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The Illinois - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
The IllinoisThe Illinois

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

972 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 972
Reviews: 136
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 16
Gots: 81 | 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:
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 added by: nmann08 on 06-15-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 972 | Reviews: 136 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kojevergas
2.78/5  rDev -29.3%

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

kojevergas, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of apw122
4.36/5  rDev +10.9%

apw122, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of miguellunarusso
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%

miguellunarusso, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of DerekDudley
4/5  rDev +1.8%

DerekDudley, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of kerry4porters
4/5  rDev +1.8%

kerry4porters, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of albushur
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%

albushur, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of imhoudinibitch
4/5  rDev +1.8%

imhoudinibitch, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of Jtpack
4.4/5  rDev +12%

Jtpack, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of BradleyR
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

BradleyR, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of Jadjunk
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

"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

Jadjunk, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of Brasso
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%

Brasso, Aug 14, 2014
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4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

rojapa, Aug 09, 2014
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4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Fikezilla, Aug 09, 2014
Photo of Lynn
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Lynn, Aug 09, 2014
Photo of Meyers1023
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Meyers1023, Aug 09, 2014
Photo of zekeman17
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

zekeman17, Aug 08, 2014
Photo of waddellc2
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

waddellc2, Aug 08, 2014
Photo of paulish
4/5  rDev +1.8%

paulish, Aug 08, 2014
Photo of Casey3236
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Casey3236, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of MuscleConfusion
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

MuscleConfusion, Aug 05, 2014
Photo of Robjvoorhees
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Robjvoorhees, Aug 04, 2014
Photo of stogirelli
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

stogirelli, Aug 04, 2014
Photo of Lorihall1
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Lorihall1, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of Chilly_E
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Chilly_E, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of Jefriedrichs
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Jefriedrichs, Aug 03, 2014
The Illinois from Goose Island Beer Co.
88 out of 100 based on 972 ratings.