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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.

2,975 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,975
Reviews: 1,199
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 155
Gots: 246 | 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)
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Ratings: 2,975 | Reviews: 1,199 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Cozzatoad


4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle

A- Very dark brown. head is foamy and goes up quick but also recedes quite too quickly, leaving minimal lacing

S- Spicy alcoholic aroma, nicely blended with dark fruit notes. Not much else

T- Awesome. Malts were not to felt much in the aroma but they sure are there, with sugary and caramel notes. And of course there's what the smell suggested: a warming and delicate spicy alcoholic character and a strong dark fruits flavour (that is mostly on the tongue, do hops have something to do with that?)

M- The beer is not as strong or full bodied as you'd expect from a 10.5%ABV. It has a very smooth character, with a cream-like feel that gives this strong dark ale it's peculiar character. However, i feel like the alcoholic notes tend to meddle in too much and ruin that creamy feel

D- At 10.5%ABV this is very good drinkabilty thanks to it's smoothness, you would say the beer has 8/9%ABV. The finish has some issues though, alcohol and sweetness get really too strong in the last sips

Another classic brew from Belgium

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2011 10:16:43 | More by Cozzatoad
Photo of celticfutblclub


3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A - comes out dark brown with a reddish hint and a big inch head with a lot of carbonation that recedes to a thin line that lingers.

S - dark fruits are noticeable having a hard time discerning anything else in there maybe a bit of nuttiness in there.

T - again dark fruit is very apparent plum with some nice maltiness in the background. good amount of alcohol hits but is not overwhelming especially given the ABV.

M - smooth drink definitely fits the style but appears a bit smoother to me than other belgian strong ales which I like.

overall this is a good beer not as crazy about it as other people are but its a very solid belgian strong ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2011 01:58:42 | More by celticfutblclub
Photo of kflorence


3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally chasing the golden dragon!

A: Gotta love the bottle. Pours a dark amber in color with tints of cherry and caramel with a lovely, thick, frothy head that lasts forever. Tons of lacing. Carbonation levels look good.

S: Wow, overwhelming fruit hits the nose with force giving this brew an overall bubble-gum like aroma. Lighter fruits such as pear and apple are perhaps more dominating, but there are darker fruits lingering in the background; cherry and apricots, maybe some plum and fig. The alcohol is beautifully masked, almost undetectable. Not much in the way of hops, though they seem floral and perhaps a bit on the citrus side of things.

T: The fruits hit the tongue first, much like in the aroma, but there is much more complexity here. There is a definite malt backbone that wasn't so prominent on the nose but comes through especially towards the end of the sip. The malts are mostly caramelized and very sweet, almost sugary. This brew finishes with a bit of yeast and spice with the 10.5% ABV finally showing it's nasty head with a bit of astringency. Toasted bread and apricot linger on the tongue. I can appreciate this beers complexity, but I don't care much for the style; it's a bit too sweet and fruity for me (almost like a wine hybrid).

M: Loved the mouthfeel on this one. Overall the beer is medium bodied with fairly high carbonation with some syrup and cream. Swish it around in your mouth a bit and foams up and goes down very creamy. Perhaps a tad high on the carbonation, but pleasant on the tongue.

O: This is no doubt one of the defining beers in the category, and rightly so. It offers beer lovers plenty of complexity and is a great example of brewing craftsmanship. While I can appreciate the beauty of this beer, personally I feel that it is overly sweet, fruity and astringent (the high ABV certainly does not help its cause). I certainly could not drink more than one of these. Perhaps it's an acquired taste?

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2011 01:39:52 | More by kflorence
Photo of Daniellobo

District of Columbia

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

look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4

Nice and rich Belgium dark ale.

Presentation: 33 cl brown capped bottle with a white plastic wrap. Label displays the branding in red and black under a viking, almost steam punk like, golden metal dragon. Label with quite the tacky illustration of a bright red bird picking up hops over a saturated brlue sky and a rural landscape. Shows 10,5% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Faintly hazy brown pour, tall frothy head, good retention, fair surface memory, and some lacing.

S - Sugary notes of dark fruits with a yeasty note.

T - Spicy yeast, dark fruits, plum, raisins... Caramel and unfermented sugar pivoting on the malty notes.

M - Medium/full body with medium carbonation, and a mild warmth to it.

O - It has a nice and rich flow with good complexity.

Notes: Quite iconic, while nice it does not drive me particularly crazy, but socially it is not that unapproachable brew to offer, and I understand the iconic reputation.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2011 14:54:36 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of bucklemyshoe


4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle at 48 degrees into a Chimay chalice.

A: It pours a mostly opaque very dark red color with a half-finger of off-white head that falls slowly and does not leave significant lacing.

