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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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3,358 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,358
Reviews: 1,252
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 214
Gots: 453 | 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: 3,358 | Reviews: 1,252 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chicagoabbot
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of itsfreeasinbeer
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of midworken
4.48/5  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.

Photo of cooch69
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

Photo of projectflam86
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of wvsabbath
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of Anthony88
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Photo of birderbeerer
4.54/5  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.

Photo of wampahoofus
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Photo of AdamBear
1.99/5  rDev -53.1%
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.

Photo of krisandajt
3.91/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

Photo of wmtxbb
4.76/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Photo of philphilphil
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Photo of Duff27
4/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Photo of steelerguy
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Photo of davidfoley
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Orange, Burnt Caramel, Light Ruby, colour. Moderate head retention. Strong carbonation.

Smell - Malty, Spicy, light hops. Hints of Orange, Apple, Banana, Apricot, Vanilla, Alcohol, & Fig

Taste - Well balanced, tangy sweet with lots of fruit. Hints of orange, rhubarb, summer berries, & lime. Smooth, mild bitterness with some tangy fruity malt in the after taste. Quite sweet and fruity. Mild alcohol presence. Strong sweetness from the malt

Mouthfeel - Smooth, slightly syrup with string crisp carbonation.

Drinkability - Good beer, a little fruity for my taste. Heavy Alcohol weight, 10% ABV, so not a session beer. A nice winter warmer.

Photo of burring
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I haven't been able to have any type of alcohol for two weeks since I was on antibiotics. Bought this at the beginning of my stint so I had something to look forward to.

Appearance: pours a beautiful auburn color. Slightly cloudy when held up to a CFL. I may even go far as to say it's beautiful? Maybe not but it is a pretty auburn color.

Smell: I can smell the malt and alcohol. It smells fruity. Like putting your nose into a bottle of cran-grape juice. It's pleasant. Inviting.

Taste: malty and sweet. It's a pleasant sweetness. Definitely not a make-your-teeth-hurt-sweet. It's very nice. I taste various berries but I am unable to pinpoint what type of berries I taste. It's reminiscent to the cherries from a cherry tree that used to grow in the backyard where I grew up. I'm not sure if cherries are berries. If not, then go with me. I really enjoy this. I hate to give it a five but I feel like I would be lying to you all if I didn't.

Mouthfeel: smooth, smooth, smooth. From this point on, for mouthfeel, I will plug my nose and really pay attention to the taste. (I'd rather not get into my semantic and lexical knit-picking when it comes to the words taste and flavor.) It's a bit viscus, but not to the point where it feels like molasses on my tongue but to a degree where it feels as it simply rolls over it with deliberateness.

Drinkability: difficult not to drink quickly. It's very tasty. Like, to the point where I want to take the bottle straight to the face. This may sound exaggerated but it's not. Don't believe me? Try it. If you don't like it, well, sorry. We all perceive these things differently. I just would be hard-pressed to find many people who really disliked this beer.

Photo of Wamba
4.73/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm working my way through my second four pack. This is what beer should be!

Dark and beautiful color with ominous highlights.

Smells of ancient victories over fire breathing foes.

Oh, the taste of Paradise! This is the stuff legends are made of...

Carbonation is a celebration of cream and honey in your mouth.

Strong as a knight of valor and smooth as a dancing princess.

Now this is beer!

Photo of KeOw
3.72/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed yesterday (12/9/2010), transcribed 12/10/10.

Haven't had Gulden Draak in about half-a-dozen years. Poured a 330 ml bottle into a Delirium Tremens tulip. No freshness date.

Appearance: After a standard (not gentle) our the head is underwhelming, less than a finger-width of off-white fizz, lacking lacing from beginning to its end, which occurred long before I drained it--negligible carbonation could not replenish it. I recall an impressive head in the past, so it's possible I picked up a quite old bottle. The body is a hazy, dark copper, showing no carbonation.

Smell: Heavy, dark malt, full of dark bread, cookies, and molasses.

Taste: In addition to the above . . . BOOM goes the alcohol, warm and dominant, slightly spicy. Also, dates. Overall, it is extremely sweet, on the edge of excess, but still tasty. The dominance of liquor flavor, from beginning to end, is another sign of an "aged" beer. But, surprisingly, I don't taste any oxidation flavors.

