Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA | Avery Brewing Company

very good
2,076 Ratings
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,076 |  Reviews: 922
Photo of boston2bburg
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Mostly clear ruby orange with a light, creamy khaki head. Three fingers that settles to a modest cover. A couple big patches of lacing. Served at about 60 degrees.

There's a healthy nose of citrus hops (apparently all Columbus) balanced with sweet apricot, orange marmalade and candied malts. Fresh smelling and very pleasant. Even with the relatively warm pour temperature the aroma grows

This is a very well-balanced barleywine. For 100 IBUs, there isn't an overpowering bitterness. The hops provide a subtle citrus flavor, while plenty of candied caramel malts make the finish smooth and creamy.

Personally I prefer full-bodied, thick, syrupy barleywines but this one sacrifices some body for drinkability. The alcohol is mostly unnoticeable anywhere except in my body, and if I stand up now I'm probably in danger of falling over. As long as I'm sitting I think I could drink these all night.

 901 characters

Photo of TheBierBand
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 22 oz. Bomber into a pint glass. There is no freshness date on the bottle. However, I know that it was recently stocked because it was still in the case it came in.

The pour poroduced a head of off-white/dense foam that lasted forever! When it finally subsided... it left thick lace on the sides of the glass. The beer is light amber and crystal clear.

The nose is rather slight... smells more like a DIPA to me.... more emphasis on hops than malt. A slight floral essence from the hops but not much else.

Taste: Again, more like a DIPA... emphasis on the hops.... now tasting more citric... like grapefruit peel. There is a touch of sweetness... like honey, to balance out the hop bitterness. I certainly believe the bottle's claim of 100 IBU.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is appropriate, fairly thick and robust. Bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability: OK.... not great.... not the most complex of barleywines.

 921 characters

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

This poured a slightly hazy light brown with a fluffy tan head. It smelled pretty bitter, like a lot of hops and a bit of spice. It had a very strong flavor of mostly hops with some yeast. The aftertaste was of more hops and alcohol, making this beer definitely better to sip. The texture was moderate but a little thin, with decent carbonation. Overall it was a good drink, but not one of my favorites.

 403 characters

Photo of DIM
2.12/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

a: This was a light coppery amber color. It pours with a big craggy, lacey, slightly dirty white head.

s: Artificial sweetner and some kind of cherry candy dominated along with some harsh alcohol and piny hop smells. Unpleasant.

t: Harsh, prickly, and artificial flavors of obnoxiously sugary cherry candy and some abrasive, bitter, yet strangely flavorless hops that burned my tongue. Highly alcoholic, almost solventy.

m: The carbonation and viscosity were both up to snuff, but the harsh aftertaste hurts the score here.

d: I couldn't bring myself to finish it. This just isn't for me.

 592 characters

Photo of JDV
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap. Pours a clear amber color with some offwhite head and a bit of lacing. Smell is big and vibrant fresh and awesomely fruity hops with notes of juicy apricot like hop aromas. Taste is blanced and nicely hopped but with a caramelly sweet maltiness and a hint of alcohol as well. Ridiculously smooth and easy to drink for a barley wine. Slightly viscous body, and a fantastic smooth example of the style. Great beer.

 428 characters

Photo of pmcadamis
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - The flying pigs on this bomber remind me of the Boys in the Hall skit..."Wee! Look at me!" Those crazy Canadians! A big pinkish head rises to three fingers above a caramel colored brew that shows reddish purple highlights at times. The head is creamy and sticks around for a long time. Tons of really pretty lace is left on the glass, and it looks crusty...like candy icing. Nice!

S - Sweet fruity taffy candy and massive hops jump out at me before I even get close to the glass, and intensify as I approach the snifter. The hops really dominate as I sniff this one...juicy, fat, wet, mandarin orange hops. I can appreciate a little bit of alcohol, but it's well integrated and never detracts from the aromas found here. I can smell something familiar that I can't quite place my finger on...it's like cherry bubblegum or something. Remember Zebra Stripe bubblegum? That's it!

T - Dirty, ashy, burnt malts remind me of a roasty stout or a leafy Altbier, and the hops are on par with the dankest double IPA! That elusive Zebra Stripe Gum flavor is here too, along with some really fat juicy fruit. This is quite sweet too, like a cherry pie or a dried cherry studded fruitcake.

M - Full bodied, but never flabby. This is only gently carbonated, but it's held together by the really fresh and juicy hops and the acidic alcohol tightness. This one has a bit too much residual sugar IMHO, and the finish could be a touch more dry but I'm just nit-picking! This is good.

