Imperial IPA | Goose Island Beer Co.

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Imperial IPAImperial IPA

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

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Draft only as of 2008.

Added by cretemixer on 11-24-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 330 | Ratings: 524
Photo of froggyfrog
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle with a black text dominated white label.
Vehicle: My favorite snifter.

The View: 5.0! I don't even want to pick up my glass to drink this it's just too damn beautiful. On the pour my bowl filled with a glorious thick orange nectar. Resting on top was a thin fluffy-white pillow of pure white foam. As the soft foam dissipated I became aware of the jet stream of carbonation shooting up in a single column from the from the bottom center of my glass. I've been watching it for like 15 minutes now and it's showing no signs of fatigue. A bubbling fluffy white mound about the diameter of a quarter formed at the top of this volcanic rising of carbon dioxide gas and with a subtle rippling motion reinstated the creamy dream-like coating of head across the entire surface of the liquid.

The Scent: American hop essentials greet the nose with an amazing creamy quality. I smell a lot of Cascade but it's not confrontational. This beer doesn't threaten to rip your taste buds to shreds, it instead invites you to come in an experience the beauty and natural simplicity of unchecked wholehearted hops.

The Flavor: I hate to disturb the eye candy but I can't wait any longer. Here we go. Guess what? It tastes as good as it looks and smells. There is a deep earthy spiciness expertly balanced by a sticky powdered sweetness. Alcohol is pronounced in the finish.

The Feel: Again the word creamy is the first descriptor that comes to mind. Mouthfeel is perfect for this beer. The weighty fullness is an excellent accompaniment to high-alpha bitterness.

The Ability to Consume: Let's just say I wish I had a few cases of this and not just this one lonely bottle.

Well folks, I'm gonna do it. I'm giving this beer fives across the board. Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner! My only perfect score. A fantastic beer. Who knew? Thank you Goose Island (and hero27 for sharing;).

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Photo of pmatz2
4.92/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy amber, a proprer size head was acheived with an slightly agressive pour. A nice creamy white head that leaves a nice foam ring that lasts the enitre drink.

Can't miss the Hops aroma,
Taste is a bit alcoholic, sweet and hoppy at the same time. The hops last the entire taste but are not overpowering with bitterness. It has the right level of bitterness for an imperial IPA

Mouthfeel is creamy with a slight syrupy texture. A great sipping beer.

Body is huge no surprise there

This is an outstanding beer beer. I think it's a little more complex than the Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA, but at twice the price.

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Photo of mcallister
4.9/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance of this brew gets top honors of 5 out of 5. Lovely off orange, hazy amber with a terrific frothy off white head and significant lacing.

Sitting outside writing this I can smell the sweet perfume of the cascade and tettnang hops eminating even with a strong breeze in the air. Nice aromas of citrus, pine, apple, grapefruit, spicy almost cinammon, and even a tad of nutmeg, equalling out with a wonderful amount of malt. If a 5.5 out of 5 were possible this brew would get the nod on smell.

This IPA is definitely not for the faint hearted. Very bid and bold hops yet perfectly balanced, perfectly complex, perfect structure. It covers the whole palate range with excitement. Upon entry nice fruity sweet pleasantries envelop the tate buds, then the mid palate is overcome with hop, malt and citrusy pine, until finally a good 50 seconds of full flavor embodiement of the beer is lingering behind waiting for you to take the next swallow.

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Photo of SuperSpy
4.89/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Cloudy orange with a rocky head that dies in about a minute.

S - This is awesome! Citrus, apricot, berries?. I have to just keep going back for this one.

T - Pine, citrus, apricot, and other fruits mixed with earthy and spicy hop flavors that are followed up by big malt flavors that are a mix of fruit and toast. The hops are strong and the flavor is everywhere but they're not overwhelming. This is an amazing mix flavor and balance.

D - This is a truly exceptional beer. I don't know that I have tasted anything like this ever... well at least not in a really long time. Rarely have I ever tasted this much hops without being bombarded by so much bitterness that I can't taste the second sip. This beer is loaded with all kinds of hop flavor but it maintains an exceptional balance that allows the delicious malt characteristics to come through. Get one now!

