Killer Penguin Barleywine - Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

Not Rated.
Killer Penguin BarleywineKiller Penguin Barleywine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

655 Ratings
THE BROS
55
awful

(view ratings)
Ratings: 655
Reviews: 317
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 15.21%
Wants: 13
Gots: 116 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 655 | Reviews: 317
Reviews by shapudding:
Photo of shapudding
4.16/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of tone77
3.61/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of Greywulfken
3.87/5  rDev +9%
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.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%
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.

Photo of jpd026
4.14/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

Photo of PorterLambic
4.16/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

Photo of oberon
4.18/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.06/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.05/5  rDev -42.3%
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.

Photo of Beaver13
2.72/5  rDev -23.4%
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.

Photo of mverity
3.78/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

Photo of warriorsoul
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
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.

Photo of pat61
3.74/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.66/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2013 emblem embedded in red wax...neat.
Poured into 22oz snifter; looks like a barleywine. Deep garnet/brown with a moderate yellow/tan head that fades into some sticky lacing and foam on top of the beer.
Smells like a good american-style one; piney hops are present on top of nutty caramel malt, hints of candied fruit.
Taste is not as big as you'd expect, but is still barleywine. Nutty bready malt, crisp hops and light dark fruit. I see what one of the Bros meant with their comment about this being a "barleywine with the mute button on."
Mouthfeel is full and clean.
Overall, a not bad barleywine but could use more depth of flavor.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours out a color that I will describe as copper, amber, mild red and brown. Beige head, not substantial, but what gets there does leave above average lacing and holds down its retention with the best of 'em.

Nose is fairly toffee-esque with plenty of earthy notes to it. Some old aged oak and vanilla going on. Mild citrus tinge.

Taste yields itself to a good amount of earthy and sweet malt, with a good amount of hopping to it. Alcohol was hid pretty well on this beer. The dark bread breadiness was a nice touch, caramel running throughout it. Nothing real exotic going on, this is a straight up middle of the road barleywine. The hops aren't massive, the body isn't massive, the flavor isn't massive. With all that said, I think its well done and above average for a barleywine. Right in the middle in terms of whether this could be classified as an American or English barleywine. Straddles that line quite nicely. Love the chewiness. Bitterness seemed just right, as was the carbonation.

Tend to enjoy this one more in the winter.

Photo of ADR
4.45/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2005 version, a "Looking Glass" series beer in a bomber bottle with a very annoying wax seal over the cap and down the neck. Clear dark copper appearance, spidery yellowish head of no size or duration. Just dots for lace. Caramel nose, underlying hops give a citrus tone. Carbonation is low, mouthfeel is full and fairly lush. Good taste, starts with a brown sugar and fruit impression and transitions into a hoppiness that is apparent but not as excessive and prickly as many North American Barleywines. Overall, there's kind of a fresh fruit cobbler sense to this beer, slight green raisins as well. Still, clocking in at 10% ABV, its got some girth to it. A nice beer that doesn't brutalize the mouth or back up in your throat. At the top of the drinkability range for Barleywines, IMO...

Photo of Brenden
3.41/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This barleywine is a thickish dark orange, almost veering into lighter shades of red but generally what I expect. There's a constant bubbling keeping up a creamy cap of head what I suppose is what "ecru" looks like. It starts off pretty well too, though, just more than one finger and fairly billowy, fading slowly and leaving strong patching all the way.
The smell is interesting; I had something of an idea of what to expect and was still caught off guard just a little. It's just not as strong as it should be, the alcoholic sting is a little too harsh, and it's unusually dry. It has the general aspects I regard as belonging to a Barleywine: it's malty with a certain earthiness and a fruity sort of sweetness underlying and some citrus zest. For an American version, it should absolutely have a stronger hops presence. If that happens, and the alcohol is more effectively integrated, and the dryness backs off to remain but not add so much chalky, aspirin-like notes, then it's good. As such, it's really not bad overall.
The flavor actually seems to take some of that into consideration; it doesn't do it perfectly, but it evens out the harsh notes to take the edge off. Some floral hops along with an herbal/earthy note and some citrus pith and grapefruit add a stronger hops bite, though it's still a little too malt-forward for the style. The dryness is still incorporated, which is a good thing, and it's not too chalky. Malts bring out a honey sweetness with some caramel.
The body is medium with a sturdy carbonation. It's a little too easygoing, I would say, though it has a firm crispness and it flows pretty smoothly.

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.99/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 vintage 12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, cloudy, amber color, speckled with reddish/orange highlights and a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved away into a thin halo of foam that gripped the edge of the glass.

Aroma: Strong aromas of toasted malt imparting notes of freshly baked dark bread or raisin bran muffins, brown sugar and some citrus notes, of orange and a touch of lemon. I also get notes of black pepper, coriander and floral notes of clover and a touch of hops.

