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: 916 | Ratings: 2,056
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into fluted snifter; deep ruby, hint of orange with a big fluffy light creamy head that fades quickly leaving tons of lacing.
Smells of caramel malt with tons of hops; lots of citrus rind and pine, huge hop aroma.
Taste is huge...big sweet bready malt, caramel and cracker, with a punch of hops. Pine and citrus rind, bitterness to the end destroying the malt. Well-balanced but bold.
Mouthfeel is relatively light-bodied and crisp for the style.
Overall, a very American barleywine. Huge hops, crisp mouthfeel, same high alcohol and malt backbone. Awesome!

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Photo of jpro
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz from the Northbridge Pig blowout sale...

A: Pours a crystal-clear garnet / red; light beige, one-finger head dies down to a thin sheen of retention, leaving a few dots of lace.

S: Rich caramel malt; brown sugar; punch of resin; nostril burn.

T: A doozy... Huge hop bitterness - pine resin and pith; sugary malt; some toast and caramel towards the end.

M: A bit harsh / rough around the edges; tonsil puckering bitter; full-bodied; high carbonation.

O: A bit too much for me; a sipper... no other way to drink this; gets a little smoother as it warms.

*from notes: 01.26.14

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Photo of msquared36
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Copper tint bordering on pink. Thin head with moderate lacing.

Smells primarily of roasted malt with chocolate and alcohol notes.

Initial taste of bread and honey. Follows with a resiny hop bitterness that lingers.

Moderate carbonation that works well with the beer. Very thick feel, almost chewy. Left a coating in my mouth.

Not a big barley wine drinker so can't really to compare to the style. Nevertheless, it's a tasty beer that is perfect for the single digits and snow outside.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a translucent copper brown with a foamy tan head.

S: Orange, mango, nectarine, peach in the nose.

T: Somewhat tart, lemon, grapefruit, citrus peel, grass, pine and floral notes.

M: Medium full bodied with a somewhat smoother than IPA mouthfeel.

O: Definitely an American-style barleywine. Not the best, but it's pretty good.

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Photo of Rizalini
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

My girl brought this bottle back from Binny's in Chicago, no bottled on date. Purchased only a week ago. Poured from a bomber at a cellared 51*

A - Pours a deep garnet / ruby color with a dense finger of light tan colored head. A nice collar of lacing holds to the sides when the foam faeds.

S - The aroma is overflowing with rich caramel malts, with notes of earthy, piney hops.

T/M - The taste is a great combination of sweet caramel malts and more of a fruity, citrusey hop. The aftertaste yields to notes of vanilla, some oaky-woodseyness, and a citrus peel bitterness. Mouthfeel is rather viscous, maybe even slightly syrupy (but I kinda like that in my barleywines). Perfect carbonation.

O - This barleywine hits all the right notes for me. Big caramel malt backbone, an even bigger hop profile that can stand up to the sweetness, great dense/full mouthfeel, and a slight warmth of alcohol that I want in a barleywine. Not an alcohol burn, but a nice inner warmth. Huge difference. Very easy to drink, and if Avery ever started to distro to Las Vegas, I'd be stocked up on this.

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Photo of CowsandBeer
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle picked up sometime in 2012. Cool label with some foil and Avery logo over the cap. Poured into a Blind Tiger Brewery snifter after letting it warm up for a bit. Some sediment was clearly visible at the bottom of the bottle.

Appearance: Poured down the middle the produced about a finger of khaki head which quickly faded away to a thick cap. The body was a clear brown with red highlights and impressive lacing for a beer of this style.

Smell: Nutty chocolate, sweet malts, prunes, raisins, and faded spice-piney hops.

Taste: Follows the nose with nuts/chocolate, raisins, sweet candy sugar, a stronger woody-herbal hoppyness and finishes with a drying heat.

Mouthfeel: Full mouthfeel with low carbonation. Warming and drying.

