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King Henry - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
King HenryKing Henry

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

314 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 314
Hads: 1,411
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 6.74%
Wants: 1,762
Gots: 498 | FT: 25
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  13.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Kegatron on 08-16-2010

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.
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Reviews: 314 | Hads: 1,411
Photo of williamjbauer
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled bomber served in snifter, shared with my dad to celebrate the birth of my son.

Caramel brown fairly clear with half finger brown head that quickly dissipates and leaves some minimal bubbly lacing and nice alcohol legs. Aroma is the nectar of the gods with sweet caramel, molasses, alcohol, bourbon, vanilla, oak, and chocolate with a touch of toasted coconut. Taste is the finest sweet caramel malt I have had in a barleywine. Vanilla, oak, smoke from the bourbon but not as pronounced as I expect in this beer's debut. As the beer warms the chocolate character from the Rare starts declare itself. Full body, minimal carbonation. Best barleywine I had to date. Hope the GI barleywine will be somewhat close to this. (725 characters)

Photo of HereforBeer
5/5  rDev +8.7%

I recently opened up a King Henry with a few friends and it had gone completely bad. I had already drank it about 5 times before, so I was really excited to open my bottle. It was basically just a big, gross raisin bomb. We all agreed that it was way over the hill and we drank less than half the bottle. (304 characters)

Photo of mindspin315
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is seriously a beer to end all beers. If any barrel aged English BW can get better, let me know? (Ok, I see you lurking Kuhnhenn BBBW).

Appearance: Dark ruby hued brown body. A sort of head forms quickly and dissipates equally as fast. Lots of lacing and legs.

Smell: Huge fresh oak, caramel, toffee, bourbon, and hints of dark chocolate. Other aromas come through; such as dark fruits (raisins, figs, plum, black cherry), vanilla from the wood, toasted coconut, sweet apple skin, and a faint roasted nuttiness (pecans), tobacco. Light sherry and port wine presence as well. Incredible aroma. You could pull plenty of different aromas with each smell.

Taste: The light aroma presence of sherry/port wine comes out big in the flavor. Sweet apple skin, caramel, toffee, and figs upfront. One of the biggest tastes is toasted coconut. The palate is left with plenty of flavor. Everything from sweet caramel/toffee, dark fruits, bourbon, char, and vanilla. Along with a mild dark chocolate presence.

Feel: Low carb...not flat, but not gonna tickle your tongue. Incredibly smooth, glides across the palate with a heat that would never tell you this is 13%. Def knows how to coat the palate and stick around. Mild alcohol heat (incredible for the high ABV).

King Henry is absolutely amazing. It is worthy of all the hype it gets! From aroma to feel, I can't name a beer that does it better for the style. This is most def a sipper to be enjoyed with company. Although going solo on this wouldn't be a bad decision either!

[100/100] (1,538 characters)

Photo of cnbrown313
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My cousin bought 6 bottles of this when it came out and he was nice enough to give me one. I decided to open it up by myself one night and that was a mistake, however, it was the only beer I needed for the night! Here we go...

A - It was not as jet black as I expected, but almost like a very dark caramel color. Little to no head at all, but it leaves an amazingly think lacing around the glass as you drink it.

S - The smell is of the finest bourbon, mixed with dark fruits like dates or figs. I knew this was going to be good... but now I was scared that I was drinking this alone.

T - There is an immediate bourbon flavor that warms your mouth, but surprisingly it is not overwhelming. After the bourbon, you get hits of caramel, dates, figs, and oak. As I let the beer warm up to almost room temperature, these flavors became even MORE pronounced.

M - The mouth feel is slightly thick and viscous, with very little carbonation. But it has a beautiful velvety feeling as you swish it around your mouth.

O - I can't imagine a better barleywine than this. This is definitely the most complex beer I have ever tasted with very pronounced bourbon, oak, and dark fruit flavors. I am glad that this world class beer comes from my hometown of Chicago, because it truly is a world class beer. (1,293 characters)

Photo of waltonc
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to SpdKilz for this trade.

