Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA | Avery Brewing Company

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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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Reviews: 918 | Ratings: 2,062
Photo of EMV
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on-tap from Champs in State College, PA - poured into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a cloudy mahogany color with a very thick creamy white head. Nice lacing.

S: Caramel and hops... dark fruits and candy. Lots going on here.

T/F: The malts and caramel flavor hit you first mixed with plum and raisin. There's some nice hoppy bitterness at the finish and a nice alcoholic warmth as well. Carbonated and a bit chewy. Love the mouthfeel.

O: A very nice barely wine from Avery... puts me in mind a little bit of Lagunitas' 'Gnarly Wine' but not as hoppy. I very much enjoyed the flavor, and this is a nice sipper. Hard to go wrong with Avery's brews.

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Photo of milehighhop
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

very fragrant as soon as I opened the bottle
copper in color, light tannish head
pretty hoppy and bitter, but a pleasant taste
easy to drink, had a good feel to it in your mouth

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

Not sure of the age on this guy. In all the times I've had this beer, can't believe I haven't reviewed it.

Aroma is sweet and deeply caramelly, with buttery toffee notes, toasted malt, and huge raisin and prune character adding depth. Smells extremely rich, and hop character lacks. Perhaps some citrus, but malt dominates.

Sweet caramel malt backbone, with muddled citrus pith that's countered by bitterness mid palate, which lingers into the finish. Tasks on an herbal, floral tone. Bitterness is more prominent than I'd prefer, but there's some decent complexity.

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Photo of DKMII
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: copper color very clear. Lacking a full head. Head diminished quickly. Great lacing. Smell: bitter. Almost a not so good burnt oil smell. Slightly floral but overpowering bitterness. Taste: too bitter for a barley wine. Similar to Sierra Nevada hop hunter. Floral hoppy finish but bitterness, even for a high ibu lover, was unpleasant. Feel: very light not typical of barley wine. Too much carbonation. Overall: not great. Not impressed.

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Photo of delta490
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep garnet, slightly cloudy, with a short-lived off-white head. The aroma is hop-forward, with nice pine aromas held up with rich caramel sweetness. The taste is similar but a little less assertive than the aroma would indicate. It's well-blended, but just a little short in the definitive characteristics present in the aroma. It has a nice weight to the body and fullness on the palate.

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Photo of TheCraftBrewReview
4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fan of bacon: Check. Fan of Barleywine: Check. Fan of Avery: You bet. What could go wrong? As a part of their “Holy Trinity of Ales”, this selection immediately caught my eye with the flying pigs and slick packaging. Barleywines usually push 11-12% ABV so this one is a little on the lighter side, but certainly is bitter enough at 104 IBUs to pack a punch in my mouth. Was I impressed enough to swine over it? Err.. swoon over it? Lets find out.

Appearance – 89: A nice light amber color pours with a significant amount of haze. A good quarter inch thick head developed after first pour which dissipated slowly over a minute’s timeframe. Very nice lacing throughout with an off-white color to it.

Smell – 84: No distinct smells are present other than the dry-hopped process upon first sniff. The bottle suggested that a caramel sweetness should be registering, but other than a slight citrus tone with a massive amount of hops, nothing was noticeable.

Body & Texture – 87: The beer sits medium-light on the tongue at first sip, and the sweet dry hops immediately give way to the promised caramel sweetness with a pleasant pineapple/orange overtone. Much sweeter than I expected.. after a moment the malts REALLY hit you. Wow. Oink.

Taste – 87: If you aren’t fond of bitter beers, you wouldn’t enjoy this. For someone with a more refined palate that likes things tangy without verging on sour, you’ll love this one. The taste after a moment or two is very wooden/hoppy, but outside of that I enjoyed it quite a bit. The candied accent is a nice touch which greets you warmly before the hops smack you in the face… a very long aftertaste to the beer. Nice overall !

Overall – 86.3 (Great): The folks over at Avery put together a very strong offering which was true to the description on that one. A bitter barleywine-style ale that has just the right amount of kick to get you squealing, but sweet enough to have you going back for more. Was glad that I picked up a bottle of this for myself, and would gladly do so again to have a break from the norm. Well done!

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Photo of ferrouswolf
2.87/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.75

Opened a bottle with bottling date July 9 as part of a "study" of barleywines.

Appearance: Fairly pale for a barleywine; amber, with a bit of haze. Sticky off-white head and great lacing all the way down.

Smell: No maltiness at all, just generic hops and BURNT RUBBER. At first I couldn't identify it, but once I figured it out I couldn't "un-smell" it.

Taste: Take a sip, and NOTHING until generic hoppiness and bitterness in the finish. No malt flavor whatsoever. Tastes like a lot of nothing.

Feel: Supersmooth, slick, "goes down easy" mouthfeel. Light carbonation.

