Imperial IPA | Goose Island Beer Co.

330 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 330 | Ratings: 523
Photo of barczar
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy light golden color with a solid ivory head that lingers, but leaves thick sheets of lacing when it dissipates.

Aroma is heavily citrus, reminiscent of a fruit salad, with grapefruit, orange, lemon, and pineapple opening the profile. There's an underlying dankness and a fairly strong menthol presence. A hint of bready malt ties the hops together.

Alcohol and menthol dominate the flavor early, with heavy grapefruit, pine, and perfumey floral hops carrying into a fairly bitter, peppery finish. Strange as it sounds, there's a seaweed note present. Phenols underlie the entire profile.

Body is moderate, with fairly high carbonation, and significant alcohol warmth.

Overall, a very hop dominant dipa. Certainly a palate wrecker, but not in an unwelcome way. Alcohol is a bit evident, and the menthol is unfamiliar territory for me in a brew. Don't get me wrong, it's a good beer, but I think it's overrated. The phenolic, rubbery character is too overwhelming.

 987 characters

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.

 1,424 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at City Tap House for Philly Beer Week 2012

Goose Island DIPA goes into the tulip glass looking a hazy orange with some gold trimmings in between, on par for a DIPA from out mid- west. The head on this is magnificent, it really looks magical. It is a bright off white color with foamy bubbly appearance. It condenses into a creamy head with a rocky appearance. Billowy.

Smells leap out with vigor including a plethora of hop juice and sweet malts backing that huge hop bill. Getting a load of grapefruit with slight tangerine/orange and some papaya to go along. some real pine up in here. Citrusy but also sweet smelling. You can just smell the sweet malt backing, it does take 2nd place though. No sign of alcohol.

While very citrusy in taste this does contain some of those piney tastes often found in west coast DIPA's (and Troegs). A great mix of hops and malts. Citrus squeezed grapefruit with some papaya and mango although the mango is quite light. Sweet malt with semi caramel. The sweetness is big but not cloying. Not really all that bittering. A touch of alc. in the finish, small potatoes though. Great stuff.

The body is above medium with a semi coating feel that goes away in time. Im not bombarded by a bittering feel more like hop juice coating the mouth. I would not mind just a bit more bitterness, it ain't no thang. This is carbed fine and ample but it sort of gets lost under the body, not overly crisp. My tounge does not hurt after this. I could drink more beer after this and actually taste it, not a palate destroyer.

All in all this is a great DIPA. I could drink a bunch of this and I felt the effects with 9.0% and I would do it again. Im on the prowl for more of this, Great stuff.

 1,722 characters

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.

 1,711 characters

Photo of Yimosan
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle / Tulip Glass.

A: Hazy, burnt orange almost like apple cider. The head was creamy, off white and a bit sticky. Noticed some sediment as I was pouring it.

S: Malt and more malt. I get the smell of hops as if they had been caramelized in brown sugar; not piney or citric at all. It also smells like Barley-wine and Belgian yeasts. Sherry and muscat grapes hints come across as it warms up in the glass.

T: Again tons of malt up front. The hops are not bitter at all, they are very well balanced. This beer is more Barley-wine than IPA IMO. I also get notes of Sherry and muscat grape in the palate.

M: Creamy and bubbly. Medium bodied.

D: Very drinkable considering the age of this beer (2007). Would have liked to have had this beer fresh and compare the complexity. The alcohol is a bit too warming for my taste, but the sweetness of it makes this a sipping after dinner beer, IMO.

Goose Island needs to bring this beer out of retirement!!


 965 characters

Photo of hoppymcgee
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 2007 vintage 12oz. bottle into an Ommegang tulip glass.

A: Hazy, yellow-orange color with decent head retention for a DIPA of this age.

S: Burnt newspaper, musty, and some citrus - notably grapefruit and lemon.

T: Light notes of caramel and toffee are followed by a slight coffee flavor. Oddly enough I get a taste of butternut squash in the middle. Somewhere lurking in the background are the fruity and piny notes of this original DIPA. There is also a distinct flavor of peach too. Complex - I wish I knew how this tasted fresh for a comparison.

M: Pretty nice. The carbonation really held up and the age did not turn this beer into water.

D: This mellowed out nicely. Slightly bitter but above average drinkability for 9% ABV.

Overall, this beer definitely has characteristics of a barleywine at this point. I did enjoy it and it still is worth seeking out if you can get your hands on a properly stored bottle.

 935 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.9/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. 2007 Vintage. Many thanks to kstrickler for this bottle!

(A)- Pours a cloudy caramel amber color that produced a frothy off-white head with some good retention behind it. Its leaving behind bits of webbing as it dissipates.

(S)- Toasty caramel-like pine & lemon. Bits of butterscotch & toffee.

(T)- Dry pine that turns to wet wood. Slightly sweet with caramel & toffee. Some bits of pineapple & lemon in there.

