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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

2,966 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,966
Reviews: 1,199
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 156
Gots: 242 | FT: 3
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:
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: 2,966 | Reviews: 1,199 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bigjay1584
Bigjay1584

New York

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, it has been a long long time since my last review, but I had one sip of this baby and I felt it'd be a sin not to give this brew the credit it deserves. I got this bottle from the New Beer Distributor in Manhattan. I'll admit I was enticed largely by the novelty of the white bottle color (as well as the 10.5% abv, and its Belgian origin). This brew definitely measures up.

I poured the contents of the 11.2 oz bottle into my Chimay goblet, sat back, and enjoyed the view.. About two inches of creamy tan head crowned an opaque pale reddish brown body (note: I'm kinda color blind so thats the best I can do). Fine tan lacing was left, from top to bottom (Except for areas where agitated, and drank from). Gorgeous.. just the way it should be.

Smells pleasantly fruity and yeasty. Certainly doesn't clobber you over the head. There is a subtle cherry flavor that I notice throughout.

Tastes fantastic.. that slight cherry smell carries over onto the tongue and lingers. Some hop bitterness comes out as it warms slightly, which serves to balance it out nicely.

Mouth feel is full and crisp.. not over carbonated.

For a beer of this strength, the drinkability is very good. My stomach is certainly begging for more.. and I very well could (If only I had another).
At any rate, Gulden Draak is a Belgian that I'd like to meet with much higher frequency. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2007 00:46:57 | More by Bigjay1584
Photo of superdedooperboy
superdedooperboy

Georgia

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For my 400th review I am enjoying, for the first time, the world-famous Gulden Draak. Even better, I was able to find a single lonesome bottle of this little gem at a local beer haunt for only $1.99. Price had me holding this one at bay for quite a while, but no longer.

330ml painted glass bottle with the code "19KH 14:19" printed on the back of the label beneath the UPC. Served at cellar temperature of 45 degrees F, poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a very dark mahogany with a huge pillowed cap of beige/light tan foam that settles ever so slowly to a thick cap, leaving behind beautiful thick rings of lace as it disappears. Clarity is quite good; this is certainly a beautiful beer.

The nose shows lots of sweet malt, with caramel and burnt sugar notes, along with some deep hints of dark cherries and prunes, with a brighter cherry note becoming more evident as my senses become a little more acclimated. There's a faint hint of peppery spice hidden as well, and perhaps some faintly herbal hop notes. Very inviting.

Body is medium-full, a little less weighty than anticipated, with a middling level of carbonation providing just the right amount of prickle. Sweet caramel and chocolate notes grab hold at first, showing signs of toasted brown sugar. Delicious dark fruits follow, showing a little less of the cherry apparent in the nose but a little more plum and prune, perhaps some faint raisin as well. Hops show themselves in the late middle as a very dry bitterness with virtually no flavor, along with a little alcohol that serves to dry things a bit further. Some spiciness shows itself just at the end, before a semi-dry bittersweet finish.

A superb example of a dark Belgian ale, this is probably one of the better I've had in my day. Quite complex yet still very drinkable despite the high level of alcohol and the interplay of flavors. I must admit that my pleasure was dampened a bit due to a full stomach, but undoubtedly this would be even more enjoyable on a different occasion. Certainly world class.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2010 04:51:53 | More by superdedooperboy
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 12/28/08 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color, with a short foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of spices, cherries and other dark fruits, Belgian yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is fruity and malty up front with flavors of cherries, Belgian yeast and caramel but it's not overly sweet. There's a hearty but not too heavy malt character and a mild but complimentary hops presence that provide a good balance. The after-taste is tart and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean for the style.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this beer takes flavors that I don't normally like and used them well to make the beer quite pleasurable to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2008 04:53:30 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright, deep gold bordering on amber with a nice white head. Smell has a bit of hops alongside some citrus and sweet, sweet malt. Taste is quite sweet as well with a good amount of grassy, floral hops to balance is out. The mouthfeel is quite full. Nice body without any real alcohol taste. Drinkability is on the high side. High in ABV, but quite delicious. This is a sipper.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2010 22:24:22 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of adam42381
adam42381

Florida

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2 ounce bottle into a Cigar City snifter.

Appearance: Pours an opaque mahogany brown with ruby highlights and a small 1/2 finger white head which dissipates quickly. Very minimal lacing.

Smell: Dried fruits and alcohol with hints of caramel and Belgian yeast. Nothing spectacular.

