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

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

2,777 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2777
Reviews: 1191
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.35%


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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,777 | Reviews: 1,191 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Jerreve
Jerreve

Belgium

3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Drank one from my cellar. 33cl bottle

I must say it didn't quite taste as usual. Strange harsh tast, very alcoholic. I was expecting something different, smooth and sweeter. Normally one of my favourites to end the day in my chair.
Was it because it was still a young one, perhaps.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2012 18:48:28 | More by Jerreve
Photo of TrappistJohnMD
TrappistJohnMD

Mississippi

3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany color with one fingered head.

Smells funny. Too much alcohol smell and a little ripe fruit. Reminds me of a hospital lab. Almost prevented me from drinking it.

Taste is sweet with some ripe fruit. Alcohol is pretty strong for me.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Good carbonation.

Overall this was o.k. Not as good as I had hoped it would be. Have one cellaring and I hope it improves.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 18:47:55 | More by TrappistJohnMD
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL corked and caged bottle.

(A)- Pours a hazy amber color with some white froth.

(S)- A sweet malty and rich profile with plum and prune dark fruits. Hints at vanilla sweetness.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. Very rich and sweet with dark fruits of plum, prune, and fig.

(M)- A mellow carbonation level. A nice balance to it with heavy heavy malts and a hefty sweetness.

(D)- A solid belgian strong dark ale. A bit heavy and sweet to drink too much of, but tasty.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2012 15:38:18 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
Goblinmunkey7

Massachusetts

3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep dark brown tinged with dark reds. Pours with a ton of carbonation. Head is massive, pillowy, dirty-white. Leaves super sticky lacing. Solid retention. Drops to a small, loose cap and collar.

Smell: Loaded with Belgian yeast. Spice and some serious candi sugar and caramel sweetness. Clove, ripe banana, deeply Belgian and peppery. Some hints of chocolate as well. Belgian sweetness. Bubblegum, but faint.

Taste: Ripe banana and clove. Big malty sweetness. Candi sugar layered throughout. Belgian yeast adds a ton of spiciness. Some minor lemon and hay. Slightly damp. Over cooked and caramelized malts. Some caramel and biscuit malts. Faint hints of bubblegum. Heavy clove as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Slightly high carbonation on a medium body. Clean overall. Some dryness toward the end.

Overall: Draconian? I think not.

This is no mythical beast of awesome power. It's a solid take on the style and brings some unique malts to the party, but it ultimately lacks depth and an overall appeal.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 04:11:07 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Photo of WanderingFool
WanderingFool

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gulden Draak is a nice full flavored dark belgian beer. It pours a hazy dark orange color that reminded me of apple cider. The head is slightly off white, medium bodied and remains all the way to the bottom of the glass. An aroma of clove, brown sugar, yeast and mild alcohol hovers over the surface.

Each sip of this slightly chewy medium bodied beer is packed with flavor. It's an interesting combination of clove, bubblegum, and caramel malt. There are hints of alcohol and a brown sugar sweetness mixed in that contribute to its sweet finish. A mild alcohol and caramel malt flavor is left behind.

This beer seems to me like a good example of the Belgian strong dark ale style, but does not seem any better or worse than other brands out there, such as Unibroue Maudite.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2004 21:00:15 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of jwinship83
jwinship83

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle with no visible date.

A- hazy dark brown colored bottle with a gushing 3 finger head that quickly reduces to a thin layer on the surface. moderate lacing left on the sides of the glass.

S- sweet malts and yeast are the main things i notice first. also some fruits. apples and pears mostly. smells moderately alcoholic.

T- very sweet upfront. lots of yeast and the fruits i could smell. decent amount of alcohol in the finish.

M- extremely light and fizzy from high level of carbonation

D- had some trouble finishing this one. its not that i hated it, its just that 750 is too big. next time ill go with the smaller 330ml. certainly not my favorite for this style.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2008 04:52:03 | More by jwinship83
Photo of hustlesworth
hustlesworth

Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- loose airy beige head was completely unexpected, full of bubbles and fizzily active. settles rather quickly with a few spots of lace left behind. body is clear and dark rosewood color with a burgundy tint. still a little disappointed with the foam, but it easily rebuilds itself (with better texture) with a good swirl of the tulip.

