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Matilda - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,833 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,833
Reviews: 1,148
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.16%
Wants: 172
Gots: 535 | 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: 3,833 | Reviews: 1,148 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gunslinger711
4.85/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at GI - Clybourn

Tasting notes from 2-15-11

Served in a sample glass.

A - Matilda pours a light hazy amber color. Sparse head, almost no lacing.

S - The smell is incredible, you have a variety of scents: malt, sweet honey, something floral in the mix...

M - Light but a little sticky mouthfeel

T - All of the scents transfer to taste along with a gentle Belgian wheat finish.

Excellent example of a strong pale ale, I would definitely drink this again.

Gunslinger711, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of burnheartsMKE
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I drank this one at the O'hare airport's Goose Island Brew pub which gets a two thumbs down on service & food... but the beer was great!

Matilda is beautiful Belgian-style Strong done with a fruity yeast that is easy to approach, but complex to ponder. Probably the most notable of the Goose Belgian-y series and for good reasons... It's a great introduction to the other-than-Honker's Goose line-up.

burnheartsMKE, Feb 21, 2011
Photo of DovaliHops
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy orange color with a hint of red. There's a medium white head that disappears quickly... If I remember correctly, Goose Island brewed this beer in somewhat of a clone of Orval. Like the head on Orval a lot more. Scent doesn't quite live up to Orval either...although has a definite pleasant smell. Not funky like I was expecting. Has some light hoppy notes and an interesting English malt aroma.Yeasty aromas as well with lovely floral notes. Taste is definitely yeasty with coriander and banana. Somewhat earthy and grassy with flowers and spiciness. It has some alcohol flavor to it as well. Mouthfeel is very nice...dry and somewhat fluffy. Very drinkable beer! Overall, I was hoping there would be more funkiness and some Brett character, but I got little to none. Maybe I should sit on a bottle for a while and see if I see it later on. No Orval, but good beer.

DovaliHops, Feb 18, 2011
Photo of negroobserver
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle - Bottled on September 27, 2010

C: Nice light hazy amber color with reddish tones. Reminds me of a light peach iced tea. Pours with about two inches of head, which leaves behind a moderate amount of lacing.

S: Sweet. Citrus. Summery scent.

T: Sweet flavor remeniscent of a hefeweizen
Light bitter finish.

M: Good Carbonation. Not too thin or dense.

D: This is a highly enjoyable beer. I can easily drink a six pack. It's not too challenging or overwhelming with the flavors, but it still has a lot of character.


negroobserver, Feb 16, 2011
Photo of CPeterson
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A -- A hazy honey orange brew that pours into a three finger eggshell white head and dissipates to a froth that leaves thick lacing.

S -- Yeast, with spice notes of clove and coriander; citric hop aromatics, and a hint of floral hops as well.

T -- Juicy citrus and yeasty spice notes on the front, a hint of grain in the middle with a nice floral hop essence and a faint alcohol kick toward the end.

M -- Full bodied and well carbonated for the style. Light on the palate and not cloying, actually rather refreshing.

D -- Solid brew and very flavorful, nothing ridiculous but a great representation of the style.

CPeterson, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of BeerAmbassador
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a St Bernardus glass. No real head to speak of. The color of this beer is really nice. Sort or a hazy reddish orange. Aroma is Fruit, citrus and maybe pear or apple. I also get some yeastiness and a note of grain. Finally I get a faint spiciness but subtle like coriander or something similar. The taste is a little sweet up front with a nice fruitiness, I also get a little bit of spice and a distinct lemon note on the end. I don't mind the mouth feel of the beer itself as it has a bit of weight but I marked it down a bit because the carbonation was a bit grainy. Overall I really liked this beer and will probably pick it up again.

BeerAmbassador, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of VelvetExtract
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a hazy yet vibrant amber color. With a smallish white head that laces well.

S-Juicy fruits. Pear specifically. Yeasty as well. A slight tart aroma and a bit of clove. Definately some spiciness here as well. Soft yet intricate.

T-Some fairly substantial european hop flavors come out. The luscious fruit flavor is there quite like the nose. Pear and apple cider flavors. Honey too. Yeasty and spicy and overall, quite enjoyable. A tiny alcohol kick adds some complexity to an already complex beer.

