Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA | Avery Brewing Company

Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPAHog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA
Liked This Beer
3.95 w/ 2,090 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,090 |  Reviews: 925
Photo of Bendurgin
2.79/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Got this one for Father's Day this year. Pours this one into a tulip. Pours a dark copper amber color. Big fluffy off white head on this one with really nice lacing. I'm not loving the smell on this. It's kind of musty, I'm sharing this with my brother and he said it smelled like faded hops. I would agree with that. Dark fruit aromas also around. I'd say it smells sweet. As I expected it's kind of sweet. Caramel up front and dark fruits and a somewhat metallic finnish. Not bad, I do feel like fresh this would be a hoppy one. I'd love to get a hold of a fresh bottle, but I did sit on this one for about a month. Mouthfeel is a little sticky and syrupy with low carbonation. The alcohol is hidden well and this one and I'm enjoying sipping it.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ok, drank a 2007 next to a 2010 to see how they compare vertically. Pours a clear copper color with an impressive sheet of foam, even the 07 shows nice retention and lacing. Great looking brew here. The older one is a bit darker in color.

2010 nose shows bright grassy hops with a strong caramel backbone. Pretty straightforward with some nuttiness and a mid-fruit presence...figgy with maybe a bit of olive brine and strawberries. 2007 is mostly smooth caramel and light oxidized malts. Has a darker blackberry fruitiness. Dont think I can pick a favorite right now, both smell excellent.

Newer offering is resinous pine hoppiness, but surprisingly smooth with toffee, burnt biscuit maltiness in tow. Tropical alcohol and bitter on the finish. 07 is much smoother as expected. Burnt cake-bottom malts still are complimented by a nice hop bitterness. Sherry-like alcohol is much smoother than the younger version, but still biting. Pleasant with some rough edges still poking through that would probably never smooth out. More dark fruit in the older version and more complex to my tastebuds. It aged well I thought but not might improve any more. Very fun comparison, I prefer the aged version. Make sure you have a friend or two to share with drinking two of these behemoths.

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Photo of ReDave
3.74/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep ruby amber, [strong red with light behind it, rather nice color]

Pretty rocky head that seems to linger well creamy off white

I don't catch the hop aroma much, pretty malty...

Nice taste. Fairly well balanced, with a nice hop presence. later after several sips some hop waxiness...

Excellent lacing.

After more sips much more hop presence still, but not overpowering.

I'd get this again.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pardon me while I whip this out...of the cellar.
A 2009 bottle, decided to try it. Perhaps should have waited a bit, but still is a good beer.
Pours an orange/ruby rust color. Some haze, clears up a bit after a sit. chunked up head, fluffy and some lacing.

Hop forward aroma, pines and grapefruit. Sweet caramel gives it a nice 'coating' smell. Strong. Alcohol says 'hi'. I think another year would do great.

yeah, flavor is strong but not quite blending well. Hops open the palate to let the malt cover it with sweetness and caramel. Then the alcohol jumps in to give it some bite and heat. A tad syrupy I think.

Overall, this is a nice beer. I'll have to age another two years instead.

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Photo of WickedSluggy
4.52/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium Amber color light foam that forms blotchy lacing on a wine glass.

Hoppy bouquet and sweet malt aroma followed by some wet cardboard and sherry. There is a pleasant oxidation. Interesting - this is very different from the casks and kegs I had last Fall - and different from my memories of bottles of this beer.

Lovely complex flavors in this bottle. The hops and malt profiles are of a "Bigfoot style" American barleywine but its personality is worthy of distinction. The oxidation, the ever-so-slight sulphur and sherry flavors are wonderful. The alcohol, at 9.2%, adds a good warmth and finish.

Drinkability - Well, its a huge 100 IBUs of hop bitterness and flavor balanced by an equally big semisweet estery malty rush. If this is your desire, you will find it very "drinkable". If not, don't choose it. It fits the category. It gets rated fairly high by me.

I have forgotten to stock this beer lately and that is a shame. It is a damn good barleywine. No problem though - I purchased this beer yesterday from a high-volume location and it doesn't need more time to develop character. Excellant.

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Photo of NewGeneric
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an Irish coffee glass.

A: Pours a clear amber color with 2 fingers of white foam that slowly recedes, leaving solid, sticky lacing all over the sides of the glass. Gorgeous.

S: Really hoppy. Pine and citrus scents collide with earthy tones that fade into a deep, rich malt character.

T: Luscious hops, almost like eating them fresh. Heavy caramel malt combines with some light fruitiness that splashes all over the tongue.

M: Very smooth, save for an extremely dry finish. Bitterness is clean as well. Very good.

D: Drinks quickly and often.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Pours a clear light maple brown with a fine pillowy offwhite head. Retains as a film very well.

Smells of syrupy sweet malts with a hint of floral hops.

Tastes of piney, floral hops, maple and brown sugar malts.

Feels moderate with slight carbonation at the back of the throat and on the tip of the tongue.

