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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.

3,219 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,219
Reviews: 1,221
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.82%
Wants: 187
Gots: 351 | 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: 3,219 | Reviews: 1,221 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beergoot
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich, dark amber body with a faint haze and topped with a rich, chunky, thick and sticky head; clumps of foam dot and cling to the glass as it empties. Deep roasted malt aroma imbued with rich fig and date fruit character; caramelized sugars and toffee notes; molasses. Rich, sweet taste mimics the aroma with the added punch of a strong yet seemingly well-balanced alcohol warmth. Heavy in body, sticky and vinous; smooth.

Wow! One of the best heavy, dark brews I've had in recent memory. Incredible balance and complexity in this big, bold beer. It is a areal pleasure to sip such an immense beer that emphasizes the malt, hops, and other ingredients while taming the relatively high ABV and not letting it dominate the overall flavor.

beergoot, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of Philousa
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Imbibed at Yard House San Jose, 10/12/12. This arrived with lipstick on the glass and I had to return it. Check your glassware before you enjoy your beer!

Dark cherry wood, opaque in appearance with a good amount of tan head. Foam looks powdery and packed, leaving lacing on the glass. Very sticky. I get notes of cherry, roasty chocolate and leather. Sweet presence of candied sugar is prevalent but not overbearing. Candied cherries and other, somewhat sweet, pit fruit starts out the taste. Some dark chocolate, maybe bakers chocolate, with some oak and a hint of alcohol burn. The feel is balanced, as is the finish.

This was quite the treat. Very balanced and complex. Hopefully it's just as good from a bottle.

Philousa, Oct 13, 2012
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the benefits of Beer Advocate is finding out about beers such as this one, which I probably would never have tried on my own. This beer poured a cloudy brown color with a small head. It had a sweet fruit odor with a little malt in there. Wonderful taste: sweet, dark fruit with some hops. Slightly noticeable alcohol. A very robust beer. Eminently drinkable, but at 10.5%ABV, you've got to take it easy.

lordofthewiens, Apr 15, 2006
Photo of Proteus93
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep brown with some burgundy hues, topped with a nice and creamy sandy coloured head. Lace is thinly spackled against the glass walls

S: Warm malts and candi sugars, some dark fruit hints with a touch of apple.

T: Plum, apple, rich caramel malts and candi sugars, and an alcohol presence that adds very nicely to it.

M + D: That big, sparkling presence that I love in a good Belgian style. A little bit of tackiness, more oily, really. I found myself sipping away at it quite briskly, but that alcohol content does deserve a little bit of respect and modesty. An excellent beer all around, and certainly something I see myself indulging in again.

Proteus93, May 19, 2009
Photo of StevieW
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the little white bottle, pours dark copper brown, with a big foamy head.Cloudy appearance. Darker than most wheats beers I have had. Heavy yeast smell. Tasted very sweet and delicious, like alot of the beligium wheats. Alot of fruit and spices that match up well with my grilled chicken dinner. Nice warm finish with 10.5 % ABV. Very drinkable though. I would buy this again and keep for nice dinners.

StevieW, Apr 07, 2002
Photo of Globetrotter
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, I am not fond of Belgian beers. I bought this at a Moscow grocery store near work, thinking it was another gimmicky Belgian brew. Cute dragon on the dark label affixed to a white painted 33cl bottle. Yeah, yeah. 10.5% ABV. Great. It'll be nothing but sugar. Label lists only purity law worthy ingredients, but I've been around long enough to know that means very little. Best before 6/17/05, I opened it on 11/21/03, expecting mediocre at best.

Poured into my chalice an appeallingly warm dark ruby hue. The head, tan in color, was thin and short-lived, dissipating to film and collar quite quickly. I can't say the head disappointed, though, as beers this strong rarely muster a healthy head. Now the first sniff. Mmm. Sweet and fruity, but not overly so, with good malt and, dare I say it for a Belgian?, hops. Very, very smooth. Oh, and there's alcohol, too. First sip - smooth and slightly sweet, with a nice blend of sour cherries, molasses, caramel and barley. What really won me over, hophead that I am, was the finish. Along with a healthy alcohol punch, there's a good portion of hoppy bitterness here. It lurks in the opening, but comes out nicely in the finish, and sticks around to balance the aftertaste in a way that feels just right. Given the ABV, I'm not sure how many of these I could drink in one sitting, but I'd be happy to push that envelope. Yum!

