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The Illinois - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
The IllinoisThe Illinois

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

146 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 146
Hads: 1,128
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 28.28%
Wants: 27
Gots: 133 | FT: 2
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: nmann08 on 06-15-2013

The first Imperial beer of the year is The Illinois, a 9.0% ABV 95 IBU Imperial IPA that pushes the limits of hop flavor and aroma. Deep gold, complex citrus aroma, balanced clean bitterness, medium to full body.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 146 | Hads: 1,128
Photo of Elimav
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A nice dark Amber color with a nice silky head. A malty grapefruit smell. The beer has a nice amount of hops but is very smooth. A really nice imperial IPA!

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Photo of cherche
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap into a tulip glass.

good looking beer, on the darker side for an IPA/DIPA. Hoppy but more of a sweet, malty DIPA than a hop bomb. Overall a very good DIPA.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Dogfish traditional oversized snifter from a growler filled at Appalachian Vintner Asheville.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/4 inch off-white head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a side patch of bubbly surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Herbal hop aroma with a sweet malt backbone. Slight booze edge.

T- Reminds me of a barleywine as the semisweet malt character plays along with the generic hop flavors. Moderate bitterness with a bit of a glassy taste.

M- Somewhat sharp and a tad oily with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- There's something a bit off with this one that I can't put my finger on but it's a mostly serviceable DIPA.

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Photo of HeadyHopHead
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Solid offering from Goose, especially relative to its IPA, which I don't care for. Nothing really unique about it relative to other DIPAs, but if you want hoppy and potent, this will certainly do it for you.

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Photo of argock
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a clear glass tulip. Bottled on date in May 2014. Reviewed from notes. Consumed in August 2014. Purchased at WIne Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Hazy amber with 1-finger of frothy, off-white head with average retention and a scant stripe of lacing around the top of the glass.

S: Strong pine resin with milder dank aromas and lemon/oragne citrus hops and bready pale malting. No yeast or alcohol aromas.

T: Flavor follows the aroma closely with resiny earthy pine flavors coating a strong but not prominent bready pale maltiness. A bit boozy in the finish. Hops component is a bit one-dimensional.

M: Syrupy with very heavy, not too drinkable body with lowish carbonation hurting the drinkability even further.

O: A very middling IIPA with heavy body and one-dimensional hops character. NOt a great one but maybe it's better fresher.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pulchritudinous burnished orange clear body, big rocky orange-tinted head. Few bubbles.

S: Citrus rind, hints of pine and mint, some caramel malt.

T: The pine comes through more here, but orange is pretty clear still. Tasty, but I could use more variety. Bitterness is solid but not overpowering, and the finish carries a nice mint refreshment.

M: Slightly syrupy, but otherwise easy drinking, especially for 9%.

O: Nothing to gripe about, it's very well done, but nothing especially compelling.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Three Cellars, Franklin, WI:

Pours golden with a lasting thin white creamy head. L:acing sticks.

The citric nose is followed by a taste that is citric. A solid pale malt backbone gives it balance. Some peppery alcohol shows. Finishes dry.

A very nice DIPA!

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Photo of estimatedprophethawk
3.32/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bought a four-pack which was bottled a week before purchase. Poured a yellow-amber, with large white head and plenty of lacing. Nice citrus and pine aroma, with notes of cream. Taste was syrupy at first, trailing off to a sweet slightly piney and citrus notes and ending with all three flavors. Not overly complex and the bitterness trailed off quickly. Nice for a novice iipa, but not really my style.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a orange body with one finger head and an aroma that is a little boozy, has some citric, spicy hops and there is this touch of sweetness (grapefruit?).
Beer is fuller bodied so it's a slow sipper but keeps the booze in check, has some sweetness that might be grapefruit, might be tropical fruit or some type of sugary malt, and balance is kept with a spicy, citric hop edge. Not a typical hoppy IPA but it gets the job done and is worth having.

