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: 1,377
Photo of Truh
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Watched the Red Sox triumphantly ride through the streets of Boston with this one on 10/30/2004. Looks like a 10.5-oz. pour at ACPH in a stunning Liefmans goblet provided by the owner of the publik house.

½ inch head of light, widely separated froth that sticks and chantilly-laces all the way through the pour. This subsided to a hot chocolate-like covering of full but small layering. Pungent, chewy malt that verges on an acidic cherry on the nose. To taste, a core of fruit punches right through the back of the mouth. Among other things, plums, raisins, peaches, and Macoun apples created a base upon which a settling sweetness piled on top. This was possibly one of the better offerings I have ever quaffed from the other side of the pond.

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Photo of merlin48
3.94/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Attractive paper wrapping around corked and caged bottle. The cork easily twists off, without a pop, revealing a 1998 stamping. Served slightly chilled into a goblet, no head even with an aggressive, initial pour. The body is a murky, purple brown(dark brown with lavender hues, perhaps), with suspended yeast particles("floaties") apparent. The yeast particles eventually settle to the bottom of the goblet.
Aroma begins with pronounced, woody notes of oak, followed immediately by tart, Bing cherries. Musty yeast and apple skins contribute to the complex, and inviting bouquet.
Mouthfeel has a medium body, but no carbonation. Slightly sherry like in the mouth.
The taste begins tart and tangy, with cherry fruitiness. Yeast mustiness is very prominent. Not as vinous as expected. Oxidation is apparent, and this one seems a bit past its prime. The abv is very well hidden, but will sneak up on you in a hurry.
Flanders Red Ales are one of my favorite styles, and I can't wait to try a more recent vintage of this one. Very complex, and tasty, even at this stage.

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Photo of 99bottles
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: In a wine goblet, this beer has a murky tan color with reddish brown hues and noticeable haziness. An ultrathin lace of miniscule bubbles flicker and dance on the surface, but to be sure, this beer has no head of which to speak. Looks utterly raw.

Smell: This has a strongly sour nose, with a damp vegetation funkiness and some faint scents of fruit.

Taste: This is one heck of a complex beer! The taste is unmistakeably Belgain, with an initial sourness of cherries and some oak or other wood. This mixes with a distinct lactic sourness, almost of spoiled milk which without becoming a dominant flavor, still makes the tastebuds twinge. The end lends a damply fecund taste of wet moss and hay. So completely unique and absolutely untamed while on tap, this is really not to be missed. KClinger’s Publik House, upstairs.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and moderately carbonated, the beer is light in the mouth while its flavor wreaks havoc on the tastebuds. Nicely matched, the mouthfeel is perfectly suited to the beer.

Drinkability: I really enjoyed this. It’s awesome to find such rarities on tap, and this one really takes the cake for complexity. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Yes. I could drink more than one of these, but I might abstain as this is a treat not to be taken and tampered with by sessioning it.

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Photo of Citadel82
3.7/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. botte, wrapped in tissue. Cork dated 2001. Poured into a freshly rinsed wide mouth goblet. Poured with a thin off white head with large bubbles. Color is a deep dark purple. Shows translucent red when held to the light. Head quickly dissipated leaving some sparse lace, this too vanished. There is quite a bit of sediment in the bottle. I made no effort to aviod pouring it into the glass. Fruity smell with hints of sour cherries. Thin feeling as you sip but flavor explodes in your mouth, first slight sweetness then a powerful sharp sourness with a long dry/sour astringent finish. The sweetness faded and the dryness became stronger as the brew warmed.

A very complex brew. I will try it again.

