The Illinois | Goose Island Beer Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
87
very good
160 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
The IllinoisThe Illinois
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by nmann08 on 06-15-2013

BEER STATS
Reviews:
160
Ratings:
1,198
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
27.95%
 
 
Wants:
32
Gots:
169
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 160 | Ratings: 1,198
Photo of flagmantho
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottled 2/10/14.

Appearance: medium golden hue with no haze and a moderate effervescence. Head is a thick finger of frothy tan foam with a hint of an orange cast. Quite attractive.

Smell: big, sweet malt aroma with a relatively subdued hop character. Very caramelly with a little bit of an earthy, herbal and perhaps noble hop aroma. Not too bad, but I prefer a big bouquet in a DIPA.

Taste: sweet, caramelly and malty; the hops are more herbal in character and have a lot more flavor than aroma. Bitterness is high, but appropriate for the sweetness. Good, though it doesn't blow me away.

Mouthfeel: rich body with a great carbonation and a mouth-filling creaminess that won't quit. Bam!

Overall: this is a relatively tasty and inoffensive DIPA, but it lacks the big aroma and bombastic punch that I love so much in the style.

 875 characters

Photo of gatornation
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap @ red cow
A=pours a mostly clear golden yellow color with afresh white head
S-fruity hops of orange and grapefruit slight pine bready mallts
T-hops first slight bitterness with fruity bite grassy taste with lemonbread malts
M-medium carbonation sweet and hoppy
T-good 2ipa not great recommend this one to try not over the top in any category but enough hops to satisfy

 378 characters

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Hi there.

This beer is like an arrow shot from one of those olympic bow and arrow bros - straight like an, umm, arrow. Yeah, it's straight like Derek Jeter and solid like his ability in the late 2000's. (This isn't four World Series' in a row Jeter, but it also isn't 2012 break your ankle on a pivot, Jeter.)

Moving along...

Big and boozy, but not really. The alcohol is hidden well like a leprechaun on holiday, while everything else is just pretty much slightly above aite.

So if you like "slightly above aite," have at it!

 542 characters

Photo of DHS1029
1.75/5  rDev -55.1%

One of the worst beers I have ever had. Way too heavy, boozy, and bitter, was like drinking a glass of bitter hop syrup. I hated this beer. Drank half and poured the rest down the sink. Goose Island can do MUCH better than this.

 232 characters

Photo of Pencible
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: This poured a clear dark gold with a little off white head.
S: It smelled like fresh apricots and bubble gum.
T: It tasted like apricot and herbal hops, with some sugary malt. It had a clean bitter aftertaste.
M: It was thick with some carbonation. Nice full body.
D: This was a nice double IPA with enjoyable scent and taste and body. The finish was smooth, and the alcohol was well hidden, so it was easy to drink. Solid brew.

 431 characters

Photo of Jimmys
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottled. bottled on FEB 10 2014.

A: amber hued. pretty good clarity. head is slightly off-white and is frothy. decent retention. not getting any lacing in this glass.

S: malty. smells full bodied. very fruity, very floral, a lot of pine and hop resin. varied complex and inviting.

T: a minor oxidative flavor. which is certainly unfortunate considering this is really not that old. a little bit of nail polish remover. a lot of hop resin stickiness. sticky icky, big time hop flavor. a very classic hop flavor. finish is slightly hot, but really moderate. not much bitterness.

M: a moderate carb on a full bodied DIPA.

D: sort of a "classic" DIPA. and by classic DIPA, I mean one that would be considered world class if it were produced 5 years ago. still a really good beer. the malt adds a nice layer of complexity to the aroma. big, hoppy, what you would want in a balanced DIPA.

 897 characters

Photo of macrosmatic
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Cigar City pint glass.

A: Pours a very clear deep gold, with lots of visible carbonation. Forms a one finger white head with a creamy consistency that has very good retention. Very nice.

S: Big resinous piney spruce, some citrus and a mild soapiness, leafy green grassy hops with spicy toasted malts and a bit of alcohol sweetness.

T: Bitter grapefruit, fresh pine tree, and a bready and biscuit sweet malt backbone with a touch of toasted caramel. Resinous and citrus rind hop bitterness lasts with some alcohol heat after the swallow. Seriously bitter - you taste every one of the label-claimed 95 IBU - but not pure alpha bitterness; there's a bunch of hop flavors too.

M: Good full mouthfeel, lots of carbonation sensation. The alcohol flavor is noticeable and warming, but doesn't really reach the point of losing drinkability.

O: I thought this was pretty good. It's not something I'd always keep in my fridge, but in the right mood for the right beer this hit the spot. I would generally prefer a more fruity hop profile but this worked for me.

