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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.

1,264 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,264
Hads: 3,578
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 19.57%
Wants: 256
Gots: 622 | 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 (91) | 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: 1,264 | Hads: 3,578
Photo of Cresant
3.16/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured this undated 11.2 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Created a very tall off-white creamy head. A cap of foam remained throughout the entire leisurely session. Body was a nearly opaque burgandy/brown color.

Smell was primarily of sweet malts. Grains. Dried fruits and alcohol.

Taste reflected the aromas. Sweet. Raisins. Alcohol.

Mouthfilling creaminess.

High alcohol ensures that I do not drink this one too quickly. However. for the high ABV it is quite drinkable. There are too many excellent Belgians available for me to return to this one for a long time.

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Photo of brdc
3.16/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beautiful beer with a strong dark color and a nice tan head.
Smells like roasted malts, somewhat like a porter which I thought it was odd.
Taste is also peculiar for a belgian strong dark ale, with the usual heavy malts but a bitter taste that I cannot relate to hops and it just feels different, although not unpleasant.
Full bodied, however, it has that strange bitter taste that makes me wonder if this beer was not too long on the shelf.
As it is, I do not really like it, but will give it another try.

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Photo of HeroJH
3.18/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm having trouble liking this one, or wanting more. I think I just have to get used to this kind of belgian. I find the sweet tangy ness a bit much for my palette and I find I pucker a bit after I take a sip. I'll keep trying though. And I'll probably get this again eventually once I become more familiar with these.

A - Dark dark brown, nice lacing

S - Sweet/ Sour, caramel

T - Sour and tangy

M - sweet finish on my palete

D - Better once it warms up, you get more of the body and fullness to offset just the sweet.

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Photo of bucko
3.18/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours with a nice carmely-brown color, almost opaque, or at least very dense. The head is off-white and at least a couple of inches which settles to about 1/2 inch after some time. The smell is sweet with hints of fruit and perhaps cake, perhaps even a little nutty. I'm not so crazy about the first sip, all I'm tasting is alcohol. Second sip I the sweet malt takes over. The aftertaste is powerful and not unlike that of a good port, albeit a bit smokey and most noticably not a port. Long term after-taste is almost astringant and I can't help but want something else to wash it away. The mouthfeel is odd to me. It looks like it should be heavier, and it's anything but light, but it isn't heavy, either. Confused? So am I. Very complex. Perhaps too much for my taste. I think I'll have to try a few more before I have a solid opinion.

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Photo of gc0801
3.2/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

Had: 2 months ago, from notes
Serving type: Bottle, interesting shape/design/texture, certainly unique. Bottle was on on sale for 8.00, usually is 10-12 or so.
Poured into a regular glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark color, petrol dark+some brown, legs of alcohol down the glass. Nothing much to say here. I like the color/legs of Strong belgian beers (and really, who does not?)

Smell: feint alcoholic burn, dark fruits, caramel, smells like a heavy beer

The alcohol burn is much more felt here. Overpowering sweetness and harshness due to the alcohol burn. Dark fruits and caramel still comes through. Actually tastes good but the high burn level prevents much enjoyment sadly. It becomes more enjoyable after the first few sips however curiously.

Too much of an alcohol burn to really feel much else, not that enjoyable compared to the taste.

It is hard to say whether I like this or not. I enjoy the taste but the alcohol is just way too overpowering.. It is simply too strong to be a SDA but somehow it does not have the balance of what I usually see from a Quad. Has some of the bad qualities of both as well as well as most of the good qualities. Would prefer there to be slightly less alcohol. Simply too much burn.
If the alcohol was half-way hidden, this would get a 3.5-4 easily, if it was fully hidden (as beautifully as some other Strong Dark Ales/Dubs/Quads/ I have had) 4-4.5 or higher, easily.


Retried it to give it as second chance. Sipped it slowly and had it in a proper glass. A bit more balanced now. going up to 3.25

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.21/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

After all the hype, this one just did not do it for me. Too sweet I guess. Pours a mostly clear light brown color with a light, fluffy cream-colored head. Nice lacing and retention.

Smell is of minerals, earth, yeast and sweet malts. Hints of champagne and scotch ale, has a pretty big nose in general.

