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Goudenband - Brouwerij Liefmans

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

557 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 557
Hads: 1,297
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 15.83%
Wants: 151
Gots: 173 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Liefmans visit their website

Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 02-24-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (13) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Goudenband Alström Bros
Reviews: 557 | Hads: 1,297
Photo of GreenCard
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2002...

Appearance: reddish brown (almost chestnut), a bit hazy, thinnish layer of tan head that slowly compacts to a thin cap

Aroma: lactic and corky/musty, a hint of wood, vinous, a dash of soy sauce and nail-polish

Flavor: mild malt base with an initial tanginess and an overlying corkiness, the tan increases towards the end of the palette, finish is semi-dry with caramel malt and vinegar in the aftertaste, also a bit of wood-tannin bitterness

Mouthfeel: medium body, gentle carbonation, some warmth

Overall Impression: Finally tried this old classic. Definitely a fan of their kriekenbier (both the sweetened and the natural one), so it was nice to taste the base beer. Swirling up and adding the bottle-sediment really kicks up the complexity. Since Rodenbach has "gone commercial", this may be it's rustic replacement.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2002 vintage, according to the cork in the 750ml bottle. My brother picked this up for Easter dinner, took a sniff and a taste, and said no thanks to any more. Great, more for me!
This brew had a fine russet brown color and a short-lived vanilla colored head that settled down to a thin cap and broken ring. The nose had a sweet/sour aroma of candy sugar, caramel, yeast and that wonderfully sour mustiness I'm really coming to enjoy.
The taste had the tartly sweet flavor of green apple drizzled in caramel. Then came a sour cherry flavor laced with a barnyard-inspired funk indicative of a wild yeast influence. Real tasty with a drily sour finish. The feel was medium-bodied, puckering and dry.
Overall, this was a superbly drinkable brew. The taste was not as sour as the nose lead me to expect. Hats off to my brother Carlsbadbeer for picking this one out of the mix.

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Photo of vladtheimpaler
4.64/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sent mkobes on a quest for Allagash 4 and she came back with this beauty! 750 ml wrapped green bottle with a cork that says 2001. Dark brownish red, with floaties and a nice big tan head. Musty soured aroma that is to die for. Indescribable. Soured jolly rancher-like flavor of apple cider and apple skins. Full bodied and smooth. Delicious. This beer rocks!!!!

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Photo of oberon
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Its great to have a chance to try world classics like this you really need to savor beer like this,pours a great brown color with very nice red tints showing thru everywhere in the glass not as much head as expected but the color was awesome.A very complex aroma consisting of some mustiness when first opening andsour cheery with a nice spicey element allspice maybe?Taste is oaky and sour but not nearly as sour as I thought it would be wich is a good thing for me I pick up a light spice not as well with a vinegar and light salty note in the finish.Wow a great extremely complex beer one to savor for sure.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.82/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cork Date 2001, Sampled March 2004
Pours a hazy deep red color with no head at all. Only lightly carbonated. A sharp acetic aroma emanates from my glass, as well as notes of musty cork, alcohol, aged malt, and a bunch of other things that I can't quite pick out. The taste is not nearly as sour as the aroma would suggest. An astringent tannic finish that coats the mouth is preceeded by a light sweetness that counter balances the sourness. Definitely a woody finish to this beer, a bit oaky. Notes of raisin, red wine, musky mustiness.

This beer is good but it seems to be missing a bit of balance. Perhaps I am comparing it a bit too much to Rodenbach Grand Cru, but the balance is so much more complete in the Grand Cru.

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

My favorite beer of all time? Perhaps, even though I do not drink but once a year.

Deep mahogany with low carbonation. About 8% abv but you would never know it. Complex malts and sourness create a delicate balancing act, keeping both in check.

Sour, but not too much, how do they do it. Oak, almonds, currants carry through the flavor into the finish.

Don't think of beer when you drink this, but a fine aged wine...

Enjoy and be surprised!

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Photo of bditty187
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Intimidating bloody-purple hue, rather dense, the carbonation was obviously small, the corked didn’t “pop” off and no head was formed as I poured this, only a small ring of white foamy that shortly left. There was massive amount of yeast sediment that found their way into my glass. It is an impressive beverage visually. The nose is potent, mouthwateringly tart, traces of oak, almonds, aged red wine, fresh grapes, with a mild trace of Brettanomyces at the end. The palate is sour, why minces words? The secondary flavors mingle well with the tartness, hints of oak, almonds, vanilla, young cherries, crab apples, old hops that impart a light cheesiness, fleeting hints of sugar, candy, and cider. It is not as sweet as I thought it would be nor is it as sour. The taste is beautiful, it is impressively light but so well constructed you fail to fully recognize where one flavor starts and the other one ends. The body is thin, medium-light; the sensation of carbonation was completely absent. There is not a note of 8% abv in the taste, might as well be alcohol free. It is supremely drinkable largely because of the refreshing yet puckering sourness that is followed by an acidic bite. This is an impressive beverage.

