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 FormatKid
4.48/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From what I'm reading on the bottle this sounds to be right up my alley, 100 IBUs, 9.2% ABV, and 2 1/2 pounds of Columbus dry hops in every barrel. I went with a standard shaker pint on this one, and it poured out beautifully. The body is a perfectly translucent ruby-brown. I don't get much of a head out of it, but what is there does stick stoicly both to the top of the beer but as well as to the glass creating rings of lace. Moving the glass around wafts the hop aromas right up my nose, and the glass isn't even close. Closer inspection of the nose reveals the sweet caramelly malt as well as a great hop aroma. They portray pine, citrus rind, and I'm also picking up some woody/tannic notes on the nose. The beer feels a bit light on the palate as I begin to drink it. The malts do register staunchly with notes of toffee, and caramel as well as a simple sugary sweetness. The bitterness is the concrete foundation for the hop flavors that emerge later. The hops come across predominately as grapefruit and citrus rind. I'm also picking up some more of those tannic notes in the flavor and I wonder if this beer is spending any time in wooden barrels. The alcohol presence is very light for it's large ABV. In all honesty this beer reminds me quite a bit of Arrogant Bastard but it has it's own characteristics as well. Definately a good beer, pick it up when you see it.

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

Unfortunately the year this was bottled isn't dated, I'm guessing it was bottled fairly recently though. Hog Heaven is ruby red in color with an really thin off-white head. The aroma is very strong of west coast hops, citrusy mainly. I really enjoyed the taste of this beer. The flavor seemed really hopped for a barley wine, at least compared to the handfull that I've had. This tastes strongly of citrusy hops. Winey, malty flavor is primarily noted in the beginning of a sip, vanilla flavor is noted. Just a slight taste of alcohol is also present. This is very complex; the different tastes mix well together and the high hoppiness makes this beer stand out. I guess this is a barley wine for hopheads.

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

A great barleywine. Served on tap in a little 12oz goblet tulip glass at the Moan and Dove, my fav place. Appears a nice rusty russet amber brown color with a bit of bubbly head. Smell is a huge boquet of fruityness, piney hops, and malty sweetness. The taste is definately more hops than malt, which I find to be refreshing in a barleywine. Nice move. Piney bitterness, yet there's that juicy fruity ripeness that makes this style so awesome. Fruity malts are the backbone of this beer but they take a back seat to the expressive hops. Dry finish and great smooth mouthfeel. Overall a great barleywine that's not overpowering at all. Oink Oink. Ok, that was lame...

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Photo of Boto
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber: I’ve had this one hanging around for about 10 months now, so I figured it was time to give it a shot. There is somewhat of a ruby tint to the amber color. It is a touch hazy. Mine had a large off-white head that subsided quickly. The aroma is nice. There is the typical malty sweetness, but there are definitely notes of hops here. Mainly grapefruit to the nose, but also some grassiness. Tastes good. A rich malty sweet body, but the sweetness is nicely balanced by the hops. Slight taste of grapefruit and a hint of bitterness too. Very nice!

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Photo of gimmehead
3.08/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Deep russet with minimal beige head

Smell: Mostly Citrus with floral undertones

Taste: Piney hops with the promised citrus finish. Not much malt to speak of.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, what I fell is correct for the style

Drinkability: High ABV and not enough malty balance make this an easy " one and done". Seems to be too hoppy for the style.

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Photo of FranklinPCombs
3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice honey ruby color with a bit of head and no lace. Smell is a very sweet natural brown sugar smell with a ton of hops and some malts behind, no yeast smells apparent. The taste is initially very sweet, even a bit too sweet but it really evens out when the hops comes in. There is tons of hop bitterness with very little else besides the overriding sweetness on the top. The taste is more natural tasting that some beers, like it had raw cane sugar or something of the like. The mouthfeel feels thicker than it is because of the sweetness, but the dryness and bitterness of the beer takes this down a bit. Pretty good barleywine I would say, although the flavors are a bit harsh and could use a bit of cellaring to mellow perhaps

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

Poured a nice mahogony red color with an almost yellow head. The smell was boozy and hoppy with notes of rich mollassas alcohol and malts. The taste was almost like a double IPA with huge juicey hop notes and a warming alcohol presence. This was certainly a quality barleywine and I would have no misgivings about drinking a couple of these.

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Photo of longpondbeerman
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

OK, I'm not much of a barleywine fan to begin with, but this stuff is AOK. It pours a musty dark ameber with a minimal whitish head. The aroma is sweet and malty, and I was concerned that that would translate into a taste that was too alcoholic. But I was surprised; there's a bit od hop balance in this bw. Yes, there is a syrupy undertone, bit the taste generally is balanced and smooth. Some prunes and pines there too. Medium body and drinkable, for a heavy content ale.

