1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Matilda - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,938 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,938
Reviews: 1,153
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 12.13%
Wants: 184
Gots: 571 | FT: 13
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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-04-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Matilda Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,938 | Reviews: 1,153 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AmericanGothic
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Unibroue tulip.

A: Pours a hazy, golden orange color with 1/2 finger of off-white head. Some retention and lace.

S: Sweet, yeasty malt with nice fruity esters and a little bubblegum. Quite nice.

T: Leads with some bitter hops before sliding back to sweet fruits and bread. A little Belgian pepper at the end, also faint tea on the finish. Light sweetness in the aftertaste is just right.

M: Light and creamy, no complaints here.

O: A nice example of the style, solid and worth revisiting. Will definitely buy it again.

AmericanGothic, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of doughanson78
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled on 8/30/2010.

A: Dark copper color. Clear with some sediment floating. Huge three finger head that threatens to billow out of the glass. Kept growing for about a minute. Slightly off white. Don't think it will ever disappear. Lacing as sticky as super glue.

S: Smells like a sour. Reminds me of a Russian River sour. Nice funkiness. Sour apples. Very tart. Slight Belgian yeast notes.

T: Way different from the nose. Just a slight sour quality. Belgian yeast comes through much more. Slight caramel malts. Very light coriander spice. Light fruit notes, a little apple, little tangerine, a little banana. The tartness comes through just a tad in the finish. A fairly complex taste. Wasn't expecting this.

M: Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Pretty dry.

O: I was pretty shocked by this. Read about the infected batches. As soon as I smelled it I thought mine might be infected, as I've never had an infected beer before. This is another pretty good beer from Goose Island. Hope InBev don't screw them up.

doughanson78, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of billab914
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage poured from a 12oz bottle into my Allagash glass. It poured amber orange in color with a thin white head barely covering the top of the beer.

The aroma has more of a malty, caramel like quality to it with some notes of tart fruit to it as well. I get a little Belgian yeast spice to it but it's pretty faint for the style. It almost has a little bit of a barleywine character to it in the aroma, although not as big and bold.

The taste also has a pretty big malty and caramel profile to it. I get some crisp, tart fruits in the finish mixing with a slightly sweeter, dark fruit character. Just a little of the yeast spice is noticeable. Again, it reminds me a little of a lighter barleywine like flavor.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side for the style and carbonation is below average. Overall it was a pretty good beer. The malty flavors were especially nice in it at this point.

billab914, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on date of 1/29/2010 poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish gold color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin on the glass.

S: The aroma contains Belgian yeast, light caramelized malts, spices and some fruit.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of caramel, fruit and spices followed by some mild sourness from wild Belgian yeast. The malt character is hearty and there’s a mild hops presence that creates good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a good beer with some nice complexity that makes it worth drinking for a while.

TheManiacalOne, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of rowingbrewer
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a golden yellow with good carbonation and a food solid head. The smell is lightly spicy with Belgian yeast notes as well as a solid malt presence. The flavor follows suit with a smooth rich Belgian yeast flavor and a nice sweet malt presence. The mouthfeel is full for the style but not over done. Definitely worth a visit.

rowingbrewer, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of gskitt
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This offering from goose island pours a cloudy and hazy orange. The head was really not in play here. Small and only lasted a short while. Scent was of ripened fruit, plums and apricot. Sweet taste, fruity, has a bit of spice and funk. Drinkable. Had this at a beer fest and finally found it again. One of my favorites this summer.

gskitt, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of zeledonia
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 17 February 2011. Poured into a tulip.

Pours a bright hazy orange, melon-colored, with about one finger of off-white head. Head fades quickly, leaving a layer of patchy foam. Not much lacing.

Smell is powerfully fruity. The closest thing is apricot, but there's more to it than that. Some deeper, more pungent yeasty flavors more akin to overripe tropical fruits. Interesting. It smells deep, golden, and sweet.

Taste is sweet and fruity like the smell, but more earthy and spicy. Less apricot, more orange. Less sugar, more pepper. Finish is much like the rest of it.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and a bit syrupy. Finish is long-lasting - 30 seconds later, I'm still licking it off my teeth. Lacking in carbonation.