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Photo of 57md
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Light copper color. The nose is hoppy.

This offering has a good malt and hop balance to it but it lacks a potent kick on the finish that I have come to expect in DIPAs

This is certainly good but nothing extraordinary.

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Photo of CHickman
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%

Pours a very cloudy dark gold/copper color with a 1 finger foamy tan head that faded slowly and left decent lacing and a layer on top. Smells of pineapple, grapefruit and mango up front, with strong but not exactly fresh citrus hops coming through in the nose; smelled like the citrus mixed with brown sugar, toffee, malt, bread pudding, syrup, apple, cereal, piney hops and a general sweetness that makes this a coin flip on whether the hops or malts control the aroma. Pretty good overall and just strong enough to reach the DIPA nose level. Tastes exactly like it smells, with the juicy citrus combo of pineapple, grapefruit, mango, orange, citrus hops and fruity candy like Skittles or Sweedish Fish mashed together with graham cracker, caramel, brown sugar, sweet malt, syrup, piney hops, toffee, light spices like pepper and tea leaf, and some mild booze which makes this taste more like a Barleywine than a DIPA. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, with a heavy body, light carbonation and more of a syrup or honey flow than a watery beer feel. Above average DIPA that lacks the massive hop attack I was expecting but hides the ABV quite well, I think this bottle may have been 6 months old so I’d like to try this fresh is they keep making it. I would have it again for sure.

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Photo of MDDMD
4/5  rDev +2.8%

A-dark orange amber color with a nice off-white head and good lacing

S-tropical fruit, caramel malt, pine, floral

T-grapefruit, tangerine, mango, caramel malt, pine, light floral, moderate bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-decent beer with interesting flavor profile for DIPA

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Photo of A_bit_of_the_Sacrament
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Surprising malt background for a generously hoppy offering. Lots to experience in this brew. Citrus. Pine. Sweet caramel notes. Very satisfying but at 9% it's like a punch in the face.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Has a dark orange color body with a small foamy head.
aroma has a pine, bitter smell to it.
taste is piney and has a little bitterness to itm
mouthfeel feel is good and overall a good dipa

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Photo of barczar
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%

Floral hops, pine, and muted citrus accompany slightly sweet caramel malt in the aroma. Flavor reveals a sweet, lightly toasted malt backbone, with a fairly bitter finish. Soft citrus and floral notes weave throughout. I appreciate the malt presence, and the bitterness balances well, but it could use a little more citrus to contrast.

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Photo of puboflyons
4/5  rDev +2.8%

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle dated 12FEB14. Sampled on August 22, 2014. So it is 6 months old. Within reason I suppose.

It pours a milky looking orange-copper color that leads up to a big off-white cream colored head. The head lingers and laces.

Such a bright hop character on the nose. Floral, grass, resin, and citrus all envelope the senses while the malt character stays deep in the background.

Medium body. But a tad astringent.

Again, like the nose, a robust floral hop bitterness in the flavor that really coats the back of my throat.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.78/5  rDev -28.5%

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with uninteresting label art and a branded black pry-off pressure cap acquired at a Colorado beer store. Bottled 14 FEB 14.

9.00% ABV. 95 IBU. Reviewed live - as an imperial IPA - because the label clearly identifies it as such.

Served at fridge temp, into a mini nonic glass. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 3 fingers wide. Off-white colour. Average thickness, creaminess, consistency, and complexion. Retention is pretty good for the high ABV - about 6-7 minutes. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Clear copper with orange and gold hues. Average vibrance. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears adequately carbonated. Not unique or special. Generally appealing.

AROMA: Pale malts, caramalt, hints of pine, floral hops, and a light hint of soap (indicating this may have spent too long in primary). It's not particularly appealing, and is rather generic for an imperial IPA.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes are detectable. Overall, it's an inoffensive aroma of average strength. Meh.

