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Matilda - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,681 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,681
Reviews: 1,136
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.16%
Wants: 164
Gots: 464 | 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
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Ratings: 3,681 | Reviews: 1,136 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheSarge


3.78/5  rDev -6.2%

Matilda pours decently for a finger thick head, which retains nicely. The body is copper in color and is hazy but allows a good amount of light to pass through.

The aroma is very fruity and sugary. I detect a peach like fragrance with a touch of honey. There is some over ripe orange here too.

The taste is a bit on the sour side. It has a peachy kind of character and a touch of green grape.

Mouth feel wise this brew comes in as moderately bodied, nicely carbonated, and just a hint of warmth in the end.

This brew turned out to be sourer than I expected. I have had a few Belgian strong pale ales, and none have had this sour fruitiness.

07-14-2010 00:13:56 | More by TheSarge
Photo of TheHoppiest


3.98/5  rDev -1.2%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with a bottled date of 3/11/09 into an oversized snifter.

Pours a hazy golden-orange, with a fair amount of suspended sediment. A bubby white head quickly reduces to a thin sheen on top.

Smells of fruits - banana, apple, pear, and sweet grapes. There is an underlying yeastiness that is subtle. Overall, qute fragrant and pleasant.

Tastes sweeter than it smells. Almost like a soda, or Red Vines. There's a candied malt taste, that as it finishes clenches the back of the tongue with just a hint of tartness. As a fan of DIPA's,I'm finding this one to be a bit too sweet for my tastes.

UPDATE 8-13-11

Am having this on tap at Lizardville, and either it's better on tap than it was from the bottle, or my tastes have evolved -- or both! Spicier and funkier than I remember, and not as sweet, this is an easy drinking, smooth ale. Still sweet, with hints of mango nectar, apricot, and and pear, but with a mild aromatic spiciness that gives it depth. I still like DIPA's better, and still am not the biggest fan of Belgian Strong Pale Ales, but I like it more than I did before, and would definitely have this again. My score has been revised upward on taste and overall, from a 3.5 to a 4.0.
This has a very easy going, smooth mouthfeel.

This beer goes down very easy, but mainly because its like drinking beer flavored soda. I'm sure its well done for the style, but this simply isnt my style of brew.

07-10-2010 01:30:42 | More by TheHoppiest
Photo of kiddynamite920


4.15/5  rDev +3%

12 ounce bottle picked up at UtoBeer in London's Borough Market. 10/21/09 bottling date, just couldn't hold off any longer for this one.

A: Poured into the Duvel tulip slightly chilled. Poured out a near copper, reddish color. The head developed quickly with some light and fluffy bubbles, but has settled down to a very nice tight laced centimeter on top of the beer. Small amounts of lacing occurring early.

S: Aromas of this beer are being carried through short spurts of my oscillating fan. Haven't even got my nose in it yet and I have a good idea what's going on in here. Classic banana sweetness on the nose, very sweet smelling upfront. Behind this hides some great complexities. Has a great grassiness, with some funky earth like notes. Definitely a tartness here as well, some green apples and lemongrass. A swirl of the glass opens up the nose to a peppery aroma and some alcohol to sneak through. Very pleasing that the banana and clove don't override this aroma.

T: Some light banana early, grass and a tartness come late. Spices are very nice on the palate, peppery and a licorice like flavor. I'm guessing this may not have been stored properly because the flavors are all present but very muted. Feels a bit flat. It is giving the impression that the noted flavors have began to fade, but are still distinguishable.

M: Carbonation is low, making this beer a bit too slippery. May have been handled improperly before purchase, but it seems to have faded sadly.

D: Very drinkable beer, I'm finding myself actually sipping this too fast. For the 7 bucks I paid, it is worth it certainly. Just wish Matilda would make its way to PA instead of me having to grab it in England. Quite a treat, and a very well made beer.


07-08-2010 02:58:33 | More by kiddynamite920
Photo of lordofthewiens


4.43/5  rDev +9.9%

It was a pleasure to drink this beer.
Bottled 1/29/10.
Copper colored, small white head.
Yeasty aroma, candy, fruit, and a bit peppery.
Tart fruit taste, apple, still sweet and yeasty.
The aromas and tastes fit really well together, and made this beer very refreshing and enjoyable.

07-08-2010 00:56:05 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of mikereaser


3.48/5  rDev -13.6%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle on 10/30/09.

