Review: Goose Island Matilda Belgian Style Pale Ale (2014 edition)

Goose Island is now available in Manitoba, and if you are educated about the beer industry like I am, you know that Goose Island is owned by the owners of Labatt and Budweiser - AB-InBev. I dislike Labatt's products and then some - Shock Top Belgian Style Wheat Ale is frankly nasty and watered down. That being said, Goose Island hasn't changed much since being bought by Budweiser & co - except ability to have their beers in more places and higher buying power.

I've already reviewed Goose Island's Sofie Saison a year and half ago so I don't need to do another review anytime soon. So now onto Matilda! Matilda is a Belgian Style Pale Ale at 7% ABV and 765mL bottle.

Appearance: Matilda pours a vibrant orange honey comb with a bit of a light creamy beige head on top, a tad bit of sediment at the bottom of the glass, minimal carbonation from what I've noticed.

Aroma: The aroma has notes of orange peel, farm yard, fairly hay-like, a bit of a sour note that reminds me of a mens restroom at a pub. Slightly tart, a bit reminiscent of a saison in some aspects (more citrusy than most Belgian style Pale Ales I'm used to). Hint of clove.

Taste: If someone told me that this was a bottle of Sofie, I would believe them as I find the Matilda seems a bit too similar to the Sofie I had last night. It's sweet, citrusy, hint of orange peel, a bit medicinal. Then there's a hint of pear and apples falling at the very end. Not as tart or sour as the aroma would lead me to believe - but there's subtle notes there anyways, especially as it slowly warms up.

Overall Thoughts: It wasn't what I exactly expected for a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, incredibly citrus focused, yeasty breadiness showed up here and there but not really comparable to other Belgian Pale Ales I've drank recently. I do like the nice citrusy zest - it's very easy to drink, lightly fizzy on the tongue and great to sip on on a light jacket Tuesday evening outdoors. Available throughout Canada for approximately $8-10 per 765mL bottle. Save a few bottles because it will age well over time.


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