Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

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.

1,259 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,259
Hads: 3,544
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 252
Gots: 603 | 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 (94) | 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: 1,259 | Hads: 3,544
Photo of Kremlock
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours an off white, slightly Irish cream in colour that was 1 inch think that then settled to a film on top. Beer is a deep blood orange colour, clear with no haze or particles.

S: Dark fruits, slight spiciness, some tart apple, sweetness with a hint of alcohol.

T: Tart at the beginning, some raisin - sweetness - slight bubble gum in the middle. Finishes fairly dry, crisp, alcohol warmth.

M: Med-full bodied, crisp, high carbonation cleans up the palate. Dry finish and slight alcohol to it.

O: For a 10.5% beer this does not feel like it. Very well balanced, clean belgian yeast, carbonation makes it great to clean the palate. This beer would go great with blue cheese, olives, pickled eggs. (703 characters)

Photo of Seanniek91
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12oz bottle into a Chimay chalice.

Appearance- Dark hazy brown with one finger fluffy white head that shows no sign of going away.

Smell- Belgian yeast, malts, apples, slight hop presence, clove.

Taste- Malts, light hops, spice. Some darker fruit flavors. Nice lingering aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- Very bubbly. Some boozy warmth. Medium bodied.

Overall- Wasn't what I was expecting. Still good, but not my favorite. (431 characters)

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a cloudy mahogany brown with an off-white, 2 finger head. Average retention. Lacing is spotty, with little stick.

Smell - Sweet, sugary aroma. Grape bubblegum. Subtle hints of raisin.

Taste - Tart green apple to start. Mild toffee mid-taste. More Grape bubblegum that was found in the nose (think bubble yum) hits near the finish. Subtle, underlying alcohol presence. Sweet, fairly clean finish.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied, with syrupy character. Despite it's heaviness, the lively carbonation keeps the beer feeling fresh, sip after sip.

Overall - A very good Belgian. It's not my favorite style, but this one's made it's mark on me. With that said, I don't know how often I'll buy it considering it's high price mark. (741 characters)

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

Enjoyed this 11.2oz stubby bottle out of a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark amber hue with a fizzy, off-white, 4-finger head that slowly dissipates down the side of the glass leaving a nice trail and ending in a solid fizzy lace.

S: Strong, sweet, and spicy aroma that almost burns the nostrils.

T: Sweet and tart Belgian yeast flavor with a fruity and malty background that finishes in the alcoholic spicy side.

M: Very strong and boozy. Medium body and high carbonation.

O: Excellent Belgian Strong ale – Complex flavors and aromas. (546 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hard to tell from the dating code, but I think this bottle is from 2010.

Dark chestnut in color. Tripel Karmeliet glass gave the head some oomph. Started with a solid two inches. Lacing is having trouble committing to stick, but the cap is nice. Buttermilk-colored foam with glistening bubbles.

Indescript aromas of dark fruits, yeastiness, and nuts. A very sweet alcohol note asserts itself as the undercurrent. Raisin, creme de cacao, dried fig, and toffee notes. A pretty creamy aroma that I forgot that it had. That booze is under a pretty big blanket of Belgian malts and yeast strains. There's even something green in the nose, like aged hops.

Dried fruits and nuts, like trail mix, plus lively yeast esters and a strong booziness dominate. Some light cherry, fig, raisin, hints of overripe banana, and a touch of apricot. More of a roasty character to this beer, like coffee, than in most other Belgian Strong Darks. Clove-y spice. There's a milky flavor that adds to the other components, like fruit cake dredged in half-n-half. Finishes on the clean side, with nuances from the yeast carrying over slightly.

Body is surprisingly thinner, like a staunch medium. Carbonation still has a little fun driving bubbles around. Can't really fault the booziness. It's the nature of the beast.

I haven't had this particular brew in awhile (and, it used to be a Belgian bar staple for me back in the day). I can't say that I still enjoy it as much, but it's still a fine ale, worthy of a recommendation. (1,506 characters)

Photo of TommyC
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, translucent amber; large-medium size bubbles. Great color (almost purplish reflections from some angles), but small head with little retention.

Nose: fruit; bread.

Taste: plum; grape; cherry; herbs; malts; sharp spices; (and perhaps a tinge of fennel?). A well balanced affair with sweetness tempered by a minor touch of tang.

Mouthfeel is somewhat unremarkable: thick enough, but doesn't really have the proper head to create the creaminess that suits this style (IMO).

