Matilda | Goose Island Beer Co.

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4,858 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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-04-2003

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Ratings: 4,858 |  Reviews: 1,305
3.32/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Murkey deep orange amber body hosts a two finger thick light tan head that fades to just a skim in about two minutes. Nose comes of like a Belgium style with strong spicey notes. It is very invigorating to the nose. A very floral citrus feel highlights the first sip. A combination of tangy sour and slight honey sweetness. Almost like drinking a liquid flower. Maybe even a hint of christmas cookie. Relatively thick mouthfeel. Not to bad on that level. Develops a sweet thickness on the buds. Unique and worth a try but not my thing overall.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into an oversized wine glass. Appears deep copper, with a red hue and a scant half an inch of white head. Aroma is sweet caramel, fruity, spicy cinnamon apple and banana. Tastes of spicy yeast, crisp, sweet tart apples, toffee and mild cocoa. Dry, crisp and medium bodied with medium to moderate carbonation. This is an interesting ale that I would drink again, possibly with some aged, sharp cheeses. Cheers.

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Photo of marksto
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted this beer before I read the descriptor on the bottle, and was immediately struck by its flavor similarity to Orval. Was then not surprised to read the label and its thinly veiled references to what is obviously Orval.

I have to say first that I am a huge fan of Orval, so perhaps I am biased towards this beer. I like it a lot. It has many of the classic characteristics of this Belgian original - the orange hue, fluffy head, marked brettanomyces notes on the nose and tongue, and the refreshing tang of styrian hops.

Doesn't quite have the magic blend of flavors that the real Orval achieves, but this beer is a very respectable clone. After buying one bottle I went back for a 4-pack. I recommend it.

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Photo of kenito799
3.3/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel glass. Brewed on date 3/2/06, "flavor will continue to develop over 5 years"

Dark reddish-golden amber with 1 inch head that dissipated to 1/4 inch, swirling brought it back some. Some loose chunks of lacing stick and slowly ooze down the sides.

Fruity Belgian yeast aroma immediately brings Duvel to mind. A touch of sour funk, too, interesting...or maybe that is actually piney grapefruity hops...yes, that's there too. Starting to seem like the "Belgian IPA" hybrid may be what is going on here.

Nicely carbonated in the mouth...sweet at first, then sour, then wham, hop attack, long long bitter finish. The malt and fruity flavors from the yeast in the next sip coutneract the bitterness and keep it interesting, but unfortuantely I find the bitterness just a bit overwhelming, detracts significantly from the enjoyment here. Soapy white grapefruits. What is an interesting mix on the nose becomes sort of a cacophonous mess on the tongue. Afraid it knocks the drinkability down a notch. The pluses and minuses on the palate average out to a 3...flavors are there and way better than your average beer but the execution and integration are below average. Then again the Belgian IPA lover of say, DeRanke XXX might like this a lot more.

Well, who knows what this might be like with more bottle age...maybe the flavors would integrate a bit better. 7% isn't very high but all those hops have got to preserve this beer.

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Photo of balconybrew
2.65/5  rDev -34.2%
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 hanco005
3.23/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, bottled on 030206 and also has 1253 on the label, poured into my St. Bernardus glass

A—pours light cloudy orange with a ¼ inch bone white head that fades down in no time, lacing is spotty at best

S—sweet and sour, what I expect from a Belgian, some fruitiness, spicy notes, too

T—sweet and fruit, not as pungent as the smell, sort of tastes like a Saison style,

M—pretty fizzy in the mouth, light/medium bodied, good carbonation

D—not crazy about this one, would pass on it in the future.

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

Lively white head capping off a hazy, deep orange body.

Spicy fruitiness; apples and strawberries spiked with cinnamon and cloves; outstanding in this regard and amongst the best I've smelled in a while.

Still more apple with a brilliant dry yeast character and some refined cereal qualities to match a measured sweetness. Finishes with a gentle bitterness. Elegant and delicious.

A bit of a foam rush from the effervescence which affects the mouthfeel a bit but this is still a wonderful beer from Goose Island. Their Reserve Series is consistantly excellent.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Clear peach color with a thick two finger head. Some suspended floaters. Active carbonation that dies off after a few minutes.

S: A nice Brett aroma blended with notes of honey, grass, bananas, and spice.

T: Nice yeasty flavors and oily, piney hops. Mild sweet pears with tart apples and a dry roasted malt quality that appears as it warms. Tangy and bitter finish.

M: Slick and oily yet rich and full. Sticks to the tongue allowing the finish to fully develop.

