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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,270 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,270
Hads: 3,610
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 19.52%
Wants: 268
Gots: 650 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (92) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,270 | Hads: 3,610
Photo of Douberd
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle of 330 ml at home. Part of a box containing 6 belgian beers.
The bottle itself is just beautiful and the same goes for the beer too.Dark ruby colour with two fingers of creamy beige head.
Plums on the aroma, raisins, some yeast, some dates too. QVery strong once I poured the beer, later slighty fainted.
The taste follows the aroma, only closer. Very obvious taste of plums, some caramel too. Quite sweet. As with the other beers of the package, the high alcohol is well hidden and it tricks you to believe that it's maybe 3-4 degrees lower.
On the body is thick and carbonation is just perfect.
I would recommend it any given time!

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Photo of ludachris
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle to snifter at cellar temp.

Pours a deep cola brown with ruby red highlights. 1.5 finger creamy beige head tops this beer which leaves sticky lace down the sides of the glass.

Roasted malts, butter, candied sugar, raison, plum, bread, and an alcoholic kick that becomes more pronounced as the beer warms.

Sweeet, but oh so drinkable. Candied dark fruits, especially sticky raison, fig, and plum, creamy toasted buttery malts, hints of citrus, caramel, sugar, and just a slight hint of its high ABV. Delicious. It reminds me a bit of cake.

Mouthfeel is full, smooth, creamy, and perfectly carbonated. The %10.5 ABV is dangerously hidden. I've had %5 ABV beers that have a higher alcohol presence than this. Too drinkable.

Overall, a fantastic BSDA. I enjoyed this more than Chimay's Grand Reserve, and I really liked that beer. Without a doubt this beer is sweet but at the same time, it's excellently balanced, creamy, full flavoured, and the sweetness is not cloying. I'm already buzzing and I haven't even finished the bottle. The alcohol is a real creeper, so beware. Highly recommended.

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Photo of ojiikun
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

To me, this beer is just as a tripel should be. It pours cleanly without too much foam, and smells simply wonderful - caramel and spice and minty herbs. Dark and sweet, more like a dubbel, really, but with the kick of a tripel. I frequently compare the taste of dulden draak to that of sweet wine. There is no hiding the 10+% acohol, but the flavors ride well on top of that base. Just the right amount of very bright hops (mint and lemongrass) and sweet, buttery, syrupy malt (black tea and cornsyrup, if not chocolate). Despite the sweetness, there's not sticky mouthfeel, and it drinks like red wine - that is to say very easily, especially if you don't mind the high alcohol. This beer could not be better balanced.

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Photo of sommersb
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted On: 07-17-2011
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 330 ml brown bottle
Glassware: Tulip
Purchased: Single from Frugal MacDoogals, Nashville

A: Color is a light to medium brown, with reddish accents, with a somewhat opaque clarity. The head is creamy, tan colored and 4 fingers high. Excellent lacing and good head retention.

S: Smells are strong of spices, dark fruits and alcohol, reminiscent of a whiskey. Also dark, roasted malts and caramel notes.

T: Taste is very rich and complex. Flavors include semi-sweet chocolate, licorice and dark, ripened fruits. There is also the taste of funkiness of Belgian yeast. I get quite a bit of alcohol warmth in this strong brew, with whiskey-like flavors. Also a spiciness that is difficult to pinpoint.

M: A full-bodied beer that's also highly carbonated. The finish is dry (maybe in part due to the wine yeast used in secondary fermentation), with lingering notes of spices, caramel and alcohol.

O: A very luxurious ale that should be sipped slowly to enjoy all the flavors and because of the high alcohol content. Highly recommended!

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Gulden Draak was served from a white "ceramic" coated 330 ml bottle. When poured into a Duvel tulip, a large rough tan head rose up, then settled to become a thick, rich, and creamy blanket, which left extremely thick and sticky lacing when the glass was tilted. The beer itself was a dark and murky reddish-chestnut hue. The nose was big on rich figgy malt, with rich accents of pumpernickel bread, and indecipherable spice. The alcohol was completely hidden in the hearty goodness. The real experience started with the first taste. The beer began with a bold, moderately sweet, spicy, malt base that quickly let loose a wonderfully zippy fig/dried tart fruit explosion at the sides of the tounge. This melted into a spicy peach, rum-nutty, warming finish that lingered long after a sip was take. The dragon was a rollercoaster ride of delicious flavor... no spills just thrills and balanced like a yogi. The mouthfeel was richly smooth and full, but not syrupy or sticky. Completely satisfying and extremely delicious, Gulden Draak is simply one of the finest Belgian SD ales available.

