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Goudenband - Brouwerij Liefmans

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,068 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,068
Reviews: 543
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10.71%
Wants: 105
Gots: 108 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,068 | Reviews: 543 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kojevergas


4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

37.5cl bottle into a La Chouffe goblet, in low altitude Galway, Ireland. Beer obtained at McCambridges on Shop street.

A: One finger head of laughable one minute retention. Fair thickness for what it is and forgiveable for an 8.0% ABV beer, though I've seen higher ABV beers maintain their heads. Nontransparent raspberry red meets dark amber colour.

Sm: Berry, estery hops, and... yeast! Alcohol is undetectable.

T: Berry built body, balanced with esters. The barley just sets the tone; it doesn't come through as much in the flavouring, just the way a fruit beer ought to be. The finish lets the body's notes stream through without providing a contrasting third act flavour, which works for this beer. The open is subtly sweeter than the body, which takes some adjusting to.

Mf: Perfectly smooth and wet for a fruit beer. Stays clean through the finish, leaving me wanting more. Not overcarbonated; the bottle didn't overflow at uncorking (and isn't that damned annoying when it happens?).

Dr: Hides its 8.0% abv extraordinarily well. This is a fruit beer with power, and you could down it all night if your wallet could handle it.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2011 16:12:06 | More by kojevergas
Photo of GClarkage


4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12/9/05- Purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle, WA.

Presentation- 12.7 oz bottle which is both corked and caged and wrapped in a nice white wrapper. No freshness info to be found though. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Brown coloring with ruby highlights. 3/4 inch head of which 1/4 inch holds steady the entire way down. Light streak of lace.

Smell- Kind of a light smeller. Had esters of dark fruits (dates, raisins and figs). Caramel malts with some dark chocolate as well.
Didn't really smell sour though.

Taste- Oh wow! Just as an Oud Bruin is supposed to be, I guess. Lovely sweet and sour flavor, with sweet coming into play more than sour. Lots of subtle caramel and toffee flavors and nice amounts of sweet raisins and dates. Maybe a tad of hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with a lower to average carbonation level. Makes you salivate for more after each sip.

Drinkability- My favorite Oud Bruin out the the few I've had, hands down. I had a bottle of this last year, but never got to drink it because it fell out of my DBF onto the carpet and broke :( If I ever see it again, there is going to be at least 5-10 bottles going back with me.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2005 17:06:37 | More by GClarkage
Photo of imperialking


4/5  rDev -4.8%

06-21-2013 15:49:55 | More by imperialking
Photo of corby112


4.88/5  rDev +16.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2008 18:09:04 | More by corby112
Photo of MarkyMOD


4/5  rDev -4.8%

08-31-2012 20:26:09 | More by MarkyMOD
Photo of weeare138


3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hopdog for this '92 version. Dickinsonbeer provided an '03 version but I passed on most of it and worked with this one.
Appears a mild brown with a small white head that refuses to fade.
Smell is of sour cherries, mild oak, and toffee.
Taste is of malty caramel, toffee, and some oak.
Mouthfeel is smooth with mild tartness.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2006 20:30:51 | More by weeare138
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev -4.8%

01-18-2013 02:01:07 | More by yourefragile
Photo of lacqueredmouse


4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2011 03:16:50 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of tempest


4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Spinnerstown Hotel

How nice, a sour beer that's both complex and drinkable. There's an obvious acidic sourness, but it doesn't overwhelm the beer. The appears is a slightly hazy brown with no head retention. The aroma is something else. There's a lot going on here with fruit, caramel, and woody aromas. The flavor is sweet at first with caramel malts giving way to the sherry-like tastes and acidic sourness. One of the most drinkable sour beers. I'll call it a must-try.

Serving type: on-tap

04-15-2008 14:30:45 | More by tempest
Photo of wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

BB 09/2018, served lightly-chilled in Tripel Karmeliet's long-stemmed tulip-shaped goblet.

