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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
95
world-class

3,235 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,235
Reviews: 1,222
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 190
Gots: 361 | FT: 4
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,235 | Reviews: 1,222 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of msubulldog25
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a couple 33cl bottles to a pair of large 'Gulden Draak' tulips and served with a wonderful cast iron skillet-cooked chicken and vegetable dish my wife made. A perfectly 'Belgian'-type dish with a fantastic Belgian beer.

A: Enormous 4+ finger rocky eggshell-white head, that lingers long and fades gracefully. Perfectly crests above the rim of the tulip glass and leaves behind speckled nuggets of sticky lace. Carbonation constantly rises through a clear, deep maple-brown/maroon liquid, tinted with ruby flecks. Gorgeous, plain and simple.

S: Sweet, spicy, amply boozy. When inhaling in this beer, everything seems right in the world. See below, as most everything in the taste comes through in the smell.

T: What strikes me every time is the similarity to the best rum-soaked, raisin-filled warm bread pudding. Every bit of spice, sweetness, alcoholic warmth in that dessert seems to be captured by this beer. Malty and a little yeasty, spiced with cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. Fruitiness like warm ripe cherries and dates. May get just a little too sweet as it warms, but it's hard to find too much fault with that. Just a delicious beer.

M: Moderate bubbly, soda-like carbonation. An active mouthfeel results, with medium to full body. Warming alcohol (not heat) wraps the tongue and clings to the cheeks, with lingering spiciness. Plentiful alcohol stays 'warm' without ever going overboard.

D: A wonderful beer that is enjoyable on all levels, pleasing to all the senses. Paired with food or sipped alone, there are a select few beers that can compete with GD. Will enjoy this one again and again, 4 thumbs up (me & my wife)! Thanks to Jef and the team at Van Steenberge for making this fine stuff!!!

msubulldog25, Mar 10, 2007
Photo of mithrascruor
4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful clear dark ruby-red-brown color. Luxurious thick, heavy, & lumpy off-white head.

Smell: Very bready, with bananas and figs. A bit faint, however.

Taste: Has a wonderful malty/bready taste with a proper amount of sweetness. Candy-like in some ways, but it's not sickly or over-the-top whatsoever. Spices (such as peper and cloves) are present as well, together with some fruits (such as banana). Slight bit of alcohol in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and very smooth with a very mild & tingly carbonation sensation.

Drinkability: The alcohol does gradually become more noticable in the taste after a bit. Very strong (alcohol-wise) as well.

An exceptional beer and one of my favorites. It's not always that easy to find, but if you do, it's definitely worth a try. A real treat.

mithrascruor, Mar 06, 2007
Photo of Drew966
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) pours a dark reddish brown color with an enormous off white head from a twelve ounce brown bottle that was painted white. There is serious lacing of my Gulden Draak tulip. I smell dark red fruit, maybe some candy sugar. There is a little red fruit in the flavor, but not much that starts the taste, then it becomes more phenolic with some alcohol spiciness. Interesting, definitely worth a try.

Drew966, Mar 06, 2007
Photo of jmc44
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a Gulden Draak tulip glass a somewhat hazy dark brown with red hues, a 2-finger tannish head. The head leaves very nice lacing and is always present.

Fairly aromatic with some spicy alcohol, malty sweetness, and dark fruits, raisins. Very appealing and pronounced.

Upfront is the malty sweetness, a bit chocolate and caramel, followed by dark fruits, raisins. Finishes with a hint of spice from alcohol. Very, very nice. Wonderful to drink.

The beer is velvety and creamy; a delite to drink. Although it is strong at 10.5% ABV, it goes down easy and will knock you on your butt if you are not careful.

All in all a wonderful beer, one of my favorites.

jmc44, Mar 04, 2007
Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a short, stubby, three tiered, white bottle. This brew pours a very dark brown, almost black color with a wonderfully thick cream colored head.

Wow! This is the most aromatic BSDA I've had so far. Smells of sweet candy sugars, dates, grapes, beet sugars... A veritable cornucopia of intense aromas.

Tastes of grapes and sweet malts. Maybe a bit of fig or date in there as well. Very full, creamy mouthfeel. The only downside at all is the drinkability. Very powerful abv. Just one of these belgian behemoths and I've got a mean buzz.

bluegrassbrew, Mar 04, 2007
Photo of khiasmus
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep amber that's slightly cloudy with a beautiful creamy light head that retains for minutes.

S- Sweet, fruity, malty, and you can smell the warm alcohol. Very faint hint of piney hops. This beer smells absolutely wonderful.

