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: 1,376
Photo of Tone
3.56/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, dark brown. 1/3 inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Sourness, fruit, hint of hop, sweet malt, and hint of alcohol in the aroma. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of tartness, fruit, sweet malt, sourness, and a hint of hop. Overall, good appearance and blend, but I was hoping for more sour/tart notes in aroma and body.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

this is big boy beer, a textbook oud bruin, probably the best ive had. it pours a red tinted maple brown color with a frothy and dense oatmeal head with flawless retention. the nose on this is really nice, a little tart, not quite sour, with some fruity notes and a lot of hefty caramel malt sweetness. I pick up some fresh figs on the taste, as well as dried oranges and golden raisins, it is a complex malt base here. the top notes are acidic and alcoholic, with the fruity bits taking a back seat to yeasty funk and tannic dryness. all of it getting more intense as it warms up. big body is made lighter by the acid, and by lively carbonation. I could se myself drinking this regularly if it were available. its a classy beer, a glistening example of the oud bruit style, and a beer I really recommend, especially at the 9 bucks a bottle steal we copped this for. it must be done.

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.82/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2011 vintage

A- reddish brownish plum with a foamy beige head. The foam settles to a thick disk and leaves little spots of lace.

S- totally rad aromatic balance. All at once sour and sweet, very woodsy with the impression of chocolate, vanilla, and stinky cheese. Olive brine, tomato acidity, and soil. Grape, fig, and sour cherry.

T- pleasant tartness from start until near the finish, wherein the sourness fades abruptly and woodsy barrel vanilla and chocolate flavors move right in to fill the void. In between, there's sour cherries, sour berries, mineral water, lots of oak, acorn trypsin nuttiness, raisin, oxalis, tomato, and earth. This is dark angry cave basement type fun. Masterfully blended and well rounded at 2 years old. This that boy.

MF- tannic and moderately dry with a very nice powdery yeasty feel. The effervescence of this beer is fan freakin tastic and lasts until the glass is empty.

D- throughout this review "vinegar" NEVER once popped into my mind (although other strange things had... Oxalis? Wtf) setting this one apart from other beers that I've tried in the same style. Definitely gonna cellar a couple bottles.

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Photo of rickyleepotts
4.41/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Tonight we are drinking a sour. I LOVE sour beers. When I am walking up and down the beer aisle at Total Wine & More, I like to watch people looking at a sour to see his or her reaction. Unless you are expecting the flavors a beer like this offers, prepare to be amazed. The brewing process along is unique, and requires SO much attention. This specific bottle is from 2010, so it already has 3+ years on it. The beer is said to age to 10+ years, so I am sure some of the initial sweetness has worn off and we are getting to the bare bones of what makes this beer great. I like pretty much every beer from Belgium, so I hope this one delivers. It's a big bottle and comes in a paper wrapping. That's called the "pajamas". Aww… how cute! I just hope it taste good. Cheers, people!

In the Glass: I didn't expect this to be dark, but it has a nice deep dark brown color. Not much hear, and hardly any lace. I could smell some of the sour notes as I was pouring this. To be honest, as this beer has settled in the glass, it looks like a flat Coke. I am sure it smells and tastes better than Coke!

Nose: I am getting some sour notes, but not as much as I expected. I keep thinking about the brewing process for a beer like this. There is so much attention put on brewing a beer of this quality, and then to only charge $12.99 for it… that's a steal! It makes me appreciate the beer more and has me itching to drink it. So… without further ado, let's drink. Cheers! (Is that the way you spell adu? Or is it ado? Or adue? I have no idea!)

Flavor: That is sour… but a very complex beer. It's not sour until the finish. I am sitting here waiting for it to be sour, and some almost malty flavors attack the middle of my palate. Then, out of nowhere comes the palate wrecking sour flavors. Holy crap, that's intense. Now, having tried several sour beers over the years, I am sure this will become more balanced as I drink and as it heats up. But the first impression is a nice subtle sweetness leading to a ridiculous sour flavor. Bravo, Liefmans.

Mouthfeel: It's quite thin, and doesn't really impress me until the finish. It slides across the palate, and while it's cold, I feel that might help the flavor a little bit. I did swish a second sip around in my mouth, and the bubbles overwhelm. It does, however, really open up the beer. You get more subtle sweet flavors and while the bubbles take over, when they are gone the flavor is worth every second.

