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Matilda - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,216 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,216
Hads: 4,487
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 23.87%
Wants: 234
Gots: 960 | FT: 19
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Matilda Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,216 | Hads: 4,487
Photo of Bierman9
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed from two 12oz bottles, with a bottled-on date of 030206 on both of them. Basic black & white label with a story of a Belgian countess and her building an abbey which, of course, leads to bier!! Enough of story time; let's drink!!

Poured into my Rapscallion chalice, Matilda possesses a rich, apricot hue with steady carbo rising within. Liquid is, for the most part, clear, though the bottles each had some sediment in the bottom, which will be saved for the finish. Head is slightly off-white, fine and thin, remaining as a cover of the bier for some time. Lacing is average at best. Aroma suggests dryness, with a distinct spicy/peppery aspect. Also showing up are some elements of tropical fruit, and intimations of alcohol. Rather nice, overall. Matildas body is more or less medium, though it has a light, airiness to it, floating over the tongue in a bubbly way. A little to light for me.

Flavor gets into the tropical fruit mode right off. Comes across with some mild, crackery sweetness, then it goes a bit fruity, with pear, green apple and some mango. Hopping is present, grassy though subtle, and the finish is indeed dry, with tinges of yeasty spice and pepper, plus a touch of mustiness. Flavorful and well-made, though not a bier I'd stray from my path to seek.


overall: 3.9
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5


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Photo of ultralarry2006
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle with a bottled on date of 03-02-07 . Leaves one finger of tan colored head that quickly recedes to a foam ring at the edges, and there is very little lacing. Body is a clear peach-orange hued amber.

Smell - cloves, and grassy, herbal, hops.

Taste - like the smell- cloves, and grassy, herbal hops, but with the addition of hints of toasty malt and caramel.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, smooth.

Drinkability - this is good ale, may be sessionable.

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Photo of BlindPig
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Thick tan head on a cloudy dark orange body.
S- Light citrus aroma from hops with some light yeast and pale malts.
T- Citrus fruits flavors, pale malts, medium bitterness, nice blends of different flavors. It is hard to pin point some of them. I think the yeast adds a lot of interesting flavors.
M- Medium body with medium to high carbonation.
D- It is good. I don't think it is anything to go crazy over but it is something that is worth giving a try.

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Photo of oakbluff
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Viggo- surprise extra in a trade- thanks man!

Poured into an Affligem chalice. Cloudy tangerine colour with a good off white head. The smell was belgian candi. Looks like this will be a tasty brew. Taste- wow! Not what I was expecting- has a real sourness that caught me by surprise. Really dry finish to boot. Label says profound hops but I'm not picking up a ton- maybe on the finish. The sourness was a treat- defintely funky- Jolly Pumpkin like. Mouthfeel is good- fairly high carbonation. This is a unique brew and it was great to try a bottle. Very drinkable - the sourness becomes very addicting!

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Photo of prototypic
2.73/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottled on March 27, 2006

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a one finger head. Head dissipated shortly after pour.

Smell: Very nice piney hop smell. Various citrus smells (orange, mango, perhaps some banana). Sweetness is rolling right out of the mug. I'm even picking up a hint of alcohol in this one.

Taste: Spiciness is certainly the first thing that explodes on the tastebuds. Citrus (mostly orange) tastes are present. Tastes sweet after the spiciness tones down. A bit of hop bitterness follows. Alcohol isn't overpowering.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This one is a bit thick and syrupy. I'm sipping it. Overall, I'm not a fan. I think it's the spiciness that's a turn off for me. I wouldn't recommend it.

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Photo of BeerCheese
2.68/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Took from the fridge and poured directly into a clean glass. Nice golden amber color with a little cloudiness from the sediment. Average sized soft white head. Bright fruity smell of cherries and oranges. Meduim/full body with medium carbonation. The taste was nothing special. Very little alcohol taste present, though it did leave a warming feeling going down. Taste was a little dry and malty with only a light hop taste on the finish. I really didn't care for this one very much.

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Photo of lpayette
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Bottled on 3/2/06 and enjoyed on 2/8/07

Appearance- This was over-carbonated and overflowed when I opened it- lost almost half the beer. Orange/amber in color. Large head, and good lacing.

Smell- Sharply over-ripened fruit smells. A slight alcohol note. Floral, earthy. Awakening.

Taste- A bit of banana with some bread-like qualities Apple, and clove. Mostly sweet and earthy.

Mouthfeel- Very smooth.

Drinkability- Seems better with no yeast, but this is fairly drinkable.

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Photo of jkaufman
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured golden light-amber into a brandy snifter. Thin white head with little to no lacing.