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Photo of czfreeman
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this one from a 11.2oz white bottle. Dark brown color, Incredible head! a very, very foamy beer. Very malty nose, yeasts, dark candied fruits,almost gingerbread-like aroma. smells delicious. Very full on the palate. overwhelmingly good flavors of yeasts, malts, very sweet-almost candylike mouthfeel. A good choice around the holidays most definatley. This beer is one to savor very slowly.

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Photo of 4thoseabout2bock
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

strong, dark, sweet, lovely
don't be confused by the Gulden -- its not Golden, its a dark triple
packs a punch too
reminds me in that respect of Gouden Carolus Grand Cru/Emporer

pours a dark but clear ruby brown

smells sweet and toffee

taste toffee, plum, belgian spice and a little burnt brown sugar

A wonderful beer that you probably shouldn't drink all night, but given the chance I probably would

Its gonna be a rough Tuesday
this beer is delicious and strong

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Photo of hero27
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap @ the Lava Lounge in Waterloo, Iowa..

Pours a deep mahogany with a downright enormous, off-white head..that stays for as long as you'll let it. Aroma is of dark fruits and Belgian spices.
Tastes heavenly. Herbal hop notes perfectly balanced with a wide-array of fruits and infinitely complex, bready & toffee malts. A perfect example of a beer that is very complex, but with no one flavor standing out. They all seem to blend effortlessly here.
Definitely glad I have this on-tap at my local bar..a Belgian ale of standout caliber. Kick ass.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.66/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gulden Draak has a thin, off-white, root-beer head, and a very hazy, medium-brown, highly bubbly appearance, with innumerable tan chunks floating throughout. There is some thin lacing left behind. The aroma is sweet, of dark, over-ripe fruit, brown bread, and a bit of spice. Taste is similar, with added caramel, toffee, and even a shade of metallic. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, and Gulden Draak finishes semi-dry, highly bubbly, and not undrinkable. Overall, this is at least a most excellent beer, and I recommend it in the strongest terms.


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Photo of derbierTeufel
4.66/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Popped the cork off a 750ml bottle and poured it into a large Gulden Draak glass.

A-I can't believe it's supposed to be a triple. Very unorthodox. It pours a dark ruby brownish color with a decent two fingered head. But two things that I like already. Those being that it's Flemish and it's dark!

S-I noticed a lot of cherries and currants but I got a real strong hint of alcohol. Truly, not your typical triple and that threw me off. I didn't find the nose well balanced.

T-Wow! It tastes pretty much like it smells only much smoother. But the taste offers a chocolatey note, sweet at the beginning with a bitter finish. Alcohol becomes pronounced as it warms. Carbonation was just right. Not too much, not too little. I LOVED the taste. Big and malty with subtle hop flavor. No piney smells or taste. It quite resembled bitter Belgian chocolate.

M-Viscous and heavy!! Just like I like it! But maybe a bit too much for its style. A traditionalist may not like this kind of triple but I'm sure it has its followers. I just really like this kind of mouthfeel.

O-I've run a bar for years and drank many styles of beer but I'm gonna say that this one is my favorite so far. So delicious in fact, I EASILY downed the whole 750ml bottle feeling absolute euphoria after. I think I could have had one more glass but I wonder what that would have done to me. You forget the ABV because it's like eating a chocolate cake. I'm not gonna give it a perfect 5 only because even if I like it myself, it does not represent its style well and I'm sure that this is a "Black or White" beer. You either hate it or love it. It's hard for me to imagine someone not liking it but oh well. All I can say is BIG, ROBUST and SATISFYING! DO IT!

