Sofie | Goose Island Beer Co.

1,074 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: 1,074 | Ratings: 4,391
Photo of froghop
3.44/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a cloudy yellow with a very thin white head, above average carbonation, and a little lacing.

smell is of lemon, some banana, and a touch floral.

taste is crisp, fruit, malt, banana, and lemon, ends refreshing and a little tangy.

nice for a farmhouse ale, just missing a little sourness.

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

Thanks to Johnmichaelsen for this 2009 bottle. Poured into tulip. Poured a hazy golden straw color with a 1-1/2 inch fluffy white head that had great retention and minimal lacing.

The nose has the expected yeasty spice flavors over a solid grain base, just a notch or two bolder than expected. The flavors were also a nice take on the style, perhaps not as bold as the aromas had led me to expect. There was a citrusy zing that I didn't pick up on the nose and that complemented the spice and yeast nicely.

The body was fairly typical, light and crisp with nice carbonation, but again, very well done. Drinkability couldn't possibly be better, this is a beer for breakfast, lunch, dinner or any other time.

Overall, a very good beer, worth seeking out.

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

Not a hugely complex beer, but a really good one. This is like a hoppy, sweeter brettier version of orval. Funk, earthy, citrus, spice, cloves, hops mix the smell and taste together. This beer is a crisp refreshing beer i'd drink this beer all summer long.

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

Pours a rather bright golden color with very slight haze, large bubbled head, and tons of lace. Tons of carbonation in this beer that is mesmerizing to watch. Nose has some orange & funky yeasty aromas. On the palate there is a nice citrus flavor with light wheaty malt. Easy drinking and refreshing.

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Photo of hdofu
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy gold with a thick white head. Smells of spices and fruits, possibly oranges and ginger. Taste is bitter with a tangy finish. The beer has a pleasantly high amount of effervescence. It goes down pretty easy and is light enough it wont knock most people out in a 3 drinks

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Photo of andyfrancis
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pale yellow with a gorgeous white head that is settling ever so gently.

Smells of light champagne, has some fruity notes.

Oh yes. Great complex flavor smoothly washes over my tongue, followed by bit of carbonation ting and some lingering spice. Great belgian flavor, yet surprisingly light and drinkable.

Given the choice, I'd take this over Matilda.

Pairing with some Point Reyes Farmstead Toma. Works fairly well.

I burped through my nose. Burning.

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Photo of Prostman81
3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very light straw color, with a little bit of haze and decent carbonation. Produces a 1 and a half finger head that dissapates over time, not as 'rocky' as other high carbonated Belgian beers.

Not much in the way of smell, just a fine hint of clove and citrus.

Taste is very refreshing and light. The clove and citrus dominate, but not overwhelmingly so. Almost like a German Weissbier without the banana. I tasted just a hint of vanilla. Alcohol was completely masked. I know G.I. says this can be cellared for up to 5 years, but this is so refreshing, I won't be able to keep them around for very long. I haven't had any other Saisons yet, but from what I've read, this does a good job of being representative of the style.

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Photo of Xul
4.19/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a slightly hazy pale golden capped by a two finger white head. Retention is rather poor but it does leave behind some lacing that sticks around for a while.

S: A citrusy sweetness - almost with a sort of lemonade characteristic - is prevalent up front. Wheat base is evident behind, along with some pepper and clove characteristics.

T: Wheat base with lots of sweet citrus - lemon zest and orange - balanced by a spiced bitterness with coriander, pepper and cloves. Some distinct breadiness comes in later and finishes with a light fruit flavor.

M: Light to low moderate body with high carbonation.

D: Very, very pleasant, this would be easy to sit back and drink on a warm afternoon.

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Photo of DaveHS
4.48/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I wanted to review a bottle of the 02/11/11 dated batch, as it was listed as a recalled bottle on Goose Island's website. Hoping for some nice sour/funky action. My number scores pertain to the original review, as they refer to the non-recalled version.


A-Pours hazy blonde with a quarter inch of bubbly off white head. Leaves minimal soapy lacing.

S-Wonderful vinous fruity notes of sweet wine grapes, blackberries, and barnyard funk.Citrus fruit skin dryness and white pepper.

