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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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,259 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,259
Hads: 3,548
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 252
Gots: 604 | 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.
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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: 1,259 | Hads: 3,548
Photo of jimbomill
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The white bottle with the Black label, which is adorned with a golden dragon (the gulden draak) complete with red and subtle white lettering stands out.

The pour yields a bit of foam atop a rich dark brown body, highlighted by the golden "Duval" lettering on my glass. First taste is rich and creamy, with a hint of toffee/coffee taste.

The nose is nicely coincident to the taste values. This sibling to the strong pale ale Piraat belgium is equally great. It is a tad heavier, consistent with the Strong Dark Ale belgium that is GD. (541 characters)

Photo of korndog
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Gulden Draak snifter at 57F. Massive head stuck around for a bit leaving some intricate lacing. Color is somewhat lighter and redder than I was expecting. A very presentable pour. Nose was malt, candi syrup, slight dark-fruit; not sure if it was my nose today, but not much happening on the aroma side for me. Taste was spot on, with fabulous carbonation fanning the sweet vapors back into my nose. Lots more going on here than in nose, with figs, tobacco, cherry notes. Belgian fruity yeast character present but not over the top. All in all, a fine beer. (568 characters)

Photo of jaymesbawned
4.57/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a ceramic painted bomber into a Duvel Tulip

Appearance-Very surprisingly dark for a so-called tripel. nice deep brown with tan head

Smell-Instatnyly get a banana smell, combined with the belgian yeast makes a kind of banana bread quality to it. a tiny bit of alcohol balances it out wonderfully.

Taste-follows the smell with a nice bananabready flavor, posibly some raisin.

Mouthefeel-coats well, but not to thick

Overall- Very solid beer, seems like it is it's own style as I haven't seen any other dark tripels one of my favorites now. (554 characters)

Photo of HuskerTornado
4.96/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

330ml bottle poured into Gulden Draak tulip glass. Pours a cola brown color with ruby undertones and a medium sized caramel colored head that dissipates slowly, leaving a quarter inch head and a nice amount of lacing in the glass.

Smell is a dark fruits, plums, cherries, raisins, sweet caramel malt and alcohol.

Taste is just as it smells. Sweet, dense malt upfront with a myriad of dark fruits lending support, including raisins, cherries, and plums. In addition to the sweetness, there's also an herbal quality towards the finish, and some peppery notes. Aftertaste reminds me a bit of cinnamon swirl raisin bread. The 10.5% alcohol is there throughout, with extra punctuation towards the finish. This is a big beer, very complex. Mouthfeel is on the medium-heavy side with a slick, smooth and creamy quality due to the healthy carbonation.

Overall, one of the best strong dark ales in the world and one of my favorite beers period. A treat for the senses, always worth having some on hand. Ages very well. Delicious. (1,023 characters)

Photo of jaz
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say about this beer? IMO, if the gods had a favorite drink, it would be Gulden Draak! This beer poured a beautiful, slightly hazy, deep reddish carmel color with a generous, thick, creamy white head. The aroma was a fantastic blend of alcohol, carmel, and spices. As I tipped the tulip to my lips, I could taste the sweet juice before it touched my mouth! The taste was an extreme blast of sweetness, a complex and wonderful blend of malts and a definite alcohol flavor that swirled my taste buds into a frenzy. I swallowed, and to my delight a wonderful hops bitterness came through, riding along side the flavors of coriander and sweet orange peal. My mouth was in heaven, and my pallet demanded more of the heavenly nectar, but my brain cells warned me of the effect that 10.5% alcohol would have on my ability to drive home. So much for driving home, I'm headed to the store to buy more Gulden Draak!! (916 characters)

Photo of Rhettbuck
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is really quite amazing, but unless you are a large bear should only be consumed in moderation. I had it with a big giant burger and wedge fries. The pairing was nice, but it can easily overpower whatever you are eating with it. Definitely a beer that every dark beer drinker should have, but look for a good price. I paid five dollars just for one!

When I drank it, there was little to no head when poured. The taste is strong, and somewhat sweet. Color is dark, more so than a brown ale, but not quite what you'd get from an Imperial Stout. (553 characters)

Photo of baldmasterflex
3.04/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11oz Stepped stubby bottle (same as the picture) into a wine glass. Wanted to try this because of the interesting flat white bottle and the menacing sounding name. $5.99 at totalwine in delaware.

Dark dark brown with red lowlights when held to the light. White head that didnt accumulate much but lacing clings strongly to the glass.

Smell is very sharp, a little banana sweetness but i find it not very pleasant, peppery and alcoholic.

Taste is very flat, prunish and not much more. Not much like a "trippel" that i was imagining.

