1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

3,056 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,056
Reviews: 1,204
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 170
Gots: 282 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,056 | Reviews: 1,204 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vfgccp

New York

3.95/5  rDev -6.6%

A - Soft, creamy head that forms nice peaks. Super thick lace. Cloudy milk chocolate color.

S - Raisins, figs, allspice, clove. Ends with light alcohol notes.

T - Sweet dried fruits open the profile. Prunes, golden raisins, pumpernickel bread. Booze rolls around in the middle of the profile, as the taste transitions to lighter breads, yeast, and just a touch of bitterness from the hops. Honey and light malt round out the aftertaste.

M - Medium-light body. Has a smoothness that coats the back of your palate.

D - Even though the booze makes a cameo, the beer does a great job of hiding the 10% ABV. The sweetness in the beer might be too much for some people.

O - A little too sweet. It almost drinks like a desert beer (more ice-wine than port), but still delicious.

11-23-2010 18:58:22 | More by vfgccp
Photo of ritzkiss

Ontario (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -13.7%

33cl white labeled bottle, pours a dark mahogany with a creamy creamy tan head which has great lasting power, leaving streaks of lacing.

Nose is earthy and bready, candied sugar and dates. Maybe a hint of pumpernickel and plums.

Here is where the beer falters a little, loads of candied sugar, hints of plums and dates, caramel, bread, fruit cake, licorice - seems pretty simple compared to many Belgian darks, maybe more in line with a dubbel but even then, the mouthfeel feels quite thin, especially in light of the sweetness. Creamy but thin mouthfeel.

No hint of the ABV, though the sweetness deters the drinkability. Middle of the pack.

11-23-2010 00:46:22 | More by ritzkiss
Photo of david18

New York

3.4/5  rDev -19.6%

I had a twelve ounce draft of this at the Amsterdam Ale House on the Upper West side. One of the reasons I like Tripels over Dubbels, Quads and Strong Darks is because I like the lightness better. So I'm not sure what a dark Tripel is.

This beer was pretty good but not a real standout. Color was a dark amber with a dark head and low to medium carbonation. Aroma was typical for a quad, yeast, dark fruit, very little hops. The flavor as well had a lot of malty and dark fruit characteristics. Good if you like quads.

11-22-2010 20:42:07 | More by david18
Photo of MattyV

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev -1.9%

Pours a very dark reddish-brown colour with a fluffy off-white head that dissipates very fast but leaves spotty lacing.

The aroma is mostly dark fruits (fig, plum, raisin), some brown sugar, and a touch of alcohol warmth and spice.

Wow, this is super sweet and fruity up front, but the fruit start to take on a sour character and the sweetness is quickly countered by a big spicy/peppery alcohol warmth that slowly fades out through the finish. The aftertaste has a bit of roastiness to it, and is surprisingly dry considering how sweet it first seemed.

Full-bodied, but the carbonation, while not quite at the level of a tripel, seems to lighten things up a bit and provides a nice creamy texture. The booziness wears on you a bit over time and almost has a slight numbing effect on the mouth and tongue.

The ABV is not completely hidden here, but at the same time it can be still be quite deceptive, especially at cooler temperatures. This is very sweet, but is a fantastic sipper and would maybe work well as a dessert-style beer. I'm having trouble deciding between this and Piraat for my favourite out of the brewery's mixed 6'er.

11-17-2010 05:53:40 | More by MattyV
Photo of nhindian


3.95/5  rDev -6.6%

11.2oz bottle poured into a Delirium Tremens tulip.

Gulden Draak, often described as a Dark Tripel, is often characterized as the catch-all, "Belgian Strong Dark Ale", and by the brewery itself as a Barleywine style. Hopefully throughout this review I can try to deduce some points of the beer rather than try to lump it in with a style.

A - Upon pouring, it certainly takes on characteristics of a Quad. Dark burgundy body with bright, cordial highlights. Builds a huge 3.5 fingered, khaki colored head that is apparent throughout the entire beer. The bright highlights make it possible to see the absolute torrent of bubbles streaming from the bottom of the glass which really aids the retention. Lacing is on the high end of the spectrum, as there are elegant and eccentric webs spinning all over the glass.

S - The smell is also very reminiscent of a Quad or a heavy Dubbel. Lots of dark, candied fruits with only small traces of Belgian yeast. Figs, plums, grapes and bready malts make up the majority of the smell and there is also noticeable heat from the alcohol. Alcohol imparts an strong ethanol characteristic which is a bit unpleasant.