T- Sweet, complex and strong flavor. much like the smell, very malty, with subtle bitterness in the back from hops that almost balance.

M- Smooth all the way down with medium carbonation.

D- Very, very dangerously drinkable.

khiasmus, Mar 03, 2007
Photo of jmz62565
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy brownish/red with a large tan head that leaves great lacing. A very impressive looking brew. The smell is pungent with sweet malt, alcohol, and some different dark fruits. The taste is creamy with dark fruit,sweet malt,candy sugar,alcohol, and a carmel/like smoothness. The m/f is medium with all the flavors mixing very well wgile doing a good job of hiding the 10.5 alcohol. The warmth is there,just hidden in the first sip. This is a true Belgian classic that should be had by all !!!! Cheers.

jmz62565, Feb 27, 2007
Photo of IceAce
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium brown body capped with two fingers of dirty brown foam. Clarity is excellent and lacing is minimal.

The nose is earthy malt...and slightly musty. Entry is somewhat zippy, leading to a midtaste of burnt sugar and damp, musty earth. The finish is a wonderful combination of toasted marshmallows and rum-soaked cherries.

Simply an outstanding Strong Dark Ale...

IceAce, Feb 26, 2007
Photo of BeerHonky
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, corked and caged. Poured into my small Piraat goblet. Pours a wonderful shade of brown with nice ruby highlights hidden within. Big fluffly white head that dissipated to a nice glass coating lace. BIG hints of dark fruit here particularly raisins and dates soaked in a bit of alcohol. Underneath that I found a faint, buttery malt sweetness aroma. This beer smells really big! To my surprise, it did not taste very big...meaning that it hid its palatable alcohol pretty well. On top of the raisiny flavor I also got a nice refreshing apple taste. Also present is a subtle caramel malt backbone with little bits of butterscotch here and there. This is super tastey. Normally I'd think carbonation would be weird in a beer like this, but the bubbles are very smooth and enhance the creamy mouthfeel which leaves behind a pleasant sweetness that is not sticky. And finally, this beer will kick you to the curb if you're not careful...it hides the booze extremely well.

BeerHonky, Feb 20, 2007
Photo of barefootbrewer
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance of this beer is very dark with a slight amber hue. The carbonation gushed and left a thick off-white persistent head with nice lacing. The smell is sour and spicy – definite malt as well. The taste is malty with sourness. There are some citrus notes….excellently balanced. This beer has a full feel, just shy of chewy. The carbonation lends a refreshing surprise This is an excellent beer that I’m thinking is very drinkable!

barefootbrewer, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of kelticblood
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Absolutely exceptional appearance! Poured a huge very thick beige head that actually retained its height. Reduced a bit which revealed evenly thick lacing that encircled my glass. The color is a very dark red. When held up to the the light it is clear which no sediment or hazing. Bubbling carbonation is seen rising from the bottom up. First sip was extremely over-powering and hits you hard. 10.50 ABV is not hidden. Very thick bodied.. Doesnt really leave a long lingering bitterness, but has a dry finish. Great carbonation.. There is so much going on in the taste its hard to rate and describe. Sweet malts with hints of molasses and raisins.No hop flavor I could detect. Aroma is all malt and alcohol. The mouthfeel is very harsh and doesn't go down smooth. This beer makes no attempts to please the masses and doesn't hold back on anything. This came in a special 6 pack of Exclusive belgian Ales. This is a complex beer that takes no prisoners!

kelticblood, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of jamie2dope
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured into a Chimay chalice a chestnut brown color, with a small white lace head that held up quite well. Smell was through the roof with overly ripe fruit flavors, and some chocolate. Sort of reminds me chocolate covered cherries. Taste was also big on the candy-like fruit, and also a bit of spicy herb as well. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, and high on the drinkability factor. The alcohol is really well hidden on this beer. I never would have guessed that it was anywhere near 10% alcohol. I will definitely be coming back to this beer in the near future.

jamie2dope, Feb 16, 2007
Photo of BitteBier
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bar area was dark, but so is this beer itself. Some crimson peeked out from the dark murk when I exposed it to the light. A really nice, foamy, off-white head on this one that persisted long enough that I had to ingest some of it to get at the liquid foundation. The nose is potent, though less of alcohol than sweet grains and dark, fruity notes. The taste is sweeter than I had expected, and the alcohol was not quite in balance, though also not unduly assertive. A bit of chocolate/red wine and hops makes things interesting. The mouthfeel is nice--substantial but not clingy. Our server pushed this as "what some have called the best beer in the world." That lowered my expectations for it, actually, but I'm glad I gave it a try.

