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Matilda - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,634 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,634
Reviews: 1,132
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.16%
Wants: 160
Gots: 450 | FT: 14
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: 3,634 | Reviews: 1,132 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of apowar


3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

12oz bottle from '07, unfortunately served in a pint glass (sigh). Trade from Eli.

Pours a substantial, frothy head, with a small dusting of yeast in the middle reminiscent of cinnamon on the foam of a latte. Appearance is unfiltered, dark amber honey, with suspended yeast particles throughout.

As it warms up slightly the aroma becomes a pronounced bouquet of apple cider spices, orange peel, a bit of alcohol, and a touch of yeast.

Initial taste is that of sweet malt and some toasty yeast flavors which quickly develop into a more dynamic profile which brings a bit more sweetness and dried tropical fruit to the mix. The finish is a tad bitter and drying, with a more articulated spice character, a bit of freshly cut grass, apricot, and a touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel and aroma are really the best elements of this beer, in my opinion. The medium-full bodied brew with a pronounced, slightly spicy and prickly carbonation provide excellent support for the fruity, spicy 7% beverage.

Overall--I'm not overwhelmed by the complexity of the taste, and the 7% abv peeks through a bit too much, in my opinion, but the mouthfeel and aroma make it well worth a try. Definitely fairly enjoyable.

04-13-2009 02:48:23 | More by apowar
Photo of DIM


4.05/5  rDev +0.5%

bottled in late 2007

a: This was a clear, golden coppery color. It poured with a smallish, off-white head.

s: Muted candied sugar punctuated by aromas of apricots, earthy spices like cloves and cinnamon, plus some warm, funky rye bread.

t: Doesn't quite live up to the smell. I got the rye, apricot, and some mild candied sugar. The spiciness from the smell was only present a faint dryness at the finish.

m: Semi-slick and fairly viscous. I wish the carbonation had been more active though.

d: Thanks to imperialking for this treat.

04-11-2009 15:35:39 | More by DIM
Photo of everetends


4.3/5  rDev +6.7%

12 oz bottle I got in my recent trade with spointon. I have been trying to get my hands on this beer for about a year or so, and I have Scott to thank for it being in my glass. Served this one up in a snifter.

A: Pours a pretty nice apricot colored body. Held to the light you get a lazy/hazy orange that subtlely glows. A finger of pristine white head bubbled up from the deep to slowly form about a finger of head. Sadly, that head had pretty much zero retention. Faltered to a thin white and bubbly ring. Lace succumbs to this brews slickness because the weighty lace spots slip back into the glass. Still a good looking brew.

S: The first thing that strikes me when I stick my nose in the glass is a bit of some fruity tartness. Throws me a bit but in a good way. The fruit is tropical with a touch of banana and grapefruit. Very nice. Gettin that nice Belgian yeast quality coming out. This beer has a bit of some Wild Ale presence with just a touch of funk and earthy aromas. At first it appears to be a strange combo, but it works.

T: This beer starts out with a bit grapefruit hoppiness coming out bright. That is quickly cooled before any bittering by this Belgian yeast and some wheat and slightly sweet banana flavors. That banana wheat flavor is just so cooling, it just adds something beautiful to this beer. Just a touch of tart black cherries come across a bit. That Wild Ale comes out in the flavor as well. Just a bit of clean and super tasty funk. Just some clean grass and hay and some clean leather. Very nice.

M: Medium bodied brew with just a really nice carbonation to it. Very crisp and clean. I mean this barely leaves an aftertaste and that says quite a bit considering the amount of flavors in here. There is just a touch of ABV heat on the back throat. Has just a touch of dryness to it but it is so minimal its barely worth mentioning. Slightly slick feel. Very nice.

D: I tell you with a mouthfeel like that, this brew is absolutely drinkable. So crisp and clean it goes down super easy. It sits pretty light in the belly with just a touch of that alcohol heat. This beer is disappearing quickly. The flavors and aromas are well done and further add to the enjoyability of this brew. I hyped this one up in my mind and the experience was not a let down in the least. Really enjoyed this brew and I am glad I seeked it out.

