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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.

3,084 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,084
Reviews: 1,206
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 173
Gots: 295 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,084 | Reviews: 1,206 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of endincolorado
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

endincolorado, Apr 25, 2009
Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

BarryMFBurton, Jun 20, 2011
Photo of soccerman7
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

soccerman7, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of PHSCAPT
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

PHSCAPT, Sep 23, 2012
Photo of rfgetz
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

rfgetz, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of BricksandPorter
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

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.


BricksandPorter, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of Portertime
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

Portertime, Jul 13, 2009
Photo of Jesstyr
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

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...

Jesstyr, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of jmdrpi
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

jmdrpi, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of brystmar
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

brystmar, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of Zimbo
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

Zimbo, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of hoegaardenhero
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

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

hoegaardenhero, Jul 15, 2008
Photo of aubuc1
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

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

aubuc1, Jul 24, 2008
Photo of ferrari29
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

Beer poured from bottle into a Tulip shaped glass

A - Beer pours with a thick creamy light brown colored head; that holds well; nice layer of sticky lacing forms around glass; dark amber colored body is cloudy in appearance and is well carbonated

S - Fantastic dark fruit nose; figs and raisin; caramel malt and lots of brown sugar; as the beer warms up, its high alcohol content really begins to transcend the other scents in the beer; touch of toffee

T - Really good dark fruit flavors; nice mixture of dark figs and dates; raisins; caramel malt back-end and plenty of high alcohol burn; caramel malt finishes the sip

M - Creamy and smooth; burns the throat a bit; leaves behind a linger toasted malt flavor; refreshing

D - Great beer, I picked this up in Italy at a local grocery store, brought it back to the states and finally had it; I wish we had more beers like this in the US; anyway, its a great drink with great dark fruit flavors and fantastic nose; not for the faint of heart

ferrari29, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of elgiacomo
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip and chalice. I think this is about two years old. Pours brown with ruby highlights, nice big beige head, very foamy, retains nicely, Some large clumps of lace. Quite attractive.

Aroma starts yeasty and a bit funky with raisins, apples, banana, balanced with healthy dose of sweet chocolate, caramel, and toffee malts. Complex and very nice.

Flavor sweet chocolate, caramel, malty, with a good balance of apples, raisins and other fruits, some candy sugar and yeast/bread. Sweet overall, but incredibly complex and delicious. Some alcohol warming, but not hot in any way. I can see a fresh bottle having a bit of alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel is full and rich, yet prickly carbonation, especially when first poured. The sweetness and fullness can become a tad cloying toward the end.

I had passed this by many, many times, despite the beautiful bottle, being under the assumption it was a golden triple which isn't one of my favorite styles. Really glad I tried this, Gulden Draak is incredible, highly recommended. Great depth, evolves tremendously with temperature. Not your average Tripel by any means.

elgiacomo, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of Celtics76
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

Kicked off the weekend with this and an episode of Game of Thrones. Not a bad start.

Pours dark copper with at least an inch and a half of head. Impressive. Reduces quite slow. Smells yeasty as expected. Tastes of yeast, bread, and a hint of banana. A mild alcohol burn which goes with the territory considering the 10.5% ABV. Has a medium, somewhat syrupy feel to it.

This one's a powerhouse. It's surprisingly easy to drink considering the potency of it. But I've chosen to sip it very slowly considering the complexity and cost of it. At $5 per bottle this is a nice "special occasion" beer - not something I would drink on a regular basis but worth every penny when I do.

Celtics76, Oct 05, 2012
Photo of TheViolator666
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

11.2 oz. bottle poured into Gulden Draak snifter.

A: Pours a dark orange hue with a healthy two-finger off-white head. Fluffy and leaves beautiful lacing.

S: Smells sugary sweet, but mostly alcoholic. Some fruits as well as a bit of yeast.

T: Very complex. There is a certain spice effect going on, but I can't pinpoint just what spices, a bit of sourness as well. Toffee-like sweetness and fruit - mostly cherries. There is definitely alcohol, and leaves a dry yeasty aftertaste. This one'll warm you up.

M/D: Nice full body with a generous amount of carbonation. This one is bottle conditioned, however I did not see much yeast toward the end, only a few black specks. The high amount of alcohol present takes away from it's drinkability.

TheViolator666, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of aeminter
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

Dark rich amber with constant effervescence, creamy beige head and good lacing.
Smells of dates and spice.
The taste reminds me a little of barley wine. Malty...full-bodied...little bitterness.
This is in no way a chugging beer. This ale needs to be savored.

aeminter, Dec 19, 2008
Photo of TerryW
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

Good looking beer. Rich chestnut red colour with a nice tight long-lived head that gives up good lace. Very handsome brew.

Sweet, deliciously malty nose. Lots of fruit, well ripened banana, underlaid by noticeable but not overpowering alcohol. Great beer to inhale over and over before taking a pull.

Caramel and burned sugar flavours. Candied cherry fruit and raisins. Noticeable alcohol. Powerful mouthfeel, syrupy but not offensive, quite smooth with lingering alcohol finish.

This is a very interesting beer to drink. Lots of interesting things happening in the aroma and flavour that make it worth savouring. Perhaps a little too much alcohol presence, but quite enjoyable overall.

