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Goudenband - Brouwerij Liefmans

Not Rated.
GoudenbandGoudenband

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

1,095 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,095
Reviews: 543
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 106
Gots: 115 | 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: 1,095 | Reviews: 543 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -5%

2002 vintage. Surprisingly delicious as tart rather than expected very sour. Beautiful red apple colour with moderate creamy head. Rum spice aroma. Refreshingly and long finish. Nice restrained hops, cherry fruit. A mature taste but liked by younger drinking buddy.
Had a fresh one about two years later and moderate tartness, with wine-like taste and sight.

07-14-2004 23:25:58 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

09-08-2012 01:11:09 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.43/5  rDev +5.7%

Cork states this is a 2010 vintage.

Pours a clear dark brownish red color with a small 1 inch beige head that fades to an oily film on the top of the beer. Random spots of lace here and there on the glass. Smells of red wine vinegar, sour cherries/grapes, and funk/must. Very mouth watering. Taste is of sour cherries/grapes, vinegar, and an earthy funk. There is a very sight level of sweetness present in this beer too (one of the ingredients on the label is sugar). Good carbonation level makes for a bubbly and crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer. There is a great balance between the sourness and the slight sweetness.

04-17-2011 07:24:32 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -4.5%

02-10-2012 04:06:59 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -7.4%

Bottle thanks to drabmuh. Poured into a Bruery tulip.

Pours a nice garnet-mahogany color with a light tan head. There is a bit of light, spotty lacing.. Light foam on top of the brew. Nose brings some light cherry and oak plus some light vinegar. There is also a bit of cardboard in the nose. Taste brings some cherry and light oxidation. A bit of mild oak and creamy sweetness. Medium body and a bit of a creamy character. Some mild sourness. Really drinkable with a nice, light sour finish and a bit of oak.

11-15-2010 00:42:40 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

11-15-2011 22:01:36 | More by nmann08
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.28/5  rDev +2.1%

A: The beer is clear red in color and has yeast particles floating near the bottom of the glass. It poured with a thin off white head that quickly dissipated into delicate lacing on the surface.
S: There are aromas of sour cherries in the nose.
T: Slightly sour, the taste has flavors of cherries and oak, but this is balanced by some initial sweetness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a slight amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is extremely easy to drink; it's very flavorful, there are absolutely no traces of alcohol present in the taste and the sourness is mild and isn't overpowering.

Note: 2006 vintage

03-06-2011 05:46:55 | More by metter98
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.78/5  rDev +14.1%

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.

01-10-2008 16:31:07 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +3.3%

2005 bottling; tasted 5/1/09

Appearance: Pours a hazy russet color with a modest, bubbly head that leaves a few dots and dashes around the chalice

Smell: The predominate aroma is of sweet cherry, but if you hand around the scent for a while you begin to pick up more subtle elements, such as sour cherry, apple, prune, leather, raisin and oak

Taste: The sweet cherry flavor, mixed with a bready brown ale aspect, presents itself up front, followed by tart fruit, and a growing vinegar-like acidity; after the swallow, the mellow oak and leather flavors also become detectable

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with low to moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A bit sweeter than I was expecting and, to my palate, that limits the drinkability somewhat; nevertheless, a very interesting beer that is worth seeking out

04-30-2009 22:56:55 | More by brentk56
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acurtis

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -4.5%

05-13-2012 00:53:51 | More by acurtis
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

2.8/5  rDev -33.2%

Pourred a nice deep brown brew with a dark head that stayed on for a while. Very acidic and sour taste with a hint of sugar. This is OK but not my favorite of the Liefmans. Still I noticed that this one has more head then the other Liefmans and lots of sediment at the bottom...

10-27-2003 14:59:19 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.1/5  rDev -2.1%

Stately, mature, characterful and slight eccentric- this is Belgian brewing at its best! With less tartness than Flemish Reds or Lambics but with a rich depth of character that distinguishes it from the typical Belgian Doubles and Triples.

Understated yet creamy carbonation allows for a mellow decanting- nearly cask-like. Distinct aromas ar of must, peaty earth, lightly horsey and with a cork-like wodiness. Rich malt flavors push to the forefront, but foregoing the associates sweetness of caramel or sugar. Medium bodied in texture, the mild lemony sourness seems to further lighten the malt-forward ale and usher in a soft lactic dryness. Mildly astringent when the woody notes pronounce, but the finish is a marvelous malty-dry yet crisply tart combination that work in harmony.

A light earthy/briney flavor reminds me Orval except with more body and sweetness. Riding on the side saddle with French Ales but with the sour attitue of the Senne Valley the beer is a new adventure with each sip. Masculine and refines but without pretention.