04-09-2009 05:10:05 | More by everetends
Photo of taez555


4.47/5  rDev +10.9%

Reviewed from Notes. Tasted 3/26/09

This beer poured an opaque orange gold body with a small white head.

Nose was bright and fruity. Tropical fruits, yeast, wheat, spice, potpourri, soft fresh cut flowers. Very much a classic sugary sweet Belgian Golden/Wild ale. Smells Amazing.

Taste is medium bodied. Very mild at first, immediately followed by this rich cornucopia of classic Belgian Golden flavors. Wheat, malts, fresh cut grass, bubblegum, tropical fruit, Belgian yeast, lots of spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander and lots of fruit. Hops are present and give a nice bitter backbone while also adding an earthy touch that compliments the spice flavors very well.

This a damn good beer. So true to the original style, could have been brewed in Belgium. Yummy!!

04-08-2009 19:43:30 | More by taez555
Photo of FarmHouseJam


4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

A - Pours a dark amber color with a fluffy white head. Retention is decent and there is a good amount of lacing.

S - Malt and yeast are dominant. However, there are some subtle dried fruit notes too.

T - Sweet malt upfront which continues on with a nice amount of bready yeast. Then the dreid fruits come through with some hints of spice. Finishes smooth with very little bitterness.

M - Creamy with a high amount of carbonation.

D - Even at 7%, very drinkable. I was excited about this offering and enjoyed it even more than expected.

04-08-2009 03:27:08 | More by FarmHouseJam
Photo of yeastsipper


3.38/5  rDev -16.1%

Beer is almost an orange color. Looks like an IPA really. Not much of a head.

The nose consists of belgian yeast. Very sugary. There is a smell of apple as well as a floral aroma. The smell is the highlight of this beer.

The taste is disappointing. Not bad, but disappointing. Just not a lot going on there. The floral and fruit notes from the nose are not apparent in the taste. It is dry, with a lot of vegetable flavor and dry, bready finish. Some horseblanket, but it doesnt seem to fit.

Mouthfeel is good. Drinkability is fine. A pretty good beer, but not worthy of the price. I would not necessarily recommend, though I would happily drink another if offered.

04-05-2009 22:16:54 | More by yeastsipper
Photo of bskrtz


3.23/5  rDev -19.9%

On tap in Chicago. Poured into Matilda challice

A) Very clear, tan, Light. 1 inch head that fades quickly

S) Sweet caramel and alcohol. Not complex, just good marketing

T) This is a good ale, but lacks the unfiltered hoppiness and yeast of a true Belgian. Tastes mass produced, pasteurized.

M) Light, ample carbonation

D) A strong American Ale, not the Belgian it would like to be.

04-05-2009 03:34:36 | More by bskrtz
Photo of colts9016


4.1/5  rDev +1.7%

I am going to be trying two Matilda one from 2006, the other is from 2008. Poured into a chalice at 45 degrees.

Appearance: An orange color. with some yellow hues. There is a quarter inch ring around the glass the clarity of the beer is cloudy, with some light penetrating.

Nose: A light floral spicy fragrant. A light toasty biscuit aroma. There are some phenols and pepper in the nose.

Taste: A very light spicy floral with a toasty biscuit flavor. The phenols and pepper is light.

Overall.The mouth feel is carbonated and lightly spicy. The body of the beer is medium and finish is dry and slightly bitter. The 2006 beer is lighter in body and less of a head. The 2008 has more of a head that is creamy and rocky. The 2008 has more spice but is not as refined as the 2006. Both of the years has it pros and cons.

04-05-2009 01:25:15 | More by colts9016
Photo of dismal


4.33/5  rDev +7.4%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. The color is light orange, very light copper color. The beer produces a nice size head that doesn't seem to go away very fast at all and which leaves a great lace down the glass. The smell is fruity and yeasty, has a pretty good smell to it. The taste is great. Fruity, sweet and just a little bitterness. I haven't had to many Belgians but from the ones I've tried I think this one compares pretty good. I think Goose Island definitely did a great job on this one.

