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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Ratings: 2,072 |  Reviews: 922
Photo of BarleyWineRox
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a muddy golden red with a 1/2 inch head of white foam. Tight lacing.

Smells of tropical fruit lots of grapefruit all muddled with a sweet back aroma.

First sip gives hop bitterness burst and follows with a caramel back end. Light mouth feel. Hops win out. ;)

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Photo of climax
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

104 IBU's is all I need to make the purchase. It has survived the journey from the booze store, so let's begin. I am sampling it on the fresh side, no aging done on my part....

It pours a deep copper color, bright garnet highlights to the light. The head is a large canvas tan color that holds steady for a high ABV beer, leaving a never wavering film until the beer has vanished.

The aroma seems on the reserved side, but perhaps the intensity is just shadowed by the complexity . Bold leafy herbal aromas with glimpses of sweet citrus remind me of the intense hopping, yet there is no harsh bitterness or alcoholic edge. Buttered bread with drips of caramel complete the cycle while ripe fruit tones (maybe plum and grape) lurk further within the backbone.

Ahh the flavor is just what the lupalin doctor ordered. Dry grassy cannabis greens slosh around the mouth while slightly sweeter citrus bursts keep the hop profile perplexing. Biscuits and caramel make for a substantial base. The finish is long, bitter, and dry (I would have it no other way); as the leafy flavors - that were first to arrive - are the last to leave. The 9.2% alcohol doesn't fool me, but it adds appreciated excitement. Surely if this one is aged 12-24 months, the tinge would fade into the abyss like the Furby fad.

I abide with the gentle carbonation, because the creamy luscious feel needs nothing more than a bit of grit around the edges, and the alpha acids do their part in tingling the tongue. Despite the robust body, the dryness of the finish keeps it going down the pipe at a steady pace. It is always smooth, and the barleywine edge is never enough to make me think twice.

A supremely solid example of an American BW, and an un-aged sample at that. Perhaps one of these days I'll conceive the courage to buy one and hide it from myself. Until then, bravo Avery.

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

A- ruby day with a wispy off white head and chunky lace splotches

S- very hoppy with a slight malt background, tiny whispers of raisin and molasses.

T- the hops come through surprisingly well. It is definetly the most prominent feature of the beer. Not too sweet, raisin and candied sugar in the back. Slight bitterness.

O- a hop forward barleywine, not the best, but very good.

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Photo of match1112
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this is my first barleywine review and only my second ever tasting one. pours a deep copper with lots of brown in it. a half inch off white colored head quickly settles to a ring with lots of patchy lacing. i detect with my nose lots of malts, brown sugar and citrus. the tastebuds are greeted with loads of brown sugar sweetness, a malty backbone that carries thru to the dry biterness of hops. mouthfeel is full bodied sticky creamy almost chewy. overall this is very drinkable with the alochol hidden behind the sweetness, however as this warms the alochol is more dominant.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour a slightly hazy copper orange with a 1 inch puffy off-white head that settles to a small cap. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and lots of citrus zest aromas. Alcohol aromas come out as the beer warms. Taste is of sweet malt, caramel, and zesty citrus zest flavors. A mild bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a crisp carbonation with a slightly sticky mouthfeel. An alcohol warmth hits the back of the throat after each sip. Overall, this is a good but hoppy barleywine with an alcohol kick.

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Photo of stabzmcgee
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is slightly sweet with suprisingly floral hoppy aroma. Dark amber body with a slightly frothy head that sticks around. Nice hop punch to begin with that melts into a carmel malt finish. Palate is full bodied with a creamy texture. Carbonation is slightly fizzy with a long finish. Overall the best barleywine I have tried so far.

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

A-Pours a lightly hazed hue that falls somewhere between amber and crimson. Not much head to speak of. Head dies down to an incomplete, stagnant stain atop the beer. Does leave some rings of lace.

