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 Mongoose
1.46/5  rDev -63.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Poured okay - a rich honey color although the head did not stay long.

The smell was almost skunky. Before I even sipped it I was a little wary.

The taste was horrible - dirty diaper would absolutely best describe it. I had one a couple of weeks ago and felt for sure that it had to be a skunk bottle. Went back 3 weeks later - got another bottle - and tasted again. Same result -

I love a good ale.This is not an easy drinking beer.

This is a beer I could never recommend.

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Photo of JLaw55
2/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Not a fan of this one. There is a strong funkiness I do not like. I would assume it is the brettanomyces yeast that I am not liking. This may be for some people, but to me it just tastes spoiled.

Would Drink Again: No
Would Purchase Again: No

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Photo of Illini5596
2.06/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a cloudy amber with a small bit of head (maybe half an inch) which sadly fades quickly. The lace is sticky but almost non-existent.

I'm mildly put off by the smell, kind of grassy, with some unpleasantness.

On tasting it, given the bad odor, poor head, and almost non-existent carbonation, I'm beginning to think I have a skunked beer. Just bought it this week too. A shame. I'll re-review this one when I get the chance, given the excellence of the other Goose Island reserves I have trouble believing this beer is really this bad.

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Photo of jbakajust1
2.1/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12oz 01/26/2010 Bottle poured into SN Tulip

A - Deep ruby with a 2 finger beige head, nice carbonation, but too light for the style, very clear, head fades to thin cap with good lacing

S - Dark fruits, light cellar must, a little horsiness, grass, peppery alcohol, caramel and toffee, cloves, pears, a little banana, and mild chocolate

T - Chocolate, caramel, light spiciness, warming alcohol, raisins, dates and figs, honey, a little horsey.

M - Medium to full body, sweet, rich, lightly carbonated.

O - Very complex, deep, rich, spicy beer with lots of dark fruits, some Brett character, sweet finish, really enjoyed it... but it is not a Belgian Golden Strong. It is way too dark in color, aroma and flavor is of dark fruits and caramel and not of pears or apples, carbonation is too light, and the finish is too sweet for the style, Belgian Golden Strong finishes dry and has a lighter body. Great beer, just not to style. Had it been categorized as a Belgian Dark Strong, would have had an A.

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Photo of Prostman81
2.18/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer seemed to be trying too hard to be something. I like plenty of GIs other offerings, but this one just was a swing and a miss for me.

Poured a decent head, but just couldn't decipher any aroma. None of the usual malt/hop/yeast notes, except for maybe a tartness or sour note.

Taste is where this one falls flat for me. Too much Brett character...I just can't seem to get past it's flavor to appreciate any of the other things that would normally be associated with this style. The mouthfeel just is too thin...bordering on watery. Combined with the funk of the brett and it made for an unhappy camper. Managed to get thru the bottle but that's it, no more for me.

And I don't believe aging this one (as told by GI) will help it any either. Pass.

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Photo of DangQuesadilla
2.31/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I had this on tap tonight at my local establishment. I was rather disappointed and could not even finish the glass. It was served in a nice glass, and the bartender stated that it usually goes for $9 a glass. Tonight was half off all tap beers and I was getting a deal. I found this to have a slight undertone of peach... but after that, I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. It tasted like the smell of a dirty diaper to me. As I leave near Chicago, I have an affinity towards Goose Island. This one, is for the birds. Never again. Terrible mouth taste. Like I said, dirty diaper.

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Photo of MakenziMantey
2.34/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

The color of this beer is a dark yellow/orange. The aroma you get is a slightly orange smell with a hint of just straight rotten smell as well. Tasting this beer is strictly unpleasant and just not a good at all.

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Photo of FlemingVSKing
2.36/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I've come to realize that while I love IPA's, standard pale ales are just not my favorite and this one is a good example why.

It's flavor is just funky. It tastes musty and that being the case, any other redeeming factor can't possibly salvage it.

It does seem to be well crafted however so if pale ales are your thing or your looking to try one for the first time then this is probably one to check out.

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Photo of denjen
2.36/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dennis: Again I am left wonder why am I paying more than $2 dollars a bottle for a 7% brew that is made close enough for me drive to the brewery. It just boggles my tiny mind. Honestly, there just nothing amazing here...although it is a little odd to try to describe. The taste reminds me of either:
a.) the after taste of a 9 volt battery on my tongue
b.) evergreen pine scent
c.) lemon lime alka seltzer
d.) all of the above
There's a bit of a hop bitterness at the end, but it just comes in way to late to make anything of this. I'm already confused and a little disappointed

Jen: I would have to say that I am not overly impressed with this "expensive" beer. It has sweet malty characteristics with a backing of citrusy apple fruits and hops. It is light in body and quite bubbly. It is easy to drink, but I don't think that it is worth $8.99. If you are trying to decide between this and another, go with the other.

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Photo of Buckmaister
2.4/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A lighter orange/rust color which is kind of murky with the amount of sediment dancing around. Not really an attractive color to me. A half-inch head develops which quickly dissolves to a thin layer of foam on surface.

A smell of apricots and prunes is what I get from first whiff. I can also smell the malts!

It tastes like what it smelled like to me plus a bit more bitter than expected which is weird since it also seems slightly watered-down to me and usually 'bitterness' and 'water-down' don't go hand-in-hand. Not particularly enjoyable.

