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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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3,353 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,353
Reviews: 1,250
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 212
Gots: 454 | 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: 3,353 | Reviews: 1,250 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of haddon
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a dark amber with a nice off-white frothy head that doesn't hang around very long. decent lacing down the goblet

S- molasses, biscuit, apricots, raisins & molasses. something else on the nose, maybe butterscotch.

T- dates, figs & rum with a hint of warm alcohol that balances very well.

M- mild to medium body with good carbonation

D- love this belgian ale. only got better as the beer warmed. could drink one every night and never tire of the complex flavor profiles.

Photo of selecter70
3.61/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

How could I turn down the fierce clawing dragon tap-head? A nice pour from the Independent, definitely now one of Boston's best beer joints (thanks Evan!). A dark reddish smooth pour with fine bubbles settled to a thin head that soon dissipated. A sweet malty caramel aroma, and similar flavor, with yeasty honey qualities, sweet dark plums and anise. The alcohol (10.5%) is not hidden, but rather pointed out by the sweetness, although there is enough tartness to balance. Smooth and creamy, but not so much as to have more than one, this dragon is best sipped by a fireplace on a cold rainy night.

Photo of shanecb
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice dark amber/brown color that's very clear. Attractive carbonation constantly rising, just enough to look pleasant. A little but of an off-white head, but just coats the top of the beer. No lacing.

S - Rather pleasant. Lots of maltiness and sweetness to the nose. Also a little something else, maybe dark fruit or licorice. After awhile I definitely started to notice some alcohol smell coming through, which wasn't all that pleasant though it was muted.

T - A lot of what was in the nose. Sweetness with maltiness is rather overpowering at first. Also maybe a little honey to it. I wanted to give it a higher rating, but I really seem to get a slightly metallic or rusty aftertaste, which I saw a few people mentioned. It seemed to go away as I drank it but that might have been my getting used to it. Also, some sips have a rather unpleasant alcohol twinge to it.

M - Wonderful! Feels creamy and full in the mouth. Carbonation just flirts with the tongue and is wonderful. This is one of the few 5s I've given for mouthfeel, but it definitely deserves it.

D - Alright, because it has a rather nice flavor, but due to the alcohol and metallic tastes I'm getting I don't think I'd drink more than one at a time.

Overall, I really wanted to give this a little bit of a higher rating, but it just has a few things I had to knock off points for.

Photo of edbeer
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This i a really good consistant beer. I've enjoyed it every time I've had it. It's not something I keep around but It's one that I like going back to. The taste is malty and sweet without being cloying. This is not a beer I'd drink a lot of only because a little goes a long way.

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

Aged of about 5 years now, this bottle was given to a friend who drank it with me a few years after. Let see what this one become...

Pourred into a sniffer. It revealed brown/orange butterscotch in colour. Completely hazy, lots of yeast in suspension. Nice thick creamy head but disappearing too quickly (<1min) leaving a small ring around the glass and small lacing. This is certainly due to ageing.

Nose: Butterscotch toffee, apple, butter, Honey. No alcohol scent

Mouth: Definitely sweet. Butterscotch is present according to the nose. The honey nose is well represented too!. No clue of yeast taste in mouth even with the high level of turbidity. Wonderful! Carbonation is medium-low resulting from the ageing process. No bitterness at all. The taste of the high level of alcohol is totally hidden by all the flavours an richeness of this brew.

Overall: An exceptional beer! I have some serious reserve on beer claiming >10% ABV, but this one is a gem. Complex and full of flavours. very nice beer for a late evening drink.

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

The guy at the store shouted the name of this beer at me (with a faked accent) when I asked where the beer was. He said they just got it in and popped a bottle and loved it. I can see why. The bottle was a bit bigger than the one in the picture here and was corked, not capped.

A- Dark brown with a nice thick head that rest nicely as does the beer itself

S- Sweet smelling with lots of caramel and maple syrup scents

T- Sweet syrup and a hint of chocolate with some coffee aftertaste

M- Very smooth for a beer of its dark color and it settles nicely

D- It didn't last long for me but I was a little light-headed after. One at a time people, if it's the size I had.

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

Had this out of a bottle, expiry date 20-11-11.

Poured into a Chimay Glass. Excellent appearance. Rich, dark and the last run off from the bottle had a darer tinge to the rich foam head. Head retention was good.

Smell was really Malty but had a sweet linger almost like opening a fresh bag of licorice that was always present.

Tasted deep, dark and almost a guilty pleasure. There was very little alcohol aftertaste, especially from a triple with 10.5%. Was nice and fizzy under the tongue and left a malty aftertaste which was as enjoyable as taking a sip itself.

Usually with Triples, I can have 1 or maybe 2 max a night, With this drop, I probably could of sat on it all night as it had alot of flavour but did not seem overpowering.

