Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA | Avery Brewing Company

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Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPAHog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Amber / 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!

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-05-2002

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Reviews: 916 | Ratings: 2,058
Photo of DIM
2.12/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

a: This was a light coppery amber color. It pours with a big craggy, lacey, slightly dirty white head.

s: Artificial sweetner and some kind of cherry candy dominated along with some harsh alcohol and piny hop smells. Unpleasant.

t: Harsh, prickly, and artificial flavors of obnoxiously sugary cherry candy and some abrasive, bitter, yet strangely flavorless hops that burned my tongue. Highly alcoholic, almost solventy.

m: The carbonation and viscosity were both up to snuff, but the harsh aftertaste hurts the score here.

d: I couldn't bring myself to finish it. This just isn't for me.

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Photo of mjc410
2.26/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Shared with Br. Forner in an amazing brother-building event.

The pour into my snifter raises a thin layer of surface bubbles, which are just a tad tan. The legs on the beer are quite nice, very thick and viscous. Lacing is certainly impressive, considering its ABV. Quite hazy, with a golden copper body. The nose is filled with juniper notes, and a strong caramel profile. Almost burns the nostrils - seems to have a high alcohol profile. The first taste does not impress me - despite the IBUs, the beer doesn't showcase much bitterness: the first and foremost taste is alcohol. There is initial hop bite, but the flavor recedes quickly. There's a bit of bisciuty malt, but not much. This is the most watery BW I've had - there's just so little there. The carbonation is adequate for the style, though. A lackluster BW.

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Photo of rastaman
2.36/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Very upfront in flavour. Raisinbread flavour, pretty sweet, with not enough bitterness or dryness to balance it out. The finish is short and feels empty. Not very hoppy in flavour, for a beer that claims to be highly hopped, well thats just what i thought anyway. Not my bag.

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Photo of MiScusi
2.46/5  rDev -38%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On tap at Lucky Baldwin's delirium cafe in sierra madre.

Dark reddish, nice cap of foam on top. Smells like a malty, sugary, fruit bomb. The beer is way too sweet for me. Cloyingly sweet. I don't find a lot of balance offered here by the hops to cut some of the sweetness.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.46/5  rDev -38%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded silver foil-ed over pry-off pressure cap and uninteresting label art acquired at a local bottle shop a year ago and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip/wine glass hybrid glass in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high given its current rating and the brewery. Reviewed as a barleywine because the label clearly identifies it as such. 9.2% ABV confirmed. 104 IBUs.

Served cold - straight from the freezer - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a two finger wide head of white-khaki colour. Decent creaminess and thickness. Okay lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is pretty good - about 6+ minutes. Decent consistency.

Body colour is a glowing translucent light amber. Clean; no floating yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Overall, it's an appealing if standard appearance for the style. I'm looking forward to trying it, but it isn't unique or special. There are no egregious flaws here.

Sm: Floral hop character, pale malts, cream, caramel, marshmallow, bread crust, and caramalt.

No alcohol or yeast character is detectable.

Overall, it's a pleasant but non-ideal aroma of moderate strength.

T: Marshmallow, floral hop character, caramalt, heavy caramel, bread crust, bready malts, and some amber malts. Rotten orange. Stale/overripe grapefruit. Pithy. Way too bitter and horribly imbalanced. Build is neither cohesive nor gestalt. Very unimpressive. Too hoppy for the style - which should be malt-dominant. Lacks sufficient sweetness. Still, it has some subpar candi sugar notes. Below average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. Lacks complexity; it's pretty simple. Not nuanced, intricate, or subtle.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Has some alcohol warmth. Has an unbecoming coarseness. The smoothness/dryness is also off. Overcarbonated. Doesn't suit the flavour profile really at all. Bad presence on the palate. That said, it doesn't have the weight of most barleywines.

Not oily, astringent, or gushed.

Dr: Downable but very unremarkable. Far from Avery's strongest work. I certainly wouldn't get it again. Age hasn't done it any favours either. I wouldn't recommend it to friends. It's a pretty mediocre barleywine. I expected far better. It'll get you drunk, but it won't please the discerning drinker. Quite poor for a barleywine, all around. Badly executed.


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Photo of kajerm
2.48/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bomber, pours amber with a slight reddish hue. Massive head-- about three fingers-- and lacing cascading over the side of the glass. A few minutes later, it recedes to about a finger and remains stable.

The aroma is pretty hoppy, in a resinous, nonspecific sort of way-- it might be cascade. Some biscuity, buttery, slightly toffeeish malts are present, with a background of residual sugar.