Overall: A very solid American barleywine. In this bottle the hops have faded but retain an herbal, bitter presence. A nice nutty chocolate bar note was present (which I enjoy in barleywines) along with some very sweet, candy type malts. The mouthfeel was spot on; smooth, creamy, and warming. Overall, a recommend American style barleywine that is progressing nicely with age. Would love to try some variations of this beer like double dry hopping, barrel ageing, etc.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

DATE TASTED: December 27, 2013... GLASSWARE: Duvel snifter...OCCASION: post-Christmas Les Mis viewing... APPEARANCE: red amber body; opaque. as twilight; white, opulent head; lacing is more than substantial.. AROMA: robust, bold hops; a candid, malty, grape-driven undercurrent hoists an intensely fragrant mass of East Coast pinecone... PALATE: a Javert-sized presence, proud and overbearing; strong, rum-like burn on the tongue; in time, the effect numbs and comforts, removing its bite as stronger spirits do...TASTE: malty--caramel immediately and often (chestnut too?), heavy at the throat; the 104 IBUs are tamped down but cloy enough to keep; same astringency in the exhale detracts slightly from an otherwise powerful flavor ... OVERALL: Admittedly, the wine drinking in the film played slightly with my perspective, but tasting this malty wine of a beer also made the film even more vibrant...BIG is the word this beer warrants--a handsome, dangerous fist in a snifter, resilient as Valjean .

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Photo of utopiajane
4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This pours hazy orange copper with a fat stream of bubbles rising up from the murky bottom. The beer has a nice blush on it and a fat head of tan foam that is tinged with orange and fell slowly and left good lace.

Nose is fruity and malty with plenty of sweetness. Caramel malt, brown sugar. Bold citrus. Orange, lemon and the bright citrus peel. Little pine for good measure and is this a DIPA? Taste follows the nose all the way. A rich and silky mouthfeel brings a perfectly sweet orange, and tangerine fruit across the palate. it even has a bit of pith. The lemon peel falls to the background but keeps things bright and uplifted. The malt is endless and while it is sweet it isn't too heavy. There is a nice finish to this with a touch of sticky resin and bright fruit that lingers int eh aftertaste. the caramel is smooth as silk and there's a touch of warmth from alcohol. This is crisp and tastes like candied oranges.

Beer candy. The dry hopping gives it a lightness that's almost unbearable and the orange is ripe and juicy perfection. You might think this is DIPA but it's a big barley wine. Delicious.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of head which seems to have equally good retention. The head is a light beige with hints of tan while the body is a dark amber that appears medium to dark amber when held up to the light. Lacing which tends toward sheeting.

Nose- The dry-hopping of this beer definitely shows- it shows so much that I just experienced my first cat piss aroma (at least from a beer). Additional citrus, orange, lemon, and grapefruit, with a good amount of mustiness. The glass shows some caramel and a slight whiff of alcohol. Swirling accentuates the cat piss smell which is mostly enjoyable.

Taste- Starts with caramel then moves into bitter hops- lots of grapefruit, pine, resin, matchstick, and earwax. Some heat as well. Much more subdued than Flat Tail was but not really my kind of barleywine. Some brighter, sweeter citrus makes this more bearable than my last barleywine. Fresh orange and lemon with touch a honey. Slight oak, slight brown bread keeps this from drinking just like a tame IIPA. Surprisingly restrained for 104 IBUs. Pretty good balance and integration for a young barleywine. It's a little brash but that's mostly from the strong presence of the hops. Above average to good. I could see this being a solid good after some aging. It's mostly good at this point. Some tropical fruits (papaya), melon, and spice on the finish are pushing this toward a solid good right now. Heat had a tiny presence but seems to have faded.

Mouthfeel- A little more than heavy bodied with some syrup to the texture. Appropriate amount of carbonation for the style.

Drinkability- The bitter hops are a bit much at first but will make a hophead happy. Slight instances of heat but nothing that detracts. Fair price at 8 bucks a bomber but a little too bitter for me to buy again. Maybe I would buy one to age.

Overall- Mostly good beer with some tendencies toward above average. Very much an American Barleywine as displayed by its vigorous hopping. I would give it a try. Might even buy another bottle to see what aging will do but probably not

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Photo of kojevergas
2.46/5  rDev -38%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded silver foil-ed over pry-off pressure cap and uninteresting label art acquired at a local bottle shop a year ago and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip/wine glass hybrid glass in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high given its current rating and the brewery. Reviewed as a barleywine because the label clearly identifies it as such. 9.2% ABV confirmed. 104 IBUs.