T - One sip from this makes me feel like I could jump in the vessel on the bottle and sail across the ocean. Very sweet and alcoholic. The fruits are incredibly sweet and tangy, and as they assault the front of the mouth, the alcohol goes straight to the back to complete the two-stage attack. Grapes and plums are the forefront of the siege, and the tannic notes from them really mesh well with alcohol heat. It tastes like a sugary Welsh's Grape Juice with a shot of Everclear. It isn't unpleasant initially, but it wears on as the drink settles.

M - Mouthfeel is heavy bodied with lots of mouth involvement. As mentioned earlier, each characteristic of the beer hits a different spot of the mouth, and the heavy carbonation helps keep everything moving smoothly.

D - Drinkability is moderate. The flavors are strong and smooth, but the sweetness is just a bit too much as I continue to drink. Pretty heavy bodied and a bit syrupy, it's a nice treat to start but a sugary at the end.

11-17-2010 04:19:45 | More by nhindian
Photo of mariposafan


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

A 330ml bottle fills a Duvel tulip with garnet elixir topped with lots and lots of creamy head. The head dies down to a nice cap but persists throughout.

The smell is malty and somewhat sweet with plenty of alcohol. Some dark fruit comes through as the alcohol dissipates.

Alcohol again on the taste but that's the only knock against it. Not too sweet but with plenty of caramel maltiness and some spicing. The taste reminds me of a slightly oxidized tawny port, though it's much thinner on the mouthfeel and very well, perhaps excessively well, carbonated.

The drinkability is decent but there's no getting around the 10.5% alcohol and the innate richness. Given that, though, it's about as drinkable as you could hope for.

11-15-2010 01:04:09 | More by mariposafan
Photo of JayS2629


4.63/5  rDev +9.5%

I found my second favorite beer. I think I'm discovering the rank of my favorite styles. This beer was similar in taste to a Trappiste Rochefort 10 which is a Quad. However, this was a lighter body. Not as thick and syrupy and those flavors were a bit more subdued. I guess that is the difference between a triple and quad. I passed this one up so many times. Glad I finally picked it up...I must thank my wife. I should take her to pick beer everytime.

A- Deep rich mahogany with hints of deep ruby in the light. Thind dark head with nice spiderweb lacing.

S- Dark plums, spiced rum soaked raisins, hints of vanilla. Sweet caramel undertones.

T- Dark chocolate coated black cherries, ripe plums and brown sugar. Hints of allspice. Notes of vanilla. Mild spice notes.

M- Creamy and smooth with a semi-dry finish. Mouth feels coated afterwards. Very well balanced.

D- Sweet, sweet dessert. Delicious. If you like dark chocolate and black cherries you'll love this. The balance is elequant and the flavors bold yet subtle. Nothing is overpowering. Excellent beer. One to savor.

11-14-2010 02:38:50 | More by JayS2629
Photo of DeepSix


4.03/5  rDev -4.7%

330ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Poured a brown color with a significant head that made pouring the whole bottle at once impossible. Don't know if thats storage or pouring technique or what. Back to the color impossible to see through.

Smell is of dark fruits, plums, raisins, candi sugar, and the alcohol

A continuation of the smell, maybe with some spice in there? The alcohol is present as well, as with some minor bitterness which i cannot place if is alcohol or hops, I will guess the latter.

This has a pretty thick mouthful, a bit like syrup. Alcohol is present here as well.

The drinkability is there, but I feel as the beer warmed up the ABV became more noticeable, i was tempted to bring down my score because i drank the beer as I was writing this review, but in the end I decided no. Though have no fear the beer seems to taste better as warmed though as well. These like any high ABV beer can knock you on your ass, and this beer is pretty deceptive when still cold.

11-13-2010 23:26:27 | More by DeepSix
Photo of DefenCorps


4.33/5  rDev +2.4%

This is one of those beers that I saw many, many times but always passed, figuring I would get around to it. Three years is long enough, so I grabbed a bottle the last time I was at State Line, and then again, on tap at BXL Cafe in NYC (an excellent bar, IMO). This review is for the bottle.

