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Goudenband - Brouwerij Liefmans

Not Rated.
GoudenbandGoudenband

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,151 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,151
Reviews: 547
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 114
Gots: 123 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Liefmans visit their website
Belgium

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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,151 | Reviews: 547 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2005 Vintage. Good until September 2015, according to the gold cap atop the cork and beneath the cage. I was going to hang onto this one a while longer, but the rumors of Brouwerij Liefmans's impending bankruptcy spurred me to review it while I'm still able.

Autumn leaves russet with bright tangerine accents and a barely visible yeasty haze. The crown (equal parts pale orange, gold and ecru) filled half the glass on the pour. The foam is heavily creamy and lace is being laid down in a beautiful array.

The nose is absolutely classic for the style. Each deep inhale delivers an intriguing blend of sour cherries, fruit vinegar and loads of oak. If the aroma translates in intact form to the palate... watch out!

Goudenband is everything that I'd hoped for and more. It's been too long since I've had a good Flanders oud bruin or Flanders red ale (Iowa isn't exactly bursting at the seams with them). I'd forgotten how the best ones are such a sublime balancing act between sweet and sour.

There's so much deliciousness going on that it's hard to know where to start. Specifics include both sweet and tart cherries, fig jam, bruised apples, leather, an oaky woodiness, and a splash of cider vinegar. Maybe a little brown sugar as well. The sweetness won't be for everyone (and it's keeping my samples to sips), but it's a great take on the style.

My taste buds are so busy processing the amazing complexity they have no time to register the alcohol. The out-of-this-world mouthfeel is lightly silky, impressively expansive and is effervescent in a good way. No dropoff here. None at all.

Liefmans Goudenband is the single best Flanders oud bruin that I've ever had. No less an expert than the late, great Michael Jackson considered it to be a 'world classic'. I humbly agree. It would be a shame if beer lovers the world over were no longer able to drink this divine libation. Here's hoping the brewery finds a way to survive.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of brewcrew76
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

355 ml
Cork reads 2006 - caged cap on the cork reads 11-2016

A - Cloudy brown with auburn highlights and thin white head that leaves a ring of white foam.

S - Slightly acidic, cherry, oak and apple cider. Somewhat basic but very nice.

T - Tart with a hint of caramel in the beginning, some earthy yeast in the middle followed by sweet cherry and grape juice.

M - Smooth with a dry finish.

D - Very tasty.

brewcrew76, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of TexIndy
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375ml bottle into my DT snifter. The cork showed a 2006 bottling year. Bottle comes wrapped in a paper sleeve - nice touch. It was a deep ruby color with a bunch of thick yeast floaters. I did a slow pour to limit the yeast so the head was barely there. The aroma was awesome. It was fruity (cherry mainly) with a musty undertone along with oak. Really loved the aroma on this one. The taste was awesome as well. It starts out with a great bitter cherry taste and then the tartness hits full force. It stops just shy of puckering and then sets you up for the next drink. Very tasty. Overall this is a an outstanding beer that I highly, highly recommend. This one is already in my regular rotation. (Regular to heavy rotation)

TexIndy, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cork reads 2005. Sampled 3-17-07

Now if I read this cap right, this beer is good until February 2015. I am glad I am getting to this while I can. The next eight years are a little booked for me.

Pours a clouded ruby brown that is very dark. No head. Nose is musty, woody, with a floral sweetness. Flavor is outstanding. Nice slighty fruity touch with a sugar sweetness. Definite wood on the edge. Feel is good. Nice level of bubble attacking your mouth in a fairly aggressive way. Highly drinkable. Damn good. Worth trying.

1992! Pours a clear brown with a ruby hue. Nose is antiseptic funk with a grape tone. Flavor is wide. I said it seemed like a darker honey and the bartender I shared it with said it reminded him of buckwheat honey. I might have to go find some to taste now. Vanilla is on there is well I think? Wood is noticed too. Smooth liquid feel and a low carbonation. This is amazing. A once in a lifetime opportunity that I was able to take advantage. (scores are exactly duplicate)

RblWthACoz, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of SPLITGRIN
3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cork says this is a 1999 vintage. The pour tells the same story. A strong pour yeilds no head at all. Body is a murky shade of deep brown. Nose has a solid fruit base with tones of rubarb, sour cherries, rasberries and orange peel. Sharply sour as it hits the tongue and imediatly wakes up the buds. It does mellow quickly and lead to variety of flavors including sour cherries, over ripe mellon, oak, ashey malt and silky molases. Although sour mouthfeel is dominate, it is not overpowering. Mellows as it warms. This is about as drinkable as I would consider a beer this sour could be.

