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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.

1,264 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,264
Hads: 3,578
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 19.57%
Wants: 256
Gots: 621 | 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 (91) | 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: 1,264 | Hads: 3,578
Photo of notyourdadsbeer
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml corked and caged at Euclid Hall into a tuplip glass.

A: Perfect brown with a nice latte colored head that starts high but fades in time. Fantastic lacing and tight bubbles.

S: Caramel and toffee up front but not too sweet. Plums and dark fruit follow and intices the senses. You can pickup bannana notes from the yeast as well.

T: Caramel up front and toffee to finish. Now the finish is very very long and the flavor is a bit fleeting. Makes you want to keep sipping honestly. Warm and slightly booze on the back of the throat. Great hints of dark plum and cherries for fruit and the caramelized malts for the sweetness. Has a nice bite too.

M: This is a full bodied beer for sure! The carbination is perfect as is the balance of this beer between heavy and sweet. The finish lingers but the fruit dies fast forcing you to keep sipping, i love it.

D: This is an amazing beer and one that should be put on a pedastal for Belgium beers. This is a sipper and one that should be shared amongst friends over a fire in leather chairs smoking a stoggie. I would give this beer as a gift to anyone I truly cared about and share it with only those that could appreciate it.

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Photo of Wreckoncile
4.89/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the good ole 750 ml into a Chimay goblet. Not my first rodeo with Gulden Draak, but my first review of her.

A - Pours a deep bloody burgandy with maybe a finger of creamy foam that descends into the beer fairly quickly leaving average lacing.

S - Hot damn I love this nose. Dark fruits with a black cherry and prunish punch, yeilds to a bit of spiciness and a total kick your ass Belgian yeast that defines a solid tripel for me.

T - Robust and malt forward. The dark fruits dance on the tongue with a splendid array of sweetness, almost a chocolate covered raisin flavor in parts. But the dark fruits succomb at the end to the sweet, bready yeastiness that just makes this beer a classic.

M - The mouthfeel on this one is complex. Its sultry, but retains a bit more carbonation than most beers with that sultry texture. Its a strong beer, but the alcohol is fairly well-disguised for something of the ABV.

O - Gulden Draak is one of my all-time favorites, and this review reflects that. It retains all of the gloriousness of a quality Belgian brewed tripel, but the darkness of it adds a dimension that not many tripels can match. Its fruit profile is darker than most tripels (dark fruits, fewer of the lighter fruits you sometimes get in lighter tripels), almost making it Quad like. But this is a superb beer, among the best ever crafted in my judgement. That's kinda why its part of my avatar.

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Photo of ClashmoreMike
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A= Dark copper color. Cloudy. Huge light tan head that goes down to a thin but solid head for the duration. Lots of lacing.

S = Very malty. Also smells like sweet apple cider. Some alcohol. Yeasty. Some chocolate in there as the beer warms.

T = Like the smell, very malty. Warming alcohol, with a fair amount of fruity sweetness (like alcohol preserved cherries and figs). A hint of chocolate. Some bitterness in there, but the balance still tilts towards the sweet.

M = Medium to heavy mouthfeel. Very, very smooth. I'd say the carbonation level felt on the tongue was medium -- it's definitely there but it doesn't assault and overwhelm the tongue. The carbonation fits this beer nicely.

D = It's clearly a quality brew but, for my taste, I just think that it's a little too sweet to get a better score or to entice me to drink more than one in a sitting. I enjoyed this beer more after I was halfway through it and got used to its sweetness.

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Photo of koolchas
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into a goblet.

i must first preface this as gulden draak on tap at my local yard house restaurant is what brought me back to drinking high quality brew.

a: pours a very dark burgandy. can't see though it and up to the light (like a lamp), you the color is a nice cherry. starts off with just shy of 1" head for me that goes down and stays as a very thin layer on top. lace galore.

s: pepper spice and malt. a good hint of banana. the alcohol does jump out of the glass ever so slightly.

t: plum/prune, cherry, and cinnamon.

m: take on sip, do a quick swish in the mouth, breathe through the nose and feel the carbonation take over your mouth. leaves the mouth spicy with a hint of chocolate and cherry.

d: a very good brew. easy to drink and the complexity hides the high alcohol content.

now, to compare vs. on tap: there is more carbonation for the bottle serving vs. tap. overall, this brew is more "mellow" on tap making it even more drinkable. tonight, i know i'll only have two bottles but, when on tap, i can easily take down 4 in a matter of a few hours.

enjoy and cheers!

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Photo of jimiv73
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

never judge a beer by the cover this beer was surprisingly delicious! im gonna try the vintage next which im hoping is a lil hoppier! although this one packed the hopps and weighhing in at 10.5% is no joke this is on my x mas list and the price being a lil steep but you pay for what ya get most of the time

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Photo of Marc_V
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Belgian Beer Shop.com. Hazy amber. The head is thick and off white. Leaves a very nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is filled with fruits. It's sweet, vinous and yeasty. A very intense smell. The taste is very complex with licorice, spices, malts and yeast. The mouthfeel is very full and rich. A very long medium bitter finish. This is one of my all time favorites.

