Goudenband | Brouwerij Liefmans

571 Reviews

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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Reviews: 571 | Ratings: 1,369
Photo of captaincoffee
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2015 blend. Pours a deep opaque brown with a smallish head and just spotty lacing. Nose is underwhelming. A bit musty, a little twang,mand pretty dull. Flavor is mildly sour, a little bright acidity. No funk or vinuos qualities really. Nothing wrong with this beer, but not much going on even as it warms to room temp.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this many times, most recently a few days ago during the tournament, thanks Jordan.

Comes in its own paper bag. Mild red and light brown color with some dark gold mixed in for fun. Thin head. Looks equal parts Flanders Red and Brown. Aroma reveals lots of old school acetic acid resulting in the phrase balsamic vinegar being thrown around. A little bit of citrus and oak. Mild tartness, totally smacks of sour beer blended with non sour.

Decent carbonation and light body. A very old school kind of beer.

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 Vintage

L - Cola like with a thin beige head

S - quite complex, acidic

T - Tart and complex, a real treat...

F - greath mouthfeel

O - A truly great beer, more and more complex as it warms up, best enjoyed near room temperature. Paired really nicely with St Marcellin cheese. It's really drinkable for the high abv, drink it like a wine.

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

This bottle was blended in 2015. Best before July 2025.

The beer pours with a very thi head. Dark brown, clear liquid with a mahognyred colour.

Nose: Sour fruit, cherries, plum, apples, yeast and vinegar.
Taste: Tart, cinegar, apples, cherries, grape, oak, sweet malt and yeast.
Mouth: Light carbonated. Sour and sweet mouthfeel. Medium body.

A great sour!

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Photo of BGDrock
3.94/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown with a hint of red; almond colour head doesn't have much body to it, dwindling to a rim of suds in a minute

Aroma: cassis, red wine, dates, a touch musty, black cherry, acidity and a bit of heat feel present - the aroma is like putting your feet up by a fire

Taste & Mouthfeel: a vibrant tartness, tasting primarily of black cherries, but also leaving raspberry and blackberry on the palate with great length; the crisp, sourness begs for constant sampling, as does the dry finish and easy drinking mouthfeel - light in carbonation and light in body, almost no hint of the high abv; maybe a touch of oak in there too

Overall: goes down like water, but much more pleasurable, with a flavour more simple and sour than expected; good, but not as complex as the label suggests

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

Appearance: Deep amber red in color, little light passes through. A moderate tan head soon collapses to a dusting of foam. Thin, fine-beaded lacing adorns the glass walls.

Aroma: Tart aroma of apple cider vinegar, tart cherries, dark plums, and notes of wood.

Taste: The taste begins with tart cherries and apple cider vinegar. There are mild notes of bitter apple rind as well. The high ABV of eight percent is utterly concealed, with a pleasant warming the only hint of its presence. Later in the taste, the sour cherries rise a bit. There is a faint sweetness as well. Finishes somewhat dry with wood notes and some faint herbal hops.

Mouth feel: Soft and full, very pleasant, with just a hint of carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: A very nice, drinkable example of an uncommon style. Somehow, it seemed just right for a rainy, cool autumn evening.

Presentation: Packaged in a 750 ml green glass Belgian bomber with a cork and cage closure, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

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Photo of sierratwohearted
4.69/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

dark amber, decent 2 fingers of head. smell is tart, dark fruit. like sour raisins. taste is tart, fruity. tartness is not overwhelming, as notes of cocoa and dark malt/caramel are present.

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Photo of tbryan5
4.36/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750 ml Bottle poured into Tulip.

A- Pours a dark, dark brown (almost black) with a half finger head that fades quickly and leaves little lacing.

S- Dark fruit, plums, figs, apples as wells. Funkiness and earthy aroma in the background.

T- Almost tastes like a funky quad. It's very very good. Yea... funky quad is what I'm going with.

F- Light to medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

D- A very good brew. Not as tart as I'm used to in a Flanders but good nonetheless. Split this one with a buddy.

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Photo of DIM
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap at the Bulls Head.

A bit sweeter than I prefer, but there was a nice lingering, lactic bite. I found cherry flavors, both sweet and sour, plus some other inscrutable fruits. There was also hints of musty oak and some boozeiness.

Not up there with Rodenbach Grand Cru, but this was a refreshing and tasty treat on a stiflingly hot day.

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Photo of aleigator
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color, with a big, bubbly head.

