Gulden Draak Vintage - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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Gulden Draak VintageGulden Draak Vintage

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BA SCORE
85
very good

78 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 78
Hads: 145
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 8.68%
Wants: 17
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website
Belgium

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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 78 | Hads: 145
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (783 characters)

Photo of Nick3
3.8/5  rDev 0%
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. (370 characters)

Photo of waldoiverson
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
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 (251 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
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. (330 characters)

Photo of adamette
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (999 characters)

Photo of Tdizzle
3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
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. (851 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
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. (1,771 characters)

Photo of magictrokini
2.92/5  rDev -23.2%
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. (390 characters)

Photo of froghop
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
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. (258 characters)

Photo of ThirstyBird
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
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. (295 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
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. (358 characters)

Photo of yemenmocha
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
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. (317 characters)

Photo of Blakaeris
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
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. (696 characters)

Photo of bashiba
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was an 07 Corked 750 version. Lots of pressure on this one, I thought the cork was going to bust through my ceiling.

Poured a very clear dark amber with some nice Mahogany highlights. The head was huge and thick and a bit sticky.

Smell was mild with hints of dark sweet fruit, banana, yeast, vanilla, and a bit of cedar and oak.

The flavor is very sweet and fruity with a big banana rush up front, some nice clove, vanilla, and nutmeg come through with a very yeasty finish along with some long lasting woody qualities.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy with lots of carbonation and just a touch of heat.

Good Drinkability for this solid belgian Dubbel. (663 characters)

Photo of CHADMC3
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml caged and corked, purchased about 4 months ago. Abundant frothy vanilla to tan head with a deep walnut brown body and endless tight carbonation bubbles subsiding to a loose but constant lacing. A bit lighter and much greater head than the original.

Wow, you do not have to get very close to enjoy the aroma of this specialty. The sweet, dark fruits such as figs and raisins are instant. The spice notes waft from the goblet through the remaining 2-inch head.

Flavor is slightly lighter than the original. Dark fruit is abundant through the carbonation to accompany the caramel and spice. I think there are even some very faint citrus notes hidden here as well, but as the beer warms, the spice and deep-rooted sweet fruit are more prevalent.

Medium to light in body with generous carbonation offsetting the delicious flavors.

Always a crowd pleaser that Golden Dragon! I can enjoy this beer over and over. (930 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
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. (953 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
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 (2,370 characters)

Photo of koolchas
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (721 characters)

Photo of Risser09
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (614 characters)

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
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. (400 characters)

Photo of joepais
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
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 (615 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
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. (389 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
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. (663 characters)

Photo of oelergud
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
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 (692 characters)

Photo of garbercury
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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... (573 characters)

Gulden Draak Vintage from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
85 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.