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