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Sofie - Goose Island Beer Co.

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3,591 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,591
Reviews: 931
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.24%
Wants: 168
Gots: 619 | 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:
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.
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Ratings: 3,591 | Reviews: 931 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of negroobserver
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Bright and hazy yellow color, with hints of pink and orange. Plenty of visible carbonation in the glass. Pours with a substantial but light and foamy head, which leaves behind some lacing.

Smells citrusy and grassy. Strong presence of wheat. No hoppy aroma.

Lemony citrus flavors. A sour hefeweizen style. Love it. Refreshing.

This beer has a great body for this style. it's light and refreshing, but not too thin. A slight tingling sensation on the tongue from the carbonation.

Overall an excellent beer. I could drink this one all day.

Photo of jsanford
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage. 22oz bottle poured into a Tulip Glass.

Pours a hazy golden yellow with a fluffy white head that settles to a squat cap. Crisp aromas of sweet malt, lemon juice, coriander, and just a touch of funk. Taste is of wheat, lemon juice and zest, coriander, and freshly-cut grass. Not funky or "farmhouse", rather clean, crisp, and dry. Mouthfeel is light and refreshing, with a medium body and sharp carbonation. Overall a very nice, drinkable Saison, I could drink a number of these in a sitting!

Photo of malty
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle (bottled on 7-14-11)

Pours a proper murky pale orangish-gold (because I swirled-in all bottled yeast sediment) with a bright elegant 1/2" settled loose head. Playful uprising carbonation is visible through this cloudy beauty, at a brisk pace I might add.

Clean lake water scent with all the yeasty esters one could imagine. A little funk, but mostly crisp lemon zest dampened by minerals and stones. Earthy.

The flavor I get right out of the gate is lemons and fresh basil. Not all-up-in-your-grill, but very much at the framework of this domestic Belgian-modeled farmhouse Saison ale. The phenolic yeasty funkdafied elements are in here very properly. Making for a quite interesting and still very traditional sour, tart and chalky beauty.

Mouthfeel is light-to-medium bodied with just enough carbonation as not to make you belch after a few swigs. Tart finish.

Overall a fantastic ale that I can honestly say is up-to-par with some of its Belgian counterparts. I do like the basil notes very much. For $9.99 a 4-pack, I can't say I'll keep this in my fridge at all times, but I will be seeking it out fresh next late springtime for sure.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from 10/23/2009
Bottle opens with a nice crack and then a volcano of foam that almost made it into the sink. When it all settles down it pours a mostly clear golden straw color with a pillowy white head that sticks around forever. Smells sweet and fruity with lemons and green apples dominating the aroma. There's some funk in there that reminds me a bit of spoiled meat? Luckily its not to strong but its there. Taste is a bit sweet, green apples and honey mixed with a bit of funk. Spirited level of carbonation, medium body, sweet almost sticky mouthfeel. Despite the misstep upon opening, this beer isn't half bad.

Photo of fo5s
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a saison dupont glass. Bottle dated 8/2/11.

A- light golden, minimal head. Fairly clear.

S- white wine. little to no funk, clean.

T- I'm struggling to get a lot of distinctive flavors here...mostly matches up with the smell. White wine is very distinctive on the finish. Full flavored, sweet for the style.

M- crispy up front, lively on the palate. Smooth finish.

O- an excellent saison, certainly one of my favorites. Not the most complex, nor the deepest, but an excellent choice nonetheless.

Photo of Lillie1128
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a yummy, cloudy lemon color

S - Big citrusy wheat nose

T - This is pretty delish. Really mellow lemon taste that's cut with some wheat and maybe a little allspice. Little yeasty.

M - Pretty carbonated, little thin

D - medium drinkability

This is a pretty yummy, well rounded ale. Kind of a belgian-y saison thing going on. Thanks to Sweetwillyrolbar for another tasty beer!

Photo of HalfFull
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a wine glass, I seek the advice of Ms. Sofie. She pours a light straw with an inch of white foam. She settles slowly and leaves some artsy lace. A pretty beer as for the pour.

