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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.

3,233 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,233
Reviews: 1,222
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 190
Gots: 361 | 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: 3,233 | Reviews: 1,222 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheViolator666
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle poured into Gulden Draak snifter.

A: Pours a dark orange hue with a healthy two-finger off-white head. Fluffy and leaves beautiful lacing.

S: Smells sugary sweet, but mostly alcoholic. Some fruits as well as a bit of yeast.

T: Very complex. There is a certain spice effect going on, but I can't pinpoint just what spices, a bit of sourness as well. Toffee-like sweetness and fruit - mostly cherries. There is definitely alcohol, and leaves a dry yeasty aftertaste. This one'll warm you up.

M/D: Nice full body with a generous amount of carbonation. This one is bottle conditioned, however I did not see much yeast toward the end, only a few black specks. The high amount of alcohol present takes away from it's drinkability.

TheViolator666, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark appearance. A nice head gives way to a strong ring with a layer of bubbles in the center and nice lacing.

The smell is of fruit and honey, specifically apples and cherries. A little yeast is present.

The apple flavor dances around with a little sweetness and some light citrus notes. There is also a little detectable funk, but it isn't really an issue with all the sweetness going on. With larger sips the alcohol is detectable.

The beer itself is full-bitied and somehow still rather light. The carbonation accentuates the sweetness fairly well and there is no fructose film left in the mouth, which is a welcome surprise.

This beer is almost dangerously drinkable.. The ABV is fairly well-hidden under layers of surprisingly complex sweetness. Yummy.

RomaniIteDomum, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, dark burgundy color with a thick, long-lasting, two-finger head. It left behind, patchy, sticky trails of lace.

S - It smelled of dried fruits (cherry and apple) with a sweet caramel notes.

T - It tasted sweet and a little boozy. Nice dried fruit flavors with rich, biscuity malt flavors.

M - It was smooth, soft and somewhat creamy. A medium to full-bodied ale.

D - This is a pretty solid Belgian ale. Great flavors and aromas.

zeff80, Sep 01, 2009
Photo of drtth
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served chilled and in a Duvel-style tulip glass with the Gulden Draak logo. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured at the table, the beer is clear and bright ruby or scarlet with some orange highlights at the edges. The 1" light tan head persists for quite a while and eventually recedes to a ring of foam and a patch of foam on the liquid. Early on sipping leaves some sheets of lacing, but for most of the beer sipping leaves a nice ring with some light sparse speckles of lacing and then eventually only sparse speckles.

Smell: The aroma is sweet with the malt, dark fruits (cherry, raisins) and a bit of milk chocolate. It becomes more full and complex as the beer warms to room temperature.

Taste: The flavor has components of dark fruits (e.g., raisins, cherries) and there is also some dark caramel and some light chocolate flavors. There are some light spices here--seems like clove and cinnamon. In the background there is some spiciness from the hops as well. Although it is possible to taste some alcohol in this beer, it is neither harsh nor hot. Again the flavor becomes more full and complex as the beer warms to room temperature.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium-bodied and creamy, with moderate, persistent fine prickly carbonation. The long complex finish begins with the sweetness of the fruits and then tapers to a dry ending with the herbal hops adding some light spicy bitterness.

Drinkability: This is definitely is drinkable but the ABV is strong enough that it is probably a one a night beer for sipping after dinner with friends. I will put this one on my list to have again sometime. BTW: This is definitely a beer that should be allowed to warm to cool room temperature before drinking.

17 Oct. 14
Tonight having one of these with a year of bottle age. It has held up well and if anything is a bit smoother and rounder with such things as the fruit and chocolate flavors/note becoming more well integrated and less isolated from each other. Definitely a safe bet for holding onto for a least a year.

drtth, Sep 01, 2009
Photo of flagmantho
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into a wine goblet.

Appearance: deep, dark red-brown. Thin but attractive head, with a nice lacing.

Smell: caramel, hazelnut and maple aromas. Sweet and malty; smells quite like a nut brown ale.

Taste: malty, a little fruity and a little nutty. A lot like a nut brown ale. Sweet, and not particularly bitter.

Mouthfeel: medium body, but a little syrupy; nice carbonation.

Drinkability: good flavor but it's more of a slow sipper.

flagmantho, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of brewmudgeon
3.03/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

gulden draak
3.5 deep amber, short head, not much lace
3 obvious high alcohol content wafts about freely (would have believed 15-20%, easy). when the nose begins to recover, some sweet fruits are noted--guava, cherries, bananas. there is also a rummyness. but it's all way too dominated by the alcohol.
3 taste is alcohol, alcohol, sweet fruits, alcohol. it's like jumping the gun and having a fruit flavored rum ball before the excess alcohol has had some time to evaporate.
4 body on the full side of medium, carbonation ample.
2.5 not that it's bad beer, but it's hard to find under all that solvent.

brewmudgeon, Aug 28, 2009
Photo of chadd11
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Overall, I was very impressed with this beer. I read a lot of the reviews before trying, so I knew what I was getting into. The over sweetness of the beer is not for me, but I can see how people appreciate it. The strong caramel flavoring was a little overshadowed in my opinion by how cold it was served. The beer was served much colder than I am used to, which only added to the drinkability. However, there was no significant aftertaste, even as the beer got warmer, earning a high drinkability rating.