S: Booze-soaked dark fruits, a mild yeasty character, and some faint banana. It is bold but not very complex.

T: Sweet and boozy dark fruits early combining with cocoa, tobacco, leather, cinammon, and nutmeg. It really opens up as it warms and becomes quite complex.

M: The body is medium-thick with below-average carbonation and a semi-sticky finish.

O: This is very good but certainly not world class. I am reluctant to drink it again because it is $4.99 per 330 mL and $10.99 per 750 mL.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2011 03:41:36 | More by bucklemyshoe
Photo of JRed

New Jersey

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

Tan red with brown at the top and towards the center. Cloud of thick off-white foam on top that sticks around for a while. Aroma of rock candy, sugar, dark fruit, grapes, fig, and some bread. Strong flavor of belgian candy sugar, raisins, prunes, cola, echo of spice, malty sweetness, and slight warming booze. Heavy in body with medium carbonation. A thick, sweet drink that is insanely drinkable despite the ABV; it's almost thirst quenching. Rather satisfying for the palate and the belly as well.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2011 01:49:58 | More by JRed
Photo of jaymesbawned


4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a ceramic painted bomber into a Duvel Tulip

Appearance-Very surprisingly dark for a so-called tripel. nice deep brown with tan head

Smell-Instatnyly get a banana smell, combined with the belgian yeast makes a kind of banana bread quality to it. a tiny bit of alcohol balances it out wonderfully.

Taste-follows the smell with a nice bananabready flavor, posibly some raisin.

Mouthefeel-coats well, but not to thick

Overall- Very solid beer, seems like it is it's own style as I haven't seen any other dark tripels one of my favorites now.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2011 18:54:35 | More by jaymesbawned
Photo of ksmi116


3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Koningshoeven goblet.

A - Dark brown body with a good sized tan head. Dissipates eventually with some solid lacing on it,

S - First smell is a bit of an alcohol burn, then dark fruits and candied sugar smells. Quite good smelling so far!

T - Raisins, candied sugar, bitterness at the finish. Less impressive taste than the smell, which really threw me for a loop. I tend to have a problem discerning Belgian style flavors though, not sure why.

M - high carbonation with a medium body.

D - Overall, a good beer, just I expected more with the hype

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2011 00:32:28 | More by ksmi116
Photo of bjlovers68

British Columbia (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml brown bottle wrapped in white casing, very similair to picture.

A-Definitely some red in its appearance, an amber colour with very little light passing through. The head is rich and lingering, a beige colour.

S-The alchohol content is noticeable right away, almost overpowering. A fruity smell, hints of fig, and spice.

T/M-I loved the taste and feel of this beer. The alchohol is noticeable -as in the smell- but not overpowering. A sweet beer with tastes of spice and ginger. Goes down smooth and feels very soft. Burns a little when it touches your throat, but the aftertaste is very enjoyable.

D-Seems like a beer to sip on occasion. I wouldn't go buy 6 of them (especially at 3.50-4.00 bucks a bottle) but every now and then it's nice to drink something different and delicious. Reward yourself with this ale, you won't be dissapointed.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2011 01:44:59 | More by bjlovers68
Photo of generalnotsew


4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into oversized wine glass. Huge frothy light brown head. Coloring is a dark brown woody color. Very dark beer. Light does not pass through it. Think I will have to let this one warm a tad before I go further. The nose is very sweet. Has a good sweet burnt sugary smell. A twinge of the plum smell but mostly the sweet sugar with a bit of an earthy tone. Taste is a nice spicy sugar mix. Dried plums with a twist of a slight hop bitterness follows it up. The sugar, fruit, bitterness and earthy notes all come together nicely in the middle even though they are distinct in the front and the back. Does have a slight burn in the throat but I noticed most Belgian Strong Dark Ales do. Actually this is the first Belgian I have had in a long time. At least a year. I do have a hard time picking out the differences between Quad and this style but I can't complain because they are both great.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2011 03:38:51 | More by generalnotsew
Photo of Sauron2012


4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap, served in a large brandy snifter at a bar in Bowling Green, Ohio. Only the second place I've seen to have it, period.
-Poured a thick dark amber/brown with khaki colored head.
-Had a delicious odor of malts mixed with dates and more than a hint of alcohol.
-This may have been one of the most enjoyable and drinkable beers I've ever come across. All the odors translate beautifully to how it tastes, with a creamy smoothness I didn't except from a 10.5% ale.

