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King Henry - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
King HenryKing Henry

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,263 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,263
Reviews: 306
rAvg: 4.71
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 1,684
Gots: 495 | FT: 18
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,263 | Reviews: 306 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by dbc5:
Photo of dbc5


4.95/5  rDev +5.1%

22 ounce bottle poured into 10 out Kentucky Bourbon Stout snifter.

A: Pours a deep brown with ruby edges. Held to light, some amber tones shine through. Color is beautiful (although I'm sure some would complain of it being too dark for the style). Very minimal head, even with fairly aggressive pour. No lacing to speak of, but do get some alcohol legs with each swirl of the glass.

S: So much going on in the nose. The bourbon is present and yet not overpowering, letting oak, vanilla, candied caramel, dark fruits, graham cracker, and a brown sugar sweetness push their way through. Phenomenal nose.

T: So much complexity. I am experiencing the beer differently with each sip. Caramel, toffee, dark fruits, vanilla, coconut, marshmallow, brown sugar, and of course bourbon. It seems that with each sip, a new flavor takes the prominent role. The use of dark malt (chocolate I believe) imparts an interesting element that isn't present in your typical English barleywine. I'm picking up some interesting flavor similarities between this and Dark Horse's BB Monster 29, although they are clearly different beers and the Monster 29 is far sweeter.

M: Sticky, thick, and tongue coating. Carbonation is mild and appropriate for a barrel aged barely of this size.

O: Hands down, the finest barleywine (barrel aged or otherwise) I have had to date. I'm honestly not sure that I have ever enjoyed a beer more than this one. Were there slightly more head and lacing, this might have been my first ever perfect 5. Simply phenomenal.

01-18-2013 00:56:58 | More by dbc5
More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe


4.4/5  rDev -6.6%

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.

09-27-2013 14:00:09 | More by tectactoe
Photo of SkiBum22

New York

4.88/5  rDev +3.6%

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.

12-14-2011 15:30:28 | More by SkiBum22
Photo of BeerAdvocate


4.63/5  rDev -1.7%

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.

03-08-2012 02:09:11 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of newk340


5/5  rDev +6.2%

02-04-2012 17:31:00 | More by newk340
Photo of supa0525


4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

05-14-2013 15:22:05 | More by supa0525
Photo of joel66

New York

4.25/5  rDev -9.8%

03-07-2013 02:13:20 | More by joel66
Photo of warnerry


4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

11-01-2013 03:17:52 | More by warnerry
Photo of Todd


4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

03-08-2012 15:58:51 | More by Todd
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4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

08-26-2012 21:21:14 | More by Callmecoon
Photo of jisom123


4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

09-18-2012 01:02:59 | More by jisom123
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New Jersey

5/5  rDev +6.2%

01-05-2013 05:25:59 | More by megamass
Photo of Jason


4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

03-08-2012 02:12:17 | More by Jason
Photo of codysjb


5/5  rDev +6.2%

09-01-2012 18:11:57 | More by codysjb
Photo of Mora2000


4.43/5  rDev -5.9%

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.

06-16-2012 15:26:40 | More by Mora2000
Photo of jeebus23


4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

03-17-2012 20:56:38 | More by jeebus23
Photo of BigE90


5/5  rDev +6.2%

03-16-2012 17:47:50 | More by BigE90
Photo of 1Adam12


5/5  rDev +6.2%

01-01-2012 22:19:28 | More by 1Adam12
Photo of fo1ksguitar


5/5  rDev +6.2%

01-04-2012 15:18:10 | More by fo1ksguitar
Photo of PDZ


5/5  rDev +6.2%

11-09-2012 01:49:20 | More by PDZ
Photo of standardcherry


5/5  rDev +6.2%

11-23-2012 08:18:58 | More by standardcherry
Photo of kingcrowing


4.33/5  rDev -8.1%

22oz bottle poured into a sampler.

Pours a deep Ruby/dark brown with really no head at all. Nose is sweet and a bit winey and boozy.

Taste is sweet caramel, oak, vanilla, booze and Bourbon. Mouthfeel is is full and rich, a nice bitterness on the finish. Really tasty.

02-11-2012 16:24:54 | More by kingcrowing
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5/5  rDev +6.2%

07-28-2014 03:58:21 | More by MicroBeerMan1980
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New York

4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

01-13-2012 04:42:37 | More by mjtiernan
Photo of bpfrush


5/5  rDev +6.2%

01-10-2012 20:26:47 | More by bpfrush
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King Henry from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 1,263 ratings.