Matilda | Goose Island Beer Co.

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very good
1,262 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

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Reviews: 1,262 | Ratings: 4,668
Photo of ArrogantB
3.16/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is a 2006 vintage bottled on 03/02/06 so it is a little over a year and a half old. I foolishly stuck my nose over the bottle and took a whiff, the bottle was a gusher and I began breathing foam, shit! The color is a nice cludy, dark orange. It smells slightly medicinal and tastes medicinal and dry. I'm not so impressed by this beer, its ok.

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Photo of marcpal
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into cylinder glass. Bottled 05, poured 07.

bottled 03/2006, sampled 05/07

A: Dark amber wiith reasonable fading head. Broad bubbles.

S: Spices and fruits. Bready aromas with not much alcohol. Could detect the fizziness.

T: Yeasty and fruity with toasted bubbles. The breadiness was interesting at first but seemed to fight against the fruity esters that were holding down the belgian characteristics. Really didnt pick up much in terms of the hops but the flavors were just a big confusion on my palate.

M: Too much carbonation. Light for the most part.

D: Alcohol presence not strong but did not find it enjoyable enough to really crave more. Not offensive but not tempting.

Overall I was very disappointed in this beer. Just seemed sloppy to me, given 2 tries and still the same. A lot may be due to it not being a style I enjoy perhaps but just found it confusing. Not sure if affected by age but other reviews had me expecting more. Least favorite GI offering thus far.

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Photo of MillRat
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a GI Reserve tulip glass at the Bavarian Lodge. Hazy yellow-orange with a persistent white head. Citrus and pepper aroma with grainy malt in the background. The flavor adds more fruit flavors to the citrus, with some apricot or peach. Prominent (Brett?) funkiness that tames the fruitiness. You can taste the hops bitterness if you concentrate on finding it, but it's only in a supporting role. A well-crafted and true to style Belgian, and quite drinkable.

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Photo of cabsandking
3.86/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly cloudy orange with copper highlights and a rocky, two finger, off white head that hold its own. Big lemony citrus and rock candy aroma followed by a booziness and some buttery toffee in the back. Nutty, grain bread, slight caramel malt bill. Citric acidity throughout and a stiff peppery bitterness follows. Tea like florals from the start and notes fruity, orange rind and clove here and there. Hot for a 7.0, but can be easily ignored. A smooth mouthfeel fights with high carbonation that bites the tongue. As it warms earthier and somewhat charred grain characters become more apparent.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.97/5  rDev +24.9%
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 crayphish
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Goose Island offering pours a clear clean amber. Moderate carbonation drifts up to thick craggy white head. Some lacing noted. Smell is floral hops, lemons, and an earthy element. Taste is fairly sweet with some sour notes as well. At first I was a but put off, but the beer was too warm. The sourness mellowed and turned out to be enjoyable. The sweetness resembles nut bread. Mouthfeel is a bit creamy but nothing over bearing. And gets cleaned up nicely by the noted sour hints and hops. I'd like to try this brew again for sure, though it is definitely nothing to be sessioned.

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Photo of markaberrant
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - clear, light copper, massive puffy head, lots of lacing.

S - fresh lemon and grass, with some sweetness and spice layered underneath

T - fairly sweet overall, just a hint of herbal hops to balance things out. Spices are just about right for my taste. There is a bit of malt compexity (hence the copper tone), a mild bread/nut mixture shows up in the aftertaste.

M - soft mouthfeel, not as light as most authentic Belgians, but still ok.

D - This is a solid little beer, and at 7% I could easily drink a couple

This beer is really hitting the spot right now. The only other GI beer I've tried is the 312 Urban Wheat, so this is a pleasant surpise (even more surprising was finding 4-packs of these in Minot, ND). This certainly isn't for fans of drier Belgians, but if you don't mind a bit of sweetness, this is a very drinkable version.

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Photo of 1fastz28
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

ohh how looks can be deceiving, went to my fave local bar and i was the first to get this beer, they tapped it just for me :) appearance is average a copper color with very little carbonation or head. smell is of fruit and yeast but thats about it, but holy crap it tastes great. i had pen in hand at the bar to review this beer and i dropped the pen, its really really damn good. moutfeel is thick and full and wonderful. drinkability is also very high, just wish they weren't 6 bucks a pop, but if you get a chance to try it, especially on draft, i suggest you do it

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amazing, airy-yet-sturdy Belgian head, vanilla custard in color, styrofoam in texture with mesa-like retention thanks to my Chimay glass. Body is a brightly glowing red delicious orange color.

