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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.

3,080 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,080
Reviews: 1,206
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 172
Gots: 294 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,080 | Reviews: 1,206 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vandemonian
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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
Photo of horndecker
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%

Deep mahogany color, with a prodigous head, rocky and persistant, it's a tan foamy latte over a clear and polished mahogany.
The nose is bright and yeasty, with caramel and toffee, bread and chocolate, with cabbage bringing up the rear.
The taste is big fruit with a tart center; prunes marinated in chocolate liquer; Dr. Pepper (10-2-4); A lot of concentrated malt flavors, and persistantly sweet, though it's not just a simple sweetness.
The alcohol is apparent but, surprisingly, not overwhelming.
Nice big frothy mouthfeel. Quite an interesting brew.
I'll need to try this again to really get a handle on it. Happily.

horndecker, Mar 04, 2005
Photo of avalon07
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a brownish color and a thick, murky consistency. There was a huge, foamy, long-lasting head and good lacing.

S: A strong, almost pungent aroma of apples, alcohol and sugars.

T: Like the smell, the taste is complex, but rather strong. Apples, raisins, alcohol, caramel, malt and even some chocolate. Hops in the finish.

M: Had a high level of carbonation and a smooth finish. Full-bodied.

D: This is a drinkable beer, but it's one with a big, bold flavor. Might not be for everyone.

avalon07, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of JMforman
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%

I wasn't real impressed with the first beer that I had from Brouwerij Ban Steenberge (their Dubbel), but this one was great.

A- Big head with a deep amber body and good retention.

S- Very earthy: must, hay, alcohol, cherries

T- Alcohol, cherries, dark fruit, and bready malt up front with burnt sugar/ molasses filling the middle, and then a bitter finish

M- Very coating with a medium to full feel

D- Oh yes.

JMforman, Feb 18, 2011
Photo of jonb5
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%

330ml bottle, poured into large tulip shaped wine glass.

A: Dark ruby, taned head, great retention + lacing, looked thick rather than hazy or opaque.

S: Malt, rasperry, molasses.

T: Malt, plum, biscuit, brown sugar, earthy molasses. Burn from the booze comes at the finish.

M: Smooth, body is medium to slighty thick, coarse edge from the booze burn.

O: I think this would benefit from being aged, missing the wow factor but still very good.

jonb5, Apr 18, 2013
Photo of TheJollyHop
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%

Dark brown with a rich, thick tan head. Lacing sticks tightly to the glass but the head fades rather quickly.

Smells of fruits (grapes), caramelized sugar, and some faint alcohol. No noticeable hop aroma.

Tastes of very sweet malt. Syrup sweetness comes to mind, sugar, raisins, and possibly figs. Sweet aftertaste and some nice, mellow alcohol heat. Hop bitterness bursts and fades quickly.

Medium/high carbonation, light and creamy mouthfeel; nice body.

Mellow alcohol, but overpowering sweetness hinders drinkability. Some additional bitterness, especially in the finish, would have been a nice touch.

TheJollyHop, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of Vancer
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%

Got out the Maredsous tulip for this Belgian beer, and it pours a exquisite deep and slightly hazy amber/copper. Massive 2 finger ivory head that leaves a thick sheet lace ring.

Belgian yeast and sour fruit in the aroma, with the heavy malt. Sweet, boozy quaff of malt, fig, plum and cherry. The 10.5% is there in the finish, but not unpleasantly. Still, a bit cloying by bottle end.

Highly charged carbonation does not quit, tiny bubbles dance upward the entire quaff duration. Damn fine frosty.

Vancer, May 19, 2009
Photo of CampusCrew
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%

On tap at Engine 15

appearance: dark brown in color with lots of holding head, great lacing

smell: very herby and spicy aromas, some caramel sweet candy aromas

taste: sublte sweetness with some nice dark fruits notes, sublte banana and spices

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: nice Belgian beer.

CampusCrew, Jul 19, 2010
Photo of Ranic
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%

Appearance: Poured a nice brown with a light and foamy head.

Smell: Sweet and spicy, and a bit fruity.

Taste: When I poured the beer, I had just pulled it out of the fridge, so it was fairly cold. It tasted very sweet, spicy, and malty, but I thought the alcohol was pretty apparent. As it warmed up, the hints of fruits became more apparent and gave the beer much more character.

