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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 524 |  Reviews: 330
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 jdoncbus
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-Thanks to Rusty Diamond-

Poured an amber-gold into a tulip glass. Low carbonation produces a thin head and leaves a polka-dot lacing effect with a nice, translucent glaze.

Nose is a raisin, caramel-malt accompanied with piney hops. Additional sour notes.

The oily beverage hits the palate with a robust, toasted malt earthiness that brings out some plum, fig and brown sugar. It rounds out nicely with a firm pine, sour-citrus blend. Mouth is left oily and tart while throat feels a mild warmth pass by.

A great way to start off the Blizzard of '08 in Central Ohio; thanks again to Rusty Diamond for the hook up. GI did a great job on this one and look forward to more in the future.

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

2005 vintage, served at Blind Tiger's Night of the Imperials.

A: Amber color with minimal head. Some lacing remains on the glass.

S: Strong scent of hops with a citrus zing cutting it. Malts can also be detected in the background.

T: A really good balance of hops, citrus, and malts. It's certainly hoppy but the citrus and malts cut the hoppiness and creates a remarkable flavor.

M: Medium body with a good amount of carbonation to balance the body. It's sweet and citrusy at the beginning but there's a great sharp bitterness at the end.

D: It's hoppy but not so much that I couldn't drink another one. The base beer has such great flavor that makes it drinkable. The high ABV however would deter me from drinking more than a second.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007. Poured from bottle into cervoise.
A: Pours a cloudy burnt orange with nice light tan head.
S: Distinct Goose Island Reserve aroma (similar to Matilda, Demolition)...nice mix of hops and malt. Citrus notes and caramel.
T: Intially the malt hits, then slowly the citrus hops take over. And a slight bitter bite from the hops starts to take over the further you get into this one. Hint of pine too. A perfectly balanced brew.
M: Actually quite smooth...even with the high hops. Medium body.
D: Surprisingly drinkable considering the ABV. Reminds me of Surly's Furious, but with more malt and less complex. An excellent double IPA...another nice offering from Goose Island Reserve!

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to autumnaldave for another great extra!

12oz bottle with a best by date of 4/12/08, my first offering from Goose Island and it's a good one

Pours a cloudy golden/amber/orange color with a good size head that leaves some nice patchy lacing.

Smell is predominately piney hops with a good citrus edge, not much malt aroma considering how balanced this beer is.

Taste is quite creamy for a DIPA, very creamy right off the bat actually, taste has a decent hop kick but is well balanced as it's not overwhelming, good malt backing. The alcohol is very well hidden in this one.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
4.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle. 2007 Vintage. Served in a Chalice.
Pours a hazy reddish-gold with a fine bubbled head. Fantastic aroma of piney, resiny hops. Silky mouthfeel, not as bitter as the aroma would suggest. Solid malt backbone with an underlying sweetness, but far from cloying. Long finish of hop bitterness.
Nice balance considering the style.

Hopheads will love this one. A little overpriced IMO.

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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 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 botham
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip. pours a wonderfully hazy apricot-orange color with a sizable head that is off-white orange and stays around for a few minutes. head is frothy and tight with moderate lacings.

aroma is bold on the spiced hops, with a distinct citrus base. a grainy character looms below the hops as well, serving to balance the brew in the nose.

taste is hoppy up front, with the same grainy and fruity characteristics. in back and upon finish, the brew is wonderfully hoppy, with a distinct smoothness that provides a mellow character, despite the overly hopped profile.

mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a semi-dry mouthfeel and bitter aftertaste. just what a good IPA should be. what is intriguing here is the lack of an alcoholic presence. well covered up by Goose Island.

a distinct smoothness and a wonderful covering of a 9% APV label, this brew defines what a good imperial IPA should be: wonderfully complex and suprisingly drinkable (oh yeah, tons of hops as well). cheers to Goose Island for refining an otherwise hop-slammed brew!

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Photo of ncvbc
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber orange, somewhat murky with a nice head that leaves some decent lacing down the glass. Smell is big and packed with hops and malts. Not a hops showcase, more of a balancing act with this one. Taste is more evidence of this. Big, juicy grapefruit hops. Strong and citrusy with plenty of malt backing it. Resinous and oily type mouthfeel that has a light tingle but near creamy texture. Very drinkable balanced brew. Glad I got to finally try this more fresh.

