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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

2,980 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,980
Reviews: 1,200
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 156
Gots: 249 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,980 | Reviews: 1,200 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of bucko
bucko

Minnesota

3.15/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours with a nice carmely-brown color, almost opaque, or at least very dense. The head is off-white and at least a couple of inches which settles to about 1/2 inch after some time. The smell is sweet with hints of fruit and perhaps cake, perhaps even a little nutty. I'm not so crazy about the first sip, all I'm tasting is alcohol. Second sip I the sweet malt takes over. The aftertaste is powerful and not unlike that of a good port, albeit a bit smokey and most noticably not a port. Long term after-taste is almost astringant and I can't help but want something else to wash it away. The mouthfeel is odd to me. It looks like it should be heavier, and it's anything but light, but it isn't heavy, either. Confused? So am I. Very complex. Perhaps too much for my taste. I think I'll have to try a few more before I have a solid opinion.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2005 03:17:50 | More by bucko
Photo of pootz
pootz

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330ml belgian "stubby" bottle..1 year 3 months old. Poured an opaque brandy-red color. Tight mocha cap, soft carbonation. Nose is tart-sweet like mulled apple wine with rasins and some mustiness with light chocolate tones. Viscous body, vinous character....Wonderfully complex flavor substantial malt spine mingles with plumbs, figs, cocoa, tangerene peal bitters. Finishes wet and very brandy like in character. Warming. A great Belgian warming ale with substantial complexity.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2005 23:56:29 | More by pootz
Photo of bhitt
bhitt

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a 330 bottle. Relentless bubbly white head over dark chocolate color.

This beer has a unique and complex smell. Give yourself some time with this one. Spicy, sweet, a little citrus. Fruity with cinnamon and sugar and a robust yeastiness.

Excellent flavor. Just a sip feels like a four course meal. Extremely well-rounded and truly singular taste. Thick malty flavor and certainly sweet, balanced by subtle spicy notes that seem different every time, depending on how big a drink you take. High alcohol content is well disguised and really only combines with the carbonation for a prickly finish.

This is one of my favorites. Don't miss it. The complex flavor will force you to recall that there's just nothing like a strong Belgian ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2005 15:42:04 | More by bhitt
Photo of Zraly
Zraly

Virginia

4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful garnet-brown with a delicate, off white head. Tight, compact bubbles present the appropriate carbonation.

Wonderful smells of spice, malt and alcohol permeate my nose. Upon first sip, the carbonation tickles the outside of my mouth, basically teasing me and preparing me for what stands before me...

A most perfect tasting ale. Loads of sweet malt and fruits dominate, with an intoxicating candy-like and phenolic backdrop. A strong notion of creme brulee (burnt sugar and all) purrs through. The alcohol hums its way around my mouth and eventually my bloodstream. Smooth, dreamy finish that is warm, luscious and invites another sip.

Classy and a benchmark for the style, this is an all-around selection of goodness in a bottle. I am splitting a glass with my girlfriend pre-dinner. It's starting the evening off on a most sultry note.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2005 21:22:30 | More by Zraly
Photo of blitz134
blitz134

California

4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I’ve had this one in the cabinet for a little while now and finally decided to pop the cap on this one to celebrate the end of a day of working on a project paper. Little victories are what really matter in the long run.

This bottle has always intrigued me with its opaque white color and the quite odd robot dragon on the front. Last time I checked robot dragons didn’t drink beer. But the good thing is: no chances of being skunked by light with this one. The pour wasn’t very vigorous by any means but the head formation nearly filled my oversized wine glass with a huge frothy light tan head. While the head reduced by quite a bit but it still seemed to linger around in a thick layer on top of the nearly opaque dark garnet coloration. This is truly a beauty. This is the most opaque dark Belgian I’ve had to date.

Typical of Belgians there is the aroma is dominated by the sweet malty dark fruit characters. Mainly raisins and plums with this one with a little clove spiciness in the background. Not an overpowering smell but it is good nonetheless. There is a hint of alcohol underneath the nice aroma.

I don’t find the taste quite as complex as some of the other dark Belgians I’ve had but this one is still quite good. There is a sharp spiciness with hints of clove that sting the cheeks and lingers for quite a while with a definite belly warming sensation. Along with this spiciness there is also sourness from the tart fruits which this beer conjures up. Good flavor overall, but the spiciness skews the lines between many of the individual flavor profiles.

