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

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

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3,084 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,084
Reviews: 1,206
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 172
Gots: 295 | 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: 3,084 | Reviews: 1,206 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

rgf001, Jun 19, 2011
Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

Date: 18 June 2011
Glass: Sierra Nevada XXX snifter
Type: 330ml bottle

Poured gently, 2-finger reduces to nice film, lacing is a little runny, color is deep crimson.

Aroma of heavy Belgian yeasts and wheat with some toasted malts, hint of nutmeg.

Taste has a great Belgian yeast backbone with a touch of sourness to it (though it's really just the heavy yeast to me), just of hint of toasted malts, lots of wheat.

Excellent mouthfeel with a heavy front end of wheat that dissipates quickly, leaving a sweet malty taste on the palate. Very good dark Belgian. Not my favorite, but certainly authentic.

ToAzwethinkweizm, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
4/5  rDev -5.4%

568th Review on BA
Bottle to Goblet

Bevmo Belgian Pack

App- Bordering on dark amber with some shimmery notes in it. I got a one and a half finger head with some nice cling to it.

Smell- Ah, the smells of Belgium that I have come to adore. Yeast, spice, grains. This one was just slightly tempered back. Good, but on the small side

Taste- Again its a style I love to have. This one has the essence and is one of the premier beers when people think of the style, its just never been re-worked. Its yeasty, a little spice nice grain bill.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. Its the yeast on a heavy beer that makes it dance on the feel.

Drink- I can't believe I have never had this. I thought for sure I had. Oh well, stranger things have happened. This was a good BSDA but needed more pop.

FosterJM, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of Kooz
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%

10.5% abv--wow. I don't know what Gulden Draak means, but I am going to assume it means "Golden Dragon"--which makes me happy.

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Dark brown, cloudy, light tan head that is thick and keeps its shape--peaks and valleys. Interesting.

Smells of caramel and slightly of alcohol. Smells like it might be slightly sweet.

VERY strong flavors--it is like drinking a good port (not flavor-wise, but depth of flavor). There is an alcohol aftertaste which is too strong and costs this its perfect 5. I taste burnt caramel strongly. Not sure what it is about this--there are tastes I cannot place--but I really like it.

Mouthfeel is very good, as I've come to expect from this brewery. Rich, creamy, dense head (like foam). No bite.

I don't think I could physically stomach more than 2 or 3 of these in a night--they are so rich. However, I would happily drink this night after night. Very good beer.

Kooz, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of marty21
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%

A: Pours a clear reddish brown with 2.5 fingers worth of off white/very light brown head. Settles to a thick creamy cap and left lots of lacing.

S: Sweet malt and sweet fruits. You also smell a good amount of alcohol.

T: Very sweet with sweet fruits once again. You don’t taste any alcohol but you can feel it in your mouth.

M: High carbonation with medium to full body.

O: This was an excellent beer. I can see people saying it might be a little too sweet but I really enjoyed it. I’ll definitely be buying this beer again.

marty21, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of chinchill
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%

330 ml bottle from a Belgian sampler 6-pack served in a large glass wine goblet.

Bottled under pressure, as evidenced by the soda pop sound (Psssfft) upon opening. The beer has an generous but not overwhelming fizzy head that quickly settles to a lasting but irregular tan top coat with a thick ring. The liquid is a cloudy near-opaque brown that has a reddish-orange glow when backlit.

S - Moderately strong and rich aroma that is primarily fruity/yeasty and malty, with a medium/dark blend in the malts. I found it quite appealing, and near the 5 mark. There's little hint of the high ABV.

T - Bordering on too sweet, but with notable sour and bitter elements to keep this from detracting from my enjoyment. And I suspect this sweetness helps make the alcohol largely disappear. Rich and complex, with plenty of dark fruit from mid-taste on, and traces of spices including cinnamon. A fine flavor mix that changes with temperature and from the start of a sip to the finish. A tiny bit too much sourness in the finish for my taste, but I know many other aficionados like this effect, and the finish remains a bit sweet nonetheless.

