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Goudenband - Brouwerij Liefmans

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,130 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,130
Reviews: 547
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 111
Gots: 119 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Liefmans visit their website

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: 1,130 | Reviews: 547 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at De Dulle Griet in Gent, Belgium.

Pours a dark red-brown, ruby bright when held to the light. Head is full and thick and speckled with some large-bubbled carbonation, and pleasantly beige. Lovely looking brew all up.

Nose is pleasantly tart and savoury, giving characters of salt-and-vinegar chips and rye toast. Some yeasty, savoury vegemite tones, and a hint of whole grains. It's deep and lovely, and the acidity is tempered and refined. Awesome.

Taste is also similar, with those savoury and acidic notes giving a moreish palate. Hints of salt, sweet balsamic vinegar, a touch of cherry and oak. It's so full-flavoured, but complex and just plain delicious. Feel is light and refreshing—it gives enough basis to the flavours, but accentuates their light pleasantness.

Awesome beer. A lovely tart but rich and full, complex brown ale. One of my favourites from Belgium.

lacqueredmouse, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of machostacos
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep, rich ruby-hued mahogany with a thick tannish head that shows staying power. Spotty lacing.

S: Sweet and tart; a "dark" sweetness if I may - like brown sugar and figs, vanilla, and some wood notes. The tartness has a near-medicinal quality - that "band-aid" funk you often get from Brett. Grape soda/cough syrup and a few drops of Balsamic vinegar round out the nose. Subtly complex.

T: Flavor is a bit more one-dimensional - the complex sweetness turns into a bit of a garbled, semi-sour mess with a flash of bandaid and grape cough syrup that morphs into a long finish of wood and vanilla. Mildly sour and dank, cave-like, or musty aftertaste.

M: A little thin and underpowered. The body is ok, but it lacks carbonation to help lift it, so it just comes across sort of flat. The tartness here is underrated, which is fine.

O: It's no Duchesse, but this is a great Flanders sour - I completely agree with an earlier reviewer who says this is "good training wheels for anyone who is curious." I would definitely recommend this to someone new to sours but who doesn't shy away from other Belgian styles.

On another note, I've found that, although unorthodox, I really enjoy pairing sours (especially the sweeter and less tart sours like this) with a mild-ish Bleu cheese. The sweetness of the beer cuts through the cheese's funky sharp characters while the sourness of the beer butts heads with it. It makes for a very interesting and adventurous pairing, in my opinion.

machostacos, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of laituegonflable
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mahogany hue with thin, flat head that disappears quickly, just a volatile ring of beige lace left behind. Looks flat and uninteresting. Disappointing after the pop of the cork.

Smell is rich and complex. Nice and tart with balsamic vinegar notes, a vinous touch, some fig characters and washed-rind cheese providing pong at the back. Nice complex tartness with a pleasant fruity sweetness underlying. Very fine.

Taste is pretty tart from the get-go. Lots of citric notes - fruit with cranberry, guava, fig and a balsamic vinegar edge to it. Never sharp or puckeringly tart though, just sour with rich fruity backbone. Nice and plummy midway, touch of rich stone-fruit flavour, and then a sweet, figgy character towards the back. Touch of brown sugar and golden syrup as well, with the slightest hint of rubbery funk on the back. Very smooth but tart palate; refreshing and fruity.

A bit flat on the feel; slick and smooth but lacking texture. Luckily this means no sharpness which has been the biggest letdown on some of the more sour styles.

A tasty beer, very skilfully constructed. I fear this one has been the victim of some poor storage choices but it's still held up very nicely.

laituegonflable, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of timtim
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this one has tons of reviews, so I will try to keep it simple. mahogany pour with a tan head that holds and leaves lace proper for the style. nose to me is grape, cola, vanilla, sherry/port, plum/raisin/prune/date, a hint of vinegar and a touch of wood. taste is mildly (very mildly) sour and comes off to me like a slightly sour grape soda with hints of artificial sweetener. all in decent enough balance though. medium body that actually seems a bit thin and watery. they've been doing this one forever, so over the years, things have popped up that blow it away, but it is still a good, consistent representation of the style, and good training wheels for anyone who is curious. cheers!

timtim, Jul 21, 2011
Photo of BretSikkink
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Attractive bottle presentation, corked and caged with the paper wrapping. Cork pops nicely, Goudenband pours with a good head of tanned bubbles that show good stick atop the mahogany ale. Some lower level ruby highlighting. Good look.

