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Matilda - Goose Island Beer Co.


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,168 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3168
Reviews: 1109
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.91%

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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-04-2003)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,168 | Reviews: 1,109 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Celtics17


4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slight sourness, not what I was looking for with that, but it doesn't kill the beer. I do get some apple, and some sweetness. You can really taste the Belgian yeast coming through. A dry finish, and a slight fruity bite after this beer sits in your mouth.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2014 06:14:11 | More by Celtics17
Photo of LiquidAmber


4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 2010, properly cellared bottle poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium to dark coppery amber with a thin off-white head that left light lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, light stone fruit and mild oxidation. Flavor begins subdued dried light stone fruit, and light caramel, but the caramel intensifies towards the finish revealing bready malt and more intense stone fruit flavors, mildy buttery. Medium bodied. I took brief notes on this when I bought it fresh and they reveal that I was not too impressed with it, finding the flavors pleasant but underwhelming. I have been skeptical about the claim on the bottle that it would age for up to five years. I'm not in doubt now, this has turned out quite nicely. Still somewhat restrained, but the light fruit fruit flavor of the young beer have not so much intensified as become deeper, like dried fruit. Quite enjoyable and I will certainly age this one again if I see it.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2014 01:08:56 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of sid240


4.66/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had at lunch at Harry Caray's; poured into glass from bottle. One of the best beers I've ever had. Hazy orange/copper color, spicy yeast fragrance. 2nd beer as good if not better, I don't get to enjoy this enough it was as expensive as a dram of single malt scotch whisky. A must try.

Serving type: on-tap

04-13-2014 14:46:08 | More by sid240
Photo of ChristopherWIU-UTPA


4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Goose Island Matilda, in my opinion, is a world class beer of the highest quality. It pours copper colored, finger sized head, and medium carbonation. It has tastes of hops, malts, and fruits, this is do to the Styrian and Saaz Hops that is used. It has a spicy fragrance, goes down smooth for a Belgian ale, and has pleasant after taste.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 04:43:11 | More by ChristopherWIU-UTPA
Photo of Swettenham_Shire


3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into tulip glass...

A: burnt orange color with visible sediment/yeast; beautiful
S: apples, old bananas, yeast; fruity, similar to a Hefeweizen
T: follows the nose - sweet and sour
M: amazing feel and finish; like others have said, it's a beer version of champagne
O: one of my favorites from Goose Island

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2014 15:32:40 | More by Swettenham_Shire
Photo of Jmanwillsellyourbeer

New York

5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a great beer perfect beer I only ask those who try it pour it in a glass I'm a big fan plus I distribute this brand in NY. Right now I am aging Sofie year by year to see the difference in taste Matilda is my new girlfriend! Watch out you will fall in love with her

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2014 19:23:03 | More by Jmanwillsellyourbeer
Photo of JerUrbans


3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear light orange that is very fizzy, nearly no head after fizz stopped. Very strong fruity smell with some bready and spicy aroma. Taste very similar to smell fruity and leaves a sour tang at the end. Mouthfeel is smooth but tangy with big carbonation and a very dry finish.

Overall an interesting beer, haven't had very many Belgian styles but this is a good drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2014 02:18:01 | More by JerUrbans
Photo of BeerDazed


4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I enjoyed Matilda out of a bottle last summer. This time, on tap and poured into a snifter.

Dark orange in color with some haze. It actually looked really nice in the (restaurant) setting I was in - as they had some darker woods and orange lighting above the bar. Head didn't last long, and minimal lacing.

Aroma was fruity, almost sour, on the nose. Along with some spice too.

Taste hits you with some of the fruity and peppery smells mentioned above. Citrus...like apple or pear are there. Hints of breadiness and malt too. Nicely balanced and well carbonated, and is very crisp on the palate. Dry finish.