M - good, if somewhat high, carbonation helps produce an excellent mouthfeel that is neither too heavy nor too light. Very smooth, Finish is a bit less dry than I'd expect given the ABV.

O - an excellent Belgian dark tripel (or BSDA). Good enough to be a reasonable inclusion if you ever get the chance to do a side-by-side taste test of world-class Belgians; I wouldn't expect it to win, but it wouldn't be out of place and is relatively inexpensive (vs., say Chimay, Delirium or Rochefort) in the US.

chinchill, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

On tap at World of Beer in WPB. Served in a tulip.

Appearance - Murky brown body with an ample cream colored head. Surprising head on it, but maybe just because it's on tap. A minimal amount of lacing graces the surface of the beer.

Smell - I get bananas and apples. The apples have a slight tang to them. Some dark fruits. The description on the menu said toffee, but I don't get that over the fruits. A bit of booze in the nose, too.

Taste - Again, a bit of banana from the yeastiness, followed by a strange citrus tang that accompanies the dark fruits prevalent in Belgian darks. It's not bad, it's just not what I expect at all. A complex flavor, to be sure.

Mouthfeel - The flavor is good and I guess they're going for the tripel style, but I'm not liking it. It makes it dry and spicy in the finish when I want it thick and smooth. A strange hybrid of styles that I don't necessarily appreciate.

Overall - Good flavor, for sure. Nothing I haven't tasted before, but still good. I just don't like the dryness in the finish.

Alieniloquium, Jun 12, 2011
Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%

A: dark amber with a 1" soapy light tan coloured head that dissipated after about 2 minutes.

S: Malty, alcohol, apples.

T: Very malty, sweet, orange, slightly bitter aftertaste.

M: Medium level of fine carbonation somewhat soapy. Very nice mouthfeel.

O: Tangy, malty, and somewhat sweet; this is the perfect beer to have beside the fire on a cold winters night.

DaftCaskBC, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of kojevergas
3.43/5  rDev -18.9%

Bottle served into a Gulden Draak goblet in Ghent, Belgium. Reviewed from notes.

A: 1.5 finger head of nice cream. Respectable retention for the high ABV. Dark amber colour. Could be black as well. Or perhaps ruby. Hard to tell with the darkness.

Sm: Dark fruit ester hops. Maybe some caramel. Certainly caramelized malt.

T: Dark fruit body. Hops linger through the finish. Complex and layered esters comprise the general tone of this beer, but they work together rather than ringing distinct, which is as it should be. Balanced. Some indeterminate cream, perhaps on the open and/or finish. It's buried, anyway.

Mf: Smooth and wet.

Dr: Hides its ABV quite well. Affordable and worth a try for any beer fanatic.

kojevergas, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of MarcatGSB
3.85/5  rDev -9%

Purchased from the Shelden Grill in Houghton, MI. Served with a frosted mug (yep), so that is what I used.

Appearance: pours a real nice brown color with a frothy white one finger head. Great lacing remains on the glass.

Nose: Nice esthery clove and banana nose. Sweet toffee and candies fruits. Borderline dried figs or raisons.

Taste: Dried fruit with a nice peppery alcohol feel. Good phenol and sweet balance.

Mouth: Viscous. Really nice and inviting. The alcohol is not noticeable and a sweet sipping treat.

Drink and overall: Nice Belgium triple. The color is beautiful and the brew is inviting.

MarcatGSB, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of CwrwAmByth
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

Poured from a 330ml glass bottle into a Gulden Draak tulip glass.

Pours a nice dark brown with a solid brown head that slowly reducing leaving lace as it goes.

The smell is potent, spicy and alcohol.

The taste matches the smell, spices and dark flavours being slightly outdone by the taste of the alcohol, making it at times too over powering.

Overall a solid beer.

CwrwAmByth, May 28, 2011
Photo of Fermented42
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%

Autumn in a bottle. Tremendous full mouthfeel with a long spice-cake flavour that will bring a tear to your eye...an Grandma's Kitchen!

This goes straight...seriously...to your head and I hope I can find my bus stop. Little head retention but very peaty to see...brown...lovely.

