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Sofie | Goose Island Beer Co.

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1,067 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: 1,067 | Ratings: 4,366
Photo of CanadianBacon
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - This is an amazing looking farmhouse ale. It purs a cloudy golden wheat color with 2 fingers of foamy white head that dont fade. It may also help that this bottle has beem aging 2 years! Carbonation is etremely lively and very helpful in keeping the head around.

Aroma - orange peel, phenols, a very overp ronounced brett funk bubblegum aroma, white wine and fresh bready belgian farmhouse yeast. I do get a hint of the wood from the barrels but its really subtle. This smells fantastic.

Taste -Brett funk, A tarty/bubblegumy funk dominates this one followed by more tart from the wine grapes and a bit of oak. Some peppery spice is also present and fresh baked white bread finishes this flavor profile. Its tart with a little bit of sweetness and virtually no bitterness. The perfect terrasse beer!

Feel -medium light body with a light spice almost no bitterness and velvety carbonation.

Overall - I hate when a company is bought out and people act like the beer isn't craft anymore. I mean ok, there are definitely cases where the company suffers but Gosse Island is not one of them. The brewers here still pride themselves on their product and do an excellent job when it comes to execution. The only thing AB inbevs money does is get this beer out there. This a fantastic artisinal ale and to me it is still craft. The flavors come together fantastically and mesh with the feel in a way unseen in farmhouse ales. Try this one!

 1,450 characters

Photo of Act25
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

If you love Duvel, as I do, all my tulip glasses say Duvel, you're going to love this affordable saison. Try 24.

Appearance: Pours a hazed pale lemon color with a one finger head; not much retention or lacing.

Smell: Lemon pie; tart, dry, almost cidery, with lemon citrus esters

Drinkability: Starts crisp and lemony, on white crackers, then a well-done sourness develops, then cedar/ wood/ sawn oak offer woody dryness, with a grassy bitterness in the long bright finish. Finesse!

F: Light with prickly, high carbonation.

O: Bang for your buck. Super dry, almost wild.

 578 characters

Photo of Masonz223
3.89/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell: Lemon orange tangerine some funk
Taste: upfront lemon orange middle of the mouth tangerine Sparkling white grape juice green apple skin finishes with a slight fruit tartness and just a hint of oak
Feel: a light medium body creamy at first but then dry but not as dry as I thought it would be.
Overall: No flavor really stands out. The flavor is a little underwhelming. But it's very easy drinking and I still thought it was pretty solid overall.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright and semi-hazy golden yellow with a soft orange hue and a finger of foam that dissipates quickly.

Lemon zest, bretty funky must, white grape, sour apple skin, and some light oaky notes.

Mildly spiced Belgian yeast, lemon, orange zest, oak, and subtle vanilla notes.

Light-bodied, medium carbonation, yeasty, semi-tart, refreshing.

Overall, a damn good farmhouse and for the price it's hard to beat.

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Photo of dannycohen62
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pale gold color with a minimal head that dissipated quickly. Slightly hazy. Smells of yeast, straw, fruity esters, apple, gives the impression it might even have a hint of tartness. Taste is heavy on Belgian yeast, pear, crisp apple, followed by vanilla, oaky character. Dry, almost cider-like mouthfeel. Such a great beer, and the price makes it hard to pass up.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottled on Jan. 29, 2016

Pours a clear straw yellow with a creamy frothy white foam head. Smells like big green apple, pears, vinous white grape, mild wheat, banana, spice, lemon, orange, vanilla, with mild grassy pine. Tastes pretty exquisite with a perfect meld of white grapes, apple, pear, wheat, some banana and clove, fresh orange peel, vanilla, with mild oak and earthy grass. Feels medium-light bodied, creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a really nice beer.

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Photo of Jraiona
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured a 2015 750 ml bottle into a tulip. Color was a beautifully clear golden color with a one finger head with slight retention and fair lacing. What struck me mainly as far as the nose was banana which was also present on the palate. As I drank it slowly and it warmed some in the glass I discerned notes of lemon and subtle notes of coriander. It had a very pleasing level of carbonation. In spite of the ABV it was not boozy but rather light, crisp and nicely balanced. I would definitely have this again.

