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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: 4,364
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 BeerSamurai34
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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Photo of Apellonious
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a big 2015 (bottled on 3/4) bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Lemon yellow sun... Hazy. One finger head moved quickly to a thin rim of lace.

S- Banana belgian clove yeast notes. A little straw and lemon zest.

T - In line with the nose. The wheat and faint bubble gum notes come through in the finish. Maybe some slight pear or cider notes on the back end as well.

M - Carbonation is medium, feel is somewhat soft for the style, but still full, with a wine like finish.

O - A needed to be tried beverage. I wonder how things "develop" in the bottle after five years.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber to tulip. Hazy light straw color; lots of thick, white head the eventually settles to nothing. Aroma is spice, pepper, Belgian yeast. taste is dry fruit (pears and apples), white pepper, orange, coriander, spice, and that beautiful, Belgian yeast. Fantastic choice for celebrations or any day drinking.

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Photo of CaptainHate
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was at J Alexanders tonight and nothing on tap seemed all that interesting so I thought I'd take a chance on this farmhouse ale. Wow, what a good choice that was. This was almost perfect in terms of what I look for in a saison and the excellent slightly sour taste aspect added a level of interest that just put it over the top. I will definitely seek this out in the future and hopefully can find it on tap somewhere.

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

July 25, 2015

12 oz bottle, snifter

A – Medium to dark straw, with a touch of light gold, hazy and very effervescent, bubbly. Bright white head of less than a centimeter develops and then dissipates quickly.

S – Lemon-orange hop aroma with white bread and cracker malt impression. A bit of spiciness, and some mild funky barnyard, Brett-like notes. An oaky, vanilla finish.

T – Lemon acidity with a slight yogurt-like creaminess. A bit of tangerine / nectarine. A touch of pepper spice.

M – Starts off sweet but very dry, near the consistency of a light champagne, with that bit of creaminess mentioned previously. Carbonation is moderate, with a medium-light body. Only mild bitterness towards the finish.

O – Seems like a very traditional saison, with just the lightest touch of souring. Very good.

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

Amazing. . Truly the champaign of beers. Lite but full of flavor aromatic with a nice punch. Tasted like champaign and beer had a baby. . Give me some more please

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

Poured a light golden yellow color in a Pretty Things glass.
Carbonation bubbles on the side of the glass.

Aroma: spicy bouquet, full lemon, fruit.

Mouth feel: lightly carbonated.

Taste: lemon, fruit, spice. Very smooth.

Smoothest spice and fruit and in a Saison that I have tasted.
Also, the most balanced In flavor and carbonation.
Very distinctive: the champagne of Saisons.

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Photo of Nctide
3.43/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The nose is reminiscent of pear juice. Taste has a white wine quality that seems to get sweeter and really wears on me on successive sips. The finish is fairly dry similar to champagne. By the end of the 12 oz pour I felt like I was drinking a cheap Riesling.

I haven't had a beer quite like this one before. It's just not my thing.

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Photo of jmasher85
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pales a nice pale straw color with a thin fizz and tiny, champagne-like bubbles. A hint of sour brett, without the funk, and some chardonnay in the opening sniffs. Light white grapes too.

The taste is light, slightly dry with a nice floral hoppy flavor too, which actually turns just a touch sweet at the end. Almost no pepper flavor, but just enough to make it a little more complex. Really nice beer that could be both complex and refined, and deliciously refreshing.

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

Holy Wisdom! Divine inspiration in a glass. Rivals Hennepin on all counts. Not sure it surpasses Hennepin. This calls for multiple side by side comparison tastings. How will I handle the pressure?

Pours cloudy with a full figured head and some retention. Citrus and yeast on the nose. Some Bret but nuanced and done with a light hand. No barnyard effect. Definitely one to keep in rotation. Best I've had from Goose Island.

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

Serving Type: Bottle
Consumed: 7.14.15

A: 4.5 Pours mostly clear, yellow-gold with a fluffy, off-white head. Good retention and lacing.

S: 4.25 The aroma is pretty interesting, going back and forth between sweet and tart elements. Mostly dominated by chardonnay and green apples, but lemon, some brett funk, and grape juice come through with a slightly oaky, vanilla finish.

T: 4.25 The characteristics from the nose are present on the palate, but in a more balanced, subdued way. First, there’s some classic saison esters, followed by the chardonnay and oaky sweetness. The beer then moves quickly to a bright, minerally, mild tartness with lemon, apple, and a bit of funk on the finish.

M: 4.25 Nice carbonation and body with a dry finish. The only minor flaw is that it feels a bit rich/slick for the style that a touch more carbonation would take care of.

O: 4.25 Really nice saison with a bit of funk. I was pleasantly surprised that the portion aged in wine barrels added a lot more than I was expecting. I’ve read the brett really helps this beer developed over the course of a couple years, so I’m excited to try the rest of my four pack down the road.

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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 4,364 ratings.
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