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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

2,767 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2767
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: 2,767 | Reviews: 1,190 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Tballz420
Tballz420

Minnesota

4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew is a thick, cloudy brown/purple colored brew, decent sized tan foam head. Sweet grape, cherry, fruit scent, very nice. This brew is delicious. Lots of different fruit, sweet sugars, alcohol spice, hop bitterness on top of everything. This beer is damn good, and makes me quite interested in this style of beers.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2004 07:53:03 | More by Tballz420
Photo of TerryW
TerryW

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good looking beer. Rich chestnut red colour with a nice tight long-lived head that gives up good lace. Very handsome brew.

Sweet, deliciously malty nose. Lots of fruit, well ripened banana, underlaid by noticeable but not overpowering alcohol. Great beer to inhale over and over before taking a pull.

Caramel and burned sugar flavours. Candied cherry fruit and raisins. Noticeable alcohol. Powerful mouthfeel, syrupy but not offensive, quite smooth with lingering alcohol finish.

This is a very interesting beer to drink. Lots of interesting things happening in the aroma and flavour that make it worth savouring. Perhaps a little too much alcohol presence, but quite enjoyable overall.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2004 04:45:17 | More by TerryW
Photo of Rastacouere
Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Gulden Draak pours ruby brown, almost clear with no traces of yeast?, but a generous sticky head for this ABV. Aroma is vinous, very malty (caramel, butterscotch) with a tickling grapes character melted with ashes. The taste is as sweet as anticipated, very caramelic, but mostly floral clover honey and licorice with a slight medicinal note and more brown sugar toward the finish which is all malt. I couldn't drink too much of this myself, but I appreciate the sipping experience and the medium body fits well. I think this would blend together better being forgotten for a while in a cave. Thanks Martin!

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2004 21:28:18 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of Dukeofearl
Dukeofearl

California

3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: much darker pour than I expected for a "Golden Dragon" beer. Pours a moderate brown (with reddish golden highlights when backlit) with a nice, but small off-white head that was strong enough to hang together through the drinking session.

Aroma- much different than many Belgians I've had- for one thing, it was pretty weak. I poured this in a St. Bernardus goblet, which should have concentrated aromas, but it was weak. What was there was very hard for me to pull out specifics- grassy, semi-sweet, earthy tones are my best guess. Flavor was very nice- malty semi-sweet breadiness that included heavier fruits (plums & raisins), chocolate, & toffee. Not as sweet as some, but nice and rich tasting. There was a light herbal finish with a little sharp hop bite at the end- a nice touch. There was also a touch of alcohol feeling at the end.

Overall, this was a nice brew, and I enjoyed it, but it did not wow me. I guess the balance wasn't quite what I hoped for, and the aroma was disappointing.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2004 03:41:00 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of DESTRO
DESTRO

Nevada

4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

popped this one open last night in celebration of a friends birthday. it was pretty dark in the room but it looked to be a deep brown and it had a hell of a head with remarkable retention. nice. aromas are different, for sure. alcohol is in the air along with overly ripe bananas, figs and molasses. a bit odd, but not unpleasant. once in the mouth you immediatly get hit with the sweetness. ive never had a beer this sweet. molasses and brown sugar, ripe fruits (again banana), a bit rum like. the alcohol is well hidden. thick and hearty, filling and just flat out big, its slick in the mouth. def. a sipper, has dessert beer or night cap written all over it. a suprise in every way, a good suprise.

$2.99 a bottle

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2004 06:42:44 | More by DESTRO
Photo of Shaw
Shaw

Florida

4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed a 0.3L glass on-tap at my local pub, the Cock & Bull. I've had it several times before but finally got around to reviewing it.

It's a dark brown with reddish notes and a small head. It has a powerful aroma that includes malt, alcohol and spices. The smell carries over to the taste. It is quite the complex brew, far too complicated for my amateur palate. I note cherry sweetness along with nuts, malt and good old alcohol goodness. This is one of those beers you have to try to truly appreciate.

With 10.5 percent ABV, this ale has a wonderful mouthfeel. The alcohol glides over the tongue while its substantial body plays around with the rest of your mouth. Sorry to get so esoteric with the review. I'm writing it after finishing my glass so I'm still in the grips of Gulden Draak.

I wouldn't recommend drinking a lot of this ale, considering its strength. Enjoy it in moderation and when someone else is driving.

Gulden Draak is another winner from Belgium. Bless those brewers, for they have brought so much beer-laden joy to the world.