Holy shit, it tastes like dimes. Or maybe nails. There is almost no opening to speak of, with grapefruit rind-hops showing up mid-palate. The finish is hop bitterness, and a little bit of fruitiness. Lots of alcoholic heat in the chest.

Over time, the hoppiness calms the metallic taste down, but the coiny taste never really subsides completely. The mouthfeel is heavy in carbonation, medium in body, and boring in every conceivable way.

This beer is totally one-dimensional, and drinking it makes me feel like somebody punched me in the chest.

All told, not my favorite barleywine.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.49/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours out with a deep red hue, capped by an ivory head with moderate retention, though no lacing.

Smell: Grapefruit amidst a surging scent of hops and alcohol.

Taste: Astringent bitterness (without ever being flavorful) from start to finish, even harshly so, and with little to no malt base to balance it back out. The finish is caustically acidic and develops into a rather stinging aftertaste. I did not detect the "explosion of sweet malts" mentioned on the label. This brew is simply *crawling* with bitterness.

Listen, the denizens of the beer world won't beg for balance, we're above that. But look at what's happening here, folks! I, for one, long for the Salad Days that balanced beers provided.

Hint: this beer is really a Double IPA.

Avery Brewing Co. thought they could pull the wool over my eyes by calling this a barleywine, but I've shown them that they need to get up a *little* earlier in the morning if they wanna think about tricking me!

Mouthfeel: Medium, though a tad bit thin for a barleywine. Low carbonation.

Drinkability: Somewhere, one of the multitude of hopheads out there is nodding with satisfaction. "A job well done!" they may say.

However, I found this singularly one-dimensional beer to be unpleasantly unbalanced and disappointing for a barleywine (which I feel should display at least a modicum of balance and harmony within the fabulous potency of it's flavors).

This beer is a step in the wrong direction for Avery Brewing Co.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.5/5  rDev -37%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed 3/22/2006 (22oz bottle):

Pours a cloudy dark amber red/brown color body, with virtually no head, brown. Strong aroma of hops, weak overall aroma. Very strong bitter taste, strong alcohol, almost like rubbing alcohol. Not very complex flavor. Reminds me of an IPA, but not as dry. Acidic bitter aftertaste. I don't think I enjoy Barleywines.

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Photo of dclee11
2.54/5  rDev -36%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Fairly disappointing.

Pours a nice, light mahogany with a two-finger head with staying power. Half an hour later, there are still foam speckles on the glass.

The nose is piney, grassy, with a hint of lemon.

Tastes much like the nose. I can't get past the feeling I'm drinking left-over brussel sprout water.

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Photo of weazal
2.56/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

S: Excitingly potent aroma primarily of hops with an underbelly of sweet caramel-y. I'm not sure if they actually meld or contrast against each other. It's interesting to be sure. The hops are bright, but more earthy, grassy.

T: Woa. Hefty smokey, bitter taste. Thick, full body. More intense than flavorful. Not much upfront, then dark, potent leather, and finishes with a long lingering bitterness. Not a very pleasant bitterness either...

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Photo of krunchie
2.62/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Served in a Riedel Ouverture glass at 10.6C (51F). Already when pouring I smell lots of hops!

A: Semi hazy ruby copper colour with a thick fluffy slightly tan head. Stays in there pretty good.

S: Crystal malts and american floral hops. Blood orange and grapefruit, lots of grain aroma. Slightly nutty and syrupy nose. Very fresh and clean smell, hardly any yeast aroma.

T: Wow, REALLY intense! At first I got a huge hop bitterness blast, followed by an alcoholic bitterness and faint grainy background. Lots of hops in this brew, folks! I expected this beer to be more malty and nutty, like the smell. It actually made me slightly dissapointed. This beer is very american in the sense that it's a lot of everything, but it's a bit over the top in many ways IMHO. It's not balanced in any way and I don't understand why it comes in a 650ml bottle - there's no way you can drink that much, it's too much even for two or three people. The overall bitterness is too much for me and I can't pick up anything else but sharpness and cheap booze. It kinda reminds me of not too good Imperial IPAs I've had in the past. Promising, but dissapointing.

M/D: Sharp and crisp, sort of feels like an artifical drink after half a glass. This beer is not for me.

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Photo of amanofbeer
2.63/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a bomber, into a snifter.

The most noticable characteristic about the appearance is the excessive carbonation, for a barleywine that is. Should this beer really be let out to breathe I wonder? Hmmm...

It smells extremely worty (wort being the unfermented barley 'tea'), and VERY bitter. Perhaps this is a desired flavor (or for now, scent), but I'm not sure what to make of this either just yet, but I have a hunch that many starches remained unconverted.

