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Matilda - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,022 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,022
Reviews: 1,157
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 12.13%
Wants: 192
Gots: 607 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,022 | Reviews: 1,157 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wagenvolks
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Three Philosophers chalice, dated 07/07/08. Thanks to riccymon for the extra in our local trade!

Pours with an almost-glowing, rosy tangerine body, hazy with peach highlights. Not much head, although to be fair I was gentle on the pour. A wispy wad of spittle custard-colored bubbles sits up top, while a few trails of carbonation creep upwards along the sides. Aromatically, this beer is heavy on the Belgian spices and yeast esters--which I like. Pungent, floral hops have hardly faded in the year-plus since Matilda's bottling, and bite at the nostrils alongside hints of boozy fruit. Nutty, doughy malts and starch provide a solid backdrop.

Chewy body, with fruity notes of sweet apple cider and pear syrup giving way to a crisp, snappy twang from European hop varieties. Malts are downplayed a bit, but that's okay by me--there's definitely enough going on to keep my interest. Carbonation is lively and tight, spritzing up the back and sides of the palate, and allowing the hops to take hold for a bitter, tasty finish. Overall, another winner from Goose Island. Very drinkable at 7%, and surprisingly (well, maybe not) Matilda has held up well after almost a year and a half.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2008 bottle

Translucent, glowing orange with a thin white head. No retention leaves the beer looking sad and grumpy like a rainy day.

Smells wonderfully of sugary fruit but with a fresh milled grain cereal quality. Mild floral hop and smooth phenolic spice. Heavy like malted citrus candy. Thick and malty taste like a Belgian inspired barleywine. Has a pharmaceutical feel to it which I'm not a fan of. Plum booze flavor with a swallow.

I'd like a fresh bottle of this but you get what you get in MA.

Photo of TLove
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent offering from Goose Island. This is the second Goose Island I've had and both (the first was the Bourbon County Stout) have been really really good.

22 oz bomber poured into a Palm snifter.

Caramel malt with some pale fruity components and dried cedar wood, red pear, and a powerful grain play in the balance with the yeast. The balance between the malt and the yeast is really exceptional and gives a new perspective on the heavy use of funky yeasts and complementary flavors. Carbonation is moderate.

The single complaint I would put forth is that the yeast component isn't quite mature enough to fit the bill as a BSPA. However, the malt component of this beer holds a 7% ABV that tastes more like 10 and the brett really cuts through the yeast on its own. This is a wonderful beer, but it does lack the funky yeast component for its style, which is not really a bad thing here at all.

Photo of bamadog
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Review is from notes taken on 12/2/09. Poured from the bottle (2009) to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a peacy/coppery color; pour starts with a short one finger white head that fades immediately to just a very thin web-like whisp on the surface; body shows slight haze and mild carbonation; oily residue and slippery lacing slide back into the drink. I typically expect much more of a head and retention from Belgian styles...

Smell: Some sweet and acidic green fruits (apple/pear); and a sweet caramel and honey-like maltiness; not especially potent, but nice and subtle and it really starts to grown on me as the drink warms.

Taste: Extremely mild; slight acidic green fruits as mentioned in the nose; a very slight metallic and hoppy bitterness afterwards; slight breath of alcohol; caramel maltiness starts to sneak in as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation; body doesn't really have much substance to it; finsih is rather moist - no stick or drying affect to the palate; belly is left a little warm.

Drinkability: It's not bad; the smell grew on me as it warmed, even though it was a bit mild; I typically prefer a much more robust set of flavors and smells from Belgian styles; overall I thought the mouthfeel was dull...

Photo of MPLS
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After seeing this seeing this beer time and time again in 4-packs last year I found myself eyeballing the minimalist and IMO more attractive 2009 label. 12 oz. bottled on 04/22/09.

A: I poured Matilda into my delightfully clean and readily available Duvel glass sitting about the min-fridge. The body is a semi-opaque muted orange that when held to light looks like a tea candle lighting up on the body with eminent bright orange/yellow glow. The head is bubbled and condensed and maybe impart to the Duvel glass a nice froth is stirring around on top. Lacing hugs the glass like a teddy bear.

