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Goudenband - Brouwerij Liefmans

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1,174 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,174
Reviews: 551
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 117
Gots: 129 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,174 | Reviews: 551 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kingcrowing
3.3/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle poured into a sampling glass.

Pours a clear brown with a small white head. Nose is fairly tart and malty.

Taste us quite well balanced for an oude bruin, it's tart and sour but it's not like vinegar which makes it quite drinkable. That being said it's somewhat bland for the style, it like it's afraid to commit.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to drabmuh. Poured into a Bruery tulip.

Pours a nice garnet-mahogany color with a light tan head. There is a bit of light, spotty lacing.. Light foam on top of the brew. Nose brings some light cherry and oak plus some light vinegar. There is also a bit of cardboard in the nose. Taste brings some cherry and light oxidation. A bit of mild oak and creamy sweetness. Medium body and a bit of a creamy character. Some mild sourness. Really drinkable with a nice, light sour finish and a bit of oak.

Photo of ritzkiss
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375ml paper wrapped, corked and caged 2005 vintage, courtesy of bobsy.

Pours a mahogany brown with hints of cherry and amber, a thin film of bubbles emerges on the pour but settles down to pretty much nothing - at least there's carbonation!

Nose reminds of a vinaigrette, twang of vinegar, balsamic and a fruity almost raspberry note. Opens up to a touch more fruit and sweet caramel, hint of bread.

Not overly sour, quite moderate and balanced. Provides more of a light pucker in the finish than dominating the body which has a hint of vinegar, light tart cherries, sweet molasses, wood, vanilla. Light carbonation, perhaps a touch too thin body. Would love this to be a bit bigger and badder but what it is a very nice drinker, smooth and hides any hint of the ABV. Thanks Rob!

Photo of BucBasil
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a branded flute at tBruges Beertje.

A: Great presentation in the wrapped bottle, corked and caged. Brown but pure deep clear red on the edges when held to light. Head was 2 fingers with ok retention.

S: Tangy and fruity. Hints of must and roasted malt.

T: Cherry, currants, cranberry. Complex with a nice balancing malt profile in there as well. Hints of sourness. Finishing slightly sour as well with sour cherry and cranberry.

One of the most drinkable sours I've ever had. Fantastic beer.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mike was very very generous in sharing a bottle of this from 1982, which makes this the first time I've had a beer from the year I was born. It was also a treat to try it next to a bottle from 1998(thanks, Peter!) and 2006 (thanks, me!)

Pouring flat with no head and the occasional bit of cork that fell through. this beer is red and fairly clear. The nose is outstanding. There is some cherry character, yes, but what this has evolved into is almost a sherry. Rich, mildly leathery, a little musty, a little cider and some vinegar. Beautiful stuff, this as among the best expressions of oxidation I've encountered. The palate replicates the flavors from the nose. Apple cider vinegar, sherry, a little smoke and almost light cocoa, this is fantastic. A long finish with sherry and dark fruit oxidation is present, this beer is flat, medium-light in body and eminently drinkable. Not as bright as the 2006 (obviously), and almost a completely different beer than fresh, this makes me want to hold onto my one remaining bottle for another 20 years. Also, this was much better than the bottle from 1955 that I had earlier this year, that just smelt and tasted like a damp, musty basement with some watery vinegar.

**Review dated 03-10-2010 03:09:00**
I grabbed this a couple of years back when there was the scare that Liefmans was going under. Best by October 2016.

Crystal clear deep ruby red with a thin off-white head that recedes to a ring pretty quickly. Tiny bubbles are noticed by the etched D of my Duvel glass.

The nose is excellent. Brown sugar and caramel are prominent with a fruity tartness. Vanilla is prominent, and some cherry-skin like tannins are apparent too. Served at cellar temperature, a little alcohol is noticeable, working quite well with the brown sugar character. The fruit character is beautiful, a melange of berries - cherries and raspberries - as well as apple cider. Beautifully balanced and nuanced stuff.

