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Sofie | Goose Island Beer Co.

1,027 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States | website

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-29-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,027 | Ratings: 4,214
Photo of MinorThreat
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased from south east Denver's best boutique beer store's; Libation's, they do a damn fine job of supplying the exceptional and hard to find.

A-One of the best looking saison's I have ever seen. Rich golden color with a nice murky look. The head sets this one apart; super dense thick white head with nice lacing

S-Green pepper and horse blanket with a sweet under tone. Spot on for the style.

T-Yup, this is the best saison I have had outside of Belgians. Phenomenal yeast esters of green pepper, banana, clove, brown sugar pair with a subtle maltiness and an animal-saison-funk. Exceptional

M-Dense enough to feel full and effervescent enough to remain light, really nice.

D-Yes please. This is one to savor... in quantity

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Photo of JBogan
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light colored gold with a fair amount of bubbles rising from the bottom of the tulip glass. There is a one finger solid white head which leaves behind minimal lacing.

The aroma is a pleasant mix of yeast and orange peel, wheat and perhaps a hint of banana.

The taste is much as the above, with some white grape and a good peppery presence. Very clean and enjoyable.

The mouthfeel is quite slick and somewhat on the thin side. There is moderate carbonation, and an ever so slight sticky finish.

I found this to be one of the better American renditions of a Belgian style beer. Certainly worth a try.

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

Poured into a wine glass from a pint 6 oz bottle. Stamped oct 2009.
Straw color and clear. No sediment seen. Nice foamy head with lace like residue sliding down the glass.

Yeast smell with a hint of banana.

Fruit taste. Crisp and sharp. Banana and citrus.

Good mouthfeel. Light and tasty. Yeast stands out. Leaves a dry mouth

Happy with my choice. Very drinkable

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Photo of kels
4.51/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sofie pours into my glass beautifully. It is a shade of hazy straw yellow with a massive amount of little carbonation bubbles running throughout. A huge, ever-expanding rocky white head fades to a soapy, 1/2 finger of foam. Loads of sticky, airy lace builds up on the sides of the glass.

Aroma is very light, with crisp, subtle hops like I'd expect in a wit or a pilsner, green appley and fresh. Very light hints of lemon and the yeast come through.

That green apple juiciness from the nose dominates the palate. A little bit of tart, green grapes comes through in the aftertaste. More lemony than orange as expected from the description on the label. Nice toasted grains don't overpower the tartness - in fact, all the flavors offer a soft, subtle and fragrant balance. Feel mirrors the softness, with a nice effervescent carbonation. Highly refreshing, highly drinkable, highly recommended.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber served cold into a wine glass, Sofie has a hazy golden yellow color with thick towering head. It settles very slowly leaving a little lace behind.

Aroma is mild but pleasant, like a good saison, there is little sour, a little funk.

Flavor is not especially strong either but again enjoyable. Some fruit with a little spice, there's a nice gentle tart quality too.

Mouthfeel is medium-light with lower carbonation than usual for the style, which I like.

Overall an enjoyable saison, but not an exceptional one. Some versions of the style are so memorable but this one is merely solid.

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Photo of Krevee
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a beautiful light hazy gold color, with a about an half inch head. Light lacing that slowly slides down the glass.

S - Smells like hay, with hints of citrus and maybe banana or some other sweet fruit.

T - Amazing taste with hints of fruit such as banana with a sweet tart ending. Taste very similar to the smell but more strong in my opinion.

M - Great mouthfeel, very light and silky and a little dry

D - I think I could put down several bottles of this beer.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been wanting to try this beer for a while now. Im just not getting around to it. I love the label. It looks very sophisticated.

A- Not really the impressive head I look for in a saison. I can attribute that to the fact that 20% of this ale has been aged in wine barrels. It only gets up to less than one finger high and fades to a film. There is a tiny bit of lacing from drinking. The beer is a cloudy, glowing yellow.

S- Lots of that delicious, classic saison smell. Earth, musty yeast, maybe a slight bit of Brett like funk (I dont know if Brett was used in this beer or not), fruits like apples, oranges and pears. Its actually a lot like a tripel.

T- Biting and almost tart at times. Lots of Belgian yeast, mustiness and fruits. The finish is bitter and sour, this is where they orange comes out. Its more like pure orange rind.

M- Very carbonated. Very prickly. Its quite dry and finishes clean.