 510 characters

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

Black Foil/Capped
Bottled On: 07 Oct 14

Poured into a chalice a very nice clean/clear golden yellow color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy/foamy one-finger plus white head, which leaves some sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, with some very nice banana/clove/coriander notes, nice spicyness, slight citrus note, licorice. The taste is very nice, malty, yeasty, very nice touch of banana/clove/coriander, spicy/peppery, some citrus (lemon), licorice. Medium body, ABV hidden very well. Overall, for the price this one is pretty hard to beat, delicious. Recommended!

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Photo of Chiefy770
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

765 ML Bottle
Bottled on May 22nd, 2015
Reviewed on May 14th, 2015
Served in a Goose Island Vintage Glass

Poured a golden body capped off by a short, white foamy head. Very little head retention. Sparse amount of soapy lacing. Clean body with a fair amount of yeast scattered about.

Very fruity. Sweet citrus... mainly orange peel. Pineapple. Pear. Bitter grape juice, very reminiscent to champagne or sparkling wine, cut through the sweeter notes, adding a slightly sour touch.

Tart notes of sparkling wine hit the tongue first... grape juice stood out in the sharpest notes. The beer became progressively sweeter, especially as it warmed. Orange peel and pineapple juice. A slight hint of peppery yeast broke through toward the finish. Dry finish, ending with the dry sparkling wine notes it opened with.

Light/medium body. Moderate-high carbonation. Similar to many other members of the Saison family of beers.

Not exactly a "textbook" Saison but a very nice offering nonetheless. The addition of wine barrel-aged ale made for a slightly sharper taste than I am used to. All-in-all a worthwhile Saison... try this!

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Photo of davidperez
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a Goose Island Vintage glass, it pours a hazy bright yellow, the color of a ripe pineapple. It forms an almost one-finger head, foamy and white with low retention.

The bouquet is interesting.
You get the fruity citric notes, predominantly orange but also akin to pineapple, a hint of vanilla, clove and pepper, and definitely some funkiness too.

Such an enchanting flavor, a prime example of depth.
Upfront, high and pleasant carbonation. As it starts to fade, a citric tartness reminiscent of orange gains presence and dominates the palate. Soon after the spices kick in, and the vanilla note grows well into the finish, which is dry and long. The funkiness is subdued all throughout.
Light body, slightly velvety, very pleasant with such high carbonation.

Excellent beer

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Photo of PhilsPils
3.74/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Well isn't Sofie a little wild child? This was served to me blind, so to speak, at BJ's, Willowbrook Houston. My server said I should try it without telling me what it was. I had been drinking hoppy ales, so I don't know why she thought I would like this. OK, so after a Stone collaboration IPA, this is definitely different. When I saw that it was served in a tulip and was quite murky, I figured I was in for a Belgian. Both sweet and tart with spice and phenol and lemon...obviously Belgian and I assumed it was a saison. This one seemed to have more barnyard than say, Saison Dupont which added to it's complexity but almost seemed too funky but that may be because my palate was lupulin-fried. I liked this one quite a bit and will try it again at some point.

 771 characters

Photo of hennin55
4.79/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Appearance: light bright color with good head
Aroma: fruity smell, citrus, yeast and malt smells
Palate: medium body and smooth
Flavor: sour/tart, orange and peppery taste

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.55/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Light gold with white head. No lacing. Smell is yeast with fruit and pepper. The taste is amazing with sweet mango, pepper, vanilla, clove, banana and yeast. Nice barely bitter finish.

 184 characters

Photo of daweidavid
4.06/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

the aroma is quite sharp and with a lishtly furity smell. There is a tart and crisp taste in the body with a balance of sourness. It finishes with a bitter and quick tartness.

 175 characters

Photo of Edith0703
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer is a tart, dry and sparkling beer. With flavor of white pepper and hint of vanilla and orange peel flavor. I really like the package of this beer. Really good choice for Champagne drink who would like to switch to beer.

 229 characters

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.

 193 characters

Photo of EvoRich
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Pours a pale yellow color, hazy, with a huge white fluffy head. Head it retained for a long while and settles to a thin layer.

Smell: Orange peel, grapes, almost like a white wine. Slight hint of sourness, And I do mean a hint.

Taste: A touch of sourness upfront which I'm not crazy about. But it has everything else I expect in a Saison. Lots of yeast. If you were to take sour grape juice, and age it with orange peel and sprinkle in some pepper, then add some slight sweetness, I feel that is a good description.