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Photo of JAStheAce
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Gulden Draak pours out steaming from this very cool white-washed 750 ml bottle which masks the beast's secret! Dark brown with fiery red accents. I was shocked to see the bottle say "tripel" and have it pour out dark brown as I am used to seeing tripels in their traditional golden color. very nice looking rocky brown head about that took up about half my my tulip glass. This beer smells fiery peppery and fruity. Taste overwhelms the palate at first and is hot and spicy throughout with some serious alcohol and flavor. Substantial body and did I mention it is a spicy brew that really warms you up. Good stuff here.

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Photo of JeremyBrews
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A- Deep brown caramel color. Great initial head that fades too quickly to an array of various sized bubbles. Beautiful lcaing.

S- Mostly chocolate malt with very sweet, crystalized sugar aroma. Alcohol smell noticeable.

T- Chocolate, caramel, orange and bitter hops. Wonderful first taste declines to a dull, sour yeast aftertaste with bold alcohol edge.

M- Very creamy, milky texture. Alcohol warmth.

D- Great aroma and wonderfully rewarding and complex initial taste are brought to an excellent alcohol warmth and hop climax. However, the finale is a disappointing alcohol dominance, with malt and yeast flavors almost completely masked. Initial nirvana seems acheived, then abruptly shattered.

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Photo of BryanRex
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 with a heat-shrink white label and no age stamp. Pours slightly cloudy medium brown with a with a small one finger off white head (questioning the freshness of my bottle)

Strong aromas of licorice and caramel maltiness, figs, and raisins. It reminds me of a seasonal bread.

The taste is sweet with licorice, dark fruits and a slight alcohol finish, not bad for 10.5% ABV.

The carbonation was much less than I expected, even for a Belgian Ale. The beer feels almost like port wine with almost no apparent hops or bitterness whatsoever.

I expected something a bit more complex, but the beer is very drinkable. I can't decide if it should be grouped as a strong Dark Ale, dubbel, or dark tripel. Decent, but not my favorite of any of those styles.

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Photo of Pooter
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Amber brown, nice head that dissipates after a minute or two
S: Clovey, not too strong
T: Pretty good. I want to say banana but not quite, something sweet but complex.
M: Goes down surprisingly well for the ABV!
D: Very high. This feels sessionable but if treated so would be a time-bomb. Be warned!

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Photo of Prime16
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark red/brown with a foamy tan head.

S: Smell of dried prune, fig and cherries... with no real smell of alcohol, which is well hidden considering the ABV.

T: Carbonation was very strong, which I felt on both sides of the tongue followed by a spiced yeast flavor. Taste dissipates quickly and there is little alcohol taste to speak of with this beer.

M: Light.

O: Very solid beer but a little too carbonated for my tastes.

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Photo of jmendels
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This beer was outstanding. At the behest of my best friend, I sought out this beer. As a lover of European beers, this was definitely on my radar. What better time to try it than Easter weekend?

The bottle alone is full of personality, having a different shape than most domestic beers. It draws one's attention to it as something special. It pours a nice amber-brown with the head lacing the bottle rather elegantly. It smells of toffee and roasted malts, with subtle chocolate notes. The first sip came and I was not disappointed. I had to pause and collect my thoughts on what I just drank. There were some spicy notes, yes. There were some toffee notes, yes. It has a noticeable alcohol flavor but not so much that it detracts from the flavorful crafting that went into this brew.

I put this up there with Schlenkerla or Ayinger. Delicious to the last drop.

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Photo of tony12hd
5/5  rDev +19.3%

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

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Photo of monkeytoe
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(April rotating tap at Chumleys--combined notes from several sessions)

Dark ruby-brown with the lightest of pale gold heads covering the surface and lacing the sides of the generic heavy-glass goblet.

Candy, caramel smell with orange-lemon, light toasted grain, and peppery herbs.

Sweet, sugary heaven: milk chocolate, dried cherry, burnt sugar, caramel, Darjeeling tea, spicy pink peppercorns, and sweet herbs. Warming alcohol comes in the later sips. Aftertaste of sweet herbs and dried cherry.

Creamy, velvety and slick all at once.

A little "too" drinkable for this amount alcohol.

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Photo of carwreCk
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Chimay goblet.

The appearance is disappointing. A fairly hard pour gives almost no head at all and it fades quickly. The smell is good. Tastes of dried fruits, plums and alcohol. The mouthfeel is unremarkable. Drinkability is average for the size.

The flavor of this beer is very odd to me. It definitely is distinct. I do enjoy it though. The other areas do not impress me.

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Photo of Anthony88
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: I nice rustic brown, yet when the light hits it it almost appears a dark amber. A nice haze, but not opaque and a wonderful head that remained throughout the whole beer. The lacing follows accordingly.

S: Has an aroma of Belgian yeast, alcohol, slightly sweet malts. The smell does not do the taste justice. Has a more average smell and the taste is not what you would expect.

T: This beer is definitely malty with a sweet, almost fruity taste. The alcohol is present, but definitely not overpowering and the yeast is also there. The sweetness of the beer keeps you drinking this at a more moderate pace.

