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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
94
outstanding

3,355 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,355
Reviews: 1,250
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 212
Gots: 453 | 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 (83) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,355 | Reviews: 1,250 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jwc215
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
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!

Photo of kojevergas
3.4/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle served into a Gulden Draak goblet in Ghent, Belgium. Reviewed from notes.

A: 1.5 finger head of nice cream. Respectable retention for the high ABV. Dark amber colour. Could be black as well. Or perhaps ruby. Hard to tell with the darkness.

Sm: Dark fruity esters. Lightly fruity hops. Maybe some caramel. Certainly caramelized malt.

T: Dark fruit body. Hops linger through the finish. Complex and layered esters comprise the general tone of this beer, but they work together rather than ringing distinct, which is as it should be. Balanced. Some indeterminate cream, perhaps on the open and/or finish. It's buried, anyway.

Mf: Smooth and wet.

Dr: Hides its ABV quite well. Affordable and worth a try for any beer fanatic.

Photo of smcolw
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.6/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

Photo of GClarkage
4.75/5  rDev +12%
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"!

Photo of wrightst
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Gavage
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 mL bottle,

A: Pours a dark brown with a medium tan head into a snifter, pretty good head retention, some lace.

S: Smell of dark fruits, raisin, plum, fig juice, hint of acidity.

T: Dark fruits make up the main flavour. Primarily fig, light raisin and brown sugar. Booze comes into play at the end, solventy finish.

M: Medium-bodied, it does seem a tad thin at times for 10.5%, slightly medicinal, smooth drinking beer.

D: A good Belgian, not amazing in my opinion. It's relatively inexpensive, drinkable, and easy to find, I'm sure I'll have it again at some point.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

In 2008 I reviewed this in bottled form: on 17th Oct 2012 I had it again but on-tap in the lovely De Garre in Brugge (something I've done a few times over the years, but never wrote about).

Deep ruby red in colour with a large off-white foaming head, it looks a picture: just like its bottled brother, the correct glass adding another dimension to the overal appearance.

Rich, strong and powerful malty aromas just ooze out of the glass. Malt loafs, christmas pudding, creamed plums, caramel chocolate bars and dark molasses can also be found in the smell. The taste is an explosion of the same flavours found in the aroma, yet with a mild hop bitterness that prevents the beer being too sweet

This is just one beautiful beer and one I'll never tire of: the alcohol isn't even well hidden, but I don't care, it just helps to make this an exceptionally fine beer.

Photo of stakem
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of yourefragile
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of LXIXME
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big light tan head settles into a pretty nice lacing above a well carbonated dark reddish amber colored beer.

Dark fruits (grapes and apricots) and sour grains dominate the aroma that is tinted with a bit of alcohol.

A light alcohol undermines a dark fruits and roasted grains and a slight sour taste.

A dry aftertaste with some of the dark fruits and light sourness stick around on this medium to full bodied beer.

A bit to much of the sour grains or sour grapes maybe on this for me, it seems it starts out pretty good and as I drink it the more the sour grapes keep coming to the forefront.

Photo of Billolick
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
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!

Photo of chinchill
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
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).

Photo of corby112
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of weeare138
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears a dark crimson toned orange with a light tan head that slowly fades out into a mild cap that floats during the duration of the drink. Scattered bits of webbing are left around the entire glass.
Smell is of ripe, dark fruit, raisins, cocoa, and some herbal, earth notes.
Taste is of caramel, dark fruit, steeped raisins, and herbal, spicy hops.
Mouthfeel is sweet, syrupy, hot, spicy, and smooth in the finish.

Photo of tempest
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice dark pour with a bit of head. Smells spicey with a little dark fruit. Tastes nice, but is a touch simple for such a strong belgian. Flavor sticks with the belgian spices and dark fruit and does expand within those tastes. Yes there's a nice figs flavor, but thats it. No alcohol present, and thats inpressive for a 10.5 beer. It's a good dark belgian, but I didn't find anything new or surprising. Reminds me of Chimay Blue.

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,355 ratings.