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

Not Rated.
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,033 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,033
Reviews: 1,202
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 168
Gots: 269 | FT: 3
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,033 | Reviews: 1,202 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MoreThanWine


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%

I love it when a beer sexy on the outside turns out to be sexy on the inside too. Poured almost all head in a light beige color. The body held to the light is a deep brown with reddish tinge. It smells of malt but also dried fruits. Taste is double what you'd expect from the smell plus there's nice caramel. Although the alcohol content of 10.5% is noticeable I think the booziness complements the flavors and experience. Throw in the unusual bottle shape and lovely golden dragon label and you've got one heck of a fun beer experience.

08-01-2011 08:43:43 | More by MoreThanWine
Photo of bmwats


4.03/5  rDev -4.7%

Poured from a 33 cl bottle into a tulip.

A: Medium brown with a reddish hue. Pours about a 1 finger, bubbly, white-brown head. Settles quickly leaving only a smattering of bubbles. No lacing.

S: Nuts, raisin, licorice, and a nutty malt with a bit of tea.

T: Robust and syrupy malt with a sappy, raisin flavor. Lightly bitter, and a balance of sweet.

M: High alcohol profile. A bit of a burning on the palette. But very robust and hearty. Has almost a cloying aftertaste. Kind of a rustic woodiness in there. A little unusual.

D: Sip and enjoy the robust, sweet, malty goodness.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Nice body with a bubbly head. Settles qucikly though and no lacing. Nose is a combination of malt, and sweetness; with something of a woody body. Flavor is malty but sweet, with a lightly bitter finish and a high alcohol profile. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

07-31-2011 03:58:25 | More by bmwats
Photo of Filosoof


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Usually I don't like dark beers: too sweet.

This one is completely different. Ofcourse there's a sweet taste, but it stops exactly at the right moment to stop with a little dry aftertaste (not completely dry ofcourse).

L: almost perfect; golden, lasting top, mahony brown colour;
S: so rich for a dark one! Candy sugar ofcourse, but also a bit of orange and apple. Tones of citrus.
T: perfect sequence on the smell. Very prominent: it tastes like the famous Dutch Rinse Appel Stroop (apple treacle/syrop). But it never becomes too sweet. A great body.
M: also almost perfect; the alcohol is dangerously well hidden; good carbonation; very drinkable.

The great body of this beer can be perfectly combined with a light, vegetarian dinner of pasta, tomatoes, aubergine, courgette and garlic. Like I did today! Lovely.

07-29-2011 18:53:19 | More by Filosoof
Photo of rvdoorn


3.48/5  rDev -17.7%

Look: the beer pours dark brown color with a nice light-brown head.
Smell: Roasted malts, dark fruits, caramel, dark sugar and alcohol.
Taste: Dark sugar, caramel malts, dark fruits, more sugar with some slight hoppy aftertaste in the end
Mouthfeel: too high carbonation and a medium body
Overall: Too alcoholic, too sweet and not a very good mouthfeel

07-26-2011 19:35:02 | More by rvdoorn
Photo of BeerForMuscle

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

A - Cloudy maple syrup body with a small cream head.

S - Sweet malty syrup and dark honey crystals. Brown sugar and a faint rubbing alcohol note. Faint fruit skin, raisins, and spice notes.

T - Spiced alcohol and sweet, viscous, dry malt. Bitter grape skin and tingly clove effect. Warming alcohol and touch of dark sugars.

M - Warming and drying, this BSDA has a strong effect.

O - A sturdy, strong beer with a complexity and roundness to it.

07-25-2011 00:30:20 | More by BeerForMuscle
Photo of harrymel


3.58/5  rDev -15.4%

Bottle date: unk

A: pours a cherry hued chocolate ale with two fingers of latte head which falls slowly to a thick quilt of the same. Limited clarity. Spotty lacing.

S: Sweet almonds, yeast, bananas and some earthy hops. Rich caramel is weaved subtly into this beer.

T: Plenty of malts are sharply balanced with alcohol and yeasts. There are some belgian candy sugars in here with nice woody malt flavors; the oxidation is nicely done here. On the finish is a hare of pistachio.

M: Medium bodied with spritely carbonation. Slightly dry finish.

