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Matilda - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,164 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,164
Reviews: 1,183
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 12.13%
Wants: 203
Gots: 716 | FT: 17
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-04-2003

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
View: Beers (210) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,164 | Reviews: 1,183 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mikennat
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of hannydawg
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of tchaos
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of DocDownUnder
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of Jspriest
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of joek440
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Copper/Burnt Orange body with thin white head.

S - Orange peel and citrus hops are most noticeable. Earthy yeast smell as well.

T - Follows the nose with citrus hop flavors and hints of orange. Light and balanced malt with bready yeast flavor as well. Well balanced.

M - Syrupy feel but mild carbonation makes it easy to drink

O - Very tasty Belgian ale with distinct citrus taste in the hops that cuts any bitterness. The yeast and malt balance out well.

(Reviewed 10/31)

Photo of ikantspel
4.97/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

bottled on 12/21/10

355 ml served into duvel tulip

pours a beautiful hazy amber color with a medium creamy head.

sweet bready smell with some belgian yeast and malts mixed in. also some banana.

this tastes like it can be a gimmick beer. sweet banana bread beer. the taste is even better than the smell

balances the carbonation perfectly with the slightly heavy

this is THE best BSPA ive ever had.

Photo of wvsabbath
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Golden bronze, tan, 1/4 white head, minimal lacing.

Smell - Yeast, malts, sweet fruits like orange, grapefruit, ginger, lemon/banana. Lots of tart apple and some spices.

Taste - Really complex and fruity. Apple and white grape is a main flavor. Malts are mild and pleasently add some sweet boldness. Yeast is light and adds the floral/earthy/grainy flavor. Spices give it a ginger,cinnamin flavor that is really nice.

Mouthfeel - Its light and easy on mouth with the sweet fruity flavors. Tounge gets lots of sweet fruits, light malts, and the spices. Palette picks up some sweetness along with the ending of malts. Aftertaste is sweet, but a little thin.

Overall - Wow is this nice. Alcohol is masked, very fruity, flavor heavy, and smooth. Really like all the fruits in this, this has a summer ale feel to it. Very nice, worth a drink for sure.

Photo of inlimbo77
3.86/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle dated 10/08/10 poured into Lost Abbey snifter.

A: Pours a really nice looking almost neon orange color.  Half finger of bright white head with tight bubbles.  Carbonation streaming off the bottom of the glass.  Live yeast bottle conditioning is amazing.  Some sticky lacing on the swirl.

S: Smells of mild barnyard funk.  I get a good amount of fruity notes too.  Maybe some white grapes or some tart green apples, but faintly.

T: Right from the tip of the tongue you get a sharp tartness.  The tart is mellowed in the mid mouth by whatever malt is present in this one.  Finish is crisp and dry.  I again detect those white grape hints, but not as pronounced as in the nose or in a beer such as a Gueze. 

M: Light to medium bodied beer.  Some flavors do linger on the tongue although the bottle conditioning helps clear the palate.

O: B+ for me on this one.  Maybe try one fresher and see what the taste difference is like.

Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, procured in some random grocery store in the Pacific NW earlier this summer. 09/30/10 batch here, hopefully no infection present beyond my incurable beer affliction.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, dark golden amber hue, with two fat fingers of puffy, foamy, and bubbly off-white head, which leaves but a few ambitious streaks of streaky, sudsy lace around the glass as it gradually sinks away.

It smells of sharp, acidic stone fruit, milder earthy yeast, field honey, a complex bready graininess, and herbal, leafy hops. The taste is wheaty, caramel-tinged malt, softly funky, barn-borne notes, Belgian yeast, mild earthy and savoury spices, and a muddled fruitiness that nonetheless proves itself more than welcome. No real indication of the elevated ABV presents itself as such, yet.

The carbonation is quite involved, in a palate-probing frothy manner, the body an aspiring medium weight, and smooth amidst the brio of the swirling yeastiness. It finishes fairly off-dry, the newly unshackled malt having much less funkadelia with which to deal, somewhat thankfully.

While more than a few purveyors of this particular style choose to do so in exactly this heady sort of manner, it's a bit of an eye opener all the same. Being a beer produced in Amur'ca, I'm coming to appreciate our southern cousins' predilection for emulating the weird, unusual, and just plain wonderful Old World off-road leanings. That is to say, this is good, damned good.

Photo of Jparker37
3.71/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Straw gold in color, nearing some amber at its widest point of my flute. Small white head with big bubbles releasing from solution. A slight but noticeable haze to the beer. There was a little bit of lacing left on the glass.

S - Juicy fruit bubblegum with a spicy/lemony hop nose.

T - Some very complex malt characteristics here. Toasty grains and caramel malt with a little bit of sweetness.

M - A fizzy beer with a pretty wet mouthfeel, and residual sweetness.

