Gulden Draak
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Gulden DraakGulden Draak
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Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #4
ABV:
10.5%
Score:
95
Ranked #1,070
Avg:
4.27 | pDev: 11.24%
Reviews:
1,435
Ratings:
4,273
From:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
 
Belgium
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  331
Gots
  1,007
SCORE
95
World-Class
Gulden DraakGulden Draak
Notes: Dark Triple Ale brewed with caramel malt and re-fermented with Bordeaux wine yeast
View: Beers
Reviews: 1,435 | Ratings: 4,273 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BerkeleyBeerSleuth
BerkeleyBeerSleuth from California

4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Deep reddish brown body with a thin tan head. Aroma of dark fruits, red wine, and strong caramel malt as well as some spice. Taste is slightly fruity with a lot of nice touches from the wine yeast. Finish is spicy caramel cookie. This is a perilously easy drinking strong ale. It drinks like a lighter belgian red ale, but packs a nice warming touch at the end. One of a kind world class ale.

Oct 14, 2021
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spectru from Florida

4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

10/11/2021 The appearance of the bottle itself is exceptional. The first to pour out was a little bit of head. Crystal clear very dark amber, big foamy creamy persistent head. Very lacy. What a beautiful beer; Aroma is mild and good. (my sniffer is ineffectual); Flavor is pretty good; Mouthfeel is smooth and sparkly; My overall impression is very good, based primarily on appearance. If I hadn't been able to see this beer, I probably wouldn't have liked it so much. But even then it's better than average.

10/20/2021 The flavor is rich, smooth, robust. I bump the taste rating from 3.75 to 4. I like this beer.

Oct 12, 2021
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jkblr from Indiana

4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

11.2oz bottle coded 18AU poured into a Gulden Draak tulip glass at fridge temp 10.5% ABV. The beer pours bright in a dark amber color with light brown head. The head builds quickly and settles slowly to a half inch cap. Spotty lacing. The aroma is brown sugar, sweet malt and Belgian yeast spice that's more clove than anything. The taste is semisweet clovey malt with notes of berry, cherry, brown sugar, caramel and dark dried fruits. Moderate bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with above average carbonation and a mostly dry finish. Overall, excellent.

Oct 11, 2021
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malrubius from Vermont

3.76/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle. Reddish with island and lace. Fruity boozy strong herbal aroma. Very sweet with lots of fruit cherry red apple with boozy herbal finish. Medium body lively and fine. Very herbal and fruity for a tripel. Still good.

Sep 25, 2021
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vinicole from England

3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle. Deep amber. Thick frothy head
Fruity, yeasty and spicy aroma. Rich in phenols.
Tastes of bananas, and rumtopf. Mollases and mixed spice is apparent. Boozy.
Lots of soft carbonation. Mid to high body.
Typically Belgian. A nice sipper with my Belgian braised liver.

Jul 06, 2021
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Troy-Hawaii from Hawaii

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Part of a variety 6-pack $23.79 Tamuras 11.2oz bottle
2019 Edition so 2 years old
Smell of spices, rum soaked raisins
Brown-reddish color
Heavy-medium mouthfeel
High carbonation. Shooted a little as I popped the top. Stayed high after pour.
Taste of spices, pepper, banana, prunes, cinnamon, figs
Overall a fantastic beer. As I just bought this beer in a boxed 6-pack I was surprised that it is from 2019 as this was put on the shelf rather recently so they must age it at the brewery. When a high ABV beer can hide the alcohol so well you know its well made.

Jun 21, 2021
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blazerkor from Nevada

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Smells fruity and funky like an alcoholic fruit cake.  There is a real depth to the scent.

It tastes sweet and very alcoholic.  There's like a spiced raisin taste.

It's thin but has a massive amount of carbonation.  The finish is sweet like a plum and then there's finally a grainy taste.

It's a brilliant Belgian.  I give it a 5.1 out of 6.

Jun 16, 2021
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BloodSoakedAleMug from New York

4.11/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look: Dark mahogany color with an aggressive, four finger head of dense beige foam. Good retention and lacing.

Aroma: Figs, dates, toffee, caramel, raisins and mildly sweet cherry.

Taste: Dried red fruits - mostly follows the nose with figs, plums and cherries . Notes of floral banana and very gentle bittersweet chocolate. Decently hoppy, with a nice resinous finish. Dry and well attenuated. 10.5% ABV is apparent, but not overbearing. Hints of herbal grape must, probably from the Bordeaux wine yeast.

Feel: Bubbly. Medium density.

Overall: Better on tap than out of the bottle. I'm sure you could cellar this under the right conditions to really get some interesting flavors however.