Aftertaste: It's sweet, but not as sweet as I expected. Perhaps the time this has been in the bottle. The experts said the sweet flavors should be expected with young bottles. I would LOVE to try this at 8-10 years. I am not sure I have that kind of time. Although, I have a few bottles in the cellar that I am holding for 15 and for 20 years.

This is good. It's really good. i have more than half a glass left, and I am going to let this site to warm up a bit. It will get better, and I am stoked to see what this tastes like in 10-15 minutes. I might not have 10 years, but I have 10 minutes. If you like a good Belgian example of a sour, then try this. Both offerings from Liefmans have been great. Good price for a beer that has that much TLC put in the bottle. Plus, I love the pajamas!

Liefmans Goudenband - The bottle says: "NA"

The bottle might not say much… but the wrapper (pajamas) say a lot. So… the wrapper says: "Liefmans Goudenband is one of the world's most complex beers. An aged Belgian Brown Ale, it is brewery-cellered for many months until it matures. Only then is it blended and bottled. Historically known as "Provision Beer", Goudenband is superb for further home cellaring, allowing taste, aroma and body of the beer to continue to evolve. A delectable treat for the beer connoisseur."

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

Appearance: Dark chestnut; no head on the pour

Aroma: Sour; slightly vinous fruit; spicy

Taste: slightly sour; wine-like; tart; slightly spicy; excellent flavor overall

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; so please disregard those scores

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Photo of harrymel
3.89/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Vintage 2011

Pours a nice dark brown with cherry hues and some surface etches. Smells of cough syrup, cherries, some oak, some alcohol, some peppercorn, some grain. Flavor is sweet, balsamic, cherry, oak, sweet syrupy, some acetic character, like old school black sweet and sour with more complexity and nuances. Medium bodied with moderate on hi carb and an off dry finish. Decent example of the style, a little on the sweet side, but nice spiced character.

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

A: the head died fast on this - could be anything from not-so-clean lines or glass to it being too cold.... dark, murky burgundy-brown, but relatively clear... scant lacing

S: immediate blend of caramel, sherry, and cocoa.... champagne-like esters, robust-fruity but not the least bit zesty-strong

T: not-so-sweet spiced apple and dry raspberry/cherry fruitiness.... comparable level of chocolaty malt flavor.... vanilla notes ostensibly from oak barrel aging.... refreshing yet real mellow lactic tartness.... definite sherry notes

M: soft-smooth, nearly medium body, mild roundness.... barely any fizz, slinks away quietly and pretty dry

O: gets better as you get through it, but I can't help but feel I'd prefer this out of the bottle, which I'm now certainly going to have to do... wasn't as sour as other examples I've had, and that's not a bad thing as this was a little too drinakble

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Photo of SanDNigel
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml- Wrapper sure makes it seem special
A- Dark burgundy, little bubbles. For mine, little to no head, just a little something around the walls of the glass
S- You can smell it as you pour it. Wow it smells good! Date, caramelized sugar, berry/pear compote with a sour sting
T- Delicious You don't want it to end. Sour berries that pucker you up nicely. Such a perfect balance of sweet/sour/ and some extraordinary thing I couldn't put my finger on
M- Soooo smooth Mine was lightly carbonated, but I wouldn't have changed a thing

This is one damn good beer. If you were to introduce someone to sour ales this might be the perfect beer to do it with. I just want more and more of it, that is the only problem

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Photo of Jonada
4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served in a snifter. Assuming I'm interpreting on top of the cage correctly, this was bottled in February 2011.

Appearance: Pours a murky brown color with hints of red. 1 finger of a creamy light tan head with impressive retention and lacing.

Smell: Balsamic vinegar, oak, leather, sour cherry, candi sugar and hints of caramel.

Taste: First and foremost I'm noticing a big oak character to this. In addition to that I'm getting dark fruit, rye bread, vinegar, and a hint of black currant. Sourness is relatively low.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, soft mouthfeel with medium fine carbonation. Alcohol is nearly undetectable.

Overall: Maybe my expectations were too low coming into this, but I'm very impressed. It's not intensely sour, tart or funky some others in the style, but it's subtle, complex and all of the flavors work together perfectly. Worth seeking out.

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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.

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

Serving - 24oz bottle served in a Liefmans goblet.

Cork in bottle shows a 2011 bottling date.

A- dark, color reminds me of a black cherry. Thin head of beige foam that retains well. Excellent lacing.

