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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,305 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,305
Ratings:
3,775
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
19.52%
 
 
Wants:
291
Gots:
757
For Trade:
3
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,305 | Ratings: 3,775
Photo of Hoppsbabo
2.51/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Mahogany body with a fluffy off-white head.
S: Vinous.
T: Eugh! Peppy, sharp AND very syrupy. Doesn't work at all. Phenolic with big liquorice and marzipan. Has the zing of a tripel but the flavour of a quad. It's like the bastard child of an English barley wine, a quad, and a tripel. Doesn't work! It's making me want to chuck, like a childhood medicine, or ice cream soda. I'm gonna spew......!!!!
O: Jeez!

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Photo of donspublic
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look Reddish tan, poured with very little head. Not a big triple fan, even though this style steered me to craft. This is a very smooth beer to drink. Kind of an alcohol forward beer. Found that this beer fared better the longer I drank it. Could sit around and drinking this for a night.

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Photo of rand
4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle into a snifter

2012 bottle...been letting it chill for awhile

A: Dark-mahogany in color, super-effervescent, presumably from the extended bottle-conditioning. It's not as viscous as expected, and a giant head dissipates down to nothing.

S: Booze and esters dominate the bouquet. Sweet, biscuity, with notes of raisin and butterscotch. There's a touch of hop astringency at the edge of the bouquet, offset by a creamy, dairy-like aspect.

T: The butterscotch notes seem to hit the palate first, I think because they're so tasty and unusual. They're not cloying, and seemingly not from diacetyl, more like a palate-interpretation of the esters. Mid-sip there's a bit of earthiness - oaky and bready, but this brew is as smooth as they come. Aging probably helped, but the flavors here are streamlined and elegant. Medium finish with lingering sweetness.

M: Relatively light on the palate, at least for the style. Bottle-conditioning added a lot of carbonation that gives the brew levity.

I'm not really sure why, but this isn't as popular as some other examples of style, at least around San Diego. This deserves to be on a pedestal - a perfectly drinkable beer that blurs the line between a beer and a liqueur.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a dark ruby color with 2 fingers of head filled with large bubbles that fades down to a thin cap within 30 seconds

S: Dark fruits, especially cherries, up front, with some Belgian yeast and spiciness in there as well. Some alcohol and estery fruitiness backs everything up

T: Follows the nose. Dark fruits and Belgian yeast up front, with a background of spices and esters. Alcohol very subdued and in the background. Some earthiness comes out towards the finish

M: Medium bodied with lively carbonation

O: A little dark for the style (though aptly so, given the name) but delivers on all fronts. A great brew to sip on and enjoy as the flavors open up. A classic for sure

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Photo of drmeto
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

T:
-very sweet
-caramel,toffee,plums,cherries,raisins,brown sugar,slight banana
-bready finsih
-light to medium hop bitterniss
F:
-boozy
-overcarbonated
O:
Very good overall

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.94/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Have had this since early October, so, considering it's an import and had been for sale for a while, I imagine it's well over a year old by now. Kept it stored in a fairly cool, dark place, so I believe it's aged like it was supposed to.

Highly opaque for the color, which is a deep amber shade, about like smoky topaz. Minute flecks are noticeable as I drink it down. Medium retention, tan, multiform head. Fine here, large bubbles there, with sparse, splotchy lacing. Fresh sweet bread, caramel, curry, basil, and balsamic aromas at different intervals, but alcohol present throughout. Tasting it, up front there is the faintest bread flavor, followed immediately by an even sweetness of caramel, dark fruits, and primarily alcohol, right on through past the finish. Rum- or bourbon-like retro-olfaction. A rich, malty beer. Too sweet for me, but I've had sweeter in this category. Full-bodied with high level of fine carbonation, prickly but mellowing. Pretty wet. Tingling the inside of the lips, sides of cheeks, and upper anterior gums and warming the rest of the palate. Only a tad chewy/oily.

 1,101 characters

Photo of stevoj
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Superlative beer. Pours dark brown with silky beige head. Sourish, wine-like aroma, prunes, raisins, peat, wood. Taste recalls dried fruits and oak barrels, whiskey, wine. Finish is abrupt, and although flavor is full, there is little lingering on the palate. Truly gorgeous, a real sipper to enjoy.

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Photo of Merticois
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look - Beautiful dark amber/brown color with a thick foamy head.

