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Old Chimneys Good King Henry Special Reserve - Old Chimneys Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Chimneys Good King Henry Special ReserveOld Chimneys Good King Henry Special Reserve

Educational use only; do not reuse.

29 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 29
Hads: 62
Avg: 4.4
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 146
Gots: 16 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Old Chimneys Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: rastaman on 09-10-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (8) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 29 | Hads: 62
Reviews by Douglas88:
Photo of Douglas88
4.97/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks to Doppelganger for this bottle. What a find. 275 ml bottle September 2005 vintage drank August 2008. Pours a dark brown body with a nice medium orange brown head that stays throughout. The nose is very strong and awesome; cocca, burnt malts, light dark fruits and some hints of oak. The flavor is very damn complex and so good; smoke and woody, almost meaty flavors, some barrel and soy sourness, sweet chocolates and roasted malt. I drank this with footbalm and he remarked aptly that this beer is so full of flavors, none of which are overpowering in any way. Just full enough to give you the ability to taste it all. Amazing.

This rating is for the Reserve, which is in the picture on this site.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to crusianbeer for sharing this bottle. Brewed 11/16/09.

The beer pours a black color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the roasted malt with a hint of dark fruit and some chocolate thrown in. The flavor is similar, with the dark fruit standing out more in the flavor than it did in the aroma. I also get some nice oak and chocolate notes, as well as a hint of soy and once again, some heavily roasted malt. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of standardcherry
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.31/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

275 mL bottle to a Kate the Great snifter. 2009 vintage, brewed 11/16/2009 (a), whatever the (a) means. Huge thanks to Paul for this bottle.

Appearance - Viscous looking black with almost no bubbles until I begin to pour into the glass vertically. A mocha ring around the beer with some lovely legs.

Smell - Oh my. Easily one of the most compelling stouts I've ever smelled. Chocolate malt and probably the two most dominant aromas, but dark fruits pierce through with oak and a slight smokiness that adds an earthy complexity that is just wonderful.

Taste - Perhaps the nose was a high standard to set. It lacks a bit of the refinement of the aroma. Oak immediately permeates a dark chocolate flavor that becomes bitter and smokey as it lingers. The oak dominates the aftertaste, giving it a slight astringent and vinous character.

Mouthfeel - If I'm honest, I feel it's a touch thin. Maybe the oak makes it feel that way. Low carbonation helps simulate some body.

Overall - It would be unfair to say I was let down by the taste, but it just smells so wonderful. The flavors are all there in the taste, but at different proportions from the aroma. If it lived up to the nose, it would be one of the best stouts out there.

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Photo of mobius387
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of thagr81us
4.12/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had as a pre-game to the 2nd Annual Redneck Racin’ & Tastin’! Big thanks goes out to BRoss242 for this one! 2009 vintage! Served from bottle into an Ommegang Three Philosophers chalice. Poured a massively dark brown with a half finger brown head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark chocolate, and smoked ham. The flavor was of sweet malt, brown sugar, dark chocolate, wood, sweet alcohol, and smoke. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. While the aroma on this one wasn’t very complex it was just right in the components and intensity. The smoked ham going on in it was almost divine in my opinion. The flavor on this one was pretty good as well as the smokiness was quite pleasant. Definitely glad I got the chance to try this one and I honestly believe that everyone should. Still need to try the ‘OTHER’ King Henry now…

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Photo of KYGunner
4.39/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is amongst the oddest barrel aged stouts I've ever had but it's so Damn good and complex. It starts with peanut brittle, caramel, toffee, honey and honey candy. It slowly moves to molasses, sorghum, and heavy malts. Wow!

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4.25/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Rutager
4.65/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

So incredibly balanced!! Everything is there that should be and in the perfect proportions. Ryan, you are the fucking man despite what they say!

144 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.92/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ditmier provided this one at the weekend tasting... Thanks Eric and to the good person who made this possible.

Very short lasting dark tan head.. the brew looks still.

Nose shows good oak and hints of licorice... not as much "roast" as expected instead the dark malts show with deep dark fruits and a minor cocoa.

