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Matilda | Goose Island Beer Co.

very good
1,241 Reviews
For Trade:

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

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-04-2003

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,241 | Ratings: 4,617
Photo of GreenWBush
3.46/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From label, appearance in the glass, and aroma, this is an Orval clone. Yum, Orval. But I digress. Body is glowy red/tan with a respectable head and smallish cling.

Nose is Brett-forward with mild, woodsy hops and an unfortunate resemblance to Ketchup.

Taste instantly prickles the tongue with Brett. Not at all as hoppy as say Orval or XX Bitter, but clearly some bittering at play here (unlike Demolition and Pere Jacques). Again, it doesn’t do the dry-dance that Orval does but it gets the job done. Nice showcase for Brett here, but since there isn’t too much else of interest going on it comes on a bit like a Brett-beer for beginners, or a training-wheeled XX Bitter. I’d much rather go for either of those options, personally.

Slick and fairly ephemeral on the palate.

Drinkability is not bad, especially after sludging through GI’s other almost undrinkable “Belgian” beers. Clearly worth having a few to lay down. I’d be interested to see this beer in a few years but I don’t think it really has the legs.

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Photo of Gmann
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden amber color with a fantastic off-white head that left a sheet of lacing on the glass. The smell is quite faint for a Belgian, light bubble gum, honey, and candi sugar. The taste is of honey, a touch of granny smith apple, corriander, light candi sugar, light orange peel, decent malt presence and a nice subtle hop finish. Great flavor range. The feel is moderate and crisp, well carbonated, almost champagne like, a very well balanced brew. This is a very fine brew. A refreshing American take on a Beligan style. Good Beligan flavors with a nice American hop balance.

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Photo of bort11
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Massive head that tries to escape the glass with a slow recede. Intricate sticky webbing left on the glass. Color is a mildly hazy orange. Smell has a dried citrus aroma with herbal qualities. Taste is very dry and has some tobacco flavor mixed with orange-y apricot flavor.
Mouthfeel is dry with a good amount of carbonation. Definitely has a boozy warmth to is. Very nice.

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Photo of ByTor2112
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours up a shade of orange marmalade with a thick head that is trying to match up color wise. From the side of the glass the top is white-ish and it darkens close to the brew. Cool!
Aroma-tart, yeasty, musty, slightly acidic
Mouthfeel- sweet and sour malt flavors with a flash of white wine flavor. The hop bitterness is noticeable but it is mutated with the yeast-hard to describe this unique flavor characteristic.
Very carbonated like champagne and finishes dry. A froth on the palate releases some of the alcohol, rather warming for 7%. I am still developing my Belgian palate but this a very good beer. Goose Island has never disappointed either.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.63/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2005 bottle two years old:

Exquisite pour of golden hazed body infused with plumes of carbonation through peppered sediment particles flowing to meet the surface of thick ense khaki headcap glued to the sides of the glass.

Nose is a piquant sugar candy, musty farmhouse funk and hay graciously added by a brett funk sharpness. Deep cream and sugar tea notes.

First swigs: Dry sweet vermouth like bitterness, dry hop delicate sweetness, light tangerine and peach fresh fruit slices. Complexity is exquisite.

Feel is a crisp, ginger ale dry clean finish.

Last swigs: Stunning beer. My number one "Must try" used to be Orval. Now I might shunt that choice over to Matilda. Me want more Matilda!

Beer is good. Happy funky clone beering.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange amber color with an explosive wispy light tan head that resists fading. A bunch of lacing enjoyed.

The smell is strong, yeasty, dark fruits and a little spicy.

Medium bodied, the mouth feel has a creamy texture from all of the tiny bubbles from within. The flavor is full and quite like the aroma. I get a banana flavor from the yeast. The feel complements the flavor well. Quite drinkable. The 7% ABV is hidden well. I prefer the flavor of Pere Jacques-Dubbel but this one is very nice as well.

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Photo of beerphilosopher
4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful orange gold color with a bubbly off-white head with good retention and a nice lacing inside the chalice. The nose is very spicy and fruity, and has just a slightly musty character that is extremely pleasant. I can't stop sniffing this beer. The palate is lush - tropical fruits, Christmas spice, candy, and do I detect a bit of tart, gueuze-like zing here? I think I do. Very, very complex. The mouthfeel is silky, and finishes dry with some lingering bitterness that leaves the mouth watering for more. This beer floored me, quite frankly. I like Goose Island beers, but this may just be the best Goose Island beer I've ever tried. In fact, this may well be one of the best American-made Belgian style beers I've ever tried. Truly world class if you ask me. I need more of this beer.

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Photo of jackorain
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Cloudy orangey-brown, 1/2 inch head when poured easily into an oversized wine glass, fell rather quickly to an atrractive fairly thick ring.

S-Sweet fruity malt, a sour note in the nise as well, floral and earthy hops, a little belguin yeast funk

T-nice yeasty twang, floral and eaterhy hops with a mild bitterness, dried fruits, caramel malt finish.

M-medium body creamy cabonation

D-I am moving on to something else but I could come back someday.

