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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.

3,220 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,220
Reviews: 1,221
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.82%
Wants: 187
Gots: 351 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,220 | Reviews: 1,221 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of berley31
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured with a small head that dissipated to a thin film. Body is a dark brown color, and very hazy. Tiny bit of spider-web lacing on the glass.

S: VERY fruity aroma, with the dark fruits most apparent. Grapes / raisins shine through over everything else.

T: Sweet at first, with the raisins coming through again. Actually finishes fairly dry, which quickly keeps the sweetness from lingering on the palate. Surprisingly, the alcohol is barely detectable.

M: Light-body, medium-creamy texture, and very fizzy carbonation.

D: A tasty, fruity Belgian Strong Dark.

berley31, Mar 04, 2010
Photo of Ek0nomik
3.4/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured In: Wine Glass

Appearance: The pour is a dark auburn and cocoa color with a finger of spacious, light cocoa colored head. The head retention is good, and it also produces a nice amount of lace along the wine glass. The carbonation looks high, but what one would expect with a Belgian ale.

Smell: The nose is a mixture of sweet dark malt and dark fruit. The malt seems slightly toasted, with some notes of chocolate. The fruit brings out fig, raisins, and surprisingly a little bit of tart cherry. The nose is actually quite nice.

Taste: Perhaps I am not a huge fan of the style, but I found the nose really pleasant, but the palate, well, not as much. The tasting starts out with slightly sweet dark malt. Alcohol starts to shine through, right as the fruit is on its way. Some fig and raisins come through, as well as some spice from the Belgian yeast. Unfortunately that slightly tart and sourness in the nose doesn't show up. The mixture of flavors here just isn't playing well for me.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated, medium to full bodied.

Drinkability: I wouldn't pick up this beer again. The nose had me excited and ready to dive in, but the combination of yeast, alcohol and dark fruit was a combination of flavors that just wasn't very attractive to my palate.

Ek0nomik, Mar 03, 2010
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

G – Tripel Karmeliet tulip

A – Deep, dark brown in hue, cola-brown, with soapy eggshell froth.

S – The aroma is strongly malty with notes of black licorice, cherry bbq, rum-raisin, banana ester and pumpernickel.

T – I think this is a very good beer; it tastes very strong, sweetly malty, with port and sherry characteristics present to the point of vinous. Hops are scantly discernible on the finish, but they are quickly upended by the woody, sugary elements of this brew. Initially it seems bit overdone, honestly, as the alcohol fuses with the sugary sweetness to finish in a somewhat cloying manner, but as the beer warms up to you and you to it, it becomes amazingly decadent and delicious. Overall, it is a deliciously flavorful beer, just somewhat unbalanced.

M – Full-bodied and not the slightest bit dry until the finish, which is long and ends on the verge of dryness.

D – This beer will tank you; it is super strong and tastes like candy…

ktrillionaire, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of Rhettbuck
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is really quite amazing, but unless you are a large bear should only be consumed in moderation. I had it with a big giant burger and wedge fries. The pairing was nice, but it can easily overpower whatever you are eating with it. Definitely a beer that every dark beer drinker should have, but look for a good price. I paid five dollars just for one!

When I drank it, there was little to no head when poured. The taste is strong, and somewhat sweet. Color is dark, more so than a brown ale, but not quite what you'd get from an Imperial Stout.

Rhettbuck, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of tone77
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a white 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of dark fruits and alcohol. Taste is good, fruit and spice, some alcohol. Feels full bodied in the mouth and has decent drinkability. Overall this is a high quality brew.

tone77, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice hazy ruby-amber color with sandy head. Nice lacing, beautiful color. Nose is fruity, with cherries, raspberries, and a bit of yeastiness. Taste follows with some good grape, cherry, raspberry, and malt flavors. A really good BSDA, though I'm not convinced that it's better than the cheaper offerings from Unibroue. Delicious as it warms, cloves and other spices come out. Very smooth MF, though a bit thin, could be creamier for my tastes. Very drinkable, had no idea this was a 10.5% beer. Great one, worth picking up.

LordAdmNelson, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of FreshHawk
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep, tawny brown. Large foamy off-white head with decent retention and decent lacing left.

