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Imperial IPA | Goose Island Beer Co.

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Imperial IPAImperial IPA
524 Ratings
Imperial IPAImperial IPA

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States

Style: American Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Draft only as of 2008.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 524 |  Reviews: 330
Reviews by AaronHomoya:
Photo of AaronHomoya
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange-amber color, hazy and slightly cloudy. Nice head with good retention.

Aroma was spicy, with floral hops. Not as much complexity or just plain power of scent here for me. Maybe my sniffer was off.

The taste was very nice, though. Sweet with hops flavors, followed by a malty middle. Nicely balanced with a dry, hoppy finish that leaves a very pleasant and not harsh bitterness.

Medium bodied, with a mouthwatering feeling at the finish.

A nice IPA with good balance and flavor. Quite drinkable for 9%, but the "just OK" aroma keeps it from being something I'd regularly seek out.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hoppedup for sharing this bad boy,poured a slight hazed golden with a tinge of orange with a nice tight,sticky white head that stuck around for quite awhile.Resin,resin,and more resin in the aroma along with some pine and grapefruit no malt to be found here.Very nice thick,coating mouthfeel.Iam not sure what the alc% is on this puppy but it shows up in the finish after a rather dry intensly hopped resiny,piney bomb very little malt detected.Had a tea-like aftertaste that lingered for quite awhile wich was different,if you are into hops what can I say this is one for you.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Firkin in Libertyville, Il.

It really doesn’t get much better than this. I’ve been suspicious of this for a long time. $20 a 4-pack is more than a tad steep but after sipping down four or five snifters of this stuff at the Firkin, I was almost convinced that it would be worth it for me to pick a few bottles up.

Pours a rusty tangerine-butterscotch. Moderate clinging, plenty of lace in the center. Transparent, not oily.

Grapefruit, orange, juniper berries, and pine resin in massive quantities. Malt just manages to show through. Exceptional.

Lots of orange, reasonably malty with biscuits and caramels, grapefruit, and pine resin.

Tangy, juicy, bitter-sweet, bristling yet smooth, rich, and full.

Drinkable in mass.

A superb and delighting beer.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A big, thick, yellow head slowly sinks into my tulip offering up fresh grapefruit and orange zest with light cinnemon aromas. The head comes to rest as a surface layer with some lacing on top a mirky orange beer.

WOW. This beer taste like a delicious tiki drink. Seriously. I get every citrus you can name, pineapple, vanilla, banana, even coconut, slight cherry notes, and a slight woody aftertaste. There is a very very slight off flavor I can't really even isolate but I know I associate it with shell fish. It doesn't bother me. As the beer warms, the flavors dull but that only makes it more sublime and dangerously drinkable. Things get a tad more herbal and the alcohol starts to show. I'

I'm blown away. They seem to have gotten every possible flavor out of these hops but straight bitter. If you're looking for a punch in the tounge, you'll have to look elsewhere. This is dangerously drinkable and even avoids heavy mouthfeel issues. This is a beautiful beer I still can't quite get my mind around.

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Photo of JMD71
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled & reviewed on 9/22/06:

Ap: Deep apricot color. Cloudy. Thin head. Medium carbonation.

Ar: Sweet malts & robust American Northwest hops. Citrusy, piney with hints of fresh squeezed tangerines.

Ta: Orangey flavor intitially leads to the citrusy, piney bitterness in the middle & finish. Lots of apricot, too. Not overly bitter which is welcomed.

Mo: Full bodied towards syrupy but not overly cloying. The balanced bitterness makes for a smoother feel than some of the harser DIPA's.

Dr: This is ridiculously drinkable! The strong, hoppy flavor w/o being too bitter; all balanced with the sweet malts makes this just wonderful....

Comments: This is a fantstic DIPA. A+ IMHO. I loved every sip. So full flavored...

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 11-3-05...cheers to Goose Island for super fresh beer and clear bottle dating! 9% abv per the label. Pours from the bottle a vibrant golden orange with hints of amber and a creamy bubbly inch of head that lingers atop the brew. Fresh, citric, grapefruity, piney, spicy hops attack my nostrils as I near the top of the glass. A sweet crystalline caramelly backdrop works its way in. Imagine standing in a field of various hop vines...grabbing cones, rubbing them between your fingers and inhaling the green, resiny aromas. I really enjoy the hop profile here as it begs me to take that first sip.

