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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,276 | Ratings: 4,723
Photo of SmashAdams
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A nice hazy burnt orange colored beer. The smell is some dark fruits and spice and quite funky. The taste follows with the lingering funky aftertaste. A good food beer. nb

 171 characters

Photo of 20holmbrew
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I purchased this 2015 vintage as a single in a mixed 6 pack. Great example of the style. I love the Belgium funk from the Brett. I will purchase a couple more to cellar as I am curious to taste the difference with some age.

 223 characters

Photo of constantine_272
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright golden orange it low head. Clear until a small amount of sediment at the end added some haze. Hearty and sweet biscuit notes with a carbonic yeast. Hay and straw malt starts off and then fades with a hearty bloomy cheesy funk on a thick hearty bread. A spicy finish tingles with a bright orang citrus brightness. The tangy finish balances the sweetness and the yeast well, but a mild sugary orange syrup finish lingers. Overall one of my favorite American made Belgian style ales I've had. Where as most American Belgian style brews feel forced and unnatural, this beer feels effortless.

 594 characters

Photo of Trosevear
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle,

L: Hazy yellow with a nice white head that left lacing down the side of the glass.

S: Sweet coriander and a hoppy smell, with a slight maltyness.

T: Minor bitterness with a nice amount of malt flavour.

F: Nice amount of carbination and full body leaving you want to drink more.

O: From others telling me it wasn't good it actually was quite enjoyable!

 369 characters

Photo of untitledeuphoria
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 Vintage, Bottled: 7.24.14. Drank 12.6.15. Poured from a 765ml bottle to a tulip glass.

A: A slightly hazy golden copper. Traces of particulate. One finger of fluffy, dense, ivory colored head.

S: Farm-y. Hay, Grain, Butter Tart, Bready, Lemon Zest, some Dark Fruit, Clove. Very mellow and earthy.

T: Clean, Dry, Fruity, Grassy, some mild spices. Very balanced, very easy drinking and enjoyable.

M: Moderate carbonation, even at almost 17 months in the bottle. Swishable, non bitter, medium bodied. Very satisfying to drink, not at all a chore to work through.

O: From what I remember about drinking a fresh Matilda, the extra time has done this beer well. Much more character than before, and everything seems to work perfectly. I am almost upset at myself that I opened the bottle instead of building a vertical. I would recommend this this to anyone with an appreciation of Belgians.

 895 characters

Photo of Emersonio
3.52/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour: On draft at Brookland Pint in D.C. Poured into a nonic pint. Appearance: Golden bronze. Thin white head. Aroma: Malty and earthy. Bready with yeast aromas. Taste: Definite yeast notes and clean to start. Slightly tart. Aftertaste: Finishes with a bready linger. Hints of fruit make their way through the back...berries and bananas? Overall: Good. 3.52 out of 5.

 367 characters

Photo of petmoo23
4.63/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This is my review for a 2010 bottle I just opened.

L- Golden brown, tons of fluffy white head, gusher.
S- a little barnyard, yeast, hint of honey, fruit.
T- Dryer that younger bottles I have enjoyed by a significant margin. grassy, citrus, funk, complex and delightful flavor.
F- Medium bodied, carbonated but sits well on the tongue, the kind of beer you can swish around to great satisfaction.
O- I am impressed by how beautifully intricate this 5 year old bottle of Matilda has become, one of my favorite beers I've had in a while. I would love to try this with a meal.

 574 characters

Photo of ChrisCage
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the 2014 Vintage....nice bottle!

A- Pours a very hazy copper/amber color and has an ivory colored head that is dimpled and pillowy soft in texture! Carbonation is tough to see but upon the pour it seems rather aggressive. Lacing is quite nice as there is a fair bit of thick foam that clings to the glass!

S- The first thing on the aroma is butter tart! Delicious smells of butter, caramel, toffee, brown sugars, bread and yeast, faint raisins and malt sweetness....there are other muted aromas of citrus, spices and some banana....Earthy hop presence on the finish...very nice on the nostrils indeed!

T- This is a relatively clean tasting Belgian style Ale for sure! Butterscotch caramel malts, some slightly burnt brown sugar, molasses and perhaps some dried banana/apricot fruitiness to start.....tart citrus and wild yeast spell out the middle and the finish is robust with dark fruits such as plum, fig and somewhat grapey....tart berries linger on the palate after the drink...very tasty!

