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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
93
outstanding

1,259 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,259
Hads: 3,543
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 252
Gots: 601 | 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.
View: Beers (96) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,259 | Hads: 3,543
Photo of scotorum
4.14/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Love the distinctive white bottle. Screams quality.

Poured into a Duvel tulip from the 11.2 oz. bottle.

a: Clear ruby with an enormous off white head which gradually receded to heavy rocky surface foam and spotty lacing.

s: Mild dark fruit. Something about it when I breathe in while smelling it causes me to cough.

t: Initially a unique combination flavor (perhaps because I'm holding my breath to keep from coughing), followed by sweet dark fruit. Flavor turns more yeasty as it is consumed. High ABV is pretty well concealed. Dry finish despite the sweet taste..

m: Good body, smooth except for the loads of carbonation bubbles which tingle over the tongue.

o: Fine follow-up to the St. Bernardus Abt. 12 I had last night. Less persistent flavor, but enough to keep you wanting to taste more. If this was $2 a bottle instead of $5.25, I'd buy it often. Will definitely want to try the 9000 Quad soon. (910 characters)

Photo of CFHMagnet
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes taken yesterday, 10-2-13.

I got a finger and a half head. Body is an unassuming brown color. There is a good amount of bubbles going to the top. Head keeps a frothy ring while lacing holds on... then falls back into the body.

The aroma of sweet dark cherries is the first impression I get. Dark fruit follows, along with mild caramel and bits of sugar and yeast.

I tasted wheat and a bit of wood and yeast up front. A hint of dark fruit, sugar and dark cherries follows. It finishes on an earthy note.

This beer was medium bodied. I coats most of the tongue and finishes dry. (601 characters)

Photo of zac16125
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

330mL bottle into a chalice
no bottled on date but Im assuming its a 2013 bottle

A: Pours a dark mahogany with some reddish hues when held to light. 1.5 fingers width of tan colored head has good retention and leaves lots of patchy sheets of lacing.

S: Dark fruits in the form of plum raisin, clove and peppery spice, a bit yeasty, candied sugar, lots of sweetness.

T: Initial flavors are dark fruits and candied sugar. Next I get some booze and lots of spice. Yeasty on the finish and lingering into the aftertaste. A bit of bitterness and hints of dark cocoa.

M/D: Full bodied and smooth with an fairly high carbonation. Has a full body warming sensation. ABV is noticeable, but not in a bad way. Drinkability is very good.

O: I love Belgian Strongs and this was a good one. Not with the elite of the bunch, but certainly a great beer worth enjoying when you are in the mood for a Belgian. (900 characters)

Photo of MaartenvanDoorn
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had it at a bar in Tilburg, The Netherlands. The appearance of the beer was okay, a nice, dark color. The smell was pretty neutral, nothing special. The taste was surprisingly sweet, fruity. But not too sweet like some other beers, the fruity taste was done very well. Overall a good beer. (291 characters)

Photo of Kuaff
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From the cellar into my snifter... after the cork exploded off as I was unwinding the cage wire and the dragon gushed forth all over the place, that is. Luckily, I was able to direct more of it into my glass than the spillage which ended up on the table, floor, and myself. Wonder why that happened?

A seriously dense, foamy, bone white four-finger head on this one. It sticks around forever. The ale's hue is a deep, dark pure ruby. What stunning beauty!

It has an incredibly scintillating aroma of yeasty sourdough pancake batter, cherries, purple grapes, prunes, raisins, vanilla, caramel, and butterscotch. I think I even get a little cinnamon and allspice, too.

The taste has a potent, POWERFUL sweet breadiness, mixed with a tart dark fruitiness and a caramel-like quality. Cherries and raisins come through a lot, and the finish is kind of like a caramel-glazed cinnamon roll. Pretty awesome.

The feel is another place where this one shines, I think. It's like... rich and buttery... it coats my tongue and sticks to it like warm caramel sauce. High, biting carbonation animates this ponderous elixer with energy.