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Photo of edchicma
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad brew...but not a great barleywine...Pours amber with a very nice head and lacing. Smell is good, but mainly citrus hoppy, not many malt notes of the typical barleywine. Tatse likewise is more like an IPA with just a hint of some port-like elements.Mouthfeel is a tad harsh which impacts drinkability. Might be better placed as a strong IPA.

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Photo of carln26
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22oz bomber poured into a chalice, this beer was a brown to amber. It was reasonably clear and poured with a decent 1 inch head that quickly receded into the glass. The head did leave a fairly thick lace hanging off the side. The nose has strong floral accents from the hops. A bit of citrus to back that along with just a touch of the alcohol. It really smells like a big IPA. The taste has the same floral and citrus character that is in the nose, along with some sweetness. I expected more of an alcohol burn, but it’s pleasantly mild. Just a touch of candy-like sweetness from some malt. A slick light mouth feel. Very drinkable. It has a nice warm feeling without burning through the taste.

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Photo of Jarod
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer came to me a dark copper/ruby color, crystal clear and carbonated. The head that was produced off white to light brown in color, thick rich, bubbly, and decently sticky, kind of like cappuccino coffee head. Lace was very present, sheets in places and intricate in other places. Visually a decent beer. The aromas that came from the glass were a combination of bittersweet malts and bitter hops (citrusy and piney) (more hops then malts), citrus fruits (lemon, grapefruit), pine tree, spices (light) and alcohol notes. Tastes were mostly a combination of different hops (bitter, grapefruity, piney, etc) malts were somewhat noticeable (some sweetness, tad roasted) in the middle, light spices (combination of hops and fresh), some warming alcohol notes but finished with more hops. Aftertaste – hops. Body was on the full side especially as it warmed. My opinion of this beer was more of an IPA/Imperial then barleywine but incredibly smooth, creamy, warming and very drinkable. But with a 9.2% ABV this beer will take you out and fast, but what a way to go. If you want a good example of a barleywine, this is not my first choice, but it would come up in an Imperial IPA conversation.

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Photo of oracle
3.05/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

big beer in a big bottle.

Poured a deep amber. Large head with good retention. medium to little lacing.

Taste was pretty typical for a barleywine. Raisonly, hints of other fruit, possibly plum. A little on the sweet side. Had a slight harshness to it that seemed to mellow a bit as it warmed up.

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

Great nose...sugar sweet citrus fruit...grapefruit coated with sugar...oranges...outstanding....pours a light brown color...the head is weak and the mouthfeel is a little light in the shorts too...great taste though....great balance between the hops and the sugary sweet maltiness...very low carbonation....nice tight bitterness on the long finish...I guess I'd compare this in some regards to Old Ho but not quite as good...different hops too I'm pretty sure...I like the hop flavor of this one better but the malt load is not comparable to Old Ho...this is more sugary sweet than caramely sweet...great hop burps....

An upper tier BW..I'd definitely buy another bottle of this one...Not something I'll be dreaming about at night but a lot better than most out there..

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Photo of mntlover
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep red color with some brown hints with a lightly tan head that falls to ring of foam. Hops dominate nose floral, orange peel, light pine resin in the background on top of malt. Aroma is sweet malt and wonderful hops very good smelling beer, juicy inviting hops. You can feel the hops starting to attack the tounge before you even taste them. Starts out with a good malt depth then light hop flavors start to mingle in my mouth. After you swallow a hop bitterness begins to build on your tounge but it takes a few seconds to taste the tary pine resin. Mouthfeel is very solid, a nice barley wine. Drinkability is great a good example of an American Barley Wine, I enjoyed this brew and can see buying more of them.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first Avery brew, and a good one at that. Definitely a hop lovers dream. Green, grassy hops dominate. Doesn't have quite the malt backbone of the Sierra Nevada or the Rogue, but it is still a very enjoyable brew. More of a double IPA than a Barley wine IMO, but certainly worth a try for all the hop heads out there!

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Photo of trancefishy
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When I cracked the bottle, the aroma hit me from a foot away, and it was very sweet. Poured out a nice darkish-bronze. Little head, despite a little aggressiveness in the pour, but what was there clings nicely to the glass.
Nose, once in the snifter, was still sweet, with a mild alcohol fragrance. I tried very hard to find something else, but, it was just a muted nose.

I can’t name anything in the flavour. It’s sweet, but not overly so; balanced witht he hops very nicely. I want to say that there is a sweet fig in there, and also a pinch of pine.
The finish is a bit bitter, and afterthat, lingers for a while. The taste throughout each sip changes very fluidly, with no abrupt beginning or end. Mouthfeel is excellent, creamy and thick. Not a complicated brew here, something rather straightforward, but done eloquently.
Good stuff, grab a bomber if you find it.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice deep red color with a finger of head that falls to cover the beer. The nose is BIG. There's tons of malt sweetness in there and some nice earthy hops, with a dose of the alcohol coming through as well. The flavor is not as big as the nose says it is. There a nice caramel sweethenss balanced with a very earthy hop. The aftertaste is really nice, sweet and bitter. This beer is nice and thick. For a big beer, this has a really good drinkability. I dig it.

