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Matilda - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,208 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,208
Reviews: 1,188
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 12.13%
Wants: 206
Gots: 743 | FT: 17
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,208 | Reviews: 1,188
Photo of Sammy
3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Like a saison, extremely horse though recent brew. Some spice, cinammon, nutmeg, not much, pale colour nice amount of head, and foam at the bottom. Nice drinking, but you have to get by the smell. Do you think skunked in short time? Peppery, medium mouthfeel.
I had this again 5.3 years later and it was much beter in the aroma department(yeasty and normal) so upgraded it,

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy copper orange color with a 1 inch head that fades to a 1/2 inch cap. Good lacing on this beer.

S - Smells of tart fruits (pineapple/green apple) and biscuit.

T - Grainy biscuit, tart fruits, and a very mild bittering finish.

M - Good carbonation with a creamy finish.

D - Very good beer. I will pick this one up again.

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 11.21.2008. Consumed on 01.21.2010.

Pours a pale, slightly hazy orange color with a good bit of lacing as it goes down, but the initial head wasn't too tall, especially for the style. The aroma is of slight Belgian yeast in addition to some sweet, and partially caramelized, malt. Touch of Brett in the background.

Taste is similar with the malt coming out a bit more and the yeast moving to the background. Nice earthy background tones. Light-medium body and nice carbonation. Quite good.

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured clear light amber in color with a thin off white head that quickly vanished. A light amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: The nose is filled with spicy and yeasty aromas.
T: Like the smell, flavors of spices and yeast dominate the overall taste, which is quite complex and also has some hints of fruit and a slight amount of sweetness. The finish is rather spicy.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and there is dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is relatively easy to drink and the alcohol is well hidden from the smell and taste.

Note: 2010 vintage

Photo of kylehay2004
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: two finger of thick white head on a copper-crimson hazy body.

S: cedar, oak, citrus and orange peel with a nice mild belgian yeast musty note.

T: Nice twang to this one. Corriander, orange citrus, belgian yeast and biscuity... in a word complex.

M: lighter side of medium body and moderate to high carbonation. semi-dry finish.

Overall: very complex beer. One of the better beers from this brewer. Cant wait to have again.

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 bottling

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a modest head that doesn't hang around long and fades to a ringlet with very little lacing

Smell: Yeasty phenols, with elements of pear, JuicyFruit and crisp apples

Taste: Honey and Juicy Fruit opening, with a quick nod toward some bitter, grassy hops through mid-palate; after the swallow, the bitter flavors persist and balance out the sweeter fruit elements

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low carbonation

Drinkability: I don't appear to have had as highly a carbonated a bottle as others have reported and I think the lack of carbonation was a drawback; otherwise a decent, not great, BSPA

2008 bottling, courtesy of iasanlee, tasted on 8/13/09, with much the same commentary

2009 bottling, also courtesy of iasanlee, tasted on 8/13/09, the first time tasted without a year of aging....a bit better head retention; a lot more tartness in the nose and taste (virtually none of the sweet Juicy Fruit aspect); more prickly carbonation...I think I prefer the beer with a bit of age, to be frank

2011 bottling, (bottled 12/22/11; tasted on 3/17/12)....better head retention and lacing (bumped the appearance up .5); not only is the Juicy Fruit back, but there is a basket of strawberries in the aroma, as well; very fruity, with a more refined tartness (bumped up the taste by .5); better carbonation (also bumped up the mouthfeel .5)...this is a really nice beer

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another great beer in the line of Goose Island's Big Beers. Good aromas of Belgian candy and barley malts. Transfers to flavors along with over ripe fruits: oranges, plumbs, and berries. Has some slight hop bitterness and flavor. Spicy coriander, cloves, pepper, and allspice. Some organic, sour, or earthy flavors ride underneath other flavors, these resemble Trappist Orval. Its a good beer, but the flavors need a while to come together.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a medium brown color beer with a nice big foamy head with good retention. Aroma of sweet cookie dough with some yeast characteristic. Taste is somewhat dominated by the sweet cookie dough, some yeast and some dry fruits. Body is a bit thin and carbonation is just perfect. Overall, I wasn’t expecting this to be such good Belgian ale.

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of Knapp85
3.15/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This poured out as a golden color with a white fluffy head on top. The aromas of Belgian yeast and some grainy malts were on the nose. The taste of the beer to me was like most of the other Belgian Ales I've tried, it was soft and slightly fruity with a touch of bitterness in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel was light and well carbonated. Overall this brew wasn't too bad but I wouldn't have to go seek it out again I don't think.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Particulate-riddled ripe apricot with a (nearly) Belgianesque amount of carbonation hurrying up to a (nearly) Belgianesque head of sticky foam that is somewhere between ivory and beige in color. Assorted squiggles of sudsy lace find their way to the glass as the head begins its lazy descent. A good start.

