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RATINGS: 533   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.38/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
Traditional winter seasonals are warm and comforting - not this Penguin. Diving in at around 10 percent alcohol by volume, Killer Penguin uses over twice the malt as other winter beers, and is aged for over 6 months to perfect the condition and flavor of this barleywine style ale. This beer doesn't ferment, it hibernates, and wakes up with an attitude.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 8/20
punkrkr27 (903) - Berkley, Michigan, USA - JAN 8, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 17, 2007 2006 bottle, possibly spoiled. Malty aroma, a tiny bit of dark fruit and something very chemical, diacetyl maybe? Tasted the same as it smelled with a very metallic taste lasting on the tongue. Medium body with low carbonation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
blankboy (6918) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 2, 2007
Bottle shared with HogTownHarry, GregClow, jerc & mabel -- courtesy of HogTownHarry. 2006 bottle. Pours a clear amber with a small lasting white head. Mild fruity aroma with yeast, brown sugar, hops, wood and alcohol. Flavour’s a bit boozy, once you get past that there’s sweet malt, hops, fruit and wood. Medium bodied. It’s a little mild (and probably too young) and far from "Killer" but I still found it decent enough.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Dorwart (2482) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - DEC 31, 2006
Good sized head of off-white bubbles. Minimal carbonation. Head reduces slowly and leaves a thick sticky splotchy sheet of lacing. Caramelly sweet aroma with a plethora of piney hops. Light malts and a bit of spicy zest. Color is an amazing bright, glowing mahagony red. More malty sweetness and caramel. Little bit of hops presence. Still tastes young and a little hot. This could use a little nap time to mellow. Decent flavors in there but they don’t compliment each other very well yet. Separate sweet malts and separate hops presence that seem to be fighting against one another. Flavor is also a little weak for a barleywine. Finishes warm and spicy with the hops dominating the aftertaste. Not a bad barleywine just one that could stand to age and develope for a while.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
GarrettB (1311) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 31, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 14, 2007 What goes better with snow than a penguin? Snow by itself is fine for pastoral paintings (a la Rockwell) and maybe some snow forts, but a good, pudgy penguin enriches any snow laden scene with a connotation of playfulness and innocence. It also makes it purely natural. Never have I seen a photograph or a picture of both man and penguin together, save for at the zoo, which I consider a very forced environment. So it is, then, that the penguin is a celebration of the natural as it is most intimately expressed in winter, or at least in very cold climates in the absence of civilization. But the penguin is not at the heart of nature’s cruelest side. We save that spot for snakes and bears and other such fanged beasts. No, the penguin is the playful side of nature – and most importantly, toothless (both literally and figuratively). No matter how hard Boulder Beer tries, I don’t think they can ever dispel that image, even with their startling portrayal of an angrily optical bird smashing through the logo. They would have done better to make a killer beer, but even there the toothless perception prevails. The taste is high in alcohol, true, and it really digs into the tongue from sip one, but it leaves little room for other flavors. It is a vengefully focused beer, dry enough to rattle your teeth a bit, but the other shades of raisins and wine that hit the center-back of the mouth are left to fend for themselves with their own meager substance. To further their already muted voices, they’re accompanied by a generic hops burn, insuring that no other dimensions are included in the angry but overall monolithically brewed beer. The alcohol is brutal, but that doesn’t make it killer. It makes it generic. Killer to me means harsh but flavorful, not the exclusion of the latter. The Killer Penguin’s body is murky, but at its heart is a deep, dark brown-orange, pushing up a light tan head that makes a quick exit. The aroma is more engaging. Chocolate milk balls, raisins, extremely dark red wine and a touch of coffee round off a common but pleasant smell. But still, it remains a beer that could be confused with a hundred others like it. It fails to fine tune the petty details that would make it shine, or one might say, the details that make it killer. With some warmth the chocolate milk balls turns to a dark, bitter chocolate and the raisin notes attenuate a tad, but it’s only a modicum of change. The crux of the beer remains the same. It’s listless, boring and not bad enough to deserve harsh criticism. It is a solid beer, then, and pleasant to drink as a penguin is to look at. But it won’t send chills down your spine like the label would have you think.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
ghostmonkey (204) - budd lake, New Jersey, USA - DEC 27, 2006
bottle . . pours dark/amber and clear with small white head . . aroma is sweet cherry, malty, alcohol . . taste is very sweet/bitter finish . . mostly alcohol flavor . . pretty watery . . eh, not bad . . just ok!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
GregClow (3038) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 24, 2006
Bottle shared with HogTownHarry, blankboy, jerc & mabel - courtesy of HogTownHarry. Clear red-amber with an off white head. Aroma of sweet, sugary (almost cloying) malt and warm, slightly harsh booze. Body is thin. Flavour of a mediocre barley wine - i.e. all the elements you’d expect are there, but at about 50% of the intensity you’d expect, except for the alcohol with is harsh and hot in the finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
HogTownHarry (6372) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - DEC 24, 2006
Bottle (650ml). Shared with blankboy, GregClow, jerc and mabel, my bottle. Poured clear amber with a very frothy beige head. Light aroma of woody sweet citrus malt, mildly and generically hop bitter and a hint of booziness. Taste - very much a standard barleywine, watered down and a little too sweet - juicy malt, light citrus/resin hops, slightly boozy - the body’s pretty weak, there’s some astringency and alcohol but the finish is too quick and too sweet - it’s quite drinkable, but underwhelming and forgettable.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Prostman (1077) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 22, 2006
This was a decent barleywine and one that I would go back to. It was rather on the mild side, but that is not always a bad thing. Give it a try.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
jercraigs (9154) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 22, 2006
On my want list for the name alone. Amber body, small tan head fades. Premature hops leap out of the glass and peter off quickly to a rough grainy alcohol follow up. Dry, moderately bitter hops in the flavour are lightly astringent and washed out. Average palate. Bit dull, pleasant but not killer. “It’s more like the Happy Feet penguin barleywine!”

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
apoptosis (1317) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 20, 2006
Crystal-clear, red body - nearly no head at all...too filtered to be a true beer IMHO...The aroma is very metallic and pungent. It is sweet and filled with raisins, but something is not "quite right". The flavor is a little bit better, with more fruit flavors coming through, and a fuller hop/malt balance. The finish is fruity, filled with cherries and even vanilla. Somewhat bitter.

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