Sofie | Goose Island Beer Co.

1,072 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: 1,072 | Ratings: 4,386
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.

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Photo of matcris
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.

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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.

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

L: Cloudy yellow with a slight white head that didn't leave any lacing but kept the smallest head on it for the whole time.

S: Sweet bubblegum with a slight coriander, lemon and orange peels as well.

T: Lemon and orange peel with a slight about of coriander and a ever so slight sweet taste.

F: full body mouth feel but light on the taste, also has a nice amount of carbonation, more than I expected from the bottle since it's been aging for a couple years on the shelf.

O: A really nice beer kinda wish I could find another and buy it.

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Photo of Shadman
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On sale at a local Liquor barn...strange but true

Bright yellow straw, slightly hazy with lots of the aforementioned champagne like bubbles that help maintain a rich white foam head.
A definite earthy aroma with tartness definitely right in the front of the line.
Wow! Lot's going on with flavours coming and going like Halloween treat or treaters.. Fruity, slightly tart start with sweet bready malts, pepper,.
Dry finish combines nicely with the medium body

Saison, I will freely admit, is not one of the styles I normally gravitate toward because I find them overly sweet and yeasty. This brew has opened my eyes a lot...try it if you can find it..

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Photo of EMH73
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden with a thin white head. Smell is citrusy. Taste is also citrusy with lemon and orange predominant. Also getting apricot notes. Highly carbonated, a solid beer.

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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 HopHunter19
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - nice straw yellow clear color with a white head that sticks and leaves great lacing.
S - funky, hay, barnyard, lemon zest, orange, wheat, white wine, maybe some slight oak in there
T - light lemon tartness, funky barnyard and hay qualitys, dry white wine character, some oak in there, minimal vanilla on the finish
M - light bubbly mouthfeel, alcohol completely covered, aftertaste is tart lemon zest with some white wine dryness and barnyard funk
O - definitely underrated. I'm not a saison/farmhouse guy at all but this is a damn decent beer.

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Photo of barknee
2.92/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

750mL bottle; 2015 vintage.
Let me say upfront that in retrospect, this brew likely would have benefited from some bottle aging.
Sofie pours a cloudy 10k gold color with a thin white head. Nose of soft coriander, beet sugar and lemon balm struggle to waft from the glass. The taste is a bit backward with tart lemon, coriander and thin malt meagerly emerging. This is a lithe brew, thin and lacking body and personality. I can't help comparing it to Hennipen, and when I consider them both subjectively, I can only say that Sophie was born with mass chromosomal abnormalities. Way too understated for my liking, this brew is all treble and nothing else.

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Photo of T-34-85
4.56/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Was given a 9 month aged 12 oz. bottle from a friend.

What a phenomenal beer!

If you like Belgian beers, especially bright and effervescent saisons/farmhouse ales, then this beer is for you.

Smell is bright, clean, citrusy, with a champagne-like character.

Taste is lightly sour with a Belgian/Brett yeast twinge on the back of the tongue, and an accompaniment of flavors similar to the aroma.

The feel is champagne-like with a light effervescent, high carbonation feel.

Overall: Great, Great Beer.

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

L: Gold colored liquid with a thin white head
S: Pepper, lemon
T: Citrus, lemon, yeast, some malt action going on
F: Pretty smooth going down
O: Like a spritzer

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Photo of BWood
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

L: golden chardonnay with small head.

S: grape and citrus. Good smelling.

T: chardonnay or Riesling with a malt back. Not my favorite style but I enjoyed it.

F: not as smooth as I would like it. Bitterness lingers for a while.

O: average beer to me. Glad to have tried but will most likely not purchasing again.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12 oz bottle into snifter glass. 6.5% abv

Appearance- Light yellow with two finger white eggshell head. Very clear and very effervescent.

Smell- Lemon, orange peel, grainy.

Taste- A sweet, dry grainy malt base with sweet tones of orange and black pepper. Tart as well, even going as far into a lime-like note of the citris character. Coriander and peppery finish that compliments the tartness.

