1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Gulden Draak Vintage - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
Gulden Draak VintageGulden Draak Vintage

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

143 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 143
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 14.03%
Wants: 17
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-17-2006

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (86) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 143 | Reviews: 78
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Lunch. Served in a snifter. 2008 vintage.

Pours a medium golden color. Fairly thick with a bit of a white head. Not much lacing. The nose has a bit of sweetness and fruit with a touch of malt in the background. Flavor is fairly similar. Some caramel malt with some brown sugar. Semi sweet and a medium body. Low carbonation. Pretty good.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Seemingly a highly drinkable version of the original Gulden Draak due to its lower gravity and reserved sweetness level.

The Vintage Dragon pours with a billowing light tan head that surges to the top of the chalice. The color is a deep mohogany-amber color with mild haze. Rocky with foam, the head also has creamy intermitten pockets. Sticky lacing aggressivley adheres to all sides of the glass. A very nice looking beer.

Aromas of sugar plumbs, candied cherries, ripe berries, light spice and tartness, malty rich fruitcake, dates, raisons, figs, plumbs, and grapes: all play into the complex nose and with a sorghum hearty sappiness to pull all the scents together.

Fruity, malty, sugary and grainy to taste as well. There's a very direct and consisted carry over from what the aromas are into what the tastes are. Stone fruits/dehydrated fruits combine with rum-soaked fruit cake for a complex yet melded flavor. Orange zest and light pepper add to alcohol flavor for balance and intrigue.

The mouthfeel has modest early creaminess that whisps away with an evaporative wetness. Warming alcohols steer away from bite or heat, allowing for high drinkability. The beer carries a light feel from early creaminess into a long linger of fruit and sweetness.

This beer has all of the flavor and quality of the 11% Draak but in lighter tone and tenner. Perhaps aiming towards Dubbel character, this beer reminds me of Ommegang Abbey Ale. Absolutely delicious.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear brown color ale with a super huge light brown color head with great retention and perfect lacing. Aroma of candi sugar with nice Belgian malt and notes a dry hops and a peppery yeast. Taste is also dominated by sweet creamy malt which are well balanced with candi sugar and a spicy and peppery yeasty finish. Body is quite full with great carbonation and very light alcoholic ester are noticeable. Well done and a very good example of Belgian ale.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Photo of largadeer
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Chestnut-colored with faint translucency and about an inch and a half of head upon first pour. It looks great, especially compared to most dubbels.

Smell - Brown sugar, black cherries and a bit of spice.

Taste & mouthfeel - Caramel, roasted nuts, maraschino cherries. Lightly spiced with moderate sweetness. Medium-bodied; smooth, silky texture. Pretty light on the palate overall; it's extremely easy to drink despite the rather high ABV.

Notes - This isn't merely a spiced holiday version of Gulden Draak, it's an entirely different beer brewed in the Belgian dubbel style. Quite a bit lighter than the regular Gulden Draak, but still very good.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep, dark reddish-brown body with a tall, foamy, khaki-colored head.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, pleasantly fruity nose with notes of toasted caramel, similarly toasted grains, plump plums, and, lastly, a few cloves.

Taste: Flavors of toasted dark caramel and dark candi sugar deliver a moderate amount of sweetness (and rightly so). Splash of plum wine. ¼ teaspoon of freshly-ground, peppery spices. Little zip of booze. Touch of fruit and toasted grains on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Though I was initially taken aback at this being a relatively light beer when compared to the standard stalwart, Gulden Draak, I ultimately found it to be exceedingly more drinkable and more enjoyable than the original.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a wine glass.

Where can I get a Santa hat for my dragon? No matter, the beer pours a clear sienna topped by a healthy tan froth. The nose comprises cherry, fig, brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The taste follows this same path, though some nice black pepper mixes in there as well. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a nice version of the Draak, though I'm not sure I got too much of a difference between the two. (Not too much of a bad thing, there, anyway.)

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of russpowell
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml opens with a resounding pop!

Pours a super bubbly caramel/garnet with 3+ fingers of sand colored head. Good lacing & head retention

S: Bananas, dark fruit, white pepper & cloves (not much)

T: Bananas, appleskins,a touch of caramel & oaky dryness up front. A bit of booze sneaks in as this warms along with apricot, candi sugar, & more apple skin, plus just a touch of toastyness. finishes dry with slight phenol flavor, then much green apple peels & dark candi sugar; almost pulled a 4.0, some age should help the cause

MF: Medium bodied with fairly lively/too much carbonation

Drinks okay, a bit too carbonated & flavors aren't really meshing for me. Probably would be better with a a year+ minimum aging; at least I have a base-line for it now

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

Thanks Paul, 2008 vintage, the little dragon is wearing a Santa hat, odd , OK.

Beer served in a snifter, beer is brown and hazy with a thin brown head, high heavy carbonation, moderate retnetion, no lacing.

Aroma is sweet, raisin, a little oxidized.

Beer is light in body, completely thinned out on the palate by the over the top carbonation, illogically overcarbonated. It is a little sweet with a dryish finish, decent but not great.

Photo of mdfb79
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From 02/25/12 notes. 750ml bottle shared by Lunch; bless you Paul. 2008 vintage.

a - Pours a dark mahogany color with one inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dark fruits, raisins, spices, bready malts, grain, light sugar and fruity malts, light caramel malts. PRettynice nose.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, sweet dark fruits, spices, sugar, bready malts. A little too sweet, a step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, almost nonexistent. Undercarbonated and a little too sweet.

o - Overall a decent beer, but the taste is a tiny bit too sweet and it was undercabronated. Nose was nice, would try it again.

