Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA | Avery Brewing Company

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Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPAHog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA
Very Good
2,126 Ratings
Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPAHog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Imperial Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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!

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,126 |  Reviews: 936
Reviews by mattmaples:
Photo of mattmaples
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer certainly looked good but I felt that the flavor and defiantly the mouthfeel were off. Ok I’m not a hop-head but it is not the HUGE hop presence I had a problem with. It has a residual sweetness that I found weird. It was almost a sugary sweetness not a malt sweetness. My wife thought the same thing, in fact she was the one who brought it up. Something that goes along with that is the mouthfeel, I thought it was a tad on the thin side, especially for having that much residual sweetness. It lacked that rich malt feel that one expects from a Barley Wine.

All right, if you are a hop-head this is going to be great beer, with its 100 IBUs and 2.5 lb./barrel Columbus dry hop. If however, you are a malt man you might be a little disappointed.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev +1.3%

A: dark amber and clear, thick head as big as you want of tan foam

S: piney and bright hops percolate through rich caramel malts

T: following the nose, the hops are aggressive and keep things crisp, bringing pine and resin bitterness to the malty toffees and barley grain

M: medium-full bodied feel, ample carbonation; chewy but tight - nice balance to the feel

O: an American barleywine that borders on the DIPA - hop action is strong enough to meet the malts midway - some chew, but mostly on the finish - otherwise maintains a nice bitterness that cuts through the sugars of the malts. I really dug it. Think of it as a malty DIPA or a hoppy American barleywine. Real nice drinking.

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Photo of atone315
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I like my American b-wines hoppy and this one delivers. What amazed me most was the smell...I cracked this one open and poured into an Avery oversized "rare beer snifter" and immediately the smell permeated the air. It was awesome!!! The taste is unmistakably barleywine, with a ridiculous hop presence. Loved it!!! The next bottle I buy is going to sit in the cellar for a few years, curious what some age will do.

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Photo of DKMII
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: copper color very clear. Lacking a full head. Head diminished quickly. Great lacing. Smell: bitter. Almost a not so good burnt oil smell. Slightly floral but overpowering bitterness. Taste: too bitter for a barley wine. Similar to Sierra Nevada hop hunter. Floral hoppy finish but bitterness, even for a high ibu lover, was unpleasant. Feel: very light not typical of barley wine. Too much carbonation. Overall: not great. Not impressed.

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Photo of TheCraftBrewReview
4.19/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fan of bacon: Check. Fan of Barleywine: Check. Fan of Avery: You bet. What could go wrong? As a part of their “Holy Trinity of Ales”, this selection immediately caught my eye with the flying pigs and slick packaging. Barleywines usually push 11-12% ABV so this one is a little on the lighter side, but certainly is bitter enough at 104 IBUs to pack a punch in my mouth. Was I impressed enough to swine over it? Err.. swoon over it? Lets find out.

Appearance – 89: A nice light amber color pours with a significant amount of haze. A good quarter inch thick head developed after first pour which dissipated slowly over a minute’s timeframe. Very nice lacing throughout with an off-white color to it.

Smell – 84: No distinct smells are present other than the dry-hopped process upon first sniff. The bottle suggested that a caramel sweetness should be registering, but other than a slight citrus tone with a massive amount of hops, nothing was noticeable.

Body & Texture – 87: The beer sits medium-light on the tongue at first sip, and the sweet dry hops immediately give way to the promised caramel sweetness with a pleasant pineapple/orange overtone. Much sweeter than I expected.. after a moment the malts REALLY hit you. Wow. Oink.

Taste – 87: If you aren’t fond of bitter beers, you wouldn’t enjoy this. For someone with a more refined palate that likes things tangy without verging on sour, you’ll love this one. The taste after a moment or two is very wooden/hoppy, but outside of that I enjoyed it quite a bit. The candied accent is a nice touch which greets you warmly before the hops smack you in the face… a very long aftertaste to the beer. Nice overall !

Overall – 86.3 (Great): The folks over at Avery put together a very strong offering which was true to the description on that one. A bitter barleywine-style ale that has just the right amount of kick to get you squealing, but sweet enough to have you going back for more. Was glad that I picked up a bottle of this for myself, and would gladly do so again to have a break from the norm. Well done!

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Photo of oberon
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured a deep red/brown color with light but rocky head,the aroma was suprisingly hoppy.The head was pretty creamy and sticky.This is a uncompromising beer here,nutty and somewhat medicinal with a hugely dry finish.Quite a beer here maybe a little overwhelming.Never heard of Avery even when living in Denver for awhile had never seen it,man this is a big beer.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
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 aszatk01
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of t2grogan
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of boston2bburg
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Mostly clear ruby orange with a light, creamy khaki head. Three fingers that settles to a modest cover. A couple big patches of lacing. Served at about 60 degrees.