(M)- A good carbonation level with a surprising balance to it despite its bottle age. Still has some good hop presence to it, but with a big malt background. Begins to taste burnt & faded with only a few sips left.

(D)- Very surprising despite its age. Still drinkable & enjoyable, but clearly close to being too old. Very impressed & surprised how this has stood the test of time.

 842 characters

Photo of koopa
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8oz pour sampled at the Pony Bar who listed this one at 11% abv for some reason.

Appearance: Electric / neon yellow with orange hues. About 1.5 finger white crown that shows some retention and lace.

Smell: loads of citrus and floral hops, some pine and a bready malt. Nice!

Taste: Same as nose. Pineapple, Grapefruit, Grass, Flowers, bready malt, a touch of sweetness and a touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Decent carbonation and a medium body that is a touch chewy.

Drinkability: The sample I had did drink like 11% abv....a pleasant sipper in my book.

 554 characters

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.

 550 characters

Photo of Casey10
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aquired as a extra from a awesome trader. This is close to a DFH 90 in some ways but at the same time I find that I have not had anything quite like this IPA, really nice.

A - cloudy golden brown with small head that really laces the side of the glass.

S - really smell the roasted malts with this one.

T - tart, malty, really resin almost a chocolate like taste that grows on you as you are drinking this one.

M - Tingiling feeling that stays with you exscpecially on the tounge.

D - Wish this was something I could find in Maine. I would search this out to have more, does a great job at masking the 9% and was a pleasure trying.

 637 characters

Photo of bikencycle
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007 vintage poured from a bottle into a hamms glass

A: pours an orange yellow hue with a little bit of head

S: hops and citrus, possibly honey

T: a good balance of hops and sweetness

M: a bit creamy

D: very drinkable, to me this seems similar to hopslam

 260 characters

Photo of rtepiak
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a 2007 had in 2009

a rather yeasty brew with a bready nose of wood pulp... paper glue like and not really established woody character. still quite hoppy none the less. with some bitterness to it that has lemon and some apple like quality but not much. the earthiness expected by the wood pulp falls a bit short as the malt doesn't have an earth quality to coincide with the bitterness. good but not as great as i was expecting. definitely worth a try though.

 459 characters

Photo of Atricapilla
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Lightly fizzy and hazy orange in color.

Aroma: Very hoppy, lots of pine with some citrus.

Taste: Again, lots of pine with hints of citrus, primarily grapefruit. Well balanced, dry but not overly so. Slightly resinous, but the balancing of the flavors washes it away.

 280 characters

Photo of aggiearcher13
4.37/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had it on Saturday at el Bait Shop in Des Moines.

A: Dark orange, hazy, about a quarter inch of off-white head. Excellent lacing.

S: Just about every descriptor for hops you can come up with. It's quite a great aroma, it's spicy, piney, citrusy. It really hits you in the nose.

T: Bitter, piney and spicey, all balanced by the sweetness of the malt. Very very good.

M: Great body, it's hefty but kept a little lighter by the carbonation.

D: ABV keeps the drinkability down a bit, but overall it's quite good.

 514 characters

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a growler into a nonic pint glass. This ale appears a hazy bright orange color with about an inch of dense, lingering, off white foam. Aromas and flavors are of tropical mangoes, oranges, medium toasted grain, sweet malt, a hint of peach, and plenty of caramel. A few notches better than medium bodied with adequate carbonation considering the serving type. Good stuff.

 381 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Goose Island Clybourn (Chicago, IL) on 4/24/09. 12 oz pour served in a tulip glass.

Pours a hazy apricot orange color that is topped with a 1/2 finger of creamy eggshell colored foam. Retains with a smooth and creamy look that drenches the sides of the glass with a rich cascade of lacing. The aroma on this is what sets this part as one of thee best Midwest DIPAs. This is just LUSH smelling with tropical fruits. Grapefruit, mango, and apricots. It's so in your face, that you don't even realize at first just how floral, spicy, and resinous the aroma is a well. There is also a thick underlying layer of bread, caramel, and some light heat that rounds out this quite awesome bouqet.

Luckily, the taste keeps up the pace but this time it's the hops that show themselves with a forceful bitterness that possesses a spicy and stickily resinous quality to it. The boldness of the hops is eventuall tempered and extremely well balanced by that same lush tropical fruit character and a beefy backbone of caramel sweetness and toasted grains. The fruit mixes with the malts to create a sharp tang that nicely evens out all of that sharp bitterness. Finishes warm and spicy with a lingering bitterness. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a hefty feel to it but the carbonation itself has a softness to it that keeps things flowing. The alcohol presence keeps the drinkibility of this in check for me but the hugeness of the flavors help distract from it for the most part.

