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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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3,325 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,325
Reviews: 1,242
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 209
Gots: 428 | 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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,325 | Reviews: 1,242 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Yardhouse in Scottsdale, AZ.
Poured a deep amber color with golden brown highlights, crowned by a good two fingers of sticky, foamy head that hangs around a good long while. Nose of sweet, bready malt, raisin, and a hint of spicy hops, along with a touch of yeasty funk. Taste is mildly sweet up front, then becomes richer and maltier as it goes down.

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

Poured from bottle to goblet.

Appearance - Dark brown in color, ruby red-brown when looking at in front of light. Not even 1 finger of head but laces on the glass.

Smell- Yeast and wheat evident, very pleasant smell. No alcohol evident which I thought would be with abv. Citrusy nose.

Taste- Great taste, a little bitter but I like it. Fig and pear fruits come through here. Other fruity tastes I can't quite put my finger on. Came back to edit and give the taste a better score, I know taste the wonderful sweetness and cherry yum.

Mouthfeel - Greet mouthfeel, not too heavy, just right, good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability - Is that of most beers of its power and taste, just a few or till the pocket book doesn't allow it, but still good in moderation.

Pretty good dark tripel. I love the bottle and the art on the cap too.

Photo of robbrauen
2.35/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

After the rave reviews on here, as well as folks personally recommending it to me, I was quite dissapointed. So much so that I wonder if I got a bad bottle or a bottle that has been around too long. I'll need to try this again.

A - Poured a dark ruby color which created a large 5-finger cream colored head that quickly settled down into 3 fingers.

S - Smell was unique. Alcohol mixed with some sweetness and spiciness.

T - I didn't like the taste at all...which completely surprised me. Something about it just turned me off. Super high taste of alcohol, mixed with over-carbonation and an unpleasnant bitterness. Again...maybe I got a bad bottle becuase I didn't taste any of the sweetness that other folks have mentioned.

M - Mouthfeel was high carbonation and an unsmooth bitterness quality.

D - Not very drinkable for me but I will definitely go out and get another bottle to try again. I must have had a bad bottle.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.21/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

After all the hype, this one just did not do it for me. Too sweet I guess. Pours a mostly clear light brown color with a light, fluffy cream-colored head. Nice lacing and retention.

Smell is of minerals, earth, yeast and sweet malts. Hints of champagne and scotch ale, has a pretty big nose in general.

Thin, sweet and different are the first things that come to mind upon quaffing. I also taste some fountain cola syrup and heavy toasty malts. Almost seems like it has too much unfermentable sugars, and that may be on purpose, but it does not quite do it for me. Fun to try, but at nearly $5 a pop, I believe I'll pass next time.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft at JeanRo Bistro.
Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. Smell is dark fruits, some sweetness and belgian yeast.
Taste is much the same, and it's very good. Very creamy, full on the mouthfeel. This stuff is fantastic. This is dangerously drinkable, you never notice the ABV. This is among my favorite Belgian's, right behind Pannepot and Rochefort 10. Delish!

Photo of cdizinno
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: mahogany brown color with a slight head that dies back quickly but laces along the glass.

S: Slight fruitiness, overpowered by a malt sweetness.

T: Very sweet, almost like brown sugar. Some spicy undertones. Very smooth feel and mild dry after taste. Herbal tea flavor lingers with high sweetness.

Notes: definitely a great brew. I still prefer the Piraat Ale from this brewer, Brouwerij Van Steenberge. But this is a close 2nd!

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

Very dark brown with garnet highlights. Huge frothy head that really sticks around.

Smells of malt, raisins, and bread. Very pleasant.

Big taste: lots of dark fruit, port wine and caramel. No noticeable bitterness but it's not cloyingly sweet either.

Nice mouthfeel; you can feel the alcohol but it doesn't burn. Aftertaste of more port wine and fruit.

Mainly a sipping beer but still drinkable considering the ABV.

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

Taken from notes. Reviewed on 13-02-2009. Poured into Chimay glass. Best before date: 04-04-2009. Reviewed under medium high artificial light.

Appearance: Pours a three thinger fluffy white headed brew. Murky. Brown colored. Unperceived Effervescence. Great lacing. Overall excellent appearance, almost unique. Wish i had this on a Tulip.

