Imperial IPA - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial IPAImperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

329 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 329
Hads: 513
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 8.25%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 329 | Hads: 513
Photo of davedahl
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kudos to the dude at Handlebar for a terrific pour into a 12oz goblet.

- Smell: immediate hops in the nose even when the glass was still about a foot away. As it nears more hops in the nose then some sweet alcohol and esters with a slight biscuit malt aroma.

- The appearance is an even brown with a bit of chill-haze. Thick head with a color like grain. Sticky proud lacing.

- Taste: big floral hops in front with slight resin/piney balanced with sweet complex malt in the middle

- Rich full mouthfeel. Creamy with some sweet booziness to it.

Wonderful stuff. A side-by-side of IIPA and Hopslam would be interesting. (622 characters)

Photo of paco1029384756
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful ruby orange color with a small white head.

Scent of strong hops, honey, sugars and candy. Highly hopped and balanced, reminds me of HopSlam.

Taste of strong, sweet, bitter, juicy, grassy hops, honey, caramel, and a hint of spice. I was slightly disappointed the hop flavor was not stronger, but this is one of the most balanced IIPAs I've ever had; excellent beer.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with prominent carbonation, wonderful. (451 characters)

Photo of spointon
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this one on tap at the GI Clybourn Pub on 2/21/2009.

A= This ale poured a nearly clear golden color with a 1/2" white head. The head dropped slowly and left enormous amounts of sticky lace down the glass.

S= Aroma was made up of pine and grapefruit hops on top of a bready malt note.

T= Tasted much like the smell, with a nice pine/citrus flavor dancing alongside a solidly sweet biscuity malt character. A surprising amount of earthy/grassy flavor in this one reminded me distantly of an English IPA (in a good way). Finish dried a bit and showed very little alcohol flavor.

MF= Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level that lead to a fairly soft feel.

D= This DIPA was quite good and very drinkable. I will gladly have this one again! (756 characters)

Photo of cproioi
3.48/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The pours an orange-yellow body with white sticky lacing, and carbonation present in the body. The smell is full of citrus ruby red grape fruit and hot alcohol. The taste is very similar to the aroma. With alcohol notes coming out more as it warms. The mouthfeel is full of sticky hops resin and hot fusal alcohol. It's a nice beer from a solid brewery. (353 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.38/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Growler. Pours a deep ruby brown, slightly cloudy, with a small white head. Aroma of citrus hops, some garlicky hops, and lots of sweet malt. Flavor is quite malty and sweet, a touch of acetone perhaps. Just a malt overload for me, very sticky and sweet.
7/4/7/3/14 (3.5/5) (273 characters)

Photo of tmoneyba
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep amber with an average white head that was lasting and had good lacing. Good hoppy citurs aroma. Medium body with a slick texture and soft carbonation. Complex hoppy citrus flavor with a good bitter finish of long duration.

Very good brew. (253 characters)

Photo of Gehrig
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2007 Version. Enjoyed in a Duvel tulip glass.

One finger of white froth atop a murky cider orange body; rings of decorative lacing and decent head duration start this off very well. Nice aromas, an admixture of floral citrus and malt, with tangerine, orange, and caramel atop the bouquet.

The smell is more understated than the taste, which strikes a fine balance between the hop infusion and the ample malt offsetting it. Cascade and Simcoe are unmistakable, pervading this IIPA with orange, tangerine, and grapefruit carrying the day for the hops. Yet the malt plays a significant if secondary role. Caramel and a hint of milk chocolate nicely complement the hop load without deadening its influence. Ample malt can deaden the hops, yet that doesn't occur here. The hop-malt relationship is complementary, not mutually destructive. Very well done.

The mouthfeel is exquisite, a bit more smooth than chewy as I usually like my Double/IIPAs. Yet the hops never fade from either the taste or mouthfeel, providing some welcome grit with the creamy mouthfeel. For an IIPA with a 9% ABV, this is one I could belt down and gladly set aside the keys.

A distinct but special DIPA, more malty than most but no less hopped or impressive. Last year, this was only briefly available locally, and I made the mistake of not grabbing a four-pack while it was around. Not so this year. Well worth stocking up on, Goose Island Imperial IPA is tremendous. (1,442 characters)

Photo of CHSLBrew
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a glass.

A-Hazy amber brew glowing in the faint bar light. Fluffy, off-white head retained for a bit, then it was down to almost nothing. Even so, lacing was extensive.

S-Thick with a light citrus orange and piney hops. The aroma was lacking in a strong malt presence, but that's not inappropriate to the style.

