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Matilda | Goose Island Beer Co.

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4,777 Ratings

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,777 |  Reviews: 1,291
Photo of Bighuge
3.3/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale, dim orange. Big frothy, meringue like white head. The lace is all coating. Lots of froth left on my glass. Carbonation streams upward rapidly. Vibrant nose. Really fruity and estery. Apple and pear. Spicy as well with cinamon and pepper checking in. And yeasty doughiness as well. Nice nose. I notice some fusels first off on the buds. Then some spicy, peppery tones. Breadiness is diminished on the palate. Flavor not as full as the nose predicted. Carbonation is not as lively as I'd like. Just a little underwhelming. Body is light-medium or so. Not bad. Not good.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazed orange/amber hue, ample creamy fuzz above...

Aroma is sour at first...fresh, vibrant, full of that special Belgian feel, sweet and unique,...like nothing other...except for the others...

Tasting it: Mmmm! Smooth, tasty...lush fruit, smacks of sour, flush flavor, very particular, this...but altogether delicious! Almost like a saison, just about...but so very tasty, and satisfying...lofty and lovely, ...a keeper! Enjoy when you can!

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Photo of assurbanipaul
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep orangey gold with a tall frothy white head. Aroma is spicy and sweet with candy sugar, floral, bold citrus with orange or tangerine. Do I also smell Red Hots?

Taste is lightly malted, toasty and sweet but not as overly sweet as the nose. Plenty of candied elements with a light orange citrus, some white grape flavors, honey and apple. Layers of flavor emerge as it warms, although it flattens a little once it reaches room temp. Slight bitter finish, no trace of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium, just a little sticky. Well-carbonated, so it stays lively on the palate. Drinkability is very high, I like this a lot, a very good American Belgian. I could even session this.

Dated 07/27/05, consumed without aging.

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Photo of becktone
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Goose Island's Matilda pours to be an opaque orange/yellow color. It reminds me of the color of a tangarine or perhaps even wet maple 2x4. There was a head on this brew when I poured it, however it quickly dissipates to a film/lacing. When agitated the film/lacing becomes a little thicker, but it really doesn't look like a healthy head. Other than the issue of the head, this beer looks pretty good. Only if it had better head retention...

The first aroma from this beer that I noticed was a hoppy smell. I don't mean like IPA hoppy, but the hops in this beer definitely came through in the smell. I also smell a hint of spice(s). I really don't detect any malt in the aroma. This is definitely not how I expected this brew to smell. After drinking various other Belgian Pale Ales I expected more of a malt character in the aroma and taste of the beer.

The taste of this beer definitely surprised me when I first took a drink of it. I was expecting a taste similar to or along the same lines as Grimbergen Blonde or Leffe Blonde. I must say that I definitely enjoy this brew much much more. When it frist hits the palate the first thing I taste is the hop influence in this beer. Its not, as I said before, hoppy like an IPA; rather it is just hoppier than other Belgian Pale Ales that I have consumed. After the hops are tasted on the back of the tongue I notice that I can taste the spices that I detected in the aroma of the beer. Once swallowed the spice flavor grows while the once dominant, but not strong, hop character diminishes.

The beer has a good mouthfeel. It is not over or under carbonated and the amount of carbonation compliments the medium-heavy body of this brew. It goes down really smooth, just slides right on down the throat.

I would most definitely buy more of this beer. Infact, I prefer it to other Belgian Pale Ales that I have had. Perhaps this is because this style may have been Americanized by Goose Island. Perhaps they have decided to forego the sweet taste of Belgian Pale Ales brewed in Europe and instead give it a good mix of a hoppy and spicy character. Whatever the case is I can only say that I prefer this brew to other Belgian Pale Ales I've had (How many times have I said that now? It feels that 4-5 might be an accurate count.).

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Photo of meathookjones
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange colored body with a good-sized white head that dropped out of site fairly quickly leaving a bit of spotty lace. Fruity sweet aroma with a nice yeasty character to it. Mainly apples and pears notes, with some light floral scents in the mix. Taste starts off a bit fruity sweet with some funky yeast notes to complement the fruit. Floral and earthy hop notes are light but present. Ends with a spicy sweet finish that is a bit dry. Pretty smooth on the palette with enough body to carry the flavor. Easily drinkable as well.

