Matilda | Goose Island Beer Co.

very good
1,271 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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Reviews: 1,271 | Ratings: 4,700
Photo of Jmanwillsellyourbeer
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a great beer perfect beer I only ask those who try it pour it in a glass I'm a big fan plus I distribute this brand in NY. Right now I am aging Sofie year by year to see the difference in taste Matilda is my new girlfriend! Watch out you will fall in love with her

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Photo of jar2574
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled on 12/20/10. This was an exceptional experience; there is no other beer that I'd rather have right now.

The beer poured a bronze color and was tough to see through unless you held it up to light. A big white head dissolves slowly, leaving very good lacing on the sides.

It smells tremendous. Peaches, hops, dirt, earthiness, manure, (yes, manure), and grapefruit. Unique, excellent.

It's a very complex tasting beer and perfectly balanced. Hops, fruitiness, peaches, a little grassy, a little honey sweetness in the aftertaste. Neither the malts nor the hops predominate. Instead, they complement each other.

The sweetness in the aftertaste reminded me of Hopslam, which I had recently and loved. But I actually prefer Matilda because I like balanced beers a little more than hop-dominated beers.

It feels the way a beer should, with the right smoothness, creaminess and density.

I could drink this all day. They serve it in heaven.

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Photo of rickyleepotts
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh I have had this beer before. I can’t remember where I first had this beer, but it is one of my favorites from Goose Island. I am still sad that Anheuser-Busch bought them. Regardless, this beer is one of my favorites from them. I have had this both in bottle and on draft. I like ordering this on draft when I am at their Wrigley location. It’s also got a pretty big ABV, and one that is not very noticeable when drinking this beer.

The beer smells incredible! Holy cow, it smells of fruit and… and happiness! Then you taste it, and are just blown away with not only how smooth this sucker is, but the somewhat thick, soothing mouthfeel you experience. It slides down the back of your throat, and sticks around for a few minutes as you enjoy that bittersweet aftertaste. By the time the aftertaste fades, you are ready for another drink!

This beer is readily available. You can get it at pretty much any liquor store (sold in 4-packs if I do recall correctly) or by the bottle at places like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. I highly recommend this beer to anyone who likes… who likes a good tasting beer. It doesn’t taste like beer, and truly does get better with age. You can cellar this beer for up to two years and still get all those same notes that you pick up right off the shelf. Big fan of Goose Island and a HUGE fan of this beer.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.97/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Crystal clear burnt orange body with a thin head that slightly sticks to the rim of the glass. Very light yeast suspension.

S-This is a bouquet of goodness. A grassy, herbal, and spicy aroma is sharp and wonderful. Before taking a sip, you can taste the crispness in the beer. Very slight Brett aroma that makes me want to dive in.

T-Where do I start. This is one of those beers that you do not forget about. A multitude of peppery spice and wild yeast compliment the malty belgian body. It is biscuity, but just enough to add body. The hops are present but must be very low AAU nobles that give off phenomenal flavor and dry bitterness. This is truly an earthy beer that reminds me very much of Orval. A sweet finish brings out the evident use of sugar in this beer. There is definately some wild funk blended into this one, but perfectly balanced. Outstanding flavor!!!

M-The spicy, funky, dry, chalky mouthfeel is magical. The body is thin, but loaded with depth. The finish on this beer is legendary and I would love to see this style of subdued funk in more of today's beer.

D-Oh my god, this beer is so good, it should be banned. I love that it is only 7% because it holds enough body and flavor but doesn't wreck you after the first bottle. I could easily drink this all night (every night)

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Photo of ikantspel
4.97/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

bottled on 12/21/10

355 ml served into duvel tulip

pours a beautiful hazy amber color with a medium creamy head.

sweet bready smell with some belgian yeast and malts mixed in. also some banana.

this tastes like it can be a gimmick beer. sweet banana bread beer. the taste is even better than the smell

balances the carbonation perfectly with the slightly heavy

this is THE best BSPA ive ever had.

