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

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

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,255 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

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Reviews: 1,255
Hads: 3,513
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 249
Gots: 573 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,255 | Hads: 3,513
Photo of Derek
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
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. (698 characters)

Photo of Tupperwolf
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gulden Draak pours from a 330ml white-coated bottle into my now-trusty tulip a generously dark color; After a bit of thinking, the color reminds me most of tree sap - dark brown that glows subtly orange when held to the light. A thin tan head of rising bubbles forms, then dissipates - I think I was a little underambitious on the pour. Lacing from the head is minimal, but there's a serious haze on the glass left by the liquid itself, like a very old window pane.

Smell: Candy, fruit, rhubarb, caramel, lots of distinctly rummy alcohol. Enticing. Smell definitely adds a lot to the flavor and drinking experience.

Taste definitely lets you know you're drinking 10.5% abv, but it's in a very smooth way - it's like a slick brandy. Lots of flavors going on here, especially alive due to the warmth of the liquor. Sweet across the whole palate - definite rum tastes with a butterscotch middle, almost zero bitter finals. Extremely tasty and easy drinking.

Low carbonation, which I think is appropriate, there's just enough to set off the carmally texture of this Belgian. Mouthfeel is great, alcohol warming the back of the tongue and the rest of the way down. Sticky flavors coat the mouth after swallowing, but another swallow can clear them easily if you choose.

Malty, sweet, easy-drinking, heavy on the booze, this Belgian's pretty rad IMO. Wish I'd bought another. (1,381 characters)

Photo of bashiba
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark and creamy brown with tons and tons of sticky head, tons of lacing.

Smell was very sweet and fruity with a nice cherry smell and a bit of alcohol.

Taste is very sweet and fruity up front with a decent bit of hops in the finish along with a noticeable alcohol flavor. Very tasty and complex.

Mouthfeel is creamy and full and very warm.

Drinkability is very good, especially considering the strenghth of this brew. Very enjoyable. (454 characters)

Photo of BarrelBrother
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My son knowing my love of complex beers and the Belgium "Dubble" style told me he had to take me to the Map Room in Chicago. They feature numerous Belgium brews on tap and he said he had found one that would knock me out. He wasn't kidding! Gulden Drak, WOW.

Appearance: Dark. Cloudy. Mysterious. But I like the deep amber presentation. Solid lacing after pouring.
Smell: This got my attention immeadiately! Nutty, carmel, sweet date like aroma. I had to revisit this sensation a couple of times to make sure I got it right.
Taste: One of the most unique treats to every touch my palate! I must have tasted and pondered the flavors tickling my taste buds over and over. I finally decided on almost a buttery, malted milk flavor with a toasted almond finish. Superb!
Mouthfeel: On tap, it was so smooth! Most Belgium brews seem almost silky when gliding down my palate. This one is no exception, but I like the nutty aftertaste as I drained this goblet of joy.
Drinkability: OK, here is where I got in trouble. I liked this offering on tap so much, I enjoyed 3 large, Belgium tulip glasses in less than 2 hours. It was my birthday and everyone was buying me a round, so I couldn't resist. Long story short, the Drak kicked my assk. I should have known better to do a session with a potent brew like this, but it was pleasure and then pain the next morning. Overall an enlightening experience one I won't forget! (1,417 characters)

Photo of amicar
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours out of the cool ceramic- like bottle a murky red tinged cloufy brown with tan head. Smells of noble hop, slight apricot and apple. Taste is really something- caramel, toast, fig, sherry. Very malty and filling in the mouth- I mean, tremeandous mouthfeel. Definitely a little bite and warmth when you swallow. Mine had a tiny but of harshness that I'm sure would mellow if I was a little more patient and gave it some age. (427 characters)

Photo of Blakaeris
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours creamy mahogany with ruby highlights and a huge frothy tan head.

The smell is amazing. I get a comples aroma of dark fruits, cherries, and slight spice notes.

The taste is of sweet caramel, dark chocolate, plums, and bit of spiciness. I'm thinking peppery, with coriander. This starts off with sweet malts and ends with a sharp and surprisingly bitter finish. The alcohol is well concealed.

Mouthfeel is amazingly full and creamy.

If I could get my hands on it, I would drink this brew quite often. Very nice. (527 characters)

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a muddy orange-ish brown with a thin tan head that is sustained by a lot of bubbles constantly rising to the surface.