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

Bottled 2/03
Pours with a fizzy brief deep cream colored head settling over dark garnet/brownish liquid. Tart sour nose with a whiff of Brett funkiness & a hint of cherry wine. Sourness carries thru in the taste along with light metallic notes, some astringent dryness followed by a brief malt sweetness and some hoppiness and a warming alcoholic finish. Ends up dry/sour then underlying malt sweetness comes in. Very refreshing due to the acidity and somewhat light body.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.57/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The cork on this one says 1999, so it was kindly aged on the shelves for me for about 6 years since I just picked it up 2 days ago. The beer is a nice deep red color, almost brown untill you hold it to the light and I can see it is just deep deep red. There are tons of floaties and a lack of carbontion and no head. The nose is rather malty with sweet caramel and sour cherries. It is very inviting. The taste is mindblowing. The sweet and sour and tart balance in this wonderful. The flavor reminds me of sour cherries that were aged in a used whisky barrel. Just a wonderful transition between all the contrasting flavors. I have not had a beer like this before, and I will be seeking out more in the style. The beer is thin to moderate in mouthfeel. I only wish this were a 500 ml bottle (not sure they even have those for this beer) because I am sad that I'm almost done drinking this one.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very small, almost white head sits on a cloudy, dark red-brown beer. Full of big, pale chunks of float. The nose is fruity, sweet, with a hint of tartness. Some woodiness. Starts sweet, almost grapey with considerable woody notes. A full malty middle and a dry-ish (but still fruity) finish. I was expecting a little more tartness and oomph, a little less sweetness. But it's an excellent beer.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cool label and cool packaging. The cork reads 1998 so I am hoping for a real treat with this one. A six year old beer that is supposed to age well? Just my luck! Let's see how it fares.
Cork is very hard to get out. It still opens with a good pop.

Seems to be kind of flat, however, with a small head being produced. The color is dark, kind of like a porter but not as dark. The smell is very malty with hints of cherries and some citrus. Very oaky and earthy as well.

The taste is much better than the smell. Full bodied and earthy with just enough carbonation. I do believe this beer is perfect right now. If this is what proper aging does to a beer, I want more. So smooth and so layered. The cherry sour notes are there but perfectly balanced.

I truly am blown away. I can't believe a beer taste like this after six years in the bottle!

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Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1998 Vintage
Pours a deep dark brown with some light ruby hues and a fluffy offwhite head. Yeast chunks are all over the place in this beer finally settling down at the bottom of my glass. Aromas are malty and sugary with some molasses aromas sneaking their way into the picture. There is also some tartness noticeable and almost a wine like aroma. For flavor this beer starts off initially quite sweet with brown sugar and molasses being the most dominant flavors along with some nice malts. Following a slight tartness hits with some dark fruits, maybe figs or grapes which add a nice flavor to the beer. This beer finishes tart and refreshing with a slight sourness also and a warm alcohol note. Overall this beer is medium bodied and the carbonation is quite refreshing to the beer. I personally would have liked a little more tartness and sourness from the beer and a little less sweetness but overall a tasty brew.

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

Dark brown appearance, minimal head. Smells like red wine or maybe sherry. Taste is like a brilliant sweet red wine with cherry tones. Pleasant on the tongue. This was a perfect after dinner drink. Went out and bought a bottle after having this on tap for the first time. I hope the bottle version can come close to the tap version!

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Photo of RoyalT
4.44/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – The body is a beautiful, shiny brown with shades of orange and full of sediment. As interesting as the liquid is, the head is equally as boring. It came up very little and went down quickly. I didn’t get the impression by popping the cork that this ale was flat or bad. It just doesn’t seem to have a lot of head.

Smell – The malty sourness has a lambic way about it. This is no cheap sourness like many examples of the style. This is like sour green apples dunked in cider.

Taste – This will suck in your cheeks. Some cheap Flanders hurt my teeth, but this is the good stuff. The dextrose-flavored finish is a bit worn down by the big green apple sourness, but it’s there enough to be noticed. Again, I like the lambic characteristics that I’m finding here.

Mouthfeel – If you’re looking for that “just sucked a lemon” feeling then this will do the trick. It goes about it pleasantly, though. There’s nothing harsh in this one.

Drinkability – This is an easy drinker. It has all the facets of a good Sour Ale but is not too harsh or over-the-top. There’s also a very mature, almost oaky nature to this one that seems to put it above most of the pretenders. I found this to be a very solid, drinkable ale.

Comments – This is a 2001 so has been sitting for three years and is no worse the wear.

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Photo of inebrius
4.94/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2001. Poured lazily into a Holiday Inn cocktail tumbler.

A stroll through the late-Autumn orchard. Curled browns and ambers clutch the crooked limbs of fruit trees refusing fate for awhile. Tired soil is covered with the sweet scents of packed dead wet leaves and rotting fruits. The earth greets your every sense with primeval longing you don't quite understand.

I crave this type of visceral experience everytime I carry my lips to a glass filled with fermented liquid. Only few can bring it, and even fewer with the symmetry of Goudenband.

Bark and sour orange and nut bread wash across your buds and down and the heady vapors left behind affirm your instinct time and again. I feel I should list everything I'm feeling as I drink this but that might cheapen it. If your ever going to shell out five bones for a little bottle of beer, make it this one.

There should be a tree on the label.

