Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Avery Hog Heaven Review

Name: Avery Hog Heaven
Style: Barleywine
ABV: 9.2%

Avery Brewing's Hog Heaven holds a very very special place in my heart as the first barleywine-style ale that I ever had. It seems like only yesterday I walked into The Four Firkins with a gift card in hand from my birthday. As I finished putting my mix-a-six together, I still had another $10 to spend. Since I was in the best place to find craft beer, I asked one of the guys working there about a barleywine that would be good for a green horn who was new the style. He pointed me in the direction of Avery's Hog Heaven and I was sold.

Following his advice of allowing it age, I sat on it for about 3 months before deciding to crack it open. Upon drinking it, was struck by how different it was from any other styles I had tried before. At the same time, I was taken aback by how great it tasted and it has since become one of my favorite styles of beer.

A couple months ago when I was reviewing Avery Salvation, I pointed out that while I was glad to be able to get Avery again, I expressed my desire to get my hands on Hog Heaven once more. Well this past weekend, I was visiting my local store when I noticed that they finally added Hog Heaven to their Avery lineup. Needless to say, I picked this up and reveled in the fact I was finally able to revisit an old favorite. So now that I have a more defined palate, it's time to see how this has stood up after all these years.

Hog Heaven pours a dark orange color with with a orange colored foamy head. The lacing left behind is mild but stick and the visible carbonation is also fairly mild.

The nose possess a very strong citrus hop and caramel malt backbone with a noticeable dry hop aroma and distinct toffee sweetness. Even 2 1/2 years later, the aroma still manages to pack the same punch that I remember.

The flavor possesses a pretty strong caramel maltiness and an equally strong citrus hop profile. There is also some toffee sweetness and a dry hop bitterness that shine through particularly in the aftertaste.

The palate has a very thick & heavy body but the carbonation is thankfully more on the mild side so you get to enjoy the flavors this beer has to offer.

Despite having had many barleywines since first having this beer, Hog Heaven still tastes just as great as I remember it. It's not as complex in terms of taste compared to other beers in the same style, but it is very robust and quite delicious! For those looking dabble in the barleywine style, Hog Heaven is a great way to get yourself started.

Avery Hog Heaven - 9/10

1 comment:

  1. Balance is good. This makes up for that last brew, the big beer poser,which by the way you gave a very fair rating. Love the reviews, keep up the great work Nick!