Thin, sweet and different are the first things that come to mind upon quaffing. I also taste some fountain cola syrup and heavy toasty malts. Almost seems like it has too much unfermentable sugars, and that may be on purpose, but it does not quite do it for me. Fun to try, but at nearly $5 a pop, I believe I'll pass next time.

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Photo of Rumrunner
3.23/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle

Pours a mahogany color. It looks like a thick iced tea. Good foamy head at the start but it disappears quickly. The scents are strong brown sugar, some caramel and a deep wet grass finishes the smells.

A very malty brew. The sweet brown sugar is very dominant. A caramel syup adds to the flavors and a sweet fruit finish. A very sweet overall flavor for this ale. Too sweet for me. It is like candy. The sweetness is also an after flavor. The alcohol is very present in the flavor of this ale.

It feels bold and crisp. A heavy touch to the mouthfeel. If you like sweet brews give this one a try.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I was given a bottle of Brouwerij Van Steenberge's Gulden Draak. I was pretty sure I've had this beer before, but when I looked it up it showed that I hadn't reviewed it, so I don't know if I tried it or not, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a white Belgian style bottle into a chalice.

A- The bottle looks nice, it's got a distinctive look to it that makes it stick out a little. It poured a muddy brown color that took on some crimson hues around the edges when held to the light with about a fingers worth of bubbly tan head that quickly faded to a thin ring that eventually disappeared and it didn't leave any lacing behind This was a decent looking beer, but I wish the head and lacing were a little better.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness and it's followed by a fruity aroma being the first to show up and that seems like a pretty even mixture of dark fruit and apple juice like aromas. Up next a slight brown sugar aroma along with some caramel and light toffee like aromas and there's a some spicy Belgian yest showing up in the background. The aroma was decent, but the apple juice aromas were unwanted.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar and it starts off with a lighter amount of high sweetness that had a brown sugar like flavor to it and it was followed by the same fruity aspects that I got in the aroma, but this time they are lighter with neither aspect sticking out the most. Up next comes the malts which impart a sweet malt, light caramel and light toffee flavors with some brown bread and spicy belgian yeast in the background. On the finish there's a slight boozy flavor with pretty much no bitterness and it had caramel, toffee and dark fruit like aftertaste. This was a decent tasting beer, but I thought the sweetness was a little too high.

M- A little smooth, slightly cloying, a little sticky, fairly crisp, on the lighter side of being full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was decent, but I wish it was a little smoother and not so sticky.

Overall I thought this was a decent beer and I thought it was a pretty average example Belgian Strong Dark Ale, the brewery claims this in a dark Tripel, but to me it's just an average Belgian Strong Dark Ale and there isn't anything about it that immediately makes me think of a Tripel. This beer didn't have the best drinkability, it was a little smooth, slightly cloying, a little sticky, fairly crisp, a little filling and the taste didn't do the best job at holding my attention, so I think one bottle would be my limit and even that is a little more than enough, I wouldn't want to have another one in a row. What I like the most about this beer was nothing, there wasn't one single aspect that stuck at as being better than the rest. What I liked the least about this beer was the sweetness and lack of complexity, that seemed to be this beers biggest downfalls. I might buy this beer again if I knew it was fresh, but I'm in no hurry to find a fresh bottle and as it stands now I can't say I would recommend it. All in all I just wasn't too into this beer it seemed a little bland and with the sweetness sticking out the most it didn't really make for the best introduction to a dark Tripel. This isn't my favorite beer from this brewery or my favorite BSDA. Better luck next time guys, this one just wasn't for me.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.28/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle poured in a fancy glass.

Pours a dark brown with some ruby hints with very little head and a bit of lacing. Not very dark for a dark beer.

Taste is very complex, alcohol is slightly harsh and a bit sharp. There are some raisin and prune notes to it. Tastes lingers, there's quite a bit of Belgian taste to it, but not too strong. Quite a good mouthfeel, very thick and creamy almost.

Drinkability is a bit low just because there is so much going on, it'll kill your pallet pretty damn fast.

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Photo of gopens44
3.28/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice murky reddish brown beverage sporting a rather enthusiastic latte colored foamy head that dissipated after just a few minutes, leaving behind a 1/8" blanket.

