Killer Penguin Barleywine | Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Killer Penguin BarleywineKiller Penguin Barleywine
748 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
firstprev| 676-700 | 701-725 | 726-750  | next → last
Ratings: 748 |  Reviews: 338
Photo of santoslhalper
3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearence: Pours a clear, dark red with a thin, beige head that dies down to nothing. A decent amount of carbonation is present as well.

Smell: Very dark and malty smelling, with plums, dates, raisons, and licorice dominated the aroma. Alcohol is present but subtle. Virtually no hop bitterness.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Rich, chewy and malty. Raisons and dates come to mind, as well as figs. Nice fruitiness, with soft, subtle licorice and caramel notes. The alcohol is damn near impossible to find. But, so are the hops. Ridiculously malt fouces, and semi-unbalanced.

Drinkability and Overall: A nice offering from Boulder, but so malty it reminds me more of an old ale than a barleywine. No hop presence at all. Once it's all said and done though, it's a nice tasting brew, that goes down easily.

 806 characters

Photo of MrSeth
4.13/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

App: Unusual packaging: red wax seal with a wooden 2005 Vintage embedded on the front.

A dense beige clingy froth forms. Eventually it leaves sudsy concentric rings around the glass. The brew has a copper color.

Smell: Wafts of sweet dried papaya, otherwise a bit dull.

Taste: Black liqourice, dried dates rolled in sugar and dried figs. Finishes with a bitter hoppy bite.. nice length and no nasty aftertaste. Quite clean!

MF: Very wet. The carbonation is there, but not aggresive on the tongue. Smooth, very very smooth.

DA: Highly drinkable! I don't often find a barley wine that is this friendly. This one came well recommended (thanks Beerpanther!) and I would do the same. :-)

 700 characters

Photo of kmo1030
4.05/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

dark brown cola looking beer with a thin tan head that doesn't stand up that well.
lots of maltytoffee is the most immediately apparent aroma, followed by brown sugar and dark ripe fruitiness including prune plum, and maybe a bit of overripe cherry.
the toffee is a big part of the taste too. this is quite a malt bomb, with a good array of malty complexity, the toffee is combined with brown sugary molasses caramel, and some faint butterscotch. it has a little bit of a spiced quality actually sort of like rootbeer. a little bit of licorice in there too, maybe a little vanilla. much of the fruitiness present in the aroma is not very much so in the taste surprisingly although the fruity aspect does beef itself up as the beer warms quite a bit upon further inspection, so nevermind. something is amiss about the flavor i can't quite put my finger on, not an off flavor, it's just sort of odd.
the mouthfeel is pretty damn full with light carbonation, suiting this beer very well.
good drinkability with a well hidden 10% abv. a somewhat unique barelywine that serves as a welcome break from the ordinary.

 1,113 characters

Photo of WesWes
4.27/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a wonderful malty scent that boasts of crystal, roasted, and bisquit malts. It has a nice burnt toffee scent with a sweet, yet warm breadlike aroma. The taste is good. It has a smooth, malty flavor that goes down easy and warms on the finish. It has a toasted flavor with breadlike hints. This is one tastey brew. It's loaded with malts and is quite complex. The mouthfeel is great. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very good barleywine. It's good great aroma and a wonderful taste; a fine seasonal.

 650 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
4.79/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to MuddyFeet for the hookup!
The beer is wax coated with a cork 2005 circle in the wax cool!
I am sampling a slightly chilled bottle in a tumbler. The beer pours a clear chestnut with dark garnet highlights and a small fizzy off white head that foams up and fades to nothing quickly. Aroma is red wine, brown sugar, raisins. A little on the sweet side.
First sip reveals a chewy syrupy body with nice viscosity, it goes down fairly easy but coats my mouth and palate after each swallow. Flavor is similar to nose, very fruity and malty with red grape, raisins, plums and brown sugar. I even think I find some maple syrup in the back. Very easy to drink with just a faint hit of booze on the finish. A nice malty barleywine that seems to be in the ENglish style more than American. I like it!

 801 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
4.13/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Ruby red/maroon color, with a very small, fast fading head.

Smell: Raisin, alcohol, wood, brown sugar sweetness, notably not too much hop flavor.