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Photo of beerceller99
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle. Pours a two tone copper red and orange color with a slight head. Lightly carbonated. Reeks of peaches, apricots, floral hops, and alcohol. A big malty sweetness dominates the flavor- the medium body holds the flavors nicely and makes it highly drinkable. Finishes with a big floral hop and alcohol bite.

A great brew, too bad I only have two bottles of this left in the cellar.

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Photo of ithacabaron
3.2/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours what looks to be a burnt red into my glass, but when held up to the light, it reveals itself to be a much brighter shade than first surmised.

Smell is toffee, distinctly one-dimentional hop presence (must be the Columbus dry hop), and a slight overly ripe fruitiness.

Taste is of an even, biscuity malt, which soon is overshadowed by an astringent hop bitterness. The finish, like the end of the nose contains again, overly ripe fruit. Here in the mouth, however, it seems inappropriate. All of this is saturated in what seems to be an added shot or two of grain alcohol. Too much booze, without sensitivity.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but acceptable for the style, with what I thought to be slightly over-active carbonation.

Drinkability is all right, but all the other flaws in this ale make me not want to really drink too much of it. I suppose the bomber will be enough, as I don't see myself buying this again. Also, I've heard others complain about the bottle size, and I do think it is a lot, but this would be the perfect size to break out at a dinner party, with snifters for all.

Curious, pretty unsatisfying, and overall ---- eh.

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Photo of Southernbrew
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brown with crimson hues, very minimal head.

Tons of bitter hops in the nose, as well as some alcohol and maybe a little spice.

Medium bodied, especially for a barley wine. Full on bitter hops assault. Starts off bitter and nothing about that changes at all. A very faint citrusness shows up in the middle. Finishes up with a bitter, alcoholic flavor. Very warming, maybe drinking this in August isn't the best idea.

Good barleywine, curious to see how it ages. The sheer size of the bottle is a turn off, but I guess it makes for a 1 beer night.

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Photo of ken3c
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear copper color. Decent head starts out lumpy and recedes to a thin layer that laces the glass.

Smells very hoppy with a note of balsam. On the second smell I detect a hint of caramel.

Strong taste of hops bitterness but well balances with malty sweetness. The strong taste overwhelms all but the slightest sense of alcohol.

Full body. Smooth, almost slippery. Maybe it's me but it seemed to slide down my throat.

I wanted more but I suppose that it was a good thing that I shared the 22oz bomber.

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Photo of Gavage
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color with a thin head that reduces to some spottiness on the surface. Some light lacing develops. The aroma is nice as very sweet caramel and huge floral hoppiness dominate. The flavor is different than other barleywines, almost a mix between a barleywine and a imperial IPA. The hops are all over this in a very pleasant way, but slightly overbearing for the style. The sweet caramel, alcohol, and raisin tones round out the flavor.

The mouthfeel is slightly crisp and smooth at the start and the bitterness rides the tongue long after swallowing. A nice slow drinking brew, but the 22 oz bottle is a turnoff for this style.

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Photo of cbl2
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


A brilliant reddish brown with over an inch of creamy white head that has excellent retention, and a nice lacing effect.


The bottle promises 2 1/2 pounds per barrel of Columbus dry hops with 100 IBU's, and the aroma tends to agree with that. Pure in your face hoppy goodness.


Begins with enough hops to scorch your taste buds. As the viscous liquid swirls around your mouth though, a pleasant sweetness emerges, that is then replaced again by an herbaceousness of the hops.

The 9.2% ABV is barely detectable until the end, when a faint bit of warmness spreads across the tongue. Finish is quite bitter, though I'm not sure if 100 IBU's is correct. No hint of barley wine here, this is pure Imperial IPA.

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Photo of Ahhdball
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 20 oz bomber with flying pigs on the label. It promotes 100 IBU's but I don't think it's that big.
Deep amber in appearance with a good sized beige head.
Smelled the hops right away with a sugary mollasses aroma finishing off. Barley Wine?
Raison and Dates came on strong with a good deal of hops finishing off. I like it but as far as a Barley Wine I can't say I agree.
Slick and oily with a good finish.
Good beer and I'll have it again but as far as style consistancy I can't agree.

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Photo of rastaman
2.36/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Very upfront in flavour. Raisinbread flavour, pretty sweet, with not enough bitterness or dryness to balance it out. The finish is short and feels empty. Not very hoppy in flavour, for a beer that claims to be highly hopped, well thats just what i thought anyway. Not my bag.

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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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