TASTE: Pale malts, generic floral hops, a kiss of pine, a kiss of nectary hop character, and some indistinct tropical fruit character. Overall, it's a boring and relatively bland build for an imperial IPA, and offers little of interest. Simply built, with a loose cohesion and no real intricacy or subtlety. I like it in a general sense, but there's nothing here to intrigue the discerning drinker. Very generic across the board.

Average depth, duration, intensity, and amplitude of flavour.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, full-bodied, and overcarbonated. Has too much heft and weight on the palate considering the relative lack of diversity and depth of flavour. Slightly oily.

Not syrupy, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, or rough.

Overall presence on the palate is decent. This texture suits the taste generally well, but never feels tailored specifically to it.

OVERALL: A generic imperial IPA on par with Sierra Nevada's mediocre offerings. This is the Goose Island I expected after the takeover, not the Goose Island that has surprised with its continued quality. Drinkable and forgettable. Not worth picking up. Very pedestrian. Hides its ABV decently...

Low C

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

"Big hop flavors and complex citrus aroma built on a strong malt foundation." Brewed in the style of an American Imperial IPA. The first release in Goose Island's recently launched imperial series, The Illinois was released in early 2014. Available in 12 oz. 4 packs and on draft.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter glass. Served above 52º Fahrenheit.

This beer pours a frothy foam tan white head over a caramel amber body with visible light, soft carbonation. Retention is good and lacing is thin and patchy. The aroma consists of a moderate syrupy caramel grain body with a moderate sweetness alongside a mellow hop profile of resins, muted citrus and piney hops with a modest bitterness. Aromatic potency is limited. The flavor improves upon the aroma with more pronounced hop flavors of resin, pine and milder tropical fruit hops toting a moderate bitterness amongst a fairly slick caramel malt body with a mild graininess to match. I can faintly recognize notes of licorice off the back end of each sip which is unusual for the style yet surprisingly pleasant, perhaps a unique unintended impact of the hop choices. The texture is slick, quite dry, slightly grainy and spicy, with carbonation lending a moderate fuzzy carbonation for a medium crisp mouthfeel. The alcohol presence is mild, although accented by the graininess of the malt bill which approaches unnecessary at times. I did not perceive any other notable imperfections. In conclusion, The Illinois makes for a decent Imperial IPA option, although it's a slightly rougher drinking Imperial IPA than other popular examples, with a malt profile that comes off half solid and clean but half grainy and harsh. The youthful brashness of the malt profile suggests inspiration from the Barleywine style at points. This beer showcases a bit more of the piney resins amongst the more passive tropical fruit notes making for a slightly more assertive and varied double IPA. Although west coast hop notes are becoming a highly demanded mainstay, I appreciate the use of piney hops in this beer which takes it in an pleasant direction of its own. Despite its praise, The Illinois has its hairy spots, and I feel that this beer can shine up its rough edges and come out even stronger on the far end.

Goose Island Beer Co.'s
The Illinois Imperial India Pale Ale

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Photo of Jefriedrichs
3.69/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bought a 4 pack of 12 oz bottles. Poured into glass. A-deep amber with good retention. S-burnt licorice, prune scent. Alcohol present. I already know malt is apparent. T-slight pine with malt backbone. Light citrus. M-medium body that coats the tongue and sits nicely. O-malt overbalanced this imperial just a tad but flavor is established so leaves a nice resiny taste on the buds. Will drink again because the nose detects alcohol as well as the label but the taste not too much.

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Photo of arizcards
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at Total Wine back in early June for $2.99. Bottled on 2-10-14.

Beer poured orange with a pretty good white head on the initial pour.

Nose is full of citrus.

Taste is citrus and pine with a hint of tropical fruit. Caramel and pale malts attempt to balance this out but the alpha hopping leaves a piney hop residue.

Mouthfeel is pretty lively and prickly on the palate.

Overall another nice example of a double IPA. Not bad considering this is almost 6 months old!

