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Sofie - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,230 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,230
Reviews: 899
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.24%
Wants: 140
Gots: 470 | FT: 18
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: 3,230 | Reviews: 899 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ne0m00re
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%

08/11/10- Had this one on-tap at Bodega.
A: Hazy pale golden with some film and collar.
S: Dry tartness, perppery, lemon, very light overall with some green apple sourness. Inviting.
T: Peppery apricots and a lemony sharp citrus with green apples. Strawberry/cherry/raspberry/cranberry are noteable, as well as the banana clove finish.
M: Thin, but frothy.
D: Very good. I'd order another.

ne0m00re, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of meatyard
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%

Pours a hazy, pale, golden yellow with a short head that hangs a bit then falls to a cover without lacing. A high level of carbonation streams are visible.
The smell is yeast, lemony citrus and clove.
The taste is all the same as in the smell but at a much higher level.
Mouthfeel is on the thin side but crisp & refreshing. Ample carbonation throughout the bottle.
Drinkability: Pretty easy drinking and those who like Saison's should find this an interesting interpretation from GI.

meatyard, Aug 19, 2010
Photo of mynie
2.98/5  rDev -27.3%

On tap at Barley Island in Indianapolis' Broad Ripple district, though I've seen it at a bunch of other places.

It looks, smells, and tastes like a middling saison, which is bizarre because the bottled version is boffo. Here the citrus ain't as crisp, the yeast spice is pretty much not there, and really it's like a very fizzy blonde ale with a tiny bit of lemon added to it. There are 2 Saisons on tap at Brugge, right down the street, that are much better.

This is nuts. I've been attentively drinking beer for 6 years now, and I've never encountered one that was so different between the tap and the bottle. And it's not a matter of me not remembering the bottled version or the vintage being different or anything--I've had several bottles of both the 09 and 2010 Sofie, and all were spectacular.

mynie, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of coryking
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%

It really doesnt get much better than this. We did a blind tasting with 23 saisons and farmhouse ales, this was one of the 3 winners.

Notes from a 6 month old bottle.

A: Just a beautiful straw color with a nice pillowy head that retains nicely and leaves foamy cling rings on the glass.

S: I get a nice subtle blend of light wheaty malt, and tiny touch of caramel, with a backbone of orange juice, yeasty chardonnay? with a hint of vanilla and funk.

T: This thing is just too complex yet refreshing on the tongue! I get some nice acidity of citrus juices, with a chardonnay like mouthfeel and sweetness, a malty, yeasty, saison-esc finish. Light amarillo hop character in there maybe.

M/T: Just wonderful on all parts here. I could way too easily drink this beer all day! So refreshing, so drinkable, so complex, yet easy drinking. The creaminess and carbonation levels fight for a perfect harmony that was somehow achieved.

My favorite beer for these 100+ degree days we have been having. Just a top notch beer in every way!

coryking, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of NCSUdo
4.1/5  rDev 0%

22 oz bottle, bottled 12/11/2009

A: Slightly hazy yellow under a decent sized white head. No lace, a little retention.

S: Wheat, some earthy yeast tones, hint of wood, little bit of orange peel which imparts a certain sweetness to the aroma. Very balanced.

T: Most of the same, wheat, earthy yeast, very slight funk in the middle, some orange peel, hint of wood again and a bit of a complex finish that battles between bitter and dry. Despite the fight, still pretty balanced.

M/D: Light carbonation, carbonation fairly high. Drinkability is pretty good. A very good beer overall.

NCSUdo, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of pauls132000
4/5  rDev -2.4%

A: The beer was served in a 10 oz. glass. It poured a cloudy light yellow. Very thin white head. Some lacing.
S: Yeasty malt aroma. Also some spice, cloves.
T: Pleasant fruity banana flavor.
MF: Smooth, silky, light carbonation
D: Delicious sipping beer. It was highly recommended by the server. I also would recommend it.

pauls132000, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%

Appearance -- Pours a luminous golden straw with two fingers of tight lily-white head.