Served cold - straight from the freezer - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a two finger wide head of white-khaki colour. Decent creaminess and thickness. Okay lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is pretty good - about 6+ minutes. Decent consistency.

Body colour is a glowing translucent light amber. Clean; no floating yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Overall, it's an appealing if standard appearance for the style. I'm looking forward to trying it, but it isn't unique or special. There are no egregious flaws here.

Sm: Floral hop character, pale malts, cream, caramel, marshmallow, bread crust, and caramalt.

No alcohol or yeast character is detectable.

Overall, it's a pleasant but non-ideal aroma of moderate strength.

T: Marshmallow, floral hop character, caramalt, heavy caramel, bread crust, bready malts, and some amber malts. Rotten orange. Stale/overripe grapefruit. Pithy. Way too bitter and horribly imbalanced. Build is neither cohesive nor gestalt. Very unimpressive. Too hoppy for the style - which should be malt-dominant. Lacks sufficient sweetness. Still, it has some subpar candi sugar notes. Below average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. Lacks complexity; it's pretty simple. Not nuanced, intricate, or subtle.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Has some alcohol warmth. Has an unbecoming coarseness. The smoothness/dryness is also off. Overcarbonated. Doesn't suit the flavour profile really at all. Bad presence on the palate. That said, it doesn't have the weight of most barleywines.

Not oily, astringent, or gushed.

Dr: Downable but very unremarkable. Far from Avery's strongest work. I certainly wouldn't get it again. Age hasn't done it any favours either. I wouldn't recommend it to friends. It's a pretty mediocre barleywine. I expected far better. It'll get you drunk, but it won't please the discerning drinker. Quite poor for a barleywine, all around. Badly executed.


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Photo of ZoomanCru
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

App: Deep copper brown appearance with a two finger off white head with good retention and significant lacing. No visible bubble stream, but the head maintains.

Smell: Nose almost entirely hops, which is odd for a barleywine style. Subtle notes of grapefruit and pine. Some alcoholic volatility in the background. Deep, almost unidentifiable bitter smell lurking.

Taste: Tastes almost like a double IPA but without the overbearing bitterness that frequently accompanies them. Cannabis like pungency in the hops accompanied by a slight passion fruit sweetness. Combative malt sweetness, with deep caramel notes and pleasant hops bitterness. Tastes very much like an incredibly strong and well balanced APA.

Mouth: Mild carbonation makes for a round mouthfeel with a slight alcoholic heat that is present, but not persistent.

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Photo of richj1970
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bomber into tulip.

A: Pours a deep copper color with one to two finger off white head. Lots of nice sticky lacing.

S: Sweet biscuits, caramel, piney resin, bitter hops.

T: Caramel, brown sugar up front mixed with hop assaulting the back. Very nice blend between the sweetness and hops.

M: Full bodied. Coats the tongue nicely. Almost a syrup quality to the body.

O: A nice twist on a barley wine. Enough hops to make it original but enough sweetness to keep it squarely in the barley wine camp. Nice job guys!

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Photo of blindtiger24
4.52/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber served in a tulip glass.

A: Garnet colored with a sticky, off-white head. Noticeable carbonation in the head.

S: Fruity esters, brown sugar, potent hops and smoke.

T: Biscuity sweetness and then a heavy dose of piney and acidic hop resin. The hop flavor is immense, but the sweetness returns and rounds out the experience. There is a cured meat saltiness as well that also benefits from the high level of malts which contribute sweetness.

M: A syrupy texture that doesn't over-dry your tongue and lingers on the roof of your mouth.

O: A beast (pun intended) of a beer! The complexity of this beer is hard to beat as you traverse a full flavor spectrum. It's a lot to take in and best enjoyed in sips rather than gulps. While the alcohol is not over powering, it does catch up with you. Overall, one of the best examples of the style and there are few that match its intensity.

Note: If you're looking for a real kick in the teeth, Avery will produce from time to time a Double Hopped Barleywine known as the Überschwein. It is only available directly at the brewery, but jump I encourage Barleywine fans to try it. The smoky, meat flavors come alive even more in that version.

