Gulden Draak Brewmaster's Edition
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Gulden Draak Brewmaster's EditionGulden Draak Brewmaster's Edition
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Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Ranked #41
Ranked #4,641
4.07 | pDev: 9.58%
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Gulden Draak Brewmaster's EditionGulden Draak Brewmaster's Edition
Notes: To celebrate the 230th birthday of the brewery, a Belgian strong dark ale aged in Whiskey barrels from Brouwerij Van Steenberge.
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Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 355 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ThaneMcC
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gulden Draak – how do you improve on perfection? Age it in whisky barrels. . .
First had this as the annual BAB craft beer fest in Brussels – so good – and thankfully easy to come by around here (Germany).
Beautiful amber pour into tulip glass, white foamy head that resolves fairly quickly and plenty of lacing and legs. Smells of classic Belgian yeast, roasted malts, dark fruits, woody and vanilla whisky notes.
Taste is sweet, dark fruits, some plum, raisin, fig, hint of molasses and vanilla and woody notes with a fairly strong whisky finish and clean finish.
Medium mouth feel with strong carbonation and astringency – sweet without being syrupy – tasty sipper with well hidden abv. . .

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ThaneMcC from Germany, Apr 22, 2020
Photo of stortore
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a tulip snifter. 2017 edition, bottled April 2017, had 8/17/19. Also had on tap.

Pours a tawny gold color, lightly hazy, with a one and a half inch foamy head with great retention and lots of foamy lacing. Aromas of Belgian yeast, spices- coriander for one, malt, whiskey, wheat, some oak, light vanilla, some peppercorn, light funk as it warms. The flavor is similar- Belgian yeast, whiskey, malt, spices, wheat, some vanilla and oak. Smooth, a good medium body, well carbonated.

This has a fairly unique flavor profile, and the whiskey barrels really enhance the solid base. Very enjoyable and well worth a purchase.

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stortore from Illinois, Mar 26, 2020
Photo of zeff80
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler. Poured out a clear, light burgundy color with a small, khaki-colored head of foam. It smelled of whiskey, toffee, candi sugar and caramel. Boozy taste with caramel, spices, maltiness and dried fruitiness.

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zeff80 from Missouri, Dec 13, 2019
Photo of keithmurray
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - bronze colored body with eggshell white head

Smell - cherry, whiskey, plum, apple

Taste - apple, cherry, plum, raisin, date, whiskey

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, sweetness from the dark fruit upfront, hint of whiskey on the back end

Overall - decent iteration of GuldenDraak that I was glad to try. Didnt seem like the barrel flavors were in concert with the rest of the beer. But the more I drink these variants, the more i come to the conclusion that I like base gulden Draak the best out of all of them!

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keithmurray from Connecticut, Apr 12, 2019
Photo of Zet
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Like its regular cousin, the brewmaster version is a fine example of a alcohol-drenched (no perojative here, it's the balanced and warming kind) BSDA. It does not offer anything spectacular on top of the original however. The "matured in whisky-barrels-thing" is pretty latent. Therefore I doubt this beer really deserves its spot on the shelves.

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Zet from Netherlands, Jan 23, 2019
Photo of JamFuel
4.26/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a brownish orange with fine, off white foam.

Smell is yeasty and oaky with notes of banana, pears and brown sugar.

Taste is more balanced and mellow that I thought it would be. Yeasty and fruit, with notes of apple must, white wine, vanilla and quite a bit of oak. Sophisticated and deep.

Mouthfeel is medium to full, chewy and well carbonated.

Overall, a nice Belgian that is way too easy to drink, considering the ABV.

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JamFuel from Sweden, Nov 13, 2018
Photo of Bombelsky
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I mean it is the same beer just with bit of vanilla flavor and aroma. If it is the same price it is worth it. Did not try to cellar it, maybe that's the key? Anyway very good, tasty beer

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Bombelsky from Poland, Oct 30, 2018
Photo of AlarmClock314
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

25.4oz bottle, bottled on 1/15. Pours hazy gold with a medium sized head; lighter color than expected. Smells of oxidization, oak/barrel, dried fruit, fruity esters, and honey. The taste follows with oak, fruit, and honey. Medium intensity and very smooth. Slightly sweet and average bitterness. It's past it's prime, but that's not surprising given that it's approaching it's 4th birthday. Below average body and average carbonation. Overall, I'd rather have a darker/richer BSDA more true to the style, but the barrel comes through well enough and it help up okay with time.

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AlarmClock314 from Wisconsin, Oct 25, 2018
Photo of draheim
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750mL (bottled 8/2013, recently pulled from the deep recesses of my cellar) into a chalice. Pours a deep honey golden, lots of sediment, w/ a huge white head that dissipates relatively quickly to a layer of foam and collar. Surprisingly light color for what's listed as a strong dark ale, but OK.

