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

3,483 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,483
Reviews: 1,279
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 244
Gots: 559 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,483 | Reviews: 1,279
Photo of DoubleJ
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We're getting into the meat and potatoes of the Stubby Belgian Invite with this beer at hand, and tommorrow will conclude with another strong beer. On to the beer:

A foamer into my snifter, a ruby brown color highlights the beer's appearance. Head retention is very good. Whiffs of phenolic and dark fruits in the aroma. There's a touch of pepper too.

The high alcohol level and smoothness of the beer are the first things to be noticed in the mouth. Typical dark fruit flavors found in this style are juicy and dominant. Touches of prunes and raisins, then a drying grain note. Goes peppery at times towards the end of the sip. Oh, and it's very alcoholic.

What a kick and what a taste. This is the boozy man's Chimay Blue, and a score that should put it in the competiton for winner of the Stubby Belgain Invite. We'll comclude the Stubby Belgain tomorrow night with, wait for it....another Belgian beer in a stubby bottle.

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.

Photo of smakawhat
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.9/5  rDev -8%
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.

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 Zorro
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Super dark brown beer, cloudy but I can pass light through it.

Smells like Chocolate and Vanilla and Bananas, with a touch of Brown Sugar.

Tastes better than expected. Lots of brown sugar and spice. This is sweet. Tastes like Date Pudding with spices. Very Complex flavor that can't be summed up in one sentence. Has a soft spice taste. Tastes like German Christmas Cookies! Lots of Brown sugar flavors, this is a Christmas brew, not quite as good as McChouffe, but close. Delicious!

Hearty Mouthfeel.

Drinkable? Just keep them coming Bar Keep!

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Yardhouse in Scottsdale, AZ.
Poured a deep amber color with golden brown highlights, crowned by a good two fingers of sticky, foamy head that hangs around a good long while. Nose of sweet, bready malt, raisin, and a hint of spicy hops, along with a touch of yeasty funk. Taste is mildly sweet up front, then becomes richer and maltier as it goes down.

Photo of wl0307
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Coming in a 330ml short bottle (now covered in white plastic wrap instead of being painted white as in the past, making it look really bad and cheap), BB 18/05/2013, served lightly-chilled in Gulden Draak’s own branded tulip-shaped bowl sniffer.

A: a well-lingering dark beige frothy head comes with steady and mild carbonation and a dark reddish-russet body; looking noble and prestigious.
S: sour-ish fruit esters and overripe fruits abound, on top of a creamy base of aromatic malts, dark candy sugar, and plentiful notes of prunes and berry jam. No particularly sharp edge of alc. is detected, bearing in mind this is a really potent ale. It definitely packs a punch, while the overall aroma, albeit pleasant, is not terribly complex for its category/class.
T: sour-sweet as the nose suggests, the even slightly vinegary fruity foretaste is immediately followed by a soothing flow of yeasty maltiness (cocoa, black-date paste, bready malts, etc.), laced with herbally-estery elements and a slowly manifesting stream of mild hop bitterness. Lightly spicy, olive-ish and salty-sweet in the finish, the moderate aftertaste surprisingly still “failed” to deliver any sharp touch of alc., which is definitely a great plus to the overall drinkability.
M&D: smoothly-carbonated, full-bodied and, as experienced throughout the drink, fantastically drinkable; this is a creamy-malty and yeasty ale that doesn’t come very complex but surprisingly easy-drinking amongst its counterparts.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a warm brown dense body with a thick mousse light tan head. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles in this one.

S- This beer has a nose of sweet dark malt with brown sugar, dark raisins and a dark rum alcohol smell.

T- The taste of dark sweet malt has a dark caramel note and a vinous taste to it. The faint note of coffee candy comes through in the background. The finish has a nice alcohol bite that balances the sweetness.

M- This beer has a medium light mouthfeel with a alcohol warmth.

D-This beer has nice dark malt flavors and the alcohol helps keep it in check.

Photo of John_M
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Was very pleased to see this beer on tap at Max's the other night. This beer has long been a favorite of mine, especially when I can find it on draft (which is not all that often).

The beer is a beautiful dark amber brown, with excellent head retention and impressive Belgium lacing. On the nose one gets sweet caramel and Belgium spice, a promise of what's to come when you taste this bad boy. On the palate the flavor profile is incredible. This beer tastes initially of cherry cough drop, wrapped around flavors of caramel, butter, honey and cream. The beer is very sweet and rich tasting, but is not cloying. For the abv., it's surprisingly drinkable (though certainly still a sipper). As the beer sits in the glass a lot of the medicine flavor fades away, and there's more of an outright cherry, vanilla and almond flavor. This beer is quite luscious, and has a very long, lingering sweet finish. On the mid palate one gets a viscuous, creamy impression that completely fills the mouth.

An excellent beer. An absolute treat whether on draft or on tap.

