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Chicken Killer Barley Wine - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Chicken Killer Barley WineChicken Killer Barley Wine

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

283 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 283
Reviews: 157
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.35%
Wants: 26
Gots: 23 | FT: 1
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
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Ratings: 283 | Reviews: 157 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bpfrush
bpfrush

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +9%

11-15-2011 18:22:13 | More by bpfrush
Photo of ithinkimasofa
ithinkimasofa

Washington

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

11-15-2011 09:00:33 | More by ithinkimasofa
Photo of thebouch01
thebouch01

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +9%

11-15-2011 01:39:25 | More by thebouch01
Photo of Exiled
Exiled

Texas

4/5  rDev +9%

11-14-2011 20:06:18 | More by Exiled
Photo of portia99
portia99

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +9%

11-14-2011 12:31:04 | More by portia99
Photo of lackenhauser
lackenhauser

Maryland

3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bronze color though somewhat murky. Not a lot of head though some decent lacing. Malty and caramel aroma right upfront. A very faint whiff of smoke-probably more perceived then actually there. Toffee and buttery flavor. Mildly astringent hop bite. A hair out of balance with the hops. Mildly boozey though not overly so and not in a detrimental way. Sticky and gummy mouthfeel. The upfront sweetness quickly becomes dry. Enjoyable all in. Have wanted to try this for ages. A touch rough in spots but a damn nice US barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2011 00:48:23 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of DavidST
DavidST

Texas

3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter.

This pours a nice murky brown color with a decent off white head which quickly dissipates. The smells are of malt and alcohol. The feel is good and somewhat thick. The taste is a little disappointing, I get plenty of the malts, but low bitterness and hops to offset it (i'm too used to the over hopped American barley wines which this isn't) and there is plenty of alcohol heat not well hidden at all.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 19:41:52 | More by DavidST
Photo of chugalug06
chugalug06

Colorado

3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Nice foamy/soapy off-white head. Brew is cloudy orangish-red. Medium body.

S - A fowl homebrew scent. Lots of weird grape scents. No heat or sugar.

T - Very watery. Not too much going on with this one.

M - Nice carbonation, zero bitterness (weak for a B-Wine).

O - Not impressed by this well-named offering from SFB... CKBW doesn't keep up with their canned series. This brew is not highly recommended, but worth trying with a group of friends....

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 20:06:25 | More by chugalug06
Photo of chocosushi
chocosushi

Oklahoma

4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage
6oz->Duvel Tulip
A ~ Pours a murky brown color akin to burnt caramel. The silky eggshell head is sufficient & eventually settles into a constantly morphing cap/ring. Lacing is 100% solid.

S ~ Dark wheat, bread pudding, tree bark, granola, buttered toast, fig, & a touch of Wassail. Touch of yellow apple.

T ~ Fantastic. Toast & Buttered Bread notes follow through in a fantastic way. Prune, Cooked Apples, Cinnamon stick, & Berry Jam all make an appearance in the complex flavor profile.
Hop profile is all but diminished, but sappy/organic notes remain. Splash of brandy & vanilla bean that becomes more present upon warming. Great melody of flavor.
The nose is great, but does not do the taste justice!

M ~ Fantastic carbonation that is very smooth throughout & wicks away unwanted lingering flavors. Hops have faded in aroma (for the better) but still contribute bitterness. This is almost better when it looses carbonation (less astringent), but both have their advantages in flavor.

D ~ Better than the OG. The booze has mellowed out quite a bit over the course of two years, which is a very good thing. Very glad I have a few more to see how it's doing, but it's really at a sweet spot right now. Seek out this vintage.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2011 22:14:34 | More by chocosushi
Photo of TheWhiskerReview
TheWhiskerReview

Tennessee

3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

100th review! Make that 1% less liver function!!

Pours a mahogany brown with a dense 1-finger head. Retention and lace are minimal, as expected.

The nose, naturally, is all about the malt with caramel, bran flake and coffee aromas mixed in with dark estery notes of raisin, ripe fig, baked apple and fresh apricot. Touch of peppery booze too.

The full-bodied palate has an immeasurably long presentation- waves and waves of complex, rich and chewy malt are joined first by a little peppery booze, then the moderate bitterness before a return to the dry bran-like malt on the finish. Flavors up front include bran, nut oils, ripe fig and light roast coffee, while the finish sees little beads of toffee-like sweetness surrounding the boozy spice and final hints of cherry tucked into a lingering caramel.

