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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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3,271 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,271
Reviews: 1,226
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 200
Gots: 386 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,271 | Reviews: 1,226 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Halcyondays
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 mL bottle,

A: Pours a dark brown with a medium tan head into a snifter, pretty good head retention, some lace.

S: Smell of dark fruits, raisin, plum, fig juice, hint of acidity.

T: Dark fruits make up the main flavour. Primarily fig, light raisin and brown sugar. Booze comes into play at the end, solventy finish.

M: Medium-bodied, it does seem a tad thin at times for 10.5%, slightly medicinal, smooth drinking beer.

D: A good Belgian, not amazing in my opinion. It's relatively inexpensive, drinkable, and easy to find, I'm sure I'll have it again at some point.

Photo of Magpie14
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured with delicacy, I have never seen such a frothy brew. Huge chunks, big boulders of foam. Lacing was out of this world as it formed intricate spider-webbing. Beer is a deep, hazy crimson color

S: very rich and husky malts, sugared spiced-plums, figs and touch of yeast

T: whew! grains with sweet malts. Bold dark fruits-levulose like. After few sips the alcohol hangs a bit as well as a slightly dry yeast-like flavor. I almost feel as if I taste fresh maple syrup in their...wow

M: champagne bubbly, on the heavy side and a ingratiating aftertaste.

D: a must try for whoever has not! Get ready to have your socks blow off! It is rather sweet overall but it is not a bad thing, might be a turn-off to some
Great, great stuff and two of these boys would put me under the table.
Thanks to midnite2sixman for the recommendation, he is an admirable bartender and a cunning patriot and chronicler of beer!

Photo of PBBC
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up for Sunday dinner with the family.... most were too intimidated to try it for some reason.

The beer pours nicely, yielding large ammounts of slightly tan head on top of a rich red-mahogany.

The aroma I first picked up was grapes... wine grapes. This was followed closely by a sweet-orange peel and rich malt aroma.

The taste was very well balanced: nice full malt body (was this beer based on munich malt?), the toffee-like (candied apple and toasted malt?) sweetness being balanced by the dry, crisp finish of warming alcohol and light hop citrus-tones.

Overall, an excellent beer to accompany any meal, especially on a cold autumn day.

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Reviewed 11/5/2008 (bottle):

Pours a dark chestnut brown body, clear. Average creamy light tan head, somewhat diminishing. Very floral aroma, some dark fruit. Some alcohol in the nose. Some nuttiness too. Somewhat watery body, soft. Floral taste, some fruitiness like strawberries. Toned down taste compared to the nose. Maybe some toasted or roasted notes. Definitely some dark fruit.

Photo of bigkahunas4
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It had been one month and 7 days since I first laid my lips on the Gulden Draak, having fallen into a late summer's affair after sampling her at the BBF. I saw it as part of the rotational Belgian draughts at Publick House's Monk's Cell and decided it was once again time to call on my mistress. Labelled as "The Bomb" rather than Dark Triple or aby recognized style like its other brothers on the menu, she came out appropriately in a tulip.

Appearance: I have yet to see a better structured brew. 1.5 finger deerskin head that just hung there truly becoming a permanent body part of the Draak. The body was a translucent amber that sparkled ruby when help up to the light. A gem indeed.

Smell: Nose was extremely rich, candied sugar dominating, with notes of figs, plums, and cinnamon.

Taste: Sweet jesus. Just incredibly constructed; sweet but not too sweet, warming alcohol finish but barely noticeable to the untrained palette. Just a gorgeous Belgian flavor, accented by a lovely brown sugar background.

Mouthfeel: Creamy medium body that goes down smooth. My one critique of this beer is that it turns to foam too quickly inside your mouth.

Drinkability: Obviously one of my favorites here. With a high ABV you certainly can't drink any more than a 750 of this, but it no doubt would be enjoyable throughout. Well masked Abv, and just a pleasure to drink.

Photo of choyhosoi
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle ito a sifter glass

A-Pours a mahogahy color with a nice inviting head. At first glance this beer is impressive.

S-Picked up strong alcohol scent at first then grape and caramel.

T- The grape flavor is prevalent with the first couple of sips.

M/D-This is very smooth hardly any carbonation and just a great all around beer. I would drink this all night if I could but the high ABV probably limits people.

Photo of WishYouWereBeer
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The appearance of this trippel is one thing that automatically sets it apart from the rest. This beer pours a rich deep brownish color that has a red tinge when held up to the light. The head when poured is somewhat thin and then dissapates fairly fast and leaves some lacing behind. At first smell I think of cherries and a little carmel, with further exploration I smell a little of the hops and yeast. On the tongue this beer is feather light and bubbly but not overtly so. After a few sips you may notice it packs a little wallop, that kind of takes away from it's drinkability; while it's stellar you may not want to drink this all night. I usually cap off at about 2 or 4.