The aromas got a present, funk infused, toffee malt foundation to them, together with a gentle amount of wood and earth. While the beer does not tend to be overly sour, it provides a well pronounced malt character, showcasing a fermented red fruit quality among old oak. Its got a unique bakers chocolate layer, also featuring peppery spices, hinting into a sweeter direction.

Has a supersoft mouthfeel, due to yeast and lower carbonation, featuring a pleasantly sour, medium bodied beer.

Tastes of toffeeish, wine barrel soaked bready malts, with a good amount of funk to them. Red wine graped turn very profound, as the beer turns sweeter with rock sugar and bakers chocolate, balanced by a lemon rind infused funky tartness. Provides an almost harsh peak, when sour and sweet flavors collide on the palate, resulting in a marzipan earthiness, accompanied by dried berries and vinegar. Finishes with a boozy, vinuous glimpse, immediately wrapped up by slick, sweeter malts, earth and dried lemon peel, providing a decent dryness.

Very versatile beer, changing its flavor direction many times, appearing untamed on the tongue. Every time when the brew heads into an unconventional taste direction (bakers chocolate) for this style, it never crosses the line, but finds its balance within a new flavour, resulting from the so far established taste.

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Photo of TH28
4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

750ml. 2014. Appearance: dark brown with only the slightest hint of ruby. Almost completely opaque. Moderate khaki head. Aroma: Malty undertones, with red wine and sour cherry most prominent. Hints of apple and pear. Taste: Starts sweet and malty, quickly leading into sour cherry and apples. Vinous. Lactic acid bite, otherwise very clean. Bitterness is there to balance but definitely malt forward. Mouthfeel: Medium body with a high carbonation. Hint of alcohol warmth. Finish: Semi dry with some lingering tartness. Overall: World class Flanders Brown. Perfect balance of maltiness, fruity esters, and lactic tartness. Complex aroma and flavor.

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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.

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Photo of WGO
4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark muddy brown with a light brown head that quickly dissipates to just a light ring. Taste is sour, quite light and has a barrel aged oak like quality to it. Touch of marmite.
Really complex, very nice and definitely unique.

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Photo of Wanne
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is a reddish-brown, with a beige head. Overwhelming aroma. Typical smell of a flemish brown beer but much intenser. Notes of red fruit and some maltiness in the background. Taste is a combination of sour and vinous details. The alcohol is present in the taste, but gives it an extra dimension. My favorite brown beer (so far).

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Photo of drmeto
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

-sour cherry,red grape,balsamic vinegar,champagne
-Follows the nose plus a clear plum flavour
-high carbonation
-alcohol warming
-Classic Oud Bruin

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

I picked up a bottle of Liefmans Goudenband a couple weeks ago for $10.99 at The Lager Mill. I've been meaning to try more beer from this brewery and since I'm in the mood for a Flanders Red today I thought I would give this one a try, so lets see how it goes. Best by 2024. Poured from a paper wrapped green 750ml bottle into a teku.

A- The label looks nice, it's got a nice look to it and it's eye catching. It pours a murky red/brown color that take on more of a brighter crimson color when held to the light with almost two fingers worth of light tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left just a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This is a good looking beer and it's what I expect for the style.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with the a little bit of sour being the first to show up and it's followed by a light balsamic vinegar like aroma. Up next comes a nice fruity flavor with some cherry flavors seeming to stick out the most with a good amount of dark fruits also showing up and there's a little bit of a woody aroma towards the end. This beer has a good aroma that's right inline with the style.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma, but just a little lighter and it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with the fruits still sticking out the most, they are a little lighter, but it's still the cherries that stick out the most and the dark fruits show up more than they did in the aroma. I don't really get any funky yeast or any of those balsamic like aspects that I got in the aroma. On the finish there's not bitterness with a little tartness and a little more sweetness showing up with a nice fruity aftertaste. This is a good tasting beer, it's just what I expect for the style.

M- Smooth, slightly refreshing, a little crisp, not acidic at all, medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. This beer has a good mouthfeel, it works well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and a good example of the style, it had all the aspects that I look for and I didn't think there was anything that was off or out of place about this beer, it was just a tasty example of the style. This beer has nice drinkability, it's smooth, slightly refreshing, a little crisp, not acidic at all, not filling and the taste did a good job at holding my attention, I think one glass is the perfect amount for me. What I like the most about this beer was that it was really true to style. What I liked the least about it was nothing, there wasn't anything I disliked or would change. I would recommend this beer, especially if you like the style. I would buy it again, but I don;t think I would cellar it. All in all I enjoyed this beer and it just about everything that I want in the style, but I thought it was still just a notch below Rodenbach. It's not a favorite from this brewery or a favorite for the style. Good job guys, this was a tasty beer, keep it up.