Smell - A very strong aroma of brown sugar, caramel, vanilla and alcohol.

Taste - Dark Fruit, Caramel, vanilla, sugar and very strong alcohol flavor.

Feel - Thick and zingy. The finish lingers on the tongue a while.

Overall - The flavor is quite good but the alcohol flavor almost overpowers the rest of the beer. Still a very good dark Belgian.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky brown with an orange tinge that produces a 2 finger, fluffy, tan head that leaves streaks & motes of lacing. Aroma is dark malt, brown sugar, caramel, butter, Belgian yeast & a hint of dark fruits & alcohol. Taste is raisins, roasted malt, honey, brown sugar, hints of molasses, toffee & alcohol. Finish is malty, buttery & warm. Aftertaste is rich, sweet, warm & tangy. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied with moderate-high carbonation, juicy, slick, peppery & sandpaper prickly. A very nice dark Belgian.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.47/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Had on tap as part of a Belgian sampler. Expectations were high, this one's been on my "must have" list for a while and I love a good strong ale. Color is light brown, with a small cap of tightly-bubbled head. Aroma is of malts, sweet dark fruits, raisins, plums. The taste is metallic plum/fig booze. Too sweet, and mish mash of strong booze and sweetness that alternate in every sip. The fig flavor was too much. Mouthfeel was smooth, at least. Probably not going to have this one again.

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Photo of Meganomiidae
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Beautiful scorched honey brown body, with a thick and quickly dissipating tan head, leaving minimal lacing.

S: Seductive raisin and fig, mingling with dessert pull-apart bread sweetness. Slight coconut and rum undertones.

T: Honey, caramel, and stone fruits mingling with an ever so slight black pepper that boldens with increasing temperature. Lesser hints of deep red grape. Finishes slightly sweet leaning more towards dry.

M: Smooth, effervescent, fun. Not quite champagne level carbonation, but fairly high. Nice and light, like a tripel should be.

O: Can't believe it took me this long to get around to trying this beauty. Generally a bit cheaper than most belgian beers in my neck of the woods, and thus certainly worthy of repeat.

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Photo of stumac
3.07/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Going off old notes. Pours a murky copper color with a nice tan head. The nose is sweet malts and dark fruits. I taste dark fruits like plums and more sweet malts. Light body, low carbo. Very sweet beer!

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Photo of coltonbrimhall
3.99/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

-look is a dark beer with a light brown head
- smell is of brown sugar, raisin, and light red grapes
-bitter start but then turns to a plum, fig , dark fruit notes, then mellow yeasts
- feel is a bit over carbonated for my opinion
- overall a very complex beer really good but alot to keep track of

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Photo of craigdb
3.31/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

If this really was a darker triple, I might be inclined to rate it higher. Instead I get a boozy, overcarbonated dubel. It's not terrible, but like the 9000, it's something other than what it should be.

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Photo of majorbase2
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, dark reddish brown color with a big bubbly head. Dissipates to nothing shortly after, leaving some very spotty lacing.

Aroma is dark fruits, some light milky chocolate, and very sweet caramel. Raisin and red grapes are very noticeable. Definitely some alcohol present, which pairs nicely with the red grapes, giving it an aroma reminiscent of a red wine.

First sip reveals some incredible complexity. Lots of sweetness up front, which pairs with some melted caramel and raisin. Red grapes, fig, and brown sugar. A good deal of alcohol warmth.

Medium bodied. Gotta sip this one. Pretty decent carbonation.

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Photo of Jon_Hendricks
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an incredibly dark brown

Overall: Tastes like sweet sweet malts, caramel, slight alcohol tinge and burn, medium finish, pleasant, medium bodied. A really unique, delicious and excellent beer.

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Photo of Earl123
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is my first beer review so be gentle:)

An excellent overall beer. Unique character, a modern take on traditional brewing methods. Unlike some US mutations of the Belgian Tripel, it is not overly hoppy. It is actually one of the few beers my girlfriend and thoroughly enjoy together.

Taste is innovative and complex - cloves, bananas, cinnamon(?). A little fruitcake-y but not too much so and definitely stops short of a gueuze.

Everything else was excellent about the beer. The feel is not oppressively heavy and, as mentioned, not overly carbonated.

I prefer the 9000 version of the beer which is slightly more boozy in flavor (and reality). But this is a solid second.

