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Chicken Killer Barley Wine - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Chicken Killer Barley WineChicken Killer Barley Wine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

268 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 268
Reviews: 156
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 13.11%


Brewed by:
Santa Fe Brewing Company visit their website
New Mexico, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Chicken Killer Barley Wine is the revolutionary beer that will someday define America's unique Barley Wine style. It is brewed with twice the ingredients of the Santa Fe Brewing Company's other beers, and only half the usual amount of liquid is extracted from these ingredients. This makes one substantial beer. At over ten percent alcohol, Chicken Killer is actually as substantial as wine, but this is not to say that it is difficult to drink. On the contrary; be careful with this one. The flavors of the beer are at first as overwhelming as the intense Santa Fe sun. But in the same way our sun gives us the unrivaled brilliant colors of Santa Fe, the potency of Chicken Killer gives us the remarkable spectrum of flavors that can be found in no other beer, in no other city. If you did not have the opportunity to try last year's vintage, come try this year's!

(Beer added by: amicar on 03-07-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chicken Killer Barley Wine Alström Bros
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Ratings: 268 | Reviews: 156 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of StaveHooks
StaveHooks

Oklahoma

2.98/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

22oz bottle served in a Prairie teku

A - Dark reddish brown with 2 fingers of yellowish tan head. Good retention with average lacing.

S - Doughy and bready caramel, mild apples, and some citrus notes,

T - Scorched caramel malts, very yeasty and biscuity, citrus honey tea. Bitterness comes more in the form of peppery notes, not sure if it's from the hops or the alcohol. Sweet upfront but dries out on the finish. Toffee and caramel malts really unfold once warm with some strawberry fruit as well. There's an odd vegetable flavor in there that I can't pin down and don't really love. The finish seems lackluster.

M - Moderate stingy carbonation bites the palate, medium to full body, dry finish.

Smells good and the malts dominate the hops. This is the 2nd time I've had this beer and I didn't love it the first time and I still don't. There is some weird flavor going on that I can't figure out but it seems to ruin it for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2014 22:01:38 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of ONovoMexicano
ONovoMexicano

New Mexico

3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the brewery in early February 2014. Served in a snifter at an 8 ounce pour.

A good appearance to start things off. There's a finger thick, frothy head that I'd call very foamy. Beneath is an opaque, dark amber and brown liquid.

The nose is citrusy hops, orange peel, sweet malt and floral hops. I like what I smell.

I get a bit of an offtaste on the tongue at first, something metallic, but then the taste improves dramatically. Citrusy hops come in, followed by sweet creamy malt, then the floral hops show up and complement the citrus. A good mix. As the beer warms a bit I detect notes of vanilla and caramel too.

Aside from the metallic taste that is a bit harsh on the tongue initially, I found this beer to be smooth, sweet and creamy. If not for that offtaste, I'd absolutely love this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2014 21:00:53 | More by ONovoMexicano
Photo of TownDunkel
TownDunkel

Texas

3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Santa fe got to love a local brew... By local one of the closests in west Texas. Hops are prevalant but in this barleywine it shares the light with the malt well. Pipes dark to medium brown with milk chocolate head. Smell is of noble hops and taste is a decent mix between malt and hops. The aftertaste is clean and subtle ipa like. Overall a good local big beer

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2013 01:45:16 | More by TownDunkel
Photo of PHBoiler
PHBoiler

Illinois

2.4/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Burnt orange to amber colored body with a thin offwhite head. Little to no nose. There is a hint of sweetness. The taste is pure alcohol. Just tastes like grain alcohol and acetone. This beer is way off. Nothing wrong with the bottle and purchased recently as well. No bottle dating. Nothing positive about this beer. I got a light sweetness up front that is destroyed by the grain alcohol/acetone taste.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 19:46:03 | More by PHBoiler
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from a nondescript liquor store in southwest Denver. I wonder if I ever saw Walter White drinking any of this brewery's products?

