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Imperial IPA - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial IPAImperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

493 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 493
Reviews: 329
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.02%
Wants: 119
Gots: 14 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 493 | Reviews: 329 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BladeRunner
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%

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.

BladeRunner, May 21, 2007
Photo of AaronHomoya
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%

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.

AaronHomoya, May 19, 2007
Photo of biegaman
4.15/5  rDev -1%

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!

biegaman, May 17, 2007
Photo of wagenvolks
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%

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.

wagenvolks, May 15, 2007
Photo of Derek
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%

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.

Derek, May 07, 2007
Photo of grub
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

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.

grub, May 07, 2007
Photo of wcudwight
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%

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.

wcudwight, May 06, 2007
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%

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.

objectivemonkey, May 04, 2007
Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev -4.5%

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.

WesWes, May 03, 2007
Photo of Enola
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%

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.

Enola, May 01, 2007
Photo of GPHarris
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%

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.

GPHarris, Apr 30, 2007
Photo of Phatz
4.78/5  rDev +14.1%

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.

Phatz, Apr 26, 2007
Photo of drseamus
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%

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.

drseamus, Apr 13, 2007
Photo of Absumaster
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%

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.

Absumaster, Apr 07, 2007
Photo of westweasel
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%

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.

westweasel, Apr 06, 2007
Photo of Bierguy5
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

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.

Bierguy5, Apr 04, 2007
Photo of udubdawg
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

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.

udubdawg, Apr 03, 2007
Photo of Vancer
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%

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.

Vancer, Mar 31, 2007
Photo of Duster72
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%

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.

Duster72, Mar 30, 2007
Photo of tempest
4/5  rDev -4.5%

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.

tempest, Mar 28, 2007
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%

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.

SPLITGRIN, Mar 27, 2007
Photo of Monkeyknife
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%

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.

Monkeyknife, Mar 26, 2007
Photo of woodychandler
4/5  rDev -4.5%

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.

woodychandler, Mar 25, 2007
Photo of Erdinger2003
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%

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.

Erdinger2003, Mar 23, 2007
Photo of atsprings
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%

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.

atsprings, Mar 23, 2007
Imperial IPA from Goose Island Beer Co.
93 out of 100 based on 493 ratings.