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Matilda - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

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4,165 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,165
Reviews: 1,183
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 12.13%
Wants: 202
Gots: 718 | 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 (208) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,165 | Reviews: 1,183 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got from xmarcnolanx...thanks again man! Bottled September of 2009. Pours a pale and slightly clear amber color. Fills the glass somewhat of a tangerine looking copper. A very small last minute head forms but fades extremely fast and dissapears completely. No lacing to speak of.

Aroma is very decent. Not a strong Brett characteristic yet. Aroma is Belgian yeast, toasted malts, mild and distant funk...but overpowered by an earthy, hay, and glass like notes.

This is very refreshing. The live yeast hasn't really taken over this beer as of yet, but you can slightly take notice of it's presence. Resembles a solid Belgian style beer. Toasted malts, Belgian yeasts, wood, earthy, slight fruit. Light and crisp mouthfeel...while pulling off a slightly medium body with compilation of flavors. Carbonation is on the middle end, and overall...a great drinker!

Photo of Arbitrator
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled 12oz bottle into a glass. 2009 vintage. A generous extra from AgentZero. Thanks, Mike!

A: An amateur pour captured the yeast slug in this beer, producing a cloudy amber body that glows slightly reddish against the light. The head is surprisingly flaccid for a beer that contains brett; it's half a finger at best, with short retention, no lacing, and a very thin collar.

S: It has a strong grainy note with touches of spicy bread to it. I pick up a substantial tart fruit note (reminds me of cherries) that I didn't get from the 2010 version on tap. Interesting how this changes in a year.

T: A grainy, spicy bread flavor dominates the flavor. Lemon peel, yeast, and what might be candi sugar -- but it's tough to pick out, because it starts blending into a tart cherry flavor. While part of it is expectation bias, I pick up brett only faintly in the finish: there's an earthy horseblanket taste that pops up just before the taste ends. The brett doesn't seem to have taken hold yet. The beer is already pretty dry, so maybe that's the issue: nothing to work with?

M: Semi-dry finish. Low carbonation that works better for the beer than the high carbonation on tap. Good flavor, medium-bodied.

D: More complex and impressive than the younger tap version.

Photo of divineaudio
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bomber into a weizen glass. bottled on may 1st, 2009.

pours a deep, rich, amber color and gives me a finger of thick, off white head that hangs around for a while. lots of nice leggy lacing left in this glass.

smells is slightly sour and yeasty with hints of banana, pear, and grape.

tastes and feels like freshly baked bread with a fair amount of spiciness. toasted malts seem to prevail, but are followed with a nice bitterness and a dry finish. a finer co2 profile gives the flavors some oomph, lightens things up and smooths them out. alcohol content is well integrated, lending a subtle warmth to the beer.

delicious and very drinkable, but i wouldn't have more than 1 or 2 of these in a night. at just over a year old, this is a damn fine beer. much more enjoyable than some other well known examples of the style.

Photo of jdklks
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark orange with an orangish-tan head that dissipates quickly. The smell is of belgian yeast, some hops, and citrus fruit, especially orange. Not as pungent as I would like it to be.

The flavor is very sweet and not at all what I was expecting. Sweet and citrus fruitiness throughout, coupled with some breadiness and the slightest hint of bitterness. A very subtle beer, not hugely flavorful, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Nicely carbonated with a medium body. The drinkability is pretty damn good on a hot day right after work.

Photo of pastradul
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into my allagash tulip.

Poured some what trough, produced very little head. Was hoping for a bot more but the aroma made up for it. Lots of yeasty light fruit goodness coming through as I pour.

The taste is very subtle with a lot going on. Upfront I taste the yeast then it transfers into a mixture of light fruit and dark fruit. I get a little bit of pear then a bit of figs or prune. Finishes with a nice dry mildy bitter finish.

Excellent in my opinion. I think I will have to get several four packs to have around and to age a bit!

Photo of portia99
3.71/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (2008) poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pours a deep amber color, hazy and translucent in the light. A huge 3 full fingers of thick, whipped creamy off white head forms on top. The foam lingers seemingly forever too. When it finally begins to recede some very nice lacing is left behind on the glass.

S - A nice malty sweetness with a touch of clovey spiciness mixed in. Light caramel and a hint of barnyardy funk. No real hop character in the aroma.

T - A bit of funk, a mix of spicy and fruity flavors, some malty and sugary sweetness. The funk is a bit atypical and hard to describe, but seems almost an extension of the malt. Interesting.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Funky, sweet malt fills the entire mouth. Carbonation is creamy and a touch foamy.

