Goudenband | Brouwerij Liefmans

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GoudenbandGoudenband
BA SCORE
4.18/5
Exceptional
1,397 Ratings
GoudenbandGoudenband
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Liefmans
Belgium
liefmans.be

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mitchster on 02-24-2001

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,269
Reviews:
575
Ratings:
1,397
pDev:
10.53%
Bros Score:
4.1
 
 
Wants:
168
Gots:
204
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
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Ratings: 1,397 |  Reviews: 575
Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2002 vintage. Surprisingly delicious as tart rather than expected very sour. Beautiful red apple colour with moderate creamy head. Rum spice aroma. Refreshingly and long finish. Nice restrained hops, cherry fruit. A mature taste but liked by younger drinking buddy.
Had a fresh one about two years later and moderate tartness, with wine-like taste and sight.

 359 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cork states this is a 2010 vintage.

Pours a clear dark brownish red color with a small 1 inch beige head that fades to an oily film on the top of the beer. Random spots of lace here and there on the glass. Smells of red wine vinegar, sour cherries/grapes, and funk/must. Very mouth watering. Taste is of sour cherries/grapes, vinegar, and an earthy funk. There is a very sight level of sweetness present in this beer too (one of the ingredients on the label is sugar). Good carbonation level makes for a bubbly and crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer. There is a great balance between the sourness and the slight sweetness.

 639 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

this is big boy beer, a textbook oud bruin, probably the best ive had. it pours a red tinted maple brown color with a frothy and dense oatmeal head with flawless retention. the nose on this is really nice, a little tart, not quite sour, with some fruity notes and a lot of hefty caramel malt sweetness. I pick up some fresh figs on the taste, as well as dried oranges and golden raisins, it is a complex malt base here. the top notes are acidic and alcoholic, with the fruity bits taking a back seat to yeasty funk and tannic dryness. all of it getting more intense as it warms up. big body is made lighter by the acid, and by lively carbonation. I could se myself drinking this regularly if it were available. its a classy beer, a glistening example of the oud bruit style, and a beer I really recommend, especially at the 9 bucks a bottle steal we copped this for. it must be done.

 883 characters

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a reddish brown color, the head was thin and white. The smell of the beer gives off plenty of wild yeast aromas that sting the nose. The aroma of some sour cherry is also in there. The taste of the beer was pretty good actually, it was tart but not overwhelming. I found it to be well balanced actually. The mouthfeel was light and similar to a wine. Overall this brew was pretty good for the style, just not always my preference.

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Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of metter98
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear red in color and has yeast particles floating near the bottom of the glass. It poured with a thin off white head that quickly dissipated into delicate lacing on the surface.
S: There are aromas of sour cherries in the nose.
T: Slightly sour, the taste has flavors of cherries and oak, but this is balanced by some initial sweetness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a slight amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is extremely easy to drink; it's very flavorful, there are absolutely no traces of alcohol present in the taste and the sourness is mild and isn't overpowering.

Note: 2006 vintage

 645 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stately, mature, characterful and slight eccentric- this is Belgian brewing at its best! With less tartness than Flemish Reds or Lambics but with a rich depth of character that distinguishes it from the typical Belgian Doubles and Triples.

Understated yet creamy carbonation allows for a mellow decanting- nearly cask-like. Distinct aromas ar of must, peaty earth, lightly horsey and with a cork-like wodiness. Rich malt flavors push to the forefront, but foregoing the associates sweetness of caramel or sugar. Medium bodied in texture, the mild lemony sourness seems to further lighten the malt-forward ale and usher in a soft lactic dryness. Mildly astringent when the woody notes pronounce, but the finish is a marvelous malty-dry yet crisply tart combination that work in harmony.

A light earthy/briney flavor reminds me Orval except with more body and sweetness. Riding on the side saddle with French Ales but with the sour attitue of the Senne Valley the beer is a new adventure with each sip. Masculine and refines but without pretention.

 1,049 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Blue tissue paper wrapped 'label', encapsulating a green Burgundian 750ml bottle - just like I present potable gifts at Christmas time! I like their name for it - 'Provision Ale' - there's just something dire and edgy about that particular nomenclature.

This beer pours a lightly hazy, cola-tinted dark amber hue, with further bright ruby highlights, and three fingers of fine, densely foamy beige head, which settles in for a fair spell, eventually rendering a low storm front pattern of lace around the glass.

It smells of sour, acidic orchard fruit - cherry and apple, mostly - musty caramel malt, sugary red grapes, and a mild earthy yeastiness. The taste is more of the same goodness - a nice balance of tart, unripe stone fruit, sugary pale grain, red wine tannins, applesauce, and a soft woody, earthy yeastiness. Any purported warming from the 8 points of booze is likely just an unsubstantiated eddy in the brew/time continuum.

The carbonation is mostly quite mild, the body a decent medium weight (in an unabashedly fruity manner), subtly pithy, and generally workaday smooth. It finishes off-dry, some residual graininess and reserved sourness doing well to slowly turn out the lights.

A very pleasant tipple - the drying tartness is just strong enough to make your mouth water, and induce another sip, one fast on the previous one's heels at that. No tongue scraping here, folks, just an enjoyable introduction into one of the more approachable versions of Belgian sour ale.

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Photo of kojevergas
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

37.5cl bottle into a La Chouffe goblet, in low altitude Galway, Ireland. Beer obtained at McCambridges on Shop street.

