Matilda - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,196 Reviews

(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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Matilda Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,196 | Hads: 4,385
Photo of amatuerbeerguy
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
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 (315 characters)

Photo of Realale
4.89/5  rDev +23.2%
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. (672 characters)

Photo of dherling
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
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. (321 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (383 characters)

Photo of SMark
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
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. (535 characters)

Photo of RustythePelican
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4-pack purchased for $9.99 (a little steep, IMHO). Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Impressive sunset orange.

Smell: Nice spiciness, suggests that the beer is going to be bigger than it is.

Taste: A little over-spiced and over-hopped for a Belgian pale ale. Flavors of plums, raisins, perhaps even a little ginger. Finish is dry.

Mouthfeel: Characteristic dense carbonation creates a nice full mouthfeel.

Drinkability: An enjoyable beer, but does not compare favorably at its price point. I'll cellar the remainder of the four pack and try it again in a year. (586 characters)

Photo of bonbright7
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I found this in a mixed four pack at Shoreline in Huntington, NY while looking for something new. I brought the beer home with a fat rare roast beef hero to watch the Dallas/Colts game and to discover what I had been reading in the forums about this brewery.

The beer poured to a slight head with an orange/burgundy body, The smell reminded me of the many Belgian style beers that express the yeast and malts upfront. I could also pick out a funny sweetness that reminded me of fruit candy.

The taste was very smooth in a floral cream way with slight yeasty bite. I enjoyed tasting the beer very much as the mouthfeel was also slightly bitter.

As I usually say when I encounter a great beer like this: can we find this on tap nearby? (742 characters)

Photo of Beertracker
4.57/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Goose Island's Matilda is best served at cellar temperatures (45-50°F) from a tulip or goblet. This reserve line beer pours up very lively with plenty of carbonation that creates a cloudish white head that billows above a translucent golden peach body. The inviting aroma is full of complexity from the sweet nectar (apricot, peach, mango) fruitiness, light intermingled graininess, and from the yeasty earthiness (barnyard, horseblanket) that's interlaced with hop spiciness. The compounding flavor starts off with some sweet graininess that gives way to a solid bitterness that carries into a spicy (peppercorn) hop dominated finish that's slightly tart & dry with a touch of cheek warming alcohol. This medium bodied hedonistic ale has a wonderful drinkability that cannot be understated and the "wildness" from the brettanomyces becomes more apparent as Matilda ages in the bottle. Enjoy Matilda as an apéritif or digestive or some suggested pairings include: Curryworst (curry sausage) and Belgian pommes frites (thick-cut, double fried potatoes) served with mayonnaise, Flemish Carbonades (beef stew that’s similar to French Beef Bourguignon, but made with beer instead of red wine), Salade Liégeoise (Green beans, hard boiled egg, bacon bits, potatoes, onions and white wine vinegar) or Moules Frites (mussels & chips) of course!

CHEERS! Beertracker

From the label: "Once upon a time in a valley, a beautiful countess lost something precious to her in a small pond. Racked with grief, she prayed for its return. Very quickly it resurfaced in the most wondrous of ways. After her prayers had been answered she blessed the pond and valley. Later, she had an abbey built there. Today they brew beer and while we were traveling in Belgium we stopped in, heard the story and tried the beer. Really GOOD BEER and a GREAT STORY. Of course, we wanted to share what we'd heard and tasted. Uusually we'd do that over beers. This time we did it with beer. Recreating that experience wasn't easy. It's made with rare yeast that's very difficult to come by. No other beer we make is like this, slightly fruity with a profuse amount of hops, it's great with a plate of mussels." - Greg Hall, Brewmaster (2,206 characters)

Photo of gpcollen1
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden orange with a ¾” head just eclipsing the rim of my La Rulles glass and dancing around the rim. The head slowly succumbs to life on earth. A distinct Belgian aroma with hints of orange/lemon and spice. The carbonation really tickles my tongue as the spice dances and begins to dry out my tongue.

This is really a fantastic brew that is one of the examples that could quite the critics of the American Belgian style ales. I wish I had this at my disposal a little more regularly (497 characters)

Photo of terrabyte
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy, dark golden orange with a medium head that disappears fast.

Very aromatic! An quite unique to me. It has some musty yeast, cloves, and hints of orange. Other spices I can't define.

Flavor is quite yeasty. Lost of sour orange and apple cider mixed together. It finishes with citrus bitters and a dry, grassy finish.

