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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

3,172 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,172
Reviews: 1,215
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 179
Gots: 324 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,172 | Reviews: 1,215 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -5.4%

SocalKicks, Sep 05, 2012
Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark reddish brown with a huge, foamy, coffee-colored head - looks like a dark Belgian ale, basically (which is to say that it looks awesome).

This beer has a really powerful aroma. The sweet malts are very prominent, bringing to mind brown sugar and molasses.

The taste is dominated by sweet, syrupy malt and dark fruit (black cherries, raspberries), with a hint of brown sugar. Most of the bitterness seems to be provided by the particularly high alcohol volume, rather than from any particularly distinct hop presence. It sounds excessive on paper, but it actually works really well. Though I probably couldn't drink more than one of these in a single sitting, it's one highly enjoyable glass.

The mouthfeel is a bit overwhelming at first. It's heavy like a stout or barleywine, but extremely carbonated. In fact, if this were (much) less carbonated, I'd probably have mistaken this for a barleywine. While I enjoy the richness, it loses some points here because of the almost excessive carbonation at first; you really need to let it sit for a minute before drinking.

I've had this twice and find it really enjoyable, nearly comparable to to Belgium's Trappist beers. The smell and taste are exceptional, but that same richness makes it suffer a bit in mouthfeel and drinkability.

largadeer, Nov 09, 2006
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -5.4%

JAHMUR, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

Back in the day, I was jazzed to try this beer because of the opaque white bottle. Good to see not much has changed. It pours a surprisingly clear garnet topped by a firm finger or more of ecru froth. The nose comprises figs, raisins, rye bread, strawberries, lightly roasted malts, and nutmeg. The taste follows pretty closely, with a blend of dark fruits interbreeding with caramel, toffee, rye bread, and a nice spice blend that I assume would make a good banana bread even better. Good times. The body is a hefty medium, with a moderate carbonation and feel that borders on the chewy, but never quite makes it (and that's not necessarily a bad thing here). Overall, a very nice brew, better than I remember it being.

TMoney2591, Jul 06, 2010
Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml painted white, distinctly shaped bottle - kind of reminds me of those increasingly antique Old Spice containers.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, dark reddish amber hue, with a teeming tower of finely foamy and puffy ecru head, which leaves a few streaks of broken sudsy lace around the glass as it slowly and steadily retreats.

It smells of sweet, reduced brown sugar, strong dark fruit (prunes, dates, and raisins), a softly bready caramel malt, earthy yeast, and a mildly astringent booziness. The taste is dark, sugary candied fruit (the very same from the nose), with a more bready caramel malt backbone shoring up the sweet side of things - keeping this from being a saccharine wank-fest are some waning yeast, a nice earthy, musty hoppiness, and a timid alcohol warming.

The carbonation is moderate, manifesting mostly in a trilling frothiness, the body a rather hefty medium weight, slickly smooth, and perhaps a tad creamy. It finishes still sweet, the fruity malt maintaining a certain religious level of consistency, while the other esters dial it down to a mere murmur.

A decent strong Belgian dark ale - fairly rounded, despite the obvious focus on the fruit character, and a pleasant and recommended version of the style. Oh, and that 21-proof dragon of booze? Well domesticated, to say the least.

biboergosum, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, dark burgundy color with a thick, long-lasting, two-finger head. It left behind, patchy, sticky trails of lace.

S - It smelled of dried fruits (cherry and apple) with a sweet caramel notes.

T - It tasted sweet and a little boozy. Nice dried fruit flavors with rich, biscuity malt flavors.

M - It was smooth, soft and somewhat creamy. A medium to full-bodied ale.

D - This is a pretty solid Belgian ale. Great flavors and aromas.

zeff80, Sep 01, 2009
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy brown with a burgundy cast and dark amber highlights when held to the light; and a full, rocky head of light tan foam completes the appearance. It holds exceptionally well and leaves solid sheets of lace, although they eventually reduce to just some spotty residue. Some chocolate and dark fruit (raisin, plum/prune, cherry, red wine) appear in the nose. The body is medium and nicely creamy due to its very fine, natural carbonation. The flavor is as the aroma indicates with a combination of rich cocoa and ripe dark fruits. It warms across the palate to reveal some softer caramel and alcohol; and a touch of background floral hops. It's very well-balanced by a solid, low-key bitterness. The finish is dry with some residual dark fruit; a wash of alcohol; some leafy hops; and a dull, lingering bitterness. Impressive!

