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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
95
world-class

3,273 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,273
Reviews: 1,226
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 200
Gots: 387 | 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
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Ratings: 3,273 | Reviews: 1,226 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Shane for picking this one up, one I know we both wanted to check out.

A: Pours a deep ruby/brown color with a smallish tan head on top. Decent retention, lasting for a few minutes before dissolving to little bits of bubbles on top. Not much lacing.

S: Lots of plum and prune, it reminded me of grapes that are slightly over-ripe, kind of like what it smells like when you walk through a bunch of grape vines actually. There is some dark caramel and a little bit of spice.

T: Rather sweet with the dark fruits returning (plum, prune, and a bit of raisin but not much). There is also a bit of banana, some brown sugar, and caramel. Again, it is lightly spiced and slightly yeasty.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Alcohol hidden rather well.

O: A pretty solid beer, not something I am running out to drink all the time, but would grab it once in a while.

Photo of wl0307
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Coming in a 330ml short bottle (now covered in white plastic wrap instead of being painted white as in the past, making it look really bad and cheap), BB 18/05/2013, served lightly-chilled in Gulden Draak’s own branded tulip-shaped bowl sniffer.

A: a well-lingering dark beige frothy head comes with steady and mild carbonation and a dark reddish-russet body; looking noble and prestigious.
S: sour-ish fruit esters and overripe fruits abound, on top of a creamy base of aromatic malts, dark candy sugar, and plentiful notes of prunes and berry jam. No particularly sharp edge of alc. is detected, bearing in mind this is a really potent ale. It definitely packs a punch, while the overall aroma, albeit pleasant, is not terribly complex for its category/class.
T: sour-sweet as the nose suggests, the even slightly vinegary fruity foretaste is immediately followed by a soothing flow of yeasty maltiness (cocoa, black-date paste, bready malts, etc.), laced with herbally-estery elements and a slowly manifesting stream of mild hop bitterness. Lightly spicy, olive-ish and salty-sweet in the finish, the moderate aftertaste surprisingly still “failed” to deliver any sharp touch of alc., which is definitely a great plus to the overall drinkability.
M&D: smoothly-carbonated, full-bodied and, as experienced throughout the drink, fantastically drinkable; this is a creamy-malty and yeasty ale that doesn’t come very complex but surprisingly easy-drinking amongst its counterparts.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We're getting into the meat and potatoes of the Stubby Belgian Invite with this beer at hand, and tommorrow will conclude with another strong beer. On to the beer:

A foamer into my snifter, a ruby brown color highlights the beer's appearance. Head retention is very good. Whiffs of phenolic and dark fruits in the aroma. There's a touch of pepper too.

The high alcohol level and smoothness of the beer are the first things to be noticed in the mouth. Typical dark fruit flavors found in this style are juicy and dominant. Touches of prunes and raisins, then a drying grain note. Goes peppery at times towards the end of the sip. Oh, and it's very alcoholic.

What a kick and what a taste. This is the boozy man's Chimay Blue, and a score that should put it in the competiton for winner of the Stubby Belgain Invite. We'll comclude the Stubby Belgain tomorrow night with, wait for it....another Belgian beer in a stubby bottle.

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

A: Gulden Draak appears a chestnut brown color with ruby / crimson highlights visible when held to the light. The liquid is murky and hazy, with random bits of sediment meandering randomly through the beer. Atop the beer sits a half inch of khaki head that leaves some decent lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, alcohol, slightly sweet malts. The beer tastes better than it smells, actually. The aroma is fine, but could be more grandiose.

T: The beer is sweet and malty. In spite of this, the heat, or alcohol presence, is quite subdued. If it weren't for the sweetness, it would be pretty easy to gulp down a few of these too fast. The Belgian yeast flavor is great, but I would prefer it to be brought to the forefront a bit more.

M: Alcohol content is well hidden. The feel is medium-bodied and creamy, with a malty / candy sweetness present throughout.

D: A good beer, but not my favorite BSDA. Still, it's a solid beer and one I will continue to enjoy on occasion.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle into a regular snifter very carefully as this bottle is ceramic making it impossible to see where the yeast starts. Not sure on the bottle date.

A- Gulden Draak has an incredible deep dark ruby color consisting of mix of red, brown and maroon. With a tilted glass i could see the head forming and once i was done pouring I had a two finger beige tan head on my hands. This foam was enormous with some areas slightly bulging above others. The head never left throughout the entire hour plus I enjoyed this. I was unable to see through the glass even held right up to light. Great lacing.

S- A fruity and floral aroma that is entirely Belgian, having a somewhat similar but more refined scent resembling some de dolle dark offerings. Dark fruits galore and deep as I am getting some sweet cherries plums and grapes. Some spices also including cinnamon and brown sugar. A belgian yeast is abound and creeping. A bit of hops and malts but not this BSDA strong suit.

