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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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3,320 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,320
Reviews: 1,241
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 209
Gots: 425 | 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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,320 | Reviews: 1,241 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lcarlo
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of bum732
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of n2185
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Rifugium
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of OrangeAmps
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of jmdrpi
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

- 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.

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of BeardedRiker
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of AnPiobaire
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!!!

Photo of ocelot2500
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of DaveBlack
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of woosterbill
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Prime 16 into its proper branded tulip. Cheers to matching glassware!

A: Clear, radiant ruby body under a half-inch of fine off-white foam that quickly recedes into a ring. Lovely color, and adequate carbonation for the strength.

S: Craziness! Sherry, molasses, creme brulee, brown sugar, rum-soaked raisins, caramel apple. Very sweet, rich, and decadent. Intoxicating in the extreme.

T: Sherry really jumps out, backed up by burned sugar, toffee, dark fruit, vanilla, and fruity alcohol. THe booze is a major component of the finish, but isn't quite overbearing. Delicious.

M: Thick, viscous, and lusciously carbonated. Luxurious.

O: What a beer. I was expecting something big and tasty, but was utterly unprepared for a flavor explosion that reminds me much more of a terrific, fruity barleywine than anything explicitly Belgian. The dessert wine overtones were unmistakable and amazing, while the fruitiness gave enough complexity to keep the sweetness from getting cloying. I might have to pick up a bottle or two to age for a while.


Photo of goblue3509
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cooper color with a tight head. The aroma is of dark fruits plums, raisins, and dark cherries along with a hint of apricot and beligan yeast. The taste has a nice yeasty sweetness to it, very enjoyable with an apricot flavor in the middle. The mouthfeel is moderate carbonation. Overall very solid the alcohol is well hidden and the flavor is nice and well balanced. Overall you could easily enjoy a lot of these.

Photo of Prime16
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark red/brown with a foamy tan head.

S: Smell of dried prune, fig and cherries... with no real smell of alcohol, which is well hidden considering the ABV.

T: Carbonation was very strong, which I felt on both sides of the tongue followed by a spiced yeast flavor. Taste dissipates quickly and there is little alcohol taste to speak of with this beer.

M: Light.

O: Very solid beer but a little too carbonated for my tastes.

Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my crystal mug the beer had a beautiful murky amber red color and a creamy beige head building. The head leaves relatively fast and leaves little lacing. It looks very attractive and makes your mouth watering.
Smelling the beer very fruity flavors meet your nose. Apple cider , peach and plum.
Tasting this beer you will immediately fall in love with this perfectly measured fruit composition up front, being met with a sensitively calculated amount of malty flavors. At the end this full bodied beer finishes up with an immaculate hop, that rounds the beer up with a beautyful mouthfeel. The alcohol is nicely hidden. This beer is a work of art. Buy it wherever you can. I would drive 25 miles just to get another bottle.what a great beer!!!

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

Thanks to my wonderful wife for snagging this brew for me.

A - Dark copper body topped by a two inch medium brown head that fades with the look of lava.

S - Strong aroma of sweet appricot and figs. The nice presence of a floral Belgian yeast is prevalent amidst an alcohol scent.

T - Strong Belgian floral yeast, firm and sweet malt, just enough spice, and the evaporating precence of alcohol make for an extremely unique and tasty Belgian Strong Ale.

M - Light, somewhat airy, moderately corase, and sticky in the finish.

~ There's a reason this beer is considered one of the best on the planet. Try one for yourself so that you too can witness a great beverage.

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

330ml painted white, distinctly shaped bottle - kind of reminds me of those increasingly antique Old Spice containers.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, dark reddish amber hue, with a teeming tower of finely foamy and puffy ecru head, which leaves a few streaks of broken sudsy lace around the glass as it slowly and steadily retreats.