NeroFiddled, Jul 24, 2003
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

not as good as i wanted it to be. pours a mahogany brown color with a bubbly tan head that almost immediately fades away. smells like dried fruit, belgian yeast, and big bready malts. flavor is less fruity than the nose but otherwise similar. the yeast is rich and unique in this one, really imparting an interesting flavor. mouthfeel was a letdown for me. it got flat as it warmed up and didnt hold any of its nice initial head. flavor was fine, but it didnt stand up well to highly seasoned prawns, which i was hoping it would have done brilliantly. in any event, its a good beer but at 16 dollars a bomber, ill drink another belgian.

StonedTrippin, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of nickfl
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - One finger of light brown head on a dark brown body with good clarity. The foam dissipates quickly and leaves moderate lace.

S - Lots of malt and fruity belgian yeast. Notes of caramel and raisins with sweet chocolate and more dark fruit. Some herbal hops in the background.

T - Lots of raisins and dark sugar. Sweet caramel and molasses with figs and plums. Strong note of chocolate and caramelized sugar in the middle, very candy-like. The finish becomes more phenolic with some clove and tobacco notes as well as the pervasive chocolate and caramel notes.

M - Medium-thick body, high carbonation, and a semi-sweet finish.

D - Very drinkable, it never shows its alcohol or becomes cloying. The malt character is complex and spectacular. I really can't come up with anything critical to say about it. A very nice example of the style and much more drinkable than most.

nickfl, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of Jason
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Jason, Apr 03, 2004
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

WVbeergeek, Nov 24, 2004
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 12/28/08 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color, with a short foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of spices, cherries and other dark fruits, Belgian yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is fruity and malty up front with flavors of cherries, Belgian yeast and caramel but it's not overly sweet. There's a hearty but not too heavy malt character and a mild but complimentary hops presence that provide a good balance. The after-taste is tart and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean for the style.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this beer takes flavors that I don't normally like and used them well to make the beer quite pleasurable to drink.

TheManiacalOne, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy brown that has a big touch of amber to it. Minimal head. Nose is slight with a lean towards marshmallows. Touch of citrus. Flavor is very well balanced with a strong sweet tone that stays constant. Strong and steady. After a while you get a slight alcohol tone that has stayed masked consistently as you drink. Tons of things rolling over your tongue on this one. Caramel is another. Mouthfeel is a bit too high on the carbonation, which drops the drinkability just a touch. Overall damn good. Worth trying. Worth trying again.

RblWthACoz, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of Slatetank
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer at Sharp Edge Creekhouse in Pittsburgh. Served cool in a Gulden Draak Goblet.

A - Deep Bronze w/ a 2 finger beige collar w/ a fined bead that makes sporadic lace

S - Belgian yeast w/ dark malt odors, biscuit and dark brown sugar w/ a very subtle boozy note and hints of fig in the nose

M- Roasted and dry gain in the feel w/ lively carbonation, subtle sweetness and spiced dry finish

T - Deep w/ candy sugar and gentle spice w/ a hint of vegetal, booze and maple-like woody notes and dark fruit - raisin, fig, and cherry notes w/ a pepper like spice and boozy filled cocoa and date-like candy flavors. The taste becomes smooth and creamy as it warms w/ a nut bread and boozy dark cherry w/ candy sugar accents.

D - I really enjoyed this Belgian strong ale. It was the first I remember having it on draft, but I have enjoyed it many times in bottled form. The balanced sweetness w/ dry alcoholic feel is just superb and I recommend it highly. This is well crafted and restrained for the high abv, A welcome ale to my tastebuds.

Slatetank, May 08, 2008
Photo of russpowell
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An old friend from Beligue, the simlpicity of the stubby white bottle just makes it so cool

Pours a slightlty hazed ruby red/brown with 2 fingers of fluffed up tan coloerd head into a Vondel snifter. Superior head retention & very goood lacing

S: Straw, pepper & phenolic notes

T: Big breadyness & boozey warmth up front. Peppery grainyess, dates, caramel & scorched Belgian candy sugar & oaky dryness once this warms up. Finishes cakey, with tanins, toffee, dryness, tobbaaco-like notes & pecans. What super complex, yet drinkable combonation!

