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Chicken Killer Barley Wine | Santa Fe Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
83
good
171 Reviews
Chicken Killer Barley WineChicken Killer Barley Wine
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Santa Fe Brewing Company
New Mexico, United States | website

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

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!

Added by amicar on 03-07-2006

BEER STATS
Reviews:
171
Ratings:
354
Avg:
3.64
pDev:
20.05%
 
 
Wants:
28
Gots:
43
For Trade:
3
User Reviews
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Reviews: 171 | Ratings: 354
Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.66/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Santa Fe Chicken Killer Barley Wine has a medium-to-thick cream-colored head, a murky, highly bubbly, rust-orange appearance, with low-level lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of sweet & sour sauce, sourness, light fruits, sharp hop resin, and lots of barley malts. Taste is of those same elements, with noticeable bitterness to offset the malt sweetness. Very bready. Mouthfeel is heavy and chewy, and Santa Fe Chicken Killer finishes between wet & dry.

RJT

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Photo of sjdevel
4.57/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Upon pouring out of the bomber, there was decent 2-3 finger head soon diminished but was left with some continuing lacing. This brew displays a very nice amber glow that is quite hazy but still lets some rays of light through.

Smell: First waft is of caramel with notes of fruit. With this brew being 10% ABV, I expected to pick up on more of a piercing alcohol smell, but not the case here. There are just some slight floral notes, but not very aromatic for a Barley Wine.

Feel: There is a nice medium-full bodied mouthfeel with this one. It is quite effervescent on the tongue. It is a tad on the dry side but still very smooth.

Taste: There is an immediate tartness, but not overly bitter (as in not being overpowered with hop bitterness). The tartness is soon offset by some malt sweetness and not a high level of hoppiness as you would expect kicking in at the end.

Overall: This Barley Wine is very pleasing to the tongue / palette. This is a well rounded Barley Wine that has a near perfect balance of bitterness and malts, but I am left wanting a little more hop flavor. I have not been displeased with a Santa Fe creation yet and I would purchase Chicken Killer again.

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Photo of joepais
4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to JVD for sending this along
Bottle over a year old poured into a few snifters produced a tan colored head that settled out to nothing. The color of the brew was a nice caramel or copper depending who you ask.

The aroma was nice and sweet the caramel malts are in the forefront now with some brown sugar thrown in for good measure. The flavor was great nice and sweet a true sipper and a great desert brew. Caramel candy came to mind, with some butterscotch flavor as well every one in a while. The mouthfeel was great as well, nice and syrupy with little carbonation, just the way I like my barleywine's.

I was impressed by the brew. I will assume the age did nothing but help it in my scores as well. There were no hops present in this thing at all and the alcohol was hidden extremely well by the flavors and aromas. I enjoyed every drop of my glass. I even saw a craft beer Noob grab the bottle to wring the last few drops from it. I guess we have a convert

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Photo of Myotus
4.42/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured at 46°F from a 22oz bottle (indecipherable bottle date, but I did have this collared for about five months) into a snifter. Allowed to warm up to 50°F before reviewing. Consumed on 28Jun16.
LOOK: Looks like a Barleywine.
SMELL: Strong aromas of molasses and fig intertwine with mild tree nut, leather, oak, and sweet orange marmalade. Subtle apricot and sweet peach aromas along with hints of bitter hops add an additional whisper of bittersweetness. 4.25
TASTE: The taste profile opens up sweet and strong with molasses and fig. Large waves of sweet orange marmalade immediately trail and amplify the sweetness. The sweetness is met and balanced by mild flavors of leather and oak as the orange marmalade flavors grows slightly stronger and develop a subtle and pleasing tartness. More profile balance is established as mild tree nut flavors come in mid-palate. Like in the aroma, subtle flavors of sweet peaches and apricots along with hints of bitter hops add the right amount of bittersweetness as all prior flavors persist.
FEEL: Feels like a Barleywine with a dryness that isn't too bad compared to others of its style.
NOTE: This was an outstanding American Barleywine. What took me a while to notice was the fact that I could not smell nor taste any of the alcohol. I've never had a brew that completely masked 10% ABV. Unique to this specific beer, was the tart and tangy orange marmalade flavors that bombarded my taste buds. This is another aspect that I have not experienced in this style. I see that this has been deemed as mediocre by others, but perhaps cellaring it for a few months might develop the the balancing sweet profile that I loved and experienced.

