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Matilda - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,163 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,163
Reviews: 1,183
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 12.13%
Wants: 203
Gots: 714 | 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: 4,163 | Reviews: 1,183 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JamnesCameron
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Malheur goblet.

Pours a deep orange color with virtually no head. Some wisp of foam and evidence of carbonation as little bubbles travel up the glass sides. Nice belgian lacing.

Aromas of wood, funk, and juicy fruit gum. A hint of a sour edge.

First sip is of sweet belgian candi, apricots, oranges, all rolled together, a lot like juicy fruit gum. No real hop bitterness perceived. Although the sweetness isn't cloying. The finish is short and sweet.

Mouthfeel is medium, sweet, not sticky, with a light carbonation prickle.

Very drinkable, nicely done belgian pale, but not quite "big" enough to be a belgian strong.

Photo of rpardon7
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle a nice yeloow hazy amber with a bit of yest sediment, and had a nice rocky thick white head that slowly faded and left the trademark belgian lacing on the glass. The smell is nice and complex, you get tropical fruit notes to clove and an herbal note, very bright in the nose and fruity. Taste is floral citrus tropical fruit hop bite with a nice balance of spice and herbal notes with a well balance of honey malt body, a bit of herbal comes through in the finish. The moutfeel is soft and smooth with a slight bite up front but excellent body. Drinkability this one had me wanting more and that is what a good beer is supposed to do, very well crafted american style belgian strong ale.

Photo of Buckmaister
2.4/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A lighter orange/rust color which is kind of murky with the amount of sediment dancing around. Not really an attractive color to me. A half-inch head develops which quickly dissolves to a thin layer of foam on surface.

A smell of apricots and prunes is what I get from first whiff. I can also smell the malts!

It tastes like what it smelled like to me plus a bit more bitter than expected which is weird since it also seems slightly watered-down to me and usually 'bitterness' and 'water-down' don't go hand-in-hand. Not particularly enjoyable.

This slightly carbonated beverage feels fine to drink. There is a slight fizz feeling at the back of your tongue due to carbonation, but not enough to make me chug it.

Drinkability is average.

I will not be buying this ale again. It just isn't the flavor I like. Maybe if it didn't seem so watered-down or look like rust-water I would barely tolerate it.

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


A: Dark orange/amber. 1/2 finger head. Hazy and plenty of carbonation.

S: Floral and citrus. Orange peel . Clove.

T: Orange peel. Floral finish.

MF: Plenty of carbonation. Thick and somewhat creamy. Crisp.

D: Full flavored. Goes down smoothly Really nice representation of the style.

Photo of davesway10
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another excellent offering from Goose Island. Poured from a 12oz bottle into an Einbecker flute glass. Pours a nice Orange, gold. Slightly hazy. Smells of fruit and spice, tastes fruit and spice. What a nice drinkable beer this is. Love it, I'll be buying more matilda in the future.

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

I'm looking through old notes this one was bottled back in 1/10/09 and it pours an orange copper tone with a bright off white head forms thick evenly spread lacing has the head dwindles down. Semi clouded body really looks tasty as you layer the last part of the bottles head like layers of custer rising above the rim of my chalice. Aroma has a spicy alcohol infused yeast notes with mild black pepper, a bit of funk barnyard character with floral honey biscuit malts. Flavor is awesome caramelized malt sweetness brings a honey drizzled biscuit with ample spicy peppery yeast, assertively citric/floral hops combine as well. Medium bodied slightly stick with a bit of residual sugar, never cloying ample fine bubbled carbonation. Drinkability was excellent I need more of this beer, I don't have much access to Goose Island it hits Ohio from the west and moves eastward rarely making it out my way. Solid uniquely made Belgian style experience that does it's job of paying homage to the likes of Orval yet doing it's own thing entirely.

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

12 oz bottle retrieved by wife in Akron. I think the 4 pack was $12.99. Bottled 9/27/10.

Appearance: Pours orange-amber with a slight haze. Initially a pretty impressive fluffy head, but dissipates to sploches after 5 minutes or so. Leaves some lacing, but not the kind this Duvel tulip is used to.

Smell: Lemon and a little pepper. Some sweet fruit, not as much as some BSPAs. Floral, earthy hops. Well integrated, subtle, but present Brett. Nice.

Taste: Tangy and peppery. Tart citrus peel and not quite ripe pear. Not real horsey or barnyardy, but fresh and earthy. Some hops and a nice bitterness from the middle the finish, but ultimately comes back to citrus, pilsner malt, and a little sweet fruit. A very slight note of oxidation on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Appropriate high carbonation. Mouthfeel on the full side and its just so slick and silky feeling.