Not as impressive as the pour I had at BXL, this beer is still gorgeous. Deep mahogany red with rich, reddish brown highlights, there's a dense, light brown head that recedes to a disk slowly. Retention is excellent, 20 minutes into the beer, the head is still dense, an excellent attribute for a 10.5% beer. The nose is excellent. Very rich and fruity with plums and prunes, soaked in rum. Brown sugar and a very prominent yeast character are present. Moderately phenolic, the expressiveness of the yeast reminds me in some ways of the St. Bernardus Abt 12. A little tobacco, a little earth and a little leather are all present. This really is a beer to cook and pair with, and I should try that sometime.

The palate opens moderately sweet with brown sugar, a little vanilla and a moderate leathery and earthy backbone. Definitely fruity, there's a pronounced prune character here. It's not a flavor I typically care for, but combined with the yeastiness, it's very compelling. There's a mild spice note as well, mildly cinnamon sugar and maybe some mace? Alcohol is very well hidden here, there's some that appears towards the finish, amplifying the mild spice flavors. Medium in body with moderate carbonation, the beer greatly benefits from swirling to release the carbonation. Fruity and mildly sugary on the finish, this feel pretty great on the palate. This is growing a lot on me, and I will revisit this. Maybe just a touch sweeter than I'd like, but I can't imagine what a lower FG will provide here, so I can't be too harsh.

I can't help but think that this would make a great beer to braise lamb with. I just might have to try that. Ultimately, this beer does what a dark tripel should do, it has the fruitiness and mild sweetness that a more traditional tripel should, but only with dark fruits and dark sugars. Quite unique IMO.

11-13-2010 23:22:36 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of BBP

Ontario (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

A- Pours a thick cherry brown with good carbonation and a nice, albeit thin, creamy head that fills in over time, rather than receeding. Leaves some beautiful lacing.

S- Dark fruit (prunes especially) with a bit of sharp alcohol. Very rich. The only thing that holds me from sticking my nose into it is the sharp alcohol.

T- Dark fruit initially. Prunes, and a little bit of grape (red&green), followed by caramel. It has a lot of sugary sweetness, but it's balanced tremendously well, and doesn't become overwhelming. I despise overly sweet beers, and I'm always impressed when they can incorporate a ton of sweetness and make me like it.

M- Very creamy and smooth. Carbonated perfectly. Medium full body. Slightly dry and sticky in the finish, but only slightly.

D- This is an excellent beer, and one of my favorites from Brewery Van Steenberge. It presents a lot of character, and hides the ABV considerably well. I noticed very little heat even when looking for it. The only way I did notice was in the buzz it gave me. This is one of the ones that makes you sad when it's gone. I definitely plan to pick up more, and recommend everybody try it at least once.

11-11-2010 22:41:30 | More by BBP
Photo of yobeerman


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

A - Dark Brown in appearence with a creamy tan head that lasted a while.

S - The smell was of toffee and molasses, with raisens and plums, and a hint of alcohol.

T - The taste was of malt, with toffee and raisens, and a mellow hoppiness.

M - This is a full bodied, thick, and smooth brew. Meant to be sipped and gets better as it warms.

D - This is good Belgian, and one I'd gladly order again.

11-08-2010 03:30:50 | More by yobeerman
Photo of keithmurray

New York

4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

appearance - deep chestnut color with beige head

smell - this one is pleasant - red wine, grapes, plums, raisins, brown sugar

taste - red wine, grapes, plums, raisins, molasses

mouthfeel - highly carbonated, full bodied, sweetness in the aftertaste, only a slight detection of alcohol

drinkability - a sipper for sure, nice beverage that I would happily go to again

11-06-2010 04:45:47 | More by keithmurray
Photo of Torps

New York

3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

Pours a dark plum with two finger off white head.. some lacing.. aroma is dark fruits, candi sugar, prunes, spices and yeast.. taste is super sweet and heavy.. lots of dark fruit, dates, black cherry, spices and boozy alcohol. Mouthfeel is pretty good with plenty of carbonation to combat the sweetness. Drinkability is okay. Its a bit too boozy and sweet to drink more than one.

11-06-2010 01:12:17 | More by Torps
Photo of arboristfish


4.08/5  rDev -3.5%

The beer pours with a slightly tan head. The beer itself looks brown, and is almost impossible to see through. The smell of this beer has hints of malt and belgian candi sugar. The mouthfeel is heavy almost like a brown ale. The taste starts out sweet, and ends with the flavor of dates, maybe raisins? There is a sweetness to which im assuming is from belgian candi sugar. It would be interesting to find out the malt bill on this beer, I have a feeling there is maybe belgian biscuit malt? The beer is 10.5% abv, but you do not get any of the burning sensations from the alcohol.

