1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Goudenband - Brouwerij Liefmans

Not Rated.
GoudenbandGoudenband

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

1,109 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,109
Reviews: 547
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 108
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Goudenband Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,109 | Reviews: 547 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wschmit
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL, paper-wrapped bottle into a Duvel tulip. Cap says 08-2020 LGB 11 00383, for whatever that's worth.

A: A splashing, sloppy pour yielded a fine, bone-white head about a centimeter above a clear, black cherry body. A glorious-looking beer.

S: Tangy, cherry-like nose--very pleasantly tart. There is a bit of pleasant malty sweetness as well, and a touch of boozy presence. Quintessential oud bruin/red, but perhaps the most one-note part of this beer.

T: Less sour than the nose would indicate, but still potent. Some bitter notes follow that, and a beautiful sweaty funk finishes the sip. There are flashes of caramel and dark fruits as I sort through the lingering tastes on my tongue. At the very least, a first-rate beer worth pondering, if you're into sours.

M: You know, I seldom know what to say for mouthfeel that's at all informative, but this one feels just right. Enough carbonation, but really not much. Not chewy or anything like that, but with an appropriate, wine-like feel.

O: Top tier, for the style. It's sour, and has funk, and has something more. It hits all the necessary notes and then goes beyond them. A+? Maybe not. Definitely A, A- material, though. And at 12 bucks for 750, I found it quite reasonable.

wschmit, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of Popsinc
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown....some tartness in the nose, mild fruit....the taste is absolutely fantastic: semi-tart, not quite sour, an almost cherry like finish and with only the most subtle woody notes....a somewhat lively mouthfeel but yet this beers quickly turns with an ever growing creaminess towards the finish, light in some way....what a great, fresh mouthfeel...this beer is balanced quite nicely and has a nice complexity about it....easily a beer to sit down and slowly enjoy several of....to me this was a world class old brown ale...top marks here

Popsinc, Apr 20, 2006
Photo of ricke
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark reddish brown with a big pale beige head that settles slowly and leaves a nicely looking lid of foam.

S: Distinct aromas of overripe fruit (apples), some sweet candy-like aromas, raisins, light phenols, a faint note of funky barn, wood and tart vinegar. A pleasant smell full of character.

T: A fantastic taste, just really really good. A great blend of sweetness and tartness develops in the mouth with the sweetness taking just the slightest of leads. Notes of cherries, apples, plums and some raisins. A faint note of sweet candy. Some vinegar, wet wood and a note of daring yet subtle yeast. The finish is gently bitter with a rich tartness mixed with some phenols, minerals and raisins. This is just a very tasty brew.

M: Medium body, well balanced carbonation. Slightly chewy and sticky in the mouth with a somewhat dry finish.

D: I really like Goudenband, nothing but a classic. It's just unbelievably tasty. Very easy to drink as well and I can easily drink a 750 ml bottle of this stuff by myself.

ricke, Jun 22, 2009
Photo of GilGarp
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dated Sep. 2015.

355 mL green glass bottle, corked and caged, wrapped in blue paper. The label on the bottle is actually more attractive than the wrapping. The tiny mushroom-shaped cork pops with barely any effort.

Served cool into my St. Bernardus Watou glass, Goudenband has a redish brown color, good clarity, but almost no head to speak of. The small bubbles that form during the pour are gone by the time I set the bottle down.

Aroma is simply wonderful. It has nice sour cherries and red grapes with a distinctive yeast strain. A little bit of spice comes through here as well.

Flavor is excellent as well. A great brown ale base sets the background for all of these great sour fruits. Cherries, plums, grapes, and even blackberries all come together in this beer. The oak aging makes for a nice vanilla flavor. The sour quality is certainly not as strong as many American wild ales and it's all the better for it. A spicy note is more pronounced as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with pleasant levels of carbonation. Good balance of sweet, tart, bitter, and sour. The tannins are gentle on the back of the mouth.

Overall a fantastic beer. This is one style that I've always wanted to try and this particular example is what I expect to be par for the course. A great introduction to Belgian sours.

GilGarp, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

corked in 2005.

Pours a red brown haze with nice fluffy white head and some sediment. Nose is of belgian yeast, Dark fruit and the slightest bit of acidity. Taste pretty much follows, dark fruit up front, a dry belgian yeast flavor through the middle, and a slight tartness on the finish. a bit of candi sugar flavor in here. A little bit of spice towards the finish as well, and a slight tart appley aftertaste mixed in with the lingering dark fruit. Mouthfeel is fantastic as is drinkability. A great and unique brew from leifman's. I like it.

AKBelgianBeast, Apr 20, 2008
Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

355 mL corked,caged, and wrapped bottle with "1998" printed on the cork.