Jun 14, 2021
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jonphisher from New Jersey

4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured fairly aggressively, nice bubbly vigorous growing head. Settled into a nice big clump and left some substantial lacing when it did. It appears dark brow but when held to light it is a beautiful deep dark red.

Aroma is really pleasant and sweet, smells floral, candied cherry, honey, little bit of baking spice and maybe even a tad of chocolate.

Taste follows the nose almost to a tee with every aroma again presenting itself. It reminds me of something you’d get at a bakery. Not some sugary sweet baked good but one with dried fruits and spices in it that has been dosed with a touch of booze.

Mouthfeel is medium with a lively carbonation. It warms you just enough which isn’t surprising given the abv. There is a subtle sweetness and low to no bitterness, at least nothing substantial enough to notice.

I love drinking beers I know nothing about or have not even heard of. It’s like drinking blind. I especially like doing it with Belgian beers because they tend to be very complex and yeast driven. I really enjoyed this one. Until next weekend, have a good week everyone

Apr 19, 2021
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lastmango from Pennsylvania

4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a copper color with a fizzy but frothy two-finger tan head that dissipated slowly to a thin film. Moderate to heavy lacing. Sweet malty and fruity nose. Taste of sweet malt, caramel, some dark fruit and grapes, and a peppery finish that lingers. Medium light body and carbonation with a bit of creaminess. This is so drinkable. But, you need to watch out for the ABV that sneaks up on you.

Apr 16, 2021
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle. Corked and caged, wrapped bottle. No dating found.
Amber brown colored body. Puffy beige head. Extensive walls of lacing.
Aroma is malty, with caramel and bread. Dark fruit. Wood and leather.
Taste is full of the malt and dark fruit. Slightly sweet but with a contrast of spice and bread. Caramel.
Fuller mouth feel. Dry from the higher ABV%. Very good carbonation.
The higher alcohol % is certainly present but the beer still seems to be very drinkable, repeatably sippable. Complex, rich and deep. Very enjoyable for a stronger ale.

Apr 10, 2021
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simonrgilbert57 from California

4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Exquisite beer. Color of both body (amberish brown) and head (woody cream) is amazing. Head stays perched atop the glass for a while and laces nicely. Smell is quite nutty with a bit of maltiness. The caramel really comes through in the body. Feels light enough to drink but not like water. Overall, superior brewmanship from Brouwerij Van Steenberge.

Apr 02, 2021
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BPVandenbroek from Canada (AB)

4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Gulden Draak is a deep reddish brown colow. Sort of leather with highlights of ruby. It's clear with a packed, cream colored head with good retention.
The aroma is rich and sweet. Somehow it's both malty, and loaded with fruit esters. Malt gives me caramel, nuts, and bread. Fruit esters give me ripe stone fruits, figs, and what smells like white grapes. Beneath all this is a gentle, very gentle spiciness with aromas of pepper and the sweetness of good tobacco.
On the tongue, Gulden Draak is medium bodied, smooth, and enjoys a light, spritzy sort of carbonation. Flavors of caramel, bread, leather, and tobacco combine to provide a base for the beers other flavors. Those flavors include a gentle, alcoholic spiciness. Fruit flavors come through on the tongue, giving me flavors of ripe berries, pears, and an intriguing vinous quality.
It's rich and lush, but still incredibly drinkable. It's got great complexity and despite that complexity and high alcohol content, Gulden Draak is enjoyable and almost dangerously drinkable. This to me, is a great example of how complexity and character don't have to come at the cost of a taste experience that can be enjoyed by any and all comers.

Mar 30, 2021
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Bluerabbitbell from Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From bottle at pies and pints, Morgantown WV 2/27/21.

Cherry wood color. Bronze head. Slightly opaque... Not cloudy.

Nose is cherry and fresh.

First taste is cotton candy. Obviously sweet butt not overly syrupy. For a very malty, sweet ale, this is very drinkable!

Feb 27, 2021
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chitoryu12 from Florida

4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look: Either very dark orange or very light amber. Slightly hazy. Two fingers of thick white head that seems to last a lifetime. After 2 minutes it’s only a quarter inch lower.

Smell: Banana phenols, slightly metallic, bubblegum, spices.

Taste: Sweet malt, banana, bubblegum, and mild spice. Very mild earthy hop flavor at the end with a hint of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Creamy with very high carbonation.

Overall: Not all that unique. Good, but samey.

Feb 10, 2021
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SushiSakeBeer from Oregon

4.12/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Matte ruby brown, lively semi-soft carbonation, faint off musky notes, deep rich carmel, sweet. rounded, strong, sweetness lingers, a bit much to manage for the inexperienced.

