Saturday, July 14, 2012

Liefmans | Goudenband Oud Bruin

Yes! A couple new sours in at the store makes me a happy camper! One of the new ales is Liefmans Goudenband, a Flanders Oud Bruin, which is a sour brown ale from Belgium. And it comes wrapped in blue paper…. how fancy.

Now I know many people are freaked out by sour ales, first off, they are Belgian, and as such, have traditional labels that are very unappealing. Secondly, who wants a "sour" beer? But I'm slowly coming to the realization that I enjoy my sour beers much like I enjoy my IPA's. You start off with a hint of hops, but soon you want to find the most intense bitter hop bomb you can get your hands on because you're addicted to that punch in the face; similar to people addicted to spice and hot sauces. So, I guess in a way it's a challenge to your taste buds, and once you get accustomed to it, which really only takes a few sips, you realize just how delicious the beer can be. With that in mind, switch out the bitter hops, and try punishing a new part of your tongue with sour ale!

Poured into a tall pilsner glass, Goudenband has an almost opaque dark red brick color that is only noticeable when held into the light. The head is tan and noticeably frothier than I expect with sours. Lots of patchy lacing all around my glass.

The aroma is strong of tart cherries, leather, vanilla, oak, and earthy brown sugar.

The first sip bites strong with carbonation, sort of a prelude to the sourness that flows in. Lactobacillus yeast, tart cherries and grapes dominate for a moment, but are pretty subdued by a very solid malt presence. The oak aging of Goudenband really takes the edge off the sourness, adding a delicious creamy sweetness. Perhaps my favorite part of drinking these sour ales is the mouthwatering effect they have after each sip. Even with a crisp and dry finish, Goudenband makes me salivate uncontrollably. Incredibly refreshing, even as it warms to room temperature.

A great beer to try if you're interested in sour ales, but don't want to feel like you're drinking pure vinegar. Still by all means a sour ale, but balanced well by rich malt flavor.

Personal 8.5/10
For the style (Flanders Oud Bruin): 9/10

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