Taste: Has a lot of what you'd typically expect from a barleywine, strong flavors, sugary and sweet, with some butter flavors, but somewhat of a dissapointing hop presence. The lack of hops makes you sense a little minty flavor in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Ok carbonation, full mouthfeel, not bad, but not a great barleywine.

Drinkability: I would have no problem draining this bomber, and being satisfied, but not my favorite barleywine, still, pretty good,

 628 characters

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.2/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a dark amber-hued brown. Not much of a head and fairly flat. Malty nose with a tinge of some sort of bittersweet candy. Slight hint of hops towards the back end.

Flavor is licorice cough syrup. Bit of a turn-off. reminds me of when my Mom would force some nasty cold medicine down my throat as a kid. Strong malt presence that gave a very sweet, candy backbone. Kind of a syrupy mouthfeel too. Some chemical-like hops provide a sense of balance. Alcohol provides heat and the Robitussim flavor. Medium body with that syrupy feel I mentioned a couple of sentences ago.

 577 characters

Photo of Mitchster
4.27/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wax sealed 2005 edition in a 22oz bottle, paid $5.49 in Boulder, CO. 10% ABV. Part of the "Looking Glass" series of beers from Boulder Brewing Company, which IMO are much better than their stock brews.

Requires a hefty pour to achieve a modest head. Retention is less than average and quickly recedes to a fine ring of scum. Lacing is average. Pours to a clear very dark amber. The aroma is as expected for the style...lots of sticky resinous pine-riddled hops intermixed with copious dense amber malts with lots of dark fruits, raisins and prunes being at the front. As it's swirled, vanilla, nougat and port odors erupt. The mouthfeel is silken and soft with no perceptable alcohol. Dense body. The taste is a recap of the aroma, which is good. Chewy with a well-balanced mild bitterness. Not harsh and piney at all (like alot of lesser barleywines), although there is some not-so-subtle oxidized cardboard sheen in the finish which I don't like. It probably was cask aged.

An enjoyable brew that packs a nice warming buzz and fills the belly with a ton of calories, imbueing the drinker with a sense of peace and well-being. Try it!

 1,141 characters

Photo of Beaver13
2.72/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle. Pours a reddish amber with a wispy head that is quickly gone.

The aroma is very sweet melon, fig, caramel and maple syrup with some medicinal alcohol.

The flavor is very sweet brown sugary malts and melon with a light alcohol and hop finish. It's not well balanced at all - way too sweet. The flavors that are there are all rather reserved, making this a little bland, which is surprising for a barleywine. The mouthfeel is medium with light carbonation and a little watery.

Overall, not very impressive. I had this once before and liked it better then.

 576 characters

Photo of Bighuge
4.15/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burgandy tone. Scarlet red accents. Clarity is pretty good. The carbonation appears as finely beaded threads. Nice aroma of thick caramel, nougat, molasses and rich malts. The flavor doesn't quite follow through as nicely, but it's still good. The malts are caramel in nature. Passion fruits soaked in alcohol come to mind. And a little treacle. And a sprinkle of brown sugar. The body is medium at best and the carbonation is appropriately held in check. This is good, but not exactly killer, dude.

Gotta love the name and bottle though. One of my favorite names of all time.

 580 characters

Photo of Sycodrummer
4.97/5  rDev +39.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours from the black wax incrusted bomber into a snifter, the beer was a medium ruby-brown color with a half finger of white head. The head quickly faded but left some good lacing throughout the sample. Streams of carbonation bubbles ran up the sides of the glass. Served at cellar temperature.

The smell was innitially malty with caramel, molasses, slight nut and chocolate and faint alcohol in the nose.

The taste was big and rubust malt up front with hints of chocolate, plum, fig, and grape. The alcohol is present but very well balanced and masked so as to not seem as even half of its 10%. Toffee and a carmel nut after taste deliver a slight tinge of bitterness to each sip, but the finish is a big, sweet, malty flavor.

Medium body with very little carbonation.

For a 10% barley wine the beer is incredibly drinkable. Very little hint of its strength in the nose or the taste. Well-rounded, smooth, and filling. Slightly warming, and very enjoyable. One of my favorite barley wines to date.

 1,010 characters

Photo of BeerBuilder
4.09/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a clear amber-brown with no head, just a ring of tan. Spotty lacing. The aroma is sweet carmel, bready...rum cake. Slight bit of dark fruits in the aroma as well.

