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King Henry - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
King HenryKing Henry

Educational use only; do not reuse.

315 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 315
Hads: 1,422
Avg: 4.62
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 1,764
Gots: 495 | FT: 24
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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of King Henry Alström Bros
Reviews: 315 | Hads: 1,422
Photo of GameFreac
4.15/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

$22 for a bottle at the Square Pub in Decatur, GA. Yes, you read that right.

Appearance: Pours a very dark ruby red color with almost no head.

Smell: Smells of caramel, dark fruits, primarily cherry and some hop bitterness. Lots of bourbon and some coconut.

Taste - Taste mirrors the nose. A tiny bit boozy but the age has lowered it. Lots of cherries and syrupy sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel.

Overall: Really awesome barleywine. I can't help but feel slightly underwhelmed with all the hype but if it wasn't such a legendary whale, maybe I wouldn't put my expectations so high. Still one of the best barleywines I've had, just not the best.

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Photo of ironchefmiyagi13
4.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After a long summer in the restaurant business, Labor Day is the time when we finally get a moment to ourselves, and I wanted to spend it with my good friend, King Henry.

I honestly don't have any bad things to say about this beer. At 2 years old, I don't think that it could have possibly fallen off. Anything this delicious and perfect at 2 years must have been even better or not yet at its peak when it first came out.

Big vanilla, charred oak, chocolate, toffee and caramel in the aroma and taste. Finish is long and even the next day I can smell and taste it.

A wonderful experience and as close to perfection as it gets.


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Photo of John_M
4.64/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally had an opportunity to crack open a bottle purchased several years ago at Fishpaws in Md.

The beer pours a tawny, caramel amber color with very good head retention and lacing. The nose is very impressive as well, as I pick up cosiderable vanilla, chcolate, caramel and light coffee. The flavor profile replicates the nose, but if anything, is even better. The beer is sweet of course, but it's not at all overdone, and the soft creamy mouthfeel in this beer is amazaing. This is like drinking some decadent creamy candy nougat, but again, one where the sweetness doesn't overpower the rest of the flavors in the candy. Also, it's nothing short of amazing that this beer is so drinkable for a 13.4% beer. Certainly you can tell the alcohol is up there, but the beer is not at all hot, heavy or tiring on the palate. I can see where drinking an entire bottle of this might be a chore, but otherwise, it's amazing how easy this is to drink.

Very, very impressive, and clearly the two years in bottle has done this beer no harm. This beer is very deserving of all the accolades it's received over the years, and I'm glad I had a chance to try it.

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Photo of kscaldef
3.66/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Very very dark for a barleywine. Head ranges from small in a HOTD tulip to non-existent in a Bourbon County snifter, with minimal retention and no lacing.

S: Rich chocolate-caramel-bourbon.

T: The taste is not bad, but definitely doesn't deliver here on the promise of the aroma. Some light oxidation, raisin and date notes, but still dominated by a mildly boozy molten chocolate cake profile.

M: Low carbonation. Rich & smooth mouthfeel that pleasantly coats the tongue.

O: Probably not what it once was. (It's not rising to my memories of smaller pours I've had in the past). But, still quite good and unique.

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Photo of Rutager
4.29/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Review #1000. Big thank you to Black13 for hooking me up with some of my biggest wants from the midwest. Great trader, highly recommended.

Appearance. Pours a deep amber brown with a thin off-white head.

Smell. Sweet vanilla, bourbon and caramel, a little bit of sweet chocolate, maple syrup and old wooden barrel and maybe some dried dark fruits ....dates, yep dates.

Taste. Toffee and chocolate, smooth woody bourbon and vanilla, some nice caramel malts and again, just a bit of dried dark fruits, I would say dates.

Mouthfeel. Full body with low, very smooth and fine carbonation. Very little stickiness considering how sweet and full bodied this beer is.

Overall. Great stuff. Don't trade your cellar away for it though, luckily (thanks again Black13) I wasn't destroyed on my trade for this bottle as many trades for it seem to go. I found many bourbon barrel barleywines to be more enjoyable, notably Midnight Sun's and Kuhnhenn's ...both of which should be much more easily obtained and appropriately valued.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.7/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22oz bottle shared by Shawn at our recent beer tasting, poured into a GTMW cylinder glass (yeah, we ran out of good glasses at this tasting), tasted alongside Arctic Devil and Sucaba.

