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Sofie - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,316 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,316
Reviews: 902
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.24%
Wants: 142
Gots: 497 | FT: 15
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: 3,316 | Reviews: 902 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of garymuchow
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into SN tulip glass. This is bottled on 6/18/10 - I hope it's not falling the range of being too old to be fresh and to young to be aged.
Initial aroma is of fresh and highly spirited. Spicy, fruity, yeasty, tart, with just a soft farmhouse ale quality that enhances without overpowering. Really nice.
Poured (carefully) with enormous white head that settles in time, but leaves reasonable dramatic lacing. Very active bubbles rise in a brilliantly clear yellow gold liquid.
Wow, that's a nice drink. Soft pale malt, light farmhouse ale yeast flavor, tart, very mild spice, light fruitiness. That's the nicely balanced tartness I think I've ever had. Enough dryness to cut off the flavors but not linger too long.
Even with all the carbonation, there is not excess in the feel. A great softness, makes this much better than average.
Wow, this is so much better than I expected. Nothing I can find to take away from this. A small ding for not being able to pour it reasonable at first. That's it. Each drink leaves you yearning for the next one. First great beer of 2011.

garymuchow, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of mendonjoebeer
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz.bottle into chalice style glass. A nice head with some cloudiness and fine bubbles. A lighter color than expected.

Subtle smell- some funk,some Belgian yeast,some spice

Very nice flavor-tastes like a good balanced saison with no dominate overpowering flavor.

Very refreshing with the right amount of carbonation on the tongue

Very drinkable in the right situation. It was enjoyable today, but would be better on a warmer day instead of a snowy day. Probably should have saved this for summer, but it kept staring at me and I just had to give it a try.

mendonjoebeer, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of Codnasty
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Just had this beer not 10 min ago at the local beer stop.

Right off the bat tasted the citrus, orange with pear and apple notes.

Had a slightly soapy mouthy feel but went over the palate well.

Drink-ability = Went down very smooth and was refreshing yet mysterious at the same time, always adding another level of complexity.

This was my first beer from Goose island and I look forward to trying many others.

Codnasty, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of Chaney
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Kramerbooks in downtown DC.

A: Poured a nearly clear, straw yellow color, with about a one finger solid white head that dissipated into a small vat of suds on top of the brew.

S: Mildly pleasant sour, with a very earthy, wheaty scent. Nothing too sweet or overwhelming here, just a bit of Belgian funk to add to the complexity of the saison.

T: Once again, a mild sourness, but with the farmhouse element winning out over the Belgian weirdness. It had a mild bitterness on the aftertaste, but nothing lingering.

M: Not too dry, especially unusual for a saison, and I would definitely describe this as a very "clean" beer in terms of its sweet/sour/wheat balance. The lacing wasn't too ridiculous and it had nice prickly carbonation.

D: Light, refreshing, and extremely drinkable (gulp-able even)! I'm glad I still have one of these in my cellar.

Chaney, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of dstc
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy yellow color with a huge white, foamy head. Head falls extremely slow. Thick, clinging lace.

Big farmhouse brettanomyces aroma. Spicy and herbal in the smell.

Nice spicy taste with hints if citrus and coriander. Grassy and nice mild brettanomyces flavor.

Medium bodied mouthfeel and rather biting.

Good stuff. Mild farmhouse flavor and rather drinkable.

dstc, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of GoNowhere
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have grown quite fond of farmhouse ales. In my opinion, they are perfect compliments to most foods and hot summer days. Goose Island did a bang up job with Sofie.

A: Hay colored with a big frothy head. Lots of lace.

S: Floral. Citrus. Hops. Beer. Refreshing.

T: Opens up with a smooth grapefruit flavor that travels upward to your nose where it becomes almost earthy in its finish. Semi acidic but balanced very well with spice.

M: Light and non-invasive. Superbly carbonated. Reminds me of a soda in the way it goes straight through your nose.

D: Holy crap! This beer is built for chugging. I could toss these back all day. I can see how Belgian field workers could drink this style en masse and still get work done. Beer settles very well on the stomach and would make an excellent apertif or digestif.

My only complaint: I wish it was available in a sixer or a four banger.