Smell -- Apple, banana, clove, spice, orange peel, some earthy/funky yeast character.

Taste -- Follows the nose pretty well: apples and pears, orange peel, clove, banana, earthy yeast. Mild hop bitterness in the back end. Finish is apple skin and orange peel.

Mouthfeel -- Medium to light in body with ample prickly carbonation. Pretty much spot on for a saison.

Drinkability -- This is a really exceptional saison. Light, bright, and mild fruit sweetness. Now I'm kicking myself for passing on this so many times before.

yeahnatenelson, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of cbarrett4
4.83/5  rDev +17.8%

This is one of the best beers I have ever had from the US. These guys regularly blow my mind.

A - doesn't get much prettier than this, gorgeous straw-golden-yellow hue with a subtle head but persistent carbonation.

S - Saison! Lots of funky yeast (love it!) with citrus, spice, and a hint of malt.

T - beautiful on the palate, lots of spice and tropical fruit notes framed by funky yeast and citrus

M - wonderful texture, medium bodied (as a Saison should be) with the alcohol in check, light tannins, good acidity.

D - I could not stop drinking this beauty, seriously great beer here.

cbarrett4, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of armock
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%

A - Poured a straw color with a white head that fades quickly to nothing

S - Is of slightly sweet malt with citrus spice and yeast

T - Follows the nose starts off sweet then the citrus and spice come out

M - This beer has a light body with high carbonation to it

D - This is a good easy drinking saison with a good taste its going to be easy finishing off the bomber myself worth picking up sometime

armock, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of Spider889
4.55/5  rDev +11%

Probably my favorite Goose Island offering to date (at least that has been readily available in OH). Hazy golden straw color with tall white foamy head which receded quickly.

Smelled great with plenty of the normal Belgian yeast - bready with lots of banana and clove, peppery spicing and subdued hops.

Tastes better than any other saison I've yet had. I can be weary of most Belgian styles, but this one was the first I learned to crave. This is a creamy sensory delight!

This is very drinkable, I ordered two at the bar in between other beers. Had we not come as close to closing time I'd likely have had a third. The only thing detracting for me was the high carbonation which made each subsequent glass slightly tougher to find room for.

Spider889, Aug 10, 2010
Photo of KarlHungus
4.88/5  rDev +19%

This beer pours a cloudy yellow color. The head is one inch of rocky foam that recedes slowly into sticky lacing. The aroma is of barnyard, leather, horse blanket, lemon peel, and herbs. This is a very complex smelling beer. The taste is similar to the aroma with tons of barnyard funk, and enough lemon and citrus to add some balance. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with appropriately high carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is one of the best saisions I have ever had. I will be drinking this beer regularly.

KarlHungus, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of Hunter
3.45/5  rDev -15.9%

Found this in Whole Foods, and since Belgian ales usually dominate my top ten favorite beers I decided to give this one a shot.

Appearance: Pours a crystal-clear honey-wheat color, heavy carbonation. Took a full point off because no head formed on the pour. And I mean NONE - wasn't even the ghost of one.

Smell: Light smell of apple on the nose, along with the more expected candi sugar. Very simple and clean.

Taste: The fruitiness in the nose carries over into the palate, but it's very subtle. Definitely representative of the style - dry, some sweetness, and a clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Scouring on the tongue, no serious aftertaste.

Drinkability: This is good beer, and apart from the disappointment in the pour, one that doesn't disappoint. It is, however, $7-8 a bottle. Hennepin is an equally good ale, for $2-3 less. Yes, that IS a selling point. At Sofie's price, I'd rather just drink Belgian ale from BELGIUM. Worth a try, esp. for a session, but it probably won't find it's way to my glass often unless the price drops.

Hunter, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%

Poured from 22oz bottle into Chalice.

