Brouwerij Liefmans

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Brouwerij Liefmans
Flanders Oud Bruin
Ranked #9
Ranked #3,427
4.18 | pDev: 10.29%
Sep 10, 2022
Feb 24, 2001
Notes: Liefmans Goudenband is one of the most distinctive dark beers in the world. Originally called IJzerenband (Iron Band) – a reference to the iron bands around the beer barrels – the bottle gained its champagne cork when it was renamed Liefmans Goudenband (Gold Band). Made in open vats with beer of mixed fermentation, it is left to mature for four to 12 months in the cellar. Mature beer is then fortified with younger beer, so the fermentation process starts up again.

Liefmans Goudenband is a beer for storing, and just keeps improving over the years like a fine wine. Even after ten years, this dark red beer tastes as fresh as ever. You’ll immediately pick up on the wonderful aromas of caramel, apple, rhubarb, cherries and malt. On the taste buds you will find hints of apple and cherries, combined with woody notes, while the aftertaste hints at nuts and dried raisins. The mildly acidic taste make this beer a perfect match for blue cheese.
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Photo of GuyFawkes
Reviewed by GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Had this on draft 9/1/22 @ the Hopleaf.

Mostly see-through brown/orange appearance.

Dark cherry, lemon & mild vinegar notes in the nose.

Medium thin mouthfeel.

Dark cherry & lemon flavors up front; artisanal vinegar & honey notes on the finish.

Elegant; so easy to drink for a "sour" beer. A stunner.
Sep 10, 2022
Rated: 3.65 by Eman17 from Illinois

Mar 05, 2022
Rated: 4.5 by bvargajr from Colorado

Feb 13, 2022
Rated: 4.34 by LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota

Oct 25, 2021
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
Reviewed by MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
750ml bottle. Paper wrapped bottle. Caged and corked bottle. Label says blended in 2016; cap has imprinted date of '09 2026'.
Ruby brown colored body, with reddish backlit highlights. Thin light tan head, which sticks around. Lacing sticks on all non-drinking sides.
Aroma of red wine with earthy, dark fruit.
Taste is woody, but also sweet from the fruit - apple, cherry, and raspberry. Has the caramel also. Aftertaste trails off quickly.
Medium mouth feel, and slightly smooth and syrupy. Carbonation is not a big deal here.
Tastes like a cross between a merlot and cherry cola. This aroma and taste expression is not often found. Slightly different flavor nuances are discovered with each sip. Really a treat. Very good paired with blue cheese.
Jun 29, 2021
Photo of GreesyFizeek
Reviewed by GreesyFizeek from New York

3.31/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
On tap at Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY.

This one pours a dark-ish murky brown color, with a small head, and not much lacing.

This smells like damp wood, cherry juice, green apple, pear, and red wine vinegar.

This is simultaneously too sweet and too vinegary for me - it's kind of a cloying medicinal sweetness for me, and when mixed with the old stale vinegar aspects, it definitely clashes. There's some nice woodiness and cherry skin, but it just doesn't work out for me. I know it's a classic beer, and maybe I'm missing out on something here, but it's just a contradictory set of flavors for me.

This is medium bodied, with a lower level of carbonation, and a soft finish. It's not particularly sour, by any means.

I wanted to like this one a lot more, but maybe it's just not for me.
Jun 28, 2021
Rated: 4.51 by blisscent from Rhode Island

Jun 20, 2021
Rated: 4.5 by Ristaccia from Nebraska

May 10, 2021
Rated: 4.01 by Donatas from Lithuania

Apr 30, 2021
Photo of andypeters1971
Reviewed by andypeters1971 from Georgia

3.77/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Hard to tell exactly what it is trying to be although it grows on you. I was hoping for more funk and candi sugar but it wasn't there. Probably would like it more after more tries
Apr 08, 2021
Rated: 3.94 by Noelito76 from New York

Mar 22, 2021
Photo of Sigmund
Reviewed by Sigmund from Norway

3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
330 ml bottle, from the Norwegian importer (I could swear I had rated this beer before, but apparently not). Dark reddish brown colour, large beige head. The aroma has first a whiff of smoke, then notes of red wine, red wine vinegar, oak and horse stable. Pleasant flavour, malty, fruity and only moderately sour, again notes of red wine, red wine vinegar and oak, hardly any noticeable hops. Still easy drinking, due to the fruitiness. The alcohol is well hidden. Nice one.
Mar 20, 2021
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Reviewed by Snowcrash000 from Germany

4.56/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
I will be doing this review in the form of a side-by-side comparing the 2011 to the 2019 vintage. The score can be applied to both, as I found them equally enjoyable despite their subtle differences, although I would probably subtract some points in regards to mouthfeel for the 2011 vintage.

Upon pouring, the color is an identical reddish mahogany coloration, with the 2019 managing a much more impressive, medium and fluffy, somewhat lasting, head while the 2011 pours with no head at all and the difference in carbonation is already noticeable here.