Mouthfeel is quite awesome. It seems almost chewy while still seeming light bodied in a way. Drinkability is brought down a bit with how much the alcohol sensation lingers. Not a session beer by anymeans, but something I’ll be sure to return to.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2005 05:12:52 | More by blitz134
Photo of OatherS
OatherS

Kansas

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

Short stubby white bottle with a black label with a gold dragon on the front and cap. 330 cL bottle.

Appearance: Loud foamy pour. One finger head that is bubbly. Dark color with a hint of amber.

Smell: Winey and alcoholy odor.

Mouthfeel: Sharp, bubbly, alcoholy hit to the taste buds.

Taste/Drinkability: A nice malty flavor that is a little bit too strong and striking for my tastes.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2005 01:42:40 | More by OatherS
Photo of AlexJ
AlexJ

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 750, the beer is darker than I imagined, almost a glowing caramel brown. The head is explosive, and ridiculously thick with staying power that is not often seen. Lacing is a spectacle itself with clinging sheets of beige hued clumps.

The aroma is a mix of clover honey sweetness, grassy herbal notes, and dark fruits. There an abundance of spicey yeast flavor complimented by a suble hop dryness in the finish, almost white-peppery.

Sweeter than the nose would indicate, but full of enough interesting complexeties to balance it out. Candy sweetness, lemony grassy hay, medicinal minerality, and plum, fig, prune, and black cherry fruits.

Mouthfeel is large, full, and sticky. Yet is finishes with a deliacte dryness that is unexpected. Not an everyday beer for sure. But a welcome change when you're in the mood.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2005 22:02:34 | More by AlexJ
Photo of Boto
Boto

Connecticut

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

Draught@ Sharp Edge Creekhouse: They had this listed on the menu as a "Barleywine" which is obviously wrong. This pours a cloudy, reddish brown color. It had a fairly large off-white head. This was a very nice beer. The aroma has notes of yeast, alcohol, caramel, fruits, and probably a lot of other things. It is very rich. The taste follows suit. This is a wonderful variation of a Tripel. Full bodied and smooth.

Serving type: on-tap

04-14-2005 22:45:33 | More by Boto
Photo of zao77
zao77

Ohio

4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The first thing I look at when pouring beer is its head and how sustaining it is. It didn't really matter how slow I poured this beer, I still had to let it set for awhile just to see any beer at the bottom. The head is extremely thick and isn't tamed too easily.

The smell is quite pleasent presenting a variety of fruits and traces of honey. The taste brings the honey straight out and I could swear I tasted some vanilla.

The main reason I gave this a 3.5 in drinkability is mostly due to its sweet nature. It's like eating too much pecan pie. It tastes really good at first bite but it is just too rich to eat the whole pie. I will have to say that like wine, it gives you a great relaxed feeling.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2005 19:33:37 | More by zao77
Photo of Citadel82
Citadel82

New Jersey

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

Presentation Bone white stubby 330ml bottle with the Global Beer Network seal on the label. No date visible.

Smell is sweet rich malt, dried fruit...apples, raisins, dates...vanilla?? and strong aroma of alcohol that fades as one becomes accustomed to it but never leaves entirely.

Taste is sweet malts, pepper, tobacco bitter lemon, orange, with strong hop almost quinine bitterness appearing in a long dry finish. There is so much alcohol it in the palate that it is very nearly overpowering. This is a powerful and complex brew. the spiciness especially the pepper numbs the tongue for a time.

Mouthfeel is thick almost buttery, sticking to the tongue and roof of the mouth and sending waves of hop bitterness cascading around the mouth as you swallow.

This is a beer for the one beer a night plan. I cannot imagine tasting anything after this one. There is nothing subtle about this brew. It assaults your senses and takes no prisoners. Like sipping a fortified wine or a dry cordial. A night cap of a brew if there is a such a class.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2005 02:31:00 | More by Citadel82
Photo of MuddyFeet
MuddyFeet

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Liquid pumpernickel. The beer looks like liquified pumpernickel and smells like it. Filtered mud. There was a thick and stubborn head on top. The nose is bready and yeasty. The taste is very fruity--but dried and earthy fruits like raisins, prunes, apples, apricots and bananas. Also, just a hint of honey. A very full bodied beer that clings to the palate.Would make a great beer to go with a dessert tart.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2005 22:20:49 | More by MuddyFeet
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 2,980 ratings.