Smell: Very, very fruity - apple juice, white grapes, Champagne, kiwi, canned pear. Slight clovey spice, glue-like solvents with an almost barnyardy funk, mild caramel from the malts and a citric-herbal hop character reminiscent of autumn leaves or lemon thyme.

Taste: Difficult to pin down, very sweet at first, like apple pie a la mode potpourri. Sweetness slides out of the way like a curtain to reveal a dry, phenolic yeast character and a resiny hop bitterness, which, to be honest, kind of cancel each other out. Hops clinch the finish with a zip of spice, followed by a lightly lingering tannic, vaguel rye bready yeast aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Splendid, thanks to that magical head. Smooth yet textured, airy yet full and creamy. Sticky, yet clean.

Drinkability: A bit of a disappointment, to be honest, but still good. A valiant effort to pay homage to the big boys (Duvel, Chimay White, DT), but not quite complex or interesting enough. And the amount of hops use does not quite seem "profuse," as the bottle describes it.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jpm30 for this one.

Bottled 03/02/06 2006 Vintage

Poured into a chalice a golden orange color, nice carbonation, huge two-finger plus creamy off-white head, tons of sticky lacing throughout the drink. The nose is malty, yeasty, nice spicyness, and floral, slight caramel. The taste is awesome, malty/yeasty, nice touch of spice/floral, and caramel. There is a very slight tangyness as well. Medium body, well rounded brew. Very drinkable. Highly recommended indeed. Another awesome brew from GI. Really there is not much difference between the 05/06 vintages, well at least that I can tell. Still an awesome brew.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.56/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Goose Island- Matilda

Thanks to Pimpp for this 1.

A- Hazy/ cloudy reddish orange with a thick billowy head. Messy lacing down half the glass.
S- Weird funkiness. Spices (pepper), farmhouse funk- hay/ straw.
T- Slighty sour with a tart/ sugary twang. Citrus fruits like orange and grapefruit with an equal mixture of tropical fruits, pinapple and mango.
M- Sour and tart up front with a fruity finish.

Overall- Tasty with an odd funk to it.

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Photo of crazybrody06
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a complex beer. Poured from the bottle into a small "water" glass. Poured with minimal head, the amber colored brew had a small amount of sediment in it. At first smell it was very hoppy, citrus, brown sugar. The taste was of a wheat beer with lots of hops, citrus, and the brown sugar comes in too. Medium mouth feel, with decent drinkablity

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Photo of DaggerEyes
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle dated 03/15/2007

Poured into a tulip glass a clear copper with an enormus rocky foamy head. Beads of carbonation rushing to the surface. The apperance is almost picture perfect. Head retention is good, lots of lacing, very sticky

Bready candied malts on the nose with some notes of orange rind, apple cider, brown sugar, spices, nutmeg, clove a bit musty

taste Sweet tropical fruits, phenolls dry finish

Thin body that rounds out nicely in the mouth to feel a lot fuller than it is. A moderate amount of carbonation.

Very dry, the type of beer you need to drink with a glass of water near by, I can't see myself having more than one of these in a session, though I would definitely have it again. I'd be interested to see how this beer ages.

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Photo of seaoflament
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to Jay23 for sending this beer my way.

This is a 2007 edition and bottled date of: 03-15-07.

Pours a rusty golden color with a huge amount of foam. Great head retention and thick soapy lacing.

The aroma is very yeasty with some honey, lemon/coriander, and white pepper aromas.

Taste is similar to the aroma: yeasty/bready, some citrus and spicy notes. As the beer warms up there is more malt and sweet caramel flavors.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated, a bit too much maybe.

I have a 2006 bottle and I'm looking forward to see how a few more years will change this beer, hopefully for the better.

****update 1/7/09****

I got this one a while back from BRoss242; bottled on 030206. I wasn't even planning on re-reviewing this one but the beer was interesting enough. I haven't had the pleasure of drinking this one since I had it fresh back in October 2007.