Taste: Sweet dried fruit up front followed by sweet caramel malt and spices in the middle and ending with a mix of bitterness and sweetness at the finish. Aftertaste is sweet and mildly phenolic. The flavor is delicious.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Quite smooth for a beer of this ABV.

Drinkability: Very high drinkability. You don't really notice the alcohol at all so this one could very well sneak up on you.

Overall: Excellent beer overall. The flavor is near perfect. I would very highly recommend this.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2010 16:59:50 | More by adam42381
Photo of themind
themind

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A very good brew that's not so easy to find. If you ever see it on the shelf...grab it! It's a bit pricey but worth it. Reminds me of Duvel, just an excellent beer.

Pours a good head, aroma is good and the taste is fantastic!

Bottom Line: If you see it...buy it!

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2012 21:49:57 | More by themind
Photo of projectflam86
projectflam86

Ohio

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a chalice.

A- Pours a deep chestnut amber brown color with a thick pillowy white head that leaves some nice lacing.

S- Lots of spice and Belgian yeast in the nose. A bit of floral and sweetness with some caramel scents coming through as well.

T- Very interesting flavor profile for this one...Initially I got some sour fruits and a really candied sweetness in the finish. Definitely some clove, raisins, and Belgian yeast hiding in there. The alcohol is noticeable but not too strong. This beer is MUCH sweeter than I expected but I'm really starting to like the flavors overall.

M- Medium/full bodied with a nice spritzy carbonation.

D- A really different brew that grew on me quite a bit as it warmed up.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2011 19:11:58 | More by projectflam86
Photo of funkengruven
funkengruven

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Second from the Van Steenberge pack. Poured from a white bottle, interesting, This turned out to be among one of the most impressive beers I've had in a long time.

This poured a very very nice chocolate brown with a very vigourous and assertive head , reducing to a half inch head remaining on the top of the glass. Perfect head retention on this one. Smell contains hints of dry fruit, prunes and dates. The flavor of this brew bring forward these complex aromas, every sip serves a different aroma, mostly prunes, dates and grapes. The mouthfeel on this one is quite bold, not overbearing but still very assertive, and most surprising about this beer is the smoothness and overall drinkability, the ABV on this is high but you would never detect this by tasting it.

A exquisitely crafted beer, and a very fine example of a Belgian ale. Very recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2006 03:35:24 | More by funkengruven
Photo of sadie23
sadie23

Arizona

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle into a tulip glass. Dark with a bit of orange. A small head with fine bubbles. Smells sweet and a little like figs. It tastes bigger than it smells with a syrupy richness and a thick feel that lingers but not in a bad way. Not too carbonated. Definitely drinkable. I would buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2010 03:22:00 | More by sadie23
Photo of garymuchow
garymuchow

Minnesota

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It was a wonderful experience that with every sip I was finding new and different taste and qualities, like a different beer each time I brought the glass to my nose and lips.
Aroma was sweet, somewhat fruity with a shot of phenol (very light). Sweetness is pleasant and not excessive. Pours with large tan/beige head that slowly settles. Dark amber to brown/burgundy in color. Slightly cloudy, fizzy sounding head. No lacing, but steadiness of the head.
Flavors have nice blending with no excesses. More biting when cooler. Strong fruitiness (raison esp. as warms and mellows). Long lingering. Sweetness is understated, slight bitternesss, slight spiceness. Well blended complexity. Dark malt, with slight roast. Even a shot of caramel noted. Bitterness noted on a fairly long finish. Alcohol presents as it warms.
Rich, but not always excessive (biting at times). Surprisingly little warmth considering the alcohol level. Carbonation prevents significant smoothness. Medium feel.
Lightness of aroma contrasts nicely with darkness fo the flavors, this creates a nice sensation.
Quite an enjoyable experience.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2003 06:03:40 | More by garymuchow
Photo of PotownAl
PotownAl

New York

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow...I really enjoyed this beer!

Pours a really nice deep brown, think oak. Very high carbonation, lessens with some time in the glass. Creamy white head, great retention. I pick up a big honey sweetness in both the taste and smell. Althought it has a high ABV, it drinks like a lager half it's strength.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2008 02:28:53 | More by PotownAl
Photo of euskera
euskera

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle

Pours out a raisiny brown with a small tight head that lingers. Aroma is fruity with a faint touch of bread and molasses. Taste is divine, lots of fruity hints with that malty backbone. Well balanced with just a touch of bitterness throughout. Eminently drinkable, hides the alcohol content well behind that great taste. A remarkable concoction...

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2003 12:42:06 | More by euskera
Photo of cichief
cichief

Virginia

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml. bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a deep caramel-brown with a nice tan head, the beer was clear when held up to the light.

