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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
94
outstanding

3,084 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,084
Reviews: 1,206
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 172
Gots: 295 | FT: 3
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
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Ratings: 3,084 | Reviews: 1,206 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%

The appearance is a bit darker than expected with the body being a dark reddish brown crowned by a nice head of off-white foam. The head recedes to a nice lacing engine of about a quarter inch. The nose is of spice notes and fruit and this follows in the flavors. The body is full and creamy, almost of a syrupy nature. The drinkability is hampered by the fullness and ABV.

AtLagerHeads, Sep 22, 2004
Photo of edchicma
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Very dark amber, nice head with excellent lacing. Smell was fruity (cherries) and very inviting...entices you to drink. Taste is full and fruity...definte cherry presence imo. There is a richness here that would probably do well if served warm as a winter brew. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and suggests an alcohol presence in its syrupy feel, but the alcohol does not overwhelm. For such a high abv,,,not bad on the drinkability scale, either. Great bottle too..defintely recomemnd.

edchicma, Sep 19, 2004
Photo of Naerhu
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

An annoyingly large tan head on a completely opaque body.
Spicy dark bread aroma fills the room upon opening. A little pastry sugar and molases and a herbaceous hoppyness as well.

Long lasting dark sugar flavor, though not a sweet beer. Bitterness on the back of the tongue is outstanding. Caramel maltiness.

The bitterness, though appreciated is also a bit rough.

This is an enjoyable beer. I cannot imagine why I would ever buy one again, though. I mean it does not go with food, and if we are thinking of an after dinner drink, then port wine or barley wine has my vote.

Naerhu, Sep 07, 2004
Photo of Padron4KM
3.55/5  rDev -16.1%

Pors a murky brown witha large tan head. Head melts away rather quickly, and leaves just a thin cap.

Aroma is very sweet, toffee, toffee, toffee. some fruitiness too. (fig, prune)

Flavor is sweet, but nat as sweet as I thought given the aroma. Caramel, prune, sugar.

smooth and creamy mouthfeel

High ABV is well hidden.

Padron4KM, Sep 05, 2004
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.78/5  rDev -10.6%

I waited a long time to try this one, and I finally grabbed both a 750 and a small bottle. I had the small one a couple of weeks ago, and the 750 tonight. Unfortunately, I really didn't like the flavor that much either time. A strange, almost soy-sauce like taste, different than any Belgian I've had previously. Lots of foam, nice looking glass of beer. Smell doesn't put me off, but that strange taste never really fades. Also, not as rich in body as the true greats of the style. Worth trying (and a cool bottle), but I'm disappointed after the hype.

JohnnyDuvel, Aug 21, 2004
Photo of benmiliron
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%

Came in a Belgian six-pack sampler for $14.99.

I had the pleasure of having Gulden Draak once on draft at Buckeye Brewing near Cleveland. The bottled version isn't quite as nice, but still quite good.

Sticky maltiness, a strong bite at first. Once the alcohol numbs your tongue a little bit there's a good bit of fruit there too. This is a great brew, but maybe it was a bit old. Or just the bottled version isn't as good. Either way, I'd not but it again.

benmiliron, Aug 04, 2004
Photo of RocketWidget
3.55/5  rDev -16.1%

Comes in a .33 ml brown bottle, nicely painted white. I wonder if this is more effective for protection against the light than a brown bottle?

Pours a rich dark amber, orange on the corners. Pours outstanding thick brown-white head that lasts throughout the beer. Smell is potent, malty and sugary. Taste is all right, malty and sweet, with the alcohol becoming a part of the taste. Yet, like many of Brouwerij Van Steenberge’s beers, I am left wanting more. Drinkable, and a good beer, but for the price I expected more.