A: One finger head of laughable one minute retention. Fair thickness for what it is and forgiveable for an 8.0% ABV beer, though I've seen higher ABV beers maintain their heads. Nontransparent raspberry red meets dark amber colour.

Sm: Berry, estery hops, and... yeast! Alcohol is undetectable.

T: Berry built body, balanced with esters. The barley just sets the tone; it doesn't come through as much in the flavouring, just the way a fruit beer ought to be. The finish lets the body's notes stream through without providing a contrasting third act flavour, which works for this beer. The open is subtly sweeter than the body, which takes some adjusting to.

Mf: Perfectly smooth and wet for a fruit beer. Stays clean through the finish, leaving me wanting more. Not overcarbonated; the bottle didn't overflow at uncorking (and isn't that damned annoying when it happens?).

Dr: Hides its 8.0% abv extraordinarily well. This is a fruit beer with power, and you could down it all night if your wallet could handle it.

***
2nd impression from a bottle consumed in Ghent in Summer 2014.

A- / EXCELLENT

 1,227 characters

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of emerge077
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2017: Tried the 2016 vintage and wasn't disappointed. Lightly tart, vinous with a little sweetness, background barrel presence. Didn't seem to be as heavily backsweetened as in recent years past. Great classic Flemish Oud Bruin.

Fresh bottle review 2006: Vintage reviews follow below.

Served in a Liefmans .3L wide fluted glass. Pours a ruddy brown with garnet highlights. Ample foam and lacing around the rim.

Smells of oak, cherry, and dark malt. Sort of cidery.

Taste is pretty unique, tartness comes out at first, followed by a sweeter balsamic note. Earthy yeast is in there, which makes a brief cameo. Sweet cherry or grape note. Have to take it down .5 here, since this tastes like sugar was added, compared to an older bottle from 2001 (see later review). Slightly dry, tart finish persuades another sip. One 750, or 2 drafts would probably be equivalent for a session. Get it while you can!

>>>2001 vintage...and the love affair with Goudenband continues.

Pours pretty nasty, deep mahogany brown with suspended yeast chunks. Every vintage bottle of this I try turns out different. 2001 was a good year apparently.The fat, spongy cork may have something to do with its sustained freshness. A brief sizzle of carbonation happens once poured, but settles to nothing soon enough.

Aroma of horse stalls, vinegar, and sweet mustard. The yeast fans out in all manner of funky directions. Sweet and sour like a Gueuze, but walking the line on the dark side. It has a mustiness that feels ancient, like it had been stored since the Middle Ages.

Sour upfront, finally. This is the Goudenband i've heard about. Forget the 2000 batch and some prior, the corks don't seem to age as well to this present date. This is conclusive evidence after sampling several flat '00 vintage bottles and a 750mL from the early '90's. Look for a larger cork and you'll do well.

Residual lemon citrus sourness, and a mellow blanket of oaky woodiness. Balanced and mellow with age. Mild cherry skin here, but more akin to a Gueuze.

Perfect Oud Bruin. Liefmans, what happened to the recipe?

>>>3rd review: early 1990's vintage

Brown Liefmans logo pattern on outer paper wrapper. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours a dark reddish-chestnut brown, with alot of clarity. Large bubbles result from a "higher-altitude" pour, but don't stick around. The ale soon looks like flat cola in the glass.

Smell is strong, a touch phenolic and berry-like. Musty basement notes lurk at the edges, but don't overpower it.

Taste still packs a punch. Almond nuttiness in the malt moves to a dark berry/plum with muted spice and a cola finish. Aftertaste is almost like fruit juice, too sweet to be wine, but not really dry at all. Nearly none of the signature tartness of a fresh bottle.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin without the usual carbonation, and the ABV becomes somewhat more apparent, which hinders the drinkability.

Notes: I was eager to try this vintage bottle, since the recipe reportedly changed post 2002. Age has mellowed it quite a bit, there was minimal to no carbonation, but still a very unique ale. Although the current version is a touch sweeter, I prefer it to an older vintage. The 10 yr. shelf-life is probably a good guideline to follow when cellaring, drink it before it gets too old...

Thanks BeerBeing!

EDIT: Recently tried a 2001 vintage, WOW. Perfectly aged, dusty, fruity, sourness. Still showed good carbonation and funky aroma. Amazing how the variability ranges in a 10+ yr. bottle, and a 6 yr. bottle. Will factor this sample in this score, for an overall vintage rating. See above review.

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Photo of brentk56
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 bottling; tasted 5/1/09

Appearance: Pours a hazy russet color with a modest, bubbly head that leaves a few dots and dashes around the chalice

Smell: The predominate aroma is of sweet cherry, but if you hand around the scent for a while you begin to pick up more subtle elements, such as sour cherry, apple, prune, leather, raisin and oak

Taste: The sweet cherry flavor, mixed with a bready brown ale aspect, presents itself up front, followed by tart fruit, and a growing vinegar-like acidity; after the swallow, the mellow oak and leather flavors also become detectable

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with low to moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A bit sweeter than I was expecting and, to my palate, that limits the drinkability somewhat; nevertheless, a very interesting beer that is worth seeking out

 816 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.83/5  rDev -32.3%
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...

 278 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

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Goudenband from Brouwerij Liefmans
Beer rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 1,397 ratings
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