M-Medium body with a fair amount of carbonation.

D-%7 masked well. I love the juicy aspect of the beer. I have one only one 12 oz. but I could see myself have more of this without complaint.

VelvetExtract, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of larsenju
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Orange/amber body with a medium tall very lively crisp white head.

S-Some fruity banana esters along with a little citrus, some pepper, very sweet almost honey like malts and some musty funk still hiding behind all the sugars. I got some floral/herbal hops, but they are pretty faint.

T-Hits fruity but quickly develops spice and some earthy hop flavors. Light pineapple and sweet oranges blend well with a sharp herbal flavor mid palate finishing with a little kick of lemon and some phenolic spice. I also got some sort of biscuit malt and honey sweetness.

M-Its fairly dry and light overall, finishing with a slightly oily feel that dissolves quickly. The Carbonation is about what I like to see for the style, but it maybe feels a little hot.

D-I can only think of a few better Belgian Pales, certainly none from this side of the pond. Very easy and interesting to drink and it develops nicely in the bottle (this was a 2010). I would say its still a little on the sweet side, and the alcohol should blend in a little better, but both of those things get better with a little age. Based on the price and availability I consistently cite this as one of my best buys.

larsenju, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of meatmallet
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pale orange/amber color with a thick white head that didnt stick around long. Lots of tiny carbonation can be seen streaming from the bottom.

Smell: Very floral and sweet. Lemon, yeast, oranges, and apple. Wonderful smell. Very fresh.

Taste: Sweet start with a tart finish. Belgian yeast with a floral and a citrusy hop taste. Also gives a slight alcohol warming.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Highly carbonated and a light body. Feels a bit creamy as well. This is one of the best American attempts at a Belgian beer I have ahd yet.

meatmallet, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of BMoldy
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear, orange-gold color with a small creamy head that sticks well to the glass and lingers for a bit as you sip. The smell is -to me- predominately yeast and citrus notes, though it is far from subtle. The beer tastes roasted and full, with a slight initial sweetness that fades quickly as the hops balance things out nicely. The Belgian inspiration is immediately apparent, as the yeast/citrus combination from the aroma translates very well into the flavor profile. Despite its profound and lingering taste, I find the beer to be very drinkable, although I think it merits to be sipped and enjoyed at a rather leisurely pace.

Overall, I found Matilda to be a nice adaptation of a traditional Belgian style. It's unique in its own right, and I would certainly consider buying it again- especially to see how it fares over time.

BMoldy, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of BeerLover99
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: cloudy orange, 1 finger head, patchy lacing.

S: hops, yeast/bread, citrus, clean aroma

T: sweet citrus, grain/yeast, mild bitter finish.

M: medium body, smooth, slight dry finish.

D: This is delicious and just below Bourbon County Stout from Goose Island as best from their brewery.


BeerLover99, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of AwYeh
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy copper-amber color with a finger of white head. Good retention and carbonation bubbles flow through the beer for as long as it's in my glass.

S: Fruity and sweet- orange peel stands out. Yeasty and funky; just a bit floral.

T: Strong candy malt backbone here; the yeast and fruit flavors really compliment it well.

M: Medium-bodied but lively carbonation helps it seem more filling. Just slightly dry and crisp; I feel this beer would benefit more if it was more of either.

D: Enjoyable glass and goes down quite easily. Even if the taste wasn't outstanding, the nice balance and easy drinking could lead to me having another.

AwYeh, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of garymuchow
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared with others in a night of Belgians.
A very malt forward drink, especially for style.
Aroma is malt dominant. Slightly sweet, mild yeast, slight fruit like a ripe apple.
Very clear, dark gold and minimal head
Flavor is also malt forward. And as a note of explanation, the malt seems be beyond the traditional pale/pils type. Seems like a darker or more amber malt is included. Mild fruit esters. Clear hop flavor. Soft alcohol. Caramel briefly. Surprised by the amount of flavor from the hops. Minimal bitterness.
Slightly filling from carbonation. Adequate feel.
Nice drink with nicely balance flavors. More would be fine.

garymuchow, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper with a thin off white head. The head dissipates rapidly. Fine rings of lacing. Aroma is of sweet fruits. A touch of hops but mostly sweetness. Has a good carbonation. The flavor is good. Nice mix of malts and hops. Blended real well. This taste like the fine Belgians. Has a great mouthfeel. The texture is oily and a touch dry. Has a medium body. The finish is awesome. I love the aftertaste. This is a good beer.

