Sofie | Goose Island Beer Co.

1,082 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: 1,082 | Ratings: 4,429
Photo of dgmirelli
3.17/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

look was light straw yellow, smell was citrus and apricot, taste followed the smell and feel was more champagne than beer, very heavy carbonation, to me tasted like champagne. Better saisons out there.

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Photo of samie85
3.18/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a very effervescent straw color with three fingers of meringue-like white head.

S-Smells like flowery and spicy yeast with some orange and white wine notes.

T-Tastes earthy and clove-y with some subtle hints of bitter orange and a fruity finish.

M-Very light-bodied and highly carbonated with a dry feel on the finish.

D-The carbonation is almost a little too much for my taste and I feel gets in the way of the flavor profile a little. I can't wait to see what this is like in a year or two.

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Photo of billyzoom666
3.18/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass from 1 pint, 6 oz bottle. I should start by admitting that this is not my favorite style of beer. Having spent a lot of time on my grandparent's farm as a kid, anything with a wheat/grain smell reminds me of grain elevators and cattle feed. So, subconsciously, I'm all ready biased against the style, although I love my grandparent's and the farm. Go figure. Anyway, This had a dark yellow coloring with no head at all. The sediment rests on the bottom of the glass as it settles. The flavor is "grainy", for lack of a better term and I think this may work well with a food pairing. It didn't do it for me as a stand alone beer. It's a little sweeter than I expected, and that only hurts the drinkability for me. Disappointing, as the guy at my beer store loves the stuff.

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Photo of flayedandskinned
3.2/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Bottled on: 12/13/12
Poured into a standard tulip.

Appearance: Pours a hazy straw yellow with a pure white 2 finger head with some halfway decent head retention, little lacing. Pretty average and innocuous looking saison.

Aroma: Musty hay, pepper, zesty lemon peel, tart pear and some simple, cracker like pilsner malt tucked neatly underneath a thin layer of grassy hops.

Taste: Spicy yeast right upfront; black pepper, pear and clove. Impressions of orange accentuate the snappy, grassy hops nicely. The beer finishes slightly tart with a kiss of bready, vanilla infused malt preceding it.

Mouthfeel: Thin, watery and way too low of carbonation to be indicative of the style.

Overall: While this beer is certainly complex in it's subtle nuances, the mouthfeel and low carbonation really detract from the beer's overall texture. The beer just sort of sits on your palate instead of being lifted up by carbonation. I wish this beer had a more assertive citric presence to liven up the palate a bit. I'm pretty disappointed by this beer because I have heard great things about it.

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Photo of MrIncognito
3.23/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a stemless wine glass

A - Hazy yellow body beneath a thick white frothy head. Good bit of sediment in the glass. Nice lacing that sticks.

S - Funky and citrusy. Big aromas of saison yeast with hints of orange and lemon. A bit of malt coming forth and I appreciate that there isn't a huge waff of alcohol.

T&M - Mouthfeel is way too carbonated for my taste. This was one fizzy beer. Quite dry and bubbly that adds a bit of tartness. I taste the orange peel most prominently followed by the yeast funk which creates kind of a chamomile tea flavor. Tastes a bit too medicinal for my taste and I am not a fan of the chamomile flavor I'm picking up. Reminds me of Old Dominion's Spring Buck from years past. As the beer warms I get more of the oaky taste with the aftertaste being the white wine twang that you get when you sip a dry white.

O - the overcarbonation and chamomile really got to me in a bad way. I didn't necessarily dislike this beer but it wasn't as good as I expected. I appreciate the idea of the beer but didn't deliver for me.

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Photo of KeefD
3.23/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Palest yellow on the pour, small white head forms which is gone quickly and some scattered lacing is present. Aroma of wheat, Belgian yeast, and light funk. Flavor follows suit with the nose. Plenty of wheat, yeast, light funk, orange peel, very light oak, and a bit of bitterness. I'm really having difficulty describing this one. The flavor just doesn't do it for me. There's a touch of funky cheese that I can't get past, and it's bone dry on the finish. Mouthfeel medium with crisp, ample carbonation. Gotta say, I'm not a fan of this brew. I've enjoyed the other Belgian style brews from GI, but this one doesn't do it for me. There are much better saisons out there.

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Photo of amorette87
3.24/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- a little cloudy, golden straw, medium white head

Smell- earthy, strong yeast smell

Taste- citrus, earthy taste, a little sour,light finish

Mouth Feel- very carbonated, smooth,

Over all- very distinct flavors and aroma. nice bubbly finish, over all pretty good.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.24/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

"Sofie 2011 Belgian Style Ale"

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap, bottled date 03/02/11 "2048", served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Acquired at Holingshead's Deli in Orange, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high as I usually enjoy beers from this brewery.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with pizza and breadsticks.

A: Pours a half finger head of no real cream, fair thickness, and really bad (~ ten second) retention. Colour is a foggy yet transparent yellow. No floating yeast particles are visible.

