The Muddy Imperial Stout
Goose Island Beer Co.

The Muddy Imperial StoutThe Muddy Imperial Stout
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Stout - American Imperial
3.77 | pDev: 11.94%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
The Muddy Imperial StoutThe Muddy Imperial Stout
Reviews: 160 | Ratings: 1,152 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of dkoehler42
dkoehler42 from New York

3.16/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Goose Island's The Muddy is an imperial stout that advertises licorice notes. The color certainly screams heavy beer ahead, and the nose does have that licorice sweetness. The imperial flavor definitely comes through, along with some of the licorice sweetness and cigar flavor like it's cousin. However, the mouthfeel is short-lived and I'm getting a slight off flavor. Full disclosure, this beer is more than a few years old, but the beer and bottle are clean with no trace of nastiness.

Dec 16, 2020
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.34/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottled 8/27/14; drank 1/27/15 @ the Yarchives.

Brown/black appearance.

Big dark tan head; a curtain of lace.

Root beer, fresh earth & fresh cut grass in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Fresh earth, root beer & milk chocolate flavors up front; a black licorice pucker on the finish.

Interesting & bold, but ultimately not very enjoyable.

Oct 23, 2019
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Peach63 from New York

4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a little tan head. minimal lacing.

Strong aroma of molasses and licorice. No detectable hop aroma.

As with the smell, molasses and licorice came through. Also, chocolate malt, roast malt and a touch of black patent, I believe.

Mouthfeel was thick and creamy.

This was a clearance bottle at my local beer store at 75 cents. Bottle date was Aug 2014. A decent stout which would probably be better when fresher. At 9% ABV, it's too low for aging.

Sep 24, 2019
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wl2bill from Wisconsin

4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

I love black licorice. I like stouts. This is the best combination of both of have had. I have not seen this beer for over a year, but I will purchase it again when I do. One of my favorites of all time......

Dec 07, 2018
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Zorro from California

3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle says 2014. The local store has been saving these in the cooler for awhile. You have to ask for these by name.

Clear brown colored beer with a small brown head. This is lighter than expected.

Smells sweet and strongly of molasses. Licorice and blackberry scents. Still is isn't that aromatic a beer.

Starts out slightly sweet and tasting very much of black licorice. Charred grain and...pretty much that is it. Mostly black licorice flavor.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall do you like black licorice? If not this isn't the beer you are looking for.

Aug 26, 2018
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zachary80 from Indiana

3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Interesting stout that was true to its label when fresh - licorice and a sweet leaning that wasn't overpowering. 3 years of age was not kind - differentiating character was lost to just plain sweetness. (Score reflects fresh)

Aug 30, 2017
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Bierliebhaber3 from Massachusetts

3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This imperial stout brewed with licorice pours a pitch black color with a medium foamy tan head that fairly quickly dissipates. The smell is malty and a bit sweet, with dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, and mild espresso notes. At first I barely noticed a faint licorice scent, but it increased as I smelled more and also as the beer warms a bit, but it never became overwhelming. The taste is much like the smell. The licorice flavor is present, but fairly mild. It isn’t off-putting exactly, but it seems a bit odd to me. There is also a noticeable alcohol, which isn’t strange in imperial stouts, but I would say that my favorites either have a slightly higher percentage or do a little better job of incorporating it into the overall flavor profile. The body is on the low end of heavy, which is too light, given that an imperial stout should be like a liquid brick. This beer has an interesting concept, but I don’t think it fully comes together to make something that interesting and it is just too light bodied to be a premier imperial stout.

Apr 06, 2017
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bushbeer75 from Michigan

3.99/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz brown bottle - bottled 13 August 15

Goose Island The Muddy Imperial Stout filled my snifter with a black body color that formed a 1-finger tan head. The head died down to a collar that clung to the walls of my snifter. The nose was slightly sweet, of chocolate malt and also coffee. The taste begins sweet with flavors of chocolate, dark licorice, and light molasses. Next is the taste of roasted malts and dark fruit. The mouth feel is a little chewy, light-heavy bodied with lighter carbonation.

Overall, The Muddy is flavorful, not too filling making it easy to drink for an Imperial Stout.