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Photo of Damian
4.88/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle
Best when consumed by: March 31, 2007
Acquired in a trade with nathan15

Poured a syrupy and murky rust-orange color with no head and no lacing.

The aroma was potently fruity, sweet and hoppy. The malt sweetness was very noticeable for a double IPA. Canned pineapple and piney hops came through strong, along with notes of sugary caramel. Citrus, orange and spice were present as well.

The taste was an intense yet well-balanced mix of punchy hops and sugary malts. The beer started super sweet, malty rich and creamy. Maple syrup, brown sugar and some spice came through as well. Citrusy, piney hops were apparent mid-palate, along with peaches and other ripe fruits. Grapefruit notes, along with the slightest indication of alcohol warmth, appeared in the bitter-sweet finish. The hops lingered on my palate after the beer was done (along with some citrus and spice) but they never overwhelmed me. In fact, the hop bitterness was quite restrained for a DIPA (this might have had something to do with the beer's age).

Mouthfeel was ridiculously creamy, syrupy and thick with a fine, moderate carbonation that coated my tongue like a blanket.

As for drinkability, I cannot remember the last time I finished a beer (never mind a double IPA) so quickly. This DIPA is unquestionably made for those who appreciate a balanced brew (fans of Dogfish Head's 90 Minute IPA should take note). In fact, this beer is so malty rich that it could easily be mistaken for a barleywine (and quite an outstanding one at that).

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Photo of ams4k
4.82/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the great beers of our time -- on par, if not better than, Racer 5 and Ruination. I was shocked at its brilliance. The smell alone will floor you -- it will transport you (if you are a hophead like me) to another, blissful world. And the taste does not disappoint. Totally drinkable, totally extreme -- incredible. The color is a hazy orange, not a lot of foam but enough to lace the glass. The flavors are beyond description. You must try this if you like Dogfish 90 or Stone or Bear Republic. It even runs with 3 Floyds Dreadnaught. That's my next goal: a blind tasting of the two. It is that good.

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Photo of jvonkluck
4.82/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yum. An impressive example of an IPA here.

Pours a reddish orange with a thin, slow forming head that slowly bubbles to the surface.

The aroma is a delicious blend of hops and citrusy notes.

The taste lives up to the nose - loads of hops, hints of orange rind and some more mellow citrus as well. Nicely balanced in the mouth as well - it's got body that suits the intensity of the beer.

I don't think that you'd want to drink more than one or two of these in a sitting - especially given the price tag. But enjoying one or two slowly is well worth it.

(I also had this beer on tap at Goose Island while they were serving it, but not with a review in mind. It was equally stellar served from the brewery...)

Highly recommend this to anyone on the quest for the perfect IPA.

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Photo of marcpal
4.82/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ive held onto this one for a while from a trade from which I apologize but cant remember. 2007 bottle, $4.59 sticker, poured into snifter.

Came through clutch, all I was hoping. Decided to crack this for review #200 and for a job promotion today.

2007. Poured from bottle into cervoise.

A: Pours a cloudy iced tea orange with a whipped cream thin head that held around longer than I would have thought. Thin bubbling.

S: Clearly simcoe hops. The mix with the malt couldnt be better in the smell. Plenty of citrus and not overpowering the malt at all. Lets you know this is going to be chock full of flavor.

T: Enormous taste. Whacked with malty caramel right away with a whisp of the hops and in the back the hops pick up intensity. The bitterness is just awesome that hangs on for our drinking pleasure. One word describes best: harmonious.

M: Smooth as can be. Coating from the hops but the malt sweetness matches it drop by drop. For the style, more syrupy than most.

D: As drinkable as you can get for a DIPA. The malt becomes somewhat filling but I would love to have a solid four pack of these. Among GI's best which says a lot to me.

Tremendous beer, knocked out of the park again by Goose. wow, a must get. I could only imagine that this one must be great on tap and hope to get when in Chitown next at the GI locale.

