Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,255 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

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Reviews: 1,255
Hads: 3,517
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 250
Gots: 578 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,255 | Hads: 3,517
Photo of BWood
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Solid Belgium strong ale. I don't think I would put it over Chimay but it does give it a run for its money .I do like the look of the beer and how the head retains in the glass. Smooth finish to this beer. Solid staple if you are looking for a easily accessible year around Belgium. (282 characters)

Photo of headlessparrot
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours from the . . . unique bottle a dark, thick, brown/cola colour, with hints of ruby. Cloudy to the point of opacity, with even a gentle pour netting several fingers of loose, rocky head that are very slow to dissipate, leaving a lot of lacing on the glass.

Smell is grapey/vinous, raisins, brown sugar, cherry cordial, toffee, stone fruits like apricot and peach. An alcoholic sharpness definitely comes through. Banana, clove. Slightly yeasty, slightly peppery. A touch of licorice? Burnt chocolate, hot cocoa. Ginger candies? Rather sharp, but nice.

Taste is fairly alcoholic, with lots of brown sugar, marzipan, lots of fruits in syrup. Again, grapey or vinous, slightly tart. Sour cherries, clove. Bananas. Slightly earthy. Finishes initially sweet but drying in the throat. Slightly yeasty, bready afertaste. High carbonation and somewhat syrupy texture.

This is . . . interesting. The smell here is beautiful, but the taste doesn't quite do it for me--it's quite sweet, quite sharp, and a bit muddled for me. I have no doubt it's well-made, and an exemplar of the style (as many attest), but it loses me on the taste. (1,131 characters)

Photo of Hoppsbabo
2.51/5  rDev -40%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Mahogany body with a fluffy off-white head.
S: Vinous.
T: Eugh! Peppy, sharp AND very syrupy. Doesn't work at all. Phenolic with big liquorice and marzipan. Has the zing of a tripel but the flavour of a quad. It's like the bastard child of an English barley wine, a quad, and a tripel. Doesn't work! It's making me want to chuck, like a childhood medicine, or ice cream soda. I'm gonna spew......!!!!
O: Jeez! (412 characters)

Photo of donspublic
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look Reddish tan, poured with very little head. Not a big triple fan, even though this style steered me to craft. This is a very smooth beer to drink. Kind of an alcohol forward beer. Found that this beer fared better the longer I drank it. Could sit around and drinking this for a night. (293 characters)

Photo of rand
4.49/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle into a snifter

2012 bottle...been letting it chill for awhile

A: Dark-mahogany in color, super-effervescent, presumably from the extended bottle-conditioning. It's not as viscous as expected, and a giant head dissipates down to nothing.

S: Booze and esters dominate the bouquet. Sweet, biscuity, with notes of raisin and butterscotch. There's a touch of hop astringency at the edge of the bouquet, offset by a creamy, dairy-like aspect.

T: The butterscotch notes seem to hit the palate first, I think because they're so tasty and unusual. They're not cloying, and seemingly not from diacetyl, more like a palate-interpretation of the esters. Mid-sip there's a bit of earthiness - oaky and bready, but this brew is as smooth as they come. Aging probably helped, but the flavors here are streamlined and elegant. Medium finish with lingering sweetness.

M: Relatively light on the palate, at least for the style. Bottle-conditioning added a lot of carbonation that gives the brew levity.

I'm not really sure why, but this isn't as popular as some other examples of style, at least around San Diego. This deserves to be on a pedestal - a perfectly drinkable beer that blurs the line between a beer and a liqueur. (1,252 characters)

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a dark ruby color with 2 fingers of head filled with large bubbles that fades down to a thin cap within 30 seconds

S: Dark fruits, especially cherries, up front, with some Belgian yeast and spiciness in there as well. Some alcohol and estery fruitiness backs everything up

T: Follows the nose. Dark fruits and Belgian yeast up front, with a background of spices and esters. Alcohol very subdued and in the background. Some earthiness comes out towards the finish

M: Medium bodied with lively carbonation

O: A little dark for the style (though aptly so, given the name) but delivers on all fronts. A great brew to sip on and enjoy as the flavors open up. A classic for sure (685 characters)

Photo of drmeto
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

T:
-very sweet
-caramel,toffee,plums,cherries,raisins,brown sugar,slight banana
-bready finsih
-light to medium hop bitterniss
F:
-boozy
-overcarbonated
O:
Very good overall (173 characters)

Photo of Libeertarian
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Have had this since early October, so, considering it's an import and had been for sale for a while, I imagine it's well over a year old by now. Kept it stored in a fairly cool, dark place, so I believe it's aged like it was supposed to.

