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Sofie - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

988 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 988
Hads: 4,001
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 20.24%
Wants: 198
Gots: 892 | 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
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Reviews: 988 | Hads: 4,001
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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Photo of Beerisheaven
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of Patrick999
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
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).

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Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.73/5  rDev -9%
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.

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Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
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..

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Photo of BetterDarker
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
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,

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Photo of Gtreid
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of matthewsteven
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 988 ratings.