Sofie - Goose Island Beer Co.

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967 Reviews
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Reviews: 967
Hads: 3,903
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 9.25%
Wants: 191
Gots: 842 | 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: 967 | Hads: 3,903
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)

Photo of allengarvin
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Just noticed I'd never reviewed this, one of my faves.

A: 3.75 - Very pale straw color, a touch hazy, with a small, airy head.
S: 4.25 - Deliciously fruity aroma, lemony, with a floral hop scent.
T: 4.5 - Great mix of flavors! Lots of fruity esters, notes of citrus as well as tart apples. Bitterness isn't overly high but it's a substantial component, with light grassy, floral hop notes. There's a slightly spicy contribution from phenols. Malt is clean, with a touch of pils taste. It's a great combation.
M: 4.25 - Light bodied, lots of carbonation
O: 4.5 - Still a winner! I first had this in Chicago about 6 years ago. It's still just as good despite their big expansion. (679 characters)

Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

765 ml large format bottle poured into a tulip glass. Slightly cloudy lemon yellow brew with a gorgeous creamy white head that retains form well, some fizzy effervescence and yeast debris floating around. Pretty beer. Wonderful nose, too ... Shockingly tropical and vinous, loads of pineapple, white grape, pear, lemon, yellow grapefruit, Juicy Fruit gum, unripe gooseberry, and dry moderately funky horse blanket. Just a hint of fresh bread. Certainly a unique farmhouse ale on nose and palate. Very quenching, dry, and sour, but with enough pear and tropical fruit to provide some balance and keep this firmly anchored outside of Orval territory (although one is tempted to draw a few comparisons). Fresh pear and pineapple galore with echoes of coriander and orange peel. Nice easy-going but still assertive brettanomyces creates an earthy dry vibe that runs parallel to the fruit element. The sour note does develop as one sips. Body on the light side, fairly high carbonation. Finishes citric, mildly floral, and bone-dry. Any malt flavor is largely buried, but if you appreciate sours or Belgian beers more generally there is much to like here. I am appreciating the meld of sweet fruit, sour fruit, and dry Belgian funk, with no one component running the show. (1,267 characters)

Photo of Agent1
4.8/5  rDev +16.8%

Appearance - Pale gold with very active carbonation. Big and bubbly, fluffy, white head. Nice lacing, but head quickly dissipates, unfortunately. Strange considering how active the carbonation races to the top.

Smell - Amazing. White grapes/ white wine and pear are very prominent. I've never had a Farmhouse Ale with so much white wine and pear on the nose. Super impressive.

Taste - Pear, pear, pear! Wow. Very distinct and most likely caused by the yeast strain? Lots of pineapple (and other tropical fruits), peaches, nectarines and an array of white wine notes. Hints of lemon and orange peel, coriander, and a clean hop profile (which I cannot seem to distinguish). Sour notes, too. This is creative and distinct.

Mouthfeel - Light and smooth. Not sticky and rich, which is quite nice for this style. You can feel this all throughout the palate. Almost watery, albeit in a good way. Almost allows this to go down more easily and keeps it fresh and light with every sip, while remaining complex in flavor. Very nice.

Overall - Extremely clean and very well-balanced. After drinking my first glass, I read the back and discovered that 20% of this blend is aged in white wine barrels, which explains the beautiful white wine and pear notes mentioned earlier. What a great beer. Very impressive. This stands out in an over-saturated market of American craft beer, no doubt about it. I am rating this extra high for its precision and creative approach. (1,459 characters)

Photo of TRiGS
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Pale yellow-straw colour pour with foamy head. Can definitely taste the wine but it's just the right amount. Citrus. Orange. Slight hints of vanilla. Excellent carbonation, almost sparkling. Very, very nice beer. (212 characters)

Photo of leaddog
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Appearance - Pours a pale straw with two fingers of foamy white head.

Smell - belgian yeast, clove, black pepper, spicy hops, citrus, orange peel, slight vinous notes.

Taste - Well blended flavours of Belgian yeast, spice, spicy hops and a bouquet of citrus. Notes of white wine are also present.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Finishes dry with the belgian yeast components lingering in the aftertaste.

Overall - An excellent Saison from Goose Island. For my first offering from these guys, this Saison is pleasantly light and citrusy. All the elements of the style blend cohesively and the notes of white wine add a nice complexity to this well executed brew. (696 characters)

Photo of ordybill
5/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a tulip glass.
Aroma- Has a great "beer" aroma of yeast and spice
Appearance- This is a light golden color with some haziness visible. Pours a thick white head;
Taste- Incredible, citrus yeast and spice, a fantastic experience
Palate- A light to medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation, A dry finish
Overall- One of the best beers I have ever had. (385 characters)

Photo of gonzo000
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%

One of the better Belgian Style beers I have had, as there is a nice blend of spices without any one taking over the show. Easy to drink - smooth with a bit of a spicy bite at the end lead by coriander but not overtaken by it. A cloudy yellow color with a 1.5 finger head on the pour. The head settles to a film on the top of the beer, but bubblies continue from the bottom throughout. Although this is not my favorite style, I would revisit this beer. (456 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev -2.7%

On-tap at 3 Cellars in Franklin, Wi:

Pours golden yellow with champagne-like effervescence and a fluffy lasting white head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of lemon, orange peel, coriander and oak/vanilla.

The taste is of orange peel, coriander, lemon and vanilla. Sweet and sour. Sourdough finish.

Light-bodied and bubbly, this is an interesting brew. A bit sweet, a bit sour/funky. A white ale/saison mix with a champagne-like character to it. (448 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.11/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

765ml bottle, WTF? Anyways, nice to see Goose Island make its way up here to Alberta, and with a brew that I've passed over way too many times on trips stateside, mostly due to price, only to encounter them now, and so agreeably tagged at that - booyah!

This beer pours a hazy, very pale golden straw colour, with three fingers of puffy, creamy, and silken eggshell white head, which leaves some sudsy coral reef lace around the glass as things apparently quickly and steadily dissolve.

It smells of perky earthy yeast, mixed orange flesh and overripe apple mush, grainy pale malt, musty white wine funk, faint white and black pepper mill output, and grassy, leafy, and weedy hops. The taste is semi-sweet grainy pale malt, a mere hint of bready caramel, pleasant in its temerity yeasty funk, still obtuse and well mixed-up citrus fruit notes, soft savoury spice (coriander, black pepper, the usual shit), a further, though lessened white wine lees dank fruitiness, and herbal, leafy hops.

The carbonation is fairly light in its frothacular renderings, the body just on the lee side of medium weight, and more smooth than anything this yeasty, or even hoppy has any God-given right to be. It finishes off-dry, the heretofore unloved graininess showing its lingering capabilities, with mucho company yet - drupe fruit, mostly neutered funk, and green forest glade hops abounding.

For a typically understated style, this possesses a whole lot of extra goodness, all of which does nothing to push things over the top, instead, everything stays right on track, even the elevated 13-proof booze. A crazily saucy and intricate saison, packaging included, from one of the last parts of the world one might expect, transnational corporation ownership aside. (1,753 characters)

Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 967 ratings.