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Matilda - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,731 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,731
Reviews: 1,136
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.16%
Wants: 170
Gots: 492 | 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
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Ratings: 3,731 | Reviews: 1,136 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of birchstick
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - pours a light copper with a nice head that dissipates quickly

S - smells of light, sweet fruits and some sweet malts

T - the taste follows the nose. There are some sweet fruits, mostly pears. There is a really strong malt back bone - a little bit of sweetness and toastedness. Not uberly complex, however there is a nice blend of flavors here.

M - full and very smooth. Goes down very nicely.

D - This is a very good belgian style ale by Goose Island. There is a low abv and a nice flavor to it, making it easy to drink. It seems like this brewery takes on a lot of different styles and does them justice.

birchstick, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of phattysbox
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brown 12oz twist-off bottle poured into my hommel beer tasting glass. Pours hay-golden in color and slightly hazy. 1/4 inch head that dissipates into a thin ring of lace. The lace stick throughout the glass though.

Smell: Really nice herbal and grassy aroma followed by a hint of lemon. The hop character is really sublime in the nose, not too strong but noticeable. Some cloves from the yeast and sweet malts.

Taste: Smooth and oily bittering hops that are really balanced by a dry clean malt presence. Phenolic character from the yeast really brings this brew together. Some fruity esters and definite mineral quality makes this quite a complex brew. Mouthfeel is medium but bone-dry.

Overall: I'm quite impressed by this Belgian Pale ale and will be looking for it again. Highly quaffable.

phattysbox, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of sprucetip
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage, from notes.

Hazy copper, active, fizzy white head, some retention, no lacing.

SMELL Starts grainy with Belgian yeasty character and fruity esters, and some heat. Takes a swirl to get much at first. An almost sweet maltyness emerges later. Pleasant and interesting, if you can find it.

TASTE Grainy, grassy hop profile and light bitterness, a bit of booze and some Belgian yeasty undertones.

FEEL Medium fiz but with a brief, sharp sting. Grainy dryness and hop bitterness define the feel.

OVERALL A solid, interesting beer that doesn't knock my socks off. I like the hop profile. Not as impressive as Pere Jacques.

sprucetip, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of drpimento
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lovely beer. Tasty too. Poured with a grand foamy, frothy off white head and great lace. Color is a medium amber. Aroma is very yeasty, malty, a little hop, and a bit vineous. Flav's the same but more full. Very good body and carbonation. Satisfying. Don't pick up much on the alcohol. Nicely balanced. Finish is good. Kind of on the border between a drinkable beer and a special. I'd imagine that would be ideal from the brewer's perspective. Whatever.

drpimento, Dec 22, 2009
Photo of jampics2
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Winking Lizard. A cloudy light brownish-amber liquid fills my glass, looks about right, maybe a little darker than I remember this being.

Banana, asian pear, yeast, pepper, not a ton of funk in the nose.

Taste is wonderfully complex. Spices, mild brett. Deep, intriguing, and evolving with every sip. Less banana than I remember. Touch of Orval-ian brett emerging, nice game to the finish.

Good carb and body.

Very drinkable fresh, but I think some aged flavors will make this exceptional.

So, I fell in love with this beer when I had it at Goose Island's pub in the spring of 2006. I remember it being a bit less brett driven and more banana esters in the nose, but that's not a bad thing. Overall, I enjoy this beer and I'm looking forward to trying some vintages I have in my cellar.

jampics2, Dec 17, 2009
Photo of Stigs
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, served into a wine glass @ Lola

A - very strong golden/orange-ish color. about a finger of cream-colored, loose and bubbly foam which hung out for a bit. the waiter took special care to pour with the sediment, creating a bit of a haze which glowed next to the candlelight.

S - subtle belgian yeasts, kind of sweet...oranges and sugar candy. some caramel and faint belgian hops to round it out.

T - belgian yeast right off the bat, rest of the tastes follow the nose....orange, candy, slight bit of caramel, clove, coriander. the grassy hops kick in a bit at the end. quite sweet.

M - medium bodied, strong carbonation (in a good way). unique sort of dryness near the end...

D - i liked it at first, but the sweetness kind of wore on me. i was looking for a bit more of either the tart or funk that some people were reviewing.

Stigs, Dec 14, 2009
Photo of woosterbill
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, bottled on 04/01/09, into a Duvel tulip.

A: Bright orange and slightly hazy with a lovely stream of fine bubbles rising from the nucleation site; above float two inches of rich tan foam that show decent retention and nice feathery lacing. Very pretty beer.

S: Deep funky Brett, with some overripe fruit (banana and plum), barnyard mustiness, and a hint of swimming pool chlorine. Interesting and complex, if not entirely inviting.

