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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.

1,271 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,271
Hads: 3,612
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 19.52%
Wants: 269
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: 1,271 | Hads: 3,612
Photo of Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Eulogy, Philly, PA

When you see a tap head that's a huge golden dragon, you have to sample the beer that it guards. Strong? Yes. Dark? Yes. Belgian? Yes.

Poured into a signature stem glass. Rich, hazy, dark, mahogany color with a nice tannish finger of head that retains well. Toasted biscuits and dark fruits in the aroma. Taste starts off with toasty caramel malts and some caramelized sugars and a touch of molasses, with yeasty biscuits and grainy, unsubdued alcohol following. Dark dried fruits in the background. Medium mouthfeel, and can be a bit syrupy, but overall nice and drinkable, though on the strong side.

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Photo of russpowell
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An old friend from Beligue, the simlpicity of the stubby white bottle just makes it so cool

Pours a slightlty hazed ruby red/brown with 2 fingers of fluffed up tan coloerd head into a Vondel snifter. Superior head retention & very goood lacing

S: Straw, pepper & phenolic notes

T: Big breadyness & boozey warmth up front. Peppery grainyess, dates, caramel & scorched Belgian candy sugar & oaky dryness once this warms up. Finishes cakey, with tanins, toffee, dryness, tobbaaco-like notes & pecans. What super complex, yet drinkable combonation!

MF: Medium bodied, syruppy & low-low carbonation

Drinks very easy for such a complex beer, very pricey, but a nice inulgence at $5.50 a bottle

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy brown that has a big touch of amber to it. Minimal head. Nose is slight with a lean towards marshmallows. Touch of citrus. Flavor is very well balanced with a strong sweet tone that stays constant. Strong and steady. After a while you get a slight alcohol tone that has stayed masked consistently as you drink. Tons of things rolling over your tongue on this one. Caramel is another. Mouthfeel is a bit too high on the carbonation, which drops the drinkability just a touch. Overall damn good. Worth trying. Worth trying again.

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Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This a beer that I order when I bring people to try good beers at the Sharp Edge for the first time. Most people are impressed by the 20oz. tulip shaped glass with the golden dragon on it, plus I know that the imbiber is going to get happy real quick. Appearance: Deep mahogany huge velvety tan light brown head extravagant fine lacing very detailed and webbed. Aroma: Deep mulilayered with fruit and fusel alcohol contains a nice balance between sweetness and the herbal hop profile. Taste: Mild chocolate notes with raisin and apple tones that come out slightly caramelized ripened fruit with a toasted nut edge to it all with a slight spiciness that brings the mouth a full orgy of flavors. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied effervescent a true gem in the realm of Belgian beer. Drinkability: Dangerously easy to consume try to keep it to just one of these bad boys in a sitting, definitely one of my all time favorite Belgians.

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Photo of smcolw
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Easy near-white head, great lace. Light brown color...cloudy.

Sweet aroma with some nuttiness and spiciness--like a cinnamon candy.

Strong sweetness is counterbalanced by a dry finish. Complex flavors featuring a touch of sourness. Strong alcohol warmth. Full body with high carbonation.

Traditional trippel--high alcohol and high malt flavors. Smooth and full flavored.

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Photo of chinchill
4.46/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle from a Belgian sampler 6-pack served in a large glass wine goblet.

Bottled under pressure, as evidenced by the soda pop sound (psssfft) upon opening. The beer has an generous but not overwhelming fizzy head that quickly settles to a lasting but irregular tan top coat with a thick ring. The liquid is a hazy near-opaque brown that has a reddish-orange glow when backlit.

S - Moderately strong and rich aroma that is primarily fruity/yeasty and malty, with a medium/dark blend in the malts. I found it quite appealing, and near the 5 mark. There's little hint of the high ABV.

T - Sweet, but with enough bitterness to keep this from detracting from my enjoyment. And I suspect this sweetness helps make the alcohol largely disappear. Rich and complex, with plenty of dark fruit from mid-taste on, and traces of spices including cinnamon. A fine flavor mix that changes with temperature and from the start of a sip to the finish. Previously, I found "A tiny bit too much sourness in the finish for my taste", but this was absent in the more recent tasting. In either case, the finish remains a bit sweet ... nicely so.

M - good, if somewhat high, carbonation helps produce an excellent mouthfeel that is neither too heavy nor too light. Very smooth. Finish is a bit less dry than I'd expect given the ABV.

O - an excellent Belgian dark tripel (or BSDA or Belgian barleywine). Good enough to be a reasonable inclusion if you ever get the chance to do a side-by-side taste test of world-class Belgians; I wouldn't expect it to win, but it wouldn't be out of place and is usually less expensive (vs., say Chimay, Delirium or Rochefort) in the U.S.
(revisited and tweaked in Jan. 2015).

