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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.

2,988 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,988
Reviews: 1,201
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 159
Gots: 252 | FT: 3
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001)
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Ratings: 2,988 | Reviews: 1,201 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cretemixer


4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a muddy brown in color with an ivory-tan head that oh so slowly fades to about 1/4 inch. Leaves a spotty lace.

Slight medicinal aroma that is not offensive, just sticky sweet. Mollasses, alcohol, and raisins too.

Sweet malty taste, alcohol warmth is noticable, but not overpowering. A most pleasant fruitiness also.

Slightly sticky thick mouthfeel leaves a nice lingering aftertaste all the way down my throat.

One of the more drinkable strong beers I have had. A truly excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2003 19:38:54 | More by cretemixer
Photo of russwbeck


4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Huge head on this one, wish I used my Duvel Tulip instead of my Mad Elf version. Head is beige, and the pour is deep mahogany, almost brown. Very nice retention and lacing.

S: Getting alcohol on the nose, dark fruits, and some maltiness. Smells more like a Quad than a Triple. I guess that's why it's listed as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

T: Taste starts off with dark fruits, which give way to some warming booziness, finished off by some candied sugar. A bit bitter from the yeast. Very interesting drink.

MF: Nice twang of carbonation on this one and a medium body.

D: I could drink this all day. The alcohol isn't overpowering and the taste is very interesting.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2011 01:06:43 | More by russwbeck
Photo of Amdahl


4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark brown with more than ample white head. The aroma is sweet. The smell of fruit is dominant. Raisin is the first smell, but this smells like a very complex beer. The taste is very smooth and sweet. There are not a lot of hops in the flavor; it is really malty. There is a definite warming as this beer goes down. Medium bodied. This is a beer that I will try again and again until I completely figure it out.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2002 08:18:15 | More by Amdahl
Photo of Bitterbill


4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought 2 bottles of this stuff at Wilbur's in Ft. Collins, Colorado.

Pours so darned beautifully ending up a dark gold in my Chimay glass. Nice head that lingers with very nice lacing around the glass.

The smell is a superb apple, reminiscent of my favourite soda..Jones Green Apple. I couldn't wait to dive right in. ;^)

The taste is a plethora of fruity flavours that are dominated by apple but yet aren't.(if you catch my meaning)
At 10% abv, I want to just sip and enjoy but the drinkabilty of this brew has to be experienced to be appreciated. This is, for me, a truly world class experience in Triples and I'll certainly buy it again!

Long live the Golden Dragon!!

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2005 23:32:50 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of mrfrancis


4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy dark amber with a thick, pillowy beige head that lasts forever, lacing deep into the glass.

S: Aromas of cider apples, caramel, toffee, and spiced pears are present on the nose. Surprisingly, I'm not picking up any alcohol on the nose.

T: Gentle, delicate notes of toffee, caramel, cider apples, pear drop candy, licorice, star anise, gingerbread, toasted almonds, and a woody, herbal spiciness akin to juniper berries wash across the palate. The finish is gentle and warming with cider apple, pear drop, and woody spice notes underscored by mellow alcohol.

M: Relatively full-bodied and dry with prickly, cleansing carbonation. There is a slight alcohol presence, though it is very subdued and never even remotely distracting. To me, this beer is the prototypical evening sipper.

O: This was one of the first authentic Belgian ales that I really became attached to, and as such, I can't help being a little bit biased when I review it. I still think Gulden Draak is an exceptional ale, and I seem to return to it again and again. In my opinion, this is the best beer made by Brouwerij Van Steenberge.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2011 21:18:25 | More by mrfrancis
Photo of vikingmike

Ontario (Canada)

4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy, muddy tan coloured...like aged leather

S: Candied fruits with a hint of something citrusy

T: Distinct malty sweetness. This IS a very sweet beer, but not cloyingly so. Tastes of pepper and a spice which I can't place. Very warm in the finish...reminds you that its 10.5% ABV

M: Thick, viscous, slightly syrupy

D: Like a lot of Belgians, this one conceals its ABV extremely well. You don't feel it until you stand up. Extremely tasty beer, one that I wish were more widely available in my area

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2009 01:43:58 | More by vikingmike
Photo of DrewV

New York

4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a hazy, cloudy dark burgundy-red liquid with a full 3-finger khaki colored head.

S: Typical dark fruits mixed with some light fruit for support. A strong whiff detects a significant shot of booze.

T: A strong blast of cherries, some fig, light molasses and some latent sweetness immediately washes across the palate at the first sip. This is really, really delicious stuff. A warming alcohol presence is apparent, but definitely not overpowering and does not detract from the flavor at all. Highest marks here.

M: Very high "coarse" carbonation. Not as finely carbonated as other Belgians. Gives the impression of a "lightness" to the beer's body as all of that CO2 is released into the mouth. I would have preferred a bit more creaminess. Finishes dry with almost no aftertaste.

