King Henry | Goose Island Beer Co.

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King HenryKing Henry
1,482 Ratings
King HenryKing Henry

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Kegatron on 08-16-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,482 |  Reviews: 325
Photo of Retail1LO
4.47/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This review was done on the blind as part of the Blind BIF. Bottle courtesy of JohnPPutz.

A - Pours jet black with a fingers with, effervescent head that disipates quickly. 4.0

S - Oh boy. This is a biggun' for sure. Bourbon nose is HUGE with lots of chocolate and vanilla thrown in for good measure. I endeavored to review three tonight, but, we'll have to see about THAT. Incredible smelling beer. 4.5

T - The taste is marvelous. I feel like I've been here before, and recently. The bourbon in this is a little more tempered, but the vanilla is still there, along with a hint of wine at the tail end of each sip. Red wine. I could be wrong, but 3 sips in, and I get it with each taste. 4.5

M - All star. I was worried this was going to be thin because the carbonation was so fleeting. However, this is french silk in a glass. 4.5

O - This is badass. What a way to start this bitch off! WHATEVER this is, it's a great beer, John. 4.5

I'm going to guess it's one of the 50/50 Eclipses. Perhaps even the brandy one.

What does the survey sayyy?

BANG! KING F'IN HENRY! Wow! The lines between barley wine and stout are SO thin here. And I've HAD this before. Granted, it was a small pour, and I've had a lot of big beers since. But still. Boy-O starts me out with a baby whale.

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Photo of strangebrew321
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of whartontallboy
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of jhughes23
4/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of birchstick
4.39/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a dark brown, almost black color

S - the nose consists of vanilla, fudge, and some caramel. Almost smells like a bourbon county stout.

T - sweet caramel malts up front give way to a nice vanilla flavor imparted (I assume) from the spent barrels. Next up are some of the barleywine flavors in the form of pine and some other bitter hops. However, some of the bourbon county stout flavors come back with some bourbony deliciousness.

M - pretty solid mouthfeel to accompany the King

D - this is like bcbs meets barleywine, almost blend-like. The two distinct flavors form together really well and make this a very solid beer. Another great one from Goose Island.

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Photo of fo1ksguitar
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of Nachojon
4.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes 12/19
A- Sits a dark molasses color that shows hints of dark red wood under light. Thin beige head that doesn't last long, leaves thinnest hints of lacing.

S- Strong but smooth bourbon nose hits first. Nice vanilla, oak and that touch of raisin or fig.

T- Really nice bourbon impression on this beer. It's sweet, but the sweet notes are really bourbon forward so it's pleasant. Some brown sugar and caramel stand out with a dryness that comes from the oak for a little balance out back.

M- Yeah there's a lot going on in your mouth here. Really works the taste buds. Just enough carbonation to keep up with the body.

O- Felt lucky to score a pretty good amount of this stuff. Mostly traded it all out, glad I kept one for myself. Tasty greatness.

EDIT: My 50th review! Well, not really since it was from notes, but funny that I hit 50 and didn't even realize it. Glad Henry was that accident.

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Photo of bsuedekum
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of cpmichael
4.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at Yogi's in Bloomington before the Indiana/Ohio State Basketball game.

A: Darkish ruby red and poured with a small lace of tan foam that quickly dissipated.

S: Vanilla and bourbon come through pretty heavily, a hint of smokey tobacco and alcohol are present.

T: Taste is candy sweet, but not sickeningly so. The bourbon and vanilla are just as present as in the nose, a little bit of tobacco and smokey malts. Honestly, it could be the power of suggestion, but it reminds me a lot of how Rare tasted.

M: This beer is still a little hot at the moment, not quite as smooth as I remember Rare, but still pretty damn good. Body is fairly thin considering the style.

Overall: This was the second time I had King Henry in as many days and I loved each sip. It is sweet, but it has some great complexity playing off of it. A great beer for srue.

 853 characters

Photo of kort27
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of THECPJ
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of chronie
4.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - The beer pours a dark brown/black. A fingernail's worth of tan head is present for a few seconds, although it quickly diminishes.

S - Oh boy does this smell good. When you first put your nose to the beer you get this huge bourbon front. This is quickly followed by subtle notes of vanilla, oak, and dark fruits such as figs.

T - The bourbon hits you immediately followed by vanilla and oak.

M - When you pour the beer you notice that when you swirl it, it leaves a very viscous layer on the side of the glass. This same layer just coats your mouth. It stays with you for a few moments after your sip. Yet, within those moments the flavor just explodes.

O - Very good, flavorful beer. I wish this made this ever year.

 724 characters

Photo of DaBubs
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of FUNKPhD
4.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- dark brown with copper highlights. Off white head quickly dissipates to zilch.

S- Heavenly. Bourbon, vanilla, raisins, dark fruit, syrup / molasses, oak, rareness (copious amounts of pappy love)

T- Balance. Complex. Mimics the nose. Malt, sugar, smooth bourbon/ vanilla. Hints of coconut.

M- Nearly perfect for the style. Medium carbonation helps keep the beer from being too thick/ cloying.

O- Elite barleywine. Head to head with the best of the best. Excellent.

 471 characters

Photo of jkelly482
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of jjfancybeers
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of Adrianized
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of silentjay
4.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a very dark brown pour that almost reaches black with very little head (suitable for the style and barrel aging) that laces well.

Maple Syrup, bourbon, molasses, wood, tree bark, vanilla, caramel, dark fruits. My brother said 'it reminds me of Utopias' and it does smell a bit like that. a Utopias Light, if you will. Awesome.

Maple, caramel, molasses, lots of smooth bourbon (no cheap shit here) aged for the perfect amount of time in the barrels to impart a decent bourbon character without overpowering the rest of the beer. Slight alcohol warming, but not harsh or burning. Very smooth, yet extremely complex and tasty. wow.

Velvety smooth with little carbonation which works well for the style.

Honestly, I didn't want to like this one as much as I did. I kind of lucked into a bottle by being facebook friends with a liquor store an hour from my house. I wasn't about to try to track this one down, but when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped on it. Soooo glad I did. Haven't been wowed by a beer like this in a long time. Best Goose Island beer I've had (though I passed on rare on the few occasions I had to purchase it). Unlike BCBS, they bourbon is not overly dominant. So much going on, yet it drinks so smoothly. I wanted to beer to last all night to be honest.

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Photo of camil1mj
4.83/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Extremely dark caramel brown. The darkest barleywine I have ever seen. Minimal head, but this one continually bubbles from somewhere deep within.

S: Wonderful bourbon, sweet, malty goodness.

T: Lots of great flavors swirled together in perfect harmony: bourbon, raisins, caramel.

M: Heavy body. Well carbonated. A certain amount of creamy, stickiness.

O: Great job GI! Another perfect BA beer. Keep up th great work!

 423 characters

Photo of hotmanflab666
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of khumbard
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of beenitty
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Bilco
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of shoky01
4.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into stemless red wine glasses.

Been waiting on this since I heard about it, so happy to score some.

A: Not what I was expecting. Very dark brown, almost black. Almost looks like a stout. Good carbonation and lacing but no head when poured.

S: fans of the BCBS would know what this was aged in just from the smell. Bourbon with some oak. This will either be really good or undrinkable.

T: Wow, exactly what I was thinking. The barrel flavoring is all over it. Caramel, some almost nut like. Very sweet like the BCBS.

MF: smooth but sticky, leaves a film.

OA: Glad I have more of this. Can't wait to age this a couple years.

 652 characters

King Henry from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 4.71 out of 5 with 1,482 ratings
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