Matilda | Goose Island Beer Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
4,815 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,815 |  Reviews: 1,299
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of mlh1227.

A - 1/2" off-white head that fell quickly to a cap. Hazy orange beer. No lacing.

S - Huge yeasty, fruity nose. Some funk. Phenolic. Dried apricot.

T - Yeasty and fruity -- much like the aroma. Spicy hops. Medicine cabinet. A little funky. Complex overall.

M - Between medium and full-bodied. Lively carbonation. Finishes relatively dry.

D - Good drinkability. One at a time would be my limit. Damn fine interpretation of a Belgian Pale Ale from Goose Island.

 494 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At long last I found this while browsing at Sam's during a trip to Chicago last week. I bought a 4-pack for about $10, and poured a 12oz bottle into an Orval chalice at home.

Deep orange color, kind of transparent, thin wispy head. The smell was mostly Brett-style sour, similar to Orval or wild ale or such. The flavor was really similar to Orval, but a little sweeter (like the candy sugar overtook the Brett on this). It was completely delicious in any case.

I'd place the drinkability pretty high... I couldn't detect the alcohol in the flavor but it hits you before long. Awesome.

 591 characters

Photo of carln26
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured into the glass a mildly hazy copper color. It was topped with a decent sized off-white head that settled quickly into the glass. Big spicy nose. It has a ton of yeasty bread, a little cardamom, citrus orange all backed by a date character form the malt. The flavor reflects the aroma quite well. All of the components are there. They yeasty flavor is milder than the nose led me to believe, but all of the spices are there along with a bit of white pepper. The malt has a bit more complexity. The dates are accompanied by caramel, and touch of green apple. The mouth feel is rich, and slightly slick. There’s just a touch of alcohol on the finish, but it s a surprisingly drinkable beer. This is a fine example of this style, maybe the best I’ve ad produced in the US.

 787 characters

Photo of Gaisgeil
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one caught me by surprise! This really is quite good. Many American attempt at Belgian styles leave something to be desired, but this one finds a way to be quite nice. Pours a hazy and deep gold in color with a slightly fizzy head that lacked retention, more is the pity. Nose is flight farmhouse, funky and strange but slightly sugary as well. Taste is a big surprise, hints of nutmeg and coriander, lemon peel and random spice. Big malt backbone with enough bittering to balance. Apricots in the background. Mouthfeel is nice, slightly sticky but within reason. Drinkability is great to style.


 614 characters

Photo of hero27
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. 2006 Vintage.
7% abv. Bottled on 03/27/06.

Interesting story plastered on the label from Greg Hall..sort of reminds me of the ranting on the back of many Stone bottles.

Pours a somewhat hazy, light orange color. Frothy off-white head..slow bubbles of carbonation stream from the bottom of the glass.
Spicier than expected, with a funky sourness that is very similar to a Belgian saison. Apricots, lemon, apple, and the cinnamon bite of Big Red gum. The Belgian yeast plays a major role in trying to recreate the original style. I gotta say, I'm loving these "big brews" from Goose Island. Their Imperial IPA & Bourbon County Stout are ridiculously good, and the Matilda & Demolition do not lag far behind. All are well-worth a try.

 754 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
2.88/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Put off buying this one for a little while, but I still was able to track down a single.

Appearance: Hazed orance color, thing white head forms and fades quickly.

Smell: Citrus and spices (cinnamon?), and a little Belgian yeast.

Taste: Yeah I definitely get cinnamon or nutmeg from this beer, strogly flavored, with a little tobacco, sweet fruits, and hard candy. I am not sure I care much for this flavor, a little obnoxious.

Drinkability: I am not the biggest fan of this beer, the flavor seems thin and incomplete.

 530 characters

Photo of Blakaeris
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy apricot with an amazingly thick and creamy head that seems to last forever.

Smell is sweetly fruity. Mouthwatering in it's appeal. Mild spices, notably corriander. There is a good belgianesque bready yeasty aroma.

Taste is unexpectedly dominated by the spices- corriander, pepper, cinnimon, and nutmeg. There is also a musty sourness. Candied fruit and yeasty flavors are still present but play a diminished role as compared to the nose. Finish is rather clean and mildly hopped.

Mouthfeel is light and generous carbonation adds an airy feel.

I enjoyed this beer. I wasn't sure about it at first, but it really grows on you after awhile. I find myself returning to get this beer again and again...

 722 characters

Photo of bashiba
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a bright cloudy orange with a thick long lasting creamy head with great lacing.

Smell was full of nice fruit odor, banana and apricots, with a slight bit of citrus.

Taste is slighty sharp and spicy with a nice bit of pepper and coriander making an appearance with subdued hints of lemon and apricots with a nice bit of crisp floral hoppiness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is crisp and very dry.

Overall a nice tasty BPA from the Goose.

