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Imperial IPA - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial IPAImperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

508 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 508
Reviews: 329
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 127
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cretemixer on 11-24-2003

Draft only as of 2008.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 508 | Reviews: 329
Photo of franksnbeans
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers. Pours a murkey copper with a cream head. Smells of big hops, grapefruit and sweet pineapple. Taste as it smells. Big and agressive in every way. Feels medium in the mouth with good carbonation. The big ABV is non existant. Sip and sip some more. A must try from the mid west.

Photo of rallison
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2006...past the best by date, but still delicious.

Pours a nice amber color with a 1 finger white head that leaves some lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel and dates, followed by a nice juicy hoppiness.

Taste follows suit. Lots of sweet, caramel malt in here, immediately brushed aside by some assertive, juicy, half citrusy-half piny hops. A nice true bitterness is quite present. Excellent bite on the end!

Mouthfeel is very nice on this one, both very rich and satisfying, but leaving you refreshed and wanting more. And drinkability - yes, I'll have some more.

Highly recommended. This has approached the barleywine area in some respects, and I enjoy that. Try some if you can (thanks to Stan at Lone Hill for stocking this for us CA BAs).

Photo of emerge077
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

At long last we meet for a review...i've had this fresh and on-tap several times, but this sample is from 2005. Let's see if the "flavor continues to develop over 5 years" as stated on the bottle.

Deep raw honey toned orange, topped by spindly lacing that resembles the logo of the band Darkthrone. Huge aged hop smell, overripe grapefruit and cantaloupe. Herbal and spicy notes linger behind the fruitiness. It's still intimidating after almost 2 years in the bottle.

Taste is mellow at first, building into hoppy territory, bitterness is like sucking on a grapefruit rind. Velvety malt blanket settles midway through. Nuanced spice and herbal hops linger long into the finish. This is still a formidable IIPA. The hop edge is definitely more subdued, and if you cellar, try to wait more than a year...it becomes a different animal at that point.

As it warms, it becomes slightly more difficult to drink. The giant stumbles due to it's largesse. Fresh and on tap, it's easy to lose count. However, a cellared bottle is more of an occasional malty hop-bomb treat. Age has changed it quite a bit, and i'll be saving one for a side-by-side when the next batch is released.

Fresh on tap, this is a 4.5-4.6 easily...

Photo of BillyB
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer says alot!
Even on the label, ". . .strong enough to wake the dead and filled with more bitterness than a woman scorned!"

Pours a nice hazy, orange color with a one fingered white, foamy head.

Aromas of citrusy, piney hops and grapefruit dominate. Some sweet smells of caramel and biscuity malt. Alcohol aroma is hidden well.

Tastes are very hoppy. Grapefruit and pine with other citrusy tastes. Some dark fruit and sweet malt as well.

Medium bodied with good carbonation and a bit of creaminess. At 9% abv the alcohol is hidden well. This is very drinkable for such a big beer.

Photo of Glazed144
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The first thing I noticed is that you hardly notice the 9+% alcohol. There pours a decent thing head which quickly dissipates. Decent lacing. Cloudy reddish brown auburn color Smells hoppy and a nice malt presence. Very well balanced taste. Nice hopppy aftertaste. not too bitter, bit of a roasted taste. Great mouthfeel. As it warms the alcohol presence become quick apparent however.Overall its good, but not worth what it costs when there are so many alternatives as good if not better for cheaper.

Photo of jackorain
3.96/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Orange, cloudy, 1/2 inch head fell fairly quickly to a thin collar.

S-Pine, grapefruit hops, caramel malt, biscuit malt. Not as strong as I would have expected.

T-Caramel malt, raisans and other dried fruit followed by big grapefruit and pine hops. Pine hop bitterness does not linger long. Boozeiness follows for the finish

M-medium body, a little creamy with mild carbonation.

D-Really good for a 9% ABV

Photo of Damian
4.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle
Best when consumed by: March 31, 2007
Acquired in a trade with nathan15

Poured a syrupy and murky rust-orange color with no head and no lacing.

The aroma was potently fruity, sweet and hoppy. The malt sweetness was very noticeable for a double IPA. Canned pineapple and piney hops came through strong, along with notes of sugary caramel. Citrus, orange and spice were present as well.

