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Imperial Brown Goose - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Brown GooseImperial Brown Goose

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

157 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 157
Reviews: 121
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 12.41%
Wants: 98
Gots: 9 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Blend of Goose Island's 2004 and 2005 Christmas Ales, both of which were aged in 4-year old Jim Beam and 12-year old Heaven Hill barrels.

Bottled once in 2006.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-29-2004)
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Ratings: 157 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DP34


3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

04-15-2012 17:19:29 | More by DP34
Photo of chrispoint


2/5  rDev -52.3%

02-18-2012 08:24:10 | More by chrispoint
Photo of imperialking


4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

02-10-2012 05:14:34 | More by imperialking
Photo of MikeyMikee

New York

4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

01-24-2012 05:25:30 | More by MikeyMikee
Photo of craytonic

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: brown-red-mahogany pour, decent head

Smell: Vanilla, oak, molasses, alcohol. Very boozy, slightly oxidized

Taste: Slightly oxidized, I get vanilla, booze, molasses and oak. Not particularly well integrated.

Mouthfeel: Decent, carbonation a bit low

Overall: I wish I had opened this one sooner, could have been past its prime.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2012 01:04:46 | More by craytonic
Photo of will1256


5/5  rDev +19.3%

01-16-2012 04:59:39 | More by will1256
Photo of davidbowers13


4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

01-03-2012 03:06:41 | More by davidbowers13
Photo of Ultraman9000


4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

12-19-2011 07:35:34 | More by Ultraman9000
Photo of sideshowe


4/5  rDev -4.5%

12-13-2011 13:32:46 | More by sideshowe
Photo of CaptainNomihodai


4/5  rDev -4.5%

12-13-2011 07:44:42 | More by CaptainNomihodai
Photo of stevefinny

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +19.3%

12-04-2011 14:58:52 | More by stevefinny
Photo of JAHMUR


4/5  rDev -4.5%

11-23-2011 05:16:58 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

caramel colored pour with a light head of off white that caps it off rather nicely. Settling down it left a little bit of a light sticky lace along the sides. Aroma was the best I have ever come across. Rich toffee and butterscotch, tons of sweet nectar notes. Candy in all its glory. Perfectly aged with a smooth, perfect profile of vanilla, toffee, and rich butterscotch that will not let up. Rich bourbon flavor just rolls across the palate with a smoothness unlike anything I have run across before. Rich vanilla and boozy notes combine to form a perfect balance of rich sweet notes and oak soaked barrel

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2011 02:55:17 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of thewimperoo


4/5  rDev -4.5%

11-18-2011 16:07:06 | More by thewimperoo
Photo of brandoman63


4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

11-15-2011 22:31:53 | More by brandoman63
Photo of bsuedekum


5/5  rDev +19.3%

11-14-2011 10:04:43 | More by bsuedekum
Photo of corby112


4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark chestnut brown color that's completely opaque with a two finger frothy off-white head.  Great retention only slowly fading into a lasting cap.   The glass is left coated with rings and chunks of lacing.  

Sweet malt aroma with a prominent barrel presence.  Lots of earthy oak and bourbon as wel as some vanilla and toasted coconut.  Slightly vinous as well with dark fruit notes.  Underneath, the sweet malts are evident with chocolate and caramel.  

Medium bodied with some soft carbonation up front and a strong barrel character.  Lots of toasted oak/wood as well as some prominent vanilla.  The bourbon flavor is there but not as powerful as I expected.  Sweet bourbon flavor but it's well integrated into the beer. Kind of refreshing to taste something that's not a complete bourbon bomb.  Underneath the barrel, the base beer makes itself known.  Sweet chocolate and caramel notes give off sweetness that compliment the bourbon.  Nice alcohol flavor without any heat.  Extremely drinkable.  

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2011 20:57:12 | More by corby112
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to my boy aasher for sharing this one at the Down South Beer Tasting while he was in town to visit! Massive thanks Al! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured red brown with a minimal off-white head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, wood, sweet alcohol, and a subtle metallic note. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, wood, sweet alcohol, and toffee. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. This beer had definitely held up quite well over the past 5 years or so since being bottled. The aroma and flavor on this one screams barrel aging; and a well done one at that. All of the components of this one worked extremely well together to enhance one another while not overpowering another. Glad I got the opportunity to try this one Al and thanks again!

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2011 19:04:34 | More by thagr81us
Photo of amphion1065


4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL foil-wrapped and capped bottle from 2006 into a Portsmouth tulip. Enormous thanks to Rempo for knocking off this longtime want of mine.

Pours a deep brown, with plum highlights. Though initially quite dark, as my glass emptied the beer appeared almost translucent, like a spirit. Two-finger light tan head with very tight bubble and absolutely remarkable retention given that this is a five year old bottle. Very nice soapy lacing all over my glass. A beautiful beer.

There is a ton of bourbon right up front in the nose. The -bal character is very assertive, and in addition to alcohol phenols there is a very pronounced woody aroma. Underneath, there is a very strong apple character - actually, it smells quite a but like apple juice. Some plums, toffee, and holiday spices fill in the picture.

