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

Not Rated.
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

3,482 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,482
Reviews: 1,279
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 244
Gots: 559 | 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 (96) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,482 | Reviews: 1,279
Photo of logicalparadox
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Delicious dark Belgian strong ale. Nice head to start, atop a very dark brew with big doughy aromas of dried fruits: raisins and dates and prunes. Is someone baking pumpernickle? Looks and smells suggestive of boozy prune juice once the head is gone. Definitely sweet, but not overly so. Big, rich flavors of fruitcake and dark nut breads. Again, doughy, with lots of yeast coming through. Made with wine yeast, so while it does cary a distinct Belgian profile, it finishes almost like a plum wine or plum brandy.

Packs a real punch, but the high ABV (10.5%! Whew! Dragon indeed) is reasonably hidden. I've heard this one called a barely wine, but I wonder if that label was thrown out there just do to the ABV. This one is a legend in any case, and I'm glad to have tried it. Will definitely come back to ride the dragon again sometime.

Photo of melbow
3.39/5  rDev -20%
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.

Photo of MNishCT77
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10 oz. pour on draft at St. Arnold's at Cleveland Park, unknown brewing/packaging date, poured into a Gulden Draak tulip glass, drank over 30 minutes

Photo of arizcards
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at TW Arrowhead in late September for $5.99.

Beer poured dark brown with a nice off white head that is hanging around.

Nose is very wine like, dark fruits dominate.

Taste is dark fruits, light chocolate. Finish is very wine like.

Mouthfeel is light and very smooth.

Overall definitely a world class brew. Very light, smooth, and flavorful.

Photo of SunshineTKE
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

great Belgian

Photo of Homers_Beer_Odyssey
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

APPEARANCE - Medium-dark brown with 4-finger head that dissipates fast. No lacing.

AROMA/SCENT - Sweet, herbaceous, fruits.

TASTE - Sweet, mild, herbaceous, fairly boozy.

MOUTHFEEL/PALATE/TEXTURE - Not gooey. Carbonation holds up.

VALUE - A bit high.

OVERALL/DRINKABILITY - Not my favorite. At best, a sipping beer.

Photo of thehyperduck
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle included in a sampler picked up at the LCBO; best before June 16 2016. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours a cloudy, effervescent ruby-copper colour, topped with an inch of fluffy, pillowy light beige-coloured head. Good retention; it takes more than a few minutes for the froth to dissipate into a denser, creamier cap and collar, with a modest amount of lace. The aroma is very rich and sweet; dominated by boozy caramel and molasses sweetness, as well as notes of raisin, dates, ripe pear and black cherry. I am getting light hints of strawberry and banana, too, and perhaps even a note of port wine.

The taste falls much along the same lines, with sugary caramel sweetness, molasses and cherry blending nicely with dark fruit notes that include plum, raisin, fig and grape. Banana and ripe pear are next, followed by some herbal, earthy hop bitterness that leads into a warming, boozy-rum finish accented with vanilla, clove and anise. Full-bodied, with moderate carbonation levels that gently prickle the tongue, and provide a generally smooth, fulfilling feel on the palate. The alcohol is not masked particularly well, which limits drinkability - but it works quite nicely in conjunction with the flavour profile.

Final Grade: 4.51, an A grade. Gulden Draak is an excellent strong Belgian dark ale that is guaranteed to put some hair on your chest. Rich-flavoured is almost an understatement, as the dark fruit and sugary, boozy flavours make this feel like a dessert in and of itself. Easily one of the better examples of this style that I have tried - worth seeking out, worth the price, and any Belgian dark ale fan worth his or her salt should consider this one a must-try.

Photo of cjgiant
3.96/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle (12LM), reviewed third in a side by side with 9000 and Piraat:
Pour is darker than the other two, an orange-hued lighter brown. Pour was much like the others, with larger bubbled head growing large in the pour, but reducing to fluffy head that lasts, covering the surface, and producing good lacing (this one also less than the other two, but might also be warming that is affecting it).

The nose is less complex than the other two. There isn't much sweetness to the pour, more of a balanced dark fruit impression is what I get, prune/plum and raisin/date. To be honest, nothing comes out that strongly, even with a bit of agitation.

