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.

309 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 309
Reviews: 160
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 14.21%
Wants: 25
Gots: 28 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chicken Killer Barley Wine Alström Bros
Ratings: 309 | Reviews: 160 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of weeare138
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Much thanks to witbier for picking this one up while in Texas...
Appears a hazy, semi-transparent, dark amber with a small, off white head. Scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of cherries, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and mild citrusy hops.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a sweet caramel flavor that stands out among the mix of flavors dancing along the palate.
Mouthfeel is sweet, medium bodied, with doughy yeast hanging on through the finish.

Photo of ppoitras
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from russpowell via trade. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a 1/4" beige head above the slightly cloudy burgundy amber brew. Head gradually fades to an uneven layer of bubbles, with average lacing. Aroma is sweet fruity maltiness. Taste starts with plenty of sweetness, then goes a bit harsh with the alcohol in the middle, then balances somewhat with fruitiness, and a bit of numbing at the close. Mouthfeel is alright, a little bit harsh, and drinkability is okay as well, improving as it warms.

Photo of Kemmerlin
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Unfiltered dark amber color with very low head even after a strong pour.

S: Light fruit/citrus smells with malted caramel and hop notes.

T: Strong hops with astringent alcohol taste that quickly falls to the background and roasted caramel.

M/D: It is slowly getting harder for me to write this because the ale was so drinkable I took to much before writing and now the 10% abv is taking effect. The mouth feel is thick but smooth and kinda creamy. I think the astringent value could have been taperd down a little bit but it is still good. The drinkability is awesome and will definitely by it again.

Photo of JDV
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Rich and hazy reddish maroon colored pour with an attractive but short lived beige head. Smell is plums, and sweet and tart fruity scents. Medium to thin bodied overall. Flavors of fruitiness and slightly sweet with an abrupt finish and almost drying at the end. A bit warming in the chest, but the alcohol is hidden pretty well for 10%. Very drinkable, and a decent barley wine for sure.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.05/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

An amusing name and label, if a little tough on the birds (beaks can't do crap against a gun-toting dog). This is my first New Mexico beer; thanks to msubulldog25 for making it happen.

Served at cellar temp. Appearance is very much par for the barleywine course. Rusted ruby with slow bubbles and a small head.

What happened to the aroma? My sniffer is just fine today, so it seems the aromas have up and died with the chickens. There are incredibly small traces of cherry licorice, alcohol and malty sweetness...otherwise not much else to report.

Flavor isn't much better. Best characteristic is a creamy sweetness like that of real vanilla ice cream (half of the credit claimed by the light, velvety texture). There's a heartier, bigger flavor trying to come through, that syrupy, sweet, boozy base you'll get in a good barleywine. But nothing knocks me over the head and reveals this as a killer of anything. And that's what I want in an American Barleywine. Finishes with some cherry/vanilla tart/sweet elements. Again, the mouthfeel is nice: smooth, fluffy and creamy, somewhat reminding of steamed milk.

For all the boasting on the label ("revolutionary", "will someday define America's unique BW style"), this hardly stands a chance against 100 other better US Barleywines. Maybe they mean "someday, when we actually brew a killer barleywine..." Best thing about it is that the 10% alcohol hides with rest of the expected flavors. And the flashes of vanilla ice cream are nice. But considering the style, this is surprisingly, disappointingly Blah.

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

Poured this beer into a pint glass. It poured a dark amber, almost brown color that had a very thick white head that left good laceing all the way down the glass. Unfortunatly this is where the excitement ended on this beer. The smell was of malts and a hint of fruity hops. But the first taste ended all enjoyment of this beer for me. It was very very strong on alcohol, that eventually gave way to some malt and hop aftertaste. The mouthfeel was light, but with the alcohol taste, it warms your palate too much.Overall this beer was not my favorite of this style. It is worth a try, but it may not be for you.

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

Pours a hazy dark amber with copper hues, a small cream head dissipates quickly. Aroma is some clean perfumy floral notes, somewhat soapy, noticeable hoppiness and alcohol as well as hints of sweet berry maltiness. Taste is slightly fruity maltiness, grainy, somewhat non descript malt sugars before a decent peppery hoppiness cuts through. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, slightly thick from the maltiness but cut nicely by the peppery hops and a warming alcohol bite. While the aroma and taste didn't blow me away, they were good and I found this to be quite drinkable for a higher abv beer.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy light brown with orange tinge and slight off white head. Nose was a little funny (not bad) spicy candy smell. Taste is with plenty of malt and perhaps a bit too much on the crystal malt side. Nicely bitter, but not overwhelming. The Taste is again of spices and a tiny bit of bitter orange. Caramel, fruits and brown sugar. Feels quite full in the mouth, and not too sweet.