Creamy finish with a long caramel toned after tase.

Fermented42, May 26, 2011
Photo of calcio360jrd
4.78/5  rDev +13%

Gulden Draak is 4 sure one of my all time fav beers. This belgian strong dark ale has some amazing toffee like smell and sweetness that few beers can match. I've had the pleasure of having this in both bottle and on draft in the same night, not many beers i can say that about. This beer just tastes great, not for everybody though, the sweetness factor gets some people, but i thing the 10.5% of the beer evens the sweetness out to a pretty close to perfect beer!

calcio360jrd, May 21, 2011
Photo of lcarlo
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

This is a beer that really succeeded. That having been said, I didn't love it. It has a sweet and sour taste that blends very well and it us a nice drinkability to it. Sweet and sour just isn't what I like but for a Belgian, which are often too sweet for me, this is a goof option.

lcarlo, May 20, 2011
Photo of bum732
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%

S: Vanilla coke like sweetness, some phenolics, some dark fruits, mostly prunes, dark cherry candy.

L: Hazy reddish brown, clears as it warms, light tan head that dissipates, some retention and lacing.

T: Sweet caramel phenolic malt with some dark cherry sweetness. Medium spicy bitterness leads to more dark candy sweetness before drying with some spicy alcohol. Some pear compote in addition.

M: Some alcohol warmth, medium-high carbonation, medium bodied.

Excellent, loved the flavors in this beer, very fragrant. Classic example of a well made Belgian.

bum732, May 20, 2011
Photo of n2185
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%

A: Pours a dark mahogany with two fingers of light tan head that recedes into a dense cap with decent lacing.

S: Cloves, spices, bubblegum, bananas, and dark fruits like plums. There's a floral, ginger-like aroma in there as well some light citrusy notes. On the finish are touches of hearty wheat bread.

T: Similar to the aroma, you have cloves, spices, and lots of dark fruits (dates, figs, plums) up front. Lightly bitter, thick, hearty bread flavors on the finish with a slight alcohol burn.

M: Medium body with high carbonation, this beer is pretty highly attenuated with a nice, crisp feel overall.

O: A very good BSDA. Good aroma, flavor, and a nice high attenuation to keep it from being too sweet. Not the best bang-for-your-buck, but one of the better examples of the style out there.

n2185, May 10, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

First had: on tap at Eulogy, Philly, PA

When you see a tap head that's a huge golden dragon, you have to sample the beer that it guards. Strong? Yes. Dark? Yes. Belgian? Yes.

Poured into a signature stem glass. Rich, hazy, dark, mahogany color with a nice tannish finger of head that retains well. Toasted biscuits and dark fruits in the aroma. Taste starts off with toasty caramel malts and some caramelized sugars and a touch of molasses, with yeasty biscuits and grainy, unsubdued alcohol following. Dark dried fruits in the background. Medium mouthfeel, and can be a bit syrupy, but overall nice and drinkable, though on the strong side.

Rifugium, May 09, 2011
Photo of OrangeAmps
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%

on tap!

very sweet and carbonated, which is precisely why i dig this beer. it is intensely alcohol heavy, but the taste is negligible. The lacing retains very well, and the dark amber color is beautiful. It is definitely a pronounced belgian beer, but unlike most belgians ive had. Its very creamy and bubbly, like some glorious amalgam of beer and soda.

Its a little less heavy on the carbonation on tap, imo. And also, the porcelain bottles are pimp.

Great beer.

OrangeAmps, May 06, 2011
Photo of jmdrpi
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

330mL stubby bottle coated in white plastic. no date.

poured into oversize tulip glass, a dark brown with garnet colored highlights. great 1" head, that shrinks a bit, but never goes away. nice lacing.

aromas of toffee and sourdough bread. tastes slightly sweet, caramel, biscuity malt. finish is slightly herbal and boozy. smooth mouthfeel, medium body. carbonation enough to tingle.

jmdrpi, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

- from the notes
Yet another from a brewery sampler pack.
A - reddish dark brown with a foamy head.
S - intense sweet dark fruits with alcohol.
T - fruity peppery alcohol with malts.
M - fairly thick but with adequate carbonation.
D - drinkable if you can hold the alcohol.
Overall I like it but think it can be intense.