Thanks to brandoman63 for the extra!

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Photo of Lothore
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a sunset orange color with a nice frothy head that fades away with very little lacing.

S- Smell is sweet and malty with a strong hop backbone. Very similar to the unearthly ipa I had a couple nights ago.

T- Taste is zesty, huge on the malt, mixed citrus fruits, predominently orange with a nice hop background. Mellow for a DIPA and I like it.

M- Medium viscosity, a bit low on the carbonation.

D- Another extremely drinkable DIPA, the 9 percent definitely doesn't show.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a orange-ish/ yellow color with a tan head. In the aroma, grapefruity citrus hops. In the taste, dry grapefruity, citrus hops. A mainly smooth with a small bitterness in the mouthfeel and a semi dry grapefruity hop in ht e aftertaste. Big on hops and actually a quite light body.

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

2007 version

Dark orange color with minimal head. Powerful grapefruit citus hop odor. You know this is a strong IIPA just by the smell. Taste does showcase the citrus and pine hops, with some malt to balance it out, but leave no doubt this is about the hop. Feels thick and rich on the palate with proper levels of CO2, leaves a clean finish.
A good beer, not my favorite but where it is supposed to be. This is the type of IIPA that could give you heartburn if you are not used to the strong hops.

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

Pours amber with a head that fades quickly to a thin cap and leaves some nice lacing. Aromas of fruity sweet grapefruit- like Fresca, at the beginning. Some cereal aromas toward the end, but finishes with a nice citrusy bitterness. The taste is similar. Very well balanced between grapefruity hops and sweet caramel malt. Piney and spicy hop flavors emerge at the finish. Very clean for all the big flavors swimming around. Mouthfeel is big and creamy, and overall this is quite delicious.One of the more balanced double IPAs while still having a nice hop bite.

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

I always look for the high gravity slections from goose island this one beeing no exception. I poured this 2007 vintage in to a wine glass form a 120z bottle producing a helthy white head and a hazy amber body. The resiny hop bouquet was amazing with notes of vanilla citrus and coconuts. Bit of a lower carbonation with a wonerful hoppy mouthfeel. This beer is termoundly complixed a was a joy to savor. I siped on this one for ever.

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Photo of Scoobydank
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Two finger bright froathy white head. The color itself is a clean amber.
S: Slight sweet apricot smell that gives way o a pungent piney hop smell.
T:Sweet brown sugar. The piney hops are present but disapear quickly. Wiat what is this, they reapear once the brown sugar sweetness goes away a bit.
M: Big rich fizzy feel
D: Pretty good. Nothing really over powering on the either side sweetness/bitterness. Very complete and balanced.

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Photo of flexabull
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got 2 bottles recently, one courtesy of shaebs99 (2006) and the other from todd1 (2007). Both were throw ins from recent trades, thanks guys!

This is from the 2007 bottle. (I prefer my IPA as fresh as can be.)

Pours a slightly hazy, bright gold color, with a decent white head.

Aromas are pretty potent. Lots of citrus, mostly grapefruit, and a touch of hard candies.

Taste is surprisingly sweet. Candied sugars, some malt creaminess, and some tart grapefruit flavors. Finish has a dry flavor, crisp, and with a mineral bitter hop bite. Nice beer... a bit different than others in the style, but still tasty.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Seems a bit too prickly from the carbonation. Not bad though.

Drinkability is good. This is a pretty nice Double IPA. Not my favorite in the style, but it's still quite good. And I would never turn a bottle of this down. Interesting, and well worth a try.

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Photo of tpd975
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a wonderful golden color with a nice big bubbly head. This is one thick brew with ample carbonation. One swirl of the glass and the head reappears. As the contents disappear there is some lacing left behind.

S: Nice floral aroma bounding with a wonderful amount of sweetness. This is a really complex smelling beer. Tons of sweet malts right up front with touches of rosewater and even a hint of lavander? Touches of pine sap can be noted as can hints of pungent grapefruit rind.

