Kickin' Chicken Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine | Santa Fe Brewing Company

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Kickin' Chicken Bourbon Barrel Barley WineKickin' Chicken Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine
92 Ratings
Kickin' Chicken Bourbon Barrel Barley WineKickin' Chicken Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This unique and limited offering takes one of our most outstanding beers, the legendary Chicken Killer Barley Wine, and adds even more flavor and complexity. First, we brew the Chicken Killer Barley Wine using twice the ingredients of our other beers, but only yielding half the usual amount of liquid. This concentrated elixir then sits in Wild Turkey 101 bourbon barrels for nine months, giving the beer and oak a chance to mingle their flavors. In addition to a distinct bourbon undertone, this aging process imbues the beer with notes of vanilla, wood, and caramel. The complex flavors of this beer further evolve through the natural carbonation process that takes place in each bottle. Despite kickin’ the flavors of our barley wine up a few notches, the Kickin’ Chicken Bourbon Barrel Aged Barley Wine retains the smoothness and balance that is the signature of the entire Santa Fe Brewing Co. lineup. Whether you pop one open today or stash a few in the cellar to age for a year or two, get this limited release while you can!

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 92 |  Reviews: 31
Photo of angelmonster
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review is of Bomber from 5/2014

Pours a walnut brown body. Head is about 1/5th of an inch and white. Lacing and head retention were mediocre.

Smell is of sweet, nutty toffee, Bit of vanilla and whisky are next. Some soy sauce/oxidation are also present. Hops arent present, alcohol is there but not bad for a bourbon aged barleywine.

Taste is slightly sour, getting a little bit of plum and oxidation. Caramel malt, rye, and whisky are next, followed by burnt oak. Hops are not detected and alcohol is pretty mellow for 12% alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and decently carbonated. Head died quickly unfortunately, could've used the creamy texture of a full head for this one.

Overall this beer just doesnt live up to its base beer version. It has some off flavors of oxidation and sourness that are especially unpleasant in a barleywine. It's unfortunate, I usually really enjoy Santa fe brewing's offerings.

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Photo of MtnSoup
2.95/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Yeah, very low score I realize. Had this 2013 in my cellar for quite a while, and it definitely has been infected (and not in a fun/good/sour way). Very, very sweet tasting. Smells alright. Was a drain pour. Was pretty good fresh, but was hoping with some age some of the barrel character and nuanced flavors would come through (along with hiding the booze a bit). Oh well, you win some, you lose some...

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Bomber poured into a mini-snifter.

Pours a caramel color with a thin, fluid body and minimal head. A ring of lace settles and remains behind. In the glass, it has a nice glow and plum-skin color. 4

Smell is caramel-like, oaken, slightly spiced and tinged with booze, and there's a slight suggestion of tartness. 3.5

Interesting that there's something off about the flavor but it has a strange appeal. Like an underripe plum that gives way to some caramel, vanilla, oak and a bourbon-y finish. There are flashes of oud bruin-like flavor that again, are notably odd, but also kind of enjoyable. That flavor does become gradually more vinegar-like unfortunately. Though this flavor isn't terrible, it's also not what most would want in a barleywine and likely would qualify as infected. 2.75

I've somewhat touched on the feel, but I'll elaborate. It starts slight tart and carbonated before smoothing out a touch and finding some creaminess. Even after several years of age, there's still some boozy heat and hop bitterness. Overall, the body is lacking and that's hard to escape. 3

I think even without infection, I wouldn't love this completely based on the body. For 12%, its booze is hidden, but it doesn't have the body of a 12 percenter.

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Photo of Boto
3.99/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber: This one poured a murky caramel color. There was just a wisp of a head that left no lacing. It has a nice nose. Lots of scents complementing each other but nothing overpowering. Bourbon, alcohol, caramel, vanilla, some fruit. The taste is good. A little sweet. Caramel malts, fruit, faint bourbon, slight oak, vanilla. A nice barleywine.

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Photo of nathanmiller
2/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Photo of Tartoot
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I love people complaining that this one has an "alcohol" taste to it. It's 12% ABV, so if that's a problem go back to drinking Bud. That being said, it's pretty sweet for a barely wine, and maybe a little too sweet. At times I thought to myself that it had more of a porter taste than a barely wine taste to it. Still, it is a good beer so long as you are not paying more than $8 for the 22oz bomber. Santa Fe makes another barley wine called "Chicken Killer" that is not quite as strong and is not quite as sweet as it has more of the barely flavour you might expect. I would rate "Kickin' Chicken" higher if it were not for the sweet taste that should not dominate a good barely wine. Still, it is a very drinkable ale. It kills me that people complain about a 12% barely wine having an "alcohol" taste to it. Maybe they should be drinking a 6% margarita instead.

Poured from a 22oz bottle.
Slow pour results in a thin head that fades quickly, but has nice lacing.
Smells and tastes sweet with an aftertaste that reminds you of its strength.
I recommend serving this one at 33-40F as it is a sipper and the colder it is the more it retains.

[Perhaps I am not meant for beeradvocate. Too many reviews sound like a bunch of kibble to me. Just tell us what you think and skip the intense jargon that makes you sound like every other word you used was looked up in a thesaurus. These reviews, like a fine craft beer, should be easy to swallow]

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Photo of jaydoc
3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Hohnbaum
3.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of sjdevel
4.17/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Look: Upon pouring out of the bomber, there was decent 2-3 finger head that lessened but kept a nice foam ring with continued lacing. This brew is murky and mostly opaque with a deep bronze color.

Smell: At first there is a strong vinegary / fruity smell, then strong caramel notes chime in. There are also hints of whiskey and wood with a slight smokiness. There are also some slight floral hop notes.

Feel: There is a nice medium-full bodied mouthfeel with this one. It is on the thicker / syrupy side (which may be a bit surprising with the whiskey and higher alcohol content).

Taste: There is an quick hop bite with a great deal of fruity tartness mixed in, but it is not overly sour. The tartness is soon offset by malt sweetness and other fruity / floral notes. There are mysterious hints of banana after the initial punch of tartness.

Overall: This barrel aged Barley Wine is quite different than expected. There are more fruit notes (banana?) and is a very rich brew. It is hard to believe that this one is 10% ABV as it is not overly noticeable and there are a lot of things going on other than just the alcohol. This is a decent Barley Wine that has been further conditioned from Santa Fe’s regular Barley Wine (Chicken Killer). There is a nice balance of bitterness and malts, but I am left wanting a little more hop flavor. If you like tart (but not sour) oaky/whiskey infused aged brews then I do not think you will be disappointed. If you do not like the taste of bananas, then I would say stay away from this one.

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Photo of atone315
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Thirstygoat
3.82/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Westyn
3.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of toothirsty
3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of brewqueno
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.26/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Undated bottle at 45 degrees into snifter
Aroma of bourbon
Head small (<1 cm, aggressive pour), off white, fizzy, rapidly diminishing to a partial 1 mm ring and no layer
Lacing none
Body medium garnet, muddy
Flavor begins with bourbon, slightly sweet, quickly becoming vinegary; no hop bitterness or aroma, no malt flavors, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium to full, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 2.5, Aroma 4, Flavor 2.75, Palate 4, Overall 3.25

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Photo of Craigory
4.25/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of kingjohnh
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of blindpiggie
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of M_chav
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Soto
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of Basoos1
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Tsrohnek
4.5/5  rDev +29.7%

Photo of Ristaccia
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of thufflife
4/5  rDev +15.3%

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Kickin' Chicken Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine from Santa Fe Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.47 out of 5 with 92 ratings