King Henry - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
King HenryKing Henry

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,339 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,339
Reviews: 311
rAvg: 4.71
pDev: 8.92%
Wants: 1,709
Gots: 500 | FT: 22
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  13.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Brewer's notes:
Aged in Pappy Van Winkle 23 bourbon barrels, previously used to age Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout. King Henry is a burgundy hued English-style barleywine with aromas of vanilla, oak, and dark fruit. Caramel and toffee flavors blend together with bold notes of bourbon delivered in a smooth body followed by a malty finish. No matter the occasion, King Henry promises a regal drinking experience.

(Beer added by: Kegatron on 08-16-2010)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,339 | Reviews: 311 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by JoninVT:
Photo of JoninVT
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Ron for opening this one with us... I don't know how he does it. Dark brown and mahogany on the pour, with a light-tan head that settles to a collar pretty quickly. Still, thick, somewhat viscous and slightly menacing as it sits in the glass quiety. Good clarity when held up to the light, with not much haze detectable at all.

The aroma is absolutely huge... whether it's good or not, that's one thing... but the size of it is captivating. Sticky caramel, toffee, brown sugar, sweet molasses, deep figs, heavy oak, prunes, a big, boozy underbody, handfuls of woodsy raisins and a polished dusting of cocoa and chocolate in the end. Huge. Robust. Sticky sweet and largely complex. The best nose on the planet? Probably not... but still, pretty damn fantastic.

I'm a little more blown away by the first sip, as the flavor is even more omnipotent and commanding than the aroma (and even a little better, if you ask me). Lots of oak up front, sticky, heavy toffee, molded vanilla and caramel drizzle, warm bourbon and booze, cavity-inducing brown sugar, more dark fruits like figs and prunes, with a mild touch of cola in the finish, quickly survived by a touch of chocolate and the faintest addition of roast.... Wow.

King Henry is a monster of a beer. I guess that's what happens when you take an already massive barleywine and age it in Pappy 23 barrels that previously held a badass stout for two years. The bourbon character itself is relatively tame, I'm guessing since this is the second usage of the barrels, but King Henry still retains that barleywine-ish boozy character throughout - not to a menacing degree, rather just enough to let you know exactly what you're dealing with here.

There's no doubt this beer is a slow sipper, and the mouth feel is more justification of that. Thick and viscous, such a large body that has a sticky and almost (I repeat, *almost*) syrup-like retention to all sides of your mouth, leaving you with the lasting impression of oak, dying dark fruits, and huge brown sugar and molasses sweetness. Something that must be savored, one sip at a time.

So - King Henry. What a damn fine barleywine. While I do believe the hype train took hold of this one long ago, and it still may be *slightly* over-hyped, it is still a fantastic beer... I just wouldn't give up the farm for a bottle. It still deserves recognition as an incredible beer, although it wanders pretty far from the realm of English barleywines. In any case, it was still a lovely treat and I can't thank Ron enough for letting me indulge.

Photo of mlhyatt
4.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bomber into tulip glass.

A- black but not quite jet black if that makes sense. Abiut half inch of head but it wasn't as frothy as I expected it to be. The head dissipates rather quickly as well.

S- tons of bourbon with some fruity undertones. Lots of sweet malt xoming forward as well.

T- delicious. The bourbon hits first strong even after 3 years. Then there is a smooth sweet malt that follows and really holds this beer together. The aftertaste is definitely fruity but not like backyard rye or actual fruit, if that makes sense. Hint of vanilla and oak in there as well.

M - a little bit thinner than I thought it would be but still has a medium body feel and little carbonation. The sweetness of the beer is a little strong but it just makes it a sipper.

O- extrenely well made beer. I can definitely see the hype behind it. Glad I got a few in the trade!

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.74/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow, thanks Curran for the big ol 11 oz pour of this. Big time want.

Pours an opaque, murky brown, small film-like head, under a quarter inch, and no lacing.

Smells like dark fruit, smooth seductive bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, and toffee, in large amounts. Smells quite concentrated and sweet.

Even at 3 years out, the flavors here are so bright and vibrant. Very, very sweet, almost to the point of cloying, but it finishes slightly dry, keeping it from being too much. The bourbon flavor here is to die for, as expected given the PVW 23 3rd use barrels used. Even though it's 3 years later and 3rd use barrels, the bourbon is still present and forward. Huge notes of maple syrup, toffee, caramel, burnt brown sugar, dates, figs, raisins, port, chocolate covered cherries, with a slight boozy twinge that integrates well with everything else and warms you right up. Sipping this on a porch on this cool summer night was just about perfect.

