Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA | Avery Brewing Company

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Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPAHog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA
Very Good
2,098 Ratings
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: 2,098 |  Reviews: 927
Photo of Radome
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
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 +5.6%
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 +6.8%
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 +3%
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 -0.8%
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 -7.8%
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 -9.6%
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 +9.1%
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%
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 -6.3%
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 -7.6%
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 -33.6%
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 -7.3%
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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Photo of wknight167
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apearance - Pours a cloudy orangish mohagany with a one finger off white head that doesn't stay around long, but leaves behind some nice lacing.

Nose- Smells very sweet even with the good amount of hop aroma. Floral and spicy grapefruit with dark caramel.

Palate- The sweetness prevails here as well. Sweet caramel (lighter than the nose suggested, candied citrus and dark fruits (cherry and figs mainly) and a good dose of yeast spiciness.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied almost sticky, Medium Carbonation.

Drinkability- I prefer my barleywines a little less sweet, but this one isn't half bad.

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Photo of taitlifto
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First, I don't like barleywines. So take my review for what it is with that in mind. I love double IPAs and Belgian Triples.

That said, three bars in Dallas coordinated a rare tapping of multiple Avery brews and I wanted to take advantage of this unique opportunity to enjoy something rarely seen: Hog Heaven on tap at the Libertine in Dallas.

On the whole, a ery drinkable beer with no evidence of it's 9 - 10% abv. My issue with making this a regular beverage of choice is the piney citrus notes with too much bitterness for my tastes. But I know many people enjoy that. It just isn't for me. However, it's a beautiful caramel color with a full nice head (couldn't measure as it was neatly sliced off by the tender of the bar prior to serving). It has a nice finish as the bitterness recedes and I wonder how it wouldve paired with some Asian Ginger dish or citrus based meal like lemon chicken. Oh, and wert once in awhile, I caught a hint of black pepper.

Pretty good. For a barleywine ;)

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Photo of jampics2
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 22oz bottle poured into a souvenir glass. Enjoyed with Adam Avery at his Adam Avery Experience at the Buckeye Beer Engine during Cleveland Beer Week 2010.

Hog Heaven is one of Adam's favorite beers. He likes it so much flavor-wise that he started to put on a few pounds from drinking it so often. So, he made a lighter version called 'Piglet's Purgatory' which captured the flavors but could never duplicate the drinking experience. I decided to splurge on the calories and dive into the mud with the hog. The beer is a deep red with some caramel, amber and copper notes. It is cloudy and a touch murky but still appealing - I didn't expect the swine to be squeaky clean. There's some nice white head and excellent retention and lace. This isn't just lipstick on a pig - this is a beautiful looking American Barleywine.

The Columbus hops jump out of the glass with their signature citrus notes. There's a huge hoppiness that is never overbearing, but brings great notes of grapefruit and mandarin orange, complete with sugary sweet syrup. Some malted barley and caramel lurk underneath, giving more sweetness and substance to the whole package. There is absolutely no alcohol, quite a feat for an almost-double digit ABV beer.

We've seen and smelled the hog, now the taste is where the heaven comes in to play. Columbus hops, some dark fruit and sweet caramelized malt make a potent and tantalizing beer with blissful bitterness. The hops give some celestial citrus and some slight pine notes that are balanced and expressive. The malt is sweet and perfectly integrated into the palate, almost omnipotent in the way it doesn't let the hops eclipse its dominance. Some booze is noted in the finish, but it's not enough to bring down the overall beatific experience.

Low carbonation, heavy body and high sugar leads to a lightly syrupy sensation that keeps the mouthfeel from scoring higher and vaulting this into the upper-echelon of American Barleywines. But the feel is good enough to keep me sipping just about every second until my glass is empty. The drinkability approaches the divine, but falls just short. Still a very good beer, when you're ready to consume a pig-load of calories, reach for a hog!

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Photo of bamadog
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Like a lot of Avery stuff, for some reason I tend to just kind of pass by it, but now I feel that I'm trying to make more of an effort to get a hold of it. This one was certainly solid enough, and I wish there was a bottled-on date so I would have known if I should have let it sit for awhile to allow the hops to mellow just a bit more (I'm more of an English Barleywine kind of guy, I guess). Beer was still great though. Review is from notes taken on 10/22/2010 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a coppery/cider-like color; starts with a full finger, thick and creamy tan head with solid retention from all of the hop resin; the head eventually fades to a very thick and ring and a much thinner, but still full, skim on the surface; body is dark and murky and really can't be seen through; a thick wall of lacing is left on the back of the glass and a lot of spots on the front.

Smell: Really quite nice with a big blast of bitter citric hoppiness (orange and orange peel) that seem fairly well balanced by a firm wall of sweet caramel malts; slight presence of alcohol, but it's fairly well blended and masked by the big hops and malts; you just know that this one is going to be big.

Taste: Very nice, and it's definitely an American as the huge hops dominate from the beginning with firm citric and bitter orange presence; there is a nice warming presence of the sweeter caramel-flavored malts; a slightly burnt/toasty graininess is definitely present as well; a fair presence of alcohol, but again, like in the nose, it's pretty well balanced with the bitter hops and sweet malts; after a bit, the hops really become spicy and have a bit of a harsher bite to them.

