NOTES: Draft @ J. Clyde in Birmingham

STYLE: Barleywine

ABV: 9.2%

APPEARANCE: Clear, ruby red

HEAD: Short, tan head that fades rapidly

LACING: Very little lacing…not unusual for a Barleywine

NOSE: Whoa…Barleywines traditionally have an aroma of dark, sweet malt and loads of fruit. But the Hog Heaven’s nose is completely hop-forward. Big grapefruit and citrus notes come wafting out and almost drown out the caramel and burnt sugar smell from the malt. Surprisingly little noseburn from the fairly high alcohol content.

TASTE: A little better balance in the taste. While the hop bitterness hits you immediately with massive citrus notes, it’s tempered to some degree by a big, sweet, toffee-like malt backbone. Some chewy dried fruit (prunes and raisins) show up in the middle and the finish is astringent and drying…though it tastes like it’s mostly from the hops, not the booze.

MOUTHFEEL: Full-bodied, warming, and gently carbonated. It’s a pretty heavy brew…

DRINKABILITY: Low, but what do you expect from a Barleywine? Although, I would argue that the Hog Heaven has lower drinkability than many other Barleywines because it’s so damn hop-forward. It drinks like a Barleywine/Double IPA hybrid. Actually, that probably has a tremendous amount of appeal to a lot of Aleheads.

RATING: 3 Hops


  1. Had one of these tonight. Barleywine is usually not a favorite style, because I typically find them too cloying, but I like them when they’re hopped out the wazoo. This was the only Avery beer from the Dictators/Holy Trinity series that I had never tried, and I figured that, seeing as it’s Avery, there’s probably a good dose of hops.

    Needless to say, I was not disappointed. With a hop rate like this, it becomes almost like an Imperial Red Ale as much as it is a barleywine. I will say, though, that the best uber-hoppy “barleywine” I’ve had was probably from Half Acre. It was called Marty Stouffer’s Wild America, named after that old PBS show, and it was super hoppy. I brought a bomber with to Dark Lord Day and drank it with a bunch of strangers while we all stood in line for our brews.

  2. I actually have not tried Meantime’s chtraimss ale, but I’ll keep my eyes open for it! The only beer of theirs I’ve drank was an espresso stout I believe, or maybe just a coffee stout. Either way, it lived up to the name.Well, if you’re going to NYC and you have some extra time on your hands, you should try to visit the Brooklyn brewery. They make great beer, from their normal lager up to their inventive beers (Garrett Oliver apparently has been working on making a bacon beer, though I havent heard much recently about this). If you’re looking for creative beers, another NY brewery, Southern Tier, makes some really interesting things. Their IPAs are great too. And if you want that Belgian taste, Ommegang brewery in cooperstown NY is essentially a Belgian transplant. Their beers are great, slightly Americanized versions of Belgian Abbey ales (They even age and store them in limestone caverns near the brewery!).It’s actually difficult to write about all the US beers, there are so many great breweries! But I’ll just make a little list here of breweries that make top notch stuff.AllagashDogfish HeadClipper City (heavy seas line)RiverhorseGoose Island BrewingAnchor Brewing (you can get one of the world’s last authentic steam ales from them! Anchor Steam)Lagunitas BrewingRogue BrewingMendocino BrewingI think that should keep you busy for a while!

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