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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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3,320 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,320
Reviews: 1,241
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 209
Gots: 425 | 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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,320 | Reviews: 1,241 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy brown that has a big touch of amber to it. Minimal head. Nose is slight with a lean towards marshmallows. Touch of citrus. Flavor is very well balanced with a strong sweet tone that stays constant. Strong and steady. After a while you get a slight alcohol tone that has stayed masked consistently as you drink. Tons of things rolling over your tongue on this one. Caramel is another. Mouthfeel is a bit too high on the carbonation, which drops the drinkability just a touch. Overall damn good. Worth trying. Worth trying again.

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

Poured this one from a 11.2oz white bottle. Dark brown color, Incredible head! a very, very foamy beer. Very malty nose, yeasts, dark candied fruits,almost gingerbread-like aroma. smells delicious. Very full on the palate. overwhelmingly good flavors of yeasts, malts, very sweet-almost candylike mouthfeel. A good choice around the holidays most definatley. This beer is one to savor very slowly.

Photo of clayrock81
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Although I am a beer newbie (neophyte if you will), it is a beer like this that made me quit drinking shitty American beer.
I have had this before, and decided to get the Van Steenberge sampler simply because this was in it and I could review it.
Poured into a tulip glass and the two-finger head that was presented NEVER fully went away; it kept disipating but stay there, constantly refreshing the beer.
Not only was there some serious lacing, but an hour after I had set my glass in the sink there was still a laced rim where the beer had topped off.
The color was a dark brown, or to be more specific those ugly jerseys Adam Sandler's team wore in "The Waterboy" (I apologize for even throwing in that reference; I am just not good w/ coloric adjectives).
Upon smelling the first thing that hit me was the malt since it does have a high ABV. The malts smelled like cocoa or caramel, and one might even think they were getting a coffee bean in there. Also, the smell itself was syrupy, if that makes sense, and I picked up a traces of fruit.
The taste starts out smooth, so there's your Belgian yeast. They really hid the alcohol well here. The first sip had a afterbite, that I won't hide. But after that the beer actually tasted better and went down smoother. I definitely tasted some cocoa and caramel, some cherry too.
Probably what I noticed the most was that it was sweet and bitter at the same time-the sweet part didn't overpower the beer and left it smooth, while the flavor kick was there on the backend, evening it out. It wasn't like a cream stoudt or anything that overpowers/puffs in the mouth, but kept more of a medium body that was thin on the tongue.
This beer actually warmed my mouth up w/o burning it like a shot of whiskey or a very hoppy IPA.
I know there are complexities that a new beer guy like me missed, but I can say that this was an extremely enjoyable drink. Also, it has been a VERY long time since one beer knocked me on my ass, which this one did. I was couch-ridden for about 10 minutes after drinking this one.
That's probably why I don't ever see this in 6-packs.

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

Absolutely delicious. Flavor is intensely malty, which easily hides the 10.5% abv. Nice cherry characteristic, with some yeasty qualities. A rather creamy mouthfeel, and well carbonated. The head clings to glass, frothy on the surface. Really, has to be tasted to be understood.

Overall, fantastic. I love the style, and I've only tried a few of varieties out. Will easily make it amongst my top favorites.

Photo of korndog
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Gulden Draak snifter at 57F. Massive head stuck around for a bit leaving some intricate lacing. Color is somewhat lighter and redder than I was expecting. A very presentable pour. Nose was malt, candi syrup, slight dark-fruit; not sure if it was my nose today, but not much happening on the aroma side for me. Taste was spot on, with fabulous carbonation fanning the sweet vapors back into my nose. Lots more going on here than in nose, with figs, tobacco, cherry notes. Belgian fruity yeast character present but not over the top. All in all, a fine beer.

Photo of Bigjay1584
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, it has been a long long time since my last review, but I had one sip of this baby and I felt it'd be a sin not to give this brew the credit it deserves. I got this bottle from the New Beer Distributor in Manhattan. I'll admit I was enticed largely by the novelty of the white bottle color (as well as the 10.5% abv, and its Belgian origin). This brew definitely measures up.

I poured the contents of the 11.2 oz bottle into my Chimay goblet, sat back, and enjoyed the view.. About two inches of creamy tan head crowned an opaque pale reddish brown body (note: I'm kinda color blind so thats the best I can do). Fine tan lacing was left, from top to bottom (Except for areas where agitated, and drank from). Gorgeous.. just the way it should be.