RocketWidget, Jul 27, 2004
Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%

On tap at the Tap Room in Bedford NY. In a Gulden Draak Belgian style glass. Yeehaa, top rated brew on tap in the appropriate glass. This stunning brew pours ruby, brownish, and cloudy. Dark tan head, leaves nice wavy lacing. Exotic nose of cherries, fruit,alcohol,cloves,apricots. Flavor notes figs, raisins,nuts, sweet malts,vanilla,oak, Belgian yeastyness. Can you say complex? Soft mouthfeel, this is terrific stuff, bold flavors, strong and intense. A Belgian lovers dream. Seek this stuff out and enjoy!

Billolick, Jul 17, 2004
Photo of twilight
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%

Stubby 33cL bottle with apparent enamel coating. Pours a dark red koolaid color with a scrumptiously large head that recedes into a fine-bubbled thin head that dons the glass to the bottom.

The nose is all about christmas spice. Very much plums (or, rather, prunes) and maybe just maybe some citrus. The taste is light (It's the first thing I notice) and awash with that plummy plum goodness usually reserved for dubbels and quadrupels. Actually, if you melded the two styles you'd have them here, but it's not quite at the level of a tripel.

It's funny because the taste is really nice and all, but it just feels like it's a much lower abv. There's the sweetness, the spice and the long fruit finish that leaves more of a bitter citrus aftertaste on the palate. The alcohol burn is only slightly present, and this is welcome, but mind-boggling at the abv this one has.

Must remember to sip. Must remember to sip.

twilight, Jul 14, 2004
Photo of mobyfann
3.58/5  rDev -15.4%

Paid $9.99 for the big 750mL bottle...

The appearence is absolutely beautiful on this bad boy. It pours a dark brown base with a medium dark-tanish head, great retention, fabulous lacing effect and the head bubbles quite nicely from the low-to-mid carbonation. Oh yeah, and the ivory-colored bottle is a sweet mantle piece. The aroma is faint but hint some spice mixed with fruit maybe???

The taste is easy-going for what is refered to as a Belgian STRONG DARK Ale. It wasn't all that strong, except for the ABV, there was a slight alcoholic aftertaste to it, but that's it. The taste itself was spicy syrup in short. Mouthfeel was a little sticky with that syrup sticking to your palette. The drinkability is high for a 10.5% ale, because of the slighty weak taste, the syrupy mix lowers it from a higher score.

Final Thought: Despite it's killer looks altogether, it's a solid Belgian ale.

mobyfann, Jul 11, 2004
Photo of PopeJonPaul
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%

Rich coppery color with a tan head, smells like fermenting fruit. Superb caramel-sweet, malty and fruity taste with a backhand of alcohol. A chewy and candylike mouthfeel but remarkably mild to no aftertaste, with its light carbonation it goes down easy. If you like sweet, high-abv stuff, this is top-notch.

PopeJonPaul, Jun 16, 2004
Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev -5.4%

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy off-white head. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty aroma which boasts of Belgian caramel malts and a fruity yeast finish. The taste is good. It has a rich malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes fruity, yet dry with Belgian yeast. It is a smooth beer with a creamy malt palate. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine triple. It has good flavor and aroma; a quality brew.

WesWes, Jun 14, 2004
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%

Gulden Draak on tap? Whoa! To what do I owe the pleasure of this at the Springhouse Drafting Room? Down boy. My fellow BA Shappuding kicked it with a growler purchase!

Plum colored, scant light rays escaped across the glass body, with creamy tan head the hurried off to a halo coating.

Dark grains, like wheat but lacking awl-kee-hawl esters. Afterscents of sour Belgian & bread.

Almost a barleywine, despite its Dark Triple moniker. Reminds me of a doublebock flavor. Malty caramel and roasted malts with Vermont Maple Syrup.

A mild sizzle mouthfeel lends to a ~eh~ 3.5/5 drinkability. Tread lightly and enjoy.

Last swigs: Comparable to a recently enjoyed AVERY Reverend Quad. Heavy hitter so slay the Draak if you are so inclined.

