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Chicken Killer Barley Wine - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Chicken Killer Barley WineChicken Killer Barley Wine

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294 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 294
Reviews: 159
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 14.48%
Wants: 25
Gots: 25 | 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: 294 | Reviews: 159 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jophish17


2.5/5  rDev -31.7%

12-24-2011 11:38:03 | More by jophish17
Photo of trojankeg


4/5  rDev +9.3%

12-17-2011 03:08:55 | More by trojankeg
Photo of Kaydogg


4/5  rDev +9.3%

12-04-2011 01:34:55 | More by Kaydogg
Photo of mthomas84


4/5  rDev +9.3%

12-01-2011 23:18:41 | More by mthomas84
Photo of Daveychu


4/5  rDev +9.3%

11-30-2011 20:09:24 | More by Daveychu
Photo of TheBishopco


4/5  rDev +9.3%

11-27-2011 06:14:31 | More by TheBishopco
Photo of EricCioe


3.98/5  rDev +8.7%

Thanks to schmittymack for sending this one up.

This pours deep amber with a nice, really pretty looking two finger head that left some lace on the way down, something I don't expect in a barleywine. On the nose there is a siginificant presence of caramel malt with something like rum-soaked dates providing the badass bottom note, and a definite hop presence that intermingles with the sweetness. One reviewer said candied oranges and that sounds just about right. In the mouth it's more of the same, with perhaps a bit more bitterness than anticipated. The body is medium, a little lighter than I would have expected, with a long finish with a touch of the heat I like in a big beer.

Overall, this is a nice brew and I was glad to get a couple bottles. I wouldn't have sought it out but for my pal Jon, a former Santa Fe resident living up here who said this was his favorite brew. I gave him one of the two bottles I had, and we shared the other one over Thanksgiving dinner turducken. A good beer enhanced by a good time.

11-25-2011 03:51:15 | More by EricCioe
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Thanks to holden303 for sending me this one as part of the N00B BIF 6!

Pours a slightly murky honey orange with a 1 inch puffy light tan head that settles to a thin cap. A foamy curtain of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, toffee, and lots of citrus zest. Taste is of malt, brown sugar, and somewhat strong citrus zest flavors. A slight apricot flavor on the aftertaste. There is a medium amount of bitterness that lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a higher level of carbonation with a crisp and bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good barleywine but it's a bit out of balance for my tastes. I wish there was more malty sweetness to go along with the hoppy flavors.

11-21-2011 00:27:30 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of bcostner1


4/5  rDev +9.3%

11-19-2011 03:22:48 | More by bcostner1
Photo of Gatordaddy


4.5/5  rDev +23%

11-18-2011 22:47:20 | More by Gatordaddy
Photo of Phelps


3.88/5  rDev +6%

Enjoyed on tap at the Arizona Society of Homebrewers Oktoberfest, this barelwyine’s been aged at least a year. Poured into a shaker pint.

Murky maple-orange with highlights of gold. Half a finger of velvety tan head becomes a silky top layer. Murky, almost opaque.

Tons of overripe orange, toasted biscuits and caramel in the nose. What orange peel-y hops were once here have become soft whispers. Hint of honey-like oxidation in the background.

Chicken Killer is a malt monster, but the hops are bigger in the flavor. I get tons of toasted biscuit covered with orange marmalade and caramel, along with some herbal qualities — basil? Burnt sugar is here as well, blending with sticky alcohol. It begins sweet, but finishes impressively dry. Pretty damn complex after a year old maturity.

Moderate, pokey carbonation flashes then fades as the creamy medium body moves about. Good viscosity, not too thick. A bit of booze comes through the nose, but it's pretty well hidden overall.

I'd say aged is the best way to have this beer — if it were fresh, the malt wouldn't be big enough to combat the hops.

11-18-2011 21:07:00 | More by Phelps
Photo of bpfrush


4/5  rDev +9.3%

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


3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

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


4/5  rDev +9.3%

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


4/5  rDev +9.3%

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


4/5  rDev +9.3%

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


3.88/5  rDev +6%

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.

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


3.35/5  rDev -8.5%

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.

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


3.08/5  rDev -15.8%

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....

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


4.13/5  rDev +12.8%

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.

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


3.98/5  rDev +8.7%

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.

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


4.28/5  rDev +16.9%

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.

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


4/5  rDev +9.3%

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.

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


4/5  rDev +9.3%

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.

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


2.65/5  rDev -27.6%

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.

06-27-2011 05:35:36 | More by allforbetterbeer
Chicken Killer Barley Wine from Santa Fe Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 294 ratings.