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Sofie - Goose Island Beer Co.

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977 Reviews
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Reviews: 977
Hads: 3,958
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 9.25%
Wants: 198
Gots: 874 | 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: 977 | Hads: 3,958
Photo of schanker21
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Hazy orange with a foamy, frothy white head

S- Orange, lemon, grapefruit, wheat, pine, Belgian!

T- See the smell. Very good, yeast in there too as a Belgian does have.

M/D- Overall excellent. Very smooth, very drinkable, very tasty. I was pleasantly surprised that despite having a pretty bad cold, the smell and taste really shone through on this beer. Another good Belgian-style beer from GI. Say what you want about their regularly-released beers, these Belgians are goood. (483 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 22 oz. bottle, courtesy of mrkanable (thanks, Matt!), poured to a small, tapered tasting glass from last spring's 'Portland's Cheers to Belgian Beers' - appropriate, I thought. To go with the 'black' beer I had earlier, now a 'gold' one - y'know for my Saints...Who Dat!

'Bottled: JUL 17', so a little shy of 7 months. '80% Belgian Style Ale Blended with 20% Belgian Style Ale Aged in Wine Barrels with Orange Peel'

A: I could see the resting sediment at the bottom of the bottle and poured carefully enough, yet a swirling snowflake whirlwind resulted inside this straw/pale yellow pour. I guess that yeasty haze lends some 'farmhouse' cred to this mid-western US saison. Terrific carbonation in billowing cascades, rising to a 1-finger clump of lumpy white cream. Coating lace in gauzy sheets.

S: Oh, wow, does this smell good! That 'rustic' hay/grass/spice-blend of Belgian-styled yeasts and malts. After the initial excitement, mellows to a simpler lemon and dusty pepper coating on wheat, still good.

T: Lemon zest, doughy yeast, grassy hops, peppery and spicy dryness in the finish. The vagueness of the barrel-aging (white grape, woody, slight vanilla) and the added orange peel (mild sweetness, yet a tang) lend a 'breakfast scone' quality.

M: Crisp and airy, yet some chewy/grainy girth to back it up. Effervescent lightness inside a medium body; pleasant grainy coating that holds its spice, tingling on the tongue.

D: Wonderful drinker: as refreshing a saison as one could find outside of Belgium or France. A well-done version of the style, worth seeking. (1,577 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

Pours a hazy yellow with a large white head. The aroma is wheat with some Belgian yeast. The flavor is lemon, orange, wheat, light funk and some Belgian yeast. Some other fruit flavors are present including apples.Thin mouthfeel and high carbonation. (297 characters)

Photo of Gmann
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy pale straw color with a fluffy pure white head that slowly settles. The brew kind of has a greenish hue. The aroma is sweet and spicy. Sweet from what appears to be candi sugar, with a nice floral yeasty spice. Light coriander and clove, some funk and horse blanket. The taste has a noticable horse blanket flavor, subtle coriander and green apple. Has a nice earthy/raw quality to it. The flavor is not very strong but it is very nice. The feel is light and crisp, sweet and floral with a light lemony pucker in the end. Pretty spot on for the flavor of the saisons that I like, not too funky but with nice yeasty flavors. (636 characters)

Photo of Beerisheaven
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Have had this one sitting around for the past couple of months and decided to have this with garlic turkey meatballs with carmelized onions.

A - Be careful pouring this one as it is quite carbonated. Pours a hazy yellow color with an ample fizzy head quickly rising up.

S - Pretty consistent with style and nothing extra ordinary. Lemon and other citrus along with a yeasty smell.

T - Follows the nose and is quite pleasant for the style. Citrus taste and yeast dominate with a slight pepper tinge thrown in to boot.

M - Fizzy and carbonated.

D - Good for the style and quite easy to drink. Would make for a nice summer night relaxing outside.

Good but would not go out of the way to pick up. (698 characters)

Photo of Patrick999
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Home from work early on a warm January afternoon, it seemed like a good time to take Sofie on a date. I'd been out with her once before but didn't get around to a review. 2009 release.

Poured into a tulip glass with the high white foam you'd expect. Clear-ish white gold - very attractive.

Aroma is of slightly sour apple and musty peach crate, apricot. Has a tangy aroma.