O: Good beer, easy to drink for the ABV. Can be slightly warm on the finish at times, but otherwise, very well done beer.

07-24-2011 15:09:30 | More by harrymel
Photo of StaveHooks


3.93/5  rDev -7.1%

A - Dark brown with ruby highlights. A nice 3 finger tan head with good retention and very nice lacing.

S - Dark fruit, roasted grain, tart apples, dark cocoa, mild spices.

T - It starts sweet with metallic brown sugar, deep chewy malt, boozy dark fruits, raisins, vanilla, and some bitter cocoa then turns tart with green apples, berry fruit. Finishes with a peppery bitterness.

M - Moderate carbonation-almost too much, dry finish, medium bodied due to the carbonation.

This is a different BSDA. I like that's it's very sweet without being cloying and finishes very dry. Lots of cocoa in there as well.

07-24-2011 02:02:11 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of smakawhat


3.98/5  rDev -5.9%

Poured out of the bottle into a tulip glass. KABOOM!! Man this thing didn't wait, cage unhooks and cork goes flying. Bit of a gush but not totally at least I was near the sink.

Looks like a fairly good sized head but falls kind of quick with a nice light tan. Foamy on top but bigger and soapier on the bottom. Body is a caramel dull red and mostly opaque. Not that too exciting looking but certainly appealing.

Dubbell smelling like in style dry yeast and malt, with a hint of cherries too. Hints of alcohol and definitely heat on the nose. Almost gets into wine territory.

Steely like dark malts borderline scotch ale, and a hint of sweet caramel. Palate exercises some good carbonation but finishes with refreshing caramel sweetness and tripel like brewed yeast punchiness. Hints of cherries and soft berry like fruit.

Overall not too bad an interesting take, not getting the hop presence it mentions so much on the bottle but an otherwise enjoyable beer.

07-22-2011 23:41:50 | More by smakawhat
Photo of derbierTeufel


4.7/5  rDev +11.1%

Popped the cork off a 750ml bottle and poured it into a large Gulden Draak glass.

A-I can't believe it's supposed to be a triple. Very unorthodox. It pours a dark ruby brownish color with a decent two fingered head. But two things that I like already. Those being that it's Flemish and it's dark!

S-I noticed a lot of cherries and currants but I got a real strong hint of alcohol. Truly, not your typical triple and that threw me off. I didn't find the nose well balanced.

T-Wow! It tastes pretty much like it smells only much smoother. But the taste offers a chocolatey note, sweet at the beginning with a bitter finish. Alcohol becomes pronounced as it warms. Carbonation was just right. Not too much, not too little. I LOVED the taste. Big and malty with subtle hop flavor. No piney smells or taste. It quite resembled bitter Belgian chocolate.

M-Viscous and heavy!! Just like I like it! But maybe a bit too much for its style. A traditionalist may not like this kind of triple but I'm sure it has its followers. I just really like this kind of mouthfeel.

O-I've run a bar for years and drank many styles of beer but I'm gonna say that this one is my favorite so far. So delicious in fact, I EASILY downed the whole 750ml bottle feeling absolute euphoria after. I think I could have had one more glass but I wonder what that would have done to me. You forget the ABV because it's like eating a chocolate cake. I'm not gonna give it a perfect 5 only because even if I like it myself, it does not represent its style well and I'm sure that this is a "Black or White" beer. You either hate it or love it. It's hard for me to imagine someone not liking it but oh well. All I can say is BIG, ROBUST and SATISFYING! DO IT!

07-20-2011 06:48:29 | More by derbierTeufel
Photo of nickthetick


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

A: pours an opaque dark brown into a DFH signature glass with a tan/khaki head that leaves a beautiful lacing.

S: figs, dates, plums, raisins, brown sugar, musty and earthy. Smokey.

T: powerful, dark fresh and dried dark fruit is right there on the tip of the tongue through to the back. Burnt biscuit and a good bit of alcohol.

MF: heavy, viscous and hot. An ok amount effervescence.

O: great belgian dark for certain occasions but not one I would buy every day.

