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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,270 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,270
Hads: 3,610
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 19.52%
Wants: 268
Gots: 650 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (92) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,270 | Hads: 3,610
Reviews by Shafaegalo:
Photo of Shafaegalo
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Earl123
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is my first beer review so be gentle:)

An excellent overall beer. Unique character, a modern take on traditional brewing methods. Unlike some US mutations of the Belgian Tripel, it is not overly hoppy. It is actually one of the few beers my girlfriend and thoroughly enjoy together.

Taste is innovative and complex - cloves, bananas, cinnamon(?). A little fruitcake-y but not too much so and definitely stops short of a gueuze.

Everything else was excellent about the beer. The feel is not oppressively heavy and, as mentioned, not overly carbonated.

I prefer the 9000 version of the beer which is slightly more boozy in flavor (and reality). But this is a solid second.

 680 characters

Photo of ChrisCage
4.81/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Interesting little stubby bottle that is Hugglemonster white in color....the beer?...well its a rich dark ruby/brown color and is yeast hazed in a very creamy way....the head is caramel colored, densely built, and retains very well, leaving behind a thick-ish layer over the beer itself! The lacing is excellent with a nice uneven bubble grid all around, however, it doesn't cling very well after movement, and is slightly oily on the side of the glasses' surface....still, a very impressive look!

S- Deep, rich caramel notes, with yeasty, malty molasses and brown sugar/sugar cane....nearly mapled aromas. Milk chocolate, dark fruits such as honeyed prunes, hints of boozy banana, and slight malted booziness. The finish is long and cloying....intense all throughout!

T- There is an entire medley of exploding flavors on the palate....most likely too many to analyze! Deep toffee/caramel/molasses, slight maple, autumn/pumpkin pie spices,(think nutmeg), light cinnamon notes, dried dark fruits such as plum, figs, raisins, black cherry....even apples.....Slightly rummy! Yeasty cake like sweetness that could be taken as ginger bread/cake...semi sweet, with a finish that reminds me of milk chocolate blended with a small amount of freshly brewed coffee....the finish on the plate is surprisingly clean, yet there is a lingering sticky depth that makes me want the next sip immediately!

M/O- Overall, this is an incredible brew that I cannot believe I have not had up until this point! I can only imagine this on tap and can only imagine even more how this would be aged! Tight carbonation, buttery smooth and this is probably the most well hidden alcohol that I have ever experienced within a beer, especially for 10.5%! I need a case of this on hand at all times and look forward to a trip to Belgium because of this lovely nectar! Most recommended......

 1,873 characters

Photo of BWood
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Solid Belgium strong ale. I don't think I would put it over Chimay but it does give it a run for its money .I do like the look of the beer and how the head retains in the glass. Smooth finish to this beer. Solid staple if you are looking for a easily accessible year around Belgium.

 282 characters

Photo of Hoppsbabo
2.51/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Mahogany body with a fluffy off-white head.
S: Vinous.
T: Eugh! Peppy, sharp AND very syrupy. Doesn't work at all. Phenolic with big liquorice and marzipan. Has the zing of a tripel but the flavour of a quad. It's like the bastard child of an English barley wine, a quad, and a tripel. Doesn't work! It's making me want to chuck, like a childhood medicine, or ice cream soda. I'm gonna spew......!!!!
O: Jeez!

 412 characters

Photo of mdexter
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Gulden Draak is a one-of-a-kind Belgian. You can tell upon inspection that it's going to be rich and imposing. The beer pours a surprisingly dark, turbid shade of molasses. The aroma is somewhere between caramel and dulce de leche with some earthy notes, maybe raisins and cloves. It has the familiar sweet lace of all tripels with some well-balanced savory malts. The combination produces a boozey mouthfeel like a fortified wine or grappa. It's a strong, unique beer.

 469 characters

Photo of majorbase2
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, dark reddish brown color with a big bubbly head. Dissipates to nothing shortly after, leaving some very spotty lacing.

Aroma is dark fruits, some light milky chocolate, and very sweet caramel. Raisin and red grapes are very noticeable. Definitely some alcohol present, which pairs nicely with the red grapes, giving it an aroma reminiscent of a red wine.

First sip reveals some incredible complexity. Lots of sweetness up front, which pairs with some melted caramel and raisin. Red grapes, fig, and brown sugar. A good deal of alcohol warmth.

Medium bodied. Gotta sip this one. Pretty decent carbonation.

 622 characters

Photo of sporklift87
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of LovingCup
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Okay let me preface this by saying I'm no expert on Belgian strong dark ales...new territory here. Last similar-ish beer I had was Finch's Nuclear Winter and despite my hometown <3', this is much better.
First, cool ass bottle and classy sounding af. The next part is the looks, perhaps my favorite aspect. Huge puffy head with peaks and valleys. Dark brownish color with a ruby shimmer in the light, can't see through shit. And the best part is I let this sit for 10 minutes after pouring and the bubbles persisted, but the real magic was the vertical linear formation of them: it looked straight like the letters from The Matrix and I ain't even trippin'!
As for the smell. Very complex. Sugary caramel sweetness. Most present are dark fruits: figs, dates, a lil grape, and that one that makes you shit. Oh yeah, prunes. A touch of chocolate even. And a bit of booze.
The flavor is intense, but more approachable than expected (tho I was expecting a knockout punch) its big, but at the same time, drinkable...sip by sip. I like high abv beers but don't enjoy overly boozy flavors. This is good. The alcohol is there in a background warming sort of way, not an obnoxious boozy way. I think considering its 10.5% it is masked rather well tbh. Idk my palate isn't used to this style the way it is for others yet but this isn't bad at all. On the contrary it's quite good. The mouthfeel I want to say is medium.
Overall I give it a 92. im actually surprised by how massive yet inoffensive this was. glad I picked up this bottle of Gulden Draak. Very pleased. Hope to revisit this beer (and style) again sometime in the near future.

 1,630 characters

Photo of oberon
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Popsinc
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

 649 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

 1,648 characters

Photo of cam477
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

 478 characters

Photo of beerhunter13
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of iRaven99664
4.78/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of tectactoe
3.94/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

 1,155 characters

Photo of DavyJones
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Rijtjeshuis
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
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!

 1,838 characters

Photo of jono0101
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of tbryan5
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of GameOfBeers
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ldennis
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 1,270 ratings.