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Sofie | Goose Island Beer Co.

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1,064 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: 1,064 | Ratings: 4,346
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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Photo of Brew33
4.48/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sofie in my Duvel tulip. I've had this beer a couple of times and I absolutely love it. The aroma is really good and lends a strong hint as to what you're going to taste. Slightly tart, big, sweet, citrus flavors. Orange zest makes itself known. Very slight funk. The mouthfeel is perfect for the style and the drinkability is amazing.

The thing I absolutely love about this beer is the balance of flavors. Sweet, tart, dry, fruity, wow! This is a fantastic beer! I absolutely love it. I'm not sure I'd call it a Saison though....

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Photo of AdamGarcia
3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle from a Duvel tulip

Pretty sure this one came from Randalld, Thanks!

A: Pours a slightly hazy straw yellow with a pillowy white head. Nice retention and solid lacing.

S: Bready and yeasty. Sweet pale malt. Just a hint of hops. Aroma actually reminds me a lot of Duvel.

T: Similar to smell. Also has a nice spiciness. Bitter orange peel. A faint herbal/grassy character is present as well. I'm picking up just a hint of warmth, which is unexpected at 6.5% abv.

M: Prickly carbonation helps to dry the palate. Creamy mouthfeel spreads the flavor.

D: No problems here. While not terribly complex, this has enough going on to hold my interest.

I recognize that Farmhouse Ale is a broad description that leaves a lot of room for interpretation, but this feels more like a BSPA to me. Don't get me wrong this is a good beer and I am certainly enjoying it, but I couldn't help deduct a little here and there when keeping style in mind. Farmhouse Ale or otherwise, I found Sofie to be a solid beer, but nothing special. Regardless, I'm glad I had the opportunity to try this and I'd pick it up again if it was available to me.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.91/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I grabbed a single of this at State Line yesterday. $12/4-pack of saison? Yes please!

Pouring a hazy straw yellow, this beer is Duvel-esque. There's a MASSIVE off-white head with excellent retention and lacing. A pretty saison if there ever was one. On the nose, the first thing I get is a little Brett character. Mildly bandaid-like, there's a touch of clove too. Dry and cracker-like malt character is present, with a little floral honey. Swirling to expunge the Brett character, I'm struck by a faint spicy saison yeast character. As it warms up, some orange peel comes through. Solid stuff.

The palate is quite a bit better, with a light floral and orange blossom honey sweetness opening things off, with a refreshing cracker character. Spice comes through mid-palate, with the yeast shining with light pepper, , a little clove and a touch of lemon and grassy hop character, delicate and light. Drying on the finish, this beer has a wonderful light body that's got just enough heft, quite wheaty, and a delicate, drying finish. This is where the Brett comes through, mildly barnyardy, mildly bandaid like, and a touch spicy. It definitely isn't as prominent as it is on the nose, something that I find surprising. With a high carbonation, this never gets to be taxing on the palate. Thoroughly drinkable on a day like today. Not the driest saison out there, but very, very good.

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Photo of simpliciter
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - the light apricot color almost glows under a watery white head
S - powerful nose for such a light body brings notes of citrusy spicey sweetness. cinnamon?
T - sour citrus transitions into a bitter zest in the finish. should be breadier / funkier for the style.
M - drying microbubbles persist throughout the swallow
D - a bit too tart, and a bit too one dimensional

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Photo of gatornation
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a hazy light yellow with a nice but not fluffy white head that leaves some sticky lacing on glass..i smell clove, coriander, lemon,yeast ,other fruits and spices..its nice..taste is better nice clove and yeast hit followed by waves of fruits like apples bananas and pears.. maybe a hint of pepper and a pale malt finish its delicious and well balanced..mouth feel is flavorful but light on the palate..very drinkable very smooth and creamy and refreshing..will buy more of this...big recommendation for this one

 517 characters

Photo of digitalbullet
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apperance: light clear goldn in color. Light head with small tight carbonation bubbles.
Smell: acidic green apples. Yeasty breadiness.
Taste: green apple sourness dominates this brew. Some coriander and spices are noted but are very muted. Slight acrid taste in the finish detracts from the overall product.
Mouthfeel: clean and crisp. Very good.
Drinkability: very good saison. Worth seeking out.

 401 characters

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy lemon colored body with a dense white head.

Citrus and coriander dominate the bouquet. Enticing, but not as layered as as the truly great Saisons.

Coriander, honey and citrus are intertwined on the palate.Notes of green apple and cinnamon. A pop of acidity follows with the softly bitter bite of orange rind rounding out the finish. Very well balanced, spice and citrus play nicely off one another. Barrel aging adds a little something, but is is a minor flavor contributor.

Sofie is a fun Saison that is a joy to drink. Expertly balanced, imminently drinkable. This is a good bottle of Saison, but it is not a great one. Other brands take the style to another level with their depth of flavors. Perhaps Sofie is a little too delicate. Still, this was a beautiful bottle to enjoy on a hot June day.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage in a 22 oz bomber. Light gold, slightly hazed with a fine-bubbled white foam. Ok retention and some lacing, but not rocky topped like many great saisons.