T-Piney and citrusy hops take the lead, followed by some bright fruitiness coming through. Then the aggressive bitterness appears, which provides some nice balance to the bready maltiness. I would have liked a slight bit more malt presence. A slight alcohol character comes into the finish, which is bitter and piney, relatively lip-smacking.

M-Medium-full body; this one just feels hoppy! Carbonation is medium-low with a creamy smoothness to it. This beer makes my mouth feel loved, pampered.

D-Good brew with a nice and complex hop profile. I would have perhaps like a bit more malt backing the hoppiness up, however. All in all, though, thumbs up. (978 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on-tap at the Wrigleyville Goose Island. Served in one of their reserve glasses (cross between a flute and goblet). This is the 2008 batch.

A - One finger of creamy off-white foam. Excellent retention and lacing on this one. Dark coppery color - almost red. Really nice looking brew.

S - Tropical citrus flavors - tangerine and pineapple mostly. Also some fresh hoppy bitterness. There's a bit of malt backbone, but it's very far in the background. You can tell this is very fresh. It's yummy, but not groundbreaking.

T - Starts with the sweet citrus and touch of malt, but then ends with hoppy bitterness. The aftertaste is quite mild, which was a pleasant surprise. Again, it's good, but not earth-shattering.

M - Surprisingly thin. Nice carbonation tingle, but not overly bloaty. Slight resinous sensation afterwards, but not overwhelming.

D - This does not taste like 9% at all. It goes down uber-fast with the thin body, medium carbonation, and controlled bitterness. It's almost as if it was designed for sessions - tastes great, no drawbacks! (other than drunkenness I suppose...)

This was a huge improvement over the 2007 bottle I had (which was well past it's best before - think I had it around Hallowe'en for a brew that expired April). I understand why Greg thinks this is best consumed fresh, as it turns into a malt bomb otherwise. (1,360 characters)

Photo of Brianmerrilyn
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I smiled as walking into Skibbo's tonight on East Tremont in the Bronx to get a beer haul that the owner asked me if I have ever had a Goose Island Imperial IPA. Why no good sir but I hope to soon enough. The keg has just arrived and my cup was less than a dozen before the initial tapping. Just the other night at McCoy's I put down two Goose Island IPA's, so why not take the next step up when offered?

A: While poured into a plastic cup, the color still revealed shiny backwoods orange with a 3/4 finger off yellow head settling to a thick creamy cap with big chunks of lace sliding down the side of the cup.

S: The nose was a citrus/ester interchange of bittersweet orange follow by grapefruit and a pine cone element in the background. Goose Island's excellent application of mutlple hops to enchance of the flavor with low key noble-Tettnang, bitterness-Simcoe and flowery aroma-Cascade fill out an impressive hop bill. Biscuit undertones are also present.

T: Flavor follows the nose in all categories. Upon first hoist, I was waiting for the hop bang, instead a section of malts (sweet pale malt and light crystal) of considerable strength were the first at the pallet door. The hops were chomping at the bit to show off and soon afterward the grapefruit element grww by the second.

D: When I hear the word "Imperial" I relate to strength and more additions of one or two components to a beer. Goose Island Imperial IPA will have you scratching your head initially because you get more malt at the front with the hops coming second and sticking around to elbow out the rest of the usual suspects. The beer gets hot with time and perhaps more tweaking of the malt hops ratio should be thought of and I would be proud to be the tester of the next batch. (1,763 characters)

Photo of jjanega08
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked this up not realizing it was a 2007 vinatage ipa heh but it wanst bad so ill review it anyways
A= deep copper almost brown color with a tiny head poking out
S= carmel coffee and chocolate with very little hops in it but some are detected
T= chocolate and coffee. The hops pretty much died in this one. :(
M= smooth and creamy
D= meh average. It was a year old but I would say it was still worth drinking. Just don't expect an imperial ipa (445 characters)

Photo of seanpachefddfa
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

got this in secret santa 08
thanks lightindarkness

Appearance- poured an amber orange with a thick off white head. Very good lacing
smell- getting very good citris notes with caramel malts
taste- the hops come out more in the taste than they do in the nose. getting some nice malts and fruit also very nice
mouthfeel- medium body with good carbonation
drinkability- This drinks pretty easy for a iipa. alcohol is pretty well hidden (433 characters)

Photo of cnally
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

XXX on the bottle. Sexy.

The look is deep amber and a super chalky head.

Great smell of malt and florals.