Photo of DIM
2.9/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

a: This one is a slightly hazy amber orange color. It pours with a medium white head.

s: Candied sour cherries, sugar, flowers, and alcohol. Also some strange sour rye or wheat notes.

t: Chalky sour cherries upfront. Finish combines floral hops, artificial sweetner, and alcohol.

m: Very good carbonation, and decent viscosity.

d: The label reads, "Chicken Killer is a revolutionary ale that will someday define America's unique Barley Wine style." Hmmmm... I hope not. I sought this out just because I liked the name. Oh well. Thanks to JDV for the chance to try this one.

Photo of RblWthACoz
2.95/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not sure exactly what happened here. Feels uneven as far as taste goes and it lacks a smooth flavor. Feel is decent, but there isn't much going on here that is really saving the experience. Maybe it wasn’t the best bottle, though I probably won't ever know. I can’t say there is any hope that I would try it again.

Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/20/07- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors in Mesa, AZ.

Presentation- 22oz botle with no freshness info on the bottle. Poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance- Mid to deep golden color with a full one inch head upon pour. Fades fairly quickly with just a very light rim remaining. Leaves nice lace trails behind though.

Smell- Seems like more sweet roasted caramel malt than hops. Although, hops are both pine and grapefruit in nature and come through as well in the nose.

Taste- At first it seems like the perfect balanced barleywine. Then after a few sips the hops kick in with avengence. Fairly smooth toasted caramel candied malt combines with a pretty potent hit of grapefruit bittering hops. This one is simple and straight forward.

Mouthfeel- Smooth, fuller mouthfeel with a lingering hoppy flavor remaining.

Drinkability- Simple recipe...hops and malt, both frolicking together hand in hand. They make a great team in this beer. Nothing over the top incredible, but pretty damn good nonetheless.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.15/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice, crisp fruit and sweet, roasted malt fill the nose first. Splash of citrus rounds it out.

Deep amber/honey color. Good clarity. Little head.

Very rich roast malt is chewy and sticky sweet. Pronounced hop bitterness throughout. So viscous.

It’s alright, but nothing special. There are many far-superior Barley Wines out there, at least to my palate. The label talks it up as though it were the greatest thing since the invention of beer. I will be supremely disappointed if this weak brew will someday define America’s unique Barley Wine style – that would be a travesty.

Photo of mattster
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter from bomber. No date on bottle. Has foamy head that dies down reasonably quick to a lacy layer across top of brew. Nice burnt golden brown, quite hazy.

Smell is of dark malts and some slight caramel. Very nice smell.

Nice taste; I must admit, I've had better barley wines, but this one has a good solid mouthfeel and is a little more drinkable right away. Good finish, I expected a strong aftertaste but was impressed at the lack of such.

Photo of allengarvin
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a nonik glass, this beer is modestly hazy brown color with a thick, creamy head. For aroma, it is lightly sweet with a hint of hoppiness--disappointingly bland. Plenty of sweet caramel malt to taste, lightly fruity, with a moderate bitterness and little hop flavor. Warming in the finish.

A mostly uninteresting barleywine.

Photo of azdback
4.28/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my third bottle of this beer but my first barley wine and I'm curious if they are all this easy to drink. It pours a hazy amber or burnt orange color with a one finger off white, creamy head. Smell is sweet, barley and a hint of alcohol. Taste to me, is a "brown" on steroids or an American Strong with more alcohol. I think it is well rounded though. Just remarkable in the mouth. It is sooo hard to believe this is 10% abv. Drink here is where we need to talk....I have tried many10+abv's in my time, ie. Double Bastard, 120 minute ipa, and quite a few Russian Imperial Stouts, but none of these were as easy to drink as this. It is scary to me that this beer is so good and so easy to drink. If I could afford it I would make this my session beer and pass out enjoying it every night!!! Thanks to Rim Liquor for finding this for me!

Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: hazy amber color, good-size head settles to veil, good lacing
s: heavy sweetness like syrup
t: sweet sweet malts and dark fruit flavors with a soft hop finish
m: creamy mouthfeel with good carbonation
d: very enjoyable and one easy-to-drink barleywine given the subtle hops. nice output from our new mexican neighbors

Photo of NitroGen
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

P: 1 Pint 6 oz. 10% Alc./Vol. Pours a cloudy reddish amber with a nice foamy head that slowly dissipates with lacing.

S: Deep caramel grains and yeast

T: Piney astringent bite of hops that turns to a slight sweet taste of raw sugar sweetness and alcohol finish.

M: Starts out great on the tongue but a bit thin on the palate with a slight sweet and oily finish. I wanted to really love this beer, but feel that reaching a 10% Alc/Vol. was done at the expense of taste and mouthfeel. I had wished it would have with a slightly sweet and a bit oily finish.

