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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.

1,270 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,270
Hads: 3,610
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 19.52%
Wants: 268
Gots: 650 | 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: 1,270 | Hads: 3,610
Photo of jmendels
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This beer was outstanding. At the behest of my best friend, I sought out this beer. As a lover of European beers, this was definitely on my radar. What better time to try it than Easter weekend?

The bottle alone is full of personality, having a different shape than most domestic beers. It draws one's attention to it as something special. It pours a nice amber-brown with the head lacing the bottle rather elegantly. It smells of toffee and roasted malts, with subtle chocolate notes. The first sip came and I was not disappointed. I had to pause and collect my thoughts on what I just drank. There were some spicy notes, yes. There were some toffee notes, yes. It has a noticeable alcohol flavor but not so much that it detracts from the flavorful crafting that went into this brew.

I put this up there with Schlenkerla or Ayinger. Delicious to the last drop.

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Photo of artoolemomo
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Another Belgium with tons of head but smaller bubbles. This doesn't look like it's going to dissipate as quickly as it is already leaving lacing. The foam is light yellow/beige and the body is maroon/light chestnut brown with a hazy orange that reveals itself when held up to the light. It is receding quicker than expected with slight wisps of lacing. There is much more lacing left after an additional pour but it is pretty much a line around the top of the glass. There is a lot more lacing after a third pour.

Nose- Very odd nose. I got a whiff of pinto bean/black eyed peas. A very umami smell. Better than it sounds. Sort of cheesy, savory. Some notes of Belgian spice, yeast, and apple lingering around the edges. The aroma is quite inviting. There are also some sour notes and rich, appetizing mustiness. I'm quite curious as to whether the flavor profile expresses this.

Taste- It begins with sourness match with citrus fruits and pretty much continues in this manner. You can taste some of the savory, umami aspect at the back of the throat. Not as complex as I would have hoped but that may change. More spice and yeast make themselves known on the second taste. The yeast continues to climb as the sourness descends. Pretty tasty. Could use a couple other notes to put it into truly exceptional territory. Some fungal/funky notes are beginning to appear but with too much malt. It's not an overwhelming amount but starts to appear near the finish.

Mouthfeel- Fairly creamy. Medium bodied with some thinness. It could perhaps use a little more carbonation but overall, it's a pretty solid mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Pretty accessible. The alcohol doesn't really show itself at all. Not as easygoing as Orval but fairly close.

Overall- A very good beer. A. It could warm up and reveal more character and become an A+, but I'm pretty sure this is a solid A.

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Photo of CurtFromHershey
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful ruby brown with fizzy khaki head which quickly fades to a thin ring. No lacing.

Smell is sharp, poignant, but not entirely unpleasant. A bit of chocolate and spiciness.

Taste is pretty boozy. Fairly bland BSDA flavor, which is not a knock. Nothing sets this apart from other beers of the style I've had though.

Mothfeel is creamy and well carbonated. After it settles in my mouth, it's much thinner than other Belgians.

Overall not a bad beer by any means, but not something I'll likely crave in the future.

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Photo of Damian
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 750 ml/25.4 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA
Served in a tulip

Hazy, deep crimson-mahogany. An enormous, bubbly, rocky, sea foam, ecru colored head topped the liquid. As the crown fell, it became frothier and eventually turned into a thick dollop of foam. Sheets of drippy lacing clung to the glass, lasting the entire session.

The nose was outstanding. Super complex and enticing. Tons of banana and clove. Strong raisin and dark fruit notes. Very bready and sweet. Loads of dry, Belgian yeast notes and dark candi sugar. Spicy alcohol. Phenolic, fruity and rich. Hints of apple and pear came through as well.

Like the nose, the flavor profile was also robust and complex, but quite harsh on the finish. Strong malt presence up front. Loads of spices (allspice and clove). Good amount of raisin and dark fruit notes. Banana was also apparent. Initially, the finish contained strong metallic notes and a surprising amount of alcohol heat. As the beer warmed, the metallic notes subsided but the booziness increased.

On the palate, the beer was highly effervescent with lots of tight, tiny bubbles. Super frothy, creamy and slick.