An intriguing, very fruity Belgian ale. Could use some more carbonation, and a little more complexity to the flavor. But I like it.

zeledonia, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of Treebs
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 650ml bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy amber color with a nice frothy off white head with nice retention. Sticky lace down the side of the glass.

S: There is some light yeast with some small fruit aromas. Cherries and other vine fruits are present.

T: Same light yeast from the nose with the same mild fruits. Slight tartness and there is some banana as well. Although the flavors were kind of muted.

M: Nice and refreshing. Light bodied with a decent carbonation. The aftertaste leaves something to be desired as it is non-existent.

O: Definitely not a strong ale, more like a light Belgian brew. Decent, but nothing worth revisiting.

Treebs, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of Marty30
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle dated 10-8-2010. Served into a snifter at 55 degrees.

A. Orange body pretty clear.A big fluffy 2 finger offwhite head.that dissapates into a nicecreamy cap.

S. Big fruity aromas including lemon,orange with some spicyness such as coriander and that awesome belgian yeast.

T. Lots of that big bready Belgian yeast with citrus fruits.Has a nice creaminess to it,with a tart finish.

M. Very carbonated a little bit on the light side,tart finish.

Overall I would very much like to have more of this. Very tastey on a hot day.

Marty30, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of mikeborglum
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

it is a nice Belgian ale with all of the expected characteristics but it's nothing special. Draft poured in a snifter style glass. Not much aroma but a good feel on the palate. It had the fruity and spicy flavor as expected but did not get anything 'rare' out of the taste. Good finish.

mikeborglum, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of clint1019
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden colored beer with a thin creamy head on it.

S - Malty, Fruity, & slightly yeasty.

T - This beer has an exceptional combination of flavors. A great mix between malty and fruity flavors. Finishes with a citrusy hop bitterness.

M - Medium bodied.

O - What a great beer Goose Island has here. A great combination flavors and aromas. Will definitly buy this one again.

clint1019, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of Chaney
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 10/29/10. I guess this was before they sold out to Busch huh? Kidding aside, if AB helps them sell their superior, untainted product better, then more power to them!

A: Mildly hazy in appearance, amber-ish in color, and with a fairly robust finger or so mildly off-white head. Cool looking brew!

S: Mild puffs of Brett. Mmmm... good! Very fruity also, with a slightly peppery scent.

T: Not too sour, very subtle actually, with a spicy hop presence. It's like an IPA, where the prominent hop (eg. Citra, Centennial, etc.) was given a half-ass treatment and Brett filled out the rest of the bill.

M: Very clean on the palate (despite the substantial lacing). Definitely not sour, but still funky nevertheless. No sweet lingering, and highly gulpable!

O: I've heard how good this was but have never experienced it for myself. This is the non-sour lover's sour beer...

Chaney, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of Vanlingleipa
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1 pt 6 oz bomber bottled 2/11/11 into a 4 oz tasting glass. Matilda is a pretty golden orange with a small to medium head with a nice, even pour.

The lacing is modestly sticky, crawling down the glass with the look and pace of continents separating. Low carbonation for the style, I counted 'em - 79 bubbles.

Interestingly, not much yeast flavoring on top. Mostly sweet malt and citrus with a nice run of mild sourness coming in after the first taste and finally a small sense of spice, maybe a bit of cloves but not definitely not Djarum strength.

Overall a Refreshing beer.

Vanlingleipa, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of AleWatcher
2.73/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber bottled 11.10.09 -- split w/my bro in law and served in my Goose chalice glassware.

A hazy ambery apricot orange color with some small particulates suspended in the solution. Small tan head. Minimal lace chunks and retention.

Smells of really sweet caramel malt-- really sweet malty character. Slight citrusy quality. Very little else happening. I must admit that I was hoping for more after holding this bottle for nearly 20 months.

This beer, if released directly into the air, would stun birds into a catatonic state from utter boringness. The flavor follows the nose exactly. There's malt... Sweet malt... Virtually nothing else.

