Killer Penguin Barleywine | Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

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Killer Penguin BarleywineKiller Penguin Barleywine
754 Ratings
Killer Penguin BarleywineKiller Penguin Barleywine

Brewed by:
Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
Colorado, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-12-2003

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 754 |  Reviews: 338
Photo of GarrisWH
1/5  rDev -71.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

probably their best beer, and it’s still awful

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Photo of TheKingsOfHop
1.68/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

22oz bomber poured into snifter glasses:

A: Very little to no head, but what could be seen was off white in color. The beer itself was a light mahogany, but kind of almost cherry like in color.

S: Brown sugar, hard candy, caramel, all in all very, very sweet with a definite alcohol burn. Followed by a slight hint of hazelnut.

T: Absolutely no balance compared to other barley wines we have had in the past. Very nutty dry with a strong taste of alcohol, with no carbonation making this a very syrupy brew. Even after this "barley wine" leaves your mouth it still gives you this horrible after taste, making the next sip almost painful to attempt.

M: Extremely thin, but syrupy mouth feel...odd to say the least. It then proceeded to leave a slight film that coated the inside of the mouth once the sip was fully consumed.

D: Again this beer had no balance, it was to overly sweet with a horrible aftertaste. We would not be able to stomach another glass.

The Kings Of Hop

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Photo of crobinso
1.75/5  rDev -50.7%

Photo of smasol101
1.75/5  rDev -50.7%

Photo of SecondSandwich
1.76/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

2010 vintage.
Was excited to try this beer because I like the brewery (mojo, mojo risin', hazed and infused) and I am trying to look into barleywines, but I was very dissatisfied. Actually, this was probably the most disappointing beer I have ever purchased/tasted.

A- Looks nice, deep mahogany. Lots of red tones.

S- Smells a bit weird, just like how it tastes. Has a very sweet smell that, after tasting, makes me feel a little sick.

Taste - No good. Very weird blend of flavors; none of them very appealing. Has a sweet taste and brings cherry cough syrup to mind... not what I want out of a beer that is a bit on the pricey side. I would describe it as a hodge podge of weirdness (in a bad way).

M- Not terrible, has a creamy feeling (kind of nitro-esque).

D - Hard to say because the taste is so poor. I sipped only a little at a time and it didn't seem to go by fast enough...

Final thoughts: Don't bother, seriously, it is not worth it. There is much MUCH better available in that price range.

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Photo of gfreed
1.76/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

On tap at Cambridge Common, and has the honor of being the first dud I've ever had there. This is the most un-barleywine barleywine I've tasted: no depth of flavor or aroma, no complexity, not even an interesting color. Very light tone, body and flavor. None of the intensity you'd expect in a barleywine; it's as if it visited the shrink before leaving the tap and had all the mystery reasoned away from it. Letting it warm up for about half an hour didn't even bring out much flavor. Blech.

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Photo of agjohnson82
1.78/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

Photo of midaszero
1.92/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2008 vintage

A - Crystal clear ruby amber body with one and a half finger of light tan head that leave excellent lacing

S - Faint dark fruits and malts

M - Sweet malts up front. Kinda hoppy in the middle but not much. Boozy throughout and especially at the end. Kinda bland and just not really appealing.

T - Medium body yet feels kinda thin with medium carbonation

D - It is okay. Not all that enjoyable or drinkable but not horrible either.

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Photo of Bitterbill
1.96/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I bought a 4 pack locally for over $16.

It pours a dark gold with a 2 finger head of foam, some nice lacing left behind when I took my first sip...oops.

It has a very fruity aroma with some light notes of hops and malt. Plenty of booze in the smell as well.

First sip in and the alcohol taste is massive. Beyond that, I can taste some hop bitterness but then again, the alcohol takes that away quickly. Ummmm...really? I'm now tasting a smokiness...tobacco like flavour or at least burnt malt and it's turning me off big time. I cannot finish this....end of review.

Come on, Boulder. I had your Black Diamond Chocolate Porter the other day and it was delicious. This is a complete messterpiece.

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Photo of Schlais
2/5  rDev -43.7%

Photo of Beestin
2/5  rDev -43.7%

Photo of bigbeers84
2/5  rDev -43.7%

Photo of Telestic
2/5  rDev -43.7%

Photo of danoeltico
2/5  rDev -43.7%

Photo of Seanibus
2/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

With a name like this, it has to be good, right?