First sip brings a brash wall of herbally resinous, citrus, piney, spicy hops. A nice melding of hops that are quite green. Malts work their way in nicely with a caramel sweet, slightly bready flavor. I get a touch of cotton candy on the way down. Well balanced between sweet malts and hoppy bitterness. A really tasty DIPA that does not fail to impress me...in my stomach only a mere 10 days after it was bottled. Finishes clean with a mellow lingering hoppy bitterness that just makes you want to come back for more.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good creaminess. I could see this being a little bit fuller in the mouthfeel but I'm just nit picking really. Steady carbonation is quite well placed. This brew goes down super easy and will delight any lover of the mighty hop. Brewed with Tettnang, Simcoe and Cascade per the label. I took Greg Hall's adivce and paired this with some gorgonzola which was quite a nice combination. This and the Bourbon County are my two favorites in the Reserve line so far...I'll be on the lookout for more. Well worth your time and effort to snag some of this. Kudos to everyone at Goose as well! Thanks to autumnaldave for the opportunity.

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Photo of blitz134
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in a trade from warrioursoul...thanks man...

Enjoying this after an entire day in the sun running adult soapbox derby races...nothing helps battle wounds like a little hop juice. First Goose Island I've had in a couple of years...good to be back...

Light apricot color, a touch of haze, but not too bad. Fully fluffy head on the pour. Just off-white in color, slowly reduced to a quarter inch layer. Sticky lace. Carbonation bubbles through.

Strong hop aroma making me forget about my bruises and scrapes. Floral and fruity throughout the aroma, some straw like hops...some citrus...its all there. Bubblegum sweetness. One of the most floral smelling brews I've had. Smells great...all I want to do is take deep wiffs of this. A little different than other DIPAs.

Flavor is sweet and fruity again. Similar to the aroma. Lots of hops, but doesn't seem overly bitter to me. Some grassy, straw hops mix well with the light citrus hops. This hop profile, while focused, seems a bit muttled together and one dimensional to me, in my opinion. Its good, but could use something else to really set it off.

Medium bodied and fits the style well. Carbonation didn't make this as crisp as I was expecting. Drinkability is good. The sweeter hop profile isn't as much of my style. Its all good though...definately worth a shot...

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Photo of fluke42
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of sponberg
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle date 11/05/05 or something that vaguely looks like that. Pours cloudy orange/gold with a reasonably long lasting head. Once you fight past the hops to get a look at it, that is. BIG time aroma here - faintly fruity malt (apricot?) beneath big citrus and spiciness - has me going back to sniff it several times.

Remember those cheesy 1950s horror flicks? You know, the ones with creepy organ music they used to spoof on MST3K? This one could be Attack of the Hop Cones. BIG time hoppiness - between the spiciness of the Tettnang and the complex pine/citrus combo of Simcoe/Cascade, the organist is jumping up and down on every key on the organ like a monkey on amphetamines, stops out, right from the start. But the killer thing is, there's malt under there - toasty, apricotlike malt - that somehow manages to hold the vast hoopiness together. Finishes with this intense, sharp, tongue-tightening bitterness that's reminiscent of a really sharp cheese without the lactose intolerance issues. 9%? Where? Amazingly intense yet soooo drinkable.

Massively enjoyable - thanks agian to FBG Tip Top for the hookup!

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Photo of Duster72
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My local haunt must have cleaned out the stock room, because this had been long sold out. 2006 bottle pours a nice reddish amber with one finger off white head and sticky lacing. Aroma is earthy hops. Taste is grapefruit and pine hops which are quickly overshadowed by huge sugary malts. Mouthfeel is slightly too cough syrup for me. Very drinkable for ABV. A nice change of pace but one was certainly enough for the night.

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Photo of tjthresh
4.16/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don’t have the words for it, but it huge. Pours a clear amber color with a great sticky dirty white head. The flavor is quite grassy. Initialy pretty sweet, abut dries out pretty quick. Pretty easy drinking for the 9% abv. Oily slik, and decently mouth-filling. $5 bucks a 12 ounce bottle if pricey for anything, even if it is worth it.

