Sofie | Goose Island Beer Co.

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4,628 Ratings

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

Style: Belgian Saison

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.

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Ratings: 4,628 |  Reviews: 1,133
Photo of SMH_NWI
3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mholdefer
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Dicers
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of psmith161
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JoelZ1
4.14/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dizzy242
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of sdm9465
3.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of SierraNevallagash
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz 2017 bottle, poured into a crystal goblet at about 50F

Pours a deep straw golden color, with about 90% clarity. A finger of very loud, fizzy white head aggressively settles down to a boiling cap in a matter or moments. Thousands of straying bubbles course upwards keeping the surface alive and dancing.

Nose is a touch of pilsner-like malt, that immediately shifts to this wonderful bouquet of tart lemon, barnyard funk, buttery oak, hay, white wine barrel, a touch of acetic zing, and some musty brett. It's wonderfully complex and surprising.

Palate is one of the most confusing ales I've tasted. There's just so much going on, it's hard to pin one thing down. I get that pilsner-esque malt character first, but then a big grassy note takes over. After the grass and hay, I get the lightest bit of tartness. To my relief, it's more of a lactic tart, and not like vinegar. But it's very subtle. A little.bit of lemon zest, a good bit of white vinous character, some oak, some serious funk that I just can't begin to describe - it's so familiar - it reminds me of something outside of the world of beer, but I cannot place it. There's also some herbal notes that remind me of cooking herbs, like oregano, cilantro, or maybe some spices. Basil, perhaps. That familiar funk peeks in and out, and then Brett comes in and washes everything but oaky vanillin away, leaving and light, dusty bitterness. After a long, complex finish, the faint ghost of the malt comes back, and lingers quietly.

Mouthfeel is fairly light in body, but there's a slight creaminess about it. Lively, fizzy, loose carbonation keeps everything exciting and aids in the flavor complexity.

Overall, this is a fantastic take on a saison. It's really more of a saison/wild ale hybrid, but hey, there's still a lot of saison character there. A good saison is one of my favorite beers, but the last 5 or so I've had have just been awful pilsners. This, however, has given me hope once again. It's complex, inviting yet challenging, refreshing, unique, and most importantly, enjoyable. Glad I got a 4 pack.

 2,080 characters

Photo of descobar
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle of Sofie vintage 2013

Look: pours deep golden with 1/2" frothy off-white head that retains well. the beer is hazy and effervescent with not much lacing being observed.
Smell: hops derived aromas are grassy and earthy and yeast produces estery, citrusy as well as spicy peppery notes. malt produces a slight hay-like aroma
Taste: very light malt sweetness, medium-high bitterness with significant tart, tangy acidity that differentiates this saison from others.
Feel: medium-light body, creamy texture, lively carbonation and pronounced astringency
Overall: dry finish with lingering spice and bitterness. overall this is a phenomenal beer with 5 years behind it and absolutely no signs of deterioration!

 716 characters

Photo of brittanylicious
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of heysuz
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dafla67
3.99/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Vidblain
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Stengelfoot
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Diura
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Eychung
4.19/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jripley97
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of woodychandler
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the slowest, longest, most protracted brewery horizontal that I have EVER conducted! I am in the midst of a purge of The Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody & I ran across a buncha GI beers, including this one. I am moonlighting in addition to my day gig so I haven't had a lot of drinking time upon returning home, hence the lagging, NOT lollygagging.

From the Bottle: "90% Belgian Style Ale blended with 10% Belgian Style Ale aged in Wine Barrels with Orange Peels"; "Develops in the bottle over 5 years. Contains live yeast. A sediment may form."; "Bottled on: 15Mar17 0848"; "2017 Belgian Style Saison".

I love it when a beer presents me with a conundrum right off of the bat! I generally strive for clarity from my pours in my beers, but this style can be "poor to good though haze is not unexpected". Hmm. I decided on a compromise - my initial pour would be very slow & gentle with an eye towards keeping the lees in place. My second pour would follow an in-bottle swirl to release the lees back into suspension for a waste not, want not pour. I Pop!ped the cap & began the initial pour, followed by an in-glass swirl to attempt to raise some head. This trick worked wonders & I wound up with just under two fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, bone-white head with moderate retention that left behind some decent lacing. Color was Straw-Yellow (SRM = > 2, < 4) with the NE-quality clarity that I was striving for. Nose was at one very vinous and very barnyard funky. My guess would be white wine barrels & the funk was leathery & sweaty, like a saddle off a freshly-ridden camel. You thought that I was going to say "horse", didn't you? We rode camels in Hurghada, Egypt & man, can they work up a sweat! Thankfully, the vinousness outstripped the sweatiness in this one. Phew. Mouthfeel was light, soft, almost like a spritzer than a beer. The taste was only lightly funky, begging the question of how much of that characteristic it may have taken on over 5 years' time. On the other hand, it was quite vinous, but I also tasted a light orange citrusiness. Finish was dry, of course, but not so dry as to be unpleasant. Saisons were originally developed to be refreshing interludes for farm workers & this was certainly refreshing, And now, for the latter, second pour: I had replaced the cap following the initial pour so as not to allow the beer's CO2 to simply escape. I agitated the beer in the bottle nearly constantly as I drank to ensure that I would achieve the desired effect (or die trying). Never say "die", you say? A coward dies a thousand deaths, a soldier dies but one! We must be bold in this day & age of beer, never cowardly! The color turned much more hazy & the nose & taste became slightly more pronounced, but overall, it did not change very much. Still, every drop of it got drank with nothing going to waste.

 2,845 characters

Photo of soundaurora
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Reef
4.34/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at a church festival, enjoyed from a solo cup.
Drinking this on a hot afternoon, accompanying sausages, gyros, and fries, is so pleasant.
Pours a light clear copper with a few millimeters of head, which sticks around. Plastic cup probably did not do it justice.
Strong winey aroma.
Tastes include the saison yeast, grapes, citrus peel, peppercorn, light funk, Brett.
Dry and refreshing, The flavor combination is superb.

 429 characters

Photo of rpjterp
3.99/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of tigerinatrance
4.86/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

My favorite beer of all time. That is all.

42 characters

Photo of yungBeerBrat
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

I was not a fan but trying to be unbiased.
2013 sofie in 2018 (5 years old) poured into tulip.
Appearance - Fine, light colored. Very carbonated but thin.
Smell - Funky sour farmhousey. Slightly herbal but in a sort of licorice way.
Taste - Holy Moly this is the funkiest, barnyardiest, herbal beer ive ever had. It was so strong i could not finish it. It was too carbonated for me, but I believe that is okay for the style. The taste was exactly what people call a farmhouse ale taste. It was like Apex predator but 3x stronger and 2x more carbonated. I couldn't handle it but if you like that taste youll love this beer.

 623 characters

Photo of cryptichead
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of brantleysmith
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 4,628 ratings