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Matilda - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,857 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,857
Reviews: 1,148
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.16%
Wants: 173
Gots: 540 | FT: 12
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: 3,857 | Reviews: 1,148 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chodinheaven
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful hazy orange color with a healthy white head. Nice legs. Smells kind of tropical, like pineapples with a belgian twist. Fruity and very aromatic.

Taste is fruity, mostly malty, and a little hoppy in the finish. Interesting mouthfeel as it is not too carbonated, making it smooth, but not crisp at the same time. Leaves a bittersweet aftertaste that is pleasant. I think the best part of this beer is the balance of all flavors. None of them outdo the others, they all just work together to make a perfectly enjoyable beer. It's hard to pick out individual flavors, especially as I am newer to the style, but the balance of pleasant flavors makes this beer fantastic.

First beer from Goose Island, makes me want to drink others.

chodinheaven, May 01, 2011
Photo of brystmar
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle dated 12-21-2010.

A: orange-copper with thick, white head. Fizzy carbonation bubbles up from the glass' depths. Strong lace relative to its peers in the style.

S: pale malts, lots of fruit, earthy notes, sour Bretty yeast. Mmmm.

T: sweet malts up front with strong a fruitiness complexion and some interesting spices in the background. The Brett jumps in quickly to impart its own deliciousness as it ushers in the dry, hoppy, and slightly bitter finish. This is exactly how I remember Matilda.

M: medium-full bodied; creamy and pleasant as it swishes around my mouth. Nitro version please!

O: I have a soft spot in my heart for Matilda, as it was one of the brews responsible for cultivating my love of craft beer when I lived in Chicago. Hard to believe I still hadn't reviewed it until now. Sentiment aside, this is a fabulous brew that I really should drink more often.

brystmar, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of vandemonian
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Goose Island Matilda is delicious and interesting beer with plenty of subtleties for the tasting.

A: Cloudy orange colour and a 5 mm head that faded to excellent lacing. 4.5

S: Smells of yeast and apples/pears with some spices in there too. 4

T: Spicy and sweet flavour (something like apples and cinnamon) into a slightly sour and alcoholic aftertaste. Interesting and nice, but the 7% alcohol shouldn't be so much at the forefront. 4

M: Foamy and nice. 4.5

O: This is a very nice beer. 4

vandemonian, Apr 26, 2011
Photo of hosehead83
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from "bomber" bottle into a tulip glass. 2010 vintage.
Deep apricot in color, with a short head of off-white foam.
Aroma-Fruit salad, Belgian candy sugar
Taste-Tart fruit, crisp apple, spicy and wine-like. Overall, a bit tart for my taste. I'll have to try a fresh bottle for comparison. Still, not too bad.

hosehead83, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Goose Island has a huge cult following, especially at my school, Purdue. Personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of their brews (especially when it comes to the popular 312), but I’m not giving up hope yet. Let’s hope this "Vintage" collection can change my mind. Here’s Matilda:

A: Pours smooth with a rustic yellow-orange body. A thin off-white head emerges, but doesn’t leave any residual lacing. Hmmm. The back of the bottle states: “Contains live yeast. A sediment may form.” Upon closer inspection, I can see that there’s not much of anything left in the bottle, let alone in the glass. Not sure about this one…

S: The nose is much better than the look. A strong hit of clove and phenols, with a touch of fruit at the back end. Very easy to tell it’s in the Belgian style.

T: Not a bad palate. Not a great one, either. The phenols and medicinal tastes are big and upfront, and that, thankfully, goes down with a nice smoothness. Really though, that’s about as far as it goes. It is lacking the complexity of a fine Belgian ale – the normal yeasty fruit notes are nearly non-existent, and what’s there in overwhelmed by a alcoholic finish. Surprising for a 7%. It’s smooth and satisfying, but not a very intricate drink.

M: A lack of carbonation allows it to work its way around the mouth gracefully. You can tell it’s been aged in the bottle.

O: A nice departure from the session beers that Goose Island is most famous for. While this beer won’t exactly make me a GI fanatic, it certainly was a good drink. A great attempt – I’m glad I tried it.

BarryMFBurton, Apr 22, 2011
Photo of Hex92
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 batch opened 4/20/11.

Poured cloudy orange with a thin head. Bottle had been on its side for a couple of years. Could see a film on the glass. Was a bit apprehensive. Thought that I may have let it age too long, but it tasted fine.

