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Goudenband - Brouwerij Liefmans

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1,189 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,189
Reviews: 552
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 125
Gots: 140 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,189 | Reviews: 552 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tfinn
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I actually have two samples on hand: one 1998 and one 2003. I was actually hoping to get a younger sample for the second, but apparently shipments haven't been made into Oregon for a while. phooey. this being september 2005, I was hoping to get an early 2005 sample, but 2003 will do fine.

appearance is a hazeless dark reddish-brown, with the 1998 sample slight darker, probably due to oxidation. the 2003 sample has slightly more carbonation and head, and leaves a slight more cling. both leave very light lacing.

smell is the first indicator that things turn different after a few years time. the 2003 sample has sharp oaky/wood, cherry-skin components, while the 1998 sample has a softer almost maple characteristic, along with a slight bit of oxidation. both have dark fruit characters -- figs, plums, dark sugars, although it's more "melded" in the 1998 sample. no overt hop aroma in either.

the 2003 sample has a sharper up-front flavor, and tastes oaky/woody, and even a little bit like honeydew melon, while the 1998 sample is much more subdued, with the flavors meshed down into a single maplerinddarkfruit flavor. finish on the 1998 sample reminds me of citrus rinds, while the 2003 sample is like eating a cross between a rose petal and a citrus fruit.

mouthfeel is similar between the two, both having minimal hop bittering. the sour tail predominates strongly in the 1998 sample, which is more acidic than the 2003. there is a very slight bit of graininess in the 2003 sample that isn't present in the 1998 sample. neither are weighty or coating, which is to be expected with this style.

both are immensely drinkable, and palatably interesting in their own rights, although I prefer the older sample for its mellower flavors. this is definitely a beer that changes in pleasantly interesting ways over time.

Photo of ypsifly
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 12.7oz that is wrapped in paper, poured into a tulip. The cork is stamped 2003.

Dark, opaque brown with a small off white head that falls into a thinly veiled ring rather fast. There's some floaties dancing about despite a careful decant.

Dark, very tart fruits make up the nose. Cherries, cranberries, and bitter heirloom apples. Nothing vinous or even astringent, but a natural sourness that is restrained enough to make me salivate. It also has an earthy funk that reminds me of the old greenhouses I used to work in when I was a teen.

Tastes along the same lines as the nose, but its nowhere near as sour as expected. I can taste all of the above mentioned fruits, and it has a nice earthy malt flavor with a little dusty funk, but the sourness is pleasantly restrained to a tanginess that compliments the fruit. I wish I had some bleu cheese, sliced granny smiths, and some white grapes to pair this with.

The mouth is good for the style. I like how the sour notes come in towards the end allowing for the malt profile to register. Although the abv is well hidden, 8% can creep up on you and make for an early night, otherwise this would be quite the session brew.

Photo of tjthresh
2.98/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Muddy brown with chunks of yeast sediment. No head. The lactic or brett over powers almost everything. You can get som chocolate and dark fruit in the nose. Sweet and sour, like one of those Charms lollipops, but heavier on the sour. Quite full bodied, but the sour finishees puckering. I guess that’s the way its supposed to be.

Photo of whartontallboy
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 2003 vintage.

Pours out a deep cola brown with ruby red highlights and a very little white head. Huge floaties swirling in it before gradually dropping to the bottom.

Smell is slightly vinegary, with a sharp, tart fruitiness throughout. Little bit of alcohol wafts up as well.

Taste is quite tart, with a slight maltiness and light bitterness. There is a light taste of cherry and oak on the tongue before a quite dry finish.

Overall: My first oud bruin, but I liked it quite a bit. It doesn't pour too impressively, but the nice well-rounded fruity tartness of the flavor and the light, dry finish won me over.

Photo of TastyTaste
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark maroon colored body, head is tan and creamy, about 1/2". Smell has a brilliant smell to it, very sour, with cherry and other fruits. Very inviting. Taste is sour and bold but has an extremely smooth drinkability, lots of different flavors in the mix, this is a much tamer and malty example than the other Oud Bruin I have tried, New Glarus Sour Brown. Definitely worth a shot.

