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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,769 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2769
Reviews: 1190
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.35%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,769 | Reviews: 1,190 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of celticfutblclub


3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A - comes out dark brown with a reddish hint and a big inch head with a lot of carbonation that recedes to a thin line that lingers.

S - dark fruits are noticeable having a hard time discerning anything else in there maybe a bit of nuttiness in there.

T - again dark fruit is very apparent plum with some nice maltiness in the background. good amount of alcohol hits but is not overwhelming especially given the ABV.

M - smooth drink definitely fits the style but appears a bit smoother to me than other belgian strong ales which I like.

overall this is a good beer not as crazy about it as other people are but its a very solid belgian strong ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2011 01:58:42 | More by celticfutblclub
Photo of drseamus

New York

3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2007 05:13:45 | More by drseamus
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark cherry-burgundy with a monstrous 3 finger rocky beige head that lasted forever. The head was composed of large macro bubbles when viewed through the sides of the glass and fell around the rim leaving a billowy/towering center piece. There was a spotchy lacing with a good strong visible carbonation at first that soon receded to a slow steady stream of bubbles.

S: dark fruit, caramel raisins.

T: The initial flavor had a cloey, and overpowering malt sweetness with alcohol fusels. The flavor soon receded to a rich, caramel sweetness with some fruitiness (apples) and brown sugar. The beer finishes with a dark fruit, dark caramel and a nice alcohol warming. There was a slight sour raisin taste detected after the swallow.

M: full bodied, warm caramel, slightly creamy with a nice dry spicy alcohol fade.

D: A very nice finish despite an otherwise rough first sip. The beer progressively drinks better as you go along with a wonderful spicy dark fruit and caramel finish.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2008 22:30:08 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of BARFLYB


3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle into a regular snifter very carefully as this bottle is ceramic making it impossible to see where the yeast starts. Not sure on the bottle date.

A- Gulden Draak has an incredible deep dark ruby color consisting of mix of red, brown and maroon. With a tilted glass i could see the head forming and once i was done pouring I had a two finger beige tan head on my hands. This foam was enormous with some areas slightly bulging above others. The head never left throughout the entire hour plus I enjoyed this. I was unable to see through the glass even held right up to light. Great lacing.

S- A fruity and floral aroma that is entirely Belgian, having a somewhat similar but more refined scent resembling some de dolle dark offerings. Dark fruits galore and deep as I am getting some sweet cherries plums and grapes. Some spices also including cinnamon and brown sugar. A belgian yeast is abound and creeping. A bit of hops and malts but not this BSDA strong suit.

T- Gulden Drakk is strong on the fruit presence with the aforementioned smells going along in the taste and getting berries also. GD has a very sweet taste during first sips but evolves into other depths. Also getting some caramel and other dark malts along with slight maple syrup. Some hops and the yeast come out to play a part with warming. Some pepper spiciness with some dates coming in at the end. GD leaves a candy like impression, perhaps being a tad to much on the sweet side

M- A very full mouthfeel that is felt in the pits of my stomach after enjoying. Because of this thick and full mouthfeel GD has a sweetness to it that lingers for a while, no getting around it. This sweetness is ever present on the tounge. I like the carbonation that is felt in this. A nice warming sensation comes forth after 5oz or so than fills the body. Alcohol is not completely masked but not fully on display.

D- At 10.5% this one is nothing to take lightly and I would take my time with it to get the full effect, Letting the flavors integrate & develop more. Glad i bought a small version as anymore would be overkill for me, but i would share a big bottle in a minute as this is quite accessible given the style. This would go great during a holiday dinner.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2009 06:03:53 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of phosphoryl


3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of the white bottle into a Leffe goblet. Light tan head that quickly faded, with minimal lacing. Nose of dark fruit, some spice, some alcohol, but all very faint. Taste was stronger with some sweetness. Definitely a smooth mouthfeel, but a heavy hitter at 10.5%. Overall a good beer, but could use a little more of that sweet aroma.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2009 23:21:50 | More by phosphoryl
Photo of collinsroth

District of Columbia

3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the Global Beer Network sample pack.

The smell of Gulden Draak is the best part, rich with plums and raisins. Poured a reasonable head, with small frisky bubbles. These bubbles, for me, dominated the taste, and created a prickly feel on the tongue that was not for me.

Tastes hints of the same raisins and plums, with a syrupy taste lingering in the background. The alcohol peeks through in a not unpleasant way. The aftertaste lingers reminding me of a whiskey (unfortunately I don't like whiskey!)....