Sweet, creamy taste. Super malty. Delicious, balanced hop flavor comes in hard at the end of the taste. Outstanding.

Slightly sticky feel and a bit light in spite of that.

Lovely drink. Just damn good. Easy to drink (but not easy to stomach the price). (363 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle received from the very generous maximum12 in the Summer Beer BIF. This is the 2007 version. While I'm not a fan of aged IIPAs, I'm curious about it as I won't get to try this years release. Best by April 12 2009. Into my Duvel tulip

A: Decanting this carefully yields a brilliant orange colored beer with mild haze. There's a thin, dusty colored head that slowly recedes to a disk rather quickly, leaving some sticky lacework. Very pretty.

S: Barleywine-esque with a rich caramel malt aroma with some fruit character (figs, plums). Plenty of sweetness, this _smells_ thick. Hops have faded but some citrus notes with a good bit of juicy orange is present. All told, a good bit sweeter than I like but solid for a barleywine

T: On the palate, there's a ton of sweetness from the malt as well as a citrus sweetness from the hops. The hop flavor is definitely muted and leans heavily on the malt. While the malt is big enough, it has no real complexity and is fairly straight forward. There's a mild bite of pine before alcohol appears on the finish.

M: Big in body with a palate coating sweetness, it isn't terribly appealing. The lower level of carbonation, however, does work and the finish, while sweet for a DIPA, is good for a barleywine.

D: I really need to try this fresh but this is one of the sweeter DIPAs out there (1,340 characters)

Photo of IBUnit63
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of the always insanely-generous hero27 - thanks Eric!

BBD 041208 into Cab glass...cloudy light bourbon honey haze with rather short head that dissipates quickly. Sparse carbonation and lacing.

Wonderful extra-potent caramel malt - hops have most likely been more potent earlier but there's a mild int of pine and grapefruit rind. No alcohol to speak of but can sense that its tucked into the large malt quotient - slight bitterness.

Well, hey now...the hops are still in here - mostly floral - a smidge of soap on there - malt is a little more subdued than on the nose. A bit of carbonation tingle - it has definitely evolved but is getting to be a malt-forward hop bomb. Slightly disjointed but works well.

Mouthfeel is brighter than expected - layered between copious, husky caramel malt and carbonation - enhanced floral hoppiness with a touch of rind remaining. Finish is quite mellow.

This one has definitely matured but it's also enjoyable as hell. Works slowly but evenly and quietly. Good evening sipper with decent balance of malt and hops. (1,064 characters)

Photo of CrellMoset
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of akorsak - thanks!! Been looking forward to this one for a long time. Poured into an Allagash flute.

Appearance: A hazy orange beer - very hazy, completely opaque - with a fluffy, meringue-like, slightly off-white head with good retention, great peaks, and sticky, spongy, island-esque lacing strewn like splatter paint all over the sides of the glass.

Aroma: A nice west coast hop combo here, with thick, heavy blankets of citrus - heavy, hardcore grapefruit and orange zest, hints of tropical fruit, pineapple - and pine needles, sticky, sappy, resinous. A good, solid roasted malt backbone, too, with great doughy, bready notes.

Taste: First, let's get the one bad note out of the way - there's a definite salty note here that detracts from this beer's enjoyability. Not sure where it comes from, but it knocks this one down a few notches. But enough of that, 'cause there's plenty of good stuff here. The hop notes are even a little more complex in the mouth than in the nose - you get some floral notes, tons of leafy vegetal notes, a healthy dose - though by no means overpowering - of bitterness that especially comes through in the finish and sticks around for a good portion of the "afterfeel," a lot of fruits, and some spicy grassiness. The malt profile does a good job of balancing the hop attack, even if it's fairly simplistic - doughy, bready, with a light roasted edge,

Mouthfeel: Very even, full-bodied, very thick and syrupy, but nicely carbonated. My friend describes it as "beer milk." Perhaps a little too thick, and the combination of the thickness and the aforementioned salty note doesn't do too much or me. Nonetheless, it's still pretty good.

