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 bkett01
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jhammerly for this offering

Poured a cloudy orange with a minimal off white head. The aroma is overwhelmingly hoppy, with strong piney notes. I can almost detect hints of alcohol in the nose as well in this amazingly enticing imperial.

The taste puts the alcohol I detected in the nose onto the back burner as hops envelop the palate in this amazingly well balanced 9% iipa. Starts with a lively grapefruity/piney blast that evens out to a smooth, barely detectable light malt finish. Little lacing is left on the glass as the pint goes down. This truly is an outstanding beer and it deserves it's BA rating. I just wish Goose Island was sold in the northeast. Highly recommended.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep orange with a tall off white head that leaves some sticky lacing. Juicy grapefruit hops with a nice upfront bitterness in the aroma. Flavor starts of with some bitter grapefruit and piney notes. Some toasty malt sweet is there balancing it out. Finishes up a bit sweet with some dry hop bitterness. Pretty smooth flavor that never really gives you the punch a like in a double IPA. Pretty thick and smooth body. Easy drinking for sure, I could have gone through the 4 pack with no problems. A nice smoother version of the style that is worth a try.

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Photo of libertygrails
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy Orange. Medium head halves to delicate lacing as it goes down. An esp. well balanced DIPA with an esp. pleasant mouthfeel. The "XXX" is Ye Olde way of marking strength and you get it here on the bottle. A refreshing and potent Summer brew. Grab a few extras, but only for the best company. Very easy drinkin and wish it came in 4 packs ala DFH's 90 min...

FYI: ABV is 9.0%

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

Thanks to grynder33 for this offering.

A: Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a one finger white pillowy style head that retains very nicely. Wonderful lace left hugging the glass.
S: Aromas of oily pine needles hit the face with a slam. Also some grapefruity and orange notes in there. Wow! What an unbeliveably great smelling dipa.
T: Tastes of pine needles combined with a citric fruit (pineapple and grapefruit), sweet bubble gum, spciy bready malts all combined into one blast of taste in the mouth. Bitter ending in the back of the throat leaves you wanting more.
M: Mouthfeel is oily, sticky, and then slick. A bit chewy on the sides of the mouth, but very tasty. Carbonation builds on the tongue, dissipate and leaves a malty flavor that turns bitter.
D: Drinkability is very high. Abv is masked undernearth all those potent oily piney hops, but watch out for it. I am so happy I have two of the puppies left. What a great tasting dipa!

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Photo of SethB2
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Beer pours a non transparent orange color with a respectable head and a decent amount of lacing. Smell hoppy as hell. Piney hops. Like I've got my nose buried in a Christmas tree. A caremel sweetness is there and present on the nose as well. Taste is wonderful. If you ever want to taste a piney IPA, this is your beer. Excellent. The piney hop flavor hits up from, the the malts carry this down with such smoothness and balance that I am in awe. Mouth is full and oily with a perfect amount of carbonation. Drinkability is off the charts. Great beer. One of the best beers in it's style I have tasted.

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

I got this beer as part of the 2006 Great Race from MABZ on Team Spring.

This beer pours a cloudy orange color with a thick fluffy light tan head. The head has a slight orange tint to it. It fades very slowly, leaving many thick laces.

This beer has a very citrus like hop aroma. I detect orange, and a slight lemon aroma. Grapefruit is also present. Wow, this smells strongly of citrus fruit. It has a subtle piney aroma also.

This beer has a strong citrus flavor. It tastes strongly of oranges. It is also quite piney. This beer is very sweet. The alcohol is well hidden in the taste.

This beer is quite full bodied, but it is also very smooth. It is well carbonated for the style. It leaves a citrusy fruit aftertaste.

I doubt this beer would make a good session beer. Althoguh it tastes great, it is quite aggressive. Also, it is a little high in alcohol.

Thakn you MABZ for this wonderfull beer.

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Photo of jhammerly
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After sitting in the fridge for awhile, I have been anticipating this beer ever since I obtained the 4-pack. Just waiting for that moment when the time was right. A beautiful day and the start of the NHL playoffs...what better time for a big beer? It was going to be a celebration beer, but when my team went into double OT, I couldn't wait.

