Matilda | Goose Island Beer Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
1,257 Reviews

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States | website

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-04-2003

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,257 | Ratings: 4,658
Photo of MemphisSooner
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks and smells fantastic. Cloves, banana, peach, biscuity goodness and funk all up in the nose. Taste doesn't disappoint. All the same profiles in the nose show up in taste along with a malty slickness and a hoppy dryness. Body and feel are on point as well. I know this will offend the bourbon county fans, but this is the best beer I have had from Goose Island.

 365 characters

Photo of brureview
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a copper red color with a 1F head in an Orval Trappist glass.

The aroma is quite good, but not strong: spice and fruit,

The taste gets more pronounced with warming: strong spicy quality to this beer, and fruit.

Excellent finish: spicy and dry with a hint of fruit and spice.

Overall, an excellent approach to the Belgian pale ale.

 341 characters

Photo of adamhdg
3.41/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice bronze with virtually no head. Smell is of yeast and dough. Taste is initially of pineapple and old bananas with a lingering aftertaste that is not clearly described and not very pleasant. Mouthfeel is thin and again not very pleasing. Just not for me.

 265 characters

Photo of fscottkey
3.36/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A: [3.50] Beer is a cloudy apricot color. The beer pours with a tiny white head that is gone immediately. The bottle lists the ABV (7.0%) and there is an easy to find/read bottled date (04/05/2016).

S: [3.00] Belgian yeast esters. Clove, banana, maple syrup.

T: [3.50] Follows the nose with yeasty esters. I also get a maple syrup like flavor - but not that sweet. Earthy, pungent flavors. Lemon rind.

M: [3.75] Above medium in body. Good level of carbonation.

O: [3.25] The more "Belgian" a yeast is the more I generally dislike it. I still try Belgian styles to see if maybe my palate will eventually grow up. This beer is not as bracing as a lot of Belgian styles. The flavors are mixed and mellowed. I would not drink this again.

 748 characters

Photo of hopphead31415
4.36/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let me start off by saying that this Belgian Style Pale Ale is 7% ABV and is a world class brew.

Look-It pours a slightly hazy orange honey color with a thin film of white head. The lacing is wet, drooping, and tenuous.

Smell-It smells of clove, honey, fruitiness like clementine, and hop oils.

Taste-It has a nice hop oil component that is mixed with herbal and medicinal undertones. The malts are honey-based and the hops are present, but not bitter and certainly do not distract from the plethora of flavors that come through. They mix together to bring about a bark-like flavor. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and sticky, but not overly sweet.

Overall-This is such a great beer and it went down smooth and refreshing. This is a must try!

 748 characters

Photo of Masonz223
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell: Pears mango some grassy funk Belgian yeast
Taste: right upfront you get pear and some mango middle of the mouth white grape skin you also get some funk grassy earthy flavores finishes with a slight Belgain yeast spice A splash of clove and a slight biterness.
Body: medium very dry in the finish.
Overall: a very nice beer glad I picked this one up and tried it.

 369 characters

Photo of mkh012
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark golden-yellow with a thin white head.

Fresh cut grass, flowers, lemon, and sour white grape on the nose.

The taste is similarly grassy with some vinous notes, sour citrus, and banana. Drinkable, refreshing, and unique. Would get this one again.

 257 characters

Photo of SaltofOH
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 16 Feb 16. Water goblet.

A: pours a hazy dark copper with streams of fine carbonation. Thin off-white head turns quickly to an island in the middle with a ring on the periphery.

S: sweet malt with some Belgian phenols. Pretty restrained, but it's cold. As it warms phenols express themselves, and so does a little alcohol. Orange marmalade; funky Easter lilies. Turbinado sugar. Lovely nose on this one - enjoy it barely chilled.

T: arrives full, malty, slightly sweet with a mild fruitiness. I don't know what Brett. C. Tastes like, but I am guessing that fruitiness I am getting is that. A little of the grape/bubblegum on mid palate, with a restrained toasty malt, turning to a respectable, but mild by American standards, bitterness. Ending is a lingering and pleasant earthy but not medicinal bitterness, with a hint of lingering funk and grapey phenolic character. The ending changes to a decidedly funky taste as this warms up. Hello Brett. C.!

M: a little carbonic bite on the tongue right from the beginning. Lighter side of mid weight. Finishes very clean. Slightly slick.

O: a study in restrained complexity. There is a ton going on with this beer, but you have to be looking for it to find it. It would be a totally welcome Belgian session beer, but for the high ABV. I think I'll buy a four pack and cellar it, to see how it evolves. Highly recommended.

