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: 4,425
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 BuckeyeNation
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

"From birth to age 18, a girl needs good parents, from 18 to 35 she needs good looks, from 35 to 55 she needs a good personality, and from 55 on she needs cash."

--Sophie Tucker

Chardonnay gold with Champagnesque carbonation and a pillowy crown of cumulus cloud white. The airy foam isn't very sticky. A few small scraps of suds can be seen clinging to the glass, but don't appear as if they're in it for the long haul. Thankfully, subsequent pours look better and the lace is more adherent.

The aroma is incredible and absolutely nails the style. The wild yeast provide the usual barnyard character (moderate) with a wonderful orange peel citrusiness following close behind. If the flavor is even half this complex and appealing, this will be successful beer.

First of all, Sofie tastes authentically Belgian, which is far from a given when it comes to American-brewed, Belgian-style beer. Congrats to the masters at Goose Island for that. Brettanomyces was a nice touch and is present in precisely the right amount for those craft beer lovers who like da funk, but don't want to be blasted with it each time they upend the glass.

The other design decisions were spot-on as well. That is, aging in wine barrels and using orange peel. There are so many things going on with each mouthful that it boggles the taste buds (in a good way). Tart has a slim lead on bitter, and sweet is a distant third.

Specifics include untoasted wheat, orange and lemon zest, white grapes, white pepper and a soft and well-integrated horseblanketiness. Perhaps the Amarillo hops (an inspired choice) is adding to the orange juiciness. This would be a great warm weather picnic beer.

Unfortunately, the mouthfeel has seen better days. It was overbubbled at the start and passed through the ideal zone all too quickly. As always, bottle-conditioning is hit-or-miss. With better bubbles... hell's bells, this is great beer anyway.

Sofie Belgian Style Ale 2009 is one of my new favorites from a brewery that does much more right than it does wrong. I'm sure there are a few American-brewed, Belgian-style saisons out there that rival this one, but I can't think of any at the moment. What a tremendous surprise.

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Photo of russpowell
4.39/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is courtesy of BEERchitect, cheers Kevin!

2009 vintage pours a very effervescent straw color with 3 fingers of fluffy ivory colored head. Hazes a bit a the bottom, duh... Average head retention & lacing

S: Grassy with apple peels, plus lemons

T: Apple peels, white grape, lemony hops & a wee bit of dirt & tartness up front. Tartness with a bit of golden delicious apple & lemon zest as this warms, slight dryness & a touch of Chardonnay. finishes dry with cidery character, with a touch of coriander & white pepper thrown in, plus slight acidic twang at the very end. Might just taste bit too clean to pull a 5.0..

MF: Light & spritzy, much winey & cidery aspects to this

Extremely drinkable, abv is completely hidden. This is very quaffable. Would love to age a bottle to see how this progresses in a few years, but I doubt that will happen...

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

very hazy medium yellow color came gurgling out of the bottle, quickly coming to a head that reached a height of maybe two inches. There was then a rich coating of side glass lace that thoroughly coated the glass with some nice carbonation being visible throughout the session.

The aroma was highly charged on this one. Lots of light fruit swirling around with a healthy dose of spice in it as well. Nice touches of coriander, lemon, hints of pepper coming through, with a touch of pears warming up to it as it came up to room temperature. The initial taste was peppery, with a rush of lemon following suit almost immediately. A wonderful sense of light fruit really just ran all over this one. I was quite impressed I have to admit. Smooth mouth feel was more the adequately carbonated and really just kept the profile popping throughout. An easy sipper, the moderate ABV lended itself well to a warm late summer evening.

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Photo of billab914
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Wegman's, enjoyed chilled from a tulip shared with tenderbranson69.

A - The color is golden with hazed appearance and thin cap with tight bead. the smell has a big phenolic and fruity vinous nose with light tart white grape odor with light wheat w/ slight sulfur tinge. Mouthfeel is dry and tart with tangy and slightly spiced tinge with highly carbonated and semi-creamy w/ mild fruity sweet tinge with light mineral essence.

The taste is nice vibrant and tangy with dry vinous and lightly sulfuric with gentle white grape and light pepper with slight apple skin quality and mild yeast with wheat and light element of vinous barrel essence coming forward. The flavor is good I found this to be an enjoyable saison with fruity quality from the barrel with some aspects that might come off as cheesiness from the yeast which detracts a tinge from the flavor, but overall a good beer.

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Photo of smcolw
3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Impressive huge white head that recedes in a rocky fashion. Cloudy, straw color.

Belgian yeast aroma with a light malt/wheat touch.

Lemony, with a strong shot of yeast. Flowery and biting in the swallow. Light hop. Short aftertaste. Neutral mouthfeel. A good saison to try with others.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jacob for sharing this one today.