O - I thought this beer was pretty complex, the yeast has done wonders for another outstanding beer offering from Goose Island Beer Co.

Photo of Brenden
3.62/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bar145 in Toledo.

DISCLAIMER: I don't know if there was a more recent infected batch than those listed but, as stated in my review, there is a distinct plastic note in the flavor. Whatever the case, it couldn't have been bad, as it's so subtle it's nearly undetectable in the aroma and only slightly discernible in the flavor. My review is based on what I experienced, however.

This beer is a hazed but somehow shining dark gold in color. The head is short, as the glass given me was very full, but with enough fighting to stay around as a heavy foam with just enough cling on the glass to convince me that a bottle pour could produce a head of real substance.
I found the Belgian yeast very prominent on the nose, with the bubble gum note giving way to lightly spicy ones. Spiciness is not only peppery, but a bit like clove as well. Citrus also takes hold and a light hops bitterness melds nicely. Just a ghost of something lightly plastic, almost like band-aid, whispers in and fades out.
This beer really is a very nice example of both a Belgian style and particularly a BSPA. The flavor is strong but light, malty and yeasty with enough hops bitterness to balance with the bubble gum, clove and some light fruit flavors with a bit of sweetness making up the predominant flavor. That plastic element seems to bleed a bit more into the flavor, riding off the banana/bubble gum taste naturally into the finish. Alcohol pleasantly rides along without being a nuisance but warming nicely.
The body is on the lighter side of medium with a bit of depth to it. While I expect it to be crisp, it's bitingly so, making it as much a sipper as any other of its aspects.

Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. 2010 bottle. Bottled on 08/12/10.

Appearance: Hazy amber orange with lots of bubbles. About two fingers of white head that fades into a thin layer. Lots of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Spicy Belgian yeast with lots of pepper. Some caramel malts and toffee. Strong presence of citrus fruits and dark fruits. Some orange, pineapple, peach, pears, and plums. Also some hints of honey, clove, and banana.

Taste: Belgian yeast and peppers that are very spicy up front. A sweet dose of fruits follow. Some citrus pineapple, orange, peach and pear with some hints of honey, plums bananas, and clove. A moderate presence of malts back things up. Fruits are very noticeable but the yeast is the strongest element here.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very rich and spicy. A little bit of alcohol heat.

Overall: Another interesting and tasty take on a Belgian ale from Goose Island. The heavy fruit presence ads a nice touch.

Photo of bravejoejoe
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle, this beer had a nice one finger thick head that disappeared quickly. The color is orange/amber, and is not completely clear. there are particulates floating, which are just roused yeast. I get lemon on the smell. it taste really good. i get citrus, matly, and just a hint of hops. Overall i would drink this beer on a regular basis. I would like to have a few and cellar them, the bottle does suggest to cellar up to 5 years.

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4.39/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a hazy gold to light copper hue with a decent amount of dense, fizzy white head.

S: Smells spicy up front with hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, and thyme followed by some subtle heavy fruits: peach, apricot, even some pumpkin. A bit of grainy maltiness lingers. Lots of traditional Belgian aromas are mixed in with a spicy kick.

T/M: Taste is very well balanced with some lighter apricot and peach, sweet bready malts, a medium amount of carbonation, and more of that cinnamon, sugar spiciness. This has a lot of flavor but doesn't bombard the palette.

A very worthy brew that will leave you wanting more..so I believe I will.


Photo of cooler4life
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Happy Columbus Day 2011

12/10 Bottle

A - Hazy, honey orange color with a nice 2 finger head that quickly dissipates. Ample carbonation. Small to moderate lacing around the glass.

S - Fruity with funk. Pepper, caramel and toffee, cloves, and banana bread.

T - Creamy fruitiness. Caramel, light spiciness, lemon, yeast.

M - Moderate body, rich, lightly carbonated. Warming alcohol undertone.

O - For this style, this beer speaks 'Drinkability' to me. Provides that sweet peppery, bready taste up front and then leaves with a smooth creamy fruity taste. Very nice!

Photo of brewerburgundy
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, Bruery tulip, bottled on 9/30/10.

Spectacular rush of glowing liquid and subtly yellow bubbles immediately whet the appetite for this beer. A good three inch meringue topped head leaves clumps as it slowly collapses to a happy half inch.

Aromas of wild honey, rosemary or heather or sage, distinctive herbal Belgian yeast. I keep being reminded of herbal tea with honey and lemon, though it is not an exact equivalent.

Honey-like sweetness with mild biscuit overrun in the end by herbal, spicy yeast. This time sage is clearly prominent, there is more spice, and subtle, crisp bitterness. Alcohol doesn't make itself explicitly known in any aspect, it is a complimentary undercurrent.

