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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.

2,934 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,934
Reviews: 1,199
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 151
Gots: 234 | FT: 3
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: 2,934 | Reviews: 1,199 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 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

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


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


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


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


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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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
Photo of BeerLover99


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

A: mahogany red body, finger khaki head,
patchy lacing

S: big spices, ripe fruit, solid malt

T: alcohol warmth/mild spicy finish

M: med/heavy body, smooth mouth

O: This is incredible. Highly recommend
it and will seek it out again. The ABV
is well hidden and really sneaks up on you.


Serving type: bottle

01-05-2012 17:50:26 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of Pabs311


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

A- beer pours a nice hazy dark copper-brown with a good froathy beige head that settles slowly leaving a decent amount of lacing on the glass.

S- Smell is of sweet mlatiness. dried stone fruits and raisins are apparent in the nose as well as some spice yeastiness. don't really notice to much alcohol considering the ABV

T- The same dried fruits found in the nose carry through in the taste of this beer. then there is also some yeasty/bready flavor and then some spice in the finish. overall sweet flavor. very little alcohol in the finish for the ABV.

M/D- medium-full bodied. light carbonation. good mouthfeel. very pleasent and drinkable, could be dangerous due to alcohol content + drinakability

not a huge fan of belgian beers but i'd give this one another shot. pretty complex beer with a good amount of layers in the smell + taste. well done.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2010 21:09:52 | More by Pabs311
Photo of Trueant1


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

Pours a dark brown/reddish color. The head is incredible. Thick, foamy, sticks around, 3 fingers, leaves thick globs of foam on the sides of the glass.
Smells very sweet and thick. Almost smells of candied apples.
Belgium sugars are in the nose too.

Tastes of sweet syrupy malts up front. An agressive hop characther in the mid pallet. And some pheno alcohol throughout.
Somehow this brew balances nicely. It really is a top notch treat from across the pond. love it!~

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2007 01:58:47 | More by Trueant1
Photo of joedon


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

Very dark brown with garnet highlights. Huge frothy head that really sticks around.

Smells of malt, raisins, and bread. Very pleasant.

Big taste: lots of dark fruit, port wine and caramel. No noticeable bitterness but it's not cloyingly sweet either.

Nice mouthfeel; you can feel the alcohol but it doesn't burn. Aftertaste of more port wine and fruit.

Mainly a sipping beer but still drinkable considering the ABV.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2009 20:47:46 | More by joedon
Photo of KFBR392


4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: looks beautifully violent. A dark triple indeed. Very thin head throughout, but a really gorgeous look regardless.

Smell: dark and complex fruit aroma. The front present a bright feeling but then the strong yeast presence pulls it down in a beautiful direction. Wonderful, truly wonderful.

Taste: the front is a very smooth yeast presence then the dark fruits found in the smell explode. The palette dances with flavors of too many fruits to name. Triples do not get much better then this. The aftertaste is a round dryness that is sweet over offensive.

Mouthfeel: everything you would expect after the smell and taste. Leaves a strong dryness but is pleasant for the drinker.

Overall: one of the better triples I've had. More on the aggressive side then an easy drinker but forces you to love it. Definitely an elite brew

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2013 00:27:28 | More by KFBR392
Photo of artoolemomo


4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Another Belgium with tons of head but smaller bubbles. This doesn't look like it's going to dissipate as quickly as it is already leaving lacing. The foam is light yellow/beige and the body is maroon/light chestnut brown with a hazy orange that reveals itself when held up to the light. It is receding quicker than expected with slight wisps of lacing. There is much more lacing left after an additional pour but it is pretty much a line around the top of the glass. There is a lot more lacing after a third pour.

Nose- Very odd nose. I got a whiff of pinto bean/black eyed peas. A very umami smell. Better than it sounds. Sort of cheesy, savory. Some notes of Belgian spice, yeast, and apple lingering around the edges. The aroma is quite inviting. There are also some sour notes and rich, appetizing mustiness. I'm quite curious as to whether the flavor profile expresses this.

