Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
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Ratings: 3,048 | Reviews: 1,204 | Display Reviews Only:
4.9/5 rDev +15.8%
Pours brown with a long-lingering white tan-white head.
Alcohol, candi and caramel dominate the smell.
Sweet and chocolatey up front. Ends with a bitter hit and a tiny bit of skunk.
Luscious and creamy, this is a beer, albeit strong, that I could drink alot of. Fantastic.
08-24-2006 23:12:45 | More by nortmand
4.78/5 rDev +13%
Presentation: An 11.2 fluid ounce (330ml) Duvelian-like stubby coated with a unique looking white paint finish. Black label, with golden bounds has the words Gulden Draak Ale in red text over and above a picture of a golden dragon. Listed at 10.5% ABV.
Appearance: *Catalogue princess, apprentice seductress.*
Dirty thick ruddy dark brown body on the pour. Off-white head, the tanned creamy upper crown sits uniformly across the vestige of my Westvleteren goblet. Closer examination reveals a pellucid mahogany body with deep rich ruby tones. Bespoke looks.
Nose: *Fragrant aphrodisiac, the withered tuberose.*
Alcohol yes, it either fails to mask the pungent ethanolic aromas, or it wants you to know that it may kick your ass later in the night. A nice dry hop aroma in the back end is somewhat spoiled by the vitriolic alcohol at times.
Taste: *Dynamic young Tarzan courts the bed-sit queen.*
A tasty and viscous warm layer of malts lay the foundation. Sharp herbal traits fill the gaps. Thick caramel and burnt sugar mixes with prunes and dates juice.
Mouthfeel: *Playing games with faces in the neon wonderland.*
An enticing rich thick carpet of malts lays down the base of dark fruits and a high temperature catwalk finish. My neck sweats as the warmth induces a satisfying heart attack that I dont want to break out of. Like shitting yourself in public; its embarrassing in the finish but for a short time up front it kind of feels good, warm and comfy.
Drinkability: *Perform to scattered shadows on the shattered cobbled aisles*.
A massive tornado of enticing warm malts and a rich thick globulating warmth of alcohol are the foundation for a serious night cap brew!!! Nevertheless, it may only contain 330ml but I want more. Damn this brew, it is the Devils work indeed.
Overall: *She said she wanted to be an actress or something. Nobody knows where she came from, where she was going. Funny thing was she had a smile on her face. She was smiling. What a waste!*
You know, I *loved* this brew from the very first time I tried it, some 14 or so years ago. Man this is one powerful spicy (yet unspiced!!!) brew. One sip returns me to care free times in Belgian; it can transport me from the bustling Grand Place, the busy yet cosmopolitan Brugge to the quiet of the De Gans, Huise farmhouse café in the rustic East Flanders countryside. Van Steenberge is unfortunately renowned for many of their sump brews, but the Gulden Draak is most certainly a first generation creation that demands respect, and it always gets it from me.
Gulden Draak almost begs to pronounced with a thick Romanian accent such as the original name of Bram Stokers Whitby legend Vlad Drăculea, or rather better still as Vlad the Impaler. Either way, **dont dare** turn youre back on this one for it WILL come back to get you, either in the daylight, or worse, later at night when you sleep.
But for now its just another Chelsea Monday,
Sweet Chelsea Monday.
08-22-2006 06:32:40 | More by TheLongBeachBum
4.78/5 rDev +13%
Finally found a bottle of this to try at The Beir Stein in Eugene, Oregon.
A: Poured a deep dark brown/ruby with a creamy 3/4 inch head that dwindled to a nice 1/4 inch head that lasted throughout the beer.
S: I get smells or raisin's, plum's, spices, and alcohol. Smells really nice.
T: Wow, just wow. Dark fruit, dark sugars, really rich and sweet. Really didnt get much hints of the yeast but got lots of sweetness.
M: Silky smooth going down with a nice alcohol burn in the finish. I dont think it could be any better than that.
D: I could try and drink a few of these in a night and it would be a grand night indeed but at 10.5% abv I would prolly end up sleeping on the floor. I will buy this one whenever I can find it.
