Imperial IPA | Goose Island Beer Co.

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Imperial IPAImperial IPA
524 Ratings
Imperial IPAImperial IPA

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

Style: American 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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 524 |  Reviews: 330
Photo of lightindarkness
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 release

A – Orange/amber in color. Poured with a decent head that diminished somewhat quickly, leaving very little lace. A fairly consistent rate of carbonation release around the glass.

S – Smells very fruity, very big. A lot of peach,pineapple, and citrus are pronounced on the nose, along with some mild citrus and pine. Hidden in the sweetness is a mild bready yeast scent.

T – Great malt characteristics up front. The taste begins with strong malt, then a lot of grapefruit, pineapple and hops. Some floral tastes are definitely present, rose and peony. Very bitter without an overwhelming hoppy slam (don't underestimate the hops) at the finish. Finishes with a good deal of citrus, followed by increasing bitterness that settles to a yeasty softness. A fairly balanced IIPA, with respectful amounts of malt to balance the bitter hops. Not too syrupy sweet despite the fruitiness.

M – A smooth and appealing beer. Appropriate bitterness to the palate. I actually think this beer has a great mouthfeel. Very little alcohol detection, despite the high alcohol content. Good body, not too dry. Even with the continued carbonation release, the mouthfeel is not particularly carbonated, compensated for by the overall smooth consistency of the beer.

D – A pretty drinkable beer, all things considered. For the high alcohol and high hops, it is smooth and pretty well rounded.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.87/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried the 2006 and the 2007 versions side by side to do a little comparing.

The 2006 appears much hazier than the 2007, same color, just cloudier.

Good grief. The 2006 is a total malt bomb. Disappointing there. It ended up as drain pour after 2 sips. Way too much malt for an Imperial. The hop presence is totally gone in this. Tastes like a second-rate doppelbock.

Now the 2007 is a different animal altogether and that's what I'm rating.

This baby is hoppy as all get out. Smells and tastes just like a grapefruit with the slightest hint of a malt base to it. Very quality lIPA.

Not my favorite. That honor goes to either Ruination or the DFH 90. That is subject to change since I'm scheduled to pick up some Dreadnaught on Friday but as of right now, this is a great little beer.

Can't get it in Tn. so I have to drive to Kentucky to get it. It's worth the 3 hour trip.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Goose Island- Imperial IPA

Thanks to Pimpp for this 1.

A- Golden copper orange with a decent frothy heavy lacing head.
S- Sweet pine hops with a bitter citrus aroma.
T- Thick oily pine hops, heavily dosed sugar caramel malt, and sweet lemon and grapefruit rind.
M- Sweet and oily hops, sweet malt, and a vaporous varnish-like alc. finish.

Overall- Potent! This stuff could cause trouble. Good, but I couldn't drink more than 2 before toning my self down.

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Photo of DavidEddie
4.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 release. Best before 04 12 08.

Copper in appearance. Nice looking white head receeds to some lacing. Smells of big sweet malt, tropical fruit, grapefruit, and a whiff of alcohol. Taste as it smells, but more potent. Strong flavors of bitter citrus hops, pine, and sweet grainy malts. Some alcohol warming after each sip. Not harsh in anyway. Mouth feel is medium bodied with some oily stickiness. Overall drinkability is fantastic. Truly one of my favorite IIPA’s. Goes well with a nice piece of cheese. Recommended!

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

This Imperial IPA has a clear copper color and an in-your-face aroma that will greet you before you open the bottle. It's diminutive head settles down quickly to an inviting overture of fragrant citrus pine and floral notes that you could find in the dark. The first delectable swill is sweet bitter-sweet grapefruit and unripe mango with herbal nettles and a little banana funk as the beer's high ABV reacts to the palate. The rest is ambrosia with huge hop flavors defined on many levels that finish again with citrus and pine. Though this brew has very high ratings and is among the best in it's class, it's limited availability and high price only make it a temporary, albeit better alternate for Bell's Two Hearted Ale which has, IMO, all of the same positive characteristics. Enjoy this Goose Island DIPA if and when you can get it. Outstanding!

