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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,255 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,255
Hads: 3,513
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 247
Gots: 573 | 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 (95) | 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: 1,255 | Hads: 3,513
Photo of Elendinn
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my tulip glass.

Pours a cloudy, dark, earthy brown, suffused with a subtle crimson, with two-and-a-half fingers of off-white head, which leaves a bit of sticky lacing that hangs around for about half the glass -- aesthetically pleasing and rather foreboding.

The nose is sweeter than I'd expected, with lots of dark fruit (cherries feature rather prominently) beneath a huge aroma of molasses, caramel, alcohol, some chocolate, and bread. Smells a bit like freshly baked cookies and hard liquor -- very enticing.

Again, lots of molasses and caramel, a bit of milk chocolate, some mildly-tart dark fruits (reiteration of cherries), and bread are featured predominantly, in rough chronological order, on the tongue. The alcohol is a bit overbearing (reminiscent of Irish whiskey); combined with the yeasty doughyness, the finish is substantially drier than the front-end. The flavors begin to meld more cohesively as the glass warms, becoming progressively more balanced. What's most intriguing is the beer's similarity to a barleywine, but with a Belgian twang.

The first thing I notice upon letting this beer sit in my mouth is the carbonation, which, in a word, is excessive; additionally, the body is a bit chewy. It's difficult to hold for very long and it burns a little on the way down. The mouthfeel is an unfortunate distraction from an otherwise very good beer. Luckily, the carbonation becomes less exhuberant and more tolerable as the glass warms.

Gulden Draak is a delicious beer, but a slow starter, and an even slower sipper. I would recommend letting it warm up a bit before partaking with any sort of diligence. The noticeable alcohol and aggressive effervescence make it a difficult beer to drink more than one of, but it definitely grows on you. It reminds me of Hair of the Dog's Adam, with a little more complexity, a lot more carbonation, and a slightly heftier price tag (though both are great values). Bottom-line: it's strong and a little scary, but I'll get it again. (2,008 characters)

Photo of wowbagger
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heck of a lot of head on this one! Beautiful amber/brown color and a slightly spicy aroma. The spiciness continues from the front of the tongue to the back of the throat and the flavor sticks with you for a while without changing into an odd aftertaste. I think 'warming' is the best way to describe how it feels in the mouth. This is a beer to be enjoyed slowly in front of a hot fire. (386 characters)

Photo of ledemie
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown in color with ruby highlights.

I detected lemon, raisin, and spiciness. Some alcohol as it warms more.

fruity malt esters with a peppery dry finish leaving hints of biscuit in the mouth

This is dangerously drinkable for such a potent bere. Full bodied and smooth, with just the gentlest of warming sensations from the alcohol. (343 characters)

Photo of Torps
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark plum with two finger off white head.. some lacing.. aroma is dark fruits, candi sugar, prunes, spices and yeast.. taste is super sweet and heavy.. lots of dark fruit, dates, black cherry, spices and boozy alcohol. Mouthfeel is pretty good with plenty of carbonation to combat the sweetness. Drinkability is okay. Its a bit too boozy and sweet to drink more than one. (379 characters)

Photo of kurtissellen
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass producing two fingers worth of light brown head. It looked a dark brown color that turned more reddish along the edges. Aroma of dark fruits, sweetness and a little alcohol. Had a funney taste to it up front that wasn't too appealing almost like body odor but after that the slightly sweet fruits like figs and grapes kicked in. Had a nice feel to it, not too much carbonation and alcohol wasn't too noticeable. (447 characters)

Photo of sprinkle
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The golden dragon does live up to its rep. Beautiful bright copper/red. Good nose you can tell its going to be rich.Pour slowly cause this beer gives you a nice head no matter how you pour it.Rich and malty taste,slight toffee and sweetness.Nice balance,great for dessert. (274 characters)

Photo of goodbyesoberday
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a very loud head that subsides to a thin layer.

Rich dark red maple colour, opaque thanks to my pouring of all and everything into the glass.

It's rich, very rich. Chocolate coated fruit, I'll get back to you on the particulars someday. Dark brown sugar but no burnt toffee. The alcohol steps up and says hello. Very fiery but the dragon's breath hath no boot polish. (384 characters)

Photo of JMforman
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I wasn't real impressed with the first beer that I had from Brouwerij Ban Steenberge (their Dubbel), but this one was great.

A- Big head with a deep amber body and good retention.

S- Very earthy: must, hay, alcohol, cherries

T- Alcohol, cherries, dark fruit, and bready malt up front with burnt sugar/ molasses filling the middle, and then a bitter finish

M- Very coating with a medium to full feel

D- Oh yes. (414 characters)

Photo of WoogityBoogity
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep amber colored body with very light haze. Creamy tan head that leaves strong lacing and slow to dissipate.