The flavor is caramel malts and bread, with a sweet sugar taste as well as a bit of spicy hops. It is full bodied and tasty, not a bad winter brew.

 323 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wax-dipped 22 ounce bomber, baleful bird glares from the label.

Clear crimson color, with a thinnnish, cola toned head, that gently deteriorates.

Bright, bold, dark fruit beams in the nose. Cherries and berries melded with a mildly cognac-y feel.

Smooth and rich on the palate, sweet and luscious. Despite being a 10% biggie, it's not loud, nor brash. Velvety slick. Thick malt, mellow hops, hefty body, dreamy mouthfeel. Soft, solid finish, dries off gallantly.

A very convivial brew, a delight in the mouth.
This menacing bird turns out to be a pussycat, but a very tasty one. I like it, though it doesn't resemble my favorite barleywines, it's a resfreshing change, and one still stocked with character. I'll enjoy this all night long.

 753 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2005 Bottle: Pours dark reddish amber with a medium thin beige head that lasts pretty well. Thin, stringy lacing. Aroma of malt and raisins. Not very full-bodied considering the ABV, with malt and spice flavors primarily, along with a touch of dark fruit. The finish is kind of syrupy and sweet. All in all this one just didn’t seem to come together for me.

 358 characters

Photo of ADR
4.45/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2005 version, a "Looking Glass" series beer in a bomber bottle with a very annoying wax seal over the cap and down the neck. Clear dark copper appearance, spidery yellowish head of no size or duration. Just dots for lace. Caramel nose, underlying hops give a citrus tone. Carbonation is low, mouthfeel is full and fairly lush. Good taste, starts with a brown sugar and fruit impression and transitions into a hoppiness that is apparent but not as excessive and prickly as many North American Barleywines. Overall, there's kind of a fresh fruit cobbler sense to this beer, slight green raisins as well. Still, clocking in at 10% ABV, its got some girth to it. A nice beer that doesn't brutalize the mouth or back up in your throat. At the top of the drinkability range for Barleywines, IMO...

 791 characters

Photo of Quaffer
4.2/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This review is in addition to a previous review that I did. The specifics of the beer really haven't changed, but it seems to be fuller.

This year's KP bottles (2005) are now dated (not a previous feature, if I remember correctly) and wax sealed. Both the flavor and the aroma seem to fit better into the barley wine style than they used to. It just feels and tastes bigger this year.

This is still more of a full, malty, and slightly alcoholic barley wine than it is a hop monster. That's a nice change from many of the other American barley wines that dominate the local market. It's more of an English style, in my opinion.

A wonderfully tasty barley wine. I think I will start a new tradition this year and tuck a few of these away in the cellar.

 759 characters

Photo of mentor
4.08/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber provided by Eyedrinkale, ala BIF20, in July 2005. Refridgerated and consumed a couple weeks later. Thanks for the opportunity. I was quite surprised to see this pour as rusty nail colored as, from the description on the bottle, I was expecting an imperial stout. Has a half finger light tanish head over a nearly clear liquid. A couple very tiny streams of bubbles reace to the top. Smells rich malty caramel with pine-sol hops and alcohol. Oh, yummy, it's an american strong ale! Tastes sour malt and sour hoppy with an underlying sweet and a dandy bitter-sweet aftertaste. The draw is pine-sol hoppy with some fruity undertones (oranges, necatarine, canned pear syrup). The transfer from pull to swallow is malty honey-sweet with noticable alcohol and decent carb release. The swallow is grassy hop with rough carb release and the sweetness has settled. The aftertaste is a mix of hop/malt sour with caramel swirled in alcohol and sweet fruity ester that's driving me insane. Goodness, Mike sent me a well cellared beer that I see still improving for a year or two. Damn me for my pre-mature consumption. But, it's pretty tasty as is. Body is only medium, but it does have some silky thick-sugar qualities. Carbonation is moderate when cold, but mild and quite nice at warmer temperatures.

 1,298 characters

Photo of rajendra82
3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received a while back in a trade from eyedrinkale, I am finally getting around to sampling this beer. From the brown 22 oz. bomber, to the glass, the beer looked reddish orange, and clear, with a smallish head, and a steady stream of carbonation underneath.

