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Matilda - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,107 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,107
Reviews: 1,175
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 12.13%
Wants: 196
Gots: 673 | FT: 15
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: 4,107 | Reviews: 1,175 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured with a 1/3 inch off-white head that quickly dissolved and left a fairly weak lace that still managed to leave decent cling on the glass. A light golden straw color, very cloudy with almost no visible carbonation. Yeasty sourness and wheat cracker are the first notes in the bouquet. Very subtle lemon peel and a hard-to-pin-down faint tomato soup fragrance, as well. Sour, yeasty wheat is the first thing to register on the palate--again, there is a somewhat interesting tomato soup thing happening with this yeasty flavor. Nicely creamy throughout, it closes with just a bit of subtle caramel malt that finishes clean. The mouthfeel is light-bodied and quite effervescent, with--again--a very welcome creamy smoothness all the way.

I'm not a huge fan of this style (actually, most beers that have lots of overt yeast flavor doesn't usually do it for me), but Matilda is a very nice brew that really comes together well on the palate, though I'm still not sure about where that tomato soup was coming from. It has a lot of flavor, is well-balanced, and certainly very drinkable. This is one that has the potential to grow on me a great deal.

Photo of jmvecchio1
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Matilda pours a hazy orange with a thick head and solid lacing that lingers. Off the smell there’s a mix of hop oil, the sweetness of honey, lemon-y citrus notes, and cloves. The taste offers a plethora of flavors. Up front you get some bittering hops that give way to faint herb notes with hints of apples and fruit. The beer is slightly dry on the finish and hop oils linger but don’t overpower. This beer is very flavorful and has a rich mouth feel. Overall, this beer is crisp and smooth.

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

Pours a clean, bright and clear golden amber color with poof of soapy white bubbles, gone quickly except for some spotting. Scent is a wonderful blend of tangerine, funk, dried grain, floral notes, some grapefruit noted along with spice. Taste follows scent but never comes together completely, notes of bubblegum and a lingering sweetness distract from the citrus, floral and funk notes. Bits of grass and spice present itself along with alcohol as it warms. Lighter side of medium bodied, active carbonation at first, dry with some lingering alcohol. A very nice beer a few adustments away from being great.

Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a GI tulip.

A: Pours a dull orange with a slight head.

S: Citrus and funk jump out of glass with hints of orange, bubblegum and fruity Belgian yeast.

T: Follows the smell. Orange and tangerine theme with a dry, champagne aftertaste. Funk is prevalent throughout.

D: Alcohol is slightly present, but very well balanced. It is complex and tasty. Definitely will be having another.

Overall: One of the best American interpretations of the style. This is strong-profiled and a great introduction to funkier Belgian styles.

Photo of AgentMunky
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into an Ommegang glass. Vintage 2011. Bottled 11 March 2011.

A: Some head fades fast, but is nice and white. The beer is cloudy copper, shot through sunburst yellow in direct light.

S: Funky. Sour grapes. Bit of 'barnyard' scent? Horse pee.

T: Nice! Tart and sour drying. The sweaty animal comes through faintly on the taste, but a sweet, malty fruitiness is much more prevalent. Vaguely reminiscent of Orval? The aftertaste is full of hay. Interesting beer...

M: Fullish and dry with some carbonation. Sweet-smooth as well. A bit of juxtaposition of feelings. I dig it.

O: Too odd to recommend, but pretty nice. I MIGHT have another. Slow sipping.

Photo of phantomwyse
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours out a dense orange/light brown/marigold body with a moderate one finer head of eggshell white.

S: The first things that hits me is the basement funk, it’s slight but it’s definitely up front. Underneath is a trace aroma of hops and fresh pressed lemon smell.

T: Starts out malty and sweet, Graham crackers and a wash of warm honey. Then theirs is a movement of hops, just a tinge piney and then segueing into moderate fruits, pear, mango, and then that trace of lemon again. Finishes with alcohol warming and hitting the back of the palette with some residual bitterness to mellow it out.

M: Medium bodied that leaves off silky.