SPLITGRIN, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of letsgopens
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This Flanders Oud Bruin pours a woody, cloudy amber brown with lighter amber highlights. The very frothy beige head holds decently well especially once its receded to a thinner cap. Some decent walls of uniform lace are left behind.

The aroma is sour with a great deal of vinous character. Some booze and earthy dark fruit are very evident as well. Tart green apple and some yeastiness. Some juicy raspberry and blackberry add to the fruity sweet/tartness. Just a hint of spice is floating around as well.

Initially very bright with crisp, juicy fruit: citrus, apple, berry, and red tart cherries. The buttery, bread-like, cereal character comes out in the finish with some additional citric twang. Not super sour but plenty tangy. Two very distinct phases of flavor. Really distinct and unique.

Extremely bright and citric sweet/sour. Acidic and crisp initially. Becomes more mellow, warm, and buttery in texture toward the finish. Very drinkable and not a terribly high abv either. A very nice selection for sure.

letsgopens, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of bark
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

bark, Dec 28, 2007
Photo of leftmindedrighty
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Quotations. Served into a broad mouth goblet

Smell, Tart oak jumps out at my nose first, hint of sour cherry and strawberry also grab for attention

Taste, Wow. Mild tartness, oak, cherries, and grape flavors dominate my now ecstatic taste buds. Very little carbonation present, which helps the flavors of the beer flex their muscle. Hint of sourness, but this one makes it hard to distinguish the tart from the sour. Kind metallic tastes also present, but the kind that shows in sour ales, the fruits and tartness really balance it and meld it into their own flavor. If this beer was any more complex, it would have to come with blueprints.

Overall, one of the most complex beers I've ever had, and top 5 for the year. Worth the $6.50 10oz draught pour. Find it, buy it, and appreciate it.

leftmindedrighty, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of ybnorml
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A cloudy brown beer with ruby highlights. Has a small beige headand a little bit of lace. A sour note starts the aroma followed by hints of raisins, fruit, cinnamon and apples. At first the flavor is a little cidery and tart, but a soft nutlike maltiness weaves in and out. Bringing with it a silky mouthfeel. there are also notes of cinnamon and dried fruit at play in the finish. Which is sweet tart and dry.

ybnorml, Dec 15, 2007
Photo of beerking1
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle. Yeast layer in the bottom. Aromas of malt, candi sugar and faint must. Brown color with a tan head that fades fast. Flavor is malt and fruit up front, with yeast and spice in the tail. Body is properly attenuated, leaving the beer satisfying without being filling. The lingering spice in the tail cries for more!

beerking1, Dec 06, 2007
Photo of HomeBrewJunkie
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was very excited to try this classic. Goudenband pours nice dark amber that is slightly on the hazy side. A decent head with some nice sticky lacing.

The aroma was very sweet, tart and fruity. After you plow thru the initial aromas some oak attempts to catch your attention. It has almost a juicy aroma that asks to be sipped.

Upon taking the first sip my tongue almost jumps out of my mouth. I did not expect what I got. The tart, sweet fruitiness hits you from the start. Grapes and cherries make for a nice fruity character. The sweetness lies under the sour. Words do not give this beer justice in taste department. A very tasty brew in my opinion.

Tart in the mouth enough to make you pucker. Low carbonation but more would take away from the character of the flavors. I gave this one above average for mouthfeel but could have been a little better.

Very drinkable. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and would be happy to try it again. I was happy to share such a good beer with some good beer friends, you know who you are.

HomeBrewJunkie, Nov 26, 2007
Photo of Slatetank
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured Slightly cool into an oversized snifter. Thanks to HomebrewJunkie for sharing this.
A - A gently hazed caramel brown w/ light tan head the lace clings to the snifter well.

S - Slightly acidic w/ sweet sugary notes. Gentle tannin in the odor w/ a nutty oak likee note. Fig, light grapeskin and cherry juice odors add to the melange.

M - Tart w/ gentle carbonation, light fruitiness and residual sweetness.

T - Sugared plums w/ complexity in the yeast flavors sweet apple and cherry tartness. Slightly syrupy w/ gentle maple and pear flavor.

D - Very unique w/ lots of contrast and complexity. It was nice to revisit this classic. Nice gentle sour and sweet mixture w/ oakey hints. This ale is very drinkable.