Photo of jdhilt
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just an excellent beer, too bad its $3.99 for 330ml, thick long lasting head. Reddish color. Easy to find white bottle at the largest liquor stores. Also available 750ml - $10.39.

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

I am drinking a 750 mL C&C bottle poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. The ale is chilled.

Appearance: The ale pours with a hazy orange-brown color. There is ample sediment in the glass. The ale poured with a decent head and left a respectable amount of lace around the glass.

Smell: Yeast is the dominant aroma. I also smell the sweetness of candy sugars.

Taste: The candied sugars are quite evident in taste. They give the ale a very pleasing sweet taste. After that, hints of alcohol and fruit (plum maybe).

Mouthfeel: The ale sits very well in the mouth. The yeastiness and sugars taste very nice together.

Drinkability: This is an eminently drinkable ale, but the 10.5% abv is a dealbreaker, too much alcohol makes me sleepy...

Photo of biegaman
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle, with best before of 05/07/08. Purposely and properly aged for curiosity's sake, enjoyed June 2008. Little change has been observed, the beer has always seemed this sublime to me...

Sandbanks of beige head peak and trough throughout the surface; they seem to only thicken throughout the tasting. This has more colour than most dark beers. The complexion is highly concealed despite having warm tones. The colour, to the light, is a glowing crimson. Hold it up, it is simply cunning.

Freshly baked bread meets sun-drying figs and prunes. The aroma showcases all that is wonderful with Belgian yeasts: the fruity esters, undertones of grape, plum and raisin; scorching Scotch like malts and musty hints of molasses, ginger, cinnamon and brown sugar.

A marriage of lightly tart, fruity tones and bready, biscuit, toffee laced malts. Honey sweetness overcoats the dark fruit flavour of plum, red grapes, and dates. The yeast imparts a hint of esters and spice - cinnamon, molasses, ginger, cookie dough, burnt sugar, tart apples and prunes. Contrary to the popular expression, this is thought for food.

Carbonation is at an ideal level; the body is ever lively, but far from syrupy, allowing flavours sparkle and then dry out on the palate uninterrupted. The tastes stick and reside in the mouth. It's a paradox: every sip makes you fretfully agog for the next, and yet, it is enormously satisfying.

This is certainly one of the most gratifying Belgian Strong Dark Ales there is. Fresh and aged, I have had this now on many occasions and never finished the glass anything but satisfied. This is an essential for the cellar and to have on hand. I'm glad this is exactly as it is.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.72/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This curious little white bottle finally got to me today.
A careful pour produces a clear ruby brown liquid with an overflowing beige head that dissipates rather quickly. Smells of wet cardboard, rich caramel malts, bits of dark fruit. Airing it for a bit thankfully removed most of the aromas of oxidation. The flavor is sweet with lots of brown and caramelized sugars. Deep rich dark fruits mixed with a hint of alcohol round out the flavor quite nicely. Medium to thick body with a moderate to high level of carbonation and a sweet bubbly mouthfeel. This is a nice dark ale I quite enjoyed it.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on-tap and served in a chalice, the beer is a clear, dark, orange-hued brown coloring with no head. Beer is very clean in the glass. Aromas of toffee and caramel sweetness, with a slight hopping to balance. The nose is balanced amazingly, and very subtle. Extremely smooth in mouth, with a boozey kick right off the bat. Flavors are toffee sweet malt with a ton of old world fruit charcteristics, including dates, currants, and some raisin. The aftertaste is rich and tangy sweet, with a touch of toffee and hops, and a little bit of warmth at the end of the palate. The finish is slick, and almost creamy. Delicious beer! Masterfully blended and balanced.

Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml
Caged/Corked

Poured into a chalice a nice light brown color, nice carbonation (Big POP on opening), nice little creamy tannish head, some sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, nice touch of dark fruits, and caramel. The taste is malty, dark fruits, caramel. The taste is also slightly sweet at first with a nice tangy finish. The alcohol is hidden very well for a brew with this high of an ABV. Medium body, complex brew. Very drinkable, I like this one, at first I thought it might be like the Piraat Triple, but a dark version, too my surprise it is an excellent BSDA, and very tasty, recommended.

Photo of liamt07
3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from an LCBO giftpack, 330ml into a tulip. Best before June 14, 2013.

Poured a cloudy reddish brown with a light tan head and some sticky lace. Good head retention. Nose has some dark fruits, grapes and raisin, and some gentle spicing. Taste has more dried dark fruits and grapes, some vinous notes, booze and some toffee-like sweetness. High carbonation that is a bit peppery in feel, and a heavy moderately boozy body. Long sweet finish. Solid but not great, I wouldn't have this as a first option in light of other BSDA's on the market.

Photo of ppoitras
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz white bottle purchased today at Spirit Haus, Amherst, MA. Bottle exploded foam upon opening, going everywhere in my beer/dart room, but enough was saved for sampling. We'll operate for the basis of this review that such presentation is not the norm.

