1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.

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

3,278 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,278
Reviews: 1,229
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 201
Gots: 395 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,278 | Reviews: 1,229 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.48/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I thought this beer was pretty good. It was spirited, and tasted to me a bit like cognac (not that I’ve had cognac more than once in my life), and was a nice way to cap off an evening.

It poured a clear red sparkling color. A liquor-like aroma that I’m guessing is cognac-like with a deep smell and lots of alcohol esters. Flavor was cereal and malty with a warming sensation and thick brown liquor like caramel flavor. Mouthfeel was thick and astringent, like a liquor. Pretty good.

I’d recommend this.

Photo of rxdrewthejew
2.9/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Kept running into this beer at the store and figure I'd give it a try.

A: Very dark, red-tinged brown, and quite hazy. Plenty of head on this one, and plenty of lacing.

S: Pretty subtle. I smell some sweetness, and a bit of grassy base, but it nothing really overpowers me.

T: Strong peppery taste with a warm and seet finish. Maybe some corriander and other spices in the aftertaste. Not much in the way of hops, that I can taste.

MF: Very tingly, hard to tell if it's carbonation or just the pepper. Somewhat noticable alcohol, and pretty warming. Thick, syrupy, coating the mouth with a strong aftertaste.

D: Not bad. The flavor is a little underdeveloped. A bit too carbonated for my taste as well. Not a bad beer, but as far as Belgian beers go, you can do a lot better. Maybe Trippels just aren't my thing. I dunno.

Photo of drseamus
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy dark mahogany body with no head. The smell is very malty and fairly sweet with just a hint of spice. The combo of sweetness and spice is a bit overwhelming at first. The malt profile is a bit muted especially in the presence of the blast of sweetness. The body seems to get a bit heavier at the back of the palate and it's possibly the best part of the beer. Not a bad beer but a bit too sweet compared to the malt profile for me.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark caramel color with a long standing 1/4" head of tan bubbles. The bubbles were mostly small, but there were some mixed sized larger ones in there too. The head stood for about a minute before ending up as a small ring around the top of the beer. The beer is very well carbonated and seems murky for the first few minutes after the pour, but then settles out to be a dark garnet color with only a little haze.

Aroma: I get lots of fruit aromatics in here with raisins, plums, some red apples, and I am sure a host of other stuff. There are some mild cracker notes in here that show a small reflection of oxidation so it gives it a dry papery impression as it warms a little. As the beer warms further, the aroma reminds me of red plum jam with the sweetness and the dark fruit in there.

Taste: The flavor is a big depart from the aroma. There is a whole lot of spiciness in the flavor that I didn't pick up in the aroma. I get some of the dark fruit I mentioned, but there is noticeable pepper in here. The dry-papery notes reflect sherry in the flavor and this just gains complexity as it warms. The finish is dry and well carbonated, so the serious alcohol is obscurred for the first few seconds of the finish. As it sets in, there is evident warming to last long into the finish.

Opinion: This is a really nice beer. It certainly isn't your average Tripel in that it is so dark and doesn't showcase the spicy hops like the others do. This beer has a wealth of malt complexities that almost put it in with the strong dark ales as much as a Tripel. The dryness in the finish is more characteristic of a Tripel. This is a really nice beer nonetheless and I would drink it again. I especially think that this one would be nice in Belgium. The next time I am there, I will seek this one out...along with Orval and some others.

Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a dark reddish brown color with an extremely aggressive head. The lacing clings to the glass all the way down.

S: The smell is very yeasty with a citrus scent mixed in. A very pleasant combination.

T: This is one of the best tasting beers I have had so far. It is very full bodied and the alcohol is there, but its well hidden in the taste. You only get a hint of it for a very small instant. The after taste is virtually nonexistent.

M: Nice thick feel in the mouth with a heavy amount of carbonation.

D: The completely clean after taste and outstanding flavor makes me want to knock this one back. I don't recall but a handful of beers as easy to drink as this.

This one is a fantastic beer. I highly recommend it.

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

Poured from nicely aged bottle to a small snifter, The Liquid is medium orange brown and very cloudy with very good carbonation. The Head is big tan and fluffy, Two fingers thick and leaves some lace.

The smell is yeasty orange peal with some caramel.