Mouthfeel is a bit sticky and cloying. Nothing negative, just a bit thick.

Enjoyable beer and quite a ride. But not too many at once for me. Further proof that I have a lot to learn. (526 characters)

Photo of ADR
2.86/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Opaque dark orange with a reddish cast. Small yellow head of very tiny bubbles. Good rings of lace on the glass. Slightly chalky aroma, some cherry smell, off and expired baker's yeast. Mouthfeel is a little flat, slightly heavy in overall body. Flavor is an unpleasant mix of uncharacterful bitter and too much sourness. Secondary tastes of slight chocolate and more apparent raisin linger underneath and are a little more noticeable close to the finish. Aftertaste is harsh and inappropriately hoppy for the type of beer this is aiming to be. Not a favorite for me. (567 characters)

Photo of nortmand
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Hazy, yellow orange pour with a fairly sturdy white head.

Bright fruit and spice notes dominate the nose. Also a fair amount of noble hop presence.

Fairly sweet, ripe fruit esters dominate the flavor. A light bitterness lingers on the back of the tongue, but overall, a very sweet aftertaste.

Big bodied, and sweet, the alcohol isn't too prevalent, but the sweetness tends towards reducing drinkability. (412 characters)

Photo of AaronHomoya
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from the tap in a 10 oz. glass. The server did not know exactly what kind of beer it was, and neither did I. I would have guessed a sweet, fruity DIPA that was light on the hops.

The appearance is amber-colored, with ok head. Aroma is sweet and a bit fruity with some citrus hops smell. Taste is also sweet, a little ale-fruitiness with a slightly bitter, hoppy finish. Pretty smooth. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied with somewhat light carbonation. This is a very good beer that I would like to try again, maybe from a bottle. (534 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Brown 12 oz. bottle. My personal preference is the bottle conditioned variety over the draught version.

Cap is cracked... fruit and spice are immediately present in the air. Hazy orange-apricot body. Streams of visible carbonation. Aroma of orange zest, clove, nutmeg, and musty yeast with Brett.

Taste is true to first aroma impression, clove and yeast, hops, then a tart citrusy element toward the end. Warm spice lingers in the aftertaste, dry and inviting of another sip. Styrian Golding and Saaz hops lend some crispness. Not identical to Orval, but definitely stands tall on it's own. Very refreshing and thirst-quenching, mainly due to the citrus and yeast combo.

A strong example of successful Belgian-style brewing, right in my own backyard!

EDIT 4/2007 bottling: Lots of estery yeast, not much Brett presence at all. Slicker mouthfeel. Will cellar for 6 months to see if any Brett character shows up. (917 characters)

Photo of mmcave
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this originally on tap at a tasting and then later at the brewery, but never thought too hard about it, or gave it a review. So being a Chicagoan here it goes: This beer pours an orangey must color, with decent head. There is moderate retention and some lacing. At first smells are reminiscent of a Belgian tripel even though there was no mention of it. I assume that would have something to do specifically with the yeast strain and the basic recipe. Any how smells of Belgian yeast, some sugars, mild banana, cloves, pepper and some other spices. The taste is much the same, maybe at first a smidgen thin, but honestly it opens up and has a very pleasant after taste. To me this is a nice American version of a modified Belgian tripel. This is a tasty beer I must give props to the home town brewery and will definitely buy this again. (843 characters)

Photo of aforbes10
4.54/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had this on tap at the great lakes brewfest in Racine, WI. orangey with tan head. smells great. buttery and hoppy...the hops are flowery and sweet smelling, with vague spices in there too. Taste is initally watery and not impressive but the flavor lingers and expands and becomes truely great. cloves and hops...TONS of cloves actually. and some black pepper. great. a real blast to glad i had the opportunity to try it. (430 characters)

Photo of fartingdog
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hmmm- first whiff was of a slight sourness I took as some brett going on. The flavor is more similar to a Flemish-style farmhouse beer, (which is not my favorite style, but can be enjoyable at times) and I can definitely pick out green apples in the flavor – tart. Good mouthfeel- rich. Not something I'd keep around for frequent consumption nor something I'd activley seek out personally. Tho if you like like Flemish sours, this is definitely one to pick up.

I have another bottle to cellar for a while and see what happens. (530 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

7.0% ABV, 32 IBU, 13 SRM. I have drank probably 6 bottles of ths and was surprised to see I hadn't reviewed it here.