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

Poured into a snifter glass. The appearance is a rosy red color with a good amount of rising bubbles. It is topped by a thick, frothy tan head that holds together with great retention.

The is boldly defined grape juice.

The taste is also very grapelike with accompanying sweet malts. It is followed by mild hop flavors and a small amount of alcohol that increases as it warms.

The mouthfeel is tart and sweet at the same time with a medium to full body in its style. This one is very tasty.

Photo of ibbjamin
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased an assorted Belgian 6 Pack from BevMo in San Jose, CA and this was one the varieties. Poured this 11.2 oz bottle into a snifter. The large share of dust on this one indicates that it may be a bit old. Good thing this brew can be cellared.

A one inch off white head after an aggressive pour. Very dark opaque brown color. Rather creamy, pretty good carbonation. Moderate head retention. Pretty good lacing.

Smells like a quality Belgian. A bit on the spicy side (pepper, clove), but very well balanced with caramel malts, a variety of fruits (raisin, fig, cherry, banana, plum), dank breads/yeast and some well hidden alcohol undertones.

Taste is good, similar to its smell. The mouth of this is where I think there is some room for improvement on this one. It goes down creamy, but not the smoothest and has a somewhat watery finish. Good carbonation. Note that as I got to the bottom of this one, I felt the mouth improved (perhaps it is because it warmed a bit). I look forward to doing a re-review of this one at a later date.

For it being a 10.5%, the alcohol is very well hidden and this is a very drinkable brew. Just wished it was a bit smoother/silkier, especially for a Belgian.

Photo of elricorico
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Deep ruddy brown with a thin, loose tan head. Head leaves plenty of lacing, but settles to just a couple of pools.

Fruity aroma of cherries, raisins, red licorice. Some Belgian yeastiness and just a hint of liquor.

Sweet fruity flavour, more cherries, raisins and grapes in the taste. Hint of licorice. Finish has a faint bitterness, just enough to create some balance. Liquor flavour is invisible, which is surprising considering the strength, though the warming in the belly is expected.

Fairly full bodied, with just enough carbonation to support the body. Pretty good, though nothing outstanding.

This is a very good beer, and is really easy to drink. There's nothing 'in your face', everything is just subtle and nice. Highly recommended.

Photo of WHROO
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: Port like colour, deep & dark red. with a beige coloured inviting 1 & a half finger head. Quickly disappeared to a blotchy film across the surface, fluffy though. Carbonation is beautiful. Reminds me of the Chimay Blue but without as much head retention.
S: Bready, biscuit, loads of alcohol. A very full aroma...Some rum notes, also fruity, plums. Sweet malts. Very very full & very fortified (as with the taste)
T: A very strong Belgian Ale. Not getting as much in the way of burnt notes as I thought. But full of spices, some cloves, pepper, plums & a beautiful alcohol warmth. The ABV is very evident.
M: Love the amount of carbonation, just right & helps to cleanse the tongue of such full body & alcohol.
D: I love this, all round its very nice, but boy it is strong (Alcohol wise, very heavy), & It has left me feeling i have just downed a heap of alcohol (which I have)....hence I cannot see me drinking too much of this in a sitting.

Photo of EPseja
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from the unmistakable white-painted 33cl bottle in a Chimay chalice at cellar temperature. A very cool bottle design that pretty much eliminates light degradation from the aging picture.

A - Crystal clear chestnut color with ruby highlights. Big, fluffy off-white head rises with attitude to a full inch in thickness, becoming creamy and dense on the top, buoyed by bigger, springy bubbles beneath. Lacing is decent and head retention is good.

S - Crystal malts with a burnt caramel backbone. Damp cardboard, which is just fine for the style. Rum soaked raisins and figs. Very faint toasted banana. Smells "authentically Belgian".

T - Assertively sweet right up front. Ambiguous at first, then revealing definite notes of the aforementioned figs and raisins. Throw in some plums -- perhaps prunes for good measure -- soaked in dark rum. Gets a little bit hot in the middle as the alcohol checks in. A mellow yeastiness then chills out the alcohol bravado, and the swallow becomes only slightly dry, allowing some sweetness to remain, but avoiding the discomfort of cloying.

M - Very vigorous puff in volume immediately after tickling the tongue with needling carbonation. Fluffy, but not thick. Slightly gassy swallow... belch inducing.

D - Delicious. Everything about this beer is top-notch, but in my opinion, it could use a little taming in the carbonation. This is probably the best Van Steenberge offering of them all and is worthy of its high accolades.

Important Afterthought... As with most bottle-conditioned ales, I swirled in the sediment after concluding the initial tasting and found what I usually do in instances where the addition of the yeast was a benefit: Fluffier head (+0.5 A). Smoother, creamier body and taste (+0.5 T). Tamed carbonation and huge improvement in the overall mouthfeel (+1.5 M). Better drinkability (+0.5 D). My final scores obviously reflect the addition of the yeast.