Citrusy smell. I wish I had rated the one of the other bottles I had back when I first got the beer to compare....but I didn't.

Not much of a hop flavor, very smooth. The label says it has a 'profuse amount of hops'. This bottle didn't...which is a good thing for me since I am not a big hop fane.

Could taste the alcohol. Coats the mouth nicely, not overly sweet. Overall a good beer. Would like to buy this one again.

Hex92, Apr 21, 2011
Photo of
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Hazy golden with pinkish hues, frothy white head that pours a solid inch, but quickly dissipates to a thin coating with a solid ring.
Aroma - spicy and herbal noble hops, honey, hay, wet wood, floral, fruity Belgian yeast
Flavour - subtle mixed fruit tempered by a bracing bitterness, herbal, strong bitterness on the finish, lingering hops bitterness fading to banana

, Apr 21, 2011
Photo of ktrillionaire
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - It pours a very brassy hue, capped with some short-lived white froth.

S - The nose is comprised of a bit of wildflower blossom, some mineral-metallic, sweet alcohol and hay.

T - The flavor is quite Saison-like, offering pale malt, a heavy dose of minerality, peppery spicy yeast notes, and some grassy and floral tones.. A bit too much sweetness, perhaps, and maybe a modicum too much booze to boot.

M - Just south of medium bodied,with not enough creaminess for a Belgian style.

O - The least of the three sisters, lesser than brother Jacques, too.

ktrillionaire, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of FanofHefe
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in snifter at Pi Delmar in St. Louis. Clear light amber color with a hint of orange. Big, fluffy off-white head that had great retention and decent lacing.

The aroma was not strong, but featured some fruity notes including apple and pear. Definite notice of the belgian yeast coming through in the aroma.

Nice blend of flavors including apple and a slightly sweet note of banana. No hop flavors that I could detect. The Belgian yeast gave some prominent flavors and some spiciness as well.

Light mouthfeel and a crisp finish. Pretty enjoyable overall, but I would have a bit of hard time pairing with food. Probably my own fault in being a hop head and preferring hops with everything. Solid offering.

FanofHefe, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of ferrari29
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from bottle into Wine glass
Bottled 3/18/2010

A - Body has an deep orange/burgundy color with a good amount of carbonation; small one-finger white colored head formed that dissipated pretty quickly; not much lacing formed on the glass

S - Apple-orange scents; overwhelming notes of banana from the fruity smell produced by the yeast; nice sweet malt notes; well-balanced mix of malt and yeast ingredients; heave smell of cider and pear also; subtle hint of rye and spices

T - Pear and apple (cider) taste on the tip of the tongue; flavor washes over the tongue leaving a nice sweet taste; kick of liquor or ABV at the end; slight hints of orange and coriander

M - Thin consistency; almost watery; slightly effervescent feel on the tongue

D - Great drink; I've always enjoyed thoroughly; exceptional blend of fruit and yeasty aromas and a nice refreshing taste; I will always have a glass of Matilda if available

ferrari29, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of cbarrett4
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is American Belgian style pale ale at its best. The beer is bright and rich with lovely texture and an amazing finish. It's 7% so it can get a little dangerous since it drinks so well! The only drawback is the $12 per four pack price. But one must pay to obtain greatness.

A note to Anheuser Busch: Please don't screw this up now that you own 100% of Goose Island... Please...

cbarrett4, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of ShanePB
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz, bottled on 12/10/10 courtesy of smarcoly - thanks!

A: Golden honey colored body with a foamy, and somewhat fizzy white head. Leaves behind an okay foam cap but virtually no lacing. Not bad, not the best.

S: Notes of honey, orange, pear and lemon zest. Finishes with a substantial yeasty character, seemingly from the Belgian qualities this beer is meant to exemplify. No bitter hops nor substantial malt base is present.

T: Nice blending of flavors, a bit different than other BSPAs I've had in the past. Sort of a funky but not sour or tart, note is up front with some banana and clove. The malt comes through giving this substance, with a yeasty twist on the end. Finishes rather dry and astringent.

M: Bubbly, prickly and somewhat light-bodied.

An interesting take on the BSPA and definitely one of the better ones I've had. The funk character was much appreciated and added a layer of complexity, I feel this style needs.