Pours out to a cloudy orange amber, forming a modest off-white head with poor retention and adequate lacing. Carbonation is a touch mild which is preferable to my palate, especially when it comes to Belgian-style which tend to be overly carbonated, IMO. The aroma is very first there is a very spicy nose, akin to cinnamon and ginger but without the harsh medicinal connotations...lots of vanilla and honey from the abundant pale and crystal malts with a mild degree of grain juice and cotton candy in the aroma as well...very fruity and phenolic. Mouthfeel is slick with a slightly cloying medium-dense mouthfeel...oily on top with a dry finish. The taste begins with apple juice and cotton candy followed by ginger and nutmeg. The bitterness is moderate and maintains a great balance, making you want to drink more with it's slightly dry and lightly grassy finish.

As far as GI's reserve line-up, Pere Jacques is world-class, then Demolition, followed by Matilda. All of these beers are very delicious and Goose Island is to be commended for brewing products as authentic as they come, giving the Belgians a run for their money. Highly recommended. (1,304 characters)

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear orangish golden color with a small ¼” head of off white bubbles. The bubbles are small and fall to a small ring across the top of the beer pretty quickly. There are numerous bubbles rising, but they don’t really maintain the head and it stays just a small ring.

Aroma: Wow, now this is really complex for an American style beer. I get a defined tart character that is indicative of a wild fermentation. I get lots of fruit with lemon and apples along with a citrus grapefruit thing going on. I am really enjoying the aroma of this beer, and it is getting me anxious for the first sip. As the beer starts to warm a tad, there is a floral thing going on that is really pleasant.

Taste: Now this is interesting. This must be an Orval clone, and they got it pretty darn close. There is a very defined hop character going on, but the tangy character of the yeast is a big player. There is lots of citrus to compliment the yeast character, and in fact, I think that some of this fruit is actually produced by the yeast…Brett…whatever. The beer comes across as a lot milder than the 7% that is printed on the bottle. I get about 5-6% in the flavor. The beer has plenty of flavor, but manages to finish a bit dry and refreshing.

Opinion: I am really pleased with this beer. This is without a doubt the best beer that I have tried from Goose Island, and their beers are known to be pretty good. I had considered donating the other three beers from this 4-pack to my brew club…but on second thought…I will probably keep them in my own cellar. These beers are complex, and if they truly are like Orval…they will age well. It says on the bottle that they will age for 5 years, and I believe that. Nice beer! (1,745 characters)

Photo of Backer2004
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First of all, I am quite upset with myself. Instead of looking on the label, which states that this will mature for five years, I just looked at the Belgian Pale Ale info here that says not recommended for cellaring. Oh well, I will pick this up again and keep it for a while.

Great hazy, dark pancake hue that is quite fruity, chewy, with just the right about of hoppiness. Smooth and just a slight taste of alcohol, which probably wouldn't have been so apparent if I read the label. (487 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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. (2,486 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev -3%
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. (375 characters)

Photo of beermanbrian
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice reddish golden color with a foamy off white head. Nice sticky lacing leaves trails down the glass. A wonderful looking beer. Nice fruity smell. Nice malty taste with a nice mix of fruity esters. Apricot and just the faintest spicyness to the finish. Silky smooth mouthfeel. High carbonation level gives it a nice punch. Overall a very enjoyable beer. (355 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bronzed dark orange. Slight, mysterious haze. Small, ringy, off-khaki head. Raw sugar aromas mix with manuka honey and ambrosia. Fruity and yeasty with a fleck of alcohol. Nice. Belgiany. Lightly toasted malt with floral bitterness up front. Sweet, sugary fruit syrup and rum mid-palate. Wall of noble bitterness with flashes of syrup in the finish. Nice balance. Full-bodied, coating mouthfeel. The liberal hop load saves this brew. Drinks a little stronger than you'd think too! (480 characters)

Photo of ndekke39
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ordered this on-tap at the Goose Island Clybourn restaurant. Served in a goblet. Poured a clear golden color with a thick, bright white head. Sweet aromas of honey and malt. Tastes, too, of the honey, with a touch of floral. Hints of the hops in there, too. Adds a nice bitter touch. Clean and smooth mouthfeel, very light carbonation. Overall, a very sweet and refreshing beer. Would gladly go back to this one. (412 characters)

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