Aroma: Ripe fruits, raisins, grapes, caramel and belgian dark candy sugar / molasses upfront and chocolate, cinnamon and slightl biscuity aroma in the back. Medium High to high Aroma intensity. Very complex and well balanced. Slight alcohol Aroma, but blends well with the overall aroma profile.

Taste: Very complex and sweet. Caramel / Molasses / Belgian Dark candy sugar, dark fruits and chocolaty like flavors. Noticeable alcohol flavor. Very well balanced. Medium high to high flavor intensity. No hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium low to low bitterness. Full bodied. Medium low to low carbonation. Coating mouthfeel, goes down smoothly. Liquorish like texture. Sweet molassy like aftertaste.

Drinkability: Excellent prototype of the style, and much worth the price. Goes down almost too easily considering the ABV and is not too filling or coying, which is surprising considering the ammount of residual sugars that are probably contained.

On a final note: One of my favourite brews. Should be elevated to be the Standard for the Belgian Strong Dark Ales. Will have whenever possible.

Photo of tmoneyba
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a reddish/brown hue with a moderate light brown head that diminished slowly with fair lacing. Full aroma of sweet fruit and alcohol. Medium to full body with smooth texture. Full flavor of fruit, caramel with a solid alcohol bite at the finish.

Very good brew.

Photo of Jwale73
3.55/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle served in a tulip. Poured a murky reddish-brown with a quarter inch, tan-colored, effervescing head embedded with tiny bubbles. Head eventually dissipated into a swirl with strands of lacing revealed as the brew was consumed. Nose is predominantly dark fruit, definitely some cherries in the mix. Taste follows nose, but quite a bit of alcohol heat, as well as a slightly medicinal, cherry cough syrup quality with a light, hoppy finish. Mouthfeel fell between light- and medium-bodied with an appropriate amount of background carbonation. In terms of drinkability, I found this brew a little too close to cough medicine to be enjoyable.

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

A: Dark tawny body with a finger and half to two finger khaki cream head, rich and full.

S: Dark grape, apple, tart plum, fermented pear, sugary acai, light coca, even a bit strawberry.

T: Overripe grapes, apples, and plums all with a hint of chocolate and alcohol, a dark rum, perhaps black strap rum, character. The boozey fruits lean into slightly roasted and caramel malts. Chocolate cherries end the desert fruit deluge.

M: Full, creamy, crispy and dry with a cloying aspect.

D: Tall dark beer with a light head and dark fruity qualities and an ornate chalice seeks discerning beer drinker willing to enjoy sipping slowly, slowly over a long evening by a crackling fire and bear skin rug

...or, yeah, it's good,

..or, if you like pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain, if you're not into yoga, if you have half a brain...

Photo of Reagan1984
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Interesting color beer. Dark brown with some almost purple tones. Too dark to comment on clarity. Looks thick though. Head rise about two fingers and is very creamy with lots of structure and excellent retention. Strands of sticky lacing are left behind.

Aroma is a mix of light alcohol... some nice malt aroma's and some dark fruits.

Flavor is fairly deep and nicely complex. Layers of malt.... Dark fruits... molasses... maple? I get some date flavors. Some subtle alcohol at the end. Not overpowering. Slightly sour.... But just a touch.... Deeper and more complex as you slowly enjoy..

Body is fairly bold and provides for a big mouth feel. Carbonation is interesting as it really brings life to the beer..

This is a sip and savor beer for sure. I do find it enjoyable and drinkable. Nice beer.

In front of the fire this is a nice way to spend a couple of hours.

Photo of MilanoItaly
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Barley wine style example that undergoes secondary fermentation in the bottle .

Sprite-like foam : big bubbles and short standing.
Dark brown even if not black hue, and high ABV to give an above the average trails on the glass, this brew doesn't excel for the appeareance in my case.
Very nice white bottle and label instead,to be considered in the evaluation .

Smell is malty and honey.
Taste adds primarily alcohol, sweetness, medium body sensations
while the main feel are coffee and malt again .

Remarkable bitter end with huge standing, which is a surprise regarding to the initial sweetness, and that makes me appreciate this brew .