09-23-2005 18:20:39 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.3/5  rDev -21.2%

I have been hunting this one down for a while now, and finally was able to acquire one in a trade recently. I put it immediately into the fridge and took it out last night to sit with and enjoy for a little while. A very nice looking 375ml bottle, wrapped up in paper greeted me, and I proceeded to decant it into an over sized wine glass for some proper enjoyment.

Appearance - The pour was decent; a rich red tinted brown liquid was presented in front of me. Some floaties were present, but not too much at all. A smallish, maybe one inch high head of off white colored foam then rose up off of it and settled down rather quickly leaving behind only the slightest bit of a crown on top, and some small side glass contribution. It looked good, but I am not blown away to be honest.

Smell - The aroma was thick, and sweet, almost like a syrup. Lots of very dark fruit flavors, currants, and dark cherries, were easily found in here. Some touches of fig were to be found as well, not picking up any of the sour notes though that others have mentioned, and I am a big fan of sours, and this was no sour. I am starting to think I have a bad batch here or something to be honest. As it warms it gets a little more earthy, but is still very, very sweet overall.

Taste - The flavor was more of the same, and I picked up no sour in here, in the beginning, middle, or end of it. There was just none to be found. It was sickingly sweet to me, with an off, musty malt profile that just did not fit at all. Lots of bready like flavors, just odd to me. Hints of dark cherries, figs, prune maybe, nothing spicy, just very sweet, too much so. No hint of alcohol in this, but for me, it was not the most enjoyable experience I have had.

Mouthfeel - Fell flat again here, literally with nowhere near enough carbonation, the profile was just too slim to be able to hold up such a thick syrup like feel. I just don t know what else to say, came off like cough syrup, but too candy like sweet.

Drinkability - I again am under impressed here. The alcohol was well hidden, which made it nice, however it was too dull, and the flavors were just off. I am not sure what this was supposed to be, but I am starting to think the one I have was not the way it was meant to be,. It was ok, but nothing spectacular, and I could not see myself drinking this all night.

Overall not sure what happened here, but this was definitely not my idea of exemplary by any means. It was too sweet, unbalanced, and under carbonated. I have had much, much better in the style. I am hoping my bottle was just off, I have another to compare later on so we shall see.

05-07-2008 03:08:52 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.48/5  rDev -16.9%

Finally was able to pick up a bottle of this. This is from the newest batch, 2010.

A: The pour is a dark amber color with a thin off-white head that dissipates quickly, leaving a thin ring around the the glass.

S: Starts off with a touch of vinegar and metal. There's a bit of a banana note as well as a touch of dark fruit (plums). Some alcohol and oak, too.

T: The flavor is a bit better. A slight tartness without the same metallic character. There's a slightly drying, tannic character on the finish. A moderate sweetness to it with dark caramel malts and dark fruits.

M: The body is medium with a nice full level of carbonation.

D: Not quite as much tartness as I prefer for this style, but I suppose it's still accurate. The metallic character wasn't really doing much for me, either. Might try aging my other bottle to see how it improves.

12-17-2010 05:52:00 | More by womencantsail
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kjkinsey

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

07-10-2014 18:06:27 | More by kjkinsey
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Texasfan549

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

12-21-2011 19:51:10 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

01-14-2013 01:00:08 | More by spycow
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

05-22-2013 03:42:37 | More by GRG1313
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4/5  rDev -4.5%

2005 Vintage.

Appearance: Quietly slips out a hazed, dusky brown body churning with suspended yeast bits and topped with a bubbly, sparse, khaki-hued head.

Smell: An aroma comprised of fresh-baked bread, musty yeast cakes, baked sugars, Lexol-brand leather cleaner, cherries, raisins, brown sugar and a small, inviting splash of cherry vinegar.

Taste: Toasted, crusty bread coated in a deep, toothsome taste of caramelized sugars and an additional heap of sweet brown sugar. The lightly tart fruitiness and a brush of mild tannins come together to give an impression of cherryskins. Hint of damp boardwalk planks. Earthy yeastiness. Sweet sip of Southern-style sweet tea. Very subtle phenols. Closes out with a lingering sweet/sour finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Lightly carbonated. Some sticky chewiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: It's just a hair sweeter than anticipated, I may have appreciated just a bit more countering sourness. Still, it's as efficient and easy as coming up with the typical "the Xbox is big" jokes. Hardy har har. Paired well with the recent ABC Family Harry Potter weekend marathon.

07-13-2010 21:04:21 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

11-03-2013 15:22:21 | More by jaydoc
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev -9.8%

This poured out as a reddish brown color, the head was thin and white. The smell of the beer gives off plenty of wild yeast aromas that sting the nose. The aroma of some sour cherry is also in there. The taste of the beer was pretty good actually, it was tart but not overwhelming. I found it to be well balanced actually. The mouthfeel was light and similar to a wine. Overall this brew was pretty good for the style, just not always my preference.

