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 RedHaze
4.67/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Update 21Jun2009, 750ml bottled 2006 from the "cellar".
Rating has been adjusted accordingly.

Still very cloudy and murky in appearance, as expected.

The sourness is very evident still, but a nice fruity (cherries, plums and green apples) sweetness has begun to come through a little more than before. The vinegar notes have become a little more muted, and the the finish has smoothed out quite a bit with a little less acidity. This has turned into one hell of a fine sour beer, and I hope the remaining bottles that I have get only better.

750ml bottle, 2006. 4.25 rating.

Pours a dark and cloudy ruby tinged brown with a one finger head that fades quickly to a thin soapy cap. The lacing is minimal, but it does stick to the glass nicely.

Smell; sour green apples and cherries with a hint of vinegar come floating out of the glass before I even finish pouring. A little brown sugar with a touch of oak are present as well as a hint of citrus.

Taste; very sour and acidic, with cherries and sour apples with that touch of citrus in the background. A little bit of brown sugar helps to keep the sourness in check a bit. The oak helps to smooth out the finish and gives it a bit of a drying effect on the palate.

Moutheel is medium bodied with an almost "spitzy" carbonation, and for me the drinkability is just great, but then I really love sour beers.

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Photo of Mitchill
4.67/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lately this and the classic Rodenbach Grand Cru have been my go to sour fix within a reasonable price point. The appearance being a dark rusty brown color might not be the greatest thing you have ever seen but what it lacks in appearance it makes up for in taste. The smell is quite varied, you get oak, some acidity, and sour dark fruit. The taste seems to change and develop with both consumption and temperature, at first I get the oak presence, the dark fruits, vinegar acidity and then finally the much anticipated tartness. This beer is not too sour but has just enough lactobacillus to make me happy. It is priced reasonably and gives you the sour many of us crave until you can get your hands on 3F or Cantillon which seems to be more and more rare in my neck of the woods

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Photo of geexploitation
4.66/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark, dark brown, almost black, with very little head. What head there is kicks up midway through the pour and then fades in a flash to virtually nothing. Complex nose, with hints of oak (but not American oak -- just a more subdued woodiness), must, sour cherries and funk. Really interesting. On the palate, tingly acidity and smooth malts pop up first, with some funk from the wood aging easily distinguishable, especially at lower temperatures. For fruit there's cherries, the sweeter side holds chocolate creme, and there are some nice earthy herbal notes in there too. The finish is a tad sweet and certainly tangy. Mouthfeel is silky in the malt component, but there's an acidic edge that evens things out and adds complexity. This is a wonderful beer. Everything is perfectly balanced, the flavors are nuanced and enjoyable, each part on its own merits and as a whole.

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Photo of Sorgasm
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this gem of a beer was recommended to me by an inebriated local i met at the golem in amsterdam. he could barely talk, but damn i'm glad i took his advice. this was my first encounter with funky beer and it really opened my eyes.

appearance - deep brown with an attractive but short lived white head.

smell - complex. fruit, wood, carmel, and sour. a first for me.

taste - holy crap. beer can do that? tastes as complex as it smells with a sourness that melts into a sweet finish. blew me away.

mouthfeel - medium body, well carbonated, the sourness gave my mouth a good ride.

drinkability - the beer was gone before i knew it. if it wasn't so darn expensive (thanks bush, dollars aren't worth crap to euros anymore) i'd have ordered another!

all in all a great beer. i've had other funky beers since, but haven't found one to match this one..

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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 cooch69
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Goudenband. Wow, now this is AWESOME.

Pours into a Tulip glass a semi clear deep brown with a nice fluffy two finger head that sticks wonderfully to the sides.

Nose is of candied apples, caramel, vinegar, Lactic Acid, sour grapes and a bit of fresh pear.

Taste is full of fruity esters. (apples, grapes and pears). As well as a bready maltiness in the back that lingers well into the finish as it coats your mouth. This beer is the definition of class and style. It is so elegent in taste and full of complexities yet to be discovered. And the 8% abv goes by undetected.