Taste- It begins with sourness match with citrus fruits and pretty much continues in this manner. You can taste some of the savory, umami aspect at the back of the throat. Not as complex as I would have hoped but that may change. More spice and yeast make themselves known on the second taste. The yeast continues to climb as the sourness descends. Pretty tasty. Could use a couple other notes to put it into truly exceptional territory. Some fungal/funky notes are beginning to appear but with too much malt. It's not an overwhelming amount but starts to appear near the finish.

Mouthfeel- Fairly creamy. Medium bodied with some thinness. It could perhaps use a little more carbonation but overall, it's a pretty solid mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Pretty accessible. The alcohol doesn't really show itself at all. Not as easygoing as Orval but fairly close.

Overall- A very good beer. A. It could warm up and reveal more character and become an A+, but I'm pretty sure this is a solid A.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 04:56:49 | More by artoolemomo
Photo of Rijtjeshuis

Ontario (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look (4.5/5) ~ Deep coppery with some really nice red and orange tones in it (the colour gives the impression of fullness and richness). Given the abv, the head was great: it was very moussy, and fell exceptionally slowly with some nice lacing. Towards the clear side of hazy.
Smell (4/5) ~ spot on for the style. Rich complex maltiness plays off of some really nice yeast notes with a subtle spicy and earth y hop presence. Malt is strongly of the Munich/Vienna type variety with some nice melanoidin notes (plums, prunes, dried apricots); there is also a faint smokiness to the nose. You get a lot of the fruity and floral notes that you’ expect from this style.
Taste (4.5/5) ~ very good. Maltiness was front and centre and the beer was malty-sweet in balance (though I’d still say it was in with the Trappist versions and not the very sweet Abbey ones). I get a whole lot of Munich/Vienna melanoidins and all the fruitiness they bring (plum, prune, dried apricot); but there was also a smoke – not burnt mind you – note that reminded me a bit of very fine tobacco, which I liked a lot. The finish, which would otherwise be sweet is gets a lot of spice and gentle alcohol to balance everything out well. Floral and fruity yeast notes round it out. Some very mild earthy hops and enough bitterness to achieve some nice balance.
Feel (4/5) ~ pretty much what you’d expect: relatively gentle carb and pretty heavy in terms of body. I’d describe it as achieving a pretty silky/velvety feel well.

I’ve had more a few of this style and I’d have to say that this is more of the most compelling versions. I really liked the complexity of the malts, especially with that cigar/tobacco note that was played up. I think the spiciness and bitterness were great foils for the otherwise overwhelming sweetness. Kudos to the brewers!

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 01:09:07 | More by Rijtjeshuis
Photo of jimbomill

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The white bottle with the Black label, which is adorned with a golden dragon (the gulden draak) complete with red and subtle white lettering stands out.

The pour yields a bit of foam atop a rich dark brown body, highlighted by the golden "Duval" lettering on my glass. First taste is rich and creamy, with a hint of toffee/coffee taste.

The nose is nicely coincident to the taste values. This sibling to the strong pale ale Piraat belgium is equally great. It is a tad heavier, consistent with the Strong Dark Ale belgium that is GD.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2006 03:35:40 | More by jimbomill
Photo of Fatehunter


4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured a big two and half fingers of head on a deep red/amber colored body.
The aroma is nice: like a beer candy store. Malt, barnyard and lemon drops.
The flavor profile is over the top. It starts slow with a touch of malt sweetness, into a crescendo of candy and lemon bitterness, and then falling down with a mild bitter bite. Fairly complex.
A bit of fizziness plays into the middle in the best way. The texture is a little syrupy.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2013 05:11:53 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of elricorico

Alberta (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Deep ruddy brown with a thin, loose tan head. Head leaves plenty of lacing, but settles to just a couple of pools.

Fruity aroma of cherries, raisins, red licorice. Some Belgian yeastiness and just a hint of liquor.

Sweet fruity flavour, more cherries, raisins and grapes in the taste. Hint of licorice. Finish has a faint bitterness, just enough to create some balance. Liquor flavour is invisible, which is surprising considering the strength, though the warming in the belly is expected.

Fairly full bodied, with just enough carbonation to support the body. Pretty good, though nothing outstanding.

This is a very good beer, and is really easy to drink. There's nothing 'in your face', everything is just subtle and nice. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2008 01:33:20 | More by elricorico
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 2,934 ratings.