Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA | Avery Brewing Company

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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 BaileysBrew
3.57/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bomber into cognac glass. A finger of tan creamy head adorns the surface as the syrupy barlywine almost sticks to the glass. The beer lies in the spectrum between golden and amber.

Overpowering hops dominate the smell. The Columbus hops are front and center and melt your mind as you go for the first drink.

Past the hops, you can actually find a strong malt backbone to brace this barleywine. So strong in fact that there may be too much malt left behind? Some peppery, alcohol notes are faint, well hidden by the syrupy hop goodness. Each drink is one dose of intoxicating hoppy malty syrup after another.

The mouthfeel is very syrupy and thick, but not unusual for the style.

Overall, I enjoyed this one and even bought a second bottle (though I'll probably top there), mostly due to my soft spot for Columbus hops. But I would have liked a little less syrup and a little more kick.

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

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass, the beer is a clear, ruby coloring with a chunky, tall, beige tower of foamy head. The head recedes a little while drinking, but manages to maintain throughout the beer as a whole. Smells are so well blended that it is hard to pick out, but here goes. I get a lot of fruit notes, but subtle. Almost an apple pie type smell, with apples and cinnamon, but other spices present, also. Definite malty notes in the nose, too. The beer has a strong malt backbone, with sour notes flowering off, as well as a smooth spicy characteristic that is a little cinnamon and a little nutmeg. Other flavors include some dark fruits, like prunes and raisins, as well as some booze tastes. The beer is remarkably smooth for all the flavors, but the aftertaste lingers quite a while. The aftertaste consists of the spices, as well as a sour undertone. The finish is dry, and leaves the palate wanting more. Very interesting Barleywine.

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

A: awesome near transparent amber in color with huge frothy pale almond colored head. spotty lacing but sticky

S: Lots of citrus, malt, mild booze. vague hint of pine, green apple...almost a cider like undertone. malty goodness backing it up.

T: Very nice. hoppy up front, generous malt backbone (delicious), piney, earthy, floral hops from a generous amount of dry hopping (2.5lbs of Columbus to be exact)

M: Medium carbonation, rolls off the tongue with ease, coats the mouth like a layer of liquid heaven.

D: Great beer, easy drinker. I only wish it was colder outside so I had an excuse to drink more of it :)

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Photo of jonvan04
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured light brown with a thick white head. It had nice hoppy aromas which I wasn't expecting, along with a honey like sweetness. The taste was much of the honey sweetness up front and ended with a nice hoppy finish. It have been a little sweeter than I would have liked which would make it a little difficult to drink more than one.

Overall this was a well done barleywine. I don't recall having a barleywine that tasted like honey and hops. They could add a little more hops in there to balance out some of the sweetness, but I still really enjoyed this beer.

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

Had on-tap at Sunswick 35/35 in Astoria, NY on 2/6/11.

Reviewed from notes.

A - This beer pours a nice deep amber ruby color. It has a nice off-white head that leaves good lacing behind on the glass.

S - The smell is of sweet caramel and juicy hops. It has notes of pine, cherries, and a touch of alcohol presence.

T - It tastes of sweet caramel malts, and has a nice big hop presence. There are some notes of plum, raisin, and pine. The finish has a big hop bitterness that lingers for quite some time.

M - It has a medium body and good carbonation. There is a bit of a chewy quality to it. It goes down smooth, and there is some lingering hop bitterness in the finish. Also, there is some alcohol warmth present.

D - Good drinkability. It goes down smooth, and all the aspects of the beer work really well together. The flavor is great, and i could drink a few of these in a sitting without it getting old. This is a good beer and I recommend trying it. Cheers.

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

Pours a very hazy and pretty mahogany/redish brown color with a small, creamy, off-white head. Tons of citrus and flowery hops smell. Caramel malts in there giving it a sweeter smell. Smells real "thick" with lots of hoppiness. Tastes extremely hoppy. Sweet malts and citrus notes. Ends with a lingering hop taste thats lighter in the aftertaste than during the swallow. Thick, medium bodied barley wine. Overall, there is juuust something off about the balance. The sweet malt taste and intense hop flavor is very close to mixing well.

