Sofie - Goose Island Beer Co.

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3,865 Ratings
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Ratings: 3,865
Reviews: 1,000
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.24%
Wants: 188
Gots: 815 | FT: 21
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-29-2009

80% Belgian Style Ale, 20% Belgian Style Ale aged in wine barrels with citrus peel. Champagne color, white pepper aroma, citrus & vanilla flavor, sparkling body.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,865 | Reviews: 1,000
Reviews by fo5s:
Photo of fo5s
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a saison dupont glass. Bottle dated 8/2/11.

A- light golden, minimal head. Fairly clear.

S- white wine. little to no funk, clean.

T- I'm struggling to get a lot of distinctive flavors here...mostly matches up with the smell. White wine is very distinctive on the finish. Full flavored, sweet for the style.

M- crispy up front, lively on the palate. Smooth finish.

O- an excellent saison, certainly one of my favorites. Not the most complex, nor the deepest, but an excellent choice nonetheless.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap at Jake's Billiards.Poured into a goblet a slight hazed lemon/strw color with a bone white head.Aromas are yeasty but not overly phenolic with a burst of citrusy lemon.Flavors of light spiced phenols and mild dough,lemon brings bright and even sharpness in the finish.The phenols are kept in check pretty well and the citrus flavors are nice if a bit sharp in the finish,not bad.

Photo of Fear4Beer
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I loved Matilda so I thought that by all the great reviews that I'd love Sofie since I love me some Belgian style beers. I was very confused by this beer. I poured it into a glass and the beer looked incredibly light looking, I tasted the beer and it tasted incredibly light (like watered down), and thus I was disappointed. I bought a 4 pack so I'll definitely be drinking it all but I'm not a fan of this one. Their beer called Matilda on the other hand was awesome. I'm not sure if they encourage aging this beer but that's what I'll be doing since as it is, it just isn't special. Maybe with time it gets better? idk.

Photo of brownbeer
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The bottle presentation of this beer is incredible. Very nice label.

Looks almost clear pouring from the bottle, but turns out to be a light straw color with some haze and a thin, bubbly white head.

The aroma and taste of this beer are both subtle. The aroma is of citrus zest, pineapple, pear, clove, mildly funky yeast, and something Champagne-like.

The taste is of mild orange and lemon zest, peppery hops, and it has a slight bit of funk to the yeast. The hops are a suprising bonus in the dry Champagne-ish finish, which works well with the brisk carbonation. I would say this is a toned-down, less banana-y Tripel, if I had to guess. Saison would have to be my second guess, even though it doesn't really have the heat presence a lot of Tripels tend to have.

Very good now, I'm thinking that a few years to soften this out, could make it outstanding.

Photo of Breen
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour/Appearance: A thick, 2 finger head, with lots of lacing. a hazy golden/amber in color. Some yeast sediment noticeable.

Smell: A strong citrus smell with a hint of spice were the only notes to standout.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied without an abundance of carbonation. A smooth beer with good balance.

Taste: Citrus from the orange peel very evident, though it seemed more lemon than orange. Possibly a bit of coriander lending to the spice notes.

Overall: This is an excellent beer, thought saison/farmhouse style is not noted on the bottle, it is very much evident. While no one area (appearance, smell) stood out as uniquely outstanding, the overall experience was excellent and this is a beer I'd have again and recommend.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bought on 7-4-09, most recent release to hit Chicago. Pours into my glass a bright sunshine yellow with orange accents, good clarity. A nice half inch of foam and steady rising carbonation. Aromas greet me with crisp, light grain malts melding into earthy, wild yeast accents. Orange peel is noticeable with citric hops in the background as well. Spicy with a touch of mellow dry oak. Elegant.

First sip brings crisp malts met by peppery, earthy yeast flavors. Orange peel works its way in along with a kiss of brett. Flows down with a touch of bitterness and a lingering spiciness. Quite dry on the finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth, crisp and light. Extremely easy to drink with well balanced carbonation. A bomber of this brew would easily disappear on a summer afternoon. Overall, a great brew and the orange peel works great without being overpowering. Will be buying more of this one.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a cervoise, the beer was a hazy yellow color with a small white head. It had a sweet, candy aroma with a tiny bit of spice. Taste of cotton candy, orange, and coriander. Kind of yeasty. Medium bodied, nice drinking. I would buy this again anytime.

Photo of andyfrancis
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pale yellow with a gorgeous white head that is settling ever so gently.

Smells of light champagne, has some fruity notes.

Oh yes. Great complex flavor smoothly washes over my tongue, followed by bit of carbonation ting and some lingering spice. Great belgian flavor, yet surprisingly light and drinkable.

Given the choice, I'd take this over Matilda.

Pairing with some Point Reyes Farmstead Toma. Works fairly well.

I burped through my nose. Burning.

Photo of Beaver13
3.51/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, dated 2/19/10. Pours a hazy straw yellow with a smallish creamy white head that retains well and leaves a lot of lacing. There's lots of tiny little floaties suspended.

The aroma is peppery spices and some musty yeast with a little banana.