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Photo of mdfb79
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 11/25/11 notes. Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with two fingers of fluffy tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dark fruits, molasses, sweet fruity malts, light alcohol, and light spices.

t - Tastes of sweet dark fruits, molasses, bready malts, booze, yeast, and light spice.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink for over 10% ABV.

o - Overall a very good Belgian dark ale. Lots of sweet dark fruits mixing with a little spice. Something I would definitely buy again.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A deep, dark, burgundy brown color, and a thick, full, rocky, tannish head. Aroma sizzles over with all things good, a sensory overload of hop sensation: fruity notes, earthy notes, hints of leather and lavender, grapes, wines, figs, raisins. One of my all-time favorite aromatic brews. A full pallet-load of hops on the palate (sorry, couldn't resist trying that one out just once!) A flood of brilliant bitterness on first sip, that just keeps giving and giving and giving. Solid malt here, too, holding everything together. Fierce and fiery, like the breath of the beast that graces the label and gives this ale it's name. Hot, substantial, and impressive, the dragon is formidable!
One drawback is the "drinkability" issue. My first time with the Dragon, I shared a750ml with a friend, and still woke up the next AM, moaning and groaning, able only to utter: "Guuuulden Drak...guuuuuulden draaaaak....."
Had a 11.2oz.er for the purpose of this review, and I felt it terribly the next day. How to rate the ease with which one drinks the Dragon, when the Dragon always slays you? "Yes, I'll have another"...some other day....

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Photo of jwc215
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml faux ceramic cage-corked bottle, poured into a tulip glass:

Pours dark brown with a thick, foamy/creamy off-white head. The head thins then stays around, leaving some broken rings of lacing on the glass.

The smell is of caramel with earthy notes and dark fruits. A nice spiciness mixes in.

The taste is of sweet caramel/toffee, a bit toasty, with earthy/peppery spicing and medium to dark fruitiness (some raisins, esp. as it progresses). Some sharp, grassy hops come through to help the herbal spiciness balance the sweetness. Very complex and tasty.

Medium-bodied, sharp yet creamy.

The alcohol/spicy bite slows it down a bit, as does the lingering sweetness (though it never reaches cloying). No complaints, here though, as it is meant to be sipped slowly anyway.

A complex, delicious sipping treat!

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark amber to brown with a 2 finger tan head made of large bubbles. The head has decent retention and leaves a lot of lacing.

S: Aromas of ripe fruit, plums, sweet malts, brown sugar, and alcohol.

T: Flavors of dark ripe fruits, plum, cherry, molasses, candy sugar and sweet + roast malts. The taste of the alcohol which is present in the nose is covered up nicely in the flavors.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation and slightly creamy.

O: Overall this is a quite nice beer and very enjoyable. I would definitely enjoy another of these (even right now if I had one on hand). The high ABV is well hidden in the taste and it kind of sneaks up on you.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say about this beer that hasn't already been said. 11.2 oz bottle served in a goblet. Beer is dark brown, nearly black, nice head, steady carbonation. Beautiful ether smell associated with strong Belgians. Taste is sweet and balanced alcohol. No hint of roasting in the flavors, except maybe slightly. One of my all time favorite beers. Excellent, you have to try this beer.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Shane for picking this one up, one I know we both wanted to check out.

A: Pours a deep ruby/brown color with a smallish tan head on top. Decent retention, lasting for a few minutes before dissolving to little bits of bubbles on top. Not much lacing.

S: Lots of plum and prune, it reminded me of grapes that are slightly over-ripe, kind of like what it smells like when you walk through a bunch of grape vines actually. There is some dark caramel and a little bit of spice.

T: Rather sweet with the dark fruits returning (plum, prune, and a bit of raisin but not much). There is also a bit of banana, some brown sugar, and caramel. Again, it is lightly spiced and slightly yeasty.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Alcohol hidden rather well.

O: A pretty solid beer, not something I am running out to drink all the time, but would grab it once in a while.

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Photo of stakem
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stubby 330ml brown bottle that is powder coated with a white (paint?) in a clever way to both prevent the light from intruding and make the bottle immediately recognizable. Pours a clear amber color with more than 2 fingers of somewhat yellowish/tan stained head. Significant amount of lace clings to the glassware and the head retains fairly well. Continuous bubbles rise to the surface in support of the head. Nose is fruity sweet and quite pleasant with the malt character being a mix of something like caramelized raisins and a bit of nuttiness with alcohol coming through from the back and a faint touch of hops make themselves known in a partially grassy way. Taste has a big alcohol presence that is somewhat solvent and quite warming. Upfront the flavors of malty sweetness meet the bittering hops and are eventually overtaken by the big alcohol character. Alcohol reigns supreme throughout the tasting experience with notes of caramelized malt sweetness and slight bitter hops in the finish. There is a lingering taste left in the mouth that is a mix between the lingering alcohol, caramelized malt sweetness and hop bitterness all fighting for the attention/last impression left in your mouth. Feel of this big beer is medium with a moderate amount of carbonation that fits the bill perfectly. Clearly a sipper, it is strangely drinkable for how much alcohol presence is displayed.

