Matilda | Goose Island Beer Co.

very good
1,276 Reviews

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

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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,276 | Ratings: 4,723
Photo of descobar
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2013 -
Smell: fruity yeast esters dominate (get some papaya, orange rind), some spices, some sweet malts and a slight funk.
Look: pours (into tulip glass) a medium amber with a maroon tint. a 1/4" of white head with below average retention. the beer is hazy but not overly so. some minimal lacing was observed.
Taste: pronounced sweetness, caramelly malts, molasses and candy sugar. somehow balanced by enough earthy bitterness and yeast funk.
Feel: medium/full body, rich almost chewy texture, moderate carbonation, and significant astringency. Finishes sweet and long. Lingering astringency.
Overall: complex beyond a basic BPA. has not mellowed with age. still a lot going on..

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Photo of Benjolovesbeer
2.58/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Cloudy haze of caramel apple cider brown color with minimal thin lacing. Has slight banana, bready, fizzy taste.
Yet very scotch oriented with taste and smell which I was expecting stronger bready banana Belgian taste like Sofie. Perhaps I'd like this beer with a little more age but it is nowhere close to as good as Sofie or any Belgian I've had while fresh. It's a typical GI which imo is very mediocre if that. Only Sofie has intrigued me but then again I've never had Lolita (which I have and soon will consume) and I never had any bourbon counties or Juliet or Pepe. But Matilda imo is nothing impressive.

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Photo of beerguy04
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark orange juice flavor. No head, just bubbles around the glass. Smells very citrusy. Taste is a boozy orange juice. Mouthfeel is light and crisp. Overall, really good. I'm starting to like Belgian ales more and more.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours an almost clear pale/medium amber producing almost 2 fingers of, finely bubbled, somewhat lasting, off-white head that leaves only a few wispy strings & webs of lace. Aroma is biscuity musty barnyard funk, earth & hay with some small amount of citrus & sour apple. Taste is a Brett like mustiness, pepper, phenolic notes of acetone & band-aides, biscuity with hints of a sour fruitiness & earthy hops. Finishes phenolic with a dry, astringent, barnyard must, sour fruit aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, peppery with moderately high carbonation, dry & slightly astringent, crisp & lingering. The nose is simple, the taste complex.

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Photo of Goose_BNB
4.39/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Born 04/05/2016 - Opened 01/30/2017

Appearance: Golden honey in a glass. Finger to finger and a half of head that left no lacing and after 15-20 minutes dissipated almost completely but looked pretty while it lasted. Gained more of an unfiltered pale ale nectar like appearance after I poured the dregs.

Aroma: Plenty of clove and sweetness immediately on the nose. Smells more hoppy than your typical Belgian style but offered nice sense of balance between malts hops and yeast.

Taste: Really clean and Belgian like similar to a hoppier tripel. The hops made more of a presence before the dregs were poured but were replaced by spice aromas afterwards.

Mouthfeel:Before dregs: Medium light body low carbonation. After dregs: Medium body no carbonation

Overall: After the dregs were poured in I feel the spiciness and depth of body was thrown off but still good in my opinion however next time I will probably drink without the dregs. I am a fan of this beer and brewery and will be getting this beer again.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Copper, filtered, highly carbonated 2 fingers of off white foamy head.

S: Belgian yeasts and malts, fruity, a blue cheese bite, smooth and light, dry all the way through to the finish.

T: Follows the nose. Well balanced. Reminds me of Leffe Blonde, and is in my opinion much closer to true Belgian style than many other highly rated American versions of Belgian beers.

M: Medium smooth, creamy body, medium carbonation.

O: Balanced and delicious, as good as Belgian even though its an American made belgian style beer. Will give it 9.3 out of 10. Great by itself it would pair well with blue cheese and apple wedges. First reviewed in 2014.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Type: 16-oz. draft
Glass: Goose Island chalice
From: Goose Island Pub at Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.
Price: $8.00
Purchased: Dec. 14, 2016
Consumed: Dec. 14, 2016
Reviewed as: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Misc.: N/A

Was staying at the Hard Rock for a work trip and had planned on heading to the Goose Island Pub once I saw that BCBS was on tap. The plan was to review Sofie and Matilda, and have a BCBS. However, once I got there I was told that they ran out of BCBS in the last hour. Bummer. Still wanted to try both beers and was actually surprised that I had not yet.