This beer is super smooth and drinks very easily. It is very refreshing.

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Photo of Viking
4.64/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

[bottled in 1998, according to the cork]

Deep coppery-brown colored beer. Head was impressive and bubbly, but soon dissolved. A few nasty looking 'chunks' floating around - might have been my fault. I poured pretty vigorously considering it's a bottle conditioned brew. The brew has a fruity aroma, mixed with hints of caramel. The taste of this beer is amazing, and had me hooked the moment it touched my tongue. Tart cherries dominate the flavor, but sweet caramel malts prevent the tartness from being too overpowering. An interesting and wonderful combination.

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Photo of vladtheimpaler
4.64/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sent mkobes on a quest for Allagash 4 and she came back with this beauty! 750 ml wrapped green bottle with a cork that says 2001. Dark brownish red, with floaties and a nice big tan head. Musty soured aroma that is to die for. Indescribable. Soured jolly rancher-like flavor of apple cider and apple skins. Full bodied and smooth. Delicious. This beer rocks!!!!

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Photo of zImage
4.62/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was my second beer of the night. It followed a gueuze lambic and was a stark contrast. There was very little carbonation which made the mouthfeel more like a cool wine. Even the understated sweetness reminded me of wine. I shared the bottle with two other friends and everyone enjoyed it.

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Photo of XicanoBeerRun
4.62/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

New Year’s Day 2012

The blue paper wrapper, which encases a green bottle, intrigued me because it describes the beer as a blended Belgian, which is not too common in these parts. For some time, I had been eying this brew at San Antonio’s Central Market, and decided the occasion was right.

The cork, stamped “2011,” was easy to remove, and looked like a crimini mushroom. I poured the reddish, Dr. Pepper colored concoction into a snifter. It smelled of sour cherries, of course. I picked up on hints of oak or wood. This observation was substantiated by some other reviews I read. There was light lacing and carbonation. It was tart on the back of the tongue, but warm alcohol on the front. You lose the cherry essence as the beer lingers in your mouth. The flavor did not change much as the beer warmed up.

I highly recommend this brew. It is very reasonably priced at $10.

I’ll have another.

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Photo of cbl2
4.62/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

4/7/2007 $9.99 750 mL 8.00% Vintage 2006. Best by 10-2016 printed on cage.


Pours a deep dark brown with touches of crimson highlights topped by a thin film of tannish-white head that settles leaving a nice lace.


Nice sour cherry with some notes of caramel and an acidic barnyard funk.


Mmmm…silky smooth mouthfeel that glides across tongue imparting subtle oak/vanilla flavors that are coupled with loads of sour cherry. A sublime drinking experience in what is quickly becoming my favorite style of beer. All the flavors are nicely balanced, and even the high ABV is hidden away. I could drink this every day and not get bored. Each sip is a new experience, with the creamy sometimes sweet, sometimes sharp/acidic libation tickling the taste buds. Seek this out, buy a case (it's good through 2016!?!). Enjoy.

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Photo of ybnorml
4.62/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A cloudy brown beer with ruby highlights. Has a small beige headand a little bit of lace. A sour note starts the aroma followed by hints of raisins, fruit, cinnamon and apples. At first the flavor is a little cidery and tart, but a soft nutlike maltiness weaves in and out. Bringing with it a silky mouthfeel. there are also notes of cinnamon and dried fruit at play in the finish. Which is sweet tart and dry.

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Photo of nogoodreason
4.62/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Soft brown withouth much of a head to speak of sparkling carbonation clings stubbornly to the side of the glass.

Slight vinegar, red grapes, faint leather and hints of wood. Very fruity and full in the nose with an obvious funk. Very attractive scent.

Initially sour shifting smoothly to concord grapes and sweet candy. Woody notes abound and it's ever so slightly astringent in the finish. It's a fairly sweet beer, but it has this wonderful balancing sourness that adds so much depth. Yeast pour adds NASTY, green chunks to it muddies it a bit. Because the chucks settle to the bottom of the glass, the impact on flavor is minimal.

