Sofie | Goose Island Beer Co.

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SofieSofie
BA SCORE
4.09/5
Exceptional
4,628 Ratings
SofieSofie
BEER INFO

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

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.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#4,717
Reviews:
1,133
Ratings:
4,628
pDev:
10.02%
 
 
Wants:
273
Gots:
1,223
Trade:
23
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,628 |  Reviews: 1,133
Reviews by mynie:
Photo of mynie
2.97/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Barley Island in Indianapolis' Broad Ripple district, though I've seen it at a bunch of other places.

It looks, smells, and tastes like a middling saison, which is bizarre because the bottled version is boffo. Here the citrus ain't as crisp, the yeast spice is pretty much not there, and really it's like a very fizzy blonde ale with a tiny bit of lemon added to it. There are 2 Saisons on tap at Brugge, right down the street, that are much better.

This is nuts. I've been attentively drinking beer for 6 years now, and I've never encountered one that was so different between the tap and the bottle. And it's not a matter of me not remembering the bottled version or the vintage being different or anything--I've had several bottles of both the 09 and 2010 Sofie, and all were spectacular.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of OKbrew89
3.33/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap. Light golden color with a head that leaves a ring of lacing. Nose of floral hops, yeast, and pepper. Floral hops and sweet malt are upfront with pepper and funky yeast coming in on the back. Light body and medium carbonation.
There's an aftertaste to it that I think comes from the yeast. It's almost musky and makes each next sip seem less desirable. I got through one pint and I had to nurse it.

 411 characters

Photo of J9gates
2.28/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Biased towards pales, so not wild about this one. Sharp fruity taste lingers unnecessarily long on the tongue. Not much body, but you can definitely taste the slightly higher ABV. Wheat aroma.

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Photo of VABA
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I poured from a 12 oz bottle (from a 4-pack) that was less than a month old. The beer had a very nice color. The aroma was very subtle. The taste was very sophisticated and elegant. Overall a very refined beer!

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Photo of NoBadBeer
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
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 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 dannycohen62
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pale gold color with a minimal head that dissipated quickly. Slightly hazy. Smells of yeast, straw, fruity esters, apple, gives the impression it might even have a hint of tartness. Taste is heavy on Belgian yeast, pear, crisp apple, followed by vanilla, oaky character. Dry, almost cider-like mouthfeel. Such a great beer, and the price makes it hard to pass up.

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Photo of Moneypenny
4.41/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Holy Wisdom! Divine inspiration in a glass. Rivals Hennepin on all counts. Not sure it surpasses Hennepin. This calls for multiple side by side comparison tastings. How will I handle the pressure?

Pours cloudy with a full figured head and some retention. Citrus and yeast on the nose. Some Bret but nuanced and done with a light hand. No barnyard effect. Definitely one to keep in rotation. Best I've had from Goose Island.

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Photo of Bombelsky
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange, hazy. Frothy white foam. 2 fingers tall. Diminishing to a small crown. Good lacing. High fruity aromas. Lemons. Yeasty. Rather tart with some light malty sweetness. Light hoppy flavor. Medium high fruitiness. Dry finish. Some tartness. Quite sparkling. Light body.

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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.

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Photo of Handsome_Steve
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2015. A nice surprise. Lovely bright yellow color with a white head that dissipated. Reminded me of some of the Belgian ales I have had. The note was a bit fruity with a vanilla to banana scent. Taste was light and crisp but very smooth. Not a full bodied IPA taste; closer to a pilsiner but the citrus and vanilla make a nice finish. Lovely surprise.

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Photo of oberon
3.77/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap at Jake's Billiards.Poured into a goblet a slight hazed lemon/strw color with a bone white head.Aromas are yeasty but not overly phenolic with a burst of citrusy lemon.Flavors of light spiced phenols and mild dough,lemon brings bright and even sharpness in the finish.The phenols are kept in check pretty well and the citrus flavors are nice if a bit sharp in the finish,not bad.

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Photo of aszatk01
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of beerhunter13
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Fear4Beer
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I loved Matilda so I thought that by all the great reviews that I'd love Sofie since I love me some Belgian style beers. I was very confused by this beer. I poured it into a glass and the beer looked incredibly light looking, I tasted the beer and it tasted incredibly light (like watered down), and thus I was disappointed. I bought a 4 pack so I'll definitely be drinking it all but I'm not a fan of this one. Their beer called Matilda on the other hand was awesome. I'm not sure if they encourage aging this beer but that's what I'll be doing since as it is, it just isn't special. Maybe with time it gets better? idk.

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Photo of BryanFlaherty
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tectactoe
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of OhioBobcat
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of jono0101
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of MaxT
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of brownbeer
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

 861 characters

Photo of npala86
4/5  rDev -2.2%

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