Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA | Avery Brewing Company

very good
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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: 2,081 |  Reviews: 923
Photo of Trappissed
4.57/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It does have that familiar Barley Wine aroma and taste. However, this is insanely smooth and tasty. Great nose, very sweet smelling with citrus and mixed fruits. Caramel. Flavor is not as sweet as expected, which is a good thing. Great malty taste, with just enough bittering hops to even things out. Getting a lot of that sweet caramel with some hints of citrus.

I actually lost much faith in Avery after the last few offerings I've had, were found to be sub-par. This beer is among the best Barley Wines I've ever had. I have a hard time giving this any 5's though, because no aspects really blew me away(aside from Drinkability). Taste is great, but missing some sort of umph! Perhaps even a little muted.

Drinkability is the only 5 for me, simply due to the fact that this goes down very easy. Would never know this is 9%+. This Barley Wine is very approachable and I would recommend it to someone who has never tried this genre of beer.

Additional notes from 11/28/09 tasting:

I think this one may be more fresh than the previous time I had this. Tastes and smells much more like a DIPA. Really hoppy. The malt is still there, but it is now in the background. Lots of citrus and pine. Still very good, but the first time was much better.

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Photo of NorCalYeti
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

taste- hoppy bitterness, sweet malt taste, chocolate, leather, alcohol

color- garnet

clarity- clear dark

smell- hoppy nose, sweet malt

body- heavy body, medium-long caramel-candy like finish

appearance- nice red color, thick off-white creamy head

overall impression- great beer, nicely balanced, cellerable for three years

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

Pours a liquid copper color with a small, thin white head that leaves some lace.
Smell is hops, floral, malt and nothing else.
Taste is more malt, hops and floral.
Malt really lingers and balances the hops well. A medium/full body. Overall a good beer, but not great especially for an Avery.

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Photo of jdklks
3.32/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

pours a murky amber/light brown with a sticky tan head that rings and laces the glass. smells of green apples soaked in alcohol with a nice candy sweetness.

bland-er than expected from the more intense smell. alcohol dominates throughout, with a promising sweet maltiness making an appearance mid-way, only to be wiped out by the hop character, which provides no more than a hint of the fruity sweetness promised by the smell, but rather an unpleasant bitterness (i like bitter, but not too much in a barleywine). the aftertaste is of an at first barely perceptible and quickly fleeting bitter hoppiness that intensifies as you drink the beer. nothing special here folks. barleywines, when made well, rival RIS for my favorite style, while the average barleywine dwells in the category of "avoid" beers. this is average.

the mouthfeel is perhaps the highlight of the beer. thick and smooth and well-carbonated. the drinkability is another story.

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

22 oz. bottle. Pours an amber color with a slight orange hue, fair off-white head and good lacing. Aroma is mainly malts, very fruity, raisins, molasses, with a decent amount of citrus hops for balance. Flavor is caramel, tons of citrus hops, and a bit of alcohol which I'm sure will mellow with time. Mouthfeel is oily and very bitter. Very good beer, very hoppy for a barleywine.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy mahoghany with an off white head that has good retention and leaves some lace. Aroma is of hops. Lots of citrus with the grapefruit being dominant, also some caramel.

Taste is full of hops as the aroma would suggest. Candied grapefruit is the dominant flavor. An uderlying burnt sugar flavor is present. Also some berry flavors in the background and biscuitty malt. A lingering bitterness on the palate finishes this off.

Mouthfeel is smooth and full. The 9%+ is very well hidden as it is unnoticeable. This is like a malty Double IPA and I love it. A great effort from Avery.

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Photo of david18
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another Avery beer that I like a lot. Great balance of hops and malt with great American Barleywine bitterness. Color is excellent and the aroma is also great. This is one I will get in any season; i'm always glad to see avery on the shelves. Almost borders on double ipa hoppiness but does fit in the category.

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Photo of merryjoulton
3.4/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a really nice copper with a thin film on top that doesn't want to go away and laces thick on the glass. Smell is typical hop aromas, citrusy, piney, grassy, sticky. Taste is not too bitter and light on the hops. Mouthfeel is crisp and clean and good drinkability. I don't think this is a barleywine, just a high abv IPA.

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Photo of GordonQuid
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Avery Hog Heaven

Poured into a sifter.

Golden straw with a slight chill haze. Half inch head with lots of "legs" in the lace.

Sweet nectar or orange rinds blended with cara malts; lots of malt. Hot going down... As it warms there is a stronger noble hop characteristic along with a slight grainyness, hops coming through nicely though.

