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

Not Rated.
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

3,380 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,380
Reviews: 1,259
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 218
Gots: 474 | FT: 5
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,380 | Reviews: 1,259
Photo of wjimson
4.07/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of BryanRex
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 with a heat-shrink white label and no age stamp. Pours slightly cloudy medium brown with a with a small one finger off white head (questioning the freshness of my bottle)

Strong aromas of licorice and caramel maltiness, figs, and raisins. It reminds me of a seasonal bread.

The taste is sweet with licorice, dark fruits and a slight alcohol finish, not bad for 10.5% ABV.

The carbonation was much less than I expected, even for a Belgian Ale. The beer feels almost like port wine with almost no apparent hops or bitterness whatsoever.

I expected something a bit more complex, but the beer is very drinkable. I can't decide if it should be grouped as a strong Dark Ale, dubbel, or dark tripel. Decent, but not my favorite of any of those styles.

Photo of theghost3
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Style by the label is a "triple".

Pours a reddish brown with lots of carbonated bubbles. There's a 1-finger tan head with sticky, spotty lacing.

The smell is mainly brown sugar with spices & dark fruits--peach, plum & orange stand out. The taste is strong on spices, fruits (particularly raisins & citrus), phenols, caramel malts & molasses. There's a bitterness in the end. Mouthfeel is acidic.

This is drinkable beer, but be careful because the 10.5 percent ABV will sneak up on you.

Photo of DrJay
4.07/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of EPICAC
4.07/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of blitz134
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of dacrza1
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked bottle after a good day of work...thin, transparent body with a reddish-brown hue in a Chimay glass...a citrus (grapefruit?) aroma...smooth back-of-mouth malt/hop balance. The effects of the alcohol grow slowly, warming yet heightening the sensesa pleasat digestif, indeed....

Photo of tdm168
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at World of Beer Raleigh. Served in a tulip.

A - a dark plum color with a thin lacing of head

S - bready, spicy

T - bread, caramel, toffee, sugar, alcohol

M - medium to full bodied, warm, crisp

This is a really nice beer. It's malty, sweet, balanced, and complex. This is probably one of the better beers that I've had in this style. I will have it again.

Photo of socon67
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of KTCamm
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the stubby 330ml bottle into a Duvel glass.

Pours a dark brown with reddish hints. Very loam foam, and less lacing than I'd expect.

Light malty sugary smell, but otherwise difficult to coax out. Buttery.

Strong belgian taste, hints of sugar wrapped around malty lemons. Very complex.

Long finish. Active carbonation. Good alcohol burn. Good drinking Belgian. Recommended.

Photo of vandemonian
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
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

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of Luker1921
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of dickieb
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of BricksandPorter
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured refrigerator cold into a crystal tulip.

P – A fine, cloudy mahogany brown, opaque with hues of purple and maroon. I almost overpoured – high carb. Took a minute to settle, before I proceeded with a slower pour. Punch you in the face wheat malt aroma. You can smell the alcohol on this one. Rocky, bronze one finger head with walnut brown edges, medium-large bubbles and good, ney GREAT, retention.

N – raisons, cherries, blackberries and apricot line the nose to really exacerbate the malt profile. A real definitive sour overtone indicates the ABV is for real. It has some hints of smoke and burning wood.

T – slick and smooth chocolate base (not stout chocolate - just balanced and light) with a great fruit profile. Blackberries, banana and sour cherries with a hearty sweetness that is smooth and really interesting. The alcohol on the nose is almost completely non-existent on the palate until the burp, when it really pulls through. Has a spicy finish and rounds very well for such a high ABV. Second time around I got a twiggy, wood-like earthiness that I didn’t get on the first taste. Not piney, but just earthy. Almost like roasting walnuts. Overall -- Grand!

M – a bit heavy on the profile. The carbonation makes the flavors stick around for a good long while. Not the smoothest Belgian I have ever had, and definitely on the higher “chunky” scale as far as tripels go. The bottle carbonation does the style right and this beer is no exception.

D – If for nothing more than the ABV, I’m not sure I could hold up to more than two or three of these. The alcohol hits you immediately, and the cacophony of flavors begins to take a toll on your tongue after the first one. I definitely recommend this for someone who appreciates great beer.

Cheers!

Photo of mralphabet
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
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...

Photo of avalon07
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of jonb5
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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.

Photo of aubuc1
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap poured into a chimay goblet.

pours a deep amber/brown with a thin head

smells bready/yeasty with some light fruits

tastes sweet, belgian yeasty and plummy

mouthfeel is pretty warm due to heavy alcohol

very nice frinking beer for such high abv
i am missing some smells probably due to low temp

Photo of TheJollyHop
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Vancer
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of CampusCrew
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of hansavijaticar
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy red colour, rich head. Smell and taste of honey and dark fruits. Very sweet, possibly one of the sweetest BSDAs I've tried. A bit of acidity when warmed. Similar by sweetness to La Trappe Quadrupel and Urthel Samaranth, which are slightly better. Not bad, but I wouldn't recommend it to someone who wants to discover Belgian strong dark ales.

Photo of Ranic
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,380 ratings.