Matilda - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,197 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,197
Hads: 4,388
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 227
Gots: 881 | FT: 18
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
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,197 | Hads: 4,388
Photo of dd43
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There seems to be a great deal of variability in the flavor of this beer from batch to batch. Sometimes it borders on amazing, other times it can come off as slightly oxidized or muted in terms of esters. I can't call a beer with this large of a swing world class, but when you get a good pour of Matilda you will be rewarded with a very nice American interpretation of a Belgian pale. Still, there are other breweries in the states doing a better job with this. (462 characters)

Photo of Ohhlord
4.75/5  rDev +19.6%

Just had my 1e and 2e Matilda at the Hyatt in Chicago. Great taste, nice after taste. Needed to convince the barman to serve it somewhat warmer. 5 degrees celsius is too cold for this beer. But pour is in a cognac glas and wait some time and magic happens. (256 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottled on 04JUN14. It's been a long time since I had this one. It never was a favorite of mine & I don't recall it being fermented with brett
A 3.75 - hazed golden-orange body covered in a layer of ivory foam
S 4 - yeast, bread, spice, floral, tangy, earthy, aromatic malt
T 3.75 - delicate flavors with tangy brett, spice, bread, floral, fruity, earthy
M 4 - medium body, moderate carbonation, finishes clean, dry, and nicely balanced
O 4 - better than I remember. It drinks so smoothly and easily. I might have to buy this more than once every 5 years. Best brett beer I've had, as I'm usually not a fan. (607 characters)

Photo of Mavigo
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Served from the 750ml bottle into a tulip.

Pours an autumn orange color with a short off white head that lasts for a few minutes before evaporating. Smells of wheat, yeast, barley, sandalwood, citrus peels. Has a very mild, dry, woody taste, very mellow with a hint on the sweet side. It's medium bodied with ample amounts of carbonation. Overall, this is an excellent belgian pale ale, probably one of the best I've ever had. Better still, I got this for peanuts at Costco, further raising my adoration of this beer. (520 characters)

Photo of Mikus
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overflowed like a beast when I cracked the top on this 2013 vintage. Poured a golden amber (dazzling in the light), with a finger of head that was slow to dissipate. Great visible carbonation. This had a big, bright nose with lots of yeasty funk, some alcohol, clove/spice, and a hint of breadiness. Nice and complex, changed with time. This was such a nice, balanced sipper. Funk was a lot more mellow on the palate than the nose, hearty/bready notes, and some clean bitterness. Medium bodied, clean and clear presentation, and the notes that did linger were pleasant ones. I know that this is a Belgian 'Strong' Pale Ale, but for all of those breweries advertising 'Belgian IPA', this is what you should be chasing in my opinion. Pretty damn impressed with this $7 750ml... (775 characters)

Photo of fransoon1969
4.75/5  rDev +19.6%

This is the champagnes of Belgian whites. It is similar beer to 1664 kronenbourg blanc, however Matilda really knocks it out of the park. This beer can be aged for up to 5 years therefore excellent for a collector.
Cheers! (226 characters)

Photo of RyanPoff
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

A: About a finger of head of clear, copper brew into my snifter. As expected, 4/5.

S: A bit of honey, cream, molasses, and a good bit of funk, and with the funk, bubblegum.

T: What comes out most are the gum/candy and funk flavors. A sugary rush - there is little hop balance. This tastes like a candy trippel, not a pale ale as it is described.

M: Fresh, medium-bodied and peppy. Nothing wrong with it.

A totally unremarkable brew I won't pick up again. Sofie is a better option. (485 characters)

Photo of Bouleboubier
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

(served in a tulip glass)

L: cloudy, orange amber... nice cap of spongy foam at the outset, holds for a good while... thin draping of lace as it recedes

S: peach, papaya, funk... exotic fruit and its flowers, crumpled in the palms of your hands... musty dust

T: doughy-malty but starkly dry... outer skin of grapefruit... spicy acidic... starchy creme, nectar... bitter, bright peach, but not sweet... sleepy-smooth caramel in the background

F: fullish, silky body but dried and balanced remarkably by its woody-bitterness

O: tastes of citrus peels, flowery perfume, yeasty spice... a meatier, more Rubenesque, more Saison-influenced interpretation of Orval... an elegant brew - to be enjoyed countryside (709 characters)

Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

765 ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. An orange amber color with four fingers of light beige creamy foam. Aroma is decidedly vinous, citric, and fruity: White grapes, pears, lemon and orange rinds, wine gums, with a little dough and an initially unassuming but slow burning brettanomyces funk. On the palate this one is dry, far less sweet than the nose might suggest, with a well-developed burlap sack/horse blanket flavor front and center, more pears and other under-ripe semi-sour orchard fruits (apples, apricots), watermelon rind, quinine bark (think tonic water), faint bubble gum, green banana ... A pleasant moderate phenol spice coupled with sour fruits and rather minimal sweetness, although the latter does develop over time. Fairly smooth, drinkable, low to moderate body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish. Provides an interesting comparison to its stablemate Sofie ... More dry and tannic, less sweet and fruity. Stronger and perhaps more rustic. Excellent work, although I may swing toward the slightly sweeter. (1,034 characters)

Photo of wedge
3.74/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75


Hazy amber with some suspended sediment and a small, off-white head that reduces to a sticky covering. Yeasty, slightly tart aroma featuring some spice, dried fruit, apple, and floral notes over a light pale malt base. Smooth flavor of phenolic clove, apple, light bubblegum, and honey. Medium bodied and lightly dry giving it some crispness. A convincingly authentic Belgian-style beer with lots of yeast and only a touch of musty funkiness for fun. (460 characters)

Photo of leaddog
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a clear amber colour with two fingers of fluffy white head.

