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King Henry - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
King HenryKing Henry

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,244 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,244
Reviews: 306
rAvg: 4.71
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 1,684
Gots: 499 | FT: 17
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)
View: Beers (301) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of King Henry Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,244 | Reviews: 306 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Photekut
Photekut

Tennessee

5/5  rDev +6.2%

12-04-2011 14:43:25 | More by Photekut
Photo of alcstradamus
alcstradamus

Washington

4.47/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a thin and quickly disappearing head. Aroma is fudge and toffee but not incredibly rich, just smooth and inviting. The flavor is sweet and rich and hot. Luscious caramel, marshmallow, and fudge. The body is full and carbonation is on point for the style.

Although this style has grown somewhat tiring for me, this beer is clearly a standout and worthy of praise it receives.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 01:28:31 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of kenm2118
kenm2118

Illinois

5/5  rDev +6.2%

12-03-2011 05:42:22 | More by kenm2118
Photo of OttoBomb
OttoBomb

Illinois

5/5  rDev +6.2%

12-03-2011 04:58:46 | More by OttoBomb
Photo of DirtBoy929
DirtBoy929

Iowa

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

Haven't had a barrel-aged barley wine in a while. Nice beer to make a reintroduction. Pours a silky deep brown that turns translucent carmel at the edges when swirled. A little fizzy carbonation escapes on the pour, but no head develops.
Lovely light molasses and bourbon nose, bourbon is subtle. Mouth feel is thick and sweet and not as dry as some bourbon stouts I've had recently. Flavor is also reminiscent of molasses with a lightly earthy touch, and an earthy bitterness like dark chocolate. Of course there is a note of bourbon, but not hot like the liquor. Taste is more boozy than the smell but pleasantly rounded. Appropriately clean and dry finish. Should develop well in the bottle, I hope the sweetness becomes more dry and adds to the already abundant depth of flavor.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 03:14:28 | More by DirtBoy929
Photo of JoeJ1986
JoeJ1986

Illinois

5/5  rDev +6.2%

12-03-2011 01:15:11 | More by JoeJ1986
Photo of Agold
Agold

Pennsylvania

4.65/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is a brown color with just about no head. Almost stout dark, but more of a burnt caramel color with a bit of light that comes through. Aroma is big caramel, toffee, vanilla, and a mild smooth mellow bourbon. Outstanding. This beer is the smoothest -bal beer I have ever had. Smooth rich, caramel and toffee again. Lots of vanilla, more than the nose, warm, but not hot. The bourbon is very well integrated into the other flavors. Mouthfeel could use a touch more carbonation, but it is damn close to perfect. Overall, I love this beer. Great price ($14), great beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 00:52:00 | More by Agold
Photo of ChadQuest
ChadQuest

Illinois

5/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 00:01:42 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of wschmit
wschmit

Illinois

4.68/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bomber, bottled 10/08/11, into a New Glarus pint glass.

A: Pours like a thick Coca Cola, with the exact same head that fizzles loudly and quickly into almost nothing. The Wisconsin-shaped nucleation etching on the bottom is doing its job, though--plenty of carbonation welling up the middle. Nearly black until held up to light--a deep, dark brown, which would be clean and transparent if not so black.

S: Holy lord, chocolate. Prominent but gentle bourbon notes, subdued compared to BCS. I could smell this all day. Chocolate and booze, chocolate and booze. Like after-dinner whiskey mixed with chocolate mousse. Just a touch of port-like grape scent.

T: The alcohol tastes a bit stronger than it smells. Sip starts off like Hersheys syrup, followed up by a hit of bourbon. Some astringent bits detected, but they work well and keep things from getting to saccharine. For a beer this big it is not Overly sweet, but it's close. Still, it's packed with dark, roasty flavors.

M: Definitely warms your throat as it goes down. Inky, syrupy, with barely enough carbonation to keep it flowing along. Top tier.