Poured into a tulip glass, humungous meaty brownish head formed, possibly due to aforementioned foaming issue. Foam still alive and kicking five minutes later, with extensive lacing. Nice deep reddish-brown color to the beer, which is surprisingly opaque, allowing no light to pass through. Smells of yeast, malt, yeast malt, and alcohol proliferate. Tasting the liquid does not disappoint, tastes reinforce the aromas, and the 10.5% alcohol is not so much tasted as felt, warming your mouth and everything on down the body. An excellent cool weather beer, and, well, wouldn't be so out of place in warmer times either.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.71/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark cherry-burgundy with a monstrous 3 finger rocky beige head that lasted forever. The head was composed of large macro bubbles when viewed through the sides of the glass and fell around the rim leaving a billowy/towering center piece. There was a spotchy lacing with a good strong visible carbonation at first that soon receded to a slow steady stream of bubbles.

S: dark fruit, caramel raisins.

T: The initial flavor had a cloey, and overpowering malt sweetness with alcohol fusels. The flavor soon receded to a rich, caramel sweetness with some fruitiness (apples) and brown sugar. The beer finishes with a dark fruit, dark caramel and a nice alcohol warming. There was a slight sour raisin taste detected after the swallow.

M: full bodied, warm caramel, slightly creamy with a nice dry spicy alcohol fade.

D: A very nice finish despite an otherwise rough first sip. The beer progressively drinks better as you go along with a wonderful spicy dark fruit and caramel finish.

Photo of tobelerone
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big fluffy head on a dark, amber colored beer. Long lasting retention. Nicely clinging lace.

Aroma is defintitely boozy, sweet with toffee, raisin, yeastiness. Touches of malt and citrus as well.

Tasty and strong. Booze is there in every sip as well as in the finish. Peppery, citric, sweet, low bitterness levels. Big and boomy flavor. Pretty unforgettable. Not an every day drink, this one will lay you out quick.

Mouthfeel pleasantly combines bubbly carbonation and somewhat chewy viscousness. The booze and malty sweetness linger on.

Very complex, intriguing beer. Not for the faint of heart!

Photo of vfgccp
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Soft, creamy head that forms nice peaks. Super thick lace. Cloudy milk chocolate color.

S - Raisins, figs, allspice, clove. Ends with light alcohol notes.

T - Sweet dried fruits open the profile. Prunes, golden raisins, pumpernickel bread. Booze rolls around in the middle of the profile, as the taste transitions to lighter breads, yeast, and just a touch of bitterness from the hops. Honey and light malt round out the aftertaste.

M - Medium-light body. Has a smoothness that coats the back of your palate.

D - Even though the booze makes a cameo, the beer does a great job of hiding the 10% ABV. The sweetness in the beer might be too much for some people.

O - A little too sweet. It almost drinks like a desert beer (more ice-wine than port), but still delicious.

Photo of beertunes
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip. Poured a deep mahogany with a slight reddish tint. The beer had a tall (over 2 inch) medium tan head that had great retention and lacing.

A rich, full aroma featured some sweetness and fruitiness, backed up by a nice yeast note. The flavors are exactly what the aroma said they would be, just amplified. The fruit was fruitier, yeast bolder and the sweetness, not as sweet as you'd expect from the scent.

The body was full and smooth, it coated the tongue nicely without being sticky. Drinkability was excellent, but at this strength more than a couple is just asking for trouble.

Overall, an excellent beer.

Photo of Duff27
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Cloudy brown with a short lived head. Lacing present.

S- Raisins. Sweet.

T- Delicious. Grapes. Belgian yeast. Sweetness. Almost finishes like grape kool aid.

M- Smooth. Thin to medium body.

D/O- No way is this 10.5%abv. Entirely too drinkable. Definitley would sneak up on you if you let it. Very nice beer.

Photo of Derek
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This "dark triple" is really more of a quadrupel... but the line between a "Belgian strong dark ale" is certainly blurred.

A: Copper-brown, off-white head, nice retention and lace.

S: Dark fruit bread (fruity, bready, nutty), a little caramelized sugar.

T: Very Belgian (special B malt?). Sweet caramel, bread, fruity (raisins, prunes, figs, pineapple), fading to a slightly bitter/burnt aftertaste. Alcohol is warming and certainly apparantly, but it's not at all assertive. Well balanced, but there's a slight hint of something burnt in the aftertaste (that isn't appealing).

M: Moderate body is highly carbonated, finish is dry.

D: Quite good, especially considering the strength.

Photo of Tone
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, dark amber color. 3/4 inch head of a pale tan color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of hops, sweet malt, yeast, dark citrus, alcohol, and slight bread. Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of dark citrus (cherries), sweet malt, hops, yeast, and slight alcohol. Overall, a good body, blend, alcohol is well-hidden, and good aroma.

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,483 ratings.