Sofie | Goose Island Beer Co.

1,073 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States

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

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Reviews: 1,073 | Ratings: 4,389
Photo of erk0607
4.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look - Super yellow-gold with a slight orange tint in the light, practically no head at all, just a few bubbles floating and white lacing
Smell - Yeasty funk front and center, followed up by orange and citrus, wine must and malt
Taste - Orange and lemon citrus notes, a little bit grassy, bready, with tons of yeast derived flavors that are just best described as funky and barnyard/hay.
Feel: Light, crisp and refreshing. Super smooth carbonation that gives it a little bit of liveliness. Slick.
Overall: Super beer. Would definitely get again and will probably look for aged ones now too.

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Photo of Pundit_of_Potability
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

In the Matilda/Sofie series of Belgian style ales, this one definitely comes out the winner. It pours a golden honey color with a mild head and a little lacing. This one is very refreshing, like a good Farmhouse should. The peppery, spicy nature of this brew is very noticable at the front and back of the sip but it also dominates the smell. There is a little citrus in there, but and a hint of bitterness at the end. I'm not getting the vanilla, but there is a smidge of sugars here...Perhaps the pepper hides the vanilla. This ale has a wonderful sparkling and somewhat dry finish like a champagne that makes it utterly drinkable. This one is worth a go, but don't expect it to come off like a real Belgian Saison.... The one thing it seems to lack are those yeasts that make it distinctly Belgian.

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Photo of chicagobeerguy
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: An unripe pear color, pale honey, not the best looking beer
S:; Pears, oranges, apricots, a slight funky brett smell, smells dry
T: Orange peels, apricots, dried grass, slight funk taste
F: Fine body, medium carb, pretty smooth
O: A fine beer to pair with nearly any food. Nothing outstanding but a good beer .

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: 16-oz. draft
Glass: Goose Island chalice
From: Goose Island Pub at Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.
Price: $8.00
Purchased: Dec. 14, 2016
Consumed: Dec. 14, 2016
Reviewed as: Saison / Farmhouse Ale
Misc.: N/A

Was staying at the Hard Rock for a work trip and had planned on heading to the Goose Island Pub once I saw that BCBS was on tap. The plan was to review Sofie and Matilda, and have a BCBS. However, once I got there I was told that they ran out of BCBS in the last hour. Bummer. Still wanted to try both beers and was actually surprised that I had not yet.

Poured a straw-gold yellow clear color with 1-to-2 fingers of frothy white head when I got it. Lots of bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Good spotty lacing. Outstanding retention. (Sight - 4.00)

Smelled rather boozy up front. Settled in and got lemon, coriander peel, citrus zest, white wine (could not pick out which type) barrels, grassy notes, lingering peppery spices and dry apricot. (Smell - 3.75)

Taste was much better, getting lemon juice, bitter coriander peel, hints of boozy oaky white wine, but not overwhelming, grassy nots, some tartness, a touch of banana and still that dry apricot. (Taste - 4.25)

Light body. Oily texture. Lively carbonation. Dry, citrusy finish. (Feel - 4.00)

This was a really good beer. Better than I thought I would be. (Overall - 4.00)

4.04 | 90 | A-

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Photo of Chouine
4.63/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer is phenomenal.Good balance on the acidity, sweetness.You can taste the subtility of the orange peel.Love it. A must try for the ones liking white beer.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.72/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle to goblet. Bright yellow, lacy head.
Aroma is mild yeast, lemon, Orange.
Taste has some apple character, touch of the Belgian wild yeast, but ok, lemon comes late.
Feel is smooth and Very bubbly.
Nice beer, though I think a slight step down from the Matilda.


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Photo of tekstr1der
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Slightly hazy golden pour with thin cap of white. Aroma hints of lemon, slight funk and maybe a touch of candi sugar. Flavor is similar with some light sour notes of citrus, and a decent malt sweetness. Nothing about this beer is overly dominant. Very tasty and very balanced with a slightly tart finish. One of the best I've tried for the style.

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Photo of Weisenbeer
3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Top notch Farmhouse style..suprised I hadn't seen this one before today at my local grocer...sweet, a bit over carbonated for my taste, but very nicely done

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Photo of MemphisSooner
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A fantastic saison. It may register at as sweet, but the nose and the complexity are off the charts. Like Matilda, Goose Island has out done themselves once again. Snag this one.

