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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

2,966 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,966
Reviews: 1,199
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 156
Gots: 242 | 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)
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Ratings: 2,966 | Reviews: 1,199 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of andjusticeforale
andjusticeforale

Connecticut

4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

“The Golden Dragon”

This beer comes in an intriguing white bottle. It pours a deep opaque yet luminous brown.The head is tan and settles into some chunkiness, a height of about 1 cm. The head reminds the drinker of a finely carbonated stout head. Amazingly fresh and alive out of the bottle, a golden hue becomes apparent.

The smell is of clove and sugar and exotic perfume. The carbonation is exquisitely fine. The first sip hits like a blast of molasses and sweet apple, with a semi dry finish of lingering sweetness. There is an underlying malty-breadiness, and the 10.5% gives the beer a brandy-like quality at times. The alcohol is never overpowering because of the carbonation and full mouthfeel, just present.

This is a beer that commands you to take notice of it. The complexity is not as readily apparent as a Belgian Quad, no plums and cherries and tropical banana fruits, but the complexity is there. The malts and sugar and alcohol- perhaps over the top because of the lack of hops, still show terrific balance sip after sip and are remarkably never cloying. And as the glass warms and the beer swirls, there is more and more magic.

Perhaps this can best be described as a dark imperial tripel. What it lacks in sweet-bitter balance, it regains in its balance of light and dark. In heaven, at the annual golf tournament, at the 19th hole, while celebrating a round of perfect hole-in-ones, you forgot your wallet, but guess what? Jesus buys a round, and its Gulden Drak, and all you can think to say is “thank you lord.”

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2005 12:54:03 | More by andjusticeforale
Photo of hero27
hero27

Minnesota

4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap @ the Lava Lounge in Waterloo, Iowa..

Pours a deep mahogany with a downright enormous, off-white head..that stays for as long as you'll let it. Aroma is of dark fruits and Belgian spices.
Tastes heavenly. Herbal hop notes perfectly balanced with a wide-array of fruits and infinitely complex, bready & toffee malts. A perfect example of a beer that is very complex, but with no one flavor standing out. They all seem to blend effortlessly here.
Definitely glad I have this on-tap at my local bar..a Belgian ale of standout caliber. Kick ass.

Serving type: on-tap

11-13-2005 20:46:08 | More by hero27
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought 2 bottles of this stuff at Wilbur's in Ft. Collins, Colorado.

Pours so darned beautifully ending up a dark gold in my Chimay glass. Nice head that lingers with very nice lacing around the glass.

The smell is a superb apple, reminiscent of my favourite soda..Jones Green Apple. I couldn't wait to dive right in. ;^)

The taste is a plethora of fruity flavours that are dominated by apple but yet aren't.(if you catch my meaning)
At 10% abv, I want to just sip and enjoy but the drinkabilty of this brew has to be experienced to be appreciated. This is, for me, a truly world class experience in Triples and I'll certainly buy it again!

Long live the Golden Dragon!!

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2005 23:32:50 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of Golden2wenty1
Golden2wenty1

Wisconsin

4.93/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a cute little stubby 11.2oz single from Steve's Liquor here in Madison. Neat white bottle too.

Pours a murky mahogany brown with a short off-white head in my sweet new Schlitz chalice. That's right - Schlitz chalice. Anyhow, nose is warm and spicy with apple cinnamon and nutmeg over Belgian yeast. Tastes like chilled sparkling apple cider - winter spices, fresh pressed apples, figs, and some light bready yeast. Quite sweet overall, not a whole lot of bitter to balance it, but I didn't mind. Like a much more refined version of New Glarus' Apple Ale. The 10.5% is almost nonexistent, expertly hidden without bitterness. Another pleasant surprise for the night after DFH's 90 Minute IPA. Good beer night for me. Wish this wasn't so damn expensive, so a rare treat for me that I will surely enjoy again.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2005 03:05:12 | More by Golden2wenty1
Photo of radshoesbro
radshoesbro