O: An extremely well-crafted brew here and arguably my favorite in the BSDA category, if not for the price. At around half the cost, Trois Pistoles provides much more than half the enjoyment as this brew. Still, a high quality beer worthy of a solid "A" rating.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2011 19:18:07 | More by DrewV
Photo of ViveLaChouffe


4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a 750ml bottle.

Pours a beautiful cherywood color. Deep reddish brown. A small tan head. Smells of apples and strong malt. Syrupy sweet and strong.

Tastes of big malt. Sweet and smooth. Apple flavors are evident. The ABV is listed at 10.5% but you would never know it from the taste. There is no alcohol bite. It is amazingly smooth. Finishes with a sweet/sour aftertaste. Big full bodied beer but subtle as well. It doesn't bludgeon you over the head with its strength but takes you down slowly and sweetly. A great brew to end an evening.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2003 03:00:19 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of Ranz


4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Without much head, it pours a dark, brown-red. The lacing is thick and evenly displaced inside my Duvel tulip. This looks very nice.

S: There's some strong character here--figs, black cherries, resin, and a hint of banana with clove. A slight acidity to the nose gives it some bite.

T: The clove and banana are quite pronounced with a nice singe of alcohol. Do I note a taste of nuttiness, too? Lots going on, and I'm enjoying it all. The finish is thick, but I can't quite place the flavor. Carmelized or dried fruit? I'm not sure.

M: The alcohol gives it a good, playful carbonation, which is offset by the slight thickness on the palate. This beer rewards sipping.

O: I'm really quite pleased with this; I'll certainly be getting more of this to enjoy, and I'll be looking for other brews by Van Steenberge.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 05:28:15 | More by Ranz
Photo of gr0g

New Jersey

4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark reddish-brown with a substantial head. Excellent retention and chunky lacing. Sweet, rum-like nose with plenty of fruity esters. Ripe, dark fruit and Belgian candi sugar notes are abundant.

On the palate, sweetness from malt and candi sugar, a bit medicinal, then becomes dry on the finish. Interplay of both light and dark fruit: apple, plum, and raisin. Carbonation is lively but not harsh, and despite a slight alcohol note this high ABV brew is not boozy.

A must-try for any fan of dark Belgian ales. Very nice sweet-dry/bitter balance.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2013 01:58:27 | More by gr0g
Photo of IntriqKen


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Whoa! This is rich...beginning with the gorgeous white bottle.
Pours deep amber with an incredible cream head that stays full for a very long time. Laces nicely while you slowly finish the drink.
Aroma is sweet dark fruits, sweet malts, light alcohol.
Mouthfeel is creamy and very, very full.
Taste of dark ripe fruits, raisens, sweet malts, heavy alcohol.
Definate alcohol burn going down with rich dark fruit aftertaste.
Make this the last drink of the night...preferably with dessert and take your time sipping it.
Like fine sherry or brandy...definately as rich, filling, and warming.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2006 05:58:43 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of mudbug


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the bone white bottle to a standard pint glass this exceptional brew kicks up a nice tan head with great retention and loads of sticky lacing, the body is a murky baltic amber. The head recedes to a thick cap and remains until the end. Nice.
The aroma is burnt sugar, no not burnt, cooked to perfection brown cane sugar, Jamaican rum sugar and ripe figs with a hint of rain forest, dank and earthy.
Taste is complex, sweet malts, prunes, a dark chocolate, astringency in the aftertaste may be the booze or carbonation or the remnants of spicy hops, but I'll wager its all of the above.
Tight carbonation tickles the tongue, but leaves a long creamy aftertaste of bitter chocolate.
Belisimo, Bravo!

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2011 05:37:11 | More by mudbug
Photo of blaje

Quebec (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aged of about 5 years now, this bottle was given to a friend who drank it with me a few years after. Let see what this one become...

Pourred into a sniffer. It revealed brown/orange butterscotch in colour. Completely hazy, lots of yeast in suspension. Nice thick creamy head but disappearing too quickly (<1min) leaving a small ring around the glass and small lacing. This is certainly due to ageing.

Nose: Butterscotch toffee, apple, butter, Honey. No alcohol scent

Mouth: Definitely sweet. Butterscotch is present according to the nose. The honey nose is well represented too!. No clue of yeast taste in mouth even with the high level of turbidity. Wonderful! Carbonation is medium-low resulting from the ageing process. No bitterness at all. The taste of the high level of alcohol is totally hidden by all the flavours an richeness of this brew.

Overall: An exceptional beer! I have some serious reserve on beer claiming >10% ABV, but this one is a gem. Complex and full of flavours. very nice beer for a late evening drink.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2009 01:57:49 | More by blaje
Photo of Kinsman


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here we have a beautiful reddish-brown colored body with ruby accents and a fizzy, foamy, and rocky light tan head. The head slowly fades without leaving much a lace behind but does leave a beautiful creamy crown, about 1cm thick, on top for the remainder of the glass.