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Photo of churchillps
4.82/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Goose Island Wrigleyville and bought a 4 pack.

This is the best beer I've ever tasted. On tap is even more incredible. Paired with their Stilton Burger and fried pickles = heavenly. Smell and taste is unbelievably hoppy, but drinkability is never sacrificed. I feel like I could have 3 or 4 of these if I wanted to. Delicious.

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Photo of 1fastz28
4.82/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

has a beautiful reddish copper color, has a nice big white head on it. the smell is just awesome, floral hops, a sweet malt flavor as well, just a perfectly balanced beer, absoultey awesome. taste is just as balanced, even with the higher apv, its barely noticeable since the beer is just so flavorful and full. i really can't hype up this beer enough, a must try for any IPA, DIPA fan. one of the best beers i've ever had.

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Photo of styrene
4.82/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$20 a 4-pack at the local package goods store, but I'm happy to support the hometown brewery.

Appearance: medium- to dark-orange body with head the color of cre\me brule/e. head dissipated rapidly but left lace that seriously sticks to the side of my duvel glass.

Smell: Fruity, with hints of apple and caramel.

Taste: Exceptionally bitter, a bit more so than 90 Minute IPA. Maltiness is huge, too, almost reminiscent of a saison. Finishes cleanly with just a hint of its high abv. Perhaps needless to say, GI Imperial IPA is majorly complex.

Mouthfeel: Malt character lends the beer a distinctive chewy mouthfeel. Carbonation could be higher considering the bottle-conditioning, but then again this beer is not meant to be especially refreshing. It is, on the contrary, an intricate brew meant for slow sipping, and the lower carbonation forces you to deal with the beer's delicate hop/malt balance.

Drinkability: High. This is a well-crafted beer that rewards contemplation.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle courtesy of battlekow, Man of Superior User Names. Thanks buddy. Wish we could get more of the Special Edition Goose Island stuff over here in Madison.

Pours a slightly hazed golden yellow with a finger of creamy white bubbles and beautiful lacing. Nose is ripe with in-your-face pine resin hops, bitter grapefruit, and balancing sweet caramel malts. Taste starts off with those aggressive hops, piney, but predominantly citrusy - bringing in a lighter, candi-sugar sweetness to the more burly caramel malts. Mouthfeel is oily smooth and lightly carbonated. This is an amazing IIPA. A more refined version of DFH 90 Minute. Both have 9% ABV, but this is more drinkable by leaps and bounds. I really, really, really wish I could find this stuff up here in Madison.

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Photo of Sephiroth
4.79/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with average head, some lacing, the beer is a clear orange color. Wonderful aroma of orange-grapefruit and pine.

This is great! Juicy citrus fruits and pine, with that resin-character that I must have. As soon as the bitterness becomes strong, the malt brings it under control. That being said, the malt isn't what is making me smack my lips right now. Mouthfeel is thick, a little oily, and a little creamy. The drinkability is enormous.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
4.77/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I dont know what to say about this beer except this: it is the smoothest, creamiest, most fulfulling DIPA that has ever graced my lips. almost perfect. hops are fruity, strong, pushing you to the brink of bitterness but pulling you right back in. it is a seductress.

One helluva beer. too bad the rest of goose island doesnt match up.

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Photo of Phatz
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Millions of thanks to froggyfrog. This beer was absolutely magnificent!

Appearance: Pours a glimmering golden orange color with a small but solid foam head. The lacing is impressive.

Smell: Sweet caramel honey and malt, big grapefruit and floral hops and citrus fill the nose.

Taste: Fresh orange pineapple and grapefruit with a very sweet bready caramel attribute beneath the hops. This maybe the most balanced sweet DIPA with rich malty feel that I have ever tasted. It finishes with long lingering flavor and a touch of alcohol. WOW!

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally smooth and and creamy medium body.

Drinkability: This is amazingly drinkable. For a 9% beer it is very friendly and approachable!

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of trep
4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this many times before but never sat down to do a review on it. This is, I believe, my favorite Double IPA.

