Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA | Avery Brewing Company

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Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPAHog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA
Very Good
2,101 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,101 |  Reviews: 928
Photo of linnet
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ruby colour, creamy beige head, looks very nice, lots of lacing. Aroma is very hoppy, more lika a DIPA than a barley wine, pine, citrus, lemon, grass, straw. Flavour reminds me of Hercules, big bite, pine, lemon grapefruit resting on amalt backbone. This is good!Mouthfeel is smooth and sticky. I would never have pegged this for a BW nevertheless it is great!

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is hazy amber with a large off-white beautiful thick even head that leaves nice lacing when it dissipates.

S: Sweet malt, but the domination is by the american floral hops that holds both pine notes as well as citric notes. There is also pineapple in the smell.

T: Powerful american floral hops, there is pine, pineapple and citric notes in great balance with the caramell malt.

M: The aftertaste is long and sweet with some dry bitterness as well. Full body and very little carbonation.

D: Nice, well balanced, powerful. Very obvious american floral hops. A high quality product.

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Photo of TLove
3.74/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

There is little doubt in my mind that this is a very solid beer. I am happy to emphasize once more that I'm thrilled with the quality and tangible complexity that Avery has put forth in their (relatively) new line.

Pretty commonplace color and head for a barleywine of this caliber. Nice deep marmalade color with some citrus and wood chips in the nose and a brown sugar malt backbone. The hops hit hard in the taste and possess a very floral mouthfeel with a noticeable, though light caramel malt with lots of sugars, however, perhaps not enough to balance the floral and sweet components of the body.

Agree with many other reviewers that this is not malty enough for an American Barleywine. More like a DIPA or IIPA (when the nearly 10% ABV is factored in). Hop structure is very strong and while initially fluid, it stagnates a bit in the finish.

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Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Sherlock's in Decatur, GA.

Pours a hazy honey-copper color with a two-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with good amounts of piney hop aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sticky caramel malt flavors up front are joined shortly by good amounts of pine hop flavors with herbal undertones. The caramel malt really never goes completely away and takes back over before a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing the bottle and could have a bit more.

Overall this was just a good old fashioned American barleywine that did everything solidly. Well worth a shot.

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Photo of whyhoughton
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass, it's a great barleywine with surprising drinkability. Don't drink this from the bottle. The caramel taste dominates the body, covering the 100 IBUs nicely. It's a very heavy beer, but if you like hoppy & thick barleywine- this IS a session. I'll buy it again... and again...

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: deep clear ruby/orangish. Off-white head with light delicate lacing that clings hard to the glass. So far so good.

S: holy hopps!!! A piney scent really smacks you in the face.

T: very smooth. Slightly sweet malt taste followed by a big hoppy bitterness that really lingers.

D: Would probably get a higher rating but the aftertaste lingers a bit too furiously. Seems like this could do with a little more malt to balance it out. Still, tastey, if your in the mood for somthing hoppy.

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Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
4.59/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is probably one of the best barley wines on the market. Very well balanced between the bitterness of the hops and the sweetness of the malts. This beer has always been one of my go-to's when I feel like I've tried everything in the shop. I had the pleasure of sampling an oak-aged version that was aged in used Opus-One barrels, needless to say it was exceptional!

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Photo of jacobseyb
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A=Deep dark copper color, clear, with ample tan head and some minimal lacing.

S=great pine and citrus aromas, followed with some definite malt sweetness

T=again hoppy with pine and grapefruit, followed by some brown sugar and caramel on the finish

M-great, with a nice carbonation, and some oiliness on the finish

D=great, very balanced beer with great character, abv the only thing keeping this from sessionability

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Photo of bminor7
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz from Savemore Beverage in Clifton Park NY.
Consumed on 10/25/2009.

A - cloudy amber brew. rocky foam that laces well.

S - bountiful hops, not as strong a malt presence as you mnight expect for the style.

T - like others have indicated, more like 75% DIPA and 25% barleywine. not the malt-forward taste you'd expect. that said, definitely still creamy and rich.

M - somewhat thin. but carbonation is good. alcohol sneaks out and makes some presence.

D - not bad, considering the ABV and malt/hop bill. delicious, but no Old Ruffian.