S: Sweet pears, peppery cider, nutmeg, portion of cinnamon, and juicy fruit gum. Seriously, sounds extremely strange, but it's a gum that I used to chew a lot when I was younger so maybe the memory association is strong.

T: Less of the sweet in the taste, dominated by a funky grass-like profile that a peppery bitterness with spices. The yeast is what would make me be able to identify this beer in a blind taste test. The hops are subdued in this and I would have liked a bit more fruitiness to it.

M: Medium bodied with a element of carbonation, the carbonation is however not as lively as other similar Belgian beers.

D: A good attempt from Goose Island to play with the Belgians with this Belgian-style beer. A great looking beer with an interesting profile, but as said before I would have liked a little more fruitiness and a little bit of acidity to make this beer more enjoyable.

Photo of alysmith4
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Delicious! What an unecpected surprise from Goose Island. I mean, they are great at producing Pale Ales and such, but I didn't expect such a fine Belgian knock-off from an American brewer. Taste was sweet and fresh and well balanced, with hints of orange, clove, and honey syrup. I had a few of these, and they tasted better as the beer warmed. I'm not sure I'd pay 13.99 for a 4-pack (what the corner liquor store is charging), but I'd definitely have this beer again.

Photo of kegger22
3.35/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Poured a deep amber with a respectable head that stayed quite a while. The aroma was fruity and mildewy. The taste was pears and bitter, but a sour taste overriding all else. The feel was medium bodied with good carbonation. Drinkability was fair, although I would not want another one. As Matilda warmed up, the bitterness went away, the carbonation faded, sweetness increased, but the sour taste remained.

Who'll come a waltzing Matilda? Not me. I did not care much for Matilda, the swagman can have it.

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

a: snifter serving, matilda is a deep, hazed orange-amber in color with a fizzy head that quickly retreats to only a thin ring

s: upfront are pale and caramel malts fermented by a belgian yeast that gives some fruity esters and a nice tinge of wild farmhouse funk, malt/fruit density heavier for the style than average, dried apricot and pear, even a little oakey, delicately hopped, light herbs and spice, smells really nice

m: lightly bubbly on the tongue - unfortunately in more of a flat soda kinda way than tiny, delicate bubbles, body on the full end of medium

t: fruity caramel and pale malt body with pear and apricot, a mild bacterial flavor runs throughout, full bodied and certainly on the sugary side but still under control - as the hops quickly clean things up to leave flavors of grain, farmhouse, and herbs lingering

d: just fine, a nice beer if a bit clumsy at times

pretty sure I grabbed this single from Riley's in MSN during the last Great Taste visit

Photo of akorsak
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to JAYW for this 12 oz bottle with 2007 on the neck label.

A: The ale poured with a huge, bubbly white head, over three fingers (none of which laced) that disappeared in the snap of a finger. The ale has a golden hue, bright and shiny sitting in my glass.

S: The nose has a bit of orval, funky and loose, with a fair amount of sweet fruits, also coming from the yeast.

T: The yeast strain (or strains) really drive the ale. Sweet fruits, dark and rich, come out of the front of the sip. There isn't much in the way of funkiness though, at least as compared to the nose. Plenty of caramel malts come through, balancing out the sweetness. A bit of a butterscotch flavor lingers near the end, perhaps aiding the extraordinary head and signifying that the beer hasn't aged well. I was hoping for a little more in the way of funk but just isn't there. A decent one that I liked better on tap.

M: The mouthfeel is sweet, fruity but devoid of the Orval-like crispness. I still wouldn't turn one down.

D: The ale feels heavier than 7%. I don't like how its held up over the past two years.

Photo of Strix
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottle.

Poured a fairly clear orange, decent head, some lacing.

Fruity aroma, slightly floral, smells like it's going to be good.

Notes of apple, soap, wood, bourbon, yeast, butter, and some spicy hops. Although there's lots going on in the taste, I'm not sure it all blends well for me.

Mouthfeel slightly thin.

This was a decent effort, but it didn't really connect for me. I'd have another, but I won't seek it out again.

Photo of pmccallum86
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep rust color with a slight haze.