They call it a dark tripel... but it's really just like a Belgian strong dark ale. And a pretty darn good one. (1,236 characters)

Photo of gcamparone
4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 25 oz bottle into a La Trappe goblet. Purchased in North Providence, RI.

A- Pours a muddy brown, slightly hazy body with bright cherry highlights. A fluffy, airy, generous khaki colored head rises and reduces slowly to a frothy layer, leaving thick lacing. Very inviting.

S- Lots of fruity aromas coming through here.. dark fruits, white wine, plums, and raisins are all present upfront. There's definitely a roastyness coming through too.. lightly roasted malt, citrus, and a slight alcohol aroma.

T- Sweet caramel, toffee, and brown sugar upfront.. raisins, plums, candied sugar, bubblegum soon thereafter. The finish leaves an absolutely delicious roastyness on the tongue that I really love about dark Belgian beers. Some booze present , the 10.5% is not hidden well (-.25 for that).

M- Medium-heavy body, medium-low carbonation. Pretty rich.

I was highly impressed with the Gulden Draak. It was highly complex, flavorful, and full bodied. Sits up there with some of the best Belgian tripels. A must try. (1,031 characters)

Photo of Raven3464
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It pours a brownish-red body with a huge three finger head. Retention is incredible.

Smell: The initial pour releases an incredibly inviting aroma of clove and dark fruits like raisins, plums, and cherries. As the beer warms the smell starts to resemble rum with a punch of alcohol and caramel. The booze smell never takes over despite the high ABV. A slight yeast aroma can also be noticed.

Taste: Brown sugar is the first flavor which comes to mind. This is followed by hints of clove, cherries, plume, and caramel. There is a good balance of hops, as the aftertaste is sweet but with a hop bite still lingering in the back of the throat. There is enough alcohol to let you know you are drinking a bold brew but it is never overpowering. Surprisingly, hints of Belgian yeast (i.e the Belgian twang) are not so apparent.

Mouth feel: This is like alcoholic syrup with just the right amount of carbonation. In other words, it is thick and yet still easy to drink.

Overall: This is one of the overall best dark ales I have ever had. I highly recommend it. (1,073 characters)

Photo of TruePerception
3.89/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

(Previous review, transferred from beer journal)

Gulden Draak: trippel, 10.5% ABV; Appearance: mid/dark amber; Smell: sour, caramel/woody notes, molasses; Taste/Mouthfeel: strong toasted malt, bit of pine and wintergreen, toffee, well carbonated; complex, easy to drink, good.

Poured into a pint glass. (304 characters)

Photo of Murrhey
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from 330ml bottle into a goblet in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- Four-finger off-white head with long retention and thick, fluffy lacing atop a nut brown body. Attractive beer with a great head.

S- Brandy, candi sugar, brown sugar, molasses, dark notes of plums maybe. Dark and alcoholic, but not cloying or abrasive. Muted smell for the ABV.

T- Hits with a surprising amount of hoppiness, followed by the caramel malts and the strong sugars in the brew. Alcohol is obviously present, but warming and in the background more than punching me in the face. Very good flavor. Excellent taste.

M- Vinous but thick. Mediocre.

O- Wonderful except for the feel. Great beer. (698 characters)

Photo of gr0g
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark reddish-brown with a substantial head. Excellent retention and chunky lacing. Sweet, rum-like nose with plenty of fruity esters. Ripe, dark fruit and Belgian candi sugar notes are abundant.

On the palate, sweetness from malt and candi sugar, a bit medicinal, then becomes dry on the finish. Interplay of both light and dark fruit: apple, plum, and raisin. Carbonation is lively but not harsh, and despite a slight alcohol note this high ABV brew is not boozy.