O: Well, it's a big-ass beer, even for a barleywine. It is, however, the perfect size for marriage with even a second-use bourbon barrel. This is a sipper up there with the best of them; glad I had my shot at it. A beer I will remember.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2011 23:20:46 | More by wschmit
Photo of Viciousknishs
Viciousknishs

Virginia

5/5  rDev +6.2%

12-02-2011 21:02:09 | More by Viciousknishs
Photo of DoctorB2B
DoctorB2B

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +6.2%

12-02-2011 05:35:40 | More by DoctorB2B
Photo of trbergman
trbergman

Illinois

5/5  rDev +6.2%

12-02-2011 04:41:31 | More by trbergman
Photo of AmericanGothic
AmericanGothic

Iowa

4.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a Sam Adams pint.

A: Pours a dark, copper brown color with a thin, dark brown head. No retention or lace. Active carbonation.

S: Dark fruit, rum, spice, some dry cocoa. Pretty complex and full.

T: Very complex, hard to sort it all out. Port, chocolate, coffee, stewed dark fruits, orange zest. Alcohol is tad strong but not a major flaw, substantial sweetness to balance it. After a while, bubble gum joins in. Then cinnamon takes a turn.

M: Full mouthfeel, a bit of cream and lots of oil, very smooth.

O: This is a great beer. Reminds me in some ways of a high octane doppelbock in the flavor profile, especially the port notes, but with more bitter flavors. Pricey at $13 for a bomber, but well worth giving it a try. My bet is that it will improve with age; glad I have another bottle to test the theory. Will need to look for more.

Update: one year of aging has done wonderful things for this beer-- perfect Christmas brew. Glad I still have a few more in the cellar; taste is a five now.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2011 02:17:12 | More by AmericanGothic
Photo of FievelGoesWest
FievelGoesWest

Illinois

5/5  rDev +6.2%

12-01-2011 21:32:22 | More by FievelGoesWest
Photo of wtfuggles
wtfuggles

Missouri

5/5  rDev +6.2%

11-30-2011 06:58:18 | More by wtfuggles
Photo of bstyle
bstyle

Indiana

5/5  rDev +6.2%

11-29-2011 07:04:52 | More by bstyle
Photo of 1noa
1noa

Illinois

5/5  rDev +6.2%

11-27-2011 18:32:25 | More by 1noa
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

5/5  rDev +6.2%

11-27-2011 17:17:49 | More by spycow
Photo of ChadlyG
ChadlyG

Michigan

5/5  rDev +6.2%

11-27-2011 15:06:05 | More by ChadlyG
Photo of jnikkel
jnikkel

Indiana

5/5  rDev +6.2%

11-27-2011 14:49:09 | More by jnikkel
Photo of sbricker
sbricker

Illinois

5/5  rDev +6.2%

11-27-2011 02:29:41 | More by sbricker
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

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

Got to the release too late to actually buy bottles, so I just went straight to the pub and got a 5oz sample. Served in a Goose Island taster pint.

A - A thin tan foam settles to a thick collar, a few wisps, and minimal spotty lacing. The body is an attractive brown-ruby color that reveals some transparency when held to the light.

S - Toffee, caramel, red fruits, burnt sugars, oak, milk chocolate, vanilla, a bit of spicy alcohol, and very faint bourbon notes.

T - Taste has less barrel presence, and is heavier on the sweet stuff with intense treacle, toffee, red licorice, Sultana raisins, burnt brown sugar, toasted malts, and a bit of oaky vanilla and coconut. Again, overt bourbon presence is low.

M - Sticky, full body, with an extremely chewy and viscous texture. Stickiness lingers indefinitely actually. Lower carbonation, and minimal alcohol warmth.

D - A very good barrel-aged barleywine that has a lot in common with the base beer. The barrels were second use, so this didn't pick up a lot of additional alcohol, resulting in a nice aged, mellow character. Not quite top-tier, but worth trying for sure.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 05:20:33 | More by MasterSki
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

4.98/5  rDev +5.7%
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]

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 04:34:04 | More by jegross2
Photo of bozodogbreath
bozodogbreath

Indiana

5/5  rDev +6.2%

11-26-2011 03:20:23 | More by bozodogbreath
Photo of dwbrews
dwbrews

Illinois

5/5  rDev +6.2%

11-25-2011 20:45:49 | More by dwbrews
King Henry from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 1,244 ratings.