The Illinois - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
The IllinoisThe Illinois

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,109 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,109
Reviews: 151
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 10.2%
Wants: 26
Gots: 120 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,109 | Reviews: 151
Reviews by M1A2:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a small tulip glass a kind of orange-light amber with a nice looking full one finger sticky white crown atop,good clarity and a good head.Sweet sugary aromas with tropical fruit-like hops coming into play,the sweetness is large and in charge here.Flavors are not as big and as sweet as I thought they would be,overripe citrus fruit-like hops and some sugary sweetness at the onset of the palate but a drying leafiness comes in late,but as I say that some sweet booze lets itself be known.More of your typical American DIPA in its sweetness but the hops are big and play a major role,not bad.

Photo of Beaver13
2.29/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle, bottled on 2/7/14. Pours clear golden amber with a medium pillowy white head that retains well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is subdued - sweet caramel malt, alcohol and a little grassy, piney, minty hops.

The flavor is sweet biscuity caramel malt, lots of sharp alcohol, a little fruit and a big green bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, I'm not a fan. Too much predominant alcohol, overly sweet and biscuity, and not much hop flavor.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Mild copper colored with excellent clarity. A good quarter inch thick layer of tightly knit light beige foam. Brussels lacing. Moderately intense pine hop aroma is what I get out of the nose. The front of the palate is sharply bitter pine hops with a saltine cracker light malt backbone,followed by a fairly sharp pine hop bitter finish. The mouth is thick and sticky.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip. Bottled on 10feb14 (just shy of 2 months old)

Pours out a very nice deep orange, very clear body, some nice retentive slightly off white head with some really nice sticky lace. Looks great.

Aroma isn't nothing spectacular or overly hoppy. A nice balance, slight alcohol heat. Some grapefruit citrus and hints of pine resin.

Nicely balanced, slightly sweet light caramel, almost a deep breadiness. Malt forward, just enough alcohol to bring the malt forward. Grapefruit citrus, some resin and pine. Alcohol is noticeable and adds a nice aspect to the beer, in no way overpowering.

Perfect body for a DIPA.

East coast for sure. Good, but nothing too special. Reminiscent of 90 minute. The best thing it has going for it is a nice balance.

Photo of ehammond1
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4


Acquired via trade
Thanks, trxxpaxxs!

A dark copper and dark auburn IPA. Moderately-sized dark khaki head. Great retention and very sticky. This leaves lots of spiderwebs and irregular lines of lace down the glass.

Very bold and hoppy aroma. Lots of citrus and dank hop characteristics, along with bold, but very complementary caramel sweetness. Orange peel.

Moderate to high bitterness accompany the orange peel, dank, and caramel flavors found in the aroma. Complete, and fairly drinkable, though aggressive and boldly expressive.

Fuller in body for the style with moderate carbonation. Sticky.

Really yummy.

Photo of MattyG85
4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice. Bottled on date of March 27, 2014.

Appearance: Pours a deep golden amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid two fingers of off white head which slowly fades into a thinner layer. Leaves a lot of lacing.

Smell: An earthy and juicy hop forward aroma with hints of pine, citrus, and a strong malt backbone. Earthy, floral, and herbal hop scent with hints of grass and spicy pine resin. Citrus hop hints of grapefruit, orange peel, tangerine, pineapple, mango, and lemon. Big supporting malt presence with sweet hints of caramel, grains, yeast, and cracker. Some hints of booze as well. A pretty solid aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, an earthy, juicy, and fairly sweet hop forward taste with notes of citrus, pine, and caramel malt. Earthy and herbal hops with notes of wet grass and pine resin. Some floral notes and a citrus taste of grapefruit, mango, orange peel, lemon, and tangerine. Solid backing presence of sweet malt with notes of caramel, grains, cracker, and yeast. Big and nicely balanced. Solid taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Juicy, chewy, and fairly drying on the finish. Slightly boozy but not overly hot.

Overall: A pretty solid take on an imperial IPA. Good earthy and citrus hop notes with a solid backing of caramel malt.

Photo of far333
3.24/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Clear straw colored with a crazy inch and a half high head that lingers long. Low aroma of sweet overripe fruit, floral hops and brown sugar.

