Sofie | Goose Island Beer Co.

1,083 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: 1,083 | Ratings: 4,435
Photo of Gosox8787
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: Bomber bottle poured into a tulip glass in two parts. 2009 Vintage (bottled 12/09).

Appearance: The first pour yields a pretty aggressive head. Two thirds of teh first pour is head. After it settles, it pours a nice two finger, white head with average retention. Straw yellow in color and no sediment on any of my pours.

Aroma: Lots of yeast character here. Also, some green apple and some pale malt here too. The Brett is the standout though.

Taste: Tart green apples and a little farmhouse funk, not as much as the aroma. Crisp, the pale malt plays nicely. As it warms slightly, this begins to feel more like a saison and the Brett becomes more prominent. Some light lemon and white wine also provide a nice, subtle backing.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light body with a good bit of carbonation, though not as much as I thought after the first pour. Dry finish.

Drinkability: Some crisp and smooth. The ABV is perfectly hidden. This is definitely the most drinkable saison I've ever had.

Overall, a nice crisp, funky saison that nicely balanced. Light yet suitably complex. An enjoyable drinking experience. Can get a little boring at times though. Still recommended.

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Photo of a74gent
3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed from previous notes - tasted on 8/20/10

Huge head on this beer. Just nice drinking and well done. The nose is very, very mild and the appearance is pale gold and cloudy. The taste is just solid and light and fruity. No specirfic taste to me just a very well structured belgian.

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Photo of claspada
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden straw color with relatively large white foamy head which receded quickly.

Smells a little fruity and spicy as expected from the yeast style and some subdued earthy hops.

This is by far the best tasting saison I have had to date. So nice, not too lemony or peppery, with a nice tang finish I just can't describe but it is great. Clean, slighly tart finish, perfect if you ask me.

Certain Belgian styles can be butchered by American breweries, but this is on par if not better than the originals.

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Photo of david18
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a recent review I wrote when i recently had it in a bottle.

Wow!! This is a very good beer! The bottle says "belgian style ale". At first it tasted like a Belgian pale. Not quite yeasty enough to be a saison. Whatever it is it's great! Light pale and cloudy good white head. Great aroma. A great sheer and not too expensive for a 22 ounce that looks more like a bottle of wine.


I had this on draft recently at Rattle and Hum and felt pretty much the same way, possibly finding it ever better than the first time. Color and aroma were pretty much the same but i think it was even nicer tasting and had even better carbonation and belgian lacing.

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Photo of chumba526
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a solid gold color with a large white head that fills up the goblet.
A slight sour oaky smell, an orange and lemon smell, a bit of a peppery smell and a bit of a berry smell are noticeable in smell.
The beer tastes slightly citrusy and fruity; there is an oaky slightly white wine like flavor as well. A slight sourness also appears in the beer. There is also a slight raw alcohol flavor as well to the beer. There is a fruity yeast flavor. A subtle but noticeable present of hops add a mild but noticeable bitterness that helps all the flavors mingle with each other. A very complex flavor yet it is smooth and easy to drink ale.
It is quite easy to drink I could drink a few glasses of this. It is quite good on a hot day. The carbonation is moderate
Overall a very good light Belgian style ale that packs a punch. This is the best Belgian style beer I have had from Goose Island. Worth trying.

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Photo of ne0m00re
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

08/11/10- Had this one on-tap at Bodega.
A: Hazy pale golden with some film and collar.
S: Dry tartness, perppery, lemon, very light overall with some green apple sourness. Inviting.
T: Peppery apricots and a lemony sharp citrus with green apples. Strawberry/cherry/raspberry/cranberry are noteable, as well as the banana clove finish.
M: Thin, but frothy.
D: Very good. I'd order another.

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Photo of meatyard
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, pale, golden yellow with a short head that hangs a bit then falls to a cover without lacing. A high level of carbonation streams are visible.
The smell is yeast, lemony citrus and clove.
The taste is all the same as in the smell but at a much higher level.
Mouthfeel is on the thin side but crisp & refreshing. Ample carbonation throughout the bottle.
Drinkability: Pretty easy drinking and those who like Saison's should find this an interesting interpretation from GI.

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Photo of mynie
2.97/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Barley Island in Indianapolis' Broad Ripple district, though I've seen it at a bunch of other places.

It looks, smells, and tastes like a middling saison, which is bizarre because the bottled version is boffo. Here the citrus ain't as crisp, the yeast spice is pretty much not there, and really it's like a very fizzy blonde ale with a tiny bit of lemon added to it. There are 2 Saisons on tap at Brugge, right down the street, that are much better.

This is nuts. I've been attentively drinking beer for 6 years now, and I've never encountered one that was so different between the tap and the bottle. And it's not a matter of me not remembering the bottled version or the vintage being different or anything--I've had several bottles of both the 09 and 2010 Sofie, and all were spectacular.

