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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,300 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,300
Ratings:
3,751
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
19.52%
 
 
Wants:
287
Gots:
749
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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Reviews: 1,300 | Ratings: 3,751
Photo of MrDell
4.84/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

24.05.2016

Gulden Draak
Belgian Strong Dark Ale / Dark Tripel - 10.5% - 330ml Bottle - Best before 08.10.2016

From the Brewery Van Steenberge website:
Gulden Draak is a dark triple, which in itself makes it an exceptional beer. But it is the complex taste with hints of caramel, roasted malt and coffee in combination with the creamy hazel head that makes it unique. It is a beer that is worthy of its name.
Like the other special beers of the Brewery Van Steenberge, Gulden Draak is a high fermentation beer with secondary fermentation. For the secondary fermentation, wine yeast is used. This also contributes to the unparalleled taste.

This also happens to be the beer that started me off on my obsession with Belgian beers, so let’s see if it’s as good as I remember it to be.

Appearance: Pours a lovely deep brown/ruby red colour. With a one finger, tightly packed off white head. Excellent retention at this heigh ABV. With a lot of nice lace work. Loads of fast moving small bubbles. Very nice looking beer.

Aroma: Smells kind of sweet and sour. Definitely picking up caramel along with the wine yeast (aromas not dissimilar to a red). Lots of Horlicks-type sweet malt in the aroma, like but with the astringent element backing it up.

Taste: Malt, loads of caramel and toffee but also with just a slight hint of that wine yeast in the background keeping it balanced, although sweet. Hides it's 10.5% very well. Beautiful.

Mouth feel: It's full bodied and very smooth on the palate. Not at all bitter. Leaves the mouth feeling fresh unlike many other high strength dark beers.

OveralI: As good, if not better than I remember. I can see how this one got me into Belgian beer so much. Will start drinking more one again. 10/10.

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Photo of 33redskins33
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is one of my favorites. Its a dark color for a triple and it smells great. The flavor is bolder than most triples and that's why I like it so much. Get it, if you can.

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Photo of logicalparadox
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Delicious dark Belgian strong ale. Nice head to start, atop a very dark brew with big doughy aromas of dried fruits: raisins and dates and prunes. Is someone baking pumpernickle? Looks and smells suggestive of boozy prune juice once the head is gone. Definitely sweet, but not overly so. Big, rich flavors of fruitcake and dark nut breads. Again, doughy, with lots of yeast coming through. Made with wine yeast, so while it does cary a distinct Belgian profile, it finishes almost like a plum wine or plum brandy.

Packs a real punch, but the high ABV (10.5%! Whew! Dragon indeed) is reasonably hidden. I've heard this one called a barely wine, but I wonder if that label was thrown out there just do to the ABV. This one is a legend in any case, and I'm glad to have tried it. Will definitely come back to ride the dragon again sometime.

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Photo of melbow
3.39/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The first taste was sweet and delicious, warming me on a cold night. The second was not any different, in a bad way. The only thing you can taste while sipping is the distinct sweet taste of burnt caramel that hits the palette strong and lingers.

It was very one dimensional.

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Photo of arizcards
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at TW Arrowhead in late September for $5.99.

Beer poured dark brown with a nice off white head that is hanging around.

Nose is very wine like, dark fruits dominate.

Taste is dark fruits, light chocolate. Finish is very wine like.

Mouthfeel is light and very smooth.

Overall definitely a world class brew. Very light, smooth, and flavorful.

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Photo of Homers_Beer_Odyssey
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

APPEARANCE - Medium-dark brown with 4-finger head that dissipates fast. No lacing.

AROMA/SCENT - Sweet, herbaceous, fruits.

TASTE - Sweet, mild, herbaceous, fairly boozy.

MOUTHFEEL/PALATE/TEXTURE - Not gooey. Carbonation holds up.

VALUE - A bit high.

