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: 4,406
Photo of menkros
1.24/5  rDev -69.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

2012 bottle direct from the brewery. Pours yellow , smells like pepper, taste is not my cup of tea. Gross, too bubbly, nasty aftertaste. Drain pour. Bottle. Head is initially small, fizzy/frothy, white, mostly diminishing. Body is medium yellow, bottle conditioned. Aroma is lightly malty (toasted grain), lightly hoppy (herbs, flowers), lightly yeasty (basement, cement), with notes of gum/banana, lemon candy, and pepper. Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter. Medium body, watery/syrupy texture, lively carbonation, lightly alcoholic. Overly sweet. The nose portends this, being very gummy/banana-ish and sugary. Not very enjoyable, not good.

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Photo of claytong
1.96/5  rDev -52.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

i think i had a bad batch or something. butter dominated and stayed. not much of anything else came. was pretty sad about that as i expect nice things from goose. i have another bottle of this too, didnt buy it from the same shop so dont know if i should age it like i wanted or drink it now and see if i want to get more.

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Photo of Kirsten_Ann92
2.01/5  rDev -51.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Comes out of the bottle looking and feeling like champagne. When I first saw it sitting on the table I really was surprised that it was a beer. The Citrus notes in the ale were a bit over whelming and gave an unappetizing odor to that of rotting fruit. Which I am sure was from the yeast used in the brew. When I drank it, it was very smooth and easy. The ale tasted like vanilla with citrus and made up for the smell overall. And again the texture fools ya, because if I didn't know I was drinking a beer I would have mistaken it for some champagne.

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Photo of MakenziMantey
2.13/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

The color of this beer is a medium yellow. The aroma you get is eggs and is kind of strong. Tasting this beer is another story at first it is super strong, has zang to it and overpowering with unpleasantness that I can not even describe.

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Photo of J9gates
2.28/5  rDev -44.5%
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 chinchill
2.36/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

fresh 12 oz 2011 bottle - 6/3/11 date - served cold.

Appearance - a hazy pale yellow with a small white head that quickly settles to a lasting ring. Visible moderate carbonation.

The appearance is a little funky; the aroma more so. In fact, it smells like it has gone bad or is at least on the way. There's plenty of over-ripe banana, hints of pineapple and over-ripe apples, along with other less distinguishable fruits. The aroma is yeasty but also quite funky and too similar to a moldy odor. The beer is fresh from the store, however, and has a recent bottling date, so the beer should be in fine condition. Hence, I try to over look suggestions of moldy wine and take a sip.

Tasting reveals a more palatible product than the nose suggests. In fact, with a strong citrus component [mainly lemon] and mild spiciness (mainly clove) added to the funky yeast flavors, this beer is rather interesting and passably drinkable although a bit challenging -- certainly not high praise on a very hot and thirsty afternoon. Earthy with hints of sour fruits and more than a hint of yeast.

M - Good carbonation streaming up from the bottom is also evident in the mouthfeel of this medium bodied and rather crisp beer. Has an unfortunate bit of a peppery bite on the tongue. Semi-dry finish.

O - While interesting, as beers in this category generally are, I cannot recommend this particular saison to any but fans of sour beers with a strong banana components. Perhaps aging is required.

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Photo of steve8robin
2.51/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Got this one on a trip to NYC...

A: Very light honey color with a thick white head that reduces quickly.

S: Very light and fruity scents. Pears, apples, etc.

T: Nope, I do not like this one. A little hoppy in flavor with hints of sausage or meat flavor. Ick! No sir, I don't like it.

M: Decent amount of carbonation and smoothness. Not perfect, but decent.

D: Hard to get down. This might be a drain pour.

All in all, I do not like this brew. You might like this brew if you like hoppy flavors with hints of apples and light fruits. Not my style, but it might be yours.

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Photo of hopsbreath
2.6/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed as part of the Blind Beer BIF #2 Bombers. Thanks Jamnescameron.

Bomber #8 poured into a tulip. A very pale yellow body is capped off with a huge fluffy white head that takes up 2/3 of the glass. Moderate lacing and a continuous cap look good. Saison is the only thing that looks like this.

Smell confirms this is a saison. Lemony and funky aromas have me thinking that I'm in for a treat!

Whoa and not in a good way. Big buttery banana, is not something I like in a saison and this delivers in spades. This actually reminds me of Hennepin...which I am the lowest rater of.

Mouthfeel is sticky and moderate. High carbonation is adequate for the style. Not the best.

Drinkability is not very good I don't want this again.

As part of such a fun BIF reviews are just part of the game. Unfortunately, this was not one that I preferred. Thanks to Jamnescameron for taking the time to include this one but my personal tastes didn't jive with it.

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Photo of muttyd
2.8/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Clear golden color with no head nor lacing.

S - Musty from the moment I poured it. The must fades into a fruity/pear-scented aroma with a hint of a yeasty funk.

T - Mostly follows the nose, but more fruits/sweet malt than anything. Yeast adds a sort of bready flavor as well.

M - Bubbly and thin. Clean and dry finish.

