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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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3,355 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,355
Reviews: 1,251
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 214
Gots: 452 | 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.
View: Beers (83) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,355 | Reviews: 1,251 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BarrelO
2.58/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

11.2oz bottle poured into a goblet. I've been sort of afraid of this beer since the cork from a 750ml bottle shot me in the eye last May. Now's a good a time as any to face my fears.

A: Dark red, slightly darker than a barleywine. Two-finger head that quickly fades.

S: Heavily fruity. Not just dark fruits, either. There's also BSPA-like pear and citrus notes. This really is like a dark tripel.

T: Yikes. Cloying sweetness combined with heavy phenols. Bready aftertaste.

M: Lighter than expected with the carbonation.

D: Drain pour. I should have left this dragon in its lair. I'm going to have to have a Saison Dupont just to cleanse my palate.

Photo of pants678
4.76/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml, a nice deep, dark amber color. Single finger white head with a body that's closer to red than brown.

First is cinnamon, then oak, not overpowering through.

Tastes of brown sugar and sour cherries, on the back, then raspberry or cherry. Sweet but not tart. Hard to go beyond that, really. I once thought of his beer as a stroll on the beach at midnight. Possibly the most pretension thing I've ever said about beer.

The bubbles are fine, as with most Belgian's I've had to this point.

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

poured this into my goblet that is always hungry for a new beer style ,the bottles a chubby milk white 330 ml with a date of 01/2010.

A,this beer is a dark brown with reddish tint to it .i got a froth head but it went away it left some spotty lace .

S, some fruity ester and a nice malt aroma a minor citus and alcohol scent to it,not much hops .

T,this has got some full body and creamy flavor going on. the alcohol is there ,fruit and malt sweetness that hold it`s taste this beer knows you like it,and it right .

M,it`s got some good malt and alcohol feel in my month, brown sugar,lite fruit that has a sweet after taste ,pleasant ,rich and flavorful.

D, it`s a very cool beer, from the bottle to the pour and all the way until your finished it`s a exciting beer to drink . cheers..

Photo of northaustin
3.76/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

gulden draak is a treat for sure. it is really good and its price usually reflects so. ive had it in the 750ml cork bottle and in the regular 11.2fl. oz. bottle, i have to say if your gonna pay for gulden draak you might as well go for the 750ml botttle because it tastes better in my opinion and youre gonna want more than 11.2fl. oz.

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

330 ml bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Color is dark brown, with a nice ruby hue. Khaki head looks great, supports good retention till halfway through.

Very sweet and malty aroma. Not very strong or complex, but appealing nonetheless.

First taste is almost overbearingly sweet, This mellows out after a few sips, and malts come through with more depth.

Mouthfeel is buttery, with lingering spiciness.

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.

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,355 ratings.