Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Killer Penguin Barleywine - Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

Not Rated.
Killer Penguin BarleywineKiller Penguin Barleywine

Educational use only; do not reuse.

316 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 316
Hads: 675
Avg: 3.56
pDev: 22.47%
Wants: 13
Gots: 121 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-12-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 316 | Hads: 675
Reviews by phishsihq:
Photo of phishsihq
4.55/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage Killer Penguin pours a brilliant ruby red, while a half-inch of eggshell colored foam dissipates quickly, leaving a solid rim of head that provides a glass coating lace. A BIG malt nose dominates while hints of dark fruit, grain, floral and citrus hops, chocolate, and slight tones of alcohol play in the background. Deep, rich and complex! Most of the aromas are noticeable on the pallet, including the sweet malt, graininess, chocolate, yeasty fruitiness, caramel, and some hop bitterness. This medium-light bodied, medium carbonated ale is surprisingly smooth and sweet for 10% ABV, a masterpiece!
Simply amazing, enjoy now, or cellar for a few years!

 667 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of tone77
3.61/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a very dark amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of dark fruits, malts. Taste is alcohol, grapes, malts, dark fruits, a bit more alcohol. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer, but one of these per session is plenty.

 289 characters

Photo of Greywulfken
3.87/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: wax-sealed bottle contains clear deep ruby brown ale with a finger of tan bubbled foam atop; left some trails down the glass

S: shellac and toffee - pine and earthy aromas lean toward something herbal or medicinal; brown sugar syrup sweetness beneath

T: reminds me of an old ale or Scotch ale - something pub-like and English about it, too - clear resin and candied fruits; subdued hop action brings malts forward, but only so far - a very mild-tasting ale. I'd say it works as an ale, but not particularly an American-styled barleywine.

M: slick and slim, slightly sticky; some herbal aftertaste, negligible carbonation

O: not a typical American barleywine - not as dense or heavy, very clear body, lots of pine resin shellac and English toffee. 10% abv for less than $10 makes a good case for the beer - drinks more like an A Fuller's vintage ale than most barleywines I've had.

 887 characters

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

 511 characters

Photo of jpd026
4.14/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

so they said to write a review even though i use this for my own private catalogue and their new rating system sucks. that said highly delightfyl barleywine, no idea why the bros hate it so much, i loved it and will get it again.

 229 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
4.16/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 vintage bomber opened May, 2014.

Pours a clear, bright, rusty, copper color with a big (from the lousy pour) tan head. Retention is quite good as is the lacing left behind. Dissipation is even and gentle, leaving a thick film eventually.
Smell is malt, seasoned wood, fruits (grapes, pears, figs). Great balance. Caramel and nut notes as the temperature rises. Good complexity.
Taste is malt, wood, fruit (apple, grapes, pear), alcohol (no surprise), light smoke. Extremely nice balance and complexity. Same nut and caramel notes develop as the temp comes up. Always a good idea to let a big beer like this warm up from fridge temp.
Almost full bodied, light-ish effervescence, warming, quite smooth especially considering the 10% ABV. Aftertaste is woody and there is a light drying aspect to it.
I gotta think The Bros. got a bad bottle. This is a really good brew and I would recommend it to anyone. I wish I had bought more than one. C'est la vie.

 957 characters

Photo of oberon
4.18/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Let me start by saying its a nice looking bottle with the red wax and 2006 embossed in it but damn its a pain in the arss to get into.Poured into a snifter a deep clear amber with a tight formed slight off white head that stuck like glue to the glass leaving a thick sheet of lace as it settled very slowly.Big complex aromas hit ya up front juicy fruity malt and a big piney hop presence but it fades quickly keeping me from giving it a higher score its great but fades to quickly.I have seen other reviews and expected a big sweet malty bomb but its not at all that nice fruitiness and brown sugar melds into hefty dry resiny piney hoppiness that lingers in the finish.As it warms I get a roasted nut presence upfront more but the hops come thru nicely,sure it might be a bit thin but damn it goes down easy,this has quite a hop profile and its quite brash,damn tasty and better than expected.

 895 characters

Photo of MadScientist
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of Schlais
2/5  rDev -43.8%

Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.06/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Killer Penguin by Boulder, Colorado 10% alcohol Barleywine style beer. 22oz. bomber. This is a "heads up" label with blue hued "killer penguin" and an angry penguin in the middle of all this.

A- Poured from a 22 oz. bomber to a German stein. Excellent one inch head that falls to a light froth and beautiful thick lacing that coats the glass ring for ring.

S- Smells of light of plums, apples, and other dark fruits. Strong alcoholic ester sting the nose on the backbone.