D- A nice light, refreshing beer. This is one of my favorite styles as of late. This is a decent member of this style.

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Photo of PEBKAC
3.04/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Bottled: June 1st '09
$7.55 from New Beer

Paired this one with some salmon & green beans. I went easy on the lemon.

Ommegang anniversary tulip/flute hybrid glass. Sweating, but not too cold. No need to decant this one. Bright & pale gold body, with a stacked eggshell white head. A bit too much head.

Smell was intense with pepper. Background noise consisted of dark leaf lettuce, gum, mango, cornstarch, & a little spoilage.

Taste was upfront with bitter pineapple core, bitter/metallic greens, lemon rind, salt, touch of orange, & too many witbier/wheat beer similarities for my liking. A tough doughy on the follow through. Lingering menthol bitterness & alcohol.

Feel was decent enough. Crisp, but not overly sharp carbonation. Creamy middle that turns bone dry on the finish.

Too early? Saisons/white ales tend to start tasting dusty with age in my opinion. This one didn't taste old, but just didn't really distinguish itself from everything else out there, despite the initial curiosity over what was described on the label.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 22 picked up today at the COOP... glad to see this one available locally. Poured into MNFG...

stand-up easy 2 finger head... great retention and lacing... slightly hazed pale yellow.

Nose is nice ... a bit clovey with some background lemon zest.. maybe some ginger... something in there reminds me of jasmine.

Interesting and hard to pinpoint... I would have a hard time putting this blindly in a saison category... spicy like a wit... and a bit phenolic like a tripel with a pale malt sweetness that sorta moves mid palate and then dries out on the finish ... and then there is a perfumy element that always make me think saison.. a little rough around the edges compared to continental saisons, but still pretty pleasant...

slightly lighter than medium body with a pretty abundant carbonation.

I like this... but I doubt I would ever want more than a bottle... I actually think I may move on and come back to the rest of this bottle later.


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Photo of brownbeer
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The bottle presentation of this beer is incredible. Very nice label.

Looks almost clear pouring from the bottle, but turns out to be a light straw color with some haze and a thin, bubbly white head.

The aroma and taste of this beer are both subtle. The aroma is of citrus zest, pineapple, pear, clove, mildly funky yeast, and something Champagne-like.

The taste is of mild orange and lemon zest, peppery hops, and it has a slight bit of funk to the yeast. The hops are a suprising bonus in the dry Champagne-ish finish, which works well with the brisk carbonation. I would say this is a toned-down, less banana-y Tripel, if I had to guess. Saison would have to be my second guess, even though it doesn't really have the heat presence a lot of Tripels tend to have.

Very good now, I'm thinking that a few years to soften this out, could make it outstanding.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sofie 2010.

Pours a light gold with a rather small head. Leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aromas of malt, butterscotch, ginger, and clove. Very clean, floral nose.

Citrus tastes, lemon/orange peel, brown sugar, butterscotch. Sweetly sour, like a candy drop or lollypop. Floral, perfumy finish. Elements of saison, but whitbier and tripel characteristics as well. A confusing beer for classifiers, but tastes very well.

Body is light, and the tight carbonation is very cleansing, giving this a refreshing mouthfeel. Finishes dry with some hoppy bitterness.

A very drinkable beer that is light in weight, full of flavor, and moderate in alcohol. Will someone please serve this at the ballparks this summer?

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Photo of dbossman
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden and slightly hazy; nice foamy head with good retention and decent lacing

S: Wonderful citrus and floral aromas; a nice grainy earthiness comes through as well; subtle spiciness

T: Citrus and flowery/earthiness comes through the most; a very subtle and simple taste

F: Slightly thin; good mouth coat

D: Very good, easy to drink saison; alcohol is well-masked--a very nice beer

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Photo of popery
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, home. Excellent Belgian style ale. Pours a bright lemon gold, fairly hazy, with a small white head. The aroma is sugary malt, honey, lemons, oranges, moderate funk level and mild but crisp grassiness. It's sweet and bright. The flavor is refreshing. There's a dry, believably-Belgian yeast with sweetly tart fruits chiming in. The orange peel and citrusy hops are pleasantly bitter. Mouthfeel is clean with an excellent lingering funk aftertaste. Goose Island makes some awesome Belgian style ales.

