Friday, June 17, 2016

Hog Heaven (review)

Beer Review #128

I recently reviewed, and was quite pleased with The Maharaja Imperial IPA (review #115) and Raspberry Sour (review #120) from Boulder Colorado's Avery Brewing Company, so today i'm returning for a third helping in Avery's Hog Heaven "Dry Hopped Barelywine Style Ale."

I picked up this 1 pint, 6 fl oz bottle at The Jolly Farmer, Waverly NY for just over $9. The brewers say:

"This dangerously drinkable garnet beauty is a hop lover’s delight. The intense dry-hop nose and the alcohol content are perfectly balanced for a caramel candy-like malt backbone. This is a serious beer for serious beer aficionados."

 Coming in 9.2% ABV, you'll certainly find stronger barleywine's on today's craft market, but this one remains quite dangerous, with the booze well hidden by a huge 104IBU and a sturdy malt presence that is a bit gooey on the tongue.

Hog Heaven pours transparent amber, giving it a lighter complexion than most of the barleywine's I've reviewed, but as the syrupy mouth feel suggests, it produces a sturdy head of lingering foam that cakes the sides of a pint glass.

On the pallet, Hog Heaven is hopped to high heaven, in the Americanized barleywine tradition, although the aroma remains more on the sweet side. Cursed and blessed with a huge nose, which I love to shove right down into the glass, I'm picking up caramel and just a touch of smoke after the head has subsided. But if I put my nose on it while the foam remains, lighter fruity (pineapple) notes are also present.

I don't often use the trendy word "dank,' (which nobody can agree on a definition for) but it certainly applies here.  Bitterness dominates, but a dark, musty, resinous bitterness as opposed to the bright, tropical kind. Not into this kind of beer? Stick with it, be attentive to your taste buds and watch as licorice, smoke, and pepper stacks themselves up on top of a honey/syrup caramel malt backbone.

Musical Pairing: A Sun That Never Sets by Neurosis

 Twin Tiers Beer Trail:
-Twin Tiers Craft Beer Club (Sayre)
I-86 Beer Trail
The Jolly Farmer, Waverly (Waverly)
Bluestone Brewing Company (Sayre)
- Diversion Brewing Co. (Chemung)
The Grille at the Train Station (Sayre)
River Rat Brew Trail (Central Pa)

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