Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,292 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,292
Ratings:
3,735
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
19.52%
 
 
Wants:
283
Gots:
737
For Trade:
3
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001

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Reviews: 1,292 | Ratings: 3,735
Photo of hero27
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap @ the Lava Lounge in Waterloo, Iowa..

Pours a deep mahogany with a downright enormous, off-white head..that stays for as long as you'll let it. Aroma is of dark fruits and Belgian spices.
Tastes heavenly. Herbal hop notes perfectly balanced with a wide-array of fruits and infinitely complex, bready & toffee malts. A perfect example of a beer that is very complex, but with no one flavor standing out. They all seem to blend effortlessly here.
Definitely glad I have this on-tap at my local bar..a Belgian ale of standout caliber. Kick ass.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.66/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gulden Draak has a thin, off-white, root-beer head, and a very hazy, medium-brown, highly bubbly appearance, with innumerable tan chunks floating throughout. There is some thin lacing left behind. The aroma is sweet, of dark, over-ripe fruit, brown bread, and a bit of spice. Taste is similar, with added caramel, toffee, and even a shade of metallic. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, and Gulden Draak finishes semi-dry, highly bubbly, and not undrinkable. Overall, this is at least a most excellent beer, and I recommend it in the strongest terms.

RJT

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Photo of derbierTeufel
4.66/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Popped the cork off a 750ml bottle and poured it into a large Gulden Draak glass.

A-I can't believe it's supposed to be a triple. Very unorthodox. It pours a dark ruby brownish color with a decent two fingered head. But two things that I like already. Those being that it's Flemish and it's dark!

S-I noticed a lot of cherries and currants but I got a real strong hint of alcohol. Truly, not your typical triple and that threw me off. I didn't find the nose well balanced.

T-Wow! It tastes pretty much like it smells only much smoother. But the taste offers a chocolatey note, sweet at the beginning with a bitter finish. Alcohol becomes pronounced as it warms. Carbonation was just right. Not too much, not too little. I LOVED the taste. Big and malty with subtle hop flavor. No piney smells or taste. It quite resembled bitter Belgian chocolate.

M-Viscous and heavy!! Just like I like it! But maybe a bit too much for its style. A traditionalist may not like this kind of triple but I'm sure it has its followers. I just really like this kind of mouthfeel.

O-I've run a bar for years and drank many styles of beer but I'm gonna say that this one is my favorite so far. So delicious in fact, I EASILY downed the whole 750ml bottle feeling absolute euphoria after. I think I could have had one more glass but I wonder what that would have done to me. You forget the ABV because it's like eating a chocolate cake. I'm not gonna give it a perfect 5 only because even if I like it myself, it does not represent its style well and I'm sure that this is a "Black or White" beer. You either hate it or love it. It's hard for me to imagine someone not liking it but oh well. All I can say is BIG, ROBUST and SATISFYING! DO IT!

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Photo of beerphilosopher
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ahhh ... one of my very favorites and a culprit in my love of dark, strong Belgian ales. For the purposes of this review, I poured the ale into a Gulden Draak goblet from a 750 ml white coated bottle. Poured a deep, rich burgundy color that highlights red in the light. Displays a huge, mountainous head of light tan. Nose clubs you with dark, hearty fruits and spice. Dark raisins, cherries, and dates with a yeast bath. A special sweetness is present here as well ... a bit candy-like due to the use of Belgian Candi sugar in the bottle conditioning. Slightly alcoholic nose is present. Palate is extraordinary ...so complex. All of fruits mollases malt, and alcohol - rum like in some ways. The suprise ... this ale is rather hoppy, creating a marvelous balance in the flavor profile. This is master work, really. Full bodied and agressively carbonated, avoiding any semblance of a cloying effect. Though hoppier than many Belgian Strong Darks, Gulden Draak is not at all bitter. Finishes very smooth with a touch of residual sweetness. Gulden Draak is one of my favorites of all time. I love the name, the bottle, the beer ... I could go on and on. This is a world class ale. You need this beer!

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Photo of woodychandler
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I know that I am supposed to be laser-focused on CANs right now, but a) I purchased a mixed-six box of Belgian bottles recently and b) a homebrewer friend wants the stubby empties. That's fine with me since I usually just fill them with gasoline, get a paper towel wick, light it aflame and pitch it through either a Starbucks or a Wells Fargo Bank window. This way, it keeps me a) out of mischief and b) in beer. Win-win, I think it is referred to as being.