It smells of sweet, reduced brown sugar, strong dark fruit (prunes, dates, and raisins), a softly bready caramel malt, earthy yeast, and a mildly astringent booziness. The taste is dark, sugary candied fruit (the very same from the nose), with a more bready caramel malt backbone shoring up the sweet side of things - keeping this from being a saccharine wank-fest are some waning yeast, a nice earthy, musty hoppiness, and a timid alcohol warming.

The carbonation is moderate, manifesting mostly in a trilling frothiness, the body a rather hefty medium weight, slickly smooth, and perhaps a tad creamy. It finishes still sweet, the fruity malt maintaining a certain religious level of consistency, while the other esters dial it down to a mere murmur.

A decent strong Belgian dark ale - fairly rounded, despite the obvious focus on the fruit character, and a pleasant and recommended version of the style. Oh, and that 21-proof dragon of booze? Well domesticated, to say the least.

Photo of JLeege
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 mL - poured into a tulip
From notes.

Appearance- pours a dark yet vibrant amber color with a dense off white head. Good retention and lace.

Smell- Dark fruits, doughy malts, yeast, lots of spice.

Taste- Caramel, sweet doughy malts, and maple syrup start things off. Leading into very strong dark fruit notes; cherry, plum, raison. Some banana and a hint of chocolate as well. A bit yeasty. Spicy throughout , some residual sugars, sweet, but not cloying. Delicious.

Mouthfeel- Medium body and carbonation, a tad prickly, but mostly smooth. Slight warming from the ABV's.

Overall- Dark Tripel? Whatever that means... This is a fantastic Belgian dark ale, one of my favorites!

Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is a dark amber color, definitely some brown notes to it with a finger and a half of khaki head.

S: Tons of bubblegum and banana aroma. Some clove notes to go along with it. A bit of caramel and brown sugar along with dark fruits such as plums and black cherries.

T: Quite sweet with tons of banana, dark fruit, and dark sugar flavors such as brown sugar and caramel. Quite a bit of bubblegum flavor as well. Mild alcohol and spice notes, as well as some yeast, provide depth.

M Medium in body with a fairly high level of carbonation.

O: One of those classic beers and one that I still enjoy a decent amount. Not a favorite, but solid.

Photo of Satchboogie
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle (dated 9/7/10) poured into a Duvel Tulip

A: Pours almost mahogany, (red-brown) with dark red hues when held to light. Big 2 and half finger bubbly light brown head that fairly quickly bubbles away.

S: Dark fruits (mainly fig), belgian yeast (banana), brown sugar, maybe a little prune

T/M: As soon as the beer hits the palate it starts foamy up and you immediately get some of the alcohol, followed by very light and creamy dark fruits. It's kind of a strange sensation, you can feel the beer fizz up and the creaminess and dark fruit rise to the top of the mouth. It's a very smooth and subdued flavor to begin but becomes stronger and shows it's complexity towards the middle. I get figs, plum, and slight prune. The malt starts to take over the middle section, you get a load of brown sugar and spiced bready malt (a little banana/clove from the yeast in the background). The finish is dry and sweet with just a hint of hop bitterness in the background (seems almost like a touch of citrus, though I can't put my finger on it) and just a touch of medicinal alcohol. The alcohol pops up a couple times, giving a bit of a spicy 'pop' throughout each sip. It doesn't interfere much with the mouthfeel though. Dark Triple is a good description of this as the body is a bit thinner than most BSDA and the carbonation is strong, much in line with a triple. However, this does have a slight syrupy quality and the foaminess gives it a nice smoothness and creaminess. The finish is very creamy.

O: This was a somewhat unique beer in the idea of a dark triple. While I do generally like my BSDA thick with light to moderate carbonation, I thought the triple aspect of this worked quite well because of how the foam helped smooth it out and create a creamy mouthfeel.

Photo of Cozzatoad
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
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

Photo of celticfutblclub
3.73/5  rDev -12%
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.

Photo of kflorence
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
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?

Photo of Daniellobo
4/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,320 ratings.