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Sofie - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

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3,597 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,597
Reviews: 932
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.24%
Wants: 168
Gots: 618 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,597 | Reviews: 932 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of habanosdarklord
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wine glass. Really nice looking beer. Big fluffy white head, nice lacing as well.

This beer smells amazing! Reminds me a lot of a brut Champange. Tart grapes, melon, mango, sweet hay that goes along with a "barnyard" theme, slight funk, and bannana. Truly a complex nose that I really enjoy.

Taste is great too. Creamy mouthfeel, nice carbonation. Light mango and bannana up front, and it finishes with tart grapes. There is also some bready notes in this beer as well.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. I can see this becoming a regular summer beer. Stellar offering from Goose Island!

Photo of JRorie
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 Sofie - 12 oz. bottle

Apperance: Yellow and cloudy with almost champagne like carbonation. Really a beautiful pour. One of my favorite things about Saisons and this one is spot on.

Smell: Tons of orange zest, Belgian yeast, and pepper. Very fruity as well.

Taste: Right up front you get the orange zest, the Belgian yeast, pepper, and a bit of sourness. Finishes off dry with a hint of vanilla and oak.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy, with a touch of dryness. The carbonation is perfect.

Overall: This is my favorite beer made. I can drink it anytime of the year, month, or day and be perfectly content. I love everything it has to offer, and will revisit often. This is what a Saison should be.

Photo of Scotchboy
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Sofie

22oz bottle, New Belgium snifter

A: Pours a cloudy yellow straw color, with a ton of soapy bright white head that sticks all over the glass as it recedes. Tons of carbonation. Pretty much spot on for the style.

S: Very summery and refreshing, tons of orange & lemon peel and yeast character. There is some green apple and pear scents, with hints of other herbs like coriander and lavender, and a peppery finish.

T: The sweetness is there in the taste, as well as some graininess and some spices; orange peel, coriander, black pepper, Bretty funk though I'm not sure there is Brett in this beer, and some light malty/bready character.

MF: medium bodied with a slight foamy creaminess. Just a touch drying on the finish.

O: This is my ideal Saison so far. Like it a lot. Very light and refreshing, with a balance of sweetness and spices.

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

Even a careful pour yields near three fingers of loose and delicate bone white foam, looks like whipped egg whites, dimples a lot as it rapidly dissolves down to the surface, minimal stickiness to the lacing. Bright golden hued liquid with decent clarity, what is does have is a veritable maelstrom of bubbles swirling inside, light enough that there’s no discernible loss at the glass bottom or rims. The nose is a tightly woven series of jabs, mostly white grapefruit and mandarin orange, apple, pear and peach scents with an emphasis on skin, flower blossoms and golden honey, moments of clove and pepper, yeast and perhaps a slight briny influence along with moss and other forest floor matter. Medium-bodied, the carbonation is too foamy at first but does subside some with time, also churns things sufficiently to dampen overall sourness. Lemon, white grapefruit, mineola oranges a fine pair for the clove, coriander, cumin spices. The yeast and bread neither too dry nor sweet, helps anchor the whole in the center. Were there more tang and sugar there might be a tropical character to the apple, nectarine, apricot, pear, red cherry fruit. The grassiness keeps it on the lowdown, tickles the tonsils without looking to get up in your face. Factoring for the carbonation, it’s really not that sweet and the high degree of citrus keeps it on the refreshing side of things, good drinkability. (Bottled on 2/19/10.)

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

Enjoyed from the tap at Tops, inside a mini weizen glass.

Pale, golden straw in color with the slightest haze. Topped with a silky, one-finger tall crown of bubbles that soon becomes a thick, soapy oil slick. Bubbles stick to the sides in tiny, jagged groupings.

Fantastic aroma. Sweet pears, wheat, red apple, lavender, coriander, hints of banana. The faintest hint of tartness in the background. Sweet and smooth.

More wheat in the flavor, resulting in a slightly drying graininess. The fruit medley of apples, peaches and pears emerges mid-palate, mingling with hints of coriander and floral lavender. Finishes sweet, with a slight lactic tang lingers on the tongue between sips.