The barrel thoroughly dominates the base beer. The bourbon in Imperial Brown Goose is almost entirely unadulterated, to the point that this is very, very similar to drinking straight bourbon. That said, there's not a huge alcohol burn, but a fusel note is certainly there. Apart from the rich wood and alcohol, there is a pretty prominent sweetness. Dark fruits and caramel come through, as does a lingering taste of indeterminate spices. Some brown sugar as well.

Mouthfeel is a little thin and also a bit overcarbonated. Something more syrupy and a little more still would be ideal.

A very unique beer and a delicious one at that, though I can't imagine what this tasted like fresh. That the bourbon is still so present in this beer after five years of cellaring is almost unbelievable. Though I usually find this level of barrel-dominance to be a fault in beers, in this case it just works. This held up excellently, and I'd imagine it has yet to peak.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2011 16:58:26 | More by amphion1065
Photo of aasher


4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been wanting to try this forever. My fiance bought it for me for my birthday. I shared it during the South Carolina tasting.

It pours a light bodied chestnut brown in color with a light beige lacing. It smells of toffee, vanilla, has a light nuttiness, and also features caramel. It drinks really smoothly and has a slight bourbon aspect in after taste. It features light vanilla, chocolate, coffee and barrel. I'm impressed, I didn't expect it to hold up this well. Everything is so well integrated. I love it. It drinks light and for a beer of this consistency it has the perfect amount of bourbon. Overall this is a very nice beer but no old ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 01:53:43 | More by aasher
Photo of woosterbill


4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 bottle into a tasting glass. Huge thanks to Chris for busting out this vintage gem.

A: Clear mahogany body with a nice layer of persistent off-white head. Very nice retention and lacing for an old barrel-aged beer.

S: Lovely, full, round aroma of bourbon, oak, vanilla, and nutty caramel malt. Very straightforward, but when the straightforwardness is this delightful that's not a complaint.

T: Follows the nose precisely. Delicious, sweet, barrel-heavy, and great.

M: Soft, well-carbonated medium body. Perhaps a bit overly frothy, but pretty darn good.

O: Age has treated this one really well (although I never had it fresh, of course), as this was definitely one of the softest, most delicate, most balanced, and easiest-drinking bourbon barrel beers I've ever had. The barrel is the dominant component of this brew's flavor, and yet there's nary a hint of booze, astringency, or harshness of any kind. Delightful.


Serving type: bottle

07-27-2011 02:22:04 | More by woosterbill
Photo of tmoneyba


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

Poured dark brown with an average frothy brown head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Heavy toasted malt, wood, bourbon and cherry with a small alcohol aroma. Medium to full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Heavy bourbon woody and vanilla flavor with a heavy bourbon bittersweet finish of moderate to long duration. This is a standout beer.

Serving type: growler

07-15-2011 01:18:30 | More by tmoneyba
Photo of hopsbreath


3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to black13 for sharing this at a recent tasting.

A: Amber with oatmeal head and some spotty lacing. 3.5/5

S: All bourbon with nothing else other than the vanilla that typically goes with -bals. 3.5/5

T: Buttery bourbon. The base brown is simply a delivery system for the dark liquor. That can be a good thing if the bourbon is good quality. It is here. 4/5

M: Average body with low carbonation and a slightly sticky finish. 3.5/5

O: Not bad overall. Good brown alcohol presentation, good delivery. 3.5/5

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 08:25:38 | More by hopsbreath
Photo of seeswo


4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 bottle.

Pour is a hazy light brown color with a nice head atop. Smell is a really nice combination of caramel, brown sugar, toffee and bourbon/whiskey. A nice swirl really brings this out. The taste is like the nose - a nice, light caramel, brown sugar and toffee carried through in a brown ale body and mixed up with a touch of spices and big bourbon/whiskey flavor. After several years, you still get hit pretty good with the barrel flavor, which is maybe a touch too boozy, but still really nice. My only complaint about this beer is that it that either the base beer is a touch too thin both in body (and a bit over carbonated) and flavor to support what it is trying to be, or time has taken this beer down just a notch. Overall, it is a really nice package and a cool delivery of a barrel-aged beer that isn't really like most that you get to try.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2011 14:55:03 | More by seeswo
Photo of jedwards


3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Jwale73 for opening this up.

Pour is cloudy and light coffee brown with a large but quickly dissipating head. Smell is excellent, caramel and whiskey with notes of honey and brown sugar and a hint of alcohol. Taste is similar, leading off with maple sugar and finishing with a dry, almost astringent note and a touch more alcohol heat. Mouthfeel is initially lacking, suffering from some overcarbonation that is mitigated by a few swirls in the glass and mellows out to a frothy texture.

Would love to sit on a bottle of this for even longer and see where that caramel note is going, but it tastes great now.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2011 02:30:48 | More by jedwards
Imperial Brown Goose from Goose Island Beer Co.
93 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.