Highly opaque for the color, which is a deep amber shade, about like smoky topaz. Minute flecks are noticeable as I drink it down. Medium retention, tan, multiform head. Fine here, large bubbles there, with sparse, splotchy lacing. Fresh sweet bread, caramel, curry, basil, and balsamic aromas at different intervals, but alcohol present throughout. Tasting it, up front there is the faintest bread flavor, followed immediately by an even sweetness of caramel, dark fruits, and primarily alcohol, right on through past the finish. Rum- or bourbon-like retro-olfaction. A rich, malty beer. Too sweet for me, but I've had sweeter in this category. Full-bodied with high level of fine carbonation, prickly but mellowing. Pretty wet. Tingling the inside of the lips, sides of cheeks, and upper anterior gums and warming the rest of the palate. Only a tad chewy/oily. (1,101 characters)

Photo of stevoj
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Superlative beer. Pours dark brown with silky beige head. Sourish, wine-like aroma, prunes, raisins, peat, wood. Taste recalls dried fruits and oak barrels, whiskey, wine. Finish is abrupt, and although flavor is full, there is little lingering on the palate. Truly gorgeous, a real sipper to enjoy. (299 characters)

Photo of Merticois
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look - Beautiful dark amber/brown color with a thick foamy head.

Smell - A very strong aroma of brown sugar, caramel, vanilla and alcohol.

Taste - Dark Fruit, Caramel, vanilla, sugar and very strong alcohol flavor.

Feel - Thick and zingy. The finish lingers on the tongue a while.

Overall - The flavor is quite good but the alcohol flavor almost overpowers the rest of the beer. Still a very good dark Belgian. (414 characters)

Photo of mothmanscott
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky brown with an orange tinge that produces a 2 finger, fluffy, tan head that leaves streaks & motes of lacing. Aroma is dark malt, brown sugar, caramel, butter, Belgian yeast & a hint of dark fruits & alcohol. Taste is raisins, roasted malt, honey, brown sugar, hints of molasses, toffee & alcohol. Finish is malty, buttery & warm. Aftertaste is rich, sweet, warm & tangy. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied with moderate-high carbonation, juicy, slick, peppery & sandpaper prickly. A very nice dark Belgian. (519 characters)

Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.47/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Had on tap as part of a Belgian sampler. Expectations were high, this one's been on my "must have" list for a while and I love a good strong ale. Color is light brown, with a small cap of tightly-bubbled head. Aroma is of malts, sweet dark fruits, raisins, plums. The taste is metallic plum/fig booze. Too sweet, and mish mash of strong booze and sweetness that alternate in every sip. The fig flavor was too much. Mouthfeel was smooth, at least. Probably not going to have this one again. (489 characters)

Photo of Meganomiidae
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Beautiful scorched honey brown body, with a thick and quickly dissipating tan head, leaving minimal lacing.

S: Seductive raisin and fig, mingling with dessert pull-apart bread sweetness. Slight coconut and rum undertones.

T: Honey, caramel, and stone fruits mingling with an ever so slight black pepper that boldens with increasing temperature. Lesser hints of deep red grape. Finishes slightly sweet leaning more towards dry.

M: Smooth, effervescent, fun. Not quite champagne level carbonation, but fairly high. Nice and light, like a tripel should be.

O: Can't believe it took me this long to get around to trying this beauty. Generally a bit cheaper than most belgian beers in my neck of the woods, and thus certainly worthy of repeat. (755 characters)

Photo of stumac
3.07/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Going off old notes. Pours a murky copper color with a nice tan head. The nose is sweet malts and dark fruits. I taste dark fruits like plums and more sweet malts. Light body, low carbo. Very sweet beer! (203 characters)

Photo of coltonbrimhall
3.99/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

-look is a dark beer with a light brown head
- smell is of brown sugar, raisin, and light red grapes
-bitter start but then turns to a plum, fig , dark fruit notes, then mellow yeasts
- feel is a bit over carbonated for my opinion
- overall a very complex beer really good but alot to keep track of (298 characters)

Photo of craigdb
3.31/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

If this really was a darker triple, I might be inclined to rate it higher. Instead I get a boozy, overcarbonated dubel. It's not terrible, but like the 9000, it's something other than what it should be. (202 characters)

Photo of majorbase2
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, dark reddish brown color with a big bubbly head. Dissipates to nothing shortly after, leaving some very spotty lacing.

Aroma is dark fruits, some light milky chocolate, and very sweet caramel. Raisin and red grapes are very noticeable. Definitely some alcohol present, which pairs nicely with the red grapes, giving it an aroma reminiscent of a red wine.

First sip reveals some incredible complexity. Lots of sweetness up front, which pairs with some melted caramel and raisin. Red grapes, fig, and brown sugar. A good deal of alcohol warmth.