Beer4Baltimore, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of ColdPoncho
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%

Not sure about the date on this one.

A - Hazy reddish brown body, nice looking loose tan head, sticks around a bit.

S - Some dark fruits, hint of tartness, Malty, spicy. Complex fruit character dominates.

T - Complex fruity sweetness. Bit more cherry than the standard BSDA, adding a hint of tartness toward the back. Nicely balanced with the belgian spice and earthy malt notes. A bit of astringency in the flavor is the main detractor.

M - Full and smooth, a bit drying astringency. Big body, nice beer.

O (D) - This is a real good beer. Tasty, and interesting, offering something a little bit different from what I expect from a BSDA, but it's definitely solid.

ColdPoncho, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of BeardedRiker
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%

I finally got the Gulden Draak! I'd seen it many times - because who doesn't want to drink a golden dragon beer? - but never bought it, probably because of the price. I also rarely buy Belgians so this will be...a rare review.

I poured the Gulden Draak into a wine glass and it showed itself to be a hazy copper color that formed a small bubbly off-white head. Nothing too special about the appearance.

Rather than smelling like...whatever a dragon would smell like, Gulden Draak smells of apples, peaches, and grapes as a wine would have fruity aromas. There is some apple sweetness and wine booziness as well.

I remember talking to a wine lover about the Gulden Draak. She's not drank a lot of beers and I tried to explain to her, as she drank some wine, that some beers are very wine-like and I bet her I could have her try a beer that she would think was wine. Gulden Draak is one of these beers. It is very dry and tart and has a certain sourness to it. Apple flavors add a tang to it and there is some brown sugar sweetness that balances it out. As alluded to, it's very wine-like.

Gulden Draak has a medium body with light carbonation. I'd describe it as "chewy" and smooth. Even with an ABV of 10.5% it's drinkable.

BeardedRiker, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of AnPiobaire
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

I tried this brew on tap at The Good Life in Massapequa Park, NY. The brew poured a dark mahogony with a cream colored head. The ose was of malty sweetness. The taste was sweet and not the least bit boozy for such a high ABV. This is a very drinkable brew and will certainbly be on my list for years to come. A mainstay ond always front and center on tap at TGL. Enjoy!!!

AnPiobaire, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of ocelot2500
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%

Pours a deep mahogany color with a tight, off-white head that fades quickly leaving a nice ring of lacing.

Smells of sweet roasted malts and dark fruit.

Tastes of big fruit with some added depth. Fruit hits first with notes of raisins, plums, and figs that are fairly sweet. Some caramel and brown sugar sweetness follows along with some sweet bread notes. Touches of cocoa are also noticeable. Alcohol and some yeast spice come on the end and add to the sweet notes.

Mouthfeel is full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, a very good BSDA that can hang with some of the tops in the style.

ocelot2500, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of DaveBlack
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

A: Really a beautiful looking beer murky, rich brown-ruby color with a small amount of tan head that disappears quickly. Beautiful lacing characteristic of Belgians.

S: Malts, dark fruits, Belgian yeast, and alcohol are the main smells. Good representation of Tripel style.

T: Quite sweet up front with toffee malts, then a quick taste of Belgian yeast before the alcohol hits the palate like a freight train, just blasting out everything else. That fades into a peppery flavor, then back into sweetness. The flavor leaves the mouth with a warming alcohol sensation and a sweetness. Would be really good, I just find the alcohol overpowering.

M: Medium bodied and chewy, quite light on the carbonation and fairly sticky on the back of the throat.

O: Not my favorite tripel, largely because of the absurdly alcoholic character that overwhelms the other flavors. Still, if that doesn't bother you than there is a lot to recommend this beer. The yeast and malts are balanced nicely, and the sweetness is nice.

DaveBlack, Apr 15, 2011
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,084 ratings.