This is the best barleywine I have ever had. Pours dark brown with tan head. Smell and flavor shine with a perfectly balanced blend of everything you expect and want from a top-tier bourbon barrel barleywine - bourbon, vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, caramel. It's all there and very polished and refined. Body is fairly thick, but not cloying or syrupy. I am giving this a perfect score because I really can't imagine a bourbon barrel-aged barleywine being any better. This beer isn't missing anything. (537 characters)

Photo of Cisco619
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle into Weyerbacher snifter. Bottle courtesy Retail1lo.

A: Dense liquid that appears brown at first glance, but reveals itself to be more crimson in hue. The way the light highlights the sanguine shades as you lift your glass to take a sip is enthralling.

S: As soon as I uncapped this, it filled the room with an intense aroma chocolate and toffee. After I poured, the vanilla notes from the barrel became apparent. The layers of candied dark fruits and vanilla an chocolate are sublime. A little bit of heat rises as I finish my draw, impressive for this 13.5% goliath.

T: Follows the nose, with an incredible meld of dark fruits, toffee, brown sugar, and a vanilla backbone that lingers to the hot finish that just slightly warms as it passes. Alcohol is more apparent than the nose.

M: Smooth and creamy without being overbearing. A little heat lingers with the silk sheen left behind by this alchemic feat.

O: The bar has been raised. This is by far one of the best beers that has ever graced my glass. Thank you Hayden for sending me this gem. Truly surpasses the hype. (1,090 characters)

Photo of pschul4
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The feature beer on ariech6 and my's night of the King!

Thanks to GranvilleTime for the hookup!

A- Super dark for a barleywine, I'm really surprised at this as his approaches stout territor

S- Oh god. This is some of the best smelling bourbon I have ever encountered. Bourbon in the foreground with barleywine sweetness in the back. Some dark fruits and malts make their way through

T- This is it... Remember how good it smelled? Forget all about that. This is a whole new level or awesomeness! I give this a 7.5 out of 5 if I could. Smoothest bourbon on the planet, base beer is amazing too. Sweet dark fruits perfect frolic with the Pappy/Rare barrels.

M- So smooth and coating. Bourbon is still in my mouth days, weeks, months later.

O- This is the 2nd best beer I have ever had thanks to CBS. Good god I wish GI could mass produce this. Forget Rare I want those barrels for more King Henry! (902 characters)

Photo of tut2528
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Smell:huge raisins/figs and enormous sweet sugary molasses are dominant. There are notes of vanilla and oak that makes the aroma extremely well balanced. Even though the ABV is enormous, it is completely hidden

Taste: Unbelievable brew. Huge brown sugar/molasses, that is accompanied by a rich vanilla and bourbon mixture. The oak provides another aspect to the beer that makes this one of the (if not the best) balanced beers I have ever had. Interestingly, the ABV is again completely hidden.

Honestly, this is the best brew I have ever had. Goose Island really did a phenomenal job on this one. I'm aging a few right now, but I do not know how the hell it can get any better. (680 characters)

Photo of areich6
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoying for the first (and probably only time) with my good friend pschul4.

A: Dark, really dark. A lot darking than almost any barleywine I have had, and I am loving it!

S: Amazing. The sweet bourbon smell is beyond words.

T: Tastes as though I think ambrosia would. It is literally indescribable. I cannot use mortal terms to define this beer.

M: As good as the taste. Absolutely perfect.

O: The best beer I have ever had, hands down. I have yet to have CBS or Pliny the Younger but this very likely might be the best beer ever made. (546 characters)

Photo of Rollzroyce21
5/5  rDev +8.7%

- 4 oz. pour into Woodshop 6 tasting snifter on 22-Jul-12

Tastes exactly how it's described; such a caramel and toffee climax. Bit of roasted oak and balanced vanilla bourbon. Wouldn't doubt.. the epitome of barleywines! (221 characters)

Photo of ThirstyHerf
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From Blind BIF #6
Bottle # 2. Bomber shared with Ilikebrew & Chaseabeer. Served in 3 Blvd Tulips. The cap is popped and we are immediately hit in the face with what appears to be another barrel aged barley wine.

