Name: Liefmans Goudenband
Brewery: Liefmans Brouwerij
Country of Origin: Belgium
City & State: Oudenaarde, Belgium
Style: Flanders Oud Bruin
Alcohol Content (ABV): 8%
First Brewed: 1956
Roasted and sweet notes on the nose; a hint of earthy mushroom. Goudenband is pretty complex: young and it has sweet, sourish and roasted bitter notes.
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 alone 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 head, 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!) (Note from Sheryl: It’s adieu.)
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 sit 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.”
Well, tonight’s beer should be good. It was wrapped, in a big bottle. With a cork. Yeah, sounds fancy. It looks pretty flat in the glass. Ricky poured it in there, and mine sat for only about a minute before I got to it. But by the time I got there, there was absolutely no head on it. Hard to believe there was no head at all. Seems kind of strange. It’s very dark, and you definitely can’t see through it. It doesn’t seem super thick, though, just very dark. It’s hard to express how it smells. I know it’s a sour, but it doesn’t smell overly sour. It’s a good smell, but not too strong.
First sip… well, it’s definitely a sour. But not overly sour. It’s a good balance. It’s got just a hint of carbonation, and I think the dark beer taste to it (does that even make sense?) kind of balances nice with the sour. It’s a good beer. I know Ricky likes sours, so he will probably really like this one. For me, it’s not bad. It’s a good beer, but not one of my favorites.