T: Departs from the nose in several noticeable ways - the Brett is somewhat less funky and more spicy, while the fruit is much fresher and has notes of apricot and pear as well. Some alcohol comes through on the dry, yeasty finish, and the aftertaste returns to the funkiness. Just as interesting and complex as the nose, with some further strengths but equal detriments as well.

M: Smooth medium body with abundant velvety carbonation. Very fresh and delicate on the palate. Lovely.

D: Lots going on, but a little too musty and hot on the finish to be terribly inviting. One is plenty.

Notes: Highly balanced and complex, this is a great American take on a funky Belgian ale (Orval?). While definitely not a beer I crave all that often, it's fascinating just to inhale the aromas and see what crazy stuff is in there. Very cool.


woosterbill, Dec 14, 2009
Photo of Bitterbill
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Edition, bottled Jan 09, 650ml courtesy of TATTORSO. Thanks Jeff!

Opening the bottle, the beer starts to foam and heads for the...ha, caught it in time. I wouldn't call it a gusher but it's close to being one.

The pour reveals a hazy honey coloured brew with close to a 2 finger head of foam with some good lacing.

Taking a few whiffs and the aroma is big time Brett! I'm also getting some light tart notes, some bitterness and some sweetness. Light spiciness as well with some white pepper. A very good nose here.

Taking some sips, I get a mix of sweet and lemony tart along with a very Brett-y taste and some peppery notes. The finish leaves me smacking my mouth with its mix of tart and bitter dryness. Of course, that demands I take another sip! Good stuff, Maynard.

It has a medium body with some fairly lively carbonation, maybe a tad too much but I say that about Orval as well. The label says this develops in the bottle for up to 5 years. This nearly 1 year old bottle sure is suiting me.

Drinkability? Though the 1 bottle will do me fine, I could see myself having this 2 or 3 times a week easy if I could just go the store and get some. So...it's easy to drink, and the abv is only noticeable long after the swallow.

Another fine brew from the gang at Goose Island.

Bitterbill, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of brownbeer
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage

Nose starts off with bread and subtle brett and a spicy hop note, toffee, and a biscuit dough note that is a little to pronounced for me.

The flavors are very unusual. A kiwi-like fruitiness mid palate, caramel, watermelon, orange, with a slight tart touch. It remains fairly sweet overall.

Not bad, though I would like to try an older bottle to see if the brett comes out more and the flavors synch up a little better.

brownbeer, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of wagenvolks
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Three Philosophers chalice, dated 07/07/08. Thanks to riccymon for the extra in our local trade!

Pours with an almost-glowing, rosy tangerine body, hazy with peach highlights. Not much head, although to be fair I was gentle on the pour. A wispy wad of spittle custard-colored bubbles sits up top, while a few trails of carbonation creep upwards along the sides. Aromatically, this beer is heavy on the Belgian spices and yeast esters--which I like. Pungent, floral hops have hardly faded in the year-plus since Matilda's bottling, and bite at the nostrils alongside hints of boozy fruit. Nutty, doughy malts and starch provide a solid backdrop.

Chewy body, with fruity notes of sweet apple cider and pear syrup giving way to a crisp, snappy twang from European hop varieties. Malts are downplayed a bit, but that's okay by me--there's definitely enough going on to keep my interest. Carbonation is lively and tight, spritzing up the back and sides of the palate, and allowing the hops to take hold for a bitter, tasty finish. Overall, another winner from Goose Island. Very drinkable at 7%, and surprisingly (well, maybe not) Matilda has held up well after almost a year and a half.

wagenvolks, Dec 10, 2009
Photo of donkeyrunner
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2008 bottle

Translucent, glowing orange with a thin white head. No retention leaves the beer looking sad and grumpy like a rainy day.

Smells wonderfully of sugary fruit but with a fresh milled grain cereal quality. Mild floral hop and smooth phenolic spice. Heavy like malted citrus candy. Thick and malty taste like a Belgian inspired barleywine. Has a pharmaceutical feel to it which I'm not a fan of. Plum booze flavor with a swallow.

I'd like a fresh bottle of this but you get what you get in MA.

donkeyrunner, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of TLove
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent offering from Goose Island. This is the second Goose Island I've had and both (the first was the Bourbon County Stout) have been really really good.

22 oz bomber poured into a Palm snifter.

Caramel malt with some pale fruity components and dried cedar wood, red pear, and a powerful grain play in the balance with the yeast. The balance between the malt and the yeast is really exceptional and gives a new perspective on the heavy use of funky yeasts and complementary flavors. Carbonation is moderate.

The single complaint I would put forth is that the yeast component isn't quite mature enough to fit the bill as a BSPA. However, the malt component of this beer holds a 7% ABV that tastes more like 10 and the brett really cuts through the yeast on its own. This is a wonderful beer, but it does lack the funky yeast component for its style, which is not really a bad thing here at all.

