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Sofie - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

998 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 998
Hads: 4,056
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 20.49%
Wants: 208
Gots: 912 | FT: 23
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 998 | Hads: 4,056
Photo of ChadQuest
3.27/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a massive bleached bone white head with abundant lacing lofting a fragrant floral aroma that fills the room. has a bit of orange zest with grassy/hay and flowery meadow notes, yeasty. velvety chewy mouthfeel with a light crisp carbination and this 22oz is not a problem.

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

Pours a pale straw color with a very hazy body. Topped with a two finger white head and a sour aroma and light malty aroma. The taste is also sour and is complemented with a yeasty hoarse blanket flavor. The body is light and very smooth with high carbonation and allows the flavors to dance on the palate. The finish is also sour and sweet, well balanced, and it fades slowly into clean crisp end.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep hazy beige/orangey color ale with a huge foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of medium-sweet Belgian malt with some notes of orange peel and lightly tart whine wine is quite enticing. Taste is a wonderful mix between some tart notes from the wine barrel with some refreshing notes of Curacao and a nice attenuated Belgian malt backbone. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well done overall with good drinkability factor and some good complexity.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a tulip

Pours a pale yellow with a slight haze and a fluffy, paper white cap. Excellent retention and loads of visible carbonation.

Grassy hops and soft citrus with a dominant medicinal/band aid funk. Earthy and musty with fruity, bubble gum like esters from the yeast. Spicy clove lingers.

Orange peel and grassy hops right off the bat. Bubblegum and a touch of spice. Some band aid funk is present, but never takes control. This is a rather tame wild ale in the funk department. A pleasing change of pace.

A soft, creamy mouthfeel that really grows on you as time progresses. Light bodied, a touch on the prickly side in the finish.

The drinkability on this gal is near perfect. Solid hop profile with some mild funk in tow and a light, almost effervescent body.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sofie has a light yellow, slightly murky body with about two fingers of off-white head. The retention is pretty good, the lacing is spotty.

The aroma has grassy hops, a musty/earthy saison yeast presence, some clove and a bit of orange peel. Pretty good.

The beer starts out very dry, and finishes that way too, which is good for a saison. The grassy hops are noticeable, but the beer is more peppery with a very herbal quality to it than a hoppy character. The orange peel pops in there also. Underneath that is a light, grainy malt flavor. The finish is the best part; it is dry, earthy, and musty from the saison yeast, which is exactly what I want out of a saison.

The mouthfeel disappoints me a little bit because it isn't quite lively enough. The body is light and the carbonation fairly high, but it isn't up to par with top notch saisons.

Sofie is a good beer, and I'm glad I bought a bomber. I just wish that I did not pass on the Pere Jacques. Oh well, next trip.

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

Pours a pale yellow with a big soapy head. Settled down to a nice film on top. Smells like orange peel and coriander. Tastes delicate with a great crispness. I was a bit hesitant when the bottle stated the beer is aged in wine barrels but I don't get a lot of wine flavors from this at all. It tastes like a wonderful Saison and was a great surprise.

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- enourmous cotton white head, dense but light. this could be the most expansive explosion of foam i've ever seen. with these kinds of suds, it goes without saying that head retention and lace are amazing. as it settles, the foam forms a rolling hilly snowscape and the lace is thick and soft. hazy golden amber champagne colored body with a lime greenish tint to it when backlit with white light, and honey colored by incandescent. an absolutely beautiful looking beer in any light. diggin the simple and elegant label and cap design as well.

S- very funky yeast character and rubbery earthy band-aid bitterness. some citrus could be from the orange peel or from the yeast. lemon zest, basil, green grass, clove, banana, vanilla, melon, and a hint of pear and bubblegum. some peppery spice as well.

T- immediately noticable are the additions of orange peel and amarillo hops and they are a perfect combination. ridiculously perfect. while not overly bitter, the orange/grapefruit flavors of amarillo blend exquisitely with the yeast and orange peel. banana, clove, bubblegum, band aid, farmhouse funk! old barn, basement, cement, basil, vanilla, oak, green peppercorn, cardamom, coriander, lemon, apple, pear, melon, white grape, a spatlese sweet/dry balance, and a sweet fruity finish. perfect amount of light hop flavor without being bitter, and a nice mild bitterness coming out in the finish with lingering yeast and citrus flavors.

