Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 3,036 | Reviews: 1,202 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by rickyleepotts:
4.5/5 rDev +6.4%
I have had this beer before, but I don’t really remember it. I remember the bottle and the label, but didn’t realize it was a strong dark ale. I also don’t agree that it tastes like a barleywine. Of course, I don’t remember the beer… so maybe it does! But I am excited to drink this because Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. also makes Piraat, one of my favorite beers of all time. Not sure it can live up to that beer, but I am sure it’s good! Let’s get to it.
In the Glass: This beer also started overflowing as soon as I popped the top. It has to be one the beers that traveled from Indiana. That is two in a row… only a few more before we need to start shopping again. Fun. That is my favorite part! Anyway, the beer pours a very dark brown, almost black into the glass. It also has a rich, foamy white head. It’s fun seeing such a dark beer produce such a light and appetizing head.
Nose: The beer smells like liquid yeast. It has a very malty aroma, too. The words “dark ale” truly come to light here. I pulled this beer from the fridge, but I almost think some chill to it might help. Upon a second sniff I am wondering if a beer with 10.5% might be best cellared until further notice. It seems half of the beers on our list are that way.
Flavor: Holy cow flavor. There is SO much flavor in this beer. It starts sweet, then gets bitter, almost dry, then finishes strong. Hence the name, I suppose. There is so much going on here, I almost want to give this to a guy that doesn’t know or appreciate good craft beer. I mean, there are ten different flavors from the second it enters your mouth. I can see why they would call this a barleywine. It has that sweetness, and it finishes sweet. It finishes strong, but it finishes sweet just the same.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is amazing. It starts soft and sweet, then explodes across the tongue, and finishes with an explosion of sweetness. Those malty flavors that I was smelling don’t really come around until the aftertaste, and they are subtle at best. The 10.5% ABV is also nicely hidden. One or two of these and you would be feeling just fine. Swishing it around in my mouth I was able to feet a few more flavors, but it is best just sipping as is. Man… what a great beer!
Aftertaste: The aftertaste starts sweet. There is a subtle sweetness across the entire experience here. But the aftertaste, as explosive as the beer was/is, is not as big as I expected. It sticks around for a few minutes, but doesn’t leave me begging for more. The sweetness sure does!
Like I said, I have had this beer before. But when I am sitting down to not only appreciate it, but drink it with a purpose (this blog) I am enjoying it a LOT more. Man, what an incredible beer. That, and I learned that Gulden Draak actually means golden dragon. That was a cool little backstory. We are going to be in Belgium next month. Maybe I can find this on draft somewhere. Bottoms up, people!
Gulden Draak – The bottle says: “NA”
08-01-2012 04:48:40 | More by rickyleepotts
More User Reviews:
4.5/5 rDev +6.4%
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.
11-09-2003 00:16:21 | More by Popsinc
4.28/5 rDev +1.2%
Appearance The body is a beautiful, almost glowing brown and somewhat clear. I couldnt 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. Its 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 somebodys home brew. Cool.
Update I originally rated this from an 03 bottle so thought Id take another crack with an 05. The head came up a bit better and the ale seemed more balanced. It wasnt 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.
12-29-2003 02:55:13 | More by RoyalT
4.4/5 rDev +4%
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. Ill be picking up a few 750s of this one.
11-22-2005 02:42:27 | More by DaPeculierDane
3.95/5 rDev -6.6%
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.
09-26-2012 20:21:39 | More by tectactoe
4.35/5 rDev +2.8%
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!
12-31-2012 01:09:07 | More by Rijtjeshuis
4.5/5 rDev +6.4%
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.
09-20-2010 19:50:44 | More by BeerAdvocate
4.05/5 rDev -4.3%
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.
12-18-2010 03:19:03 | More by steelerguy
4.08/5 rDev -3.5%
Ive 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 didnt drink beer. But the good thing is: no chances of being skunked by light with this one. The pour wasnt 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 Ive 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 dont find the taste quite as complex as some of the other dark Belgians Ive 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 Ill be sure to return to.
04-24-2005 05:12:52 | More by blitz134
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,036 ratings.