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Photo of beerphilosopher
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ahhh ... one of my very favorites and a culprit in my love of dark, strong Belgian ales. For the purposes of this review, I poured the ale into a Gulden Draak goblet from a 750 ml white coated bottle. Poured a deep, rich burgundy color that highlights red in the light. Displays a huge, mountainous head of light tan. Nose clubs you with dark, hearty fruits and spice. Dark raisins, cherries, and dates with a yeast bath. A special sweetness is present here as well ... a bit candy-like due to the use of Belgian Candi sugar in the bottle conditioning. Slightly alcoholic nose is present. Palate is extraordinary ...so complex. All of fruits mollases malt, and alcohol - rum like in some ways. The suprise ... this ale is rather hoppy, creating a marvelous balance in the flavor profile. This is master work, really. Full bodied and agressively carbonated, avoiding any semblance of a cloying effect. Though hoppier than many Belgian Strong Darks, Gulden Draak is not at all bitter. Finishes very smooth with a touch of residual sweetness. Gulden Draak is one of my favorites of all time. I love the name, the bottle, the beer ... I could go on and on. This is a world class ale. You need this beer!

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Photo of Zraly
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful garnet-brown with a delicate, off white head. Tight, compact bubbles present the appropriate carbonation.

Wonderful smells of spice, malt and alcohol permeate my nose. Upon first sip, the carbonation tickles the outside of my mouth, basically teasing me and preparing me for what stands before me...

A most perfect tasting ale. Loads of sweet malt and fruits dominate, with an intoxicating candy-like and phenolic backdrop. A strong notion of creme brulee (burnt sugar and all) purrs through. The alcohol hums its way around my mouth and eventually my bloodstream. Smooth, dreamy finish that is warm, luscious and invites another sip.

Classy and a benchmark for the style, this is an all-around selection of goodness in a bottle. I am splitting a glass with my girlfriend pre-dinner. It's starting the evening off on a most sultry note.

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Photo of Paymygasbill77
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml white champagne bottle and served in a tulip glass.

A: Gulden Draak pours a caramel brown with a 3 finger head that disipates into about 1 finger. Wow! They put this thing in a champ bottle for a reason. This is the highest carbonation levels i have ever seen in a beer.

S:Caramel, Dark Fruit and honey.

T: This beer hits you with a mild hop bitterness up front, a nice sweet fruity flavor in the back and finishes off with a little hottness to let you know it means business.

M: The carbonation and the hotness make this a fun beer to drink.

Overall: I rate it a 4.5.

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Photo of SpencerSauce
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a scary looking beer haha. Tasted awsome. Popped the cork off like a rocket.

A- Dark reddish, with a dark head. almost brown.

S- caramel or something sweet , black cherries are prominent. Boozy smell.

T- sweetness of caramel, brown sugar or toffee. Cherries for sure.

M- coats the mouth nicely, smoothe though

D- easy for a while then gets slightly harder.

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Photo of geetlord
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was a rich dark amber with a thick creamy head that subsided to heavy lacing. there was pleanty of yeast making the beer a littel cloudy.
The aroma contained malts flowers herbs, and fruit.
It tasted richly of molasses and cloves and nutmeg allong with tou8ches of dark chereries, black currents, cinnamon, and dark breads.
The mouthfeel was heavy but pleasantly carbonated.
overall i felt that this was an excelent rich beer and will definatly get it again

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Photo of roblowther
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged. God I love saying that.
Nice reddish translucent brown with a thin head that builds around the edges of the glass from a thousand tiny bubble trails. The smell is maple syrup and soft wood. Notes of fruit and promises to come. The taste is cherries and wood, then a peppery finish and a crisp, granny smith apple aftertaste. The afertaste melds into a dusky malt that never gets too dry. Outstanding. Nice tingly carbonation up front, a soft buttery feel and then the crisp finish that is as much feel as taste. Very drinkable, hiding its alcohol content well. Not a session beer but we knew that when the style has "strong" in the name, didn't we? A bit warm. An excellent beer and a new addition to my rotation for sure.

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Photo of OrangeAmps
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

on tap!

very sweet and carbonated, which is precisely why i dig this beer. it is intensely alcohol heavy, but the taste is negligible. The lacing retains very well, and the dark amber color is beautiful. It is definitely a pronounced belgian beer, but unlike most belgians ive had. Its very creamy and bubbly, like some glorious amalgam of beer and soda.

Its a little less heavy on the carbonation on tap, imo. And also, the porcelain bottles are pimp.

Great beer.

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Photo of josanguapo
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From elcervecero. In La Trappe chalice. Watching Worst Week 1x09-10. After the Westy12, and very close to it, this is the best in ita style. I only miss a bit more carbonation.

