Sofie | Goose Island Beer Co.

4,439 Ratings
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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: 4,439
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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.

3/5/17 Had again as part of the GI sampler to market the Belgian styles more broadly. I have reduced Taste to my original and reduced Overall slightly because as a saison, it should go better with foods and it seems to just go better with itself.

4/26/17 Had again on a warm spring day while having a sandwich at a french cafe. A better combination.

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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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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 4,439 ratings.
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