Overall, I liked this: flavorful yet balanced, bringing a quad-like palate but with much more subtlety and far greater drinkability than any quad I've had. However, I'd prefer if it had a thicker, finer head. (698 characters)

Photo of neenerzig
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of an 11.2 oz. bottle into my goblet glass, this beer pours a dark, murky copper color with a nice fluffy looking tan head that is about an inch thick when poured. Settles to a a nice 1/4 inch layer with a thick ring lining the inside of the glass. Pretty good lacing too. Aromas of dark caramel malts along with fruit such as plum and banana and some Belgian candy sugar as well as some yeast and a slight hint of hops. Has a very tasty sweet dark caramel malt and Belgian candy sugar flavor upfront that gives way to dark fruitiness of plums, grapes, and a bit of berries. Rounds out with a nice hint of peppery spice along with a very slight hint of hops on the very back of the tongue. The alcohol is noticeably present here in a pleasant sort of way. Has a slightly crisp, but mostly smooth and a bit creamy, slightly oily mouthfeel that really coats the palate for awhile and lingers well after having swallowed the sip. Medium body with light to moderate carbonation. Certainly could have benefited from a bit more carbonation I think, but a very good beer all around! Easy to drink in the way good beer should be! A real winner here overall!

Eric (1,166 characters)

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Biergarden.

A - Amber honey color. Nice and hazy.

S - A cornucopia of flavors. Complex and delightful.

T - So balanced with lots of fruit. Delicious every time I have it.

M - Not a huge mouth but still nice.

O - This is a great easy drinker. Superb beer that I always enjoy. (290 characters)

Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.86/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Pours a magnificent looking deep ruby with a massive, fluffy, four-finger head. Head dissipated fairly rapidly, with big soapy bubbles of lacing.

S - Smells of dark malts with a hint of fruits, Belgian yeasts, and spicy hops. Everything in perfect harmony here.

T - Taste follows the nose, with lush fruits (red grape, plum, beet, mulberry) taking center stage, with an undercurrent of unroasted sweet caramel malts. Belgian yeasts nowhere near as noticeable as they were in the aroma. Spicy/peppery hops carry the finish. ABV noticeable but in a good way, without being "hot". Flavors are very rich. What amazes me is how well balanced this is; total fusion with none of the above characteristics standing out over the other. Perfection.

M - Medium bodied, with standard fizzy Belgian carbonation. Manages to still feel "light" despite the richness and abv. Wizardry!

O - For my tastes, closer to a Tripel than a "Belgian Dark Ale", and a fine one at that. In fact this is one of the best beers I have ever tasted for ANY style. Need more of this immediately. (1,111 characters)

Photo of decimator
3.72/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

330ml poured into a pint glass. ABV 10.5%.

A - Poured a dark mahogany with a 1cm bubbly head. Head dissipated to surface bubbles. No lacing.

S - Herbal, earthy, dark fruit, honey, some tropical fruit, alcohol. Not quite what I expected but it smells pleasant.

T - brown sugar, some dried fruit, some of tropical fruit (pineapple in particular), more brown sugar, the finish is medium bitterness that sticks around and some booze. As it warms I find there's a slight resin flavour coming through and the finish is a bit harsh.

M - Medium-heavy body, medium carbonation, syrupy, sticky, oily, the finish is dry with some heat.

O - There's a slight harshness in the finish that detracts from this beer. Hard to believe the ABV is that high as the alcohol isn't too obviously although it is noticeable. Still pretty good and easy to drink. (840 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.56/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a small bottle into a snifter at BJ's.

A: Translucent copper with a slightly tan head.

S: Lots of cherry and pineapple in the nose. Smells delicious.

T: A slight hint of alcohol, a ton of fruit, especially cherry, and a touch of honey.

M: Medium bodied and less than smooth.

O: This is a great Belgian strong dark ale that you can find just about anywhere. (373 characters)

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

Single, Duvel-like bottle from the LCBO. Very excited to see this brew on the shelves, and at a good price too, I snapped up a fair few.

Poured into my Duvel goblet. Nice caramel amber, with a sturdy inch and half of head that slowly recedes into a thick ring. Good lacing and retention. Brew's got some legs to it.

Nice nose to this, although I'm getting a strong whiff of yeast that isn't all that agreeable. Nice fig/raisin caramel sweetness though, with some brown sugar and light medicinal quality.

Ah, there it is! Terrific taste on this, and thankfully the yeast is far more muted here. Lovely sweet fig and raisin, slight puckeryness in the mix, and a nice nutty finish. Alcohol accentuates, rather than fights with the flavors of the brew. Candied fruit and caramel.

Mouthfeel is a big hit here - the carbonation is mild enough not to become abrasive, but sufficient enough to give the brew a creamy, airy quality. Very nice.

Very fine dark ale. This is what Belgian ales are all about. (1,003 characters)

Photo of rangerred
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle into a goblet.l

Pours a nearly clear dark brown with a fluffy one finger white head. Not a whole lot in the way of lacing but a nice half finger fluffy head lingers for a very long time.