GoNowhere, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of lackenhauser
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy golden color-very carbonated but the head drops in the time I get from the counter to the chair. great aroma-somewhat of a musty and grassy scent. Hop spiciness and a moderate earthy funk. Wonderful sweet and malty/wheat flavor. Musty and funkified grassiness for sure. As earthy and deep as the flavor is it is quite clean and crisp. Very distinct lemon/lime quality. Very effervescent and lively mouthfeel. An amazing beer-so much going on in a small bottle and package. I bet this would really develop over time. Call it a funkified saison-call it damn good.

lackenhauser, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of Cannoneer
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a very lively, jolly beer. In some ways it is more reminiscent of light, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc wines than a traditional Saison.

Pours light straw color with a bit of haziness and creates an immediate visual appeal.

The scent is very fresh and has notes of kiwi, lime and white grapes in it. Very appetizing and inviting. Can't wait to take the first gulp.

The taste is outstanding - albeit, again, not that of a typical Saison. It overwhelms with lemongrass and grapefruit at first, then continues to work with its acidity to produce a mid-swallow feel of biting into a tart green apple and mellows into fresh papaya and a tinge of orange cake on the finish. A bit too fizzy to my taste, but very refreshing.

Owing to its outward crispiness and bursts of citrus it may not be the kind of beer to enjoy over an extended session. I only had one bottle and was quite satisfied by the end of it, with no desire to keep going. But a single bottle of it is quite an experience.

Cannoneer, Jan 02, 2011
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

brentk56, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of beveritt
4.73/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured from a 22 oz brown bomber into a Rockmill chalice. Label is simple; white background with some gold and green showing a goose. Bottled in 2010.

Appearance: Pours with just over 1 finger of white head. This settles slowly to a still substantial coating of foam, leaving behind incredible lacing. The beer itself is a crystal clear bright yellow with a lot of activity. Some compacted sediment remains in the bottle.

Smell: Rich and creamy aroma with strong notes of honey, pineapple, and pears.

Taste: Decent carbonation bite upfront followed by a nice lemon-citrus zest. This sharpness is counterbalanced by smooth and creamy fruit flavors; vanilla, pear, and slight banana. Lingering lemongrass flavor with mild sweetness.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation, as is appropriate for the style. Body is great.

Drinkability: Another great one from Goose Island's foray into Belgian styles. Very enjoyable and certainly one to revisit frequently.

beveritt, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of plfahey
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

22 oz. bottle (2010) poured into a 12 oz. tulip glass.

Appearance-Pale yellow in color, clear. Large moussy white head with good retention leaves belgian lace on the glass. Looks awesome.

Aroma-Yum, some serious Belgian funk going on here. Lemony, orangey esters with a hint of peppery, spicy phenolics. Some light horse-blankety must. Some slight cidery sour notes. Hint of vanilla. Light grain aroma as well.

Flavor-Sweet up front, though it is dried out in the finish by high attenuation and phenolic notes. Orange and lemon esters. Peppery phenolics. Barny musty flavors are more evident in the finish. A bit of sourness in the finish.

Mouthfeel-Medium low body, medium low carbonation. If I had one complaint about this beer, it would be that the carbonation could be a little bit higher (or more towards effervescent).

Aside from the carbonation issue, this is an awesome beer. I could drink and have drank a shit ton of this.

plfahey, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of hawks10
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22oz brown bottle - Bottled January 2009 (original batch) - Poured into my oversize Goose Island chalice...

Pours a crisp and clear golden yellow, very carbonated, tons of thick, heavy white head forms and never seems to recede, thanks to the raging stream of bubbles continually rising from the bottom of the glass, chunks of lacing are left...

Wow, intensely "Belgian" in the nose, tons of Belgian yeast spice and a very strong, and unexpected mustiness jumps from the glass into your nose. Lemon, orange and banana add a nice citrus twist and fruity sweetness. But this one keeps going back to the spice and funk, which are both strong aspects of the smell of this beer. Complex and perfectly balanced, two years spent in the bottle have made this beer a perfect 5.0 for smell, when consumed at the 6-month and 1-year age, this beer was a 4.0 smell at best, incredible what the extra year has done...