I read stories about this one being a gusher when aged so I was prepared with my tulip right next to me. A loud "hiss" as I cracked the cap and slowly but surely a stream of bubbles rose to the top. Even with a careful pour more than half the glass filled with a soapy, sticky, a pillow-y crown of foam that lasted a few minutes. Bubbles stuck to the sides of the glass. Very long retention. The color of the beer is a golden color with a hint of brown. (4.5)

Bready aromas mixed with tropical fruits, mango, pineapple, pear, nectarine, peach, green apples, saltine crackers, seltzer water, and an underlying brett aroma. Slight plastic and band-aid aroma, not offensive in anyway, just enough to bring some funkiness to the aroma. Very pleasing aroma, floral, fruity, yeasty, and funky. (4.5)

Some plastic flavor upfront followed by toast, stale bread, and a bit of fruitiness. A dusty, brett-like finish. Second sip had more Belgian yeast qualities with some spiciness. Ripe orange and grapefruit with a touch of bitterness. A little tropical mango and pineapple at mid-palate. Belgian pale malts and toast in the aftertaste with a bit of sweetness but balanced with some dryness. Also picking up some lemon, coriander, and some herbal qualities. (4)

Well carbonated, a little sting on the tongue but the sharpness helps wash out the funkiness in the flavor. Softer feel when the beer warms up a bit, almost creamy. (4)

I'm surprised and glad at how this one has aged, would definitely age some more of this. I think this one is better aged. (4)

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

Presentation--2007 batch from Rare Beer Club

A: red colored ale, almost cherry or burnt sunset. thick head that held for a bit to a thin film.

S: flowery hop nose, pppery spice, alcohol in nose for only 6.5%, full and big, fruity esters

T: nice malty spine, caramel, peppery spice with front end bitterness. fruitiness and very sweet. Spicy finish but not bitter.

M: chewy almost, full with a carbonic bite

D: easy, smooth, and a bit heady for the light alcohol.

Overall: second time I've had this beer, and it's never really grown on me. Don't get me wrong, it's a good beer but doesn't make great for me. Balance seems a bit off, too spicy for the malt, not sure. Good but I won't buy it again when I've got other choices.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle date 3/02/06

Gusher upon opening, none lost though as the loud release of pressure gave warning..
Managed to get half the bottle into the glass, with the rest of the glass being spongy, lively foam.
Eventually the brew settled down to a body of hazy, orangy gold, and a thin, dense head of off-white.
A myriad of lace tracks knitted the glassware from top to bottom.
Aromatics are phenolic, citrusy and medicinal. A clove-studded orange with a band-aid on the bottom.
More spicy than barnyard in this one, with faint whispers of spruce, pepper, lime zest, and spearmint gum foil.
The body is light and creamy, with plenty of spritz.
The clovey phenolics lead off the pallet, and quickly there is a peppery warmth that comes forward. Almost a blend of black peppercorns and paprika. Malt is subdued, and bitterness is substantial enough to add a good amount of crispness and keeps the brew from going limp.
The pallet finishes with a transition from the spicy heat to an alcoholic warmth that lingers.

If this is an ode to Orval, it is missing the hoppiness that gives Orval it's signature, and the brett character is a little off.
I think a little more funk and dry hopping would bring Matilda up another notch.
Pretty damn tasty none the less!

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Photo of beerphan
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle -> goblet
2006 vintage, bottle 3/20/06

Pours a hazed orange with a billowy slightly off white head with some staying power. Lace is sporadic and chunky. Carbonation appears robust.

Nose: Slight yeast, some mild caramels.

Very smooth. The smoothest belgium I've come across. Nice malty goodness, with a slight bitterness.

My favorite belgium to date for this belgium amateur.

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

The beer pours a cloudy dark gold color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a warm pale and light crystal malt scent as well as a fruity yeast aroma. The taste is good. It has a dry pale and light crystal malt scent. It goes down easy and finishes a bit warm with some fruity yeast esters. It's not an exceptional Belgian beer, but it's quite tastey. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good drinking beer. I like the yeast presence.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.39/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tried at bottle of this at an Irish bar in Chicago called the Emerald Loop. Bartender gave me the bottle and a glass, and upon my first attempt to pour, it foam up big time in the glass. The beer was way too over-carbonated. After letting it settle for maybe 5 minutes, it took me two more attempts to get it all out into the glass. Pours a nice hazy yellow, like a Belgian. The taste was pretty good for the style, but it reminded me of a weakened tripel in essence. Not a horrible beer, but I think I just got one from a bad batch perhaps.

