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Gulden Draak Brewmaster's Edition - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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Gulden Draak Brewmaster's EditionGulden Draak Brewmaster's Edition

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

42 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 42
Hads: 207
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 5.21%
Wants: 17
Gots: 58 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: firemanmike109 on 11-06-2013

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 42 | Hads: 207
Photo of jmasher85
4.51/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Fair warning: the cage around the cork seems to be glued on, so when you try to pull it off, expect the cork to pop off too.

I tried the 2/14 bottling a year and a half later and while I got this bottle on clearance sale, I gladly would have paid full price. It pours a lovely murky apricot color with a generous amount of foam, and the smell follows suit - lots of yeast and esters that give off a rich apricot and cider apple scent, with a whiff of bubblegum. Sweet, but still beer-y.

Once it hits your palate though, all bets are off, and that sweet fruity scent gets punched down right quick. Rich, woody, and a hint of whiskey make their way into the flavor, as well as some tasty malts and a lovely creamy flavor and texture that comes from the head that just won't quit. At 10% abv, this is a beer that could easily have stepped over the edge but didn't, and we're all the better for it. I'm really excited to try the un-barreled version. (951 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2/2014 Date Bottled.

Pours a murky dark honey orange with a foamy tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Tiny particles of sediment are seen suspended in the beer after the pour. Smell is of malt, dark fruit, grape juice, earth, and spice aromas. Taste is much the same with dark fruit, grape juice, earth, spice, and subtle whiskey flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with whiskey barrel aged qualities that are very subtle, but come out a little bit more as the beer warms up.

Serving type: bottle. (736 characters)

Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.89/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Awesome beer, I tried a 1.5 year aged beer, it was simply great, addictive belgian strong dark ale, it´s a shame it´s hard to get and expensive in Mexico. (156 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very stubborn cage. .never took it off and the cork exploded out of the bottle. I had an inkling so I opened it over my bathtub. Bottled in February 2014.

It pours a golden colour with a big head of foam that never leaves. Same for the lacing.

The smell is full of fruity, spicy, and hoppy goodness. Taking really deep whiffs and I do get a hint of Whiskey from the barrel aging.

Apples are the most prevalent fruit I get here. Just like the regular GD. The sweet is honey like. The bitterness I noted in the smell brings more of a dryness than a real hop bite.

The spices are vibrant but not overpowering. Cloves and white pepper are the 2 that I notice the most.

I am gonna call this full bodied with a surprisingly lowish level of carbonation. Great mouthfeel.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the Whiskey does hit my palate near and through the finish. I am pleased that it did not dominate and mask the base beer which I am so fond of.

An expensive bottle but an interesting visit to Whiskey Ville from one of my favourite brews! (1,058 characters)

Photo of GJH1959
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The color is a brownish orange but more orange. A very, very sweet smell to it with hints of apple and clove. I am not a whiskey drinker but I did not pick up any smell of whiskey. The taste of whiskey was not really present until it hit the back of the tongue. Considering the high alcohol content and being aged in whiskey barrels, the taste of alcohol is not as strong as it could be. My only problem is do I keep it to myself or save a little for my wife for when she gets home. Sorry dear. (502 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into matching Gulden Draak tulip.

A: Pours a cloudy golden that looks like unfiltered apple juice. The head is huge and nearly overflowed the glass after an easy pour. After the head subsided a thick collar lasted the whole beer through.
S: Sweet whiskey overtones mix well with spicy and very fruity Belgian yeast. I get notes of apples, pears, red grapes, bubblegum, pepper, and sweet candied sugar.
T: Follows the nose with intensely fruity, spicy, and rich Belgian ale flavors with sweet and caramely whiskey notes. Sweet candy and earthy spice linger long after the swallow.
M: Full body, frothy yet soft carb, potent flavor, sweet and chewy mouthfeel. Booze is hidden extremely well. No warmth.
O: Loved it. A very flavorful and drinkable sipper. Great balance as the whiskey was not overpowering. (817 characters)

Photo of MTLDOG
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip. Thick amber color with 1 finger of cream colored head. Good lacing. Smelled sweet, dark raisins, malty, great smell. Taste was a bit too sweet, raisins and spices, sugar and a little boozy. Had a nice finish though with malt and yeasty. Avg mouthfeel pretty smooth. I enjoyed this beer, slightly too sweet for my taste but it was a nice beer. (364 characters)

Photo of gr0g
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle dated 02/2014. Amber in color with a good, persistent head. Excellent retention and lace formation. Yeasty, fruity, and sweet on the nose. A bit of clove and ripe banana. Fruity esters that yield notes ranging from ripe red apple to darker fruits. Inhale deeply and you get a slight whiff of oak, but it's pretty faint. Actually not as pleasantly aromatic as regular Gulden Draak.

