1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  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.
MatildaMatilda

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

3,722 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,722
Reviews: 1,137
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.16%
Wants: 166
Gots: 487 | 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: 3,722 | Reviews: 1,137 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of trevorjn06
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color with one finger of off white head that recedes to a layer on the surface and leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is aromatic malt, honey, roasted marshmallows, some banana and a bit of spice.

Taste is malt, some caramel and a hint of dark fruit. There is something amiss here... almost doughy and just not right. The finish has some malt, brief caramel and a mild tartness with a bit of metallic taste.

Mouthfeel is moderate with about average carbonation. Doesn't coat the mouth well.

Overall this beer is good, drinkable, but not great. Some of the flavors just don't work together for me and the finish is thin.

trevorjn06, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of ebin6
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Not much head to speak of. Hope that I didn't pour it too cold (actually checked the goose island website and it recommended 40 degrees...should be good). Drinking it from my NB tulip and there is a hearty pool of carbonation in the middle

S - Subtle, sweet malt smell with some funk (barnyard in a good way). Primarily though it is a very spicy nose

T - Very spicy with some sweetness underneath. Very complex and superbly balanced

M - Hits the roof of the mouth nicely and the spiciness tingles the lips for a good 5 seconds after imbibing

D - Extremely drinkable; the taste never gets old and at 7% it is not too much to have a few more

ebin6, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of wspscott
3.1/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle in Duvel tulip (2010 edition)

A: A dark amber color, way too dark to be a Belgian pale ale. Pours with a nice head that drops almost immediately to a thin film on the surface, leaves no lace.
S: Belgian yeast spiciness (black pepper and cloves are prominent) along with some raisins and darker caramel, reminds me of a dubbel vs a pale ale.
T: Belgian yeast in the front along with a little bit of sweetness, there is a little bit of dark dried fruits (raisins and prunes). Some hop's bitterness in the back. A little bit of alcohol heat.
M: A little too "round" for the style, again it reminds me more of a dubbel. A relatively low amount of carbonation for the style, but enough to keep it from being cloying.
D: This is a good beer, but a poor example of the style if you take Duvel as the epitome. I don't mind drinking it, but I don't have too much desire to open another one right now. Worth trying, but don't expect a Belgian Pale Ale.

original review (4/6/2007)
12oz bottle in pint glass (Bottled on 7/27/05)
original numbers (4,3,3,3,3)
Pour a hazy orangish/amber color with a lot of carbonation, very thick (1in) creamy head. There are little brown specks that I assume is yeast that was dislodged as I poured. There is a slight "belgian" nose but it is not very strong. The taste is obviously related to belgian style ale but, there is a slight bitter malt (almost metallic) flavor at the back of my tongue, not what I associate with Belgian ales. The spicy flavors seem to be muted, I am wondering if there has been some oxidation, maybe that would explain the brown specks. This is a nice beer and there is enough going on that I would like to try another but, this specific bottle seems to be lacking. I hate twist-off tops for a beer like this.

wspscott, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of Bubba83
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip at 45 degrees or so. A nice tawny orange color that glows when held to the light. A vigorous pour provided me a very thin ring of eggshell white head that dissipated very quickly and left nary a ring around the edges of the glass. No lacing.

Smells a lot different than other Belgian Strong Pales have, there's a kind of deadened floral character that seems a little limp, alcohol, and a good deal of spice. I'm used to the aroma being more subtle but vibrant, whereas this was kinda in my face and yet not "bright".

A lot going on in the flavor department. Brown sugar, kind of a beefy warming alcoholic cherry undertone that ramps up into other milder fruits like apple, pear and apricot. A good deal of funk exists here too that is somewhat inexplicable, almost reminds me of some of the sharper brett qualities. Finishes up with a little bit of heat and peppery tones, but not the classic black pepper I am used to, it's more, well, dusty I guess? Such a hard profile to describe.

Mouthfeel is a little wetter than I'd like it to be for the style, and is also hampered for me by the lack of head. The viscosity seems about right, if not a little heavy. The carbonation is okay despite the lack of head.

I don't find this one very refreshing. There's sort of a common theme going on with Goose Island's belgian styles that I'm not a fan of overall. It's sort of like the yeast they use doesn't attenuate very well. If it was drier it would be easier to drink. There's also a surprising amount of alcohol in the profile even though it's only 7% Not a bad attempt, and I dig the flavors, but overall it's not what I had hoped for.

Bubba83, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of Lolli1315
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A golden amber with a small head that holds decently. Some lacing on the glass as the body is slightly murky.

S- Medicinal and malty aromas start the beer as dark fruits come through with slight hints of alcohol finishing out the smell.

T- The medicinal phenols and malty aromas once again take a prominent start in the taste. The phenols slightly fade as tart apples heighten and take hold of the profile as some other citrus fruits help to heighten the sweetening taste. Alcohol becomes more apparent at the end of the beer creating a slight warming sensation.

M- Crisp carbonation and medium body make this a very refreshing beer.

D- Nice to sip over the course of the meal, keeps you wanting more.

Lolli1315, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up in Fort Collins recently. Pours a nice medium golden color, with a fairly big, fluffy white head. Nice aromas, yeast, golden applies, pears and slight citrusy hops. Spicy, a little tart and fruity on the palate. A pretty solid offering.

Bought another bottle today...upon further reflection, I have revised a couple scores upward. The brett seems a little more pronounced in this one, and the beer is a little more interesting.

emmasdad, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of robbyc1
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has been drunk by me many times, lastly during the April goose clybourn tasting. Have had bottles and taps, this one on tap. Consistent persona across the board.

I do love this brew with a twang from the Bret. A dry finishing pale ale, this has body and light golden hue. Aroma is subtle, with spicy yeast notes and fruitiness.