Nov 01, 2016
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q33jeff from New Jersey

2.7/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Bottle to pint glass.
Aroma: Malt, coffee. Weak.
Look: Dark black. Little head. Oily look.
Taste: coffee, licorice , plum, red grape. Whiskey late.
Feel: medium body, Low carb.

Very Low on my stout list, but not bad.

Oct 01, 2016
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BeerSamurai34 from Texas

3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a lot better than I ever expected. I am not a fan of some of the adjuncts in this beer, but somehow they all really worked really well together.

Jun 09, 2016
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hmmm....imperial stout with licorice. I skipped this for some time till a friend from work tossed me one--
Thanks Randy!
This rather impressive stout pours a deep blackish muddled cola color with a moderate head of off white foam that settles to a thin ring, thin pool, and light lacing. Nose of subtle black licorice, deeply roasted malts, light notes of chocolate, and subtle cola with a touch of booze. Flavors exceed the nose with light licorice and sweet dark chocolate on the front and middle, light notes of vanilla and cola on the sides, and subtle char with a touch of coffee on the back and aftertaste with warming booze on the finish. Nice mouth feel, warming with a medium mouth feel, and medium carbonation to keep it lively. Very nice. Sad I passed up on this for as long as I did.


May 13, 2016
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drdiesel9483 from Ohio

3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Black as normal but almost no head. Slight licorice some dark chocolate. Taste just like it smells but maybe more chocolate. Medium body and carbonation and creamy. Beer is pretty good if you can get it cheap.

May 02, 2016
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ChicagoJ from Illinois

3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2/2/16 Chicago (12 oz bottle poured into Globe glass, Goose Island Brewpub). Pitch black pour, minimal tan head and acing. Pleasant black licorice, chocolate and roasted barley aroma with taste matching aroma, Very thin texture, minimal carbonation, easy going down. Overall very good bottle and I look forward to the next pour.

Feb 03, 2016
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stevoj from Idaho

3.1/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not quite enough oomph to elevate this any further. A good gateway to the style, but overall fairly mild. Mild alcohol warmth, some chocolaty, dark fruit flavors.

Feb 01, 2016
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NickSMpls from Washington

3.59/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

If you are looking for the old-motor-oil thick pour, it's not this one. Dark enought to block light through the glass and small head. Nice aroma of anise, coffee and a whiff of smokiness. Balanced taste - no burnt notes and smooth finish. Rather nice - more along the lines of a well-made "everyday" stout. If an Imperial Stout is made for a king, this one is a prince or maybe a viscount.

Jan 23, 2016
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Mike_Aguirre from Mexico

4.39/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black, with a very mild tanned foam head. Aroma is of roasted malts with chocolate and licorice notes. Taste is strong, complex and rich, lots of roasted malts and licorice, little bit sweet. Bold body with low carbonation. Very nice Imperial Stout.

Jan 18, 2016
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hopsputin from New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

a: slick black color. no light able to penetrate, does not look particularly thick though. 1 finger rocky marshmellow tan head

s: roasted malts, black licorice, cola, dark plum, brown sugar, fig, oak, milk chocolate

t: taste follows the nose pretty well. initially, your hit with a malt sweetness (caramel) followed by some of that licorice. behind that is the roasted malt bitterness, milk chocolate, raisins. there is almost a lactose sweetness in here as well ends with that roasted malt bitterness

m: surprisingly light - i'd say on the lighter side of medium. quite a high carbonation level as well, even though the head disappears pretty quickly

o: very sweet stout. definitely one of the sweeter i've tasted, almost like a milk stout. however, the roasted malts balance out the flavor nice. hits a bunch of the qualities i look for in a stout. its lighter mouthfeel makes it easy to drink, but be careful on this one. take your time and let it get to room temp

Jan 02, 2016
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Act25 from New Jersey

3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brewer stands out for Stout. This one's interesting but mid-pack. Try 1.

A: Pours an flat black w ruby highlights, and not much retention or lace for this style.

S: Interesting but too subtle: smoke, plums, licorice, let it warm.

T: Follows nose, roasted malt, a touch of char & balancing dryness. Charred grain, wood, dark fruit, finishes with dark fruit, coffee, licorice & molasses. (More candy than coffee).