Mouthfeel- Medium in body with lively carbonation. Crisp

Overall- Minimal in terms of Belgian yeast flavor, however it has character on its own as far as tartness goes. Seems like more of a heavy witbier to me rather than a Saison. Very drinkable and smooth.

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Photo of dukeandduke
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

1/10/16 Chicago (765 ML 2015 Bottle, poured into a tulip glass). Nice bright golden pour, slight white head. Pleasant yeast and orange aroma. Taste of chardonnay, orange and lemon. Mild carbonation, very smooth texture and easy going down. Dry, somewhat tart, enjoyable beer.

Another great offering by Goose Island!

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

Very pale with a quickly dissipating head. The smell is mostly barnyard funky yeast and white grapes. The taste is quite tart and crisp with A funky aftertaste. I'm drinking this 5 months old and I'd like to try it with more age. yb

Comparing Nov 2015 and Sep 2016 on Nov 12, 2016. 16 is clear and crisp. Smells like white wine (maybe an oaked chardonnay), slight funky yeast, very light citrus. Taste is pleasantly tart and like a classic saison. 15 is hazier. The smell is led by Brett funk with some oakiness. Brett is also at the forefront of the taste. Followed by some light tartness in the finish. The 2 are quite different beers and I like them both.

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Photo of Barracudas
5/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I poured from a 12 oz bottle (from a 4-pack) that was less than a month old. The beer had a very nice color. The aroma was very subtle. The taste was very sophisticated and elegant. Overall a very refined beer!

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Photo of MIBeerGeek
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Nice yellow color with a slight haze to it. Big white head that has some lacing to it as head falls.

Smells of Belgian dry yeast and pepper, slightly zesty as well possibly coriander

Sweet up front with hints of lemon, followed by the pepper and coriander that finishes dry and tart.

A very light beer with moderately high carbonation that's easy to drink and crisp.

Overall, I'm not a huge fan of sours or saison but I would drink this again. Might pick up a bottle or two to age as well!!

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Photo of pollocwr
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bright yellow and clear in color. Citrus and spices in the aroma. Mouthful is crisp and warm. Nice mild flavor! Spices, with a little added sourness. Lemony and zesty.

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

Delicious, with a beautiful finish. I'm not a big fan of sours, but this has a subtle tart finish that is unique in my experience. Goose Island has a great lineup of beers and is becoming one of my favorite new world brewers, right up there with Unibroue and Ommegang.

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Photo of bwjunkie
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the first "interesting" beers I ever tried when I was getting more into beer. What a great way to find near love. Blended part 20% sour I think? As I remember. Just amazing.

Note: "saison" was not initially a description for this beer, and I don't favor saisons, but I LOVE this beer. Please don't let that marginal title fool you. This is a blended partially aged in wine barrels beer (chardonay?) and is farmhouse ale all the way.

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Photo of Stolenface1
3.79/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light/bright golden/yellow w/ soapy head. Aroma of yeast esters and citrus with light malt and wine barrel. Flavor is there with the aroma but adds a slight black pepper/ spicy note and coriander becomes evident. Nice wine on the finish. Feel is med-light and perfectly carbonated. Overall good saison-like beer.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pretty saison, cloudy bright yellow, virgin white head. Aroma was dry belgian yeast, peppercorn, orange rind. Enjoyable.

Taste, still dry, nice traditional saison yeast contribution, malt biscuity and dry, hops minimal. Diggin' it, solid mouthfeel, neat to have these fresh and with some time on them. Really underrated saison with all the rush to make them like wild ales lately.

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Photo of hman43
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: It pours a light golden with a full white head. It is somewhat hazy and does produces lacing as the head disappears.

Smell: It has a lemon fruit aroma with moderate spiciness and notes of pepper. There are also aromas of sourness and hints of orange.
Taste: It’s initial flavor is of high fruit sweetness highlighted by orange and topped with spices including notes of pepper. There are also hints of lemon and tartness.

Feel: It has a light moderate feel with light bitterness and a dry finish.

Overall: It is a high fruity, medium spicy ale that has a dry finish.

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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 4,386 ratings.
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