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Sofie - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

976 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 976
Hads: 3,951
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 9.25%
Wants: 195
Gots: 867 | FT: 21
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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 976 | Hads: 3,951
Photo of spense01
4.41/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light and refreshing. Could be more bitter but the finish is smooth and upfront it has some bite. I recommend buying a few and putting one away for a year or 2. I just open a January 2013 and it's smoother and orange-citrusy notes really come through over time. (261 characters)

Photo of john0721
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

765ml bottle.

Yellow, white head that fully diminishes.

Dry, fruity, very white wine like. Some apple, grape, banana. Very little bitterness.

This is a great introductory beer for the white wine drinker. (207 characters)

Photo of Fear4Beer
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I loved Matilda so I thought that by all the great reviews that I'd love Sofie since I love me some Belgian style beers. I was very confused by this beer. I poured it into a glass and the beer looked incredibly light looking, I tasted the beer and it tasted incredibly light (like watered down), and thus I was disappointed. I bought a 4 pack so I'll definitely be drinking it all but I'm not a fan of this one. Their beer called Matilda on the other hand was awesome. I'm not sure if they encourage aging this beer but that's what I'll be doing since as it is, it just isn't special. Maybe with time it gets better? idk. (621 characters)

Photo of spacecake9
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a hazy golden straw color with a thick white head that settles quickly.
S - Yeasty with banana
T - Flavor follows nose - yeasty, banana, citrus, slight peppery finish.
M - Medium mouth feel, nice carbonation.
O - Others mention the wine influence but I don't drink wine so I don't pick any of that up. Very good saison, looking forward to the other 3 bottles from this 4-pack. (386 characters)

Photo of TheIPAHunter
3.06/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Too much like a chardonnay for my taste. I'm not a huge fan of Belgian yeast, nor the compliment it provides to any measure of citrus character. Faint, and I mean very faint, hints of vanilla hit the very back end of the tongue. It looks really nice in the glass, but beyond that, not something I'll be seeking out again. Sorry for the one night stand, Sofie! (359 characters)

Photo of ThaCrax
4.6/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As a dark beer fan, I didn't know how I would feel about this, but it really did deliver. Right off the bat you get the citrus aroma and the beautiful bubbly head. On first taste, you immediately detect the wine notes, which are beautifully balanced in the mix. I really loved this beer, and I don't love a lot of lighter beers. (331 characters)

Photo of dd43
3.96/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The Chardonnay influence is undeniable, both in flavor and mouthfeel. These particle characteristics, the wood aspect and the slightly slick mouthfeel, become more apparent as the beer warms up from fridge temperature. I did not experience the visible carbonation levels that have been reported in other reviews. Saison yeast aromas up front, you get the grassiness and some lemon scent along with a hint of white pepper that I found appealing. Somewhat hard to nail down exactly what is going on with this beer, but it's worth trying for sure. (544 characters)

Photo of Damorneau
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Overall a good beer. I am usually a fan of darker beers, but still enjoyed the Sofie. I enjoyed he citrus notes and the zest and the hint of chardonnay. (154 characters)

Photo of MrBoh
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The pour of the beer is as beautiful as the design of the bottle. Champagne like in color, a light slightly hazy yellow. A nice frothy head which doesn't last, leading to just a thin cap that leaves lacing wherever it touches.

Scent is wonderful. Just enough spice, I hate too much. A little peppercorn, bitter orange peel and nutty bread. A sweet, minty lemongrass smell lingers before the white peppercorns clean it up. The only hit on the scent is a too prevelant off smell of spent grains.

The scent was so light on the wine barrel notes, that I forgot this thing was aged in them. The taste is a quick reminder though. A really great oak taste, and light, dry chardonnay dominate. Mild peppercorns, bitter orange peels, and sour lemons balance out the wine character. The individual tastes are not extraordinary, and it's missing a fresh character, but the balance here is fantastic. Overall, light and refined is how I would describe it.

The mouthfeel is just not what I expected. I thought it would be more champagne like, instead it's like a mix of chardonnay, moscato and champage. It has a little body, best described as slick, and just a tad bit of stimulation that reminds you it is still a beer.

