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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,776 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2776
Reviews: 1191
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.35%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001)
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Ratings: 2,776 | Reviews: 1,191 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Rijtjeshuis

Ontario (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look (4.5/5) ~ Deep coppery with some really nice red and orange tones in it (the colour gives the impression of fullness and richness). Given the abv, the head was great: it was very moussy, and fell exceptionally slowly with some nice lacing. Towards the clear side of hazy.
Smell (4/5) ~ spot on for the style. Rich complex maltiness plays off of some really nice yeast notes with a subtle spicy and earth y hop presence. Malt is strongly of the Munich/Vienna type variety with some nice melanoidin notes (plums, prunes, dried apricots); there is also a faint smokiness to the nose. You get a lot of the fruity and floral notes that you’ expect from this style.
Taste (4.5/5) ~ very good. Maltiness was front and centre and the beer was malty-sweet in balance (though I’d still say it was in with the Trappist versions and not the very sweet Abbey ones). I get a whole lot of Munich/Vienna melanoidins and all the fruitiness they bring (plum, prune, dried apricot); but there was also a smoke – not burnt mind you – note that reminded me a bit of very fine tobacco, which I liked a lot. The finish, which would otherwise be sweet is gets a lot of spice and gentle alcohol to balance everything out well. Floral and fruity yeast notes round it out. Some very mild earthy hops and enough bitterness to achieve some nice balance.
Feel (4/5) ~ pretty much what you’d expect: relatively gentle carb and pretty heavy in terms of body. I’d describe it as achieving a pretty silky/velvety feel well.

I’ve had more a few of this style and I’d have to say that this is more of the most compelling versions. I really liked the complexity of the malts, especially with that cigar/tobacco note that was played up. I think the spiciness and bitterness were great foils for the otherwise overwhelming sweetness. Kudos to the brewers!

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 01:09:07 | More by Rijtjeshuis
Photo of HATS4BATS

Ontario (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Complex and sharp. Pours deep copper red with ample, frothy head that delights. Restrained fresh citrus nose. This welterweight packs an acerbic, powerful, deeply-sugared malt bite that lingers, dissolving into alcohol-laced bitter, peppered finish that dissolves surprisingly quickly. Rewarding and sometimes overpowering, not for the faint of heart.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 03:15:15 | More by HATS4BATS
Photo of Ranz


4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Without much head, it pours a dark, brown-red. The lacing is thick and evenly displaced inside my Duvel tulip. This looks very nice.

S: There's some strong character here--figs, black cherries, resin, and a hint of banana with clove. A slight acidity to the nose gives it some bite.

T: The clove and banana are quite pronounced with a nice singe of alcohol. Do I note a taste of nuttiness, too? Lots going on, and I'm enjoying it all. The finish is thick, but I can't quite place the flavor. Carmelized or dried fruit? I'm not sure.

M: The alcohol gives it a good, playful carbonation, which is offset by the slight thickness on the palate. This beer rewards sipping.

O: I'm really quite pleased with this; I'll certainly be getting more of this to enjoy, and I'll be looking for other brews by Van Steenberge.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 05:28:15 | More by Ranz
Photo of andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glad to see this made it up to Northwestern Ontario. A treat indeed and a brew I plan to buy several of.

A - Pours a slightly hazy ruby red colour, thumb of fluffy off-white head with solid retention and nice sheeting lacing.

S - Nose is dominated by dark fruit, vineous red wine, raisins, and figs. A sugary caramel scent comes through with burnt brown sugar and a touch of musty alcohol sweetness.

T - Sugary caramel dominates, musty alcohol sweetness with a touch of heat, big fruit rich flavours of raisins and red grapes, yeast esthers and toffee notes linger.

M - Lighter bodied ale that fills the mouth, goes down with a touch of heat and finishes surprisingly wet.

O - Not surprisingly this brew did not fail to deliver, offering up loads of flavour and an incredibly well hidden ABV. Delicious is an understatement, well worth trying out.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 02:08:14 | More by andrenaline
Photo of DavidST


3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a goblet, no bottle date.his pours a reddish brown tea color slightly cloudy with a nice tan head which dissipates down to a thin head. The smells are somewhat good, you get some dark fruit, candied sugar and alcohol. The feel is medium high carbonination. The taste is good but very potent alcohol burn and a level of booziness, the taste is also of candied sugar and dark fruit.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2012 03:50:11 | More by DavidST
Photo of beergoot


4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich, dark amber body with a faint haze and topped with a rich, chunky, thick and sticky head; clumps of foam dot and cling to the glass as it empties. Deep roasted malt aroma imbued with rich fig and date fruit character; caramelized sugars and toffee notes; molasses. Rich, sweet taste mimics the aroma with the added punch of a strong yet seemingly well-balanced alcohol warmth. Heavy in body, sticky and vinous; smooth.

