Wednesday, April 17, 2013

April 17: Karl and the Tale of the Goose Island Matilda

Waltzing Matilda

Greetings from the Windy City, dear reader! Or at least that’s where today’s beer is from. I had the pleasure of visiting Goose Island in the “pre-Budweiser” days about six years ago, and my pleasant experience there has always left me with a fondness towards the Goose. While it’s their Honkers Ale, the 312 wheat beer and their excellent IPA that are most common, the brewery manages to make some exceptional beers that aren’t as widely distributed. Their Bourbon County Stouts are legendary amongst les beer nerds, and Pere Jacques and Pepe Nero are wonderful, complex brews. Today I’m drinking Matilda, their Belgian-style Golden Ale, and it is accompanied by the Tom Waits Anthology album. The song Tom Traubert’s Blues is written about an experience where Mr. Waits had too much to drink in a foreign country (Denmark, I believe), and wanted to take out and waltz a young woman named Matilda. Leave it to Tom to romanticize a night of being a few sheets to the wind.

As for the beer, it pours a cloudy miel/honey color, reminding me a lot of my good friend Pranqster. It is visually effervescent and the nose gives off a pleasant aroma of applesauce, oatmeal and honey with a classic Belgian yeast strain. The beer ends up being lighter on the palate than I was expecting (I think I was expecting chewy thick Pranqster), and the yeast is a very strong character in this play. The beer is slightly sour, but not too much so, rather just enough to be labeled “funky”. There is a delicious finish of cinnamon and clove that round off a good malt balance and light mouthfeel. This is the type of beer that can ride the struggle bus on the finish, becoming either too sticky or two sweet, but this hits the spot. Well done, Goose Island, and don’t let those Budweiser bullies change you.

Rating: A-

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