The taste was an intense yet well-balanced mix of punchy hops and sugary malts. The beer started super sweet, malty rich and creamy. Maple syrup, brown sugar and some spice came through as well. Citrusy, piney hops were apparent mid-palate, along with peaches and other ripe fruits. Grapefruit notes, along with the slightest indication of alcohol warmth, appeared in the bitter-sweet finish. The hops lingered on my palate after the beer was done (along with some citrus and spice) but they never overwhelmed me. In fact, the hop bitterness was quite restrained for a DIPA (this might have had something to do with the beer's age).

Mouthfeel was ridiculously creamy, syrupy and thick with a fine, moderate carbonation that coated my tongue like a blanket.

As for drinkability, I cannot remember the last time I finished a beer (never mind a double IPA) so quickly. This DIPA is unquestionably made for those who appreciate a balanced brew (fans of Dogfish Head's 90 Minute IPA should take note). In fact, this beer is so malty rich that it could easily be mistaken for a barleywine (and quite an outstanding one at that).

Photo of seaoflament
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to SPLITGRIN for sending me this one. A 2006 vintage, and a “best when consumed by: March 31, 2007” date, so it’s time to open this one.

Poured a bit syrupy for this type of beer, and by that I can see and smell that it has a huge malt bill. The color is a slightly brownish orange—reminds me of the color of a grand cru.

I swill the beer around to get some head, since there was virtually none at all, and pick up mostly a sweet malt profile followed by the piney and citrus hops, slightly spicy as well. I also detect some orange, apple and pear aromas.

The taste is rather sweet. The hop bitterness is…not really there. I feel a bit of warmth from the alcohol in the finish.

The mouthfeel is quite thick for an IPA but I like big beers.

It’s a good beer and I’m enjoying it but it wasn’t what I expected—at least not the way it is written on the bottle’s label. I would like to taste a fresh one next time and see the differences between a slightly aged one and a fresh one.

Photo of BeerTruth
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

nathan15 hooked me up with this one, thank you sir.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a somewhat hazy sunset orange with a two finger fluffy off-white head. Stickiness is pretty damn good, stays well on the sides of the glass. Smell is a mild dry pine hop with hints of honey wheat in the nose too. Smell is a bit dull, not what I expected for an "Imperial". Taste is very smooth. Nice clean grapefruit hits the tongue first followed by a dirty hop flavor. Aftertaste is amazing, no bitterness, not dry...just a fresh, crisp citrus lingers for a while. Flavor blows the smell away. Mouthfeel is great. This one stands out in the mouthfeel department for DIPA's. Where most leave your mouth dry and bitter. Goose Island goes in a different direction, it leaves the tongue moist and pleasant. I hardly sense any alcohol in the nose or on the tongue, so for 9% it has a pretty damn good drinkability. Pick this one up if you can.

Photo of RustyDiamond
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a New Belgium goblet. Bottle says: Best when consumed by March 31, 2007. Poured a lovely orange, with virtually no head. Aroma of faint fruit with a dose of alcohol. At first, a really sweet taste followed by a mediciny hop finish. Reminds me of DFH 90 Minute, and I really hate to make a comparison. As she sat, the more mellow she got. A nice sweet hop/cantaloupe taste with a heavy hop finish. Really can taste the alcohol...I wonder what this beer tasted "fresher." Nonetheless, I really enjoyed this.

Photo of crwills
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was fine. Good, I guess. I think I may be getting worn out on IPAs. Honestly, I was surprised to see this had such a high score on BA. It's good, and went well with the spicy food I was eating, but didn't stand out among the many other double IPAs I've had. Citrus, citrus everywhere - lots of grapefruit, dry orange and lemon in both the aroma and flavour. Balance is, obviously, way on the hops side, although it's not as one dimensional as some others I've had. I know this is a wandering sort of review, but I find reviewing American IPAs challenging. I like them, but perhaps I need to develop my palate more so I can tell them apart!

Photo of bobhits
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 1

Best by march 31 07 so a bit "old" but an imperial ipa should age well enough.

appearance. Lots of bubbles, nice head that holds fairly well. A nice copper color that lets light through but is fairly hard to actually see though.

Smell. Very hoppy. Not nearly as strong as the bottle makes it out to be but that's all marketing.

Taste. Very well balanced malt flavor. The hops really aren't as over powering as I'd like. This reminds me a lot of 90 minute. They are a differnt type of swee though. There is a definate alchol flavor here as well.

Mouthfeel. Smooth, silky, wonderful

Drinkability. 20 bucks for a 4 pack? There's no way you'll keep downing these at those prices.

Over all it's a very good beer but the price is a joke.