S- sticky sweet dark fruits and dark cane sugar. apple, cherry, plum, red grape, and a touch of fruity alcohol esters. caramel and toffee come out also with an earthy graininess. some spiciness from the yeast, allspice, & peppercorn, sandalwood, vanilla, acetone, and what may be noble hops.

T- at first it's almost sickly sweet until a fresh grain taste pushes in and begins to balance things out a little. a bit metallic also, my overall impression is plums figs dates and raisins soaked in cognac and a ridiculous amount of candy sugar. almost overly sweet for may taste on the front half but mid way zesty hop flavor and alcohol bitterness cut through somewhat. port wine, wood, and soil, earthy hops, and dark chocolate undertones. yeast spiciness here as well, but it seems be disguised by alcohol and sweetness. earthy and sharp bitter finish with still some more fresh grain taste lingering on the palate.

MF- rich and full, the candy sugar has definitely pumped up the body to stellar proportions. almost stout thick, mouth filling with tight medium carbonation, sadly a filmy coating of cloying sugary sludge remains.

D- i am totally on the fence with this damn beer. i'm not a man with a sweet tooth, so naturally the sweeter things don't appeal to me as much, but as many pros as this beer has for me, it has an equal amount of cons. potency being the least of my concerns, the sugary sweetness seems to drown out other subtle flavors and i would gladly trade the high abv for something a bit more...nuanced. or should i say, something that allows the nuances to be appreciated.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2008 07:40:16 | More by hustlesworth
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Yardhouse in Scottsdale, AZ.
Poured 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. Nose of sweet, bready malt, raisin, and a hint of spicy hops, along with a touch of yeasty funk. Taste is mildly sweet up front, then becomes richer and maltier as it goes down.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2009 02:17:32 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of Grunewald
Grunewald

British Columbia (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - poured from a 330ml bottle into a goblet. It pours a cloudy ruddy brown color with a thick head.

S - sweet malt, candy, prune, marmalade

T - sweet malt that very quickly becomes medicinal (cough syrup) and spicy

M - low carbonation and syrupy with a neutral finish

D - enjoyable flavors, but the medicinal taste is overbearing

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2009 08:28:24 | More by Grunewald
Photo of CrazyDavros
CrazyDavros

Australia

3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy dark brown with a lasting head.
Nose shows loads of spicy phenols with a fair amount of candi sugar and golden syrup showing through too. Also caramel. Very sweet. Not too mention the spicy alcohol. Very bold aroma, that's for sure.
Flavours are similarly sweet, with lots of caramel, golden syrup and brown sugar before the alcohol rolls through. Somewhat cloying and boozy in the finish.
Carbonation is crazy high.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2011 11:15:17 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of Rastacouere
Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Gulden Draak pours ruby brown, almost clear with no traces of yeast?, but a generous sticky head for this ABV. Aroma is vinous, very malty (caramel, butterscotch) with a tickling grapes character melted with ashes. The taste is as sweet as anticipated, very caramelic, but mostly floral clover honey and licorice with a slight medicinal note and more brown sugar toward the finish which is all malt. I couldn't drink too much of this myself, but I appreciate the sipping experience and the medium body fits well. I think this would blend together better being forgotten for a while in a cave. Thanks Martin!

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2004 21:28:18 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of neonbrown82
neonbrown82

Nebraska

3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is one of the first belgian beers I ever had, before I even knew anything about belgian beer. This is the first time I've tried it since I was 16, and it's not nearly as awesome as I remembered it being 6 years ago.

The beer pours magnificent, however. It is a rich brown amber color with a burgundy hue when held to the light. The head is a fluffy inch thick and seems to have flowing currents through it from the carbonation jets that stream all along the edges of the tulip glass, creating a brilliant trail in the beer.

The nose is incredibly candi sugar sweet, bordering on the unpleasant side. Lots of malt, dark berries and fruity esters help to balance it out a bit, but it is quite overwhelming.

