Gulden Draak | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,322 Reviews
Gulden DraakGulden Draak
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Belgium
vansteenberge.com

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Dark Triple Ale brewed with caramel malt and re-fermented with Bordeaux wine yeast

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,322
Ratings:
3,855
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
11.43%
 
 
Wants:
298
Gots:
826
For Trade:
3
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Reviews: 1,322 | Ratings: 3,855
Photo of Ginger-tipple
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank it a bit early on a Sunday morning, but it is a magnificent brew. The whiskey flavour could have been a bit stronger and the aftertaste was a bit weak.

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Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle,into a Funky Buddha snifter.

Frothy,off white / light khaki,2 finger head with nice retention.Hazy light brown in color,with minimal,distorted light showing through the glass.Medium / heavy carbonation.

The nose starts off with some bright / dark fruit notes...Mostly grape with some orange zest.Also getting some sweet malt,and bread notes.A little bit of caramel and some hidden spices as well.

The palate is very sweet,with tons of bright citrus flavor.Backed up by some sweet bread,and malts.It almost tastes more like a wine,or a Saison.Once it started to warm the caramel,and spice flavors came out beautifully.

The body is medium,with a dry finish.

This is my first time trying a dark tripel,and I'm not sure how to feel about it....Tastes and smells great,bit its almost like I'm not drinking a beer.But overall I would say it is very good.

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Photo of Pundit_of_Potability
4.94/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Okay.....Let me take a breath for a second, because this one is wonderful....And I am still savoring my first glass, with two more to go! The cork wanted out of this one....Popped like a champagne cork. Wonderful yeast, fruit and caramel smell...Beautiful frothy head with light lacing. A wonderful dark brown color... The first sip knocked me over.... It seemed great. The second sip blew my mind as I could taste all the wonderful malt and caramel flavor, yeasty fruitiness, raisin-esque sweetness, and then the spicy background. all these flavors come together wonderfully for a combined oneness. If I forget about "tasting," everything it just melds together perfectly. Mouthfeel: Perfect blend of creamy and carbonated....So easy to drink! But beware, almost 11 ABV! A MUST experience, even at $13 a bottle! I know they call it a "Dark Tripel," but more likely a Strong Dark ale--all semantics I suppose.

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Photo of HappyGuy12345
4.71/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 12 ounce bottle into tulip glass
Appearance: Deep brown in color with over 4 fingers of slowly dissipating tan head
Smell: Strong hints of coffee, caramel and chocolate along with some fruits. This is one of the best smelling beers that I have ever tried.
Taste: Pleasurable arrangement of caramel malts, hops bitterness, coffee, and array of fruits. The flavor profile is complex, but it is done very well in this Triple. The high alcohol content (10.5% ABV ) is obvious to anyone who has tried this beer.
Mouthfeel: Definitely a full bodied beer with moderate amount of carbonation.
Overall: Very tasty and aromatic beer overall. Due to noticeable high alcohol content, this is definitely a beer that needs to be imbibed slowly to be most enjoyable. It is certainly a delicious beer that I would love to try again, and it's no surprise why it has such a high rating on BA.

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep reddish brown with massive foamy head and lacing that just hangs on the glass till empty. Smell is fantastic, very light floral notes and fruit mix with a breadiness to it. Taste is great, I expected a bite of alcohol but it was very smooth and clean, great tastes of fruit, floral and malt. The finish is very clean and leaves a slight wine finish. Overall this was an awesome beer. I always see it at the store and I finally gave it a shot. I will be drinking this many more times, excellent beer and just a complex mix of flavors that result in a world class beer.
Cheers

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Photo of iridius
3.45/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Ok, so this was one of those beers that I did not like at all during the first glass, got smoother the second and by the end I wanted some more, but at 10.5% ABV probably better that I only had one bottle. I would not buy it again at $15/big bottle, but I also would recommend people that like stronger beers try it at least once, and make sure you have a larger bottle to get the experience.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.84/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a hazy, dark cherry red with a one-finger, creamy, off-white head. Lots of lacing, no carbonation.
S- Awesome Carmel malt an dark fruit smell.
T- Follows nose. Awesome dark cherry pie! Tons of malt, yeast and funk combines with Dark fruits of cherry, dates, caramel for an amazing triple, A slight slap on the ass on the way out from the alcohol.
F- This is one perfectly smooth beer. There is some age on this one, and I wonder what this would taste like fresh from the brewery in Belgium. One day my friends!
O- I do not have a lot of experience with the Trippel. This is the best I have had.

