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

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

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2,763 Ratings

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Ratings: 2763
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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Ratings: 2,763 | Reviews: 1,190 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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!

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2004 21:28:18 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of neonbrown82


3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is one of the first belgian beers I ever had, before I even knew anything about belgian beer. This is the first time I've tried it since I was 16, and it's not nearly as awesome as I remembered it being 6 years ago.

The beer pours magnificent, however. It is a rich brown amber color with a burgundy hue when held to the light. The head is a fluffy inch thick and seems to have flowing currents through it from the carbonation jets that stream all along the edges of the tulip glass, creating a brilliant trail in the beer.

The nose is incredibly candi sugar sweet, bordering on the unpleasant side. Lots of malt, dark berries and fruity esters help to balance it out a bit, but it is quite overwhelming.

The taste is an assault on the palate. I think every inch of my tongue shuddered on contact, especially upon the heavy ethanol finish. Very sweet but also has some sour and bitter in the finish. The dark berries and alcohol are strong in the end. Somewhat barleywine-like.

I most definitely could not drink more than one of the 330 mL bottles of this even if I wanted to.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2005 23:46:23 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle served in a tulip. Poured a murky reddish-brown with a quarter inch, tan-colored, effervescing head embedded with tiny bubbles. Head eventually dissipated into a swirl with strands of lacing revealed as the brew was consumed. Nose is predominantly dark fruit, definitely some cherries in the mix. Taste follows nose, but quite a bit of alcohol heat, as well as a slightly medicinal, cherry cough syrup quality with a light, hoppy finish. Mouthfeel fell between light- and medium-bodied with an appropriate amount of background carbonation. In terms of drinkability, I found this brew a little too close to cough medicine to be enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2009 23:58:45 | More by Jwale73
Photo of rapidsequence


3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle. $3.99, I think.

Appearance: Pours clear brown with red highlights. Ruby when held up to light. Its a little lighter in color than a Coke. Big rocky off white head fades within a few minutes, leaving a thin rim, but lots of lacing.

Smell: Very sweet with dark fruits. Also some sour or tart fruit smells too which seems weird. Boozy. Swirling brings put some nice yeastiness. Pretty good, not great.

Taste: Wow its hot. Very boozy. Rum soaked fruit, and unfortunately some sour fruit taste as well. Finishes with nice spicy bready taste.

Mouthfeel: Overall its pretty full with a little syrupiness but carbonation is adequate enough to keep it from seeming overly syrupy or flat.

Drinkability: Well, its pretty good, not great. I'm not a real fan of the strong booziness in this style, or the sourness (although its slight). I would drink it again if given to me, but I wouldnt buy it-- there are better choices for the money.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2009 00:47:45 | More by rapidsequence
Photo of BierStein711


3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into 16oz chalice two and a half finger soda head

Dark brown tea color

Smelled of barley malt and hops

Tasted malt and hop bitterness, and alcohol

Mouthfeel: Warming and thick, the alcohol really came into play here.

Overall, I can see why so many people consider this to be a world class beer. I for one probably would opt out of having it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 20:42:14 | More by BierStein711
Photo of WanderingFool


3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gulden Draak is a nice full flavored dark belgian beer. It pours a hazy dark orange color that reminded me of apple cider. The head is slightly off white, medium bodied and remains all the way to the bottom of the glass. An aroma of clove, brown sugar, yeast and mild alcohol hovers over the surface.

Each sip of this slightly chewy medium bodied beer is packed with flavor. It's an interesting combination of clove, bubblegum, and caramel malt. There are hints of alcohol and a brown sugar sweetness mixed in that contribute to its sweet finish. A mild alcohol and caramel malt flavor is left behind.

This beer seems to me like a good example of the Belgian strong dark ale style, but does not seem any better or worse than other brands out there, such as Unibroue Maudite.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2004 21:00:15 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of jwinship83


3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle with no visible date.