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Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on draft, pours light almond amber, slight haze with bubbles rising slowly to the top. Frothy tan head, turning slowly to a tiny bubble film. This tasty substance leaves fine, intricate lacing. Nose is mildly of some floral and spicy hops. This is a delicate ale, moderatly hopped, nicely balanced and with a well meshed and subtle Belgian yeast edge mixed in. Light notes of honey, caramel, toffee and piney hops. Nicely crafted B.P.A.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a chalice)

A-This beer pours a nice warm amber color with a slightly hazy body and a thin creamy white head that forms a film on the surface. The carbonation is very gentle and a few tiny bubbles clinging to the glass.

S- Very nice fruity smell of perfume, roses, a faint cidery hint and soft pears. A slight pale malt sweetness is in the background also. Some light yeast characteristics from Belgian yeast round out the smell

T-Nice fruitiness in the pale malt taste with some bitterness that is from the hops. The very subtle hops also offer a very faint horse blanket taste that is very nice. The finish is dry with a very faint spice to it also.

M- medium mouthfeel with no fizz or alcohol warmth.

D- This is a good solid beer. It is an easy session beer that has lots of great qualities of a Belgian Pale Ale but it has more. The hops offer a nice balance and the faint barnyard quality of them really makes this refreshing but not an "extreme" beer. I will be buying this again soon.

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Photo of Viggo
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy orange/amber, small head forms, some nice lacing on the glass. Smell is orange peel, spices, yeast, some citrus and floral hops, honey. Taste is orange, a metric asston of spice, some rich fruit and floral hops, pear and apple. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, medium carbonation, smooth and tasty. The flavour was a little one dimensional but I really enjoyed this beer, very excellent.

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Photo of Jason
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown twist off bottle with a "bottled on" freshness date.

A- Hazed pale orange amber with a thick frothing head

S- Herbal hop oil, slight medicinal phenols raw honey like malt aroma. Lemony, juniper & clove.

T- Great hop character, nice sting of hop bitterness with a flavorful oily finish. Mild phenols bring an herbal almost bark-like flavor. Sweet tropical fruit is light on the palate with a warming ester alcohol ... this mixes well with the pale malt honey-like character. Very flavorful.

M- Hard crispness, solid smoothness within a medium body.

D- Easy to sip, it went down quicker than I anticipated.

This is like a more refined version of De Ranke XXX or Hommelbier. Hands down the best American brewed Belgian Style Pale Ales I have had this year.

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Photo of DrJay
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Faint haze in this orange/amber beer. Topped by a cream coloured, thin head that reduces quickly to a ring around the glass, but it does show some nice lacing. The aroma is quite spicy, mostly with cloves, but some floral hops and cinnamon peek through as well. The flavour is very spicy, with cloves all the way through. Mild bitterness is accompanied by mild hop flavours. As it warms some fruitiness appears and the hop flavour becomes stronger. Some bitter orange peel adds character and there's a lingering citrus/spice combination in the finish. Slightly drying, it's generous carbonation is smooth and the attenuation is fairly high. Overall, a nice beer. A little strong on the spiciness perhaps, but quite enjoyable nonetheless. Thanks Viggo!

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Photo of Winter
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The label alludes to this being an Orval clone or tribute. Pours amber in color with a creamy off-white head with thick lacing. Aroma consists of fresh pears, apples, bubblegum and peppery yeast. Full-bodied mouthfeel. Spicy malt (from the yeast) and some caramel apple flavors upfront. Peppery yeast picks up midway though. Alcohol detected in the finish.

This was quaffed rather easily and the carbonation and mouthfeel soften as the beer warms to room temperature. Not bad at all.

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Photo of karst
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at the Goose Island 1800 N. Clybourn St.Chicago, Ill. Matilda is offer in limited draft and bottles in mid August.