Photo of GClarkage
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6/30/07- Tasted at a beer tasting at Talisker's apt.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, didn't get a close enough look to see if there was a freshness code. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Slight deep orange colored pour. Larger bubbled 1/2 a finger head. Very white in appearance. Left behind a few nice sticky small gobs of lace.

Smell- Wonderful fruit basket smell. All citrus. Lots of grapefruit with a nice tangerine nose as well. Sweet caramel malt rounds out the scent.

Taste- Reminds me of Dogfish 120, with 10% less abv and a tad less sweetness. Grapefruit and orange rind flavors tie together with a pretty hefty caramel flavor.

Mouthfeel- Thicker feeling mouthfeel with medium to a lower carbonation level. Bitterness aftertaste lasts a decent amount of time.

Drinkability- I'd like to try another one of these if I get the chance again. The scent steals the show, but the flavor is very good as well. All around very good DIPA.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz. bottle, best consumed by March 31, 2007. I debated whether to review as it's near the end of May 2007; several of the recent reviews are of this same date (or older), so I decided to take notes and post anyway. Hoping that the age doesn't detract and will look forward to a fresh version in the future. Anyway, here goes...

A: A quick hiss from under the cap and a pour to a pint glass. Color/complexion is a hazy orange/red, seemingly more concentrated at the core and paler at the edges. Quite a bit of large carbonation bubbling to the head. Capped with about 1/2-finger of creamy/soapy ivory bubbles. Sticky lace clings down the glass.

S: Huge caramel and citrus/resinous hops burst from the glass. The first whiff was from a couple feet back and smelled sweet and floral and zesty all at once. As the hops faded (and they did - I'll credit this to being 2 months past the "best by" date) a wonderful buttered biscuit & roasted nut aroma emerged. Perhaps this wasn't how this beers aroma was intended, but it was delicious-smelling regardless...

T: I'm betting this could have had more hop bitterness (Tettnang, Simcoe, Cascade are the varieties listed on the label), but this is still a tasty IIPA. There's definitely a nice citrus and woody hop flavor here, but the caramel maltiness seems much more pronounced. Toasted, lightly sweet grain and a smooth, warming fusel alcohol on the back of the tongue. Moderately bitter finish. After a while, this big IPA began to remind my of a quality aged barleywine...

M: Creamy, smooth & warming. Gently carbonated and medium-full body. Lasting, malty stickiness on the lips and bitterness on the tongue and cheeks.

D: One that I absolutely want to have again. Must say that I liked this beer very much "as is", with extra months of age, but want to have it fresher, too. Quite easy to drink and recommend. Thanks go out to BA JeffKrenner.

Photo of oakbluff
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass- pours out a cloudy marmalade. A really orangy glow to this sucker. Minimal head. Smell is candied fruit and sweet malts- I didn't get a balst of hops that's for sure. Taste- some initial boozy hotness, which flows into a thick smooth sipper. Sweet cookie dough malts intertwined with the hops. Hops are fruity and spicy- not astringent. A very balanced DIPA, although a bit sweet and cloying. Drinkability suffers some due to the sweetness- I'm glad they put this in a 12 ounce bottle, as bomber would be tough to put down by yourself. A well done, if not a little pricey beverage.

Photo of BladeRunner
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Label says best before March/2007.

Using a pint glass, it pours a dark orange, with a nice bubby head.
Nothing to have your jaw dropping over, or anything like that.

The smell is of sweet citrus for sure, and so is the taste. It is labeled 9%abr, but I did not smell, or taste strong notes of alcohol. You get that nice warming effect, without the bitterness. This is probably the smoothest I.P.A I've tried at such a high alcohol%. I much prefer this over TF's Dreadnaught I.P.A, because it's so much smoother going down.

The mouthfeel is very good, again no harsh overtones. The carbonation is spot on, and the finish is superb. Drinkability, is great, this is not a sipper beer by any means. Though, watch out this is a sneaky beer, you do not taste the alcohol, as much as you would expect.

Best I.P.A I've tried.

Photo of AaronHomoya
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange-amber color, hazy and slightly cloudy. Nice head with good retention.

Aroma was spicy, with floral hops. Not as much complexity or just plain power of scent here for me. Maybe my sniffer was off.

The taste was very nice, though. Sweet with hops flavors, followed by a malty middle. Nicely balanced with a dry, hoppy finish that leaves a very pleasant and not harsh bitterness.

Medium bodied, with a mouthwatering feeling at the finish.

A nice IPA with good balance and flavor. Quite drinkable for 9%, but the "just OK" aroma keeps it from being something I'd regularly seek out.