I like the nose here, with strong suggestions of vinegar and cherry, shying away from sweetness. Somewhat musty and yeast-flecked.

The profile on the palate is simply too thin for me to award higher marks. The cherry is there, good sweetness belying the strength of the brew. The sour is there, fairly tart and and finishing with nice acidity and shortness of aftertaste. It seems very thin and watery to me, however, especially compared to some oud bruins that have lower scores here.

Worth seeking out and enjoying, I would definitely check out a tapped version if I found it, and I liked this bottle. I think the scores here might be a bit higher than my experience warrants, but it is a very easy drinker for this more aggressive style.

BretSikkink, Jul 13, 2011
Photo of rvdoorn
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: pours a red-dark brown color, with large head, leaving a nice lacing.
Smell: Grains, vinegar, dark fruits, caramel, red fruits (cherries), and yeast.
Taste: Sweet malts, dark fruits (plum), vinegar, red fruits, and oak. Dry aftertaste with some wooden tones.
Mouthfeel: Medium-low carbonation and medium body
Overall: A nice tart and sweet beer. good for the style

rvdoorn, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of KajII
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

[Best served in a Tulip glass]

Poured a medium brown with some reddish undertones and a large almost cream colored rocky head that was mostly lasting and produced some fair lacing. The aroma was quite complex with a nutty dark grain malt, an herbal hop and a sweet earthy yeast with notes of cherries, apple, sweet dried fruit and a mild alcohol wine scent. It tasted sweet, malty and fruity with hints of cherries and dried dark fruit in the beginning then became very tart with a nice apple vinegar flavor at the finish. Mouthfeel was somewhere between light and medium in body with the texture being watery at first and finishing quite dry. The carbonation was lively and a little bubbly. Overall an appealing sweet-sour flavor mixed with an abundance of fruitiness which hid the somewhat high alcohol content.

KajII, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of Bierguy5
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml, 8% abv. Pours a cloudy, deep mahogany color. Off-white head disappears immediately.

Aroma of sour black cherries, plums. Other berries come to mind. Slightly funky and earthy, but somewhat restrained.

Tart up front with an earthy, plum feel. Dark cherries, and other over-ripe berries. Slightly leathery feel in the middle. Drying at the finish with more hay, and earthy notes.

Lighter body, with a good amount of carbonation. Some warmth is felt, but nothing overwhelming. Some complex notes here, but nothing earth shattering. Still a solid beer.

Bierguy5, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of flagmantho
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip. My bottle is labeled as best before 2020, so I probably could have aged it. But who wants to wait?

Appearance: dark red-brown hue with a clear body (though it's almost too dark to see this). Head poured two thick fingers of pillowy ivory foam. Chunks of foam are left on the glass as I drink.

Smell: rich, sweet and complex brown ale aroma of caramel, tartness and tastiness. This is the kind of beer I love, and it's just plain well-done.

Taste: quite tart, rich and sweet; there's cherry here, with some musty plum and pear flavors. It reminds me of a tart dubbel in many ways. Good, but it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi that I enjoy in other oud bruins.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a big carbonation. It's a little too acidic to feel really creamy, but there is a creaminess to it as well as a big effervescent rush. I actually like the combination quite a lot.

Overall: this is a damn fine beer. I do feel something is missing in the flavor, but I can't really put my finger on it. Still, this is definitely a beer I'd have again.

flagmantho, Jul 10, 2011
Photo of dbmernin83
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my first ever of this style.
Pours a deep red, light pink head. Some lacing.
Cherries. Medicinal on the nose.
Tart cherries, and more tart cherries.
Almost like a thick champagne.
I enjoyed this, but it's not a style I would seek out. Glad I tried it though

dbmernin83, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of david131
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a very dark leathery brown liquid with a slow to rise but creamy bone white head that is thin but has excellent retention.