CuriousMonk, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of Kinsman
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottled on date reads 1/15/10 so this one is just over a year old at this point.

Brilliant golden orange colored body thats not quite as hazy as expected and capped by a and almost bleached white colored head that's just a bit to thin for my liking.

Aroma is heavy with a pale malt body and a nice peppery yeast presence to balance this out. Overall this aroma could be characterized as sweet with some estery and phenolic notes but not as much barnyard funk as expected.

Taste matches up well with the aroma but has a pleasantly stronger yeast presence that provides a nice balance of Brett but not overly done. Solid malt back bone but with the fading of hops, the yeast flavors really come through with some fruity esters and more spicy/peppery phenolics.

Mouthfeel seems a bit light but with a nice dry and crisp feel that boosts the drinkability. Overall, Matilda is a very enjoyable Belgian style beer that seems sure to please anyone.

Kinsman, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of n2185
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a tarnished copper-orange color, surprisingly dark for a BSPA. There's about a finger's worth of creamy head which dissipates into a white ring with some lacing.

S: Sweet malt up front with a bit of orange, banana, and bubble gum aromas. There's some Belgian spiciness in there as well.

T: Belgian candy sugar up front along with some light citrus. The Belgian yeast and spices kick in for the finish, leaving a pleasant yeasty flavor for the aftertaste.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation. Like so many American attempts at the style, it lacks the crispness that I look for and associate with the best.

D: Goes down pretty easily and smooth, but without that light crispness, it's not as drinkable as many of the better representatives of the style.

n2185, Jan 29, 2011
Photo of paulozanello
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a tuilp. Date on the label says it was bottled on 08/12/10.
Dark orange and almost light brown hazy color. Head is creamy and white, with good retention and lacing. It could be clearer.
Smell is wonderful and yeast oriented: orange, lemon and tangerine with a good deal of funkyness and some tart notes.
Taste starts with sweet malts and honey. It soon shifts, much like the nose suggested, to lots of yeasty and fruity compounds, mainly orange, tangerine and lemon zest. I also get floral, leathery, slight funky and light bitter notes towards the end. Is there Brett in here?
Body is moderate with mild to high carbonation. Finishes fairly dry with a bitter yeasty aftertaste.
Nice beer from GI. I'd definitely have it again.

paulozanello, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of Thickfreakness
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A 12oz. bottle (dated 11/5/10)poured rapidly into a Tulip glass. A fluffy white cloud of foam sits atop a beautiful orange sunset colored brew. Tons of carbonation still bubbling 10 mins after the pour!

S- First sniff was dried Cherry, followed by orange peel, apple pie spices, and fresh herbs. I can't get enough!

T- OMG! Sweet, tart and tangy... Cherry/apple pie... The malt really shines through on this one... almost like chewy raisin bread. Citrus hoppiness in the finish that blends perfectly with the honey sweetness! I definately need another one of these tonight! I can think of so many dishes to pair with this beer... Prosciutto wrapped Melon appitizer..., Maple Turkey breast with dried cherry stuffing and mashed sweet potato's main course, and pretzels dipped in honey and pistachio's for dessert.

M- Honey and maltiness that really stick to your tongue... Just a hint of hops for balance. Absolutely perfect!

D- This is certainly one to drink all night at a Holiday party and perfect for matching with many styles of food! Better than Reisling with spicy Chinese food! i wish they made a gum that tastes like this!

Thickfreakness, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of confer
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 ounce bottle that was 2 days short of being one old based on the bottled on date.
A- The color is a deep gold almost orange. It pours one of those heads where the bubbles a very small making it look fluffy. A nice amount of foam floats on top after a few minutes.
S- The smell is fantastic. It smells like a tripel, sweet caramel with just a hint of alcohol.
T- Sugary for just an instant and then sour orange.
MD- A soft creamy feel. This is a beer I would go for again. Unfortunately Goose Island does not distribute to PA. Thanks to Don H for bring this back from a trip to Mass.

confer, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of Duhast500
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 Bottle

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into an over sized wine glass.

