mahogany woodiness, and sweet malts upfront. I love barleywines and yet have never tasted an American b-wine quite like this. Malts give off sweet, bright golden raisins, cranberry, passion fruit (candy) along with a straightforward and sweet caramel foundation. There is a bright, lemon, citric presence that brightens up this brew. The citrus of the hops rolls right in to a nice mildly earthy and clean bitterness. The carbonation is on the softer side, which enhances the flavors. The body is on the thinner side. I had this beer on tap. I would love to cellar a bottle of this for at least six month or a year to mellow some of the bitterness from the hops. This a true to form American barleywine. I favor the English offerings of this style-in general, they are more balanced and harmonious. By the end of this glass the caramel, malty sweetness and the clean bitterness got to be a little much for me. I would have to be in the right mood to order again.

Aug 07, 2016
Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 2129 ratings