Goudenband | Brouwerij Liefmans

1,378 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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Reviews: 571 | Ratings: 1,378
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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Photo of Dope
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

No bottling date that I can find.

A: Pours a dark reddish-brown. Very tall, very frothy light brown head. Head settles down eventually with only a little dot or two of lacing here and there. Good retention.

S: Dark fruits and berries. Light acetone. Floral.

T: Mild lactic sourness with floral flavors. Fruity in general and throughout, but nothing I can specifically place other than apples. A brief hit of sourness in the finish. Somewhat dry aftertaste, like dried apple slices.

M: Medium bodied, smooth and dry.

O: Very interesting brew. Floral and fruity in general. Crisp and refreshing - exceptionally so. Tart and sour here and there but nothing super overpowering. Nicely varied, really.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.07/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle purchased from the LCBO for around$8 CDN. Served well chilled into glassware. The appearance of this bottle gives the appearance of something refined and delicious. We shall see.

Appearance - A gentle pour yielded about a finer of fizzy looking, tan colored head. Lots of effervescent bubbles are present in this murky dark brown concoction. Head lingers for a bit leaving soapy lacing around the rim of the glass.

Smell - Earthy with a vinegary, balsamic aroma, blended with red wine. The earthy dankness clings to the nostrils in a pleasant fulfilling way but not as too overpower. There's a hint of sweet molasses or butterscotch on the very front of the nose before transitioning to the earthy vinegar aromas. Quite interesting.

Taste - The hind of butterscotch and molasses quickly hit before transitioning to a vinegary balsamic flavor with some juicy grape like flavors thrown in. The vinegar flavor is the taste that lingers, yet it is mellowed to the point that is is comfortable. Low bitterness as this has more aspects of sour than bitter.

Mouthfeel - Explosive yet soft carbonation, gives the illusion of a very fizzy beer, yet the feel is soft and soothing. Not syrupy in any sense yet the feel covers your tongue and mouth. Very unique feel and enjoyable.

Overall - This isn't something I would choose to drink everyday but it is obvious from from everything about this beer that there is quality everyone and that this is a beer to be savored and enjoyed slowly. In all, a very difficult beer for me to try to convey as it's one of the first I've had in the style and the flavor and aroma profiles are vastly different than what I am accustomed to. Still highly recommended for anyone looking to try something new and with an appreciation for craftsmanship.

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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.

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Photo of dougbassett
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of the "1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die" -- #39 of the ones I've reviewed here.

The label on the bottle I have says "Provision Ale", I also learned this is a kind of blended beer? Its very unusual and complicated.

Pours a rather straightforward brown, a little cloudy, with a head that disappears quickly. Odd, interesting nose of apple cider vinegar, sour cherries, even a little grape bubblegum. Mouthfeel is light but very nice, effervescent with a surprisingly sustaining finish.

Flavors develop in the glass, this is a beer that repays a careful, thoughtful drinking. First hit is a sour cherry vinegar up top and down below a malty, earthy, almost woody backbone. Work on it a bit, though, and some figgy/dark fruits start to come up.

Strong at 8% but wears its alcohol well, tart but not too sour to drink, very nicely balanced, in fact. I don't know if I'll always be reaching it for it, but its a legitimate classic beer, certainly worth a go by anybody.

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Photo of Mike_Moe
4.61/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Dark amber color with a good brown head.
Aroma: Fruity raisin and citrus aroma.
Flavor: Sweet fruity taste citrusy body with a smooth sour finish. Has a full bodied with fuzzy carbonation
Overall: This is a very complex beer. This brew is a copulation of fruit salad, raisin and citrus. The sourness carries though the finish but that light "puckering" sensation ends rapidly. It's smooth sour finish is quite unique. Overall this is a fantastic beer!

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Photo of DMXLOX22
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a single of this brew as a Christmas present, directly from Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY. Excited to check this brew out. Poured into my Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a clean, dark brown, almost blackish, maroon-like color. Leaves behind a nice one-inch head of tan, frothy head. Leaves behind a nice line of lacing all the way down. Not bad, but hard to obviously see the carbonation bubbles. Womp, womp, still impressive.

