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Imperial IPA - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial IPAImperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

486 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 486
Reviews: 329
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10%
Wants: 118
Gots: 11 | 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:
Draft only as of 2008.

(Beer added by: cretemixer on 11-24-2003)
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Ratings: 486 | Reviews: 329 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of objectivemonkey


4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2007 02:06:27 | More by objectivemonkey
Photo of WesWes

New York

4/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2007 00:53:08 | More by WesWes
Photo of Enola

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev -4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2007 20:37:30 | More by Enola
Photo of GPHarris


4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage

a - poured a two-fingers thick off-white head into a snifter. the head looks very creamy and leaves a thick ring and sheeting, it billows with each swirl of the glass. the body is a bright orange-amber color that leaves some good-looking sticky sides on the glass.
s - hints of pine, grapefruit and a little resiny malt thrown in.
t - pine, oranges and bread. a well-balanced brew.
m - clean, crisp and a little dry bite to it.
d - easily drunk with the alcohol becoming more noticeable in the finish. this is a good beer but not quite on the level of some other DIPAs especially when you factor in the cost of this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2007 14:41:37 | More by GPHarris
Photo of Phatz


4.78/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Millions of thanks to froggyfrog. This beer was absolutely magnificent!

Appearance: Pours a glimmering golden orange color with a small but solid foam head. The lacing is impressive.

Smell: Sweet caramel honey and malt, big grapefruit and floral hops and citrus fill the nose.

Taste: Fresh orange pineapple and grapefruit with a very sweet bready caramel attribute beneath the hops. This maybe the most balanced sweet DIPA with rich malty feel that I have ever tasted. It finishes with long lingering flavor and a touch of alcohol. WOW!

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally smooth and and creamy medium body.

Drinkability: This is amazingly drinkable. For a 9% beer it is very friendly and approachable!

Hope this is helpful.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2007 09:13:53 | More by Phatz
Photo of drseamus

New York

4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The body on this beer is a crystal freaking clear reddish amber color. It looks awesome My only complaint is that the head just wasn't there. There was a little white head, but I'd have liked to see it bigger.

S: There is a good hop aroma on this beer; powerful citrus grapefruit. I think I can smell a bit of pine in there too.

T: This beer is much more spicier than I would have expected. There is a bit of grapefruit from the hops and a bunch of spiciness and bitterness from them as well, but enough malt to back it up. It is really smooth over all though.

M: This beer has a bunch of body. It almost has a syrupy feel, but isn't overly heavy. It is really smooth though.

D: This is a great example of an Imperial IPA. It has a bunch of hop aroma and flavor, but isn't overly bitter. The malt is enough to balance the beer which makes it perfectly balanced.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2007 05:17:38 | More by drseamus
Photo of Absumaster


4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a orange color with a small head and some hazy clouds after pouring the whole bottle.

Smell of US hops, grapefruit, citrus, orange zest, with some mineralic whiffs. The malt balances the hops with a medium maltiness that is straw-like and has some caramalt.

Taste is full of resinous, piney grapefruit and orange hoppiness and is bitter, but nothing mouth puckering. All this hop violence is perfectly balanced by the big maltiness, which gives the beer a bit stickiness. This is one of the better DIPAs, not because it is very original, but because it is so great balanced.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2007 13:53:36 | More by Absumaster
Photo of westweasel


4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12-oz bottle. The color is a hazy, light amber with a 1/4 inch white head. A good amount of Belgian lace is left all around the glass.

The aroma is hoppy. I smell oranges, and a sweet floral scent.

In the taste I get a bit of toast, but mostly oranges and a backbone of noble hop bitterness.

The mouthfeel is very full and thick, with a bitter finish.

The drinkability is very good for a double IPA. A very strong bitterness, but not the point of completely cashing your tastebuds.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2007 02:20:08 | More by westweasel
Photo of Bierguy5


4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, 2006 version, 9% ABV. Best consumed by March 31, 2007. Darn! I missed by a day. Do you think it will know?

Pours a cloudy copper color, with a thick off-white fluffy head. Excellent head retention, as it seemed to last for nearly the entire glass.

Spicy, piney, and citrusy hop aroma. The huge malt character is also noted in the aroma.

Sweet caramel malt flavor hold well against some spicyness, orange peel, and piney flavors. Lingering piney bitterness.

Full body, with some warming from the alcohol. Overall, and great balanced DIPA, as the huge malt character seems to support this particular hop combo very well. Very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2007 17:23:41 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of udubdawg


4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.
recently enjoyed a 2005 and 2006 side by side. One of the few double IPAs I age.

