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 KKD
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Serving Type: Bottle

A: Pale gold,thick, full, and white head. The head sticks around and, though cloudy, carbonation is visible and steady.

S: Lemon, orange, grass

T: A bit of citrus fruits and lemon, bread and slight peach up front

M: Crisp, Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Very enjoyable, reminiscent of a saisons style beer.. great stuff, shaping up to be one of my favorites, an all around excellent beer!

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Photo of drinkankuss
4.73/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was one amazingly good beer. Something that if I could replicate I would brew consistantly.

bottle 2010 into a wine glass

A - spot on, no cloudiness in the first pour. Bright yellow small bubbles good retention

S - Not a ton going on, but my nose is busted.

T- Big Saison Flavors - Farm houseness is balance by a pretty big hop flavor. Taste very fresh and crisp.

M - Go down Easy. Want more.

D - If it wasn't expensive I would be hooked.

Have been trying a lot of saision stylea : Bam Biere, Devotion, Helios, Stillwater. This rises to the top. For an american made Saison.

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Photo of KevCan
4.73/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bought a couple loose 12 oz. bottles from Giant in Arlington, VA. Poured into a tulip glass.

Look: Golden straw colored and clear with generous, rocky white head.

Smell: Primarily citrus (orange/lemon), saison yeast, and maybe some kind of herb (rosemary)? Just a hint of Brett-like funkiness.

Taste: Tart, very flavorful, excellent saison. Very dry finish. Sweet and sour lemon candy.

Feel: High carbonation, medium-thick body, slightly syrupy.

Overall: Amazing example of a saison. I could drink these all day.

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Photo of joshk
4.72/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Did someone say horse-blanket? Because it wasn't me. What is a horse-blanket?

Had on tap in Penn Station.

Appearance: hazy golden yellow with a light white head.

Smell: sweet, fruity. Sour, mild pineapple and sour apple notes, some apricot . Smells like a sour candy.

Taste: light hoppy flavor, sour apple, champagne, "light fruits" (as opposed to dark fruits). Light malty flavor, "chalky yeast," light spice, floral, mild sweetness. After a while, I could taste a faint grain or wheat flavor. Very complex brew.

Mouthfeel: medium to light, certainly not super light.

Drinkability: high for Belgian style. However, I usually can't drink more than one or two belgian ales a night. Either it's the strong yeasty flavor, the occasional spice, or the complexity.

Notes: an exceptional Belgian style from the US. Reminds me of Duvel, but I like it better. Very easy drinking, my first farmhouse ale. A relatively expensive pint, but was well worth it (like six bucks and some change). Would go well with some aged gouda and crackers, or garlic pork loin, coq au vin, or other fancy shit.

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Photo of MinorThreat
4.72/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased from south east Denver's best boutique beer store's; Libation's, they do a damn fine job of supplying the exceptional and hard to find.

A-One of the best looking saison's I have ever seen. Rich golden color with a nice murky look. The head sets this one apart; super dense thick white head with nice lacing

S-Green pepper and horse blanket with a sweet under tone. Spot on for the style.

T-Yup, this is the best saison I have had outside of Belgians. Phenomenal yeast esters of green pepper, banana, clove, brown sugar pair with a subtle maltiness and an animal-saison-funk. Exceptional

M-Dense enough to feel full and effervescent enough to remain light, really nice.

D-Yes please. This is one to savor... in quantity

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Photo of beer-to-relax
4.72/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2012 sofie. incredible. has a bit of a champagne like mouthfeel and refreshing. drank one on new years and its a great beer. lov goose island beer they make a good product whichever you pull off the shelf. Think I'm gonna leave a couple in the garage awhile and see if they cant get any better with some age. cant say enough about sofie.

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Photo of Michelleluw
4.72/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This is such a fun beer! All the way back to how it's bottled. The refreshing taste with the citrus nodes gives it a wonderful and sparkling body. This is a great beer to recommend to someone who doesn't drink beer, but loves champagne and wine.

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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 beveritt
4.7/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured from a 22 oz brown bomber into a Rockmill chalice. Label is simple; white background with some gold and green showing a goose. Bottled in 2010.

Appearance: Pours with just over 1 finger of white head. This settles slowly to a still substantial coating of foam, leaving behind incredible lacing. The beer itself is a crystal clear bright yellow with a lot of activity. Some compacted sediment remains in the bottle.

Smell: Rich and creamy aroma with strong notes of honey, pineapple, and pears.

