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.

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Reviews: 330 | Ratings: 524
Photo of ale1
2.77/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

picked up a sixer at local grocer, served at around 60° poured into a pint glass
2-3" head with large bubbles , ok lacing , light amber colour

alright now down to the tasting , by nose possibly cascade hops ..dry hopped
it appears by the results that's ok if your in a rush and want to make a hopped beer however much better if done over time throught the wort boil 60 120 180 min's etc.
yea like Dogfish ipa' s ! this is not a real WOW IPA and wont purchase this one again. Another corprate blaaa ripoff brewer doing it as cheap as they can.

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Photo of mrfrancis
2.83/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear amber with a tight whitish mousse.

S: Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, citrus, garlic, white onion, and radish are present on the nose.

T: Notes of caramel, brown sugar, biscuit, bitter orange, lemon, lime, pine, unripened pineapple, parsnips, grapefruit, white onion, radish, and garlic are present on the palate. The finish is vegetal, fiery, and sticky with a combination of lemon, grapefruit, caramel, pine, white onion, and garlic flavors underscored by peppery, prickly alchol.

M: Medium-to-full in body, viscous, resinous, and sticky. Carbonation is spot on for the style, but alcohol presence is overwhelming. This thing kicks hard.

O: I'm really not sure what to make of this IIPA. It's definitely not what I expected and doesn't display what I generally look for in the style. The flavor is so harsh, funky, and vegetal that I initially thought that there had to be something wrong with the beer. I'm not sure where all of the hype is coming from. This one definitely is not for me.

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Photo of Dotcubed
3.15/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2007 Bottle that Had been in my beer closet.

Looks old. Brown orange, not alot of foam, fizz, or general signs of life. Some sediment on the bottom.

Think it's a dead bottle. Two years is a long time. Bottle says best consumed by 041208.

The little foam I got died. And I'm guessing this one died a year ago.
Smells mild. Malty, some faint citrus.

Made a complete transition to a bitter grapefruit peel malt beer.

Light and tangy. Surprising result from a lackluster opening.

medium body. Moderately drinkable.
Not quite completely dead.

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Photo of jegross2
3.2/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewing the now retired Goose Island Imperial IPA from Goose Island Brewing Company. This is the beer that got me first interested in craft beer many moons ago. It will always hold a special place in my liver.
Score: 81

2007 vintage bottle served in a "The Bruery" tulip and enjoyed on 03/23/12. This bottle is from the very last bottling Goose Island ever did of this beer.

Appearance: Pours a golden orange color that is slightly hazy. Not much information about the head at pour, since the 12 oz bottle was split between several of us. Seems to have decent lacing. 3.5/5

Smell: Honey, heavy barley malt, and stale hops. Lots of malt, to be frank. Surprisingly enough, there is still a light booziness in the nose. Moderate oxidation too. 3.5/5

Taste: Heavy doses of bitter barley malt and caramel. That's about it. At this point, the beer has turned into a straightforward English barleywine with some light acidic tartness on the back half. There is a lingering bitter barley malt finish. 3/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Oily mouthfeel. Bitter finish. 3.5/5

Overall: While this beer is a shell of its former self, it was pure nostalgia to get the rare chance to try the no longer produced beer that got me into the craft scene several years ago. Thank you so much DP34 for sharing this one with me!

Recommendation: You can skip this once-great beer at this point in its life cycle, but it's certainly not a drain pour of an Imperial IPA five years later.

Pairings: Provolone cheese.

Cost: I do not recall how much this beer cost back in the day, but I believe it was between $10 and $20 for a four pack. I think it also use to cost around $10 for a pint at the Clybourn brewpub.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.21/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber in color with about an inch of head forming on the pour. Smell is just a slight bit hoppy. I think this bottle may have just a bit of time on it. Flavor is mostly malty without any big, juicy hops. Very smooth and drinkable. I'll have to revisit.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.3/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

At the time of this review this beer is illogical on the "Top Beers - American Double / Imperial IPA" list on It does not belong at all.

Beer served in a snifter, on draft at Churchkey DC. Beer is amber and mostly clear with a tan off white head of small bubbles.

Aroma is malty, earthy, mildly piny, smells fine.

Tastes horrid, it is mildly solventy with this odd bitterness at the end that must be from grain, maybe almost smokey? I hate it. I will not have this again.

