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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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3,356 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,356
Reviews: 1,251
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 214
Gots: 452 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,356 | Reviews: 1,251 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ncfranklin
3.69/5  rDev -13%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stubby bottle poured into a goblet.

A : Pours a gritty, earthy, dirt brown with a tiny tan head that fizzles to a slight rim that causes some light lacing. Overly, not the most appealing looking beer, somewhat dull.

S : Dried dark fruits specifically prunes/raisins, maybe a light note of caramel.

T : Heavy on those raisins all the way through, with a big dry fruity finish. No alcohol burn really at all. Tasty, unique.

M : Heavy as one would expect for the style, but very smooth. A dryness hits the mouth on swallow, something I did not expect.

D : The unique flavor and 10.5% ABV keeps this from being overly session-able. The dark fruit flavors and dry finish make this a specialty brew for specific occasions and pairings.

Photo of baldmasterflex
3.04/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11oz Stepped stubby bottle (same as the picture) into a wine glass. Wanted to try this because of the interesting flat white bottle and the menacing sounding name. $5.99 at totalwine in delaware.

Dark dark brown with red lowlights when held to the light. White head that didnt accumulate much but lacing clings strongly to the glass.

Smell is very sharp, a little banana sweetness but i find it not very pleasant, peppery and alcoholic.

Taste is very flat, prunish and not much more. Not much like a "trippel" that i was imagining.

Mouthfeel is good, tiny tingly carbonation, not to sticky or thick. Does not taste like 10.5% alc.

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

(Bottle into tulip -- Sampled 2/21/10) Pours a clear dark brown with a small creamy head the stuck around with beautiful lacing through the glass. Nose is heavy with the molasses sweetness of the malts as well as a macerated fruit smell, chiefly of plums, dates, apples, banana, etc. Full bodied in the mouth, as advertised, the carbonation is just right to allow all the fruit notes to pop on the tongue and really develop. As expected with this style, the banana and spice dominate, and the alcohol is very very sneaky. At 10.5% this could be a very good or very bad thing, depending on what you are looking for! Easily one of the best I have tried so far this year.

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

Stubby 330ml brown bottle that is powder coated with a white (paint?) in a clever way to both prevent the light from intruding and make the bottle immediately recognizable. Pours a clear amber color with more than 2 fingers of somewhat yellowish/tan stained head. Significant amount of lace clings to the glassware and the head retains fairly well. Continuous bubbles rise to the surface in support of the head. Nose is fruity sweet and quite pleasant with the malt character being a mix of something like caramelized raisins and a bit of nuttiness with alcohol coming through from the back and a faint touch of hops make themselves known in a partially grassy way. Taste has a big alcohol presence that is somewhat solvent and quite warming. Upfront the flavors of malty sweetness meet the bittering hops and are eventually overtaken by the big alcohol character. Alcohol reigns supreme throughout the tasting experience with notes of caramelized malt sweetness and slight bitter hops in the finish. There is a lingering taste left in the mouth that is a mix between the lingering alcohol, caramelized malt sweetness and hop bitterness all fighting for the attention/last impression left in your mouth. Feel of this big beer is medium with a moderate amount of carbonation that fits the bill perfectly. Clearly a sipper, it is strangely drinkable for how much alcohol presence is displayed.

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

It poured out a hazy amber color with plenty of carbonation topped with a thick light tan and bubbly head with some light lacing. It has a mild bourbon aroma along with some smoked malts and an earthy plant smell is hidden behind everything. It has a medium-to-light body and is quite crisp on the tip of the tongue; slightly bitter overall. There is a strong roasted malt flavor mixed in with a little hops. It is sweet overall and has a slightly dry, alcohol aftertaste...I will be buying this one again.

Photo of BeerGodz
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: Dark mahogany color, med head, awesome lacing

Smell: Yeasty, dried fruit, chocolate, plum , caramel, bourbon

Taste: Up Front: Yeast, coffee, brown sugar, raisins , toffee. Finish: Sweet, slight hoppy, slight alcohol

Mouthfeel: Smooth, thick and creamy

Drinkability: OH YEAH! I could quaff one or two....uh... two or three....It's a Belgian Dammit!