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Photo of zeff80
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on March 2, 2006.

A - Poured out a cloudy, burgandy/orange color with a tan, bubbly, one-finger head. The head dissipated after several minutes and left a little lace.

S - It smelled of corriander and orange. The was a dried fruit and malt aroma, too.

T - It tasted of orange and malt. It had some spice from the hops.

M - It was crisp and dry. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is another good GI beer. A descent attempt at a Belgian ale.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A four finger rocky and orange tinged head rises over a glowing blood-orange brew that is hazy and luminescent. The head pits and crevices as it recedes to a nice rocky cap, and lots of sticky lace is left on the glass. This looks nice and it should given that it basically says that it's an Orval-inspired brew right on the front label.

S - Fruity, hoppy, and gluey in an odd chemical way. Oranges, Maraschino cherries in the jar, wheat, canned pineapple, marmalade, band-aides and Elmer's glue. A very odd nose for sure, but I actually quite like it. Very complex. I like beers that make me think of odd scents and memories, and this one does it.

T - Mandarin oranges drained of their juice, hospital band-aide and gauze (I don't know what those thing taste like, but this is what I imagine they must taste like based on how they smell), paint, guava, mango, glue, paper. This has some flavors like the brown paper hand towels that they have in grade school classrooms. These flavors are really off-the wall and all over the place, but they are very unique, un-beer-like, inspiring, and intriguing. And for those reasons...I like it.

M - Creamy carbonation, full bodied, gluey, slick, and a little bit warming. Like the nose and the flavor, this is a very weird feeling. And like the nose and flavor, I like it for that exact reason.

D - Ok. This is one goofy brew. This beer is what you might taste if you went to a planet or another dimension very similar to Earth and asked for a beer. Good, but just really, really weird. Maybe made with extraterrestrial ingredients.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.46/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From label, appearance in the glass, and aroma, this is an Orval clone. Yum, Orval. But I digress. Body is glowy red/tan with a respectable head and smallish cling.

Nose is Brett-forward with mild, woodsy hops and an unfortunate resemblance to Ketchup.

Taste instantly prickles the tongue with Brett. Not at all as hoppy as say Orval or XX Bitter, but clearly some bittering at play here (unlike Demolition and Pere Jacques). Again, it doesn’t do the dry-dance that Orval does but it gets the job done. Nice showcase for Brett here, but since there isn’t too much else of interest going on it comes on a bit like a Brett-beer for beginners, or a training-wheeled XX Bitter. I’d much rather go for either of those options, personally.

Slick and fairly ephemeral on the palate.

Drinkability is not bad, especially after sludging through GI’s other almost undrinkable “Belgian” beers. Clearly worth having a few to lay down. I’d be interested to see this beer in a few years but I don’t think it really has the legs.

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Photo of Gmann
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden amber color with a fantastic off-white head that left a sheet of lacing on the glass. The smell is quite faint for a Belgian, light bubble gum, honey, and candi sugar. The taste is of honey, a touch of granny smith apple, corriander, light candi sugar, light orange peel, decent malt presence and a nice subtle hop finish. Great flavor range. The feel is moderate and crisp, well carbonated, almost champagne like, a very well balanced brew. This is a very fine brew. A refreshing American take on a Beligan style. Good Beligan flavors with a nice American hop balance.

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Photo of bort11
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Massive head that tries to escape the glass with a slow recede. Intricate sticky webbing left on the glass. Color is a mildly hazy orange. Smell has a dried citrus aroma with herbal qualities. Taste is very dry and has some tobacco flavor mixed with orange-y apricot flavor.
Mouthfeel is dry with a good amount of carbonation. Definitely has a boozy warmth to is. Very nice.

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Photo of ByTor2112
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours up a shade of orange marmalade with a thick head that is trying to match up color wise. From the side of the glass the top is white-ish and it darkens close to the brew. Cool!
Aroma-tart, yeasty, musty, slightly acidic
Mouthfeel- sweet and sour malt flavors with a flash of white wine flavor. The hop bitterness is noticeable but it is mutated with the yeast-hard to describe this unique flavor characteristic.
Very carbonated like champagne and finishes dry. A froth on the palate releases some of the alcohol, rather warming for 7%. I am still developing my Belgian palate but this a very good beer. Goose Island has never disappointed either.

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Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
3.98 out of 5 based on 4,668 ratings.
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