The taste is very good as well. I like this plenty. Caramel with orange peel in a porty mix of alcohol and yeast. Slight sour dough bread with a tangy finish. I fine sipper.

The mouthfeel is good for me. Nice thicker then medium body. Good bity carbonation but not like a lighter brew just right.

The drinkability is great. I with is was a bigger bottle.

Prosit, MK

Photo of Ranic
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a nice brown with a light and foamy head.

Smell: Sweet and spicy, and a bit fruity.

Taste: When I poured the beer, I had just pulled it out of the fridge, so it was fairly cold. It tasted very sweet, spicy, and malty, but I thought the alcohol was pretty apparent. As it warmed up, the hints of fruits became more apparent and gave the beer much more character.

Mouthfeel: It had very tiny bubbles, and it was very smooth, but a little heavy going down.

Drinkability: As it warmed up in my glass, I began to enjoy this beer more and more. The coldness made it seem a bit harsh to me, but I think next time I would have this at room temperature. The heaviness of the beer, not to mention the 10.5% ABV, makes this a beer that I would want to spread out over the course of a night (I can only find this in 750ml bottles), but it is very enjoyable.

Photo of joepais
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle poured dark reddish brown whith an off white billowy head Aromas of grapes (almost vinegar) and yeast fill the nose thru the tulip glass . Smooth rich palate with a slight alcohol burn . The taste of malts, fruits, and alcohol are wonderfuly filling my mouth a well made ale and great bottle design keeps out the uv’s

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

A: Poured into one of my free Sam Adams "Better Beer Glass" (thanks a million Jim!). What a gorgeous color. It's a dense, cloudy, (almost purple!) brown. Light brown head. It eventually thins, but it lasts and lasts. The head is clingy and always present.

S: Plums and figs. It's overwhelming. It's sweet. It's fantastic.

T: Well go figure...plums and figs! VERY sweet. Porty. I can't pick out any hops, but that's not out of the ordinary for this style.

M: High gravity. Low carbonation, but not flat. A VERY quick hit to the tongue, then smooth.

D: I have to come back to the "porty" feel. I couldn't have more than one. It's just too sweet. I'd describe it as an "after dinner beer", best shared with a friend. That fits it perfectly.

BIA (Buy It Again?): Absolutely. Wonderful stuff. I love the presentation in the bottle. White heatshrunk Duvel-type "pony" bottle. Very unique. Certainly keeps it well protected against the UV!

Photo of blakesell
3.35/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a big 750ml bottle into a St. Bernardus belgian cereal bowl.

Appearance- A cloudy dark brown almost opaque with a huge head of froth that never really dissapates. Comes to a creamy slosh on the top of the beer lacing/legs all up on the glass.

Smell- Dark fruits, fig, molasses, prunes, rasin, a hidden candi sugar that disguises itself well in with the fruits and yeasty esters. Much of the belgian style yeast permeating thru this beer.

Taste- Sweet with sugars and a phenolic alcohol bite at the end, a lactose style creaminess that is reminescent of Rochefort lingering in the background. The yeast in this beer does a fine job of hiding those sugars throughout.

Mouthfeel- Here's where this beer runs short. A sticky cloying mouthfeel that makes you feel like you have been eating candy all day. I've had lucky charms with less sugary mouthfeel.

Drinkability- It's ok for drinkability, but the 10.5% ABV would kill the average person trying for a session here. I'm glad I'm cooking with the rest.

Photo of BucBasil
3.48/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: Presented in a unique white bottle with a classy looking label that features an ancient style dragon. Practically jumps out of the bottle into the tulip I served it in. Head builds to a massive 4 fingers very quickly. Careful with the pour on this one... Head is light tan, stays around for a loooong time, and leaves clumpy lacing on the sides of the glass. The brew is extremely dark red. Appears brown at first glance, but held to light a red note shines through.

Smell: Aroma is surprisingly light. Fresh grapes at first glance, but after a swirl gives off a nice spicy smell. Cinnamon comes to mind, but fades quickly into fruit again. Great smelling beer.

Taste: Not too impressed here. The flavor is huge and complex, but for some reason doesn't work the way it should It's still way above average, but there's just someting about the way the flavors interact in the brew that slightly turns me off. Starts with a dark fruit character that leads into molasses or syrup or something. A slight chocolatey malt note comes in at the middle, and then finishes with a big yeasty punch to the throat.

