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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.

2,964 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,964
Reviews: 1,199
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 156
Gots: 240 | 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: 2,964 | Reviews: 1,199 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dherling

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured out a dark reddish brown, with a bubbly off white head, great lacing. The nose offers lots of dark fruits like plums, cherries and raisins, followed by sweet candy sugar. There's a bunch of alcohol in the nose too. The taste is sweet sugar, bubblegum, cottong candy, and spice up front. The finish hits you with dark fruit again, then some faint chocolate and alcohol. Mouthfeel was creamy, with a long burning finish.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2006 23:37:19 | More by dherling
Photo of udubdawg


4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours a deep reddish brown color, not particularly clear, but topped with a cap of fizzy tan head that lasts better than expected.

Big aromas here, almost too many to name. Abundant alcohol, rich caramel and a lighter component I assume is some sort of candi sugar. Also a toastiness here that is Munich-esque. Fruits are mostly dark in the raisin/plum range but there is a little bit of lighter orchard fruit here too. Complex.

the bottle is aged, and the alcohols have mellowed from "hot" to wonderfully spicy. Still sweet as hell, but I don't really mind. Again, it is quite spicy; more so than I recall. Mild earthy flavors, wish the finish would be a bit drier but then again it would probably demand another sip and this is already a sipper. As mentioned it isn't particularly hot any more, but it is warming everywhere...

moderately carbed, no more than average and probably slightly below average for the style. Body is pretty big, and it is slightly sticky.

this is some strong shit, and it doesn't hide it. I'm happy to sip a single 11.2 oz bottle; a 750 would be too much for me to finish in one sitting.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2010 17:56:00 | More by udubdawg
Photo of BeerDocT


4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Original review 8/21/11. Updated 1/11/14.

Poured from a bottle into a wide-mouthed glass.

-Appearance 4.0: Completely opaque, chestnut brown in color. Despite my best efforts, upon pouring it foamed up to a huge head, over an inch in height. Head dissolved to medium sized bubbles and some remaining foam. Might want to try a larger mouthed goblet next time.

-Smell 3.75: Smells...very subdued. I smell a lot of brown sugar, maybe caramel. No discernible hops, but a distinct trace of Belgian yeast.

-Taste 4.25: Smooth, but a big malt kick. Aftertaste reveals more brown sugar and caramel, with slight hoppiness. There is a definite "dark" taste to this beer, slightly smoky. Sweet, but the carbonation sweeps this sensation away and whisks you over to tasting hops and candied fruits. Yes, I typed "candied fruits." If you've ever had any, you'll know what I mean.

-Mouthfeel 4.0: Lots of bubbles. I'm talking champagne level of bubbles. Still, these bubbles help to break up what would no doubt be -since this beer is over 10% ABV-- a treacly sweet beer.

-Overall 4.25: Excellent ale. Multi-layered tastes in every sip. Very complex, but the high level of bubbles can obscure certain taste levels. Regardless, this brew is smooth, balanced and contains absolutely no indication of its epic ABV. This factor -on its own-- is enough to make this beer world class. The Steenberge brewery should be proud of producing several ales that are consistently excellent, Gulden Draak being one of its flagships and rightfully so.

Paid $13.99 for a four pack of the Draak in Atlanta, GA.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2011 05:04:34 | More by BeerDocT
Photo of mjtiernan

New York

4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a goblet at slightly above cellar temp. No freshness dating found.

A: Deep ruby red body sits below a frothy off-white two-finger head. Real nice retention.

S: Dark fruit, butterscotch, vanilla and grain.

T: Raisins, dates and apple cider. A little of the sweet malt caramel comes through.

M: The alcohol is warming but the flavor is difficult to perceive. Body is medium to full, texture creamy and the carbonation is lively. Finish is slightly chalky.

O: A nice dark belgian that’s a bit atypical to many others. Although the alcohol is high, this seems like it would be fairly approachable for Belgian newbies.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2012 01:48:49 | More by mjtiernan
Photo of beerkittycat


4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearane is a murky deep amber brown with a lingering frothy tan head. Malty aroma laced with essence of plum, cherry and very faint flowery hops. Taste is full of the same malty flavors of plum and cherry. Low hop flavor and bitterness takes a backseat to the malt flavors but complements nicely. Mouthfeel is bordering on chewy but not quite like a barelywine. Finish is slightly sweet and dry but not cloying. A beautiful beer all around.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2008 05:57:49 | More by beerkittycat
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at World of Beer Raleigh. Served in a tulip.

