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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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3,353 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,353
Reviews: 1,250
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 212
Gots: 454 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,353 | Reviews: 1,250 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of searsclone
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this beer overflowed as soon as we removed the cap. it had a 3" head that laced as it dissipated and continued to lace all the way to the bottom of glass. very dark walnut color that allows almost no light to pass through.

smells like raisins, alcohol, and figs.

taste starts with burnt chocolate and strong
alcohol then nuts and figs.

feels smooth and extremely creamy. very easy to drink. a great beer.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.43/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark brown body with a huge, frothy, off-white head.

Smell: Full aroma brings forth notes of dark caramel malt, plums (and prunes), dark candi sugar, and even brown sugar. You can smell that alcohol lurking in there, too, along with a noticeable sourness.

Taste: Sugar-infused caramel maltiness. A distinct fruitiness delivers a taste of stewed plums. Dash of brown sugar liqueur, if there was such a thing. Small hint of dried banana chips. Sour yeastiness. Warming finish with lingering tastes of fruit and sugar.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body with some chewiness to it. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: It's a tripel wrapped in a +2 Cloak of Maltiness. For that, it's okay, as long you don't mind the high level of sweetness and glaring alcohol presence.

Photo of Moxley
2.8/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The white bottle and 10.5 ABV had my hopes high - and, it's Belgian, which is always great!

A - Poured a dark, cream soda like color, with a short bubbly tan head. Minimal lacing

S - Lots of sweet toasted malt, caramel, and a strong maple scent.

T - This is a crazy sweet beer, like liquid maple candy! You can feel the heat of the 10.5 ABV level creeping back up your throat and warming your ears after the first few sips. I got a bit of malt, but mostly straight up maple sweetness.

M&D - Lots of carbonation and a thick, creamy, sticky film coated my mouth. I think my teeth were aching a little from the excessive sweetness.

This is definitely a sipping beer, a good replacement for those who don't like wine, but are hanging out with winos. Somewhat reminiscent of Chimay, just not nearly as good.

I can appreciate this beer for what it is, it's just not for me.

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

After Georgia popped the cap in 2004, this was one of the first Belgians I picked up. I thought it was good then, and I think it's great now. Pours a deep brown with a strong head. Very bubbly. Smells like dried fruit and prunes. Taste is sweet fruit, sugar, alcohol, raisins, and prunes. The taste is very complex, but it comes together and is absolutely delicious. Mouthfeel is rather effervescent, but it's a Belgian brew, so that's expected. One of my favorite Belgians and brews.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally have gotten around to trying this one after staring at it for what seemed like years. The pour was very nice, and highly carbonated. A rich dark reddish tinted brown liquid came forward and offered a very thick presence in the glass. Absolutely opaque with no light coming through on this at all. Really quite impressive. A huge tan colored head of lace popped on top of this one, with a force that caused me not to be able to pour the entire contents out at one time. Really quite full. After letting the four inch high head of foam calm down I was able to get the rest of the bottle into the glass, but it had a good layer of lace that stuck around for the entire session and copious amounts of side glass lace that permeated throughout.

The aroma was very big and full of spices, as I would have thought it would be. A very nice overall presence on this one, with big hints of plums, and figs mixing though as well as a sort of spiced rum alcohol. Some grainy notes in the back as well, but this was dominated by the dark yeast that was at hand. The flavor followed through perfectly, with a full, yet smooth balanced profile. Notes of raisins and plums were dancing about, as was a noticeable amount of alcohol. Lots of dark yeast flavors, but as it warmed, it really mellowed out and some light hop notes started to percolate through on the back end. Really very complex with a smooth Drinkability that I did not think would be there for something that was well over 10%abv. It was definitely a sipper, however it was dangerously smooth, as I could have easily had another before it really caught up and put a hurting on me.

Overall, I would have to say that this one was excellent. Really, a top notch brew that I would love to be able to try again. Luckily, it is everywhere that would not be an issue. One of the most solid representations of the style, and truly an ale that cannot be ignored.

