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

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,255
Hads: 3,517
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 250
Gots: 576 | 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: 3,517
Photo of Arthurpappas
4.84/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is just like one of my favorite beers! This is rich and creamy and also has a nice strong bitterness, but not overwhelmingly so. This beer also has a high alcohol content that is not at all apparent when drinking it. The smoothness of this beer is incredible, but finding this beer is quite difficult. (311 characters)

Photo of spacebear09
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

How this is classified as a tripel is beyond me. This brew is awesome, but it's more like a quad. Very sweet, but not cloying. It pours with probably the biggest head I have ever seen on a beer. Complex taste of spices and honey. Simultaneously crisp and creamy mouthfeel. I don't drink Belgians all that much anymore, but this beer kicks ass! (343 characters)

Photo of Robert17529
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very smooth almost sweet enjoyable. When poured huge head of foam died down after a few minutes but nice layer of foam lingered a while.I would have again. (155 characters)

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

Amber to brown colour, with an off white medium head that leaves a good lace. Smell of spices, dark fruits, chocolate, hints of red wine, candy, prunes. Medium body, I expected some more, Alcohol is there, but does not seem that much. Taste of prunes, banana, dark fruits, chocolate, hints of red wine to. Classic. And cool bottle, label, and cap. (347 characters)

Photo of JohnnyI
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I absolutely love everything about the look of this beer. From the iconic white bottle, ominous red letters and legendary dragon ship, it promises to be a bad ass experience. Very medeval. The appearance of the beer itself is equally impressive. Like rich, raw maple syrup in color. It poured in to a small snifter with a towering head of loose foam. The beige 3 finger crown resembled swiss cheese, with its loose, large bubbles of varying size and consistency. The beautiful and unique cap settled gradually, leaving soapy residual lacing on the glass. The nose on this beer is incredibly complex. As the beer reached room temperature more and more layers of aroma continued to present themselves. Toffee, burnt caramel, banana esters and slight booze come together in such a wonderful way as to conjure thoughts of bananas foster. Slight mineral notes and clover honey add even more depth to the bouquet. The taste is brimming with candy sugar sweetness and a little fusel alcohol heat. Sweet candied fruits, dried banana chips and a honey crisp character yield to a tart, tangy finish of mild puckering green apple. A peppery spice from the alcohol compliments the assortment of flavors. The finish imparts a slight suggestion of pumpernickel & caraway seed. Extremely complex. As I sample each sip, I believe I could continue to pull additional flavors and aromas out of the experience. Remarkable. The mouthfeel has a lively, creamy texture. Rich and inviting. You just gotta love the big authentic Belgians. They're just so full of character and complexity. A+ (1,567 characters)

Photo of Beer-Revelry
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours an incredibly dark brown with a nice 2 finger, ivory, creamy and solid head. Nice whispy lacing on the walls of the glass.
S - Sweetness, caramel, malts, fresh rain or spring water earthiness, slight citrus but no hops present.
T - Let it warm up first! Sweet sweet malts, caramel, slight alcohol tinge and burn, medium finish, pleasant creamy mouthfeel, medium bodied. Almost drinks like a heavy porter or a lighter stout.
O - A really unique, delicious and excellent beer!
V - 12.99 for a large, 25.4 oz bottle. (527 characters)

Photo of LovingCup
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Okay let me preface this by saying I'm no expert on Belgian strong dark ales...new territory here. Last similar-ish beer I had was Finch's Nuclear Winter and despite my hometown <3', this is much better.
First, cool ass bottle and classy sounding af. The next part is the looks, perhaps my favorite aspect. Huge puffy head with peaks and valleys. Dark brownish color with a ruby shimmer in the light, can't see through shit. And the best part is I let this sit for 10 minutes after pouring and the bubbles persisted, but the real magic was the vertical linear formation of them: it looked straight like the letters from The Matrix and I ain't even trippin'!
As for the smell. Very complex. Sugary caramel sweetness. Most present are dark fruits: figs, dates, a lil grape, and that one that makes you shit. Oh yeah, prunes. A touch of chocolate even. And a bit of booze.
The flavor is intense, but more approachable than expected (tho I was expecting a knockout punch) its big, but at the same time, drinkable...sip by sip. I like high abv beers but don't enjoy overly boozy flavors. This is good. The alcohol is there in a background warming sort of way, not an obnoxious boozy way. I think considering its 10.5% it is masked rather well tbh. Idk my palate isn't used to this style the way it is for others yet but this isn't bad at all. On the contrary it's quite good. The mouthfeel I want to say is medium.
Overall I give it a 92. im actually surprised by how massive yet inoffensive this was. glad I picked up this bottle of Gulden Draak. Very pleased. Hope to revisit this beer (and style) again sometime in the near future. (1,630 characters)

