Goudenband - Brouwerij Liefmans

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

555 Reviews

(Read More)
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 thegodfather2701
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brown/cherry with a small off-white head that dissipates quickly. The nose was not as pronounced as expected but consisted primarily of vinegar and sour cherries. The flavor was very similar to the nose-not as sour as I expected but very refreshing. The mouthfeel was thin but not too watery. This is a very drinkable beer and I would love to drink it again in the future.

 380 characters

Photo of Ryanm1
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

I'm a huge fan of Belgians and didn't know what ton expect here. Didn't really even know the style before drinking but turned out to be a Flanders "old brown". This is different than those English and American brown ale. After checking out the beer description on BA of the style fermentation actually produces a bi product called diacetyl which produces a sour flavor definitely a characteristic of the beer. Also gives the beer some buttery notes which reading up on diacetyl is used to artificially flavor buttered popcorn. Poured into a glass from a cage and cork with almost a mathematical precision of carbonation to body. Smell is overpowering sweet fruity esters. Cherry and oak flavors, very carbonated, sour, dark fruits coming through such as fig and grape. My first of this varietal but excellent nonetheless.

 821 characters

Photo of NODAK
4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell here is a great bouquet of dark fruit....somewhat sweet and a good amount of tart there. There is definitely an aroma of tannins here as well. A certain red wine quality to it. Lastly, a whiff of alcohol.

Pours a brown color in my glass with a thin head to it.

The taste is interesting for the style in that it seems to tilt more towards the sweeter fruit notes as opposed to the tart. At no point do I really pucker at all. It starts out fairly sweet, though far from overbearing. The fruit tastes good and doesn't taste artificial. Then it finishes tart in a minor way. Again, not puckering. I wouldn't use vinegar to describe it like I would other sours. Just mildly citric.

Some sours are puckering and over the top sour. Some like the Duchesse strike a balance. This is more sweet. Regardless it's quite tasty. Alcohol covered up very well. Goes down dangerously smooth.

 887 characters

Photo of joeseppy
3.86/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a murky raisin brown with sediment and a wispy head that disappears.

Aroma of cherry mash, plums, raisins with slight acidity and alcohol.

Taste like a low sugar tart cherry pop with acetic notes and somewhat spritzy. This, for me, is truly an evolving Oud Bruin as temperature changes. Mid-way, a more vinous character shows up with white grapes and green apples coming to mind. Sweetness at this time is still balanced. And in the end, it's turns into more of an apple cider with more sugar appearing as carbonation all but goes away.

Mouthfeel is light and spritzy at colder temps. Coming up in temp, this loses carbonation and becomes more layering on the palate-not enough carbonation to scrub the tongue of residual sugars.

Overall I enjoyed this. I had this for Thanksgiving dessert with, I can finally say, with one of the best cherry pies I've had in years. And that experience I would give a five to! But anywhoo, I did not enjoy the apple cider part of it as too many sugars and acidity came into play, but cooler temps proved to be a pretty darn tasty sour. I can usually put this down myself but this one is a bottle share. A great dessert table sour and the price point cannot be beat.

 1,209 characters

Photo of Takahiro
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012, 37,5 cl
A: dark brown, with a purple tint, poured with a tan head,
S: grapes, vinegar, caramel, prunes
T: soft malty flavor, caramel, big in fruit (grapes and prunes), and mild acetic sour mingles very well in balance. the juicy fruit lingers on the tongue. notice a nice and delicate alcohol warmth / sweetness staying in the mouth
M: i wished the beer to have a bit more of body, however that's my taste. in the end, this is a wonderful beer. I can have another one for sure. i also think this goes well with a tart/pie dessert.

 538 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.71/5  rDev -11%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle into a pint glass. 2010 vintage.

A: Pours a murky dark brown color. There's about one finger of off-white colored head; it's nicely thick, but retains poorly. No lacing is left behind, as expected.