Loved every minute of it!

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

Sought this out after reading some reviews on BA. At first pour it looks like a coca-cola, more bubbles than I was expecting but that is the only ding in an otherwise solid dark belgian triple.

A - Again, pours a dark cola color a decent head which held its own throughout.

S - A little fruity and sweet, my also had a rusty scent to it and a hint of alcohol.

T - Very smooth, a hint of the ABV shines through what would otherwise be an excellent beer. The rusty scent carried through to the tast, I'm not sure if my bottle had a loose cap?

D - Goes down almost too smooth. The ABV hits you, especially if you haven't had anything to eat all day as I hadn't. You won't be drinking too many of these...

M - The bubbles that were noticed in the pour came through here, the beer was a little gassy but not enough to put me off.

I still have a few more bottles of this in the fridge and I will enjoy then as a good session beer.

Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy ice tea color into my Gulden Draak tulip; the rocky head sticks nicely and provides a few streaks of lace

Smell: Dark fruit (figs and dates), caramel, brown sugar and a bit of yeasty spice

Taste: Figs and dates at the outset, with a growing rum-soaked aspect developing by mid-palate, along with yeasty spice, candi sugar and spice cake flavors; after the swallow, there is a bit of hoppy bitterness, but the sweet and spicy flavors, with a hint of vanilla, dominate the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

DrinkabilityL: My bottle has a bit of age on it so the hops that others have tasted are somewhat muted in my sample; nevertheless, this is a very fine Strong Dark

Photo of nickd717
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Cheeky Monk in Denver. Is this a tripel or a quad? Sort of in the middle.

A - Reddish-brown in color with a large foamy off-white head.

S - Caramel, candi sugar, spices, and dark fruits.

T - Caramel malt, toffee, candi sugar, plum, raisin, spices, mild hops, and some metallic notes. Pretty sweet. Would be very good if not for the slight metallicity.

M - Palate is medium-full with fairly high carbonation and some alcohol warmth.

D - Average-plus.

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

Solid 'A' beer... dark brown color with a creamy beige head.

Typical spicy tripel aroma, very nice. A little bit sweet but some malt smell too.

Tasty for sure... not an overwhelming alcohol presence at all. Very very solid beer but not a top 5 brew.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.63/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750mL bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Big ol' pop from the cork, soft pour into the glass yields a massive, foamy, dense, three inches worth of sandy brown head, Looks gorgeous and provides a wonderful contrast of color sitting there on top of a golden brown and cherry red of the beer itself.

S: Massive does of yeast, you could serriously choke on this stuff or add a new strain of cultures to your basement if you're not careful with this stuff. Beyond the massive punch of yeast there are peppery apples, nutmeg, a general spiciness that lets you know that this is a Belgian beer and something to be reckoned with.

T/MF: Nutty, peppery, cherries, dates, red apple finishes with a musty, yeasty oomph of sweetness that gives off a little bit of heat at the back of the throat in the long finish. If you take some time between sips your mouth starts to get a bit dry in the end and is where I assume the alcohol begins to take its hold and effects the mouthfeel in a negative way in that it starts to become a bit syrupy. If you keep this beer at its proper serving temperature I am sure it would flow a bit smoother but if you are a slow drinker the mouthfeel might suffer as a result.

D: Pretty solid beer, good complexity lots of little avenues of taste to explore with each sip, but I prefer others in this style over this beer and the mouthfeel knocked off some points in the drinkability department as well, but other than that, this beer is worth a look.

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

The pour produces a thick, glowing brown with red highlights, cloudy with fine yeast to the point of opacity, beauty of a beer. It is topped by a finger's worth of beige head, which diminishes languidly to a bubbling cap. Lace splotches cling momentarily to the snifter, then fall.

The smell is a hypnotic bouquet of yeasty notes of a sweet and spicy variety, candy sugar, earthy tones, and a malt presence that is hard to finger, not a bready smell, not caramel, all wrapped in a fruity, and herbal edge. Man, this is complex, and balanced. I could keep my nose here until supper burns. I feel a buzz from just the aroma, if that's possible.

The beer is warmed to where I like drinking tripels now. Good gosh, the flavor of this is staggeringly fine. The yeast is more subdued in the sip than in the aroma, but still it finds a rhythm right away, leading into a sweet rush of caramel, plum, subtle earthy notes, leading into a juicy finish that stays clean and pure, with hints of herbs and spice lingering seductively. Alcohol is present like a ghost, felt but not tasted; there, but not.

Mouthfeel is the perfect combination of thick but not cloying, and low carbonation. Somehow it does the impossible, supporting a long finish, and clearing out. I like the clear out of Unibroue beers, but this is even a better clear out.

