Goose Island Sofie

You’ve been applying to jobs for months now.  No one has gotten back to you, and if they have, it’s not good news.  You’re frustrated, you’re blaming our president, your congress person, and terrorists.  But is that really the problem?  There is one thing that you can control that will make you look 80 times more appealing to prospective employers.  Put your name is script.  It worked for Sofie.

Goose Island, out of Chicago, brings us their wonderfully crafted Belgian ale, with an exquisite name.  Correction, with an exquisite font.  Goose Island has been all the rage in New England after they were finally able to distribute here, however very few people know that they are actually owned by Anheuser Busch (which is the reason why we now see it in all 50 states).  Now, before you think I’ve sold out, I’d like to let you know that their flagship Chicago brewery will still produce all their beer worth drinking: Sofie, Matilda, Bourbon County, and essentially everything produced in bombers.  Anheuser Busch will ramp of the production of all their brews sold in 6 packs or 12 packs (Honker, Harvest, Summertime, 312, etc…).  With the guilt of supporting the big guys behind us… at least most of our guilt, we can finally do those numbers.

Appearance: The brew poured a light gold color and your local weatherman would describe this as mostly cloudy.  It’s a very pretty beer.  I like how Goose Island allowed this beer to be unfiltered. It actually left a little sediment attached to the side of the glass when I was finished.  The head of the beer was a crisp white color and did not last long at all.  As I drank, no lacing was left on the glass.

Smell:  Lemon tartness right off the bat.  Some clove, and yeast are in there too.  Rich citrus smell as well – tart raspberries and under-ripe plums.  Finishes with a cotton-candy sugary smell.  Good God this smells amazing.  Lemon oil is in there too, no hops or malt.  As the head subsided, the smell got sweeter and sweeter like a sugar laced sour candy.  Finishes with a little funky smell too, like rubber gloves.  Very intriguing.

Taste:  It tastes as elegant as the script on the label.  Soft and comforting like your second grade teacher walking you through the process of writing the perfectly shaped cursive ‘f’ – the most elegant of all lower case letters.  You get the presence of coriander – the first thing that hits followed by a big yeasty flavor right in the middle of your tongue, which then submits to a bitter and slightly sour finish.  The finish is almost that of a dry white wine with some granny smith apples… yummy!  One of the first things I noticed was that this brew was very drinkable.  At first, the flavors seem a little odd, but they do mesh pretty well together as you continue to drink all of those 22 ounces.

Sofie brings you a gift of 6.5% ABV, but she’s not nearly as in your face as you may think.  The softness of the alcohol coaxes you into just the right and relaxed state of mind; you listlessly throw up your legs on a fall afternoon and stick one hand behind your head as you are fixated on that saffron hued leaf softly swaying to a perfect landing on a lush wet lawn.  Too poetic?  This beer really has a calming effect – all your cares go out the window.  I’d reserve this brew for a Friday, or take it with you on vacation.  This brew brings a little bit more to the table than a traditional Belgian might with a more complex flavor profile.

Overall, I’d have to give Sofie an A-.  It has the “minus” attached to it mainly because it just didn’t blow me away, however I’m grading this one a little tough.  It was incredibly satisfying and for the Belgians that I’ve tried (that haven’t been aged), this is a winner, and may very well be top 3.  If you see Sofie, pick her up.  She’ll treat you right, even if her dad (Anheuser Busch) is a giant Richard.  She’s still in her teenage years ready to rebel.

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