Poured a copper amber clear color with 1-to-2 fingers of frothy white head when I got it. Lots of bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Decent wet foamy lacing. Below average retention. (Sight - 3.75)

Smelled banana, pear, mandarin, range, allspice, cinnamon, sugary Belgian cloves and Circus Peanut candy. (Smell - 4.00)

Tasted allspice, Belgian cloves, peppery spices, banana, pear, spicy coriander, Belgian candy, grassy notes, hints or herbal and caramel. (Taste - 3.75)

Medium body. Oily-to-creamy texture. Lively carbonation. Dry finish. (Feel - 3.75)

Not as good a beer as Sofie, but glad I got to try it. (Overall - 3.75)

3.81 | 86 | B+

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Photo of MizzouBrew
4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz. bottle into a Schlafly tulip glass. Pours an opaque yellowish orange. About 1/4" flat white head. Belgian strong pale ale describes this just right, with a dry finish. Belgians aren't my favorite, but I do enjoy a good one now and again.

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Photo of Pundit_of_Potability
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Is it potable? Sure. Is it a Belgian style ale? Not really. I can find no hint of the yeast flavors so evident in real Belgian style ales. It poured with a 1 cm head. There is some malty flavor at the start that lasts all the way back... The carbonation is medium. It seems thin and uncomplicated. A bit bitter. Not one of my favorites. Not sure what happened over there at Goose Island, but this one fails to aspire to the levels I am used to from other North American breweries like Ommegang and Unibroue. I hear there are bottling and consistency issues with this company, which might be at play here and explain the reoccurring inconsistent reviews.

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Photo of enoughalready
2.6/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

I've tried this four times now. I think they have some real quality control problems with bottle caps / carbonation fizzling out. Most beers like this are bottled like champagne with a cork and wire top. This doesn't have it. The first bottle I tried awhile ago was flat (also tried sister beer, Sophie at that time which was also flat. So that was a huge disappointment.) Then I finally thought it can't be that bad, and tried another bottle of Matilda. It seemed really pretty good, not flat. Then I tried smaller 4 pack (instead of large bottles I was getting). It seemed bitter - as in not good bitter, and maybe a bit flat. Now I just got a larger bottle again, which I believe is the same batch as the 'good' one - 10Jun16. I have a bad cold, trying that one again. It seems about as fizzy, not flat, but definitely not as fizzy as a Chimay or other genuine Trappist ale, nor like a Unibroue. I can't really give this last bottle a fair review, given my head cold, but feel that 4.0 might be average rating, for a 'good' bottle of this stuff, with possibility of outstanding 4.5 on rare occasion. it is really hard to know what to think about Goose Island's operation. With the 10Jun16 I have to do a vigorous pour to get a lot of head. This is a stark contrast to Chimay. I'd say Matilda is more akin to a richer, darker Hoegaaarden, and though for me better than that, is not really the flavor nor feel I am seeking out in a Belgian beer. I'd rather up the ante and get the real thing. A lot of these Belgian style, American brewed ales are too far off in my opinion, making labeling as Belgian a joke. Given the quality issues I perceive, I have to unfortunately say the same of Matilda. I was introduced to Chimay at a young age and also tried Rodenbach Grande Cru back then, which I also liked. I'm not as much into the sour ale, having tried it again more as I am older, but prefer the sour type by Rodenbach as well as one by Westmalle and all the other fine Trappist Belgians - preferring them to Matilda and La Fin Du Mond by Unibrou (which being bottled with a cork is a lot fizzier and truer to the spirit it is trying to imitate).

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Photo of CaptainHate
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 2/18/2011. This was among an awesome stash of brews that a couple of fellow dog walkers just gave me because they'd had them lying around and didn't want. Great for me.