OVERALL/DRINKABILITY - Not my favorite. At best, a sipping beer.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.51/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle included in a sampler picked up at the LCBO; best before June 16 2016. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours a cloudy, effervescent ruby-copper colour, topped with an inch of fluffy, pillowy light beige-coloured head. Good retention; it takes more than a few minutes for the froth to dissipate into a denser, creamier cap and collar, with a modest amount of lace. The aroma is very rich and sweet; dominated by boozy caramel and molasses sweetness, as well as notes of raisin, dates, ripe pear and black cherry. I am getting light hints of strawberry and banana, too, and perhaps even a note of port wine.

The taste falls much along the same lines, with sugary caramel sweetness, molasses and cherry blending nicely with dark fruit notes that include plum, raisin, fig and grape. Banana and ripe pear are next, followed by some herbal, earthy hop bitterness that leads into a warming, boozy-rum finish accented with vanilla, clove and anise. Full-bodied, with moderate carbonation levels that gently prickle the tongue, and provide a generally smooth, fulfilling feel on the palate. The alcohol is not masked particularly well, which limits drinkability - but it works quite nicely in conjunction with the flavour profile.

Final Grade: 4.51, an A grade. Gulden Draak is an excellent strong Belgian dark ale that is guaranteed to put some hair on your chest. Rich-flavoured is almost an understatement, as the dark fruit and sugary, boozy flavours make this feel like a dessert in and of itself. Easily one of the better examples of this style that I have tried - worth seeking out, worth the price, and any Belgian dark ale fan worth his or her salt should consider this one a must-try.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle (12LM), reviewed third in a side by side with 9000 and Piraat:
Pour is darker than the other two, an orange-hued lighter brown. Pour was much like the others, with larger bubbled head growing large in the pour, but reducing to fluffy head that lasts, covering the surface, and producing good lacing (this one also less than the other two, but might also be warming that is affecting it).

The nose is less complex than the other two. There isn't much sweetness to the pour, more of a balanced dark fruit impression is what I get, prune/plum and raisin/date. To be honest, nothing comes out that strongly, even with a bit of agitation.

The taste is actually fairly nicely developed, in my opinion. The sweetness that is missing in the nose (relative to the other beers) is more present in the taste, but is not as in your face as in Piraat. The dark fruit notes are actually a bit more prevalent in this than 9000, but the tastes are fairly similar. The feel sits between Piraat and 9000, nice and smooth, but maybe a tad on the oily side (could be searching here).

Of the three (this, 9000,Piraat), I liked this one the best. Each had its own unique strong points and none were the same, which is funny considering there were so many similarities amongst them. I gave them a the full calculated range between 3.75 and 4, but I think they all fall into a certain flavor profile that is common to the brewer (which itself is not uncommon). I would have any again, but this exercise, on this day, showed me this one was slightly better.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
4.98/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

hands down my favorite beer. This beer is absolutely exceptional, it was one of the first good beers that I ever had the pleasure of tasting and at the time I assumed that as I grew in knowledge and experience I would find better beer and be less impressed by the golden dragon, this however, has never happened, as many people have stated you should take your time with this beer, though I would say more so to appreciate the nuances of the beer that to worry about being plastered, there's a lot to appreciate here and a lot to experience. you'll never have this beer mastered or locked down, so enjoy each experience with it as a new one. also, ages great, you can notice some smoothing differences in it even after just a few weeks on the shelf.

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Photo of aleigator
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Appears deep red, nearly black. Has a big white, fast vanishing head.

Aromas of malt, caramel, spices and alcohol.

Intense taste of malt, sugar and lots of alcohol, ending with a bitter alcoholic finish, which warms up the belly. Perfect beer for a cold winter night, spices add a decent complexity. I recommend todrink this nearly at room temperature,lots of tastes get noticable while the beer warms up, taste becomes more balanced. Carbonation supports the taste very well, helps to not make this too heavy.

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

WOW Have not had a straight rating in a while.

4.25 all around. Here is my first different rating. It's my 251st so here's something different!!

4.25 all around. What a nice beer. Super nice and blended well. I liked the 9000 but this is better believe it or note. The dark triple is weird. Super malt

Enjoyable to the max!