The palate opens with a blend of berries, vanilla and some brown sugar. Beautifully fruity, it's quite stunning that there's no fruit added to this. Cherries, ripe raspberries, apples, a touch of fig. Sourness is low, mildly acetic, but mostly fruity in tartness. The brown sugar and vanilla characteristics play off each other beautifully. Fruity tartness, a mellow sweetness, a little solvent and a touch of alcohol are present on the finish that lingers, leaving a little vanilla. The moutfeel is quite superb, medium-light in body with a soft, lush carbonation. The finish is excellent as well. This is one remarkable beer.

With all the hoopla associated with brewery-only releases and crazy trading, it's really nice to know that I can go into my local store and pick up world class beers from Belgium (Drie Fonteinen, Cantillon, Fantome) with no fuss whatsoever, and they're just as good, if not better that the massively hyped beers. I also wonder if the reason that Red Poppy has cherries added is because the fruity character of that beer could not be replicated without them.

**Edit 31 may 2014**
My last bottle of the 2006 vintage. What a beautiful beer! Cherries, blackberries, tannic red wine, vanilla, brown sugar, this is awesome. Carbonation seems to have leaked here, leading to a soft palate that accentuates the sweetness. A touch of cider vinegar is present. Awesome. 4.5/4.5/4.5

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

Paper wrapped 375mL bottle, shared with BAs brun, NYManc and r0nyn. From 10/6 notes.

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A particularly light, translucent and flat-looking brown ale that just sat quite politely in the glass. Some tiny white bubbles made its way to the top. When held against the light, you could really see the dark speckled floaties in the beer, looking like particles of soil. The aroma had some vinegary moments, but was showed more of a honey sweetness and fruit tartiness. Surprised to find not much a funkiness in the glass either.

Taste was actually nice and more mellow than we were expecting. Some sweetness and oaky flavors, but not much of a sour and funky characteristic in the beer at all. Some tart flavors towards the end as well. You should have seen the other guys' faces *before* their first sip.. all cringing and apprehensive! Hahaha.

Beer was light to medium bodied with not much carbonation either. Still particularly tasty, especially considering the low sourness. Had to have another glass due to my fascination of this Oud Bruin. Slowly, but surely getting to that point where I'm getting obsessed with sours.

Photo of r0nyn
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my Dogfish Head snifter. Courtesy of BA infi and split with him and BA NYManc.

Pours a dark funky looking color that's hazy and translucent. Lots of dark wisps floating around in the brew with some bits of yeast peppering the suspension. Definitely unique, definitely weird. Smell is almost as funktastic as the look. Dried dark fruit and yeast is the order of the day, putting together a slightly sour, substantially tart nose. Interesting to say the least.

I was expecting something big and sour, but what I got was a very mellow, very smooth, almost woody taste. The dark fruits from the nose make another appearance, and I can taste a little bit of fig and date along with some yeasty breadiness. There's just a slight bit of tartness towards the back end, but even that is subtle and not extremely pronounced. Sweetness is the order of the day with zero hops and zero bitterness. Not too much of an aftertaste at all either. Alcohol is nigh undetectable. There's also zero carbonation in this brew, making for a silky mouthfeel that's on the light side of medium, but still very pleasant on the tongue. It's a bit drying on the tongue, though.

Drinkabilty is quite good. I was expecting something more sour, but it surprised me with its mellowness. An interesting Belgian style, something I'll probably revisit in the future.

Photo of scott451
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. A very dark transparent ruby brown. A thin head disappeared almost immediately. No lacing. The initial rush of carbonation soon disappeared.

Smells of old fruit with sour overtones, cherry dominates. Lots going on in the smell department. Alcohol is very present in the smell, not so much in the taste. Tastes of old fruit and oak with a well balanced sweet and sour. Cherry again, and ripe apple. Very complex and interesting. A long wine like finish. Overall tending towards a Flemish red (and that's a good thing).

Mouthfeel is light for such big flavours. Very drinkable overall. Lots to come back to.

