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Matilda - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,206 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,206
Hads: 4,418
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 5.79%
Wants: 230
Gots: 904 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Matilda Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,206 | Hads: 4,418
Photo of PA-hunter
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured 12 oz bottle into glass. 7% abv. Dated 2014.

Appearance- Crystal clear, bright orange in color. Moderate head that dissipates quickly.

Smell- Belgian yeast, sugar, and oranges round out the aromas. Tropical.

Taste- Light grainy malt flavor blends into the lemony, floral notes that show off this beer's sweet flavor. Additional roasted malt is detected also. It finishes slightly hoppy, yet still maintains it's sweetness through the end.

Mouthfeel- Medium-thin in body which makes this 7% beer exceptionally smooth. Lively finish.

Overall- An outstanding BSPA. Very smooth and showcases the Belgian yeast character quite nicely. The complexity of the citrus/yeast/malt/hop qualities make this a fine beer. If I am able to save one, it would be a great beer to cellar a few years. (793 characters)

Photo of Franck
3/5  rDev -24.4%

Floral nose. You can smell the yeasts. Taste is dominated by alcohol and I'm searching the brettanomyces. Not bad but I need to try one with a couple of months of aging (168 characters)

Photo of thehyperduck
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

765 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO; bottled June 27 2014. A friend shared a bottle of this with me in May 2013 (originally submitted as a 'had'), but I neglected to post a review at the time. I enjoyed it enough to consider it worth revisiting. Served at cellar temperature.

This one foamed up a bit when I popped the cap, but in more of an 'oozing lava flow' manner than an 'angry geyser' one. Once it settled down and I got the pour off, I was presented with a hazy golden-orange coloured brew, with visible floaties slowly hovering through the liquid. The white head is dense; about a half-inch thick and quite creamy-looking, though not very long-lasted at all. After only a few minutes, it has wilted into a filmy cap and thin collar, with some spindly lace strands left clinging to the glass. Not the most visually-appealing BSPA I've ever looked at, but the aroma gets things back on track - some musty, funky acetic tartness is the most noticeable facet, but this is merely the loudest voice in a chorus. Notes of lemon, wet hay, apple skin, apricot, bubblegum and floral hops combine to produce a seriously enticing bouquet.

The flavour profile is similarly complex, with a nice blend of orchard fruit notes - including red apple, orange, pear and apricot - starting things off smoothly. Candi sugar, bubblegum and a vague hint of banana are next in line, alongside some grainy, doughy malt goodness. The latter half of the profile is dominated by funky, tart acetic notes, with grassy hay and accents of lemon citrus peel, clove and yeast. Finishes relatively dry, with a slight tinge of ethanol - not exactly noticeable enough to be outright warming, but detectable nonetheless. Medium-full in body, with weak carbonation levels for the style - this is not a feature I recall from my last sampling - possibly a characteristic of this year's batch, or maybe just a storage/handling issue. Regardless, the beer itself tastes fine.

Final Grade: 4.07, an A-. Goose Island's Matilda is an interesting strong Belgian pale ale, but in my opinion it doesn't compare with the real titans of this style - and having had two bottles of this from different vintages, I feel pretty comfortable stating that. The Brettanomyces provides a unique background tartness, and overall I must say that I do really enjoy this beer - but it's still no Duvel or Don de Dieu. Pretty good stuff; there's no doubt in my mind that I'll be drinking this again at some point. (2,461 characters)

Photo of 57md
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is straw colored with more than a finger of white head. The nose had sweet fruit-like notes.

The flavor profile is fruity with a touch of tartness. The finish is semi-dry. (185 characters)

Photo of mick303
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2013 vintage, had in Dec 2014. Poured hazy bright orange gold, with a compact head and nice lacing and retention.

S - a pleasant upfront yeast character, chewy citrus lemon, hay and horsey notes, tart gooseberry, some zesty florals, with a pleasant tropical character to it from some noticeable brett.

T - yeast is foremost here, carrying a wonderful bouquet of nice floral notes, sharp lemon, subtle pale malt, with some farmy earthy undertones, a gentle acetic bite to it. Has a complex balance of floral and growing tropical brett fruits, lychee and lemon, farmy earthy notes, all in a really bright pleasing body.

M - good body, moderate carbonation with a full coating feel to it and a pleasing bitter balance that leaves a lingering yeasty sharp finish.

Overall, the Brett really showed up on the aroma here and continued to add a nice complex tropical/ floral character along with some background yeasty barnyard funk. I thought it worked really well. Deliciously drinkable, has acquired some heftier brett flavours and a thick mouthfeel, will look to see what more age does to this. Lovely beer. (1,109 characters)

Photo of Poti0nseller
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

I just recently found out about the Goose Island Sisters and after having this one I'm elated to try the rest. The taste was crisp, fruitful, and the dry finish was what made this so memorable. (193 characters)

Photo of chefhatt
4/5  rDev +0.8%

2012 bottle
copper colored body with a thin head.
aroma has a funky funk aroma to it.
taste has a funky tart apple flavor to it.
Mouthfeel is nice and smooth (159 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%

On tap:
Had rated this highly in another location, so decided to re-try for here. Beer pours on the orange side of gold, trying to account for darkness of location. This pour had no head, but the pour was to the top of the snifter. Agitation brings some carbonation, but it fades to the edges quite quickly. The beer is very clear. The nose is lightly candied, some date and raisin bread, with a bit of farmhouse in the background.

The taste is like the nose save for the candied part. The beer has a maltiness, but it's not really that sweet. The farmhouse comes through a bit more in its place. The sweetness is there but more in the back than it was in the nose, coming through later in the taste, and reminding me a bit of old fashioned rock candy. The end taste actually bitters out slightly with a grape-like bite taking place of the raisin.

I must have enjoyed this more before. This glass was fine, the carbonation not as absent as it looked initially. However, there was nothing in this to excite me. A well-made, decent beer, though. (1,057 characters)

Photo of FLima
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 release.
Nice amber orange color with a huge thick head that leaves laces all over and has a great retention.
Sour aroma with notes of horse mantle, sulphur, vinegar and muffled non-sweet Cointreau.
Non-sweet tartness flavor with notes of oranges soaked in liquor, herbal and floral hops, mold, apples, lemon, some vinegar and spices. Dry aftertaste and both bitter and tart.
Light body, deceivably medium, with an effervescent carbonation. Alcohol of 7% abv is in harmony with the overall beer.
Interesting how much this beer attenuated. Funky since the beginning with its complexity getting revealed in little by little. Liked the fact that just not focus on tartness, hops are decently present. It has a balance that is hard to see in the style, at least looking with modern eyes. (788 characters)

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)

Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,206 ratings.