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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

3,386 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,386
Reviews: 1,260
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 217
Gots: 479 | FT: 5
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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,386 | Reviews: 1,260
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.

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
4.49/5  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.

Bravo!

Photo of Portertime
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
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
4.58/5  rDev +8%
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
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
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
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
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
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
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
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of bonsreeb85
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750 corked bottle:

A - brown nearly black body w/ a massive tan head that sticks around for days

S - dark fruits mostly, with some raisins, spicy hops and alcohol

T - more of the same very very rich and sweet, but finishs dry and spicy the alcohol warmth soothes the soul. excellent tasting beer!

Mf - full, huge body with a creamy mouthfeel, perfect for sipping.

D - easy to finish the 750 by myself, not sure i want another though. the abv is kinda high, and the taste is just too damn rich. the 750 was a perfect night cap though.

Photo of katan
3.63/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

330 ml into a pint

A - Pours a very hazy dark brown color. Head formation is light, especially for the style. Not very effervescent. Appears to be bottle conditioned.

S - Yeasty and bready notes with a light hint of malt sweetness to back it up.

T - Starts off rather light with only a light malt hit. Alcohol is extremely well hidden. Mid-stream starts to show that belgian yeast, with only a light amount of bitterness. Finishes with an awfully sour, almost oxidized note. Reminds me of currants or some other somewhat sour fruit.

M - Moderate body - a little light for me considering what had to be in the malt bill for this thing. Comes off a bit dry.

D - Moderate to low drinkability. ABV is a nightmare, and well hidden to boot. The beer itself is rather smooth and not filling whatsoever.

An interesting beer that appears to defy classification.

Photo of jballeng
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.5 oz bottle. Poured a dark chocolate with a very small creamy head. Aroma of figs, brown sugar, and hops. Alcohol subdued for a 10.5%. Accents of cherries, bread, bleu cheese, and brown sugar. A magnificent beer, and a meal in itself. Thicker than a normal triple. Would probably very nicely compliment a piece of fresh bread and a nice salty piece of gorgonzola or stilton.

Photo of eljefe21
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Coca-Cola or root beer in color. Pours to a single finger head. Fine lacing throughout.

S: Sweet smell with hints of rock candy.

T: Sweetly flavored. Hints of rock candy and some yeast. Flavor lingers on the tongue urging you on to another swig.

M: Pleasant carbonation on the front of the tongue. Sweet coating stays on the tongue.

D: The carbonation and sweetness hide the potency of this brew in amazing fashion. Easy to drink on its own as well as with anything caramelized.

Served: in an oversized wine glass.

Photo of Jeffo
3.74/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this at the bottle shop down the road.

From a bottle into a chalice.

Note: Best before end 2010 and consumed in mid 2009. Given Belgian best before practices, this beer could be over three years old.

APPEARANCE: Pours a very small thinner looking off-white head that quickly fades to a thin film. Colour is a burnt umber brown with some carbonation evident. A bit of film remains until the end and leaves a bit of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: A cool nose of caramel and toasted malt. Definitely some spicy clove and coriander in the nose with hints of spicy alcohol as well. Touches of dried fruits, raisins in particular, in the back with a bit of vanilla in there as well. Pretty nice.

TASTE: Toasted malt up front with some sweet candy sugar. Some dark fruits, dates and raisins mostly, but this is soon taken over by lots of spices, clove and coriander, much like the nose, and a heavy dose of spicy alcohol. Spicy elements hang around into the long lasting aftertaste.

PALATE: Medium-thin body, creamy slick on the palate, goes down fairly smooth but gets a little airy on the way down and finishes slightly mouth coating. A slight alcohol scratch at the very end reminds you how strong it is.

OVERALL: Definitely a good brew. This bottle might be a few years old, which sometimes hurts the head on a Belgian, but the nose and taste have matured quite nicely. The palate is a bit thin and airy, which holds it back a little bit, but non-the-less, this one is certainly worth checking out.

Photo of jeffjeff1
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

very nice I really enjoyed this beer.

Appearance- reddish brown(chestnut)

Smell- rich malty aroma

Taste- sweet, rich malty flavor

Mouthfeel- medium body, nice carbonation

Drinkability- very drinkable, really enjoyable, intend on drinking it again

Photo of BeTheBall
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown color without much head or lacing. Smell was of a deep rich malt, dark fruit, spice, sugars?
Taste, at warmer temps is rich. Sweet yet rich in flavors, so much going on here. Nice brown ale type of flavor but with some spice. Mouthfeel was good; nothing incredible but goog. Drinkability is good IMO, especially with food (meat, pizza). Very delicious, but packs a punch.

Photo of dumbledoom
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was very excited to drink this beer, because I have heard so many great things about it. Gulden Draak fulfilled all of my expectations of greatness and yet at the same time had a lot of unexpected tastes which make this beer unique.

This is a very well-rounded beer. It has the perfect balance of a thick, dark Belgian stung with the sweet tastes of caramel, nuts, and a hint of anise. Although fairly sweet, this beer leaves just the right amount of bitterness on your palate.

A lot of people have complained about the carbonation being too high, but for me, this is one thing that sets this beer apart. It is the perfect amount to make it go down smooth.

I was expecting to get a strong scent and/or taste of ethanol, but that is not the case with this beer. The ABV is high, but it is just enough to keep you feeling warm.

I would highly recommend this beer to anybody.

Photo of Jablonski
3.45/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: decently clear, with a ruby red appearance when held to light; small head and no lacing

S: bananas and candi sugar; a bit too sweet

T: dark fruits are stronger in the taste and the candi sugar still comes through; strong metallic aftertaste

M: good carbonation and on the thicker side

D: close to average in drinkability; strong ABV

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,386 ratings.