Aroma of raisins immediately hits me along with that typical belgian clove/banana yeast character. Lot of other dark fruits in the way of figs and plums. There is also a touch of ligher, almost tropical fruit as well.

A bit of tropical fruit in the way of tangerine and mango comes across immediately upon tasting before some darker fruits rush in. Lots of caramel sweetness and more fruit, leading more towards overripe fruit. The yeast character is more muted compared to the aroma. Mouthfeel is smooth with sparkling carbonation with a sweet lingering finish. Being described as a dark triple I was expecting a little more dryness in the finish. Alcohol provides a pleasant warmth in the chest and is never harsh.

Overall, there are really quite a few complexities in this beer and it really has a lot of fruit notes from tropical to dark. With a little less sweetness this beer would be really outstanding. (1,114 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.72/5  rDev -11%
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. (596 characters)

Photo of deebo
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The golden dragon picked up on recent trip to Belgium this beer by Van Steenberge is named after the gilded statue on top of the Gent Belfry.

A-Poured from that characteristic white plastic wrapped 330 ml bottle with a BB date 7/11/14 into a chalice. This is a heady beast...sticky, tan and big. Chestnut colored with some transparency.

S-Delicious aromas of ripe fruits, lightly toasted malt and fruity esters.

T-Upfront notes of clean barley malt, with plenty of Belgian estery yeast and ripe fruits. End note is of warming pleasant alcohol.

M-Big bodied but not overwhelming, the high carbonation carries this beer well. A nice warming finish.

O-Lots of flavor, a big time appearance, this beer is tasty and one to savor. I would best describe this as a Barleywine/Quad hybrid. (785 characters)

Photo of Ryanm1
4.9/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'd been wanting to try this beer for quite some time now. Was able to snag a 22oz. cage and cork from my local Foodery store. New it was a Belgian for which I have a penchant for and had high expectations.

This beer is classified as a Triple, but not the orthodox version, a dark triple. This was the first dark triple I've ever had. It poured dark brown cherry-ish much darker than a normal golden triple color. It was a violent pour which garnished an excessive amount of head.

The aroma eminaiting from the glass was a strong smell of cherry and dark fruit, of which when taking a sip both of these flavors are present. The mouthfeel is unlike any other beer. The amount of carbonation on the tongue was unreal. As I took a sipped I struggle to hold or feel the beer in liquid fashion before it turned to straight carbon dioxide. This was not a bad feel, but one of the best I have ever experienced. Was also chasing the liquid with my tounge when ingesting it. The only other beer that came close to this cabonation explosion would be St. Bernardus. There was a strong prescense of sweetness in the beer which I expect in a Triple made with Belgian Yeast. Great after taste lingering with a mild bitterness. Packs a punch at 10.5 abv.

I would consider this one of the best beers I've ever had! (1,302 characters)

Photo of Maurod4d
2.91/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer was served into a goblet and poured from an 11.2 oz bottle.
The color was a rich amber not quite brown to my surprise, with a very thick foamy head.
On the nose I got tons of honey... Then with the taste I got tons of honey as well and that to me is where it went down hill.

In my opinion it was a much to sweet beer in an attempt to mask the high alcohol content.

None the less it was unlike any other beer I have ever tasted before in my life and was quite an experience and pleasure to taste this beer, just not up my alley as far as favorite tastes. (565 characters)

Photo of Scotchboy
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz ceramic stubby bottle poured into my New Belgium Globe.

A: Dark murky brownish-prune color; creamy off-white head has decent retention & lace.

S: Sweet fruitiness, banana, some Belgian candy sugar, dates and figs, estery Belgian yeast, clove, funk. Faint earthy hops linger.

T: More fruitiness and sweetness, lots of malt and malt breadiness. Sugary, toffee. Belgian yeast notes and hints of spices linger with the suggestion of earthy hop bitterness. Small hint of alcohol - not too bad for 10% but noticeable.

MF: Pretty much medium bodied, with proper carbonation. Not particularly dry. Creamy tones.

O: The smell and flavors don't seem to work together for me. The fruitiness seems to lean more towards a Belgian Pale than a Belgian Dark. I didn't finish the entire bottle; that being said, I'm scoring '4' here to raise the overall score to a more adequate overall number. (889 characters)

Photo of Rijtjeshuis
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
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! (1,838 characters)

Photo of HATS4BATS
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
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. (351 characters)

Photo of Ranz
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (819 characters)

Photo of andrenaline
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (852 characters)

Photo of DavidST
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
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. (411 characters)

Photo of beergoot
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (738 characters)

Photo of dickieb
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
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. (370 characters)

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
93 out of 100 based on 1,259 ratings.