Notes: This is the last of the 4 pack I purchased of this. I made it through all of them, but my mouth feels bruised every time I finish one of these. Maybe too complex for it's own good, this beer is a good choice, but a very tiring drink that can't be rushed.

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

Pours rich tea color with reddish hues and a small loose light tan head that recedes quickly, but is kept alive by small surface pools of visible effervescence. Spotty lacing observed. The smell is sweet, dark fruits and yeast. Medium-light bodied, the mouth feel is conditioned by tiny little bubbles that lend an overall smooth and creamy character. Full flavored, the taste is mush the same as the aroma. The 10.5 is extremely well hidden...i would have never guessed that it weighed out that heavy. Really glad that i had the opportunity to try this one.

Photo of weeezle1971
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Great aroma, smooth flavor, and a full pallet of flavors.. Poured into a glass makes a fine creamy head, and releases the fine odors that you and your company can enjoy together. A little high on the alchohol aftertaste, but I still highly recommend this beer for the true Abbey Ale lovers.

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

Poured into my Chimay goblet, Gulden Draak has an attractive dark ruby color with a few centimeters of foam. The aroma is fruity and sweet. Dark and ripe fruits like figs, plums, raisins, and a touch of sweetness that comes across as molasses. The taste is superb, very similar to the aroma and the alcohol is just a bit noticeable in the finish. Great velvety mouthfeel and lots of carbonation in this one. A very enjoyable strong dark ale.

Photo of jeffjfindley
3.1/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A tawny amber gem in the glass, champagne bubbles like fireworks, and an incredible mountainous head. Smell disappoints a bit after this, as in addition to the suspected notes of bananas, cloves, etc, I found it a bit metallic. Upon ingestion, the front half of the tongue is coated with syrupy rum raisin flavors, with little on the back. The mouthfeel is ok, until late in the game when one is left with a sensation not unlike one might experience after dispensing the contents of one's piggy bank into ones one's mouth. I've been craving a great Belgian all day, and frankly I'm disappointed. Especially after I spend 12 bucks on the damn thing.

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

A: Pours a muddy brown, sort of the color of figs. Very bland and unassuming looking. Head is pillowy and thick, color of milky latte.

S: Brown sugar, candy sugar, prunes and zesty yeast.

T: Very sweet and tangy with uber amounts of dark fruits, simply syrup and brown sugar. Tasty brew, not overly complex but really nice flavor. The faintest amount of banana can be found hidden among the sugary malts while abundant yeast is very noticeable. The alcohol is strong and present, really laying it on thick. Finishes loaded with more brown sugar.

M: Medium body with a full mouthfeel.

T: This beer is absolutely jam packed with flavor. Good fresh or aged, its takes on different personalities as time goes on. This is a keeper.

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

Poured from a 750 ml corked and caged bottle. The beer has a deep reddish brown color with a huge, pillowy head that leaves plenty of lacing behind. Aroma is malty and spicy with a little bit of flowery hops detected in the nose. Taste is nice and malty with notes of caramel, molasses, Belgian candi sugar and rum soaked cherries. Alcohol is there, but it just adds to the complexity of the beer. This is without a doubt a rich and warming beer that goes down way to easily for it's strength. I'll be picking up some more of this for the upcoming Fall and Winter months.

Photo of ultralarry2006
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml. white painted bottle. Leaves a big, crazy 3 finger-plus foamy head. It has excellent retention, and leaves webs upon webs of excellent lacing. Body is a murky dark brown. Very beautiful to behold. Appearance is this ale's strong point.

Smell - horseblanket, then mildly - caramel, figs, plums, maltbread-sweet rolls, raisins, and medicinal alcohol.

Taste - as indicated by the nose. Mildly, a caramel drizzled sweet roll laced with raisins, figs, and plums, then wrapped in a musty horseblanket. Strong fruit pits and sour horseblanket on the finish and the aftertaste. Mostly very well hidden alcohol.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, dry.

Drinkability - this is good ale, but not great ale, so that suppresses sessionability for me - that, in addition to the high abv.

