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

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)

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

2,764 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2764
Reviews: 1190
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.35%


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)
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Ratings: 2,764 | Reviews: 1,190 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of paterlodie
paterlodie

Belgium

3.35/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice white botle; great name.... what to expect? Nice darkbrown colour with a lightbrown head that lasts. Malty nose that tends to sweet and hardly any caramel but litle hops. Tast is sweet and full bodied and aftertast starts sweet but finishes bitter. To sweet( and alcoholic) to drink more than one.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2004 18:13:12 | More by paterlodie
Photo of jhicks12
jhicks12

Pennsylvania

3.35/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured a nice Brown amber burgundy color with a fluffy with head.

Smell: nice sweet malt and citrus and a little alcohol in there as well.

Taste: Nice balanced malt sweet nice with a little clove and citrus in the finish

Mouthfeel: Nice Bubble carbonation and smooth feel. Gulden Draak has a nice balance

Drinkability: One of the more drinkable Belgians in my opinion, I would actually beable to drink more than one. Most Belgians are either too sweet or a little to dry. The

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2007 13:52:00 | More by jhicks12
Photo of blakesell
blakesell

Ohio

3.35/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a big 750ml bottle into a St. Bernardus belgian cereal bowl.

Appearance- A cloudy dark brown almost opaque with a huge head of froth that never really dissapates. Comes to a creamy slosh on the top of the beer lacing/legs all up on the glass.

Smell- Dark fruits, fig, molasses, prunes, rasin, a hidden candi sugar that disguises itself well in with the fruits and yeasty esters. Much of the belgian style yeast permeating thru this beer.

Taste- Sweet with sugars and a phenolic alcohol bite at the end, a lactose style creaminess that is reminescent of Rochefort lingering in the background. The yeast in this beer does a fine job of hiding those sugars throughout.

Mouthfeel- Here's where this beer runs short. A sticky cloying mouthfeel that makes you feel like you have been eating candy all day. I've had lucky charms with less sugary mouthfeel.

Drinkability- It's ok for drinkability, but the 10.5% ABV would kill the average person trying for a session here. I'm glad I'm cooking with the rest.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2007 00:38:02 | More by blakesell
Photo of korguy123
korguy123

Ontario (Canada)

3.33/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330ml into Founders snifter.

A- Muddy swamp water pour with ruby highlights. Aggressive pour gave me a finger width off white head. Even hard swirls left me with very little. Lacing is spotty at best.

S- Slight rubbing alcohol mixed with chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla, figs and various other stone fruits. Yeasty like a doughnut.

T- Quite sweet with brown sugar and vanilla up front. Stone fruits and yeast in the back with a slight alcohol taste.

M- Medium bodied with slight prickly carbonation. Alcohol burn on the tongue and on the way down.

O- I'm really becoming a strong supporter of the BSDA, this one had wonderful potential but the alcohol being so out there in all aspects made me a little disappointed. It probably needs time to mellow out.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2011 23:51:12 | More by korguy123
Photo of TheStoutAholic
TheStoutAholic

Iowa

3.3/5  rDev -22%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Glass type: tulip glass.

A: Well this is my first DARK Triple therefore was very dark for a triple

S: The smell was very sweet smelled of fruit.

T: This was a very fruity tasting Triple.

M: Has a very fruity taste with a head that doesn't mask its flavor one bit.

D: It started tasting better as it warmed up to room temperature.

This was my first taste of a Dark Triple therefore I have nothing to compare it to, it was decent, more fruity than I was ready for though.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2009 04:16:48 | More by TheStoutAholic
Photo of RodneyFarva
RodneyFarva

Spain

3.3/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a chalice

a: pours a dark brown ruby with a two finger fluffy head. decent lacing. very nice color.

s: aroma of malts, brown sugar sweetness, dark fruits, strong alcohol heat.

t: brown sugar sweetness, raisins and plums. quite boozy and syrupy, and overly sweet. alcohol quite apparent.

o: lots of different interesting flavors, but the alcohol presence and sweetness really got to me. at the end, it was difficult to finish rather than enjoyable once it had warmed up considerably. interesting beer, but flawed.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2012 14:54:21 | More by RodneyFarva
Photo of mschofield
mschofield

Massachusetts

3.28/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Deep red with a crackiling bubbly reddish tan head.
Aroma of wet wheat, fruit and horse blankets.
Robustly flavored of dark fruit (fig/cherry/plum), molasses and roasted caramel. Notes of a distilled spirit nature.
Medium-full feel, very syrupy.
Seemed as if it hadn't fully fermented, almost like malt extract.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2004 19:51:50 | More by mschofield
Photo of kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

3.25/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle poured in a fancy glass.