ShanePB, Apr 14, 2011
Photo of brewdenver
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured in a tulip.

A: Golden amber in color with medium lacing and fingers. Poured a rather low head that didn't hold together very long.

S: Fruity esters, bananas, candy fill the nose. Pleasant to whiff.

T: Beginning has a banana, fruity start. A semi sweet and dry middle with a clean finish.

M: Med-light carbonation on the palette and a tad thin imo for a belgian ale.

O: A good belgian.

brewdenver, Apr 12, 2011
Photo of vfgccp
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle, drank April 2011

A: Deep orange amber. White head ~1 finger high with ok retention and low lace.

S: Nice honey character. Brown sugar. Orange. Hint of sour. Nutty. Light oak.

T: Sweet malt, orange zest, sour apples. Spicy pink peppercorns and thyme. The flavors are soft, well balanced, and refreshing.

M: Soft dry finish with a light sourness. Medium body.

O: Great balance and complexity, with an easily drinkable flavor profile. I’d gladly drink this all night.

vfgccp, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of jmerloni
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Ruby amber colored. Hazy. Of-white pillowy nice head that retains decently and laces okay.

S - Pears, raisins, yeast, citrus, lemon rind, mild spice.

T - Pears and yeast. And vanilla notes!? Malt is a very mild molasses flavor. Hoppy at the end. Interesting. Tastes a lot more like a Tripel than a Belgian Pale. Has a pleasant tea-like afterbite.

M - Medium to full-bodied. Carbonation is medium and spot-on.

D - A very solid beer. I would get this again. It is far from a Belgian Pale, though. That's a very strange characterization.

jmerloni, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

380th review on BA
Draft to GI Chalice

App- A nice orangy yellow with a one finger head to it, a lot of bubble activity from the bottom of the glass, great lacing.

Smell- Spicy, yeasty citrus with a back end wheat smell. A bit down scented than the Sofie, but was expecting that due to style difference.

Taste- A bit malty with a fruity citrus laden backend. More yeast and spice than expecting but still tempered against the malt for the style.

Mouth- Medium bodied with a fairly high carbonation level. Citrus after taste.

Drink- Very good beer. This was crisp and clean and very well balanced. Beautiful characteristics and nuances. Will have this one again no doubt.

FosterJM, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of gkunkle
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at a little wine/beer bar in California, the server gave it a decent pour into a tulip glass. The beer was generally a light amber sort or color, it may have just been the lighting, but it seemed to have a slightly pinkish hue. The head seems less than impressive as it quickly retreats. The smell is very nice, I get some floral notes as well as citrus. Taste features the spices and the fruitiness well. The mouthfeel is a little thicker than expected, but smooth and just lightly carbonated. Overall, this was a fun beer to try, but not something i'll get on a regular basis.

gkunkle, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of rsdaugherty
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Matilda from Goose Island Beer Company
Bottle into wine glass
A - Airy off-white 1+ finger head subsided moderately quickly on this slightly hazy golden orange brew to a thin layer 3.5
S - Noticeable right upon pour... resiny florals, slightly sweet, yeasty, clementine/pear/pine/spice notes. A very nice overall smell 4.5
T - Very yeasty character, slightly sweet with a citrus/Clementine notes, nice balance with the malts/hops, I can't get away from a cider association... slight spice with a champagne like finish 4
M - Flavorful but light in body and weight on the palat, perhaps over carbonated 3.5
O - I could have another but the level of carbonation is distraction to me, I like the flavors and directions this beer is going but not the carbonation/champagne form 3.5

rsdaugherty, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of iRoy
4.7/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow. High marks across the board, had on tap at Sweetwater in Chicago, IL. Sucks they're getting bought out but I hope and pray that quality is not sacrificed in the process. Pours a ruby red with a very sweet smell. Tastes similar, sweet with a smooth finish. I loved it, mouthfeel isn't too intense as well. I will definitely try this again, I really enjoyed it with my burger.

iRoy, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of WankelEngine
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass

A: The beer is a golden amber color and lightly hazy. There is a small, thick head which diminishes rather quickly, leaving some minor lacing. The carbonation adds to the presentation with hundreds of small bubbles rising quickly from the bottom and forming a constant light layer of foam on top of the beer.