 449 characters

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at Star Liquor on Willy St. for $2.29. 2006 edition.

Pours a vibrant golden orange under several fingers of fluffy white foam in my twisted Ayinger Hefe glass. Nose is a lively mix of sopping wet grapefruit and citric hops. Taste is juicy grapefruit, slightly bitter tangerine, white grape, pear, and piney/citrus hops with a bit of yeasty spice. Mouthfeel is light and smooth. Now this is a summer beer. Deceptive at 7%, its fruity hoppiness is a real thirst quencher on a humid Wisconsin evening. Another strong offering from Goose Islands Reserve selection. I've yet to be disappointed.

 611 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, Steve's - University, $2.69, bottled 3/3/06

appearance: This is a wonderful looking beer....poured into a chalice a glowing amber-orange, with a wonderful snowcap, lightly hazed...almost perfect but perhaps a little darken than would be expected

smell: sugar-sweet, pear, peach, apple, grape...well spiced, raisin, fig, a certain woodiness, honey, yeast, light herbal hops...quite interesting

taste: belgian yeast, candy sweetness, touch of brown sugar, peaches, pear, green apple, white grape, thick honey, an oak presence that is delightful, lightly floral, cinnamon, ginger... a great example of the style if you ask me

mouthfeel: medium body, nice yeast feel, refreshing

drinkability: quite good

 727 characters

Photo of Fugazme
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice looking beer... little head. Darker than I was expecting... a good light copper. Very nice lacing.

Aroma is sugary sweet... candy-like... peaches, mango and apricot. A nice bit of cinnamon-like spice. Raisins and other dried fruits as well. Great hoppy notes in the nose, as well.

Totally bitter on the front end. A hop blast with a sugary sweet finish, yet quite dry. Nice yeasty middle... bread-like... apples... peaches... chardonnay?

Mouthfeel is dry after the swallow... very smooth through the middle.

A very good, highly drinkable beer.

 563 characters

Photo of studentofbeer
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a clear orange/amber/copper color with a slightly off-white head.

yeasty, fruity smell--dried fruit, maybe a bit of nut, earthy and hay. strong and complex.

taste of flowers and tropical fruit, a bit of earth and mud, and stone fruit, with a relatively dry flavor but a full, woodsy mouthfeel. good hop bite to it that finishes dry but a bit flabby. finish lasts a long time but gets a little bitter and convoluted.

i don't see the orval-ness in this. definitely more on the side of a belgian pale with a lot of residual sweetness. you get a hint of brett character, but it's pretty well buried. it adds to complexity tho ultimately this beer maybe has a bit too much going on to really pin it down. still a very good beer but it just doesn't seem to meld quite right. perhaps a bit too sweet/flowery for me. i wonder what age could do to it.

 857 characters

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got this from AutumnalDave in a trade.

This beer pours and nice copper orange that fades a little to straw along the edges of my tulip. The head is moderate in size but then fell to an off white thin film that is sustained by a bigger clump of bubbles in the middle of my tulip. This left a little lace behind.

Smells of a fantastic honey, strawberry ginger with a peppery yeast hidden beneath. Tart pineapple mysteriously emanates from this spiciness adding a wonderful dimension to this smell.

The flavor stats with a pleasant strawberry and under ripe melon that is bombarded by carbonation, releasing a grapefruit rind and peppery yeast dryness that picks up hints of cardboard and copper in the finish. Not much, but enough to make me raise an eye brow.

The mouth feel is light to medium bodied and silky with a monstrous, vigorous carbonation that really got my attention but didn’t choke me when I swallowed.

The smell is really the highlight, and it went down hill from there. According to my Orval review, I tried the yeast to see if the beer’s flavor could be salvaged.

Yup. The nutty creaminess saves the day by taking the edge off the dry.

 1,175 characters

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

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. The beer pours a hazy orangey amber like deep gold honey with a surprisingly small 1" white head which quickly falls to a thin ring of foam. Lacing is minimal.

Aroma is of yeast and alcohol formeost, some faint herbal hops and honey, some apple.

The flavor starts with grain and phenols, some herbal hops and honey. As it warms the flavor starts to really open up getting sweeter, a little tart with green apple flavors rising. The finish is dry and bitter with the bitterness lingering a while.

Carbonation is high, body is medium making this a pretty nicely refreshing beer. Easy to drink but gets some points off for the numbing phenols and obvious alcohol.

 702 characters

Photo of mcallister
2.9/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Looks almost like an apple cider in the glass. With a good head and some lacing that faded gradually over about five minutes.

Spicey, flowery boquet in the nose. With a hop background hidden by the sweet yeast strain. Nearly smells like flower petals freshly blossomed.

Odd. The flavors are very much what you get in the nose. Flowers all the way but the hops make the sweetness upon entry fade very quickly on the finish. Very yeast driven beer. Not necessarily what I like.

