Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA | Avery Brewing Company

very good
2,085 Ratings
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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: 2,085 |  Reviews: 924
Photo of ADZA
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a hazy deep amber hue with average carbonation that leaves behind a one finger head and sporadic clingy lacing,the smell is straight out sticky honey laden hops and sweet caramel malts,it has a nice thick syrupy mouthfeel which is averagely carbonated and has tastes of sweet boiled candy,toffee,grapefruit,brown sugar,caramel and sweet sticky honey laden hops and overall this brew is nice and pretty much a hop bomb and probably one of the better examples of this style cheers.

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Photo of perrymarcus
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a mostly clear, deep amber tone with ruby highlights and yielding 3/4" foamy beige colored head. retention is moderate; fair amount of lacing. pretty strong looking barleywine.

strong hoppy presence dominates the nose. lot of citrus (notably grapefruit) with a touch of pine and the indication of a caramel malt backbone. going purely by the aroma i might be inclined to guess that this was a DIPA.

taste follows through with more of the same, though here there's no mistaking you're quaffing a barleywine - a good hoppy american barleywine - but definitely a BW. and a very tasty one at that. a strong hoppy bittness persists through the finish - a bit too strong IMO. well hidden 9.2% ABV.

medium-full bodied mouthfeel with lively carbonation.

overall a very solid BW, quite flavorful and very enjoyable. i do think this is a prime candidate for aging, reminds me a bit of SN bigfoot. will be buying this again.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.05/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a hazed ruby with a frothy 2 finger off-white head that retains well and leaves random patterns of sticky lacing.

S - Grapefruit and biscuit off the top, caramel covered cereal, green leafy hops, tangerine, alcohol vapors.

T - Citrus hops, sweet caramel malt, sugary apples, biscuit malt is very pronounced. Evergreen hops comes through then turns to citrus-tangerine and pineapple. Tea tannins, strawberries, mint, and booze come out at the end. Finishes with grapefruit bitterness.

M - Creamy, light to medium body, medium carbonation.

This is a strange Barley wine. It's like an offspring of an Imperial IPA and a Barley wine. It was an okay beer but I don't know what category I would put it in. I would drink this again.

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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 beerandcycling88
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A pours out a reddish brown almost ruby color. The head is 1 finger and dissipates quickly.

S the nose is quite complex as you would expect from a barley wine with citrus floral, and grape fruit notes from the hops mixing with some sweet carmel malt like notes.

T the taste follows the nose with some citrus, pine, and grapefruit along with a hint of carmel in the front and quite a bit of bitterness in the back which is the biggest flaw as this bitterness is not exactly pleasant.

Mouthfeel was medium bordering on thick as you would expect for the style.

Overall this is a pretty decent barley wine, it was quite enjoyable however it does need some age on it to round out a few of its rough edges.

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Photo of RickS95
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice looking barley wine. It looks like a Belgian sitting in the snifter. It's a murky brown and looks like it's full of spices. The head is about one finger thick and approaching yellow in color. It quickly disappears leaving spots on the glass.

As good a smelling barley wine as I've had. The only thing I picked up was candied citrus fruits, maybe a little malt in the background.

Tastes like it smells. The candied fruits are apparent, with some spicy, flowery pines riding shotgun.

There's a sublteness to the potent hops. It's actually pretty gentle on the palate and brings some complexity. It starts off sweet before ending with the hoppy bitterness you expect from 100 IBUs. There's a nice dryness in the finish that makes you want to take another swig.

This is a really good beer overall, but bordering on exceptional for the style. Instead of just punching you in the gut with hoppy bitterness and high ABV, it's almost smooth.

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

Poured from a bomber into a Duvel tulip. No dating on the bottle or label to be found. Clear, dark amber body with substantial red hue. Big three-finger tan head that leaves lots of sticky lacing along the glass.

Smells like a good barley wine or malty DIPA. Citrusy hops up front with some very sweet caramel malt in the mix.

Typical blend (for a barley wine) of dense, sweet caramel malt flavors with plenty of hoppy citrus and floral notes. The hop flavors are decently complex with some pine and grapefruit blending in as well.

Medium mouthfeel with a sweet finish. Rock solid offering that would likely age very well.

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Photo of surprenant1138
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a chilled bomber into a snifter. It appears as a dark hazy amber color with slight head and sticky lacing. Aroma is of cherries, oak, barley, hops, some floral hints also. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Taste is of the same as aroma. Very good barleywine.

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Photo of videofrog
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce poured into nonic:

A: Poured a nice ruby red color with a three-finger or so head. Lacing stuck to the sides sporadically down the glass.

S: Piney hops hit you right away. Faintly caught some citrus and caramel-malty aromas.

T: Piney hops again. Citrus and malts come out more in the aftertaste. Alcohol present in taste, but not overwhelming. Hops linger after each swig.

M: Exta Medium: smoothness and carbonation.

