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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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,259 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,259
Hads: 3,545
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 252
Gots: 604 | FT: 4
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,259 | Hads: 3,545
Photo of drabmuh
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say about this beer that hasn't already been said. 11.2 oz bottle served in a goblet. Beer is dark brown, nearly black, nice head, steady carbonation. Beautiful ether smell associated with strong Belgians. Taste is sweet and balanced alcohol. No hint of roasting in the flavors, except maybe slightly. One of my all time favorite beers. Excellent, you have to try this beer. (385 characters)

Photo of wmtxbb
4.76/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a chalice

Appearance: Hazy gold-amber color with finger-sized head that dissipates into lacing.

Smell: Sweet dark malts, cherry and wood. Very interesting scent.

Taste: The first thing I notice is that I can barely taste the 10.5% alcohol, it is amazing. Gulden Draak drinks like a session brew, but with the flavor profile and alcohol content of triple. Lemonade flavor, cherry, dark malts, some fruit esters. Ends a little dry, but not as dry as most 10% brews.

Drinkability: A lack of head retention is this beer's only fault. I could drink this just about everyday. Definitely world class. (618 characters)

Photo of OtisinAZ
4.76/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As i am not a big fan of the Belgiums (too sweet) this triple was one hell of a surprise.
The pour - dark with a nice tan head that settled fairly quickly.
The taste - WOW!!! perfect balance of sweet with a caramel malt perfectly carbonated. Easy drinking and enjoyable.
The smell - slight nutty and candy left me wondering what I was in for. Turns out it was one of the finest beers I have ever had. (400 characters)

Photo of mmthompson33
4.76/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Definitely an exceptional beer. Hard to find here in the states, but a treat when you get a bottle. It's a classic example of Belgium's best. This one will lay you down if you're not careful!! (195 characters)

Photo of pants678
4.76/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml, a nice deep, dark amber color. Single finger white head with a body that's closer to red than brown.

First is cinnamon, then oak, not overpowering through.

Tastes of brown sugar and sour cherries, on the back, then raspberry or cherry. Sweet but not tart. Hard to go beyond that, really. I once thought of his beer as a stroll on the beach at midnight. Possibly the most pretension thing I've ever said about beer.

The bubbles are fine, as with most Belgian's I've had to this point. (507 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours a beautiful deep mahogany with reddish highlights. The beer was initially capped with a finger and a half of off-white foam for a head that quickly dissipated into a thin halo of foam that gripped the glass, and formed wispy clouds of foam over the center of the beer.

Aroma: Dried stone fruit like cherries and plums and raisins. Alcohol, but in a good way, like the way wine smells, but better. Malty, like freshly baked dark bread like a loaf of pumpernickel.

Taste: Fruity with the afore mentioned cherries, raisins and plums. Notes of spices like clove, allspice, cinnamon, vanilla. Some slight molasses sweetness to help round out the slightly sour notes of the Belgian yeast.

Mouthfeel: Chewy. Very, very chewy. Nicely carbonated, but the beer doesn’t cleanse the palate, rather it coast the mouth like velvet. At 10.5% ABV, you do taste and feel the alcohol, but in a good way!

Overall: Belgian strong dark ales are among my favorite styles of beers, the Gulden Draak is an exceptional example of such a beer. If you like Belgian quads and other strong dark ales, and haven’t tried the Gulden Draak yet, do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle. You won’t be disappointed. (1,209 characters)

Photo of liquoredgoat
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with an aggressive near-caramel colored inch thick head that dissipates to a lingering foam, now ivory. The beer is an autumn leaf, syrup brown with golden hues.

S - Nose is sweet with honey, plums, whiskey, and faint cinnamon.

T - Palate is honey, dry cereal, alcohol, wheat grass. The finish is white wine dry, with alcohol nuzzling the throat for a good while.

M - A medium body with great carbonation. One of those Belgians that you just hold in your cheeks for a stretch simply for the frothy sensation.

O - This is world class stuff, and definitely a definitive example of the style. Maybe the best example. In order to see if it trumps Chimay Blue, I will have to do repeated tastings of both. Lucky me. (728 characters)

Photo of higherbrow
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

The gold standard of non-Trappist produce tripels, Gulden Draak is an excellent beer. Fruity and earthy, it has an almost pungent flavor that encourages small sips, but rewards the palate with an elaborate, complex flavor. A bit on the pricey side, this is a special purchase, but often worth the price. (303 characters)

Photo of bowersdm
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

33cL bottle poured into a...some type of glass.