The flavor is sweet bready malts, with some spices and earthy yeast and a little banana. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lots of spritzy carbonation that subsides some as it sits.

Overall, a nice saison. A little too sweet and too much banana for me.

Photo of generallee
4.62/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured into from a brown 1pt 6oz bottle into a tulip glass. The label has a "bottled July 17" date and an ABV of 6.5%.

Appearance: The body is light and hazy with a bright straw yellow color when held up to the light. The head on top is tall fluffy. It quickly settles down to a tighter half inch cap of foam that hangs on well and makes some spotty lacing.

Smell: In the nose I pick up notes of funky yeast, sweet fruity candy and faint citrus with some light spicy phenol as well. The aroma here is lovely and just pulled me in.

Taste/Palate: On the tongue the sweet fruity candy like notes meet the dry funk of the yeast as well as the mild phenol spice and pale wheat like malt. The balance here is just on the dry side and in the finish it adds just a touch of tart citrus and hop bitterness which yields one heck of a refreshing and modestly complex brew.

Notes: I am really into this beer which for me seems to blur the lines between the Witt Bier and the Saison/Farmhouse styles.

Photo of Guden
4.59/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A very cloudy golden blond with no head to speak of.

S- Pineapple, sour apple and damp wood flavors all come through. A little malty and a little fruity, nice blend.

T- Tangy pineapple blends with light bready malt before giving way to some of the grainy malt and wood from the nose.

M- Light body and carbonation, this feels like a typical saison (though a bit lighter in carbonation) and suits the flavors well.

O- This is a great beer up there with some of the better Brett beers I have had and among the best saisons as well.

Photo of merlin48
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle(2010 edition) pours into a St Bernardus goblet a very effervescent, hazy yellow gold body with a large, but delicate, white head. Good retention and some Belgian style sheet lacing.

Aroma is bold. Musty, funky, yeasty, barnyard, fruity lemon and honeydew melon, white pepper, orange peel, lemon, and floral hops. Nice.

Mouthfeel is dry and silky, with a medium body and champagne like carbonation.

Taste is funky,fruity, and dry. Tastes very much like the aroma. Melon, lemon, orange peel,kiwi, white grape skins, herbal and floral hops, yeasty, and a definite presence of some wild yeasties that are still a bit young.

This is a topnotch farmhouse ale, best American stab at the style I've enjoyed to date. I would love to have a few bottles of this to age, as I think some time would really develop a pastoral character that this one could use in matching some of the better Belgian examples. Hats off to Goose Island for an excellent effort here.

Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle, "Bottled on 12-11-09" Typed onto the label, $7.99 at Whole Foods Bowery, NYC. Pours quite light, yellowy and clear, the head is eggshell, initially quite impressive, slow morph to meraingue and 1/2 inch froth, leaves the expected quality, thicker and sticky lace. The nose is loaded with lemony fruit, yeasty nuttyness and general Belgian style spiced up yummyness. The final pour is yeast infused and produces a cloudy look. Notes on the tongue and mouth include more yeasty nuttyness, moderate pepper, tropical fruit, and hoppy herbaliciousness. Simply yummy. Complex, flavorful, delicate yet full of flavor and interest. Huge ups for the quality take on the style. A bargain price for this high qality brew. Wish I picked up 2 or more bottles, which sums things up..

Photo of tigg924
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, clear, bright yellow in color, high carbonation

Smell: lemon, straw, coriander, and hay

Taste: lemon, straw, coriander, and hay

Mouthfeel: slightly bitter with some funkiness, high carbonation, light bodied, dry.

Drinkability: A tasty saison that has a nice citrus and straw combination. I would get this again as a sipper. One of the better from GI that I have had so far.

Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

Pours a hazy yellow with a large white head. The aroma is wheat with some Belgian yeast. The flavor is lemon, orange, wheat, light funk and some Belgian yeast. Some other fruit flavors are present including apples.Thin mouthfeel and high carbonation.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2013 edition, first Goose Island brew that I've been able to pick up in Ontario. Handsome wine-like bottle.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. A hazy lemon-gold brew, with about an inch and a half of head that recedes into a thick ring. Some lacing flecks here and there, and some superfine sediment swirl in the glass.

Nose is simply stellar. It's unmistakeably saison with some definite acidity and mild funkiness, but what really sets this brew apart is the citrus. A brilliant blend of lemon zest, orange peel and grapefruit flesh hits you hard in the nostrills.

The wine shows itself in the first sip, and it just improves from there. Very tasty saison indeed, with that nice acidity checked with white wine, lemon, orange, straw, pepper, spices, and a very mild yeast. Extremely refreshing.

Juicy feel, effervescent, puckery and sweet at the same time.

First brew from Goose Island to come to Ontario, and it's a thumping good'un. Top class saison, one I will be back for a few times before it's gone.

Photo of menkros
1.24/5  rDev -69.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

2012 bottle direct from the brewery. Pours yellow , smells like pepper, taste is not my cup of tea. Gross, too bubbly, nasty aftertaste. Drain pour. Bottle. Head is initially small, fizzy/frothy, white, mostly diminishing. Body is medium yellow, bottle conditioned. Aroma is lightly malty (toasted grain), lightly hoppy (herbs, flowers), lightly yeasty (basement, cement), with notes of gum/banana, lemon candy, and pepper. Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter. Medium body, watery/syrupy texture, lively carbonation, lightly alcoholic. Overly sweet. The nose portends this, being very gummy/banana-ish and sugary. Not very enjoyable, not good.