The only downside is that, at the time I didn't realize that it was 10.5% ABV. My advice would be to drink this slowly and enjoy its brilliant qualities, because it can and WILL put you on your ass if you're not careful.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2011 00:03:00 | More by Sauron2012
Photo of jayhawk73


4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark caramel color, w/ a nice three finger head into my gulden draak glass. This looks like a serious beer. The smell is sweet, fruity, w/ a alcohol whiff as well. Really improves the warmer it gets. Some spice, raisins, dates and malt in there as well. I love the taste of this beer- it's definitely one of my favorite tripels. You get a nice sweet, sour, malt, fruit and alcohol taste all combined in a nice package. Nicely balanced. This beer definitely opens up nicely the warmer it gets. I'm thinking almost room temperature is ideal for Gulden Draak. Mouthfeel is nice, velvety- w/ the sweet, sour, and alcohol all in play. Smooths out quite a bit the warmer it gets. Drinkability is great. This beer is a sipper at 10.5% ABV, but it goes down a little too easy, and the alcohol will catch up to you quickly. Gulden Draak is world class- but do yourself a favor and drink it slightly chilled at almost room temperature.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2011 00:14:42 | More by jayhawk73
Photo of Jesse13713


3.43/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Maudite Tulip.

Appearance - Two fingers of airy foam cover up a sea of deep brown. Fairly impressive lacing. Looks sort of like a dark fruit juice; like plums or pomegranite.

Smell - Smells heavily of tart dark cherries with a slight belgian yeast note lingering in the background. Smells sort of soapy in a way. Hints of alcohol.

Taste - Very heavy in the area of dark fruits. The plums and pomegranates transfer well from nose to mouth. Dark cherries are present as well. A very sweet finish that makes my mouth pucker slightly. The ABV probably has something to do with this.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - The alcohol is pretty well hidden for being 10.5% ABV. A very sweet and dark fruity beer. Most of the alcohol taste comes with the sweet fruit finish. I enjoyed this beer. For its style, it is high up on my list.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2011 04:43:42 | More by Jesse13713
Photo of zooalbert


4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I really liked this beer.
The alcohol in the beer is quite high, which something that can be noticed throughout, but does not overpower the taste. Which is quite unique, a sweet after taste with slight bitterness. The taste reminds me of fruit and nuts.
The appearance is quite interesting, a chocolate cloudy look.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2011 04:12:51 | More by zooalbert
Photo of TheBoog013


3.38/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750ml bottle

This was an overwhelming beer!

Appearance-- Dark, cloudy and enticing with a firm head.

Smell-- Alcohol comes through right away. Malty with notes of plums.

Taste-- This was very frustrating for me. I felt that the carbonation overpowered everything but the alcohol. I got faint hints of coriander, ginger and bread.

Mouthfeel-- The mouthful overpowered my taste buds with carbonation!

Drinkability-- The most frustrating part of this beer was that by the end I began enjoying it but I think that was mostly due to the alcohol level. Identifying anything past the carbonation, alcohol content or malt flavor was for me, virtually impossible. Maybe my palette wasn't ready for this beer...

I'm going to eventually give this beer another shot but it'll be awhile.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2011 03:17:18 | More by TheBoog013
Photo of xodin


3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark mahogany with minimal head fading fast. Aromas contains some spice, roasted malts, and a hint of fruit, but dissipate soon after the pour. Taste is comprised of rum-like spice notes, dark candy, and roasted malts with a hint of bitterness from the hops peeking through. Smooth and sweet through the swallow with a slightly dry and bitter finish. Fairly well balanced, and warming, but lacks significant complexity and character. An above average brew, but nothing overly exceptional about its quality.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2011 01:19:20 | More by xodin
Photo of Avagadro

New Jersey

4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful mahogany in color, and topped with a cream-colored head, Gulden Draak displays marvelous lacing and retention.

S: Deep banana, rum, and spice. This brew has delightful complexity on the nose.

T: More rum, bananas Foster, raisins, and much more. All without being cloying or overbearing.

M: Light, effervescent, and clean on the finish.

D: I, for some reason, was expecting a Duvel knockoff. What I got, however, was one of the most delicious Belgian Strong Dark Ales out there. Much lighter and cleaner than many of the other examples, but with all of the complexity. This is definitely worth a shot for any fan of the Belgian style.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2011 17:07:14 | More by Avagadro
Photo of socon67

New York

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

My 100th review on BA. Poured into a Corsendonk tulip.

A - Pours dark brown with a thick foamy head. Some lacing.

S - Smells like a fruity brandy, or a sangria.

T - A pleasant taste throughout. A sweet flavor of candied fruits & malt. The finish has a slight burn but is subtle.

M - Very little carbonation. Medium bodied, and smooth given the style. Proboably the smoothest Belgian Strong I can recall.

D - Yes, but you will feel it. The Draak is an enjoyable Belgian.