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Photo of Viking
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

O, joyous day! I found Gulden Draak on tap! Anyone in the Indianapolis area should go to Chalkies to try it out. After tasting on tap, I had to increase my rating a bit.
An excellent beer. I tried a single bottle one weekend and was hooked! Unfortunately supplies in Indy are a bit limited. This brew is best when slightly chilled on cold evenings.

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Photo of spointon
4.69/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2oz stubby white bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A= This ale poured a clear, deep reddish amber color with a 2" rocky, foamy head. Over time the head shrunk to a quarter inch but never dissipated.

S= The smell is where I was first truly impressed by this beer. There is a lot going on, definite Belgian fruity yeast, but also maltiness and a bit of caramel. There is not a lot of alchohol smell despite the high abv.

T= Much like the aroma, but with incredible complexity. Sweet, rich, estery, yeast-funky, delicious!

Mouthfeel was good and the drinkabilty was high as well. It took me a while to "get" this beer, but once I did, I could easily drink this daily! Definitely a great beer that I will enjoy again and again.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gulden Draak is the pinnacle of Br. Van Steenberge's efforts: a Belgian without peers; a brew so delicious that I'm sure Lucifer uses it to tempt the damned; and an ale so eminently drinkable that, were it not for its coma-inducing 10.5% ABV, entire countries would favor it over water. Even the nose lets you know this is one for the books: subtle flowery, fruity aromas layered with mouthwatering spices--what you'd expect to smell on the nape of the head cheerleader's neck.

On the tongue, the fruity spiciness is full and ever-blossoming, starting off with huge caramelized brown sugar and dark fruit esters, and progressing from even there into a heady brew over which gods probably fight wars. Vanilla, oak, apricot, plum and some port-like flavors mingle with champagne sweetness, with just enough hops to balance everything out and keep the brain from leaping out of the skull in sheer joy. A slight alcohol tinge colors the edges, but this enhances, rather than inhibits the overall effect. This is truly an astounding ale.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 330 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a dark coppery brown hue with high carbonation producing a 2-3 inch light tan bubbly head. Excellent retention (lasts many, many minutes). Nice lacing too.
S: Dark dried fruit (especially raisins), sweet bready yeast, and notes of spice (cinnamon, clove, and a hint of white pepper). Aroma aerates the surrounding few feet around the glass.
T: Follows aroma perfectly and yet adds strength (the alcohol note) to augment it even further. Simply tremendous. ABV is high and yet the alcohol is perfecting blended in and hidden. Notes of toffee and caramel emerge with warming.
M: Medium body (feels lighter than the ABV would suggest). Sweet and full feel. Alcohol provides only a gentle, background burn. I don't think I've had a 10.5% beer before that has hidden the alcohol so well. Lingers and matures on the palate for several minutes after the sip.
D: Overall this is a phenomenal brew and an outstanding example of style. Excellent drinkability, especially given the ABV.

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Photo of beerprovedwright
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Two finger head, with good lacing. Color is a 28 on the SRM beer color chart. Smell is enveloping, with aromas of coco, coffee, toffee, and caramel. Taste is a wonderful mixture of caramel, coffee, molasses, raspberries, apple, grapes, vanilla, black pepper, cinnamon, malt, and licorice. There are more flavors in there, but the more you taste the more buzz you get and flavors become muted. Rich, full body of heavy cream passes over my tongue and teeth, added with the wonderful prickly feeling of carbonation. This is one masterful brew which took many many years to perfect. I want more of this fine brew.

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Photo of Katahdin
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A unique Belgian style beer in that it is very dark and full bodied. Rich, creamy head that lingers in the glass and holds together well. The taste has a interesting blend of pepper and fruit. The richness and complexity of the pepper is balanced by the dried fruit taste that lingers longer than the peppery flavor. An easy beer to drink and a credit to the Belgian Tripel class. Highly recommend!

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Photo of July2Nov
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml/11.2 fl oz bottle.
A: Has a nice dark chestnut brown hue with a good 2 finger head on it. I know I'm in for a treat now.
S: Instantly hit with the sweet aroma of malty coco goodness. The nose is liking this and the mouth is wanting to get in on this action.
T&M: WOW...this has a deep robust flavor. You can taste the fullness of the characteristics that were listed in the smell. This is super rich and leaves the mouth w/ that oh-face.
D: This is definetly a keeper and should be enjoyed for all it's worth. Highly impressed with this style and brand.

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 1,270 ratings.