Goose Island Beer Co.

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Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Ranked #18
Ranked #3,876
4.06 | pDev: 11.82%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Notes: Golden sunrise color, baking spice aroma, fruity biscuity malt flavor, dry body.
Reviews: 1,317 | Ratings: 4,905
Photo of xiaoxiong623
3.72/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

The Matilda looks gorgeous and comes with spicy smell.
The color pretend is not golden sunrise, instead, it's lightish amber.
I don't think the taste of Matilda is as strong as I wish.
In a word, the Matilda is the good one, but it's not the perfect one for me.

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a single serve bottle

Pours a pleasantly hazy, but not cloudy orange/amber. Very little head, but persistent pleasant lacing.

Smell--Evocative of the true Belgians of the style, but somewhat muted. Still, it has a nice pleasant "funk" from the Brett that comes through. The hop and citrus notes are balanced by a honey sweetness.

Taste--American takes on this style can be disappointing in the complexity department. This has a nice range of notes to touch all areas of the palate. Funky Brett, banana, pineapple, honey sweet candi sugar and malt, with just a touch of alcohol burn. A nicely balanced set of tastes.

Feel--Solid, medium body. Not spectacular, but still spot on.

I am a shameless Orval apologist, and tend to hold anything of this style to that unreasonably high standard. This is an excellent stateside take.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle to pilsner glass. Light caramel color. Globules of sediment float. Big creamy eggshell head. Head lasts throughout beer. Aroma is equal hops and yeast. Taste is creamy hops. Light and summery. Yeast is very subtle, maybe it would be stronger if left to ferment in bottle a few more years. Very nice."

3+ year old bottle to wine glass. (Bottled 01/23/15) Holds up excellently.


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Photo of JoLight
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Marmalade color, hazy; off-white finger width head that leaves some lacing and dissipates into a thin yet nice layer.

Aroma: A musty smell initially; sweet honey oat; maybe some plantains or dried banana; yeast; super mild clove note; overall, it's a mild aroma.

Flavor: Malt-forward; honey oat;
a faint dried banana flavor; slight tangy sourness; a pleasant, earthy hop bitterness at the end of the sip.

Medium-to-full and carbonated mouthfeel with a crisp and dry and thick and slightly tangy finish.

This is a darling of a beer for a great price; Just under ten dollars for the big bottle. I highly recommend this beer.

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Photo of Zanth
4.83/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A crisp light amber/dark honey brew that offers citrus notes with distinct bitter tail before a lingering but pleasant after taste enamours the tongue for another round. This beer was suggested to me by a friend and I am very pleased he did so. It is easily sourced in Ottawa, Canada and apparently available year round. This is a new favourite and competes well with the Belgian Abby offerings available locally.

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Photo of Sergio_Nesmachnow
4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Got some ones in USA and Mexico. Difficult to find in the South.
Looks nice, copper/bronze red colour.
Fruitful smell, Belgian yeast.
Taste sweet and sour, nice body, one of the best from Goose available far away from Chicago.

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Artwork: A very simple and classy white label with the beer's name on it. Love it.

Appearance: Dark amber. Big head with reasonable retention and lovely lacing. Unintentionally I poured the yeast in which introduced some haziness.

Nose: Very spicy on the nose. Smells sweet.

Taste: Lots of spice, Belgian yeast, and some dark fruits. Rather sweet. Very nice and rich.

Mouthfeel: Lots of carbonation bite. Medium body.

Overall: This is a great beer. I'm not sure how much I could drink in one sitting (because of its richness) but then again this was not designed to be a session beer. Would definitely buy again if given the chance.

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Photo of MemphisSooner
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks and smells fantastic. Cloves, banana, peach, biscuity goodness and funk all up in the nose. Taste doesn't disappoint. All the same profiles in the nose show up in taste along with a malty slickness and a hoppy dryness. Body and feel are on point as well. I know this will offend the bourbon county fans, but this is the best beer I have had from Goose Island.

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Photo of brureview
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a copper red color with a 1F head in an Orval Trappist glass.

The aroma is quite good, but not strong: spice and fruit,

The taste gets more pronounced with warming: strong spicy quality to this beer, and fruit.

Excellent finish: spicy and dry with a hint of fruit and spice.

Overall, an excellent approach to the Belgian pale ale.

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Photo of adamhdg
3.41/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice bronze with virtually no head. Smell is of yeast and dough. Taste is initially of pineapple and old bananas with a lingering aftertaste that is not clearly described and not very pleasant. Mouthfeel is thin and again not very pleasing. Just not for me.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.36/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A: [3.50] Beer is a cloudy apricot color. The beer pours with a tiny white head that is gone immediately. The bottle lists the ABV (7.0%) and there is an easy to find/read bottled date (04/05/2016).