Lightly effervescent, with soft carbonation massaging the tongue amidst a somewhat thin body. The tang eventually builds to levels bordering on acidic, though I think it adds interest to the beer.

A little sweet for a saison, but that Sofie’s a nice lady. Very girl next door. Not sexy, but full of old-fashioned lovely that keeps you coming back for a visit.

Photo of uustal
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy mellow pale yellow with a one-finger pearl white head. Doesn't last long. Aroma of lemon rind, bit of orange, some barnyard funk. Nice tart lemon flavor to start. A bit of lemon sugary sweetness as well. Sweet and tart. Small amount of grassy and funky flavor are next before the sweet/tart lemon comes full circle to finish this one out.

Photo of StJamesGate
3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pale lemon yellow with fine particles and a webby meringue head that hints at leaving sticky trailers but doesn't. Waxy lemon rind and some barnyard on the nose, with oily leaf underneath. Husky grain, warming nutmeg, banana mango yeast, and lemongrassy hops and a closing phenol whiff. Prickly end and stinging dry linger. Fizzy, round, medium.

bottled 4/23/10

Even a year on, this stiff has some sharp edges. I could see it as maybe aggressively quenching, in a tart lemonade kind of way, but this is not a mellow quaffer like some Saisons. More interesting than good.

Edit: OK, Brett sourness is coming out as it warms, and I see that GI has this as on the Farmhouse and not Saison side of things, but I'm not relenting on the "not-to-style" punishment. It's a bit of a Franken-beer, with orangey Amarillo that makes me think Belgian IPA but then wheat and barrel-aging and... I'm exhausted.

Trying too hard to be everything to everyone. I'd rather drink Hennepin.

Photo of Naugros
3.84/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks like a hazy lemonade with a touch of foam on top and evident carbonation, but only moderate. Really nothing special to look at, but the smell draws you in. Bright and acidic with a touch of spice...maybe green peppercorns or cardamom. It's Belgian inspiration comes through here and I'm enjoying the citric zing in my nose.

Alas, I am a broken record. Let's go back to many of my reviews and quote, "Doesn't taste as good as it smells." So true for so many beers, even some of the great ones like Rochefort 10. But in that case the drop-off was not as significant. In this case we've got a pretty sharp difference...sharp is the key word. It has a sharp flavor to it and not an acidic, sour sharpness, but more of an astringent one. The citrus turns decidedly bitter and pithy. It's lamost as if the orange peels they put in the casks still had a lot of the white stuff attached.

I've got another bottle of this that I think I'll age a year or more. The bottle claims that you can cellar it for up to five years. The acidity might be the reason for that claim, but I'm dubious about a 6.5% beer lasting that long. Could be wrong; I'm no expert on cellaring.

Photo of tchenery
3.1/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Beer pours an extremely straw color. I"m using the ole Duvel tulip glass. The head recedes a bit too fast, but is bone white in color.

The smell is sour upfront. I almost get a whiff of ketchup for some weird reason, but it's probably just me. It's slightly peppery and herbal, but it's very faint.

I notice the mouthfeel before anything else. It's too syrupy and thick, almost oily. After that the taste is very subtle. It's very soft on the tongue, almost pale ale like, without a whole lot of zest, sour, or funk - all the fun that comes with a great farmhouse. I'm not crazy about this one, it tastes bland and I even let it sit out of the fridge for 10 minutes before pouring.

Photo of BeerPhan86
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very classy labels on these Goose Island big Belgian beers, at first glance I thought my beer store was now selling wine! Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pours a hazy golden yellow with a one finger foamy white head. Very creamy head with sticky lacing.

S - Somewhat funky with hints of apple and bubblegum. A little bit of banana and candied sugar. Very clean aroma.

T - Somewhat dry with plenty of Belgian yeast and candied sugar. It has a nice tart aspect that goes well with the dry finish, and there is a touch of sour fruit in there. Slight hop bitterness in the finish. Very crisp and refreshing without being overly boozy.