MF- tight prickly carbonation gives way to a juicy body, soft and slick, with a crisp edge. grassy and herbal feeling with some dryness. a bit sticky on the lips. feels very natural and rustic.

D- i've been on the lookout for sofie for some time now, and i'm glad i finally found her. i've spent plenty of time with matilda, but juliet is nowhere to be found. at least pere jacques is locked up in my basement. i expected good things from sofie, and i'm more than impressed. refreshing, easy drinking, thrist quenching. a little high in alcohol for how drinkable it is. something arounf 5% would be nice, but i'm not complaining. a masterpiece of american brewing emulation, a very wise maneuver with the amarillo and orange peel, and a damn near perfect saison.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle (bottled on 12/11/09) served in a wine glass.

L - hazed yellow color with a good sized white head that settled down and left spots of lacing.
S - tart lemon zest, some earthiness and Belgian yeast.
T - lemon zest taste upfront before sour white grapes and earthy yeast hit finishing dry and slightly tart.
F - light/medium bodied with a light, crisp feel.
D - easy to drink before a meal or with a salad.

Note: it says on the bottle that this one develops in the bottle for up to 5 years. I may get a few more and see what happens with time.

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Photo of TJBurgess
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Long time beer lover,first time reviewer.

2009 Sofie, bottled October 23. Poured from a 22 oz bomber to a tulip glass.

A: Pours a beautiful yellow with a slight orange hue. 2 inches of cloud white foam covers the top. Very appeasing overall.
(Note: The second pour was slightly more cloudy and did seem to exhibit a bit more smell and flavor)

S: Fresh and fruity. Lots of orange and lemon right away. Some apricot too maybe? Smells just like it looked and I expected.

T: Again, no big surprise. Very clean and crisp. Orange off the tip, fruit and some grassy characteristics. Carbonation is still present even on the last sip. The alcohol is really hidden well, albeit only 6.5%. Overall very tasty.

M: This no more than hits the back of the tongue and has already washed itself away. This is the definition of a clean finish to me. No lingering flavors or taste, it almost feels like its cleaning my mouth!

D: Very easy to put this one down. The light finish makes going back for another sip a bit more frequent than I normally do. This is a great summertime beer that I would keep numerous bottles of.

Overall, a good example of a fresh tasting saison that is straight forward and lets you know right away what you're in for. I easily could have opened my second bottle had it not beer so late in the evening. I suggest keeping another on hand just for that situation.


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Photo of bashiba
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice orange/yellow with a thick and fluffy off white head, long lasting and leaving tons of lacing.

The smell is very nice with a big Belgian fruity yeast with hints of bubblegum and apricot.

The taste is very mild with a light subtle fruit notes, a light toasted dry grain body with a very mild slightly bit of lemony and orange peel bitterness in the finish.

Nice creamy mouthfeel with good carbonation and a nice dry finish.

Very drinkable, well done Saison, unfortunately The $8/bomber price tag will keep me from drinking to many more of these.

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

22 oz. bomber poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass (March 9, 2010). 2009 Vintage, label says it's "Bottled: OCT 23."

Eyes: Pours a slightly hazy light orange/pear color. A full bone white head form during the first pour, and I must wait to fill the glass to the 12 oz line. Very little lacing and low head retention after the initial pours.

Nose: A nice tart aroma of orange peel and a bit vinous. Smells a bit soapy also. This description probably sounds bad, but it's rather appealing.

Tongue: Tart, and the orange peel comes in again, but it's very subtle and well balanced. A bit of soft coriander spice follows this, as well as a bit of yeast. Subtly earthy with some of that classic Belgian funk.

Mouth: Crisp and smooth, leaver no residue on the palate, just some of that spice.

Libation: All the flavors are very well balanced, there is a lot going on with sofie but it's all very complimentary and no one flavor elbows any other out of the way. The whole bomber went down quickly, and I could have had another.

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Photo of morgens2
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber received in a trade from leaf from ufck. Drank 3.9.10.