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Photo of breadnerd
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

poured into a 16oz. tulip... Bright red-orange, extremely clear. Head retention is minimal, with a bit of lacing.
Smells of toast and caramel, with loads of hop aroma.
Amazing hop character is what I taste upfront, backed by biscuit and warming sensations from the alcohol. A delicious American Barleywine.
It seems a bit thin to me, but that's understandable considering the APV.
I've had this beer before, I'll certainly have it again.

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Photo of CMB2012
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a 16oz stemless snifter.

The brew pours a deep copper red with a short lasting creamy tan head. The head thins to fresh foamy bubbles which stick around for a while.

It smells of estery alcohol with sweet cherries, fresh sticky American hops, bitter pine.

The taste has a nice coating of malt sweetness that improves as the beer warms. The hops are present but not intrusive (even at 100 IBUs) with notes of pine that meld with the well rounded malt profile.

Mouthfeel is thick and coating which does well to warm the throat, stomach, and soul.

A great beer for a great price. I will definitely be back for more.

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

From a 22 oz. (?) bottle.

This was a very well-balanced beer, which must be difficult with this style that has so much in excess. Big maltiness that's not quite roasty and not quite sweet, balanced by tingly hop bitterness. No alcohol burn. Hazy(was this bottle conditioned? Did I do that?) with a creamy head.

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Photo of welldigger888
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from growler into my imp. pint glass, this elixer is a clear garnet hue that has a nice off white head that laces well.
The elixer whaffs of strong grapefruit rind and pine resony goodness.A solid malt note is the backbone though.
Nice grainy hoppy goodness prevails. The hops are the star of the show when fresh, this is fresh. Caramel and black bread notes on the malty goodness.
Chewy & slick, lotsa hops lotsa malt.
The drinkability is only hampered by the abv.

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

Presentation: Poured into a pint glass from a growler purchased at Green's off Piney Grove in Columbia, SC.

A: Deep, ruby red tinted amber color with a two finger off-white head. Moderate lacing all the way down to the bottom of the glass.

S: Grapefruit hops, sweet caramel, and something I can't really describe. Wild plum or maybe a ripe, raw molasses.

T&M: Very complex. Tastes like it smells. More citrus hop and caramel maltiness in the taste. Very smooth with a mild alcohol burn. Well-balanced with a moderate to heavy body.

Very original taste and well masked alcohol at 9.2% abv. It sneaks right up on you as I'm only 2/3 of the way through my pint and feeling the head rush. Very nice BarleyWine.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 3? year old bottle.

A: Super deep red color. Tons of floaties in suspension despite a careful pour. A half finger of white head and excellent head retention which is a testament to how much hops go into this beer.

S: The nose is that of an aged barleywine. Little bit of faded hops. Just a touch oxidized without being unpleasant. A nice sweet maltiness. Little bit of figs with just a touch of raisins.

T: The hops have really fallen off but it is still an enjoyable barleywine. Lots of malt. Nice sweetness. Almost reminds me at this point of a JW Lees without the insane complexity. Lots of toffee with just a touch of caramel.

M: Thick at times medium body. Carbonation was spot on.

D: Very nice example of the style. Though I do prefer this fresh. It does age well but it is a different beer at this point.

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Photo of Radome
3.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber bottle into a large wine glass.

A - 2.5 - Immediately after opening, the bottle jetted some foam and I had to pour very quickly to avoid losing a lot of it. The beer is a dark orange or gold color and is cloudy with lots of sediment swirling in it (appears to be bottle conditioned). The head is thin and weak but it does lace the glass well.

S - 4.0 - Citrus hops from the Pacific Northwest are the primary aroma (leading me to conclude this is an American-style barleywine). Warm malt is behind the hops.

