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Matilda - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,226 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,226
Hads: 4,544
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 23.87%
Wants: 237
Gots: 1,011 | FT: 20
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States | website

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: 1,226 | Hads: 4,544
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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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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Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,226 ratings.