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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: 3,613
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 19.52%
Wants: 269
Gots: 649 | 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: 3,613
Photo of Auraan
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep ruby red, semi-opaque, with a one finger off-white head that receded to a white ring rather quickly. While the head was nothing to write home about, the body color was fantastic. Scents of bubblegum, apple, pear, banana, fruity esters of a less describable sort, Belgian yeast, candi sugar and faint hints of alcohol. A good, fruity, yeasty, sweet and complex Belgian aroma. Taste begins with candi sugar, notes of apple and pear and some yeasty dark bread, moves into raisin, prune, sweet bready malts, caramel and some earthy Belgian yeast. Finishes with more bready malt and just a touch of alcohol. Quite nice, rather sweet, but not overly so and very complex. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied, with moderate carbonation, a slight alcohol burn, and a drying finish. Very nice sipping mouthfeel. Overall this is an excellent Belgian Strong Dark. Its got the complexity in both aroma and flavor that defines the style, and a very nice profile to both to boot.

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Photo of pmarlowe
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tulip glass.

A: Pours a deep, burgundy-rust color with a finger of fluffy off-white head. Superb, thick retention and some decent lacing. There’s a couple centimeter cap of head for as long as you care to drink this.

S: Booze-soaked fruit (plum, grape), jelly doughnut (?!), caramel, butterscotch, some cherry, and fresh bready malts.

T: Light fruit (dried cherry and raisin), bready malts, slight booze (though not bad considering the ABV), and a mild sweetness on the finish. Contains a slight mouthwatering quality. Rich and full flavor, well balanced, and not overly sweet.

M: A little warming alcohol, though belying the 10 percent ABV. Creamy mouthfeel, with slightly sharp carbonation (which mellows out considerably with some time) and medium-full bodied.

O: A tasty tripel, quite good esp. given that I’m not a huge fan of the style.

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Photo of brureview
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light chocolate color with a 2F head in a tulip glass.

The aroma: light vanilla, chocolate and very spicy with a strong clove presence. The clove is different than other beers in the style.

The mouth feel is very carbonated and transitions well to the taste.

The taste is exceptionally complex: spice, chocolate, clove and a strong alcoholic finish. The chocolate is more prominent with warming.

Overall a great beer- especially for the cold winter months.

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Photo of DRStaples
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Other reviews seem centered on bottled examples. I tasted in Middleton Ma at Maggies Farm on draught. Served in a tulip glass and poured with a large head. Unlike bottled reviews, I did not get an expected alcohol nose but rather a sweet malty aroma. In drinking, I found a very well balanced experience and a warming feeling (obviously from the gravity). Overall, one of the top ten brews I've tasted this year.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 6 of 6 of the Belgian Taster's pack from LCBO. Served cold into an oversized wine glass. Before even revisiting this great beer, I knew it would be my favorite from the six pack once I tried all the others. Another awesome cap and fantastic looking white bottle covering with dragons on it.

Appearance - Dark, amber and mahogany color spills into the glass and gives a tremendous 3 fingers of khaki head resting on top. Head lingers entire duration eventually fading down into a soapy floating cap. Magnificent lacing down the sides too. Wow!

Smell - Rich, bready malts, caramel, butterscotch a little bit of dark fruit, prunes and maybe cherries especially. The booze is present but not outlandish. To me smells like a 7-9% ABV as opposed to the 10.5% so it is somewhat well hidden.

Taste- Big malts like caramel and butterscotch that start sweet but quickly are reigned in so as to not be cloying of obstructive in any manner from beer nirvana. Light smokey undertone and a bit of a burn from the alcohol especially at the conclusion of a sip. Toasted sugars and Belgian yeasts are also present but much more subdued.

Mouthfeel - Slightly dry finish although that's expected given the alcohol level, but before that the beer is rich and velvety, but serious in character and not delicate.

