Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA | Avery Brewing Company

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Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPAHog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA
Very Good
2,103 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: 2,103 |  Reviews: 929
Photo of MisterClean
3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from tasting at Manderes.

A - Bronze, with nice head, but it dissipates quick.

S - Citrus, flowers, and light malt.

T - Citrus, flowers, light malt, and some caramel.

M - Very smooth, well-balanced for a barley wine.

D - Much better than last year's example. May need to be reclassified as an Imperial IPA. Kinda missed on some maltiness.

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Photo of NCSUdo
4.36/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle

A: Pours a rusty brown, reddish, under a big off white head. Excellent retention and lace.

S: Smells of big citrus hops backed by a good base of sweet maltiness. Grapefruit and lemony hops dominate.

T: Citrus again, more rindy then the nose. Grapefruit. Medium bitterness with a lingering citrus in the finish. Not overpowering at all. Tangy with some hints of caramel and toasted malt.

M/D: Full bodied, slightly creamy, moderate level of carbonation. Decent drinkability. This is a really good barley wine. Very impressed. Drinks like a slightly smaller beer but the hops let you know what you are getting into.

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Photo of Buebie
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Heritage liquores in St. Paul

rigerous pour from a brown bomber into a tulip. white, 4 finger deep head. Retention was moderate, with decent amounts of 'Dawn dish soap, meets water' laceing.
Color is an off red brown with an amber touch.

Smell is very hoppy, pine mostly with some floral dry hopped aroma. Sweatness wafts hit my knose as well. There is some spicieness to the scent. I cant quite tell what it is exactly.

T&M Carbonation with a creamy texture up front. Sweet malty caramel through the middle with the citrussy hops. Mostly grapefruit, with a good dose of pine and some more floral honey hoppy notes. At the swallow I get another tinge of carbonation, hop oil, alcahol warming, then there is the spicieness again. I cant lay my finger on it. Its not bad either, its a mystery spice that adds to the mystery on this delicious beer.
Through the swallow I'm at a dry finish with a moderate hoppy linger. Theres is something like mustard in there or somthing. As it warms I get a mustard type of flavor, or mustard seeds. ???

I really liked this. It wasnt really what I was expecting at all, I like its mysteriousness. I cant lay my finger on it, but somthing in there is a puzzle to me.
Most barlywines I've had are a bit more sweet, without emphasis on hops. This one is the other way around.
The 100 IBU's are pure sex on my tounge. Great beer Avery.

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Photo of demitriustown
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle: Aroma is caramel malts, with a dry hoppiness, and sugar. It reminds me of how root beer lollipops used to smell when I went to the doctor as a small child. Appearance is a clear, grainy copper color with a medium sized tan head. Flavor is quite hoppy, big malts, candy, caramel, sugary, and very small plum note. Palate is sugary, sweet, and every so slightly dry. Overall, It's pretty good stuff. A bit to sweet for a barley wine, but you can't notice the high alcohol content and is very easily drinkable. It's good.

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Photo of JasonA
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber from my new packy in MA.

Pours a tranparent reddish carmel. Nice BW head with impressive lacing. Nice overall carbonation.

Smells a delicious American style BW. Something I would love to brew myself. Very slight hop character, can smell the booze but its more interesting that alcoholic. There is something floral in there, but I cannot place it.

Hmmm, not what I expected. Close to perfection on the appearance and smell, but the taste is not living up to those expectations. More hoppy than malty. Well, more hoppy than I would like in a BW. I think the ABV might be masking some flabor here. I dont like the body, all I get is hops. Finish is nice.

Sits well, carbonation lights up the mouf well. After feel is nice, above average.

I dont like how the ABV seems to overwhelm this brew. Needless to say I am very overwhelmed by the high marks for this BW. Most likely not one I will return to unless it is noticed on tap.

I do have 1 more which I will age. Though judging by the current ABV and no feeling of a body, I dont expect much. Might just have to trade it away ;)

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Photo of flexabull
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Found this one at a local beer store that is now carrying Avery products. $7.99 for a 22 oz. bottle seems a bit steep, but maybe this will live up to the price tag...

Pours a bright, dark copper color, with a nice decent sized off white head. There is some good lacing on the glass as well.