S- Brown sugar, cider, along with some citrus and some floral notes.

T- Sweet brown sugar up front quickly followed by tart cider flavors. There are some notes of citrus, flowers, and nuts on the finish.

M- The carbonation gives it a creamy body. The finish is rather clean and dry from the tartness.

O- This is a fantastic representation of the style. Exceedingly complex and drinks rather nicely. Highly recommended.

david131, Jul 08, 2011
Photo of danieelol
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: dark cola, decent head, average lacing.

S: Sweet candies, lemon, sherbet, astringency. Sweet vinegar. Actual cola.

T: Similar to the nose. Sweet syrupy cherry syrup, what all Flanders Reds/Oud Bruins smell like. Well balanced though. Not too vinegary, unlike other Flanders Reds like Rodenbach. I'm just not enamoured with the style.

M: Really thick, well carbonated and good. 4

O: What can I say? Fine for the style, but I'm not a fan. Perfectly drinkable, but who really wants to session vinegar anyway? 3

danieelol, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of sweemzander
3.13/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a stemmed glass. 2010 Vintage.

(A)- Pours a deep dark plum/sienna color. Produced a nice cap of tan foam with good retention. Lots of lace left behind.

(S)- Not much in the aroma. Some bone dry wood(oak) bits. Very subtle vinegar/vinous fruits.

(T)- Better than the smell. Lots of dark fruits with a vinous acidic quality to them. Very subtle sourness and oak notes.

(M)- A crisp and bubbly carbonation level. Mildly tart and sour; very subtle flavors overall. Very fruity though.

(D)- Crisp and refreshing. Close to being like the style, but everything seems all meddled together almost cancelling each flavor out. I think this needs more time to funk and sour up a bit more. Easy enough to enjoy though.

sweemzander, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of Daniellobo
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice sour with an enticing complexity as it flows.

Presentation: Paper wrapped 750 ml green corked and caged bottle. Dark blue paper with Liefmans branding and a band with trilingual narratives where it explains its intent, and main characteristics. Bottle offers a small white label with main ingredients. Cork cage notes best by date (09-2020). Shows 8%Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Hazy amber/red-brown pour with a good bubbly head, short retention, small surface ring, and some of lacing.

S - Sweet and sour fruity range, sugary and tart, cidery, apples, and yeasty.

T - Nice step from the nose expanding it with a complex fruity sourness, natural cider/apple remembrances, sour cherry, light acid yeasty touch, earthy and yeasty touches.

M - Light-medium body with medium carbonation, and a dry finish after a finely textured transit.

O - Pretty nice flow, with good nuances and long complexities. Maybe a bit monochord on a repeat serving but on a first take it is rather pleasing.

Notes: I quite did enjoyed this one, and was pleased to try a Liefman's sour outside of say the collaboration with Ommegang, which was also pleasing. But still my palate is a bit of a novice regarding these ranges. For instance while I understand that there is a great variety within the styles I am still discerning the range between Oud Bruins and Flanders Reds… Cure will be to have some more of these brews.

Daniellobo, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of mdfb79
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Duvel tulip. 2010 vintage.

a - Pours a very dark, hazy mahogany brown color with two fingers of creamy tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for several minutes and leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of dark fruits, light spices, bready malts, light sour fruits, Belgian yeast, and some light wood/oak. Not as much sour fruit or vinegar as I was expecting, but still pretty enjoyable. Definite Belgian dubbel notes, with a twinge of sour.

t - Tastes of dark fruits, sour fruits, lactic notes, spices, Belgian yeast, light wood, light vinegar, and bready and fruity malts. Definitely more sour than the nose, with both some sour fruit and vinegar to it. Again, very nice and a bit of a step up from the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth and creamy, and pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a pretty nice flanders. It's a good beer, but I was kind of expecting more from it after seeing the reviews. Some sourness in the nsoe and taste but not as much as I was hoping for. Would certainly have it again considering it's always on the shelves. I could see this being a great "beginner" sour/flanders for people just getting into the style.