Mouthfeel is good, tiny tingly carbonation, not to sticky or thick. Does not taste like 10.5% alc. (634 characters)

Photo of jwheeler85
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass

A- Poured a deep rich amber/brown with a slight off-white head

S- Had a slight grassy and smoky aroma with some nice honey and dark raisin notes coming through.

T- Tastes pretty much like how it smells. Very round and oaky with a good alcohol burn to finish it off.

M- Had an appropriate medium to heavy mouthfeel.

D- I must have been in a good mood this night... all I wrote for overall impressions in my notes was "Great!!!." This one was very satisfying and the bottle is pretty neat too... looks good with the growing collection above my doorway. (Decorating tip: door + crown molding + hot glue = awesome bottle displaying potential). I chose this beer to make a clone of... currently in fermentation. I'm sure it won't be as good, but should be interesting to compare. (805 characters)

Photo of meday
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a short bottle into my Allagash tulip

Dark brown with a reddish hue. From the van Steenberge 6-pack mix I bought, this was the only beer that felt adequately carbonated and delivered a beautiful head.

It smelled of brown sugar and plum. Very inviting.

Deep, beautifully sweet first taste. It was nicely balanced, with caramel and plum overtones. After a couple sips, the sweetness mellowed, and the more earthy and rich tones emerged. I am eating a soft sheep's milk cheese with this, and herbal cream becomes much more prominent in the cheese. Not even a hint of alcohol. Brilliant.

Rich and statisfying in the mouth, with a complete finish.

Drinkability...is it gone already???

This is great as an appetizer with cheese, as the caramel sweetness paired great with a soft sheep's or goat's milk cheese. (822 characters)

Photo of RobertDwight
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass it has an inviting deep reddish brown hue. I poured it very slowly to compensate for the extreme growth of white head after pouring. It grows like a chia pet to about three fingers big. After taking a few sips the head reduced to 1 finger with light lacing around the glass. I get sweet smells along with dried fruits and spices. Taste starts out sweet and then slightly sour with flavors of prunes and dried apricots; then moves to more roasted malt flavors. It warms the throat as the alcohol is present right at the end, especially when it warms up. Mouthfeel is rich, but not overly viscous. It has very good drinkability, and its a pleasure from start to finish...I wish I had some more! (718 characters)

Photo of ginemesis
3.41/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A cloudy yet strong caramel color with very good lacing.

S- It smells like an Irish Spring dryer sheet, a very clean and refreshing smell

T- Soapy with an hint of spice that I cannot pinpoint. Tastes like a Marzen.

M- Pleasant creaminess with an appropriate amount of lingering for aftertaste

O- An obvious Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Would be great on a crisp, cool evening...not a cold night or a hot day. (412 characters)

Photo of shanecb
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice dark amber/brown color that's very clear. Attractive carbonation constantly rising, just enough to look pleasant. A little but of an off-white head, but just coats the top of the beer. No lacing.

S - Rather pleasant. Lots of maltiness and sweetness to the nose. Also a little something else, maybe dark fruit or licorice. After awhile I definitely started to notice some alcohol smell coming through, which wasn't all that pleasant though it was muted.

T - A lot of what was in the nose. Sweetness with maltiness is rather overpowering at first. Also maybe a little honey to it. I wanted to give it a higher rating, but I really seem to get a slightly metallic or rusty aftertaste, which I saw a few people mentioned. It seemed to go away as I drank it but that might have been my getting used to it. Also, some sips have a rather unpleasant alcohol twinge to it.

M - Wonderful! Feels creamy and full in the mouth. Carbonation just flirts with the tongue and is wonderful. This is one of the few 5s I've given for mouthfeel, but it definitely deserves it.

D - Alright, because it has a rather nice flavor, but due to the alcohol and metallic tastes I'm getting I don't think I'd drink more than one at a time.

Overall, I really wanted to give this a little bit of a higher rating, but it just has a few things I had to knock off points for. (1,354 characters)

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

Definitely one of my all time favorite beers and I had plenty of it while I was in France.

Deep brown in color with amber, orange, and caramel hues with a thick creamy head in both texture and color.

Smell; caramel, wheat, brown sugar, slight hints of pepper.

Taste; quite sweet overall with the apparent and forefront flavors of caramel, brown sugar, wheat, rye grains, and black pepper accompanied by plum and prune flavors, slight hits of cinnamon and cloves, with orange and whiskey hints on occasional sips making the level of alcohol present as a reminder, very complex all in all.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy with the same density as water but with medium carbonation giving it a slightly prickly sensation on the tongue.