Damn, this smells quite a bit like the BCBS Rare that I had last week. Except its sweeter in a different malt type of way- less of the sweet chocolate marshmallows and more of the caramel toffee. There's a good bit of vanilla in this beer also. Smells like Bourbon County for sure- or is that just the second-use Pappy?

The beer poured a hazy-ish golden brown body with a solid 1cm brown head that recedes fairly quickly into a thin collar. A decent bit of lacing but not a ton. Looks good, looks like a barleywine and that's about it.

As I start sipping on this beer, all I can think is- dang, this is really good. It's like BCBS mixed in with an excellent Belgian quad. There is a decent bit of dark fruit sweetness, but this is full of toffee and caramel- not the roasty kind that you get in stouts, but the sweeter kind you get in most barleywines. Much of the bourbon barrel shines through along with some dark fruit and that malty sweetness. Good bit of oak, vanilla and caramel. It honestly reminds me a ton of BCBS, in that there are BCBS characteristics mixed in with an English barleywine. It is delicious and extremely complex.

As I swish it around my palate, I find this beer to be incredibly thick and creamy, as you would expect from a Bourbon County family member. Aftertaste is probably best described as marshmallow caramel toffee. Smooth and not boozy at all. Definitely an amazing feel to it.

So, now I see why King Henry is a whale. It can be hard for a beer to live up to the hype it has gotten on BeerAdvocate, but King Henry is one of the rare few that has a shot at it, and it does live up to the hype for me. It was, to steal the phrase, a regal drinking experience. I'm glad to have tried this (thanks a ton Shawn), and this is more intense than Sucaba or Arctic Devil- when tasting these, I couldn't taste anything out of the Sucaba or Arctic Devil- it was King Henry all the way. Very complex beer and at this point, it is still well worth any effort it takes to get this one.

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Photo of emyers
4.94/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bottle at Ball & Biscuit in Indianapolis, IN. Review from notes 5/13.

Appearance: Pours dark brown color, near black, with a thin light brown lacing. Not much head retention.

Smell: Wow. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, rich caramel malt, a healthy dose of fig, some dark chocolate, and hints of toast. There are layers upon layers of aroma here. Incredibly complex. I wish I could be smelling this all of the time, forever. OK, that might be a very slight exaggeration, but really, this smells impossibly good.

Taste: Unreal. Rich, top shelf bourbon, fig, date, caramel, some dark chocolate, vanilla, and toasted oak. Slight bit of alcohol heat on the finish (which only adds to the deliciousness). In order to imagine this flavor profile, take a world class barleywine and add some imperial stout characteristics and a healthy dose of bourbon. Then make it exponentially better. There may come a day when I taste a beer better than this, but I honestly doubt it.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and extremely smooth. Rich and velvety going down with an appropriately low carbonation level. Once again, wouldn't change a thing.

Overall: Based on some of the comments I read about this beer on the forums, I didn't think it could possibly live up to the hype. Then I tasted it, and it blew the hype out of the water. Words cannot describe how good this beer is.

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Photo of BobZ
4.94/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz. bottle poured into a Bourbon County Snifter, split the bottle with Davey101. Bottled on 10/08/11. Another huge thanks to kdmcguire10 for the bottle.

Appearance: Reddish brown with a 1/2" head that recedes to a cap and leaving curtains of lacing.

Smell: Dark fruit sweetness (raisin & plumb) with bourbon is up front, a malty chocolate is also noticeable.

Taste: This is nothing like any barleywine I've ever had, it's almost like a BA Belgian quad in some ways. You get the dark fruit followed by a chocolaty bourbon mixture. The chocolate element makes it different than a quad, then there is a caramel maltiness at the finish. This beer has more flavor diversity than any other beer I have ever tasted, so much going on, and all of it good. This is a bottle you don't want to end.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and clean on the palate.

Overall: Yet another beer that I had no idea what to expect. We had this right after BCBS Rare and King Henry was still the favorite of the night. Extraordinary beer that yet again I thought I'd never get the chance to try, so again a huge debt of thanks to Kris.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.64/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75


A - Dark brown and ruby body. Looks a bit like whiskey actually as it has a warming look to it.

S - Slight dates and dark fruit initially. The barrel really shines through as you get lots of sweet bourbon and a good oak presence

T - Dark fruit and a strong date presence comes through initially. There is a ton of bourbon and butterscotch that give it a nice sweetness along with a nice bourbon presence. There is the most chocolately barleywine that I've had as well which is where you can tell that this was aged in second use BCBS barrels. This adds such a nice complexity that you don't normally find in BW's. The finish is pure bourbon and oak.

