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Sofie | Goose Island Beer Co.

1,049 Reviews
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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: 1,049 | Ratings: 4,291
Photo of Sixofsigmas
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light yellow with a bountiful white lacing head.

Smells wonderful: a mix of belgian yeasts, lemon, some notes of spice, sort of an acidic vinegar(which I like), earthy...

Taste is slightly sour, lemon, smooth malt, peppery, some other spice that I don't recognize, bit of booze warmth, sort of a rural funk.

Mouth is smooth with medium carbonation/body with an alcohol heat at the end.

Very drinkable. Very enjoyable. Will be interesting what this is like as my other bottles age. I really like the work Goose Island puts into their brews.

 551 characters

Photo of flexabull
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage, bottled 2/19/10.

Pours a bright and slightly cloudy gold color with a nice big white head.

Aromas are great, light spices, lemon zest, hints of cider vinegar, and some candy sweetness.

Taste is dry, crisp, and with a general light sourness. Notes of lemon, citrus, clove, coriander, and light hints of oak. Finish adds a hint of bitterness, and really easy alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is very nice, full feel, smooth, and with a great carbonation zing.

Drinkability is very good. This is an interesting take on the Saison style, but it sure is tasty.

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Photo of billab914
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Lost Abbey stemware. Poured a light gold straw color with a thick bubbly white head. The head faded but left some nice lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma has a peppery, yeasty spice to it along with a lemony, orange citrus flavor. It has a little bit of a grape aroma to it as well. It has a nice balanced and flavorful aroma to it.

The taste has a sharp acidic citrusness to it with lemon and orange both coming through in the flavors. It has a bit of a dry grape flavor coming through as well. It has bit of peppery spiciness to it that comes through more in the finish.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with above average carbonation that is a little sharp on the tongue. Drinkability is good, it's a very nice Belgian ale. It was nicely balanced with some very good flavors.

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

Pours a two finger white head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Good carbonation and light-medium bodied. Cloudy light yellow color. Nose is citrus. Flavor is sweet and sour citrus, hints of yeast. Good summer beer. Bottled 12/11/2009. $8.45 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

 298 characters

Photo of emsroth
2.97/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz bottle, bottled 12/11/09

App: straw golden with a fluffy head. Medium cloudiness. For some reason, I feel like this looks a little light colored for a saison which bothers me. Hence the 3.5.

Smell: Tart and funky with a hint of spice. Sour grapes, plum skin, hint of oat-like grain, and a touch of pepper. A rather tart aroma that has me excited to try the brew--rather curious how the flavor will match.

Taste: A quick bite of carbonation and fruity funk followed by a long, slow malt. A slight wine sharpness is the middle. Very dry with a kick of grassy, herbal hops. The flavor seems to fall flat and the light body doesn't back up the flavors that are present.

It's got some nice qualities, but something about this beer falls flat for me.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.51/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, dated 2/19/10. Pours a hazy straw yellow with a smallish creamy white head that retains well and leaves a lot of lacing. There's lots of tiny little floaties suspended.

The aroma is peppery spices and some musty yeast with a little banana.

The flavor is sweet bready malts, with some spices and earthy yeast and a little banana. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lots of spritzy carbonation that subsides some as it sits.

Overall, a nice saison. A little too sweet and too much banana for me.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.86/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle $7. I bought this after reading the description, the label was nice also. It was a nice orange color in the glass and smelled a little floral and kind of odd. The taste was nice like a saison but with a definite orange flavor to it, the peels really shined in this beer. This was so damn easy to drink, nice beer.

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Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: It poured clear light yellow into a snifter glass with a large, white foamy head. A moderate level of carbonation is evident from the rising bubbles.
S: The nose has some funky citrusy, floral and sour aromas. It's not quite what you would expect from a typical saison.
T: Orangey flavors really stand out in the taste, along with some notes of spices.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and very smooth from the level of carbonation.
D: This beer is a good sipper yet is also refreshing at the same time.