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Photo of kennymule
3.59/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Into a tulip:

A: deep copper with ½ finger head with little lacing.
S: malt, brown sugar and alcohol with faint hops
T: caramel on the front, quickly followed by huge hop bitterness. Alcohol is present but finish is warm and hoppy.
M: medium mouth feel with a dry finish that keeps you wanting another sip.
O: does not taste like any barleywine that I’ve tasted before. Actually more of a DIPA, but at $7.00 a bomber is well worth a try. I definitely will by this again.
Serving type: 22oz bomber.

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Photo of BWED
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.

A- Brownish red, with the red really coming out in direct light. Yellow-tan head. Retention is okay, but lacing and legs are very nice.

S- Resin in the forefront, and big. Caramel backbone lurks in the back, though. Sting of hop and booze come up in the nose as well. Is there such thing as nosefeel?

T- Malt comes up more in the taste, with more of a citrus peel hop flavor. Pretty big hop for a barleywine, but apparently this was brewed before the era of the term: double IPA.

M- A pretty creamy body, with a bitter bite of a finish.

O- Great beer. I was looking for a barleywine, at least one with more of a balance, but I couldn't consider this a double IPA. Tasty.

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Photo of kell50
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled picked up at Total Wine for $8.99. Poured bomber to Closed for Business snifter.

A - It pours a robust orange orange color that appears to literally attach to the glass. Not much of a head to speak of, but many tiny bubbles floating on the top.

S - Hog Heaven is a huge beer with caramel/toffee malt notes and a strong punch of American hops. I notice some citrus; grapefruit, orange, etc.

T - Huge caramel notes hit first, slightly sweet and slightly floral. Quite a sticky, viscous brew that slowly slides across my entire palette and down the hatch. Alcohol isn't super noticeable, but you undoubtedly know you're drinking a huge beer.

M - A medium body with a medium amount of carbonation. I appreciate Avery making a big, full flavored American Barleywine and not a dumbed-down/thin version of one.

O - In summation, Avery's Hog Heaven is big, bold, aggressive barleywine that stands up well against its peers. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Trifecta1
4.39/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Avery no longer distributes to my neck of the woods, and the micropub I frequent hasn't quite noticed the value in their massive stock of Avery brews in their cellar. It seems like they're killing off their stock, because this bad boy was $4.50, and 3 years aged. Woo!

A - Copper hue, bits of yeast floating around, no head, carbonated bubbles streaming slowly.

S - Incredible hop wetness, malty, sweet french toast-like aroma.

T - Insanely drinkable. I mean, insane for 10%. That's what the bottle said anyway, maybe they made it 9.2% recently. But wow, no presence of any sort of booze, but you felt it. Warming, sweet caramel and maple syrup toast, with a tropical hop flavor with absolutely no bitterness (killed off with age, I guess). Slightly spiced, but nothing compared to your average pumpkin or something like that. Complex with a strong, delicious flavor.

M - Sticky, warming, oily.

O - Insane for $4.50. Next time I'm back, I'm getting 2 more bottles. Just wow. One of the best Barleywine experiences I've had, and I've had plenty. I am positive the age had something to do with it.

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Photo of kmkcol
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle from 2013 poured in a snifter.

Appearance: deep copper red

Smell: floral hops

Taste: the hops dominate, but there is a malty sweetness that is typical of the barleywine style

Mouthfeel: medium body with soft carbonation. Creamy.

Overall: A great beer that I will buy again. The hop-forward aroma is a nice addition to the barleywine style.

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Photo of uhcougar
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

January 2013 bottle consumed late Sept 2013 at 50 degrees

Aroma - Hops and malt sweetness, a nice balance. Hops have faded a bit due to the age

Appearance - Copper, nice off white head

taste - here again a good balance between the american hops and malt, some bitterness but also some toffee caramel going on too

Mouthfeel - medium body, I felt it could use a hair more body, but it does coat the tongue nicely

This is a great bargain at $6 a bottle and is always available. I need to age one for longer. I have heard rumors that this was really just a DIPA made before there was that category. Tasty nonetheless, and widely available here in TX at Specs.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.14/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into a snifter. I believe this is from 2010 or 2011.