Smells like there is a ridiculous amount to of grain in this one. I’m getting port, prunes and tones of honey malt with dry bitter orange rind and spicy yeast. I’m loving it!

The flavor starts off with a sticky, burnt honey malt that just sits on my tongue. Then, the carbonation starts to release, revealing some very pleasant and mild citrus flavors and a dry melon like aromatic yeast. The finish is mostly prunes and lime with a touch of dirty coffee. Also, there’s a huge warming. Finally the 10.5% shows itself!

The mouth feel is very carbonated, but it really works well helping the flavors transition.

This is a very nice beer that’s a lot of fun to drink. The intense carbonation and high ABV unfortunately detract from the drinkability. (890 characters)

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a nice finger width of head. It's a nice dark color that looks frothey on the top and inviting. It holds a good lacing and smells like a sweet and hoppy beer. It tastes sweet and hoppy with a wonderful balance of both flavors. It feels like silk and slides down my throat very easily. It's a very drinkable, an excellent beer. (342 characters)

Photo of pjwilson
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Revisting this one after about a year, I didn't do reviews back then and my palate was still developing.
Appearance: nice dark amber, not too much head or lacing, but there is some.
smell: ah yes the yeast. and the malts. and the fruitiness. I'm gettting hints of dark rum, perhaps from some dark sugars used in this one. Nice balance between yeast and malt.
taste: Ah, this a reminding me of Trois Pistoles, another beligan strongdark. The malts are more upfront than the yeasts, mmm that's some sweet malt. Yet it is not a very sweet beer overall, pretty dry actually. It's great. I could drink this daily. This is the 330 ml bottle, I'd like to try the 750 if ever see it. There is absolutly no trace of the 10.5 percent alcohol in the taste, none!
Mouthfeel: nice and carbinationed. Real light body for the alcohol, never had a beer with this much alcohol this light and smooth. yet i'm catching a buzz half way through the bottle. hehe
drinkability: this is really good for the stlye, only my self restrait is stoping me from finishing the bottle faster, it's so damn smooth.
To me this is a real classic and on the must try list for everybody. I'm pretty sure it's the same yeast as Trois Pistoles, but this is a bigger, more maltly beer, more likeable, a more . Both are favorites of mine. i drank this a bit colder than cellar temp. (1,356 characters)

Photo of asabreed
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark triple, eh? Well, it's more like a Belgian Strong Dark, which I think is really the proper style under which to categorize it. Had on tap at Burgh's in Bridgeville, PA. Served in the proper Gulden Draak tulip.

Appearance: Dark amber with a pretty frothy off-white head initially. As I drank it though there wasn't that much lacing. Could the glass have been dirty? Head stayed on pretty well though, as I kept swirling a bit as the beer got down the glass from consumption.

Smell: Dark fruit and spicy alcohol. Some tropical fruit and candy sugar also as it warms. Then some fig and plum start to come through.

Taste: Big burst of spicy alcohol into the dark fruit that I was hoping would be all over the body. Finishes with tropical fruit and much pleasant malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Pretty creamy as the carbonation levels are near-perfect, coming through in a slight burst at the swallow.

Drinkability: I'll definitely be trying this again, as the on tap brew was a great experience. Maybe next time it will be from the bottle. (1,054 characters)

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great buzz! Great alcohol content. Lots of fun to drink. Appearance is wonderful. Deep dark brown with a super sticky thick, everlasting white head. Great lacing! Smells of wet herbs and hay, a pinch of orange, and peppery grains. Tastes great. Smooth as silk. Super malty. Slightly burnt caramels and chocolates. Sweet and warming. Wet hard woods, leaves, and sweet mulch. Full bodied goodness.

Beer to the point. True greatness. I’ll be picking up a few 750s of this one. (478 characters)

Photo of budsboy
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown, cloudy with a tan sticky head that stays all the way down.

Malty, bready and earthy aroma. Alcohol comes through. Tree bark comes to mind.

Sweet dark fruit, wood, roasted malt, warming alcohol, slighty phenolic with a tart bitterness on the finish.

Full bodied, fluffy and smooth. Thickening. A meal.

Less wine-like than some and wonderfully fulfilling. Very nice. (388 characters)

Photo of Nutleybeer
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got an opportunity to try Gulden Draak on tap at the Waterfront Alehouse in Brooklyn. Anything Belgian is worth giving a shot, even at $6.50 a pint.