This beer pours a mostly clear, dark red brick amber hue, with a fistful of fingers of rising puffy, densely foamy, and somewhat creamy beige head, which leaves some spectral sudsy lace around the glass as things sink away.

It smells of heady bready, biscuity caramel malt, a hint of crystallized toffee, molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup, earthy, leafy hops, and a mild twinge of sweet alcohol. The taste is still pretty sweet, and complexly so, with more biscuity caramel malt, baba cakes, dry molasses, gritty demarara sugar, a bit of fresh black grapes, laid-back earthy, leafy hops, and a slight booze warming.

The bubbles are generally quite understated, just a dull hum throughout, the body a sturdy medium weight, and so-so in its smoothness, a needling prickliness hovering about. It finishes off-dry, not as sweet as one might have been expecting, as the biscuity character takes center stage, the earthy, leafy hops loitering as well.

A decently understated American barleywine, if we're to take their word for it. I think this tastes exactly what an Imperial ESB might want to taste like, so that would default to English all around in my book. Anyways, well-made, and definitely not too heavy, other than in the ABV, which is conspicuous only in its general absence. Wait for it, I know.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2013 23:17:46 | More by biboergosum
Photo of TheHammer
TheHammer

Ontario (Canada)

2.88/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: The body is an opaque reddish brow with decent signs of carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half of head. It did retain admirably but produced minimal lacing.

Smell: A walloping hit of malt with a sandy background. It's fairly clear that it has a high alcohol content. Warming brought it out a bit more, but it really didn't need help.

Taste: Overwhelming malt with touches of grapes and plum. It finishes with notes of piney and earthy hops. The entire beer however doesn't hide it's alcohol content at all.

Mouthfeel: The biggest problem is the solvent note because the alcohol and the carbonation is a bit low. Apart from that though, it seems to carry a nice malt and mixed yeasty fruit aftertaste.

Drinkability: There is way to much undisguised alcohol content, and the overwhelming malt grows tired. Not a fan at how it sits down in my stomach either.

Final Thoughts: As my second barleywine, this doesn't appear to be a style that does it for me. It's like a high ABV Belgian gone wrong. I'll pass, but that doesn't mean you should.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2013 00:52:26 | More by TheHammer
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.84/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass.

Thanks to twiggamortis420 for this bottle!

I've heard too much about bachelorette parties; now, gimme a beer, dammit! This stuff pours a murky sunset auburn topped by a finger of khaki foam. The nose comprises rye-ish biscuit, light toffee, mild tobacco-like greens, a twinge of candied orange peel, and a hint of celery. The taste continues the trend, with a spicy biscuit backbone riding high in the saddle, surrounded by mixed greens that don't pack much of a bitter wallop, but still serve as a minor balance to the malt. There's a slight twang of booze, but nothing that distracts from the main attractions. The body is a hefty-leaning medium, with a rather light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a nice, surprisingly easygoing barleywine, one that showcases a balance and a restraint you don't normally find stateside. Good times.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2013 02:24:48 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
AlCaponeJunior

Texas

3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Real nice in the glass, auburn and clear, great head and substantial lacing.

Smell is primarily malt with some caramel and a little bit of spicy, earthy notes.

Flavor is pretty malty, with toffee, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, and a little plum/sweet fruit. Hops are present but not especially notable.

Mouthfeel is thick and full, sweet on the finish, a bit slick, and definitely warming from ETOH.

It's a tasty barleywine, not my favorite but worth a try for barleywine lovers.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2013 23:42:39 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with a one-finger, off-white head of bubbly foam. It left some sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled malty with notes of toffee and caramel.

T - Very malty and sweet. Caramel and toffee flavors dominate with some spicy bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale.