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Photo of koopa
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #300 oh yeah!

2007 Vintage Keg tapped at DeCicco's in Ardsley NY and filled into a growler for me!

Appearance: Nice brown with a ruby center and a white 2 finger crown that shows moderate retention and a good amount of lace.

Smell: Very nice toffee malt and herbal/citrus hop presence. Just a pungent beautiful nose that is quite intoxicating.

Taste: Delicious in every way...smooth and balanced hop to malt mix here. Fruity juicy sweet malt with a really nice floral hop note and underlying grapefruit. The two years age are really making this one sing. All the flavors are working together flawlessly.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a touch chewy with a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: The abv is the ONLY thing holding this one back. Great flavor profile and mouthfeel.

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Photo of BillyBroas
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The first thing on the nose are big resiny hops. Also some candy sugar, which is faint but still noticeable.

2 finger beige head. Rocky like the mountains. Color is maple/amber. Very classy looking. The beer is fairly clear, although I don't see a ton of life inside.

Wow the bitterness is HUGE in this one, although I'm not surprised at 104 IBU. Me likey. This hopped up bomber coats every part of your mouth and sends tingles to all your nerve endings. I can feel the caramelly malt trying to make an appearance but it is getting shoved aside by the hops. Still there is enough to distinguish this beer from a DIPA.

I like it, but don't love it. I'm really glad I finally got to try an Avery beer as I've heard alot about them. Looking forward to their other products.

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Photo of jsh420
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this bottle is close to 2years old

pours deep copper redish orange with a 1+ head that coats the glass with lacing

smell - well the hops have died some but you still smell plenty - also sweet sugary malts

taste - the age has put this beer in balance - which kinda puts it in the just good Bwine cat.

mouthfeel on the other hand has greatly improved from the aging - near perfection so smooth and creamy

drinkability - aged or fresh this beer is great - just wish they put it in 6packs

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Photo of velosuds
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness or bottled on date apparent. Purchased at John's Market Place in Portland, OR for $6.29.

A-Pours a medium to deep amber with a two finger, creamy tan foamy and bubbly head with great retention and ample, sticky lacing.

S-Wow. And Wow. This is the best smelling barleywine I have enjoyed. The nose is wonderful. Malty for certain, but at 100 IBUs there is a very nice floral hop presence. Fruity esters predominate, especially plums, raisins, and Turkish apricots. I am climbing a stairway to heaven. Pardon the plagiarism and cliché. The aroma is very, very nice. I am beginning to favor this style.

T-Pleasantly sweet and balanced, but taste does not quite equal the quality achieved by the aroma. If it did, it would be nearly perfect. At 9.2% ABV, the alcohol is masked extremely well since it is not discernible in the taste. Nicely crafted. Definitely improved as it warmed.

M-Full bodied, yet quite smooth.

D-I liked this very much. The alcohol is warming, but otherwise not noticeable. This is my first beer from Avery and it is quite good. I am actually disappointed my glass is empty and nothing remains to be poured. I now wished I had waited until it warmed a bit more before beginning my evaluation of this fine beer.

Admittedly, Full Sail's barleywine (the 2008 vintage) is almost as good, but much more affordable since it is local, so it is doubtful I will have this very often, but I would readily grab another if I had one, and didn't have to go to work in the morning.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, thought i had reviewed this before, but i guess its about time.

Pours a clear amber red color with a stark white head that retains well and leaves nice lacing.

Nose is chock full of west coast hops and does indicate a nice malty backbone, but hop drive for sure. Sweet sugar and biting pine.

A nice smooth, and absolutely to style American Barleywine. As common as it is i beleive this to be one of the dictionary defenitions of the style. Great west coastish hop profile is clear and slightly prominent in the flavor with a perfectly nice malt backbone to back it up without being slightly cloying like most of the style. This is a perfectly balanced (and by balanced i mean they feed of eachother as they should for the style not that its 50/50 hops and malt) The finish is nice and bitter but slick because of the malt profile as well. Very smooth. Hops and bitterness rise to their peak after the finish and into the aftertaste with some residual sugar lingering on the lips.

Mouthfeel is ideal. Not too viscous, but definitely BW all the same. Carbonation is perfect.

