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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.

3,094 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,094
Reviews: 1,209
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 173
Gots: 298 | 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: 3,094 | Reviews: 1,209 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CuriousMonk
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into tulip glass. Pours a bright copper colour with a beige head that's short lived. Nose is fairly subdued with hints of toffee, fruitcake and sweet malts, and the flavour is fairly similar, but less restrained. In the mouth brown sugar, caramel, apples and pears all join with the elements of the aroma to create a very nice, pretty unique (in my experience) quad that hides its alcohol well and doesn't cloy on the palate. One of my favorite Belgian strong dark ales that's usually widely available at any restaurant I go to.

CuriousMonk, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of Vineyard
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Overall: Beutiful beer, with a great aroma and taste. I really really enjoyed this beer and would definitley drink it again. I would say it is quite different than other Strong Dark Ales I've had, but not in a bad way.

Appearance: Gorgeous deep ruby red color. About one finger of head which recedes and leaves decent lacing.

Aroma: Inticing. Rich malty notes first, followed by some dark fruit, maybe dark cheeries, a little caramel and chocolate and some very impressive yeast notes.

Taste: Very malty with a cornucopia of flavors underneath. The strongest notes were of caramel, dark fruit and a very nice blend of yeast flavors. The finish is surprisingly dry, with very little alchol flavor/burn for such a large beer.

Mouthfeel: A little chewier up front than I would enjoy, probably the only detraction from the beer. It does have a very nice dry finish however.

Drinkability: Very very good for such a large, complex beer. Very happy that I gave this one a try.

Vineyard, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of LazyL
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark red/orange with a thick creamy beige coloured head. Nice lacing on the bulbous glass.
Classic Belgian scents that are very inviting. Good bread and alcohal notes. At 10.5% this is a slow sipper and although not unpleasant by any means, I can feel it almost immediately. A nice dry and some what sweet finish.
This is a well made beer, but the alcohal is a little too up front for my taste. Worth trying and as a bonus a very cool bottle wrap.

LazyL, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of afinepilsner
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz opaque white plastic coated brown bottle
10.5% abv

Gulden draak Ale was brown in color with good clarity ( the second pour left it a bit hazy). It had a bubbly light tan head with average retention and minimal lacing. The smell was malt, dark fruit, and a little alcohol. The taste was toasted malt, dried fruit, and yeast flavors and spices. It had long dry finish with noticeable throat-warming alcohol. It was medium-full in body with medium-high carbonation. Drinkability was good. This is a good Belgian Ale and worth trying out.

afinepilsner, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of dedrinker
2.83/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark rusty murkiness with a thin light tan head.

Aromas of sugary dark fruit jams.

Flavors of boozy dark fruit, kinda sweet with a little tartness and alcohol heat.

Medium-full body, prickly carbonated mouth feel, and stewed boozy dark fruit and yeast on the finish.

I don't know about all this "dark triple" business. Kinda tastes like a dubbel or a light quadrupel. So can I brew a classic Belgian triple and call it a dubbel blonde?

dedrinker, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of Rutager
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330mL, appealing bottle. Half finger head.

Appearance. Dark copper brown, slight haze.

Smell. Rich, malty alcohol. Cherries and toffee.

Taste. Sweet malt and light fruit syrup. Caramel and bread with a medicine-hop finish.

Mouthfeel. Light carbonation.

Drinkability. A bit on the sweet side. One will do.

Rutager, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of beerprovedwright
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Two finger head, with good lacing. Color is a 28 on the SRM beer color chart. Smell is enveloping, with aromas of coco, coffee, toffee, and caramel. Taste is a wonderful mixture of caramel, coffee, molasses, raspberries, apple, grapes, vanilla, black pepper, cinnamon, malt, and licorice. There are more flavors in there, but the more you taste the more buzz you get and flavors become muted. Rich, full body of heavy cream passes over my tongue and teeth, added with the wonderful prickly feeling of carbonation. This is one masterful brew which took many many years to perfect. I want more of this fine brew.

beerprovedwright, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of Elendinn
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my tulip glass.