A decent Belgian nose is offered, bright and enticing and with a touch of lemon hop. Bit bready at times and with a bit of spice. While lacking any real farmhouse funkiness, the aroma is quite pleasant.

Flavor is a bit light and dry for the style with pale malts and a light spice profile. Starts off great but doesn't have the resources to really close the deal. Feel, like the taste, is moderate and a bit too one sided to really grab you. Overall an easy drinking Saison with a nice aroma that lacks slightly in the depth department.

Photo of zoolzoo
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage

A: Straw colored pour, massive white head, excellent retention.

S: delicate funk, lemon rind, citric yeast phenols

T: Incredibly clean, all the flavors seem really "controlled"...its hard to explain. Lemon / lime fruit character, accented by rind and peppery spice. Grassy, malt character is of straw in nature, very pale. Slight funk, approaches "tart" or "sour" territory but restrains itself. The finish just drops right off, finishes super clean...leaving a sort of subdued lime juice after taste.

M: Light in body, very spritzy carbonation.

O: Sucked down a 12oz bottle too quickly. I want more.

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

2011 vintage. I served this in a Belgian-style beer goblet. It poured out a hazy gold with medium to low carbonation (perhaps I was too gentle). Nice aroma of fruit and chewing gum. Nice refreshing flavors of apples, pears, and cloves. This beer is tart and yeasty with a slightly doughy sweetness and a semi-dry finish.

I tried this at a beer tasting recently and decided to pick up a 4-pack. It's pretty good now, but I'm going to let the rest of them get a little age under their belt as some of the other reviewers suggested.

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

Appearance: Hazy, pale golden. Two fingers of white head with little retention.

Smell: This is where the beer excels. First comes a hint of spice quickly followed by sweet, classic belgian malt. I get some tart white grape scent as well.

Taste: White wine barrel, tart white grape, sourness in the back of the teeth. Develops into more of a green apple toward the end. Rather abrupt finish (should improve in the 3 others that I am aging).

Mouthfeel: Light, refreshing. medium-high to high carbonation, right on for the style.

Overall: Pleasantly surprised with this one. I was not sure what I was getting into with this beer, but I was definitely rewarded for my adventure. Excited to age a few of these.

Photo of AmericanGothic
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Unibroue tulip. 2011 vintage.

A: Pours a hazy, golden color with 1/2 finger of nearly white head. Some retention and lace, vigorous carbonation.

S: Sweet malt, a little banana and some green apple.

T: Mild tartness up front gives way to slightly sweet apple and bread, with just a bit of bitterness on the finish. As the beer warms, a bit of overall funk joins the profile for a while, but it's mellow and subtle without overpowering things. After a little while longer, it mellows out and mostly dry apple remains.

M: Light and very nicely carbonated.

O: This is a very tasty beer and one that I would surely buy again. Another win for Goose Island.

Photo of bangelos80
3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been aging bottle 2010 for a year, thought it was time to open it up.

Poured a nice golden rod color with inch head.

Missing beligian yeast characteristic upon initial tasting.

Mouthfeel: smooth with hints of apple kind of reminds me of sparkling apple cider....the kind you serve around thanksgiving.

A decent craft brew though from goose island. Would try it again.

Photo of nitro0292
3.15/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazy goldenrod with solid 1/4 inch head and good lacing.

Smell is classic Belgian yeast and sweet malts. Some hops.

Tastes like apples, white wine and yeast. Taste is OK and not cloying but does not taste like beer...tastes like apple juice and white wine.

Mouthfeel is a good-natured medium. Carbonation is fairly high, which is to be expected given the bottle refermentation. Finish is dry, not slick or oily.

Good, but too much apple. Maybe fermentation temps were too high. Maybe it is green beer and needs to age for a while. Would not buy again.

Photo of rowingbrewer
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a slightly hazy straw color with an off white head that is big and fluffy. The smells is lightly spicy and full of wine barrel character. The flavor follows suit with there being a delicate saison spicy character with some wonderful white wine qualities. The mouthfeel is light crisp and mouth watering. Over all this is one of the better saisons that is widely available.