Photo of bsp77
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bomber into Tulip.

Appearance: Cloudy pale yellow with huge frothy pure white head that leaves lots of lacing. Looks fantastic for a few minutes, then it all dies down, and it turns kind of dull. But those first few minutes were something.

Smell: Orange peel, pepper and coriander. Overall, exceedingly dry smelling, bordering on tart.

Taste: Peppery, spicy, dry and slightly tart. The orange peel is very evident and there is also quite a bit of coriander, even though I did not think that was added. Seems to be a touch of oak and wine-like characteristics, slightly reminiscent of Chardonnay. Also somewhat Witbier-like, except not so wheaty.

Feel: Spritzy, fairly light mouthfeel, nice dry finish.

Drinkability: Very refreshing, but I expected more complexity. Nevertheless, a very good Saison that straddles the Saison/Witbier divide.

Photo of deebo
3/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Longfellow Grill

A-Golden, slightly cloudy with no head with tons of tiny CO bubbles.

S-Slightly funky yeast, not much else to note.

T-Belgian yeast is evident, funky yeasty

M-Finishes a bit long, bitter with a fairly long tingly bite.

D-Not good for a saison

O-An okay beer but nothing too exciting. Go for Matilda instead of this one.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a Piraat tulip.

Pours a light golden wheat color with a small thin white head with no lacing. Nose is that Goose island yeasty breast nose that's really nice and refreshing.

Tate is bready, malty and wheaty. It's nice and sweet with kind of a latex banana taste. Still very rich mouthfeel and nice fruitiness.

Photo of capilial
3.11/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a nice golden coloring. It has a nice undertone of spices and citurs. Golden yellow in color.

Photo of pat61
4.56/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This pours a pale hazy straw color with a fluffly, merangue-like but quickly dissipating 1” white foam collar.
S: Faint banana, spice, orange, white pepper, perfume.
T: dry, pepper, sweet berry, orange peel, wheat, faint banana, pepper, traces of Brett.
F: Fine soft carbonation, medium light body.
O: Very tasty, well balanced saison with traces of Brett.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle split with a friend poured into a standard pint glass. bottled 1/29/10

pours out a cloudy pale yellow color, almost lemonade like. big fluffy, soapy white head that eventually faded to a nice foamy retentive layer. sporadic lace and a decent amount of carb bubbles.

lots of vinious, winey note, citrus orange peel, lemon, some slightly spicey phenolic yeast and a hint of bubblegum. citrus and wine like aromas at the forefront.

very citrusy taste. orange peel and lemon mix well with some vinious wine notes. bits of spicy, phenolic belgian yeast compliment nicely. bits of bitterness at the finish.

love the mouthfeel. very smooth and soft on the palate. light bodied with adequate slightly bubbly carbonation.

drinks very easily. overall a citrusy and winey saison. the mouthfeel was the highlight for me. im definatly glad for having tryed this. i would recommend it.

Photo of ehammond1
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap (2011)

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

(Aged for 1+ year)

Hazed light golden with a thin, creamy near-white head. Lots of messy lacing left down the glass. Very pretty saison.

Aroma of green fruits (pears, grapes, perhaps some light apple), along with a peppery yeast, and a bit of a tang/spice note. Complete, though not bold or particularly aggressive.

The flavor comes together very nicely. Green and mild citrus fruits, pepper, slightly tangy yeast, and a bit of sweet bread crusts. Lovely and incredibly drinkable.

Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation.

I wish I'd ordered another glass. I really enjoyed this.

Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into a stemmed goblet glass. Bottled 08/02/2011.

Appearance: Pours a bright and champagne like golden yellow with a lot of rising bubbles. About two fingers of white head that quickly recede into a thin patchy layer. Lacing is fairly light.

Smell: A fairly sweet and funky aroma. Belgian yeasts and pale malts with good hints of cracker. A fair amount of candied sugars. Lots of fruity esters. Hints of banana, lemon, pear, orange, white and green grapes, and apple. Clove and pepper spices. Also some earthy hops in the background. Pretty solid.

Taste: Like the smell but with even more fruity esters. Tastes a lot like a good white wine without the alcohol heat. Belgian yeasts with some nice cracker like pale malts. Huge fruit flavors. Green grapes, white grapes, pear, lemon, orange, green apple, tangerine, and a little banana. Decent amount of clove and pepper spice. A little candied sugar. Light earthy hop presence towards the finish. Really good.

Mouthfeel: Body feels on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation is fairly high. Very crisp and smooth. Starts somewhat sweet and finishes dry. Alcohol is hidden well.

Overall: A really good and interesting brew here. I love how they brought some huge fruit flavors without making it too sweet. Things are nicely drying. This almost is more like a white wine but it has just enough malts and hops to remind you its a beer.

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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,865 ratings.