Sm: Lemon peel, white wine notes, a hint of orange peel, straw, clean barley, hints of funkiness, and perhaps yeast. Lemon peel is subtly dominant. I like the funkiness. A mild strength pleasant aroma.

T: A lightly funky flavour profile. Clean malts and barley comprise the foundation, with hints of white wine and yeast. The barrel aging only comes through when I really search for it. Light lemon citrus esters lend it a nice tone. The funkiness is a bit underdone. A bit bland and simple for the style, making it a bit boring. Balanced well. Its emphasis on subtlety doesn't really off; in the end it's neither complex nor subtle - but that doesn't prevent it from being pleasant and enjoyable to drink. No alcohol or yeast comes through.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours decently but far from perfectly. Carbonation is adequate. It's a bit too thin. Not refreshing, though it should be considering the style.

Dr: Drinkable but surprisingly unremarkable considering the brewery. A disappointment from Goose Island. I wouldn't have it again or recommend it to friends, but I enjoyed drinking it for what it was. The simplicity and lack of sufficient funkiness hold it back. Overpriced. Hides its ABV well. I'd probably try it on-draught.

Drank okay out of me Guinness pint glass, but a beerflute, wine glass, or tulip would all likely yield a better drinking experience.


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Photo of thydarkprevails
3.25/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 poured in a duvel tulip. Pours a hazy gold with a inch thick white head that lingers with ok lacing. Aroma is white grapes, yeast, and mild pepper. Reminds me of a pinot grigio. Taste is white grape, golden raisin, Belgian yeast, and some pepper. Thin mouthfeel with crisp carbonation. This beer resembles champagne. Not bad.

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Photo of ChadQuest
3.27/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a massive bleached bone white head with abundant lacing lofting a fragrant floral aroma that fills the room. has a bit of orange zest with grassy/hay and flowery meadow notes, yeasty. velvety chewy mouthfeel with a light crisp carbination and this 22oz is not a problem.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.31/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Brugse Zot glass. Very light colored; transparent yellow. It has a perfect finger and half of white head the held nicely.
Smells like cottoncandy and orange. Too faint though.
Mild citrus fruit, sour something and seltzer water.
The mouthfeel is amazing. It was so soft at first, then a little crisp and bubbly. Really, really nice.
It looked and felt good but the smell and taste were really lacking. Easy to drink because it tasted like flavored water. Not really impressed.

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Photo of ranger7
3.31/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle into a glass.

A: Light, hazy gold with small white head, lots of fine bubbles.

S: Oranges and grapefruit.

T: Not bad - a bit sour and bitter mixed with sweet. Small amount of hops at the finish.

M: Not good. Fizz is strong up front, leaving only citrus and hops taste at end.

O: Not bad, but not great either. Appearance and smell lead me to believe it would be better, but unfortunately not.

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Photo of ebin6
3.33/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Thick, luscious head; light yellow coloring. Steady stream of carbonation in center

S - Fairly strong floral smell. Some orange and other citrus present

T - Taste is a little lighter than the smell suggests. Orange hits on the front end

M - Lingers nicely, but not especially well. Swirling elicits next to nothing additional; not what I expected

D - Very drinkable which fits the bill for the style. Not exceptionally drinkable, but above average

Though not out of this world, the price is definitely right!

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.35/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to redsand22 for this one! 12oz brown glass twist-top bottle. 2010. Bottled 4/23/10.

Pours a hazy orange straw color with some fluffy white head. Nose is spicy and heavily orange influenced. Some light woodiness too. Palate is very clean and juicy with orange peel, some raspberry (maybe?) and a little creaminess. Creamy carbonation.

Notes: I'm not convinced this would age well for up to 5 years like the label says. Would love to try an old one, but don't think I'll spend my money on it. Clean and tasty, like a white in lots of ways.

Edit (3/29/11): Trying a bottle of from 12/11/09 to see how it ages. Seems a little tired, honestly. Not better for the age. Maybe a 5 year bottle is good? Who knows...

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Photo of nsheehan
3.37/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Sofie 2013
Goose Island
12oz to Duvel tulip
Farmhouse ale
6.5% ABV
Bottled 02/15/2013

A – A lot of tiny suspended sediment things. Gives an otherwise translucent and slightly clear beer some haziness. A yellowy gold that has a slight warmth.

S – Has a tangy, kind of lacto like smell, with orange. I can also pick up some spices. The smell is light yet confident overall. My gf (doesn’t drink beer) smelled it and could pick out wine. I think I might be deconstructing the wine smell into tang and alcohol.

T – Tastes interesting and strange. I’m getting a woody, orangey taste up front that reminds me of ovaltine. Followed by a sweet yet spiced orange. The aftertaste is of ginger ale with some orange. I didn’t like it much at first, but it is kind of growing on me.

M – Medium bodied, kind of sticky, yet also slick from alcohol. Simultaneously slightly sharp
and soft. Finished on the wet side of dry.