S- sour cherries, vanilla, oak, grapes, hints of caramel.

M- moderate carbonation, refreshing with a dry finish.

T- caramel apple, cherries, a pinch of dark chocolate, sugar, subtle sourness throughout but amplified on the back end. Malt really stands out. The aftertaste curbs the sugariness of the fruit and dulls down the already soft fruit favor and enhances the sourness that is already present along with an oak flavor containing hints of vanilla.

O- Amazing! Outstanding! Liefmans Goudenband is a lesson in complex simplicity. There is a lot going on here but it doesn't overwhelm at all. Each taste invites you back for another. First had this at Monks Cafe in Philadelphia then spent the next two months trying to find a case. This beer is exactly what an Oud Bruin should be. I can't say enough about it. This is the only beer I've purchased where multiple people have literally congratulated me for my purchase.

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Photo of drperm
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle purchased 6/2010; Opened 5/2013.

My first thought is, this is the best beer I've had in a very long time.

My second thought is, this is quite possibly the perfect beer.

My third thought is, DAMN why did I only buy one bottle??

A deep ruby colour entices in the glass.
On the nose it is, in the words of another reviewer, "like Scottish food" - lots of spice, malt, esters, vinegar, tartness, and plum.
On the palate it is extremely complex and enjoyable - sweet & sour with a fair balance between the two: not too sweet, not too sour.
The finish snaps sour with a hint of bing cherry.

Pair with: carrot-miso soup with sesame oil (I'm not even kidding), herbed goat cheese, baked brie with fruit, dates and figs, roast duck, or venison with cherry sauce.

And when you find it in a shop, don't make the same mistake I did: purchase more than one bottle.

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Photo of mactrail
3.68/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark clear mahogany in the glass with a long-lasting foam. A pleasant spritzy mouthful. This one is more sweet and sour, but in an appealing and nice-balanced way. wlight woody bitterness to finish. A little toffee and sweet malt, but a long, sour finish. It doesn't taste at all of alcohol.

The Belgian candy flavor is right up front. On tap at Local Habit in San Diego. The usual dry yeasty taste is there as well, but it gets lost in the tart, roasted grainy flavors. This is a very interesting beer that is more drinkable than most of the sour varieties I've tried. It also tastes just like so many forgettable beers I drank in Belgium, but with the addition of the acidic sensation. On tap at Local Habit in San Diego.

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Photo of janubio
3.21/5  rDev -23%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

37,5 c. bottle wrapped in paper and corked. Dark amber colour, no head and no lace. Lots of chunks in the bottom of the glass. Smell is sour, cider, oak, cherries, apple and vanilla essence. Medium body, sour palate. Taste is sour too, cider, cherries, and the artificial vanilla. I like the sourness but certainly i expected much more from this one. bottled in 1996 and best before end of 2014.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Cork City in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a crystal clear deep red in color with some light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation and some garnet red + dark amber + copper highlights. There are also some light amounts of visible yeast sediment near the bottom of the glass. The beer has a half finger tall foamy dark beige head that reduces to a small patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of sour cherries over a light hint of oak.

T: Upfront there is an initial candi sugar like sweetness that is followed by the sour/tart flavors of sour cherries and moderate amounts of oak. Hints of vanilla are also present.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with light amounts of carbonation. Smooth. Light amounts of acidic prickliness.

O: The alcohol in this beer is very well hidden making this beer easy to drink - the tartness is also not overpowering which makes it more appealing to a wider audience. I really enjoyed this beer and found it to a be a wonderful way to end the evening.

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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.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.52/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep dark wood brown with ab ever slight orange tinge when held to the light, only slightly opaque. Slight cappuccino colour foam, cannot see any carbonation. Nice lacing.

S: Sour, balsamic vinegar, fruity, red wine vinegar, creamy, floral and fragrant.

T: Sour but not tart to overwhelming, fruity, balsamic vinegar, floral, light sweetness to balance.

M: Medium heavy body, high foamy carbonation.

O: Full of flavour and there is a lightness in body compared to the Lips of Faith La Folie 2013 I had. This Goudenband had 2011 on the cork and was had on March 20, 2013.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a deep brown color with a thin foamy cream colored head. He's disappears pretty quickly, but it's still a nice looking beer.

S: Dark fruit, oak, sour cherrie, a touch of chocolate and some rich malt.

