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Sofie - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,322 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,322
Reviews: 902
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.24%
Wants: 142
Gots: 503 | FT: 16
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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-29-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,322 | Reviews: 902 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

largadeer, Nov 30, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a chalice at the Clybourn brewpub.

Y'know, I think I've had Sofie a couple times before...why the hell haven't I given her the proper respect of a review yet? Let's fix it: She pours a clear pale straw topped by a finger-and-a-half of white foam. The nose comprises lemon zest, sour wheat, pepper, dank oak, and spicy white grapes. The taste holds notes of lemon zest, orange peel, cardamom, wheat, black pepper, and spicy white wine grapes. As nice as the flavors come across, it's not as good as the smell would have me believe. The body is a hefty light, with a moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a tasty, refreshing Belgian treat. Good times.

TMoney2591, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -2.4%

SocalKicks, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of emerge077
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bright jewel orange body, with an initial burst of meringue foam that threatens to spill over. Tiny flecks of sticky lace. The energetic head soon deflates to a broken skim. Dominant orange in the nose, very soft and intriguing. The citrus twang intertwines with light herbal coriander touches, and a vague underdeveloped mustiness. Sort of like a juiced up Wit, less funky than a traditional Farmhouse Ale. Conjures up scenes of farmland fields on a dewy Spring morning (in my mind anyway).

Light tartness from the yeast or barrel bugs, but it's oh so soft and creamy. Orange peel and delicate Belgian yeast dances over a light malty base. Dry finish with some noble hop herbals. Utterly quaffable and refreshing. I've only experienced this soft lightness before in a few Belgians, namely Fantome, Troublette, and other rustic-style Saisons & Wits. This is one i'll return to again and again. Paired nicely with a washed rind cheese, Jasper Hill Winnimere.

emerge077, Apr 01, 2009
Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

765ml bottle, WTF? Anyways, nice to see Goose Island make its way up here to Alberta, and with a brew that I've passed over way too many times on trips stateside, mostly due to price, only to encounter them now, and so agreeably tagged at that - booyah!

This beer pours a hazy, very pale golden straw colour, with three fingers of puffy, creamy, and silken eggshell white head, which leaves some sudsy coral reef lace around the glass as things apparently quickly and steadily dissolve.

It smells of perky earthy yeast, mixed orange flesh and overripe apple mush, grainy pale malt, musty white wine funk, faint white and black pepper mill output, and grassy, leafy, and weedy hops. The taste is semi-sweet grainy pale malt, a mere hint of bready caramel, pleasant in its temerity yeasty funk, still obtuse and well mixed-up citrus fruit notes, soft savoury spice (coriander, black pepper, the usual shit), a further, though lessened white wine lees dank fruitiness, and herbal, leafy hops.

The carbonation is fairly light in its frothacular renderings, the body just on the lee side of medium weight, and more smooth than anything this yeasty, or even hoppy has any God-given right to be. It finishes off-dry, the heretofore unloved graininess showing its lingering capabilities, with mucho company yet - drupe fruit, mostly neutered funk, and green forest glade hops abounding.

For a typically understated style, this possesses a whole lot of extra goodness, all of which does nothing to push things over the top, instead, everything stays right on track, even the elevated 13-proof booze. A crazily saucy and intricate saison, packaging included, from one of the last parts of the world one might expect, transnational corporation ownership aside.

biboergosum, Aug 08, 2014
Photo of zeff80
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this for Thanksgiving dinner.

A - Poured out a clear, golden yellow color with a white, bubbly, two-finger head of foam. Good rentention and left soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of yeast, grains and some spiciness. There was a subtle funky aroma, too.

T - It had a nice toasty caramel flavor with spicy notes and strong yeast flavors. There was a slight funk to it, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied ale with a dry, snappy finish.

D - This is a very good saison.It went really well with Thanksgiving dinner.

zeff80, Nov 27, 2009
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Goose Island Sofie 2011
22 oz. bottle, dated 09/15/11 1658
$7.99 @ Whole Foods Market, Union Square, NY

The two words that came to mind when I first put Sofie to my lips were 'sophisticated' and 'refined'. It's easy to make a Belgian-style beer that's bursting with flavor, but it's not as easy to do it while keeping the yeast in-check with the other flavors.

It pours a hazy, deep golden body beneath a creamy head of white. The head retention and lacing are good... it'll rise up on you if you're not careful, so pour it gently until the very end of the glass.

In the nose it's displays a light, delicately sugary malt and the juice of fresh, crisp and tart baking apples. Some wet wood and minor spice rounds it out.