BitteBier, Feb 13, 2007
Photo of Gmann
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby color, with a moderate off-white head that dissipated into a slight cap that left some spotty lacing. The smell is of light candi sugar, dark fruit, not as strong as a tripel. The taste is slightly sweet, a hint of carob, light raisin/plum flavor. This brew would benefit from less carbonation as I think it takes away from the taste. It has tight carbonation, champagne like, finishes smooth. A very nice balanced beer & quite drinkable though the carbonation needs some dulling down.

Gmann, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of Jwaks
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving 11.2 oz bottle

Lively whisps of fine bubbles course through a murky, muddy brown body, travelling up to meet a slowly settling glossy khaki cap of froth. Loads of thick sticky dirty-white lace cling to the inside of the glass creating a very attractive and appetizing appearance.

Tons of sour apple, dried currant and bitter yeast aromas dominate the nose with hints of chalk, dry carob, yeast,s concord grape jam, sweet bready chocolate malts and whiffs of spicy alcohol. The nose is disconcerting and reason for concern, the look doesn't match the nose and I have a feeling this will be a very unbalanced sweet and sour brew.

Gentle semi-sweet carob, chalky chocolate malt, mild dark bread and granny smith apple flavors effortlessly cascade across the palate giving way to deeper dark bready malts and hints of dried red berries on the equisitly open knit mid palate. Spicy alcohol peaks on the warm and delicious moderately long finish boasting sweet, creamy milk chocolate, a bit of sour apple and bitter yeast. Wow, the nose is thankfully misleading; this is one very enjoyable and complex brew.

A thick, rich and creamy mouthfeel makes this beer feel almost buttery on the palate. Drinkability is very good though slight sourness and warming alcohol keep drinkability a bit below exceptional.

If you ever spy a white bottle adored withs a black label emblazoned with a golden drake then pick it up, you won't be let down.

Cheers!

Jwaks, Feb 07, 2007
Photo of ccrida
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from draft into a Gulden Draak tulip, this is a dangerously wonderful beer. The Appearance is a deep ruby with a very tall, creamy off-white head that leaves a very sticky lace and nice-sized collar until then end...which I have to say, never lasts that long for me, and I've had many! The aroma is very sweet, malt and brandy, slight spice but not to complex. The taste is much deeper, initially a bit sweet and vinous, then opening into fig, toffee, prune and toasted malt, and finishing with a strong boozy kick that is a bit on the fusel side. There is not much effervescence and a nice creamy mouthfeel that is well balanced with a bit of diactly butteriness that really works well here, adding up to a very drinkable beer.

ccrida, Feb 03, 2007
Photo of brdc
3.15/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beautiful beer with a strong dark color and a nice tan head.
Smells like roasted malts, somewhat like a porter which I thought it was odd.
Taste is also peculiar for a belgian strong dark ale, with the usual heavy malts but a bitter taste that I cannot relate to hops and it just feels different, although not unpleasant.
Full bodied, however, it has that strange bitter taste that makes me wonder if this beer was not too long on the shelf.
As it is, I do not really like it, but will give it another try.

brdc, Feb 03, 2007
Photo of JimsArcade
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Medium-brown and cloudy. The pour from the tap left very little head. It looks heavy and almost daunting.

S: Syrupy, caramel-malt aroma hints at slow-sipping beer: what I'd expect of a beer of this magnitude. The smell is dominanted by raisins.

T: Excusite and complex. The malty sweetness is actually quite mild and finishes relatively dry.

M: Smooth and a little sticky given its associated mild-sweetness. It's not as heavy as I thought it was going to be.

D: Remarkably easy to drink given the alcohol content. If I wasn't told the ABV ahead of time, I would've ordered more and eventually been in trouble.

Draak is one of the best belgian strong ales I've ever had. Highly recommended!

JimsArcade, Feb 02, 2007
Photo of jhicks12
3.35/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured a nice Brown amber burgundy color with a fluffy with head.

Smell: nice sweet malt and citrus and a little alcohol in there as well.