A Pours a mahogany brown with a dark amber hue, nice fat two fingers of head with a large amount of lacing. This beer is gorgeous. 5

S - Oh man, we have something special here. vanilla, bourbon, carmel, brown sugar, chocolate, toffee, oak (do I smell a hint of BCBS Rare???) 5

T - OMG this good. cooked brown sugar, caramel, chocolate, oak, bourbon, Vanilla, toffee, dark fruits, tobacco, and a nice bit of alcohol heat - Once again, There is a stoutness to this beer! We are all speculating King Henry and now slipping this delicious beer. 5

M - Thick, chewy, coating, the alcohol is barely noticeable on the palate. perfect. 5

O- This might be one of the best beers I have ever consumed. I am positive this is a BA BW and I am guessing King Henry 5

...and it is. Alewatcher, we are all in disbelief you sent this. We still have two bottles to go and I cant imagine what you feel in the lineup is better than this. thank you. (1,144 characters)

Photo of Holland
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: beautiful dark brown with slightly lighter highlights and a tan head that goes quickly. Looking back on the color again, it has a dark red color and is almost black.

S: sweet bourbon, caramel, wood, malt

T: sweet malt, bourbon, caramel, maybe brown sugar, hints of fruit or raisin. Amazing that the complexities came through. Would love to age it to see what would happen.

M: heavy body, decent carbonation, but so smooth feeling. The 23 year Pappy must have treated this nicely.

O: wouldn't be difficult to drink the whole bottle, but it has a burn once it goes down. Got this bottle in a trade - thanks, Treebs! (623 characters)

Photo of PHBoiler
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured 22 oz bottle dated October 2011 into snifter glass

Pours deep mahogany with light carbonation that creates no head even with a swirl. Opened this bottle to celebrate birth of our first child and shared with three non-BA drinkers that were blown away by the flavor.

The beer smells of bourbon but without the heat on the nose. You can smell some toffee and fruit. The appearance and taste almost reminds me of a high end Belgian Quad. The sweetness from the dark/dried fruits, some caramel flavor from the oak and vanilla combo from the bourbon barrels, and only the best essence of bourbon. This beer never fades throughout the entire bottle. You can leave the beer sit and the temperature doesn't impact the flavor either. It never thins out. The mouthfeel in terms of viscosity is right on point as well. Not heavy but nowhere near thin. This is truly a marvel. Easily one of the top 5 beers I've ever had. You get it in every single drink. It is as consistent as it is fantastic. (991 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by Lunch. Thanks Paul.

The beer is dark brown with russet highlights. Atop the beer rests an oily beige head. The aroma brings roast, bourbon, malt, oak, booze. Fantastic flavor. Alcoholic warmth but unobtrusive. Well balanced and teeming with delicious flavor. Every drink begs another. I doubt I could ever grow tired of this beer. Medium to full bodied with a silky smooth feel on the palate. Simply put, this is easily one of the best beers I have ever had. My highest recommendation. (503 characters)

Photo of sleuthdog
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle dated 10/08/11 and bottle number 811 poured into tulip

Appearance: King pours a slightly darker than mahagany brown in color with a one half finger size cream to light brown head. The small amount of head that does form dissapates fast. Held directly up to the light the color changes around the edges to a beautiful ruby red. There is some small tight bubbles rising along the side of the glass to a tiny ring around the edge. There is a decent amount of lacing present.

Smell: One of the best smelling beers. Very sweet bourbon hits me first followed up by dark fruits (raisin, plum, dates) and vanilla. There is molasses, caramel,toffee and butter evident and some obvious oak. I also get a brown sugar sweetness too. The smell on this is oh so intoxicating!

Taste: Wow the taste does not disappoint one bit! I am tasting the bourbon layered with the sweet dark fruits and the oak with a malty backbone. Vanilla mingling with brown sugar, caramel and toffee. The alcohol shows itself but does not burn in the slightest way. It is oh so smooth!! This is an outstanding complex tasting beer that has left me amazed!

Mouthfeel: The feel on this is pure velvet and smooth to the highest degree. It is superbly sticky and thick to the point where it sticks to my entire mouth including my lips. I feel like I should be chewing this instead of drinking it. The alcohol is present but again is so well hidden that it makes this so damn dangerous.

Overall: What more can I say? Best English-style barleywine I have ever had without a doubt and best beer I have ever had to date. I know this is impossible to get now but if there is any way possible to get this, GET IT! (1,678 characters)

Photo of Spcoly
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hands down the best beer Ive ever had. Waited an hour in line on relase day only to score a 4 oz sample. Made it my mission to get as many of these in my cellar as possible when it hit the stores a few weeks later.