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Photo of merlin48
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've sampled 3 bottles of this one over the past 10 days and my notes consistently bear out the conclusion that this is a "hop monster" of a double ipa. Pours a slightly hazed, apricot body with a small, almond hued head that leaves some attractive waves of lacing.

Aroma is assertive and brash, with a powerful note of fresh spruce pine, backed by grapefruit and a kiss of tangerine. A hint of sweet caramel lurks underneath and barely comes through.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with appropiate active carbonation and a resinous hops sting. Nice feel to this one.

Taste features a bigtime grapefruit hops bitterness, accented by the aromatic spruce pine resins. Fresh hops are brisk and dominant, and seem to permeate all your senses with leafy goodness. A bit of caramel malt sweetness is hidden away underneath and never becomes a significant player. The big alcohol isn't apparent, being swept away by all the fresh, leafy hoppiness. Finishes with a pine cone bitterness with a hint of citrusy grapefruit that follows into the aftertaste.

Excellent double IPA, but a bit too brash for my senses. Very dry and bitter, and reminds me of something between a Stone Ruination and a Victory Hopdevil. I wish the tangerine notes were more prominent here. Amazing, how the big alcohol is so well masked in this one. This is an enjoyable challenge for me, as the hops are very bitter, yet fresh and leafy. Can't wait to try this one in a few months.

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Photo of Billolick
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer, informative label, including bottling date. My bottles were filled only 6 weeks ago. Fresh brew from a fine brewer. This DIPA is a tasty offering to the hop gods. Pouring Glittering, clear orangy amber, almost white head that is long lasting and leaving respectable lacing. Nose is loaded with juicy hop notes. Full bodied and immediatly bitter and crammed with waves of grainy, oily and citric hop notes. Balanced by a bed of semi-sweet malt notes. Big, bold and complex. Alcoholic strength is quite evident. Hop lovers/big beer lovers rejoice. Even more world class brew from Goose Island. Well done!

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this gem on tap at the Barcade Friday night...
Arrived in a goblet a golden copper color with a full finger of bright white head...disappears fairly quickly with a fine layer remaining.
Producing some decent lacing...
The aroma was very inviting...a citrus hop punch with plenty of malt to back it up.
Taste was fantastic...a boatload of grapefruit in the flavor with just enough malt to balance it out. Alcohol was very well hidden and the finish was very clean...no lingering flavors.
Mouthfeel was nice...not thin and by no means cloying.
Carbonation was perfect for the style and highly quaffable for a double...I belive the menu stated 10% for the abv, but you would not know it from drinking it...very dangerous.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to beerbeing for this bottle which was given as gift for no particular reason at all upon our first in-person meeting.

This beer has a great balance of hops and malt. It is a borderline barleywine IMO and sweeter than most double IPA's. Very nice nose and easy to drink. A great beer from a great brewery. Cheers.

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Photo of WeymouthMike
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12oz bottle with a best consumed by March 31,2007 poured into a Duvel goblet.

A- A tad bit cloudy amber with a medium white head which quickly disappears

S- Lots of pine and citrus mainly lemon with some phenols detected

T- Malty up front followed by awesome pine and fruity notes some alcohol warmness.

M- No carbonation and no hop slick left behind

D- Alcohol is definetly detectable but that doesn't stop me. Great beer, too bad I only have two. Paired well with my homemade chicken parm and sauce on paesano bread.

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Photo of rsquared59
3.71/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of far333
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky and thick-looking, ruddy orange with a thick and bumpy beige head. A rim of lace rings the inside of the glass.

A rich aroma reaches up to grab the nose and draw me in closer, full of doughey malt and sweet overripe fruits. Some honey and butterscotch and caramel, a bit of vanilla and cotton candy. Lots going on in the nose.

Flavor is initially a bit metallic, perhaps from the alcohol, morphing to grainy malt and a mix of both flowery and citrus peel hops. It's a bit muted, not overly fresh. A syrupy malt emerges and alcohol warmth runs over the top. I like big IPA's with a good balance of malt and this one delivers on both the hops and the malt in a big way.