Aroma is packed full with a wide variety of flavors. It greets you with a sugary molasses aroma, which slowly steps aside for a notable phenolic aroma. Fruity and a bit yeasty too.

The first taste greets you with an onslaught of flavor and alcohol. In fact, the alcohol is one of the first things I noticed. The date code is to cryptic for me to understand, but I would guess this bottle is no more than a few months with heat like this.

Once you get past the fire-breathing dragon of alcohol and enter the dragons lair, the beer becomes much more welcoming (sorry for the corny dragon reference, but you just have to with this beer). Lots of sweet and sugary malt flavors plus some dark fruitiness. Further exploration reveals a strong phenolic presence. After all is said and done, the beer finishes with a bit of a spicy note reminiscent of cloves and pepper.

Mouthfeel just about requires a full body with this much flavor. It certainly does deliver, and it comes along with a live bubbly carbonation.

Drinkability... well its enjoyable, but this is one hell of a beer. You only need one of these in the night, but its worth it.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2010 23:11:56 | More by Kinsman
Photo of bluejacket74


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml caged and corked bottle. Served in a Unibroue tulip, the beer pours a murky reddish/mahogany brown color with about an inch light tan head that stayed around a little while. There's also a good amount of lacing. Aroma is very nice, it smells like dark fruit, caramel, yeast, spice and some candied fruit. Taste pretty much is the same as the aroma, but there's also some candy sugar and bready malt noticeable. It's a very sweet and malty brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's smooth and creamy with moderate carbonation. I think this is a pretty good beer. I know I'd buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2012 22:00:04 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of BeerGodz

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: Dark mahogany color, med head, awesome lacing

Smell: Yeasty, dried fruit, chocolate, plum , caramel, bourbon

Taste: Up Front: Yeast, coffee, brown sugar, raisins , toffee. Finish: Sweet, slight hoppy, slight alcohol

Mouthfeel: Smooth, thick and creamy

Drinkability: OH YEAH! I could quaff one or two....uh... two or three....It's a Belgian Dammit!

Overall Impression: This is a funky, complex beer, just like me, except with more alcohol! If you find this beer...DRINK IT!

Serving type: on-tap

03-27-2010 19:46:52 | More by BeerGodz
Photo of eric5bellies


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from myGulden Draak tulip.

A - Pours a beautiful Mahogany Red colour, with a one fingered off White head that retains well and laces. Perfect.

S - Nice strong spirit like aromas, with plenty of caramel and sweet malts. A little smoke and boiled lollies also present.

T - Spicy dark fruits and a rd wine like carachteristic. The sweetness of candied sugar is very well balanced with some nice boiled lolly flavours. Absolutley no hint of the 10% abv.

M - Medium body and carbonation makes for a very smooth drop

O - A top class Belgian brew that is a must try.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 17:30:47 | More by eric5bellies
Photo of FondueVoodoo

British Columbia (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear deep sepia, reddish brown, with 2 finger of light tan head. Lacey retention, with even a rim of foam left clinging to the glass.

S: Toffee and dark honey, with spiced notes of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and fennel. Creamy scent of vanilla and notes of dark dried fruits, such as raisins, cherries, prunes, caramelized bananas and forward scent of fermented fruits.

T: Deeply caramelized honey and dark fruit, it's as though it's brandied cherry beer aged in vanilla bourbon barrels. Hints of raisins and dates with cloves and nutmeg, and a presents of warming alcohol along the end of the taste.

M: Medium to heavy bodied with a minimal carbonation that hits first and then quickly losses its fizz. Nice coverage in the mouth that last well beyond the last sip.

O: Great stand alone beer that is a true treat to sip. We had it with a chicken mole and found the complexity of mole (nuts, coco, chills, dried fruits) complimented the Gulden Draak especially well. I also consider a cream brûlée with it as well, the dark honey notes would be and excellent compliment to a creamy dessert.
The brew reminds me more of great sipping port, truly worth savouring.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2012 03:23:21 | More by FondueVoodoo
Photo of jerryjeff


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice and spicy in character, getting hints of raisin, fig, and clove maybe with the malt scents intermixed.

Medium in carbonation, a bit of oiliness on the palette remains.

Pours to medium dark amber with some reddishness. Not much in way of initial head from pour, but what is there is hanging around and lacing a bit (poured to chimay goblet).

An almost brandyish character, the alcohol is fairly well hidden in there (10.2% abv) with some slight warming. Some clove in the taste maybe, and there is some residual malt but not too much sweetness.

I really, really like this. I don't know how many I'd want at a sitting though, it's a beer to drink slowly and taste fully.