M - Well carbonated with a light, crisp mouthfeel.

D - Too expensive for me to session and worth appreciating in a small dose.

Overall, this was a very good saison and I would recommend you pick it up. I will probably be trying the other Goose Island Belgian beers after being impressed with this one. Just a delight to drink and universal enough that anyone can enjoy it.

Photo of JHamm
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: cloudy golden yellow. no substantial amount of head but a slight lacing remains around the rim. some carbonation is apparent.

Smell: slight tartness with a hint of tea with a sour note in the middle. a bit of maltiness sneaks in on the end. slightly vinegar.

Taste: lemony with a fairly smooth maltiness. there's a grassiness that's not too strong but definitely present. while the malt is present there is still a smoothness to this beer that doesn't feel too heavy. can't pick out the tartness as much

Feel: not much to add overall. not too heavy but a solid feel overall. the aftertaste is pear-like.

Overall: refreshing beer. feels slightly heavy on the grassiness and lemon. definitely dry on the end. perhaps this is perfect for the style but it's not for me. By no means a bad beer and I certainly wouldn't turn down another if offered.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smells delightful - sour, fruity, yeasty. Mmm.

Sourness hits hard fast, then settles paving the way for a beautiful array of flavors. Soft herbal hop, citric fruit perhaps kind of candied orange, soft sweetness, subtle bitterness, and a swanky Belgian-style funk. Nice. Tastes quite good. Feels good. Great drinkability.

Again, nice.

Photo of OlRasputin989
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured slowly into a tulip...

A: pours a hazy, pale golden color with a rocky, white head. somewhate fizzy, leaving creamy lacing.

S: pilsner malt, very peppery, floral hops, oak, with a slight citrus peel aroma.

T: again, pilsner malt up front, with the citrus flavors which are more apparent on the pallate, and a strong spiciness(a combination of booze and hops)coming in together then fading into a long tart, spicy, and slightly bitter finish. flavors blend together well over 50 degrees.

M: light body, very effervescent, alcohol is warming, with a dry, chalky finish.

Overall, i wasn't as impressed with this beer as i had expected to be, but it remains a good beer. maybe just a little too tart, too light, and too much warming alcohol for a 6.5% abv brew intended for warm weather drinking. Probably best served on a chilly spring night.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap @ The Good Pie (paired quite well), served in goose island stemmed glass

pour was a cloudy hazy pale yellow. light fizzy head that hung around a bit.

lots of funk up front. light hints of apple and grape. light spice.

i mainly detected funk up front, horse blanket, funky yeast, etc. backing spice through out. hints of light pepper. a bit of a lemon zest with a touch of grape or green apple.

nice moderate carbonation with a bit of a bite. light and crisp.

this was delicious and paired well with a pizza covered in crushed red pepper. it was light and easy, nothing over powering. i will say not NEARLY as sour as many reviews have stated. i found it quite tame actually, very subtle but worked well.

Photo of BlackIce138
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 From a 22oz bottle in to an Allagash chalice.

A:Pours golden yellow, clear with a nice white foam head that lingers. Lots of small bubbles float to the surface.

S: A nice mild barnyard and hay comes across with slight notes of orange citrus and cloves.

T: Dry with a hint of citrus. A nice sourness as the taste settles across the tongue.

M: Crisp and nicely carbonated, great to cleanse the palate.

O: Well balance and refreshing. A great take on the style. I would definitely recommend it

Photo of EORS
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 4 pack of the 2010 in November (bottled on date of 6/17/10) and let one bottle sit for a while. Served at room temperature in a small (10oz) sampler glass.

Appearance: Hazy pale yellow. Still highly carbonated, poured a high, lacy white head that was retained for some time.

Smell: Spice from the yeast, citrus and pear notes. This was, for me, the strongest aspect of the beer.

Taste: Dry and sour, hints of citrus peel and a slight bit of hop bitterness. Crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Light and carbonated.