Gulden Draak is a classic Belgian ale and a gateway beer for many. At its price point, it cannot be beat. My only complaint was the amount of alcohol heat on the finish. Even with a year-plus of age on this bottle, it was still quite hot.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 330 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a dark coppery brown hue with high carbonation producing a 2-3 inch light tan bubbly head. Excellent retention (lasts many, many minutes). Nice lacing too.
S: Dark dried fruit (especially raisins), sweet bready yeast, and notes of spice (cinnamon, clove, and a hint of white pepper). Aroma aerates the surrounding few feet around the glass.
T: Follows aroma perfectly and yet adds strength (the alcohol note) to augment it even further. Simply tremendous. ABV is high and yet the alcohol is perfecting blended in and hidden. Notes of toffee and caramel emerge with warming.
M: Medium body (feels lighter than the ABV would suggest). Sweet and full feel. Alcohol provides only a gentle, background burn. I don't think I've had a 10.5% beer before that has hidden the alcohol so well. Lingers and matures on the palate for several minutes after the sip.
D: Overall this is a phenomenal brew and an outstanding example of style. Excellent drinkability, especially given the ABV.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a Pipeworks snifter.

A- pours a dirty, dark copper with a 2" light tan head. Bubble blotches and some trails of lacing remain on the glass.

S- caramel, toffee, brown sugar, dark fruits, bready yeast

T- toffee, brown sugar, dark fruits, bread, spicy Belgian yeast with slight metallic taste.

M- medium body and high carbonation. Light syrup feel with dry finish and slight alcohol burn.

O- good strong ale, nice sweet flavors and dark fruits. I bet with some age the alcohol would mellow and the carbonation might lighten as well.

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Photo of Cuttooth
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

After giving the worst pour of all time into my Duvel glass, I think that I am ready to try Gulden Draak. Thankfully I am not disappointed. The smell of this beer is almost that of a tripel, with clove and banana flavors. On the other hand, it also produces a dark fruit smell, of plums and licorice. Alright, I'm pretty intrigued, so let's get into the taste. Holy damn. I am not disappointed, as a rush of plum, fig, raspberry and clove come to destroy my palette. The lacing on this beer is extraordinary, as it goes down all the way throughout the glass. Mouthfeel is pretty good, with high carbonation, not as much as Duvel, but still pretty high for a BSDA. Overalll, this is one of the best dark ales that I've had, and am looking forward to trying this again in the future.

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Photo of vkv822
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

11.2oz : tulip

Dark red-mahogany with a very thick, billowy foamy light tan head.

Dark fruit, light boozy notes, faint spice.

The taste follows the nose, with complex dark fruit notes blended with some sweet malts, spice from the yeast and faint boozy warmth.

Medium body, with foamy, fizzy carbonation.

A very well done BSDA. Complex flavor profiles, and while the alcohol is noticeable, it really serves to compliment the flavors, rather than distract from them.

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Photo of GJ40
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep copper and clear with a huge beige head. Very inviting. Aroma is spicy with hints of brown sugar. Rich, malty and slightly sweet. Good depth of flavor. The alcohol isn't hot but it is there. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy. This is a rich tasty beer best enjoyed slowly.

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Photo of KFBR392
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: looks beautifully violent. A dark triple indeed. Very thin head throughout, but a really gorgeous look regardless.

Smell: dark and complex fruit aroma. The front present a bright feeling but then the strong yeast presence pulls it down in a beautiful direction. Wonderful, truly wonderful.

Taste: the front is a very smooth yeast presence then the dark fruits found in the smell explode. The palette dances with flavors of too many fruits to name. Triples do not get much better then this. The aftertaste is a round dryness that is sweet over offensive.

Mouthfeel: everything you would expect after the smell and taste. Leaves a strong dryness but is pleasant for the drinker.

Overall: one of the better triples I've had. More on the aggressive side then an easy drinker but forces you to love it. Definitely an elite brew

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Photo of Katolu
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Wonderful flavor. Smooth start with nice Carmel and fruit back end. The only down side is that's a little thick on the tongue, but that's very minor. Other dubs and trips are overly sweet, The Draak isn't. Would love to find bars that have it on tap.

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Photo of Kremlock
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of Seanniek91
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

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Photo of ckollias
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of TommyC
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
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!


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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.86/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

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Photo of decimator
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.56/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.37/5  rDev +4%
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.

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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.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 1,270 ratings.