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

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

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

3,276 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,276
Reviews: 1,228
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 200
Gots: 392 | FT: 4
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,276 | Reviews: 1,228 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of theghost3
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Style by the label is a "triple".

Pours a reddish brown with lots of carbonated bubbles. There's a 1-finger tan head with sticky, spotty lacing.

The smell is mainly brown sugar with spices & dark fruits--peach, plum & orange stand out. The taste is strong on spices, fruits (particularly raisins & citrus), phenols, caramel malts & molasses. There's a bitterness in the end. Mouthfeel is acidic.

This is drinkable beer, but be careful because the 10.5 percent ABV will sneak up on you.

Photo of geexploitation
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This very rich tripel pours a murky dark cider brown. The head is appetizing in appearance, but the liquid less so. The nose has a bit of complexity, with burnt sugar notes, along with alcohol and a bit of candied apple. Those same tastes come through with more oomph in the beer's flavor, with the the candied apple, in particular, coming forward. This beer is exceedingly sweet, which is nice at first, but the aftertaste it leaves is a bit much -- kind of a sticky film that remains in your mouth. This is pretty heavy, rich stuff that's definitely meant to be enjoyed in moderation.

A good beer for every now and then, but not one I'll keep going back to.

Photo of kmo1030
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

deep dark brown with ruby highlights and a good sized tan head that has some staying power.
sweet and spicy aroma, with some peppery citrus, and some dark fruitiness.
the taste has lots of dark fruit, but also a surprising amount of spicy citrus, like lemon pepper. red grape juice mingles with the other flavors. makes me think this would be a great marinade with all the tang. there is also some light brown sugar in there that is tied to a pretty strong boozy component. there's some powdered cocoa type flavors and it's got a little toffee with hints of butter in there too. it's also got a light candied flavor that maintains a strong sweetness without being overpowering. very sweet but avoids being grossly sweet.
the mouthfeel is lighter than expected. i find it hard to tell though if this is actually a little on the light side or if it is due to it's active airy carbonation.
reasonably light with strong sweetness but also pretty boozy, good drinkability, but not great.

Photo of natelocc787
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This BSDA let me down slightly in appearance. I poured into a goblet, I will pour the last half into a tulip and see if that changes. What I mean is-there was only a half inch head after a generous pour. This combined with the goblet glassware left much to be desired in appearance and aroma.

Beer pours orange ruby crimson. Small head but fantastic lacing! Light caramel colored head dissipates quickly. Smell it while you can.

Definitely dark fruits like fig, plum and dates. Smells like the inside of an apple fig newton. Malty and sugary with a yeast reminiscent of a dubbel or quadrupel. A big leathery aroma.

This is listed as a dark Triple but I'm not buying it. Since it IS a triple (fermented 3x) I must say this is pushing the envelope as far as a triple is concerned, tastes more like a Trappist to me.

I am very satisfied with the taste of this beer. I was expecting a bad beer or possibly aged beer because I saw others noted it with a large head and this one poured with almost none. WOW! Dark Belgian candi sugar is raping this beer! Spicey with clove and white pepper. Fruity with purple plum, raisins and fig. Chocolate and caramel. Complex and tasty. Still not great in this area though. Nice and boozy in the finish though and this alcohol kick gives the score a boost because it adds to the complexity. Anyone who likes the Cuvee (Gouden Carolus) will love this brew.

Feels great like a Belgian should. Silky, carbonated and heavy. Great beer to roll around the palate before you swallow.

I would definitely buy "Golden Dragon" again. Got this 750ml for 7.99 at 7-11! Last one they had and I'm glad I found it. Great BSDA but not the best.

***Note: second half poured into unibroue tulip and the head was MUCH improved. Big 4 inch head and it made the aroma stand out much more as well. Scores have been updated respectively.

Photo of RobertDwight
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass it has an inviting deep reddish brown hue. I poured it very slowly to compensate for the extreme growth of white head after pouring. It grows like a chia pet to about three fingers big. After taking a few sips the head reduced to 1 finger with light lacing around the glass. I get sweet smells along with dried fruits and spices. Taste starts out sweet and then slightly sour with flavors of prunes and dried apricots; then moves to more roasted malt flavors. It warms the throat as the alcohol is present right at the end, especially when it warms up. Mouthfeel is rich, but not overly viscous. It has very good drinkability, and its a pleasure from start to finish...I wish I had some more!

Photo of kkipple
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gulden Draak comes in a neat Viking-inspired white bottle with a golden dragon on the front. It appeals immediately to my Norse sensibilities and makes me eager to drink whatever is inside.