Drinkability: I like the whole beer more when I don't break it into parts. Less sweet and fruity than many BSPAs and the Brett brings a lot of complexity without becoming a nuisance. I'll hold on to one of these bottles and see what the Brett does over time.

4/7/12- Drinking the last bottle of the same fourpack above.

Now it smells very sweet and fruity with interesting peach, pineapple, and mango notes. Brett is obvious and imparts a tangy aroma and flavor. Its fantastic and at this point I'd bump the smell and taste scores a half point each.

Photo of wmtxbb
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

Appearance: Nice cloudy gold with a light layer of lacing.

Smell: Yeast, malt, and sweet orange peel. Nice pilsner malt smell.

Taste: This one's a winner. Nice orange flavor, thick malt, and a bit of yeast. A little dryness at the end. Also some coriander as well.

Drinkability: There are not too many improvements I'd make on the drinkability of the beer. What would make this beer perfect is a tad more spiciness to make every sip interesting. But still not a bad brew at all. This is one of the best I've had from Goose Island.

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

Light tan head; 1/4" at pour settles to nice ring around edge of glass and some spotting on face of beer. Hazy light brownish orange color; orangy yellow highlights. Slight trace of clove, but not overbearing in aroma which I like. Bright citris smells, orange and some lemon peel, along with coriander. Some faint breadiness in aroma. Moderate to high carbonation. Slight dark sweetness to start, orange and breadiness in middle. Citris end followed by light breadiness. Clean finish, lasting citris peel. Very drinkable and relatively refreshing.

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

2010 vintage, bottle date: January 29

glassware: large wine glass

A - medium-to-deep amber, light carbonation; develops a large, creamy, off-white head for a few minutes, after which a halo and thin film remain on the surface

S - strong Belgian yeast in the front of the nose, underscored by a mellow but tangy barnyard funk; citrus and floral aromas supplement

T - hoppy and citrusy on the front of the palate, understated by notes of Belgian yeast and bready malts; finish is bready and malty

M - thin and fairly flat on the palate with a rather full, chewy finish and light alcohol warmth in the throat

D - fairly drinkable; the aroma is notably more complex than the palate, which makes me think that cellaring a bottle of this for a while might yield a more formidable taste and thus, overall, a better beer

EDIT: Tried 2009 vintage (bottled December 12) today for Thanksgiving and I would rewrite the taste and aroma entries almost entirely: earthy, barnyard funk now pervades in nose and on palate; tangy, funky sour/bitter complexity in the mouth. Getting an older bottle and sitting on it seemed to do the trick. Maybe 2009's batch was different than the 2010, but the bottle I had today tasted more like a saison and was very complex and full. Scores altered accordingly!

Photo of Erish
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this bomber into a wine glass.

A: slightly hazy honey-gold color, cream colored head falls into a nice skim of a cap with very nice lacing.

S: nutmeg, coriander, good Belgian funk, honey, floral hops.

T: all of the flavors in the nose are there, plus plenty of vinous notes, apple cider, and clove. The finish ie subtly floral and dry. Excellent balance and execution of flavors.

M: medium-weight, creamy, very good carbonation.

D: this is fast becoming one of my favorite American style Belgian beers.

Photo of masey222
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a deep orange with a frothy head that fell rather fast but left a good film on the surface had a decent lace for how thin the beer it self was....
the smell was nice but wasn't super exciting, the yeastyness really comes through along with some mild mild hops there were some fruity notes that added a sweetness to it...
the drink was very good very complex and fruity, had the taste and sensation of dried fruit i.e. figs, rasins and apricot that was countered and balanced by a fantastic hop bitterness that was all balanced out by the yeast flavor that adds a lot of depth....
the feeling of it was not really that notable other than it was kind of sticky carbonation was on point for the the beer and did finish a bit dry and bitter.
Good complex beer with well established fruity flavors, it really is a good beer to pair with things that would normally be paired with a big italian cab.

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

Appearance Hazy amber color with a thin white head and slight

Smell Slightly sweet smell with a hint of clove

Taste Taste follows the nose. Sweet with a hint of fruit
(pear maybe). Slightly tart/bitter finish

Mouthful Creamy mouthful, carbonation was great.

Drinkability Very drinkable beer. Nice addition to the Goose
Island "specialty" collection.

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

A- pours a cloudy dark amber brownish with just a faint white lace head

S- difficult nose for me, hints of a few different fruits and spices that i couldnt even take a guess at distinguishing.

