Old Chimneys Good King Henry Special Reserve
Old Chimneys Brewery

Old Chimneys Good King Henry Special ReserveOld Chimneys Good King Henry Special Reserve
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Old Chimneys Brewery
England, United Kingdom
Russian Imperial Stout
4.39 | pDev: 8.2%
Mar 23, 2021
Sep 10, 2003
Old Chimneys Good King Henry Special ReserveOld Chimneys Good King Henry Special Reserve
Notes: None
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Photo of Sigmund
Reviewed by Sigmund from Norway

4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
275 ml bottle, vintage 2010, kindly and unselfishly shared by gunnar. ABV is 11%. Pitch black colour, moderate to low brown head. Lovely and intense aroma of roast malts, molasses, caramel, liquorice, vanilla and sweetened coffee. Intense but also smooth flavour, with the same elements as in the aroma, prunes, oaky and vinous notes. Moderate hops, amazingly well balanced and easy drinking for its strength. I want more of this!
Mar 23, 2021
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Rated by vfgccp from New York

4.07/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
2010 vintage.
May 30, 2018
Photo of stevoj
Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

4.74/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Bottle from Colin. Absolutely superb! Sublime, mellow , catches up to you fast. Woody, sweet aroma. Taste is a melange is so many flavors, lovely textures, beautiful mouth feel. Heat creeps on you and slowly glows. Just perfect all around.
Mar 05, 2018
Rated: 4.66 by davesnowskate from England

Jan 09, 2018
Photo of unclekeith
Reviewed by unclekeith from Alaska

4.73/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Paradigm of the style. Thick, creamy - no gimmicks - just a perfectly executed Russian Imperial Stout. Full bodied and roasty. Bitterness balanced with sweetness. Lovely alcohol heat for days.
Dec 25, 2017
Photo of Fux
Reviewed by Fux from France

4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
A: Pours pitch black, oily, viscous texture. I feared it would be completely flat but a small dark brown head formed after pouring, that actually has a pretty good retention, leaving a thin collar and some lacings long after.
S: Smell is rich and pretty incredible. It has dominant notes of dark chocolate but most of its complexity comes from its fruit character: mainly dark fruits, prunes, plumes, grapes but also ripe fruits and dry fruits like figs and currants.
T: Taste follows, stronger on the dark chocolate, with cherry and fudge coming next. Dark fruits and ripe fruits are still there, then the barrel character shine through with a dominant vanilla sweetness, notes of grapes skin and cherries. All this being delicately balanced. Finishes on dried fruits and candy sugar with a long aftertaste.
M: High body, oily, velvety mouthfeel, surprisingly mot much sticky despite a high residual sweetness and a low carbonation.
O: Beautiful beer which builds a bridge between classic traditional malty, yeasty beers, like old stouts or Belgian quadruples and more recent experimentations of the craft scene with a subtle but really nice barrel twist.
Oct 27, 2017
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Reviewed by captaincoffee from Virginia

4.41/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Pours practically black with a full brown head that is dense and leaves spotty lace. Nose is quite chocolatey, with a bit of bourbon as well and a touch of smoke. Nicely rounded. Taste is also not as huge as you might expect from a big beer like this, but it has nice rounded chocolate, coffee, and very mild booze. Mouthfeel is sensational...silky like a warm hug on your tongue. Overall a great beer but I found myself wanting it to be a bit bigger.
Edit: The above was the 2012 version, which I was able to get along with the 2014 release. Now that I've had the fresh 2014 as well, I would say the primary difference is that the bourbon is certainly more pronounced in the nose of the fresher beer. It is also a touch boozier, but not in a way that makes it less pleasant.
Oct 29, 2016
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Reviewed by Mar02x from Netherlands

4.16/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
I have to say that I expected more. I just had the base beer before this one and that was beer was fantastic. So my expectations were high. Not that the reserve was bad, it just wasn't my taste I suppose. To much honey influence in the taste and it overpowered the barrel character.
Aug 09, 2016
Photo of Phyl21ca
Reviewed by Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium size dark brown foamy head with some retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with nice black chocolates notes is pretty awesome. Taste is a nice mix of chocolate malt with light roasted malt with limited oak presence that rounds off any rough edges to this beer. Body is full with oily like texture and medium carbonation with no apparent alcohol. This is pretty quintessential English style stout with smooth flavours and easy drinking notes and without any extreme cloying flavours.
Jul 06, 2016
Rated: 4.32 by halo3one from Georgia

May 22, 2016
Photo of rudzud
Reviewed by rudzud from Massachusetts

4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Shared with JLindros on my birthday. 2011 vintage.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip dark black hue with a thin mocha head that fades to leave sticky lacing and fat legs. Great retention.

S Aromas of oak, light smoke, almost meat like smoke, earthy, dark fruits and chocolates are very subdued. The tannins are rather up front. No alcohol on the nose

T Taste is similar to the nose, loads of sticky dark fruits, caramel, toffee, light chocolate. The oak is pretty potent, loads of presumably port, sweet red wine vinous notes. Very nice mellow well rounded.

M Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, silky, alcohol hidden well

O - Overall this beer was rather interesting. Really different from the base beer with loads of oak and port to the point that it kind of washes out the base beer.

