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

Not Rated.
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,117 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,117
Reviews: 1,209
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 174
Gots: 307 | FT: 4
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,117 | Reviews: 1,209 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pjwilson
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Revisting this one after about a year, I didn't do reviews back then and my palate was still developing.
Appearance: nice dark amber, not too much head or lacing, but there is some.
smell: ah yes the yeast. and the malts. and the fruitiness. I'm gettting hints of dark rum, perhaps from some dark sugars used in this one. Nice balance between yeast and malt.
taste: Ah, this a reminding me of Trois Pistoles, another beligan strongdark. The malts are more upfront than the yeasts, mmm that's some sweet malt. Yet it is not a very sweet beer overall, pretty dry actually. It's great. I could drink this daily. This is the 330 ml bottle, I'd like to try the 750 if ever see it. There is absolutly no trace of the 10.5 percent alcohol in the taste, none!
Mouthfeel: nice and carbinationed. Real light body for the alcohol, never had a beer with this much alcohol this light and smooth. yet i'm catching a buzz half way through the bottle. hehe
drinkability: this is really good for the stlye, only my self restrait is stoping me from finishing the bottle faster, it's so damn smooth.
To me this is a real classic and on the must try list for everybody. I'm pretty sure it's the same yeast as Trois Pistoles, but this is a bigger, more maltly beer, more likeable, a more . Both are favorites of mine. i drank this a bit colder than cellar temp.

pjwilson, Dec 02, 2005
Photo of gcamparone
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 25 oz bottle into a La Trappe goblet. Purchased in North Providence, RI.

A- Pours a muddy brown, slightly hazy body with bright cherry highlights. A fluffy, airy, generous khaki colored head rises and reduces slowly to a frothy layer, leaving thick lacing. Very inviting.

S- Lots of fruity aromas coming through here.. dark fruits, white wine, plums, and raisins are all present upfront. There's definitely a roastyness coming through too.. lightly roasted malt, citrus, and a slight alcohol aroma.

T- Sweet caramel, toffee, and brown sugar upfront.. raisins, plums, candied sugar, bubblegum soon thereafter. The finish leaves an absolutely delicious roastyness on the tongue that I really love about dark Belgian beers. Some booze present , the 10.5% is not hidden well (-.25 for that).

M- Medium-heavy body, medium-low carbonation. Pretty rich.

I was highly impressed with the Gulden Draak. It was highly complex, flavorful, and full bodied. Sits up there with some of the best Belgian tripels. A must try.

gcamparone, Sep 12, 2013
Photo of jmz62565
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy brownish/red with a large tan head that leaves great lacing. A very impressive looking brew. The smell is pungent with sweet malt, alcohol, and some different dark fruits. The taste is creamy with dark fruit,sweet malt,candy sugar,alcohol, and a carmel/like smoothness. The m/f is medium with all the flavors mixing very well wgile doing a good job of hiding the 10.5 alcohol. The warmth is there,just hidden in the first sip. This is a true Belgian classic that should be had by all !!!! Cheers.

jmz62565, Feb 27, 2007
Photo of ChopperSmith
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml large white bottle with beautiful labeling into a Duvel Tulip glass.

Appearance: Hazy deep brown with ruby red color when held to the light. A cloudy tan peak of foam formed that receded slowly and left good sticky lacing behind and a frothy tan cap throughout. Impressive looking.

Smell: Sweet and yeasty with caramel and biscuit aromas mixed with yeasty phenols and dark wine-like fruits. A little alcohol in the mix, but blends well with the rest of the scents.

Taste: Fantastic! Sweet and yeasty, with flavors of caramel and toffee malts, with hints of raisin and plum. Also a good spicy yeast that has flavors of clove and nutmeg. This is a delicious world class Belgian Strong Dark Ale (or Dark Tripel). Very unique and tons of character.

Mouth Feel: Medium bodied with a good creamy carbonation. Slick and slippery on the tongue.

Drinkability: Outstanding! This is an excellent example of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. It has a unique flavor profile with a lot of complexity. It's a fantastic sipping beer that tastes even better as it warms. I have a new favorite Belgian ale!

ChopperSmith, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of JLeege
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 mL - poured into a tulip
From notes.

Appearance- pours a dark yet vibrant amber color with a dense off white head. Good retention and lace.

Smell- Dark fruits, doughy malts, yeast, lots of spice.

Taste- Caramel, sweet doughy malts, and maple syrup start things off. Leading into very strong dark fruit notes; cherry, plum, raison. Some banana and a hint of chocolate as well. A bit yeasty. Spicy throughout , some residual sugars, sweet, but not cloying. Delicious.

Mouthfeel- Medium body and carbonation, a tad prickly, but mostly smooth. Slight warming from the ABV's.

Overall- Dark Tripel? Whatever that means... This is a fantastic Belgian dark ale, one of my favorites!