Aromas are good. Lots of stewed fruits, some booze, oak, and earthy pine like hops. There is a resin like quality as well, that is almost a little too funky... but still this is a pleasant beer to sniff.

Beer is pretty hot up front, boozy, dry, and almost a touch chalky. The malts are a slight creamy with a caramel like sweetness, and a touch of brewed tea. Finish is crisp, with an earthy and resin hop bite. Flavors to me need a bit of a punch, especially the hops.

Mouthfeel is good. Beer has a mellow soft feel to it, that is still full enough to not feel at all watered down. Carbonation seems about right.

Drinkability is not bad. This beer is really kind of a mixed bag. It just seems a little "funky" tasting. I can't really put my finger on it... my only guess, is that the hops just aren't lending a great quality to this one. I love resin like hop aromas and flavors, but there is too much caramel and sweetness here, and the combination seems odd. The hops just don't seem to balance out the sweetness enough, they just add a subtle resin funk, and not enough bit to balance this one out. It's not a bad beer by any stretch. I am glad I tried it, but I think the $7.99 will keep me from trying this one again.

Side note : This seems to be borderline DIPA... if it was one, it might score a bit higher.

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

Probably should have reviewed this long before now, as it's always been one of my favorite "hoppy style" barleywines. Had on tap at the Brick during their Lupulin Reunulin.

The beer pours a reddish amber color with great head retention and lacing. The nose on this beer is a thing of beauty. One gets a perfumy aroma of sweet fruits and malt, which is overlayed with an incredible grapefruit/citrus bitterness. The hoppy aroma is nothing short of amazing. There is almost a marijuana aroma to this beer. On the palate the beer is no more then moderately sweet with some nice bracing bitterness from the hops. The bitterness cuts right through the sweet malt and alcohol, and it keeps the beer from tasting too heavy or tiring to drink. This beer is amazingly drinkable for its abv., which I'm not at all sure is such a good thing. You might be tempted to drink multiple pints of this stuff and that would be dangerous.

An impressive beer from Avery.

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Photo of champ103
3.05/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a deep ruby color. A two finger head forms and sticks around. Leaves good lace behind as well.
S: Citrus hops: Orange, lemon, ect. Some sweet candy flavors.
T: West coast hops from the start. Bitter and unbalanced. Almost no malt at all.
M/D: Medium body and creamy mouthfeel. The bitterness and harsh high alcohol make this a hard beer to drink.

This is not among my favorites of the style. Way to bitter for me, and hard to drink. Something I wont purchase again.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: gold/copper body, off-white head, and a sheet of lacing.

s: toasted malt and citrus.

t: brief toasted malt presence in the beginning, but hops quickly win out. juicy citrus hops with tons of grapefruit. the hop flavor is great, but to me the flavor profile screams DIPA, not barley-wine.

m: sticky, resiny, oily. medium to full body.

d: Great beer. Satisfied my hop fix. Is this a barley-wine? Does it matter?

'00 Vintage:
My fifth pour at the Avery 15th Anniversary Party.
"Holy shit, they have a Vintage Tent!!!"

Age does this beer wonders. It smooths out and evens up. Hops are way mellowed, but still evident. The malt has really picked up some excellent flavor with time

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

This one is a clear copper color with a big bubbled light tan head and good lacing. The aroma is a mellow toffee malt with a touch of ocean air. The flavor is herbal hops within some clean carbonation. It's a mellow blend of malt and hops. Crisp and pretty easy drinking. Pleasant, agreeable. A winner.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.37/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a 2 year old bottle sampled at cellar temperature. 22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
The beer pours a mostly clear chestnut hue with some ruby highlights, minor yeast chunks on the bottom of glass.
Aroma is light caramel and floral hops with some booziness and general sweet sugar as well.
Surface layer of beige head that fades quickly.
First sip reveals an average body with slightly watery texture and very mild carbonation. Flavor is caramel and apricots with hints of bitter hop notes mixing in. I get lots of peppery alcohol which makes the beer a sipper. Definitely some warmth on the finish. An oky beer that doesnt conceal its booze and isnt the easiest to drink. Not bad though.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very clear reddish/ruby color. Thick rocky white head. Great head retention. Nice sheets of lace left clinging to the glass.