As far as the taste goes, malty sweetness gives way to an oaky, slightly boozy finish. The barrel character is subdued and not in-your-face, which I consider a good thing. On the other hand, it seems like the overall flavor profile is less robust than the Gulden Draak we all know and love. There's more apparent bitterness while fruity esters are masked.

I really like Gulden Draak but this barrel-aged version, while still a very good beer, is not as good as the standard stuff. Much more expensive, too. (904 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a orange tinted copper body with one finger head which left lace ring. Aroma consists of some Belgian yeast, a little bit of booze and candi sugar and some dark fruits as prunes and figs are really coming through. The yeast gives beer a real smooth, fuller body, the candi sugar adds sweetness to a bevy of fruit flavors that fall in both the tropical and dark fruit categories (toffee, raisins, pear), there is some spicy clove, booze and breadiness/woodiness as well. Beer packs a well-liked punch thanks to high ABV and balances everything. A little bit of a hit on the wallet but worth trying one time. (617 characters)

Photo of PittSlovak
2.49/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

For a special special edition, I was disappointed in this version of Gulden Draak. It's lacking in malt flavor and has a strong alcohol flavor. I'd rather have the regular version than the Brewmaster's Edition. (212 characters)

Photo of bschinelli
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap served in a chalice.
A-Brought in the glass a slightly hazy, burnt orange brew, with no head, just some light cream colored bubbles on patterns on the top of the beer and a ring around the glass.
S-Apples and burnt candy predominant, with some caramel malt as it warms.
T-Just like it smells, with some spiciness like white pepper. Very sweet actually, with no heat from the alcohol.
M-Light, with a little peppery feel at the back of the throat. Could almost see this on ice with a straw.
O-A well made quad, another winner. (536 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a very tasty beer, but i almost prefer the original a little more. this one is very very sweet, almost candy-like, with the belgian candy sugar all over the place. still highly belgian, with the yeast riding high, but it cant cut the sugar of this medium amber to bronze colored beer. the nose on it is just like the taste, with oak and apple cider and brown sugar and some white pepper, but the sweetness again is just too much, tasty, but it needs more time to dry out i think. i like the medium body on it, it seems light for its strength, and the alcohol is rather well hidden until it comes up to temperature. lingering sweetness is a lot, and a short pour of this is plenty for me, although i do appreciate it. maybe closest to a quad or a belgian type barleywine, but i think its pretty special, and these guys are awfully proud of it. probably worth the price, but share it with a buddy or a lover. (906 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750 ml caged and corked bottle, bottled 08/2013. Served in a tulip, the beer pours a cloudy orange/amber color with about a couple inch frothy off-white head that stayed around for a long time. There's also a good amount of lacing. The brew smells like caramel malt, whiskey, vanilla, dried fruit, and some oak. Taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of some apricots, golden raisins, apples and cloves. The whiskey flavor is subtle, it's definitely there but not overpowering. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and has high carbonation. It has a bit too much carbonation for me, but it doesn't hurt the drinkability of this beer too much. Not sure if I waited too long to drink this, but overall I liked it. Certainly worth a try if you come across a bottle. (786 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From the 750 ml. corked, caged dated 02/2014. Sampled on New Years Eve 2014.

It pours an attractive looking medium amber-copper with a faint haze. A big cream-colored foamy head that sticks around.

The Belgian candied sugar and roasted malts are highly evident in the aroma with a slight whiff of whiskey barrels but no booze considering it is 10.5%.

Medium to full body although a slight carbonated, acidic feel but easy to work around.

Again, overly sweet Belgian candied sugars, juicy roasted malts, and a little wood in the flavor. Mild bitterness and somewhat dry. $20 per bottle though? I could have bought a couple regular Gulden Draaks at that price. (665 characters)

Photo of JayQue
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good Belgian with an American twist...whiskey barrel aging.. Poured from a 750 ml corked and caged bottle into my Chimay goblet. Hazy orange color with a big frothy and bubbly white head.