California

4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured 330 ml white bottle with no freshness date. pours dark dark brown with a hint of orange around the edges. small head w/ good retention. minimal lace. nose has malts, yeast, raisins (?), and super alcohol. however, the most prevalent thing in the smell is definately the apricots. sweet malty flavor. the malts remind me vaguely of milk chocolate. really almost to complex to put into words, you've really gotta try this to understand the taste. this is totally full of flavor! definately has an alcohol taste to it, but it's not strong at all.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2005 20:09:51 | More by radshoesbro
Photo of qwert59
qwert59

Virginia

4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've recently been on a quest to try all the Belgians I can, and every time I've talked to someone about Belgian beers, Gulden Draak comes up, but it's been impossible to find in my area. I guess you could say I've been chasing the Gulden Draak.

But I finally found it. And I was not disappointed.

The nose is largely spiced apples and yeast, but is very pleasant and warming.

Gulden Draak pours a hazy redish amber with minimal head, but nice, active carbonation.

The first taste is amazing. This is an incredibly complex beer which almost refuses to show itself to you. My initial taste said that it was just more spices and apples. But as the beer opened up, I noticed pears, apricots, slight notes of dark fleshy fruits like cherries, raisins and currants, and also touches of cinnamon.
Very little alcohol taste for a 10.5 per cent beer.
There was a nice slight touch of sweet malts on the finish.
The carbonation was just right, it kind of rolled over your tounge, but it was not overpowering. The carbonation added some body to the beer, and made it's physical presence a little more noticeable.

The after taste is reminiscent of the nose, spcied apples and yeast again.

Overall, this is a super complex, well crafted beer. I like how the nose and after taste are similar, it kind of bookends the massive complexity of the flavor, although this bookending can be deceiving (i.e., my inital response was "apples and spice! apples and spice! apples and spice!). But this beer could definitely show me something new each time. It's also surprisingly drinakble for something of this complexity and magnitude.

I highly recommend Gulden Draak.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2005 05:30:45 | More by qwert59
Photo of mrasskicktastic
mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A - A dark brown color with a frothy, two finger, deep tan head. It has great retention and nice little rings of lace. A pretty beer for sure.

S - Oh my! Fabulous odor! Pineapples, dates, currants, vanilla, molasses malt. The abv is undetectable.

T - Strong molasses malt accompanied by sweet dates and black currants. There is a bitter aftertaste paired with a sweet date and pineapple flavor. Abv is well masked, but detectable. Very good.

M - Smooth and viscous. A bit too frothy and it kind of leaves a film in your mouth. It is neither dessicating nor refreshing .

D - This is strong and sweet, yet I had no trouble drinking it. I tasted it before and had to have a full one for myself. Very nice. I just wish it were cheaper.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2005 04:35:11 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of mdagnew
mdagnew

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml Bottle bought from www.onlyfinebeer.co.uk

Poured a dark red / burgundy colour... Head was a creamy tan / grey colour.
Quite small beading produced a nice thick, foamy head which lasted until near the end...

Aroma - Malty, dark fruits, brown sugar, lemony notes...

Taste – Plums, malt, treacle, vanilla, slight aniseed hints. Quite noticable alcohol. Nice hopiness...

Feel - Sharp with quite noticable carbonation.... creamy aftertaste.. full bodied..

Overall - An excellent dark ale... one of my favourites...

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2005 08:54:20 | More by mdagnew
Photo of Brian700
Brian700

Michigan

4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is exactly what my palate craves. It pours a deep red/brown with a creamy light tan head that stays put. Good lacing.

The aroma is of sweet dark fruit. Figs, raisins, plums.

The taste follows the nose. There is lots of dark fruit like plums, figs, raisins, and I can taste apricot a little as well. The is a nice alcohol presence that is a little bit warming. Excellent.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with medium/moderate carbonation. Very swishable, coats the palate nicely.