A - a dark plum color with a thin lacing of head

S - bready, spicy

T - bread, caramel, toffee, sugar, alcohol

M - medium to full bodied, warm, crisp

This is a really nice beer. It's malty, sweet, balanced, and complex. This is probably one of the better beers that I've had in this style. I will have it again.

Serving type: on-tap

07-27-2012 09:14:16 | More by tdm168
Photo of dbossman


4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy, redish brown; one finger head with decent retention
S: Belgium yeast strain; bananas and cloves are subtle; sweet maltiness and raisins are also prevalent
T: Bready and malty; banana/cloves; something slightly medicinal-it isn't off puting though; the alcohol is well-masked throughout
F: Well-balanced carbonation; farily even mouth coating; smooth but slightly thin on back end
D: So smooth and easy going for a 10.5% beer

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2009 04:40:03 | More by dbossman
Photo of ib7jhurley


4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.
Dark amber with red hue. Little head with nice lacing.
Very fruity with maybe a little nutmeg. I could have sworn when I first smelled this, it was like fruit punch.
Very very flavorful of malts and fruit. The alcohol leaves a nice warming sensation at the end. Little carbonation.
This is a very nice beer, but the sweetness definitely limits my intake.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2010 07:11:03 | More by ib7jhurley
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the stubby 330ml bottle into a Duvel glass.

Pours a dark brown with reddish hints. Very loam foam, and less lacing than I'd expect.

Light malty sugary smell, but otherwise difficult to coax out. Buttery.

Strong belgian taste, hints of sugar wrapped around malty lemons. Very complex.

Long finish. Active carbonation. Good alcohol burn. Good drinking Belgian. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2010 02:02:15 | More by KTCamm
Photo of generalnotsew


4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into oversized wine glass. Huge frothy light brown head. Coloring is a dark brown woody color. Very dark beer. Light does not pass through it. Think I will have to let this one warm a tad before I go further. The nose is very sweet. Has a good sweet burnt sugary smell. A twinge of the plum smell but mostly the sweet sugar with a bit of an earthy tone. Taste is a nice spicy sugar mix. Dried plums with a twist of a slight hop bitterness follows it up. The sugar, fruit, bitterness and earthy notes all come together nicely in the middle even though they are distinct in the front and the back. Does have a slight burn in the throat but I noticed most Belgian Strong Dark Ales do. Actually this is the first Belgian I have had in a long time. At least a year. I do have a hard time picking out the differences between Quad and this style but I can't complain because they are both great.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2011 03:38:51 | More by generalnotsew
Photo of irishkyle21

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my favorite beer in the mixed six pack. Has a deep brown color with some ruby in the mix as well. Full sized tanned head holds up well, thick rings of lace mark their territory.

Smells of sweet dark fruits, candy sugar, caramel malt, molasses and a dark rum like alcohol.

The taste is fairly sweet but finishes slightly sour and bitter. Also has hints of caramel and dark fruits.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2007 02:56:47 | More by irishkyle21
Photo of IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 330 ml brown Belgian stubby bottle coated in white enamel. Pours out a cloudy opaque brown, short frothy beige head that settles to a very thin cap.

Aroma of burnt toffee, raisins,plums, caramel, molasses and brown sugar.

Intense rich flavours of toffee, molasses, dark dried fruit, carmelized sugar, sweet plum and grape, some espresso in the finish. Quite complex. Alcohol warmth is present throughout, but soft and rounded, no real bite.

Soft rounded texture, medium-light mouthfeel, very little carbonation. A bit watery considering the style and abv.

This is a beer greater than the sum of its parts, it falls a bit short in some areas but makes up for it where it excels. A very tasty, very drinkable high alcohol Belgian ale, perfect for pairing with food as well.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2010 23:07:35 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of endincolorado


4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Deep red-amber, with white head and great lace.

Smell- Quite a fragrant brew. Inviting, almost bubblegum flavor comes right out, from what, I'm honestly not sure. The hops maybe? Spicy yeastiness. Great, bready malt.

Taste- Nice spicy yeast is powerful and delicious. Fruity hops remind me again, of bubblegum, which is both interesting, and wonderful. Some maltiness in the background.

Mouthfeel- Medium body. Sticks to the palate.

Drinkability- Though the ABV is up there, I think this is one beer that I couldn't resist a second or third round of.

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2009 00:22:25 | More by endincolorado
Photo of BarryMFBurton


4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Alright, first things first: this bottle is badass. A white ceramic-dipped/painted bottle with a black label that has shining golden accents – including the mythical-looking dragon that’s front and center. Pretty awesome. But, as is true in the beer world especially, looks can be deceiving. The bottle may make me feel like Viking royalty, but it may not have a taste that's fit for a king. Only one way to find out...down the hatch!