TerryW, Mar 17, 2004
Photo of morebeergood
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

Purchased a 12 oz bottle in December 2005 and I have had this in my beer cellar until I decided to drink it this past weekend, July 2007. Poured it into a Duvel chalice, which produced a nice large fluffy white head that only lasted briefly. The smell was like candy, very sweet tasting. The color was a dark red, almost bordering on brown. The taste blew me away though. Malty, and with huge notes of sugar and fruit. It was a pleasure to just sip and enjoy. The taste got even better as it warmed up to room temp. The only drawback from this beer was that it's high in alcohol, I felt it after barely finishing one. So I am glad I had just this one on my evening's menu.

morebeergood, Jul 16, 2007
Photo of magictacosinus
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%

Poured out of a 11.2oz bottle into a tulip glass. This bottle is over a year and a half old at this point. I've tried this many times before, but this is the perhaps the oldest that I've had it. This is the last bottle that I've saved from the Van Steenberge gift pack that I purchased in December 2012.

When fresh, this retains a ruby darkish color overall, but the age on this definitely shows this time around, showcasing a garnet brownish color with a typically fluffy off-khaki head. The fluff in particular resembles the same effect as a newly poured root beer float, and while it dies down quickly, it manages to leave behind a strong half finger of head that lasts a good long while. Carbonation shows, with bubbles gliding upwards from the center of the glass, despite minor cloudiness fogging the beer up. This is a classic beer of its kind, and very recognizable among the pack.

While this still smells sweet ever after all this time, the age on this reveals some yeasty and malt nuances I haven't encountered before - funky yeasty phenols resembling a freshly cut green pear, yellow apples, caramelized banana, and, of course, the usual array of raisins, dates, prunes washed in a caramel substance. Toasted toffee finishes it up, alongside a green bell pepper, white peppercorn spiciness that tingles the nostrils each time. Smells sweet at the finish, but the booze is well hidden and the malt and yeasty notes keep things interesting. Far less boozy than their quad (or worse, their Piraat ale), and it's definitely victorious from that perspective.

The flavor comes as a pleasant surprise, especially considering how well cut down the sweetness this time around. Rather than the heavy Port/plum malt profile this beer is typically known of, the apple/pear yeast combo is nice and toasty, and the peppery flavor coats the caramelized dried fruit sweetness nicely, making it an easy beer to drink and hiding the alcohol effectively while striving for complexity. The peppery texture tingles the palate, and warms up the throat, and the caramel, light Sherry note at the finish makes it earthier and nuttier, with a decadent yet restrained sweetness that is approachable. Coats the palate well with a firm viscosity, and finishes lightly yeasty yet bitter, earthy, and spicy.

Not sure if I like it fresh or with age on it, but it still is a classic, even here. This was one of the greats for me when I first started drinking better beer, and revisiting it with age on it was a pleasure indeed. I don't usually drink Belgian beers of this kind anymore, but it works joyfully as a dessert offering even at this point. This is also one of the most recommended offerings to present to people that have a skewed viewpoint on beer. For a monster beer, very drinkable and definitely enjoyable.

magictacosinus, Apr 21, 2014
Photo of CloudStrife
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%

11.2oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours an opaque ruby with a 1 finger mostly white head. Tons of visible carbonation can be seen in the body. Head sticks around as a pretty thick layer for quite a long time. Leaves some lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Has a dark fruity aroma, some yeastiness in the background. More of a fruit than I expected.

T: A very well blended balance of fruits, yeast and a great malt backing. A little sweet with lots of fruit notes. Cherry mostly. Malts are really smooth.

M: Nice thick mouthfeel without feeling heavy. Mostly due to the high levels of carbonation.

Overall a very impressive beer. Bet it would hold up for a while in the bottle. On the sweeter side, but something tasty to sip on.

CloudStrife, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of dacrza1
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%

Corked bottle after a good day of work...thin, transparent body with a reddish-brown hue in a Chimay glass...a citrus (grapefruit?) aroma...smooth back-of-mouth malt/hop balance. The effects of the alcohol grow slowly, warming yet heightening the sensesa pleasat digestif, indeed....

dacrza1, Jun 08, 2007
Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%

A: Poured dark brown into a snifter glass with a thick, beige head. There's a moderate level of carbonation and good head retention.
S: There are aromas of sweet malts and dark fruits, along with some hints of spices.
T: The taste is rather complex. There's an overall sweetness from the malts and the fruits but this is balanced to a large degree by the hops. The finish is slightly dry and flavors of spices are evident in the aftertaste. The amount of sweetness increases as this beer warms up.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and the carbonation lends smoothness.
D: It's rather drinkable and the alcohol is hidden very well, although you really need to sip this beer because it's strong.

metter98, Apr 17, 2010
Photo of tfield
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%

This one comes recommended by Depak at Kingdom Liquors in Brandon. Poured from a bottle into a DFH snifter.

A - Opaque, reddish brown in color with a finger or so head.

S - Out of the bottle, the smell is not all that strong. Some dark fruits - raisins, dates, etc. As the beer warms the smell becomes more pronounced.

T - Sweet dark fruits and caramel malts. Some alcohol in the finish but not all that strong, considering this is 10+ percent. As with the smell, the flavor is more complex as the beer warms, when the flavor of the fruit and brown sugar sweetness is really obvious.

M - Medium-bodied, low carbonation.

D - The alcohol is not easily noticed, helping this one sneak up on you. I could see drinking two glasses, but no more.

A good sipping beer for an evening on the couch, in my case watching "Clash of the Titans" with the kids.

tfield, Aug 09, 2010
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,084 ratings.