Chicken Killer Barley Wine is brewed by the Santa Fe Brewing Co. which is the oldest and most established brewery in New Mexico. They produce a nice variety of fine beers. We grabbed the "Brewery in a Box" and generally enjoyed all of them, with special kudos to the Pale Ale and the Hef. Sorry, I didn't keep any tasting notes on those.
One of their more colorful offerings is the Chicken Killer Barley Wine. This beer is unique and worth a try for that reason alone.
Self-described as "revolutionary", it is brewed using double the amount of ingredients and extracting only 1/2 the regular liquid from the ingredients. The strategy appears to be an all out flavor blitz.
The pour is a nice reddish brown, with an inviting thick head. As expected, there is a tremendously strong front end flavor, heavy with alcohol, and almost too rich to distinguish any one characteristic. The flavor slowly sorts itself out with rich roasted notes and a smooth smoky flavor that lingers on the tongue. There is a nice hop flavor, but the malt body is so rich and thick that it just smashes right through into a complex and enjoyable (and surprisingly dry) finish.
In all this beer is unique. Incredibly strong flavors that almost create their own textures and consistencies are not my thing, but this is worth a try because of its complexity and balance. If you can find it, and you like big flavor, it is a "Must Have It", for the rest of you, "Try It".