The bret backbone has a lacto sensation, absolutely unique other than the original (Orval) that this imitates. It is full and balanced and quite refreshing. Worth keeping a few in the cooler.

robbyc1, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of impending
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Petaluma Taps

Into a Goose Island wide mouth glass. Served with a minor head, minor lacing. Pleasant golden orange copper, mildly hazy.

Great belgian aroma of crystal malt with dried fruity yeasts, nice complexity. Inhaling before each sip comes natural.

Excellent taste of balanced sweets with just a touch of a scotch ale, nice semi dry lingering aftertaste. These are phenols done right.
cheers
jd

impending, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of TheDeuce
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Matilda - in a bottle at Resto

Appearance - light gold to red color, nice clarity. Good sized head that stays put, active carbonation

Smell - yeasty, apple fruit, sugar, alcohol, very pungent

Taste/Mouthfeel - balanced mix of sugar sweetness and sour alcohol, again yeast comes in, retains fruit profile. Medium bodied, not all that smooth, finishes with notes of fruit and a dash of bready malt.

Drinkability - ok mix of flavors, decent character. No issues.

Overall - a very solid brew that just lacks a little something that would have pushed it higher for me, I will definitely pick up another bottle to give it another chance but this time it just feel short. Decent, not great.

TheDeuce, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of thetomG
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage...

Pours a pleasant amber color. Nice fluffy head that dissipates for the most part but leave behind some spotty lacing. Aroma is made up of doughy/bready yeast and some slight fruity and caramel notes. Flavor has that typical Belgian yeasty profile to it along with some sweetness from the malts and a ever so slight intermingling of bitterness & sourness in the finish.

Lovely beer and something I drink quite regularly.

thetomG, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another brett beer from Goose Island. I've had this in the bottle before but apparently never reviewed it. This time I had it on draft at Churchkey.

Beer is clear and amber in color. Forms a broken white head of small bubbles that leaves no lacing on the glass. Carbonation is low to moderate.

Aroma is mildly acetic with a background of funk. Interested.

Beer is medium in body and kind of bitter, surprisingly so. Mildly dry as well. The level of sour is pretty good but the funk is really nice. The leathery character of the beer really rounds out the flavors well.

drabmuh, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of Augustiner719
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a tulip glass.

Really has a nice amber, red sunset orange color to it. Near perfect clarity. Big big foamy head with great lacing. Smells very fruity estery and has a sweet peach thing going on. Has that classic belgium floral aroma. Taste is really nioe and balanced. Doesn't finish dry, but has laser like focus for its stone fruit flavors. Big peach and banana taste. Has solid carbonation with a noce smooth lingering taste. I wouls really rate this a near perfect beer. Easy as hell to drink. If you can find it, get it

Augustiner719, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of grittybrews
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep, clear amber into a Duvel tulip with minimal white head. Strong aroma of bananas and hints of orange spice.

High carbonation and a light mouthfeel. Very sweet initial flavors of honey and banana cream followed by some white grape and and pear. The usual clove and spice from the Belgian yeast is present on the finish as well.

Nothing groundbreaking and a little on the sweet side, but some very nice flavors going on, especially after you get past the strong banana sweetness.

EDIT: Saved a bottle and after 10 months of aging the sweetness had mellowed quite a bit. There was a gentle brett funk on the much drier finish. Much improved overall balance and complexity of flavors with some great floral notes. Think I'll pick up some more of these (the price is right!) and try to sit on them even longer.

grittybrews, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of jfro
3.2/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

a- amber with a slightly bottle conditioned haze. Small bubbles in head - dissapates quickly

s- citrusy, but with a more pronounced yeast character than other reviewers have found.

t- very sweet, some citrus up front, small bit of spiceyness. Subdued yeast fllaver characteristics

m- thin, low carbination.

d- I don't think that this adds up to the finest belgian styled ale I have had

jfro, Jul 18, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip glass at ChurchKey.

I'd love to know the origin of this beer's name. It pours a clear amber topped by a half-finger of white foam. The nose comprises sour grapes, caramel, citrus hops, and some sour peach. The taste holds notes of wheat, Belgian yeasty earthiness, clove, spice (you know, that lovely Belgian olio), and citrus zest. The body is a hefty light, with a high-moderate carbonation and a sticky, champagne-like feel. Overall, a solid offering, but probably a bit overrated. Still definitely worth a seek, though.

TMoney2591, Jul 17, 2010
Photo of BARFLYB
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at The Churchkey in Washington DC, sweet!

Matilda comes looking Belgian from the head retention alone, great retention. Bright white foam that leaves some stick here and there. Liquid is a nice pale golden color that looks tasty. Smells include a big amount of fruit and yeast. Apples and some bread from the yeast with some small spices. Tastes are a group of fruits, banana and pear comes through the most with a cloveiness, slight though. This is much less funky than the bottle version (which was aged), the tap is more fruity and yeasty, I guess this is mad fresh, it tastes it. Feel is just full of fruit up front yeasty in the middle, delicious throughout leaving a nice pleasant aftertaste of everything, slightly drying. I would drink a ton of this, A treat.

BARFLYB, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of TheSarge
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

TheSarge, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of TheHoppiest
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

TheHoppiest, Jul 10, 2010
Photo of kiddynamite920
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

M:

kiddynamite920, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

lordofthewiens, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of mikereaser
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

mikereaser, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of zebco
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

zebco, Jul 05, 2010
Photo of grannun
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

grannun, Jul 05, 2010
Photo of smcolw
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

smcolw, Jul 04, 2010
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

Mebuzzard, Jul 02, 2010
Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
90 out of 100 based on 3,722 ratings.