Feb 07, 2021
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Pressney from California

5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

OK. I m not an expert in rating beers. I am an occasional beer drinker. I will often choose wine or a cocktail over a beer. If I don't like a beer, I don't drink it. One or two sips, and it goes to whomever is with me at the time. I bought this along with several others to try as a replacement for the Gouden Carolus Van de Keizer Blau that I have not been able to find anywhere, and this one comes very close to giving me the same kind of pleasure.

Feb 06, 2021
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Winston_OBoogie from England

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2019 vintage, poured into a Gulden Draak egg glass.

Pours a beautiful dark mahogany, with hints of red. Large, thick head. Scents of dark fruit, with malty notes in the taste, with caramel and toffee.

Jan 29, 2021
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Rug from Massachusetts

4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2019 vintage

You know, I was browsing the forums the other day when I saw a few BAs arguing the style of this beer. There was one member very adamant that it can’t be a tripel as labelled because of its color, so it must be treated as a quad. A stupid argument of semantics, but it reminded me I had this in my fridge to try!

Pours a muddy brown with a finger of beige head that slowly fades to a thin cap and leaves minimal lacing

The aroma is balanced between sweetness and phenolic spices, bringing forth notes of banana, soft dark bread, plum, raisin, clove, and white pepper. Surprisingly no boozy aromas for 10.5%

Everything from the aroma translates great into the taste, maybe even slightly better, starting off with notes of juicy plum, caramel, clove, and a slight warming alcohol. On the swallow, I pick up more spice, a really earthy pepper and more clove along with notes of banana, and sweet malt

A medium full body pairs with tingling carbonation for a smooth drink that should be sipped slowly. Finishes mostly dry and quite sweet

Regardless of the style, this a nice beer. Sweet and filling, a slow sipper for sure. I could definitely see myself getting it again

Jan 10, 2021
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-steve- from Canada (ON)

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The Christmas 6-pack from this brewery is always a treat. All the beers are highly enjoyable and this one is no different. This dark, reddish/brown beauty has a sustained tan head. Sweet, malty smell with prunes. Delicious smooth taste that is sweet and no hop bitterness. Prune/raisin and some spice character. The other beers in this seasonal pack had a more pronounced spice character from the yeast that is muted here. Not boozy. Enjoyable beer.

Jan 10, 2021
Photo of Tony787
Tony787 from Canada (ON)

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

out of the variety pack I bought at the lcbo in Ontario 330ml bottle 10.5% it keeps getting better these strong Belgium beers love this pack of 6 special beers. this Gulden Draak looks delicious poured into glass with creamy head that lasts a while and then leaves a beautiful lace as you drink it.
rich malty flavor very smooth and the alcohol is definitely hidden its amazing the way they brew this beer very interesting
overall an amazing interesting beer
cheers

Dec 12, 2020
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Franziskaner from Missouri

4.09/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mahogany brown colored with a murky complexion. There’s a fingernail of brown around the rim and covering three quarters of the top. The aroma is of sweet caramel malt and raisins. I’m tasting sweet, dark caramel, marzipan, and honey. The mouth is chewy, sticky and a touch warm with alcohol.

Dec 12, 2020
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Sappinicci from Michigan

4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What to say that hasn't already been said? The Gulden Draak is a special brew indeed! A true Belgian, the Draak pours a nice dark color with hints of red and copper. A nice one finger head that quickly dissipates. It smells like raisins and alcohol, and at 10.5% I would expect the alcohol to cut through. But the taste, you can't tell it's 10.5%! It is smooth almost creamy! Lowish carbonation, definitely taste like fruits and spice and everything nice. It is lightly sweet and definitely a sipper! I enjoy it so so much. I grab it whenever I can because I don't see it often.

Nov 02, 2020
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AlCaponeJunior from Texas

4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ab fab! We had snifters, so that's the glasses we used. Good choice. A nice sheen capped what turns out to be a real nice sweet stouty treat. Good for what ails ya.

Sep 22, 2020
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plutonash from Latvia

4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Dark brown, with a hint of red. Small bubbly firm head, nice lacing.

S: Overripe fruits, raisins, caramel, toffee. In the back some lingering dark cherries.

T: Bunch of fruity esters, including pairs, apricots, some bananas, basically like opening a box of dried fruits. Sweet, malty, some unnamed spices greet from the back row.

F: Well rounded, full bodied. If one would ask how strong this is, I'd say 6-7%, but not 10.5%!

O: Very nice beer (2019, so only 1yr old) where new and interesting nuances can be found after each sip. Not a session brew, as it starts a dialogue with one's mind.

Aug 01, 2020
Gulden Draak from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 4273 ratings