A must-try for any fan of dark Belgian ales. Very nice sweet-dry/bitter balance. (547 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle at World of Beer in Tioga. Pours purplish reddish brown with a nice cream colored head. Aroma of plums, booze, and yeast funk. Flavor follows with yeasty bitter on top of sweet dark fruits, raisins, figs, etc. hit me hard as I have not eaten and this drinks pretty easy. Solid Belgian brew. (297 characters)

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hard to believe that I've never had this, given how popular this beer is on here. I picked up a bottle of this in Totowa and expected this to be strong, sweet, and full of dark fruit like so many other Belgian beers that I've had recently. That wasn't even close to being the case here and this really took my by surprise, when it came to how easily drinkable and enjoyable this turned out to be. The never felt strong and without a doubt, this was one of the most balanced Belgian beers that I've ever had, to my delight.

This had quite a pour to it, as it came out a dark brown with a hint of raisin down the middle of it, with a fluffy head that held its own before settling down to just a trace of foam. The lacing was quite good in the beginning before lessening as I made my way through this. The aroma was of some candied sugar and blood orange, which were both solidly present in the taste. Not as much booze or dark fruit as was to be expected, with just some plum and warming in the aftertaste. Fig and dark bread round out the flavors and there's enough malt here to give this a great body, with only a hint of carbonation to cleanse everything after each sip. Not a lot of chew to this, but it was just a bit cloying and left a nice, smooth coating from start to finish, leading me to having to pace myself while drinking this.

I don't think I've ever had a beer this strong that didn't taste or feel it, as the alcohol was extremely well-hidden and almost undetectable at the end of my drinking session. Most beers like this feel strong but this one was an exception and felt more like a Dubbel than a Strong Dark Ale. This may be the best Belgian beer I've ever had and given how many other strong candidates are out there, that's no small feat. A must-try for any aficionado of beer, regardless of stylistic preference. (1,837 characters)

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

330ml bottle poured into tulip @ 45F

A: Beautiful, hazy toffee with a lingering finger of silky, light beige head

S: fig and raisin, bready notes with toffee and grass and a hint of tropical fruit

T: much the same as the smell, with a hint of golden syrup, a restrained hoppy finish and noticeable—but gentle booze.

M: medium-bodied and smooth, solid malt with medium-high carb. Well balanced.

O: Loved it! This is a really well-balanced beer with a solid malt backbone, but enough hops to make it a balanced—and, unexpectedly refreshing beer. I’ll definitely be having this again. (592 characters)

Photo of flayedandskinned
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

No bottle date
Poured into a standard tulip glass.

Appearance: (3.75)
Pours a hazy, dark amber with a nice reddish hue. A loosely bubbled, two and a half fingers tall, light beige head quickly forms and has adequate retention, although not quite up to par to others it's category. The head leaves some lacing behind in it's wake.

Aroma: (3.75)
A lot brighter aromatics than I expected; Juicy, sweet plums right upfront with ripe cherries, as well as some fig flesh not far behind. There is a kiss of some orange blossom from the hops before some sweet, biscuity malts round out the nose. Some alcohol phenols are present.

Taste: (3.75)
Sweet cherries and plum flesh greets your palate first with a nice snappy orange-y hop presence in tow. Middle of the taste, there is a distinct fig note right before your palate is smoothed over by a sizable, doughy malt backbone; caramel and toffee with a distinct streak of scorched Belgian candi sugar. Finishes off dry and just bitter enough to balance the sweet malt. Lingering notes of plums, cherries, oranges and more malty breadiness. Moderate to light alcohol flavor in the finish.

Mouthfeel: (3.75)
Surprisingly light bodied with high carbonation.

Overall: (3.75)
Gulden Draak set out to be a dark Belgian Triple, it succeeded. The bright, snappy hoppiness is there, as well as the fruit forward yeast and solid bready malt backbone. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of alcohol phenols in both flavor and aroma that really interferes and covers up the above said qualities as the beer warms in it's glass. This is a decent beginner Belgian beer, but it can't hold its own against the big boys of Belgium. (1,662 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, 8/20/2012 bottle code. Pours lightly cloudy deep ruby red color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy cream colored head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a lot of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big pear, apple, grape, raisin, plum, banana, clove, pepper, dark candi sugar, honey, herbal, toast, brown bread, and yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and big complexity of fruity/spicy esters with moderate malt sweetness; and good strength. Taste of pear, apple, grape, raisin, plum, banana, clove, pepper, herbal, dark candi sugar, honey, toast, brown bread, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of light and dark fruits, banana, clove, pepper, dark candi sugar, honey, herbal, toast, brown bread,and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Awesome balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast ester flavors; with a moderate dark malt balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a slick, crisp, and moderately prickly mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic Belgian strong dark ale! Big complexity of fruity/spicy esters with moderate malt balance; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering. (1,415 characters)