D - I like this a lot, but it's way too sweet to be a good session beer, and the ABV could knock you flat after two bombers. This is just about the fruitiest barley wine that I've ever tasted, and I prefer my BWs to be a bit more dry. All of that aside, this is a damn good after dinner sipper, or a heavy hitting night cap.

 1,798 characters

Photo of far333
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazed caramel-orange colored with an inch-and-a-half high head that lingers long and leaves lacy ringlets up the glass.

Rich and inviting aroma of sweet honey and citric hops, light brown sugary malt and ripe fruit.

Flavors of grainy raw sugar, roasted and caramelized sweet apple, toffee and butterscotch, and citrus hops that morph in and out from sweet tangerine to biting grapefruit to piney bitter and back to the beginning again. ABV is well hidden.

Rich and full mouthfeel, but crisp and somewhat tannic on the tongue.

Very flavorful beer, rich and complex, scarily drinkable.

 596 characters

Photo of Gehrig
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of the few readily available Avery offerings that I had yet to try, Hog Heaven came into my possession through the sterling Sun Singer. It presents itself very well, pouring a clear amber body topped by two and one-half fingers of slightly tan froth, with minimal lacing but very durable head. The smell is fruity, with orange, apple, and pineapple present. Yet the aroma is much too subtle for a big barleywine such as this. Hops emerge from seeming hibernation in the taste, balancing the fruit nicely.

I'm rarely one to knock a beer because of mouthfeel. Yet this warrants criticism, with the mouthfeel strangely reminiscent of cough syrup--certainly not enjoyable.

This is on the whole fairly good. But it's also certainly one of my least favorite offerings from Avery. I'd love to see Avery add lots of caramel to Hog Heaven, which would doubtlessly improve the taste and mouthfeel of a beer that lacks a definitive identity.

 937 characters

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

This delicious offering had a nice natural cherry red color to it. The subtle nose had hints of citrus, pine, and cake. Very pleasant.

I tasted the hops first, followed by the malts and complimented with a faint alcohol flavor. Sweet. Delicious but not overpowering.

This is a great barleywine. It's assertive without being forceful. Solid.

 342 characters

Photo of ROMER79
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a Chestnut brown with a tan one finger head right from the tap into a tulip glass. It wreaked of hops, wheat and fruits. The tastes were extremely hoppy with hints of grapefruit and malts. The hops definitely hid the malt flavor. It is a good hop beer and if your are afraid of hops, this may not be for you. It was easy to drink for me, but definitely not a session.

 384 characters

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

750 bottle poured into a generic tulip.

One finger head with good lacing. Dark amber in the glass. Very mellow hop aroma that gets better as I go through the glass. Slightly sweet at first with mild carbonation twigging my tongue. Very low hop bitters, malts are disguised in the hops. Alcohol seems very mild in this, not getting it in the taste or aroma. A lite and mild brew.

 379 characters

Photo of blakesell
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Found on tap at Chappy's in West Carrolton/Moraine, OH. Poured from the tap into a 10oz snifter glass.

Appearance- A gold/red amber poured into the snifter and a one and a half finger head of bone coloured foam. Lacing is glued to the sides of the glass.

Smell- Hop spiciness with stone fruits, plums, cherries and a bit of vanillanin tannin scent. I catch a bit of red apple in there as well. Hops dominate overall with a rich floral scent. A lot of smells going on in this beer.

Taste- Fruity and hoppy as all hell. I know I have had this before from the bottle but it never tasted like this! Candi and big grapefruit, grape, plum, kiwi, citrus rind, a big deep malty backbone of wonderful hop bitters.

Mouthfeel- Creamy and thick with very adequate carbonation. Full bodied to be sure.

Drinkability- Wow. I would give this a 4.5 on drinkability even with the 9.2 ABV that clings and sticks. This is quickly on my top 5 American barleywines list.

 953 characters

Photo of charlzm
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on 02/09/08.

Pours a clear dark orange/copper. Lots of small, active bubbles. Initial head grew larger than I anticipated with my pour, making a three-finger off-white foamy head of fine, pillowy consistency.

Spicy hop nose with metallic note. Slightly thicker and creamier than water.

First blush on tongue is spicy hops with a sweet malt flavor right behind. Dry without being parching, the finish has loads of bitter hops but is balanced into a sublime, lingering aftertaste that fades into spicy warmth.

Avery sure does make some good beer.

 561 characters

Photo of SurlyDuff
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber. Brick colored body with very bubbly, tall head.

Aroma is really nice! Brighest citrus and hops than anything iv'e drank for weeks, including some IIPA's. Bright citrus, almost over the top...like shampoo or hand lotion, kind of an artificial citrus.