Pours a cloudy, dark, earthy brown, suffused with a subtle crimson, with two-and-a-half fingers of off-white head, which leaves a bit of sticky lacing that hangs around for about half the glass -- aesthetically pleasing and rather foreboding.

The nose is sweeter than I'd expected, with lots of dark fruit (cherries feature rather prominently) beneath a huge aroma of molasses, caramel, alcohol, some chocolate, and bread. Smells a bit like freshly baked cookies and hard liquor -- very enticing.

Again, lots of molasses and caramel, a bit of milk chocolate, some mildly-tart dark fruits (reiteration of cherries), and bread are featured predominantly, in rough chronological order, on the tongue. The alcohol is a bit overbearing (reminiscent of Irish whiskey); combined with the yeasty doughyness, the finish is substantially drier than the front-end. The flavors begin to meld more cohesively as the glass warms, becoming progressively more balanced. What's most intriguing is the beer's similarity to a barleywine, but with a Belgian twang.

The first thing I notice upon letting this beer sit in my mouth is the carbonation, which, in a word, is excessive; additionally, the body is a bit chewy. It's difficult to hold for very long and it burns a little on the way down. The mouthfeel is an unfortunate distraction from an otherwise very good beer. Luckily, the carbonation becomes less exhuberant and more tolerable as the glass warms.

Gulden Draak is a delicious beer, but a slow starter, and an even slower sipper. I would recommend letting it warm up a bit before partaking with any sort of diligence. The noticeable alcohol and aggressive effervescence make it a difficult beer to drink more than one of, but it definitely grows on you. It reminds me of Hair of the Dog's Adam, with a little more complexity, a lot more carbonation, and a slightly heftier price tag (though both are great values). Bottom-line: it's strong and a little scary, but I'll get it again.

Elendinn, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of BryanRex
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 with a heat-shrink white label and no age stamp. Pours slightly cloudy medium brown with a with a small one finger off white head (questioning the freshness of my bottle)

Strong aromas of licorice and caramel maltiness, figs, and raisins. It reminds me of a seasonal bread.

The taste is sweet with licorice, dark fruits and a slight alcohol finish, not bad for 10.5% ABV.

The carbonation was much less than I expected, even for a Belgian Ale. The beer feels almost like port wine with almost no apparent hops or bitterness whatsoever.

I expected something a bit more complex, but the beer is very drinkable. I can't decide if it should be grouped as a strong Dark Ale, dubbel, or dark tripel. Decent, but not my favorite of any of those styles.

BryanRex, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of russwbeck
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Huge head on this one, wish I used my Duvel Tulip instead of my Mad Elf version. Head is beige, and the pour is deep mahogany, almost brown. Very nice retention and lacing.

S: Getting alcohol on the nose, dark fruits, and some maltiness. Smells more like a Quad than a Triple. I guess that's why it's listed as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

T: Taste starts off with dark fruits, which give way to some warming booziness, finished off by some candied sugar. A bit bitter from the yeast. Very interesting drink.

MF: Nice twang of carbonation on this one and a medium body.

D: I could drink this all day. The alcohol isn't overpowering and the taste is very interesting.

russwbeck, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of chicagoabbot
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Small Duvel style bottle into a snifter. Pours a dark brown that really darkens up in the glass even more, pretty much opaque, with a generous energetic head. The nose isn't quite as funky and impressive as I was expecting. It's more malty than yeasty and quite sweet. It's also fairly sweet on the tongue and quite malty. The yeast does come through when drinking, and it's quite delicious. Perhaps the best beer I've had from Van Steenberge and certainly the heaviest.

chicagoabbot, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of itsfreeasinbeer
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Reddish-mahogany with a ½ inch of finely bubbled beige head that has serious staying power.

Smell: Smells like plums and apricot. The aroma is very fruity.