JLeege, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A birthday present from my housemates. Poured a faded mahogony with a dried buckskin colored head that frothed and bubbled. Smell was deep and rich with esters a plenty, fig, current and ahint of deep red fruits. Taste was hearty and full bodied without too much dominence by the alcohol. In fact the only indication was the warming throat sensation. The taste abounded with figs, mollassas, syrup more dried cherries, and scoops full of brown sugar. Mouthfeel was bubbley but remained full bodied and plentiful. Great autumn beer to warm to as the sun draws low and frost begins to creep like spiderwebs up the window panes.

GreatPondBrewer, Oct 08, 2003
Photo of phantomwyse
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark tawny body with a finger and half to two finger khaki cream head, rich and full.

S: Dark grape, apple, tart plum, fermented pear, sugary acai, light coca, even a bit strawberry.

T: Overripe grapes, apples, and plums all with a hint of chocolate and alcohol, a dark rum, perhaps black strap rum, character. The boozey fruits lean into slightly roasted and caramel malts. Chocolate cherries end the desert fruit deluge.

M: Full, creamy, crispy and dry with a cloying aspect.

D: Tall dark beer with a light head and dark fruity qualities and an ornate chalice seeks discerning beer drinker willing to enjoy sipping slowly, slowly over a long evening by a crackling fire and bear skin rug

...or, yeah, it's good,

..or, if you like pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain, if you're not into yoga, if you have half a brain...

phantomwyse, Feb 10, 2009
Photo of twilight
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Stubby 33cL bottle with apparent enamel coating. Pours a dark red koolaid color with a scrumptiously large head that recedes into a fine-bubbled thin head that dons the glass to the bottom.

The nose is all about christmas spice. Very much plums (or, rather, prunes) and maybe just maybe some citrus. The taste is light (It's the first thing I notice) and awash with that plummy plum goodness usually reserved for dubbels and quadrupels. Actually, if you melded the two styles you'd have them here, but it's not quite at the level of a tripel.

It's funny because the taste is really nice and all, but it just feels like it's a much lower abv. There's the sweetness, the spice and the long fruit finish that leaves more of a bitter citrus aftertaste on the palate. The alcohol burn is only slightly present, and this is welcome, but mind-boggling at the abv this one has.

Must remember to sip. Must remember to sip.

twilight, Jul 14, 2004
Photo of Fnord
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours reddish-black, with an dense, off-white head.

Smell - Very complex! Alcohol, bitter chocolate, licorice, brown sugar and yeast. I'm sure there's a ton of other aromas I'm missing as well.

Taste - It has that distinctive Belgian yeast taste. The alcohol makes itself known as well. The bitter chocolate comes out to play, with the licorice and brown sugar following timidly behind. Hops are also present, though just enough to keep the alcohol in balance.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel, with fairly brisk carbonation.

Drinkability - It's too strong to drink a lot of, but that's fine. One at the end of the night is plenty.

Notes - Wow, this one's good. It's hard to overstate that. This one may give Trois Pistoles and Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs Grand Cru a run for their money for my favorite Belgian Strong Dark.

Fnord, Jan 16, 2009
Photo of andrenaline
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glad to see this made it up to Northwestern Ontario. A treat indeed and a brew I plan to buy several of.

A - Pours a slightly hazy ruby red colour, thumb of fluffy off-white head with solid retention and nice sheeting lacing.

S - Nose is dominated by dark fruit, vineous red wine, raisins, and figs. A sugary caramel scent comes through with burnt brown sugar and a touch of musty alcohol sweetness.

T - Sugary caramel dominates, musty alcohol sweetness with a touch of heat, big fruit rich flavours of raisins and red grapes, yeast esthers and toffee notes linger.

M - Lighter bodied ale that fills the mouth, goes down with a touch of heat and finishes surprisingly wet.

O - Not surprisingly this brew did not fail to deliver, offering up loads of flavour and an incredibly well hidden ABV. Delicious is an understatement, well worth trying out.

andrenaline, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of cretemixer
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a muddy brown in color with an ivory-tan head that oh so slowly fades to about 1/4 inch. Leaves a spotty lace.

Slight medicinal aroma that is not offensive, just sticky sweet. Mollasses, alcohol, and raisins too.

Sweet malty taste, alcohol warmth is noticable, but not overpowering. A most pleasant fruitiness also.

Slightly sticky thick mouthfeel leaves a nice lingering aftertaste all the way down my throat.

One of the more drinkable strong beers I have had. A truly excellent beer.

cretemixer, Feb 08, 2003
Photo of russwbeck
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Huge head on this one, wish I used my Duvel Tulip instead of my Mad Elf version. Head is beige, and the pour is deep mahogany, almost brown. Very nice retention and lacing.

