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Sofie | Goose Island Beer Co.

1,051 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States | website

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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,051 | Ratings: 4,296
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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Photo of Carb-Overlord
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh how I like my French farm gals. She had golden frothy hair and smelled like lemon spice. What a saucy little minx; sweet and sour tart. When I'm around her she makes everything feel light and fresh. Overall, I would recommend hanging out with her, not all the time, but she's a pretty fun beer.

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

A: moderately hazy; medium gold in color; 1 finger moussy white head that receded to a wispy cap; very nice, long lasting lacing;

S: coriander, black pepper, and lemon;

T: orange for a brief moment, then lemon with coriander and black pepper behind it; mild tartness at the end;

M: light bodied; moderately carbonated - slightly effervescent; lightly dry finish;

O: refreshing;

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

Reviewed 6/4/12

L: A pretty clear straw/light gold color.

S: A really nice dry saison aroma with a whole lotta funk; Brettanomyces up in the hizzouse. Smells like pears, a tad of grapefruit, and of course, barnyard. Also a bit peppery and quite vinous, but the orange peel is not too heavy.

T: Slightly tart pear and Belgian spice. Additional dry bitterness upfront, with a clean, dry finish. Excellent.

F: Medium-light body with medium-high carbonation. Refreshing and drinkable.

O: This is simply an excellent, well-crafted saison. It’s light, refreshing, fruity, and complex yet subtle. The Brett adds a funky earthiness that goes so well with the style. Certainly within my top go-to saisons.

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

Bought from Walgreens $9.99 750ml. Bottled on 01/30/2014 drank 10/31/2015. Says on the bottle it can age for up to 5 years so I figured I would give it a try.

Poured with a thick head
Citrus smell
Light golden color
High carbonation
Citrus taste almost like champaign

This beer is an interesting one. Probably geared towards non-beer drinkers.

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Photo of DaverCS
4.53/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage. Aged 2 plus years for my graduation night.

Aroma is dominated by the Brett. Very dry and funky. I immediately detect the baking soda like tartness as well. Tons of beautiful citrus on the nose -- mainly lemon and lemon peel.

Taste is super dry and Brett forward. Reminds me a lot of saison Brett by Boulevard. I really enjoy the dryness of the beer that makes it extremely drinkable. Lovely white wine characteristic plays through. I definitely get the citrus, but it is rather non-descript. Spicy and funky for sure. This beer is SUPER carbonated, and I love it!!!

Overall this is a great beer with age. The Brett adds a fantastic funk and dryness. It gets even better as it warms! I see it pairing well with an olive oil poached halibut, roasted cherry tomatoes, lemon risotto, and a chipotle beurre blanc. It gets a 91/100.

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Photo of dgmirelli
3.17/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

look was light straw yellow, smell was citrus and apricot, taste followed the smell and feel was more champagne than beer, very heavy carbonation, to me tasted like champagne. Better saisons out there.

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Photo of crotharagain
3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excellent saison, very refreshing and a nice beef after a workout. I have not found it in a store yet, just a local restaurant. Closest comparison in my mind is Ommegang Hennepin but with less spice. I will pick this up again.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2015 Vintage.

Appearance : Pours a delightful light pear juice color with the glistening of sparkling wine. The haze is almost perfect, leaving a great balance of opacity and transparency. A rough measurement would yield about 40% transparency. The head is fluffy and creamy, 2 fingers tall, adheres to the sides of the glass and recedes slowly to a creamy ring.

Smell : The hop aroma is unmistakable in this beer, but it's delicate and divine. It comes out first, followed by pale malts and fruits (pear, apple), Saccharomyces-ic yeast, slight cinnamon, clove. A very balanced, delectable aroma. Love using those D words here. I don't think it can get more perfect in the aroma on a Farmhouse ale, only thing I would change is if it were a hint louder, that would earn it a 5.

Taste : A bit more washed out than the aroma, but tastes lightly of pears, apples and fresh malt. Noble, Hallertau hop can be tasted throughout the profile, hinting at the pale ale side of things but never crossing over. It ends slightly rind-y, with notes of honeydew and green apple skins.

Feel : Effervescent and intensely carbonated, it drinks more like a sparkling wine than a beer. Still, it keeps things exciting. It does, however give me somewhat of a tummy ache because it doesn't stop bubbling. The finish is biting and semi-dry, still bubbling as it trails down. I'm not sure if the intense carbonation is covering up anything, but the aroma is so decent that I think it's just made that way to enhance the beer overall.

Overall : If I could say one word about this beer, I'd say it were balanced. We don't have a whole lot of information on the Saison overall - just that Belgians brewed it and stored it in the winter for drinking by farmhands in the summer, so the approach to it can be as wild and varied as one's interpretation of its history. I think Sophie derives elements from both sides of the equation (pale ales and wheat-y sour yeast bombs) while retaining an excellent balance of both. Sophie plays it safe, not giving too much attention to either side. If I were to improve it at all I'd rather have more fruit, have a louder flavor overall, and less carbonation. Still, it's a more than decent Saison with high regards by me.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
4.78/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Veiled golden color with extra powerful champagne like amount of activity. Extra frothy beige 4 finger sparkly island head, lasting around 15-20 minutes, with strong legs.

Aromas of white wine and champagne, yeast and fresh flowers. Flavors of apple, green grapes, pears, floral and herbal spices. Perfect balance of sweetness and sharpness.

Oily light body with champagne like carbonation. Light and short finish, ending with a vinous cider like green grapes fruity feel.

Overall exquisitely well crafted : delicious subtle but complex flavors, super fresh and tender, perfect sexy body, great balance and well intensifed, ideal accessible light appertizer.

