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Goudenband - Brouwerij Liefmans

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

555 Reviews

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Reviews: 555
Hads: 1,284
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 15.83%
Wants: 145
Gots: 164 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Liefmans visit their website

Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 02-24-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (13) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Goudenband Alström Bros
Reviews: 555 | Hads: 1,284
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of biegaman
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of John_M
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours an amber brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose worries me. Yep, there it is... intense, bracing tart sour cherry. The cherry aroma is overwhelmed by the funky, barnyard sour aroma.... but maybe it won't be too sour on the palate.

On the palate this is a very impressive beer. It's very complex with flavors of sweet black cherry, lemon, lime and a blast of sour funk coming up at the end. The flavors are intense and much more focused then what one sees in a typical fruit lambic for instance. While not my favorite style, even a dedicated sour hater like myself can appreciate this beer. The beer has a very nice mouthfeel with a long, lingering finish. On the other hand, a little bit of this goes a long way. The beer is pretty warming from the 8% abv., and the sweet/sour combination wears me out after a while. Still, this is a very good beer that I was very pleased to see on tap at Max's. Quite good.

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Photo of wl0307
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.04/5  rDev -27.1%
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.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  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.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.31/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I got this a long while back from Onecrazybreeze... Brianne is awesome!! 2005 bottle cracked over the weekend and shared with the Boise peeps. Reviewed from paper notes.

Orange brew... with a descent head.

Nose has hints of Oud Bruin, but seems dominated by an apple element.

Flavor is again pretty much all apple with some grape and background cherry and maybe some oxidation.. vinous, but no where near as acidic as I was expecting or hoping for.

Body seems a bit thin, but the carbonation is pretty high.

Overall, a bit one dimensional.... but damn glad I got to try it... huge thanks again for the favors Brianne!!


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Photo of Tone
3.56/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, dark brown. 1/3 inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Sourness, fruit, hint of hop, sweet malt, and hint of alcohol in the aroma. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of tartness, fruit, sweet malt, sourness, and a hint of hop. Overall, good appearance and blend, but I was hoping for more sour/tart notes in aroma and body.

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Photo of aasher
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to share this tonight with a fellow BA. It poured a medium bodied mahogany in color with a one finger beige head which dissipated in about 30 seconds. The nose was comprised of soft dark fruits, maple sweetness, and a light sourness that was very well played. You'd expect this to smell sour but it is so perfect. It isn't too sweet, isn't too sour yet appeals to both. Oh wow. Again it is a perfect compromise between the sweet and the sour. The dark fruits are really soft, just kind of in there for the rest of the show. It's medium bodied and drinks very well for the style. The aftertaste is tart but not too tart. Overall, this is the best Oud Bruin I've had to date. I'm SO grateful we opened it!

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Photo of tobelerone
2.08/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

As soon as I popped the cork on this one I suspected I had gotten a bad bottle and boy was I right. Almost no carbonation left whatsoever; poured a muddy, reddish brown color, no head or lace at all, tons of floating chunks, lots of residue at the bottle of the glass. Aroma of wine-like tannins, light sweetness, cork, vinegar.

Taste is dominated by vinegar, tart but lacking any fruity notes, hints of malt sweetness, drying, cabarnet-like finish, corked, slight puckering sourness.

This beer was stored improperly and ruined. Unfortunately I don’t pass the store I purchased this bottle in very often at all but I will let them know about it when I do. Very nice employees I suspect will do something to make up for it!

I’d like to re-review this beer again if I can get my hands of another, unspoiled bottle. This one was drainpoured with a 1/4 of the beer left...I tried!

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Photo of flagmantho
4.17/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

"The best brown ale" as proclaimed by beer guru Micheal Jackson.

A: Pours a dark cherry red color with a moderate light tan head.

S: Sour dried cherries on nose, very fruity.

T: Nice sourness upfront for flavor but is very smooth and silky and refined. Very light toasted nutbread and toasted grain. Sweet and sour palate with rich dark cherries, raisins upon warming. Sweet caramel and earthy hops round out this beer. Wow , very good.

M: a little light body wise, smooth with only a faint touch of carbonation felt on the tongue. dry, crisp, and pretty nice.