Overall - This is a beer that gets straight to the point does not beat around the bush and try to trick you into what it is: a serious and delicious Belgian Strong Dark Ale that is extremely well crafted and will put you on your ass if you don't respect it. Definitely a sipper. Personally one of my two favorites from the style with the Rochefort 8 yet how they achieve their excellence couldn't be more different. A huge recommendation for anyone wanting to try something in the style.

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Photo of TheStig
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Golden Dragon indeed!

Aggressive is a good place to start with this. Popping the top resulted in a louder "crack" than I was expecting, and a substantial tongue of fog licked out of the top. I liken it to opening a bottle of ginger kombucha-- thankfully, the contents of the bottle didn't spill all over the floor (like kombucha sometimes does) but even my most gentle of pours produced a violent three finger head that threatened to creep over the top of the glass. I waited five minutes for the head to subside, and it left a sticky trail of lacing that resembled a cross between spiderwebs and Swiss cheese.

Color was a foggy, rich amber.

Scents that jumped out at me were black grapes, spicy wine notes (think Shiraz), grapefruit, pomegranate and cherry.

They do a very good job of taming the alcohol burn, folding it into layers of spice that compliment the heavier fruity sweetness.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly less aggressive than it would appear, but it still has a healthy carbonated bite. Sip gently.

Very impressive.

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Photo of DPJ3322
4.51/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a snifter to enjoy this guy.

Appearance - I had no idea what the color would be, I expected a trippel for some reason, came out rich but not dark brown, very pretty. However, the head bubbled away very fast.

Smell - Boozy initially in the smell followed by a very subtle and nice fruit sweetness.

Taste - Boozy up front again, I get hints of fruit and raisins followed by a kind of muted sweetness, with apples lingering on my tongue for the aftertaste. Very complex and subtle, I like it.

Mouthfeel - Heavy carbonated fizz up front and it gets kind of viscous as it sits on the tongue.

Overall - I really like this beer and I am savoring my bottle, it was well worth the money spent on it. I like the complex layering present in taste, smell and mouthfeel. Once again, a great beer, very European.

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the distinctive white 330 ml bottle to a snifter.

A: poured a hazelnut or ruby brown with an enormous head that over filled the glass but stayed tight. The head eventually breaks down after a few minutes leaving nice lacing and a thin layer of foam.

S: Yeasts, raisins, dark fruits and a hint of cherry.

T: subtly sweet and yet not. Malts are there, as is the yeast. Dark fruits and cherry linger on the palate as you drink this beer. The alcohol is there but hidden in the back.

M: good carbonation, full bodied. As others have said, this beer is a sipper...enjoy it a bit at a time.

O: a great BSDA. Very flavorful and enjoyable. I would recommend this beer to anyone who wants to enjoy a nice full bodied beer on a cool blustery fall/winter day.

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Photo of TastyAdventure
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A - 1/2 finger soap suds head, deep red, almost brown.

S - dates, brown sugar, yeast, dark bread, alcohol

T- sweeeet sweet dates. dark sugar candy, other dark fruitiness, syrup soaked bread, molasses.

M - more carb than expected, but neccessary for this heavy, sweet beer. It would be cloying with out the high carb. Body is full and slick.

Overall, this is dessert! So sweet. Tasty.

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Photo of whynot44
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Hazy copper brown color with a substantial off-white head that slowly settles down to a thin cap that persists and leaves some decent lacing.

The aroma is yeasty, raisins, plums with hints of citrus, vanilla and caramel.

The taste is rich caramel malt, plums, cloves, alcohol, hints of cherry and vanilla. The finish brings out some nice hop bite to offset the sweetness.

Medium/full bodied, smooth and almost creamy, easy to drink, but more of a "sipper". Take your time and enjoy it.

Overall, a heavy duty brew, very nice, especially in cool weather.

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Photo of Xalkalinex
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This was my choice for my 21st birthday present.

Aroma: malty with hints of cherry and licorice.

Taste: Sweet, but not to sweet. Notes of black cherry with A hint of licorice. Honestly very Jaegermeister like taste. Slight taste of liquor, but very well masked by the flavor.

