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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

3,117 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,117
Reviews: 1,209
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 174
Gots: 307 | 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: 3,117 | Reviews: 1,209 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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 SaddleSnake76
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%

SaddleSnake76, Sep 17, 2014
Photo of shapudding
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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
Photo of uawildcat
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an oversized Bordeaux wine glass. Had a large head creamy head that fell quickly. Was a cloudy brown color.

Smell is extremely boozy. The first thing that hit me was the acetone-y alcohol smell. Behind that is a pleasant sweet malt smell.

Taste is much better than the smell. Tastes likes figs and maple syrup mixed together. The carbonation makes for a prickly drink. Hides the alcohol well.

Overall a good beer, worth trying once in awhile. Just too pricey.

uawildcat, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of RuudJH
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gulden Draak is a classic in Belgian beers.
Carefully poured, a clear brown with a decent head,the carbonation was massive.

The smell gives some roasted grain, dried fruit, raisin or plums. Also chocolate, coffee. Candy sugar/caramel.
Tasting it, it is a bit boozy... maybe a bit too much sugar based alcohol, but after that it's slightly sour and hoppy, classically dark strong ale, with fruits, roasted grains, coffee and chocolate. It's a little bitter in the aftertaste, but not bad in any way.
This is a great beer. It has a wide range of flavours. It's strong though, and the alcohol is present, not making it a beer for all occasions.

RuudJH, Apr 25, 2009
Photo of scottyshades
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Tryst in Delray Beach, FL for under $5

A: Pours a pleasant looking, slightly hazy stained wood color that produces a tight creamy looking off-white head that retains beautifully and leaves some nice lacing along the glass

S: Alcohol, wintergreen, bubblegum, malts, and a whole bunch of delicious flavorful yeast. Very easy, likable, and spicy. This is one of the first beers my mom actually enjoyed when I gave her a try.

T: The flavor profile is very similar to the nose, spicy, wintergreen, bubblegum, yeast, and sweet malts followed by a touch of alcohol that grows more noticeable as the brew warms

MF/D: Very smooth and creamy. Medium body, spicy and flavorful long finish.

A nice offering of the BSDA style, definitely worth a try

scottyshades, Aug 02, 2009
Photo of redmosquito
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Am I confused? I expected the Piraat and the Draak to be exactly the opposite in color than they really are. The Draak pours a nice mahoghany color with a slightly off white head. It has a wonderful malty aroma, a blend of sweet caramel and nutty Munich malt, and a nice yeast finish, that reminds me more of a lager than a Belgian ale. The taste is similar to the aroma, malty with some bitterness, and surprisingly no sign of that 10.5% it lists on the label. The body is also good as well not dry as one might expect with a strong Belgian. Overall this is an excellent beer that is highly drinkable, especially for a big beer.

redmosquito, Feb 26, 2005
Photo of Cozzatoad
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle

A- Very dark brown. head is foamy and goes up quick but also recedes quite too quickly, leaving minimal lacing

S- Spicy alcoholic aroma, nicely blended with dark fruit notes. Not much else

T- Awesome. Malts were not to felt much in the aroma but they sure are there, with sugary and caramel notes. And of course there's what the smell suggested: a warming and delicate spicy alcoholic character and a strong dark fruits flavour (that is mostly on the tongue, do hops have something to do with that?)

M- The beer is not as strong or full bodied as you'd expect from a 10.5%ABV. It has a very smooth character, with a cream-like feel that gives this strong dark ale it's peculiar character. However, i feel like the alcoholic notes tend to meddle in too much and ruin that creamy feel

D- At 10.5%ABV this is very good drinkabilty thanks to it's smoothness, you would say the beer has 8/9%ABV. The finish has some issues though, alcohol and sweetness get really too strong in the last sips

Another classic brew from Belgium

Cozzatoad, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of Quej
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a very dark brown with a bit of tan head, which quickly dissipates into a nice lacing.
S - Not strong smelling, just some dark fruity smells of roasted malt, with a hint of sourness from the yeast.
T - Lots of sweet malt flavours and a considerable amount of alcohol sting. Tastes heavily of dark berries, cranberries, raspberries, and cherries. A light coffee taste is also detectable. This beer has some significant sweetness, but it is balanced by the sting of alcohol and the light mouthfeel. Lots of yeasty sour notes linger in the drying finish.
M - Very light, and pleasant. The alcohol lifts it and keeps it from being too thick
D - Too strong to have more than one. But the taste is so good it might make me think twice.

