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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

3,156 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,156
Reviews: 1,212
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 179
Gots: 321 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,156 | Reviews: 1,212 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kkipple
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gulden Draak comes in a neat Viking-inspired white bottle with a golden dragon on the front. It appeals immediately to my Norse sensibilities and makes me eager to drink whatever is inside.

The Gulden Draak pours a big bubbly head atop a filtered, deep amber brew. Nothing I've not seen before, but neither is it unattractive. (I removed a immature allusion to a woman here.) It does make me wish I had my drinking horn.

Smell needs time to develop as the beer warms. Eventually one ends up with dry alcohol, sweet malts, and overripe fruit. Very rich smelling and promising.

On initial taste, mild sweet malts and alcohol dominate, with beet sugar, Belgian yeast, and dark fruit (prunes?) supporting. There's a mild medicinal taste and the entire experience is warming and rich. A very well balanced beer. It avoids the syrupy sweetness that many dark Belgians have while being quite drinkable.

Mouthfeel is warming, creamy, and full. Very satisfying, nearly as much as burying your axe in the skull of a foe.

If a strong, dark Belgian and a beautiful, blonde Aryan Viking had a son, it would be...no wait, let me rephrase that...

Gulden Draak strikes a nice balance between the sweetness of a dark Belgian and the drinkability of a Triple. It's a very tasty, drinkable brew that is perfect for quaffing after a hard day of burning and pillaging the coasts, or just about any time for that matter! Any real Norseman would be proud to try this.

Thanks to Faustgeist for sharing!

Edit: Had this on tap a year later, and prefer it from the bottle. Bumped up the appearance a notch, too. It tastes richer and sweeter and smells better from a bottle, IMO. Surely more research is required....

kkipple, Feb 28, 2006
Photo of chugalug06
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very strong soapy head. Head is slight red color with lots of brown. Brew is nice ruby red, also with lots of browns. Clarity is weak as is lacing.

S - Deep sour apple scent. Lots of light airy spices. Mild apricot and mango. Scent is very nice.

T - Very strong heat up front that slowly strengthens. Brew is nice and sweet with wonderful cover over the heat. Brew also is very spicy with lots of unique flavor.

M - Perfect bitter level. Very wet and drinkable. Carbonation is slightly over done, but doesn't distract.

O - Super glad I got to try this one. I will age one and report back in a few years. Until then, cheers!

chugalug06, Sep 09, 2011
Photo of DrJay
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy reddish brown with a very light brown head, slightly rocky. Aromas of alcohol, rich malts, ripe fruit, and a little spiciness. Very sweet, like candy sugar, with dark fruits, alcohol warmth and a bit of pepper at the finish. Medium/full body and moderate carbonation, just a bit sticky with residual sugar.

DrJay, Jun 26, 2005
Photo of dansmcd
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Ruby brown colour, a disappointingly thin and flimsy bubbly head.

S - Sweet funky yeast, roasted coffee and brown sugar. Nice complexity.

T - Very sweet and very boozy, prune, caramel, toffee apple, coffee.

M - Lovely medium to full body, medium to high carbonation. Perfect balance.

O - There's plenty going on here, a top beer no doubt but just a touch to much sugar for my taste.

dansmcd, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of kawilliams81
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a Pipeworks snifter.

A- pours a dirty, dark copper with a 2" light tan head. Bubble blotches and some trails of lacing remain on the glass.

S- caramel, toffee, brown sugar, dark fruits, bready yeast

T- toffee, brown sugar, dark fruits, bread, spicy Belgian yeast with slight metallic taste.

M- medium body and high carbonation. Light syrup feel with dry finish and slight alcohol burn.

O- good strong ale, nice sweet flavors and dark fruits. I bet with some age the alcohol would mellow and the carbonation might lighten as well.

kawilliams81, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a light coffee color, with HUGE tan, rich,cremy foam that left decent lace. The aroma was citrusy, with hints of apple, and a bit biscuity. The taste was malty, biscuity, a bit of caramel, floral hops, sweet malt, hint of fruitiness (bananas and apples). The mouthfeel wa sweet. creamy, warming (alcohol), tangy, with good carbonation.