Feel: Perfect amount of carbonation. If you swish it to coat your mouth you get an amazingly thick foam. This beer is a sipper, but very smooth with a warm dry finish.

Look: It's all about taste for me, but for those who are curious... Nice thick head with slight lacing when poured. Beautiful dark brown with a slight copper tone.

Overall, a great beer well worth the $5 a bottle. A great balance of flavor with a dry finish, but with a nice warming feeling. I highly recommend this one.

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Photo of scotorum
4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Love the distinctive white bottle. Screams quality.

Poured into a Duvel tulip from the 11.2 oz. bottle.

a: Clear ruby with an enormous off white head which gradually receded to heavy rocky surface foam and spotty lacing.

s: Mild dark fruit. Something about it when I breathe in while smelling it causes me to cough.

t: Initially a unique combination flavor (perhaps because I'm holding my breath to keep from coughing), followed by sweet dark fruit. Flavor turns more yeasty as it is consumed. High ABV is pretty well concealed. Dry finish despite the sweet taste..

m: Good body, smooth except for the loads of carbonation bubbles which tingle over the tongue.

o: Fine follow-up to the St. Bernardus Abt. 12 I had last night. Less persistent flavor, but enough to keep you wanting to taste more. If this was $2 a bottle instead of $5.25, I'd buy it often. Will definitely want to try the 9000 Quad soon.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes taken yesterday, 10-2-13.

I got a finger and a half head. Body is an unassuming brown color. There is a good amount of bubbles going to the top. Head keeps a frothy ring while lacing holds on... then falls back into the body.

The aroma of sweet dark cherries is the first impression I get. Dark fruit follows, along with mild caramel and bits of sugar and yeast.

I tasted wheat and a bit of wood and yeast up front. A hint of dark fruit, sugar and dark cherries follows. It finishes on an earthy note.

This beer was medium bodied. I coats most of the tongue and finishes dry.

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Photo of zac16125
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

330mL bottle into a chalice
no bottled on date but Im assuming its a 2013 bottle

A: Pours a dark mahogany with some reddish hues when held to light. 1.5 fingers width of tan colored head has good retention and leaves lots of patchy sheets of lacing.

S: Dark fruits in the form of plum raisin, clove and peppery spice, a bit yeasty, candied sugar, lots of sweetness.

T: Initial flavors are dark fruits and candied sugar. Next I get some booze and lots of spice. Yeasty on the finish and lingering into the aftertaste. A bit of bitterness and hints of dark cocoa.

M/D: Full bodied and smooth with an fairly high carbonation. Has a full body warming sensation. ABV is noticeable, but not in a bad way. Drinkability is very good.

O: I love Belgian Strongs and this was a good one. Not with the elite of the bunch, but certainly a great beer worth enjoying when you are in the mood for a Belgian.

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Photo of MaartenvanDoorn
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had it at a bar in Tilburg, The Netherlands. The appearance of the beer was okay, a nice, dark color. The smell was pretty neutral, nothing special. The taste was surprisingly sweet, fruity. But not too sweet like some other beers, the fruity taste was done very well. Overall a good beer.

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Photo of Kuaff
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From the cellar into my snifter... after the cork exploded off as I was unwinding the cage wire and the dragon gushed forth all over the place, that is. Luckily, I was able to direct more of it into my glass than the spillage which ended up on the table, floor, and myself. Wonder why that happened?

A seriously dense, foamy, bone white four-finger head on this one. It sticks around forever. The ale's hue is a deep, dark pure ruby. What stunning beauty!

It has an incredibly scintillating aroma of yeasty sourdough pancake batter, cherries, purple grapes, prunes, raisins, vanilla, caramel, and butterscotch. I think I even get a little cinnamon and allspice, too.

