Goudenband - Brouwerij Liefmans

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1,176 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,176
Reviews: 551
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 118
Gots: 130 | 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: 1,176 | Reviews: 551 | Display Reviews Only:
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)

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

Much darker than expected. Its very very dark. Almost black. But held to the light it is definately a clear deep deep brown with some deep red notes. Mild carbonation. Very minimal head. But I suppose this is right for the style...??

Nose is mostly sour. I'm not sure I'm getting any Brett at all. Definately some sweet sugary notes too.

The flavor is where its at for this beer. It might not look nice or smell very nice, but big rich sweet malts balanced by a mild sourness and maybe even some earthy Brett funk really make this a superb beer. Really nice sweetness...not sure if its malt of candi sugar derived but nice mellow caramel. Get what I think might be Brett mostly in the finish.

Mouthfeel was decent. Little thick but neccesary for the residual sweetness I suppose. Could use a bit more carbonation to liven things up a bit.

Quite a drinkable beer. Just a tiny bit cloying but no too much to make it unenjoyable. I enjoyed the entire glass and could have done 3 more!

Photo of Andreji
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kerstmas bier #1.

I don't know quite how to describe this beer.

I poured from this mysterious paper-wrapped bottle that suggested little or nothing about the beer. I have no problems with the yeasties in my beer, but for the first time this was a bit disencouraging. However, I don't make the beer pay for my own mistake- the rest, a dark opaque brown-reddish tone with a short-lived, thin tan head.

Behind every scent, one could say the 'nosefeel' was strongly alcoholic. some sweetness from malts yet, not the same as always: some wine-likeness. can't complain.

The taste, strong, where its sweetness and bitterness I was amazed of and can only describe as it coming from a wine-like body: it's not a strong, hoppy bitterness or a malty sweetness, it's a combination similar to that in some red wines, somewhat fruity, but red-fruit-like. but with a beery twist all-in-all, and the yeast adding to the whole thing.

The body, for what were the looks, seemed a little thin but complimentary in every sense to what the taste is. I did get the buzz on an empty stomach, so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt drinkability-wise because it is nonetheless terribly well balanced.

Doubtless, hard to describe, only in a good way.

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

I enjoyed this stellar beer at Smokeless Joe's. I thought it would be good for my 200th review.

It pours a rusted red color with great lacing and an eternal tan head. It has an earthy, winey, oaky, tannic, tart aroma. Theres also spice, vanilla and and some musty funk. The blend of different aromas is so unique and impossibly complex.

The taste is more malty and less sour than Rodenbach Grand Cru. There is a definite sourness, but also spicey herb notes, notably cinamon, ginger and mint. A lambicy funk appears in the middle. Theres a sherry like sweetness in the middle somewhere. There are prominent oak notes and lots of vanilla as well. The alcohol is impeccably well hidden. Theres no hop flavor, except for maybe some earth (though that might not be 'earthy hops' but something else). The mouthfeel is prickly yet thick. The finish is dry.

This is close to beer perfection, so unique, and incredibly complex. It will pair with many foods. Damn refreshing.

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

$3.59 12oz Bottle

I must say that I was extremely excited to taste this beer after spotting it at my local Mecca. The appearance is brown with a touch of red glow to back it. There was a very heavy yeast presence that I managed to keep in the bottle. No head whatsoever, but I didn't expect one from this. The aroma is very present with chocolate and rotting cherries coming to mind. The initial taste is SOUR, and I love it! The tartness is extremely present, but it doesn't hang irritate the mouth. There is a dry finish to it and the sour fruit taste makes its final statement. This is a wonderful beer that should be enjoyed at a slow pace. I drank it out of a snifter and it seemed to be a good choice. It really held the aroma well. Go and try this, but be prepared for sourness!

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

A dark cloudy heavily sedimented mahogony with a thin tan head. The aroma is of sour cherries and malt. Wonderfully sour and smooth. The tartness is so intense it actually causes my eyes to water. This is a most unusual taste and is really hard to categorize. Each mouthful provides different tastes and sensations. Again the feel is a tough call as the lack of carbonation leaves it milky. You can tell there is body there it just doesn't hit you like most beers. The flavors play across your tounge and disappear in a blaze of tartness leaving a dry palate. This is a special beer and should only be drunk when you have the time to truly enjoy it. I am now resolving to find more of those occaisions.

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

Had on tap at Anam Cara, and enjoyed this fine beer very much. Pour whens erved was deep chestnut brown. It came topped with a 1/4" of creamy white foam. I thought the aroma was rich malt, meet your new friend candi sugar. Very very tasty...this beer for me was all about smooth malt. I didn't detect any overt sweetness in the taste, but really enjoyed the maltiness.

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

Dark, slightly cloudy purplish brown and completely flat, looks almost like wine with black yeast flakes that settle to the bottom. Smells like sour cherries and malt alcohol, with a mellowed sour cherry, caramel, brown sugar flavor, very well balanced. I'm not normally a "sour" guy but this beer's amazing smoothness hits you sour up front, but finishes mellow. Suprisingly refreshing, not the style I would normally pick but good, good stuff.