Pours a hazy, golden-orange with a creamy off-white head about two fingers thick. An aromatic, floral bouquet hits the nose pleasantly. Very inviting. The taste was exceptionally smooth, not very bitter at all. I was expecting more of a bite to this. A taste of lemons and grapefruit are what really stands out. No trace of alcohol flavor here, even though this sits at 9%. A medium body and could be very drinkable despite its $16.99 price tag. A big beer that handles very easily.

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

Pours a fire colored orange and leaves some lacing as it is consumed. The smell is extremely enticing grapefruit and citrus, maybe a little piney but mostly grapefruit. The taste is also citrusy bitterness but it is well balanced by a large malt backbone. A little like eating a grapefruit and chewing on the membranes that divides them into sections which I quite enjoy. A fairly good size body on this one due to the large malt presence. Very nice how Goose Island has printed the recommmended glassware on the bottle. The bottle also indicates that the flavor will develop for five years and while there are not many dipa's I like to cellar I may have to hold one of these back to see. With all the malts and the strong alcohol content who knows. This beer is an extremely well balanced dipa, I can't wait to try some of GI's other big beers.

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

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a hazy dark orange color with one finger of head that dies down fairly quickly. There is a little bit of lace left on the glass. The smell very citrusy with lots of hop aroma, but it doesn't stand out nearly as much as some other imperial IPAs. From what I get from the nose, I know the taste will be huge though. Wow, the taste is intense! There's lots of hop aroma up front, with just a tiny bit of malt present in the background. The citrus juicy goodness just coats the entire mouth. The finish lets you have some of that hop bitterness, mmm. There's a good dose of alcohol there as well. The mouthfeel is fantasticly thick and smooth. The drinkability is decent for a 9% brew. Another good one from the guys and gals at Goose Island.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep orange-copper, nice haze, slim head leaves slight froth behind. Nice bubbly carbonation. Tangy floral pine hop aroma, with a citrus/grapefruit character. Lightly sweet sugary malt smell also. Taste is strong on citrus hop tang. A bit earthy, sharp, and spicy. Carries a moderate bitterness and slight alcohol astringence. Mouthfeel is soft and creamy, medium thick, with nice light carbonation. Drinkablity is excellent for such a strong beer. Very enjoyable...

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Photo of Bumpon10s
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Deemed one of their best beers and one of the better double IPA's this is a very anticipated beer for me, let's jump in, shall wee?

A - Pours a slightly syrupy texture. Nice color, a very sunny gold with consistent lacing on top.

S - Cascade hops how I love you so, some really good stuff. Perhaps not as intense as they talk it up, but very nice and even.

T - Bold. When people compare this to Dreadnaught, they aren't far off at all. Very bitter hops that simply slather the mouth in hop oil, one sip yields a long taste in the mouth.

M - Very rich and thick, has a nice little burn and pop at the end from a combo of carbonation, ABV and hop bitterness. This is what Double IPA's should always be.

D - Enjoyed it, but one is plenty enough for many reasons. Drinakble enough however where 12 oz is easy enough to get through. The sheer bitterness makes drinking another beer almost impossible.

Overall a very good Double IPA, to be considered with the best of them.

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Photo of mcallister
4.9/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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Photo of blitz134
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in a trade from warrioursoul...thanks man...

Enjoying this after an entire day in the sun running adult soapbox derby races...nothing helps battle wounds like a little hop juice. First Goose Island I've had in a couple of years...good to be back...

Light apricot color, a touch of haze, but not too bad. Fully fluffy head on the pour. Just off-white in color, slowly reduced to a quarter inch layer. Sticky lace. Carbonation bubbles through.

Strong hop aroma making me forget about my bruises and scrapes. Floral and fruity throughout the aroma, some straw like hops...some citrus...its all there. Bubblegum sweetness. One of the most floral smelling brews I've had. Smells great...all I want to do is take deep wiffs of this. A little different than other DIPAs.

Flavor is sweet and fruity again. Similar to the aroma. Lots of hops, but doesn't seem overly bitter to me. Some grassy, straw hops mix well with the light citrus hops. This hop profile, while focused, seems a bit muttled together and one dimensional to me, in my opinion. Its good, but could use something else to really set it off.

Medium bodied and fits the style well. Carbonation didn't make this as crisp as I was expecting. Drinkability is good. The sweeter hop profile isn't as much of my style. Its all good though...definately worth a shot...