Serving Type: Bottle
Mar 29, 2016
Rated: 4.51 by hdtrice from England

Feb 29, 2016
Photo of jlindros
Reviewed by jlindros from Massachusetts

4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Another thanks to rudzud for his birthday. 2011 vintage.

Thick creamy lush dark head fades semi slowly, little lacing and thick sticky legs again, still darker than pitch black.

Nose brings a lot of oak, oak tannins, little red wine thing on there, back to big roasty dark malts, char but not acrid that plays into a bit of a smoke like smoked meat, dusty barrel, the dark fruits are way in the background, nice carb choc cocoa, hint fluffy nougat.

Taste brings lots more oak again, sharp oak tannins and fresh oak, little dusty barrel, a sweet red wine mix with the dark fruits raisin date like, which are all background. More dark roasty malts, dark choc and cocoa, less than the original, thick lush chocolate, chewy, decent bitter hops in the background. Finish dry little sticky, mild bitterness, dark choc, bitter oak tannins lingering.

Mouth nice creamy lush, decent carb, no booze.

Overall pretty nice but the original was a bit better, the sharp oak tannins ripped through the great base beer, need to soak the chips in water first to pull the tannins out. Otherwise a great beer.
Nov 11, 2015
Rated: 4.22 by 1600eman from England

Nov 05, 2015
Rated: 4.23 by atpca from California

Aug 25, 2015
Rated: 4.29 by Hopsiam14 from Minnesota

Aug 21, 2015
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Reviewed by KYGunner from Kentucky

4.39/5  rDev 0%
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!
Jul 18, 2015
Rated: 4.44 by JackNip from Delaware

May 23, 2015
Photo of Rutager
Rated by Rutager from Canada (BC)

4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
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!
Mar 23, 2015
Rated: 3.86 by thereal_adam from Texas

Jan 09, 2015
Rated: 4.75 by eawolff99 from Minnesota

Oct 16, 2014
Rated: 4.39 by Deltoro from Florida

Sep 15, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by westcoastbeerlvr from California

Sep 01, 2014
Photo of pknyc
Reviewed by pknyc from New York

4.51/5  rDev +2.7%
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.
May 31, 2014
Rated: 4.75 by larbush from Illinois

May 14, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by CHILLINDYLAN from Washington

May 14, 2014
Photo of jegross2
Reviewed by jegross2 from Illinois

4.39/5  rDev 0%
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.
May 12, 2014
Rated: 4 by XmnwildX12 from Minnesota

May 08, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by chippo33 from Vermont

Apr 03, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by ellswrth from Oregon

Mar 13, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by mobius387 from Wisconsin

Feb 26, 2014
Photo of cpetrone84
Reviewed by cpetrone84 from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
2011 on the bottle. Pour is jet black with a small amount of very tight caramel brown head. Nose is full and well balanced, lots of oak with hints of vanilla and a nice brownie batter aroma. A bit of booze in the back. Taste has much less barrel, a sweetness in back that wasn't there in the nose. Light wood, some rich malt mid palate and berry sweetness takes over. Very full bodied with a boozy finish linger and fairly assertive carbonation. Quite a dry finish with a touch of sweetness lingering.
Feb 04, 2014
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
Reviewed by 4DAloveofSTOUT from Illinois

4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Huge thanks to Pacamacca for this long time want!

275ml bottle with black pressure cap; label says that this beer was brewed on 3.11.2010.

Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: black bodied beer with a medium brown colored head that is 1 full finger high. Head drops down to a thin cap.

Smell: roasty coffee, bitter bakers cocoa, and very woody and oaky. Meaty smoke and ripe dark fruits. Surprisingly, I smell some cinnamon.

Taste: This stout starts out with lots of meaty smoke and dark fruits especially prunes. A hint of soy sauce and black licorice gives this beer an oxidized and vinous flavor profile like a port wine or sherry. Notes of vanilla, tobacco, and molasses offer some sweet and rich flavors. Dark chocolates and woody oak. Peat moss and earthiness. As this beer nears room temperature, all these flavors seem to blend together and balance in an exceptional and unique way. I like how the smoke mellows out and other flavors become predominant as the beer opens up.

Mouthfeel: medium almost full bodied beer with low carbonation. Thick, chewy, oily, creamy, and silky mouthfeel accompanies the flavors of this stout. Such a smooth drinking sipping beer. A slightly dry finish on this stout. The beer thins out a little bit as it warms up.

Overall: This is a really unique RIS. Its not like most RIS that I have tried. Well integrated and balanced stout flavors once this beer opens up. I thought this beer was too smokey when it was cold, the beer get much beer as it warms. This RIS definately has a non-american feel to it. That smoky whiskey barrel notes is something that screams England.
Jan 16, 2014
Rated: 4.75 by jonnypopgun from England

Jan 14, 2014
Rated: 4.75 by kermis from Netherlands

Jan 11, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by bmwats from Louisiana

Jan 01, 2014
Rated: 2.5 by His_Royal_Hoppiness from England

Dec 27, 2013
Rated: 4.5 by 22Blue from Kansas

Dec 05, 2013
Rated: 4.5 by billyshears from Connecticut

Dec 03, 2013
Photo of EdKing
Reviewed by EdKing from England

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
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.
Sep 30, 2013
Old Chimneys Good King Henry Special Reserve from Old Chimneys Brewery
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 73 ratings