07-20-2011 01:35:09 | More by nickthetick
Photo of sommersb


4.68/5  rDev +10.6%

Tasted On: 07-17-2011
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 330 ml brown bottle
Glassware: Tulip
Purchased: Single from Frugal MacDoogals, Nashville

A: Color is a light to medium brown, with reddish accents, with a somewhat opaque clarity. The head is creamy, tan colored and 4 fingers high. Excellent lacing and good head retention.

S: Smells are strong of spices, dark fruits and alcohol, reminiscent of a whiskey. Also dark, roasted malts and caramel notes.

T: Taste is very rich and complex. Flavors include semi-sweet chocolate, licorice and dark, ripened fruits. There is also the taste of funkiness of Belgian yeast. I get quite a bit of alcohol warmth in this strong brew, with whiskey-like flavors. Also a spiciness that is difficult to pinpoint.

M: A full-bodied beer that's also highly carbonated. The finish is dry (maybe in part due to the wine yeast used in secondary fermentation), with lingering notes of spices, caramel and alcohol.

O: A very luxurious ale that should be sipped slowly to enjoy all the flavors and because of the high alcohol content. Highly recommended!

07-18-2011 04:28:32 | More by sommersb
Photo of mudbug


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%

From the bone white bottle to a standard pint glass this exceptional brew kicks up a nice tan head with great retention and loads of sticky lacing, the body is a murky baltic amber. The head recedes to a thick cap and remains until the end. Nice.
The aroma is burnt sugar, no not burnt, cooked to perfection brown cane sugar, Jamaican rum sugar and ripe figs with a hint of rain forest, dank and earthy.
Taste is complex, sweet malts, prunes, a dark chocolate, astringency in the aftertaste may be the booze or carbonation or the remnants of spicy hops, but I'll wager its all of the above.
Tight carbonation tickles the tongue, but leaves a long creamy aftertaste of bitter chocolate.
Belisimo, Bravo!

07-17-2011 05:37:11 | More by mudbug
Photo of atr2605

New York

3.98/5  rDev -5.9%

A- pours dark amber with a tan head with average head retention.
S-Strong sweet malt and plum. Definitely heavier on the plum fruit aroma than some other belgian dark ales. A little of the alcohol comes through as well. It doesn't overwhelm the flavor but you can tell that it is a higher abv.
T- More of the sweet malt and a lot of plum flavor
M-Medium to full bodied.
O- A decent belgian dark ale, not quite as complex as chimay but still ncie flavor and the fruit flavor is really enjoyable. Appearance could have been improved with higher head retention. Still a great beer.

07-15-2011 01:22:41 | More by atr2605
Photo of CaptainIPA


3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

Served on-tap @ Cafe Hollander Tosa and presented in appropriate glassware.

Pours a delectably dark chestnut brown with a two-finger head that slowly fades before lacing well. Aromas of dark fruit and roasted malt.

Opens big, malty and sweet with suggestions of dark fruits -- primarily raisins and plums -- and toasty roasted malts. A toffee-like sweetness surfaces, balancing any evidence of bittering hops. Smooth and chewy mouthfeel throughout. Warm and peppery notes emerge before finishing dry. 10.5% ABV is well concealed. Pairs well with a tasty BLT and side of pommes frites.

07-13-2011 00:19:32 | More by CaptainIPA
Photo of wowbagger


4.03/5  rDev -4.7%

Heck of a lot of head on this one! Beautiful amber/brown color and a slightly spicy aroma. The spiciness continues from the front of the tongue to the back of the throat and the flavor sticks with you for a while without changing into an odd aftertaste. I think 'warming' is the best way to describe how it feels in the mouth. This is a beer to be enjoyed slowly in front of a hot fire.

07-12-2011 21:36:20 | More by wowbagger
Photo of jerryjeff


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%

Nice and spicy in character, getting hints of raisin, fig, and clove maybe with the malt scents intermixed.

Medium in carbonation, a bit of oiliness on the palette remains.

Pours to medium dark amber with some reddishness. Not much in way of initial head from pour, but what is there is hanging around and lacing a bit (poured to chimay goblet).

An almost brandyish character, the alcohol is fairly well hidden in there (10.2% abv) with some slight warming. Some clove in the taste maybe, and there is some residual malt but not too much sweetness.

I really, really like this. I don't know how many I'd want at a sitting though, it's a beer to drink slowly and taste fully.

This stuff is really great, one of my favorites I've had recently.