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

Purchased a 12 oz bottle in December 2005 and I have had this in my beer cellar until I decided to drink it this past weekend, July 2007. Poured it into a Duvel chalice, which produced a nice large fluffy white head that only lasted briefly. The smell was like candy, very sweet tasting. The color was a dark red, almost bordering on brown. The taste blew me away though. Malty, and with huge notes of sugar and fruit. It was a pleasure to just sip and enjoy. The taste got even better as it warmed up to room temp. The only drawback from this beer was that it's high in alcohol, I felt it after barely finishing one. So I am glad I had just this one on my evening's menu.

Photo of BigJTrucker
2.93/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark mahogany color with a thick billowing tan head. Excellent head retention. Pleasant malty aroma with hints of cane sugar and black licorice.Tastes very much like licorice, almost to the point of being like cough syrup in it's flavor. 10.5% abv is very upfront and apparent. Thick and syrupy mouthfeel. As far as drinkability is concerned, it's a bit to much like cough syrup in it's taste and feel to be TRULY enjoyable to me, but not so bad as to be dumped out. Maybe i've stayed away from truly flavorful beers for too long....

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Splendid! Pours a deep, opaque brown with a very thick and remarkably persistent head. Aroma is malty and inviting. Flavor is strong but not fierce, with sweet overtone like molasses and some smoky hints, and just a dash of bitterness. Jazzy and tingly, this is a beer one should sip and savor.

Photo of basica
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have always been a little skeptical about this beer due to differring reviews about it; some
claiming to be overwhelmed by the alcohol in this brew. I still tried it as I read that this one
is a dark tripel which got me interested (although it is classified as a Strong Dark Ale). I am
generally into the Strong Dark Belgian Ales. The Guldan Draak bottle reminds me of the Boucanier
Dark bottle and yes it is a nice looking opaque white bottle with nice golden borders and... a
golden draak on the label. The Guldan Draak pours out dark brown black with a thick head which
was pretty bubbly and had pretty good retention. This dark ale smells mainly of fruits; slightly
bready and slightly yeasty; coming to the taste, these mentioned properties were furthuer
pronounced into a strong full fledged fruity taste which was slightly sweet and slightly yeasty.
This fruitiness was slightly different from most of the other dark ales and it seems to be a
little like the fruitiness which I tasted in the Westmalle Dubbel but still not as fruity. I
have to admit that I enjoyed this slight fruitiness in the taste. The mouthfeel was full bodied
but the downs are that it is a little on the high carbonation end (though it was pretty alright)
and also the alcoholism was pretty showing up (though again this was pretty acceptable). The
after taste was nice and fruity though would be been great if it had been more long lasting.
All in all a great beer with a slightly unique fruity taste and great body which I really could
appreciate and enjoy.

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

A - this heavenly beer pours a dark cola brown, any slight movement wells up a thick tan persistent head, too dark to note any carbonation

S - a rich and dark aroma, like that of fresh raisins (as paradoxical as that sounds) and a breadiy yeastiness as well, a great thick aroma that seems itself intoxicating, an alcohol element also adds to the aroma

T - mmmm, this was one of my "gateway to craft" beers, it was great to be able to revisit it, it has such a great warming dark fruit aroma, like raisins, dates, and molasses with a slight and sneaky vanilla and toffee sweetness to it

M&D - smooth and delectable for such a strong beer the ABV is sneaky, an amazing beer, great with a meal, and very attractive in a snifter or goblet, or even a wine glass, a hall of fame beer, that i will revisit time and time again

Photo of Cascadia
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great bottle.

Appearance: Carmel brown with a nice half inch beige head. Great retention.

Smell: Toasted malt, carmel tones with a bit of yeast and crusty bread.

Taste: warming brown sugar, very clean and crisp. This one really gets better as it warms up. The flavors come out more and the bitter hops play a bigger role after it sits for a while. Really nice beer.

Mouthfeel: chewy sweet with a lot of carbonation.

Drinkability: all in all a very good beer, great after a nice dinner of BBQ meats, the smoky flavors mix well with the sweet carmel tones in the beer.

Love the bottle.

Photo of dacrza1
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked bottle after a good day of work...thin, transparent body with a reddish-brown hue in a Chimay glass...a citrus (grapefruit?) aroma...smooth back-of-mouth malt/hop balance. The effects of the alcohol grow slowly, warming yet heightening the sensesa pleasat digestif, indeed....

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,278 ratings.