Food Pairing

This wonderful beer went well with...... Pepperoni, green olives and hot peppers on whole wheat pizza

Enjoy!!

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Photo of tony12hd
5/5  rDev +19%

This is one of the best beers I have had. Sweet taste that dissipates quickly, leaving smooth ever slightly bitter, hops flavors . Carbonation is just right. having one right now and the bottle just emptied .gg

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Photo of RyanK252
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

On tap at BC's Pizza and Beer

A: Pours deep dark ruby brown with a frothy light tan head that laces very nicely.

S: Lots of dark fruit with a little roasted malt sweetness, some light spice, some earthiness, and a light booze note.

T: Very fruity, dark fruit dried fruit up front, raisin and prune, followed by some lighter apple and pear notes. This was backed with some spice notes, dark malt sweetness, and a light booze note on the finish.

M: On the heavier side of medium bodied with a light amount of carbonation.

O: Perhaps not my favorite of the style, but a very well done big beer.

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Photo of e_dawg
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Pours a dark brown color; when held up to light a mix of ruby red and copper color is revealed. Moderate head which dissipates slowly. Moderate lacing from the high AVB. Toffee and chocolate chip cookie nose. Taste is more toffee with some fruit and cream. Moderate sweetness. Light carbonation. Pleasant finish, the toffee flavor lingers a bit but not too long. The 10.5% alcohol hides itself well.

Don't drink at refrigerator temperature - the flavors open up more when the beer is allowed to warm slightly. Overall this is an excellent and very well balanced beer although it's a touch too sweet for me.

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

Poured a very dark, nearly opaque brown with a huge head that settled down to a half inch retention. Not much lacing, but that's not surprising considering the alcohol in this beer. The aroma was fantastic, with raisins, toffee and dark fruit notes. The taste is phenomenal, with lots of dark fruit flavors and some malty sweetness and a bit of grape must flavor- simply outstanding! The mouthfeel is creamy and silky smooth, with just a bit of alcohol burn. This is just a great beer!

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful dark copper color. The head is a finger high, just barely off-white in shade. Retention is quite excellent due to all the fizz rising to the top. Lacing left on the glass is consistent and thick. Aesthetic appeal is extremely high. (4.5)

Smell: Wow, the nose pops like a champ just from opening it (so much in fact, it gushed a little bit). It doesn't have some of the darker ester notes from a BSDA (such as raisin or fig), instead the fruitiness takes on more of a white grape/apple/pear quality. Some of the caramel-laden malts come through, as well as some yeasty, peppery spice. I'm even getting some candied sugar. Dark tripel? Sure. Killer aroma? Absolutely. (4.25)

Taste: It's a little sweeter than the nose indicated. It opens up with a combination of fruit esters (some light like apple, some slightly darker like cherry), which then evolves into a spicy mid-taste. It finishes with plenty of candied sugar. Malty touches linger throughout - this maltiness is quite varied with notes of caramel, toffee, graham cracker, and even cream. Fruit esters pop even further when this is allowed to open up. Complex and easy to drink - truly the best of both worlds. (4.25)

Mouthfeel: Big, creamy, and sweet; but the healthy carbonation cleanses the palate admirably. There are only vague hints of warmth on the back of the throat and (on the first sip), but the 10.5% is concealed superbly. It's a bit on the sweet side - which means it isn't quite as dangerous as it could be (thank cripes!) - otherwise I have nothing to complain about here. (4.25)

Overall: Fantastic beer that does everything I want a big Belgian beer to do - be perfectly balanced, bold, easy drinking, and deep all at the same time. Though it's a little expensive, it's still on my "must buy" list for the future. (4.25)

4.26/5: Beers like these are exactly why I love Belgian ales

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Photo of VashonGuy
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

I've had this beer on tap in Ghent, from a bottle at home, and this time on tap in Boise Idaho. I loved it every time, although never more than the first time in Ghent. The beer is the local favorite there, and is named after the symbol of the town, the golden dragon that sits atop their city hall. When we did our Belgium/Netherlands beer trip, this beer was our favorite of all the beers we had.

