Goudenband | Brouwerij Liefmans

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding
568 Reviews
GoudenbandGoudenband
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Liefmans
Belgium | website

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
Reviews:
568
Ratings:
1,351
Avg:
4.17
pDev:
16.07%
 
 
Wants:
160
Gots:
192
For Trade:
2
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Reviews: 568 | Ratings: 1,351
Photo of biegaman
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Liefmans Goudenband is sold in beautifully hand-wrapped indigo coloured paper; the content of the bottle, however, doesn't nearly match the aesthetics of its presentation. My glass looks as though it were filled with lake water. A murky brown tone, this ale has a fish eye yellow colour along its trim, next to no clarity, and a head that lasts only temporarily.

The aroma is an exceptionally unique blend of balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, root beer, cola, and red wine. It has enough sour and fermented elements to be unnerving to germaphobes and health inspectors alike, but has nowhere near the 'funky' qualities to excite those intimately familiar with the style (or those accustomed to American Wild Ales).

The taste combines sarsaparilla root and brown sugar with choke cherries and the pomace of spent red grapes. It has a Dr. Pepper kind of profile. There's hints of licorice and tree bark and always an overarching balsamic flavour (owed partly to the musty wood notes, partly to the dark, sugary sweetness). A caramelly tootsie-roll taste rounds it all out.

Goudenband is a pretty fair example of a Flemish Brown Ale that is, at least around these parts, reasonably priced for something of its quality and rareness. But here’s the icing on the cake: it is said to be good for another 18 years! That's right - basically two decades. Who knows if it will actually keep that long, but at least short-term cellaring has proven successful for me.

Liefmans Goudenband, like the other beers in their portfolio, is every bit as fetching as its packaging and no less distinctive; few offerings provide such an authentic taste of Belgian craftsmanship and tradition. Want to buy a ticket to heaven? Pair this considerably musty, acidic offering with strong cheeses and dried fruits and find yourself there.

 1,814 characters

Photo of flagmantho
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip. My bottle is labeled as best before 2020, so I probably could have aged it. But who wants to wait?

Appearance: dark red-brown hue with a clear body (though it's almost too dark to see this). Head poured two thick fingers of pillowy ivory foam. Chunks of foam are left on the glass as I drink.

Smell: rich, sweet and complex brown ale aroma of caramel, tartness and tastiness. This is the kind of beer I love, and it's just plain well-done.

Taste: quite tart, rich and sweet; there's cherry here, with some musty plum and pear flavors. It reminds me of a tart dubbel in many ways. Good, but it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi that I enjoy in other oud bruins.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a big carbonation. It's a little too acidic to feel really creamy, but there is a creaminess to it as well as a big effervescent rush. I actually like the combination quite a lot.

Overall: this is a damn fine beer. I do feel something is missing in the flavor, but I can't really put my finger on it. Still, this is definitely a beer I'd have again.

 1,086 characters

Photo of John_M
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours an amber brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose worries me. Yep, there it is... intense, bracing tart sour cherry. The cherry aroma is overwhelmed by the funky, barnyard sour aroma.... but maybe it won't be too sour on the palate.

On the palate this is a very impressive beer. It's very complex with flavors of sweet black cherry, lemon, lime and a blast of sour funk coming up at the end. The flavors are intense and much more focused then what one sees in a typical fruit lambic for instance. While not my favorite style, even a dedicated sour hater like myself can appreciate this beer. The beer has a very nice mouthfeel with a long, lingering finish. On the other hand, a little bit of this goes a long way. The beer is pretty warming from the 8% abv., and the sweet/sour combination wears me out after a while. Still, this is a very good beer that I was very pleased to see on tap at Max's. Quite good.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.58/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

 547 characters

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

A: This beer pours burgundy with a tan large thick head that sinks into rich lacings.

S: Oak with only faint vanilla. Molasses; dark dried fruits. Brett. Lots of berries; black currant and black berries. Leather. Sour cherries.

