Matilda - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
MatildaMatilda

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BA SCORE
89
very good

1,196 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,196
Hads: 4,385
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 226
Gots: 878 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-04-2003

Golden sunrise color, baking spice aroma, fruity biscuity malt flavor, dry body.

Users have reported some infected bottles from these batches:

4/1/10 12oz
4/17/10 12oz
4/22/10 12oz
5/20/10 12oz
4/16/10 650mL
5/21/10 650mL
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,196 | Hads: 4,385
Photo of KonigObHops
4.48/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a light copper color similar to a penny with slight haziness and an ivory head that was about one finger thick.

The aroma was of fruits (cherries?) and a slight hint of cloves. To me this beer smells like jelly beans!

This beer has an initial bite. It starts sweet, and in the middle I taste berry and perhaps coriander. The finish is very interesting and seems to warm into cherry flavor.

Mouthfeel is excellent for a beer of this style - crisp with carbonation a bit toward the high side.

This is a good beer. It is as complex and interesting as advertised. However, those that claim that it is the best Belgian Ale that they have ever had have chosen a beer that doesn't really fit the style. I really liked this beer, but would not say that it is one of the best Belgian Ales I have ever had. (823 characters)

Photo of ChrisP802
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark Amber pour with big head that recedes fast
Very soft carbonation
Couldn't smell much from the pour, smelled similar to college
Tasted malty and sweet
Pretty drinkable
For a beer that's relatively easy to find and cheap, it's nice (236 characters)

Photo of jmasher85
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reddish gold and no haze, and a nice little head and immediately, Ooh baby that's some funky junk! Strong yeast and brett with a hint of strawberries and spice. The first sip fills the mouth right up with a creamy, lightly foamy texture. S strange bit of wood and wet cardboard, but really delicious cardboard. Less sour than the smell implies, it's actually quite smooth and a bit dry and warm. Also, doesn't taste too boozy but feels stronger and numbs the gums more than I expected. (489 characters)

Photo of Haydn-Juby
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Day old review notes from a one year old bottle.

L: Amber color; moderate clarity. Two finger head and decent retention. Some sediment is visible in the beer.

S: Initially I get a bit of apple - think unpasteurized apple cider. As it warmed I got some more of the brett funk. Suprisingly, noble-type hop aroma seems to be quite strong in this beer.

T: More laid back than I initially expected. Maltly - not too much caramel but rather slightly biscuity and bready. Bitterness is slight. The Brett comes through only a bit and manifests itself as the traditional barnyard/phenolic type funk; That being said, funk is truly minimal. Actual acidity is minimal. Maybe a bit of pear and clove if you really looked for it.

F: Crisp and refreshing. It's definitely dry. Carbonation is just about perfect.

O: It's good but it's not THAT good IMO. Even after a year of aging I found it to be rather bland and found myself searching for flavors rather than reveling in the beer's complexity. It's worth a try but I would never ever pay the price I did (11$) again. (1,062 characters)

Photo of leantom
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Well, it's no Allagash or Ommegang, but it's still a good American Belgian beer. Here goes:

A: Not good. Not much carbonation relative to other Belgian brews. Also has very little head and lacing. The body, however, resembles most Belgian pale ales, i.e., very cloudy orange-gold.

S: We're getting there... Bready Belgian yeast imparts lots of spices in the aroma, including clove, coriander, white pepper. Also lemon and orange peel. Some candied sugar in the background as well. However, the scents appear somewhat gimmicky and lacking in substance, at least compared to other Belgian brews.

T: Pretty good, but nothing to write home about. Follows the nose with added emphasis on the yeasty bread and candied sugar. Fruitiness appears in the aftertaste.

F: Good. Nice and bready.

O: A good beer. There are better Belgians on the market, however. (870 characters)

Photo of chicksdiggit
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L: 2012 vintage, reviewed 7/9/2015. Poured center from bomber into a snifter glass. Hazy pale copper with over two fingers of egg shell white head of fine to moderate sized bubbles. Aggressive cone of carbonation arising from the middle of the glass. Thick soapy lacing and thick retention.

S: Big boozy nose right after the pour with orange peel, funk, yeast, and a note of resin.

T: Malty orange peel up front with a champagne quality. Hot alcohol by way of grain. Some lime in the bitter finish. Not terribly complex for me.

F: Smooth and creamy on the way down, but zingy citrus from the bitterness. A touch dry at the very end. Flavor stays on the palate a long time. 7% is noticeable for me more so than in other beers of the same ABV I've had.

