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

1,292 Reviews
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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001

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Reviews: 1,292 | Ratings: 3,730
Photo of Cwrw
3.43/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Brought back from Brussels. BB: 30/03/06

Pouring from the faux-ceramic white bottle with the strangely Asian-looking black label, Draak poured beautifully into my abbey-style glass, revealing an extrememly rich-toned beer. At first I seen light ruby, and a dark brown with hints of red, with the slightest touch of light orange.Thick, sedimentary and caramel-thick in body-appearance. A mocha-coloured head formed, which was solid and thick, but was not very consistent throughout my drinking it. Swirling the glass from time to time kept it creamy. Patchy lace, sticky but not screening the glass. The aroma is rather complex, with dark mustiness and phenols dominating. Dark fruits, richly sweet malt. Hints of licorice and leather, horehound, medicinal syrup. Prunes and dates also were quite easy to smell. Initially, the aroma with the glass a good distance from my nose was mouthwatering fruitiness; in closer, the alcohol is immediately evident. Later I sense sourdough and sharp blue cheese. Beastly malt, huge alcohol, and yeast. The flavour at first was metallic, like iron, followed by intense fruit like a cherry brandy, or mollasses. A finish of yeast and oiliness, the everpresent alcohol, and a great deal of bitterness for me. The aftertaste is initially all sweetness, but after a few seconds it leaves the throat very dry and dusty-feeling, which is why I rated mouthfeel and drinkability quite low. The feeling left in my mouth disappointed me: alcohol combined with extreme must is far too dry; mouth-puckering muskiness. Dry tannins as in a rich red wine. This beer literally seemed to purge all saliva from my mouth, and I could actually feel my glands pumping to hydrate my mouth. For me personally, this greatly reduces is drinkability value. Others may not have the same experience. The least taste is in the middle, though it remains full-bodied and resiny. Oily yet gaseous in the mouth. The lees were less sweet, with a strong iron taste. I enjoyed this beer up until the mouth could not handle the dry dustiness. Too much alcohol in the character of it.

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Photo of chunkylover53
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mmmm. I like this beer a lot.

It's full of heady goodness - huge bubbles that stack up way above the glass. And the smell - very caramelly with a hint of fruit and very very strong. I could smell it from 4 feet away.

It pours a dark, cloudy mahogany and laces really thickly.

As for the taste: Lots of caramel, and very warm from the alcohol, but smooth.

I wish I could get this on it's own instead of in a gift set with a bunch of other beers.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This a beer that I order when I bring people to try good beers at the Sharp Edge for the first time. Most people are impressed by the 20oz. tulip shaped glass with the golden dragon on it, plus I know that the imbiber is going to get happy real quick. Appearance: Deep mahogany huge velvety tan light brown head extravagant fine lacing very detailed and webbed. Aroma: Deep mulilayered with fruit and fusel alcohol contains a nice balance between sweetness and the herbal hop profile. Taste: Mild chocolate notes with raisin and apple tones that come out slightly caramelized ripened fruit with a toasted nut edge to it all with a slight spiciness that brings the mouth a full orgy of flavors. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied effervescent a true gem in the realm of Belgian beer. Drinkability: Dangerously easy to consume try to keep it to just one of these bad boys in a sitting, definitely one of my all time favorite Belgians.

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Photo of ybnorml
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a dark brown ale with mahogony highlights and a foamy dark tan head that leaves some lace. The aroma has a plummy rich dried fruit characteristic that sheilds most of the high octane alcohol from your nose. That same sweet dried fruit characteristic starts up the flavor and blends nicely with the peppery hop finish. Then you get that tummy warming alcohol sensation. Yum.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.6/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well, despite its name, this beer pours a deep amber color, with ruby highlights when held up to the light. The head is midsized and light brown in color. The aroma is of dark fruit (plum and raisin), rum, and a sort of spiciness that reminds me a bit of coriander. The beer is fairly well carbonated as it fizzes on my tongue. It is sweet and fruity with raisin definitely dominating the fruit component, but notes of figs and prunes are evident as well. The combination of the sweetness and fruitiness gives this beer a certain richness that I was not expecting (you can tell it has been quite a while since I last had this). Overall this is quite a tasty beer, nothing that really makes it stand out and perhaps a bit too sweet, but it is a well built tasty beer.

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Photo of paterlodie
3.36/5  rDev -20%
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 kbub6f
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

There's one inch of fine, tan foam over a hazy, dark brown beer with reddish highlights. Sugar and bread in the strong nose. Is that figs? Toffee? Burnt caramel? A strong, sweet, grapesy/raisiny front gives way to a full, fizzy, sweet middle. Almost sweet chocolate. Hot alcohol in the finish with loads of overripe fruit. Bready burps. This is a very strong tasting beer. It's sweet, fruity, bready. Almost too sweet for me, but very good.

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Photo of Goldorak
3.63/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at Staminee de Garre, in the proper glassware, of course.

Appearance: Dark brown with red overtones. Thick coffee cream head.

Smell: Good caramel, and something else that kinda made me think of those lactic milk stouts.

Taste: Caramel, but with a bit of butterscotch diacetyl. Really thich mouthfeel and aftertaste that lingers for a long while. In the land of strong dark ales, I'd put this in the upper middle.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is a bit darker than expected with the body being a dark reddish brown crowned by a nice head of off-white foam. The head recedes to a nice lacing engine of about a quarter inch. The nose is of spice notes and fruit and this follows in the flavors. The body is full and creamy, almost of a syrupy nature. The drinkability is hampered by the fullness and ABV.

