Goudenband - Brouwerij Liefmans

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GoudenbandGoudenband

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

553 Reviews
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 553
Hads: 1,266
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 10.31%
Wants: 140
Gots: 158 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Liefmans visit their website
Belgium

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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 553 | Hads: 1,266
Photo of AlexJ
4.82/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Murky burgundy with a thin beige head that forms a thin ring as it receeds. Delicate whisps of lace in my balloon goblet.

Aroma is dark sticky fruits, tart cherries, sour must, yeast, oak, and lots of berries. I just know it's gonna be good, the aroma makes my mouth water.

Flavor is simply incredible; dark fruit and berries sour earth, dry rotten wood, leather, pit fruit, oak. Perfectly sweet and sour. Very complex. I hold each sip for a contemplative moment before swallowing. Delicious.

Body is medium, creamy, and sticky on the lips. At 8% this is the strongest Oud Bruin I've had, but there is no trace of the strength. I could drink buckets of this delicious potion. Thanks to Dan @ Flying Saucer for sharing! (721 characters)

Photo of brdc
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Small corked bottle; 2006 vintage, good until 2016.

Reddish brown, glowing with amber highlights, and a nice light orange head, with good retention and lacing. Some haziness.
Great aroma, fruity, vinegar, tart and sour notes, along with some melted brown sugar.
Creamy yet highly drinkable, it has a perfect interplay of sweet and sour. Fruity sweet, tart, sour, sweet again, vinegary at times. It keeps coming, and it keeps changing.
Amazing, and it will probably be great in a carbonnade flamande.
I need more of this. (524 characters)

Photo of rye726
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'06 bottle poured at 45F. Some signs of leaking from the cork.

Glowing mahogany color with a tan head that settles to a nice cover. Very good lacing.

Lots of sweet malts with tart cherries and berries. Good oaky aromas and possibly some floral hops.

The flavor has candy malts, dates, figs and tart cherries all surrounded by oak. A sherry quality emerges as it warms.

Good thick and full body with good carbonation. Becomes quite dry towards the finish. Delicate, crisp, velvety and refreshing.

Superb example of the style. It starts almost too malty until the tart funk kicks in and everything comes together. Pair well with most any mal or snack. (656 characters)

Photo of Suds
4.79/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I’d wanted to try this beer for years. Naturally, I was ecstatic when a good friend brought me a bottle as a gift at a recent party. I love the paper…just seems to add a touch of class when a beer is wrapped in tissue paper. Pours a muddy, ruddy, reddish-brown color. Despite extreme care on the pour, a couple of enticing yeast chunks plop into the goblet. The head is large, with a rocky surface and enormous bubbles. Beautiful.
The smell on this brew is dizzyingly complex. The first thing I get is an intense sensation of sour cherries. It sort of frames the beer with a tart, slightly sour spritziness. Next, there’s freshly cut wood, caramel, mustiness (cheese?), and a funky-spunky yeastiness. Cherries again in the taste…wow. It’s fizzy, with a fleeting (but at times quite intense) maltiness. It alternates between a caramel-like sugary sensation and the sour-tartness.
This beer is a master at hiding it’s ABV…no sense of alcohol at all. Refreshing and extremely satisfying. This brew is wondrously rewarding!!!! (Cork is printed with the year 2003) (1,069 characters)

Photo of Hachiman
4.79/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very attractive packaging, corked and wrapped in dark blue tissue paper to which the labels are attached. Makes cleaning and recycling easy!

This is a re-review. I fear my previous bottle was a little too old. This one smelled and tasted so much better.

Pours almost clear dark brown with a big tight tan head. Clumpy lacing.

Smells enticing, with sweet, fruity aromas.

Tastes good again sweet and fruity elements are dominant. A little alcohol volatility, but not unpleasant. And almost no bitterness, and what there is, is hoppy, so it blends well with the fruity flavors. Outstanding, really.

Very smooth and substantial on the tongue.

Overall, a good, smooth sipper that would probably taste good with roasted meats. (726 characters)

Photo of GabrielM
4.77/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip.

A - much darker than expected - deep brown with a good amount of off-white head on top. Good lacing.

S - cherries, wood, a ton of dark fruit, currants, funk. Smells amazing!

T - cherries and dark fruit hit the tongue first with a blast of tartness, but it's quickly evened out by some sweetness and wood flavors. I was actually surprised that the sourness was as tame as it was - the initial taste felt like it was going to be really intense, but it was just right.

M - tastes great and leaves a really pleasant feeling in my mouth, even long after each sip. I'm really pleased.