This is a really nice, and easy to drink, Belgian-style beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-09-2014 14:17:42 | More by BeerDazed
Photo of JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up a few weeks back in Totowa, knowing that I had a nice, fresh bottle. The date on the bottle was from the 16th of January so I was excited to have one that was less than two months old. This felt like a Belgian Pale Ale because of how easy this was to quaff and the relatively low alcoholic content and since none of the flavors overpowered the others, the mouthfeel was quite smooth and nicely balanced as well.

Nice pour to this, as this beer had a deep golden hue with some translucence to it. Not a lot of head here but the lacing after the first few sips was some of the best I've seen in a long time, with solid, thick rings left down the side of my pint glass. Lots of apple, with some caramel and candied sugar underneath int he taste. The carbonation and lightness of this made me think of champagne and reminded me of the Brooklyn Local 1, which was the my standard for this style for a long time. While not as light and effervescent as that, this held up well since the biscuit-like mouthfeel lent the right amount of bite to this without being heavy on the wheat or starch.

This almost didn't feel like beer since there really any hops noticeable and the same could have been said for the alcohol. I had to pace myself while drinking this and only a slight warming sensation that came over me as I polished this off led me to realize that there was booze in this. While not outstanding ,this was the best and most accessible example of this style that I ever had and worth a go for anyone who has never tried a Belgian-style Pale Ale or Strong Ale before. Not too sweet, funky, or overpowering, Matilda was a beer that I'd grab again as I await the transition to warmer days ahead. Subtly enjoyable and up to par with its European counterparts.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2014 05:54:16 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of schoolboy


4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an inbetween belgian. Not too strong and not too weak. Not the tastiest, but not at all bad in any way. It has a bit of something I have not been able to identify that shows mostly in the nose - a faint burnt quality - like burnt fruit. I know that's odd.

The lacing goes clear up the glass and hangs on big time. The flavor and odor balance go a long way towards making this very nice. I would buy again.

Drank another one today (02-20-2014) that is dated 08-19-2010. It has a nice dirty flavor and a crazy fruity aroma. Carbonation is off the charts. I'm glad I saved it but it could have been at prime a while ago.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2014 01:47:19 | More by schoolboy
Photo of Morakaton


4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Ah, Goose Island's Matilda, an interesting brew indeed. After trying the 4 sisters out at a tasting recently, I decided to crack a bottle of one of their relatives, the relatively praised Belgian Strong Pale Ale, Matilda.

The logistics: 12oz bottle dated April 10, 2013, poured into a snifter. The beer has been in storage in a pantry kept at about 65 degrees for the last 4 months, stored in a fridge 6 hours before serving.

Aromas and appearance: Upon opening the bottle, the nose let off a wonderful fruity and spicy fragrance that filled my nostrils. The drink poured with a nice small 1 inch head that turned into a lingering ring. There is a lot of character going on in this bright golden amber body, with very pretty lacing and foamy figures on the surface of the beer.

Mouthfeel and taste: The beer has a very nice, slightly thick and creamy mouthfeel. Medium bodied, but has enough retention that the beer holds up well. Slightly above average ABV at 7%, but it's completely hidden for the most part. The taste is much like the nose, lot's of fruit and spice as typical in belgian style beer. Very well balanced, no one taste is too overpowering. Well carbonated too, perhaps just a bit too much carbonation though.

Overall: This was a big improvement for Goose Island for me tonight (aside from the godly Bourbon County series), as the 4 sisters disappointed me, and also since my first beer of tonight's drinking session was their relatively bland and imbalanced Sixth Day brown ale. I would love to purchase a 2014 bottle and compare a fresh bottle with this 10 month old bottle, I'm not quite sure if age makes a big difference, but they supposedly can develop for up to 5 years.

Until next time!

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2014 02:42:02 | More by Morakaton
Photo of GPHarris


4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


a - poured a one finger thick bubbly, light tan head into a tulip glass that left thick sheeting throughout. the body was a bright golden-amber color. beautiful beer.
s - floral hops, bready with some honey sweetness.
t - very fruity and yeasty with some honey sweetness.
m - slick and creamy, very clean.
o - delicious and one i would definitely go to again.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 17:20:51 | More by GPHarris
Photo of Cubatobaco


4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Vintage 2012

Poured slowly into a Duvel tulip.