Tasting Note: After the rating, I popped a Cinnabon into the microwave to warm it up nicely, and had this beer with it. Holy cow! As I was enjoying the two together, I felt very reminiscent of the Holidays... I could actually imagine it was flurrying outside, and that I was going to see my Christmas Tree in the living room as I went to put my fork in the sink. Awesome.

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

A- Exceptional ruby brown body. Beautiful off white head that first appeared one finger thick then fell to a perfect full top lacing.

S- Wonderful fruit, figs, apricot, cherry. Candy sweetness and no alcohol smell to it. A true delight.

T- Plums, figs and a little cherry as the smell predicted. The alcohol is slightly detectable in the finish with a smooth drying of the tongue. Little to no hops in accordance with the style. Wonderfully balanced and smooth transitions from front to back.

M- Mouthfeel was the only thing that left me wanting something. I like thick wet beers. This beer drinks light on the tongue with little to no carbonation and dry, still a masterpiece to swirl around.

D- Drinkability is only killed by alcohol. Share a big bottle with a friend. Drink a small bottle all alone on a cold night. Drink anytime but not too much. The candy sweet figs hide every bit of alcohol in this creeping widow.

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

A brown fluid, ruddy and deep pours out of a 330 ml bottle. A good and healthy head rises up and remains for a time in my Chimay chalice. A thin covering lingers. Not much carbonation evident but there is lacing to admire as I drink the glass dry.

Smell is sweet and malty. Belgian candy sugar and bananas. Raisins, currants, figs, faint chocolate and toffee.

Taste is outstanding. Big sweet malt goodness. Copious amounts of the dark fruits in the nose. Figs and raisins being the most prominent. This beer is delectably sweet. Alcohol is well hidden and adds just a bit of spice and pepper to balance the sweet. There are hops in here and they are perfect. Gentle and mild they clean the finish up and dry the mouth. Clean and graham crackery. I need more of this to get all of the flavors down, stay tuned.

Moutfeel is light and creamy. Smooth drinking and and refreshing to the tongue and palate. Velvety as well.

Drinkability is way too good for something of this abv. very easy to knock back two bottles maybe three with the right meal.

An exceptional beer that is simply outstanding. It will have you talking to yourself with each swallow.

Photo of Sage
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Er, where do I start? This a simply fantastic beer. The beer pours a dark reddish-brown, slightly murky. The smell is fine, with lots of fruit and slight toffee/caramel. And the taste is packed - caramel sweetness upfront followed by a clarifying maltiness, and wonderful spicy hints of pepper (that become stronger as the beer warms). And meanwhile somehow the big bludgeoning 10.5 percent of alcohol forgets to step in and hijack the party, instead content to restrain itself to providing a pleasing warming sensation to round it all off. Delicious.

My favourite beer from Belgium that's not black as night (so far...)

Photo of Yesac
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a very dark brown/amber color into my Delirium glass. Small white/brown head that fades but leaves a layer on top all the way through. Nice lacing.

S - What a great smell, very powerful and floral with spice and dark grapes.

T - Ahh there it is, that great Belgian style taste that I crave. The beer is so full bodied and flavorful. The taste is very similar to the smell, dark fruits and spices. The 10.50 is well hidden.

M - Just enough carbonation, no burning. Coats the palate nicely inviting you back for more.

D - Again, the 10.5% is hidden well, being the style of this brew, it's hard to drink them back-to-back but one of these is very easily drinkable.

Glad I tried this, it's become one of my favorites. Awesome on tap as well if you can find it.

Photo of cswhitehorse
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Gulden Draak pours a hazy brown with an aggressive 2 finger foam head that recedes fairly quick. It has the tight bubble pattern that is sticky on the sides of the glass.

The aroma is brown sugar with some spiciness. It has a fruity component which mostly comes through as apple and possibly raisins. The taste was delicious. It had strong sweet maltiness with fruitiness taking the drink the rest of the way. The spicy tones start at the first sip and stay with you in the mouth for quite a while after the drink is down.

The aby really didn't seem to make it presence known as was well hidden in the background. It was highly carbonated and very creamy. Wicked solid brew. I would buy this one again for sure.

Photo of Brad007
4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a mild brown color with a one-finger head that fades fast. Carbonation seems just right.

Aroma is strong with the aroma of plum, raisin, grape and apple. Spicy and inviting.

Taste is smooth with the plum, grape, candied sugar and raisin. A bit of alcohol heat is detectable as well.

Mouthfeel is nice and smooth. Carbonation is just right and doesn't "sting" the throat. The flavors as mentioned above, meld together so well that it makes this beer enjoyable.