The Gulden Draak pours a big bubbly head atop a filtered, deep amber brew. Nothing I've not seen before, but neither is it unattractive. (I removed a immature allusion to a woman here.) It does make me wish I had my drinking horn.

Smell needs time to develop as the beer warms. Eventually one ends up with dry alcohol, sweet malts, and overripe fruit. Very rich smelling and promising.

On initial taste, mild sweet malts and alcohol dominate, with beet sugar, Belgian yeast, and dark fruit (prunes?) supporting. There's a mild medicinal taste and the entire experience is warming and rich. A very well balanced beer. It avoids the syrupy sweetness that many dark Belgians have while being quite drinkable.

Mouthfeel is warming, creamy, and full. Very satisfying, nearly as much as burying your axe in the skull of a foe.

If a strong, dark Belgian and a beautiful, blonde Aryan Viking had a son, it would be...no wait, let me rephrase that...

Gulden Draak strikes a nice balance between the sweetness of a dark Belgian and the drinkability of a Triple. It's a very tasty, drinkable brew that is perfect for quaffing after a hard day of burning and pillaging the coasts, or just about any time for that matter! Any real Norseman would be proud to try this.

Thanks to Faustgeist for sharing!

Edit: Had this on tap a year later, and prefer it from the bottle. Bumped up the appearance a notch, too. It tastes richer and sweeter and smells better from a bottle, IMO. Surely more research is required....

Photo of chugalug06
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very strong soapy head. Head is slight red color with lots of brown. Brew is nice ruby red, also with lots of browns. Clarity is weak as is lacing.

S - Deep sour apple scent. Lots of light airy spices. Mild apricot and mango. Scent is very nice.

T - Very strong heat up front that slowly strengthens. Brew is nice and sweet with wonderful cover over the heat. Brew also is very spicy with lots of unique flavor.

M - Perfect bitter level. Very wet and drinkable. Carbonation is slightly over done, but doesn't distract.

O - Super glad I got to try this one. I will age one and report back in a few years. Until then, cheers!

Photo of DrJay
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy reddish brown with a very light brown head, slightly rocky. Aromas of alcohol, rich malts, ripe fruit, and a little spiciness. Very sweet, like candy sugar, with dark fruits, alcohol warmth and a bit of pepper at the finish. Medium/full body and moderate carbonation, just a bit sticky with residual sugar.

Photo of dansmcd
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Ruby brown colour, a disappointingly thin and flimsy bubbly head.

S - Sweet funky yeast, roasted coffee and brown sugar. Nice complexity.

T - Very sweet and very boozy, prune, caramel, toffee apple, coffee.

M - Lovely medium to full body, medium to high carbonation. Perfect balance.

O - There's plenty going on here, a top beer no doubt but just a touch to much sugar for my taste.

Photo of kawilliams81
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a Pipeworks snifter.

A- pours a dirty, dark copper with a 2" light tan head. Bubble blotches and some trails of lacing remain on the glass.

S- caramel, toffee, brown sugar, dark fruits, bready yeast

T- toffee, brown sugar, dark fruits, bread, spicy Belgian yeast with slight metallic taste.

M- medium body and high carbonation. Light syrup feel with dry finish and slight alcohol burn.

O- good strong ale, nice sweet flavors and dark fruits. I bet with some age the alcohol would mellow and the carbonation might lighten as well.

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a light coffee color, with HUGE tan, rich,cremy foam that left decent lace. The aroma was citrusy, with hints of apple, and a bit biscuity. The taste was malty, biscuity, a bit of caramel, floral hops, sweet malt, hint of fruitiness (bananas and apples). The mouthfeel wa sweet. creamy, warming (alcohol), tangy, with good carbonation.

The drinkability was good. Fruity and hoppy.

Photo of tiger88
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep copper/mahogony into thw glass that prodused a coppery white head. The head dissipated rather quickly. The aroma of malty bread goodness coupled by a sweet spice came through. It tastes remarkably like it smells. The alcohol is well hidden and the spiciness lays over the malt really well. There is a realy clean mouthfeel with this beer with little to no aftertaste. Very drinkable triple. Seek this one out!

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Gulden Draak appears a chestnut brown color with ruby / crimson highlights visible when held to the light. The liquid is murky and hazy, with random bits of sediment meandering randomly through the beer. Atop the beer sits a half inch of khaki head that leaves some decent lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, alcohol, slightly sweet malts. The beer tastes better than it smells, actually. The aroma is fine, but could be more grandiose.