A- hazy dark brown colored bottle with a gushing 3 finger head that quickly reduces to a thin layer on the surface. moderate lacing left on the sides of the glass.

S- sweet malts and yeast are the main things i notice first. also some fruits. apples and pears mostly. smells moderately alcoholic.

T- very sweet upfront. lots of yeast and the fruits i could smell. decent amount of alcohol in the finish.

M- extremely light and fizzy from high level of carbonation

D- had some trouble finishing this one. its not that i hated it, its just that 750 is too big. next time ill go with the smaller 330ml. certainly not my favorite for this style.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2008 04:52:03 | More by jwinship83
Photo of hustlesworth


3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- loose airy beige head was completely unexpected, full of bubbles and fizzily active. settles rather quickly with a few spots of lace left behind. body is clear and dark rosewood color with a burgundy tint. still a little disappointed with the foam, but it easily rebuilds itself (with better texture) with a good swirl of the tulip.

S- sticky sweet dark fruits and dark cane sugar. apple, cherry, plum, red grape, and a touch of fruity alcohol esters. caramel and toffee come out also with an earthy graininess. some spiciness from the yeast, allspice, & peppercorn, sandalwood, vanilla, acetone, and what may be noble hops.

T- at first it's almost sickly sweet until a fresh grain taste pushes in and begins to balance things out a little. a bit metallic also, my overall impression is plums figs dates and raisins soaked in cognac and a ridiculous amount of candy sugar. almost overly sweet for may taste on the front half but mid way zesty hop flavor and alcohol bitterness cut through somewhat. port wine, wood, and soil, earthy hops, and dark chocolate undertones. yeast spiciness here as well, but it seems be disguised by alcohol and sweetness. earthy and sharp bitter finish with still some more fresh grain taste lingering on the palate.

MF- rich and full, the candy sugar has definitely pumped up the body to stellar proportions. almost stout thick, mouth filling with tight medium carbonation, sadly a filmy coating of cloying sugary sludge remains.

D- i am totally on the fence with this damn beer. i'm not a man with a sweet tooth, so naturally the sweeter things don't appeal to me as much, but as many pros as this beer has for me, it has an equal amount of cons. potency being the least of my concerns, the sugary sweetness seems to drown out other subtle flavors and i would gladly trade the high abv for something a bit more...nuanced. or should i say, something that allows the nuances to be appreciated.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2008 07:40:16 | More by hustlesworth
Photo of barleywinefiend


3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Yardhouse in Scottsdale, AZ.
Poured a deep amber color with golden brown highlights, crowned by a good two fingers of sticky, foamy head that hangs around a good long while. Nose of sweet, bready malt, raisin, and a hint of spicy hops, along with a touch of yeasty funk. Taste is mildly sweet up front, then becomes richer and maltier as it goes down.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2009 02:17:32 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of Grunewald

British Columbia (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - poured from a 330ml bottle into a goblet. It pours a cloudy ruddy brown color with a thick head.

S - sweet malt, candy, prune, marmalade

T - sweet malt that very quickly becomes medicinal (cough syrup) and spicy

M - low carbonation and syrupy with a neutral finish

D - enjoyable flavors, but the medicinal taste is overbearing

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2009 08:28:24 | More by Grunewald
Photo of CrazyDavros


3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy dark brown with a lasting head.
Nose shows loads of spicy phenols with a fair amount of candi sugar and golden syrup showing through too. Also caramel. Very sweet. Not too mention the spicy alcohol. Very bold aroma, that's for sure.
Flavours are similarly sweet, with lots of caramel, golden syrup and brown sugar before the alcohol rolls through. Somewhat cloying and boozy in the finish.
Carbonation is crazy high.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2011 11:15:17 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of BucBasil

South Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: Presented in a unique white bottle with a classy looking label that features an ancient style dragon. Practically jumps out of the bottle into the tulip I served it in. Head builds to a massive 4 fingers very quickly. Careful with the pour on this one... Head is light tan, stays around for a loooong time, and leaves clumpy lacing on the sides of the glass. The brew is extremely dark red. Appears brown at first glance, but held to light a red note shines through.