Drinkability is high on my list. Very smooth, carbonation is just right and I can actually tell the flavors better. Not muddled like a few other examples I've had. The alcohol is barely present, which is the work of a skilled brewer. Worth another bottle for aging because at 10.5% this beer is deceptively drinkable!

Photo of elniko
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Chimay goblet from bottle

A: Deep mahogany coloring, small amount of head that did leave light lacing. Nearly opaque, carbonation hard to determine. Nice looking brew.

S: Wow this is a strong smelling beer. Fruity and possibly raisin tones. Tinge of alcohol in the nose. I thoroughly enjoyed the smell of this beer.

D & M: This beer borders on being sweet in its flavor but it balances it with just enough bitterness to not be overwhelming. Definite mild fruity tones, mouthfeel is full.

D: High ABV and sweetness would probably limit this beer to one in a sitting.

Photo of midaszero
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark mahogany with 1 finger of light tan head that goes down kinda quick but has some ok lacing

S - Sweet, clean, dark fruit

T - Belgian yeast, spice, a little sweet, with dark fruit flavors

M - Medium body with light carbonation

D - Easy to drink and very enjoyable I look forward to getting more of this

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

Poured from tap at McNaulty's Bier Markt in Cleveland, Ohio.

A Medium brown, wood color body with 1 finger head.

S Alcohol is apparent but there is much more going on here as well. Ineteresting smells of yeast and some sweetness.

T Excellent. More of the same above but also some hoppy taste became more apparent. Alcohol is again apparent but the interesting tastes do not let it dominate the taste. This is a very sweet beer.

M Moderate to full mouthfeel. It is watery but very very sweet with bold flavors.

D Great but the high alcohol content keeps it from being the highest rated.

Notes: A real treat to have on tap at the Bier Markt. I am glad to have tried it.

Photo of Hornet2003
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark ruby amber colour. Very little head but it lingers as I drink it.

Smell: Very Belgian in character. Dark candy sugar, caramel, and a slight sour alcohol aroma.

Taste: Belgian yeasty flavours backed up by a significant sweet malt presence. Slight hoppiness in there but this is a malt-forward beer.

Mouthfeel: Slightly tangy, yet still sweet. No alcohol in flavour but there's definitely an alcohol burn as the beer goes down.

Drinkability: The creaminess makes this dangerously drinkable. No oppressive flavours, just creamy intensity. Probably a one-a-night beer.

Overall: I drank this in Brussels in July 2007 after seeing an American tourist walking in the street and drinking it. Quite a nostalgic beer for anyone who had it for the first time in Belgium-since it is such a memorable brew, you are transported right back to where you first tried it.

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

I poured this into a Duvel glass, which turned out to be a good choice as a large frothy head foamed on top of the dark red brew. The nose has a sweet, ripe fruitiness and a very faint corky mustiness. Quite sweet flavor... just bordering on cloying. Malt is restrained, as is bitterness: emphasis is on the yeast character, and it's nice and complex with a lot of fruitiness, as well as some lightly peppery, almost herbal, phenols that blend with the warming alcohol at the finish.

I would prefer a bit less sweet of a beer, but this is still pretty good.

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

500th BA review:

750 ml white-coated cork-in-cage bottle with a golden dragon on the label, poured into a goblet yields a clear brownish-copper-amber body with a thick cap of sudsy pale tan foam that retains at a fluffy sheet and leaves fat patches of lacing on the glass.

The smell of the drink is a perfume of fruity and malty goodness with a nice bit of spice. A warm and toasty grainy note provides a solid stage for notes of watermelon, ripe banana, and pineapple to shine.

The taste of the drink is crisp and malty with a fruity breeze of alcohol. A bit of melon and banana sit atop a lightly-sweet caramel backbone mellowed by a touch of dry cocoa. A citrusy bit of orange pops in, then out, of the flavor profile, as does a note of mushy apple. Pineapple makes a number of appearances in like fashion, before the flavor decides that it is actually not that of a spiny fruit, but our old friend Mr. Al K. Hall in a fine disguise. Peppery alcohol becomes more of a growing presence as the drink warms.

Wonderfully soft and mellow with perfect carbonation, Gulden Draak doesn't make a wrong move. It looks like a winner in a gold-rimmed goblet, for sure. It smells great... it tastes great, feels great, and drinks great.... Hmm... that's all I can score it on? Well, ok, so, I guess I'll be going with 'Great'? Or maybe I'll go all Tony the Tiger on it and call it 'Grrreat!'

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

11.2 oz. bottle in a snifter glass.

A - Medium brown/orange with tan head that lingers for a while.

S - Sweet and tart fruit smell with some light malt.

T - Sweet as the smell had shone. It also shows the alcohol but it is subtle enough as to not affect the flavor of the beer. Bright and floral. Good flavor.

M - Light bodied with good carbonation.

D - Good beer. It is not a standout for me but is definitely a good beer.

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 3,271 ratings.