T: Brett and sour cherries. Dry. Dark dried fruits. Black currant. Leather. Green apples. Complex but smooth.

M: Aftertaste is fantastic; rather long and in great balance - sweet and bitter! Body is medium and carbonation is moderate.

D: This is a fantastic beer; I'm so happy that there's lots of beer left in the 750 ml bottle, for me to sip this evening.

 591 characters

Photo of tobelerone
2.08/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

As soon as I popped the cork on this one I suspected I had gotten a bad bottle and boy was I right. Almost no carbonation left whatsoever; poured a muddy, reddish brown color, no head or lace at all, tons of floating chunks, lots of residue at the bottle of the glass. Aroma of wine-like tannins, light sweetness, cork, vinegar.

Taste is dominated by vinegar, tart but lacking any fruity notes, hints of malt sweetness, drying, cabarnet-like finish, corked, slight puckering sourness.

This beer was stored improperly and ruined. Unfortunately I don’t pass the store I purchased this bottle in very often at all but I will let them know about it when I do. Very nice employees I suspect will do something to make up for it!

I’d like to re-review this beer again if I can get my hands of another, unspoiled bottle. This one was drainpoured with a 1/4 of the beer left...I tried!

 885 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.82/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hopdog for this '92 version. Dickinsonbeer provided an '03 version but I passed on most of it and worked with this one.
Appears a mild brown with a small white head that refuses to fade.
Smell is of sour cherries, mild oak, and toffee.
Taste is of malty caramel, toffee, and some oak.
Mouthfeel is smooth with mild tartness.

 338 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.04/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with no head, I was shocked and thought there was something wrong but that's how it is. No carbonation, murky amber color with a lot of chucky bits floating and settling. Thin body but an unusual taste sweet/sour cherries and raisins. Hard to really classify. Finish is sour. Good summer ale.

 298 characters

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

Bottle at De Dulle Griet in Gent, Belgium.

Pours a dark red-brown, ruby bright when held to the light. Head is full and thick and speckled with some large-bubbled carbonation, and pleasantly beige. Lovely looking brew all up.

Nose is pleasantly tart and savoury, giving characters of salt-and-vinegar chips and rye toast. Some yeasty, savoury vegemite tones, and a hint of whole grains. It's deep and lovely, and the acidity is tempered and refined. Awesome.

Taste is also similar, with those savoury and acidic notes giving a moreish palate. Hints of salt, sweet balsamic vinegar, a touch of cherry and oak. It's so full-flavoured, but complex and just plain delicious. Feel is light and refreshing—it gives enough basis to the flavours, but accentuates their light pleasantness.

Awesome beer. A lovely tart but rich and full, complex brown ale. One of my favourites from Belgium.

 887 characters

Photo of corby112
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a very dark amber with a thin white head. Slightly sour aroma that is a nice balance of maltiness and sour fruit. Perfectly balanced sour ale that is not to sour nor to sweet. A nice amount of maltiness and sour fruit combie to give this a beer an extremely smooth very drinkable taste. The best sour ale I've had yet.

 347 characters

Photo of Derek
4.92/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Corked and caged in 1987; laid to rest on its side for ~18 years. Sediment on the side of the bottle, like a fine wine.

A: It poured like a red wine, with mild carbonation.

S: Also similar to red wine, with a sharp, tart odour.

T: Wow! I expected more tartness, but there wasn't anymore than a Beaujolais. The flavours of grape juice, cherries, cranberries and oak are more reminiscent of a fine wine than any beer!

M: Light to moderate body, mild carbonation.

D: It's like fruit juice! It goes down easier than almost any wine or beer!

Thanks for the tasting Len!

 582 characters

Photo of wl0307
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

BB 09/2018, served lightly-chilled in Tripel Karmeliet's long-stemmed tulip-shaped goblet.