04-05-2009 00:54:35 | More by dismal
Photo of webmanspidey


3.4/5  rDev -15.6%

Poured into chalice.. a dark amber color with lots of foamy head. Strong sour lemon citrus smell. Taste is soapy and mellow, maybe some pear and sweet fruit cocktail flavors. Not much in the way of hops. Flavor fades away pretty quickly. Mouthfeel is very bubbly, soapy and fluffy. Pretty drinkable, as alcohol isn't noticeable.

Personally I wasn't too impressed with this one. It just seemed to be missing something.

03-28-2009 02:25:37 | More by webmanspidey
Photo of CMW


4.33/5  rDev +7.4%

A - Pours a dark amber color with a fluffy white head. Retention is decent and there is a good amount of lacing.

S - Malt and yeast are dominant. However, there are some subtle dried fruit notes too.

T - Sweet malt upfront which continues on with a nice amount of bready yeast. Then the dreid fruits come through with some hints of spice. Finishes smooth with very little bitterness.

M - Creamy with a high amount of carbonation.

D - Even at 7%, very drinkable. I was excited about this offering and enjoyed it even more than expected.

03-17-2009 23:23:23 | More by CMW
Photo of KI9A


4.08/5  rDev +1.2%

A: Beautiful, dark apple cider/ruby color. Large puffy head, great lace on the glass.

S: Obvious sweet Belgian yeasts, sugary, fruity, some hops.

T: Wow. All of the above show up. Pears, tart apples step up. Some nice malt & hop balance detected.

M: Coats mouth with sweetness.

D: Slightly high ABV not detected at all. Sweetness kinda limits this to just one for me. Very nice beer, going to the beer store today, and picking some up.

03-15-2009 15:29:48 | More by KI9A
Photo of armock

New York

4/5  rDev -0.7%

A - Poured a hazy orange color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of sweet malt fruity and yeasty

T - Very good follows the nose sweet malt that fruity and yeasty

M - This beer has a light body with higher carbonation to it

D - This was a very easy beer to drink with its good taste wish I could of had more of this beer than just one bottle worth the effort to get

03-11-2009 16:26:06 | More by armock
Photo of julian


4.4/5  rDev +9.2%

2007 Bottle from the cellar. Bottle date 10/24/07

A: Color is similar to that of freshly pressed cider with a hint of orange in the spectrum. Nice clarity although lots of minuscule suspended particles. Carbonation seems to be minimal, but given this is almost 18 months old I'm not surprised. Nice ample head, although it doesn't last long. Lacing is very wet and tends to slide down back into the glass almost as quick as it forms.

S: Smell is sweet Belgian yeast, sugary malt and subdued tart apples. Some pear on the nose also.

T: Mmm this is good. I clearly don't drink enough Belgian style pale ales. Great combination of brown sugar, belgian yeast, pear, green apples, spices. Delicious

M: Carbonation is mild, yet still present and given the taste and style it's actually working extremely well. It's smooth, mellow. Goes down real easy.

D: Very good, I wish I had more. Definitely something that is worthy of being aged. I'll have to try a fresh Matilda for comparison now...but this was excellent.

03-09-2009 04:10:39 | More by julian
Photo of sgoodship


3.95/5  rDev -2%

10oz bottle that was bottled on 10/10/08. Donated to the cause by a friend.

A: Nice clear dark golden color. Plenty of carbonation. Creamy head, great head retention and nice frothy lacing.

S: Yeasty, phenols, fruity pears, almost a wheat dryness

T: Tangy fruitiness like the smell is up front. Goes quickly into a phenolic taste but also some has sweet maltiness. Good amount of hop - very well balanced. Overall flavor is not that complex but seems to be delicate and well done.

M: Smooth creamy mouthfeel. Fuller body than you would expect. Plenty of carbonation that adds plenty of life without the prickly aggression.