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

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

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Photo of
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle 2007 version

Deep, clear gold color. Modest, off-white head. Leggy, nice lacing as well.

Grapefruit and pine come out as soon as you open the bottle. Bottle claims you can smell the hops from a yard away, but it was really only a couple of feet...Hard to characterize sweetness - bubblegum? bananas? Caramel. Hint of alcohol. Earthiness.

Taste yields a big ol' pile of hops. Grapefruit, grass and pine. Bubblegum again, or something sweet. Melon maybe? Not really wild about it, whatever it is. Grapefruit and pine hit you first, grass comes along more in the finish and aftertaste. Some caramel and peaches in there.

Medium + body. Medium + carbonation. Could decrease the carbonation a bit was my initial thought, but as I drank it seemed to smooth out and yield a creamy sort of mouthfeel. Quite dry! Alcohol warming hits hard and fast, but you sure can't find it in the taste.

A fine DIPA. Still not stunned by it, and I think I enjoyed last year's edition more. Wouldn't hesitate to have another, though. Good thing since I bought a 4 pack...

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Photo of waldoiverson
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance - orangy red with a pretty small head
smell - you can smell the hops and this is a good thing. getting the nose into the glass is close to the smell you get from an empty bag of hop pellets. Again, this is a good thing!
taste - grapefruit but rounded by the malt. the malt tries to get into the game but it plays second fiddle. not as dry as i expected.
mouthfeel - smooth in the mouth with a tinge of bitter dryness on the back
drinkability - very drinkable but probably dangerous to your sobriety...this is a good beer

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

A: Beatiful sunny orange colr with a hint of rust. A fingers worth of head that fades as the beer warms.

S: You can smell this one from a few step away. Just what you'd expect grapfruit ans citrus hops with some caramely malt and slight alochol.

T: Follws the the aroma. What surprised me about this beer was the balance. Yes, it's a DIPA, and yes it has loads of hops, but they are kept wonderfully in check by the malt and the alcohol with neither one dominating. This, Dreadnaught and Yulesmith are to me the top of the heap in IPA's This and the bourbon county stout are by far the top of the line for Goose.

M: Nice medium body, silky smooth, low carbonation.

D: High for a DIPA with 9% abv.

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 brewcrew76
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2007 vintage - Thanks to Autumnaldave for sharing this one fresh.

A - Clear bright copper orange with a thin head and sticky lacing.

S - Big piney, citrus resiny hops. A sweet fruitiness reminds me of fruity pebbles as a kid.Some caramel in the background.

T - Huge citrus and grapefruit with bitter piney hops and a slight hint of sweet caramel trying to balance this one out. The resiny hops dominate with great flavor and biting bitterness.

M - Medium body with a smooth crispness and a slight touch of slick syrupy hops.

D - This beer is great fresh and slightly better on tap. I have had previous years batches after a month or two and the 2007 version fresh is a top notch DIPA.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this one in a trade with autumnaldave. Thanks Dave!

This is the 2007 edition, best by 041208 and it pours a clear gold with a nice 2 finger head of foam that settles down to a 1/2" layer further into the session. Lots of nice lacing to be had here.

The smell is a wonderful nose of floral hoppiness along with a touch of spice.

The taste is hoppy to the max. Lots of floral and some grapefruit are tickling my taste buds. There's some malt character in the background to somewhat balance things out but this fresh bottle really is all about the hops. Tasty son of a gun. It has a medium mouthfeel and the carbonation is nice and lightly done. It finishes very florally with just the smallest of touches of caramel malt. Yummy. And...the alcohol is hidden pretty well so I'd say this is quite drinkable.