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Photo of kirok1999
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

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Photo of azdback
4.28/5  rDev +17.6%
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 ability...now 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!

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.27/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Type: 22-oz. bottle
Glass: Karl Strauss 26th anniversary tulip glass
From: Trader Joe’s in (Uptown) Albuquerque, N.M.
Price: $4.99
Purchased: May 7, 2016
Consumed: May 20, 2016
Misc.: No BOD on the bottle

Didn’t really know anything about this when I picked it up on a work trip to Albuquerque, but saw it was a boozy beer and $4.99. Count me in. Not expecting much, even with me not really liking too many American Barleywines.

Poured an auburn, caramel, clear color with 2-to-3 fingers of khaki-white, frothy head. Lots of streaming bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Excellent, layered, foamy lacing. Excellent retention. (Sight - 4.50)

Smelled a nice whiff of hops and malts, getting toffee, caramel, brown sugar, sticky maple syrup, citrus zest (Citra hops?), floral perfume, nectarine, light molasses and toasted grain. Liking it, not smelling too boozy, especially 10 percent. (Smell - 4.25)

Taste was more maltier than I would have expected, then getting that booze. Tasting sugary caramel, brown sugar, toffee, molasses, boozy maple syrup, dates, raisins, woody malts, bitter pine and some dark fruits. (Taste - 4.25)

Medium body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, warming, slightly bitter finish. (Feel - 4.25)

This was a really good American Barleywine. Very surprised. Would recommend it for sure, especially for the $4.99 price point. (Overall - 4.25)

4.27 | 95 | A

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Photo of champ103
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy and dark amber brown color. A two finger beige head forms, but quickly recedes. Some patchy lace is left behind.
S: A big malty and fruity aroma. Some dark fruits. Bread, biscuit aromas. Some rum like alcohol is in the nose as well.
T: Malt up front. Dark fruits that follow the nose. A light hop twang as the taste lingers. This is a nice tasting barleywine.
M/D: A medium body that is kind of over carbonated for the style IMO. Just a touch of warming alcohol. Though this is a great beer to sip on.

This is a very surprising hit for me. Lots of wonderful malt, and the drinkability can't be beat for the style. This ranks as one of my favorite barleyines now.

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Photo of Snorlax
4.23/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.23/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What's with the low scores on this one? Big thanks to both tayner and hopsleeroy for sending me this brew!

Pours out beautifully dark amberish red with a persistent eggshell head..plentiful small bubbles floating up as well as some damn good lacing..

Wonderfully citrusy aroma that's loaded with hops...it smells like a DIPA and I'm loving it..

Wonderful blend of sweet sweet malts and grapefruity citrusy hops meld together to make this ridiculously drinkable..those hops bitter up on the finish and leave me longing for another sip..

I have another bottle that I will reluctantly age. This was so good that it will be hard to keep my hands off of it.

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Photo of beergoot
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep mahogany red body with a very thick, very creamy off-white head. Dark fruit, malty nose; slightly licorice, slightly sugary; hint of cinnamon and coriander. Smooth and delightful mouthfeel; silk and glass; semi-treacly and medium-heavy body. Flavors run from sweet, heavy, fruit-like notes to a slightly spicy and decently boozy combination that melds nicely with an interesting spicy bitterness midway through the finish.

A fine heavy yet intriguingly tasty malted beverage. Your palate gets treated to a variety of malt, hop, and boozy flavors that mix well together, always providing nuanced taste treats when allowed to coat the palate. Yes, a damn fine beer...

