The Illinois
Goose Island Beer Co.

The IllinoisThe Illinois
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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #3,799
Ranked #13,583
3.93 | pDev: 10.18%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Very Good
The IllinoisThe Illinois
Notes: The first Imperial beer of the year is The Illinois, a 9.0% ABV 95 IBU Imperial IPA that pushes the limits of hop flavor and aroma. Deep gold, complex citrus aroma, balanced clean bitterness, medium to full body.
Reviews: 166 | Ratings: 1,222 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of maddogruss
maddogruss from New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Based on a review from 2013. had this on draft.
A: pours an amber body with small, white head with nice retention and lacing
S: balanced grapefruit and sweet toffee smelling beer; pretty good
T: sweet, grapefruit citrus tasting beer; some alcohol aftertaste; tangy dark strawberry aftertaste
M: full bodied and pretty smooth
D: nice mouthfeel and taste combo; pretty well balanced DIPA

Dec 29, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 1/26/15; drank 2/25/15 @ the Yarchives.

See-through orange appearance.

Big eggshell head; frothy lace.

Fresh soap, pine & grapefruit nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Pine & fresh soap flavors up front; mild grapefruit bitterness on the finish. No booze heat.

Not my DIPA profile, but enjoyable.

Oct 23, 2019
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mvanaskie13 from Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a custom glass: color is copper, a little hazy, head is 1 inch thick and off white in color with fine to small bubbles, extensive lacing.

Smell is a little sweet, caramel, citrus hops, lighter earthy bitterness. Citrus hops pop and linger well.

Taste is on the sweeter side of dipas: caramel and brown sugar like flavors noticeable; hops are prominent with citrus and more earthy bitter flavors than the aroma.

Mouthfeel is bitter, a little sweet, near cloying and drying on the tongue; linger quality is biting on the tongue.

Overall a sweet, hoppy dipa with some stronger mouthfeel notes. I've been drinking or thinking about hoppier amber ales and this beer seems stuck between the dipa and stronger amber category.

Nov 28, 2016
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q33jeff from New Jersey

4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma Is plentiful with hops, pine,fruits,grapefruit, raisin.
Appearance is Clear red color. Creamy white head.
Taste: creamy. Alcohol, tar, pine grapefruit. Very complex. Pretty nice.
Smooth feel. Goes down easy."


Oct 01, 2016
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ByronDBeer from California

4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Citrus orange, a bit dark going onto copper, hazy. Nice decent head
S: Fruity, grapefruit, hops. Some sweet malts trying to come out. When warmer, smell becomes a bit unpleasant old beer.
T: First malt note similar to dogfish head 90. Woody, earthy hay. Grapefruits, then finishes bitter hops. Also grainy, rye. More barleywine-like as it becomes warmer.
F: Bitter finish lingers, as expected of IIPA therefore dry.

Jul 22, 2016
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breardon1776 from New York

3.18/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Look: Hazy medium-balanced amber with decent head. Average lacing.

Smell: Pine and earthy resins with mid floral hops.

T: Flavor follows the smell.

M: Heavy and not very refreshing. Low carbonation. WISH IT DRANK AS WELL AS IT LOOKED.

O: will not purchase again. another Goose Island that fails to impress.

Jun 14, 2016
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Suds from Missouri

4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This brew is hazy and pale gold. The head is of moderate stature, and the aroma is intensely hoppy. Citrus, spice, and evergreen...nice. It has a fresh hop aroma and dry hop taste. Moderate bitterness, in spite of the hop smell. It hides its alcohol well too, especially for being relatively crisp. Medium in body, with pine and lingering bitterness in the finish. Warmth sneaks up on you.

May 07, 2016
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mmmbeer89 from New Mexico

3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I guess they lowered the ABV% (not by much) on this beer because mine is listed as 8.4%. It's on the citrusy side for an IPA so it's a good beer in my book.

