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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

3,355 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,355
Reviews: 1,251
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 212
Gots: 453 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (83) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,355 | Reviews: 1,251 | Display Reviews Only:
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 KTCamm
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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

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

I have absolutely NO idea how old this small bottle is (``29F J'' on the bottle). I bought it over a year ago and forgot it was in my cellar. It might have been 2-3 years old when I bought it. At any rate, at 10.5% I'm not worried.

Poured from the (old?) bottle into a Duvel tulip. A beautiful pour. Dark, deep ruby reddish-brown and clear with a nice choppy foam top. Subdued nose has hints of dried fruit, candied sugar, and sherry.

A nice level of carbonation opens the palate to sweet bready and fruity flavors of plums and raisins. The alcohol is not hidden at all. It comes in around mid-palate and warms things up substantially, lending the beer a distinct sherry-like quality. Very firm, almost oily mouthfeel. The beer is extremely strong and definitely a sipper. An outstanding beer to be sure, but the alcohol presence is a bit strong and may detract a bit from the overall drinking experience for some.

Photo of Luker1921
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%

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

Pours a deep reddish amber in color with a big white head and some nice lacing. The smell is of mostly candied sugar and dark fruits, and I pick up hints of bourbon as well. Tastes of molasses raisins heavily laced with belgian test notes and spicing and very little booze shows through. The mouthfeel is a bit thick but style appropriate. A very solid Belgian offering.

Photo of BricksandPorter
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Cheers!

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

330 ML bottle poured into a Tulip

A: Poured a dark,clear reddish copper color. Visible carbonation when first poured.. that settles down as it warms. Big 2 finger head that sticks around... Wonderful spotty think lacing all the way down the glass from start to finish. Great looking beer.

S: Loads of dark fruits... Plumb, raisins & a very little hint of dark cherries. There is a lot of sweetness here and a strong hint of alcohol.... After the alcohol burn the aftertaste is slightly sweet and pretty pleasant.

T: Wow, sweet, fruity, spicy and strong. Makes me think more Rum than beer. All the fruits are here soaked down with some pretty strong alcohol... The affect builds are it warms...

M: Med to heavy as it starts out, but as it warms up, it gets heavy, really heavy.... Carbonation is pretty low.

D: Sit back and enjoy 1... that will be all you need. At 10.5% ABV it is very strong. One and done. It is a very nice sit down and enjoy on a nice cool evening... Lots of great flavor and very warming.... it is almost like sipping a very nice cognac.... Give this one a try...

Photo of avalon07
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a brownish color and a thick, murky consistency. There was a huge, foamy, long-lasting head and good lacing.

S: A strong, almost pungent aroma of apples, alcohol and sugars.

T: Like the smell, the taste is complex, but rather strong. Apples, raisins, alcohol, caramel, malt and even some chocolate. Hops in the finish.

M: Had a high level of carbonation and a smooth finish. Full-bodied.

D: This is a drinkable beer, but it's one with a big, bold flavor. Might not be for everyone.

Photo of jonb5
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle, poured into large tulip shaped wine glass.

A: Dark ruby, taned head, great retention + lacing, looked thick rather than hazy or opaque.

S: Malt, rasperry, molasses.

T: Malt, plum, biscuit, brown sugar, earthy molasses. Burn from the booze comes at the finish.

M: Smooth, body is medium to slighty thick, coarse edge from the booze burn.

O: I think this would benefit from being aged, missing the wow factor but still very good.

Photo of aubuc1
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
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

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

Dark brown with a rich, thick tan head. Lacing sticks tightly to the glass but the head fades rather quickly.

Smells of fruits (grapes), caramelized sugar, and some faint alcohol. No noticeable hop aroma.

Tastes of very sweet malt. Syrup sweetness comes to mind, sugar, raisins, and possibly figs. Sweet aftertaste and some nice, mellow alcohol heat. Hop bitterness bursts and fades quickly.

Medium/high carbonation, light and creamy mouthfeel; nice body.

Mellow alcohol, but overpowering sweetness hinders drinkability. Some additional bitterness, especially in the finish, would have been a nice touch.

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

Got out the Maredsous tulip for this Belgian beer, and it pours a exquisite deep and slightly hazy amber/copper. Massive 2 finger ivory head that leaves a thick sheet lace ring.

Belgian yeast and sour fruit in the aroma, with the heavy malt. Sweet, boozy quaff of malt, fig, plum and cherry. The 10.5% is there in the finish, but not unpleasantly. Still, a bit cloying by bottle end.

Highly charged carbonation does not quit, tiny bubbles dance upward the entire quaff duration. Damn fine frosty.

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

On tap at Engine 15

appearance: dark brown in color with lots of holding head, great lacing

smell: very herby and spicy aromas, some caramel sweet candy aromas

taste: sublte sweetness with some nice dark fruits notes, sublte banana and spices

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: nice Belgian beer.