T- mellow undertones of flavor that are all subtle but what comes through is the wonderful malty sweetness...very complex and tasty

M- light and airy...does not have feel like the style in the mouth...

D- good overall, im going to have to try it in the bottle for the full effect. only problem is the bottle is about as pricey as the tap was.

Photo of philbe311
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 Version - Dated 04/01/10 (possibly infected) - Poured into a Chimay Chalice...

A - A fingers worth of off white colored head that is light, airy, tightly packed, and slightly creamy... Minimal retention gives way to a very delicate and inviting veil of lacing that is slightly thicker in the center of the glass... The color is a orangish honey amber color... Some small bubbled moderated paced carbonation can be seen under close examination...

S - Sweet fruit... Dried apricot... Overly ripened peach... Fig... Golden raisins... Some candied sugars... Belgian yeast...

T - Belgian yeast strains... Pear... Apple... Apricot... Golden raisins... Some faint candied sugars... A very subtle spiciness... A slightly tart tangy sour finish... Some band aid notes as well...

M - Medium bodied... Starts with a nice lush quality... Perfect carbonation... Slightly invigorating... Semi dry finish...

D - What a beer... This may be an infected bottle, but its stellar... I would drink this over and over and over again... Possibly the best American made Belgian style ale that I've ever had...

Note - I'm not sure if this is an infected bottle or not... The date code matches the recall, but the sour notes are so subtle that I'm not quite sure... I will be exploring another batch shortly to compare and I will update my review at that time if necessary... I can now confirm this was an infected bottle...

Below is a review of a regular (read non-infected) bottle of the 2010 version... However, I'm going to leave my ratings for the infected version since it remains one of the best beers I have ever tried...

A - Close to two fingers worth of rich creamy very light khaki colored head... Modest retention gives way to a full even creamier lacing... The color is slightly muted amber... Lightly carbonated... (4)

S - Belgian yeast... Bosc pears... Bubble gum... Some subtle but eloquent spicy notes... (4)

T - Subtle Belgian yeasts... Pear... Light spice notes... Light peppery notes... A very light, but very effective funkiness lies beneath the surface and becomes more potent as this one warms... (4.5)

M - Medium bodied... Slightly dense... A bit of lushness... Some light prickly carbonation... (4)

D - Not quite as epic as the "infected" version, but still a darn tasty brew... One of the best Belgian Strong Pale Ales going... I wish I had this available to me on a regular basis... (4.5)

Photo of Kylito87
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally I am a Chicagoan I have been waiting a while for this beer review. This is is something that I have held off on buying this beer for the reason that I have no patience or proper aging area. This is a 2010 bottle but if I like it I am sure I will pick up a few and set them aside for aging. Heres we goes

Appearance- Cloudy sunburst orange with a fizzy white cap that turns into a ring. Some mild lacing.

Smell- sweet fruit with sugar notes. Yeast is apparent but comforting. Nice malt back drop with a estery aroma

Taste- Bold richness with a great yeast taste. The alcohol is noticeable but not over bearing at all. It is very warming for a 7% abv beer. The candy sugar offers a nice sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Velvet smooth. Medium light carbonation. Very sticky with a sort of dry finish.

Drinkability- Not a quaffing beer!!!! I sat in my chair sipping on this for over an hour. It was nice to just relax with a nice warming beer after a super stressful monday at the office. Will age a couple of these to see what they do.

Photo of arboristfish
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer pours a copper color, with a white head that ended fast. Could be because of a dirty glass, but who knows for sure. Smells like a Belgian ale. Very fruity smell, with a hin tof caramel or a biscuit malt. The taste is very sweet. Tastes like a candi sugar and biscuits. It says they only use caramel malt as a specialty malt. The extra flavor could come from the yeast. The mouthfeel is light to medium. The drinkablility is ok. I could see sipping something like this but not having a few. For a Belgian Strong Pale Ale the malt character stands out a lot.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle (bottled 04/03/07) served in a glass goblet.

L - hazed burnt orange color with an off-white head that stayed as a thin layer for most of the glass leaving some thin lacing spots.

S - sweet fruits, raisins, dates, figs and a hint of Belgian yeast.

T - sweet dark fruit taste upfront with yeasty notes midway finishing sweet and sticky.

F - medium bodied with a pleasantly carbonated feel.

D - it started out easy drinking but got a little tough towards the end of the glass.

Photo of TulipSnifter
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on August 12, 2010.