Smell: Sweet and fruity, smells a lot like Duvel.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Smooth and sweet (a little too much), finishes dry, hoppy, and fruity. Moderate to high carbonation. Slightly warms the esophagus on the way down.

Drinkability: Pretty drinkable, though not a session beer. Bonus points due to the fact that my wife (not a beer drinker) enjoyed a couple sips as well.

Pricey compared to real Belgian offerings, but definitely worth a try.

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3.32/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Murkey deep orange amber body hosts a two finger thick light tan head that fades to just a skim in about two minutes. Nose comes of like a Belgium style with strong spicey notes. It is very invigorating to the nose. A very floral citrus feel highlights the first sip. A combination of tangy sour and slight honey sweetness. Almost like drinking a liquid flower. Maybe even a hint of christmas cookie. Relatively thick mouthfeel. Not to bad on that level. Develops a sweet thickness on the buds. Unique and worth a try but not my thing overall.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into an oversized wine glass. Appears deep copper, with a red hue and a scant half an inch of white head. Aroma is sweet caramel, fruity, spicy cinnamon apple and banana. Tastes of spicy yeast, crisp, sweet tart apples, toffee and mild cocoa. Dry, crisp and medium bodied with medium to moderate carbonation. This is an interesting ale that I would drink again, possibly with some aged, sharp cheeses. Cheers.

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Photo of marksto
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted this beer before I read the descriptor on the bottle, and was immediately struck by its flavor similarity to Orval. Was then not surprised to read the label and its thinly veiled references to what is obviously Orval.

I have to say first that I am a huge fan of Orval, so perhaps I am biased towards this beer. I like it a lot. It has many of the classic characteristics of this Belgian original - the orange hue, fluffy head, marked brettanomyces notes on the nose and tongue, and the refreshing tang of styrian hops.

Doesn't quite have the magic blend of flavors that the real Orval achieves, but this beer is a very respectable clone. After buying one bottle I went back for a 4-pack. I recommend it.

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Photo of kenito799
3.3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel glass. Brewed on date 3/2/06, "flavor will continue to develop over 5 years"

Dark reddish-golden amber with 1 inch head that dissipated to 1/4 inch, swirling brought it back some. Some loose chunks of lacing stick and slowly ooze down the sides.

Fruity Belgian yeast aroma immediately brings Duvel to mind. A touch of sour funk, too, interesting...or maybe that is actually piney grapefruity hops...yes, that's there too. Starting to seem like the "Belgian IPA" hybrid may be what is going on here.

Nicely carbonated in the mouth...sweet at first, then sour, then wham, hop attack, long long bitter finish. The malt and fruity flavors from the yeast in the next sip coutneract the bitterness and keep it interesting, but unfortuantely I find the bitterness just a bit overwhelming, detracts significantly from the enjoyment here. Soapy white grapefruits. What is an interesting mix on the nose becomes sort of a cacophonous mess on the tongue. Afraid it knocks the drinkability down a notch. The pluses and minuses on the palate average out to a 3...flavors are there and way better than your average beer but the execution and integration are below average. Then again the Belgian IPA lover of say, DeRanke XXX might like this a lot more.

Well, who knows what this might be like with more bottle age...maybe the flavors would integrate a bit better. 7% isn't very high but all those hops have got to preserve this beer.

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Photo of balconybrew
2.65/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Wasn't a fan... Pours with a white thick head that died off after a bit. . Hazy and cloudy amber in color. Very fruity, maybe banana?? A hint of spices. I might also taste a little honey. Very light and bubbly. Left a light laced glass, not completely clean. I don't think I would have another.

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Photo of hanco005
3.23/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, bottled on 030206 and also has 1253 on the label, poured into my St. Bernardus glass

A—pours light cloudy orange with a ¼ inch bone white head that fades down in no time, lacing is spotty at best

S—sweet and sour, what I expect from a Belgian, some fruitiness, spicy notes, too

T—sweet and fruit, not as pungent as the smell, sort of tastes like a Saison style,

M—pretty fizzy in the mouth, light/medium bodied, good carbonation

D—not crazy about this one, would pass on it in the future.

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Photo of malcontent
4.57/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lively white head capping off a hazy, deep orange body.

Spicy fruitiness; apples and strawberries spiked with cinnamon and cloves; outstanding in this regard and amongst the best I've smelled in a while.

Still more apple with a brilliant dry yeast character and some refined cereal qualities to match a measured sweetness. Finishes with a gentle bitterness. Elegant and delicious.

A bit of a foam rush from the effervescence which affects the mouthfeel a bit but this is still a wonderful beer from Goose Island. Their Reserve Series is consistantly excellent.