It's a wonderful Belgian strong dark ale. I don't have a lot to add to the many excellent descriptions that others have given.

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Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Appearance – Dark like a well brewed cup of Assam with a tall head of dark foam that lasts well but does not leave much in the way of lacing.

Smell – The smell of the bottle reminded me of the French wine cellars my Dad took us to visit when I was a kid. There was also a hint of caramel and liquorish rising from the glass.

Taste – A very heavy flavour hits you on the first sip and there is a definite note of burnt caramel and toffee but not at all in a bad way. Heavier in flavour than a Kasteel the flavour lingers on the tongue in a very pleasant manner and unlike some beers does not invite you to cane the hell out of it.

Mouthfeel – Rather sticky and coating, this beer has good linger. It also feels good and full in the mouth.

Overall – I like it and would recommend it to most people. The flavour is well put together and it goes down very well so it is a good sipping beer for an evening of posting reviews.

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Photo of higherbrow
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

The gold standard of non-Trappist produce tripels, Gulden Draak is an excellent beer. Fruity and earthy, it has an almost pungent flavor that encourages small sips, but rewards the palate with an elaborate, complex flavor. A bit on the pricey side, this is a special purchase, but often worth the price.

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Photo of infinitebruner
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

September 15, 2014

11.2 oz bottle; tulip

A – Pours dark reddish brown, with an inch and a half of light tan, thick foam. Head slowly settles to a couple centimeters on top. Look warm, like a fireside and leather-bound book beer.

S – Raisins and creamy toffee. Dark fruit, maybe cherries. Some fruity esters become prominent on deeper sniffs. A hint of chocolate, maybe raspberry syrup. Some sweetness, like dark, caramelized sugar.

T – Toffee and lots of dark fruit. Some acidic bitterness on the tongue, dark toast and raisin bread. Very very minor tartness in the background. No alcohol flavor.

M – Thick foamy bubbles, some sweetness, and mild bitter acidity. Cleanses the palate, some residual sweetness in the back of the throat, bitterness on the tongue. Mild alcohol warmth, though I had to look for it.

O – Very good beer, and a solid example of a strong Belgian dark ale. Somewhere between a dubbel and a quad. Would gladly drink it again, but it doesn’t stand out that much from other examples for me.

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Photo of constantine_272
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown with a thick tan head with good detentions. Left a big sticky foam mess on the glass. Well carbonated. Thick muddy haze.

S: Big sweet alcohol. Molasses, honey brown sugar. Soft leather. Light toasted oak. More alcohol.

T: At first taste the musky yeastiness was too much with a huge alcohol kick. The second and third sips cut through straight to the big roasted grain. There's still a big alcohol flavor but a big rich woodiness and caramel sweetness stands up to it. The big roasted sweet grain really stands up well to the booze, but not so much to overpower. To round it out a tanginess yet again balances out the big sweet grain and a wet aged pipe tobacco and wet dried prunes and figs. The beer finishes tangy and carbonic from the good carbonation with a mild graphite finish. A small yeasty sweetness finishes long but not overpowering with a bit of dry crackers. Truly a great miriad of flavor.

M: Big beer, but not as heavy as I would have guessed. Finishes light with a mild sweet and yeastiness that finishes salty and slightly dry.

O: Not the prettiest beer, but what an amazing flavor profile! It has a huge earthiness, but still a ice light crisp finish that balances out the big flavors so well. I could really go for a lighter version of this so I could drink more without getting obliterated from tho high 10.5% alcohol.

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Photo of HuskerTornado
4.96/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

330ml bottle poured into Gulden Draak tulip glass. Pours a cola brown color with ruby undertones and a medium sized caramel colored head that dissipates slowly, leaving a quarter inch head and a nice amount of lacing in the glass.

Smell is a dark fruits, plums, cherries, raisins, sweet caramel malt and alcohol.

