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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

3,089 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,089
Reviews: 1,206
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 173
Gots: 295 | FT: 3
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,089 | Reviews: 1,206 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Westsidethreat
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a muddy brown, sort of the color of figs. Very bland and unassuming looking. Head is pillowy and thick, color of milky latte.

S: Brown sugar, candy sugar, prunes and zesty yeast.

T: Very sweet and tangy with uber amounts of dark fruits, simply syrup and brown sugar. Tasty brew, not overly complex but really nice flavor. The faintest amount of banana can be found hidden among the sugary malts while abundant yeast is very noticeable. The alcohol is strong and present, really laying it on thick. Finishes loaded with more brown sugar.

M: Medium body with a full mouthfeel.

T: This beer is absolutely jam packed with flavor. Good fresh or aged, its takes on different personalities as time goes on. This is a keeper.

Westsidethreat, Aug 01, 2007
Photo of rodrot
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml corked and caged bottle. The beer has a deep reddish brown color with a huge, pillowy head that leaves plenty of lacing behind. Aroma is malty and spicy with a little bit of flowery hops detected in the nose. Taste is nice and malty with notes of caramel, molasses, Belgian candi sugar and rum soaked cherries. Alcohol is there, but it just adds to the complexity of the beer. This is without a doubt a rich and warming beer that goes down way to easily for it's strength. I'll be picking up some more of this for the upcoming Fall and Winter months.

rodrot, Jul 29, 2007
Photo of ultralarry2006
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml. white painted bottle. Leaves a big, crazy 3 finger-plus foamy head. It has excellent retention, and leaves webs upon webs of excellent lacing. Body is a murky dark brown. Very beautiful to behold. Appearance is this ale's strong point.

Smell - horseblanket, then mildly - caramel, figs, plums, maltbread-sweet rolls, raisins, and medicinal alcohol.

Taste - as indicated by the nose. Mildly, a caramel drizzled sweet roll laced with raisins, figs, and plums, then wrapped in a musty horseblanket. Strong fruit pits and sour horseblanket on the finish and the aftertaste. Mostly very well hidden alcohol.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, dry.

Drinkability - this is good ale, but not great ale, so that suppresses sessionability for me - that, in addition to the high abv.

ultralarry2006, Jul 25, 2007
Photo of morebeergood
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a 12 oz bottle in December 2005 and I have had this in my beer cellar until I decided to drink it this past weekend, July 2007. Poured it into a Duvel chalice, which produced a nice large fluffy white head that only lasted briefly. The smell was like candy, very sweet tasting. The color was a dark red, almost bordering on brown. The taste blew me away though. Malty, and with huge notes of sugar and fruit. It was a pleasure to just sip and enjoy. The taste got even better as it warmed up to room temp. The only drawback from this beer was that it's high in alcohol, I felt it after barely finishing one. So I am glad I had just this one on my evening's menu.

morebeergood, Jul 16, 2007
Photo of BigJTrucker
2.93/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark mahogany color with a thick billowing tan head. Excellent head retention. Pleasant malty aroma with hints of cane sugar and black licorice.Tastes very much like licorice, almost to the point of being like cough syrup in it's flavor. 10.5% abv is very upfront and apparent. Thick and syrupy mouthfeel. As far as drinkability is concerned, it's a bit to much like cough syrup in it's taste and feel to be TRULY enjoyable to me, but not so bad as to be dumped out. Maybe i've stayed away from truly flavorful beers for too long....

BigJTrucker, Jul 06, 2007
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Splendid! Pours a deep, opaque brown with a very thick and remarkably persistent head. Aroma is malty and inviting. Flavor is strong but not fierce, with sweet overtone like molasses and some smoky hints, and just a dash of bitterness. Jazzy and tingly, this is a beer one should sip and savor.