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

Had this the other night after another fine recommendation from my local bevy. I was so overly impressed by this beer that I immediately went on a hunt to find more (scored 2 today in downtown nyc on my lunch).

A - A golden, yellow, honey with great and lively carbonation. It was extremely reminiscent of Ommegang to me, except the head was a bit thinner, but it was nice and bubbly. Beautiful for the style.

S - Citric notes lead the way. Bubblegum and candied sugar follow. All the usual suspects in the flavor dept for a Saison, but certainly on the sweeter side. I really loved it, so did my wife.

M - Quenching. Even. Alive.

D - Really fantastic offering. For fans of Hennepin should DEFINITELY make an effort to find this. After sharing this beer with my wife over dinner, we were so into it, we popped a bottle of Hennepin immediately following and we both agreed that Sofie had it easily beat. Gotta give it a 5 in the drinkability dept since I immediately ran out to find more. I've heard this one is somewhat limited which is a bummer, so get em while you can.

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Photo of Liverpool08
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

WOW!!! Can't begin to think how to describe this. Pours a cloudy pale yellow, like the color of white grapes. Super large puffy white head. Aroma is white grapes and super juicy pear with a hint of yeasty funk! First sip is AMAZING. Not sure if its a beer or a world class champagne. Very bubly but not too much. Taste of sweet grapes, and orange and all kinds of things you can't quite grasp. Its all the great things you want in a Belgian beer. The funk,the fruity subtle undertones. Plus one of the MOST drinkible beers I have ever had. I can't believe I only bought one. I am heading back out tomorrow to stock up. This is by far my favorite from this brewery and one of my favorites overall. An outstanding example of the style.

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Photo of mikey711
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Cloudy golden color with a fluffy white head that retains pretty well. A slight bit of sediment is present as well

S: Nice slightly funky aroma followed by some grape/wine notes. There is a nice oak presence as well

T: A very nice bretty/funky note to start. Some nice sweetness comes through as well. Slightly musty

M: Very light and I would have a liked it to be a little less rough and a bit dryer, both of which i think would come with age

D: This one is good but i didnt really want to finish much more thant a glass

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Photo of gmfessen
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the nice looking 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass, Sofie has a monstrously huge white head and the beer itself is a slightly hazy white grape color. Almost looks like Champagne but with more head. The nose is complex; fruit and spice stand out as what's there but there is quite a depth to both. The fruitiness reminds me of pears, apples, white grapes and maybe a touch of peach and a bit of citrus in the form of orange blossoms. The spice is slightly phenolic, a bit peppery and generally more reserved than the fruit. Very nice indeed. The taste is similar in terms of components but the spice character definitely dominates. Fruity and sweet up front, it transitions to spicy and slightly dry with a bit of funk... but in a good way. Based on taste alone, I would guess this beer had more than 6.5% ABV, it seems more present than in some well done bigger Belgians I've had before. The beer has a nice mouthfeel, fuller than I had expected, maybe medium bodied, and the carbonation while reserved is still present but not in an effervescent way. Overall a very drinkable beer but one that should be savored, it would be interesting to save a bottle of this for a few years to see how it develops, but I'm not sure I have the constitution to do that~!

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Photo of Stigs
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle, served and split in Stone Levitation glasses. bottled on Oct 23rd, 2009.

A - gentle pour yields an inch and a half of big puffy and slightly frothy, bright white foam. the foam falls to a thin layer with minimal spotty lacing. the beer is pretty hazy, light gold colored with active carbonation.

S - wonderful fresh and "outdoorsy" aroma...grassy hops, hay, grains, slight peppery spice. very crisp, clean, and inviting. not much more to say except it is about quintessential (to me) for the style.

T - starts off with a big blast of grains, hay...turning to a slight bready yeast before finishing with slightly piney, mostly grassy hops which tie it all in, only a touch bitter. other notes of lemon rind, corn, barnyard, subtle soap in the aftertaste. the orange starts to come through as it warms, adding another fruity and slightly tangy dimension to it all.

M - medium but sharp carbonation. quite drying, insanely crisp and refreshing. leaves the mouth feeling a bit prickly with just a kiss of alcohol burn.

D - a superb Saison and overall lovely beer. classic notes but unique and has enough personality to keep it interesting. could drink this all day. having a great "moment" with it on a somewhat warm but breezy early evening on my porch after a day of cleaning.

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Unfiltered, pale yellow with lots of tiny carbonation bubbles. Huge white head and sticky lacing.

