Beer Review: Goose Island Matilda Belgian Style Pale Ale

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Matilda, a beer I have had many times but am just getting around to reviewing now. My roommate gifted me a 4 pack of the Goose Island Belgian Pale Ale for my birthday this year. This is certainly a well known beer, an award winning beer and a pioneer in its category. I have 2 of the 4 beers from the pack in my cellar so I am definitely looking forward to see how well this beer develops over time. For now though I have for you a review of a less than a year old Matilda. Matilda comes in at 7% and 26 IBU.

Appearance: Light copper color with a 1/2 finger head and the slightest haze, caused primarily from yeast sediment due to the bottle conditioning. Very minimal lacing. Love the bottle artwork of all the GI Belgian beers, very simple but visually appealing.

Nose: Belgian yeast, farmhouse, Brettanomyces, clove, fruity, sour fruit, dried orange, dried citrus fruits, spicy and lemon. Very funky but pleasant. Quite a large spectrum of scents you get from this beer as expected from a Belgian beer.

Taste/Mouth: Follows the nose with some funky sour Brett notes followed by fruit, clove and dried citrus fruits. Some biscuit malt, lemon and tropical fruit notes as well. Has a light mouth-feel, light carbonation and just a slight bite of bitterness which may be caused in part from the sour notes. On that note though it is very easy to drink and none of those flavor notes are overwhelming.

Price/Availability: This is a very widely available beer both in bottle form and on draft as well. Wish the price point was a little better.

Overall: This isn’t a style I actively pursue very often, I just don’t go out of my way to buy Belgian or Belgian style beers really. I have to say I am a fan of Matilda though, it is an extremely drinkable yet complex and readily available beer. I think its a great starter beer for people looking to dive into the crazy complex world of Belgian style beers.

Grade: B+

Beer Review: Goose Island’s The Ogden Tripel

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From Chicago’s own Goose Island I have a review of their new May release from this year, The Ogden a Belgian Style Tripel. Tripels aren’t normally a style I seek out but when I saw this one was dry-hopped with Citra, Brewers Gold and Saaz hops I was intrigued. The important part of that last statement being Citra hops. I like the little bit from the brewery about this one and why it is named The Ogden so from the brewery: “William Ogden opened Chicago’s first brewery. He was the city’s first mayor. And he added the North Brand channel to the Chicago River that created the island from which we take our name. Three good reasons why we gave our first-ever Belgian Style Tripel his name.” The Ogden comes in at 9% ABV and 35 IBUs.

Appearance: Slightly hazy golden orange with a quickly dissipating 1/2 finger head. Really nice color and lots and lots of bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass too which makes it a fun beer to look at. Poured into a Nonic pint as that is what the bottle indicated as proper glassware.

Nose: Fruity and yeasty typical belgian aromas with some tropical fruit and clove. Pleasant mix of typical Belgian aromas and some fruity hop aromas as well.

Taste/Mouth: Mix of Belgian spiciness and fruit with some hop flavors and bitterness. Can barely sense the 9% at all. Finish is pleasant not too bitter or hot. The nice carbonation give your tongue a nice bite but keeps the mouth of this beer very nice. Really easy tripel to drink which I don’t know how often I have ever said that. Has some characteristics of like a Belgian Pale Ale as well which make it easier to drink.

Availability/Price: Limited May release but it seems like it will be a yearly release now. The price wasn’t bad either considering it is 9%.

Overall: Citra made me buy it and I wasn’t really disappointed I purchased it. A pretty enjoyable tripel which is a style that I definitely don’t normally seek out or drink often. A nice updated Americanized version of a classic style.

Overall: B