D - A very good beer. Lots of interesting flavors. Not particularly easy drinking though. Feels a bit heavy going down and the balance towards the malt makes it difficult to swig this one freely. I do think I will be getting more of this now that GI is in Massachusetts.

Photo of bradleyp
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought at the Bier Stein in Eugene, OR. Drinking while watching the Blackhawks in the SCF. Pours a light brownish color, almost looks like Iced tea. Smells very malty, and the flavor remains the same throughout. I don't think I'd want to drink more than one or 2 being that it's 7% abv. This is the first Goose Island beer I've had since I left the Chicago area, so i'm pretty satisfied. I would prefer an oatmeal stout, but you can't get that out here.

Photo of ryno09
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark golden color with an egg shell white head. Head fades dues the 7% ABV. Smell has a nice yeasty/malty smell with a bit of alcohol present. The beer is nicely carbonated with a mild malty flavor with a hint of spice. A well balanced beer that doesn't get too sour or too sweet. Refreshing enough for a hot day but could do equally well on a colder day.

Photo of emagana
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

purchased this bottle at bevmo in santa clarita as it comes in a four pack. gave away 2 bottles to great friends and poped open this one for myself. Pours a cludy orange with a short lived head. the lacing from the head is sucked back down gracefully. aromas start off with bannana and clove. small hint of alcohol but the yeasty bread nose are lingering. Starts off quite alcoholic but follows with a classic lingering of clove. this beer i could say is way to young to enjoy now. i would like to see this one 3 years from now. must save the other bottle.

Photo of Murchmac
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a darker golden amber with a white head that shrinks back down into the glass.

A little macro smell to it but sweet, light candied malts.

Astringent tastess, some off tastes with sharp hops, sweet, fruity characters as it warms.

Not smooth, not bad, not great.

Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a dark reddish amber color with two inches of off white head and moderate carbonation.

s - Smells of Belgian yeast, some spices, citrus fruits, and bready malts.

t - Tastes of yeast, spices, and fruits. Fruit is more prominent in the taste than the smell. Some smooth bready malts as well.

m - Medium to full body and moderate to high carbonation.

d - A pretty good Belgian style ale. I liked that the fruit came out more in the taste than the smell. Very easy to drink as well. I would have this again.

Photo of digitalbullet
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep burnt orange. Nice Head with fair retention. No lacing apparent on the glass.
Smell: Lots of malt, Sweet citrus and some candi sugar. Little to much alcohol in the nose for my tastes, especially for "only" a 7% brew. Smells like a 10% kind of brew
Taste: Again very malty. Orange rind and a strong yeasty character. Slight alcohol burn. this is quite a tasty brew.
Mouthfeel: Very crisp. Good carbonation. No complaints here.
Drinkability: Damn good IMO. Very similar to a tripple. Will defiantly try again.

Photo of ruckus232
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 Ounce brown bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Cloudy orange/amber with a foamy slightly off-white

Smell: Slight malty bready smell but more then that there is a nice hoppy smell. One doesn't overpower the other it is a really nice balance.

Taste: Much like the smell it is really well balanced with no one flavor overpowering the others. There is a slight banana bread taste at first that has a nice bitterness to keep the sweetness at a good level...really good.

Photo of czechsaaz
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lightly spicy aroma with some citrus and candi sugar. Overall, the smell makes me think of orange slices candies. I really like orange slices. Not much in the way of yeast or hops.

Nice amber colored and very clear. Arrived with a nice thick half inch layer of white foam that ends up a thin wispy cover that remains to the end of the glass and leaves lots of lacing. Two little colums of rising bubbles also kept percolating through the last sip.

Rich malty flavor with hints of hops, just enough to notice the bitter but not enough to taste. Fermentation effects are slightl spicy. To my tastes, a little too sugar-sweet instead of pure malt flavors and kind of one dimensional. Good, but not great or exceptional.

Full bodied with a creamy low-carbonation feel. Just slightly warming from alcohol.

A really nice American Belgian. I don't want to sound harsh 'cause I do like it a lot, I just don't love it.