A: elegant dark brown colour with ruby glows, coming with a creamy beige head with superb retention, on top of a smoothly-carbonated body.
S: sour-sweet plummy and vinegary, smoked black-prune-ish fruitiness comes hand in hand with a subdued aromatic edge of oakiness and perfumy+creamy maltiness; understated dark-cherry+raisiny fruits and dark candy-sugary note sustain in the background, reminiscent of a Belgian dark ale. Overall, the nose is attractive, slightly sharp in the lactic-sour department, but balanced with the fine, underlying oaky aroma.
T: lively-textured, sour-sweet prune&cherry fruity flavour sits on top of a creamy maltiness, while the sour-woody edge quietly manifests itself on the rear and sides of the palate, resulting in a harmonious palate balanced b/w sourness and malt-sweetness. The moderately licrocie-ish and dryish aftertaste, as a result of long oak-ageing, is a bit like great-quality semi-dry sherry (e.g. Oloroso), while more tart berry-fruits lingers with grape-tannic fruitiness to keep a refreshing mouthfeel, while the delicately warming alc. smoothly slips down the throat.
M&D: very smooth on the texture and almost full-bodied for this style, neither as lactic-tart as some others I've tried, nor as complex as its other vintages tasted in the past, but this one is easy-drinking and mellow for a 8.0%abv. Oud Bruin. Although my preference still gears towards the more sour examples, I think it's a marvelous ale all the same.

 1,566 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
The cork says 2.005 on it.
A- This beer pours a dense brown body with a deep red glow to it and a thick beige bubble head with some very tiny brown bits in it. There is a sea of microbubbles supporting the head, which last for much of the beer.

S- During the pour, the tart fruity aroma is strong with funk notes underneath. There is a hint of dark cherries and a faint damp quality to them.

T- The smooth tartness is bright with a bit of a dark fruit quality. There are soft old wood flavor and some brown malt qualities that have a faint cola note coming through as the beer warms. The fruity notes take on a cherry quality as the beer opens up aswell.

M- This beer has an airy mouthfeel with a soft hint of astringency which compliments the beer nicey.

D- All the flavors just blend together wonderfully making this a great experience with a little tartness, a little funk and a little old brown ale all playing there parts.

 960 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

"The best brown ale" as proclaimed by beer guru Micheal Jackson.

A: Pours a dark cherry red color with a moderate light tan head.

S: Sour dried cherries on nose, very fruity.

T: Nice sourness upfront for flavor but is very smooth and silky and refined. Very light toasted nutbread and toasted grain. Sweet and sour palate with rich dark cherries, raisins upon warming. Sweet caramel and earthy hops round out this beer. Wow , very good.

M: a little light body wise, smooth with only a faint touch of carbonation felt on the tongue. dry, crisp, and pretty nice.

D: good drinkability, sweet, dry, crisp, fruity and a joy with every sip.

 641 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light brown body with good head/carbonation that dies slow and leaves some lace on top of a mostly sweet aroma. The smells I am picking up seem to be light chocolate, toffee, touches of fruit ranging from cherry to grape and a good chunk of woodiness and hops as well, although not as noticeable as the malts. Light tartness is my first reaction, and my second is that this is a light-to-medium bodied beer that has great balance to it as the tart cherryesque flavors give way to sweetness from chocolate to toffee and then this balanced beer finishes crisp with a slight dry edge. Very pleasant sipper that ranges from both the sour and sweet spectrums and should be had by anyone who likes Belgian ales.

 714 characters

Photo of dar482
4.46/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The color is a very dark murky dark down color.

The aroma has cherry, wine grape, tartness.

There is a wine grape flavor, bright fruit. Sour cherry, grape, mellow sourness. Red wine character. There's a good "Warhead" sourness.

Easy drinking finish. This is a wonderful introduction into beer for wine drinkers. Having had the Rodenbach Grand Cru, I do prefer that with its bigger tartness and fruit flavors.