I gently prised the cap off of the bottle, but as I was finishing Pop!ping it open, I began to get some foaming through the neck of the bottle. Consequently, my pour was extremely gentle, so as not to rouse any potential lees. A swirl in the glass raised a finger of fizzy, deep-tan/light-brown head with extremely limited retention. It was as if it could not wait to lay back down & take a nap. Or maybe that was me, extrapolating. Color was a hazy Brown to Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27). Nose smelled of dried, dark fruits - (think raisins, prunes, dates, figs) as well as caramel, treacle/molasses, leather and a simple fusel alcohol heat to remind you that the Draak (Dragon) is in charge! Time to hop on its back & go for a ride! The first sip landed on my tongue like it had been scooped out from its source and plopped onto my tongue in a dollop! The taste was neither as sweet nor as hot as the nose had led me to gird myself for. The leather was certainly there and it it was more towards dates & figs than raisins & prunes. Still, it was not playing around. I drank a cheap Minhas product on Sunday & it had the same effect, just much less subtle. Then, it was a sledgehammer to the back of the head while now was akin to an iron glove enrobed in velvet & to my mouth, rather than my brain-housing group. Warming, I began to get notes of brandy & sherry & my thoughts wandered to all of the strippers that I have known over the years: Brandy, Sherry, Cinnamon, China, Candy et al. I kid you not, my 1993 deployment to Roosey Roads, P.R. saw me spending a LOT of time at the sadly now-defunct Papa Joe's! My second gentle pour from the bottle saw a little more clarity beginning to develop, but I do not know how I could have gotten around that initial foaming. Being that it was warmer than it had been initially, it was really starting to bring the heat! I would like to add port to that earlier list. If this were the days before I contracted adult-onset asthma, I would be smoking a cigar with this! Finish was hot, dry, very much a sipper. The leathery fruitiness lingered well after each swallow & I waved with a heavy heart as Draak the Dragon flew off to her next stop. At least, I have a lovely bottle opener to remember her by!

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Photo of Zraly
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful garnet-brown with a delicate, off white head. Tight, compact bubbles present the appropriate carbonation.

Wonderful smells of spice, malt and alcohol permeate my nose. Upon first sip, the carbonation tickles the outside of my mouth, basically teasing me and preparing me for what stands before me...

A most perfect tasting ale. Loads of sweet malt and fruits dominate, with an intoxicating candy-like and phenolic backdrop. A strong notion of creme brulee (burnt sugar and all) purrs through. The alcohol hums its way around my mouth and eventually my bloodstream. Smooth, dreamy finish that is warm, luscious and invites another sip.

Classy and a benchmark for the style, this is an all-around selection of goodness in a bottle. I am splitting a glass with my girlfriend pre-dinner. It's starting the evening off on a most sultry note.

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Photo of Paymygasbill77
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml white champagne bottle and served in a tulip glass.

A: Gulden Draak pours a caramel brown with a 3 finger head that disipates into about 1 finger. Wow! They put this thing in a champ bottle for a reason. This is the highest carbonation levels i have ever seen in a beer.

S:Caramel, Dark Fruit and honey.

T: This beer hits you with a mild hop bitterness up front, a nice sweet fruity flavor in the back and finishes off with a little hottness to let you know it means business.

M: The carbonation and the hotness make this a fun beer to drink.

Overall: I rate it a 4.5.

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Photo of SpencerSauce
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a scary looking beer haha. Tasted awsome. Popped the cork off like a rocket.

A- Dark reddish, with a dark head. almost brown.

S- caramel or something sweet , black cherries are prominent. Boozy smell.

T- sweetness of caramel, brown sugar or toffee. Cherries for sure.

M- coats the mouth nicely, smoothe though

D- easy for a while then gets slightly harder.

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Photo of geetlord
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was a rich dark amber with a thick creamy head that subsided to heavy lacing. there was pleanty of yeast making the beer a littel cloudy.
The aroma contained malts flowers herbs, and fruit.
It tasted richly of molasses and cloves and nutmeg allong with tou8ches of dark chereries, black currents, cinnamon, and dark breads.
The mouthfeel was heavy but pleasantly carbonated.
overall i felt that this was an excelent rich beer and will definatly get it again

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Photo of roblowther
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged. God I love saying that.
Nice reddish translucent brown with a thin head that builds around the edges of the glass from a thousand tiny bubble trails. The smell is maple syrup and soft wood. Notes of fruit and promises to come. The taste is cherries and wood, then a peppery finish and a crisp, granny smith apple aftertaste. The afertaste melds into a dusky malt that never gets too dry. Outstanding. Nice tingly carbonation up front, a soft buttery feel and then the crisp finish that is as much feel as taste. Very drinkable, hiding its alcohol content well. Not a session beer but we knew that when the style has "strong" in the name, didn't we? A bit warm. An excellent beer and a new addition to my rotation for sure.

