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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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3,352 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,352
Reviews: 1,249
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 211
Gots: 454 | FT: 4
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (83) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,352 | Reviews: 1,249 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of scottfrie
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle into matching Gulden Draak tulip.

A: Pours a very dark ruby amber with a billowing dark tan head that really frothed up with the pour and took forever to fade into a thick bubbly layer with a solid central butte. Crazy sheets of sticky lacing were left down my glass.
S: Powerful notes of very sweet dark fruits including plums, raisins, prunes and red grapes. There some ripe banana in there too along with some coriander and
T: Syrupy sweet fruits with the spices coming through in the finish. All the flavors from the nose are there, and I get a hint of tobacco, vanilla and milk chocolate in the finish. The alcohol is just barely noticeable in the aftertaste, and I get flavors of red grapes, spices, and tobacco.
M: Medium-thick body with a slick mouthfeel and hidden alcohol. Carbonation is tingly but drinkable.
O: Very fruit and sweeter than most but it’s still a pretty good beer. There are other’s I’d pick first though.

Photo of chugalug06
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very strong soapy head. Head is slight red color with lots of brown. Brew is nice ruby red, also with lots of browns. Clarity is weak as is lacing.

S - Deep sour apple scent. Lots of light airy spices. Mild apricot and mango. Scent is very nice.

T - Very strong heat up front that slowly strengthens. Brew is nice and sweet with wonderful cover over the heat. Brew also is very spicy with lots of unique flavor.

M - Perfect bitter level. Very wet and drinkable. Carbonation is slightly over done, but doesn't distract.

O - Super glad I got to try this one. I will age one and report back in a few years. Until then, cheers!

Photo of rudzud
3.46/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - A dark lightly hazy copper pour with half a finger of tan head that slowly fades.

S - Lots of sweet malts and deep, dark fruits (figs and raisins), but ALOT of booze.

T - Like the nose there are lots of rich dark fruits and sticky sweetness but behind that there is so, so much booze.

M - Should be heavy but the fair amount of carbonation keeps it up off the tongue.

O - I feel there are better strong dark ales than this. It was goos, but way, way too boozy for my liking.

Photo of Zimbo
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good god, look its a bottle of Old Spice!
Er, no, its just a bottle of Gulden Draak... but like all beer sold in white bottles I was sufficiently weirded out to give this a miss on many many occasions.

Massive spongy cream coloured head which goes the distance. Tres impressive. Dark chesnut brown and the boquet in the bottle is minimul at best wuith just a trace of clove.clove at first but little of anything else. A spritzy body which in fact is too spritzy for perfection but there's a lengthy middle and some, as expected, clove on the palate as well. Angular with an emerging burly element which breaks the surface bringing a slightly meaty and sappy body. Nose becomes increasingly more spicy roasty as well.

Strong, potent and heady, this really is a cheek burner which is sure to warm your cockles in the coldest, wettest and dampest of Scottish Winters. Makes sense now really.

Photo of ferrari29
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured from bottle into a Tulip shaped glass

A - Beer pours with a thick creamy light brown colored head; that holds well; nice layer of sticky lacing forms around glass; dark amber colored body is cloudy in appearance and is well carbonated

S - Fantastic dark fruit nose; figs and raisin; caramel malt and lots of brown sugar; as the beer warms up, its high alcohol content really begins to transcend the other scents in the beer; touch of toffee

T - Really good dark fruit flavors; nice mixture of dark figs and dates; raisins; caramel malt back-end and plenty of high alcohol burn; caramel malt finishes the sip

M - Creamy and smooth; burns the throat a bit; leaves behind a linger toasted malt flavor; refreshing

D - Great beer, I picked this up in Italy at a local grocery store, brought it back to the states and finally had it; I wish we had more beers like this in the US; anyway, its a great drink with great dark fruit flavors and fantastic nose; not for the faint of heart

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pour is murky deep copper with a large, large lovely off-white foamy thick head that slowly dissipates into decent lacings.

S: Smells almost like sherry. Lots of fruits, dark dried fruits; figs, cherries and rasins. Some spices and yeast.

T: Very sweet, syrupy malt. Candylike sweetness. Dark dried fruits but also fresh cherries and oranges. Vineous and molasses. Really lovely.

M: Aftertaste is rather short, but sweet and faint bitter. Body is full and carbonation very mild. Very smooth, syrupy.

O: This is a very, very nice Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Complex but still modest.

Photo of Brunite
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A dark ruby with a khaki tan head that regernerates easil;y with a swirl.

S: Belgian yeast. Dark fruits. Some spicy notes.

T: Spicy notes. Figs,, dates, cherry. Tasty.

M: Creamy....perfect carb.

O: A good solid beer. Not my favorite BSDA but solid. A bit pricey to buy regularly when there are others I prefer.

Photo of bluesplit63
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet with a deep brown color and a fast growing head. Ended up overflowing the goblet because of the amount of carbonation in the bottle. Was purchased in a Belgium 6 Combo Pack with 5 other beers.

Overall the scent was sweet from fruit.