M/O- The carbonation is very champagne like in size and a light/medium body keep this as a very refreshing style of beer! I insist on pairing this with Lindt Creme Brule chocolate, as it is simply a delightful dessert paring that makes this beer palate cleansing! Lots of fruitiness to keep it fresh and a highly drinkable session beer that keeps the alcohol well hidden. Recommended for sure and I believe this is worthy of the recommendation to cellar for the full 5 years!

 1,489 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.79/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a finger of head on a hazy straw body.
The aroma is hay fields, dry grains and lemon zest.
The taste is clean to start, then mild fruit sweet to almost candy sweet, finishes with a mild bitter and spice.
The texture is crisp and fizzy.
A fairly mild, but flavorful beer.

 276 characters

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12oz bottle with a bottled on date of 3.30.15

L - Amber with clarity, 1/2 a finger of head and some lacing left on the glass

S - Brettomyces, belgian funk and slightly tart. Awesome aroma.

T - Belgian yeast, slightly tart and funk. Complex.

F - Well carbonated, medium body

O - One of my favorite Belgian Pale's of all time.

 334 characters

Photo of InsideLiquorMan
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Definitely an interesting beer. For a moment, I thought it was corked as some MOA beers are, but apparently not. Poured it into a nice tall glass and left it for a minute or two, The head is nice and frothy, sticks the sides of the glass as it slowly recedes, leaving a nice little network of lacing right down to the bottom of the glass. The color is a nice dark orange and there is some visible carbonation with some small trails of bubbles working their way up. I can't get much smell. Some obvious sweetness to the nose, maybe some earthiness which also reciprocates in the taste itself, but not much else honestly.

Some gloves, grassy hops, a mild sweetness on the backnotes and a little burn of carbonation that comes with a big gulp. Overall, very silky and tasty. A good beer from Goose Island, but probably one I would not track down again. There's just too much beer, unfortunately and if you can't finish it all in one go, it's a waste of a nice beer. A 6 pack or maybe a 500ml single bottle or can and I would love to stock my fridge up, but as it stands now, it's a nice beer that I would take if offered or on sale, but probably wouldn't buy regularly.

 1,167 characters

Photo of dcotom
4.46/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12-ounce bottle into a tulip glass. Spice and yeasts on the nose. Quite complex flavor profile, with clove predominant and some malt sweetness and alcohol warmth on the finish. Very impressed with the overall quality amd drinkability. If you like Belgian ales, don't pass up this fine offering from GI.

 314 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
3.67/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle from Total Wine (Kennesaw, GA). 2.79. Bottled 5/27/14. Served in a long stemmed Goose Island goblet.

Pours a cloudy burnt orange with about an eighth finger pale head. There is an attractive, rising effervescence along sides and making "blistery pockets" in the clouds of surface retention. The healthy collar leaves only a few sparce specks of lace.

This smells mighty funky with notes of hay, citrus and faint clove-like spice on top of the familiar earthy, farmy Brett funk.

Flavors of old citrus pulp, wet hay, earthy yet fruity Brett funk, faint clove and white peppercorns. The Brett brings some pleasant fruit notes to the seemingly basic base.

Dry feel, on the lighter side of medium body with an appropriately zesty carbonation. Finishes with hay, earth and dry, funky fruity notes.

Matilda has held up well after almost a year and a half. The Brett has developed nicely but there is still something missing from the base to really help it shine.

 977 characters

Photo of SomethingClever
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into tulip

A: very light Amber dirty gold in color smallish dense head that goes to a film good clarity

S:clove, light banana, some lemon, a little grassy with some pepper

T: light clove and banana with a light bready maltiness and a touch of alcohol

M: very soft on the tongue makes the beer feel mellow

O: pretty good beer not overpowering with the spices or clove the alcohol taste was a little surprising I would drink this again but not go out of my way .

 480 characters

Photo of MichaelPhiladelphiaBeer
3.71/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.75

Bottle into a wine glass

l - pours golden amber, small white head
s - belgian delish smell, sweet citrusy fruits
t - sweet and fruity on the front, quickly pulled back into balance with light malts and alcohol but falls off into a little more alcohol flavor than I'd prefer but is not uncommon of the style
f - nothing special, little watery dissapointingly
o - solid, good Belgian. Always been a fan of goose island

bottle is notable fancy.

 443 characters

Photo of jooler
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look is pretty orange. Initial taste is of dried fruit. Nice carbonation and aftertaste is where all the funk is. It is pretty good especially for $9 at vons

 157 characters

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

 161 characters

Photo of Budlum
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2015 Release - This pours with a burnished brown body displaying ample carbonation and a thin white head. I can't get much from the nose of this beer other than a light spice. I expected more. Flavors of spice, rum cake, black pepper, a yeasty funk, and some faint grassy notes flood the mouth. The flavor profile is spot on for the style. The feel is lively and peppery, owing largely to the carbonation, making this an easy drinker.