T/M-There's a little fruity tartness in the back end, but other than that it doesn't seem too different from what I remember. It's less crisp, and a little funkier maybe. Apricot, white wine grapes, and a hint of green apple. The finish falls apart a little bit. It suffers from not being quite as dry as previous batches. Otherwise, very nice.

O-Preferred the nose on this batch, but the previous batch I reviewed was superior.

Review from 05/23/10

Pours a hazy, straw color with a
fluffy, off white head. Excellent lacing and

The nose has lot of funk up front,
earthy aromas of band aids and old leather.
These pull back to reveal light touches of
zested orange and fresh cut grass. This is
what a saison should be, a beer that conjures
images of farmland and rustic living.

The first sip is prickly, and reveals dry Amarillo
hops and notes of orange peel. Musty and
sweet mid-palate, with flavors of banana,
white grape, and clove. The finish is funky
and lingering, with a layer of drying
hoppiness. The carbonation is really
impressive in this one, right on the line
between prickly and crisp. It's a big part of
why all these flavors come through
individually before they melt together. One
of the best American saisons I've ever had.

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Photo of AJacob81
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a fluted tulip from a 12-oz. bottle.

A - Pure gold, with a moderate amount of obfuscating haze. A thick, cream-like white head of 3 fingers forms and is retained through most of the drink, leaving intricate lacing. A beauty.

S - Tangy lemon tart and orange rind, sourdough malts, and crisp white wine.

T - Sweet, tart citrus and banana bread are ascendant at first. Flavorful, slightly peppery hops in the finish.

M - Fantastic. Bubbly champagne, silky and fizzy on the tongue. Perfect for the style.

D - Compelling, but a sipper, despite the reasonable 6.5% ABV.

My favorite of Goose Island's Belgian brews so far.

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

Picked up a 22oz bomber at Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido and poured it into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a hazy straw-like hue with a decent head and small amounts of lacing.

S: Sour grain, sweet banana, strong malt with a faint smell of bitter hops.

T: Pretty on point with the nose - the hop is a little bit more noticeable in the flavor than it was in the smell, tropical fruit, with a sweet grainy finish.

M: Medium bodied and smooth with good carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. I only picked up one bottle, but wished I had a couple more.

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

Thanks to autumnaldave for this 650 mL bomber from the 2009 release.

A: The saison is effervescent, pouring with lots and LOTS of bubbles. The first pour alone yielded 4 fingers of dense head in my tulip. The billowy head receded quickly though, leaving little lace behind. Underneath the head, the saison is sparkling, a golden yellow that is more clear than hazy.

S: I'm really digging the nose. It's citrusy, lemony like Sorachi Ace, with a dash of funk lingering near the end. Freshly cracked pepper is a sharp contrast to the sweetness. Orange peel adds another citrusy dimension. If I had to, I'd call it award-winning.

T: Oh sweet mercy! I am in love, flat out love. Orange peel starts things off, sweet fleshy fruit. The orange zest is a meme oft repeated throughout the ale. Initially is matches with cracked peppercorns, spicy with some heat. There isn't as much funk as the nose indicated, instead a yeasty anise bite stands in. The ale is champagne-like, the effervescence lightening up the ale substantially. As a sip is swallowed, the Belgian yeast is most evident with dry fruits and more anise. Orange peel, and the peel is most noticeable here, pops up again as the lingering flavor.

M: The bubbly champenoise style does the ale justice, smoothing over any weak spots while prolonging the orange peel sweetness. The saison is contrasting, wild with sweet and sour, spciy and dry flavors. Stunning.

D: The saison is moderate strength-wise, but complex enough that I don't mind. Orange peel is a key addition, lifting the beer above most all other saisons that I've had. A beautiful ale.

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Photo of crossovert
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber. 2010 vintage. Bottled 02/19/10, bottle 1632.

Pours a hazy golden peach color with a small foamy white head that dissipates quickly. It leaves a little lace but not much.