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Photo of arvidkoval
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L- Dark amber color, nice white head.

S- Sweet malt and dark fruits. Caramel candies.

T- Caramel, grapes, slight booze.

F- Good, smooth, thick feel. Moderate carbonation.

O- This stuff is awesome.

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Photo of mdexter
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Gulden Draak is a one-of-a-kind Belgian. You can tell upon inspection that it's going to be rich and imposing. The beer pours a surprisingly dark, turbid shade of molasses. The aroma is somewhere between caramel and dulce de leche with some earthy notes, maybe raisins and cloves. It has the familiar sweet lace of all tripels with some well-balanced savory malts. The combination produces a boozey mouthfeel like a fortified wine or grappa. It's a strong, unique beer.

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Photo of jhartley
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thick fluffy tan colored sea foam head...It lasted forever! Tons of heavy duty lacing in the glass! Honey brown colored body.
Aromas of raisins, dark fruits.
Sweet up front with raisins and plums and a nice amount of carbonation; clean finish with some bitterness.
Dangerously drinkable! Just the right amount of carbonation to off-set the sweetness.
Top notch world-class beer that is a real treat to sip on!

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

330 ml bottle poured into a tulip. An amazing hue somewhere between ruby red, almost rose, and a darker brown amber with a billowing sudsy off-white head that fizzes and pops but never totally disappears.

Aroma evokes lightly toasted breakfast cereal, raisin, caramel, banana chips, prunes, nutmeg, faint peppercorn. Whoa ... Richly fruity but not excessively sweet, moderately spicy.

The taste is a case study of how to craft a top tier Belgian ale. Well-concealed alcohol but just enough of a peppery lingering burn. Rich caramelized banana, pear, and raisin flavors initially, followed by marshmallow, cinnamon, mace, and cake batter. There's almost a sour crab apple fruitiness lurking in the background. Syrupy, thick. Body nothing like a tripel but I suppose its a "dark" variant thereof. The style designation here is bang on. The sweetness is perfectly positioned, not cloying but still the dominant impression. Nice spicy yeast is just a step behind. Moderate carbonation and a persistent fruity, spicy, malty finish. Some gooseberry-like hops. A hint of carob.

A superlative brew and one I'd keep on hand at all times. Unique, yet meets one's expectations and thus provides a certain comfort.

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Photo of baconfromwalmart
4.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Light brown head made of large and small bubbles, had staying power. The color was darker than I expected and matched the bottle glass perfectly.

Smell: Caramel, toasted marshmallow, hint of raisin.

Taste: First sip tasted like medicinal syrup but in the best possible way. Nice alcohol warmth. Flavors of toasted grain and raisin without the sweetness are really balanced, nothing overpowering.

Feel: Creamy, extremely smooth.

Overall: I usually prefer lighter brews, but this one is smooth, delicious and dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown and mahogany color, massive head and a thick frothy lace that just won't die. A truly good looking brew.
There is really a lot going on in the aroma. Big dark fruity aroma; raisins, plums and figs soaked in alcohol. Also there is an earthy aroma; some barnyard, hay and raw grain. Sweet malts; reminds me of bannana or raisin bread. Belgian candy sugar. A strong whiff of alcohol at the end of each inhalation.
The taste is similar to the aroma. A lot of the aforementioned dark fruits. Sweet and malt forward on the tongue. This is balanced by phenols, alcohol and peppery spices and mild hops. Sweet finish and an herbal and dry aftertaste.
Big bodied. Creamy, smooth and silky. The silkiness at times makes it feel like milk. Dangerously drinkable. At 10.5% ABV I would call it a sipper, yet, I drank it pretty fast it was so delicious.

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Photo of Arthurpappas
4.84/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is just like one of my favorite beers! This is rich and creamy and also has a nice strong bitterness, but not overwhelmingly so. This beer also has a high alcohol content that is not at all apparent when drinking it. The smoothness of this beer is incredible, but finding this beer is quite difficult.

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Photo of spacebear09
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

How this is classified as a tripel is beyond me. This brew is awesome, but it's more like a quad. Very sweet, but not cloying. It pours with probably the biggest head I have ever seen on a beer. Complex taste of spices and honey. Simultaneously crisp and creamy mouthfeel. I don't drink Belgians all that much anymore, but this beer kicks ass!

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 1,305 ratings.