Pours a dark brown with some ruby hints with very little head and a bit of lacing. Not very dark for a dark beer.

Taste is very complex, alcohol is slightly harsh and a bit sharp. There are some raisin and prune notes to it. Tastes lingers, there's quite a bit of Belgian taste to it, but not too strong. Quite a good mouthfeel, very thick and creamy almost.

Drinkability is a bit low just because there is so much going on, it'll kill your pallet pretty damn fast.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2009 03:34:11 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of gopens44
gopens44

Virginia

3.25/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice murky reddish brown beverage sporting a rather enthusiastic latte colored foamy head that dissipated after just a few minutes, leaving behind a 1/8" blanket.

S - Something in the dark fruit arena stikes my nose first. Maybe even currant. A little spicing dances around the bombastic yeast party, fueled by a definite alcohol brightness.

T - There are some dark cherry things going on in the taste that is nearly overpowered by the alcoholic yeast fandango that quickly demands attention. Not oncredibly well balanced in my opinion. Maybe some age could tame this dragon a bit.

M - Well carbonated and surprisingly thin despite the color. Heavy alcohol presence in the finish with just a bit of bitterness in the aftertaste.

This one could have been better if not so boozy. Yes, it has a high ABV, but it's just not as well balanced as some othre representatives of the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2011 21:51:40 | More by gopens44
Photo of Rumrunner
Rumrunner

California

3.23/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle

Pours a mahogany color. It looks like a thick iced tea. Good foamy head at the start but it disappears quickly. The scents are strong brown sugar, some caramel and a deep wet grass finishes the smells.

A very malty brew. The sweet brown sugar is very dominant. A caramel syup adds to the flavors and a sweet fruit finish. A very sweet overall flavor for this ale. Too sweet for me. It is like candy. The sweetness is also an after flavor. The alcohol is very present in the flavor of this ale.

It feels bold and crisp. A heavy touch to the mouthfeel. If you like sweet brews give this one a try.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2003 08:42:15 | More by Rumrunner
Photo of gc0801
gc0801

New York

3.19/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

Had: 2 months ago, from notes
Serving type: Bottle, interesting shape/design/texture, certainly unique. Bottle was on on sale for 8.00, usually is 10-12 or so.
Poured into a regular glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark color, petrol dark+some brown, legs of alcohol down the glass. Nothing much to say here. I like the color/legs of Strong belgian beers (and really, who does not?)

Smell: feint alcoholic burn, dark fruits, caramel, smells like a heavy beer

Taste
The alcohol burn is much more felt here. Overpowering sweetness and harshness due to the alcohol burn. Dark fruits and caramel still comes through. Actually tastes good but the high burn level prevents much enjoyment sadly. It becomes more enjoyable after the first few sips however curiously.

Mouthfeel
Too much of an alcohol burn to really feel much else, not that enjoyable compared to the taste.

Overall
It is hard to say whether I like this or not. I enjoy the taste but the alcohol is just way too overpowering.. It is simply too strong to be a SDA but somehow it does not have the balance of what I usually see from a Quad. Has some of the bad qualities of both as well as well as most of the good qualities. Would prefer there to be slightly less alcohol. Simply too much burn.
If the alcohol was half-way hidden, this would get a 3.5-4 easily, if it was fully hidden (as beautifully as some other Strong Dark Ales/Dubs/Quads/ I have had) 4-4.5 or higher, easily.

2.75

Edit:
Retried it to give it as second chance. Sipped it slowly and had it in a proper glass. A bit more balanced now. going up to 3.25

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2013 08:49:16 | More by gc0801
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

3.18/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

After all the hype, this one just did not do it for me. Too sweet I guess. Pours a mostly clear light brown color with a light, fluffy cream-colored head. Nice lacing and retention.

