Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
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Ratings: 2,711 | Reviews: 1,185 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by pmcadamis:
4.9/5 rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
Killer bottle! This image of a golden dragon and medieval writing appeals to the side of me that loves Lord of the Rings and Iron Maiden! Looks like a T-shit that I would have worn in high school....I was a dork though.
A - A ridiculously huge tan head threatens to flow over the side of my big ass snifter....yep, there it went. Let me grab a paper towel. Ok. That prodigious head sticks around for a long time, and when it finally does begin to settle, it gets really rocky and pitted. Tons of really nice arcing lace is left on the glass. The brew appears to be dull cloudy brown until it's held to the light and becomes deep dark crimson.
S - Maple syrup covered fruit, honey, Belgian waffles, wild clover, and outdoorsy hay-like hops. The fresh fruit aromas are amazing. There are the expected dark fruits (dates and prunes), along with some unexpected summer fruit freshness (peaches, dried apricots). Actually, this reminds me of apricot baby food in a way. The alcohol is slightly noticeable when you inhale deeply, and I like that!
T - Maple syrup, malted milk balls cores....(just the inner part without the chocolate coating), honeycomb cereal, butterscotch, dates, raisins, dried apricots and apples. Malty and boozy like a good scotch, but accentuated with a beautiful citrus hop flavor.
M - Ridiculously full bodied, sugary syrupy thick, alcoholic, and solid like biting into a honeycomb. The massive sweetness and full body are moderated by a fiery alcohol attenuation and some really citric hops. Wow.
D - This is a completely mind blowing brew, but not something for sessioning or drinking with food. This is sweet, heavy, deserty, and boozy...sort of like the Grand Marnier of beers and that is the ONLY reason I'm not giving this straight 5s. This one has that "it" quality of the best beers in that it almost gives me the shivers when I smell it and smack my lips!
Gleaned directly from the Van Steenberge website:
"Did you know that the Gulden Draak is named for the golden statue at the top of the clock tower of Ghent? The statue was originally given to the city of Constantinople
(now Istanbul in Turkey) by the Norse king Sigrid Magnusson in 1111, during one of
the first crusades; hence of course the form of a Viking ship that the beast was given. Approximately one hundred years later, Boudewijn IX, Count of Flanders, was the Emperor of Constantinople in one of the following crusades. Because he found the statue so beautiful, he simply took it back to Flanders with him. In 1382, the cities of Bruges and Ghent even did battle for this statue."
Serving type: bottle
01-24-2008 16:54:48 | More by pmcadamis
More User Reviews:
4.26/5 rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Review taken over the last 3 years multiple experiences. Most recent: December 2013.
11.2 oz( 330ml) Van Steenberge shaped brown bottle with plastic label covering the entire bottle. Van Steenberge's extra security to the liquid inside brings me nothing but confidence as to it being in tip top condition up until its opened. Poured into a Belgian Trappist style goblet.
A - darkest of crimson that's borderline mahogany only with lots of deep red undertones. Somewhat clear though dark with some small pieces of funk barely noticed. Shade of slightly dark white to tan head pours creamy with fluff while lending some pretty impressive size. Settled to a creamy yet still clump like lacing leaving very nice stick.
S - sweet dark fruits. Strawberry, clove spice, Belgian spices, and a flagship worthy Belgian yeast character. Fruity esters all over paired with a hint of bread malt and molasses.
T - dark fruit, prune, fig, and soft chewy raisins. A small hint of clove and a big shot of dark Belgian spices. Some strawberry notes really show up when the Funk of the Belgian yeast notes rise from the middle. A touch of alcohol spice with candied sugar and molasses malt flavors in the finish.
M - big medium bodied with typical but outstanding Belgian feel and texture. Not overly thick but coats the mouth very well. I actually found this to drink a lot easier than it's abv would suggest. But that's just me.
O - Gulden Draak is a classic example of big, dark Belgian beer at its finest. Truly one of the best ales ever created and its traditional recipe paired with that Belgian brilliance makes for one hell of a beer. I have at least one of these every year. Most folks will have tasted its greatness before, but for those who haven't I insist you grab a bottle of Gulden Draak and experience this outstanding ale. Forever a world class creation.
Serving type: bottle
03-07-2014 15:15:09 | More by BradtheGreat7
British Columbia (Canada)
3.99/5 rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
This was THE beer for me back in 2007-2009, which was before I really discovered North American specialty craft beers. I'd always went with craft options since around 2002 but for the really interesting stuff I always went Belgian. Fast-forward to today and most of my Belgian beers in the past year or two have been gueuze. I hadn't had a Gulden Draak in about 2 years.
This one I'd cellared in my wine fridge for about a year. Not enough time to change much, but perhaps took the edge off.
A: Dark crimson red with dense and stubborn off-white head.
S: Raisins, dried fruit, red fruit and stone fruit. Lots of fruit but in a heavy and dark way. Big malt presence, prickle of Belgian yeast.
T: Red fruit maltiness with a slightly tart or bitter finish. The alcohol heat is there though not enormous. Slightly herbal, tiny bit of licorice.
M: Crisp and lighter than the beer calls for, to me. I guess this is where it's a dark triple instead of a quad.
O: A solid beer for sure and much fruitier and sweeter than I'd remembered. Solid complexity though I'd like a bit more substance in the physical body of the beer. I've been spoiled though: this is no Westvleteren.
Serving type: bottle
03-03-2014 01:52:32 | More by JasonLovesBeer
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 2,711 ratings.