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Sofie - Goose Island Beer Co.

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3,651 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,651
Reviews: 944
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10%
Wants: 170
Gots: 671 | FT: 19
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: 3,651 | Reviews: 944 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

I've seen this in 750 bottles, I found 12 oz bottles in Ky, grabbed accouple. Nice.

Poured into a snifter, golden yellow, slight haze, low carbonation for the style, white small head, little spotted lace.

Big aroma hits the nose, bananna, clove, sweet spice.

Carries to taste with sweet honey, pear and fruit. Lemon and lime add acidity. A young yeasty bread undertone.

Mouthfeel is soft, pleasing and easy to drink.

Overall, Very nice beer, worth the try.

Photo of AleWatcher
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This barrel was from August of 2010 according to the bar owner.
Served in a tulip.

I LOVE this beer with 18+ months on it... so it is cool to try a glass that's about 10 months for comparison.
A bright yellow body is clear and gorgeous... White shiny froth is perfect.

Smells and tastes of lemons, limes, grassy and hay funk, kaffir leaves, perhaps some wheat malt... Slight tartness towards the finish is great.
This beer is refreshing and delicious. It is a perfect summer beer-- a few more months, and it's a perfect "I need a funky dry Saison" beer!
The body is light and airy, just right.

I'm having another.

Photo of amphion1065
3.66/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Sunset, poured into a 13 oz. tulip.

Light golden brown body, with hints of gold. Bubbly carbonation. A half-finger white head forms, leaving a ring of lace around the glass. Pretty.

A very strong banana flavor in the smell - the fruity esters are almost overpowering. Some cloves and bubblegum undergird the fruit, contributing to a rich yeast profile. This honestly smells similar to a hefeweizen, but in this case the aroma is a little muted and one-note.

The taste is quite yeasty. After an initial wave of crisp sweetness, there's a lingering grain and yeast flavor. Some citric fruit flavors, but that yeasty banana character is very present. Not a whole lot of funk in this one, but it doesn't detract from the overall experience.

Mouthfeel is very nice - this tastes very fresh, and the lively carbonation helps bring out a lot of the more subdued, muted flavors.

A solid but unremarkable saison. I've had this before and will likely have it again, but wouldn't go out of my way to find it.

Photo of thagr81us
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this one during the 'We Want The Funk!' tasting that was graciously hosted by beermeX2! Big thanks goes out to beermeX2 for sharing this one with the group! Bottled 02/11/11. Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured a hazy straw yellow with a half finger pure white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wheat, grain, funk, and earth. The flavor was of sweet malt, grain, wheat, slight funk, and earth. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. This is the beer myself and beermeX2 used to warm up our palates while waiting for the others to arrive. A really nice saison with just a hint of some funkiness. For some odd reason I really like saisons with a touch of funk. Everything just seems to work, and this is no exception. A must try.

Photo of JayAre46
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Smchenry75 for this extra you are the man!
A - 12oz long neck, sunlight was hitting this as i was pouring into a tulip and it was absolutely stunning. pale golden haze with a 2 finger head that falls quickly to a thick ring around the edges with some bubble creating a thin foam.

A - yeasty banana flavored bubble gum covered with tart sugars and thats about all my nose is getting. straight to the point.

T - follow the nose with a touch of tart sourness that transitions into a cooked honey coated banana. very clean and crisp. good bitterness that comes in just when you think it may be too sweet then turns out for the best.

M - perfect, a tad light on the carbonation, slightly coating presence but not quite there.

O - good beer, the aroma frightened me as fas as a preconceived possibiliity that it will be overly sweet which would be weird, not the case the tart characters were done accodingly to avoid such a mess, this is great summer sunday evening beer. drink it for sofie who is feeling a little sour after the boat ride...

Photo of mdwalsh
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a golden straw color that turns hazy in the glass. A one finger white head rests on top. The haze is thick, but particulate, and is quite attractive. Head retention is not great, nor is lacing.

S: On the pour there is an immediate mineral-ginger-acidic aroma. Closer investigation slides more towards the acid, almost vinegary. Maybe some deep underlying fruit or sweetness?

T: The sour vinegar is dominant above any spicey or horsehair saison flavors. I get the wine barrel, but not much orange at all. It's not what I expected, but not bad. A very interesting experiment in beer for me. The orange comes through the more I drink.

M: Surprisingly little carbonation comes through to me, but that's ok.

D: This fits what I think was the brewers goal, beer for the dinner table. I could imagine serving this in place of a Sauv Blanc or alascian Riesling.

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

2011 vintage. Tulip glass.

Pours an opaque pale golden color with about a half finger of pure white foam, minimal lacing and okay retention. Smells like sweet banana and green apple, some spiciness. Taste is a nice mildly tart apple, lemon, and white pepper. Medium bodied and medium carbonation. Overall, this is a very refreshing and drinkable beer, clean flavors, pairs well with food and is great for the warm weather.

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-Pours a lightly hazy apple juice color. Fizzy head grows rapidly and then dies down to an almost nonexistent film. Minute strings of lacing line the glass here and there. A pretty looking glass of Farmhouse goodness.