D: A nice interpretation. A great ambassador of the Midwest, showing strength and restraint simultaneously. Easy drinking, complex but not complicated, a relaxing and thinking man’s beer. Grab the paper, grab the pencil, find the crossword. Oh, and bring this along.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle dated 3/3/11 into an oversized wine glass

A- Poured a translucent reddish orange color with a one finger frothy head that left a nice ring of lace that remained for a long time. Leaves some nice spotty lace.

S- Belgian yeast, spice, some funk, lemon, apricot, and a slightly medicinal aroma

T- Lots of spice, belgian yeast, nice malt backbone, fruitiness, and slight medicinal taste. A little bit of sourness, lots of sweetness, and some hop bitterness.

M- Big warming sensation as it goes down, some nice carbonation, and a little oily/sticky mouthfeel

O- Another nice Belgian style ale from Goose Island. A flavorful beer that packs a lot of sweetness, but has some balance with some bitterness and a little sour quality. Really nice warming feeling with this beer too.

Photo of TheBrewo
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

We pour a brew of vibrant golden amber. It produces a one finger head of soft, snowy bubbles that retain forever. Impenetrable lacing forms as it finally dies down. The beer is lighter in color, so translucency is high, but when the last ounces are introduced, there is a thickening haze of yeasty sediment. The carbonation appears extreme. The nose fills with the pungent aromas of brettanomyces. This is curbed by a fruity and tart sweetness, of soft raspberries and crabapples. Faint fruity esters also provide a cooling wash. We are otherwise met with pale malts, standard yeastiness, and a bit of sweet floral nectars. As we sip bitter and tart yeasts crash up front. The brett is apparent here, but not to the extent that one might expect. It is a brief visitor. The bitterness remains, however, and is pulled along by the malts, which are drying, but a good vehicle nonetheless. Moving into the middle introduces more mild malt, which effectively eliminates the initial bittering twangs. The finish is very much the same as the middle, with mild washes of malt and yeast, which returns that bitter funk to the tongue. The aftertaste breathes with seemingly darker malts, steely grain, heavy brett, and a faint boozing. The body is lighter to medium and the carbonation is quite high. Due to the latter there is a glorious cream and slurp to each sip, but it can be overwhelming at times. The mouth is left nicely coated, cooled, and satiated. Despite this there is a moderate degree of astringent drying in the end. The abv is within range, and the beer drinks light and easy.

Overall, the best qualities of this brew are the striking look, creamy mouthfeel, and gently mild flavoring profile. Before the yeasty sediment is swirled into the glass the beer has great translucency, and a soft, full head. This all played into the mouthfeel, which kept things frothy, but light. This theme continued into the taste, where the flavors were present, but relatively muted, especially the brettanomyces. We actually found this quality to be inviting, as the beer doesn’t attempt to overload the senses, but rather gives suggestions of a more calm and relaxing evening.

Photo of thagr81us
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one during the 'We Want The Funk!' tasting that was graciously hosted by beermeX2! Big thanks goes out to beermeX2 for sharing this one with the group! An infected batch! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured yellow-orange with a minimal off-white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, banana, wood, and tart. The flavor was of sweet malt, banana, fruit, and wood. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. Based on the aroma on this one I was honestly expecting it to be infected. Upon investigation of the flavor there was no sign of infection to be found. Rather I found a really nice Belgian Strong Pale Ale waiting for me. This one was not complex at all, but this made it very easy to drink and a nice palate change-up for the night. Still want to try an actual infected bottle to see how it compares though.

Photo of Hoagie1973
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy gold color with a small off-white head; surprisingly small for a Belgian style ale.
Smells fruity with clove-like yeast, similar to a Hefeweizen.
Flavor is fruity and spicy, slightly medicinal with a decent amount of bitter citric hops that assert themselves in a dry finish.
Mouthfeel is smooth with a little prickly carbonation.
No problems finishing the whole bottle in a short amount of time.