S: The tartness is what I notice first - but the fruitiness is what hooks me. A quick hit of (pleasant) vinegar quickly turns into a melange of cherry, plum, and figgy notes. Sugary, too. As someone who's preference is sourness to the exclusion of everything else, I can safely say this balance is pretty intoxicating.

T: Some moderate tartness hits first, and even that has a sweetish bend. It quickly fades in the midtaste, and the finish is pretty much all fruit sweetness. I'm picking up cherries, raisins, and even a touch of chocolate on the aforementioned finish. Having said that, I'm still let down by its lack of tartness - especially considering it's three years old, more or less. You'd think the age of this would make it a little more complex. Actually, the only thing that really lets me down is the sugary character doesn't seem entirely natural to me. Double actually, it tastes like aspartame. Triple actually, it's ridiculously cloying. Still a good brew, just one that could stand to be a bit less cloying (just a bit, though!)

M: The finishing tannins can't get in the way of all the fruity sweetness that finish this brew. It doesn't have the moronic drinkability of Rodenbach Grand Cru, but to be fair, what does? Carbonation starts off strongly but quickly restrains itself.

O: My personal preference dictates I'd like a little more sourness and a little less sweetness - and a lot less aspartame. That's exactly what's keeping this very good offering from being an excellent one. Put it like this: due to the cloying nature, I'm questioning whether or not I should pawn the rest of the 750 off to someone else. Keep in mind I could drink a couple 750s of Rodenbach Grand Cru and still wish for more.

 1,940 characters

Photo of DonDirkA
4.9/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The nose is somewhat fruity and very sweet. Figs, golden raisins, dark cherries and a giant mound of brown sugar. The taste is much more tart but equally simple yet complex and full. Sour cherries, dates, grape juice, plum, molasses and some green apples. Tart, full, bubbly, sweet, fulfilling and delicious. And only $11.

 322 characters

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a Trappe Door tulip. Poured a dark reddish brown with a two finger khaki colored head that subsided to half a finger quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, raspberry, fruit, cherry, sugar, tart, earth, and wood. The flavor was of sweet malt, wood, fruit, sour, tart, earth, raspberry, and sugar. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. There was a nice sweetness going on in this one for the style that really helped to balance out some of the earthiness that one usually expects with the style. There wasn’t a big vinegar aspect that really made it easy to drink and quite enjoyable. The raspberry really made this one stand out and really refreshing. Definitely a well done brew, but what does one really expect from Liefsman at this point?

 868 characters

Photo of bum732
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

S: Sweet caramal, coca-cola like, touch of sourness, root beer, medium high vanilla, brandied cherries, creme brulee

L: Very dark brown with light tan head that dissipates. Ok lacing.

T: Slightly tart up front with cola-like sweetness. Low bitterness with some sour cherries quickly following. Maltiness into the finish. Finishes fairly dry with a little tannin and bitterness.

M: Medium thin body, medium carbonation.

Interesting beer, loved the nose on this, but i think the taste is a big let down. Too much tannins really detract from the body.

 552 characters

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.

 402 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

this is big boy beer, a textbook oud bruin, probably the best ive had. it pours a red tinted maple brown color with a frothy and dense oatmeal head with flawless retention. the nose on this is really nice, a little tart, not quite sour, with some fruity notes and a lot of hefty caramel malt sweetness. I pick up some fresh figs on the taste, as well as dried oranges and golden raisins, it is a complex malt base here. the top notes are acidic and alcoholic, with the fruity bits taking a back seat to yeasty funk and tannic dryness. all of it getting more intense as it warms up. big body is made lighter by the acid, and by lively carbonation. I could se myself drinking this regularly if it were available. its a classy beer, a glistening example of the oud bruit style, and a beer I really recommend, especially at the 9 bucks a bottle steal we copped this for. it must be done.

