Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)

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3,275 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,275
Reviews: 1,227
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 200
Gots: 388 | 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: 3,275 | Reviews: 1,227 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of elgiacomo
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of TheJollyHop
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of rpstevens
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Photo of KTCamm
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of mintjellie
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of dqrull
4.03/5  rDev -5%
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.

Photo of Spineypanda
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark golden, with a nice head and lacing.
Smells of esters and Belgian yeasts, but a bit of dark fruits like plum as well.
Tastes a lot like a strong dark ale, but has just enough sweetness to cover that up and gives it a delicious finish.
Has a good carbonation, fills the mouth nicely.

Will buy again.

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

A: Brown color; caramel around the edges. Poured a 2 finger off-white head that lingered to a thick skim. Lots of lace sheeting down the side of the glass.

S: Dark fruits; plums and raisins. Sweet foundation with candi sugar.

T: Bitter up front followed by lots of dark fruit flavors. Finishes sweet with a mild spiciness.

M: Medium body. Medium carbonation. Sweet in the mouth. Hint of alcohol; more prominent as it warms.

D: Nice flavorful beer. Fairly complex. ABV limits drinkability a bit, but well worth a shot.

Photo of jzeilinger
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was an anniversary gift from my wife which was part of a "High Octane" Beer Basket. (She knows what I like!) Never heard of this one before so I have been looking forward to trying this.

Pours a dark mahogany color with a slight, creamy, tan head in the beginning but quickly dies down to a very light covering of foamy bubbles on the top. The beer appears thick as it sticks to the sides with good retention before sliding back down into the glass!

Aroma is of toasty, sugary malts, cherries, caramelized raisins. The flavor is very good, not at all what I expected because some other nuances are coming out that weren't overly detected in the nose. Sweet toasted sugary malts in the beginning followed by a subtle blending in of sour cherries with a touch of apple (the apple part is what was surprising). Also picking up a little rasin and some fig on the tongue. The flavors blend in a subtle tartness that makes the beer finish wet instead of dry, which is what I originally expected. The 10.5 ABV is incredibly, and may I say "dangerously", well hidden, practically undetectable. There's not many beers I can recall that has such a deceptive alcohol content. Not overly deep and complex but amazingly well brewed. Hats off to the brewmaster.

The body is on the lighter side of heavy, has a slight prickliness on the tongue, and incredibly drinkable. I could sit and have a few of these and easily lose track of the number. For a beer I've never heard of before, I'd definitely buy this one again - worth checking out.

Photo of Mosstrooper
3.1/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 11.2oz bottle into Ommegang Tulip glass.

Appearance: Deep caramel/amber color with a long-standing two-finger off-white head that leaves behind decent lace.

Smell: Candy sweetness with some alcohol.

Taste: Candy sweetness throughout, with slight alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Pretty heavy body, with a bit too heavy carbonation and a cool, refreshing finish.

Drinkability: A strange beer, and I can't say I'm a fan of the candy malt. Not much depth in this, but still worth a try- I seem to be an exception.

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

For my 400th review I am enjoying, for the first time, the world-famous Gulden Draak. Even better, I was able to find a single lonesome bottle of this little gem at a local beer haunt for only $1.99. Price had me holding this one at bay for quite a while, but no longer.

330ml painted glass bottle with the code "19KH 14:19" printed on the back of the label beneath the UPC. Served at cellar temperature of 45 degrees F, poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a very dark mahogany with a huge pillowed cap of beige/light tan foam that settles ever so slowly to a thick cap, leaving behind beautiful thick rings of lace as it disappears. Clarity is quite good; this is certainly a beautiful beer.

The nose shows lots of sweet malt, with caramel and burnt sugar notes, along with some deep hints of dark cherries and prunes, with a brighter cherry note becoming more evident as my senses become a little more acclimated. There's a faint hint of peppery spice hidden as well, and perhaps some faintly herbal hop notes. Very inviting.

Body is medium-full, a little less weighty than anticipated, with a middling level of carbonation providing just the right amount of prickle. Sweet caramel and chocolate notes grab hold at first, showing signs of toasted brown sugar. Delicious dark fruits follow, showing a little less of the cherry apparent in the nose but a little more plum and prune, perhaps some faint raisin as well. Hops show themselves in the late middle as a very dry bitterness with virtually no flavor, along with a little alcohol that serves to dry things a bit further. Some spiciness shows itself just at the end, before a semi-dry bittersweet finish.