Pours a hazed peach-gold with a one finger head and a cap supported by strong beading rising from the bottom of the long stemmed Goose Island oversized wine globe with gold decorations that matches the neck ring on the bottle that was brought to the table unpoured.

Aroma fresh orchard fruits sweetened with cotton candy with Belgium yeast hints following far behind.

Flavors sweet and juicy pears. Subtle dryness overpowered by candy sweetness. Mild bitterness in the finish. Well hidden alcohol. Becomes more complex, slightly musty yeast, mild spices and lemon-orange flavors are more evident as it warms.

Body is medium-full and a round dextrinous mouthfeel.

Drinkability: at $7.00 per bottle - this got expensive quick (only $2.50 down the street)! So delecious your likely to ignore its cost. One of the two must haves from Goose Island ( December released - Bourbon County Stout is the other)

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Photo of far333
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Apricot colored with a thick head of off-white meringue that leaves lumpy residue atop the liquid and sends fuzzy finfgrs rising up the insides of the glass. Aroma of honey and ripe fruit, some fine hops, bready malt and a bit of yeast. Smooth and full mouthfeel leads to a flavor of cinnamon and clove, a dash of nutmeg, delicate malt, and a finish of yeast. A smooth and well-balanced beer, enjoyable sipper, but just on the low side of drinkability due to the yeasty linger. Thanks ro Brent for sending this one along.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
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 cokes
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden amber seated below a mountain of mauve fluff.
Baked pears, ginger, horse stables, and lemongrass aromas.
Begins with a concentrated fruitiness that suggests, simultaneously gala apples, peaches, pears, and grapefruit; then it inches sweeter yet via rock candy. Yeast hits with an initial white peppercorn burst, then settles into bretty notions of lathered pack animals and granite. It closes with a loud hop exclamation of orange oil, wintergreen, and fescue.
Modest in the mouth, both in build and in bubbles. A couple tacky sugars keep this from divinity in the mouth, but on the whole it seems pretty authentic, and lightyears ahead of GI's other Belgian-styled creations.
Oh, and this is a drinker in the fiercest sense.
A nice Orval homage here.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Matilda pours a hazy golden-orange body beneath a creamy head of ivory froth that holds quite well and leaves some very nice lace about the glass. In the mouth it gently bristles before warming to become lightly creamy. The nose is fruity with a suggestion of tartness (think Brettanomcyes); malty and a bit candyish; a touch musty; and subtly spicy.... all of which carry over in the flavor with the addition of some welcome hops! It finishes drying with some residual sticky malt, but it's solid, underlying bitterness wins out in the end and leaves you ready for another sip. Well done!

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Photo of faernt
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was a changling. It pours well, but not with the big rocky head I was expecting. This is a problem with comparative text. Aside from that, it had a clean, warm white, 1/2" head on top of a clear, golden body. It had a "close to the earth" smell and a sweet start that reiterated the earthiness due to a good aroma release as I brought the glass back away from my nose. This seems unusual to me. The aroma of this beer is a large part of its appeal.

The next taste released a clean, citric, piney approach before the sweet taste. I got a slight sweet coating on my tongue with this. It held up well, but quieted down in the middle of the glass as I stood outside by the grill. ( I may have been paying too much attention to the eggplant) It goes well with grilled eggplant.

The finish was the Orval nose and astringent taste. This was pleasant. I will try more. I find this beer to have the flavor experience of bigger beers. This is the most interesting surprise to me. At 7% it borders on a session beer. It offers a good food pairing and with its citric carbonation will refresh through a meal. The reserve series has another success.

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Photo of Brent
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An extensive lable note talks about a Belgian beer sampled by the brewer, and the attempt to recreate that beer (although it is not specifically named). I don't know if I've ever had a beer that touted itself as a clone, but there is certainly nothing wrong with that.

Poured a hazy, peachy gold. Some Juicy Fruit gum in the aroma. Very Belgian-esque in character - yeasty phenols and not-overripe orchard fruit, suggesting pear and apple, with the barest touch of spice. I've not had an Orval in quite a while, but this beer immediately brought it to mind.

