King Henry - Goose Island Beer Co.
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Ratings: 1,263 | Reviews: 306 | Display Reviews Only:
4.83/5 rDev +2.5%
Served into a Hunahpu's snifter following DB Huna and Kyoto Sump
This was a huge want and I was glad I could get this for my grad sharing
A - Surprisingly light carmel color, aged in used Rare pappy 23 barrels after rare was brewed. Small khaki foam head that retains decently
S - Lots of bourbon on the front with vanilla and carmel oak to close it out
T - Taste follows the nose with amazingly brilliant and blended flavors of carmel vanilla and bourbon. Oak comes through with some light toffee flavors
M - Smooth creamy relatively light for this beer.
O - I was so glad to be able to land this beer. It was either this Rare or Vanilla and with people saying that those are on the decline I went the English barley wine route. The pappy really brings out some tremendous flavors. This is definitely my favorite barley wine that I have had
05-26-2014 19:40:23 | More by drmcleod10
4.08/5 rDev -13.4%
"Bottled 10/08/11 0813." This 650ml brown glass bottle was a gift from Duff27. I love the classy label art. Pry-off pressure cap is unbranded. Reviewed as an English barleywine. Expectations could not be higher; I'm extremely excited and this has been a huge want for a long time.
Served at fridge temp and allowed to come to room temp over the course of consumption. Side-poured carefully.
No bubble show forms as it's poured.
HEAD: Two fingers in width. Pale khaki colour. Retains well for the high ABV - about 2-3 minutes. Surprisingly well carbonated for a 2.5 year old beer. Could be fuller, creamier, and frothier. Leaves a boozy clear lacing as the head recedes - reminiscent of brandy.
BODY: Mostly brown, but it has some reddish hues. Nontransparent. Translucent and rich - decadent, even. Dark. No floating yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.
Overall, it's quite an extravagant looking beer. The description on Goose Island's website calls it regal; I'd say that's apt. It's not a unique appearance for a barleywine, but I'd say it's special.
AROMA: Dark fruits - plum. Slight oxidation is helping it here. The malts are definitely English in character. Toffee. Marshmallow. Bourbon-wise, I'm not getting much beyond vanilla - but then I do have a broken nose. Cream.
A very appealing aroma for a barleywine; moderate in strength.
Not boozy or hot by any means. I don't detect any yeast or hop character.
TEXTURE: Smooth and wet. Full-bodied. Sticky and syrupy, sure, with plenty of heft and thickness. But it's not too weighty; it's surprisingly approachable. Well-carbonated.
Not oily, gushed, astringent, harsh, or hot. It does have a warm booziness, though, which I think helps the beer. The alcohol warmth does remind you she's a sipper, but also encourages the drinker to savour it.
Good overall presence on the palate.
TASTE: English malts and luxurious teasing toffee set the tone for a grand flavour profile replete with notes of marshmallow and lightly oxidized toasted malts. The bourbon barrel notes are much more refined and elegant than I'm accustomed to in something like an imperial stout; the vanilla is near perfectly balanced against the exquisite yet subtle dark fruits (mainly plum, but maybe there's some currant or fig).
I'm not finding any yeast character or hop notes, nor should I.
The caramel character here is the finest I've ever experienced in a beer period. As it warms, I'm picking up on some leather. Also some tawny sherry notes in the finish. There's none of the cardboard character you'd expect in an oxidized beer, but then this is near perfectly oxidized. Hints of raisin. Maybe even some brown sugar. A kiss of maple.
This isn't too sticky or sweet, but has plenty of well-layered malts. It's delightfully well balanced and pleasing to the palate, with a rich build that doesn't come off too heavy or overbearing. It's as complex as it is subtle, and the bourbon character alone lends it an almost unique nuance. Goose Island reminds the drinker - we popularized (if not invented) bourbon barrel aging - and we still do it best. Wow. The barrel integration is seamless and works with the base flavour profile rather than eclipsing it. I do wish there was more of a toasted oak presence.
The sweetness does pick up as it warms, which isn't ideal.
FINAL THOUGHTS: My expectations were very high, but this is an incredible barleywine. I still believe there are better barleywines out there, but this is a damn good offering from Goose Island and I wish it were more available. I'm far from disappointed. The bourbon integration especially is a highlight. It's simultaneously extraordinarily drinkable for the ABV and a sipper meant to be savoured.
Huge thanks to Duff27 for the bottle.
05-11-2014 02:32:09 | More by kojevergas
4.81/5 rDev +2.1%
2011 bottle poured into a Prairie Teku glass.
Appearance: Sizable, eggshell head for a barleywine, and it sticks around a while as a large crown around the edge of the glass. The beer itself is veering on pitch black, just a hint of brown and amber as it’s held up to the light.
Smell: Lots of dark fruits. Dried figs, toffee, caramel. Bourbon is quite prominent as well, with a lot of vanilla oak barrel too. Alcohol is prominent too.
Taste: Dark fruits again, particularly raisins and figs. Loads of brown sugar and molasses, and some burnt sugar, caramel too. The finish is pretty barrel-forward, with a lot of the vanilla oak coming through. As it warms, the bourbon flavors become stronger. A little alcohol too. This is delicious.
Mouthfeel: Very very thick, and very, very sticky. Low carb, but sufficient for the style. Lips stick together while drinking the beer, it’s that oily and sticky and thick.
Overall: So damn happy I got to drink this, courtesy of cestlavie, and enjoyed with abbbp. This is easily one of the best barleywines I’ve ever had. It was just that good. I’d be surprised if this could possibly have been better fresh.
04-26-2014 22:33:55 | More by WTKeene
King Henry from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 1,263 ratings.