S- Scents of ripe fruit and spice. The sweetness of this beer is inviting.

T- Very malty sweet. Hints of candied fruit and subtle clove. Balanced.

M- Medium to full, coats the tongue well. The carbonation is well done, as a bottle conditioned beer should be.

D- A little goes a long way, a nice treat from time to time, but the alcohol content will hold me back.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2009 02:41:13 | More by cichief
Photo of MrDanno96
MrDanno96

Ohio

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep brown/mahogany color with about a finger of off-white head. Not much lacing, but a little liquid clings to the sides of my snifter.

S: Fairly sweet on the nose - sweet dark fruit, caramel, and a little Belgian spiciness.

T: As the nose indicated, fairly sweet, but very well balanced too. Lots of sweet dark fruit up front - plums, figs, grapes - along with sweet brown sugar and caramel. Some of that typical spice from the Belgian yeast makes its way into the finish, providing a bite of dryness that adds good balance. Well done!

M: On the lighter side of full bodied and incredibly smooth for 10.5%. The alcohol is barely detectable.

D: Quite dangerous. Without knowing the number, I would guess this was 7-8% abv at most. Gulden Draak drinks impressively well for a 10%+ brew. Bravo!

Serving type: on-tap

09-05-2010 22:12:55 | More by MrDanno96
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a dark mahogony brown with red edges and tons of a fluffy light brown head that doesn't want to leave.

S-there are notes of brown sugar and candied fruits up front, rather sweet, a clove like phenol and yeast backbone provide balance, a nice peppery spice to the alcohol present in the back.

T-the taste is very sweet but still balanced enough following the nose only less phenolic. the candied fruits and cooked brown sugar lie up front accompanied by notes of ripe plum. clove like yeastiness and phenols lie underneath, the alcohol is spicy and peppery, nice balance and the flavors really push to equality as I continue to drink.

M-soft on the front of the tongue but lively carbonation in back with a good juicy slick feel to it and somewhat dry in the finish.

D-this is a well balanced brew with plenty of sweetness but nice levels of complexity to keep this well balanced and very enjoyable. the alcohol is present in a good way and in no way shows the true power of this brew.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2010 20:15:16 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of jmc44
jmc44

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a Gulden Draak tulip glass a somewhat hazy dark brown with red hues, a 2-finger tannish head. The head leaves very nice lacing and is always present.

Fairly aromatic with some spicy alcohol, malty sweetness, and dark fruits, raisins. Very appealing and pronounced.

Upfront is the malty sweetness, a bit chocolate and caramel, followed by dark fruits, raisins. Finishes with a hint of spice from alcohol. Very, very nice. Wonderful to drink.

The beer is velvety and creamy; a delite to drink. Although it is strong at 10.5% ABV, it goes down easy and will knock you on your butt if you are not careful.

All in all a wonderful beer, one of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2007 15:18:12 | More by jmc44
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy ice tea color into my Gulden Draak tulip; the rocky head sticks nicely and provides a few streaks of lace

Smell: Dark fruit (figs and dates), caramel, brown sugar and a bit of yeasty spice

Taste: Figs and dates at the outset, with a growing rum-soaked aspect developing by mid-palate, along with yeasty spice, candi sugar and spice cake flavors; after the swallow, there is a bit of hoppy bitterness, but the sweet and spicy flavors, with a hint of vanilla, dominate the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

DrinkabilityL: My bottle has a bit of age on it so the hops that others have tasted are somewhat muted in my sample; nevertheless, this is a very fine Strong Dark

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2009 23:49:29 | More by brentk56
Photo of talkinghatrack
talkinghatrack

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Ginger Man, from notes.

a - nice burgundy. Clear, no head.

s - Belgian yeast, bananas. Some alcohol.

t - nice tangy and sweet. Solid ABV mask.

m - medium body, nice carbonation.

d - tangyness balances ABV. Smooth. Some alcohol on finish but we're talking 10.5% here. Good stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

04-23-2009 18:48:13 | More by talkinghatrack
Photo of akenethon
akenethon

Germany

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-beautiful tan, persistent foam. opaque dark brown color with red tint. best looking I have ever seen
S-sweet caramelized malty smell wit some herbalness, can smell the strength of alcohol
T-balanced, malty taste. slightly sweet. burns your throat while drinking. slightly bitter aftertaste. feels like cognac
M-medium light mouthfeel, not full but not clear either
D-a really good beer. need to sip slowly and concentrate. as I said, this is a cognac tasting of beer. I love cognac so it fits perfect to my taste. I only wish it had a fuller mouthfeel and tasted less like syrup.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2010 14:07:03 | More by akenethon
Photo of BassBone
BassBone

California

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay chalice from the standard 33 cl. bottle. This beer poured wonderfully dark almost opaque brown/red with a one finger tan white head that dissipated somewhat after a few minutes. Moderate lacing as the beer went down.