A - Hazy, deep golden color. Little to no head formed with a splotchy, sticky lacing.

S - Layers of malt, caramel and brown sugar, clove/ baking spices, dough.

T - Same flavors as in the aroma, with light hop spice and citrus notes. Citrus and lemon zest are very present.

M - Champagne -like feel that finishes very dry. High carbonation and some estery notes linger.

O - Awesome beer that holds up quite well. I have no doubts that this will age as the bottle says. Willing to put this up against other higher end Belgians. This would be nice on a hot day with a cigar!

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2014 02:32:02 | More by Cubatobaco
Photo of NiceTaps

New Jersey

4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle in a GI stemmed chalice.

A- Poured a copper-amber color, darker than I expected for the style. The white head never fluffed up but left nice lacing. Very bubbly.

S-Belgian yeast, sweet caramel, spicy hops. Sugary baked goods.

T- Bready. Some sweet malt, mild hops spiciness.

M- Lots of champagne-like carbonation; long dry finish. Silky smooth.

O- Dangerously drinkable for the style and abv. I'd have this again anytime.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 03:01:43 | More by NiceTaps
Photo of ZorPrime

Quebec (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Simply wow. This is a pretty amazing beer. Its big and very delicious. The beer color is golden. Nice head but it disappear quickly. Nice looking beer. The aroma has some sugars notes, some candy and fruits. Very inviting. In the mouth, the taste is sugary with some nice fruits. Its fruity with sugar. Everything I love! Pretty amazing on the nose. The taste is also pretty good. This is one good beer to sip slowly... but its so good, you have to watch yourselves to not drink it too quickly!

Lightly effervescent in the mouth. Delicious.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 01:17:13 | More by ZorPrime
Photo of BGDrock

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: medium copper, with sight haze; whirlwind of carbonation; solid, cream colour head has great retention

Aroma: light caramel, toffee - sweet; baked apple or peach - like a fresh pie; vanilla bean

Taste & Mouthfeel: quite odd, tough to really define flavours at first...hops are having most impact, but it's subdued across the board while remaining interesting - hops taste of resin, grass, and grapefruit - strangely diverse; touches of spice too, coriander and salt; malt takes a backseat, attributing just enough balance but not much flavor, mostly bready sweetness; great carbonation, satin on the tongue, a little buttery, quite dry in the finish, hops lingering nicely; spices becomes the more dominant aspect of the beer halfway through, pleasant but not extraordinary

Overall: definitely an interesting beer, the wide variety of flavours throughout are great, but are all kept in tight moderation - it feels restrained, and could be better if there was some part that really burst out.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 23:41:41 | More by BGDrock
Photo of mlichens

New Hampshire

4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Oh boy, glad even Anheuser-Busch can't ruin this.

Poured from a bottle into a belgian goblet.

Colour is a hazy orange with not too much head or lacings.

In regards to taste, it certainly is more than you'd expect from the light citrus notes in the nose. It is a tad fruity and while Pale, it is not hoppy at all. If I had to name one downfall, it is a tad too carbonated.

All in all, a good American Belgian.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 03:46:25 | More by mlichens
Photo of osant37

New York

3.28/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

bottled on 2/7/13. so the bottle has 1 year and 1 day of age on it from the day of this review. pulled it from local beer store fridge.

A - pours a golden brown. like a lemonade iced tea. big carbonation. fluffy quickly dissapating head.

S - classic belgian yeast esters, bannana,orange, clove and a hint of candi sugar and grassyness from sazz hops.

T - funky yeast notes followed by faint tropical fruit and grassy malts. im picking up a hint of saaz hops.slight alcohol.

M - very light.corbonation washes the pallet..slight estery aftertaste.

