Killer Penguin Barleywine
Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

Killer Penguin BarleywineKiller Penguin Barleywine
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Barleywine - American
Ranked #366
Ranked #45,540
3.59 | pDev: 15.04%
Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
Colorado, United States
Killer Penguin BarleywineKiller Penguin Barleywine
Notes: This limited, small-batch release is dark garnet red in color with a candied-fruit like aroma and flavor. At 10% ABV, Killer Penguin is a big barleywine that comes across very smooth and extremely balanced -- the perfect beer to share among friends.
Reviews: 341 | Ratings: 762 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of daliandragon
daliandragon from Maryland

4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I picked up two of these for cellaring and got one for my brother for his birthday, which I think we enjoyed at Christmas, but its a little hazy. This pours a dense medium brown with an abbreviated head and plenty of caramel malt and dark chocolate and dark fruit tones all dripping with booze. The flavor and texture are actually quite dainty and fluid considering the weightiness of the nose. Plenty of flavor but balanced enough to avoid being smothered in alcohol, Some citrus and pine keeps this drinkable and adds complexity. This was 1 2015. I would absolutely get this again and cellar it again. Strong value here.

Apr 19, 2021
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.84/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

See-through rust color.

Big white head; frothy lace.

Caramel malts & grapefruit hops in the nose; def. smells the part.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

The taste is surprisingly subtle; hints of caramel & citrus intermingle but this is not cloying.

Usually this isn't my style, but this was a pleasant surprise.

Apr 28, 2019
Photo of Brutaltruth
Brutaltruth from Ohio

3.87/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the 22 oz bottle in a snifter via a friend from work---cheers Randy!
This nice ale pours a deep ruby mahogany with a nice head of off white foam
that dies down to a thick ring, thin light pool, and showcases some nice sudsy
lacing. Nose of cherries, strong grain alcohol, light caramel malts, and a hint of
light toffee. Flavors follow the nose with a brandied cherry note with a rather strong
grain alcohol note that is lightly tamed with caramel malts and then ramped up with
a solid bittering hop on the mid to rear. Decent mouth feel; medium carbonation that
borderlines on medium high, medium body, and a sweet booze and hop accentuated finish.

A touch outside of the style boundaries, could use less carbonation, but this is still a solid drinker
for a change of pace. A rum barrel aged version of this would go over swimmingly.


Mar 17, 2018
Photo of BWood
BWood from California

3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look. Dark amber almost red looking.

Smell. Pretty 1 dimensional. Nothing stands out.

Taste. Follows nose. Not a ton of depth or bite that typical BWs have.

Feel. Decently smooth with high carbonation at the end.

Overall. So so. Would not buy again. Not terrible. Just better options.

Sep 06, 2017
Photo of Parmesan
Parmesan from Colorado

3.29/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

L: Dark Amber red with notes of orange where the light hits the glass, very little head or lacing on the glass.

S: Notes of caramel, toffee, cherries, not much hop presence, very muted for a barleywine.

T: Strong notes of caramel and toffee, notes of cherry, a medium bitterness. A bit one deminsional for a barleywine.

F: Heavy body higher carbonation.

O: Not as much complexity as other barleywines.

Jul 29, 2017
Photo of mothmanscott
mothmanscott from Georgia

4.02/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear mahogany producing barely a finger of beige, rapidly diminishing head that settles to thin skim of foam leaving only hints of squiggly lacing. Aroma is sweet & fruity caramel malt, dark bread, brown sugar, raisin, fig, chocolate cherry cordial, spice, cereal grains, a hint of ethyl acetate & alcohol. Taste is similar but with woody oak/vanilla & cereal notes, whiskey hints with bitter roast & earthy hops in the finish & aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied with medium carbonation, slick, syrupy, quite prickly & somewhat grainy with a drawing aftertaste. The sometimes gets a bad review but I find it quite pleasing.

Jul 26, 2017
Photo of ZebulonXZogg
ZebulonXZogg from Illinois

3.24/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: Pours a nice reddish brown with a small khaki colored head that fades to a ring quickly. No lacing.
S: Burnt sugar, toffee, molasses and fruit. And a hint of something I'll just call "bad perfume", which kind of ruins it.
T: This comes across a little sweet, has a malty backbone and a hint of apple cider.
F: Medium thickness, carbonation seems OK for the style.
O: Alcohol is well hidden. There is something in the aroma and the aftertaste that just seems out of place. I don't think it's as bad as the Bros think, but certainly not one I'll pick up again.

