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

Not Rated.
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

3,320 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,320
Reviews: 1,241
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 209
Gots: 426 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website
Belgium

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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,320 | Reviews: 1,241 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Poured from the white bottle into a tulip glass

Very nice brown appearance with a ruby tint, thin tan head that was very short lived.

maple or brown sugar aroma with a little dark fruit.

Sweet taste of maple syrup, fig, toffee and alcohol ( rum).

Very smooth with a little carbonation with a nice warm feel.

Very nice beer to sip and savor.

Photo of Reaper16
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

served @ Flying Saucer, Kansas City, MO into a Gulden Draak tulip

For a beer that labels itself a tripel, this pours really darkly. A burnt sienna with crimson tones when held to light. It is deep but not cloudy. The white head was pretty massive on this pour, taking up more than a quarter of the tulip glass. Lacing was predictably fantastic for a head that large.

This is one superb beer with respect to its aromas. Sugary sweetness lets you know that this is indeed a relative of the tripel. Once the scents distinguish themselves, you find that candied apples and cinnamon come to the fore. Some banana, nutmeg and an earthy quality not unlike damp leaves add to the pleasant complexity. If Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. produced an air freshener or even a cologne that smells like Gulden Draak does, I would be compelled to purchase it. ;)

On the palate, this beer is not as good as its nose; which isn't to say that this isn't a delicious beverage. It tastes like a typical Belgian strong in many ways, and very atypical in others. The yeast does this beer well, mixing its yummy dark fruit phenols in with the fairly rich maltiness. Light spice -- cinnamon tasting -- highlights the unique apple flavor. This beer was a touch hot from the alcohol at the temperature at which this bottle was served.

I don't know if the mouthfeel could have done anything to disguise the alcohol more. It wasn't a problem, but more of a minor irritant. Either way, I appreciated that the feel was relatively thin given all of the various sweet elements of this beer. Drinkability is okay. This is a sipper for me, and something that I wouldn't want any more of on a given night than the glass that I had.

I had never seen this beer until trying it last night (Flying Saucer was giving away the tulip with a purchase, natch). I'm glad that I was able to discover it for myself. It really is a great beer.

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

Appearance - 4.5
Damn fine looking beer, head is quite thin and cream to beige in colour, body is dark reddish brown, but when held to the light it is the most brilliant, clear, deep red like a port wine jelly.

Smell - 4.0
Very sweet aroma, slightly peppery, burnt golden syrup, baking cake or biscuits.

Taste - 4.0
As with many BSDAs, the very high alcohol level is tempered by a rich palate of flavour. Malt and dark candy sugar dominate with toasty flavours of golden syrup, prunes, lemon zest, light spice and a slightly herbal hop taste. Would be an instant 4.5 were it not oversweet.

Mouthfeel - 4.0
A little heat from the alcohol, smooth, fine carbonation. Approaching syrupy.

Drinkability - 4.0
A little sweeter than I would like, so I wouldn't go for a second in a sitting. Would I drink it again? Even at $9 a bottle I have to say yes.

OVERALL - 4.1
This was a beer that greatly impressed me with the first sip, but the more I sipped, the less impressed I was. Plenty of flavour, enough complexity and quite easy to drink for the strength. Much better than the likes of Leffe, but a little oversweet, not quite up with the best. Still a must try for anyone who likes Belgian ales. Best when quite cool (perhaps 10 degrees celcius) to avoid the sticky sweet finish.

Photo of OttoPeeWee
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, between this brew and Piraat, Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V., has knocked it out of the park! This is a brew worthy to put in the Holy Grail (is that blasphemy?).

Seriously good suds. Tastes like a home made caramel in liquid form. The alcohol is barely noticeable, which is a tribute to the brewer's fine palate.

Bravo!

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

I got to try this treat at the local BJ's restaurant. The waitress gave me the bottle with a glass to pour it into myself. Very nice of her. Poured a dark tea like brown with a small pillowy head. At first sniff I get that nice Belgian triple aroma of figs, black cherry, brown sugar, and a hint maple syrup. The taste was wonderfully complex with swirls of fig, caramel, spice, and baked apples with a mild alcohol finsh. very nice.

Photo of Stavage
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown liquid. Holding up to the light, it does not seem cloudy at all so you can appreciate the abyss in the centre of the glass. Despite a semi robust pour didn't get much head out of this (for a Belgian). What head I did get retained well though and left a very pleasing sticky lacing.

Some ripe fruits and dried fruits in the smell but also a lot of phenol clove scent and some herbal aromas. A certain...pleasant mustiness which balanced the 'sweetness' on the nose. Unfortunately I also got a slightly metallic scent in there too. That oxidised smell. I wondered if maybe the seal wasn't too great which could account for the relatively flat poor and the whiff of metallic scent, but strangely enough this never followed through to the taste.

Definitely a sweet beer, but also lots of complexities in here too. Some roast dark and sweet malts in here which give a sweetness a biscuitiness but also an earthiness to the flavours. A bit of dried fruit too which also adds a certain richness and sweetness to the proceedings. But with all this sweetness it's never sickly or sticky sweet and it's all well balanced by the earthy notes and the spicy and herbal notes too. Bit of alcohol bite but not much (surprisingly).

Mouthfeel is very smooth and silky. Quite a full beer too. And surprisingly drinkable. Quite a high abv and you'd have never guessed, the main hint is that it warms you a little more than the average beer (and lightens yuor head a little more too).

