Sofie | Goose Island Beer Co.

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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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Reviews: 1,054 | Ratings: 4,309
Photo of BogleHill
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

How nice, they named a beer after my cat! (Spelled it wrong though). anyhoo. This brew pours out looking a whole lot like champagne, as advertised. Pale yellow with a lot of bubbles! Lacy white head turns spongy but hangs around for a while. The aroma is light and citrus lemon. The flavor is tart and citrus also, with a very nice mouthfeel. Smooth and drinkable, but after a while the tartness got to me a bit. Still, this is a very decent summer drinker.

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

A- First pour was full of head, very active. The beer itself is pale yellow hazy straw color.

S- Smell is great, apple, orange, coriander, cumin, very fruity.

T- Bread flavor for a great backbone to this beer. Apple and spices are full front, very light citrus taste. Seems almost like a subtle apple Belgian beer.

M- Good feel, mediumish body with lots of carbination.

D- Very easy to drink, great quality brew for sure.

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Photo of rebelthrower
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A:Nice golden/yellow with a little bit of orange. Good amount of white head with a little lacing.

S: Fresh orange and other citrus. FLoral and sweet belgian yeast.

T: Lemon and wheat at first. Other citrus fruits. A hint of sour at the end.

M: Lots of Carbonation. Very crisp and refreshing. Medium bodied. A bit dry as well.

D: Very drinkable.

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

In college there was a Sophie who was a gorgeous blonde Belgian with green eyes, much like this bottle. Could I tell you a tale on how well she went down, but hey, this Sophie is named after the brewmaster's daughter. Rule #1, do not piss off the brewmaster! Rule #2, compliment the brewmaster when he's done an exceptional job.

Case in point with rule #2, Goose Island has come to the table - quite literally - with this delicious crisp Belgian. Sophie proliferates with tight Champagne like bubbles, and has a mouthfull of light and crisp sweetness.

Apparently the Goose has released some more on tap and its just as enjoyable as this bomber.

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Photo of mintjellie
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale gold and hazy in colour. Frothy white head that has a bit of retention but doesn't really stick. Smells of bready pils malt, peachy/citrusy hops, and peppery spice complemented by subtle barnyard funk. In some way it reminds me of the aged manure we were given for our garden by a local farmer this spring. The aroma has a real subtlety and depth to it. Citrus hop flavour is enhanced by the addition of orange peel while the beer is aging in the barrel. Mild lemony tartness goes well with that citrus flavour. A light dusting of pepper is followed by a mild bitterness in the finish. Light-bodied and dry with loads of fine carbonation. Feels soft and velvety, like the mousse of champagne. A refined, elegant, classy beer full of comple subtelty. Delicious.

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Photo of rwf08
4.7/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a NB tulip.

A: Clear pale straw with a shit-ton of carbonation. I know I have a glass with a large nucleation spot but damn it looks like a bubble tornado. Head starts at two fingers and grow to Shaq hands out side of the glass.

S: Fruity, some light funk, horse blanket, and a clean floral aroma. Wine and citrus zest.

T: This reminds me of a chardonnay with a little more oak. I get a good amount of citrus zest too. This is pretty awesome.

M: High end on carbonation, with a thin mouth feel. Kind of soda like but in a good way.

D: This is a really good beer. I wish I had this on a hot Summer's day instead of drinking it now at night. I would seek this out again. Good job GI.

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

12oz bottle from State Line into a tulip glass, glad to snag one.

Sofie has a bright tan infused with yellow and some glaze, hazy. A tight bright white Belgianesque head rose up but did not leave much stick, there are globs here and there. Looks active and attractive.

Smell is large with Belgian yeast and a somewhat funky flower effect with spices. I can smell the wine barrel under that giving off a certain sweetness. Some grass mixed in with orange. An small funky/earth scent.

A little tart at first with some apple and yeast with a wine background. Though minimal the wine came through for me, perhaps i was looking for it. Flower esque in the middle with more doughy yeast. Finally some orange peel and wheat and a small funk.

Starts crisp and sweet than gets dry real quick leaving you wanting more. It's a bit more than light bodied with alot of bubbles and carb, spritzy.