Beer is good. Happy heavy beering.

blitheringidiot, Jun 02, 2004
Photo of shapudding
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

Came from the tap a beautiful plum color, medium carbination, not too fizzy. Head reduced to a light creamy white colored ring. Light lacing. Surprising amount of carbination for the alcohol content. You can lightly taste the alcohol, but it is not too overpowering as to scare off those that do not like the flavor of it in their beer. Tastes like a barleywine, but not too intense. Nice. Sweet. Caramel, but not too heavy on it. Very smoth and creamy.

edit: Just have to note that I was back at The Drafting Room in Springhouse to have a bit more with drinking buddy blitheringidiot, and decided to make my Memorial Day weekend much more memorable by taking a growler of it with me! Sorry everyone in this area! That kicked the keg! But man it made me happy!!!

shapudding, May 28, 2004
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%

The white bottle is very cool looking and the mahogany brown brew inside is equally interesting to look at. It has a massive craggy head with copious lacing left behind. The carbonation is remarkable. A whole universe of tiny pin prick bubbles with bigger ones interspersed. The nose is mainly of fruits, like plums prunes, maybe cherries and Im not sure what else. The taste is dominated by fruity flavors, mostly plum, there are also sherry/port alcohol elements and an interesting yeast character. The hops are very subdued. This beer is quite good but it is definitely not the best Belgian strong ale I have tried, its too malty and sweet (though by no means cloying). The finish is sweetish and somewhat bitter. The ABV is very well concealed. This is still a good beer and I would definitely have it again if given the oppurtunity.

CAMRAhardliner, May 03, 2004
Photo of mattcrill
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

What a pleasant departure for me! Not sure I would do this very often but a nice change of pace. Served in a brandy snifter type glass which helped bring out the nectar-like aromas. Color is reddish-brown with a nice but not over-powering head. Very silky in the mouth and a sweetness that could get over powering. A good starter or finisher but not sure I'd hang my hat on this one the whole night. If you want a refreshing change, this is a winner. Went great with the chicken quesadillas I had.

mattcrill, Apr 27, 2004
Photo of Sixpack595
3.68/5  rDev -13%

Deep and cloudy chestnut brown with a fair amount of tan foam. Aroma is sweet and spicy. Flavor is spicy with a lot of dark fruit and sweetness barely reigned in by the bitterness. Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy, and with the sweetness has a sticky quality to the aftertaste. Strong but still quite drinkable.

Sixpack595, Apr 26, 2004
Photo of dauss
3.45/5  rDev -18.4%

Pours a dark brown, with just a hint of red. medium sized head that really stays. Good lacing all the way down the glass. Smells extremely odd. Very pungent, spicy, sour. This brew is extremely thick. It just sticks to your mouth and is a slow drinking beer. Its just overpowering how malty it is, how strong the mouthfeel is, and the sweetness. Not very hoppy, has a citrus flavor to it. Also its 10.5% abv, but you can hardly taste the alcohol at all. Definitely worth trying, at least once.

dauss, Apr 24, 2004
Photo of Jason
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%

Presentation: 330ml odd sized fatty that has a bone colored plastic lining to block UV-rays out. No freshness date

Appearance: Hazed brown leather color with a healthy looking head that sports some great retention.

Smell: Lemony with a candied alcoholic fruitiness, a tad buttery within the malt sweetness.

Taste: Very potent, spicy peppery alcohol, syrupy nectar like sweetness, meat broth and a hard dose of phenolics provide balance to the sweetness. Viscous smoothness. Estery with some warming fusel alcohols as well. The after taste has a faded herbal tea flavor which lingers with a residual sweetness.

Notes: At 10.5% abv it holds together quite well as there is enough body to match the alcoholic character. Veal Marsala with Parmesan coated linguini is a great pairing, try using this beer in a redux sauce with mushrooms and shallots over the veal.

Jason, Apr 03, 2004
Photo of Tballz420
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%

This brew is a thick, cloudy brown/purple colored brew, decent sized tan foam head. Sweet grape, cherry, fruit scent, very nice. This brew is delicious. Lots of different fruit, sweet sugars, alcohol spice, hop bitterness on top of everything. This beer is damn good, and makes me quite interested in this style of beers.

Tballz420, Mar 25, 2004
Photo of TerryW
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

Good looking beer. Rich chestnut red colour with a nice tight long-lived head that gives up good lace. Very handsome brew.