O: I know there is huge hype for this beer, but I thought it was a little too simple for a brett beer when it comes to flavor. Make no mistake, well brewed and clean, but it leaves me wanting more. I wouldn't wait in line just for this. (1,006 characters)

Photo of NCMatt
4.54/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle to snifter glass. Was wonderful. Slightly spicy but delightfully fruity as well. It was a little sweet almost, but overall well balanced. Very enjoyable! (177 characters)

Photo of Brondeau
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty good. Had a two month old bottle at the Westin Chicago River North. Beautiful looking beer. Perfect gold-Amber in the glass. A little less carbonation than I like. Pretty mild flavors that blend well. First tastes felt alcohol-y but that has gone away. Would drink again. (279 characters)

Photo of mmahanna41
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very good... Look is cloudy amber. Smell is the only thing disappointing about this beer, slightly fruity but very light. Taste is fruity, very light hops taste. (162 characters)

Photo of aobrehm
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Interesting hybrid of Belgian Pale and Belgian Golden Strong.
Aroma restrained with some fruit and farmhouse funk.
Beautiful golden color with a cloudy haziness.
Fruity esters in the flavor with slight spicy and biscuity backbone. Slight tartness.
Bone dry, thin mouthfeel.
All things considered, a fairly one-dimensional Belgian-style ale. (340 characters)

Photo of monkeybeerbelly
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Just realized that somehow I never reviewed this one. An excellent example of the style. I like this one with at least a year on it to really bring our the Brett flavor. I call this the poor man's orval (204 characters)

Photo of bkatof78
3.32/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A little disappointing. 2014 650ml bottle. Excellent carbonation, nice belgian style ale, but lacked the complexity I hoped for. Couldn't help but compare it to Sofie, which I felt was much better. (200 characters)

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from a 650 ml bottle in a DFH snifter 2014 vintage. This fine BPA pours a rustic hazy risty amber with a solid white head of foam that dissipates to a thick layer and solid lacing. Nose of light coriander, lemon zest, banana, honey, yeasty funky goodness, and medium floral hops. Flavors exceed the nose with lemon zest, orange zest, candy sugars, light bubble gum, and light bittering hops on all sides finishing off with a phenol laden banana and spice note that turns to a medium floral/bitter hop note. Excellent mouth feel, good carbonation, and a moderately dry finish. Improves with warmth. Excellent. A treat for hop/Belgian/malt lovers alike. Awesome, always a pleasure!

One of the greats from the Goose!

Cheers (739 characters)

Photo of Gajo74
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark golden with a creamy head that soon dissipates. Fruity aromas; bannana, mango, pineapple and other tropical fruit. The fruitiness carries over into taste as well as a solid malt and alcohol. Crisp feel, active carbonation. Goes down easily. I liked it a lot and I will definetely have again. (304 characters)

Photo of farmhaus
4.14/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Note: 2013; 22 oz bottle.
Look: A nice, rich golden color. Slight haziness.
Nose: Somewhat muted. Floral and fruity with undertones of spice.
Taste: Floral/perfumy character up front. Sweet, with some bright, dried fruit. Orange peel. Apricot? A touch of lavender on the backend.
Feel: Wonderful mouthfeel. Medium body. Silky smooth with a great transition to the dry finish.
Overall: Always a great beer. (425 characters)

Photo of ZBowden
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 2013 12 oz bottle, pours hazy honey gold color, smells yeasty and funky slight malty, tastes slight sour with maltiness and bitterness, smooth mouthfeel lasting finish. Carbonation still bright and present. (220 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a chalice. This bottle is vintage 2011. The bottle gushed profusely upon opening, but the contents do not seem infected.

A: Tawny colored and hazy. The head stood at five fingers initially due to all the agitation, but settled into a manageable two after a time. Patches of foamy lacing cling here and there.

S: Toast, banana bread, walnuts. Very yeast driven and complex with whiffs of cinnamon and perhaps cardamom, plump golden raisins, and lighter pineapple/star fruit notes. Very slightly musty. Some wet paper bag oxidation.

T: Banana bread with walnuts. Honey. Cinnamon and brown sugar. Yeasty and very lightly musty. Wet paper bag oxidation. Golden raisin a very slight pithy lemon sort of flavor. Hollow hop bitterness, a bit earthy. Doughy and toasty finish.

M: Medium bodied. Round and somewhat chewy feel. Fine carbonation scrubs with a firm but gentle tingle.

