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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.

1,272 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,272
Hads: 3,614
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 19.57%
Wants: 269
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: 1,272 | Hads: 3,614
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gulden Draak on tap? Whoa! To what do I owe the pleasure of this at the Springhouse Drafting Room? Down boy. My fellow BA Shappuding kicked it with a growler purchase!

Plum colored, scant light rays escaped across the glass body, with creamy tan head the hurried off to a halo coating.

Dark grains, like wheat but lacking awl-kee-hawl esters. Afterscents of sour Belgian & bread.

Almost a barleywine, despite its Dark Triple moniker. Reminds me of a doublebock flavor. Malty caramel and roasted malts with Vermont Maple Syrup.

A mild sizzle mouthfeel lends to a ~eh~ 3.5/5 drinkability. Tread lightly and enjoy.

Last swigs: Comparable to a recently enjoyed AVERY Reverend Quad. Heavy hitter so slay the Draak if you are so inclined.

Beer is good. Happy heavy beering.

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Photo of shapudding
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Came from the tap a beautiful plum color, medium carbination, not too fizzy. Head reduced to a light creamy white colored ring. Light lacing. Surprising amount of carbination for the alcohol content. You can lightly taste the alcohol, but it is not too overpowering as to scare off those that do not like the flavor of it in their beer. Tastes like a barleywine, but not too intense. Nice. Sweet. Caramel, but not too heavy on it. Very smoth and creamy.

edit: Just have to note that I was back at The Drafting Room in Springhouse to have a bit more with drinking buddy blitheringidiot, and decided to make my Memorial Day weekend much more memorable by taking a growler of it with me! Sorry everyone in this area! That kicked the keg! But man it made me happy!!!

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The white bottle is very cool looking and the mahogany brown brew inside is equally interesting to look at. It has a massive craggy head with copious lacing left behind. The carbonation is remarkable. A whole universe of tiny pin prick bubbles with bigger ones interspersed. The nose is mainly of fruits, like plums prunes, maybe cherries and Im not sure what else. The taste is dominated by fruity flavors, mostly plum, there are also sherry/port alcohol elements and an interesting yeast character. The hops are very subdued. This beer is quite good but it is definitely not the best Belgian strong ale I have tried, its too malty and sweet (though by no means cloying). The finish is sweetish and somewhat bitter. The ABV is very well concealed. This is still a good beer and I would definitely have it again if given the oppurtunity.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

What a pleasant departure for me! Not sure I would do this very often but a nice change of pace. Served in a brandy snifter type glass which helped bring out the nectar-like aromas. Color is reddish-brown with a nice but not over-powering head. Very silky in the mouth and a sweetness that could get over powering. A good starter or finisher but not sure I'd hang my hat on this one the whole night. If you want a refreshing change, this is a winner. Went great with the chicken quesadillas I had.

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Photo of Sixpack595
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep and cloudy chestnut brown with a fair amount of tan foam. Aroma is sweet and spicy. Flavor is spicy with a lot of dark fruit and sweetness barely reigned in by the bitterness. Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy, and with the sweetness has a sticky quality to the aftertaste. Strong but still quite drinkable.

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Photo of dauss
3.46/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown, with just a hint of red. medium sized head that really stays. Good lacing all the way down the glass. Smells extremely odd. Very pungent, spicy, sour. This brew is extremely thick. It just sticks to your mouth and is a slow drinking beer. Its just overpowering how malty it is, how strong the mouthfeel is, and the sweetness. Not very hoppy, has a citrus flavor to it. Also its 10.5% abv, but you can hardly taste the alcohol at all. Definitely worth trying, at least once.

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Photo of Jason
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 330ml odd sized fatty that has a bone colored plastic lining to block UV-rays out. No freshness date

Appearance: Hazed brown leather color with a healthy looking head that sports some great retention.

Smell: Lemony with a candied alcoholic fruitiness, a tad buttery within the malt sweetness.