Taste: Delicious flavors of toasted malt, dried stone fruit, such as raisins and prunes, candied sugar, orange peel and a touch of hops

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and extremely smooth, as there is practically no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 10%, there is a very pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is an extremely good barley wine. It has great flavors of toasted malt, dried stone fruit and candied sugar. Delicious!

Photo of samtrillo
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

In my opinion better tasting than Bigfoot and Old Foghorn but there are plenty of better Barleywines out there.

Photo of biboergosum
3.59/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22oz, red wax-capped bottle, 2013 vintage. Muchas gracias to doktorzee for procuring this for me on his recent foray into that particular part of those United States. Cool, Robot Chicken-evocative label imagery.

This beer pours (after an easier to remove than is the norm cap) a clear, medium orange brick amber hue, with a fistful of puffy, frothy, and widely bubbly beige head, which leaves a ribbon of pockmarked lace around the glass as it slowly and evenly recedes.

It smells of rather sweet caramel/toffee malt, rum-soaked plump raisins, a touch of treacle, somewhat metallic and muddled citrus rind, Pine-Sol, reduced, but weirdly watered-down brown sugar, and herbal, leafy, and somewhat perfumed hops, the bristling alcohol manifesting as such. The taste is more candy-forward biscuity caramel malt, besotted black fruit (plums, raisins, and maybe some figs), singed brown sugar, kind of stale and overripe orange and grapefruit flesh notes, wet pine, thinned-out nougat, and a continuing blended floral, leafy, and boozy hop astringency.

The bubbles are pretty sedate, and generally hard to pinpoint at times, the body a sturdy enough medium weight, and touch and go as far as smoothness goes, those heretofore timid hops starting to break out of their shell. It finishes well off-dry, the caramel/toffee/treacle malt not about to give up the ghost just yet, given its persistent sauced to the gills fruitiness, and the hot mess that is the remaining hop contingent.

While not a bad tipple overall, this one seems to have a bit of a problem choosing sides in the whole 'is it or isn't it' barleywine heritage debate, instead deciding to go off on a weak-ass side project of its own, i.e. dumb everything down, just a bit. I swear, I get a bit of malt liquor (pick yer favourite bottom shelf purveyor) essence when I close my eyes and turn my brain off. Maybe that's more telling than anything I have and will still yet consider about this particular offering. Huh.

Photo of dacrza1
3.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

DATE TASTED: January 26, 2015... GLASSWARE: Duvel oversized snifter... OCCASION: still waiting for Superstorm Iola to hit... APPEARANCE: starts well with an imposing label; intimidating dark garnet body that sports a frothy off-white head that laces with a brazen two-finger strength; lacing is spectral and substantial... AROMA: BIG apple, pear and sour fruit; powerful cherries--a nice mix of a beefy malty base and a kriek... PALATE: full-bodied, warming and hearty--yet smoothly sippable; a balanced barleywine, though it lacks a dry finish...TASTE: cherries are front and center; soft brown ale elements play on the sugary fruits; oddly not as winy as a barley purports to be...OVERALL:as I recalled from years past, a beer worthy of a blizzard watch; the price is about right for its heft; within its genre, not a standout, with enough imperfections to seek out better-rated beers...

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.76/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Boulder- Killer Penguin

Appearance- Hazy reddish brown with a thick sticky head. Thick lacing on the glass.
Smell- Light grapefruit, raisins, cherries, grapes, and pine hops.
Taste- Big fruit flavors dominate. Grape, cherry, plum, grapefruit. Mild pine hop aftertaste.
Mouthfeel- Very sweet and sugary. Alcohol comes through at the end. Leaves a sugary fruity taste on the lips.

Overall- A respectable beer. 1 bomber is enough for me, but definitely an enjoyable beer to chill out and sip.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.93/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle '07
This one is ruby-red amber with a crispy and lively look with a smooth, creamy white head that is really sticky, eventually dissipating to a fine covering.

The nose is very herbal and earthy from the hops then pops out the sweet malt with a caramel edge and becoming very hoppy again.

The flavor is that of burnt caramel, big, sweet herbal malt, very home-brew-like. The balance of hops and malt is very nice, the malt is smooth and buttery, not as complex as some, but the hop complexity is really good and the high abv adds a much needed kick!

Full bodied, smooth thick and heavy...but not without a certain crispness.

I love barleywine's and this one is pretty dang good.

Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A hopped up barleywine, with some malt. Style bender. Great bubbly head on dark dark brown body.Citrus, fruit, alcohol, active carbonation. Different sweetness but not an exemplary barleywine. Wasn't the night for it to shine, and I do not know if I will give it another chance.

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Killer Penguin Barleywine from Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
81 out of 100 based on 655 ratings.