Brewmaster Brett Porter posted a notice on Goose Island's web page Thursaday, announcing the recall of batches of Sofie barrel-aged Saison:
June 2, 2011
Goose Island Drinkers,
Goose Island has decided to withdraw three batches of bottled Sofie Belgian Style Ale from the marketplace, packaged on 2/11/2011, 3/8/2011, 4/20/2011. The 2/11/2011 batch is 650ml bottles, the 3/8/2011 and 4/20/2011 batches are 4 packs.
During a routine tasting at our brewery we discovered a bottle of Sofie that had flavor attributes that were different than expected. We found the flavors associated with these samples could be variable from bottle to bottle within these 3 production batches. Some of the bottles in each batch are outside of our desired taste profile.
Brewing Sofie is a complex process that blends barrel aged beer with fresh beer. We have found the root cause of the flavor variation. It was from some of the aging barrels and we have implemented a method of controlling this variation in the future. The beer is perfectly safe to drink, but it doesn't meet our strict quality standards and requirements for taste.
We deeply appreciate the trust you put into Goose Island and we thank you for your support.
Goose Island Beer Company
Even in the tightest quality control standards, aging beer in used wine or bourbon barrels introduces a wildcard to the mix. Again, it should be noted that the beer is perfectly drinkable, but may not taste the way it should.
In June of 2010, Goose Island recalled batches of Matilda, a Belgian style ale fermented with brettanomyces (brett) yeast to add a touch of sourness. One batch was infected with lactobacillus, which made the beer too sour for Matilda's "flavor profile."
If you have any Sophies with the dates above on the back label, you should be able to return them to your retailer for an exchange or refund.