 1,110 characters

Photo of nickapalooza86
4.74/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

pours a nice amber color, finger of off white almost cream colored head, nice lacing

Smell is tons of tropical and citrus notes a ton of lemon, kiwi, mango, pineapple, pear, orange, pine sweet bready malt, papaya

taste is tropical fruit, papaya, kiwi, pineapple, citrus, bitter grapefruit peel and orange peel, light pine, a bit of a astringent note, a nice malt backing of sweet bready and caramel backing but the real show here is the tropical and citrus hops

Mouthfeel on the fuller side of medium, nice carbonation, finishes quite dry with a light lingering bitterness that builds as you drink

Great DIPA, grabbed a single will probably get a 4 pack or two sometime!

 675 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.47/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Deep copper hue in the body a slight chill haze with light white head forming thick fine bubbled lacing is complex let's smell and taste this fine looking DIPA. Aromatics has pungent grapefruit and sticky malts including amber grains, cereal notes. Flavor has a perfect malty DIPA profile, big sticky malts with resinous hops started out citric and dank but when combined with too many residual sugars It ends up a distraught mix of over hopped zest with the sticky sweet unbalanced Midwest DIPA the rest of the country wants this to be. Mouthfeel is cloying with too many sticky malts hanging on a big DIPA that is beautifully balanced wins awards this barely gets recognized as a new player in the game available since A-B has taken the helm go figure. Overall, resinous grapfefruit and sticky sweet pineapple makes up the hop profile, it's just too alcoholic for being 9% abv...this one hits you with the alcohol. It's just overkill, especially for how excited I got when I saw a Goose Island DIPA.

 1,001 characters

Photo of Redrover
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz brown longneck poured into an imperial pint glass. The beer is copper with a sticky off-white head. It leaves lots of lacing on the glass.

The beer has an aroma of lots of citrus and something sweet. Fresh and inviting!

The beer is nicely bitter. Citrus and tropical fruits all backed by some sweet caramel malts. There is a bit of toffee then a nice dose of pine resin.

The beer is oily and tongue coating.

I liked this one and was glad my neighbor bought over a 4 pack to share! I'm hoping I can find it on draft.

 529 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle dated 2/14/14.

Pours hazy copperish-gold. A quarter inch head of white settles to a partial skim coat with some torn lacing.

Pine and grapefruit fill the nose with hints of dank resin and tangerine.

Medium bodied with a tacky and crisp mouth feel.

Tropical fruit with crushed pine boughs lead off the palate. Some warming, boozy alcohol follow through with a firm bitterness. Very slight malt to balance.

Finishes with a lingering bitterness, grapefruit, and pine.

Nice beer, probably excellent when fresh.

 524 characters

Photo of ISmith87
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - 4.25 - clear copper beer with nice white head that dissipates down pretty quick
S - 4 - super sweet citrusy hops and booze, balanced by caramel malt
T - 4 - follows the nose, sweet citrus hops/caramel malt... some booze in there but its a pretty standard amount for an iipa
M - 3.75 - light medium mouth feel. Pretty bitter, the citrus rind kind of bitter. Aftertaste is bitter grapefruit/ citrus peel. Alc present, maybe could be a little better covered.
O - 4 - better than I expected. People said it was really malty but not getting that out of it. I guess this could be a fresher bottle or just different tastes. Who knows.

 633 characters

Photo of DomD1121
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Very clear dark orange, deep golden, almost amber color. Nice two finger head. Leaves a nice lacing around the glass as you drink it.

S: Huge hop aroma. Lots of sweet, citrusy notes mixed in up front with a slight booziness. Really impressive.

T: Follows the nose pretty much exactly. Hops hit your palate hard right up front, and fade into a sweeter, orange citrus flavor with some peach and grapefruit notes. Slight maltiness in the aftertaste, with some booziness.

M: Full bodied and thick with mild carbonation. Classic DIPA mouthfeel. Slight boozy heat in the aftertaste.

O: A really solid DIPA from Goose Island. Obviously not in the same league as some of the big west coasters, but very good. Maybe I'm biased as a Chicagoan, but Goose Island can still make a great beer when they want to, and this is a perfect example. This is something I'd like to have in my fridge regularly.

 937 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Ayotte's
Crystal clear deep golden/amber color with a huge bubbly off white head that persists forever. Earth, citrus, pine, caramel and toffee make up the aroma. The flavor is a bit on the sweet malty side with a solid hit of warming alcohol. Bitter pithy citrus and earthy pine provide something to counter. Moderate level of hop bitterness. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy resinous mouthfeel. Nice big IPA, a bit on the sweet malty side for my tastes, but I enjoyed sipping on this.

 540 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice creamy fizzy 1 finger head that sticks around nicely, slow fade, soapy messy lacing too, crystal clear amber slight orangey note with a bright amber red hue.