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of GClarkage
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

4/13/08- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle caged and corked. No freshness date, but I am assuming it's late 2007 as I think this is the first year they have brewed their Vintage Ale. Poured into my Koning chalice.

Appearance- Deep copper or amber colored. Starts off with a 3/4 inch head which soon mostly evaporates. Leaves behind very sparce if any lacing.

Smell- Picks up a bit more scent as it warms, but still a real sniffer. SOme spices such as clove and maybe a touch of cinnimon, maybe a bit of a dark fruit note.

Taste- Drink at room temperature number one. Even if a tiny metallic note comes out as it warms. Definite clove in the flavor along with a little plum and fig note. Seems about 7.5% as listed, but it's a burning hot abv.

Mouthfeel- Brisk carbonation, light sweetness in the aftertaste.

Drinkability- Wasn't blown away by it, but did enjoy it. Probably don't need to visit again though.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2007; Sampled February 2008
I am actually excited that this is not as strong as the regular version. This is very well carbonated, a careful pour produces ahead that starts out a full four-fingers in height and then continues to grow three-finger above the tops of my glass before it reaches an equilibrium. The head is a dirty-amber tinged, tan color and sits on top of a dark, burnt amber colored brew. When held up to the light the beer shows a brilliantly clear, rich cranberry hue. The aroma is a nice mix of malt, fruit and spice notes. The aroma has notes of apples, figs, brown sugar, sweet berries, toasted grain, caramelized malt, dusty malt, raisins, prunes, clove, a touch of ginger, soft lemon zest, and notes similar to dark holiday sweet breads. This brew has a very rich, decadent smelling aroma that I am quite enjoying.

Lightly sweet flavors remind me of rip plums (sweet with just a touch of tartness to it). The beer has prickly carbonation that causes the beer to dance across the tongue and also provides a peppery carbonic bit that helps to balance the sweetness. The beer has certain heft to it that gets pretty well cleaned up by the carbonation, keeping this beer fairly light and easy drinking. Dark fruit notes of raisins join somewhat concentrated plum notes as well as malty flavors of caramelized sugar, lightly toasted malt and a touch of biscuit flavors. The finish definitely has a touch of hot alcohol to it that provides a bit of warming character and also combines with the ample fruit notes to provide light flavors of brandy. There is a bit of spiciness that comes through towards and into the finish that also helps to balance the sweet fruit notes found up front; light spice notes of pepper, ginger, definite clove and a light herbal note are noticeable.

This has a rich fruitiness to it that is quite nice and appropriate for a beer with a winter-themed label. I do like that, despite the rich fruit notes, this beer is fairly easy drinking. This is definitely more enjoyable than the regular version, the sweetness and palate fullness of the original is not so overwhelming here and allows this version to be much better balanced and palatable (apparently most people like big powerful flavors, as the average scores are reversed for most, so feel free to ignore my perspective).

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

Photo of Halcyondays
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ, unknown age,

A: Pours a deep red umber with a medium white head, spotty lace.

S: A Belgian malt bomb of esters and sugar. Very appealing and distinct.

T: Quite malty, but well balanced. Caramel, sweet estery malt with a hop presence that's understated but provides backbone. Tasty BSDA.

M: Medium-bodied, smooth though a tad thin at times, very light carbonation.

O: Another classic from the Gulden Draak family, glad I finally got to try it.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Gulden Draak Vintage Ale (2009), poured from a white painted bomber into a chalice. Pours an impenetreble ruby with a soapy off white head.

Smell: Bready malts and some distant noble hops.

Flavor: Light fruit from the malts intermingles with a spicy hop. Grapes and fig, juicy malt. A flash of tartness soon subsides to an appetizingly dry finish. Similar to regular Gulden Draak with alittle less booze and over the top fruit esters, and markedly drier.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth with the aforementioned dry finish.

Drinkability: The mellow little brother of Gulden Draak. I found this beer to have its charms and certainly was worth the try. I would definately have this again sometime.

Photo of corby112
2.83/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes:

2008 vintage. Pours a dark ruby red/hazelnut brown color with a thin foamy off-white head that quickly fades leaving little to no lacing behind.

Caramel malt aroma with subtle earthy hops, peppery spice, hazelnut, dark fruit and smoke.

Lighter bodied tuan I expected or hoped for with some sweet caramel maltiness as well as very subtle hop bitterness. Peppery spice with hints of cinnamon and a slightly roasty hazelnut character. Soft carbonation but slightly watered down with a sweet dry finish.

Photo of afsdan
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of DoubleJ
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gulden Draak makes a Xmas ale? Easy decision, grab the bottle and pay the $14.99 for the corked and caged magnum. On to the beer:

Smoke, then a rush of bubbly liquid come out of the bottle after the cork is popped. The head on top of this dark auburn liquid is very airy; it apears very soapy looking, but time makes the texture more compact and creamier. A few trickles of lacing are left on the glass. Smells like happy; choolate covered raisins, brown sugar, plum, figs. Soft, yet exhilirating, The outlook for the rest of the journey looks really good.

There's nothing wrong with the flavor of Gulden Draak Vintage. It has a little bit of a tradtional Belgian-made Xmas flair to go along with the traditional flair of dark Belgians. Biting dark fruit flavor hits, some grassy hops provide a surprise to me. Little dabs of caramel and unsweetened chocolate work their way into the profile. The carbonation is soft for the most part, the texture being creamy. Surprisingly dry with just a teeny touch of bitterness and leftover cocoa powder going on in the aftertaste.

I like it. I could see this being part of a hearty wintertime dinner (poutine anyone?).

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Gulden Draak Vintage from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 143 ratings.