Globetrotter, Nov 21, 2003
Photo of cdizinno
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: mahogany brown color with a slight head that dies back quickly but laces along the glass.

S: Slight fruitiness, overpowered by a malt sweetness.

T: Very sweet, almost like brown sugar. Some spicy undertones. Very smooth feel and mild dry after taste. Herbal tea flavor lingers with high sweetness.

Notes: definitely a great brew. I still prefer the Piraat Ale from this brewer, Brouwerij Van Steenberge. But this is a close 2nd!

cdizinno, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of cvstrickland
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500th BA review:

750 ml white-coated cork-in-cage bottle with a golden dragon on the label, poured into a goblet yields a clear brownish-copper-amber body with a thick cap of sudsy pale tan foam that retains at a fluffy sheet and leaves fat patches of lacing on the glass.

The smell of the drink is a perfume of fruity and malty goodness with a nice bit of spice. A warm and toasty grainy note provides a solid stage for notes of watermelon, ripe banana, and pineapple to shine.

The taste of the drink is crisp and malty with a fruity breeze of alcohol. A bit of melon and banana sit atop a lightly-sweet caramel backbone mellowed by a touch of dry cocoa. A citrusy bit of orange pops in, then out, of the flavor profile, as does a note of mushy apple. Pineapple makes a number of appearances in like fashion, before the flavor decides that it is actually not that of a spiny fruit, but our old friend Mr. Al K. Hall in a fine disguise. Peppery alcohol becomes more of a growing presence as the drink warms.

Wonderfully soft and mellow with perfect carbonation, Gulden Draak doesn't make a wrong move. It looks like a winner in a gold-rimmed goblet, for sure. It smells great... it tastes great, feels great, and drinks great.... Hmm... that's all I can score it on? Well, ok, so, I guess I'll be going with 'Great'? Or maybe I'll go all Tony the Tiger on it and call it 'Grrreat!'

cvstrickland, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of OttoPeeWee
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, between this brew and Piraat, Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V., has knocked it out of the park! This is a brew worthy to put in the Holy Grail (is that blasphemy?).

Seriously good suds. Tastes like a home made caramel in liquid form. The alcohol is barely noticeable, which is a tribute to the brewer's fine palate.


OttoPeeWee, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of midworken
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Extreme amount of head. The body was dark brown and was nearly opaque. Smelled like it should: malts with a slight hint of nutiness. Taste upfront was of fresh baked bread and lingered from the beginning until the sip was long gone. Although this is a sweet brew, it was balanced nicely with hop characteristics represented as a pecan/pine flavor.

midworken, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of tgbljb
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy dark reddish-brown color with chunky white head, that lasted throughout the glass, leaving very attractive lacing on the side of the glass. The smell is fantastic with strong dark fruit (prunes, plums, dates, raisins) dominating. Light toasty notes are also present. Taste is strong on fruit and malt with a magnificent creamy feeling that literally coats the inside of the mouth with the strong fruitiness. Absolutely no alcohol flavors to be found. Nice carnonation also adds to the creaminess. Finish malty and fruity with a hint of hoppy bitterness, but very little. This was an extremely enjoyable beer, The drinkability was too good for a beer of this strength.

tgbljb, Feb 26, 2006
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Exceptional ruby brown body. Beautiful off white head that first appeared one finger thick then fell to a perfect full top lacing.

S- Wonderful fruit, figs, apricot, cherry. Candy sweetness and no alcohol smell to it. A true delight.

T- Plums, figs and a little cherry as the smell predicted. The alcohol is slightly detectable in the finish with a smooth drying of the tongue. Little to no hops in accordance with the style. Wonderfully balanced and smooth transitions from front to back.

M- Mouthfeel was the only thing that left me wanting something. I like thick wet beers. This beer drinks light on the tongue with little to no carbonation and dry, still a masterpiece to swirl around.

D- Drinkability is only killed by alcohol. Share a big bottle with a friend. Drink a small bottle all alone on a cold night. Drink anytime but not too much. The candy sweet figs hide every bit of alcohol in this creeping widow.

Photo of BarrelBrother
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My son knowing my love of complex beers and the Belgium "Dubble" style told me he had to take me to the Map Room in Chicago. They feature numerous Belgium brews on tap and he said he had found one that would knock me out. He wasn't kidding! Gulden Drak, WOW.