Drinkability is also quite solid. Although not terribly high on the abv scale this one is right up there and mid range for the style (these days) and the abv doesn't show itself off, but you're going to feel it in the tummy. Doesn't burn, but warms after it gets there. But if you bought this thinging you would slam some at the company picnic then you're just a dumbass.

Overall an excellent and hallmark example of the style and one i would recommend to any beginner provided its reasonably fresh. Not sure of this ones aging potential but ive got some down there to give it a try. Definitely a great beer, and one that should be an early thought in classic american barleywine discussions. Great beer.

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Photo of alkemy
3.38/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Vaguely hazy amber with ruby hints depending on the lighting. Really tight and creamy finger and a half of off white head. Some larger particles also seen floating around. Smells delightful...reminiscent of a DIPA. Also get a good deal of caramel and some spicy dark fruits. Definitely sweet with caramel...really strong on the malt. Alcohol is pretty noticeable. I'm not real experienced with barley wines, as this is only the second I've sampled. I thought the smell was better than the taste on this one. Seems this is hop heavy for the style from what I've read, which is in my favor. It's a good beer, but I wouldn't go out of my way to have another...at this time anyway. As my opinion goes, it's beautiful to look at, smells great, but the taste just doesn't fit my palate like I'd hoped.

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Photo of pmccallum86
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 22 oz snifter.

Pours a deep dark red, almost has an apple cider like appearance.

The smell of caramel malt and piney hops. Very nice smelling for a barleywine, very strong as well with the alcohol detectable in the scent.

Tastes just like it smells, sweet caramel malts and a hoppy finish. One of the hoppier barleywines I have had. Very bold flavors, plenty of ingredients went into this beer. The flavors linger on the tongue for quite some time.

Thick viscous mouthfeel with a medium amount of carbonation, nice full body.

Overall this beer is a great sipper, but at 9.2% ABV not the most drinkable.

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Photo of theirishdago
4.62/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is dangerously drinkable.
I poured it from a bottle into a Trois Pistoles goblet.

It pours a nice amber. This beer has such a pleasant hoppy aroma. It smells like big juicy cascades. The head was white and fluffy, but dissipated after a minute. It did leave some very nice lacing all the way down though.

At first taste it is very reminiscent of a sweeter IPA, similiar to Lagunitas Correction ale. But after you get through the bitterness, there is a nice malty finish. They are both very well balanced. You can't really taste the alcohol in this, so it makes it very dangerous. After 2 glasses, I was a little tipsy.

The mouthfeel is nice, not watery at all,and the finish is very crisp.

I recommend this to everyone.

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

This one really was a pleasant surprise from Avery. It reminds me a bit of an even more hopped-up Old Guardian. It pours a nice copper orange with big pillowy white head. It leaves big, sticky lace. It smells a great deal like a DIPA--big citrusy hops, sticky resinous hops, and a bit of sweet caramel. The taste follows the nose. It's like a big caramel hop bomb. Although it doesn't quite have the malt bill to fit the mold for most American Barleywines I've had, it is very tasty. Mouthfeel is creamy and thick. This one's a great drink for sure, one of my favorites from Avery.

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

Pours a cloudy, brown color with lighter golden color along the bottom of the glass. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of alcohol, hops, sweet malt, and citrus. Fits the style of an American Barleywine. Mouth feel is smooth and thick with a low carbonation level. The bitterness level is very high in this brew. Tastes of slight roasted malt, hops, alcohol, sweet malt, and slight citrus (plum).

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Photo of seanbhudson
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy amber copper color with a medium off-white head. Lots of sticky lacing.
Big aroma of caramel, pineapple, citrus and hint of spicy pepper.
Caramel malt, candied fruit cake and grapefruit like bitterness. Earthy hops keep it from tasting too sweet.
Full bodied with a slightly syrupy chewy texture. Definite alcohol presence.
I understand why some people consider this more of a double IPA than a barleywine but the spice/fruitcake flavors distinguish it a bit. Comes off a bit too bitter to get a really high rating for drinkabilty but this is still a quality a beer.
NOTES: Style Example for American Barleywine

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Photo of Trappissed
4.57/5  rDev +15.4%
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 +3.5%
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 -5.3%
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 -16.2%
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%
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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Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 2,101 ratings