A superb example of a dark Belgian ale, this is probably one of the better I've had in my day. Quite complex yet still very drinkable despite the high level of alcohol and the interplay of flavors. I must admit that my pleasure was dampened a bit due to a full stomach, but undoubtedly this would be even more enjoyable on a different occasion. Certainly world class.

Photo of ludachris
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle to snifter at cellar temp.

Pours a deep cola brown with ruby red highlights. 1.5 finger creamy beige head tops this beer which leaves sticky lace down the sides of the glass.

Roasted malts, butter, candied sugar, raison, plum, bread, and an alcoholic kick that becomes more pronounced as the beer warms.

Sweeet, but oh so drinkable. Candied dark fruits, especially sticky raison, fig, and plum, creamy toasted buttery malts, hints of citrus, caramel, sugar, and just a slight hint of its high ABV. Delicious. It reminds me a bit of cake.

Mouthfeel is full, smooth, creamy, and perfectly carbonated. The %10.5 ABV is dangerously hidden. I've had %5 ABV beers that have a higher alcohol presence than this. Too drinkable.

Overall, a fantastic BSDA. I enjoyed this more than Chimay's Grand Reserve, and I really liked that beer. Without a doubt this beer is sweet but at the same time, it's excellently balanced, creamy, full flavoured, and the sweetness is not cloying. I'm already buzzing and I haven't even finished the bottle. The alcohol is a real creeper, so beware. Highly recommended.

Photo of Deus1138
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Color is deep brown with redish highlights when held up to the light. Smell is thick, dark fruity sweetness...plum...raisin, a little alcoholic...bourbony. Taste is very nice, very much like its smell. Dark fruitiness, mostly plum like... sweet and sour. One of the more flavorful BSDA's I've had. Alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming. It's full bodied. It's a mouth full. This feels like a meal. Drinkability is good. It's pretty thick and flavorful, so it's a sipper, but an enjoyable sipper. It's just a little too sweet and syrupy for me to want to try again.

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

Poured from a 11.2 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, almost purple, color. Has a tight, white head that lingers for a while and leaves spotty lacing.

Smell: Smells of fruit, especially grapes and other dark fruits, as well as candy. Has a strong sweet smell as well. Smells especially strongly of TRIUMPH.

Taste: Starts bitter with hints of dark fruits. Finishes sweet with a hint of spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a nice carbonation bite.

Drinkability: A decent beer. Not the greatest example of a Belgian beer that I've had but not bad nonetheless. It's worth a try but not something that I'll seek out time and again.

Photo of StevenBilodeau
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is fantastic, it has a nice frothy/foamy head, that dissipates with great lacing. It pours out, thick, dark and like chocolate but without the favor of chocolate of course. This beer is excellent, it did not let me down. Good favor, all around good beer. Sweetness, but not too sweet or overwhelming. One of the best Belgian beers I have ever had. To beer lovers this is Gold.

Photo of Dodo2step
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

P- Barley's and Hops in Pittsburgh

Poured into a grand Cru.

A- Fluffy dirty bone white head that sticks to the rim of my Cru glass. a murky dark caramel type of color. Lots of carbonation bubbles floating to the top.

S- a dark sweet and fruity (plum) type of smell. I also get figs, honey and some strong yeast.

T- a dark fruity sour cherry type of flavor on the back end. Sugary sweetness of figs and honey make this drink delicious. It feels like i am eating food rather than drinking.

M- Chewy and full bodied. Heavy beer to put down and lingers in the mouth. The fruits and sweetness coat the mouth nicely.

D- a nice sipper drink. Downing this too quickly will result in ending up on the floor. Very nice flavor and smell makes it nice to put down at a slow yet steady pace.

Photo of ryanonline
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours dark brown with almost no head, whatever sticks around is light tan. very little lacing.

smell is nice, sort of sour cherry with raisin/fig, and honey. a malty backbone persists sort of doughy too.

tastes much more sweet, the tartness is more on the back-end, but up front is honey all over and a little yeastiness. just a touch of floral hops. malt character is very strong. warming alcohol finish.

mouthfeel is very light, almost watery, but very dry in the finish.

this is not heavy by any means and that is impressive for a dark triple.


Photo of Jesstyr
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a La Trappe chalice

A: Dark caramel, with really no significant lacing.

S: Very sweet smelling for the color, not fruity, more sugary

T/M: Very strong and sugary, perfect with chocolate or a great blue cheese. Light carbonation. Alcohol from the start, but evolves into a great sweetness. So flavorful. Mouthfeel is smooth and silky.

D: With all the great flavors, this isnt one you can drink a lot of. One is perfect...