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Photo of Scrapss
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Nonic, as instructed on the packaging. Thanks for the service tip.

A: Totally clear golden hue with a high impossibly rocky head that hangs around forever. minimal lacing with minor legs. Easily stirred back into a thick head indicating higher than average carbo

S: Malts are way more up front at 5 months post-bottle age versus fresh, and the lemony hop combined with the malts are pleasant. some white peppery yeast notes creep in.

T: Piney and lemony bits present immediately, followed by a very nice,, rich malty backbone and a lead into...

M: Creamy finish. none of the nose or taste lasts into the creamy finish except a very slight malt note. A little hot in the throat toward the end of the 12 oz.

O: Very well thought out and balanced at 5 months. Not terribly complex to my palate, and kinda says "here is a big ABV example of a very nice, pleasant IIPA that essentially turns into nicely aged barleywine at 6 months"

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Photo of KTCamm
3.44/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours from a bottle into a pint glass, hazy dark bronze with a ring of white foam. 6/19

Strong sweet malt nose, caramel. Little brown sugar too. Really strong bitter, bordering on harsh. Pine, spruce. There is a nice malt below, but the tongue scraping bitter holds serve and controls the palate. Flavor's a bit intense.

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Photo of ThePaintedGrey
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

A: Pours a clean copper color with a creamy white dense head that starts at about two and a half fingers and falters just slightly, leaving an extraordinary amount of lacing down the glass. A gorgeous example of a DIPA.

S: Strong citrus hop aromas, with juicy pink grapefruit wafting out of the glass. Light notes of orange zest and pineapple and a faint caramel malt sweetness. I thought I detected some pine resin, but consecutive whiffs failed to reproduce what I thought I was sensing.

T: Flavors are a little weaker than the nose, but still quite boisterous. This is definitely a juicy DIPA. Tons of pink grapefruit, slight tangerine, and some tropical fruit that I can't fully decipher, but it's definitely of a tropical nature. Malts reserved, but present, and add a little bit of a bready sweetness it all. The finish is dry and fruity.

M: Fairly standard, but pleasant. Medium to medium-full with a crisp carbonation and overall smooth texture with a mild creaminess. Drinks easy for a 9% ABV ale.

O: I've always been a big fan of Goose Island's standard IPA, so when I saw this on the shelf, I felt confident enough to grab it. It's a little juicier than I prefer my DIPAs, but the flavor itself is wonderful and I can't, in my right mind, complain about it. I think it should be noted, however, that this bottle is about 90 days old and I'm sure it's suffering a bit of a loss of hop potency, but even with that being said, it's still wonderfully flavorful and extremely refreshing for a 9% ABV ale. Recommended and would definitely love to try this fresh.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a two finger head that reduced to a frothy layer. It is a copper color with great clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Resiny, grassy, pungent, citrus, candied orange, caramel, and warm booze.

Taste: Same as above. IBU'S are definitely there with lingering bitterness in the back of the palate.

Mouthfeel: Warming booze, chalky tingling bitterness, full bodied, sipper, medium carbonation.

Overall: A solid DIPA. Definitely could enjoy this one again.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured on tap and served in a tulip, the beer is a hazy, orange-copper coloring with a tall, foamy, bubbly, off-white head. Aromas of grapefruit, floral highlights, cannibus, oregano, pine pitch, subtle caramel, and a solid bitter backbone. Flavors are well-rounded, but lack the punch the nose was advertising. Caramel and citrus fruits blend on thw forward tongue, with a light, creme sweet backbone. Subtle resnous and bitter notes build as you drink, as does the booze. Smooth, robust bodied, with a subtle underlying edge. The aftertaste is slowly warming, with a bitter, resinous edge. Slightly effervesced, smooth finish. Not bad, but the palate lacked the punch I was looking for after the aromatic nose.

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The Illinois from Goose Island Beer Co.
87 out of 100 based on 146 ratings.