Overall: A disappointment. This is supposed to be cellarable for 3 years, but 6 months at a (respectable) liquor store makes it taste awful? I'll take a pass next time.

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Photo of Chumley22
3.14/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Strange take on a Barleywine. Not sure the heavy hops in this beer are right for the style. Aroma is nice but It almost reminds me of an over the hill DIPA.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottling code translates to a date of April 3rd 2014.

Appearance - Pours clear and reddish copper with a finger's worth of sandstone colored head. Fair retention gives way to a thin, consistent layer of suds across the surface. Small spots of lace that exhibit decent stick.

Smell - Aroma consists of caramel, wood, light citrus, booze and light hoppy spice.

Taste - Follows the nose. Starts with some caramel and lightly bitter woody notes, then a distant spice bite. Hints of candied citrus hit mid-taste before a nicely balanced finish.

Mouthfeel - Full in body with low carbonation. Silky texture, delivering a smooth drinking experience.

Overall - Approximately 9 months old and the hops have certainly calmed, but are far from dead. Drinks beautifully now, and I'm tempted to get another bottle and age it for yet another year or so. Oddly enough, reminds me quite a bit of Rogue's Brutal Bitter and also their Yellow Snow as far as flavor is concerned. Just a nice, mellow conglomeration of the caramel, wood and citrusy flavors. Not only would I like to age this, but I'd also like to try this fresh. Probably my favorite Avery brew to date.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a rich, golden honey orange, forms a finger of mild honey yellow head. Nice creamy lacing.
S - Strong hops, grapefruit, pineapple, oranges, apples and a light touch of caramel in the back.
T - Sweet hops, orange and pineapple upfront, fades into a very distant and mild smokiness for a moment, finishes with an EXTREMELY bitter malty backbone. The finish is long and the bitterness stays on the palate for quite a long time.
O - A damned good barley wine, but not for the faint of palate. One of the most bitter beers I've had to date. You'll need a really appreciation for bitter notes to enjoy this beer!
V - Purchased in a 22oz bomber. Medium/High value.

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Photo of zac16125
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a snifter
no bottling dates

A: Dark amber, just under 2 fingers width of khaki colored head builds and then dissipates at a moderate rating leaving a few nice patches of lacing. Great clarity. 4.25

S: Tons of hop characters, citrus, pine, some tropical fruits. Hops definitely dominate. The malt character isn’t as prevalent as I anticipated, but includes some caramel and burnt sugar. Nice, but nothing special. 4

T: Like the nose, the taste is very hop forward. Tons of piney bitterness, citrus rind, grapefruit. Not many malt characters at all. The malts really just provide a backbone for the hops to shine. A bit of booze that grows throughout the drink. Very good taste, but doesn’t have everything I look for in the style. 4

M/D: Medium body, a touch light for my liking, carbonation is appropriately low, ABV is certainly noticeable and is a bit boozy for the relatively low ABV for the style. Drinkability is average. 3.5

O: I know this line separating DIPA’s and American Barleywine’s can be blurred, but this one screens DIPA to me. Its all about the hops, with very little prominent malt characters. Still a good beer, and definitely worth a try, but not something I’ll likely come back to regularly. 4

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hog Heaven pours a dark reddish color with a small lacing head. There is a huge sharp aroma, with a very sharp fresh unique hoppines note. The taste is big bold, oaky, and floral, very sharp flavors. Good body and good feel. Overall, its a very big and bold beer, but the flavors don't come together the best way.

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Photo of Celtics17
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

This is a borderline imperial IPA. You get the big hop character in the nose, and in the first sip. The resin/pine taste turns into a toffee, sweet candy taste.

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Photo of Tilly
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

My first barley wine. Different for sure. Not much head but what's there is beige and light. Aroma is Carmel and fruit and yeast. Chocolate, caramel, some fruit. Chewy. Nice bitterness afterwards. Back of the throat pow. Not my last barley wine.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev +0.8%

A: dark amber and clear, thick head as big as you want of tan foam

S: piney and bright hops percolate through rich caramel malts

T: following the nose, the hops are aggressive and keep things crisp, bringing pine and resin bitterness to the malty toffees and barley grain

M: medium-full bodied feel, ample carbonation; chewy but tight - nice balance to the feel

O: an American barleywine that borders on the DIPA - hop action is strong enough to meet the malts midway - some chew, but mostly on the finish - otherwise maintains a nice bitterness that cuts through the sugars of the malts. I really dug it. Think of it as a malty DIPA or a hoppy American barleywine. Real nice drinking.