The color is deep, cloudy orange with a thin finger of white head and no lacing but is well carbonated.

The smell is fruity with a touch of plumbs, peaches, and bananas in the aroma. There is some nice sweet malt aroma as well as this spices up a bit in the nose.

The taste is a little different than the aroma, some figs come out in the middle and push out a subtle malt flavor. The aroma seemed aggressive and now a bit quieter flavor comes in and steals the show away. Sugary flavor from the beginning to the middle is lined on either side by colliding fruit and malt flavor that is top notch. Some tartness toward the end holds some orange and banana flavor together and stays after this beer goes down.

The feel is not as big as expected but robust none the less. Age has given some subtle nuance to the flavors and the feel of this beer.

Duhast500, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of titosupertramp
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy orange with about a finger of white head. Splotchy lacing.

S: Nice smell. Belgian yeast, subtle hops and citrus. Very enjoyable.

T: Nose, but the hops are a little more prominent than expected. Citrusy. I like it a lot.

M: Smooth. Not dry, not bitter. A little tart.

D: Pretty good. If my wife didn't like Belgians so much, I could finish the bomber by myself without too much trouble or complaint.

Of the Belgian style ales that I've had from Goose Island, this is my favorite.

titosupertramp, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of JizackFH
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours a golden orange color. It has a small 1-finger bubbly white head on it. The head dissipated quickly leaving just a little bit of lacing behind. There are also a ton of carbonation bubbles stuck to the side of the glass.

S - The smell is spicy, zesty, and there are some floral hops present as well. Also, there are some good fruit notes such as pear and apricots.

T - The taste pretty much follows the nose. It is a bit watered down actually. There is plenty of zest and citrus in the finish.

M - It has a light-medium body and plenty of carbonation. It goes down smooth, and it is pretty smooth and refreshing.

D - I think this has good drinkability. It goes down easy, and it is pretty refreshing. I just wish that the body was a little bit more full. Overall, I think this is a good beer, and I'd try it again.

JizackFH, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looking at the description, a Leffe glass seems the perfect container for this drink, so off we go for evaluation of Matilda. Poured into a Leffe glass vintage 2010, bottled October 29th 2010, drinking almost three months later.

Matilda pours, a yellow gold but gives off a tangerine slightly opaque body in the glass. A small half finger head that goes quickly but still a collar of white lace on the glass. Nice small visible carbonation from the bottom. This is a gorgeous looking color on this beer.

Smell is sour/tart cherries with a tolerable chew. Not overpowering somewhat vinegar but very pleasant. Very candy smelling very nice.

Taste is a very nice softness of sour cherries and a slight sting at first. Sting disappears instantly though after first swallow leaving a bread-like mouthfeel. Aftertaste and doughy feel on the finish. Very little carbonation feel on the palate as well. Borderline wine taste and feels as well.

Pretty solid good beer and a unique one for this style. Great beer.

smakawhat, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of gatornation
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from 12 0z bottle

A-pours a golden/orange color with a nice head that lingered

S- was sweet malts ,floral hops,a bouquet of fruits

T- followed the nose it was sweet and fruity with a golden amber belgian taste that was very good notes of banana,some slight clove

M- was crisp and sweet some tart fruit tatses barley and wheat

D- drinkable as most GI brews are this one was very easy to down and really liked the taste

gatornation, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of Fish113d
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 Offering:

Pours a golden bronze color with a big, 3 finger thick creamy, foamy cream-colored head that clings to the glass like Spiderman. Slightly hazy.

Lots of fruit on the nose: Tart citrus fruits hit first with a bit of yeast. Some slight banana and spice comes through as well, with just a hint of wooden barrel (not sure if this was oak-aged or not).

Sipping is less sweet than expected, with much more tartness than expected. Unripe plums come to mind along with maybe a citrus blend of grapefruits & orange. Interesting to say the least. A bit of sweet honey and maybe clove comes through on the finish.

Solid body: medium-based body with a slightly watery finish, which takes away from this one. Crisp is how i can describe it.

Easy to drink, but to be honest, I'm glad I only have one bottle. Not the best belgian pale I've ever had. Good for one, but not for a bunch.

Fish113d, Jan 22, 2011
Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
90 out of 100 based on 3,833 ratings.