Huge hop aroma, with citrusy and resiny pine sticking out. A bit of fig, but the hops seem to dominate the nose.

Hops dominate in the flavor as well. Floral, citrusy, and piney hops overtake the modest amount of caramel and fig. Some warming alcohol. This is certainly a one-trick pony at this point.

Full body, low carbonation. A hop bomb for sure. Doesn't seem to be enough maly to support the show, but that seems to be the style.

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Photo of jwc215
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours orange amber with a thin head this becomes fine whisps.  Subsequent pours reveal a bit better head retentions.  Some trailing lace sticks.The smell is of juicy grapefruit, orange, pine, resin, with caramel backing.  Is this a carmelized DIPA or a BW?  No matter, I'm loving it.  The taste is of bitter grapefruit and resin with a caramel sweet backing.  Not very complex, but works well in a straight-forward way.  Warming alcohol present, but very well-covered, leading to a dry finish.Full-bodied with enough carbonation to clean the palate of most of the syrupy stickiness often present in the style, it has a bit of a shorter finish than many, though the hops do linger.  A bit of a different feel for the style, but one that works exceptionally well and helps bring up drinkability.That being said, this is dangerously drinkable.  One of the smoothest I've had of style/abv level.  The alcohol, which is usually present in this brewery's "big" beers is very-well hidden.  After finishing, I was looking for more, though was grateful for having only the one bottle when I woke up the next morning. If you are looking for a hoppy interpretation of the style, well- this is it!

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.46/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a typical dark amber to mahogany colored liquid with an impressive two finger white head that stays around forever, finally fading to a ring of white and leaving some sticky lace in it's wake.

Aromas are sweet toasted amber malts, brown sugar and a hint of medicinal alcohol. Strange.

Taste is toasted dark caramel sugars from the malts with some burnt marshmellow, brown sugar, and then a tiny bit of citrus hops.

After taste is mostly sweet and almost cloying but the citrus hops comes to the rescue and cleans everything up.

Decent...although not great, barleywine.

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

Split a bomber with my brother.

A: Looks great: it pours an orangish red with a nice finger of head and great retention throughout.

S: With the help of our wives, I detected notes of almond, and citrusy fruit. Pleasant.

T: Clean and fresh, also fruity, but with a solid bitter finish. Also pleasant.

M: Very nice, with creamy carbonation.

D: Overall, it went down well.

Barleywines aren't my favorite, but this is a really good one.

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

Orange-red color, lighter highlights. Mostly clear. Orangish head is mostly white, great lace and head retention.

Strong aroma of Columbus hops, which would mean mostly hardy citrus, with a pink grapefruit sweetness. Tiniest whiff of alcohol esters.

Good thickness and heft, especially for such a hop-driven brew. Sugars from the malt are subdued, and the 10% is hidden well enough to be make this a monster. Caramel malts are present, while the star is the grapefruity hop bitterness.

A little sticky in the mouth towards the finish, as it warms up you get a nice silky mouthfeel after being initially a bit stiff.

Tons of flavor, tons of alcohol, tons of barleywine. Super enjoyable, a little pricy but I'll be having it again (and looking for it on tap).

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 22oz bomber poured into a snifter. It was a hazy brown color, not particulary attractive, with a thin head. It had a sweet malt aroma, along with some floral aroma. The taste was mostly reminiscent of caramel, with a little hops presence. I thought the beer was a little on the mild side, but still pretty good.

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Photo of jar2574
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice thick head, at least an inch thick. And it clings to the sides pretty well. The beer is amber colored and carbonation is average.

It has a sweet, fruity, almost flowery smell. Very distinctive and very nice.

The taste is wholesome -- honey and hops and lilacs. Different. Never had a beer remind me of flowers.

There's a nice mix of sweetness and bitterness. The mouthfeel is on the thicker side, but not creamy like a stout. I'm not completely sold on the consistency.

And it's probably just the style, but I don't find it the most drinkable beer. Too much residue on the tongue. It's good for an excellent pint, but maybe not a session beer.