D - I could drink A LOT of this. Outstanding. (653 characters)

Photo of MJR
4.76/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle.
Cork dated 2001.

Appearance: Pours a reddish-brown color. This one has very little clarity, even with a careful pour that left the yeast at the bottom of the bottle. My measured pour gave way to a light tan head that started out around half an inch, then quickly shrunk down to a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Complex as all hell... The strongest component of the aroma is the sourness, which comes across as both musty and vinous. Underneath the barnyard smell is a sturdy malt backbone. There's a solid fruitiness as well, which is unusual considering there's no actual fruit used in this brew.

Taste: The first sip is nearly puckering in it's sourness and tartness. I get the impression of fruits soaked in vinegar. There's the undercurrent of malt again, just like in the aroma, but it's merely the understudy of this show. Despite not being employing in the creation of this beer, tart cherries make themselves known. Of course, they come and go...as the entire flavor profile bounces back and forth between sweet and sour. As it warms, more and more layers unfold and add to the experience...

Mouthfeel: The dryness of this beer sucks all the moisture out of your mouth, and when you go to take another sip to replace it...it doesn't happen. Oh...the vicious, yet wonderful, cycle... Painfully dry with a fairly thin mouthfeel.

Drinkability: For those who dig the style, the drinkability is tip-top. This is a great slow sipper, though it seems like it would also match up great with food. I'd like to pair this one with a few of my favorite dishes.

A 'thank you' goes out to 'Realale' for introducing me to this style. I'd been looking forward to trying a Oud Bruin, and it's now a favorite! (1,754 characters)

Photo of devlishdamsel
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is nothing short of amazing. I could drink it every night! I found it incredibly complex, yet surprisingly smooth . The intense flavors were a treat to my palate. The scent and mouth feel was nothing short of intoxicating. Definitely one of my favorites. (264 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
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. (1,935 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.74/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Deep chestnut color to mahogany would be clear if it were not so dense. Sports a 1” sudsy cream to ttan colored head.
S: Lemony tartness, traces of wet horse blanket, fruit, and caramel malt.
T: Cherry malt with a little wine character, meaty yeast, and a moderate tartness moderated by the malt flavors.
F: Very soft in the mouth with a medium body and carbonation.
O: A very refreshing sipping beer that has a nice balance between its various components. (465 characters)

Photo of techdiver
4.74/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cork 2.006, cage 10-2016

Pours a cloudy reddish brown with a modest tan head.

Sour cherry nose.

Taste echoes the nose, with malt and a bit more complexity.

Great carbonation, feels relatively light.

Eminently drinkable, very enjoyable. Not TOO anything. Just a great tasting and easy drinking brew. (315 characters)

Photo of marc77
4.74/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled 11/2001. Murky dark garnet hue. Creamy, light beige spotty head settles slowly into a thin, largely bubbled layer. Isolated rounded wisps of lace. Mellow vanilla-like oak, hint of carob, unripe plums and darkly caramelized sugar in aroma. Mild notes of wet horse Brettanomyces w/ trace cheesy hops become easily discernible as the brew breathes. Deceptively restrained aromawise. Assertive, nearly pucker inducing lactic tartness hits and envelopes the palate at first. Tartness then mellows slightly to allow earthy, mildly toasted oak notes to emerge concomitantly with a sweet & sour melange of kumquats and unripe cherry. Earth tinged wild yeast must emerges late along with an overshadowed, yet complementing hint of buttery, deeply caramelized malt. Smooth and softly dextrinous with an agreeably fluid, light viscosity. Both creamy, yet crisp in mouthfeel. Finishes with a abrupt snap of brown sugar sweetness, but otherwise well attenuated and cleanly tart with a continuation of overripe red currant tartness. Goudenband is a complex and delicious brew that morphs continually as it breathes. There's a tremendous depth of tartness overall slightly offset with a balmy caramelized malt presence. Superbly refreshing, yet satiating in nature. A true favorite of mine. (1,283 characters)

Photo of gbontrag
4.73/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma is of brown bread, fruitcake with rum.

Tastes of crushed bing cherries, aged apple cider, fruitcake with citron and honey. It's simply unfair that something with such an effervescent mouthfeel also packs so much fruity flavor without being intensely sweet, or sour. The sourness that is present is the same kind you get from fruit juice, it makes you crave the next sip. Cherry nougat.

