Total Score: 8.25/10
This is a new one: Liefmans Goudenband. I like to think of myself as a Belgian beer connoisseur, but really when I find a new Belgian beer to review; like this Liefmans, I begin to wonder if I’ve barely scratched the surface. In any case I’m glad I happened upon this as I have fast become a fan of Flanders beer styles – first through Rodenbach and then Petrus – they’re certainly styles I can get down with: Their vinous grape notes, the light tartness mingling with a hint of balsamic and just enough sugar to balance it all out… I’m going to enjoy this! [you can imagine me saying that in a Freddy Quimby voice if it helps].
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Rich/deep seal brown-coloured body, probably cloudy but it’s hard to tell with a body this opaque. Mocha head quickly dissipates leaving a thin lace ring and a few surface splotches. Moreish as many other Belgian brews, I really just want to tuck in straight away – can you blame me? 9/10.
S: Tart black cherries, note of oak, vinous grape tones and even a hint of peppermint round out this brooding and complex aroma… “pretty wow this” says the sommelier in me. The beermelier in me says “yeah, it’s a decent Flanders Oud Bruin”. Moral to this (albeit brief) tale: If you appreciate wine but you think beer is crap, boy is there a world out there for you to discover – I suggest starting with Belgium. 8/10.
T: Not as sour as the other Flanders Oud Bruins I’ve had, there’s definitely a bit more sweetness out-wrestling the tartness, with overall notes of: Black cherry, oak, vinous grape, burnt caramel with a dry finish. Aftertaste oddly brings in a (perhaps unwanted?) grainy note along with green apple character. This is an interesting take on the style, and one that I will definitely explore again in future. 8/10.
M: Medium bodied with a light but dense carbonation. 8/10.
D: This is quite the enigma of a brew, a mystery wrapped in a paper label that says “Liefmans Goudenband” on it. I’m certainly engaging with this style more than others these days – that hit mixture of sweet and sour does a tap dance on my palate every time, and you think I would go for the more sour driven styles like full-on Lambics and the like, but oh no those styles sacrifice sweetness at the altar of sour (just check out my review of Lindemans Oude Kriek Cuvée René on BeerAdvocate, username: doktorhops). This Flanders Oud Bruin sits in the sweet spot for me [pun as always: intended]. Cheers! 9/10.
Food match: Cheese platter all the way with this baby!