The aroma is dark fruit (Cherries, plum and raisins). Smells a little sweet and very pleasant.

Flavor is a bit more complex. The dark fruit is prominent but there is also a fair amount of Belgian yeast and the whiskey and wood are noticeable as well.

Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and rich. There is some alcohol presence (mild burn) and a faint amount of whiskey is noticeablee as well.

Goes down easily for a high abv beer. Tasty. (629 characters)

Photo of drpimento
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Aroma is on the mild side but I do pick up caramel malt yEast whiskey and a bit of fruit. Appearance's nothing special with a large sudsy light tan head, no lace and an orange amber clear color. Flavor is like aroma with very good balance between bitter sweet and tart. Great palate. A bit boozy but that goes with this beer and goes nicely (340 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Corked and caged 750mL bottle from Total Wine (Kennesaw, GA). 21.99. Bottled 08/2013. Served in a Barrel and Barley teku.

Pours hazy orange with a three finger white head. Keeps a thick layer of milky haze accross the surface and leaves lots of lace.

Smells fruity and sweet with mild barrel funk, faint whiskey, apples and spiced pear.

Flavors of clove, apples, pepper, barrel, yeast, honey, caramel, vague whiskey, oak and a touch of alcohol. Sweet, fruity and yeasty with the barrel it's self very faint.

Creamy medium feel with a fairly sharp carbonation. Apple, caramel and an almost spiced rum note in the aftertaste.

From appearance to flavors the Gulden Draak Brewmaster's Edition seems like more of a Belgian strong pale ale than strong dark. A slightly different take on their base, which I think they call a "dark tripel". Not a bad quaff but the price will prohibit a repeat purchase. (906 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

The beer poured a hazed deep golden, almost orange but not quite. Looks darker than the 9000 but much lighter than standard Gulden Draak. There was a bit of sediment in the glass as well.

The aroma had alot of candy like malts, wild honey, bread, booze soaked fruit, whiskey and toffee. Other whiffs reveal more of the alcohol lying underneath along with the malt.

A delicious tasting beer, there are alot of notes of toffee, honey, butterscotch, sweeter breads, caramel, candied fruit and alcohol. There is some influence from the tannins, and a small dryness, but not dry. Gingerbread, toffee, butterscotch and brown sugar. Really nice and sweet with perhaps just a hint of whiskey barrel aging in the taste.

Overall, this a delicious ale that truly is drinkable and worth savoring. Kind of an oddity as it more closely resembles the Gulden Draak 9000 than any other beer from that "line". Regardless, its a hell of a beer and worthy of toasting from here in PA all the way to Brussels. (1,005 characters)

Photo of roblowther
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 corked and caged, poured into a Chimay goblet, and the weekend is off to a great start. It pours a very effervescent tan gold color with a very active frothy off white head that settles down to a creamy thin layer and leaves no lacing. The smell is bananas, butterscotch, and bread. Taste is surprisingly citrusy given the smell. It has some oranges and cherries bouncing around on the front end, then settles to a pleasant breadiness with a slightly dry finish. Very nice, the end of the flavor leaves you craving another sip of the start. It's a moebius beer. Mouthfeel is tingly and soft, maybe a tad thin for everything else going on here. Overall, this is a fantastic beer. I'm a fan of their other offerings and this one does not disappoint. Now pardon me, all of this typing is making me thirsty. (807 characters)

Photo of QueerBeer
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy burnt orange with a three-finger or so head that quickly dissipates. Vanilla and oak in the nose- the barrel aging is strong with this one. First impression of the taste was BOOZE. After it warmed a bit, the booziness softened some, letting the spices and the yeast come into the taste. Still leaves that smooth, back-of-the-throat burn that a nice whiskey will. I'm guessing it will age wonderfully. (413 characters)

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in an over-sized tulip. Vintage bottle dated from August 2013.

Appearance: Hazy (and I do mean hazy) orange amber body with a somewhat pretty thick head rising to maybe 2/3" settling perfect with even lacing.

Smell: Strong yeast with a woody note to it. Strong but dissipates quick. I really like it and can sniff it all drink long.

Taste: Strong yeast with subtle alcohol feel. Comes off a touch sweet that feel almost like scotch with light honey to it. Very good but is missing that gulden draak finish.