S-Doesn't explode out of the glass unfortunately. But when I take a whiff I can clearly detect the dry hopped aroma. The super sweet malt combines with the heavy hops to make the familiar 'candied orange/grapefruit' scent. Balanced but intense on both ends.

T-Very intense flavor. Aggressive mix of bitterness, syrupy sweetness and alcohol. Very sugary. Piney and bitter. Grapefruit and orange which is then slashed by a sting of alcohol.

M-Light carbonation. Slick feel. I cannot tell if it is resinous or syrupy. Heavier body. Alcohol dries the palate.

O/D-Gets better as it warms up. That being said, I like the intensity of the flavors, but I do not specifically like the overall flavor. Not my favorite hop profile. Alcohol isn't necessarily too bold, but it is poorly masked. Did not live up to my expectations. Still decent. At $8.50 for a bomber, not a deal either.

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

Poured into glass from 22oz bottle. Should be drank about 55 degrees to get full appreciation of all the flavors. Very good beer, and a good amount of bitterness to go with all the hop flavor - good balance. Started drinking at about 45 degrees, tasted mostly the hoppiness, but much better as it warmed-up. The barleywine characters are very subdued and masked by the hoppiness.

As far as it being a barleywine style, I'd say it isn't, much too hoppy and bitter for a true barleywine, more like a double IPA, but a good beer none-the-less.

A bit too much head and carbonation, but the head does dissipate quickly enough.

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

Poured from a bomber into an imperial pint.

Hog Heaven is a murky red-orange color with two fingers of fluffy head. Aroma is a nice pungent hop over caramel malts. The taste is really the same thing. Another big beer, with plenty of bright citrusy hops over an assertive caramel malt backbone. It's nice, but you've had this before. Mouthfeel is big and well-carbed, and the drinkability is about average. This is a good, hop-forward beer that's probably closer to malt-heavy DIPAs like 90 Minute. In fact, it reminds me a lot of 90 Minute. It's really not worth the price premium over it.

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

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into an oversized wine glass:

A- Chrome color with a nice white head that dissipates quickly.

S- Dry hopped aroma with a barley scented backbone. Perfect fall smell

T- A lot more bitter then I was expecting. Mouthnumbing hops. Citrusy to the max with a sweet barley finish. The aftertaste is still quite bitter but it is quite nice

M- Super smooth and silky mouthfeel

O- Quite good, but definitely not one I could drink all of the time. Still quite refreshing, and one I will revisit ever couple of months.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle into a small wine glass a few times and the next 12oz's into a Weyerbacher tulip.

Avery Hog Heaven Barleywine pours into the glass a sunset orange with some light bronze highlights in there. A nice billowy egg shell colored inch of firm foam leaving some sticks. a ring arounf the collar towards the end.

The smell of hop juice rings in the air and in the nostrils. Big dry hopped goodness giving off big tropics, along with a candi like sweetness from the big malt addition. Sweet caramel and pine after a while, slight alcohol. Big juicyfruit gum scent in the end.

Big bitterness from the hops up front, pine is big with some orange, makgo, grapefruit and the like. It's huge. candi like caramel with slight chocolate taste with significant warming. This reminds me of an imperial red ale in so many ways. Some breadiness from the yeast. this one delivers.

Feel is at a nice big medium, hoppy bitterness up front backed and balanced by a sweet plethora of malt keeping the balance in play. Carbed up to a point of not being dead, yet after a few hours this goes down cask like and it's oh so sweet.

an imperial hoppy red ale barleywine mix. this is great fresh and I would like to see what some age would do to this, although I won't have the willpower to keep my hands off of it.

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Photo of liamt07
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle sampled at the Beer Bistro, into a flute.