Virtually still on the palate lends toward a slick and oily palate.. sorta thick and obviously coating.. deep and rich from front to back... rich waves of "standard" RIS flavors.. deep chocolate without too much sweetness... a bit too much smokey char for my liking. I also thought a bit of cigar wrapper showed on the outside but without enough sugar to pull it out.

Body is very nice... carbonation is next to nothing, but is expected and I dig it.

Thanks Eric.. I truly appreciate the chance to try this gem.


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Photo of jegross2
4.39/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewing the ever elusive Good King Henry Special Reserve from Old Chimneys Brewery out of England.

Score: 93

275 ml bottle. Brewed 09/11/2011, best before 09/11/2021. Served in a snifter glass and enjoyed on 05/04/14 while camping out for Great Taste tickets. Review is from iPhone notes. Major thank you and shout out to Adam C. for hooking me up with this long time, personal white whale.

Appearance: Pours an ink black color with a thin layer of khaki head that settles to a ring around the glass. Awesome lacing and retention. 4.5/5

Smell: Oaky vanilla, dates, fruity oxidation, dark fruit, tannic woodiness/sherry/red wine, and chocolate. Black currant and cherry comes through more and more as the beer warms up. Also present is a hint of coffee and licorice. Really nice mix of chocolate, dark fruit and positive fruity oxidation that is well-integrated. 4.75/5

Taste: Chocolate, red wine, oak, black currant, cherry and dates. Some licorice towards the finish as well, but this beer is not an anise bomb by any stretch. Lasting fruitiness and oak. Nom nom nom. The nose integrated better than the taste, but the flavor profile is still quite nice. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied, low carbonation. Oily, slick mouthfeel. Very mild sweetness overall. 4.25

Overall: A really lovely stout that, while not one of the best out there, was quite delicious. Ample dark fruit/licorice and red wine define this stout. I would drink this one again, but not go too far out of my way to seek it out.

Cost: Unknown.

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Photo of kermis
4.75/5  rDev +8%

Photo of Hopsiam14
4.29/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alfrantzell shared this one last night. Thanks, Arne. 2007 vintage. Pours black and nearly flat, only a thin mocha colored collar forms from a hard pour. Viscous with syrupy legs.

Whiffs of dark chocolate, smoke and licorice are immediately noticed in the aroma, with some whiskey-like heat behind it. Barrel aging is evident, as is alcohol. As it warms, I get currant-like fruit notes. I'm not certain which kind of barrels are used for the aging process, but I'm guessing it's some form of whiskey.

The first sip reveals flavors of semi-sweet chocolate, caramel and smoke. The alcohol is plainly noticeable, warming but not harsh. There are dark fruit undertones, prune and fig like in character. Full bodied with a firm roasty bitterness, this finishes chocolatey, mildly tannic with some vinous and oak lingering on the palate long after you've swallowed. Very enjoyable stuff, it's complex and rich without being particularly sweet.

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Photo of 1600eman
4.22/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of WeisGuy
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of pknyc
4.51/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

This review is for a 2011 bottle with a best before date of 09 Nov 2021

A: Three finger espresso crema colored head with an aggressive pour. The head is finer than that experienced with the Good King Henry and dissipates into a ring with a slight film which leaves minimal lacing. The body, like the GKH, is black. I am not seeing any light coming through, even along the sides.

S: While pouring, there was a huge hit of oak. Quite a bit of alcohol, roast, chocolate, anise. I'm not getting the dark fruit that I had in regular GKH. Oak is predominate. Maybe a little peat? It all really blends together very well.

T: Wow. Lots of stuff going on here, and nothing seems to be muddled. Oak, roast, chocolate, alcohol. The oak is supported by a very nice grain bill. There is a touch of vanilla in there as well.

MF: Slick, coating, silky. There is a little more carbonation than I like in the style, but it is fresh in GKHSR terms.

O: This is probably the best English beer I've had, and belongs with the best of the oak aged stouts.