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2004 07:57:21 | More by Shaw
Photo of HiroProtagonist
HiroProtagonist

Maryland

4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Gulden Draak was served from a white "ceramic" coated 330 ml bottle. When poured into a Duvel tulip, a large rough tan head rose up, then settled to become a thick, rich, and creamy blanket, which left extremely thick and sticky lacing when the glass was tilted. The beer itself was a dark and murky reddish-chestnut hue. The nose was big on rich figgy malt, with rich accents of pumpernickel bread, and indecipherable spice. The alcohol was completely hidden in the hearty goodness. The real experience started with the first taste. The beer began with a bold, moderately sweet, spicy, malt base that quickly let loose a wonderfully zippy fig/dried tart fruit explosion at the sides of the tounge. This melted into a spicy peach, rum-nutty, warming finish that lingered long after a sip was take. The dragon was a rollercoaster ride of delicious flavor... no spills just thrills and balanced like a yogi. The mouthfeel was richly smooth and full, but not syrupy or sticky. Completely satisfying and extremely delicious, Gulden Draak is simply one of the finest Belgian SD ales available.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2004 05:15:39 | More by HiroProtagonist
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Super dark brown beer, cloudy but I can pass light through it.

Smells like Chocolate and Vanilla and Bananas, with a touch of Brown Sugar.

Tastes better than expected. Lots of brown sugar and spice. This is sweet. Tastes like Date Pudding with spices. Very Complex flavor that can't be summed up in one sentence. Has a soft spice taste. Tastes like German Christmas Cookies! Lots of Brown sugar flavors, this is a Christmas brew, not quite as good as McChouffe, but close. Delicious!

Hearty Mouthfeel.

Drinkable? Just keep them coming Bar Keep!

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2004 04:54:04 | More by Zorro
Photo of drewbage
drewbage

California

4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a nice solid white 33cl bottle with a touch of foxing around the crown of the bottle.

Pours into a my Het Kapittel chalice with a plop. Big fluffy tan head that really hangs up on the glass. Beer is a chocolate brown with a deep haze and virtually little red-brown highlights showing in the glass.

Aroma is plummy and winey with a just a touch of chocolate and cinnamon in the final touches lending a spiciness.

Body is clean with a similiar profile of sweet milk chocolate as a good milk stout. But instead of a roast nature the beer cuts to the finish with an acidity and spiciness from the yeast.

Alcohol becomes screamingly apparent in the finish as all of these other flavors drop off, faint touches of raisins and sulfur lasts through to the next sip. A faint touch of metal is in the final approach.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2004 07:43:30 | More by drewbage
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz white bottle purchased today at Spirit Haus, Amherst, MA. Bottle exploded foam upon opening, going everywhere in my beer/dart room, but enough was saved for sampling. We'll operate for the basis of this review that such presentation is not the norm.

Poured into a tulip glass, humungous meaty brownish head formed, possibly due to aforementioned foaming issue. Foam still alive and kicking five minutes later, with extensive lacing. Nice deep reddish-brown color to the beer, which is surprisingly opaque, allowing no light to pass through. Smells of yeast, malt, yeast malt, and alcohol proliferate. Tasting the liquid does not disappoint, tastes reinforce the aromas, and the 10.5% alcohol is not so much tasted as felt, warming your mouth and everything on down the body. An excellent cool weather beer, and, well, wouldn't be so out of place in warmer times either.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2004 22:22:00 | More by ppoitras
Photo of MrBen
MrBen

Ohio

4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I picked up a bottle of this fine stuff a few days ago. I was pleased to find an opaque bottle, but what was inside was far more impressive. Gulden Draak poured nicely and kept a head between 1/8-1/4" all the way to the bottom of the glass. The beer's color was very appealing and the smell invited curiousity. The tastes were a bit surprising at first, and frankly, at 10.5%, I wasn't sure what awaited.

Anyway, the flavors were big, round, and complex. Lots of floral notes with some candy in there and maybe a tiny hint of pink peppercorns (try a whole pink peppercorn on its own -- it's nothing like black pepper), and just everything sweet in between. The mouthfeel pretty much made the experience for me. The beer was thick, not chewy necessarily, but I could almost sense the presence of two viscosities or thicknesses in there. Very exciting. The beer left a very light coating in my mouth that quickly dissolved between sips, and the aftertaste was probably the most pleasant I'd ever had -- and long lasting.