Photo of biegaman
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Given a best Before of December 31/06 and sampled for Cinco De Mayo 2007 festivities! A little bit of age, but still strong evidence of a world class beer. And all thanks to a world class beer buddy, thanks Grub!

A very sludgy, clouded appearance. Toasty orange in colour, Peach coloured head. Very muted clarity. The aroma is almost like a high gravity barley-wine. It rings out harmonious notes of orange, mandarin, all piny/citruisy hops. Lots of bready malt. Flavour like an orange pop sickle with some peachy tang. Plenty, plenty, plenty of citrus! At this age it's mellowed a lot (maybe too much for the style, and works against it. I'd love to try this again fresh) Great citruisy flavour, plenty of underlying malts, well pieced together ... this was great!

Photo of wagenvolks
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to trep for the hookup on this one...2005 brew.

A cloudy, golden orange ale with a medium amount of cream head comes from the two year old bottle. Quite a beautifully fragrant DIPA, with carmelized hops, big pine notes, fresh grass, and wood.

Lotta citrus in the taste: orange peel & grapefruit plus hops, clove, and barley. Mouthfeel is spritzy and spiced, with a light flirty body and a decently bitter aftertaste. I really liked this beer and will definately pursue finding another, especially one that isn't aged for comparison. Awesome job, Goose Island.

Photo of Derek
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage with a little age...

A: Orange-amber; white head, very little retention, some lacing.

S: Sweet booze! Tangerine, hints of spice.

T: Hops up front (orange & spice), warming alcohol, assertive bitterness, with some underlying caramel malt and hints of fruit. With a little age, this seems like an old ale with a generous portion of American hops.

M: Moderate body is creamy, acidic, with some residual sugar.

D: It's big.

Photo of grub
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

autumnaldave hooked me up with this one in a trade at dark lord day. thanks dave!

12oz bottle, best before 12/31/06.

pours deep orangey amber colour with a big off-white head. hint of haze. head is very slow to drop and leaves spotty lace behind.

great aroma. tangerine and mandarin oranges. alcohol. hint of pine. reminds me of an aged barleywine, like an old guardian after a couple of years.

taste is great. orange and tangerine. bit floral too. medium bitterness. big bready malt. alcohol. bit of resin. caramel.

mouthfeel is good. medium body with a nice medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. balanced and enjoyable. i can tell that it has lost some pop and changed with time, but still quite good.

Photo of wcudwight
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Received in a trade. It's been in the cellar for about a year.
Pours a hazy peach color with a thin whispy head that recedes faster than my hairline. Very little lacing.
Smells of fresh floral and citrus hop cones. Also a hint of peach adds a nice touch.
Taste like HOPS!!! Very nice lasting bitterness in the finish. A fresh hop flavor lingers on well after the pint is empty. Mmmm hop burps.
Mouthfeel is dry and somewhat chalky.
Oh I wish I had another bottle. 1 bottle left me craving more.

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint glass, pours a nice orange copper, a small white head thats short-lived, amoeba lacing is decent. Not the most brilliant looking beer, but inviting for sure. The aroma is quite nice, whole bunches of fruits in citrus, orange, grapefruit, mango, lots of floral hints and a nice malt background. Quite nice.

The malts play a much more prominent role in the taste, and even though the aroma is plenty full, the taste is even bigger. And even better, it plays nicely as a hop bomb, but its really more of a finely balanced beast. The malts are plenty, pale and caramel as it feels. But it really is a hoppy show, Tettnang, Simcoe, and Cascade all pitching in some fun. The mouth is great, an excellent experience overall.

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

The beer pours a hazy golden color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a solid malt bill that boasts of pale, light crystal, and carapils malts. It has a bisquity aroma along with a fine citrus hop bouquet. The taste is good. It has a rich, malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes a bit warm with lots of hops in the aftertaste. It's a solid brew, but not the most complex of Imperials. It's relatively simple, but done well. The mouthfeel is fine. It's a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer, but not the best Imperial IPA on the market. All in all, another winner from Goose Island.

Photo of Enola
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is cloudy orange in color and there is a small head. There is a ton of fine suspended particles. The smell is citrusy hops. The taste is quite bitter and the abv shows itself here. The bitterness lasts in the aftertaste long after the beer is gone. The higher abv makes this beer a slow drinker. A must try for a hophead.

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Imperial IPA from Goose Island Beer Co.
93 out of 100 based on 508 ratings.