Cyberkedi, Jun 24, 2007
Photo of basica
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have always been a little skeptical about this beer due to differring reviews about it; some
claiming to be overwhelmed by the alcohol in this brew. I still tried it as I read that this one
is a dark tripel which got me interested (although it is classified as a Strong Dark Ale). I am
generally into the Strong Dark Belgian Ales. The Guldan Draak bottle reminds me of the Boucanier
Dark bottle and yes it is a nice looking opaque white bottle with nice golden borders and... a
golden draak on the label. The Guldan Draak pours out dark brown black with a thick head which
was pretty bubbly and had pretty good retention. This dark ale smells mainly of fruits; slightly
bready and slightly yeasty; coming to the taste, these mentioned properties were furthuer
pronounced into a strong full fledged fruity taste which was slightly sweet and slightly yeasty.
This fruitiness was slightly different from most of the other dark ales and it seems to be a
little like the fruitiness which I tasted in the Westmalle Dubbel but still not as fruity. I
have to admit that I enjoyed this slight fruitiness in the taste. The mouthfeel was full bodied
but the downs are that it is a little on the high carbonation end (though it was pretty alright)
and also the alcoholism was pretty showing up (though again this was pretty acceptable). The
after taste was nice and fruity though would be been great if it had been more long lasting.
All in all a great beer with a slightly unique fruity taste and great body which I really could
appreciate and enjoy.

basica, Jun 20, 2007
Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - this heavenly beer pours a dark cola brown, any slight movement wells up a thick tan persistent head, too dark to note any carbonation

S - a rich and dark aroma, like that of fresh raisins (as paradoxical as that sounds) and a breadiy yeastiness as well, a great thick aroma that seems itself intoxicating, an alcohol element also adds to the aroma

T - mmmm, this was one of my "gateway to craft" beers, it was great to be able to revisit it, it has such a great warming dark fruit aroma, like raisins, dates, and molasses with a slight and sneaky vanilla and toffee sweetness to it

M&D - smooth and delectable for such a strong beer the ABV is sneaky, an amazing beer, great with a meal, and very attractive in a snifter or goblet, or even a wine glass, a hall of fame beer, that i will revisit time and time again

sinstaineddemon, Jun 18, 2007
Photo of Cascadia
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great bottle.

Appearance: Carmel brown with a nice half inch beige head. Great retention.

Smell: Toasted malt, carmel tones with a bit of yeast and crusty bread.

Taste: warming brown sugar, very clean and crisp. This one really gets better as it warms up. The flavors come out more and the bitter hops play a bigger role after it sits for a while. Really nice beer.

Mouthfeel: chewy sweet with a lot of carbonation.

Drinkability: all in all a very good beer, great after a nice dinner of BBQ meats, the smoky flavors mix well with the sweet carmel tones in the beer.

Love the bottle.

Cascadia, Jun 13, 2007
Photo of dacrza1
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked bottle after a good day of work...thin, transparent body with a reddish-brown hue in a Chimay glass...a citrus (grapefruit?) aroma...smooth back-of-mouth malt/hop balance. The effects of the alcohol grow slowly, warming yet heightening the sensesa pleasat digestif, indeed....

dacrza1, Jun 08, 2007
Photo of ChrisA
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Company travel offers the benefit of fine dining. As the waitress at Sullivan's steakhouse in Indianapolis rattled off a very common beer list, I resorted to my standard reply that I enjoy the fancier beers. Fortunately somewhere in here training she remembered that they carried Gulden Draak, which she advised was a German beer. It sounded enticing so I ordered it.

Much to my suprise she came back with a 750 ml corked and caged bottle. She even had a special snifter glass with the Gulden Draak name. She poured it perfectly with a thick and foamy three finger head. The aroma was wonderful and the taste sublime. Slightly chilled, the malts imparted a cacaphony of flavors. This triple was so fine that I never noticed the 10.5% ABV. At $19 for the one bottle, thank goodness for business trips.