Photo of billybob
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours brown in color with a light tan one finger head and a nice sticky lace that held to the finish. mild caramel and pepper nose. smooth malty taste, black pepper, spice, hint of caramel, hint of coffee, has a rock candy sweetness to it. light to medium body and carbonation ok. got it in a six beer sampler so i do not think i would buy it again.

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

Chilled bomber into a glass.

A: Dark brown with reddish highlights. A moderate head that recedes over a minute into a ring on the top of the beer. It leaves significant lacing down the glass. The head can be revived with a vigorous swirling.

S: Apples and citrus with a noticeable sour brettanomyces funk. Reminds me heavily of a wild ale instead of a tripel.

T: A sweet, bready malt feel at first, but it quickly gives way to a sour apple / lemony flavor. The finish contains hints of brown sugar and molasses, with a dry aftertaste.

M: Smooth, full-bodied, creamy. The brett signature is distinctive and sticky. This is low-to-medium carbonation, and would benefit from a slightly crisper profile.

D: Really like the unique flavor of this one. Would have it again despite my minor criticisms.

Photo of fdrich29
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Ayotte's in Hudson, NH on 1/30/09. Capped and corked, opaque bottle, bottle conditioned triple. Pours like a young brandy beneath a creamy off-white head with nice carbonated lacing. Smells of figs, malt, sugar, light hops and alcohol. Tastes of fig, malt and hops. Smooth mouthfeel with an alcohol kick on the tail end. Fantastic tasting beer, but with an 10.5% AVB, drinkability is low.

Tremendous example of the style, a well-crafted and great tasting beer.

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

Poured into a tulip glass at cellar temperature and let it sit for a few minutes. I held it up to the light and could not detect any sediment, and observed fine carbonation like champagne bubbles coming up in this dark amber brew.
It complex smells of raisins, malt and spice.
The well balanced combination of hops, spice and fruit disguises the high abv and and the only effect of this is the warming sensation one gets.
Very drinkable brew to be savored on a winter night by the fire. To really appreciate it's sophisticated character try a lager after you had a Gulden Draak and you will see just how bland it is in comparison.

Photo of erz316
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

white stubby 33cl bottle into the Augustijn chalice

A - thats alot of head I'm getting here! Of course, that is relating to the beer. there is a good 2-finger sized head in the chalice, with real good retention. the color is a ruby dark brown, held up to the light it appears to be simply a muddy brown, and wholly opaque.

S - there is a nice lemony or apple twang to the beer, as well there are some herbal tones. some sweetness in the mid ground, and mixing in with this are some alcoholic notes. in the far back there are some strong sugars holding up the body, brown and molasses.

T - sweet malts are up front, presenting the palate with a plethora of different kinds of sugary flavours; these range form a light fruity dessert sweet, to a sweet southern tea, (intense in sugar but checked by the bitterness of the tea). there are some dry alcohol notes in the mid ground, but not a distracting amount. the finish is sweet of, brown sugar or honey, imagine the taste of those two on oatmeal: present but mixed in with a definite grain taste. the after taste is primarily sweet of the same types.

MF&D - this is an incredibly smooth and creamy beer, and makes the drinking process so damn easy. the only thing holding it back from a perfect is the carbonation could have been a bit more crisp. this is not to say that there wasn't any carbonation, it was just very dull on the tongue.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.67/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle into a regular snifter very carefully as this bottle is ceramic making it impossible to see where the yeast starts. Not sure on the bottle date.

A- Gulden Draak has an incredible deep dark ruby color consisting of mix of red, brown and maroon. With a tilted glass i could see the head forming and once i was done pouring I had a two finger beige tan head on my hands. This foam was enormous with some areas slightly bulging above others. The head never left throughout the entire hour plus I enjoyed this. I was unable to see through the glass even held right up to light. Great lacing.

S- A fruity and floral aroma that is entirely Belgian, having a somewhat similar but more refined scent resembling some de dolle dark offerings. Dark fruits galore and deep as I am getting some sweet cherries plums and grapes. Some spices also including cinnamon and brown sugar. A belgian yeast is abound and creeping. A bit of hops and malts but not this BSDA strong suit.