D: Drinkability is very good. A fine, fine representation of the style. Flavors and aromas of alcohol are virtually nonexistant. This beer has the hops that are sorely lacking from Orval. I read in Hopleaf's Bottle Menu that Matilda is Goose Island's homage to Orval. I have to say that I definately prefer Matilda to Orval. If that was their goal, than they certainly suceeded.

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Photo of dbalsock
3.12/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

App: Pours light amber (hazy orange) with a thick white head, heavy white lacing too and good head retention. This is what I like to see in a belgian pale ale.

Smell: Fairly weak, but there's some light yeastiness and a little banana going around.

Taste: Mixed fruit from the esters, but it has a suitable malt profile, so it's alright.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a slight bitterness and great carbonation. This one works nicely on the palate, but isn't anything super special.

Drinkability: My original notes call this a "sessionable belgian", which is amusing because 7.00% is not sessionable for me at all... I'd call it nicely drinkable.

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Photo of Vancer
2.9/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A big and expensive brew from GI, not worth it in my opionion. Just barely ok, I’ll look for other BPA in the future.

Nice pour – hazy amber, you’ll get some white head and lacing if poured aggressively. Notes of orange and cinnamon were pleasing – but the quaff, wow, orangey cough syrup! Slightly phonetic and woody. Not one of GIs better brews, and I usually dig their offerings. Oh well, ya can’t please everybody all the time….

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

Pours a hazy golden orange with a nice frothy head and spotty lacing. Smell is sour up front and spicy throughout. The taste is sour and hoppy with some coriander and nutmeg. The mouthfeel is a little light, but the carbonation is right and its smooth.Pretty drinkable- slides down fairly quickly and pleasantly, but not overly complex.

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Photo of frazbri
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Goose Island Matilda poured golden-copper in color with a yeasty haze, a nice white head, and a little lace. A complex aroma with notes of citrus, banana, clove, pepper, flowers and rubber. Fruity and earthy flavors with a hint of banana and a mild bitter finish.

Matilda has a lot to offer. A blend of smells and flavors combine to give a very nice drinking experience. I wish I had another bottle.

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

With a large head, off-white color. Poured out a orange, hazy.

Aroma of hops, yeast, lemony, citrus.

Flavors of hops, yeast-bready, lemony, grassy, slight tartness in the finish

Mouth feel is a effervescent medium body, highly carbonated.

Overall interpretation is a nicely drinkable brew. Enjoy anytime

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Photo of Realale
4.89/5  rDev +21.3%
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 dherling
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a hazy orange-gold, and a thick off-white head. The nose was full of grassy hops, candi sugar, as well as fruity notes. The taste was sweet up front, but a dry finish from the hop bitterness, with candy-like notes as in the aroma, but very little malt . Mouthfeel was light, moderate carbonation, tight finish.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a five finger, white head that fades to a thin layer leaving a little lace. Cloudy amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Malty nose. Starts sweet almost raisiny, hops balance well, brewer says its loaded with hops but they are really subdued. Best so far from GI. Bottled on Mar 27, 2006, pricey but worth $2.99 for a 12oz bottle from John's Grocery Iowa City, IA.

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Photo of SMark
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at 45 degrees. Modest head during pour of this orange/amber and hazy brew. Brussels lace did not last very long but that may be due to glass.

Detected a little wafting of malt. Did not see much difference as beer warmed towards 50.

More malt coming through with taste. Slight orange taste but that may be mind playing tricks on me because of color.

Decent mouthfeel lasting long enough to appreciate. Mid weight beer suitable for most.

This is a very drinkable beer but wish it could be purchased for a better price.

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

4-pack purchased for $9.99 (a little steep, IMHO). Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Impressive sunset orange.

Smell: Nice spiciness, suggests that the beer is going to be bigger than it is.

Taste: A little over-spiced and over-hopped for a Belgian pale ale. Flavors of plums, raisins, perhaps even a little ginger. Finish is dry.

Mouthfeel: Characteristic dense carbonation creates a nice full mouthfeel.

Drinkability: An enjoyable beer, but does not compare favorably at its price point. I'll cellar the remainder of the four pack and try it again in a year.

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

I found this in a mixed four pack at Shoreline in Huntington, NY while looking for something new. I brought the beer home with a fat rare roast beef hero to watch the Dallas/Colts game and to discover what I had been reading in the forums about this brewery.

The beer poured to a slight head with an orange/burgundy body, The smell reminded me of the many Belgian style beers that express the yeast and malts upfront. I could also pick out a funny sweetness that reminded me of fruit candy.

The taste was very smooth in a floral cream way with slight yeasty bite. I enjoyed tasting the beer very much as the mouthfeel was also slightly bitter.