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Photo of NCSUdo
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, bottled 12/11/2009

A: Slightly hazy yellow under a decent sized white head. No lace, a little retention.

S: Wheat, some earthy yeast tones, hint of wood, little bit of orange peel which imparts a certain sweetness to the aroma. Very balanced.

T: Most of the same, wheat, earthy yeast, very slight funk in the middle, some orange peel, hint of wood again and a bit of a complex finish that battles between bitter and dry. Despite the fight, still pretty balanced.

M/D: Light carbonation, carbonation fairly high. Drinkability is pretty good. A very good beer overall.

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Photo of pauls132000
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer was served in a 10 oz. glass. It poured a cloudy light yellow. Very thin white head. Some lacing.
S: Yeasty malt aroma. Also some spice, cloves.
T: Pleasant fruity banana flavor.
MF: Smooth, silky, light carbonation
D: Delicious sipping beer. It was highly recommended by the server. I also would recommend it.

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

Appearance -- Pours a luminous golden straw with two fingers of tight lily-white head.

Smell -- Apple, banana, clove, spice, orange peel, some earthy/funky yeast character.

Taste -- Follows the nose pretty well: apples and pears, orange peel, clove, banana, earthy yeast. Mild hop bitterness in the back end. Finish is apple skin and orange peel.

Mouthfeel -- Medium to light in body with ample prickly carbonation. Pretty much spot on for a saison.

Drinkability -- This is a really exceptional saison. Light, bright, and mild fruit sweetness. Now I'm kicking myself for passing on this so many times before.

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Photo of cbarrett4
4.8/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of the best beers I have ever had from the US. These guys regularly blow my mind.

A - doesn't get much prettier than this, gorgeous straw-golden-yellow hue with a subtle head but persistent carbonation.

S - Saison! Lots of funky yeast (love it!) with citrus, spice, and a hint of malt.

T - beautiful on the palate, lots of spice and tropical fruit notes framed by funky yeast and citrus

M - wonderful texture, medium bodied (as a Saison should be) with the alcohol in check, light tannins, good acidity.

D - I could not stop drinking this beauty, seriously great beer here.

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Photo of armock
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a straw color with a white head that fades quickly to nothing

S - Is of slightly sweet malt with citrus spice and yeast

T - Follows the nose starts off sweet then the citrus and spice come out

M - This beer has a light body with high carbonation to it

D - This is a good easy drinking saison with a good taste its going to be easy finishing off the bomber myself worth picking up sometime

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Photo of Spider889
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Probably my favorite Goose Island offering to date (at least that has been readily available in OH). Hazy golden straw color with tall white foamy head which receded quickly.

Smelled great with plenty of the normal Belgian yeast - bready with lots of banana and clove, peppery spicing and subdued hops.

Tastes better than any other saison I've yet had. I can be weary of most Belgian styles, but this one was the first I learned to crave. This is a creamy sensory delight!

This is very drinkable, I ordered two at the bar in between other beers. Had we not come as close to closing time I'd likely have had a third. The only thing detracting for me was the high carbonation which made each subsequent glass slightly tougher to find room for.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.87/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a cloudy yellow color. The head is one inch of rocky foam that recedes slowly into sticky lacing. The aroma is of barnyard, leather, horse blanket, lemon peel, and herbs. This is a very complex smelling beer. The taste is similar to the aroma with tons of barnyard funk, and enough lemon and citrus to add some balance. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with appropriately high carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is one of the best saisions I have ever had. I will be drinking this beer regularly.

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Photo of Hunter
3.52/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Found this in Whole Foods, and since Belgian ales usually dominate my top ten favorite beers I decided to give this one a shot.

Appearance: Pours a crystal-clear honey-wheat color, heavy carbonation. Took a full point off because no head formed on the pour. And I mean NONE - wasn't even the ghost of one.

Smell: Light smell of apple on the nose, along with the more expected candi sugar. Very simple and clean.

Revisited five years later. The pour an carbonation of this newest bottle was much better, reflected in my scores. Good beer.

Taste: The fruitiness in the nose carries over into the palate, but it's very subtle. Definitely representative of the style - dry, some sweetness, and a clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Scouring on the tongue, no serious aftertaste.

Drinkability: This is good beer, and apart from the disappointment in the pour, one that doesn't disappoint. It is, however, $7-8 a bottle. Hennepin is an equally good ale, for $2-3 less. Yes, that IS a selling point. At Sofie's price, I'd rather just drink Belgian ale from BELGIUM. Worth a try, esp. for a session, but it probably won't find it's way to my glass often unless the price drops.

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

Poured from 22oz bottle into Chalice.

A. Poured a fizzy 1 finger head. Good retention. Not much lacing. Color is a nice golden yellow.

S. Smell is all Saison. Yeast, citrus, lemon, orange, a little bit of funk. Pretty sweet smelling.

T. Yeast, citrus, sweet malt, pepper. A little funk. A very clean flavor. Nice combination between the sweet malt and the pepperiness from the yeast.