A: elegant dark brown colour with ruby glows, coming with a creamy beige head with superb retention, on top of a smoothly-carbonated body.
S: sour-sweet plummy and vinegary, smoked black-prune-ish fruitiness comes hand in hand with a subdued aromatic edge of oakiness and perfumy+creamy maltiness; understated dark-cherry+raisiny fruits and dark candy-sugary note sustain in the background, reminiscent of a Belgian dark ale. Overall, the nose is attractive, slightly sharp in the lactic-sour department, but balanced with the fine, underlying oaky aroma.
T: lively-textured, sour-sweet prune&cherry fruity flavour sits on top of a creamy maltiness, while the sour-woody edge quietly manifests itself on the rear and sides of the palate, resulting in a harmonious palate balanced b/w sourness and malt-sweetness. The moderately licrocie-ish and dryish aftertaste, as a result of long oak-ageing, is a bit like great-quality semi-dry sherry (e.g. Oloroso), while more tart berry-fruits lingers with grape-tannic fruitiness to keep a refreshing mouthfeel, while the delicately warming alc. smoothly slips down the throat.
M&D: very smooth on the texture and almost full-bodied for this style, neither as lactic-tart as some others I've tried, nor as complex as its other vintages tasted in the past, but this one is easy-drinking and mellow for a 8.0%abv. Oud Bruin. Although my preference still gears towards the more sour examples, I think it's a marvelous ale all the same.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2009 15:49:34 | More by wl0307
Photo of oriolesfan4


4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

03-01-2013 04:07:00 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12.7 ounce bottle, wrapped in paper and caged and corked, 2003 stamped on the cork, mild carbonation, jammy dark, reddish brown, cloudy/murky, nose is slightly sour, woody, musty. Complex, heady brew, sourness is suprisingly muted, but still present. Sweet/sour balance is exceptional. (I understand h/e that this is not what alot of folks are looking for in a beer)

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2004 00:34:59 | More by Billolick
Photo of InspectorBob

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

06-24-2013 14:46:33 | More by InspectorBob
Photo of rhoadsrage


4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
The cork says 2.005 on it.
A- This beer pours a dense brown body with a deep red glow to it and a thick beige bubble head with some very tiny brown bits in it. There is a sea of microbubbles supporting the head, which last for much of the beer.

S- During the pour, the tart fruity aroma is strong with funk notes underneath. There is a hint of dark cherries and a faint damp quality to them.

T- The smooth tartness is bright with a bit of a dark fruit quality. There are soft old wood flavor and some brown malt qualities that have a faint cola note coming through as the beer warms. The fruity notes take on a cherry quality as the beer opens up aswell.

M- This beer has an airy mouthfeel with a soft hint of astringency which compliments the beer nicey.

D- All the flavors just blend together wonderfully making this a great experience with a little tartness, a little funk and a little old brown ale all playing there parts.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2009 21:34:00 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of stakem


3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a cervoise. The brew appears brown in color with a finger of tan head across the top. It holds with a half finger around the edges which puts a webbing of lacing effect all over the glass. When held to the light, more of a clear orange is noted around the edges and more ruby looking through the middle.

The smell of this brew has an inviting sourness smelling like cherry. Very fresh and fruited like sour cherries mixed with a touch of vanilla sweetness and oak. More deep whiffs almost get to be perfume-like at times with how bright the cherry quality is but it is very enjoyable.

The taste is sour like dried cherries which is earthy and pitted. There are some tannic notes coming off oaky and earthy with a bit of a medicinal touch. A light indication of must is evident and almost something like mildew or funky cork. Once the brew gets warm, the must starts to overtake the cherry qualities.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light to modest level of carbonation. The 8% abv is masterfully integrated. A solid example of the style. It is easy drinking but unfortunately the aroma is the best quality of this brew. The alcohol comes out once warm and the musty quality gets to be a bit much. This was much more enjoyable while chilled, I wouldn't recommend letting this one warm up too much in your glass.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2011 19:25:26 | More by stakem
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Cork City in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a crystal clear deep red in color with some light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation and some garnet red + dark amber + copper highlights. There are also some light amounts of visible yeast sediment near the bottom of the glass. The beer has a half finger tall foamy dark beige head that reduces to a small patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of sour cherries over a light hint of oak.

T: Upfront there is an initial candi sugar like sweetness that is followed by the sour/tart flavors of sour cherries and moderate amounts of oak. Hints of vanilla are also present.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with light amounts of carbonation. Smooth. Light amounts of acidic prickliness.

O: The alcohol in this beer is very well hidden making this beer easy to drink - the tartness is also not overpowering which makes it more appealing to a wider audience. I really enjoyed this beer and found it to a be a wonderful way to end the evening.

