1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

King Henry - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
King HenryKing Henry

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,299 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,299
Reviews: 307
rAvg: 4.71
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 1,699
Gots: 502 | FT: 20
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of King Henry Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,299 | Reviews: 307 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thanmad
5/5  rDev +6.2%

thanmad, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of Orchids
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Orchids, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of bradner
5/5  rDev +6.2%

bradner, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of mconz
5/5  rDev +6.2%

mconz, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of Higgity
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Higgity, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photekut, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of alcstradamus
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.

alcstradamus, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of kenm2118
5/5  rDev +6.2%

kenm2118, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of OttoBomb
5/5  rDev +6.2%

OttoBomb, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of DirtBoy929
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.

DirtBoy929, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of JoeJ1986
5/5  rDev +6.2%

JoeJ1986, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of Agold
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.

Agold, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of ChadQuest
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.

ChadQuest, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of wschmit
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.

wschmit, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of Viciousknishs
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Viciousknishs, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of DoctorB2B
5/5  rDev +6.2%

DoctorB2B, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of trbergman
5/5  rDev +6.2%

trbergman, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of AmericanGothic
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.

AmericanGothic, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of FievelGoesWest
5/5  rDev +6.2%

FievelGoesWest, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of wtfuggles
5/5  rDev +6.2%

wtfuggles, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of bstyle
5/5  rDev +6.2%

bstyle, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of 1noa
5/5  rDev +6.2%

1noa, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +6.2%

spycow, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of ChadlyG
5/5  rDev +6.2%

ChadlyG, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of jnikkel
5/5  rDev +6.2%

jnikkel, Nov 27, 2011
King Henry from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 1,299 ratings.