King Henry - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
King HenryKing Henry

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1,338 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,338
Reviews: 311
rAvg: 4.71
pDev: 8.92%
Wants: 1,709
Gots: 501 | FT: 22
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)
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Ratings: 1,338 | Reviews: 311 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bay01
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of axeman9182
3.8/5  rDev -19.3%
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%

Photo of Cuckoo4Birdflu
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of trodersark
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

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

22 oz bottle shared by Paul.

Pours a dark caramel brown, relatively clear and still with minimal carbonation. Light beige head fades fairly quickly. Smooth is first word that comes to mind in both aroma and flavor. "BCS-like" bourbon is in the forefront throughout, but never overpowering. Vanilla, oak, figs, brown sugar, and milk chocolate blend throughout and produce a slightly dry oaky finish. Body is near perfect; full with a sticky, sweet coating on the palate. Tried this a few times in the past week against some other beers like Blighs, AftW, BB4D, BA Old Conudrum, etc and this always came out on top.

Photo of JoeySchlitz
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. Had at the Goose Island tasting at BeerThursday's place.

A: Poured a very dark brown/mahogany color. From the side it was sitting next to a bunch of stouts and it was hard to tell which was King Henry. Small white head with no lacing.

S: Strong aromas of caramel and vanilla, with a little bit of bourbon and brown sugar.

T: I got a good bit of bourbony vanilla upfront with some oak, brown sugar, caramel, and a little bit of toffee backing it up.

M: Medium to full bodied, very low carbonation. Alcohol is present and is warming as it goes down, but doesn't really detract from the beer.

O: For not being a huge BW fan, I liked this beer a good bit. The sweetness was a little much, but it drank very smooth.

Photo of drabmuh
4.65/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I figured I'd write a few reviews tonight so I thought I'd start with this. At the time of this review, this is the #1 American Barleywine on the "Top Beers - American Barleywine" -- serve in a Stone IRS snifter because it was handy.

Beer is dark brown, mostly clear, lazy thin head, no real lacing, low carbonation, low everything.

Aroma is sweet, nice, overall, a good liquor level, mildly oaky, sweet mostly.

Beer is fucking amazing, seriously so. Smooth as anything I've ever drank, at first bright sweetness, strong palate, i was worried for about a second, then boom, liquor, oak, malt sweetness, nice yeast presence, strong, great finish perhaps a little dryer than i like it but this beer? Seriously? wow. Just wow.

4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of fastpass17
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of Huhzubendah
5/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.63/5  rDev -1.7%
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 RSchaeffer
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of bertram
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of TJBurgess
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Scoot1969
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.2/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass at Monk's Pub. Shared with my boys readbaron and RC0032 on a cold afternoon. 2011 bottle.

Appearance: A relatively small tan froth is touched with a few large rocky bubbles. The beer itself has a full brown color with some ruby edges. Mostly opaque with just a few transparent edges, this looks like a good barleywine.

Smell: The aroma is full of vanilla, oak, caramel, brown sugar, milk chocolate, figs, dates, and a large dose of bourbon for good measure.

Taste: There is a great bit of vanilla in the flavor. Vanilla sticks to the gooey caramel malt and brown sugar, coats the figs and dates, and leaves a good bit of residual flavor. Some cocoa adds a bit of further sweetness with a toasted bready malt before a strong bourbon and oak presence almost overwhelms my palate. I enjoy this flavor, but I was not quite as excited about it as the other two I shared the bottle with.

Mouthfeel: There is a fairly strong sweetness up front that rests on the tongue and adds a sticky feel, but this sensation is more than balanced out by the dry bourbon and oak toward the end. The carbonation is about 75% smooth and creamy and 25% adding a bit of bubbly crispness.

Overall: This beer has quickly gained a name for itself, from festivals last year and FOBAB this year. The bottles drink very well, and I imagine this will get even better as some of the flavors blend together over time.

Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev -10.8%
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 matthewalee
4.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz of King Henry

poured into a Deschutes snifter

A - nice dark brown pour with good lacing.

S - lots of bourbon. cherries, fruit, some oak.

T - certainly the best Barleywine I've had. no question about it. Had some good ones and living in Munster I think BA Behemoth is a nice sipper when poured at the brewpub. The first sip of this is overwhelming with TONS of flavor going on. It tastes like a sweet, candied, melted bomb!! Not a lot of alcohol burn at all....very mellow right now which makes it that much better. be careful with this one. And someone please tell me that the last drink of this beer at perfect temp doesn't taste like a chocolate covered pretzel....because it does. awesome!

M - great mouthfeel. done

O - an outstanding beer made by a craft brewery that I remember well learning about craft beer! I think this may be a statement that they are (and haven't lost anything) still pretty damn good at what they do and using barrels is a very very strong suit of theirs. Nice drink right here one out at all costs!

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.47/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in a snifter.

L - pretty much black with a vigorous pour I got a thin beige head that hung around as a ring for a little while before just going away.

S - vanilla bean, bourbon and a whiff of cocoa powder.

T - sweet vanilla upfront with mellow bourbon smoothing things out, there's a light touch of cocoa before the smooth bourbon flavor finishes things off.

F - medium/full bodied beer that's creamy smooth for sipping.

O - it's a fine barleywine.

Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of mmcnaughton
5/5  rDev +6.2%

King Henry from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 1,338 ratings.