Icarus | Goose Island Beer Co.

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66 Ratings

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Per the brewmaster, Greg Hall, "American Barleywine".

Added by CRJMellor on 04-23-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 66 |  Reviews: 29
Reviews by beerinator:
Photo of beerinator
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Medium brown, cloudy with large long lasting head. Great retention, very good lacing.

Aroma: Sweet bread. Caramelized nuts slightly seasoned with cinnamon. The piney hops do show through a bit in the aroma.

Taste: Warming and slightly slick. The mouthfeel is full. The sweet breadyness lends way to a nice pleasant bitterness that lingers for a little bit on the tongue. None of the flavors are overpowering, everything seems to blend well fairly. The hops are slightly earthy and there are flavors of fruit (apple or grape) in the taste as well. There are hints of spice, but they seem much removed from the other flavors.

Notes: All around a nice drinking beer. The yeast and hops don't say "belgian" as much as they seem to whisper "barleywine". But that doesn't make it a bad beer, just not a beer that seems very belgiany.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.06/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A rather light to medium cloudy brown with nicely sized, lasting head. Lacing is beautiful. The nose has a weird hoppy juniperness to it that I’m not used to in this style. A sugary sweet, caramelized breadiness dominates the scent, however. Deceptively full bodied (based on the rather light appearance) with a sickly sweet, bready front and a nice, mildly bitter finish. Subtle earth and spice come through as well. Not very Belgian, a bit too sweet, but not bad.

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Photo of ehammond1
2.84/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle (2005)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, 1noa!

(Aged for 7 years)

Murky and cloudy dark honey and light ruby in color with a very small light khaki colored head that doesn't last for long at all. This eventually leaves spots of stick. Not particularly attractive.

This smells like old beer, unsurprisingly, though there's some citrus flesh and zest elements remaining, with some caramel and toffee, but also lot of oxidation and sherry notes. Not particularly impressive or expressive.

The flavor too is decidedly old in character with lots of sweet oxidation present, mild orange zest, and boozy caramel and toffee.

Medium bodied with low carbonation.

Past its time, but I'm incredibly grateful I had the opportunity to try this beer.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a Goblet)

A- This beer has a warm light brown body with a low carbonation and a thin creamy head that last for the first few sips. It gives some lacing after it has disappeared.

S- This beer has a nice smooth sweet pale malt aroma with some slight floral perfume notes. There is a nice green pine hop finish to balance the sweetness.

T- The slight sweet creamy caramel taste has some faint light fruit flavors with notes of biscuit malt to balance. The hops spiciness is enhanced with a soft kick of alcohol at the finish.

M- The medium light mouthfeel has a slight watery mouthfeel but it enhances the taste. There is a faint alcohol warmth but no astringency.

D- This beer has great malt flavor with lots of subtle complexity that is hard to pin down. The hops and alcohol really do a good job of complimenting those sweet malts.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of RockyTopHeel
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draught at the Clybourn location, served in a goblet. Reviewed from notes.

As a general rule, I really enjoy GI's Belgian exploits. Icarus is no different.

Brown in color with a frothy, thin light brown head. Aroma is sweetness on one hand and a touch of hops on the other, nicely balanced. Flavor is similar, with biscuity malts, spices, and some fruity sweetness folowed by a lightly bitter finish. It's almost like they blended a Belgian strong dark ale and a barleywine - what's not to like?

I'm a fan.

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Photo of leschkie
2/5  rDev -47.2%

Photo of Photekut
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of SpdKilz
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of emerge077
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Joe for sharing this one, also have to give a shout out to Skiba... review from analog notes.

Into a small snifter, Icarus pours a deeply saturated orange tone wiht a frothy ring of larger bubbles around it's outer edge. Spotty bits of lace are left in the glass.

A little bit musty and funky from apparent oxidation at first, though it eventually blows off and mellows out a little. Burly malt and citrus peel.

Rich caramel toffee, citrusy, dry and bitter. Some grape or golden raisin fruit character in the aftertaste. Time has been kind, though it clearly shows some age after 6 years in the bottle. Rich, creamy, mellow feel, not too sweet, sticky on the lips. Finishes clean with a lingering bitterness and notes of golden raisin. Reminded me a little of Lee's Harvest Ale. Wonder if this is a precursor to King Henry, or something totally different.

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Photo of Devi0us
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of CRJMellor
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours light brown with a big fluffy off-white head. Uneven wave of lace on teh goblet.
Aroma of caramel, candi sugar, wheat bread, coriander and citurs fruits.
Flavor of light caramel, bread crumbs, apricots, plums, white grapes witha definitive yeast spiciness. Some Trippel-type qualities and notes emerge as it warms.
Mouthfeel is failry light for the high ABV. Soft and fluffy, sort of like Slander is the way I would describe it.
Drinkability is very high. Sweet but not cloying, spicy that doesn't destroy your taste buds and really lets the softer furit flavors emerge. Very drinkable and worth seeking out.

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Photo of jegross2
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of Etan
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a tulip. 2005 vintage (ICARUS1536 printed on the label).