I agree with other reviews that this beer may be best enjoyed after a big meal, as a dessert. While I don't think its big flavor would detract from a good steak or grilled burger, I do believe that the mix just might not fit too well. I strongly recommend Gulden Draak to anyone -- both the newcomers to Belgians and the guys who are knee deep in the rich traditions. What a fantastic beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2004 13:31:45 | More by MrBen
Photo of irishmoss
irishmoss

Ohio

4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml caged and corked bottle with no apparent date. I love the idea of an absolute lightproof bottle. Poured a very dark garnet/brown color with an almond head that reduced till it sat on top. Initial aroma from the bottle was cotton candy, but when poured it was spicy and like a fresh cut field. The taste was heavy malts and brown sugar with brandy soaked cherries and plums. There were some faint hints of caramel in the finish, perhaps burnt. There was a little hoppiness to the finish, but not much. Alcohol is masked well, making this quite drinkable. A complex ale in a sweet-kinda way, would have liked to see more hops here. But over all it was a great experience that I would love to have again.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2004 04:59:43 | More by irishmoss
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 WanderingFool
WanderingFool

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gulden Draak is a nice full flavored dark belgian beer. It pours a hazy dark orange color that reminded me of apple cider. The head is slightly off white, medium bodied and remains all the way to the bottom of the glass. An aroma of clove, brown sugar, yeast and mild alcohol hovers over the surface.

Each sip of this slightly chewy medium bodied beer is packed with flavor. It's an interesting combination of clove, bubblegum, and caramel malt. There are hints of alcohol and a brown sugar sweetness mixed in that contribute to its sweet finish. A mild alcohol and caramel malt flavor is left behind.

This beer seems to me like a good example of the Belgian strong dark ale style, but does not seem any better or worse than other brands out there, such as Unibroue Maudite.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2004 21:00:15 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of CRJMellor
CRJMellor

Arkansas

3.78/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy red with some dark orange hints with minor head and lace. Citric smells or orange and lemom with some spice and faint malt. Flavor is much stronger than aroma, peppery with some malty, almost molasses like sweetness. Aftertase has some serious residual sweetness, yet it is not cloying but rather neat sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2004 02:58:54 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance – The body is a beautiful, almost glowing brown and somewhat clear. I couldn’t 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. It’s 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 somebody’s home brew. Cool.

Update – I originally rated this from an ’03 bottle so thought I’d take another crack with an ’05. The head came up a bit better and the ale seemed more balanced. It wasn’t 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.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2003 02:55:13 | More by RoyalT
Photo of beergeek279
beergeek279

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 12 oz. glass at Burgh's. The color was a dark brown, with a wispy white head. The smell was an appleish sweetness. The taste was very apply sweet, with lots of candi sugar sweetness, and an alcohol that was present but not in the least overwhelming. Mouthfeel was nice and thick. Drinkability, despite the 10.5%, would be excellent, and I would be happy having quite a few of these.

Amongst the best Belgians brought into the US. Beautifully sweet, and drinking much underneath its ABV, Gulden Draak is simply a fantastic beer, and certainly one that I will have again!

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2003 00:48:20 | More by beergeek279
Photo of Crosling
Crosling

Colorado

4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy orange when held up to the light. A very odd color to say the least. Perfect belgian head, frothy dense and magical. Thick sticky lacing. Ahhh...Belgians.

Incredible nose on this one!!! Sugars, raisins, alcohol, bright apples, sour cherries, yeast, pine and more sugars. Wow!

Slightly disappointed with the flavor but this still was pretty damn tasty. Strawberries, raisins, alcohol, prunes, yeast, sour cherries dipped into sugar and a hard to notice tart undetone. Alcohol is hidden very well. Mid palate seemed to be struggling a bit but a nice lingering finish. Very smooth which makes this really drinkable.

Nice beer that I'll be sure to sample on tap when I am in Belgium this summer.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2003 15:42:31 | More by Crosling
Photo of moulefrite
moulefrite

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Never had a dark triple, so I thought this to be a solid "good" brew. Dark and fruit driven with moderate headage and generous though not stunning lace. Aromas seemed to focus on dark, fruity caramel-almost burnt sugar like. The taste is odd, while attractive all the while-burnt caramel and stewed prune, over ripe-almost rotten banana, and a touch of roasted coffee bean. Some bitter chocolate chimes in on the finish. This one gets better, as the taste buds acclimate to the burnt caramel/fruit profile. I'll come back to this one for sure-quite a pleasure.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2003 02:51:44 | More by moulefrite
Photo of CharlesRiver
CharlesRiver

Connecticut

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off, very cool bottle with a very cool lable and cap. Bottle itself (11.2 oz) is completely white. I have had this beer in my cellar for well over a year and a half. Pours a cloudy reddish brown with a huge tan head. I don't remember the draft version being this cloudy or dark. The smell is sweet malt and yeast. Looks very effervesant as tons of tiny bubble climb to the top.