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Photo of GbVDave
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Clear peach color with a thick two finger head. Some suspended floaters. Active carbonation that dies off after a few minutes.

S: A nice Brett aroma blended with notes of honey, grass, bananas, and spice.

T: Nice yeasty flavors and oily, piney hops. Mild sweet pears with tart apples and a dry roasted malt quality that appears as it warms. Tangy and bitter finish.

M: Slick and oily yet rich and full. Sticks to the tongue allowing the finish to fully develop.

D: Drinkability is very good. A fine, fine representation of the style. Flavors and aromas of alcohol are virtually nonexistant. This beer has the hops that are sorely lacking from Orval. I read in Hopleaf's Bottle Menu that Matilda is Goose Island's homage to Orval. I have to say that I definately prefer Matilda to Orval. If that was their goal, than they certainly suceeded.

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Photo of dbalsock
3.12/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

App: Pours light amber (hazy orange) with a thick white head, heavy white lacing too and good head retention. This is what I like to see in a belgian pale ale.

Smell: Fairly weak, but there's some light yeastiness and a little banana going around.

Taste: Mixed fruit from the esters, but it has a suitable malt profile, so it's alright.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a slight bitterness and great carbonation. This one works nicely on the palate, but isn't anything super special.

Drinkability: My original notes call this a "sessionable belgian", which is amusing because 7.00% is not sessionable for me at all... I'd call it nicely drinkable.

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Photo of Vancer
2.9/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A big and expensive brew from GI, not worth it in my opionion. Just barely ok, I’ll look for other BPA in the future.

Nice pour – hazy amber, you’ll get some white head and lacing if poured aggressively. Notes of orange and cinnamon were pleasing – but the quaff, wow, orangey cough syrup! Slightly phonetic and woody. Not one of GIs better brews, and I usually dig their offerings. Oh well, ya can’t please everybody all the time….

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden orange with a nice frothy head and spotty lacing. Smell is sour up front and spicy throughout. The taste is sour and hoppy with some coriander and nutmeg. The mouthfeel is a little light, but the carbonation is right and its smooth.Pretty drinkable- slides down fairly quickly and pleasantly, but not overly complex.

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Photo of frazbri
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Goose Island Matilda poured golden-copper in color with a yeasty haze, a nice white head, and a little lace. A complex aroma with notes of citrus, banana, clove, pepper, flowers and rubber. Fruity and earthy flavors with a hint of banana and a mild bitter finish.

Matilda has a lot to offer. A blend of smells and flavors combine to give a very nice drinking experience. I wish I had another bottle.

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Photo of amatuerbeerguy
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With a large head, off-white color. Poured out a orange, hazy.

Aroma of hops, yeast, lemony, citrus.

Flavors of hops, yeast-bready, lemony, grassy, slight tartness in the finish

Mouth feel is a effervescent medium body, highly carbonated.

Overall interpretation is a nicely drinkable brew. Enjoy anytime

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Photo of Realale
4.89/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Slightly hazy orangish gold. Extremely fine, bright white head starts at an inch or so and settles to an incomplete cap.

Simply stunning nose! Bright crackery malt, lemony citric hops, and a hearty whack of bretty barnyardy goodness fill the nose. Mouthwatering stuff.

Medium light in the mouth Waves of dry lemony malt arrive, and are amply supported by wicked acidity and complex earthy barnyard flavors. Outstanding length. Great, great beer here.

Extremely fine carbonation keeps this light and lively, though it does have a slight drying effect on the palate. Perilously drinkable, wonderful with food, and a wholly captivating beverage. Bravo! 2006 Release.

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Photo of dherling
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a hazy orange-gold, and a thick off-white head. The nose was full of grassy hops, candi sugar, as well as fruity notes. The taste was sweet up front, but a dry finish from the hop bitterness, with candy-like notes as in the aroma, but very little malt . Mouthfeel was light, moderate carbonation, tight finish.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a five finger, white head that fades to a thin layer leaving a little lace. Cloudy amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Malty nose. Starts sweet almost raisiny, hops balance well, brewer says its loaded with hops but they are really subdued. Best so far from GI. Bottled on Mar 27, 2006, pricey but worth $2.99 for a 12oz bottle from John's Grocery Iowa City, IA.

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Photo of SMark
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at 45 degrees. Modest head during pour of this orange/amber and hazy brew. Brussels lace did not last very long but that may be due to glass.

Detected a little wafting of malt. Did not see much difference as beer warmed towards 50.

More malt coming through with taste. Slight orange taste but that may be mind playing tricks on me because of color.

Decent mouthfeel lasting long enough to appreciate. Mid weight beer suitable for most.

This is a very drinkable beer but wish it could be purchased for a better price.

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Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,216 ratings.