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Photo of Sinfull
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Haze brown color , medium creamy head. Beauty aroma of hops and fruits. Hops in taste , sweet on the start and good bitterness in the middle and finish. Great full-bodied beer

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Big dry hop nose with citrus, grapefruit, floral and pine over dark yeast driven dried fruit and malt spice.
Pours brilliantly clear red to copper tinted amber under a 1" lightly copper tinted off-white foam cap that quickly dissipates but produces rich lace.
Palate: Sweet caramel malt and dried fruits (fig and dates), balanced by an assertive hop bitterness and big alcohol. The hops, malt and yeast flavors mask the big alcohol. The components are big but well balanced. Has gin and tonic level bitterness.
Chewy with gentle carbonation - a very fine bead. Warming.

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Photo of jellikit
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: deep autumn-copper. Thin head that clings to side of glass. Thin lacing. Clear.

S: sweet caramel. Juicy-fruit. My wife says tangerine. Small alcohol hint at the back end.

T: Dark caramel. Pine tar. Alcohol.

M: medium carbonation. Big body like Kate Upton.

O: decent barley wine. Drier than I anticipated. Good flavor. Big bitterness. Would have rated higher but the bitter lingers too long turning into an almost unpleasant flavor. Not to shy away, though.

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Photo of JG-90
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Hog Heaven pours a moderate sized, thick and creamy, tan colored head that has great retention and leaves heavy lacing. Body is a pretty clear brown/peach color. Smells of earthy hops, caramel and toasty malt, and musty citrus rind.

Taste starts with sweet malt, then orange rind with a touch a grapefruit, next is piney hops with burnt caramel malts. Has a grapefruit and dank hop finish which both linger in the aftertaste along with more citrus rind. Feel is average with high carbonation for the style, a little creamy and pretty chewy.

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Photo of Hex92
3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

If I had read the small print on the side of the bottle about it maybe should have been called 'hop heaven' I wouldn't have bought it. I am not a hop fan, malty is what I look for in a beer.

BUT....this beer is does have some malt to balance out the hops a bit. I don't think it tastes much like a barley wine at all.

It smells like an IPA and tastes very similar to one.

Overall an interesting beer, but since I have 500 beers to choose from at my local store I won't be buying this one again.

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Photo of ColdWaffles
3.36/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Hog Heaven Avery

Poured from a bomber into a standard pint at about cellar temp.

Does not look the part of a Barleywine. Looks more like a West Coast hoppy red. Clear red, nice frothy offwhite color. Nice looking beer, even considering my glass choice... but definitely doesn't look on style.

Scent is a little off style too. Candied fruit, but hops far outweigh malts.

Taste isn't initially as off as I expected. First few sips bring a strong presence of sweet malt character. However. The back end is over hopped. I wonder if this would be better chilled?

Mouthfeel is fine. Medium to full bodied. Appropriate carbonation. 3.75

Overall, a serious bummer. Not bad, but not good on the style.

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Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter. Color is a dark honey-red. Almost two fingers of head, which dissipates only after some minutes have gone by. Excellent lacing. My half-empty glass looks very attractive :)

There's a whiskeyness to the smell, very wooden, very dry.

Tastes like an oak-aged DIPA. Some caramel in there, but overwhelmed by hop bitterness, especially in the finish.

Not much of a barley wine, but quite enjoyable.

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Photo of martyl1000
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A slightly hazy, ruddy amber, with a smallish white head in a tulip glass.

A terrific aroma. The dry hopping is plainly evident in the nose, citrusy and bright, though a sweet malt overlay is what I'm mostly responding to. White gumball + grapefruit = yum!

On first sip, the hops barge in as a white-grapefruit bitterness. As the beer warms, a round tone of vaguely sweet malt follows. I'm struck by the resemblance to Bell's Third Coast Old Ale.

This is a serious accomplishment. Exceptional balance and smoothness. The only drawback for me is the relentlessness of the grapefruit on the back end. It just won't quit, which becomes a bit astringent.

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

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 11/25/2012. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy deep reddish copper color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, orange peel, citrus rind, pine, floral, grass, caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, herbal, and floral/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/pine hops and caramel/bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, orange peel, citrus rind, floral, grass, caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, bread, light pine, herbal, and floral/toasted earthiness. Fair amount of floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, orange peel, citrus rind, floral, grass, caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, bread, herbal, and floral/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and balance of citrus/floral hop and caramel/bready malt flavors; with a great sweetness/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth, moderately slick, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome barelywine. All around great balance and complexity of citrus/floral hops and caramel/bready malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of kdahnke123
3.52/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter at ca 45F.
A - Pours an amber color with a single finger of head that slowly gives way to a light lacing.
S - Smells mostly of hops, with a slight amount of ester overtone.
T - Very hop forward with a slight amount of apple/ester in the background.
M - Light bodied for a barley wine with the typical modest amount of carbonation.
O - Not really a barley wine but more of a very hoppy double/triple IPA. Fairly unidimensional, hops and lots of it.

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Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA from Avery Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 2,062 ratings.
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