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

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,255 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

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Reviews: 1,255
Hads: 3,517
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 250
Gots: 578 | FT: 4
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,255 | Hads: 3,517
Photo of BigPlay1824
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a snifter

A: Pours a hazy mahogany brown color with a ton of fizzy light tan colored head that lingers extensively, pours really beautifully, leaves a decent amount of spotty lacing
S: nice licorice note from the star of anise and something warmer and deeper that lingers at the end
T: wow immeditely hits with the star of anise which is incredibly intense, i once chewed on a small piece of this herb at brewery ommegang while drinking their abbey ale during a tasting, this beer really reminds me of that experience, just such incredible taste and flavors, intensely strong but in the best way, spot on, actually backs off the palate rather rapidly and leaves the mouth pretty clean of taste, really awesome, absolutely no taste of the 10.5%
M: medium carbonation tingle then moves into a bit of an odd feeling on the palate, almost spiced up i guess is what id call it, leaves the mouth just slightly dry
O: incredible, this beer has such incredible taste and flavor profile, this is absolutely going to be purchased again and again, wow (1,052 characters)

Photo of CowsCanBark
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a single 12 oz. bottle of this at my local store. Poured it into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Just beautiful. Pours out a dark brown with a thick, pillowy light brown three finger head. The head slowly dissipates into a one finger head. The color is a dark amber when held up to the light. Nice, very nice. There is a bit of lacing as I drink.

Smell: Smells of sweet booze, floral notes, malts, caramel. Just a bit of metallic smell, but not that it takes away from it.

Taste: Taste is amazing. It is very sweet, boozy, and tastes of caramelized fruits, like plums. Not really any bitterness, and the alcohol is hidden exceptionally well.

Mouthfeel: So nice. Very light carbonation with a very light syrupy kind of consistency. The drinkability is very high, which is surprising for the alcohol content.

Overall: A great beer that gives an amazing head with the sweet smell of caramelized plums and an almost syrup like mouthfeel, much like the women I prefer. Highly recommended. (998 characters)

Photo of Gehrig
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
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. (699 characters)

Photo of Wamba
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm working my way through my second four pack. This is what beer should be!

Dark and beautiful color with ominous highlights.

Smells of ancient victories over fire breathing foes.

Oh, the taste of Paradise! This is the stuff legends are made of...

Carbonation is a celebration of cream and honey in your mouth.

Strong as a knight of valor and smooth as a dancing princess.

Now this is beer! (397 characters)

Photo of 1759Girl
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
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. (720 characters)

Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a short, stubby, three tiered, white bottle. This brew pours a very dark brown, almost black color with a wonderfully thick cream colored head.

Wow! This is the most aromatic BSDA I've had so far. Smells of sweet candy sugars, dates, grapes, beet sugars... A veritable cornucopia of intense aromas.

Tastes of grapes and sweet malts. Maybe a bit of fig or date in there as well. Very full, creamy mouthfeel. The only downside at all is the drinkability. Very powerful abv. Just one of these belgian behemoths and I've got a mean buzz. (545 characters)

Photo of qwert59
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've recently been on a quest to try all the Belgians I can, and every time I've talked to someone about Belgian beers, Gulden Draak comes up, but it's been impossible to find in my area. I guess you could say I've been chasing the Gulden Draak.

But I finally found it. And I was not disappointed.

The nose is largely spiced apples and yeast, but is very pleasant and warming.

Gulden Draak pours a hazy redish amber with minimal head, but nice, active carbonation.

The first taste is amazing. This is an incredibly complex beer which almost refuses to show itself to you. My initial taste said that it was just more spices and apples. But as the beer opened up, I noticed pears, apricots, slight notes of dark fleshy fruits like cherries, raisins and currants, and also touches of cinnamon.
Very little alcohol taste for a 10.5 per cent beer.
There was a nice slight touch of sweet malts on the finish.
The carbonation was just right, it kind of rolled over your tounge, but it was not overpowering. The carbonation added some body to the beer, and made it's physical presence a little more noticeable.

The after taste is reminiscent of the nose, spcied apples and yeast again.

Overall, this is a super complex, well crafted beer. I like how the nose and after taste are similar, it kind of bookends the massive complexity of the flavor, although this bookending can be deceiving (i.e., my inital response was "apples and spice! apples and spice! apples and spice!). But this beer could definitely show me something new each time. It's also surprisingly drinakble for something of this complexity and magnitude.