Taste: Decent carbonation bite upfront followed by a nice lemon-citrus zest. This sharpness is counterbalanced by smooth and creamy fruit flavors; vanilla, pear, and slight banana. Lingering lemongrass flavor with mild sweetness.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation, as is appropriate for the style. Body is great.

Drinkability: Another great one from Goose Island's foray into Belgian styles. Very enjoyable and certainly one to revisit frequently.

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Photo of rwf08
4.7/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a NB tulip.

A: Clear pale straw with a shit-ton of carbonation. I know I have a glass with a large nucleation spot but damn it looks like a bubble tornado. Head starts at two fingers and grow to Shaq hands out side of the glass.

S: Fruity, some light funk, horse blanket, and a clean floral aroma. Wine and citrus zest.

T: This reminds me of a chardonnay with a little more oak. I get a good amount of citrus zest too. This is pretty awesome.

M: High end on carbonation, with a thin mouth feel. Kind of soda like but in a good way.

D: This is a really good beer. I wish I had this on a hot Summer's day instead of drinking it now at night. I would seek this out again. Good job GI.

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Photo of BeerNemesis
4.7/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Sofie | 650 ml. | 6.5% ABV | 2010 vintage

Brewer: Goose Island
Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale
Glass: White wine glass

Very elegant white label. I approve.

Elegant, crisp straw gold. Glowing, warm -- it fills the gap between translucent Chardonnay and viscous, opaque honey. The head fizzes angrily, champagne-like.

Goose absolutely nails the style. Moderate barnyard character, wonderfully fresh orange-peal neroli oils,

Authentically Belgian taste is far from given for American breweries, but Goose more than exceeded expectations. The brettanomyces was a nice touch, giving it a moderate barnyard funk. Neroli oil was a key component giving it a gushing juicy zest. Warming alcohol towards the end is elegantly done. Oh and it was aged in wine barrels.

Over-bubbled, but not as much of an issue as I thought at first sip. Only a minor hiccup.

Wow, not since Hennepin have I tasted such a good American saison.

Would I get it again?:
Absof*ckinglutely, yes.

Bottled on: ?
Served on: July 14, 2010

Price = ?

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Photo of larryi86
4.69/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle dated 4/23/10 poured into a snifter

A- A hazy bright yellow with a very fluffy 3 finger white head.

S- Earthy spices, oranges, lemons, hints of sour apples and a slightly funky Belgian yeast. Just great and screams drink me!

T- The taste is not as big as the smell. Fruit flavors are noticeable along with the earthy spices, but not dominate. The finish has a hint of a wine flavor and a hint of funk. A nice malt backbone that bring everything together.

M- Nice medium body, crisp, smooth, and very refreshing.

D- Very easy to drink and enjoy. This beer has nice complexity but I could see myself drink as many as 5 or 6 on a hot summer day if I had enough. This is a new favorite that I will be stocking up on!

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Photo of Chronofied
4.68/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

About 50°F, served in a laser-etched snifter.

Appearance - A slightly cloudy golden color, with visible sediment and a simply epic carbonation stream (in part thanks to the laser etch). Wonderful head retention with a nice lacing left behind on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Nose is marked with a resin and yeast smell that hides a hint of orange, with just a suggestion of esters. Not as strong of an aroma as I might hope; the bubbliness would imply more effervescence.

Taste - Medium bodied and very smooth, there is a very shy acidity that gives it a definitive crispness. The taste of this brew is light on the malt, with a solid but not overpowering yeast flavor very true to the saison style. The taste is mostly sweet with a hint of hoppy bitterness
and a lightly fruity finish of citrus. Alcohol is almost indiscernible throughout, just enough to remind you it is there.

Mouthfeel - This beer manages to be both creamy and crisp, with a jubilant carbonation that delights the tongue. The carbonation, along with the light fruitiness of the taste, is almost reminiscent of a cider. Not much heat on it, just a little flare on the finish.

Drinkability - Not even fair. I find myself pulling on my glass again and again. I could honestly drink this all night. Just over the course of this review I've drained a full pint-six, and could go for another.

Overall - Sofie is my paramour, and I'll care for her all the long days of my life.

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Photo of RaiseTheBar
4.68/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I'm cheating on my wife with SOFIE! Wow. Great beer. Everything I love in a beer even though it's more a Farmhouse Ale than a Wit/Hef/Belgium where my preferences are centered. I've had both the large format and 12 oz (4 pack). I'm biased towards the large format bottle but that's probably because of the outcome of finishing it vs a small 12 oz! ;-)

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Photo of ausonius
4.67/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Sofie (12/11/09 bottling date)

From 22 oz. Bomber

Bought tonight; Chilled; Popped & poured.