Drinkability: The flavor of this bier allows it to easily slip over the drinker's taste buds and down the throat I could easily drain several of these, but the level of alcohol in this brew deters that idea quite a bit.

All in all truly an excellently brewed BIER! (1,002 characters)

Photo of bitterdestroyer
3.72/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

appearance: malty amber brown. nice thick head, and enticing lacings throughout my glass

smell: sweet, light hops, plums, brown sugar (?), hint of booze

taste: much like an in depth version of it's smell. sweet, malty, fruity, sugary, and just a hint of alcohol. a nice mix of everything goin on here. all in it's right place on my palatte. gets sweeter as it warms.

mouthfeel: robust, and malty. dense, but not too thick. just the right amount of carbonation.

drinkablilty: one bomber was good enough for me. felt full once i was done. like a hearty meal (567 characters)

Photo of jballeng
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.5 oz bottle. Poured a dark chocolate with a very small creamy head. Aroma of figs, brown sugar, and hops. Alcohol subdued for a 10.5%. Accents of cherries, bread, bleu cheese, and brown sugar. A magnificent beer, and a meal in itself. Thicker than a normal triple. Would probably very nicely compliment a piece of fresh bread and a nice salty piece of gorgonzola or stilton. (377 characters)

Photo of Twincrasher
4.87/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Deep chestnut color. Much lace and lots of foam.

S: Dark fruits and muted citrus. Alcohol noticable.

T: Warm taste. Very malty despite alcohol. Some pepper tones and dark fruit flavor. Sweet ripe flavor throughout with balancing agent. Belgian yeast is perfect for this recipe.

M - Medium-to-thick body. As the beer warms I get more and more booze warmth. Medium carbonation. Very nice for sipping.

Did not like first time while overseas. Second time excellent. (469 characters)

Photo of LovingCup
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Okay let me preface this by saying I'm no expert on Belgian strong dark ales...new territory here. Last similar-ish beer I had was Finch's Nuclear Winter and despite my hometown <3', this is much better.
First, cool ass bottle and classy sounding af. The next part is the looks, perhaps my favorite aspect. Huge puffy head with peaks and valleys. Dark brownish color with a ruby shimmer in the light, can't see through shit. And the best part is I let this sit for 10 minutes after pouring and the bubbles persisted, but the real magic was the vertical linear formation of them: it looked straight like the letters from The Matrix and I ain't even trippin'!
As for the smell. Very complex. Sugary caramel sweetness. Most present are dark fruits: figs, dates, a lil grape, and that one that makes you shit. Oh yeah, prunes. A touch of chocolate even. And a bit of booze.
The flavor is intense, but more approachable than expected (tho I was expecting a knockout punch) its big, but at the same time, drinkable...sip by sip. I like high abv beers but don't enjoy overly boozy flavors. This is good. The alcohol is there in a background warming sort of way, not an obnoxious boozy way. I think considering its 10.5% it is masked rather well tbh. Idk my palate isn't used to this style the way it is for others yet but this isn't bad at all. On the contrary it's quite good. The mouthfeel I want to say is medium.
Overall I give it a 92. im actually surprised by how massive yet inoffensive this was. glad I picked up this bottle of Gulden Draak. Very pleased. Hope to revisit this beer (and style) again sometime in the near future. (1,630 characters)

Photo of BAbaracus
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark auburn with minimal cream colored head and moderate carbonation. Smells of faint spice, fresh malt; not an overwhelming nose for a Belgian but definitely smells fresh and inviting. Mouthfeel is very heavy, the weight of the ale virtually sinking down on the tongue; dense tingling carbonation Tastes of coriander, licorice, a bit of hops and alcohol at the finish. Overall, the alcohol is not overwhelming tastewise but will certainly creep up on you. This is a find Belgian easily consumed in moderation due to the availability in smaller 11.2 oz bottles, although in my area these are less frequently found than their bomber counterparts. (651 characters)

Photo of edbeer
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This i a really good consistant beer. I've enjoyed it every time I've had it. It's not something I keep around but It's one that I like going back to. The taste is malty and sweet without being cloying. This is not a beer I'd drink a lot of only because a little goes a long way. (279 characters)

Photo of brouwer
4.87/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this without any forethought - thought I'd give it a try. Purchased at The Good Food Store in Missoula Montana in a 750ml corked bottle. I poured this into a tulip glass. Dark Caramel in color - moderately opaque. The carbonation was appropriate for a tripel. The mouthfeel was excellent with a smooth drinkability. The taste is yeasty (wonderful) with a perfect amount of hop.

RECOMMENDED (399 characters)

Photo of notyourdadsbeer
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml corked and caged at Euclid Hall into a tuplip glass.