Taste: Very potent, spicy peppery alcohol, syrupy nectar like sweetness, meat broth and a hard dose of phenolics provide balance to the sweetness. Viscous smoothness. Estery with some warming fusel alcohols as well. The after taste has a faded herbal tea flavor which lingers with a residual sweetness.

Notes: At 10.5% abv it holds together quite well as there is enough body to match the alcoholic character. Veal Marsala with Parmesan coated linguini is a great pairing, try using this beer in a redux sauce with mushrooms and shallots over the veal.

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Photo of Tballz420
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew is a thick, cloudy brown/purple colored brew, decent sized tan foam head. Sweet grape, cherry, fruit scent, very nice. This brew is delicious. Lots of different fruit, sweet sugars, alcohol spice, hop bitterness on top of everything. This beer is damn good, and makes me quite interested in this style of beers.

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Photo of TerryW
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.54/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Gulden Draak pours ruby brown, almost clear with no traces of yeast?, but a generous sticky head for this ABV. Aroma is vinous, very malty (caramel, butterscotch) with a tickling grapes character melted with ashes. The taste is as sweet as anticipated, very caramelic, but mostly floral clover honey and licorice with a slight medicinal note and more brown sugar toward the finish which is all malt. I couldn't drink too much of this myself, but I appreciate the sipping experience and the medium body fits well. I think this would blend together better being forgotten for a while in a cave. Thanks Martin!

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: much darker pour than I expected for a "Golden Dragon" beer. Pours a moderate brown (with reddish golden highlights when backlit) with a nice, but small off-white head that was strong enough to hang together through the drinking session.

Aroma- much different than many Belgians I've had- for one thing, it was pretty weak. I poured this in a St. Bernardus goblet, which should have concentrated aromas, but it was weak. What was there was very hard for me to pull out specifics- grassy, semi-sweet, earthy tones are my best guess. Flavor was very nice- malty semi-sweet breadiness that included heavier fruits (plums & raisins), chocolate, & toffee. Not as sweet as some, but nice and rich tasting. There was a light herbal finish with a little sharp hop bite at the end- a nice touch. There was also a touch of alcohol feeling at the end.

Overall, this was a nice brew, and I enjoyed it, but it did not wow me. I guess the balance wasn't quite what I hoped for, and the aroma was disappointing.

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Photo of DESTRO
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

popped this one open last night in celebration of a friends birthday. it was pretty dark in the room but it looked to be a deep brown and it had a hell of a head with remarkable retention. nice. aromas are different, for sure. alcohol is in the air along with overly ripe bananas, figs and molasses. a bit odd, but not unpleasant. once in the mouth you immediatly get hit with the sweetness. ive never had a beer this sweet. molasses and brown sugar, ripe fruits (again banana), a bit rum like. the alcohol is well hidden. thick and hearty, filling and just flat out big, its slick in the mouth. def. a sipper, has dessert beer or night cap written all over it. a suprise in every way, a good suprise.

$2.99 a bottle

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Photo of Shaw
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed a 0.3L glass on-tap at my local pub, the Cock & Bull. I've had it several times before but finally got around to reviewing it.

It's a dark brown with reddish notes and a small head. It has a powerful aroma that includes malt, alcohol and spices. The smell carries over to the taste. It is quite the complex brew, far too complicated for my amateur palate. I note cherry sweetness along with nuts, malt and good old alcohol goodness. This is one of those beers you have to try to truly appreciate.

With 10.5 percent ABV, this ale has a wonderful mouthfeel. The alcohol glides over the tongue while its substantial body plays around with the rest of your mouth. Sorry to get so esoteric with the review. I'm writing it after finishing my glass so I'm still in the grips of Gulden Draak.

I wouldn't recommend drinking a lot of this ale, considering its strength. Enjoy it in moderation and when someone else is driving.

Gulden Draak is another winner from Belgium. Bless those brewers, for they have brought so much beer-laden joy to the world.