Rich and yeasty, with crisp, tart, almost but not quite Rodenbach-like finish, with strong, deep malt character. Virtually no head and chestnut in color when poured into wine glasses.

When I want something dark and Belgian, I may very well head this direction--though why I'd limit myself to one such brew I have no idea. Very good.

RockyTopHeel, Jun 23, 2004
Photo of KeefD
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 Vintage, best before date of 11/2016. Pours a very dark brown color with barely visible ruby highlights on the edges. No head and no lacing whatsoever, but some carbonation bubbles can be seen and a little bit of yeast that made it's way into the glass. Aroma of maple syrup and brown sugar with a hint of Tootsie Roll on top of a tart cherry sourness. The very definition of sweet and sour. Taste is very sweet, hints of cherries and apples, again with the brown sugar, a bit of molasses, and not quite as sour nor tart as I was expecting, but tart nonetheless. Very complex. The sweetness mixes nicely with the tart fruit flavors and is extremely well balanced. Very light carbonation tingle on the tongue, medium to full-bodied. The sweetness is somewhat cloying and the ABV is pretty high, keeping the drinkability low. This brew would be an excellent candidate for careful cellaring. I've read that Liefman's is or has gone bankrupt, so I'm very much considering buying a few more bottles of this before it's too late. My first Oud Bruin, and it did not let me down. Delicious.

KeefD, Nov 18, 2008
Photo of Dawkfan
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A dark ivory head above a dark brown body with ruby highlites. Retention is ok, not much lacing.

S- Smells musty and stale, over ripe cherries and yeast are most noticeable. Aroma is more sweet as opposed to sour.

T- I gotta say this is the most balanced Oud Bruin I've had, the sweet and sour are in harmony with eachother. Wine characteristics and a little woody on the finish.

M- Great mouthfeel, creamy, velvety, and smooth. Ample carbonation.

D- I really like how the sweetness cuts through the tartness in this one, makes it extremly easy to get down. This really grew on me and left me wanting more. An approachable Oud Bruin and a great place for someone to start if you aren't familiar with this style.

Dawkfan, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of Kakaraht
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark ruby brown with a nice Finger of head that has OK retention and good lacing.

S: Nice sour yeasty smell, that typical sweaty horse blanket Belgian smell. Yum!

T: Nice and sour and tart right away, with a delicious yeasty and sweet maltyness. Hidden fruits tingle my taste buds, cherry and black current. Can definitely taste Belgian Candi sugar as well.

M: Light Body decent carbonation and a nice level of alcohol.

D: Super drinkable, wish I had a dozen more in front of me right now, but then this post would be a little slurred.

Kakaraht, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of crookedhalo
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle cork dated 11-2001. No head other than soapy bubbles from the pour upon a crimson brown liquid. Flaky particle suspension. Rich wine-like aromas; sour and berry. Wild and tangy to the tongue; sweet yet vinegary. Rather acidic and palate cleansing. First time I tried this beer was unexpected. Now, I couldn't get enough of it. Sipping it causes salivation glands to go crazy, begging for another sip to neutralize the astringency.

Sampled a bottle vintage 1987 by the date in the cork. Popped like a fresh bottle, except the cork was nice and soaked; wet. Muted Goudenband in the nose. Blackberry and maybe some grape. Excellent prune skin-like malty sweetness followed with the usual Goudenband tartness, yet softer. Wonderfully mellow. Dark streaks of sediment left on inside of bottle inticating that it had been kept on its side most of its life. Good experience; hadn't upped any marks, but a good experience nonetheless..

crookedhalo, Dec 19, 2003
Photo of Beerzebub
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml, dated 2006 on the cork, best by date 11-2016, served in a Riedel Vinum Extreme flute at 57 F/ 14 C.

Rusty orangish brown, basically no head, a few fine tendrils and blots of lace. Lots of yeast in the second glass, but it's not a problem.

Smells like tart kiwi fruit, golden raisins, cooked strawberry, prune, and yeasty dough. Deep wood and soy sauce notes, and a bit of barnyard. Mild smell, but very nice.

Tastes like kiwi, golden raisins, fig jam, strawberry sauce, wood. Juicy, moderately sweet. Some underlying leafy, strawlike, woody bitterness, and some soy sauce in the background. Some acidity, but not much. After several seconds, rich nutty oxidization comes in, and the sweetness fades for a long dry finish of oxidization and golden raisins with some bitterness. Complex and very tasty.

Smooth creamy superfine carbonation, and not too much of it. Very very drinkable.

Great characterful beer.

I paired the second glass with a Parmigiano-Reggiano and an aged cana de cabra goat cheese. The P-R paired fairly well. The cana de cabra was outstanding, providing tart funk while highlighting the fruit of the beer.