Photo of blitz134
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Caged and corked 750. Cork came out with a loud pop as soon as the cage was undone.

Pours what appears to be a solid brown body until held up to the light and the deep crimson red really shines through. Small quarter inch of tan head disappeared quickly to a couple of collections of small bubbles.

Smell is sweet and sour fruits of cherries and plums and grapes with some hints of apple. A solid sweettart candy smell. Quite delectible, but this is a favorite style of mine.

A good sweet and sour flavor profile. Not over the top sour like some of the others of the style. I like them as sour as they come, but this is a good alternative and a more drinkable beer for those who don't care for sour as much. Flavor has the typical belgian profile of dark fruits. Very similar to the smell with the sweet cherries and plums which come across like many red wines do. The addition is a dry sour aspect with tart cherries and plums again. A caramel sweet maltiness balances this out well.

A good bit of carbonation in the mouthfeel adds a crisp feeling to this. Mouthfeel is still decently full even with the carbonation levels. Drinkability is good for the style due to the nice sweet and sour combo without being over-the-top tart.

Photo of hefevice
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. My first Flanders Oud Bruin. Dark amber with ruby tints and a bubbly light tan head which left good lacing. Sweet malt and sour aromas with a little ester in the background, but somewhat muted and subtle compared to say a Belgian Dark Strong. Taste is nicely balanced between sweet and sour, with almost no bitterness and dry but very slight metalic finish. There is almost no hint of the relatively high ABV, and it gets better the more you drink. Palate is divine, fine carbonation results a light touch despite a medium body. Eminently quaffable.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the 750ml bottle a deep brown with hints of red as well. A light, airy bubbly head forms on top and leaves some nice delicate lacing on the side of the glass as well. Aromas are a mix of sweet caramel maltiness and some sour fruity characteristics (cherry, plum.) There a nice spiciness present as well along with woody notes. Quite nice.

First sip brings a yeasty caramel maltiness upfront along with an equalizing fruity sourness that makes for an interesting interplay between the two flavors on the palate. There's some nice woody, vinous tones on the way down along with a gentle spiciness. Toffee, molasses and even a slight hint of cinammon. Quite a tasty treat here.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a medium body and quite a bit of carbonation. This is a unique and tasty brew that I have no problem consuming. I very much enjoy the sweet/sour aspect of it and I look forward to having it again in the future.

Photo of 3Vandoo
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice sharp ruby color with a small head with no retention at all.
Smell of cherry and oak followed by an alcohol smell.
Taste of cherry and oak, a bit maltish, corn with a followed alcohol flavours that comes trick us. a Good mouthfeel, very drinkable especially during dessert.

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy mahogany pour barely emitting light when held over a bulb, topped by a scattered spotty khaki head.

Aroma of limited mixed berry and eruption of berry and melon scents, combined.

First swigs: Starchy yam & butter flavor with some tasteable vodka like notes. Middle strides towards slight raspberry and cherry. Long lingering dark fruit and marascino cherry aftertaste.

Immediate tongue coater followed with a shushy slushy carbonation feel. Becomes cloying at the very end.

Last swigs: Gin and cider Belgian. Well built that is on the must try list.

2/18/05 375 mL 12.7 oz 8.0 % ABV $5.99.

Photo of cypressbob
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml corked and caged

Pours with a dark ruby, mahogany body, like a polished table or staircase. Slightly hazy, cherryish tan head, good retention

Smell, lovely tart cherries, some acidity on the nose. Slight whiff of malt

Taste, creamy maltiness then a slight acidic tart twang, hints of a a brown ale followed by a last cherry flavour and tartness. The 8% abv is hardly noticable, only a slight hint of warmth on the finish

A beautiful example of a belgian brown ale, very tasty and very drinkable

Photo of paterlodie
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Best before end of 2014. Poors in with yellow head and darkbrown beer without any particles and a red shine in it. Nose is sweet malty and hardly any sourness to be noticed. Clean and nothing spontainous in it. Taste is sweetsour and malty ending more sour and only giving you litle bitterness. The lack of taste except the sweetsour doesn't make it really enjoyable but drinkable.