mdfb79, Jun 21, 2011
Photo of DoubleJ
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Is this beer considered classé?" asked my brother. With the long paper wrapping around the bottle, that would certainly provoke a thought like that. So here's the long awaited Goudenband, coming in a 750 ml corked and caged bottle. On to the beer:

Amber brown colored with short, but retaining head on top that gives some dtrings of lacing. The nose is a strange, yet oddly appealing thing. Rotten bananas, vague and noticable sourness, brown sugar coated raisins as warming kicks in.

Overripened bananas immediately come to mind as I taste this beer. Then there's a kick of acidity. Like the aroma of rotting bananas, there's an assortment of rotting fruits that are oddly appealing. Touches of caramel come out as the beer warms, as does the equilibirum of the beer, which weights more fruity and sweet is more coming towards the sour and tart end. "Squishy" carbonation in the mouth; it's like I can squish the bubbles between my mouth and my gums. A sipper, but then again most sour beers with 8% ABV are too. There's an interesting aftertaste that I wouldn't have expected; a little sour, but with a more pronounced, dry dark bread taste that lingers lightly but long.

It would be unfair to call this beer a dissapointment consdering that my expectations were very high. Perhaps the few changeups it threw at me were the reason. That said, I wouldn;t mind having it again, but I would prefer to split the 750 with a collegue.

DoubleJ, Jun 20, 2011
Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Root beer brown in color with a massive tan head of down that retains amazingly.

The nose is full of concord grapes with sour notes as well.

Light malt with light sourness, hop bitterness and warm alcohol. Notes or toasted bread and wine grapes. Well blended and easy to drink.

Lighter to medium body and quite dry and just slightly puckering.

A nice beer in the style. A good intro to sours beer. A nice well rounded brew.

jera1350, Jun 19, 2011
Photo of Spider889
3.23/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Keffa (iirc) for bringing this to the tasting.

Not sure how I liked all the tissue paper packaging.

Tall head. The beer had a cola-like color to it. Droopy legs of lace.

Smelled quite sour and fruity. Cherry and raisin mixed nicely with the lactic pangs I was getting here.

Tasted very sour as well, lactic and mouth watering. Super sweet... though I guess that is a trait of the style. It did exhibit some of that trademark cola flavor most Flanders tend to have as well.

Dry as hell, man. In fact, my notes have a little arrow off to the side pointing at the "sour" comment and it says, "Ouch, too dry!" Yes, this is true my friends. The sweet and sour flavors only compound the dryness for me.

Overall not a bad example of the style. But the mouthfeel kind of killed this for me. Doubt I'll ever pay money for this.

Spider889, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of ncfranklin
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a Tulip glass.

A: Very dark brown, feint ruby glimmer. Good 1 finger tan head. Far darker than I thought it would be, approaching black.

S: Tart grape, apple, some cherry and light oak. Not overly potent. Notably lacking any vinegary sour smells.

T: Directly following the nose. Tart is very light. Heavy on the cherry and oak. Not sour at all. Remains balanced in bitterness and sweetness.

M: Quite smooth, good carbonation.

O: A very good example of the style. Complex enough to sip, but not too burdening.

ncfranklin, Jun 14, 2011
Photo of treehugger02010
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought this 75 cl bottle at The Foodery in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I poured it into an oversized water glass.
Appearance: The body is a deep purple, almost black color. The head is four fingers tall, with tremendous retention, thin lacing, and bubbles of all sizes. 4.5
Smell: The aromas are oaky, raspberry, and tartness. 5
Taste: The flavors are exactly as the aromas, with an emphasis on the raspberry. 4
Mouthfeel: The body is thin, with a lingering finish. 3.5
Drinkability: This beer is very tasty. 4
Don't drink and review.

treehugger02010, Jun 12, 2011
Photo of champ103
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 2010 bottle.