Taste: bready malts complimented by floral fruitiness from the yeast. It has a very sweet plum flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: Not heavily carbonated.

Drinkability: definitely a great choice for a dessert beer. At 10.5% abv, it is deceptively balanced. This is a little too sweet to drink much of.

itsfreeasinbeer, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of midworken
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Extreme amount of head. The body was dark brown and was nearly opaque. Smelled like it should: malts with a slight hint of nutiness. Taste upfront was of fresh baked bread and lingered from the beginning until the sip was long gone. Although this is a sweet brew, it was balanced nicely with hop characteristics represented as a pecan/pine flavor.

midworken, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of cooch69
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice bright white coated bottle.

This beer pours a bright medium brown with a compact one finger off white head.

Smells of caramel maltiness, a little bit of the alcohol comes through. Dark fruits, including raisins and figs. And a very doughy breadiness probably coming from the yeast.

Tastes semi-sweet with dark fruits and a bit of alcohol in the finish, but over all the alcohol is pretty well hidden. Also there is dark candied sugar and a bready caramel backbone with only a trace of hops.

This beer is a good guideline for what this style should taste like.(in my opinion anyways).
That being said the beer itself was good at best. A beer I'm glad I tried but there are many in the same style that are more unique or tasty.

cooch69, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of projectflam86
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a chalice.

A- Pours a deep chestnut amber brown color with a thick pillowy white head that leaves some nice lacing.

S- Lots of spice and Belgian yeast in the nose. A bit of floral and sweetness with some caramel scents coming through as well.

T- Very interesting flavor profile for this one...Initially I got some sour fruits and a really candied sweetness in the finish. Definitely some clove, raisins, and Belgian yeast hiding in there. The alcohol is noticeable but not too strong. This beer is MUCH sweeter than I expected but I'm really starting to like the flavors overall.

M- Medium/full bodied with a nice spritzy carbonation.

D- A really different brew that grew on me quite a bit as it warmed up.

projectflam86, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of wvsabbath
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark tanish black, with some red tint. Carbinated foamy head. Not much lacing.

Smell - Floral yeast, barley, malts and spices, alcohol.

Taste - Dark fruits kick this beer off. Strong, bold and full of flavor. The yeast gives it a bitterness, but the malts are sweet and strong. The spices add some nice flavor, almost a cherry soda feel.

Mouthfeel - I loved the sweet malt kick mixed with the alcohol. This is intense on the mouth, but it is rather thin and actually doesnt last real long. Palette and throat gets warmed up from the alcohol but you recover pretty nicely

Drinkabilty - If it wasnt 10.5% alcohol id be higher. This was a strong bold and sweet drink i really enjoyed. I would actully drink two of these then for sure eat something next. It reminds me of a quad actually.

wvsabbath, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of Anthony88
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: I nice rustic brown, yet when the light hits it it almost appears a dark amber. A nice haze, but not opaque and a wonderful head that remained throughout the whole beer. The lacing follows accordingly.

S: Has an aroma of Belgian yeast, alcohol, slightly sweet malts. The smell does not do the taste justice. Has a more average smell and the taste is not what you would expect.

T: This beer is definitely malty with a sweet, almost fruity taste. The alcohol is present, but definitely not overpowering and the yeast is also there. The sweetness of the beer keeps you drinking this at a more moderate pace.

M: A malty feel without much heat from the alcohol. A creamy thick feel.

D: A nice tasting brew and definitely one to at least try.

Anthony88, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of birderbeerer
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown. Held to the light it's a deep amber/rust. Medium head. Laces well but doesn't last long.

S: Whoa. A lot there. Raisins, fruit, chocolate. Like a dessert bread about to go in the oven. As it warms, it really takes on a strong yeast nose. Some toasted toffee. Every inhalation is a little different.

T: Big malty sweetness. Chocolate and caramel. Raisins. Licorice. Rich, sweet bread. A little herbal with a bit of a brothy overtone. A little alcohol in the finish but that is offset well by both the the sweetness and breadiness.