08-14-2006 01:24:50 | More by Iguana
4.8/5 rDev +13.5%
Came in sexy white bottle, poured a deep amber, left a thick rich, meringue type head, that retained all the way through, lots of bubbles.
smell was of dark fruits, sweet smelling, complex,whiff of molasses.
taste was INCREDIBLE!..rich sweet and tart, fair amount of hop taste, but brilliantly blended into the dark & fruity melange'..some cherry notes..
mouthfeel is excellent as well, full rich, slightly tart, finishes smooth as silk....
This was recommended to me by my friend "cypressbob", who just recently returned from Amsterdam, where he had tried it. This turned out to be spot on!...thanks mate!...highly recommended!
08-12-2006 15:48:03 | More by steinlifter
4.78/5 rDev +13%
08/11/06- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA.
Presentation- 11.2oz stubby bottle. No freshness info, but there is a small stamped code at the bottom of the label. Poured into an oversized wine glass that looks remarkable like a St. Bernardus chalice.
Appearance- Liquified caramel coloring. One maybe 1 1/2 inch larger bubbled head forms upon the pour. Remains at a good 1/5th inch thick and creamy head. Minute yeasties float around. Spalltered lacing all around. It was a crapshoot between a 4.5 and a 5. Did a coin flip.
Smell- This is a caramel/fruit cocktail. Doesn't fume out like you would hope, which is the only strike against the smell. Melted fresh made carnival caramel like the kind you would dip an apple into. Dark fruits galore. Figs, plums, prunes, raisins, plus some licorice.
Taste- Big and bold as you would expect from a 11% or so brew. Taste mirrors the scent to presice pinpoint. Like a liquid Caramello bar. Anise and liquorice jump out after the caramel coats your tongue. The dark fruits follow. Prunes and figs are predominant. Plums and raisins meld in nicely.
Mouthfeel- Slightly drying. Full and thick...even a bit vinous mouthfeel. Medium carbonation (just about right). Really makes you crave another sip.
Drinkability- This dude is strong. Drank this on an empty stomach right before lunch (may regret that, but I still have a bottle of Beatification and Stone 2006 Old Gaurdian to consume before the day is over). Quite the tasteful one and worthy of considerable praise. Will have to find a large bottle of this. Still trying to figure out what bottle I am going to break open once my child is born in March...this ain't a bad prospect. Again, will have to steal the Rachel Ray catch phrase..."YUMMO"!
08-11-2006 17:57:11 | More by GClarkage
4.05/5 rDev -4.3%
deep dark brown with ruby highlights and a good sized tan head that has some staying power.
sweet and spicy aroma, with some peppery citrus, and some dark fruitiness.
the taste has lots of dark fruit, but also a surprising amount of spicy citrus, like lemon pepper. red grape juice mingles with the other flavors. makes me think this would be a great marinade with all the tang. there is also some light brown sugar in there that is tied to a pretty strong boozy component. there's some powdered cocoa type flavors and it's got a little toffee with hints of butter in there too. it's also got a light candied flavor that maintains a strong sweetness without being overpowering. very sweet but avoids being grossly sweet.
the mouthfeel is lighter than expected. i find it hard to tell though if this is actually a little on the light side or if it is due to it's active airy carbonation.
reasonably light with strong sweetness but also pretty boozy, good drinkability, but not great.
08-11-2006 00:09:50 | More by kmo1030
3.15/5 rDev -25.5%
Poured this undated 11.2 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Created a very tall off-white creamy head. A cap of foam remained throughout the entire leisurely session. Body was a nearly opaque burgandy/brown color.
Smell was primarily of sweet malts. Grains. Dried fruits and alcohol.
Taste reflected the aromas. Sweet. Raisins. Alcohol.
High alcohol ensures that I do not drink this one too quickly. However. for the high ABV it is quite drinkable. There are too many excellent Belgians available for me to return to this one for a long time.
08-05-2006 21:08:53 | More by Cresant
4.25/5 rDev +0.5%
This is effectively a joint review I did with my friend westvleteren21 a few nights ago. At the beginning of the summer we each purchased this beverage as a birthday gift for the other, however my friend became sick after a very suspicious Japanese steak house meal and we were unable to enjoy our delicious beverages. As it turns out, he moved from MA back to MD so theyve been sitting in my fridge all summer, taunting me. At last, he came back to visit, the beers have been consumed, and the wait was well worth it!