Slatetank, Nov 23, 2007
Photo of RiekerStarBrew
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When poured from the bottle to my belgian glass, it had a clear, dark brown color. The aroma was tart with hints of alcohol. The flavor was very complex. It had that classic rotten fruit flavor resembling peach. It was sour, yet, sweet at the same time. It had good mouthfeel and carbonation with minimal hop character. This was my first "Old Bruin" and I really enjoyed it.

RiekerStarBrew, Nov 21, 2007
Photo of seanyfo
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml paper wrapped bottle poured into chimay chalice.

A - Aggressive poured produces a 3 finger creamy tan head sitting on top of a murky tan amber body. Lacing is good with lively beading.

S - Lots of dark sweet fruits, fresh malty goodness with a bitter afterthought on which i cant put my finge on, almost a sweet vinegar!

T - Lots of sweet caramel and dark fruits which quickly turns to a sharp sourness in the end, however this is balanced with a nice sweet bready malt in the aftertaste. Transition from sweet to sour is quick indeed, but not offputting and enjoyable.

M - Light body,dry. High carbonation. Spritzy

D - Yes this was lovely. A nice sweet sour balance gives this a lot of flavour to explore with a light refreshing body. Would gladly drink again

seanyfo, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of smcolw
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark ruby color with a low head and near no lace. Lots of clumped yeast floating around.

The smell of raisins is the first identifiable aroma I have.

Sweetish cherries with a sour background. Very rich beer, with an almost port-like flavoring without the alcoholic warmth. Slightly sour aftertaste. Very pleasant mouthfeel and taste.

This is a superb dessert beer. I envision it with strong cheese. This would be an excellent choice for a fine dinner finish.

smcolw, Nov 05, 2007
Photo of nickfl
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - 1.5 fingers of caramel tinged, off white foam settles quickly on top of a dark and hazy reddish-brown body.

S - Sour caramel (?? I think I just invented a new dessert), rasisn/plums/figs, and subtle yeast funk.

T - Sweet-sour with dark fruit. Malty, caramel, with slight roast. Earthy yeast notes are more pronounced than in the nose. The finish is more of the sweet/sour interaction with a bit of grassy hop flavor and steady earthy funk with a lingering alcohol warmth.

M - Light body and very dry. High carbonation.

D - This is a beautiful beer. The overall impression is almost of that of an English old ale with sour funk substituted for hops. I can't imagine slugging these down, but I can tell you that I am enjoying sipping the one in front of me immensely.

nickfl, Oct 30, 2007
Photo of MSchae1017
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours into my tulip glass with brown body and hints of amber. There is a slightly off white head that holds a nice ring and wisps of film that leave bits of lace down the glass. The smell gives of the tartness from the wild yeasts with hints of undefined maltiness. The taste is up front with the tartness and followed quickly with malts that exhibit hints of roasty and caramel characteristics. The mouthfeel is light-meduim bodied. It is certainly far more attenuated that I would have expected for a 8% beer. Overall, it is quite drinkable but lacks the depth provided by the oak aged Flemmish Red Ales.

MSchae1017, Oct 28, 2007
Photo of klewis
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

375 ml
bottled in 2006

A: Pours a dark mahogany with a small bubbly head and a modest amount of sediment. Lots of lacing.

S: Multi-dimensional smell with a slightly funky aromas of red wine, tropical fruits, and vinegar.

T: There is some kind of fruity taste, but it's hard to describe due to intense sweet and sour characters that overwhelm that palate. Acidic.

M: Medium-bodied with plenty of carbonation, yet amazingly silky and smooth. I want to make this beer into pajamas. A lingering sweet/sour taste.

D: Definitely an interesting beer - whatever that means. I don't find myself loving this, but it's worth a try.

klewis, Oct 27, 2007
Photo of thierrynantes
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer bottle (37,5cl), tasted in 2004.

Appearance: clear brown-deep mahogany, beige foam head, little tight but persistent.
Smell : winy, licorice aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel: first Taste pungent, turning to acidity and soft woods. Great finest body, good overall balance, light post-bitterness.
Drinkability: A real "grand cru", in the style Flanders oud bruin

Review translated from french 5-16-2008.

thierrynantes, Oct 24, 2007
Photo of HoustonTX
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Goudenband

A - Rustic brown, with a white fluffy head.

S - Complex dark malt with a mildly alcoholic roastedness.