Appearance: Dark. Cloudy. Mysterious. But I like the deep amber presentation. Solid lacing after pouring.
Smell: This got my attention immeadiately! Nutty, carmel, sweet date like aroma. I had to revisit this sensation a couple of times to make sure I got it right.
Taste: One of the most unique treats to every touch my palate! I must have tasted and pondered the flavors tickling my taste buds over and over. I finally decided on almost a buttery, malted milk flavor with a toasted almond finish. Superb!
Mouthfeel: On tap, it was so smooth! Most Belgium brews seem almost silky when gliding down my palate. This one is no exception, but I like the nutty aftertaste as I drained this goblet of joy.
Drinkability: OK, here is where I got in trouble. I liked this offering on tap so much, I enjoyed 3 large, Belgium tulip glasses in less than 2 hours. It was my birthday and everyone was buying me a round, so I couldn't resist. Long story short, the Drak kicked my assk. I should have known better to do a session with a potent brew like this, but it was pleasure and then pain the next morning. Overall an enlightening experience one I won't forget!

BarrelBrother, Dec 27, 2005
Photo of Graham5161986
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a hazy dark brown with hints of ruby and a massive fizzy, bubbly, tan head that has very good retention and leaves some very nice lacing on my glass.

S: the first thing I detect is ripe blackberries and bananas! Gorgeous! More fruitiness in the background and the slightest hint of floral hops

T: Tons of classic Belgian sugary, fruity malt flavour with some definite banana notes, a slight floral hoppiness throughout and a somewhat spicy, nutty finish. Deliciously complex. The 10.5% ABV is very, very well hidden amongst the flavours.

M: medium to heavy bodied, slightly creamy, spicy and very crisp. Goes down smooth and crisp with an oily sensation left on the palate.

D: All I can say is wow. This is an incredible Belgian Ale. I can't get enough of the blackberry aroma and its the fruity, sweet complexity has me enjoying every last drop of this beer. If the bottle didn't say 10.5% ABV, I would have had no idea - it is so easy to drink.

Definitely one the the best beers out there.

Graham5161986, Apr 24, 2008
Photo of cavedave
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pour produces a thick, glowing brown with red highlights, cloudy with fine yeast to the point of opacity, beauty of a beer. It is topped by a finger's worth of beige head, which diminishes languidly to a bubbling cap. Lace splotches cling momentarily to the snifter, then fall.

The smell is a hypnotic bouquet of yeasty notes of a sweet and spicy variety, candy sugar, earthy tones, and a malt presence that is hard to finger, not a bready smell, not caramel, all wrapped in a fruity, and herbal edge. Man, this is complex, and balanced. I could keep my nose here until supper burns. I feel a buzz from just the aroma, if that's possible.

The beer is warmed to where I like drinking tripels now. Good gosh, the flavor of this is staggeringly fine. The yeast is more subdued in the sip than in the aroma, but still it finds a rhythm right away, leading into a sweet rush of caramel, plum, subtle earthy notes, leading into a juicy finish that stays clean and pure, with hints of herbs and spice lingering seductively. Alcohol is present like a ghost, felt but not tasted; there, but not.

Mouthfeel is the perfect combination of thick but not cloying, and low carbonation. Somehow it does the impossible, supporting a long finish, and clearing out. I like the clear out of Unibroue beers, but this is even a better clear out.

Drinkability? Triple red flag warning for extremely, dangerously, fantastically drinkable. This beer fucking rocks. Wish it were less expensive. Lotta nickels for this one!

cavedave, Sep 22, 2009
Photo of KrisPaulk77
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The missus picked me up a Belgian sampler pack recently, and Gulden Draak was among the offerings.
I poured it into my Chimay chalice. The beer poured a deep, rich mahogany color, with a show of deep garnet when held to light. Crowning this liquid was a creamy head of khaki colored foam. The head maintained for a minute or so, but then fell down to a nice looking cap of cream and bubbles. Bits of lace clung to the sides as the beer was drank.
The aroma was sweet, spicy and alluring, with notes of pepper and spices, sweet malts, light citrus oil, a little boozy alcohol, and whisps of dark fruit.
The taste of the beer is delicious. It's a mixture of peppery spice, coupled with a nice sweetness from the malt, and a nice dry finish. Flavors of raisins and dried figs show, cut in by the spiciness of the beer, and the taste of caramel is there as well. Lovely and complex. The beer has a rummy quality to it, but that's allright by me.
The beer had good body and lots of carbonation. It is definitely a sipper, one to be enjoyed, savored and sipped over a stretch of time.
I'll buy this again.