Smell: Aroma is surprisingly light. Fresh grapes at first glance, but after a swirl gives off a nice spicy smell. Cinnamon comes to mind, but fades quickly into fruit again. Great smelling beer.

Taste: Not too impressed here. The flavor is huge and complex, but for some reason doesn't work the way it should It's still way above average, but there's just someting about the way the flavors interact in the brew that slightly turns me off. Starts with a dark fruit character that leads into molasses or syrup or something. A slight chocolatey malt note comes in at the middle, and then finishes with a big yeasty punch to the throat.

Notes: This is the last of the 4 pack I purchased of this. I made it through all of them, but my mouth feels bruised every time I finish one of these. Maybe too complex for it's own good, this beer is a good choice, but a very tiring drink that can't be rushed.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2007 00:25:04 | More by BucBasil
Photo of BeerBelcher


3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I thought this beer was pretty good. It was spirited, and tasted to me a bit like cognac (not that I’ve had cognac more than once in my life), and was a nice way to cap off an evening.

It poured a clear red sparkling color. A liquor-like aroma that I’m guessing is cognac-like with a deep smell and lots of alcohol esters. Flavor was cereal and malty with a warming sensation and thick brown liquor like caramel flavor. Mouthfeel was thick and astringent, like a liquor. Pretty good.

I’d recommend this.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2007 17:33:54 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of donnebaby

North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown, lively looking brew. Very bright. Loose but ample light brown head. Smells like candy sugar, molasses, and sweet vanilla. A dark tripel -- cool, why not. Pretty high residual bitterness over a mildly roasty, sweet and juicy flavor. The beer is surprisingly well balanced for 10.5%, with alcohol certainly being felt, but not tasted. Sweetness becomes a bit cloying. Too spritzy and boozy for me to want to enjoy more than one of these, but nice on a warm day fowsure.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2008 22:34:17 | More by donnebaby
Photo of rvdoorn


3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Look: the beer pours dark brown color with a nice light-brown head.
Smell: Roasted malts, dark fruits, caramel, dark sugar and alcohol.
Taste: Dark sugar, caramel malts, dark fruits, more sugar with some slight hoppy aftertaste in the end
Mouthfeel: too high carbonation and a medium body
Overall: Too alcoholic, too sweet and not a very good mouthfeel

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2011 19:35:02 | More by rvdoorn
Photo of rudzud


3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - A dark lightly hazy copper pour with half a finger of tan head that slowly fades.

S - Lots of sweet malts and deep, dark fruits (figs and raisins), but ALOT of booze.

T - Like the nose there are lots of rich dark fruits and sticky sweetness but behind that there is so, so much booze.

M - Should be heavy but the fair amount of carbonation keeps it up off the tongue.

O - I feel there are better strong dark ales than this. It was goos, but way, way too boozy for my liking.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2011 18:04:29 | More by rudzud
Photo of Jerreve


3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Drank one from my cellar. 33cl bottle

I must say it didn't quite taste as usual. Strange harsh tast, very alcoholic. I was expecting something different, smooth and sweeter. Normally one of my favourites to end the day in my chair.
Was it because it was still a young one, perhaps.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2012 18:48:28 | More by Jerreve
Photo of TrappistJohnMD


3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany color with one fingered head.

Smells funny. Too much alcohol smell and a little ripe fruit. Reminds me of a hospital lab. Almost prevented me from drinking it.

Taste is sweet with some ripe fruit. Alcohol is pretty strong for me.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Good carbonation.

Overall this was o.k. Not as good as I had hoped it would be. Have one cellaring and I hope it improves.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 18:47:55 | More by TrappistJohnMD
Photo of sweemzander


3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL corked and caged bottle.

(A)- Pours a hazy amber color with some white froth.

