Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Liefmans Goudenband

I recently received a care package full of authentic Belgian beers from Bart- - my #1 fan there. I just picked this bottle at random because of the blue wrapping paper as if was a Christmas or birthday present. I didn't know at the time, but this is actually a Flander Oud Bruin - a niche Belgian sour ale - and a style I've never had before. Would this beer make me want to try the style again.....?

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (643) - Albany, USA - AUG 23, 2011
I received this as a donation from a fan in Belgium (thanks Bart for the beer!). I poured a 330ml corked bottle into a Trappist chalice.

Appearance: Dark brown with slight maroon/purple tinge. Forms a thin layer of brown/dark tan soapy suds which retain well but leave no lacing.

Smell: Slight vinous fragrance with noticeable sour funk, some confectionary sweetness and a hint of dark chocolate.

Taste: You would think if you’ve had one sour beer you’ve had them all - right? Well, Liefmans Goudenband definitely is unlike any beer I’ve had. It does have qualities of a straight "sour" like a Gueuze or lambic, but with sweeter, more confectionary notes of a brown ale. This is an "oud bruin" which would explain the palate - basically a soured imperial brown ale.

The palate begins with light, slightly tart fruit flavor of red raspberry and dark grape, it then becomes very candy-like with intense sweetness and then finishes with even sugary sourness. It’s an interesting combination of fruit, candy and malts. Not a particularly bitter beer by any means, and the aftertaste is initially sweet and sour, but quickly fades away leaving a clean sensation. I recommend not adding the yeast as doing so will dull the palate and take away the tasty sour edge to this brew.

Mouthfeel: Quite tepid and thin for a bottle-conditioned Belgian beer. Slight tingling sensation.

Drinkability: Sometimes I kick myself for drinking a beer too quickly and that’s certainly the case here. Liefmans Goudenband is so tasty and so easy to drink thanks to the thin, almost flat mouthfeel that it’s easy to drink it down quickly. The 8% ABV is all but invisible in the aroma, palate and constitution.

Overall, this was a pleasant surprise and I’m glad I finally got to try a real Oud Bruin.
Grade: 8/10

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