As the orangish liquid hurls itself out of the bottle I can already smell the aroma of intense piney and citrus hops. It sits in the glass with a half inch of head that slowly dissipates into a 1mm thick glaze...very cloudy as well. Smells of very sweet citrus, pine, and honey. My favorite smelling beer that i've had thus far. HUGE bitter hop blast initially then evens out with some sweetness and finishes with a very subtle bitterness. I love it. The body feels about medium, typical of an IPA. I really can't say enough about this beer. It embodies everything that I think a Double IPA should...Incredibly bitter, punch you in the mouth, hop explosion that gradually tapirs itself into a bittersweet finish. Very Well done IIPA from Goose Island.

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Photo of mmcave
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Saw it at Sam's and had to pick it up. It was right next to their bourbon county stout, which if a four pack wasn't twenty bucks I would have that too. Any how- Poured aggressively into Duvel tulip glass. The head is about half inch thick off white with both big and small bubbles. There is some definite lacing going on already. The color is a handsome, toasty reddish, orange amber Smell is wonderful, lots of hop and malt complexity, floral notes, grapefruit, pine, mango, other citrus scents, coupled with malty sweetness and maybe some toasted malt. Taste is much the same. The bitterness is by no means over powering or even at a daring level, the sweet malt is right there to make sure the bitterness is balanced. The mouth feel on this is a little sticky and syrupy, which I like and goes down smooth. The drinkability is great, the malt balances out the bitterness every well. This is a great beer its just a bit too expensive, especially for a Chicagoan, but I would buy it again to show a friend or if I felt like showing Chicago pride.

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Photo of Kendo
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz screw-top bottle, stamped as being bottled on 11/3/05, poured on 7/13/06 into a Sam Smith's pint glass after about 6 months in my cellar following a purchase at Halftime Beverage in Poughkeepsie. . . .

Appearance: at first, a VERY hazy honey-orange--actually, forget hazy, it's cloudy--with almost no head (the hops obviously destroyed any potential head). Held up to the light in my kitchen, I couldn't see any shining through. At least not at first. When I got to the bottom third of the glass, the haze had settled off and it was a clear orange. Very nice. [Edit: Gazing at the full glass admiringly that night, I said to my wife "Now isn't that a pretty beer?" and haven't heard the end of it since. "He never says that about me," she says when recounting the story to friends. But it sure was a pretty beer.]

Smell: At first blush, apricot, peach and grapefruity hops, with a slight piney hop scent mixed in as well. As it warmed I noticed a faint scent of alcohol. Also as it warmed, the citrusy, fruity hop scent took center stage over the pine notes. Very interesting. If you like hops, this is a great smelling beer.

Taste: Wow. Smoother than I expected given the hop profile in the nose. Caramel-flavored malts hit you at first, but if you're not paying attention you won't notice them, as you are quickly assaulted by the fruity, citrusy hops. A clean dry bitterness coats the mouth and lingers -- I mean LINGERS -- on the back of the tongue and mouth (I finished this beer about 10 - 15 minutes ago, had a big glass of water afterwards, and still I'm tasting the fruity hops. Mmmm). I don't taste the alcohol, but I can feel its warmth traveling down to my stomach.

Mouthfeel: Mild-to-moderate carbonation and a creamy texture. Nicely balanced given the strength of this beer.

Drinkability: highly drinkable (and at 9% ABV, dangerously so). Two-thirds of the way through I was regretting that I didn't have another one cold in the fridge. And with only 3 more in the cellar and no guarantee of a future score of this wonderful nectar, I'm already feeling like an addict going cold turkey, wondering how I'm going to come across my next 4-pack of this awesome elixir.

I believe this is my most highly rated beer review to date -- and my first "5" in the taste category. It's well deserved, as this is truly an excellent beer.

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Photo of malcontent
4.69/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Modest head that quickly dissipates into a nice ring of lacing. Body is a brilliant orange, looking just as an IPA should.

Strong floral notes with pine resin and orange peel overtones. There is also a nice bready quality that I don't always get with IPA's this big due to the agressive nature of the style. This is what an IPA (or double, for that matter) should smell like.