The taste is actually fairly nicely developed, in my opinion. The sweetness that is missing in the nose (relative to the other beers) is more present in the taste, but is not as in your face as in Piraat. The dark fruit notes are actually a bit more prevalent in this than 9000, but the tastes are fairly similar. The feel sits between Piraat and 9000, nice and smooth, but maybe a tad on the oily side (could be searching here).

Of the three (this, 9000,Piraat), I liked this one the best. Each had its own unique strong points and none were the same, which is funny considering there were so many similarities amongst them. I gave them a the full calculated range between 3.75 and 4, but I think they all fall into a certain flavor profile that is common to the brewer (which itself is not uncommon). I would have any again, but this exercise, on this day, showed me this one was slightly better.

Photo of Jetlag767
4.75/5  rDev +12%

World class but not a beer I can drink regularly. Smooth and a sweet after taste, but I am a IBU 100 guy so.....

Photo of aleigator
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Appears deep red, nearly black. Has a big white, fast vanishing head.

Aromas of malt, caramel, spices and alcohol.

Intense taste of malt, sugar and lots of alcohol, ending with a bitter alcoholic finish, which warms up the belly. Perfect beer for a cold winter night, spices add a decent complexity. I recommend todrink this nearly at room temperature,lots of tastes get noticable while the beer warms up, taste becomes more balanced. Carbonation supports the taste very well, helps to not make this too heavy.

Photo of DaveBar
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

WOW Have not had a straight rating in a while.

4.25 all around. Here is my first different rating. It's my 251st so here's something different!!

4.25 all around. What a nice beer. Super nice and blended well. I liked the 9000 but this is better believe it or note. The dark triple is weird. Super malt

Enjoyable to the max!

Food Pairing

This wonderful beer went well with...... Pepperoni, green olives and hot peppers on whole wheat pizza

Enjoy!!

Photo of tony12hd
5/5  rDev +17.9%

This is one of the best beers I have had. Sweet taste that dissipates quickly, leaving smooth ever slightly bitter, hops flavors . Carbonation is just right. having one right now and the bottle just emptied .gg

Photo of RyanK252
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

On tap at BC's Pizza and Beer

A: Pours deep dark ruby brown with a frothy light tan head that laces very nicely.

S: Lots of dark fruit with a little roasted malt sweetness, some light spice, some earthiness, and a light booze note.

T: Very fruity, dark fruit dried fruit up front, raisin and prune, followed by some lighter apple and pear notes. This was backed with some spice notes, dark malt sweetness, and a light booze note on the finish.

M: On the heavier side of medium bodied with a light amount of carbonation.

O: Perhaps not my favorite of the style, but a very well done big beer.

Photo of e_dawg
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Pours a dark brown color; when held up to light a mix of ruby red and copper color is revealed. Moderate head which dissipates slowly. Moderate lacing from the high AVB. Toffee and chocolate chip cookie nose. Taste is more toffee with some fruit and cream. Moderate sweetness. Light carbonation. Pleasant finish, the toffee flavor lingers a bit but not too long. The 10.5% alcohol hides itself well.

Don't drink at refrigerator temperature - the flavors open up more when the beer is allowed to warm slightly. Overall this is an excellent and very well balanced beer although it's a touch too sweet for me.

Photo of timontheroad
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very dark, nearly opaque brown with a huge head that settled down to a half inch retention. Not much lacing, but that's not surprising considering the alcohol in this beer. The aroma was fantastic, with raisins, toffee and dark fruit notes. The taste is phenomenal, with lots of dark fruit flavors and some malty sweetness and a bit of grape must flavor- simply outstanding! The mouthfeel is creamy and silky smooth, with just a bit of alcohol burn. This is just a great beer!

Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful dark copper color. The head is a finger high, just barely off-white in shade. Retention is quite excellent due to all the fizz rising to the top. Lacing left on the glass is consistent and thick. Aesthetic appeal is extremely high. (4.5)

Smell: Wow, the nose pops like a champ just from opening it (so much in fact, it gushed a little bit). It doesn't have some of the darker ester notes from a BSDA (such as raisin or fig), instead the fruitiness takes on more of a white grape/apple/pear quality. Some of the caramel-laden malts come through, as well as some yeasty, peppery spice. I'm even getting some candied sugar. Dark tripel? Sure. Killer aroma? Absolutely. (4.25)