Wow! One of the best heavy, dark brews I've had in recent memory. Incredible balance and complexity in this big, bold beer. It is a areal pleasure to sip such an immense beer that emphasizes the malt, hops, and other ingredients while taming the relatively high ABV and not letting it dominate the overall flavor.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2012 03:39:23 | More by beergoot
Photo of dickieb

Rhode Island

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

Pours a deep reddish amber in color with a big white head and some nice lacing. The smell is of mostly candied sugar and dark fruits, and I pick up hints of bourbon as well. Tastes of molasses raisins heavily laced with belgian test notes and spicing and very little booze shows through. The mouthfeel is a bit thick but style appropriate. A very solid Belgian offering.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 01:11:37 | More by dickieb
Photo of Stocean1

Ontario (Canada)

4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A tasty deep ruby hued brew, grape, candied sugar, sweet bread, belgian yeast, warm alcohol, booze is present but works with the other flavours, medium to full bodied with little carbonation, this is a concoction that would be great for an hour by the fire

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2012 03:59:45 | More by Stocean1
Photo of fx20736

New York

4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 330ml bottle into a chalice, served at cellar temp.

Turbid lignite brown with a cappuchino head that leaves decent lacing.

Aroma of plums, dates and cocoa.

mouthfeel is soft and supple.

taste: 3 words come to mind; boozy, hot and sweet. Imagine plums, raisins and dates macerated in dark rum and drenched with Black Treacle. There is a sting of hop bitterness on the fade.

notes; WOW, what a great beer!!

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2012 23:36:19 | More by fx20736
Photo of dbell23


4.81/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a wire and cork 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass. Mahogany color with a huge foamy off white head that lingers and settles into fluffy cloud on a small dense head. Lacing is really nice.

Smell is dark Belgian classic. Candied fruit,maybe brandied fruit, sweet malt, light phenols, yeasty goodness.

Taste is spectacular. Sweet malt with practically no hop. Candied fruit maybe stewed prunes. Raises, slight banana. Great dark Belgian tastes. The alcohol is hidden but definitely there.

Mouthfeel starts with maybe too much carbonation but, one might imagine, it smoothes out as it warms. Really nice.

Overall, this may be my favorite dark Belgian. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2012 23:13:15 | More by dbell23
Photo of ryan1788a5


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle decanted into a Chimay goblet.

A: Clear reddish-brown color. Towering pillowy beige head has great staying power. Lacing forms thin, fine bubbled rings.

S: Fruity and spicy with aromas of cherry, brown sugar, caramel, molasses, toasted walnuts, and banana bread. Great complexity, the beer opens with more time to divulge further scents of baked apples, cocoa, browned biscuits, and more spices.

T: Cherries, dried figs, baked apples, plum. Cinnamon, brown sugar, spices, touch of clove. Slight spike of alcohol remains well hidden. Toasted walnuts, cocoa, brown bread, and more layered malt flavors. Hop bitterness is noticeable toward the end, but it fades into the background quickly. Dry finish is spicy with a lingering bready flavor.

M: Medium-thick body seems it would have a sludgy weight to it were it not for the high level of aggressive, scrubbing carbonation. Deep warmth in the mouth and belly after swallowing lets you know this beer means business.

O: Just an excellent beer all around. My hasty review really doesn't do it justice. It's an absolute must-try. It paired very well with a nice French Munster, but it could probably complement a lot of big, assertive cheeses. The scrubbing carbonation does wonders to lift some of the heavier, creamier cheese textures.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2012 14:03:28 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of DubbelTrubbel


4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite beers for my first review!

750ml bottle into Gulden Draak tulip

A- rich dark ruby, creamy head- large bubbles.

S- candy, sugar, only a little alcohol. Heavy on the fruit- an incredible belgian aroma.

T- Just enough bitterness to balance intense sweetness and slight mustiness. Lemony aftertaste.

M- Nice balance between heavy and light mouthfeels.

O- Great, complex beer. Very drinkable for the alcohol level.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2012 01:15:04 | More by DubbelTrubbel
Photo of Goblinmunkey7


3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep dark brown tinged with dark reds. Pours with a ton of carbonation. Head is massive, pillowy, dirty-white. Leaves super sticky lacing. Solid retention. Drops to a small, loose cap and collar.