Photo of MaximalC
3.6/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a stately, translucent plum color with a modest khaki head (courtesy of a moderate pour) that soon recedes. Not much lacing to speak of. Aroma has a complex sweetness consisting of dark fruit, grapes, pear, and brown sugar. Alcohol is also evident in the nose. The big malt sweetness is fully forward in the taste as well, along with a bit of cherry kick that accentuates the alcohol flavor (which isn't especially well concealed). Some apple skin also sneaks through in the finish, as does cinnamon after some warming. The sweetness is pronounced to the point of being cloying (there could be some straight-up candy sugar in there). Between the dark, sweet malt and big ABV, this almost evokes shades of Samiclaus, albeit not quite to that extreme. The Belgian yeast character adds some texture and complexity, but it's pretty muted for Belgian ale.

Overall, this is a massively sweet yet complex brew that demands sipping, and were it not for the bomber, I doubt I could have a second glass in succession. Not my favorite big Belgian ale.

*Addendum: To echo the advice of BuckeyeNation, do be sure to incorporate the sediment at the bottom of the bottle into the pour (especially with the bomber). The difference in balance is like night and day. The sweetness is tempered a great deal, thereby making this much more drinkable. I wish I would have known in advance, as my palate is probably pretty well skewed at this point, but the difference is hard to miss nonetheless. (1,482 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours a beautiful deep mahogany with reddish highlights. The beer was initially capped with a finger and a half of off-white foam for a head that quickly dissipated into a thin halo of foam that gripped the glass, and formed wispy clouds of foam over the center of the beer.

Aroma: Dried stone fruit like cherries and plums and raisins. Alcohol, but in a good way, like the way wine smells, but better. Malty, like freshly baked dark bread like a loaf of pumpernickel.

Taste: Fruity with the afore mentioned cherries, raisins and plums. Notes of spices like clove, allspice, cinnamon, vanilla. Some slight molasses sweetness to help round out the slightly sour notes of the Belgian yeast.

Mouthfeel: Chewy. Very, very chewy. Nicely carbonated, but the beer doesn’t cleanse the palate, rather it coast the mouth like velvet. At 10.5% ABV, you do taste and feel the alcohol, but in a good way!

Overall: Belgian strong dark ales are among my favorite styles of beers, the Gulden Draak is an exceptional example of such a beer. If you like Belgian quads and other strong dark ales, and haven’t tried the Gulden Draak yet, do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle. You won’t be disappointed. (1,209 characters)

Photo of jpro
4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a Chimay glass...

A: Ruby-tinged amber, with about a half finger of fizzy almond head; a steady stream of bubbles rises up through the murkiness to support a creamy layer of foam; no lace on this 10.5% ale.

S: Dark fruits with some touches of alcohol; figs; molasses; toast; notes of toffee. A lot of interesting nuances in the aroma.

T: Interesting flavors, right off the first sip: raisin, a touch tangy / vinous; quite sweet with some alcohol towards the end.

M: Full bodied; high, tingly carbonation; very lively; a touch of alcohol heat.

O: An interesting beer; glad I tried it; very smooth and drinkable at 10.5%. (651 characters)

Photo of ThePaintedGrey
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

11.2oz bottle poured into tulip glass.

A: Dark and lovely. Almost like a milk chocolaty hue of brown, with hints of ruby red shining through as it's held to the light. Huge frothy head, three-fingers in size at first, beige in color, sits atop this looker of a beer. Head eventually dwindles down to about one finger in size. Retains at this size for the remainder. Beige lacing remains all down the glass.