Medium bodied. Gotta sip this one. Pretty decent carbonation. (622 characters)

Photo of Jon_Hendricks
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an incredibly dark brown

Overall: Tastes like sweet sweet malts, caramel, slight alcohol tinge and burn, medium finish, pleasant, medium bodied. A really unique, delicious and excellent beer. (210 characters)

Photo of Earl123
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is my first beer review so be gentle:)

An excellent overall beer. Unique character, a modern take on traditional brewing methods. Unlike some US mutations of the Belgian Tripel, it is not overly hoppy. It is actually one of the few beers my girlfriend and thoroughly enjoy together.

Taste is innovative and complex - cloves, bananas, cinnamon(?). A little fruitcake-y but not too much so and definitely stops short of a gueuze.

Everything else was excellent about the beer. The feel is not oppressively heavy and, as mentioned, not overly carbonated.

I prefer the 9000 version of the beer which is slightly more boozy in flavor (and reality). But this is a solid second. (680 characters)

Photo of arvidkoval
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L- Dark amber color, nice white head.

S- Sweet malt and dark fruits. Caramel candies.

T- Caramel, grapes, slight booze.

F- Good, smooth, thick feel. Moderate carbonation.

O- This stuff is awesome. (207 characters)

Photo of sporklift87
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured two fingers light brown sudsy head, excellent retention and sticky lacing. Dark orange and brown, with some amber shining through. Quite clear, minimal clouding. Smells of raisins, brown sugar and sweet malt. Notes of other dark fruits like plum and cherries. Aromatics have a lot to say, and loudly. Upon tasting, higher alcohol content is apparent, but well disguised behind a menagerie of bold flavors, matching aromatics. Brown sugar is apparent up front, followed by a lingering aftertaste of the dark fruits. Wonderful mouth feel, chewy, syrupy, foams up on the tongue, but not overwhelming in terms of acidity or carbonation. An incredible balance. Flavor lingers on front of tongue for several minutes. What an amazing beer. I picked up a 750 for $13, not the best price I've found it at, but well worth it for such a spectacular treat. Very highly recommended. Even my burps are delectable. (906 characters)

Photo of mdexter
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Gulden Draak is a one-of-a-kind Belgian. You can tell upon inspection that it's going to be rich and imposing. The beer pours a surprisingly dark, turbid shade of molasses. The aroma is somewhere between caramel and dulce de leche with some earthy notes, maybe raisins and cloves. It has the familiar sweet lace of all tripels with some well-balanced savory malts. The combination produces a boozey mouthfeel like a fortified wine or grappa. It's a strong, unique beer. (469 characters)

Photo of jhartley
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thick fluffy tan colored sea foam head...It lasted forever! Tons of heavy duty lacing in the glass! Honey brown colored body.
Aromas of raisins, dark fruits.
Sweet up front with raisins and plums and a nice amount of carbonation; clean finish with some bitterness.
Dangerously drinkable! Just the right amount of carbonation to off-set the sweetness.
Top notch world-class beer that is a real treat to sip on! (413 characters)

Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

330 ml bottle poured into a tulip. An amazing hue somewhere between ruby red, almost rose, and a darker brown amber with a billowing sudsy off-white head that fizzes and pops but never totally disappears.

Aroma evokes lightly toasted breakfast cereal, raisin, caramel, banana chips, prunes, nutmeg, faint peppercorn. Whoa ... Richly fruity but not excessively sweet, moderately spicy.

The taste is a case study of how to craft a top tier Belgian ale. Well-concealed alcohol but just enough of a peppery lingering burn. Rich caramelized banana, pear, and raisin flavors initially, followed by marshmallow, cinnamon, mace, and cake batter. There's almost a sour crab apple fruitiness lurking in the background. Syrupy, thick. Body nothing like a tripel but I suppose its a "dark" variant thereof. The style designation here is bang on. The sweetness is perfectly positioned, not cloying but still the dominant impression. Nice spicy yeast is just a step behind. Moderate carbonation and a persistent fruity, spicy, malty finish. Some gooseberry-like hops. A hint of carob.

A superlative brew and one I'd keep on hand at all times. Unique, yet meets one's expectations and thus provides a certain comfort. (1,207 characters)

Photo of baconfromwalmart
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Light brown head made of large and small bubbles, had staying power. The color was darker than I expected and matched the bottle glass perfectly.

Smell: Caramel, toasted marshmallow, hint of raisin.

Taste: First sip tasted like medicinal syrup but in the best possible way. Nice alcohol warmth. Flavors of toasted grain and raisin without the sweetness are really balanced, nothing overpowering.

Feel: Creamy, extremely smooth.

Overall: I usually prefer lighter brews, but this one is smooth, delicious and dangerously drinkable. (539 characters)

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
93 out of 100 based on 1,255 ratings.