Mouthfeel: Body is of medium-heavy weight and the carbonation is quite full, but still soft; a thick and cottony sticky coating is left on the roof of the mouth; gums are left a little tingly and the belly is definitely left warm; warm vaporous alcohol is left on the breath too.

Drinkability: Nice flavors and a big robust nose make it very appealing; ABV is pretty big though and the weight would become a bit of a factor; I wouldn't mind picking a couple more of these up and leaving them sit for at least 2 more years to allow it to mellow a bit and see how it does.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle.

A- Pours a rusty amber color with some orange highlights when held up to the light. One and a half finger tan head shows medium retention. Web style lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- There are sweet sugary darker fruits in this along with a lot of caramel malts. Light toffee notes come through in the middle of the aroma with piney notes. Some light citrus hops in here as well. Some light medicinal alcohol in the tail end that makes the nose tingle.

T- Citrus and piney hops roll through the front of the beer. Sugary darker fruits soaked in rum toward the middle with some sweet malts to compliment the fruits. Light toasted grains in the middle to ending. Some light citrus hops in the ending along with a high alcohol taste toward the backing.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Tons of malts and darker fruits left on the palate with citrus hops and medicinal alcohol in the aftertaste. The overall balance on this barleywine is actually very good. Clean tasting overall with some higher alcohol tones from time to time. Heavy drying on the palate from the alcohol.

D- This barleywine is a couple of years old and I think it hit it's prime right here. A good hit from Avery for me at least. The higher ABV is kind of hidden toward the end which comes through a sharp alcohol hit and then it's gone.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.32/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewery in August 2009. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate copper color with a very thin off white bit of lacing after a small head on the initial pour. Sell brings citrus and floral hops and a large amount of caramel malt sweetness. Taste is a bit of a mess with a large dose of hops that are somehow overpowered by an even larger dose of sweetness. Doesn't carry very much depth. Feel is fairly heavy with low to moderate carbonation. Drinkability is hampered by the taste just kind of being everywhere. A strange barleywine that might do better with some age.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.16/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First glass pours a dark clear amber brown. The second glass pours a nice hazy dark brown amber colour again. Love the floaties in the second glass. Tastes of sweet dark malts with a little hops kicking in there too. Drinks pretty smooth over over 9% alc. Quite the tasty american barley wine. One of my favourites to this point.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle. Pours a murky brown with a thin head. Minimal lacing. Aroma is boozey and hoppy. Sweet. Taste is more hops than I expected. Slight warming alcohol flavor but not a real boozey Barleywine. Heavy beer that is certainly a sipper. Overall a hoppy barleywine that is more like Bigfoot than say Olde School. I enjoyed sipping this one and will probably grab one again.

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Photo of Jeriba
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle enjoyed form an oversized wine glass.

A: Murky amber orange in color. There was very little foam, but it left some nice lacing around the edge of the glass.

S: Strong barley and toasted hop aromas, with some sweet malt and dark fruits (plum).

T: Dry and bitter, but in a roasted rye bread way, rather than a hoppy kind of bitterness. I also get oak, bourbon, prunes, and a hint of mild licorice. There's an expected amount of boozy kick at the end.

M: Slightly chewy and creamy.

D: The 9.2% ABV means it drinks like a wine and should probably be treated like one. I was happy to finish off a bomber, and would definitely drink this one again, especially when the weather turns a bit colder.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured amber brown with orange yellow highlights that had a half finger of head and left good frothy lacing sticking to the glass.

S: I literally caught the smell of the beer just by the it sitting on my night stand in a tulip. Once I did take a whiff pine hops, grass, floral, and sweet malts were the most dominate but I was able to detect slight citrus and caramel notes.

T: the sweet malts, piiney floral hops, and caramel flavors work really good together and accent each other but I did get citrus caramel notes coming through as well; pretty hoppy barleywine.

M: the brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a sweet, citric, piney, hoppy bitter, sticky finish.

D: it drank pretty good for the style but IMO it was too hoppy and bitter for a barleywine. I really don't look for hoppiness when I'm in the mood for a beer in this stlye. Might as well pick up an IPA.

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Photo of codewarrior
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 oz Bomber, poured into a chalice.

L: Amber, brown and cloudy. Bubble lurking up through the murkiness. Thick 1 finger of head.

S: Toasted hops, overwhelmingly so. Bottle boasts 100 IBUs ... nose backs that claim up.

T: Exceedingly hoppy up front, good balance as it opens up. Finishes slowly, nice fade into strong barley flavor.

F: Thick as hell. Velvet.

D: A delight, all-around. Seriously good Barleywine here.

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Photo of claybeer
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Avery Hog Heaven is a cloudy apple cider color. It has a real mix of orange and brown tints as well. The head was there and then gone leaving just a thin film on the side of the glass. Sweet! Sweet! Sweet! All I smell are rich malts and honey notes. The sweet follows right on the tongue with a LOT of fruit. I get some apricot, peach, a little cherry and raisins. Wow! Some tartness lingers on the back of the tongue followed by the slightest hint of heat from the alcohol. I wouldn't say this beer is very drinkable because of the intense flavors. It is not for the faint of heart. It does, however, have great appeal to a quiet night by a fire place with a mixture of dried fruits and salt covered walnuts, cashews and almonds.

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Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 2,098 ratings
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