The taste has a potent, POWERFUL sweet breadiness, mixed with a tart dark fruitiness and a caramel-like quality. Cherries and raisins come through a lot, and the finish is kind of like a caramel-glazed cinnamon roll. Pretty awesome.

The feel is another place where this one shines, I think. It's like... rich and buttery... it coats my tongue and sticks to it like warm caramel sauce. High, biting carbonation animates this ponderous elixer with energy.

They call it a dark tripel... but it's really just like a Belgian strong dark ale. And a pretty darn good one.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.46/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 25 oz bottle into a La Trappe goblet. Purchased in North Providence, RI.

A- Pours a muddy brown, slightly hazy body with bright cherry highlights. A fluffy, airy, generous khaki colored head rises and reduces slowly to a frothy layer, leaving thick lacing. Very inviting.

S- Lots of fruity aromas coming through here.. dark fruits, white wine, plums, and raisins are all present upfront. There's definitely a roastyness coming through too.. lightly roasted malt, citrus, and a slight alcohol aroma.

T- Sweet caramel, toffee, and brown sugar upfront.. raisins, plums, candied sugar, bubblegum soon thereafter. The finish leaves an absolutely delicious roastyness on the tongue that I really love about dark Belgian beers. Some booze present , the 10.5% is not hidden well (-.25 for that).

M- Medium-heavy body, medium-low carbonation. Pretty rich.

I was highly impressed with the Gulden Draak. It was highly complex, flavorful, and full bodied. Sits up there with some of the best Belgian tripels. A must try.

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Photo of Raven3464
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It pours a brownish-red body with a huge three finger head. Retention is incredible.

Smell: The initial pour releases an incredibly inviting aroma of clove and dark fruits like raisins, plums, and cherries. As the beer warms the smell starts to resemble rum with a punch of alcohol and caramel. The booze smell never takes over despite the high ABV. A slight yeast aroma can also be noticed.

Taste: Brown sugar is the first flavor which comes to mind. This is followed by hints of clove, cherries, plume, and caramel. There is a good balance of hops, as the aftertaste is sweet but with a hop bite still lingering in the back of the throat. There is enough alcohol to let you know you are drinking a bold brew but it is never overpowering. Surprisingly, hints of Belgian yeast (i.e the Belgian twang) are not so apparent.

Mouth feel: This is like alcoholic syrup with just the right amount of carbonation. In other words, it is thick and yet still easy to drink.

Overall: This is one of the overall best dark ales I have ever had. I highly recommend it.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.89/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

(Previous review, transferred from beer journal)

Gulden Draak: trippel, 10.5% ABV; Appearance: mid/dark amber; Smell: sour, caramel/woody notes, molasses; Taste/Mouthfeel: strong toasted malt, bit of pine and wintergreen, toffee, well carbonated; complex, easy to drink, good.

Poured into a pint glass.

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Photo of Murrhey
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from 330ml bottle into a goblet in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- Four-finger off-white head with long retention and thick, fluffy lacing atop a nut brown body. Attractive beer with a great head.

S- Brandy, candi sugar, brown sugar, molasses, dark notes of plums maybe. Dark and alcoholic, but not cloying or abrasive. Muted smell for the ABV.

T- Hits with a surprising amount of hoppiness, followed by the caramel malts and the strong sugars in the brew. Alcohol is obviously present, but warming and in the background more than punching me in the face. Very good flavor. Excellent taste.

M- Vinous but thick. Mediocre.

O- Wonderful except for the feel. Great beer.

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Photo of gr0g
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark reddish-brown with a substantial head. Excellent retention and chunky lacing. Sweet, rum-like nose with plenty of fruity esters. Ripe, dark fruit and Belgian candi sugar notes are abundant.

On the palate, sweetness from malt and candi sugar, a bit medicinal, then becomes dry on the finish. Interplay of both light and dark fruit: apple, plum, and raisin. Carbonation is lively but not harsh, and despite a slight alcohol note this high ABV brew is not boozy.