When I first had this, I did *not* think "saison," but now I do. It had seemed like a Belgian Strong Pale with orange peel and white pepper, but now it seems to have picked up a lot more farmhouse character. It's a lot more fruity than I remember, with quite a bit of musty, slightly tart stonefruit. It's still peppery, but the pepper is no longer dominant. Citrusy hop in the back end....or is that orange peel? Probably the latter. It seems as though the bitter orange is more the active bittering agent here than hops. It does bring it to a very dry finish. Real tasty stuff.

When this was fresh, I thought it a bit overcarbonated, but at this point in Sofie's evolution, it has softened somewhat while still remaining appropriately spiky. No real complaint here.

It's funny, this is kinda what I thought Matilda would taste like, but didn't. Matilda is the slightly stuck-up, more refined older sister, Juliet is the young, effervescent red-headed cheerleader. Sofie is more the smart-ass semi-tomboy girl who gets straight As but doesn't seem like she's trying very hard at it, plays soccer, and isn't afraid to spice up her language with a few F-bombs every now and again. Out of the 3 "Women of Goose Island," I think Sofie has the most personality. Recommended if you like: saisons, Jolly Pumpkin, spicy Belgian blondes (and the beers too). (1,731 characters)

Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from Bottle into Pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with a booming fizzy white head that never full dissolves and leaves heavy lacing down the glass. The aroma is belgian yeast, bitter citrus, oak and almost comes across like a glass of chardonnay. The flavor is sweet and has more citrus and oaky flavors and is slightly bitter with a dry finish. Its a light bodied beer with lively carbonation. Elegent, light, and quite enjoyable. (454 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle, "Bottled on 12-11-09" Typed onto the label, $7.99 at Whole Foods Bowery, NYC. Pours quite light, yellowy and clear, the head is eggshell, initially quite impressive, slow morph to meraingue and 1/2 inch froth, leaves the expected quality, thicker and sticky lace. The nose is loaded with lemony fruit, yeasty nuttyness and general Belgian style spiced up yummyness. The final pour is yeast infused and produces a cloudy look. Notes on the tongue and mouth include more yeasty nuttyness, moderate pepper, tropical fruit, and hoppy herbaliciousness. Simply yummy. Complex, flavorful, delicate yet full of flavor and interest. Huge ups for the quality take on the style. A bargain price for this high qality brew. Wish I picked up 2 or more bottles, which sums things up.. (784 characters)

Photo of BetterDarker
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ouncer poured into tulip glass.

A- Bright yellow, quite clear from the first pour, second glass poured slightly hazy. Nice creamy foam head with a bit of retention.

S- Solid aroma with up front lemon and orange citrus aroma.

T- Solid citrus and the yeast shines through. Bready, tart, and almost bubblegum but restrained enough to not over power. Lots going on here, and they all work together well.

M- Well carbonated, crisp and dry. Very refreshing.

D- Love it, will grab another bottle of this for sure, (514 characters)

Photo of Gtreid
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009, 22 oz. bomber poured into my Stone RIS tulip.

A: Slightly cloudy, pale yellow color. The pour created a huge three finger head that receeds and leaves thick lace.

A: Big orange, banana, and pear. Oak, grassy hops, and belgin yeast are also very prominent. Really, pretty nice for the style.

T: YUM! Great fruity flavors are meshing perfectly with the wine and oak barrels. The belgian yeast is not overpowering, just adds to the complexity and great flavors. Finishes sharp, acidic, and sweet all at the same time. No hint of the ABV.

M: Hefty amount of carbonation delivers the flavors nicely. Light to medium body.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is great. The low ABV with the great fruity, oak flavors are just superb. Overall, I am pretty impressed with Sofie. Probably one of the better Saisons I've had. Seek it out. Skal. (847 characters)

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to a tulip from a 22oz bottle (2009 vintage).

A - Pours a light gold color with some slight haze. It pours with a nice frothy white head that is slow to recede and has nice densely packed bubbles.

S - Very nice sweet malt hints, some grainy bready hints that quickly turn into nice clove like spiciness with some pepper as well. Very nice sweet fruit aromas, like pear and grapes. Some mild banana as well as some yeasty quality comes through. Very nice. I cant pick up on any hop character except for some at the end.

