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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,090 |  Reviews: 925
Photo of jsh420
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
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

 489 characters

Photo of velosuds
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

 1,558 characters

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

 1,789 characters

Photo of alkemy
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

 795 characters

Photo of pmccallum86
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

 621 characters

Photo of theirishdago
4.62/5  rDev +17%
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.

 733 characters

Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

 581 characters

Photo of Tone
4.03/5  rDev +2%
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).

 437 characters

Photo of seanbhudson
4/5  rDev +1.3%
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

 682 characters

Photo of Trappissed
4.57/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

 1,248 characters

Photo of NorCalYeti
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
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

 328 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

 291 characters

Photo of jdklks
3.32/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

 947 characters

Photo of mtstatebeer
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

 381 characters

Photo of hckyfn9999
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

 592 characters

Photo of david18
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

 311 characters

Photo of merryjoulton
3.4/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

 326 characters

Photo of GordonQuid
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
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.


 455 characters

Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.83/5  rDev -3%
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!

 1,366 characters

Photo of degerbah
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

 433 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

 802 characters

Photo of spartanfan
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

 625 characters

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

 677 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

 296 characters

Photo of froghop
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
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

 320 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.