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Photo of FBarber
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

When fresh this is a very good saison. Admittedly a touch sweeter than I like and I think is necessarily appropriate for the style, but still an outstanding and well crafted beer. GI has a nice yeast strain they use in these beers that goes a long way to setting it apart from its American made saison brethren.

Whats interesting is how this bottle develops with some age. The sweetness really takes over and the yeast becomes subdued. It actually takes on some granny smith apple/white wine flavors that are very good, but tend to depart from the traditional saison character.

Saison DuPont will always be the gold standard for saisons but Sofie is no slouch. Its still an outstanding beer in its own right.

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a single-serve bottle

Appearance--Pours a pleasant hazy but not cloudy champagne color. Very little head that quickly dissipates, but persistent lacing throughout.

Aroma--Not unpleasant, but perhaps "off" for the style. Citrus, wine, and pepper aromas, but lacking in the yeast and funk departments normally hallmarks of the style.

Taste--Green apple, citrus, and wine notes, providing pleasant tartness without bitterness. Crisp and very pronounced dry finish. Very well balanced, though it doesn't get a "5" only because the "funk" I was looking for was a bit lacking.

Mouthfeel--One of the best "finishes" of any beer I've ever tasted. Very dry for the style, but in a perfect way. Combined with a champagne-like "bubble," it is simply outstanding.

Though lacking the complexity and character of others, I can't say anything negative about this. The feel and finish combined with the pleasant tartness is spot on for me.

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

Nose of candied lemon, mild citrus, vanilla and spice. Taste is the same.

Compared to tank seven, much lighter, less funk, less abrasive. I prefer the tank seven, but this is still good, just different.

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Photo of cmurkar
4.36/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear straw yellow with a foamy, 2 inch white head. Beautiful saison, with intense bubbling throughout. Smell is heavy Belgian yeast, spice, and citrus finish. Tart fruity flavor, notes of grape, pear, and orange. Slight vanilla touch on the finish. Very dry, very crisp mouthfeel. Definitely one of the most refreshing beers in the style, and one I will come back to.

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Photo of Wanzuki
4.71/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A great Farmhouse! Slightly murky yellow color; fair amount of head as one would expect from this style. Crisp lemon aroma and tang at the first taste; after a while the subtlety of the yeast sets in.

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Photo of brblanch
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into tulip leaves a beautifully hazy, straw color beer with one finger of white foam at top. Bubbles race to top of glass and the head sticks around for awhile. Smell of lemon and fresh cut grass. Taste is lemon peel, pepper, and vanilla notes. Very dry and tart as advertised. This beer has always been a standout for me, one I return to frequently and it never disappoints.

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Photo of dcotom
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured cold from 12-ounce bottle into wine glass. Hazy golden yellow, brilliant white head, lots of sticky lacing. Aromas of typical Belgian yeast, spice, citrus, and a hint of vanilla. The citrus character becomes more pronounced as the beer warms to cellar temperature. Light malt character, with big flavors of orange zest and yeast funk and a little vanilla and a hint of tartness. Finishes clean and dry, with a little orange-zest bitterness on the aftertaste. An outstanding beer worthy of its classically beautiful label.

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Photo of Bluegrass49
4.65/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled on 25 Feb '15. Poured into a wide mouth glass. A cloudy light yellow color with a 3-finger head that dissipates very slowly. Has a very fruity and tart taste. Not a guzzler...just sip and enjoy. Definitely one of the best in this style beer.

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Photo of lwcreasy
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tulip glass. Hazy yellow in color with a massive white head. The foamy, frothy, billowing stand hung around til the cows came home. Spumy lacing dripping down the sides of the glass.

Peppery and earthy hops to the nose, with orange zest and juice. This spicy, lively character is counterpoint to a doughy malt, late herbal roundness, and a tad of brett funk. White pepper, rosemary, barnyard, hay, and even a slight berry impression add to this incredibly complex aroma.

Fiercely peppery and orange with a woodsy, vanilla finish. Orange and lemon zest, herbs, and a pleasant twang from the wine barrels make up the aftertaste. Fantastic. That sourness is clean, a beautiful complement to the hay notes and the citrus liveliness. Not much in the way of hop character and bitterness.

Not heavy in the body, but pleasantly creamy in the feel. Tangy-ness and a very dry palate impression on the finish. Very good sipper.

