Recently, Andy and I had an epic little tasting of some very rare and truly world class brews (read: whales). First up was a beer that Andy brought, Goose Island’s King Henry, a 13.4% English Barleywine
Goose Island King Henry
King Henry is kind of a big deal. One of the highest rated barleywines (#1 on Beeradvocate.com and #3 on RateBeer.com), as well one of the highest rated beers period (#7 on Beeradvocate.com), King Henry was released late last year. The big hype surrounding this whale is that it was aged in the same barrels as one of the most sought after beers of all time, Bourbon County Brand Stout Rare (Imperial Stout, 13%). These same barrels were first home to the most sought after bourbon as well, Pappy van Winkel 23. Needless to say, we were both very excited to finally give this beer a try. It was a very rich and decadent brew, full of smooth toffee, vanilla, dark chewy fruit, and bourbon, all seamlessly melded together to create a nearly flawless offering. Thanks again to Andy for giving me the chance to try it, I was beginning to think I never would.
Next up was a beer released about a month and a half ago at Three Floyds Brewpub, their Conquistador de Muerte (Milk Stout, 8%). To make this beer, Three Floyds took their Moloko milk stout and aged in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels with ancho and guajillo peppers for two years. The particular bottle we enjoyed was #307 of 405.
We were both excited, yet apprehensive to try this beer, mainly because Andy has had Three Floyds Cognac Dark Lord de Muerte, their Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout aged in cognac barrels with similar chili pepper treatment, and said that it was dangerously close to being too spicy. This de Muerte poured as black and viscous as motor oil, with no head to speak of. The nose was reminiscent of chocolate Tobasco, but everything came together in the taste, with smooth chili peppers, chocolate, light bourbon vanilla, and toffee rounding out this fantastic beer.
All in all a great chance to have some good beer, and I’m really looking forward to opening some more rare and delicious bottles with Andy in the future.