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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

52 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 52
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 136
Gots: 13 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Old Chimneys Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: rastaman on 09-10-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ygtbsm94
4.97/5  rDev +13.5%
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!!!

ygtbsm94, May 30, 2008
Photo of Douglas88
4.97/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Douglas88, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of mdagnew
4.88/5  rDev +11.4%
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...

mdagnew, Mar 03, 2010
Photo of wl0307
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the third beer on my 2006 X'mas beer tasting menu. Purchased at the bottled British beer bar, Pig's Ear Beer Festival, early December 2006. Coming in a 275ml slim brown bottle, at 11%abv., the front label says: "Good King Henry Special Reserve 2002. An oak matured Imperial Stout brewed for the tenth anniversary on the 1st May, 2005 of Old Chimneys Brewery... Limited edition of 1000 bottles".--sounds very special indeed. Brewed on 05/01/2002, BB 05/01/2007. Served cool in a large Burgunday bulb wine glass, on 27/12/2006.

A: pours a pitch-black espresso colour, topped with a thin foamy khaki head settling fast to a rimmed foam; carbonation unknown.
S: just like what it says on the bottle, the sweet oaky, vanilla-ish fragrance leads the nose (like the scent of American white-oak barrels), covering a smooth bed of oily treacles, sticky dark stonefruits (raisins, plum jam and preserved red dates) with a touch of full-bodied ruby port, while the stout's mild roastiness is softened through 5-year-ageing to a silky smooth bitter chocolate-ness underneath... a swirl brings out underlying alc., but still much much milder than 11% suggests. Smoothly balanced between sourness, sweetness and oakiness with relatively little input of bitter roasted malts, and it's hard to discern one element from another--well-crafted and robust without being harsh at all.
T: sticky and oily sour-sweet dark-fruitiness (with a touch of Chinese smoked prunes)... quickly followed by an aromatic mouthful of black/roasted malts in the form of leather, sweet coffee, chewy and bitter chocolates... gradually the foretaste is taken over by a delicately vanilla-ish note of cigar and charred-woodchips aftertaste lingering at the back of the palate; a chewy, powdery texture of yeasts, mashed black beans, bitter licorice and flat-textured hops are more profound in the superbly soothing and bitter aftertaste, but the most lingering is still that tinge of charred-woody aroma. The overall structure of the flavour profile evolves all the time...
M&D: the word "silky smooth" is not strong enough to describe the sublime mouthfeel of this beer, while the texture remains nice and refreshing with microscopic fizz rubbing the tastebuds by stealth. Being in line with the tradition of English Russian Imperial Stout, this beer shows a rather quiet profile that invites one to explore with patience. The several years of ageing has softened the beer to an almost Chinese herb-syrupy texture, in that it's impossible to detect any bit of alc. while the body is oily and rich. This beer simply has to be a firm favourite of mine for this category.

wl0307, Dec 27, 2006
Photo of kermis
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

kermis, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of jonnypopgun
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

jonnypopgun, Jan 14, 2014
Photo of spycow
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

spycow, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of larbush
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

larbush, May 14, 2014
Photo of Kirk
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Kirk, Jun 24, 2013
Photo of drabmuh
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Probably the highlight of the evening at my place, Thorpe popped this bottle out, this is how you do a RIS.

2008 vintage

Beer is black with nearly no head but still manages to leave some lacing on the glass, carbonation low.

Aroma is incredible. Licorice, mild booziness but not offputting, mild vanilla, oak and chocolate, awesomeness.

Beer is medium in body and pretty sweet at leadoff. The finish is smooth and mildly dry with a roasty bitterness to the beer that is quite pleasant and not distracting. The late forward and midpalate are sweet with booze / bourbon chocolate and a little late vanilla. It all comes together so well, a very spectacular beer here. I'd have it again for sure.

drabmuh, May 16, 2011
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

2008 vintage (13.11.2008)

The beer appears a near black shade, with a small, mocha colored head that leaves a nice sheet of lacing as it cascades down the glass. The aroma is really outstanding and complex, with scents including roast, licorice, dark fruit, light booze, oak, vanilla, chocolate. The flavor is top notch. The beer is remarkably thick and brings a distinctive vinous, dark fruit character throughout. The aftertaste lingers for a considerable time, and coats the palate with a bouquet of roast and dark fruit flavors. Overall, a terrific beer, and a superb example of a Russian imperial stout.

Huhzubendah, May 09, 2011
Photo of FreshHawk
4.6/5  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.

FreshHawk, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge, huge thanks to Popkas for sending this bottle out my way. 2008 vintage served in a snifter.

Pours near black with a great mocha-colored head that lasts for quite some time. Really nice lacing as it makes its way down the sides of the glass. The nose is really fantastic--chocolate and roast with a nice oak backing. Dark fruits make their way in as well, plus the addition of some light smoke. The taste is on the same level, and is almost vinous with dark fruits, oak, earth, and light smoke coming together exceptionally well. Solid roasted malt base and very little booze at all. Body is thick and creamy with carbonation on the low end. Really a phenomenal beer; the vinous character is amazing in the taste and feel.

Thorpe429, May 08, 2011
Photo of pknyc
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

pknyc, May 31, 2014
Photo of standardcherry
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

standardcherry, Aug 27, 2013
Photo of mobius387
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

mobius387, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of billyshears
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

billyshears, Dec 03, 2013
Photo of sendsilk
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

sendsilk, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of ellswrth
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

ellswrth, Mar 13, 2014
Photo of EdKing
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a batch of 2009 picked up personally at Old Chimneys, Suffolk. Black oil out of the bottle. Dark brown at the edges, brown tan head, slight carbonation. Nose is very complex. Deep dark chocolate and black coffee. Vanilla and touch of sweet whiskey off the oak. Leather, cedar wood. Taste is potent, then gives way to some very beautifully balanced yet complex flavours. First was wood smoke, then pure dark chocolate, coffee. Possibly some red berry sour notes coming and going. Tobacco on the tongue. Finish is dark bitter chocolate. But it’s soft on the palate, unlike a lot of US barrel aged ISs. Very good. Grows on the palate with each taste. Something nostalgic about these flavours. Great Christmas beer.

EdKing, Sep 30, 2013
Photo of Doodler
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Doodler, Apr 17, 2013
Photo of 22Blue
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

22Blue, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

westcoastbeerlvr, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Thorpe429 for sharing this in May (thanks a ton Mike!). This backlogged review is now going on-line.

This pours very dark, an opaque blackness with a thin tan foam. One of the richest aromas I've had in a stout, so much more going on here than I expected. Sweet and roasty, cocoa and dark fruits, this seems to have everything. It starts out tasting initially sweet, with plums/raisins and sweet malts, then moves to nicely roasted malts and a dry aftertaste that lasts and lasts. Incredible. This was an incredible treat, the first beer of the night and everything else suffered for it.

TurdFurgison, Jun 21, 2011
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Dreadnaught33, Jun 01, 2013
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Old Chimneys Good King Henry Special Reserve from Old Chimneys Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.