Monday, March 15, 2010


Chicago’s GOOSE ISLAND BREWING made a series of complex Belgian ales in simple packages this past year or two, and dubbed them all with fancy European names like JULIET, MATILDA, PERE JACQUES and this one we’ll be discussing today, SOFIE. This beer looks and tastes like a tripel, and bursts out of the bottle in a total explosion of foam, as you shall observe here. I got tired of waiting for it to calm down, so I snapped my picture, sat down for dinner, then came back to collect the beer five minutes later.

GOOSE ISLAND SOFIE actually isn’t a tripel, though. It’s an oak-aged saison with a lot of the characteristics of the tripel. There’s a pronounced taste of orange peel, along with lemon. SOFIE clocks in at a relatively approachable 6.5% ABV. It’s a zesty, yeasty sort of ale, with slightly more bitterness than I was counting on. Aged in oak, as I said, and that woody, earthy taste is present as well. Wow – “woody”, “earthy”, “bitter”, “zesty”, “yeasty” – I think we just blew all our Belgian adjectives on one single beer. It’s a complex craft beer for sure, but fell a little wide of the mark for me, as did PERE JACQUES and MATILDA (JULIET has yet to make herself known to me). 6/10.

1 comment:

Barleywhiner said...

Try to get some Juliet. I don't think it makes it out of Chicago, so you might need to trade for it. It was one of my Top 5 beers last year. Nice subtle sourness and some oak.