Quej, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of Vixie
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby red with a 3/4" white head that slowly dissipated. This is a very nice looking beer, I had this at a family gathering, and kept showing off how nice it looked.

The smell was a bit lighter than expected. Thee is malt, and fruit. Overall kind of reminds me of the smell of wine.

Taste was fruity, with a hint of molasses. There is that distinctive Belgian candy sugar flavor as well. It's a sweet brew, but not overly so. Has a nice warming at the finish.

The feel was a touch on the light side for the style. It was fairly solid, but not up to what I've experienced with other beers of this style.

Overall a really good beer. This is one of my favorite styles, and this is a great example of why. Nicely balanced taste, and just a really good beer. I expect to be buying more of this in the future.

Vixie, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of velo343
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - A deep amber, slight crimson, with a thick, beige head that really sticks to the sides of the glass.

Smell - Bready, caramel and a chalky yeast aroma. Some fruity esters, golden raisins and a bit of spiciness. Really pleasing.

Taste - A strong yeast taste at the finish. There is a peppery spiciness and some phenols that come through the sweet maltiness. Some alcohol is there in the mix.

Mouthfeel - The beer is quite thick and syrupy, like honey, but really finishes quite dry.

Drinkability - A good beer that has a lighter body than the color implies. A great match to Indian food and other foods with a bit of spice.

velo343, Jan 31, 2007
Photo of Florya
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

Florya, Aug 28, 2014
Photo of Intrinsic
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours the characteristic medium-brown you would expect from this type of beer, and the head never stops growing - it's like a magic trick. Smells of licorice, cherries, and loads of malts. The taste basically follows along, but has amazing complexity with the added alcohol esters. Almost perfect mouthfeel, quite dry, with smooth, bubbly carbonation that just won't give up. This really is a top-notch beer.

Intrinsic, Jun 10, 2014
Photo of Derek
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This "dark triple" is really more of a quadrupel... but the line between a "Belgian strong dark ale" is certainly blurred.

A: Copper-brown, off-white head, nice retention and lace.

S: Dark fruit bread (fruity, bready, nutty), a little caramelized sugar.

T: Very Belgian (special B malt?). Sweet caramel, bread, fruity (raisins, prunes, figs, pineapple), fading to a slightly bitter/burnt aftertaste. Alcohol is warming and certainly apparantly, but it's not at all assertive. Well balanced, but there's a slight hint of something burnt in the aftertaste (that isn't appealing).

M: Moderate body is highly carbonated, finish is dry.

D: Quite good, especially considering the strength.

Derek, Jan 09, 2006
Photo of tobelerone
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big fluffy head on a dark, amber colored beer. Long lasting retention. Nicely clinging lace.

Aroma is defintitely boozy, sweet with toffee, raisin, yeastiness. Touches of malt and citrus as well.

Tasty and strong. Booze is there in every sip as well as in the finish. Peppery, citric, sweet, low bitterness levels. Big and boomy flavor. Pretty unforgettable. Not an every day drink, this one will lay you out quick.

Mouthfeel pleasantly combines bubbly carbonation and somewhat chewy viscousness. The booze and malty sweetness linger on.

Very complex, intriguing beer. Not for the faint of heart!

tobelerone, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of JohnfromDublin
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted a bottle on March 31st 06 in De Kuppe, Brugge, Belgium (cost €3.50).

Poured into the correct glass (Duvel-like) a light tan (beige) decent head on a ruby red to brown body. Hazy. Nice lacing on the glass.

Smell was the best. I don't think I have given a 5 for smell before. Blackberries and other fruits of the forest, malt later. Superb.

Taste: it had a nice tang to it, more raspberries than blackberries, some rust. Aware of the alcohol in the background.
Smooth silky mouthfeel.
Drinkability; well maybe one or two, but at 10.5% I'm not so sure.
Very nice.

JohnfromDublin, Apr 04, 2006
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,117 ratings.