D – It’s strange, and ultimately not to my liking. I can see how other people would really like this, maybe I need to talk to someone else about it. I like my farmhouse ales on the Belgiany side or hoppy side (or in between really), and this beer went down a different axis.
4.25, 3.5, 3.25 , 3.25, 3.25; 3.33

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Photo of robbyc1
3.38/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Many tastes compiled here. 'Tis a dry, tart, sparkling ale with a bit too much carbonation, maybe the barrel aging and addition of orange peel push this toward the witbier style, without the wheat component. It's an odd saison, with a spiciness and fruitiness and goes outside the style bounds. Creamy finish does not save this, as a staple from the brewery I have to say look elsewhere.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.4/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - this lady is apple juice colored, a gentle pour wells up a thin white head that fades to a scant lring of lace quickly despite steady carbonation streams

S - the first aroma I detect is muscat grapes and some faint honey sweetness, all over a sneaky alcohol note

T - yeasty and bready, mellow bitterness which is a combination of the hop profile and another kind of tiramisu style light bitterness, if that makes sense

M&D - medium bodied, a bit harsh, needs some age which is what the rest of the four pack will get and at that time this review will get an edit

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Photo of jrallen34
3.4/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

It pours a light cloudy straw with a finger that has poor retention, but does leave a little soapy head. The lacing is decent.

The aroma is what you'd expect. Some light flowers and hops with a little hops.

I don't like farmhouses in general but the taste is better than most. Its soft and light but has a nice balance of sweet and floral bitterness.

The mouthfeel and drinkability are ok.

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Photo of sdkuhn
3.41/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

Nice color, not much head. Very mild smell, but presents citrus smell (orange, lemon)

Taste follows smell. Very smooth and bright. Fruit flavors dominate - not hoppy or bitter at all, more sour.

Quite carbonated and bubbly feel in the mouth, much like champagne.

Very drinkable, refreshing.

The bottle says it's 80% BPA mixed with 20% BPA aged in wine barrels with oranges and you can really taste the oranges!

Overall very good.

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Photo of nickthetick
3.42/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a slightly hazy lemon yellow with a nice finger of frothy head doesn't stick around or hang on the side of the glass.

S: sweet pineapple, apricot, spices, cloves, nutmeg, cardamon, bananas, light malt and bread.

T: sweet yellow fruits and slightly under ripened apples come through first. They are chased by a nice lemon note and finished off with a peppery flavor that compliments well.

MF: as one should expect, middle of the road body and moderate carbonation.

O: good saison that can hold its own but is missing out on six pack potential, especially for this easy of a drinking beer.

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Photo of bbrocko
3.42/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

To be accurate I am reviewing the 2010 version of Sofie, an 80/20 blended belgian style ale vaguely described as a "Belgian Style Ale."
Pouring into a New Belgian globe glass resulted in a HUGE foamy white head which disappeared in 2 minutes or so.

The beer itself, a hazy light yellow orange color.

First impressions were of dish soap. Seriously. (I rinse my glasses well so It's not from my glass).

Mouthfeel was thin, dry and spritzy like champagne.

Very citrusy in taste with a slightly tart/bitter finish.

It's an interesting effort and one I would only reach for in warm weather... occasionally. Or perhaps I might steer a champagne lover towards this beer.

Pricing: $4.10 for a single 12 oz bottle. Not worth that kind of money in my opinion.

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Photo of Nctide
3.43/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The nose is reminiscent of pear juice. Taste has a white wine quality that seems to get sweeter and really wears on me on successive sips. The finish is fairly dry similar to champagne. By the end of the 12 oz pour I felt like I was drinking a cheap Riesling.

I haven't had a beer quite like this one before. It's just not my thing.

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Photo of garuda
3.43/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle, bottled 11/11/11

A - Aggressive pour gets a billowing white head that retains well with some lacing. Body is slightly hazed yellow.

S - Yeasty, barnhouse funk with sweet lemon candy like aromas.

T - More of the citrus, lemon zest comes out in the taste, with less of the yeast character, finishing with lemon candy malts, grassy hops, and a slight yeasty twang. Lingering sweetness remains.

M - Light body, high carbonation, maybe a little too high. Still finishes crisp, but it seems a little too much sweetness hangs around.

O - Taste and smell are on-par for style, but mouthfeel is really keeping me from liking this more.

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Photo of froghop
3.44/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a cloudy yellow with a very thin white head, above average carbonation, and a little lacing.

smell is of lemon, some banana, and a touch floral.

taste is crisp, fruit, malt, banana, and lemon, ends refreshing and a little tangy.

nice for a farmhouse ale, just missing a little sourness.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
3.45/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - A cloudy blond, with 1 finger of head and a minor amount of lace left on the glass.

S - Slight smells of belgian candy yeast. Not much else. Not a strong aroma.

T - Citrus, orange, coriander, and you can taste the white wine barrel aged notes in the aftertaste. Pretty tasty.

M - Light bodied, medium carbonation. Easy to drink.

O - A very drinkable Saison, but I prefer my Saison's more funkier. Very light, easy to drink.

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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 4,429 ratings.
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