The first sip hits you pretty hard with some citrus/lemon tartness. Almost (but still far behind...) Fantome-esque. After a couple sips, the beer becomes quite dry. Incredibly musty with a good bit of funk, this may be the best "Belgian Style" Saison brewed in America. Subtle spicing (which is great, cause so many Saisons are way overspiced IMO), earthy and slightly herbal. Surprisingly, there is a bit of alcohol heat after a while. Finishes juicy and sweet. Like the nose, complex, balanced, wonderful...

Medium bodied with fairly active carbonation. Beer becomes much sweeter as it warms and that sweetness tends to linger a bit past the finish...

I have always been a fan of Sofie, but cracking this 2 year old bottle today was like my first time drinking it. The age did tremendous things to the aroma and flavor. Adding complexity, intensifying the musty/funky character of the beer and somewhat subduing the slightly over-sweet flavors of a fresh Sofie.

hawks10, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of xnicknj
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into tulip glass - thanks to dregs78

Pours a clouded straw yellow with orange tint and a massive, fluffy head. It took a while to pour out while waiting for the head to mellow out, leaving chunks of lacing around the glass.

A nice plethora of fruits in the nose with orange, banana, and a bit of lemon zest. Hints of herbs and spices are also apparent.

There's a nice smack of citrusy fruit up front, with an invigorating zest. Hints of cracked pepper and herbs give a nice spice to the profile. Notes of apricot and lighter fruit sweetness accompanied by a hint of tart. Finishes tingly, dry, and a bit spicy.

Fuller medium body, higher carbonation, some lingering dryness. Alcohol is masked completely, a really refreshing and enjoyable saison from top to bottom.

xnicknj, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of jar2574
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thick white head. Yellow, highly carbonated beer. Lacing is good on the way down. The smell is the best part of the beer. Bananas, sweet sugars, hops, excellent.

This is a very good tasting beer, but there is a touch too much water in the mouthfeel and a touch too much soapy residue left on the tongue afterwards. This residue is hard to describe, but it's like the foamy head and carbonation turn into a layer of soapiness when left on the tongue. It has a very lively mouthfeel upfront but that residue is a bummer for the aftertaste.

Overall, a good beer and quite drinkable.

jar2574, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of rpardon7
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle a nice hazy golden yellow with active yeast present, the head was extremely aggresive for a soft pour and formed a quick thick white rocky pillowy head that did not recede untill into the beer. Smell is nice and sweet,lemon herb grassy notes perhaps some pear and a earthy yeast funk. Taste is bright citrus lemons, pears up front witha a quick twang of spiceness and a bright active carbonation to make this one lively beer. Mouthfeel is smooth but not creamy very light and active. I was left wanting more of this beer, very solid saison from Goose Island!

rpardon7, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of CanuckRover
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy light gold. Pure white medium head settles to a nice thick film. Little bit of sticky lacings. Slow moving bubbles suspended within.

All Belgian on the nose. Strong whiff of wet grain, some real heavy-duty malt. Almost-citrus aroma hints at the orange peel. Belgian yeast is prominent.

Forceful initially thanks to generous carbonation. Manages to put a bit of alcohol up front, which I find a bit unusual, and not particularly welcome. But it fades fairly quickly. Interesting mix of flavours, from the refreshing saison notes, to the moresome wit flavours, and just a touch of unexpected funk. I keep trying to pick them apart, but with little success.

Carbonation seems a bit much given the interesting flavours going on here.

This is a fascinating beer. Part saison, part wild ale, spicing of a wit. Alot of thought went into this one and it's appreciated.

CanuckRover, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of lovindahops
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

thrown in as an extra from livewire.... you kick a&$!

A- a light golden brew with a fair head. Completely lively with the yeast component still present. The brew almost glows

S- all the musty lemon scent you could want. Uplifting in the form of a fresh brew. Literally assaults you with the engaging scent. The spices compliment it making a full saison

T- dry, sweet, spiced, engaging all at the same time. Sofie is an amazing taste. Completely yummy with flavor a perfect saison

M- spikey carbonation that almost stings. However, there is good flavor

D- Sofie has amazing flavor and taste. This is a great brew taht you can be drank all the time. This is a fabulous farmhouse ale with all the components you can ask for. SOOO GOOODDD

lovindahops, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of zhanson88
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Sofie pours a pale slightly hazy straw color with over a finger of awesome white head. Lacing is nice and clings all over the glass.