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Photo of Sixpoint
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

By far the best beer I've had from Goose Island yet.

My sample poured a very nice and brilliant golden color. Very strange and bizzarre soy sauce aroma. Don't know what to think of it really. Also, I do get a little horse blanket as well...

Horse blanket in the taste initially, and then it fades into a hoppy dryness. Wow! A really remarkable beer. This beer is almost exactly like Orval. Does anyone else agree? It's like fresh Orval, the good stuff straight from the brewery. Hoppy and dry, with a complex yeasty spiciness.

The only "flaw" was in the drinkability, but it still went down pretty easily. Perhaps a bit more body and silkiness, but overall, a very impressive beer.

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Photo of beerinator
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, thanks autumnaldave!

Appearance: Pale clear beer with slight peachy color. Nice lacing on the off white head.

Aroma: Belgiany and bubbleyummy at first. Sour apple fruit in the nose. Some very nice apple pie smells.

Taste: Smooth malty body. There is some fruityness that lingers on the palate. The finish is quick, but there is a bit of lingering sweetness. The hops are there, across the tongue, but they seem to fade quickly. The hop flavor is primarily earthy, and subtlely bitter..

Notes: This is a good beer. It probably will not appear at the top of my list, but it is pleasantly drinkable. I plan to do a side by side sampling of this one and the beer that inspired it soon.

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Photo of Quaffer
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 7/27/05. The label states that the "Flavor will continue to develop over five years."

Appearance: This brew was a glowing amber orange with the slightest hint of haze. The off-white head rose up to about one finger and dissipated quickly. A thin skin of bubbles remained on top of the beer for most of the glass. There were a few thin tendrils of lace left behind.

Smell: A unique aroma. Right after the pour it was bready and very fruity, with an almost Duvel quality to it. Then, a very kriek-like aroma emerged. A slight funkiness to the yeast helped to create that illusion. Hints of malt and clean hops hung out in the background. After it had sat for awhile, it developed a fruit soda smell.

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium-bodied with a nice presence. Smooth and round up front with a fuzziness developing as it hit the back of the mouth.

Taste: Whole grain crackers and sharp cherries and apples hit the tongue first. It seemed as though there was a lot of yeast flavor considering that the beer was relatively clear and not bottle conditioned. Floral hops and pepper rose up in the middle and lingered well into the aftertaste. Some husky grains and a light, sweet fruitiness (almost candy-like in nature) showed up on the finish.

A good, albeit a little different, beer. I need to cellar some and see what happens.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear copper color with a finger of head that falls to a moderate coating over top. Nose is very nice. I get lemoney and orange citrus, slight musty and spiceyness. There is almost a perfumey quality to it. The flavor is okay. Rather spicey and almost floral-perfumey tasting as well. The citrusyness is more subdued in the flavor. It seems to want to be doing a lot of things at the same time, but they don't blend as seamlessly as I wouldl ike them to. The feel is moderate to thick with a moderate carbonation. Overall, the nose is really nice, but the flavor is a bit detracting to me. I'd like to see it meld better.

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Photo of clvand0
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber color with a medium head that has good retention and leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma has a lot of citrus and some yeasty character. The flavor is nice. Some citrus and a tasty caramel malt backing. The flavor sticks to the tongue. Some yeast flavors - slightly spicy. The mouthfeel is fairly thick and the drinkability is good.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another great beer in the line of Goose Island's Big Beers. Good aromas of Belgian candy and barley malts. Transfers to flavors along with over ripe fruits: oranges, plumbs, and berries. Has some slight hop bitterness and flavor. Spicy coriander, cloves, pepper, and allspice. Some organic, sour, or earthy flavors ride underneath other flavors, these resemble Trappist Orval. Its a good beer, but the flavors need a while to come together.

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Photo of Boto
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draught: This one pours a dark golden, somewhat hazy color. There ws also a hint of orange in there. A good off-white head. The nose is quite full, being bready, yeasty, spicy, and a hint of caramel and hops. The taste has wheat, corriander, breadyness, and some sweetness. Very Nice!

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Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 4,777 ratings
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