A good beer - and I can see how others would love it. But not quite there for me.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2010 00:49:36 | More by collinsroth
Photo of decimator

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

330ml poured into a pint glass. ABV 10.5%.

A - Poured a dark mahogany with a 1cm bubbly head. Head dissipated to surface bubbles. No lacing.

S - Herbal, earthy, dark fruit, honey, some tropical fruit, alcohol. Not quite what I expected but it smells pleasant.

T - brown sugar, some dried fruit, some of tropical fruit (pineapple in particular), more brown sugar, the finish is medium bitterness that sticks around and some booze. As it warms I find there's a slight resin flavour coming through and the finish is a bit harsh.

M - Medium-heavy body, medium carbonation, syrupy, sticky, oily, the finish is dry with some heat.

O - There's a slight harshness in the finish that detracts from this beer. Hard to believe the ABV is that high as the alcohol isn't too obviously although it is noticeable. Still pretty good and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 03:52:40 | More by decimator
Photo of Sixpack595


3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2004 01:09:06 | More by Sixpack595
Photo of cjgator3


3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of its short and stubby white painted 11.2oz bottle into a tulip glass. Body is dark brown with a monsterous head with great retention that produced lacing throughout the duration of the drink. Smell is sweet dark fruits (plumas and raisens) and alcohol. Taste is fruity with a potent alcohol bite dominating the very dry finish. This brew definately gets better as it warms up in the glass. While it is not an absolutely stellar brew, it sure does hold its own as a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2006 05:24:08 | More by cjgator3
Photo of smcolw


3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Easy near-white head, great lace. Light brown color...cloudy.

Sweet aroma with some nuttiness and spiciness--like a cinnamon candy.

Strong sweetness is counterbalanced by a dry finish. Complex flavors featuring a touch of sourness. Strong alcohol warmth. Full body with high carbonation.

Traditional trippel--high alcohol and high malt flavors. Smooth and full flavored.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2007 19:32:57 | More by smcolw
Photo of Jwaks


3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving 11.2 oz bottle

Lively whisps of fine bubbles course through a murky, muddy brown body, travelling up to meet a slowly settling glossy khaki cap of froth. Loads of thick sticky dirty-white lace cling to the inside of the glass creating a very attractive and appetizing appearance.

Tons of sour apple, dried currant and bitter yeast aromas dominate the nose with hints of chalk, dry carob, yeast,s concord grape jam, sweet bready chocolate malts and whiffs of spicy alcohol. The nose is disconcerting and reason for concern, the look doesn't match the nose and I have a feeling this will be a very unbalanced sweet and sour brew.

Gentle semi-sweet carob, chalky chocolate malt, mild dark bread and granny smith apple flavors effortlessly cascade across the palate giving way to deeper dark bready malts and hints of dried red berries on the equisitly open knit mid palate. Spicy alcohol peaks on the warm and delicious moderately long finish boasting sweet, creamy milk chocolate, a bit of sour apple and bitter yeast. Wow, the nose is thankfully misleading; this is one very enjoyable and complex brew.

A thick, rich and creamy mouthfeel makes this beer feel almost buttery on the palate. Drinkability is very good though slight sourness and warming alcohol keep drinkability a bit below exceptional.

If you ever spy a white bottle adored withs a black label emblazoned with a golden drake then pick it up, you won't be let down.


Serving type: bottle

02-07-2007 01:10:05 | More by Jwaks
Photo of OWSLEY069


3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours into a Gulden Draak glass with a deep amber hue, with a off white lacing of foam. In the nose, I get dark fruits and a small presence of alcohol. It has the characteristcs of a nice barley wine, with the smoothness of a great Belgian triple.

Serving type: on-tap

05-31-2007 21:01:48 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of Radome


3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in goblet from tap at Yard House.

A - Dark amber color. Lighting was dim, but it seemed to have a definite red hue. Was much darker than I expected, since I've only ever seen the beer in opaque painted bottles. From the name I expected a golden ale. Head was very thin but lacing was good on the glass. Not much visible carbonation, which might be the fault of the tap system.

S - Very hard to pick up anything in the straight-sided goblet I had. I smelled a sweet aroma, maybe crystal malt and candi sugar, nothing else detectable. Perhaps more carbonation would bring out more aromas.

T - Flavor is a mix of alcohol and the sweet candi flavor from the aroma. Very clean and straight-forward but disappointedly lacking in complexity. Flavors fade quickly.

