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Sofie | Goose Island Beer Co.

1,039 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: 1,039 | Ratings: 4,250
Photo of SpdKilz
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

New Beer Friday! This really isn't "new" to me...but I am finally going to review it while I have it.

Appearance - Pours into my Bell's tulip with a light, hazy straw color. About two fingers of relatively quickly dissipating head are achieved, leaving decent lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Yeast, barnyard funk, wheat, slight orange/lemon. Not as funky as the JP brew's I usually have but I genuinely enjoy this smell also.

Taste - At first there are lots of spices, and banana is quite prevalent also. Not your typical saison in my opinion when it comes to the flavors melding together. Seems a bit more like a tripel to be perfectly honest, though not as in your face as one. Very light flavors meld together to create a very enjoyable, albeit sweet tasting saison. Reminds me of the first time I had this last summer on the shores of Lake Michigan. Such good memories.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium bodied, great carbonation, a slight dryness at the end.

Drinkability - Great drinkability. Putting a bottle of this down by yourself is not out of the question, though this will be my first time doing the whole bottle by myself. I foresee myself purchasing a few more of these to sit on and enjoy over the next year or so, as they conjure up great memories and the beer itself is quite enjoyable.

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Photo of OnThenIn
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a 2009 bottle at about 5 months old.

Appearance: Slightly hazy, straw yellow body and a white head that is a finger high and is rather persistent. There is even some lacing.

Aroma: The smell is really fruity like that of brett with a really strong tropical vibe. The beer has this wonderful orange smell. There is a tiny bit of straw and leatheryness.

Taste: The flavor is a bit yeasty. There is a spicy yeast flavor similar to a black pepper flavor. There are definite fruity notes with a nice finish. There is a tiny bit of bitterness. Overall, there is a lot of complexity here. There are some grape like qualities and a tiny bit of an herbal note. The beer is pretty dry.

Mouthfeel: light bodied with a good amount of carbonation and a bright finish. Perfect for the warm spring days.

Drinkability: This beer is really drinkable and, if not for the high carbonation, would probably be drank way too quickly. Solid beer for a reasonable price.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Bottle date 12/11/2009.

Appearance: A very hazy golden yellow color, with a 1 inch head with large bubbles. Some refreshing carbonation visibly rising from the bottom. Decent head retention.

Smell: Herbal and earthy aromas, with some citrus rind. Yeast and pepper notes as well. Complex.

Taste: Biscuity yeast flavors up front, with a dry sweetness that reminds me of white grape skin. A spicy peppery flavor comes in toward the end, with an grassy oiliness. There is a slightly tart aftertaste. Nuanced and very pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation, slightly dry feel. Slightly grainy.

Drinkability: Sofie is deceptively complex. I enjoyed the mild but complex taste. An easy drinker.

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Photo of DrJay
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009. Light haze, deep gold colour with a 1.5 inch bright white cap. Slightly rocky bubbles clung to the glass in clumps. Good head retention. Nice aroma, fruity, a bit of citrus zest and pineapple, bready yeast, spicy, a bit earthy and grassy, slight strawberry. Floral and spicy flavour up front, along with mild tartness, followed by sugary sweetness with a berry quality. A bit earthy, slightly vinous finish with lingering peppery spice. Medium to light bodied with average carbonation. Decent texture, off-dry. I enjoyed this one. Plenty of character without being out of balance or overpowering.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a cervoise, the beer was a hazy yellow color with a small white head. It had a sweet, candy aroma with a tiny bit of spice. Taste of cotton candy, orange, and coriander. Kind of yeasty. Medium bodied, nice drinking. I would buy this again anytime.

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Photo of tigg924
3.71/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, clear, bright yellow in color, high carbonation

Smell: lemon, straw, coriander, and hay

Taste: lemon, straw, coriander, and hay

Mouthfeel: slightly bitter with some funkiness, high carbonation, light bodied, dry.

Drinkability: A tasty saison that has a nice citrus and straw combination. I would get this again as a sipper. One of the better from GI that I have had so far.