This drank great, even at 4 months in the bottle, sofie just displays a small amount of brett/funk and a different type of saison. The wine is light but it is there. I like where they took this, another great 'Belgian' from GI. Will get more.

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Photo of GregoryVII
3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sofie poured a decently thick foamy white head. The color was a hazy pale straw, lazy floating fog. The scent was light fruity and citrus notes and a small smattering of spice.

The flavor brought a little bit of funk in the first sip. Some spice swirls around in this one, mostly clove. There is some definite fruitiness going on, orange, melon, and citrus. The malt flavor is light and clean. The alcohol the sweetness and the fruity flavors become a touch tiresome in this beer as my only major complaint, especially when I'm expecting something snappier and more lively. The body was on the lighter side and the carbonation was appropriate.

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Photo of BeerNemesis
4.7/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Sofie | 650 ml. | 6.5% ABV | 2010 vintage

Brewer: Goose Island
Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale
Glass: White wine glass

Very elegant white label. I approve.

Elegant, crisp straw gold. Glowing, warm -- it fills the gap between translucent Chardonnay and viscous, opaque honey. The head fizzes angrily, champagne-like.

Goose absolutely nails the style. Moderate barnyard character, wonderfully fresh orange-peal neroli oils,

Authentically Belgian taste is far from given for American breweries, but Goose more than exceeded expectations. The brettanomyces was a nice touch, giving it a moderate barnyard funk. Neroli oil was a key component giving it a gushing juicy zest. Warming alcohol towards the end is elegantly done. Oh and it was aged in wine barrels.

Over-bubbled, but not as much of an issue as I thought at first sip. Only a minor hiccup.

Wow, not since Hennepin have I tasted such a good American saison.

Would I get it again?:
Absof*ckinglutely, yes.

Bottled on: ?
Served on: July 14, 2010

Price = ?

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Photo of mactrail
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale golden ale with great Belgian character.

Clear straw gold color in the chalice. Pours like champagne with loads of tiny bubbles. Rich and fruity though light bodied. Flavors of fresh cut apple with hard candy. Strong aromatic Belgian yeasty flavors. Aftertaste is just bitter enough to give it a nice edge. Fragrance continues with each sip.

Bottled 02/19/10. Label says orange peel, which is subtle enough that you don't notice the specific flavor. I wish somebody would brew a good Saison style like this and put it in cans at a reasonable price. How about a Stella Artois brand-- they could call it Daisy Mae.

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Photo of ebin6
3.33/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Thick, luscious head; light yellow coloring. Steady stream of carbonation in center

S - Fairly strong floral smell. Some orange and other citrus present

T - Taste is a little lighter than the smell suggests. Orange hits on the front end

M - Lingers nicely, but not especially well. Swirling elicits next to nothing additional; not what I expected

D - Very drinkable which fits the bill for the style. Not exceptionally drinkable, but above average

Though not out of this world, the price is definitely right!

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Photo of BeerManDan
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color of this Belgian Style Ale when poured was a hazy medium golden yellow, with little white foam and a nice amount of lace on the side of the glass. The smell of fruit, yeast and spices filled the nose with a pleasant aroma. The taste had a touch of citrus fruit (lemon and orange),and spice (coriander), was nicely balanced. The carbonation put a nice finish to this Belgian Ale.

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

Look: golden color with an airy head that is sustained well and with visible yeast sedimentation; thus giving the glass an opague appearance. Thin lacing residuals in the walls of glass.

Nose: pleasing, lightly fruity or citrus aroma.

Taste: A gentle drink tha( offers hints of orange peel and coriander like that of the witte styles.

Mouth: Smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

Drink: Easily drinkable and I guess a reatreat on a hot, humid summer afternoon.

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Photo of TCgoalie
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into an oversized wine glass with a half finger head gathering at the top. Hazy in color, the beer resembles that of a lemonade with carbonation.

The smell seems faint but yeast, lemon, and soap are detected in the nose. There is also a flowery bouquet hidden amongst the previously mentioned scents.

I was prepared to be let down after the above reviews but the flavor is excellent. The blend of wine aging with the belgian style ale is very refreshing. The flavor is light up front but transitions into tart citrus and finishes with belgian yeasts.

