17
Feb
12

Goose Island Matilda

Tonight I’m cracking open a Goose Island Matilda, a Belgian strong pale ale. Goose Island Brewery is sorta famous in the craft world for being the craft beer of choice in Chicago, and for being bought by Anheuser-Busch InBev as part of a new trend of the macros experimenting around with established craft beer. I got this beer as part of an attempt to get some Pliny the Elder, I was successful. This will be my first review of a Goose Island beer. On to the review.

The bottle is quite sophisticated and minimalist with an eggshell colored background and a just few lines of text. Nothing in the design jumps out at you but it definitely asserts a certain elegant vibe. This one was bottled on 9/21/11 and given that Goose Island says I can age this for 5 years I should be fine, 7% abv. I chose my New Belgium snifter for this beer. Appearance is an orange/amber with a white head. This is very dark compared to other beers I have had in this style. Smell is quite yeasty with some banana tones, some Candi sweetness is also there. So far the  nose is pretty much to style except there isn’t much malt detectable. Taste is sweet, yeasty, and spicy. As I drink more a certain mellow, subdued fruitiness emerges. It features a moderate level of alcohol and a certain citrusy tartness. Continental hops are barely there, Mouthfeel is high carb, quite dry, and a  bit tart.

This beer fits the style well with its yeasty dryness and prominent alcohol. Given the dryness, this is more of a beer I would pair with food than drink alone. Definitely has a certain Belgian vibe to it. Nice and complex in taste and mouthfeel and I do love the yeast. I’m still not crazy about non-wheat beers that are dry, but this is an improvement over some Belgian pale ales I have had. Makes me want to try a Duvel to see how Matilda matches up to the king of the style.

Rating: B+

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