S - Sweet bready malt and barley, Candied dark fruit and dark sugar.

T - Decent amount of sweet caramel malt and barley that mixes with dark fruit (date, plum, prune, cherry). Slight sweet chocolate taste. Alcohol is pretty apparent too, some spice too (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove). Taste somewhat like a cherry cola.

M - Medium close to full body with above average carbonation. Really creamy and smooth.

D - Probably a little too sweet and too much alcohol to be extremely drinkable. Combined with the ABV, drinkabiltiy isn't great as far as drinking more than one a night, but would have again.

Notes: Would be a great dessert beer, especially on a cold winter night. Fairly sweet and alcoholic, with a good amount of warming.

FreshHawk, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of PsychoJedi
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours good with a thick head. Color is dark, but does not taste like a dark beer. It smells rather good, but nothing too special. A little dry in the taste, but nothing too bad. Goes down smooth with no real after taste. Not a bad beer, but nothing too special other than the oddity that it does not taste like a dark beer.

Verdict: Try this beer.

PsychoJedi, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of DaveJanssen
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Painted 330 mL in chouffe tulip. Reviewed 6/15/2009.

Ar: dark fruit, plum, prune grape, light tartness, caramel, toffee, earthy fruit, strong fruit *cherry

Ap: medium rocky coarse head, tan good retention, clear ruby, light lace

F: caramel and toffee, alcohol, plum and prune, date, earthy dark dry fruit, toasty malt, this is sweeter than westmalle dubbel and st. bernardus 8, has grapeyness of st. bernardus 12 but milder, fruitier and less crisp than westmalle dubbel, molasses and dark sugar sweetness, mild anise, sits heavy like a quad, rummy, mild chocolate, *dark cherry

M: warm/hot alcohol, high fine carbonation, medium mouthfeel, lightly viscous

O: could be lighter mouthfeel, alcohol a bit hot, could be drier, good malt and fruit character, westmalle and st. bernardus better

* = ideas from fellow taster

DaveJanssen, Feb 20, 2010
Photo of emsroth
3.4/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

330ml stubby. The last of my van steenberge sampler pack =(

App: Slight head, but that was a result of the pour so I won't deduct. Wonderful amber with the perfect level of translucency: not cloudy but not see through.

Smell: Sweet fruity malt. Definitely cherries (again--must be the van steenberge yeast. I love that smell though, but I am getting a bit bored of it). A hint of roasted malt. No noticeable hops. Occasional alcoholic fumes.

TAste: A subdued sweetness runs throughout. Part caramel, part fruit, and the majority is dry, slightly toasted honey. Ends with slight husk and a seductive herbal finish from the hops. A truly unique beer.

one of the fullest bodies I've had in a beer. A bit subdued in the carbonation department.

emsroth, Feb 19, 2010
Photo of Pabs311
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- beer pours a nice hazy dark copper-brown with a good froathy beige head that settles slowly leaving a decent amount of lacing on the glass.

S- Smell is of sweet mlatiness. dried stone fruits and raisins are apparent in the nose as well as some spice yeastiness. don't really notice to much alcohol considering the ABV

T- The same dried fruits found in the nose carry through in the taste of this beer. then there is also some yeasty/bready flavor and then some spice in the finish. overall sweet flavor. very little alcohol in the finish for the ABV.

M/D- medium-full bodied. light carbonation. good mouthfeel. very pleasent and drinkable, could be dangerous due to alcohol content + drinakability

not a huge fan of belgian beers but i'd give this one another shot. pretty complex beer with a good amount of layers in the smell + taste. well done.

Pabs311, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of beertunes
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip. Poured a deep mahogany with a slight reddish tint. The beer had a tall (over 2 inch) medium tan head that had great retention and lacing.

A rich, full aroma featured some sweetness and fruitiness, backed up by a nice yeast note. The flavors are exactly what the aroma said they would be, just amplified. The fruit was fruitier, yeast bolder and the sweetness, not as sweet as you'd expect from the scent.

The body was full and smooth, it coated the tongue nicely without being sticky. Drinkability was excellent, but at this strength more than a couple is just asking for trouble.

Overall, an excellent beer.

beertunes, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of snpub540
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark drown that had some slightly honey colored highlights when held to light. Not alot of head going on here.