Overall, needs some smoothing out around the edges (touch too boozy) but still rather wonderful now. I would love to see a year or two of age on this one. And I particularly like how it manages to be incredibly malty, but not syrupy and never too sweet. Very drinkable and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2011 18:51:27 | More by TheWhiskerReview
Photo of Snorlax
Snorlax

Louisiana

4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber into vintage Jax mug. This is a stout, delicious and fairly complex beer. I am a fan of barleywines and must say this is probably the most balanced one I have ever had. Pours a beautiful amber red with a quickly dissolving 3 finger head. Pretty nice lacing. Tastes of honey and cherries with a biting but not unpleasant aftertaste of pure alcohol. Great mouth feel, almost a nectar. Smells mostly of cherries. This is one of the easiest to drink barleywines I've ever come across. About as close to a session beer as this style could ever be, not that that's saying much. Excellent, would buy again, cook with and even save a spot in the cellar for.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2011 04:24:06 | More by Snorlax
Photo of drpimento
drpimento

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty good beer. I let it warm a bit from the fridge. Poured with a small to medium size, thick, creamy, light tan head that lasts a long time and a little lace. Color is a clear cherry orange amber and some bubble trails. Aroma is a pronounced blend of malt, caramel, toffee, hops, fruit, yeast. Flavor is similar to nose and has a very good balance between sweet, bitter, and tang. Body is also very good, full and round with a few high points while carbonation is perhaps just a tad light. Finish is like flavor, has good length, and has some alcohol. A slow sipping brew over the course of a bomber or two.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2011 21:01:51 | More by drpimento
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice barley wine.

Bomber poured into a tulip. Cherry amber color with a medium-sized off white head. Pretty color.

Sweet caramel aroma, dark fruit, hops. A whiff of alcohol.

Taste followed form. Caramel malts, raisins, late citrus hops. Didn't notice the alcohol that I thought I smelled.

Nicely hopped, nicely balanced.

Enjoyed this a lot.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2011 20:25:22 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of allforbetterbeer
allforbetterbeer

Colorado

2.65/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22 oz bomber picked up at Coaltrain liquors in Colorado Springs for the very reasonable price of ~$6.00.

Pours with a fine one finger cap of slightly off white head that lasts like the best of them. The body is cloudy and murky, and is riding the line exactly between orange and amber.

Smells delicious, with the prominent smell of American hops tempered by significant amounts of grain and higher alcohol. Grapefruit and especially pineapple are most notable. I am really getting a high dose of sweet pineapple in the nose.

The flavor is somewhat of a letdown initially. There is an unpleasant medicinal/burning plastic flavor that shows up from the very beginning and it is a glaring flaw in this flavor. Wow, thus ends my review, I can't get around this unpleasant flavor. Maybe brett gone way wrong? Someone burned a fermenting bucket and let it drip into the tanks?

Conclusion: I will seek this out again and see if another bottle shows the same flaws, or if this isn't a tasty beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2011 05:35:36 | More by allforbetterbeer
Photo of Beer4Baltimore
Beer4Baltimore

Maryland

3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

- from the notes, a bomber, and a tasting session
A - red/orange brown with a short head.
S - distinct barley malts with an alcoholic hoppy background.
T - Alcohol makes a significant appearance. ABV is just overwhelming the barley and hops.
M - decent carbonation but the alcohol is just too much evident for a heavier bodied beer.
D - can't handle too much of this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2011 23:04:16 | More by Beer4Baltimore
Photo of Jazzcrop
Jazzcrop

California

3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tastes are chalk, seaweed, sweet malt, barley, flaked wheat, grains, booze, wood, yeast, cloth, strong beer with a little bit of age on them, stuff and hops. Smells are toffee, chalk, mixed drinks, pills, credit cards, aluminum and tin. Mmmmm.... not a sensation, just alright.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2011 03:16:28 | More by Jazzcrop
Photo of alleykatking
alleykatking

Indiana

3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bottle.

A- Pours a light hazed darker amber color. Two finger light tan head shows great retention. Lacing on the glass was a mix between ring style and sheet style.

S- The aroma was interesting to say the least. Caramel malts in the front are a little cloying. Darker fruits come in next with raisin and light fig. This is the first time I smelled the medicinal alcohol. There is some light faded hops in the backing with caramel malts.

T- Darker fruits show off raisin and fig in the front of the beer itself with light caramel malts lingering right behind it. Middle of the beer has a stronger caramel malt body to it with hints of medicinal alcohol. Darker fruits show off the same caramel malts base once again but this time the alcohol comes out a lot more which I think used to be covered by a almost completely faded hop presence.

M- Medium light mouthfeel. Carbonation was good for the style. Caramel malts and darker fruits are left on the palate. Aftertaste is hints of caramel and raisins with a blast of medicinal alcohol. Flavors were a little off balanced but I think the alcohol played a good part in that. No off flavors at all with the beer while drinking. High alcohol drying on the palate with each sip.

O- I don't think this beer was all too bad. The alcohol seemed to be a little overpowering at times but I think I might have kept my bottle a little too long. I do have another bottle which I will crack open again just to see.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2011 05:40:46 | More by alleykatking
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

Washington

3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice amber appearance in the chalice. Fine head and lacing. Touch of roasted malt in the aroma. Very sweet and rich. More acidic than most barley wines. Nutty and taste of golden raisins and apple pie. Not much bitterness but some hops do come through. Long nose of caramel.