Apr 21, 2016
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BigDaddyWarbuxx from Iowa

4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A stellar imperial IPA. Expertly masks the high ABV with a pure hops flavor. The end result is a West coast style potent IPA that dethrones Green Flash's fantastic offering.

Apr 21, 2016
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Illinois has a thin, bone-colored head, a clear, burnt orange appearance, some bubbles, and minimal lacing left behind on the glass. The aroma is of sweet, sugary, malt, and fruity, hop resins. Taste is of those elements, with a very forward and robust hop oil bitterness. Sweetness and white bread are also noticed. Mouthfeel is high medium, and The Illinois finishes puckering dry. RJT

Apr 06, 2016
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Showing that there's an IPA for every season, the new year rings in a refreshing citric hop taste and with the warmth of alcohol and the elevated body to suggest sustenance. Perhaps we don't need global warming to help us drink IPA year round after all.

The Illinois pours a firm goldenrod with hints of light amber and orange sprinkled in. Its creamy foam cap rolls with the earthy perfume of hops- boisterous in citrus, lightly herbal and sprucy. To taste, its the simple syrup character of confectioner's sugar, light honey and a hint of aspartame that lays a sweet foundation first.

Pungent in hop flavors, the citrus grows quickly to dominate the middle palate and while the sweetness begins to loosen its grip. Pink grapefruit, lemon, peach and the tang of under-ripened orange bounce off the tongue and are given a sweeter branch-ripened character from the trailing sweetness still acting in support. Bitter and spicy late, the lasting flavors are of resinous pine shavings, citrus peel, light chive and a peppery bite of solvent-like alcohol.

Medium-bodied, the IPA achieves a high degree of dryness and drinkability as the sweetness retreats and takes the bulk of the beer's weight along with it. What's left is crisp and refreshing warmth on the throat to accompany the bitter grip on the gullet. Aftertastes of citrus and spruce provide echoes of hop remnants long afterwards.

Apr 02, 2016
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cyclonece09 from Wisconsin

4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the tap into a chalice. Pours cloudy orange with a tiny white head. Smells of floral and citrus hops, especially orange peel. Tastes of sweet grain with powerful citrus hops, with some lingering on the tongue. Beer is medium bodied with nice carbonation, definitely a sipper. Overall a very good beer.

Feb 27, 2016
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HopHunter19 from Missouri

3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - nice clear golden amber beer with a nice off white head that sticks well and leaves nice lacing
S - big juicy tropical fruits, candied orange, clean juiciness to it. Balanced by caramel/bready malts.
T - juicy, sweet fruits. Orange, lemon zest, kiwi. Grapefruit is more on the back end. It's a really clean tasting ipa. A little bit of a medicinal sweetness to it. Sweet caramel malts.
M - medium mouthfeel. Alcohol is present and warms your stomach as you drink it. Aftertaste is sweet, lots of citrus.
O - there's a little extra alcohol burn in this one, especially for the 9%abv. It's a real sweet, clean tasting ipa though.

Feb 21, 2016
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ChicagoJ from Illinois

3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2/11/16 Chicago ($7 12 oz draft pour into chalice at Goose Island Tap Room). Darker yellow pour, clear light head, minimal lacing. Citrus aroma. Nice strong hops and clean taste and texture. Pleasant bitterness, decent kick. Overall very good beer.

Feb 17, 2016
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milwaukee512 from Wisconsin

4.81/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A surprisingly good beer that I am glad I tried; I am a fan of Goose Island's Honkers Ale and IPA, but this one tastes more like a west-coast style IPA than a tradional English style one. Good carbonation, great balanced hoppy taste and smell. A winner from Goose Island.