This stuff is really great, one of my favorites I've had recently.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2011 02:28:01 | More by jerryjeff
Photo of BeerHonky

New York

4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, corked and caged. Poured into my small Piraat goblet. Pours a wonderful shade of brown with nice ruby highlights hidden within. Big fluffly white head that dissipated to a nice glass coating lace. BIG hints of dark fruit here particularly raisins and dates soaked in a bit of alcohol. Underneath that I found a faint, buttery malt sweetness aroma. This beer smells really big! To my surprise, it did not taste very big...meaning that it hid its palatable alcohol pretty well. On top of the raisiny flavor I also got a nice refreshing apple taste. Also present is a subtle caramel malt backbone with little bits of butterscotch here and there. This is super tastey. Normally I'd think carbonation would be weird in a beer like this, but the bubbles are very smooth and enhance the creamy mouthfeel which leaves behind a pleasant sweetness that is not sticky. And finally, this beer will kick you to the curb if you're not careful...it hides the booze extremely well.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2007 05:28:05 | More by BeerHonky
Photo of rootbeerman


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle into Duvel glass.
to start this will always be a favorite because this is the beer that got me liking triples

A: pours deep brown with light brown finger and a half head that laces moderately.
S: sweet roast malt, a slight molasses/brown sugar, also a raisin dried fruit sweetness. either hop or malt earthiness. alcohol is noticeable behind the sweetness.
T: raisins and sweet roasted malt, very light hop, not really bitterness but just barely on the aftertaste. sweetness and raisins hangs in aftertaste for a while.
M: thick and coating, medium carbonation
D: easy sipper, easy drinker. a great Belgian to start with, i believe it was my first almost a year ago.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2010 07:26:25 | More by rootbeerman
Photo of BradLikesBrew


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This bottle is at least 2 years old.

Pours a beautiful mahogany body. Aromas of brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Flavors include cola, cherry, brown sugar, and cinnamon. But, it is not sweet at all. Pairs perfectly with the Belgian waffles down at the Cheeky Monk.

Man, I love this beer. Rich and malty, smooth and easy. A real creeper of a beer. You don't know its 10% while you're drinking it, but in 10 minutes...

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2010 02:56:10 | More by BradLikesBrew
Photo of pinotboy007


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Overall: splendid, amazing craftsmanship -- get a 4-pack, ASAP.

Served in a tulip stem; has an appearance similar to that of fresh espresso. Nice, tan-colored head that gently calms down with some lacing.

Tastes of mocha, caramel and earth with a slightly refreshing carbonation that helps keep it all together.

Enjoyed it on its own as a night cap . . . strong beer!

Yum. This will become a staple.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2007 12:15:11 | More by pinotboy007
Photo of jzeilinger


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was an anniversary gift from my wife which was part of a "High Octane" Beer Basket. (She knows what I like!) Never heard of this one before so I have been looking forward to trying this.

Pours a dark mahogany color with a slight, creamy, tan head in the beginning but quickly dies down to a very light covering of foamy bubbles on the top. The beer appears thick as it sticks to the sides with good retention before sliding back down into the glass!

Aroma is of toasty, sugary malts, cherries, caramelized raisins. The flavor is very good, not at all what I expected because some other nuances are coming out that weren't overly detected in the nose. Sweet toasted sugary malts in the beginning followed by a subtle blending in of sour cherries with a touch of apple (the apple part is what was surprising). Also picking up a little rasin and some fig on the tongue. The flavors blend in a subtle tartness that makes the beer finish wet instead of dry, which is what I originally expected. The 10.5 ABV is incredibly, and may I say "dangerously", well hidden, practically undetectable. There's not many beers I can recall that has such a deceptive alcohol content. Not overly deep and complex but amazingly well brewed. Hats off to the brewmaster.

The body is on the lighter side of heavy, has a slight prickliness on the tongue, and incredibly drinkable. I could sit and have a few of these and easily lose track of the number. For a beer I've never heard of before, I'd definitely buy this one again - worth checking out.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2010 20:13:21 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of Slynger


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Gulden Draak pours an elegant deep burgandy brown color with massive cap of light caramel colored fluff.

Wafts of dark fruity prunes, plums, and cherries drift into mellowly tart apples and wine, both of the red variety. Nice soft belgian yeasts round out a fine nose.

The body is medium-full. It is also full of a lush, tickling, fuzzy carbonation. Flavors of sweet and lightly bitter dark fruits with light caramel and butterscotch lean in to red wine and apples. Light belgian yeastiness massages the palate and fresh, sweet, cinnamony tobacco appears as it warms.

Absolutely delishious. This is the best BSDA I've had yet. Drink it warm and you'll have a satisfied grin on your warmly buzzing face by the time you are done.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2008 03:52:25 | More by Slynger
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 2,988 ratings.