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Gulden Draak Vintage - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
Gulden Draak VintageGulden Draak Vintage

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

140 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 140
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 14.06%
Wants: 16
Gots: 5 | 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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 140 | Reviews: 78 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big '09 750.

The wife bought this for me at Brewforia... thanks babe! Been working all day and then came home and worked for the wife.. a fair trade I guess... poured into my Delirium goblet.

Foamy lite tan head.. has pretty good retention and okay lacing.. the brew is pretty clear cola brown.

Nose features the traditional dark fruit esters... raisins... mild fig.. but the rich maltiness really only shows as it warms up significantly..

Flavor has a nice wave of caramel that moves with the abundant bubbles into the dark fruits... finish is lingering with a carbonic bite to it... phenols have a peppery element..

a bit too carbonated even for the style.. and that lends to the sorta acidic element on the end...

good beer... I may get another to hang on to...


Photo of beergod1
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The first time I seen this, I was shocked, I didn't know GD had any thing else. So I couldn't wait to try it. It poured Very dark brown with a good lasting tan head. Sweet and slightly alcoholic aroma with dark fruits and malt and some yeasty hints. Has a Medium spicyness to it. Not a lot of body, more one-dimensional dominated by sweet malt and a warming alcoholic tone. It's not bad, just not very exciting. A good plain Belgian ale. Regular Gulden Draak is better. I think I'll stick with American Christmas Ales, It seems to me there are a lot more Heartier Ales and Lagers at Chrismas time, then Foriegn. IMO

Photo of farrago
3.08/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Huge 3-4 finger head if poured down the center of the glass, lacey, delicate foam of larger bubbles which dissipate at a steady rate, too fine to leave much lacing behind. Muddy brown in color with more yellow than orange tinge, murkily opaque with a few bubbles visible. Herbaceous, leafy nose like moss, fallen leaves and wet dried grass, close to salty at moments, light coating of ginger and cocoa beans but nothing about the scents screams sweetness, any fruit is muted figs and dates. In the mouth it's medium-bodied, the carbonation has sufficient fluff to broaden total palae coverage. Some apple and pear pairs up with the dates but as the cocoa, chocolate element is so dry, again, the lack of sweetness is palpable. Slightly lower herbal, forest-like character, however, does end with an increased astringent dryness. Mixed spices, nothing gains clarity on its own. To be fair, in my explorations of the Belgian Strong Dark Ale category I have been underwhelmed and think the category just doesn't do it for me. Chances are others will like this better than I.

Photo of brownbeer
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours reddish brown with great clarity and a substantial tan head that retains nicely.

Dried fruit aromas; raisin, prune with a bready, spicy yeast background.

Flavors of dark dried fruit, a faint caramel note, light alcohol, and a dry finish with a hoppy gently touch.

It has a creamy body but a wasn't crazy about the carbonation, seemed to be nearing on too much. It gets quite a bit better the more it warms but it could definately be more enjoyable. I hoped for more considering the power of their non-vintage ale.

Photo of shadow1961
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gulden Draak Vintage Ale 2009 pours a big loose head over a slightly cloudy deep amber brew. Carbonation is very active- the nose is toasted malt, coffee and oak notes, dry herbal hops. Flavor is those toasty malts again up front- not quite sweet, balanced with a nice mix of mate-like earthy/leafy/spicy hops. Mouthfeel is surprisingly light, probably due to the high carbonation, and a bit dry as well. The alcohol content, a fairly high 7.5% ABV, really only makes itself with a bit of a warming sensation. Actually, a pretty nice switch up from heavier kinds of brews you tend to encounter over the holidays- cleansing and refreshing for all the good dark flavors that come with it.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
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 Beerenauslese
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown, with some translucence. Very ample head, high carbonation. The cork was coming out on its own after I took the foil off. Leaves a little lacing on the glass.

Smells of cinnamon and clove spice, ginger, brown sugar.

Tastes like Gulden Draak, maybe a bit drier and lower in alcohol. Notes of cola (even Dr. Pepper). Vanilla and dark toffee. Doesn't seem to offer much over the regular Gulden Draak.

Mouthfeel is light and highly carbonated.

A decent yuletide brew, but not extraordinary. Seems to me a marketing strategy is behind this one.

Photo of erz316
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big white .75L bottle with cork into Westmalle chalice. 2008 vintage

A - the cork explodes off, the beer gushes out all over the table. the beer pours well into the chalice, the medium brown head fades down to the normal thin layer that it usually does, though arguably the head could have lasted longer. pouring a small bit into the glass again, the head violently forms up and stays at a bit better pace. the body is s classic brown with ruby tinges a pretty standard looking bds.