A light brown head formed but faded relatively fast. The coloration was a very nice chocolate brown with some pleasing gradations, looking a bit like cider and sometimes wine. Some vinegar-like sourness found its way into the nose, which was also reminiscent of cider and cherries. The taste was, well, absolutely fantastic! A nice balance of malts and alcohol persisted, with caramel, cider, apples, rum, and maple tastes. In some ways, this reminded us of Chimay. The mouthfeel was thick and delicious; carbonation just right. Of course, this is a fairly heavy, alcoholic, dessert-like beer and so a bit less drinkable, but let me tell you that, aint stoppin me. My buddy suggested warm apple-pie a la mode as a pairing, and I think that sounds great. Van Steenberge once again ladies and gentlemen!
08-05-2006 01:59:25 | More by BabaJohn
4.4/5 rDev +4%
I've reached for this bottle in the store many, many times. Always figured I'd get it next time. Finally had it in a bar. Wow!
Pours a dark brown with a big, brown head. Good lacing.
Aroma was of dark fruits, alcohol with some bread. Hard to smell in a bar.
Taste was sweet with dark fruits and roasted malts. Also some spicy alcohol and I detected some hints of citrus in the background. Delicious.
Mouthfeel was medium bodied and creamy.
Overall, a very impressive brew. I will definitely have this again very soon to see what else I can add to this review. Amazingly drinkable given the ABV. Certainly one of the best in this style.
08-04-2006 15:52:04 | More by atigerlife
4.18/5 rDev -1.2%
Appearance is quite delightful. Three finger head that dissapates slowly and excellent lacing on the sides. Dark brown in color.
Smell is fantastic as well. Sweet malt greets your nose followed by both citrus and dark fruit (apricot, and plum are most noticable)
Taste is good as well. The taste is a bit drier than the smell led me to believe it would be. A lot of wheat and oat taste, but there is a hint of fruit.
Mouthfeel is nice and frothy but still drinkable.
08-04-2006 07:38:57 | More by supercolter
3.43/5 rDev -18.9%
Nice tan head on this beer. Malt aroma hits you hard after pouring. The first sip smacked of the 10.5% abv right off the bat, but seemed to settle down after several more (sips), but the warming feeling as it flows down the esophagus is actually nice. The taste is slightly sweet and pleasant. It's a decent beer, but I've always felt that higher OG beers detract from the flavor a bit. No different with this one, but still a very drinkable beer.
08-03-2006 21:33:58 | More by MichaelMeister
4.55/5 rDev +7.6%
Aroma: Slight spice, maybe gingerbread, and hints of alcohol. Always hard to nail aroma in a bar.
Appearance: Ruby amber and very clear. Long lasting dirty white head left tidemarks of joy.
Flavor: Rich. Dark. Trappist yeast. Chocolate, burnt sugar, and roasted grain. Words, just words, they dont capture the essence.
Mouthfeel: Velvety! Low carbonation makes it hard to resist chugging like a college freshman.
Overall Impression: Fantastic! Served on tap at the Staminee De Garre with a side of mild cheese, simply heaven on earth. One of the best beers of my Belgian trip!
08-03-2006 04:03:46 | More by HardTarget
2.58/5 rDev -39%
Crimson, with a big white head. not much odor, some alcohol noticeable. ethanol is the main flavor of this beer...it hangs out in your mouth along with a sweet flavor like unfermented malts. alcohol hits hard with this sucker. it is a real bastard. mouthfeel quite thick. not easy to drink because of the alkee-hol. unfortunately it packs a punch without any real desireable flavor to go with it. an experience but not necessarily a delicious one.
08-02-2006 12:34:54 | More by aforbes10
3.95/5 rDev -6.6%
8/29/2005 $2.00 12 oz. on draft from Cable Beverage 10.50%
Fresh on tap, poured into a chalice, this is a murky brown with a swirling effervescene in the glass, though very little head, more of a thin film, and a bit of lacing.