There's a healthy nose of citrus hops (apparently all Columbus) balanced with sweet apricot, orange marmalade and candied malts. Fresh smelling and very pleasant. Even with the relatively warm pour temperature the aroma grows

This is a very well-balanced barleywine. For 100 IBUs, there isn't an overpowering bitterness. The hops provide a subtle citrus flavor, while plenty of candied caramel malts make the finish smooth and creamy.

Personally I prefer full-bodied, thick, syrupy barleywines but this one sacrifices some body for drinkability. The alcohol is mostly unnoticeable anywhere except in my body, and if I stand up now I'm probably in danger of falling over. As long as I'm sitting I think I could drink these all night.

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

From a cask at the Avery Tap Room in late January

I had not been to the brewery in about 3 years and decided to make the trip out to Boulder after skiing in Breckenridge. First I had to take the wife to see the millions of prarie dogs that are all over the eastern part of town.

This is by far the best beer I have tasted over the last 12 months.

A-hazy orange juice

S-hop bomb

T-a total hop bomb with a great malt backbone. This one could be a DIPA just as easily as a Barleywine

M-the malts give this a great mouthfeel

D-I had a couple of these and I could have had a couple more without any palate fatigue. I even followed it up with a Dugana and was still impressed with the cask freshness.

OK-now the review of the Hog Heaven in a bomber from 2005

Appearance-truly a ruby dark barleywine with blackened yeast sediment


Taste-vinous with a little malt backbone. After tasting this I took an inventory of all the old barleywines I had on hand. i think I need to drink up everything that is more than 2 years old. I don't think I'm a big fan of the wine aspects of older barleywines

Mouthfeel-thin, hot

Drinkability-a little goes a long way

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Photo of tbryan5
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a chalice style glass.

A: Mostly clear coppery color with an excellent frothy white head. Head retention throughout the experience with white lacing down the glass.

S: Mostly malty on the nose but a noticeable presence of mild hops as well.

T: Complex medium-toast malt flavors well matched with hop bitterness - but not balanced. Although a touch sweet with malt, the flavors a bit more dry compared to other barley wine styles previously sampled but is a compliment to the overall taste. The finish is long and malty with a bit of warming.

M&D: Mouthfeel is heavy, smooth, and complex and has the effect of a creaminess as it rolls over the tongue. Carbonation only enhances everything else and helps to bring everything together nicely. Fantastic example of the style.

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

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.

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Photo of skybluewater
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of bulldogg915
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of JasonA
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber from my new packy in MA.

Pours a tranparent reddish carmel. Nice BW head with impressive lacing. Nice overall carbonation.

Smells a delicious American style BW. Something I would love to brew myself. Very slight hop character, can smell the booze but its more interesting that alcoholic. There is something floral in there, but I cannot place it.

Hmmm, not what I expected. Close to perfection on the appearance and smell, but the taste is not living up to those expectations. More hoppy than malty. Well, more hoppy than I would like in a BW. I think the ABV might be masking some flabor here. I dont like the body, all I get is hops. Finish is nice.

Sits well, carbonation lights up the mouf well. After feel is nice, above average.

I dont like how the ABV seems to overwhelm this brew. Needless to say I am very overwhelmed by the high marks for this BW. Most likely not one I will return to unless it is noticed on tap.

I do have 1 more which I will age. Though judging by the current ABV and no feeling of a body, I dont expect much. Might just have to trade it away ;)

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Photo of danthehopslamman
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of dandaugherty1221
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 22oz bomber poured into a snifter. It was a hazy brown color, not particulary attractive, with a thin head. It had a sweet malt aroma, along with some floral aroma. The taste was mostly reminiscent of caramel, with a little hops presence. I thought the beer was a little on the mild side, but still pretty good.

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Photo of freshflesh
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4/5  rDev +1.3%

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

Bottled purchased in June 2010; into a tulip

A - Pours a hazed amber with two fingers of creamy looking tan head. Head has nice retention and leaves spots of lacing all the way down the glass.

S - Caramel and toffee. Some citrus hops are still noticeable, despite the age.

T - Lots of caramel and toffee, and some dark fruits coming through. Similar to the nose, there are still some citrus hops present, and a decent bitterness throughout, but probably nothing like it was fresh. I don't like really hoppy barleywines (though I love DIPAs) so I let this one sit intentionally. Two years on this is definitely tasty and still has a surprisingly nice bitterness throughout the taste.

M - Medium-full mouthfeel with a nice balance of sweet and bitter. Finish is dry with a lingering bitterness. Some numbing alcohol noticeable on the finish.

O - Pretty tasty barleywine, and I am pretty sure that I enoyed this more with the age than I would have fresh, but I would still like to try this fresh, or with less time on it, to compare. While I prefer English style barleywines, if I am looking for an American style, this is a tasty one at a great price.

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Photo of Beaver13
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of Doomcifer
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

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Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 2,126 ratings