T-M- Taste is watery and alcoholic with the same sense of beer like qualities. It has a smooth and sweet plum, rich caramel malt, and brown sugarish flavor but not a defined estery alcohol finish. Not bad on the mouthfeel but smooth nevertheless.

D- Drinkable but not something to write home about.

 774 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.05/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Review from Inaugural Issue of Beeradvocate Magazine.

Touted as Boulder's high-octane cold-weather release. Pours a tawny crimson color, and a lively carbonation keeps the eggshell-colored lace alive. Toasty grain and fresh caramel malt aroma, hints of herbal hop and a fruity, dark fig ester smell in the back. Creamy, smooth mouth feel, light body. Mineral notes. A bit juicy, but dry with a powdery malt character. Some dried fruits merge with a spike of alcoholic esters. Hoppy, but not overly expressive. The hops must have mellowed after the six months of conditioning at the brewery, as the bitterness is very tame. Some signs of oxidation? Leafy, herbal and oily hop flavor, middle to end, with a dried-out herbal and floral finish and an increase of alcohol presence as the beer warms.

This is a Barley Wine with the mute button pressed. Not nearly as much depth as we expected, and quite dull compared to the other American brewed Barley Wines out there. Killer Penguin? More like Dead Penguin.

 1,030 characters

Photo of bulldogg915
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Beaver13
2.72/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle. Pours a reddish amber with a wispy head that is quickly gone.

The aroma is very sweet melon, fig, caramel and maple syrup with some medicinal alcohol.

The flavor is very sweet brown sugary malts and melon with a light alcohol and hop finish. It's not well balanced at all - way too sweet. The flavors that are there are all rather reserved, making this a little bland, which is surprising for a barleywine. The mouthfeel is medium with light carbonation and a little watery.

Overall, not very impressive. I had this once before and liked it better then.

 576 characters

Photo of shapudding
4.16/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Beautiful coloring, amber/rootbeer... creamy, off-white head. Vineous and hoppy scented. Great hoppy bites with alot of carbination. Smooth mouthfeel. Bit of vanilla in there. Alcohol is lightly noticable, but not overwhelming. Decent amount of carbination in this one, but it really is not too much that it makes it uncomfortable to drink.

 340 characters

Photo of mverity
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear red-amber with a fair amount of tan head. Fair lacing and good legs. Head didn't hold all that well though. Aroma is of sweet toffee malts, earthy hops, and a bit of oak-like wood. High carbonation and medium body give it a pretty enjoyable mouthfeel. Taste follows aroma very closely.

 299 characters

Photo of Doomcifer
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of iemailjack
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of megamass
2.75/5  rDev -22.8%

Photo of Jason
2.5/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 edition, bomber pours a mostly clear chestnut body with a beige head that falls into a cap and film. Malty aroma of toffee and caramel with a hint of grapefruity hops. Medium body with subdued carbonation. Taste features toffee and caramel, almost chewy. Red apple notes add a nice complexity. Hop bitterness is understated, but adds some pine and grapefruit. Decent barleywine, but the malty backbone tilts toward the English style.

 438 characters

Photo of warriorsoul
4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Cambridge Common 11/14/06....
Poured in an unchilled glass (at my request) - 10oz. pour.
Arrived a vibrant mahagony color with a full finger of off-white head....spotty lacing at best as all but a fine layer of foam disappeared.
Fruity aroma...with some cherry, raisin and slight alcohol.
The taste is incredible...not overhopped like many American styles and not overly malted like some of the English BW's I've experienced...the best of both interpretations combine to make an extremely balanced, drinkable barleywine style ale. Mildly fruity in the flavor with just enough raisin flavor to stay true to it's name...not bitter at all.
Medium-bodied with enough carbonation to make this extremely drinkable...10% abv is ridiculously masked.
I have had last years version recently and I believe this one is amped just a bit more and I look forward to trying them side by side real soon.
I'd recommend seeking this one out now.

 947 characters

Photo of MileHighCity86
3.81/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tylerbrowe
3.84/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ChaseBacon
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of pat61
3.74/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bread and leafy and floral hop aromas with traces of fruit, hint of sherry. Pours brilliant ruby to reddish amber with a ½” finely bubbled foam collar that produces excellent lacing. The palate is a little sweet, mainly malt and some caramel with hints of sherry and some moderate bitterness joined by alcohol on the finish for balance. A little on the thin side body wise for a barley wine and slightly hot. Medium carbonation.

 431 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Killer Penguin Barleywine from Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
81 out of 100 based on 316 ratings.