Smell was very much bready malts, with an earthy yeastiness and some spices. Some alcohol sweetness is apparent there as well.

Flavor is very much sweet malts upfront with some spicy and floral hop bitterness. Nice warming alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, but the alcohol is pretty upfront. Put one down and felt the alcohol when I got off my stool.

snpub540, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of taigor
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into regular glass.

A - Poured hazy dark brown/amber color with small head that dissipated slowly leaving slight lacing around the glass.

S - Malts and yeast with hints of banana and cloves.

T - Sweet and bready upfront with slight hints of fruits and spices. Very simple overall.

M - Full bodied with medium carbonation.

D - Very smooth and easy going dark ale. ABV is extremely well hidden and not noticed at all. Excellent ale overall and would love to drink more in the future.

taigor, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of DesMoinesMike
1.93/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I was anticipating the sampling of this brew because I had seen it at my local beer shop on nearly every visit, so I figured it was in demand and desirable. Well, not everybody has the same tastes.

It poured a clear dark amber with minimal carbonation. The aroma had an interesting sweetness to it, like honey and flowers, very pleasant to my nose. The taste was a complete letdown. At first it's has a heavy malty presence with honey and fruit, sort of like a beer version of a desert wine. As it settled on my tongue it became heavier and more sour, to the point it was somewhat offensive to my pallet. It reminded me a bit of SA triple bock. This unfortunately ended up being a drain pour because I just could not force myself to have another gulp.


DesMoinesMike, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of Pooter
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Amber brown, nice head that dissipates after a minute or two
S: Clovey, not too strong
T: Pretty good. I want to say banana but not quite, something sweet but complex.
M: Goes down surprisingly well for the ABV!
D: Very high. This feels sessionable but if treated so would be a time-bomb. Be warned!

Pooter, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of brewsky24
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: it has a wonderful golden bronze tint that glows when held to the light.

S: can barely smell it. what you can detect smells good but i like a beer with a stronger smell.

T: it has a full flavor that hits all the right notes. full body to start and a smooth and very sweet finish that makes you impatient for another sip. Kind of tastes like a liquid caramel apple but better. it tastes like an angels nipple nectar.

M: just the right amount of carbonation and very smooth all the way through.

D: extremely drinkable. You would never know that it was 10.5 percent if you didnt read the label. Its super smooth and only gets better the more you drink.

brewsky24, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured in a Grimbergen chalice.

A: Beautiful dark red amber to brown color with a one or two fingers beige head. Good retention. Not much lacings (served quite cold and enjoyed in my balcony :))
S: Lovely smell. Sweet. Caramel and roasted malts followed by dark fruits and Belgian yeasts
T: Complex taste. Very good. Bitter-sweet Belgium style. Toffee and caramel. You can feel the alcohol but not much considering the high ABV. Dark fruits (plums and grapes). Hoppy bitter end
M: Pleasant. Medium carbonation and again, balanced alcohol taste. Very nice bitter end
D: Very good despite of the high ABV. Very "Belgium" dark ale. Strongly recommend

eduardolinhalis, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of dubinsky
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into my new 21st Amendment tulip glass, Rusty Red. Lousy pour (My fault, too excited) with a 1 finger off-white head. Not much lacing happening (again, probably my fault)

S: Dark, dry stone fruits; prunes, raisins and figs. Smell is sweet, pretty light and not super "in your face."

T: Not what i expected, BETTER! This is only my second Dark Strong Ale since i have really developed a passion for beer, so looking at the bottle i was not anticipating such as full flavor profile. This ale start off strong and slightly bitter up front followed by TONS of dark fruit flavors. Finishes sweet with a mild cinnamon, nutmeg and other sweet spices.

M: Perfectly smooth rolling medium carbonation. Sweet in the mouth. Hint of alcohol as is goes down your throat; more prominent as it warms.

D: Great tasting beer. Complex. Perhaps i am building a tolerance to strong beer, but i am finding this one very drinkable even at 10.5% ABV. This beer was recommended to me by SF City Beer store for someone who is new to strong dark ales. I don't disagree. Go buy some!

