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Sofie - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,016 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,016
Hads: 4,135
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 20.49%
Wants: 220
Gots: 961 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States | website

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: 1,016 | Hads: 4,135
Photo of DaveHS
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I wanted to review a bottle of the 02/11/11 dated batch, as it was listed as a recalled bottle on Goose Island's website. Hoping for some nice sour/funky action. My number scores pertain to the original review, as they refer to the non-recalled version.


A-Pours hazy blonde with a quarter inch of bubbly off white head. Leaves minimal soapy lacing.

S-Wonderful vinous fruity notes of sweet wine grapes, blackberries, and barnyard funk.Citrus fruit skin dryness and white pepper.

T/M-There's a little fruity tartness in the back end, but other than that it doesn't seem too different from what I remember. It's less crisp, and a little funkier maybe. Apricot, white wine grapes, and a hint of green apple. The finish falls apart a little bit. It suffers from not being quite as dry as previous batches. Otherwise, very nice.

O-Preferred the nose on this batch, but the previous batch I reviewed was superior.

Review from 05/23/10

Pours a hazy, straw color with a
fluffy, off white head. Excellent lacing and

The nose has lot of funk up front,
earthy aromas of band aids and old leather.
These pull back to reveal light touches of
zested orange and fresh cut grass. This is
what a saison should be, a beer that conjures
images of farmland and rustic living.

The first sip is prickly, and reveals dry Amarillo
hops and notes of orange peel. Musty and
sweet mid-palate, with flavors of banana,
white grape, and clove. The finish is funky
and lingering, with a layer of drying
hoppiness. The carbonation is really
impressive in this one, right on the line
between prickly and crisp. It's a big part of
why all these flavors come through
individually before they melt together. One
of the best American saisons I've ever had.

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Photo of AJacob81
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a fluted tulip from a 12-oz. bottle.

A - Pure gold, with a moderate amount of obfuscating haze. A thick, cream-like white head of 3 fingers forms and is retained through most of the drink, leaving intricate lacing. A beauty.

S - Tangy lemon tart and orange rind, sourdough malts, and crisp white wine.

T - Sweet, tart citrus and banana bread are ascendant at first. Flavorful, slightly peppery hops in the finish.

M - Fantastic. Bubbly champagne, silky and fizzy on the tongue. Perfect for the style.

D - Compelling, but a sipper, despite the reasonable 6.5% ABV.

My favorite of Goose Island's Belgian brews so far.

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

Picked up a 22oz bomber at Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido and poured it into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a hazy straw-like hue with a decent head and small amounts of lacing.

S: Sour grain, sweet banana, strong malt with a faint smell of bitter hops.

T: Pretty on point with the nose - the hop is a little bit more noticeable in the flavor than it was in the smell, tropical fruit, with a sweet grainy finish.

M: Medium bodied and smooth with good carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. I only picked up one bottle, but wished I had a couple more.

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Photo of akorsak
4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to autumnaldave for this 650 mL bomber from the 2009 release.

A: The saison is effervescent, pouring with lots and LOTS of bubbles. The first pour alone yielded 4 fingers of dense head in my tulip. The billowy head receded quickly though, leaving little lace behind. Underneath the head, the saison is sparkling, a golden yellow that is more clear than hazy.

S: I'm really digging the nose. It's citrusy, lemony like Sorachi Ace, with a dash of funk lingering near the end. Freshly cracked pepper is a sharp contrast to the sweetness. Orange peel adds another citrusy dimension. If I had to, I'd call it award-winning.

T: Oh sweet mercy! I am in love, flat out love. Orange peel starts things off, sweet fleshy fruit. The orange zest is a meme oft repeated throughout the ale. Initially is matches with cracked peppercorns, spicy with some heat. There isn't as much funk as the nose indicated, instead a yeasty anise bite stands in. The ale is champagne-like, the effervescence lightening up the ale substantially. As a sip is swallowed, the Belgian yeast is most evident with dry fruits and more anise. Orange peel, and the peel is most noticeable here, pops up again as the lingering flavor.

M: The bubbly champenoise style does the ale justice, smoothing over any weak spots while prolonging the orange peel sweetness. The saison is contrasting, wild with sweet and sour, spciy and dry flavors. Stunning.