O - This isn't a bad barleywine, but its not a great one either. Good.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2013 02:25:41 | More by zeff80
Photo of beergoot
beergoot

Colorado

4.23/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep mahogany red body with a very thick, very creamy off-white head. Dark fruit, malty nose; slightly licorice, slightly sugary; hint of cinnamon and coriander. Smooth and delightful mouthfeel; silk and glass; semi-treacly and medium-heavy body. Flavors run from sweet, heavy, fruit-like notes to a slightly spicy and decently boozy combination that melds nicely with an interesting spicy bitterness midway through the finish.

A fine heavy yet intriguingly tasty malted beverage. Your palate gets treated to a variety of malt, hop, and boozy flavors that mix well together, always providing nuanced taste treats when allowed to coat the palate. Yes, a damn fine beer...

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2013 00:21:33 | More by beergoot
Photo of Rayek
Rayek

Colorado

3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 2010 dated bottle into a Snifter.

A: The beer pours a very cloudy chestnut brown. An extremely dense head is slow to form, but has great retention and leaves good lace.

S: Quite fruity initially with plum and green grape aromas. Toffee, pine and very light citrus start to seep through as the nose lingers.

T: First off, let this beer warm up before drinking. It really lets all of the flavors through. For an extremely powerful beer, the alcohol is well masked and only adds a little warmth going down. Sharp toffee is the first flavor out of the gate. Bitterness is piney and not too strong. I imagine that after a few years in the bottle, the hops have faded somewhat. The toffee and pine flavors linger through the long finish.

M: Dense and soft, with a slight stickiness.

O: This is a nice Barleywine that aged nicely. Letting it warm is definitely the key to success.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2013 01:48:39 | More by Rayek
Photo of standardcherry
standardcherry

Massachusetts

4.16/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with a friend, served into two snifters.

A: Beautiful orange/red/brown clear color. Minimal head.
S: Sweet malts and fruity hops smells. Smell is delicious but not what I was expecting from a barleywine. Alcohol is well hidden.
T: Malty flavor with some nice bitterness. Lots of toffee and caramel flavors.
M: Very smooth and easy to drink for 10%. Nice carbonation.
O: really enjoyed this beer, it's definitely very tasty but it was overshadowed by the Leon we had right before it.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2013 23:38:58 | More by standardcherry
Photo of depechemode1983
depechemode1983

Texas

4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- The beer pours cloudy dark orange brown in color. The head is minimal and tan. Lacing is also minimal with just a few uneven splotches.

S- Right up front your hit with bitter pineapple carried on with sweet milky notes. You also get pine resin and a little bit of oak. The nose finishes bitter dry. For being 10% ABV the alcohol is surprisingly well hidden.

T- Malty upfront with just the right amount of pine bitterness. The malts come up through the middle even more with a caramel sweetness toning down the pine to subtle. The finish is sweet and malty with little alcohol warmth.

M- Smooth as hell. Carbonation is most excellent bubbly but not over the top. Goes down great.

O- Excellent interpretation of the style. Not overly complex but not overly dull. it had just the right amount of complexities to keep the nose, the taste and the mouth feel in check . Its very surprising how they got the alcohol so well hidden with a 10%ABV. Worthy of multiple purchases.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2012 23:15:25 | More by depechemode1983
Photo of cvm4
cvm4

Mississippi

3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a murky & cloudy amber with a light tan head.

S - Sweet & candied malts with a light smattering of figs and prunes. There is some alcohol present.

T - Starts off very sweet/candied that develops into toffee & caramel. The end finishes with dark fruits & a light amount of bitterness.

M - Lighter bodied with medium to high carbonation.