Beerzebub, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of 99bottles
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: In a wine goblet, this beer has a murky tan color with reddish brown hues and noticeable haziness. An ultrathin lace of miniscule bubbles flicker and dance on the surface, but to be sure, this beer has no head of which to speak. Looks utterly raw.

Smell: This has a strongly sour nose, with a damp vegetation funkiness and some faint scents of fruit.

Taste: This is one heck of a complex beer! The taste is unmistakeably Belgain, with an initial sourness of cherries and some oak or other wood. This mixes with a distinct lactic sourness, almost of spoiled milk which without becoming a dominant flavor, still makes the tastebuds twinge. The end lends a damply fecund taste of wet moss and hay. So completely unique and absolutely untamed while on tap, this is really not to be missed. KClinger’s Publik House, upstairs.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and moderately carbonated, the beer is light in the mouth while its flavor wreaks havoc on the tastebuds. Nicely matched, the mouthfeel is perfectly suited to the beer.

Drinkability: I really enjoyed this. It’s awesome to find such rarities on tap, and this one really takes the cake for complexity. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Yes. I could drink more than one of these, but I might abstain as this is a treat not to be taken and tampered with by sessioning it.

99bottles, Oct 09, 2004
Photo of aubuc1
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle from 2007 poured in to a snifter.

Pours a dark brown with a curving yet thin tan head.

Big sweet, ripe rich fruit (grape mainly), then a solid sour smell.

Quick bold sour taste (green apple)with a dry finish. Slightly fruity. Not too sour since it doesn't linger, but really nice.

Beautiful carbonation keeps the sourness at bay.

Great beer that I am really glad to have tried thanks to a trade with rgtravers.

aubuc1, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of expatsteve
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Golden2wenty1 for sharing this - a nice bottle from 2003.

Appearance: Mahogany and ruby color, with low visibility. Pours without a head, and just a few suds that sit right in the middle of the beer. Low/medium viscosity.

Aroma: Sour cherries and hard apple cider - tart, but easy on the nose. Some apple skin bitterness and a little molasses flourish, though this occurs in the aroma only - definitely no sweetness.

Taste: Immediate dry finish that is reminiscent of prosecco. Raisins, apricots, splashes of sour cherry. Green apples and a hint of golden syrup on the middle palate, and just a few molasses wisps in the finish. Yeast in the finish balances the flavor, which is tart but exceptionally mellow.

Mouthfeel: Light, almost thin, with a good crisp finish. Low carbonation. Nice pleasant fruitiness really fleshes out the body.

Drinkabilty: Great - tart, fruity, exceptionally pleasant. The overall impression is a little like a dry pear champagne, with more hard cider notes. Understated, despite a nice complex flavor. This has definitely sold me on the oud bruins.

expatsteve, Aug 06, 2006
Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

75 cl bottle.

Poured a dark mahogany, nice tan head, yeast sediment swirling around.

Massive esters in the nose, plenty of fruit smells: tart apple and cherries. Cookie dough, sweet breads come out as it warms.

Medium body, smooth and creamy with a touch of graininess in the back. An assertive tartness would be the defining characteristic, but many subtle nuances are there as well. Fruits for sure. A little vinegar like sourness, and a surprising malt almost roastiness. Very complex, very dry, hops bring a bit of refreshing bitterness in the finish.

A world class beer.

Shultzerdugen, Feb 19, 2005
Photo of delicious
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy, dark chestnut body and the thinnest head.
There's a small amount of vinegar in the nose, but it's moderated by a damp woody smell and a stingy zest.
It's a little sweet tasting, with some grape and turned cider. The wood comes through like chewing on a popsicle stick.
The final pour empties clots of brown yeast into the bottom of the glass.
There are just so many very different flavors moving around, all the while complementing each other. There's just enough sourness that it's fascinating, and the wood mellows the sour shock at the end while the fruity sweetness offers a pleasant beginning.

delicious, Sep 23, 2006
Photo of Parrotbeak
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep, rich, mohagany. Very thin head that quickly disappears, leaving a white ring around the perimeter.
Sharp vinegar and sourness up front, with some earthy oakiness. Tart fruits beneath.
Sour fruits and oak, with vinegar accompanying. Pickled celery and other veggies. Reminds me of Frontenac wine. Very nice. Pleasant, puckering tartness on the finish.
Mouthfeel is crisp and light, with a dry finish.
Good drinkability. ABV is not detectable. The great taste and refreshing aspect of this one makes me with I had another bottle.

Parrotbeak, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of mtwentz
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a goose island wine glass from a 750 2010 vintage.