The drinkability was good. Fruity and hoppy.

UncleJimbo, Feb 21, 2003
Photo of tiger88
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep copper/mahogony into thw glass that prodused a coppery white head. The head dissipated rather quickly. The aroma of malty bread goodness coupled by a sweet spice came through. It tastes remarkably like it smells. The alcohol is well hidden and the spiciness lays over the malt really well. There is a realy clean mouthfeel with this beer with little to no aftertaste. Very drinkable triple. Seek this one out!

tiger88, Jun 21, 2008
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Gulden Draak appears a chestnut brown color with ruby / crimson highlights visible when held to the light. The liquid is murky and hazy, with random bits of sediment meandering randomly through the beer. Atop the beer sits a half inch of khaki head that leaves some decent lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, alcohol, slightly sweet malts. The beer tastes better than it smells, actually. The aroma is fine, but could be more grandiose.

T: The beer is sweet and malty. In spite of this, the heat, or alcohol presence, is quite subdued. If it weren't for the sweetness, it would be pretty easy to gulp down a few of these too fast. The Belgian yeast flavor is great, but I would prefer it to be brought to the forefront a bit more.

M: Alcohol content is well hidden. The feel is medium-bodied and creamy, with a malty / candy sweetness present throughout.

D: A good beer, but not my favorite BSDA. Still, it's a solid beer and one I will continue to enjoy on occasion.

Huhzubendah, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of EPICAC
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy brown with ruby edges. A thin beige head tops the beer and quickly fades to a very persistent layer.

Smell: Sweet malts, dried fruits, dates, peppery spice, yeast and moderate alcohol.

Taste: Sweet and bready upfront with notes of dried fruit. There's a slight tartness before the spicy alcoholic finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-bodied, creamy, tingly-carbonation.

Drinkability: The alcohol is pretty strong, but the flavors are very nice.

Overall: A nice sweet, spicy and strong dark ale.

EPICAC, Jun 24, 2006
Photo of bluesplit63
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet with a deep brown color and a fast growing head. Ended up overflowing the goblet because of the amount of carbonation in the bottle. Was purchased in a Belgium 6 Combo Pack with 5 other beers.

Overall the scent was sweet from fruit.

The taste on the other hand was not as sweet as you would expect from the scent. This though was not a bad thing. If this beer taste like it smelt you might as well have had a glass of wine.

Great Belgium beer that won my vote over the other 5 purchased in the mixed pack.

bluesplit63, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of Teleweizen2
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - this beer pours a murky, opaque burgundy/brown. a light tan foam dissipates quickly to a mere film, leaving just a slight bit of lacing.

S - the aroma is quite unique. chocolate is most prominent. notes of caramel, banana, raisins, and spice round out the complex aroma.

T - a toasty, nutty malt character on the forefront, which adds a light herbal bitterness as it warms on the tongue. the notes of spicy yeast, dark malts, and high alcohol elicit flavors of rum raisin and banana bread. the finish is long and sweet.

M - the ale has an almost buttery character. medium bodied with a mild carbonation.

O - a very interesting ale, perfect for winter/cold weather consumption.

Teleweizen2, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of Takahiro
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark brown, with thick foam, dissipating rather quickly
S: mineral, caramel malt, toffee,
T: dried prune, caramelized sugar, grapes, alcohol, "touch of wine"
M: complex, there's some winey character towards the end, finishes off rather dry. nice
O: little bit sweet, but not cloy, finishing very dry. nice beer

Takahiro, May 30, 2014
Photo of blitz134
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I’ve 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 didn’t drink beer. But the good thing is: no chances of being skunked by light with this one. The pour wasn’t 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 I’ve 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 don’t find the taste quite as complex as some of the other dark Belgians I’ve 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 I’ll be sure to return to.

blitz134, Apr 24, 2005
Photo of Swedes21
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 ml served in a chilled glass..

Appearance - Beer pours a gorgeous dark auburn colour with visibility though the beer. The beer has a decent amount of carbonation and the head is very full. Head is a light brown, appears both foamy yet has some density to it. Some nice lacing as I drink the beer.