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Photo of tdm168
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at World of Beer Raleigh. Served in a tulip.

A - a dark plum color with a thin lacing of head

S - bready, spicy

T - bread, caramel, toffee, sugar, alcohol

M - medium to full bodied, warm, crisp

This is a really nice beer. It's malty, sweet, balanced, and complex. This is probably one of the better beers that I've had in this style. I will have it again.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Gulden Draak appears a chestnut brown color with ruby / crimson highlights visible when held to the light. The liquid is murky and hazy, with random bits of sediment meandering randomly through the beer. Atop the beer sits a half inch of khaki head that leaves some decent lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, alcohol, slightly sweet malts. The beer tastes better than it smells, actually. The aroma is fine, but could be more grandiose.

T: The beer is sweet and malty. In spite of this, the heat, or alcohol presence, is quite subdued. If it weren't for the sweetness, it would be pretty easy to gulp down a few of these too fast. The Belgian yeast flavor is great, but I would prefer it to be brought to the forefront a bit more.

M: Alcohol content is well hidden. The feel is medium-bodied and creamy, with a malty / candy sweetness present throughout.

D: A good beer, but not my favorite BSDA. Still, it's a solid beer and one I will continue to enjoy on occasion.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy off-white head. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty aroma which boasts of Belgian caramel malts and a fruity yeast finish. The taste is good. It has a rich malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes fruity, yet dry with Belgian yeast. It is a smooth beer with a creamy malt palate. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine triple. It has good flavor and aroma; a quality brew.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

08/11/06- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz stubby bottle. No freshness info, but there is a small stamped code at the bottom of the label. Poured into an oversized wine glass that looks remarkable like a St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- Liquified caramel coloring. One maybe 1 1/2 inch larger bubbled head forms upon the pour. Remains at a good 1/5th inch thick and creamy head. Minute yeasties float around. Spalltered lacing all around. It was a crapshoot between a 4.5 and a 5. Did a coin flip.

Smell- This is a caramel/fruit cocktail. Doesn't fume out like you would hope, which is the only strike against the smell. Melted fresh made carnival caramel like the kind you would dip an apple into. Dark fruits galore. Figs, plums, prunes, raisins, plus some licorice.

Taste- Big and bold as you would expect from a 11% or so brew. Taste mirrors the scent to presice pinpoint. Like a liquid Caramello bar. Anise and liquorice jump out after the caramel coats your tongue. The dark fruits follow. Prunes and figs are predominant. Plums and raisins meld in nicely.

Mouthfeel- Slightly drying. Full and thick...even a bit vinous mouthfeel. Medium carbonation (just about right). Really makes you crave another sip.

Drinkability- This dude is strong. Drank this on an empty stomach right before lunch (may regret that, but I still have a bottle of Beatification and Stone 2006 Old Gaurdian to consume before the day is over). Quite the tasteful one and worthy of considerable praise. Will have to find a large bottle of this. Still trying to figure out what bottle I am going to break open once my child is born in March...this ain't a bad prospect. Again, will have to steal the Rachel Ray catch phrase..."YUMMO"!

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle. The beer pours a dark brown color with a large off-white to tan head. The aroma has a lot of Belgian candy sugar as well as some dark fruit and a little bit of toffee. The flavor is full of dark fruit. I get a lot of raisins, as well as some cherry and plum notes. There is a little bit of sweetness from the candy sugar, as well as some brown sugar and molasses notes. The alcohol is very well hidden and is barely noticeable. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice beer.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of the bottle into a tulip glass. KABOOM!! Man this thing didn't wait, cage unhooks and cork goes flying. Bit of a gush but not totally at least I was near the sink.

Looks like a fairly good sized head but falls kind of quick with a nice light tan. Foamy on top but bigger and soapier on the bottom. Body is a caramel dull red and mostly opaque. Not that too exciting looking but certainly appealing.

Dubbell smelling like in style dry yeast and malt, with a hint of cherries too. Hints of alcohol and definitely heat on the nose. Almost gets into wine territory.