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Photo of scottyb88
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
Bottled March 24, 2010
Poured into Duvel glass

A-pours a cloudy dark lemon type color, with one finger head that quickly faded to a thin head

S-sweet citrus, fresh orange oils, smells kinda like one of the tropical starburst flavors

T-a slight hint of orange citrus, not as sweet as the smell, slightly tart up front with a belgian dry finish

M-nice carbonation and smooth mouthfeel, the dryness lingers

D-its basically a blue moon times 10. very refreshing with a slight hint of orange flavors. the strong fruity/sweet smell is very inviting.

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Photo of Rayek
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip.

A: Extremely cloudy straw even with a gentle pour. A dense, if not particularly robust white cap slowly settles to a thin film. Leaves a smattering of lace.

S: Quite yeasty and musty at first. Sweetness is provided by a quick burst of orange. Behind it comes a rush of lemon, plus a light coriander and clove tingle. I think I even got a hint of bubblegum.

T: Tart, mildly spicy, quite dry and very complex. Starts out a little thin, but the flavors quickly build on each other. Straw like malts form the foundation. A spicy clove and coriander bite builds on top. The orange rind shows up late to add extra complexity. Finishes dry, with a strong lemon tartness, a light sourdough flavor and a lingering hint of green grapes.

M: The body is grainy and quite light. The carbonation feels appropriate to the style.

D: This is a very complex, yet easy drinking beer. I wasn't super impressed at first, but the beer quickly grew on me as it warmed. Overall, a very nice offering from Goose Island.

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Photo of illidurit
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber, 2010 vintage, poured into a tulip glass. Pours a pale gold color with a thin fading white head. Aroma has some light esters evoking fruit salad, including apple, pear, and banana. Some clove notes lead me to believe this is made with some wheat. Nice smooth spiciness, also getting some vanilla. Flavor is bright and slightly tart, some lemon now emerging with the banana pith. Distinct but very well-integrated pepper note, along with mild notes of cooking herbs. Fruity tropical hops blend well with the esters, just like in the better Belgian IPAs. Light honeyed malts provide a soft background for all the yeasty and hoppy complexity. Dry finish, but not in an astringent way, which is a very significant accomplishment for a beer partially aged in wine barrels. Crisp and clean, a little hefty to be considered refreshing. A nice satisfying beer, somewhere between tripel, saison, and Belgian IPA.

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

22 oz. bomber, shared with my dad,

A: Pours a beautiful deep gold with a frothy white head, leaving nice Belgian lace.

S: Wet hay, grass clippings, very rustic, perhaps a bit of Brett.

T: Grassy earthy hops with a nice bready malt make a very nice flavour. Notes of lemon as well. To my palate more of a Belgian Pale Ale than a saison, but you could go either way. Anyway, it's tasty.

M: Smooth, creamy, medium-bodied, elegant.

D: This is a very nice American made Belgian-style beer. It reminds me a bit of New Belgium Le Fleur Misseur. I'm very glad to see more Goose Island around, everything I've had from them so far has been top notch.

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

22oz bottle in Duvel tulip (2009 edition, bottled: 12/11/09)

A: Very pale yellow with a huge meringue-esque head, quite a bit of haze. Surprisingly given the head, there is no lace after the head drops.
S: Definite beligian yeast/spicy, along with some citrus/orange.
T: Belgian spiciness, crisp bready malts, hints of citrus, a slight hint of earth, no real hop character.
M: Very crisp, but seems a little "light", almost too much attenuation, lots of carbonation.
D: A very interesting beer, doesn't seem to fit the saison category, but that might change with a little more time in the bottle, seems to be lacking some "wildness". I think I will pick up another bottle and see what happens in 6 months. Worth trying.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Goose Island Goblet.

A - Looks like a glass of champagne poured out..golden color with a light trail of bubbles streaming upward with a small off-white head

S - Good hint of esthers and yeast with a hint of farmhouse funk, pepper, and citrus

T - First there is a lemon and orange peel which carry most of the flavor; hint of bubblegum..only a slight farmhouse funk

MF - light in the mouth with a slight frothiness that lends to a light carbonation

D - Tasty and easy drinking saison, very nice

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Photo of MinorThreat
4.72/5  rDev +14.8%
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 +3.2%
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 +6.6%
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 +9.7%
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 -3.6%
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 +4.9%
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 -3.4%
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 -26%
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 -4.4%
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 -2.2%
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 +7.5%
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 +2.7%
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 +7.5%
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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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 1,039 ratings.