T- Gulden Drakk is strong on the fruit presence with the aforementioned smells going along in the taste and getting berries also. GD has a very sweet taste during first sips but evolves into other depths. Also getting some caramel and other dark malts along with slight maple syrup. Some hops and the yeast come out to play a part with warming. Some pepper spiciness with some dates coming in at the end. GD leaves a candy like impression, perhaps being a tad to much on the sweet side

M- A very full mouthfeel that is felt in the pits of my stomach after enjoying. Because of this thick and full mouthfeel GD has a sweetness to it that lingers for a while, no getting around it. This sweetness is ever present on the tounge. I like the carbonation that is felt in this. A nice warming sensation comes forth after 5oz or so than fills the body. Alcohol is not completely masked but not fully on display.

D- At 10.5% this one is nothing to take lightly and I would take my time with it to get the full effect, Letting the flavors integrate & develop more. Glad i bought a small version as anymore would be overkill for me, but i would share a big bottle in a minute as this is quite accessible given the style. This would go great during a holiday dinner.

Photo of akorsak
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am drinking a 750 mL C&C bottle poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. The ale is chilled.

Appearance: The ale pours with a hazy orange-brown color. There is ample sediment in the glass. The ale poured with a decent head and left a respectable amount of lace around the glass.

Smell: Yeast is the dominant aroma. I also smell the sweetness of candy sugars.

Taste: The candied sugars are quite evident in taste. They give the ale a very pleasing sweet taste. After that, hints of alcohol and fruit (plum maybe).

Mouthfeel: The ale sits very well in the mouth. The yeastiness and sugars taste very nice together.

Drinkability: This is an eminently drinkable ale, but the 10.5% abv is a dealbreaker, too much alcohol makes me sleepy...

Photo of Zorro
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Super dark brown beer, cloudy but I can pass light through it.

Smells like Chocolate and Vanilla and Bananas, with a touch of Brown Sugar.

Tastes better than expected. Lots of brown sugar and spice. This is sweet. Tastes like Date Pudding with spices. Very Complex flavor that can't be summed up in one sentence. Has a soft spice taste. Tastes like German Christmas Cookies! Lots of Brown sugar flavors, this is a Christmas brew, not quite as good as McChouffe, but close. Delicious!

Hearty Mouthfeel.

Drinkable? Just keep them coming Bar Keep!

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

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a warm brown dense body with a thick mousse light tan head. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles in this one.

S- This beer has a nose of sweet dark malt with brown sugar, dark raisins and a dark rum alcohol smell.

T- The taste of dark sweet malt has a dark caramel note and a vinous taste to it. The faint note of coffee candy comes through in the background. The finish has a nice alcohol bite that balances the sweetness.

M- This beer has a medium light mouthfeel with a alcohol warmth.

D-This beer has nice dark malt flavors and the alcohol helps keep it in check.

Photo of afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured ontap at Burgh's

14 oz snifter. Appears mahogony with just a bit of head, which is fine, more Draak for me.

Nose is sweet fruits and dark malt.

Tastes; Fig, At times Apple. Dark chocolatey malt with a vaguely pernicious roasted edge. Wonderful.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and incredibly smooth.

Easy drinking, powerful, and delicious.

Photo of jdhilt
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just an excellent beer, too bad its $3.99 for 330ml, thick long lasting head. Reddish color. Easy to find white bottle at the largest liquor stores. Also available 750ml - $10.39.

Photo of smakawhat
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of the bottle into a tulip glass. KABOOM!! Man this thing didn't wait, cage unhooks and cork goes flying. Bit of a gush but not totally at least I was near the sink.

Looks like a fairly good sized head but falls kind of quick with a nice light tan. Foamy on top but bigger and soapier on the bottom. Body is a caramel dull red and mostly opaque. Not that too exciting looking but certainly appealing.

Dubbell smelling like in style dry yeast and malt, with a hint of cherries too. Hints of alcohol and definitely heat on the nose. Almost gets into wine territory.

Steely like dark malts borderline scotch ale, and a hint of sweet caramel. Palate exercises some good carbonation but finishes with refreshing caramel sweetness and tripel like brewed yeast punchiness. Hints of cherries and soft berry like fruit.

Overall not too bad an interesting take, not getting the hop presence it mentions so much on the bottle but an otherwise enjoyable beer.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml
Caged/Corked

Poured into a chalice a nice light brown color, nice carbonation (Big POP on opening), nice little creamy tannish head, some sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, nice touch of dark fruits, and caramel. The taste is malty, dark fruits, caramel. The taste is also slightly sweet at first with a nice tangy finish. The alcohol is hidden very well for a brew with this high of an ABV. Medium body, complex brew. Very drinkable, I like this one, at first I thought it might be like the Piraat Triple, but a dark version, too my surprise it is an excellent BSDA, and very tasty, recommended.

Photo of chinchill
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle from a Belgian sampler 6-pack served in a large glass wine goblet.

Bottled under pressure, as evidenced by the soda pop sound (psssfft) upon opening. The beer has an generous but not overwhelming fizzy head that quickly settles to a lasting but irregular tan top coat with a thick ring. The liquid is a cloudy near-opaque brown that has a reddish-orange glow when backlit.