Appearance - Head settles quickly leaving a thin head, barely covering the brew w/little lacing
Light blond yellow with a almost imperceptible touch of green.

Aroma - fresh, grainy, metallic, Belgian yeasty, farmhouse ale type of nose, but with more freshness. Hint of piquancy & pungency. Earth, sour limes, sourdough. Complex, big & rich, but not sweet (not much banana) & has freshness with a hint of fruity citrus. Very nice.

Palate - Big, grainy, creamy, but not fat. Long, full, slightly linear (not in a thin way, just not round), with an earthy dry, slightly spicy key lime, grainy, clean finish. Hints of licorice, orange, spice, oak & clean earth in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Interesting & changing from beginning to finish. A Saison with a twist - a twang of citrus. Loverly!

Drinkability - Hard to keep the glass out of my hand. Little trace of alcohol (none negative). Frankly, this can be a Great sesh brew, but probably only with another beer Lover - it's so complex, ever-changing, & just damn interesting, that only another beer lover will forgive the smiling introspection this may inspire.

95+/100 Points

This is Great Beer & I Love it!

Really nice now, but definitely will age.

From the label: 80% Belgian styled ale blended with
20% Belgian styled ale aged in wine barrels with orange peel.

I'm beginning to think these guys may be turning out more great beer than any other brewery in the US. Hmmm . . .


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Photo of JaredKent
4.67/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Lightly golden in color, considerably hazy. Pours a nice white head that is about an fingers width. This definitely sticks around for quite a bit.

Scent: I get quite a bit of clove up front with a bit of the orange peel. The clove aroma reminds me the minty characteristics of birch beer, which I absolutely love. I dont get too much from the wine barrels, but there is definitely something complex about this beer, something I just can't place my finger on.

Taste: Lots of flavors coming right out of the gate. Again I get clove and orange peel. The typical funk associated with Belgian yeast strains is present, but very mildly. The oak wine barrels do a great job smoothing this out. The flavors of the wheat and the citrus are all tied together with the oak. Luckily the oak doesn't overpower this light beer, it's just present enough to bring it all in.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and easy to drink with a light body. The carbonation is prominent which I expect from a good Belgian Wit.

Overall: Goose Island has succeeded in take the simple Belgian Wit and turned it into something more complex and interesting. The spice combination in addition to the oak aging in wine barrels really adds new flavors unseen in many other beers of this style.

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Photo of hawks10
4.67/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22oz brown bottle - Bottled January 2009 (original batch) - Poured into my oversize Goose Island chalice...

Pours a crisp and clear golden yellow, very carbonated, tons of thick, heavy white head forms and never seems to recede, thanks to the raging stream of bubbles continually rising from the bottom of the glass, chunks of lacing are left...

Wow, intensely "Belgian" in the nose, tons of Belgian yeast spice and a very strong, and unexpected mustiness jumps from the glass into your nose. Lemon, orange and banana add a nice citrus twist and fruity sweetness. But this one keeps going back to the spice and funk, which are both strong aspects of the smell of this beer. Complex and perfectly balanced, two years spent in the bottle have made this beer a perfect 5.0 for smell, when consumed at the 6-month and 1-year age, this beer was a 4.0 smell at best, incredible what the extra year has done...

The first sip hits you pretty hard with some citrus/lemon tartness. Almost (but still far behind...) Fantome-esque. After a couple sips, the beer becomes quite dry. Incredibly musty with a good bit of funk, this may be the best "Belgian Style" Saison brewed in America. Subtle spicing (which is great, cause so many Saisons are way overspiced IMO), earthy and slightly herbal. Surprisingly, there is a bit of alcohol heat after a while. Finishes juicy and sweet. Like the nose, complex, balanced, wonderful...

Medium bodied with fairly active carbonation. Beer becomes much sweeter as it warms and that sweetness tends to linger a bit past the finish...

I have always been a fan of Sofie, but cracking this 2 year old bottle today was like my first time drinking it. The age did tremendous things to the aroma and flavor. Adding complexity, intensifying the musty/funky character of the beer and somewhat subduing the slightly over-sweet flavors of a fresh Sofie.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.66/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 12oz bottle served in a small wine glass at cellar temps.

Appearance: bright yellow, clear and effervescent with a pale head that went away almost immediately.

Nose: Candied lemon peel, sweet and citrusy

Taste: very light body, citrus, slightly malty, sweet and light

Overall: It almost has a fake or manufactured flavor to it. I don't think it detracts from the overall flavor.