M - Medium body with light stickiness that makes this easy to drink but helps deliver the flavor. The finish has lots of oaky spiciness to it.

O - Great barleywine with tons of barrel and chocolate presence to it. Definitely lived up to my expectations. This one is still drinking great and is super balanced.

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Photo of mindspin315
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is seriously a beer to end all beers. If any barrel aged English BW can get better, let me know? (Ok, I see you lurking Kuhnhenn BBBW).

Appearance: Dark ruby hued brown body. A sort of head forms quickly and dissipates equally as fast. Lots of lacing and legs.

Smell: Huge fresh oak, caramel, toffee, bourbon, and hints of dark chocolate. Other aromas come through; such as dark fruits (raisins, figs, plum, black cherry), vanilla from the wood, toasted coconut, sweet apple skin, and a faint roasted nuttiness (pecans), tobacco. Light sherry and port wine presence as well. Incredible aroma. You could pull plenty of different aromas with each smell.

Taste: The light aroma presence of sherry/port wine comes out big in the flavor. Sweet apple skin, caramel, toffee, and figs upfront. One of the biggest tastes is toasted coconut. The palate is left with plenty of flavor. Everything from sweet caramel/toffee, dark fruits, bourbon, char, and vanilla. Along with a mild dark chocolate presence.

Feel: Low carb...not flat, but not gonna tickle your tongue. Incredibly smooth, glides across the palate with a heat that would never tell you this is 13%. Def knows how to coat the palate and stick around. Mild alcohol heat (incredible for the high ABV).

King Henry is absolutely amazing. It is worthy of all the hype it gets! From aroma to feel, I can't name a beer that does it better for the style. This is most def a sipper to be enjoyed with company. Although going solo on this wouldn't be a bad decision either!


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Photo of Doogermeister
4.88/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a very dark/dark amber almost black color.

Smell is mild when comparing it to a BCBS but has a similar aroma to it.

Taste is a much smoother more refined bourbon county. The beer I feel is like a grand reserve BCBS but with little bourbon barrel flavor. One of the greatest stouts I've ever had and at 50 dollars a pop, still well worth it.

The mouthfeel starts out thick then rapidly thins out due to high alcohol content. The mouthfeel isn't as thick or as syrupy as a BCBS. I feel that it is much more refined. In every way

King Henry is one of those super rare beers that should never be passed up at almost any price. It is a rare find and well worth the money. Best stout I've had, hands down.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
4/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle courtesy of claspada. Thanks! Reviewed from notes.

A: Placid dark mahogany color with a barely discernible head. Stains the glass with brown sludge.

N: Can smell the caramel and vanilla from halfway across the room. Lots of honey, brown sugar, and a touch of licorice. Candied pecans. Very well rounded.

T: Balanced and well put together. Lots of interplay between the sweetness of bourbon and the underlying bourbon. There's a slight cocoa to this and similar oak flavors to Sucaba. It's a natural for the style.

M: Rich, filling, and the alcohol is actually well-hidden.

O: This is a beer worth lingering over, but it's very much a dessert. In fact, after so much apparent praise above, the reason this isn't getting higher marks is that by the end of my half of the bottle, I'm fairly sick of drinking this. It's really good upon the first impression and through the first 4 oz, but this is not one that goes the distance for me.

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Photo of weonfire
4.31/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle date: 10/08/11

A - Dark Brown/Mahogany, tiny amount of head around rim, tiny amount of carbonation rising, zero head.

S - Sweet bourbon, vanilla, toffee, chocolate, carmel, brown sugar, touch of biscuit, aged fruits: prune, figs,

T - Bourbon, vanilla, toffee, chocolate. Finish: dry biscuit, bitter vanilla and booze (4/10)

M - Heavy, extremely thick, very full body, super cream, frothy, syrup, chest gets warm from booze

O - This is the heaviest, fullest, closest to syrup beer I've ever consumed. So much that it wasn't even drinkable until just about room temperature. Yes, the nose is excellent. The taste doesn't have the bourbon one would expect but is very pleasant, vanilla is very dry and bitter with a rather hot finish. No matter- the overwhelming characteristic is the over exceeding thickness, syrup. I cannot get past that.

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Photo of williamjbauer
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled bomber served in snifter, shared with my dad to celebrate the birth of my son.