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Photo of RJUGA03
3.33/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It was a good beer. I wouldn't classify it as a beer worthy of it's price. (8.50/gobblet @ Hop Leaf-Uptown/Andersonville)
I was throughly pleased with the burbon county stout and thought that this might bring the same level of taste sensation to the plate, but for the first time in a very long time I was dissappointed with GI. I am a regular of your green labeld IPA and now know that that the limit as far as GI is concerned. Maybe GI needs to stick to it's cask aged stouts?

I felt that the beginning of the sip was good and much of it's finish was lack luster. Most Imperial IPA's either give you an extremely hoppy burst or a combination of sweet & hoppy finish and this beer neglected both accords.

They need to take notes on what's going on around them and as I like to call it "The Hop Revolution". A year or two ago this beer would have held all the high accolades, but today it falls short of them because the bar is raised. Sorry GI this time Northwest Indiana and Southeast Michigan have you beat.

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Photo of dar482
3.34/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I had this on tap at Top Hops in NYC. It comes in a clear yellowish color like many IPAs. The hops come slow and a bit flat. The malty slowness covers up the exciting brightness that I want in IPAs. It ends in a roundish aftertaste. It's decent, but after a while, it tasted almost oxidized, despite being fresh from the keg. I guess that's the characteristic of the beer.

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Photo of Floydster
3.35/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle acquired in a trade with pimpp, thanks for giving me the opportunity to try this beer

A-Golden orange, 1/2 inch white frothy head, above average retention, some small amounts of lacing

S-Seemed more malty than hoppy which is a problem, some grapefruit, green apple, apricot, faint pine scent

T-Big malt flavor, some orange and tangerine tastes, limited amounts of pine, big malt backbone, not very balanced, some caramel in the finish, got much sweeter as time went on, small amount of spice, brown sugar, too sweet overall, needed to be more bitter

M-Sweet mouthfeel, medium body, rich, tons of carbonation which helped this balance out the syrup feel

D-Could drink another bottle maybe, high ABV, heavy sweet taste, filling, goes down pretty easy because of balanced smoothness

Have been wanting to try this for a long time since I am a big fan of DIPAs and saw it on the top 100, honestly disappointed overall, much better ones here in Southern California in my opinion, would not trade for this again

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Photo of mizzoueng
3.35/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Extremly hazy and Orange in color. Poured in a Sam Adams glass (properly cleaned) and had minimal head. There is a small viel of head on top which produces some lacing.

S - I smell some malt, a hint of coffee (?), some vanilla, and centennial hops (that hoppy/flowery/dirty feet aroma). The overall aroma is mild and subdued. For an Impy IPA, I expect it to be more pronounced than this.

T - Lots and lots of citrus. A little spicey at the end. The aftertaste is pugnant, kind of like fresh young green onion. Hardly any malt flavor at all.

M - Watery, very bold, density of the beer leaves a majority of the flavors and bitters on the tounge and leaves a long lasting aftertaste.

D - Overall I would say this was an okay beer to try, but not worth the $5 I paid for the bottle.

I've had better (Hopslam, 90 Minute). The one I am drinking is a 2007 vintage, with age this beer would probably balance out very well, so if you have it in your cellar I woud let it age.

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Photo of Retail1LO
3.38/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured on draft into a 9 oz. snifter. Pours an extremely hazy amber hue with a single finger's width head that retreats quickly. The nose is dissapointingly tame. Just the slightest air of hops and citrus. The taste is bizarre as hell. This tastes like it's smoked. It's not horrible, but it's both unexpected and offputting. The mouthfeel is bitter with a quality that reenforces the smokiness. Overall, this just isn't my thing

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.38/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Growler. Pours a deep ruby brown, slightly cloudy, with a small white head. Aroma of citrus hops, some garlicky hops, and lots of sweet malt. Flavor is quite malty and sweet, a touch of acetone perhaps. Just a malt overload for me, very sticky and sweet.
7/4/7/3/14 (3.5/5)

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Photo of cproioi
3.48/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The pours an orange-yellow body with white sticky lacing, and carbonation present in the body. The smell is full of citrus ruby red grape fruit and hot alcohol. The taste is very similar to the aroma. With alcohol notes coming out more as it warms. The mouthfeel is full of sticky hops resin and hot fusal alcohol. It's a nice beer from a solid brewery.

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Photo of Cresant
3.52/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet glass. Bottled on 110305. Achieved a mild head. Body was cloudy orange. No lace remained but there was a coin of foam floating on the surface.

Smell was sugary citrus. Hops. Bread crust.

Taste was sweet. Hops flavor and moderate bitterness. I believe age has mellowed this one. A bit like a toned down Hopslam.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and mild/moderate carbonation. I will seek this one out again.