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Photo of billyshears
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.46/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Brewed on 03.11.10. 275 ml bottle poured into a small snifter. Black body, tudor brown head, low retention. Mostly clear lacing. Aroma includes leather, beef jerky, soy sauce, dates, coffee, chocolate, brown sugar, prune. Mouthfeel is exremely thick and viscous. Warming but alcohol is very well hidden, very smooth for the abv. Tastes closely follow aromas. Nicely treated imperial stout with high drinkability.

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Photo of FreshHawk
4.62/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pitch black with very dark brown hues. Smaller than average, tight foamy, creamy dark cafe head. Average retention that settles into a nice layer of creamy lace.

S - Lots of dark malt that is toasted with lots of caramel. Decent amount of dark fruit. Lots of sweet chocolate and coffee and a good amount of soy aroma. Slight balsamic aspect, and some oaky and bourbon presence. A touch of earthiness as well. Mix of tartness and some dark roastiness.

T - Similar to the nose, with dark fruit (fig, plum, prune, date) being upfront first. Tartness comes out a bit. Then a bit more of a roasted dark malt and chocolate comes out. Mid sip a bit more earthy, tobacco, and woody flavors come out. Slight soy flavor comes out mid to the finish of the sip, not really strong, but present.

M - Medium body with about average carbonation. Very oily, smooth, and silky feel.

D - Pretty drinkable beer Diverse flavors that make me ant to keep drinking to find more. Soy and tartness can be slightly off-putting but not too bad.

Notes: Vintage 2007. Complex and interesting beer. A good and interesting stout. Not a chocolate/coffee bomb if that is what you like. Worth trying if you can find it.

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Photo of JackNip
4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of His_Royal_Hoppiness
2.5/5  rDev -43.2%

Photo of sendsilk
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of mdagnew
4.87/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

275ml bottle bought online from Beermerchants.com... 2007 vintage

Poured blacker than black even when held up to the light... Dirty mocha brown head poured quite loose and fizzy and faded very quickly to just a ring around the edge... very little lacing..

Aroma - Very strong sweet oaky bourbon to the fore straight away, very woody and earthy, lots of fresh vanilla, roasted malts, hints of tar, cigar smokiness, rich stewed dark fruits (blackcurrents and prunes), molasses and burnt brown sugar, alcohol is pretty noticeable, butterscotch, fresh black pepper

Taste - Tons of roasted and charred malts mixed with strong molasses / black treacle sweetness followed closely by warming alcohol, lots of vanilla, liquorice, defnite cigar / tobacco smokiness, rich dark sweet fruits (prunes, figs, raisins, blackcurrents), very earthy, espresso, soy, alcohol definitely comes through, dark chocolate...

Feel - Rich, thick and syrupy... very full bodied.. suprisingly drinkable for a 11% brew...

Overall - An absolutely exquisite stout and one of the best beers i've ever had... highly recommended. I have four more of these and i can't wait to see how they age...

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Photo of ygtbsm94
4.97/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this brew at the at the 2008 ZBF! Pours a pitch-black espresso color topped with a thin foamy head settling fast to the rim. Wow!!!! What an aroma; the sweet oaky, vanilla fragrance leads the nose, sticky dark stone fruits with a touch of full-bodied ruby port, while the stout's mild roast-ness is softened to a silky smooth bitter chocolate-ness underneath. Swirling the glass brings out underlying alcohol, but a Hell of lot milder than 11% suggests. Smoothly balanced between sourness, sweetness, and oak; relatively little input of bitter roasted malts, along with being well-crafted and robust without being harsh at all. The taste was incredible!!! Sticky and oily sour-sweet dark-fruitiness, quickly followed by an aromatic mouthful of black/roasted malts in the form of leather, sweet coffee, chewy and bitter chocolates gradually the taste is taken over by a delicately vanillas note of cigar and charred-woodchips aftertaste lingering at the back of the palate. The overall structure of the flavor profile evolves all the time...Got to love this brew!!! "Silky Smooth" is not strong enough to describe the superb mouth feel of this beer. This beer will be at the top of my list of favorites. Thanks Mes for this magnificent brew; I Need More!!!

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Old Chimneys Good King Henry Special Reserve from Old Chimneys Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 29 ratings.