Caramel brown fairly clear with half finger brown head that quickly dissipates and leaves some minimal bubbly lacing and nice alcohol legs. Aroma is the nectar of the gods with sweet caramel, molasses, alcohol, bourbon, vanilla, oak, and chocolate with a touch of toasted coconut. Taste is the finest sweet caramel malt I have had in a barleywine. Vanilla, oak, smoke from the bourbon but not as pronounced as I expect in this beer's debut. As the beer warms the chocolate character from the Rare starts declare itself. Full body, minimal carbonation. Best barleywine I had to date. Hope the GI barleywine will be somewhat close to this.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.43/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown burgundy in color with a minimal head and light lacing ring, barely sticks to the glass when swirled.

S - Maple syrup, oak, bourbon, figs, dark fruit, light peat moss, dark chocolate and molasses.

T - Follows the nose, boozy.

M - Thick and full bodied, slick, viscous.

O - So glad for the opportunity to try this rare beast of a barley.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in a snifter)
10/09/11 on bottle
A- This beer pours a deep hued walnut body with a nice thick head of light tan that last for most of the beer.

S- The full aroma has some spun sugar aromas blending into toffee and dark prune hints that lead to a luscious caramel malt finish with some hints of golden raisins. There is a slight buttery aroma to the caramel that comes through as it opens and makes it hard to stop sniffing and start drinking.

T- A big sugary flavor but not overly sweet starts as a maple burnt sugar malt flavor with a more light roasted malt underneath and some buttery oak barrel flavor that really comes alive in the finish. The finish has a nice sweetness that is balanced by a bourbon barrel character that is not really alcoholic but does cut the sweetness nicely.

M- This beer has s medium-full mouthfeel with a crisp little fizz and a gentle alcohol warmth that shows through when it is pretty warm.

O- This is a big luscious barleywine that is sweet and tasty with layers of big barrel and bourbon character that keep coming out as the beer opens. It was sad to see this one end. Thanks emerge for sharing.

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Photo of popery
4.24/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown, lighter at the edges. Little to no head. Quite murky. Aroma is a great blend of huge molasses, vanilla and oak. Sweet bourbon note. A bit hot still. Tons of caramel, treacle and other toasted sugars. Taste is similar. Tons of molasses and caramel. Pretty big booze note. Good vanilla and other barrel notes. Some of the bourbon delicacy is gone but it's still a nice sweet flavor. Thick feel. A bit syrupy but it works well with the flavor. I think it's not quite as good as it was fresh but still a delicious beer and it's a shame that more barley wine/old ale style beers aren't made in this style. Great stuff.

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Photo of PHBoiler
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured 22 oz bottle dated October 2011 into snifter glass

Pours deep mahogany with light carbonation that creates no head even with a swirl. Opened this bottle to celebrate birth of our first child and shared with three non-BA drinkers that were blown away by the flavor.

The beer smells of bourbon but without the heat on the nose. You can smell some toffee and fruit. The appearance and taste almost reminds me of a high end Belgian Quad. The sweetness from the dark/dried fruits, some caramel flavor from the oak and vanilla combo from the bourbon barrels, and only the best essence of bourbon. This beer never fades throughout the entire bottle. You can leave the beer sit and the temperature doesn't impact the flavor either. It never thins out. The mouthfeel in terms of viscosity is right on point as well. Not heavy but nowhere near thin. This is truly a marvel. Easily one of the top 5 beers I've ever had. You get it in every single drink. It is as consistent as it is fantastic.

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Photo of Hugonaut13
4.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle poured into Bourbon County snifter at cellar temperature. Has sat in a 50 degree fridge for over a year. Let's see how it's drinking.

A - This is a dark BA Barleywine. Looks like an extremely thin stout with ruby tones when held to the light. Minimal carbonation. Some bubbles around the edge of the glass. No lacing.

S - Smells of bourbon soaked dark fruits with some vanilla splashed in. Smells fantastic.

T - Bourbon soaked chocolate covered raisins right off the bat, fading into a rich vanilla oak. Leaves with some sweetness that hangs around well after the sip. This is absolutely delicious.

M - The 13.4% is not present at all. This is an easy drinker. (admittedly, to those who like BA beers) Not much in the way of carbonation, I'm also not finding that to be a problem here. If this was more carbonated, it would seem out of place.

O - It's bittersweet that this is my last bottle as it's probably my favorite beer I've ever had. I truly hope the new Bourbon County Barleywine can even come close to resembling this. If you have a chance to try/get one, do it.