Initial flavors of ripe fruit, semi-sweet maltiness, brown sugar, floral hops, not overly hoppy or very assertive bitterness. Full mouthfeel, a bit slick. Decent beer, but expected more.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.47/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Deep copper hue in the body a slight chill haze with light white head forming thick fine bubbled lacing is complex let's smell and taste this fine looking DIPA. Aromatics has pungent grapefruit and sticky malts including amber grains, cereal notes. Flavor has a perfect malty DIPA profile, big sticky malts with resinous hops started out citric and dank but when combined with too many residual sugars It ends up a distraught mix of over hopped zest with the sticky sweet unbalanced Midwest DIPA the rest of the country wants this to be. Mouthfeel is cloying with too many sticky malts hanging on a big DIPA that is beautifully balanced wins awards this barely gets recognized as a new player in the game available since A-B has taken the helm go figure. Overall, resinous grapfefruit and sticky sweet pineapple makes up the hop profile, it's just too alcoholic for being 9% abv...this one hits you with the alcohol. It's just overkill, especially for how excited I got when I saw a Goose Island DIPA.

Photo of chinchill
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clear medium amber with a small bag that soon reduces to a thin top coat.

Hop dominated aroma followed by a slightly more balanced flavor. Fruity with a mix of soft fruits and not just citrus. Mild bitterness.

Medium body with lively carbonation.


Photo of CloudStrife
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled on Feb 14, 2014.

A: Pours a copper amber with a dense slightly cream colored head on top. Just a bit of visible carbonation. Leaves some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Real pleasant citrus hoppy aroma in this one. There is a grapefruit or mango quality that makes the aroma quite succulent. A bit of malt sweetness rounds out the backend.

T: After smelling the aroma of this beer for the last couple minutes, the flavor seems to fall a bit short of its potential. Don't get me wrong this is by no means a bad beer. Solid dose of hop bitterness blends with a mild grapefruit and citrus hop flavor. Malts are a bit heavy in the aftertaste and overpower the hops a bit.

M: Medium body with a nectar like mouthfeel I appreciate in double IPA's. Moderate to low carbonation. Alcohol isnt too hot.

Overall I dig the aroma of this beer and would pit that against some of the finer double IPA's out there. Drinks fairly easily and has a bold hop flavor.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass.

A- Two finger head that persists an even long after the pour, remains about a finger thick, frothy and chewy. There's a healthy, steady carbonation within the copper/amber colored liquid and I feel like it almost resembles a red.

S- Potent piney hops and some alcohol heat hit me first. A hint of melon and sweet malts. A bit floral too.

T- Aggressive hop blast, piney, but also very rye-like and earthy. I get some peppery spice close to the finish. The malts provide a good balance of sweetness.

M- Thick and creamy, certainly on the heavier side, which makes sense considering the malt needed to balance out these hops. But it is well-balanced and far from a bitter bomb. I don't get much of the bitterness that usually lingers on an IPA or DIPA. It's pretty unoffensive, I imagine, for those that aren't hopheads and accidentally give it a try.

I first had this a few days ago after a Project Dank and a Pliny and felt it wasn't close to competing with those two. However, following a coffee stout and an IPA, it performed well and I enjoyed it. Quite good.

Photo of RAlmeida77
4.82/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

WOW....those were the first words after tasting this Imperial IPA. It has a nice, darker color which leads you to the wonderful malt/hop aroma and well balanced flavor of this beer. Very well balanced Imperial IPA that is smooth and easy to drink. It's got just the right balance of malt and hops. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the House of Brews. Served in a Goose Island nonic pint.

Appearance - Hazy deep orange. Medium white head. Wispy surface.

Smell - Lots of caramel malt. Grapefruit hops. Kinda grassy. Mild toasty malt.

Taste - Grapefruit and pine hops in balance. More hop presence than malt presence, but it's still sweet. Caramel is still strong. Grassy hop finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Pretty sweet.

Overall - Gets a little sluggish. Just too sweet to be really good.

Photo of richj1970
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass. Bottle date was 2/7/2014.

A: Pours a beautiful clear deep golden yellow with a one finger fluffy white head that dissipated fairly quickly. A bit of lacing but nothing significant.

S: Lots of nice citrus in the nose. Grapefruit, oranges, and maybe a bit of lemon along with some sweet caramel and biscuit.

T: A bit of hops, but dominated by sweet caramel, butterscotch, and honey.

M: Medium body and nicely carbonated. Perhaps a touch sweet. A bit of oily resin on the tongue.