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Photo of bobhits
3.53/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 1

Best by march 31 07 so a bit "old" but an imperial ipa should age well enough.

appearance. Lots of bubbles, nice head that holds fairly well. A nice copper color that lets light through but is fairly hard to actually see though.

Smell. Very hoppy. Not nearly as strong as the bottle makes it out to be but that's all marketing.

Taste. Very well balanced malt flavor. The hops really aren't as over powering as I'd like. This reminds me a lot of 90 minute. They are a differnt type of swee though. There is a definate alchol flavor here as well.

Mouthfeel. Smooth, silky, wonderful

Drinkability. 20 bucks for a 4 pack? There's no way you'll keep downing these at those prices.

Over all it's a very good beer but the price is a joke.

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Photo of morimech
3.56/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best before 04/12/08. Pours a cloudy, golden orange with a thick 1 1/2 fingered white head. The head settles to a thick cap with a ring of lacing left at the top of the glass. Appears some hop particulate may be floating about.

The smell starts out with heavy citrus but that is short lived. It becomes more earthy with sweetness from the malt coming into the nose as it sets for a few minutes.

I was expecting more from the hops in the taste. Maybe reaching the end of its shelf life has resulted in a decay of the hop profile. There still is a hop bite but the malt has taken priority. Develops a citrus aftertaste that lingers. A medium body with seemily low carbonation.

A potent beer that may not be as good as it is fresh. Hopefully I will get a 2008 vintage a little fresher.

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Photo of largadeer
3.56/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from Fiver29 as an extra - thanks man!

Appearance: Hazy amber in color with an enormous frothy head. Excellent head retention and lace - this is a great looking beer.

Smell: Malty and fruity; mango, papaya and pineapple with a toffee undertone.

Taste & mouthfeel: Very sweet and fruity up front. Big flavors of mango and pineapple, candied peach and a hint of lemon. Full-bodied for the style, fuller than I normally like, but it somehow works here (thanks in part to the high carbonation). The finish is hoppy and bitter, but not overwhelmingly so - the malt flavor stacks up, making this drink almost like a barleywine.

Notes: This generally isn't my kind of IPA; I tend to like them light-bodied, dry and generously hopped. This is one of the few heavy, malty DIPAs that I've actually enjoyed. Recommended for fans of Dreadnaught and the like.

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Photo of SQNfan
3.56/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper in color this pours a 1/4" tight head. The nose immediately spells of lemon Pledge followed by citric hops and just a touch of caramel hops at the back of the nose. In the mouth it is dense and rich with the finish showing off the hoppy dryness though not bitterness. There is a noticable banana flavor in the midpalate that almost overwhelms the citrus which is strange for me in an Imperial IPA. Where this excels is with the balance between hops and malt.

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Photo of Kadonny
3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

So this was billed as rated "100" by the GI rep I was talking to at Capones during PBW. This was the only keg of this Imperial IPA that made it to Philly (supposedly). A must try.

Poured from tap into a tulip glass.

A: A medium orange color with a one finger white head. Nice glass lacing is left.

S: Sweetness is heavy with caramel and candy notes. This mixes with the fruity hops that are a bit earthy too and I'm getting some slight cat piss smell.

T: Citrus starts off along with some tropical fruit hop flavors. Grapefruit, mango, pineapple. Other flavors creep in after that with more garden notes of scallion, mint and some of that dreaded cat piss. Sweetness comes heavy and lasting with caramel, toffee and some candy notes. Finish stays sweet and the garden/scallion flavors return to finish slightly bitter.

M: Pretty full, coating and nice amount of alcohol. Slight bitterness retains.

O: A decent IIPA that was more on the sweet side, but it cannot live up to the great ones, nor can it even live up to the good ones. Totally disappointing.

I came with huge expectations based on prior reviews from years ago and left very disappointed. The garden hop flavors were off putting a bit. Perhaps back in 2007 (seems to be the last time they brewed this) it was a great IIPA, but today the IIPA bar has been raised by a huge amount and this one missed the cut. Not a bad beer, just nothing to remember. Darn.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, bought at Lone Hill, In Glendora, CA, 2006 edition,

A: Pours a nice, solid orange colour, with a lot of white head and lacing, it certainly looks the part of a great Double IPA.

S: Very hoppy, pine and citrus, some lemon and grapefruit, and definitely a relevant alcohol presence in the nose.

T: Full of hops and alcohol, very citrusy, the pine flavour is slight, but still there. Huge alcohol notes are there, adding a complex solvent flavour to the beer as the beer warms, but it is definitely not over the top.