Photo of Quej
4.01/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a very dark brown with a bit of tan head, which quickly dissipates into a nice lacing.
S - Not strong smelling, just some dark fruity smells of roasted malt, with a hint of sourness from the yeast.
T - Lots of sweet malt flavours and a considerable amount of alcohol sting. Tastes heavily of dark berries, cranberries, raspberries, and cherries. A light coffee taste is also detectable. This beer has some significant sweetness, but it is balanced by the sting of alcohol and the light mouthfeel. Lots of yeasty sour notes linger in the drying finish.
M - Very light, and pleasant. The alcohol lifts it and keeps it from being too thick
D - Too strong to have more than one. But the taste is so good it might make me think twice.

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

Sampled on-tap at the Brick Store Pub in Decatur, Georgia.

This review is a long time coming. Gulden Draak was my "gateway beer" into the world of Belgian beers several years ago. To those ends, I have sampled more than a few, but have yet to review my "first love".

Appearance - Clear brown/dark brown pour with a vibrant, but not overblown, head provided the by barmaid. Carbonation is present and provides support to a finger or two of head that is maintained.

Smell - Malty sweet with a grassy presence as well. A nutty almost spicy tone is there as well, but the malt sugar nose is predominant. Lovey aroma that draws you into the glass

Taste - Caramel in the initial presentation with a fruity mouth as well. As it warms the smoothness of this offering is to be admired, with a warming comfort of malt making itself known. The hops are comfortably providing a supporting role in this offering.

Mouthfeel - Did not sense the alcohol content at all. The carbonation provided ample transport for a medium-bodied beer. Carbonation was well balanced and did not have to work at filling a void.

Drinkability - I was lucky that this was my "gateway beer" to Belgians back in the day. This brew rammed home all the variety that is present in many Belgian Strong Dark Ale offerings. This is not for the faint of heart nor is it for someone who is expecting a typical "beer". This will make you a believer in the value of going beyond the water, malt, hops doctrine.

Photo of Maudite
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Rich, thick, hazy, the color of toffee, breakfast tea, or figs. 3 fingers of deliciously thick nut brown head formed and wouldn't quit.

S- Spicy, rich warm maltiness, sweet, apples...dark rich fruits (figs, dates, raisins...), earthy dark bread. A slight butterscotchy diacetyl. A complex and warm nose.

T- Warming alcohol bite, caramel, toasty grains, bread, dark fruits, spiced cake...almost like a brandy.

M- Acidic, bright, warm. Sticky and sweet in the mouth, quite lingering, subtle hop spice on the finish.

D- Very delicious apéritif. A strong drink, so hard to recommend more than one, but perhaps something worth keeping on hand for when the occasion arises.

Photo of Pencible
3.89/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A unique style of beer, this poured a very hazy burgundy with lots of thin tan head. It smelled like dark fruit and caramel malt, with noticeable alcohol scent. Its flavor was super sweet, tasting like strong caramel malt with some lemon hops. It was thin but oily with some carbonation, and it had a caramel aftertaste that ended more salty than anything else. Overall this was a very sugary and interesting beer, good as a novelty but not as a regular drinker.

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

Pours with a thick, creamy head over a rich, dark, brown-red brew. Lots of crisp bubbles hit at the forefront of the mouth and the deep molasses and chocolate flavors settle in at the back.

A really beautiful example of the genre. As I drink this beer down, the head diminishes a bit, but still coats the top of the beer and clings to the side of the glass.

I noticed within the pairings section here that this beer is recommended for barbecue. Lo and behold... I happened to have some smoky barbecue a'waitin' for a beer.

As for the pairing, I could not have been more pleased. Smoke and fat love this beer. And frankly, so do I. So sad the dollar is down against the Euro...

Photo of baos
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz into my Falstaff Goblet.

A: Big-bubbled 3 finger head over deep copper body. Bit of lacing here and there. Head dissipates down to a nice one bubble high sheen. I'll call it Charlie Sheen.

S: Baked apples and cloves with a strong alcohol odor. Very sweet smelling and a bit like good dark rum.

T: Banana-pink bubblegum-liqueur. Lots of sugars and alcohol in there. Very strong and very good.

M: Super bubbly.

D: Pretty strong, but a six pack of these is just right for a strong healthy man. I'll have two please.

