Imperial Brown Goose | Goose Island Beer Co.

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Imperial Brown GooseImperial Brown Goose
165 Ratings
Imperial Brown GooseImperial Brown Goose

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

Style: English Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Blend of Goose Island's 2004 and 2005 Christmas Ales, both of which were aged in 4-year old Jim Beam and 12-year old Heaven Hill barrels.

Bottled once in 2006.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-29-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 165 |  Reviews: 122
Photo of brewcrew76
3.51/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2006 Batch - This is a different beer than the brewpub offering that is reviewed under the same name in the early reviews.

A - Pours a very deep brown almost black with ruby around the side of the glass and ruby highlights with a 2 finger off white head that leaves nice creamy lacing.

S - Vanilla, sweet malt, oak maple syrup. It is very sweet and very woody.

T - Maple syrup, toffee, dark candi sugar, hints of wet oak and vanilla. Very sweet .

M - Medium body and well carbonated.

D - A little too sweet for my taste. A very nice idea of 2 different xmas ales aged in 2 different ages of bourbon barrels. I am glad to see Goose take a chance on this beer. I would have found it hard to finish the full 750 on my own. Maybe a little aging on this one might do it well.

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Photo of mcallister
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep mahagony. A quickly fading off white head leaves traces of lace around the glass and forms into a ring.

Wonderful nose full of bourbon, oak, vanilla, hints of toffee, malt, and other robust aromas.

Bourbon at the forefront, with sweet toffeed malt, burnt vanilla oak, slight hints of fig, as well as a sliver of chocoalte cream pie. Medium complexity with a medium body and mouthfeel. Lacking depth and could use some hop to balance the oak. Otherwise a very good beer.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a dark opaque black body with a hint of light at the base of the glass showing a warm deep brown hue. There is a sea of micro bubbles racing back and forth to the surface where a thick light tan head stands. The head last and last and starts to pull away from the sides of the glass but still keeps its shape.

S- This beer has a slightly sweet oak and bourbon note but I can't really detect any malt characteristics even as it warms.

T- This beer has a sweet dark toasted malt flavor with a wet wood and oak flavor followed by a slight soft bourbon note. There isn't any alcohol taste to the bourbon just a slight sweetness and a faint smoky hint. The finish has a faint green hop hint that comes through as it warms.

M- This beer has a full mouthfeel with a creaminess from the carbonation. There is no alcohol heat noticed until the last few sips, which were pretty warm.

D- You really have to like lots of oak to get through this big bottle by yourself. I like oak but it would have been nice to have some malty aromas and flavors to support it and add complexity. I don't usually pair food and beers as I like to taste the beer alone but the recommendation on the bottle was perfect. I had some nice sharp cheddar cheese that cut the sweetness and enhanced this beer quite a bit. I would give this beer a 5 if I rated it with the cheese.

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

Goose Island Brown Goose
Style: American Double Stout
ABV: 11%

Source: 750 ml plastic corked bottle.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown into a Chimay goblet. I know that’s not technically the correct glass for this style, but I wanted to give it room to express itself. ¼” off-white head fades quickly.

Smell: I’m a Kentucky redneck, and boy does that Bourbon barrel come through.

Taste: Wow. I’m not sure how to describe this. To me it doesn’t taste like a brown ale at all; it’s all about Bourbon.

Mouthfeel: The taste really hits you upside the head but there’s enough crispness here to keep it from being overpowering.

Drinkability: Tell you in 30 minutes. [Time passes] This is a very good, and unique, beer, but you can’t drink it all night. It would definitely work as a nightcap, and might also fare well with desserts.