Photo of acrawf6
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great ale! poured out into my glass as dark brown, but the light under my glass showed it was a great ruby red color.

aroma was like fruity spices, very nice. head was off white....

taste was VERY complex. started off tart, but began to taste more fruity, like green apple and cherries. this was sweeter than i expected. I also could definetly notice the presence of the alcohol, which was nice. but it did have a metalic taste to it that i am not fond of. the mouthfeel is good, some carbonation, and filled my mouth nice.

if you dont read this, i just want you to get this...


Photo of santoslhalper
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearence: Pours a dark brown with a little yeast at the bottom. The head is thin but creamy and stays for a while.

Smell: The smell is an incredibly nutty smell, with strong malt notes and a rich creamy chocolate background.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is excellent, with wonderful nutty notes everyone. The malts are so wild and so tame at the same time. The balance is just unbelievable. The beer finishes smooth, rich and full of character, with an aftertaste that lingers long into the night. I love it.

Drinkability and Overall: A classic that actually lives up to it's hype. This beer ahcieves the most perfect balance possible, and the result is one of the best tasting beers I've ever had. This is a must try in my opinion.

Photo of karst
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another of the 500 Classic Brews from M. Jackson Great Beer Guide.
This Belgium brown ale has a handsome tan head unfortunately we had to lay it over to chill in freezer. I waited for the heavest part of the 3/4 liter snow storm of suspended yeast.

Complex esters fruits - tart apples and cherries. Cookie dough with tart berries and hops bring refreshing bitterness in the finish.

A masterpiece of flavors achieved by water treatment, multi-strain yeast, slow maturation (4 - 12 months), reblending with younger beer, and bottle aging in the cellars

Photo of horndecker
4.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm not sure why Beer Advocate has this classified as a Flanders Red Ale when everything I've read calls it an Oud Bruin.

The presentation is special. A 375ml bottle wrapped in paper, though the label itself is less impressive. But it all helps ones anticipation of the drink. Carefully poured into a Duvel goblet as there is much sediment. Cork says 2003. A deep coppery brown, with almost purplish tinge at the edges and a dense fine off white head which fades only reluctantly, leaving a fine lace.

The nose is tangy. Citric, malt, fruit - cherry I suppose mixed with lemon zest. The taste is at first sweet raisins and figs, plums, then a tart middle. The first few sips only present a premonition of sourness at the finish. Does this mean the brew is a bit young? I dunno.

Aha. Sourness makes much more of an impression as the beer warms up. So much more happens, it gets very involved and complex. The big fruity splash remains, but the puckerful sourness is now completely in hand with it. Wonderful balance.

My first bottle, but not my last. I'll have to pick up some bottles to lay down for a bit as welll, as I understand it develops quite a bit over time.

A new favorite!

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.

Photo of pentathlete
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the CAH. Served in the default Belgian ale glass. This beer looked like carbonated dishwater with a dirty foam top. Murky swirls of brown and red and then clearer spots so that it moved between opaqueness and transluscence. The smell was fruity and malty. I couldn't place the odors. But the taste was sour and sweet. Your first thought is that the beer has gone bad and then the malts take over. After the first shock of the taste, your brain will settle down and let the sweet and sour mix with each additional sip. The carbonation and complexity of the taste gave this a medium mouthfeel, coating all oral surfaces. I could drink a few of these on their own. The sourness gives it thirst quenching power and it is a smooth easy drinker. I will seek out more examples of Flanders Reds.

Photo of Quaffer
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, corked and caged. Picked this up in KC, MO. Not available here in Wichita.

Cork labeled 2001.

Apearance: No head to speak of on this brew. What few coarse bubbles there were were generated by my rough-ass pour. Those were even gone before I put the bottle down. The color was a very deep, brownish-red. Without a light behind it, it almost looked opaque. Heavy and still in the glass.

Smell: Very sweet smelling right at first, with tons of brown sugar and maple syrup on the nose. This remained but was joined by a light tartness that took the sweetness down a notch or two. Sour red cherries made up the tart component. There was a sharp acidic bite over the top, along with hints of alcohol, yeast, and a nice wood aroma that rounded things out nicely.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a slippery, lightly-syrupy feel to it. Complete lack of carbonation.

