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Sofie - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,269 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,269
Reviews: 901
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.24%
Wants: 141
Gots: 480 | 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: 3,269 | Reviews: 901 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hosehead83
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from "bomber" bottle into a wine goblet.
"2010" vintage, with 6-18-10 printed on label.
Hazy straw color, with a big, billowing head of white foam.
Aroma-Earthy hops, subtle fruitiness.
Taste-Spicy yeast,subtle oakiness, citrus peel, dry, coarse-hop finish. Very tingly, tart, tasty, and refreshing. An excellent match for a zesty salad or a seafood dish. Notes of lemon zest,sea salt, and white pepper. An excellent summer refresher, with or without a food pairing.

hosehead83, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of medic25
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is a hazy lemon yellow, with a clean white head that laces nicely. Aroma is fantastic; fruity, citrusy, with a bit of barnyard. The taste is amazingly complex. A ton of lemon giving a nice pucker, with elements of straw, yeast, and sweetness. Mouthfeel is clean and dry, a terrific refreshing brew. I'm a big fan of this style, and this is one of the best examples I've ever tasted.

medic25, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of tjsdomer2
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Wonderfully frothy foam. Superb. Nice pale yellow with some good yeast. Would like to see this again as I only had a sample.

Smell: Dry grapes. Very winey. Some hints of yeast as well. Gets the job done nicely.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Wonderful flavors and feel. Thick and creamy with lots of thick, bubbly foam. Dry chardonnay in the flavor. This is definitely a unique flavor in a beer. The closest thing to wine in a beer.

Drinkability: As wine is more of a sipper, like this, I can't give this amazing marks. It's not a session beer, but you probably can have more than one.

Overall: Wine + beer = Sofie.

tjsdomer2, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of ksimons
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-lots of visible carbonation, clear golden with about two fingers worth of white foamy head

S-musky, yeast, citrus

T-yeast, lemon and orange citrus, light malts, spicy, mild tartness, and a slight bitterness

M-light to medium body, light carbonation, finishes dry

D-excellent, all the flavors come together perfectly, also has an evolving taste to it which keeps it interesting

ksimons, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of biegaman
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

If ever sunshine were bottled... I've a perfect summer afternoon right here in my glass. Sofie's bright yellow colour should require the drinker wear sunscreen. And maybe sunglasses too, this feels like it might do damage to the retinas. Its head is pristine white, perfectly shaped and sized, and leaves an extensive plexus of lacing that glints.

The irresistible amount of citrus in the nose comes from a combination of Amarillo hops and something to the tune of twenty pounds of orange zest added into the barrels. We know the barrels previously held wine, but which specific variety is not shared; if I were a betting man I'd guess Gewurtz. It shares the sugar, flowers and citrus.

Whatever the variety, this also draws links to Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, maybe even a Riesling - the common thread being the dryer, fruitier, sweeter flavours respectively. Grapes being grapes though and this being beer, pale malts leave a very crisp and clean, only minimally sweet, toastiness. The flavour also, like the aroma although not quite as impressionable, is up to its neck in that profoundly bright, vivid citrus flavour.

Little critters of wild yeast or bacteria must have crawled in through the wood; their presence is most welcomed. The tartness they impart tickles the tongue and only adds to the beer's extraordinary refreshment. This has champagne beat, that's for sure. It has a much more vivacious character and more dimension than the best bubbly I've yet to try.

Sofie has so many competing flavours (malty, yeasty, hoppy, fruity) and textures (tart, toasty, sour, sweet, bitter) that tasting the beer becomes a kind of aerobic exercise for the palate, and a bit of a puzzle for the reviewer. I feel somehow grateful to be able to try it (even while it required me to go to considerable lengths and costs to attain a bottle).

But what can I say? I'm a sucker for zestful, tart, refreshing saisons. I would go so far as to consider them one of my fondest of all styles of beer. And the masterpiece that is Sofie just became one of my favourites. Like the last few Goose Island bombers I've had, I wish I had a full case of it. I'd stash this one away for those perfect summer afternoons.

biegaman, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of ChrisPro
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted blind as part of Blind BIF #4

Mobile blind review #14

22 oz poured into bruery tulip. Soon as the cap popped I was reminded of the many matildas I've had, but thought they were only 12 oz.

Hazy dark golden with two finger frothy eggshell head. Nice lace.

Aroma of must, lemon, grass.

Nice tartness. Lemon, yeast, honey and bread. Big dirty funk finish.

Lively carb, hot alcohol. Medium body with sweet tart finish.

Pretty drinkable aside fromthe high alcohol. Good funky Belgian, but tons of yeast that detract a bit.

Still guess Matilda or something wild along those lines.