M: Thick and creamy but not syrupy. Goes down easy.

D: For a big and super sweet beer, this is remarkably light to drink. The alcohol is hidden very well and for all its chewy breadiness it actually fairly light in body.

This reminds me more of the quads I've had than other tripels.

birderbeerer, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of wampahoofus
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark amber with about an inch of cream colored head. Some lacing that fades in a few minutes.

Smell: The sweet esters dominate the smell. Fruity and full of aroma.

Taste: Ah. Lots of fruity esters with this wonderful caramel malt backbone shining through. Very little bitterness.

Mouthfeel: The well rounded malts linger on the palette.

Drinkability: for a beer of this strength, it is scary how drinkable it is. You could sip these all night. However, I would not make it past two.

wampahoofus, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of AdamBear
1.9/5  rDev -55.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A-dark ruby brown with a LOT of light tan head

S-sweet barley and some syrup, a tad bit boozy as well.

T-eh this is quite boozy, i get some syrup but not too much else. this is just way too harsh of a beer. the abv is way too striking in apparent. i get an after-taste of some belgian sugars.

M-high carbonation, very scratchy to the mouth, and very dry as well.

D-I can't finish this. I'm used to drinking some high alcohol content beers but this one is just way too much of a mess. I hate it.

AdamBear, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of krisandajt
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark, cola-brown color with a huge 2+ inches worth of slightly yellowish head. Fairly impressive retention, thick chunks of lacing.

Smell: Sweet, almost like molasses it's so sweet, with some dark candied fruits. Not overly complex, and a bit underwhelming IMO.

Taste: Sweet, but not as much as the nose indicated (thank goodness). Still getting plenty of sweet candied fruit, raisins stick out the most. Getting a slight hint of booziness, but at 10.5% ABV it's almost expected.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium body, good carbonation. Drinks pretty nice.

Drinkability: An enjoyable beer with some good flavors. I could definitely see myself picking up some more of this brew.

krisandajt, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of wmtxbb
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a chalice

Appearance: Hazy gold-amber color with finger-sized head that dissipates into lacing.

Smell: Sweet dark malts, cherry and wood. Very interesting scent.

Taste: The first thing I notice is that I can barely taste the 10.5% alcohol, it is amazing. Gulden Draak drinks like a session brew, but with the flavor profile and alcohol content of triple. Lemonade flavor, cherry, dark malts, some fruit esters. Ends a little dry, but not as dry as most 10% brews.

Drinkability: A lack of head retention is this beer's only fault. I could drink this just about everyday. Definitely world class.

wmtxbb, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of philphilphil
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance was brilliant mohogany with good inch of off white head.
Smell was all dark fruits with malts.
Taste was totally awesome, like the smell but so smooth yet flavourful.
Mouthfeel was good.
Drinkability is only restricted price i love my gulden draak.

probably belgium's best non trappist beer.

philphilphil, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of Duff27
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Cloudy brown with a short lived head. Lacing present.

S- Raisins. Sweet.

T- Delicious. Grapes. Belgian yeast. Sweetness. Almost finishes like grape kool aid.

M- Smooth. Thin to medium body.

D/O- No way is this 10.5%abv. Entirely too drinkable. Definitley would sneak up on you if you let it. Very nice beer.

Duff27, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of steelerguy
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Mahogany brown, not seeing the ruby "highlights" of others. Moderate carbonation, nice head that lasts and leaves a good bit of carbonation.

S - Caramel and dark fruit and raisin bread. Good but could have a little more depth.

T - More dark fruits, yeast, peppery alcohol, and deliciousness.

M - Nice carbonation, starts off a bit thick and creamy, but the carbonation and alcohol warmth clean it up and make it very drinkable.

D - Oh yes...just mentioned why it was so drinkable, great taste and not too heavy.

steelerguy, Dec 18, 2010
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,094 ratings.