O- im not that impressed. would rather have a trappiste rocheforte 6 over this anyday. but a faily decent attempt at the style. which i might add. is not my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2014 20:23:46 | More by osant37
Photo of BierJager89


4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark, somewhat hazy orange/golden with an off-white head.

S: Banana, brown sugar, peach and a bit of alcohol in the nose. Interesting.

T: Brown sugar, poppy, banana, peach, nectarine. Still interesting.

M: Full bodied and smooth.

O: As I said twice, it's interesting. It's good, definitely worth a try, definitely recommended, as are most of their beers.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 06:20:03 | More by BierJager89
Photo of ItsMe


3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into firestone teku. just came in the mail. niiicee..

pours a golden honey amber with some of dat belgian murk. cant see much through the center of this glass. foamy white finger and half head dissappaits into a healthy ring. nice legs, ma.

smells like banana-rama all day. hints of pineapple, bready, biscuity-ness, barnyard funk.

taste has a ginger like spice to it. bread and yeast with tropical fruit in there.

crisp, with nice carbonation. shy of medium body. very easy drinking. very nice.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 20:23:55 | More by ItsMe
Photo of Scrapss


4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the Bomber into the chalice

A: Deep gold with a tinge of ruddiness. Big poured head settled into a thin disk with minimal lacing. Cloudy, particulates are suspended and very little carbonation flowing.

S: Big pear, tart apple, Bready yeast. This is straight up new-world/new-age Belgian style ale.

T: Follows nose, with bright fruit notes and just a hint of that bready and bretto-funkiness.

M: SMMMMOOOTTTHHH. Nice and creamy. The only sharpness is the brett and slightly metallic uber-ultimate finish. Not unpleasant and disappears when warmed. slightly puckery at edges, sweet medium middle.

O: This is definitely a great ale. This is the first I've had, and it definitely will not be the last if I can help it. This is one that I am rating overall higher than sum of the parts, due to the nature of the combination I feel it is warranted.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 19:40:55 | More by Scrapss
Photo of Paincane


3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Hazy orange copper pour with billowy white head.
S: Banana, citrus, pineapple, bread and yeast aromas.
T: Flavors include bread, fruit & spicy sour funkiness. M: Dry finish with tart body.
O: Yeast presence drives the nose, taste & mouthfeel of this excellent Belgian Strong Ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 23:12:16 | More by Paincane
Photo of jdb288

New Jersey

3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Beer Exchange.

Pours gold with nice white head. Aroma is dough, hay, pineapple. Taste is clean and earthy - grass, straw, citrus. More aromatic as it warmed up; the freshness and vibrancy was unexpected and enjoyable.

This isn't my go-to style but was quite pleased with this beer. Going to try the other GI ladies to see what they are about.

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2014 16:05:54 | More by jdb288
Photo of GrumpyBeer


3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a bottle before dinner. First the beer is rich orange. It poured with a little haze that cleared up as it came down in temp. It's a white head with good lacing and active carbonation through the whole beer. The smell is over ripe bananas and some funkiness that's I can't really compare to another smell. Likely the Belgian yeast is driving that smell. The taste is wonderful with a dry apple flavor with sour notes. It's a great Belgian malt and yeast flavor. It's dry in the mouth and the sour lingers in a good way. Overall another good beer from goose island, they never seem to disappoint me!

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2014 01:33:24 | More by GrumpyBeer
Photo of Mike_Moe


4.59/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Honey amber color with a nice blond head.
Aroma: Very spicy smell accented with tropical fruit.
Flavor: Complex taste of spices, banana with a hint of citrus. Has a sweet body, nicely hopped, and finishes slightly bitter. Full bodied with smooth carbonation
Overall: A very good drinkable beer.  This beer is heavy on the spices, with sweet tropical fruit flavored.  With an ABV of only 7%, the alcohol does tend to protrude through the beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2014 07:47:15 | More by Mike_Moe
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Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
90 out of 100 based on 3,168 ratings.