A: Dark brown almost black color. A modereate pour yielded a short lived head. almost no lacing.

S: Heaven! Bourbon! Chocolate!

T: Sweet heaven...! Sugar / vanilla / Bourbon...you name it, its there

M: Light bodied with some heat....can easily finish all 22oz....

As stated above this one sets the bar for the barrel aged category. Love the Bourbon County Stout, but Henry takes the cake!!! (610 characters)

Photo of Trystero
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Date: 10/08/11 Bottle number: 0945

22 ounce bottle split between myself and AynEin. Poured into a Hair of the Dog tulip. Marks my 500th check-in on Untappd.

Appearance: Ruby hued, merlot-esque and opaque when held to the light, murky, treacherous.

Smell: Vaguely reminiscent of Bourbon County, which is a good thing. Smooth bourbon and vanilla dominate the bouquet, slight oak woodiness, sweet sugary malts.

Taste: Initial sip is of potent bourbon and alcohol mixed with candied malty sweetness. Bready vanilla and oak.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with light carbonation. Drinkable and highly pernicious.

Overall: Amazing! What needs to be said that hasn't already. Personally I'm sad I don't have another bottle to witness the complexity of it gaining age. Oh well...I'll make due. (785 characters)

Photo of ChadQuest
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Super stoked to get to drink this. You know that I <3 Barleywines, especially when they are a high abv and bourbon'd, and that i think Goose is one of the very best barrel breweries in the nation, so this is my Perfect Storm(no pun intended) of beverages right here. Last night i had a long tiring night fighting a fire inside a building and only slept 3 hours, so tonight i am relaxing at home by drinking a bomber of King Henry by myself. Lets get ready to rumble!

The pour shows a body that when held up to light has a strong crimson red color to the body. When absent from light it darkens up into a "pitch red" color i'll dub it. I had heard that at a recent blind tasting the people who tried this at FOBAB could tell this was King Henry by the appearance, and now i see why, it will now be unmistakable. On top of the body is a thin head that fades from the 13.4abv into a super thin collar.

Wow, what an aroma. An aroma this rich and dense is a thing to cherish, and makes me dip my nose into the glass as much as sip it. This is a beer that has that pre-aged aroma, in that the barrels are very full and rich but incorporated, that this was put into a bottle 55 days ago is remarkable. The richness is derived from strong vanilla, brown sugar and caramel, and is balanced by bourbon warmth. The barrels used here are the same ones they aged Bourbon County Rare in, 23yr pappy used for a 2nd time, and must be a large contributor to this beer.

I taste all my barleywines from 4oz snifters that i keep refilling as i go through the bottle, but this really is a beer that a single 4oz pour could last you half an hour. The flavors in this one coat the palate and lingers on. Toasted Caramel and Chewy Nougat flavors smother the palate into oblivion, sprinkled with brown sugars, vanilla, toasted oak and maple,butterscotch, and a deep yet mingling bourbon attribute that brings it all together tighter, and the bourbon heat grows as you go through a bottle.

Wow, fantastic. I have had most all of the big Barleywine releases in the past 3 years, and this one is at least a peer among the very best. let me end our time together with a single word: Phenomenal. (2,175 characters)

Photo of KAP1356
4.99/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Catching up on reviews as it has been some time. Was lucky enough to get a bottle of this when it came out a couple of years ago. I didn't think I would ever give a beer perfect 5's all around, but this one might be my all time favorite beer. Poured into a snifter...

A - Pours a nice dark mahogany color that is really warm and inviting. There are some darker amber red hues when held up to the light. A very thin eggshell white head forms and quickly recedes to a collar. Almost perfect, but I had to ding some points here.

S - Wow. Sweet and intense aromas of caramel, dates, molasses, figs and dark fruits up front. Vanilla, some more roasty stout flavors come through as well with a lovely mix of bourbon and oak. Some ever so slight maple syrup hints in there as well.

T - Here it is. This is my perfect tasting beer. The flavors begin with dark fruits like dates, raisins, figs, and prunes that taste like they have been rolled in caramel and molasses. Flavors of bourbon, vanilla, maple syrup and some slight spice - like cinnamon - all come through in a sweet and creamy fugue of flavors. Rich butterscotch comes out more as it warms along with some slight chocolate notes. Just wow. Yes, it's sweet, but the flavors complement each other so well and there is such a nice and almost perfect barrel integration here that it is hard to find anything wrong with the sweetness.