Bright flavor. Sweet beginning with piny citrus. Grape and cherry there too. Very floral. A barley wine? fooled me!

A fine drink though. I am enjoying this one a lot. Light spice of alcohol, highly drinkable, despite being way above what you'd expect for a session beer.

 538 characters

Photo of sweetkness
4.92/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Beautiful dark amber color. Creamy off-white head, leaving lots of tiny bubbles.

S-Lots of things going on here. The first thing that jumps out when you open the bottle is hops, lots of them! But this does not dominate, as the estery character of dark fruits comes through, along with caramel and wonderful malt characters.

T-COMPLEX! and I mean incredibly complex. You definetely notice the 100 IBU's of hops in here. But as in the aroma, it still allows the other characters to show through. A wonderful array of malt characters, from roasted to biscuit to caramel. A noticable brown sugar character along with various dark fruits (raisins, cherries, prunes, etc.) and there is also a citrus character, possibly from the hops. The alcohol shows through enough just to remind you its there. Like I said, complex, but none of the characters dominate too strongly.

M-Not too overcarbonated, which I like in this style. Strong body. Slightly syrupy, yet crisp, if thats possible.

D-This was probably the best Barleywine I have had. Wonderfully malty, then "americanized" with tons of hops. Obviously you're gonna put down many of these, but it's a wonderful to break out for special occasions...whatever those are for you. Despite the complexity and strength, it goes down quite well.

 1,290 characters

Photo of bosco7
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice copper color with a creamy tan head.

The nose is full of hop cones. Grapefruit, pine needle, tobacco, strawberry and a hint of caramel.

My first impressions: Extremely well balanced, more malt than the nose would indicate, and I could drink a whole lot of this stuff. The start has some sweetness with a touch of toffee and nuttiness. Then the brew moves into those wonderfully intense Columbus hop flavors; pine bark, grapefruit juice, strawberry, and wild flowers. I can't tell if I am drinking a DIPA or a Barleywine! The beginning is such a different experience than the finish. The finish is bitter and full of citrus.

Mouthfeel is a little thin for the style but pleasant. Drinkability is unmatched by any other Barleywine in my opinion. This thing drinks beautifully.

This is the first beer from Avery that has truly wowed me. I don't care if this is a DIPA or Barleywine or somewhere in between, it tastes great. I am now curious to see how this thing ages. Highly recommended.

 998 characters

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

Bomber listing this one at 100 IBUs. Oh boy.

Hog heaven whets your palate before it even wets your palate, pouring an orange/amber with a moderate sticky head. Lace will follow.

The nose is sweet and flowery with a bit of alcohol.

The first tentative sip brings a glorious nectar of citrusy floral hop domination with an underlying sweet candy malt that does hold its own. Hog Heaven is bitter through and through. It finishes very piney and resiny.

This one is smooth and creamy with moderate carbonation. Somehow it is light enough to still be refreshing. Very nice.

Avery has done a great job on this barleywine. It is very bitter, but if you are hop head like me, it won't phase you. Hog Heaven is balanced and light enough to drink all night if you can handle the booze. This is one of my favorite barleywines.

 821 characters

Photo of jim102864
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Apple cider and copper color in my Trois Pistoles goblet. Coudy with little head and no carbonation. Aroma bursts with hops, but at 100 IBU's, what do you expect? Understated sweet fruit like strawberries. Candi sugar too. The tatse is suprisingly mildy hoppy even with the high IBU. Little evidence of hop bite in the finish. Mild fruity esters but very flavorful particularly as it warms. Nice viscous mouthfeel. The candi sugar and malt sweetness shines. A barleywine with understated hoppiness? Fasinating and yet again another stellar effort by Avery.

 556 characters

Photo of stephens101
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours reddish-brown into a snifter. Has a nice fluffy tan head with decent retention. A spotty, persistent lacing is left behind. Smells of hops and pine surrounded by sweet caramel. A deeper whiff reveals the malts, dark fruits and a hint of esters. Big malts fill the palate with a definite alcohol heat in the back. Some fruitiness and hop balance bring things to a slightly bitter fruition. Mouth-feel is medium bodied. Carbonation is excellent, leaving clusters of tiny active bubbles down the side of the glass. The complexity and tastiness of this brew lands it near the top of my barley wine list.

 605 characters

Photo of JackWeizen
4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

MMM, I like this beer. Presented in a 22, with foil around the cap. Flying pig art and pinkish label are very cool.