As I usually say when I encounter a great beer like this: can we find this on tap nearby?

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

Goose Island's Matilda is best served at cellar temperatures (45-50°F) from a tulip or goblet. This reserve line beer pours up very lively with plenty of carbonation that creates a cloudish white head that billows above a translucent golden peach body. The inviting aroma is full of complexity from the sweet nectar (apricot, peach, mango) fruitiness, light intermingled graininess, and from the yeasty earthiness (barnyard, horseblanket) that's interlaced with hop spiciness. The compounding flavor starts off with some sweet graininess that gives way to a solid bitterness that carries into a spicy (peppercorn) hop dominated finish that's slightly tart & dry with a touch of cheek warming alcohol. This medium bodied hedonistic ale has a wonderful drinkability that cannot be understated and the "wildness" from the brettanomyces becomes more apparent as Matilda ages in the bottle. Enjoy Matilda as an apéritif or digestive or some suggested pairings include: Curryworst (curry sausage) and Belgian pommes frites (thick-cut, double fried potatoes) served with mayonnaise, Flemish Carbonades (beef stew that’s similar to French Beef Bourguignon, but made with beer instead of red wine), Salade Liégeoise (Green beans, hard boiled egg, bacon bits, potatoes, onions and white wine vinegar) or Moules Frites (mussels & chips) of course!

CHEERS! Beertracker

From the label: "Once upon a time in a valley, a beautiful countess lost something precious to her in a small pond. Racked with grief, she prayed for its return. Very quickly it resurfaced in the most wondrous of ways. After her prayers had been answered she blessed the pond and valley. Later, she had an abbey built there. Today they brew beer and while we were traveling in Belgium we stopped in, heard the story and tried the beer. Really GOOD BEER and a GREAT STORY. Of course, we wanted to share what we'd heard and tasted. Uusually we'd do that over beers. This time we did it with beer. Recreating that experience wasn't easy. It's made with rare yeast that's very difficult to come by. No other beer we make is like this, slightly fruity with a profuse amount of hops, it's great with a plate of mussels." - Greg Hall, Brewmaster

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Photo of gpcollen1
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden orange with a ¾” head just eclipsing the rim of my La Rulles glass and dancing around the rim. The head slowly succumbs to life on earth. A distinct Belgian aroma with hints of orange/lemon and spice. The carbonation really tickles my tongue as the spice dances and begins to dry out my tongue.

This is really a fantastic brew that is one of the examples that could quite the critics of the American Belgian style ales. I wish I had this at my disposal a little more regularly

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Photo of terrabyte
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy, dark golden orange with a medium head that disappears fast.

Very aromatic! An quite unique to me. It has some musty yeast, cloves, and hints of orange. Other spices I can't define.

Flavor is quite yeasty. Lost of sour orange and apple cider mixed together. It finishes with citrus bitters and a dry, grassy finish.

Mouthfeel is a bit sticky and cloying. Nothing negative, just a bit thick.

Enjoyable beer and quite a ride. But not too many at once for me. Further proof that I have a lot to learn.

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Photo of ADR
2.86/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Opaque dark orange with a reddish cast. Small yellow head of very tiny bubbles. Good rings of lace on the glass. Slightly chalky aroma, some cherry smell, off and expired baker's yeast. Mouthfeel is a little flat, slightly heavy in overall body. Flavor is an unpleasant mix of uncharacterful bitter and too much sourness. Secondary tastes of slight chocolate and more apparent raisin linger underneath and are a little more noticeable close to the finish. Aftertaste is harsh and inappropriately hoppy for the type of beer this is aiming to be. Not a favorite for me.

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Photo of nortmand
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Hazy, yellow orange pour with a fairly sturdy white head.

Bright fruit and spice notes dominate the nose. Also a fair amount of noble hop presence.

Fairly sweet, ripe fruit esters dominate the flavor. A light bitterness lingers on the back of the tongue, but overall, a very sweet aftertaste.

Big bodied, and sweet, the alcohol isn't too prevalent, but the sweetness tends towards reducing drinkability.

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Photo of AaronHomoya
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from the tap in a 10 oz. glass. The server did not know exactly what kind of beer it was, and neither did I. I would have guessed a sweet, fruity DIPA that was light on the hops.

The appearance is amber-colored, with ok head. Aroma is sweet and a bit fruity with some citrus hops smell. Taste is also sweet, a little ale-fruitiness with a slightly bitter, hoppy finish. Pretty smooth. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied with somewhat light carbonation. This is a very good beer that I would like to try again, maybe from a bottle.

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Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 4,858 ratings