Photo of ewpgolf2
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What a great style! These beers possess a complexity that all others pale in comparison-hey, it's my review and my opinion!
This continues to be one of my favorites. Peculiar bottle though-I don't mean the white coating either. Absolutely no description of what the beholder is about to thoroughly enjoy!
This pour's color and aroma is present before it hits the bottom of the chalice and exhibits an inviting comfortability. you sense alcohol but not the 10.5% it carries. I don't taste the chocolate like others do but I'm sure this beer is good with it. The taste is robust with few hidden features-like browned almonds in butter & demerara sugar. Liquor proceeds the tasting but not to the point of overpowerment. Like the Maredsous, one is sufficient and should be appreciated like a brandy, not like a Sunday afternoon 12 pack.

Photo of churchillps
3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a duvel glass.

A: A hazy dark chocolate brown with a thick creamy head.

S: Nose is toffee, coffee, chocolate, and a complex blend of dark malt flavors. Little bit of fruit as well. Not very strong smell, really have to get your nose into it.

T: Very sweet, candies, toffee, chocolate all present. A hint of fruit on the front of the palate at first. Bitter chocolate finish.

M/D: Feels fairly carbonated after first swallowing. Medium bodied. Couldn't have more than 2 of these.

Photo of GreatLeo
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Poured from the 330ml bottle into a Judas glass with best before date of 24/05/09.
Body is a deep amber color with a strong sticky, foamy head that hangs around for while. Aroma of sweet, bready malt, raisin, and a hint of spicy hops and pepper. Taste is mildly sweet up front, then becomes richer and maltier as it goes down. Finish is smooth one with a small hint of lingering heat from the alcohol content. Considering the high ABV this brew has its hidden extremely well which makes this a beer very drinkable.
Body is very rich and creamy, just what you want for a dessert beer. I've had quite a few light tripel style brews over the years but this is a first in the dark tripel category and I must say I am quite impressed. I'm definately putting a few of these beauties away for cellaring one could only wonder the improvements this beer will make over a year or two.

Photo of giblet
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very nice rich beer. had this one in florida and was impressed.

poured rich dark color. huge carbonation. careful in pouring it or it will be almost all head. nice lace. excellent rich flavor of toffee and citrus, but a little strong in the abv taste. likely to only have one or three of these in one sitting.

suckem up and movem out!


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

11.2oz glass bottle coated with white ceramic, purchased at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane for $5.51.

Poured into a St.Bernardus glass, this beer was a mahogany color that took on an almost burnt-orange color when held up to the light. A good 2 1/2 inches of tan foam perched on top, leaving lots of sticky lace.

Fairly complex nose, with honey, toffee, spices and fruit all present.

The taste is pretty much like the nose, except the toffee becomes a more dominant, caramel-like flavor that is balanced by a more noticeable spiciness. Very tasty.

Medium bodied, with a slightly tingly, yet creamy mouthfeel.

I was very impressed with this beer, and will happily buy it again. Not my favorite of the style, but fairly close.

Photo of Lukie
3.87/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a strong head, with nice lacing that stuck until the end. The colour was caramel brown with hints of burgundy on the light.

Lots of candy sugar and toffee in the smell. Some sour cherry and grape aswell. Citrusy.

Rich sweet caramel in the taste. Some muddy chocolate, hints of pepper and licorice. It is incredibly unique, and delicious, if but a bit strong in the after taste with the alcohol and dryness.

High Carbonation and Medium body. Tingles on the tongue from the alcohol. Couldn't drink more then one of these in a sitting, as it really hits the palette.

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

I've had this before, heck, ive even got a Gulden Draak chalice/goblet. But am now reviewing it like 4 years later. Funny how things like this happen.

Pours a burgundy brown with a nice dense head.

Sour and overripe apple in the nose. Buttery bread and lemon there too.

Spicy ripe fruit alcohol on the palate with some bitter and sour lemon tart. Very compex and unique flavor, for sure, even compared to other belgian strongs.

A real nice beer, there's a reason why this is available out here in the middle of Oregon!

Photo of RedBeerHead
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours three inch off-white and highly carbonated head. Very cloudy, dark amber color. Smell has fruit and spice. Good lead it to a very good taste. Hints of ginger and other spices. also hints of some citrus. Very drinkable. pretty happy with this beer.

Photo of ElGrecoVerde
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm going to go way out on a limb and say that "gulden draak" means "golden dragon".

It poured much darker than I was anticipating... Dark reddish brown with a huge white head.

Smell was very complex, though mostly dark fruits and spices came through.