S - Moderately strong and rich aroma that is primarily fruity/yeasty and malty, with a medium/dark blend in the malts. I found it quite appealing, and near the 5 mark. There's little hint of the high ABV.

T - Bordering on too sweet, but with notable sour and bitter elements to keep this from detracting from my enjoyment. And I suspect this sweetness helps make the alcohol largely disappear. Rich and complex, with plenty of dark fruit from mid-taste on, and traces of spices including cinnamon. A fine flavor mix that changes with temperature and from the start of a sip to the finish. A tiny bit too much sourness in the finish for my taste, but I know many other aficionados like this effect, and the finish remains a bit sweet nonetheless.

M - good, if somewhat high, carbonation helps produce an excellent mouthfeel that is neither too heavy nor too light. Very smooth, Finish is a bit less dry than I'd expect given the ABV.

O - an excellent Belgian dark tripel (or BSDA). Good enough to be a reasonable inclusion if you ever get the chance to do a side-by-side taste test of world-class Belgians; I wouldn't expect it to win, but it wouldn't be out of place and is usually less expensive (vs., say Chimay, Delirium or Rochefort) in the US.

Photo of tdm168
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at World of Beer Raleigh. Served in a tulip.

A - a dark plum color with a thin lacing of head

S - bready, spicy

T - bread, caramel, toffee, sugar, alcohol

M - medium to full bodied, warm, crisp

This is a really nice beer. It's malty, sweet, balanced, and complex. This is probably one of the better beers that I've had in this style. I will have it again.

Photo of John_M
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Was very pleased to see this beer on tap at Max's the other night. This beer has long been a favorite of mine, especially when I can find it on draft (which is not all that often).

The beer is a beautiful dark amber brown, with excellent head retention and impressive Belgium lacing. On the nose one gets sweet caramel and Belgium spice, a promise of what's to come when you taste this bad boy. On the palate the flavor profile is incredible. This beer tastes initially of cherry cough drop, wrapped around flavors of caramel, butter, honey and cream. The beer is very sweet and rich tasting, but is not cloying. For the abv., it's surprisingly drinkable (though certainly still a sipper). As the beer sits in the glass a lot of the medicine flavor fades away, and there's more of an outright cherry, vanilla and almond flavor. This beer is quite luscious, and has a very long, lingering sweet finish. On the mid palate one gets a viscuous, creamy impression that completely fills the mouth.

An excellent beer. An absolute treat whether on draft or on tap.

Photo of biegaman
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle, with best before of 05/07/08. Purposely and properly aged for curiosity's sake, enjoyed June 2008. Little change has been observed, the beer has always seemed this sublime to me...

Sandbanks of beige head peak and trough throughout the surface; they seem to only thicken throughout the tasting. This has more colour than most dark beers. The complexion is highly concealed despite having warm tones. The colour, to the light, is a glowing crimson. Hold it up, it is simply cunning.

Freshly baked bread meets sun-drying figs and prunes. The aroma showcases all that is wonderful with Belgian yeasts: the fruity esters, undertones of grape, plum and raisin; scorching Scotch like malts and musty hints of molasses, ginger, cinnamon and brown sugar.

A marriage of lightly tart, fruity tones and bready, biscuit, toffee laced malts. Honey sweetness overcoats the dark fruit flavour of plum, red grapes, and dates. The yeast imparts a hint of esters and spice - cinnamon, molasses, ginger, cookie dough, burnt sugar, tart apples and prunes. Contrary to the popular expression, this is thought for food.

Carbonation is at an ideal level; the body is ever lively, but far from syrupy, allowing flavours sparkle and then dry out on the palate uninterrupted. The tastes stick and reside in the mouth. It's a paradox: every sip makes you fretfully agog for the next, and yet, it is enormously satisfying.

This is certainly one of the most gratifying Belgian Strong Dark Ales there is. Fresh and aged, I have had this now on many occasions and never finished the glass anything but satisfied. This is an essential for the cellar and to have on hand. I'm glad this is exactly as it is.

Photo of rab53
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of ppoitras
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz white bottle purchased today at Spirit Haus, Amherst, MA. Bottle exploded foam upon opening, going everywhere in my beer/dart room, but enough was saved for sampling. We'll operate for the basis of this review that such presentation is not the norm.

Poured into a tulip glass, humungous meaty brownish head formed, possibly due to aforementioned foaming issue. Foam still alive and kicking five minutes later, with extensive lacing. Nice deep reddish-brown color to the beer, which is surprisingly opaque, allowing no light to pass through. Smells of yeast, malt, yeast malt, and alcohol proliferate. Tasting the liquid does not disappoint, tastes reinforce the aromas, and the 10.5% alcohol is not so much tasted as felt, warming your mouth and everything on down the body. An excellent cool weather beer, and, well, wouldn't be so out of place in warmer times either.

Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of billab914
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 3,273 ratings.