Smell: Loaded with Belgian yeast. Spice and some serious candi sugar and caramel sweetness. Clove, ripe banana, deeply Belgian and peppery. Some hints of chocolate as well. Belgian sweetness. Bubblegum, but faint.

Taste: Ripe banana and clove. Big malty sweetness. Candi sugar layered throughout. Belgian yeast adds a ton of spiciness. Some minor lemon and hay. Slightly damp. Over cooked and caramelized malts. Some caramel and biscuit malts. Faint hints of bubblegum. Heavy clove as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Slightly high carbonation on a medium body. Clean overall. Some dryness toward the end.

Overall: Draconian? I think not.

This is no mythical beast of awesome power. It's a solid take on the style and brings some unique malts to the party, but it ultimately lacks depth and an overall appeal.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 04:11:07 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Photo of Marc_V

4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2012 20:10:43 | More by Marc_V
Photo of CloudStrife

New York

4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours an opaque ruby with a 1 finger mostly white head. Tons of visible carbonation can be seen in the body. Head sticks around as a pretty thick layer for quite a long time. Leaves some lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Has a dark fruity aroma, some yeastiness in the background. More of a fruit than I expected.

T: A very well blended balance of fruits, yeast and a great malt backing. A little sweet with lots of fruit notes. Cherry mostly. Malts are really smooth.

M: Nice thick mouthfeel without feeling heavy. Mostly due to the high levels of carbonation.

Overall a very impressive beer. Bet it would hold up for a while in the bottle. On the sweeter side, but something tasty to sip on.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2012 01:41:38 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of BedetheVenerable


4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 330 ml brown pop-top stubby Belgian-style bottle, now covered with a white plastic wrapping, rather than white paint. No date that I see. Poured into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Nice warm mahogany brew, with bright clarity and a light tan cap with pretty good retention.

Smell: Lots of fruit (particularly dusty apple and sour, dark fruit), a bit of candi sugar. Fairly straightfoward, but pleasant.

Taste: Mild alcohol heat, but this certainly isn't hot; subtle fruitiness (lighter and golden fruit, but with nothing in particular sticking out). A nice sweetness melds with the alcohol, but it's much more a candy sweetness than dark caramel, as the beer's color might suggest. Not the shocking depth I remember this brew having, but really quite tasty nonetheless, and rather unlike most other BDSAs.

Mouthfeel: Magical--pillowy, light, and creamy, all at the same time.

Overall: This is delicious beer. I can't put my finger on exactly what it is that makes me like it so much; it's not as shockingly complex as I remember (is this still bottle-conditioned as it once was?), but the flavors are still somewhat unique, and seductive. The minimal heat, mixed with the incredible mouthfeel and light fruit flavors (along with a hint of earthy dark fruit) make this quite enjoyable. At $18 a 4-pk, though, this is MAYBE a once-a-year purchase, and it's largely the price that drops the rating a bit below where it should (IMO) be.


Serving type: bottle

11-18-2012 02:08:46 | More by BedetheVenerable
Photo of Twincrasher

4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Deep chestnut color. Much lace and lots of foam.

S: Dark fruits and muted citrus. Alcohol noticable.

T: Warm taste. Very malty despite alcohol. Some pepper tones and dark fruit flavor. Sweet ripe flavor throughout with balancing agent. Belgian yeast is perfect for this recipe.

M - Medium-to-thick body. As the beer warms I get more and more booze warmth. Medium carbonation. Very nice for sipping.

Did not like first time while overseas. Second time excellent.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2012 14:48:52 | More by Twincrasher
Photo of Brian2001

5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am enthralled with this beer yet dismayed at the other reviews regarding taste and smell. One reviewer mentioned creamed pears. I believe it is more like bittersweet prunes prepared with the smokey essence from french pine bark. This also correlates to the hint of bakers chocolate. However, that is a false tasting note which can fool the novice. You see, as the french pine bark tree is expertly roasted, it will certainly lend itself to the essence of bitter chocolate. It is this essence which has been expertly infused within this fine beer. Bottom line is... I kind of like it. Im gonna buy it again when i have a hankering for some sweet light wood.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2012 03:17:31 | More by Brian2001
Photo of rundocrun


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours chestnut brown and slightly hazy with some glowing ruby highlights. 2 full fingers of head form. Great retention. Lots of lacing on the glass.

S - Figs, candied orange peel, caramel. Undertones of brown bread. Noticeable booze, which complements the fruit character well. Wonderfully aromatic beer.