Feel: Carbonation, but smooth and velvety.

 571 characters

Photo of mkh012
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle served in a tulip. Pours a very light yellow with a centimeter of white head. The nose is a mild blend of sour white grape and lemon. The taste starts with pear and lemon rind, emphasized by snappy carbonation. A flash of pepper mid-palate, and white wine on the finish. Minimal funkiness. Mouthfeel is medium.

I enjoyed this one. Different than the classics of the style like Saison DuPont, but the chablis-like finish is nice. A good, refreshing beer to celebrate the coming of spring!

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Photo of MacMalt
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into pint glass. It pours a golden-yellow with a frothy, milk-white head and extensive lacing. It has a nice Saison smell of lemon peel, pepper, bready yeast, and spice. It's very fruity with hints of lemon, orange, pear, and grape. The spicing somewhat overwhelmed by the blast of fruit but it is noticeable at the finish. It also finishes with pepper and a slight bitterness. All in all, the tastes blend very well. This ale is medium-bodied and well-carbonated with a champagne feel. The moderate ABV of 6.5% makes for easy drinking. I enjoy a good Saison and Sofie didn't disappoint.

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Photo of DJChaseTheBase
4.55/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this from a 12oz bottle at a local club. This is full a fruit taste and a real blast to the palate. One really can't put this beer down because the taste is on point and the beer is so smooth with just enough tartness to it. +1 for my hometown Goose Island! Will purchase a 4 pack in the future.

 299 characters

Photo of WellRested518
4.48/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

765ml from 2013 poured into a HF stem.

A- Slight gusher on the pour. A highly effervescent head that fades quickly. Some trub dances against the frothy, dandelion backdrop.

S- Lemon-lime, soft-rind cheese, orange peel, grape kool-aid, chamomile, & cucumber. Damn.

T- Subtle lime with some more of that artificial grape I mentioned. The cucumber note really kicks out in the aftertaste & brings everything together.

M- The feel comes together with with grace. A frothy, medium to full-bodied carbonation whips it into something reminiscent of key-lime pie.

O- I love living around idiots. The fact that I obtained this for $8 blows my mind.

 647 characters

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

APPEARANCE: Hazy yellow, with a 3 finger white, foamy head. Lots of small floaties/yeast. Lots of small bubbles rising. The head sticks around for a bit and leaves some nice thick lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Sour lemon, that farm house funk, breadiness. A little black pepper.
TASTE: A nice sour bite, fruity, lemony, black pepper. Lots like the aroma. Bright flavors.
FEEL: Slightly sticky and dry at the same time, new to this style. Dry on the finish. Medium body with plenty of carbonation.
OVERALL: Quite new to the style, but I like this a lot. The funkiness is pretty mild, there is nothing off or puckering about the beer. Probably a great way to get into the style. Refreshing and bright beer.

 704 characters

Photo of Gregaroo
3.96/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2-27-16 - Wonderful. Served in the classic GI Sofie chalice at Oceana in NYC. Great complement to my oysters and blackened swordfish. Usual Sofie color with slight head. Very smooth Belgian ale. I had two, just to be sure.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm trying to give preference to my local brews for my first review in each style.
But, Sofie will not get my highest rating against its competition... although it is interesting and more than good.
Its high promise of fruit did not materialize as fully in the taste. Perhaps it is because there is more carbonation than I like.
Overall, an ale that I will return to, especially for summer and with garlicky food.

Had again on 9/22/16 at Wrigley Field. Aside from being ridiculously over-priced in that monopolistic venue, I increased my rating by .25 for Taste.

 563 characters

Photo of BB1313
4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage. Bottled on 12/7/15. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a yellow golden with a subtle haze; fluffy eggshell white head that fades leaving nice retention and solid lacing. The aromas have lots of sweet fruits. Apple and pear is there along with some white grapes. Some sweet malts and yeast in the mix as well. The flavors are great. Tons of fruit. Nice amount of citrus. Lots of green apple and fresh pear. More white grapes. The wine notes are definitely noticeable. It's very sharp, crisp and clean. Finishes dry and refreshing. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium-bodied with active carbonation. Very smooth and very drinkable.

This is a great brew. The craftsmanship is very impressive. Well done. Recommended.

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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 4,366 ratings.
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