A - cloudy ruby color, like apple cider, nice thick head. good lacing

S - hops, spice, fruit, malt

T - caramel malt, fruit, spice, hops and more fruit, no alcohol taste at all.

M - smooth

D - this beer is wayyy too easy drinking for a 10% ABV beer. (301 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: An 11.2 fluid ounce (330ml) “Duvelian-like” stubby coated with a unique looking white paint finish. Black label, with golden bounds has the words “Gulden Draak Ale” in red text over and above a picture of a golden dragon. Listed at 10.5% ABV.


Appearance: *Catalogue princess, apprentice seductress.*
Dirty thick ruddy dark brown body on the pour. Off-white head, the tanned creamy upper crown sits uniformly across the vestige of my Westvleteren goblet. Closer examination reveals a pellucid mahogany body with deep rich ruby tones. Bespoke looks.

Nose: *Fragrant aphrodisiac, the withered tuberose.*
Alcohol – yes, it either fails to mask the pungent ethanolic aromas, or it wants you to know that it may kick your ass later in the night. A nice dry hop aroma in the back end is somewhat spoiled by the vitriolic alcohol at times.

Taste: *Dynamic young Tarzan courts the bed-sit queen.*
A tasty and viscous warm layer of malts lay the foundation. Sharp herbal traits fill the gaps. Thick caramel and burnt sugar mixes with prunes and dates juice.

Mouthfeel: *Playing games with faces in the neon wonderland.*
An enticing rich thick carpet of malts lays down the base of dark fruits and a high temperature catwalk finish. My neck sweats as the warmth induces a satisfying heart attack that I don’t want to break out of. Like shitting yourself in public; it’s embarrassing in the finish but for a short time up front it kind of feels good, warm and comfy.

Drinkability: *Perform to scattered shadows on the shattered cobbled aisles*.
A massive tornado of enticing warm malts and a rich thick globulating warmth of alcohol are the foundation for a serious night cap brew!!! Nevertheless, it may only contain 330ml but I want more. Damn this brew, it is the Devils work indeed.

Overall: *She said she wanted to be an actress or something. Nobody knows where she came from, where she was going. Funny thing was she had a smile on her face. She was smiling. What a waste!*

You know, I *loved* this brew from the very first time I tried it, some 14 or so years ago. Man this is one powerful spicy (yet unspiced!!!) brew. One sip returns me to care free times in Belgian; it can transport me from the bustling Grand Place, the busy yet cosmopolitan Brugge to the quiet of the De Gans, Huise farmhouse café in the rustic East Flanders countryside. Van Steenberge is unfortunately renowned for many of their “sump” brews, but the Gulden Draak is most certainly a first generation creation that demands respect, and it always gets it from me.

Gulden Draak almost begs to pronounced with a thick Romanian accent such as the original name of Bram Stokers Whitby legend Vlad Drăculea, or rather better still as Vlad the Impaler. Either way, **don’t dare** turn you’re back on this one for it WILL come back to get you, either in the daylight, or worse, later at night when you sleep.

But for now it’s just another Chelsea Monday,
Sweet Chelsea Monday. (3,009 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

08/11/06- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz stubby bottle. No freshness info, but there is a small stamped code at the bottom of the label. Poured into an oversized wine glass that looks remarkable like a St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- Liquified caramel coloring. One maybe 1 1/2 inch larger bubbled head forms upon the pour. Remains at a good 1/5th inch thick and creamy head. Minute yeasties float around. Spalltered lacing all around. It was a crapshoot between a 4.5 and a 5. Did a coin flip.

Smell- This is a caramel/fruit cocktail. Doesn't fume out like you would hope, which is the only strike against the smell. Melted fresh made carnival caramel like the kind you would dip an apple into. Dark fruits galore. Figs, plums, prunes, raisins, plus some licorice.

Taste- Big and bold as you would expect from a 11% or so brew. Taste mirrors the scent to presice pinpoint. Like a liquid Caramello bar. Anise and liquorice jump out after the caramel coats your tongue. The dark fruits follow. Prunes and figs are predominant. Plums and raisins meld in nicely.

Mouthfeel- Slightly drying. Full and thick...even a bit vinous mouthfeel. Medium carbonation (just about right). Really makes you crave another sip.