The nose is not quite as different as expected, with both vintages having a similar aroma of caramel malt, toffee, dark fruit and red berries, as well as some oak and tannic accents to them. The 2019 feels a bit brighter in the nose though, with the red berries, cherry, raspberry and cranberry in particular, standing out the most here, with lighter plum as well, while the 2011 has a deeper aroma to it, with the dark fruits taking over the red berries a little with additional notes of raisin and fig, although the red berries are still present.

The taste very much follows the nose, with a very similar overall flavor profile that varies a little in accentuation. The 2019 feels a bit more acidic, fresh and vibrant, with the tart red berry notes of cherry, raspberry and cranberry standing out the most, while the 2011 is a bit rounder and more mellow, with not quite as vibrant, but deeper and a bit more complex dark fruit and red berry notes of raisin, fig, plum, cherry and elderberry, while it also has a richer caramel malt presence, making this one a little sweeter, with a more distinct toffee presence. Also, the 2011 feels perhaps just a little bit more tannic, with just a hint of balsamic vinegar creeping in, although there's a very similar amount of musty oak to both of them.

I think that the biggest difference between these vintages probably lies in the body and mouthfeel, with the 2011 having quite noticeably less carbonation to it, feeling just a little flat, although it's really not too bad.

Overall, I was quite surprised by how similar these tasted at 8 years apart, with the 2011 being almost 10 years old, but then again I guess it really makes sense when you consider that this is not a hoppy beer to begin, which is quite focussed on the malt and bacteria in the first place. I honestly didn't believe the label at first, which states that "even after 10 years this tastes as fresh as ever", but this really is mostly true, with very little oxidation and signs of that typical sherry character showing through here.

Of course it's not quite as fresh, but the flavor profile really is very similar, with the 2019 feeling a bit more tart and vibrant and the 2011 a bit more sweet and mellow, but I did like them both equally for their different accentuations, with the 2019 being more fresh and expressive and the 2011 more complex and well-rounded overall. Although, once again, the difference really is quite subtle here, which I think is amazing considering that these are 8 years apart. I really do think that carbonation is the most noticeable difference here, which is why I probably prefered the 2019 just a little bit, but they both make for a very enjoyable drinking experience that is quite vibrant, rich and well-balanced, just with the focus shifting a little.
Feb 13, 2021
Rated: 4.29 by golf4collet from West Virginia

Feb 08, 2021
Rated: 4.29 by odenbr12 from New Jersey

Nov 22, 2020
Photo of beerrat
Reviewed by beerrat from Virginia

4.83/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Pours dark with red tint.
Little sour smell
Taste of light sour (not over do)
Feel the light sweet taste and light sourness
Overall one outstanding easy drinking beer. Would go together with some cheese or cheese cake.
Oct 21, 2020
Photo of puck1225
Reviewed by puck1225 from Texas

4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
This is truly an excellent beer! Bought from an evidently discerning gastropub/bottle shop.

Pours a beautiful clear dark brown color into a tulip glass, great beige head and beautiful curtain lacing. Funky smell and taste, dark fruity smell. Taste of sweet and slightly tart dark cherries. This is a 2016 vintage and the flavors are well blended and subtle.

One of those beers that makes you think you should always go Belgian!
Aug 11, 2020
Photo of mothman
Reviewed by mothman from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
2016 bottle

Khaki head. Lace. Dark brown color. Cherries, but not sour or dominant. Caramel and oak. Toffee. Faint sweetness. Kind of dry. Dark red grapes. Very complex.
Jul 24, 2020
Photo of officerbill
Reviewed by officerbill from New York

4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
L: A Deep ruby/garnet cherry coke red. The thick dark tan head has a faint pink tint and quickly dissolves into a film.

S: Not much of a scent, just a light aroma of cherries and hay

T: Tart pie cherries, hay, grass, wheat, ripe yeast, maybe some dry apple cider and oak

F: Full bodied with mild carbonation, tart at the front crisp and smooth at the back

O: This is good, damned good. The tart fruit flavors are perfectly balanced with the malt and hay.
The feel and finish is rich and smooth without the sharp acidity that oftens turns people away from this style.
I normally save this sort of beer for cool nights, but slightly chilled, it also makes for a nice summer beer.
The cap says to drink by 2025, I now have seven bottles in my basement and I'll have to make a conscious effort to keep one until then.
Jul 19, 2020
Rated: 4 by RiceOwls27 from Texas

Jul 16, 2020
Photo of micada
Reviewed by micada from New York

4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Without consciously trying, new beer: 2016 Liefman’s Goudenband. I was deliberating and didn’t want to tap anything from the usual stuff. I have two of these, so time for a try. Looks like a doppelbock in the glass, but drinks all sour...traditional sour, not Mas Agave sour. No head at all. On the tongue you get a quick sour bite that leads you to think it’ll be too much, but it backs off to a pleasant tart fruit flavor, IDK, like raspberry with granny apple. Good malt finish. It doesn’t show a lot of carbonation, but it feels lively in the mouth despite looking dead still. Alcohol is in the imperial range, low enough to keep you from getting hit too hard too fast. Surprised a little. Very nice beverage.
Jun 01, 2020
Photo of flipper2gv
Reviewed by flipper2gv from Canada (QC)

4.14/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
A: Pours a murky brown with soapy tan colored head. Retention is ok and there is little lacing.