O: Unfortunately, I have little experience tasting this style and none reviewing it. That being said, I wish I had let this one age a little so the hops would calm down before tasting it. I enjoyed it and am encouraged to explore this style more.

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Photo of stakem
3.46/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Als of Hampden served in a nonic. This brew appears a fairly clear color of copper with a creamy off-white cap. Thick patches of lace cover the glassware. A swirl revives the cap.

The smell of the brew is minerals mixed with citrus and fruity hops. Toasty malt, grassy hops and alcohol that is lightly fusel increases in awareness as the brew gets warmer. All together not a bad smell to a barleywine but a little young and I could do without the mineral aspect.

The taste is strongly bitter with oily hop resins that cling inside the mouth. There is a solvent character to the bold alcohol that mixes with the resinous bitterness and toasty malt aftertaste that creates an interesting flavor that is somewhat like a chemical cleaner flavor mixed with minerals.

This is a full bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Quite Americanized in the style with an exaggerated amount of hop characteristics with oily bitterness that isn't bad. The alcohol inclusion is not hidden at all in both flavor and warmth. I have a bottle of this that is more than a year old, having this on tap satisfied my curiosity, I won't be opening the bottle for at least another year or so.

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

22 ounce into a snifter.

Pours a ruby red or dark copper color with a thick beige head that fades to some spotting.

Smells like grassy hops and pine with a touch of caramel sweetness.

Tastes piney and bitter. Citrus and spice come out as well. Candy like sweet maltiness rounds it out.

Mouthfeel is a thick medium with light carbonation.

Overall is good. Not the greatest barleywine in the world but worth having again. Almost more like a really big malty IPA.

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Photo of Schmittymack
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

FINALLY getting around to reviewing this after quaffing several over the years. Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tall(er) pilsner glass. Poured a nice ruby red color with a head that lingered for a good while and a lacing that stuck to the sides of the glass after several swigs. I could tell it would be hopp(ier) by the aroma; taste is where I put my emphasis: caramel, malt, and a bit of fruitiness with a fair bitterness finish that stays with ya. This is another nice effort from Adam and Co. It's great fresh (yes, Adam and Ratman!) but I tend to like it aged a bit to let some of the hops fade a bit. BTW, the new label is nice.

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Photo of TenHornsProud
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice ruby color, light pale head.

Smells like sweet fruit, hops, and honey.

Tastes of caramel, honey, with hints of fruit. Chewy mouthfeel with a hoppy aftertaste. Some lingering bitterness that is not unpleasant.

A nice, hefty barleywine with a hop after taste...a bit cloying but still nice.

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance-Dark ruby with a big thick and bubbly white head. Looks like an IPA.

Smell-Off the bat you get alot of piney bitter hops. I can also get some sweet dark fruits

Taste-Wow, very hoppy. Didn't realize it was 104 IBUs. Very very bitter. Through the bitterness you can get some sweet cherrys and spice. Pretty good, but a little too much going on, not very balanced.

Mouthfeel-Full bodied, not too much carbonation, could probably use a little bit more. A little bit too bitter for me, took a while for the bitterness to go away.

Overall-Good, not great. Very different interpretation of a barleywine. Would rather go to other Barleywines before I go back to this one.

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Photo of 100floods
3.36/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours a nice dark amber-mahogany hue with a thick, almost violent cream white head, almost three fingers deep. I can even see in the bottle lots of head. Smells of hops, lots of citrus, grapefruit. Very smooth texture, then WHAM! KABOOM! HOP BOMB! Those hops waste no time attacking the pallet. Despite the hops this comes off as very smooth. It has a nice malt finish that isn't too sugary, but definitely sweet, but then is intercepted by some more hops. Hops, hops hops. Very much part of the west coast tradition of hoppy barley wines. A few more months of aging and the malts would probably show some more, but still wouldn't impress me much.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this in a tulip at Al's of Hampden.

A deep ruby/rust color combo with an off white rocky cap which settles to a ring of beads which are tight. The lace clings well in rings, the clarity is gently hazy. I enjoy the way the aroma has a nice blend of piney hops with fruity malt esters and subtle citrus accents with slight alcohol odors. The feel is good with some bitterness up front followed by a mildly sweet middle and semi dry finish with some alcohol heat.

The taste is quality with good hop flavor and mild caramel in the malt, more stone fruit than anything coming from the yeast/malt blend and mild piney bitter hop accents. The taste has subtle sweetness in the finish which seems to lessen the impact of the alcohol which is present in the taste. Overall I think this is a quality barlewyine - I am not sure why it took me this long to review it. Perhaps I did but misplaced the notes -I have had it a few times and still remember the first time at Kclinger's in Hanover. I think it fits the style well and I am glad I got to have it again.

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Photo of ebrauser
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance : Deep amber with a thick, cakey, three- finger head that's a stained brown color.

Aroma: Hoppy and sweet with a grapefruit, grass, and tobacco nose.