A: Pours a beautifully hazy mahogany/brown. A two finger beige forms with excellent retention. Rings of sticky lace are left all the way down the glass.
S: Tart cherries that are lightly acidic. Sweet toffee, and deep wood/oak aromas. This is great.
T: Follows the nose. Some tart cherries with that acidic twang. A light sweetness follows. Finishing with lots of oak flavors. Very nice.
M/D: A medium body and good carbonation. Soft, smooth, and a very clean finish. Easy to drink. The alcohol is not noticeable, and the acidic quality is not over barring. A nice sipper.

A unique style, and this is one of the standards. I really enjoy this. Something I would highly recommend.

champ103, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of czfreeman
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Good until 03 2020,
unwrapping the elgant blue paper reveals the green bottle. Elegant cork,
Opens with a nice pop. Poured out, a murky brown, light orange tinted brew. nice lightly tan head,also accented by orange fills the glass.
Aromatics of sour cherry, red wine vinegar, apple cider, oak, musty hay, fermenting pear, vanilla, cranberry. Beautiful balance of sweet/sour, fresh/old.
Taste is outstanding-Sour apple, cherry, wine vinegar, oak, fig, pepper, tingling in the finish, just enough alcohol heat to add another dimension of prickle. Cider, cider vinegar, unsweetend cherry juice...man this is good stuff!!
MOuthfeel is perfect-creamy, smooth, yet prickling, tart and lively.The ABV could be 4.5%, the 8% is so well hidden and incorporated.
What a great beer. This old style is quickly becoming one of my favorites, great beer....

czfreeman, Jun 03, 2011
Photo of PEBKAC
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle I've had stuck on the door of the mini fridge for a couple years. "2006" printed on the cork.

Sweaty bottle poured into an Ommegang anniversary glass. Slimy, but otherwise sound cork. Deep, amber/brown color. An uncharacteristically steady hand results in a bright pour. No head. Scary-looking debris left clinging to the neck of the glass.

Smells like a prune-y barleywine. Toffee & a little compost. Maple. Cooked fruit. A fair bit of oxidation.

A caramelized sour brown. Subtle cherry fruit. Raisins. An almost onion-like sweetness. Lemon. Barely a hint of vinegar. Oxidation seems more like stale candy then newspaper.

Carbonation is on the stronger side. Body is a little light. Alcohol is somewhat of a nuisance.

I have yet to have the latest reincarnation of Goudenband, but from what I remember, this bottle has lost a few steps since it was new. It seems the new stuff has been pretty well received though, so until then... :)

PEBKAC, May 23, 2011
Photo of sjccmd
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown nearly black with a large light tan head. Super fizzy with decent lacing

The aroma is initially tart cherries with some oak and a bit of sweet roasted malts in the background. Sour and some mild funk.

The taste begins with sour and vinegar acidity, but not mouth-puckeringly so. Finishes with sweet malts and a hint of brown sugar. Surprisingly mild, but delightful and kind of refreshing.

The carbonation is high but countered with a relatively slick finish. Despite the sweet finish, it still cleans itself out nicely.

The problem with a lot of the sour-browns I've had is that the balance between sour and roasty/sweet flavors are off or are in competition with each other. This is not the case in this beer. It really is quite refreshing and quite surprising that it's 8%.

sjccmd, May 21, 2011
Photo of Chaney
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Oak colored brown while pouring, but then became slightly darker once the glass collected the liquid. The massive, foamy beige head was a nice touch...

S: Candy sour bubble gum, with a good bit of barley in the mix. Oak? Maybe not, but it had that characteristic.

T: A bit of pillowy, muted black cherry sourness hit the palate first, followed by a bit of woodiness on the mid section. The finish was dry without being cloying in any way. Delicious!

M: The sweetness was VERY understated, which was a good thing. This was a very creamy brew that had just enough sourness to dictate style... not much more. The lacing was substantial and coated the glass thoroughly.

O: I'm not really that well verse in this style, but I have some others in the cellar (ex. Dissident, etc.). However, I love it already!

Chaney, May 20, 2011
Goudenband from Brouwerij Liefmans
93 out of 100 based on 1,130 ratings.