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Matilda | Goose Island Beer Co.

very good
1,248 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,248 | Ratings: 4,632
Photo of FightingEntropy
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation--2007 batch from Rare Beer Club

A: red colored ale, almost cherry or burnt sunset. thick head that held for a bit to a thin film.

S: flowery hop nose, pppery spice, alcohol in nose for only 6.5%, full and big, fruity esters

T: nice malty spine, caramel, peppery spice with front end bitterness. fruitiness and very sweet. Spicy finish but not bitter.

M: chewy almost, full with a carbonic bite

D: easy, smooth, and a bit heady for the light alcohol.

Overall: second time I've had this beer, and it's never really grown on me. Don't get me wrong, it's a good beer but doesn't make great for me. Balance seems a bit off, too spicy for the malt, not sure. Good but I won't buy it again when I've got other choices.

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

Bottle date 3/02/06

Gusher upon opening, none lost though as the loud release of pressure gave warning..
Managed to get half the bottle into the glass, with the rest of the glass being spongy, lively foam.
Eventually the brew settled down to a body of hazy, orangy gold, and a thin, dense head of off-white.
A myriad of lace tracks knitted the glassware from top to bottom.
Aromatics are phenolic, citrusy and medicinal. A clove-studded orange with a band-aid on the bottom.
More spicy than barnyard in this one, with faint whispers of spruce, pepper, lime zest, and spearmint gum foil.
The body is light and creamy, with plenty of spritz.
The clovey phenolics lead off the pallet, and quickly there is a peppery warmth that comes forward. Almost a blend of black peppercorns and paprika. Malt is subdued, and bitterness is substantial enough to add a good amount of crispness and keeps the brew from going limp.
The pallet finishes with a transition from the spicy heat to an alcoholic warmth that lingers.

If this is an ode to Orval, it is missing the hoppiness that gives Orval it's signature, and the brett character is a little off.
I think a little more funk and dry hopping would bring Matilda up another notch.
Pretty damn tasty none the less!

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Photo of beerphan
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle -> goblet
2006 vintage, bottle 3/20/06

Pours a hazed orange with a billowy slightly off white head with some staying power. Lace is sporadic and chunky. Carbonation appears robust.

Nose: Slight yeast, some mild caramels.

Very smooth. The smoothest belgium I've come across. Nice malty goodness, with a slight bitterness.

My favorite belgium to date for this belgium amateur.

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

The beer pours a cloudy dark gold color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a warm pale and light crystal malt scent as well as a fruity yeast aroma. The taste is good. It has a dry pale and light crystal malt scent. It goes down easy and finishes a bit warm with some fruity yeast esters. It's not an exceptional Belgian beer, but it's quite tastey. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good drinking beer. I like the yeast presence.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.39/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tried at bottle of this at an Irish bar in Chicago called the Emerald Loop. Bartender gave me the bottle and a glass, and upon my first attempt to pour, it foam up big time in the glass. The beer was way too over-carbonated. After letting it settle for maybe 5 minutes, it took me two more attempts to get it all out into the glass. Pours a nice hazy yellow, like a Belgian. The taste was pretty good for the style, but it reminded me of a weakened tripel in essence. Not a horrible beer, but I think I just got one from a bad batch perhaps.

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Photo of zeff80
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on March 2, 2006.

A - Poured out a cloudy, burgandy/orange color with a tan, bubbly, one-finger head. The head dissipated after several minutes and left a little lace.

S - It smelled of corriander and orange. The was a dried fruit and malt aroma, too.

T - It tasted of orange and malt. It had some spice from the hops.

M - It was crisp and dry. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is another good GI beer. A descent attempt at a Belgian ale.

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

A - A four finger rocky and orange tinged head rises over a glowing blood-orange brew that is hazy and luminescent. The head pits and crevices as it recedes to a nice rocky cap, and lots of sticky lace is left on the glass. This looks nice and Belgian....as it should given that it basically says that it's an Orval-inspired brew right on the front label.

S - Fruity, hoppy, and gluey in an odd chemical way. Oranges, Maraschino cherries in the jar, wheat, canned pineapple, marmalade, band-aides and Elmer's glue. A very odd nose for sure, but I actually quite like it. Very complex. I like beers that make me think of odd scents and memories, and this one does it.

T - Mandarin oranges drained of their juice, hospital band-aide and gauze (I don't know what those thing taste like, but this is what I imagine they must taste like based on how they smell), paint, guava, mango, glue, paper. This has some flavors like the brown paper hand towels that they have in grade school classrooms. These flavors are really off-the wall and all over the place, but they are very unique, un-beer-like, inspiring, and intriguing. And for those reasons...I like it.

M - Creamy carbonation, full bodied, gluey, slick, and a little bit warming. Like the nose and the flavor, this is a very weird feeling. And like the nose and flavor, I like it for that exact reason.

D - Ok. This is one goofy brew. This beer is what you might taste if you went to a planet or another dimension very similar to Earth and asked for a beer. Good, but just really, really weird. Maybe made with extraterrestrial ingredients.

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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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Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,248 ratings.