This slightly carbonated beverage feels fine to drink. There is a slight fizz feeling at the back of your tongue due to carbonation, but not enough to make me chug it.

Drinkability is average.

I will not be buying this ale again. It just isn't the flavor I like. Maybe if it didn't seem so watered-down or look like rust-water I would barely tolerate it.

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Photo of KarlHungus
2.4/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer pours a cloudy red-orange color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes within seconds into minimal lacing. The aroma is of some malt and some yeast, but is very subdued especially for the style. The taste is much the same, but with a strong nasty vomit like thing that I guess is most likely the yeast. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with high carbonation. Overall, this beer is hard to drink. I will not be drinking this again.

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Photo of JDV
2.4/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Rich honey colored pour with no lasting head. Pours somewhat hazy. Smell is malty and belgian yeast aromas and some metal. Average unremarkable flavor mostly from the yeast and some simple light maltiness. Really found this one especially tame and bland, even being congested as I was.

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Photo of SteveJeremy
2.43/5  rDev -39.1%
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.

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Photo of Kirsten_Ann92
2.46/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

When poured it was a beautiful dark amber colored ale. However, I was taken aback by the smell it excreted. It smelled like trash... I will blame that mostly on the yeast but it was really off putting. Though when I tasted it, it was not bad. It had a little spicy notes to it and was very dry. Overall not my kind of beer but it wasn't a horrible experience.

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Photo of tipofthetongue
2.47/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Although I am new at learning about diff types of beers, I have never had one like this.

Yeast beer may not be for me, as I was surprised at what a high rating it had.

I am grading this beer in general, not by its class.

The smell of the beer also threw me off... it was quite strong, almost a bit cheesy.

Can anyone school me on this type of beer?

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Photo of heybrewtiful
2.53/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked this up in a growler. What a funky, fetid beer. Like moldy lemon peel, pine trees, and wet cork. The smell of wet socks asserted itself right away and wouldn't let go. The foamy head was generous but dissipated quickly. A orangey golden color, and mild malty aftertaste. Would not choose this one again.

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Photo of mdaschaf
2.56/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a golden copper color with a foamy white head on top, about one inch in height. Decent head retention, slowly dissipating to a thin layer on top, leaving behind bits of thin lace as I drink. A little bit of sediment collected at the bottom of my glass.

A: The aroma is not quite what I expected. There is a heavy buttery component that masks some fruit. I can pick up a little bit of candied dates and cherries, but the butter is a bit overwhelming.

T: Not as buttery/acetyl as the aroma lead me to believe it would be, though it is present. There is a little bit of caramel, light spice, and a little bit of fruit.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Not the easiest drinking beer, not very crisp either.

O: Not sure whats up with this bottle. Not really what I expected at all. Will give it another try at some point and change the review should I need to.

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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 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 mvasilis
2.6/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bought at the ölbutikken in Copenhagen.

A: Not that much head, light, and bright foam. The color is golden and the liquid is clear.

S: Fruity jeast aroma, with a malty thouch, almonds.

T: Smooth maly taste with a lot of alcohol, Bitter in the start but it lays down quite fast.

M: A lot of CO2 (trippel) pretty creamy

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Photo of balconybrew
2.65/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Wasn't a fan... Pours with a white thick head that died off after a bit. . Hazy and cloudy amber in color. Very fruity, maybe banana?? A hint of spices. I might also taste a little honey. Very light and bubbly. Left a light laced glass, not completely clean. I don't think I would have another.

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Photo of steve8robin
2.66/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Got this one on a trip to NYC...

A: Nothing special. Very little white head that disappears into nothing.

S: Smells like apple juice. Very tasty smell.

T: Kind of taste like sour patch kids at the bottom of an ashtray. A lot more sour taste than I had expected. Awful!

M: Decent amount of carbonation. Ok smoothness.

D: Not very easy to get down.

All in all, I think this one will be a drain pour. Unless you like sour beers, do not try this one. Not very good unless you enjoy this type of brew.

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Photo of BeerCheese
2.68/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Took from the fridge and poured directly into a clean glass. Nice golden amber color with a little cloudiness from the sediment. Average sized soft white head. Bright fruity smell of cherries and oranges. Meduim/full body with medium carbonation. The taste was nothing special. Very little alcohol taste present, though it did leave a warming feeling going down. Taste was a little dry and malty with only a light hop taste on the finish. I really didn't care for this one very much.

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Photo of Abbo
2.7/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 3

Has the flavor and flavor of a Belgium. It's missing that carbonation I associate with most Belgium beers though, the champagne bubbles. Happy to drink it though

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Photo of prototypic
2.73/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottled on March 27, 2006

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a one finger head. Head dissipated shortly after pour.

Smell: Very nice piney hop smell. Various citrus smells (orange, mango, perhaps some banana). Sweetness is rolling right out of the mug. I'm even picking up a hint of alcohol in this one.

Taste: Spiciness is certainly the first thing that explodes on the tastebuds. Citrus (mostly orange) tastes are present. Tastes sweet after the spiciness tones down. A bit of hop bitterness follows. Alcohol isn't overpowering.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This one is a bit thick and syrupy. I'm sipping it. Overall, I'm not a fan. I think it's the spiciness that's a turn off for me. I wouldn't recommend it.

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