Goudenband | Brouwerij Liefmans

1,386 Ratings

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Liefmans

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

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Ratings: 1,386 |  Reviews: 571
Photo of vfgccp
3.71/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mdaschaf
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

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 duceswild
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of Jason
3.97/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

37.5cl bottle wrapped in paper.

Ruby color, minimal lacing,

Tart, lemon peel, wood tannin, hint of alcohol, white chocolate, taffy in the nose.

Smack of tartness, dryness, grain, dried grass, hint of honey, dry clean finish.

A really interesting brew, extremely drinkable yet intensely complex. Age on this beer does wonders but fresher versions are a treat as well.

 372 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.33/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have been hunting this one down for a while now, and finally was able to acquire one in a trade recently. I put it immediately into the fridge and took it out last night to sit with and enjoy for a little while. A very nice looking 375ml bottle, wrapped up in paper greeted me, and I proceeded to decant it into an over sized wine glass for some proper enjoyment.

Appearance - The pour was decent; a rich red tinted brown liquid was presented in front of me. Some floaties were present, but not too much at all. A smallish, maybe one inch high head of off white colored foam then rose up off of it and settled down rather quickly leaving behind only the slightest bit of a crown on top, and some small side glass contribution. It looked good, but I am not blown away to be honest.

Smell - The aroma was thick, and sweet, almost like a syrup. Lots of very dark fruit flavors, currants, and dark cherries, were easily found in here. Some touches of fig were to be found as well, not picking up any of the sour notes though that others have mentioned, and I am a big fan of sours, and this was no sour. I am starting to think I have a bad batch here or something to be honest. As it warms it gets a little more earthy, but is still very, very sweet overall.

Taste - The flavor was more of the same, and I picked up no sour in here, in the beginning, middle, or end of it. There was just none to be found. It was sickingly sweet to me, with an off, musty malt profile that just did not fit at all. Lots of bready like flavors, just odd to me. Hints of dark cherries, figs, prune maybe, nothing spicy, just very sweet, too much so. No hint of alcohol in this, but for me, it was not the most enjoyable experience I have had.

Mouthfeel - Fell flat again here, literally with nowhere near enough carbonation, the profile was just too slim to be able to hold up such a thick syrup like feel. I just don t know what else to say, came off like cough syrup, but too candy like sweet.

Drinkability - I again am under impressed here. The alcohol was well hidden, which made it nice, however it was too dull, and the flavors were just off. I am not sure what this was supposed to be, but I am starting to think the one I have was not the way it was meant to be,. It was ok, but nothing spectacular, and I could not see myself drinking this all night.

Overall not sure what happened here, but this was definitely not my idea of exemplary by any means. It was too sweet, unbalanced, and under carbonated. I have had much, much better in the style. I am hoping my bottle was just off, I have another to compare later on so we shall see.

 2,627 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured Slightly cool into an oversized snifter. Thanks to HomebrewJunkie for sharing this.
A - A gently hazed caramel brown w/ light tan head the lace clings to the snifter well.

S - Slightly acidic w/ sweet sugary notes. Gentle tannin in the odor w/ a nutty oak likee note. Fig, light grapeskin and cherry juice odors add to the melange.

M - Tart w/ gentle carbonation, light fruitiness and residual sweetness.

T - Sugared plums w/ complexity in the yeast flavors sweet apple and cherry tartness. Slightly syrupy w/ gentle maple and pear flavor.

D - Very unique w/ lots of contrast and complexity. It was nice to revisit this classic. Nice gentle sour and sweet mixture w/ oakey hints. This ale is very drinkable.

 718 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Duvel tulip. 2010 vintage.

a - Pours a very dark, hazy mahogany brown color with two fingers of creamy tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for several minutes and leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of dark fruits, light spices, bready malts, light sour fruits, Belgian yeast, and some light wood/oak. Not as much sour fruit or vinegar as I was expecting, but still pretty enjoyable. Definite Belgian dubbel notes, with a twinge of sour.

t - Tastes of dark fruits, sour fruits, lactic notes, spices, Belgian yeast, light wood, light vinegar, and bready and fruity malts. Definitely more sour than the nose, with both some sour fruit and vinegar to it. Again, very nice and a bit of a step up from the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth and creamy, and pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a pretty nice flanders. It's a good beer, but I was kind of expecting more from it after seeing the reviews. Some sourness in the nsoe and taste but not as much as I was hoping for. Would certainly have it again considering it's always on the shelves. I could see this being a great "beginner" sour/flanders for people just getting into the style.

 1,231 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of womencantsail
3.46/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally was able to pick up a bottle of this. This is from the newest batch, 2010.

A: The pour is a dark amber color with a thin off-white head that dissipates quickly, leaving a thin ring around the the glass.

S: Starts off with a touch of vinegar and metal. There's a bit of a banana note as well as a touch of dark fruit (plums). Some alcohol and oak, too.

