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: 921 | Ratings: 2,066
Photo of GoneARye
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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Photo of beergoot
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
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...

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
3.97/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of Blackop555
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
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

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of ManapuaMan
3.77/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.52/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of Chestertonian82
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of mac31
3.85/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the 650 ml. bottle. Sampled on May 29, 2016.

Highly attractive deep amber-reddish-brown pour under a long -lasting off-white head. I love head retention.

Barley malts, sweet malts, caramel malts, tobacco, and the earth dominate the aromas. Low to no booze ester.

Full body.

The same caramel barley malt sweetness is p[resent in the taste as is a little of the 9+% ABV booze. Pipe tobacco prominent. Bitterness is mild to moderate but smooth. If you like Barleywines you will like it. If you don't like Barleywines, well, you won't. I love Barleywines and this is right on target.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Hog Heaven is one of those ales that clearly defy the normal definitions of a style. And that is good, it allows for both innovation and lets beer geeks think we have something to argue about. As for me, this is an American Barleywine.

Looks like one, too; an inviting amber and lacing that aggressively sticks to the glass.
Smells malty and hoppy, sweet and bitter (a lot like being an American these days.)
Tastes like the malt does not count. No amount of malt can assert itself except for one sweet squirt of the salivaries and then the 100 IBU steals the show and, seemingly, never lets go.
Feel does not matter. While interesting, this is an out-of-balance beer in my book... and led to a lot of imitators.
Overall, I recall my mantra: an early extreme example may be good, but it is rarely great.

Listed in the "1001 Beers To Taste Before You Die", I suppose Hog Heaven's role in transitioning to the Double/Imperial IPA and, perhaps, the American Barleywine.

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Photo of anon
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Light Amber/Garnet appearance. Billowing fluffy head that reduces to finger-width, foamy and creamy, decent retention, a plethora of sticky lacing. Barleywines attributes definitely picked up on the nose with a definitive sweet, malty, fruity and boozy note standing out, accompanied by a hefty hop aroma.

Candy, caramely sweetness up front on the tongue, with a nice dose of booze. Definitely barleywine-esque. Hop bitterness hits huge and nearly drowns out the fruits present here, but not quite. Pine resin, lemon zest, grapefruit, pineapple and guava stand out.

Light bodied, soft carbonation, bitter, boozy and astringent. Was hoping for more sweetness and a little less bitterness but overall this is still a solid brew.

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Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: medium amber with a golden tint. A slight haze exists even after the beer warms. Head is a 1-finger light tan with excellent head retention.

Aroma: hops and sweet malt with some alcohol in the nose, albeit light.

Flavor: sweet malt, alcohol and hops, all in harmony. This is definitely an American barleywine. This beer would be a good side by side w/ SN Bigfoot. Despite the sweetness, this beer seems less sweet than Maharaja. Enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: medium to medium-heavy. Drinking more than 1 would be a meal.

Overall: enjoyable. Very good but not spectacular. This will certain be a repeat purchase. The beer lacks the "damn" factor, but - to be repeated - is quite enjoyable.

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Photo of jmasher85
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Call it a double IPA, call it an imperial American pale ale, but I am not getting any of those barleywine characteristics that I expect. Not particularly sweet or rich, but rather a bit fruity in the tropical pineapple and mango sense, and a lot of hoppy resin. It's a bit better but still pretty smooth, and much easier going down then its alcohol content would suggest. It's very tasty, similar to some of Stone's IPA offerings, but calling it a dry hopped barleywine misleads the drinker into drinking a beer which is not similar at all to how it is described.

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Photo of Ri0
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter. Vintage 2014. Dark rust orange with a nice off white 2 finger head with fair retention. Fades slowly and leaves a nice collar and webbed lacing on glass. This smells like a hoppy BW with some bitter citrus, pine, and dark fruit along with sweet baked bread and caramel malt. The aroma is pleasant. First and foremost I get a quick, sweet taste of caramel and toffee. The bitter hops move in, with grapefruit and some pine most dominant. Evan after almost 2 years of aging the hops are prevalent. Medium body with a bitter quality from the hops that leaves a dry feeling on the finish. Solid BW, but not my favorite.