Nose is strong, lots of hops as expected, some syrupy malts with that too, little cereal grain and toasty notes, mild copper malt and reddish amber malt with some sweetness and a decent kick of booze tingling the nose. Hops are the front runner though, candied orange peel, orange zest, fruity, mild floral spicy and hint pine, mild appley esters in the back.

Taste brings more hops and sweet malts. Again I'll cover malts first, candy malts, reddish and toasty with some caramel and toffee, nice candy character with fair sweetness that starts high and mellows a bit as it goes, but also the booze comes through as it goes, starting very light then getting a bit warm and tingly. Hops are again big, but not as much as the nose, quite bitter, with spicy hops out first, into candied orange peel and citrus zest again, little stone fruit too. Flashes of a grainy toasted malt with flashes of fruity esters as well, mostly estery booze character. Finish is sticky and sweet, quite sweet still, with fair spicy hop bitterness, more candied orange peel, floral hops notes, caramel sweet malts, and a big booze warmth. The hop bitterness and booze want to destroy the palate but maybe the first time I can say I'm glad it didn't dry too much.

Mouth is med to a bit heavier bod, bit soft too, lighter carbonation though, and some warming tingly booze.

Overall not bad, a typical DIPA with lots of sweet malts, candy, toffee, toasty reddish malts, etc, with lots of bitter hops to go with it, citrus peel, little spicy and floral, etc, attempts to balance and does a fair job of it, with so much of every aspect being so heavy. Booze is a bit much, but it is 9% so that's to be expected.

 1,856 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Paid the price this one 4 dollars for the single. Trouble is around PA we don't pay by gouging we pay by ABV. Into a pint glass.

A dark rusty/orange color with a white head that sticks around forever but eventually pulls back to a thick ass lace ring.
S - The aroma brings deep orange and pineapple and candy caramel. Not very hoppy but it smells rather sweet with a hidden ABV.
T - The flavor has a nicely blended medley of orange, mango and pineapple. Caramel and lemony with a balanced malt base..
M - It actually tastes quite light maybe medium bodied at most but very drinkable.

Overall even though they are owned by AB they still make great beers. Would pick it up again for 12 dollars a four pack.

 706 characters

Photo of Durge
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A crystal clear but dark rusty/orange color with a goodly white head that retreats to an impressive lace. The aroma brings deep orange and pineapple and candy caramel and a bit of fermenting banana. Likable. The flavor has a nicely blended medley of orange, mango and pineapple. Caramel and lemony wheat grain show up as well for a very flavorful result. There is a little alcohol but not too bad. The body is solidly medium with a smooth and slightly sticky feel. Modest carbonation but a reasonably tingly sensation is present. Very good stuff.

 546 characters

Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours an impressively deep golden-orange hue in the body, probably the deepest colored IPA or DIPA I've ever seen. Average sized, two finger head with awesome retention and lacing adorns the top of this beer. The body of this beer is almost perfectly translucent.

S- Huge, bitter hop flavors hit you square in the nostrils right up front. First flavor that hits is a sticky smelling, resiny pine. Not overpoweringly bitter in the scent, but definitely an 8 or 9 out of 10 on the bitterness scale. Piney hops bitterness presides throughout the the smell, fading slightly at the end, but no malt is ever detectable in the scent of this beer.

T- Starts with a moderate to strong hop bitterness bang on your tongue. Hops in the flavor are not so overtly piney as in the scent, but more balanced, leaning towards pine, but giving a little floral quality shortly after. Bitterness fades in the middle a bit, letting a touch out maltiness get to your taste buds, very similarly to Goose IPA. The hops bitterness returns in a big and stronger way right at the end, leaving your palate reeling from one last bitterness punch.

M- Not a lot to say here, because this beer feels like a DIPA should. Overall feel characteristics are smooth, thick, light carbonation, and a slow, bitter, and boozey drink.

Overall, a very good DIPA. Gives plenty of hop bitterness for the hop heads, yet there is somewhat of a resemblance to an English IPA with just a touch of malt base detectable.

 1,475 characters

Photo of Bierman9
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I bought a single 12oz bottle today at The Beer Store ($3.25) after hearing decent things about this one....

Filled my Sammy glass to the brim... Color is light copper/medium golden, and there's a healthy carbo level here (something I've noticed from most everything I've poured into the Sammy glass). Head is light tan, and a bit frothy and rocky, and lasts well. Good lacing is sticking around, too. The aroma has a nice bit of caramel malt along with a solid bit of citrusy West-coast hopping. Body is solid; a middle of the road medium all the way. The feel is pretty creamy, too, with minimal prickle.

Flavor also has a bit of malty sweetness, but then the hops go balls to the walls! Great citrus, with grapefruit all over, plus some resiny, pine action. The pithy bitterness makes for a very dry finish, and the ABV dangerously hidden. A supremely solid, well-made DIPA. With a 4-pack at $10.00, I can see more of these in my fridge soon. Prosit!!

