Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
58 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Gulden Draak Brewmaster's EditionGulden Draak Brewmaster's Edition

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by firemanmike109 on 11-06-2013

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 270
Photo of Themanfromvierlingsbeek
4.92/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2016 version from gall & gall (dutch liquor specialist
L: Very good foam head(3 fingers, the glass i used tends to have lots of head), but the goldish color makes the beer look very attractive.
S: Smells very fruity, especially bananalike. Liked it very much and it gave a mouthwatering feel.
T:Very smooth, doesnt taste alcoholic etc. It has quite the banana flavour, with small hints of caramel and vanilla.
F:It is lightly carbonated, but after a short while it feels very soft with a nice touch.
O: A very recommendable beer, if you're able to drinkt, you should drink it!

 576 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampling a cellar temp 750 ml corked and caged bottle poured into a chalice. The beer pours a clear orange to red color with very active multiple streams of carbonation rising to the surface of my glass. A creamy eggshell white head of ,5 cm rests on the surface of my glass. The head remains throughout the entire sampling of the beer. The aroma of the beer is sweet and malty with some rich whisky notes with a lot of boozy notes. First sip reveals an average body with gentle carbonation that rolls across my palate. The texture is velvety smooth in my mouth.
Flavor is much more whisky than the nose and is generally sweet and boozy with no hops. The booze is very well hidden for this bigger beer.
A very enjoyable brew with very nice drinkability. Worth a try if interested in large Belgian beers!

 808 characters

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$ 19.47 (Including tax)/750 mL bottle ($ 0.767/oz) at Central Market, Alamo Heights, TX
Bottled 01/20/14 at 42 degrees into a 0.25 L Gulden Draak tulip, allowed to warm to 50 degrees
Aroma – over-ripe fruit, caramel; fruit odor dies but caramel lasts
Head large (Maximum 5.5 cm, aggressive pour), off white, frothy, diminishing to an irregular two to five mm ring and frothy partial layer
Lacing - none
Body – copper, opaque, effervescent
Flavor – starts sweet like candy sugar, caramel flavor, hint of vanillin, hint of alcohol hotness; no hops, no diacetyl
Palate medium, creamy approaching syrupy, lively carbonation

Good, glad I tried it, one and done. Not worth the price point.

Appearance 3.75, Aroma 4, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 4

 748 characters

Photo of stephens101
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage.

Pours light brown with slivers of orange hue and a tan froth that settles quickly. Smells of brown bread, plum and cinnamon. Tastes sweet (burnt sugar, taffy), fruity (plum, raisin, grape) and grainy with a bit of woodiness in the finish. Medium to heavy and quite hot as expected, but never overbearing.

The real deal but maybe not as refined as some others, which is a distinction that really should not take away from its many merits.

 459 characters

Photo of larryarms847
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright sunburst orange yellow with a slightly rusty hue and a thin ring of off-white foam settles along the edge of the glass.

Oak, slightly fruity yeasty phenols, caramelized sugar, bourbon, and subtle herbal undertones.

Sweet orange and lemony citrus notes, candied sugar, bourbon, and oak. A slightly sour twang lingers after the swallow.

Full-bodied, low carbonation, sweet, sticky, slightly tart aftertaste.

Overall, a surprisingly mellow barrel aged beer here. On the sweeter end of the spectrum, but interesting layers and easy drinking makes this a decent sipper.

 583 characters

Photo of Stevem68
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a light Amber color. Aroma is Belgian yeast and light over ripe bananas. Flavor is clean and smooth. Notes of Belgian yeast, over ripe bananas. Has a nice feel and overall really nice.

 190 characters

Photo of ccg
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2013 Brewmaster's edition, opened June, 2016.

Look: Cloudy light orange, kind of like a New England-style IPA. Half of finger of fizzy head appears when poured but dissipates quickly. Medium legs, no lacing, minimal head retention. 3.75

Smell: Bread, brown sugar, and lemon candy. Very tiny hint of oak and vanilla. 3.75

Taste: Fairly similar to the smell, but with a little bit sour on the finish with a strangely strong bite to it.

Feel: Smooth and slick with just enough carbonation to keep it interesting. 4.0

Overall: It's an enjoyable Belgian-style beer, but I can't say that the whisky-barrel aging really added much, or that it was even particularly noticeable. If you like this style, stick with the base Gulden Draak. 3.75

 737 characters

Photo of CoreyC
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

two year old 750 ml bottle
A - light color (as compared to regular GD) fizzy quickly fading head
S - light pleasant
T - very little BA effect, nice flavor, but surprisingly light as compared to to regular GD
F - smooth
O - a nice beer, but I prefer regular GD, no real benefit from the BA

 289 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled Feb 2014. Big pop off the cork, once the caged loosened it just flew out KABOOM! No gushing.

Deep ruby grapefruit orange body and opaque with a real nice rising colmun of carbonation in the middle. Head creation is a bit minimal but still makes it's presence. Off white and tan, with a soapy two finger appearance. There's a bit of cling in lace, but mostly a big bubbled collar and thin puck is left that is easily repopulated.