2001 Vintage. Purchased in the 12-ounce bottle in Lincoln. I will get more.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

1.5 L bottle with text stating that this is the "Perfect provision beer for 2000." Presumably this was bottle in 1999, then, in anticipation of Y2K hijinks. The bottle was left out on the porch of a rural Ontario cabin and opened near midnight on New Years Eve, then served in a wine glass.

Appearance: Murky medium brown topped by a modest offwhite head that is quite short lived. Wee bits and blobs are left on the glass as this is consumed.

Smell: Sour malt and oaky wood goodness with faint tart cherries. Vinous, overall.

Taste: Tart, tart, tart. Wow, a whole dang brothel of tarts. Sour cherry and tannic woods with hints of toasted malts.

Mouthfeel: The high acidity makes from some snappy crispness. Still, it's quite medium bodied. Excellent palate cleanser. I could see this going quite well with a salad that has some bleu or feta cheese on it.

Drinkability: You really have to love the acidic beers to like this one. I'll say it again: very tart. Approached an old cider at some points.

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Photo of waughbrew
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Chunkiest beer I have ever drank, seen, or heard about. Even without the last 1/2 inch of the bottle poured, there was an ungodly amount of brown sludgy chunks in my glass. Very unappetizing. Other than that it looks good. Light brown in color with a beautiful head with good retention. Smells great - nice malt character that is hard to place, no hop aroma to mention, but an earthy kick that promises an intriguing flavor. First thing I notice when drinking it is the fabulous mouthfeel - so soft and creamy yet a rather thin body. Taste has that lightly roasted malt with the undercurrent of yeast. A wonderful balance of flavors - nothing sticks out. I expected, and would slightly prefer, a bit more tartness/sourness. But the subtlety of the beer is its beauty. A great one if you can get past the sludge.

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Photo of crookedhalo
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle cork dated 11-2001. No head other than soapy bubbles from the pour upon a crimson brown liquid. Flaky particle suspension. Rich wine-like aromas; sour and berry. Wild and tangy to the tongue; sweet yet vinegary. Rather acidic and palate cleansing. First time I tried this beer was unexpected. Now, I couldn't get enough of it. Sipping it causes salivation glands to go crazy, begging for another sip to neutralize the astringency.

Sampled a bottle vintage 1987 by the date in the cork. Popped like a fresh bottle, except the cork was nice and soaked; wet. Muted Goudenband in the nose. Blackberry and maybe some grape. Excellent prune skin-like malty sweetness followed with the usual Goudenband tartness, yet softer. Wonderfully mellow. Dark streaks of sediment left on inside of bottle inticating that it had been kept on its side most of its life. Good experience; hadn't upped any marks, but a good experience nonetheless..

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Photo of mschofield
4.57/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

1998 bottling
Dark red, with no head whatsoever. Slightly hazy, with clumps at the bottom.
Alcohol and dark fruit aroma, woody.
Strong dark fruit flavor, cherry and raisin, but mostly cherry, wonderfully sour, smooth and tart. Almost like sherry about halfway through.
Medium bodied. Very drinkable, I have to buy more, my first try of a Flanders Red, and I can't wait to try another.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown/mahogany color with a decent to low beige head and good carbonation. Prominent sour aroma but also sweet & sour at the same time. Prominent sour flavor with winey characteristics. Medium bodied but seems lighter due to airyness.

Label states: "Provision Beer" & "Second fermentation in bottle"

Per M.J. - G.B.B.: 4 mo. old blended with stock 2 or 3 times that age. Pilsner, Crystal, and Roast malts. Goldings and Saaz hops.

(12.7 oz / 375 ml corked bottle w/ wire cage) ?
(12 oz / 355 ml per paper wrapping) ?

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Photo of Shaw
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep red-brown with a very effervescent -- almost soda-like -- head that quickly subsides.

The smell is slightly sour and musty (possibly from the cork?) with complex ester aromas I can't identify.

The taste has many of the same characteristics of the aroma, but even more complex. Not as sour as other beers in the style, I like how Goudenband is a little more subtle, which adds to its drinkability, even consider its high alcohol content.

As someone who is used to massively hoppy American ales, it's great to have a beer that is just as good but in a totally different direction taste-wise.

Goudenband is an excellent beer worth paying a premium for.

On a side note, I have to wonder why this beer comes corked. I think the snooty appeal a cork has must be outweighed by the quality-control issues they cause. Bottle caps or even screwcaps don't have the high failure rate -- which is undetectable until the bottle is opened -- that cork does. I say, use a bottle cap and let your customers taste the beer the way you brewed it.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 8/24/03

Pours to a mahagany color with a small tan head. The aroma is sweet, tart, with sour apples and cherry aromas. It also has the medicinal hay-like aromas. The flavor is tart and sweet. It has the sour cherries up front then it flows to a sour apple flavor in the finish. It is a full-bodied brew that is very tart. A decent brew.