A: Pours a dark amber-brown with a decent off-white head.

S: Thick oxidized aromas and faded hops at first. Sugary molasses, figs, browned apples, cardboard. Some pleasant vanilla and spice notes come out as it warms.

T: Mildly sweet caramel, cooked apples, treacle, hop bitterness which fades as it warms, old hop leaf, carrot cake. Becomes richer and smoother as it warms, with lots of vanilla, cloves, and toffee notes coming out.

M: Medium-bodied with light yet crisp carbonation.

O: At first it seemed like this beer had been ruined by age, but it became surprisingly tasty as it warmed up. I probably wouldn't go out of my way to get another bottle, but it actually became quite enjoyable and interesting as it sat.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
2.75/5  rDev -27.4%

Photo of Massbmx
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of ChrisPro
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of GbVDave
4.29/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a white label 12oz bottle into a North Coast snifter. Thanks to Joe, Matt, Wil, Justin, Jay, Aaron, and Alex for the assist! Honorable mention goes out to Skiba!

ICARUS05 1537

A: Pours a deep autumn orange color with nothing but a filmy skim on top.

S: Loads of sweet, dark fruit, honey, bourbon, caramel, leather, vanilla, and some bruised red apple.

T: This tended towards the sweet side of the scale with lots of caramel and fruit. This does get balanced by some earthy dark chocolate and a little rough alcohol.

M: Oily and coating with a nice long finish that turns a bit prickly.

D: Definitely a sipper! Nowhere near oppresive, abv-wise, but the sticky sweetness acts as a speedbump to prevent you from racing through it. Slow down and enjoy it! Thanks to Joe for sharing this from his cellar.

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Photo of Kaydogg
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of grub
4.57/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

autumnaldave hooked me up with this with a bonus in a trade at DLD in '08... finally dug it out of the cellar and opened it. thanks dave!

12oz bottle, plain white label with "ICARUS05 1538" on the bottom left. sampled feb 17/2010.

pours hazy + muddy red-brown with a small dense cream coloured head. the head drops fairly fast but leaves spotty lace.

aroma is great. caramel and toffee. butterscotch. light alcohol. vanilla. dark fruit. raisin, date, and fig. earthy and woody. bit of bourbon and oak. whole wheat bread. cracker. bit of biscuit.

taste is great. lots of caramel and toffee. butterscotch. rich dark fruit - date, fig, raisin, plum. bit of alcohol. vanilla and spice. earthy and woody. dark chocolate, almond, and a hint of smoke playing in the background. touch of sweetness, but mostly fruity and not sugary. whole wheat bread. cracker. bit of biscuit.

mouthfeel is great. nice medium-large body with a fairly dry finish. very fine carbonation, just under medium level.

drinkability is great. great balance. tons of depth and complexity. it feels like a slightly american interpretation of the style, but a damn good one at that.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Randomly stumbled onto this at GI, bottle shared with the epenephrious MasterSki and sampled by the beernicient Vav. 2005 Vintage, with old school blank lable and a dot matrix printed "Icarus05 1538" on it, or something close to that.

A - A dark, burnt-orange beer with a small white head that didn't really stick around very long. Some minor wisps of spotting and lace left on the side.

S - Very strong smell, with some oxidation and sweet phenol-like qualities. It's a pretty potent smelling beer, very barleywine-esque, with some caramel and english hop qualities to it. Smells good, but like it could take some effort to get down.

T - This was quite the surprise, as this beer is fantastic. I was expecting some rougher edges due to the smell, but it is quite smooth, possibly due to the age of the beer, or possibly just due to it being a great beer. Caramel and toffee backbone, with a bit of vanilla. The finish is like gingersnaps or subtle ginger sugar cookies, it is very pleasant.

M - Smooth, lower carbonation, medium bodied.

D - Not a barleywine fan at all, but this was an all around fantastic beer that was super easy to drink. Would gladly enjoy this one again and highly recommend it.

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Photo of Sanderson
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TMoney2591
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Local Option cervoise.

Grabbed a bottle o' this from the Vintage Bottle Program at Clybourn. Figured I'd split it with VDubb during a visit. Why not? It pours a slightly murky sunset amber-ruby-sienna topped by a finger or so of cream-white foam. The nose comprises biscuit, pine sap, light caramel, light menthol, and a mild feather-brush of grapefruit zest. The taste leans heavily on the biscuit, with the pine and grapefruit combining to provide a small tinge of bitterness that tries to pervade for the duration. Unfortunately for all involved, the flavors kinda drop off near the finish. There's also a clear sense of oxidation going on (dammit, it's been seven years, after all), what with a touch of cardboard and a bit of thinning in the body. Speaking of which, the body is still a lithe medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a surprisingly crisp finish. Overall, I'm bringing age into things here and calling this guy pretty nice for his age. Sure, oxidation has taken its toll, but things could be a helluva lot worse. As things stand, it's still fairly enjoyable, but it is disappointing that the flavors don't wanna linger, hang out for a bit after the party's ended. I'd definitely have another were one offered to me.

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Icarus from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 66 ratings