Sprity slightly nose with hints of a bit of gas dioxide at first then slowy gets a bit quiet strangely. There's some faint phenols a bit, maybe a bit of clove sticking out, but was really expecting more and not getting much of really anything here. Very closed nose here.

Palate manages to at least bring more to the table. Carbonated but playfull mouthfeel is the first thing I notice, with some good fruity character provided by yeast and sugary classic sucrose. Very gaseous finish though, but manages some excellent vanilla and caramel tones taken from barrel aging but very small. Was expecting more of a bigger mouthfeel but the flavors transpire without any trouble. Hints at orange citrus sweetness interestingly, a light touch of warmth and some small brown spice character.

A very neat beer, but seems to lose a bit of Belgian quality, and also doesn't give the impression of largess barrel aging. Hits somewhere down the middle but is a very solid brew even for someone like me who is not the biggest Gulden Draak fan to begin with.

 1,541 characters

Photo of tlema1
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2 years old
L: orange, with a thick billowing head, lots of carbonation
S: fruit and booze
T: sweet, dark fruits, booze
F: good mouthfeel, coats the tongue
O: great sipper, recommend

 185 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark honey colored, 3 finger popcorn head.

Smells of yeast, marshmallows, banana, and graham cracker.

Flavors of bright plum, banana, grahams, and a yeasty finish with tons of pleasant alcohol.

Feel is huge and creamy, super carbonated, and ends dry.

Overall this is a knock out. Great to share with friends.

 316 characters

Photo of josanguapo
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From cervezasespeciales. In Teku glass. At end of year dinner. Good but I prefer the normal version. The whisky taste isnt overwhelming but hides the greatness of the original. It isnt dark as is classified in Beeradvocate

 222 characters

Photo of joeseppy
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown pour. Aroma is gorgeous bourbon with hints of malt. Taste is rich. Dark fruit soaked in oaky bourbon. Toffee and spice. Very lush. Lucky enough to find this on tap. Good stuff!

 194 characters

Photo of craftbeersweden
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bought at #Systembolaget, Sweden at the release 2015-11-06. ABV: 10.5%

The beer pousr a little bit hazy, dark orange/amber with a one finger high, thin, white head.

Nose: The beer is still cold (about 5C/41F) and I think the nose will grow on higher temperature.
Orange, butter, caramel malt, citrus, herbs, Belgian yeast. pears, apples and candied sugar.
Taste: Caramel, brown sugar, spices, candy, apple, orange, whiskey barrel, wood, oak and some honey.
Mouth: Full body. Creamy. Complex texture with high sweetness and a dry aftertaste. Crisp and sharp carbonation.

Tis is a truly beatiful beer!

Brewmaster Jef Versele has made a great job when he crafted this exclusive Gulden Draak Brewmasters Edition as a tribute to his grandfather Jozef Van Steenberge and the 230th birthday of the brewery.

 810 characters

Photo of Trapist007
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

From a 750ml into a tulip glass
Vintage: 2013

APPEARANCE: The beer pours out golden brown, yielding a thick, medium, creamy tan head with moderate retention. The head slowly fades away. It has a transparent golden brown body with light/medium carbonation, with light lacing.

SMELL: There are lots of dark fruits, burnt Belgian candy sugar, spice, malt, light oak, toffee, and light whiskey notes.

TASTE: Is dark fruity, spicy, with rich Belgian ale flavors that give way to sweet, caramel whiskey notes. The whiskey is not up front, nor is it over powering like one may suspect. it Is sophisticated and sutle. it marries very well with the rest of the flavors. This beer is flavorful with air of snobbiness.

PALATE: With a medium body and light carbonation. It's light on the palate with a a very light hint of whiskey. There is no heat. It goes down very smooth.

OVERALL: Great beer! It is what one expects from a Belgian with a welcome twist. This is a great example of a very good Belgian ale. This beer is easy to recommend...

 1,039 characters

Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

As with other reviews-be careful when opening!as soon as you remove the cap that cork is going to pop! This is very similar to regular draak, i didnt notice the barrel aging much until it warmed slightly, its still excellent but there doesn't seem to be a huge difference between the regular and this,especially not at an inflated price.save your cash, buy the regular draak.

 375 characters

Photo of jmasher85
4.51/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Fair warning: the cage around the cork seems to be glued on, so when you try to pull it off, expect the cork to pop off too.

I tried the 2/14 bottling a year and a half later and while I got this bottle on clearance sale, I gladly would have paid full price. It pours a lovely murky apricot color with a generous amount of foam, and the smell follows suit - lots of yeast and esters that give off a rich apricot and cider apple scent, with a whiff of bubblegum. Sweet, but still beer-y.