S - Somewhat complex malt smell. Fruit esters comprise the middle palate and a light spicy phenol character compliments it. Very soft alcohol scent.

T - Moderately sweet from malt at initial taste. Middle flavors of light esters and mild spice phenols give strong complexity. A very light bitter finish exists, but balance is definitely toward sweetness. Alcohol and spice phenols create a smooth blend to the palate.

M - Medium body with high carbonation. Warming sensation from ABV is noticable, but not overpowering.

D - Complex, smooth, and blended flavors make you want to experience more.

---

One of classic Belgian Strong Dark Ale examples. (768 characters)

Photo of MikeGill
3.82/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a Duvel glass.

Dark burnished copper with a big beige head that has very good retention. Somewhat cloudy. Sweet on the nose with aromas reminiscent of lemon tea. I also smelled a little grenadine syrup as well.

Sweet and a little yeasty. Sour cranberry and grape flavors up front then some orange and a tiny bit of ripe banana. Big caramel malt and mellow spicy hops. Alcohol is right out there but for some reason still seems very balanced. Finishes with some toffee. (497 characters)

Photo of luvND
4.78/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: 330 ml white bottle, attractive package, golden dragon on label

Appearance: Best, thickest head retention that I have ever seen. Beautiful dark brown color.

Smell: Sweet, brown sugar, caramel, some ripe fruit and a hint of the alcohol.

Taste: I drank this first on its own and it was very nice, sweet, nice malt, all Belgian. Then I had it with some turkey sausage and what a pairing, sweetness complemented the spice so well. Finally, I finished it with desert, coffee ice cream and hot fudge and I think it was the best match of the evening. The slightly bitter coffe ice cream with the rich hot fudge brought out flavors in the beer that I hadn' t yet tasted.

Mouthfeel: As smooth and rich as possible. Not too thick though.

Drinkability: Scary at 10+%

Overall: A friend gave me this one. Never heard of it. Now I will confidently rank it as one of the best beers that I have ever tasted, Belgian or other. (935 characters)

Photo of velo343
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - A deep amber, slight crimson, with a thick, beige head that really sticks to the sides of the glass.

Smell - Bready, caramel and a chalky yeast aroma. Some fruity esters, golden raisins and a bit of spiciness. Really pleasing.

Taste - A strong yeast taste at the finish. There is a peppery spiciness and some phenols that come through the sweet maltiness. Some alcohol is there in the mix.

Mouthfeel - The beer is quite thick and syrupy, like honey, but really finishes quite dry.

Drinkability - A good beer that has a lighter body than the color implies. A great match to Indian food and other foods with a bit of spice. (648 characters)

Photo of deruiz10
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A - A towering, soapy tan head retains well throughout the drink. Pour is a cloudy brown with orange highlights.

S - Sweet smell of raisins, yeast, alcohol, and some grapefruit and fermented apples.

T - Sweet malts, apple cider, yeast, mildly spicy hops, and some gruit flavor. Finish is mild alcohol with raisin sweetness.

M - Highly carbonated, borderline fizzy, but it works well.

D - A little too sweet for my palate, but it's got an excellent complex flavor. (508 characters)

Photo of geographie
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A :: Clear redish-amber hued beer with weak, white head. Some signs of lacing.

S :: Coffee, then toffee, then cocoa fill my nasal cavaties. This beer reeks of well-roasted goodness - so unexpected from such a light looking beer.

T :: Very sweet toffee front - this flavor is incredibly apparent, consuming your mind. After comes the raisins in the middle. Malt takes a back seat here and rides on a very sweet wave of unfermented sugars. This finishes with style -- a modest exit with only the tiniest trace of bitterness egging you on to have just one more sip.

M :: Strange, but good. Airy, creamy, and filling my mouth all at once - almost a whole body experience. This begnign seeming ale packs quite the punch!

D :: Whoa - one is enough for me. Overly sweet to continue drinking (unless you've got a sweet-tooth), but darn good! (845 characters)

Photo of jhicks12
3.33/5  rDev -20.3%
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 (499 characters)

Photo of TheStig
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Golden Dragon indeed!

Aggressive is a good place to start with this. Popping the top resulted in a louder "crack" than I was expecting, and a substantial tongue of fog licked out of the top. I liken it to opening a bottle of ginger kombucha-- thankfully, the contents of the bottle didn't spill all over the floor (like kombucha sometimes does) but even my most gentle of pours produced a violent three finger head that threatened to creep over the top of the glass. I waited five minutes for the head to subside, and it left a sticky trail of lacing that resembled a cross between spiderwebs and Swiss cheese.

Color was a foggy, rich amber.

Scents that jumped out at me were black grapes, spicy wine notes (think Shiraz), grapefruit, pomegranate and cherry.

