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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.

574 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 574
Reviews: 287
rAvg: 3.54
pDev: 15.54%
Wants: 15
Gots: 82 | FT: 2
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Killer Penguin Barleywine Alström Bros
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Ratings: 574 | Reviews: 287 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jaidenjb
5/5  rDev +41.2%

jaidenjb, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of TrickkyGangsta
5/5  rDev +41.2%

TrickkyGangsta, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of Sycodrummer
4.97/5  rDev +40.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours from the black wax incrusted bomber into a snifter, the beer was a medium ruby-brown color with a half finger of white head. The head quickly faded but left some good lacing throughout the sample. Streams of carbonation bubbles ran up the sides of the glass. Served at cellar temperature.

The smell was innitially malty with caramel, molasses, slight nut and chocolate and faint alcohol in the nose.

The taste was big and rubust malt up front with hints of chocolate, plum, fig, and grape. The alcohol is present but very well balanced and masked so as to not seem as even half of its 10%. Toffee and a carmel nut after taste deliver a slight tinge of bitterness to each sip, but the finish is a big, sweet, malty flavor.

Medium body with very little carbonation.

For a 10% barley wine the beer is incredibly drinkable. Very little hint of its strength in the nose or the taste. Well-rounded, smooth, and filling. Slightly warming, and very enjoyable. One of my favorite barley wines to date.

Sycodrummer, Dec 20, 2005
Photo of sulldaddy
4.8/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to MuddyFeet for the hookup!
The beer is wax coated with a cork 2005 circle in the wax cool!
I am sampling a slightly chilled bottle in a tumbler. The beer pours a clear chestnut with dark garnet highlights and a small fizzy off white head that foams up and fades to nothing quickly. Aroma is red wine, brown sugar, raisins. A little on the sweet side.
First sip reveals a chewy syrupy body with nice viscosity, it goes down fairly easy but coats my mouth and palate after each swallow. Flavor is similar to nose, very fruity and malty with red grape, raisins, plums and brown sugar. I even think I find some maple syrup in the back. Very easy to drink with just a faint hit of booze on the finish. A nice malty barleywine that seems to be in the ENglish style more than American. I like it!

sulldaddy, Feb 01, 2006
Photo of Johnhaley1989
4.75/5  rDev +34.2%

Johnhaley1989, Oct 05, 2012
Photo of Rumplemintz
4.75/5  rDev +34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was my first Barleywine this year.
I was very pleased.

This beer had a rich velvet mouthfeel.
Lots of fruit, maybe some toffee, caramel.

Amber to copper in color with a haze

I don't recommend to many of these if you need to get behind the wheel. this beer packs a punch.

Rumplemintz, Mar 16, 2011
Photo of ToddGingerich
4.75/5  rDev +34.2%

ToddGingerich, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of phishsihq
4.6/5  rDev +29.9%
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!

phishsihq, Mar 19, 2012
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Prologue: I hate waxed caps. It's just gimmicky. If your caps aren't working, wax isn't going to save you from oxidation. It just makes it harder for me to get to my beer - I want my beer now, bitch! Dammit! ...And I hate sometimes getting pieces of wax into the beer; but I do like the cute little year marker though (2008), it reminds me of something like "Hello Kitty". So cute!!!

OK, goofy rant completed, I was kind of surprised that this beer is filtered clean, but OK... It pours a clear, deep-copper body with a ruby accent that almost strays into stained cherry, or even light mahogany. The head is creamy and off-white, with good persistence and some very nice lacing.

The aroma is all malt backed by hops! It's loaded with grainy and caramelish malt, yeasty fruitiness (mainly berries and apple, but also a bit of pear), and mild notes of citrusy and leafy/herbal hops.

Not surprisingly, as most of what we taste is actually olfactory, the flavor remains the same. The malt is soft and smooth with a rich graininess. The caramel is balanced just to the threshold of where it might teeter over into being just a bit too much. The yeasty fruitiness comes through as well, and it's also gently hoppy with a bit of leafiness and some very subtle pine or mint. The bitterness is clearly present, but it underlies the malt, and creates a firm base to display it upon. Interestingly, the alcohol is not so apparent. It's kept in check, which gains points in my book. Sure, you know it's there, but it doesn't stand out; and, in fact, I think it helps to round it out and then balance what sweetness is left in the finish.

Boulder is kind of known for a robust display of malt in their beers, or at the very least, a solid malty base, and a barleywine is perhaps the greatest style to showcase that. They've done a wonderful job! It's grainy, caramelish, and slightly honeyish - but with a great fruitiness, and a refining bitterness topped by leafy and subtly piney/grassy/citrusy/spicy/floral hops! Such a combination, and with such balance!