07-11-2011 02:28:01 | More by jerryjeff
Photo of jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +2.4%

Pours a very dark brownish toffee colour. An off-white head of about one finger-width sticks around for a long while.

The smell is full of malt, and lots of it. Spice is noticeable as well, as is a bit of dark fruit.

Taste is just like the nose- lots of malt, and the spiciness of a tripel or strong pale ale. However, the malt flavour is somewhat different than a tripel, I assume due to the different hue. The alcohol is quite noticeable in the finish, but is very pleasant. Dark fruit comes out a bit in the finish. The finish is very dry.

Moderate carbonation, and a nice medium-full body.

Overall, very good beer. Interesting hybrid between a tripel and a BSDA. The typical flavour profile of a triple is certainly present, though modified in a rather unique way. Very enjoyable.

07-09-2011 21:46:14 | More by jrenihan
Photo of htomsirveaux


3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Tried on tap at Silver Creek Brewing Co., 6 Jul 2011. Served in an ~8 oz. snifter.

Small light brown head. Moderate carbonation. Medium brown in color. Aroma is a bit light, maybe because it's a bit cool, maybe some apple and dark fruit, alcohol. Apple, slightly bitter, some dried fruit. Somewhat warming. Medium body. Slightly fruity sweet finish.

07-07-2011 00:04:36 | More by htomsirveaux
Photo of MONKandTUCK


2.98/5  rDev -29.6%

An old favorite of mine. Keep in mind, I was largely drawn to craft beer for the frequency of hefty ABV's.

A- poured into a tulip glass. Brownish-black... kinda dark ruby. It's not thick like a stout, so it doesn't have that same suggestion of high viscosity.

A- milder than I remember, lots of Beglian yeast, some maltiness.

T- Salt Water Taffy, Rummy, Tangy yeast esters, Raisins, Sweet. Kinda like a liquid candy, but if you drink this beer expecting sweetness you'll find prominent alcoholic bite. That said, for such a strong beer it comes across as very tame... in that department. Otherwise, your tongue is awash in sharp, dark flavors. Not as pruney as some dark beers, but the the dark fruits and sweets are there along w/ the phenols.

M- thinner than one would expect, but Belgians beers excell here. As it warms the sweetness prevails and the mouthfeel becomes a tad chewier. It's medium mouthfeel and the drink progresses.

O- This one doesn't really grow on you. As it warms more flavors becomes present, but not necessarily for the better. It works... it's strong w/o being overbearing, and it has a unique flavor profile. Beyond that, I think it's another overrated Belgian beer that is too quirky for it's own good.

07-02-2011 05:16:56 | More by MONKandTUCK
Photo of Knapp85


3.85/5  rDev -9%

This beer poured out as a light brownish color with a light tan colored head. The head is a little fizzy but does have a little bit of retention to it. The lacing isn't strong but it's got just a little bit going on from time to time. The smell of the beer had an earthy spiced aroma to it mixed with some bright fruity notes and a touch of booze. The taste of the beer had a subtle sweetness to it upfront and had a slight bite to it in the aftertaste from the settling spices. There's a little bit of bread in the taste too. The mouthfeel is well carbonated and almost medium bodied. Overall this beer is good on mostly every level and really worth trying if you haven't already.

07-01-2011 21:00:32 | More by Knapp85
Photo of BricksandPorter


4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

Poured refrigerator cold into a crystal tulip.

P – A fine, cloudy mahogany brown, opaque with hues of purple and maroon. I almost overpoured – high carb. Took a minute to settle, before I proceeded with a slower pour. Punch you in the face wheat malt aroma. You can smell the alcohol on this one. Rocky, bronze one finger head with walnut brown edges, medium-large bubbles and good, ney GREAT, retention.

N – raisons, cherries, blackberries and apricot line the nose to really exacerbate the malt profile. A real definitive sour overtone indicates the ABV is for real. It has some hints of smoke and burning wood.

T – slick and smooth chocolate base (not stout chocolate - just balanced and light) with a great fruit profile. Blackberries, banana and sour cherries with a hearty sweetness that is smooth and really interesting. The alcohol on the nose is almost completely non-existent on the palate until the burp, when it really pulls through. Has a spicy finish and rounds very well for such a high ABV. Second time around I got a twiggy, wood-like earthiness that I didn’t get on the first taste. Not piney, but just earthy. Almost like roasting walnuts. Overall -- Grand!