Smells pleasantly fruity and yeasty. Certainly doesn't clobber you over the head. There is a subtle cherry flavor that I notice throughout.

Tastes fantastic.. that slight cherry smell carries over onto the tongue and lingers. Some hop bitterness comes out as it warms slightly, which serves to balance it out nicely.

Mouth feel is full and crisp.. not over carbonated.

For a beer of this strength, the drinkability is very good. My stomach is certainly begging for more.. and I very well could (If only I had another).
At any rate, Gulden Draak is a Belgian that I'd like to meet with much higher frequency. Cheers!

Photo of irishkyle21
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my favorite beer in the mixed six pack. Has a deep brown color with some ruby in the mix as well. Full sized tanned head holds up well, thick rings of lace mark their territory.

Smells of sweet dark fruits, candy sugar, caramel malt, molasses and a dark rum like alcohol.

The taste is fairly sweet but finishes slightly sour and bitter. Also has hints of caramel and dark fruits.

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

I poured this beer from a 330ml white coated bottle at 46° into a balloon wine glass. A nice slight head appeared above the carbonated and brown colored beverage. Very little lacing was observed as the beer settled. Date information appeared on the back label of the bottle.

Caramel malts seemed to drift away from the glass while pouring. This aroma was confirmed along with sweet candy spiciness during the actual smell for what you can time.

The sweetness and carbonation were the first noticeable effects of the tasting. Belgian candy and a slight bitterness were well combined.

The taste filled the mouth and there seemed to be a slight burning sensation in the nostrils from the carbonation of the beer. The taste lasted quite a while and invited drawing air in and out of the mouth which resulted in an eventual cherry taste.

This was an interesting beer as it seemed to change with the temperature as different tastes would invite you to wait and then try again. A beer to be savored and drank when you have time to ponder all the different nuances to it.

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

Into the tulip

A - Deep and dark, near white HUGE head. Aggressive, persistent lacing.

S - Candi/brown sugar, cooked fruits and yeast, some alcohol.

T - Taste matches smell in a magnified way.

M- Medium to full body, good coating and carbonation.

D - Good solid beer. Too boozy to session but very nice.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer i suspect will get better with age. It pours looking like a dubbel, and is kind of a mix between dubbel and trippel. It pours dark brown with a thin white head. smells like a strong ale, but doesnt taste like one. at first it feels and tastes like a dubbel in the mouth as the carbonation is more flat than most trippels but more abrasive than most belgian strong dubbels. an interesting and certainly good beer but i found it a bit watery by belgian standards and for its color. But nothing to snuff at. I bet it will be delectable with three or four years of cellar time. abv is hidden well

Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up while visiting my sister in Jacksonville, Florida. I am almost finished with the stash I scored while I was there. All of the beers I picked up from J-ville I picked up from Broudy's. Anyone in the Jacksonville area should check them out if they haven't yet. This beer was awesome - one of the better Belgian's I have had in quite some time.

Poured part of a 750ml bottle into a snifter.

Appearance - This beer looks stunning. It produced a 2 finger, light tan head.
It had the texture of latte foam, and it never fully dissipated. The head never died, at all. It had a constant carbonation stream rising from the sides of glass, which constantly replaced whatever head had diminished. This beer is alive. It left a ton of lacing. It is a nearly opaque deep reddish brown - light could only penetrate the perimeter of the glass.. Beer doesn't look better than this. Exquisite.

Smell - This beer has a big, bold scent. This beer isn't playing around. There is a deep caramel sweetness in the scent - a deep, dark, candi sugar smell. Like brown sugar and a slight hint of molasses. There are fruit smells from the yeast, like red apple, pear and sweet cherry. As the beer warms, you can smell the alcohol presence worming its way through the scent. If only they could replicate this into a solid, tangible dessert. Until then, I will more than settle for smelling a beer like this.

Taste - It tastes like every bit of the scent, but way more pronounced. I get the deep caramel sweetness, tied with brown sugar and molasses. The fruit flavors pair nicely with the sweetness - red apple, pear, sweet cherry and fig. The cherry flavor also appears as slightly tart, like it was mixed with green apple skins. What I can taste in the flavor that isn't present in the scent is a fairly large hop presence - for the style, IMO. The hops come in at the end of the flavor, and they are very floral and billowy - adding a nice slight bitterness to round our the flavor.