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.65/5  rDev +11%
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 Zorro
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Super dark brown beer, cloudy but I can pass light through it.

Smells like Chocolate and Vanilla and Bananas, with a touch of Brown Sugar.

Tastes better than expected. Lots of brown sugar and spice. This is sweet. Tastes like Date Pudding with spices. Very Complex flavor that can't be summed up in one sentence. Has a soft spice taste. Tastes like German Christmas Cookies! Lots of Brown sugar flavors, this is a Christmas brew, not quite as good as McChouffe, but close. Delicious!

Hearty Mouthfeel.

Drinkable? Just keep them coming Bar Keep!

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Photo of drewbage
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a nice solid white 33cl bottle with a touch of foxing around the crown of the bottle.

Pours into a my Het Kapittel chalice with a plop. Big fluffy tan head that really hangs up on the glass. Beer is a chocolate brown with a deep haze and virtually little red-brown highlights showing in the glass.

Aroma is plummy and winey with a just a touch of chocolate and cinnamon in the final touches lending a spiciness.

Body is clean with a similiar profile of sweet milk chocolate as a good milk stout. But instead of a roast nature the beer cuts to the finish with an acidity and spiciness from the yeast.

Alcohol becomes screamingly apparent in the finish as all of these other flavors drop off, faint touches of raisins and sulfur lasts through to the next sip. A faint touch of metal is in the final approach.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz white bottle purchased today at Spirit Haus, Amherst, MA. Bottle exploded foam upon opening, going everywhere in my beer/dart room, but enough was saved for sampling. We'll operate for the basis of this review that such presentation is not the norm.

Poured into a tulip glass, humungous meaty brownish head formed, possibly due to aforementioned foaming issue. Foam still alive and kicking five minutes later, with extensive lacing. Nice deep reddish-brown color to the beer, which is surprisingly opaque, allowing no light to pass through. Smells of yeast, malt, yeast malt, and alcohol proliferate. Tasting the liquid does not disappoint, tastes reinforce the aromas, and the 10.5% alcohol is not so much tasted as felt, warming your mouth and everything on down the body. An excellent cool weather beer, and, well, wouldn't be so out of place in warmer times either.

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Photo of MrBen
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I picked up a bottle of this fine stuff a few days ago. I was pleased to find an opaque bottle, but what was inside was far more impressive. Gulden Draak poured nicely and kept a head between 1/8-1/4" all the way to the bottom of the glass. The beer's color was very appealing and the smell invited curiousity. The tastes were a bit surprising at first, and frankly, at 10.5%, I wasn't sure what awaited.

Anyway, the flavors were big, round, and complex. Lots of floral notes with some candy in there and maybe a tiny hint of pink peppercorns (try a whole pink peppercorn on its own -- it's nothing like black pepper), and just everything sweet in between. The mouthfeel pretty much made the experience for me. The beer was thick, not chewy necessarily, but I could almost sense the presence of two viscosities or thicknesses in there. Very exciting. The beer left a very light coating in my mouth that quickly dissolved between sips, and the aftertaste was probably the most pleasant I'd ever had -- and long lasting.

I agree with other reviews that this beer may be best enjoyed after a big meal, as a dessert. While I don't think its big flavor would detract from a good steak or grilled burger, I do believe that the mix just might not fit too well. I strongly recommend Gulden Draak to anyone -- both the newcomers to Belgians and the guys who are knee deep in the rich traditions. What a fantastic beer.

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Photo of irishmoss
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml caged and corked bottle with no apparent date. I love the idea of an absolute lightproof bottle. Poured a very dark garnet/brown color with an almond head that reduced till it sat on top. Initial aroma from the bottle was cotton candy, but when poured it was spicy and like a fresh cut field. The taste was heavy malts and brown sugar with brandy soaked cherries and plums. There were some faint hints of caramel in the finish, perhaps burnt. There was a little hoppiness to the finish, but not much. Alcohol is masked well, making this quite drinkable. A complex ale in a sweet-kinda way, would have liked to see more hops here. But over all it was a great experience that I would love to have again.