D - Not too sure what I think about this one. Maybe its because I haven't had a saison in awhile, but the nose and flavor I associate with a good saison are missing.

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Photo of mentor
2.92/5  rDev -29%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Stamp on the bottle is: 02/19/10 1716. Pours a four finger off-white head over a brilliant light straw liquid. Smells brettanomyces and some light fruits. Dusty, cherry, soured grapes. Head settles wonderfully and does leave some lacing on the glass.

Tastes bret edgy with some tangy sour and clovey phenol. Wet malt underneath with some pear esters. While light bodied, there is a dextrinous thickness when sloshed around in the mouth. Pretty simple nad the brett is distracting overall, rather than complementing.

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Photo of barknee
2.92/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

750mL bottle; 2015 vintage.
Let me say upfront that in retrospect, this brew likely would have benefited from some bottle aging.
Sofie pours a cloudy 10k gold color with a thin white head. Nose of soft coriander, beet sugar and lemon balm struggle to waft from the glass. The taste is a bit backward with tart lemon, coriander and thin malt meagerly emerging. This is a lithe brew, thin and lacking body and personality. I can't help comparing it to Hennipen, and when I consider them both subjectively, I can only say that Sophie was born with mass chromosomal abnormalities. Way too understated for my liking, this brew is all treble and nothing else.

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Photo of dhannes
2.93/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampler at Glass Nickel Pizza in Madison.

A=Very pale yellow color...not bad, but not great.


T=Lighter body and flavor than the Matacabras I've had. Citrus presence.

M=A bit lighter than I would have liked.

O=Nothing spectacular...too light in flavor and body for my liking.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
2.93/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2012 bottle vintage

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is a bright, hazy, orange-gold coloring with only a hint of film atop the brew. Steady carbonation flow throughout the body of the beer. Aromas of clove, butter, saffron, and some dull fruity sweetness. Flavors are a bit watered down, with a toasty, slightly sour backbone of cereal and banana. The slight sour character keeps the spice notes to a bare minimum, with only a hint of oregano and clove. There is a slick, oily partial lacing left along the glass. Toasty, subtle aftertaste, with not much else to go on. The finish is quick and sharp, with a slight bitterness to it. Meh.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.96/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11 ounce pour - $8.00 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Served up a hazy, pale straw-hued body with a slim coating of white fizz.

Smell: A scent of casually chewed gum atop notes of reserved malts, coriander seed, meager pear, a little snippet of citrus, and 'nanana.

Taste: Starts with a very soft, very gentle maltiness, then the tranquility is tainted by a large dollop of icing sugar for a jarring initial sweetness. Orchard fruits, pureed bananas, and a nod towards the citrus component. All the while a taste of Chiclets. A little bitterness. Coriander spiciness, but also some pepper. Fruity Chiclet, sugary, lightly spiced finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: It was merely okay. Just barely so-so. I had rather expected this one to please with ease. Time to fire up the Smokey Robinson song, "Tears of a Clown."

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Photo of emsroth
2.97/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz bottle, bottled 12/11/09

App: straw golden with a fluffy head. Medium cloudiness. For some reason, I feel like this looks a little light colored for a saison which bothers me. Hence the 3.5.

Smell: Tart and funky with a hint of spice. Sour grapes, plum skin, hint of oat-like grain, and a touch of pepper. A rather tart aroma that has me excited to try the brew--rather curious how the flavor will match.

Taste: A quick bite of carbonation and fruity funk followed by a long, slow malt. A slight wine sharpness is the middle. Very dry with a kick of grassy, herbal hops. The flavor seems to fall flat and the light body doesn't back up the flavors that are present.

It's got some nice qualities, but something about this beer falls flat for me.

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Photo of mynie
2.97/5  rDev -27.7%
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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Photo of deebo
3/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Longfellow Grill

A-Golden, slightly cloudy with no head with tons of tiny CO bubbles.

S-Slightly funky yeast, not much else to note.

T-Belgian yeast is evident, funky yeasty

M-Finishes a bit long, bitter with a fairly long tingly bite.

D-Not good for a saison

O-An okay beer but nothing too exciting. Go for Matilda instead of this one.

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Photo of schematix
3/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased a large bottle from Costco today. It was about $6.

A: Very very pale straw. I've seen darker macros before. Just a touch hazy.

S: Belgian yeast aroma with a little orange peel.

T: Eh. I expected a bit more flavor. It's not very malty. Finish is very dry and tart, almost champagne-like. Light on the Belgian character. Not sensing much in the way of hops.

M: Thin and prickly on the tongue. It's bone dry.

O: Reminds me a little bit last year's batch of apfelwein I made, except this is beer and doesn't have any apples! I can see someone who isn't big on heavy beers liking this. It's not offensive in any way, but I can't pick out any one feature of it that makes me want to go back for another bottle.

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Photo of PEBKAC
3.04/5  rDev -26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Bottled: June 1st '09
$7.55 from New Beer

Paired this one with some salmon & green beans. I went easy on the lemon.