The taste is very smooth and complex. Very explosive on my tongue. Sweet and malty in the beginning. Followed by something a bit metallic and then a nice warming. I also pick up some dates and raisins, much like a dubble. No alcohol present until the end. The head seems a bit obstrusive and won't die down.

Seems very different than the draft version that I had at Redbones. I love both but the bottle is better. Now to try the 750ml.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2003 23:28:54 | More by CharlesRiver
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

2.55/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Way too sweet for me and friends. Too carbinated. Too high in alcohol. Too creamy. Maybe as dessert beer, but much better competitors there. Comparable to soft drink when you are expecting beer.
Interesting range from this brewery though. And great
bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2003 13:55:01 | More by Sammy
Photo of SheepNutz
SheepNutz

Kentucky

4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a very dark brown color, almost black, with 4 fingers of light tan head. The head retention is just incredible. Go ahead, take it out of the fridge ice cold and pour it. You'll have to wait a good 10-15 minutes for the head to die down enought to get the first taste. There is tons of lacing left as well. The smell is full of burnt malt, plums, and raisins. Very sweet smelling. The taste is also very sweet, with bits of sugar and malt on the tongue. There is a bit of fruit and spices present as well. The finish has just a hint of alcohol to it. Bits of plums and pepper, a little caramel. The mouthfeel is super thick and strong. The drinkability is fairly good for a 10.5% brew. A very good Belgian!

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2003 01:30:13 | More by SheepNutz
Photo of crookedhalo
crookedhalo

Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep, deep ruby hue with a huge tan head. Be careful when uncorking or opening the bottlecap, I've seen plenty of gushers with this beer. Beautiful lacing in the unique tulip-shaped Gulden Draak goblet. Another example of why a goblet is so big whereas the bottle seems so small. Now you know why... Succulent dark fruit aromas interplayed with some mustiness and a big alcohol nose; throw to smallest amount of cocoa butter in the nose and call it well-rounded. Sweet malt texture with some notes of prune and candied dates. Alcohol presence is not in question, it's most in-your-face. Very drinkable for it's ABV. Carbonation plays on the tongue balancing out the high gravity of the malt. I've enjoyed this beer for a long time, and a long time to come.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2003 10:29:44 | More by crookedhalo
Photo of Globetrotter
Globetrotter

Virginia

4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, I am not fond of Belgian beers. I bought this at a Moscow grocery store near work, thinking it was another gimmicky Belgian brew. Cute dragon on the dark label affixed to a white painted 33cl bottle. Yeah, yeah. 10.5% ABV. Great. It'll be nothing but sugar. Label lists only purity law worthy ingredients, but I've been around long enough to know that means very little. Best before 6/17/05, I opened it on 11/21/03, expecting mediocre at best.

Poured into my chalice an appeallingly warm dark ruby hue. The head, tan in color, was thin and short-lived, dissipating to film and collar quite quickly. I can't say the head disappointed, though, as beers this strong rarely muster a healthy head. Now the first sniff. Mmm. Sweet and fruity, but not overly so, with good malt and, dare I say it for a Belgian?, hops. Very, very smooth. Oh, and there's alcohol, too. First sip - smooth and slightly sweet, with a nice blend of sour cherries, molasses, caramel and barley. What really won me over, hophead that I am, was the finish. Along with a healthy alcohol punch, there's a good portion of hoppy bitterness here. It lurks in the opening, but comes out nicely in the finish, and sticks around to balance the aftertaste in a way that feels just right. Given the ABV, I'm not sure how many of these I could drink in one sitting, but I'd be happy to push that envelope. Yum!

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2003 19:34:39 | More by Globetrotter
Photo of Shiloh
Shiloh

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Exceptional.
Deep redish brown brew with a very thick crown that seemed to take forever to leave, and then only partially.
Very high and tan glass cling as well.
Body is only a tad short of being full.
Aroma of raisins, brown sugar and a mystery guest.
The taste definetly makes this product, semi sweet start of raisins, currents and a green cherry like addition.
But the warming alcohol finish is something that must be expierienced to appreciate.
Only problem is a slight syrupy mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2003 01:28:10 | More by Shiloh
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 2,767 ratings.