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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)

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3,269 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,269
Reviews: 1,226
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 200
Gots: 384 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,269 | Reviews: 1,226 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank out of a nice chalice.
A- Dark reddish brown liquid with a nice cream colored foam, not a lot of lacing.

S- Dark fruits such as dates, figs, and raisins.

T- Tasted good, sweet and delicious flavors of what was smelled.

M- Smooth, kinda thick, but not syrupy.

D- Easy to drink.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz white bottle, served in a tulip glass.

L - clouded, dark red/amber color with a huge beige head that left globs of sticky lacing.

S - sweet, date/fig aroma.

T - sweetness of dark fruit flavors start this one out, balance of hop bitterness kicks in before the caramel sweetness on the finish.

F - medium bodied with plenty good carbonation.

D - easy drinking brew.

Photo of aubuc1
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap poured into a chimay goblet.

pours a deep amber/brown with a thin head

smells bready/yeasty with some light fruits

tastes sweet, belgian yeasty and plummy

mouthfeel is pretty warm due to heavy alcohol

very nice frinking beer for such high abv
i am missing some smells probably due to low temp

Photo of sevopie
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Cloudy Brown with a tannish head that retains rather well.

Smell - a cacophony of subtle fruit smells with a few spices (nutmeg and ginger stand out) and a slight malt smell.

Taste - Sugary, fruity, and malty. Once again, there's a ton of fruit flavors, almost too many to pick out. Those that I can: figs, raisins and even peaches. Very nice caramel finish.

Mouthfeel - I always harp on this, but Belgians are highly carbonated, most too much. This is no exception, but it usually seems to work with the style. This one definitely works well as such, and has a very slightly oily mouthfeel.

Drinkability - Excellent Belgian that you would have no idea its approaching 11%. As with most Belgians, this one is done well in moderation due to the high carbonation and high ABV.

Photo of hoegaardenhero
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: beautiful opaque brown w/ some ruby highlights; light tightly bubbled off-white head that leaves decent lace

s: sweet spicy gingerbread and bananabread; light grains; some fruitiness; warm and malty with light alcohol

t: nice winter spiciness; nice banana bread and biscuit; light alcohol; darker toffee malts; dark fruits

m: light sharp carb but smooth and syrupy without being clingy

d: really good belgian dark; spicy and warming
a: amber brown that light barely shines through; light tan foam that fades leaving splotches on head on top; no visible movement

s: really strong wine; light abv; iron; apples; some light sweet syrupiness; warm malts

t: caramel; warm toffee; light wheat biscuit; some spiciness; dark fruits; seems mellowed since last time;

m: light carb; light cloy; my girlfriend says it is too syrupy and it is a little syrupy

d: still a really good beer; has mellowed with age and is different but still just as good

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

11.2 oz bottle into a Gulden Draak chalice.

Pours a dark mahogany hue with a sizable inch of bubbly, custard head. The foam slowly recedes to a wispy cap, while the etched circle at the glass' base keeps a central patch well-supplied with bubbles. Aroma is a superb blend of dark fruit (over-ripened apples, black cherry, currant, and grape) with some spicy yeast and fig.

The flavor of Gulden Draak is everything a Belgian Strong Dark Ale should be. Complexity is an understatement, here, as rich caramel malts are awash in a sea of syrupy, dark fruit notes, spice, and musty hops. Mouthfeel is top-notch, with an uppity carbonation level that would be off-putting in other brews. Here, it envigorates the palate and releases some of the more intricate flavors before a warming, boozy alcohol presence grips the back of the palate. Not only is this 10.5% ABV beer delicious, but it's highly (if not dangerously) drinkable. A true belgian beauty.

Photo of MinorThreat
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a painted white bomber.

A-Mahogany hue deep rich color and just a skim of head

S-Rather light, some caramel and toast

T-Rich malty sweetness, caramel, herbal tea, a ton going on i this one. The alcohol gives a subtle flavor but hidden really well. The sweetness is there but not overpowering.