The taste on the other hand was not as sweet as you would expect from the scent. This though was not a bad thing. If this beer taste like it smelt you might as well have had a glass of wine.

Great Belgium beer that won my vote over the other 5 purchased in the mixed pack.

Photo of perrymarcus
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle served in a snifter.

pours a mahogany tone while yielding a foamy 1" tan head. fades somewhat quickly into a thin cap, collar around the glass.

nose is decidedly sweet with notes of candied / dark fruits, brown sugar, and caramel.

flavors follows the aroma somewhat: sweet, yes, but carries none of the cloying sweetness i sort of anticipated. nice and flavorful with the fruitiness, brown sugar, some spice, and caramel all pulling through; there's even a secondary sour character to it. medium bodied mouthfeel with adequate carbonation.

overall, an excellent beer. can't believe it's taken me this long to try it. can't place it among my favorite belgians, but very, very good nonetheless.

Photo of GabrielM
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Bruery snifter.

A - deep, brown caramel color with a bit of head on top, which faded fairly quickly.

S - caramel ,malt, pumpernickel bread, dark fruits.

T - same as nose and what you'd expect from the style. Very fruity and malty with basically no hop presence and a slight tinge of alcohol.

M - creamy and pleasant. Not amazing, not bad at all.

O - a nice BSDA that is tasty, but there are definitely others I prefer to it.

Photo of SykDoc
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip. It pours a nice amber brown, that is clear when held to the light. A 1.5 inch light tan head forms and slowly reduces to a nice lacing.

The aroma is primarily a dark fruit/malty goodness. Quite sweet, almost reminds me of bubble gum with just a twitch of sourness.

The taste is again quite sweet, with that caramel malty sweetness, combined with dark fruits. Just a bit of hop bite and a yeasty/bready goodness balancing it out.

The mouthfeel is medium/full bodied. There is a slightly high carbonation that cuts into the sweetness nicely. A crisp and dry tingle at the finish is solid.

Overall, this is a solid beer. A bit sweet for my liking, but solid in each of the components and overall enjoyable.

Photo of BeerDocT
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Original review 8/21/11. Updated 1/11/14.

Poured from a bottle into a wide-mouthed glass.

-Appearance 4.0: Completely opaque, chestnut brown in color. Despite my best efforts, upon pouring it foamed up to a huge head, over an inch in height. Head dissolved to medium sized bubbles and some remaining foam. Might want to try a larger mouthed goblet next time.

-Smell 3.75: Smells...very subdued. I smell a lot of brown sugar, maybe caramel. No discernible hops, but a distinct trace of Belgian yeast.

-Taste 4.25: Smooth, but a big malt kick. Aftertaste reveals more brown sugar and caramel, with slight hoppiness. There is a definite "dark" taste to this beer, slightly smoky. Sweet, but the carbonation sweeps this sensation away and whisks you over to tasting hops and candied fruits. Yes, I typed "candied fruits." If you've ever had any, you'll know what I mean.

-Mouthfeel 4.0: Lots of bubbles. I'm talking champagne level of bubbles. Still, these bubbles help to break up what would no doubt be -since this beer is over 10% ABV-- a treacly sweet beer.

-Overall 4.25: Excellent ale. Multi-layered tastes in every sip. Very complex, but the high level of bubbles can obscure certain taste levels. Regardless, this brew is smooth, balanced and contains absolutely no indication of its epic ABV. This factor -on its own-- is enough to make this beer world class. The Steenberge brewery should be proud of producing several ales that are consistently excellent, Gulden Draak being one of its flagships and rightfully so.

Paid $13.99 for a four pack of the Draak in Atlanta, GA.

Photo of jondeelee
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gulden Draak is the pinnacle of Br. Van Steenberge's efforts: a Belgian without peers; a brew so delicious that I'm sure Lucifer uses it to tempt the damned; and an ale so eminently drinkable that, were it not for its coma-inducing 10.5% ABV, entire countries would favor it over water. Even the nose lets you know this is one for the books: subtle flowery, fruity aromas layered with mouthwatering spices--what you'd expect to smell on the nape of the head cheerleader's neck.

On the tongue, the fruity spiciness is full and ever-blossoming, starting off with huge caramelized brown sugar and dark fruit esters, and progressing from even there into a heady brew over which gods probably fight wars. Vanilla, oak, apricot, plum and some port-like flavors mingle with champagne sweetness, with just enough hops to balance everything out and keep the brain from leaping out of the skull in sheer joy. A slight alcohol tinge colors the edges, but this enhances, rather than inhibits the overall effect. This is truly an astounding ale.

Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Foggy brown body. Light brown head.

Smell - Malty. Alcoholic. Very much like a duvel, but with flavor.

Taste - Malty body. Sour finish. Delicious. Strong. Moderately heavy complexity. Candy sugar finish.

Mouthfeel - Surprisingly little to no solvent burn. Smooth. Sexy.

Overall Drinkability - Delicious. Absolutely awesome. One of the best beers I've had in months.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Shane for picking this one up, one I know we both wanted to check out.