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Photo of atone315
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
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 FLima
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I have been cellaring this for a while (a few years). I will take this opportunity of a drop in temperature in the tropics.
Amber mahogany color with a thin head with short retention.
Very complex aroma that keeps changing from time to time with notes of pine, caramel, apple puree, molasses, smoke, red fruits, coconut and orange marmalade. Dry hop haven’t survived the journey though.
Flavor with notes of pine, toasted malts, slightly smoked, candy, red fruits marmalade, candied grapefruit, even banana, overripe oranges, resin, coconut water, licorice, butter, cinnamon, pepper and pears. Dry and bitter aftertaste. The 104 IBUs is far from stupid, they have mellowed with the years, and got married to its malt base.
Medium bordering full body with appropriate carbonation of very tiny bubbles. Conditioning likely declined its body. Alcohol of 9.2% on this exemplar is superbly well hidden.
Great beer. This has aged perfectly showing a unique character combining a very different set of flavors, that is also not overly sweet and it is complex even with the restrain use of just one hop variety and two malts. I drank the whole bottle without feeling any cloying sensation. I strongly advice to age this. This is a stallion that has been tamed as much as possible. Recommended.

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Photo of JacobIV
3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a slightly hazy golden-amber with a thick creamy head that dissipates slowly resembling melted ice cream

smells like a handful of hop pellets crushed in hand and held up to face (really good)

first sip gives a strong syrupy mouthfeel resembling dates and pear maybe...devolves into an aftertaste that starts strongly acidic but leaves with an intense rush of bittering hops which begs another sip

from the aroma to the taste and mouthfeel to the bitter hop bomb which brings me back around for another sip, this beer pulls all the stops. A good drinking experience that isn't confused with too much going on. Simplicity in macro allows complexity in micro.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ABV 9.2% - Released in Sweden 2015-09-18 in a 650 ml (22 fl oz) bottle.

Pours clear, copper with a two finger high, creamy head.

Nose: Pine, resin, orange marmelade, fruity (A LOT of hops!) and caramel malt.
Taste: Orange, sweet malt, marmelade, dark fruit, herbs, grapefruit, grass and earthy notes.
Body: Full body, oily and chewy. Medium carbonated. A pretty high bitterness at the end. Of course some alcohole warmth.

A great Barley Wine from Avery. Not that suprising and owerwhelming as I thought though. It's a stable barley wine but I've come to expect a LOT from Avery...

Maybe I'm not fair. It's just that they make so great beers that my expectations are to high...

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.44/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 08/2014 bottle served in a tulip glass at cellar temps.

Appearance: Nice bottle are and I do love the foil top bottles. Pure class. Beer poured a viscous copper color with hints of red poking through. Nice white and sticky head that produced ample lacing. Head has staying power in my very clean glass. The bottle either has some yeast sediment or protein coagulation in it. No worries though.

Nose: Dank, piney, resinous, super malty, fruity, spicy and almost phenolic from the hops. One hoppy nose thats for sure.

Taste: BITTER HOPS! This beer is at the highest end of IBUs. Thick and sticky mouthfeel, powerful malty are backed up and overtaken by waves and waves of dank hops. Piney, come citrus, ripe oranges, fairly fruity. This is a hop bomb but the malts back it up and lead to a nice and balanced finish. Some warming alcohol but it is well integrated.

Overall: Like I said earlier, Hop Bomb. Very nice American Barleywine. This is a real treat. Avery is making world class beers and this is no exception. All that West Coast, American Style hops coupled with a strong malty backbone that makes for a delicious and warming beer. Avery says this can be cellared for up to 3 years. It is still over the top hoppy after over a year in the bottle. Those hops are not letting go any time soon. This should be a cellar staple because those hops don't know when to quit.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
3.57/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bomber. Clean deep amber color. Aroma is mostly hops with a touch of malt. Very bitter barley wine. There's a little tad of caramel sweetness on the front end but then the taste is overwhelmed by woodsy piney hops. The bitterness lasts way beyond the swallow. A little boozy as expected for the abv. Mouthfeel seems a little thin. Overall not bad if looking for a highly hopped barley wine, just needs more balance for me.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.47/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange bronze body, spotty lace, a few streams of carbonation. Nose is strong on caramel, with pungent hops lurking behind. Both are strong and deep, but don't work together. Taste is similar; malty caramel, butter, piney hops in the background. Plenty of buttery diacetyl on the finish. Heavy body.
I'm all for experimentation, but this merging of styles isn't working for me. Bitter, piney hops (which I don't care for anyway) are not congruent with buttery malt sweetness (I also don't care for this much diacetyl), at least not when both are trying to be the leading role.

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Photo of wumpshire
4.72/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Definitely my favorite American barley wine, beats out old knucklehead and bigfoot by a long shot. Honey, caramel, and a good floral hoppiness. Great balance of malt and hops.

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Photo of South2NW
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a deep amber color, with a massive beige head. Immediately you smell the piney, resinous hops. They dominate the caramel malt undertones. Same goes for the taste. Big pine and resin flavors up front, and finishes with some sweet malts to balance things out. Slightly heavy mouthfeel, great carbonation. If you like beers like Bigfoot, give this a try.

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Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA from Avery Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 2,066 ratings.
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