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the single-serve iconic white bottle emblazoned with gold dragon.

Appearance--Classic murky brown Belgian Strong Dark with classic two-finger head giving way to a faint lacing all the way down the drink.

Aroma--Malts and dark dried fruits, VERY forward, but with nearly as strong herbal notes to balance out the presentation.

Taste--Where do I start. This has complexity in spades. Get a wine reviewer because I won't do this justice. I will revert to the beer-reviewer vernacular. Reminds one a bit of a barleywine because of the depth of flavors that are muddling around on my palate, crossed with a tripel, because there is a deceptive dryness and bitterness that comes through as well. Maybe a little heavy-handed on the malts up front, but balanced well with herbal notes and spicy alcoholic notes. The ABV is there but exceptionally well-hidden. Dangerously-drinkable.

Feel--This thing would probably come off too darn sweet, but the carbonation is pretty high for the style, and delivers just the crisp finish that is needed. It prevents this from being what would otherwise possibly be a "cloying" offering. Maybe a little "thin" compared to what I would expect, but not in a bad way.

Overall--If you're with some wine snobs that look down their noses at your brew, have them try this one on for size with whatever they drink with their cheese. A bold, excellent, brew that stands up well against the best of the style.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a slightly hazy red orange with a one finger off-white head with good retention and nice lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, dark stone fruit, sweet and slightly boozy. Flavor follows, with caramel and bready malt, rich fresh and dried plums, hints of tart apricots, Belgian yeast. Finishes warming with a hint of bops and lingering dark fruit. Medium bodied with light creaminess. I can't believe I never reviewed this beer; it was one my first "wow" imported beers and introductions to Belgians. Possibly one of the top 10 Belgian beers I've drunk all my life. As a matter of fact, this Belgian ale inspired me to buy my first dedicated glass, a Gulden Draak tulip that I still use frequently today, so much the gold trim around the lip is worn off. This is a classic Belgian strong dark ale, with great fruit notes and big supporting caramel malt. It's presentation in an unusual bottle, look, smell and taste are all great. A classic, and one of the ales I miss in my quest to try so many different beers; it's been years since I had one of these. A genuine pleasure.

 1,107 characters

Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked up on my trip to Belgium last year. Pours a dark brown colour with beige foamy head that lasts and leaves lacing. The aroma is rich of flavour which include caramel, dried fruit, raisins & figs. Taste is on the thick & slight sweet malty side with caramel, dried fruits, plums, cloves, raisins & hints of spice. Aftertaste has a slightly dry finish, alcoholic warmth and complex fruitiness with a low to medium bitterness. Full body, moderate carbonation. Considering the high alcohol content, it is very well hidden. I'm pleasantly surprised just how good it was & certainly would have it again.

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Photo of OlaB
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: gives a dark red color with a good top of creamy head. Nice lacings on the glass.

S: dark and dried fruits like raisins,plum and pears . I also sense some cherries. Other thing I feel on the nose is caramel,peppercorn and candied sugar.

T&F: the taste is dark fruits with nice caramel malts in the background. In the middle I get more of a peppery flavour and I also get that yeasty sweetness in my mouth, the finishing is sweet dryness in the aftertaste that last for a good time. Gives almost a immediately warming feeling after the first sip.

O: a classic belgian beer that is very enjoyable and tasty. One of the better belgian dark beers

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Photo of SargeMcCluck
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a muddy amber-brown with a small, eggshell head.

The initially modest aroma opens up as the beer warms, bringing on a blanket of peppery, fruity toffee, masked somewhat by a background of boozy raisin. Biscuit, cloves, rum and nutmeg are added to the mix when sipping, making for a balance of darker, autumnal flavours and the cloud of crisp, sweet alcohol that remains apparent on the nose. This strikes me as being something of a clear midway point between a Belgian pale or tripel and the fruity complexities of a quad.

The mouthfeel is pleasant fizz and enveloping warmth, making things very comfy as you get down to the bottom. If it weren't for the price, this would be a very nice 'any time' kind of treat. I'm definitely picking up that badass goblet, too

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Photo of tlema1
3.94/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: murky mahogany color, with a thin off white head
S: some dark fruit, not a huge nose
T: caramel, dark fruit, candy sweetness at the end
F: medium body, most of the mouthfeel is up front
O: a great Belgian dark ale

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the bottle, it pours a hazy dark amber with a good sized head, dissipating to a small head quickly. Scent is sweetish, with caramel and raisins. The mouth definitely follows the nose. Wow!