O - I'm liking this beer but just wish that the sweetness was dialed back a bit.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2012 01:31:17 | More by cvm4
Photo of homebrewhawk
homebrewhawk

Kansas

3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle served in a snifter. Poured a hazy, reddish gold with a finger of off white head. Caramelized sugar and hops in the aroma. Medium to full bodied. More caramelized sugar, fair amount of hop bitterness to balance sweetness. Easy drinking for 10% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 01:31:07 | More by homebrewhawk
Photo of DRyan
DRyan

Texas

3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark ruddy brown with an off-white head that dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing
S: Smells of malt and alcohol
T: The alcohol is present up front, this is a more bitter version than most barleywines, very malty but not too sweet, with a strong hoppy finish
M: thin and crisp, feels more like a pilsner than a barleywine
D: not as drinkable as some other barleywines, much less “refined”

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2012 00:45:22 | More by DRyan
Photo of angelmonster
angelmonster

Colorado

4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is at least 2 years old.

Pours a translucent amber with ruby highlights. Head is 1 inch and khaki colored. Head retention and lacing are pretty good.

Smell is of sweet Belgian candied sugar and dried figs/plums. Apricot jam is also detected, no hops and little alcohol is detected. This beer is all about malty sweetness.

Taste is of sweet toffee, bready malts, and dried fruits. Has similar flavors to a fruit cake and would probably pair nicely with one. Aftertaste is of some bitter hops and very light alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied but has nice amount of carbonation. Head didnt contribute much to texture, this barleywine is one of the lighter ones I've had.

Overall this beer aged nicely, very smooth, sweet barleywine. Price was also good, cheap quality beer. Nothing in the top 10 for its style but solid enough that I would order one again.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2012 21:41:46 | More by angelmonster
Photo of ChadQuest
ChadQuest

Illinois

3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The color of the body has a strong reddish hue with an off white ring around the rosie. Well played Chad.
The aroma is sugary, kinda like those Farley's Fruit Slices candy i used to eat at my grandma's house. Anything that reminds me of Easter at grandma's house twenty years ago HAS to be a spot on description. This is like those candy, but you are only eating orange ones.
The flavors lay in the middle region that could be claimed by either barleywine style and no one would grab their pitchforks. There is enough cascade going on to say "Merica!", but there is enough unfermented sugars and sweet backbone that it is not very bitter and you could mention the English. It has a notable brown sugar texture with a subtle rye like spce, and grated citrus rind lending the matching mild bitterness. There is a notion of alcohol, but nothing to put in bold typeface and warn yo mama about.

Another barleywine slayed.

I <3 barleywines.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2012 04:32:58 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of sitarist
sitarist

Ohio

3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice ruby color. Short khaki colored head that falls quickly to a dusting. Just a couple spots of lacing.

Smells like rubber, plastic, and vinyl! Not a bad aroma, but its plastic!

Its flavor is much more pleasant than the nose. Pecans, toffee, orange marmalade, and an earthy funk.

Medium, sticky body, with too much carbonation.

Just an o.k. beer. Its easy to drink, and packs a punch, but it lacks the depth a good Barley Wine should have.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2012 04:11:12 | More by sitarist
Photo of DCon
DCon

Missouri

3/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received a 1 Pt. 6 Fl. Oz. bottle of this in a trade w/ amcmaho1 & shared w/ friends @ 4 Hands Brewing Co. Poured from the Baby Blue/Yellow Labeled bottle w/ a Dog wearing a Sombrero & shooting off guns (old western style) into a 12oz- 4 Hands Brewing Co Snifter Glass. Has no freshness date on the bottle but know its a 2011 from the brewery when amcmaho1 visited.

Aroma- Hot boozy, sharp, and very rough on the nose... Definitely needed to have this one sit a bit longer or?

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger head that has average retention. The darkest amber colored body you can get while also being viscous and leaves suds behind.

Flavor- Hits the mouth with tons of malt and sweetness but where is the complexity? Very light bitterness at the finish and almost no hops included in the flavor.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation, Smooth, and has a malty, bold finish on the palate.

