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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 Colleen219
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer. I am new to the world of craft beers and this is only my 4th Belgian-style Ale- so keep that in mind, but if you're new too, you might be on par with me. I love the color of this beer, just pouring it was fun. I just love the mouthfeel. Before this I only drank the most common of lagers so mouthfeel is an amazing new experience I hadn't even considered before. This beer is definetly a harder ale than I'm used to, I can definetly taste the alcohol but the taste is worth it its a little bitter but sweet and I like this much more than Hoegaarden!

Photo of tigg924
3.2/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: minimal head, clear, red brown in color, moderate carbonation

Smell: apple, Belgian spices, caramel

Taste: apple, Belgian spices, caramel, hay, and pear

Mouthfeel: dry, bitter first taste that gets less bitter, light body

Drinkability: Nice and dry with a decent fruit taste. Not bad for the style, but I am unlikely to purchase this again.

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

GOt this one thanks to AgentZero before this beer was available in MA.

A: It's filled almost all the way to the cap, screw cap, and there's almost no sound when I pop it... hmmm... An aggressive pour into my tulip glass yields a small 1/2 finger fluffy head that retains well. It's a slightly hazy golden orange almost rosy color.

N: Pretty nice, lots of malts, Belgian malts. Some sweet sugar with that, a Belgian candi sugar and almost boozy aroma with that. Touch of fruit. The thing that is surprising is the fruit that is like a sour cherry, almost like a cherry lambic. It's pretty strange for a Belgian strong. With that is the very slightest sour yeasty funky. If this is not infected its great, and if it is infected, who cares.

T: Here comes the real test... hmmm, def tastes somewhat like a lambic. A slightly sweet Belgian malt and candi sugar presence, but not that much. It then comes through with lots of tangy sour fruits. Tasty though. A slight yeasty barnyard funk, but not much. The sour fruit is offset by a slight vanilla oaky taste. It sure is tasty if that is what it's supposed to be.

M: Lighter body with tons of carbonation, which is strange that it didn't have any real sound when opening.

F: Dries off quite a bit. A light lingering tangy sour fruit, but that's mostly gone. A little sticky sugar feel, and slight bready malts. Mostly its just gone once you swallow. Finish is pretty short.

Well, I'll have to make sure that's what it is supposed to taste like, cause if it is I'm excited for it. This is a really tasty beer, not sure if I would call it a Belgian Strong Pale, but that could also be an older version, or this is a well done infection that I hope more are like. It's dated 2009 vintage in 12oz bottle.

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

A-a deep clear amber with a foamy head that quickly disappears and leaves some lacing on the glass

S-heavy malts, sweet, boozy

T-sweet, but not cloying, malty, and finishes with a very small hop bitterness to balance it out

M-moderate to high carbonation, medium body, has a smooth, creamy mouthfeel

D-an excellent American take on a Belgian ale, highly recommended

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

Hazy amber brown with a thick pillow of off white head. Generous amount of lace left behind.

Strong scents of peppery yeast, hay, (mint?), and sweet fruit; oranges, apricots, peaches.

Very light and creamy on the palate, finish is dry with hints of straw and a faint bitter tingle. Great balance with peppery yeast and sugary malt upfront followed by grassy hops. Bitterness builds late, and there is some faint alcohol on the breath.

Medium carbonated, mouth enveloping and tongue coating. Just an all around pleasant mouth feel. This is definitely a very drinkable and tasty brew.

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

Yeasty aroma with a slight bubble gum scent.

A refined, smallish head develops when poured, with a soft, cream-colored look that slowly dissolves to a thin blanket of silky foam with spotted lacing. Good carbonation activity from the bottle conditioned brew as the bubbles streak up from the bottom to replenish the light blanket of foam. The golden amber liquid is quite clear for a bottle-fermented Belgian style, with only a bit of haze - enough so that you can see newsprint through it, but not well enough to read it.

Mellow, caramel accents to the malt, with just a little hop bitterness on the tongue and a little residual bread flavor. The light bottle conditioning adds enough carbonation for a creamy, effervescent feeling in the mouth.

