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Chicken Killer Barley Wine | Santa Fe Brewing Company

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Chicken Killer Barley WineChicken Killer Barley Wine
362 Ratings
Chicken Killer Barley WineChicken Killer Barley Wine

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

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 362 |  Reviews: 171
Photo of Frosthazard
1/5  rDev -72.8%

Photo of Dlansdown
1/5  rDev -72.8%

Photo of Adamshantz
1/5  rDev -72.8%

Photo of ardy007
1.5/5  rDev -59.2%

Photo of Jeffp42288
2.25/5  rDev -38.9%

Photo of PHBoiler
2.46/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Burnt orange to amber colored body with a thin offwhite head. Little to no nose. There is a hint of sweetness. The taste is pure alcohol. Just tastes like grain alcohol and acetone. This beer is way off. Nothing wrong with the bottle and purchased recently as well. No bottle dating. Nothing positive about this beer. I got a light sweetness up front that is destroyed by the grain alcohol/acetone taste.

 404 characters

Photo of ktrillionaire
2.47/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Caramel brown hue, with a generous khaki head and some decent lace.

S - Bad nose of corn and husky grain.

T - Husky grain. Vanilla and booze are also present. Much better and more integrated as it warms. Still, that is not very good.

M - Big and sticky. Barleywine.

D - I won't drink this again.

 303 characters

Photo of jophish17
2.5/5  rDev -32.1%

Photo of jneiswender
2.58/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured out of a 20+oz bottle into a "coke" glass.

A-cloudy amber/garnet body and a nice, dense beige head.

S-floral, sweet malt smell

T-flat flavor, malt...check, hops...check, alcohol...check


D-This just didn't do it for me. Very one dimesional. I hate to catergorize a barley wine as weak, but this is it.

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Photo of charlesw
2.64/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Beautiful brown/light brown/amber with a decent-sized head that lasts a couple of minutes. A touch light on the color and I wish the bubbles would last longer.

Smells of left coast hops - light, fruity, citrus. Hints of earthy, sugary tones. I'd be happier with more confrontation and definitely more to the malt nose.

Oh. Bummer. It's so not a barleywine. No body, no bitterness, no sweetness. Bummer. With all they say they put into it (twice the ingredients for half the extraction sounds to me like four times the concentration) they could have done so much more. In particular it needs to be sweeter and more bitter. It also needs more body. This is like drinking Andygator. Not so bad in and of itself, I guess, or as a Belgian something or other but not to style and not interesting.

 792 characters

Photo of imagineiii
2.7/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Got this in a trade. My first brew from sante fe brewing, or from the state of NM...

A: poured into a pint glass. inch of head, dissipates leaving lace. ruby red tone looks more like the celebration ale i had last night than it looks like a barleywine. surprisingly clear, dont know if thats a good thing.

S: i get ALOT of raisans and other dried fruits, maybe plums but mostly raisans.

T: Thin malt that tastes tart and sour. some dark chocolate notes mixed with dark fruits like cherries and bitter grapes. Im sure most of these notes are off-flavors. Reminds me of the year old killer penguin I recently had.

M: half decent considering... carbonation sparkles and the beer is smooth enough.

D: No thanks. This would be a drain pour if it didnt have alcohol in it.

I love getting beers like this in the mail because there is no other way I would ever get to try it. But I wont be trying it again, in fact, Im going to have another celebration ale to wash this out of my mouth.

 984 characters

Photo of htomsirveaux
2.7/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bottle.

Pours with a large, tight, peach hued head. Despite the large head, beer is quite flat. Clear deep copper color. Aroma is light, like fresh baked bread with brown sugar and ethanol. First sip is of alcohol. Middle is like alcohol. And some brown sugar. End is like alcohol. Tastes strongly of alcohol. Some hint of raisins and bitterness in finish. Along with alcohol. Did I mention the alcohol? Seems a lot stronger than 10%.

 442 characters

Photo of allforbetterbeer
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22 oz bomber picked up at Coaltrain liquors in Colorado Springs for the very reasonable price of ~$6.00.

Pours with a fine one finger cap of slightly off white head that lasts like the best of them. The body is cloudy and murky, and is riding the line exactly between orange and amber.

Smells delicious, with the prominent smell of American hops tempered by significant amounts of grain and higher alcohol. Grapefruit and especially pineapple are most notable. I am really getting a high dose of sweet pineapple in the nose.

The flavor is somewhat of a letdown initially. There is an unpleasant medicinal/burning plastic flavor that shows up from the very beginning and it is a glaring flaw in this flavor. Wow, thus ends my review, I can't get around this unpleasant flavor. Maybe brett gone way wrong? Someone burned a fermenting bucket and let it drip into the tanks?

Conclusion: I will seek this out again and see if another bottle shows the same flaws, or if this isn't a tasty beer.

 993 characters

Photo of youradhere
2.76/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours rusty orange, thin white head. Smells of wheat, sort of like a bock. Floral and metallic aromas. Taste is, metallic, hoppy florals, phenolic, medicinal. Thin mouthfeel, high carbonation. Pretty disappointing, I had high hopes for this one. Glad to have tried it though.