S - Something in the dark fruit arena stikes my nose first. Maybe even currant. A little spicing dances around the bombastic yeast party, fueled by a definite alcohol brightness.

T - There are some dark cherry things going on in the taste that is nearly overpowered by the alcoholic yeast fandango that quickly demands attention. Not oncredibly well balanced in my opinion. Maybe some age could tame this dragon a bit.

M - Well carbonated and surprisingly thin despite the color. Heavy alcohol presence in the finish with just a bit of bitterness in the aftertaste.

This one could have been better if not so boozy. Yes, it has a high ABV, but it's just not as well balanced as some othre representatives of the style.

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Photo of mschofield
3.28/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Deep red with a crackiling bubbly reddish tan head.
Aroma of wet wheat, fruit and horse blankets.
Robustly flavored of dark fruit (fig/cherry/plum), molasses and roasted caramel. Notes of a distilled spirit nature.
Medium-full feel, very syrupy.
Seemed as if it hadn't fully fermented, almost like malt extract.

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Photo of craigdb
3.31/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

If this really was a darker triple, I might be inclined to rate it higher. Instead I get a boozy, overcarbonated dubel. It's not terrible, but like the 9000, it's something other than what it should be.

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Photo of RodneyFarva
3.33/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a chalice

a: pours a dark brown ruby with a two finger fluffy head. decent lacing. very nice color.

s: aroma of malts, brown sugar sweetness, dark fruits, strong alcohol heat.

t: brown sugar sweetness, raisins and plums. quite boozy and syrupy, and overly sweet. alcohol quite apparent.

o: lots of different interesting flavors, but the alcohol presence and sweetness really got to me. at the end, it was difficult to finish rather than enjoyable once it had warmed up considerably. interesting beer, but flawed.

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Photo of jhicks12
3.33/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured a nice Brown amber burgundy color with a fluffy with head.

Smell: nice sweet malt and citrus and a little alcohol in there as well.

Taste: Nice balanced malt sweet nice with a little clove and citrus in the finish

Mouthfeel: Nice Bubble carbonation and smooth feel. Gulden Draak has a nice balance

Drinkability: One of the more drinkable Belgians in my opinion, I would actually beable to drink more than one. Most Belgians are either too sweet or a little to dry. The

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Photo of blakesell
3.34/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a big 750ml bottle into a St. Bernardus belgian cereal bowl.

Appearance- A cloudy dark brown almost opaque with a huge head of froth that never really dissapates. Comes to a creamy slosh on the top of the beer lacing/legs all up on the glass.

Smell- Dark fruits, fig, molasses, prunes, rasin, a hidden candi sugar that disguises itself well in with the fruits and yeasty esters. Much of the belgian style yeast permeating thru this beer.

Taste- Sweet with sugars and a phenolic alcohol bite at the end, a lactose style creaminess that is reminescent of Rochefort lingering in the background. The yeast in this beer does a fine job of hiding those sugars throughout.

Mouthfeel- Here's where this beer runs short. A sticky cloying mouthfeel that makes you feel like you have been eating candy all day. I've had lucky charms with less sugary mouthfeel.

Drinkability- It's ok for drinkability, but the 10.5% ABV would kill the average person trying for a session here. I'm glad I'm cooking with the rest.

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Photo of paterlodie
3.36/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice white botle; great name.... what to expect? Nice darkbrown colour with a lightbrown head that lasts. Malty nose that tends to sweet and hardly any caramel but litle hops. Tast is sweet and full bodied and aftertast starts sweet but finishes bitter. To sweet( and alcoholic) to drink more than one.

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Photo of TheStoutAholic
3.36/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Glass type: tulip glass.

A: Well this is my first DARK Triple therefore was very dark for a triple

S: The smell was very sweet smelled of fruit.

T: This was a very fruity tasting Triple.

M: Has a very fruity taste with a head that doesn't mask its flavor one bit.

D: It started tasting better as it warmed up to room temperature.

This was my first taste of a Dark Triple therefore I have nothing to compare it to, it was decent, more fruity than I was ready for though.

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Photo of bark
3.36/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The colour is brown-red, the liquid is clear. The large head is pale brown; it sinks slowly leaving lots of thick lacing.