Photo of udubdawg
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

aroma demands to be noted first with this beer. As usual I get a touch of vanilla when I open the bottle, but I quickly lose it in the cavalcade of aromatics assaulting my senses after I pour into the tulip. Wow. There's the hops - herbal, pretty sharp. Hey, and the suggestion of tartness from the wild yeast. Now fruits, and no shortage thereof. Spice! A bit of clove and quite a bit of what I sorta call cinnamon. As I really inhale deeply I am hit with huge phenolics of the band-aid type. That particular aroma is a bit strong, even jarring to the senses, and not as much to my liking, but it's a tiny quibble with an otherwise astounding aroma. I expect as the brett works we'll see more barnyard develop over the years.

It pours quite orange, hazed a bit by the small amount of sediment I allowed to escape the bottle. the head is big and frothy, but not nearly as much as previous years. I thought the '05 was a truly brilliant beer but it became awfully overcarbed over the years, to the point that it was nearly impossible to pour and would even foam upon opening. No real lace but a ring sticks around to the end.

This is not a beer I want to take to a tasting...not a beer I want to drink 3 of while watching a game...this is a beer for when I only want one beer - it is to be savored. There is so much here I'm embarrassed to try to do it justice. Fruits are all over the place. Bitterness is pretty high at this age. There's a sort of honey character. Finish is pretty dry, definite hop bitterness sticking around. I'm not really sure why, but the combination of fruit, sweet, tart, spice has me thinking of St Bernardus Wit, another fave...obviously this adds wild yeast character too. But I digress...
I could review this beer 10 times over the next decade and not scratch the surface of all the things that it is as it ages.

Medium body - if it were lighter it'd be impossible to sip! Carbonation isn't that high but I expect it'll be pretty spritzy in a couple years!

I'd have a hard time picking my favorite age for this beer, which is very unusual - usually one age sticks out as The Peak for me.

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

12 oz bottle into Stemmed Cantillon glass. Bottled on 9/8/09, batch 1940.

A: Hazy orange / amber. Dense head, fades to a small pool in the middle of the glass.

S: Spicy phenols and tart fruit. Nice subtle earthy notes tie it all together. Very well crafted.

T: A bit subdued, but still elegant. The spice is much lighter than in the aroma, allowing citrus to shine through. Bready malts on the back end leave a slight sweetness in the aftertaste. A nice subtle take on a monster style.

M: Well carbonated; on the high end on medium bodied. The moth carries the flavor well.

D: My first Goose Island beer, and I find it very elegant. Nothing is overstated - it all just works.

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

very nice take on the style and modeled after one of the greatest beers of all time, so tough competition here. orangey amberish with a white head that leaves some lace as it should. nose is grain, caramel, horse barn, peppery spice and a faint, but very pleasant, pineapple/citrus effect from hopping that is boosted very well by the sweetness of the malt. in the taste, pepper and barn hit me first, followed by the sweet and fruity (and old school bubble gummy?) and wrapped up with the wild, peppery barn again but with a mellow warming sensation as it goes down. i also get some preserved lemon in the back end. medium body with a slick creaminess to it. i'll take a properly handled orval over this one any day, but overall, i think this is a great tribute beer that is very well executed. good job goose!

Photo of ausonius
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From 12 oz. bottle.

Appearance - Starts w/2" head. Settles down within 4-5 min. to just cover the brew w/some nice medium lacing.
Bright golden color w/some light fluffy sediment - added the yeast dregs in initial pour.

Aroma - Beautiful, fresh, creamy, spicy with a little bit of Brett & Funk, yet quite a bit of fresh grain. Just a hint of hops.

Palate - Grainy & creamy, but very fresh & bright. The creaminess not at all heavy. Noticeable Belgian yeast feel, but with an American freshness. Full & round, with some richness, but with a deft touch. Fairly complex. Some hop bitterness in finish. Nice.

Mouthfeel - Great balance. Lots of flavor, but not heavy.

Drinkability - Pretty near exceptional. Full with fairly long flavor. Nothing sticks out - no negatives at all.

94+/100 Points.

Really exceptional brew. First time from 12 oz. Have Loved the Bombers, too.
Cheers to Goose Island! Do these guys ever mess up? I'm thinking - NO!

Photo of Prostman81
2.18/5  rDev -46%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer seemed to be trying too hard to be something. I like plenty of GIs other offerings, but this one just was a swing and a miss for me.

Poured a decent head, but just couldn't decipher any aroma. None of the usual malt/hop/yeast notes, except for maybe a tartness or sour note.

Taste is where this one falls flat for me. Too much Brett character...I just can't seem to get past it's flavor to appreciate any of the other things that would normally be associated with this style. The mouthfeel just is too thin...bordering on watery. Combined with the funk of the brett and it made for an unhappy camper. Managed to get thru the bottle but that's it, no more for me.