Poured a reddish orange, some lighter chestnut and brown hues. Small, fluffy white lace that leaves some good lace and retains very nicely. Nose is nicely hopped, lots of orange, pine and some grapefruit. A big sweetness is evident, almost straight sugar. More saccharine notes as I keep digging, some caramel candied apple I guess as I'm getting huge caramel notes and some light red delicious apple notes as well. Taste is sweet, almost overly so. More candied notes, caramel in the finish with big hop notes as per the nose. Sticky and lightly boozy mouthfeel, very sweet and only moderately drinkable - this sample was sufficient. Full bodied and a real sipper, split a bottle if you've got one to open.

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Photo of TheAlamoWrocker
3.42/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1 Pint 6 ounce bottle, bottled on January 21 of 2008, into a Blue Star Brewery Pint Glass.


Pours a great two fingered head and wow is that head frothy. The color is also great. The color is somewhere between a Rust, Tawny, and a Sinopia look. The head sticks on the side of the glass all the way down while drinking it. A thin head stays on the top without leaving at all times. A spider web like pattern even begins to appear on this glass and damn it's impressive.


Hops and malts are the most prominent. The sweetness even smells alcoholic, but there is the most oddest smell in here that it's spicy and not at all appealing.


The taste is like a spicy sweet blend and it's really not too enjoyable. The taste hits hard and damn it leaves a hoppy grapefruit aftertaste and I have no clue how I'm supposed to react to this taste. The alcohol is not hidden at all in this drink and damn it's strong. The warmer this drink gets the more like vodka it begins to taste like and becoming warm does not bring out it's taste. This is a different drink that I was not at all prepared for.


The mouthfeel is of a medium body and mildly carbonated. The damned grapefruit sneaks in to just not want me to hold this into my mouth.


I honestly dislike this. It's a different experience though. i guess some people might enjoy this, but I am going to stay away from Barleywines from now on. This is what I would think Vodka Grapefruit taste like, but hey it's not something i would even attempt. If you love Grapefruits then this is the drink for you, but this is the first time I had anything of the Grapefruit variety in years.

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Photo of Humulus85
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my snifter. Produced a nice finger and a half, cream head. Decent retention with some lacing. A bit hazy, but no sediment, and a pretty, reddish apple cider color.

Smells of resinous hops, something I can't quite place, and booze. Pretty aggressive nose.

Massive amounts of hops upfront. I consider myself something of a hop head, and this is pushing it. There just isn't enough depth to the hop profile for me. Quickly though, the bruising hops are beat down by an equal amount of malt and alcohol.

When I first smelled this brew I definitely thought it would be a slow sipper. I was totally wrong. This may be the most drinkable >9% beer I've ever had. Obviously this is no session beer, but for how much of a flavor punch it has, it is surprisingly light on the tongue. Very nice.

Overall this is a very solid Barley Wine, and I think Hog Heaven could age gracefully. The hop character could use a bit more complexity, but you can not beat Hop Heavens drinkability. Probably the best non-aged Barley Wine I've had. Cheers!

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Photo of Rschis16
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep red in color, opaque, with a nice two finger head that slowly appears and dissapates after a moderate pour. Nice lacing and retention. Floral hops and dried fruit characterize the smell, a slight boozy note floats its way up as well. Dried apricots come to mind, as do very pleasant floral hops with a touch of resin. Tobacco leaves seem to round it out in a very slight way at the end of the smell.

Big and bold flavor here. It says 104 IBUs on the bottle, and while it is definitely bitter, it is a very well balanced bitterness. The bitterness seems to come in strong at the back of the palate, and then slowly ease up as complex flavors of dried fruit, caramel malts and a warming breath of alcohol. The dried fruit is very subdued, but I'm getting a taste of apricot from somewhere. As it warms, the caramel comes out more in a way that complements the floral hops very well. The dry-hopping is evident in its dry and crisp mouthfeel but juicy finish, not to mention the huge floral hop taste. Overall, this is a pretty fantastic beer and one of the better barleywines I've tasted. The intense bitterness makes for a very interesting take on the style, and one that I'm enjoying very much. Nicely done Avery.