Photo of beersteak
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this beer three times from the 750ml bottles because that's all the seller stocked. But he just got the 330ml bottles in along with the official GD tulip, which is a real treat. Apparently these stumpy bottles are better for higher pressure brews, but I think they are superior designs to what we see here in the states in that it is a much nicer, smoother, "glug" free pour.

The holidays are gone, but this beer brings it all back. It's got a dark almost cherry color to it. Beautiful. And the smell is incredible dark, candied fruits. It's rich with cherries, plums and a tiny bit of spice. Someone else mentioned fruit-cake and I think that is spot on.

Taste is not what I expected, with a surprisingly good hit of malt. A little more earthy than the nose implies. Not nearly as much fruit, but it's still there in good quantities. Some would say it is too sweet, and for anything other than the occasional festivity, I agree. But for those occasions it is awesome.

Feels like a holiday beer to me. Like Sammy Smith's Stingo it's sweet spices, rich texture and dark fruits make it a fantastic compliment (a definite dessert possibility) to a great feast of beef, potatoes and Christmas pudding. I love it!

Photo of ommegangpbr
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On first sip I can tell I'm going to enjoy the life of this bottle of beer. This is pretty much spot on for what I want and expect from a strong Belgian dark ale. Head and lacing for days, light having a hard time getting through the color of this brew. I've seen prettier colors regarding the style but I'm not complaining.
Smell has depths of yeast and dark sugars. Homebrew and bread.
I don't mind this at all when on the colder side of the temperature scale but it really opens up when warmer. Dark, fermented fruits, mostly in a prune and raisin way. Black cherries are in there. An edge of roasted bitterness is there but mostly you get a tasty fruitcake type of thing.
When my finances allow this beer will be a regular part of my beer rotation. As it stands it will make for an enjoyable time to time treat. Smooth and tasty.

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

A: Hazy, redish brown; one finger head with decent retention
S: Belgium yeast strain; bananas and cloves are subtle; sweet maltiness and raisins are also prevalent
T: Bready and malty; banana/cloves; something slightly medicinal-it isn't off puting though; the alcohol is well-masked throughout
F: Well-balanced carbonation; farily even mouth coating; smooth but slightly thin on back end
D: So smooth and easy going for a 10.5% beer

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. Pours hazy brown that is completley flat in the glass no life whatsoever. No heading,no lacing, nadda.

Smell is intensly fruity with a little cocoa mixed in. A bit peppery and spicy on the backend.

Taste is malty as hell. Little bit of lemon,mostly that good old candy sweet fruitiness. Finishes peppery.

Mouth is full bodied but completley flat. and only a very little bit of carbonation after I swoosh it around in the mouth for a bit.

After reading some other reviews I am thinking I got a bad bottle or something for most of you are saying this has alot of carbonation and I barely got any of that. Ah well.

Photo of hwwty4
3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 11.2oz stubby into my Bell's tulip. This beer pours a dark, prunish brown with a massive, three inch, beige cap that leaves sticky lacing all the way down the sides of the glass. The aroma reminds me first of dark fruits. Hints of ripe, red apple, sour cherries, plum and just a bit of prune. Carmel and toffee come out in the middle of the nose with just a hint of Belgian candy sugar at the finish of the aroma. The flavor is rather vinous to me. Grape jelly, apple and just a bit of prune come through. To me, it reminds me of a sweet wine, where the grapes flavor is very concentrated, like an ice wine. Big sweet malt notes dominate the middle of the flavor profile and it finishes with just a hint of booze mixed with brown sugar. They really do a wonderful job at covering the 10.5% alcohol. As it warms, sour cherry notes really start to dominate. The mouthfeel is light for as dark as the beer is. I understand, it's a stereotype that darker beers are normally heavier in body, but this one really surprised me. The carbonation is crisp and fits really nicely with the body. All in all, this is a really good beer. I'm sure it won't be the last time I drink it.

Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark reddish brown with a huge off white head with huge fat lacing. Smells like apples yeast banana with good amount of spice. Taste is the same with a bit of alcohol comin through. Mouthfeel is subpar with weak carbonation. Very drinkabe for the abv.

Photo of deruiz10
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A - A towering, soapy tan head retains well throughout the drink. Pour is a cloudy brown with orange highlights.

S - Sweet smell of raisins, yeast, alcohol, and some grapefruit and fermented apples.

T - Sweet malts, apple cider, yeast, mildly spicy hops, and some gruit flavor. Finish is mild alcohol with raisin sweetness.

M - Highly carbonated, borderline fizzy, but it works well.

D - A little too sweet for my palate, but it's got an excellent complex flavor.

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,275 ratings.