Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA | Avery Brewing Company

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Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPAHog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA
Very Good
2,108 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: 2,108 |  Reviews: 930
Photo of cpetrone84
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-deep reddish brown in color, very thick and almost hazy not letting a lot of light through, with a thick two fingers of slightly brownish white head that lingers for some time and leaves a nice lacing on the glass

S-big nose of sweet caramel malts with a piney hop backbone to round off the aroma

T-the taste follows the nose, it has a big caramel malt taste first that is slowly followed by a little bit of pine and just a touch of citrus with some bitterness at the finish that is partnered with more malty sweetness. the flavors are pretty big and are relatively well balanced

M-it is relatively crisp and a little syrupy in texture. it shows the alcohol towards the end and has a fair to low amount of carbonation that hits the back of the throat towards the end

D-this is relatively well balanced but shows a lot of alcohol and brings a little bite that takes away from the overall drinkability

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Photo of happygnome
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: pours a nice amber color with defined orange hues around the edge of the beer. the pour produces about a quarter inch of head that disappears fairly quickly leaving a ring of lace around the edge of the glass
s: deep caramel malts slight hints of alcohol which i expect. Piny and citrusy hops provide a nice balance to the malt aroma
t: caramel malts strong piny and grapefruity hop bitterness very nice
m: full bodied beer with good carbonation

overall, wow this was a good brew

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

A 2007 keg with a 32oz. growler from DeCicco's. A huge light beige head and abundant lacing. A reddish copper/amber with just a touch of haze. Smell is big with caramel malts and sweet piney hops. Yeasty doughy multigrain bread and a date like fruitiness.

Taste is like a DIPA really. Big chewy caramel malt and toffee accented sweetness lays a foundation for the huge hop bomb that explodes on you taste buds.. Much grapefruit and dry grainy bitterness. Alcohol is so well integrated. It must be in the sweetness but I can't find it. Finish is grapefruit and hop oil with a touch of mintiness. A light toasted bread crust in the back. A hint of acohol ester when cold ,it gets significantly bigger as it warms giving it a slightly boozy touch of heat. Feel is well carbonated with a touch of cream. Pretty crisp when cold for a brew of this weight. Still a light chewy feel with a gentle fullness and soft velvet touch as it warms up.

Very drinkable. Quite smooth with a big hop personality that balances the huge malt core. Too drinkable when cold as it goes down with the crisp refreshing feel of an IPA. Still goes down easy when warm. The well integrated abv makes this one dangerous.

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

22oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Dull reddish amber, with a half inch white head that dissipates quickly. Decent lacing.

S: Beautiful malt sweetness. The smell is big and pleasant, and strongly enhances the taste as you drink. Promises that clear sweetness I expect from a good barley wine.

T: At the very beginning there's a mild, more or less characterless metallic taste that's a bit of a turn off, but is also the only real flaw in the beer. The huge caramel sweetness of the malt quickly blooms, but is tamed by the bitterness of the hops well before it becomes cloying. The taste deepens after a few seconds with sweet notes of dark fruit. All told, the taste gets about 90% there to delivering on the promises of the smell, though there were notes in the smell (particularly the mild banana) that just aren't present in the taste.

As you get deeper into the bottle, the annoying metallic note disappears completely, and the malt and hops marry even more smoothly. There's a beautiful clarity to the taste that starts near the end of the first sip, and doesn't dull at all the whole way through. The alcohol is, unsurprisingly, not particularly well masked, though I personally enjoy the chest warmth it brings as you make your way through the bottle.

The taste ultimately delivers the big, decadent, candied-but-hoppy taste implied by the description on the label and the name 'Hog Heaven'.

M: There's a decent prickle of carbonation (that does its job helping the hops tame that huge sweetness). Though that smooth, wine-like crystal clarity persists, the beer is a bit heavy and at times borders on chewy. Don't think you'd really want it any lighter if you're buying a barley wine though, honestly.

D: Pretty good, but 1 bottle is certainly enough.

All and all, a very strong barley wine. If it tasted as good as it smells, it would be perfect.

I actually had a bottle of this at Publick House in Brookline that had been aged a few years (which cost less than what I paid for a new bottle at my local liquor store!), and it was excellent. The marriage of malt and hops was perfected right from the first sip (instead of taking awhile as did the one reviewed here), and the taste hit an amazing depth. If you like a good, deep barley wine, I'd definitely suggest putting a few bottles of Hog Heaven away, because it only improves with age.

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Photo of krunchie
2.62/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Served in a Riedel Ouverture glass at 10.6C (51F). Already when pouring I smell lots of hops!

A: Semi hazy ruby copper colour with a thick fluffy slightly tan head. Stays in there pretty good.

S: Crystal malts and american floral hops. Blood orange and grapefruit, lots of grain aroma. Slightly nutty and syrupy nose. Very fresh and clean smell, hardly any yeast aroma.

T: Wow, REALLY intense! At first I got a huge hop bitterness blast, followed by an alcoholic bitterness and faint grainy background. Lots of hops in this brew, folks! I expected this beer to be more malty and nutty, like the smell. It actually made me slightly dissapointed. This beer is very american in the sense that it's a lot of everything, but it's a bit over the top in many ways IMHO. It's not balanced in any way and I don't understand why it comes in a 650ml bottle - there's no way you can drink that much, it's too much even for two or three people. The overall bitterness is too much for me and I can't pick up anything else but sharpness and cheap booze. It kinda reminds me of not too good Imperial IPAs I've had in the past. Promising, but dissapointing.

M/D: Sharp and crisp, sort of feels like an artifical drink after half a glass. This beer is not for me.

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.41/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pair of 07 bottles side by side, one aged properly, one with a little abuse...both quite nice.

a- beautiful deep red/ruby color, perfect carbonation. what i expect a barley wine to look like.

s- columbus hops, a little caramel and a little alcohol.

t- the alcohol is mellow, hops abound with a bit of sweetness. a well balanced profile.

m- feels nice, coats the tongue in hops without being too sharp like the newer vintages. age has done this well.

d- one of my favorite barley wines, very nice with a couple years on it. the columbus hops almost make you think you're drinking an ipa if you're not careful.

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Photo of caresville
3.72/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours amber to a light brown with a nice white head that laces beautifully through out the glass!! smells of pine, lemons, orange peels and other assorted fruits. taste is overly strong and bitter, quite boozy. heavy on the grapefruit and pineapple with hints of brown sugar, vanilla, pinetree's and some pear. it finishes very strong and bitter, easily can see how certain people would be turned off by this beer or type of beer. but better than average in my opinion.

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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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Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 2,108 ratings