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

Appearance: Pour is a bright ruby-orange with some sediment, nice head and lacing

Smell: Vinegar, sour cherries, and oak. Excellent, although the aroma is a bit dull.

Taste: Sour cherries, vinegar, oak leather, and brown sugar. That said, a bit dull and not my favorite for this style. Some brown bread with very faint must.

Mouthfeel: Silky and smooth, perhaps a bit thin.

Drinkability: Goes down fairly well. Very representative of the style but not the top of it.

Photo of Moorkop
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark brown-reddish looking beer. it smelled sour in the way all flemmish browns do. after a sip i had to come to the conclusion it wasn't anything like it. it shared the characteristics. but it wasn't anything like it. It had more of a wine flavor in the end. something wich a Rodenbach lacks.
overal i good drinkable beer that looks very special thanks to it's unusual raping.

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours reddish brown with a chunky head that disappears fairly quick. Tons of sediment. No lacing.

Great tart fruit, sour cherry, and rich malt aromas.

Great complexity. Tart cherry and sweet deep malt flavors, with some wood, some light acid, light bitterness, but not much. Mouth coating and delicious.

This was a little flat (could have been the bottle), but not so much that it mattered. Good body.

Great brew. Great sipper if you like the style.

Photo of pweis909
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance=dark brown with ruby highlights, no carbonation AT ALL.

Aroma=Wow. Like cherry and apple pie, blended together. For not having carbonation, this gives off some killer aroma.

Taste=surprisingly sweet, crystal malty, followed by some sour. Still sweeter than sour. Caramel sweetness.

I think the sour would balance the sweet sufficiently to make several bottles enjoyable. Unfortunately, I only had one. Too bad about that utter lack of carbonation. Absolutely no need for the cork and cage on this bottle.

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

2005 Vintage.

Appearance: Quietly slips out a hazed, dusky brown body churning with suspended yeast bits and topped with a bubbly, sparse, khaki-hued head.

Smell: An aroma comprised of fresh-baked bread, musty yeast cakes, baked sugars, Lexol-brand leather cleaner, cherries, raisins, brown sugar and a small, inviting splash of cherry vinegar.

Taste: Toasted, crusty bread coated in a deep, toothsome taste of caramelized sugars and an additional heap of sweet brown sugar. The lightly tart fruitiness and a brush of mild tannins come together to give an impression of cherryskins. Hint of damp boardwalk planks. Earthy yeastiness. Sweet sip of Southern-style sweet tea. Very subtle phenols. Closes out with a lingering sweet/sour finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Lightly carbonated. Some sticky chewiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: It's just a hair sweeter than anticipated, I may have appreciated just a bit more countering sourness. Still, it's as efficient and easy as coming up with the typical "the Xbox is big" jokes. Hardy har har. Paired well with the recent ABC Family Harry Potter weekend marathon.

Photo of dirtylou
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage, bottle at a recent brasserie V tasting

appearance: murky brown body - no head at all really, lots of suspended yeast

smell: Not much in the way of tartness - big caramel malts, fig, brown sugar, dark fruits

taste: really surprised by this one - was expecting tartness that never came (function of age, storage, qc?). Anyways, very dark-fruit driven - sweet apple, fig, prunes, plums, caramel. This just wasn't what i was expecting.

mouthfeel: relatively flat - gummy and sweet

drinkability: ok

Photo of hawks10
3.23/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2005 Vintage - 375ml bottle poured into my Hopleaf tulip...

Pours a murky brown with plum accents. One finger of quickly vanishing white head forms and leaves, leaving a lifeless looking glass of muddy water...

A bit of a sour wine-like aroma. Lots of overripe dark fruits (maybe some spoiled ones as well), slightly tart, cherries with a musty and oaky smell as well...

Taste is mostly dominated by oak and some sweet, toffee-like malt...there are some ripe dark fruits that seem to have the taste of being on the edge of spoiling. Musty and a bit funky overall, a touch of lactic sourness, but an overall muted flavor and really not all that pleasant...