At first, the bitterness and sweetness seem to work well together...but then hell breaks loose in the aftertaste.
I can't put my finger on what it is about the malt flavor, other than it tasting like the mash, but the malt flavor disappears, leaving the 100 IBUs to wreak havoc on my taste buds...

Mouthfeel is too heavy; again, it seems as though there has not been nearly enough fermentation. It should be much less syrupy.

For a barleywine, I think it's rather unpalatable, but I for the reason that the initial flavor isn't too offensive, I give it above average on the drinkability...but I think I'm going easy on it.

I poured about 2 ounces in 2 glasses, one for me, the other for my roommate...he didn't dig it, and neither did I...So I rebottled it. Hopefully some age will sort this puppy out...at least it will let some of those 100 IBUs mellow out a bit...not to hopeful about the malt flavor, but only time will tell.

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Photo of jeranbrews
2.67/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - giant puffy cloud beige head. Clear amber cedar body. Moderate lacing. 4.5

S - hops. Strong dry hops. Two or three kinds. Nothing else. 2.5

T - strong hop initial tastes, strong hop aftertaste and only the faintest hint of crystalline estery wine line flavors. 2.5

M - smooth and silky but masked by the astringency of the hops. 3

D - a sad depressing waste of months of work crafting a barley wine just to have it only taste like hops. Really defeats the purpose. After drinking a whole bottle it does warm on you but that could be said of almost any beer . 2.5

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Photo of falloutsnow
2.69/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: The beer pours from the bottle as a dark brown or amber color; when held to the light, it showcases a light amber with orange tint. Produces a dense two-finger head with larger bubbles on the top of the foam. This declines in a few minutes, leaving excellent lacing along the sides of the glass. Murky, but able to be penetrated by light, revealing scattered, sluggish carbonation. A bit light in color for a barleywine, but an impressive appearance nonetheless.
S: The hops were bursting out of the bottle as it was poured. As would be expected, citrus and grapefruit smells abound with a light bit of malt in the background. It's strange to experience this near-total lack of malt essence in a barleywine, and the style name seems to be loosely applied.
T: Similar to the smell, the overpowering characteristic is of grapefruit-rich, citrus-y hops that ever-so-slightly gives way to tastes of brown sugar, ginger, and cloves. Domination over the "barleywine" portion of the beer again, almost totally masking the fact that this is a grain-based beverage. Even for an American barleywine, the bitterness seems high.
M: Wonderfully thick, chewy mouthfeel that is somewhat surprising considering the amount of hop-references contained in the beer (as opposed to malt). Nearly nonexistent carbonation leaves the beer feel lacking vigor, though, just sitting in the mouth; if there was a slight bit more carbonation, it would do wonders for the mouthfeel. Expectedly dry finish practically forces one to take another sip.
D: This reminds me of an ESB or double IPA more than a barleywine. With the amount of hops used, the malt aspect seems like an afterthought or a feeling from the brewer that "we have to do this for the style." The notion of balance is unfortunately nonexistent here, as a bit of it would help this beer be much more palatable as a barleywine.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.7/5  rDev -32%
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.

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Photo of Vancer
2.71/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This one aged for almost a year, so I can’t believe it wasn’t a smoother brew. The pour started out nice – bourbon cola brown, only a thin, but lacey tan head.

The aroma was also promising with notes of a sweet molasses and bourbon combination.. But wow, the taste was a real let down – harsh woody and grassy flavors. The brew was more IPA than BW – it really needed tons more malt. Popped me with a dry and alcoholic punch.

Maybe I had too high expectations with Avery – I’ve really enjoyed their other offerings. This one goes to the retry pile – someday, someday.

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Photo of seand
2.76/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a clear reddish amber with a huge amount of light bubbly tan head. Retains quite well and leaves reasonable lacing.

S: Slight floral hops combined with a kind of dark syrupy sweetness, plus a bit of an odd, slightly plastic note.

T: Again slightly hoppy, and slightly sweet, but with a harsh note, which is at least partially boozy. Kind of like the dark bitter coffee harshness from some boozy stouts, but isolated and lacking much balancing sweetness. Slightly astringent aftertaste.

M: Medium to full body, medium carbonation.

Overall I really didn't enjoy this beer. It's a very odd blend, and I'm not really sure what they were going for. Not my thing, at least.

Having looked at other reviews, I'm not getting any of the fruit or much of the complexity described, so it's possible I just got a bad bottle.