S: Smell is pretty low intensity. You get some balsamic vinegar, tart cherries, oak notes, rye bread and green apples.

T: Much less vinegary than expected. You get some balsamic vinegar, tart cherries, green apples for the tartness. But, you also get some malt notes with brown sugar, rye bread. Vanilla and oak tannins from the barrels. Very cider-y honestly. Some stone fruits with plums, prunes and some raisins. Quite complex.

M: The star of the show. It's broad, soft, round with a very fluffy carbonation. One of the best mouthfeels in a while for me.

O: This is a very good beer (especially for the money). It's very complex, not too vinegary with a great mouthfeel. Really enjoyed my time with this one.
Mar 24, 2020
Rated: 4.37 by Curt3 from New Jersey

Feb 19, 2020
Rated: 4.42 by misteil from Ireland

Jan 14, 2020
Photo of TheBierdimpfe
Reviewed by TheBierdimpfe from Canada (QC)

4.51/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Medium: Capped + tulip glass.
Opacity: Deeply veiled with low activity.
Color: Dark brown with a shiny copper hue.
Head: Slightly creamy brown half a finger.
Legs: Poor but good lacing and decent swirl reaction.
Smell: Balsamic vinegar/Cherries/Toffee.
Taste: Red grapes/Cider/Wild yeast/Floral.
Feel: Red wine/Sour/Yeasty/Woody.
Body: Medium oily and kinda fluffy, still smooth and well rounded.
Carbonation: Good sharp crisp of great balance.
Overall: Impressive unique flavors. Exquisite quality, one of the finest example of a Flanders Oud Bruin having a strange fresh feel behind that sourness. Also quite warming and makes a perfect appetizer while still easily drinkable for the whole bottle.

Visual 8/10 - Flavors 9/10 - Sensations 10/10 - Balance 9/10 -
Freshness 5/10 - Intensity 8/10 - Complexity 10/10 - Appreciation 9.5/10
Dec 17, 2019
Rated: 3.98 by edthehead from New York

Sep 20, 2019
Rated: 4.08 by dexterk1 from Illinois

Aug 02, 2019
Rated: 4.2 by brew-Ed from Texas

Jul 12, 2019
Rated: 4.05 by brandoneast from Texas

Jun 19, 2019
Rated: 3.82 by BarryMFBurton from Indiana

May 31, 2019
Photo of jlindros
Reviewed by jlindros from Massachusetts

4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Reviewed as part of BJCP training, 23C Oud Bruin

Pours a tan richer creamy small m head, fair retention decent lacing, dark but clear mahogany brown

Nose big fruity esters, deep plum, fig, black cherries, but sour and some acidity but not acetic or vinegary, under that rich sweet malts, toasted with caramel, toffee, little biscuity, candy malt, mild vinous age, touch of alcohol

Taste malty, more sweet candy and syrupy malts, caramel and toffee like later, quite fruity more plum, black cherry, prunes, more sherry vinous aged character, as well as low sourness and tart with light acidity, no acetic or vinegar, sweet sticky sour finish, mild alcohol

Mouth is fuller bod, medium to lower carb, mild acidity harness and little alcohol warmth

Overall what I was expecting, quite complex between malts, fruity esters, sourness, alcohol, etc
Feb 22, 2019
Rated: 3.5 by mmilyko from Nevada

Feb 11, 2019
Rated: 3.94 by quadmad from Canada (ON)

Nov 01, 2018
Rated: 3.67 by ShaunE from Texas

Oct 01, 2018
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
Reviewed by BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
From the 330ml bottle, blended in 2017, it pours a solid brown with a modest head, quickly diminishing to a thin ring. Definite scent of apricots, cherries and malt in the nose. The mouth gets a well made sour with cherry undertones and a solid malt backbone. Yum!
Oct 01, 2018
Rated: 3.94 by bierfonteintje from Belgium

Sep 29, 2018
Rated: 4.13 by BEER88 from North Carolina

Sep 28, 2018
Photo of FLima
Reviewed by FLima from Brazil

3.81/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
I have been guarding this for six years. It poured a dark reddish-brown color with no head whatsoever. Cork did not produce any stomp.
Mild but nice malty aroma with notes of prunes, oak, a bit of cocoa, fig jam, toffee, caramel, lots of grapes, gooseberry and black cherry.
Flavor starts sweet and ends somewhat tart with notes of oak, grape juice, gooseberry, mild vinegar, some lactic acid, green apples, orange drops, sour cherry, distant mint, caramels and magnesium. Dry aftertaste with restrained sourness.
Medium towards full body with almost flat carbonation. Alcohol of 8% is well disguised
Oud Bruin with great malt and dark fruit complexity that is a reference for the style. This resembles a lot red wine, but malty. Sourness is restrained, in line with the style. A bit higher carbonation would have enhanced the experience; sure it should be considered this was cellared for a long time.
Sep 20, 2018
Rated: 4.1 by Pro_Magnon from Texas

Aug 09, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by paulish from New York

Jul 07, 2018
Goudenband from Brouwerij Liefmans
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 1444 ratings