Drinkability- This dude is strong. Drank this on an empty stomach right before lunch (may regret that, but I still have a bottle of Beatification and Stone 2006 Old Gaurdian to consume before the day is over). Quite the tasteful one and worthy of considerable praise. Will have to find a large bottle of this. Still trying to figure out what bottle I am going to break open once my child is born in March...this ain't a bad prospect. Again, will have to steal the Rachel Ray catch phrase..."YUMMO"! (1,770 characters)

Photo of Iguana
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally found a bottle of this to try at The Beir Stein in Eugene, Oregon.

A: Poured a deep dark brown/ruby with a creamy 3/4 inch head that dwindled to a nice 1/4 inch head that lasted throughout the beer.

S: I get smells or raisin's, plum's, spices, and alcohol. Smells really nice.

T: Wow, just wow. Dark fruit, dark sugars, really rich and sweet. Really didnt get much hints of the yeast but got lots of sweetness.

M: Silky smooth going down with a nice alcohol burn in the finish. I dont think it could be any better than that.

D: I could try and drink a few of these in a night and it would be a grand night indeed but at 10.5% abv I would prolly end up sleeping on the floor. I will buy this one whenever I can find it. (741 characters)

Photo of sporklift87
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured two fingers light brown sudsy head, excellent retention and sticky lacing. Dark orange and brown, with some amber shining through. Quite clear, minimal clouding. Smells of raisins, brown sugar and sweet malt. Notes of other dark fruits like plum and cherries. Aromatics have a lot to say, and loudly. Upon tasting, higher alcohol content is apparent, but well disguised behind a menagerie of bold flavors, matching aromatics. Brown sugar is apparent up front, followed by a lingering aftertaste of the dark fruits. Wonderful mouth feel, chewy, syrupy, foams up on the tongue, but not overwhelming in terms of acidity or carbonation. An incredible balance. Flavor lingers on front of tongue for several minutes. What an amazing beer. I picked up a 750 for $13, not the best price I've found it at, but well worth it for such a spectacular treat. Very highly recommended. Even my burps are delectable. (906 characters)

Photo of goschool
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My aggressive pour created a brilliant tan head that eventually faded on top of a ruby-brown body. Alcohol looms over fruit, caramel, and dry hops in the nose. The taste has a ton of caramel to go with anise, and dark fruit. The mouthfeel is full bodied and dry. Fantastic beverage. (282 characters)

Photo of acevenom
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice. Pours dark caramel brown with a light tan head that dissipates quickly. Plenty of bubbles can be seen rising from the side and bottom of the glass in the initial pour, but not much is seen after that. The booze is strong with this one in the aroma. I can also pick up the dark candi sugar, Belgian yeast, and bready malt. I can also pick up that dark fruit aroma that is common with this style. There are good flavors here. I can pick up the bready malt, sweetness from the dark candi sugar, and the fruity flavors from the yeast. I can also pick up the alcohol here. The body is full with moderate carbonation. The finish is dry. This is a good sipper. This is an excellent beer. (703 characters)

Photo of calcio360jrd
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Gulden Draak is 4 sure one of my all time fav beers. This belgian strong dark ale has some amazing toffee like smell and sweetness that few beers can match. I've had the pleasure of having this in both bottle and on draft in the same night, not many beers i can say that about. This beer just tastes great, not for everybody though, the sweetness factor gets some people, but i thing the 10.5% of the beer evens the sweetness out to a pretty close to perfect beer! (464 characters)

Photo of ski271
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Medium-dark ruby-brown with a medium-sized, light tan, slowly diminishing head. Smell is sweet and malty and big. Belgian yeast, candi sugar, dark fruit and alcohol. The taste is huge. Very complex. Figs, dark cherries, raisin, and tobacco to name a few. It's complexity is matched by thick, full body and syrupy texture. This is one beast of a beer. Fantastic! I definitely recommend seeking out this beer. (407 characters)

Photo of monkeytoe
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(April rotating tap at Chumleys--combined notes from several sessions)

Dark ruby-brown with the lightest of pale gold heads covering the surface and lacing the sides of the generic heavy-glass goblet.

Candy, caramel smell with orange-lemon, light toasted grain, and peppery herbs.

Sweet, sugary heaven: milk chocolate, dried cherry, burnt sugar, caramel, Darjeeling tea, spicy pink peppercorns, and sweet herbs. Warming alcohol comes in the later sips. Aftertaste of sweet herbs and dried cherry.

Creamy, velvety and slick all at once.