I have been waiting to try this beer for a long time and it surpassed my expectations. I highly recommend this beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2005 22:39:50 | More by Brian700
Photo of neonbrown82
neonbrown82

Nebraska

3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is one of the first belgian beers I ever had, before I even knew anything about belgian beer. This is the first time I've tried it since I was 16, and it's not nearly as awesome as I remembered it being 6 years ago.

The beer pours magnificent, however. It is a rich brown amber color with a burgundy hue when held to the light. The head is a fluffy inch thick and seems to have flowing currents through it from the carbonation jets that stream all along the edges of the tulip glass, creating a brilliant trail in the beer.

The nose is incredibly candi sugar sweet, bordering on the unpleasant side. Lots of malt, dark berries and fruity esters help to balance it out a bit, but it is quite overwhelming.

The taste is an assault on the palate. I think every inch of my tongue shuddered on contact, especially upon the heavy ethanol finish. Very sweet but also has some sour and bitter in the finish. The dark berries and alcohol are strong in the end. Somewhat barleywine-like.

I most definitely could not drink more than one of the 330 mL bottles of this even if I wanted to.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2005 23:46:23 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A treat for all the senses. Looks dark ruby to dark brown in color, nicely carbonated for a Belgian. 1/2 inch head, laced wiell, and shows nice legs (sounds sexual). Aromas and flavors meld together nicely. Thick and creamy with barley malt, caramel, toffee, port wine, good hop flavor and balance, noticable alcohol throughout. Full rich body--would make a great after dinner beer. Finishes sweet, alcoholic, and tingly. It's a sipper, but worth the patience. I had this on tap durring the winter and it was more creamy and more refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2005 18:45:10 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of goodbyeohio
goodbyeohio

Oregon

4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

blood red when exposed to light, clear. 2 finger egg white head in a tulip, leaves a crusty lacing behind. awesome looking. aroma is very yeasty with sweet and sour cherries and candied dates. velvety and reminiscent of a dessert wine. super-belgian and very appetizing. candi sugars give way to an explosion of red fruit and christmasey spices. that cinnamon fruity burst of smooth beeriness is very trappist, and comes very close to my memory of fresh westvleteren 12.. the closest i can remember, next to bbbourgondier and bernardus abt 12. previous gulden draak drafts at other places have been cloudy with yeast, spoiled, or too cold. leave it to moan and dove to hook this up right, and turn me on to something i have been missing for a while. a real eye-opener.

alcohol sting in the end is a bit of a bitch, but sweetness is right there to assist with the balance. a little overcarbonated, but goes down easy regardless. notmuch about this beer to pick on, i'm really stretching to find a flaw. i can still taste it in my cheeks and it makes me want more. what a superb beer.

Serving type: on-tap

08-22-2005 21:10:03 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of DogFood11
DogFood11

California

4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice apperance...dark mahogoney color/ 1 finger head holds true throughout.

The smell was interesting in that I smelled some sour in the background but overall it was spicey.

Omy the taste leaves no room for improvement...Some warming in the immediate aftertaste then gone...the sour smell was just some lemon to cleanse the palate after every drink. Spices hold true . very complex and beyond my capabilities to put into words but flawless.

High alcohol content is fairly well hidden but at 10.5% its impossible to hide. This one warmed me up good.

Serving type: on-tap

08-13-2005 01:08:26 | More by DogFood11
Photo of luvND
luvND

Pennsylvania

4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: 330 ml white bottle, attractive package, golden dragon on label

Appearance: Best, thickest head retention that I have ever seen. Beautiful dark brown color.

Smell: Sweet, brown sugar, caramel, some ripe fruit and a hint of the alcohol.

Taste: I drank this first on its own and it was very nice, sweet, nice malt, all Belgian. Then I had it with some turkey sausage and what a pairing, sweetness complemented the spice so well. Finally, I finished it with desert, coffee ice cream and hot fudge and I think it was the best match of the evening. The slightly bitter coffe ice cream with the rich hot fudge brought out flavors in the beer that I hadn' t yet tasted.