M-Tons of suspended CO2 hidden in it, gives a nice balance to the sweetness and lightens up the body.

D-Very rich and should be enjoyed in moderation.

Photo of roadhouse
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Pours a deep mahogany with a rocky light tan two finger head that leaves a bit of patchy lacing down the glass.

Aromas of bubble gum, dark fruits, caramel, banana, funked up Belgian yeast, and a little alcohol.

Flavors are similar to the aroma. However, a cherry-like fruitiness now seems to dominate. Banana and bubble gum are no longer present. Caramel is present but seems to be overpowered by spice and fruit. Finishes dry, spicy, and somewhat tart.

Mouthfeel is medium-light. High carbonation level makes it very creamy.

Picked up a single bottle of this from the local beer store and had no idea what to expect from this...but wow, it's amazing. The 10.5% isn't apparent at all until you start catching a buzz. Of all the Belgian beers that I've had this is definitely one of the most complex. Great stuff.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We're getting into the meat and potatoes of the Stubby Belgian Invite with this beer at hand, and tommorrow will conclude with another strong beer. On to the beer:

A foamer into my snifter, a ruby brown color highlights the beer's appearance. Head retention is very good. Whiffs of phenolic and dark fruits in the aroma. There's a touch of pepper too.

The high alcohol level and smoothness of the beer are the first things to be noticed in the mouth. Typical dark fruit flavors found in this style are juicy and dominant. Touches of prunes and raisins, then a drying grain note. Goes peppery at times towards the end of the sip. Oh, and it's very alcoholic.

What a kick and what a taste. This is the boozy man's Chimay Blue, and a score that should put it in the competiton for winner of the Stubby Belgain Invite. We'll comclude the Stubby Belgain tomorrow night with, wait for it....another Belgian beer in a stubby bottle.

Photo of biegaman
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle, with best before of 05/07/08. Purposely and properly aged for curiosity's sake, enjoyed June 2008. Little change has been observed, the beer has always seemed this sublime to me...

Sandbanks of beige head peak and trough throughout the surface; they seem to only thicken throughout the tasting. This has more colour than most dark beers. The complexion is highly concealed despite having warm tones. The colour, to the light, is a glowing crimson. Hold it up, it is simply cunning.

Freshly baked bread meets sun-drying figs and prunes. The aroma showcases all that is wonderful with Belgian yeasts: the fruity esters, undertones of grape, plum and raisin; scorching Scotch like malts and musty hints of molasses, ginger, cinnamon and brown sugar.

A marriage of lightly tart, fruity tones and bready, biscuit, toffee laced malts. Honey sweetness overcoats the dark fruit flavour of plum, red grapes, and dates. The yeast imparts a hint of esters and spice - cinnamon, molasses, ginger, cookie dough, burnt sugar, tart apples and prunes. Contrary to the popular expression, this is thought for food.

Carbonation is at an ideal level; the body is ever lively, but far from syrupy, allowing flavours sparkle and then dry out on the palate uninterrupted. The tastes stick and reside in the mouth. It's a paradox: every sip makes you fretfully agog for the next, and yet, it is enormously satisfying.

This is certainly one of the most gratifying Belgian Strong Dark Ales there is. Fresh and aged, I have had this now on many occasions and never finished the glass anything but satisfied. This is an essential for the cellar and to have on hand. I'm glad this is exactly as it is.

Photo of tiger88
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep copper/mahogony into thw glass that prodused a coppery white head. The head dissipated rather quickly. The aroma of malty bread goodness coupled by a sweet spice came through. It tastes remarkably like it smells. The alcohol is well hidden and the spiciness lays over the malt really well. There is a realy clean mouthfeel with this beer with little to no aftertaste. Very drinkable triple. Seek this one out!