In the flavor the apples clearly return, along with the gently sugary malt, but there's also a delicate carpet of spiciness for them to roll around on. I'm assuming there's Brettanomyces involved, but I can't say for sure. The tartness is clear, but I also find a bit of straw, and some mild 'leathery' notes. There's no mettalic zing to it though, nor any real barnyard, mud, or manure. If it's Brett, they've kept it very clean. A mild touch of coriander appears, and there's some gentle peppery quality to it. A bit of vanilla, and some mild orange/citrus rounds it out with a nice creamsicle note. It's light and delicate, but it's actually quite full of flavor, and it's more complex than it initially seems to be - and that's exactly what I mean by 'refined'. Too often American brewers over-do the yeast and spices, and each one stands out on its own, whereas most Belgian brewers try for a spice component that lies in the background, not necessarily revealing its complexity. This has that. It has sweetness, tartness, vanilla, citrus, sandalwood, and spice all putting something in, and at the same time pulling together to balance it. Superb...really nicely balanced and polished. It finishes in different ways as you progress through the glass, but mainly it's dry with a bit of residual tartness that then fades to leave some ever-so-subtly-chalky orange peel and old wood behind.

In the mouth it's medium-light in body with a bit of a dexrinous character, but still "light". And it's just gently zesty, and mainly 'airy' on the palate.

Overall, it's a remarkably charming and seductive ale. I think that almost anyone could fall in love with this beer. Worth seeking out!

NeroFiddled, Jan 11, 2012
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.

StonedTrippin, May 12, 2013
Photo of nickfl
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Two fingers of bone white head on top of a perfectly clear, straw-yellow body filled with strings of rising carbonation. The foam settles slowly and leaves only minimal lace.

S - A strong aroma of wild yeast with only moderate sourness. Lemon, pepper, and vanilla yeast notes with plenty of tart wheat backing them up. There are some standard issue, noble hop aromas lurking in the background as well, but they are mostly washed away by the other aromas.

T - Lots of tart wheat up front with moderate sweetness and some vanilla yeast notes. Tropical fruit flavors of pineapple and pepper kick in next with a bit of wild yeast and sour cherry. Finishes with significant herbal hop flavor and moderate bitterness balanced by complex yeast and a bit of malt. Lingering musty hops interact nicely on the palate with the equally musty, but mild, wild yeast character.

M - Moderately thick body, high carbonation, and a slightly dry finish.

D - This distinctive interpretation of the style is quite drinkable and refreshing. The yeast is a wonderful combination of fruity saison yeast and distinct brett mustiness. The hops are subdued in the aroma, but show up in full force flavor-wise, which is a nice nod to classic hoppy saisons like Dupont and also makes for a nice contrast set against the yeast. The finish is perfectly balanced and unusually champagne-like, which leaves me thirsting for another sip.

nickfl, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light clouded peach/orange golden with a bright fine effervescent white head. Fine Belgian style lacing spread evenly, very good looking beer. Aroma has hints of citrus, white grape, light toasted oak with tart green apple hanging on. Slightly spicy Belgian inspired notes as well, with a honeysuckle floral quality. Flavors bring on bold but refreshing qualities, swirl this around in the mouth and you'll get some tart green apple, lime citrus peel, with spicy black pepper. Amongst other flavors are some light toasted oak, and mild honey sweetness, finishes perfectly dry from the Belgian yeast utilized. Mouthfeel is on point with your favorite Belgians, effervescent light and airy, perfect really. Overall, another perfect creation from Goose Island, AB buyout hasn't changed them yet. Really nice beer, up there with Matilda comparing this to a Belgian Pale is a bit out of touch but both unique dead on style Belgians.

WVbeergeek, May 29, 2012
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 3/3/2012 at Track 84, in Warwick, RI served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light yellow color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick on the glass.

S: The aroma contains spices, wheat, bananas, Belgian yeast and light caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of Belgian yeast, wheat and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. Then sweet flavors of spices, bananas and citrus quickly follow. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and very smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a very good lighter Saison worth drinking for a long time.

TheManiacalOne, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Kegatron, May 14, 2013
Photo of Slatetank
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Wegman's, enjoyed chilled from a tulip shared with tenderbranson69.

A - The color is golden with hazed appearance and thin cap with tight bead. the smell has a big phenolic and fruity vinous nose with light tart white grape odor with light wheat w/ slight sulfur tinge. Mouthfeel is dry and tart with tangy and slightly spiced tinge with highly carbonated and semi-creamy w/ mild fruity sweet tinge with light mineral essence.

The taste is nice vibrant and tangy with dry vinous and lightly sulfuric with gentle white grape and light pepper with slight apple skin quality and mild yeast with wheat and light element of vinous barrel essence coming forward. The flavor is good I found this to be an enjoyable saison with fruity quality from the barrel with some aspects that might come off as cheesiness from the yeast which detracts a tinge from the flavor, but overall a good beer.

Slatetank, Jul 17, 2012
Photo of russpowell
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is courtesy of BEERchitect, cheers Kevin!

2009 vintage pours a very effervescent straw color with 3 fingers of fluffy ivory colored head. Hazes a bit a the bottom, duh... Average head retention & lacing

S: Grassy with apple peels, plus lemons

T: Apple peels, white grape, lemony hops & a wee bit of dirt & tartness up front. Tartness with a bit of golden delicious apple & lemon zest as this warms, slight dryness & a touch of Chardonnay. finishes dry with cidery character, with a touch of coriander & white pepper thrown in, plus slight acidic twang at the very end. Might just taste bit too clean to pull a 5.0..