A beautiful beer, truly.

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Photo of Offa
4.62/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, dark red-brown, practically black, small tan head steadily shrinks to foamy ring, some lace.

Aroma is sweet-sour fruits, woody herbs, hints of vinegar & red wine & chocolate, a bit earthy and yeasty. It’s fairly rich and complex.

Taste is strong sweet-tart dark fruits, a little sourness, not too sweet or tart and pretty balanced. It has some chocolate, toasty-woody earthy elements. Overall, it’s fairly complex and full-bodied, very nice.

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Photo of cokes
4.61/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque magenta-brown with not so much a head as a few, stray tan bubbles. Crates of suspended chunky yeast matter.
Searing nose of balsamic vinegar, battered pears, green grapes, green caramel apples, and bile, all laid heavily with the woodsy tartness of oak, a thousand times over.
The first glimpse is sweet, with traces of caramelized pineapple, then towards tart, pineapple stays, underripe now, then on to grapes (Riesling especially) and apples. This unfold much as it's aroma indicates, all for the better. Bile and rusty metal. Gripping, stomach-churning gueuze-like heartburn. Oak. Wood. Mothballs. The finish is a sharp vinagrette, rasperry hued, with, perhaps some pit-intact sour cherries. Finishes not so much with a defined flavor as a bloodcurdling scream down the esophagus.
Moderate in the mouth with almost no carbonation. The drastic flavors would make this near impossible to drink in quantity. But as a single bottle experience, it hardly gets any better.

Be warned though, 2002 (and presumably later) bottlings suck.

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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 chocosushi
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage
4oz pour->Melbourn Bros. Stemmed Tulip

A ~ Pours a lovely Brownish-red color akin to a glass of Coca-Cola with Prune juice added. Great cap of head that hung around for awhile. Lacing is great for the style.

S ~ Belgian yeast (very ester-y) & pitted Cherry with wooden undertones. Sour grape overtones that are just incredible. Touches of Potpourri.

T ~ Wine Grapes run the show. . .Floral & Acidic Fruit overtones (persimmon, tart plum, dates) on a bed of subtle malt lending notes of light caramel & cola. Barrel flavors are very present in the undertones of the beer. Hints of citrus & wet earth. Many flavors that I am not keen enough to describe, but let me just say that this beer has great balance & complexity.

M ~ Slightly tannic, yet very crisp. There is a very specific tartness going on here that is really intriguing. ABV is literally undetectable.

D ~ Extremely delectable in every aspect. Enjoyable down to the last drop. A world class Oud Bruin. I sincerely wish I had a case of these, & not cellar; TO DRINK!

Gracias, Brent!

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

355 ml
Cork reads 2006 - caged cap on the cork reads 11-2016

A - Cloudy brown with auburn highlights and thin white head that leaves a ring of white foam.

S - Slightly acidic, cherry, oak and apple cider. Somewhat basic but very nice.

T - Tart with a hint of caramel in the beginning, some earthy yeast in the middle followed by sweet cherry and grape juice.

M - Smooth with a dry finish.

D - Very tasty.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Dark mahogany and brown in color. Thick, bron head made of lots of little bubbles. Head fades rather quickly to a thin, half finger cap. Beer is almost impenetrable to light, with the faintest dark red hues showing through when held up to light. Holding up to light also exposes quite a few floaties despite a rather cautious pour....ready to get my daily yeast dose.

S - Sour fruits, lots of cherry and apple. A nice apple cider vinegar backing. Light sugary sweetness as well. Excellent mix of many divergant aromas coming together as one.

T - More sweet than sour initially. A lot of dark fruits including fig and dark, alcohol soaked cherries. The sourness comes through mid-drink with a nice bitter apple and cider vinegar taste. My experince with Flanders Browns are rather thin, but this one is sweeter than what I have experinced before. Finishes with a tart sweetness.