S: Getting alcohol on the nose, dark fruits, and some maltiness. Smells more like a Quad than a Triple. I guess that's why it's listed as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

T: Taste starts off with dark fruits, which give way to some warming booziness, finished off by some candied sugar. A bit bitter from the yeast. Very interesting drink.

MF: Nice twang of carbonation on this one and a medium body.

D: I could drink this all day. The alcohol isn't overpowering and the taste is very interesting.

russwbeck, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of Amdahl
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark brown with more than ample white head. The aroma is sweet. The smell of fruit is dominant. Raisin is the first smell, but this smells like a very complex beer. The taste is very smooth and sweet. There are not a lot of hops in the flavor; it is really malty. There is a definite warming as this beer goes down. Medium bodied. This is a beer that I will try again and again until I completely figure it out.

Amdahl, Dec 18, 2002
Photo of Bitterbill
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought 2 bottles of this stuff at Wilbur's in Ft. Collins, Colorado.

Pours so darned beautifully ending up a dark gold in my Chimay glass. Nice head that lingers with very nice lacing around the glass.

The smell is a superb apple, reminiscent of my favourite soda..Jones Green Apple. I couldn't wait to dive right in. ;^)

The taste is a plethora of fruity flavours that are dominated by apple but yet aren't.(if you catch my meaning)
At 10% abv, I want to just sip and enjoy but the drinkabilty of this brew has to be experienced to be appreciated. This is, for me, a truly world class experience in Triples and I'll certainly buy it again!

Long live the Golden Dragon!!

Bitterbill, Oct 11, 2005
Photo of mrfrancis
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy dark amber with a thick, pillowy beige head that lasts forever, lacing deep into the glass.

S: Aromas of cider apples, caramel, toffee, and spiced pears are present on the nose. Surprisingly, I'm not picking up any alcohol on the nose.

T: Gentle, delicate notes of toffee, caramel, cider apples, pear drop candy, licorice, star anise, gingerbread, toasted almonds, and a woody, herbal spiciness akin to juniper berries wash across the palate. The finish is gentle and warming with cider apple, pear drop, and woody spice notes underscored by mellow alcohol.

M: Relatively full-bodied and dry with prickly, cleansing carbonation. There is a slight alcohol presence, though it is very subdued and never even remotely distracting. To me, this beer is the prototypical evening sipper.

O: This was one of the first authentic Belgian ales that I really became attached to, and as such, I can't help being a little bit biased when I review it. I still think Gulden Draak is an exceptional ale, and I seem to return to it again and again. In my opinion, this is the best beer made by Brouwerij Van Steenberge.

mrfrancis, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of vikingmike
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy, muddy tan coloured...like aged leather

S: Candied fruits with a hint of something citrusy

T: Distinct malty sweetness. This IS a very sweet beer, but not cloyingly so. Tastes of pepper and a spice which I can't place. Very warm in the finish...reminds you that its 10.5% ABV

M: Thick, viscous, slightly syrupy

D: Like a lot of Belgians, this one conceals its ABV extremely well. You don't feel it until you stand up. Extremely tasty beer, one that I wish were more widely available in my area

vikingmike, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of noproduction
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%

noproduction, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of DrewV
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a hazy, cloudy dark burgundy-red liquid with a full 3-finger khaki colored head.

S: Typical dark fruits mixed with some light fruit for support. A strong whiff detects a significant shot of booze.

T: A strong blast of cherries, some fig, light molasses and some latent sweetness immediately washes across the palate at the first sip. This is really, really delicious stuff. A warming alcohol presence is apparent, but definitely not overpowering and does not detract from the flavor at all. Highest marks here.

M: Very high "coarse" carbonation. Not as finely carbonated as other Belgians. Gives the impression of a "lightness" to the beer's body as all of that CO2 is released into the mouth. I would have preferred a bit more creaminess. Finishes dry with almost no aftertaste.

O: An extremely well-crafted brew here and arguably my favorite in the BSDA category, if not for the price. At around half the cost, Trois Pistoles provides much more than half the enjoyment as this brew. Still, a high quality beer worthy of a solid "A" rating.

DrewV, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a 750ml bottle.

Pours a beautiful cherywood color. Deep reddish brown. A small tan head. Smells of apples and strong malt. Syrupy sweet and strong.

Tastes of big malt. Sweet and smooth. Apple flavors are evident. The ABV is listed at 10.5% but you would never know it from the taste. There is no alcohol bite. It is amazingly smooth. Finishes with a sweet/sour aftertaste. Big full bodied beer but subtle as well. It doesn't bludgeon you over the head with its strength but takes you down slowly and sweetly. A great brew to end an evening.

ViveLaChouffe, Sep 30, 2003
Photo of Ranz
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Without much head, it pours a dark, brown-red. The lacing is thick and evenly displaced inside my Duvel tulip. This looks very nice.