T- Gulden Drakk is strong on the fruit presence with the aforementioned smells going along in the taste and getting berries also. GD has a very sweet taste during first sips but evolves into other depths. Also getting some caramel and other dark malts along with slight maple syrup. Some hops and the yeast come out to play a part with warming. Some pepper spiciness with some dates coming in at the end. GD leaves a candy like impression, perhaps being a tad to much on the sweet side

M- A very full mouthfeel that is felt in the pits of my stomach after enjoying. Because of this thick and full mouthfeel GD has a sweetness to it that lingers for a while, no getting around it. This sweetness is ever present on the tounge. I like the carbonation that is felt in this. A nice warming sensation comes forth after 5oz or so than fills the body. Alcohol is not completely masked but not fully on display.

D- At 10.5% this one is nothing to take lightly and I would take my time with it to get the full effect, Letting the flavors integrate & develop more. Glad i bought a small version as anymore would be overkill for me, but i would share a big bottle in a minute as this is quite accessible given the style. This would go great during a holiday dinner.

Photo of cpn920
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown/amber with a nice rocky creamy head. Smell caramel upfront with some fruit maybe? Taste is malty sweet with the caramel flavor prevalent and definitely a dark fruit or fig flavor. Well balanced with nice amount of carbonation. Full bodied but very drinkable.

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

Presentation: Poured from a white painted, stubby 11.2 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. Label is simple black and gold, depicting a stylized dragon. No clear freshness date.

Appearance: This beer is anxious to get out of the bottle, rising up shortly after popping the cap. Pours with over 3 fingers of billowy, light tan head. The shape of this bottle kind of forces a lit of head, as the beer gurgles it way out. The head settles very slowly, only dropping a finger or so. Spotty, sticky lacing. The beer itself is a dark muddy brown. Can't tell if there is sediment in the bottle or not, as the damn thing is spray painted white.

Smell: Sweet malt with an almost sweet pepper like finish.

Taste: Very sweet malt upfront, with strong bubblegum esters. A sweet pepper bite that reminds me of a pepper steak dish. Sweetness lingers after the swallow, with hints of cherries. Slight alcohol warming in the finish, but all in all, well concealed considering its level.

Mouthfeel: Higher than average carbonation level, which is fitting for the style. Body is very good.

Drinkability: Maybe a little too on the sweet side, but overall a complex and refreshing Belgian.

Photo of dvar
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had one in the right serving temperature; it produced a great foam when served, which continued to exist almost until the end.
Complex flavor, with great after taste. Very strong and bitter. Be caution when you drink, the alcohol does not appear very strongly, deceiving the drinker into becoming intoxicated.

Photo of avalon07
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a brownish color and a thick, murky consistency. There was a huge, foamy, long-lasting head and good lacing.

S: A strong, almost pungent aroma of apples, alcohol and sugars.

T: Like the smell, the taste is complex, but rather strong. Apples, raisins, alcohol, caramel, malt and even some chocolate. Hops in the finish.

M: Had a high level of carbonation and a smooth finish. Full-bodied.

D: This is a drinkable beer, but it's one with a big, bold flavor. Might not be for everyone.

Photo of Turrry
3.86/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer was my second entry into 750ml purchases, the first being blue label Chimay..

Appearance was almost a maroon/brown with a clearly unfiltered presence. It pours a tad difficultly, maybe it's cause I'm new, but after pouring the second glass the smallest head I got was 3 fingers thick, and FULL of large bubbles. It's smell was rich with plenty going on, very much consisting of dark fruit. Taste was more of the same, it comes on strong as it works it's way back on your tongue. This was where it becomes difficult because I hate the taste of raisins and that taste is VERY strong in this beer. I could swear apricots are in this one as well. Mouthfeel was a high amount of carbonation that dissipates quickly. Drinkability for me was not great due to the raisin taste as I found myself looking for more tastes with every drink. An enjoyable one time beer, I respect the craftsmanship, but won't purchase again.

Photo of farrago
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Rich brown color with an orange tinge closer to the rims, large frothy head that refuses to dissolve, strong visible bubbles. While there's caramel and chocolate in the nose at the same time it's malty with a sour edge, dried black fruits, muscular in a sinewy way, not heavy in spite of overall sweetness. In the mouth it shows sufficient carbonation to relieve excess weight. Caramel, butterscotch, raisins, grapes and cinnamon, nutmeg spice. Orange marmalade citrus accents. Relentless presence, this is a beer that does not want to be washed out of your palate.

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,325 ratings.