MF: Medium bodied, oily, slick, low carbonation. Should offer more for the ABV and style.

O: No game changer here, but worth a try. Try 1.

Jan 01, 2016
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zac16125 from South Carolina

3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a tulip
2015 vintage

A: Jet black, just under 2 fingers width of tan head that appears dense, dissipates down fairly slowly but leaves almost no lacing. 4.25

S: Very roasty, leather and tobacco notes, licorice. 4

T: Even roastier than the aroma. Lots of leather and tobacco notes as well. Subtle coffee bitterness. Not as good as the nose. 3.5

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation on the higher end for the style, drinkability is average. 3.5

O: Like most GI beers not in the Bourbon County series this one is just kinda whatever. Not a bad beer, but not something I would purchase again. 3.5

Dec 30, 2015
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle served in a Belgian snifter at about 55F.

Black and opaque body with a short, weak tan head; Minimal lacing adheres to the glass.

Aroma: lightly sweet and rather boozy with hints of dark fruits, dark bread, and licorice.

Flavor: Mainly dark roasted grains, booze and licorice. Sweet but near neutral sweet/bitter balance. Robust flavor. The licorice is most pronounced up front then again in the finish.

Feel: creamy smooth, full body. Low carbonation.

O: nice use of licorice but overly boozy.

Dec 29, 2015
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BeerImmediately from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz into snifter. Let it warm quite a bit.
Aromas include deep dark candy fruit, roasted malts, and a touch of licorice.
Flavors also bring out a bit of acidic bite, but with a lot of sweetness to balance it, so not quite as lingering as others in this style. Little bit of anise, but not overpowering or distracting.
MF was rather clean, light, for the style.
Pretty fine beer overall, and some unique qualities for sure.

Dec 27, 2015
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MacMalt from New Jersey

3.69/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into stout glass. It pours a very dark mahogany with a one-finger, tan head and rather thin lacing. It smells of chocolate and roasted grain with something else that is hard to identify - a nutty, fruity smell. It's missing the rich aroma I look for in an Imperial Stout. The primary taste is chocolate and I can faintly taste the advertised licorice. I can't identify any dark fruit per se but there is something else there. Actually, "Muddy" is an apt description. Also, I'm discerning some vanilla or toffee at the finish. As the stout warms, it becomes noticeably sweeter. It is medium-bodied, not as viscous as I like a stout to be, and the 9% ABV is not readily evident. There's no alcohol burn to speak of. Overall, it isn't a bad Imperial Stout but compared to its sister Goose Island offering there is nothing really special.

Dec 27, 2015
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LAp from Ohio

3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap in a 4oz tasting glass. Pours an opaque black with a mocha head. The nose is medicinal, with deep cherry undertones. The palate leads with the same medicinally cherry taste. An almost bacon note in the palate. The rock candy and licorice advertised in the description were difficult to pick out. Body is medium thick. Overall, a good not great beer. Its name is apt: the flavor profile of this beer seems muddied unnecessarily. There are good elements lurking underneath the surface, but they never seem to come together into a cohesive whole.

Dec 24, 2015
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Mooslerfitness from Ohio

4.61/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gave this a 3.75 over 2 years ago I just opened one with a bottled on 13aug15 1002 wow what a difference L black as night sky
S LICORICE but not in a bad way kinda like the red cherry chocolate, vanilla oak barrel awsome
T just like the smell
F LITTLE bubbles flowing on my young with a smooth finish
O so much better aged wish I did more

Dec 17, 2015
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CTHomer from Connecticut

3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: opaque; deep brown with some ruby accents visible; with a fairly aggressive pour, a 3 finger dark tan head that receded slowly to a thin cap; nice lacing;

S: bittersweet chocolate, roasted grain;

T: pretty mellow; roasted grain up front; mixes with and then gets taken over by bittersweet chocolate; mild bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; hides the ABV well;

O: I expect an imperial stout to be pretty assertive - this wasn't; I did enjoy it quite a bit, but it drank more like a porter to me;

Dec 01, 2015
The Muddy Imperial Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 1152 ratings