Smell - Belgian yeast, clove, spice, spicy hops, bready malts, hint of citrus peel.

Taste - A tangy blend of the yeast, clove, spices hops and malts. Well-balanced flavours that do not try to overpower one another.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Crisp, dry finish.

Overall - Another lovely offering from Goose Island. This Belgian Style pale ale features a cohesive blend of flavours. Look forward to seeing more of their offerings in Alberta in the near future. (568 characters)

Photo of jellikit
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

2013 bottle.
A: light orange. Medium foamy white head.

S: light aroma of Belgian yeast. Clove. Banana (slight).

T: bready malt. Belgian yeast profile. Followed by hops...citrus and grass.

M: medium high carbonation. Medium-big body. On the dry side.

O: great beer. I usually do not like Belgian pales. This beer is balanced well between malts, hops, and yeast. Will buy again. (398 characters)

Photo of TheDoctor
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%

DATE: 2-Apr-14


Pours a robust golden copper with a little haze and three fingers of head that sloppily settle to a chunky cap and then a ring. Meh retention; minimimalistic streaks of lacing. (3.75)

Citrus and funk. Horse blanket, grapefruit, lemon, grass, earthy hop. (4)

Cereals with an earthy quality. Grains, oats, doughiness, funk, very little detectable tartness, dusty herbal finish. (4.25)

Wow. Medium bodied with a silky feel that lets you feel tiny bubbles vaporize into something that almost feels like milk. All this, with a nice lingering, but unobtrusive, finish/aftertaste. (4.75)

Very good beer.
Pours fairly nice, has a nice funk to the nose, but it is barely there in the taste. I actually really like this better almost. It really shows off how subtle Brett can be in the style. The palate is divine and it is really drinkable, but kind of filling.
Will have again; worth trying (even for those who otherwise probably wouldn't buy something with Brett--I include myself). (4.25) (1,156 characters)

Photo of cambabeer
4.01/5  rDev +1%

This was a good one. Oddly, I took the first sip and thought to myself "this is too sweet and chalky." Then the second and third sips rolled around and somehow the hops started going to work and calmed down the intense malty yeast profile this beer carries. Definitely good, very rich beer. While there was a lot of sediment visible, it was very smooth. Had no trouble finishing the 765ml bottle. (396 characters)

Photo of DenverHopHead
4.01/5  rDev +1%

Poured from a bottle with a bottled on date of 6/4/14; into a pub glass.
Appearance - golden snow globe of unfiltered goodness and carbonation bubbles! Thin, white head that leaves weak lacing.
Smell - some citrus and stone fruit along with a hint of cloves.
Taste - follows the nose, but flavors stand out more.
Feel - nicely carbonated, a touch sweet and finishes slightly dry.
Overall - very nice Belgian strong pale; I really dig the unfiltered appearance of this ale! (472 characters)

Photo of Whiteweasel
4/5  rDev +0.8%

From the infamous April Fools day batch in 2010, spoiled with lactobac, but should be interesting anyway. After four years of aging, looking forward to drinking it.

Poured from a bottle, drank from a chalice.

Appearance: A beautiful deep marigold colour, with almost nonexistent off-white head, surely due to its age. Quite hazy, but retains a clarity from a gentle pour. Becomes translucent when the bottom part is poured 4

Smell: Quite sour, but in a tasty way. Sour cherry, watermelon, muscat grape and sweet blueberries are the primary notes. A sweet lime character is also noticeable. A hint of clove, lemongrass and other spice. Exquisite really, certainly a bizarre accident that the smell is this perfectly balanced. 5

Taste: EXTREMELY sour, almost causes one to pucker. Strong characteristics and sharpness of kombucha. Would also compare with limeade, esp as it has a sweetness to it. A bit of spicy yeastiness. I can barely even tell what this used to taste like. Not bad tasting, but not remotely normal, and not particularly beer-like. 3.75

Mouthfeel: A bit boozy, and again, pucker-inducingly sour. Leaves a pleasant taste and mouthfeel afterward. 4.25

Overall: Really bizarre, but I've gotta say I enjoy it. Next time, I would much rather have a non-spoiled Matilda, but I did enjoy this one. 4.0 (1,317 characters)

Photo of HipCzech
4.39/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type: 765 mL bottle poured into a stemmed pilsener (beer tulip) glass (bottled on: 28-May-14, 1303)

Appearance: Bright golden amber, faintly hazy. Pours with a thick frothy head; recedes with streaky lacing.

