Goose Island MatildaToday’s beer review of my 50 beer challenge is from a brewery that has gotten a lot of attention lately, most of which seems to be fairly negative. Goose Island, based in Chicago, IL, was recently sold to Anheuser-Busch which left a lot of beer snobs crying party foul. To me however, I love good beer so as long as the quality remains, I’m fine with it.

I chose to try out Matilda after visiting my local bottle shop and realizing that I’ve never had any Goose Island brews.  Since there has been a lot of talk about them recently on the web, I figured I would give it a try even though Matilda has been around awhile.

What can I say, I’m a sucker for Belgian style ales.

The bottle of Matilda, which was from 2010, poured a hazy amber/orange color that was almost glowing.  I poured it straight down the middle of the glass and was surprised to see that there wasn’t much head at all.  The 1/10″ or so of head that was there disappeared so quickly that I don’t really know what color it was.  There was some visible carbonation bubbles, but they were pretty tough to see through the cloudiness.

The aroma was full of citrus, honey, white grapes, yeast, and some pale malts.  It was like a candy store opened up shop in my nose.

Matilda tastes pretty good.  Upfront there is definitely some apple and pear flavors mixed with citrus, and then the flavor turns more to a white grape and yeast mix where you can really tell that the alcohol is there.

The only thing I didn’t really like about this beer is the mouthfeel.  Maybe it was just this bottle, but it felt a bit over carbonated which was somewhat distracting from the flavor. Every time I took a drink my mouth felt almost like I just downed a package of pop rocks and it tingled all over.

Overall this was a pretty decent beer that I would definitely suggest you try, especially if you like fruity types of brews.

My Goose Island Matilda Review: A-

Here are the details:

ABV: 7%
IBUs: 32
Style: Belgian Style Pale Ale

What’s your thoughts on Goose Island Matilda?


Logan is the owner of Blog About Beer. Along with blogging, he is also the author of two books, Beer Lover's Oregon and Beer Lover's Washington, an avid homebrewer, husband, dad of 2 girls, business owner and lover of ridiculously spicy foods.


  1. Just bought a bottle of this so I’m excited to read your review. Also a sucker for Belgian Ales, despite drinking a lot of GI brews over the years has slipped past until now. Love the website. Cheers!

  2. Logan,

    Interesting description. (The lack of carbonation seems strange to me. You should try it again.)
    I have had many Matildas, but never tasted it without a preconceived notion and certain expectations. I almost always drink it in a head-to-head comparison with Orval. If you read the verbiage on the carton (the legend of Countess Matilda, the ring, the pond & the trout), it quickly becomes clear that this is a tribute beer to Orval. IMHO, a very good and less expensive knockoff. Although, in my several comparison tastings with friends, everyone has preferred the Matilda.
    I have met Orval’s head brewer, Francois, a couple of times and asked him his thoughts on Matilda. His comment was, “If you go to Japan, you may see many cars that lok like Mercedes. But they are not Mercedes.”
    Goose Island does a lot of these tribute beers. If you can get ahold of a Dieu de Ciel (Montreal) “Rosée d’Hibiscus”, compare it to Goose Island “Fleur”. BOTH wonderful beers!

    • Awesome comment. I didn’t really put the two beers together, that makes a ton of sense now. I will definitely have to try them side by side now, and have someone mix them up to see which I like better. I’ve always loved Orval and have been trying to plan a trip to Belgium to check out the brewery. One of these days. Thanks for stopping by.

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