They do a very good job of taming the alcohol burn, folding it into layers of spice that compliment the heavier fruity sweetness.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly less aggressive than it would appear, but it still has a healthy carbonated bite. Sip gently.

Very impressive. (1,034 characters)

Photo of disastermouse
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this in the big bottle.

A - Dark brown Root-beer dark. White-brown head that dissipates into little circles on the top of the beer after a few minutes.

S - Belgian with a vengence. Has a maple-y, 'wet-leaves' smell. Brown sugar with a hint of whiskey.

T - Belgian but more burnt - the alcohol is there, but better hidden than in some strong ales. Phenol-rific. I remember thinking the first time I drank this beer that it was a VERY different beer. Now that I've had a few more belgian strong darks, I STILL think it's a very distinctive beer. More than a hint of apples in this one.

MF - Carbonation holy cow! Big mouthfeel, fizzle-rific.

D - I don't know about you, but I can't put back too many 10.5% beers in a night without getting sloppy and slow. That said, this would be the beer I'd get tanked on if that was my goal... (839 characters)

Photo of BricksandPorter
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Cheers! (1,793 characters)

Photo of Jon_Hendricks
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an incredibly dark brown

Overall: Tastes like sweet sweet malts, caramel, slight alcohol tinge and burn, medium finish, pleasant, medium bodied. A really unique, delicious and excellent beer. (210 characters)

Photo of DerKaiser
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah, the Golden Dragon. This Belgian brew pours maple syrup brown with a substantial beige head. The aroma is sugary and delicious, with notes of candied fruit, raisins, apple, and cinnamon.

This beer is huge; very potent with a liquour-like quality to it. It's sweet and nectar like, with burnt honey, raisin, and caramel flavors. A delicious cake-like mouthfeel carries all the way through. Yet, this sweetness is nicely balanced with a peppery alcohol presence that delivers flavor throughout the mouth and nose.

This is a Bentley of beers: big, powerful, expensive, rare, and intoxicating. Everything a Belgian triple should aspire to. Enjoy. (651 characters)

Photo of BabaJohn
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is effectively a joint review I did with my friend westvleteren21 a few nights ago. At the beginning of the summer we each purchased this beverage as a birthday gift for the other, however my friend became sick after a very suspicious Japanese steak house meal and we were unable to enjoy our delicious beverages. As it turns out, he moved from MA back to MD so they’ve been sitting in my fridge all summer, taunting me. At last, he came back to visit, the beers have been consumed, and the wait was well worth it!

A light brown head formed but faded relatively fast. The coloration was a very nice chocolate brown with some pleasing gradations, looking a bit like cider and sometimes wine. Some vinegar-like sourness found it’s way into the nose, which was also reminiscent of cider and cherries. The taste was, well, absolutely fantastic! A nice balance of malts and alcohol persisted, with caramel, cider, apples, rum, and maple tastes. In some ways, this reminded us of Chimay. The mouthfeel was thick and delicious; carbonation just right. Of course, this is a fairly heavy, alcoholic, dessert-like beer and so a bit less ‘drinkable,’ but let me tell you that, aint stoppin’ me. My buddy suggested warm apple-pie a la mode as a pairing, and I think that sounds great. Van Steenberge once again ladies and gentlemen! (1,333 characters)

Photo of RedBeerHead
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours three inch off-white and highly carbonated head. Very cloudy, dark amber color. Smell has fruit and spice. Good lead it to a very good taste. Hints of ginger and other spices. also hints of some citrus. Very drinkable. pretty happy with this beer. (253 characters)

Photo of digitalbullet
4.16/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Apperance: deep brown with reddish hues. Medium head that dissapates fairly quickly.
Smell: sweet Candi sugar, molasses, and some fig notes. Slight scent of alchohol.
Taste: Candi sugar, vinous sourness, yeasty breadyness. Mild alcohol burn
Mouthfeel: thin. Good carbonation.
Drinkability: hardly noticed the 10.5%. Dangerous brew. Very tasty. Worth seeking out. (366 characters)

Photo of emagana
3.38/5  rDev -19.1%
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. (520 characters)

Photo of Mosmo
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle poured into a weizen

A: dark brownish carbonated cola look large sticky frothy tan head that sticks around for a bit

S: toffee, sweet, hints of dark red fruits and faint floral notes

T: caramel, grape, spicy pepper, bitter, noticeable alcohol taste as it moves over the palate and quickly dissipates

M: slightly carbonated mouthy feel. Sticky, hops balancing with malt to the brink of sweetness.

O: Very nice filling brew. Seems the warmer this beer, the more the alcohol aftertaste stands out. Will definitely buy more but not for the hot days. (562 characters)

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
93 out of 100 based on 1,255 ratings.