 883 characters

Photo of hustlesworth
4.82/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2011 vintage

A- reddish brownish plum with a foamy beige head. The foam settles to a thick disk and leaves little spots of lace.

S- totally rad aromatic balance. All at once sour and sweet, very woodsy with the impression of chocolate, vanilla, and stinky cheese. Olive brine, tomato acidity, and soil. Grape, fig, and sour cherry.

T- pleasant tartness from start until near the finish, wherein the sourness fades abruptly and woodsy barrel vanilla and chocolate flavors move right in to fill the void. In between, there's sour cherries, sour berries, mineral water, lots of oak, acorn trypsin nuttiness, raisin, oxalis, tomato, and earth. This is dark angry cave basement type fun. Masterfully blended and well rounded at 2 years old. This that boy.

MF- tannic and moderately dry with a very nice powdery yeasty feel. The effervescence of this beer is fan freakin tastic and lasts until the glass is empty.

D- throughout this review "vinegar" NEVER once popped into my mind (although other strange things had... Oxalis? Wtf) setting this one apart from other beers that I've tried in the same style. Definitely gonna cellar a couple bottles.

 1,151 characters

Photo of rickyleepotts
4.41/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Tonight we are drinking a sour. I LOVE sour beers. When I am walking up and down the beer aisle at Total Wine & More, I like to watch people looking at a sour to see his or her reaction. Unless you are expecting the flavors a beer like this offers, prepare to be amazed. The brewing process along is unique, and requires SO much attention. This specific bottle is from 2010, so it already has 3+ years on it. The beer is said to age to 10+ years, so I am sure some of the initial sweetness has worn off and we are getting to the bare bones of what makes this beer great. I like pretty much every beer from Belgium, so I hope this one delivers. It's a big bottle and comes in a paper wrapping. That's called the "pajamas". Aww… how cute! I just hope it taste good. Cheers, people!

In the Glass: I didn't expect this to be dark, but it has a nice deep dark brown color. Not much hear, and hardly any lace. I could smell some of the sour notes as I was pouring this. To be honest, as this beer has settled in the glass, it looks like a flat Coke. I am sure it smells and tastes better than Coke!

Nose: I am getting some sour notes, but not as much as I expected. I keep thinking about the brewing process for a beer like this. There is so much attention put on brewing a beer of this quality, and then to only charge $12.99 for it… that's a steal! It makes me appreciate the beer more and has me itching to drink it. So… without further ado, let's drink. Cheers! (Is that the way you spell adu? Or is it ado? Or adue? I have no idea!)

Flavor: That is sour… but a very complex beer. It's not sour until the finish. I am sitting here waiting for it to be sour, and some almost malty flavors attack the middle of my palate. Then, out of nowhere comes the palate wrecking sour flavors. Holy crap, that's intense. Now, having tried several sour beers over the years, I am sure this will become more balanced as I drink and as it heats up. But the first impression is a nice subtle sweetness leading to a ridiculous sour flavor. Bravo, Liefmans.

Mouthfeel: It's quite thin, and doesn't really impress me until the finish. It slides across the palate, and while it's cold, I feel that might help the flavor a little bit. I did swish a second sip around in my mouth, and the bubbles overwhelm. It does, however, really open up the beer. You get more subtle sweet flavors and while the bubbles take over, when they are gone the flavor is worth every second.

Aftertaste: It's sweet, but not as sweet as I expected. Perhaps the time this has been in the bottle. The experts said the sweet flavors should be expected with young bottles. I would LOVE to try this at 8-10 years. I am not sure I have that kind of time. Although, I have a few bottles in the cellar that I am holding for 15 and for 20 years.

This is good. It's really good. i have more than half a glass left, and I am going to let this site to warm up a bit. It will get better, and I am stoked to see what this tastes like in 10-15 minutes. I might not have 10 years, but I have 10 minutes. If you like a good Belgian example of a sour, then try this. Both offerings from Liefmans have been great. Good price for a beer that has that much TLC put in the bottle. Plus, I love the pajamas!