Reveal: goose island sofie

Tastes way hotter than the 6.5% it is. Solid beer for what it is but not really in my wheelhouse.

ChrisPro, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of leedorham
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a lighter orange with a very thick white head. Excellent head retention.

S - Bright, fruity aroma. Not too powerful but definitely there.

T - Very fruity taste like a sour tangerine character. A bit of sweetness behind it. Very enjoyable.

M - Higher carbonation that suits the style. Lighter bodied but still fills the palate well.

O - I'm very pleased with this offering. I'll buy again and stock up on some to age.

leedorham, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of IrishMalt
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love Sofie on Sundays. The citrus flavors brought on by the orange rind make this a perfect brunch beer (although I am drinking this one before dinner).

Everything about this beer is bright, crisp and refreshing. The appearance is a pretty straw color--cloudy and bubbly. It smells like spring to me, with the obvious citrus aroma but also a hint of grass. The taste includes orange and yeast. The beer dances on the tongue with good carbonation.

IrishMalt, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 Bottle

Poured a yellow gold with giant white head.

The smell was of citrus, spicy yeast, and a little bready malt.

Taste was amazing. The orange rhindes give it a citrus dry bitter taste on the back. As the beer warms up the malt shines through like a king. It is hopped in just the right way but this beer and style like the hops taking a back seat.

Great beer!

Eriktheipaman, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of stercomm
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip.

A - Light straw in color, medium head, slight lacing on the sides of the glass.

S - Getting lemon and apple with a classic Belgium Ale backdrop.

T - Nice taste, lemon, nice level of hops, dry finish.

M - Medium carbonation, light weight body.

D - I like this brew, one you can have a couple glasses of without it getting old. Another good offering from the folks at Goose Island.

stercomm, Mar 18, 2011
Photo of loren01
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours into St. Bernardus goblet a bubbly straw color, good lacing down the glass.
S: Smells of Belgian yeast, lemon zest and flowers
T: Taste is real sweet and fruity. Apples, pear and lemmony. Nice Belgian yeast flavor in there as well
M: Little bit prickly on the tongue, light to medium bodied
D: This style usually isn't my cup of tea but this is an excellent beer, would buy this again.

loren01, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of SamuelJackson45
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours and light bright yellow with a white creamy head and even lace.

S-Smell of apples and lemon and hops.

T-Taste of lemon and apples and oranges. Such fruity notes coming from this beer.

M-creamy and light full of flavor.

D- Very good tasty and light for a saison.


SamuelJackson45, Mar 12, 2011
Photo of celticfutblclub
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A - light golden hue with a good 1/2 inch head that sticks around nicely.

S - nice yeasty smell with some apples in the background. a bit on the soft side

T - apples hit throughout with a big yeasty taste that hits with a bang in the middle and follows through to the end.

M - sticks well to the mouth.

D - very drinkable see this being far too easy to put away on a nice warm day.

celticfutblclub, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of pmccallum86
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden straw color with a light bubbly head.

Smell is slightly tart with a dominating Belgian style yeast aroma.

Taste is slightly tart up front with a pear flavor. Very light and delicate on the tongue, pretty nice example of the style.

Mouthfeel is light and dry with high carbonation.

Very drinkable, thanks Goose Island!

pmccallum86, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of samie85
3.15/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a very effervescent straw color with three fingers of meringue-like white head.

S-Smells like flowery and spicy yeast with some orange and white wine notes.

T-Tastes earthy and clove-y with some subtle hints of bitter orange and a fruity finish.

M-Very light-bodied and highly carbonated with a dry feel on the finish.

D-The carbonation is almost a little too much for my taste and I feel gets in the way of the flavor profile a little. I can't wait to see what this is like in a year or two.

samie85, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of wisrarebeer
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$6.99 at Discount Liquor in Milwaukee.

Bottle 17 July 2009

A: clear straw-colored with great creamy white head
S: traditional saison nose with yeasty spritzy qualities and a possible hint of brett
T: good taste, nice malt, good balance of bitter hops but not too much, yeasty quality, mid-way however is a strange metallic bite (CO2?)
M: good, except for metallic bite, a bit cloying in the finish

wisrarebeer, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of mltobin
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber picked up in Westchester NY.

Appearance is light golden tone with a 2 finger head.
Smell has citrus, pepper, coriander, belgian yeast.
Taste is very nice, orange, apple, some malt, pepper and I noted some vanilla as well. MF is a medium and finishes nice and crisp. Drinkability is very good in this offering from Goose Island, a great saison.

mltobin, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of CPeterson
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A -- A smiley, happy sunshine yellow brew that pours into a white head which dissipates into a thick froth and leaves splotchy lacing.

S -- A heady citrus and wood note that fades into an herbaceous aroma and ends with a yeast / spice profile which is very inviting.