M: Thick and resiny, oily, smooth, though at tad over-carbonated for my tastes.

D: A good double, didn't blow me away, but still a good beer, worthy of its high rankings, would definitely drink again if I could find it, especially if I'm in Chicago.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.63/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet.

Nice amber with 1 finger of white head. Good clarity and moderate carbonation.

Hops galore. Pine needles, grapefruit zest, lemon zest and numerous other zests. Thick caramel and some toffee.

Big resinous pine, grapefruit zest, lemon zest, orange zest and perhaps some tangerine and the smallest touch of peach. The malts make themselves known in the thickest of caramel and a good dose of toffee. Finishes with an ass kicking of bitter hops that are highly resinous, floral and spicy.

Medium-full bodied, oily, slick and warming.

This DIPA is all about resin and zests and has a rather caustic bitterness. Has a similar hop profile to something Stone would make along the lines of Ruination or Arrogant Bastard. However the malt also has a huge presence in this one. Yet, for some reason the malt and hops do not play well with each other and never strike a balance.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.63/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ok, so I got a 2007 "vintage" bottle of this from my local beer store at a really discounted rate. I was told, and already knew, that the hops flavor would be pretty much gone being that it has been sitting for 2 years now. But, nonetheless, I wanted to see how it would be.
Appearance: Poured a hued orange opaque color with good head
Smell: Barely noticeable hop smell, by far the malt backbone stood out
Taste: Following the smell, there was little hop flavor but the sweet malt flavor stood out. Again, I expected this to be the case
Mouthfeel: Good
Drinkability: Fairly strong beer but enjoyed.
I would really like to try this beer fresh and compare the two.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.65/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 16oz fill at a goose island event earlier today. enjoyed from my goose island wine glass.

a - brew poured a deep ipa orange with a thin head that was gone quick. lacing was fairly sticky although streaky.

s - fairly sweet and malty with a bit of a hop slap.

t - lots of honey, pretty big booze presence and a bitter finish. decidedly malty. the booziness gives it an almost bandaide flavoring.

m - boozy and bitter. full and rich.

o - overall i dug this one a bit more when i had the 3 oz pour but still glad to nab the tick. it is a pretty powerful IIPA but could use a bit more of the classic citric grapefruit flavorings on the taste. the booze is also a bit in your face.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.67/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting No? Pours a more copper color with a very hazy appearance. A light pour still provided a big white head that stayed for some time. Eventually hiding to the edge of the glass but not dissipating at all. Lots of sticky lace.

The nose is more balanced making think of more of an East coast IIPA. The malt is mostly grainy with some complex bready and biscuit notes. A touch of honey and big time solvent/alcohol notes. A bit of a deterrent for me. Some noticeable yeasty notes as well. The hops are more along the piney and earthy side. I picked up oxidation, but my wife did not.

The taste is more balanced towards the malt, but the hops are there as well. To start the malt is more complex than the nose indicated. Some bready and sweet caramel notes. Noticeable sugar and honey flavors. Finishes with a sweetness that is a bit off for IIPA. Big solvent notes the blend with the grapefruity hop flavors. Bitterness is strong but just short of balancing out the malt. Some mineral/earthy finish that is boardline metallic.

The body is big with a log of sweetness. Carbonation is high but helps emphasize the bitterness. Overall there are some really nice positives with the hops and malt, but some minor flaws really distract me from enjoying this beer.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle received from the very generous maximum12 in the Summer Beer BIF. This is the 2007 version. While I'm not a fan of aged IIPAs, I'm curious about it as I won't get to try this years release. Best by April 12 2009. Into my Duvel tulip

A: Decanting this carefully yields a brilliant orange colored beer with mild haze. There's a thin, dusty colored head that slowly recedes to a disk rather quickly, leaving some sticky lacework. Very pretty.

S: Barleywine-esque with a rich caramel malt aroma with some fruit character (figs, plums). Plenty of sweetness, this _smells_ thick. Hops have faded but some citrus notes with a good bit of juicy orange is present. All told, a good bit sweeter than I like but solid for a barleywine

T: On the palate, there's a ton of sweetness from the malt as well as a citrus sweetness from the hops. The hop flavor is definitely muted and leans heavily on the malt. While the malt is big enough, it has no real complexity and is fairly straight forward. There's a mild bite of pine before alcohol appears on the finish.

M: Big in body with a palate coating sweetness, it isn't terribly appealing. The lower level of carbonation, however, does work and the finish, while sweet for a DIPA, is good for a barleywine.

D: I really need to try this fresh but this is one of the sweeter DIPAs out there

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