Mouthfeel is okay but not great. The amount of hops on the finish leaves a very grainy residue on the palate. Definitely a food beer. I couldn't drink more than one of these.

 660 characters

Photo of mynie
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in August of 2005.

Belgian pale gloamber colored with a small but retentive white head.

Smells like Duvel on a diet. Very sweet fruity yeast and a solid dose of hops. Nothing grand, but solid; avoids being overly sweet or alcoholic.

Very tart sweetness! Momentarily reminiscent of Unibroue’s Currant Ephemere, but without the candy fruit backing. This is a yeast sweetness all the way, and its probably the sweetest I've ever tasted; so sweet, in fact, the rest of the beer is overshadowed until there is a very light touch of hops smack dab at the end.

The sweet is nice, but not enough to really carry the beer. Maybe this is better when it's fresher, before the hops have been dulled to nothingness. Still, not bad.

 746 characters

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

Nice orange color, with a filmy off-white head, yet lacking that beautiful, mountainous foam of its counterpart. It does nearly equal Orval in the aroma, it’s dry, spicy and hoppy, with a mild brett character and hints of leather, caramel , perfume and cake icing. I’m trying not to look at this beer as an Orval clone, because in the flavor, it's far from it. Whereas Orval is very dry with a horseblanket flavor, I find this to be very sweet. But I can imagine how difficult it would be to brew an Orval clone. I can’t even brew a drinkable IPA. Still though, in itself, this beer is still very enjoyable. The yeast suggests hints of white peppercorn and perfume, with a rich herbal and floral hop flavor.

 710 characters

Photo of Chadbrew
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one pours out a beautiful orange color with a nice frothy head, not a huge frothy head but a nice finger and a half. The aroma is bready and yeasty with an underlying spiciness... clove, allspice.
The flavor here is more of the clove along with some banana and I swear I can taste a hint of vanilla and oak.
A good mouthfeel but a little thin in my opinion.
Overall I really liked this beer. It is a bit subdued compared to most of the other Belgians I've had which frankly I liked.

 491 characters

Photo of OStrungT
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a cloudy orange. The head is white. It fades fast, leaving very few laces.

This beer has a spicy aroma. I smell cloves and orange peel. I also smell some fruit. Apples, cherries, and some lemony citrus aroma.

This beer tastes fruity. I taste some apple. It has a slightly spicy flavor. Just a hint of cloves. This beer is sweet, but definately not too sweet.

This beer is carbonated well. It is very smooth. It leaves a slight fruity aftertaste.

I really like this beer because it is not overbearing at all. The aroma and the flavor are mild, but wonderful. I think this would make an excelent session beer. I wish I could get my hands on more of this stuff. Many thanks to my friend karst for once again supplying me with a winner.

 761 characters

Photo of dreadnatty08
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber, cloudy as hell. Fizzy head maintains some good tracing. Aromas, wow... Apples, pears, candy sugar, it all pops out. Somewhat cloying already, I'm afraid for the flavor. This beer has quite some complexity. You're first hit with sweetness, followed by some sourness and astringency akin to Orval. However, I do enjoy this one much more. Carbonation is somewhat high, gives you quite a zing, and is refreshing. Alcohol biting a little at the swallow. This is an extremely drinkable brew. Would go wonderfully with some brie or camembert (I wish I had some ugh). Glad it went on sale locally, made it worth my purchase.

 637 characters

Photo of bditty187
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, peachy bronze in hue; the liquid is a warm and friendly color. White foam, at the apex the bubbles united long enough to create one finger of head. Head retention was poor, especially for a Belgian Ale. After a few moments all I had left was a soapy cap. Oh well. The subsequent lacing was spotty and hardly noteworthy… and yet I mentioned it. The appearance is respectable but I need a larger, healthier head with more lacing for me to consider this to be a special looking beer.

The first whiff is nothing but Brett. I love it. Tart, funky, earthy, sour, and barnyard; oh it is tremendous. Hints of clove, citrus flesh, hay, musty apples, some pears, and even some berries find a home in the middle. The finish is a soft woody mix with a tickle of white wine. Moderate potency, while this beer doesn’t scream at me it does speak to me as an adult. It is articulate and thoughtful. I understand it. I appreciate it. I am motivated to take a sip.

The palate is lovely. Arid. Bitter. Compact flavors. Rigid. Really nothing more needs to be said about the vibe I get. I love it. What I taste is an elegant mix of white wine, grapes, apples, stray sour sensations, wood, hay, leather, barnyard, clove, a tickle of candied fruit sweetness and some raw tropical fruit notes at the finish. I enjoy the dry, slightly woody, bitter aftertaste; lingering and lovely. Is this beer as good as Orval? No, but it is close. I love Orval; it is one of my favorite beers of all-time. Matilda is a worthy substitute. I am a sucker for dry, alcoholic, funky beers like this. Anybody have suggestions?