Appearance: Autumn orange with a thin cap.
Smell: It smells sweet and tropical.
Taste: Sweet and fruity taste and I am getting some banana.
Mouthfeel: Some carbonation on my tongue.
Drinkability: I think this is easy for me to drink.

Photo of perrymarcus
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle served in an oversized wineglass. bottled 06/19/10.

pours a nice, slightly hazy orange/amber tone with a finger+ of a creamy off-white head that dissipates somewhat quickly into a collar around the glass. better lace showing than i was expecting given the retention.

nose is fruity (apple, pear) with a belgian yeast-like presence that accompanies its spice characters.

taste follows the nose nicely with a heavy emphasis on sweet, fruitiness, yet the finish is a bit on the dry side. big spice notes, more so that the aroma led me to believe. has a little tang to it. all in all, a very tasty beer. nice take on the style. alcohol presence virtually nonexistent.

smooth, medium-bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation. not rating this as drinkable as you might think considering i'm giving it a 4.5 taste. the sweetness and spices wear on you a bit as the bottle dwindles. that said, i would definitely have this again in the future.

Photo of gfreed
3.72/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Several year ago I encountered a Goose Island beer in a hotel bar in Grand Island, NE. It was an IPA, and it was perfectly serviceable. I can say the same thing about Matilda, which I encountered not in a hotel bar but in my own home. It's got decent color, a nice mildly bready and fruity aroma, light fizz and a round, tangy bite that finishes up after an initial restrained push of cloves and cinnamonish malt. Nothing in particular stands out, but nothing in particular ruins it, either. Goose Island refers to it as "wild in character." If this is wild, I'd hate to see mild.

For the price it's decent-- you can certainly do much worse.

Photo of tewaris
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

32 IBUs
On tap at Haute Dish on 10/30/2010, served in a Matilda glass.

Appearance 3.5/5
Clear golden copper with a medium off white head, with medium retention and lacing; nowhere close to Orval, looks wise.

Aroma 4/5
Delicate, with floral, fruity and phenolic notes, reminiscent of rose, pear, and apples.

Taste, Mouthfeel, Drinkability 4/5
Spicy sweet beginnings with a crisp, carbonated mouthfeel on the medium body; a slight bittering medium dry finish with a phenolic and fruity aftertaste, and very low residual sweetness.

Photo of Torps
4.82/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Spiegelau stemmed pilsner.. 2009 Vintage.

Pours a small 1 finger off white head that dissipated very quickly. Looks like organic honey picked up at a local farmers market. A beautiful golden yellow with amber highlights. Fine carbonation dancing along the sides of the glass. Aroma of honey, coriander, apples, wheat, medicinal herbs and spice. There's just a ton of sweet and floral aromas emanating from the glass. Wow.. this tastes so much like Orval. Brett really shines through. Slight tart balances with the honey, yeast and spiced flavors to meld an awesome tasting brew. I'm getting a new taste adventure with each sip. So many layers of taste. Mouthfeel is great and the drinkability superb.

I had one excellent Orval once and this is right up there with it I'd have to say. I've had the infected Matilda too and was put off by the sourness. This is wholly different.

Photo of Vdubb86
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a New Belgium balloon glass

This beer is served a deep amber color with only a fine lace on the surface no head to speak of at all. The overall aroma is mostly comprised of bananas and orange zest with cinnamon all mixed into a bread if you will. The problem with the overall aroma is it is on the weak side for me there isn't really anything to smell. It's not bad, the smells aren't acrid, but it's just unimpressive. The taste is good. There is a very strong banana and orange flavor mixed with the brown sugar and caramel bread. The flavor would be delicious if it weren't bittering to the tongue. It's intentionally syrupy with bittering effects, without the real hoppiness to warrant the reaction. The boozy bitterness takes this from a good drinking beer to a fairly good drinking beer. Overall it's a very good beer, it's just maybe not my cup of tea.

Photo of kellyst
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap Matilda pours a cloudy yellow-orange with little head. I think the bartender must have capped this beer because I'm surprised to see so little head from a Belgian, and don't remember no head when I've had this beer bottled. The beer is served a little too cold and the initial aroma is citric orange. Brett character starts to come forward as the beer warms. The flavor is grainy sweet with citrus and slight barnyard funk dominant as well as spicy hop notes. The flavor is really remarkable and I'm surprised to see Maltilda has such a low rating. I know this is supposed to be an Orval clone, and while it is great, I still prefer Orval's drier, hoppier character.

Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
90 out of 100 based on 4,163 ratings.