Pour is a pretty slightly murky orange color with a lot of off-white head. Younger beer laces better, but both are good. The beer is noticeably thicker than many, with the 2005 even a bit more than the younger beer. This fullness would come across in the mouth too.

Nose is very floral. Some piney hops, and a lot of citrus. Pretty complex - the pale and caramel malts ARE there, and there is clearly a lot of it to be (sort of) keeping up with the hop profile. I noticed a lot of orange and grapefruit in the 2006, but lemon was the first citrus noted in the 2005. One can tell this is going to be rather sweet. Interesting.

Really exceptional taste - I don't see much that I can add to the multitude of good reviews of this beer. One of my favorites of the style. Not cheap at $17.99 a four-pack, but I buy this on micro wednesdays and can stomach the resulting $4 a bottle. The full creamy mouthfeel is wonderful, the aftertaste pleasant, and overall the flavors are terrific. Probably a bit too easy to drink for the price/strength. Differing citrus aromas and flavors and less noticeable alcohol in the 2005 than the 2006 were the only real differences noted. Looking forward to comparing 2007!

One thing though - GI says this is "...filled with more bitterness than a woman scorned." I find the bitterness to be quite reserved, especially with respect to this statement.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2007 01:48:14 | More by udubdawg
Photo of Vancer


4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ol Goose has gone and done it again, this is one tasty lil’ treat. But, just a bit too expensive for real drinking – I can find just as good brews for ½ the price of this bad boy, but I ramble…..

Unbeleivable pour- orangy red with a coating of ivory head and lace on the ol’ NB snifter, may have to chisel it off later. Tons of malt, yes malt, in the sniff, with the hops, of course. This is one of the thickest DIPAs I’ve had the grace to experience. It does have a hint of phenolics medicine, but that’s the alcohol talking, because you sure can’t notice it in the glass.

Yep, a fine brew, and it comes with a price to match.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2007 23:57:56 | More by Vancer
Photo of Duster72


3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My local haunt must have cleaned out the stock room, because this had been long sold out. 2006 bottle pours a nice reddish amber with one finger off white head and sticky lacing. Aroma is earthy hops. Taste is grapefruit and pine hops which are quickly overshadowed by huge sugary malts. Mouthfeel is slightly too cough syrup for me. Very drinkable for ABV. A nice change of pace but one was certainly enough for the night.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2007 11:26:31 | More by Duster72
Photo of tempest


4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Blue Tusk

Yeah it was pretty good, but I'd call it overrated. It looked good enough and drank good enough. The aroma was where it was at for me. It was a fairly complex mixture of sweet floral hops with candied orange, pine and grapefruit. The grapefruit came out more in the flavor, which seemed a little strong for it's own good to me. It was like they over-hopped the flavor so that the delicate hop flavors mashed together into a brutal citrus flavor. This is still a very good IPA, pretty bitter without too much malt sweetness like some have. Give it a try if its not overpriced.

Serving type: on-tap

03-28-2007 02:46:58 | More by tempest


4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The head is a perfect tan that almost creeps over the top of the glass with a strong pour. Body is a attractive amber orange in color. A bit of lace remains as the head fades. Very soft but incredibley floral nose with amazing citrus induced hop notes. As it enters the mouth it is surprisingly silky, with a very pleasant hop presence. Almost oiley feel that doesnt carry the beer as well as I would have expected from the level of carbonation. Leaves a loud bitter on the mouthfeel. Really very drinkable and solid. Not the mouth killer like some other big IPA's.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2007 14:11:05 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of Monkeyknife


4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle a slightly hazy reddish-gold. A small cream-colored head from the pour to the last sip with hardly any lacing at all.

The smell was incredible. An intense hoppiness with a good dose of fruity/candy and malty sweetness with it.

The taste absolutely matched the smell. A big burst of hops and fruit hits you right away. As the beer warms a bit you begin to notice the warmth of the alcohol. But in no way does it get in the way.

I note a creamy texture which goes interestingly with the medium carbonation.

Wow, what a beer! I love this one which will only get better with a little aging. Definitely not a session beer but I enjoy a couple when friends come by.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2007 01:45:12 | More by Monkeyknife
Photo of woodychandler


4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow! I started with a/n (probably too) agressive pour and was presented with easily two fingers of eggshell/off-white head for my troubles. The date on the bottle is a little tough to read, but it looks like it was bottled in December 2003. Whoops! Well, the bottle does advise me that the flavor would continue to develop over the next five years and that I should use a wide-mouth glass. I'm down with both, since I am using my favorite Schlitz Light goblet today. Laugh, if you must, but this is a nice heavy glass that probably once had a home in a bar.