T: The beer is sweet and malty. In spite of this, the heat, or alcohol presence, is quite subdued. If it weren't for the sweetness, it would be pretty easy to gulp down a few of these too fast. The Belgian yeast flavor is great, but I would prefer it to be brought to the forefront a bit more.

M: Alcohol content is well hidden. The feel is medium-bodied and creamy, with a malty / candy sweetness present throughout.

D: A good beer, but not my favorite BSDA. Still, it's a solid beer and one I will continue to enjoy on occasion.

Photo of EPICAC
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy brown with ruby edges. A thin beige head tops the beer and quickly fades to a very persistent layer.

Smell: Sweet malts, dried fruits, dates, peppery spice, yeast and moderate alcohol.

Taste: Sweet and bready upfront with notes of dried fruit. There's a slight tartness before the spicy alcoholic finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-bodied, creamy, tingly-carbonation.

Drinkability: The alcohol is pretty strong, but the flavors are very nice.

Overall: A nice sweet, spicy and strong dark ale.

Photo of bluesplit63
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet with a deep brown color and a fast growing head. Ended up overflowing the goblet because of the amount of carbonation in the bottle. Was purchased in a Belgium 6 Combo Pack with 5 other beers.

Overall the scent was sweet from fruit.

The taste on the other hand was not as sweet as you would expect from the scent. This though was not a bad thing. If this beer taste like it smelt you might as well have had a glass of wine.

Great Belgium beer that won my vote over the other 5 purchased in the mixed pack.

Photo of Teleweizen2
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - this beer pours a murky, opaque burgundy/brown. a light tan foam dissipates quickly to a mere film, leaving just a slight bit of lacing.

S - the aroma is quite unique. chocolate is most prominent. notes of caramel, banana, raisins, and spice round out the complex aroma.

T - a toasty, nutty malt character on the forefront, which adds a light herbal bitterness as it warms on the tongue. the notes of spicy yeast, dark malts, and high alcohol elicit flavors of rum raisin and banana bread. the finish is long and sweet.

M - the ale has an almost buttery character. medium bodied with a mild carbonation.

O - a very interesting ale, perfect for winter/cold weather consumption.

Photo of Takahiro
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark brown, with thick foam, dissipating rather quickly
S: mineral, caramel malt, toffee,
T: dried prune, caramelized sugar, grapes, alcohol, "touch of wine"
M: complex, there's some winey character towards the end, finishes off rather dry. nice
O: little bit sweet, but not cloy, finishing very dry. nice beer

Photo of blitz134
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I’ve had this one in the cabinet for a little while now and finally decided to pop the cap on this one to celebrate the end of a day of working on a project paper. Little victories are what really matter in the long run.

This bottle has always intrigued me with its opaque white color and the quite odd robot dragon on the front. Last time I checked robot dragons didn’t drink beer. But the good thing is: no chances of being skunked by light with this one. The pour wasn’t very vigorous by any means but the head formation nearly filled my oversized wine glass with a huge frothy light tan head. While the head reduced by quite a bit but it still seemed to linger around in a thick layer on top of the nearly opaque dark garnet coloration. This is truly a beauty. This is the most opaque dark Belgian I’ve had to date.

Typical of Belgians there is the aroma is dominated by the sweet malty dark fruit characters. Mainly raisins and plums with this one with a little clove spiciness in the background. Not an overpowering smell but it is good nonetheless. There is a hint of alcohol underneath the nice aroma.

I don’t find the taste quite as complex as some of the other dark Belgians I’ve had but this one is still quite good. There is a sharp spiciness with hints of clove that sting the cheeks and lingers for quite a while with a definite belly warming sensation. Along with this spiciness there is also sourness from the tart fruits which this beer conjures up. Good flavor overall, but the spiciness skews the lines between many of the individual flavor profiles.

Mouthfeel is quite awesome. It seems almost chewy while still seeming light bodied in a way. Drinkability is brought down a bit with how much the alcohol sensation lingers. Not a session beer by anymeans, but something I’ll be sure to return to.

Photo of Swedes21
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 ml served in a chilled glass..

Appearance - Beer pours a gorgeous dark auburn colour with visibility though the beer. The beer has a decent amount of carbonation and the head is very full. Head is a light brown, appears both foamy yet has some density to it. Some nice lacing as I drink the beer.

Smell - You can smell the alcohol for sure, but that is too be expected with a 10.5% beer. I would there is a grape base to this beer as well.