Where's the yeast? Brett? Hops? Nope. Not here.

The body seems to have suffered as well-- this is less carbed and feels syrupy.

Overall-- I shan't be aging my Matilda anymore. Fresh for me from now on.

AleWatcher, Aug 13, 2011
Photo of lawlerj
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Zen's Lounge into a wine glass in Lincoln NE.

A - pours a cloudy amber color; appears to be moderately carbonated.

S - very floral and fruity, not much in the way of hops but I think there may be some peaking through in there, and a decent malt base rounding things out.

T - rich and malt with nice crisp fruity taste and some hop bitterness to finish. Complex but not overwhelming - toes the line nicely and the end result is a very drinkable beer.

M - medium bodied but retains a nice crisp feeling. The carbonation plays well here. Very nice.

O - overall, I was pleasantly surprised to find this on tap and very much enjoyed this beer. Also very pleased to be served in proper glassware - kudos to Zen's. The flavor, mouthfeel and aroma were all very good. This is a solid brew. Very wall balanced across the board.

lawlerj, Aug 07, 2011
Photo of chinchill
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very fresh 12 oz 2011 bottle - 7/13/11 date - served at about 50-55 F.

Appearance - a clear amber with a small head that quickly settles to a lasting ring. Visible moderate carbonation.

A light to moderate strength aroma promises some yeasty and spiced light malt, with plenty of cloves. The flavor itself largely follows, but being more spicy and flavorful than the nose indicates. The spice complex is too reliant on cloves, a commmon complaint (from me) for light Belgian styles beers. The beer does have some underlying complexity that is perhaps most obvious in the lasting finish. Lightly earthy with hints of raisins and more than a hint of yeast.

M - Good carbonation streaming up from the bottom is also evident in the mouthfeel of this medium bodied and lightly crisp beer.

O - Plenty of flavor despite a nose that is a tad light. I enjoyed this beer more as I got further thruthe bottle, some acclimation perhaps, but likely some warming too. It has more complexity than my first impression indicated but, unfortunately, the overload of clove as well. I'd like to try an aged bottle down the road.

chinchill, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Rob during a great unexpected visit.

The beer is hazy and orange, with a light tan head. a decent amount of lacing is left on the sides of the glass. The aroma is inviting, offering citrus, Belgian yeast, malt, candied fruit. The flavor has a healthy hop presence, with a nice combo of sweet, candied fruits and Belgian yeast. The feel is medium bodied with appropriate carbonation. Overall, a tasty beverage. A bomber is perfect for sharing a couple / few ways. I would have this again.

Huhzubendah, Aug 04, 2011
Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: copper orange yellow with a 1 finger off white head

smell: brett, candy fruits, spices, malts,

taste: brett, yeast, fruity, malts,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation , medium body,

overall: interesting beer. glad I got to try it.


THECPJ, Aug 03, 2011
Photo of dragonWhale
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the 2011 vintage, courtesy of my boy Peesie.

Pours into the tulip with a purr, carbonation billowing and settling, producing a cumulus top to the hazy peach-coloured liquid.
The nose uncovers a little sweetness from the malt that the Belgian yeast shines through with a little clove and flower. Nothing over the top overpowering, just well-integrated and joyous.
The taste is very good. Again well put together. Starts malty, then gets a little floral and peppery and finishes smoothly, a little residual sweetness. It rolls over in my mouth elegantly, the slightly elevated carbonation giving of itself to my mouth. A lovely beer.

dragonWhale, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of BeerNemesis
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Matilda | 355 ml. | 7.0% ABV | 2011 vintage

Brewer: Goose Island Beer Co.
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Glass: white wine glass

Fox-fur reddish-orange with barely a wisp of head and light webs of lacing.

Strong floral aroma, wet hay, hops.

Very floral taste--sort of grassy and aromatic (I feel a little bit of synesthesia coming on). It's dry and a bit spicy towards the finish, and there's also a brett presence.

A little bit thin, with very prickly carbonation.

It's a very floral but not particularly fruity BSDA. This isn't my favorite leaning, but it's altogether a nice beer.