M - Rich, velvet, creamy full bodied beer with minimal carbonation. The booze is so well integrated into the beer here that it is hard to pick up completely on the flavors.

O - Just wow. My first 5 beer. For me, this is everything I would want in a beer. So happy to have had a chance to try this and I know this flavor will last quite a while in my memories. (1,747 characters)

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.99/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Goose Island King Henry

Poured into a tulip glass from a 22oz bottle.

Bottle: 1018
Bottled on 10/08/11

The pour pours a very dark mahogany with some nice dark amber edges and a thin off white head that fizzes down to a ring around the glass. (4.75)

Aroma is intensely sweet. very strong caramel notes. Tons of molasses, prunes, dates and raisins and any other dark and sweet fruit you can think off. There is vanilla and some slight cinnamon with tons of Bourbon notes. The sweetness does not surprise based on the sweetness of PvW 23 and the first beer to be aged in these barrels (BCBS Rare). (5.0)

Wow. This is intensely sweet and very amazing. Starts off with the same dark fruit notes. Dates, prunes and raisins expand all through the palette. Then there is so much caramel and molasses. Rich and creamy sweet notes with some slight woody oak notes hidden in there. The sweetness is intense but all flavors are layered so well that it doesn’t overwhelm. There are tons of vanilla and rich butterscotch notes and the dark fruit notes really pop around the middle of the brew. Perfection in terms of a beer palette, it is almost like a well-orchestrated symphony of flavors in you mouth. As the beer warms there is some nice chocolate sweetness and even some slight roasted on the middle and back end. The Bourbon is delicious and sweet and there is some heat on the back end that also helps curb some of the sweetness. Slight citrus notes can be notes on the back end as well (Hops?). (5.0)(5.0)

This brew is great and its near 5.0 across the board. Very sweet but the sweetness is layered so well. Amazing brew. (5.0) (1,630 characters)

Photo of mdvatab
4.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received 22oz bottle dated 10/08/11 (#0804)
Poured into red wine glass.

A: Sweet bourbon, coconut, caramel, vanilla, pineapple upside-down cake, and a light, peppery booze note. It smells like this is gonna be a good one!

A: Dark brown/ruby body with great clarity. 1/4 finger of off-white head falls fast to a ring of fine bubbles and a thin splotch of foam in the middle of the surface of the beer.

F: Sweet, sugary caramel, coconut, smooth bourbon, cotton candy, pineapple upside-down cake, date, raisin, a touch of black licorice, then light black pepper on the finish. Heaven.

M: Full, slick, and chewy. Medium to medium-low carbonation--not flat. Some peppery heat lingers in the mouth and throat.

O: This one's been getting a lot of talk since it was released. As a lover of English Barleywine (especially the barrel-aged type), I made it a point to get a bottle. Sometimes beers aren't all the hype's cracked up to be. This one definitely is. This could be the best beer I've ever had. (998 characters)

Photo of jegross2
4.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing the King Henry from Goose Island Brewing Company. Pleasant surprise: I got to drink this one with the current head brewer of Goose Island (who I made certain to complement).
Score: 99

Sampled a generous glass from a 22 oz bottle at Goose Island's Black Friday bonanza. Later shared a 22 oz bomber in an oversized snifter glass (image to the right).

Appearance: Pours a thin cream colored head that quickly disappears, leaving a pencil-thin ring around the glass. Deep walnut brown molasses color. Largely opaque with ruby-brown highlights around the perimeter. 4.5/5

Smell: Red grapes, oak and vanilla. Sweet molasses and brown sugar. Caramel, some bourbon sweetness. Some major booziness if you take a big, direct whiff. Editor's Note: I had this beer again in June 2012, and the booziness to the nose (and palate) is almost completely gone. What's left is a sublime medley of rich, barrel aged flavors. 5/5

Taste: Very complex and sweet. Vanilla and oaky bourbon. Syrupy brown sugar and molasses. Some caramel. Touch of honey. Red grapes and plenty of dark fruit flavor. Surprisingly balanced. Finishes with a little warming alcohol kick and sweet vanilla-bourbon. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Creamy and sweet. Full bodied, minimal carbonation. Syrupy and smooth. Alcohol warmth in the finish. 5/5

Overall: An absolutely delicious, complex and balanced brew. I am not the biggest fan of barleywines, but this one blew me away. I can't wait to nab a bottle of this stuff and age it. Editor's Note: I had this beer again in June 2012, and the booziness has almost completely smoothed out and the beer is drinking near perfect.