T - Tart flavors initially with some yeasty powders as well. followed by some grain character that is interlaced with some clove sweetness. There is also some mild fruit hints as the smell indicates. It is a very complex brew which you might not expect from the appearance. As it warms the flavors evolve and come alive. The tartness comes through even more as it warms and there is ample yeast character. Very good stuff. There is some mild hop character at the end with some slight bitterness and some dryness that leaves the tongue dry and clean.

M - Complex, medium bodied brew with nice falvors all over and a good CO2 content.

D - Very high and enjoyable brew. Lower ABV. (1,212 characters)

Photo of thekevlarkid
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Out of a bottle this beer was a hazy, light golden color with a cap of bright white head. The collar retention was good and the lacing was good as well. The aroma was fresh, pleasant and bright. I detected citrus zest, crystal malt, an array of spices and floral hops. The flavors were very zesty with so much citrus, especially grapefruit, that it was difficult to pull much more out of it at first. The yeast and malt characters were harder to discern but I did get a general doughiness along with a pleasant yet bitter floral hops finish. No doubt a great summer beer complete with a medium body, light/medium carbonation and smooth mouthfeel. Quaffable, acidic enough to pair well with food and very sessionable. Try it, like it. (733 characters)

Photo of matthewsteven
4.58/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz 2009 bottle poured into a tulip glass at a french place in Chicago.

Appearance- Cloudy, lemon yellow with a small, lasting head.

Smell- earthy, cut-grass smell with some lemon zest and a bit of spice at the end of the nose.

Taste- clean, a bit spicy, with big grapefruit and lemon flavors, refreshing and light.

mouthfeel- very lively carbonation, a pretty active beer.

drinkability- very clean, bubbly beer, refreshing and fruity. made for a very good contrast to the peppercorn steak i had for dinner. quite enjoyable.

overall, i was pretty impressed. i'd been wanting to try this one for awhile, but i couldn't seem to find it. it was a bit on the pricey side ($11) so hard to justify a second one at the time, but the next time i see this on a beer list i'll be sure to have it again. (799 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours an unfiltered lemon yellow with a foamy, bright dense white head with moderate lacing and light retention, nothing exceptional. Strong citrus and yeast aroma, smells like a blue moon with a large piece of fruit in it basically (not that I would honestly have any idea what that smells like). Medium full body with effervescent carbonation and fruity, dry finish. Body has strong grain and malt basis with a nice balance of spice and fruit (orange peel, coriander, pepper, lemon zest, grape, etc). A nice refreshing saison, but something is lacking in character and complexity to get this again at this price for a bomber. (662 characters)

Photo of ghostee
3.87/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 650ml bottle into a pint glass. Pours a pale hazy yellow color with about an inch of head after a gentle pour.

Smells a bit yeasty, with a strong citrus smell, orange and lemon.

Taste is again, citrus, predominantly orange and lemon. Yeasty, and a tad sour, but not bad at all.

The feel is quite carbonated and bubbly, feels light on the tongue.

This is a tasty, easy drinking beer, that would probably be great to drink outdoors on a nice summer day. Not a great beer, but a good beer. (504 characters)

Photo of DoppleJock
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 pt. 6 oz. bottle poured into tulip glass.
Bottling Date: 10/23/2009.

A: Poured a cloudy lemony-yellow. 3-inch head with lots of lacing afterward.

S: Tart citrus scents with some hints of yeast. Nice smell.

T: Tastes even better than the smell. Semi-dry citrus flavors with a mild tart aftertaste.

M: Full-bodied. Nice carbonated feel.

D: Like this one a lot. Wish I had bought two bottles of this. (416 characters)

Photo of peabody
3.57/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a really cloudy pee yellow with two fingers of very foamy white suds. Lacing appears around the rim of the glass.
Smell is good. Lots of spices and sharp yeast strains along with a lemon pledge sort of perfume quality.
Taste is a little weak but still it has all the ingredients needed in a farmhouse.
The aftertaste is like a cloudy mess of sugars and stale beer.
Drinkability is OK but this one could be lots better. (428 characters)

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a cloudy and muted light yellow with a thin and fizzy white head.

Aroma of Belgian yeast, lemon, clove and a bit of barnyard funk.

The taste is both slightly sweet and slightly sour with lemon, Belgian yeast, cracker, clove and green apple.