Photo of rickyleepotts
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh I have had this beer before. I can’t remember where I first had this beer, but it is one of my favorites from Goose Island. I am still sad that Anheuser-Busch bought them. Regardless, this beer is one of my favorites from them. I have had this both in bottle and on draft. I like ordering this on draft when I am at their Wrigley location. It’s also got a pretty big ABV, and one that is not very noticeable when drinking this beer.

The beer smells incredible! Holy cow, it smells of fruit and… and happiness! Then you taste it, and are just blown away with not only how smooth this sucker is, but the somewhat thick, soothing mouthfeel you experience. It slides down the back of your throat, and sticks around for a few minutes as you enjoy that bittersweet aftertaste. By the time the aftertaste fades, you are ready for another drink!

This beer is readily available. You can get it at pretty much any liquor store (sold in 4-packs if I do recall correctly) or by the bottle at places like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. I highly recommend this beer to anyone who likes… who likes a good tasting beer. It doesn’t taste like beer, and truly does get better with age. You can cellar this beer for up to two years and still get all those same notes that you pick up right off the shelf. Big fan of Goose Island and a HUGE fan of this beer.

Photo of whatthehull
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted June 21rst 2011 (from notes)

Poured into a la Chouffe tulip (bottled 9.30.10)

A - cloudy golden/orange, one finger white head and no lacing

S - pungent sweet and sour, nice yeast note, slight hops, sugary and tons of fruit

T - very pungent, fruity, sour, sweet, nice bitterness, lots of yeast, sugary, decent alcohol, some wheat, fruity and earthy hops and sweet malts

M - carbonated, chewy, full bodied, medium acidity and a long finish

D - lots of flavor, goes down like water, well balanced. An all around good beer

Final thought - decent price $3 a bottle, nice ABV at 7% and tastes great

Photo of Pahn
3.03/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Bottled 01/15/10.

Appearance: Rather free pour yields a one inch, fizzy and rocky offwhite head that dissipates quickly and without lacing. Pours a clear orange, and leaves short lasting walls of lacing.

Smell: In the bottle: Spicy sweet Belgian yeast. In the glass: the same, with some effervescence and public pool. Not much discernible Brett funk (snatches of it here and there). Interesting, unique perfume-y smell. Overall, pleasant, but weak.

Taste: Very sweet. Small basement funk note up front among the sugar and clove, then some citrus coming in on the back end. Creamy mouthfeel renders the flavors slightly sickening. The occasional 1-note dirty funk up front helps cut the sweetness, but lacks the complexity one is looking for in a BSPA with Brett. Do these flavors work together?

This beer is somewhere between light (bland) and refreshing, and cloyingly sugary. While the mouthfeel is beautiful in and of itself, a juicier feel might have helped these flavors play nice with each other. Some interesting depth in the aftertaste (unique flavors come out, like the perfume in the nose). Solvent-like alcohol makes an unwelcome and lasting appearance, bringing with it some heat in the finish.

The taste feints like it's about to get balanced and make sense, and then doesn't. The Brett is very subdued, and the overall impression of the beer vacillates between pleasant, bland, and offensive. Some of the clove / spice interplay is nice, and there's some estery highlights that are either "subtle flourishes" or "weak and irrelevant" depending on how generous I'm feeling. Gets a little soapy as well.

All told, not great.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, very creamy, lively carbonation. Nice crisp finish with a long aftertaste. This feel would be the perfect vehicle for some better flavors...

Overall: Not terrible, but not worth the space it took up in my cellar by a long stretch. Goose Island can do better than this.

There's some good things happening here, and while I'm not exactly excited about it, I'll be able to finish the bottle (a few of the categories have been gradually getting revised to lower scores as I get deeper, if that says anything). I want a lot more from a BSPA. This beer is a miss.

Photo of seanyfo
3.66/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served into a Chimay Chalice

Bottled on 28/10/2010

A- Amber body with yeasty haze, 2 finger creamy head that is well sustained and produces good lacing.

S- Fresh peaches with some vanilla. Orval-like Brettanomyces/earthy/mustiness takes over.

T- Flavours begin sweet with a hint of peach with the musty qualities dominating heavily.A little pepper in the semi dry finish.