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Photo of babaracas
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cherry red, brown red in the glass, with fizzy khaki colored head, settles to a thin ring, with streaks of lace down the glass. Smell: background green melon, caramel, bready note. In front is musty grain, cherry, green apple note. Taste: cola and soft melon notes, snappy grain, cherry juice, herbal and oaky, raspberry note, grape skin. Medium bodied, creamy delicate carbonation, drying mildly tart finish. Very tasty and well made. No date on the oddly stubby cork, cage lists 10/2023 as the best by date.

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Photo of 57md
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%

Brownish copper. Sweet nose. Light bodied. The flavor profile features mildly sweet fruity notes with a growing tartness on the finish. The tartness never becomes overwhelming or obtrusive.

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Photo of WunderLlama
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Offered up to me by my neighbor. Deep rich fruits and sour . It is a well crafted beer but sours are not my style. If you like them, try this one. For me, not again

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Photo of DaveBar
3.74/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the LCBO 750ml bottle for just under $9.00. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well pours with little head. Settles to a film and stays. Dark brown and cloudy.

S- Cherry and malt.

T- Sour cherry. Not quite ready yet. Needs time to blend. Raspberries will come through later when this thing calms down. Think that that will be a while though.

M- Tart and dry. Rather carbonated which is good for aging. Looking forward to having this one on a few years.

O- Pretty good. Way too young to drink. Will save the others for a few years down the line

Food Pairing

This way too young fruit beer goes well with... Spicy chicken with green vegetables. Keeping it open for you to substitute in what you like as this beer will work well with many combinations.


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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.

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Photo of abeeronthebeach
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The cork marks this as the 2011 Vintage.

A - Doppelbock brown mixes with the deepest of deep dark cherry. Fluffy cinnamon-latte foam.

S - Acetic acid, lemon juice. Black forest cherries. You can smell the musty, wet oak barrels. Really strong aromas. Very nice.

T - It tastes old as its name suggests. Almost stale. Sweet raspberry meets the tip of tongue giving way to must cherries and then an intense and somewhat distasteful bitter red wine quality. It may be the 8% abv showing through but it's not good. After the nose I expected a rich fruity body, an expectation on which this does not deliver.

M - Falls flat regarding the carbonation. Again it tastes old, and perhaps slightly past its prime, despite the drink before date of 2021.

O - The combination of sour nose, tart first sip and bitter finish does not work for me. I was all set to love this beer, but I'm not particularly enjoying it. It goes down easier with small sips. Judging by some other views I wonder if this was a bad bottle.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.29/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

750ml bottle into tulip. 2010 cork date.

A: Pours a deep mahogany with a finger of light tan head that fizzed away into a thin collar.
S: Deep and musty notes of buttery oak, thick caramel, brown sugar, leather, musty stone fruits, semi-sweet dark fruits, lightly tart berries, black cherry juice, and a hint of vanilla.
T: Malty flavors of base brown ale dominate, but greasy buttery oak barrel adds some balancing dryness and complexity to the flavors. Lightly tart hints of cherries, cherry pits, woody barrel, brown sugar, cocoa, and caramel are easily picked out, with leather and gritty tannins bringing up the finish. Tastes a bit muted and tired.
M: Very very low carbonation, almost flat, with a full greasy body, and drying finish. This beer is oily and heavy and definitely needs some more carbonation to lighten it up a bit.
O: Unfortunately not as good as I was expecting. Oak barrel comes through really well though, but I couldn't get past the greasy, heavy mouthfeel. Decent flavors, but not my favorite.

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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.

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Photo of hardy008
4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours reddish brown with ruby highlights, and a 1 finger tan head which fades quickly to a thin disc of foam, and leaves spotty lacing. The aroma has tart apples and cherries, caramel malt, and oak.

Tastes both sweet and tart with tart apples and cherries, caramel, raisins, figs, and oak. a very nice combination of flavors that blend together beautifully. I stored this for 2 years, and it turned out very nice. I would be interested to see how it would turn out with 5 or more years of aging.

Light to medium bodied with modest carbonation. Very smooth and easy to drink. Has a tart apple and cherry aftertaste. Definitely a beer I want to have again.

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Goudenband from Brouwerij Liefmans
4.17 out of 5 based on 1,369 ratings.
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