The taste is an assault on the palate. I think every inch of my tongue shuddered on contact, especially upon the heavy ethanol finish. Very sweet but also has some sour and bitter in the finish. The dark berries and alcohol are strong in the end. Somewhat barleywine-like.

I most definitely could not drink more than one of the 330 mL bottles of this even if I wanted to.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2005 23:46:23 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle served in a tulip. Poured a murky reddish-brown with a quarter inch, tan-colored, effervescing head embedded with tiny bubbles. Head eventually dissipated into a swirl with strands of lacing revealed as the brew was consumed. Nose is predominantly dark fruit, definitely some cherries in the mix. Taste follows nose, but quite a bit of alcohol heat, as well as a slightly medicinal, cherry cough syrup quality with a light, hoppy finish. Mouthfeel fell between light- and medium-bodied with an appropriate amount of background carbonation. In terms of drinkability, I found this brew a little too close to cough medicine to be enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2009 23:58:45 | More by Jwale73
Photo of rapidsequence
rapidsequence

Virginia

3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle. $3.99, I think.

Appearance: Pours clear brown with red highlights. Ruby when held up to light. Its a little lighter in color than a Coke. Big rocky off white head fades within a few minutes, leaving a thin rim, but lots of lacing.

Smell: Very sweet with dark fruits. Also some sour or tart fruit smells too which seems weird. Boozy. Swirling brings put some nice yeastiness. Pretty good, not great.

Taste: Wow its hot. Very boozy. Rum soaked fruit, and unfortunately some sour fruit taste as well. Finishes with nice spicy bready taste.

Mouthfeel: Overall its pretty full with a little syrupiness but carbonation is adequate enough to keep it from seeming overly syrupy or flat.

Drinkability: Well, its pretty good, not great. I'm not a real fan of the strong booziness in this style, or the sourness (although its slight). I would drink it again if given to me, but I wouldnt buy it-- there are better choices for the money.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2009 00:47:45 | More by rapidsequence
Photo of BierStein711
BierStein711

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into 16oz chalice two and a half finger soda head

Dark brown tea color

Smelled of barley malt and hops

Tasted malt and hop bitterness, and alcohol

Mouthfeel: Warming and thick, the alcohol really came into play here.

Overall, I can see why so many people consider this to be a world class beer. I for one probably would opt out of having it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 20:42:14 | More by BierStein711
Photo of RocketWidget
RocketWidget

Massachusetts

3.55/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Comes in a .33 ml brown bottle, nicely painted white. I wonder if this is more effective for protection against the light than a brown bottle?

Pours a rich dark amber, orange on the corners. Pours outstanding thick brown-white head that lasts throughout the beer. Smell is potent, malty and sugary. Taste is all right, malty and sweet, with the alcohol becoming a part of the taste. Yet, like many of Brouwerij Van Steenberge’s beers, I am left wanting more. Drinkable, and a good beer, but for the price I expected more.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2004 21:55:44 | More by RocketWidget
Photo of Padron4KM
Padron4KM

Arizona

3.55/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pors a murky brown witha large tan head. Head melts away rather quickly, and leaves just a thin cap.

Aroma is very sweet, toffee, toffee, toffee. some fruitiness too. (fig, prune)

Flavor is sweet, but nat as sweet as I thought given the aroma. Caramel, prune, sugar.

smooth and creamy mouthfeel

High ABV is well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2004 06:38:58 | More by Padron4KM
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

3.55/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2 oz white bottle from a Van Steenberge sampler box. Served at cellar temperature into a chalice, it pours a clear, cola brown body with a small, large-bubbled head that left behind minimal lace. Aroma has overripe bananas, prunes, figs, raisins, a hint of spicy clove and pepper, and fusel alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with effervescent carbonation. The taste features candy sugar, prunes, nearly rotten bananas, danky yeast, clove, and warming alcohol. Finishes slightly bitter, leaving a feeling of alcohol infused prune juice. I really didn't care a lot for this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2005 18:58:29 | More by merlin48
Photo of fisherman34
fisherman34

Manitoba (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber in colour with medium carbonation. Aromas of berry fruit, bubblegum, sweet malts, and caremel. More sweet malts in the mouth, along with notes of black pepper, wood, brown sugar, and red grape skin. Heavy in the mouth, but the carbonation level keeps it from getting too cloying. Pretty good, but not as good as I had hoped it would be.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2006 01:29:31 | More by fisherman34
Photo of nbree00
nbree00

California

3.55/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Color was a deep brown with some reddish hue to it. Wasn't that thrilled with the appearance, reminded me of weak poorly brewed coffee for some reason, well carbonated though with a head that never seemed to quit.