Steely like dark malts borderline scotch ale, and a hint of sweet caramel. Palate exercises some good carbonation but finishes with refreshing caramel sweetness and tripel like brewed yeast punchiness. Hints of cherries and soft berry like fruit.

Overall not too bad an interesting take, not getting the hop presence it mentions so much on the bottle but an otherwise enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Billolick
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Tap Room in Bedford NY. In a Gulden Draak Belgian style glass. Yeehaa, top rated brew on tap in the appropriate glass. This stunning brew pours ruby, brownish, and cloudy. Dark tan head, leaves nice wavy lacing. Exotic nose of cherries, fruit,alcohol,cloves,apricots. Flavor notes figs, raisins,nuts, sweet malts,vanilla,oak, Belgian yeastyness. Can you say complex? Soft mouthfeel, this is terrific stuff, bold flavors, strong and intense. A Belgian lovers dream. Seek this stuff out and enjoy!

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Photo of Gavage
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an brown color with a thin head that stuck to the sides of the glass. A pleasant aroma that borders on flowery with some lingering yeasts. Strong malt flavor with a good balance of hops. The higher alcohol content did not overpower the flavor like some others do. Extremely drinkable as malt aftertastes linger nicely on the tongue. Once my glass was empty, I wanted more but I only had one bottle. I will definitely buy it again.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.67/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle into a regular snifter very carefully as this bottle is ceramic making it impossible to see where the yeast starts. Not sure on the bottle date.

A- Gulden Draak has an incredible deep dark ruby color consisting of mix of red, brown and maroon. With a tilted glass i could see the head forming and once i was done pouring I had a two finger beige tan head on my hands. This foam was enormous with some areas slightly bulging above others. The head never left throughout the entire hour plus I enjoyed this. I was unable to see through the glass even held right up to light. Great lacing.

S- A fruity and floral aroma that is entirely Belgian, having a somewhat similar but more refined scent resembling some de dolle dark offerings. Dark fruits galore and deep as I am getting some sweet cherries plums and grapes. Some spices also including cinnamon and brown sugar. A belgian yeast is abound and creeping. A bit of hops and malts but not this BSDA strong suit.

T- Gulden Drakk is strong on the fruit presence with the aforementioned smells going along in the taste and getting berries also. GD has a very sweet taste during first sips but evolves into other depths. Also getting some caramel and other dark malts along with slight maple syrup. Some hops and the yeast come out to play a part with warming. Some pepper spiciness with some dates coming in at the end. GD leaves a candy like impression, perhaps being a tad to much on the sweet side

M- A very full mouthfeel that is felt in the pits of my stomach after enjoying. Because of this thick and full mouthfeel GD has a sweetness to it that lingers for a while, no getting around it. This sweetness is ever present on the tounge. I like the carbonation that is felt in this. A nice warming sensation comes forth after 5oz or so than fills the body. Alcohol is not completely masked but not fully on display.

D- At 10.5% this one is nothing to take lightly and I would take my time with it to get the full effect, Letting the flavors integrate & develop more. Glad i bought a small version as anymore would be overkill for me, but i would share a big bottle in a minute as this is quite accessible given the style. This would go great during a holiday dinner.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at World of Beer in WPB. Served in a tulip.

Appearance - Murky brown body with an ample cream colored head. Surprising head on it, but maybe just because it's on tap. A minimal amount of lacing graces the surface of the beer.

Smell - I get bananas and apples. The apples have a slight tang to them. Some dark fruits. The description on the menu said toffee, but I don't get that over the fruits. A bit of booze in the nose, too.

Taste - Again, a bit of banana from the yeastiness, followed by a strange citrus tang that accompanies the dark fruits prevalent in Belgian darks. It's not bad, it's just not what I expect at all. A complex flavor, to be sure.

Mouthfeel - The flavor is good and I guess they're going for the tripel style, but I'm not liking it. It makes it dry and spicy in the finish when I want it thick and smooth. A strange hybrid of styles that I don't necessarily appreciate.

Overall - Good flavor, for sure. Nothing I haven't tasted before, but still good. I just don't like the dryness in the finish.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.6/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well, despite its name, this beer pours a deep amber color, with ruby highlights when held up to the light. The head is midsized and light brown in color. The aroma is of dark fruit (plum and raisin), rum, and a sort of spiciness that reminds me a bit of coriander. The beer is fairly well carbonated as it fizzes on my tongue. It is sweet and fruity with raisin definitely dominating the fruit component, but notes of figs and prunes are evident as well. The combination of the sweetness and fruitiness gives this beer a certain richness that I was not expecting (you can tell it has been quite a while since I last had this). Overall this is quite a tasty beer, nothing that really makes it stand out and perhaps a bit too sweet, but it is a well built tasty beer.

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 1,271 ratings.