Medium bodied with a short burst of liveliness on the tongue before all the bubbles escape, giving you a creamy, slick finish...

Not a huge fan of this one...would like to try another vintage, or possibly on tap before I completely write this one off...

Photo of jrallen34
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasting with AgentZero.

750ml bottle into my Rochefort glass, 2006 version.

The beer pours dark brown with not much fan fare as there is very little carbonation. Tons of yeast floaties...The aroma is really light, gives off some light vinegar, light tartness but that's about it...The taste is much different, not much tart, a lot of sweetness, figs, caramel. On the finish is some light funk, but not enough.

I've been waiting for this for a while and sadly I'm disappointed. Its to sweet not enough to tartness, bad feel.

Photo of AgentZero
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acquired from spycow in a trade and drunk at a tasting with jrallen34.

A - Pours a dark brown color with yellow on the edges and no head whatsoever. Just some spots on the edge, but not much in the way of stick to the sides. Tons of floaty things in it, which is always fun.

S - A nice tart sweetness on it, mostly cherry. Little bit of wood and some dark fruit.

T - Sweet, some caramel, dark fruits really dominate on this. Brown sugar, only the slightest bit of tart on the end. It's very interesting as it does not seem to taste how it smells. Some grainy aftertaste, which was kind of surprising.

M - Under carbonated with a heavier-than-medium mouthfeel.

D - Not hard to get down, but a little more effervecence would make it more drinkable.

Photo of mondegreen
2.95/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12.7 oz bottle into a Westmalle chalice. Cork reads "2006."

A murky brown pour yields no head whatsoever. Nothing. Nada. Well, maybe a razor thin ring around the outside. Tons of yeast in the bottle, I leave about an inch of beer so I don't end up with the yeast in my glass.

Nose is pretty nice. Sweet dark fruits dominate. Raisins & figs.

Has a light rum taste coupled with a moderate sweetness. Very very slight tart bite on the backend.

This beer is flat. No carbonation at all. Other reviews say it should be medium bodied. Well, mine isn't. The flatness is a sore thumb on what might otherwise be a good beer.

If the beer had a decent mouthfeel, I think it would be refreshing and more complex. As it stands, it isn't.

Photo of Dubber55
3/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Corked and caged. The cork says 2006. Printed on top of the cage: 11-2016

Pours a light caramel color brown with some red highlights. No head or lace. A few bubbles form a collar around the edges.

The aromas consist mostly of rum soaked raisins, caramel and a little vinegar. The aroma is also a bit vinous.

In my opinion, the taste is definitely more sweet than sour/tart. The initial flavor is rum soaked raisins. Reminds me a little of a sweet wine. Then I get a bit of vinegar, green apples, just barely a hint of cherries and oak. The finish is mostly rum soaked raisins and some alcohol.

This beer is flat. There is little to no carbonation. The mouthfeel is medium and a bit syrupy.

The drinkability is bad. The alcohol is noticeable and there is not enough tartness to balance out the sweetness.

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

Dated Sep. 2015.

355 mL green glass bottle, corked and caged, wrapped in blue paper. The label on the bottle is actually more attractive than the wrapping. The tiny mushroom-shaped cork pops with barely any effort.

Served cool into my St. Bernardus Watou glass, Goudenband has a redish brown color, good clarity, but almost no head to speak of. The small bubbles that form during the pour are gone by the time I set the bottle down.

Aroma is simply wonderful. It has nice sour cherries and red grapes with a distinctive yeast strain. A little bit of spice comes through here as well.

Flavor is excellent as well. A great brown ale base sets the background for all of these great sour fruits. Cherries, plums, grapes, and even blackberries all come together in this beer. The oak aging makes for a nice vanilla flavor. The sour quality is certainly not as strong as many American wild ales and it's all the better for it. A spicy note is more pronounced as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with pleasant levels of carbonation. Good balance of sweet, tart, bitter, and sour. The tannins are gentle on the back of the mouth.

Overall a fantastic beer. This is one style that I've always wanted to try and this particular example is what I expect to be par for the course. A great introduction to Belgian sours.