This beer certainly tingles the tongue upon swallowing. Soon after, there is a good deal of drying with a very clean aftertaste.

My house is currently 83 degrees and this is just what I needed for refreshment. This bomber will go down like a 12 oz and I'll be wanting more I'm sure.

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Photo of chileman13
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up @ Jubilation in Abq., NM on reccomendation of an employee beer geek. Poured from a bomber into an extra large tulip.
A- straw yellow with the belguinm yeast haze. 1-2 fingers of white foam head. Laces well.
A- smells of belguim yeast, fruit and spice.
T- Light yeasty semi spicy fruity, like it smells.
M-Like a golden Belguim should feel. Good carbonation. Champagne of beer.
D- very drinkable, yet not my favorite belguim style.

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Photo of GordonQuid
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

Frothy white head a top of yellow straw, hazy with nice lace.

Smells of fresh juicy green apple and spicey noble hops a slight wiff of wheat malts.

Taste is crisp and refreshingly light in body. Tart wheat malts and estery yeast and a pleasent hop bite in the finish makes this a real positive drinking experience.

This is a great summer time beer. I could pair this beer with summer time cold salads and grilled fish or chicken.

Very good farmhouse ale!

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Photo of Derek
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy straw, good retention & lace.

S: Grassy, spice, tropical fruit, mint, vanilla, hint of funk.

T: Tropical fruit, grainy biscuit, grassy & peppery, modest bitterness.

M: Light to moderate body is very dry; carbonation is very bubbly.

D: A good drinker.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
3.77/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of my summer saison saturday seris, ha! sofie is a "barrel aged" saison brewed with brett. It pours a hazy yellow with an initially puffy white head that subsides into a thin white ring. Could be because this is a plan old glass. No lacing but again could be the glass. Smells soft, flowery and yeasty. Can't detect any barrel or brett. The flavor is typical of a basic saison, maybe a little more depth. Black pepper, cloves and clover honey is what I taste from the yeast. Grassy noble hops and basic malt backbone. Smooth luxorious mouth feel, coats the tongue. Could be a bit drier for a saison. This beer is better the second time around when you know what you are in for.

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Photo of dpnelson1978
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.
Brewed: 7/17/2009
Original tasting: 12/25/2009

22 oz. bottle into glass pint.

$7.99 / ea.

S: Wheat (?), Belgian yeast, lemon zest, and orange peel.

A: Big loose rocky white head that quickly dissipates leaving trace lacing and a thin bubbly cover. Cloudy straw to yellow body.

T: Brett sour, lemon citrus, and a bit of orange with a wheat backbone. Very little hop character. Reminds me a great deal of Orval.

M: Light body with high carbonation. Very crisp and refreshing. Slight aftertaste.

D: Very sessionable brew that will refresh on a hot summer day. Very light body, with medium abv., you could fall in love with this beeer.

O: Very good beer. Maybe just a tad too sour. Not everyone will love this brew due to its distinctive flavor, but I do!

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

Bottle thanks to a74gent - cheers!

Pours a light golden colour with a slight haze and a finger of white head that quickly dropped to a cap, but then stayed around. Nice lacing. The nose is quite bready with a strong peppery yeast presence playing off background citrus, wheat and very light funk. Fairly classical saison flavour, but with a more restrained funk than I usually like. Good tangy wheat backdrop for notes of hay, pepper, pear, coriander and orange. A very faint funkiness displays itself in a lightly dry finish to this medium-bodied brew.

Fairly straightforward for the style, but excellently crafted and almost to the template.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.53/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very pale lemon colour, hazy and cloudy with snowy head, small bubbles with a meringuey appearance on top, sinks leaving not much lace. Steady, actually forceful, bead. Interesting and quality-looking brew.

Nose is quite citrusy, a lot of crisp notes akin to a lager. Hint of lemon zest and a bit of orange, slightly bitter-sour with a good bend toward freshness. A hint of malt and that brusque bitterness predominate. A bit bland, but refreshing. Lacks classic saison funk.