Smell: Tropical fruit (pineapple, papaya); fresh, yeasty bread; cloves.

Taste: Sweet and sour dried fruit and citrus gives way to biscuit maltiness, spices and a nice, dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, creamy smooth with a little alcoholic bite.

Overall: Very enjoyable. Flavorful and complex, but all elements are carefully balanced and restrained. (572 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

765ml bottle poured into tulip 8/8/14

A clear amber with some very fine particles, a couple streams of slow bubbles produce a thick film that doesn't last all that long leaving a few random patches of lace

S spicy and herbal, honey, brown sugar, banana, just a hint of musky funk, caramel apple, and some dark bread

T not far from the smell with some bruised apple, plenty of spice, faint funk, strange sugars I can't place, a little dry cereal, yeasty in a good way

M more body then I'd guess from the color, creams up quickly, slick on the palate, spicy yeast lingers

O about right for the style, plenty going on, I'm liking the yeast profile and there's something in the background I never really figured out

I'm almost surprised that I can buy Goose Island in Alberta, almost. What a market we have going on here, fingers crossed for some Bourbon County in the future. (880 characters)

Photo of isualum12
3.57/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Yeah yeah I'm not on par with the great drinkers of our time. Sorry. This beer just doesn't have that oh my goodness knock down an old lady to get to it appeal for me. Good yes. Great not sure amazing no.
Appearance is good nose was weak flavor I. The tongue was a solid 4 but aftertaste killed it. Lots of activity on this beer. (331 characters)

Photo of MarkQ617
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had on tap at O'Hare airport out of a wine glass. It poured a pretty auburn-orange, really nice appearance. The nose had notes of nuts, spices, and yeast. The flavor was similar, but stronger than the nose let on. Not usually a huge Goose Island guy, but this is a good one. (274 characters)

Photo of Gear54
3.06/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a bottle into a pilsner glass. 5/21/14 is the date

A: the best part about this beer. It's a golden orange color with a thin layer of thick head and whisper lace on the glass

S: slight aroma or hops and orange peel

T: follows the smell right down to being slight.

M: light on the tung. I can see this being great on a hot day

O: a bit disappointed with this one. With the reputation goose island's rare and mainstream beers has. I was hoping the less popular would still be really good. (496 characters)

Photo of Wobbly
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good but very overrated beer by a brewery that is steadily on the decline. If not for their admittedly magnificent Bourbon County series, Goose Island would be a second or even third tier brewery. I question whether the current batches of this beer are faithful to the ones in the past, which I remember being much fuller in flavor and more fully realized overall than what I have tried, on several occasions, of late. (420 characters)

Photo of Foyle
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass.

Appearance: pours a 2" frothy cream colored head which slowly falls with some mild lacing. Color is a amber-orange, cloudy with sediment in suspension. Extreme amounts of champagne-like streaming carbonation.

Aroma: banana and coriander, caramel, Belgian yeast.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied and slightly astringent. Finish is dry with a bit of lingering alcohol burn.

Flavor: sweet caramel and spices, raisins, a hint of pineapple, yeast rolls, strong earthy hop presence.

Overall: nicely done and a pleasant brew for sipping and contemplation. (588 characters)

Photo of SteveJeremy
2.43/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

After hearing nothing but great things about this beer online, where I work, and on BeerAdvocate, I'm thoroughly disappointing Goose Island's Matilda, a beer that clearly looks to cater to those not so invested with Goose Island's more mainstream line. While the beer presents itself nicely in look and smell, the taste and mouthfeel leave something to be desired. The immediate taste isn't bad, effectively presenting an extremely yeasty but potent beer until it descends into a sharp, biting aftertaste that is along the lines of a cheap, high gravity malt liquor (I can equate it to the same kind of pungent taste of high-alcohol I got when swallowing Camo Silver Ice). After a few small to medium sips of this, the taste becomes overcompensating, to the point where the beer's introductory taste isn't even the slightest bit appetizing anymore, and I just sought to finish it as soon as possible. I can't see how this beer merits such exceptional ratings; it's one of the worst beers I've had all year. (1,006 characters)

Photo of Ardon
4.84/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A classic love of mine, this is great juice!

Pours an absolutely beautiful golden orange, hazy. Big billowing marshmallow head that dissipates to a nice thin lace.

Smell is fresh and very Bretty! in a very good way. Orange blossom.

Taste is clovey, orange rind, more farm funk from the Brett, almost like quinine on the back end. Lacking a bit of freshness but I think this is an older bottle as I haven't noticed this trait before. A little piney but lacking much hop character. Light bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is the only area this falls off at all. Not quite as smooth as I would like but still very nice light to medium body with a touch of cream.

Overall, this is an exceptional brew that I will continue purchase along with any other Goose Island products I can get my hands on! (799 characters)

Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,197 ratings.