A - Pours a hazy orange with just a ring of bubbles around the glass

S - sweet and fruity aroma, some apples and pears and wine grapes and belgian yeast

T - light malts and belgian yeast flavor, sort of a wine like quality to it

M - good carbonation and smooth mouthfeel

D - could improve with age, we'll see. decent overall though

07-07-2010 17:34:36 | More by mikereaser
Photo of zebco


4.08/5  rDev +1.2%

2010 version bottled on 1/15/10. I had this first at the ACBF about a month ago and really liked it. So, when I saw it in my local brew shop I snatched it up. Poured a red-orangish color with a head that dissipated quickly. I wanted to say it had a clear look but it did develop a slight haziness. The appearance kind of turned into a flat look midway through however. Aromas were highlighted with sweet, tart fruits, raisins, a carmamelness, and the slightest hint of alcohol. I wasn't really getting the whiff of any pronounced hops. The hints of alcohol transferred over to the taste and mouthfeel. But not at all unpleasant. A sweet and slightly chewy mouthfeel that I actually enjoyed. My last thought about this beer is that maybe the version I loved from the ACBF was a bit more aged. This newest installment tasted slightly "green" as they say and the thing that really got me wondering was that on the side of the bottle it says that it can develop for up to 5 years. I'd love to age a bottle for a few years to see what would happen but unfortunatly I'm not that patient. If there's beer in the house I find it! I'd recommend finding an older version or aging one yourself.

07-05-2010 23:17:38 | More by zebco
Photo of grannun


4.35/5  rDev +7.9%

11/09, 6.5 months old

Deep amber in color, smell slightly of hops but not overpowering. Taste is exquisite, hoppy up front with a smooth finish containing multiple distinct flavors that I can't put my finger on. The incredible smoothness of this beer makes it one of my personal favorites, would drink again for sure.

07-05-2010 18:01:05 | More by grannun
Photo of smcolw


3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Starts with a very good head, but it leaves no lace on the glass. Very hazy with an orange amber color.

Strong Belgian yeast aroma. There's a lighter malt smell. No hop that I can detect.

The flavor is exactly as expected: Strong alcohol and lighter malt. Lots of Belgian yeast flavors as well. The body is as expected: above average mouthfeel with a corresponding carbonation.

07-04-2010 00:58:01 | More by smcolw
Photo of Mebuzzard


3.68/5  rDev -8.7%

Pours a nice caramel, golden-brown, chestnut. Mostly clear. 1 finger foaming up and some stickiness on the glass as is drinks.

Semi sweet and fruity aroma. Apple, pear, some light flour and unripe green plum.A bit juicy and bready.

I get a strong apple pressence along with some phenols and mint. A quick burst of sour in the end. This comes after a nice refreshing snap of dryness just after the apple and sweetness. There is a fair amount of carbonation that helps give the brew a refreshing feel.

Overall, pretty nice beer

07-02-2010 04:34:31 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of metter98

New York

3.88/5  rDev -3.7%

A: The beer poured clear light amber in color with a thin off white head that quickly vanished. A light amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: The nose is filled with spicy and yeasty aromas.
T: Like the smell, flavors of spices and yeast dominate the overall taste, which is quite complex and also has some hints of fruit and a slight amount of sweetness. The finish is rather spicy.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and there is dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is relatively easy to drink and the alcohol is well hidden from the smell and taste.

Note: 2010 vintage

06-28-2010 02:03:14 | More by metter98
Photo of arizcards


3.95/5  rDev -2%

Picked up a four pack at Total Wine at the end of May for $10.99. Bottled on 4-17-10.

Beer poured a reddish orange with an off white head. Yeast sediment is floating at the bottom. Nose is light fruits and sour funk. Taste is tart apples and pears with a slight hop finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth but does not quite pull off a classic belgian feel. Drinkability is good; flavors are good, the tartness is not overwhelming. Nicely crafted beer!

06-27-2010 23:11:12 | More by arizcards
Photo of Clydesdale

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev -0.7%

A: Pours a glowing, hazy orange-amber color. The tall, foamy/frothy head has a similar hue and solid retention, leaving some patchy lace sticking to the glass.

S: Some sweet, soft fruitiness throughout - apples, pears, and maybe some white grapes. A fair amount of Belgian phenols and funky yeastiness, adding some hints of spice and tartness. A bit of herbal hop character is also available.

T: Sweet, pale maltiness up front, with plenty of dusty, sugary flavor. A spicy, creamy yeast flavor takes center stage here. Mildly phenolic and a tartness that is always present, adding nicely to the fruity notes in the beer. A fairly strong hop bitterness for a Belgian style, with a firmly herbal flavor.

M: Fairly full-bodied. Carbonation is soft and smooth - not especially Belgian, but it works, all things considered. Certainly a but dry into the finish.

D: An interesting beer, and one that I was curious about for a while. As an American-made, Belgian-inspired beer, this is pretty nice. Up front, it's a bit sweet, and the Juicy Fruit comparisons certainly have merit, but it also boasts a solid hop presence that helps balance things out.