The feel of it is somewhere light to medium bodied with very full, bursting bubbles. It sets everything off exceedingly well, and this is another beer that is excellently balanced in all aspects and is making me realize how much I appreciate that.

At one year old this is a stunning beer. I had a glass in the O'Hare airport in July and my memory of it is not quite so positive. It was rougher. This style and brewery are becoming favorites, no matter the ownership.

Photo of SunDevilBeer
2.83/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Meant to grab the Sofie and got this by mistake. Didn't realize it till I got home. Oh well.

Pours a beautiful red amber with a bit of head. Smells like sour apples.

Same sour apples and hot alcohol in the taste which overwhelmed the other subtle flavors that could be there (which are typical for a Belgian strong ale). Odd sweet taste too. Blah.

Drank half of it and dumped the rest. Will pay closer attention to the selection next time! :0)

Photo of KTCamm
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into Duvel glass.

Pours reddish amber with fizzy bubbly white foam. Settles out slowly. Sweet candy and Belgian yeasts. Light malty taste with dark fruit blend - plums, raisins. Clean finish, virtually no trace of hops or bittering. Fruity taste, nice belgian style ale.

Photo of zimm421
3.33/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap in a Goose Island Wide Mouth stemmed glass.

Appears a nice golden orange color with a decent white head. There is good head retention, but not much lacing.

Nose gives yeast, very sweet malts and slight hints of citrus. There are other hints of sweet fruits, but nothing overpowering. Taste is very similar but with a larger emphasis on the yeast and citrus. Finishes slightly tart.

Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with a huge amount of carbonation. Overall, nothing too impressive. Was hoping for more, and definitely excited when I heard this was available on tap. Interesting to have once, but not worth seeking out again.

Photo of brianjay
3.71/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Body is the color of dark caramel and the head is a spotty, bright white collection of bubbles. They fade leaving a sticky lace on the sides and an island of a wisp of foam in the middle.

Aroma is a bashful hint of honey and green apple topped with juniper.

Taste hides behind a a strong mouth presence (the body is lively and crisp) but the light sugar and banana notes peak out from behind a wall of Cheerios (cereal) flavor.

The finish is surprisingly creamy, and more of the banana and juniper rounds out the flavors in the finale.

Photo of dorianmarley
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The appearance is a cloudy gold, with a light head.

The smell is a sweet malt with sour candy.

The taste has a consistent sweet malt, with tart, vinegar bite. However, the taste doesn't ever become truly sour.

The beer is extremely smooth, and has a nice coating. The carbonation is light.

Overall, the beer is very drinkable, which is surprising considering its unique taste. It is a very interesting mix of sweet and sour.

Photo of jbakajust1
2.1/5  rDev -48%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12oz 01/26/2010 Bottle poured into SN Tulip

A - Deep ruby with a 2 finger beige head, nice carbonation, but too light for the style, very clear, head fades to thin cap with good lacing

S - Dark fruits, light cellar must, a little horsiness, grass, peppery alcohol, caramel and toffee, cloves, pears, a little banana, and mild chocolate

T - Chocolate, caramel, light spiciness, warming alcohol, raisins, dates and figs, honey, a little horsey.

M - Medium to full body, sweet, rich, lightly carbonated.

O - Very complex, deep, rich, spicy beer with lots of dark fruits, some Brett character, sweet finish, really enjoyed it... but it is not a Belgian Golden Strong. It is way too dark in color, aroma and flavor is of dark fruits and caramel and not of pears or apples, carbonation is too light, and the finish is too sweet for the style, Belgian Golden Strong finishes dry and has a lighter body. Great beer, just not to style. Had it been categorized as a Belgian Dark Strong, would have had an A.

Photo of mdaschaf
2.56/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a golden copper color with a foamy white head on top, about one inch in height. Decent head retention, slowly dissipating to a thin layer on top, leaving behind bits of thin lace as I drink. A little bit of sediment collected at the bottom of my glass.

A: The aroma is not quite what I expected. There is a heavy buttery component that masks some fruit. I can pick up a little bit of candied dates and cherries, but the butter is a bit overwhelming.

T: Not as buttery/acetyl as the aroma lead me to believe it would be, though it is present. There is a little bit of caramel, light spice, and a little bit of fruit.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Not the easiest drinking beer, not very crisp either.

O: Not sure whats up with this bottle. Not really what I expected at all. Will give it another try at some point and change the review should I need to.

Photo of cwguy5
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage. Sampled 10.27.10. Reviewed from notes.

A - clear copper color with small head and no retention
S - huge bouquet of apple, cinnamon, gingerbread
T - spicy with cinnamon and apple suggestions, some dark fruit, no hops to speak of
M - nice medium carbonation; body suited to style
D - interesting palate could be too much but is not; smooth, easy, flavorful drink

Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
90 out of 100 based on 4,164 ratings.