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Photo of OrangeAmps
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

on tap!

very sweet and carbonated, which is precisely why i dig this beer. it is intensely alcohol heavy, but the taste is negligible. The lacing retains very well, and the dark amber color is beautiful. It is definitely a pronounced belgian beer, but unlike most belgians ive had. Its very creamy and bubbly, like some glorious amalgam of beer and soda.

Its a little less heavy on the carbonation on tap, imo. And also, the porcelain bottles are pimp.

Great beer.

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Photo of josanguapo
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From elcervecero. In La Trappe chalice. Watching Worst Week 1x09-10. After the Westy12, and very close to it, this is the best in ita style. I only miss a bit more carbonation.

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Photo of Viking
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

O, joyous day! I found Gulden Draak on tap! Anyone in the Indianapolis area should go to Chalkies to try it out. After tasting on tap, I had to increase my rating a bit.
------
An excellent beer. I tried a single bottle one weekend and was hooked! Unfortunately supplies in Indy are a bit limited. This brew is best when slightly chilled on cold evenings.

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Photo of spointon
4.69/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2oz stubby white bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A= This ale poured a clear, deep reddish amber color with a 2" rocky, foamy head. Over time the head shrunk to a quarter inch but never dissipated.

S= The smell is where I was first truly impressed by this beer. There is a lot going on, definite Belgian fruity yeast, but also maltiness and a bit of caramel. There is not a lot of alchohol smell despite the high abv.

T= Much like the aroma, but with incredible complexity. Sweet, rich, estery, yeast-funky, delicious!

Mouthfeel was good and the drinkabilty was high as well. It took me a while to "get" this beer, but once I did, I could easily drink this daily! Definitely a great beer that I will enjoy again and again.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gulden Draak is the pinnacle of Br. Van Steenberge's efforts: a Belgian without peers; a brew so delicious that I'm sure Lucifer uses it to tempt the damned; and an ale so eminently drinkable that, were it not for its coma-inducing 10.5% ABV, entire countries would favor it over water. Even the nose lets you know this is one for the books: subtle flowery, fruity aromas layered with mouthwatering spices--what you'd expect to smell on the nape of the head cheerleader's neck.

On the tongue, the fruity spiciness is full and ever-blossoming, starting off with huge caramelized brown sugar and dark fruit esters, and progressing from even there into a heady brew over which gods probably fight wars. Vanilla, oak, apricot, plum and some port-like flavors mingle with champagne sweetness, with just enough hops to balance everything out and keep the brain from leaping out of the skull in sheer joy. A slight alcohol tinge colors the edges, but this enhances, rather than inhibits the overall effect. This is truly an astounding ale.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 330 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a dark coppery brown hue with high carbonation producing a 2-3 inch light tan bubbly head. Excellent retention (lasts many, many minutes). Nice lacing too.
S: Dark dried fruit (especially raisins), sweet bready yeast, and notes of spice (cinnamon, clove, and a hint of white pepper). Aroma aerates the surrounding few feet around the glass.
T: Follows aroma perfectly and yet adds strength (the alcohol note) to augment it even further. Simply tremendous. ABV is high and yet the alcohol is perfecting blended in and hidden. Notes of toffee and caramel emerge with warming.
M: Medium body (feels lighter than the ABV would suggest). Sweet and full feel. Alcohol provides only a gentle, background burn. I don't think I've had a 10.5% beer before that has hidden the alcohol so well. Lingers and matures on the palate for several minutes after the sip.
D: Overall this is a phenomenal brew and an outstanding example of style. Excellent drinkability, especially given the ABV.

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Photo of beerprovedwright
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Two finger head, with good lacing. Color is a 28 on the SRM beer color chart. Smell is enveloping, with aromas of coco, coffee, toffee, and caramel. Taste is a wonderful mixture of caramel, coffee, molasses, raspberries, apple, grapes, vanilla, black pepper, cinnamon, malt, and licorice. There are more flavors in there, but the more you taste the more buzz you get and flavors become muted. Rich, full body of heavy cream passes over my tongue and teeth, added with the wonderful prickly feeling of carbonation. This is one masterful brew which took many many years to perfect. I want more of this fine brew.