S: Smells of raisins and honey with a hint of chocolate.

T: Taste is nutty with flavors of dark caramel, raisins and coffee coming through. Quite a complex array with the malt and hops serving to balance just enough so that it is not overpoweringly sweet

M: Feel was not to bad, stroke me as alittle thin for an unfiltered beer.

D: Did not seem like a 10.5% ABV beer at all. For its class found it very drinkable, which for me would mean once in a while given its richness.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2008 11:04:13 | More by nbree00
Photo of ElGrecoVerde
ElGrecoVerde

Michigan

3.55/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm going to go way out on a limb and say that "gulden draak" means "golden dragon".

It poured much darker than I was anticipating... Dark reddish brown with a huge white head.

Smell was very complex, though mostly dark fruits and spices came through.

If I thought the aromas were complex, I was in for a surprise. A lot of these Belgian Ales strive for complex blends of flavors. Sometimes it works and they all come together. Other times it ends like you gave a five year old a blender. This one is in between. Judging by others grading, it must just be me, but the different flavors of fruits and spices didn't quite work here.

It's by no means bad. I'm just not getting the same thing out of it as everyone else. It feels surprisingly smooth, but I couldn't have much of this.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2008 18:17:42 | More by ElGrecoVerde
Photo of rgf001
rgf001

Germany

3.55/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks good! Translucid amber with champagne-like bubbles. Head dissipates after a few seconds but a lace in the edges remains. Smell is typical of hops found in other trappist ales.
Sweeter than other Belgian tripples and quads. No off flavors. Good but not great.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2011 16:48:09 | More by rgf001
Photo of Rocko
Rocko

Sweden

3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice and foamy head with big bubbles that settles fast on the copper colored liquid. Leaves a little lace on top. Big and fruity smell that reminds me of raisins. The taste is very rich, sweet and fruity. However I think the taste is a bit too sticky sweetish and it reminds me alot of sherry. :l

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2003 13:29:13 | More by Rocko
Photo of mobyfann
mobyfann

Ohio

3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Paid $9.99 for the big 750mL bottle...

The appearence is absolutely beautiful on this bad boy. It pours a dark brown base with a medium dark-tanish head, great retention, fabulous lacing effect and the head bubbles quite nicely from the low-to-mid carbonation. Oh yeah, and the ivory-colored bottle is a sweet mantle piece. The aroma is faint but hint some spice mixed with fruit maybe???

The taste is easy-going for what is refered to as a Belgian STRONG DARK Ale. It wasn't all that strong, except for the ABV, there was a slight alcoholic aftertaste to it, but that's it. The taste itself was spicy syrup in short. Mouthfeel was a little sticky with that syrup sticking to your palette. The drinkability is high for a 10.5% ale, because of the slighty weak taste, the syrupy mix lowers it from a higher score.

Final Thought: Despite it's killer looks altogether, it's a solid Belgian ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2004 00:13:51 | More by mobyfann
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well, despite its name, this beer pours a deep amber color, with ruby highlights when held up to the light. The head is midsized and light brown in color. The aroma is of dark fruit (plum and raisin), rum, and a sort of spiciness that reminds me a bit of coriander. The beer is fairly well carbonated as it fizzes on my tongue. It is sweet and fruity with raisin definitely dominating the fruit component, but notes of figs and prunes are evident as well. The combination of the sweetness and fruitiness gives this beer a certain richness that I was not expecting (you can tell it has been quite a while since I last had this). Overall this is quite a tasty beer, nothing that really makes it stand out and perhaps a bit too sweet, but it is a well built tasty beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2004 19:36:48 | More by Gueuzedude
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 2,777 ratings.