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Photo of Gavage
3.99/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brown bronze color with a spotty head and plenty of sediment. No lacing develops. The aroma is nice as sour cherries, raisins and some yeast is easily detectable. The flavor is of strong sour cherries, fruits, malt and yeast. The tastebuds pucker quite a bit on this one. Medium bodied brew.

The mouthfeel is crisp on the start and finish. The sour cherries last long on the tongue after swallowing. This is a slow sippin' brew to enjoy after dinner, but one is all you need.

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Photo of drewbage
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from the 2002 vintage.

Beer pours into the glass with a low white head with very tiny bubbles slowly escaping the brew.

aroma is leather dark cherries wit hbrown sugar and touch of the aged fruited wine.

flavor is at first prickly with the sourness, but a rising brown sugary sweetness holds it at bay as those dark pudding fruits return for a dance on the palate before a long lasting sourness busts through to sweep it all aside.

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Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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

This ale was a lovely brown color, which was slightly cloudy and had particulate matter. There was no head to speak of.

The aroma was intense... sweet complex malts and a hinting of the alcohol contained therein.

The taste was likewise of complex malts... sweet and sour at the same time, with a tang that bit at the tongue. The alcohol was present but as a backdrop to the other flavors.

An unusual beer... worth trying, an excellent example of the style.

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Photo of HopDevil
4.87/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

poured from the bottle the color of rubbed walnut. The brownish red liquid barely produced a head, but oh that aroma.

Acidic, sour, oaky earthy, musty woody with an underlayment of caramel malt.

The flavor impact is a rush for the tongue. The character noted in the aroma is in the taste in spades. Zingy, tangy, jolly rancher, granny smith apple, sour cherry tart with a charming fruitcake maltiness that keeps the raucous sour acid musty woodsy flavors gently reigned in . The hop is imperectible.

Metalic and sharp mouth watering pucker in the finish, unbelievably refreshing for such a hugely complex beer. My unschooled macro drinking friends HATE this beer- lmao. More for me

I can't get enough of the sweet n tart flavor characteristic of Flanders Reds of which this is my favorite example.

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Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.37/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

355 mL corked,caged, and wrapped bottle with "1998" printed on the cork.

Rich and yeasty, with crisp, tart, almost but not quite Rodenbach-like finish, with strong, deep malt character. Virtually no head and chestnut in color when poured into wine glasses.

When I want something dark and Belgian, I may very well head this direction--though why I'd limit myself to one such brew I have no idea. Very good.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my re-review (original review included below). This stuff is incredible. The previous review was an off-bottle. Pours a medium brown with a small tan head and lots of carbonation. Slight ruby port-like characteristics highlight the brown color. Lots of yeast- I would lose half the bottle if I didn't pour it into the glass (and I can't wait to decant it!) Arome is wonderful- bready, rich, dark sweetness of fruit (plums and dates). Flavor is rich and warm and creamy (ok, ok, that's mouthfeel, I know) with breadiness and frutiness (plums and grapes) and nuttiness. There is an obvious backdrop of sourness, but it is a very nice compliment to the beer, rather than the dominant characteristic. This is a class beer.

Original review (3/1/2004): I have had this amazing beer several times before I decided to review it- this is one of my "wow" beers. Funny, though, that I opened this bottle specifically to rate it, and it is different than the 5 or 6 of these I've had before (including once on tap at Lucky Baldwin's). What I remember from the others is an amazing balance of fruit, slight sweetness oak aged feel like a complex wine, balanced by a marvelous tart/sourness. This bottle had all the things I describe in the aroma, but the flavor was dominated by tart/sour/bitter much more so than in previous bottles. I don't know if this is because its a different vintage/age, if it has turned a bit, or if it was my palate. But this one seems to have some variability. The beer is a beautiful brown that hides ruby, port, and golden-reds in its complexity, much like the slight sweet fruity aroma hides plums, sour grapes, apples, and who knows what else. There is no head on this beer. The flavor is sour like a geueze/lambic with lots of other things going on that I can't put my finger on. The alcohol is no where to be seen except as a warming sensation. I'm not sure if this particular bottle was off or not, my scores are based on several tries. Maybe I'll have to try it a few dozen times more to see what it is really like!!!

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Photo of garthwaite
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark reddish brown with a bubbly head. The nose is a flowery barnyard caramel with a little cherry. Flavor is very pleasant - a little spice, some woodiness. Smooth, but somewhat thin bodied. Lots of sour cherry, grapes, and high acidity. Finish is bitter, peppery, and dry. Overall, this is a pleasant & easy-drinking treat.