The smell is fresh and a bit roasted. Phenol-notes of soap and chemicals. Some bitter and dry flavours.

The taste is sweet and spicy with lightly roasted fruity notes. It reminds me a bit of Coca-Cola. Sour-bitter hints in the aftertaste, as well as warming alcohol, earthy-fruity notes in the finish.

The carbonation is fresh and short. The carbonation is a bit smooth.

This is a beer that I used to recommend as a interesting and a bit unusual Belgian beer. But now when I think about it, it is not that special. Still an OK beer, though.

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Photo of korguy123
3.37/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330ml into Founders snifter.

A- Muddy swamp water pour with ruby highlights. Aggressive pour gave me a finger width off white head. Even hard swirls left me with very little. Lacing is spotty at best.

S- Slight rubbing alcohol mixed with chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla, figs and various other stone fruits. Yeasty like a doughnut.

T- Quite sweet with brown sugar and vanilla up front. Stone fruits and yeast in the back with a slight alcohol taste.

M- Medium bodied with slight prickly carbonation. Alcohol burn on the tongue and on the way down.

O- I'm really becoming a strong supporter of the BSDA, this one had wonderful potential but the alcohol being so out there in all aspects made me a little disappointed. It probably needs time to mellow out.

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Photo of OatherS
3.38/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Short stubby white bottle with a black label with a gold dragon on the front and cap. 330 cL bottle.

Appearance: Loud foamy pour. One finger head that is bubbly. Dark color with a hint of amber.

Smell: Winey and alcoholy odor.

Mouthfeel: Sharp, bubbly, alcoholy hit to the taste buds.

Taste/Drinkability: A nice malty flavor that is a little bit too strong and striking for my tastes.

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Photo of jettjon
3.38/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the Belgium sampler pack. 330 ml/11.2 oz bottle. Pours dark brown coffee color with light brown, copious, foamy head that fades slowly. Perhaps some yeast residue but hard to tell due to dark color. Very few bubbles precipitate. Nose is quite pleasant with a pronounced scent of fruit, perhaps cherry or strawberry or watermelon or some similarly sweet fruit. Initial taste is fruity yet slightly bitter. The alcohol is there but at 10.5% ABV, it is remarkably well masked, or perhaps integrated. Crisp, bubbly mouthfeel. Slight metallic iron/blood finish. Overall interesting and remarkably drinkable for a triple-malt, but not a favorite. Rated at a 90, I’ll have to give this one a second try. Perhaps I’m not ready for this beer yet, or perhaps this particular bottle had a bad metallic aftertaste not characteristic of others.

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Photo of palliko
3.38/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a cloudy mahogany with some foam that lasts a while. Aroma has citrus and plums, mixed with toffee malt. Initial taste contains a biting jalapeno pepper, honey and beef broth. Terrific – sounds like a great combination, doesn’t it? Finish is strange, with ethanol and Earl Grey vying for dominance. Um, I’ll pass on this one. Might be good with certain foods.

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Photo of emagana
3.38/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a dark brown with little to no head. I poured super slow so that may contribute to the head. When I first started to smell the beer was during the pour. The yeast was definatly present. In the tulip I got hints of bubble gum and some ripe bannanas. A little alcohol. At first drink I get a caramel malt over powering flavor. Mouth feel shows plenty of carbonation from the second fermentation. I then get lingering bubble gum as it finishes. The beer will compliment some grilled potatoes. I enjoyed this one.

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Photo of melbow
3.39/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The first taste was sweet and delicious, warming me on a cold night. The second was not any different, in a bad way. The only thing you can taste while sipping is the distinct sweet taste of burnt caramel that hits the palette strong and lingers.

It was very one dimensional.

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Photo of david18
3.4/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had a twelve ounce draft of this at the Amsterdam Ale House on the Upper West side. One of the reasons I like Tripels over Dubbels, Quads and Strong Darks is because I like the lightness better. So I'm not sure what a dark Tripel is.

This beer was pretty good but not a real standout. Color was a dark amber with a dark head and low to medium carbonation. Aroma was typical for a quad, yeast, dark fruit, very little hops. The flavor as well had a lot of malty and dark fruit characteristics. Good if you like quads.

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
93 out of 100 based on 1,264 ratings.