M- Medium to low carbonation. Light body which is surprising considering abv

D- A bit one dimensional for me. Its certainly tasty and thirst quenching and i would say an excellent accompaniement to food which make bring out more flavours. I felt the brett qualities over-powered not letting any fruity/spicy esters to get through.

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

12oz bottle
Bottled 12/22/2010
Served in a tulip glass

A - It pours amber in color and is topped with two inches of off white head.

S - I get some typical Belgian smell: banana, cloves, and some caramel.

T - The taste is spicy and I get some caramel. Kind of disappointing. Not a lot going on.

M - Biting carbonation

O - I tried a Sophie and loved it so my next choice was Matilda. She is the less attractive sister to Sophie.

Photo of DangQuesadilla
2.31/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I had this on tap tonight at my local establishment. I was rather disappointed and could not even finish the glass. It was served in a nice glass, and the bartender stated that it usually goes for $9 a glass. Tonight was half off all tap beers and I was getting a deal. I found this to have a slight undertone of peach... but after that, I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. It tasted like the smell of a dirty diaper to me. As I leave near Chicago, I have an affinity towards Goose Island. This one, is for the birds. Never again. Terrible mouth taste. Like I said, dirty diaper.

Photo of Wadsey
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Matilda, bottled on April 1, 2010, so this beer is infected with lactobacillus. 

Served in Goose Island white wine glass. 

A: Pours a clear pale amber with  dense, creamy head that slowly recedes and leaves foam on glass. Above average effervescence. 

S: Apple vinegar and lactic acid waft from glass. Getting my nose in there, I pick up spicy yeast and sourdough bread. A bit of caramel and copper, too. 

T: Sweet malt catches my palate off guard. Mild lactic acid joins in, making for an interesting interplay between sweet and sour.  White grapes or gooseberries are suggested.  A little caramel is present and works with apple peels that are also in taste.  Still, sourdough is a decent descriptor. The copper note is more of tertiary player, thankfully.  Drying. As the beer warms up, some brettanomyces accumulates on palate. 

M: Medium body and medium-high carbonation.  Astringent. 

O: If this were presented to me in a 750 ml bottle with a Jolly Pumpkin label on it, I wouldn't think to question it. Infected Matilda has that same quiet complexity. 

Photo of DrewV
3.55/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle dated 12/20/2010 into a tulip glass. Tiny bits of yeast float around the bottle and make their way into the glass.

A: Pours a clear golden orange with a thin, 1-finger fizzy head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving a small amount of lace.

S: Aromas detected in sequence: pineapple, sour cherries, yeasty funk.

T: Similar to the aroma, tropical fruity flavor leads the way, followed by the cherry and funky Belgian yeast. A decent amount of malt provides some backbone.

M: Moderately high carbonation makes this brew taste a bit lighter than it is. No lingering aftertaste. Highest marks here, but that's not saying much.

O: A decent Belgian style ale, but nothing special. The flavors are strong-ish, but don't blend well together. Very similar flavor profile to some of Ommegang's offerings. A solid B rated brew.

Photo of leschkie
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle dated 12/21/10 poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden amber with a thick traditional Belgian frothy white head. Carbination can be seen all over the place. Decent head retention that eventually dissipates to a thin ring along the rim of the glass.

Smell: Blast of cloves, Belgian spice, lemon, banana, and hay up front. Finishes with strong apricot and Gerber apple-flavored baby food. Bravo to Goose Island for maintaining this one's pungency throughout the entire sitting.

Taste: Complex, yet refreshingly clean. Flavor profile follows the nose. Individual flavors complement each other quite well making this one of the more enjoyable Belgian pales I've had, earning it a rightful place next to the Orval. However, this beer isn't perfect, and shows its weakness at the finish as the flavors don't linger for too long. Consequently, it makes the beer seem thinner than it probably is.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied as expected with the style with a fair amount of carbination...again as to be expected.