It poured really nice, with a smooth creamy head. The head remained in tact the whole time; releasing a pleasant spicy scent. The color is dark, reddish/brown.

The taste was enjoyable. I was reminded of a honey like quality in each sip. There was a subtle sweetness. Overall, a good drinking experience. I will be looking on the shelves for this beer in the future. (521 characters)

Photo of mmmbeer
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 mL stubby with no freshness date needed due to the ABV and the painted bottle. Pours a reddish color that is bright red when light shines through. It has a 3 finger rocky head that pokes above the rim of the tulip and leaves a lot of foamy lace. Toward the end I poured in the rest of the bottle, which gave it a murky, more brown color. It smells of raisins and orange predominantly, but has banana, sour apples, pepper, melons?, bubblegum, and maybe some hops. The first sip is heavy and very sweet with a touch of metal, which is not quite what I was expecting, but let's work with it. As I drink, there are also raisins, apples, cloves, pepper, oranges, and a sweetness that is still there, strong, but not as cloying as it could be considering how malty this brew is. The body has more initial carbonation than I would have thought, but it smooths and becomes near flat by the end of the glass. The drinkability suffers not from the high ABV, which is only evident in a slight warming sensation, but from the strong sweetness. However, it is still a good beer and it's getting me excited about the other Belgians I have stashed away (1,141 characters)

Photo of andjusticeforale
4.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

“The Golden Dragon”

This beer comes in an intriguing white bottle. It pours a deep opaque yet luminous brown.The head is tan and settles into some chunkiness, a height of about 1 cm. The head reminds the drinker of a finely carbonated stout head. Amazingly fresh and alive out of the bottle, a golden hue becomes apparent.

The smell is of clove and sugar and exotic perfume. The carbonation is exquisitely fine. The first sip hits like a blast of molasses and sweet apple, with a semi dry finish of lingering sweetness. There is an underlying malty-breadiness, and the 10.5% gives the beer a brandy-like quality at times. The alcohol is never overpowering because of the carbonation and full mouthfeel, just present.

This is a beer that commands you to take notice of it. The complexity is not as readily apparent as a Belgian Quad, no plums and cherries and tropical banana fruits, but the complexity is there. The malts and sugar and alcohol- perhaps over the top because of the lack of hops, still show terrific balance sip after sip and are remarkably never cloying. And as the glass warms and the beer swirls, there is more and more magic.

Perhaps this can best be described as a dark imperial tripel. What it lacks in sweet-bitter balance, it regains in its balance of light and dark. In heaven, at the annual golf tournament, at the 19th hole, while celebrating a round of perfect hole-in-ones, you forgot your wallet, but guess what? Jesus buys a round, and its Gulden Drak, and all you can think to say is “thank you lord.” (1,552 characters)

Photo of hero27
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
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. (553 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought 2 bottles of this stuff at Wilbur's in Ft. Collins, Colorado.

Pours so darned beautifully ending up a dark gold in my Chimay glass. Nice head that lingers with very nice lacing around the glass.

The smell is a superb apple, reminiscent of my favourite soda..Jones Green Apple. I couldn't wait to dive right in. ;^)

The taste is a plethora of fruity flavours that are dominated by apple but yet aren't.(if you catch my meaning)
At 10% abv, I want to just sip and enjoy but the drinkabilty of this brew has to be experienced to be appreciated. This is, for me, a truly world class experience in Triples and I'll certainly buy it again!

Long live the Golden Dragon!! (685 characters)

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.92/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a cute little stubby 11.2oz single from Steve's Liquor here in Madison. Neat white bottle too.

Pours a murky mahogany brown with a short off-white head in my sweet new Schlitz chalice. That's right - Schlitz chalice. Anyhow, nose is warm and spicy with apple cinnamon and nutmeg over Belgian yeast. Tastes like chilled sparkling apple cider - winter spices, fresh pressed apples, figs, and some light bready yeast. Quite sweet overall, not a whole lot of bitter to balance it, but I didn't mind. Like a much more refined version of New Glarus' Apple Ale. The 10.5% is almost nonexistent, expertly hidden without bitterness. Another pleasant surprise for the night after DFH's 90 Minute IPA. Good beer night for me. Wish this wasn't so damn expensive, so a rare treat for me that I will surely enjoy again. (818 characters)