Overall Impression: This is a funky, complex beer, just like me, except with more alcohol! If you find this beer...DRINK IT!

Photo of rootbeerman
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle into Duvel glass.
to start this will always be a favorite because this is the beer that got me liking triples

A: pours deep brown with light brown finger and a half head that laces moderately.
S: sweet roast malt, a slight molasses/brown sugar, also a raisin dried fruit sweetness. either hop or malt earthiness. alcohol is noticeable behind the sweetness.
T: raisins and sweet roasted malt, very light hop, not really bitterness but just barely on the aftertaste. sweetness and raisins hangs in aftertaste for a while.
M: thick and coating, medium carbonation
D: easy sipper, easy drinker. a great Belgian to start with, i believe it was my first almost a year ago.

Photo of colts9016
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass at 46 degrees.

Appearance: A frothy tan head that has retention the head is one finger thick. The color of the beer is dark brown color. The clarity is nearly opaque with some effervescence bubbles on the side.

Nose: A rich dark toasty malt that has phenol and solvent aromas. The hops is floral and woody. In the background there is a hint of sweetness.

Taste: A very rich deep malt that has toasty, yeasty and biscuit characters. The hops is a spicy white pepper, floral bouquet, some wood and grapefruit. There are solvents, phenols and a subtle molasses flavor.

Overall: The mouth feel is creamy, carbonated, and slightly astringent. The body is medium with a medium finish. This is a really good beer, I enjoyed it.

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Big, creamy tan head rests on top of a solid red grape colored body and leaves plenty of lacing. Transparent around the edges. Great looking bottle as well

S- Bold aromas of dark, tart fruits and piquant alcohol rest on top of brown sugar and sweet potato with a dab of butter.

T- The dominant flavor is tart fruit covered in a sweet brown sugar syrup

M- Almost creamy with a silky carbonation

D- Worthwhile to keep a few of these little bottles around for decadent cravings.

Photo of Vixie
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby red with a 3/4" white head that slowly dissipated. This is a very nice looking beer, I had this at a family gathering, and kept showing off how nice it looked.

The smell was a bit lighter than expected. Thee is malt, and fruit. Overall kind of reminds me of the smell of wine.

Taste was fruity, with a hint of molasses. There is that distinctive Belgian candy sugar flavor as well. It's a sweet brew, but not overly so. Has a nice warming at the finish.

The feel was a touch on the light side for the style. It was fairly solid, but not up to what I've experienced with other beers of this style.

Overall a really good beer. This is one of my favorite styles, and this is a great example of why. Nicely balanced taste, and just a really good beer. I expect to be buying more of this in the future.

Photo of MikeGill
3.82/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a Duvel glass.

Dark burnished copper with a big beige head that has very good retention. Somewhat cloudy. Sweet on the nose with aromas reminiscent of lemon tea. I also smelled a little grenadine syrup as well.

Sweet and a little yeasty. Sour cranberry and grape flavors up front then some orange and a tiny bit of ripe banana. Big caramel malt and mellow spicy hops. Alcohol is right out there but for some reason still seems very balanced. Finishes with some toffee.

Photo of tedpeer
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 ounce served in a New Belgium Tulip.

A - Poured dark brown with a half inch head that quickly subsided to a whispy layer. Moderate lacing.

S - Dark fruits. Slightly sweet smelling.

T - Dark fruits, malts, slightly sweet. Alcohol slightly apparent.

M - Nice mouthfeel, slightly carbonated.

D - Goes down easy,

Photo of berley31
3.9/5  rDev -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.

Photo of Ek0nomik
3.47/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
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…

Photo of Rhettbuck
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Photo of tone77
3.9/5  rDev -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.

Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Photo of FreshHawk
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of PsychoJedi
4/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Photo of DaveJanssen
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
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

Photo of emsroth
3.41/5  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.

Photo of Pabs311
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of beertunes
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Photo of snpub540
3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,356 ratings.