Really fizzy in the mouth for a barley wine. Carbonation lasts and lasts in the glass. Still it's easy to drink especially if you think of it as an improved product from Champale. Or maybe I'm confusing it with Manischewitz Almonetta.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2011 05:17:13 | More by mactrail
Photo of OakedCanuck
OakedCanuck

Washington

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

22oz bottle poured into snifter

This beer pours a reddish mahogany with a very nice off white to light yellow head. Minor bubbles and good lacing. Smell of candied sugars, hot caramel, plums, raisins and cinnamon. Taste is pretty sweet of caramel and toffee malts. The dark fruits are picked up along with some cherries and bitter orange peel. Mouth is medium, sticky and bit hot. Overall a bit unbalanced and hot but I enjoyed this one and would have it again, maybe with a year or two on it.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2011 18:52:10 | More by OakedCanuck
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy brown color with a white head. The aroma is brown sugar, molasses, dark fruit and alcohol. The flavor is heavy on the brown sugar and dark fruit. I also get some caramel malt and a little bit of piney hops. There is also quite a bit of alcohol warming in the beer. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A nice barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2011 04:46:25 | More by Mora2000
Photo of SFLpunk
SFLpunk

Vermont

3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to thekevlarkid for hauling this back for me! 22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. No freshness date.

Pours a mostly clear orange brown with some thin cream-colored head that leaves no lacing. Nose smells a little aged. Pale caramel, wet sand, and aged orange peels.

Palate is a bit shaky. Some citrus rind up front followed by medium caramel, chocolate/caramel chews, and old hops. Super sharp from the booze.

Notes: It seems to me that this bottle might be past it's prime, or that the alcohol burn is way out of whack. A light American style or perhaps English style barley wine. Not the greatest, but a so-so attempt.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2011 03:48:28 | More by SFLpunk
Photo of Domingo
Domingo

Colorado

3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bronze color with reddish highlights. A surprising amount of head for a usually mildly carbonated style.
The flavor profile is pretty straight forward. Big boozy malt/caramel flavors with hops really only around for balance. Dried fruit notes pop up here and there, but that malt flavor dominates. While sometimes that's exactly what I want, this one has some weird off flavors (from the yeast I think) that remind me a little of a homebrew. There's also pretty obvious alcohol fire, too.
Not too bad, and I appreciate the direction...but it's only so-so. This is a fresh bottle from this year, FYI. I had this a few years ago and recall liking it more. Like a lot of beers of this type I'm sure mileage may vary depending on the batch, age, year, etc.
Still, if you like malt-centric beers this is probably worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2011 13:44:49 | More by Domingo
Photo of Urbancaver
Urbancaver

Ohio

3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky orange with some reddish tints. A nice bit of off-white head. Smells a bit hoppy and sweet. Lots of nice malt on the nose. Tastes very sweet and malty. The hops are very minimal... Overall not very impressive. Definitely had much barleywines

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2011 23:02:31 | More by Urbancaver
Photo of Daniellobo
Daniellobo

District of Columbia

3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fair barley wine, a bit raw around the alcohol profile.

Presentation: 22 oz brown capped bottle. Light blue label with thin yellow framing, center rhomboid seal with a cartoonish illustration of a dog with smoking guns in the desert. Side narrative offers an over the top bragging description, main brewing intent and procedure, and a claim for uniqueness. Shows 10% Alc. by Vol. and an illegible batch code on the neck. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Lightly hazy medium to deep amber pour with a 1/3" frothy head, fair retention

S - Soft notes of caramel, with hint of hoppy fruitiness, and alcohol with paint thinner notes.

T - Malty with plenty of caramel, fruity sense of hops, woven with an alcohol fusel note.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, smooth ride with a biting finish spiked by the fusel booze, a bit raw as it ends.

O - It is not bad, but the way it comes together it is far from a lasting memory. Not sure if some aging would smooth a bit that crash ending.

Notes: Nothing remarkable here, at least not for me, and something that I would rather not recommend, neither for those in love with fresh American versions of the style, or those preferring deeper maltier takes, let alone offering this as an entry point for barley wines, sorry. And the overblown bragging on the label dressing the bottle does not help. I'll be game to try it again in the future though, aged or under a different incarnation.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2011 23:10:38 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of emmasdad
emmasdad

Colorado

4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Ratman for bringing this one over to the house last weekend. 2007 vintage. Poured a slightly hazy caramel color, with a short white head. Aromas of prunes, caramel and dark fruits. Full bodied and very smooth, with caramel, dark fruits and sherry.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2011 19:24:05 | More by emmasdad
Chicken Killer Barley Wine from Santa Fe Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 283 ratings.