Apr 23, 2017
Photo of Sniperbob
Sniperbob from Arizona

4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into frosted pint glass, color is inviting orange. Smell is sweet carmel. Pours about a finger length of head. Taste is exactly what I would expect from a barleywine, sweet, malty and thick, not too much hop flavor to drown out the malt. Very well made beer, I was surprised to see it rated so low. I will need to buy another and see how it ages.

Apr 07, 2017
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch from Colorado

4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. Bomber

Pours a pretty nice amber color, pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice one-finger off-white head, which leaves some sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, malty, with some dark fruits. The taste is hoppy, malty, dark fruits. Full Body, ABV hidden pretty well. Overall, a very nice brew.

Apr 03, 2017
Photo of jp32
jp32 from Michigan

3.01/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours ruby in color with a big head. Carbonation looks nice. Toasted caramel malts dominate it's aroma with some stonefruit in the background. It's flavor is grainy with caramel malts, green apple, pine hop resin, plums, and it finishes relatively tart. Some oxidation is present. Decent beer, but nothing that really stands out to me.

Feb 05, 2017
Photo of TheWiltChamberlainofipas
TheWiltChamberlainofipas from Oregon

4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not as bad as the scores here show, especially from "the bros." Drink and review the beer again, brewers can change and a review from 2008 that shows awful will turn off potential drinkers. Their old ass reviews are one of the worst parts of this site. Is this beer top class no, but is this beer an affordable introduction to the style yes. Give it a try.

Oct 14, 2016
Photo of Stevem68
Stevem68 from Ohio

3.62/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper Amber color. Aroma is mild maltiness with a hint of vanilla and a touch of booziness. Flavor follows the nose but pretty light for a barley wine. Feel is light as well. Overall decent flavor but everything is too light and out of balance.

Jul 04, 2016
Photo of delta490
delta490 from Virginia

3.12/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear ruby brown with just a thin ring of head around the glass. It doesn't leave much for lacing as a result. The aroma is not particularly robust but does some hints of dark fruit. The taste is pretty bland, with just some vague malt sweetness and a tinge of alcohol. The body has a nice weight to it but a little too much carbonation, which is odd.

Apr 09, 2016
Photo of zac16125
zac16125 from South Carolina

3.94/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a snifter
2015 Vintage

A: Pours a clear dark amber with reddish hues, 2plu fingers width of tan colored head builds then has good retention before dissipating down. Leaves lots of nice lacing. 4.25

S: Candied sugar, caramel/toffee, fruity esters, subtle booze. Not the strongest aroma but what is there is quite nice. 4

T: Taste is fairly sweet, lots of caramel/toffee, honey-like sweetness on the finish, subtle bitterness and come booze. 3.75

M/D: Fuller side of medium bodied, carbonation appropriate, its quite smooth for the style, ABV is vey well masked and drinkability is very good. 4.25

O: Solid beer. Nothing spectacular, but an enjoyable drink that I would have again. Not sure why this is so poorly reviewed on BA. 4

Mar 25, 2016
Photo of 303beer
303beer from Colorado

3.66/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a beautiful bubbly orange color with about an inch and a half of head. Very light nose. Has a light taste of malt. Actually that's all I taste. It's drinkable for a 10% beer.

Mar 24, 2016
Photo of dschaff
dschaff from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this beer in the close out section of my local store. The look, smell, taste, and feel were fine, but the best look was the $3.99 price tag. Awesome dollar beer, maybe not my first choice at $3.50 a bottle, then I'll go with some of the Unibroue products.

Mar 14, 2016
Photo of jwc215
jwc215 from Arizona

3.03/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle - part of a 4-pack:

Pours reddish amber with a lasting foamy white head. Great retention. Lacing sticks. A very nice-looking beer.

The smell is of raw alcohol and (caramelized) grain - in something of a malt liquor way. Vague (cherry-like) fruitiness. Not a particularly pleasant aroma.

The taste is of sweet grain with medium to semi-dark fruit. Raw booze in a sweet finish.

Thinnish malty body barely hangs on.

This is a sweet boozy brew that lacks depth or complexity of other examples of the style. To me it barely gets a "3" (I was even considering slightly lower). Not the most pleasant aftertaste (boozy cough medicine?). Other than the appearance, I wasn't impressed with it (and still have the other three to have at some point - but not rushing to have them). A mediocre brew at best.

