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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.

2,987 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,987
Reviews: 1,201
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 159
Gots: 252 | FT: 3
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)
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Ratings: 2,987 | Reviews: 1,201 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of saltydog

New York

4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not sure why this is labelled "dark tripel" here...I've never seen it labelled that way in Belgium. At any rate...Appearence: Reddish brown, dark with highlights. Big rocky head. Clear. Aroma: Malty, sugary, noticeable caramel. Flavor: Sweet, malty caramel. No roastiness.Mouthfeel: Smooth, cream. Finish: Smooth, clean, with a lingering caramel.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2003 03:08:12 | More by saltydog
Photo of GreatPondBrewer


4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A birthday present from my housemates. Poured a faded mahogony with a dried buckskin colored head that frothed and bubbled. Smell was deep and rich with esters a plenty, fig, current and ahint of deep red fruits. Taste was hearty and full bodied without too much dominence by the alcohol. In fact the only indication was the warming throat sensation. The taste abounded with figs, mollassas, syrup more dried cherries, and scoops full of brown sugar. Mouthfeel was bubbley but remained full bodied and plentiful. Great autumn beer to warm to as the sun draws low and frost begins to creep like spiderwebs up the window panes.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2003 05:18:00 | More by GreatPondBrewer
Photo of ViveLaChouffe


4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a 750ml bottle.

Pours a beautiful cherywood color. Deep reddish brown. A small tan head. Smells of apples and strong malt. Syrupy sweet and strong.

Tastes of big malt. Sweet and smooth. Apple flavors are evident. The ABV is listed at 10.5% but you would never know it from the taste. There is no alcohol bite. It is amazingly smooth. Finishes with a sweet/sour aftertaste. Big full bodied beer but subtle as well. It doesn't bludgeon you over the head with its strength but takes you down slowly and sweetly. A great brew to end an evening.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2003 03:00:19 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of lackenhauser


4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

WOW!!!Pours a deep ruddy brown color.Great aroma with hints of malt,chocolate,fruits.An extremely smooth taste-again notes of chocolate and fruits-figs and currants.A minimal hop bite-great overall malty flavor.Absolutely no hint of the 10.5% abv.A wonderfully smooth beer-full bodied.A great beer-goes down perfectly whether its your first or last of the day.THE BEST Belgian I have had in ages by far!!! I have wanted to try this one for ages and was not let down in the least bit.Wish I had another.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2003 00:07:40 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of ElGuapo

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a melted milk chocolate brown color. It is murky and covered in more foam than I could ever imagine coming out of a little 11.2 oz bottle. Fruity aromas fill the air accompanied by some roastiness and a bit of alcohol.

The body is full, and flavor jumps all over you. Masses of fruits and malts with some nice spices. The complexity is not out of this world, but it sure kept me interested. Smooth and rich, it is a great treat to sit down with. The alcohol is almost invisible to the tongue which is very nice for 10.5%. Do not pass by this beer because it is definitely one of the best.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2003 22:44:35 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of beerguy101


4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark red brown color, small head. Aroma is fruity and sweet. Very malty and sweet. Slight hop bite. Smooth taste. Large body. Mouthfeel is full and round, slightly sweet. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is malty and slightly dry. Alcohol bite is prevalent, 10.5 %

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2003 16:49:38 | More by beerguy101
Photo of Rumrunner


3.23/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle

Pours a mahogany color. It looks like a thick iced tea. Good foamy head at the start but it disappears quickly. The scents are strong brown sugar, some caramel and a deep wet grass finishes the smells.

A very malty brew. The sweet brown sugar is very dominant. A caramel syup adds to the flavors and a sweet fruit finish. A very sweet overall flavor for this ale. Too sweet for me. It is like candy. The sweetness is also an after flavor. The alcohol is very present in the flavor of this ale.

It feels bold and crisp. A heavy touch to the mouthfeel. If you like sweet brews give this one a try.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2003 08:42:15 | More by Rumrunner
Photo of clvand0


4.93/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a dark amber (mahogany) color. It first pours with no head, but quickly turns into a thick, white foamy head. The aroma is that of a very sweet malt - very nice. Possibly some fruits in there as well. The flavor is wonderfully odd - very refreshing. It has a sweetness to it with just a tiny bit of spiciness for the perfect blend. The high alcohol content is very well masked and almost non-detectable. The aftertaste is a little sweet malt that lingers on the tongue for a fully enjoyable experience.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2003 01:44:47 | More by clvand0
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an brown color with a thin head that stuck to the sides of the glass. A pleasant aroma that borders on flowery with some lingering yeasts. Strong malt flavor with a good balance of hops. The higher alcohol content did not overpower the flavor like some others do. Extremely drinkable as malt aftertastes linger nicely on the tongue. Once my glass was empty, I wanted more but I only had one bottle. I will definitely buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2003 23:52:59 | More by Gavage
Photo of euskera

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle

Pours out a raisiny brown with a small tight head that lingers. Aroma is fruity with a faint touch of bread and molasses. Taste is divine, lots of fruity hints with that malty backbone. Well balanced with just a touch of bitterness throughout. Eminently drinkable, hides the alcohol content well behind that great taste. A remarkable concoction...