A - nice deep brown coloring with a thick head

S - Very sweet, caramel smell with hints of chocolate and fruity aromas

T - Overly sweet, IMO, but very bold. Warming sensation was comparable to other beers in the range

M - Good Carbonation, very crisp and clean. A little too cold for this beer (location's fault, not beer)

D - Recommended drinking for cold winter nights out by a bonfire. Nice warming sensation in the chest

OVERALL: One of the better dark Belgian ales I've ever had. Would definitely recommend you give it a try.

chadd11, Aug 26, 2009
Photo of Kraken
3.45/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Consumed 3/31/09

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into two over sized wine goblets. Split with GF. Firm pour evokes a scant head. Fair amount of lace. Color is a dark and cloudy brown, lightening a bit near the edges.

Nose- Nice. Offers up plenty of caramel and nutty aromas. Hints of vanilla, and a bit of booziness.

Palate- Very interesting. Lots of sweet caramels. A pleasant nuttiness to it. Some sour, off putting notes. Smooth, but with a pronounced bite of alcohol in the finish. Finishes dry with vanilla and caramel notes.

Mouthfeel- Active, dry, slightly cloying.

Drinkability- Strong, unique, One is enough.

Kraken, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of Stunner97
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance- white tan head, with very dark brown color and low amount of carbonation, slight see through when held to light

Smell- mix of chocolate, vanilla, yeast, molasses, and caramel very overall intriguing nose

Taste- Very very nice flavor, lots of chocolate and even vanilla, and caramel, very complex, dark chewey and beautiful malt sweetness, overall such a pleasant flavor of a beer,

Mouthfeel- medium bodied with a very beautiful chewey feel,

Drinkability- even though its 10 percent alcohol you cant even notice it a damn bit, so enjoyable and well balanced, a definite sipper and a great after dinner beer, its creamy sweet and delicous search it out, I got this 4 pack for 9.99 I feel I got the deal of the century, yummy.

Stunner97, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of jimiv73
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

never judge a beer by the cover this beer was surprisingly delicious! im gonna try the vintage next which im hoping is a lil hoppier! although this one packed the hopps and weighhing in at 10.5% is no joke this is on my x mas list and the price being a lil steep but you pay for what ya get most of the time

jimiv73, Aug 22, 2009
Photo of wknight167
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy, ruby with a hint of brown. Half finger of head.

S - Sweet stone fruit, possibly cherry, Slight hint of citrus.

T - Sweeter than expected. The fruit really comes through in the taste. Sour cherry with a little raisin to it. Alcohol is warming, but not overbearing.

M - Low carbonation, Medium bodied.

D - Above average. I wouldn't mind another.

wknight167, Aug 20, 2009
Photo of Grunewald
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - poured from a 330ml bottle into a goblet. It pours a cloudy ruddy brown color with a thick head.

S - sweet malt, candy, prune, marmalade

T - sweet malt that very quickly becomes medicinal (cough syrup) and spicy

M - low carbonation and syrupy with a neutral finish

D - enjoyable flavors, but the medicinal taste is overbearing

Grunewald, Aug 16, 2009
Photo of CHADMC3
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep chestnut brown with a dense foamy tan head leaving just a faint lacing behind.

Caramel malt, yeast, dark fruit, and vinous characteristics all highlight the aroma.

More sweetness in the palate versus the nose, but similar chrematistics of sweet, dark fruit, caramel malt, and faint wine/port like flavors and sweet nuts. There are also features of faint earthy hops and hearty yeast.

Medium in body with moderate carbonation, tons of flavor, quite complex, and a nice alcohol warmth.

One of my favorites, easy to drink, so much personality to offer, and far too easy to enjoy.

CHADMC3, Aug 15, 2009
Photo of Murchmac
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a really pretty wooden amber with lacing you'd see on the pussycat dolls.

Some stingy alcohol smells, some figs/raisins, Like the breath of a california raisin out on a belgian beer bender...

Pretty sweet taste too. The taste follows the smell, but a candied sweetness pervades this like that Iggy Pop song.

The Rochefort 6 is my measuring stick for all these styles, and while this one is tasty, I wish it had a little more Jesse the Body Ventura than Jesse the Mind Ventura.

Murchmac, Aug 08, 2009
Photo of Evocatus
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber color with a smooth beige head. Smells mostly of spices with a hint of semi-sweet fruit. Taste matches the aroma only that the alcohol starts to kick in as the beer warms up. As a tripel, very drinkable; creamy and heavy but a sipper as it should be.