 1,383 characters

Photo of NEdward
4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I picked this up needing a beer that was summery and Belgian while not being too light or too complex. copper body, minimal white head. very floral nose: fruit esters, dark Belgian sweetness, some hop bitterness, alcohol. taste follows from the nose, a balanced palette without any one flavor predominating (Belgian notes were definitely only given so much room to develop, presumably by the equally restrained hops). was surprised by the pervading - though not at all unpleasant - alcohol presence. Finish isn't protracted, with the Belgian nature of the beer remaining at almost unnoticeable level. Very pleasant.

 615 characters

Photo of Jadjunk
3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

No label information. Brewed in the style of a Belgian Pale Ale with Brettanomyces. Available in 12 oz. bottled 4 packs and in 750ml. bottles. This is the 2013 vintage release.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle to a tulip glass.

(Appearance) Pours a foamy frothed head of a pastel white tone over a moderately hazy golden amber body with speckled sediment in tow and light carbonation. Retention is very good and lacing is light and patchy. 4.25

(Smell) Pale and bread malts with a moderate impact of brettanomyces, generating a moderate funk, some soft sourness and rich, ripe fruit juice characters. Potency is moderate. 4

(Taste) Pale malts with a reserved sweetness, some slight bread body character, and subtle brettanomyces activity, very light, with small order of fruit, funk and sourness notable, highly drinkable and enjoyable, with delicate and graceful brettanomyces and yeast characteristics make for an enjoyable drinking experience. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, lightly chewy, clean, medium dry. Carbonation is full, generating a medium frothiness and a briskly crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, shy of medium overall. Balance is nearly even sweet to tangy, fruit and acidity. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) A solid Brettanomyces Pale Ale that does a great job at achieving balance while maintaining high drinkability. Matilda’s Brettanomyces character is one of the best developed examples that I’ve experienced in a beer, offering full fruit character and abundant acidity and tanginess without choking out the balance of the beer. Another well-crafted and regularly available gem by Goose Island. I recommend giving a couple of your bottles some time to mature as they have done so in my case quite gracefully. 4

Goose Island Brewing Co.’s
Matilda Belgian Style Pale Ale

 1,861 characters

Photo of FBarber
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Current vintage ('16) on draft.

Pours a crisp orange color with a nice white head.

Lots of yeast in the aroma with notes of apricots and floral tones.

Flavor was initially some apricot and floral notes. Gives way to a very spicy yeast finish.

Feel was appropriate for the style. Crisp and light.

Overall a very nice belgian strong ale. One of the better american interpretations of the style.

 401 characters

Photo of Jraiona
4.44/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 2015 650 ml into a tulip. Poured a beautiful hazy Amber/copper with a fair head. Definite aroma and taste of yeast, I am learning but assume the yeasty smell I pick up is the Brett. On the palate it had a nice level of hopiness without being overly bitter. It was crisp and quite drinkable and pleasant.

 312 characters

Photo of mgwagman
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice head, good froth and some lacing. Taste of citrus, wheat, coriander. Middle taste is funky maybe too heavy on the yeast I am not sure what it is but I can certainly taste it. Not a bad wheat beer, but not perfect.

 221 characters

Photo of Act25
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I rate this about as I rate Sofie. Great Belgian style value for the buck. Try 24.

A: One finger of white head on a copper Mahogany hazy body, tiny bits of lace.

S: Wood, cedar, oak, citrus and orange rind with a deep Belgian must..

T: Follows smell, but more wood, incense, spice, and complexity. Corriander, orange citrus, Belgian yeast and toasted biscuits.

M: Tawny, medium body, with a real honey syrup feel, and moderate carbonation. Culminating in peppery, semi-dry finish.

Overall: Strong ale is right. Up there with Arrogant Bastard and Triples. It's a complex beer. One of the better beers from Goose.

 619 characters

Photo of tekstr1der
3.39/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Just too much funkiness for this guy... Pours a slightly orange-yellow with thin white top - looks okay. Smell is pungent - is this bret? overwhelming the Belgian yeast and zesty, spiciness. Flavor follows similarly, eventually by the end of the bottle getting used to the funk, but never fully enjoying. Mouthfeel is as expected. Won't get this one again.

 356 characters

Photo of TheBierdimpfe
4.49/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Deep veiled dark golden color with thick storming activity and floating detritus. Frothy beige 2 finger head, lasting around 10 minutes, with nice legs. Flavors of oak, oka cheese, banana yeast, lemon, orange, apples, pears, grapefruits, sweet grains, caramel, herbal spices. Thick fruity sweetness with a sharp sour feel. Smooth light body with crispy carbonation. Medium to strong strength finish, dry tongue coating ester fruits and citrus, thick malty and yeasty feel, with a nice barrel aged effect and bit of clove and codiander. Highly boozy and vinous yet fresh and well balanced. Quite delicious and very complex. Would serve this as an appetizer being a little bold. Overall superb quality craft.