S: Dark fruits apparent immediately. Maybe raisin or plum. Chocolaty sweetness. Hints of toffee and spice underneath. Alcohol faintly tingles in the back of the nostrils upon second or third sniff. Not surprising, given the alcohol content.

T: Beer was a tad too cold upon first sip, but a lovely sweet chocolate character hits the palette for me right away. As I let the beer sit (this one is a sipper for sure) to warm up a hair, more complex notes start to shine through. The sweet Belgian candy flavors start to mix with the peppery alcohol. This beer has a very (gourmet) dessert-like flavor profile.

M: Full-bodied, the creaminess of the head mixed in give this beer an almost syrupy feel. Mild carbonation throughout. Devastatingly smooth for a beer with 10.50% ABV.

O: While this beer is certainly a treat on occasion, there's just something about it that left me overall yearning for more. Maybe it was the hype surrounding it that clouded my judgment? Nevertheless, this beer is a nice change of pace compared to my usual choices. Complexly flavored, full-bodied, smooth brew, and kind of dangerous because it doesn't drink like a strong ale. It's just not something I'd write home about; it straddles the line between good and exceptional, but falls more along the lines of good. (1,702 characters)

Photo of djura
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got it in Hungary.

A - Tick creamy brown foam,lasting all the way. Medium carbonation with caramel color.

S - Not so strong aromas of dark chocolate malt,yeast and caramel.

T/M - Creamy well balanced beer. Dark fruits,toffee,dark malts. Warm with bitter sweet aftertaste.

O - One of the best i ever had. Almost same as similar Abbey ales. This one is really special good beer! (380 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a deep chestnut color with a one finger foamy tan head. Settles to a nice foamy cap over the beer.

S: Lots of fruity dark malt flavors throughout. Light bubblegum, caramel, marshmallow, light red grape and some Belgian yeast.

T: Lots of rich malty sweetness. A touch of booze upfront with some grape nuts, raisin, some faint earthy hops, Belgian yeast and some breadiness on the finish. Good stuff. (410 characters)

Photo of TeamMathis
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Brown. Maybe a very dark caramel. A nice lace of head.
Smell: Honey, butter, malt, and maybe some fruit.
Taste: Sweet, peppery, alcohol, and malt.
Mouthfeel: Full big body and moderate carbonation.

I love this brew. It is very malty, and somewhat intense...however in excellent ways. The sweetness and pepperiness combine to give this an all around excellent drink with an alcohol intensity that doesn't give that cheap vodka aftertaste. This is a must get. (470 characters)

Photo of soju6
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark mahogany color with a big creamy head that fades slowly to good lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt, dark fruit, spice, bit of caramel sweetness, with a hint of alcohol.

T: Taste of roasted malt, a mild caramel sweetness. Mild bitterness and a clean finish with just a bit of lingering spice.

F: Medium body, smooth and creamy. Very good balance. Has a warming feeling.

O: Very enjoyable beer. Worth checking out. (434 characters)

Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.51/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Pours a clear dark brown red color. Has a huge head that sticks around a long time, and lots of lacing.

Smell – A sweet malty alcohol scent. With a little spice.

Taste – A slightly spicy very malty flavor. Kind of simple, but very tasty.

Mouthfeel – Super smooth and creamy, with good carbonation. Super easy drinking for 10.5% abv.

Drinkability – To me, this beer was much better than expected based on its rating. I really enjoyed this, and will look for it again. (493 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured a big two and half fingers of head on a deep red/amber colored body.
The aroma is nice: like a beer candy store. Malt, barnyard and lemon drops.
The flavor profile is over the top. It starts slow with a touch of malt sweetness, into a crescendo of candy and lemon bitterness, and then falling down with a mild bitter bite. Fairly complex.
A bit of fizziness plays into the middle in the best way. The texture is a little syrupy.
Amazing. (444 characters)

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
93 out of 100 based on 1,259 ratings.