M – a bit heavy on the profile. The carbonation makes the flavors stick around for a good long while. Not the smoothest Belgian I have ever had, and definitely on the higher “chunky” scale as far as tripels go. The bottle carbonation does the style right and this beer is no exception.

D – If for nothing more than the ABV, I’m not sure I could hold up to more than two or three of these. The alcohol hits you immediately, and the cacophony of flavors begins to take a toll on your tongue after the first one. I definitely recommend this for someone who appreciates great beer.


06-30-2011 03:07:25 | More by BricksandPorter
Photo of sfprint


4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

A: Dark amber red with a suddsie single finger head, too dark to determine if it's translucent.
S: Cherry but not too sweet, ice cream.
T: Intense in flavor though the alcohol isnt so apparent. Dark fruit, slightly syrupy, somewhat sweet, tinge of sourness, vanilla, cherry in the background.
M: Slightly foamy, almost medium body.
D: Great but a knockout with the alc %

06-28-2011 01:05:23 | More by sfprint
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac


2.03/5  rDev -52%

Bottle poured into a snifter

A: Amber colored with a persistent, foamy head. I assumed it was going to be golden.

S: Smells of overripened apricots, bubble gum and cotton candy. Wait, what? Yes, it smells spectacularly sweet like carnival confections.

T/M: The taste follows suit: molasses, blackberries, pungent apricot, it’s really overbearing.

I realize this is supposed to be strong, but I much rather prefer the taste of alcohol over super sweetness. I’ll keep this one in mind next time my sweet tooth is craving some candy.

06-21-2011 00:23:58 | More by TheBeerAlmanac
Photo of BarryMFBurton


4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

Alright, first things first: this bottle is badass. A white ceramic-dipped/painted bottle with a black label that has shining golden accents – including the mythical-looking dragon that’s front and center. Pretty awesome. But, as is true in the beer world especially, looks can be deceiving. The bottle may make me feel like Viking royalty, but it may not have a taste that's fit for a king. Only one way to find out...down the hatch!

A: “Wow, that’s fizzy.” I’m hanging out with the family on Father’s Day, and my parents aren’t into the craft beer scene very much. That little exclamation was my mom’s first reaction; and, to be honest I can see where she’s coming from. A light tan head looms above the deep, chestnut body, leaving behind some heavy lacing. Intimidating, but with a light and bubbly body.

S: Heavy, oaky malts upfront. They’re thick, yet sweet and fruity, showing hints of grape, plum, fig, and cinnamon applesauce. A touch of alcohol shows up at the back end, offering a boozy toffee note and a nice spiciness. A smooth, mild nose.

T: Sweet and incredibly savory, like a warm slice of apple pie. There’s that familiar blend of apple, pear, plum, grape, and banana that I’ve come to expect from a Belgian, though the final product is not as sweet as I’m accustomed to. It’s more balanced and meaty than most of its counterparts in this style; a pleasant distinction. It definitely doesn’t show its 10.5% ABV, either, though the booze that’s there is light and warming (every bit like a rich cider). The yeast presence is more acidic and bright than anything, which seems odd to me; I felt it would have been more appropriate to have a thicker, dark breadiness to balance the aforementioned bright textures. That’s really the only thing I noticed that I wasn’t too happy about. Everything else is a classic Belgian winner.

M: “Fizzy!” Creamy microbubbles thicken this effervescent offering to that level of fulfillment I was hoping for.

O: When I think of this style, I think "Duvel with heavier malts." While Gulden Draak isn't exactly on Duvel's level for me, it fulfilled my definition of the style quite well. It's malty, strong, but a little too light for me to love it.

06-20-2011 03:23:02 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of rgf001


3.55/5  rDev -16.1%

Looks good! Translucid amber with champagne-like bubbles. Head dissipates after a few seconds but a lace in the edges remains. Smell is typical of hops found in other trappist ales.
Sweeter than other Belgian tripples and quads. No off flavors. Good but not great.

06-19-2011 16:48:09 | More by rgf001
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,033 ratings.