11-03-2010 22:32:07 | More by arboristfish
Photo of Swedes21

Ontario (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev -3.5%

330 ml served in a chilled glass..

Appearance - Beer pours a gorgeous dark auburn colour with visibility though the beer. The beer has a decent amount of carbonation and the head is very full. Head is a light brown, appears both foamy yet has some density to it. Some nice lacing as I drink the beer.

Smell - You can smell the alcohol for sure, but that is too be expected with a 10.5% beer. I would there is a grape base to this beer as well.

Taste - I would have to say a sweet taste upfront combined with the alcohol. There is a nice aftertaste, somewhat bitter but does not stick around.

Mouthfeel - there is hardly any carbonation added in the mouthfeel. I will say the bitterness level does increase as well as the grape/sweetness hints. You can tell you are drinking a 10.5% beer.

Drinkability - I can see why this beer is sold in a 330 ml bottle! The beer packs a punch, you can taste the liquor but also some amazing sweetness. I would have this beer again just not hunt it down.

11-01-2010 23:02:08 | More by Swedes21
Photo of DrewZ926

New York

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Poured into tulip

A- Khaki head, about 2 fingers with decent retention. Deep brown with a hint of gold in the light. Not much lacing.

S- Alcohol is what hits me at the first whiff. Also getting tones of oak, cherry, raisins, and malt.

T- Alcohol hits first again, not masked as well as I had remembered. Getting a lot of sweet malt to counteract though. Followed by fruity (raisin/grape/fig/cherry). Extremely full body with powerful finish.

M- Very rich, tastes better as it warms to room temperature, taste becomes more complex and the fruits are brought out more. Lightly carbonated.

D- Paired great with my meal, also goes very well with desserts, mainly chocolate and orange flavored. Very drinkable and extremely tasty. Alcohol becomes a bit much after one bottle, but this is one of my all times favorites.

10-27-2010 03:28:50 | More by DrewZ926
Photo of A380

Manitoba (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev -1.9%

Pours a nice dark brown colour with a nice head that stays forever :) Initial smells slightly fruity with a nice caramelized sweet malt and hops and alcohol. Tastes quite the same. Very nice finish and all around very distinct taste. Very nice beer, could go for another one but i would have to stop at two or three as the taste is not exactly my favorite style out there but it is definitely enjoyable and at 10.5% abv it sure makes for an enjoyable time. This is my first belgian strong dark ale and thanks to gulden draak im not afraid to explore it. good stuff!

10-26-2010 05:57:33 | More by A380
Photo of scott451

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Slightly hazy dark ruby brown with a thin tan head. The head soon disappears. Moderate lacing.

Sweet dark malt smells with notes of prune and spice. Tastes of sweet dark malts with ripe prune. The alcohol brings up the rear. A big well balanced brew. Very sweet but not in a cloying way.

Medium body. Very smooth and well balanced. A masterful big beer. Very drinkable in spite of the high ABV. You want more even though you know you shouldn't

10-25-2010 04:11:56 | More by scott451
Photo of Kinsman


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%

Here we have a beautiful reddish-brown colored body with ruby accents and a fizzy, foamy, and rocky light tan head. The head slowly fades without leaving much a lace behind but does leave a beautiful creamy crown, about 1cm thick, on top for the remainder of the glass.

Aroma is packed full with a wide variety of flavors. It greets you with a sugary molasses aroma, which slowly steps aside for a notable phenolic aroma. Fruity and a bit yeasty too.

The first taste greets you with an onslaught of flavor and alcohol. In fact, the alcohol is one of the first things I noticed. The date code is to cryptic for me to understand, but I would guess this bottle is no more than a few months with heat like this.

Once you get past the fire-breathing dragon of alcohol and enter the dragons lair, the beer becomes much more welcoming (sorry for the corny dragon reference, but you just have to with this beer). Lots of sweet and sugary malt flavors plus some dark fruitiness. Further exploration reveals a strong phenolic presence. After all is said and done, the beer finishes with a bit of a spicy note reminiscent of cloves and pepper.