It has a clean, typical scent for the style. It is definitely in the style of Saison DuPont. It has an abundance of fruitiness atop a slight mustiness form the yeast. It has a farmhouse scent, but not an overpowering one. It is still a young beer though.

The taste follows the nose, but with a heightened fruitiness. It has a lot of lemony tartness. It pretty much is a lemony bread. It tastes like the countryside. There is a bit of banana and clove int he aftertaste. Not much funk in the taste though.

The mouthfeel is a bit over carbonated but it makes for a refreshing beer. This one is supremely drinkable, it is the perfect summer beer.

Overall this is a great one from Goose Island. This is the quintessential flavor I look for in a Saison.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My first Goose Island... picked up while on bidniz in AZ.

22oz to pint glass at about 45 degrees?

Awesome pour - 2f of crisp, white head over top of a totally murky light yellow body. Some visible carbonation, and the head faded to a nice perma-film.

Nice floral aromas, with a light Bretty funk, and some sweet spices.

Fairly crisp in the mouth, with an exceptional smoothness going down. Flavors of lemon zest, straw, and a little coriander. Slight acidity and minor funky goodness.

This is refreshing as hell and a real winner for the summer heat.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Nice white head and thick lacing. Golden straw color.

Lightly spiced. Slight funkiness to the beer. Some lemon flavors in there as well. Very easy to drink.

Taste is frankly complex enough to warrant a higher score, but it helps make this an easy-drinker. And there's nothing wrong with that.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale (Saison), ABV 6.5%, 25 IBU, hopped with Amarillo, brewed with Pilsner and wheat malts and fermented with wild yeasts (Brett included), and aged in oak wine barrels with 20lbs of orange zest per barrel. $8.49 for a 22oz bomber at Wine Palace in Dearborn.

Pours out to a hazy pale golden with a tall soapy white head with average retention and very good lacing. Carbonation is moderately brisk. The aroma is very nice, with plenty of Brett up front, followed by oranges, vanilla, spicy floral hops, and the definite oak presence of a chardonnay. The mouthfeel is tart and crisp with a light body. The taste opens up with piquant acidity of the brett and that traditonal farmhouse barnyard smell, followed by a nice wheat cracker middle, mild well balanced floral bitterness, a spritzy light flavor of the orange zest, and a light astringency in the aftertaste. No off flavors.

This is an exceptionally well made Saison and it is true to style. It is exceptionally rare that Goose Island disappoints. I would gladly buy this again, especially to introduce someone to the style. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of shortysdude285
4.62/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light hue with a good amount of carbonation. Head is present due to a good amount of carbonation. Bubbles rising similar to champagne.

Smell is fresh, slightly floral and oh so refreshing

Taste is great, hit the Belgian taste nail right on the head

I could drink a lot more of this if I had it. It just became available in California last week so hopefully I'll be seeing more of it around.

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Photo of professorninja
4.65/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this at a concert with my wife (Crooked Still). After a couple of bourbon and sprites, I split a 22 oz. of Sofie with the lady.

A - I was tipsy, and it was dark, so I can only assume it looked good.

S - It smelled pretty good. Clean, maybe citrusy?

T - The taste was incredible. Sweet, almost bready. It had the tang of a belgian style ale, but it wasn't sour.

M - I'm not a huge fan of this style, I don't like a lot of big bubbles. The feel was good for what it was.

D - Low ABV, so I could see drinking a few of these (I knew I wanted more after the first, but this is a pricey beer).

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

Impressive huge white head that recedes in a rocky fashion. Cloudy, straw color.

Belgian yeast aroma with a light malt/wheat touch.

Lemony, with a strong shot of yeast. Flowery and biting in the swallow. Light hop. Short aftertaste. Neutral mouthfeel. A good saison to try with others.

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

Pale straw yellow in color with a nice, slight haze. Head is blinding white, not huge but retains very well and leaves fairly thick lace on the glass.

A delicate and completely spring-like smell. Immensely floral. Gentle lemon; white wine; dandelion; faint white pepper; touch of gin. Also, something like pilsner malt, crisp and crackly and recalling Duvel. Balanced and totally delightful.