Photo of zeledonia
4.56/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage, bottled 23 April 2010.

Wow, this is one nice-looking beer. Pours a hazy yellow, golden-orange but straw-colored in direct light. Massive fluffy soft white head, fantastic retention. And it's way beyond lacing, with gobs of foam sticking to the inside of the glass. Shoot, by the time I finished my glass, there was still foam ringing the top of it. A big thick stream of bubbles rising from the nucleation point of my Duvel tulip, and smaller streams coming from other parts of the glass.

Smell is fruit and lightly spiced Belgian yeast. Peaches, apples, and oranges, nice sweet crisp fruit smells. Yeast brings pepper and something like cinnamon. As it warms up, some funk starts to come through.

Taste is damn delicious. It pops as soon as it hits my tongue, with fruit and yeast jumping to the fore, as they do in the smell. But the spice is more prevalent, brought out by the high carbonation. Peaches again, some white grape. It's so well balanced, and has this amazing combination of fruity sweet flavors and dry crisp finish. Yum.

Mouthfeel is excellent - medium-bodied with high tingly carbonation. It's almost over-carbonated, but the bubbles bring the flavors out so well, and just when I'm about to get tired of them, they fade, leaving a sharp crisp finish. Fantastic.

I am truly impressed. This beer has so much going for it - stunning appearance, great mouthfeel, and excellent balance of flavors. The only thing keeping me from giving it 5s across the board is that I think it could have a bit more depth, especially in the smell. But it would be real hard to improve on this beer.

Photo of ritzkiss
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle, 02/11/11, picked up at Premier Gourmet in Buffalo. Pours a hazy tangerine with a finger of head that dies to placid.

Nose is delightful, mixes of spice, a touch of funk, lemon rind, oranges, grain, leather. No mistakes there. Flavor follows suit, light bretty funk, marmalade, orange peel, light lemon tartness, hint of pepper, pretty sweet for what I'm usually after in the style, a touch under carbed, round body.

This is incredibly tasty and I'm enjoying it a fair bit. Biggest beef is the sweetness which, with age, would die as the Brett munches away. Need to get some bottles to age, allow to get drier and more Brett character. Top notch.

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

Served on tap at canary in Jamaica plain. Served in a wine class...cool.

A. Wisp of a eggshell head. Nice gold body.

S. White sugar...slight herb.

T. White sugar and light hop flavor..
Some coriander

M. Light

D. Nice and drinkable. I would drink again.

Photo of quirkzoo
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into goblet.

A- Nice thick puffy white head, good pale straw color.

S- Lots of classic Belgian smells, most prominently a yeasty banana with a touch of spice which I place as coriander.

T- This is where the beer really opens up. The taste is finely balanced between the malt and the yeast with just enough hops. I am not sure if the citrus is from the hops or more likely from the 20% of the beer that is barrel aged with citrus rinds. I also get a little bit of astringency which I am interpreting as some tannins from the wine barrel aging.

M- The mouthfeel is also well balanced. A good amount (not too much) of carbonation creates a clean, dry finish.

O- Overall a very solid beer. It didn't blow me away in any particular aspects but it was very drinkable with enough balanced complexity to slow me down to reflect on the beer. This was bottled 12/11/09 and drank 8/14/11.

Photo of bearsxco
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- poured a golden color with lots of carbonation. colored swirled in glass

s- smelled of clove and orange, slight smell of peach.

t- as with smell, slight fruit taste, citrus. then the taste of clove would come through. Nice taste.

m- more carbonation than I though but not bad

o- Not a Belgian fan but wanted to try because I love the other Goose Island selections. Overall not a bad beer that I would have again. The clove and spices not overwhelming. B+

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

22oz bottle split into two large snifters

Pours a very clear golden (I left any sediment in the bottle), poured with only a little filmy head, pretty nicely carbonated. Smell is sour apple, fresh, light and summery. Maybe some lemons and yeast.