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

A somewhat hazy orangish amber pour with some carbonation and a respectable topping of relatively fine, off-white head that falls back into whisps of cling and a smattering of lace on top. Richly malty in the nose with pleasant spice and dark, ripe fruit. Taste is sweet with sugar as well as fuller malts balanced by a touch of hop bitterness and spicy alcohol warmth. An eminently smooth mouthfeel that cradles the complex taste while letting it linger. Another pleasant offering from Goose Island, following up on my love affair with Pere Jacques.

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Photo of Phatz
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Goose Island continues to impress. Matilda is a nice treat.

Appearance: Pours an orange brown hue in my snifter glass a thick head stands only 1-2 fingers and falls quickly to a partial cap and collar around the glass.

Smell: Fruity and sweet but with a nice Brett sour apple twist, herbal tea, and plenty of cinnamon and some alcohol.

Taste: It is warm with alcohol but quite pleasant with a light yeasty tartness, a bready pale male attribute and perfect phenolic tropical fruits. Banana pineapple apple pear, with lemon honey and coriander. Finishes with a bit of alcohol heat and pepper on the cheeks along with just a touch of sour funk. Very nice!

Mouthfeel: Smooth medium body beer with a snap.

Drinkability: This beer is as drinkable I would expect from a 7% Belgian Strong Pale Ale. It is a great Horderves sipping beer, and yet one I won't tire of.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 6-13-07
2007 Vintage
Bottled on 2-3-07

Pours a nice amber/orange color with a quickly fading head. Smooth sticky lacing, though.

Smell is interesting. Belgian, but with a grassy hop kick.

Taste is very different. Much like the smell, the Belgian flavors and hops creates a strange grapefruit-like character. The finish is semi bitter and rather dry with a lot of fruitiness. Different, but good.

Mouthfeel is great, carbonation is balanced by a pleasant stickiness.

Drinkability is good, although the flavors are a bit strange.

Overall, a good beer to try. I've never had a Belgian IPA before, but I'd imagine this is what it's like. Recommended if you're in the mood for something different.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.62/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with Lewis13 from RB. Thanks for the opportunity... Bottled 030206, according to the label.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 3/4" off-white head over the cloudy orangey amber brew. Thick head falls lasts long, with heavy frothy lacing. Even with a careful pour, there's some large chunkies zooming about the glass, which I could probably do without. Aroma is sweet pale malt with ample spiciness tickling the nose. Taste follows the nose's lead nicely. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, and drinkability is excellent as well. Nice one here.

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Photo of Gavage
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 label on the bottle.

Appearance: hazy amber / copper color with a two finger head that slowly falls to a thick surface foam.

Smell: loads of fruit sweetness and belgian yeasts are bold and easy to pick up.

Taste: ripe plums, red grapes, caramel, bread, bit of spice - most notable was the pepper, yeast, and a hint of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp at the start, smoother and lighlty dry at the finish. Aftertaste is surprisingly short but pleasant.

Drinkability: a solid belgian style ale here that is easy to quaff and I found to be very enjoyable from start to finish.

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Photo of benmiliron
3.42/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Paid 2.79 for a 12 oz. bottle. Nice script on the label, but a boring story. Pours foamy but head quickly dissipates. No lacing. Very pretty amber red color. Smell is all belgian - spice, fruit, alcohol. Taste is powerful fruitiness with good hop character. Alcohol is dominant and at times distracting. Mouthfeel is winey, but good carbonation. Not thick enough for a brew of this magnitude.

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Photo of marcellaproust
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Granted, the vessel was a wine glass, wannabe chalice. What can you expect, this is Nebraska. Head 1/3 inch. Caramel flavor, thick mouthfeel, sweet malts, yeastiness gone begging. Strange, phantom plastic aftertaste but not sure if I imagined this through the alcohol levels. In the style bracket, a good and worthy go.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a snifter. The liquid is yellow/orange with good carbonation. The head is 2 fingers white and leaves little lace.

The smell is typical Belgian yeast bread with some holiday spices.

The taste is nice, mild spicy bread, a touch of orange peel and a little sweet.

The mouthfeel is medium body, and a nice light carbonated bite.

The drinkability is good. Quite easy infact. It goes down easy and is enjoyable. Many thanks to Vancer for this quality beer. Prosit MK

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy dark amber, light highlights sits under a dense foamy tan cap of a two finger head.

Aroma is decent, I get a lot of phenolic yeast character, some floral hop, rough sweetness in the malt and some herbal notes as well.

Smooth sweet flavor, pronounced floral hops that stick around in the finish a little bit. There's a little citric punch in there as well, very sweet like raw honey offset by ester alcohol warmth. Complex flavor, easy to drink.

A little light in the body, alcohol gets to be a little much but it has good crispness and is quite smooth. One of the better BSPAs not brewed in Belgium, as it doesn't go overboard on alcoholic flavors. I like the hop presence as well.

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Photo of kaimcm
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottled 03/2006, sampled 05/07

A: gunsmoke and a mild eruption. age and bottle conditioning have produced an agitated beer. medium brown body with amber hue. over fluffy white head. a few splotches, not much.