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Photo of anon
4.63/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What an excellent brew from Goose Island. This far surpasses any other offerings I've had from them. Appearance is very champagne-like, bubbly with a thin haze. Smell is fantastic, very zesty and floral, spicy and fruity.

This is one of the best tasting beers I've ever had. Picking up lots of apple, pear, peppercorn, light hop notes and some saison funk. Cloves, vanilla and white wine-like hints. This one is very complex. Nice and tart; sweet, smooth and creamy, an incredibly easy drinking brew. I will definitely be having this again in the future with a proper food pairing. Fantastic.

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Photo of Shaler_Tate
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Really nice example of a traditional Belgian style. I got more farmhouse funk than I wanted, but overall this was a good beer. It was well balanced and very refreshing.

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Photo of BNLTandem
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: poured in a large Bordeaux glass, shows almost translucent, pale straw color, light glaze of froth, light lace.

Smell: slightly bready aroma, lemony from the yeast I think even if there is peel in this (is there?)

Taste: a proper Belgian. Little bit of bread, little sour.

Feel: light bodied, doesn't coat the tongue, bitter citrus finish

Overall: excellent beer. True to the style. No tricks to get there. Honest beer with the right yeast. Very enjoyable with the low country shrimp and grits in front of me.

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Photo of zinklesmesh
4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice straw color with a thin lacy head. Smells like white wine with a sort of pickle-y saltiness. Taste follows, with the same pickle flavor along with some juicy citrus and more white wine-like flavors. There's a bit of underlying fruitiness in the smell and taste that's somewhere between grapefruit and lemon. Crisp and tart. I keep tasting the same flavor of pickle juice, not that that's a bad thing (I flick pickle juice onto my sandwiches). Very good beer.

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Photo of morris786
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours hazy yellow with a nice thick head and some small sediment. This is a very complex rendition of a Belgian Ale. Taste is malty wheat and citrus forward followed by some pepper and finishes nicely with a crisp tartness, Almost reminiscent of a chardonnay. I normally go for darker or hoppy beers but I truly enjoyed this one.

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Photo of constantine_272
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bright hay yellow. Almost iridescent. Nice light colored white dotted head. Made a good head on the pour but it settled pretty quickly. Nice bright wheat and sweet pear juice with a definite barnyard musty mushroom smell. Bottled in February 2015 and after first sip.. damn, I shouldn't have opened this so soon. The first sip was overwhelmingly sweet on the finish making me forget everything else. It was too cold straight from the fridge. A couple more degrees are good here. I now detect a understated malty wheat base layer with delicate bright zesty orange peak, white pepper, crisp green apple and more crunchy green pears with a little bit of pineapple and mango nectar. A big rich buttery Chardonnay flavor persists through the middle. The beer finishes tangy with a long sweet silky finish. Good strong carbonation tingles and helps squelch the sweetness at the back of the tongue, but not the front. Overall, I'm quite a fan of the earthiness and buttery yet crisp feeling going on here. Only down side is that there is just a little bit too much sweetness. Just a touch too much.

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Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.57/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours yellow, hazy, with a very nice white foam head. Smell is complex, tart and citric. Taste is tart, spicy, citric and refreshing. Body is médium with high carbónation. Overall a complex and rich beer.

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Photo of mntlover
4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a a pale golden color with some sediment floating about, small white head falls to ring with some decent lacing.

Aroma is nice tart, but some sweet vinous like notes underneath. Nice pale malt sweetness definite vanilla notes and peppery spice. Aroma is nice and inviting its sweet and fruity but dry at the same time. Very inviting nose.

Taste is nice pale malts not as sweet as the nose made it out, linger for a while. Nice tart notes emerge soon would say mostly for the wine barrel. Some citrus notes and lots of peppy carbonation and spice show up in the finish to round this one out.

Mouthfeel is nice and on the light side with peppy carbonation at least in the finish.

Overall a very nice brew to break out when your palate needs tantalized.

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

12 oz. bottle, bottled on February 02, 2015. Finally getting around to trying this one again after several years. Acquired a single bottle from a local bottle shop.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - Pours a cloudy golden yellow body, hazed with flecks of sediment. A finger of frothy white head with decent staying power. Some okay scattered lacing. Looks nice for what it is.

S - A smooth creamy aroma: fruity, citrusy, lemony, minor tart. Some subtle cream & vanilla in the aroma.

T - Taste follows the nose: creamy, fruity, & citrusy. Tart and dry from the wine barrels, but not overly so Citrusy from the addition of orange peel. Minor elements of cream and vanilla. Good complexity. There is quite a bit going on here.

M - Smooth, crisp, & creamy. Lightly dry, citric, & tart. Super easy-drinking / borderline refreshing almost. Good carbonation.

Overall, I think it's safe to say that I enjoyed this one the best of the original four sister twelve ounce bottles from Goose Island. Very enjoyable, and recommended.

Goose Island Sofie -----4/5.

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3.6/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy golden body hosts a very light tan head. Head fades fast leaving a few waves of lace behind. Nose is very yeasty with hints of citrus on the back side. The taste is incredibly creamy with a yeasty feel that is nicely Belgium inspired. Vanilla wafers and sweet citrus. It is a bit zesty but and well balanced. This is however not at all tart like the label insists.

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

light yellow, murky, frothy white head
apricot, peach fruitiness, white wine, Belgian Pale malt aromas, note of rusty Saison yeast, peppery
Nice interplay of white wine sourness, Saison tartness and Belgian fruity malt body
Refreshing, light, nicely carbonated
Really good beer. It could grow on me if I could have it more often

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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 1,051 ratings.
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