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.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,297 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,297
Reviews: 307
rAvg: 4.71
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 1,700
Gots: 503 | 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: 1,297 | Reviews: 307 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TechBrew
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

TechBrew, Aug 16, 2013
Photo of TheRemyLeabeau
5/5  rDev +6.2%

TheRemyLeabeau, Aug 15, 2013
Photo of csparace
5/5  rDev +6.2%

csparace, Aug 15, 2013
Photo of thebouch01
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

thebouch01, Aug 14, 2013
Photo of lonewolfcry
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

lonewolfcry, Aug 11, 2013
Photo of DTown
5/5  rDev +6.2%

DTown, Aug 10, 2013
Photo of BlissJunkie
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

BlissJunkie, Aug 10, 2013
Photo of kscaldef
3.61/5  rDev -23.4%
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.

kscaldef, Aug 09, 2013
Photo of striker2160
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

striker2160, Aug 09, 2013
Photo of e30todamax
5/5  rDev +6.2%

e30todamax, Aug 04, 2013
Photo of KWMiles
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

KWMiles, Aug 02, 2013
Photo of gratefulbeerhead
5/5  rDev +6.2%

gratefulbeerhead, Aug 01, 2013
Photo of 1424IpA
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

1424IpA, Jul 31, 2013
Photo of Rau71
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Rau71, Jul 31, 2013
Photo of mjohnson17
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

mjohnson17, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of chippo33
3.25/5  rDev -31%

chippo33, Jul 24, 2013
Photo of Rutager
4.29/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Rutager, Jul 23, 2013
Photo of lunarbrew
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

lunarbrew, Jul 22, 2013
Photo of Stevedore
4.7/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Stevedore, Jul 22, 2013
Photo of Googs
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Googs, Jul 22, 2013
Photo of tom10101
4/5  rDev -15.1%

tom10101, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of emyers
4.95/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

emyers, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of marshmeli
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

marshmeli, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of BobZ
4.94/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

BobZ, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of Grant35
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Grant35, Jul 14, 2013
King Henry from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 1,297 ratings.