Taste is a kind of funky sour, which I think is typical for the saison style (but I'm no expert). A little bit of sour green grape.

Mouthfeel is light but a little filmy. Overall, pretty good, but I'm not that experienced in the style.

2012 bottle had on 21 April 2013

My notes hold up, I have more experience with sours at this point, and I think this beer stands up pretty well to similar beers of the style.

Photo of chinchill
2.36/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

fresh 12 oz 2011 bottle - 6/3/11 date - served cold.

Appearance - a hazy pale yellow with a small white head that quickly settles to a lasting ring. Visible moderate carbonation.

The appearance is a little funky; the aroma more so. In fact, it smells like it has gone bad or is at least on the way. There's plenty of over-ripe banana, hints of pineapple and over-ripe apples, along with other less distinguishable fruits. The aroma is yeasty but also quite funky and too similar to a moldy odor. The beer is fresh from the store, however, and has a recent bottling date, so the beer should be in fine condition. Hence, I try to over look suggestions of moldy wine and take a sip.

Tasting reveals a more palatible product than the nose suggests. In fact, with a strong citrus component [mainly lemon] and mild spiciness (mainly clove) added to the funky yeast flavors, this beer is rather interesting and passably drinkable although a bit challenging -- certainly not high praise on a very hot and thirsty afternoon. Earthy with hints of sour fruits and more than a hint of yeast.

M - Good carbonation streaming up from the bottom is also evident in the mouthfeel of this medium bodied and rather crisp beer. Has an unfortunate bit of a peppery bite on the tongue. Semi-dry finish.

O - While interesting, as beers in this category generally are, I cannot recommend this particular saison to any but fans of sour beers with a strong banana components. Perhaps aging is required.

Photo of doughanson78
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled on 2/11/2011.

A: Light orangish yellow in color. Very hazy. Half finger head that disappears instantly. Hardly any lacing.

S: Probably the weirdest beer I've smelled, but a good smell. Lime, lemon, banana, orange, grapes. Super complex. A lot of wine qualities, although I don't know what wine, as I don't drink wine. Very slight sour funk. Buttery bread notes. A key lime pie aroma.

T: Again very complex. Everything that is in the nose is in the flavor. I get much more of the Saison qualities in the flavor. Some coriander spiciness comes through.

M: Light bodied. Very crisp and refreshing. Light carbonation. Dry finish.

O: Very surprised by this one. A very awesome beer. Need to pick up another bottle or two and see how it ages. Got one already but says it develops in the bottle for up to 5 years. Definitely give this one a shot.

Photo of nickthetick
3.42/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a slightly hazy lemon yellow with a nice finger of frothy head doesn't stick around or hang on the side of the glass.

S: sweet pineapple, apricot, spices, cloves, nutmeg, cardamon, bananas, light malt and bread.

T: sweet yellow fruits and slightly under ripened apples come through first. They are chased by a nice lemon note and finished off with a peppery flavor that compliments well.

MF: as one should expect, middle of the road body and moderate carbonation.

O: good saison that can hold its own but is missing out on six pack potential, especially for this easy of a drinking beer.

Photo of aranheaney
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes, poured from a 2010 650 ml bottle into a DFH snifter:

A-nice straw yellow, pillowy head of foam that hangs out for quite some time

S-agree with the peppery, banana and clove, good saison qualities all here

T-very good all the way through, good carbonation and a nice clean finish

M-a little heavy on the carbonation, but that might be nit-picking

O-excellent, on a par with Hennepin which is my personal favorite siason

Photo of Boto
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle: This one pours a pale, straw yellow color. There was a huge frothy white head on it that didn’t linger long, nor did it leave any lacing. Nose is mainly peppery and coriander. Some citrus also. The taste is very good. Somewhat lighter body, but very flavorful. Some wheat notes, coriander and peppery notes, and some citrus, just like the nose. Subtle, yet a bit complex and very tasty. I will definitely have another.

Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,591 ratings.