D: good drinkability, sweet, dry, crisp, fruity and a joy with every sip.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer pours burgundy with a tan large thick head that sinks into rich lacings.

S: Oak with only faint vanilla. Molasses; dark dried fruits. Brett. Lots of berries; black currant and black berries. Leather. Sour cherries.

T: Brett and sour cherries. Dry. Dark dried fruits. Black currant. Leather. Green apples. Complex but smooth.

M: Aftertaste is fantastic; rather long and in great balance - sweet and bitter! Body is medium and carbonation is moderate.

D: This is a fantastic beer; I'm so happy that there's lots of beer left in the 750 ml bottle, for me to sip this evening.

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Photo of Derek
4.92/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Corked and caged in 1987; laid to rest on its side for ~18 years. Sediment on the side of the bottle, like a fine wine.

A: It poured like a red wine, with mild carbonation.

S: Also similar to red wine, with a sharp, tart odour.

T: Wow! I expected more tartness, but there wasn't anymore than a Beaujolais. The flavours of grape juice, cherries, cranberries and oak are more reminiscent of a fine wine than any beer!

M: Light to moderate body, mild carbonation.

D: It's like fruit juice! It goes down easier than almost any wine or beer!

Thanks for the tasting Len!

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Photo of DrJay
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost no head, this beer poured a hazy ruby red colour with amber highlights. Aromas of tobacco, sour cherry, and leather. Complex flavour with some sourness, tobacco, cherry fruit, and earthy woodiness. The midway point becomes somewhat sweeter and it finishes with considerable malt. Moderately light carbonation, quite dry and lightly puckering. Medium body. Quite a distinctive beer, with a fruity and sour character, and a complex finish. I think I'll have to have this one again.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged poured into chalice april26 2010

A slightly hazy light cola color with lots of bubbles floating up to a large tan head that quickly falls to a thin film but leaves decent lace

S a little vinegar with some green apple

T some sour apple with some earthiness and some other tart fruit I can't place

M enters slick and foams up a bit from the bubbles and has a long aftertaste

D something different from what I'm used too, you would need to know in advance how strong it is because you wouldn't guess it just by drinking

a style I don't see much of is always hard to review but I enjoyed this beer and it's worth trying for sure

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Photo of Viggo
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good offering from the LCBO. Pours a nice and cloudy red/brown, medium tan head forms, settles to a ring pretty quick, spots of lace on the Orval glass. Smell is spicy, sour and citrus notes, some chocolate, sweet caramel, touch of alcohol. Taste is nice, somewhat grainy, sour fruits and citrus acidity, malty chocolate and toffee middle, a little molasses, and more sourness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with high carbonation, very smooth. I was expecting a bit more out of Goudenband, but I have half a dozen bottles left, and an expiry date of April 2016.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cork says 2000.

Murky looking deep auburn appearance. Virtually no head. Very nice aroma. Hot spiced apple cider, brown sugar, candied raspberries. Mouthfeel is light and on the low side of the spectrum for carbonation. The flavor has a little sweet and sour thing going on. Just a little bit of a stinging acetic acid presence. But also some sugar coated raspberries. Other fruit sensations surface as well. Such as green apple, pear and blackberry. This one has a nice mellowness to it. Could be from the aging. Pretty good stuff.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this for the first time at the Goat the other night. I really like that they let you leave the bar with your empty high end bottles for shootin/plinkin.

Comes in a paper wrapped bottle, looks high end, but you kind of get this humorous image of foreign dudes drinking out of paper bags but dressing it up like malt liquor in front of the neighborhood convenience store like they do it on the east/west/north/south side.

Pours a faint red. Its always difficult for me to be confident of that when drinking something for the first time there, because the color scheme going on makes my eyes have a hard time looking at stuff color wise.

Lots more caramel than I can recall drinking in any beer really, much less for style, I was intrigued and a little hesitant at that point for the sheer 'wait a minute' feel of things.