Sweet, deliciously malty nose. Lots of fruit, well ripened banana, underlaid by noticeable but not overpowering alcohol. Great beer to inhale over and over before taking a pull.

Caramel and burned sugar flavours. Candied cherry fruit and raisins. Noticeable alcohol. Powerful mouthfeel, syrupy but not offensive, quite smooth with lingering alcohol finish.

This is a very interesting beer to drink. Lots of interesting things happening in the aroma and flavour that make it worth savouring. Perhaps a little too much alcohol presence, but quite enjoyable overall.

TerryW, Mar 17, 2004
Photo of Rastacouere
3.53/5  rDev -16.5%

Gulden Draak pours ruby brown, almost clear with no traces of yeast?, but a generous sticky head for this ABV. Aroma is vinous, very malty (caramel, butterscotch) with a tickling grapes character melted with ashes. The taste is as sweet as anticipated, very caramelic, but mostly floral clover honey and licorice with a slight medicinal note and more brown sugar toward the finish which is all malt. I couldn't drink too much of this myself, but I appreciate the sipping experience and the medium body fits well. I think this would blend together better being forgotten for a while in a cave. Thanks Martin!

Rastacouere, Mar 08, 2004
Photo of Dukeofearl
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%

Appearance: much darker pour than I expected for a "Golden Dragon" beer. Pours a moderate brown (with reddish golden highlights when backlit) with a nice, but small off-white head that was strong enough to hang together through the drinking session.

Aroma- much different than many Belgians I've had- for one thing, it was pretty weak. I poured this in a St. Bernardus goblet, which should have concentrated aromas, but it was weak. What was there was very hard for me to pull out specifics- grassy, semi-sweet, earthy tones are my best guess. Flavor was very nice- malty semi-sweet breadiness that included heavier fruits (plums & raisins), chocolate, & toffee. Not as sweet as some, but nice and rich tasting. There was a light herbal finish with a little sharp hop bite at the end- a nice touch. There was also a touch of alcohol feeling at the end.

Overall, this was a nice brew, and I enjoyed it, but it did not wow me. I guess the balance wasn't quite what I hoped for, and the aroma was disappointing.

Dukeofearl, Mar 03, 2004
Photo of DESTRO
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%

popped this one open last night in celebration of a friends birthday. it was pretty dark in the room but it looked to be a deep brown and it had a hell of a head with remarkable retention. nice. aromas are different, for sure. alcohol is in the air along with overly ripe bananas, figs and molasses. a bit odd, but not unpleasant. once in the mouth you immediatly get hit with the sweetness. ive never had a beer this sweet. molasses and brown sugar, ripe fruits (again banana), a bit rum like. the alcohol is well hidden. thick and hearty, filling and just flat out big, its slick in the mouth. def. a sipper, has dessert beer or night cap written all over it. a suprise in every way, a good suprise.

$2.99 a bottle

DESTRO, Feb 26, 2004
Photo of Shaw
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%

I enjoyed a 0.3L glass on-tap at my local pub, the Cock & Bull. I've had it several times before but finally got around to reviewing it.

It's a dark brown with reddish notes and a small head. It has a powerful aroma that includes malt, alcohol and spices. The smell carries over to the taste. It is quite the complex brew, far too complicated for my amateur palate. I note cherry sweetness along with nuts, malt and good old alcohol goodness. This is one of those beers you have to try to truly appreciate.

With 10.5 percent ABV, this ale has a wonderful mouthfeel. The alcohol glides over the tongue while its substantial body plays around with the rest of your mouth. Sorry to get so esoteric with the review. I'm writing it after finishing my glass so I'm still in the grips of Gulden Draak.

I wouldn't recommend drinking a lot of this ale, considering its strength. Enjoy it in moderation and when someone else is driving.

Gulden Draak is another winner from Belgium. Bless those brewers, for they have brought so much beer-laden joy to the world.

Shaw, Feb 12, 2004
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,084 ratings.