Medium in body, light but lively carbonation, the mouthfeel is soft and pliable. I think the mouthfeel fits this beer well; there isn’t anything that needs fixing.

Dangerously drinkable; even at 7% I could quaff a lot of this nectar. I can’t believe I don’t have any more bottles. I need to get more; I bet this would kill with a slew of cheeses… mix in some fresh fruit and dear God! Goose Island sure can brew some killer beers! I got my four-pack in Lawrence, KS for $9. It is a top notch beer at a great price. Seek it out.

 2,135 characters

Photo of EPseja
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Ego for hooking me up with this bottle.

Served from a 12oz. bottle in a Duvel tulip glass at cellar temperature.

A - Crazy activity in the bottle as soon as the cap is popped... almost overflows! Into the glass it goes. Huge ivory head rises instantly above the slightly-hazed, glowing sunset-orange body, coming to a halt at two full inches. Marshmallowy and dense. Begins to subside, but not without leaving behind thick clumps of lacy residue, leaving its high-tide mark. Head levels out at an island rising high above the film that obscures the beer. Very appetizing indeed!

S - Unmistakable Belgian fruity tartness along with a less pronounced candy malt nuance. Granny smith apples. Tangerines. Key limes. Very fresh. But there's something else as well... something funky, but not your typical Belgian funk. Perhaps a touch of Geuze-ish sourness? Interesting to say the least!

T - A touch of fresh green hay greets the palette upon sipping, leading to a reound and sweet light malty middle. At the back of the tongue, the fantastically unqiue yeast makes an entrance, and a crisp hoppiness manages to balance it very nicely. The finish brings about another dose of sweetness masquerading as candied fruit. The aftertaste leaves the mouth dry and yearning for another sip. Excellent balance overall. [Edit 07-21-2006: This beer achieves what I believe to be the ultimate balance of sweet and dry. Bumped to a 5.0 from a 4.5.]

M - Near perfect carbonation, swelling so nicely in the mouth. Tingly on the tongue, and gliding down the back of the throat like a spoonful of Cool Whip.

D - This is a very nice addition to Goose Island's "Special Beer" series as I'll call it. Super drinkable and very enjoyable -- just look at the numbers! I think I'll quit gushing about the beer now and get to enjoying the rest of it. [Edit 07-21-2006: This beer has become a favorite of mine in the style and a pleasure to savor. Bumped to a 5.0 from a 4.5.]

 1,973 characters

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

Paired with a terrific dinner of wild King salmon and roasted vegetables. Thanks to Dave (Ego) for the sample from DeCicco Market in Pelham, NY.

Bottled on 7/27/05..."The flavor will continue to develop in the next 5 years."

Served in a Duvel tulip at just over fridge temperature. A nice, sharp zip of air is released upon opening.

Appearance- Pours a beautiful, hazy golden yellow... almost amber, but not quite... with a three finger bone white head. Retention is excellent, with continuous lacing and head replenishment. The head rockets back to a full finger head after swirling.

Smell- Mmmmm... lemony, fruity notes with a Gatorade-like sweetness, I'm getting Fruit Stripe chewing gum. Gumballs. Volcano Rocks. Zippy, fruity, hoppy. Rose petals. Floral and fragrant, with candy-in-a-box like notes.

Taste- Syrupy, like a cocktail salad of peaches, pears, and cherries. Spicy, but more in a fruity sort of way. A floral character, roses in particular, unfolds on the palate. Delicious, and very naturally fresh.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- So rolling, so easy and foamy. Overall, a more fruity twist on the Belgian Pale Ale which is totally enjoyable. I don't know who this "Matilda" is, but I hope to meet her one day.

 1,239 characters

Photo of denjen
2.36/5  rDev -41.4%
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.

 928 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Matilda pours from the bottle a deep orange/peach color with a touch of brown as well. A nice bubbly, foamy half inch of white head develops on top of the brew. Aromas of sour candied fruits hits me initially, apple, pear and lemon. Sweet pale malts collide with an earthy, musty yeast aroma and a mix of some herbal, spicy hops as well. A touch of clove and some pepper. Almost medicinal. Quite an intriguing aroma overall.

First sip brings a sweet, fruity pale maltiness with a blast of earthy, slightly funky yeast. Soured apple juice swirls around with cloves and cracked pepper. Quite fruity in the middle with a touch of herbal, spicy, grassy hops on the way down. The yeast seems to give off a very herbal, floral vibe throught the brew. Good balance between sweet and sour, this is another tasty brew in the GI reserve line.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with a strong blast of carbonation that dashes across the palate. Goes down fairly easy at 7% and each sip keeps me coming back for more. I wouldn't mind enjoying a few of these in a sitting. Worth seeking out and trying I'd say.

 1,111 characters

Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 4,815 ratings