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Photo of shootncast
4.92/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I tend to stay on the black beer side of things but decided to give this beer a try seeing as I am from Chicago and frequent Goose Island Brewery. All I can say about this beer is I wished my tongue was long enough to lick the inside of the bottle. Thier will definatly be a case of Matilda in the fridge at all times.

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Photo of Realale
4.89/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Slightly hazy orangish gold. Extremely fine, bright white head starts at an inch or so and settles to an incomplete cap.

Simply stunning nose! Bright crackery malt, lemony citric hops, and a hearty whack of bretty barnyardy goodness fill the nose. Mouthwatering stuff.

Medium light in the mouth Waves of dry lemony malt arrive, and are amply supported by wicked acidity and complex earthy barnyard flavors. Outstanding length. Great, great beer here.

Extremely fine carbonation keeps this light and lively, though it does have a slight drying effect on the palate. Perilously drinkable, wonderful with food, and a wholly captivating beverage. Bravo! 2006 Release.

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.85/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

vintage 2006, i'm hoping that with slight aging that the flavors will have complexed a little without losing the hop edge...

A- absolutely striking fire-glow orange/apricot is clear at first becoming hazy then cloudy burnt apricot with little flecks of yeast sinking to the bottom. the orange tinted beige head is a monster and is completely unstoppable, and also contains little specks of yeast giving it a very rustic and unrefined look along with the packaging. foam forms a loose network of bubbles ranging from huge to teeny-weeny under its leathery skin, and pouring it in a duvel glass seems to enhance this effect.

S- fruity bread sums it up, but i like to dig deep as possible. it smells like the first saison i ever tried. tart and extremely floral, it has the smell of fruit blossoms and fermenting apricot and red plums, or a summation of just about everything in the prunus subgenus. i remember a plum tree in my grandpa's yard and the way the dropped fruit would smell when it got all mushy and hot. incredible yeast as well, it's musky and barnyard, with a hint of clove and maybe some other spices. malt is up front in the aroma too, giving me visions of dense rich egg bread and honey. only a small amount of grassy hops in the nose, possibly also attributing to its amazing floral character, but with such complexity here, i don't really need to smell hops.

T- all at once, tart fruit and sourdough bread, and fresh cut flowers, namely roses and lilies. though slightly mellowed, the hops push through unchallenged, then oddly all the other flavors seem to gather together making the back half a seamless balance. goose really did it to em this time. apricot, plum, dried peach, white raisin, and cherry notes are all wrapped up in those rose/lily petals, and in some ways i wish the taste lived up to the aroma. it seems to be lacking a certain fruity kick, perhaps more sourness, however, this beer is so damn enjoyable that it's hard to take more than 0.5 point away. another thing i appreciate is the absence of candy sugar sweetness, which allows all the earthy primeval flavors to shine. strong yeast taste is showcased here, for good reason, and all its exotic spiciness just sits on the tongue indefinitely. crisp grassy hops, probably nobles, make for a zesty dry citrus finish that leans on the lemon side and becomes ever-so-orange near the bottom of the glass. quite a nice transition.

MF- damn near perfect for the style, juicy in the cheeks but light on the tongue thanks to delicate prickly carbonation. a medium dryness is achieved at the end, something i've noticed as rather uncommon, dryness in most beers seems to be miniscule or extreme. i could appreciate a little more richness to the body, but i have a feeling that it would become unappreciated as time goes by SO all in all... i'm ready to go waltzing, matilda, because this is at the top of my 200 or so beers this year.

D- sincerely impressed by one of my favorite breweries, i never expected these hop connoisseurs to go belgian, but they did, and i gotta thank em for it. not an everyday beer of course, or even one to drink in session-- that would diminish its majesty, but i want another one right now and i can't cuz i have to go to work :(

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Photo of Chizoad
4.85/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing. This was the first Goose Island beer I'd had and I wish all of them could be this good.

Golden cloudy body, excellent cream colored head, good lacing.

Yeasty, bready, definitely some funk in there.

Slightly sour at first, fades rapidly to a bread-like yeast flavor. Funk lingers just long enough to move into a dry finish with crisp, bittering hops right at the end. It's really rare to find a beer that tells a sort of story with each sip.

Perfect sipping beer. Medium-heavy body, highly crisp carbonation. Never gets old.