Photo of radshoesbro
4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured 330 ml white bottle with no freshness date. pours dark dark brown with a hint of orange around the edges. small head w/ good retention. minimal lace. nose has malts, yeast, raisins (?), and super alcohol. however, the most prevalent thing in the smell is definately the apricots. sweet malty flavor. the malts remind me vaguely of milk chocolate. really almost to complex to put into words, you've really gotta try this to understand the taste. this is totally full of flavor! definately has an alcohol taste to it, but it's not strong at all. (550 characters)

Photo of qwert59
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've recently been on a quest to try all the Belgians I can, and every time I've talked to someone about Belgian beers, Gulden Draak comes up, but it's been impossible to find in my area. I guess you could say I've been chasing the Gulden Draak.

But I finally found it. And I was not disappointed.

The nose is largely spiced apples and yeast, but is very pleasant and warming.

Gulden Draak pours a hazy redish amber with minimal head, but nice, active carbonation.

The first taste is amazing. This is an incredibly complex beer which almost refuses to show itself to you. My initial taste said that it was just more spices and apples. But as the beer opened up, I noticed pears, apricots, slight notes of dark fleshy fruits like cherries, raisins and currants, and also touches of cinnamon.
Very little alcohol taste for a 10.5 per cent beer.
There was a nice slight touch of sweet malts on the finish.
The carbonation was just right, it kind of rolled over your tounge, but it was not overpowering. The carbonation added some body to the beer, and made it's physical presence a little more noticeable.

The after taste is reminiscent of the nose, spcied apples and yeast again.

Overall, this is a super complex, well crafted beer. I like how the nose and after taste are similar, it kind of bookends the massive complexity of the flavor, although this bookending can be deceiving (i.e., my inital response was "apples and spice! apples and spice! apples and spice!). But this beer could definitely show me something new each time. It's also surprisingly drinakble for something of this complexity and magnitude.

I highly recommend Gulden Draak. (1,675 characters)

Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A - A dark brown color with a frothy, two finger, deep tan head. It has great retention and nice little rings of lace. A pretty beer for sure.

S - Oh my! Fabulous odor! Pineapples, dates, currants, vanilla, molasses malt. The abv is undetectable.

T - Strong molasses malt accompanied by sweet dates and black currants. There is a bitter aftertaste paired with a sweet date and pineapple flavor. Abv is well masked, but detectable. Very good.

M - Smooth and viscous. A bit too frothy and it kind of leaves a film in your mouth. It is neither dessicating nor refreshing .

D - This is strong and sweet, yet I had no trouble drinking it. I tasted it before and had to have a full one for myself. Very nice. I just wish it were cheaper. (784 characters)

Photo of mdagnew
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml Bottle bought from www.onlyfinebeer.co.uk

Poured a dark red / burgundy colour... Head was a creamy tan / grey colour.
Quite small beading produced a nice thick, foamy head which lasted until near the end...

Aroma - Malty, dark fruits, brown sugar, lemony notes...

Taste – Plums, malt, treacle, vanilla, slight aniseed hints. Quite noticable alcohol. Nice hopiness...

Feel - Sharp with quite noticable carbonation.... creamy aftertaste.. full bodied..

Overall - An excellent dark ale... one of my favourites... (532 characters)

Photo of Brian700
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is exactly what my palate craves. It pours a deep red/brown with a creamy light tan head that stays put. Good lacing.

The aroma is of sweet dark fruit. Figs, raisins, plums.

The taste follows the nose. There is lots of dark fruit like plums, figs, raisins, and I can taste apricot a little as well. The is a nice alcohol presence that is a little bit warming. Excellent.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with medium/moderate carbonation. Very swishable, coats the palate nicely.

I have been waiting to try this beer for a long time and it surpassed my expectations. I highly recommend this beer. (614 characters)

Photo of neonbrown82
3.56/5  rDev -14.8%
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. (1,093 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A treat for all the senses. Looks dark ruby to dark brown in color, nicely carbonated for a Belgian. 1/2 inch head, laced wiell, and shows nice legs (sounds sexual). Aromas and flavors meld together nicely. Thick and creamy with barley malt, caramel, toffee, port wine, good hop flavor and balance, noticable alcohol throughout. Full rich body--would make a great after dinner beer. Finishes sweet, alcoholic, and tingly. It's a sipper, but worth the patience. I had this on tap durring the winter and it was more creamy and more refreshing. (541 characters)

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
93 out of 100 based on 1,255 ratings.