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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

3,085 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,085
Reviews: 1,206
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 173
Gots: 295 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,085 | Reviews: 1,206 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Frozensoul327:
Photo of Frozensoul327
3.43/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

From the bottle into the appropriately screen printed Gulden Draake Tulip glass. Hazy, murky medium brown appearance let no light pass through. Big head of tan foam, and notes of lace were present. Aromas of spicey sugars and malts, with a tame backbone of earthiness. Taste was quite spicey and sweet. Lots of malty caramel notes, with pronounced spices adding zestiness to the beer. Smooth and rich mouthfeel was mixed with bubbly carbonation, very nice on the palate. The drinkability was just not there for me. This is a well made beer, but not one I think i'd want to revisit.

Frozensoul327, Feb 27, 2006
More User Reviews:
Photo of Popsinc
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark amber pour with an exceptional tan head. Seems like a very lively beer.

The nose is very appetizing. A nice full, malty nose some hoppiness and sweet caramel notes. A little bit of spice is in there too along with a hint of raisiny sweetness.

Lovely. Just lovely. The dryness off the tops quickly turns into a nice honey sweetness that's not overpowering. A little bit of raisin and plum are mixed in nicely. Good hop count & nice maltiness give this beer well rounded body.

A nice full beer with a lively and bubby mouthfeel. Some dryness towards the end. Alcohol warmth in the finish.

I love this beer. It is one of the greats.

Popsinc, Nov 09, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance – The body is a beautiful, almost glowing brown and somewhat clear. I couldn’t work a head to save my life, which is not unusual for some of these high ABV ales.

Smell – The huge malt and alcohol nose fills the room. This one is super sweet with lots of crushed, soggy, alcohol-soaked fruits such as cherries (lots of cherries), raisins, star fruit, some banana, and figs.

Taste – My Lord, this is thick. It’s almost like a malt/fruit syrup soaked in booze. All the notes from the smell come out at the tongue, especially the figs and cherries. This is really strong.

Mouthfeel – No carbonation but very thick and sweet.

Drinkability – This would make a great “dessert ale” or a fine aperitif, which is what I used it for.

Comments – This one was difficult to rate. It lacked some classic aspects of the BSDA style such as big, fluffy carbonation and dominant malts, yet scored big on the blend of fruits and booze. I was therefore reserved in my rating but expressed my enthusiasm for this ale in the Drinkability category.

BTW – This comes in a really unique solid white bottle. My label fell off when I pulled it from the fridge, so it looked like somebody’s home brew. Cool.

Update – I originally rated this from an ’03 bottle so thought I’d take another crack with an ’05. The head came up a bit better and the ale seemed more balanced. It wasn’t as boozy, had more yeasty notes, and carbonation was a bit tighter. I changed the ratings around a bit, but any way you cut it this is a good beer.

Update – The 2007 is a real gem. It's buttery smooth, shows some killer yeast, and hides every bit of alcohol.

RoyalT, Dec 29, 2003
Photo of cam477
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

cam477, Sep 14, 2013
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great buzz! Great alcohol content. Lots of fun to drink. Appearance is wonderful. Deep dark brown with a super sticky thick, everlasting white head. Great lacing! Smells of wet herbs and hay, a pinch of orange, and peppery grains. Tastes great. Smooth as silk. Super malty. Slightly burnt caramels and chocolates. Sweet and warming. Wet hard woods, leaves, and sweet mulch. Full bodied goodness.

Beer to the point. True greatness. I’ll be picking up a few 750s of this one.

DaPeculierDane, Nov 22, 2005
Photo of beerhunter13
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

beerhunter13, May 19, 2013
Photo of tectactoe
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into a nice sized Tulip glass. I poured specifically to induce a huge head which didn't take much work - this beer is very volatile. Deep, deep brown-tan (almost with a touch of gold) color with a nearly off-white head. Lacing all up and down the glass, the head retained extremely well. The beer smelled mildly fruity (figs, berries) with a bit of yeast, biscuits, malts, and deep spices which I couldn't clearly identify.

The beer tastes of a nice combination of crispy biscuits, fresh malt, raisins, figs, slight pepper, and burnt caramel sugars. Mild sweetness with a proper alcohol burn shadowing the entire process. For something so high-gravity (10.5% ABV), the alcohol is present, yet concealed well enough to not be troublesome. The beer has plenty of carbonation which really helps the potency of the aroma and the flavor. Body isn't very thick but the beer remains creamy and ends with a crisp, yeasty finish.