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Photo of barefootbrewer
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This beer poured a cloudy brown color with a big off white head. There was nice lacing.

S: The aroma is mainly of malt and caramel. There are hints of raisins and fruits. The hop presence is noticeable (slight pine/evergreen). The malt/caramel/raisin smells deepen as the beer warms.

T: Initially (while cold) this beer is alcohol hot and tin tasting. As it warms, it transforms into a most delightful mixture of caramel, malt and dates.

M: The mouthfeel is medium bodied and viscous.

D: After this beer warms, it is a total delight.

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Photo of grumpy
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hey! Where’s the love for this beer? OK, I know – only two reviews. So I am going to give this Barley Wine some props, and then hopefully when it totals 5 reviews, it will get the rating I think it deserves. And, no, I am not in any way associated with the brewery!

I travel frequently to Santa Fe, and have been sampling this barley wine for many years, bottled and on tap, fresh and aged. I think it’s consistently quite good, but consistently inconsistent in style. It has ranged from resembling a dry-hopped Imperial IPA, to being a soft, fruity, sweet beer in the acceptable range of the Barley Wine style. Even taking aging and bottle-conditioning into account, this stuff varies. It’s produced year round, so it isn’t an issue of changing the recipe for a new release.

So, for bottled CK, from 2005:

Appearance: Dark orange-amber, and cloudy without agitating the yeast. Beige colored moderate head with moderate lace.

Aroma: Very fruity – plums, maybe peaches? Sweet malt and underlying hops.

Taste: Again, very fruity. Substantially malty and sweet with a hop bittering that falls somewhat short of complete balance. Complex and enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Fairly full-bodied and soft. Carbonation is moderate.

Drinkability: If the flavor profile works for you, this is very drinkable. The alcohol is definitely noticeable, but not overpowering. The sweetness is not cloying.

I plan to try the latest batch on tap this weekend at the brewery. And by the way, the brewery has moved and expanded and added restaurant service. So get out there and support these guys in their new investment. I don’t want to see this place go under from the added weight!

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Photo of standardcherry
4.16/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with a friend, served into two snifters.

A: Beautiful orange/red/brown clear color. Minimal head.
S: Sweet malts and fruity hops smells. Smell is delicious but not what I was expecting from a barleywine. Alcohol is well hidden.
T: Malty flavor with some nice bitterness. Lots of toffee and caramel flavors.
M: Very smooth and easy to drink for 10%. Nice carbonation.
O: really enjoyed this beer, it's definitely very tasty but it was overshadowed by the Leon we had right before it.

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Photo of emmasdad
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Ratman for bringing this one over to the house last weekend. 2007 vintage. Poured a slightly hazy caramel color, with a short white head. Aromas of prunes, caramel and dark fruits. Full bodied and very smooth, with caramel, dark fruits and sherry.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12/02/06 Walk the Line Barleywine Festival, Dunedin, FL. 2005 vintage. This beer poured copper with off white head. The aroma was fresh sweetness that seemed to be a combination of sweet caramel malts and grapefruit hoppiness. The flavor was light in the malt department with a sweet caramel taste along with a more dominant sweet and slightly tart orange citrus hops

12/02/06 Walk the Line Barleywine Festival, Dunedin, FL. 2002 vintage. This one had a milder hop aroma. The flavor was very good with a bit stronger dark fruit note and smoother hops. Very drinkable.

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Photo of russpowell
4.09/5  rDev +12.4%
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??

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.09/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Amanda for this treat!

Poured maple brown, slight murkiness with scant head. A couple minutes later and it looked quite still, although it did have a very smooth carbonation. Lots of sweetness here. Caramel, brown sugar, and a hint of figs. Very light bitterness in the finish and the sweetness definitely carries further. Quite smooth and delicious. Overall, it's a good American barleywine. I would have appreciated a touch more bitterness, as the sweetness is quite prominent. It did indeed make for a great post-exam celebration. :)

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Photo of chocosushi
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of depechemode1983
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- The beer pours cloudy dark orange brown in color. The head is minimal and tan. Lacing is also minimal with just a few uneven splotches.