Taste: Nice balanced malt sweet nice with a little clove and citrus in the finish

Mouthfeel: Nice Bubble carbonation and smooth feel. Gulden Draak has a nice balance

Drinkability: One of the more drinkable Belgians in my opinion, I would actually beable to drink more than one. Most Belgians are either too sweet or a little to dry. The

jhicks12, Feb 02, 2007
Photo of koolchas
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into a goblet.

i must first preface this as gulden draak on tap at my local yard house restaurant is what brought me back to drinking high quality brew.

a: pours a very dark burgandy. can't see though it and up to the light (like a lamp), you the color is a nice cherry. starts off with just shy of 1" head for me that goes down and stays as a very thin layer on top. lace galore.

s: pepper spice and malt. a good hint of banana. the alcohol does jump out of the glass ever so slightly.

t: plum/prune, cherry, and cinnamon.

m: take on sip, do a quick swish in the mouth, breathe through the nose and feel the carbonation take over your mouth. leaves the mouth spicy with a hint of chocolate and cherry.

d: a very good brew. easy to drink and the complexity hides the high alcohol content.

now, to compare vs. on tap: there is more carbonation for the bottle serving vs. tap. overall, this brew is more "mellow" on tap making it even more drinkable. tonight, i know i'll only have two bottles but, when on tap, i can easily take down 4 in a matter of a few hours.

enjoy and cheers!

koolchas, Feb 02, 2007
Photo of theopholis
3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance-Dark amber/ruby wuth an aggreasive off-white head. Head appears to have significant staying power, and leaves a decent amount of lace. Amazingly, you can't taste the 10.5% alcohol. Must be the Belgium influence....

Aroma- Rich, sweet malts with a fair amount of breadiness. Some molasses and caramel. Yet very clean smelling.

Taste- Full bodied. Very nice,complex malt sweetness with hints of caramel, brown sugar, and ripe dark fruits . The spice and fusels are very subdued but are there.

Mouthfeel- Medium body. Just a tad over-carbonated, but it's not bad.

Drinkability- Pretty drinkable for a 10.5% beer.

theopholis, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of velo343
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - A deep amber, slight crimson, with a thick, beige head that really sticks to the sides of the glass.

Smell - Bready, caramel and a chalky yeast aroma. Some fruity esters, golden raisins and a bit of spiciness. Really pleasing.

Taste - A strong yeast taste at the finish. There is a peppery spiciness and some phenols that come through the sweet maltiness. Some alcohol is there in the mix.

Mouthfeel - The beer is quite thick and syrupy, like honey, but really finishes quite dry.

Drinkability - A good beer that has a lighter body than the color implies. A great match to Indian food and other foods with a bit of spice.

velo343, Jan 31, 2007
Photo of theformula
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Deviously dark, with a bright ruby/port body at the heart. Upon first glance it's dark amber. Monstrous tan head that retains very well with that Belgian lace look.

Rich, sweet malts and wheat-like yeast. Just a hint of candy sugar. Big molasses, caramel and spice (clove). Some fusel presence is there, but it's almost mute. Syrupy, rich aroma. Raisins and banana cream with only a subtle, leafy hope presence. Slightly phenolic.

Full bodied and incredibly creamy-smooth. So balanced with such a great bite of carbonation. Can't deny the overriding, amazing sweetness of this brew. Super rich malts start off with caramel, brown sugar, pankake syrup and ripe dark fruits (dates and raisins) and a chocolate milk cocoa mix.
Spicy, peppery alcahol fusels kick in midway and are definitely formidable but not invasive. Great Belgian yeast layer of banana and just a nod of hops that are faintly herbal but don't interfere with the big, bold and utter ruchness of this brew. A jolt of clove and some vanilla as well.

A hugely rich, complex and strong dark ale. Just gets better as it warms up. An experience that can't be missed, honestly.

Just plan on falling asleep soon after...

theformula, Jan 29, 2007
Photo of rec
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Immediately the pour will have your attention as the amazing deep brown colour fills the glass and the bubbly head creates a beautiful lacing.

Gulden Draak brings to life the fruity aroma and taste of cherry and plum with a bald malt finish which leans towards a caramel flavour.

At 10.5% this one is definately a sipper, and has a great mouth feel. I sat back with my feet up at my local Belgian Beer Cafe in the sun for upwards of half an hour drinking the one glass, and I can't have imagined a better way to experience it.

An a-grade acomplishment and definately worth trying if you haven't. It's perhaps the most well-rounded (appearance, aroma, mouthfeel and taste) brew I've had yet, but ensure you drink it at around 10 degrees celsius because anything below just won't do it justice.

rec, Jan 22, 2007
Photo of dpool
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first thing that struck me about this beer was the deep amber color; holding it up to the light I could barely see through. The smell was amazing and reminded me of sweet cinnamon and brown sugar. The first taste was just as sweet with a stong hint of alcohol at the end.

I enjoyed this beer after a long night of work and it definitly hit the spot. I will be sure to buy this one again and again.

dpool, Jan 09, 2007
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 3,235 ratings.