M/D - Medium bodied and rather slick in the mouth. Excellent balance between sweet and sour keeps the drinkability high, but it is still a slow sipper.

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Photo of TexIndy
4.59/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375ml bottle into my DT snifter. The cork showed a 2006 bottling year. Bottle comes wrapped in a paper sleeve - nice touch. It was a deep ruby color with a bunch of thick yeast floaters. I did a slow pour to limit the yeast so the head was barely there. The aroma was awesome. It was fruity (cherry mainly) with a musty undertone along with oak. Really loved the aroma on this one. The taste was awesome as well. It starts out with a great bitter cherry taste and then the tartness hits full force. It stops just shy of puckering and then sets you up for the next drink. Very tasty. Overall this is a an outstanding beer that I highly, highly recommend. This one is already in my regular rotation. (Regular to heavy rotation)

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Photo of packetknife
4.59/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice deep brown, relatively crystal, very thin band of light brown head. At first glance after pour I thought I'd be dissapointed, seemed like dead soda. Smells like unfinished maple wood IMO or perhaps white oak w/ some finish. Slightly tart, like a not-so-ripe apple. Sweet finish that lingers. At one point I thought about chewing leather when I was a kid, a kinda nostalgic thing. I'm rather lost for words, the wrapping paper on the botle had comments from Michael Jackson about it being the best brown ale in the world. And I think he might be right, it was by far the best I've had. Feels brutally smooth and doesn't reflect 8%, not in the least. Highly recommended.

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Photo of ej285701
4.59/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, corked and caged with the year "2000" printed on the cork. I had no idea this bottle was that old when I purchased it a few weeks ago.

Poured into a goblet. It comes out a medium brown color with some red highlights. Absolutely no head formation and no sign of carbonation. Also no yeast particles as they were all caked to the bottom of the bottle. From the appearance it looked as if this bottle may have been past its prime.

The smell was quite pleasing however. Very fruity with notes of cherries and grapes and a strong backing of oaky/vanilla scents. Also some mustiness, and slightly sour.

Upon taking the first sip I realize that some of the carbonation did indeed survive. And the flavor is amazing. It reminds me more of a red wine than a beer. Grapes, prunes, cherries, vanilla, some earthiness, very oaky in the finish. The sweetness and sourness are in perfect harmony. Perhaps the most complex beer I've had thus far. Every time I take a sip, a new flavor is noticed.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied. Very minimal carbonation, almost flat, but I can just barely detect the tiny bubbles on my tongue.

After the first bottle, I was definitely ready for another. I wish I had bought more than just one. I'll have to try a freasher sample to compare the two, but I can't imagine it being better than this one. For anyone cellering any 2000's, I'd say they're ready to go.

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Photo of AudioGilz
4.59/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage 1999, 12 ounce corked and caged bottle. No pop from the cork at all.
It's murky brown in color with absolutely no head to speak of. There are so many huge sediment chunks that it looks like a meteor shower or something. It's kind of freaky to observe the pile at the bottom of the glass, but that's just my imagination. Very tart and musty aroma, sour fruits come to mind. Sweet and sour tug of war for sure here....sweet malts, sour fruit...yummy yummy. It's very lambic-like in it's tartness, with cherries coming to mind just because of my relation to that. There is no sign at all of 8% ABV. This is one heluva unique brew here and is most definitely worth seeking out and spending an evening with.

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Photo of brendan13
4.59/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a snifter a dark brown with touches of ruby red when held up to light. A couple of centimetres of beige head fall away fairly quickly.
S - Cherry stands out amongst other mingled overripe fruit esters and spicey notes. A hint of caramel malt sweetness and balsamic vinegar. Some vauge oak becomes apparent as the beer warms.
T - Cherry also is the first thing that comes to mind in the taste along with some spice notes. Quite a bit of sweetness balances the vinegar quality.
M - Light to medium bodied, slight tartness, moderate carbonation.
D - A wonderful beer. Something I would drink on a fairly regular basis if it weren't $12AUS a bottle. Hits all the style descriptors spot on.

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