7% ABV on draught
Remember that beer I passed on and thus missed out on back in this entry? I never named the beer but it was indeed Goose Island Matilda. I thought I might not get to ever try this brew until one of my beer spies tipped me off that the great Valhalla had it on tap. Being that the bar is only a kicked aluminum can in distance from the discarded refrigerator box I call home in Hell’s Kitchen, I was soon headed there. Upon arriving though, the bartender claimed that all they currently had available from Goose Island was their IPA. This confused me.
If there’s one quibble I have with Valhalla it’s how fucking dark they keep the place (which explains my obscenely dark photos). You’d need fucking infrared goggles to see the taps on the wall. Shouldn’t a bar that prides itself on its diversity and plethora of beer want it so people can actually see what they goddamn offer?! And, the beer menus they have for perusal are not much help either as they never seem to update them. In fact, the menu I was reading still listed Dogfish Head Aprihop on it — a beer that hasn’t been in release since at least March or April. Furthermore, I counted some 48 taps on their wall, yet only 31 beers on the menu. What the fuck? Finally, while finishing my first quaff, a Nostradamus Brown Ale, I noticed that there were in fact two of the iconic Goose Island taps on the wall.
I called the surly bartender over to me, he was already annoyed with my multitude of questions. “What’s that tap?” I pointed to one gooseneck. “It’s the IPA.” “OK, then what’s that one?” I pointed to the other gooseneck all the way on the other side of the wall near the slutty female bartender’s “station.” He curiously walked over. “It says Matilda, but we’re not supposed to have that one.” He poured himself a tiny sample, sipped it. Indeed it was Matilda. At last!
Good things come to little boys that wait. I sipped the beer they weren’t supposed to have. And it was niiiiiiiiiiiice. Served in a gargantuan balloon glass, more befitting some five-scoop banana split buttfuck sundae from Serendipity or some other girly place where you ask for your ice cream with two spoons to share with your amore. Or, more likely your other fat and ugly girlfriends.
Matilda is so alcoholic, so tasty. Right in my wheelhouse. Without looking I had no idea on the style but I would have guessed a strong, strong ale which indeed it is, though not as potent as it actually tastes. It does have a near perfect mix of alcohol, hops, maltiness, and sweetness. Also a touch of juniper which gives it hints of gin flavoring which is fairly unique for a beer. I must admit, though, the Matilda just didn’t quite blow my mind (or any other body part!) enough to give it a full A. Nor does it seem to truly offer anything better than my most favorite strong ales (Arrogant Bastard for one). A damn solid brew though and I look forward to drinking it again, if I ever find it again. I could see myself growing to like this one more than I did on my first sampling.