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Photo of ultralarry2006
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle leaving thick head (2 in.) that was still substantial by end of the glass, and left thick lacing all the way down. Nice hazy orange gold amber. Aroma - citrus and pine with malt that was slightly sweet. Taste - similar to aroma - big pine and citrus up front with firm bready malt backbone (not too sweet), finishing with more pine, and some lemon. Some alcohol astringency, but not detrimental. Full to moderate, and smooth mouthfeel that left good bitter coating. Drinkability- Excellent !! I was truly surprised that Goose Island could brew something so excellently massive !! But don't drive if having several - high abv, 9%, so watch it.

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Photo of EPseja
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ego for scoring this one for me... he always hooks me up with the good stuff.

Served from a 12oz. bottle in a Duvel tulip glass at optimum serving temperature.

A - Pours a clear, burnt orange gold color with a very nicely packed one inch off white head. The head hangs tight for a decent while before settling down to a thick film atop the beer. Lacing is decent, although a bit to sparse to allow for better marks.

S - Big notes of wintery pine dominate over the more subtle citrus notes in this hop bouquet. There is also a discernible spiciness in the nose. Malts are apparent, but serve only as the soil from which the flowery highlights grow. Not huge, but decently developed.

T - The malts in this beer are present in just the right amounts to launch with a decently sweet base before the citrusy hops explode in the middle. Toward the back is where the spicy pine comes through, leaving your mouth dry and wanting more after the swallow. Strangely enough, I also notice a honeyed sweetness that appears only in the swallow as well. There is a bitter salad greens-type character in the aftertaste (think green-leaf lettuce and frisee) that imparts an appealing freshness. The belly-feel is warm, and the 9% alcohol is well incorporated so as to not be detrimental.

M - Quick and slick entry into the mouth which is slowed down considerably as the beer transofrms into a mouthfilling froth that feels like whipped-cream. The swallow is throat coating and satisfying.

D - This is an excellent take on a style that's unfortunately become somewhat of a trendy rite-of-passage item for many breweries -- often resulting in mediocrity. In this case, everything is in place. While there is no one point that stands out above all others, solid marks across the board dictate a winner.

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

Pours a half-finger yellow-white head over a cloudy dark apricot liquid. Smells citrusy smooth. Lemon and orange, gentle pith and grassy that is well below these three. Pineapple and apricot. Tastes piney and oranges. Sugary sweetness with fruity esters. Co-ho is low as is bitterness. Hop bitter is comparable to the gentle sting from the fine carb that forms on my tastebuds. This beer is quite enjopyable. I think that it might be wet sweet from the malt, except for a dry woody hop finish that balances it out. Thick smooth body and modest carbonation.

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Photo of ZAP
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Top notch DIPA....hazy lighter shade of orange color....awesome aroma...combines the fresh fruits of tangerines, grapefruit, and pinneaple..along with a spicier,edge similar to their regular IPA..very fragrant..

Taste is nice fresh tangerines, pinneaples, perhaps a little peach...definitely grapefruit on the finish along with some pine...malt provides a nice back ground and keeps it from being hop juice...the body and girth of this is about right...sturdy but not bordering into Barley Wine territory..

Definitely one of the top 10 DIPA's on my list....blows the hell out of Hop Wallop...not as good as Dreadnaught

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Photo of Bighuge
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Edit on 11-17-06.

I'm upping my ratings a little. This is better than I remember. Nicely balanced IIPA. The hoppiness is quite nice, resinous, cannibus like. It's quite drinkable as well. It's sliding down nicely. Just a bit better than I remember. My reviews goes from 4.0 to 4.25 now.

Original Review:

Hazed and slightly murky orange. Thin ivovry white head. Spotty lace is left behind. Aroma is quite one sided, but yet nice. Lots of pine here. Some slight caramel drippings underneath. The taste is pretty good, but one-sided hoppiness there as well. Again, lots of pine. I've got nothing against pine, but in DIPAs I like to see some more depth in the hop profile. The malts underneath seem sturdy enough. Bready and caramelly in nature. Mouthfeel is medium-full and the carbonation is appropriate. Alcohol is noticeable but not real overbearing.

Thanks for the hard to find sample Big Ol ZAP!!