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Photo of granger10
3.17/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a deep, dark amber color but where's the head? Looking at it I see tons of yeast sediment going around. The bottle leaves a thick layer of yeast on the bottom of it. Smell is sharply tart previewing the taste to me. Taste is tart, super tart upfront. Sour fruits hit me like a one-two punch. Quite astringent. After the initial tartness there's a myriad of flavors to this one. Roasted malts, sweet fruits, woody base to it, and even some caramel. The finish is super dry and yeasty with some breadiness mixed in as well. Improved as it warmed but the beer in the end was overly sweet and the tartness just didn't hold together. I just couldn't really get into it....and the ridiculous amount of yeast made me kind of sick!

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Photo of packetknife
4.59/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice deep brown, relatively crystal, very thin band of light brown head. At first glance after pour I thought I'd be dissapointed, seemed like dead soda. Smells like unfinished maple wood IMO or perhaps white oak w/ some finish. Slightly tart, like a not-so-ripe apple. Sweet finish that lingers. At one point I thought about chewing leather when I was a kid, a kinda nostalgic thing. I'm rather lost for words, the wrapping paper on the botle had comments from Michael Jackson about it being the best brown ale in the world. And I think he might be right, it was by far the best I've had. Feels brutally smooth and doesn't reflect 8%, not in the least. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.83/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pourred a nice deep brown brew with a dark head that stayed on for a while. Very acidic and sour taste with a hint of sugar. This is OK but not my favorite of the Liefmans. Still I noticed that this one has more head then the other Liefmans and lots of sediment at the bottom...

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Photo of ColForbin
4.97/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The bottle I had was wrapped in paper and corked, with the cork dated 1998. The beer poured a beautiful dark red/brown with a thin white head. Try as I might, some large flecks of yeast managed to find their way into my glass, so I had to deduct half a point from appearance. The nose is full of sour cherry smell and maybe some cooked plums. Taste is more of the same, with a light cartbonation lifting the sour flavor off you tongue and revealing a slight maltiness. A very dry finish, leaving you wanting more. Now that I can't find Rodenbach, this is probably my favorite beer. A world classic.

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Photo of Jon
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Comparative tasting with Duchesse de Bourgogne 10/17/03.

Chestnut brown/mahogany color with just the slightest ring of head. Appears virtually flat in the glass. Oak, acidity, funky barnyard and apple are all present in the bouquet, along with a touch of caramel. Goudenband's flavor starts off with a mouthwatering tartness that lends itself to an onslaught of oak, vanilla, green apple and perpetual acidity that lasts long on the finish. The carbonation is just barely in place, creating a rather elegant mouthfeel. Turns a touch syrupy as it warms. Quite refreshing while hardly showing any of its 8% alcohol content. More thirst quenching than the Duchesse, although not quite as mouthfilling. Regardless, a benchmark for Oud Bruin.

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Photo of beerguy101
2.94/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark red brown color. Small head. Aroma is tart, sour cherries and musty. A medium bodied Flemish sour. Kind of flat tasting, not very carbonated. Tart and sour, but there is some nice underlying maltyness, but mostly it the sour cherry flavor. This may be an old/bad bottle, as most of the other reviews I’ve read mention the high variability of this beer. If this is an OK bottle that it kind of disappointing. Still very drinkable, but not what I was expecting. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is dry. Aftertaste is tart and a little vinous.

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Photo of mickeymac
4.37/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from paper-wrapped 750 ml bottle with a 2002 cork, it pours an eye-pleasing mix between dark brown and garnet. The smell is initially tart, with dark, ripe fruit, and loads of funky Belgian yeast. The taste is slightly puckering and backed by a nice fruity sweetness, notably date and raisin with hints of cherry. In the end, it all comes together very nicely with an impressive balance. The mouthfeel is wonderfully creamy and the alcohol is well-hidden. This is quite a beer.

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Photo of wofat
3.8/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a moderate brown... with very large bubbles of carbonation, but very little actual head / low head retention. Aroma of a tart fruit and mild sweetness. Flavor is full of apples and raisens. A very tasty beer and a treat to have on tap. I haven't had many beers of this style but will have to explore it further.

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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.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just got this beer into B.C. liquor stores and I couldn't wait to
unwrap the tissue on this classic brown. The first thing that struck
me about this beer was the subdued complexity that comes from
the addition of the older beer in the brewing process. The slight
iron bite reminds me of Strong Suffolk but the taste comes across
as Belgian. This is a beer to be consumed once the weather
turns cold and nasty.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served as a sample at the Sharp Edge Beer Emporium. The color was a dark amber, with some head. The smell was mostly malt, with some slight sour notes. The taste was overwhelmingly sour (as in lemon juice sour), with a sweet malt base underneath. Mouthfeel was very smooth. Drinkability-wise, could have a few more before the sourness overtook my mouth.

I've been waiting to try Rodenbach, but this is an excellent substitute. With it's widespread availability, if I ever feel like drinking liquid SweetTarts, I'll know right where to go!!

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Goudenband from Brouwerij Liefmans
93 out of 100 based on 557 ratings.