A: Pours a hazy, almost murky amber color with two fingers of off white head. Retention and lacing are superb.

S: Caramel malts and dark fruit mix with a surprising amount of citrus and pine hops given the age, which I believe is around 3 years. Smells fairly dry.

T: Very well balanced. Medium to high bitterness balances with caramel and dark fruit sweetness. Hops flavor is also quite present with grapefruit and pine.

M: Medium thickness with good carbonation.

O: A great Barleywine - very well balanced with a complex malt and hop profile. There are a surprising amount of hops left in such an old beer.

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Photo of minterro
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bought from Little's Wine and Liquor

Poured into a snifter and paired with spaghetti and salad

A&S: Translucent amber colored beer. Not much head, but a pretty decent amount of off-white lacing. Tropical hops and sweet malts pull through the most in the aroma. Hints of alcohol (maybe white wine pinot grigio) is present, but not as much as in the taste.

T&M: Powerful hop profile (borderlining a double ipa), including tropical and citrus components. Bitter, clean finish. Low-medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall: Not always a fan of the hoppy barleywine varieties but this one is done very well. Maybe a tad too much hops, but as for a my palate is concerned I could care less about a lot of hops. Another well done beer by Avery.

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Photo of Apellonious
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bomber from Lil Roberts in Concord. Unable to determine the age. It only lasted a week in the fridge. Poured into a tulip glass

A- Deep ruby (cloudy) with a one finger head that moves to thin lace that hangs on the side of the glass

S - a smattering of hops and sugar

T - whoa...there is a burst of hops, grapefruit, then some toffy and saltiness, then a vanilla ice cream like finish . As it warms, the bitterness takes the finish back over. It almost begins to resemble a red IPA.

M - carbonation is sharp on the mid tongue, medium to slightly below medium heft, a tinge of wateriness. Check.

O - recommended for the finish alone. The beginning sweetness, then later when the hops and bitterness dominate. Worth a try. Unless overly hoppy bitter beers scare you.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a large snifter. Cellared for one year.

A: Burnt orange/brown color. Murky. Khaki colored head settles to an eighth of an inch but holds there. Thin, broken rings of lacing remain.

S: Sweet malt scents of caramel, bread pudding, and treacle. Grassy and citrusy hops have mellowed and faded into the background.

T: Lots of caramel. Treacle, bread crust, bread pudding. Figgy, berry esters. Hops are much more emphatic than they were on the nose. Very earthy, herbal and spicy, oily and green. Flashes of citrus peels. Spike of alcohol toward the back end. Bitter, spicy and oily hops finish.

M: Thick, hefty body. Very full and chewy. Low carbonation. Slight alcohol warmth. A 'meal in a glass' type of beer,

O: Even after a year in the cellar, the hops still command a great deal of attention. This is an American-style barleywine through and through. Very smooth and drinkable despite its size. This is a beer that grows on you with each sip.

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Photo of Thezapper
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ruddy dark copper with a nice head.

Smell: Earthy hops and some booze.

Taste: Lots of hops in this barley wine. I get a hint of sweetness off the bat which gives way immediately to big hops. Warming booze kicks in momentarily and then ends with earthy hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and nice carbonation.

Overall: A little on the dry side for a barley wine, I wouldn't mind a touch more sweetness. Still a good brew though very enjoyable.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip- pours a clear dark amber color with about a finger of head, decent retention and some nice splotches of lacing.

Smell is nice- like a cross between a DIPA and a barleywine. Strong malt characteristics with a definite punch of piney hops. A touch of booze in there as well but pretty mild.

Tastes pretty great- definitely lots of really nice hops throughout the sip. Starts of with some earthy, piney hops, then gets into just a ton of caramel malts, followed and finished by a nice clean bitterness. Finish is long and earthy.

Mouthfeel is very nice as well- medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation and not too sticky considering the style. Folks this is an excellent barleywine- I'm drinking it in the 90+ degree heat of the manhattan summer and it's still really great so get it if you can!

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Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA from Avery Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 2,056 ratings.
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