T: The flavor is a bit better. A slight tartness without the same metallic character. There's a slightly drying, tannic character on the finish. A moderate sweetness to it with dark caramel malts and dark fruits.

M: The body is medium with a nice full level of carbonation.

D: Not quite as much tartness as I prefer for this style, but I suppose it's still accurate. The metallic character wasn't really doing much for me, either. Might try aging my other bottle to see how it improves.

 851 characters

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.81/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a snifter at Firkin.

You take the goud, you take the band... ...Sorry... Anyway, this stuff pours a brackish brown-sienna topped by a finger of light tan foam. The nose comprises tart black cherry, mild cocoa, mild maple syrup, and red apple. The taste brings in more of the same, though the tartness is heavily exchanged in favor of sweetness, some mild red wine grapes are tossed in for good measure, and a general sense of caramel apple pervades at times, particularly near the finish. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly drying finish. Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable beer, one that went well with the surroundings somehow (you had to be there...trust me...).

 723 characters

Photo of atlbravsrno1
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of thatoneguymike
3.79/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sharing a bottle of this with my wife for Super Bowl pre-game.

Vintage 2006

A: Auburn hued and somewhat transparent, this beer has virtually no head and leaves only the faintest traces of lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is the strongest quality of Goudenband, in my opinion. Sweet cherries, funk, oak, and hints of vanilla make for a delectable bouquet of scents.

T: The taste is a basic makeup of what I found in the aroma, but a tad less wonderful. The funk is mild, with a sweet cherry flavor coming through prominently. The beer is mildly tannic, with hints of vinegar and oak.

M: Carbonation level is low - a bit too low. I'm not sure why the cork was so short and stubby, as opposed to the typical cork requiring a corkscrew for removal. Alcohol content disguised well.

D: A good representation of the style and a pleasure to drink, though I believe Goudenband no longer reigns supreme as the best Flanders Oud Bruin on the planet, as it once did.

Notes: I was fortunate enough to try a sample of a 1955 vintage Goudenband, courtesy of Brad. The beer held up surprisingly well, though it received a mixed reaction from the group. Vinegar, balsamic, sour, musty, complex, old, tannic, basement, rain water. I enjoyed it more than most.The finish was quite vinegary, and the carbonation level was virtually non-existent, but the beer still possessed plenty of good flavor.

 1,385 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a cervoise. The brew appears brown in color with a finger of tan head across the top. It holds with a half finger around the edges which puts a webbing of lacing effect all over the glass. When held to the light, more of a clear orange is noted around the edges and more ruby looking through the middle.

The smell of this brew has an inviting sourness smelling like cherry. Very fresh and fruited like sour cherries mixed with a touch of vanilla sweetness and oak. More deep whiffs almost get to be perfume-like at times with how bright the cherry quality is but it is very enjoyable.

The taste is sour like dried cherries which is earthy and pitted. There are some tannic notes coming off oaky and earthy with a bit of a medicinal touch. A light indication of must is evident and almost something like mildew or funky cork. Once the brew gets warm, the must starts to overtake the cherry qualities.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light to modest level of carbonation. The 8% abv is masterfully integrated. A solid example of the style. It is easy drinking but unfortunately the aroma is the best quality of this brew. The alcohol comes out once warm and the musty quality gets to be a bit much. This was much more enjoyable while chilled, I wouldn't recommend letting this one warm up too much in your glass.

 1,342 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.42/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appears a hazy murky brown with a tan thin head sitting on top with virtually no lace in my official Liefman's goblet. Aroma has some rich carmalized brown sugar smothered by a wine like finish buried in layers of alchol and ripened fruit tones. Taste is primarily a heavy rush of sourness from this flemish brown with a vinous wine like tone to it and somewhat dry finish, and I must say this one is a palate killer just not much you can follow with it. Mouthfeel is low in carbonation with a light bodied mouthfeel rather thin, much fuller on tap in my opinion. Drinkability is one at a time due to the fact that this sour Flemish brown is just so overbearingly sour much more balanced and smoother in the bottle.

 715 characters

Photo of ejimhof
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of AlexFields
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of rolltide8425
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of smakawhat
4.07/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Cork dates 2010?

An extremely dark brown red with hints of sort of.. black edges around. Head forms real tan brown and creamy, makes barley a finger and tops to about half size. Small puck settles nicely.

Nose is real wonderful. Cinnamon and cream, tart cherry, a sweet candy sugar with a hint of fig, a great mix of sweet and sour. I am getting a strong Belgian candy sugar action on this but nothing too crazy, almost hints at maple syrup.

Palate fills slightly wet, but hits with a light carbonation and noticeable fizz. Tart cherry hits throughout the palate. Malt action seems to give a bit of density particularly on the finish, and a great lingering cherry taste that follows the ending.

Overall, real solid, not sure why I haven't had this before, going to have to try the cherry infused one at some point. Refreshing, and light with a little bit of cream malt and density. Very nice.

 939 characters

Goudenband from Brouwerij Liefmans
4.17 out of 5 based on 1,386 ratings.
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