Killer Penguin Barleywine - Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

Not Rated.
Killer Penguin BarleywineKiller Penguin Barleywine

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605 Ratings

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Ratings: 605
Reviews: 292
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 15.86%
Wants: 14
Gots: 91 | 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: 605 | Reviews: 292 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.48/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 22oz brown pop top, nicely waxed. The best-by date says Feb 2011, but this is 10%, so I think we'll be ok. 2009 vintage, poured into my Black Sheep half-pint goblet. This is quite attractive packaging, really.

Appearance: A light nut-brown beer, with pretty nice clarity, this shows burnt orange highlights when held up to the light. Capped with a very respectable, long lasting light tan crown. Overall, nice looking beer.

Smell: Butter toffee, holiday toasted nuts, ghost of American citrusy hops. Sweet, sticky, caramel notes. This smells pretty nice. Very sweet smelling.

Taste: Immense buttery, toasted nut flavors. Not what I would expect in a barleywine typically, but quite pleasant. Then there's a big hit of caramel apple. Just a hint of tart, green apple and toasted caramel as well. Maybe a hint of stone fruits as well? A bit odd, overall, but not unpleasant really. Medium hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: On the light side of medium-bodied...not as thick and sticky as it should be for 10%. Maybe this is partially a result of almost 3 years in the bottle?

Overall: An odd little barleywine. I think this retailed for around $10 or so a bottle. For that price, it's not bad. The toasted nut flavors are really nice, if a bit odd. Yet the thin body and a bit of residual alcoholic heat take away from this a bit. Also, there's very little depth. I dunno what this is like fresh, and I could almost justify buying it again, if it wasn't for the fact that Schlafly makes an oak-aged barleywine for around $11 that, with 2-3 years on it is sublime.

Photo of chugalug06
3.43/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brew is nice clean crisp amber color, very dark. Cream colored head sits rather foamy too.

Lots of heat and caramel malts.

Nicely hopped. Bitter, but in a good way. Lots of heat. This brew would benefit nicely from a few years put away.

Big heat and bitterness! Slightly thin too

A bit overpriced, not the best bwine yet still a good one. A bit basic.

Photo of Schlais
2/5  rDev -43.3%

Photo of GallowsThief
3.9/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bomber into my tulip. 2011 wax sealed bottle.

A – Pours a light caramel brown color with good clarity. One finger of tan head produces a nice lacing down the glass.

S – Caramel malt smell with dark fruit along for the ride. Fairly light smell all together.

T – Initial hop taste followed quickly by a nice caramel malt. Has some brown sugar and molasses tastes. Gives off just a bit of sweetness. Raisins and apples also work their way in to the taste. Nice boozy flavor at the end.

M – Creamy mouthfeel and smooth. Medium bodied. Medium carbonation.

O – Liked this one. Easy drinker despite the 10% ABV. Subtle for a barleywine. Aging one and curious to see how it does. I would definitely have this again.

Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of hippityhops85
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2009 wax sealed bottle

After reading the wide range of reviews on this, I decided to pop it open Thanksgiving night and take a taste for myself.

Pours like a typical barleywine, bottle conditioning yeast very present. Minimal head that dissipates quickly.

Smell is of dark fruits, muted hops, lots of malt. Looking forward to tasting.

Ah, I see what everyone is talking about. The flavors are excellent with dark fruits married to a sherry-like flavor. The biggest problem with this beer is that it is just too thin. Alcohol is still very present as well.

Overall, it was an enjoyable beer and may do better with even more age on it (4-5 years) but I probably wouldn't buy it again.

Photo of Bilco
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of rab53
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of AlexChillton
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -15%

Photo of HopStoopid120
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of kkrez
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of richbrew
3/5  rDev -15%

Photo of Lawnboy33
3/5  rDev -15%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of andrewinski1
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This bottle is about a year old or so. Poured into a tulip. The color is very red, almost ruby like and clear. There is a half inch fluffy white head.

The aroma is full of dark fruit and raisins. There is some nice malt aroma.

the taste is mildly sweet with some dark fruit flavor and a slightly minty hoppy bitter finish. This is a nice balance here.

The body is mediumish; could be considered light for a barleywine. The carbonation is on the mellower side.

Not bad here, nothing too spectacular, but one I'd be happy to have again.

Photo of Bendurgin
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. This one pours amber brown with a finger of beige head. It settles to a cap of solid foam.

The aroma has some boozy raisins in the aroma with some caramel sweetness in the aroma. Hints of of metallic hops finish this one off. The aroma leads me to believe this one will be kind of sweet. The Flavor is a bit sweet. Kind of fruity it reminds me of grape skins. A little bit of toffee with a bit of a metallic hop finish.

The body is medium and a little bit sticky. Good carbonation. Overall not bad, but I think I'd pass in the future. There are just more available barelywines that I enjoy a bit more.

Photo of jlindros
3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light fizzy head, semi clear reddish copper color.

Nose has sweet malts, caramel, toffee, reddish toasty malts, hint of earthy hops, syrups, basic barleywine like.

Taste is malty, chewy earthy malts, reddish malts almost syrupy, toasty malts, hint of earthy hops, syrupy caramel and malts, slight bitter and fruity. Plenty of warming booze.

Mout is med to heavier bodied, syrupy, decent carb, plenty of warming booze.