I highly recommend Gulden Draak. (1,675 characters)

Photo of Tballz420
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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. (321 characters)

Photo of jballeng
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.5 oz bottle. Poured a dark chocolate with a very small creamy head. Aroma of figs, brown sugar, and hops. Alcohol subdued for a 10.5%. Accents of cherries, bread, bleu cheese, and brown sugar. A magnificent beer, and a meal in itself. Thicker than a normal triple. Would probably very nicely compliment a piece of fresh bread and a nice salty piece of gorgonzola or stilton. (377 characters)

Photo of Katolu
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Wonderful flavor. Smooth start with nice Carmel and fruit back end. The only down side is that's a little thick on the tongue, but that's very minor. Other dubs and trips are overly sweet, The Draak isn't. Would love to find bars that have it on tap. (250 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.71/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance: Dark brown with ruby port hues. A huge creamy head that takes a long time to recede. I can't imagine a better looking brew.
smell: Impressive hops and malt. I very good nose but a little subdued for a monster.
taste: Oh man! Hops, and malt in perfect balance. A sherry hint.This is just amazing.
mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy.
drinkability: This beast is amazingly mellow. (383 characters)

Photo of Aiptasia
4.71/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased as a six pack at a local craft beer store in a christmas set with a tulip glass, and enjoyed from that tulip glass. Enjoyed with Thanksgiving turkey dinner!

A: Pours a deep ruby red with a massive kakhi head on it, which lingers for eons. Rich dense lacing coats the entire glass with each pull. The head never settles.

S: Smells of dense raspberry, mango, hay and toffee. The tulip glass really features the scents well.

T: Considerable amount of esters and alcoholic warmth with little noticeable hops bite. What hops are there, are merely the rythem guitar. Slight diacetyl lends to the toffee taste in the middle. Very warming and completely dangerous.

M: You'll have to drink through the head to get to the liquid. Some alcoholic bite, yet once the sting is gone and you reach the middle, a very enjoyable drink. Overcarbonated IMHO, but pleasing to drink.

O: An outstanding example of the style. This would be a great standard to judge others of this style against. (986 characters)

Photo of jondeelee
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gulden Draak is the pinnacle of Br. Van Steenberge's efforts: a Belgian without peers; a brew so delicious that I'm sure Lucifer uses it to tempt the damned; and an ale so eminently drinkable that, were it not for its coma-inducing 10.5% ABV, entire countries would favor it over water. Even the nose lets you know this is one for the books: subtle flowery, fruity aromas layered with mouthwatering spices--what you'd expect to smell on the nape of the head cheerleader's neck.

On the tongue, the fruity spiciness is full and ever-blossoming, starting off with huge caramelized brown sugar and dark fruit esters, and progressing from even there into a heady brew over which gods probably fight wars. Vanilla, oak, apricot, plum and some port-like flavors mingle with champagne sweetness, with just enough hops to balance everything out and keep the brain from leaping out of the skull in sheer joy. A slight alcohol tinge colors the edges, but this enhances, rather than inhibits the overall effect. This is truly an astounding ale. (1,034 characters)

Photo of mwilbur
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 330 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a dark coppery brown hue with high carbonation producing a 2-3 inch light tan bubbly head. Excellent retention (lasts many, many minutes). Nice lacing too.
S: Dark dried fruit (especially raisins), sweet bready yeast, and notes of spice (cinnamon, clove, and a hint of white pepper). Aroma aerates the surrounding few feet around the glass.
T: Follows aroma perfectly and yet adds strength (the alcohol note) to augment it even further. Simply tremendous. ABV is high and yet the alcohol is perfecting blended in and hidden. Notes of toffee and caramel emerge with warming.
M: Medium body (feels lighter than the ABV would suggest). Sweet and full feel. Alcohol provides only a gentle, background burn. I don't think I've had a 10.5% beer before that has hidden the alcohol so well. Lingers and matures on the palate for several minutes after the sip.
D: Overall this is a phenomenal brew and an outstanding example of style. Excellent drinkability, especially given the ABV. (1,024 characters)

Photo of beerprovedwright
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Two finger head, with good lacing. Color is a 28 on the SRM beer color chart. Smell is enveloping, with aromas of coco, coffee, toffee, and caramel. Taste is a wonderful mixture of caramel, coffee, molasses, raspberries, apple, grapes, vanilla, black pepper, cinnamon, malt, and licorice. There are more flavors in there, but the more you taste the more buzz you get and flavors become muted. Rich, full body of heavy cream passes over my tongue and teeth, added with the wonderful prickly feeling of carbonation. This is one masterful brew which took many many years to perfect. I want more of this fine brew. (610 characters)

Photo of Katahdin
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A unique Belgian style beer in that it is very dark and full bodied. Rich, creamy head that lingers in the glass and holds together well. The taste has a interesting blend of pepper and fruit. The richness and complexity of the pepper is balanced by the dried fruit taste that lingers longer than the peppery flavor. An easy beer to drink and a credit to the Belgian Tripel class. Highly recommend! (398 characters)

Photo of July2Nov
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml/11.2 fl oz bottle.
A: Has a nice dark chestnut brown hue with a good 2 finger head on it. I know I'm in for a treat now.
S: Instantly hit with the sweet aroma of malty coco goodness. The nose is liking this and the mouth is wanting to get in on this action.
T&M: WOW...this has a deep robust flavor. You can taste the fullness of the characteristics that were listed in the smell. This is super rich and leaves the mouth w/ that oh-face.
D: This is definetly a keeper and should be enjoyed for all it's worth. Highly impressed with this style and brand. (564 characters)

Photo of yuriruley
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Reddish/Brown, not much of a head on it but it sticks with the drink all the way down. Some lacing

Smell - Dark fruits right off the top with a slight apple smell and malts.