Not as good as a topnotch Belgian, but works as an everyday choice for kicking back with some sports on the telly.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip. This is the 2010 Matilda, bottled on 2/18/2010.

Appearance: rich, deep golden orange with a touch of haze and lots of apparent effervescence. The head is relatively thin, about half a finger of ivory foam. Not bad.

Smell: sweet malt with a slightly musty, yeasty character. There is a light fruity character as well, like pears in syrup, but overall it is very light and sweet. Good.

Taste: much more fruit character than the aroma. Still very sweet and syrupy; the fruit is orchardy like apples and pears. I like it, although it is almost too sweet.

Mouthfeel: consistency is a little thick, it coats the mouth nicely; a well-integrated carbonation yields a nice creaminess. I like it.

Drinkability: for me, this beer is more than the sum of its parts. It is working very well as a dessert beer for me today, and its combination of flavor and mouthfeel really do synergize to make a super enjoyable beer.

Photo of organicbrewer
3.51/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 bottle

A-slight haze and full bronze. low tight eggshell head.

S-soft crackers. French bread crust.

T-More crackers. Earthy. Apricot. Low hop bitterness. slight earthy hop flavor.

M-medium dry. medium-low carbonation, could use a bit more. A bit slick.

D-Nice beer. Light crackery malt and a low but nice hop flavor. Could use a bit more aroma, though maybe the low carbonation killed that. Was surprised to find this was a twist off bottle. maybe that had something to do with the lowish carbonation?

Photo of Zymurgo
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked this up at Brewer's Haven in Boise.

A - A good pour made it clear for the style without visible yeast particles although some are visible at the bottom of the bottle. A very attractive copper amber color. Little to no head was a bit of a let down.

S - Aroma comes off as a true Belgian pale. Clove, a little banana, some black currant.

T - Taste was excellent! Pleasant and smooth with a flavor profile matching the nose very well. I love the Belgian styles but usually can't drink too much as they come off a little sweet. This masterful brew balances the sweeter flavors together with the alcohol content to make a surprisingly good beer.

M - Even though the head was so low the carbonation level felt where it needed to be.

D - What makes this beer so good is the unconventional drinkability for the style, the is a very well crafted Belgian.

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

12 oz bottle from Belmont Station PDX, poured into Piraat Snifter, 4.11.10.

1/2 finger white head relatively fast dissipation, no lacing to speak of. Orange amber clear body, no visible carbonation. Nose is orange peel, coriander, a bit of spice and dry Belgian yeast. Taste is good for the style, orange peel, coriander, a bit of pepper and clove. Mouthfeel is medium, dry finish, noticeable carbonation. Drinkability, while the alcohol is noticeable, is pretty good. The tap version was a bit more carbonated, but this is a fine tasting beer. May be better in the 750 ml bottle, but this is certainly worth a try. One of the exemplar American versions of the style. Recommended.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a clear dark golden color with a small white head with some nice bubbles.

Taste is very warm and smooth, with lots of toasty and bready notes. It's very warming and smoth. Super creamy and rich almost like cake.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz picked up at the COOP... poured into MNFG.. lite 1" head dies back quickly.... very clear orange brew.

Aroma has some slight clove and background caramel... a bit of pear is drowned out by the lite bandaid.... overall, this nose is very light and only remotely on scope with the bigger boys.

Descent phenolic element.. some okay caramel with pear... lite on everything that makes this an okay Belgian (anything)... spicy I guess.. The pale malts round this together. "apricot jam" with some warmth....

expected body and carbonation... Just an Okay brew.. I've had Matilda bunches of times over the years, but these bottles recently seem to be like a punt position.


Photo of TheGordianKnot
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Hazy beer with yeast particles easily seen floating about. Dark orange (copper) color with almost no head present on pour.

S- very yeasty smell. Slight berry scent... Quite complex to distinguish the variety of the aromas produced by this brew

T- Very interesting flavor. Prominent malty sweetness with an immediate spicy hop flavor that subdues the malt. Well balanced

M- fills the mouth with some carbonation, but the best part is being able to distinctly distinguish the different flavors on the tongue.