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

This is a fantastic spring Saison. Only my second experience with any Goose Island beers and I'm definitely going to keep coming back for more.

Enjoyed this beer out of a bottle, poured into a Delerium tulip.

A - Bottle opened with a small pop after uncapping. Pours a hazy, almost opaque, golden color. Next to no head with minimal lacing throughout.

S - Up front notes of vineous grapes and a bit of farmhouse funk, very pleasant to the nose. In my opinion, just how a spring saison should smell. As it sits, citrousy notes follow through and make their presence known. Lemongrass finds its way in there too.

T - This is a great tasting beer. Initial spicyness and hints of grapes, lemons, and some sour funk. Mellow carbonation; Sofie follows through with the perfect amount of tart and sour notes.

M - The carbonation on this beer is typical of a spring saison/farmhouse. Finely carbonated, not too champagney but crisp and refreshing. The sourness and brett funk impart a bit of a drying effect on the pallete, its nice and refreshing.

D - I'd buy this beer over and over again to enjoy on a sunny spring afternoon. I'd be interested to see how it holds after a year or two in the cellar. I'm on my way back to the store to buy 2 more bottles right now. An excellent Saison in my opinion.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, 6.5% abv. Bottled Oct 23, 2009. Pours a cloudy straw color. Huge pillowy white head, airy and light. Great head retention. Nice patches of lace. Lots of bubbles streaming from the bottom.

Fruity aroma, some apple and lemon zest. Slight herbal and grassy hop aroma. A bit of funk, and a slight barnyard aroma.

Lighter cracker like malt. Nice soft fruity flavors, still seems to be apple. A faint peppery flavor. Tart with just a bit of funk and earthy flavors.

Light body, with a good amount of carbonation. Alcohol is hidden well. Refreshing, but with enough flavor to enjoy the complexity. Very nice.

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

New Beer Friday! This really isn't "new" to me...but I am finally going to review it while I have it.

Appearance - Pours into my Bell's tulip with a light, hazy straw color. About two fingers of relatively quickly dissipating head are achieved, leaving decent lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Yeast, barnyard funk, wheat, slight orange/lemon. Not as funky as the JP brew's I usually have but I genuinely enjoy this smell also.

Taste - At first there are lots of spices, and banana is quite prevalent also. Not your typical saison in my opinion when it comes to the flavors melding together. Seems a bit more like a tripel to be perfectly honest, though not as in your face as one. Very light flavors meld together to create a very enjoyable, albeit sweet tasting saison. Reminds me of the first time I had this last summer on the shores of Lake Michigan. Such good memories.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium bodied, great carbonation, a slight dryness at the end.

Drinkability - Great drinkability. Putting a bottle of this down by yourself is not out of the question, though this will be my first time doing the whole bottle by myself. I foresee myself purchasing a few more of these to sit on and enjoy over the next year or so, as they conjure up great memories and the beer itself is quite enjoyable.

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Photo of OnThenIn
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a 2009 bottle at about 5 months old.

Appearance: Slightly hazy, straw yellow body and a white head that is a finger high and is rather persistent. There is even some lacing.

Aroma: The smell is really fruity like that of brett with a really strong tropical vibe. The beer has this wonderful orange smell. There is a tiny bit of straw and leatheryness.

Taste: The flavor is a bit yeasty. There is a spicy yeast flavor similar to a black pepper flavor. There are definite fruity notes with a nice finish. There is a tiny bit of bitterness. Overall, there is a lot of complexity here. There are some grape like qualities and a tiny bit of an herbal note. The beer is pretty dry.

Mouthfeel: light bodied with a good amount of carbonation and a bright finish. Perfect for the warm spring days.

Drinkability: This beer is really drinkable and, if not for the high carbonation, would probably be drank way too quickly. Solid beer for a reasonable price.