Taste is curious, a lot of tang and quite bitter. Starts with a slight grainy character, malt with a hint of corn and maybe some wheat notes as well, descends into that lemon zest flavour which is quite acerbic and bitter. Gathers a slight aspirin tinge on the middle with a very mild vanilla note on there as well. Finishes bitter with a mostly phenolic hop character, touch of cough medicine flavour and more lemon tang to freshen it up a touch.

Mouthfeel is a little harsh, a bit of puckering towards the back, noticeable carbonation and a whisper of alcohol make it overall quite dry, but decent for the style.

Can't say I'm a huge fan but there's a lot of flavour here that doesn't overwhelm the palate, quite drinkable.

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Photo of Reaper16
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

served on-tap @ Flying Saucer, Kansas City, MO, into a tulip

Pours like the bottled version always does - with a pale golden body and soapy white head. Great lacing. It is just hazy enough. There isn't much to say here; imagine what a saison looks like in your head and that it probably what this draught pour of Sofie looks like.

Immediately I sense that I miss the bottle conditioning from the bottled version of Sofie. The aroma is not as complex. It hits lots of good saison notes, though: wheat, damp hay, peppercorn, and especially Sofie's lemon-lime/white grape fruit spritz. This is a very drinkable saison that doesn't achieve the complexity of superior examples of the style.

The taste is similarly less complex than the bottled version of Sofie. It follows the nose very closely. Lots of lemon zest and lime zest. White wine and white pepper. Very little funk on the palate here. A lot more breadiness than I would want, especially on the finish. A bit more liberal with the bittering hops on-tap, too.

The mouth feel is average for the style. It get the carbonation right but the body tends to become watery very quickly. Too thin? The drinkability is unencumbered by the mouthfeel. This is a set of flavors that play well in terms of drinkability.

I much prefer the bottled version of Sofie but this draught version is no slouch. You won't be disappointed that you ordered it. A great Summer option.

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

A: Pale straw yellow color. Poured a 1 finger fizzy white head with good retention to a thick skim. Lightly decanted. Laced in wide rings.

S: Sweet bread and yeast. Citrus and a little pineapple.

T: Consistent with smell; light fruits and and mild spicss. Hay/grass hops. A fruity flavor lingers a bit in the finish.

M: Medium body. Ample carbonation. Amooth and creamy mouthfeel transitions to a dry finish accentuated by the carbonation.

D: A realy goo beer. Mild and less complexity relative to some farmhouse ales.

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Photo of CHickman
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy yellow in color with a 2 finger creamy white head that lasted a while, and left very good lacing and rings down the glass. Carbonation and bubbles racing up the glass.

Smells of yeast, orange peel, lemon, sweet malt, grass, spices like light pepper, coriander and wheat bread. Very pungent nose, consisitent with Belgian style ales.

Tastes like yeast, sweet malt, orange peel, lemon, light hops, wheat bread, orange peel, honey, biscuits, light caramel and a hint of pepper. There is a slight funky taste to this brew, but overall it's well balanced and quite refreshing.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a crisp medium body, very light/high carbonation and a slight bitter dry finish.

A very good brew that's sweet yet complex, light and refreshing, easy to drink and a very good beer overall that's very tasty. I recommend this beer as it was quite enjoyable.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very light gold colour, with a hint of haze from disturbed yeast sediment. Head is initially boisterous, but the large bubbles crackle down to a film. Not a lot of lacing, and not a lot of body noticeable, but that's to be expected for the style. Looks pretty tasty.

Some round sweet characters on the nose, spliced with a hint of tart acidity. Some green crushed vegetation characters and the bounce of seltzer water. Bit of spice coming off it as well. All very true Belgian characteristics. Pleasant.

Taste has more of the spicy medicinal qualities, perhaps the orange peel finally showing through. A bit of herbal bite on the back, and a lingering bitterness that mellows to an empty grain-bag huskiness. Mouthfeel very light, sparkling with small-bubbled carbonation. It leaves a very green feeling in the mouth, clean, but leaving something slightly organic.

It's a nice brew, and a very drinkable one. I'm unconvinced this should be classified a Saison as it is here - it doesn't have quite the acidity or rugged musty organic characters - but it's a light, refreshing and enjoyable pale Belgian style ale.

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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 1,054 ratings.
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