06-27-2010 02:17:45 | More by Clydesdale
Photo of amanofbeer


4.53/5  rDev +12.4%

Appearance- Served in a wine glass, sediment drank after. Thin head, bright amber; low retention. Looks beautiful.

Smell - Very evident Belgian yeast aroma, but not a strong aroma otherwise

Taste - This is not an overpowering beer, but there is great variance in flavors. Medium maltiness, and moderate bitterness. There is a bit of sour-ish, flavor that I have noticed with many Belgians, typically bannana or other distinct fruit flavors, but with such evenness, I could never identify a particular fruit, which I like very much. The lingering flavor, (even after 8 or so minutes) is wonderfully sour.

Mouthfeel - Very even and refreshing. The medium lightness in flavor was very well balanced by a medium lightness in feel. Certainly not too thick.

Drinkability - I feel as though I would be tempted to drink a few (assuming I were not paying). The aftertaste leaves more drink to be desired. It drank best fresh out of the bottle, at a very chilled temp, and the shot of sediment was a bit more potent than the rest, but just as tasty.

06-26-2010 04:59:31 | More by amanofbeer
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne


3.95/5  rDev -2%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle (bottled 3/3/10) into an oversize wine glass.
Pours out like apple juice, small head, slightly hazy, mild carbonation.
The smell is light fruit up front followed by a mild yeast spice and an earthy quality that I like but can't place.
Dry pear and bread with a good earthy hop bitterness. It'll be interesting to cellar a few of these to see how it develops.
It feels a little thin in the mouth.
I will cellar a few and revisit my review after I find an older bottle. I do have to say that it fits well with the style and I can't wait to have another.

06-22-2010 17:05:36 | More by OBeerMeGreatOne
Photo of JoePat


3.85/5  rDev -4.5%

2009 vintage
Pours a hazy amber/orange with a white head.
Smells sweet, malty a little orange zest aroma.
Flavor is fruity, estery, and sweet. Not a lot of brett but it is noticable.
The mouth feel is hard with a lot of carbonation bite but the sweetness almost balances it out.
Not extremely drinkable with the carbonation but it has a great flavor and a good sipping beer.

06-20-2010 17:46:07 | More by JoePat
Photo of Avagadro

New Jersey

4.45/5  rDev +10.4%

A: served in a 10oz tulip, Matilda displays great clarity through its honey colored body. The frothy head quickly fades to a ring around the rim. Lacing is admirable.

S: banana, clove, and honey are well balanced in the bouquet.

T: flavor follows the nose, with heavy doses of banana. Clove and honey follow it up.

M: light and well attenuated. Carbonation is at an appropriate level.

D: very flavorful, yet refreshing. Goose Island has done an admirable job in recreating a very difficult style.

06-17-2010 23:38:26 | More by Avagadro
Photo of ShadesOfGray


4.1/5  rDev +1.7%

Got from xmarcnolanx...thanks again man! Bottled September of 2009. Pours a pale and slightly clear amber color. Fills the glass somewhat of a tangerine looking copper. A very small last minute head forms but fades extremely fast and dissapears completely. No lacing to speak of.

Aroma is very decent. Not a strong Brett characteristic yet. Aroma is Belgian yeast, toasted malts, mild and distant funk...but overpowered by an earthy, hay, and glass like notes.

This is very refreshing. The live yeast hasn't really taken over this beer as of yet, but you can slightly take notice of it's presence. Resembles a solid Belgian style beer. Toasted malts, Belgian yeasts, wood, earthy, slight fruit. Light and crisp mouthfeel...while pulling off a slightly medium body with compilation of flavors. Carbonation is on the middle end, and overall...a great drinker!

06-14-2010 21:59:57 | More by ShadesOfGray
Photo of Arbitrator


4.18/5  rDev +3.7%

Chilled 12oz bottle into a glass. 2009 vintage. A generous extra from AgentZero. Thanks, Mike!

A: An amateur pour captured the yeast slug in this beer, producing a cloudy amber body that glows slightly reddish against the light. The head is surprisingly flaccid for a beer that contains brett; it's half a finger at best, with short retention, no lacing, and a very thin collar.

S: It has a strong grainy note with touches of spicy bread to it. I pick up a substantial tart fruit note (reminds me of cherries) that I didn't get from the 2010 version on tap. Interesting how this changes in a year.

T: A grainy, spicy bread flavor dominates the flavor. Lemon peel, yeast, and what might be candi sugar -- but it's tough to pick out, because it starts blending into a tart cherry flavor. While part of it is expectation bias, I pick up brett only faintly in the finish: there's an earthy horseblanket taste that pops up just before the taste ends. The brett doesn't seem to have taken hold yet. The beer is already pretty dry, so maybe that's the issue: nothing to work with?

M: Semi-dry finish. Low carbonation that works better for the beer than the high carbonation on tap. Good flavor, medium-bodied.