Lighter bodied, tart and dry, with a sharp, fizzy carbonation.

A nice Saison from the folks at Goose Island. Quite tasty and well-balanced. (407 characters)

Photo of champ103
3.59/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a cloudy yellow color. A one finger white head forms, and recedes in a second. No lace.
S: Funky barnyard and yeast. Ripe fruits of apples, oranges, and bananas. A zesty and peppery spice.
T: Sweet fruit of oranges and bananas. Some spicy flavors and yeast.
M/D: A medium body and high carbonation. Dry and crisp. Not hard to drink. I can finish the bomber with no problem.

Not bad, just one dimensional. I think I was expecting a little more, not my favorite of the style or brewery. (495 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A - Murky, hefe like body, light straw. Stark white head, leaves to disk pretty fast, lots of sudsy lace.

S - Barnyard funk mostly. Malt is sneaking around in the back.

T - Sour apples, barn funk and a surprising amount of sweet malt mixes together.

M - Good carb, good coating and nice mix. Good balance and begs for another sip.

D- I am really starting to dig this style of beer. (391 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Goose Island Sofie

Clouded, "white", prodigious head, lively and lovely.

Beautiful, spicy aromatics, coriander, ginger, clove....bright and sprightly.

Spice hits the palate right up front, very spritzy, with delightful spice...Mmmm, smooth,wheaty, easy-drinking, delicious....nice, grainy/grassy texture. Some malty, spicy flavor, then all is smooth...

Spice never quits, never never flags...really great saison! (416 characters)

Photo of Jayli
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer pours a hazy straw yellowish color. A two finger of pristine white frothy head. Head retains nicely and leaves ample sheeting of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is of belgian yeast, wheat, lemon citrusy notes, and a bit of pepper.

T: Taste starts with an overflow of belgian yeast, and lemon zest. Middle is filled out nicely with wheat, clove, and pepper. This finish is full of hints of sweetness, touch of apple flavoring, hint of pear mingled with a light hop bite to it.

M: Lighter side of medium body, medium carbonation, crisp body with a slightly dry yet chewy finish.

D: NIcely balanced, flavors play very well off one another. Goes down easily and very tasty. I wish I had this on a warm, humid summer day. It's a perfect summertime brew. (764 characters)

Photo of morimech
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled July 17, 2009

Poured into my Duvel tulip. Clear, light golden in color with a very large white head that slowly settles to a thick cap. Light lacing is left on the glass. The second pour from the bottle resulted in a slight haze as the yeast gets mixed in. Light vinous qualities in the aroma with hints of white grapes. Yeast phenols add some spice kick but overall the aroma is a bit understated. Things pick up with the flavor. More of the spice comes into play. Hints of cloves and pepper. Slightly fruity. Finishes extremely dry. Not a flavor that I would call rustic or typical Saison. Very clean and crisp in comparison to others in the style. Light body with effervescent carbonation makes this a pleasure to drink. Feels light and airy. A nice Belgian style ale. I wonder how this beer will develope with a few years age. (839 characters)

Photo of cadizkyguy
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled June 1, 2009 and purchased at Santori's Liquors in Lansing, IL last summer, I've been sitting on this brew for a special occasion and tonite's spaghetti dinner at home (the wife makes some good pasta) is the perfect time.

Poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass. . . WOW, what an impressive head. Three inches of frothy goodness. The appearance is a winner, cloudy goodness in the glass, which smells very earthy and musty. Initial taste reminds me a a hefeweizen, lots of yeasty goodness. You can't mistake this beer for the style. I can picture some Frenchmen sitting down to a dinner of spaghetti and garlic bread with this beer in tow.

This is a nice surprise from Goose Island. I will definitely pick this one up again. (732 characters)

Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Hazy wheat yellow, pours a small near-white colored head that recedes quickly to a film of microbubbles on top

S - Wheat, peaches, and a hint of tart fruits. Some clove as well.

T - Lightly sweet belgian yeast, clove, and a hint of lemons and banana.

M - Very light and pretty thin, the carbonation could be a bit stronger for my taste.

D - Overall a good saison, but not a great one. Would drink it if handed to me, but wouldn't seek it out over many other Saisons. (477 characters)

Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 977 ratings.