1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Sofie - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,706 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,706
Reviews: 956
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10%
Wants: 179
Gots: 708 | 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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 3,706 | Reviews: 956
Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Elegant saison, a little funky yeast aroma, along with white pepper. Pours light colour with lots of foamy head. Refreshing taste and mouthfeel, very good with supper. Elegant and not compelx, with a bit of the orange peel. Nothing really funky about the taste.Lace lines.

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to AndresR for sharing this one at Benny’s tasting.

2010 vintage. Bottled 2/19/10.

Pours a hazy yellow with a foamy white head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Thick foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, yeast, wine, and wood. Taste is much the same with a slight funk in the flavor as well. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a very crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

G: Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Light gold with a tremendous bone white head and a stunning amount of lacing.

S: A bit of yeasty funk over a slight peppery aroma. Mild hops underneath, though they don't challenge the yeast character. Also, some white wine characteristics--green grapes and a bit of sweet, tart fruits.

T: Little bit of funk combined with some pepper flavors. Much the same as the nose, but the taste has more distinctive fruity characteristics with the green grapes/apple coming through over the top of the pepper. Nice orange presence throughout.

M: Fairly light with a good bite of carbonation. Not much of an alcohol presence. Fantastic wine barrel and dry finish.

D: Quite refreshing. Nice and complex. An excellent saison.

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: It poured clear light yellow into a snifter glass with a large, white foamy head. A moderate level of carbonation is evident from the rising bubbles.
S: The nose has some funky citrusy, floral and sour aromas. It's not quite what you would expect from a typical saison.
T: Orangey flavors really stand out in the taste, along with some notes of spices.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and very smooth from the level of carbonation.
D: This beer is a good sipper yet is also refreshing at the same time.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: single finger head with minimal retention on a hazy dull golden body.

S: very aromatous with candy sugar, pineapple, banana, minimal yeast presence.

T: slightly tart citrus, mostly lemon and pineapple. Clove, yeast and light herbal notes, mostly corriander.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation with a very dry finish.

Overall: Very good and despite how dry it is, the drinkability of the flavor overcomes that nicely. I like these a little dry, this just seems too dry for me.

Photo of brentk56
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

June 01, 2009 bottling

Appearance: Pours a hazy pale lemon color with a three finger head; great retention and plenty of lacing left behind

Smell: Lemon meringue pie; very tart with plenty of lemony citrus esters

Drinkability: Cracker malt and lemony citrus, up front, with a growing puckery sourness that develops by mid-palate; after the swallow, Curaçao and oak enter the picture, adding tropical complexity and woody dryness, along with a grassy bitterness in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: A bit like a saison/wit/wild ale combination, this is a signature ale for Goose Island's Belgian chops

Photo of jaydoc
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Duvel, you have company!

Goose Island may have hit a home-run here. Sofie begins with a murky canary-yellow with very lively carbonation, fair head formation, retention, and lacing. A fair but sturdy look.

Aromas of citrusy esters, peppery phenols, and delicate pilsner malts set the stage for a light musty, cork-like dusty note that gives it just a little more than the standard Belgian Pale Ale.

Sweet up front with pilsner malts, cracker-like lightness, and confection sweetness. Lemon-like acidity, limes, and background notes of tropical fruits (appricots, pineapple) usher in the estery mix. White pepper, cumin, orange peel, and hop earthiness come in late with sharp and decisive variations.

Somewhat fuller and sweet to initial sip but the beer quickly morphs into a peppery, citrusy, acidic dryness that makes drinkability effortless- this is where the Duvel comparisons make moste sense.

Great job Goose Island for a Belgian worthy Saison style beer.

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep hazy beige/orangey color ale with a huge foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of medium-sweet Belgian malt with some notes of orange peel and lightly tart whine wine is quite enticing. Taste is a wonderful mix between some tart notes from the wine barrel with some refreshing notes of Curacao and a nice attenuated Belgian malt backbone. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well done overall with good drinkability factor and some good complexity.

Photo of Knapp85
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured out as a slightly hazy golden color, it had a foamy white head on top that faded into a thin film over top of the beer. The smell of the beer is a grainy and has plenty of the citrus fruit aromas on the nose. The taste of the beer is a little spicy with a fruity kick to it in the finish. The hops balance out the mix. The mouthfeel of the beer is sharp and clean feeling. A good healthy amount of carbonation in this beer livens it up a bit. Overall I thought this beer was quite refreshing and enjoyable. I could see myself possibly drinking this one again some day.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

"From birth to age 18, a girl needs good parents, from 18 to 35 she needs good looks, from 35 to 55 she needs a good personality, and from 55 on she needs cash."