Mouthfeel: It had very tiny bubbles, and it was very smooth, but a little heavy going down.

Drinkability: As it warmed up in my glass, I began to enjoy this beer more and more. The coldness made it seem a bit harsh to me, but I think next time I would have this at room temperature. The heaviness of the beer, not to mention the 10.5% ABV, makes this a beer that I would want to spread out over the course of a night (I can only find this in 750ml bottles), but it is very enjoyable.

Ranic, Oct 20, 2007
Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%

Appearance: Pours a dark caramel color with a long standing 1/4" head of tan bubbles. The bubbles were mostly small, but there were some mixed sized larger ones in there too. The head stood for about a minute before ending up as a small ring around the top of the beer. The beer is very well carbonated and seems murky for the first few minutes after the pour, but then settles out to be a dark garnet color with only a little haze.

Aroma: I get lots of fruit aromatics in here with raisins, plums, some red apples, and I am sure a host of other stuff. There are some mild cracker notes in here that show a small reflection of oxidation so it gives it a dry papery impression as it warms a little. As the beer warms further, the aroma reminds me of red plum jam with the sweetness and the dark fruit in there.

Taste: The flavor is a big depart from the aroma. There is a whole lot of spiciness in the flavor that I didn't pick up in the aroma. I get some of the dark fruit I mentioned, but there is noticeable pepper in here. The dry-papery notes reflect sherry in the flavor and this just gains complexity as it warms. The finish is dry and well carbonated, so the serious alcohol is obscurred for the first few seconds of the finish. As it sets in, there is evident warming to last long into the finish.

Opinion: This is a really nice beer. It certainly isn't your average Tripel in that it is so dark and doesn't showcase the spicy hops like the others do. This beer has a wealth of malt complexities that almost put it in with the strong dark ales as much as a Tripel. The dryness in the finish is more characteristic of a Tripel. This is a really nice beer nonetheless and I would drink it again. I especially think that this one would be nice in Belgium. The next time I am there, I will seek this one out...along with Orval and some others.

SkeeterHawk, Oct 28, 2007
Photo of zao77
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%

The first thing I look at when pouring beer is its head and how sustaining it is. It didn't really matter how slow I poured this beer, I still had to let it set for awhile just to see any beer at the bottom. The head is extremely thick and isn't tamed too easily.

The smell is quite pleasent presenting a variety of fruits and traces of honey. The taste brings the honey straight out and I could swear I tasted some vanilla.

The main reason I gave this a 3.5 in drinkability is mostly due to its sweet nature. It's like eating too much pecan pie. It tastes really good at first bite but it is just too rich to eat the whole pie. I will have to say that like wine, it gives you a great relaxed feeling.

zao77, Apr 12, 2005
Photo of arboristfish
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%

The beer pours with a slightly tan head. The beer itself looks brown, and is almost impossible to see through. The smell of this beer has hints of malt and belgian candi sugar. The mouthfeel is heavy almost like a brown ale. The taste starts out sweet, and ends with the flavor of dates, maybe raisins? There is a sweetness to which im assuming is from belgian candi sugar. It would be interesting to find out the malt bill on this beer, I have a feeling there is maybe belgian biscuit malt? The beer is 10.5% abv, but you do not get any of the burning sensations from the alcohol.

arboristfish, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of aaronh
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%

Served with a moderate sized, dense tan head atop a red copper body, the beer displayed excellent head retention. The aroma was a well balanced malt and hops aroma which was appealing and begged me to take a drink. Upon taking the first sip, I was hit by a very sweet kaleidescope of flavors, all soaked in alcohol. Then a surprising roasted malt note crept in, with an ever so faint note of hop bitterness in the finish to help sweep away the chewy sweetness. The mouthfeel is excellent, very moist and supple feeling as it coats the tongue. The drinakbility is good considering the sweetness in the flavor and the ABV. This was a very pleasant experience that I hope to repeat sometime soon.

aaronh, Mar 03, 2003
Photo of shapudding
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

Came from the tap a beautiful plum color, medium carbination, not too fizzy. Head reduced to a light creamy white colored ring. Light lacing. Surprising amount of carbination for the alcohol content. You can lightly taste the alcohol, but it is not too overpowering as to scare off those that do not like the flavor of it in their beer. Tastes like a barleywine, but not too intense. Nice. Sweet. Caramel, but not too heavy on it. Very smoth and creamy.