Photo of 33redskins33
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is one of my favorites. Its a dark color for a triple and it smells great. The flavor is bolder than most triples and that's why I like it so much. Get it, if you can. (180 characters)

Photo of logicalparadox
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Delicious dark Belgian strong ale. Nice head to start, atop a very dark brew with big doughy aromas of dried fruits: raisins and dates and prunes. Is someone baking pumpernickle? Looks and smells suggestive of boozy prune juice once the head is gone. Definitely sweet, but not overly so. Big, rich flavors of fruitcake and dark nut breads. Again, doughy, with lots of yeast coming through. Made with wine yeast, so while it does cary a distinct Belgian profile, it finishes almost like a plum wine or plum brandy.

Packs a real punch, but the high ABV (10.5%! Whew! Dragon indeed) is reasonably hidden. I've heard this one called a barely wine, but I wonder if that label was thrown out there just do to the ABV. This one is a legend in any case, and I'm glad to have tried it. Will definitely come back to ride the dragon again sometime. (840 characters)

Photo of melbow
3.39/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The first taste was sweet and delicious, warming me on a cold night. The second was not any different, in a bad way. The only thing you can taste while sipping is the distinct sweet taste of burnt caramel that hits the palette strong and lingers.

It was very one dimensional. (276 characters)

Photo of arizcards
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at TW Arrowhead in late September for $5.99.

Beer poured dark brown with a nice off white head that is hanging around.

Nose is very wine like, dark fruits dominate.

Taste is dark fruits, light chocolate. Finish is very wine like.

Mouthfeel is light and very smooth.

Overall definitely a world class brew. Very light, smooth, and flavorful. (365 characters)

Photo of Homers_Beer_Odyssey
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

APPEARANCE - Medium-dark brown with 4-finger head that dissipates fast. No lacing.

AROMA/SCENT - Sweet, herbaceous, fruits.

TASTE - Sweet, mild, herbaceous, fairly boozy.

MOUTHFEEL/PALATE/TEXTURE - Not gooey. Carbonation holds up.

VALUE - A bit high.

OVERALL/DRINKABILITY - Not my favorite. At best, a sipping beer. (322 characters)

Photo of thehyperduck
4.51/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle included in a sampler picked up at the LCBO; best before June 16 2016. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours a cloudy, effervescent ruby-copper colour, topped with an inch of fluffy, pillowy light beige-coloured head. Good retention; it takes more than a few minutes for the froth to dissipate into a denser, creamier cap and collar, with a modest amount of lace. The aroma is very rich and sweet; dominated by boozy caramel and molasses sweetness, as well as notes of raisin, dates, ripe pear and black cherry. I am getting light hints of strawberry and banana, too, and perhaps even a note of port wine.

The taste falls much along the same lines, with sugary caramel sweetness, molasses and cherry blending nicely with dark fruit notes that include plum, raisin, fig and grape. Banana and ripe pear are next, followed by some herbal, earthy hop bitterness that leads into a warming, boozy-rum finish accented with vanilla, clove and anise. Full-bodied, with moderate carbonation levels that gently prickle the tongue, and provide a generally smooth, fulfilling feel on the palate. The alcohol is not masked particularly well, which limits drinkability - but it works quite nicely in conjunction with the flavour profile.