D- Moderately easy to drink. I have been sipping slowly on this only because I have been trying to distinguish all the different flavors of each sip.

Overall, this is a quality brew. I would not be able to drink many of these in a row, but it is delicious and quite complex. The flavors balance nicely, and I as get closer to end of the beer, and this review, it keeps getting smoother and even MORE balanced! I will say that this beer ends better than it begins and I look forward to enjoying this another time...

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was surprised by this beer. Untill I read on here what it is suppose to be.

Pours a golden orange with a film as a head. No lacing. Not much to look at.

Aroma is not much. Smells like a boring blond or something.

Now taste is very good. It is very smooth and you wouldn't thing 7%ABV at all. Nice light Belgian yeast flavor and a slight hop bite. I was mostly surprised that this is suppose to be a Belgian pale because the ones I have tried from Belgium are much hoppier. In aroma and bitterness and flavor. This is a bit lacking but I think I butchered the score enough on the the above catagories to make an appropriate score.

Mouth feel is great. Nice carb.

Overall a tasty easy drinking beer for 7% and I will drink it again for sure but I just feel it could be better for the style they are claiming and the catagories above

Photo of zoolzoo
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage, DFH Snifter

I cant say enough about this beer. Im usually not even a fan of Belgian Pales, this was great.

So Ill take a whiff... yeast and spice is up front - yeast phenols, grass, coriander, subtle fruit. Im picking up some sweetness to this. It smells pretty good, but like something Ive had many times.

As far as taste, wow. Yeast and spice is first but thankfully not foremost. Its funky and spicy, its a little faded - it gently gives way to the rest of the flavors. Hint of sour, which is nice..

What develops is booze soaked candied apples, over ripe bananas - well balanced with malt and some subtle hop bitterness. Finish peppery but also almost candy sweet. This is so well rounded.

Mouthfeel was thick for the style, which I liked. Carbonation is prickly - carries the flavors well. Drinkability is good - This would go great with a meal as well.

This is another more than solid offering from Goose Island. I wish I didn't have to drive to MA to get this, Id pick it up often! Man, every GI beer Ive had so far has been great.

Thanks to Matilda, I will be open to this style once again. This is just one of those beers.


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

22oz into chouffe tulip.

A- Nice orange with mild auburn streaks. Minimal head but what's there is sticking around.. eggshell white and moderate lacing.

S- Mild fruit.. green apples. Yeast is big and bold, as expected.

T- Medicinal, bitter yeasty funk is in full force. The fruit sweetness of the nose comes up as a close second. Green apple, pear, green seedless grape and a faint berry note. Very tasty- Sweet and bitter, mild hops, and a great pale malt body.

M- Great, prickly carbonation, tasty flavors, nothing too out of place. No complaints here.

D- High, I'll buy more of these. Not too in-love with the price, but this is a very tasty beer that I will buy regardless. One of the better GI beers I've had.

Photo of Phelps
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a perfect pint glass as part of a tasting had recently with a friend.

Matilda waltzes out of her bottle a perfectly clear light topaz. Notes of orange and gold dance around the edges of the glass, while lovely bubbles surge from the bottom and sides. A frothy white head dissipates to a thin sheen.

Straightforward and highly enjoyable flavors in the aroma: apples, pears, bananas, caramelized sugar, sweet fruit juice, wheat. It's almost like a hefeweizen if it was brewed with belgian yeast.

The taste follows the aroma almost perfectly. Sweet canned pears and bananas, with a light bitterness at the crisp, dry finish.

High carb, medium/light body.

A surprise favorite at the tasting, Matilda's a fine example of a Belgian pale. She's a real lady: sweet, delicate, and a perfect way to end the night.

Photo of SShelly
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally seeing some goose island in the stores.

murky medium golden golor with almost no head, no lacing and no retention.

aroma is phenolic and yeasty, some light fruit notes as well.

Light biscuity tones with some fruit and a little bit of phenol edge, some yeasty flavors at the end of the sip, very well balanced, leaves light sweetness in the mouth that lingers for a couple of moments.

medium body, could be a little light with a little more carb, but very drinkable overall. Pretty accesable easy beer.