Mouthfeel is thick and full, almost chewy, but satisfying and enjoyable. Very drinkable, but I'll sip this one down like a barleywine. Thanks to Brent for yet another great beer.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears copper orange with a bright white head leaves thick chunks of lacing around my Stone IPA chalice, nice look it. Aroma contains big layers of citrusy and pine scented hops along with lucious bready malt tones finishes with a cinge of alcohol. Flavor is up front bitter with loads of hops bringing citrus, pine, and some earthiness to the equation wrapped with semi sweet biscuit malts and alcohol tinged finish @ 9% abv. Mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied oily resinous textured even smooth carbonation flows very nicely. Drinkability for this hop head what a delight gret double IPA in todays beer world of extreme pushing the envelope on each style this one finds itself as a staple of what Imperial IPAs can and should be like unique and tasty.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this beer as part of the 2006 Great Race from MABZ on Team Spring.

This beer pours a cloudy orange color with a thick fluffy light tan head. The head has a slight orange tint to it. It fades very slowly, leaving many thick laces.

This beer has a very citrus like hop aroma. I detect orange, and a slight lemon aroma. Grapefruit is also present. Wow, this smells strongly of citrus fruit. It has a subtle piney aroma also.

This beer has a strong citrus flavor. It tastes strongly of oranges. It is also quite piney. This beer is very sweet. The alcohol is well hidden in the taste.

This beer is quite full bodied, but it is also very smooth. It is well carbonated for the style. It leaves a citrusy fruit aftertaste.

I doubt this beer would make a good session beer. Althoguh it tastes great, it is quite aggressive. Also, it is a little high in alcohol.

Thakn you MABZ for this wonderfull beer.

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Photo of brow1901
4.57/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this brew on tap at stub and herbs a few days after there Goose Island party.

A- This beauty of a brew pours a deep pale orange with a thin bone white head. The head doesn't last long but leaves good lacing. I should not that this beer is really hazy, it's actually opaque.

S- The beer reeks of pine hops and a little citrus hops. The citrus hops remind me of oranges. There is a faint hint of biscuit malts in the nose also. The smell is really powerful, you can smell the glass 3 yards away this IPA gets me excited.

T- Of course the hops are just so dominating, but so delicious. This beer has an excellent concoction of dry-hopping and bitter hops. I'm sure that GI is using a blend of different hop strains, it works perfectly.

M- Pretty thick in the mouth but the carbonation helps lighten it out. Leaves the mouth very dry and bitter.

D- For being 9% the beer is very drinkable, and it will sneak up on you. But the beer is amazing. I highly recommend it.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a broad mouth chalice)

A- This beer pours a shinny coppery color with a crystal clear body and a thin off-white head that soon fades to a faint ring around the edge.

S- The big hop smell of skunks, pine and a hint of pineapple make a complex hop aroma. A nice hint of cat pee in the hops as it warms. There is only one or two tiny bubbles of carbonation in the beer.

T- The faint hint of pale malt is quickly kicked in the face by the bold chewy delicious taste of hops. The flavors of pine, grapefruit and a slight orange note make this hop flavor very big and very complex. The hop finish is more floral that bitter with a faint watermelon hops note.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat or astringency.

D- This is a great big juicy hoppy beer. The malt and alcohol are faint in the background and so is the hop bitterness. This beer is all about aroma and flavor of hops. Very nice beer and it justifies the price.

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Photo of pwoods
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks GrizzlyAdams for this great extra. I laid down a couple of the '07 to see how it ages and it seems like it does.

12oz. brown bottle, from '06, poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a murky, hazy orange. 1 1/2 fingers of off white head. Eventually dies to a thick skim and a large island in the middle of my large snifter. Good lacing.

S: Floral and citrus hops. Big grapefruit notes still. Malts are much stronger than the fresh version; syrupy sweet spice and alcohol are down.

T/M: Very good. Bitterness is way down(wasn't extremely bitter to begin with). Grapefruit comes out much more and much tastier. Alcohol has mellowed quite nicely as has the sweetness of the malts. Body is nice and creamy and the carbonation has remained.

D: Very glad I have some extra '07's to hold on to. This is a perfect example of a DIPA that ages quite well.

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Photo of jbphoto88
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I very nice IPA. It pours a nice amber red with a light head that fades quickly. The smell is very low key and has a hoppy hint. The taste starts very sweet and gradually moves to hoppy goodness. There is a nice balance between the tettnang, simcoe and cascade flavors. It has a great after taste, the high ABV leaves a nice warmth in you mouth that compliments the residual hop flavors. Highly recomended.

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Imperial IPA from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 524 ratings