(S)- A sweet malty and rich profile with plum and prune dark fruits. Hints at vanilla sweetness.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. Very rich and sweet with dark fruits of plum, prune, and fig.

(M)- A mellow carbonation level. A nice balance to it with heavy heavy malts and a hefty sweetness.

(D)- A solid belgian strong dark ale. A bit heavy and sweet to drink too much of, but tasty.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2012 15:38:18 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Goblinmunkey7


3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep dark brown tinged with dark reds. Pours with a ton of carbonation. Head is massive, pillowy, dirty-white. Leaves super sticky lacing. Solid retention. Drops to a small, loose cap and collar.

Smell: Loaded with Belgian yeast. Spice and some serious candi sugar and caramel sweetness. Clove, ripe banana, deeply Belgian and peppery. Some hints of chocolate as well. Belgian sweetness. Bubblegum, but faint.

Taste: Ripe banana and clove. Big malty sweetness. Candi sugar layered throughout. Belgian yeast adds a ton of spiciness. Some minor lemon and hay. Slightly damp. Over cooked and caramelized malts. Some caramel and biscuit malts. Faint hints of bubblegum. Heavy clove as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Slightly high carbonation on a medium body. Clean overall. Some dryness toward the end.

Overall: Draconian? I think not.

This is no mythical beast of awesome power. It's a solid take on the style and brings some unique malts to the party, but it ultimately lacks depth and an overall appeal.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 04:11:07 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Photo of dauss


3.45/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2004 16:28:23 | More by dauss
Photo of PhageLab


3.45/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Gorgeous deep ruby coloration with murky brown hints. Nice head of froth that rode the whole way down. Laced very well. Easily one of the most attractive brews I've seen in a while.

S - Alcohol hits first, but sifting past that a barrage of different fruits and nuts makes themselves known.

T - Apple and sugary malts seem to dominate the profile, which is consistently battling the alcohol taste for the spotlight. Slightly disappointing, I can't help but think this would be much more flavorful with a lower abv. Finishes sweet and fairly dry.

M - Full bodied, low carbonation level, pungent alcohol sting.

D - Small servings only please, the large bottle of this was difficult to finish, even sharing it with friends. It seems that Steenberge loves high alcohol brews, I just wish they'd make a session brew. They obviously have great talent, but does every beer need to be over 10%?

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2008 17:47:16 | More by PhageLab
Photo of jeffmonarch


3.45/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle in a snifter glass.

A - Medium brown/orange with tan head that lingers for a while.

S - Sweet and tart fruit smell with some light malt.

T - Sweet as the smell had shone. It also shows the alcohol but it is subtle enough as to not affect the flavor of the beer. Bright and floral. Good flavor.

M - Light bodied with good carbonation.

D - Good beer. It is not a standout for me but is definitely a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2008 03:20:44 | More by jeffmonarch
Photo of Jablonski


3.45/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: decently clear, with a ruby red appearance when held to light; small head and no lacing

S: bananas and candi sugar; a bit too sweet

T: dark fruits are stronger in the taste and the candi sugar still comes through; strong metallic aftertaste

M: good carbonation and on the thicker side

D: close to average in drinkability; strong ABV

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2009 23:42:55 | More by Jablonski
Photo of Kraken


3.45/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Consumed 3/31/09

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into two over sized wine goblets. Split with GF. Firm pour evokes a scant head. Fair amount of lace. Color is a dark and cloudy brown, lightening a bit near the edges.

Nose- Nice. Offers up plenty of caramel and nutty aromas. Hints of vanilla, and a bit of booziness.

Palate- Very interesting. Lots of sweet caramels. A pleasant nuttiness to it. Some sour, off putting notes. Smooth, but with a pronounced bite of alcohol in the finish. Finishes dry with vanilla and caramel notes.

Mouthfeel- Active, dry, slightly cloying.

Drinkability- Strong, unique, One is enough.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2009 22:30:16 | More by Kraken
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 2,763 ratings.