Final Grade: 4.51, an A grade. Gulden Draak is an excellent strong Belgian dark ale that is guaranteed to put some hair on your chest. Rich-flavoured is almost an understatement, as the dark fruit and sugary, boozy flavours make this feel like a dessert in and of itself. Easily one of the better examples of this style that I have tried - worth seeking out, worth the price, and any Belgian dark ale fan worth his or her salt should consider this one a must-try. (1,702 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle (12LM), reviewed third in a side by side with 9000 and Piraat:
Pour is darker than the other two, an orange-hued lighter brown. Pour was much like the others, with larger bubbled head growing large in the pour, but reducing to fluffy head that lasts, covering the surface, and producing good lacing (this one also less than the other two, but might also be warming that is affecting it).

The nose is less complex than the other two. There isn't much sweetness to the pour, more of a balanced dark fruit impression is what I get, prune/plum and raisin/date. To be honest, nothing comes out that strongly, even with a bit of agitation.

The taste is actually fairly nicely developed, in my opinion. The sweetness that is missing in the nose (relative to the other beers) is more present in the taste, but is not as in your face as in Piraat. The dark fruit notes are actually a bit more prevalent in this than 9000, but the tastes are fairly similar. The feel sits between Piraat and 9000, nice and smooth, but maybe a tad on the oily side (could be searching here).

Of the three (this, 9000,Piraat), I liked this one the best. Each had its own unique strong points and none were the same, which is funny considering there were so many similarities amongst them. I gave them a the full calculated range between 3.75 and 4, but I think they all fall into a certain flavor profile that is common to the brewer (which itself is not uncommon). I would have any again, but this exercise, on this day, showed me this one was slightly better. (1,552 characters)

Photo of JackRWatkins
4.98/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

hands down my favorite beer. This beer is absolutely exceptional, it was one of the first good beers that I ever had the pleasure of tasting and at the time I assumed that as I grew in knowledge and experience I would find better beer and be less impressed by the golden dragon, this however, has never happened, as many people have stated you should take your time with this beer, though I would say more so to appreciate the nuances of the beer that to worry about being plastered, there's a lot to appreciate here and a lot to experience. you'll never have this beer mastered or locked down, so enjoy each experience with it as a new one. also, ages great, you can notice some smoothing differences in it even after just a few weeks on the shelf (748 characters)

Photo of aleigator
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Appears deep red, nearly black. Has a big white, fast vanishing head.

Aromas of malt, caramel, spices and alcohol.

Intense taste of malt, sugar and lots of alcohol, ending with a bitter alcoholic finish, which warms up the belly. Perfect beer for a cold winter night, spices add a decent complexity. I recommend todrink this nearly at room temperature,lots of tastes get noticable while the beer warms up, taste becomes more balanced. Carbonation supports the taste very well, helps to not make this too heavy. (514 characters)

Photo of DaveBar
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

WOW Have not had a straight rating in a while.

4.25 all around. Here is my first different rating. It's my 251st so here's something different!!

4.25 all around. What a nice beer. Super nice and blended well. I liked the 9000 but this is better believe it or note. The dark triple is weird. Super malt

Enjoyable to the max!

Food Pairing

This wonderful beer went well with...... Pepperoni, green olives and hot peppers on whole wheat pizza

Enjoy!! (453 characters)

Photo of tony12hd
5/5  rDev +19.6%

This is one of the best beers I have had. Sweet taste that dissipates quickly, leaving smooth ever slightly bitter, hops flavors . Carbonation is just right. having one right now and the bottle just emptied .gg (211 characters)

Photo of RyanK252
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

On tap at BC's Pizza and Beer

A: Pours deep dark ruby brown with a frothy light tan head that laces very nicely.

S: Lots of dark fruit with a little roasted malt sweetness, some light spice, some earthiness, and a light booze note.

T: Very fruity, dark fruit dried fruit up front, raisin and prune, followed by some lighter apple and pear notes. This was backed with some spice notes, dark malt sweetness, and a light booze note on the finish.

M: On the heavier side of medium bodied with a light amount of carbonation.

O: Perhaps not my favorite of the style, but a very well done big beer. (596 characters)

Photo of e_dawg
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Pours a dark brown color; when held up to light a mix of ruby red and copper color is revealed. Moderate head which dissipates slowly. Moderate lacing from the high AVB. Toffee and chocolate chip cookie nose. Taste is more toffee with some fruit and cream. Moderate sweetness. Light carbonation. Pleasant finish, the toffee flavor lingers a bit but not too long. The 10.5% alcohol hides itself well.