Photo of SLeffler27
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This Draak tulip glass nearly burst outward from the huge dense pale ivory head, as the rich ruby dragon's blood swirls below. As the ratio of beer to head diminishes, lushes foam plasters itself on the glass.

Sweet cherry drifts in clouds above the rim, only to be punctuated by bourbon and chocolate. This aroma begins to pound away, growing stronger with the invasion of warmth.

How can it be that such promise can fall short? Mind you, the chocolate raisins and dried berries are delightful, but sometimes the pinnacle of enjoyment comes with the prelude to a kiss.

Gulden Draak brings adventure with it's high carbonation, and dense texture, and rush of warming alcohol.

An entire evening can be devoted to complex beers like this. Just be careful to sip along the way, as this one packs a wallop.

Photo of ClashmoreMike
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A= Dark copper color. Cloudy. Huge light tan head that goes down to a thin but solid head for the duration. Lots of lacing.

S = Very malty. Also smells like sweet apple cider. Some alcohol. Yeasty. Some chocolate in there as the beer warms.

T = Like the smell, very malty. Warming alcohol, with a fair amount of fruity sweetness (like alcohol preserved cherries and figs). A hint of chocolate. Some bitterness in there, but the balance still tilts towards the sweet.

M = Medium to heavy mouthfeel. Very, very smooth. I'd say the carbonation level felt on the tongue was medium -- it's definitely there but it doesn't assault and overwhelm the tongue. The carbonation fits this beer nicely.

D = It's clearly a quality brew but, for my taste, I just think that it's a little too sweet to get a better score or to entice me to drink more than one in a sitting. I enjoyed this beer more after I was halfway through it and got used to its sweetness.

Photo of ski271
4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Medium-dark ruby-brown with a medium-sized, light tan, slowly diminishing head. Smell is sweet and malty and big. Belgian yeast, candi sugar, dark fruit and alcohol. The taste is huge. Very complex. Figs, dark cherries, raisin, and tobacco to name a few. It's complexity is matched by thick, full body and syrupy texture. This is one beast of a beer. Fantastic! I definitely recommend seeking out this beer.

Photo of KeefD
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with hints of amber, decent amount of foam in the snifter that goes away quickly, leaving no lacing. Smell is super sweet, grassy, and slightly herbal. Taste is ultra-malty, slightly fruity, with hints of dark fruits (plums, raisins) and roasted malts. Good mouthfeel, very high carbonation gives this one a nice body. A good BSDA.

Photo of bbothen
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz into a Piraat snifter.

A - Gusher upon opening but pours a nice rust/brown color with an airy 2 finger head. Nice soapy lace that sticks to glass.

S - Smells sweet, but not overly. Raisins, apple cider, fruity. Very nice.

T - Spicy flavors nicely balanced with the sweet malt & fruit flavors. A bit sour as well, but you may have to look for it. Caramel as well. I likey.

M - Somewhat biting from the carbonation. Still nicely smooth & dry finish.

D - A nice take your time and enjoy it beer. The carbonation would make this a " 2 in a sitting beer" for me. 10.5%. Duh.

This is a fine beer. If you haven't tried it, well, you should. One of the better Belgian strong style brews out there.

Photo of yemenmocha
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with light brown head.

Nose has aromas of dark cherry, dark chocolate, and fresh baked brownbreads.

On the palate the body is simply creamy & full, with enough zippy carbonation to keep it interesting. Dark fruits come through as expected, raisins, maybe fig newtons, and some sweet bready flavors too.

Finish is creamy soft and rather sweet.

Photo of dstc
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark ruby color with a big, full off-white head. Great head retention and lacing.

Smells sweet and malty.

Yummy. So smooth and malty. Real full malt flavor with a nice sweetness that balances so well. Tastes of malt, chocolate or maybe caramel, a bit herbal.

In the mouth feels full bodied with a pleasant alcohol bite.

Love it, love it. On of my favorites, a damn fine beer.