S: The nose has a sweet herbal scent. The flowery smell reminds one of grass cuttings, orange peel and caramel. This smell is well mixed, with no particular dominant flavors.

T: The taste is similar to the smell. The first sensation is just a smooth, herbal taste. This develops into a sweeter malty taste. Upon swallowing, the taste is noticeably fruity, with peach and orange coming through. Here the yeast flavor is apparent and complements the taste of alcohol. As the beer warms up, the Belgian wheat flavor becomes more prominent.

M: The mouthfeel is relatively thick. At 7% ABV, there is noticeable warmth from the alcohol which is complemented by the carbonation.

O: A very good Belgian Style Ale.

WankelEngine, Apr 06, 2011
Photo of AveryAdams
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased from Fairway grocer in Omaha, NE. I've had this before but it has been a while.

Appearance - Hazy golden color liquid with nice lasting white head. A very nice looking color. Head retention is pretty good.

Smell - Pears! Just. Like. Pears. Also some alcohol notes and mild sweet smell present. Not finding much more though. Smells very nice.

Taste - Spicy yet mild clove like flavor, a gentle fruit flavor that I can't quite place. Not very sweet at all, yet somehow reminds me of honey. More malty but some hoppiness.

Mouthfeel - quite light and fizzy, also pretty dry. Makes my tongue tingle at first, but leaves my mouth feeling like I just drank diluted lemon juice when swallowed. The tingly/spicy combination feels pretty cool. I like it.

Overall - Definitely worth trying, and I will be having this beer again.

AveryAdams, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of BucBasil
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at The Federal in North Hollywood, CA.

A: The beer is a hazy dark orange or light amber color with a 2 finger offwhite head.

S: Fruity, herbal, and slightly spicy with sort of a citrus rind note being most prominent. Clove and a sweet, presently unidentifiable note (gin?) over some fresh bread.

T: Very smooth with subtle hints of citrus and some pineapple baked in bread. Spices, clove, honey, pepper. Light yeast character and a light finish that leaves you wanting more.

Overall an excellent, dangerously drinkable beer that stands up to many of the best Belgians. Recommended.

BucBasil, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of CHickman
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 12/20/2010, it pours cloudy amber orange in color with a creamy 1 finger off white head that faded very slowly, leaving good lacing clinging to the glass.

Yeast dominates the nose, with coriander, caramel, grass or herbs, grapefruit, honey, light wet bread, citrus hops, orange peel, lemon zest, light spices and the typical yeast funky-ness. Not sure what the Brett smells like, but I imagine it's in the mix; smells nice and complex, fruity, and perfect for this style.

Tastes like it smells, with yeast, coriander, sweet caramel, grass, herbs, grapefruit, honey, wet bread, citrus hops, flowers, orange peel, lemon, sour apple, wet cardboard, light spices like pepper, and then the typical metallic twang from the yeast and a slight alcohol warmth in the powdery dry finish. This is fruity and complicated and hides the alcohol well, yet remains more Belgian than American even with the nice hop presence. The more I drank this beer the more I enjoyed it, and it seemed to allow more flavors like clove to come out as it warmed. For any fan of Belgian beers, this is a must try as this represents the best of American beer efforts to emulate this style.

Mouthfeel is oily slick and creamy, with a medium body, very light carbonation and slight bitter finish that's dry and refreshing. Excellent drinkability, this beer was much better than I expected and I had to force myself to drink it slower as I neared the end. A really great beer that I highly recommend trying.

CHickman, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of RickS95
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Looks like a slightly dark pale ale. Looks like an orangey ginger ale. Very clear. Almost no head.

Has a very fruity smell. Too many fruits to identify. I'm sure the yeast had a lot to do with that as well.

The taste is like the smell, very fruity. Grape jelly on toast is what it taste like.

Complexity in the mouth. There's sweet, sour, tart, tangy, and dry. It just about covers everything.

It didn't look like I'd hoped, but it does everything else well, and provides good alcohol on top of it all.

RickS95, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of Trilogy31
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A hazy brownish orange with a 1/2 inch of head which quickly dissipates. Nice nose of clove, baking spices and tropical fruits. Taste is full of belgian spice, banana and some ripe peaces and apricots. Just a touch of hops to clean up all the sweetness. A beer i would revisit had AB not just purchased it.

Trilogy31, Apr 01, 2011
Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
89 out of 100 based on 3,857 ratings.