Cherry cordials comes to mind, with the alcohol shining through a bit more than I would like, though it is tempered by the fresh fruit.
Ultra smooth, with an immediate warming quality in the mouth, imparted by the high alcohol. Alcohol is cut by fresh dark ripe fruit (cherries, plums). Finish is chewy and textured with a long intriguing aftertaste. Not the greatest belgian ever, but this is quite tasty, and worth seeking out. Nicely complex, though marred by too much alcohol presence.
08-01-2006 16:52:47 | More by cbl2
4.22/5 rDev -0.2%
330ml bottle poured into a snifter. So nice to see this on the MLCC Shelf. Unfiltered, deep red, rich, almost mahogany in colour. A fair bit of carbonation is seen even through the darkness. Poured with a substantial head that stays around and keeps a good lace. Aroma is pungent, lots of spice. Some raisins and plums, a slight sweetness and a bit yeastiness as well.
Taste is very rich. This beer packs a serious punch, chock full of fruitiness. Definitely dark fruit flavours, some breadiness and nuttiness in there, caramel, figs, and a very pleasant yeastiness. Mouthfeel is strange, thick like molasses, very creamy, but very carbonated and zippy as well. I like a tangy mouthfeel so that dosen't really bother me much. Good for dessert or relaxing after dinner. Not one you can chug but one you can enjoy sipping for an hour. Lovely.
07-27-2006 01:01:35 | More by trevorwideman
3.38/5 rDev -20.1%
The first time I had this beer, I was overwhelmed with delight. I remember it being absolutely amazing. Now this time...
Poured a dark, ruddy, raisin color. Like liquified figs. Extremely sweet aroma with notes of raisins, prunes, caramel, and slight yeast. The appearance and smell of this beer are the best traits. The taste is exceedingly of prunes and alcohol, with lesser notes of raisins, molasses, and winey tastes. Mouthfeel is EXTREMELY thick and creamy, moderate to high carbonation, which is an odd mix. Not very drinkable at all. I had a hard time finishing just one. First and foremost a dessert beer if you are a fan of dark, extremely ripe fruits like prunes and raisins. I remember this beer being better last time I had it.
Perhaps I just got a bad one. I am in no way discarding this beer based on this try. I will be buying Gulden Draak again based on my first exhilarating experience with this brew.
07-24-2006 21:36:43 | More by Doomcifer
4/5 rDev -5.4%
750mL bottle caged n corked.
An elegant ruby body, crystal clear, with a massive frothy tan head. Lacing lasts throughout the beer which is gravy.
Ripe fruity aromas creep from the over-sized wine glass. Grapey, winey, honey, and a faint nutty aroma all meld perfectly together.
Incredibly smooth for the 10.5 that this brew boasts. A nice mix of caramel, molasses, dark ripe fruit, and nuttiness. Finishes nutty and has a sugary malt aftertaste.
Medium body with nice amount of carbonation. Incredibly easy drinking for something 10%+
I just got my Mug! Hell yeah.
07-21-2006 03:31:32 | More by trep
4.83/5 rDev +14.2%
Appearance: Characteristic thick Belgian head, moderate retention, reddish brow but crystal clear
Aroma: Caramel and vanilla no hops just a hint of sweet malt and butterscotch its like a candy factory
Flavor: Delivers maple syrup, butterscotch, definitely some characteristics of that Belgian yeast dark cherries
Mouthfeel: moderate to low carbonation silky smooth full body definitely makes my top 10
07-12-2006 01:45:03 | More by acoatley
3.88/5 rDev -8.3%
A nice dark pour with a bit of head. Smells spicey with a little dark fruit. Tastes nice, but is a touch simple for such a strong belgian. Flavor sticks with the belgian spices and dark fruit and does expand within those tastes. Yes there's a nice figs flavor, but thats it. No alcohol present, and thats inpressive for a 10.5 beer. It's a good dark belgian, but I didn't find anything new or surprising. Reminds me of Chimay Blue.
07-07-2006 20:17:08 | More by tempest
3.88/5 rDev -8.3%
750 mL corked bottle.