S: spicey, bready, yeasty. husk and pepper, ginger, a tinge of alcohol and some peach fuzz kinda fruityness. light funk.

T/M: body is light, a bit prickly. over carbonated due to its age, needs to be worked out with agitation and air. softens up with time. very bready and yeasty, almost overly so. lightly fruity, funky, hints of wasabi and soy, starch and salt. a bit spicey but not as present as in the nose. finishes dry and slightly astringent.

D: decent. doesnt offend by any means but doesnt really beg for much more.

overall a nice beer. seems like a solid foundation for a few tweaks and the eventual production of a really nice beer. i wonder how much the age in the bottle has effected it but as i find it, this beer is lacking a complexity, and artistry readily available in other belgian examples.

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Photo of weeare138
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a hazy gold with a fluffy head of off-white cream that slowly fades out. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of citrus, cinnamon, ginger, yeasty(almost like the Unibroue yeast), honey, brown sugar, pears, apricots, and mild funk.
Taste is much of the same aromas. It's complex and it seems to change a bit as it warms moving from a spiciness to a more estery, yeasty, mildly tart brew.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, spicy, herbal lasting, honey blasting up front and leading to a semi-dry finish.

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Photo of pweis909
3.49/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Highly carbonated, as in, on-the-floor-carbonated. Big white foam, but it doesn't persist. Yeast sediment makes the beer hazy and leaves the foam mottled. Tea colored.

Noticed great malt smells AS I WAS CLEANING MY FLOOR.

OK. I'll let go of that and move on.

The taste is very phenolic. There is plasticky bandaid medicinal flavor. I'm not sure if thats what they were going for. Also, a little clovey-bubblegum. It's interesting. I can't help thinking of that medicinal flavor as a flaw rather than a plus, but I did get used to it and it reallt isn't bad.

This is a 2006 offering, but a 7% belgianesque beer ought to age well.

Despite the sweet smelling aroma, this is a dry beer, with a thin mouth feel. The carbonation compensates for the thinness.

The weird medicinal taste plus the alcohol content detracts from the overall drinkability, or so I thought, until I had a second, and a third....

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Photo of Illini5596
2.06/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a cloudy amber with a small bit of head (maybe half an inch) which sadly fades quickly. The lace is sticky but almost non-existent.

I'm mildly put off by the smell, kind of grassy, with some unpleasantness.

On tasting it, given the bad odor, poor head, and almost non-existent carbonation, I'm beginning to think I have a skunked beer. Just bought it this week too. A shame. I'll re-review this one when I get the chance, given the excellence of the other Goose Island reserves I have trouble believing this beer is really this bad.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a cloudy a darker peach-orange with a thick cream head and no lacing.

The aroma is very sweet like Juicy Fruit gum. Definitely smells like some Belgians I've had.

Sweet and fruity yet spicy from what I assume to be from the special yeast. Finishes dry with a sourness.

Medium bodied with some oily feel present. Carbonated enough to give a good fizziness to the tongue.

This is a very drinkable beer and well done by G.I.

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Photo of peabody
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This came from Roof Brothers Liquors in Paducah where Kane tells me that this batch is 12% abv.
Pours from the growler a very clear yellow amber with an orange tint. not a lot of suds but I was pouring it very slowly. Lacing occurs on the tulip glass.
Cinnamon and clove and sour cherry and apple. Wonderfully clean smelling and such a diverse aroma.
Taste is very mellow and not sour like out of the bottle. Slight hops and caramel sugar. As it warms more of the sour apple flavors come out. This is so much better than the bottle.
You can feel the alcohol in the back of the throat but it is very slight but a nice finish to a great drink of beer.
I could drink this whole Growler but at 12% I better pace myself.
Bottle good,,, Growler Highly Recommended.

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Photo of Cresant
3.72/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a Duvel glass. Dated 030206. The body was a cloudy, butterscotch disk/orange color. The head was off-white and faded to a cap that remained throughout.

Smell was multifaceted. Belgian yeast aroma, spicy, fruity, cloves and pepper. Chalk. Juicy Fruit gum. Interesting.

Taste was reflective of the smell, yet not as intense. Peppery. Somewhat chalky. Fruits. Well hidden alcohol. Nice.

Mouthfeel was medium/full with a good deal of carbonation.

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Photo of nickfl
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer is a very hazy orange brown. It forms a large, creamy white head that sticks around for quite a while before receding to a robust film of foam and leaving a thick residue on the walls of the glass

S - Spicy yeast aroma, very musty and wild. Leather, pepper, vanilla, and a definite citrus acidity.

T - Citrus oil flavor with smooth malty flavors in the beginning followed by drying acidity and hops. There is a good spicy yeast character throughout and the beer leaves behind a lot of refreshing sourness and hop bitterness.

M - Strong carbonation and a very nice dry acidity.

D - Very drinkable. The smell and the finish were definitely the best parts of this beer. The aroma is not too complex, but it is enough to keep you interested and the dry, funky finish kept me coming back for more. I understand that this is basically an homage to Orval and I have to say that GI succeeded marvelously with Matilda

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Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,241 ratings.