A very interesting and balanced beer. A little more carbonation, and some fresh character (herbs or more late addition hops?), could make it world class. But, as it stands, it's a good American attempt at a Saison. (1,429 characters)

Photo of lushes22
3.52/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A. Cloudy straw color. Full head
S. Although no brett it has some of that funk along with lemon and pepper.
T. Coriander and some light funk. Peppery finish.
M. Real nice. Although poured like a champagne the carbonation and smoothness was just right.
O. If enjoy saisons with a little funk this is really good. A very unique beer. More enjoyable as it warms. (363 characters)

Photo of Taybeh
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From a 6 month old single into a Weyerbacher tulip
A: pale sunlit gold, 3 finger fluffy head with decent lacing
S: coriander, white pepper, clove, lemon peel,
T: pale malt on the front, back half mingles light spicy peppery notes and tart citrusy zest. Nothing terribly complex, but well integrated and very satisfying.
M: moderately dry, moderately tart, effervescent

Overall: Solid. (388 characters)

Photo of Onemoresolo
3.79/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

765mL bottle dated 22APR13:

L: Huge head quickly dissipates down to a decent sized fluffy Belgian head.
S: Clove, some orange zest and a tiny bit of funk.
T: Much like a tripel with expected Belgian yeast flavors with a quickly passing finish of orange zest, wine, and tartness. Fades quickly.
F: Prickly carbonation, quick finish, thirst quenching. Can't complain.

Not a bad beer, but it I definitely prefer Matilda over this. I was hoping for a big vinous, tart, and bitter beer, but this was mostly just like a tripel with light funk. Maybe it needs more/less time? (571 characters)

Photo of DMXLOX22
4.19/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Brought home in a growler. Poured into a 16 oz. traditional pub glass.

Look: Pours a straw-yellow, very slight hint of orange. Leaves behind possibly about half-inch of foam. Head dissipates somewhat quickly. Lacing is very little which was a disappointment. Kinda boring. Slight hint of bubbles floating to the top, but at least it's consistent.

Smell: Upon first takes of the aroma, I get a hint of some funky yeast aromas. Almost a wine-like aroma as well as I further inspect. Grains, malts, yeast and some wood-like aromas are also noticeable. Not exactly thrilling, but still interesting.

Taste: First sips, I sense a slight sour-like yeast presence. A little funky that blocks the real flavors underneath. As I let the brew settle, I sense slight hints of white grapes, apple, and the orange-zest. Not too bad, but a little unimpressive.

Mouthfeel: A bit above average carbonation. Quite good in that department. Finishes quite full. Not bad at all. Does leave behind a somewhat sour aftertaste.

Overall: Never was a fan of sour beers and something into this, I was quite surprised at the level. However, as the beer leaves cold temperature and enters room temperature, it does reveal some more flavors of orange and woodgrains. Not my favorite brew. I would stick with Hennepin by Ommegang or Saison-Brett by Boulevard. I may recommend to a few friends, but I definitely won't be trying again. Cheers! (1,414 characters)

Photo of ClavisAurea
3.79/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Fresh 12oz bottle served in a small wine glass at cellar temps.

Appearance: bright yellow, clear and effervescent with a pale head that went away almost immediately.

Nose: Candied lemon peel, sweet and citrusy

Taste: very light body, citrus, slightly malty, sweet and light

Overall: It almost has a fake or manufactured flavor to it. I don't think it detracts from the overall flavor. (388 characters)

Photo of Bunman3
4.39/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

765 mL bottle, poured into a tulip glass. I paired this beer with Christmas brunch - ham, French toast, and Brie cheese. In short, this is an amazing beer. It looks great in the glass and the flavours are incredible. Subtle fruits, delicate pepper, and a dry clean finish. This is easily the lightest tasting Farmhouse Ale I've enjoyed, in the best possible way! (362 characters)

Photo of Jacobob10
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2014 version poured into a tulip glass. Clear, gold in color with a fluffy white head that dissipates pretty quickly. Tons of orange in the aroma with a peppery spice. The flavor has a white wine quality to it that really defines this beer for me. Very tart in the finish with some of the spice lingering. Light to medium bodied, fizzy and effervescent. A really unique and tasty beer. (385 characters)

Photo of crob3888
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautifully pale golden yellow with a fluffy head that quickly dissipates. A plethora of tiny bubbles rise to the top of the glass. The beer smells of belgian spice and yeast, with some slight citrus. The taste is where the citrus tart and fruit comes out, complimenting the belgian yeast and spice character. Pears, green apples, and green grapes. The slightest hint of orange peel. Mildly tart dry aftertaste with a tiny bit of funk. Creamy and bubbly like a champagne. Immensely drinkable. A standout saison for my money. (532 characters)

Photo of Haydn-Juby
3.71/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Based off week old memories.

L: Golden color. Cloudy as sediment enters the glass. Creamy white head.

S: Cab Sauv grapes on the nose. Not overpowering but it lets you know it's there. A bit of citrus as well. Some belgian style yeast.