This is a great way to get people to appreciate Belgian ales. And it works good accompanying a meal or as a sipper later on.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2011 00:48:41 | More by socon67
Photo of angrybabboon

Rhode Island

3.63/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review adapted from notes taken November, 2009

Slightly updated 12/8/12

Appearance: Despite the name, this certainly isn't golden - dark brown with a nice head - leaves a solid wall of lacing

Smell: Lots of dark (not burnt) malts, molasses, dark fruits, alcohol, sweetness - Belgian yeast, with a lot of esters - bananas and bubblegum - almost smells like a dessert wine

Taste: The "dark triple" label doesn't quite explain the weirdness of this beer - very malty, loads of dark fruits, spices, yeast, lots of alcohol, candi sugar - very Belgian, with tons of esters, including banana and bubblegum - extremely sweet but not disgustingly so - there is really nothing else like this beer - it almost feels like a cousin to a sweet wine

Mouthfeel: Syrupy and chewy, a bit too much for me - I have also had this on tap and it was less heavy - maybe my bottle was too old (or too young)

Overall: Not super drinkable thanks to the alcohol and the sweetness - but I think of this as an ideal dessert beer

This is a strange brew. I am surprised that the "dark triple" concept never caught on, for this style certainly has some interesting aspects. I think Gulden Draak is an incredible dessert beer, if nothing else.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 02:17:58 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of Spica66


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

Got this from gwuilliums. Shared with him after brewing Centennial Citra IPA Batch 20.

A: Copper color. Excellent head formation and lacing. Persistent carbonation ring.

S: Smells like a slightly sour dark fruitcake in a good way!

T: A slightly funky explosion of medium dark fruit. In-between figs and apples. Like an aged cider. Wow!!

M: Round and smooth with a wonderful zingy carbonation bite. Absolutely wonderful!

D: A little too much alcohol burn in the chest keeps this from a 5.

One of my favorite beers - ever!!!

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 04:03:01 | More by Spica66
Photo of JMforman


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

I wasn't real impressed with the first beer that I had from Brouwerij Ban Steenberge (their Dubbel), but this one was great.

A- Big head with a deep amber body and good retention.

S- Very earthy: must, hay, alcohol, cherries

T- Alcohol, cherries, dark fruit, and bready malt up front with burnt sugar/ molasses filling the middle, and then a bitter finish

M- Very coating with a medium to full feel

D- Oh yes.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2011 03:38:49 | More by JMforman
Photo of Wegomlegging


3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours into custom glass with enormous head and very black coloring, with whitish tan head. Smell of faint alcohol and carmel malt with some slight yeasty notes. Fantastic flavor, slightly sweet with malty and roasty undertones, very refreshing despite the appearance. Dangerously easy to drink, as the soft mouthfeel coupled with the large head on the glass make it almost seem like you didn't get enough. Very drinkable, but more alcohol in the flavor than most will enjoy. Overall a very good beer that I hope to keep enjoying for many years.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2011 04:01:30 | More by Wegomlegging
Photo of jera1350


3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a chalice an amber brown color with a fizzy dark tan head. The lacing slides down the glass to rejoin with the body.

Quite fruity and very sweet smelling.

Very sweet with fruity notes and some noticeable alcohol. Dark fruit, simple syrup and pale malt. Good complexity that is hard to describe in terms of flavors.

Adequate carbonation, medium bodied and mostly smooth. Not the typical big creamy carbonation feel however. Dry stickiness on the finish.

The alcohol is evident, but it is an enjoyable brew. Best to sip this one due to the alcohol and sweetness. Really an enjoyable beer though.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2011 01:05:35 | More by jera1350
Photo of sloopy


4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

It looked like cola without the fizz.

I couldn't catch an odor off of it, but smelling it gave me a cool sensation similar to a mild vapo-rub. Please don't misinterpret this as me saying it smells like vapo-rub.

Tasted like cola. But once I swallowed I could taste, and feel, that this was a high alcohol beer.

Felt like I was drinking a strong beer. I can't think of a better way to explain it.

It felt semi filling, but not as bad as other darker beers.

I could see these being a hit at a party. People would get a lot drunker than they planned simply because of it's cola like taste.

In my opinion this is the best the beer I ever had. From this day on, I will cite this page whenever I feel a beer is the best I ever had.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2011 03:55:46 | More by sloopy
Photo of Chincino


4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer on-tap yesterday and this was my first time trying this beer.

It poured a dark brown color (slightly cloudy).

The beer had an aroma of fruit (apples mostly) and malt.

Sweet taste, but not overpoweringly sweet.

Definitely could tell the high ABV with this beer.

I would definitely try this beer again.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2011 12:56:11 | More by Chincino
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 2,975 ratings.