Sofie | Goose Island Beer Co.

1,084 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: 1,084 | Ratings: 4,438
Photo of brblanch
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into tulip leaves a beautifully hazy, straw color beer with one finger of white foam at top. Bubbles race to top of glass and the head sticks around for awhile. Smell of lemon and fresh cut grass. Taste is lemon peel, pepper, and vanilla notes. Very dry and tart as advertised. This beer has always been a standout for me, one I return to frequently and it never disappoints.

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Photo of dcotom
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured cold from 12-ounce bottle into wine glass. Hazy golden yellow, brilliant white head, lots of sticky lacing. Aromas of typical Belgian yeast, spice, citrus, and a hint of vanilla. The citrus character becomes more pronounced as the beer warms to cellar temperature. Light malt character, with big flavors of orange zest and yeast funk and a little vanilla and a hint of tartness. Finishes clean and dry, with a little orange-zest bitterness on the aftertaste. An outstanding beer worthy of its classically beautiful label.

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Photo of Bluegrass49
4.65/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled on 25 Feb '15. Poured into a wide mouth glass. A cloudy light yellow color with a 3-finger head that dissipates very slowly. Has a very fruity and tart taste. Not a guzzler...just sip and enjoy. Definitely one of the best in this style beer.

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Photo of lwcreasy
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tulip glass. Hazy yellow in color with a massive white head. The foamy, frothy, billowing stand hung around til the cows came home. Spumy lacing dripping down the sides of the glass.

Peppery and earthy hops to the nose, with orange zest and juice. This spicy, lively character is counterpoint to a doughy malt, late herbal roundness, and a tad of brett funk. White pepper, rosemary, barnyard, hay, and even a slight berry impression add to this incredibly complex aroma.

Fiercely peppery and orange with a woodsy, vanilla finish. Orange and lemon zest, herbs, and a pleasant twang from the wine barrels make up the aftertaste. Fantastic. That sourness is clean, a beautiful complement to the hay notes and the citrus liveliness. Not much in the way of hop character and bitterness.

Not heavy in the body, but pleasantly creamy in the feel. Tangy-ness and a very dry palate impression on the finish. Very good sipper.

A delicious beer that I'll return to whenever I can. Refreshing, but substantial in flavor. Great wild Saison character mixes beautifully with wonderful Belgian yeast notes and the imparted wine-barrel quality.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.51/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2016 vintage
Bubbly, slight haze to the straw gold color. Tower of white foam 3" high. Dissipates quick.
Sweet and sour funky yeast, wild like aroma upfront. Tart lemmon zest, Sour wheat, herbal mix with minor sweet fruit edge. Very strong.
First impression of the feel and flavor is, DRY. Tart, sour yeast, once again, Brett-ish yeast very wild and funky. A very green grassy hop after taste. Dry wheat, sour, citric fruit and a long, bitter, dry, grassy finish. Just perfect for a Farmhouse style.
Americanized Farmhouse/Raison styles usually don't touch the authentic Belgian versions, but damn if this doesn't. As a lover of this style and flavor profile, I consider this one of the more complex, well executed versions on the market. It's all about the yeast! Love the slightly vanilla touch in the finish, makes it dry, then smooth! Great feel.

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Photo of Stevem68
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale straw yellow color. Aroma is grassy and funky. Flavor follows the nose. Notes of funky, earthy and grassy. Has a solid feel and overall a good beer.

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Photo of 60sFolks
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wow, just popped open a 3 1/2 year old Sofie (2013, Feb. Batch). I look at the murky, bubbling, golden color topped with a nice, full, 1 inch sparkling head and give a bow and a toast for the effort to let her ferment that long.
It smells sweet but not strong at all. Grapefruit and lemon notes, again not over powering.
Mouth too is light.
What an honor to slowly sipbthis top-shelf Belgium Ale.

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Photo of SaltofOH
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled on 6 June 16. DFH Tulip.

A: pours a slightly hazed bright and deep yellow. 1 finger white head, a few lazy streams of carb. Not much retention or lacing.

S: sweet, fruity, tart, floral. Very Belgian, slightly sour. White peach, yellow cherries, a little wheaty grain and some mild phenolic notes. Is there wheat in this? Quite wine-like on the nose.

T: lightly tart, thick and wheaty, mild fruity and bubblegum esters. A touch of bready sweetness, drying on the mid palate. A little lingering phenolic note on the end with some very mild noble hop hanging around.

M: lighter side of medium, with ample carbonation, and some lingering slickness.

O: this is an outstanding summertime Belgian. I think this is better than Tank 7, not as good as Hennepin. Or maybe as good as Hennepin, but milder; and sometimes that is what you want. Good for an occasional change up, and worth seeking out to try.

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Photo of beergoot
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 1201 29JUL2015

Pale yellow body; lots of lively carbonation; thick, creamy head. Lemony and herbal spice aroma. Weak flavor; some brett funk; pepper and sage; mild yeast flavors; bitter and slightly metallic. Watery mouthfeel yet with some prickly qualities to it; dry finish overall.

Not a bad beer at all yet nothing stupendous. Aside from looks and smell, the beer seems rather weak and one-dimensional with no depth or exquisite flavors. The mouthfeel adds to the blandness with a flat and uneven quality.

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

Pours a crystal clear straw color with a one finger white head that hangs around as a nice cap of foam. Aroma is yeast, earth, funk, must, floral, and pepper spice. Taste follows with yeast, peach/pear, earth, grass, floral notes, a little bit of barnyard funk/must, pepper spice. Mouthfeel is thin to medium and a bit oily, with a nice sparkle of carbonation in the middle and end to scrub the palate. Overall, this is a very nice saison/farmhouse ale. I would like to see a little pronouncement of each flavor, as they are a bit muddied together, but still very nice.