S-The funky yeast is very noticeable and very attractive. There is some delicious citrusy aromas as well. Orange and lemon. A bit spicy and clovey as well. Complex and aromatic.

T-The yeast and slight funk is the first flavor that hits me. A bit sour which is a great addition. The juicy citrus and even pear is quite tasty. Belgian yeast flavor. A touch of spice.

M-Medium bodied. A bit syrupy. Carbonation is strong. The feel is not my favorite. I would actually enjoy the body to be a bit lighter and less stickiness. This is not a very big deal for me however.

O/D-I am quite impressed by this beer. I am not very familiar with the style. I did not enjoy the mouthfeel all that much, but I really enjoyed the flavor. This beer drinks incredibly easily. It begs for another sip. I really think that if I had enjoyed its mouthfeel more I would LOVE this. But I truly do still like it a lot.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.14/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a sniffer. Pours a very nice golden color but I could not get a head out of it at all. It looks like a chardonay. How does this beer have an A-? No lacing.

Aroma is of orange peel and malt. But there is this slight weird funky smell like a bit of stinky cheese.

Taste is a bit weird too. Has a weird tart sweet malty taste. Bit of like an imperial saison. Too malty for a saison.

Mouthfeel should be dryer. Needs alot more carb too.

Overall I don't know why people are rating this so high. It's nothing that a saison should be. Especially if you look at what the standard is considered (fantome). Its not a terrible beer but has so much wrong and it is not to style at all. No thank you.

Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazy golden wheat color with very little head after the bartender handed this one off to me. It quickly dissipated to almost nothing. Very slight cling to the sides of the glass, and no visible carbonation. The nose on this beer is a nice balance of sweet and sour, with strong yeast notes at the front. There's also some flowers and ripe fruit (oranges and banana) in the mix here. The fruit hits your tongue right up front--predominantly orange--but this quickly moves to yeasty wheat and bread flavors. Very smooth in its transitions on the palate. The lingering aftertaste is that of orange peel and fresh bread. The mouthfeel is crisp and zesty, with a little more body than the "light" label it was given on the draught menu.

While I'm not a huge fan of saisons, this was one of the most enjoyable that I've had and would certainly be a recommendation I would make to others just trying this style for the first time. A nice bouquet and full flavors that don't overwhelm or put off. I don't think I could throw back a lot of these, but certainly worth trying again in the future.

Photo of wardealeo
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled: Feb. 11, 2011
Very enjoyable farmhouse style ale.

Pours a little bit cloudy, yellow-golden with greenish tint with enough carbonation to lift a full finger persistent head. Some citrus and funk along with a bit of yeasty and spice notes. The carbonation keeps the various flavors alive and interesting. A nice range of flavors from acid-citrus elements through some sour-tartness and a touch of sweet spice. This is really nice. Refreshing and very drinkable!

Photo of ElizabethCraig
4.62/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This took the place of Saison Dupont at my favorite bar. I've enjoyed various Saisons lately so when my husband saw this was a Saison his words to me were "Get. It. Now."

Appearance: Pale yellow, cloudy with a very white head. Retained the head fairly well.

Body: Medium bodied

Scent/Taste: Light. Sweet banana and grapefruit. A small amount of cinnamon spice.

I'll have to do more reading and tasting of this style, I really enjoyed this beer.

(I took what I consider adequate notes on my tasting, but frankly I was busy enjoying this with (near the end of the glass) bacon wrapped dates.)

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

A - This beer pours a slightly hazy golden color. It has a nice 2-finger white head on it. The head has pretty good retention, and leaves some decent lacing on the glass.

S - It smells of sour green apples mostly. There are some nice notes of citrus and barnyard funk as well. Also, I am getting some grassy scents as well.

T - There is a nice sour green apple taste up front. There is also some nice grassy earthy flavors and a nice amount of citrus. There are some nice fruit flavors like white gapes, pear, and lemon. A mild funkiness is present as well.

M - This has a medium body and moderate carbonation. It goes down easy and has a smooth feel to it. There is some sourness that is mildly mouth puckering.

O - this has good drinkability. The flavor is good, and I could easily drink a few of these in a sitting. Overall, I thought this was a nice twist on the style. It was very tasty, and I would definitely pick it up again.

Photo of meatmallet
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy and golden yellow with a thick white head. Lots of visible carbonation and suspended sediment.

Smell: Good citrus smell with some grassy and floral scents as well.

Taste: Sour and a bit musty as a saison should be. Bread, cloves, yeast, lemon, and a hint of banana in there as well.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated with a light body. Leaves a pleasant slightly soured and sweet aftertaste.

Overall: Easy to drink at 6.5% ABV

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

A-very mruky golden hue, very prominent creamy white head. Exactly how it should look

S-Very nice citrus smell with some other tropical fruit aromas. great smell

T-Consistent fruity, spicy taste that begins when you take the first sip and follows through very nicely.

M-sits light but very spicy,with medium carbonation

T-Really awesome interpretation. Just enough innovation that it isnt boring or played out, but does not drift to far away from the style that leaves you confused on what your even drinking. Awesome!

Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,651 ratings.