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Photo of Portertime
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have had many of Avery's offerings, this was a good one. I enjoyed it chilled in a snifter. Poured a rich amber color with a nice creamy white head. Smell of thick oily hops and some floral bitter fruits. Taste of oily, heavy hops, warms the palate with a slick finish.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Hog Heaven pours a lovely hazy caramel with a ridiculous 2 finger head for a Barleywine. The lacing was like a blizzard.

The aroma was definitely the Columbus hops and a sweet maltiness. Also there was a spicy connotation with a caramel smell and fruitiness.

The taste was initially similar to other bwines I have had then it really left them in the dust. You started off with the familiar face of really sweet malt then I got a spicy note and some hop bitterness to round it out. The body is full and the alcohol is tasted in the mouth but it doesn't seem to matter as the overall moneyness of the beer fades your mind to a better place. I would recommend this to even those who are not fond of Barleywines. Maybe the excesses hops in this appeal to the hop head in me. This is a wicked solid beer.

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Photo of dogger6253
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sort of a candy-colored red with wifts of brown swirling through it. The head is pretty solid - tan color and thick & fluffy. There are a lot of hops in the nose, but the smell is mostly of plums, peaches, apricots and the like. There is a note of alcohol and a little bit of clove in there somewhere too.

The hops flavor was pretty intense, more so than expected, with fruity, juicy, citrus flavors following shortly after the initial hop wave. The body is fairly medium, little more carbonated than most BW's I've had. This beer was smooth and full of flavor, mmm...

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Photo of cjgator3
4.48/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into an imperial pint glass. The bottle states the bitterness level at 100 IBUs, which increases my anticipation to feed my hop craving. The beer pours a . The aroma is just exploding with flavors, sweet malt and caramel accompanied by a burst of piney hops. The taste is sweet malt up front with an explosion of bitter hops in the finish that linger in your mouth well after the sip. The taste is a lot smoother than most barleywines and the malt and hops seem to be working together in harmony to provide exceptional balance. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Overall, this is one of the better barleywines on the market. If you haven't tried this one yet, do yourself a favor and get your hands on a bottle. Recommended.

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Photo of IPAcraig
4.7/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice ruby red body with big cream head. Nice lacing.

I swear this smells like sweet cake icing with some nice strong, floral hops.

HUGE flavor. Damn this beer is massive. It starts sweet with only a hint of bitterness; just when you think the beer is done, the hops show up in force. Alcohol is big, yet provides just a bit of warmth in the end. An intense experience. Caramel, oak, grapefruit goodness.

Big head yet thick body = great

There seems to be a current backlash for extreme american beers. These beers are slandered for being over the top and lacking nuance. Count me as a fan of any well done excessive american beer. This one definitely is that.

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Photo of boogles
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

In practical terms, this is my favorite barleywine because it's heavy on hops less pronounced on the "wine." The very reason it deviates from the style is why I like it--sort of in between IPA and barleywine.

As for Avery's selection of bombers (the double IPA) and similar bombers that are readily available to me (such as Hop Rod Rye), I'd say this is a good one but not the best. Granted, I like the hopped bomber category a lot.

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

This is a pretty good Barleywine, however the line between this and a DIPA is extremely thin - a huge hoppy malty brew.

Poured part of a bomber into a snifter glass.

Appearance - It pours a hazy amber red color, and produced a decent 1 finger head that slowly dissipated to a thin crown. It left some light lacing behind the further along I drank. Not a bad looking brew.

Smell - This would smell good to any hophead. I can detect resinous hops, with grapefruit and lots of pine. It has a woody scent that is tied closely to a light sweetness.

Taste - IMO it tastes like fresh Bigfoot divided in half. It has a bold resinous hop flavor that is nicely balanced by a malty sweetness. Grapefruit and pine with a heaping dose of caramel. It is definitely an American style Barleywine, reminiscent of some from the West Coast.

Mouthfeel - It is a full bodied brew. It is slightly oily as it washes over the tongue, but it has a decent carbonation level to cut through its slickness.

Drinkability - This isn't a bad Barleywine by any stretch. It is a really easy drinking hoppy barleywine. This is one of those beers that make the line between Barleywine and DIPA extremely thin. Whenever I can't decide whether I want a DIPA or a BW, and Bigfoot isn't in season, I reach for this one.

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Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 2,103 ratings