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
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Ratings: 2,090 |  Reviews: 925
Photo of IntriqKen
3.46/5  rDev -12.4%
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 +3.3%
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 +8.1%
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 -3.3%
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 +0.5%
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 -1.3%
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 +13.9%
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 +5.1%
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 +13.4%
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 +19%
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 +12.2%
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 +3.8%
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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Photo of SIRIUS2
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a chalice style glass.

A: Mostly clear coppery color with an excellent frothy white head. Head retention throughout the experience with white lacing down the glass.

S: Mostly malty on the nose but a noticeable presence of mild hops as well.

T: Complex medium-toast malt flavors well matched with hop bitterness - but not balanced. Although a touch sweet with malt, the flavors a bit more dry compared to other barley wine styles previously sampled but is a compliment to the overall taste. The finish is long and malty with a bit of warming.

M&D: Mouthfeel is heavy, smooth, and complex and has the effect of a creaminess as it rolls over the tongue. Carbonation only enhances everything else and helps to bring everything together nicely. Fantastic example of the style.

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Photo of jdoncbus
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber-orange, mildly hazy with a solid tan head and heavy lacing. Enjoyed the rings left after each sip.

Nose is a sour, sweet malt - somewhat biscuity. Heavy notes of apricot, pear, sour cream frosting, and piney hops.

Creamy-oil on the palate with a toasted-wood, caramel malt. Bitter hops slam the taste buds, extremely piney and grassy. The mouth is left very tart and dry. Alcohol makes no bones about it, it's there and leaves a warmth down the throat into the stomach.

A nice offering and I am glad that I picked it after seeing it for years. Not sure I will rush to pick another one up though I appreciate its complexity with my continued venture into this style. Sip slowly, packs a punch.

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Photo of boston2bburg
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of TheBierBand
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

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Photo of Pencible
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of DIM
2.12/5  rDev -46.3%
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.

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Photo of JDV
4/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.95/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of far333
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of Gehrig
3.71/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of HokieNoPokie
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of ROMER79
4/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of ballewblake
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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