Bomber poured into a Dogfish Head tulip. More coppery orangish type color than I was expecting with a huge head which gradually dissipated.

Spicy but not overwhelming smell.

Taste is outstanding with a carnival of spices dancing in my mouth. Seems like a Belgian Pale crossed with a Saison.

Feels great in the mouth. I may try a younger version of this in the future just to test how much the aging impacted my impression but I like this a lot.

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Photo of xiaoxiong623
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

The Matilda looks gorgeous and comes with spicy smell.
The color pretend is not golden sunrise, instead, it's lightish amber.
I don't think the taste of Matilda is as strong as I wish.
In a word, the Matilda is the good one, but it's not the perfect one for me.

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a single serve bottle

Pours a pleasantly hazy, but not cloudy orange/amber. Very little head, but persistent pleasant lacing.

Smell--Evocative of the true Belgians of the style, but somewhat muted. Still, it has a nice pleasant "funk" from the Brett that comes through. The hop and citrus notes are balanced by a honey sweetness.

Taste--American takes on this style can be disappointing in the complexity department. This has a nice range of notes to touch all areas of the palate. Funky Brett, banana, pineapple, honey sweet candi sugar and malt, with just a touch of alcohol burn. A nicely balanced set of tastes.

Feel--Solid, medium body. Not spectacular, but still spot on.

I am a shameless Orval apologist, and tend to hold anything of this style to that unreasonably high standard. This is an excellent stateside take.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.11/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle to pilsner glass. Light caramel color. Globules of sediment float. Big creamy eggshell head. Head lasts throughout beer. Aroma is equal hops and yeast. Taste is creamy hops. Light and summery. Yeast is very subtle, maybe it would be stronger if left to ferment in bottle a few more years. Very nice."

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Photo of JoLight
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Marmalade color, hazy; off-white finger width head that leaves some lacing and dissipates into a thin yet nice layer.

Aroma: A musty smell initially; sweet honey oat; maybe some plantains or dried banana; yeast; super mild clove note; overall, it's a mild aroma.

Flavor: Malt-forward; honey oat;
a faint dried banana flavor; slight tangy sourness; a pleasant, earthy hop bitterness at the end of the sip.

Medium-to-full and carbonated mouthfeel with a crisp and dry and thick and slightly tangy finish.

This is a darling of a beer for a great price; Just under ten dollars for the big bottle. I highly recommend this beer.

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Photo of Zanth
4.83/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A crisp light amber/dark honey brew that offers citrus notes with distinct bitter tail before a lingering but pleasant after taste enamours the tongue for another round. This beer was suggested to me by a friend and I am very pleased he did so. It is easily sourced in Ottawa, Canada and apparently available year round. This is a new favourite and competes well with the Belgian Abby offerings available locally.

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Photo of Sergio_Nesmachnow
4.31/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Got some ones in USA and Mexico. Difficult to find in the South.
Looks nice, copper/bronze red colour.
Fruitful smell, Belgian yeast.
Taste sweet and sour, nice body, one of the best from Goose available far away from Chicago.

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Artwork: A very simple and classy white label with the beer's name on it. Love it.

Appearance: Dark amber. Big head with reasonable retention and lovely lacing. Unintentionally I poured the yeast in which introduced some haziness.

Nose: Very spicy on the nose. Smells sweet.

Taste: Lots of spice, Belgian yeast, and some dark fruits. Rather sweet. Very nice and rich.

Mouthfeel: Lots of carbonation bite. Medium body.

Overall: This is a great beer. I'm not sure how much I could drink in one sitting (because of its richness) but then again this was not designed to be a session beer. Would definitely buy again if given the chance.

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Photo of MemphisSooner
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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Photo of brureview
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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Photo of adamhdg
3.41/5  rDev -14.5%
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.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.36/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

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Photo of hopphead31415
4.36/5  rDev +9.3%
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!

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Photo of Masonz223
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of mkh012
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
3.99 out of 5 based on 4,723 ratings.
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