Overall, a very delectable Belgian ale which, at a well concealed 10.5% ABV, can sneak up on you if you're not careful. If it wasn't for the large price tag, I would drink this beer much more frequently.

tectactoe, Sep 26, 2012
Photo of DavyJones
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

DavyJones, Apr 10, 2012
Photo of Rijtjeshuis
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look (4.5/5) ~ Deep coppery with some really nice red and orange tones in it (the colour gives the impression of fullness and richness). Given the abv, the head was great: it was very moussy, and fell exceptionally slowly with some nice lacing. Towards the clear side of hazy.
Smell (4/5) ~ spot on for the style. Rich complex maltiness plays off of some really nice yeast notes with a subtle spicy and earth y hop presence. Malt is strongly of the Munich/Vienna type variety with some nice melanoidin notes (plums, prunes, dried apricots); there is also a faint smokiness to the nose. You get a lot of the fruity and floral notes that you’ expect from this style.
Taste (4.5/5) ~ very good. Maltiness was front and centre and the beer was malty-sweet in balance (though I’d still say it was in with the Trappist versions and not the very sweet Abbey ones). I get a whole lot of Munich/Vienna melanoidins and all the fruitiness they bring (plum, prune, dried apricot); but there was also a smoke – not burnt mind you – note that reminded me a bit of very fine tobacco, which I liked a lot. The finish, which would otherwise be sweet is gets a lot of spice and gentle alcohol to balance everything out well. Floral and fruity yeast notes round it out. Some very mild earthy hops and enough bitterness to achieve some nice balance.
Feel (4/5) ~ pretty much what you’d expect: relatively gentle carb and pretty heavy in terms of body. I’d describe it as achieving a pretty silky/velvety feel well.

I’ve had more a few of this style and I’d have to say that this is more of the most compelling versions. I really liked the complexity of the malts, especially with that cigar/tobacco note that was played up. I think the spiciness and bitterness were great foils for the otherwise overwhelming sweetness. Kudos to the brewers!

Rijtjeshuis, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of jono0101
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

jono0101, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of tbryan5
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

tbryan5, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of SkiBum22
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

SkiBum22, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of blackwingedhorde
5/5  rDev +18.2%

blackwingedhorde, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

BubalooBrewMaster, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #26:

Oh yeah--dark and inviting with that beautiful Belgian-style lacing draped on the glass. Aromas of toffee, licorice root, taffy and cake batter, with hints of bubblegum and peppery alcohol, and a faintness of raisins. Smooth and a little chewy, with a slick, medium body. A tad thick on the malt sweetness to start, the alcohol soon turns the tides with a very warming, peppery alcohol. The sweetness comes in with a layer of toffee, some red grape skin and a suggestion of cooked vegetables, which fades quickly. The peppery flavor meets a dry, toasted, biscuity flavor middle to end. Finishes slightly alcoholic and sweet.

A big, tasty treat here; complex, yet dangerously inviting, as the sweetness melds well with the alcohol. Reminiscent of a young Port wine, so obviously Gulden Draak is a perfect candidate to throw at just about any cheese that has a blue vein running through it.

BeerAdvocate, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of steelerguy
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Mahogany brown, not seeing the ruby "highlights" of others. Moderate carbonation, nice head that lasts and leaves a good bit of carbonation.

S - Caramel and dark fruit and raisin bread. Good but could have a little more depth.

T - More dark fruits, yeast, peppery alcohol, and deliciousness.

M - Nice carbonation, starts off a bit thick and creamy, but the carbonation and alcohol warmth clean it up and make it very drinkable.

D - Oh yes...just mentioned why it was so drinkable, great taste and not too heavy.

steelerguy, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of KevlarBrewing
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

KevlarBrewing, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of blitz134
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I’ve had this one in the cabinet for a little while now and finally decided to pop the cap on this one to celebrate the end of a day of working on a project paper. Little victories are what really matter in the long run.

This bottle has always intrigued me with its opaque white color and the quite odd robot dragon on the front. Last time I checked robot dragons didn’t drink beer. But the good thing is: no chances of being skunked by light with this one. The pour wasn’t very vigorous by any means but the head formation nearly filled my oversized wine glass with a huge frothy light tan head. While the head reduced by quite a bit but it still seemed to linger around in a thick layer on top of the nearly opaque dark garnet coloration. This is truly a beauty. This is the most opaque dark Belgian I’ve had to date.

Typical of Belgians there is the aroma is dominated by the sweet malty dark fruit characters. Mainly raisins and plums with this one with a little clove spiciness in the background. Not an overpowering smell but it is good nonetheless. There is a hint of alcohol underneath the nice aroma.

I don’t find the taste quite as complex as some of the other dark Belgians I’ve had but this one is still quite good. There is a sharp spiciness with hints of clove that sting the cheeks and lingers for quite a while with a definite belly warming sensation. Along with this spiciness there is also sourness from the tart fruits which this beer conjures up. Good flavor overall, but the spiciness skews the lines between many of the individual flavor profiles.

Mouthfeel is quite awesome. It seems almost chewy while still seeming light bodied in a way. Drinkability is brought down a bit with how much the alcohol sensation lingers. Not a session beer by anymeans, but something I’ll be sure to return to.

blitz134, Apr 24, 2005
Photo of supa0525
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

supa0525, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of khadiwaa
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

khadiwaa, May 21, 2014
Photo of bulldogg915
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

bulldogg915, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of Pandaflute
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Pandaflute, May 16, 2012
Photo of danthehopslamman
4/5  rDev -5.4%

danthehopslamman, Aug 17, 2013
Photo of Satyr179
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Satyr179, Feb 03, 2013
Photo of daveshawley
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

daveshawley, Aug 16, 2012
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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,085 ratings.