Wow, just wow. This is just a fantastic DIPA and it's easily up there in my top 3 for the style in the Midwest area. I had only previously had this in the bottle (and it was an older one at that) and loved it back then. On tap, this is just stunning. Man, I hope they choose to bottle this again, as I'd be all over some freshies of this.

 1,820 characters

Photo of brow1901
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

 972 characters

Photo of dukedevil0
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the wrigleyville brewpub.

A: pours an orange yellow hue with white bubbly head that reduces but leaves a very generous amount of lacing

S: smells like sweet hops and citrus but slightly muted

T: just like the smell but super well balanced

M: the most creamy dipa I've had, almost too much

D: very drinkable, the super creaminess and abv are the only things keeping this from a 5

 393 characters

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.

 663 characters

Photo of Jerico
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler filled at New Beer in NYC, into my Westy goblet.

A - slightly opaque orange color. Small bubbly head, but it doesn't fade very quickly. Looks tasty.

S - hoppy, of course! But for me it is mild, a little bit of apricot type of fruit but mellow.

T/M/D - much more alive than I expected from the smell. In fact it is delicious! The hoppy bite is cut nicely with a citrusy, fruity sweetness amid a touch of carbonation. Very nicely balanced flavors. It leaves a bit of a pleasant aftertaste as well where the alcohol gives a bit of warmth. Yum.

 565 characters

Photo of SaucyA
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

$5 pint at Ashley's. Notes on the back of Mapquest directions from Jolly Pumpkin.

A - Rather hazy amber/brown in muted lighting. Bronze twinges. White head that quickly dissapates. Looks quite malty. Leaves a ton of lacing.

S - Slight cat pee. Astrigent hops, marijuana. Lots of citrus. Good despite the cat pee nuances.

T - Quite sweet throughout, tho it's apparent by the color that this was gonna be on the maltier side of things. Finishes nice and hoppy, and still maintains a good balance throughout the drink. As big as it is, it's pretty tasty... and the ABV is nowhere to be found. It's going well with my lunch :D

M - Nice carbonation and medium/thick bodied.

D - I'm really happy with this brew and could easily drink another.

Notes: Huzzah! Five dollars for a pint of this?! Nice!

 797 characters

Photo of jpalarchio
4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been saving these up for a little while, now is as good as time as any to drink them.

Pours a cloudy orange color with a decent amount of head. Smells pine or apricot like, very strong smells and quite the deviation from all the stouts I've been sampling of late.

The taste really backs up the smell; reminds me how much I love a good IPA.

At 9% abv, the alcohol is well hidden.

Good beer, mighty tasty. More than two of these might put you in a hop coma, but some risks are worth taking.

 492 characters

Photo of KI9A
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: On tap, into an goblet. Hazy orange. Nice head, some lacing. Looks the part of something amazing.

S: Sweet, fruity, malty, hoppy. Smells the part.

T: Wow. I was ready for a hop-bomb of sorts, but, was surprised by the amount of malt detected. Sugary fruits, orange, sweetend grapefruit, pears, floral hops.

M: Clean for a somewhat complex beer. Makes room for another taste, almost a quaff!

D: ABV well hidden, almost too well. I think I overpaid for the beer, was $12 for what was either an 8 or 10 oz pour. But, wow, what a beer.

 539 characters

Photo of rhinos00
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap @ Chappy's. Served in a 8 oz. snifter.

A- Pours a dark, cloudy orange. Solid two fingers width of white head. Plenty of lacing to go around as the beer is consumed.

S- While there was plenty of piney hops in the aroma, it was dominated by a candied fruit scent that just amplified as the beer warmed. Reminded me a lot of pineapples, oranges and various other fruits.

T- The fruity hops flavor was definitely there, but was more subtle than expected. There was a big malt presence in this one, may be more than I would have preferred. The beer finished with a nice malty, pine bitterness.

M- Medium bodied with some carbonation.

D- While I really like this beer, the huge malt presence and the subtle effect of the hops sort of dulled down the beer for me. It still goes down smooth and tastes great.

Overall, really glad to have tried this one. Is it worth the $7 for an 8 oz. pour...probably not. But still, a nice quality DIPA.

 951 characters

Photo of kels
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks so much to abankovich & The Catskeller on the University of Cincinnati campus for providing great craft beer in Cincy. I had this on tap this past weekend.

Appearance: Pours hazy gold-apricot with lightly detectable carbonation and a short, light white head. Head retains at a skim, leaving behind light lacing.

Smell: Very subtle and nice. Lemony and grass aromas that aren't too overwhelmingly bitter, surprisingly.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Really nicely and surprisingly balanced for such a big beer. Sweet, bright, lemony citrus meets slight pine notes and a sweet, caramelly maltiness. The feel is very bright and full, and the aftertaste is drying and satisfying.

Drinkability: Pretty high for the style - in fact, I'm liking this best of all the DIPAs I've tried lately.

 783 characters

Imperial IPA from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.21 out of 5 based on 523 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.