Smell is of minerals, earth, yeast and sweet malts. Hints of champagne and scotch ale, has a pretty big nose in general.

Thin, sweet and different are the first things that come to mind upon quaffing. I also taste some fountain cola syrup and heavy toasty malts. Almost seems like it has too much unfermentable sugars, and that may be on purpose, but it does not quite do it for me. Fun to try, but at nearly $5 a pop, I believe I'll pass next time.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2009 07:02:10 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of bucko
bucko

Minnesota

3.15/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours with a nice carmely-brown color, almost opaque, or at least very dense. The head is off-white and at least a couple of inches which settles to about 1/2 inch after some time. The smell is sweet with hints of fruit and perhaps cake, perhaps even a little nutty. I'm not so crazy about the first sip, all I'm tasting is alcohol. Second sip I the sweet malt takes over. The aftertaste is powerful and not unlike that of a good port, albeit a bit smokey and most noticably not a port. Long term after-taste is almost astringant and I can't help but want something else to wash it away. The mouthfeel is odd to me. It looks like it should be heavier, and it's anything but light, but it isn't heavy, either. Confused? So am I. Very complex. Perhaps too much for my taste. I think I'll have to try a few more before I have a solid opinion.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2005 03:17:50 | More by bucko
Photo of Cresant
Cresant

Kentucky

3.15/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured this undated 11.2 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Created a very tall off-white creamy head. A cap of foam remained throughout the entire leisurely session. Body was a nearly opaque burgandy/brown color.

Smell was primarily of sweet malts. Grains. Dried fruits and alcohol.

Taste reflected the aromas. Sweet. Raisins. Alcohol.

Mouthfilling creaminess.

High alcohol ensures that I do not drink this one too quickly. However. for the high ABV it is quite drinkable. There are too many excellent Belgians available for me to return to this one for a long time.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2006 21:08:53 | More by Cresant
Photo of brdc
brdc

Wisconsin

3.15/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beautiful beer with a strong dark color and a nice tan head.
Smells like roasted malts, somewhat like a porter which I thought it was odd.
Taste is also peculiar for a belgian strong dark ale, with the usual heavy malts but a bitter taste that I cannot relate to hops and it just feels different, although not unpleasant.
Full bodied, however, it has that strange bitter taste that makes me wonder if this beer was not too long on the shelf.
As it is, I do not really like it, but will give it another try.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2007 05:01:08 | More by brdc
Photo of HeroJH
HeroJH

Colorado

3.15/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm having trouble liking this one, or wanting more. I think I just have to get used to this kind of belgian. I find the sweet tangy ness a bit much for my palette and I find I pucker a bit after I take a sip. I'll keep trying though. And I'll probably get this again eventually once I become more familiar with these.

A - Dark dark brown, nice lacing

S - Sweet/ Sour, caramel

T - Sour and tangy

M - sweet finish on my palete

D - Better once it warms up, you get more of the body and fullness to offset just the sweet.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2009 23:35:46 | More by HeroJH
Photo of brakspear
brakspear

Wisconsin

3.13/5  rDev -26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a murky deep brown with a explosive and billowing head...looks nice in the glass.

The aroma is sickly sweet bubble gum, raisins, plums. Too much for my preference.

The taste is evidently complex to some, but to me it is too muddy sweet and rife with the flavor of overipe and rotting fruit. The bite of the alcohol also sears the tongue. The body seems about right to support the heavy sweetness in this beer.

Perhaps I am just not a Belgian triple fan, but this beer...with its high alcohol content and overwhelming sweetness was a chore to drink.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2003 16:52:00 | More by brakspear
Photo of jeffjfindley
jeffjfindley

California

3.1/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A tawny amber gem in the glass, champagne bubbles like fireworks, and an incredible mountainous head. Smell disappoints a bit after this, as in addition to the suspected notes of bananas, cloves, etc, I found it a bit metallic. Upon ingestion, the front half of the tongue is coated with syrupy rum raisin flavors, with little on the back. The mouthfeel is ok, until late in the game when one is left with a sensation not unlike one might experience after dispensing the contents of one's piggy bank into ones one's mouth. I've been craving a great Belgian all day, and frankly I'm disappointed. Especially after I spend 12 bucks on the damn thing.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2007 03:23:28 | More by jeffjfindley
Photo of Mosstrooper
Mosstrooper

California

3.1/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 11.2oz bottle into Ommegang Tulip glass.

