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Boulder Beer Co. Killer Penguin

January 6, 2010

Like most craft beer drinkers I like to imbibe in the seasonal beers that breweries will put out for the four main seasons and sometimes even in between those seasons.  I think if breweries had their way there would be a “Springtoberfest” and “Fallinter” time of year for beer too.  Ok, Fallinter (Fall+Winter…get it) is stretching it, but seriously, breweries do not follow when seasons are supposed to begin or end very closely.  Although, who cares?  That’s part of what makes craft beer so much fun.  There is always something new to be had year round.

Killer Penguin is Boulder Beer Company’s winter barleywine style ale.  According to the wax-sealed bottle this is the 2009 edition of Killer Penguin.  The bottle features the typical Boulder artwork and font type with the addition of an evil looking penguin staring you down and daring you to break the wax seal.  Also on the bottle is a listed 10% ABV and no “bottled on” date that I can find.

Also listed on the label is a brief description claiming only 50 barrels are brewed each year and that it is Boulder Brewing’s “most rare and sought-after beer.”

Not knowing how to properly open a wax-sealed bottle I took  knife to the under side of the cap and popped it off.  Being a beer bottle collector I try to preserve as much as the original packaging as possible.  Somehow I managed to preserve the entire wax seal.  The bottle spit out foam as soon as the cap was popped off, but it wasn’t a gusher.  It poured a muddy red color with an off-white head that didn’t impress nor disappoint.

The aroma was thick with mostly apple and some other light fruity notes.  Hops could also be picked up, but they felt out of place.  The flavor is sweet and malty, but quickly becomes muddled with bitter hops that just don’t fit in here.  As opposed to a sweet then bitter flow Killer Penguin throws everything at you and once and the result is nothing short of unpleasant.  The alcohol also plays a significant role in the flavor of this one.

Killer Penguin has a long finish that is undesirable and grainy.  It coats the mouth with a hop oily-ness.  I do not rush for another swig, but I do manage to finish all 1 pint 6 FL.OZ.

Is this a bad beer?  Not necessarily. Hops are a beers best friend, but Killer Penguin uses them all wrong.  They merely intrude on  beer that should be sweet, heavy, and flavorful.  They are undetectable in the nose, but nauseatingly present in the flavor.  Hopefully next year Boulder will adjust the recipe because we all know they can brew up some pretty amazing stuff!

Appearance: 3.8/5

Aroma: 3.0/5

Flavor: 2.3/5

Mouthfeel: 2.5/5

Drinkability: 2.0/5

Overall: 2.72/5

Boulder Beer

BeerAdvocate

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From → Beer, Beer Reviews

2 Comments
  1. Barleywines taste best when aged for a year or more. Some can be downright harsh just after they are bottled. Give this beer some time and try it again. You’ll love it after it ages.

    Welcome to the beer blogosphere! Look forward to reading more in the future.

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