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2003 12:42:06 | More by euskera
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

2.98/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Huge dark head that disapear a little bit too quickly for my liking (this seems to be a problem withVan Steenberge). Really yeasty but not as thich as I was expecting from the description. The ABV level is too much apparent for my liking. Extra point for trying to be different: dark triple and cool bottle.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2003 13:39:59 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of NeroFiddled


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

Pours a slightly hazy brown with a burgundy cast and dark amber highlights when held to the light; and a full, rocky head of light tan foam completes the appearance. It holds exceptionally well and leaves solid sheets of lace, although they eventually reduce to just some spotty residue. Some chocolate and dark fruit (raisin, plum/prune, cherry, red wine) appear in the nose. The body is medium and nicely creamy due to its very fine, natural carbonation. The flavor is as the aroma indicates with a combination of rich cocoa and ripe dark fruits. It warms across the palate to reveal some softer caramel and alcohol; and a touch of background floral hops. It's very well-balanced by a solid, low-key bitterness. The finish is dry with some residual dark fruit; a wash of alcohol; some leafy hops; and a dull, lingering bitterness. Impressive!

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2003 02:32:18 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of Brent


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

Normally high abv Belgians like this aren't my favorites because they usually fall into two categories: syrupy sweet or heavy-handed with the alcohol. This golden dragon defies both camps. Murky reddish brown - the aroma is a caramel sweet invitation. 10.5 abv, but no fusel alcohols are present. The flavor is a hodge-podge to search through - rock candy, caramel malt, prune, apple - all in harmony. Despite the overall sweetness, it is not cloying and, while the finish can not be described as clean, it is surprisingly light. And where is the alcohol? Only a peppery bite on the tongue gives it away. Astoundingly smooth and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2003 01:13:49 | More by Brent
Photo of Jon


4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Gulden Draak -- now I know. Out of the white bottle comes a dark mahogany chestnut color with an enormous, incredibly durable and creamy khaki head. It laces well down the chalice. Very impressive looking. The bouquet is nutty and sweet, with notes of chocolate, mild alcohol, and, surprisingly, herbal hops. The taste of this beer is ever-evolving as the brew warms. I detected sweet, nutty malt, candy sugar, moderate alcohol, dark chocolate, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, a bit of pepper and twangy hops. The finish has somewhat of a warming alcohol and spicy, twangy hop character. The variety of flavors this beer possesses is incredible. The mouthfeel is velvety smooth with a very mild, subdued carbonation that fits perfectly. The potent alcoholic strength of this brew is hard to detect if you don't read the label first. This is an outstanding ale and is HIGHLY recommended!

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2003 20:10:57 | More by Jon
Photo of garymuchow


4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It was a wonderful experience that with every sip I was finding new and different taste and qualities, like a different beer each time I brought the glass to my nose and lips.
Aroma was sweet, somewhat fruity with a shot of phenol (very light). Sweetness is pleasant and not excessive. Pours with large tan/beige head that slowly settles. Dark amber to brown/burgundy in color. Slightly cloudy, fizzy sounding head. No lacing, but steadiness of the head.
Flavors have nice blending with no excesses. More biting when cooler. Strong fruitiness (raison esp. as warms and mellows). Long lingering. Sweetness is understated, slight bitternesss, slight spiceness. Well blended complexity. Dark malt, with slight roast. Even a shot of caramel noted. Bitterness noted on a fairly long finish. Alcohol presents as it warms.
Rich, but not always excessive (biting at times). Surprisingly little warmth considering the alcohol level. Carbonation prevents significant smoothness. Medium feel.
Lightness of aroma contrasts nicely with darkness fo the flavors, this creates a nice sensation.
Quite an enjoyable experience.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2003 06:03:40 | More by garymuchow
Photo of JISurfer

South Carolina

4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The main reason I gave the appearance such a high rating was the massive, impressive head that it had. This head was sooo thick and sooo creamy, it is the best head I have ever experienced(jokes aside). The color was a very nice brownish-red, kind of like georgia mud water. The taste was beefy, just like most strong belgians. I really enjoyed this one, but it would have been even better in the dead of winter.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2003 17:51:53 | More by JISurfer
Photo of TheDM


4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice head! Invigorated light brown head of fine to medium bubbles that left a nice lacing as it receded. It poured an opaque dark brown body. It has a very nice malty aroma. It had a mild initial taste and a very strong finish.

Im Himmel gibt es kein Bier
Darum trinken wir es hier

In Heaven there is no beer!
That is why we drink it here!

