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Sofie | Goose Island Beer Co.

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SofieSofie
BA SCORE
4.09/5
Exceptional
4,523 Ratings
SofieSofie
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,118
Reviews:
1,113
Ratings:
4,523
pDev:
10.02%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
259
Gots:
1,186
Trade:
23
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,523 |  Reviews: 1,113
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled 7/8/2010. Slow gusher upon opening. Pours hazy golden amber color with a nice 3 finger foamy and rocky white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice foamy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of tart lemon, apple, pear, pepper, orange peel, pineapple, wheat, hay, floral, grass, clove, funk, and earthy yeast spiciness. Fantastic aromas with great complexity and balance of fruity and spicy yeast notes; with great strength. Taste of tart lemon, apple, pear, clove, pepper, orange peel, wheat, hay, grass, funk, and spicy yeast earthiness. Moderate earthy tartness/spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of tart light fruits, citrus peel, pepper, clove, hay, grass, wheat, light funk, and earthy yeast spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast notes; with a great malt/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. High carbonation and medium bodied; with a very crisp, foamy, and moderately prickly mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic wild yeast saison! Outstanding complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and orange peel flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering; and one of my favorite easily available wild saisons.

 1,402 characters

Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -2.2%

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

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

Bottled June 1, 2009.

Poured into Bruery snifter.

Pours a big layer of fizzy head. Decent retention with some sticky lace. Color is a hazy dull golden sunset.

Aroma: Lots of spices. Coriander, pepper, cloves, some yeast and funk going on as well.
Fits the style well.

Taste: Big yeast flavors with lots of active carbonation. Lots of farmhouse funk and spice flavors. Crushed pepper and corriander. Not to bad.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy, spiced, and relatively refreshing. Medium bodied with lots of carbonation. Ends with a dry aftertaste.

Overall, this is just a solid beer for the style. It is pretty drinkable and I like it. A well done beer from the guys at GI.

 663 characters

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Goose Island Sofie 2011
22 oz. bottle, dated 09/15/11 1658
$7.99 @ Whole Foods Market, Union Square, NY

The two words that came to mind when I first put Sofie to my lips were 'sophisticated' and 'refined'. It's easy to make a Belgian-style beer that's bursting with flavor, but it's not as easy to do it while keeping the yeast in-check with the other flavors.

It pours a hazy, deep golden body beneath a creamy head of white. The head retention and lacing are good... it'll rise up on you if you're not careful, so pour it gently until the very end of the glass.

In the nose it's displays a light, delicately sugary malt and the juice of fresh, crisp and tart baking apples. Some wet wood and minor spice rounds it out.

In the flavor the apples clearly return, along with the gently sugary malt, but there's also a delicate carpet of spiciness for them to roll around on. I'm assuming there's Brettanomyces involved, but I can't say for sure. The tartness is clear, but I also find a bit of straw, and some mild 'leathery' notes. There's no mettalic zing to it though, nor any real barnyard, mud, or manure. If it's Brett, they've kept it very clean. A mild touch of coriander appears, and there's some gentle peppery quality to it. A bit of vanilla, and some mild orange/citrus rounds it out with a nice creamsicle note. It's light and delicate, but it's actually quite full of flavor, and it's more complex than it initially seems to be - and that's exactly what I mean by 'refined'. Too often American brewers over-do the yeast and spices, and each one stands out on its own, whereas most Belgian brewers try for a spice component that lies in the background, not necessarily revealing its complexity. This has that. It has sweetness, tartness, vanilla, citrus, sandalwood, and spice all putting something in, and at the same time pulling together to balance it. Superb...really nicely balanced and polished. It finishes in different ways as you progress through the glass, but mainly it's dry with a bit of residual tartness that then fades to leave some ever-so-subtly-chalky orange peel and old wood behind.

In the mouth it's medium-light in body with a bit of a dexrinous character, but still "light". And it's just gently zesty, and mainly 'airy' on the palate.

Overall, it's a remarkably charming and seductive ale. I think that almost anyone could fall in love with this beer. Worth seeking out!

 2,413 characters

Photo of chinchill
2.36/5  rDev -42.3%
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.

 1,485 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 Edition.

A: Pours a hazy pale yellow with a fair amount of particulates in suspension and light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a three finger tall fizzy white head that reduces to a dense thick patch with a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: A very interesting smell to this beer and one that is unexpected for the style. There is a significant amount of funkiness in the aroma along with citrus and sour hints. There are also some floral notes as well as hints of spices (like clove and coriander).

T: The taste is very similar to the smell of this beer, there are significant notes of citrus (mostly orange/orange peel) along with some prominent spice notes (clove and coriander). Additionally there is quite a bit of funkiness in the flavor as well.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with significant amounts of carbonation. Smooth and slightly dry in the finish.

O: The beer is quite tasty and enjoyable though is a little too intense in flavor to be sessionable - this is a very good sipping beer. I found the beer to be quite refreshing. The funkiness of this beer might make it a little less approachable for folks that are not fans of that flavor profile.

 1,287 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to give some credit to heliosphann for giving me this in a trade earlier back, but now it's available here finally. So glad I can get my Goose Island now.