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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 WanderingFool
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gulden Draak is a nice full flavored dark belgian beer. It pours a hazy dark orange color that reminded me of apple cider. The head is slightly off white, medium bodied and remains all the way to the bottom of the glass. An aroma of clove, brown sugar, yeast and mild alcohol hovers over the surface.

Each sip of this slightly chewy medium bodied beer is packed with flavor. It's an interesting combination of clove, bubblegum, and caramel malt. There are hints of alcohol and a brown sugar sweetness mixed in that contribute to its sweet finish. A mild alcohol and caramel malt flavor is left behind.

This beer seems to me like a good example of the Belgian strong dark ale style, but does not seem any better or worse than other brands out there, such as Unibroue Maudite.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy red with some dark orange hints with minor head and lace. Citric smells or orange and lemom with some spice and faint malt. Flavor is much stronger than aroma, peppery with some malty, almost molasses like sweetness. Aftertase has some serious residual sweetness, yet it is not cloying but rather neat sweetness.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance – The body is a beautiful, almost glowing brown and somewhat clear. I couldn’t work a head to save my life, which is not unusual for some of these high ABV ales.

Smell – The huge malt and alcohol nose fills the room. This one is super sweet with lots of crushed, soggy, alcohol-soaked fruits such as cherries (lots of cherries), raisins, star fruit, some banana, and figs.

Taste – My Lord, this is thick. It’s almost like a malt/fruit syrup soaked in booze. All the notes from the smell come out at the tongue, especially the figs and cherries. This is really strong.

Mouthfeel – No carbonation but very thick and sweet.

Drinkability – This would make a great “dessert ale” or a fine aperitif, which is what I used it for.

Comments – This one was difficult to rate. It lacked some classic aspects of the BSDA style such as big, fluffy carbonation and dominant malts, yet scored big on the blend of fruits and booze. I was therefore reserved in my rating but expressed my enthusiasm for this ale in the Drinkability category.

BTW – This comes in a really unique solid white bottle. My label fell off when I pulled it from the fridge, so it looked like somebody’s home brew. Cool.

Update – I originally rated this from an ’03 bottle so thought I’d take another crack with an ’05. The head came up a bit better and the ale seemed more balanced. It wasn’t as boozy, had more yeasty notes, and carbonation was a bit tighter. I changed the ratings around a bit, but any way you cut it this is a good beer.

Update – The 2007 is a real gem. It's buttery smooth, shows some killer yeast, and hides every bit of alcohol.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 12 oz. glass at Burgh's. The color was a dark brown, with a wispy white head. The smell was an appleish sweetness. The taste was very apply sweet, with lots of candi sugar sweetness, and an alcohol that was present but not in the least overwhelming. Mouthfeel was nice and thick. Drinkability, despite the 10.5%, would be excellent, and I would be happy having quite a few of these.

Amongst the best Belgians brought into the US. Beautifully sweet, and drinking much underneath its ABV, Gulden Draak is simply a fantastic beer, and certainly one that I will have again!

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Photo of Crosling
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy orange when held up to the light. A very odd color to say the least. Perfect belgian head, frothy dense and magical. Thick sticky lacing. Ahhh...Belgians.

Incredible nose on this one!!! Sugars, raisins, alcohol, bright apples, sour cherries, yeast, pine and more sugars. Wow!

Slightly disappointed with the flavor but this still was pretty damn tasty. Strawberries, raisins, alcohol, prunes, yeast, sour cherries dipped into sugar and a hard to notice tart undetone. Alcohol is hidden very well. Mid palate seemed to be struggling a bit but a nice lingering finish. Very smooth which makes this really drinkable.

Nice beer that I'll be sure to sample on tap when I am in Belgium this summer.

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
93 out of 100 based on 1,272 ratings.