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

Presentation: It was poured from a white painted 330ml or 11.2oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: It is a dark hazy liquid that is a deep mahogany color with an abundance of small bubbles that form a thick head. The head is light tan in color and has great retention time.

Smell: The aroma has a sweet and fruity character with yeast and a definite alcohol presence.

Taste/Mouth feel: Up front I get a light sting of tart fruit, sour cherry and yeast that quickly turns sweet and malty. More dark sweet fruits come out now like figs, raison and prune mixed with Belgian candy sugar. The alcohol starts to add some warmth and some herbal hops are detected as it heads to the finish were it turns fairly dry. It is well carbonated yet smooth and full bodied.

Notes: This is an excellent Belgian Strong Dark Ale with all the complexity and strength that I love in Belgian ales.

Photo of Nipitato
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a kick ass looking bottle at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Deep amber hue with ruby highlights. Thick and moussy tann/off white head with good retention. Good clarity despite darkness. A good looking beer.

S: Boozy with some scotch like character. Some chocolate and butterscotch (though not diacetyl). Dark fruit esters - raisins come through strong. Spicy: clove, cinnamon, and allspice. This is a very good nose.

T: Boozy strong again with some scotch like character. Very sweet - butterscotch (again not diacetyl) carries through. Some bitterness at the end. The phenols in this beer are very prominent. Clove, cinnamon, and allspice all come to mind. The bitterness balances out the sweetness well.

MF: Full mouthfeel. Well carbonated. Slick and creamy. Alcohol warming present but not hot.

D,notes: A great sipping beer. Very well balanced with nice phenolic compliments.

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

On tap poured into a tulip glass

A: Dark brown coffee appearance. Heavily carbonated. A small brown head with some lacing that sticks around for the whole drink.

S: A orange citrus scent with some heavy malt scents (brown sugar).

T: Lots of malt flavor, some chocolate and caramel. Lots of sugar flavors, almost candy like. It was nothing I have tasted before, which may just be inexperience, or the beer may be that unique.

M: Oh so creamy, leaving a sweet, somewhat alcohol taste on the tongue, teeth and lips.

D: An extremely high ABV, but it is oh so good. Definitely a sit back and sip on beer, good for the winter.

Photo of OtisinAZ
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As i am not a big fan of the Belgiums (too sweet) this triple was one hell of a surprise.
The pour - dark with a nice tan head that settled fairly quickly.
The taste - WOW!!! perfect balance of sweet with a caramel malt perfectly carbonated. Easy drinking and enjoyable.
The smell - slight nutty and candy left me wondering what I was in for. Turns out it was one of the finest beers I have ever had.

Photo of rye726
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This dark triple pours a deep mahogany color with an active head that settles to a silky cover. Perhaps my nose if off, but I don't find much in the aroma department. Sweet candy malt, dark fruits and a collection of Belgian spices. The taste builds on what I found in the nose. Again an impressive malt structure with ripe berries, toffee, caramel and peppery alcohol. A crisp yet creamy body has a good feel. A well balanced brew considering the strength.

Photo of dreadnatty08
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy, medium caramel color with a massive, well supported off-white head. Aroma is quite fruity with plenty of plum and raisin notes, caramel, minor clove phenols. On the palate, the incredibly highly carbonated brew brings a rush of bready, melanoiden rich fruits, spicy alcohol and finishes quite dry and clean driven still by the high carbonation. Quite the clean and complex beer, incredibly drinkable and quite enjoyable. I'd really check this one out again.

Photo of beerkittycat
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearane is a murky deep amber brown with a lingering frothy tan head. Malty aroma laced with essence of plum, cherry and very faint flowery hops. Taste is full of the same malty flavors of plum and cherry. Low hop flavor and bitterness takes a backseat to the malt flavors but complements nicely. Mouthfeel is bordering on chewy but not quite like a barelywine. Finish is slightly sweet and dry but not cloying. A beautiful beer all around.

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 3,269 ratings.