A: “Wow, that’s fizzy.” I’m hanging out with the family on Father’s Day, and my parents aren’t into the craft beer scene very much. That little exclamation was my mom’s first reaction; and, to be honest I can see where she’s coming from. A light tan head looms above the deep, chestnut body, leaving behind some heavy lacing. Intimidating, but with a light and bubbly body.

S: Heavy, oaky malts upfront. They’re thick, yet sweet and fruity, showing hints of grape, plum, fig, and cinnamon applesauce. A touch of alcohol shows up at the back end, offering a boozy toffee note and a nice spiciness. A smooth, mild nose.

T: Sweet and incredibly savory, like a warm slice of apple pie. There’s that familiar blend of apple, pear, plum, grape, and banana that I’ve come to expect from a Belgian, though the final product is not as sweet as I’m accustomed to. It’s more balanced and meaty than most of its counterparts in this style; a pleasant distinction. It definitely doesn’t show its 10.5% ABV, either, though the booze that’s there is light and warming (every bit like a rich cider). The yeast presence is more acidic and bright than anything, which seems odd to me; I felt it would have been more appropriate to have a thicker, dark breadiness to balance the aforementioned bright textures. That’s really the only thing I noticed that I wasn’t too happy about. Everything else is a classic Belgian winner.

M: “Fizzy!” Creamy microbubbles thicken this effervescent offering to that level of fulfillment I was hoping for.

O: When I think of this style, I think "Duvel with heavier malts." While Gulden Draak isn't exactly on Duvel's level for me, it fulfilled my definition of the style quite well. It's malty, strong, but a little too light for me to love it.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 03:23:02 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of soccerman7


4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A nice dark brew that has a nice head that slowly faded down the goblet

S - Russian Pumpernickel bread and candy sweetness.

T - Boozy upfront that hits to sweetness and then turns to bread and crust flavors. Really interesting.

M - For a tripel it is very nice and as smooth as the style could be.

D - A most certain sipper but really worth trying. Great brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2009 22:47:11 | More by soccerman7
Photo of PHSCAPT


4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay goblet at about 60 degrees. Bought as part of 6 pack of various Belgians. Too bad there's only one of these in it...

A - very dark, nearly black with a tinge of red. Almost no head, but may be due to warm temperature.
S - Irish Spring dryer sheet from another reviwer is an excellent description
T - Sweet dark fruity-ish: raisins, prunes
M - very definitely carbonated, more than most BSDA.
O - a fine ale with good flavor, relatively high alcohol but not overpowered by the alcohol. Definitely one for sipping on cool nights, not gulping after mowing the lawn in July. Definitely a re-buy.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2012 02:18:50 | More by PHSCAPT
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Red/brown sunburst. Clear. Ample frothy head and lacing.

S: Sweet, banana, belgian yeast, hints of booze

T: belgian yeast, malts, dark fruit, sweet sugar, slightly boozy, almost tea like finnish.

M: good carbonation. medium bodied.

D: higher ABVs slightly hidden. Good belgian, very good drinkable strong dark.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2009 20:56:32 | More by rfgetz
Photo of BricksandPorter


4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured refrigerator cold into a crystal tulip.

P – A fine, cloudy mahogany brown, opaque with hues of purple and maroon. I almost overpoured – high carb. Took a minute to settle, before I proceeded with a slower pour. Punch you in the face wheat malt aroma. You can smell the alcohol on this one. Rocky, bronze one finger head with walnut brown edges, medium-large bubbles and good, ney GREAT, retention.

N – raisons, cherries, blackberries and apricot line the nose to really exacerbate the malt profile. A real definitive sour overtone indicates the ABV is for real. It has some hints of smoke and burning wood.

T – slick and smooth chocolate base (not stout chocolate - just balanced and light) with a great fruit profile. Blackberries, banana and sour cherries with a hearty sweetness that is smooth and really interesting. The alcohol on the nose is almost completely non-existent on the palate until the burp, when it really pulls through. Has a spicy finish and rounds very well for such a high ABV. Second time around I got a twiggy, wood-like earthiness that I didn’t get on the first taste. Not piney, but just earthy. Almost like roasting walnuts. Overall -- Grand!

M – a bit heavy on the profile. The carbonation makes the flavors stick around for a good long while. Not the smoothest Belgian I have ever had, and definitely on the higher “chunky” scale as far as tripels go. The bottle carbonation does the style right and this beer is no exception.