Photo of weatherdog
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75cl bottle poured into two oversized wine glasses, 2006 vintage so says the cork.

It pours a cloudy chestnut color with a huge amount of yeast clumpies in all the pours. This beer was opened after only about two hours in the fridge after a long bumpy car ride so I will excuse the vast amount of suspended yeast in the pour. If it poured like this after several days in the fridge I would normally dock it points because the amount of yeast was really excessive. There is only a short lived cream colored head.

The nose is pretty muted and restrained for a sour brown and for my liking. There is also a lot of sugary sweetness which I am not the biggest fan of. Underneath that sweetness is a reassuring tartness with just enough acetic in the nose without being overpowering.

The taste has a lot of oaky and caramel malt favors married in a medium level of tartness. The taste finishes just too sweet for my taste and is just distracting. I understand this style should have a little more residual sweetness than Flanders reds but the amount found in the beer is over the top and distracting the from the real character of the beer. I guess the trade-off of this attribute is the approachability of this beer.

Mouthfeel was just right with a low/medium level of carbonation and a full bodiedness. Drinkability was good as well and a very refreshing beer, my only wish is less sweetness and let the sourness and woodiness of the beer shine through.

Photo of thecarster1
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

original goudenband, 375ml corked and caged, vintage 2005.

a- bottle poured into a wine glass, murky brown coloring, no head to speak of, i got the first pour out of the bottle, so it wasn't very hazy but the remaining pours were loaded with yeast floaties.

s- funky for sure, but with a sweet edge, molassas perhaps, the rest of the nose was pure balsamic vinegar.

t- the taste pretty much echos the nose, funk with a sweet tang to it, the finish was nice and dry, very interesting beer for sure, this four year old vintage was sure aged well.

m- medium bodied.

d- i don't really think that this style is ever particularly drinkable, but i really enjoy it one bottle a couple times a year. this went down easy and this super rare, never to be had again vintage was a wonderful treat. my cousin dug it up in a bottle shop in philly and shared generously at easter.

Photo of wordemupg
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
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

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

Appears as a very deep, slightly ruddy brown in the glass, with the edges allowing a bit of light through. Very slowly poured to generate a creamy two-finger head that seems slow to recede. Plenty of lacing.

Tart, yeasty and flowery to the nose. Plenty of funk to the aroma.

First to the tongue is a light caramel sweetness, but that quickly is washed in a semi-tart acidic flavour that has plenty of cherries, a hit of green grapes and funky finish. Oak and a very faint vinous alcohol heat dwell a few moments after the beer is swallowed.

This beer's body is fairly light and bubbly, but it seems quite suitable considering the bounty of flavours. The tongue becomes a bit dry if this is drank steadily.

This is a winner in my books, I've been looking out for this beer for a long time, and it has not disappointed. A great representation of one of my favorite styles.

Photo of jgasparine
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed an ORIGINAL Goudenband in a 750ml bottle, most likely bottled in 2007.

A- Poured into the glass with a thin foamy khaki colored head, which quickly receded to a haze layer, a collar, and a few faint traces of lacing. The body was an opaque and heavily sedimented medium brown, with no visible carbonation.

S- A strong nose- classically sweet and sour. Sweet pale and candy malts, wonderfully balanced with lactic and acetic notes. Lesser aromas of candi sugar and stale hops were detected as well.

T- A wonderful replicate of the nose, with the sweet and sour components in constant competition for dominance throughout each sip. Like a tug-of-war in the mouth. Never cloyingly sweet, never puckeringly acidic. Finishes dry with an echo of burnt candi sugar.

M- A medium to full body with a slightly gritty texture from the sediment and unattenuated sugar. The carbonation was abundant, but soft... spritzy in texture, but non-bloating. Just wonderful.

D- A wonderful treat that I could drink all day (at least until I got too drunk to keep drinking!)

Goudenband from Brouwerij Liefmans
94 out of 100 based on 1,174 ratings.