 275 characters

Photo of webbcreative
2.85/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured dark amber color, red brown with more brown, and 2 finger white head. A= smells semi-sweet, and a little bit of floral hops but not a lot. T= has some sweetness from the malt, and has a touch of bitterness from the hops, but overall this is weak for a barleywine, come one! M= thin, and weak, not enough body.

Overall as a big beer, its pretty decent, but as an american barley wine it misses the mark. Needs to be sweeter, hoppier, and needs more body. meh.

 466 characters

Photo of NewGeneric
2.89/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into my Delirium tremens tulip.

A: Pours a clear, rusty-copper color with 2 fingers of light beige head. Foam takes its sweet time dissipating, leaving plenty of sticky lacing all over the glass. Looks incredible.

S: Smells slightly stale, with heavy malts that deliver some nutty, toffee aromas. Mild hop presence as well. Nothing special.

T: Taste is well defined by the nose. Again nothing special.

M: Pretty thick, with some very solvent-like heat from the alcohol. This would be a fairly decent score otherwise.

D: I'd drink it over some other stuff, but probably won't buy it again.

 600 characters

Photo of M_chav
2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Photo of brownbeer
2.91/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reddish amber with a tall off-white head that rises and falls quickly leaving lacind.

Malty without many hops,rotten veggies.

Sweet, full bodied with brown sugar and too sweet, sugary. Not a lot going here.

Overall, this is a barleywine that's not worth buying.Unless...

 273 characters

Photo of TheHammer
2.92/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: The body is an opaque reddish brow with decent signs of carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half of head. It did retain admirably but produced minimal lacing.

Smell: A walloping hit of malt with a sandy background. It's fairly clear that it has a high alcohol content. Warming brought it out a bit more, but it really didn't need help.

Taste: Overwhelming malt with touches of grapes and plum. It finishes with notes of piney and earthy hops. The entire beer however doesn't hide it's alcohol content at all.

Mouthfeel: The biggest problem is the solvent note because the alcohol and the carbonation is a bit low. Apart from that though, it seems to carry a nice malt and mixed yeasty fruit aftertaste.

Drinkability: There is way to much undisguised alcohol content, and the overwhelming malt grows tired. Not a fan at how it sits down in my stomach either.

Final Thoughts: As my second barleywine, this doesn't appear to be a style that does it for me. It's like a high ABV Belgian gone wrong. I'll pass, but that doesn't mean you should.

 1,063 characters

Photo of DIM
2.95/5  rDev -19.8%
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.

 577 characters

Photo of Goliath
2.98/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a reddish brown with a large light tan head. Decent retention and a touch of lace.

Aroma is ok. A floral hoppiness with a touch of malty sweetness.

Taste is alright. A little floral hoppiness, some lightly toasted malt, a bit of alcohol, and even a little metallic.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability is low to moderate. Alcohol is high and flavors are sub par making this beer a little more difficult to consume. As I got further into this brew and it warms I figured out the problem. The floral hop profile just doesn't lend itself to a Barleywine. It's more of an off-balance IPA that is too dark. Had they used a different hop strain they probably would have a successful brew on their hands.

 734 characters

Photo of DCon
2.99/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received a 1 Pt. 6 Fl. Oz. bottle of this in a trade w/ amcmaho1 & shared w/ friends @ 4 Hands Brewing Co. Poured from the Baby Blue/Yellow Labeled bottle w/ a Dog wearing a Sombrero & shooting off guns (old western style) into a 12oz- 4 Hands Brewing Co Snifter Glass. Has no freshness date on the bottle but know its a 2011 from the brewery when amcmaho1 visited.

Aroma- Hot boozy, sharp, and very rough on the nose... Definitely needed to have this one sit a bit longer or?

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger head that has average retention. The darkest amber colored body you can get while also being viscous and leaves suds behind.

Flavor- Hits the mouth with tons of malt and sweetness but where is the complexity? Very light bitterness at the finish and almost no hops included in the flavor.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation, Smooth, and has a malty, bold finish on the palate.

Overall Impression- More like a traditional English Barleywine, this one missed the style a bit. More hop should have been included and should not have been so hot/sharp. Still enjoyed nonetheless and would love to pick up another bottle of this and sit on it.

 1,166 characters

Photo of Wolfsdenbrew
2.99/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep copper, with a lasting tan head and moderate lacing.

The aroma is of sweet malts with little to know hop bouquet.

While barleywines are one of my favorite styles, this one was way too sweet with a huge alcohol burn. It did finish with a bitter hop bite but the hop flavor was lacking.

Medium-heavy body and lightly carbonated as it should be.

Just not a very good representation of the american barleywine style. My least favorite of the Santa Fe beers.

 478 characters

Photo of BGsWo22
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of JohnBender
3/5  rDev -18.5%

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Chicken Killer Barley Wine from Santa Fe Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 362 ratings
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