A: Perfect brown with a nice latte colored head that starts high but fades in time. Fantastic lacing and tight bubbles.

S: Caramel and toffee up front but not too sweet. Plums and dark fruit follow and intices the senses. You can pickup bannana notes from the yeast as well.

T: Caramel up front and toffee to finish. Now the finish is very very long and the flavor is a bit fleeting. Makes you want to keep sipping honestly. Warm and slightly booze on the back of the throat. Great hints of dark plum and cherries for fruit and the caramelized malts for the sweetness. Has a nice bite too.

M: This is a full bodied beer for sure! The carbination is perfect as is the balance of this beer between heavy and sweet. The finish lingers but the fruit dies fast forcing you to keep sipping, i love it.

D: This is an amazing beer and one that should be put on a pedastal for Belgium beers. This is a sipper and one that should be shared amongst friends over a fire in leather chairs smoking a stoggie. I would give this beer as a gift to anyone I truly cared about and share it with only those that could appreciate it. (1,192 characters)

Photo of Wreckoncile
4.89/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the good ole 750 ml into a Chimay goblet. Not my first rodeo with Gulden Draak, but my first review of her.

A - Pours a deep bloody burgandy with maybe a finger of creamy foam that descends into the beer fairly quickly leaving average lacing.

S - Hot damn I love this nose. Dark fruits with a black cherry and prunish punch, yeilds to a bit of spiciness and a total kick your ass Belgian yeast that defines a solid tripel for me.

T - Robust and malt forward. The dark fruits dance on the tongue with a splendid array of sweetness, almost a chocolate covered raisin flavor in parts. But the dark fruits succomb at the end to the sweet, bready yeastiness that just makes this beer a classic.

M - The mouthfeel on this one is complex. Its sultry, but retains a bit more carbonation than most beers with that sultry texture. Its a strong beer, but the alcohol is fairly well-disguised for something of the ABV.

O - Gulden Draak is one of my all-time favorites, and this review reflects that. It retains all of the gloriousness of a quality Belgian brewed tripel, but the darkness of it adds a dimension that not many tripels can match. Its fruit profile is darker than most tripels (dark fruits, fewer of the lighter fruits you sometimes get in lighter tripels), almost making it Quad like. But this is a superb beer, among the best ever crafted in my judgement. That's kinda why its part of my avatar. (1,419 characters)

Photo of ClashmoreMike
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A= Dark copper color. Cloudy. Huge light tan head that goes down to a thin but solid head for the duration. Lots of lacing.

S = Very malty. Also smells like sweet apple cider. Some alcohol. Yeasty. Some chocolate in there as the beer warms.

T = Like the smell, very malty. Warming alcohol, with a fair amount of fruity sweetness (like alcohol preserved cherries and figs). A hint of chocolate. Some bitterness in there, but the balance still tilts towards the sweet.

M = Medium to heavy mouthfeel. Very, very smooth. I'd say the carbonation level felt on the tongue was medium -- it's definitely there but it doesn't assault and overwhelm the tongue. The carbonation fits this beer nicely.

D = It's clearly a quality brew but, for my taste, I just think that it's a little too sweet to get a better score or to entice me to drink more than one in a sitting. I enjoyed this beer more after I was halfway through it and got used to its sweetness. (948 characters)

Photo of koolchas
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into a goblet.

i must first preface this as gulden draak on tap at my local yard house restaurant is what brought me back to drinking high quality brew.

a: pours a very dark burgandy. can't see though it and up to the light (like a lamp), you the color is a nice cherry. starts off with just shy of 1" head for me that goes down and stays as a very thin layer on top. lace galore.

s: pepper spice and malt. a good hint of banana. the alcohol does jump out of the glass ever so slightly.

t: plum/prune, cherry, and cinnamon.

m: take on sip, do a quick swish in the mouth, breathe through the nose and feel the carbonation take over your mouth. leaves the mouth spicy with a hint of chocolate and cherry.

d: a very good brew. easy to drink and the complexity hides the high alcohol content.

now, to compare vs. on tap: there is more carbonation for the bottle serving vs. tap. overall, this brew is more "mellow" on tap making it even more drinkable. tonight, i know i'll only have two bottles but, when on tap, i can easily take down 4 in a matter of a few hours.

enjoy and cheers! (1,127 characters)

Photo of jimiv73
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

never judge a beer by the cover this beer was surprisingly delicious! im gonna try the vintage next which im hoping is a lil hoppier! although this one packed the hopps and weighhing in at 10.5% is no joke this is on my x mas list and the price being a lil steep but you pay for what ya get most of the time (307 characters)

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
93 out of 100 based on 1,259 ratings.