ChrisA, Jun 05, 2007
Photo of jim102864
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nothing annoys me more than the lack of a date stamp on the bottle. Without it, you don't know if the aging process has impacted the beer and why. In this instance, I experienced argueably the best triple I've ever had, but I'd like to know if I should expect that every time or if I just got lucky and bought a bottle that was perfectly aged and uncorked at the right time. Anyway, it poured a lovely copper color with a thin but creamy head into my Chimay goblet. Carbonation was active. The large and unusual white bottle makes me feel like I'm drinking from a milk bottle. The nose was cheery with fruitiness and hints of cherries and cherry licorice. Honestly, not flavors I normally seek out, but somehow this really works. The taste reflects the aroma; fruity with cherries and strawberrries. Very bouncy with candied sugar making for a smooth, sweet but balanced and pleasant experience. Incredibly smooth and drinkable...I'm very suprised, since I don't expect any of these qualities from your average triple. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. The lovely fruitiness bathes the palatte. This is a highly drinkable triple. I never expected such sweetnes and smoothness from a triple, but wow ! This is a must have. Maybe I just lucked out, but I will be sure to seek this out again and check for consistency.

jim102864, Jun 01, 2007
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours into a Gulden Draak glass with a deep amber hue, with a off white lacing of foam. In the nose, I get dark fruits and a small presence of alcohol. It has the characteristcs of a nice barley wine, with the smoothness of a great Belgian triple.

OWSLEY069, May 31, 2007
Photo of scoobybrew
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was poured from the bottle into a Piraat snifter-like tulip glass. It has a deep amber color with a nice head that is well retained. The aroma has fruity yeast scents - apple-like. There's also a very sweet malt scent. The flavor is very sweet with alcohol definitely up-front. The malt tastes very caramel-like and biscuity. The finish is somewhat dry. It has medium-light body with high carbonation.

This is a very strong beer. You really have to drink this one with caution. It would be a dangerous session beer. None-the-less it's very tasty.

scoobybrew, May 21, 2007
Photo of techdiver
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep chestnut brown with a nice foamy head that dissipates slowly.

Brown sugar and malt to the nose.

Taste is balanced and spicy. Sweet malt and hops mellow and marvelous.

Very good carbonation making it feel much lighter. Nothing heavy here, just refreshing and enjoyable.

Very drinkable, need more 750's of this. Glad I finally got around to trying this.

techdiver, May 12, 2007
Photo of redrocker
1.58/5  rDev -62.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

OK....I don't know what I am missing but I was not impressed at all with this beer.After reading all the raving reviews I could not wait to taste this.WOW,what a disappointment.This beer reminds me of drinking pop...way too carbonated and I did not taste any brown sugar or carmel.The taste is very hard to describe because I was taken back by the carbonation which for me ruined the taste expierence.The alcohol is very noticable though and after drinking it I felt like I just did a shot.

redrocker, May 10, 2007
Photo of willjschmidt
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into my Gulden Draak tulip.

A: A very dark brown with red undertones, especially when held up to light. A massive light tan head forms that is slow to recede and leaves thick lacing. I wondered why they made their glass so big but the head went all the way up to the top.

S: Sweet candied malts with a trace of pepper. The alcohol is also present in the aroma.

T: The sweet candied malts hit the tongue first. Followed by some chocolate, some caramel and ripe dark fruits. A little bit of pepper in there as well. The warming alcohol follows in the aftertaste. This is really a delicious beer.

M: Slightly syrupy with nice carbonation and very good mouthfeel.

D: This is a great after dinner/dessert beer. I paired it with some Belgian chocolate and it matched perfectly. I really enjoyed it, I'll definitely be having it again.

willjschmidt, May 10, 2007
Photo of John_M
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Was very pleased to see this beer on tap at Max's the other night. This beer has long been a favorite of mine, especially when I can find it on draft (which is not all that often).