Mouthfeel - Solid medium body. The beer is slightly sticky, it coats the mouth - but not in that oily kind of way. To complement the stickiness, the beer is very creamy and smooth. The carbonation level is nearly perfect. It provides a prickly sensation to cut through the sticky, creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability - This beer is fantastic. It has a great flavor, scent, and mouthfeel. It looks delicious too, which adds to its appeal. I wish they sold this beer here in Texas - it would easily make its way into my regular rotation. The ABV makes itself known fairly quickly. I wouldn't have more than one 750ml to myself in one evening, but more than one isn't necessary - it has taken me almost an hour and a half to get 3/4 of the way through the bottle. I am savoring every sip of this one.

Search it out, and when you find it - hoard it.

Photo of 1759Girl
4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: warm brown chestnut in color. Lively, cloudy, with a big belgian head, and lacing that probably could last through until tomorrow.

Smell: yeasty, estery

Taste: Complexity you'd expect from a tripel. Tangy start that hits the tip of your tongue with ferocity. A big full yeast and malt flavor rounds this out quickly, and lends itself to the chewy character. Finishes with a mellow sweetness.

Mouthfeel:Kapow! This beer invades your mouth, and I'm happily pillaged. Others may find this a bit over bearing. They should probably avoid strong beers.

Drinkability: I could probably drink a lot of this, but I have a big love for the golden dragon and the town of Ghent... oh and a bigger love for tasty beer.

Photo of ElGordo
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Body is a deep amber color with golden brown highlights, crowned by a good two fingers of sticky, foamy head that hangs around a good long while. Aroma of sweet, bready malt, raisin, and a hint of spicy hops, along with a touch of yeasty funk. Palate is mildly sweet up front, then becomes richer and maltier as it washes over the tongue. A raisiny sweetness emerges just before the swallow. Finish is smooth, sweet malt with just a hint of lingering heat from the alcohol.
Body is rich and creamy, just great for a Belgian dark ale. Velvety smooth in the mouth, without being foamy on the swallow. This is an excellent example of the style, and one that I wish I drank more often. Hopefully I'll amend that soon.

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

Poured cold into a Chimay glass. Deep brown with a luscious head, slow to dissipate. Nice lacework. Strong swirl produces aromas of malt, caramel, & raisins. Initial taste is surprisingly tart, notes of cranberry or grapefruit, malt and alcohol. Heavy on the carbonation. I remember enjoying my last one a lot more. Should be served warmer is my guess.

Photo of Trueant1
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown/reddish color. The head is incredible. Thick, foamy, sticks around, 3 fingers, leaves thick globs of foam on the sides of the glass.
Smells very sweet and thick. Almost smells of candied apples.
Belgium sugars are in the nose too.

Tastes of sweet syrupy malts up front. An agressive hop characther in the mid pallet. And some pheno alcohol throughout.
Somehow this brew balances nicely. It really is a top notch treat from across the pond. love it!~

Photo of lowbrau68
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz stubby bottle.

A- Dark, chocolate brown, amber notes along edge of glass when held up to light. Tan, pillowy head.

S- Floral, spicy, with the characteristic Belgian yeast aroma.\

T- Spicy, malty and, surprisingly, not much ETOH character despite 10% ABV. Roasted malt flavor w/notes of coffee, medium mouthfeel and silky for it's overall complexity and malt character.

I think this is a relatively drinkable beer given its strong alcohol content but I wouldn't want to drink more than 1 or 2 in a row. Overall this is a flavorful, complex beer and I can see where Unibroue gets its inspiration for Chambly Noire. Not personally my favorite beer but objectively speaking, this is a great Belgian beer.

Photo of DaveFL1976
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Popped open a 750ml bottle. It opened pretty easily; the cork was helped out by the massive carbonation in the brew.
The beer poured a deep mahogany when held up to the light, with a frothy, sticky head that sticks around for quite a while.
The smell is plummy, sweet and malty, and a bit of hotness from the alcohol.
Taste is quite nice up front; raisins and figs on the forefronts, but not all that well rounded. Some alcohol abrasiveness at the end of the swallow. It's a monor fault. This is a fine, fine beer.
Mouthfeel is a bit overly carbonated, in my opinion. Really prickly, in a champagne sort of way. A bit mellower CO2 would help the mouthfeel and drinkability.
It is quite drinkable, though. The initial taste is so inviting that you just keep coming back for more. What could enhance drinkability? In my opinion, a bit lower carbonation and a bit less alcohol (at least to where it's not noticable).
But, no doubt, a good brew!

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

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,320 ratings.