1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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.

3,353 Ratings

(view ratings)
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,353 | Reviews: 1,250 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of Stunner97
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

Photo of jimiv73
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
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

Photo of wknight167
3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

Photo of Grunewald
3.57/5  rDev -15.8%
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

Photo of CHADMC3
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
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
3.73/5  rDev -12%
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
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
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
3.66/5  rDev -13.7%
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
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
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
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
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
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
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
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
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
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
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
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
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
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
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
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
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
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
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.


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