Taste is just as it smells. Sweet, dense malt upfront with a myriad of dark fruits lending support, including raisins, cherries, and plums. In addition to the sweetness, there's also an herbal quality towards the finish, and some peppery notes. Aftertaste reminds me a bit of cinnamon swirl raisin bread. The 10.5% alcohol is there throughout, with extra punctuation towards the finish. This is a big beer, very complex. Mouthfeel is on the medium-heavy side with a slick, smooth and creamy quality due to the healthy carbonation.

Overall, one of the best strong dark ales in the world and one of my favorite beers period. A treat for the senses, always worth having some on hand. Ages very well. Delicious.

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Photo of JaimeLondon
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%

Beautifull dark red color and a big and nice yellowish foam.
Smell is full of caramels and cherry. Maltiness comes higher in the taste, altogether with other red fruit tones. Alcohol is also evident in the taste.
Body and carbonation are at good level, but less than it seems.
Yeah.. great beer ;)
I think the reason I didn't like very much this one is because of the huge ABV - not for me..

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I was given a bottle of Brouwerij Van Steenberge's Gulden Draak. I was pretty sure I've had this beer before, but when I looked it up it showed that I hadn't reviewed it, so I don't know if I tried it or not, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a white Belgian style bottle into a chalice.

A- The bottle looks nice, it's got a distinctive look to it that makes it stick out a little. It poured a muddy brown color that took on some crimson hues around the edges when held to the light with about a fingers worth of bubbly tan head that quickly faded to a thin ring that eventually disappeared and it didn't leave any lacing behind This was a decent looking beer, but I wish the head and lacing were a little better.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness and it's followed by a fruity aroma being the first to show up and that seems like a pretty even mixture of dark fruit and apple juice like aromas. Up next a slight brown sugar aroma along with some caramel and light toffee like aromas and there's a some spicy Belgian yest showing up in the background. The aroma was decent, but the apple juice aromas were unwanted.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar and it starts off with a lighter amount of high sweetness that had a brown sugar like flavor to it and it was followed by the same fruity aspects that I got in the aroma, but this time they are lighter with neither aspect sticking out the most. Up next comes the malts which impart a sweet malt, light caramel and light toffee flavors with some brown bread and spicy belgian yeast in the background. On the finish there's a slight boozy flavor with pretty much no bitterness and it had caramel, toffee and dark fruit like aftertaste. This was a decent tasting beer, but I thought the sweetness was a little too high.

M- A little smooth, slightly cloying, a little sticky, fairly crisp, on the lighter side of being full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was decent, but I wish it was a little smoother and not so sticky.

Overall I thought this was a decent beer and I thought it was a pretty average example Belgian Strong Dark Ale, the brewery claims this in a dark Tripel, but to me it's just an average Belgian Strong Dark Ale and there isn't anything about it that immediately makes me think of a Tripel. This beer didn't have the best drinkability, it was a little smooth, slightly cloying, a little sticky, fairly crisp, a little filling and the taste didn't do the best job at holding my attention, so I think one bottle would be my limit and even that is a little more than enough, I wouldn't want to have another one in a row. What I like the most about this beer was nothing, there wasn't one single aspect that stuck at as being better than the rest. What I liked the least about this beer was the sweetness and lack of complexity, that seemed to be this beers biggest downfalls. I might buy this beer again if I knew it was fresh, but I'm in no hurry to find a fresh bottle and as it stands now I can't say I would recommend it. All in all I just wasn't too into this beer it seemed a little bland and with the sweetness sticking out the most it didn't really make for the best introduction to a dark Tripel. This isn't my favorite beer from this brewery or my favorite BSDA. Better luck next time guys, this one just wasn't for me.

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Photo of Intrinsic
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours the characteristic medium-brown you would expect from this type of beer, and the head never stops growing - it's like a magic trick. Smells of licorice, cherries, and loads of malts. The taste basically follows along, but has amazing complexity with the added alcohol esters. Almost perfect mouthfeel, quite dry, with smooth, bubbly carbonation that just won't give up. This really is a top-notch beer.

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 1,300 ratings.