Mouthfeel just about requires a full body with this much flavor. It certainly does deliver, and it comes along with a live bubbly carbonation.

Drinkability... well its enjoyable, but this is one hell of a beer. You only need one of these in the night, but its worth it.

10-23-2010 23:11:56 | More by Kinsman
Photo of akenethon


4.38/5  rDev +3.5%

A-beautiful tan, persistent foam. opaque dark brown color with red tint. best looking I have ever seen
S-sweet caramelized malty smell wit some herbalness, can smell the strength of alcohol
T-balanced, malty taste. slightly sweet. burns your throat while drinking. slightly bitter aftertaste. feels like cognac
M-medium light mouthfeel, not full but not clear either
D-a really good beer. need to sip slowly and concentrate. as I said, this is a cognac tasting of beer. I love cognac so it fits perfect to my taste. I only wish it had a fuller mouthfeel and tasted less like syrup.

10-17-2010 14:07:03 | More by akenethon
Photo of yapi


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

L: rather surprised this is a dark brew, in Flemish Gulden means golden, and I always thougt this would be golden colored.

S: peaches to me, fruity, soft oak

T: Sweet, fruity, detect some peaches, some reminders of an oak aged quad, alcohol is present, and I think the taste note of the alström bros 'cake batter' is spot on! Had a lot of cake batter shakes in my time and I love it!

O: very pleasantly surprised by this one! Never was appealed to the bottle, but once poured, loved it. This one isn't a fast drink, alcohol definitely is present. Will buy some more and see what a couple of month time will do

10-17-2010 13:33:19 | More by yapi
Photo of InebriatedJoker


4.35/5  rDev +2.8%

Poured from 11.2 fl oz bottle into my favorite beer drinking glass -

Poured a nice rich brown -clear with lots of bubbles -
two finger head with a nice lace that seems to follow it down the glass -

Smell was pleasant and clean hints of toffee -

Taste was extremely pleasant malty with carmel or toffee hints - considering this is a 10.5 by al vol beverage it is excellent -

The taste was so good I wanted to chug this ale - but refrained as to really enjoy a really good brew - very drinkable.

10-16-2010 01:48:17 | More by InebriatedJoker
Photo of haazer


4.3/5  rDev +1.7%

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip.

A- Nice combination of brown, amber, maroon and ruby glow on the glasses edge. Decent forming tan head that retains well. Leaves lacing on the glass.

S- Fruity smells of rasberries and raisins. Has a great malt smell to it. Can detect the alcohol but certainly not overbearing.

T- Great combination of fruity and malt flavors. Flavor dominated by raisins, but also pick up black cherry and grape. Is anyone else getting a quad taste to this beer?

M- Very smooth and rich upfront. Alcohol becomes warming. Carbonation is drying. Palate is sweetened immensely with this beer.

D- Very tasty beer. Alcohol is deceiving but I would drink this any time. I only briefly tasted this one but I plan on buying more in the near future. Would definitely seek this out.

10-10-2010 21:33:14 | More by haazer
Photo of EgadBananas


3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

Dark, red bronze in color, with a very minimal head that dissipates super fast.

Aroma is bready, sweet caramel malts, with some noticeable alcohol and roasted notes.

Taste is much of the same with sweet malts, caramel and noticeable alcohol sting, along with some brandy-like qualities.

Feel is solid medium in body, minimal carbonation and a slight creaminess.

Very enjoyable, but the alcohol puts a damper on the drinkability. 1 is satisfying.

10-09-2010 13:45:21 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of dasenebler


4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

33cl, Netherlands.

Sexy light garnet with a thick, bubbly light tan head. Thin layer retains, with a bit of lacing.

Aroma is outstanding with a rich, vinous alcohol note, along with ripe stone fruit, such as cherries and plums.

Flavor is warming as hell. This is a very strong beer, but it's pretty smooth. I like the concept of the dark tripel, though my favorite tripels are dry and refreshing, whereas this beer is quite sweet and pretty heavy. There's a big cherry sweetness, along with some brown sugar and molasses. This is a tasty beer, but the alcohol is quite present. The mouthfeel was well-carbonated and pretty slick and medium-heavy.

As a "dark tripel," Gulden Draak is a unique Belgian ale that makes for a great digestif...or nigthcap, in my case.

10-06-2010 21:10:43 | More by dasenebler
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,056 ratings.