Saturday, February 26, 2011

2 Ladies, Eh?: Sofie and Matilda

I picked up these 2 beers for a couple of reasons. One, Goose Island from Chicago has a good reputation, and I have not had much from them. Two, their simple yet elegant labels. One labeled "Sofie," one labeled, "Matilda," both labeled, "Belgian-style Ale." I picked up one of each (One of Each!) on Friday and brought them home to me pops.

We cracked open the Sofie first, a farmhouse ale or "saison." Btw, you should totally click on that link; Goose Island has a great website including short informational videos about each beer! I hadn't had a saison in a long time and had to remind myself of their origins: bottle-conditioned beer made by farmers during the winter to be stored until the summer. This Sofie was brewed in 2010, has 6.5% alcohol, and can be stored for up to 5 years. 20% of the beverage was aged in wine bottles with orange peel; this was a highly citrus-y brew.

It poured a very cloudy pale yellow, with a huge billowing head that left a ton of lacing. The nose was strong and very pleasant - banana, lemon, and pepper. Upon tasting my dad declared, "This has lots of flavor, or should I say flavorS." Well said! Lemony, zesty, tart green apple. Yeast, bitterness, very tasty. Lots of strong flavors that worked well together.

This beverage was crisp, tingly, and had a little warmth from the alcohol. Great drinkability, I found myself drinking my glass pretty quickly. That being said, after splitting the one 12oz bottle, my dad and I felt satiated. Nevertheless, the show must go on, so I brought out the...
Matilda! And again, my dad and I split a bottle. Matilda is a Belgian-style Pale Ale with 7% alcohol. This poured a darker orange, still cloudy, with a small fizzy white head. The smell was not as strong as Sofie but sweeter.

The taste started bitter, then citrus and Belgian yeast stood out. A little floral, overall this felt "muted" in both taste and smell. Aftertaste funky.

The body was medium, soft, and light. I've had other Belgian Pale Ales that I've enjoyed a little more than this. It was tasty and pleasant, but I think I like stronger flavors. Overall, both were enjoyable and I dig Goose Island's style.
Sofie: A
Matilda: B+


  1. I have never even heard of a saison before, or of Goose Island. I love reading your descriptions of these beers!

  2. wow you are getting really good at this.

  3. Having a Sofie right now, because my daughter recommended it to me. I agree, a nice beer with lots of lemon zest and a great color. You dad is lucky to have you share with him.

  4. I'm from chicago, so I've had Goose Island and their different brews for years. I never heard of Sofie until my birthday last year. Sold! I'm having one now for the first time since the first time. I had to look it up. Unique and delicious. Bravo Goose Island. #ChiCity