Smell: First noticeable scent is a red wine, almost apple-cider vinegar. Quite strong in that department. Second take I can detect a sour cherry/grape mixed in. Not bad. I've been appreciating the sour beer market lately. This seems like a perfect example of such. last whiff and I can detect an oak-like odor. Quite good.

Taste: First sips, it is quite apparent of sweet and sour cherry flavors. Some figs thrown in. Nice addition of a apple-cider vinegar kind of flavor. Such a perfect blend of sweet and sour. Very slight hint of possibly brown sugar, but that wasn't noticed towards the end of the glass. Kind of disappointed I have to go through this and not have another bottle. I'm taking as many little sips as possible as to savor the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Bubbly and crisp. Medium carbonation. Finishes dry. Well-rounded in the acidic and sweet department.

Overall: Coming into this brew, I was pretty excited about trying this brew. My hopes were granted. The beginning of this adventure I was quite surprised. Alcohol is virtually non-existent and had a perfect carbonation. I was surprised and satisfied at the same time. I really enjoyed the sweet and sour they were going for. I would try this again and would totally recommend to a friend and make sure they enjoy it slowly as I had to really open up this beers body/true flavors.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brown/cherry with a small off-white head that dissipates quickly. The nose was not as pronounced as expected but consisted primarily of vinegar and sour cherries. The flavor was very similar to the nose-not as sour as I expected but very refreshing. The mouthfeel was thin but not too watery. This is a very drinkable beer and I would love to drink it again in the future.

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Photo of Ryanm1
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

I'm a huge fan of Belgians and didn't know what ton expect here. Didn't really even know the style before drinking but turned out to be a Flanders "old brown". This is different than those English and American brown ale. After checking out the beer description on BA of the style fermentation actually produces a bi product called diacetyl which produces a sour flavor definitely a characteristic of the beer. Also gives the beer some buttery notes which reading up on diacetyl is used to artificially flavor buttered popcorn. Poured into a glass from a cage and cork with almost a mathematical precision of carbonation to body. Smell is overpowering sweet fruity esters. Cherry and oak flavors, very carbonated, sour, dark fruits coming through such as fig and grape. My first of this varietal but excellent nonetheless.

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

Smell here is a great bouquet of dark fruit....somewhat sweet and a good amount of tart there. There is definitely an aroma of tannins here as well. A certain red wine quality to it. Lastly, a whiff of alcohol.

Pours a brown color in my glass with a thin head to it.

The taste is interesting for the style in that it seems to tilt more towards the sweeter fruit notes as opposed to the tart. At no point do I really pucker at all. It starts out fairly sweet, though far from overbearing. The fruit tastes good and doesn't taste artificial. Then it finishes tart in a minor way. Again, not puckering. I wouldn't use vinegar to describe it like I would other sours. Just mildly citric.

Some sours are puckering and over the top sour. Some like the Duchesse strike a balance. This is more sweet. Regardless it's quite tasty. Alcohol covered up very well. Goes down dangerously smooth.

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Photo of joeseppy
3.86/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a murky raisin brown with sediment and a wispy head that disappears.

Aroma of cherry mash, plums, raisins with slight acidity and alcohol.

Taste like a low sugar tart cherry pop with acetic notes and somewhat spritzy. This, for me, is truly an evolving Oud Bruin as temperature changes. Mid-way, a more vinous character shows up with white grapes and green apples coming to mind. Sweetness at this time is still balanced. And in the end, it's turns into more of an apple cider with more sugar appearing as carbonation all but goes away.

Mouthfeel is light and spritzy at colder temps. Coming up in temp, this loses carbonation and becomes more layering on the palate-not enough carbonation to scrub the tongue of residual sugars.

Overall I enjoyed this. I had this for Thanksgiving dessert with, I can finally say, with one of the best cherry pies I've had in years. And that experience I would give a five to! But anywhoo, I did not enjoy the apple cider part of it as too many sugars and acidity came into play, but cooler temps proved to be a pretty darn tasty sour. I can usually put this down myself but this one is a bottle share. A great dessert table sour and the price point cannot be beat.

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Goudenband from Brouwerij Liefmans
4.17 out of 5 based on 1,378 ratings.
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