Taste: It's a little sweeter than the nose indicated. It opens up with a combination of fruit esters (some light like apple, some slightly darker like cherry), which then evolves into a spicy mid-taste. It finishes with plenty of candied sugar. Malty touches linger throughout - this maltiness is quite varied with notes of caramel, toffee, graham cracker, and even cream. Fruit esters pop even further when this is allowed to open up. Complex and easy to drink - truly the best of both worlds. (4.25)

Mouthfeel: Big, creamy, and sweet; but the healthy carbonation cleanses the palate admirably. There are only vague hints of warmth on the back of the throat and (on the first sip), but the 10.5% is concealed superbly. It's a bit on the sweet side - which means it isn't quite as dangerous as it could be (thank cripes!) - otherwise I have nothing to complain about here. (4.25)

Overall: Fantastic beer that does everything I want a big Belgian beer to do - be perfectly balanced, bold, easy drinking, and deep all at the same time. Though it's a little expensive, it's still on my "must buy" list for the future. (4.25)

4.26/5: Beers like these are exactly why I love Belgian ales

Photo of VashonGuy
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%

I've had this beer on tap in Ghent, from a bottle at home, and this time on tap in Boise Idaho. I loved it every time, although never more than the first time in Ghent. The beer is the local favorite there, and is named after the symbol of the town, the golden dragon that sits atop their city hall. When we did our Belgium/Netherlands beer trip, this beer was our favorite of all the beers we had.

It's a wonderful Belgian strong dark ale. I don't have a lot to add to the many excellent descriptions that others have given.

Photo of Yohoe
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Strong caramel smell. Great head retention. Sweet taste with a burnt caramel. High alcohol content.

Photo of biggieboi13
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Dark fruity flavours with hints of burnt caramel. Good body on the palette and taste lingers in the mouth. Definitely a favourite!

Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Appearance – Dark like a well brewed cup of Assam with a tall head of dark foam that lasts well but does not leave much in the way of lacing.

Smell – The smell of the bottle reminded me of the French wine cellars my Dad took us to visit when I was a kid. There was also a hint of caramel and liquorish rising from the glass.

Taste – A very heavy flavour hits you on the first sip and there is a definite note of burnt caramel and toffee but not at all in a bad way. Heavier in flavour than a Kasteel the flavour lingers on the tongue in a very pleasant manner and unlike some beers does not invite you to cane the hell out of it.

Mouthfeel – Rather sticky and coating, this beer has good linger. It also feels good and full in the mouth.

Overall – I like it and would recommend it to most people. The flavour is well put together and it goes down very well so it is a good sipping beer for an evening of posting reviews.

Photo of higherbrow
4.75/5  rDev +12%

The gold standard of non-Trappist produce tripels, Gulden Draak is an excellent beer. Fruity and earthy, it has an almost pungent flavor that encourages small sips, but rewards the palate with an elaborate, complex flavor. A bit on the pricey side, this is a special purchase, but often worth the price.

Photo of infinitebruner
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

September 15, 2014

11.2 oz bottle; tulip

A – Pours dark reddish brown, with an inch and a half of light tan, thick foam. Head slowly settles to a couple centimeters on top. Look warm, like a fireside and leather-bound book beer.

S – Raisins and creamy toffee. Dark fruit, maybe cherries. Some fruity esters become prominent on deeper sniffs. A hint of chocolate, maybe raspberry syrup. Some sweetness, like dark, caramelized sugar.

T – Toffee and lots of dark fruit. Some acidic bitterness on the tongue, dark toast and raisin bread. Very very minor tartness in the background. No alcohol flavor.

M – Thick foamy bubbles, some sweetness, and mild bitter acidity. Cleanses the palate, some residual sweetness in the back of the throat, bitterness on the tongue. Mild alcohol warmth, though I had to look for it.

O – Very good beer, and a solid example of a strong Belgian dark ale. Somewhere between a dubbel and a quad. Would gladly drink it again, but it doesn’t stand out that much from other examples for me.

Photo of Piwkotas
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Still looking for perfect beer, this one is almost there for Belgian ales.

Photo of tk342
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

super sweet, lots of flavors. caramel

Photo of leffebrown84th
1.5/5  rDev -64.6%

Cherry cough syrup disguised as beer.

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,482 ratings.