The beer pours into my taster glass clear, and orange with a bit of red depending on the back lighting. An agitated pour gave this a nice 1 finger head which slowly backed off to a thin well laced top.

The smell of this beer is the high point for me. Being a homebrewer, I love when I can really identify a single ingredient, and this beer shows me what the Columbus hop is all about. The nose is really just fantastic. I feel like I just walked into a hop garden in late summer.

The taste lives up to the aroma. Alcohol lets you know you are drinking a barley wine. Hops are strong, but bitterness is appropriate. Maltiness is complex. Hard to nail down. I get hints of citrus, pine, resin, caramel, raisin, hay, and even a little toffee. Smooth...

Mouthfeel is inline with style, and my expectations. Good carbonation. strong body, but no sugary aftertaste.

I'll finish this and need a mid afternoon snack. One is enough, but only because I don't want to be drunk with half a day ahead of me.

All and all, a really good barley wine. I wish it had a date of some sort. I also wish I had a case in my basement. I recommend this beer to people who like American barley wines. The dry hopping does so much for aroma, but its really not a bitterness bomb. Bitter, yes, but not over the top.

 1,410 characters

Photo of bort11
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a Corsendonk tulip. Tight finger width head that leaves a spider web of thin lacing. Color is a clear, but dark copper red.

Smell is a blast of Cascade hops and honey sweet malt. Taste is a mix of grapefruit and pine hops. Mild caramel malts balances it out.

Mouthfeel is a bit oily with a medium/light body. Mild carbonation. A very approachable barleywine. Not over the top.

 403 characters

Photo of whynot44
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice clear chestnut colored brew with a big creamy off-white head that retains well and produces lots of nice sticky lacing.

The aroma is big, lots of pine needles, citrus and caramel with hints of fresh bread, raisins, vanilla and alcohol.

The taste is along the same lines, a blast of pine and grapefruit up front, quickly moderated by a rich caramel malt with some hints of raisins, apples, cherries, scorched wood, and chocolate. Finishes dry with another lasting kick of pine needles and alcohol warmth.

Full bodied, but smooth rather than chewy. almost too easy to drink, try to take your time and enjoy. Definitely a barleywine for hop-heads, very nice, like a malty DIPA. This is one that might mellow and improve even more with age, if you can put some away for next winter.

 794 characters

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

Beer #35 in my 366 Days of Beer Quest, tasted on 2/4. This is supposed to be a super heavily hopped barley wine. Let's see...

A: Ruby-amber body into a snifter. A dense, light-tan head retains really well. Good clarity. Good lookin brew.

S: Awesomely big, rich aroma. Hops are certainly there but don't scream out. Huge toffee and caramel notes wlong w/ raisin, cherry and vanilla that meld. Hops are citrusy w/ some wood. This is actually not nearly as hoppy as SN's Bigfoot.

M: Med.-full body, low carbonation. Very full M.F., chewy and viscous.

T: The flavor is intense and quite complex, I like it. Big, fat toffee malts along w/ dark, boozy fruits and just a kick of alcohol make its way in. The hops hit initially and in the finish w/ an assertive, rounded bitterness and some wood and resinous notes.

D: A great example of the style, it's huge in every way. A year has done a LOT for this one, as the hops are at a good level which balances the beer much better. Good drinkability for the style. Go pick this one up, but be careful in fresh examples, those hops can kill.

 1,083 characters

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle a bright and clean reddish-orange with a thin, foamy, off-white head.

I actually had to smell this beer twice because I thought I was mistaken. I smell sauerkraut. Not overwhelming - but definitely present. Also note some hop, malts, and chocolate.

Luckily, there was no kraut goodness in the taste. Very hoppy with citrus and grass yet also has a nice malt balance to it.

Medium mouthfeel, smooth, warming, and moderately carbonated.

I'm so glad that Avery started distributing to Missouri. This is a really nice barleywine that I'll be having again.

 577 characters

Photo of gkatsoris
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pretty transparent oak brown. Nice big, cream colored, dense head. The head stayed for almost 5 and lots of lacing.

S: I can smell this across the room. Nice and hoppy! Lots of sweet smells; raisins, malts, apples and vanilla. Pretty good smell of alcohol as well.

T: Delicious. Really nice and bitter. Bitter on the front, then sweet, then finishes bitter. Very balanced. No taste of alcohol. Little bit of raisins and earthy/wood. Also yummy caramel.

M: Great carbonation. Not all that thick, but it is chewy. It is also creamy. Very complex.

D: Add it too the list of: "not a bad barleywine at all". Liked it very much!

 629 characters

Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA from Avery Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 2,076 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.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

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

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

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

    Learn More