A: Pours a deep ruby/brown color with a smallish tan head on top. Decent retention, lasting for a few minutes before dissolving to little bits of bubbles on top. Not much lacing.

S: Lots of plum and prune, it reminded me of grapes that are slightly over-ripe, kind of like what it smells like when you walk through a bunch of grape vines actually. There is some dark caramel and a little bit of spice.

T: Rather sweet with the dark fruits returning (plum, prune, and a bit of raisin but not much). There is also a bit of banana, some brown sugar, and caramel. Again, it is lightly spiced and slightly yeasty.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Alcohol hidden rather well.

O: A pretty solid beer, not something I am running out to drink all the time, but would grab it once in a while.

Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes: Shared with my good friend Matt.

appearance: copper brown orange with 1 finger off white head

smell: dark fruits, malty, sweet, slight sourness

taste: dark fruits, grapes/raisons, malts, some oxidation,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: not a bad beer just not really my style. glad I got to try it though.


Photo of Wreckoncile
4.89/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the good ole 750 ml into a Chimay goblet. Not my first rodeo with Gulden Draak, but my first review of her.

A - Pours a deep bloody burgandy with maybe a finger of creamy foam that descends into the beer fairly quickly leaving average lacing.

S - Hot damn I love this nose. Dark fruits with a black cherry and prunish punch, yeilds to a bit of spiciness and a total kick your ass Belgian yeast that defines a solid tripel for me.

T - Robust and malt forward. The dark fruits dance on the tongue with a splendid array of sweetness, almost a chocolate covered raisin flavor in parts. But the dark fruits succomb at the end to the sweet, bready yeastiness that just makes this beer a classic.

M - The mouthfeel on this one is complex. Its sultry, but retains a bit more carbonation than most beers with that sultry texture. Its a strong beer, but the alcohol is fairly well-disguised for something of the ABV.

O - Gulden Draak is one of my all-time favorites, and this review reflects that. It retains all of the gloriousness of a quality Belgian brewed tripel, but the darkness of it adds a dimension that not many tripels can match. Its fruit profile is darker than most tripels (dark fruits, fewer of the lighter fruits you sometimes get in lighter tripels), almost making it Quad like. But this is a superb beer, among the best ever crafted in my judgement. That's kinda why its part of my avatar.

Photo of FanofHefe
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No dating on the bottle or label; but the white bottle cover is totally cool! Pours a deep amber/red color that is clear throughout. One-finger tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves little to no lacing.

Nice aroma featuring dark fruit, especially raisin and cherry. Spicy yeast notes combine with a little sweet malt for a nice finish.

The flavor is even better than the aroma and has a strong punch from the Belgian yeast spiciness. The dark fruit features more of the cherry in the flavor than in the aroma. The raisin and date flavor do still come through and combine well with the sweet caramel malt.

A little alcohol comes through, but is not too distracting. Different but excellent BSDA.

Photo of wl0307
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Coming in a 330ml short bottle (now covered in white plastic wrap instead of being painted white as in the past, making it look really bad and cheap), BB 18/05/2013, served lightly-chilled in Gulden Draak’s own branded tulip-shaped bowl sniffer.

A: a well-lingering dark beige frothy head comes with steady and mild carbonation and a dark reddish-russet body; looking noble and prestigious.
S: sour-ish fruit esters and overripe fruits abound, on top of a creamy base of aromatic malts, dark candy sugar, and plentiful notes of prunes and berry jam. No particularly sharp edge of alc. is detected, bearing in mind this is a really potent ale. It definitely packs a punch, while the overall aroma, albeit pleasant, is not terribly complex for its category/class.
T: sour-sweet as the nose suggests, the even slightly vinegary fruity foretaste is immediately followed by a soothing flow of yeasty maltiness (cocoa, black-date paste, bready malts, etc.), laced with herbally-estery elements and a slowly manifesting stream of mild hop bitterness. Lightly spicy, olive-ish and salty-sweet in the finish, the moderate aftertaste surprisingly still “failed” to deliver any sharp touch of alc., which is definitely a great plus to the overall drinkability.
M&D: smoothly-carbonated, full-bodied and, as experienced throughout the drink, fantastically drinkable; this is a creamy-malty and yeasty ale that doesn’t come very complex but surprisingly easy-drinking amongst its counterparts.

Photo of MEsoJD
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Full bodied, brown/ruby color. Creamy/Long lasting head.

S: Figs, raisins, sweet malt, and honey. There's a lot in there.

T: Taste Sweet/Creamy with subtle hops and spices. Alcohol warms as you finish. The taste of Cherry also lingers in my head.

M: A little dry, smooth, good carbonation, and a little heavy.

O: A unique Belgian triple. A delight with every sip. Maybe needs a bit more hop, but other than that. It's pretty much perfect in my eyes. Would recommend and buy all the time. You can also have this at room temp. Doesn't need to be that cold in my opinion.

Photo of MoreThanWine
4.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of bmwats
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Filosoof
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of rvdoorn
3.48/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,352 ratings.