Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

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.

1,259 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,259
Hads: 3,546
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 252
Gots: 603 | 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 (93) | 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: 3,546
Photo of Marc_V
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (380 characters)

Photo of JAStheAce
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
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. (619 characters)

Photo of JeremyBrews
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
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. (700 characters)

Photo of BryanRex
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
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. (768 characters)

Photo of Pooter
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
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! (302 characters)

Photo of Prime16
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (430 characters)

Photo of jmendels
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
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. (864 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 monkeytoe
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
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. (601 characters)

Photo of carwreCk
3.87/5  rDev -7.4%
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. (391 characters)

Photo of Anthony88
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (744 characters)

Photo of MichaelMeister
3.41/5  rDev -18.4%
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. (447 characters)

Photo of acoatley
4.82/5  rDev +15.3%
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 (412 characters)

Photo of pabstsmear
4.85/5  rDev +16%
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. (630 characters)

Photo of SSGPat
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (659 characters)

Photo of ewpgolf2
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
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. (834 characters)

Photo of EvilGnome6
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
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. (888 characters)

Photo of missginsu
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
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... (682 characters)

Photo of nd5282
3.82/5  rDev -8.6%
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. (319 characters)

Photo of MilanoItaly
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
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 . (643 characters)

Photo of GreyMorel
3.67/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Was had in an 11oz bottle, which had been refridgerated in the store. Beer was not cold, but still very cool when drank upon ariving home. Beer was drank from a tumbler.

A - I rated it slightly above average. I was moderately impressed with its cloudy mahogany brown apearance. The head was an off-white color, of single finger thickness, and was very long lasting

S - The smell was very simple. It consisted mostly of sweet malts. I was struck by just how sweet this beer smelled. Minor alchohol notes are also noticable; this is not surprising considering its 10% ABV. Few other notes could be detected.

T - taste was also simple, consisting mostly of sweet malt flavors. No fruity flavors were detected as with some other Ales. Alchohol flavor was very subdued; this was an unexpected surprise for me.

M - Very smooth.

D - I rated average on drinkability. It goes down without a fuss, but I certainly couldnt gulp it. This is a very good beer overall and I wouldn't turn one down if it were offered to me, but its not something I will be stocking in my cellar. (1,068 characters)

Photo of TheStoutAholic
3.36/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Glass type: tulip glass.

A: Well this is my first DARK Triple therefore was very dark for a triple

S: The smell was very sweet smelled of fruit.

T: This was a very fruity tasting Triple.

M: Has a very fruity taste with a head that doesn't mask its flavor one bit.

D: It started tasting better as it warmed up to room temperature.

This was my first taste of a Dark Triple therefore I have nothing to compare it to, it was decent, more fruity than I was ready for though. (475 characters)

Photo of PHSCAPT
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay goblet at about 60 degrees. Bought as part of 6 pack of various Belgians. Too bad there's only one of these in it...

A - very dark, nearly black with a tinge of red. Almost no head, but may be due to warm temperature.
S - Irish Spring dryer sheet from another reviwer is an excellent description
T - Sweet dark fruity-ish: raisins, prunes
M - very definitely carbonated, more than most BSDA.
O - a fine ale with good flavor, relatively high alcohol but not overpowered by the alcohol. Definitely one for sipping on cool nights, not gulping after mowing the lawn in July. Definitely a re-buy. (615 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 Gunnz
4.95/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very nice dark burgandy in color with a decent caramel cream colored head.

Malty and chocoltey nose with a slight hint of hops.

Strong malty flavor with hints of caramel. Classic of strong ales.

Smooth yet heavy bodied, but enjoyable.

Very highly recommended. Definitely something I would drink again. Probably something I would want to save as a treat for myself to keep from having too much of a good thing too often. (423 characters)

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