A: Pours a creamy live big bubbled head of about a finger, bottle conditioned style. It doesn't even seem to fade, but may be getting help from the trillions of bubbles rising to the top from the etch at the bottom of my Sam Adams pint glass. It's a hazy bright golden yellow color with a slight glow. Lots of haze though.

N: Very Bavarian wheat like on the nose. Lots of spicy yeast and malt aromas. Lots of wheat, citrus, banana, lemongrass. Theres a slight strong yeasty farmhouse like aroma, with spiciness and earthy aromas.

T: Taste is similar to the nose, lots of wheat to start. It has a yeast that is bright and slightly earthy/spicy. Lots of banana, some lemongrass, straw, etc. Some slightly earthy bright hop flavors as well with hints of bitterness. Some other fruity flavors, almost tropical. A slight sweet malty flavor as well graces the taste.

M: Lighter body, good carbonation, slightly spicy.

F: Finishes somewhat bitter, more than I thought it would. Also pretty dry with some spicy flavors again, as well as the nice wheat finish. It also leaves some fruits and banana flavors lingering a bit. Some slight earthy tastes, but not really very long. Long finish of wheat, banana, and yeast. Would be a great summer beer.

 1,406 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 3/3/2012 at Track 84, in Warwick, RI served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light yellow color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick on the glass.

S: The aroma contains spices, wheat, bananas, Belgian yeast and light caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of Belgian yeast, wheat and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. Then sweet flavors of spices, bananas and citrus quickly follow. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and very smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a very good lighter Saison worth drinking for a long time.

 825 characters

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.

 390 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

G: Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Light gold with a tremendous bone white head and a stunning amount of lacing.

S: A bit of yeasty funk over a slight peppery aroma. Mild hops underneath, though they don't challenge the yeast character. Also, some white wine characteristics--green grapes and a bit of sweet, tart fruits.

T: Little bit of funk combined with some pepper flavors. Much the same as the nose, but the taste has more distinctive fruity characteristics with the green grapes/apple coming through over the top of the pepper. Nice orange presence throughout.

M: Fairly light with a good bite of carbonation. Not much of an alcohol presence. Fantastic wine barrel and dry finish.

D: Quite refreshing. Nice and complex. An excellent saison.

 769 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Two fingers of bone white head on top of a perfectly clear, straw-yellow body filled with strings of rising carbonation. The foam settles slowly and leaves only minimal lace.

S - A strong aroma of wild yeast with only moderate sourness. Lemon, pepper, and vanilla yeast notes with plenty of tart wheat backing them up. There are some standard issue, noble hop aromas lurking in the background as well, but they are mostly washed away by the other aromas.

T - Lots of tart wheat up front with moderate sweetness and some vanilla yeast notes. Tropical fruit flavors of pineapple and pepper kick in next with a bit of wild yeast and sour cherry. Finishes with significant herbal hop flavor and moderate bitterness balanced by complex yeast and a bit of malt. Lingering musty hops interact nicely on the palate with the equally musty, but mild, wild yeast character.

M - Moderately thick body, high carbonation, and a slightly dry finish.

D - This distinctive interpretation of the style is quite drinkable and refreshing. The yeast is a wonderful combination of fruity saison yeast and distinct brett mustiness. The hops are subdued in the aroma, but show up in full force flavor-wise, which is a nice nod to classic hoppy saisons like Dupont and also makes for a nice contrast set against the yeast. The finish is perfectly balanced and unusually champagne-like, which leaves me thirsting for another sip.

 1,411 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of mactrail
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale golden ale with great Belgian character.

Clear straw gold color in the chalice. Pours like champagne with loads of tiny bubbles. Rich and fruity though light bodied. Flavors of fresh cut apple with hard candy. Strong aromatic Belgian yeasty flavors. Aftertaste is just bitter enough to give it a nice edge. Fragrance continues with each sip.

Bottled 02/19/10. Label says orange peel, which is subtle enough that you don't notice the specific flavor. I wish somebody would brew a good Saison style like this and put it in cans at a reasonable price. How about a Stella Artois brand-- they could call it Daisy Mae.

 619 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.31/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Rifugium
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not sure where or when I first had this, but I recently revisited it on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA.

Cloudy pale yellow pour with a creamy puff of white head that retained well and left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of grassy funk, ripe pears and melons. Much of the same in the taste, bready yeast, ripe fruits including banana as well, wet funk and trace of peppery spice. Medium body and easily drinkable making for a nice beer overall.

 437 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of vfgccp
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of billab914
4.04/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Lost Abbey stemware. Poured a light gold straw color with a thick bubbly white head. The head faded but left some nice lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma has a peppery, yeasty spice to it along with a lemony, orange citrus flavor. It has a little bit of a grape aroma to it as well. It has a nice balanced and flavorful aroma to it.

The taste has a sharp acidic citrusness to it with lemon and orange both coming through in the flavors. It has a bit of a dry grape flavor coming through as well. It has bit of peppery spiciness to it that comes through more in the finish.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with above average carbonation that is a little sharp on the tongue. Drinkability is good, it's a very nice Belgian ale. It was nicely balanced with some very good flavors.

 828 characters

Photo of smithj4
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 4,523 ratings
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