Smell - You can smell the alcohol for sure, but that is too be expected with a 10.5% beer. I would there is a grape base to this beer as well.

Taste - I would have to say a sweet taste upfront combined with the alcohol. There is a nice aftertaste, somewhat bitter but does not stick around.

Mouthfeel - there is hardly any carbonation added in the mouthfeel. I will say the bitterness level does increase as well as the grape/sweetness hints. You can tell you are drinking a 10.5% beer.

Drinkability - I can see why this beer is sold in a 330 ml bottle! The beer packs a punch, you can taste the liquor but also some amazing sweetness. I would have this beer again just not hunt it down.

Swedes21, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. sample, white-frosted bottle > Chimay goblet. Part of the global Beer Network variety 6-pack.

A deep, deep amber color, very bright, decent carbonation, seems a bit mellow creating a scattered, tan-colored head that doesn't prove to be as impressive as some dark-Blgians, the dissipation is a bit quick with only slightly sticky lacing.

The nose is very aromatic with big, sweet fruits, dates and fermented red grapes, brown sugar, liqorice, blakc pepper and a earthy yeasgt to finish.

The malt is full of dark-fruity flavors and big-time sweetness of oakie caramel, maple syrup, herbal, earthy balance of belgian yeast and hops. Still, this is dominated by sweet, fruity flavor's. Raisins, dates, black berries, all very bold but the balance is a bit off, and not that well-rounded.

The feel is crispy, but a very hefty body feel, smooth and slick with long, cloying finish, dry after-feeling.

Medium complexity with a strange balance, but it's got flavor!

GratefulBeerGuy, Dec 17, 2008
Photo of ElGordo
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Body is a deep amber color with golden brown highlights, crowned by a good two fingers of sticky, foamy head that hangs around a good long while. Aroma of sweet, bready malt, raisin, and a hint of spicy hops, along with a touch of yeasty funk. Palate is mildly sweet up front, then becomes richer and maltier as it washes over the tongue. A raisiny sweetness emerges just before the swallow. Finish is smooth, sweet malt with just a hint of lingering heat from the alcohol.
Body is rich and creamy, just great for a Belgian dark ale. Velvety smooth in the mouth, without being foamy on the swallow. This is an excellent example of the style, and one that I wish I drank more often. Hopefully I'll amend that soon.

ElGordo, Dec 05, 2007
Photo of socon67
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My 100th review on BA. Poured into a Corsendonk tulip.

A - Pours dark brown with a thick foamy head. Some lacing.

S - Smells like a fruity brandy, or a sangria.

T - A pleasant taste throughout. A sweet flavor of candied fruits & malt. The finish has a slight burn but is subtle.

M - Very little carbonation. Medium bodied, and smooth given the style. Proboably the smoothest Belgian Strong I can recall.

D - Yes, but you will feel it. The Draak is an enjoyable Belgian.

This is a great way to get people to appreciate Belgian ales. And it works good accompanying a meal or as a sipper later on.

socon67, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark appearance. A nice head gives way to a strong ring with a layer of bubbles in the center and nice lacing.

The smell is of fruit and honey, specifically apples and cherries. A little yeast is present.

The apple flavor dances around with a little sweetness and some light citrus notes. There is also a little detectable funk, but it isn't really an issue with all the sweetness going on. With larger sips the alcohol is detectable.

The beer itself is full-bitied and somehow still rather light. The carbonation accentuates the sweetness fairly well and there is no fructose film left in the mouth, which is a welcome surprise.

This beer is almost dangerously drinkable.. The ABV is fairly well-hidden under layers of surprisingly complex sweetness. Yummy.

RomaniIteDomum, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of akorsak
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am drinking a 750 mL C&C bottle poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. The ale is chilled.

Appearance: The ale pours with a hazy orange-brown color. There is ample sediment in the glass. The ale poured with a decent head and left a respectable amount of lace around the glass.

Smell: Yeast is the dominant aroma. I also smell the sweetness of candy sugars.

Taste: The candied sugars are quite evident in taste. They give the ale a very pleasing sweet taste. After that, hints of alcohol and fruit (plum maybe).