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Photo of Ego
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottle courtesy of my buddy yelterdow (parting with dreadnaught and alpha klaus is quite painfull), this is the 750 caged and corked variety from the mj beer club (2006 batch - 8%)

someone has to say it...
what has brown done for me lately?

let's find out...

even on a carefull pour this one has a massive, craggy, off white head of large gurgling bubbles, deep brown tone with some ruby highlights, carbonation is ample leading to good retention, lacing is good and this also has legs due to the kicked up alcohol, very nice looking brew, I think I will sit here and stare at it for a couple of hours.... nah...

boozy, and very bourbony, not as much as the jack daniel barrel aged stuff I had on sunday, more subdued than that, dark sugary tones, some dark vermont maple, the kind that can glue your fingers together, nothing is blowing me away here but it's good

taste etc...
velvety, very creamy, barley and bourbon flavors abound and the slight wood taste comes through in the end, you get some alcohol warming for sure. very balanced but the bourbon seems to dominate here, you can pick out the malt (sweetness) but this oe takes a smidge getting used to, a nice sipper with strong cheese helps break this up.

a nice smooth beer with good drinkability for the kicked up ABV, the mouthfeel is dead on imo.

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Photo of fartingdog
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich, deep brown with abundant head. Fist whiff was I thought whiskey, then I definitely picked up the bourbon. The taste of the Bourbon was somewhat subtle at first, and became more pronounced as I drank more (though it's not quite the bourbon-bomb that is Drake's BW). There is the faintest alcohol warming on the swallow. Very smooth and enjoyable, but with a bit thinner mouthfeel than I would expect (or maybe hoped for). Overall well balance and enjoyable. I've got a couple more in the cellar, so I'll have to see how this one ages.

May 4 2007 - Tried the next one. Whiskey/bourbon aromas were pretty much gone- rich coffee, toffee and chocolate in the nose. Still pours with a thick head. Mouthfeel seems a little richer, flavor is much more complex. Leaves perhaps only the faintest hint of bourbon in the aftertaste. Develops almost Belgian dubbel qualities. Very interesting.

Dec 23 2007- Plastic corked bottle.
Aggressive carbonation, half the glass is head. Aroma is faint bourbon + vanilla. Flavor is chocolatey, hints of bourbon/oak. Mouthfeel seems thinnish. Boozy feeling in the throat. Hints of oxidization. Corked versions don't seem to hold up as well as the capped (which seemed to age better). Good, but not as good as I remember.

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Photo of clickpush
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

M.J.'s 9/06 b.o.t.m.

Pour: 750ml bottle to tulip glass. A standard pour lands a huge tan head, 3 fingers easily, over a mahogany globe of bubble-ridden beer. The descent leaves the walls of the glass webbed and a thick coat of froth atop the surface of the liquid.

Nose: Uncorking this baby was a bitch, but I was rewarded with strong alcohol and liquor smells immediately upon expelling the plastic stopper. More than bourbon, my immediate take on the aroma was that of spiced rum, sweetened up with fruit character. Apricots, brown sugar or maple syrup, and chocolate covered cherries with liqueur interiors.

Mouth: Almost identical to the aroma: the barrel aging adds intense flavors of bourbon and, coupled with the 9% abv, highlights a very heated path from the front of my tongue to the back of my throat. Nice pleasant warmth on the exhale as well. Drinking this one near room temp, maybe an hour in the fridge - I wish I'd chilled it a tiny bit more. Like chomping into a liqueur filled chocolate covered cherry - one of my least favorite candies in the world! Not that it makes the beer bad, but a bit too sweet & bubblegum-y. Mouthfeel is commendable as it's thick and creamy with small bubbled carbonation. A very interesting example of the growing acclaim of barrel aging, but an entire 750ml bottle was almost too rich for me to finish in one sitting.

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Photo of beerceller99
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Clyborne brew pub.
Mahogany color which turns red when held to a light. Thick chewy head. Sweet molasses/chocolate smell. Full bodied with an ultra smooth mouthfeel. Strong, boozy, wee heavy type sweet malt flavor with a pleasing alcohol bite to finish. A very nice sipping beer here.