A must-try for any fan of dark Belgian ales. Very nice sweet-dry/bitter balance.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.01/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle at World of Beer in Tioga. Pours purplish reddish brown with a nice cream colored head. Aroma of plums, booze, and yeast funk. Flavor follows with yeasty bitter on top of sweet dark fruits, raisins, figs, etc. hit me hard as I have not eaten and this drinks pretty easy. Solid Belgian brew.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hard to believe that I've never had this, given how popular this beer is on here. I picked up a bottle of this in Totowa and expected this to be strong, sweet, and full of dark fruit like so many other Belgian beers that I've had recently. That wasn't even close to being the case here and this really took my by surprise, when it came to how easily drinkable and enjoyable this turned out to be. The never felt strong and without a doubt, this was one of the most balanced Belgian beers that I've ever had, to my delight.

This had quite a pour to it, as it came out a dark brown with a hint of raisin down the middle of it, with a fluffy head that held its own before settling down to just a trace of foam. The lacing was quite good in the beginning before lessening as I made my way through this. The aroma was of some candied sugar and blood orange, which were both solidly present in the taste. Not as much booze or dark fruit as was to be expected, with just some plum and warming in the aftertaste. Fig and dark bread round out the flavors and there's enough malt here to give this a great body, with only a hint of carbonation to cleanse everything after each sip. Not a lot of chew to this, but it was just a bit cloying and left a nice, smooth coating from start to finish, leading me to having to pace myself while drinking this.

I don't think I've ever had a beer this strong that didn't taste or feel it, as the alcohol was extremely well-hidden and almost undetectable at the end of my drinking session. Most beers like this feel strong but this one was an exception and felt more like a Dubbel than a Strong Dark Ale. This may be the best Belgian beer I've ever had and given how many other strong candidates are out there, that's no small feat. A must-try for any aficionado of beer, regardless of stylistic preference.

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Photo of JWeldon
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into tulip @ 45F

A: Beautiful, hazy toffee with a lingering finger of silky, light beige head

S: fig and raisin, bready notes with toffee and grass and a hint of tropical fruit

T: much the same as the smell, with a hint of golden syrup, a restrained hoppy finish and noticeable—but gentle booze.

M: medium-bodied and smooth, solid malt with medium-high carb. Well balanced.

O: Loved it! This is a really well-balanced beer with a solid malt backbone, but enough hops to make it a balanced—and, unexpectedly refreshing beer. I’ll definitely be having this again.

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Photo of flayedandskinned
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

No bottle date
Poured into a standard tulip glass.

Appearance: (3.75)
Pours a hazy, dark amber with a nice reddish hue. A loosely bubbled, two and a half fingers tall, light beige head quickly forms and has adequate retention, although not quite up to par to others it's category. The head leaves some lacing behind in it's wake.

Aroma: (3.75)
A lot brighter aromatics than I expected; Juicy, sweet plums right upfront with ripe cherries, as well as some fig flesh not far behind. There is a kiss of some orange blossom from the hops before some sweet, biscuity malts round out the nose. Some alcohol phenols are present.

Taste: (3.75)
Sweet cherries and plum flesh greets your palate first with a nice snappy orange-y hop presence in tow. Middle of the taste, there is a distinct fig note right before your palate is smoothed over by a sizable, doughy malt backbone; caramel and toffee with a distinct streak of scorched Belgian candi sugar. Finishes off dry and just bitter enough to balance the sweet malt. Lingering notes of plums, cherries, oranges and more malty breadiness. Moderate to light alcohol flavor in the finish.

Mouthfeel: (3.75)
Surprisingly light bodied with high carbonation.

Overall: (3.75)
Gulden Draak set out to be a dark Belgian Triple, it succeeded. The bright, snappy hoppiness is there, as well as the fruit forward yeast and solid bready malt backbone. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of alcohol phenols in both flavor and aroma that really interferes and covers up the above said qualities as the beer warms in it's glass. This is a decent beginner Belgian beer, but it can't hold its own against the big boys of Belgium.

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