T - Sweet and a touch tart up front with distinct flavors of pear and ripe apple. Caramel and fig-like sweetness are prominent through the middle. A drier, wheaty flavor carries through the middle and the finish as well. Some alcohol warmth and bitterness in the finish, but the fruity esters steal the show. Belgian yeast at its finest. My only gripe is that this is a touch too sweet. I know the monks called it "liquid bread" but this is more like liquid fruitcake (the good kind, if there is such a thing).

M - Medium-to-thick body. As the beer warms I get more and more booze warmth. Pleasing and balanced carbonation. Overall, a great mouthfeel and makes for a great sipper.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2012 03:11:33 | More by rundocrun
Photo of BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-29-2012 11:51:45 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of Philousa


4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Imbibed at Yard House San Jose, 10/12/12. This arrived with lipstick on the glass and I had to return it. Check your glassware before you enjoy your beer!

Dark cherry wood, opaque in appearance with a good amount of tan head. Foam looks powdery and packed, leaving lacing on the glass. Very sticky. I get notes of cherry, roasty chocolate and leather. Sweet presence of candied sugar is prevalent but not overbearing. Candied cherries and other, somewhat sweet, pit fruit starts out the taste. Some dark chocolate, maybe bakers chocolate, with some oak and a hint of alcohol burn. The feel is balanced, as is the finish.

This was quite the treat. Very balanced and complex. Hopefully it's just as good from a bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

10-13-2012 20:40:25 | More by Philousa
Photo of LXIXME

New Mexico

3.85/5  rDev -9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2012 23:35:36 | More by LXIXME
Photo of KKB


4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A – A deep ruby-amber with a voluminous khaki head, carbonation slowly flowing from the bottom; the tight fluffy bubbles on top of this gorgeous looking body make my mouth water a little bit.

S – As one person put it, “it’s malty sweet, scotchy and dark fruity.” I think that is an utterly appropriate explanation. The sweetness invades your senses but it has a juiciness to it that is definitely the product of dark fruits and it has a slight alcoholic aroma to it as well. A slight bready backbone holds all the aromas together and they form a chorus of delight singing hallelujah into my welcoming nostrils.

T – Oh sweet ambrosia thy name is Gulden Draak! The taste of this beer is simply divine, something the Gods most certainly would find an adequate form of sustenance. It is both sweet and sour with the tones that I discovered in the nose following through onto the taste buds: dates, black cherries, raisins, plums, brown sugar, cocoa…then as it warms a sort of clove, cinnamon, butterscotch, tobacco, yeasty-spicy goodness invades the pallet, with maybe, just maybe, a hint of hops in there as well.

M – Velvety cream, a medium-full body with a fine carbonation that makes it oh so smooth to drink. Followed by a nice alcoholic burn that does not overwhelm but merely holds you ever so tenderly, and as my dear friend Harris once said about a cabernet sauvignon, it’s like the last fold of the blanket being pulled over you as you tuck into bed.

O – This is a beer to grow old with, I love this beer, I will have this beer countless times again over the course of my life. I’m sure I’ll find beers I enjoy more in the years I have left to me, as my exploration is still just in it’s infancy, but this beer is one of the first beers I have ever fallen truly in love with. It is a sonnet, a cool and refreshing breeze, the welcome company of a good friend, and a solemn promise of good things to come. Thank you gulden draak.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2012 02:38:12 | More by KKB
Photo of Celtics76

Rhode Island

4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kicked off the weekend with this and an episode of Game of Thrones. Not a bad start.

Pours dark copper with at least an inch and a half of head. Impressive. Reduces quite slow. Smells yeasty as expected. Tastes of yeast, bread, and a hint of banana. A mild alcohol burn which goes with the territory considering the 10.5% ABV. Has a medium, somewhat syrupy feel to it.

This one's a powerhouse. It's surprisingly easy to drink considering the potency of it. But I've chosen to sip it very slowly considering the complexity and cost of it. At $5 per bottle this is a nice "special occasion" beer - not something I would drink on a regular basis but worth every penny when I do.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2012 22:43:30 | More by Celtics76
Photo of Jetulio


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: bottle 33 cl. Poured into a Judas-Big-Tulip

A / dark brown with some red. Around 3 cms of foam nearly white.

S / tangy fruit and alcohol. Intense and nice.

T / liquored and alcoholic and after that a presence of malt and caramel.

M / body between medium and full, in mouth a taste very balanced between liquor, sweet and malt . Medium carbonation.

O / long aftertaste. Excellent and complex belgian ale. One of my favourites.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2012 09:27:12 | More by Jetulio
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 2,776 ratings.