D: Defiantly not a session beer. Would try this again and recommend to others to see if their tastes differ than mine. Have a few to see if some of the rough edges smooth out with some time.

Photo of Gusler
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours from the 22 ounce brown bottle, a beclouded amber color with a modest head that is off-white and creamy in texture after desiccation the lace forms a fine covering for the glass. Nose is malt sweet, with a hint of hops and even alcohol. Start is quite sweet with a decent malt profile and the top moderate in its feel on the palate. Finish is delightfully acidic, the hops delectable in their spiciness, sweetness carries through to the end, hops adequate and the aftertaste a bit dry.

Photo of Padron4KM
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle, no freshness date.

Deep amber, with a thin reddish tan head that leaves a delicate pattern on the glass.

Caramel, sugar, rum cake, with some pine and alcohol.

Flavor starts out syrupy caramel, sugary raisins, then the piney hops come in and suck your taste buds dry.

Nicely balanced, and the 10% abv is well hidden.

Photo of Enola
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Obtained in a trade with Grumpy a while back.

This beer is a nice ruby red with a small head that is sustained in my new Samuel Adams glass. The smell is malty and there are hints of apricots as well as other fruits. The taste is sweet and the abv shows a litte. The mouthfeel is smooth, much like a cask ale. This brew is a real pleasure to drink but it is a sipper for sure. Try to rush this one and you'll end up with warm ears and red cheeks. I would drink this beer again.

Photo of wcudwight
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Enola for sharing.
Nice ruby/amber in color with some orange hues when held up to the light. This is what I imagine a Santa Fe sunset may look like. 1/2" lightly tanned head slowly recedes to a thick lace on top of the beer.
Smell is huge malt sweetness. Brown sugar.
Big on the malts in the flavor with out overdoing it. Caramel and brown sugar again. There is just enough balance to keep it from being cloying.
Mouthfeel is thick, chewy, and filling. Typical for the style.
A sipper for sure but a good beer to drink.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with quite a murky, muddy amber color. It is topped by a frothy, bright amber-tinged, tan colored head that starts out almost three-fingers in height. The aroma is quite rich and concentrated; notes of candied orange peel, brown sugar encrusted rustic bread crust, sweet orange spice cake, lychee, and murky caramelized malt (if that last makes sense). This beer really has a pronounced, sweet, candied orange aroma to it. The hops definitely are the dominant character, but there is a ton of malt underneath that just add to a very rich, chewy smelling aroma.

Quite sweet tasting and the sweet orange peel notes play quite a prominent role in the flavor as well. Thick, though not overly so; it certainly sticks to the palate, coating my mouth with caramelized malt sugars and orange zest, which slowly fades after the beer has left my mouth. The malt character here is quite rich; redolent of the afore-mentioned caramel, toasted grain, brown sugar notes and a real meaty malt character. This beer has a nice solid bitterness to it, but it is amazingly smooth; the bitterness is quite clean in the finish. Towards the finish the hops contribute a flavor that is menthol-like, resinous, not quite pine, but definitely a bit green.

This is an enjoyable brew, somehow it is not quite integrated though. At times it can be a touch disjointed; this doesn't keep it from being tasty, but I could certainly see how this could be quite a bit better. All it really may need is a little age; perhaps six months to two years may just be what this beer needs to achieve new heights.

Photo of russpowell
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Could've swore I reviewed this before, but old age might be tricking me,,, 22 OZ bomber

Pours an effervescent reddish caramel with 2 fingers+ of brownish sandy colored head. Superior lacing & head retention

S: Bready with hints of brown sugar

T: Bready & fruitty (dates) with a little too much boozeyness up front. Some slight chocolate & herbal hops. Oaky dryness & breadyness dominate the finish, with a little fruittyness (dates, spiced apples & some pears) thrown in for good measure & little more dryness & alcohol burn, plus a wee bit of maple syrup sweetness

MF: Chewy with medium carbonation, pretty rich & sticky

Drinks great for the ABV. Skews to an English style BW IMO, fans of those will love this. A little more finesse with the malt & or alcohol taste than this offers or some more hops to get this to the upper ecehelons of BWs. Still way better than the 1st time I had it, but snow is falling, maybe it's all about the weather??

Photo of Crosling
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Amber colored with a small white head. Initially I was thinking this was a pretty average barley wine. Then it seemed to smooth out and open up. It turned out to be a really excellent malt accented barley wine, with hints of vanilla and caramel covered fruits.

Photo of kirok1999
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudyt reddish, orangish, brown with a nice thick and sticky head. Smells wonderfully sweet with a little hop citrus.
Taste is massive fruit, plums, raisins, dates, figs, citrus hops. Very nice carbonation and mouthfeel, slick and very creamy. I really like this one, just wish I could get more.

Chicken Killer Barley Wine from Santa Fe Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 309 ratings.