Overall kinda meh, not too bad but sweeter and very syrupy, decent malts but not great, hops are there but meh.

Photo of rudzud
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Saw this stuff for dirt cheap (like, $3.99) a few months back and got a 2010 bottle. Thanks to JLindros for sharing his 2009 one so we could do a lil verticle.


A (3.0) - Typical barley wine pour, clear and such, with a super light film of a head. Nothing impressive.

S (3.0) - Classic and average. There is a slight off aroma, maybe metallic or something. Either way, its just okay.

T (3.0) - This stuff is average at best. It isnt quite drainpour, but, its damn near close.

M (3.0 ) - Just falls flat. Very little carbonation, like barley wine water.

O (2.5) - Someone else said it best, its like a red ale gone wrong. If we didnt know this was a barleywine, would have had no idea.


A (4.0) - Usual barley wine colours but this time there was some nice head retention.

S (3.0) - Aroma again is average, though now without the odd metal. Light carmel sweetness and super super light hops.

T (3.5) - Better than the 09, this is still average but a bit too sweet for my liking. Its a barleywine though.

M (3.0) - Still way too low on the carbonation for me. Just falls flat.

O (3.5) - Slightly better than the 09 version, the lesson learned was to drink this stuff as fresh as possible, as with age it becomes garbage.

Photo of Gushue3
2.85/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- pours red with a small brown tint. 1 finger head that has smaller retention and leaves almost no lacing. Body is amber copper red and looks pretty good.

S- big sweet smell thats full of malt. Toffe like scents are all over the place.

T- sweet malt thats somewhat bland in the middle. Intense sweetness in the finish thats way too much. Big messy flavor that i cant get too into.

M- medium feel with similar carbonation.

O- i couldnt enjoy this one. Maybe it was netter when fresh, but way too sweet and pretty much no hop character.

Photo of Buggies
3.15/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This a bottle of 2009. Probably past its prime, but I'll give it a go.

Pours a murky brown with this fizzy head. The nose is dominated by malt. Very little hop presence. Mostly malt... chocolate and caramel. Some fruitiness to it as well. Alcohol can be detected by the nose.

Once again, the taste is dominated by malt. The fruit and citrus also come through a lot. Bitterness seems about right, but the lack of any sort of hop presence makes this one just boring.

Photo of russwbeck
3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage

A: Clear amber pour with a short lived off white head. Very bubbly at the start, the head completely disappears within a few minutes. Bubbles continue to rise from the bottom of the glass, however.

S: Big fruity smell, orange is noted, combined with a ton of booze and malts (mostly caramel). It isn't offensive, but quite potent.

T: The caramel malts and booze start the beer off, with the fruitiness following only in order, not in strength. The finish is very clean.

MF: Big hit of carbonation every time I take a sip. Very light body.

O: Pretty good beer honestly. The ABV is only sort of noticeable and the flavor is nicely balanced. Went well with dinner.

Photo of CFHMagnet
3.28/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A sliver of wood in the wax seal proclaims "2010", and it was a best by date of jan 31 2012. Poured into a snifter.

A. A vigorous pour got me a finger of fizzy head that dissipated within two minutes. Body is a dark apple cider color.

S. Smells of caramel malts and dark fruits. Get a bit of hop in there as well.

T. Initial taste is well balanced caramel malt and hop. Very mellow flavor until the alcohol hits you. This quickly fades into the dark fruits, I distinguish raisin, plum and something sweet.

M. Weak honestly. Medium bodied, alcohol packs a punch. But it leaves me wanting more.

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

Thanks to boatshoes for this. I've seen it around, and have almost bought it a few times. Vintage 2010.

A pretty clear ruby red. The head is nice and sticky with a thick collar of retention.

Nice malty fruitiness. Cranberry, candied orange, dried apricots, figs and raisins. A toasted malt base is noninvasive. The aroma is really nice, but not as powerful as many barleywines.

At first I get a big note of lemon and grass that I find a bit odd. There is a lot of the dried fruits, oranges, apricot, raisins and figs. Caramel plays a much larger role in the flavor than in the aroma, where it was nearly hidden. The finish is long and bitter, largely composed of citrus rind. Everything is well placed and nicely blended.

This barleywine is creamy and smooth on the palate. Carbonation is low, and tried to be prickly, but a gentle swish around the mouth smooths it out.

This is much better than I anticipated. I am enjoying this beer thoroughly. Perhaps this beer is at its prime, for my taste anyway. I'd guess that its probably 7-8 months old. I'd say this one is worth sitting in your cellar, it doesn't cost much after all.

Photo of dcsoke
3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 2010 release, aged 6 months.

A: Pours thin with little head retention. The slightly dark copper color is clear and clean.

S: Smells slightly sweet with a dried fruit mixture, almost brandy like.

T: There is a slight citrus flavor and the bitterness is complemented by a a strong malt backbone. Very drinkable, can barely tell that this brew is 10% ABV so beware.

M: Either the appearance is deceiving or the aging process helped out, but either way the mouthfeel is decent for a barleywine. Not thin but not chewy. A good sipping beer.

O: Overall a good barleywine for the price and definitely worth the 6 month wait to drink. Aging my other bottle to compare against a fresh 2011 release.

Killer Penguin Barleywine from Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
80 out of 100 based on 605 ratings.