Would I get it again?:
Well I've had it twice now, so it's good. That said, not my favorite BDSA.

Bottled: February 9, 2011
Served: July 28, 2011

Price = $3.25 at The New Beer Distributors (NYC)3

BeerNemesis, Jul 29, 2011
Photo of MrVonzipper
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice slightly hazy caramel color with a solid 1-2cm foamy eggshell colored head with good retention and almost no lacing.

Belgian candi sugar and yeast right off the bat. As you continue to smell the frutty notes open up more. Notes of peach, mango and banana.

Good flavor balance and depth for the style. Nice mild fruit tones of banana, mango and concord grape.

Medium bodied mouthfeel. Slightly viscous with good carbonation.

Overall I think this is one of the best American Belgian-style beers. Great flavor, balance and depth that almost all Trappist beers have that many others in the style lack. Ive had this on tap and in bottle. I highly recommend this one.

MrVonzipper, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of ajwillys
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Amber look, head is white and lacey
Smell - Sour, green apple, peachey
Taste - A little sour, stronger after-taste, alcoholey
Mouthfeel - Very finely carbonated, smooth
Overall - Good overall beer, expected a higher ABV from the taste..

ajwillys, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of firkinhophead
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 01/27/11. No. 1217.

Pours a hazy apricot orange with a thin head that clings in sheets, but is not sticky.

Smells is sweet and floral, with a tropical fruitiness. Some yeasty notes, as well.

Mango, orange oil, and shortbread ride in on a wave of liquid sunshine, flushing the cheeks. Earthy, wet grain borders on funky and holds the body hard on the tongue. Biscuity yeast, floral nectar, and powdery bitterness rises late, but finishes clean. With all the sweetness it still comes off nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel is full and round. Bottle-conditioning gives appropriately soft carbonation that holds all the way down. Very nice.

One of the best American versions of a BSPA that I have had. Should get a bit funkier with age but perfect for now with cheese, fruit and bread.

firkinhophead, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle shared by Chris. Bottled 4/16/10, Batch #1453 - yes I know it's infected. Served in a Struise cervoise.

A - A dime of white foam settles to a thin ring, leaving behind minimal lace and a few wisps on top. Transparent amber body.

S - There's a clear lactobacillus infection that imparts notes of lactic acidity and vinous tartness. These flavors mingle well with the light funky brett, spicy Belgian yeast, caramel malt, and slightly medicinal flavors.

T - Taste is a bit more malt-forward, with notes of caramel and honey, as well as some fruity esters. There's the slightly medicinal brett finish, as well as some light vinous acidity, but the taste seems less affected by the infection than the aroma. Not a ton of spicy Belgian yeast character here either. Still, quite enjoyable for the style.

M - Lower carbonation, medium body, slightly gritty texture, slightly dry finish, and well-hidden alcohol. I think this one could actually use more bubbles, and was slightly surprised the brett bottle-conditioning didn't spritz things up.

D - I could definitely see the relationship between this and Dominique, particularly the acidic aroma and strong caramel malt backdrop in the flavor. I also think this is a more interesting beer than "regular" Matilda. Chris and I put down the bomber with ease.

While I understand why this had to be recalled I'm glad that some of it made it into the hands of beer nerds and that some of it was re-purposed into another pretty enjoyable beer. Still, I think Goose Island should seriously consider having "Wild Matilda" on-tap occasionally as it's quite good.

MasterSki, Jul 26, 2011
Photo of WoodBrew
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Friend of mine is cleaning out his beer fridge and is taking random beers to random get togethers....I was lucky to score a six that contained a 2010 Matilda. Poured the beer into a tulip glass and so far like what I am drinking. The appearance is orangish/copper with white head that is lacing nicely. The smell is typical of Belgium beers...clove and spice. The taste follows suite....not much banana as i would have expected, but nice clove and spice that wasn't tooo overpowering. The mouthfeel is down graded slightly cuz I do taste alcohol. Overall this is a good beer.

WoodBrew, Jul 23, 2011
Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
91 out of 100 based on 3,938 ratings.