A little "too" drinkable for this amount alcohol. (601 characters)

Photo of NODAK
4.74/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is amazing. Full of fruit, banana and there's some cherry in there as well. Booziness is also evident.

Pours a beautiful, cloudy dark brown in the glass. Small head.

Brightly sweet in the front, with tons of banana, dark fruit and a distinct note of cherries. Almost a wine quality to it. The finish is sweet with a candied sugar taste and booziness together, at this ABV it'd be hard to completely cover. It isn't too distracting, but it's there. A small citrus peel bitterness creeps in at the end to finish it off.

Tasty!! A sweet treat, like a dessert to itself. I definitely enjoy this beer, but at this price and ABV, it's a sipper. Even after one, I could feel the warmth. (688 characters)

Photo of sjccmd
4.74/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After opening carefully, it began to gush a bit, but not enough to cause any beer lossage (phew)...poured into a Duvel tulip glass, even with a careful pour, an immense and lively light beige head formed, I would like to call the color of the body ruby brown...

wonderful smell that was apparent as soon as I opened the bottle of brown sugar, molasses, spice cake aroma, like a honey cake, light alcohol warmth at the end

the taste was along with the smell but with more dark fruit flavors being more pronounced, nice bready finish with a hint of chocolate

sparkly mouthfeel that finishes smooth, on the light side, but not at all watery

goes down easy, it's on the sweet side, but it's pretty well balanced (711 characters)

Photo of Rayek
4.74/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at City O' City in Denver. Served in a Gulden Draak tulip, the beer arrived with a slightly hazy deep mahogany hue and a billowing cream cap. The head slowly fell to a blanked of foam and left behind bits of lace.

"Heaven in a glass" was how I described this to my son, who chuckled at my comment. Dark dried fruit of currant, raisin and cherry get things going. They give the beer a strong vinous quality. Bitterness is quite mild and a little peppery. The alcohol adds nice warmth going down, but is well masked in the flavor. Letting the beer warm a bit makes the experience even better. The medium body has soft carbonation and could stand a touch more heft in my book. Overall, I found the beer fabulous.

I was having a really bad day when I ordered this. When my glass arrived, it improved eleven fold at the first sip. A truly great beer. (854 characters)

Photo of ikantspel
4.74/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle served into a duvel tulip

pours a dark oak brown. creamy 2 finger head.

dark fruits with toasty malts. a little bit of banana in there. can this smell any better

slightly boozy at first. mostly taste a kinda maple syrup and malt flavor. this is beyond good

this is so damn good. i really cant wait to try their quad thats coming out. (351 characters)

Photo of celldog
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Simply the best beer on the planet. I get my Gulden Drak from Yardhouse restaurants. Have never had it from the 12 oz or 750ml bottles.

The explosive flavors of this tripel are so wonderful. Nothing I have tasted compares. This is not for the bud light drinker. This beer is only meant for those who appreciate quality and substance in their beers. (350 characters)

Photo of Cuttooth
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

After giving the worst pour of all time into my Duvel glass, I think that I am ready to try Gulden Draak. Thankfully I am not disappointed. The smell of this beer is almost that of a tripel, with clove and banana flavors. On the other hand, it also produces a dark fruit smell, of plums and licorice. Alright, I'm pretty intrigued, so let's get into the taste. Holy damn. I am not disappointed, as a rush of plum, fig, raspberry and clove come to destroy my palette. The lacing on this beer is extraordinary, as it goes down all the way throughout the glass. Mouthfeel is pretty good, with high carbonation, not as much as Duvel, but still pretty high for a BSDA. Overalll, this is one of the best dark ales that I've had, and am looking forward to trying this again in the future. (781 characters)

Photo of Shadman
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nothing Golden about the colour of this brew. Dark, cloudy Chestnet brown. Very nice thick tan head, showed superior tetention and lacing.

Aroma wae nice in a not knocking my socks off way. Rich alcohol soaked fruitiness.

Took quote george from Seinfeld..." I'm blown away" Not incredibly complex, but what's there is amazing. As I'm drinking this I'm thinking why pair wine with food because this is better than most wines I've sampled. Rich malt fruitiness with amzingly well hidden alcohol. Finishes slightly dry and spicy.

Smooth and full bodied mouthfeel.

Still blown away @ how enjoyable this beer was. Smooth, flavourful, not overbearing in any category, yet makes me immediately wishing I had more in the cellar to enjoy. (735 characters)

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
93 out of 100 based on 1,259 ratings.