T: Not as complex as I thought it was going to be. A bit of citrus. A touch of bready pale malt. Some very slight vinous flavors. A slight citrus zest as well. Slight belgian ester profile, pear and apple would not be inaccurate flavor descriptors.

F: Nicely carbonated. bubbly and dry finishing.

O: I feel as though this one is over hyped. It looks fancy and comes from Goose Island so I can understand why, also know that this is just my personal opinion. Not quite as peppery as what I think a Saison should be, but it's pretty decent overall. (788 characters)

Photo of tillmac62
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 BOD 8/7/14. Pours a clear light amber (golden, champagne). Massive head volume, world class lacing and retention. Light, but complex, nose of Belgian like yeast, sweet light fruit (pear, grape, apple) and just a hint of spice. Light medium body with a nice smooth texture made a bit prickly from the above normal carbonation level. Effervescence is evident throughout. The flavor profile is quite nice. Extremely complex, very well balanced but not overly intense, it allows all flavors of the nose to emerge. It begins with the fruit, then develops a white wine like note in the middle coupled with a bit of dryness. The finish is where the farmhouse character emerges with an ever so slight peppery funk that fades into a mild tart dryness. Outstanding and an excellent entry choice for the Saison style. (821 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

August 2013 Vintage.
Look: Champagne color indeed with load of carbonation. Thick swath of white small-bubbled head.
Smell: Not of a ton of depth but very nice sweet citrus, a little tart, a little yeasty.
Taste: Much like the nose. Not a lot happening but very nice.
Overall: Very nice. Gonna have to grab some and cellar. (323 characters)

Photo of chefhatt
4/5  rDev -2.7%

bottle from 2012
very nice yellow color body with a fizzy head
aroma peppery, and a little citrus
taste is kinda of winey but with a little pepper and citrus to it
mouthfeel is smooth and is very enjoyable (205 characters)

Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours hazy golden color with a thin carbonated head. Head retention is minimal. Lacing is mild. Has that typical sour fruit, Belgian yeast, farmhouse funk aroma. Very pleasing. Belgian yeast taste, quickly followed by a spicy, clove/coriander taste. Carbonation is high. Nice farmhouse funky aftertaste. Very good Farmhouse Ale. Definitely one of the best. (366 characters)

Photo of TangTKE402
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Poured from a wine bottle into a chalice. Frothy white head about 1-finger thick settles into a nice white blanket of foam. The color is a cross between champagne and cider, with a clear effervescence and a white grape color with and orange tint around the edges. Strong orange peel and white pepper aromas with some coriander and lemon zest thrown in. A bit yeasty and bready with a brut note or two on the nose as well. Flavors of bright citrus and spice, like candied orange peels. The up-front bubbles complements the tartly dry flavors and the beer finishes crisp and sweet with a bit of a tart aftertaste. Notes of cloves, allspice, coriander, pepper, oranges, bread, and green grapes round out the flavors. The feel is marked by bubbly effervescence that is truly aggressive, but in a pleasant way. Much more of a champagne feel than beer woth a bit more juicy tartness on he swallow. Overall this is a killer take on a farmhouse ale, going all-in on the flavor and feel notes that make the farmhouse ale so different from other Belgian styles. Nice work! (1,062 characters)

Photo of Mikus
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden, clear and sparkling... whitish haze of head with tiny bubbles.Delicate aromas with hints of spice/funk, delicious pineapple and citrus, and some mild breadiness. Clean pineapple notes in the taste, funk city... just a hint of alcohol. Smooth, almost like a bubbly white wine. Nice, funky aftertaste. Haven't been disappointed by a GI lady yet! (351 characters)

Photo of BethanyB
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: A pale apricot color, with brilliant clarity. The head .however, is not much more than a fizzy, white film.

Smell: The faint aroma is undeniably similar to Chardonnay. Oakiness mixes with light fruit that is both tart and sweet, such as pears and Granny Smith apples. If I had been blindfolded, I probably would have thought I was sniffing a light, white wine.

Taste: Like a well-balanced mixture of hard cider and champagne. This is a beer even your grandmother would love. Sweet, spicy, tangy, and elegant, with no obvious hoppy or malty flavors to put off the most stubborn of "beer haters."

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp, with satiny elegance. Plenty of carbonation brings dryness to the finish.

Overall: I can see how others would see this as being a delectable, masterpiece of a beer. There's no denying that it's a delicious and lovely concoction. I'm personally not planning on seeking it out in the future, however, because I like my beer to taste like beer. Don't get me wrong--I'm more than aware of the incredibly wide variety of flavors beer can produce. This brew, however, felt like it was wearing TOO good of a champagne costume. I missed my old friend. (1,181 characters)

Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 976 ratings.