M - Slightly thin and non-mouth-coating. Some alcohol heat. Like the flavor, the mouthfeel is a little too clean for my liking/expectation. Carbonation is fairly light.

D - This is a very well-made beer. I just found myself wishing it had a little more complexity and maybe was more cloying! Can a beer this flavorful be faulted for being too drinkable? I find it hard to argue that point. If the carbonation was higher more characteristics might come out.

Serving type: on-tap

05-08-2010 05:04:21 | More by Radome
Photo of amphion1065


3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle, served in a Duvel tulip. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a clear, dark caramel brown. Absolutely no head at all on this one, and only minor lacing.

Quite a bit of sweet butterscotch and toffee in the aroma. Dark fruits come through fairly strong, and there's a very prevalent plum character. Some alcohol esters, but nothing out of line.

The taste is much less sweet than the aroma suggests. It's actually quite balanced. Plenty of butterscotch and bready malt. A fairly big citrus fruit component, which I really wasn't expecting. The alcohol is not hidden particularly well.

Carbonation is spot on, though it's a touch thin. Still, it's well done.

A pretty good BSDA, but I don't know how I could ever justify purchasing this in lieu of Chimay Blue.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2011 00:02:05 | More by amphion1065
Photo of DavidST


3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a goblet, no bottle date.his pours a reddish brown tea color slightly cloudy with a nice tan head which dissipates down to a thin head. The smells are somewhat good, you get some dark fruit, candied sugar and alcohol. The feel is medium high carbonination. The taste is good but very potent alcohol burn and a level of booziness, the taste is also of candied sugar and dark fruit.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2012 03:50:11 | More by DavidST
Photo of Scotchboy


3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz ceramic stubby bottle poured into my New Belgium Globe.

A: Dark murky brownish-prune color; creamy off-white head has decent retention & lace.

S: Sweet fruitiness, banana, some Belgian candy sugar, dates and figs, estery Belgian yeast, clove, funk. Faint earthy hops linger.

T: More fruitiness and sweetness, lots of malt and malt breadiness. Sugary, toffee. Belgian yeast notes and hints of spices linger with the suggestion of earthy hop bitterness. Small hint of alcohol - not too bad for 10% but noticeable.

MF: Pretty much medium bodied, with proper carbonation. Not particularly dry. Creamy tones.

O: The smell and flavors don't seem to work together for me. The fruitiness seems to lean more towards a Belgian Pale than a Belgian Dark. I didn't finish the entire bottle; that being said, I'm scoring '4' here to raise the overall score to a more adequate overall number.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2013 16:27:53 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of aracauna


3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark cloudy brown with a nice creamy head that lasts and sheets the side of the glass. Very fruity aroma of over ripe pears and banannas. There is also plenty of spice, mostly cinnamon and clove. Slightly sweet body. Caramel malt. Fairly creamy body. Not bad.

Serving type: on-tap

01-24-2005 00:52:43 | More by aracauna
Photo of ypsifly


3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from an undated 11.2oz into a tulip.

Burnt amber with lively carbonation and a huge frothy head of light tan. Good retention and sticking.

Smells of candied lemons, spicy yeast, with a touch of malts paired with floral hops. Complex, balanced and very mouth watering.

Tastes very sweet. Borders on cloying. The sweetness is paired with alcohol and pepper in the finish. There's a slight lingering tartness on the palate. Doesn't taste near as interesting as it smells.

The mouthfeel is full enough for the style, but the alcohol and carbonation make it a bit awkward. I love BSDAs, but this one doesn't do it for me. My next round would be something else.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2005 03:42:29 | More by ypsifly
Photo of MAB

Alberta (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

What a let-down.

Loose foam, yellow-tan head. Lots of carbonation.
Color is quite dark, amber, but hazy.
Smell: alcohol, possibly willow?
Taste: VERY sweet. Mouthfeel full, light syrup consistency.
Sweetness dominates- hard to pick out other flavors; let it warm up a bit.
Now it's more of a brown sugar taste. Desperately needs hops for balance and contrasting flavor.

Not a starter beer, pretty good for a dessert beer but one is enough. Too sweet!

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2008 15:08:34 | More by MAB
Photo of bluemoonswoon


3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750mL bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Big ol' pop from the cork, soft pour into the glass yields a massive, foamy, dense, three inches worth of sandy brown head, Looks gorgeous and provides a wonderful contrast of color sitting there on top of a golden brown and cherry red of the beer itself.