Not so much.

Pours a deep copper with a fluffy, slow-to-develop head that falls away quickly. The aroma is syrupy and thick, like a big pot of hot caramel. The flavor is super caramelly - overwhelmingly so. It's like a mouthful of maple syrup, in fact. There is some dark fruit in there, maybe fig and cherry and grape, but it is sweet with a lingering chemical-like tang to it. Metallic almost.

As syrupy as the flavor is, the mouthfeel is fairly thin, though it does have a sweetly viscous quality.

The overall effect is like a funky cough syrup.

I am severely not enjoying this beer.

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Photo of HRamz3
2/5  rDev -43.7%

Photo of hardy008
2/5  rDev -43.7%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.05/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Review from Inaugural Issue of Beeradvocate Magazine.

Touted as Boulder's high-octane cold-weather release. Pours a tawny crimson color, and a lively carbonation keeps the eggshell-colored lace alive. Toasty grain and fresh caramel malt aroma, hints of herbal hop and a fruity, dark fig ester smell in the back. Creamy, smooth mouth feel, light body. Mineral notes. A bit juicy, but dry with a powdery malt character. Some dried fruits merge with a spike of alcoholic esters. Hoppy, but not overly expressive. The hops must have mellowed after the six months of conditioning at the brewery, as the bitterness is very tame. Some signs of oxidation? Leafy, herbal and oily hop flavor, middle to end, with a dried-out herbal and floral finish and an increase of alcohol presence as the beer warms.

This is a Barley Wine with the mute button pressed. Not nearly as much depth as we expected, and quite dull compared to the other American brewed Barley Wines out there. Killer Penguin? More like Dead Penguin.

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Photo of ZachHodgson
2.1/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Oye! Such a long wait for such a disappointing beer. There are far better barleywines out there for similar prices. Stick with those.

2012 Release

Looks like a barleywine
Smells like a barleywine
Tastes like maple syrup infused with essence of old sock.


There are far better barleywines out there for abut the same price.

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Photo of rsyberg01
2.23/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

S - Bomber, '06, from notes, drank fresh

A - Pours a clear burnt orange, head begins at about a finger, then down to an unscathed layer of fine foam.

S - Big spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, slightly sugary, slight alcohol, touch of caramel...interesting.

T - Bitter, astringent, uncomfortable in my mouth (thats what she said), Did not expect it to be like this. Tastes like I'm drinking chemicals.

M - Aside from the taste, the mouthfeel isnt bad.

D - Yikes, period.

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Photo of sacullen
2.23/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

2008 poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a deep amber color with only 1cm of head from an aggressive pour. It disappears quickly into a ring that leaves some lacing.

S: I can smell the caramel sweetness, but it seems like most of the aroma is very toned down. Floral hops are evident, too.

T: The surprising bitterness overpowers much of the sweetness. Leaves a strange aftertaste that I can't quite describe, but the bitterness remains minutes after you swallow. Maybe this is just too fresh?

M: Pretty thin, not very lively. Doesn't appear to have much carbonation.

D: Low on the drinkability factor. It masks the alcohol VERY well. However, the taste keeps me from wanting another.

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Photo of glazeman
2.25/5  rDev -36.6%

Photo of Minnesota_beer_guy
2.25/5  rDev -36.6%

Photo of turboge
2.3/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

2009 Vintage

A: hazy amber, very small head and spotty lacing

S: dark fruit

T: high carbonation, boozy with a slight taste of hops and kind of sour

M: light

D: I will not drink this again, really wasn't impressed. It drinks ok but I am glad I shared the bottle. I felt the carbonation was too much.

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Photo of Edwaka01
2.38/5  rDev -33%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into snifter

A - Deep red-amber, creamy 2 finger head leaving behind lots of lace.

S - Fruity. Caramel malts. Flowery hoppiness.

T - Quite overly fruity, reminds me of juice. Wicked booze burn on the finish, lingers for quite some time after sipping. Again, floral hops.

M - Thin and burns like hell.

O - The alcohol burn is something I like to see in this style, but here its overkill. Without the burn, maybe this is a mediocre barleywine.

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Killer Penguin Barleywine from Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
Beer rating: 3.55 out of 5 with 754 ratings