I reviewed a 2006 version that was slightly past its best by last year and the hop character was quite subdued compared to this. Either way, you get a top quality DIPA but I defintely prefer the fresher sample. Thanks again, Dave!

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

A: Pours a bold, clear copper with a nice two finger head of foam. Lots of lacing on the glass here.

S: Big hoppy smell, lots of resin, pine, earthiness. Some citrus tucked away there too. A bit of malty sweetness as well. This just makes me want to drink it!

T: Which I did! And damn, it's tasty. This is an amazingly well-balanced DIPA. For 9% ABV, you would never think it. The alcohol is very well hidden behind huge hop notes - resin, citrus, pine, grapefruit, and more. A nice hit of malty sweetness rounds it out. Well done.

M: Smooth with a nice crisp bite at the end.

D: This is a highly drinkable DIPA. Almost makes me glad I can't get these around here! I could definitely throw a few of these down. Very well done!

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Photo of errantnight
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Poured riched and faintly orange / straw with just barely half a finger of head, and decent lacing, just a bit of cloudiness.

Smells rich and sweet, orange and grapefruit, resiny, a bit of flower perfume.

Taste is big, full bodied, and sweet but not cloying. Rich, full, oily mouthfeel with subdued hops... I bet this is better fresh. Malt backbone is pervasive but only complimentary to the hop-forward nature of the beer. Carbonation is mild and spot-on, lifting this hop syrup off the tongue just enough.

Paired well with some aged cheddar and gorgonzola as part of a dessert... and as much as I'd happily drink this again, this is so rich, even for the style, that it limits my desire just a tad. One 12oz bottle an evening would be enough.

Thank you, hero27, for sharing!

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
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 dogger6253
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber color, bits of golden honey. A hazy mist floats near the top. A half-inch of off-white head falls quickly, but a nice layer stays behind with bits of lacing.

The smell is very fresh and juicy, like fresh citrus hops. There are notes of pine here too, lemon zest. Very wonderful.

Soft up front, slightly tangy then an attack of hops that melds into a peanut-like finish. Balancing out the flavors are lemon, grapefruit and a dry, earth-like taste, a hint of butter, bits of caramel malt shine through as well. more of an alcohol presence as the beer warms.

Very dry in the end, pretty heavy body, thick with a little carbonation. There is a slight alcohol warmth to it all. The beer tastes great and is easy to sip, but finishing a couple of these will get you pretty buzzed, enjoy in moderation!

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

Cheers. Pours a murkey copper with a cream head. Smells of big hops, grapefruit and sweet pineapple. Taste as it smells. Big and agressive in every way. Feels medium in the mouth with good carbonation. The big ABV is non existant. Sip and sip some more. A must try from the mid west.

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

Vintage 2006...past the best by date, but still delicious.

Pours a nice amber color with a 1 finger white head that leaves some lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel and dates, followed by a nice juicy hoppiness.

Taste follows suit. Lots of sweet, caramel malt in here, immediately brushed aside by some assertive, juicy, half citrusy-half piny hops. A nice true bitterness is quite present. Excellent bite on the end!

Mouthfeel is very nice on this one, both very rich and satisfying, but leaving you refreshed and wanting more. And drinkability - yes, I'll have some more.

Highly recommended. This has approached the barleywine area in some respects, and I enjoy that. Try some if you can (thanks to Stan at Lone Hill for stocking this for us CA BAs).

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Photo of emerge077
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

At long last we meet for a review...i've had this fresh and on-tap several times, but this sample is from 2005. Let's see if the "flavor continues to develop over 5 years" as stated on the bottle.

Deep raw honey toned orange, topped by spindly lacing that resembles the logo of the band Darkthrone. Huge aged hop smell, overripe grapefruit and cantaloupe. Herbal and spicy notes linger behind the fruitiness. It's still intimidating after almost 2 years in the bottle.