Overall: In keeping with the style, and definitely worth a try. Goose Island deserves credit for their yeast, which really gives the beer much of its flavor and aroma. A bit tart and dry for me, however, and I’m not really sure I'd be as keen to drink more saison ales as opposed to wits or blondes.

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

2010 vintage, 12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Look: cloudy golden body with a thick, fluffy head of white colored foam. The head really piles up despite a conservative pour, indicative of the fact that this is a bottle conditioned brew. There's bountiful lacing left behind.

Smell: mild barnyard aroma, orange zest, some phenolics and esters, and a bit of wine. Smells good.

Taste: follows the nose, with orange and white wine really coming out, with hints of citrus and some spices. Its a little tart. Tastes like an authentic saison with a little bit of added flair from the barrel aging and orange peel.

Feel: crisp carbonation, light to medium in body, and dry like a saison should be. Easy drinking and this could be a sessionable brew.

Overall: a solid saison. Though I tend to prefer my saisons to derive their character simply from yeast rather than additives or barrel aging, I will give this one respect where respect is due. The brewers at Goose Island certainly did a good job on this saison. Cheers!

Photo of Teleweizen2
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a very pale yellow. Completely clear. Big pillowy cloud like head of foam. Decent retention. Doesn't leave any lacing.

S - soft, fluffy Belgian yeast aroma. Hints of bubblegum. Some fruit esters. A slight amount of vinous acidity, reminiscent of white grapes. Very clean citrus aroma, more like lemons then oranges.

T - off dry. Very little malt sweetness but not completely dry. A nice smooth citric bitterness. A bit of sweet bubblegum flavor. And notes of lemon and white grapes in a long acidic finish.

M - light and crisp. Tight bubbly carbonation. Very reminiscent of champaign.

D - if I didn't know better i would swear this was made in Belgium. Fantastic interpretation of a classic farmhouse ale.

Photo of phishisphunk
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Goose Island Sofie, one of my personal favorites in the GI Belgian lineup. Served from a chilled 22 oz. bottle dated 6/18/2010.

Very classy bottle. Elegant and simple.

A: Sofie pours a light, clear, sunny yellow. A soft, billowy, white head presents itself with a vigorous pour, a good 1-2 finger width of head retains for a short period of time. This beauty is lively. Lots and lots of tiny bubbles ascending quickly upwards. Overall very inviting.

S: The usual Belgian aromas dominate the nose. Hints of clove and citrus rear through a strong aroma of banana and graham crackers.

T: I really like this gal. Sofie is simple and refreshing. Spring rain, wet hay, fresh cut grass, tinges of lemon zest with hints of Brett sourness balance themselves perfectly over the palate. Finish is dry, clean, and lingering.

M: The carbonation abounds. The initial mouth feel tickles the tongue to bounce the flavors from beginning to end. Adds to the overall value of the experience.

D: I like Sofie. Easily one of my top 5, which is why I'm reviewing it. Its simple, not extreme or over the top, and pairs well with quite a bit of everything. It's very accessible. GI crafted a fantastic and unique saison with this one.

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

Poured from the bottle dated 11/19/10 into a tulip glass

A- Looks like Duvel, clear light yellow color, high carbonation with tiny bubbles rapidly shooting up into a massive airy, rocky, white head that leaves sticky web lacing.

S- Notes of bubblegum, yeast, floral

T-Bubblegum, yeast, spice, banana, nice sour and spice balance.

M- Crisp, refreshing, very dry finish, and a nice full body

O- Very well balanced and delicious Belgian-style beer. The appearance of this beer is spectacular and it has such great balance between all the great flavors.

Photo of FosterJM
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

378th review on BA
bottle to wine glass
12 oz

Tavern on the Square, Lincoln, NE

App- A nice delicate golden yellow with a very fluffy quick to recede one finger head. Not a lot of cling/retention.

Smell- This was a great aromatic beer. It was cold outside and the scents were very big in the glass. Nice white pepper with a touch of Belgian yeast and just the right amout of citrus.