Overall really enjoyed this and definitely something I want on rotation. Normally I'd say the sweetness would take away from the drinkability for me but rather than be balanced with a bitterness it was successfully toned down with a herbal earthiness so really just an all round winner in my books.

Photo of disastermouse
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this in the big bottle.

A - Dark brown Root-beer dark. White-brown head that dissipates into little circles on the top of the beer after a few minutes.

S - Belgian with a vengence. Has a maple-y, 'wet-leaves' smell. Brown sugar with a hint of whiskey.

T - Belgian but more burnt - the alcohol is there, but better hidden than in some strong ales. Phenol-rific. I remember thinking the first time I drank this beer that it was a VERY different beer. Now that I've had a few more belgian strong darks, I STILL think it's a very distinctive beer. More than a hint of apples in this one.

MF - Carbonation holy cow! Big mouthfeel, fizzle-rific.

D - I don't know about you, but I can't put back too many 10.5% beers in a night without getting sloppy and slow. That said, this would be the beer I'd get tanked on if that was my goal...

Photo of JAStheAce
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Gulden Draak pours out steaming from this very cool white-washed 750 ml bottle which masks the beast's secret! Dark brown with fiery red accents. I was shocked to see the bottle say "tripel" and have it pour out dark brown as I am used to seeing tripels in their traditional golden color. very nice looking rocky brown head about that took up about half my my tulip glass. This beer smells fiery peppery and fruity. Taste overwhelms the palate at first and is hot and spicy throughout with some serious alcohol and flavor. Substantial body and did I mention it is a spicy brew that really warms you up. Good stuff here.

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

Vintage, I believe around 4 years old. Poured into a tulip.
Dark brown, with scarlet penetrating the shallow points of the glass.A big head with little brown speaks floating on to that resemble cinnamon.
Toffee, scotch, rum cake, apple, and dark sugars.
Toffee character dominates, with scotch as form of the alcohols choice. Fig and dates make up the dark fruit character and concludes with a malty finish.
Extremely smooth and creamy with excellent carbonation.
A fantastic beer that I will be revisiting again in the near future.

Photo of natelocc787
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This BSDA let me down slightly in appearance. I poured into a goblet, I will pour the last half into a tulip and see if that changes. What I mean is-there was only a half inch head after a generous pour. This combined with the goblet glassware left much to be desired in appearance and aroma.

Beer pours orange ruby crimson. Small head but fantastic lacing! Light caramel colored head dissipates quickly. Smell it while you can.

Definitely dark fruits like fig, plum and dates. Smells like the inside of an apple fig newton. Malty and sugary with a yeast reminiscent of a dubbel or quadrupel. A big leathery aroma.

This is listed as a dark Triple but I'm not buying it. Since it IS a triple (fermented 3x) I must say this is pushing the envelope as far as a triple is concerned, tastes more like a Trappist to me.

I am very satisfied with the taste of this beer. I was expecting a bad beer or possibly aged beer because I saw others noted it with a large head and this one poured with almost none. WOW! Dark Belgian candi sugar is raping this beer! Spicey with clove and white pepper. Fruity with purple plum, raisins and fig. Chocolate and caramel. Complex and tasty. Still not great in this area though. Nice and boozy in the finish though and this alcohol kick gives the score a boost because it adds to the complexity. Anyone who likes the Cuvee (Gouden Carolus) will love this brew.

Feels great like a Belgian should. Silky, carbonated and heavy. Great beer to roll around the palate before you swallow.

I would definitely buy "Golden Dragon" again. Got this 750ml for 7.99 at 7-11! Last one they had and I'm glad I found it. Great BSDA but not the best.

***Note: second half poured into unibroue tulip and the head was MUCH improved. Big 4 inch head and it made the aroma stand out much more as well. Scores have been updated respectively.

Photo of jwheeler85
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass

A- Poured a deep rich amber/brown with a slight off-white head

S- Had a slight grassy and smoky aroma with some nice honey and dark raisin notes coming through.

T- Tastes pretty much like how it smells. Very round and oaky with a good alcohol burn to finish it off.

M- Had an appropriate medium to heavy mouthfeel.

D- I must have been in a good mood this night... all I wrote for overall impressions in my notes was "Great!!!." This one was very satisfying and the bottle is pretty neat too... looks good with the growing collection above my doorway. (Decorating tip: door + crown molding + hot glue = awesome bottle displaying potential). I chose this beer to make a clone of... currently in fermentation. I'm sure it won't be as good, but should be interesting to compare.

Photo of nickfl
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - One finger of light brown head on a dark brown body with good clarity. The foam dissipates quickly and leaves moderate lace.

S - Lots of malt and fruity belgian yeast. Notes of caramel and raisins with sweet chocolate and more dark fruit. Some herbal hops in the background.

T - Lots of raisins and dark sugar. Sweet caramel and molasses with figs and plums. Strong note of chocolate and caramelized sugar in the middle, very candy-like. The finish becomes more phenolic with some clove and tobacco notes as well as the pervasive chocolate and caramel notes.

M - Medium-thick body, high carbonation, and a semi-sweet finish.

D - Very drinkable, it never shows its alcohol or becomes cloying. The malt character is complex and spectacular. I really can't come up with anything critical to say about it. A very nice example of the style and much more drinkable than most.

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,320 ratings.