 440 characters

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 Vintage
look: hazy honey-gold. Messy off white head and lacing.
smell: Yeasty pear, apple, some delicate spice.
taste: Blooming bright fruit then delicate blend of yeast, and peppery spice.
overall: Keep coming back to delicate. Lots of flavors but they're shy and easy going.

 282 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, bottled on November 10, 2014. My first bottle of Goose Island Matilda, acquired a single bottle at the local beer store. 'Belgian Style Pale Ale fermented with brettanomyces'.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - It pours a deep golden orange body of decent thickness, hazed with some yeast sediment, and with one finger of wispy white head that falls to a ring. Medium chill haze with some thin wispy lacing that doesn't stick long. Looks alright for what it is.

S - Aroma is a bit light. Musty, yeasty, lightly fruity in the form of fermented apples.

T - Taste follows the nose: fruity, musty, yeasty, & appley. Very minor alcohol content. Not really detecting the typical funkiness that I normally associate with brettanomyces.

M - The feel is dry, but smooth & easy-drinking. Moderate carb.

Overall, an alright Belgian from Goose Island, not one I'd be too interested in trying again.

Goose Island Matilda -----4/5.

 948 characters

Photo of kevinlater
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

765ml bottle into goblet. bottled sep 8 2014, consumed aug 17 2015

a: a nice deep yellow, leaning towards light amber, with a finger of white head

s: bready malt, cinnamon, cooked apple, apricot, artificial mango (like mango jellies), lychee, banana, and pear, all tied together by tart and lightly funky brettanomyces notes

t: quite fruity up front -- apricot, mango, cooked apples, then some lemon and funky brettanomyces. mid-palate exhibits strong bready malt notes, the cinnamon-y/clove-y spices, white pepper, and lesser notes of banana. moderately bitter finish

m: medium-minus mouthfeel with medium-minus carbonation

o: an absolutely wonderful ale. just so well-rounded, complex, and delicious!

 711 characters

Photo of infinitebruner
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

August 16, 2015

765 ml bottle, tulip

A – Orange-ish and medium to light amber, and slightly hazy. A massive, craggy foam head, three-plus inches high, with moderate-long retention.

S – Orange peel, toasted cracker malt, and light peppercorn. Herbal-floral hopping with a minor note of citrus.

T – Crackery-toasty malt, maybe a touch of honey, and orange-citrus. Some floral hop notes, and a somewhat prominent peppery/peppercorn spice.

M – Carbonation is moderate, with a medium to medium-light body. A bit of sweetness up front, countered quickly by dryness throughout, moderate. A bit of peppery and hop bite.

O – An excellent American interpretation of the Belgian style, Goose Island doing what it’s always done with these: making it well. Could drink one of these every day.

 808 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A : Pours a classy, hazy pinkish peach glow with stable head retention and about 90% opacity. Poured into a snifter so head is not being measured.

S : The Belgian yeast is apparent, it comes out right away. Among that is sour apple skins and raisin/prune, a little tire rubber, some slightly rotted fruit/bread (maybe fruit bread?).

T : Definitely more on the Belgian side than on the pale ale side. This beer is fantastic. Lots of delicious yeast, orange, plum, and bubble gum. A sharp but polite hop bite finishes out the flavor profile.

F : Fizzy carbonation, light bodied, with a crisp feel and a bite at the end.

O : Very delicious, very classy. I like this beer quite a bit. I'll have another, please!

 714 characters

Photo of BrewAskew
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a creamy white head and moderate lace and bright copper color. Aroma is spicy Belgian goodnesss. Ditto on the flavors and good MF. Damn good easy drinking for a Belgian strong.

 185 characters

Photo of highTempo
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had bottled, poured into a 'goblet' (don't actually know what the name is for this glass shape!).

Pours hazy amber/copper orange. 4-5mm head that's slightly darker than ivory.

Great smell -- the kind of funk and oddity that I'd expect from a saison. It's very fruity and spicy, with tropical fruit dominating… kind of like a mango punch. The maltiness comes through a bit, too, giving it a bit of bread-y-ness.

Flavor follows through with a very similar character though the malt is more dominant. It's just a different balance of the same players.

Drinkable. This would be good spring-fall. Really nice.

 616 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.