A. Poured a fizzy 1 finger head. Good retention. Not much lacing. Color is a nice golden yellow.

S. Smell is all Saison. Yeast, citrus, lemon, orange, a little bit of funk. Pretty sweet smelling.

T. Yeast, citrus, sweet malt, pepper. A little funk. A very clean flavor. Nice combination between the sweet malt and the pepperiness from the yeast.

M. Medium low bodied. Lots of carbonation. Pretty dry.

D. This is extremely drinkable. I think Goose Island does Belgians very well, and this is no exception. Saison is one of my favorite styles and this one is damn good.

siradmiralnelson, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of arizcards
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%

Picked up a bomber from Bevmo in late June for $7.99.

Beer poured a straw color with a huge white head that has mostly dissapated. Nose is a nice note of light fruits. Taste is light fruits, some citrus, and a hint of pepper. Midway thru the glass i am getting a bit of tartness. Mouthfeel is classic Belgian yeast strain, light and smooth and very refreshing. Drinkability is very good. This is a very nice beer, some complexity to it yet very easy to drink. Glad to have tried.

arizcards, Aug 06, 2010
Photo of washburnkid
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%

Light hazy straw yellow golden with a small white head that dissipates to a film but leaves good lacing. Aromas are zest, but incredibly faint. Refreshing but I need more time to figure out what else is there. Flavors are refreshing and so saison-y. Lots of citrus, wheat, and general happiness. Emphasis though is on the sugary lemon sweetness. It's almost a little too much for me. Medium carb, relatively thin mouthfeel. I'm slightly disappointed here, but am looking forward to trying this in a bottle.

washburnkid, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of glid02
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%

Bottle shared by kp - thanks!

Pours a hazy light golden color with a one-finger bright white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of light malts with mild amounts of funk. Also present are ripe pear aromas with slight orange and lemon rind.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Crisp light malt aromas kick things off and are joined quickly by solid amounts of pear and lighter amounts of lemon peel flavors. Midway through the sip slight amounts of funk work their way into things, carrying through to a crisp and mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this was a nice and well-defined beer. Well worth a shot.

glid02, Jul 31, 2010
Photo of DAllspaw
4/5  rDev -2.4%

poured from bottle into glass more appropriate for whiskey, but that's all they had.

Light straw color with typical large head of a saison. Nice yeasty/breadiness in the smell and a hint of citrus.

Taste is well balanced - a little funk, a little sour etc.. Not as much going on as Hennepin but still a very nice saison. I Will certainly buy again, great summer drinker.

DAllspaw, Jul 31, 2010
Photo of augustgarage
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%

2010 vintage (despite the aging potential I couldn't wait more than a couple months to crack this open). Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Bruery tulip.

Cloudy cobalt yellow liquid pierced by a stately flow of microbubbles and topped by a bristling magnolia mane which recedes to a dense merengue finger. Very heavy lacing blankets the sides.

Light sourdough with hints of orange peel and blossom and even a young cognac. White grapes and pear skin aromatics abound as well.

Sweet, floral, fruity palate entry - with honey-dew, rosewater, and earth flavors eventually balanced by a slightly dry acidity and vague yeasty pepperish phenols. Very low bitterness, the hops seemingly contributing little to the conversation. Crisp almost bready finish, with a breath of oak.

Nearly medium-bodied, effervescent, creamy, yet snappy mouthfeel.

Lovely and unique Belgian inspired ale here - as others have noted, it brings to mind a Tripel at least as much as a Saison, so it isn't perfectly to style. Wish I'd bought a few more bottles to age, as the "wild" yeasts taste anything but at present and I'm curious what it will turn into over time...

augustgarage, Jul 30, 2010
Photo of Augustiner719
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a tulip glass.

Pours a nice yellow sunlight color with a restrained head. Slows little lacing swell but does have a glowing profile. Aroma is very acidic and refreshing. Lemon grass, grapefruit, orange rind and some melon sweetness comes through. Really beautiful. Has a nice lemony flavor with some astringent chemical back notes in a good way. Really refreshing and thirst quenching. Also has a Meyer lemon like sweetness that really is enjoyable. Really, this is the most refreshing saison I have had to date. Big acidic profile and a really nice balance with sweetness. Love drinking this and I am glad that it is a bomber tonight.