The aroma was malty, with strong notes of coriander, orange peel, and roasted grain. The alcohol was also pretty evident on the nose. The taste was similar to a Belgian Tripel, with spicy tart alcohol, candi sugar, rum, and orange peel. There was a lot more hop bite here than a Tripel, however.

Although full to medium bodied, and with a very bready character, the beer still managed to come across as light and airy. The alcohol did not detract from drinkability at all.

Well balanced and satisfying in almost every department. Seek this one out.

 815 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.08/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Particulate-laden reddish copper with sunset orange highlights. The solidly creamy cap of toasted tan foam descends at a near-glacial pace and leaves the inside of the glass spattered with an attractive array of pocked lace.

The aroma emanating from my glass is not the aroma that I was expecting from a strong ale. It's so much more hoppy than malty that it smells like an IPA or even a DIPA. Chunks of orange and lemon rind crusted with light brown sugar is a fair approximation. I like the nose very much, although it could be stronger.

Now this is more like it! The first thing that I notice when the beer hits my mouth is the mouthfeel. Killer Penguin is a full, sweet, almost syrupy beer that is impressive as hell from the word 'go'. The honeyish, cake-like malt backbone is as solid as a rock with sweet caramel and toffee flavors bursting over the tongue and sliding down like heavy silk.

Bitter, grapefruit pithy hops are present in substantial quantities and give the beer a balanced flavor profile with both sides of the scale weighted down fairly heavily. The more I drink, the more it's obvious that this beer is a barleywine much more than it's a strong ale.

The mouthfeel, again, is luxurious with nary a trace of carbonation. The finish is long and lingering, allowing the drinker to continue to enjoy the flavor well after the beer has met its inevitable fate. It's amazing how well the myriad flavors have melded. That may have something to do with the fact that this bottle has been in my cellar for nearly a year. Far from being harmed by the long wait, my suspicion is that it has benefitted immensely.

Killer Penguin is a great name and the label ensures that the empty bomber will be a keeper. The beer is pretty damn good too. I hope that rumors of the Penguin's demise have been exaggerated (its absence on the brewery's website is not encouraging) because it'd be a shame if this is both my first and last bottle of this quality beer.

 1,978 characters

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown & orange clear pour. Dark tea hues and light head coating leaving scant lace.

Malty, sugary spicy aroma with nutmeg. Overall, a complex scented offering.

Big, mature cinnamon spice malts flowing with lemony, long aftertaste.

Full bodied, thick ale.

Last swigs: Tried this at the General Lafayette Inn as a sampler from the bottle. Big ups to fellow BAs there. A complex big winter spicer with malts prevalant. A worthy Winter warmer.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

 488 characters

Photo of shapudding
4.16/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Beautiful coloring, amber/rootbeer... creamy, off-white head. Vineous and hoppy scented. Great hoppy bites with alot of carbination. Smooth mouthfeel. Bit of vanilla in there. Alcohol is lightly noticable, but not overwhelming. Decent amount of carbination in this one, but it really is not too much that it makes it uncomfortable to drink.

 340 characters

Photo of Bruiser81
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice dark amber color. The head was minimal, Lots of lacing.Aroma was sweet. Some plum and other dark fruits. Maybe some caramel and a bit of roasted malt
Taste was pretty much the same only sweeter. Strong malt presence but followed by a nice hop power . Not too overwhelming. The finish has almost a sugary but nice flavor. A pleasant beer to drink. I imagine I'll by another as it goes down smooth. A very balanced beer.

 433 characters

Photo of filabrazilia
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Penguin is a copper colored ale that has a nice beige head. The head dissipated quickly but left good lacing on the glass. There was a bit of yeast in my bottle (kind of reminded me of a homebrew).

There was a sweet malty aroma with hints of spices and subtle aromatics.

The taste was sweet and mild but really nothing spectacular. The taste was not up to par with the smell and this was a little disappointing.

Mouthfeel was preety thin for a strong ale. I felt it didn't match up to the appearance.

This is a very drinkable winter beer. However, it would not be my first choice. If they could enhance the flavor and the body, I think they would have an excellent beer.

 686 characters

firstprev| 676-700 | 701-725 | 726-750  | next → last
Killer Penguin Barleywine from Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
Beer rating: 3.56 out of 5 with 748 ratings