S- Right up front your hit with bitter pineapple carried on with sweet milky notes. You also get pine resin and a little bit of oak. The nose finishes bitter dry. For being 10% ABV the alcohol is surprisingly well hidden.

T- Malty upfront with just the right amount of pine bitterness. The malts come up through the middle even more with a caramel sweetness toning down the pine to subtle. The finish is sweet and malty with little alcohol warmth.

M- Smooth as hell. Carbonation is most excellent bubbly but not over the top. Goes down great.

O- Excellent interpretation of the style. Not overly complex but not overly dull. it had just the right amount of complexities to keep the nose, the taste and the mouth feel in check . Its very surprising how they got the alcohol so well hidden with a 10%ABV. Worthy of multiple purchases.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pint 6 oz bottle poured into a Duvel snifter. No date.

Appearance - Medium brown, cloudy to the point of near total opacity. Tan pancake batter head with fine lacking that slides off momentarily; decent to good retention.

Smell - Vinous. Oaky. Sweet like fresh fruit. Apple cider. Smooth and inoffensive.

Taste - Leather. Yeasty. Relatively dry apple cider. Hides its alcohol well.

Mouthfeel - Slight alcoholic bite. Mildly solvent. Astringency is pretty minimal.

Overall Drinkability - Very smooth. Nt very complex, but very drinkable for the style. Deceptive alcohol. Not very

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Photo of angelmonster
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is at least 2 years old.

Pours a translucent amber with ruby highlights. Head is 1 inch and khaki colored. Head retention and lacing are pretty good.

Smell is of sweet Belgian candied sugar and dried figs/plums. Apricot jam is also detected, no hops and little alcohol is detected. This beer is all about malty sweetness.

Taste is of sweet toffee, bready malts, and dried fruits. Has similar flavors to a fruit cake and would probably pair nicely with one. Aftertaste is of some bitter hops and very light alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied but has nice amount of carbonation. Head didnt contribute much to texture, this barleywine is one of the lighter ones I've had.

Overall this beer aged nicely, very smooth, sweet barleywine. Price was also good, cheap quality beer. Nothing in the top 10 for its style but solid enough that I would order one again.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up this bottle last year and have been sitting on it for what seemed like forever. I decided to open this one up last night. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 11/25/2008.

The pour was nice enough. Rich dark amber in color with a smooth look to it. Nice cloudiness to it. Some carbonation could be seen streaming up from the bottom of the glass, with a nice amount odd white head sitting on top of it. Smooth settle, left behind only trace amounts of side lacing. The aroma was rich, light notes of alcohol and a ton of bready malts. Hints of pine resin hops and a nice, touch of grain mingling in throughout the profile. The flavor was smooth as could be, a very mellow barley wine with hints of caramel and a muted hop note. Interesting balance here, with the alcohol mostly hidden in amongst the profile. Easy to sip, the carbonation was spot on.

Overall an enjoyable barley wine that I am glad I had the chance to try. I would say this would be worth another look.

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Photo of Weixiaobao
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Unique name, good logo. Beautiful copper mahogany color in the glass. Solid head. Pretty ridiculous that this cellarable style of brew has no born on date or even year brewed displayed.

S: Somewhat muted for a barleywine. Some booze, some smoke surprisingly.

T: All the candied, dark fruits associated with quads and barleywines. I'm not getting the overwhelming sweetness others on here have noted. Pretty nicely balanced.

F: Delightful. 10% is rush to the head

O: I picked a couple of these up at local liquor store for clearance price of $2.78 for 651 ml bottles. Incredible value on that. Tried one, one went to cellar, going back for two or three more for drinking and cellaring. Always great to find an irrational price discrepancy like this to take advantage of. Am going to assume that the bottles I'm buying are a year plus old.

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Photo of Kemmerlin
4.01/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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Chicken Killer Barley Wine from Santa Fe Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 171 ratings.
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