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Photo of oberon
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hoppedup for sharing this bad boy,poured a slight hazed golden with a tinge of orange with a nice tight,sticky white head that stuck around for quite awhile.Resin,resin,and more resin in the aroma along with some pine and grapefruit no malt to be found here.Very nice thick,coating mouthfeel.Iam not sure what the alc% is on this puppy but it shows up in the finish after a rather dry intensly hopped resiny,piney bomb very little malt detected.Had a tea-like aftertaste that lingered for quite awhile wich was different,if you are into hops what can I say this is one for you.

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

Hazy, burnt caramel orange with a nice head of white that lasts and protects the tangerine like interior of this brew. Aromas are of slick grapefruity resiny hops, orange, pine, alcohol, and more. Nose-hair stripping hop acids are in this one my friend. Taste is hoppy as all hell with a nice caramel and biscuit backbone to kind of round this one out. Mouthfeel is oily and bursting with hop resins. Drinkability is good, for such a high abv, high hopped, monster of a beer. Another classic goose island limited edition that pisses me of...How come this brewerys best beers are so hard to come by!?

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Photo of trep
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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Photo of Ego
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

found @ DeCicco market, pelham, NY
$12.99 for a 4 pack
(as the label suggests I am sampling this with a damn good blue cheese)

3/4 a finger of white fluffy and sticky head, retention is good. active carbonation is apparent. dull orange but very clear hue. lacing is very nice on this one and leaves sticky webs all the way down the glass. very appealing.

tangy citrus hop attack. pine notes are apparent. as strong as the aroma is.. it doesn't "put you off" like some "big" beers that almost smell too hopped. as much as I like hop aroma this is nearly a one trick pony to my nose... so I can not go above "good" for this one.

taste etc...
slick and resiny with a flotilla of carbonation carrying the load. Not overly bitter at all imo... in fact the hop flavor is fantastic in the way it leaves no super bitter kill bite behind. The alcohol is well hidden in this ABV beast. This is smooth and velvety to sip down... and boy does it go down way too easy. Not hugely complex but pretty straightforward and easy to enjoy. The carbonation might be too much for some.. and was a little bit for me at the end, minor complaint.

worth picking up and keeping around to split a bottle with friends... a little much in the ABV dept to be hanging out with this one by yourself I think. They were spot on about the cheese as well, it went awesome with this! For the price? At this ABV it is OK... definitely something to break out for your hop head buds at the right occassion.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.51/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Says 9%abv on the bottle.

Appearance- Pours a great, sturdy head with great retention. Plenty of good lacing, the best I'ce sen in any IPA so far. Color is a hazy copper and orange.

Smell- A Home & Garden magazine bouqet of floral, earthy, and bready hops with some hints of chestnuts.

Taste- One of the best tasting double IPA's I've had so far. Best American IPA thats for sure. Starts out with the some earthy hops, reminded me of chewing on grass as a dumb little kid. The hops mixed well with the toasty malts. That is what pleased me about this beer. The hops were the main focus on the pallet, but there was an off-center balance of malts and hops. This helped to give a very bready flavor with even hints of butterscotch.

Mouthfeel- Dry, but refreshing still due to its excellent carbonation. Lots of earthy sometimes grapefruity hops mixed well with bready malts. Great pallet. This was worth $13.99 a 4-pack.

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Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. brown bottle with bottled on this date: 110305 1705. Also a note beside the date code that says "{Flavor will continue to develop over 5 years}.

Hazed light orange in color with a small white cap.

Candy sweet caramel, pine, grapefruit, herbal, hop bomb nose.

Medium light body with moderate carbonation and a slick, resinous finish. Orange peel, clementine orange, and grapefruit flavors all compete with the sweet caramel tinged malts for dominance. Neither wins. Long lemony finish that is boozy and bitter.

I loved the hell out of the nose on this brew but the flavor didn't live up to the smell.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BuckEyeNation for the bottle. Pours a burnished translucent gold bar in color. Thin fizzy head that all but disappears to a bit of scuzziness. Nose is actually fairly mild for the style--just some slight hops rising from the glass.

Flavor is a solid DIPA. Very nicely balanced. Malts up front at first but quickly followed by a wave of hops that is not overhwelming but simply hoppy. Not too complicated. If anything, this is a very simple DIPA that is nicely done. Prequisite citrus flavors. Nicely juicy. Bit chewy even. Also seems to have an almost oak-like characteristic to the taste and feel. Really sticks to the cheeks nicely--not cloying. Full flaovr but a medium body. Actually quite pleasant. A bit dry too. Extremely drinkable.

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