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Photo of nomad
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2001 vintage

Unadorned, this beer pours a clear but brawny mahogany with a thin fluffy head. Each tip shows a soft and decaying sea of truly lacy lace.

Smell is rich, beginning with lactic, iron, and malty notes. Opens to caramelized brown sugar over a body of cherry and raspberry scents. Toasty edges with specks of cinnamon spice. Well balanced and refined some by three years of aging.

Explodes with flavors of cherry skins and stems enlivened by true lemon juice. A tone of iron infuses these though recedes over the session, most noticeable only in the finish. Just enough tartness perks up the classic Flanders body while toasty bread notes softly edge it. Overall, slightly rounded, still spritely, and altogether tasty.

Compared to the fresh draught version I quaffed at Monk's, this beer is not as bright much more complex, and subtly so. The smooth moderate mouthfeel is also similar, but lacks most of the nice carbonation I found from a keg. Regardless, a refined and true classic in the world of beer. Always a good 750 ml. choice for the cellar.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A shiny, beautiful red/brown color that is deceptively dark. Smell is a combination of alcohol, white fruits, and flowery herbs. The taste is very refreshing - reminiscent of a meade. There is a lot of apple in the flavor with some festive herbs (rosemary?) and alcohol presense is strong. The body is thick and dense...thick pixels of sweet and sour mixing throughout producing a sparky texture on the tongue.

This beer was the highlight of my adventure to Louisville in April. It is best saved for a special occasion.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
1.57/5  rDev -62.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Appearance - 12 ounce bottle corked and caged. Cork date is Nov, 2001. Slight pop on opening. Center poured into a Belgian glass with virtually no bubble action. And yet, after settling, there appears this curious current of carbonation in the middle, churning from below and bringing up quite a bit of sediment. Mostly brown in color with hints or red and very bespeckled with large flakes of yeast. It's fun to watch, kinda like a lava lamp.

Aroma - definitely a musty, earthy, sour, vinous, somewhat medicinal smell. Reminds me of horses and their general smell. Very different, not something I'm used to, and I can't say I'm overly thrilled. As an aside, the cork itself smells like honeysuckle and fragrant wildflowers with allspice. Very nice, if there was a 'cork aroma' category, I'd give it a 5.

Taste - very sharp and sour flavor. A dry, acidic red wine taste with extreme lemon juice tartness. Very unusual, but an improvement from the aroma. The greenest, tartest apples ever, or like taking those Warheads candies and just licking off that outer sour layer. The sourness and horsiness render useless any thought of detecting malt or hops. I don't think I've had as funky a beer as this except for Orval, I really didn't like it much either. Finishes dry and puckering. I can adjust to it somewhat but generally think (at this point) that this style isn't for me and isn't worth the effort.

Mouthfeel - very dry and bubbly like a good dry champagne. As much as I don't care for the taste, the puckering bubbliness is quite enjoyable.

Drinkability - I will try others of this style in the future, but for now this is at the bottom of my repeat list.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cork says 2000.

Murky looking deep auburn appearance. Virtually no head. Very nice aroma. Hot spiced apple cider, brown sugar, candied raspberries. Mouthfeel is light and on the low side of the spectrum for carbonation. The flavor has a little sweet and sour thing going on. Just a little bit of a stinging acetic acid presence. But also some sugar coated raspberries. Other fruit sensations surface as well. Such as green apple, pear and blackberry. This one has a nice mellowness to it. Could be from the aging. Pretty good stuff.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2002...

Appearance: reddish brown (almost chestnut), a bit hazy, thinnish layer of tan head that slowly compacts to a thin cap

Aroma: lactic and corky/musty, a hint of wood, vinous, a dash of soy sauce and nail-polish

Flavor: mild malt base with an initial tanginess and an overlying corkiness, the tan increases towards the end of the palette, finish is semi-dry with caramel malt and vinegar in the aftertaste, also a bit of wood-tannin bitterness

Mouthfeel: medium body, gentle carbonation, some warmth

Overall Impression: Finally tried this old classic. Definitely a fan of their kriekenbier (both the sweetened and the natural one), so it was nice to taste the base beer. Swirling up and adding the bottle-sediment really kicks up the complexity. Since Rodenbach has "gone commercial", this may be it's rustic replacement.

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Goudenband from Brouwerij Liefmans
4.17 out of 5 based on 1,377 ratings.
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