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Photo of Squire123
4.01/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Charming light lemon yellow color with thick white cap that settles into a thin cover leaving lacing behind as the drink is enjoyed.

Aroma of gentle citrus laced with mild spice. There is some character behind this that I will call fresh yeast because it doesn't really strike me as malt and the hops are hidden beyond my limited sniffing ability.

Taste is like biting into a ripe but tart piece of citrus from the Mediterranean area. Rounded and complex but oh so subtle. Tartness remains throughout and even lingers in the aftertaste but it's a nice tartness. There's nothing bold about this beer but you certainly notice you're drinking something that's a cut above average.

Texture is as subtle as the flavors.

In drinking this beer I'm thinking it would go well with paella. It also went well with the bacon cheeseburgers we had for lunch but then anything goes well with bacon cheeseburgers. The aroma of the empty glass has a wine influence but I can't say I noticed it that much in the flavors. Mine was a 2015 bottling (not intentionally cellared, just overlooked) so I can't compare it to a fresh one but it's certainly not over the hill. Just a nice, glad I had that sensation.

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Photo of Jadjunk
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No label information. Brewed in the style of a Farmhouse Ale, available in 12 oz. bottled 4 packs and in 750ml. bottles. This is the 2013 vintage release.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle to a tulip glass.

(Appearance) Moderate gusher upon opening. Pours a pearl-white head of a frothy foam consistency over a densely hazy golden yellow body with a stream of lively carbonation. Retention is very good and lacing is dense and clingy. 4.5

(Smell) Tangy, aromatic saison yeast nose with delicate funk, a juicy fruit bouquet and a spirited peppery spiciness. Soft, pale malt base with subtle cracker and lightly toasted bread character, the yeast leads the aroma. Potency is moderate. 4.25

(Taste) Largely echoes the aroma of this beer, albeit slightly softer on flavor overall. Simple softly sweet pale malt body, fruity yeast character with an equally potent spiciness on the finish. Overall, slightly tangy with some slight funk. Fairly dry, slightly less malt sweetness than the aroma suggested. Very enjoyable, but not gushing with character as much as anticipated from the aroma. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, silky, lightly chewy, frothy, medium dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a medium frothiness and a mildly crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, shy of medium overall. Balance is slightly peppery spicy and drying over sweet. Alcohol presence is mild and there are no off characters. 4

(Overall) A very favorable saison that is not the least bit impacted by a few years' age. A bit better balanced than other American examples, with a decent amount of malt sweetness remaining, yet the yeast profile is nicely rounded, generating lots of fruit and spiciness, without either dominating the flavor of this beer alone. Very drinkable and overall very enjoyable. A great American-brewed saison option. 4

Goose Island Beer Co.'s
Sofie Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale

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Photo of MFMB
4.44/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy light straw yellow. The nose is of Belgian yeast, sweet corn banana and pepper. Taste of banana, fruit leather, white pepper and yeasty. Nice dry mouthfeel that leaves you wanting another sip. Straight forward review. I love saisons and this one is right up there with the best.

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Photo of KevCan
4.73/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bought a couple loose 12 oz. bottles from Giant in Arlington, VA. Poured into a tulip glass.

Look: Golden straw colored and clear with generous, rocky white head.

Smell: Primarily citrus (orange/lemon), saison yeast, and maybe some kind of herb (rosemary)? Just a hint of Brett-like funkiness.

Taste: Tart, very flavorful, excellent saison. Very dry finish. Sweet and sour lemon candy.

Feel: High carbonation, medium-thick body, slightly syrupy.

Overall: Amazing example of a saison. I could drink these all day.

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Photo of the_awesometeer
4.19/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer poured a cloudy straw color. The thick white head thinned out rather quickly but never fully disappeared. No visible carbonation. I get a strong orange and lemon peel smell followed by a slight peppery aroma. There is also a slight sweet cream smell. The beer taste is short and crisp. I get a mixture of the citrus fruits, a slight pepper spiciness, and a soft sweet cream flavor to balance it all out.

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Photo of kitch
4.41/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 fl oz bottle bottled on 16th December 2015 and poured into a Cantillon ballon glass.

Appearance: It poured a slightly cloudy champagne gold colour with a one finger white head that dissipated fairly quickly but left some sparse lacing.

Aroma: Strong orange peel, juicy orange, lemon and white grape. Light funkiness with a hint of mango.

Taste: Juicy mix of orange and lemon with a hint of mango. Light tartness, some peppery spice notes and a hint of bread on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with moderate to high spritzy carbonation.

Overall: A great solid saison with nice juicy citrus notes. Very refreshing on a hot day.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a straw colored, slightly hazy gold with copious white head and sticky lacing. Smells is pungent with hints of lemon, citrus, funky barn/outdoorsy smell, some woody notes, yeast and perhaps a bit of white wine that spilled on a tablecloth and allowed to dry.
Taste is semi sweet, with citrus notes of orange and lemon up front and mixed with peppery notes and hints of banana, cloves. A pleasant balance of sweet and funky tartness. Medium bodied with copious carbonation and a fairly clean finish. ABV well hidden.
Overall, this is a solid saison – a easily quaffable beer with just the right amount of funk to be enjoyed by those (like myself) have not graduated to the wild beers. A great beer – comparable in price and quality to Ommegang’s Hennepin.
Great with Chinese or Indian food – the perfect palate cleansing compliment.

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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!

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Photo of Act25
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | 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.

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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.

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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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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 4,438 ratings.
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