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Killer Penguin Barleywine - Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

Not Rated.
Killer Penguin BarleywineKiller Penguin Barleywine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

553 Ratings
THE BROS
54
awful

(view ratings)
Ratings: 553
Reviews: 285
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 15.86%
Wants: 15
Gots: 81 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-12-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 553 | Reviews: 285 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

3.93/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 Vintage

Presentation: A Christmas Gift, all wrapped up and nowhere to go, guess Santa left my presents in the fridge this year, top bloke that St. Nick, I don’t care what the Elves say about him and his drunken abusive nature. Standard 22 ounce brown glass Bomber that looks taller than most. The top 2” – 3” of the neck is coated in a rich thick dark blood rivuleted red wax that would not be amiss on a 17th Century legal manuscript, indeed, inset into this wax collar is a small ¾” diameter light wooden token that has a Fred Perry style symbol inset with the year 2006 burnt into it. Single main label wraps around 300+ degrees of the bottles torso like a corset. An evil looking red-eyed Penguin head is set between the words ‘Killer Penguin’ in a pastel yellow text edged by a blood red border. Listed as a ‘Barleywine Ale” and 10% alcohol by volume. The left hand side of the label reveals some background to the brew; most notably that it is a part of the ‘Looking Glass Series” and aged for 6 months.

Appearance: Big beige head with some tones that look like yellow tobacco stained walls from a young Belgium Brown Café. Perfectly lucid body has a dark amber projection and a myriad of shades from hot ruddy sunsets mingling with crimson-orange flashes when backlit. Devoid of streamers, a soft flick of the wrist produces a swirling cascade of fair sized bubbles that quickly rejoin the underside of the ¼” thick capped tan colored covering. Lacing tends to runs its own race quickly and die away, sliding back down into the glass or just being re-dissolved back into the body with each mouthful. Firm conditioning a decent poise, the frequent “topping-up” into my half pint handled Mug is an old trick to keep this one looking great and fresh in the glass with a big frothy head.

Nose: A little under-par for the strength, I confess to expecting more, much more. What is here is fine, but it’s not the big-hitting aroma I would lay good money on chatting up early on a night from a double digit beauty. Toasted malts, hints of pine, riddling toffee, feint walnuts and little leather. Deeply inhaled it is still hard to get the aromas into a situation when you can play with them and enjoy dissecting their component entities.

Taste: Bitter start litters the tongue with thinning pine oils. The middle builds with some gentle Devon toffee swathes. In and amongst the toasted malt mounds and valleys of caramel coated plum stuffed fruits are a healthy citrus pull which morphs into a refreshingly tart grapefruit finish. The complexity is simple, the profile has many Barleywine traits but none of the vintage intricacies that you would associate with one that has been aged for 6 months and is 10%, this confuses and puzzles me in a way, why not?

Mouthfeel: You know, my first honest ‘straight from the gut’ thought was, “is this *really* 10%??” Clean drinking with a middling Mouthfeel, the texture is of a well attenuated brew with little residual sweetness, or complexity. The cadaver is more of a fresh corpse than one that died a while ago.

Drinkability: The plus points of the Killer Penguin; namely its clean, uncomplicated profile and thinnish texture, outweigh the minus points; the lack of complexity and thick heavy Mouthfeel. This assists in making this strong 10% Barleywine a brew that can be enjoyed with relative ease.

Overall: The label states that this ‘Killer Penguin’ Barleywine, quote: “…uses over twice the malt as other winter beers…….is aged for 6 months…..doesn’t ferment, it hibernates, and wakes up with an attitude.” As much as I enjoyed this brew, its biggest weakness is actually its name and marketing I feel. It’s a good beer, no issues with that, BUT it seemed to be tame when compared to its “image”, its background and perhaps even its price* (I didn’t buy this though so I don’t know). To say this used double the malt and was aged for six months, it seems to play below its possible potential to me. For example, Thomas Hardy Ale is only a degree or so stronger but sooo much different, and I’ll wager a small 8.5 oz bottle probably costs the same as this 22 oz bottle did, maybe less. Faced with a decision between the two I’d have to go with the THA. This is a B-minus beer, good stuff, but when it comes from a potential straight A-student it’s a disappointment, and that’s my angle. When I drink a 10% Barleywine I would expect more kick and much more complexity. Perhaps age will improve this but it feels too thin to start with for that to seem like a credible possibility here.

*A Big Festive Holiday Thanks, as always, to my own Secret Santa, the Champion Receiver of Beers, Lord Giver of Libations, but never a Pimp – always the real Beer Drinker; Sir J of the BigHuge, for allowing me to try this Barleywine. The journey is always far more interesting than the destination, and we’ve only covered the first few miles. Here’s to the next beer swap and 2007.

Cheers and Holiday Beers Joe!!

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2006 05:13:00 | More by TheLongBeachBum
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cindyjeffsmith

Georgia

4.25/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

appearance: Quite clear copper/red. Nice off white/pinkish head on the pour. Good looking brew.
smell: Smells like a Dipa or maybe an Imperial Red :). Malt and citrus hops. Has that bit of a grapefruity hop sting balanced by malty sweetness. Very nice.
taste: Much like the nose. Guess we don't need a new category but this is Imperial Red nonetheless.
overall: Very pleasantly surprised. ratings have this guy as mediocre i guess (and 80 as i review). Maybe i'm a philistine but this beer deserves better imo.

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07-21-2014 22:45:06 | More by cindyjeffsmith
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Pours a clear, dark brown color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, alcohol, slight roasted malt, yeast, hops, and a hint of spice. Fits the style of an American Barleywine. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hops, yeast, strong alcohol, hint of spice, and slight roasted malt. Overall, good appearance, aroma, body, and blend. A good Barleywine, but the only distinction is the hint of spice that enhances the body and aroma.

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3/5  rDev -15%

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Killer Penguin Barleywine from Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
80 out of 100 based on 553 ratings.