Appearance is a lovely dark auburn color with a great, thick head that lasts pretty well for a beer of this strength.
Smell is complex. A sweet, spicy aroma with figs and dark, dried fruits with a hint of alcohol.
Taste is an interesting mix of malty sweetness with some fig and raisin flavors and hints of roasted malt as well. A bit sweet and raisin-y for my tastes, but still quite good. The alcohol is also masked well.
Mouthfeel is medium-thick, with fairly low carbonation and a somewhat sticky, syrupy feel.
Drinkability suffers a bit due to the strong sweetness and the high ABV of 10.5% that becomes more noticeable as the beer warms.
07-07-2006 13:47:29 | More by AaronHomoya
3.98/5 rDev -5.9%
I have had and reviewed this before about 2 years ago, but a friend of mine gave me one and I figured I revisit it simply because my palate may have changed a bit. Poured a red/orange/copper colour with a bit of chill haze. Khaki foamy head subsided to a patchy frost in only 40 seconds or so. The smell is very sweet with lots of stewed fruit, a bit of candy sugar, and lots of alcohol. Smells fantastic. The taste is quite good, with the exception of a very pronounced bitterness on the finish that I could do without. Plenty of sweet fruit flavour profiles present here. Also, they seemed to do a wonderful job concealing the 10.5%abv. Mouthfeel is fabulous with an amazing carbonation. It's perfect. It's enough to "stir the senses", but it isn't offensive and it doesn't "sting". I have had plenty of good beers before with a pleasant level of carbonation, but this is really nice. Even though the high abv is concealed well, it is still a big beer, but considering what it is, I still think drinkability gets a 4.
06-30-2006 01:25:29 | More by SilentSabre
4.05/5 rDev -4.3%
Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy brown with ruby edges. A thin beige head tops the beer and quickly fades to a very persistent layer.
Smell: Sweet malts, dried fruits, dates, peppery spice, yeast and moderate alcohol.
Taste: Sweet and bready upfront with notes of dried fruit. There's a slight tartness before the spicy alcoholic finish.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-bodied, creamy, tingly-carbonation.
Drinkability: The alcohol is pretty strong, but the flavors are very nice.
Overall: A nice sweet, spicy and strong dark ale.
06-24-2006 04:38:01 | More by EPICAC
4.03/5 rDev -4.7%
(Served in a chalice)
A- This beer has a warm brown dense body with a thick mousse light tan head. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles in this one.
S- This beer has a nose of sweet dark malt with brown sugar, dark raisins and a dark rum alcohol smell.
T- The taste of dark sweet malt has a dark caramel note and a vinous taste to it. The faint note of coffee candy comes through in the background. The finish has a nice alcohol bite that balances the sweetness.
M- This beer has a medium light mouthfeel with a alcohol warmth.
D-This beer has nice dark malt flavors and the alcohol helps keep it in check.
06-16-2006 17:56:39 | More by rhoadsrage
4.15/5 rDev -1.9%
Wicked devlish appearance; scarlet/fire orange, very dense in color. Whipped creamy cream head thick and frothy, leaves trace lacing behind.
Smells very spicey, different fruit aromas consisting of star fruit, peach, blood orange, fig, alcohol, yeast, with some caramel entertwined malt.
Terrific elegance and complexity, thick malt, sweet belgian yeast strain, spicey flowery esters, fig, blood orange, caramel/toffee end with a medium 30 second long finish.
Mouthfeel is supple and succulent but there is some alcohol burn in the throat and chest hence a hit in drinkability. Great belgian!!
06-15-2006 23:51:04 | More by mcallister
3.68/5 rDev -13%
Poured out of its short and stubby white painted 11.2oz bottle into a tulip glass. Body is dark brown with a monsterous head with great retention that produced lacing throughout the duration of the drink. Smell is sweet dark fruits (plumas and raisens) and alcohol. Taste is fruity with a potent alcohol bite dominating the very dry finish. This brew definately gets better as it warms up in the glass. While it is not an absolutely stellar brew, it sure does hold its own as a great beer.
06-10-2006 05:24:08 | More by cjgator3
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,048 ratings.