 959 characters

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Bottle date 12/11/2009.

Appearance: A very hazy golden yellow color, with a 1 inch head with large bubbles. Some refreshing carbonation visibly rising from the bottom. Decent head retention.

Smell: Herbal and earthy aromas, with some citrus rind. Yeast and pepper notes as well. Complex.

Taste: Biscuity yeast flavors up front, with a dry sweetness that reminds me of white grape skin. A spicy peppery flavor comes in toward the end, with an grassy oiliness. There is a slightly tart aftertaste. Nuanced and very pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation, slightly dry feel. Slightly grainy.

Drinkability: Sofie is deceptively complex. I enjoyed the mild but complex taste. An easy drinker.

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

2009. Light haze, deep gold colour with a 1.5 inch bright white cap. Slightly rocky bubbles clung to the glass in clumps. Good head retention. Nice aroma, fruity, a bit of citrus zest and pineapple, bready yeast, spicy, a bit earthy and grassy, slight strawberry. Floral and spicy flavour up front, along with mild tartness, followed by sugary sweetness with a berry quality. A bit earthy, slightly vinous finish with lingering peppery spice. Medium to light bodied with average carbonation. Decent texture, off-dry. I enjoyed this one. Plenty of character without being out of balance or overpowering.

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

Poured into a cervoise, the beer was a hazy yellow color with a small white head. It had a sweet, candy aroma with a tiny bit of spice. Taste of cotton candy, orange, and coriander. Kind of yeasty. Medium bodied, nice drinking. I would buy this again anytime.

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Photo of tigg924
3.71/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, clear, bright yellow in color, high carbonation

Smell: lemon, straw, coriander, and hay

Taste: lemon, straw, coriander, and hay

Mouthfeel: slightly bitter with some funkiness, high carbonation, light bodied, dry.

Drinkability: A tasty saison that has a nice citrus and straw combination. I would get this again as a sipper. One of the better from GI that I have had so far.

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Photo of scottyb88
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
Bottled March 24, 2010
Poured into Duvel glass

A-pours a cloudy dark lemon type color, with one finger head that quickly faded to a thin head

S-sweet citrus, fresh orange oils, smells kinda like one of the tropical starburst flavors

T-a slight hint of orange citrus, not as sweet as the smell, slightly tart up front with a belgian dry finish

M-nice carbonation and smooth mouthfeel, the dryness lingers

D-its basically a blue moon times 10. very refreshing with a slight hint of orange flavors. the strong fruity/sweet smell is very inviting.

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

Poured into a tulip.

A: Extremely cloudy straw even with a gentle pour. A dense, if not particularly robust white cap slowly settles to a thin film. Leaves a smattering of lace.

S: Quite yeasty and musty at first. Sweetness is provided by a quick burst of orange. Behind it comes a rush of lemon, plus a light coriander and clove tingle. I think I even got a hint of bubblegum.

T: Tart, mildly spicy, quite dry and very complex. Starts out a little thin, but the flavors quickly build on each other. Straw like malts form the foundation. A spicy clove and coriander bite builds on top. The orange rind shows up late to add extra complexity. Finishes dry, with a strong lemon tartness, a light sourdough flavor and a lingering hint of green grapes.

M: The body is grainy and quite light. The carbonation feels appropriate to the style.

D: This is a very complex, yet easy drinking beer. I wasn't super impressed at first, but the beer quickly grew on me as it warmed. Overall, a very nice offering from Goose Island.

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Photo of illidurit
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber, 2010 vintage, poured into a tulip glass. Pours a pale gold color with a thin fading white head. Aroma has some light esters evoking fruit salad, including apple, pear, and banana. Some clove notes lead me to believe this is made with some wheat. Nice smooth spiciness, also getting some vanilla. Flavor is bright and slightly tart, some lemon now emerging with the banana pith. Distinct but very well-integrated pepper note, along with mild notes of cooking herbs. Fruity tropical hops blend well with the esters, just like in the better Belgian IPAs. Light honeyed malts provide a soft background for all the yeasty and hoppy complexity. Dry finish, but not in an astringent way, which is a very significant accomplishment for a beer partially aged in wine barrels. Crisp and clean, a little hefty to be considered refreshing. A nice satisfying beer, somewhere between tripel, saison, and Belgian IPA.