 706 characters

Photo of KevCan
4.81/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bought two loose 12 oz. bottles from Giant in Arlington, VA. Bottled on Feb 16, 2016. Poured into a tulip glass.

Look: Copper and slightly hazy with a healthy head.

Smell: Smells predominantly of Brettanomyces yeast. A bit fruity and sour smelling.

Taste: Perfect balance of sweet and sour, fruity and tart. Flavorful without being overwhelming. Delicious! From the name "pale ale", I was expecting some hoppy bitterness, but it's very subtle in that regard.

Feel: Medium body and medium carbonation.

Overall: Superb!

 522 characters

Photo of MACrist
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

APPEARANCE: A rich, hazy amber/orange with a finger + of off white head that slowly settles to a thin layer. Plenty of visible carbonation rising and moderate lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Big floral notes, tart green apple, some slight clove, tart/sour lemon.
TASTE: A pleasant bit of sourness or tart quality right apple and lemon, to me. Just enough sweetness to balance out that tart quality.
FEEL: Medium body, strong carbonation, and fairly dry through the entire sip.
OVERALL: A nice brew. I think a good sipper because the flavor is complex enough to make you think about what this reminds you of, different fruits, etc...

 645 characters

Photo of FriedSlug
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light copper color with some crud floating about. Light tan to off white head. The aroma is overripe bananas and apples cider with yeast esters. There is some sweetness that reminds me of caramel. The taste is the same as the nose with apple cider, clove and yeast. This is a really nice beer.

 293 characters

Photo of Marius
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap sample from BeerTemple in Amsterdsm. Clear bright orange with a fine beige head. Smells like honey, eldrflowers and a bit of farmhouse funk. Tastes like brett, honey and bitter medicine.

 190 characters

Photo of CanadianBacon
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - 2014 vintage poured on 03/29/16 This beer pours a dark hazy orange color with 1 1/2 fingers of off white head, the head fades slowly leaving a thick film of bubbles over the top of the glass. It looks delicious.

Aroma - Wheaty grain, lemon tartness, a bit of funk, coriander, fluffy fresh bread.

taste - grain, yeast funk, lemon, pale cracker malts and fresh white bread from the belgian yeast.

Feel - Heavy/medium body soft creamy carbonation.

Overall - This is an amazing belgian strong pale ale, The brett meshes great with the flavors adding a zesty funk and the belgian bread taste pairs well with it. The medium/heavy creamy body compliments the flavors very well. Not a bad beer at all. Cheers!

 723 characters

Photo of hotpauko
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 bottle from Sabatinis in Exeter, PA. Had no idea really what I was getting but kept an open mind. Nice carbonation, nice lemony sour smell with a little yeasty backdrop. Mouth feel of a white but immediately followed by a sour bite. Citrusy yeast follow up on the tongue. I would describe this as a Belgian yeast, sour combo with very complex flavors. The yeasty smell and taste is very organic tasting, not especially clean. A touch of bitter cherry sweetness throughout. Sits heavy on the tongue. I liked it and recommend giving it a try. I'm wondering if 4 years of sitting mellowed out the tartness a little.

 617 characters

Photo of laketang
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottled aug. 2015 poured from a 12 oz bottle.
served cold so was a bit murky amber in color nice head
spices on the nose, get the clove right off.
detected no diacetyl.slight malt , light hop presence
prickly, on the light to medium side.
still like on tap the best tho.

 270 characters

Photo of Beginner2
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Again, I am a Chicagoan... so don't expect an unbiased review.
Carrying on an earlier dialog... AB and the big guys can have good reason to buy a craft brewery.
And they pay good money, so are unlikely to change the recipe.
And I do not believe they have with Matilda.
I have Had this ale throughout the decade of the AB assuming ownership.
I have saved some vintages and compared them to the newer releases.
And it is all still good. But Matilda goes better with food in its second year than it does in its first.
Is Matilda the same?
Yes, as far as I can tell it is still one of the best Belgians made by an American brewer.

Chief characteristic: this ale still goes well with food. I just returned from a 30 person potluck and it went acceptably with everything I ate and great with the garlicky dishes. I shared a bomber with a friend and, then, we miraculously went and played good tennis.

This ale is listed in the "1001 Beers To Taste Before you Die" and deserves that honor.
Drink and eat and enjoy.

 1,010 characters

Photo of dukeandduke
3.52/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

2/22/16 Chicago ($8 16 oz pour into vintage glass at Goose Island Clybourn Brew Pub). Mild ongoing carbonation, thin white head, orange bronze pour. Extremely sweet aroma, from berries (raspberries, blueberries), orange, lemon, peach and apricot. Taste even sweeter, and though I generally do not prefer sweet offerings, this one worked well. Somewhat balanced by yeast and grass. Texture light and thin, very easy drinking. Overall good offering.

 448 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,257 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.