T - 3.5 -Crisp Northwestern hops dominate, both with their taste and bitterness, but it is not off-the-scale bitter. Beyond that, the malt comes out as a warm and bready. Unfortunately, any complexity from the malt or yeast overshadowed and washed out by the hops.

M - 4.0 - Body is medium to high. Some creamy carbonation. No alcohol burn noticeable.

D - 3.5 - This is a clean-tasting barleywine with a real emphasis on American hops. I'd like to see more balance and complexity, but that is purely my preference.

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Photo of obrike
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just cracked my first bomber of this tonight...delicious. Unfortunately, I had guests come by, so graciously, I shared it. Bad timing.

Beautiful red/orange look, great head, nice lacing.

Smelled good...sweet caramel, fresh cut grassy hops. Tasty...a blast of candy caramel malt on the front end,earthy-wet hemp hops on the backend. Not overpowering for the amount of alcohol.

Quite drinkable, of course, i had to share it. I'm sure one bomber to myself would have been more than enough.

Yet another quality offering from Avery.

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Photo of itsfreeasinbeer
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark reddish mahogany with at least two fingers of unruly head which leaves massive amounts of lacing.

S: Rich sugary caramel malt is present as the beer warms. The hops are citrus.

T: Very rich flavor combination, in typical barleywine style, of caramel and toffee sugary malts alongside an intense hop bouquet of pine and citrus which provide enough contrasting bitterness to balance the significant malt component. Overall, a well balanced flavor profile with hops occupying an equal, if not greater, amount of the flavor. Also the abv is only present in the latter end of the sip and aftertaste, and is quite high, at 9.2% abv.

M: Average carbonation, sugary and sticky, with pronounced abv in the end of the sip.

D: Wow, this one is a monster. Definitely more highly hopped than most others in the style, which I enjoy as an IPA fan. It is a very bold beer, and certainly is more straightforward than other bwines that are meant to be aged to bring out the flavor. Aging this would likely diminish the flavor profile as the hops bouquet is such a significant component. This is a delicious beer, and I will definitely seek it out again.

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Photo of katan
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz into a goblet

A - Pours a very deep ruby color, with only the lightest hint of brown. Dirty white head formation, 1/4", breaking down quickly. Some lacing. Very clear, not appearing very carbonated either.

S - Very strong hop nose. Lots of floral and citrus notes first, then some grapefruit and more sour notes, and then finally some piney notes last. An interesting combination of all the notable hops.

T - Starts off with a bit of caramel and toffee malts, but then is immediately dominated by some grapefruit, citrus hops. Very smooth, adds an almost sweetness. Finishes with some alcohol hotness. The aftertaste is more noticeably bitter, with some grainy malts that seem rye like.

M - Thick and creamy. Full bodied but still comes through as light and airy. Carbonation is higher than normal, but not overbearing. Alcohol warmth is present, but fairly light.

D - Moderate drinkability - okay for a american barleywine. ABV is pretty potent, and for some reason Avery beers hit me more than others. Not filling.

Well done for an aggressive barleywine.

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

(Served in a snifter)
A- This beer has a deep dense orange body with a yellowish-beige head that is thick and bubbly. There is a few tiny bubbles at the base. The foam sticks to the glass in clouds that leave register marks with each sip.
S- This beer has a caramel sweet aroma with an earthy woody hops that grows as the beer warms and a soft candy light toffee note to the malt.
T- The mellow sweet malt gives way to a big bitey hop bitterness that stains the back of the throat. There is a soft sweet buttery note that comes through in the malt as the beer warms.
M- The medium mouthfeel has a tight fizz finish and no real alcohol heat noticed.
D- The full hop punch is more pungent and woody and dominates the sweet caramel malt. It is a nice sipper but I would prefer a bit more hop flavor to the straight bitterness.

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Photo of bens0n
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a murky (very murky) dark amber color, almost brown with a good amount of creamy off-white head, it dissipates quickly though.

This beer has a very rich smell, I can pick out hops, some caramel and fig notes, overall fairly sweet.

Flavor wise, I taste lots of hops, but a good amount of malted barley too, the hops are not biting, but they are definitely a big part of the taste.