D: More complex and impressive than the younger tap version.

06-08-2010 22:08:59 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of divineaudio


4.3/5  rDev +6.7%

bomber into a weizen glass. bottled on may 1st, 2009.

pours a deep, rich, amber color and gives me a finger of thick, off white head that hangs around for a while. lots of nice leggy lacing left in this glass.

smells is slightly sour and yeasty with hints of banana, pear, and grape.

tastes and feels like freshly baked bread with a fair amount of spiciness. toasted malts seem to prevail, but are followed with a nice bitterness and a dry finish. a finer co2 profile gives the flavors some oomph, lightens things up and smooths them out. alcohol content is well integrated, lending a subtle warmth to the beer.

delicious and very drinkable, but i wouldn't have more than 1 or 2 of these in a night. at just over a year old, this is a damn fine beer. much more enjoyable than some other well known examples of the style.

06-08-2010 01:53:16 | More by divineaudio
Photo of jdklks


3.78/5  rDev -6.2%

Pours a nice dark orange with an orangish-tan head that dissipates quickly. The smell is of belgian yeast, some hops, and citrus fruit, especially orange. Not as pungent as I would like it to be.

The flavor is very sweet and not at all what I was expecting. Sweet and citrus fruitiness throughout, coupled with some breadiness and the slightest hint of bitterness. A very subtle beer, not hugely flavorful, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Nicely carbonated with a medium body. The drinkability is pretty damn good on a hot day right after work.

06-05-2010 23:36:55 | More by jdklks
Photo of pastradul


4.2/5  rDev +4.2%

Poured into my allagash tulip.

Poured some what trough, produced very little head. Was hoping for a bot more but the aroma made up for it. Lots of yeasty light fruit goodness coming through as I pour.

The taste is very subtle with a lot going on. Upfront I taste the yeast then it transfers into a mixture of light fruit and dark fruit. I get a little bit of pear then a bit of figs or prune. Finishes with a nice dry mildy bitter finish.

Excellent in my opinion. I think I will have to get several four packs to have around and to age a bit!

06-05-2010 20:00:34 | More by pastradul
Photo of portia99


3.7/5  rDev -8.2%

12oz bottle (2008) poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pours a deep amber color, hazy and translucent in the light. A huge 3 full fingers of thick, whipped creamy off white head forms on top. The foam lingers seemingly forever too. When it finally begins to recede some very nice lacing is left behind on the glass.

S - A nice malty sweetness with a touch of clovey spiciness mixed in. Light caramel and a hint of barnyardy funk. No real hop character in the aroma.

T - A bit of funk, a mix of spicy and fruity flavors, some malty and sugary sweetness. The funk is a bit atypical and hard to describe, but seems almost an extension of the malt. Interesting.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Funky, sweet malt fills the entire mouth. Carbonation is creamy and a touch foamy.

D - A very good beer. Lots of interesting flavors. Not particularly easy drinking though. Feels a bit heavy going down and the balance towards the malt makes it difficult to swig this one freely. I do think I will be getting more of this now that GI is in Massachusetts.

06-05-2010 19:28:05 | More by portia99
Photo of bradleyp


3.93/5  rDev -2.5%

Bought at the Bier Stein in Eugene, OR. Drinking while watching the Blackhawks in the SCF. Pours a light brownish color, almost looks like Iced tea. Smells very malty, and the flavor remains the same throughout. I don't think I'd want to drink more than one or 2 being that it's 7% abv. This is the first Goose Island beer I've had since I left the Chicago area, so i'm pretty satisfied. I would prefer an oatmeal stout, but you can't get that out here.

06-03-2010 00:15:48 | More by bradleyp
Photo of ryno09


3.58/5  rDev -11.2%

Pours a nice dark golden color with an egg shell white head. Head fades dues the 7% ABV. Smell has a nice yeasty/malty smell with a bit of alcohol present. The beer is nicely carbonated with a mild malty flavor with a hint of spice. A well balanced beer that doesn't get too sour or too sweet. Refreshing enough for a hot day but could do equally well on a colder day.

06-01-2010 00:50:39 | More by ryno09
Photo of emagana


3.38/5  rDev -16.1%

purchased this bottle at bevmo in santa clarita as it comes in a four pack. gave away 2 bottles to great friends and poped open this one for myself. Pours a cludy orange with a short lived head. the lacing from the head is sucked back down gracefully. aromas start off with bannana and clove. small hint of alcohol but the yeasty bread nose are lingering. Starts off quite alcoholic but follows with a classic lingering of clove. this beer i could say is way to young to enjoy now. i would like to see this one 3 years from now. must save the other bottle.

05-31-2010 06:45:55 | More by emagana
Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
90 out of 100 based on 3,681 ratings.