T -- Earthy wood tones and citrus, followed by the effect of the wheat and yeast which lighten the brew and balance the richness of it. Herbal hops, spice notes and citrus peel round out the finish.

M -- Light / Medium in body, well carbonated for the style and soft on the palate.

D -- A beer to try, worth a purchase and a repeat.

CPeterson, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a darkness tulip on 2/11/11.

Pours a light golden color with tons of carbonated frothy head.

Smells of yeast and some citrus... I think its lime and orange.

Taste is complex. It tastes like a sasion but there is also a wit beer like taste to it as well. I like it but its tough to drink at this point in the year when I want a good stout.

Mouthfeel is very light with most of the beer escaping through the mouth. However the citrus stays and keeps you wanting for more.

Drinkability is good and I liked it.

UMNbeerhunter, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of krisandajt
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Bottle, poured into my DFH glass.

Appearance: Well, carbonation certainly doesn't appear to be an issue with this one. I was able to pour about 1/3 of the glass when the head nearly overflows. Good stuff there. The beer itself is a clear, light golden color. Retention is impressive, lacing is good too.

Smell: Light, crisp, with some mild, earthy funk. A slight yeasty sort of quality. More refreshing than potent.

Taste: Somewhat sweet, moderately funky, a little bit of clove and banana (reminds me a bit of a hefe). No one single quality really outshines another, everything melds together nicely. Very refreshing overall.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, plenty of carbonation. Can't get too much better.

Drinkability: A very tasty and easy-drinking beer. It's one that I'll definitely pick up again the next time I see it, and I definitely recommend it to anybody that can score a bottle. Cheers!

krisandajt, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of sophisticated
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle says 2010.

It poured a very cloudy pale yellow, with a huge billowing head that left a ton of lacing. The nose was strong and very pleasant - banana, lemon, and pepper. Lemony, zesty, tart green apple. Yeast, bitterness, very tasty. Lots of strong flavors that worked well together.

This beverage was crisp, tingly, and had a little warmth from the alcohol. Excellent drinkability as it was tasty, crisp, and enjoyable.

sophisticated, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of Blanco
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a very light yellow color with intense carbonation and large head. appears almost champagne-like. Very clear. Head holds very nicely with decent lacing. Loses points as color looks slightly like urine. Smell is nice, with belgian yeasts and slight citric notes. Tiny hint of funk but not a lot. Lots of fruitiness going on here. The taste is awesome, and although appears dry upfront has nice sweetness in the background that tastes almost juicelike. Great mouthfeel when you take into account the combination of the zip from the carbonation and lack of mouth-coating which gives this brew a very clean feel to it. Drinkability is high, I can't believe it took me this long to try this one.

Blanco, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of BieresDesMoines
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This seems entirely more like some sort of "Belgian pale ale" than a Saison. Pours a lightly hazy blonde with a slightly loose great big head that leaves plenty of lace. The aroma is lots of pineapple, some bubblegum, some farmyard, and some fresh hops. The flavor is dry and hoppy and spicy and features notes of citrus, some tartness, some pineapple, lemon rind, non descript fruit, some pineyness, and some bubblegum. The beer is very well balanced between fruity flavors, funky flavors, and a remarkable dryness. The palate is sharp and the carbonation level is perfect on the tongue.

BieresDesMoines, Feb 21, 2011
Photo of bbrocko
3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

To be accurate I am reviewing the 2010 version of Sofie, an 80/20 blended belgian style ale vaguely described as a "Belgian Style Ale."
Pouring into a New Belgian globe glass resulted in a HUGE foamy white head which disappeared in 2 minutes or so.

The beer itself, a hazy light yellow orange color.

First impressions were of dish soap. Seriously. (I rinse my glasses well so It's not from my glass).

Mouthfeel was thin, dry and spritzy like champagne.

Very citrusy in taste with a slightly tart/bitter finish.

It's an interesting effort and one I would only reach for in warm weather... occasionally. Or perhaps I might steer a champagne lover towards this beer.

Pricing: $4.10 for a single 12 oz bottle. Not worth that kind of money in my opinion.

bbrocko, Feb 21, 2011
Photo of nimrod979
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 Vintage. Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with a generous white head. It produces a wonderful aroma. Dominated by that familiar wheaty/spicy belgina yeast. Also some orange peel aromas as well as a sweet white wine such as a riesling.. It's aroma leads you to the complex flavor. At first a tart, citrusy flavor, and follows with some sweeter oaky, vanilla flavors. Drinks very much like a wine. Light to medium body with fizzy carbonation and snappy finish. Not my preferred style but a pretty good Saison in my opinion.

nimrod979, Feb 20, 2011
Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,269 ratings.