1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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: 1,720
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.
View: Beers (210) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of King Henry Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,358 | Reviews: 313 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tjkinate
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of akukucka
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Kroller86
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of wesside89
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of noisefights
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of james582
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of ksodemann
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of 1up
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of mikeburd1128
4/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of SwG237
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of sludgegnome
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Dawkins
4.25/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of tectactoe
4.39/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Ron for opening this one with us... I don't know how he does it. Dark brown and mahogany on the pour, with a light-tan head that settles to a collar pretty quickly. Still, thick, somewhat viscous and slightly menacing as it sits in the glass quiety. Good clarity when held up to the light, with not much haze detectable at all.

The aroma is absolutely huge... whether it's good or not, that's one thing... but the size of it is captivating. Sticky caramel, toffee, brown sugar, sweet molasses, deep figs, heavy oak, prunes, a big, boozy underbody, handfuls of woodsy raisins and a polished dusting of cocoa and chocolate in the end. Huge. Robust. Sticky sweet and largely complex. The best nose on the planet? Probably not... but still, pretty damn fantastic.

I'm a little more blown away by the first sip, as the flavor is even more omnipotent and commanding than the aroma (and even a little better, if you ask me). Lots of oak up front, sticky, heavy toffee, molded vanilla and caramel drizzle, warm bourbon and booze, cavity-inducing brown sugar, more dark fruits like figs and prunes, with a mild touch of cola in the finish, quickly survived by a touch of chocolate and the faintest addition of roast.... Wow.

King Henry is a monster of a beer. I guess that's what happens when you take an already massive barleywine and age it in Pappy 23 barrels that previously held a badass stout for two years. The bourbon character itself is relatively tame, I'm guessing since this is the second usage of the barrels, but King Henry still retains that barleywine-ish boozy character throughout - not to a menacing degree, rather just enough to let you know exactly what you're dealing with here.

There's no doubt this beer is a slow sipper, and the mouth feel is more justification of that. Thick and viscous, such a large body that has a sticky and almost (I repeat, *almost*) syrup-like retention to all sides of your mouth, leaving you with the lasting impression of oak, dying dark fruits, and huge brown sugar and molasses sweetness. Something that must be savored, one sip at a time.

So - King Henry. What a damn fine barleywine. While I do believe the hype train took hold of this one long ago, and it still may be *slightly* over-hyped, it is still a fantastic beer... I just wouldn't give up the farm for a bottle. It still deserves recognition as an incredible beer, although it wanders pretty far from the realm of English barleywines. In any case, it was still a lovely treat and I can't thank Ron enough for letting me indulge.

Photo of jwat
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of brez8791
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of mythaeus
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of Jonada
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of jhillwastaken
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

King Henry poured into a CS snifter having on Black Friday with the release of Bourbon County Barleywine.

A- Deep deep mahogany with no transparency. Minimal lacing with good amount of retention.

S- Chocolate, dark fruits, caramel, vanilla, dates.

T- I think the only perfect taste I have given on this site. This beer is so complex. I am not a barleywine expert; but this is top 5 beers I have ever had. Taste follows the nose, with oak as well.

M- Again, maybe the second perfect score for M (with Framboos). So rich, smooth, barry white, all that.

O- My favorite barleywine by far. I have only had White Chocolate, Bligh's Barleywine, Bourbon County Barleywine.

Photo of Phillyz
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of ari32
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of WeisGuy
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of oldp0rt
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of montrealbcr89
4/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of blindpiggie
4.25/5  rDev -9.8%

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