The beer is a beautiful dark amber brown, with excellent head retention and impressive Belgium lacing. On the nose one gets sweet caramel and Belgium spice, a promise of what's to come when you taste this bad boy. On the palate the flavor profile is incredible. This beer tastes initially of cherry cough drop, wrapped around flavors of caramel, butter, honey and cream. The beer is very sweet and rich tasting, but is not cloying. For the abv., it's surprisingly drinkable (though certainly still a sipper). As the beer sits in the glass a lot of the medicine flavor fades away, and there's more of an outright cherry, vanilla and almond flavor. This beer is quite luscious, and has a very long, lingering sweet finish. On the mid palate one gets a viscuous, creamy impression that completely fills the mouth.

An excellent beer. An absolute treat whether on draft or on tap.

John_M, May 02, 2007
Photo of drpimento
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this served in a Gulden Draak glass (neat glass too). Light head which is long lasting. Plenty of lace. Sweet estery aromas with lots of caramel, malt, hint of roasty and yeasty. Big flavor! all of the aroma, except the esters which translates to nice fruitiness. Lush body. Alcohol is subtle but there. Killer beer. Sweet caramel finish. One of my all time favs. Better on draft than bottle.

drpimento, Apr 30, 2007
Photo of vancurly
3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beige rocky head, with a hazy dark browny-chestnut colour.

Aromas of flinty hop, honeycomb malt, faint yeast.

Tastes sweet & spicy, licorice, musky... raisins.

Nice malty mouthfeel.... quite dry in the finish, with a slight alcohol heat.

Not bad...

vancurly, Apr 28, 2007
Photo of henrysunset
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

very dark, probably filtered from what little light made it through, enormous imprssive head.

s: sweet... floral bitterness, but very very floral,

t: very sweet, malts galore.. little alcohol flavor upfront, but increasing on second sip...

very smooth, reasonably drinkable, but I've had easier drinkers at 10%.

henrysunset, Apr 22, 2007
Photo of russpowell
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An old friend from Beligue, the simlpicity of the stubby white bottle just makes it so cool

Pours a slightlty hazed ruby red/brown with 2 fingers of fluffed up tan coloerd head into a Vondel snifter. Superior head retention & very goood lacing

S: Straw, pepper & phenolic notes

T: Big breadyness & boozey warmth up front. Peppery grainyess, dates, caramel & scorched Belgian candy sugar & oaky dryness once this warms up. Finishes cakey, with tanins, toffee, dryness, tobbaaco-like notes & pecans. What super complex, yet drinkable combonation!

MF: Medium bodied, syruppy & low-low carbonation

Drinks very easy for such a complex beer, very pricey, but a nice inulgence at $5.50 a bottle

russpowell, Apr 17, 2007
Photo of GISentinel
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Although I am by no means as experienced as many other beer tasters here, I recently had some Gulden Drak. The bottle looked more like a wine bottle that had been spray painted white and contained 1pint 9 ounces I believe. At a beer tasting party we compared this with 5-6 other premium beers, which included other offerings from Belgium, a dunkel from Germany, and an ale from England. Our 6 member tasting group unanimously chose Gulden Drak the best of the bunch. Since it was probably the best beer I have ever had, I rate it a 5 across the board.

Delicious! A must try for any who have never tasted it.

GISentinel, Apr 15, 2007
Photo of pinotboy007
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Overall: splendid, amazing craftsmanship -- get a 4-pack, ASAP.

Served in a tulip stem; has an appearance similar to that of fresh espresso. Nice, tan-colored head that gently calms down with some lacing.

Tastes of mocha, caramel and earth with a slightly refreshing carbonation that helps keep it all together.

Enjoyed it on its own as a night cap . . . strong beer!

Yum. This will become a staple.

pinotboy007, Apr 09, 2007
Photo of Poser
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with decent head and carbonation. Aroma is a slight lemon with a noticeable alcohol tinge and spicy florals. Taste is a strong spicy and thick flavor with noticable alcohol overtones. It's still smooth, however, and even sweet. A great brew, and one I would seek in the future.

Poser, Apr 08, 2007
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,089 ratings.