S - gotta let this sucker warm up a bit...smells of dark ripe furits, raisin and plum, and some alcohol. not terribly strong smelling, but a good smell nonetheless. has a bit of a chlorine-like smell, which seems to be tied into the alcohol; I guess it smells like a cool sake more than blatant pool side chlorine, lets say that.

T - not terribly potent in the taste region either, i think i'll stick to the regular draak. initial taste is almost obscured by the tingling of the carbonation, what does come through is a spicy alcohol and a little fruitiness. the finish is malty and the tasty alcohol that this style gets comes out, hints of the bitterness from hops. the aftertaste is malty, but bitter at the same time from hops I suppose; alcohol taste fades quickly and there is a distinctive metallic taste.

MF&D - this brew is highly carbonated, almost annoyingly so. feel is fine, maybe a bit thin, but the carbonation makes up for any lack of thickness.

Photo of Dankuel
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured the beer into a balloon goblet, has a nice deep, red/brown color but with weak bubbly head that is more like carbonated soda pop than a beer head. The beer has a very complex aroma: pears, apples, bananas and tint of nail polish remover (i forget the name of the compound that smells like this)

The beer is extremely fruity, everything you smell (as stated above) is in the taste. The beer has a champange like feel in the mouth, but disapates quickly. This is a decent brew.

Photo of Travlr
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark brown color with a lively tan head and nice lacing. Roasted coffee aroma, with tastes of moderate alcohol throughout, some caramel and malt, maybe a bit of spice, probably cinnamon or nutmeg. Slight bitterness in the finish. Not very complex, but should age well.

Photo of NorCalYeti
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

taste- wood, apple, sweet malt, effervescent

color- brown-ruby

clarity- opaque but it pours clear

smell- cedar, apple

body- full, nice finish, quietly complex

appearance- great color, lively carbonation, nice head

overall impression- great tasting beer, 2.4.2.

notes- refermented in the bottle, natural malt sweetness with a hoppy gentle touch, creamy head. could probably be aged another year, easily. 7.5% abv. this review is for a 2007 vintage tasted in 2008

glassware: tulip

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
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 ChainGangGuy
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
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 Nick3
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Dark mohagany color pours a thick 4 finger head that fades away after a few minutes. Nose is molasses, candied sugar, and dark fruit. Beer is very drinkable, so much softer and more mellow than it's more common bretheren. Beer is sweet, but not overly sweet with hints of vanilla. It's a nice change up from the standard GD.

Photo of waldoiverson
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750 ml into us pint

A: amber brown with offwhite head that left quickly

S: almond, alcohol, cherry and coconut

T: Like a porto, strong cherry and alcohol

M: Strong carbonation helped clean palate

D: a bit heavy for common drinking but pretty nice

Photo of jdhilt
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a five-finger+ very light tan pillowy head that takes forever to fade leaving a good lace. Nice clear deep amber color. Fierce carbonation and medium bodied. Spicy apple nose. Flavor is sweet/sour apple and malts. The original Gulden Draak is better. Pricey at $13.25 for a 750ml bottle from a Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, ME.

Photo of adamette
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a white 750 ml bomber into clean, clear glass.

A Dark brown cloudy body with light brown head which dissipates reasonably quickly.

S Like Gulden Draak, maybe some spices, alcohol.

T A weaker version of Gulden Draak and I struggle to taste that which sets it apart from original apart from weaker alcohol profile. Both this and the regular Gulden Draak have a big malty sweetness in front, very little hops and a nice syrupy nectar feel which sticks around for a few minutes. This version lacks the welcoming punch of the original.

M Full just like its regular counterpart with matly bigness and alcohol.

D Good but I do not sense any reason to seek this much more difficult to find beer out since it is not significantly different (IMO) from Gulden Draak.

Notes: I am glad to have found it at Heinen's. I have very dissipointed with some of my favorite Belgian beer's Christmas or Holiday versions up until now. Other dissapointments were St. Bernardus Christmas and Delerium Noel.

Photo of Tdizzle
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage cellared in my closet for over a year. 7.5% ABV.

A- Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Chimay chalice, this beer pours a murky brownish-red color with a dense, tan colored head that settles to a thick layer, leaving sticky blankets of lacing behind.

S- Belgian yeast and Belgian candi sugar with dark fruits in the background. Spices, lemon zest and orange peel too. The aroma is heavier on the spice notes and could use a heftier yeast and malt backing.