D: I am not the biggest fan of Belgian ales but this is a really nice brew. I'd be happy to have it again and I'd love to try it at Goose. I would also be interested to see how this flavor manifests itself over time.

03-07-2009 04:44:27 | More by sgoodship
Photo of adamette


4.38/5  rDev +8.7%

On tap last night at Winking Lizard in Mentor, Ohio. Poured into a clean, clear pint glass. I think that it was $6. Review from notes.

A Orange brown translucent, almost golden orange body with 1 cm head that sticks around for 3 to 4 minutes and it is a georgeous head, creamy like meringue.

S Sweet malt, very inviting.

T Nice sweet malt with little bitterness but minimal hops in there. Very nice balance and alcohol is certainly making its presence known, possibly more than I would expect for its reported ABV of 7%.

M Full and not as syrupy as I might have expected. Carbonation is moderate.

D One and done because, in part, this is a huge beer. I enjoyed every drop, though and could readily see getting this one again.

Notes: By far my favorite Goose Island offering and superior to the similarly marketed, labeled, Pere Jacques (at least the labels emulate one another). Great job!

03-05-2009 03:48:18 | More by adamette
Photo of dfillius


3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Served in a wine glass. I've seen so many ads for this beer, I've been anticipating it.

A; Moderate pour yields 1.5 fingers of light tan head with great retention. Cloudy burnt orange liquid.
S: Apple cider, fruit and tangy bite - a little cinnamon maybe.
T: Fruity and ghostly yeastiness that floats along with the carbonation. Sweet, but just shy of cloying.
M: High carbonation gives a fizzy mouthfeel - like Emergen-C - too much fizzing. Hearty and round.
D: Decent, I would like more, but 2 maximum.

Overall, this beer is over-advertised/hyped.

03-04-2009 19:41:17 | More by dfillius
Photo of mltobin


3.93/5  rDev -2.5%

2007 vintage bought in Northern Westchester, New York.

Upon pouring this into a pint glass, the body is dark burnt yellow with a two/three finger head. It smells a tad bit sweet, with a light barley aroma. The taste is refreshing and not too much alcohol that comes through despite the 7.00% abv. The mouthfeel is very pleasant and gives off pleasurable tones to your palate. Overall, it is a very good beer, but for some reason I expected it to be even better. Perhaps it is because Goose Island produces such high quality "common styles" such as their IPA among the rest. Still a very good beer.

02-20-2009 01:25:07 | More by mltobin
Photo of Haybeerman


3.95/5  rDev -2%

A: Bright reddish-brown color. Poured a 2 finger light tan head with fair retention. Laced in thick sheets. Decanted continually.

S: Big fruity esters dominate the aroma. Different light-colored candied fruit in the background. Hop spices tickle the nose

T: Sweet malts and yeast with a fouindation of earthy hops. Light fruits linger on the tongue ahead of a bitter finish.

M: Full side of medium body. Ample carbonation. Rich and full without being overbearing.

D: Surprisingly drinkable for a strong ale. Intersting comlex flavor and very good CO2 and hop balance make this an easy choice.

02-16-2009 04:50:39 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

4/5  rDev -0.7%

Courtesy of brewczar. 12oz. bottle served in my DT tulip. Bottled on 01/10/2008. Poured a hazy burnt orange with a golden hue. Two inch tight, white head sizzled and popped as it slowly receded into a solid skim with a dense target of foam in the middle. Curtains of lacing were revealed as the brew was consumed. Detected some citrus (lemon zest) and yeast in the nose, as well as a spicey quality. Taste revealed many of the same characteristics of the nose, as well as malt, grass, candi sugar, maybe allspice, as well as light fruit (green apple and perhaps pear). Mouthfeel is slightly short of medium-bodied with a lively character and some acidity that burned the edges of my chapped lips. Excellent and well-balanced example of the style. Nice and flavorful without the booziness sometimes present.