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a hazy dark red with a three finger off white head. The head recedes quickly leaving tons of heavy soapy lacing.

S- Aroma is caramel malts, pears and raisins.

T - The taste is tons of caramel malts, brown sugar, plums and raisins.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Soft creamy mouthfeel with a sticky dry finish.

O - A classic and one of the best bang for your buck Belgians around.

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Photo of TripleSun
4.71/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L - dark red with a small head
S - caramel malt, very fruity
T - A hint of spice and the fruitiness is as big on the nose as the tongue
F - Nice carbonation, slight hoppy feel

Wow don't know why I waited so long to experience this beer. Has been in my fridge for months and it kept getting overlooked. Will be back to buy more!

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Photo of beerinabottle
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Excellent Belgium strong ale picked up (unbelievably) in a sampler 6 pack from the Van Steenberge brewery in a Lidl in Edenderry, Co. Offaly, Ireland for the steal price of 14.99 euro for the 6.

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look : Two finger volumes white-brown head, hazy red-brown body.

Smell : Plums, pear, and caramel mainly.

Taste : Sweet brown sugar, caramel, plum, nutmeg, cinnamon.

Feel : High carbonation, medium body, sweet, warming alcohol.

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Photo of jonmikel
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter from a 330 ml bottle bought at a small shop in my home town Getxo (Spain).
-Very very dark amber color. Almost no foam (it disappeared very quickly).
-Very profound smell. Spices at first but it gets more alcoholic if you approach the nose.
-It tastes quite well leaving the flavour in the tongue for a while.
-The carbomation is felt. The feel is much heavier than usual beer.
It has got 10,5% alcohol so you can feel the burden after drinking it.

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Photo of martinpfal
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Have had this one I the past and not sure why I haven't rated it.....until now.
Look is dark brown Amber. Plenty of head that dies quick. Smell is bready/boozy. Medium body with yes some sweety maltiness which I generally don't like but it completely makes this beer and knocks it out of the park. A delicious Belgian that even at 5.99 a bottle is still one I'll continue to buy.

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Photo of delta490
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Definitely hit the "dark". It's a deep ruby-tinted brown. Initially it has a big foamy tan head that settles down to a ring and a thin covering. It still leaves some spots of tight sticky head. The aroma is a little sweet, a little spiced, and a hint of the alcohol. There is a big upfront dark fruit sweetness, with a little bit of spice. It is medium-bodied with a small but persistent carbonated tingle.

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Photo of AraBama
3.22/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a frosted mug a deep gold almost brown with a strong tan head.Good lacing .Not a strong smell maybe slight biscuit . Alcohol taste a bit too strong . Light feel . Overall not a bad beer but not great .

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown color with a two finger fluffy tan head. Aroma is sweet caramel malt, peach, and biscuit. Taste follows with caramel sweetness, peach, biscuit and darker bread malts, and an overall sweetness that is not at all off putting due to the fact that it blends so well with the rest of the beer. Mouthfeel is thin to medium, nicely carbonated and easy drinking. Overall, this is a very good beer, a definite mix of triple and BSDA, plus the bottle is just dang cool.

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Photo of Svingjo
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a rich translucent reddish brown colour with a two finger thick white head that last forever. The nose leads with sweet caramel, peaches, bready biscuits and almost cotton candy like sugar smell. The taste leads with much the same flavours along with dark dried fruits like plums, figs and dates. There is mild carbonation and an alcohol burn that cuts the syrupy sweetness giving it a nice medium mouthfeel. A nice tripel with lots going on a very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Tom1313
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

If the overall rating scale allowed a 4.9 this beer would have 4.9 !!

Have had a lot of Ales over the years and this Ale tops them all. I received this as a gift and first tasted it, ice cold on a Sunday after-noon, Northeast of Phoenix, AZ in Queen Valley AZ. I was not expecting the overall taste this beer provided. For me, no other Ale has come close. It is all in the taste and the swallow. I will try other Belgian Strong Dark Ales and other Ales looking to match or surpass this beer. If I find one I will post a new review. With a rating of 4.9 if I find a better beer there will be room for an improved rating !! My Son-In-law, Jason, put me on to this beer. Thanks Jason.

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Gulden Draak from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.2 out of 5 based on 3,855 ratings.
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