Taste- Very big peppery saison. It had the same taste as the nose but just tapered down a little. A nice peppery spice that balanced out the yeasty citrus highlights.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbed. The peppery notes really stuck with me.

Drink- I could drink this one all day long. I don't know why I never got a bottle in CA but since the company was paying for this grabbed this one in a sea of local craft and BMC. I was a happy guy.

Photo of matjack85
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found a 4-pack of these 12oz brown bottles at the Jewel/Osco store in Glendale Heights. IL fort $11.99, so not cheap. Bottled on date of 02/10/09 which makes these 2 years old already, but Gopse Island says this bottle conditioned brew will last for 5 years, so the 2 year old date should be of no concern as long as they were stored properly.

The beer poured a cloudy yellow color with a nice 2 finger white head that hung around awhile and left some decent lacing.

The beer had a funky barnyard smell to it, which is typical for the style.

The beer has a very interesting tart and sour flavor to it. Lemon/orange citrus flavors mix with funky Belgian yeast, but with plenty of wheat malt for balance. A grape skin tartness holds the sweetness in check giving it a semi-dry finish.

Medium body with moderately high carbonation.

Overall a very well made and enjoyable beer, but not something that especially wowed me.

Photo of rfgetz
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clean and clear, light gold color, big plume of prickly white bubbles, good retention and lacing. First whiff is lightly soured and tart citrus rind, underneath lies a clean and lightly sweetened malt profile with some hints of bready yeast, funk, hay and spice. Taste is wonderfully complex, tart and sour citrus rind, notes of white wine grapes and skin, clean bready malt, light musty straw and wood. Lighter side of medium bodied, active carbonation, very dry finish. Quite a pleasent suprise, touches many different styles nicely.

Photo of tapman
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light orange, ample carbonation and a frothy, white foam head that seems like it would sink quickly if it wasn't for the steady supply of a bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass. Unfiltered and the little beasties look super healthy. No brown sludge in this one.

Sharp, tangy citrus, bitter orange peel, mellow yeast, and pale grain make the nose for me. Also lactic-like sour twang (from wine barrels?)

Satisfyingly tart, yet sweet in the finish. In between I find sour citrus and some phenolic, medicinal characters form the yeast.

Sharp and biting, yet full and refreshing. A little harsh during the swallow.

This is one of the best saisons I've had in quite a while. Brewpub saisons are generally so generic, their wits, too. This one follow the guide lines, but makes the style its own.

Photo of Mississipping
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, bottled on 3/24/10. Despite its availability, this is the first opportunity I've had to mingle wit this sexy little lady.

A: Pours a hazy straw-yellow color with a massive frothy white head that sticks around for quite a while. Despite its best efforts, it never quite recedes fully into the beer below, leaving a thicker than normal film with impressive lacing left behind. I couldn't quite get all of it in the tulip I used on first pour, and with the second pour the cycle repeated itself again. Beautiful.

S: There is a great balance of citrusy fruits, yeasty characteristics, and earthy funkiness. The citrus stands out just slightly with lemon and orange peel. There is also a hint of pear and melon that is just delicious. There is a nice barnyard/earthy funk that is less prominent than I was expecting, but it's balanced almost perfectly. Somewhat hidden behind the other characteristics are the bready/biscuity and spicy qualities that really rounds it out nicely.

T: The taste follows the smell very nicely. Citrusy and fruit up front. Plenty of lemon and orange, with a slight sweetness from the melon and pear. A little more bready in the taste than in the smell, which is a very welcome surprise. Finishes slightly dry, which is attributable to a combination of floral hops, a peppery spiciness, and a subtle oakiness. I'm loving it!

M: On the lighter side of medium with quite a bit of carbonation. Feels great in the mouth ... lively, velvety, smooth. Slightly drying finish. This is absolutely spot on for this particular beer.

D: This is easily one of my favorite farmhouse ales. Really crisp, refreshing, balance, and flavorful. Unfortunately, I only had one of these, but I could put a few more down on a warm spring afternoon like today.

Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,597 ratings.