Jul 15, 2011

Avery Hog Heaven

Avery Hog HeavenHog Heaven outside

Looks as though I was on a bit of a barleywine kick last week. Having just reviewed the barrel aged Weyerbacher Insanity, let’s try a beer that wasn’t wood aged, but instead packs a solid 104 IBUs.

Avery Brewing’s Hog Heaven is a beer that I’ve been wanting to try for some time now. The barleywine is dry-hopped with Columbus hops and weighs in at a solid 9.2% ABV. This beer’s blueprint doesn’t really follow tradition, but instead is geared for you hop heads out there — those of you you constantly dream of flowing hop vines.


Orangish-red in color, Hog Heaven’s head disappears rapidly to a thing, patchy ring around the surface.


Pine resin, orange, tangerine, light malt sweetness and a touch of booze all emanate from the top of the snifter.


Hog Heaven carries the piny, tropical fruit character of the nose and piles it atop sweet, caramel malts before fading smoothly, though quickly, to a relatively dry and hoppy finish. The hop bite on the tail end it’s overwhelming considering the IBU number, but it’s certainly present. There’s a good bit of warming alcohol, as well, but it’s not an overpowering heat. The medium bodied beer is moderately carbonated and goes down smooth.


I knew going into drinking this beer that I wasn’t going to having a traditional take on the style. The amped up hop presence is something you should be prepared for. The dryness of this barleywine was a little surprising, but manageable — it didn’t end up detracting from the drinking experience. All in all, this was a pretty darn tasty beer, though I can’t see it’s cellar outlook being all that great considering the amount of dry-hopping that went into it. Then again, maybe I’ll just have to get a bottle and see what happens.

Rating: 4/5

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