Aroma is a rich and complex blend of figs and dates, ripe banana, vanilla, clove, Belgian yeast and sweet, sugary malt.

Taste follows nose. Mellow banana and vanilla, spice, graham cracker, and bready yeast. Nice warming whiskey on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, slick, a tad oily.

Overall a slightly more complex Belgian strong ale, on par with some of the barrel-aged American variants of this style.

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draheim from Washington, Aug 06, 2018
Photo of janubio
4.79/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Served in an old Gulden Draak tulip glass. Porus an amber color, medium head with long retention that leaves a layer on the surface. Irregular good lace.
Aroma of caramel, wood, whiskey, ripended fruits, banana, raisins.
Medium to dull body, dense and creamy texture, normal carbonation. Dry, sweet and alcoholic finish.
Taste of caramel, raisisns, banana, wood, whiskey, dark fruits.
Excellent slow drinking beer.

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janubio from Spain, Aug 01, 2018
Photo of Chuckdiesel24
4.51/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Biggest difference between taste and smell I can remember in a beer. Nose is extremely bourbon forward to where I was shocked by the taste. Taste is a 5 to me - the bourbon has mixed in lightly to create a toffee and caramel taste to go with a substantive mouthfeel.

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Photo of Dzu
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2017 edition.
Poured from tap into snifter.
L: ruby with a weak foam head.
S: wine, caramel.
T: bittersweet, wine, flowers.
F: tight body and low carbonated.
O: don't like usual GD. Looks like it aged.

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Dzu from Russian Federation, May 01, 2018
Photo of BenHoppy
3.34/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nothing impressive. Nowhere close to as good as regular Gulden Draak. Reminds me of a German pilsner with a whiskey finish. But not whiskey forward. Goes nearly unnoticed if not for finish. Some caramel notes as well but would not recommend this.

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BenHoppy from Michigan, Apr 07, 2018
Photo of EMH73
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap, poured a clear deep amber color with a one finger head that dissipated quickly and left minimal lacing, Smells predominately of sweet malts, with undertones of oak, whiskey, yeast and banana. Taste lacked any real depth, with sweet malts being the main flavor, minimal whiskey and wood notes, banana, raisins, vanilla and yeast. Medium bodied, light carbonation, smooth mouth feel. Overall, disappointing.

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EMH73 from New York, Mar 12, 2018
Photo of SLeffler27
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours slightly hazed, rich amber to shiny copper. Highlights glow bright amber to dark copper. The three-inch, creamy densefoam is almond white and long lasting. A thin coating of fine lace is dissolved by a film as the beer swirls within a Dragon Egg Snifter.

Sweet bread dough greets the nose, followed by hay. Notes of caramel and light lilac are subtle as is pinesap and the distinctive horse blanket. Fusil alcohol is a detraction, as is the lack of whiskey.

Alcohol balances the sweetness. As a pair, they are mild but with concentration, both are high. Oak and whiskey are clearly present in the flavor, but still subtle. Notes of butterscotch, burnt sugar, plums and vanilla. Warmth brings out herbal flavors along with dried apricot. The finish is mild and long and warmth significantly improves the flavor.

The body is medium with a satin texture and fine carbonation. It coats the palate with peppery alcohol that expresses the strength with light heat.

This is a good sipping beer which I enjoyed while reading on a cool autumn day as the first snow fell and Diane rehearsed on the harp. This beer added to the calm, peaceful tranquility.

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SLeffler27 from New York, Feb 25, 2018
Photo of lmaduells
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a great beer! I have tasted this beer in a small bottle. It seems that until now it could only be taken in large bottle. A great Belgian beer, balanced and without deceiving anyone.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.19/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I've had a number of related brews and they all have been excellent. This was no exception and lives up to the billing.

It pours a deep golden reddish color, clearish and with just a tad of fizz (but a very effective effervescence). The aroma is beautifully balanced and pretty, but not over the top. The taste is a very nice experience of yeasty goodness, loads of malt interacting. Awesome. The finish is wonderfully boozy. I love that kind of boozy, but I actually don't want too much of that today.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.49/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a murky brown with a large, dissipating head. The aroma is rich with banana bread, figs, dates, brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, fudge and toffee. The flavor is rich and chocolatey, with banana bread, figs, dates, brown sugar, caramel, walnut, and cream. The mouthfeel is full and sweet, with a dry finish. Overall this is a lovely beer - I love the base beer, and the barrel aging work well here.

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Czequershuus from Minnesota, Oct 21, 2017
Photo of Zorro
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Chill hazed brown colored ale with a small white colored head that doesn't last.