MF: Medium bodied, syruppy & low-low carbonation

Drinks very easy for such a complex beer, very pricey, but a nice inulgence at $5.50 a bottle

russpowell, Apr 17, 2007
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A deep, dark, burgundy brown color, and a thick, full, rocky, tannish head. Aroma sizzles over with all things good, a sensory overload of hop sensation: fruity notes, earthy notes, hints of leather and lavender, grapes, wines, figs, raisins. One of my all-time favorite aromatic brews. A full pallet-load of hops on the palate (sorry, couldn't resist trying that one out just once!) A flood of brilliant bitterness on first sip, that just keeps giving and giving and giving. Solid malt here, too, holding everything together. Fierce and fiery, like the breath of the beast that graces the label and gives this ale it's name. Hot, substantial, and impressive, the dragon is formidable!
One drawback is the "drinkability" issue. My first time with the Dragon, I shared a750ml with a friend, and still woke up the next AM, moaning and groaning, able only to utter: "Guuuulden Drak...guuuuuulden draaaaak....."
Had a 11.2oz.er for the purpose of this review, and I felt it terribly the next day. How to rate the ease with which one drinks the Dragon, when the Dragon always slays you? "Yes, I'll have another"...some other day....

feloniousmonk, Feb 23, 2003
Photo of drabmuh
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say about this beer that hasn't already been said. 11.2 oz bottle served in a goblet. Beer is dark brown, nearly black, nice head, steady carbonation. Beautiful ether smell associated with strong Belgians. Taste is sweet and balanced alcohol. No hint of roasting in the flavors, except maybe slightly. One of my all time favorite beers. Excellent, you have to try this beer.

drabmuh, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of Rifugium
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Eulogy, Philly, PA

When you see a tap head that's a huge golden dragon, you have to sample the beer that it guards. Strong? Yes. Dark? Yes. Belgian? Yes.

Poured into a signature stem glass. Rich, hazy, dark, mahogany color with a nice tannish finger of head that retains well. Toasted biscuits and dark fruits in the aroma. Taste starts off with toasty caramel malts and some caramelized sugars and a touch of molasses, with yeasty biscuits and grainy, unsubdued alcohol following. Dark dried fruits in the background. Medium mouthfeel, and can be a bit syrupy, but overall nice and drinkable, though on the strong side.

Rifugium, May 09, 2011
Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

mendvicdog, Apr 26, 2012
Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

WesWes, Jun 14, 2004
Photo of mdfb79
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 11/25/11 notes. Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with two fingers of fluffy tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dark fruits, molasses, sweet fruity malts, light alcohol, and light spices.

t - Tastes of sweet dark fruits, molasses, bready malts, booze, yeast, and light spice.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink for over 10% ABV.

o - Overall a very good Belgian dark ale. Lots of sweet dark fruits mixing with a little spice. Something I would definitely buy again.

mdfb79, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

MarkyMOD, Apr 18, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle. The beer pours a dark brown color with a large off-white to tan head. The aroma has a lot of Belgian candy sugar as well as some dark fruit and a little bit of toffee. The flavor is full of dark fruit. I get a lot of raisins, as well as some cherry and plum notes. There is a little bit of sweetness from the candy sugar, as well as some brown sugar and molasses notes. The alcohol is very well hidden and is barely noticeable. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice beer.

Mora2000, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of jwc215
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml faux ceramic cage-corked bottle, poured into a tulip glass:

Pours dark brown with a thick, foamy/creamy off-white head. The head thins then stays around, leaving some broken rings of lacing on the glass.

The smell is of caramel with earthy notes and dark fruits. A nice spiciness mixes in.

The taste is of sweet caramel/toffee, a bit toasty, with earthy/peppery spicing and medium to dark fruitiness (some raisins, esp. as it progresses). Some sharp, grassy hops come through to help the herbal spiciness balance the sweetness. Very complex and tasty.

Medium-bodied, sharp yet creamy.

The alcohol/spicy bite slows it down a bit, as does the lingering sweetness (though it never reaches cloying). No complaints, here though, as it is meant to be sipped slowly anyway.

A complex, delicious sipping treat!

jwc215, Jan 27, 2008
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4/5  rDev -5.4%

DrunkinYogi, Jun 03, 2013
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 3,172 ratings.