On the nose, I still get a jolt of hops, but the malt has begun to assert itself and it comes through as an underlying scent. The color was a slightly hazy deep amber with lots of CO2 bubbles in evidence. The mouthfeel was actually quite full and the hops were the prevalent taste on the tongue, although I can imagine that they were once more intense. Even so, a good deal of hops make their presence known on the tongue and the finish has a wash of malt to accompany them to reduce some of the sharpness that this probably had on its initial bottling. The sticky lacing that this produced is really notable. I am going to buy some more bottles and set them aside, also.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2007 18:50:10 | More by woodychandler
Photo of Erdinger2003


3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a nice 1/4 inch head that fell leaving a good lacing behind and after a small while dissapates into a thin layer over the top of the beer. The color is light brown to tan. The smell is very hoppy indeed, even for a 2006 vintage. The smell of hops is big and fruity. I love the smell, very hoppy. The taste is a bit sweet at first, but then turns into fruity hops. Still pretty fruity/sweet, reminds me a little of alpha king with the fruity flavors reminding me of fruity pebbles. The mouthfeel is a bit over carbonated. I don't know if it's the carbonation or the hops, but there's a bit of a bite to it as well. Overall drinkability was OK. I would have another next year fresh to see the difference.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2007 11:57:47 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a slightly hazy orange with a great frothy head that was lasing and left a tremendous amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma was dominated by rustic earthy hops. The taste was very well balanced between and array of hops and a great deal of malt. The beer was medium bodied and not too syrupy for one that strong, the hop bitterness covered that nicely. This is a truly one of the best DIPAs I've had yet.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2007 01:01:55 | More by atsprings
Photo of brewandbbq

New Hampshire

4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before March 31, 2007.

Pours hazy orange-gold, with a thick, dense, batter-like head of off white.The half inch foam cap receded within three minutes and revealed an abundance of drizzled lacework. Threads of whitish bubbles streak down from ringwork near the peak.
Aromatics are loaded with tropical fruits, zesty citrus, and coniferous resin. Powdered sugar-laced apricots, mango, and tangerine under a spruce tree after a spring rain. Light malt adds some balance, while the nose is floral, slightly pungent, and enticing.
Mouthfeel is sticky, sappy, and snappy.
The pallet is chock full of more ripe fruits and spruce tips. Peaches, sugared grapefruit segments, dried pineapple, and clementines. Bitterness is firm and drying, balancing the residuals well without being wincing. Alcohol weaves through the fruit and light malt, lending a warmth that adds another level of complexity.
Finishes extremely fruity and warming, with the residuals winning out over the bitterness.

The aromatics seem a bit subdued, and I'm assuming that it's not the freshest example. A bit drier and fresher would knock this baby to the next level.
Big thanks to Unknownoffender for the oportunity.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2007 23:37:03 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of JohnnyM2002


4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a chalice at 45 degrees. Thanks to cburian for sending this bottle my way!

A - Pours a beautiful cloudy reddish/medium-brown with a 1.5 inch beige head. Strong carbonation.

S - Sweet hops...I'm now assuming this is an extra-sweet-malty DIPA.

T - Let me start by saying that I don't particularly enjoy an overly sweet beer, so I'm taking my bias/taste out of the equation. That being said...this is definitely a DIPA on the sweet side. Despite the sugary/buttery malt, the balance is very well constructed. The extra boost of hops is easily detectable - and they are the frontrunner flavor - the malt comes through in the finish. So as for my disliking of sweet beer...I'm glad it comes out in the finish, as opposed to being the headlining taste...let the hops do their work, then finish with the malt.

M - Exceptional. Creamy, medium body with strong carbonation. Warming sensation & alcohol aftertaste remains for quite some time after finishing.

D - All being said...this is the perfect special occasion DIPA. I could never drink more than one of these in a sitting because of the malt, but this is a very wine-esque double, so it makes for a great occasional brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2007 02:04:19 | More by JohnnyM2002
Photo of kirok1999


4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear mellow golden with a nice white head that clings minimally. Smell is minimal also, surprising considering the amount of malts and hops in the brew. Smells slightly sweet and very moderately hoppy.
Taste is all malts, very sweet and creamy. Hops provide some bitterness in the finish, but this is a very nice balance between malts and hops. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy as an IIPA should be. Drinkability is great, alcohol is very well hidden, masked by the amount of grains present. A great brew at an astounding price, I paid over $5 per bottle.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2007 01:15:18 | More by kirok1999
Photo of Zorro


4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle found at Lone Hill in Glendale.