Medium bodied, sticky sweet mouthfeel, there's a bit of tingly booze and woody bitterness on the lips throughout the session for me. A slow sipper for sure, due to ABV and strong flavors.

This is everything I hoped it would be. At times it was a tiny bit too sweet, but that's the only knock for me. Otherwise, perfection.

Photo of emyers
4.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bottle at Ball & Biscuit in Indianapolis, IN. Review from notes 5/13.

Appearance: Pours dark brown color, near black, with a thin light brown lacing. Not much head retention.

Smell: Wow. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, rich caramel malt, a healthy dose of fig, some dark chocolate, and hints of toast. There are layers upon layers of aroma here. Incredibly complex. I wish I could be smelling this all of the time, forever. OK, that might be a very slight exaggeration, but really, this smells impossibly good.

Taste: Unreal. Rich, top shelf bourbon, fig, date, caramel, some dark chocolate, vanilla, and toasted oak. Slight bit of alcohol heat on the finish (which only adds to the deliciousness). In order to imagine this flavor profile, take a world class barleywine and add some imperial stout characteristics and a healthy dose of bourbon. Then make it exponentially better. There may come a day when I taste a beer better than this, but I honestly doubt it.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and extremely smooth. Rich and velvety going down with an appropriately low carbonation level. Once again, wouldn't change a thing.

Overall: Based on some of the comments I read about this beer on the forums, I didn't think it could possibly live up to the hype. Then I tasted it, and it blew the hype out of the water. Words cannot describe how good this beer is.

Photo of cultclassic89
4.78/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A truly amazing barleywine. However, it was not leaps and bounds above the 2013 BCBBW we had side by side with it, and I personally don't think it's worth what it takes to get compared to BCBBW.

Photo of SkiBum22
4.88/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a dark mahoganey color with a thin ring of cream colored head. Nice lacing.

S - Very nice barrel aged barleywine smell. Some lightly toasted malts, burnt brown sugars, caramel, slight hops and wonderful pappy barrel smell. The barrels bring out some mild vanilla, wood, and a touch of coconut.

T - Similar to the smell, very sweet. I can feel the carbonation and taste it. The spices are very prevalent in the taste along with some subtle bourbon notes. I am getting some oak here as well.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. astringency from the hops. big boozy feel all over my mouth and throat.

O - Wow, this is easily the surprise of the year for me. I had no idea about this beer until last week and can now say with ease that this is in my top 5 of all-time. I just got into barley wines this year and didn't think anything could beat abacus and this blows it away.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.63/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz brown bomber with a bottled on date, also states that it will develop in the bottle over five years. Bottle #1028. 13.4% ABV ... this should be interesting.

LOOK: Opaque brown, head is virtually non-exsistant.

SMELL: Booze soaked fruit, barrel char, bourbon, vanilla, maple, wood, melon rind, peppery.

TASTE: Viscous, creamy, sherry, toasted wood, heavy char, ink, gritty, dark chocolate, bready, ripe cherries, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, lost leafy hop bitterness, boozy, spicy peppercorn, barrel dryness in finish.

Does it live up to the hype? Hell yeah! Massively complex. English Barleywine meets American bourbon barrel-aging with a nod to Old Ales as a byproduct. Goose Island once again proves their mastery of maturing beer in wood. Even King Henry would be impressed.

Photo of newk340
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of supa0525
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of joel66
4.25/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of warnerry
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Todd
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Jared14
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Callmecoon
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of jisom123
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of megamass
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of codysjb
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of Mora2000
4.43/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to jjfoodie for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a brown color with a very small tan head. The aroma has a ton of maple and bourbon in it, with some nice toffee and caramel notes thrown in. Even with all of the alcohol in the aroma, the beer manages to not smell that boozy. The flavor is great as well. I get a ton of molasses, whiskey, caramel and maple, as well as a good amount of oak. All of the notes go very well together making this an outstanding beer. Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very happy I got to try this one.

Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of jeebus23
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of BigE90
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of 1Adam12
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of fo1ksguitar
5/5  rDev +6.2%

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King Henry from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 1,339 ratings.