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2003 15:38:38 | More by TheDM
Photo of jcalabre


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

Originally sampled on 5 May 2002. This pours a beautiful mahogany color w/ a frothy head. The flavors are complex w/ the usual Belgian suspects: dried fruit apples etc. It has a very nice sweet finish. I'm surprised to see that the alcohol level is 10.5%. I couldn't taste it. Very smooth, this is an elegant beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2003 20:15:53 | More by jcalabre
Photo of jaz


5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say about this beer? IMO, if the gods had a favorite drink, it would be Gulden Draak! This beer poured a beautiful, slightly hazy, deep reddish carmel color with a generous, thick, creamy white head. The aroma was a fantastic blend of alcohol, carmel, and spices. As I tipped the tulip to my lips, I could taste the sweet juice before it touched my mouth! The taste was an extreme blast of sweetness, a complex and wonderful blend of malts and a definite alcohol flavor that swirled my taste buds into a frenzy. I swallowed, and to my delight a wonderful hops bitterness came through, riding along side the flavors of coriander and sweet orange peal. My mouth was in heaven, and my pallet demanded more of the heavenly nectar, but my brain cells warned me of the effect that 10.5% alcohol would have on my ability to drive home. So much for driving home, I'm headed to the store to buy more Gulden Draak!!

Serving type: on-tap

05-23-2003 18:26:36 | More by jaz
Photo of jeffboo


3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A volcanic eruption of bubbles greeted me as I poured this one into it's, short term, new home. It is dark brown with some reddish/orange highlights and an airy tan foam, with lots of carbonation at first. After it settles down it has a big candy sugar aroma with raisins, syrup, and alcohol. Taste, at first, is obscured by the carbonation,this leads to an airy texture that improves if you give it time.The flavor is lightly fruity with powdered sugar, baking spices and a bit of plum, as the carbonation relaxes I can get tobacco and cedar in the finish with plenty of alcohol. The slightly lighter texture and womp of alcohol is a bit much for my 'buds to carry it to the higher scores. A great cigar beer I would imagine.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2003 12:18:20 | More by jeffboo
Photo of Ahhdball


4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber color, with a very small head. Low carbonation. This is closer to a barley wine than a regular ale.

To taste it is to have your mouth set aflame with darker fruits. One sip and you know that it'll hit you harder the more you drink. Very strong but sweet with a warming touch at the end. Sticky mouth feel and goes down fast, too fast if your not carefull! I would love to have this with a favorite cigar and a roaring fire. I'm looking forward to this again!

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2003 11:31:12 | More by Ahhdball
Photo of brakspear


3.13/5  rDev -26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a murky deep brown with a explosive and billowing head...looks nice in the glass.

The aroma is sickly sweet bubble gum, raisins, plums. Too much for my preference.

The taste is evidently complex to some, but to me it is too muddy sweet and rife with the flavor of overipe and rotting fruit. The bite of the alcohol also sears the tongue. The body seems about right to support the heavy sweetness in this beer.

Perhaps I am just not a Belgian triple fan, but this beer...with its high alcohol content and overwhelming sweetness was a chore to drink.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2003 16:52:00 | More by brakspear
Photo of daledeee


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Belgians believe in effeciency-10.5%.

I also love the story about the battle over the recipe and it has been brewed since around 1100AD.

Before I tried a bunch of other German and Belgian beer this was one of my favorite brews.

Make no mistake, it is a fine offering. Pours a beautiful glass of very dark brown beer with an uncontrollable head. Lots of malt and caramel taste. There is dark fruit mixed in with the other flavors. I didn't notice much hops. Finishes spicy and full flavored. Compared to other Belgians, this is a little sweet for me. Alchohol is more upfront than in some of the other strong beers I have had.

I love the bottle. A great way to keep light out. I would like to talk to someone who has aged one of these.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2003 17:45:32 | More by daledeee
Photo of goz


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is a beautiful dark brown, with a large and long-lasting tan head which leaves great lacing. Aroma is of dark fruits, grape, raisin, plum, some cherry, mild hints of alcohol that become slightly more pronounced as it warms. Flavor is graps, cherry, raisin, and some of the alcohol in the end. Carbonation is fairly lively on the tongue, body is pretty full. Extremely tasty brew here.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2003 13:54:21 | More by goz
Photo of marburg


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is review #100 for me. I was going to pull out my last bottle of Rodenbach Alexander and have that, but I decided that I'd rather save that for now. So Gulden Draak it is!

This superb brew pours a deep brownish-red akin to a dark, stained wood. A fabulous redolence -- complex and multi-faceted to say the least -- featuring red wine, grape soda, ripe fruits, and brown sugar. The gustatory sense delights as the flavors are primarily the same -- very sweet and delicious, ambrosial even. The mouthfeel is marked by a clear alcohol presence and a lively tango between the tongue and the natural carbonation. A gentle suggestion of dark plum skin graces the mouth as the sip is finished. From its handsome bottle through its delightful finish, this is simply excellent.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2003 19:44:50 | More by marburg
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 2,987 ratings.