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Photo of imscotty
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown in color. Very little head; very little lacing; very little carbonation evident.

S: Strong malt smell, caramel and vanilla

T: This beer is impressively smooth in taste. Besides the malt bomb base, I detected plum, raison, vanilla and current. Not as powerfully flavorful as other Barleywines I have had (Thomas Hardy's for example) this beer is smooth and very drinkable. I did not feel the 'heat'. I usually like my Barleywines aged for several years to knock down the sweetness, but this one was not too sweet. Seems ready to go now.

M: This beer had a surprisingly light mouth feel. I did not find it as thick or sticky as others described. King Henry had a great finish and left a nice lingering aftertaste.

O: From the reviews I was expecting the best Barleywine ever, but it did fall a little short for me. It was so smooth tasting that it seemed to lack the power factor. There was complexity, but it was subtle. This reaction is undoubtedly my bias to the slow sipping English Barleywines (I've had some fine aged Thomas Hardys).

I have one bottle of KH left. I intend to age it a few more years and revisit this review. I shared the first bottle with several friends, but maybe I should have the next bottle to myself to fully feel the love :)

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.45/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in a great trade with Evan! An aggressive pour yielded absolutely no head or lacing, only a dark mahogany very flat looking beer. Probably the darkest Barley Wine I've had. That's where the minimal downside ends. The nose is amazing and complex with loads of dark fruit along with hints of chocolate, bourbon, maple, licorice, and molasses. The taste is bold and complex as well. Bourbon, chocolate fudge, oak, and dark fruits up front along with hints of maple, toffee, licorice, molasses, and just a touch of black cherries. Considering the 13.4% ABV, this is one smooth beer. The mouthfeel is thick and somewhat heavy and syrupy, but with an almost creamy feel to it. Yes, it's a sipper, but it's not hot and boozy and has an amazing subtle warming on the finish. Overall, this is absolutely a world class Barley Wine. And it was bottled after AB InBev's takeover to all you haters. Goose Island is here to stay!

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Photo of Knapp85
4.39/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of Skull40
4.96/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A - Dark reddish brown. Nice legs and carbonation. The head dissipated quickly.

S - The smell was a sweet scent reminiscent of caramel, molasses, dark fruits and some oak.

T - I picked up heavy caramel the whole way through the bottle. I also got toffee, dark fruits including prunes and black cherries, slight vanilla, oak, a red wine taste and bourbon with little alcohol burn.

M - Creamy mouthfeel

O - This really is a great beer and one of the best barleywines I've ever had. I wish I could have tried this fresh, but at this point it's still very hard to beat.

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Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2011 Bottle: Thanks Marti403

Appearance: Dark brown opaque, with a small head that quickly recedes to the perimeter.

Smell: Coconut, chocolate, bourbon, dark fruit(raisins, dates, figs), brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, yum.

Taste: Good lord. Barrel character right off the bat with caramel and chocolate/vanilla/coconut blend seamlessly and fade out gradually into a finish that begins with dark fruit and ends with a sweet, caramel tinged, malted barley finish that's clean, leaving you yearning for the next sip. Subtle elements of the drink are left on your tongue, but in a way that doesn't fatigue the palate, like many other barley wines. There is also little to no alcohol burn in the finish, even if you drink it fast(which I don't recommend), which is remarkable for this abv.

Mouthfeel: Velvety, on the borderline of viscous, and just right for the style.

Overall: Well, hype is one thing, but when you get results to meet it, that's another story altogether. This is without a doubt, the best barleywine I've ever had. From smell, to mouthfeel, to taste, there is not much that makes up this brew that can be defeated by others for the style, imo. I say this having held the highest hopes for Sucaba, and although enjoying it, I wished it tasted exactly like this. I've finally found that perfect barleywine. Let's hope BCBW can come close to this masterpiece.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.74/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Deep brown with a tan head this Barleywine is deep, rich and clean in appearance.

The scent is magic. Robust tones of chocolate, caramel, malt and molasses dominate but don't overpower. Touches of coconut and dates can still be found in the background.

The taste is WOW! Never have I said wow after drinking a Barleywine but I actually exclaimed Wow! Rich and robust caramel mixed with chocolate fudge brownie! Even raisin, light coconut and a port or wine like complexity can be discovered in the richest flavored Barleywine I've ever had.

Imagine my disappointment when I'm in beer ecstasy and I'm told this is retired. WOW!

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King Henry from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 315 ratings.