Evocatus, Aug 07, 2009
Photo of phosphoryl
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of the white bottle into a Leffe goblet. Light tan head that quickly faded, with minimal lacing. Nose of dark fruit, some spice, some alcohol, but all very faint. Taste was stronger with some sweetness. Definitely a smooth mouthfeel, but a heavy hitter at 10.5%. Overall a good beer, but could use a little more of that sweet aroma.

phosphoryl, Aug 07, 2009
Photo of scottyshades
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Tryst in Delray Beach, FL for under $5

A: Pours a pleasant looking, slightly hazy stained wood color that produces a tight creamy looking off-white head that retains beautifully and leaves some nice lacing along the glass

S: Alcohol, wintergreen, bubblegum, malts, and a whole bunch of delicious flavorful yeast. Very easy, likable, and spicy. This is one of the first beers my mom actually enjoyed when I gave her a try.

T: The flavor profile is very similar to the nose, spicy, wintergreen, bubblegum, yeast, and sweet malts followed by a touch of alcohol that grows more noticeable as the brew warms

MF/D: Very smooth and creamy. Medium body, spicy and flavorful long finish.

A nice offering of the BSDA style, definitely worth a try

scottyshades, Aug 02, 2009
Photo of DerBayer
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hmmm cool bottle

Pours a very light brown with some chestnut

Smells of caramel some dark fruit and malted grains

tastes much the same but very well balanced like so many Belgian strong beers

Medium carbonation quite refreshing

You do tatste and feel the alcohol well before finishing a bottle

DerBayer, Jul 31, 2009
Photo of markaberrant
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - deep burgundy, clear, low tan head, still leaves a bit of lace

S - very fruity nose, plums, cherry, not overly spicy, but some there

T - ripe dark fruit soaked in alcohol, rich maltiness, delightful spice notes, aftertaste is more lingering fruit

M - low carbonation, but still light and creamy, doesn't detract at all, noticable alcohol warmth, but quite welcoming

D - excellent fruit flavours, perfect balance of malt and spice, very tasty

The somewhat lifeless look and aroma are very deceiving, the taste and mouthfeel are superb. Incredibly drinkable too, I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to finally try this beer.

markaberrant, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of beerwolf77
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I gently pour the squat white bottle into my glass and out pours a dark brown-redish liquid with minimal head. The scent is unbelievably sweet. It smells like cotton candy with a hint of scotch. That's a good thing. The flavor is very spicy. Sweet orange juice flavors with a caramel tone. I can tell it's 10.5 abv but it's not offputting. The mouthfeel is lighter then I expected with lots of carbonation. I'm halfway through my glass and I'm already feeling warm all over. This beer will kick your ass if you don't pay attention. A sipper for sure.

beerwolf77, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of atremains
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this 330 into my chimay glass. Dark bronze color, head is was kind of weak and hard to produce, almost like soda fizz, retreated quickly. Carbonation slowly trickles to the top. Fruity raisin-like and a bit of alcohol in the nose. Alcohol is prevelant in the beginning, as it warms and the flavors come out it is masked a bit more. It tastes like what it is: a dark tripel. Almost like "hey, you got your dubbel in my tripel". Fruity flavors. Mouthfeel is enjoyable, it doesn't fizz away immediately like the head. Solid beer, maybe not for one of the hottest days this summer so far, but I will return to the one in the future.

atremains, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of crnipeter
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

330 ml into GD tulip.

Dark coppery brown with reach light tan head that rather quickly fades into thin sheet of lace. Effervescent.

Raisins, cherries, prunes, caramel, red vine.

Raisin-dominated dark ripe fruits with accompanying sourness, caramel and rich sweet malt. An interplay of sweet and sour. Although close to, it never gets syrupy. Hops are apparently absent. Overly sweet and to much malt based.

Medium bodied, smooth and creamy.

Particular and quite decent one, but there is an undefinable something that I dislike in this beer. One at a time is enough.

crnipeter, Jul 24, 2009
Photo of rfgetz
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Red/brown sunburst. Clear. Ample frothy head and lacing.

S: Sweet, banana, belgian yeast, hints of booze

T: belgian yeast, malts, dark fruit, sweet sugar, slightly boozy, almost tea like finnish.

M: good carbonation. medium bodied.

D: higher ABVs slightly hidden. Good belgian, very good drinkable strong dark.

rfgetz, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of drabmuh
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say about this beer that hasn't already been said. 11.2 oz bottle served in a goblet. Beer is dark brown, nearly black, nice head, steady carbonation. Beautiful ether smell associated with strong Belgians. Taste is sweet and balanced alcohol. No hint of roasting in the flavors, except maybe slightly. One of my all time favorite beers. Excellent, you have to try this beer.

drabmuh, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of aristeros
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. Medium amber color, big two and change fingers of head, decent retention and lots of lacing. Surprising clarity with visible carbonation. Red fruit--apples--and big yeast aroma, nutmeg and coriander, some biscuit.

Strong malts and sweet fruit dominate up front, reminds me almost of an apple cobbler. Very smooth mouthfeel, leaning a bit towards syrupy. Carbonation is more assertive than I expected, but not sharp or off-putting. Some banana, lots of biscuit mingling with a small bit of roasted malts, some alcohol on the back end.

Complex brew, and a lot of flavor in this little bottle! It's sweet, even cloyingly so, and the ABV isn't very noticible but will effect its potential as a session beer. Will definitely come back to this one.

aristeros, Jul 19, 2009
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 3,233 ratings.