Taste is mellow at first, building into hoppy territory, bitterness is like sucking on a grapefruit rind. Velvety malt blanket settles midway through. Nuanced spice and herbal hops linger long into the finish. This is still a formidable IIPA. The hop edge is definitely more subdued, and if you cellar, try to wait more than a becomes a different animal at that point.

As it warms, it becomes slightly more difficult to drink. The giant stumbles due to it's largesse. Fresh and on tap, it's easy to lose count. However, a cellared bottle is more of an occasional malty hop-bomb treat. Age has changed it quite a bit, and i'll be saving one for a side-by-side when the next batch is released.

Fresh on tap, this is a 4.5-4.6 easily...

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Photo of BillyB
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer says alot!
Even on the label, ". . .strong enough to wake the dead and filled with more bitterness than a woman scorned!"

Pours a nice hazy, orange color with a one fingered white, foamy head.

Aromas of citrusy, piney hops and grapefruit dominate. Some sweet smells of caramel and biscuity malt. Alcohol aroma is hidden well.

Tastes are very hoppy. Grapefruit and pine with other citrusy tastes. Some dark fruit and sweet malt as well.

Medium bodied with good carbonation and a bit of creaminess. At 9% abv the alcohol is hidden well. This is very drinkable for such a big beer.

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Photo of Glazed144
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The first thing I noticed is that you hardly notice the 9+% alcohol. There pours a decent thing head which quickly dissipates. Decent lacing. Cloudy reddish brown auburn color Smells hoppy and a nice malt presence. Very well balanced taste. Nice hopppy aftertaste. not too bitter, bit of a roasted taste. Great mouthfeel. As it warms the alcohol presence become quick apparent however.Overall its good, but not worth what it costs when there are so many alternatives as good if not better for cheaper.

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Photo of jackorain
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Orange, cloudy, 1/2 inch head fell fairly quickly to a thin collar.

S-Pine, grapefruit hops, caramel malt, biscuit malt. Not as strong as I would have expected.

T-Caramel malt, raisans and other dried fruit followed by big grapefruit and pine hops. Pine hop bitterness does not linger long. Boozeiness follows for the finish

M-medium body, a little creamy with mild carbonation.

D-Really good for a 9% ABV

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Photo of Damian
4.88/5  rDev +16.7%
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 seaoflament
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to SPLITGRIN for sending me this one. A 2006 vintage, and a “best when consumed by: March 31, 2007” date, so it’s time to open this one.

Poured a bit syrupy for this type of beer, and by that I can see and smell that it has a huge malt bill. The color is a slightly brownish orange—reminds me of the color of a grand cru.

I swill the beer around to get some head, since there was virtually none at all, and pick up mostly a sweet malt profile followed by the piney and citrus hops, slightly spicy as well. I also detect some orange, apple and pear aromas.

The taste is rather sweet. The hop bitterness is…not really there. I feel a bit of warmth from the alcohol in the finish.

The mouthfeel is quite thick for an IPA but I like big beers.

It’s a good beer and I’m enjoying it but it wasn’t what I expected—at least not the way it is written on the bottle’s label. I would like to taste a fresh one next time and see the differences between a slightly aged one and a fresh one.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

nathan15 hooked me up with this one, thank you sir.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a somewhat hazy sunset orange with a two finger fluffy off-white head. Stickiness is pretty damn good, stays well on the sides of the glass. Smell is a mild dry pine hop with hints of honey wheat in the nose too. Smell is a bit dull, not what I expected for an "Imperial". Taste is very smooth. Nice clean grapefruit hits the tongue first followed by a dirty hop flavor. Aftertaste is amazing, no bitterness, not dry...just a fresh, crisp citrus lingers for a while. Flavor blows the smell away. Mouthfeel is great. This one stands out in the mouthfeel department for DIPA's. Where most leave your mouth dry and bitter. Goose Island goes in a different direction, it leaves the tongue moist and pleasant. I hardly sense any alcohol in the nose or on the tongue, so for 9% it has a pretty damn good drinkability. Pick this one up if you can.

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