S: [3.00] Belgian yeast esters. Clove, banana, maple syrup.

T: [3.50] Follows the nose with yeasty esters. I also get a maple syrup like flavor - but not that sweet. Earthy, pungent flavors. Lemon rind.

M: [3.75] Above medium in body. Good level of carbonation.

O: [3.25] The more "Belgian" a yeast is the more I generally dislike it. I still try Belgian styles to see if maybe my palate will eventually grow up. This beer is not as bracing as a lot of Belgian styles. The flavors are mixed and mellowed. I would not drink this again.

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Photo of hopphead31415
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let me start off by saying that this Belgian Style Pale Ale is 7% ABV and is a world class brew.

Look-It pours a slightly hazy orange honey color with a thin film of white head. The lacing is wet, drooping, and tenuous.

Smell-It smells of clove, honey, fruitiness like clementine, and hop oils.

Taste-It has a nice hop oil component that is mixed with herbal and medicinal undertones. The malts are honey-based and the hops are present, but not bitter and certainly do not distract from the plethora of flavors that come through. They mix together to bring about a bark-like flavor. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and sticky, but not overly sweet.

Overall-This is such a great beer and it went down smooth and refreshing. This is a must try!

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Photo of Masonz223
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell: Pears mango some grassy funk Belgian yeast
Taste: right upfront you get pear and some mango middle of the mouth white grape skin you also get some funk grassy earthy flavores finishes with a slight Belgain yeast spice A splash of clove and a slight biterness.
Body: medium very dry in the finish.
Overall: a very nice beer glad I picked this one up and tried it.

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Photo of mkh012
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark golden-yellow with a thin white head.

Fresh cut grass, flowers, lemon, and sour white grape on the nose.

The taste is similarly grassy with some vinous notes, sour citrus, and banana. Drinkable, refreshing, and unique. Would get this one again.

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Photo of SaltofOH
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 16 Feb 16. Water goblet.

A: pours a hazy dark copper with streams of fine carbonation. Thin off-white head turns quickly to an island in the middle with a ring on the periphery.

S: sweet malt with some Belgian phenols. Pretty restrained, but it's cold. As it warms phenols express themselves, and so does a little alcohol. Orange marmalade; funky Easter lilies. Turbinado sugar. Lovely nose on this one - enjoy it barely chilled.

T: arrives full, malty, slightly sweet with a mild fruitiness. I don't know what Brett. C. Tastes like, but I am guessing that fruitiness I am getting is that. A little of the grape/bubblegum on mid palate, with a restrained toasty malt, turning to a respectable, but mild by American standards, bitterness. Ending is a lingering and pleasant earthy but not medicinal bitterness, with a hint of lingering funk and grapey phenolic character. The ending changes to a decidedly funky taste as this warms up. Hello Brett. C.!

M: a little carbonic bite on the tongue right from the beginning. Lighter side of mid weight. Finishes very clean. Slightly slick.

O: a study in restrained complexity. There is a ton going on with this beer, but you have to be looking for it to find it. It would be a totally welcome Belgian session beer, but for the high ABV. I think I'll buy a four pack and cellar it, to see how it evolves. Highly recommended.

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Photo of NEdward
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I picked this up needing a beer that was summery and Belgian while not being too light or too complex. copper body, minimal white head. very floral nose: fruit esters, dark Belgian sweetness, some hop bitterness, alcohol. taste follows from the nose, a balanced palette without any one flavor predominating (Belgian notes were definitely only given so much room to develop, presumably by the equally restrained hops). was surprised by the pervading - though not at all unpleasant - alcohol presence. Finish isn't protracted, with the Belgian nature of the beer remaining at almost unnoticeable level. Very pleasant.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

No label information. Brewed in the style of a Belgian Pale Ale with Brettanomyces. Available in 12 oz. bottled 4 packs and in 750ml. bottles. This is the 2013 vintage release.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle to a tulip glass.

