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Goudenband - Brouwerij Liefmans

Not Rated.
GoudenbandGoudenband

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,122 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,122
Reviews: 547
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 109
Gots: 119 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Liefmans visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mitchster on 02-24-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,122 | Reviews: 547 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this stellar beer at Smokeless Joe's. I thought it would be good for my 200th review.

It pours a rusted red color with great lacing and an eternal tan head. It has an earthy, winey, oaky, tannic, tart aroma. Theres also spice, vanilla and and some musty funk. The blend of different aromas is so unique and impossibly complex.

The taste is more malty and less sour than Rodenbach Grand Cru. There is a definite sourness, but also spicey herb notes, notably cinamon, ginger and mint. A lambicy funk appears in the middle. Theres a sherry like sweetness in the middle somewhere. There are prominent oak notes and lots of vanilla as well. The alcohol is impeccably well hidden. Theres no hop flavor, except for maybe some earth (though that might not be 'earthy hops' but something else). The mouthfeel is prickly yet thick. The finish is dry.

This is close to beer perfection, so unique, and incredibly complex. It will pair with many foods. Damn refreshing.

CAMRAhardliner, Dec 21, 2004
Photo of corby112
4.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a very dark amber with a thin white head. Slightly sour aroma that is a nice balance of maltiness and sour fruit. Perfectly balanced sour ale that is not to sour nor to sweet. A nice amount of maltiness and sour fruit combie to give this a beer an extremely smooth very drinkable taste. The best sour ale I've had yet.

corby112, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of Frozensoul327
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW. This beer is really, really good. Poured out to a dark red brown color similar to a blood red. Minor notes of lace. Aromas of fermenting cherries, rotted grapes, sweet malts, and a tartness that reminded me of children's candies from years ago. Taste was Exceptional. Flavors of cherries, grapes, sugarcane, malts, spices and herbs blend in a world of perfection. Mouthfeel is heavenly. Smooth, medium bodied, yet reserving enough to fill the palate and keep the drinker begging for more. Execeptional drinkability, I would drink this everyday if it weren't so expensive. The only drawback is that when poured toward the end of the bottle, I got clumps, literally clumps of sediment. Not very appealing, but this beer is so good I totally overlook this fact. World Class Beer. Get this. Go to great lengths if you must; the reward is worth it.

Frozensoul327, Oct 17, 2005
Photo of Wobbly
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%

One of the all time great examples of a Flemish Brown, Goudenband is not always easy to find but well worth the effort.

Wobbly, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of AlexJ
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Murky burgundy with a thin beige head that forms a thin ring as it receeds. Delicate whisps of lace in my balloon goblet.

Aroma is dark sticky fruits, tart cherries, sour must, yeast, oak, and lots of berries. I just know it's gonna be good, the aroma makes my mouth water.

Flavor is simply incredible; dark fruit and berries sour earth, dry rotten wood, leather, pit fruit, oak. Perfectly sweet and sour. Very complex. I hold each sip for a contemplative moment before swallowing. Delicious.

Body is medium, creamy, and sticky on the lips. At 8% this is the strongest Oud Bruin I've had, but there is no trace of the strength. I could drink buckets of this delicious potion. Thanks to Dan @ Flying Saucer for sharing!

AlexJ, May 16, 2008
Photo of hustlesworth
4.84/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2011 vintage

A- reddish brownish plum with a foamy beige head. The foam settles to a thick disk and leaves little spots of lace.

S- totally rad aromatic balance. All at once sour and sweet, very woodsy with the impression of chocolate, vanilla, and stinky cheese. Olive brine, tomato acidity, and soil. Grape, fig, and sour cherry.

T- pleasant tartness from start until near the finish, wherein the sourness fades abruptly and woodsy barrel vanilla and chocolate flavors move right in to fill the void. In between, there's sour cherries, sour berries, mineral water, lots of oak, acorn trypsin nuttiness, raisin, oxalis, tomato, and earth. This is dark angry cave basement type fun. Masterfully blended and well rounded at 2 years old. This that boy.

MF- tannic and moderately dry with a very nice powdery yeasty feel. The effervescence of this beer is fan freakin tastic and lasts until the glass is empty.

D- throughout this review "vinegar" NEVER once popped into my mind (although other strange things had... Oxalis? Wtf) setting this one apart from other beers that I've tried in the same style. Definitely gonna cellar a couple bottles.

hustlesworth, Jun 25, 2013
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Liefman's Goudenband from the historic waterside town of Oudenaarde is one of the few remaining classics of the oud bruin style. It's brewed with 4 different hop varieties; a 100-year old yeast strain; a 12-hour boil; 6 to 8 months maturation before blending; and then 3 months of additional aging once it's primed and dosed with a shot of secondary yeast... and it shows!