Pours a slight hazy, golden yellow that looks beautiful in the glass. Thin layer of creamy, bright white head that lingers for a short time. Smells of hay, grain, orange and a slight lemon zest, with some spicy notes in the background. Taste is magnificent, one of the best saisons I've had at this point in my life. The subtle spice flavors are just at the appropriate levels where they're noticeable, but not controlling the beer. Orange, barnyard, and grassy flavors emerge the further I get into it. Light carbonation gives it a great feel and I definitely had no problem drinking a whole bomber by myself. Would be a great beer for summer afternoons.

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

June 2009 Bottle Date; Sampled October 2009
A solid pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a fat-three-finger thick, pale tan colored head. The beer is a pale honey color that shows a lightly hazed, straw gold color when held up to the light. It is amply carbonated with a whole lot of streaming bubbles flowing up through it. The aroma smells of hay, orange blossoms, orange zest, a touch of musty phenolics, lots of pale grain notes, a sort of weed like dried grassiness, some light herbal honey aromatics and a healthy grain note that becomes more prominent the more you dig into the aroma. As the beer warms the honey like note gets more prominent, though it always remains well balanced with the other aromatic notes. A touch of alcohol is also noticeable as the beer warms.

My first sip of this tastes quite dry from beginning through the end of the flavor profile. There is a grassy herbal note that lightly spices this beer as well as some spiciness that reminds me of black pepper, orange zest, some turpene like clove notes, some grassy notes that seem to taste a touch like sage.. This has a lively, peppery carbonation that provides lots of carbonic acid to the finish. This has a underlying mustiness to it and a general earthiness that makes me think that a Dupont derived strain of yeast might have been used in this beer. The flavor has a really nice pale grain, pale cracker grain character that is really quite prominent.

My second pour of this is quite murky and full of sediment. Since I don't spend so much time examining the nose, the beer is also quite a bit more carbonated, but the sediment doesn't seem to have affected the flavor too much. Both the nose and the aroma see me noticing a bit more fruitiness than before; it almost reminds me a bit of some oaked Sauvignon Blanc and / or Chardonnay grapes somehow; there are also hints of melon, pear and a suggestion of kiwi. The beer definitely is quite herbal / grassy, with perhaps a touch of yeasty wholesomeness that mixes with the crushed grain notes and provides a touch more hearty character to this otherwise light beer. Speaking of which, this beer is nice and light bodied; while dry, there is enough body to not make this seem watery at all. This has a certain palate presence that provides just a touch of fullness to this beer; it is quite nicely balanced towards being quaffable and refreshing. There is a very subtle oak influence, one that I likely wouldn't have picked out if I didn't know about it, but it does add some spiciness and some texture to this beer that wouldn't otherwise be here.

The aroma of this beer has a soft sweetness to it (the honey and orange like notes) that doesn't translate to the mostly dry flavor. I definitely like this character in my Saisons, which should be quite dry. This is a very nice beer; it has a really nice mix of flavors / aromas and is quite easy drinking. I could easily stand to have quite a few of these bottles about as these will likely age for at least another year quite well. Without having had Juliet yet, I almost wonder if this is the better beer of the two; I'll have to confirm that when I crack a bottle of Juliet. This is definitely a fantastic beer that I find quite enjoyable. My 22oz bottle of this is too quickly gone & I definitely wish I had more of these.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a lightly hazed yellow gold with a thick white head. a little lacing completes the package.
a big floral aroma hits you as soon as you pop the cap. it's citrusy, with some papery crackery yeast, pepper, a little white wine, and a dash of funk.
the taste is similar to a mild light dry white wine. sort of chardonay-like. beside some of the obvious vinous qualities, it's got citrus, tropical fruits, a touch of vanilla, the same slightly funky crackery yeast from the aroma. it's got some green apple skin, and finally some pilsener type maltiness, coupled with a little bit of begian blonde type maltiness (same thing?). pepper and and some minerals round things out
the mouthfell is medium bodied with active delicate carbonation. soft, but interesting in the mouth.
the drinkability is good, it's goes down very easily. this is a great american saison. it hits all the right notes. plenty of complexity and a quencher as well. very nice.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz into my new Portsmouth tulip. Glad to see GI finally in MA!

A- Pale honey/dandelion in color, no head, slightly oily in appearance. Mildly hazy.

S- Really potent, funky, tart/sour, yeasty. A lot stronger than I was expecting.