Nose is lemongrass, hay and star jasmine flowers. Brett does not come through all that much in this young beer, maybe with some more age it will showcase. Orange peel and slightly vinous, chardonnay? Very nice smelling beer, quite good.

Soft and fluffy on the palate, delicate but wonderfully flavored. Slight tang from the wine barrels. Nice, spicy Belgian yeast strain that is good, but not overly funky or farmhouse. Citrus peel flavors are quite prominent and I might like them dialed down a bit. Grassy hops sharpen the contrasts of the yeast to the grainy malts to the barrel aged notes. Light alcohol sting, complex and very tasty. Would love to pick up some more of this sometime and try it with a touch of age on it.

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

12oz bottle courtesy of bauermj thanx for this one

A: poured a hazy golden yellow with a thin head that left good sticky lacing on the glass.

S: acidic herbal spice aromas at first whiff with faint citrus notes and hints of sweet malts and tropical fruits. Really good nose.

T: nice spice apples up front with sweet malts faint tropical fruits like the nose and slight brett character as well. There is also cinnamon and apple sauce type flavors.

M: light body with a nice amount of carbonation that accents the overall taste and a sweet and spicey fruit finish.

D: good saison from goose island that made me want more after the beer was gone. I hope I can get my hands on more of this brew.

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Photo of bort11
4.51/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a Boulevard Smokestack tulip. Huge billowing head leaps to the lip of the glass. As the head settles it takes a meringue quality. Light and airy. It more than sits on the surface of the beer, it floats above. Body color is a hazy golden yellow. It glows when held to the light, but you cannot see through the glass.

Smell is a light grassy aroma. Clean and fresh. Obvious Belgian yeasts give a hint of citrus and alfalfa. Taste is clean lemon grass with just a twist of farmhouse funk. Belgian yeasts stand front. It is dry, tart and crisp.

Mouthfeel is light and delicate. The carbonation is tight and soft at the same time. Excellent summer weather beer, and just excellent beer all around. I want a lot more, right now.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a slightly hazy pale straw color with a thin bubbly white head.

S-light toasted biscuity malt up front taken over by yeast and sweetness. lots of yeast, notes of lemon, touch of orange, hint of musky cellar, herbs and some floral soapy notes.

T-sweet lemon right up front, lots of wheat and yeast, hint of toasted biscuit, a good bit of floral sopay notes, hints of herbal hops, citrusy orange, and a touch of bitterness in the finish.

M-very grainy feel, quite chewy and thick, full bodied and syrupy with a good carbonation and a strong crisp finish.

D-this is pretty darn tasty with a good balance of sweet and toasted malt, I really enjoy this and love the thick chewy body.

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

A chill hazed golden colored beer with a good-sized puffy white head.

Strongly floral scented with lots of honeysuckle in the mix. Powdery yeast, anise and coriander complete the scent.

Nice and dry and floral in the mouth at the start. Slight sweetness after a while but it stays quite dry. Dry and herbal everything I ask for in a Saison.

Mouthfeel is good.

A super drinkable beer and the equal of Hennepin. Only area this is inferior is head size. Still a damn tasty beer and one I do recommend.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to shaebs99 for throwing me this delicious bottle.

A - The first pour reveals a brew of pale lemon-banana-yellow hue with a small wispy white cap. Subsequent pours improve the head and lace characteristics.

S - A pungent Saison; the aroma has a lot of floral and spicy elements. I specifically pick up on lemon-citrus zest, white pepper, sliced apples, apricot, chamomile, and some assorted floral blossom notes.

T - The flavor is fantastic. Big white grape and peach flavors as well as white wine barrel nuances fuse effortlessly with more traditional Saison elements of orange blossom, wildflowers, pale-pils malt and a deliciously herbal, woody and bitter continental hop that is quite assertive at the finish. As it airs out the fruity aspects develop very nicely; peach, pear, lemon, orange and apricot become readily available. A delicate and sublime balance of an unusually high echelon has been achieved with this brew; the taste is truly a world-class symphony of bitter, sour, sweet and spicy.

M - Very smooth and still very effervescent. And above all, hugely refreshing.

D - This is a walk-off grand slam for Goose Island. An amazing Saison, and hugely recommendable. Also, this pairs as well with most food as any brew I know of.

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

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a Duvel glass. Bottled on 3/24/10. The body was pale gold with a bright white head. There was a light haze. A tiny film of head remained throughout.

Smell was earthy and fruity. Yeasty. Gingersnaps. No funk.

Taste was spicy - cracked pepper and cloves. Belgian yeast but not chalky, cleaner. A little bit tart and citrusy. Grapes and pear. Very nice.

Mouthfeel was medium in body with plenty of zest, finished smooth. Spot on appropriate in the feel/texture.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful pour with a slightly hazy golden beer and a pure white, pillowy head that is refreshed by a constant steram of bubbles. The aroma is gentle and tangy with green apples, grass, and some very light coriander and clove. Very creamy with more of that light apple found in the aroma appearing on the tongue along with some smooth, light graininess and fresh straw. Beautifully balanced and on the creamy rather than crisp side for a saison. Beautiful beer that I could drink all day.

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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 4,346 ratings.
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