This beer is very smooth, and very drinkable given the ABV.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at the VH WhirlyBall.

I'll drink this when pigs fly...oh...apparently, the label has informed me that the time has come. It pours a lightly hazy ruby-amber topped by a finger-and-a-half of cream foam. The nose comprises toffee, caramel, slight pine, and a vague sense of red wine (more a rose, but, hey, I ain't no wine expert here!). The taste holds notes of strong pine and grapefruit rind, light onion, and a thoroughly dominated caramel/toffee blend in the background. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation, a dry finish, and a nearly chewy feel. Overall, a solid b-wine, but a bit much for me to necessarily enjoy regularly.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Avery Hog Heaven pouring out of a growler bought at Whole Foods Bowery in New York City.

Appearance: Dark-raisin color, deep ruby. Slightly transparent. Huge head (mostly due to my inefficacy) that dies slowly, retaining a frothy surface with tons of bubbles. Impressive lacing.

Smell: Caramel, burnt sugar, creme brulee and assorted desserts. Very rich and enticing.

Taste: Aggressive hoppiness upfront, then malts and biscuit-y sweetness, more caramel as in the nose. No barleywine is as hoppy as Hog Heaven. It would please DIPA lovers! Some booze hits the tongue as it warms up.

Mouthfeel: Very sticky sweet, heavy, strong, boozy. What a barleywine should be! Alcohol is well hidden at first, but then explodes.

Drinkability: Limited. When chilled, it drinks up easy. Let it warm up and it'll become an instant heavy sipper. Balanced nonetheless, and delicious.

This is a gorgeous barleywine that, due to the intense hop factor, will also please IPA lovers.

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Photo of thedoubler55
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark amber in color, barely any head, very moderate

S - Caramel Malts, strong pine, very strong smell but very pleasant

T - Very simmer in taste, no strong feel at all, very nice easy going taste nothing to crazy here, perfect for a barley wine

M - Very smooth beer, not to much bitterness, very simple mouthfeel, not like other BW'S

D - One of the better Barley wines I have had, definitely would like to try again.

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Photo of pdoran10
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a bit murky ruby brown color with three fingers of white head that leaves nice lacing behind.

Smell is deep caramilzed malt with grassy resinous hops coming through,

Hops are forward in the taste. Mostly herbal and resinous with hints of spice in the hop profile, not my favorite. Nice slight sweet malt goodness going on. great malt profile with a slightly singed caramel flavor coming through.

A well made beer here. Overtly thick even for style, with moderate carbonation. works well, but a sipper.

A sipper with not my favorite hop profile, but still surprisingly pleasant and easy to drink. A well made barleywine.

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Photo of wolfinthemirror
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a dark orange honey colored liquid into my sinfter, about a half an inch worth of head. semi transparent.

it smells very sweetly aromatic. can't really describe the scents, but it smells sweet.

hmmm very sweet and malty, not a lot of hops. Very smooth. I can taste a little bit of orange, and something that reminds me of tea. some alcohol in the end. It's tasty, but it just seems like there is something missing in the way the flavors develop. It needs a little something more in the middle.

medium-full bodied, carbonation is on the ligther side.

It was pretty decent, very smooth but not quite what i was expecting.

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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 Mosley1212
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bomber into my Dogfish Head snifter.

A--Dark orange with a half-inch white head that dissipates quickly, but retains nicely with each sip.

S--Overly sweet alcohol on the nose. You get a malt smell that is almost like dark winter fruits with a burnt caramel smell. Almost sickly sweet, but appealing all the same.

T--Follows from the nose. You get a strong alcohol presence and an overly sweet after taste. Personally not really my thing.

M--It feels good in the mouth. Very smooth and the carbonation helps cleanse the palate for the next sip. I like it.

D--Not very high. Coming in at a 9.20%, there isn't a lot of room for you to sit back and pound these all night. Also, this is just a sickly sweet barleywine. I would start with someone else if you've never been introduced to the style.

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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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