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Sofie - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,017 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,017
Hads: 4,138
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 20.24%
Wants: 220
Gots: 963 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States | website

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: 1,017 | Hads: 4,138
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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Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to hoppymcgee for this one. 2009 22oz bottle.

A: Pale gold in color with a huge white head, great retention and excellent lacing. Nice clarity on this pour but I can see the sediment in the bottom of the bottle. Tons of bubbles moving around in this beer. Nice.

S: Pilsener malt, a fruity sweetness in there as well, some corn, a nice spicy Belgian yeast profile. Not incredibly aromatic up front, but there are some nice smells there.

T: Nice light maltyness up front, fairly sweet, slightly grainy, some notes of citrus and white wine, which would make sense with the slight blend going on here. The base notes of the saison are great, pale malts a little bit of corn pops out to me, and just a hint of spicy hop bitterness in the end. Very faintly tart as well.

M: Medium body, a little on the heavy side which is fine for a saison, nicely carbonated and incredibly dry. Spot on here.

D: Easy drinker here, wow this one goes down with no effort. A little on the expensive side to session, and its not available here so I can't say I'll be having it again, but this is a fantastic beer that I would love to try again. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage served at 48 degrees in my Lost Abbey stemware. Bottled on 12/11/09 indicated on the label of the 22oz. bottle. Poured a semi-translucent, slightly hazy pale yellow-gold with a loose, two inch bright white cap, that sizzles and pops as it quickly dissipates into a fizzy skim with a frothy band around the shoulders. Nose reveals lemon zest, candi sugar and a slightly herbal/grassy quality. Taste consistent with nose; however, flavors are a bit muted, but a little more coalesced - but its the mouthfeel that hits you first with an aggressive, just shy of prickly carbonation that immediately confronts you upon the first sip. It actually took a minute for that experience to diffuse a little before I could begin to recognize the flavors. Body is light-medium, with a slightly oily quality and a bit of acidity that stimulates the salivary glands only slightly towards the back of the cheeks. Carbonation re-asserts itself at the finish with a light, lingering burn. All and all, I found Sofie to be tasty and moderately refreshing, but a little too clean for a Saison. Closer to a Saison/Belgian Strong Pale in my opinion. Nonetheless a tasty and respectable offering from GI.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

"From birth to age 18, a girl needs good parents, from 18 to 35 she needs good looks, from 35 to 55 she needs a good personality, and from 55 on she needs cash."

--Sophie Tucker

Chardonnay gold with Champagnesque carbonation and a pillowy crown of cumulus cloud white. The airy foam isn't very sticky. A few small scraps of suds can be seen clinging to the glass, but don't appear as if they're in it for the long haul. Thankfully, subsequent pours look better and the lace is more adherent.

The aroma is incredible and absolutely nails the style. The wild yeast provide the usual barnyard character (moderate) with a wonderful orange peel citrusiness following close behind. If the flavor is even half this complex and appealing, this will be successful beer.

First of all, Sofie tastes authentically Belgian, which is far from a given when it comes to American-brewed, Belgian-style beer. Congrats to the masters at Goose Island for that. Brettanomyces was a nice touch and is present in precisely the right amount for those craft beer lovers who like da funk, but don't want to be blasted with it each time they upend the glass.

The other design decisions were spot-on as well. That is, aging in wine barrels and using orange peel. There are so many things going on with each mouthful that it boggles the taste buds (in a good way). Tart has a slim lead on bitter, and sweet is a distant third.

Specifics include untoasted wheat, orange and lemon zest, white grapes, white pepper and a soft and well-integrated horseblanketiness. Perhaps the Amarillo hops (an inspired choice) is adding to the orange juiciness. This would be a great warm weather picnic beer.

Unfortunately, the mouthfeel has seen better days. It was overbubbled at the start and passed through the ideal zone all too quickly. As always, bottle-conditioning is hit-or-miss. With better bubbles... hell's bells, this is great beer anyway.

Sofie Belgian Style Ale 2009 is one of my new favorites from a brewery that does much more right than it does wrong. I'm sure there are a few American-brewed, Belgian-style saisons out there that rival this one, but I can't think of any at the moment. What a tremendous surprise.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jacob for sharing this one today.

A: The pour is a pale golden yellow color with a fluffy white head.

S: The nose is quite fruity with plenty of citrus, pears, and maybe some melon. There's a definite spice aroma along with some yeast and perhaps even a bit of tartness.

T: I was very pleased by the nose, but the flavors didn't quite live up to that. The spices are much more pronounced and the tartness doesn't make an appearance either. There is still some nice fruit character, namely apples, pears, and bananas, however.

M: The body is medium with a very nice tingly carbonation which gives the beer a bit more of a light feeling on the tongue.

D: I liked this much better than some of Goose Islands special releases, but I still don't know how much of this I could drink. A nice beer to have a small pour of, however.

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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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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 1,017 ratings.