If I thought the aromas were complex, I was in for a surprise. A lot of these Belgian Ales strive for complex blends of flavors. Sometimes it works and they all come together. Other times it ends like you gave a five year old a blender. This one is in between. Judging by others grading, it must just be me, but the different flavors of fruits and spices didn't quite work here.

It's by no means bad. I'm just not getting the same thing out of it as everyone else. It feels surprisingly smooth, but I couldn't have much of this.

Photo of larsee01
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz white glass bottle (brown glass with white cover) poured into glass goblet

Deep dark brown with cloudy body. Thick tan head ain't going anywhere.

Deep malt smell. Mild, with sweet molasses. Pronounced Concord grape with blackberry (?)

Deep rich malt start with grape/plum. Alcohol makes a brief early appearance, but 10.5 ABV would surprise many. Impressive! Heavy, syrupy malt balanced well with pepper and incognito hop bitter. Sweet molasses keeps appearing but again with an earthy balance. Quintessential balance to this one.

What can I say about mouthfeel? I'm glad it's in my mouth. Smooth, creamy and accomodating. Not too thick, but pleasantly lingering.

If this beer isn't highly drinkable, I'm going to MAKE it highly drinkable. 1/2 of a beer is an experience. A great session beer if you are in for a SHORT session. Lots of alcohol, hidden but substantial carbonation challenge your ability to continue enjoying this long term. But you know what? YOU are the boss of you.

Photo of Night
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours hazy red-brown with a bit of a diffuse vermilion glow - rather gorgeous color. Head is massive and all bubbles, no cream whatsoever; very odd. Dies down quickly to thin, bubbly lacing here and there. Aroma is deep and rummy with characteristic Belgian yeast tones. Notes of walnut and honey dominate with nice raw malty undertones and cake sweetness. Mouthfeel is surprisingly hot and sharp with a medium body that has a lightly juicy character. Flavor is very well matched to aroma, but the sweetness comes through a bit more than the nutty flavors. Molasses, dark fruits - raisin, prune, tempered by a touch of apple skin and flour. Fairly strong cake and cookie malts. Yeast comes through present but nicely rounded out. Finish is sweet and lightly sour with a long, warm, and dry aftertaste.

Photo of Gehrig
4.73/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gulden Draak presents three fingers of highly durable off-white froth on a mahogany body with ruby trim--incredible. The nose is good and improves as the beer warms, with plenty of berry, grape, and overtures to banana and chocolate emerging with patience that is not one of my trademarks.

I cannot say enough about the taste--flush with fruit, chocolate, perfectly carbonated, and with a head that won't quit. I'm completely wowed. The very high ABV (10.5 %) catches up eventually, but this is not one to be missed. A beer that deserves to be described in superlatives, Gulden Draak is sumptuous, serious, and outstanding, a gem of a BSDA and superior to most I've had, and I've had a few. Great.

Photo of nbree00
3.56/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Color was a deep brown with some reddish hue to it. Wasn't that thrilled with the appearance, reminded me of weak poorly brewed coffee for some reason, well carbonated though with a head that never seemed to quit.

S: Smells of raisins and honey with a hint of chocolate.

T: Taste is nutty with flavors of dark caramel, raisins and coffee coming through. Quite a complex array with the malt and hops serving to balance just enough so that it is not overpoweringly sweet

M: Feel was not to bad, stroke me as alittle thin for an unfiltered beer.

D: Did not seem like a 10.5% ABV beer at all. For its class found it very drinkable, which for me would mean once in a while given its richness.

Photo of jwc215
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml faux ceramic cage-corked bottle, poured into a tulip glass:

Pours dark brown with a thick, foamy/creamy off-white head. The head thins then stays around, leaving some broken rings of lacing on the glass.

The smell is of caramel with earthy notes and dark fruits. A nice spiciness mixes in.

The taste is of sweet caramel/toffee, a bit toasty, with earthy/peppery spicing and medium to dark fruitiness (some raisins, esp. as it progresses). Some sharp, grassy hops come through to help the herbal spiciness balance the sweetness. Very complex and tasty.

Medium-bodied, sharp yet creamy.

The alcohol/spicy bite slows it down a bit, as does the lingering sweetness (though it never reaches cloying). No complaints, here though, as it is meant to be sipped slowly anyway.

A complex, delicious sipping treat!

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,353 ratings.