TLove, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of bamadog
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Review is from notes taken on 12/2/09. Poured from the bottle (2009) to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a peacy/coppery color; pour starts with a short one finger white head that fades immediately to just a very thin web-like whisp on the surface; body shows slight haze and mild carbonation; oily residue and slippery lacing slide back into the drink. I typically expect much more of a head and retention from Belgian styles...

Smell: Some sweet and acidic green fruits (apple/pear); and a sweet caramel and honey-like maltiness; not especially potent, but nice and subtle and it really starts to grown on me as the drink warms.

Taste: Extremely mild; slight acidic green fruits as mentioned in the nose; a very slight metallic and hoppy bitterness afterwards; slight breath of alcohol; caramel maltiness starts to sneak in as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation; body doesn't really have much substance to it; finsih is rather moist - no stick or drying affect to the palate; belly is left a little warm.

Drinkability: It's not bad; the smell grew on me as it warmed, even though it was a bit mild; I typically prefer a much more robust set of flavors and smells from Belgian styles; overall I thought the mouthfeel was dull...

bamadog, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of MPLS
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After seeing this seeing this beer time and time again in 4-packs last year I found myself eyeballing the minimalist and IMO more attractive 2009 label. 12 oz. bottled on 04/22/09.

A: I poured Matilda into my delightfully clean and readily available Duvel glass sitting about the min-fridge. The body is a semi-opaque muted orange that when held to light looks like a tea candle lighting up on the body with eminent bright orange/yellow glow. The head is bubbled and condensed and maybe impart to the Duvel glass a nice froth is stirring around on top. Lacing hugs the glass like a teddy bear.

S: Sweet pears, peppery cider, nutmeg, portion of cinnamon, and juicy fruit gum. Seriously, sounds extremely strange, but it's a gum that I used to chew a lot when I was younger so maybe the memory association is strong.

T: Less of the sweet in the taste, dominated by a funky grass-like profile that a peppery bitterness with spices. The yeast is what would make me be able to identify this beer in a blind taste test. The hops are subdued in this and I would have liked a bit more fruitiness to it.

M: Medium bodied with a element of carbonation, the carbonation is however not as lively as other similar Belgian beers.

D: A good attempt from Goose Island to play with the Belgians with this Belgian-style beer. A great looking beer with an interesting profile, but as said before I would have liked a little more fruitiness and a little bit of acidity to make this beer more enjoyable.

MPLS, Dec 04, 2009
Photo of alysmith4
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Delicious! What an unecpected surprise from Goose Island. I mean, they are great at producing Pale Ales and such, but I didn't expect such a fine Belgian knock-off from an American brewer. Taste was sweet and fresh and well balanced, with hints of orange, clove, and honey syrup. I had a few of these, and they tasted better as the beer warmed. I'm not sure I'd pay 13.99 for a 4-pack (what the corner liquor store is charging), but I'd definitely have this beer again.

alysmith4, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of kegger22
3.35/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Poured a deep amber with a respectable head that stayed quite a while. The aroma was fruity and mildewy. The taste was pears and bitter, but a sour taste overriding all else. The feel was medium bodied with good carbonation. Drinkability was fair, although I would not want another one. As Matilda warmed up, the bitterness went away, the carbonation faded, sweetness increased, but the sour taste remained.

Who'll come a waltzing Matilda? Not me. I did not care much for Matilda, the swagman can have it.

kegger22, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of blackie
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: snifter serving, matilda is a deep, hazed orange-amber in color with a fizzy head that quickly retreats to only a thin ring

s: upfront are pale and caramel malts fermented by a belgian yeast that gives some fruity esters and a nice tinge of wild farmhouse funk, malt/fruit density heavier for the style than average, dried apricot and pear, even a little oakey, delicately hopped, light herbs and spice, smells really nice

m: lightly bubbly on the tongue - unfortunately in more of a flat soda kinda way than tiny, delicate bubbles, body on the full end of medium

t: fruity caramel and pale malt body with pear and apricot, a mild bacterial flavor runs throughout, full bodied and certainly on the sugary side but still under control - as the hops quickly clean things up to leave flavors of grain, farmhouse, and herbs lingering

d: just fine, a nice beer if a bit clumsy at times

pretty sure I grabbed this single from Riley's in MSN during the last Great Taste visit

blackie, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of akorsak
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to JAYW for this 12 oz bottle with 2007 on the neck label.

A: The ale poured with a huge, bubbly white head, over three fingers (none of which laced) that disappeared in the snap of a finger. The ale has a golden hue, bright and shiny sitting in my glass.

S: The nose has a bit of orval, funky and loose, with a fair amount of sweet fruits, also coming from the yeast.