D: The saison is moderate strength-wise, but complex enough that I don't mind. Orange peel is a key addition, lifting the beer above most all other saisons that I've had. A beautiful ale.

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Photo of crossovert
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber. 2010 vintage. Bottled 02/19/10, bottle 1632.

Pours a hazy golden peach color with a small foamy white head that dissipates quickly. It leaves a little lace but not much.

It has a clean, typical scent for the style. It is definitely in the style of Saison DuPont. It has an abundance of fruitiness atop a slight mustiness form the yeast. It has a farmhouse scent, but not an overpowering one. It is still a young beer though.

The taste follows the nose, but with a heightened fruitiness. It has a lot of lemony tartness. It pretty much is a lemony bread. It tastes like the countryside. There is a bit of banana and clove int he aftertaste. Not much funk in the taste though.

The mouthfeel is a bit over carbonated but it makes for a refreshing beer. This one is supremely drinkable, it is the perfect summer beer.

Overall this is a great one from Goose Island. This is the quintessential flavor I look for in a Saison.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My first Goose Island... picked up while on bidniz in AZ.

22oz to pint glass at about 45 degrees?

Awesome pour - 2f of crisp, white head over top of a totally murky light yellow body. Some visible carbonation, and the head faded to a nice perma-film.

Nice floral aromas, with a light Bretty funk, and some sweet spices.

Fairly crisp in the mouth, with an exceptional smoothness going down. Flavors of lemon zest, straw, and a little coriander. Slight acidity and minor funky goodness.

This is refreshing as hell and a real winner for the summer heat.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Nice white head and thick lacing. Golden straw color.

Lightly spiced. Slight funkiness to the beer. Some lemon flavors in there as well. Very easy to drink.

Taste is frankly complex enough to warrant a higher score, but it helps make this an easy-drinker. And there's nothing wrong with that.

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

Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale (Saison), ABV 6.5%, 25 IBU, hopped with Amarillo, brewed with Pilsner and wheat malts and fermented with wild yeasts (Brett included), and aged in oak wine barrels with 20lbs of orange zest per barrel. $8.49 for a 22oz bomber at Wine Palace in Dearborn.

Pours out to a hazy pale golden with a tall soapy white head with average retention and very good lacing. Carbonation is moderately brisk. The aroma is very nice, with plenty of Brett up front, followed by oranges, vanilla, spicy floral hops, and the definite oak presence of a chardonnay. The mouthfeel is tart and crisp with a light body. The taste opens up with piquant acidity of the brett and that traditonal farmhouse barnyard smell, followed by a nice wheat cracker middle, mild well balanced floral bitterness, a spritzy light flavor of the orange zest, and a light astringency in the aftertaste. No off flavors.

This is an exceptionally well made Saison and it is true to style. It is exceptionally rare that Goose Island disappoints. I would gladly buy this again, especially to introduce someone to the style. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of shortysdude285
4.62/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light hue with a good amount of carbonation. Head is present due to a good amount of carbonation. Bubbles rising similar to champagne.

Smell is fresh, slightly floral and oh so refreshing

Taste is great, hit the Belgian taste nail right on the head

I could drink a lot more of this if I had it. It just became available in California last week so hopefully I'll be seeing more of it around.

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Photo of professorninja
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this at a concert with my wife (Crooked Still). After a couple of bourbon and sprites, I split a 22 oz. of Sofie with the lady.

A - I was tipsy, and it was dark, so I can only assume it looked good.

S - It smelled pretty good. Clean, maybe citrusy?

T - The taste was incredible. Sweet, almost bready. It had the tang of a belgian style ale, but it wasn't sour.

M - I'm not a huge fan of this style, I don't like a lot of big bubbles. The feel was good for what it was.

D - Low ABV, so I could see drinking a few of these (I knew I wanted more after the first, but this is a pricey beer).

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Photo of smcolw
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Impressive huge white head that recedes in a rocky fashion. Cloudy, straw color.

Belgian yeast aroma with a light malt/wheat touch.

Lemony, with a strong shot of yeast. Flowery and biting in the swallow. Light hop. Short aftertaste. Neutral mouthfeel. A good saison to try with others.