And I don't believe aging this one (as told by GI) will help it any either. Pass.

Photo of Xul
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange with golden hues, capped by a half finger head with moderate retention. A layer of lacing remains once the head dissipates.

S: Light fruits up front - green apple, green grapes, apricots, some lemon zest - over a belgian malt base with a lot of sweet notes. Some light funk lurks in the background.

T: Mostly follows the nose with a sweet malty base - wheat, caramel and belgian candy sugar - topped by light fruits. The funk is a bit stronger than the aroma, but still takes a definite backseat.

M: Medium body with just above moderate carbonation.

D: Goes down easy and is very refreshing, wouldn't mind having a few of these.

Photo of andyfrancis
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark yellow with lots of bubbles and some yeast in suspension.

Sweet and spicy notes.

Complex is too simple a word. Wood, bread, spice, plum, and pale malt.

Good in small doses. Seems more potent than 7%. I'll probably sit on the rest of these a while and see what develops.

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

Reviewed from notes.

A- Golden copper/light orange hue. Off-white head has decent retention and leaves a ring behind. Light lace is left in spots on the glass.

S- Belgian yeast and spice up front. Lemon peel is pretty big. Like many other Belgian Strong Pales with some barnyard and citrus in it. Good strength never makes me strain to get the aroma.

T- Sour lemon peel in good quantities. Belgian yeast and spice blend with it well. Once again, like many other Belgian Pales but a bit more sour/lemony with some barnyard/Brett influence to it. Grassy hops finish off the flavor with a low level of bitterness.

MF- Body is light and refreshing. Carbonation is on the low-moderate level. A coat of sour Belgian yeast and spice notes is left on a slightly warm palate.

DB- Good price for a Brettanomyces influenced beer, which made a nice addition to a fairly standard Belgian Strong Pale flavor. Refreshing and enjoyable.

Photo of ABOWMan
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What's not to like about this wonderful Belgian style ale from Goose Island.

A: Poured a beautiful light orange color with just a bit of cloudiness which gave the ale a "glow" that made me want to dive in a drown myself in this beautiful nectar. The pour produced a finger of fine bubbled tan colored head that lasted like a glacier during the ice age. Lacing was evident on the walls of my glass sip after sip.

S: The first thing that hit me was the Belgian yeast aroma, that fruity alcohol note that is unmistakably Belgian. After the yeast, I smelled cereal grain and spice.

T: No big surprise here, tart yeast note, fruit, a hint of clove and alcohol are the dominant flavors for me. Beautifully balanced and marvelously complex. Simply delicious from beginning to end.

M: Rich, and almost creamy on the tongue. Nothing light or insignificant about this ale.

D: Yes sir ... may I have another. Again and again. There's nothing about this ale that you are likely to get tired of. Bring em on! A near perfect Belgian ale ... from Chicago.

Photo of Chico1985
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dan (atremains) for breaking this out. Bomber split 3 ways.

Pours hazy orange, lots of sediment visible. 1-finger white head retains nicely as a cap, leaves a bit of lacing.

I dig the smell very much. Lots of sour funkiness, nice. Mixes well with peach, lemon scents.

The brett has done well. A good amount of sourness, signature Belgian yeast, spice, coriander, tropical fruit notes.

No problems with the mouthfeel or drinkability. Carbonation was good, no alcohol taste, easy to drink. I'm usually not a big fan of this style but the brett went long ways here. I'd get it again.

Photo of Jmoore50
3.86/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Delicious. Goose Island is now being carried at my local beer store, really excited for that.

The appearance is a beautiful golden copper color with the fluffiest head. Its like a nice cloud landed softly on the top of my glass, leaves the thickest lacing all over the glass, awesome. This is an almost perfect looking beer, the clarity, the color, the head, everything is great looking.

The smell is of lightly spiced Belgian yeasts, clove, wheat grass, freshly baked bread.

The taste is good, and enjoyable for this hot summer day. Great mellow spicy Belgian bread-y yeast character in this one. The yeast strain tastes really similar, something like a White labs or Wyeast yeast. Nothing spectacular, but an easy drinking enjoyable representation of the style.

The mouthfeel is a bit undercarbonated, but enjoyable none the less. This thing is going down pretty easy, and at this ABV, its a little dangerous. Delicious brew from a great brewery.

Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
90 out of 100 based on 4,165 ratings.