02-14-2009 21:53:04 | More by Jwale73
Photo of Tone


4.35/5  rDev +7.9%

Pours a cloud, pale amber color. Some yeast is apparent suspended in the brew. One inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight fruit, some hops, slight pale malt, yeast, and slight wheat. Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Dark citrus, tart malt, wheat, slight hop, slight sweet malt, and slight yeast. A hint of spice is also noticeable (maybe coriander or all spice). Overall, a complex beer that is still easy to drink and has a lots of body!.

This beer has been aged since 2007.

02-11-2009 06:03:39 | More by Tone
Photo of dza360


4.05/5  rDev +0.5%

Picked this up on sale for about half off at Rob's World of Beers.

Bottled on date says July 2005.

Upon opening the bottle a volcano of foam erupts from the bottle. I probably lost 20% of the beer before I was able to get it in a glass. :-( Not sure what happened, had been setting still in my fridge for 4 hours.

Once things settle down I have a golden hazy beer with a large foamy champagne like head. Some darker, almost red sediment is present.

Smell here is medicinal, sour, hint of lemon grass. Distinctly Belgian style.

Taste is fruity banana, with some punchy alcohol almost like cider. Very unique, not sure what type of hops are here but they finish up nicely and round off the fruit with a bite. Should have let it get a little more warm as the complexity is really showing off toward the end of the glass.

Very high carbonation stands up through the whole glass (even after the eruption), mouth feel is thick and sticky on the tongue but not unpleasent.

Wouldnt drink more than one in a night, but I will be helping the beer store close out their inventory with this good of a sale.

All in all a good beer, still impressed with most of the Goose Island premium beers I have tried.

02-07-2009 05:18:35 | More by dza360
Photo of Brew33


4.1/5  rDev +1.7%

Matilda 2008

My first taste of an American made Belgian style pale ale. The color was a little darker than I expected but it was pleasant. The aroma was similar to other BPA's I have had. Crisp.

The taste was good. Not overpowering but fairly bold. To me it tasted like Duvel with the volume turned way up. Not as good as Duvel but tasty. Decidedly Belgian in it's taste. Tart apples, slight bitterness. Dry finish. Nice beer.

For 7% it doesn't show. Highly drinkable for the abv. I would certainly drink it again. I'd love to try it on tap.

02-04-2009 15:01:46 | More by Brew33
Photo of BeerBelcher


4.03/5  rDev 0%

I swear I'd had this before having a glass at Roman's this week, but apparently I am confusing Matilda with memories of Pere Jacques. And I'm glad I corrected this situation, because where I found Pere Jacques to be pretty mediocre and boring, I found this beer to be considerably more enjoyable and interesting.

This beer pours a light golden color with a pretty minimal head. At Roman's, it was served in a long-stemmed glass reminiscent of a martini glass (what I don't know about glassware could fill a library). Aroma was a touch fruity and spicy. Flavor offered a rich sweetness paired nicely with a touch of very-Belgian-y maltiness. There was also considerable fruitiness, full mouthfeel, and yeastiness that was also reminiscent to Belgian beers I've had (like fresh Tripel Karmelet). Mouthfeel was pretty rich.

This is really a very good beer and I would recommend it. I had it on tap at Roman's in Milwaukee.

01-31-2009 12:42:39 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of HopHead84


3.43/5  rDev -14.9%

2007 vintage.

Huge frothy head on an amber body. The head is three fingered and beige with great lacing and retention. Tiny bubbles in the beer appear to be suspended in limbo while others pass by at a rapid pace on their way up.

Aroma is of Belgian yeast and citrus. Tangerines. Some spiciness is present along with an earthy hop aroma and alcohol. I just broke wind so I can't really smell the beer anymore. Excuse me.

The beer tastes very sweet. It reminds me of a quad. Belgian candy sugar and yeasty citrus with a little spice. The alcohol is quite noticeable throughout, but most pronounced in the finish where a touch of bitterness is apparent. The beer honestly tastes a lot stronger than its 7% ABV.

Light-medium bodied. Carbonation is pretty good but the mouthfeel is somewhat thin.

01-29-2009 04:53:48 | More by HopHead84
Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
90 out of 100 based on 3,634 ratings.