Next up, Goose Island Sofie:
Around beerbecue HQ, and at other households across the land with kids in the throes of gum vs. tooth warfare, the name Sofie isn’t usually associated with Goose Island’s Farmhouse-style ale. Here, thoughts turn to the much-hyped, $25 teething toy: Sophie the Giraffe. Yes, $25. Most likely, as babies, you and I were handed a spatula to chew on (or some other such household item) but only as a backup to having rum rubbed on our gums.
But apparently the little monsters love Sophie’s velvety texture, handily-chewable appendages, and squeezable squeakability. Unfortunately, as your child bludgeons your head with Sophie while you carry them to the car, the rhythmic squeaking sounds distinctly like well-deserved giraffe laughter for shelling out $25 for a glorified doggy chew toy.
We got our Sophie second-hand. Good thing. While 2.0 periodically enjoys the squeak as she pummels Sophie against the ground, her preferred comfort item is a 99 cent unopened tube of grape ChapStick. She carries it everywhere. She beats the hell out of Lego men with it for 15 minutes at a time. She chews on it. She even holds it while playing with other toys. Hell, she’s taking a nap with it as I type.
Sofie is a Belgian Style Farmhouse ale fermented with wild yeasts and aged in wine barrels with orange peel. It pours a slightly hazy straw with some orange highlights. It’s got a nice, whipped-looking, white head that eventually recedes to leave a ring and a Pangean supercontinent patch of head in the middle. It smells great…like a flower arrangement that’s one day away from starting to look and smell janky, along with some candied orange peel and a pineapple so ripe that the Haybag would ask me if it’s OK to still eat (of course it is, dammit). The taste follows the fruit in the nose, with the addition of some peppery spice, more orange, and a little vinous quality. The finish, while I wouldn’t call it sweet and flabby, is definitely not as dry and snappy as I’d like from a saison. By the end of the glass, it’s a little heavy-handed. But maybe that’s to be expected with lower carbonation and the wine barrel aging.
The Haybag: Great, now all I can taste is rotten flowers. Thanks. Why’d you give me a rotting flower beer?