The First Pour: Goose Island Matilda
Cicero’s understands that when it come to beer, most people’s favorite is the latest and greatest new beer. Very few beer lovers drink the same beer over and over again. Sure, you might go back to an old standard, but you always try the latest beer first. For that reason, and others, Cicero’s changes their menu every week. When kegs kick, we change them up, unless we decide to keep it tapped for a while longer because it kicked so fast. With that in mind, we strive to keep you, our customers informed on our weekly changes. The “First Pour” series of blog posts will highlight and review the newest beers we have on draft for you. Again, we have a happy couple writing these posts for us. If you see them around, make sure and thank them for their hard work.
Availability: Year round
We really enjoy researching beers and learning as much about them as possible. We both love to find out what inspired a beer and what made the brewers want to make each beer. When we found out we’d be reviewing Goose Island’s Matilda, we asked Goose Island’s own Karen King if she could share some “fun fact” type information with us to include in the post. She didn’t disappoint.
Matilda Belgian Ale is an homage to the Orval Trappist Ale. Goose Island tips their hat to Orval by honoring Countess Matilda of Tuscany. During a visit to the Orval monastery, Matilda lost her wedding ring in a well. While praying for its return, a trout rose up and had the ring in its mouth. In fact, next time you see a bottle of Orval, pay close attention because their label features a trout with a ring in its mouth. Thanks for telling us about this great story, Karen!
Now on to the review! Matilda pours a hazy orange with a thick head and solid lacing that lingers. Off the smell there’s a mix of hop oil, the sweetness of honey, lemon-y citrus notes, and cloves. The taste doesn’t disappoint and offers a plethora of flavors. Up front you get some bittering hops that give way to faint herb notes with hints of apples and fruit. The beer is slightly dry on the finish and hop oils linger but don’t overpower. This beer is very flavorful and has a rich mouth feel. Overall, this beer is crisp and smooth. By just looking at the beer you wouldn’t think it packs as much aroma and taste as it does, but one smell tells you differently. This is one of Alaina’s favorite beers and Mike enjoys it a lot too.
About the Authors – Alaina and Mike moved to St Louis from Ohio in 2008 and quickly jumped into the craft beer scene. Alaina has gone from drinking light lagers almost exclusively to enjoying maltier beers – most notably porters and stouts – and hefeweizens. In her free time Alaina enjoys reading, running, and attempting to teach their dog tricks. Mike has evolved from drinking highly hopped IPAs to enjoying a wider range of pale ales and traditional hefeweizens. Mike enjoys trying to teach his dog not to bark at anything that moves, reading about crime and gangs, and home brewing with his co-workers. Both Alaina and Mike have been attending Cicero’s Beer School for a year and credit it to helping them expand their knowledge of craft brew and assisting them to take the plunge into home brewing with their friends. Hopefully, they will bring in some of their home-brew one day.