Drinkability? Triple red flag warning for extremely, dangerously, fantastically drinkable. This beer fucking rocks. Wish it were less expensive. Lotta nickels for this one!

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

A - Copper & caramel colored with a small head. SLight lacing down the sides of the glass.

S - Smalls of caramel and burnt sugar. However the smell remains somewhat light.

T - Nice and sweet. Very warming and fills up your mouth. Slight alcohol taste.

M - Medium body with high carbonation.

D - Very complex and enjoyable.

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

A - Deep amber colored body with very light haze. Creamy tan head that leaves strong lacing and slow to dissipate.

S - Somewhat complex malt smell. Fruit esters comprise the middle palate and a light spicy phenol character compliments it. Very soft alcohol scent.

T - Moderately sweet from malt at initial taste. Middle flavors of light esters and mild spice phenols give strong complexity. A very light bitter finish exists, but balance is definitely toward sweetness. Alcohol and spice phenols create a smooth blend to the palate.

M - Medium body with high carbonation. Warming sensation from ABV is noticable, but not overpowering.

D - Complex, smooth, and blended flavors make you want to experience more.


One of classic Belgian Strong Dark Ale examples.

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

(From Notes)

12 oz bottle to glass tumbler.

A rich, amber/pinkish structure with a thin, syrupy body and a 1/2 finger, bubbly head. Sweet, pineapple smell with a sour and sweet mix of raisin, carrot, and sour hops. Wheat, oats, and fruits in the taste. Crisp and sharp. Refreshing and galvanizing. A bit metallic, but grainy and sweet. Alcohol at 10.5% ABV is strong and ever-present from beginning to end.

Sweet, soft and yeasty finish. Sharp and a bit awkwardly over-carbonated (think Pepsi instead of Coke). Well-balanced for a sweet Belgian and very yeasty on the back end, with a surprisingly supple finish.

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky cider-brown with a nice tan head with plenty of bubbles (in the head and the body of the beer). My goblet held some lacing, but no rings.

Brown sugar, some booze soaked stone fruit (a little on the tart cherry side), and some brown bread are what you get in the aroma.

Sugary burnt caramel and raisin flavors; some peppery bite; bitter-sweet-tart co-mingle; alcohol is very well hidden, but you kinda notice it at the end. Some fruit and pumpernickel elements as well.

If you look at the glass, you can see the bubbles adding to the head as you take each sip. Good carbonation. Medium body.

A sipper, but not like a super thick cordial. This one can go down faster than expected, although at $5.80 for less than 12 oz., it won't be a six-pack weekend for me. Just loved this one. Well made and well overdue for me to try.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.28/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle poured in a fancy glass.

Pours a dark brown with some ruby hints with very little head and a bit of lacing. Not very dark for a dark beer.

Taste is very complex, alcohol is slightly harsh and a bit sharp. There are some raisin and prune notes to it. Tastes lingers, there's quite a bit of Belgian taste to it, but not too strong. Quite a good mouthfeel, very thick and creamy almost.

Drinkability is a bit low just because there is so much going on, it'll kill your pallet pretty damn fast.

Photo of CPeterson
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A -- A very nice deep brown, with a note of crimson, pours to a thick head with a fast dissipation and minimal lacing.

S -- A deep, caramel fruit smell with hints of chocolate and cherry, raisin...

T -- Flowing caramel notes mixing with fruit and honey. Almost no alcohol presence, served from fridge.

M -- Smooth and silky, a little thick toward the bottom of the glass.

D -- Definitely very drinkable, for a beer with a high alcohol content, this is very easygoing. A repeat purchase is in order.

Photo of carwreCk
3.87/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Chimay goblet.

The appearance is disappointing. A fairly hard pour gives almost no head at all and it fades quickly. The smell is good. Tastes of dried fruits, plums and alcohol. The mouthfeel is unremarkable. Drinkability is average for the size.

The flavor of this beer is very odd to me. It definitely is distinct. I do enjoy it though. The other areas do not impress me.

Photo of Ryan011235
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 8/13/09

A - Dark, plum-like in color. Poured a two finger head that dissipates to 1/2 inch of foam. Ok lacing.

S - Dark fruits & floral hops.

T - Tendency to follow the nose. Raisins with hop bite up front. Hints of other dark fruits - grapes & plum. Spicy character consisting of cinnamon & clove. Sweet malts & yeast.

M - Rather heavy in body with moderate carbonation. Bitterness lingers, though this is more apparent when cold. Alcohol has a potent warming effect.

D - One of my first forays into Belgian ales; it certainly challenged my palate. Complex & highly enjoyable. I would like to visit this one again.

Photo of TheViolator666
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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.

Photo of drtth
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,353 ratings.