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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.

1,270 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,270
Hads: 3,610
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 19.52%
Wants: 268
Gots: 650 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website

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 (92) | 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: 1,270 | Hads: 3,610
Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.47/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Had on tap as part of a Belgian sampler. Expectations were high, this one's been on my "must have" list for a while and I love a good strong ale. Color is light brown, with a small cap of tightly-bubbled head. Aroma is of malts, sweet dark fruits, raisins, plums. The taste is metallic plum/fig booze. Too sweet, and mish mash of strong booze and sweetness that alternate in every sip. The fig flavor was too much. Mouthfeel was smooth, at least. Probably not going to have this one again.

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Photo of Meganomiidae
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Beautiful scorched honey brown body, with a thick and quickly dissipating tan head, leaving minimal lacing.

S: Seductive raisin and fig, mingling with dessert pull-apart bread sweetness. Slight coconut and rum undertones.

T: Honey, caramel, and stone fruits mingling with an ever so slight black pepper that boldens with increasing temperature. Lesser hints of deep red grape. Finishes slightly sweet leaning more towards dry.

M: Smooth, effervescent, fun. Not quite champagne level carbonation, but fairly high. Nice and light, like a tripel should be.

O: Can't believe it took me this long to get around to trying this beauty. Generally a bit cheaper than most belgian beers in my neck of the woods, and thus certainly worthy of repeat.

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Photo of stumac
3.07/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Going off old notes. Pours a murky copper color with a nice tan head. The nose is sweet malts and dark fruits. I taste dark fruits like plums and more sweet malts. Light body, low carbo. Very sweet beer!

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Photo of coltonbrimhall
3.99/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

-look is a dark beer with a light brown head
- smell is of brown sugar, raisin, and light red grapes
-bitter start but then turns to a plum, fig , dark fruit notes, then mellow yeasts
- feel is a bit over carbonated for my opinion
- overall a very complex beer really good but alot to keep track of

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Photo of craigdb
3.31/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

If this really was a darker triple, I might be inclined to rate it higher. Instead I get a boozy, overcarbonated dubel. It's not terrible, but like the 9000, it's something other than what it should be.

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Photo of majorbase2
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, dark reddish brown color with a big bubbly head. Dissipates to nothing shortly after, leaving some very spotty lacing.

Aroma is dark fruits, some light milky chocolate, and very sweet caramel. Raisin and red grapes are very noticeable. Definitely some alcohol present, which pairs nicely with the red grapes, giving it an aroma reminiscent of a red wine.

First sip reveals some incredible complexity. Lots of sweetness up front, which pairs with some melted caramel and raisin. Red grapes, fig, and brown sugar. A good deal of alcohol warmth.

Medium bodied. Gotta sip this one. Pretty decent carbonation.

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Photo of Jon_Hendricks
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an incredibly dark brown

Overall: Tastes like sweet sweet malts, caramel, slight alcohol tinge and burn, medium finish, pleasant, medium bodied. A really unique, delicious and excellent beer.

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Photo of Earl123
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is my first beer review so be gentle:)

An excellent overall beer. Unique character, a modern take on traditional brewing methods. Unlike some US mutations of the Belgian Tripel, it is not overly hoppy. It is actually one of the few beers my girlfriend and thoroughly enjoy together.

Taste is innovative and complex - cloves, bananas, cinnamon(?). A little fruitcake-y but not too much so and definitely stops short of a gueuze.

Everything else was excellent about the beer. The feel is not oppressively heavy and, as mentioned, not overly carbonated.

I prefer the 9000 version of the beer which is slightly more boozy in flavor (and reality). But this is a solid second.

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

L- Dark amber color, nice white head.

S- Sweet malt and dark fruits. Caramel candies.

T- Caramel, grapes, slight booze.

F- Good, smooth, thick feel. Moderate carbonation.

O- This stuff is awesome.

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Photo of mdexter
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Gulden Draak is a one-of-a-kind Belgian. You can tell upon inspection that it's going to be rich and imposing. The beer pours a surprisingly dark, turbid shade of molasses. The aroma is somewhere between caramel and dulce de leche with some earthy notes, maybe raisins and cloves. It has the familiar sweet lace of all tripels with some well-balanced savory malts. The combination produces a boozey mouthfeel like a fortified wine or grappa. It's a strong, unique beer.

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Photo of jhartley
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thick fluffy tan colored sea foam head...It lasted forever! Tons of heavy duty lacing in the glass! Honey brown colored body.
Aromas of raisins, dark fruits.
Sweet up front with raisins and plums and a nice amount of carbonation; clean finish with some bitterness.
Dangerously drinkable! Just the right amount of carbonation to off-set the sweetness.
Top notch world-class beer that is a real treat to sip on!

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

330 ml bottle poured into a tulip. An amazing hue somewhere between ruby red, almost rose, and a darker brown amber with a billowing sudsy off-white head that fizzes and pops but never totally disappears.

Aroma evokes lightly toasted breakfast cereal, raisin, caramel, banana chips, prunes, nutmeg, faint peppercorn. Whoa ... Richly fruity but not excessively sweet, moderately spicy.

The taste is a case study of how to craft a top tier Belgian ale. Well-concealed alcohol but just enough of a peppery lingering burn. Rich caramelized banana, pear, and raisin flavors initially, followed by marshmallow, cinnamon, mace, and cake batter. There's almost a sour crab apple fruitiness lurking in the background. Syrupy, thick. Body nothing like a tripel but I suppose its a "dark" variant thereof. The style designation here is bang on. The sweetness is perfectly positioned, not cloying but still the dominant impression. Nice spicy yeast is just a step behind. Moderate carbonation and a persistent fruity, spicy, malty finish. Some gooseberry-like hops. A hint of carob.

A superlative brew and one I'd keep on hand at all times. Unique, yet meets one's expectations and thus provides a certain comfort.

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Photo of baconfromwalmart
4.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Light brown head made of large and small bubbles, had staying power. The color was darker than I expected and matched the bottle glass perfectly.

Smell: Caramel, toasted marshmallow, hint of raisin.

Taste: First sip tasted like medicinal syrup but in the best possible way. Nice alcohol warmth. Flavors of toasted grain and raisin without the sweetness are really balanced, nothing overpowering.

Feel: Creamy, extremely smooth.

Overall: I usually prefer lighter brews, but this one is smooth, delicious and dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown and mahogany color, massive head and a thick frothy lace that just won't die. A truly good looking brew.
There is really a lot going on in the aroma. Big dark fruity aroma; raisins, plums and figs soaked in alcohol. Also there is an earthy aroma; some barnyard, hay and raw grain. Sweet malts; reminds me of bannana or raisin bread. Belgian candy sugar. A strong whiff of alcohol at the end of each inhalation.
The taste is similar to the aroma. A lot of the aforementioned dark fruits. Sweet and malt forward on the tongue. This is balanced by phenols, alcohol and peppery spices and mild hops. Sweet finish and an herbal and dry aftertaste.
Big bodied. Creamy, smooth and silky. The silkiness at times makes it feel like milk. Dangerously drinkable. At 10.5% ABV I would call it a sipper, yet, I drank it pretty fast it was so delicious.

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Photo of Arthurpappas
4.84/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

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Photo of spacebear09
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%
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!

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Photo of Robert17529
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of janubio
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of JohnnyI
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
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+

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
5/5  rDev +19%
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.

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Photo of LovingCup
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of 33redskins33
5/5  rDev +19%
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.

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Photo of logicalparadox
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of melbow
3.39/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

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Photo of arizcards
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 1,270 ratings.