Augustiner719, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of MrDanno96
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%

A: Pours a hazy golden yellow color with more than a finger of white, creamy head that demonstrates good retention. Lots of foamy lace.

S: Pretty much what I expected here: orange zest, lemon peel, and Belgian yeast. Perhaps a little of that classic banana/bubblegum ester.

T: Some citrus flavoring up-front leads to a nicely balanced finish: some bitterness combined with just a touch of sour and acidity. Really quite enjoyable.

M: Light to medium body with a nice crisp carbonation. A little acidic and dry in the finish.

D: A really solid brew. I enjoyed the balance between citrus, bitter, and sour in the flavor greatly. Give this one a try.

MrDanno96, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of djbreezy
4.55/5  rDev +11%

Plastic mug at Oregon Brewer's Festival

appearance - cloudy, rich yellow, medium head that settles slowly

smell - light funk and hops, spicy clove/pepper

taste - hops, sweet, sugar, clove, wheat, light funk, citrus, oak, very complex

mouthfeel - well carbonated, slightly dry finish

drinkability - full flavored, excellent saison, couldn't get enough

djbreezy, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of robbyc1
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%

Many tastes compiled here. 'Tis a dry, tart, sparkling ale with a bit too much carbonation, maybe the barrel aging and addition of orange peel push this toward the witbier style, without the wheat component. It's an odd saison, with a spiciness and fruitiness and goes outside the style bounds. Creamy finish does not save this, as a staple from the brewery I have to say look elsewhere.

robbyc1, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of TheDeuce
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Sofie - in a bottle, served at Resto

Appearance - bright gold color, whispy white head mixed with some gray out of the bottle, medium sized head that lays around with obvious above average carbonation.

Smell - certainly getting the farm here, flowery with a sweet mix of clove and orange, sweet bread, alcohol on the tail end.

Taste/Mouthfeel - sweeter than expected though still dry, sugar and clove, alcohol mixed nicely. Medium to light bodied, flavors mix and hit nicely with balance, leaves a hint of sugar and alcohol on the tongue at the end. The wild yeast they claim to use doesn't seem to give any unique yeast flavor but who cares the beer is still good.

Drinkability- light and sweet for the style but flavorful enough to hold its own.

Overall- a nice Saison with unique character, I tasted a nice mix of flavors on the profile, more than I usually get from the style. Overall a successful beer.

TheDeuce, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of wagenvolks
4.1/5  rDev 0%

Thanks to Riccymon for the trade! 22oz bottle into a Corsendonk tulip.

Sofie pours with a bright lemon meringue color mixed with golden wheat. Hazy body, with a BP-sized plume of carbonation rising from the laser-etched bottom. Head is eggshell-white and rests comfortably as a thick cap of foam that clings to the edges of the glass. Hoppy nose with Belgian farmhouse yeast and a faint hint of white wine and grape rinds. Orange peel and pale malts in the background.

Crisp, bubbly body with a healthy dose of wheat and pale malts. Farmhouse funk is subdued but present, despite the fact that orange peel and floral hops get in the way mid-sip. Finish is crisp and bubbly with a wine spritzer-like quality and flash of white grapes. Mouthfeel is superb, with a perfect carbonation level to complement the medium consistency and clean, bitter finish. Leaves me wanting another sip with ease. All in all, a tasty Belgian from the talented Goose Island staff. Wish I had another Sofie to see how this beer ages...

wagenvolks, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%

Pours a clean yellow color with a nice white head. In the aroma, candy sugar, and white grape small tartness. In the taste, a bit sugary and balanced with a dry yeast, with a white grape tartness all the way through. A sooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, and a semi dry white grape aftertaste. A little tart, nice flavor and easy to drink.

OWSLEY069, Jul 23, 2010
Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,230 ratings.