This is a heavy brew I could only drink one... Because the High Gravity is bringing me down; ina godd way.


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

22oz single from Arctic Liquors in Steamboat, CO. Can't remember the price, but I'm thinking around $6.

A: Mostly clear copper in color with an off white head about an inch thick from an aggressive pour. Excellent retention and big sticky gobs of lacing.

S: MMMM Columbus hops, this is beginning to be a signature thing with Avery as best as I can tell, distinct and quite awesome. Pretty "dank". Undertones of caramel malt, and sweetness but this is ridiculously hoppy, I'm thinkin DIPA more than BW.

T: Taste follows nose, a bit more malt and a thick roasted presence as well. Taste is of grapefruit rind, caramel malt, slightly odd chile pepper flavor in the aftertaste, really faint, but enough to notice. Really a hoppy barleywine. Nice though.

M: Medium thick, verging on thick, slight puckering factor from the hops, slightly warm alcohol, ridiculously dry. Really nice here.

D: Being a 9.2% beer and having 100IBUs this is a workout for the tongue. I can't really drink a lot of it, and this wouldn't be my first choice for a barleywine. Still a good beer. If this beer were to come from the East coast, no doubt about it, it would be a DIPA. This is actually stronger than most of the East Coast DIPA's I've had just simply from the huge hop presence. Will probably grab another, interesting beer, if you're looking for a hop fix, go for this one!

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Photo of degerbah
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very red brownish color with a slight finger of head. The aroma is colombus hops with a touch of sweet malt. The bottle claims 2.5 lbs of colombus hops per barrel and this is readily evident. Drinks more like an IPA than a barleywine. This is a very hop-forward beer. More of a IIPA than a Barleywine. Much better than I thought it would be. In the future I will just be prepared for it to not taste like a barleywine at all.

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light reddish brown color with a short and dense off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, brown sugar, fruit and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste is well-balanced with sweet flavors of caramel, bourbon, fruit and brown sugar that are quickly followed by a strong hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty and there's a slight alcohol burn. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, although there are better ABW's out there, this is a good high-octane beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of spartanfan
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottled on 7/9/08.

Pours a deep red/amber color with a nice off white head. Smells of sweet syrupy malts. Pineapple, butterscotch, and a little alcohol are perceived in the nose. Very rich sweet taste as expected, tastes of molasses, apples, pears, and a mild grassy hops flavor. Some chocolate there in the back. Mouthfeel is moderate to full, and the beer leaves a coating behind after each swallow. At 9.2% the alcohol is very well hidden, making this beer quite drinkable. I'll be finishing this bomber no problem. The hops have mellowed out a bit with age, but this is still a darn good barleywine.

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

Wiseman Justin Reporting:

Appearance: One of the best looking barleywines. Thick two finger khaki head. Opaque amber; delicious. Lacing already sticking to the glass.

Smell: Caramel from two feet away. Hops, wet oak tree. It manages to smell chewy. It smells like diapers, in a good way.

Taste: Sour apples wow. Wow. Seriously. Somes hops, very little alcohol that you notice only in the aftertaste. Maybe some wood.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and light, almost no syrupy quality to this barleywine. Would like some more thickness.

Drinkability: All around an easy beer to drink, the sour apple taste is pretty unique. I'm still looking for that barleywine that can top Lagunitas.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a hazy light brown with a thick off-white head. Aroma of sweet caramel malt, apple skins, light fruits, and light citrus hops. Flavor of sweet malt, lemon iced tea, some sweet grassy hops in the finish. Heavy palate, huge malt bomb here. Hmm, I wasn't really impressed by this beer.

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

pours a clear brown-orange with a small beige head, and great lacing.

smell of grapefruit hops, caramel, some floral, spice, some sweet fruit, and citrus.

taste is light grapefruit, pear, apple on the first sip, then bitter, alcohol, some lemon, some tangerine, and a little caramel, ends a little dry and very bitter

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

Bomber poured into DFH snifter. Dark amber/brown color.. translucent with a good inch or so of dark sandy head. Smell is mostly sweet: honey, syrup, and molasses with a strong twinge of bitter hops. Not much alcohol in the smell. The taste is very bitter for the style... Alcohol is not overwhelming at all.

Decent barleywine, definitely on the bitter end of the spectrum (for the style at least).

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Photo of OlRasputin989
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Schlafly nonic. beer acquired at the liquor store near wal-mart in Mountain Home, AR.

A: amber to orange colored brew below a thick fluffy 2 finger head. also leaves alot of lacing behind and head stays through the rest of the drink.