Taste - I would have to say a sweet taste upfront combined with the alcohol. There is a nice aftertaste, somewhat bitter but does not stick around.

Mouthfeel - there is hardly any carbonation added in the mouthfeel. I will say the bitterness level does increase as well as the grape/sweetness hints. You can tell you are drinking a 10.5% beer.

Drinkability - I can see why this beer is sold in a 330 ml bottle! The beer packs a punch, you can taste the liquor but also some amazing sweetness. I would have this beer again just not hunt it down.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. sample, white-frosted bottle > Chimay goblet. Part of the global Beer Network variety 6-pack.

A deep, deep amber color, very bright, decent carbonation, seems a bit mellow creating a scattered, tan-colored head that doesn't prove to be as impressive as some dark-Blgians, the dissipation is a bit quick with only slightly sticky lacing.

The nose is very aromatic with big, sweet fruits, dates and fermented red grapes, brown sugar, liqorice, blakc pepper and a earthy yeasgt to finish.

The malt is full of dark-fruity flavors and big-time sweetness of oakie caramel, maple syrup, herbal, earthy balance of belgian yeast and hops. Still, this is dominated by sweet, fruity flavor's. Raisins, dates, black berries, all very bold but the balance is a bit off, and not that well-rounded.

The feel is crispy, but a very hefty body feel, smooth and slick with long, cloying finish, dry after-feeling.

Medium complexity with a strange balance, but it's got flavor!

Photo of ElGordo
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Body is a deep amber color with golden brown highlights, crowned by a good two fingers of sticky, foamy head that hangs around a good long while. Aroma of sweet, bready malt, raisin, and a hint of spicy hops, along with a touch of yeasty funk. Palate is mildly sweet up front, then becomes richer and maltier as it washes over the tongue. A raisiny sweetness emerges just before the swallow. Finish is smooth, sweet malt with just a hint of lingering heat from the alcohol.
Body is rich and creamy, just great for a Belgian dark ale. Velvety smooth in the mouth, without being foamy on the swallow. This is an excellent example of the style, and one that I wish I drank more often. Hopefully I'll amend that soon.

Photo of socon67
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My 100th review on BA. Poured into a Corsendonk tulip.

A - Pours dark brown with a thick foamy head. Some lacing.

S - Smells like a fruity brandy, or a sangria.

T - A pleasant taste throughout. A sweet flavor of candied fruits & malt. The finish has a slight burn but is subtle.

M - Very little carbonation. Medium bodied, and smooth given the style. Proboably the smoothest Belgian Strong I can recall.

D - Yes, but you will feel it. The Draak is an enjoyable Belgian.

This is a great way to get people to appreciate Belgian ales. And it works good accompanying a meal or as a sipper later on.

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark appearance. A nice head gives way to a strong ring with a layer of bubbles in the center and nice lacing.

The smell is of fruit and honey, specifically apples and cherries. A little yeast is present.

The apple flavor dances around with a little sweetness and some light citrus notes. There is also a little detectable funk, but it isn't really an issue with all the sweetness going on. With larger sips the alcohol is detectable.

The beer itself is full-bitied and somehow still rather light. The carbonation accentuates the sweetness fairly well and there is no fructose film left in the mouth, which is a welcome surprise.

This beer is almost dangerously drinkable.. The ABV is fairly well-hidden under layers of surprisingly complex sweetness. Yummy.

Photo of akorsak
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am drinking a 750 mL C&C bottle poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. The ale is chilled.

Appearance: The ale pours with a hazy orange-brown color. There is ample sediment in the glass. The ale poured with a decent head and left a respectable amount of lace around the glass.

Smell: Yeast is the dominant aroma. I also smell the sweetness of candy sugars.

Taste: The candied sugars are quite evident in taste. They give the ale a very pleasing sweet taste. After that, hints of alcohol and fruit (plum maybe).

Mouthfeel: The ale sits very well in the mouth. The yeastiness and sugars taste very nice together.

Drinkability: This is an eminently drinkable ale, but the 10.5% abv is a dealbreaker, too much alcohol makes me sleepy...

Photo of vandemonian
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) is a dark sweet and fruity beer. Yum.

A: Black colour and a 1 cm head that lasts very well. 4.5

S: Malty with some hints of apple. 4

T: Malty with some nice roasty and dark fruit flavours. The finish is dark and sweet. High ABV but it isn't particularly noticeable. 4

M: Foamy. 4.5

O: Yum. 4

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,276 ratings.