Liefmans Goudenband - The bottle says: "NA"

The bottle might not say much… but the wrapper (pajamas) say a lot. So… the wrapper says: "Liefmans Goudenband is one of the world's most complex beers. An aged Belgian Brown Ale, it is brewery-cellered for many months until it matures. Only then is it blended and bottled. Historically known as "Provision Beer", Goudenband is superb for further home cellaring, allowing taste, aroma and body of the beer to continue to evolve. A delectable treat for the beer connoisseur."

 3,782 characters

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

Appearance: Dark chestnut; no head on the pour

Aroma: Sour; slightly vinous fruit; spicy

Taste: slightly sour; wine-like; tart; slightly spicy; excellent flavor overall

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; so please disregard those scores

 253 characters

Photo of harrymel
3.89/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Vintage 2011

Pours a nice dark brown with cherry hues and some surface etches. Smells of cough syrup, cherries, some oak, some alcohol, some peppercorn, some grain. Flavor is sweet, balsamic, cherry, oak, sweet syrupy, some acetic character, like old school black sweet and sour with more complexity and nuances. Medium bodied with moderate on hi carb and an off dry finish. Decent example of the style, a little on the sweet side, but nice spiced character.

 459 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: the head died fast on this - could be anything from not-so-clean lines or glass to it being too cold.... dark, murky burgundy-brown, but relatively clear... scant lacing

S: immediate blend of caramel, sherry, and cocoa.... champagne-like esters, robust-fruity but not the least bit zesty-strong

T: not-so-sweet spiced apple and dry raspberry/cherry fruitiness.... comparable level of chocolaty malt flavor.... vanilla notes ostensibly from oak barrel aging.... refreshing yet real mellow lactic tartness.... definite sherry notes

M: soft-smooth, nearly medium body, mild roundness.... barely any fizz, slinks away quietly and pretty dry

O: gets better as you get through it, but I can't help but feel I'd prefer this out of the bottle, which I'm now certainly going to have to do... wasn't as sour as other examples I've had, and that's not a bad thing as this was a little too drinakble

 894 characters

Photo of SanDNigel
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml- Wrapper sure makes it seem special
A- Dark burgundy, little bubbles. For mine, little to no head, just a little something around the walls of the glass
S- You can smell it as you pour it. Wow it smells good! Date, caramelized sugar, berry/pear compote with a sour sting
T- Delicious You don't want it to end. Sour berries that pucker you up nicely. Such a perfect balance of sweet/sour/ and some extraordinary thing I couldn't put my finger on
M- Soooo smooth Mine was lightly carbonated, but I wouldn't have changed a thing

This is one damn good beer. If you were to introduce someone to sour ales this might be the perfect beer to do it with. I just want more and more of it, that is the only problem

 710 characters

Photo of Jonada
4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served in a snifter. Assuming I'm interpreting on top of the cage correctly, this was bottled in February 2011.

Appearance: Pours a murky brown color with hints of red. 1 finger of a creamy light tan head with impressive retention and lacing.

Smell: Balsamic vinegar, oak, leather, sour cherry, candi sugar and hints of caramel.

Taste: First and foremost I'm noticing a big oak character to this. In addition to that I'm getting dark fruit, rye bread, vinegar, and a hint of black currant. Sourness is relatively low.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, soft mouthfeel with medium fine carbonation. Alcohol is nearly undetectable.

Overall: Maybe my expectations were too low coming into this, but I'm very impressed. It's not intensely sour, tart or funky some others in the style, but it's subtle, complex and all of the flavors work together perfectly. Worth seeking out.

 882 characters

Photo of dar482
4.46/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The color is a very dark murky dark down color.

The aroma has cherry, wine grape, tartness.

There is a wine grape flavor, bright fruit. Sour cherry, grape, mellow sourness. Red wine character. There's a good "Warhead" sourness.