Mouthfeel: As smooth and rich as possible. Not too thick though.

Drinkability: Scary at 10+%

Overall: A friend gave me this one. Never heard of it. Now I will confidently rank it as one of the best beers that I have ever tasted, Belgian or other.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2005 00:59:38 | More by luvND
Photo of ZAP
ZAP

Minnesota

4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Maroon colored...nice fluffy white head...sweet aroma of caramel drenched black cherries..a bit yeasty on the nose with a very faint barn yard like smell....taste is big time sweet...doppelbock like sweetness...Big sweet dark fruits, also some tropical fruits....rum...caramel, molasses, cotton candy, this is an awesome tasting beer....body is medium...carbonation about medium...drinkability sky high for me..High ABV is nowhere to be found in the taste...this one could be dangerous if I had a lot of it in the house...

What a fucking treat this one was....I must have more of this...I must move to Belgium soon.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2005 04:22:30 | More by ZAP
Photo of KarlHungus
KarlHungus

Minnesota

3.78/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a big off white head. The aroma is sweet with caramel tones. The taste is as big as the smell. Dark fruits, caramel, and alcohol. The mouthfeel is thick with low carbonation. Overall, this is a pretty good brew. Definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2005 16:24:13 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of cypressbob
cypressbob

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled, served in Cafe Gollem, Amsterdam

Pours with a dark orange body, some brown hues also. Tannish head with good retention, a little lacing

Smell, strong fresh tropical fruit, thick malt, some dried fruits too, little bit of nuts

Taste, creamy mouthfeel, smooth alcohol followed by sweet fruity esters. Little hint of honey, almost bready finish

So tasty, almost in between a pale and dark, like a tripel mixed with a strong dark ale or dubbel

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2005 19:41:38 | More by cypressbob
Photo of PorterLambic
PorterLambic

Florida

3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown with orange highlights. A HUGE head nearly explodes out of the glass before receding slowly over 5 minutes or so to a thickish film which stayed to the bottom of the glass. Head is a nice tan color but dichotomous in nature; creamy on top with much bigger bubbles below.
Smell is rich, sweet, malt, spice, dark fruits with a hint of hops and smoke. Wonderful balance.
Taste is malt, spice, alcohol, rich dark fruits(raisins, plums, figs?) & oranges, and hints of hops and smoke again. Alcohol is noticeable but far from overpowering. There is a touch of a metallic taste in the aftertaste which is otherwise quite smooth.
Mouthfeel: medium bodied, light carbonation, smooth, semi-rich, warming slightly.
Drinkability: even at 10.5% ABV I'd gladly drink several of these bad boys (11.2 oz. bottles). Not the greatest of the style but well up the ladder and well worth the time.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2005 18:18:16 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of jettjon
jettjon

Florida

3.38/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the Belgium sampler pack. 330 ml/11.2 oz bottle. Pours dark brown coffee color with light brown, copious, foamy head that fades slowly. Perhaps some yeast residue but hard to tell due to dark color. Very few bubbles precipitate. Nose is quite pleasant with a pronounced scent of fruit, perhaps cherry or strawberry or watermelon or some similarly sweet fruit. Initial taste is fruity yet slightly bitter. The alcohol is there but at 10.5% ABV, it is remarkably well masked, or perhaps integrated. Crisp, bubbly mouthfeel. Slight metallic iron/blood finish. Overall interesting and remarkably drinkable for a triple-malt, but not a favorite. Rated at a 90, I’ll have to give this one a second try. Perhaps I’m not ready for this beer yet, or perhaps this particular bottle had a bad metallic aftertaste not characteristic of others.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2005 04:24:00 | More by jettjon
Photo of granger10
granger10

Wisconsin

3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purple color with a large dense dark tan head. Lacing around the sides. Aroma is sweet with toffee and plum and chocolate. The transcends to the flavor. Chocolate dominates in my mind. Roasted coffee is there as well but is soon tempered by the plummy flavors. There might be some candi sugar in here as well. Alcohol smooths and dries in the finish but I'm still left with a little residual sweetness. The best part of this beer was its body. Really luxurious, vicous, and smooth. It made the beer a quality drinker. I bet this could age really well but too sweet as of now.