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Photo of edchicma
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark amber, nice head with excellent lacing. Smell was fruity (cherries) and very inviting...entices you to drink. Taste is full and fruity...definte cherry presence imo. There is a richness here that would probably do well if served warm as a winter brew. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and suggests an alcohol presence in its syrupy feel, but the alcohol does not overwhelm. For such a high abv,,,not bad on the drinkability scale, either. Great bottle too..defintely recomemnd.

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Photo of Naerhu
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An annoyingly large tan head on a completely opaque body.
Spicy dark bread aroma fills the room upon opening. A little pastry sugar and molases and a herbaceous hoppyness as well.

Long lasting dark sugar flavor, though not a sweet beer. Bitterness on the back of the tongue is outstanding. Caramel maltiness.

The bitterness, though appreciated is also a bit rough.

This is an enjoyable beer. I cannot imagine why I would ever buy one again, though. I mean it does not go with food, and if we are thinking of an after dinner drink, then port wine or barley wine has my vote.

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Photo of Padron4KM
3.55/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pors a murky brown witha large tan head. Head melts away rather quickly, and leaves just a thin cap.

Aroma is very sweet, toffee, toffee, toffee. some fruitiness too. (fig, prune)

Flavor is sweet, but nat as sweet as I thought given the aroma. Caramel, prune, sugar.

smooth and creamy mouthfeel

High ABV is well hidden.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I waited a long time to try this one, and I finally grabbed both a 750 and a small bottle. I had the small one a couple of weeks ago, and the 750 tonight. Unfortunately, I really didn't like the flavor that much either time. A strange, almost soy-sauce like taste, different than any Belgian I've had previously. Lots of foam, nice looking glass of beer. Smell doesn't put me off, but that strange taste never really fades. Also, not as rich in body as the true greats of the style. Worth trying (and a cool bottle), but I'm disappointed after the hype.

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Photo of benmiliron
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Came in a Belgian six-pack sampler for $14.99.

I had the pleasure of having Gulden Draak once on draft at Buckeye Brewing near Cleveland. The bottled version isn't quite as nice, but still quite good.

Sticky maltiness, a strong bite at first. Once the alcohol numbs your tongue a little bit there's a good bit of fruit there too. This is a great brew, but maybe it was a bit old. Or just the bottled version isn't as good. Either way, I'd not but it again.

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Photo of RocketWidget
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Comes in a .33 ml brown bottle, nicely painted white. I wonder if this is more effective for protection against the light than a brown bottle?

Pours a rich dark amber, orange on the corners. Pours outstanding thick brown-white head that lasts throughout the beer. Smell is potent, malty and sugary. Taste is all right, malty and sweet, with the alcohol becoming a part of the taste. Yet, like many of Brouwerij Van Steenberge’s beers, I am left wanting more. Drinkable, and a good beer, but for the price I expected more.

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Photo of Billolick
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Tap Room in Bedford NY. In a Gulden Draak Belgian style glass. Yeehaa, top rated brew on tap in the appropriate glass. This stunning brew pours ruby, brownish, and cloudy. Dark tan head, leaves nice wavy lacing. Exotic nose of cherries, fruit,alcohol,cloves,apricots. Flavor notes figs, raisins,nuts, sweet malts,vanilla,oak, Belgian yeastyness. Can you say complex? Soft mouthfeel, this is terrific stuff, bold flavors, strong and intense. A Belgian lovers dream. Seek this stuff out and enjoy!

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Photo of twilight
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Stubby 33cL bottle with apparent enamel coating. Pours a dark red koolaid color with a scrumptiously large head that recedes into a fine-bubbled thin head that dons the glass to the bottom.

The nose is all about christmas spice. Very much plums (or, rather, prunes) and maybe just maybe some citrus. The taste is light (It's the first thing I notice) and awash with that plummy plum goodness usually reserved for dubbels and quadrupels. Actually, if you melded the two styles you'd have them here, but it's not quite at the level of a tripel.

It's funny because the taste is really nice and all, but it just feels like it's a much lower abv. There's the sweetness, the spice and the long fruit finish that leaves more of a bitter citrus aftertaste on the palate. The alcohol burn is only slightly present, and this is welcome, but mind-boggling at the abv this one has.

Must remember to sip. Must remember to sip.

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Photo of mobyfann
3.57/5  rDev -15%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Paid $9.99 for the big 750mL bottle...

The appearence is absolutely beautiful on this bad boy. It pours a dark brown base with a medium dark-tanish head, great retention, fabulous lacing effect and the head bubbles quite nicely from the low-to-mid carbonation. Oh yeah, and the ivory-colored bottle is a sweet mantle piece. The aroma is faint but hint some spice mixed with fruit maybe???

The taste is easy-going for what is refered to as a Belgian STRONG DARK Ale. It wasn't all that strong, except for the ABV, there was a slight alcoholic aftertaste to it, but that's it. The taste itself was spicy syrup in short. Mouthfeel was a little sticky with that syrup sticking to your palette. The drinkability is high for a 10.5% ale, because of the slighty weak taste, the syrupy mix lowers it from a higher score.

Final Thought: Despite it's killer looks altogether, it's a solid Belgian ale.

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Photo of PopeJonPaul
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich coppery color with a tan head, smells like fermenting fruit. Superb caramel-sweet, malty and fruity taste with a backhand of alcohol. A chewy and candylike mouthfeel but remarkably mild to no aftertaste, with its light carbonation it goes down easy. If you like sweet, high-abv stuff, this is top-notch.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy off-white head. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty aroma which boasts of Belgian caramel malts and a fruity yeast finish. The taste is good. It has a rich malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes fruity, yet dry with Belgian yeast. It is a smooth beer with a creamy malt palate. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine triple. It has good flavor and aroma; a quality brew.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
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 -3.8%
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 +0.2%
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 -6.7%
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 -11.9%
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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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 1,292 ratings.