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Photo of Bendurgin
2.79/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Got this one for Father's Day this year. Pours this one into a tulip. Pours a dark copper amber color. Big fluffy off white head on this one with really nice lacing. I'm not loving the smell on this. It's kind of musty, I'm sharing this with my brother and he said it smelled like faded hops. I would agree with that. Dark fruit aromas also around. I'd say it smells sweet. As I expected it's kind of sweet. Caramel up front and dark fruits and a somewhat metallic finnish. Not bad, I do feel like fresh this would be a hoppy one. I'd love to get a hold of a fresh bottle, but I did sit on this one for about a month. Mouthfeel is a little sticky and syrupy with low carbonation. The alcohol is hidden well and this one and I'm enjoying sipping it.

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Photo of Onibubba
2.8/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a fairly dirty looking amber brown with a small white head. Smell is hops. Taste is hops. Barleywine? Seems more like a DIPA to me, and not a good one. Hop taste is bitter, not citrusy. Mouthfeel is thin and watery. Alcohol is not suppressed very well either. Drinkability is poor. Reminiscent of a watered down DIPA. Dissappointing and not a contender. Much better DIPA and Barleywines to be had.

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Photo of goochpunch
2.82/5  rDev -29%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours out a crystal clear rusty amber with an off-white head that settles quickly, leaving behind tight sheets of white lace. Aroma is mostly hoppy: citrusy and resinous. Some alcohol and fruit juice in the nose. The flavor profile of this barleywine is awfully simple when it comes to the malts. Mostly I just get some vague malt sweetness followed by mildly bittering piney hops (note: for a 100 IBU beer, this is surprisingly tame). The mouthfeel...what the hell? This is so thin for a barleywine. Add to this a slightly prickly carbonation and I'm starting to think this is basically just a higher ABV IPA. I will admit that it thickens up SLIGHTLY as it warms and I allowed it to get "flatter." I have no problem finishing a bomber of this, but I would not ask for seconds.

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Photo of AaronRed
2.82/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

At first, I liked this beer, it poured a nice amber head with enough lace to make me want to drink this brut. Smelled flowerly, with hints of bitterness even in the nose. At first sip it was nice, I could tastt the hops and was pleased. Then after a few more, it became kind of medicinal and metalic almost- too much on one note. I don't fancy myself a barley wine drinker, I think I prefer it sweeter and more complex.

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Photo of ferrouswolf
2.87/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.75

Opened a bottle with bottling date July 9 as part of a "study" of barleywines.

Appearance: Fairly pale for a barleywine; amber, with a bit of haze. Sticky off-white head and great lacing all the way down.

Smell: No maltiness at all, just generic hops and BURNT RUBBER. At first I couldn't identify it, but once I figured it out I couldn't "un-smell" it.

Taste: Take a sip, and NOTHING until generic hoppiness and bitterness in the finish. No malt flavor whatsoever. Tastes like a lot of nothing.

Feel: Supersmooth, slick, "goes down easy" mouthfeel. Light carbonation.

Overall: A disappointment. This is supposed to be cellarable for 3 years, but 6 months at a (respectable) liquor store makes it taste awful? I'll take a pass next time.

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Photo of jhscarborough
2.89/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured this garnet colored beverage at 50 F into a 20 oz tumbler fully expecting a barleywine. What I got was an Imperial IPA. In fact it was entered in the GABF as such and got a silver medal for it in 2004. I doubt they would have gotten a medal had it been entered as a barleywine. FYI: Imperial and Double IPAs are one and the same in the mouths of a certified judge. Soooo... as a barleywine I was not impressed with the taste or the mouthfeel. As a double or imperial IPA this is one fine example.

The aroma first strikes me as the citrusy character of Cascade hops but the flavor has the more subtle characteristics of Columbus hops. Mouthfeel is a little thin for the barleywine style but there again this is more appropriately an IPA and from a marketing standpoint might better be labeled as the Imperial IPA it is.

If you are looking for a barleywine look elsewhere. If you want an Double IPA this would be a 'good' choice.

I gave it high marks in appearance because of the clarity, and in drinkability because if I didn't know it was a barleywine I would have been content believing it was an IPA. My lower scores in the other categories were because it failed to meet the style standards.

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Photo of Ellbert
2.91/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I was intimidated when I saw this 1pt 6oz bottle. I cracked it open and gave it a pour and it looked great. It was a dark red color with a nice off white head that lasted a little bit. This was the best part of this beer. I took a wiff and was turned off by the hoppiness. It tated pretty much like it smelled. However, at 9.2% it tasted better as the 1pt6oz went down. It was easier to consume the farther into the beer you got. I would not get another one however. not my kind of brew.

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Photo of quasimoto
2.91/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

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Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA from Avery Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 2,058 ratings.
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