Too bad there seem to be some consistency issues with this one. At least my bottle was probably the best Belgian pale ale I have ever had.

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Photo of Gunslinger711
4.84/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at GI - Clybourn

Tasting notes from 2-15-11

Served in a sample glass.

A - Matilda pours a light hazy amber color. Sparse head, almost no lacing.

S - The smell is incredible, you have a variety of scents: malt, sweet honey, something floral in the mix...

M - Light but a little sticky mouthfeel

T - All of the scents transfer to taste along with a gentle Belgian wheat finish.

Excellent example of a strong pale ale, I would definitely drink this again.

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Photo of Ardon
4.84/5  rDev +21.3%
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!

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

Bottled in April 2015
Served lightly chilled in a Goose Island Vintage Glass, it pours a beautiful golden orange, opaque, with a two-finger head, frothy, with low retention, that leaves a thin layer of foam. A lot of carbonation, streams of bubbles keep going to the surface. Good lacing.
The golden orange is so perfect that you can see it shine.

Beautiful and assertive bouquet. Huge clove, spices, a little funkiness, and fruity sweetness.

First sip. This is so complex that it leaved me perplexed.
It follows the nose accurately, just that the funkiness gained depth, and the fruits gained strength and definition. Peach, apricot, tangerine, plum. There is also a herbal note very assertive too. The spices are present all throughout.
Sweet upfront but it balances, and it finishes dry. The alcohol becomes present in the aftertaste once the beer starts warming up a bit.
High carbonation, with such a gratifying sensation that enhances all the flavors. Medium to light body, mildly smooth.

I've had this beer before, and I don't remember it being so incredible scrumptious. It may be the facts that it has almost a year of age now, its right temperature and that I used the rightful glassware.
I have a four pack eager to gain some years, can't wait.

Amazing complex beer.

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Photo of Torps
4.82/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Spiegelau stemmed pilsner.. 2009 Vintage.

Pours a small 1 finger off white head that dissipated very quickly. Looks like organic honey picked up at a local farmers market. A beautiful golden yellow with amber highlights. Fine carbonation dancing along the sides of the glass. Aroma of honey, coriander, apples, wheat, medicinal herbs and spice. There's just a ton of sweet and floral aromas emanating from the glass. Wow.. this tastes so much like Orval. Brett really shines through. Slight tart balances with the honey, yeast and spiced flavors to meld an awesome tasting brew. I'm getting a new taste adventure with each sip. So many layers of taste. Mouthfeel is great and the drinkability superb.

I had one excellent Orval once and this is right up there with it I'd have to say. I've had the infected Matilda too and was put off by the sourness. This is wholly different.

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Photo of KevCan
4.81/5  rDev +20.6%
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!

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Photo of Eisen
4.8/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2010 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Review from notes 01/01/2014
A: Very, very foamy white head over medium/light cloudy amber. Fades eventually into a thick lacing.
S: Spicy, yeast esters, fresh, tropical.
T: Perfectly balanced between slightly citric and sweet, bitter and fruity. Nothing stands out to bring it to perfect.
M: Everything is perfect except a slightly stinging bitter that is a bit out of place.
O: Almost perfect.

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Photo of bnes09
4.79/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 10/11/11.

Bright, golden-orange color and slightly hazy. Corona of yeast haze below the surface. Pours a towering two and a half finger head which provides ample lacing.

Smells like apricot nectar, apple juice and menthol, Mild ginger spice. Sweet and fruity with yeast character.

Light and fluffy biscuity malt background. Make way for apricot jam, white grape and apple juice. Just enough floral, herb hops to balance. Simple, yet sophisticated and the balance really brings out the best of each flavor.

Medium bodied with a grainy, yeasty texture. Crisp, juicy texture. Well carbonated.

Great Belgian-styled ale. Subtle, delicate complexity in perfect balance.

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Photo of Beerbuddha
4.77/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle dated: 030206

Appearance- This beer was a gusher! I lost 1/4 of the beer upon opening. I was warned ahead of time so thankfully I was prepared. The beer poured a nice hazy orange with a huge, cloud like fluffy off white head. Lacing was present throughout the short life of the beer.