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

22 oz. bomber, shared with my dad,

A: Pours a beautiful deep gold with a frothy white head, leaving nice Belgian lace.

S: Wet hay, grass clippings, very rustic, perhaps a bit of Brett.

T: Grassy earthy hops with a nice bready malt make a very nice flavour. Notes of lemon as well. To my palate more of a Belgian Pale Ale than a saison, but you could go either way. Anyway, it's tasty.

M: Smooth, creamy, medium-bodied, elegant.

D: This is a very nice American made Belgian-style beer. It reminds me a bit of New Belgium Le Fleur Misseur. I'm very glad to see more Goose Island around, everything I've had from them so far has been top notch.

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

22oz bottle in Duvel tulip (2009 edition, bottled: 12/11/09)

A: Very pale yellow with a huge meringue-esque head, quite a bit of haze. Surprisingly given the head, there is no lace after the head drops.
S: Definite beligian yeast/spicy, along with some citrus/orange.
T: Belgian spiciness, crisp bready malts, hints of citrus, a slight hint of earth, no real hop character.
M: Very crisp, but seems a little "light", almost too much attenuation, lots of carbonation.
D: A very interesting beer, doesn't seem to fit the saison category, but that might change with a little more time in the bottle, seems to be lacking some "wildness". I think I will pick up another bottle and see what happens in 6 months. Worth trying.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Goose Island Goblet.

A - Looks like a glass of champagne poured out..golden color with a light trail of bubbles streaming upward with a small off-white head

S - Good hint of esthers and yeast with a hint of farmhouse funk, pepper, and citrus

T - First there is a lemon and orange peel which carry most of the flavor; hint of bubblegum..only a slight farmhouse funk

MF - light in the mouth with a slight frothiness that lends to a light carbonation

D - Tasty and easy drinking saison, very nice

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Photo of MinorThreat
4.72/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased from south east Denver's best boutique beer store's; Libation's, they do a damn fine job of supplying the exceptional and hard to find.

A-One of the best looking saison's I have ever seen. Rich golden color with a nice murky look. The head sets this one apart; super dense thick white head with nice lacing

S-Green pepper and horse blanket with a sweet under tone. Spot on for the style.

T-Yup, this is the best saison I have had outside of Belgians. Phenomenal yeast esters of green pepper, banana, clove, brown sugar pair with a subtle maltiness and an animal-saison-funk. Exceptional

M-Dense enough to feel full and effervescent enough to remain light, really nice.

D-Yes please. This is one to savor... in quantity

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Photo of JBogan
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light colored gold with a fair amount of bubbles rising from the bottom of the tulip glass. There is a one finger solid white head which leaves behind minimal lacing.

The aroma is a pleasant mix of yeast and orange peel, wheat and perhaps a hint of banana.

The taste is much as the above, with some white grape and a good peppery presence. Very clean and enjoyable.

The mouthfeel is quite slick and somewhat on the thin side. There is moderate carbonation, and an ever so slight sticky finish.

I found this to be one of the better American renditions of a Belgian style beer. Certainly worth a try.

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

Poured into a wine glass from a pint 6 oz bottle. Stamped oct 2009.
Straw color and clear. No sediment seen. Nice foamy head with lace like residue sliding down the glass.

Yeast smell with a hint of banana.

Fruit taste. Crisp and sharp. Banana and citrus.

Good mouthfeel. Light and tasty. Yeast stands out. Leaves a dry mouth

Happy with my choice. Very drinkable

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Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 1,049 ratings.
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