Serving type: on-tap

04-24-2013 01:17:17 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.05/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with no head, I was shocked and thought there was something wrong but that's how it is. No carbonation, murky amber color with a lot of chucky bits floating and settling. Thin body but an unusual taste sweet/sour cherries and raisins. Hard to really classify. Finish is sour. Good summer ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2003 15:30:50 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a slightly hazy brown with an okay head that quickly fades but leaves some moderate lacing. Aromas of sweet malt and a hint of sour predominate in the nose. No funkiness, just some slight acetic qualities. The taste is similar. Its quite sweet without enough sour imo to balance the sugar. Sort of an Oud Bruin with training wheels. There are caramel and dark sugar (muscavado) notes and some light sourness that deepens just a bit at the very finish. The mouthfeel is smooth and easy drinking. I really think its a bit sweet for the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2008 19:21:13 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of DoubleJ


4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 07:27:03 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of duceswild


4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

03-01-2013 18:42:49 | More by duceswild
Photo of ejimhof


3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

05-05-2013 22:08:15 | More by ejimhof
Photo of Stinkypuss


4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010. For a special occasion. iPad review

Pours a clear amber brown in color small soapy white forms. Nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is malty. The nose also lends a hint of sourness. In the taste, light sour, dusty drying malt/yeast interaction. Touch of iron adding to the acidity. Almost tart, a bit sour. The 8% abv is not noticeable at all. It is an appetizing brew and could stand up to fine cheese and desserts. Ever so slightly salty from the sodium bicarbonate water treatment. Multiple strain yeast adds a good deal of complexity. A really nice sour brown, and something I could regularly keep in stock if it was more widely available.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2011 01:38:43 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of BillRoth


4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

10-20-2013 18:59:20 | More by BillRoth
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Liefmans Goudenband is sold in beautifully hand-wrapped indigo coloured paper; the content of the bottle, however, doesn't nearly match the aesthetics of its presentation. My glass looks as though it were filled with lake water. A murky brown tone, this ale has a fish eye yellow colour along its trim, next to no clarity, and a head that lasts only temporarily.

The aroma is an exceptionally unique blend of balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, root beer, cola, and red wine. It has enough sour and fermented elements to be unnerving to germaphobes and health inspectors alike, but has nowhere near the 'funky' qualities to excite those intimately familiar with the style (or those accustomed to American Wild Ales).

The taste combines sarsaparilla root and brown sugar with choke cherries and the pomace of spent red grapes. It has a Dr. Pepper kind of profile. There's hints of licorice and tree bark and always an overarching balsamic flavour (owed partly to the musty wood notes, partly to the dark, sugary sweetness). A caramelly tootsie-roll taste rounds it all out.

Goudenband is a pretty fair example of a Flemish Brown Ale that is, at least around these parts, reasonably priced for something of its quality and rareness. But here’s the icing on the cake: it is said to be good for another 18 years! That's right - basically two decades. Who knows if it will actually keep that long, but at least short-term cellaring has proven successful for me.

Liefmans Goudenband, like the other beers in their portfolio, is every bit as fetching as its packaging and no less distinctive; few offerings provide such an authentic taste of Belgian craftsmanship and tradition. Want to buy a ticket to heaven? Pair this considerably musty, acidic offering with strong cheeses and dried fruits and find yourself there.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2014 03:49:07 | More by biegaman
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sharing a bottle of this with my wife for Super Bowl pre-game.

Vintage 2006

A: Auburn hued and somewhat transparent, this beer has virtually no head and leaves only the faintest traces of lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is the strongest quality of Goudenband, in my opinion. Sweet cherries, funk, oak, and hints of vanilla make for a delectable bouquet of scents.

T: The taste is a basic makeup of what I found in the aroma, but a tad less wonderful. The funk is mild, with a sweet cherry flavor coming through prominently. The beer is mildly tannic, with hints of vinegar and oak.

M: Carbonation level is low - a bit too low. I'm not sure why the cork was so short and stubby, as opposed to the typical cork requiring a corkscrew for removal. Alcohol content disguised well.

D: A good representation of the style and a pleasure to drink, though I believe Goudenband no longer reigns supreme as the best Flanders Oud Bruin on the planet, as it once did.

Notes: I was fortunate enough to try a sample of a 1955 vintage Goudenband, courtesy of Brad. The beer held up surprisingly well, though it received a mixed reaction from the group. Vinegar, balsamic, sour, musty, complex, old, tannic, basement, rain water. I enjoyed it more than most.The finish was quite vinegary, and the carbonation level was virtually non-existent, but the beer still possessed plenty of good flavor.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2011 23:24:11 | More by Huhzubendah
Goudenband from Brouwerij Liefmans
94 out of 100 based on 1,068 ratings.