Photo of hansavijaticar
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy red colour, rich head. Smell and taste of honey and dark fruits. Very sweet, possibly one of the sweetest BSDAs I've tried. A bit of acidity when warmed. Similar by sweetness to La Trappe Quadrupel and Urthel Samaranth, which are slightly better. Not bad, but I wouldn't recommend it to someone who wants to discover Belgian strong dark ales.

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

Appearance: Poured a nice brown with a light and foamy head.

Smell: Sweet and spicy, and a bit fruity.

Taste: When I poured the beer, I had just pulled it out of the fridge, so it was fairly cold. It tasted very sweet, spicy, and malty, but I thought the alcohol was pretty apparent. As it warmed up, the hints of fruits became more apparent and gave the beer much more character.

Mouthfeel: It had very tiny bubbles, and it was very smooth, but a little heavy going down.

Drinkability: As it warmed up in my glass, I began to enjoy this beer more and more. The coldness made it seem a bit harsh to me, but I think next time I would have this at room temperature. The heaviness of the beer, not to mention the 10.5% ABV, makes this a beer that I would want to spread out over the course of a night (I can only find this in 750ml bottles), but it is very enjoyable.

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

Appearance: Pours a dark caramel color with a long standing 1/4" head of tan bubbles. The bubbles were mostly small, but there were some mixed sized larger ones in there too. The head stood for about a minute before ending up as a small ring around the top of the beer. The beer is very well carbonated and seems murky for the first few minutes after the pour, but then settles out to be a dark garnet color with only a little haze.

Aroma: I get lots of fruit aromatics in here with raisins, plums, some red apples, and I am sure a host of other stuff. There are some mild cracker notes in here that show a small reflection of oxidation so it gives it a dry papery impression as it warms a little. As the beer warms further, the aroma reminds me of red plum jam with the sweetness and the dark fruit in there.

Taste: The flavor is a big depart from the aroma. There is a whole lot of spiciness in the flavor that I didn't pick up in the aroma. I get some of the dark fruit I mentioned, but there is noticeable pepper in here. The dry-papery notes reflect sherry in the flavor and this just gains complexity as it warms. The finish is dry and well carbonated, so the serious alcohol is obscurred for the first few seconds of the finish. As it sets in, there is evident warming to last long into the finish.

Opinion: This is a really nice beer. It certainly isn't your average Tripel in that it is so dark and doesn't showcase the spicy hops like the others do. This beer has a wealth of malt complexities that almost put it in with the strong dark ales as much as a Tripel. The dryness in the finish is more characteristic of a Tripel. This is a really nice beer nonetheless and I would drink it again. I especially think that this one would be nice in Belgium. The next time I am there, I will seek this one out...along with Orval and some others.

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

Served with a moderate sized, dense tan head atop a red copper body, the beer displayed excellent head retention. The aroma was a well balanced malt and hops aroma which was appealing and begged me to take a drink. Upon taking the first sip, I was hit by a very sweet kaleidescope of flavors, all soaked in alcohol. Then a surprising roasted malt note crept in, with an ever so faint note of hop bitterness in the finish to help sweep away the chewy sweetness. The mouthfeel is excellent, very moist and supple feeling as it coats the tongue. The drinakbility is good considering the sweetness in the flavor and the ABV. This was a very pleasant experience that I hope to repeat sometime soon.

Photo of BeerDreadz
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
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 BeerDocT
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

Photo of SaddleSnake76
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%

Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml painted white, distinctly shaped bottle - kind of reminds me of those increasingly antique Old Spice containers.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, dark reddish amber hue, with a teeming tower of finely foamy and puffy ecru head, which leaves a few streaks of broken sudsy lace around the glass as it slowly and steadily retreats.

It smells of sweet, reduced brown sugar, strong dark fruit (prunes, dates, and raisins), a softly bready caramel malt, earthy yeast, and a mildly astringent booziness. The taste is dark, sugary candied fruit (the very same from the nose), with a more bready caramel malt backbone shoring up the sweet side of things - keeping this from being a saccharine wank-fest are some waning yeast, a nice earthy, musty hoppiness, and a timid alcohol warming.

The carbonation is moderate, manifesting mostly in a trilling frothiness, the body a rather hefty medium weight, slickly smooth, and perhaps a tad creamy. It finishes still sweet, the fruity malt maintaining a certain religious level of consistency, while the other esters dial it down to a mere murmur.

A decent strong Belgian dark ale - fairly rounded, despite the obvious focus on the fruit character, and a pleasant and recommended version of the style. Oh, and that 21-proof dragon of booze? Well domesticated, to say the least.

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
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 generalnotsew
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,355 ratings.