O: This is an excellent beer fresh, so take this review with a grain of salt. This was a four year old bottle that, while it didn't age as gracefully as I'd hoped, still wasn't a total loss. Age really took its toll, but it drank ok despite it. (1,150 characters)

Photo of Stingraystripe
3.26/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

VERY funky nose - musty orange and musty spice. Opaque gold amber with minimal head. Tastes of Dandelions and yeast. Very smooth and velvety mouthfeel. Bitter orange rind finish. Snifter almost too much with the nose on this one - very strong, and a really good exercise in the influence of smell on taste. This one is highly interesting and would make for some great sampling. (383 characters)

Photo of Azaitouna
4.71/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The look was a very dark gold almost amber pour. The smell was a of fruit but also a weird cheese/yeast smell as well. But the taste was great and with a dry finish. Overall, I enjoyed just need to fix the aroma of the beer. (224 characters)

Photo of Kirsten_Ann92
2.46/5  rDev -38%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

When poured it was a beautiful dark amber colored ale. However, I was taken aback by the smell it excreted. It smelled like trash... I will blame that mostly on the yeast but it was really off putting. Though when I tasted it, it was not bad. It had a little spicy notes to it and was very dry. Overall not my kind of beer but it wasn't a horrible experience. (360 characters)

Photo of carolynschaf
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer was named after a Princess. It has a wild yeast strain. It is very robust and aromatic. It goes well with pork belly. It has a specific drying action. It should be served close to room temperature. (207 characters)

Photo of joesi
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Brewed(?) start of May 2014; purchased and tasted 1 year later. Large bottle format.

I don't encounter wild/lambic/unique beers like this too often where I'm from, so I just had to pick this up.

Taste; it's *all* about the taste. Nothing to look at or smell really, although in my opinion no beverage at all should be something to look at nor smell.
It takes like a spiced Belgian ale (or at least the sensation of spice— phenolic and alcohol?) combined with a very significant dollop of Brettanomyces (wild fruit yeast). There is a reasonable flavor of hops as well (certainly _at least_ two varieties I'd think), but it's not overpowering , and mixes *VERY* well with the other flavors; I suppose that's what makes this such a critically acclaimed beer. Very rarely and/or slightly the woody hops show themselves, but typically it's just a generic mild bitter hops taste (don't get me wrong, it's great, although I'm not a big hop fan personally).
Note that I didn't notice _any_ major maltiness to this beer than normal, so I don't know why that it's mentioned in the commercial description. It's quite light tasting, and malt —at least in my opinion— is what makes a heavier taste. That said, the taste in here is still very complex without major malt notes.
There is a lingering taste of hops, spice, and Brett all in the aftertaste which is astounding. Best aftertaste I've ever had in any beer, I'd say. It's all balanced nicely, and is almost as if one was still drinking if it wasn't for the total lack of mouthfeel.

Speaking of which, the carbonation is a bit below medium I'd say, and somewhat fine in texture, but nothing too special. Quite nice mouthfeel overall, and the carbonation isn't too high to be uncomfortable.

Notes to a potential purchaser/drinker: If you like brett, definitely try it. If you are clueless, this would be a great thing to try to see if you like it or not. If you can't stand even small amount of brett, definitely avoid this. I think most people would appreciate the wild twist this beer has though; I know I do. It's really *the* thing that makes it.

This beer reminds me slightly of home made —natural— pineapple mead (perhaps more-so just overripe pineapple or fruit) and homemade pear ale that my friend and me have made (the pineapple mead likely containing little to no brett as far as I know though, but could have still been there). (2,396 characters)

Photo of MakenziMantey
2.34/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

The color of this beer is a dark yellow/orange. The aroma you get is a slightly orange smell with a hint of just straight rotten smell as well. Tasting this beer is strictly unpleasant and just not a good at all. (212 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Brilliant amber with a thin white finely bubbled foam collar.
S: flowery nose, fruity, some tartness, the barnyard is there but subdued.
T: The beer starts fruity leaning to bubble gum, peach or mango, more malt mid-palate and then a balancing bitterness at the back where the sweet fruits, the malts and the earthy hop bitterness all come together.
F: Medium to medium light body, average to a little above on the carbonation, very fine and soft , has the Brett texture.
O: This should age quite well but unfortunately bottles never last long at my house. (564 characters)

Photo of ARoman
3.57/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

*transferred from old notes - 1/18/2014*
On tap into a shaker. The yeast smell come through strongest, mostly reminiscent of farm-like odors. This is accompanied by some not as strong aromas of citrus and clove spiciness with some trace butter and earthiness scents. It pours a cloudy copper-gold with a white, puffy head which leaves behind some faint lacing. It’s mostly citrus sweet with some lighter floral bitterness, and even light, mellow sour. The first thing noticed in the mouthfeel is the abundant, fizzy carbonation. The crisp, medium body leaves an interesting spicy/floral aftertaste, which has some moderate staying power. This one is probably more enjoyable in warmer weather rather than the middle of winter. (727 characters)

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Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,196 ratings.