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

Pale straw yellow in color with a nice, slight haze. Head is blinding white, not huge but retains very well and leaves fairly thick lace on the glass.

A delicate and completely spring-like smell. Immensely floral. Gentle lemon; white wine; dandelion; faint white pepper; touch of gin. Also, something like pilsner malt, crisp and crackly and recalling Duvel. Balanced and totally delightful.

Fruity flavor mostly, giving flashes of lemon, white grape/white raisin, orange zest and crisp green apple. Trace of earth/funk. Still get a nice pilsner vibe with the malt, and there's a succulent, refreshing white wine character, maybe in part from the barrels that 20% of this was aged in? I also dig the sweet doughy element, presumably from the yeast.

Buoyant, round, gentle, creamy mouth, made of tons of tiny bubbles that tickle and tingle but mostly caress.

This is a wonderful thing, and along with Matilda, proves Goose Island's talents for brewing fine Belgian-style beers. So very easy to kick back with on a beautiful southern California Friday afternoon here at Tranquility Base. Over 'n' out.

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

Bomber (bottled 1/29/10) poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Sofie is a straw yellow with a large, fluffy white head leaving chunks of foamy lace.

Smell is great, pithy lemon rind, limes, a bit of yeast, hint of brett. Quintessential saison, I could do with lest of the doughy yeast character, but otherwise very good. A sulfur component opens up a bit with air, on the palate as well.

Taste is similar, a fruity, dry yeasty saison, very little funk. The orange peel is noticeable without dominating. Clean finish but big flavor, yet highly quaffable.

Mouthfeel is on the drier side, not as spritzy as I expected from the smell, the yeast gives it some heft, even though it's on the clearer side, appearance wise.

Drinkability is pretty good, this was a really tasty saison. Not sure that I really got anything from the wine barrel aging that was 20% of the blend, and while I think there is brett in this, it's subtle if so. Not a big fan of aged saisons, but this one may develop some secondary characteristics over time, but the 5 years suggested on the label is probably a stretch.

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Photo of ZX6Chris
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Straw/golden color, very light and hazy. Lots of carbonation produce a big head at first. It settles to a couple bubbles around the rim of the glass.

S-A little barnyard funk, just enough to add character, I get a little rotten egg(that's just my impression). A little sweet and fruity, definitely belgian.

T-The rotten egg follows through with the taste. Folloowed by fruity and maybe a little citrus. Spicy. I don't get the wine barrel taste anywhere. Not dry enough yet. The bottle says it ages well over 5 years. I'd love to revisit this once a year.

M-Light mouthfeel and well carbonated.

D-I love belgians so I love this beer. It's got everything I want. For me this is a great example of a Saison without being too crazy.

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

2009 edition, bottled October 23.

Thanks to OHLRangers for the chance to split this with my dad and sister. We all really liked this one, dad in particular.

a: This was a pale, light straw color. It poured with a medium sized fizzy head. The champagne like carbonation was long lasting.

s: The zesty citrus coming out of the glass is very enticing. This is backed up nicely by a touch of barnyardy brett and some prickly pepper.

t: Dry, light, and refreshing overall, just the way I like my saisons. The wine barrel effect was subtle and possibly entirely psychosomatic. The brett character was noticeable, but it was deftly handled and didn't overwhelm the fresh tasting citrus peel. The finish brought out a little spicy pepper and clove. Just outstanding overall.

m: The long lasting prickly carbonation was pretty much perfect for this beer. The dry finish lingered for a long while.

d: Just an exceptionally made saison. I would love to be able to find this locally. Thanks again Ed, I've wanted to try this since I first heard about it.

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

A: Light yellow, slightly hazy, moderate head, little lacing.

S: Grapes, spices, and enticing brettanomyces. Brett is such an inviting aroma.

T: Very crisp with white grapes, orange and/or orange peel, white wine. The wild yeast is tasty and well integrated into the overall flavor.

M: Very crisply carbonated. Nice feel.

D: A tasty beer that I really enjoyed. I'll buy this if I see it and I'd certainly drink it again.