Ommegang anniversary tulip/flute hybrid glass. Sweating, but not too cold. No need to decant this one. Bright & pale gold body, with a stacked eggshell white head. A bit too much head.

Smell was intense with pepper. Background noise consisted of dark leaf lettuce, gum, mango, cornstarch, & a little spoilage.

Taste was upfront with bitter pineapple core, bitter/metallic greens, lemon rind, salt, touch of orange, & too many witbier/wheat beer similarities for my liking. A tough doughy on the follow through. Lingering menthol bitterness & alcohol.

Feel was decent enough. Crisp, but not overly sharp carbonation. Creamy middle that turns bone dry on the finish.

Too early? Saisons/white ales tend to start tasting dusty with age in my opinion. This one didn't taste old, but just didn't really distinguish itself from everything else out there, despite the initial curiosity over what was described on the label.

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Photo of TheIPAHunter
3.06/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Too much like a chardonnay for my taste. I'm not a huge fan of Belgian yeast, nor the compliment it provides to any measure of citrus character. Faint, and I mean very faint, hints of vanilla hit the very back end of the tongue. It looks really nice in the glass, but beyond that, not something I'll be seeking out again. Sorry for the one night stand, Sofie!

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Photo of JamesShoemaker
3.07/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fresh 12 oz bottle poured into my new tulip glass. It’s actually a pretty good story how I got this beer: I was mix-and-matching some pumpkin beers (including DFH Punkin – review to follow) and I found this one hidden behind some Blue Moon Harvest. Well, the store didn’t allow customers to break up four or six packs, and since I certainly wasn’t going to pay $11 for a four pack of Sofie, it was pretty perfect to find a decent single amongst the swill.

At least, I thought it was going to be good, given its high-ish BA rating.

A – pilsner. That’s all I think of. Not terribly impressive, and especially not when one considers how rich Belgian style ales can look. The foam is impressive, however.

S – lots of fruit, this is definitely the highlight of the beer. I smell berries, but beneath them I smell generic light beer.

T – completely unimpressive. I don’t feel good about saying this, considering how much everyone seems to love this beer. I’m not a huge fan of Belgians or Saisons in the first place, but I can usually appreciate them. This I do not care for. Much like the smell, I taste hints of fruit at first, but beneath it, the beer isn’t even rich.

M – also not great. Sour, in fact.

O – I will not be getting this again, of course, even if it is available as a single. I literally cannot believe they charge so much for a four pack of this stuff. Luckily, I bought a four pack of Leviathan DIPA with my mix-and-match, so the night wasn’t a total loss.

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Photo of tchenery
3.1/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Beer pours an extremely straw color. I"m using the ole Duvel tulip glass. The head recedes a bit too fast, but is bone white in color.

The smell is sour upfront. I almost get a whiff of ketchup for some weird reason, but it's probably just me. It's slightly peppery and herbal, but it's very faint.

I notice the mouthfeel before anything else. It's too syrupy and thick, almost oily. After that the taste is very subtle. It's very soft on the tongue, almost pale ale like, without a whole lot of zest, sour, or funk - all the fun that comes with a great farmhouse. I'm not crazy about this one, it tastes bland and I even let it sit out of the fridge for 10 minutes before pouring.

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Photo of sevenarts
3.12/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pale, cloudy yellow with a big fluffy white head.

S: Belgian yeasty aromas dominate, with some wine characteristics, citrus, a peppery bite, and an occasional hint of something unpleasantly musty, almost spoiled, that ruins the otherwise good smell.

T/M: Pleasantly winey and smooth, with grape, citrus, a touch of spiciness, and that underlying Belgian yeast character. Some strong, sugary bubblegum flavors as well. Well carbonated and a little tingly on the tongue, like sparkling white wine.

O: Not a bad saison, but the taste isn't as rich and complex as other Belgian ales, and the aroma has that unpleasant off character that detracts from the overall beer. Not one I'd get again despite its good points.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.14/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a sniffer. Pours a very nice golden color but I could not get a head out of it at all. It looks like a chardonay. How does this beer have an A-? No lacing.

Aroma is of orange peel and malt. But there is this slight weird funky smell like a bit of stinky cheese.

Taste is a bit weird too. Has a weird tart sweet malty taste. Bit of like an imperial saison. Too malty for a saison.

Mouthfeel should be dryer. Needs alot more carb too.

Overall I don't know why people are rating this so high. It's nothing that a saison should be. Especially if you look at what the standard is considered (fantome). Its not a terrible beer but has so much wrong and it is not to style at all. No thank you.

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Photo of nitro0292
3.15/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazy goldenrod with solid 1/4 inch head and good lacing.

Smell is classic Belgian yeast and sweet malts. Some hops.

Tastes like apples, white wine and yeast. Taste is OK and not cloying but does not taste like beer...tastes like apple juice and white wine.

Mouthfeel is a good-natured medium. Carbonation is fairly high, which is to be expected given the bottle refermentation. Finish is dry, not slick or oily.

Good, but too much apple. Maybe fermentation temps were too high. Maybe it is green beer and needs to age for a while. Would not buy again.

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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 4,406 ratings.
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