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Gulden Draak Vintage - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
Gulden Draak VintageGulden Draak Vintage

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

138 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 138
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 14.32%
Wants: 15
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-17-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 138 | Reviews: 78 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GClarkage
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

GClarkage, Apr 15, 2008
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
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

Gueuzedude, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of koolchas
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a 750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass...

gulden draak "used" to be my favorite begian strong ale and this brew brought me back to belgian ales.

but, as stated by other member, this vintage ale seemed much lighter than the original.

still a very good choice for style, seems like the brew was lightened up a bit with some spices added. the only positive about it being "lighter" is that you don't get the fullness in the stomach after a few glasses which many winter seasonals will do to you.

one of the easier winter brews i've drank so far, but i was expecting so much more. more flavors, more complexity, just more of everything ....

regardless, still worth a try at least once, but once may be enough for most.

koolchas, Dec 21, 2007
Photo of Risser09
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at a tasting from a 750ml bottle - Thanks to yinzer & phatz

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, transparent color with a huge tan head that amasses 2" in height.

Smell: Caramel, Belgian spice, lemon and a mild astringency.

Taste: Creamy molasses, caramel, esters and plenty of spice. Moderate sweetness and roasted hazelnuts round out the finish.

Mouthfeel: Spicy but very creamy. Finishes dry with an alcoholic burn.

Drinkability: This has been my favorite Belgian Christmas beer this year. Much lighter than the ordinary Guldan Draak. Overall, this one was pretty good but not spectacular. Worth a try.

Risser09, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Im not sure whats going on here, but this winter beer feels weaker than the original Gulden draak. The beer is highly carbonated and pours slightly clearer than the original. It is very similar in taste to that of the original but a little more spice flavor. It reminds me of the difference between Maudite and Seigneuriale. I prefer the original, but we'll see which one is better after a few years.

AKBelgianBeast, Dec 15, 2007
Photo of joepais
3.05/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2007 vintage 750 ml bottle poured into my duvel tulip dark ruby red with a big beige head. the cork had wonderful aromas of bread dough and spices which continued to flow from the glass that I poured a hint of spice as well as a sweet fruit aroma The palate on this one is very crisp (carbonated ) but a medium feel to it .Flavors of sweet fruit, spice and bitter hop finish I'll say that the flavors are very mild tho Not what I expected for a winter offering from this company. The regular Gulden Draak is much more pronounced and prehaps better than this one. I dont know where the brewer was going with this one

joepais, Dec 15, 2007
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2007 Vintage , served in a goblet. A medium brown color with a thick tan head. It had a dark fruit aroma (cherry, mostly), some caramel, a little spice. The mildly spiced aroma translated into a very spicy taste, which I thought was a little bit on the sharp side and not that enjoyable. The fruit and caramel took a back seat to the spices. An OK beer, but I won't be looking for another.

lordofthewiens, Dec 13, 2007
Photo of largadeer
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

largadeer, Dec 08, 2007
Photo of oelergud
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage Ale 2007.
Corked and caged opaque white bottle with a red collar. Gold mystical flying creature wearing a santa hat on the label.
Dark opaque mahogany body. Tan head of small to medium bubbles. Good retention and clumpy lace.
Sweet spiced malt scent with abit of pear. Caramel and brown sugar.
Delicious sweet spiced malty goodness. Strong and robust. Plenty of hops with a mild spiked character. Aftertaste of great malty hoppiness, very well balanced.
Full body, good coating and nice and slick.
Great drinkability. Very nice to see a special belgian with a moderate abv. Warmth is an absolute must for this brew. Drink it cold and you will not enjoy it's many nuances.


oelergud, Nov 24, 2007
Photo of garbercury
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Vintage Beer and Wine for the opportunity for another holiday Belgian!

A---Ruby red, a little bit of lacing, two finger head that disappated quickly.

S---Light and fruity, nice.

T---Fruity tones, cherries? Not too bad, not quite to the standard of the regular Gulden Draak but tasty

M---Silky feel, not bad at all.

D---I think this beer needs to age. Of course, like any Belgian in my cabinet i could not wait. It needed time and probably would get much better as time progresses. Still a nice treat if you enjoy the best beers in the world, the Belgian ones...

garbercury, Nov 20, 2007
Photo of Wildman
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage: This beer poured a clear dark red amber color and formed a huge foamy white head much like a float. It slowly subsided leaving latticed lace. A heavy amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, spices, candy and hint of alcohol. A flavor of malt, cherry, light chocolate and alcohol. Fairly light compared to the regular, with a slightly sweet, yet sour finish.

Wildman, Nov 19, 2007
Photo of janubio
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber colour, nice reddish to the light.
Strong head that last for a while leaving a strong lace too.
Aroma is yaesty, flowers and honey, I expected more from this.
Velvety but strong flavour. Mouth is spicy, cherries, fruits and some chocolate.
Strange that it has less alcohol than the usual Gulden Draak.

janubio, May 20, 2007
Photo of BDTyre
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another decent Belgian, spiced up a bit for Christmas. Dark brown with an overdone head. Candy sugar and spice on the nose. Warm, alcoholic taste with background of spice and fruit. Not much better than a typical Belgian.

Not the best I've had. A little too much alcohol in the taste, and the spices don't seem to be that prominent. Vintage...but from when?

BDTyre, Jan 09, 2007
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Gulden Draak Vintage from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.