Smells strongly of apples and cinnamon, smells exactly like apple butter in fact. Lots of black pepper riding on the ethanol fumes. Scents of vanilla and oak. Scents of butter and honey. Scents of heather and sage. But I don't actually smell the whiskey as a distinct scent in this one.

Starts out tasting of apples and whiskey. Cinnamon apples, honey and whiskey all together. Slightly woody with a good oak flavor and a faint taste of corn silk. Alcohol is very well hidden making this one extra dangerous to drink. Brown sugar and rum flavor as it warms. Very tasty beverage, but a sipper.

Mouthfeel is very full.

Overall not sure that whiskey barrel aging ads that much to an already great beer. But the whiskey barrel sure doesn't hurt it either. An Excellent choice for a holiday beer like Thanksgiving and Christmas. A treat for adult Halloween trick or treaters. This one is both trick AND treat!

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Zorro from California, Sep 17, 2017
Photo of SpongeHop
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - warm golden-orange color; big, foamy, pillowy head
S - Belgian yeasty esthers leaning towards honey and clove, minimal candy-banana.
T - candy sugar/honey; Belgian yeasty esthers of clove, with minimal candy-banana. Vanilla notes from the barrels. There is some alcohol, but with a cognac-y vibe rather than turpentine.
F - thick, but not overly syrupy. A pleasant alcohol warmth, and does not burn in the throat.

O - I am not a fan of Gulden Draak, nor of Belgian beers that have that candy-banana character. This, however, is a very welcome exception that I am going to attribute to the vanilla and the cognac vibes from the barrel. In fact, I really, really enjoyed this, and I would definitely buy again.

I heartily recommend this one.

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SpongeHop from Belgium, Jun 06, 2017
Photo of Sludgeman
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Purchased for $22 at Arrow Wine. Shared one weekend afternoon with my 26 year old daughter.

Quite often great beer + barrel aging = disaster, but in my opinion, this is turned out to be a great variation on a great beer. 4.25

A - Pours a golden color, slightly hazy, with a two-finger off-white head. 4.25

S - Dark fruits, raisins, some apple (my daughter pointed this out), honey, spiciness. 4.25

T - Dark Belgian ale flavors with a substantial spiciness showing through the sedate brown sugar, vanilla whiskey., 4.25

F - Medium bodied, malty with a slight sweetness, smooth, the ABV is evident but only in a nice integrated way. No real heat. 4.5

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Sludgeman from District of Columbia, May 13, 2017
Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

L- Pours an amber orange with a head that dissapares to nothing in no time.
S- Lots of sark fruit with some citrus undeetones.
T- Dark fruits candied with great belgian yeast backing. Whiskey barrel slaps it on the ass on the way out.
F- Champaign feel eith freat warming.
O- Wonderful, complex, fun beer.

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Photo of pants678
3.18/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Light, clear brown.

Sweet malt.

The finish is very liquor. Sweet malt comes out as honey and vanilla, sorta hefe-esque banana and clove thing, too. Love the original, this one's not for me.

Dry, maybe lighter on the carbonation.

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pants678 from California, Feb 05, 2017
Photo of ShoeIn-BrewWin
3.29/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

2015 Edition

Look: Both the bottle and the beer are fantastic looking. They really hit the nail on the head with a dark, cloudy amber pour.

Smell: I'm a huge fan of bourbon and bourbon barrel-aged beers, but not if the beer has no other discerning characteristics other than bourbon.

Taste: Again, overpowering on the bourbon; I can barely tell it's beer. Strong notes of oak and vanilla but quite overpowering. Also, the aftertaste is quite sweet.

Feel: Holy carbonation! This thing fizzed up like crazy on the pour and immediately fell flat. I've never had a beer go so foamy on me, and I've poured a lot of beers.

Overall: It's just too bourbon-y for me. I like bourbon, I like beer, I like bourbon beer when I can still tell it's beer. I think the reason most whisky barrel-aged beers are stouts and porters is because lighter beers (like this one) get overpowered by the whisky flavors while darker beers are able to maintain and enhance their identity because they already contain strong characteristics. I wouldn't say I hate this beer, but I wouldn't pay the hefty price to drink it again.

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ShoeIn-BrewWin from United Kingdom (England), Jan 08, 2017
Photo of tekstr1der
3.79/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2015 bottle - Pours golden brown with half-finger of lingering tan head. Aroma is so very similar to the regular Draak - dark fruits like plums and raisins, candi sugar, and just a hint of whiskey - only because I was looking for it. Flavor is similar though with a much more pronounced bba quality. I'm not a whiskey fan, and have passed this by several times due to that fact but many review state that the bba component is barely detectable. I disagree. All the aforementioned components of the nose combine with a dominant oak and whiskey flavor. That makes this not my thing unfortunately.

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tekstr1der from New Hampshire, Nov 06, 2016
Gulden Draak Brewmaster's Edition from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 355 ratings