Sofie | Goose Island Beer Co.

1,077 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: 1,077 | Ratings: 4,404
Photo of Brutaltruth
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From the big bottle in a snifter via a friend from work---THANK YOU VERY MUCH KEVIN!
This fine ale pours a light pale honey golden color with a FANTASTIC head of white foam that
subsides to a thick ring, thick layer, and features some darn nice sudsy lacing. Nose of wheat,
farmhouse yeasty funk, candy malt, subtle lemon zest, cracker, white pepper, grassy hops,
and subtle white wine notes. Flavors follow the nose with wheat and Belgian candy sugars
dancing about the spice of white pepper and lemon touched farmhouse yeasty goodness with
notes of fresh bread and zinfandel wine with notes of crackers on the rear with a touch of grassy
herbal hops. Excellent feel; medium body, smooth, lightly tart, medium carbonation that is lively
and lightly effervescent with a dry cracker finish touched with some light wine notes.

Overall, a near perfect farmhouse ale done RIGHT in America.


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

Had a 4 oz. sample of this in a flight. The small glass had a small white bubbly head. Mild Belgian taste, light and crisp. Not my favorite style, but a good representation of the style.

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Photo of NoBadBeer
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank while on the crapper. My first beer from G.I. Bright clean aroma, with crisp notes of white grapes and tropical fruit. Refreshing vinous taste similar to gruner veltliner. Slightly bretty with notes of bubblegum and tart kiwi. Well carbonated. I'm not generally a saison/farmhouse drinker but I found this to be a satisfying brew. If someone put one in my hands, I wouldnt turn it down.

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Photo of bwood06
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Some friends of my wife and myself were over just a few nights ago and decided to pick this bottle up from a local bottle shop since the NFL games were not going our way. We figured spending our time catching up and talking was more worthwhile than watching two NFL games that were not incredibly fun to watch.

This beer pours a glowing, clear, golden color with heavy carbonation very easily visible that is topped with a white frothy head that dissipates slowly to an ultra thin lacing that is somewhat ghostly. 4.25/5 The aroma is like peeling a grapefruit with grapefruit flesh and peel really coming out strongly along with a light cracker note. The aroma is somewhat one dimensional but it is very enticing. 4/5 The flavor is very much like the aroma in that the grapefruit really dominates the profile. Earthy hops, light graininess, and cracker complement the sweetness and bitterness provided by the grapefruit flesh and peel. There is something here that lends a slight tropical feel as well but it is hard to pin down. Bitterness is moderate from the peel and lingers after swallowing. 4/5 The mouthfeel features a high carbonation burn on the front end, leading into a medium body that is wet but turns dry fairly quickly. The dryness is moderate but only lingers lightly on the palate after swallowing. 4/5 This is a very good saison, a beer type that is fairly hit or miss with me. Those that I like, I really like, and those that I dislike, I really dislike. This one falls into the really like category. I would gladly return to this beer if and when given the chance. Very well balanced and a really enjoyable drinking experience. 4/5

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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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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 4,404 ratings.
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