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Old Chimneys Good King Henry Special Reserve | Old Chimneys Brewery

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Old Chimneys Good King Henry Special ReserveOld Chimneys Good King Henry Special Reserve
BA SCORE
4.38/5
Outstanding
69 Ratings
Old Chimneys Good King Henry Special ReserveOld Chimneys Good King Henry Special Reserve
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Old Chimneys Brewery
England, United Kingdom
oldchimneysbrewery.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rastaman on 09-10-2003

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,582
Reviews:
34
Ratings:
69
pDev:
8.22%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
165
Gots:
18
Trade:
6
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 69 |  Reviews: 34
Photo of spycow
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.25/5  rDev -3%
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.

 551 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
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 jlindros
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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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.

 728 characters

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!!!

 1,259 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

 1,227 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.67/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

 651 characters

Photo of chippo33
3.5/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of 22Blue
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of MasterSki
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to ygtbsm94 for this brew. This is the 2007 vintage, best before November 14th, 2012. Served in my Darkness snifter.

A - Pours with a thin tan foam that settles to a solid ring and some wispy film, leaving behind spotty but plentiful lace. The body is midnight black.

S - Huge oak and vanilla notes, milk chocolate, cake, fudge. There might be the slightest hint of diacetyl, but it could just be the incredibly intense "buttery oak" flavor - in any case it reminds me of chocolate buttercream. There are also elements of booze-soaked fruits, roast malt, and port. As it warms hints of sweet balsamic vinegar and smoke emerge as well. This must have been aged in some sort of spirit barrel, as there's no other way to explain the rise in ABV between this and the regular version. Still a bit boozy, even after three years.

T - Vinous notes, dark fruits, vanilla, buttery oak. This is quite a different beast from American barrel-aged stouts with significantly less overt whisk(e)y and charred malts, and much more fruit character. There's some light port-like oxidation, and a slightly tannic, and bitter finish that also features light sour grapes.

M - The rich full body is incredibly smooth and silky, with extremely low carbonation. It's not quite cask-like, but it's pretty close (nitro-like?). Tannic finish and a bit of warmth in the back of the throat.

D - I had no problem finishing the 275ml bottle on my own (my wife just didn't dig this beer). The barrel presence is quite brash at times, but it isn't an inhibitor by any means. That being said, this is probably best shared. I'd love to score another bottle to see what a few more years does.

 1,672 characters

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.

 697 characters

Photo of eawolff99
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

 460 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.92/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

3.5/4/4/3.5/4

 845 characters

Photo of rudzud
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
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

 819 characters

Photo of KAF
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of wl0307
4.82/5  rDev +10%
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

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

 1,621 characters

Photo of jrallen34
3.79/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Mike for letting us try this on a random Monday night...Pours dark brown with almost no carbonation at all, few bubbles here and there on the side of the tulip...The aroma to me smells like a really expensive bourbon, more of a spirit than a beer. Really nice oak, vanilla, bourbon, very buttery. I'd love this as a bourbon night cap, as a beer, I'm struggling with it...The taste is dead on with the aroma, very spirit like. Butter velvet feel and taste, lots of oak and bourbon.

Everyone else pretty much loved this, I just don't get it. Its not beer like in aroma, taste or texture. Doesn't necessarily taste bad, just not what I'm looking for. A rare tick probably worth trying but I would not actively search this out.

 738 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
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 TurdFurgison
4.51/5  rDev +3%
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.

 604 characters

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Old Chimneys Good King Henry Special Reserve from Old Chimneys Brewery
Beer rating: 4.38 out of 5 with 69 ratings
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