--Sophie Tucker

Chardonnay gold with Champagnesque carbonation and a pillowy crown of cumulus cloud white. The airy foam isn't very sticky. A few small scraps of suds can be seen clinging to the glass, but don't appear as if they're in it for the long haul. Thankfully, subsequent pours look better and the lace is more adherent.

The aroma is incredible and absolutely nails the style. The wild yeast provide the usual barnyard character (moderate) with a wonderful orange peel citrusiness following close behind. If the flavor is even half this complex and appealing, this will be successful beer.

First of all, Sofie tastes authentically Belgian, which is far from a given when it comes to American-brewed, Belgian-style beer. Congrats to the masters at Goose Island for that. Brettanomyces was a nice touch and is present in precisely the right amount for those craft beer lovers who like da funk, but don't want to be blasted with it each time they upend the glass.

The other design decisions were spot-on as well. That is, aging in wine barrels and using orange peel. There are so many things going on with each mouthful that it boggles the taste buds (in a good way). Tart has a slim lead on bitter, and sweet is a distant third.

Specifics include untoasted wheat, orange and lemon zest, white grapes, white pepper and a soft and well-integrated horseblanketiness. Perhaps the Amarillo hops (an inspired choice) is adding to the orange juiciness. This would be a great warm weather picnic beer.

Unfortunately, the mouthfeel has seen better days. It was overbubbled at the start and passed through the ideal zone all too quickly. As always, bottle-conditioning is hit-or-miss. With better bubbles... hell's bells, this is great beer anyway.

Sofie Belgian Style Ale 2009 is one of my new favorites from a brewery that does much more right than it does wrong. I'm sure there are a few American-brewed, Belgian-style saisons out there that rival this one, but I can't think of any at the moment. What a tremendous surprise.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

a little over hyped I think, at least the 2013 version is, possibly a considerable step down from other vintages. this pours from its new wine bottle format a hazy champagne color, pale and yellow, grassy, with just a small white head. the nose is fruity like apples, not as coriander heavy as I remember it being, and yeasty. a little tart and funky, but not as exciting to my palate as I think it used to be. I taste green apples too, tart and sweet at the same time, although this beer adds a dry element to that flavor. wine-like fruity vibes, and a similar acidity. I view this so much more as a fall beer, rather than a spring one. its got all the leaf changing colors feel to it. really mellow on the citrus, and I don't get any vanilla at all. ultra bright carbonation and a clean dry finish. light bodied and drinkable, but I wonder if the sale of goose island has effected the recipe or the quality of this beer. I remember it being so wonderful and interesting, and now it just seemed like another half hearted saison. maybe its me, and ive had too many good beers to recognize that this one is special, but it seems somehow dumbed down to me now.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

very hazy medium yellow color came gurgling out of the bottle, quickly coming to a head that reached a height of maybe two inches. There was then a rich coating of side glass lace that thoroughly coated the glass with some nice carbonation being visible throughout the session.

The aroma was highly charged on this one. Lots of light fruit swirling around with a healthy dose of spice in it as well. Nice touches of coriander, lemon, hints of pepper coming through, with a touch of pears warming up to it as it came up to room temperature. The initial taste was peppery, with a rush of lemon following suit almost immediately. A wonderful sense of light fruit really just ran all over this one. I was quite impressed I have to admit. Smooth mouth feel was more the adequately carbonated and really just kept the profile popping throughout. An easy sipper, the moderate ABV lended itself well to a warm late summer evening.

Photo of womencantsail
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jacob for sharing this one today.

A: The pour is a pale golden yellow color with a fluffy white head.

S: The nose is quite fruity with plenty of citrus, pears, and maybe some melon. There's a definite spice aroma along with some yeast and perhaps even a bit of tartness.

T: I was very pleased by the nose, but the flavors didn't quite live up to that. The spices are much more pronounced and the tartness doesn't make an appearance either. There is still some nice fruit character, namely apples, pears, and bananas, however.

M: The body is medium with a very nice tingly carbonation which gives the beer a bit more of a light feeling on the tongue.

D: I liked this much better than some of Goose Islands special releases, but I still don't know how much of this I could drink. A nice beer to have a small pour of, however.

Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,706 ratings.