I think I remember that Matilda is supposed to be similar to Orval. I can definitely smell the resemblance, although it's been so long since I had that other beer that it's hard to say for sure. The nose is barnyard funky and impressively phenolic, scents that didn't used to appeal to me, but now do. It's softened (and improved) by a Juicyfruit quality that adds even more interest. Even those who might not care for the aroma have to admit that it's authentic.

The flavor is the nose in liquid form. If my memory is any good at all, Matilda tastes remarkably similar to Orval with a few key differences. First of all, it's pale malty and sweet rather than bone dry and crisp. Second, it's a wee bit less funkyphenolic. Third, it's less chaotically carbonated. Not bad (and I didn't even go back and read my Orval review).

Whether my tastes have changed or whether the above changes are more in line with my preferences (probably a little bit of both), I like Matilda more because it isn't as much of an extreme, polarizing, take-it-or-leave-it kind of beer. Goose Island had to pick just the right yeast strain to pull this off. Credit must be paid where credit is due.

German hops (I'm guessing) contribute a fair amount of bitterness and spicy, grassy flavor. I wish that I had cracked this bottle open when it was fresh, rather than just past its first birthday, so I could have experienced even more of a hoppy rush. I won't make the same mistake next time. And there will definitely be a next time if the opportunity presents itself.

Although far from the light and effervescent mouthfeel that my memory wants to attribute to Orval, Matilda feels just fine in the mouth for one who loves Belgian beer, but still enjoys the more full, less bubbled beers of this country. Not quite authentic, but still praiseworthy.

Matilda is yet another good beer in GI's 'Reserve' line. As far as those offerings that fancy themselves Belgianesque, it's superior to Demolition 1800, but falls short of the superb Pere Jacques. Goose Island should be proud of the fact that they're among the handful of U.S. breweries who are able to give the Belgian masters a run for their money.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this lovely bottle when I was in Ohio a few months back. It is a very nice twelve-ounce bottle in Hyde Park liquors on the first day I was there. Vintage bottling from July of 2005. I have stored this away in the cellar for the last couple of months and decided to bring it out last night. Served at 50 degrees and poured into a Rodenbach chalice, I was ready and waiting for this one.

Appearance - As soon as I popped the cap on this one it came screaming out of the bubble, with suds and bubbles fizzing all over the place. Huge amount of carbonation here which was quite shocking, and this was obviously bottled conditioned. Once I was able to get it calmed down, I proceeded to pour it into the glass, which took several attempts before I was able to get the entire thing inside. Once this was accomplished, a lovely light orange hue took shape. Very nice and bright colors here. There was a very cloudy and hazy consistency here. Loads of sedimentation floating throughout and on the bottom, and on the top of the head. Lots of yeast present here for Sure. Good amount of carbonation could be seen streaming up from the bottom of the glass throughout the session. There was an enormous head of off white colored foam that really had no height limit as it poured over the top of the glass. It really never did settle down as there was still a good bit of it left even when the glass was empty leaving small pillow like deposits of foam all over the inside of the glass and dripping down the sides. Very big look to this one here.

Smell - The aroma was also very big here, and I was really starting to get excited for the prospects on this one. The first notes I picked up from the aroma were some nice funky notes of yeast. Lots of sour, almost Brett like notes coming through on this, I am sure the aging had something to do with that. Once you could move past this there was a nice touch of banana that started to come through, mixed in with a decent amount of spice and an almost lemon like hoppiness that was really brightening it up nicely. Some light grains and a touch of alcohol present as well. Very nicely rounded here, and the sour notes were a bit of a surprise to me as I was not expecting that.

Taste - The flavor was a touch of a letdown for me. I was expecting a very big flavor assault here based on the look and the smell, but the flavor at least to me seemed to come off somewhat muted and not as full as it could have been.. It was still rather nice though I have to admit. There sour notes were pretty downplayed and muted in the taste, but the funk was definitely still present. A nice touch of alcohol greeted me as I sipped this one, not harsh at all, but just a little bit showing up. A very big grain flavor then came through for me, but was very short-lived, getting rolled out and smothered but a nice light fruit flavor. Hints of peach and apple then taking over nicely, though nothing really extreme about any of the flavors. A good touch of grassy like earthen notes rolling through now and mingling with the funky yeast presence. Another hint of banana coming through in the finish, but that was squashed out and nice long lingering sour flavor was what capped it off and left you waiting to come back for another taste.

Mouthfeel - The feel on this on was remarkably smooth. In the beginning, there was soo much carbonation that it really was overblown when it first poured. After a few minutes, though this really started to fade and it blended out very well. There was a really nice touch of smoothness to this and a bit of a chewy grain consistency as well. Very well done.

Drinkability - This actually turned out to be a markedly sessionable ale. Really coming through and delivering on the flavor without being overblown, and offering a touch of alcohol, but nothing really to extreme here. A really fine little Belgian ale that really was just what I needed at that moment in time.

Overall, this was not bad, and sure, I have had better but not to distract from this at all. There was a little something special about this one, especially given the very nice overall contribution from the funky little yeasties who were making their presence felt. Overall, a really solid call, and I would not turn this one down.

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Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
90 out of 100 based on 4,208 ratings.