Once it hits your palate though, all bets are off, and that sweet fruity scent gets punched down right quick. Rich, woody, and a hint of whiskey make their way into the flavor, as well as some tasty malts and a lovely creamy flavor and texture that comes from the head that just won't quit. At 10% abv, this is a beer that could easily have stepped over the edge but didn't, and we're all the better for it. I'm really excited to try the un-barreled version.

 951 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2/2014 Date Bottled.

Pours a murky dark honey orange with a foamy tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Tiny particles of sediment are seen suspended in the beer after the pour. Smell is of malt, dark fruit, grape juice, earth, and spice aromas. Taste is much the same with dark fruit, grape juice, earth, spice, and subtle whiskey flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with whiskey barrel aged qualities that are very subtle, but come out a little bit more as the beer warms up.

Serving type: bottle.

 736 characters

Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.89/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Awesome beer, I tried a 1.5 year aged beer, it was simply great, addictive belgian strong dark ale, it´s a shame it´s hard to get and expensive in Mexico.

 156 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very stubborn cage. .never took it off and the cork exploded out of the bottle. I had an inkling so I opened it over my bathtub. Bottled in February 2014.

It pours a golden colour with a big head of foam that never leaves. Same for the lacing.

The smell is full of fruity, spicy, and hoppy goodness. Taking really deep whiffs and I do get a hint of Whiskey from the barrel aging.

Apples are the most prevalent fruit I get here. Just like the regular GD. The sweet is honey like. The bitterness I noted in the smell brings more of a dryness than a real hop bite.

The spices are vibrant but not overpowering. Cloves and white pepper are the 2 that I notice the most.

I am gonna call this full bodied with a surprisingly lowish level of carbonation. Great mouthfeel.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the Whiskey does hit my palate near and through the finish. I am pleased that it did not dominate and mask the base beer which I am so fond of.

An expensive bottle but an interesting visit to Whiskey Ville from one of my favourite brews!

 1,058 characters

Photo of GJH1959
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The color is a brownish orange but more orange. A very, very sweet smell to it with hints of apple and clove. I am not a whiskey drinker but I did not pick up any smell of whiskey. The taste of whiskey was not really present until it hit the back of the tongue. Considering the high alcohol content and being aged in whiskey barrels, the taste of alcohol is not as strong as it could be. My only problem is do I keep it to myself or save a little for my wife for when she gets home. Sorry dear.

 502 characters

Photo of scottfrie
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into matching Gulden Draak tulip.

A: Pours a cloudy golden that looks like unfiltered apple juice. The head is huge and nearly overflowed the glass after an easy pour. After the head subsided a thick collar lasted the whole beer through.
S: Sweet whiskey overtones mix well with spicy and very fruity Belgian yeast. I get notes of apples, pears, red grapes, bubblegum, pepper, and sweet candied sugar.
T: Follows the nose with intensely fruity, spicy, and rich Belgian ale flavors with sweet and caramely whiskey notes. Sweet candy and earthy spice linger long after the swallow.
M: Full body, frothy yet soft carb, potent flavor, sweet and chewy mouthfeel. Booze is hidden extremely well. No warmth.
O: Loved it. A very flavorful and drinkable sipper. Great balance as the whiskey was not overpowering.

 817 characters

Photo of MTLDOG
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip. Thick amber color with 1 finger of cream colored head. Good lacing. Smelled sweet, dark raisins, malty, great smell. Taste was a bit too sweet, raisins and spices, sugar and a little boozy. Had a nice finish though with malt and yeasty. Avg mouthfeel pretty smooth. I enjoyed this beer, slightly too sweet for my taste but it was a nice beer.

 364 characters

Photo of gr0g
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle dated 02/2014. Amber in color with a good, persistent head. Excellent retention and lace formation. Yeasty, fruity, and sweet on the nose. A bit of clove and ripe banana. Fruity esters that yield notes ranging from ripe red apple to darker fruits. Inhale deeply and you get a slight whiff of oak, but it's pretty faint. Actually not as pleasantly aromatic as regular Gulden Draak.

As far as the taste goes, malty sweetness gives way to an oaky, slightly boozy finish. The barrel character is subdued and not in-your-face, which I consider a good thing. On the other hand, it seems like the overall flavor profile is less robust than the Gulden Draak we all know and love. There's more apparent bitterness while fruity esters are masked.

I really like Gulden Draak but this barrel-aged version, while still a very good beer, is not as good as the standard stuff. Much more expensive, too.

 904 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a orange tinted copper body with one finger head which left lace ring. Aroma consists of some Belgian yeast, a little bit of booze and candi sugar and some dark fruits as prunes and figs are really coming through. The yeast gives beer a real smooth, fuller body, the candi sugar adds sweetness to a bevy of fruit flavors that fall in both the tropical and dark fruit categories (toffee, raisins, pear), there is some spicy clove, booze and breadiness/woodiness as well. Beer packs a well-liked punch thanks to high ABV and balances everything. A little bit of a hit on the wallet but worth trying one time.

 617 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Gulden Draak Brewmaster's Edition from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.05 out of 5 based on 270 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!