The color is dulled walnut. The big froth melts into bits of lace.
so delicious. (479 characters)

Photo of pbrian
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

1999 bottling. Pours dark amberish red, impossible not to get some good chunks of yeast floating around. Minimal wisp of head around the edges. Aroma of cherries, raisons, a little musty and oaky. Ahh, the flavor. Usually a beer will start this way and finish that way. Everything happens at once with this one. So in no particular order of appearance- rich sweet malts, prunes, sweet and sour sensations, astringent, oak barrels, tart and citric. Oh so deep for a medium to light bodied beer. Drinkability? Let's just say that its cost per minute of enjoyment was very high. (575 characters)

Photo of santoslhalper
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearence: Pours a dark brown with a little yeast at the bottom. The head is thin but creamy and stays for a while.

Smell: The smell is an incredibly nutty smell, with strong malt notes and a rich creamy chocolate background.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is excellent, with wonderful nutty notes everyone. The malts are so wild and so tame at the same time. The balance is just unbelievable. The beer finishes smooth, rich and full of character, with an aftertaste that lingers long into the night. I love it.

Drinkability and Overall: A classic that actually lives up to it's hype. This beer ahcieves the most perfect balance possible, and the result is one of the best tasting beers I've ever had. This is a must try in my opinion. (745 characters)

Photo of crwills
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

330 mL unlabeled, corked green bottle, wrapped in blue and white paper. Date on the cork says this one expires in 2016! And here I was, thinking that, after having it for over a year, I should get to drinking it. That said, no regrets!

Poured a deep reddish brown with a bubbly, fluffy head. I had to slow down the pour to make sure it didn't go over. I used a Sinha glass and it looked great!

Aroma is sour and leathery, with that "horse blanket" aroma that's hard to place. Also some figs and prunes and a little bit of chocolate, maybe.

Flavour is fantastic (hence the "5"). Sour, but not overpoweringly so, with complex notes of damp earth, "farm", grass, dark fruits, peaches, and cherries. Sourness lingers in the finish but, again, it's pleasant and refreshing rather than tart. Difficult to describe everything that's going on here, but in terms of straight-up flavour this has to be one of my favourites.

I'm almost sure I remember buying this at the LCBO. If so, I hope it comes back in the Fall again -- would be great to get (a lot) more. (1,063 characters)

Photo of Stopper
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

There was very little "pop" to my cork, and it poured very watery, with few large bubbles on top -- never even enough to cover the whole surface. It's a extremely dark opaque plum-brown. The aroma is a touch sour, and very vinous, quite similar to a dry red wine, but differing in having a more sweet full malty base than fruity. The initial sip is very full-bodied, and slightly malty, but with a sour twinge and dominated by similar vinous characters to those found in the nose. This rounds to a very balanced sweet and sour middle, then leaves a tart grapey, plumy sweetness on the palate in the finish with the subtlest hint of a hop spice.

This beer could be better with a bit more carbonation. I expect that this bottle was probably just a bit less carbonated than they normally are. The vinous character of this beer in the nose and body is striking and truly amazing! I've not had a beer before that tastes quite like this, and it strikes me as at least as similar to some red wines I've had as to any beer I've ever had. It's delicious, warming, and full of interest from the aroma to the finish. I'll definitely be picking up more of these in the future. (1,168 characters)

Photo of HopheadEd
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Everyone has a beer they love, and there's a beer for every taste. Well, I found mine. The more tart the better. Pours a murky brown with a thin head that fades quickly. Leaves a small lace. The aroma is of sour apples, sour something... The taste is of, bear with me now, sweet tarts. Yeah, like the ones when you were a kid. Tart, sour, bittersweet, dry, all the elements I love. Just a little lacking on the finish, but all in all, one of my favorite styles. Also not a bad ale. (481 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4.71/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes: 1992 Vintage(!!!), OLD corked and caged 12+oz bottle with no freshness date. It cost me $6.99. 1992 is printed on the cork, telling us what vintage this brew is. 1992!, you could have fooled me. This 11 year old beer poured a dark brown colour which was cloudy and hazy from some Sediment. It had some fine bubbles in it and quite a bit of carbonation but no real head. It smelled of apple cider, vinegar, various fruits, malts, alcohol, and candi sugar. It tasted like a melange of the above, very cidery, complex, vinous, fruity(without the fruit), lamibc and gueze-like. I would of never believed that beer this old, could still be soooo damn tasty! I mean, I have had a 94 Thomas Hardy's recently but that is a beer which is meant to be aged. This bottle has been sitting on a store shelf for 11 years and it is still an amazing elixer. The mouthfeel was very crisp, oily, dry and astringent all at once. There was a good dose of carbonation in this beer which made the drinkability factor go up to a very high level. If 11 year old Goudenaband is this good, how good is fresh goudenband???even better? or worse? I will soon get some fresh samples of this beer and make my own comparisons. But until than...what a find this was!!!
Cheers!,
F. (1,255 characters)

Photo of crossovert
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz corked, caged, and paper covered green bottle. The cork says 2005, the cap says 2015.