Smell: Strong smell of bananas, cloves and esters. Also a bunch of citrus in there too.

Taste: Bananas, cloves, citrus and esters combine nicely for a solid taste.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Pretty light on mouthfeel with quite a bit of fine carbonation. Very crisp tasting. Drinkability is very high, this is a damn tasty beer. I was pumped the hotel pub had this on tap in Minneapolis. Good stuff.

zhanson88, Dec 18, 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 kbutler1
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Poured into a chalice a slightly hazy straw yellow color with a nice fluffy white head. Nice lace as the head settles. The aroma is that of straw, lemon, grass, orange, and very mild barnyard. The mouthfeel is light and refreshing. The citrus really come out in the flavor and are nice followed with some mild bitterness. Some floral type flavors as well. Nice wine like notes as well. A very solid, slightly wild beer that is pleasant to drink.

kbutler1, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of Estocker
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy light golden color. I don't find unfiltered beers to be particularly attractive, and there isn't much lace left behind. Sofie wasn't very attractive lady, apparently.

Smells like a true Belgian saison; lots of funky barnyard notes, wheat, maybe a little bit of pepper? It's very hard to distinguish between the different aromas that are present here. I may be getting a little bit of lemon, but I can't tell if that's just part of the barnyard funk. Anyways, it smells like a solid Saison.

Taste brings a nice tart flavor that wasn't completely evident in the nose. Horse blanket, barnyard hay, some pepper and I still get that hint of lemon. Tastes pretty solid.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp.

Drinkability is very high as long as you're a fan of the barnyard funkiness.

Estocker, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of TCMike
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had the 2010 version of this delicious ale. I poured it into a mug, and it produce a big fluffy white head which took a while to dissipate. The color was straw like, and slightly murky. The smell was an earthy/citrus combo. The taste was that of slightly sour lemon/citrus, lightly hopped, and it has fairly high carbonation. Would definitely buy again.

TCMike, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of Gehrig
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stopping by the sterling Sun Singer after enjoying some Chinese food next door, I saw Sofie lingering innocently enough on the shelf and, not wanting to be rude, introduced myself and brought Sofie home. Good call.

Three pillowy fingers of white froth top a cloudy golden-yellow body; ample lacing on the Duvel tulip, a fitting choice given Sofie's characteristics. Pleasant nose, rife with honey, lemon, orange peel, and some farmhouse funk in tow.

The taste is delicious, honey-heavy, and champagne-like in taste and texture. There is also a distinct grassy, straw taste and feel, but the typically sour Saison taste takes a back seat to the sweet honey-citrus flavor. I am pleasantly surprised by Sofie and its terrific taste.

The mouthfeel is just as appealing--smooth but effervescent, like champagne, much like Duvel. With Sofie, Goose Island has amply illustrated its genius as a brewery, taking a peculiar turn with a Saison and making something unique, appealing, accessible, and right there with any Belgian Saison. Tremendous accomplishment from one of the best brewers in the US.

A must-try.

Gehrig, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of jlandis
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy light straw golden in color with a huge fluffy white head.

Bright lemon and citrus right up front with a bit of spice and sweetness in the finish.

Tart lemon right up front with elements of sweet white grapes. The Belgian yeast characteristics are fantastic. Slightly funky with those earthy barnyard flavors. Slightly grainy and grassy.

Moderate mouthfeel with solid carbonation.

This is a perfect farmhouse / saison. Tart and crisp with enough funk to keep it interesting. I think this is a great way to end an early September evening. I sure wish Goose Island was available in PA, because I would be sure to pick this one up again.

jlandis, Nov 29, 2010
Photo of onefmatt
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of the bottle.

A: Light gold. Straw color with a very light colored head.

S: Earthy, grass and citrus. Yeast is evident in the nose as well with spice evident.

T: Citrus and spice very evident. Hops are well balanced and the biscuit malt is noticeable.

M: very thin body, carbonation is evident a much lighter Belgian.

D: Could thoroughly enjoy this any time of year, but this would be amazing on a warm summer day.

onefmatt, Nov 25, 2010
Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,316 ratings.