MF: Light & spritzy, much winey & cidery aspects to this

Extremely drinkable, abv is completely hidden. This is very quaffable. Would love to age a bottle to see how this progresses in a few years, but I doubt that will happen...

russpowell, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of jlindros
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to give some credit to heliosphann for giving me this in a trade earlier back, but now it's available here finally. So glad I can get my Goose Island now.

A: Pours a creamy live big bubbled head of about a finger, bottle conditioned style. It doesn't even seem to fade, but may be getting help from the trillions of bubbles rising to the top from the etch at the bottom of my Sam Adams pint glass. It's a hazy bright golden yellow color with a slight glow. Lots of haze though.

N: Very Bavarian wheat like on the nose. Lots of spicy yeast and malt aromas. Lots of wheat, citrus, banana, lemongrass. Theres a slight strong yeasty farmhouse like aroma, with spiciness and earthy aromas.

T: Taste is similar to the nose, lots of wheat to start. It has a yeast that is bright and slightly earthy/spicy. Lots of banana, some lemongrass, straw, etc. Some slightly earthy bright hop flavors as well with hints of bitterness. Some other fruity flavors, almost tropical. A slight sweet malty flavor as well graces the taste.

M: Lighter body, good carbonation, slightly spicy.

F: Finishes somewhat bitter, more than I thought it would. Also pretty dry with some spicy flavors again, as well as the nice wheat finish. It also leaves some fruits and banana flavors lingering a bit. Some slight earthy tastes, but not really very long. Long finish of wheat, banana, and yeast. Would be a great summer beer.

jlindros, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

GooseI sland Sophie

Clouded, "white", prodigious head, lively and lovely.

Beautiful, spicy aromatics, coriander, ginger, clove....bright and sprightly.

Spice hits the palate right up front, very spritzy, with delightful spice...Mmmm, smooth,wheaty, easy-drinking, delicious....nice, grainy/grassy texture. Some malty, spicy flavor, then all is smooth...

Spice never quits, never never flags...really great saison!

feloniousmonk, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is yellow and mosltly clear with a white head of small and medium bubbles.

Aroma is overall a little weak but its fruity with a mild tartness to it.

Beer is quite tart, mild fruitiness in the midpalate. No sweetness up front. Beer is medium to light in body and the carbonation is low on the palate, just like in the glass. Beer is kind of boring, not boring just plain. Its a very mild wild ale. Overall its OK.

drabmuh, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -2.4%

oline73, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not sure where or when I first had this, but I recently revisited it on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA.

Cloudy pale yellow pour with a creamy puff of white head that retained well and left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of grassy funk, ripe pears and melons. Much of the same in the taste, bready yeast, ripe fruits including banana as well, wet funk and trace of peppery spice. Medium body and easily drinkable making for a nice beer overall.

Rifugium, May 28, 2012
Photo of mactrail
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale golden ale with great Belgian character.

Clear straw gold color in the chalice. Pours like champagne with loads of tiny bubbles. Rich and fruity though light bodied. Flavors of fresh cut apple with hard candy. Strong aromatic Belgian yeasty flavors. Aftertaste is just bitter enough to give it a nice edge. Fragrance continues with each sip.

Bottled 02/19/10. Label says orange peel, which is subtle enough that you don't notice the specific flavor. I wish somebody would brew a good Saison style like this and put it in cans at a reasonable price. How about a Stella Artois brand-- they could call it Daisy Mae.

mactrail, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -2.4%

mendvicdog, Aug 29, 2012
Photo of WesWes
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The beer pours a hazy pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a light and fruity pale malt scent along with a touch of orange peel and Belgian yeast esters. It's incredibly complex with a light wine barrel aging character as well. The taste is great as well. It's light and quaffable, but with tons of flavor and yeast character. It goes down so easy and finishes dry with bits of orange peel and citrus. Wow, what an incredibly drinkable beer. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a masterpiece of a Belgian pale. It's smooth as hell and so tasty. Good work Goose Island.

WesWes, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip. 2010 vintage bottled on 02/19/10.

a - Pours a clear golden color with high carbonation evident and three fingers of fluffy white head. Head lasts for several minutes and leaves some lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of floral hops, spices, brett, earthy tones, fruity malts, cloves, and bananas. Smells pretty nice, some definite brett/funk which I enjoy.

t - Tastes of spices, yeast, floral notes, fruity malts, cloves, grass, light brett, and wheat. Not much brett, maybe a hint.

m - Light body and moderate carbonation. Crisp, very easy to drink.

d - A pretty nice saison. I didn't feel like there was much brett in the taste but definitely saw some in the nose. An easy drinking saison I would try again.

mdfb79, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of MarkyMOD
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

MarkyMOD, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of beernads
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

beernads, Jun 05, 2013
Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,322 ratings.