D – If for nothing more than the ABV, I’m not sure I could hold up to more than two or three of these. The alcohol hits you immediately, and the cacophony of flavors begins to take a toll on your tongue after the first one. I definitely recommend this for someone who appreciates great beer.


Serving type: bottle

06-30-2011 03:07:25 | More by BricksandPorter
Photo of Portertime


4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got to try this treat at the local BJ's restaurant. The waitress gave me the bottle with a glass to pour it into myself. Very nice of her. Poured a dark tea like brown with a small pillowy head. At first sniff I get that nice Belgian triple aroma of figs, black cherry, brown sugar, and a hint maple syrup. The taste was wonderfully complex with swirls of fig, caramel, spice, and baked apples with a mild alcohol finsh. very nice.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2009 04:23:18 | More by Portertime
Photo of Jesstyr


4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a La Trappe chalice

A: Dark caramel, with really no significant lacing.

S: Very sweet smelling for the color, not fruity, more sugary

T/M: Very strong and sugary, perfect with chocolate or a great blue cheese. Light carbonation. Alcohol from the start, but evolves into a great sweetness. So flavorful. Mouthfeel is smooth and silky.

D: With all the great flavors, this isnt one you can drink a lot of. One is perfect...

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2010 03:01:30 | More by Jesstyr
Photo of jmdrpi


4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330mL stubby bottle coated in white plastic. no date.

poured into oversize tulip glass, a dark brown with garnet colored highlights. great 1" head, that shrinks a bit, but never goes away. nice lacing.

aromas of toffee and sourdough bread. tastes slightly sweet, caramel, biscuity malt. finish is slightly herbal and boozy. smooth mouthfeel, medium body. carbonation enough to tingle.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 03:47:27 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of brystmar


4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750mL white bottle into a snifter. This beer pours with a healthy amount of head and leaves beaded lacing on the glass.

Smells of malt mix with lighter doses of fruit & peppery goodness. My only wish is that the scent itself was more pronounced.

One sip of this beer tells you there's something very special in your hands. Creamy malt hits first, followed by a distinct fruity sweetness not typically associated with this style. It's sweet, but not overly so by any stretch. Carbonation is higher than average, but well balanced by the full-bodied texture and various flavors in this complex beer. Delicious!

Gulden Draak is deceptively easy drinking -- watch out for that 10.5% ABV -- but first rate nonetheless. One of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2009 08:24:58 | More by brystmar
Photo of Zimbo

United Kingdom (Scotland)

4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good god, look its a bottle of Old Spice!
Er, no, its just a bottle of Gulden Draak... but like all beer sold in white bottles I was sufficiently weirded out to give this a miss on many many occasions.

Massive spongy cream coloured head which goes the distance. Tres impressive. Dark chesnut brown and the boquet in the bottle is minimul at best wuith just a trace of clove.clove at first but little of anything else. A spritzy body which in fact is too spritzy for perfection but there's a lengthy middle and some, as expected, clove on the palate as well. Angular with an emerging burly element which breaks the surface bringing a slightly meaty and sappy body. Nose becomes increasingly more spicy roasty as well.

Strong, potent and heady, this really is a cheek burner which is sure to warm your cockles in the coldest, wettest and dampest of Scottish Winters. Makes sense now really.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2011 18:57:59 | More by Zimbo
Photo of hoegaardenhero


4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: beautiful opaque brown w/ some ruby highlights; light tightly bubbled off-white head that leaves decent lace

s: sweet spicy gingerbread and bananabread; light grains; some fruitiness; warm and malty with light alcohol

t: nice winter spiciness; nice banana bread and biscuit; light alcohol; darker toffee malts; dark fruits

m: light sharp carb but smooth and syrupy without being clingy

d: really good belgian dark; spicy and warming
a: amber brown that light barely shines through; light tan foam that fades leaving splotches on head on top; no visible movement

s: really strong wine; light abv; iron; apples; some light sweet syrupiness; warm malts

t: caramel; warm toffee; light wheat biscuit; some spiciness; dark fruits; seems mellowed since last time;

m: light carb; light cloy; my girlfriend says it is too syrupy and it is a little syrupy

d: still a really good beer; has mellowed with age and is different but still just as good

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2008 05:09:28 | More by hoegaardenhero
Photo of aubuc1


4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap poured into a chimay goblet.

pours a deep amber/brown with a thin head

smells bready/yeasty with some light fruits

tastes sweet, belgian yeasty and plummy

mouthfeel is pretty warm due to heavy alcohol

very nice frinking beer for such high abv
i am missing some smells probably due to low temp

Serving type: on-tap

07-24-2008 21:12:56 | More by aubuc1
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 2,964 ratings.