Pours with a thing but nice off-white head atop a mysterious reddish brown with some floaties.

The smell is quite complex with an overlying vinegar and sourness. Underneath is cherries and oak and below that caramal and candi sugar.

The flavor is sweeter than expected and that helps it to be delicious. Just pure deliciousness. It is the perfect combo of sweet and sour. The vinegar isn't too prevalent in the taste and instead there is a lot more caramel and cherry flavors with a bit of oakiness and oxidized apple.

The mouthfeel is nice and full-boded with a perfect amount of carbonation.

This is one of the better beers I have tried, a perfect blending of flavors that goes down super easy. (793 characters)

Photo of Moorkop
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
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. (379 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12/9/05- Purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle, WA.

Presentation- 12.7 oz bottle which is both corked and caged and wrapped in a nice white wrapper. No freshness info to be found though. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Brown coloring with ruby highlights. 3/4 inch head of which 1/4 inch holds steady the entire way down. Light streak of lace.

Smell- Kind of a light smeller. Had esters of dark fruits (dates, raisins and figs). Caramel malts with some dark chocolate as well.
Didn't really smell sour though.

Taste- Oh wow! Just as an Oud Bruin is supposed to be, I guess. Lovely sweet and sour flavor, with sweet coming into play more than sour. Lots of subtle caramel and toffee flavors and nice amounts of sweet raisins and dates. Maybe a tad of hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with a lower to average carbonation level. Makes you salivate for more after each sip.

Drinkability- My favorite Oud Bruin out the the few I've had, hands down. I had a bottle of this last year, but never got to drink it because it fell out of my DBF onto the carpet and broke :( If I ever see it again, there is going to be at least 5-10 bottles going back with me. (1,180 characters)

Photo of jreitman
4.67/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2001 750ml: Wonderfully complex aroma. Transparent dark brown with good head retention. Tart cherry like flavors and some nice malt sweetness yield to some metallic musty undertones. The beer is pretty well balanced from the tart and the sweet. Not for everyone but a great oud bruin. (288 characters)

Photo of RedHaze
4.67/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Update 21Jun2009, 750ml bottled 2006 from the "cellar".
Rating has been adjusted accordingly.

Still very cloudy and murky in appearance, as expected.

The sourness is very evident still, but a nice fruity (cherries, plums and green apples) sweetness has begun to come through a little more than before. The vinegar notes have become a little more muted, and the the finish has smoothed out quite a bit with a little less acidity. This has turned into one hell of a fine sour beer, and I hope the remaining bottles that I have get only better.

750ml bottle, 2006. 4.25 rating.

Pours a dark and cloudy ruby tinged brown with a one finger head that fades quickly to a thin soapy cap. The lacing is minimal, but it does stick to the glass nicely.

Smell; sour green apples and cherries with a hint of vinegar come floating out of the glass before I even finish pouring. A little brown sugar with a touch of oak are present as well as a hint of citrus.

Taste; very sour and acidic, with cherries and sour apples with that touch of citrus in the background. A little bit of brown sugar helps to keep the sourness in check a bit. The oak helps to smooth out the finish and gives it a bit of a drying effect on the palate.

Moutheel is medium bodied with an almost "spitzy" carbonation, and for me the drinkability is just great, but then I really love sour beers. (1,360 characters)

Photo of Mitchill
4.67/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lately this and the classic Rodenbach Grand Cru have been my go to sour fix within a reasonable price point. The appearance being a dark rusty brown color might not be the greatest thing you have ever seen but what it lacks in appearance it makes up for in taste. The smell is quite varied, you get oak, some acidity, and sour dark fruit. The taste seems to change and develop with both consumption and temperature, at first I get the oak presence, the dark fruits, vinegar acidity and then finally the much anticipated tartness. This beer is not too sour but has just enough lactobacillus to make me happy. It is priced reasonably and gives you the sour many of us crave until you can get your hands on 3F or Cantillon which seems to be more and more rare in my neck of the woods (780 characters)

Goudenband from Brouwerij Liefmans
93 out of 100 based on 553 ratings.