Feb 17, 2016
Photo of rdilauro
rdilauro from Connecticut

3.49/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

New one for me from Goose Island. Not sure if its because I am from the East coast and am just visiting the Chicago area right now.
The abv and IBU just intrigued me.
The pour was exactly what I would expect from a high IBU hoppy beer. That orange hue was so present.
The aroma was pine resin, but there was so much more going in here... More than my nose could detect.
In fact, part of the aroma was something that threw me off a bit. It was a malty sweetness, but not like what I've smelled before.
That did have an impact on my first taste. I could not get rid of that aroma. Now, it wasnt bad, just different, so when I tasted the beer, my senses were wrapped around the nose
Enjoyable, but not a repeat , at least for me

Feb 04, 2016
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nicely rounded DIPA, deep amber color, initial creamy head dissipates over time. Caramel, malt and light hoppy aroma. Taste brings in more hoppiness, but still fairly malty.

Feb 01, 2016
Photo of Elimav
Elimav from Florida

4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A nice dark Amber color with a nice silky head. A malty grapefruit smell. The beer has a nice amount of hops but is very smooth. A really nice imperial IPA!

Sep 19, 2015
Photo of cherche
cherche from Washington

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap into a tulip glass.

good looking beer, on the darker side for an IPA/DIPA. Hoppy but more of a sweet, malty DIPA than a hop bomb. Overall a very good DIPA.

Jul 19, 2015
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Immortale25 from North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Dogfish traditional oversized snifter from a growler filled at Appalachian Vintner Asheville.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/4 inch off-white head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a side patch of bubbly surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Herbal hop aroma with a sweet malt backbone. Slight booze edge.

T- Reminds me of a barleywine as the semisweet malt character plays along with the generic hop flavors. Moderate bitterness with a bit of a glassy taste.

M- Somewhat sharp and a tad oily with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- There's something a bit off with this one that I can't put my finger on but it's a mostly serviceable DIPA.

Jul 18, 2015
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HeadyHopHead from New York

3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Solid offering from Goose, especially relative to its IPA, which I don't care for. Nothing really unique about it relative to other DIPAs, but if you want hoppy and potent, this will certainly do it for you.

Jun 28, 2015
Photo of argock
argock from Virginia

3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a clear glass tulip. Bottled on date in May 2014. Reviewed from notes. Consumed in August 2014. Purchased at WIne Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Hazy amber with 1-finger of frothy, off-white head with average retention and a scant stripe of lacing around the top of the glass.

S: Strong pine resin with milder dank aromas and lemon/oragne citrus hops and bready pale malting. No yeast or alcohol aromas.

T: Flavor follows the aroma closely with resiny earthy pine flavors coating a strong but not prominent bready pale maltiness. A bit boozy in the finish. Hops component is a bit one-dimensional.

M: Syrupy with very heavy, not too drinkable body with lowish carbonation hurting the drinkability even further.

O: A very middling IIPA with heavy body and one-dimensional hops character. NOt a great one but maybe it's better fresher.

May 24, 2015
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1000lbgrizzly from Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pulchritudinous burnished orange clear body, big rocky orange-tinted head. Few bubbles.

S: Citrus rind, hints of pine and mint, some caramel malt.

T: The pine comes through more here, but orange is pretty clear still. Tasty, but I could use more variety. Bitterness is solid but not overpowering, and the finish carries a nice mint refreshment.

M: Slightly syrupy, but otherwise easy drinking, especially for 9%.

O: Nothing to gripe about, it's very well done, but nothing especially compelling.

May 13, 2015
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jwc215 from Arizona

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Three Cellars, Franklin, WI:

Pours golden with a lasting thin white creamy head. L:acing sticks.

The citric nose is followed by a taste that is citric. A solid pale malt backbone gives it balance. Some peppery alcohol shows. Finishes dry.

A very nice DIPA!

Apr 05, 2015
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estimatedprophethawk from New Jersey

3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bought a four-pack which was bottled a week before purchase. Poured a yellow-amber, with large white head and plenty of lacing. Nice citrus and pine aroma, with notes of cream. Taste was syrupy at first, trailing off to a sweet slightly piney and citrus notes and ending with all three flavors. Not overly complex and the bitterness trailed off quickly. Nice for a novice iipa, but not really my style.

Feb 23, 2015
The Illinois from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 1222 ratings