March 2014 vintage bottle

The beer almost leaps out of the bottle with all the carbonation. The beer is very thin in look and mouthfeel and highly carbonated. Heavy Brett profile here after w years in the bottle. Citrus, lemon, mildly tart and acidic. Very nice barren aged saison. This is a world class beer and I believe my rating reflects that. I don't know if this will improve with more time in the cellar but I intend to try another bottle in a year or so and find out.

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Photo of professorninja
4.65/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this at a concert with my wife (Crooked Still). After a couple of bourbon and sprites, I split a 22 oz. of Sofie with the lady.

A - I was tipsy, and it was dark, so I can only assume it looked good.

S - It smelled pretty good. Clean, maybe citrusy?

T - The taste was incredible. Sweet, almost bready. It had the tang of a belgian style ale, but it wasn't sour.

M - I'm not a huge fan of this style, I don't like a lot of big bubbles. The feel was good for what it was.

D - Low ABV, so I could see drinking a few of these (I knew I wanted more after the first, but this is a pricey beer).

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Photo of FernMaster
4.65/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sofie - Goose Island

Poured from the bottle into a tulip.

I haven't reviewed this beer yet? What the hell is wrong with me? I was just sitting, texting, listening to Junip while being in a really pleasant mood as I was drinking this beer and I was wondering what did I rate it at? Apparently nothing, which needs to be remedied.

If the Holy Grail is ever discovered, this should be the first thing ever poured into it. Sorry Angel, not Mountain Dew and sorry Indian Jones for whatever the hell it was, water? Yuck. There's easily a hand's worth of head. Maybe not for people who have man sized hands, for my dainty hands it's easily five fingers. Gorgeous. I meant my hands. Jk. Sofie is a very murky golden dirty blonde color with constant carbonation and decent lacing as well. She's a looker.

The smell, ahahaha. There's this funky rotted floor board smell, like an abandoned farmhouse. Over this rotted funk is a scent of incredible lemon zest, citrusy punch, sort of a pineapple scent. If you were to have sex with a pineapple in the situation that Alison Brie's character in the most recent "Community" episode described (the Dungeons and Dragons one), Sofie would smell like that.

The taste is magnifecent and what really got me pondering on what my previous review was. I'm drinking this a little warm, you should too, maybe a little past 55 degrees and it's perfect there. The lemon comes right up in the front of the taste. Sofie is also very sour, while not being distractingly so, which for me is a quality I love. Shock Tarts are cool, but a whole roll is a challenge. When I was a kid, I don't know if those are still made. They should be. I want some. I said "zest" earlier and that comes through, it's very tangy and delectable.

The mouthfeel of this is nicely carbonated that gives a smidgen of resistance as you drink. I like it. It's a good, firm body to uphold the flavor and it's an all around amazing drink at a very affordable price. I would highly recommend drinking this beer. It's by Goose Island, a brewery I love for their consistent quality. They are part of what makes living in the Midwest great. Find this beer and drink it if you haven't already, or if you're like me, revisit an old friend.

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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 scoobybrew
4.65/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - slightly hazy (bottle condition) light straw color, decent head, good retention, nice lacing

S - funky yeasty esters and phenols with an almost wheat like malt; no hop detected, but might be a variety that is well hidden by the yeast

T - tangy malt with slightly funky strong yeast character; hop bitterness noted on finish, but in check; finish is dry and crisp with some of the esters and phenols lingering

M - medium to light body with moderate to high carbonation

D - This is an excellent saison and one of the best commercial examples that I've had this side or that side of the water. Goose Island makes some pretty good 'specials' and this is no exception.

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Photo of bmeehan
4.65/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sofie is exactly what I expect from
a saison. You can immediately taste the spices that you'd expect from a saison, but its finish is so smooth that you know you're drinking something special.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.65/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 Bottle

Poured a yellow gold with giant white head.

The smell was of citrus, spicy yeast, and a little bready malt.

Taste was amazing. The orange rhindes give it a citrus dry bitter taste on the back. As the beer warms up the malt shines through like a king. It is hopped in just the right way but this beer and style like the hops taking a back seat.

Great beer!

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Photo of JustinMatthew
4.65/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 Sofie bottled 9/15/11 (1557) and poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Cloudy golden color with a fingers width of quickly dissipating white head. Smell is a little funky and musky, a bit yeasty and kind of oaky in the nose. Taste is similar to the nose a little drying on the end with hints of citrus fruits, (orange peel) sweet yeast presence a touch of white grapes (chardonnay barrel aging) musky oak presence is evident but all together well balanced. Can't wait for another bottle of this in future trades.

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