A: The pour is a pale golden yellow color with a fluffy white head.

S: The nose is quite fruity with plenty of citrus, pears, and maybe some melon. There's a definite spice aroma along with some yeast and perhaps even a bit of tartness.

T: I was very pleased by the nose, but the flavors didn't quite live up to that. The spices are much more pronounced and the tartness doesn't make an appearance either. There is still some nice fruit character, namely apples, pears, and bananas, however.

M: The body is medium with a very nice tingly carbonation which gives the beer a bit more of a light feeling on the tongue.

D: I liked this much better than some of Goose Islands special releases, but I still don't know how much of this I could drink. A nice beer to have a small pour of, however.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip. 2010 vintage bottled on 02/19/10.

a - Pours a clear golden color with high carbonation evident and three fingers of fluffy white head. Head lasts for several minutes and leaves some lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of floral hops, spices, brett, earthy tones, fruity malts, cloves, and bananas. Smells pretty nice, some definite brett/funk which I enjoy.

t - Tastes of spices, yeast, floral notes, fruity malts, cloves, grass, light brett, and wheat. Not much brett, maybe a hint.

m - Light body and moderate carbonation. Crisp, very easy to drink.

d - A pretty nice saison. I didn't feel like there was much brett in the taste but definitely saw some in the nose. An easy drinking saison I would try again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a chalice at the Clybourn brewpub.

Y'know, I think I've had Sofie a couple times before...why the hell haven't I given her the proper respect of a review yet? Let's fix it: She pours a clear pale straw topped by a finger-and-a-half of white foam. The nose comprises lemon zest, sour wheat, pepper, dank oak, and spicy white grapes. The taste holds notes of lemon zest, orange peel, cardamom, wheat, black pepper, and spicy white wine grapes. As nice as the flavors come across, it's not as good as the smell would have me believe. The body is a hefty light, with a moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a tasty, refreshing Belgian treat. Good times.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light yellow, slightly hazy, moderate head, little lacing.

S: Grapes, spices, and enticing brettanomyces. Brett is such an inviting aroma.

T: Very crisp with white grapes, orange and/or orange peel, white wine. The wild yeast is tasty and well integrated into the overall flavor.

M: Very crisply carbonated. Nice feel.

D: A tasty beer that I really enjoyed. I'll buy this if I see it and I'd certainly drink it again.

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Photo of stakem
3.64/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a tulip. The brew appears a hazed golden yellow color with a rich white finger of froth atop. Some sudsy patches of lace stick to the glass as the cap fades.

The smell is a bit sulfuric but with a lemony almost lactic tang. Some wheat and vinous elements really emerge as the brew warms up. This is a pretty tight, simplistic and enjoyable smelling brew.

The flavor has a solid wheat inclusion mixed with a touch of sulfur. Some lemony almost coriander essence and clingy oil quality is present before getting a bit tangy and vinous towards the back.

This is a light bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is a nice offering overall with that partial barrel aging part of the blend being a nice subtle addition to an otherwise ordinary saison. If some of the sulfites could be removed, this brew would be a real winner.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light clouded peach/orange golden with a bright fine effervescent white head. Fine Belgian style lacing spread evenly, very good looking beer. Aroma has hints of citrus, white grape, light toasted oak with tart green apple hanging on. Slightly spicy Belgian inspired notes as well, with a honeysuckle floral quality. Flavors bring on bold but refreshing qualities, swirl this around in the mouth and you'll get some tart green apple, lime citrus peel, with spicy black pepper. Amongst other flavors are some light toasted oak, and mild honey sweetness, finishes perfectly dry from the Belgian yeast utilized. Mouthfeel is on point with your favorite Belgians, effervescent light and airy, perfect really. Overall, another perfect creation from Goose Island, AB buyout hasn't changed them yet. Really nice beer, up there with Matilda comparing this to a Belgian Pale is a bit out of touch but both unique dead on style Belgians.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from 10/23/2009
Bottle opens with a nice crack and then a volcano of foam that almost made it into the sink. When it all settles down it pours a mostly clear golden straw color with a pillowy white head that sticks around forever. Smells sweet and fruity with lemons and green apples dominating the aroma. There's some funk in there that reminds me a bit of spoiled meat? Luckily its not to strong but its there. Taste is a bit sweet, green apples and honey mixed with a bit of funk. Spirited level of carbonation, medium body, sweet almost sticky mouthfeel. Despite the misstep upon opening, this beer isn't half bad.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Vintage 2011, bottled August 2nd 2011 - 1720.

A real nice lemon and green orb glowing body, sort of almost chardonnay in appearance but also a bit opaque too. Head forms nicely but then disappears quite quickly, leaving a very soapy ringed minimal collar.