Overall Impression- More like a traditional English Barleywine, this one missed the style a bit. More hop should have been included and should not have been so hot/sharp. Still enjoyed nonetheless and would love to pick up another bottle of this and sit on it.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2012 19:24:59 | More by DCon
Photo of foss69lh
foss69lh


3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a difficult brew to rate, as if considered as an ale, it is excellent, but as a barley wine, not at all. The body is medium full for an ale, but only medium bodied for a barley wine. Additionally, it is far too dry in style to be considered traditional or typical of these styles of brews, and too hoppy, though I have noticed that there seem to be many other breweries passing off similar styles as barley wine these days. Thus I would rate this an A- as an ale, but only a C as a barley wine... maybe not even that, as I consider its style atypical.

A notice to all the micro brews pursuing and passing off this style of brewing as barley wine: a traditional barley wine should be well over 10% ABV -- I've had as high as 18.6 -- and the name implies both the body weight and taste -- comparable in weight to a full-bodied red wine, with a winey mouthfeel and taste defined most by barley, not hops, with an impression of sweetness from the grain. Without these basic characteristics, you're making a full-bodied ale, but not a barley wine, regardless of whether or not barley was used in the brewing.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 21:19:39 | More by foss69lh
Photo of DmanGTR
DmanGTR

New York

4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Amanda for this treat!

Poured maple brown, slight murkiness with scant head. A couple minutes later and it looked quite still, although it did have a very smooth carbonation. Lots of sweetness here. Caramel, brown sugar, and a hint of figs. Very light bitterness in the finish and the sweetness definitely carries further. Quite smooth and delicious. Overall, it's a good American barleywine. I would have appreciated a touch more bitterness, as the sweetness is quite prominent. It did indeed make for a great post-exam celebration. :)

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 05:14:31 | More by DmanGTR
Photo of Jayli
Jayli

Massachusetts

3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from mthomas84 via SS '11 so a big THANK YOU goes out to him.
Poured in to a pint glass
Consumed 2/13

A: This beer pours a light brown, amber color with a one finger of khaki head. Head recedes at a decent pace. Sticky lacing left on the glass.

S: Nose is caramel, toffee, alcohol, and a hint of citrus.

T: Taste is fruity alcohol up front. Lots of raising and plum tastes that mingle with a cloying caramel, toffee, brown sugar sweetness. Finish has a very mild, after thought of citrus hops.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, crisp at first with a chewy sticky finish.

O: Goes down ok, somewhat tasty, not too filling, big kick, ok representation of style. This may have needed some more age on it.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 00:13:51 | More by Jayli
Photo of obrike
obrike

Texas

3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bought a bomber at Specs in Round Rock for around 7 bucks.

Poured a murky brown...hints of orange...with a soft fluffy head that did not last. Liked the silky white ring that remained on top for the duration though.

Got a ton of sweet caramel malt in the initial whiff. Booze gets stronger as it warms...stings the nostrils a bit.

Man, a malt bomb! Very sweet, sugary biscuits, orange marmalade...and a splash of hops...A unique aftertaste throws off the taste a bit for me though, a little astringent...not sure if it's the booze coming through or something else.

Beer is a bit hot. Not as smooth as other American Barleywines I've had, but certainly still a decent effort. A big boozy slow sipper.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2012 01:01:47 | More by obrike
Photo of ZenAgnostic
ZenAgnostic

Texas

4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pint 6 oz bottle poured into a Duvel snifter. No date.

Appearance - Medium brown, cloudy to the point of near total opacity. Tan pancake batter head with fine lacking that slides off momentarily; decent to good retention.

Smell - Vinous. Oaky. Sweet like fresh fruit. Apple cider. Smooth and inoffensive.

Taste - Leather. Yeasty. Relatively dry apple cider. Hides its alcohol well.

Mouthfeel - Slight alcoholic bite. Mildly solvent. Astringency is pretty minimal.

Overall Drinkability - Very smooth. Nt very complex, but very drinkable for the style. Deceptive alcohol. Not very

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2012 19:43:13 | More by ZenAgnostic
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Chicken Killer Barley Wine from Santa Fe Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 268 ratings.