The head has a nice dough-like consistency, like a tan swiss cheese sponge. The color is deep violet brown with nuances of red. Smells like tart cherry fruit leather. The taste is cherry fruit leather leading to a tartness that slips into an air of black raspberry. The finish is just off dry with an aftertaste somewhat metallic like iron.

mtwentz, Feb 24, 2011
Photo of mickeymac
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from paper-wrapped 750 ml bottle with a 2002 cork, it pours an eye-pleasing mix between dark brown and garnet. The smell is initially tart, with dark, ripe fruit, and loads of funky Belgian yeast. The taste is slightly puckering and backed by a nice fruity sweetness, notably date and raisin with hints of cherry. In the end, it all comes together very nicely with an impressive balance. The mouthfeel is wonderfully creamy and the alcohol is well-hidden. This is quite a beer.

mickeymac, Oct 06, 2003
Photo of Shaw
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep red-brown with a very effervescent -- almost soda-like -- head that quickly subsides.

The smell is slightly sour and musty (possibly from the cork?) with complex ester aromas I can't identify.

The taste has many of the same characteristics of the aroma, but even more complex. Not as sour as other beers in the style, I like how Goudenband is a little more subtle, which adds to its drinkability, even consider its high alcohol content.

As someone who is used to massively hoppy American ales, it's great to have a beer that is just as good but in a totally different direction taste-wise.

Goudenband is an excellent beer worth paying a premium for.

On a side note, I have to wonder why this beer comes corked. I think the snooty appeal a cork has must be outweighed by the quality-control issues they cause. Bottle caps or even screwcaps don't have the high failure rate -- which is undetectable until the bottle is opened -- that cork does. I say, use a bottle cap and let your customers taste the beer the way you brewed it.

Shaw, Nov 22, 2003
Photo of ballewblake
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a Westmalle chalice.

Dark opaque pour with a minimal head that reduced quick to a collar, light lacing. Aroma is hit or miss on this beauty, this time I got what I was expecting. Sweet and sour. Taste is tricky, with a subtle sour note that with plums and melons. Light carbonation on the tongue, nicely balanced mouth fill. An excellent Flemish brown ale.

ballewblake, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of spoony
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a paper-wrapped 750 ml bottle (cork suggests 2011 vintage) into a tulip.

A-The brew is murky and prune colored. It was sort of ugly, but on par for the style. The head was almost two fingers of light tan, pillowy foam. The head was slow to fade and left a little cap for quite a while.

S-The smell was mildly sour and funky. I picked up earthy notes of vinegar, raisins, figs, and tart cherries, as well as some oak type smells.

T-The taste tracks the smell pretty closely. There is a current of musty, earthy, sour fruits and acidic, oaky vinegar up front with a little sweet kick in the mid-palate to balance things out. This brew was medium-sour and I detected no hop bitterness at all.

M-The carbonation consisted of fine bubbles and the brew had a slightly slick finish with a medium body.

O-This beer is a great example of the style. The flavors are complex and well-integrated, and the mouthfeel is nearly perfectly matched to the beer. I especially enjoyed how fruits aside from the typical sour cherry or raspberry stepped up here. That isn't to say that cherry was missing, it just wasn't the only player here, which upped the score in my book.

spoony, Dec 26, 2012
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cork labeled 2004.

Pours a hazy cherrywood hue with a dense light tan head. Lots of lace. Smell is spicy. Plum, sour cherries, oaky and vinuous.

Taste is also that fruity sourness. Sweet spice (cinnamon, clove) and sour cherry and berry. Acidic and underpinnings of vinegar. That sounds bad but somehow it works. Some funky brett as t warms. Yeasty. Mouth is thinner than you would expect but lots of flavor. A nice smooth beer and one of my favorites. A bit younger than I like this beer but still complex and tasty.

ViveLaChouffe, Jan 18, 2005
Photo of DarrellK
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with little head or lasting carbonation, but a nice dark amber color. Body is a somewhat thinner than I tough it would be but not too thin. Finish is large with a sweet and sour taste that brings a plum wine to mind. There is clearly a feel of of the 8% ABV but not overwhelming. This is one of the best Belgian Ales that deserves to be shared with special friends that can appreciate the style. LOng neck drinkers will be really lost with this one

DarrellK, May 13, 2003
Photo of BeerAmbassador
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, cork says it was bottled in 2010, cap says best by 2020. Pours a deep rich reddish brown with a thin off white head. Medicinal notes on the nose along with licorice and cola aromas, red fruit and mint. Lots of complexity on the nose. Lots of the same on the palate with a nicely integrated oak flavor and a tartness that is not overly sour. It is also a bit less sweet than I was anticipating. I am looking forward to seeing how this beer changes over the course of the bottle as it comes up in temperature.

BeerAmbassador, Aug 30, 2011
Goudenband from Brouwerij Liefmans
93 out of 100 based on 1,109 ratings.