The smell is of fruit with some zesty spices also in the nose. There is a mysterious sweet scent I can't put my finger on, maybe honey.

Taste is fruity, zesty and tart. Not too funky but you can definitely notice the brett. The taste has too much going on for me to clearly decipher, very good though.

Smooth, creamy and bubbly mouthfeel. Very pleasant to drink.

This is quite a drinkable beer, at 7% ABV it isn't overwhelming. I am definitely satisfied with one bomber though.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2009 batch version poured into a tulip.

A- The head is on the small side and the retention is too. Theres lots of effervescence bubbling up through a cloudy, bright orange beer.

S- Funkiness that is common in lots of these belgians. There is some floral notes from a light hopping. Some slight fruity/citrus notes, like orange and grapefruit rind.

T- Sweet, citrusy, slightly hoppy, funky.

Photo of Citadel82
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 - Poured into a New Belgium - for want of a more accurate description - footed burgundy - agggghh there I said it a Wine term - okay I feel better now.

Wow! I am not a fan of trippels but this was tasty and less funky than some that I have tried. Smooth and slightly tart. No Belgian style funk ala Duvel but tasty and briskly refreshing. Helped wash the taste of helping my son with his CBA homework out of my mouth.

Okay - by the numbers Gorgeous, pale, clear yellow gold color, like new straw, wih a blindingly white, crisp and tightly knit white head.

Smell was fresh and clean, no hint of alcohol, some malt minimal floral hoppiness.

Taste was smooth and unpretentious. Some doughy malt some fruity yeast and some muted but balanced hopping.

Mouthfeel was not overly thick nor watery, nicely done, almost pilsner-like.

Drinkability, can I glom something from my kids texting? OMFG this is a smooth drinkable trippel that you could drink far into excess before you knew what hit you. I will buy mor, I will drink, Iwill obey...

Photo of ChopperSmith
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Matilda poured from 12 oz. bottle into standard pint glass.

Appearance: Cloudy dark orange with a nice foamy head that retained well and left nice sticky lacing as it faded.

Smell: Floral hops, sweet Belgian yeast with a nice funky spice and phenols for citrus like scents.

Taste: A perfect mix of floral hops and Belgian yeast sweetness and interesting phenolic profile with citrus and spice flavors. A very unique tasting beer and a great American interpretation of a BSPA.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and well carbonated. Finished clean and crisp despite the sweetness.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. I will seek this one out the next time I'm at the store and stock up. Has a flavor profile and style that may benefit from storing and aging for a couple of years.

Photo of bruachan
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

hazy orange with a good-looking head above. some sign of wee bubblage

strong aroma of continental hops and coriander. mostly coriander, really, but with a bright and sweet background. really, the freshest coriander aromas i have ever experienced in a brew. besisdes, there is a nice malt depth

ooh...malty...and fruity...and spicy...ooh. quite spicy and with a delectable plummy finish. bitter. coriander (just in case)

freakin deliious. this is the best brew i've tasted in awhile...super classy

Photo of PerroGrande
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours to a clear, golden color with moderate foam that fades quickly. Some minor lacing is left on the glass.

Aroma: Some fruit overtones are clearly present along with a hint of alcohol.

Taste: Follows the aroma. Bitterness struggles with sweetness, and some mild alcohol overtones are present in the taste. Aftertaste is slightly bitter, with some malts blending in as well.

Mouthfeel: Good, but has a mild alcohol bite.

Drinkability: Decent. Perhaps I'm having an off night, but I'm not craving another right now.

My bottle originated on 7/20/09. I'd like to try letting one age a year or two and see how this beer develops.

Photo of Goldfish19
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

~ Purchased this 12 oz bottle from New Beer Distributors in Manhattan, NY. Bottled in 2009, this Goose Island Belgian-Style Ale pours dark gold in color with a decent head that dissipates quickly. The smell is of sweet fruits, yeasts, and some spices. Taste is the same.

Clean, refreshing, well-balanced, highly drinkable - this beer's got it all.