Strong and flavorful. Excellent representation of the style. Good hops and malts. A definite must-try for fans of the style.

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Photo of alcurtsinger
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber into a Tulip, this is my first barley-wine

A. Frothy beige head of about 2 fingers. The beer is of an red amber color.

S. Very strong, citrus hops, piney, a little too sweet

T. Malt dominance, but I also taste quite bit of hops

M. dry, crisp, smooth

d. Not too drinkable, one bomber was enough for me.

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Photo of hardy008
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber with a 3 finger off white head with large bubbles and good retention. Smells like pine, grapefruit, and caramel malt.

The taste is hop forward, with pine and grapefruit, backed by a sweet caramel malt backbone. More bitter than sweet, but not a bad combination.

Full bodied, smooth, and the carbonation is a bit higher than I would like. Has a bitter and somewhat dry finish. The alcohol is well hidden for 9.20 %. This beer is worth trying, if you get the chance.

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Photo of gordavidson
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A clear, deep, ruby orange liquid with a massive creamy bone white head that has great retention.

S- Caramel, pine, alcohol, citrus rind, and vanilla. Aromatic and enjoyable. About what I expect from the style.

T- Exactly the same as the aroma with an emphasis on the citrus aspect. Sweet and malty with a good but not overwhelming hop presence.

M- Syrupy smooth and sweet with a lasting warmth from the alcohol.

D- A very enjoyable take on the style, albeit a bit on the sweet side. The alcohol is hidden well overall, and this may get a bit better with some age.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured into a pint glass to three inches of tan head. It is a copper colored offering. The aroma is some citrus hops and caramel malt. I smelled hops as soon as I started pouring into my glass. The hop flavor overpowers the malt. I was hoping for something more balanced. I'm not saying that it tastes bad. I just need more balance.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Dirty Franks, Downtown Columbus. I got the first glass from a brand new keg.
A- Red. This beer is a very red colored barleywine. The head is very small but it lasts quite a while. It throws quite a bit of lacing.

S- Vedry hoppy but very malty at the same time. Its nearly balanced in smell but it leans towards the hops. Its very piney.

T- The taste is a continuation of the smell. Its backwards from most beers, the bitter hops come first then it breaks into a caramel maltiness.

M- Just shy of full bodied. Crisp, carbonated and nearly dry.

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Photo of THORN
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 Pt. 6 Fl. Oz. bottle poured into Duvel tulip. Served 50-55 F.
A: Cloudy cherry brown. Thick frothy vanilla colored two fingers of heady. Thick splotchy lace left around tulip.
S: Hops, caramel, and citrus.
T: Citrus and resiny hops and caramel malts. Fruit character includes: citrus, cherry, passion fruit, and grapefruit. Bitter linger with nice alcohol component.
M: Medium on tongue.
D: Big beer. Flavor profile is very wide and covers alcohol well. I believe it is a bottle from 2008.

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Photo of ncfrey
4.19/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes taken 4-15-2010
Bomber into New Belgium globe glass

a - Pours a gorgeous, port-like amber-red with a beige head of medium thickness that dissipates fairly quickly.

s - Big, resiny citrus hops and loads of toffee, with some subdued dark fruits underneath.

t - Slightly malt-dominant. The big, sweet toffee would be cloying, but it's well-balanced by the hops and a bit of toasted malt.

mf - Just shy of chewy, with decent carbonation.

d - One bomber sounds just about right.

I like this. Definitely an American barleywine, with a big hop kick, but more balanced than some I've tried. I'll definitely have to pick this up again.

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3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Bluegrass Festival glass, on a hike.

a: Good head retention. Deep copper in color with a white head.

s: The aroma brings sweet and piney smells.

t: The taste is bold but yet balanced for a barley wine. Good malt sweetness and present hoppiness.

m: A clean dry mouthfeel.

d: A good, goto barley wine, not too strong, good for a session barley wine.

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Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.14/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours reddish brown with a nice, fluffy head... a nice fluffy head that receeds away from the glass and looks a lot like cream. Weird. No visible carbonation, though.

The smell is a lively assauly of hops, citrus, some nice syrupy sweetness, and a bit of cinnamon.

The taste is mroe malty than the smell leads me to believe. Lots of deep, sweet, malty goodnes with a great hoppy bite. No hint of alcohol.

The beer goes down smooth andhas a nice creamy texture, much like the whipped cream look of the head.

This is a dangerous beer. It goes down like dessert with no indication of the punch it packs.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.19/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A= Pours like any barleywine a nice amber color with a good two finger head that has some pretty nice retention and lacing. There looks like there is a little bit of hazy in this beer. Weird.

S= Quite pungent. When I first heard the hiss of the glass I could smell this baby. Smells nice. Good barleywine aroma mix of hops and malt. A good amount of pine hops that meld nicely with the sweet malts.

T= Much different than the smell I think. The Hops are still there in a much more muted way. The malts take the taste over in this one and do a pretty good job of teasing my tongue. It has a really nice sweetness to it. There is a little candy like sweetness to it. Very nice. The finish is nice and bitter of course.