Weird tartness to its initial presentation, I'm telling you, this one was all over in an unknown kind of for the first time way, the acidic almost citrus yet heavy feel had me thinking of aspects of red and white wine and would come full circle with a nice metallic tinge to it. Later sweetness envelopes. This was a complex, but not showy or for the sake of doing weird shit kind of stuff some brewers will do.

Not a bad selection for the night, and a good price on this relative to style.

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Photo of dgilks
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours a hazy dark chestnut colour with a tiny tan head. Poor head retention but this is expected given the acid.

Mild tart aroma with a vinous note and touch of caramel.

Rounded lactic tart flavour backed up with some nice berry fruits.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Lovely.

A smooth, lightly tart ale with plenty of flavour.

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Photo of Brad007
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a slight reddish tint into my glass. A small one-finger head forms.

Aroma has hints of apple and cherry along with the standard sour funk that one expects from the style. None of the aromas overpower the nose.

Taste has a dollop of funk with a leathery texture and only a hint of apple/cherry. Of course, it's not a fruit beer but the use of wild yeast does impart such flavors.

Mouthfeel is silky with very little left behind in the mouth. Only a slight hint of funk, etc.

I don't know. I'm kind of disappointed with this only because I was expecting stronger flavors. It's not bad but I can't justify buying another bottle. Worth a try but you can always do better.

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Photo of bark
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The colour is dark wine red; the liquid is clear with some small yeast particles floating around (the beer is bottle conditioned). The minimal head disappears quickly, leaving no lacing.

The smell is very sweet and complex with notes of caramel, brown sugar, dried apricots, prunes, dried apples, strong wine and some sour notes of malt vinegar.

The taste is sour-sweet-matured. Dried fruits; apples, prunes, apricots, raisins. Sour balanced flavours of vinegar and citric acid. The aftertaste is dry-sour with a bitter hint. Lots of matured notes of strong wine, raisins and sour candy.

The carbonation is medium strong; large fresh bubbles. The liquid is smooth.

A beer that is complex and drinkable at the same time.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml caged and corked bottle, 2007 on cork, best before 6/2017. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a hazy dark brown/red color with pretty much no head at all. Surprisingly there's a decent amount of lacing. There's also visible sediment "floaties" in the glass. The aroma is sour, it smells like apple cider, vinegar, brown sugar and tart cherries. The taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also raisins, figs, and a bit of wood that I can taste. Great mix between tart/sour and sweet flavors. It's definitely sweeter than I expected it to be. Mouthfeel is medium, it's creamy and a bit syrupy with average carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it's very easy and enjoyable to drink. Alcohol is well hidden. I like this beer a lot, I think it's a very good Oud Bruin and I'd definitely buy it again.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle picked up in Columbus for $9.99. This doesn't make it here too often, at least I don't think I've seen it in a couple of years.

It pours a translucent auburn brown color, red and almost clear at the edges. Quite a lot of lace from the finely celled off-white foam.

It smells unusually good for an Oud Bruin, like liqueur-soaked dark fruits with a musty yeast quality. It smells both sweet and sour, like tart cherries in syrup. The more I sniff the more I get out of it, but after a while I start to get some off-qualities (at least to me): a touch of solvent and a little vinegar. Still, the initial hit is very nice.

This tastes initially sweet, with cherries and raisins, maybe molasses or brown sugar. It quickly turns tart and tannic, and in the end leaves a lingering yeasty and puckering effect. Not overly sour, this has a really good balance with the sweetness. Some yeasty esters and phenols keep changing the flavor and aroma slightly with each sip, nice complexity.

It has a sticky mouthfeel, maybe a little heavy feeling. A very nice sipper, a good example of a style I haven't had much taste for in the past. Recommended.

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Photo of pat61
4.74/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Deep chestnut color to mahogany would be clear if it were not so dense. Sports a 1” sudsy cream to ttan colored head.
S: Lemony tartness, traces of wet horse blanket, fruit, and caramel malt.
T: Cherry malt with a little wine character, meaty yeast, and a moderate tartness moderated by the malt flavors.
F: Very soft in the mouth with a medium body and carbonation.
O: A very refreshing sipping beer that has a nice balance between its various components.

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Goudenband from Brouwerij Liefmans
93 out of 100 based on 555 ratings.