Easy drinking finish. This is a wonderful introduction into beer for wine drinkers. Having had the Rodenbach Grand Cru, I do prefer that with its bigger tartness and fruit flavors.

 412 characters

Photo of VinnyA
4.87/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Serving - 24oz bottle served in a Liefmans goblet.

Cork in bottle shows a 2011 bottling date.

A- dark, color reminds me of a black cherry. Thin head of beige foam that retains well. Excellent lacing.

S- sour cherries, vanilla, oak, grapes, hints of caramel.

M- moderate carbonation, refreshing with a dry finish.

T- caramel apple, cherries, a pinch of dark chocolate, sugar, subtle sourness throughout but amplified on the back end. Malt really stands out. The aftertaste curbs the sugariness of the fruit and dulls down the already soft fruit favor and enhances the sourness that is already present along with an oak flavor containing hints of vanilla.

O- Amazing! Outstanding! Liefmans Goudenband is a lesson in complex simplicity. There is a lot going on here but it doesn't overwhelm at all. Each taste invites you back for another. First had this at Monks Cafe in Philadelphia then spent the next two months trying to find a case. This beer is exactly what an Oud Bruin should be. I can't say enough about it. This is the only beer I've purchased where multiple people have literally congratulated me for my purchase.

 1,130 characters

Photo of drperm
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle purchased 6/2010; Opened 5/2013.

My first thought is, this is the best beer I've had in a very long time.

My second thought is, this is quite possibly the perfect beer.

My third thought is, DAMN why did I only buy one bottle??

A deep ruby colour entices in the glass.
On the nose it is, in the words of another reviewer, "like Scottish food" - lots of spice, malt, esters, vinegar, tartness, and plum.
On the palate it is extremely complex and enjoyable - sweet & sour with a fair balance between the two: not too sweet, not too sour.
The finish snaps sour with a hint of bing cherry.

Pair with: carrot-miso soup with sesame oil (I'm not even kidding), herbed goat cheese, baked brie with fruit, dates and figs, roast duck, or venison with cherry sauce.

And when you find it in a shop, don't make the same mistake I did: purchase more than one bottle.

 865 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.68/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark clear mahogany in the glass with a long-lasting foam. A pleasant spritzy mouthful. This one is more sweet and sour, but in an appealing and nice-balanced way. wlight woody bitterness to finish. A little toffee and sweet malt, but a long, sour finish. It doesn't taste at all of alcohol.

The Belgian candy flavor is right up front. On tap at Local Habit in San Diego. The usual dry yeasty taste is there as well, but it gets lost in the tart, roasted grainy flavors. This is a very interesting beer that is more drinkable than most of the sour varieties I've tried. It also tastes just like so many forgettable beers I drank in Belgium, but with the addition of the acidic sensation. On tap at Local Habit in San Diego.

 724 characters

Photo of janubio
3.21/5  rDev -23%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

37,5 c. bottle wrapped in paper and corked. Dark amber colour, no head and no lace. Lots of chunks in the bottom of the glass. Smell is sour, cider, oak, cherries, apple and vanilla essence. Medium body, sour palate. Taste is sour too, cider, cherries, and the artificial vanilla. I like the sourness but certainly i expected much more from this one. bottled in 1996 and best before end of 2014.

 395 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 1,120 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light brown body with good head/carbonation that dies slow and leaves some lace on top of a mostly sweet aroma. The smells I am picking up seem to be light chocolate, toffee, touches of fruit ranging from cherry to grape and a good chunk of woodiness and hops as well, although not as noticeable as the malts. Light tartness is my first reaction, and my second is that this is a light-to-medium bodied beer that has great balance to it as the tart cherryesque flavors give way to sweetness from chocolate to toffee and then this balanced beer finishes crisp with a slight dry edge. Very pleasant sipper that ranges from both the sour and sweet spectrums and should be had by anyone who likes Belgian ales.

 714 characters

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