Superbly done, I'd consider the Killer Penguin to be one of the best American examples of the English barleywine stye. It's approahable, supple, and satisfying. Certainly worth seeking out!

NeroFiddled, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of sia478
4.5/5  rDev +27.1%

sia478, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of Paz8812
4.5/5  rDev +27.1%

Paz8812, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of cardinals22
4.5/5  rDev +27.1%

cardinals22, Sep 13, 2014
Photo of brealbg
4.5/5  rDev +27.1%

brealbg, Oct 30, 2012
Photo of Douglas_Wayne
4.5/5  rDev +27.1%

Douglas_Wayne, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of Hoppedstupid
4.5/5  rDev +27.1%

Hoppedstupid, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of FINLANDski_1619
4.5/5  rDev +27.1%

FINLANDski_1619, Nov 13, 2013
Photo of DmanGTR
4.5/5  rDev +27.1%

DmanGTR, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of 9InchNails
4.5/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Bottle

Copper color red with decent amount of bubbles. Beige creamy head that fades rather quickly forming a ring around the snifter. It leaves nice lacing on the glass.

Caramel, dark fruits, tropical fruits, grapefruits, brown sugar and a hint of alcohol.

Caramel, brown sugar, tropical fruits alongside some dark fruits, just a hint of alcohol in the taste, quite sweet yet slightly a bitter dryness at the end.

Creamy medium body with light to prickly carbonation, it leaves the lips feeling sticky, some alcohol warmth as it goes down. Kind of dry at the end.

This is a tasty barleywine! Some alcohol is present but it works well with the taste.

9InchNails, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of Lukass
4.5/5  rDev +27.1%

Lukass, Dec 22, 2012
Photo of ADR
4.47/5  rDev +26.3%
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...

ADR, Nov 28, 2005
Photo of DrDemento456
4.4/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a bomber for 7.50 Damn good deal!

A - Light red hazy amber color with slight head that laces the glass.
S - Smells of slight fruit and molasses
T - Really enjoyable barley wine. The flavor of caramel and toffee tickle the palate.
M - For 10 percent I expected more burn but it was one of the smoothest barley's I ever had!
D - If I can find it again I will totally have this again.

Overall why the bad scores? It's a full bodied, flavorful barley wine. I can't say I ever had anything else by this company but will totally try other beers

DrDemento456, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of brewdude1982
4.4/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This was a bomber poured into a snifter.

This pours amber with low retention. It smells sweet with figs in the nose. It has a big boozy taste and then it fades to a sweet after taste. It is decently carbonated and has a big body. This is an ok barleywine.

brewdude1982, Oct 13, 2012
Photo of Daktyls
4.38/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a 22oz "2011" bottle that (when held up to the light) is a nice ruby red color with a one fingered light tan head that dissipates slowly leaving a ring around the outside edge of the glass and a small patch of bubbles in the middle.

S: Caramel is predominant here, with some dark fruits in the background. Some sweet sugary notes are present, perhaps molasses and brown sugar, with a ever so slight bit of spice.l

T: Upfront is some nice malty goodness with a light bit of brown sugar from the nose. The finish, is fantastic. A combination of red velvet cake and candied cherries makes a nice close to this beer. A slight amount of light fruits is present as well, apples mostly.

M: Pretty smooth for a high ABV beer, moderate amount of carbonation with certainly a lot of flavor happening.

O: Overall, fantastic. I had actually been looking for this beer for quite some time, not having realized that it was a 'every two years' release. Very good.

Daktyls, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of warriorsoul
4.33/5  rDev +22.3%
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.

warriorsoul, Nov 14, 2006
Photo of russpowell
4.33/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 version, a huge bargain at $4.75 a bomber IMO. Poured into an Orval chalice. I will tell you getting through that wax seal was a huge pain! This was a nice suprise

Pours caramel with a thin head. Above average lacing & a healthy film

S: Sweet sticky malt & oakyness

T: Treacle & dryness up front. I catch hints of oak, caramel & vanilla next. Cherry notes & warming alcohol also come through. I catch a hint of herbal/piney hops. Finishes strong with piney hops, dryyness, praline notes& warming goodness

MF: Chewy & yet slick with low carbonation

Drinks pretty good with for the abv/style. I enjoyed this way more than last years! This strikes a great balance between english & american style IMO. This really warms you up! Will lay a bottle down for later.

russpowell, Dec 21, 2006
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Killer Penguin Barleywine from Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
80 out of 100 based on 574 ratings.