Carefully poured from a long-standing bottle it's a surprisingly clear ruby-tinted mahogany that displays orange-ish highlights at the base of the goblet. A large head of exceptionally creamy off-white foam holds exceptionally well, maintaining itself throughout the glass and leaving some noteable lace. The nose is quite complex with a variety of aromas that include oakish, vanilla-laced wood; honeyish caramelized sugars; dark fruits (plum, red grape, cherry); a mild touch of Brettanomyces; and a subtle hint of sweat-sock/old cheese hops. The light body is gently crisp and smooth in the mouth; but almost takes a backseat its the puckering, tart acidity. It starts tart and then fruity, but softens to reveal some sherry-like, earthy, lightly toasted and woody malt before ending in a dry finish. Quite exceptional! It offers most of the tartness of an authentic straight-forward lambic; but with a cleaner profile and more fruitiness! Tart, fruity, refreshing!

NeroFiddled, Jun 29, 2003
Photo of brdc
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Small corked bottle; 2006 vintage, good until 2016.

Reddish brown, glowing with amber highlights, and a nice light orange head, with good retention and lacing. Some haziness.
Great aroma, fruity, vinegar, tart and sour notes, along with some melted brown sugar.
Creamy yet highly drinkable, it has a perfect interplay of sweet and sour. Fruity sweet, tart, sour, sweet again, vinegary at times. It keeps coming, and it keeps changing.
Amazing, and it will probably be great in a carbonnade flamande.
I need more of this.

brdc, Sep 16, 2008
Photo of Chsyhkr
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite beer of all time? Perhaps, even though I do not drink but once a year.

Deep mahogany with low carbonation. About 8% abv but you would never know it. Complex malts and sourness create a delicate balancing act, keeping both in check.

Sour, but not too much, how do they do it. Oak, almonds, currants carry through the flavor into the finish.

Don't think of beer when you drink this, but a fine aged wine...

Enjoy and be surprised!

Chsyhkr, Jan 29, 2004
Photo of BKotch
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The classic Oud Bruin!

BKotch, Feb 24, 2001
Photo of Suds
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I’d wanted to try this beer for years. Naturally, I was ecstatic when a good friend brought me a bottle as a gift at a recent party. I love the paper…just seems to add a touch of class when a beer is wrapped in tissue paper. Pours a muddy, ruddy, reddish-brown color. Despite extreme care on the pour, a couple of enticing yeast chunks plop into the goblet. The head is large, with a rocky surface and enormous bubbles. Beautiful.
The smell on this brew is dizzyingly complex. The first thing I get is an intense sensation of sour cherries. It sort of frames the beer with a tart, slightly sour spritziness. Next, there’s freshly cut wood, caramel, mustiness (cheese?), and a funky-spunky yeastiness. Cherries again in the taste…wow. It’s fizzy, with a fleeting (but at times quite intense) maltiness. It alternates between a caramel-like sugary sensation and the sour-tartness.
This beer is a master at hiding it’s ABV…no sense of alcohol at all. Refreshing and extremely satisfying. This brew is wondrously rewarding!!!! (Cork is printed with the year 2003)

Suds, Oct 16, 2005
Photo of Hachiman
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very attractive packaging, corked and wrapped in dark blue tissue paper to which the labels are attached. Makes cleaning and recycling easy!

This is a re-review. I fear my previous bottle was a little too old. This one smelled and tasted so much better.

Pours almost clear dark brown with a big tight tan head. Clumpy lacing.

Smells enticing, with sweet, fruity aromas.

Tastes good again sweet and fruity elements are dominant. A little alcohol volatility, but not unpleasant. And almost no bitterness, and what there is, is hoppy, so it blends well with the fruity flavors. Outstanding, really.

Very smooth and substantial on the tongue.

Overall, a good, smooth sipper that would probably taste good with roasted meats.

Hachiman, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of MJR
4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle.
Cork dated 2001.

Appearance: Pours a reddish-brown color. This one has very little clarity, even with a careful pour that left the yeast at the bottom of the bottle. My measured pour gave way to a light tan head that started out around half an inch, then quickly shrunk down to a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Complex as all hell... The strongest component of the aroma is the sourness, which comes across as both musty and vinous. Underneath the barnyard smell is a sturdy malt backbone. There's a solid fruitiness as well, which is unusual considering there's no actual fruit used in this brew.

Taste: The first sip is nearly puckering in it's sourness and tartness. I get the impression of fruits soaked in vinegar. There's the undercurrent of malt again, just like in the aroma, but it's merely the understudy of this show. Despite not being employing in the creation of this beer, tart cherries make themselves known. Of course, they come and go...as the entire flavor profile bounces back and forth between sweet and sour. As it warms, more and more layers unfold and add to the experience...

Mouthfeel: The dryness of this beer sucks all the moisture out of your mouth, and when you go to take another sip to replace it...it doesn't happen. Oh...the vicious, yet wonderful, cycle... Painfully dry with a fairly thin mouthfeel.