Drinkability: Again, not like my past experience. Way too boozy for me to drink many.

I have to say that I am astonished by how well this flat, old beer tasted. I guess dragons don't lose much with age.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Gulden Draak appears a chestnut brown color with ruby / crimson highlights visible when held to the light. The liquid is murky and hazy, with random bits of sediment meandering randomly through the beer. Atop the beer sits a half inch of khaki head that leaves some decent lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, alcohol, slightly sweet malts. The beer tastes better than it smells, actually. The aroma is fine, but could be more grandiose.

T: The beer is sweet and malty. In spite of this, the heat, or alcohol presence, is quite subdued. If it weren't for the sweetness, it would be pretty easy to gulp down a few of these too fast. The Belgian yeast flavor is great, but I would prefer it to be brought to the forefront a bit more.

M: Alcohol content is well hidden. The feel is medium-bodied and creamy, with a malty / candy sweetness present throughout.

D: A good beer, but not my favorite BSDA. Still, it's a solid beer and one I will continue to enjoy on occasion.

Photo of tbeckett
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Brown to dark brown with red notes when held up to the light. Hazy with strong carbonation and a half finger off white head that sticks around.

S - Yeast, alcohol, prunes, dates, molasses, candi sugar.

T - Tons of boozy prunes and dates with some of that molasses again. Candi sweetness that might be a little too much for me but still works.

M - Very smooth with a little bit of carbonation.

D - Great flavours but far too sweet. A good beer nonetheless. A good dark strong Belgian ale. One of the first where I began to pick up dark fruit notes so it has a bit of nostalgic clout in my books. Mellow, smooth, boozy, and highly drinkable.

Photo of drizzam
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured with a clear brown body with ruby highlights when held to the light. The head on this was ridiculous, four fingers of off-white chunky foam that took forever to recede enough to drink. Giant chunks of head clung to the side of the glass while drinking...never had that happen before!

S - Sweet malt with dark fruit and an unidentified spice lurking in the alcoholic smelling finish.

T & M - Very sweet, the dark fruit comes through in a big way in this brew. There is some caramel or butterscotch that appears toward the end. As heavily carbonated as this appeared I thought it would have a coarse mouthfeel...turns out that it's rather creamy and slick. It finishes with a bit of dark fruit and a slight warming alcoholic kick.

D - This is a good beer and one worth a try. Sweet, but not cloyingly so. The ABV and the price are the biggest hindrances in the drinkablility. I would recommend it, if not just for the experience.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Over at the LP.

Pours into a tulip glass a dark brown color with a sizable tan head, fades at a slow rate and leaves some small patchy lacing along the glass.

Smell is primarily caramel malt with a touch of dark fruit, bit of alcohol in the nose as well.

Taste has a decent balance of malt, dark fruit and breadiness, not overly sweet, the alcohol isn't as noticeable as it was in the nose but it still shows up a bit on the taste buds, seems a bit musty at times which is rather odd.

Can't believe it's taken this long for me to try Gulden Draak.

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

A: Pours with a finger of light tan head on top of a dark, slightly hazy brown beer.

S: Pretty clean nose. Smells of earthy goodness and a tiny bit of alcohol. Definitely bready.

T: Bread and some massive dark fruit flavors. There are plums here. Alcohol is definitely present along with a slight bitterness. Definitely other dark fruit such as figs, and of course the sweetness. While the alcohol heat is there, a blatant, offensive alcohol presence is not really evident (Or at least it is that up front).

M: Great carbonation. Prickly, while still having somewhat of a smooth finish. Full bodied.

D: Definitely a sipper due to the abv and warming feeling in the taste. Good, solid beer for the winter. Surprisingly like a dubbel rather than a dark tripple (whatever that means, I am referring to the dark part of that style designation).

Photo of rarbring
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is clear warm brown amber, an off-white rather small head, good curtains.

The smells are in the earthy area, sweet nuts, hay, dust and yeast.

Tasting of sweet raisins and other dried fruits, sherry and Marzipan.

Medium carbonation, soft and smooth, a huge body.

A nice slick beer. This was the 2006 vintage, enjoyed at Akkurat in Stockholm, Sweden. In company of great beers man stands small ...

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,358 ratings.