Appearance: Deep caramel/amber color with a long-standing two-finger off-white head that leaves behind decent lace.

Smell: Candy sweetness with some alcohol.

Taste: Candy sweetness throughout, with slight alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Pretty heavy body, with a bit too heavy carbonation and a cool, refreshing finish.

Drinkability: A strange beer, and I can't say I'm a fan of the candy malt. Not much depth in this, but still worth a try- I seem to be an exception.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2010 18:48:10 | More by Mosstrooper
Photo of baldmasterflex
baldmasterflex

Pennsylvania

3.08/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11oz Stepped stubby bottle (same as the picture) into a wine glass. Wanted to try this because of the interesting flat white bottle and the menacing sounding name. $5.99 at totalwine in delaware.

Dark dark brown with red lowlights when held to the light. White head that didnt accumulate much but lacing clings strongly to the glass.

Smell is very sharp, a little banana sweetness but i find it not very pleasant, peppery and alcoholic.

Taste is very flat, prunish and not much more. Not much like a "trippel" that i was imagining.

Mouthfeel is good, tiny tingly carbonation, not to sticky or thick. Does not taste like 10.5% alc.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2010 00:28:01 | More by baldmasterflex
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini

California

3.05/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Skunky tripel. Dark amber pour with a thick tan head. Aroma is oakey malt with some prunes and raisins. The taste is very disappointing. Musty and alcoholic the whole way through. Somewhat sweet at the end, but not in a good way. Thank God I only bought the little bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2008 21:45:20 | More by magictrokini
Photo of brewmudgeon
brewmudgeon

Wisconsin

3.03/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

gulden draak
3.5 deep amber, short head, not much lace
3 obvious high alcohol content wafts about freely (would have believed 15-20%, easy). when the nose begins to recover, some sweet fruits are noted--guava, cherries, bananas. there is also a rummyness. but it's all way too dominated by the alcohol.
3 taste is alcohol, alcohol, sweet fruits, alcohol. it's like jumping the gun and having a fruit flavored rum ball before the excess alcohol has had some time to evaporate.
4 body on the full side of medium, carbonation ample.
2.5 not that it's bad beer, but it's hard to find under all that solvent.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2009 22:51:36 | More by brewmudgeon
Photo of rastaman
rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

3/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sticky, syruppy, sweet,malty and just a bit over the top. I like beers with a big complexity, but this is perhaps a bit too much. But its not bad, could have been better.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2002 17:43:40 | More by rastaman
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

2.98/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Huge dark head that disapear a little bit too quickly for my liking (this seems to be a problem withVan Steenberge). Really yeasty but not as thich as I was expecting from the description. The ABV level is too much apparent for my liking. Extra point for trying to be different: dark triple and cool bottle.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2003 13:39:59 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of MONKandTUCK
MONKandTUCK

Pennsylvania

2.98/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

An old favorite of mine. Keep in mind, I was largely drawn to craft beer for the frequency of hefty ABV's.

A- poured into a tulip glass. Brownish-black... kinda dark ruby. It's not thick like a stout, so it doesn't have that same suggestion of high viscosity.

A- milder than I remember, lots of Beglian yeast, some maltiness.

T- Salt Water Taffy, Rummy, Tangy yeast esters, Raisins, Sweet. Kinda like a liquid candy, but if you drink this beer expecting sweetness you'll find prominent alcoholic bite. That said, for such a strong beer it comes across as very tame... in that department. Otherwise, your tongue is awash in sharp, dark flavors. Not as pruney as some dark beers, but the the dark fruits and sweets are there along w/ the phenols.

M- thinner than one would expect, but Belgians beers excell here. As it warms the sweetness prevails and the mouthfeel becomes a tad chewier. It's medium mouthfeel and the drink progresses.

O- This one doesn't really grow on you. As it warms more flavors becomes present, but not necessarily for the better. It works... it's strong w/o being overbearing, and it has a unique flavor profile. Beyond that, I think it's another overrated Belgian beer that is too quirky for it's own good.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 05:16:56 | More by MONKandTUCK
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 2,764 ratings.