A delicious beer that I'll return to whenever I can. Refreshing, but substantial in flavor. Great wild Saison character mixes beautifully with wonderful Belgian yeast notes and the imparted wine-barrel quality.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.51/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2016 vintage
Bubbly, slight haze to the straw gold color. Tower of white foam 3" high. Dissipates quick.
Sweet and sour funky yeast, wild like aroma upfront. Tart lemmon zest, Sour wheat, herbal mix with minor sweet fruit edge. Very strong.
First impression of the feel and flavor is, DRY. Tart, sour yeast, once again, Brett-ish yeast very wild and funky. A very green grassy hop after taste. Dry wheat, sour, citric fruit and a long, bitter, dry, grassy finish. Just perfect for a Farmhouse style.
Americanized Farmhouse/Raison styles usually don't touch the authentic Belgian versions, but damn if this doesn't. As a lover of this style and flavor profile, I consider this one of the more complex, well executed versions on the market. It's all about the yeast! Love the slightly vanilla touch in the finish, makes it dry, then smooth! Great feel.

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Photo of Stevem68
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale straw yellow color. Aroma is grassy and funky. Flavor follows the nose. Notes of funky, earthy and grassy. Has a solid feel and overall a good beer.

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Photo of 60sFolks
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wow, just popped open a 3 1/2 year old Sofie (2013, Feb. Batch). I look at the murky, bubbling, golden color topped with a nice, full, 1 inch sparkling head and give a bow and a toast for the effort to let her ferment that long.
It smells sweet but not strong at all. Grapefruit and lemon notes, again not over powering.
Mouth too is light.
What an honor to slowly sipbthis top-shelf Belgium Ale.

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Photo of SaltofOH
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled on 6 June 16. DFH Tulip.

A: pours a slightly hazed bright and deep yellow. 1 finger white head, a few lazy streams of carb. Not much retention or lacing.

S: sweet, fruity, tart, floral. Very Belgian, slightly sour. White peach, yellow cherries, a little wheaty grain and some mild phenolic notes. Is there wheat in this? Quite wine-like on the nose.

T: lightly tart, thick and wheaty, mild fruity and bubblegum esters. A touch of bready sweetness, drying on the mid palate. A little lingering phenolic note on the end with some very mild noble hop hanging around.

M: lighter side of medium, with ample carbonation, and some lingering slickness.

O: this is an outstanding summertime Belgian. I think this is better than Tank 7, not as good as Hennepin. Or maybe as good as Hennepin, but milder; and sometimes that is what you want. Good for an occasional change up, and worth seeking out to try.

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Photo of beergoot
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 1201 29JUL2015

Pale yellow body; lots of lively carbonation; thick, creamy head. Lemony and herbal spice aroma. Weak flavor; some brett funk; pepper and sage; mild yeast flavors; bitter and slightly metallic. Watery mouthfeel yet with some prickly qualities to it; dry finish overall.

Not a bad beer at all yet nothing stupendous. Aside from looks and smell, the beer seems rather weak and one-dimensional with no depth or exquisite flavors. The mouthfeel adds to the blandness with a flat and uneven quality.

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

Pours a crystal clear straw color with a one finger white head that hangs around as a nice cap of foam. Aroma is yeast, earth, funk, must, floral, and pepper spice. Taste follows with yeast, peach/pear, earth, grass, floral notes, a little bit of barnyard funk/must, pepper spice. Mouthfeel is thin to medium and a bit oily, with a nice sparkle of carbonation in the middle and end to scrub the palate. Overall, this is a very nice saison/farmhouse ale. I would like to see a little pronouncement of each flavor, as they are a bit muddied together, but still very nice.

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Photo of Squire123
4.01/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Charming light lemon yellow color with thick white cap that settles into a thin cover leaving lacing behind as the drink is enjoyed.

Aroma of gentle citrus laced with mild spice. There is some character behind this that I will call fresh yeast because it doesn't really strike me as malt and the hops are hidden beyond my limited sniffing ability.

Taste is like biting into a ripe but tart piece of citrus from the Mediterranean area. Rounded and complex but oh so subtle. Tartness remains throughout and even lingers in the aftertaste but it's a nice tartness. There's nothing bold about this beer but you certainly notice you're drinking something that's a cut above average.

Texture is as subtle as the flavors.

In drinking this beer I'm thinking it would go well with paella. It also went well with the bacon cheeseburgers we had for lunch but then anything goes well with bacon cheeseburgers. The aroma of the empty glass has a wine influence but I can't say I noticed it that much in the flavors. Mine was a 2015 bottling (not intentionally cellared, just overlooked) so I can't compare it to a fresh one but it's certainly not over the hill. Just a nice, glad I had that sensation.

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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 4,389 ratings.
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