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King Henry - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
King HenryKing Henry

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,358 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,358
Reviews: 313
rAvg: 4.71
pDev: 8.92%
Wants: 1,714
Gots: 502 | FT: 21
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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,358 | Reviews: 313 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of unclejazz
4.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well now, its x-mas and I have enjoyed much of the fruits of my labor this year, if the form of wonderful beer. This is a good way to top it off. So here we go, 22 oz. bottled on 11/11 pour into vintage crystal goblet.

A-this pour low on carbonation, thin head no lacing over a deep mahogany color almost opaque.

S-this is a many layered process starting with maple and bourbon, some burn sugar and candied fruit comes in along with some brandy, vanilla and port notes. Truly intoxicating.

T-lots of the same but there is some toffee at the finish and raisins.

M-silky smooth but thick, like a good amaretto. The flavors linger on your lips.

O-you would be hard pressed to find a more enjoyable experience. I can see how aging could mellow out the sweetness a bit.

Photo of MarcatGSB
4.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into snifter. Sampled side by side with 2011 Pelican Mother of All Storms on Christmas day with Mike. Bottled 10/08/2011.

A: Pours a deep brown, fairly consistent color throughout, with a bit of thinning towards the edge. A quick swirl brings back a fizzy head, with really no lacing. Has an almost "cola" like appearance. There is some coating to the inside of the glass, but the legs aren't all the impressive.

N: Brown sugar, caramel, vanilla and bourbon dominate the nose. Sweet malt, and dried fruit round out everything nicely. No to very little hop presence.

T: Beautiful notes of brown sugar, toffee ,caramel, vanilla cream and bourbon/oak. This American Barleywine comes off more on the sweet side, with very little hop bitterness. Some pine, but very little citrus. As far as "style" goes, might be a little sweet, but it's delicious.

M: Lush and creamy. This beer feels absolutely fantastic. The alcohol is mild, the mouth is lively, not cloying. Playful. What a treat.

D and O: As a whole, when I drink this beer I can honestly say to myself "This is the best beer I've had in quite some time". Which is saying something, lots of BA Plead the 5th and BCBS lately. Absolutely a delight. Awesome vanilla notes, great balance, maybe a little sweet, but that isn't a problem. Maybe without the barrel aging, the hops would have shown more? Interesting to see. I like the re-used bourbon barrels, as the Rare gave this beer a beautiful roundness, maybe from the muted oak, and less assertive bourbon. Beautiful.

Photo of pmlondrigan
4.29/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Merry Christmas to me and my wife! The king pours into a nice wine glass deep, deep mahagony brown with a quickly retreating one finger light tan head. No retention. This beer has legs. Aroma initially is of big malty sweetness with a hint of hops and barrel presence, oak, and bourbon. As this beer breathes the aroma becomes mostly oak, vanilla, bourbon and rich caramel malt. Caramel malt with a kiss of hops on the palate, chocolate, vanilla and oak barrel. I get some spice too, like warm cinnamon. And closes with a fleeting hint of hops. Thick, slick, and hot the way a young barley wine should be. Amazing overall, though I feel I am tasting too much barrel and not enough beer.

Photo of jjheinrichs
3.5/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of huadog
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of Gfunk720
4.85/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Deep darkish brown, with a touch of red. Clean and clear, with a whitish khaki colored head. The beer has a nice warm glow to it.

S- Sweet caramel, toffee, and bourbon. Very warm and rich, with notes of roasted malt. A bit of heat, but the oak and bourbon are very well blended.

T- Warm and creamy, very very smooth. No heat or booziness in the flavor, just a delicious blend of oak and sweet bourbon. Touches of brown sugar/toffee and a bit of dark fruit. Excellent.

M- Pretty much perfect. The right amount of carbonation and body. Amazing depth and just insanely smooth for a beer of this ABV.

O- Overall, this beer really lived up to my expectations. Hopefully GI can continue to produce beers like this, as this is one of the best BA Barleywines I've ever had.


Photo of inflatablechair
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of wsnich
5/5  rDev +6.2%

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 davod23
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of BeerWorld
3.5/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of Keyes88
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Duff27
4.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Beige short lived head on a dark brown body. Some lacing.

S- Sweet barleywine scent with a hint of bourbon.

T- Soo smooth. Big time sweetness but never cloying. Awesomely hidden ABV.

M- Mouthfeel is awesome, reminiscent of Rare. Big mouthfeel, adequate carbonation.

D/O- The new quintessential English barleywine. Hard to imagine another barrel aged barleywine better than this. Recommended if you can find it.

Photo of MsRif
4.38/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you to Retail1LO for sharing this! Poured a dark brown color with dark red on the peripheral/in the light. No head, just a thin ring of bubbles. No lacing to speak of. Aroma of dark fruits, caramel and a touch of dark chocolate. The dark fruits really come out in the taste...raisins, cherries, figs and dates. The chocolate notes and caramel add to the wonderful smoothness of this brew. There is a slight booze burn that is felt more than tasted.

Full-bodied, smooth and very drinkable. One of the few barleywines that I have enjoyed completely...I think I said "wow" when I took the first sip. Highly, highly recommended.

Photo of Rifugium
4.52/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a thick, dark, woody brown with garnet hues, with little to no head to speak of other than a few stray bubbles. Aroma big with dark dried fruits, caramel and toffee, chocolate notes. Man, this was one smooth tasting barleywine, among the best I've had the pleasure to imbibe, second perhaps to Mother of All Storms. Heavy on the dark fruits--raisins, figs, raisins, dates, raisins, black cherries, and raisins--smooth caramel and velvety milk chocolate goodness, red Twizzlers, touch of brown sugar, with a good infusion of bourbon coming through mid-palate on, though the booziness always seems to remain just as an implied presence in the background, and never takes over the other flavors present. Very smooth and silky, chewy and full-bodied, highly drinkable, highly recommendable.

Photo of allforALE
4.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured form a 22oz bottle into snifter.

Pours a deep ruby brown with a very faint head that subsides quickly.

This smells of Bourbon, carmel, oak, vanilla, and a bit of chocolate

The taste is sublime. Toffee, vanilla, caramel, and bourbon to a lesser extent than the smell.

Not too much carbonation, but a full bodied beer and very viscous.

This is probably the best barleywine I have ever had. Must get more.

Photo of JRod1969
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of sacullen
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of JivanN
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of Bay01
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of axeman9182
3.83/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, #948. This one was bottled on October 8th, and allowed to warm a little bit before being poured into my Duvel tulip.

King Henry pours surprisingly dark. It's almost stout black, with very sparse mahogany highlights. Maybe two fingers of foam, the color of light coffee, rise up and then fall right back down. The nose hits every mark for a bourbon barrel aged English barleywine, and does so nicely. Toffee, vanilla and burnt sugar are the primary aromas, with bourbon and oak providing subtle complexities in the background. The flavor sees those secondary notes come a bit too far in the foreground. Woody oak and boozy bourbon are fairly in your face, while caramel and vanilla are stuck playing second fiddle. Ideally those roles would be reversed. The body is full and creamy, but the carbonation is a bit too subdued, even for a malt forward style. The result is a carbonation that crosses the line at times into syrupy. King Henry's a solid beer, but given how well Goose Island's barrel aged beers usually come out, I'm just a little bit disappointed.

Photo of hoppymcgee
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of Khazadum
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of Retsinis
3.5/5  rDev -25.7%

King Henry from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 1,358 ratings.