Feb 11, 2016
Photo of MLoxxer
MLoxxer from Nebraska

3.34/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I purchased this beer in a 22 ounce bomber whose neck had been dipped in red wax. Prior to being dipped a wooden tag noting the year 2015 was tied around it. When poured a very nice cream colored head was produced. This presented nice contrast against the clear, reddish brown liquid. The aroma is quite pleasant, not nearly as hoppy as I had anticipated. There is an almost sangria-like quality to the smell, inviting and unique for this style. The flavor has a good malty start, a middle that is very wine-like, and a clean, slightly bitter finish. At 10% this beer is nowhere near as boozy as I thought that it might be. Although its flavor is much cleaner than what I’ve come to expect from a barleywine I wouldn’t turn this beer away in the future.

Jan 31, 2016
Photo of John_Beeryman
John_Beeryman from Virginia

4.31/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This dark ruby red beer pours with a big tan head and tastes like candied plums. It smells good, it tastes good, you should really drink this beer. Interested to see how it ages.

Jan 31, 2016
Photo of ThaneMcC
ThaneMcC from Germany

3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a clear deep red with copious khaki head and solid effervescence. Smells piney hops predominant, some dark fruits, toasted malts become more pronounced as it warms. Tastes sweet malt forward, brown sugar/molasses, prune/fig, there’s an herbal quality mid note with a bit of a flat, earthy or woody tang and transitions to a bite of piney hoppyness with a rather clean finish for such a malty beer. Medium bodied – carbonation provides some levity and astringency and a fairly clean finish.

Overall - I rather enjoyed it. Admittedly, I was at one of those big box stores, cart full of toilet paper and bulk items. They have a small craft beer section - offering stuff I'd never heard of at a reasonable price point. Never having had a barleywine ale, I picked this one up (with some stuff from Clown Shoes, Ommegang and Blue Mountain) - good stuff, to my unrefined palate it tasted a bit like an imperial red ale, or a hopped up english barley wine ale. . .

Jan 15, 2016
Photo of Bear1964
Bear1964 from Nebraska

4.42/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up a while back and waited till now to crack it, I checked out this when I got it and I try never to do that so my rating is my own...most reviews we not positive....

Poured from a 22 oz Bomber into a stemmed glass showed off the deep Amber hues and a nice 3 fingered tan head which left great lace as I drank on, aroma was rich with dark fruit with some malty biscuit notes and only a slight hint of alcohol. The taste became deeper and released more layers of flavors as it warmed, hops started to peek through and mixed with the pit fruit and a smokey tart finish almost coats the tongue. The 10% ABV is well hidden even as YOU warm a little as you enjoy this and the mouthfeel is medium/Heavy which is fine for the style, it leaves you with wood hint in the bitter aftertaste or dry coated feeling in the problems and no worries as this was solid and drinkable for a good price.

Jan 13, 2016
Photo of Beejay
Beejay from Virginia

3.41/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Medium brown in the glass with a touch of amber at the edges. A large tan head on top, with numerous larger bubbles.

S: Booze, and almost burnt caramel.

T: Lots of hops, earthy with touches of pine and citrus. Some caramel, a touch of cherry with a touch of tannin and burnt caramel in the finish. The booze isn't as noticeable as I thought.

M: Medium thick, with moderate carbonation. A bit of bitter cling in the finish.

O: Overall not too bad, I feel like it falls between an American, and an English style. But it's a little assertive in an almost unpleasant way.

Dec 26, 2015
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

3.44/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Definitely more in the American vein, but also much milder than something like Arrogant Bastard. Smoother, less bitter, but still with a little pine bite in the caramel and dark fruits.

Dec 24, 2015
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

That mix of copper, red, auburn and brown colors. Tan head holds its own in the lacing and retention categories. Toffee, a malt driven woodiness, earthy citrus super mild aroma.

Taste is a mildly sweet malt, hopping seems American barleywine territory. Caramel. Its not a huge barleywine, a good intro to. Not a bad price on it, availability is good. Not bad.

Dec 15, 2015
Photo of JuMa44
JuMa44 from Pennsylvania

4.37/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm drinking a 2012 wax dipped bottle, kind of annoyed trying to open the wax seal. Not the best but not the worst barleywine in my opinion. It's easy drinking kind of on the sweeter side, where a barleywine should be but I prefer blithering idiot by Weyerbacher. Sort of tastes like Brooklyn monster but with more body. I am a big fan of barleywine sand would recommend this to another fan who hasn't tasted it but wouldn't recommend a second buy.

Dec 14, 2015
Killer Penguin Barleywine from Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 762 ratings