T: Wow very nice. This one is not over the top in any way. The malt used in this beer is subpurb. I have mentioned malt backbone in so many previous reviews, but this beer is the definition of malt backbone. Tons of sweet malt right from the start. Apricot and Pineapple come at you in such a wonderful way. Then the hops are introduced. The bottle says they use Simcoe and Cascade along with Tettnang. Simcoe and Cascade are two of my favorites and their grapefruit qualitites real shine in this beer. The hops are not over the top, they are almost subtle when balanced by the hops making this the most drinkable DIPA I have ever had.

M: Nice and thick. This is one smooth beer that seems to stick to the tongue and throat.

D: I declare it the most drinable DIPA in the world. If any DIPA should be in a bomber this is the one.

Overall: Tons of flavor and the balance is off the scale. It is a real enjoyable beer wish I had purchased more than a 4 pack.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

had this on-tap at the long bar. pours a deep golden copper with nice clarity and a creamy white head/lacing. sweet bready malts and resiny citrus dominate the nose. taste is as expected, big sweet malts and a big hop bitterness to balance. nice mouthfeel with some carbonation coming through this big beer. drinkability suffers only due to the high abv. my favorite offering yet from goose island although quite pricey, so i'd recommend trying it on-tap first.

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Photo of Monsone
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Amber orange color with a nice white head. Decent lace

S - Big hop aroma. Citrus smells are big. Lots of grapefruit. Carmel malt hangin around in there too.

T - Nicely balanced. Big hop flavors of grapefruit and a little pine. Malt backbone is present keeping everything in check. Great tasting beer.

M - Medium bodied and smooth. Slight carbo.

D - Price of this beer gives it a slight hit. At $20 a four pack it does a number on the wallet along with the mouth.

Overall, just a great IIPA. Great big hop flavor without kicking you in the face. Nicely balanced. Definately one of the top IIPAs out there.

Overall: You can see my comments above. This paired with a nice Cabrales clue cheese was an intense and awesome night.

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Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.59/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy orange amber in color with a small layer of fine bubbled foam. Aroma grapefruit hops and plenty of sweet malt. Taste is true to the aroma, a big mouthful of sweet malt with pine and fruit along side for balance. Finishes with a slight dryness. Mouthfeel is full and carbonation is good. Highly drinkable, 12 oz goes way too fast

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

Pours auburn with a slight haze. Tight off-white head. Juicy hoppy aroma. Grapefruit, malt, hints of tropical fruit and some spiciness. The mouthfeel is full-bodied with ample carbonation. Assertive piney hoppiness starts things off. Grapefruit flavor follows. The spiciness from the hops blends into a nice malt backbone. Some fruitiness emerges toward the back.

I'd have to say this one one of the more enjoyable and balanced Imperial IPAs that I've had. Definitely worth seeking out and buying again.

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

2007 Bottling

This beer poured a light amber colour with a dense fluffy head that settled into a firm and sticky lace. The description on the bottle says you can smell the hops from a yard away. I did not find that to be the case, but the aroma is pretty intense. Smells like citrus and pine. The flavour is big on hops, as it should be with this style. Fruity pineapples and resinous pinecones dominate. It also has an enormous, toffe like, crystal malt flavour to supports all those wonderfull hops. Maybe I have become a bit desensitized, but I found the hop bitterness to be smooth and mellow. Not that I mind. I like an understated bitterness in an IPA as much as like a bold, agrressive bitterness. The thing that supprised me most about this beer is it smoothness. I would call it creamy. One might attribute this creamy sensation to the viscosity lent by the boat load of hops and the residual sugar from the crystal malts . The abundance of hops and sweet malt character really hide this beers strength. I would never have guessed it to be 9% ABV. Big defines this beer; big hops, big malts and big pleasure.

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Photo of dsigmon
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a copper color with a two finger head which dissapears leaving a relatively decent amount of lacing in my Dogfish glass.

S: Smells very citrusy with grapefruit and orange undertones.

T: Wonderfully hopped beer thats wonderfully balanced. At the beginning you most certainly notice the malts followed with some amazingly yummy fruit that matches the smell. Definitely not a hop bomb but you will know they are there at the end with some slight bitterness.

M: Very clean and fresh with some light carbonation. Very good mouthfeel, not thin at all nor dry. Smooth.

D: Wonderfully drinkable beer. I would compare this to something in the line of 90 Minute. Very well rounded and not overwhelmed by hops.

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