Wonderful! ~

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

Sparkling clear, light amber with 2.5 inch off-white head with medium size bubbles and moderate lacing. The initial nose suggests a restrained Belgian ale with hints of clove and orange peel. The yeast sediment clings to the bottom of the bottle. I will swirl the next pour to capture some of the yeast if possible. The body is medium light with a very pleasant lingering. Vigorous swirling produced a very modest haze but increased the head and added some yeast notes. How much yeast are in these bottles? The Belgian ale characteristics are still restrained. The labels suggest that the ale will develop in the bottle for up to five years. Perhaps I am sipping this too soon? It was bottled in March of this year.

Photo of plinythethirsty
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a "Blue Moon" style beer, but far superior. Nice head (especially on a second pour) and an inviting, mild, fruit and citrus scent. Not much hops in the taste, but even a hop-savorer can appreciate the malt-sustained clove-cardamon-apricot flavor. The sweet, pleasant aftertaste fades nicely and keeps you thirsting for more. Good job Goose Island.

Photo of jera1350
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 11/08.

Glowing orange color with fluffy dirty white head that leaves some lace.

Huge fruity scent. Mostly apricot, some marmalade, some yeast. Maybe a hint of citrus.

This is so nice. Just a pleasure on the tongue. It's light and subtle in the flavors, but it's so inviting and satisfying at the same time. Taste is much like the nose, but in a lighter version. Hard to describe the flavor more than what the nose holds.

Great soft velvety feel. Medium bodied and just pleasuring to the tongue and mouth.

This goes down so easy. It's an all around delight to drink. A great experience. I love the fact that it is only 7% ABV. As fast as this goes down, the ABV allows me to have more than just one or two.

I actually had a BMC drinking friend try this on tap and he loved it. It's opened his eyes to the world of craft beer.

Photo of drumrboy22
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage. Poured from 750mL bottle into a Duvel chalice. Beer was a light amber color, with a one-finger white head. Moderate carbonation and lacing around the glass.

Aroma was pear, apple, citrus and moderate brett. Reminds me of Orval.

Taste was light pear and apple, biscuit and honey.

Very well balanced and drinkable. Mellow, but tasty beer.

Photo of gabrielsyme
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in my Bell's tulip. Pours honey-golden, opaque, glowing, with plenty of carbonation and head/lacing. Smells, banana, cinnamon, maybe some citrus. Taste is less fruity, more rich, malty sweetness. Surprisingly full-bodied. Highly drinkable even at 7%.

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

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay chalice, Matilda (2009) is a perfectly clear amber-orange color with a thin, slightly active head. The nose is fruity with pears and white grapes; there is also a strong clovey spice presence. The taste is a nice malty complexity of the aforementioned flavors, bittered to balance but no real hop presence. The alcohol is pretty well covered by the spiciness and Muscat grapiness. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a thin yet chewy carbonation, the finish is slightly dry. Overall a very drinkable beer, the alcohol is well covered and although there is a slight sweetness to the beer, it is well balanced enough that it does not interfere with the drinkability. Definitely worth trying.

Photo of Amalak
3.18/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The bottle has a great story on it about a countess.
A- Opaque gold color to it with good head and lacing.
S- Pungent, fruity smell to it.
T- Would be a good orange peel. This is just to citrusy for my likes. Malt mixed in which just give me a more confused taste.

Photo of PartyBear
2.95/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a chilled 355ml bottle into a snifter. Had a bit of a nightmare with it, took about ten minutes to pry the top off without it exploding. To say it's lively is a gross understatement.

Appearance: Orangey amber colour, with a big super foamy head. Carbonic to the point of the bubbles actually trying to leap out of the glass.

Aroma: The aromas were surprisingly weak. I got a bit of spiciness, and a yeasty acidity. Medicinal, a bit like antiseptic.

Taste: Again the taste was weak, it was as if the beer had been watered down. There was a slight fruity sweetness, with a clear acidic yeastiness.

Mouthfeel: It had a medium feel that was trying to be heavy, and a hyperactive liveliness.

Drinkability: This to me is unfortunately a sub-par imitation of a strong Belgian ale. It has the right tastes and aromas but they are far too weak and never seem to quite break through enough.

Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
91 out of 100 based on 4,022 ratings.