Nose brings a nice simple lemon and yeast hotness. There's some slight lemon juice in here with a hint of sugar and sweet orange but very faint, real sour sense coming off this. Smells real solid I actually really dig this bouquet going on here.

Taste is surprisingly sweet front sugars, mixing with the nose of lemon, orange, and mild citrus. Kind of a nice play on the palate and very light bodied, even some drying tannic qualities on the tongue. Mild crispness mixing with malt and bread dough like qualities with some solid density. After a few sips lots of rooftop tannic dryness comes forth.

Overall quite easy drinking, and a good intro saison for I think those who might not want to jump into something too extreme. I can see giving this off to many wine drinkers and seeing them really enjoying it. THe only thing missing I think is a bit of yeast punch and funk/brett and or sour qualities, but that's alright.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev -2.7%

On-tap at 3 Cellars in Franklin, Wi:

Pours golden yellow with champagne-like effervescence and a fluffy lasting white head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of lemon, orange peel, coriander and oak/vanilla.

The taste is of orange peel, coriander, lemon and vanilla. Sweet and sour. Sourdough finish.

Light-bodied and bubbly, this is an interesting brew. A bit sweet, a bit sour/funky. A white ale/saison mix with a champagne-like character to it.

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Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle, "Bottled on 12-11-09" Typed onto the label, $7.99 at Whole Foods Bowery, NYC. Pours quite light, yellowy and clear, the head is eggshell, initially quite impressive, slow morph to meraingue and 1/2 inch froth, leaves the expected quality, thicker and sticky lace. The nose is loaded with lemony fruit, yeasty nuttyness and general Belgian style spiced up yummyness. The final pour is yeast infused and produces a cloudy look. Notes on the tongue and mouth include more yeasty nuttyness, moderate pepper, tropical fruit, and hoppy herbaliciousness. Simply yummy. Complex, flavorful, delicate yet full of flavor and interest. Huge ups for the quality take on the style. A bargain price for this high qality brew. Wish I picked up 2 or more bottles, which sums things up..

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Goose Island Sofie

Clouded, "white", prodigious head, lively and lovely.

Beautiful, spicy aromatics, coriander, ginger, clove....bright and sprightly.

Spice hits the palate right up front, very spritzy, with delightful spice...Mmmm, smooth,wheaty, easy-drinking, delicious....nice, grainy/grassy texture. Some malty, spicy flavor, then all is smooth...

Spice never quits, never never flags...really great saison!

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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 Tone
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, pale yellow color. One inch head of a white color. Great retention and decent lacing. Smells of tart malt, citrus, slight spice, pale hops, sweet malt, and slight wheat. Fits the style of a Saison / Farmhouse Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with a high carbonation level. Tastes of tart malt, citrus, pale hops, slight sweet malt, slight wheat, and a hint of spice. Overall, a good aroma, body, and blend.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.63/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is yellow and mosltly clear with a white head of small and medium bubbles.

Aroma is overall a little weak but its fruity with a mild tartness to it.

Beer is quite tart, mild fruitiness in the midpalate. No sweetness up front. Beer is medium to light in body and the carbonation is low on the palate, just like in the glass. Beer is kind of boring, not boring just plain. Its a very mild wild ale. Overall its OK.

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Photo of aasher
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured a 12oz bottle dated in late March. It poured a light, straw yellow with a hint of light orange to it with a billowing white head. It smells delicious, a nice blend of yeast and citrus aromas with light sweetness. It tastes excellent as well. Once again, a great mix of breadyness and citrus flavors with a subtle sweetness. It drank very crisp and didn't lose any carbonation in it's six months after being bottled. This one is very, very drinkable and delicious on tap or out of the bottle. I can't wait to try this one aged.

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Photo of stevoj
3.64/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Decent Belgian ale, a bit malty and not yeasty enough, or light bodied enough for a saison. Still a good quaff, and nice to know the USA is getting better at the style.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 4/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a light orange yellow color with a thin white head and light lacing. Aroma of citrus, wheat and slight brett. Flavor is citrus, wheat with a hint of brett, a slightly sour middle and dry saison finish. Everything muted but well integrated. I like the subtle but complex flavor of this saison.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of bauermj thanx for this one

A: poured a hazy golden yellow with a thin head that left good sticky lacing on the glass.

S: acidic herbal spice aromas at first whiff with faint citrus notes and hints of sweet malts and tropical fruits. Really good nose.

T: nice spice apples up front with sweet malts faint tropical fruits like the nose and slight brett character as well. There is also cinnamon and apple sauce type flavors.

M: light body with a nice amount of carbonation that accents the overall taste and a sweet and spicey fruit finish.

D: good saison from goose island that made me want more after the beer was gone. I hope I can get my hands on more of this brew.

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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 4,425 ratings.
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