Overall: Actually I enjoyed this one much more than I thought I would going into it. Usually, Belgian pales are generally a tad too weak when it comes to stimulating my taste buds, but this one put up quite the fight. My compliments to Goose Island. Worth a try, but I probably wouldn't recommend going out of your way to seek it out. A few more tweaks and I'd put it in the same category as the Duvel and Delirium Tremens.

Photo of Dope
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage dated 12/16/09, drunk on 6/23/11

A: Hazy amber pour with a pure white head that fades very fast. Little retention and a little lacing.

S: Sweet raisins, molasses (?) and some brown sugar. Some pineapple and banana?

T: Very sweet. Raisin flavor is strong, almost too strong and there are some banana flavors in there too I think. A bit spicy. Typical Belgian yeast is definitely there. No real indication of alcohol at all.

M: Medium body, sticky sweetness stays around. Pretty smooth in general. Almost no bitterness.

O: Decent BPA but honestly nothing special. The strong raisin flavor detracted for me since I'm not a fan of that particular smell/taste.

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

The beer pours a golden color with a white head. The aroma is full of herbs and spices. I get a taste of coriander. There is also a little bit of citrus in the aroma.

The flavor is also very complex. I get a lot of wheat and biscuit notes with the same herbs that I found in the aroma. The beer is fairly dry and very spicy and herbal. The Belgian yeast also comes through in the flavor, adding to the overall complexity.

Medium to high carbonation and medium mouthfeel. Very easy to drink.

Photo of mactrail
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Orange amber in the New Belgium snifter. Fruitcake nose. Rich flavors come on immediately. Distinct sweetness with candy flavors. Some tart fruity flavors, like a hint of raspberry jam and a touch of pie cherries. Clean but complex. A bright flavor. Interesting to taste for the Belgian character, though with less funk and more drinkability. Carbonation is just sprightly enough to give it a sparkle. Aftertaste brings shades of darkness and a welcome touch of bitterness.

Bottle date is 02/18/10, so this has lasted well. Better than I remember from last year.

Photo of corby112
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes:

Pours a dark copper color with dark ruby edges when held to a light and a two finger frothy yellowish beige head. Good retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves sporadic spots of lace behind.

Spicy aroma with hints of pepper and cloves as well as some alcohol, bread/yeast, earthy hops and citrus rind.

Medium bodied that's slightly creamy with a good balance f light fruit, pale malt, alcohol, spice, yeast and citrus fruit. Hints of pepper and clove up front countered by subtle earthy hops as well as some orange and lemon peel. Clean and crisp with a slight dry finish. Well balanced and easy to drink.

Photo of gabedivision
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz to a Duvel glass.

12/22/2010 bottling date

This is a pretty beer, pours a very hazy deep burnt orange wrestling between brown and red. Beautiful head with excellent retention, big bubbles all over. Lots of citrus on the nose, smells like a freshly peeled tangerine, with a moderate sweet malt that balances out the citrus and makes for a nice blend. Bittering hops are found floating all around the scent, this is a real treat on the nose. Nice citrus on the tongue, mixed an array of spices, clove, orange peel, pear juice, and pineapple all seem to fly past my tongue idividually and the malts seem to just melt in your mouth. Light to medium bodied, bittering hops and spice leave the mouth craving the next sip. This beer was very hard to put down, it was super delicious. My only regret is that I only bought one bottle, buying a 4pack tomorrow for sure.

Photo of omnigrits
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle dated 12/21/10 into a tulip.

A. A slightly hazy honey-amber colour, not much head, not much lace.

S. So far so Belgian. Very strong Belgian pale/tripel aroma with a lot of sweetness.

T. Wow. Super sweet on the palate. There's the faintest of faint floral hops but this is dominated by tropical fruit flavours and sweet malts. There's a distant hint of funk which would balance this beer nicely if it was a bit more forward. I'm getting some lemon in there too.

M. Very crisp, clean, medium bodied.

O. I've had better BPAs for sure, both imported and home grown. If this bottle is typical I won't be buying it again but I'd be willing to give it a second chance.

Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
90 out of 100 based on 4,107 ratings.