Mouthfeel: The ale sits very well in the mouth. The yeastiness and sugars taste very nice together.

Drinkability: This is an eminently drinkable ale, but the 10.5% abv is a dealbreaker, too much alcohol makes me sleepy...

akorsak, Feb 05, 2006
Photo of vandemonian
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) is a dark sweet and fruity beer. Yum.

A: Black colour and a 1 cm head that lasts very well. 4.5

S: Malty with some hints of apple. 4

T: Malty with some nice roasty and dark fruit flavours. The finish is dark and sweet. High ABV but it isn't particularly noticeable. 4

M: Foamy. 4.5

O: Yum. 4

vandemonian, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have absolutely NO idea how old this small bottle is (``29F J'' on the bottle). I bought it over a year ago and forgot it was in my cellar. It might have been 2-3 years old when I bought it. At any rate, at 10.5% I'm not worried.

Poured from the (old?) bottle into a Duvel tulip. A beautiful pour. Dark, deep ruby reddish-brown and clear with a nice choppy foam top. Subdued nose has hints of dried fruit, candied sugar, and sherry.

A nice level of carbonation opens the palate to sweet bready and fruity flavors of plums and raisins. The alcohol is not hidden at all. It comes in around mid-palate and warms things up substantially, lending the beer a distinct sherry-like quality. Very firm, almost oily mouthfeel. The beer is extremely strong and definitely a sipper. An outstanding beer to be sure, but the alcohol presence is a bit strong and may detract a bit from the overall drinking experience for some.

deadonhisfeet, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of ThaCreep
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An amber and light brown with reddish highlights that more than one surprise. A fruity nose that also draws on toasted malt. The palate, meanwhile, is soft and caramelized (we note the presence of typical Belgian candy sugar), slightly vinous with discrete traits acids and presence alcoholic noticeable but not intrusive. Some point to the body of the beverage as tiramisu. The finish gives the pungent bitterness and alcohol, but as a rule, the ABV beer is not felt and it is only beneficial.

ThaCreep, Apr 20, 2010
Photo of TheFightfan1
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. Pours hazy brown that is completley flat in the glass no life whatsoever. No heading,no lacing, nadda.

Smell is intensly fruity with a little cocoa mixed in. A bit peppery and spicy on the backend.

Taste is malty as hell. Little bit of lemon,mostly that good old candy sweet fruitiness. Finishes peppery.

Mouth is full bodied but completley flat. and only a very little bit of carbonation after I swoosh it around in the mouth for a bit.

After reading some other reviews I am thinking I got a bad bottle or something for most of you are saying this has alot of carbonation and I barely got any of that. Ah well.

TheFightfan1, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of dickieb
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep reddish amber in color with a big white head and some nice lacing. The smell is of mostly candied sugar and dark fruits, and I pick up hints of bourbon as well. Tastes of molasses raisins heavily laced with belgian test notes and spicing and very little booze shows through. The mouthfeel is a bit thick but style appropriate. A very solid Belgian offering.

dickieb, Dec 26, 2012
Photo of mralphabet
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330 ML bottle poured into a Tulip

A: Poured a dark,clear reddish copper color. Visible carbonation when first poured.. that settles down as it warms. Big 2 finger head that sticks around... Wonderful spotty think lacing all the way down the glass from start to finish. Great looking beer.

S: Loads of dark fruits... Plumb, raisins & a very little hint of dark cherries. There is a lot of sweetness here and a strong hint of alcohol.... After the alcohol burn the aftertaste is slightly sweet and pretty pleasant.

T: Wow, sweet, fruity, spicy and strong. Makes me think more Rum than beer. All the fruits are here soaked down with some pretty strong alcohol... The affect builds are it warms...

M: Med to heavy as it starts out, but as it warms up, it gets heavy, really heavy.... Carbonation is pretty low.

D: Sit back and enjoy 1... that will be all you need. At 10.5% ABV it is very strong. One and done. It is a very nice sit down and enjoy on a nice cool evening... Lots of great flavor and very warming.... it is almost like sipping a very nice cognac.... Give this one a try...

mralphabet, Sep 28, 2010
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,156 ratings.