The nose is sweet, somewhat fruity, and malty with a small hop undertone.

The taste is complex and again sweet and fruity with heavy malt and underlying hoppy spice and a wonderful lingering finish. The 10.5% abv is not readily apparent in the taste or the mouthfeel.

This beer feels like liquid gold in the mouth and goes down especially smooth.

This is definitely something I could drink a lot of, but slowly. This is a beer to savor, not chug.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2006 04:24:06 | More by BassBone
Photo of SickBrew
SickBrew

Washington

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 33 0ml bottle into a wine class. This brew pours a deep hazy brown with loads of tan head. Head retention is quite good and leaves some really good lacing. Nose is malty sweet, slightly sour and has some some faint esters.

Taste is slightly reminiscent of barlywine. Like the nose, a well balanced plate of sweet malts, tartness, mild hops and warm alcohol slide right over the tongue in every sexy, silky smooth sip.

Body is full and the carbonation right on for the style. Overall this is a great Belgian Ale that I will be enjoying again.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2009 01:07:38 | More by SickBrew
Photo of argock
argock

Virginia

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz brown bottle covered with a white plastic label. No freshness date. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $4.50.

A: Very dark brown with scarlet tones sporting a 2-finger beige foamy head with decent retention and a few random splotches of lacing.

S: The aroma is strong with rum raisin, fig/date, and caramel/brown sugar, spices are light with some phenolic clove and a little cinnamon, and the hops are earthy and a little herbal.

T: The flavor is a blast of big time sweetness met with a spicy yeasty aspect and finished with mild-to-moderate bitterness. The caramel and dark fruit components like date and raisin are very dominant but do break off to allow some spice and light vanilla to come through. The hopping must be relatively substantial to attempt to balance this much sweetness and leaves an earthy note. This would be a very good dessert beer. The alcohol is not all that prominent and just gently warming.

M: The chewy, full-bodied mouthfeel is exceptional, especially after allowing it to sit in the glass for 15-20 minutes for some warming and off-gassing of the carbonation, which is pretty lively at first. The aftertaste is brown sugar, black cherry, and earthy hops.

O: I was really impressed with this beer. I will definitely be having this again. It would accompany carrot cake, creme brule, or a lightly spiced dessert very well I think.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 05:38:05 | More by argock
Photo of CharlesRiver
CharlesRiver

Connecticut

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off, very cool bottle with a very cool lable and cap. Bottle itself (11.2 oz) is completely white. I have had this beer in my cellar for well over a year and a half. Pours a cloudy reddish brown with a huge tan head. I don't remember the draft version being this cloudy or dark. The smell is sweet malt and yeast. Looks very effervesant as tons of tiny bubble climb to the top.

The taste is very smooth and complex. Very explosive on my tongue. Sweet and malty in the beginning. Followed by something a bit metallic and then a nice warming. I also pick up some dates and raisins, much like a dubble. No alcohol present until the end. The head seems a bit obstrusive and won't die down.

Seems very different than the draft version that I had at Redbones. I love both but the bottle is better. Now to try the 750ml.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2003 23:28:54 | More by CharlesRiver
Photo of CPeterson
CPeterson

Minnesota

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A -- A very nice deep brown, with a note of crimson, pours to a thick head with a fast dissipation and minimal lacing.

S -- A deep, caramel fruit smell with hints of chocolate and cherry, raisin...

T -- Flowing caramel notes mixing with fruit and honey. Almost no alcohol presence, served from fridge.

M -- Smooth and silky, a little thick toward the bottom of the glass.

D -- Definitely very drinkable, for a beer with a high alcohol content, this is very easygoing. A repeat purchase is in order.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2009 01:01:50 | More by CPeterson
Photo of scott451
scott451

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Slightly hazy dark ruby brown with a thin tan head. The head soon disappears. Moderate lacing.

Sweet dark malt smells with notes of prune and spice. Tastes of sweet dark malts with ripe prune. The alcohol brings up the rear. A big well balanced brew. Very sweet but not in a cloying way.

Medium body. Very smooth and well balanced. A masterful big beer. Very drinkable in spite of the high ABV. You want more even though you know you shouldn't

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2010 04:11:56 | More by scott451
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 2,966 ratings.