S - Initially it is all yeast esters of hay and apple...interesting combination. Nice light malt aroma in the background.

T - Lots of wild yeast like flavors of apples, lemon, and hay. Fresh clean hops offset the tart flavors with their subtle bitter flavors.

M/D - Sour on the palate with a dry finish. Lightly carbonated with a light body as well. Good farmhouse representation.

Bottle says it's brewed with orange peel but I didn't get any of that flavor in the brew...but good nonetheless.

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

The beer came pouring out of my 22 oz bottle the second the cap was removed and the champagne aroma shot up my nose. When I poured, the head was enormous and the beer was a fairly clear pale yellow with a plethora of floating particulates.

Smells sweet and tart, green apple like. Definite yeasty, champagney, melony aroma.

I cracked this open because it was the first 70 degree day for my city since the fall and I knew this would be a summer like beer. Very fresh, very tart and sweet. The high carbonation lets the flavors dance all over my mouth.

I love this beer at this time and this place. This was the perfect time for me to review it as it'll probably never taste as good as it does in this environment. I've bought this beer a few time and will continue to buy it.

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Photo of drpimento
4.79/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

whoa. rockin good beer here. serious. world class. Hit the sweet spot wiht this. Sophisticated yet so easy and drinkable. no cloying just quaffing. Poured with a fine off white head and a litle lace. Color is a clear amber. Aroma is fresh yeast malt spice grass crotch funk an plasure. Flav's bout the same, but with a tart edge. Killer body and carbonation. Not just drinkable, but suckable. mmm mm mmmm

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Photo of morebeergood
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a bottle at Penguin Pizza in Mission Hill. Bottled December 2009. Split with my wife, and poured into two Belgian Palm beer goblets. Very pale yellow color. Thin, whispy white head. Smelled like chardonnay. Taste was amazing. Coriander, lemon peel, and orange flavors abound, followed softly by the aging in the wine barrels. So subtle but present. A perfect amount of blending by the brewer. Mouthfeel was so spot on for a saison. It was crisp and refreshing, but quenching all the while. About halfway through, you could actually feel the abv a bit. A great beer to have with a meal or anytime. This was a steal to pay retail price in a restaurant. Will consider picking up more bottles for home consumption.

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

Bottled June 1, 2009.

Poured into Bruery snifter.

Pours a big layer of fizzy head. Decent retention with some sticky lace. Color is a hazy dull golden sunset.

Aroma: Lots of spices. Coriander, pepper, cloves, some yeast and funk going on as well.
Fits the style well.

Taste: Big yeast flavors with lots of active carbonation. Lots of farmhouse funk and spice flavors. Crushed pepper and corriander. Not to bad.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy, spiced, and relatively refreshing. Medium bodied with lots of carbonation. Ends with a dry aftertaste.

Overall, this is just a solid beer for the style. It is pretty drinkable and I like it. A well done beer from the guys at GI.

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Photo of muttyd
2.8/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Clear golden color with no head nor lacing.

S - Musty from the moment I poured it. The must fades into a fruity/pear-scented aroma with a hint of a yeasty funk.

T - Mostly follows the nose, but more fruits/sweet malt than anything. Yeast adds a sort of bready flavor as well.

M - Bubbly and thin. Clean and dry finish.

D - Not too sure what I think about this one. Maybe its because I haven't had a saison in awhile, but the nose and flavor I associate with a good saison are missing.

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

Poured from 22 oz bottle into tulip. 2009 vintage.
A: Pours a very clear yellow-green with high carbonation producing a nice 2 inch billowy white head.
S: Soft citrus notes, hint of white pepper, and in the background a vinous note. A bit muted.
T: Soft vanilla, orange peel, and a hint of spicy pepper. Not quite as much as the aroma, but again a bit muted. Only at the end of the beer do I pick up any brett/funk.
M: Tingly bite from the carbonation...like fizzy pop. Light body. Lingering semi-sweet note. Mildly dry finish.
D: A very easy drinker...hard to believe this is 6.5%. I was really looking forward to this one...and perhaps I was overly excited. This one is OK on it's own, but would really shine when paired with food (e.g. milder cheeses, lighter chicken dishes). Will do that with my next one. Style note: I'm not sure I'd peg this as a saison. Maybe a pale belgian style ale.

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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 1,027 ratings.