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Photo of Katahdin
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A unique Belgian style beer in that it is very dark and full bodied. Rich, creamy head that lingers in the glass and holds together well. The taste has a interesting blend of pepper and fruit. The richness and complexity of the pepper is balanced by the dried fruit taste that lingers longer than the peppery flavor. An easy beer to drink and a credit to the Belgian Tripel class. Highly recommend!

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Photo of July2Nov
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml/11.2 fl oz bottle.
A: Has a nice dark chestnut brown hue with a good 2 finger head on it. I know I'm in for a treat now.
S: Instantly hit with the sweet aroma of malty coco goodness. The nose is liking this and the mouth is wanting to get in on this action.
T&M: WOW...this has a deep robust flavor. You can taste the fullness of the characteristics that were listed in the smell. This is super rich and leaves the mouth w/ that oh-face.
D: This is definetly a keeper and should be enjoyed for all it's worth. Highly impressed with this style and brand.

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Photo of yuriruley
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Reddish/Brown, not much of a head on it but it sticks with the drink all the way down. Some lacing

Smell - Dark fruits right off the top with a slight apple smell and malts.

Taste - Can taste the fruit flavor and maltyness. Not getting a whole lot of alcohol flavor. Very well balanced. This is one of the tastiest beers I have had recently.

Mouthfeel/Drink - Not as heavy as I expected, good carbonation. Deceptively easy to drink for it's ABV.

I have had this beer prior to reviewing it. Last year my mom bought me a bottle for Christmas, and I liked it, but that was before I was really into beer. So I decided to revisit it and I was not disappointed.

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Photo of farrago
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Rich brown color with an orange tinge closer to the rims, large frothy head that refuses to dissolve, strong visible bubbles. While there's caramel and chocolate in the nose at the same time it's malty with a sour edge, dried black fruits, muscular in a sinewy way, not heavy in spite of overall sweetness. In the mouth it shows sufficient carbonation to relieve excess weight. Caramel, butterscotch, raisins, grapes and cinnamon, nutmeg spice. Orange marmalade citrus accents. Relentless presence, this is a beer that does not want to be washed out of your palate.

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Photo of Boto
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draught@ Sharp Edge Creekhouse: They had this listed on the menu as a "Barleywine" which is obviously wrong. This pours a cloudy, reddish brown color. It had a fairly large off-white head. This was a very nice beer. The aroma has notes of yeast, alcohol, caramel, fruits, and probably a lot of other things. It is very rich. The taste follows suit. This is a wonderful variation of a Tripel. Full bodied and smooth.

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Photo of HopNelius
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served out of a bottle and into a stemless wine glass.
Appearance- dark brown, light to medium carbonation, two finger head that quickly reduces.
Smell- notes of rasins, ginger and figs, wonderful aroma.
Taste- Dark fruit and Belgium yeast shines through balanced with malt and hops, alcohol warms at the end.
Mouthfeel- very pleasant.
Overall- Very Drinkable Belgium beer that is acutally rather complex.At 10.5 abv you wouldn't know it as it is so well balanced.

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my crystal mug the beer had a beautiful murky amber red color and a creamy beige head building. The head leaves relatively fast and leaves little lacing. It looks very attractive and makes your mouth watering.
Smelling the beer very fruity flavors meet your nose. Apple cider , peach and plum.
Tasting this beer you will immediately fall in love with this perfectly measured fruit composition up front, being met with a sensitively calculated amount of malty flavors. At the end this full bodied beer finishes up with an immaculate hop, that rounds the beer up with a beautyful mouthfeel. The alcohol is nicely hidden. This beer is a work of art. Buy it wherever you can. I would drive 25 miles just to get another bottle.what a great beer!!!

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Photo of adamette
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap at McNaulty's Bier Markt in Cleveland, Ohio.

A Medium brown, wood color body with 1 finger head.

S Alcohol is apparent but there is much more going on here as well. Ineteresting smells of yeast and some sweetness.

T Excellent. More of the same above but also some hoppy taste became more apparent. Alcohol is again apparent but the interesting tastes do not let it dominate the taste. This is a very sweet beer.

M Moderate to full mouthfeel. It is watery but very very sweet with bold flavors.

D Great but the high alcohol content keeps it from being the highest rated.

Notes: A real treat to have on tap at the Bier Markt. I am glad to have tried it.

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 1,292 ratings.