S: Massive does of yeast, you could serriously choke on this stuff or add a new strain of cultures to your basement if you're not careful with this stuff. Beyond the massive punch of yeast there are peppery apples, nutmeg, a general spiciness that lets you know that this is a Belgian beer and something to be reckoned with.

T/MF: Nutty, peppery, cherries, dates, red apple finishes with a musty, yeasty oomph of sweetness that gives off a little bit of heat at the back of the throat in the long finish. If you take some time between sips your mouth starts to get a bit dry in the end and is where I assume the alcohol begins to take its hold and effects the mouthfeel in a negative way in that it starts to become a bit syrupy. If you keep this beer at its proper serving temperature I am sure it would flow a bit smoother but if you are a slow drinker the mouthfeel might suffer as a result.

D: Pretty solid beer, good complexity lots of little avenues of taste to explore with each sip, but I prefer others in this style over this beer and the mouthfeel knocked off some points in the drinkability department as well, but other than that, this beer is worth a look.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2009 02:49:06 | More by bluemoonswoon
Photo of selecter70


3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

How could I turn down the fierce clawing dragon tap-head? A nice pour from the Independent, definitely now one of Boston's best beer joints (thanks Evan!). A dark reddish smooth pour with fine bubbles settled to a thin head that soon dissipated. A sweet malty caramel aroma, and similar flavor, with yeasty honey qualities, sweet dark plums and anise. The alcohol (10.5%) is not hidden, but rather pointed out by the sweetness, although there is enough tartness to balance. Smooth and creamy, but not so much as to have more than one, this dragon is best sipped by a fireplace on a cold rainy night.

Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2009 15:52:42 | More by selecter70
Photo of ritzkiss

Ontario (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

33cl white labeled bottle, pours a dark mahogany with a creamy creamy tan head which has great lasting power, leaving streaks of lacing.

Nose is earthy and bready, candied sugar and dates. Maybe a hint of pumpernickel and plums.

Here is where the beer falters a little, loads of candied sugar, hints of plums and dates, caramel, bread, fruit cake, licorice - seems pretty simple compared to many Belgian darks, maybe more in line with a dubbel but even then, the mouthfeel feels quite thin, especially in light of the sweetness. Creamy but thin mouthfeel.

No hint of the ABV, though the sweetness deters the drinkability. Middle of the pack.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2010 00:46:22 | More by ritzkiss
Photo of scottfrie


3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle into matching Gulden Draak tulip.

A: Pours a very dark ruby amber with a billowing dark tan head that really frothed up with the pour and took forever to fade into a thick bubbly layer with a solid central butte. Crazy sheets of sticky lacing were left down my glass.
S: Powerful notes of very sweet dark fruits including plums, raisins, prunes and red grapes. There some ripe banana in there too along with some coriander and
T: Syrupy sweet fruits with the spices coming through in the finish. All the flavors from the nose are there, and I get a hint of tobacco, vanilla and milk chocolate in the finish. The alcohol is just barely noticeable in the aftertaste, and I get flavors of red grapes, spices, and tobacco.
M: Medium-thick body with a slick mouthfeel and hidden alcohol. Carbonation is tingly but drinkable.
O: Very fruit and sweeter than most but it’s still a pretty good beer. There are other’s I’d pick first though.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2011 03:27:09 | More by scottfrie
Photo of rmueller

3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I refer to this beer as the "Hair of the Dog" beer. Best for a hangover! I went to the Redwood City Brew Haus and was recommended along with the German food to help me from the wine party the night before. It worked for the high alcohol level. With that said, I didn't know what to think at first with the distinct white label and wasn't prepared for the full body taste. The after taste is a tad bitter but not overwhelming. This is a sipping beer like a good scotch. Tiny sips at a time not a drink it down quickly style of beer. One to be enjoyed slowly to enjoy the smooth texture. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2012 23:45:23 | More by rmueller
Photo of Goldorak

Quebec (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at Staminee de Garre, in the proper glassware, of course.

Appearance: Dark brown with red overtones. Thick coffee cream head.

Smell: Good caramel, and something else that kinda made me think of those lactic milk stouts.

Taste: Caramel, but with a bit of butterscotch diacetyl. Really thich mouthfeel and aftertaste that lingers for a long while. In the land of strong dark ales, I'd put this in the upper middle.

Serving type: on-tap

09-23-2004 23:27:11 | More by Goldorak
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 2,769 ratings.