Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Beer Review: Matilda

Reviewing the Matilda from Goose Island Brewing Company.
Score: 86

2011 vintage bottle served in a pilsner/wine flute hybrid glass at a Tapas cooking class with my girlfriend.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, translucent sunset-orange color with yellow highlights around the glass. Pours close to three fingers of fluffy head that slowly settles into a solid finger and a half of yellow-white doughy head. Very bright and effervescent. Above average lacing. 4/5

Smell: Bananas, Belgian yeast and cloves. Doughy bread, light citrus and some floral perfume. Also detecting some spices that I cannot put my finger on. 3.5/5

Taste: Lots of Belgian yeast and cloves throughout. A little tart fruitiness and mild lemon on the mid-palate and in the finish. I get waves of hard cider flavor too. Increasing notes of unidentifiable "spices" come out as the beer layers. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with high-medium carbonation. A little less carbonated than expected based on the appearance. This beer also surprisingly coats the mouth with a lot of lingering yeast and light tart fruit flavors. I say this is a surprise because of the effervescent appearance. Quite refreshing and drinkable. 4/5

Overall: A pleasant Belgian style pale ale with a light sour twist -- very interesting. I would certainly try this refreshing brew again. Probably best enjoyed during the summer months.

Recommendations: A solid craft beer for casual beer drinkers and beer geeks alike, though the former are more likely to enjoy it than the latter. This brew is a major step up in quality from 312, but it is just as approachable and drinkable. This is about as "sour" as I like my beers to be.

Pairings: Grilled lemon-crusted chicken would probably work well, though Matilda makes a good apéritif as well.

Cost: $7.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle or $11.99 for a four pack of 12 oz bottles.

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