Serving type: on-tap

07-19-2005 12:43:09 | More by granger10
Photo of palliko
palliko

California

3.4/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a cloudy mahogany with some foam that lasts a while. Aroma has citrus and plums, mixed with toffee malt. Initial taste contains a biting jalapeno pepper, honey and beef broth. Terrific – sounds like a great combination, doesn’t it? Finish is strange, with ethanol and Earl Grey vying for dominance. Um, I’ll pass on this one. Might be good with certain foods.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2005 13:40:04 | More by palliko
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy reddish brown with a very light brown head, slightly rocky. Aromas of alcohol, rich malts, ripe fruit, and a little spiciness. Very sweet, like candy sugar, with dark fruits, alcohol warmth and a bit of pepper at the finish. Medium/full body and moderate carbonation, just a bit sticky with residual sugar.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2005 19:03:07 | More by DrJay
Photo of alexgash
alexgash

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Darkish, murky, russet brown, with amber edges, topped by a two finger cushion of light khaki head that laces nicely. Nose is tangy and oaky, with caramelized brown sugar, yeast, light fruits, and faint pepper. Intense malt flavors up front: sugary sweet tropical fruits (banana, pineapple juice, kiwi) dominate, but are somewhat tempered by a toasted bitterness. Sweetness easily wins out. Brown sugar and caramel flavors mix with yeast. Light spiciness noticeable near the finish. Finish is sweet, yeasty, and very warming. Full-bodied with a near syrupy consistency toward the finish. Somehow avoids being cloying, but very sweet nonetheless. Oh, and quite good!

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2005 21:43:02 | More by alexgash
Photo of Paddez
Paddez

Belgium

4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This came in a white 33ml bottle with a classy looking label. Poured into the offical glaas wich is a Duvel shaped tulip with a golden dragon printed on its side. Excellent presentation.

The beer itself pours a dark & hazy orangy brown brew. with a huge, slightly tan head. Great retention.

Smell: Smells of sweet malts & caramel and sweet candy fruits can be picked up. There were also some less likable aroma's though: there's something awkward & muddy I disliked and the fruit element is a bit too sweet and over the top making it smell as if the fruits are really overripe.

Taste: This is good stuff. Sweet, dark fruits, spices and malty caramels flow out in a dry, long-lingering aftertaste. The sweet complex taste is very similar to that found in good Quadrupels like the Rochefort 10 and the St. Bernardus Abt. 12.

Mouthfeel & Drinkabillity: Full and thick, yet smooth and creamy. The alcohol has a warming effect, but is otherwise hidden really well. The 10,5% really doesn't show, and the beer is -surpisingly- not very heady and amazingly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2005 12:36:05 | More by Paddez
Photo of ypsifly
ypsifly

Michigan

3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from an undated 11.2oz into a tulip.

Burnt amber with lively carbonation and a huge frothy head of light tan. Good retention and sticking.

Smells of candied lemons, spicy yeast, with a touch of malts paired with floral hops. Complex, balanced and very mouth watering.

Tastes very sweet. Borders on cloying. The sweetness is paired with alcohol and pepper in the finish. There's a slight lingering tartness on the palate. Doesn't taste near as interesting as it smells.

The mouthfeel is full enough for the style, but the alcohol and carbonation make it a bit awkward. I love BSDAs, but this one doesn't do it for me. My next round would be something else.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2005 03:42:29 | More by ypsifly
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 2,966 ratings.