Taste - Can taste the fruit flavor and maltyness. Not getting a whole lot of alcohol flavor. Very well balanced. This is one of the tastiest beers I have had recently.

Mouthfeel/Drink - Not as heavy as I expected, good carbonation. Deceptively easy to drink for it's ABV.

I have had this beer prior to reviewing it. Last year my mom bought me a bottle for Christmas, and I liked it, but that was before I was really into beer. So I decided to revisit it and I was not disappointed. (672 characters)

Photo of farrago
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Rich brown color with an orange tinge closer to the rims, large frothy head that refuses to dissolve, strong visible bubbles. While there's caramel and chocolate in the nose at the same time it's malty with a sour edge, dried black fruits, muscular in a sinewy way, not heavy in spite of overall sweetness. In the mouth it shows sufficient carbonation to relieve excess weight. Caramel, butterscotch, raisins, grapes and cinnamon, nutmeg spice. Orange marmalade citrus accents. Relentless presence, this is a beer that does not want to be washed out of your palate. (565 characters)

Photo of Boto
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draught@ Sharp Edge Creekhouse: They had this listed on the menu as a "Barleywine" which is obviously wrong. This pours a cloudy, reddish brown color. It had a fairly large off-white head. This was a very nice beer. The aroma has notes of yeast, alcohol, caramel, fruits, and probably a lot of other things. It is very rich. The taste follows suit. This is a wonderful variation of a Tripel. Full bodied and smooth. (415 characters)

Photo of HopNelius
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served out of a bottle and into a stemless wine glass.
Appearance- dark brown, light to medium carbonation, two finger head that quickly reduces.
Smell- notes of rasins, ginger and figs, wonderful aroma.
Taste- Dark fruit and Belgium yeast shines through balanced with malt and hops, alcohol warms at the end.
Mouthfeel- very pleasant.
Overall- Very Drinkable Belgium beer that is acutally rather complex.At 10.5 abv you wouldn't know it as it is so well balanced. (467 characters)

Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my crystal mug the beer had a beautiful murky amber red color and a creamy beige head building. The head leaves relatively fast and leaves little lacing. It looks very attractive and makes your mouth watering.
Smelling the beer very fruity flavors meet your nose. Apple cider , peach and plum.
Tasting this beer you will immediately fall in love with this perfectly measured fruit composition up front, being met with a sensitively calculated amount of malty flavors. At the end this full bodied beer finishes up with an immaculate hop, that rounds the beer up with a beautyful mouthfeel. The alcohol is nicely hidden. This beer is a work of art. Buy it wherever you can. I would drive 25 miles just to get another bottle.what a great beer!!! (754 characters)

Photo of adamette
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap at McNaulty's Bier Markt in Cleveland, Ohio.

A Medium brown, wood color body with 1 finger head.

S Alcohol is apparent but there is much more going on here as well. Ineteresting smells of yeast and some sweetness.

T Excellent. More of the same above but also some hoppy taste became more apparent. Alcohol is again apparent but the interesting tastes do not let it dominate the taste. This is a very sweet beer.

M Moderate to full mouthfeel. It is watery but very very sweet with bold flavors.

D Great but the high alcohol content keeps it from being the highest rated.

Notes: A real treat to have on tap at the Bier Markt. I am glad to have tried it. (674 characters)

Photo of spointon
4.69/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2oz stubby white bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A= This ale poured a clear, deep reddish amber color with a 2" rocky, foamy head. Over time the head shrunk to a quarter inch but never dissipated.

S= The smell is where I was first truly impressed by this beer. There is a lot going on, definite Belgian fruity yeast, but also maltiness and a bit of caramel. There is not a lot of alchohol smell despite the high abv.

T= Much like the aroma, but with incredible complexity. Sweet, rich, estery, yeast-funky, delicious!

Mouthfeel was good and the drinkabilty was high as well. It took me a while to "get" this beer, but once I did, I could easily drink this daily! Definitely a great beer that I will enjoy again and again. (752 characters)

Photo of SpencerSauce
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a scary looking beer haha. Tasted awsome. Popped the cork off like a rocket.

A- Dark reddish, with a dark head. almost brown.

S- caramel or something sweet , black cherries are prominent. Boozy smell.

T- sweetness of caramel, brown sugar or toffee. Cherries for sure.

M- coats the mouth nicely, smoothe though

D- easy for a while then gets slightly harder. (368 characters)

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
93 out of 100 based on 1,255 ratings.