S: i smell mostly hops. almost like an i.p.a. followed by a fruity honey smell.

T: sugary, almost like maple syrup,then bittersweet. slightly fruity and you can detect the alcohol.

M: medium body, leaves the mouth bitter and the tongue tingling from the combination of the hops and the alcohol. leaves a slight sliminess and resiny feeling

Overall, this beer seems like a double ipa. it is malty but what really takes the beer over is the colombus dry hops (100 IBUs). i am a hophead though and from Arkansas so i love it. I do, however, believe that the 9.2% abv and astringent characteristics would hinder it from being a good session beer.

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Photo of soupyman10
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is fine, you know, amber-copper you might expect with standard head/lacing. A little weak, but not bad. Just finished up a DIPA, and I really feel like this might fall in the same category - big hoppy flavor with a nice toffee malt presence, but this one is not a malt w/ hop presence, but definitely the vice versa. It is, nonetheless, really tasty - a kind of standard nice fruity, caramelly hop/malt that's nicely delicious. A nice brew, not the greatest American barley wine I've had but a nice entry.

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

From a 22 oz. brown bomber, silver foil around the neck and cap. Three flying pigs on the label. A hazed red amber in appearance, tall light beige tight creamy, chunky and frothy head.

Sweet brown sugar aroma, soft green leafy and grassy hops.

Spicy and bready malt up front in the flavour, nearly like pound cake in character. Sweet earthy brown sugar in the middle with mild leafy green hops on the finish, this flavour profile is so smooth and mild when all is said and done that it is deceptively drinkable and the abv% well hidden.

Lighter yet smooth and approachable mouthfeel for such a high alcohol ale, let alone a barley wine, although a decent medium-body all the same.

More impressive than it seems at first, this is a fine barley wine worthy of frequent imbibing, not over-the-top but accessibly drinkable and perpetually smooth. Avery stays on par with this one.

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Photo of wyattshotmaker
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into a snifter,it's an opaque reddish brown.has a great head that dissipates slowly,leaving a good amount of lacing.

nose has upfront hop bitterness,medicinal and fruity.

dark fruity esters,little bit of phenol medicinal taste,oily hop bitterness,with a hint of bready malt at the finish with some alcohol heat.has an astringent finish.overall,the alcohol is pretty well hidden.

feel is slightly slick on the tongue,hop resin kinda coat the tongue.low carbonation.

i could sip on this for awhile,really a nice barleywine.i had it with some bacon pizza,it is a nice pairing.

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

22oz bomber poured into a goblet.

A: Reddish-brown body. A lot of lacing.

S: Caramel, cherries, hops.

T: Caramel malt, lots of bitterness, grassiness from the hops. Rather harsh.

M: Thick and smooth.

D: Kind of an eh barleywine. This reminded me a lot of Old Horizontal, so I'm giving it the same rating.

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Photo of MiScusi
2.46/5  rDev -38%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On tap at Lucky Baldwin's delirium cafe in sierra madre.

Dark reddish, nice cap of foam on top. Smells like a malty, sugary, fruit bomb. The beer is way too sweet for me. Cloyingly sweet. I don't find a lot of balance offered here by the hops to cut some of the sweetness.

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Photo of bonsreeb85
4.67/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into my goblet, this beer looked really inviting, a beatiful biege head left copious amounts of lacing down the side of my glass. Looks scrumptious.

After taking 1 whiff, i detected a very fruity, and sweet almost candy like aroma from the malts. But the hops are definately not to be outdone here, the citrusy goodness store the show in fact. Wow this beer smells good.

The taste did not let me down, after the beauty and amazing smell, it only gets better on the tongue. Incredibly sweet candy like malts. It kind of reminds me of madarin orange spice tea, but with an extreme slap in the face from the hop bitterness, they linger on and on.

This is definately a full bodied sipper, and although the alcohol is well hidden, it does make a bit of an appearance as the beer warms, which only makes this great and complex beer even greater. My overall opinion: After having this delite i will make a point to get into more American Barley wines, as this one was exceptional.

*as a side note, ironicaly i was watching a special about monster wild hogs on the discovery channel while i drank this, LOL

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Photo of Cheers
3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A - Slightly opaque orange brown

S - Light hoppy aroma with the smell of sweet barley coming through.

T - balanced nicely. Very sweet, but bitter enough that the whole thing works well. One of the best barley wines I have tasted.

M - Thick and oily coating the mouth nicely.

D - I am surprised I got through the whole 22 oz. bottle on my own. Then again, I have yet to find a barley-wine that leaves me wanting a second?

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Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA from Avery Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 2,081 ratings.
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