Mouth: Medium bodied finish, slightly sticky but with a sourness to it that is either hit or miss for most folks.

Appearance: Overall: I don't think aging this brew in whiskey barrels actually improves it. It's definitely a little different, it leaves you wanting more but comes a tad short. Still good but going for nearly twenty bucks a bottle I will probably pass next time if I ever see it. (917 characters)

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled on 8/1/2013. Pours very hazy orange amber color with a 1-2 finger foamy off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings around the glass, with moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of big peach, pear, apple, apricot, orange peel, candi sugar, honey, bread, herbal, clove, light pepper, light vanilla, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and fruity/spicy yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big pear, apricot, orange peel, peach, apple, honey, bread, candi sugar, clove, light pepper, light vanilla/oak, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of pear, apple, apricot, orange peel, honey, bread, candi sugar, herbal, light clove, light vanilla, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and balance of malt, candi sugar, and fruity/spicy yeast ester flavors; with light barrel flavor character and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly slick and smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Belgian Strong pale ale. All around good complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast ester and malt flavors with light barrel presence; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering. (1,449 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

appearance: Hazy gold. big billowy head on the pour. Much lighter than I remember "regular" Gulden Draak. Pretty nice looking brew though.
smell: Rich, yeasty, fruity, sweet nose. Not getting any whiskey here but a fine nose nonetheless.
taste: Mirrors the nose. Rich, and complex. Some fruit, a hint of aromatic spice. Sweet and rich.
overall: always dug the Draak. A nice addition. The whiskey barrel treatment is subtle for sure. anyway, quite nice. (452 characters)

Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml brown bottle with a commemorative Steenberge style wrap covering the entire bottle as usual. Traditional Belgian cork with golden top. Golden colored wrap with old white artwork. Snow White with Black lettering graces the bottom of this fine looking bottling. Poured into a stemmed Belgian tulip glass.

A - murky and tawny look. Butterscotch, golden, yellow/orange/amber caramel colored body. Cloudy with lots of haze. Nice chunks of large sediment sticks together in the bottom of the glass. Bone white head pours very nice with a pillow like texture and taking its time subsiding to a fluffy ring of lace leaving excellent and slow moving stick.

S - light caramel and soft vanilla up front with hints of mild oak. A real butterscotch character to the front of this aroma and makes me wonder exactly what brand barrels were used? Excellent, nonetheless. Dried Banana covered in thick caramel syrup. Ripe pear with hints of clove and sweetened cinnamon spice. Belgian-Draak style yeast. Very unique yet lovely aroma.

T - much like the aroma with dried banana, caramel, sweet vanilla, and a small flavor of oak barrel aged. The softest of butterscotch and a fantastic Belgian style yeast. Nice big shot of clove spice with the tiniest of mild cinnamon sticking to the background. Fruity ripe pear and some light woody tones in the finish. A bit of alcohol in this one, but its faint and if anything plays a role in its smooth flavor.

M - nice sized body with an outstanding texture and thickness. Typical Van Steenberge thickness that's just right down some of the best I've ever experienced. It slings its flavors all over coating the entire mouth as they land. It's like paint balls being blasted at random and sticking to its many targets. Smooth and outstandingly enjoyable.

O - I'm not going to lie and act like I knew anything about this before I poured it into my stemmed tulip. The truth is I knew nothing of this other than it being aged in whiskey barrels. Boy was I shocked to find a much lighter colored Draak than the traditional I had in mind. This is indeed a Belgian strong pale ale with a beautiful colored body and the class that backs its beauty to the finish. Lots of class in this. Maybe not the pounding barrel aged character you'll find in American style brews, but enough to set off a delicious Belgian ale. I'm telling you right now, from the scores I've seen this thing is extremely underrated! This is as golden in quality, creativity, and class as the color of the sleeve wrapped around the bottle. The price wasnt cheap, but the end result was a 1 of a kind Belgian ale I am honored to have experienced. (2,645 characters)

Photo of Mdez
4.69/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I got this as a gift this past Christmas; despite the fact that I would buy it because it was too costly, my MIL bought it for me at $19.99 a bottle. Although I couldn't tell that much of a difference from the regular Gulden Draak, this was slightly surperior; it had a slightly boozier quality (and I like that) and seemed to hit me a bit harder than usual. Wonderful... (371 characters)

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Gulden Draak Brewmaster's Edition from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
89 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.