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

Watched the Red Sox triumphantly ride through the streets of Boston with this one on 10/30/2004. Looks like a 10.5-oz. pour at ACPH in a stunning Liefmans goblet provided by the owner of the publik house.

½ inch head of light, widely separated froth that sticks and chantilly-laces all the way through the pour. This subsided to a hot chocolate-like covering of full but small layering. Pungent, chewy malt that verges on an acidic cherry on the nose. To taste, a core of fruit punches right through the back of the mouth. Among other things, plums, raisins, peaches, and Macoun apples created a base upon which a settling sweetness piled on top. This was possibly one of the better offerings I have ever quaffed from the other side of the pond.

Photo of merlin48
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Attractive paper wrapping around corked and caged bottle. The cork easily twists off, without a pop, revealing a 1998 stamping. Served slightly chilled into a goblet, no head even with an aggressive, initial pour. The body is a murky, purple brown(dark brown with lavender hues, perhaps), with suspended yeast particles("floaties") apparent. The yeast particles eventually settle to the bottom of the goblet.
Aroma begins with pronounced, woody notes of oak, followed immediately by tart, Bing cherries. Musty yeast and apple skins contribute to the complex, and inviting bouquet.
Mouthfeel has a medium body, but no carbonation. Slightly sherry like in the mouth.
The taste begins tart and tangy, with cherry fruitiness. Yeast mustiness is very prominent. Not as vinous as expected. Oxidation is apparent, and this one seems a bit past its prime. The abv is very well hidden, but will sneak up on you in a hurry.
Flanders Red Ales are one of my favorite styles, and I can't wait to try a more recent vintage of this one. Very complex, and tasty, even at this stage.

Photo of 99bottles
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: In a wine goblet, this beer has a murky tan color with reddish brown hues and noticeable haziness. An ultrathin lace of miniscule bubbles flicker and dance on the surface, but to be sure, this beer has no head of which to speak. Looks utterly raw.

Smell: This has a strongly sour nose, with a damp vegetation funkiness and some faint scents of fruit.

Taste: This is one heck of a complex beer! The taste is unmistakeably Belgain, with an initial sourness of cherries and some oak or other wood. This mixes with a distinct lactic sourness, almost of spoiled milk which without becoming a dominant flavor, still makes the tastebuds twinge. The end lends a damply fecund taste of wet moss and hay. So completely unique and absolutely untamed while on tap, this is really not to be missed. KClinger’s Publik House, upstairs.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and moderately carbonated, the beer is light in the mouth while its flavor wreaks havoc on the tastebuds. Nicely matched, the mouthfeel is perfectly suited to the beer.

Drinkability: I really enjoyed this. It’s awesome to find such rarities on tap, and this one really takes the cake for complexity. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Yes. I could drink more than one of these, but I might abstain as this is a treat not to be taken and tampered with by sessioning it.

Photo of Citadel82
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. botte, wrapped in tissue. Cork dated 2001. Poured into a freshly rinsed wide mouth goblet. Poured with a thin off white head with large bubbles. Color is a deep dark purple. Shows translucent red when held to the light. Head quickly dissipated leaving some sparse lace, this too vanished. There is quite a bit of sediment in the bottle. I made no effort to aviod pouring it into the glass. Fruity smell with hints of sour cherries. Thin feeling as you sip but flavor explodes in your mouth, first slight sweetness then a powerful sharp sourness with a long dry/sour astringent finish. The sweetness faded and the dryness became stronger as the brew warmed.

A very complex brew. I will try it again.

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

Bottled 2/03
Pours with a fizzy brief deep cream colored head settling over dark garnet/brownish liquid. Tart sour nose with a whiff of Brett funkiness & a hint of cherry wine. Sourness carries thru in the taste along with light metallic notes, some astringent dryness followed by a brief malt sweetness and some hoppiness and a warming alcoholic finish. Ends up dry/sour then underlying malt sweetness comes in. Very refreshing due to the acidity and somewhat light body.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The cork on this one says 1999, so it was kindly aged on the shelves for me for about 6 years since I just picked it up 2 days ago. The beer is a nice deep red color, almost brown untill you hold it to the light and I can see it is just deep deep red. There are tons of floaties and a lack of carbontion and no head. The nose is rather malty with sweet caramel and sour cherries. It is very inviting. The taste is mindblowing. The sweet and sour and tart balance in this wonderful. The flavor reminds me of sour cherries that were aged in a used whisky barrel. Just a wonderful transition between all the contrasting flavors. I have not had a beer like this before, and I will be seeking out more in the style. The beer is thin to moderate in mouthfeel. I only wish this were a 500 ml bottle (not sure they even have those for this beer) because I am sad that I'm almost done drinking this one.

Goudenband from Brouwerij Liefmans
93 out of 100 based on 1,176 ratings.