Taste: Seemed almost a little bland and too sweet with the first sip or two. Then as I continued drinking, the sourness kicked in and bowled me over. On each drink, it built up through the middle and peaked on the finish. There was a maple and brown sugar sweetness that helped to balance out this sourness, especially upfront. Also upfront, before the sourness buried it, was a nice oak component. A strong acidic bite lingered in the aftertaste, along with some musty yeast and light metallic flavor. Ever, ever so slight indication that some oxidation was starting to kick in.

Pretty good beer, though the yeast flavor came across a little "dirty." As a drank the bottle, it started out a little too sweet, then swung to the other extreme by becoming strongly sour. But as I reached the bottom of my glass, everything balanced out nicely and it seemed to gain complexity.

Photo of silenius
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003 on the cork. Drunk in February of 2005.

Opens with a slight pop of the cork. I worried there would not be enough carbonation.

Pours a deep copper chestnut with a slightly tan thin head. Large chunks of yeasty bits sit in the bottom of the bottle. Dark but clear beer. No hazing.

Smell is light apple skin, black cherry and a hint of red wine vinegar. Not overpowering in the least. Quite subdued smell.

Taste is a very pleasant mix of red and dark fruits with a twinge of sourness. It starts with apple and under-ripe cherry to quickly segue into a tart strawberry then on to a nicely ripe black cherry. No hop taste or aroma found. A very appealing taste.

Carbonation is quite lively and creamy despite the thin head. Very nice.

This is not a beer to drink many of in a sitting. Enjoy it with some sweet cake with fresh sweet fruit.

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.

Photo of cokes
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque magenta-brown with not so much a head as a few, stray tan bubbles. Crates of suspended chunky yeast matter.
Searing nose of balsamic vinegar, battered pears, green grapes, green caramel apples, and bile, all laid heavily with the woodsy tartness of oak, a thousand times over.
The first glimpse is sweet, with traces of caramelized pineapple, then towards tart, pineapple stays, underripe now, then on to grapes (Riesling especially) and apples. This unfold much as it's aroma indicates, all for the better. Bile and rusty metal. Gripping, stomach-churning gueuze-like heartburn. Oak. Wood. Mothballs. The finish is a sharp vinagrette, rasperry hued, with, perhaps some pit-intact sour cherries. Finishes not so much with a defined flavor as a bloodcurdling scream down the esophagus.
Moderate in the mouth with almost no carbonation. The drastic flavors would make this near impossible to drink in quantity. But as a single bottle experience, it hardly gets any better.

Be warned though, 2002 (and presumably later) bottlings suck.

Photo of nogoodreason
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Soft brown withouth much of a head to speak of sparkling carbonation clings stubbornly to the side of the glass.

Slight vinegar, red grapes, faint leather and hints of wood. Very fruity and full in the nose with an obvious funk. Very attractive scent.

Initially sour shifting smoothly to concord grapes and sweet candy. Woody notes abound and it's ever so slightly astringent in the finish. It's a fairly sweet beer, but it has this wonderful balancing sourness that adds so much depth. Yeast pour adds NASTY, green chunks to it muddies it a bit. Because the chucks settle to the bottom of the glass, the impact on flavor is minimal.

A beautiful beer, truly.

Photo of soper2000
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Luckly I walked home with a bottle of this thanks to a holiday BA gathering. I enjoyed on Christmas eve. Decanted a nice ruby tinged dark brown into my glass with a tingling white foam head. A nice earthy complement to the colors of Christmas. Aroma is of subdued tart cherries, nuts, and a very small dose of funk. Taste is very well balanced hitting notes of cherries, barnyard, earthy flavors, and nuts all wrapped up in a pleasant slightly acidic package. Excellent beer and I'm glad I got a chance to sample it thanks to the BA gathering and Viking.

Photo of Billolick
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
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)

Goudenband from Brouwerij Liefmans
93 out of 100 based on 1,189 ratings.