M= Prolly one of the best parts of this beer. One of the most interesting MFs I've come across because it has some nice light bubbles to it and finishes dry but still kinda sweet.

D= Pretty decent BW. Not the best I've had but this is a fun one. Worth checking out for sure. I'm gonna but some more to toss in the cellar for sure and some just to enjoy in the bigfoot offseason.

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Photo of loren01
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark amber color, nice sized head and small amount of lacing going on.
S: Smell is of citrusy type hops and lots of them. Slight bit of malt scent as well but mostly hops.
T: Slight fruitiness up front followed by a strong citrus hoppiness. ETOH burn aftertaste.
M: Medium/dry mouthfeel
D: I like my barleywines to be a little more malty and a little less hoppy than what this one was. Not a bad beer at all though.

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Photo of jdense
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle from Whole Foods Hollywood PDX poured into St. Bernardus chalice 4.17.10.

1/4 finger head, very quick dissipation with minimal lacing. Cloudy reddish amber body with no visible carbonation. Caramel malts dominate the nose, this beer smells sweet, but a good floral hop presence. Taste is malt forward though not as sweet as many other Barleywines I've had, and there is a good solid dose of hops to countervail the sweet notes. Mouthfeel though a bit sticky is pretty thin for the style. More drinkable than most beers of this style given the lower than average ABV. Not my favorite Avery product, but worth a try for fans of the style.

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Photo of spiner
5/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cousin send me this from America

This beer very good. It look red or orange. It smell very sweet and many hops. I like caramel sweetness taste in this beer. It strong but can be more strong. Cannot wait for next bottle of Avery. It will be India Pale Ale.

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Photo of Crowls
3.41/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into a beer mug

Appearance: Dark amber color with a strong head at first that leaves good lacing.

Smell: Various scents of spices and fruit with some alcohol and bitter aromas present.

Taste: A mild sweetness starts but is strongly overcome by bitterness with a hint of alcohol. Not much of a fruit flavor to it which was somewhat disappointing. A little strong on the bitter side for my taste.

Mouthfeel: Leaves a dry feeling and somewhat smooth but nothing distinguishing.

Drinkability: Strong alcohol makes it about one and done and if the drinker isn't into bitter taste this could be a struggle.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Bottled in 2009, drank on 4/6/10.

a - Pours a dark amber color with 2+ fingers of off white head. Little bit of carbonation evident. Nice froth and lacing.

s - Smells of sweet malts, citrus and earthly hops, and dark fruits.

t - Taste is bitter with grapefruit and more citrus and hops up front. Some earthy and smooth malts after the bitterness.

m - High carbonation and full body. Little bit of alcohol warmth.

d - Not a bad barleywine. I thought the smell was very nicely balanced between citrus hops and sweet malts, but that even with a few months on it the hops dominated the taste. Worth a try and I'd have again, but next time I might just cellar a bottle and see what happens in 1-2 years.

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Photo of kirkpjr
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.
Poured into a Duvel tulip

A: Pours a copper / dark amber color with one finger head.

S: Delicious hops. Mango, citrus, and tangerine hops. No real malt in the smell.

T: Bitter citrus hops followed by a big balancing malt kick. The most hop-forward barleywine I've tried.

M: Moderate carbonation with a creamy fuel. Hops linger on the tongue.

D: Very drinkable barleywine. The alcohol is well hidden and the hops make this one a great brew for a hophead. Will get this one again.

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Photo of ryanonline
3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy deep reddish brown with an enourmous fluffy white head. Good lacing.

Smells sort of funky, like a farmhouse ale. Still retains the hoppy bitter scent of typical barleywines, as well as a strong caramel malt nose. Its basically like a musty barleywine.

Kind of piney and sort of a dirty flavor. Can't really explain it. I think its the particular combination of the hops and yeast. It has a very peculiar flavor.

The mouthfeel is equally odd. I really am confused by this beer. Prickly mouthfeel and, again, a dirty sensation. Very dry finish.

Kind of filling and has a very icky feeling in my tummy.

I've been on a barleywine kick lately and this one may have killed it.

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Photo of tippebrewcrew2
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

L= Pours an off white. thick, 3 finger head with a light white rim. The body is a most beautiful dark orange ruby color that looks like a sparkling silk in your glass.

S= Big fruity bitter hops of grapefruit and pine with a slight tart ester.

T= Upfront bitterness that is wiped out by a rising pine cluster that finishes with a big earthy, nutty finish.

F= Extremely light feel which is very different from what you get from the nose. So light it is almost a watery sensation. Which would get it a high drinkability if it weren't 9.2

D= I rated this beer as a non session beer and that is why it received the score it did was because of the body. The feel didn't ruin the beer for me but It was a bit of a shocker. A very respectable beer and from a stellar brewery.

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Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 79.7% out of 100 with 2,090 ratings
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