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Photo of Atlas1
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up in San Antonio about a week ago. I have another bottle of Hog Heaven from 2007 that I've been sitting on since then that I just don't have the heart to crack open yet. I don't know if the '07 version of this beer was dry-hopped or not. But the recent version is and has a new label to boot. Yes, it's summer in Texas and it's a 100 freaking degrees outside, but I figured it was Friday, what the hell.

Poured into a Delirium Tremens snifter. Nice bright amber, copper color. Decent head but it fades fast. The nose on this thing is amazing. There are few aromas in the world that make my heart melt quite like fresh hops do. This beer's scent makes me close my eyes and pause for a moment and reconsider all that is good in the world. Few beers can do that these days. What a great aroma. The taste is big and boozy, as any proper barleywine should be I suppose. But the hoppiness cuts through the richness of the malt and mutes the booze a bit. Just a bit. Mouthfeel is firm.

I like this beer. Yes, it's big and would be better suited (and perhaps more enjoyable) to sip this during a cold winter storm, but I live in the goddam Rio Grande Valley where winter never arrives, so I make due. A solid, flavorful barley wine. Great hop character. Thoroughly enjoyed.

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

Poured into my DuClaw Colossus snifter because... I'm a badass.... and everyone else thinks so also.

A: Murky bronze color, like an unfiltered DIPA, or... Barleywine, if you will. One of the larger heads that I've seen on a BW in quite sometime.

S: Dry-hopping was most evident indeed. Sort of reminded me of the little sweet candy hearts that are commonly available during Valentines Day. However, these candy critters were saturated with grapefruit and pineapple juice. Very nice!

T: This one skates skates on the teeters on the edge of barleywine vs. DIPA like no other. Honestly, I could have guessed either way in a blind tasting. Intense hop bitterness, with pineapple almost edging out the grapefruit in a pissing contest. My tongue was bruise on the finish.

M: Rough, but not boozy in any way. I dug the sweetness on this one and the way in complemented the intense hop profile. The lacing was surprisingly tame, considering the sugar content.

O: This one surprised the hell out of me, and is one of the best barleywines I've tried in a long time. It's sort of like Marharaja 1.5, if that tells you anything.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.62/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a deep, slightly hazy orangeish red. Thin and dense white head forms and leaves sticky lacing. Decent retention for the styl.

S: smell features robust earthy tones with notes of pine, spruce, and maple syrup, hints of apricot and anise come in as well. Malts and hops seem to work well together in a very earthy and sweet kind of way.

T: sweet up front with molasses and other sweet malts, citrus rind comes through in the middle followed by assertive bitterness. The end is piney and has a slightly hot finish.

MF: thick body, somewhat syrupy, medium carbonation

O: nice robust flavors, lots of complexity, not my favorite flavors in a barleywine, but that is more due to personal preference than the beer.

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Photo of BierFan
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a chalice.

Decent head for the style. Dark hazy reddish body. Head retention is pretty fantastic. Smell and taste are pretty typical for an American barley wine. Hops have begun to fade but it's still rather good.

Pretty fine barley wine overall. Worth the price of admission.

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Photo of harrymel
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled late February, 2011

A: Pours a ruddy copper ale with a single finger of peanut head, limited clarity and spotty lacing. Decent look. Looks aggressive, hard to explain, but that's how I feel.

S: Spicy hops. Super spicy. Some wood, resin, bell pepper, sweet malts. Smells like it's gonna be bitter and assertive in the mouth - I guess that matches the appearence.

T: Bitter, sharp, slightly chemical. The malts seems absent under the intensity of the hops. I imagine the malts would be able to oxidize and actually benefit greatly in making this a more balanced BW. However, this will take several years in my experience with BW's this assertively hopped.

M: Off heavy body with creamy carbonation. Dry finish. Good stuff.

O: This beer has a special place in my heart; it was my first BW that I enjoyed. I also developed a clone of this beer for my Wedding and modified it slightly to become KimBarley Wine. That being said, I now feel like the hops in this are a little over done, and the beer lacks the malt profile to help balance it in a fashion my palate prefers. I can say, proudly, that as soon as I smelled this, it reminded me of my wedding BW, it's pretty awesome.