T: Has a really pleasant tartness to it without really getting sour. A slightly heavy mouthfeel really complements the tartness nicely. Opens with a chocolate covered sour cherry note, some plum, unripe green grapes and red currants. Really nice.

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Photo of Samuel906
4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I remember having this beer a long time ago, and not being particularly excited. My exact thoughts were "why did I just pay a significant sum of money for this beer"? BUT, this was before I knew anything about beer, or had any appreciation for the subtlety of flavor. I am sure glad I tried it again. First, this pour much, much darker than any other sour I've had. Brown and ruby with white, light head. Smell is fantastic, sour and fresh. Lime, some slight brown sugar sweetness, and cherries. The taste follows suit with the perfect amount of sour and bitter. The flavor is light and refreshing and absolutely none of the 8% ABV comes through. This beer has a lot of subtlety and picking out the many, many flavors is a pleasure (cherries, plums, oak, spice, lime, orange and many more). Great carbonation brings the flavors to life on your palate. Zesty, refreshing, and overall great. I am very glad I got a chance to revisit this beer, and it holds a place as one of my new favorite beers.

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Photo of wedge
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


Dark russet with a small, tight-bubbled, creamy head. Dark, sour cherry, malt, mild vinegar, acidity, and sweet vinous fruit aromas. More richness as it warms. Soft, sour, fruity flavor...cherry, oak, figs, and miscellaneous purply fruits. Earthy berries, grape, and apple. Very dry, tart, and super refreshing. I'm definitely going to get another one or two to hide away for a few years. Tasty, surprisingly refreshing stuff...

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Photo of ujsplace
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass.

This brew is a deep, reddish brown colored ale that has a 1/2 inch thick head that quicly fades to a thin cover. When I look at it, it is very reminiscent of a burgundy.

Smells of sour apples, grapes and spice.

Tastes of tart fruityness. Predominantly sour apple up front, but can also taste grapes with a sweet, dark cherry finish. A very complex brew that manages a nice balancing act between sweet and sour. I borely notice the alcohol.

Smooth mouthfeel with active, pleasant carbonation.

This is the second Flanders Oud Bruin I've had and the first I've reviewed. This is very different from most brews and it is refreshingly so. This is one to be savored once in a while and to sit back and relax with - let it warm up a bit. The cork in this one was dated 2011 and I wonder how complex this would be had I not greedily popped it open after having it only two months. Oh well, maybe next time.

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Photo of jtierney89
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

you can smell this thing, also the cork shot out real quick.

deep russet red with a bit of haze and a big sticky tan head. Smells a lot like Scottish food, lots of vinegar with a bit of savor. salted plums raisins and figs,

This tastes like sweat but its fabulous. grainy malt bill upfront with a tart sourness on the back end. extremely clean for whats supposed to be a sour beer. lingers in the mouth for a good amount of tie. Very vinous in character almost like a french red wine. good acidity on the back end.

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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...).

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Photo of magine
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Duvel glass. 2011 vintage listed on cork.

Pours a dark brown with a tan head. Tons of bubbles cascading upward to make up a pillowy head with tons of buubles rising. Really is an awesome brew to admire, brew and glassware working together in perfect harmony. Great lacing and head retentenion. Looks great.

Brew smells of dark fruits and mild booze. Dark cherrys, raisens and other flavors noticed. Complex and smells tasty. Good nose.

Brew is creamy upfront and then makes way for some dark complex fruits melded with some spice and sweetness in the end. Brew drinks easy and has a good solid feel and flavors. Lots of complex flavors going on as it warms. Sour apples, tart and a cider like flavor. A smokey maltiness is picked up here as well. Good warming and a nice smoked flavor in the after taste. Good feel and flavors.

I never tried this style of brew prior so it is all new to me. A good dessert brew or brew for a hot summer day. The style of brew isnt my favorite but it was a cool brew to try and review. Good stuff

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

Had on tap at Taps and Handles in Fort Collins, CO

A: Very dark, a slight (one finger) tan head

S: Grapes, tart, a little maltiness

T: Sweet. Maybe too much so. Tastes like it was aged in wine barrels, but this may not be the case. Nice sour taste. Not quite on par with NB's La Folie, but close.

M: Slides around in there nicely.

O: A very good beer. I am somewhat inexperienced with Flanders, but am trying to widen my experience with them. Would definitely try again, especially on tap.

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Goudenband from Brouwerij Liefmans
4.17 out of 5 based on 1,376 ratings.
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