1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Sofie - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,506 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,506
Reviews: 910
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.24%
Wants: 159
Gots: 559 | 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)
View: Beers (211) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,506 | Reviews: 910 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Got to try this head-to-head against the style prototype, Saison Dupont, the the Goose Island beer academy held in Bowling Green, KY. Close call here. The Sofie was a touch fuller and a bit of fruit, whereas the Dupont was just a little drier and more funk. I would happily drink either, and cudos to Goose Island for this close interpretation.

Photo of lstokes
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gold with beautiful carbonation and a nice head, this smells like white grapes, yeast, pepper, and orange peel, and the taste follows nicely. Lots of lovely citrus, lots of identifiably Belgian yeast, some coriander and clove, a little bit of pepper, all balanced to make a really light, quaffable, amazing beer. This is a home run.

Photo of JordanEllwanger
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A clear straw yellow with a pure white head fizzing and popping like a newly opened 2ltr of soda. A tiny amount of sediment on the bottom of the bottle that sweeps up easily. Pouring in the sediment gives the beer a much more wheat beer appearance. Smells malty like a wheat beer. The flavor is really sweet akin to a triple. Some good hay flavors in there as well. One of the first Saisons I've really appreciated. Cheers.

Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 bottle
A: beautiful glowing straw gold. Lively white head and good lacing coats the glass.
S: complex and powerful-citrus, grass, tropical fruit, spices, and a bit of barnyard funk.
T: bready biscuity light to med sweet malts are evenly balanced out by a smooth hop bitterness, effervescence, and a bit of twanginess on the finish. Crisp and ends dryish.
M: frothy, lively. Just over light bodied.
D: kept going back to the glass, so yeah.

Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into Stone brewery pint glass...

A - Pours a light amber with a two finger fluffy white head. Head dissipates at a fairly hasty pace...

S - Just getting over a cold, so I am probably not doing this beer justice with the smell, but I do detect lots of fruity and tart notes...

T - Wow. This one is smooth and tasty. Starts with a sweeter fruity taste followed by a tartness. Pears, apricots, and grapes. Ends on a smooth citrus note...

M - Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation...

D - Tried this one when I had put more than few back, and I remember liking it. Glad my brain was functioning enough at the time to remember that I wanted to try this again. A nice surprise, and definitely something I will be buying in the future...


Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a chalice.

A: Poured a straw blonde with a what...five finger head? Seriously, its ridiculous.

S: Banana, clove, bubblegum and oranges.

T:Taste follows smell.

D: Very easy drinking and just bursting with flavour.

Overall: This is an excellent brew! Its full of fresh, crisp flavour and hides its alcohol beautifully. The lemon and wine flavours add another dimension to an already exceptional brew. Another home run from Goose Island.

Photo of awalk1227
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 11/8/10, did some hunting and got lucking finding this beer at a bottle shop. The girlfriend and I are reviewing it together, she's been getting really into sours and saisons.

Poured into a Southern Tier elongated tulip

A: Pours a brilliant bright yellow with a huge fluffy white head. Lots of carbonation. A very, very pretty beer.

S: Belgian bready yeast, some fruits and spices tickle the nose. It's really hard to place all these scents. Sliiiight funk on the nose, but it's brewed with wild yeasts, yeah?

T: Spicy breadiness hits the tongue first, then a quick wisp of tart. Some fruit joins the mix--apples and grapes--and you can tell in the aftertaste that it was aged in a wine barrel. Very delicate flavors all around, you can pick up more each sip you take. Brett is there, yes he is. It's pleasant!

F: Glides across the tongue at first, then a splash of carbonation explodes. The brett helps to dry out the palate afterwards. A wonderful feel for such a creamy start.

D: This is excellent. As good and complex as any wine.

Photo of smibroncos
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Poured a clear light straw, with a fizzt white head not much lacing on the glass

S. Fresh cut grass, lemon, orange, lots of citrus.

T. Starts a little sweet, then bitter like a citrus peel, nice hops notes finish.

M. medium bodied small buble carbonation finishes dry, creamy.

D. This is a really good brew, the label states 80% Belgian style ale blended with 20% Belgian style ale aged in wine barerels with orange peel.

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

22oz bottle purchased at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into a Chimay chalice, formed a 1" white head over the clear straw brew. Head lasts and lasts, with plentiful chunky lace. Aroma is sweet and lightly spicy.

Taste begins with moderate pale sweetness, spiciness int he middle, and a crisp hoppy close. Light sour flavor lingers. Mouthfeel is small-bubbled and soft over the tongue, with easy drinkability. Nice brew.

Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,506 ratings.