M. Medium low bodied. Lots of carbonation. Pretty dry.

D. This is extremely drinkable. I think Goose Island does Belgians very well, and this is no exception. Saison is one of my favorite styles and this one is damn good.

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Photo of arizcards
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber from Bevmo in late June for $7.99.

Beer poured a straw color with a huge white head that has mostly dissapated. Nose is a nice note of light fruits. Taste is light fruits, some citrus, and a hint of pepper. Midway thru the glass i am getting a bit of tartness. Mouthfeel is classic Belgian yeast strain, light and smooth and very refreshing. Drinkability is very good. This is a very nice beer, some complexity to it yet very easy to drink. Glad to have tried.

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Photo of washburnkid
3.76/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light hazy straw yellow golden with a small white head that dissipates to a film but leaves good lacing. Aromas are zest, but incredibly faint. Refreshing but I need more time to figure out what else is there. Flavors are refreshing and so saison-y. Lots of citrus, wheat, and general happiness. Emphasis though is on the sugary lemon sweetness. It's almost a little too much for me. Medium carb, relatively thin mouthfeel. I'm slightly disappointed here, but am looking forward to trying this in a bottle.

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Photo of glid02
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by kp - thanks!

Pours a hazy light golden color with a one-finger bright white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of light malts with mild amounts of funk. Also present are ripe pear aromas with slight orange and lemon rind.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Crisp light malt aromas kick things off and are joined quickly by solid amounts of pear and lighter amounts of lemon peel flavors. Midway through the sip slight amounts of funk work their way into things, carrying through to a crisp and mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this was a nice and well-defined beer. Well worth a shot.

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

poured from bottle into glass more appropriate for whiskey, but that's all they had.

Light straw color with typical large head of a saison. Nice yeasty/breadiness in the smell and a hint of citrus.

Taste is well balanced - a little funk, a little sour etc.. Not as much going on as Hennepin but still a very nice saison. I Will certainly buy again, great summer drinker.

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

2010 vintage (despite the aging potential I couldn't wait more than a couple months to crack this open). Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Bruery tulip.

Cloudy cobalt yellow liquid pierced by a stately flow of microbubbles and topped by a bristling magnolia mane which recedes to a dense merengue finger. Very heavy lacing blankets the sides.

Light sourdough with hints of orange peel and blossom and even a young cognac. White grapes and pear skin aromatics abound as well.

Sweet, floral, fruity palate entry - with honey-dew, rosewater, and earth flavors eventually balanced by a slightly dry acidity and vague yeasty pepperish phenols. Very low bitterness, the hops seemingly contributing little to the conversation. Crisp almost bready finish, with a breath of oak.

Nearly medium-bodied, effervescent, creamy, yet snappy mouthfeel.

Lovely and unique Belgian inspired ale here - as others have noted, it brings to mind a Tripel at least as much as a Saison, so it isn't perfectly to style. Wish I'd bought a few more bottles to age, as the "wild" yeasts taste anything but at present and I'm curious what it will turn into over time...

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Photo of Augustiner719
3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a tulip glass.

Pours a nice yellow sunlight color with a restrained head. Slows little lacing swell but does have a glowing profile. Aroma is very acidic and refreshing. Lemon grass, grapefruit, orange rind and some melon sweetness comes through. Really beautiful. Has a nice lemony flavor with some astringent chemical back notes in a good way. Really refreshing and thirst quenching. Also has a Meyer lemon like sweetness that really is enjoyable. Really, this is the most refreshing saison I have had to date. Big acidic profile and a really nice balance with sweetness. Love drinking this and I am glad that it is a bomber tonight.

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Photo of MrDanno96
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy golden yellow color with more than a finger of white, creamy head that demonstrates good retention. Lots of foamy lace.

S: Pretty much what I expected here: orange zest, lemon peel, and Belgian yeast. Perhaps a little of that classic banana/bubblegum ester.

T: Some citrus flavoring up-front leads to a nicely balanced finish: some bitterness combined with just a touch of sour and acidity. Really quite enjoyable.

M: Light to medium body with a nice crisp carbonation. A little acidic and dry in the finish.

D: A really solid brew. I enjoyed the balance between citrus, bitter, and sour in the flavor greatly. Give this one a try.

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Photo of djbreezy
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Plastic mug at Oregon Brewer's Festival

appearance - cloudy, rich yellow, medium head that settles slowly

smell - light funk and hops, spicy clove/pepper

taste - hops, sweet, sugar, clove, wheat, light funk, citrus, oak, very complex

mouthfeel - well carbonated, slightly dry finish

drinkability - full flavored, excellent saison, couldn't get enough

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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 4,435 ratings.
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