T- Besides the expected flavors of spicy Belgian yeast and sweet, bready malts, this beer is pretty bland. The finish is tasteless, save for a slight metallic bitterness.

M- Full-bodied and a bit creamy with a good amount of prickly carbonation bubbles.

D- This beer is easy to drink, but the lack of flavor doesn't make me want to explore it any further than my initial pour.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage Ale 2007. Corked and caged 750ml bottle, split between two hefty 'Gulden Draak' tulip glasses. The snow-whiteness of the bottle, the red foil wrap, and falling snow and a Santa-cap atop the label's 'draak' lend a decidedly 'Holiday' feel. Big thanks to Team melbatoast93/mheisler76 for this one.

Christmas Day 2008, watching the falling snow and the 'Christmas Story' marathon with guldengirl.

A: Looks a rather mundane brown at first glance; lift it to light and it shows the gorgeous deep-red glow of garnet. Head is fluffy topping of beige, rising in each glass a full 3-fingers, then dropping to denser froth after a few minutes. Many streams of tiny carbonation creep up the sides and rise at the center. Lace sparkles in random patches.

S: Sweet nose: full of raisins, carob, a little cocoa and plenty of spice (that 'Belgian' yeast, so identifiable).

T: Ripe fruit, raisins, licorice, black tea, molasses and a tangy/zesty dose of spice. Spiced apples, really, and the drying bittering of darkly roasted malt in the finish. It's got everything the 'regular' Gulden Draak has, just a bit more subdued. Neither too sweet nor too bitter; complex enough, though I can't help but compare it to the stronger Gulden Draak (and it pales next to it).

M: A springy prickle, softening to a creamy, but rather thin coating. Lasting spice and a sleight grainy sweetness in the finish. Medium body, veiled alcohol.

D: I'm an unabashed fan of the regular version of Gulden Draak, so it's no surprise I enjoyed this. Flavor on this is a bit more subtle, aroma a bit weaker, but it's still a terrific beer. Kinda liked the fact the ABV was reduced by several percent, a supremely drinkable beer made even MORE drinkable. Merry Christmas indeed.

Thanks again, H & M.

Photo of magictrokini
2.88/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ehh. Pours rich brown with some cloudiness. Uncontrollable off-white head that explodes out of the glass, then gets rocky as it slowly fades. Nice aroma of spice, caramel, sandalwood, dried fruits, and sweet bread. Then it goes downhiil, fast. Weak, watery mouthfeel. Taste of raisins, caramel malt, dirty yeast, overly spiced cookie dough. Problem is all of these tastes are weak and flat.

Photo of froghop
3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours a dark brown mahogany with a large brown wispy head that dissipates quickly and leaves a little lacing.

smell is of malt, some spice, some fruits, some caramel.

taste is watery, malt, some spice, some caramel, a little wood bark, end is somewhat dry.

Photo of ThirstyBird
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a chalice
2007 vintage
A Dark brown, nice tan head loitering head. Some lacing.
S - Caramel malt
T - Cherries, sweet malt, grapefruit
M/F - Carbonation a little prickly. Finishes smooth. Seems a little lighter than I would have expected.
D - Pretty nice dark ale.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber color with a big light tan head. In the aroma, small sugar and faint plums. In the taste, sugary plums, touch of hops and candied sugar. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry plum and dark fruit aftertaste. More mellow than standard but good. Thanks go to Jef from Van Steenberge, I was honored to share the bottle with him.

Photo of yemenmocha
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with light brown head.

Nose is filled with apple, figs, raisins, and slight grassy herbal components.

Flavor is raisiny malty sweet, with more fruits that were from the nose - apples, raisins, and yet some figs also.

Full flavored ale. Not as hearty as the standard G.D. but worth trying for sure.

Photo of Blakaeris
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich, but hazy mahogany brown, with a thick frothy tan head that leaves sheets of lacing. Complete lack of yeasty chunks.

Aroma is candy sweet with rum soaked dark fruit. Yeasty and powdery, with a mild musty quality.

Taste is sweet an malty up front. Bready with a mild toasted character. Generous dark fruit - plum and date really stand out; along with orange, apricot, apple, and melon notes. Finish is dry and musty, with lingering yeasty spices and a mild alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, light and drinkable.

A very interesting beer. The fruit aspect is really something to enjoy as each sip brings another flavor. Overall this is a very balanced and drinkable brew.

Gulden Draak Vintage from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 140 ratings.