Drinkability: This beer started off strong and petered off ever so slightly. However, all the constituent components of a great DIPA are here - the hop combination is killer, it's wonderfully balanced, it looks and smells great, and the alcohol's about spot-on for the style ... it's just that pesky saltiness that brings it down a little. Give this one a try though, maybe I had a bad bottle. (2,086 characters)

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.21/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber in color with about an inch of head forming on the pour. Smell is just a slight bit hoppy. I think this bottle may have just a bit of time on it. Flavor is mostly malty without any big, juicy hops. Very smooth and drinkable. I'll have to revisit. (266 characters)

Photo of Biggness
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours an extremely cloudy amber with a 1 fingered head and nice lacing. The smell is of sweet fruits and hops. The flavor has lots of fruit notes, some nutty flavors, lots of nice citrusy hops and a decent malt base to it, I would personally wish for a little more malts in this brew. The mouthfeel is very nice for this beer as the carbonation level is nice, maybe a little low. A highly drinkable brew for 9% too bad I only have one! (445 characters)

Photo of lackenhauser
3.82/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2007. Hazy orangey, amber color. Not a lot of carbonation here. Mellow aroma considering the amount of hops the label says it contains-somewhat piney and resin like. Solid malty flavor with a definate heavy hand of hops. Big spruce/piney taste to it. Like the aroma not as in your face as I was expecting but very well done. Nice balance between the two flavors. Solid mouthfeel-lacks some of the tongue stripping goodness some imperials have. Great beer overall for sure. (480 characters)

Photo of kwakwhore
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy amber pour into a shaped pint glass. Off white head which lasts a little while and leaves lacing on the glass.
Citrusy hops mixed with malty aromas.
Flavors include a shot of sweet malt which is quickly shoved into the background by a big blast of puckering hop bitterness. This is one of the most hoppy double IPA's I've run across, but the sugary malt backbone is still there to make this a very quaffable brew.
Syrupy mouthfeel with a nice amount of carbonation make this a pleasure for the tongue as well as for the tastebuds.
This beer goes down easily, but its drinkability is limited by its strength.
If you like your hops, you'll enjoy this one. I wish I had more than one of these, but I'm enjoying this one a lot. (731 characters)

Photo of tburkhart
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pilsner glass.

Color is a very nice hazy orange with "floaty" flying around throughout. 1/4" head retention through the entire glass.

Rather malty taste for an Imperial IPA, but the hops are there, don't get me wrong. Hop aroma mild. Nice blend of Tettnang, simcoe, and cascade hops.

Very drinkable beer, but not too many in a night. (348 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another extra/extra from Bitterbill, cheers Bill!

2007 vintage pours a semi-hazed apricot with a pinky of beige head. Some viscosity to this, along with very good lacing 7 head retention

S: Dark & rocarg fruits, breadyness & leafy hops & a touch of breadyness

T: Pears, plums, apricots, a touch if booze warmth with leafy & herbal hops up front. Pineapple & booze-infused passion fruit show as this warms, along with herbal & leafy hops, along with some figs. Finishes dry with a hint of booze, pears, apricots, figs & grapefruitty hops, plus some nice tropical fruit & leafy hops

MF: Medium bodied, with fairly lively carbonation, & slight chewyness

Drinks pretty easy for the style, a really nice DIPA verges on greatness, skews toward the English influence as far as flavor profile goes.. (796 characters)

Photo of nsmartell
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the 12 oz 2007 bottle stamped with the "best when consumed by: 41208" to my Grimbergen chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours a nice hazy orange/copper color with a tremendous amount of head. The head basically was the height of my glass.

Smell: Citrus hops and grass. Very sweet.

Taste: Spicy, sweet and hoppy with some great bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Nice and oily and medium-bodied. Gets thicker as it warms.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. However, the high alcohol content makes it difficult to call this a session beer. Will definitely seek out again. (617 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark honey, murky. 1/2 inch head leaves fast and is reduced to thin ring around glass. Soapy lacing.

S - Thick dense malt dominates. Smells almost like a meal. Can read some hops around the malt base.

T - Rich sweet center, very generous and tasty. Mid swallow, the sweetness clears and it neutralized by the hops. Clean, neutral finish. Not a bitter kind of finish, just a perfect balance. How do they do that?

M - Medium to full body, very coating, thick on the tongue and palate. Not cloying at all, however.

D - I might make the mistake of attempting to session, but I would pay the price. The alcohol is pretty well hidden, and the fat taste and mouthfeel are muted at the end of each drink, so you don't get the perceived heavy feel.

I like this one very much! (775 characters)

Photo of jdubjacket
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Pours a murky amber color that leaves a good head and a lot of lacing. Smells like rich hops with a lot of pine. The taste is more subdued than I was expecting. Slightly subdued taste of pine, citrus, with hops prevalent. A slightly bitter aftertaste. This is a damn good beer, but I think there are better DIPA's out there. I just don't think it's worth the $20 for a 4-pack. (418 characters)

Imperial IPA from Goose Island Beer Co.
94 out of 100 based on 329 ratings.