Like drinking a bouquet, this lovely GI offering retains the flowery qualities from the nose and somehow transforms them into a taste. Strong citrus flavors resonate as well as an instant warming alcohol taste/feel. There is even a sweet butterscotch taste just before the restrained, piney finish.

The mouthfeel has an ever-so-slight syrupy feel to it, deflecting the praise of perfection by thismuch. Still, especially at a 9% ABV, this is a deadly drinkable beer. Great. Wait, hold on. Nope. As this warms up the alcohol is a little too apparent and it does get a bit sweet. Good, not great.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Received in a trade. It's been in the cellar for about a year.
Pours a hazy peach color with a thin whispy head that recedes faster than my hairline. Very little lacing.
Smells of fresh floral and citrus hop cones. Also a hint of peach adds a nice touch.
Taste like HOPS!!! Very nice lasting bitterness in the finish. A fresh hop flavor lingers on well after the pint is empty. Mmmm hop burps.
Mouthfeel is dry and somewhat chalky.
Oh I wish I had another bottle. 1 bottle left me craving more.

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Photo of Quaffer
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This beer looked amazing in the glass. It was a wonderful deep copper that really seemed to glow. It was crystal clear and had two thin streams of bubbles rising up to the top. The off-white, slightly orange head rose up easily to two fingers. It was dense and, while it slowly dissipated, clung strongly to the side of the glass. As the beer disappeared, thick rings and solid sheets of lace decorated the side of the glass. In a word, beautiful.

Smell: The hops on the nose were strong, citrusy, and spicy. Nice and juicy. However, they were not the only game in town. A nice malty backbone with a roasted, cracker-like quality provided a nice balance on the nose. Some lemon zest rose up to linger with the hops on occasion.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and very smooth with a soft carbonation developing as the beer lingered in the mouth. Slightly oily.

Taste: Sweet malt on the tip of the tongue was immediately joined by a huge amount of hops. Tons of both hops flavor and bitterness were present. They came across as piney, citrusy, and zesty. Very complex; always changing and transforming into something different. However, through all this, the malt stuck it out and provided a nice attempt at balance. The malt became slightly roasted and woody on the finish. In the aftertaste, the pine and citrus in the hops transformed into apricot and peach. The alcohol just danced along the edge of my awareness.

Hoppy, zesty, spicy, and malty. A wonderful beer in my opinion. What impressed me most was the complexity of the hop profile. A little pricey at $17.99 a four-pack, but definitely worth it on occasion.

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Photo of atsprings
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a slightly hazy orange with a great frothy head that was lasing and left a tremendous amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma was dominated by rustic earthy hops. The taste was very well balanced between and array of hops and a great deal of malt. The beer was medium bodied and not too syrupy for one that strong, the hop bitterness covered that nicely. This is a truly one of the best DIPAs I've had yet.

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Photo of sponberg
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
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 neonbrown82
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very good and very fresh IIPA. Looks beautiful in the glass. Pours very pale and clear with a great carbonation and a nice fluffy white head. Leaves a lovely layered lacing.

I love the smell. The hops are very bubblegummy and citric. The malt smell is sweet and matches the hops quite well. This is the smell of hop bliss (like fresh whole hops).

The taste is very well balanced. Has a huge bitterness, but the caramelized malty sweetness is quite formidable itself. Very similar to the nose but even more intense and blissfully blended.

The mouthfeel is intensely sweet before the swallow and almost ashy bitter in the swallow. The body is medium to thick, and not too syrupy. Moderately dry in the finish.

Drinkability is good, but at 9% I couldn't put down too many of these in a night. I will definitely be get more of this before our stock runs out.

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Photo of ChazMania
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, I paid hefty for one bottle here in So Cal, but to taste this stuff it's worth it. It has a very complex character and leaves no taste bud untapped. I sense a hint of mandarin orange-peel and a slight mango/pineapple twist. The hops are big and incredibly balanced. I would love to have this on a fresh tap.

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Imperial IPA from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.21 out of 5 based on 524 ratings.
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