S: There's some strong character here--figs, black cherries, resin, and a hint of banana with clove. A slight acidity to the nose gives it some bite.

T: The clove and banana are quite pronounced with a nice singe of alcohol. Do I note a taste of nuttiness, too? Lots going on, and I'm enjoying it all. The finish is thick, but I can't quite place the flavor. Carmelized or dried fruit? I'm not sure.

M: The alcohol gives it a good, playful carbonation, which is offset by the slight thickness on the palate. This beer rewards sipping.

O: I'm really quite pleased with this; I'll certainly be getting more of this to enjoy, and I'll be looking for other brews by Van Steenberge.

Ranz, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of gr0g
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark reddish-brown with a substantial head. Excellent retention and chunky lacing. Sweet, rum-like nose with plenty of fruity esters. Ripe, dark fruit and Belgian candi sugar notes are abundant.

On the palate, sweetness from malt and candi sugar, a bit medicinal, then becomes dry on the finish. Interplay of both light and dark fruit: apple, plum, and raisin. Carbonation is lively but not harsh, and despite a slight alcohol note this high ABV brew is not boozy.

A must-try for any fan of dark Belgian ales. Very nice sweet-dry/bitter balance.

gr0g, Aug 20, 2013
Photo of IntriqKen
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Whoa! This is rich...beginning with the gorgeous white bottle.
Pours deep amber with an incredible cream head that stays full for a very long time. Laces nicely while you slowly finish the drink.
Aroma is sweet dark fruits, sweet malts, light alcohol.
Mouthfeel is creamy and very, very full.
Taste of dark ripe fruits, raisens, sweet malts, heavy alcohol.
Definate alcohol burn going down with rich dark fruit aftertaste.
Make this the last drink of the night...preferably with dessert and take your time sipping it.
Like fine sherry or brandy...definately as rich, filling, and warming.

IntriqKen, Apr 02, 2006
Photo of mudbug
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the bone white bottle to a standard pint glass this exceptional brew kicks up a nice tan head with great retention and loads of sticky lacing, the body is a murky baltic amber. The head recedes to a thick cap and remains until the end. Nice.
The aroma is burnt sugar, no not burnt, cooked to perfection brown cane sugar, Jamaican rum sugar and ripe figs with a hint of rain forest, dank and earthy.
Taste is complex, sweet malts, prunes, a dark chocolate, astringency in the aftertaste may be the booze or carbonation or the remnants of spicy hops, but I'll wager its all of the above.
Tight carbonation tickles the tongue, but leaves a long creamy aftertaste of bitter chocolate.
Belisimo, Bravo!

mudbug, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of blaje
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aged of about 5 years now, this bottle was given to a friend who drank it with me a few years after. Let see what this one become...

Pourred into a sniffer. It revealed brown/orange butterscotch in colour. Completely hazy, lots of yeast in suspension. Nice thick creamy head but disappearing too quickly (<1min) leaving a small ring around the glass and small lacing. This is certainly due to ageing.

Nose: Butterscotch toffee, apple, butter, Honey. No alcohol scent

Mouth: Definitely sweet. Butterscotch is present according to the nose. The honey nose is well represented too!. No clue of yeast taste in mouth even with the high level of turbidity. Wonderful! Carbonation is medium-low resulting from the ageing process. No bitterness at all. The taste of the high level of alcohol is totally hidden by all the flavours an richeness of this brew.

Overall: An exceptional beer! I have some serious reserve on beer claiming >10% ABV, but this one is a gem. Complex and full of flavours. very nice beer for a late evening drink.

blaje, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of Kinsman
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here we have a beautiful reddish-brown colored body with ruby accents and a fizzy, foamy, and rocky light tan head. The head slowly fades without leaving much a lace behind but does leave a beautiful creamy crown, about 1cm thick, on top for the remainder of the glass.

Aroma is packed full with a wide variety of flavors. It greets you with a sugary molasses aroma, which slowly steps aside for a notable phenolic aroma. Fruity and a bit yeasty too.

The first taste greets you with an onslaught of flavor and alcohol. In fact, the alcohol is one of the first things I noticed. The date code is to cryptic for me to understand, but I would guess this bottle is no more than a few months with heat like this.

Once you get past the fire-breathing dragon of alcohol and enter the dragons lair, the beer becomes much more welcoming (sorry for the corny dragon reference, but you just have to with this beer). Lots of sweet and sugary malt flavors plus some dark fruitiness. Further exploration reveals a strong phenolic presence. After all is said and done, the beer finishes with a bit of a spicy note reminiscent of cloves and pepper.

Mouthfeel just about requires a full body with this much flavor. It certainly does deliver, and it comes along with a live bubbly carbonation.

Drinkability... well its enjoyable, but this is one hell of a beer. You only need one of these in the night, but its worth it.

Kinsman, Oct 24, 2010
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,117 ratings.