Don't drink at refrigerator temperature - the flavors open up more when the beer is allowed to warm slightly. Overall this is an excellent and very well balanced beer although it's a touch too sweet for me. (607 characters)

Photo of timontheroad
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very dark, nearly opaque brown with a huge head that settled down to a half inch retention. Not much lacing, but that's not surprising considering the alcohol in this beer. The aroma was fantastic, with raisins, toffee and dark fruit notes. The taste is phenomenal, with lots of dark fruit flavors and some malty sweetness and a bit of grape must flavor- simply outstanding! The mouthfeel is creamy and silky smooth, with just a bit of alcohol burn. This is just a great beer! (485 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful dark copper color. The head is a finger high, just barely off-white in shade. Retention is quite excellent due to all the fizz rising to the top. Lacing left on the glass is consistent and thick. Aesthetic appeal is extremely high. (4.5)

Smell: Wow, the nose pops like a champ just from opening it (so much in fact, it gushed a little bit). It doesn't have some of the darker ester notes from a BSDA (such as raisin or fig), instead the fruitiness takes on more of a white grape/apple/pear quality. Some of the caramel-laden malts come through, as well as some yeasty, peppery spice. I'm even getting some candied sugar. Dark tripel? Sure. Killer aroma? Absolutely. (4.25)

Taste: It's a little sweeter than the nose indicated. It opens up with a combination of fruit esters (some light like apple, some slightly darker like cherry), which then evolves into a spicy mid-taste. It finishes with plenty of candied sugar. Malty touches linger throughout - this maltiness is quite varied with notes of caramel, toffee, graham cracker, and even cream. Fruit esters pop even further when this is allowed to open up. Complex and easy to drink - truly the best of both worlds. (4.25)

Mouthfeel: Big, creamy, and sweet; but the healthy carbonation cleanses the palate admirably. There are only vague hints of warmth on the back of the throat and (on the first sip), but the 10.5% is concealed superbly. It's a bit on the sweet side - which means it isn't quite as dangerous as it could be (thank cripes!) - otherwise I have nothing to complain about here. (4.25)

Overall: Fantastic beer that does everything I want a big Belgian beer to do - be perfectly balanced, bold, easy drinking, and deep all at the same time. Though it's a little expensive, it's still on my "must buy" list for the future. (4.25)

4.26/5: Beers like these are exactly why I love Belgian ales (1,925 characters)

Photo of VashonGuy
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%

I've had this beer on tap in Ghent, from a bottle at home, and this time on tap in Boise Idaho. I loved it every time, although never more than the first time in Ghent. The beer is the local favorite there, and is named after the symbol of the town, the golden dragon that sits atop their city hall. When we did our Belgium/Netherlands beer trip, this beer was our favorite of all the beers we had.

It's a wonderful Belgian strong dark ale. I don't have a lot to add to the many excellent descriptions that others have given. (534 characters)

Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Appearance – Dark like a well brewed cup of Assam with a tall head of dark foam that lasts well but does not leave much in the way of lacing.

Smell – The smell of the bottle reminded me of the French wine cellars my Dad took us to visit when I was a kid. There was also a hint of caramel and liquorish rising from the glass.

Taste – A very heavy flavour hits you on the first sip and there is a definite note of burnt caramel and toffee but not at all in a bad way. Heavier in flavour than a Kasteel the flavour lingers on the tongue in a very pleasant manner and unlike some beers does not invite you to cane the hell out of it.

Mouthfeel – Rather sticky and coating, this beer has good linger. It also feels good and full in the mouth.

Overall – I like it and would recommend it to most people. The flavour is well put together and it goes down very well so it is a good sipping beer for an evening of posting reviews. (936 characters)

Photo of higherbrow
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

The gold standard of non-Trappist produce tripels, Gulden Draak is an excellent beer. Fruity and earthy, it has an almost pungent flavor that encourages small sips, but rewards the palate with an elaborate, complex flavor. A bit on the pricey side, this is a special purchase, but often worth the price. (303 characters)

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