(Appearance) Pours a foamy frothed head of a pastel white tone over a moderately hazy golden amber body with speckled sediment in tow and light carbonation. Retention is very good and lacing is light and patchy. 4.25

(Smell) Pale and bread malts with a moderate impact of brettanomyces, generating a moderate funk, some soft sourness and rich, ripe fruit juice characters. Potency is moderate. 4

(Taste) Pale malts with a reserved sweetness, some slight bread body character, and subtle brettanomyces activity, very light, with small order of fruit, funk and sourness notable, highly drinkable and enjoyable, with delicate and graceful brettanomyces and yeast characteristics make for an enjoyable drinking experience. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, lightly chewy, clean, medium dry. Carbonation is full, generating a medium frothiness and a briskly crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, shy of medium overall. Balance is nearly even sweet to tangy, fruit and acidity. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) A solid Brettanomyces Pale Ale that does a great job at achieving balance while maintaining high drinkability. Matilda’s Brettanomyces character is one of the best developed examples that I’ve experienced in a beer, offering full fruit character and abundant acidity and tanginess without choking out the balance of the beer. Another well-crafted and regularly available gem by Goose Island. I recommend giving a couple of your bottles some time to mature as they have done so in my case quite gracefully. 4

Goose Island Brewing Co.’s
Matilda Belgian Style Pale Ale

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Photo of FBarber
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Current vintage ('16) on draft.

Pours a crisp orange color with a nice white head.

Lots of yeast in the aroma with notes of apricots and floral tones.

Flavor was initially some apricot and floral notes. Gives way to a very spicy yeast finish.

Feel was appropriate for the style. Crisp and light.

Overall a very nice belgian strong ale. One of the better american interpretations of the style.

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Photo of Jraiona
4.44/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 2015 650 ml into a tulip. Poured a beautiful hazy Amber/copper with a fair head. Definite aroma and taste of yeast, I am learning but assume the yeasty smell I pick up is the Brett. On the palate it had a nice level of hopiness without being overly bitter. It was crisp and quite drinkable and pleasant.

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Photo of mgwagman
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice head, good froth and some lacing. Taste of citrus, wheat, coriander. Middle taste is funky maybe too heavy on the yeast I am not sure what it is but I can certainly taste it. Not a bad wheat beer, but not perfect.

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Photo of Act25
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I rate this about as I rate Sofie. Great Belgian style value for the buck. Try 24.

A: One finger of white head on a copper Mahogany hazy body, tiny bits of lace.

S: Wood, cedar, oak, citrus and orange rind with a deep Belgian must..

T: Follows smell, but more wood, incense, spice, and complexity. Corriander, orange citrus, Belgian yeast and toasted biscuits.

M: Tawny, medium body, with a real honey syrup feel, and moderate carbonation. Culminating in peppery, semi-dry finish.

Overall: Strong ale is right. Up there with Arrogant Bastard and Triples. It's a complex beer. One of the better beers from Goose.

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Photo of Squire
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful amber gold color with rich white lacing.

Aroma is brett influenced yeasty bready with full floral effect and a light touch of spicy hops.

Taste reveals a number of things, all good yet not fully knit together. Dried fruit on entry with spice notes appearing mid palate where a bit of malt richness also emerges, followed by some sour touches (in a good way) just before the finish. A fuller malt flavor in the lingering aftertaste that is then cut off by a reappearing gentle sour note.

Texture is reasonably full for a 7% golden ale.

Overall is a plus but more promise than performance. The elements are there for a really good beer experience but the parts are categorized, separate, as if they were in compartments rather than all working together. Like a team of talented players who are are not well coached each flavor seems to be doing it's own thing. Age of the bottle may be a factor but I've had this before and liked it better.

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Photo of tekstr1der
3.39/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Just too much funkiness for this guy... Pours a slightly orange-yellow with thin white top - looks okay. Smell is pungent - is this bret? overwhelming the Belgian yeast and zesty, spiciness. Flavor follows similarly, eventually by the end of the bottle getting used to the funk, but never fully enjoying. Mouthfeel is as expected. Won't get this one again.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Deep veiled dark golden color with thick storming activity and floating detritus. Frothy beige 2 finger head, lasting around 10 minutes, with nice legs. Flavors of oak, oka cheese, banana yeast, lemon, orange, apples, pears, grapefruits, sweet grains, caramel, herbal spices. Thick fruity sweetness with a sharp sour feel. Smooth light body with crispy carbonation. Medium to strong strength finish, dry tongue coating ester fruits and citrus, thick malty and yeasty feel, with a nice barrel aged effect and bit of clove and codiander. Highly boozy and vinous yet fresh and well balanced. Quite delicious and very complex. Would serve this as an appetizer being a little bold. Overall superb quality craft.

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Photo of KevCan
4.81/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bought two loose 12 oz. bottles from Giant in Arlington, VA. Bottled on Feb 16, 2016. Poured into a tulip glass.

Look: Copper and slightly hazy with a healthy head.

Smell: Smells predominantly of Brettanomyces yeast. A bit fruity and sour smelling.

Taste: Perfect balance of sweet and sour, fruity and tart. Flavorful without being overwhelming. Delicious! From the name "pale ale", I was expecting some hoppy bitterness, but it's very subtle in that regard.

Feel: Medium body and medium carbonation.

Overall: Superb!

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Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 4905 ratings