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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

28 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 28
Hads: 59
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 7.01%
Wants: 143
Gots: 14 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 28 | Hads: 59
Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
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. (939 characters)

Photo of mdagnew
4.87/5  rDev +10.2%
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... (1,164 characters)

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, thanks again to Brad for this rarity! 2007 Special Reserve bottle, 11% abv.

The deep, thick black brew pours into my tulip with no head formation whatsoever. A faint bubble or two are resurrected by a generous swirl. No real lacing to speak of, but some nice wine-like legs.

This one REALLY needs to warm up to reveal the complexities. Even cellar temp will not do it justice. Barrel impact is evident with some sweet vanilla and caramel combining with (and somewhat masking) a bit of booze. To say the Oak is evident would be an understatement. This is a very woody beer. As it fully warmed, more dark chocolate flavors became apparent with a dash of soy sauce.

Very rich and viscous flavor profile here. Robust dark chocolates and roasted malts, booze soaked cherries and a waft of a nearby campfire. Plenty of wood and a good helping of molasses. The extremely low level of carbonation only exacerbates the thickness of this beer, making it somewhat oily. Alcohol is well hidden. I split this ~9.3oz (275mL) bottle and probably sipped on my glass for an hour while doing some other things this afternoon. It was a very nice stout and a definite sipper, but I was satisfied. Thanks for the chance, Brad! (1,216 characters)

Photo of tpd975
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to gunhaver for providing the bottle.

A: Pours a rich shade of dark brown or light black depending on how you look at it. The head is on the smaller side, with just a touch of lace.

S: Oak and bourbon bounce out from the start, not overpowering though. Vanilla, roasted malt and molasses are there as well in equal amounts.

T: Nice dark fruit flavors up front. Roast, molasses sweetness carry you through the middle. The oak and vanilla along with some chocolate come in the finish.

M: On the fuller side of medium, nice subtle carbonation.

D: Really good, probably the beer English beer I have ever had. (616 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Jan for getting me this rarity, 275mL bottle 2006 vintage, poured into a snifter. ABV listed as 11% on this bottle.

It pours a very viscous-looking black that has a small tan head develop right after the pour which quickly fades back to a bubbly collar and leaves only traces of lacing.

The aroma is like a mix of imperial stout and barleywine, and in the best ways possible. There a lot more sweetness that a typical RIS, with lots of caramel, vanilla and dark fruits. There are dark roasted malts and some dark chocolate that bring in the stout character and it's got a huge whiskey and oak presence in the nose on top of that. Unbelievable nose.

The taste has much of the same characteristics as the aroma but there is more peat and smoke than the aroma suggested. The underlying dark malts and sweetness from the fruit and licorice is all there but the finish really brings the smoked peat into play and finishes almost like a scotch with a slight alcohol burn going down.

THe mouthfeel is extremely slick and carbonation is minimal. Overall, it's not the most robust of RIS's I've tried but it's got plenty of body.

This is an extremely interesting beer from Old Chimney's and probably the best beer I've had from the UK. The aroma attests to how complex the beer is with a dizzying array of things going on and coming together very well. Highly recommended! (1,383 characters)

Photo of Douglas88
4.97/5  rDev +12.4%
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. (714 characters)

Photo of ygtbsm94
4.97/5  rDev +12.4%
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!!! (1,259 characters)

Photo of wl0307
4.82/5  rDev +9%
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. (2,642 characters)

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Old Chimneys Good King Henry Special Reserve from Old Chimneys Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.