01-03-2012 07:21:14 | More by Knapp85
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +3.8%

Its great to have a chance to try world classics like this you really need to savor beer like this,pours a great brown color with very nice red tints showing thru everywhere in the glass not as much head as expected but the color was awesome.A very complex aroma consisting of some mustiness when first opening andsour cheery with a nice spicey element allspice maybe?Taste is oaky and sour but not nearly as sour as I thought it would be wich is a good thing for me I pick up a light spice not as well with a vinegar and light salty note in the finish.Wow a great extremely complex beer one to savor for sure.

04-04-2004 19:22:49 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.8/5  rDev -9.3%

Served in a snifter at Firkin.

You take the goud, you take the band... ...Sorry... Anyway, this stuff pours a brackish brown-sienna topped by a finger of light tan foam. The nose comprises tart black cherry, mild cocoa, mild maple syrup, and red apple. The taste brings in more of the same, though the tartness is heavily exchanged in favor of sweetness, some mild red wine grapes are tossed in for good measure, and a general sense of caramel apple pervades at times, particularly near the finish. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly drying finish. Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable beer, one that went well with the surroundings somehow (you had to be there...trust me...).

02-03-2013 17:55:00 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

01-10-2013 22:44:13 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Fresh bottle review 2006: Vintage reviews follow below.

Served in a Liefmans .3L wide fluted glass. Pours a ruddy brown with garnet highlights. Ample foam and lacing around the rim.

Smells of oak, cherry, and dark malt. Sort of cidery.

Taste is pretty unique, tartness comes out at first, followed by a sweeter balsamic note. Earthy yeast is in there, which makes a brief cameo. Sweet cherry or grape note. Have to take it down .5 here, since this tastes like sugar was added, compared to an older bottle from 2001 (see later review). Slightly dry, tart finish persuades another sip. One 750, or 2 drafts would probably be equivalent for a session. Get it while you can!

>>>2001 vintage...and the love affair with Goudenband continues.

Pours pretty nasty, deep mahogany brown with suspended yeast chunks. Every vintage bottle of this I try turns out different. 2001 was a good year apparently.The fat, spongy cork may have something to do with its sustained freshness. A brief sizzle of carbonation happens once poured, but settles to nothing soon enough.

Aroma of horse stalls, vinegar, and sweet mustard. The yeast fans out in all manner of funky directions. Sweet and sour like a Gueuze, but walking the line on the dark side. It has a mustiness that feels ancient, like it had been stored since the Middle Ages.

Sour upfront, finally. This is the Goudenband i've heard about. Forget the 2000 batch and some prior, the corks don't seem to age as well to this present date. This is conclusive evidence after sampling several flat '00 vintage bottles and a 750mL from the early '90's. Look for a larger cork and you'll do well.

Residual lemon citrus sourness, and a mellow blanket of oaky woodiness. Balanced and mellow with age. Mild cherry skin here, but more akin to a Gueuze.

Perfect Oud Bruin. Liefmans, what happened to the recipe?

>>>3rd review: early 1990's vintage

Brown Liefmans logo pattern on outer paper wrapper. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours a dark reddish-chestnut brown, with alot of clarity. Large bubbles result from a "higher-altitude" pour, but don't stick around. The ale soon looks like flat cola in the glass.

Smell is strong, a touch phenolic and berry-like. Musty basement notes lurk at the edges, but don't overpower it.

Taste still packs a punch. Almond nuttiness in the malt moves to a dark berry/plum with muted spice and a cola finish. Aftertaste is almost like fruit juice, too sweet to be wine, but not really dry at all. Nearly none of the signature tartness of a fresh bottle.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin without the usual carbonation, and the ABV becomes somewhat more apparent, which hinders the drinkability.

Notes: I was eager to try this vintage bottle, since the recipe reportedly changed post 2002. Age has mellowed it quite a bit, there was minimal to no carbonation, but still a very unique ale. Although the current version is a touch sweeter, I prefer it to an older vintage. The 10 yr. shelf-life is probably a good guideline to follow when cellaring, drink it before it gets too old...

Thanks BeerBeing!

EDIT: Recently tried a 2001 vintage, WOW. Perfectly aged, dusty, fruity, sourness. Still showed good carbonation and funky aroma. Amazing how the variability ranges in a 10+ yr. bottle, and a 6 yr. bottle. Will factor this sample in this score, for an overall vintage rating. See above review.

04-06-2007 04:28:32 | More by emerge077
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Goudenband from Brouwerij Liefmans
93 out of 100 based on 1,095 ratings.