This is a cloudy apricot colored ale with a skimpy head formation. As this warms it takes on a clear copper color with a little better head but still not much.

The smell is sweet and extremely spicy and full of fruity hop aromas. This is strikingly spicy in smell more so than the other top of the line Mega IPA class beers. Exceptionally peppery in scent with strong spruce and pine aromas. Sweet fruit aroma primarily of melon but also of sweet fresh pineapples. Lots of secondary hop scents here, mint, menthol, basil, orange rind and anise are the strongest. Pretty much a bolder less subtle version of Dreadnaught.

The taste begins neutral spicy and boldly numbing to the tongue at the start with lots of melon aftertaste. Strong melon keeps popping up as I drink this along with the strong grapefruit and pine flavor of northwestern American hops. Nice strong hop flavor but this lacks some in more subtle tastes.

Quite good mouthfeel noticeably thicker than the other Mega IPA beers.

Nice and very drinkable Mega IPA but not among the best of the best. Tasty and strong this just needs a bit more subtleties to be in the top three.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2007 06:56:56 | More by Zorro
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have been waiting a long time for this one! Was curious to see if it can live up to the hype of a great IPA, boy did it ever. Bottle indicates it is a 1996.

Poured a very bright orange amber, full of haze and suspended carbonation. Big bollowing, pillow like frothy white head, went absolutly nowhere for a long time. When it finally did decide to rest, it left the glass almost completly obscured with lace. If looks could kill, I would have fallen down flat. Looked absolutly perfect, can't wait.
Smell came across at first very sweet, like an orange pop sickle hop bomb, yummy as heck. Some of the strongest orange scent I have ever smelled when first poured. Let it sit around a bit and warm and this revealed some hints at the alcohol that lies inside, and some more pronounced grapefruit scents and pine resin started to come out. The taste followed along, and even improved on that, it was really utterly fantastic. Very sweet flavors of Pineapple, not too strong though, were the biggest player here. Also notable were a nice pine resin flavor that carried over well. Very balanced between the bitter hops and the sweetness, this was like liquid candy for me, wonderful. The after taste was as close to perfect as I have gotten, very long lingering and bitter, pine tree fresh, and so dry it left you begging for another sip. Great mouthfeel on this, smooth with great carbonation, a slight bit of warming due to the alcohol, which at 9%abv is to be expected, but is so well masked but the rich and sugary flavors it is a non-issue.

This was an absolutly fantastic beer. Hands down one of the finest IPA's I have every tried. Great smell, awesome taste, and just a smooth easy drinkibilty make this one stand out above alot of others. Would love to get some more one day, and will do my best to make that happen.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2007 22:49:58 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of kenito799

New York

4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip, bottled 11/3/05 "flavor will continue to develop over five years" we're at year 1.3.

Medium amber with huge rocky head, sticky lace as head recedes and beer is drunk.

Aroma is fantastic, room-filling, outstanding dry piney (like freshly cut 2 x 4s), white grapefruit, floral hoppy scents. A pleasing hint of funkiness and a touch of smoke. One to inhale deeply.

Mouthfeel pleasing, nice carbonation...a slight palate drying effect from all the hops only makes this beer more drinkable--but you'll need some water afterwards. The taste: they have nailed the double IPA, actually by making it taste like a regular old IPA...this beer is balanced, strong and deliciously bitter, complex piney grapefruitiness hits front, middle and in the long bitter finish but the malt balance keeps up, never falls behind, saves your mouth from death by hops...the impression is a fantastic American hop wallop in an elegant, seamlessly constructed package. I am really impressed with this beer and like it much more than most double IPAs, which tend to just dump in hops like there's no tomorrow and make aromatic but less drinkable beers. The GI guys really know what they are doing. Alcohol perfectly integrated, no heat or sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2007 02:46:35 | More by kenito799
Photo of WeymouthMike


4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12oz bottle with a best consumed by March 31,2007 poured into a Duvel goblet.

A- A tad bit cloudy amber with a medium white head which quickly disappears

S- Lots of pine and citrus mainly lemon with some phenols detected

T- Malty up front followed by awesome pine and fruity notes some alcohol warmness.

M- No carbonation and no hop slick left behind

D- Alcohol is definetly detectable but that doesn't stop me. Great beer, too bad I only have two. Paired well with my homemade chicken parm and sauce on paesano bread.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2007 00:01:41 | More by WeymouthMike
Imperial IPA from Goose Island Beer Co.
93 out of 100 based on 486 ratings.