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Goudenband - Brouwerij Liefmans

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,158 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,158
Reviews: 548
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 114
Gots: 126 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,158 | Reviews: 548 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Wildman
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a cloudy dark red color and formed a huge foamy light pink head that coated the sides with lace and acted like a float. An aroma of malt, cherries and plums. The flavor was of malt, chocolate and cherries. It has a medium body and tart finish. A very nice beer and I hope that brewery is able to stay around.

Wildman, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a slightly hazy brown with an okay head that quickly fades but leaves some moderate lacing. Aromas of sweet malt and a hint of sour predominate in the nose. No funkiness, just some slight acetic qualities. The taste is similar. Its quite sweet without enough sour imo to balance the sugar. Sort of an Oud Bruin with training wheels. There are caramel and dark sugar (muscavado) notes and some light sourness that deepens just a bit at the very finish. The mouthfeel is smooth and easy drinking. I really think its a bit sweet for the style.

Georgiabeer, Jan 22, 2008
Photo of YonderWanderer
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a dirty brownish-red with a thin layer of foam that quickly dissipates.

S: Sour, vinegar, tartness. And that's about it. A hint of wood perhaps, but dominated by a sour smell.

T: Rich soury sweetness, with a great bite overall. This is amazingly tasty. The sour taste hangs around the edge the entire time, but the middle is a huge sweet malt. What makes it great? The incredible balance between the two. Amazing.

M: Well carbonated, with a slick mouthfeel.

D: This is an outstanding beer, and one that will gladly take a standard place on my shelf. It's damn good.

YonderWanderer, Jan 19, 2008
Photo of BeerBelcher
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was told at the time of ordering that this was a lambic, but the description on this site of it as an oud bruin makes a lot more sense. This beer had sourness in spades, and I do love sourness.

It poured a red brown opaqueness with very little head. Aroma was a significant malt character with some fruitiness; I saw another user mention plum and I think that's appropriate. Flavor was more complex fruitiness with a malt presence and significant amount of sourness. Most sour beers with a fruit character (there are some, like Berliner Weisse that have sour without much fruit) have a cherry character, and this one didn't, which I thought was unique and tasted good. Mouthfeel was about what I expected for a beer of this style.

I thought this was very good, and I'd recommend it. I had it on-tap at the Ginger Man.

BeerBelcher, Jan 19, 2008
Photo of garbercury
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, thanks Vintage for the hookup. Cork says 2006.

Second, any beer that the late, great Michael Jackson considers to be one of the best beers in the world is obviously worth trying and to take seriously.

Third, if the rumors of Liefmans demise are indeed true I am deeply saddened. This place MUST be saved!

A--Brownish with some amber tones. Not a lot of head after a careful pour but plenty of pieces of yeast in it. Some french vanilla lacing.

S--Fruity aroma, has the aroma of a sweet wine?

T--I am not somebody who likes to delve out fives liberally, but this gets one. This beer is frickin delicious. Oh boy, I cant believe how good this tastes. So complex, so much going on I really dont even know where to begin. Fruity,tart, fine.

M--Tangy on the tongue.

D--If the brewery is indeed going bankrupt, I would like to invest. So much love and care clearly went into this brew. It is the anti-Bud. Belgium has a gem in Liefmans. This is a must try is you enjoy complex, delicious, REAL beer.

garbercury, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of JDV
1.88/5  rDev -55.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Smells sweetish, metallic, and almost wine-like. Pours a chocolately brown with LOTS of suspended yeast/proteins all throughout and a short lived off white head. Incredibly unappealing look from the excessive yeast/protein particles hanging out like stationary gel capsules. Taste is smooth, overly sweet, a touch alcoholic, and some nice sourness. Honestly tastes like a mix of brown ale and a cheap reisling wine. The sourness is interesting but the sweetness level is not something I want in my beer, and although I’m sure tons of people appreciate this style, I found at least this one cloying and left the last half for the sink.

JDV, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Extremely sweet (port-like) malty aromas mixed with tart fruit and a dry powderiness.

Honey, not very clear, and a mild head.

Almost port sweetness with a lighter tartness and a juicy fruitiness. The sweetness grows on me.

Medium body and carbonation.

This brew was hard to drink in the beginning but it grew on me. In small sips I can explore this alien flavor on my palate and appreciate its awkward goodness.

MrHungryMonkey, Jan 13, 2008
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
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
Goudenband from Brouwerij Liefmans
94 out of 100 based on 1,158 ratings.