M: A malty feel without much heat from the alcohol. A creamy thick feel.

D: A nice tasting brew and definitely one to at least try.

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Photo of MichaelMeister
3.41/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice tan head on this beer. Malt aroma hits you hard after pouring. The first sip smacked of the 10.5% abv right off the bat, but seemed to settle down after several more (sips), but the warming feeling as it flows down the esophagus is actually nice. The taste is slightly sweet and pleasant. It's a decent beer, but I've always felt that higher OG beers detract from the flavor a bit. No different with this one, but still a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of acoatley
4.82/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Characteristic thick Belgian head, moderate retention, reddish brow but crystal clear

Aroma: Caramel and vanilla no hops just a hint of sweet malt and butterscotch it’s like a candy factory

Flavor: Delivers maple syrup, butterscotch, definitely some characteristics of that Belgian yeast dark cherries

Mouthfeel: moderate to low carbonation silky smooth full body definitely makes my top 10

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Photo of pabstsmear
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip glass at cellar temperature and let it sit for a few minutes. I held it up to the light and could not detect any sediment, and observed fine carbonation like champagne bubbles coming up in this dark amber brew.
It complex smells of raisins, malt and spice.
The well balanced combination of hops, spice and fruit disguises the high abv and and the only effect of this is the warming sensation one gets.
Very drinkable brew to be savored on a winter night by the fire. To really appreciate it's sophisticated character try a lager after you had a Gulden Draak and you will see just how bland it is in comparison.

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Photo of SSGPat
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When pouring this beer, I knew nothing about it but the name and that it was Belgian. Since it has a covered bottle (covered by plastic), I didn't even have a hint about the color of the beer.

I was quite surpurise to find that it was a beautiful dark strong Belgian.

The pour was beautiful. The creamy off white head was thick.

The smell was of sweatness first, then of malt, then a hint of hops.

The taste was sweater than expected, but considering the smell, it should have been expected. Spicey undertones with a slight twang as it goes down the throat.

Very big mouth.

I beleive that I could drink this beer till I fell off of my stool.

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Photo of ewpgolf2
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What a great style! These beers possess a complexity that all others pale in comparison-hey, it's my review and my opinion!
This continues to be one of my favorites. Peculiar bottle though-I don't mean the white coating either. Absolutely no description of what the beholder is about to thoroughly enjoy!
This pour's color and aroma is present before it hits the bottom of the chalice and exhibits an inviting comfortability. you sense alcohol but not the 10.5% it carries. I don't taste the chocolate like others do but I'm sure this beer is good with it. The taste is robust with few hidden features-like browned almonds in butter & demerara sugar. Liquor proceeds the tasting but not to the point of overpowerment. Like the Maredsous, one is sufficient and should be appreciated like a brandy, not like a Sunday afternoon 12 pack.

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Photo of EvilGnome6
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark amber with a hint of red. Very little carbonation leaving a scattered film of head on the top. Leaves nice lacing as the glass is sipped away.

S: Sugary sweet and malty nose with a hint of caramel and raisins.

T: Definitely on the sweet side. The first flavor I could identify was maple syrup. Not quite as cloyingly sweet, though. There's a slight touch of tartness mingled with dark fruit flavors but it's quite subtle.

M: Surprisingly light on the palate. The sweetness lingers a bit too long but it eventually fades leaving a very pleasant aftertaste.

D: Surprisingly high for a brew of this strength. There's zero alcohol burn going down and it has a nice warming effect after a few minutes. The excess sweetness is the only thing that keeps it from being exceptional.

Overall a very fine ale I would try again.

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Photo of missginsu
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a thick, creamy head over a rich, dark, brown-red brew. Lots of crisp bubbles hit at the forefront of the mouth and the deep molasses and chocolate flavors settle in at the back.

A really beautiful example of the genre. As I drink this beer down, the head diminishes a bit, but still coats the top of the beer and clings to the side of the glass.

I noticed within the pairings section here that this beer is recommended for barbecue. Lo and behold... I happened to have some smoky barbecue a'waitin' for a beer.

As for the pairing, I could not have been more pleased. Smoke and fat love this beer. And frankly, so do I. So sad the dollar is down against the Euro...

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Photo of nd5282
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A carmel cloudy appearance that expels notes of coffee and chocolate. Crisp and bold at the first sip followed by a sweet and smooth sugary finish. This beer was very easy to drink and full of flavor, the only problem that I had with the "Golden Dragon" was that it became a bit too sweet for my palate towards the end.

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Photo of MilanoItaly
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Barley wine style example that undergoes secondary fermentation in the bottle .

Sprite-like foam : big bubbles and short standing.
Dark brown even if not black hue, and high ABV to give an above the average trails on the glass, this brew doesn't excel for the appeareance in my case.
Very nice white bottle and label instead,to be considered in the evaluation .

Smell is malty and honey.
Taste adds primarily alcohol, sweetness, medium body sensations
while the main feel are coffee and malt again .

Remarkable bitter end with huge standing, which is a surprise regarding to the initial sweetness, and that makes me appreciate this brew .

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
93 out of 100 based on 1,264 ratings.