Drinkability: For those who dig the style, the drinkability is tip-top. This is a great slow sipper, though it seems like it would also match up great with food. I'd like to pair this one with a few of my favorite dishes.

A 'thank you' goes out to 'Realale' for introducing me to this style. I'd been looking forward to trying a Oud Bruin, and it's now a favorite!

MJR, Feb 26, 2003
Photo of techdiver
4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cork 2.006, cage 10-2016

Pours a cloudy reddish brown with a modest tan head.

Sour cherry nose.

Taste echoes the nose, with malt and a bit more complexity.

Great carbonation, feels relatively light.

Eminently drinkable, very enjoyable. Not TOO anything. Just a great tasting and easy drinking brew.

techdiver, Apr 18, 2007
Photo of devlishdamsel
4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is nothing short of amazing. I could drink it every night! I found it incredibly complex, yet surprisingly smooth . The intense flavors were a treat to my palate. The scent and mouth feel was nothing short of intoxicating. Definitely one of my favorites.

devlishdamsel, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of gbontrag
4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma is of brown bread, fruitcake with rum.

Tastes of crushed bing cherries, aged apple cider, fruitcake with citron and honey. It's simply unfair that something with such an effervescent mouthfeel also packs so much fruity flavor without being intensely sweet, or sour. The sourness that is present is the same kind you get from fruit juice, it makes you crave the next sip. Cherry nougat.

The color is dulled walnut. The big froth melts into bits of lace.
so delicious.

gbontrag, May 18, 2006
Photo of rye726
4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'06 bottle poured at 45F. Some signs of leaking from the cork.

Glowing mahogany color with a tan head that settles to a nice cover. Very good lacing.

Lots of sweet malts with tart cherries and berries. Good oaky aromas and possibly some floral hops.

The flavor has candy malts, dates, figs and tart cherries all surrounded by oak. A sherry quality emerges as it warms.

Good thick and full body with good carbonation. Becomes quite dry towards the finish. Delicate, crisp, velvety and refreshing.

Superb example of the style. It starts almost too malty until the tart funk kicks in and everything comes together. Pair well with most any mal or snack.

rye726, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2005 Vintage. Good until September 2015, according to the gold cap atop the cork and beneath the cage. I was going to hang onto this one a while longer, but the rumors of Brouwerij Liefmans's impending bankruptcy spurred me to review it while I'm still able.

Autumn leaves russet with bright tangerine accents and a barely visible yeasty haze. The crown (equal parts pale orange, gold and ecru) filled half the glass on the pour. The foam is heavily creamy and lace is being laid down in a beautiful array.

The nose is absolutely classic for the style. Each deep inhale delivers an intriguing blend of sour cherries, fruit vinegar and loads of oak. If the aroma translates in intact form to the palate... watch out!

Goudenband is everything that I'd hoped for and more. It's been too long since I've had a good Flanders oud bruin or Flanders red ale (Iowa isn't exactly bursting at the seams with them). I'd forgotten how the best ones are such a sublime balancing act between sweet and sour.

There's so much deliciousness going on that it's hard to know where to start. Specifics include both sweet and tart cherries, fig jam, bruised apples, leather, an oaky woodiness, and a splash of cider vinegar. Maybe a little brown sugar as well. The sweetness won't be for everyone (and it's keeping my samples to sips), but it's a great take on the style.

My taste buds are so busy processing the amazing complexity they have no time to register the alcohol. The out-of-this-world mouthfeel is lightly silky, impressively expansive and is effervescent in a good way. No dropoff here. None at all.

Liefmans Goudenband is the single best Flanders oud bruin that I've ever had. No less an expert than the late, great Michael Jackson considered it to be a 'world classic'. I humbly agree. It would be a shame if beer lovers the world over were no longer able to drink this divine libation. Here's hoping the brewery finds a way to survive.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of Gurus
4.76/5  rDev +13.6%

Gurus, Sep 04, 2014
Photo of cam477
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

cam477, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of Prospero
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Prospero, Oct 04, 2012
Photo of Isotope
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Isotope, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of let8it8grow
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

let8it8grow, Apr 21, 2012
Photo of Tibi81
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Tibi81, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of pbrian
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

1999 bottling. Pours dark amberish red, impossible not to get some good chunks of yeast floating around. Minimal wisp of head around the edges. Aroma of cherries, raisons, a little musty and oaky. Ahh, the flavor. Usually a beer will start this way and finish that way. Everything happens at once with this one. So in no particular order of appearance- rich sweet malts, prunes, sweet and sour sensations, astringent, oak barrels, tart and citric. Oh so deep for a medium to light bodied beer. Drinkability? Let's just say that its cost per minute of enjoyment was very high.

pbrian, Dec 20, 2002
Goudenband from Brouwerij Liefmans
93 out of 100 based on 1,122 ratings.