 412 characters

Photo of wordemupg
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged poured into chalice april26 2010

A slightly hazy light cola color with lots of bubbles floating up to a large tan head that quickly falls to a thin film but leaves decent lace

S a little vinegar with some green apple

T some sour apple with some earthiness and some other tart fruit I can't place

M enters slick and foams up a bit from the bubbles and has a long aftertaste

D something different from what I'm used too, you would need to know in advance how strong it is because you wouldn't guess it just by drinking

a style I don't see much of is always hard to review but I enjoyed this beer and it's worth trying for sure

 655 characters

Photo of spinrsx
4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $8.50

Appearance - Reddish brown colour with an average size fizzy/frothy beige head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, cherries, raisins, vinegar

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, vinegar and grapes/raisins/cherries. There is also a touch citric acid and it ends with a fruity/malty tart aftertaste.

Overall - Really well balanced and complex. The flavours all work really well together and nothing really dominates. One of the better beers within the style that I have ever had.

 690 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 bluejacket74
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml caged and corked bottle, 2007 on cork, best before 6/2017. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a hazy dark brown/red color with pretty much no head at all. Surprisingly there's a decent amount of lacing. There's also visible sediment "floaties" in the glass. The aroma is sour, it smells like apple cider, vinegar, brown sugar and tart cherries. The taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also raisins, figs, and a bit of wood that I can taste. Great mix between tart/sour and sweet flavors. It's definitely sweeter than I expected it to be. Mouthfeel is medium, it's creamy and a bit syrupy with average carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it's very easy and enjoyable to drink. Alcohol is well hidden. I like this beer a lot, I think it's a very good Oud Bruin and I'd definitely buy it again.

 812 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. 2012 vintage.

A- Pours a murky brown color with a 1/8 inch tan head that doesn't retain long before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a small amount of wispy surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves a thick solid ring behind.

S- Musty aroma of sour cherries. More dark fruit such as raisin, plum and blackberry are detected.

T- Moderately tart flavor with more dark fruit and even red grape skin-like tannins. Very drinkable with hardly any alcohol detected. Juicy, somewhat bright and a hint of oxidation.

M- Dry and mildy tart with medium-low carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- Very good, but a bit tame. I would like to know what a fresher bottle tastes like since this seems to have become a little too toned down while sitting.

 822 characters

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

Almost no head, this beer poured a hazy ruby red colour with amber highlights. Aromas of tobacco, sour cherry, and leather. Complex flavour with some sourness, tobacco, cherry fruit, and earthy woodiness. The midway point becomes somewhat sweeter and it finishes with considerable malt. Moderately light carbonation, quite dry and lightly puckering. Medium body. Quite a distinctive beer, with a fruity and sour character, and a complex finish. I think I'll have to have this one again.

 486 characters

Photo of bark
4.2/5  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.

 725 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a brownish color and a thick consistency. There was a half inch of creamy, off-white, fairly long-lasting head. Pretty good lacing.

S: A very sour-smelling beer (as it should be), with traces of yeast and fruit in it.

T: Tasted of yeast, malt, a little citrus, and a sour element. There was also something sugary and sweet in the finish, though it wasn't as powerful as the other ingredients. A tasty and complex beer.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a vibrant finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is an excellent example of an oud bruin. Very drinkable and easy to like.

 616 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.1/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a stemmed glass. 2010 Vintage.

(A)- Pours a deep dark plum/sienna color. Produced a nice cap of tan foam with good retention. Lots of lace left behind.

(S)- Not much in the aroma. Some bone dry wood(oak) bits. Very subtle vinegar/vinous fruits.

(T)- Better than the smell. Lots of dark fruits with a vinous acidic quality to them. Very subtle sourness and oak notes.

(M)- A crisp and bubbly carbonation level. Mildly tart and sour; very subtle flavors overall. Very fruity though.

(D)- Crisp and refreshing. Close to being like the style, but everything seems all meddled together almost cancelling each flavor out. I think this needs more time to funk and sour up a bit more. Easy enough to enjoy though.

 752 characters

Goudenband from Brouwerij Liefmans
93 out of 100 based on 568 ratings.
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