T- A bit restrained from the nose- Fruity, funky, solid green apple skin and white wine qualities. Aged hops? Tastes like it. Not super complex, but the flavors blend pretty well and go down easily.

M- Low carbonation that works well with the flavors. High marks here. Really refreshing and a great sipper.

D- Enjoyable. I'm going to be drinking this one a lot come summertime- very light and refreshing. A very tasty beer.

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

Pours hazy golden yellow. Plenty of carbonation and a thick creamy white head, leaving slight lacing as it fades.

Aroma is tart and lemony. Generous aromatic yeasty funk with a strong floral quality.

Taste is sweet leony with a mild green apple tartness. Surprisingly wheaty in character. Finish is musty with an herbal orange peel bitterness, and peppery Belgian yeasty spice.

Mouthfeel is amazingly light and soft.

Very nice.

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Photo of sholland119
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a slightly hazy lemon yellow with a fluffy white head.

S-Sweet white grapes, some peppery hops and bretty notes.

T-Bitter barnyard funk and brettiness, with a mild residual sweetness and a yeasty zing in the finish. Peppery hop/brett character as well.

M-Light, crisp and dry.

D-A very tasty farmhouse ale. Nicely funky, a bit sweet, easy to drink.


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Photo of jgasparine
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured from the bottle with a thick, foamy, eggshell colored head and some little bits of lacing. The body was an opaque yellow with no carbonation observed from the sides of the glass.

S- Strong Belgian yeast aromatics dominate the nose, with some straw and doughy aromas not too far behind. A faint aroma of stale hops, some very mild oakiness, and some perceived corriander as well.

T- The malt comes through more crackerlike on the palate than anticipated, and it backed by some huge Belgian yeast esters. A little doughy in the middle, and it finishes dry with some bitter orange, corriander and oaky flavors. Wonderful.

M- An impressive mouthfeel for a 6.5% ABV farmhouse ale. Medium to large in body with texture from suspended yeast. The carbonation was moderately prickly, but not overbearing by any means... it was actually perfect for cutting through the turbidity of this beer.

D- Goes down very nicely. I could easily down this bomber on my own, but I can't forsee a second bottle in one sitting.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22oz brown screw cap bottle; clearly marked freshness date, really classy minimalistic label.

Appearance: Hazy light straw beer; lots of super-fine sediment in suspension; a big bright white head soon fades to a persistent thick film.

Smell: Some slightly tart, very lightly funky, herbal and grassy notes, with some lemony notes as well.

Taste: Really nice, very typical saison flavors. Lots of fresh, citrusy fruit, just a hint of funky wild yeast, some light peppery spice. I honestly don't really pick up on the barrel-aged or orange peel notes much here, but considering that's only 20% of the finished brew, I guess it's not too surprising. Ends with a herbal, surprisingly bitter kick. Overall, nice saison. Actually, as this gets closer to room temperature, I'm getting a little sweet orange peel.

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp, refreshing

Drinkability: Medium-high

Conclusion: This isn't quite what I was expecting somehow, but that doesn't make it any less tasty. Tally up another win for Goose Island.

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Photo of dcajero
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pale straw yellow and slightly cloudy. This is one pretty looking drink.

S - Mostly lemons, with a little grassiness as well.

T - Lemons, nice balance of malt and hops to make it sweet but crisp, not syrupy.

M - Not over carbonated but again it has a crispness to it. Slightly astringent.

D - Bought it at the local Kroger's as I'd never come across it before. It would be phenomenal come spring as opposed to the current snow storm and below freezing weather. I'll probably pick up a few bottles for when the weather turns and maybe one or two to lay up for a while. I suspect it would only improve with a year.

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

Sofie is pale yellow and cloudy, with an understated grassy, funky, estery smell, with a touch of tartness and citrus. It has a wonderful, soft, bubbly mouthfeel-- like if somebody made a wheat champagne. It's smooth and delicious, with a fuller body than you would expect, funky Belgian yeast flavors, and a little bit of earthy, spicy hoppiness. The bottle says this can be aged for 5 years, and that 20% of it is aged in wine bottles. I assume that adds up to some wild yeast component, which means I would be very curious to try this in a few years.

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Photo of schanker21
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of Gmann
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 998 ratings.