T: The yeast strain (or strains) really drive the ale. Sweet fruits, dark and rich, come out of the front of the sip. There isn't much in the way of funkiness though, at least as compared to the nose. Plenty of caramel malts come through, balancing out the sweetness. A bit of a butterscotch flavor lingers near the end, perhaps aiding the extraordinary head and signifying that the beer hasn't aged well. I was hoping for a little more in the way of funk but just isn't there. A decent one that I liked better on tap.

M: The mouthfeel is sweet, fruity but devoid of the Orval-like crispness. I still wouldn't turn one down.

D: The ale feels heavier than 7%. I don't like how its held up over the past two years.

akorsak, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of Strix
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottle.

Poured a fairly clear orange, decent head, some lacing.

Fruity aroma, slightly floral, smells like it's going to be good.

Notes of apple, soap, wood, bourbon, yeast, butter, and some spicy hops. Although there's lots going on in the taste, I'm not sure it all blends well for me.

Mouthfeel slightly thin.

This was a decent effort, but it didn't really connect for me. I'd have another, but I won't seek it out again.

Strix, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of pmccallum86
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep rust color with a slight haze.

The smell is of fruit with some zesty spices also in the nose. There is a mysterious sweet scent I can't put my finger on, maybe honey.

Taste is fruity, zesty and tart. Not too funky but you can definitely notice the brett. The taste has too much going on for me to clearly decipher, very good though.

Smooth, creamy and bubbly mouthfeel. Very pleasant to drink.

This is quite a drinkable beer, at 7% ABV it isn't overwhelming. I am definitely satisfied with one bomber though.

pmccallum86, Oct 22, 2009
Photo of MbpBugeye
3/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2009 batch version poured into a tulip.

A- The head is on the small side and the retention is too. Theres lots of effervescence bubbling up through a cloudy, bright orange beer.

S- Funkiness that is common in lots of these belgians. There is some floral notes from a light hopping. Some slight fruity/citrus notes, like orange and grapefruit rind.

T- Sweet, citrusy, slightly hoppy, funky.

MbpBugeye, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of Citadel82
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 - Poured into a New Belgium - for want of a more accurate description - footed burgundy - agggghh there I said it a Wine term - okay I feel better now.

Wow! I am not a fan of trippels but this was tasty and less funky than some that I have tried. Smooth and slightly tart. No Belgian style funk ala Duvel but tasty and briskly refreshing. Helped wash the taste of helping my son with his CBA homework out of my mouth.

Okay - by the numbers Gorgeous, pale, clear yellow gold color, like new straw, wih a blindingly white, crisp and tightly knit white head.

Smell was fresh and clean, no hint of alcohol, some malt minimal floral hoppiness.

Taste was smooth and unpretentious. Some doughy malt some fruity yeast and some muted but balanced hopping.

Mouthfeel was not overly thick nor watery, nicely done, almost pilsner-like.

Drinkability, can I glom something from my kids texting? OMFG this is a smooth drinkable trippel that you could drink far into excess before you knew what hit you. I will buy mor, I will drink, Iwill obey...

Citadel82, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of ChopperSmith
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Matilda poured from 12 oz. bottle into standard pint glass.

Appearance: Cloudy dark orange with a nice foamy head that retained well and left nice sticky lacing as it faded.

Smell: Floral hops, sweet Belgian yeast with a nice funky spice and phenols for citrus like scents.

Taste: A perfect mix of floral hops and Belgian yeast sweetness and interesting phenolic profile with citrus and spice flavors. A very unique tasting beer and a great American interpretation of a BSPA.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and well carbonated. Finished clean and crisp despite the sweetness.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. I will seek this one out the next time I'm at the store and stock up. Has a flavor profile and style that may benefit from storing and aging for a couple of years.

ChopperSmith, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of bruachan
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

hazy orange with a good-looking head above. some sign of wee bubblage

strong aroma of continental hops and coriander. mostly coriander, really, but with a bright and sweet background. really, the freshest coriander aromas i have ever experienced in a brew. besisdes, there is a nice malt depth

ooh...malty...and fruity...and spicy...ooh. quite spicy and with a delectable plummy finish. bitter. coriander (just in case)

freakin deliious. this is the best brew i've tasted in awhile...super classy

bruachan, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of PerroGrande
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours to a clear, golden color with moderate foam that fades quickly. Some minor lacing is left on the glass.

Aroma: Some fruit overtones are clearly present along with a hint of alcohol.

Taste: Follows the aroma. Bitterness struggles with sweetness, and some mild alcohol overtones are present in the taste. Aftertaste is slightly bitter, with some malts blending in as well.

Mouthfeel: Good, but has a mild alcohol bite.

Drinkability: Decent. Perhaps I'm having an off night, but I'm not craving another right now.

My bottle originated on 7/20/09. I'd like to try letting one age a year or two and see how this beer develops.

PerroGrande, Oct 08, 2009
Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
90 out of 100 based on 3,731 ratings.