Photo of jwc215
3.47/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BuckeyeNation for this 12 oz. bottle!

Bottled on 09/18/09 - claims to age for up to five years. Poured into glass chalice:

Pours bright orange with a thin wispy head that becomes a small floating bubbly island. Some thin lacing sticks.

The smell is of bubblegum/cotton candy - some caramelish graininess. Some orange comes through as it progresses. A hint of floral hops comes through.

The taste is sweet and slightly boozy. Sweet bubblegum/cotton candy is balanced by orange peel and a peppery spiciness and floral touch in the finish.

Carbonation is present, and works well enough, though a bit swishy. Not quite effervescent.

Not overly sweet, it has some balance in the finish. Not a bad interpretation of the style.

Photo of popery
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, home. 2010. Fantastic beer. I'm a huge fan of Goose Island's Belgian style ales. The fruity yeast flavors are wonderful. It gets a bit phenolic and the hops are a tad sharp and grassy right now, but it all sorta works, though I can imagine enjoying an aged bottle. The mouthfeel is wonderfully creamy, particularly for the style. My pour had very little head and a liquid the color of honey. The flavors are a mix of fruits, apricots, pears and tart pineapple, clean grain, and light funk. Very easy beer to drink but also complex. One of the better American-made Belgian style ales that I've had.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage, this bad boy is nearly 4 years old. 12 oz bottle pours a hazy, dark gold color with a creamy cap of eggshell colored foam. Still is pretty well carbonated and displays average retention and lacing.

Nose is filled with brettomyces and sour, mouth-watering lime peel aromas. Maybe a touch of honey and Ritz crackers, but the wild yeasts have really taken charge in the smell department.

Really has a nice balance of sweet malt and brett-induced leathery barnyard flavors right now. This is the fist pale I have successfully aged more than a year or two. There is even still a nice bit of floral hops in the finish. Not really all that sour, so I am assuming there is no lacto in here. Reminds me of Avery Fifteen, but less brett and a bit more complex and ageable. The ever-so-slight sweetness really contributes alot to the brew. Extremely enjoyable wild ale and I will be looking for some more next time I am in Goose Island territory.

Photo of emsroth
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle. 2009 Vintage, bottle on june 10th

App: Amber with a slight haze, Fluffy, off-white cap.

Smell: Very fruity-lemons; sour apples; young, unripe peaches. Occasional aroma of alcohol.

Taste: The Sour profile is dominant. Flavors of lemons quickly turn dry to a toasty finish with plenty of herbal hop presence. A slight bit of tobacco flavor is present, which I noticed also in Pere Jacques. Perhaps it's the hops Goose Island uses. 3.5 for that.

Firm mouthfeel with plenty of natural carbonation.

An enjoyable brew, but not something to have more than once a year.

Thanks to this beer I'm now getting a sense of brettanomyces and the flavor they produce. It's nice, but it's not for me. I'm going with Sofie next.

Photo of vacax
3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice orange-gold color with a decent sized head, bit of lace, carbonation looks high. Aroma has strong esters and flora, Belgian yeast phenols and grassy hops. Flavor is has esters, cloves, ham and a fair amount of hoppiness pops up toward the end. Medium bodied with light-medium carbonation. This is a decent brew, not really too interested though. Way too expensive also.

Photo of ocelot2500
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear peach orange color with a small white head that leaves enough lacing on the glass.

Smells of spice and light fruit.

Tastes of the fruits with a spice to it. Fruits are characterized by apples and pears. Spices have a clove note with some coriander. Some phenolic flavors come through with a bit of banana.

Mouthfeel is medium with a crisp amount of carbonation.

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

Pours a luminous golden color that reminds me of Macallan Single Malt. Nose has a whiff of brett, but overall I'm drawn to the candied qualities, almost something like a rich liquer-drenched dried fruit at the holidays. On the palate the dried fruit comes through again, with candy sugar sweetness, and some pleasant black tea flavors. Finish is warm, sweet, and again with more tea.

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