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

This was served in a tulip glass and came with a deep-brown head. The nose was rich with bourbon and coconut aromas. The mouthfeel was medium, but with a slight warmth on the tongue and as it warmed, the mouthfeel became fuller and creamier. I got flavors of dark chocolate and coffee on the palate. The finish was rich with the bourbon flavor that I noted on the nose. This was a really rich beer that would be good with a chocolate dessert or a maduro cigar. Highly recommended.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed FoBAB 05. This is one big Brown Ale! Colors and thick, dark brown, and nearly opaque. Great head retention and lacing. Perhaps a slight haze. Smells very malty, chocolatey, mildly fruity, molassas, mildly bitter, and a lactose aroma. Flavors are even bigger on the malt side, edging close to syrup or molassas. Mild fuit sweetness and tartness of figs, dates, and nuts. Bold bittersweet chocolate flavors throughout. Again, a light lactose flavor. Feels very creamy and silky on the palate. A bit rough, given the alcohol and carbonation. Finishes sweet and with a hop / grain bitterness. A really good Brown Ale with a bourbon kick.

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Photo of quasimoto
3.72/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It was poured into a tulip glass and oozed out of the tap like a carvel ice cream cake. This is a full big Brown loaded with malt on the nose and subtle hints of hops in the background. Very interesting taste of sweet molasses and some kind of cookie in there. Granted there were malt flavors but the background favors (if really looked for) were there. Mouthfeel on this monster was typical if an imperial. Silky and full. In all, a simply good Imperial brown ale.

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Photo of silenius
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rapapoda mentioned to me once that when Goose Island brews this beer again that I should try it. Good recommendation!

Poured into a large pint glass at the Clybourn location.

Smallish tan head that disappears quickly with a dark and clear ruby brown body. Very much to style.

Smell is where it is at with this beer! This beer smells like a good Late Bottle Vintage port. Dark and ripe red fruits coated in dark chocolate and sprinkled with brown sugar. Sweet and rich. No hops noted.

Tastes like cinnamon spiced melted dark chocolate with a hint of raspberry syrup. This stuff is out of this world!.

This is a thick-bodied beer that really satisfies. One is enough for me!

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

Advertised as 60% more malt and 2x the hops of Naughty Goose.

Poured dark mahogany with a red tint throughout. Small tan head fades away quickly revealing the potent brew and leaving streaky alcoholic tannin marks on the glass.
Aroma of chocolate and crystal malts with an underlying toffee and caramel note. Dark citrus fruits as beer warms as well as orange peel and a bread and dough-like qulaity. Little bit of roastiness also appears as it warms up a bit.
Flavors are sticky sweet toffe and chocolate fudge with a very bready middle. Sweeter citurs notes near the finish with some gran alcohol alos kicking in.
Mouthfeel is full-bodied wiht a slightly syupy character. Great variety of sweet malts sliding to a citrusy and hoppy finish. High ABV is fairly well covered by the variety of flavors and transitions.
Drinkability is very high for such an alcoholic brew. But you can't just have one it's that good. If you are near GI- Clybourne stop in try this rare beauty.

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

On tap at the Clyborne location.

Pours a dark, dark brown in color, almost porter like with a frothy white head that had a good bit of retention. Nose is outrageous, strong aromatic hops present along with a thick sweet smell, indicating generous amounts of both hops and malt, excellent. Taste is slightly floral, sticky sweet at points, notes of caramel and dark fruit. This one reminds me of a nice old ale. Very well done and much more than I was expecting on my recent visit, was well worth a taste.


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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pre release sample, of the Bourbon Barrel Aged version, from the brewer at the Goose Island Clyborne location.

A special thanks to the brewer Will Turner for allowing me to sample this beer. This one has been sitting in a bourbon barrel for the last six months. This has an incredible nose to it, the bourbon barrel character is quite noticeable with notes of oak, vanilla, butter, and a bourbon-alcohol note. The aroma is quite intoxicating, it is thick and sweet, with the bourbon barrel character dominating everything. The beer is a hazy deep amber color, it is flat and has no head, but this is to be expected as it is just being transferred from the cask to kegs, and I just happened to be here at the right time to get a sample. The taste is sweet and malty, with notes of bourbon, alcohol, vanilla, and oak. The finish is astringently okay in character, coupled with a sweet, hard-alcohol bourbon finish. The hops are fairly muted in this big beer, and would probably be out of place in this beer anyway.

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Imperial Brown Goose from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 165 ratings