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King Henry - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
King HenryKing Henry

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,370 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,370
Reviews: 317
rAvg: 4.71
pDev: 8.92%
Wants: 1,728
Gots: 503 | FT: 23
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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Ratings: 1,370 | Reviews: 317 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.27/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour provided by ehammond1 at the blind barrel aged barleywine tasting hosted by DarthKostrizer.

Pours a clear dark brown with a khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form randomly around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, vanilla, wood, and bourbon aromas. Taste is exactly the same with an alcohol kick in the throat with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good barleywine that is worth the hype surrounding it. This beer was the unanimous winner of the blind tasting.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of zestar
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of GRG1313
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of nmann08
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle courtesy of Lunch.

Pours a dark copper-caramel color with a good off-white head. The nose brings some very smooth bourbon. So smooth. Great vanilla and caramel in the background. Flavor hits smooth bourbon and light oak tannin. Body is incredibly smooth with a great bourbon character. Really delicious. Absolutely fantastic beer.

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of brentk56
4.22/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2011 release

Appearance: A small head caps the fudge colored liquid and quickly becomes a ringlet without leaving much lace behind

Smell: Caramel, figs, dates and chocolate

Taste: Caramel and chocolate, up front, with both citrus and bourbon elements arriving by mid-palate; the bourbon dominates the finish, though there is plenty of caramel to go around

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; a bit of heat in the gullet

Overall: This beer packs a wallop of flavor but at this stage of its development, it is rather hot; I imagine this will improve dramatically over the next year or so

Photo of BEERchitect
4.82/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As rich, powerful, and succulent as any Barleywine that I have tasted. But with exquisit balance and surpring smoothness- is this the premiere Barleywine going forward?

The beer opens with a rusty garnet pour, very viscous, the beer carries an oily visual texture with cordial-like legging upon modest foam light tan and slight orange barley stains. Its overall appearanc is that of rich ale meets brandy.

Mouthwatering and succulent flavors and aromas of bourbon-soaked plubs, dates, cherries, figs, dates, nuts, apples, raisons, and prunes all layer upon the rich barley malt flavor of toffee, maple, brown sugar, molasses, and chocolate. Barrel-rich caramels, vanilla, and vinous woods also offer all the flavor of bourbon but with little of the associated fusal heat. An absolutely delicious staple that sets the bar extremely high for any barleywine wishing to compete for top honors.

Lush textures depend on the sheer weight of the ale plus the creamy and rich medium carbonation that gives an English-like robust textrue that chases the flavors from start to finish. Growing heat rises to provide a long and tawny finish of Port and Sherry with a long and moderate dryness in finish.

I have never been saddened more to see an empty glass as I was after this one finished. I'm an absolute sucker for sweet barleywines and this one delivers with the perfect culmination of all the Barleywine flavors that I appreciate the most. Marvelous on all fronts!

Photo of jaydoc
4.9/5  rDev +4%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Knapp85
4.39/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This was sent to me by mjmadsen21, big thanks on this one. This poured out as a very dark burgundy color with a fizzy tan head head on top. The head doesn't last long and only leaves a thin ring around the edge of the glass. Not the most impressive looking beer that's for sure. The smell is big, lots of bourbon, sweet fruity malts and plenty of ethenal heat filling the nose. The taste of the beer is sweet, loaded with dense malt and plenty of sweetness. Elements of vanilla and caramel. The mouthfeel is heavy, creamy and oily thickness with some bubbles that gently dance on the tongue. The beer is smooth and sticky. Overall it's huge, very boozy even after sitting in the bottle for a couple years. Really nice barleywine.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of womencantsail
4.42/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for sharing, Dan.

Pours a dark amber color with a finger of off-white head. Rich bourbon aroma as well as plenty of dark fruits such as raisins and plums. A nice caramel and brown sugar aroma, too. A strong flavor of bourbon, vanilla, and caramel. Heavy on the brown sugar and toffee as well as some dark fruit notes. Medium to full bodied with medium carbonation.

Photo of largadeer
4.65/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another fine tick shared by womencantsail. Thanks, Andrew.

Mahogany body topped by a lasting leather hued crust.

Smells pretty damn great, nutty and caramelized with subtle barrel notes. Bourbon is still surprisingly present for second use barrels, lending a great richness to an already rich foundation.

The palate is boozier than the aroma, but still really nice. Nutty, lightly oxidized with a big caramel malt backbone. Little bit of earthiness, somewhat tobacco/cigar-like. Bit of dried fig fruitiness. Full-bodied, rich, decidedly sweet and malty but not cloying by any means. Nice fruit-oak-caramel finish.

Photo of emerge077
4.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Healthy pour into a tulip glass yields a thin layer of ecru foam on the surface that fades away quickly. Given the ABV, it's no surprise there's not much head retention. Color is a stunning deep crimson when backlit, otherwise a dark reddish copper with perfect clarity.

Sweet and confectionary aromas of rich toffee and bourbon caramel syrup.
Mellow traces of wood and vanilla from the re-used bourbon barrels.

Pralines, toffee, toasted almonds, toasted coconut, vanilla, cajeta. Trace oak woodiness and bourbon traces blend seamlessly, though there is a hint of spirit that bites just a tiny bit. Low carb, somewhat tannic and oaky, lip smackingly sweet upfront like homemade toffee, impossible richness. The flavor lingers so long, it could easily be 5 min. between sips, just savoring it. It may not be Wooden Hell, but it's on the same level for sure.

Photo of zeff80
4.27/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a burgundy color with little to no head. It did leave some sudsy lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of bourbon, vanilla and oak. It had some sweet caramel and toffee notes, too.

T - It tasted very malt and sweet with caramel and sweet toffee. Nice vanilla, oak and bourbon flavors show off the aging.

M - It was crisp, sharp and relatively smooth. A full bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a delicious English Barleywine. Goose Island can still bring it.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.82/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Rogue shaker pint glass.

Big thanks to VDubb86 for sharing this bottle!

Thought I was gonna miss out on this bad boy, but Mike graciously shared with us for the Super Bowl party. It pours a dark ruby-brown topped by about a half-finger or so of off-tan foam. The nose comprises plum, caramel, oak, toffee, light bourbon, brown sugar, clove, light vanilla, dark fruit, and a twinge of madeira. The taste brings in more of the same, but there's a strong gust of booze that topples all in its wake. Some of the complexity remains underneath, but it's all colored by the heat. The body is a strong medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a generally solid b-wine, but one that is far too hot at the moment (relatively fresh). I can tell, though, that age will treat this guy very, very well...

Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

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King Henry from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 1,370 ratings.