Flavor: Lots of citrus bitterness balanced with grassy malt sweetness. Lots of grapefruit and hops with some oak and earth in the finish. Flavors mellow and blend as the drinking goes on.

MF: Full bodied, thick, and chewy. A little hot, but manageable for a barley wine

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Photo of mdcrouser
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quite honestly, it takes on the bright and cloudy orange hues of a strong double IPA. Like an orangesicle with head.

Citrus is big in the nose, followed by a bit of alcohol.

Smoke, citrus and fat in the mouth - like orange candied bacon. More hoppy than malty, but with plenty of each. Spice and pepper to finish.

Both creamy and sticky in the mouth, with a slight burn to close.

Splits the difference between a DIPA and a barleywine. A great long-time sipper - love this beer.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.23/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer pours a copper sort of color with a finger of off-white head.

S: Opens up with some caramel and brown sugar as well as toffee and a bit of molasses. Mostly sugar type aromas but there is a nice breadiness, a touch of citrus, and a mild amount of oxidation to it.

T: Unfortunately, the flavor is quite bland. Slightly watery with most of the flavor coming in the form of bread. Some decent toffee along with floral and earthy hops and just a hint of bitterness.

M: Medium in body with a moderate carbonation.

O: Really mediocre and underwhelming. I guess at least it wasn't harsh and hot like a lot of high gravity Avery beers.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice, not busy day of sitting around, cooking, playing video games, listening to music, and watching NCAA tournament basketball...

This beer looks already like another winner from Avery...It pours gorgeously...Tons of creamy to soapy head leaves sheets of sweet lacing. Beautiful slightly hazy orange amber in color. Very lightly carbonated.

Almost forgot - the basics: 9.2% ABV at $6.99/bomber...A little pricey...

Very robust aromas smack your nose around like Jack Dempsey...Lots of ripe pineapple and banana, and caramel malt, candy sugar in there as well...A little whiff of alcohol if you breathe deep enough...and some ripe apple...excellent thus far...

Big flavor...VERY big...This beer is built to last and is really nice and top heavy...Kind of like the new Wonder Woman, Adrianne Palicki: this is beautiful, robust and packs a punch...Lots of nice flavors rolling around in the middle: some banana, some caramel maltiness, a wonderful hop bitterness...Great beer. Just south of elite, but superior...A little bit too much alcohol in the finish, otherwise excellent...

What I like most: The beautiful, Adrianne Palicki-like pour...

What I like least: The price and alcohol notes that permeate the aroma and flavor profiles...

Verdict: Great beer, shy of elite, but if you had me wrapped in Wonder Woman....'s Golden Lasso (yeah, that's it...), I'd admit I'd buy it again...

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Photo of theboozecruise
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.. it's a dark copper color with a frothy white head. Great lacing, good retention... solid looking beer... yum!

The smell is malty with a metallic hint to it... caramel and molasses.

The taste is a lot better than the smell... rich with the malt/hop flavors and boozy sweetness.

I like the mouthfeel a lot, but that's pretty typical of barleywine or similarly high-gravity beers.

Easy to drink... solid beer.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep orange/amber, 1 finger fluffy head, elegant lacing

S: sweet citrus/orange peel, big barley, mild pineapple, spices

T: sweet caramel, citrus front, solid barley foundation, slow bitter finish

M: med/heavy, firm carbonation, sticky

D: NICE! Slow down with this one. A few of these and you might feel like you have turned into barley wine.

I love barley wines, great beer for the price. Avery continues to make delicious bomber beers.

The alcohol is well hidden and the nice warmth slips into your legs as the flavors rekindle your spirit.

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Photo of BigB415
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Barleywines have been hit and miss for me. This one though I'm glad is a hit. This is also my first beer from Avery so I'm off to a good start. Pours an amber color with huge head. Smells of hops. I take a sip and I get more hops and some alcohol but not a lot. This is a smooth barleywine. I say that because the last barleywine I had was rough and I could barely drink it. I really enjoyed this and would considered buying it again.

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Photo of claytong
3.45/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

rereviewing. had this a couple times at the brewery and had a bottle once. had this last night there.

golden, clear and lovely head. smell its strongly of hops, citrus and grapefruit. 104 ibus? my my. if i wanted hops, i would want this beer. however im not a hop head. maybe when i have a sore throat.
mouthfeel is puckering and refreshing at the same time.

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Photo of JayS2629
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A thick copper colored beer with oily, thin cream swirls of white. Recededs fast but leaves nice lace.

S- Pine, herbs, grass, lemon, grapefruit and honesuckles.

T- Resiny pine and tart grapefruit, lemon, grass, herb on the front end with a hit of pepper. A sweet malt backbone with some toffee notes and hints of nutmeg.

M- Thick and oily, slick and refreshing.

D- Very tart and complex flavor combination of hops. Nice balance.

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Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA from Avery Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 2,085 ratings.
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