T - Medium-bodied with a solid carbonated base. Sweet ripe fruit upfront blend with a sickly infused caramel malt. Oily malts balance midway, soon giving way to fresh squeezed raspberries and mangoes. With notes of lemon and lime, with a controlled spiciness. Finishes clean with lingering fruit notes and ample carbonated, and stays just as magnificent from beginning to end.

A wonderful, one of a kind Brown Ale. Definitely recommended.

HoustonTX, Oct 20, 2007
Photo of jwc215
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Paper-wrapped, cage-corked bottle:

Pours hazy brown with a thin tan head.

The smell is sour at first, but it quickly subsides to allow a caramel malty sweetness through, along with a berry-like fruitiness. Slightly nutty/earthy with intermingle with soft woodiness and a spicy sharpness. Very complex aroma.

The taste is sour/tart fruitiness with balancing caramel-candy sweetness. Woody/earthy notes come through more as it warms/progresses. Finishes sweet and sour.

Softly carbonated in a medium body, it leaves an iron/metallic feel on the palate that interferes with the mouthfeel, and drinkability. Still this is an aromatic, complex one - a classic certainly worth checking out.

jwc215, Aug 18, 2007
Photo of Crosling
2.13/5  rDev -49.2%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

375 mL, with too many floaties. I love yeast at the bottom, but not so much that I can only decant half the beer. Muddy brown with a full Belgian foam. Aromatically mediocre. It’s very applely, with a blend of granny smith and red apples. Also hints of banana bread. Definately more sweet than sour, and a beer that’s rumored to have gone through numerous changes the past decade. Maybe this was once a classic, but that was before my time. Now it’s just a sweet, drinkable, approachable brown ale. It has a unique taste, but is just too sweet and one dimensional.

Crosling, Aug 01, 2007
Photo of goochpunch
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2006.

Pours out a rusty brown with a thin head that fizzles to a partial covering of thin bubbles atop the beer. Leaves some sheets of nearly solid lace. Smells of dried, chewy fruit, pomegranate, toasty malts, lactic acid, grapes, cherries, and a subtle woodiness. Sourness comes out more in the flavor, as well as wood characteristics, and it's all for the better. There is also a malty sweetness that anchors the sourness down so as not to run wild. Darker malts come forth in the middle amidst cherry flavors and, towards the end, a roast quality comes forth. Finishes with a sharp dryness contrasting to the sweeter middle. Woody tannins round this out in the finish as well. Mouthfeel is moderate to full with jumpy carbonation. Fantastic beer and well worth the money. I could see the overall sweetness of the beer MAYBE becoming a bit much in a "session," but I doubt it.

goochpunch, Jul 21, 2007
Photo of eepopporkahah
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - The cork exploded out of the bottle, startling the entire bar. (sorry.) It poured with a thick head which thinned out somewhat to one finger's width. Very ruddy garnet color, pretty dark with a few trails of bubbles rushing up from the bottom.
Smell - Some black pipe tobacco, a lot of vanilla and sweet dark cherries. Heavy stuff.
Taste - Crazy. The first flavors are all blackberry, blackcurrant, blueberry, and 'grade b' maple syrup. Then comes a somewhat large helping of tannin. The finish is all molasses and milk chocolate
Mouthfeel - Mildly effervescent, more than I was expecting, to be sure, but nothing out of control. The boy of the beer was on the syrupy side but still quite well balanced.
Drinkability - Due to its high rating on the weirdness scale, I wouldn't want to drink it all the time, but it is something to be experienced.

This beer would be great with some cherry cheesecake of maybe some fruitcake (for those of you who are into fruitcake...I certainly am!).

eepopporkahah, Jun 15, 2007
Photo of roblowther
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Who doesn't love the paper-wrapped bottle? I have to go up a half point on appearance just for that. Its a murky reddish brown, very cloudy, with no real head. The smell is sour cherries with a sharp, acidic note to it. There is a malt in there as well as the aroma of fresh grape juice. The taste is sweet malt, cherries, and pipe smoke. Yes pipe smoke. I have no idea what that is I'm trying to describe but that's as close as I come. It finishes dry, though, which is a much-needed and delightful balance. Nice, nice, nice. The mouthfeel is syrupy almost too much so but again, the finish saves the day. Light carbonation provides balance and saves the beer from veering into cough syrup territory. It is lightly but nicely carbonated. The drinkability is good, with the balances making the experience. This is a very complex beer with many sides to its personality. Definitely worth a trot around the track. or two.

roblowther, Jun 05, 2007
Goudenband from Brouwerij Liefmans
94 out of 100 based on 1,151 ratings.