4.16/5 rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

1639

 1,040 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.64/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at Beelow's.

Yeah, I thought about grabbing a bottle of Crabbie's from the cooler in front of me, but I went with a new-to-me DIPA from Goose instead. Whatever, there's always time if I fuck up, right? Anyway, this stuff pours a mostly clear sunset amber topped by a half-finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises orange peel, grapefruit zest, light pineapple juice, and a strong vein of pine resin. The taste brings in more of the same, the rinds really providing some sharp bitterness at times, with a tiny rivulet of callow caramel trying desperately to run through the proceedings. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a nice little DIPA, but a bit too--prickly, shall we say?--for my liking.

 784 characters

Photo of dogfishandi
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip. Bottled on 10feb14 (just shy of 2 months old)

Pours out a very nice deep orange, very clear body, some nice retentive slightly off white head with some really nice sticky lace. Looks great.

Aroma isn't nothing spectacular or overly hoppy. A nice balance, slight alcohol heat. Some grapefruit citrus and hints of pine resin.

Nicely balanced, slightly sweet light caramel, almost a deep breadiness. Malt forward, just enough alcohol to bring the malt forward. Grapefruit citrus, some resin and pine. Alcohol is noticeable and adds a nice aspect to the beer, in no way overpowering.

Perfect body for a DIPA.

East coast for sure. Good, but nothing too special. Reminiscent of 90 minute. The best thing it has going for it is a nice balance.

 779 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.59/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear-ish copper color. The head is a finger high, off-white in shade, and rather bubbly looking. It doesn't really have the best retention, but leaves behind streaks of soapy lacing.

S: There's a good grapefruit character to be found here. Even better, there's a faint tropical hint as well. Not a whole lot of pine or dankness here: the citrusy character makes a better ballast for the prevalent malt character of caramel and toffee. As it warms up, the grapefruit aroma becomes a little more defined.

T: At first, it's very grapefruity on the palate, with a nice bittersweet character to it. Its midtaste is typically malty - caramel, toffee, and maybe some brown sugar - with a twinge of the opening grapefruit flavor intermingling all the way into the marmalade-y finish. At first, it tastes a tad boozy. This will go away after a few sips, leaving a well balanced yet slightly unexciting DIPA.

M: The body is typical for a DIPA: medium thickness (maybe erring slightly heavy), slightly syrupy on the linger, yet mildly bitter. I'm missing the crisp bite I'd expect from a great DIPA feel; still, it only becomes slightly too sweet after about 2/3rds of the bottle. Carbonation is mid-pack for the style. Drinkability isn't great, but it's very nice to sip on.

O: This one is quite good, but it doesn't really break any new ground. It's just another tasty DIPA in a sea full of tasty DIPAs - it's very grapefruity, malty, yet with a nice bitterness. It's definitely worth drinking again.

 1,540 characters

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a bright and clear copper color with two fingers of creamy ivory head. Sheets of sticky lacing left behind.

Aroma of pineapple and pine, along with mango, candy sugar and sweet caramel malts. Became more malt-pronounced as it warmed.

The taste was less hoppy than the aroma. Sweet caramel malts upfront, along with pineapple, mango, and candy sugar. The 9% abv gave a tingly warmth to the palate.

Medium bodied and sticky with a moderate carbonation.

A solid IIPA from Goose Island but not amongst my favorites. Skewed a little too much to the malty side, IMO.

 587 characters

Photo of justintcoons
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance
Golden amber with 1 finger of off-white head that dissipates quickly. Good clarity with light carbonation.

Nose
Grapefruit, mango, caramel, and toffee. Hints of peach and passion fruit.

Taste
Pink grapefruit, mango, and fresh cut grass. Hints of peach, lime, and passion fruit. Big caramel and honey backbone. Finishes with mango rind, grapefruit zest, and pine with hints of onion.

Mouthfeel
Full bodied, silky, oily, and dry with a moderate bitterness.

Overall
A solid DIPA with big grapefruit and floral components.

 570 characters

Photo of richj1970
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass. Bottle date was 2/7/2014.

A: Pours a beautiful clear deep golden yellow with a one finger fluffy white head that dissipated fairly quickly. A bit of lacing but nothing significant.

S: Lots of nice citrus in the nose. Grapefruit, oranges, and maybe a bit of lemon along with some sweet caramel and biscuit.

T: A bit of hops, but dominated by sweet caramel, butterscotch, and honey.

M: Medium body and nicely carbonated. Perhaps a touch sweet. A bit of oily resin on the tongue.

O: Enjoyable Imperial IPA. I tend to like these with a strong malt backbone, and this certainly fits the bill bordering on too much.

 658 characters

The Illinois from Goose Island Beer Co.
3.9 out of 5 based on 1,198 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!