O: Enjoyable Imperial IPA. I tend to like these with a strong malt backbone, and this certainly fits the bill bordering on too much.

Photo of ChicagoJoe
4.56/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nice, easy drinking beer. Really enjoyed this one and would drink it again.

Photo of KTCamm
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

Photo of gillagorilla
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter

A: Excellent color. A sweet deep copper color with a tinge of amber. There is only a thin collar.

S: Lots of citrus and pine, with a bit of something I can't quite place. I get a lot of caramel.

T: This starts out as nearly all pine. Then, as it warms I get a slight bit of citrus. There is quite a bit of sweetness here that is probably the malt peeking through. This gets really sweet the more it warms up.

M: Mostly smooth with a wisp of rough bubbles. Very slick, almost oily.

O: This is an interesting IPA and it is quite good. Probably the sweetest IPA I've had.

Photo of puboflyons
4/5  rDev +2%

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.

Photo of emerge077
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft serving in a 12 oz. snifter glass.

Dark amber orange with a slight haziness to it, off white foam forms a compact layer on the surface that sticks around for a good while, leaving behind sticky clumps of lace that ring the glass and drip down the edges.

Minor tangerine and candied orange peel, a sweet aroma, some caramel malt underneath.

More citrus in the taste than aroma, tangerine and orange peel again, sticky sweetness, specialty grain and caramel malt present also. Dry aftertaste with a little sweetness that sticks to the lips. Full bodied with a hefty malt balance, a slow sipper though pretty enjoyable.

Photo of katelynxandrea
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Good for an imperial IPA , good hops, medium body.

Photo of ocelot2500
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden orange color with a pillowy white head that leave chunks of lacing.

Smells of citric and fruity hops.

Tastes of a pretty big malt foundation with plenty of hops on top. Malt sweetness leads off with a syrupy character along with some caramel and toffee. Hops come in next and add tropical fruits, citrus, and pine with a bit of floral notes. Finishes with a clean bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a good DIPA and worth checking out.

Photo of vandemonian
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Goose Island The Illinois is a lovely double IPA with lots of grapefruit hops over a strong malty base. Very balanced.

A: Orange colour and a nice head. 4

S: Maltiness along with some nice grapefruit aroma. 4.5

T: Malty with lots of grapefruit hops. Nice clean finish. 4.5

M: Foamy 4

O: 4.5

Photo of smakawhat
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Spiegelau Dogfish Head IPA glass.

A very nice looking IPA here. Deep orange and copper with some very good clarity. Slow rising carbonation finishing off with a three finger yellow and tan head, lots sticky lacing as well with a good puck.

Nice hop forward nose. There's a noticeable hint of sugary alcohol and caramel sweetness behind this though. Juicy mix of fruit and pine, some tropical mango like notes, and also though a hint of soapy perfume.

Interesting palate. Very odd mouthfeel, comes off like muted thick tonic water carbonation. Palate has a good amount of caramel sweetness on the finish. Hop angle seems nicely subdued but certainly not non existent. Slightly chalky and woody, with a bit of herbal tea like sensations, and some fruit orange. Comes off a little boozy also.

This sort of strikes me as a larger English Style IPA, but with some grainy notes, and caramel sweetness. A perfectly fine IPA but this is not what I sort of look for or desire in this realm.

Photo of DHS1029
1.75/5  rDev -55.4%

One of the worst beers I have ever had. Way too heavy, boozy, and bitter, was like drinking a glass of bitter hop syrup. I hated this beer. Drank half and poured the rest down the sink. Goose Island can do MUCH better than this.

Photo of wedge
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on: 07FEB14

Solid orange-amber with just a little haze. A small head of wispy cream rests on top. Smells noticeably sweet and strong at first, giving way to more traditional DIPA aromas of pine, tangerine, and floral notes. Big, slightly boozy flavor featuring a notable malt presence, some raw fruit, melon and lemon. The taste becomes juicier as it warms up and the malt softens to a tasty pale graininess. Some melon joins the party, but this remains something closer to a strong ale as it stands now, though maybe the hops have faded over the last month. The bitterness is there for sure and the mouthfeel is a nicely creamy medium body. This started growing on me towards the bottom of the glass. I hoped for more pungency from the hops, but not bad in the end.

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The Illinois from Goose Island Beer Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,109 ratings.