Serving type: bottle

dubinsky, Jan 26, 2010
Photo of elgiacomo
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip and chalice. I think this is about two years old. Pours brown with ruby highlights, nice big beige head, very foamy, retains nicely, Some large clumps of lace. Quite attractive.

Aroma starts yeasty and a bit funky with raisins, apples, banana, balanced with healthy dose of sweet chocolate, caramel, and toffee malts. Complex and very nice.

Flavor sweet chocolate, caramel, malty, with a good balance of apples, raisins and other fruits, some candy sugar and yeast/bread. Sweet overall, but incredibly complex and delicious. Some alcohol warming, but not hot in any way. I can see a fresh bottle having a bit of alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel is full and rich, yet prickly carbonation, especially when first poured. The sweetness and fullness can become a tad cloying toward the end.

I had passed this by many, many times, despite the beautiful bottle, being under the assumption it was a golden triple which isn't one of my favorite styles. Really glad I tried this, Gulden Draak is incredible, highly recommended. Great depth, evolves tremendously with temperature. Not your average Tripel by any means.

elgiacomo, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of TheJollyHop
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a rich, thick tan head. Lacing sticks tightly to the glass but the head fades rather quickly.

Smells of fruits (grapes), caramelized sugar, and some faint alcohol. No noticeable hop aroma.

Tastes of very sweet malt. Syrup sweetness comes to mind, sugar, raisins, and possibly figs. Sweet aftertaste and some nice, mellow alcohol heat. Hop bitterness bursts and fades quickly.

Medium/high carbonation, light and creamy mouthfeel; nice body.

Mellow alcohol, but overpowering sweetness hinders drinkability. Some additional bitterness, especially in the finish, would have been a nice touch.

TheJollyHop, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of rpstevens
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Portsmouth tulip. The beer is a dark mahogany with ruby hazy edges. There is a huge frothy off white head that slowly fades to a thin bubbly cap.

The smell is burnt sugar, figs, raisins, vanilla, cinnamon and caramel. There is a lot of sweet scents in this one, but there is a slight biscuity malt behind it all that helps to balance it out.

The taste is much less sweet than the smell led me to believe. The raisin and fig are still present, along with some slightly tart grape qualities. The vanilla, caramel, burnt sugar and booze sweetness come on strong at the end of the flavor and linger into the finish.

The beer is well carbonated, medium bodied and the flavors balance each other fairly well. This one is a little hot, I have definitely had strong darks at 10% that were a little less harsh, but this one is good.

rpstevens, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of KTCamm
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the stubby 330ml bottle into a Duvel glass.

Pours a dark brown with reddish hints. Very loam foam, and less lacing than I'd expect.

Light malty sugary smell, but otherwise difficult to coax out. Buttery.

Strong belgian taste, hints of sugar wrapped around malty lemons. Very complex.

Long finish. Active carbonation. Good alcohol burn. Good drinking Belgian. Recommended.

KTCamm, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of mintjellie
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Rich mahogany brown in colour and slightly hazy. A fingers worth of off-white head quickly fizzles away, leaving some lace on the glass and a thin covering of bubbles over the body. The sweet smell of caramelized sugar and toasted bread is complimented nicely by cherry and plum. Dried fruit flavour shows notes of prune and raisin with a sprinkling of brown sugar. Much less cherry than the scent suggests. There's the slightest hint of pepper. Starts semisweet before drying out with a kick of booze and floral hops in the finish. Medium bodied with prickly carbonation. The effervescence makes it feel very light and airy on the tongue. Some beers glide across the palate, this floats. This a wonderful beer, and I wish it was available to me year round. Delicious.

mintjellie, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of dqrull
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark copper with a red tinge to it, lightly dirt-coloured small head, minus for the head but huge plus for the beautiful colour.

Smells wonderful of sweet dark fruits, dried figs, caramellized sugar and a tart hin t of red berries, maybe raspberries?

Taste has some lightly roasted malts with chocolate and dried dark fruits, plums, figs and the same touch of red berries I found in the nose. Not as sweet as I expected and remembered, but still sweet, with a light bitterness all throughout, a bit too much yeast at the end.

Medium body with a weak but soft carbonation.

dqrull, Jan 19, 2010
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 3,220 ratings.