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Photo of Klym
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a lost abbey tulip.

AA Pours a very light brown that piles into a hazelnut brown with very aspects when held up against the light. Spiderweb lacing with a nice head retention.

S: Very powerful hops hang above a salted caramel/dark fruit backing. The hops ontrol so much of the overall character it's almost a little noxious, but at the same time for those who love hops this is quite nice.

M: Light-medium bodied with carbonation that is present but doesn't show off. Good mouthfeel for the flavors but perhaps could be a little crisper considering the powerful hoppiness.

O: Avery does a good job of blending the malty, dark fruit world with the punching-hops world, and this is a good example of such bridge building. Nothing miraculous, but a good beer here I enjoyed drinking to the end.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No date, but this is the old label.

The beer pours a hazy brownish-amber color with a white head. This is a beer with a huge aroma. I get a lot of piney hops as well as some brown sugar and some alcohol. All of the things you expect in a big, American barleywine are present and stand out.

The flavor is also as expected. I get a lot of bitter pine with some brown sugar and alcohol mixed in. The bitterness is medium to high and is complimented by a lot of hop flavor.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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

Poured out of a 23oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A clear, amber color that resembles whiskey. Pours a giant head, as a barleywine should.

Smell: The aroma is so strong that I could smell it about two feet away from bottle upon cracking it open. When poured in the glass, I caught scents of grapes, blackberries, caramel and toffee. There is a overarching woody smell as well resembling maple.

Taste: Quite literally, every sip of this beverage is similar to biting straight into a honeycomb! Caramel malt flavors truly shine here as well. The fruity, hoppy flavor (with 104 IBUs, no less) is quite overpowering. Did I mention maple?! As it warms up, the flavor more closely resembles maple syrup, and the booziness of this drink definitely sweetens out the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Far drier than I expected, but nevertheless smooth and creamy. Still, it's quite strong and really bites the senses the more that it is consumed. Thanks to the high alcohol and maltiness, however, it really provides a good warming experience that really affected my forehead and cheeks.

Overall: An excellent example of great American barleywines. I would definitely pick this one up again when winter comes around.

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Photo of capeannbass36
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Opened bottle....river of never ending honey comb colored foam gushing up and out of bottle...everywhere. What a waste! This bottle was NOT mishandled by me...and has been sat on for 5-6 months. Why it simply chose to erupt like a freakin' volcano is beyond me??
Because this seems to be available in most shops...I will have to try again....but...for now...here goes another review.

A- Pours an orange, copper, amber. Just slightly murky. Almost clear, not quite. 3/4 inch honey comb colored head that faded very quickly.

S- I am smelling sweet grapefruit, caramel, and hops.

T- Starts somewhat sweet, finishes somewhat bitter. Certainly not the best barleywine that I have tasted, but not the "worst" either.
Malt, caramel, grapefruit.

M- A little slick...but minimal carbonation...which is probably due to bottle erupting.

O- For me a "run of the mill" barleywine. Will have to try again as I truly believe that the bottle erupting probably downgrades my review. I am a huge barleywine fan, In general, this barleywine style ale is a little on the bitter side for my liking.

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Photo of Krakistophales
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a ruby red color with a tan head that recedes quickly into some bubbles and lacing.

S: Candied fruit, specifically peach, pineapple and a hint of cherries, piney hops, caramel, toffee malt sweetness

T: At first is a mixture of candied fruit and piney hops, but the hops subside and let the fruity flavors of peach, pineapple and other sweet, light fruits shine, finished with a resiny dryness. Excellent flavor.

O: This is my first take with a hop forward barleywine, and I must say I really love it. Like a really sweet, fruity IIPA. Avery seldom disappoints.

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Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA from Avery Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 2,072 ratings.
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