Smell- Wow. Nice hints of cherries,apples, citrus and barnyard mustiness.

Taste- The smell and taste are almost identical. It has a nice malty sweetness with again hints of cherry, apples and citrus. The beer also has a nice sour quality to it as well. The hops add a nice spicy pepper quality and give it some bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Nice medium body with lots of carbonation.

Overall- An incredible beer that I wish we could get ahold of down here in Louisiana. My former boss at Southern Eagle who gave me this beer can help with that! (Hint, hint Trey!) Goose Island did a great job recreating a Belgian beer.

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Photo of bmelanco
4.77/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Super nice. This is the smoothest Belgian I have ever tasted. Nice orange color. not as strong as many belgians, but that may be agood thing for this beer. Granted, Belgian isn't my favorite style, but I do appreciate 90% of them. THis beer had a very nice floral smell and taste with a great sweetness balance. Not sure what the matilda name is about. Matilda reminds me of a bruiser; theis beer is a delicate flower.

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Photo of jpoder
4.76/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at public house sports bar in Chicago Great beer!

A: hazy orange white head falling to nice lacing

S: funk, sour, cherry

T: nicely sour with yeast. AlcIHollywoodForum present

M: medium body. Slick, rye-like finish

O: really like this beer! Very nice

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Brilliant amber with a thin white finely bubbled foam collar.
S: flowery nose, fruity, some tartness, the barnyard is there but subdued.
T: The beer starts fruity leaning to bubble gum, peach or mango, more malt mid-palate and then a balancing bitterness at the back where the sweet fruits, the malts and the earthy hop bitterness all come together.
F: Medium to medium light body, average to a little above on the carbonation, very fine and soft , has the Brett texture.
O: This should age quite well but unfortunately bottles never last long at my house.

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Photo of ChristopherWIU-UTPA
4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Goose Island Matilda, in my opinion, is a world class beer of the highest quality. It pours copper colored, finger sized head, and medium carbonation. It has tastes of hops, malts, and fruits, this is do to the Styrian and Saaz Hops that is used. It has a spicy fragrance, goes down smooth for a Belgian ale, and has pleasant after taste.

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Photo of Stocean1
4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

What a treat! Poured a three finger head into a pint glass, good retention, thick patchy lacing on the glass, orange honey hued colour, beautiful - nose is floral, honey, passion fruit - taste follows with a nice hop backbone - honey, tangerine, passion fruit, bitter orange peel, Belgian yeast - mouth takes the cake, oily and slick, velvet smooth, sweet and dry, slightly prickly, with a lingering aftertaste that is oh so good - hate going over the top but my 4.75 does it no justice - simply a world class brew that holds its own against anything

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Holy crap! This is THE best American Belgian I've had! This is another of the leftovers from the Iowa City Brew Fest, provided by our Goose Island distributer.

The beer pours to a cloudy pale golden color with an odd rust colored glow. Looks great. Has a very fine head that takes a while to recede but stays at about 1 cm. Carbonation is good. Lacing is spotty.

Smells very light and fruity with some spicy and grassy hops. Definitely some funky yeast going on in there. Amazing stuff.

The taste is exceptional. Very juicy but not too sweet. Taste somehow reminds me of a mamosa with a bit of grainy beer flavor and hops added in. The hop bite is very subtle, but sharp on the tongue. Actually tastes like it's from Belgium, unlike many American renditions of Belgian beers I've tried.

I only wish this was a more readily attainable beer, as I've really got a taste for it now. It would make a great session beer otherwise, but I am still savouring my only bottle as I wrap this review up.

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Photo of BelgLuvr
4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a cloudy amber. Bottle gushed a bit on opening - it's alive! Tall Belgian style head left some nice lace. Marvelous complex aroma of spices and fruits. Mouth feel was creamy, tangy. Spice notes came through strongly in the flavor. I have a weakness for Belgian style blonde ales, and an automatic suspicion when American brewers claim to make them. For me, Goose Island knocks this one out of the park, and at only 7% ABV, I can have another!

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Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
3.99 out of 5 based on 4,700 ratings.
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