Fruity flavor mostly, giving flashes of lemon, white grape/white raisin, orange zest and crisp green apple. Trace of earth/funk. Still get a nice pilsner vibe with the malt, and there's a succulent, refreshing white wine character, maybe in part from the barrels that 20% of this was aged in? I also dig the sweet doughy element, presumably from the yeast.

Buoyant, round, gentle, creamy mouth, made of tons of tiny bubbles that tickle and tingle but mostly caress.

This is a wonderful thing, and along with Matilda, proves Goose Island's talents for brewing fine Belgian-style beers. So very easy to kick back with on a beautiful southern California Friday afternoon here at Tranquility Base. Over 'n' out.

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Photo of ccrida
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber (bottled 1/29/10) poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Sofie is a straw yellow with a large, fluffy white head leaving chunks of foamy lace.

Smell is great, pithy lemon rind, limes, a bit of yeast, hint of brett. Quintessential saison, I could do with lest of the doughy yeast character, but otherwise very good. A sulfur component opens up a bit with air, on the palate as well.

Taste is similar, a fruity, dry yeasty saison, very little funk. The orange peel is noticeable without dominating. Clean finish but big flavor, yet highly quaffable.

Mouthfeel is on the drier side, not as spritzy as I expected from the smell, the yeast gives it some heft, even though it's on the clearer side, appearance wise.

Drinkability is pretty good, this was a really tasty saison. Not sure that I really got anything from the wine barrel aging that was 20% of the blend, and while I think there is brett in this, it's subtle if so. Not a big fan of aged saisons, but this one may develop some secondary characteristics over time, but the 5 years suggested on the label is probably a stretch.

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Photo of ZX6Chris
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Straw/golden color, very light and hazy. Lots of carbonation produce a big head at first. It settles to a couple bubbles around the rim of the glass.

S-A little barnyard funk, just enough to add character, I get a little rotten egg(that's just my impression). A little sweet and fruity, definitely belgian.

T-The rotten egg follows through with the taste. Folloowed by fruity and maybe a little citrus. Spicy. I don't get the wine barrel taste anywhere. Not dry enough yet. The bottle says it ages well over 5 years. I'd love to revisit this once a year.

M-Light mouthfeel and well carbonated.

D-I love belgians so I love this beer. It's got everything I want. For me this is a great example of a Saison without being too crazy.

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

2009 edition, bottled October 23.

Thanks to OHLRangers for the chance to split this with my dad and sister. We all really liked this one, dad in particular.

a: This was a pale, light straw color. It poured with a medium sized fizzy head. The champagne like carbonation was long lasting.

s: The zesty citrus coming out of the glass is very enticing. This is backed up nicely by a touch of barnyardy brett and some prickly pepper.

t: Dry, light, and refreshing overall, just the way I like my saisons. The wine barrel effect was subtle and possibly entirely psychosomatic. The brett character was noticeable, but it was deftly handled and didn't overwhelm the fresh tasting citrus peel. The finish brought out a little spicy pepper and clove. Just outstanding overall.

m: The long lasting prickly carbonation was pretty much perfect for this beer. The dry finish lingered for a long while.

d: Just an exceptionally made saison. I would love to be able to find this locally. Thanks again Ed, I've wanted to try this since I first heard about it.

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

A: Light yellow, slightly hazy, moderate head, little lacing.

S: Grapes, spices, and enticing brettanomyces. Brett is such an inviting aroma.

T: Very crisp with white grapes, orange and/or orange peel, white wine. The wild yeast is tasty and well integrated into the overall flavor.

M: Very crisply carbonated. Nice feel.

D: A tasty beer that I really enjoyed. I'll buy this if I see it and I'd certainly drink it again.

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Photo of bum732
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy straw yellow, decent bubbly head that dissipates. Smells of traditional clove like spice, some chardonnay notes, orange, slight doughy wheat. Tastes of clove-like malt, clean sweetness, subtle wine and orange notes, some pepper. Spicy bitterness with a very clean finish. High carbonation, very crisp.

A solid beer, a little bland in my book, i was hoping for a little more orange and chardonnay notes to come through. Very carbonated, great for a hot day.

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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 4,391 ratings.
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