Recommendation: Of the many barleywines I have had to date, this one was the smoothest and most balanced. I can confidently recommend this one all around.

Pairings: An earthy, organic hamburger with a generous heap of goat cheese on it? At least that's what I had this one with. A pumpkin pie would go great with this too.

Cost: $25 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

[NOTE: the original score from the day of the release was 97] (2,057 characters)

Photo of GbVDave
4.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into three FoBAB taster glasses. Thanks to pops and HeatherAnn for the assist! Extra special thanks to Matt for the hook up!

Bottled on 10/08/2011

A: Pours a deep, dark chestnut brown with a thin, dark khaki colored layer of foam on top that does it's very best to hang around but lasts about 2 minutes before melting down to a thin collar that left a suprising amount of lace behind.

S: Holy. Crap. Unbelievable aromas of dark fruit, boozy cherries, fig pudding, fudgie brownies, and bourbon.

T: Exactly as above. Not a trace of deviation from the smell. Masterful.

M: Smooth and slick but not a trace of syrupiness. Actually, the prodigious alcohol content is transparent, save for a trace of spicy prickle that spreads out on the tongue.

O: Like a slightly lighter colored version of Bourbon County Stout. This has to be in my top three of 2011...and 2012 too. This is like GI's challenge to everyone else. Make something better, bitches! (975 characters)

Photo of smokeypeat
4.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had as part of a blind tasting of BA Barleywines. Big thanks to bluemooncanyon for the trade.

Poured into a chalice this beer was a deep dark brown with minimal light penetrating. Weak beige head quickly dissipated leaving a slight trace across the top. Some alcohol legs were present.

Smell on this is intoxicating. Deep dark fruit notes with some slight vinous qualities. Nice nuttiness in the background mixed with vanilla, molasses and of course a solid bourbon background.

The taste on this is absolutely top notch. This stood head and shoulders above every other beer we sampled that night. Raisin, toffee, dark caramel, and Madagascar vanilla bean. I loved how the smooth bourbon was constantly present but did not overwhelm the wonderful play of flavors, but rather enhanced everything else. This beer though relatively fresh felt like it had age on it in the best way possible. Everything was smooth and evened out.

Mouthfeel did nothing but contribute to the overall experience. Nice and creamy with just the right level of carbonation to deliver all the flavors.

Overall this beer is one to remember. It actually exceeds the hype if that's possible, and should take its place in the pantheon of quality beer. Seek it out. (1,239 characters)

Photo of actone2001
4.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle acquired from a fantastic trading partner RC0032. Bottled 10/8/11, fridge temp but allowed to warm and breathe.

A - Black in appearance when poured, but you can tell that it is really a murky, dark brown. No head at all. When back lit it turns into a beautiful reddish auburn color.

S - Sweet candied caramel fudge. Brown sugar, slight alcohol notes, toffee, touch of bourbon, vanilla, oak, more caramelized sugar and malt. Amazing.

T - I immediately get flavors of burnt brown sugar, sweet candy caramel fudge, toffee, bourbon, and a slight alcohol taste. The oak comes through, and even a raisiny sweetness makes an appearance on the palate. Everything balances, and nothing overwhelms.

M - thick, slightly viscous, and carbonation that is simply complimentary. Perfect for the style, as it helps to bring out all of the flavor notes. Couldn't have asked for more.

O - WOW. This beer is possibly perfect! I enjoy the balance of sweetness and oak, with the alcohol and malt. It's a big beer that benefits from warming... but you still needs to experience the journey from cold to drinkable. Phenomenal. I love sweet, heavy, flavorful beers... and this hits it out of the par. Best beer I've had from GI, and in the top 2 of beers that I've ever had. Wow. It's been an honor... Thank you King Henry. (1,313 characters)

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King Henry from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 314 ratings.