KrisPaulk77, May 21, 2010
Photo of jamie2dope
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured into a Chimay chalice a chestnut brown color, with a small white lace head that held up quite well. Smell was through the roof with overly ripe fruit flavors, and some chocolate. Sort of reminds me chocolate covered cherries. Taste was also big on the candy-like fruit, and also a bit of spicy herb as well. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, and high on the drinkability factor. The alcohol is really well hidden on this beer. I never would have guessed that it was anywhere near 10% alcohol. I will definitely be coming back to this beer in the near future.

jamie2dope, Feb 16, 2007
Photo of Crosling
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy orange when held up to the light. A very odd color to say the least. Perfect belgian head, frothy dense and magical. Thick sticky lacing. Ahhh...Belgians.

Incredible nose on this one!!! Sugars, raisins, alcohol, bright apples, sour cherries, yeast, pine and more sugars. Wow!

Slightly disappointed with the flavor but this still was pretty damn tasty. Strawberries, raisins, alcohol, prunes, yeast, sour cherries dipped into sugar and a hard to notice tart undetone. Alcohol is hidden very well. Mid palate seemed to be struggling a bit but a nice lingering finish. Very smooth which makes this really drinkable.

Nice beer that I'll be sure to sample on tap when I am in Belgium this summer.

Crosling, Dec 23, 2003
Photo of wagenvolks
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle into a Gulden Draak chalice.

Pours a dark mahogany hue with a sizable inch of bubbly, custard head. The foam slowly recedes to a wispy cap, while the etched circle at the glass' base keeps a central patch well-supplied with bubbles. Aroma is a superb blend of dark fruit (over-ripened apples, black cherry, currant, and grape) with some spicy yeast and fig.

The flavor of Gulden Draak is everything a Belgian Strong Dark Ale should be. Complexity is an understatement, here, as rich caramel malts are awash in a sea of syrupy, dark fruit notes, spice, and musty hops. Mouthfeel is top-notch, with an uppity carbonation level that would be off-putting in other brews. Here, it envigorates the palate and releases some of the more intricate flavors before a warming, boozy alcohol presence grips the back of the palate. Not only is this 10.5% ABV beer delicious, but it's highly (if not dangerously) drinkable. A true belgian beauty.

wagenvolks, Jul 14, 2008
Photo of TheDM
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice head! Invigorated light brown head of fine to medium bubbles that left a nice lacing as it receded. It poured an opaque dark brown body. It has a very nice malty aroma. It had a mild initial taste and a very strong finish.

Im Himmel gibt es kein Bier
Darum trinken wir es hier

In Heaven there is no beer!
That is why we drink it here!

TheDM, Jul 09, 2003
Photo of CplHunter
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into one of my free Sam Adams "Better Beer Glass" (thanks a million Jim!). What a gorgeous color. It's a dense, cloudy, (almost purple!) brown. Light brown head. It eventually thins, but it lasts and lasts. The head is clingy and always present.

S: Plums and figs. It's overwhelming. It's sweet. It's fantastic.

T: Well go figure...plums and figs! VERY sweet. Porty. I can't pick out any hops, but that's not out of the ordinary for this style.

M: High gravity. Low carbonation, but not flat. A VERY quick hit to the tongue, then smooth.

D: I have to come back to the "porty" feel. I couldn't have more than one. It's just too sweet. I'd describe it as an "after dinner beer", best shared with a friend. That fits it perfectly.

BIA (Buy It Again?): Absolutely. Wonderful stuff. I love the presentation in the bottle. White heatshrunk Duvel-type "pony" bottle. Very unique. Certainly keeps it well protected against the UV!

CplHunter, Sep 17, 2007
Photo of Beernoisseur
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Beautiful burnt orange, brown with a 2 inch head that hangs around forever.

S - Fruity, floral esters. Loads of sweetness. Cirtusy hops come through in the background.

T - Sweet, warm, malty and hoppy, With a load of fruits. Cherries, berries, and various other sweet fruits shine through like crazy. After that, there are the citrus notes of the hops. Amazing.

M - Wonderful smoothness. Sweet, and rounded

D - This beer is so delicious, I would want to drink a ton of them, but at 10.5% it's hard to put down more than one or two.

Beernoisseur, Jan 02, 2009
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
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 3,219 ratings.