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Photo of bum732
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy straw yellow, decent bubbly head that dissipates. Smells of traditional clove like spice, some chardonnay notes, orange, slight doughy wheat. Tastes of clove-like malt, clean sweetness, subtle wine and orange notes, some pepper. Spicy bitterness with a very clean finish. High carbonation, very crisp.

A solid beer, a little bland in my book, i was hoping for a little more orange and chardonnay notes to come through. Very carbonated, great for a hot day.

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Photo of Sixofsigmas
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light yellow with a bountiful white lacing head.

Smells wonderful: a mix of belgian yeasts, lemon, some notes of spice, sort of an acidic vinegar(which I like), earthy...

Taste is slightly sour, lemon, smooth malt, peppery, some other spice that I don't recognize, bit of booze warmth, sort of a rural funk.

Mouth is smooth with medium carbonation/body with an alcohol heat at the end.

Very drinkable. Very enjoyable. Will be interesting what this is like as my other bottles age. I really like the work Goose Island puts into their brews.

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Photo of flexabull
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage, bottled 2/19/10.

Pours a bright and slightly cloudy gold color with a nice big white head.

Aromas are great, light spices, lemon zest, hints of cider vinegar, and some candy sweetness.

Taste is dry, crisp, and with a general light sourness. Notes of lemon, citrus, clove, coriander, and light hints of oak. Finish adds a hint of bitterness, and really easy alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is very nice, full feel, smooth, and with a great carbonation zing.

Drinkability is very good. This is an interesting take on the Saison style, but it sure is tasty.

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Photo of billab914
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Lost Abbey stemware. Poured a light gold straw color with a thick bubbly white head. The head faded but left some nice lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma has a peppery, yeasty spice to it along with a lemony, orange citrus flavor. It has a little bit of a grape aroma to it as well. It has a nice balanced and flavorful aroma to it.

The taste has a sharp acidic citrusness to it with lemon and orange both coming through in the flavors. It has a bit of a dry grape flavor coming through as well. It has bit of peppery spiciness to it that comes through more in the finish.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with above average carbonation that is a little sharp on the tongue. Drinkability is good, it's a very nice Belgian ale. It was nicely balanced with some very good flavors.

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

Pours a two finger white head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Good carbonation and light-medium bodied. Cloudy light yellow color. Nose is citrus. Flavor is sweet and sour citrus, hints of yeast. Good summer beer. Bottled 12/11/2009. $8.45 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

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Photo of emsroth
2.97/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz bottle, bottled 12/11/09

App: straw golden with a fluffy head. Medium cloudiness. For some reason, I feel like this looks a little light colored for a saison which bothers me. Hence the 3.5.

Smell: Tart and funky with a hint of spice. Sour grapes, plum skin, hint of oat-like grain, and a touch of pepper. A rather tart aroma that has me excited to try the brew--rather curious how the flavor will match.

Taste: A quick bite of carbonation and fruity funk followed by a long, slow malt. A slight wine sharpness is the middle. Very dry with a kick of grassy, herbal hops. The flavor seems to fall flat and the light body doesn't back up the flavors that are present.

It's got some nice qualities, but something about this beer falls flat for me.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.51/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, dated 2/19/10. Pours a hazy straw yellow with a smallish creamy white head that retains well and leaves a lot of lacing. There's lots of tiny little floaties suspended.

The aroma is peppery spices and some musty yeast with a little banana.

The flavor is sweet bready malts, with some spices and earthy yeast and a little banana. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lots of spritzy carbonation that subsides some as it sits.

Overall, a nice saison. A little too sweet and too much banana for me.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle $7. I bought this after reading the description, the label was nice also. It was a nice orange color in the glass and smelled a little floral and kind of odd. The taste was nice like a saison but with a definite orange flavor to it, the peels really shined in this beer. This was so damn easy to drink, nice beer.

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Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: It poured clear light yellow into a snifter glass with a large, white foamy head. A moderate level of carbonation is evident from the rising bubbles.
S: The nose has some funky citrusy, floral and sour aromas. It's not quite what you would expect from a typical saison.
T: Orangey flavors really stand out in the taste, along with some notes of spices.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and very smooth from the level of carbonation.
D: This beer is a good sipper yet is also refreshing at the same time.

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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 1,016 ratings.