edit: Just have to note that I was back at The Drafting Room in Springhouse to have a bit more with drinking buddy blitheringidiot, and decided to make my Memorial Day weekend much more memorable by taking a growler of it with me! Sorry everyone in this area! That kicked the keg! But man it made me happy!!!

shapudding, May 28, 2004
Photo of wjimson
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

Opened and poured the 330ml bottle dated best before 08/06/07. Slighly dark brown colour with lots of head. The smell is of sweet wheat with a light trace of alcohol. The initial taste is of a sugar like sweetness. This is followed by plunge of slightly smokey raisiny taste. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and quite tart, a tartness similar to the white layer of Brie cheese. The alcohol taste is well camouflaged, but its definately there. I wished I hadn't knew that this beer had 10.5% alcohol content before I tried it.

wjimson, May 22, 2006
Photo of ADR
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

Big bubbled head, settles at 1/4 of an inch for a while. Murky brown color. Complex smells, malts and slight citrusy aromas. Noticeable carbonation in mouthfeel but "beer-like" presence of dense raisins and an acidic wine quality with more than usual hoppiness. Alcoholic...but clears from the palate pretty quickly. Best when inhaling the aromas while tasting. I'm not a monstrous fan of some of the more acidic Belgians, but this was nice. Cool "milk" short and stepped glass bottle.

ADR, Apr 09, 2002
Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

330ml painted white, distinctly shaped bottle - kind of reminds me of those increasingly antique Old Spice containers.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, dark reddish amber hue, with a teeming tower of finely foamy and puffy ecru head, which leaves a few streaks of broken sudsy lace around the glass as it slowly and steadily retreats.

It smells of sweet, reduced brown sugar, strong dark fruit (prunes, dates, and raisins), a softly bready caramel malt, earthy yeast, and a mildly astringent booziness. The taste is dark, sugary candied fruit (the very same from the nose), with a more bready caramel malt backbone shoring up the sweet side of things - keeping this from being a saccharine wank-fest are some waning yeast, a nice earthy, musty hoppiness, and a timid alcohol warming.

The carbonation is moderate, manifesting mostly in a trilling frothiness, the body a rather hefty medium weight, slickly smooth, and perhaps a tad creamy. It finishes still sweet, the fruity malt maintaining a certain religious level of consistency, while the other esters dial it down to a mere murmur.

A decent strong Belgian dark ale - fairly rounded, despite the obvious focus on the fruit character, and a pleasant and recommended version of the style. Oh, and that 21-proof dragon of booze? Well domesticated, to say the least.

biboergosum, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

Thanks to Shane for picking this one up, one I know we both wanted to check out.

A: Pours a deep ruby/brown color with a smallish tan head on top. Decent retention, lasting for a few minutes before dissolving to little bits of bubbles on top. Not much lacing.

S: Lots of plum and prune, it reminded me of grapes that are slightly over-ripe, kind of like what it smells like when you walk through a bunch of grape vines actually. There is some dark caramel and a little bit of spice.

T: Rather sweet with the dark fruits returning (plum, prune, and a bit of raisin but not much). There is also a bit of banana, some brown sugar, and caramel. Again, it is lightly spiced and slightly yeasty.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Alcohol hidden rather well.

O: A pretty solid beer, not something I am running out to drink all the time, but would grab it once in a while.

mdaschaf, Aug 04, 2011
Photo of sfprint
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

A: Dark amber red with a suddsie single finger head, too dark to determine if it's translucent.
S: Cherry but not too sweet, ice cream.
T: Intense in flavor though the alcohol isnt so apparent. Dark fruit, slightly syrupy, somewhat sweet, tinge of sourness, vanilla, cherry in the background.
M: Slightly foamy, almost medium body.
D: Great but a knockout with the alc %

sfprint, Jun 28, 2011
Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

The fourth beer of my Valentine's sampler. Nice dark amber color, and a good head to boot. The first sip stiffened me in my chair. I could taste the ABV, but for some reason, it didn't have that "liquir" taste that turns me off. The fruits and the hops were there, but the ABV presense never left.

bewareOFpenguin, Feb 19, 2003
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,080 ratings.