Gulden Draak | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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Gulden DraakGulden Draak
BA SCORE
4.24/5
Exceptional
4,030 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#859
Reviews:
1,365
Ratings:
4,030
pDev:
11.32%
Bros Score:
4.42
 
 
Wants:
318
Gots:
905
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,030 |  Reviews: 1,365
Photo of Dmbphoenix
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

amazing

7 characters

Photo of Harrison8
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark plum-brown with a finger of khaki foam on top. Head retention is good, but leaves only a thin veil of foam over the top with dense lacing left behind. Aroma is plum, caramel, toffee, raisins, clove, and yeast spice. It smells like a kitchen full of holiday baking goods with a vat of warming dark Belgian beer in the corner. Flavor profile is plum, caramel, molasses, raisins, clove, and yeast spice - again. Lovely sugary flavor profile that doesn't come off as overly sweet. Mouth feel is a touch fizzy and harsh, but carries an otherwise velvety feel within a medium-thick thickness. Overall, great beer overall with sugary sweet characteristics poking out without being overwhelming or unbalanced. It hides its 10% ABV while still coming off strong and hearty.

Served in a Chimay chalice from a 750mL bottle.

 827 characters

Photo of HoppingMadMonk
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark caramel color. Thick creamy body with almost champagne like carbonation,overall really nice feel. Aroma is a mix of malt and bananas, yeast, some dried dark fruit. Taste is very similar, dried fruit comes on stronger in taste than aroma. A bit sweet and heavier on the fruit including banana than malt or yeast. Overall a really nice ale, would definitely seek this out again

 387 characters

Photo of Zurc
4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of RayCannata
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Photo of motrhead
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

At 10.5% I expected a lot of alcohol taste, but honestly, I found it quite smooth, creamy, and drinkable. It's been a few years since I last sampled this fine brew, but I am quite happy I decided to try it again.

 212 characters

Photo of BenHoppy
4.69/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Have no idea how old this was but I did age it an extra 18 months from when I bought it. Poured into a tulip at cellar temp:

L: Nice frothy head above a murky, caramel copper body

A: bananas, Brown sugar, cherries, Belgian yeast

F: sweet and creamy yet well balanced. Carbonation held up well with age. Nice slow sipper, has a brandy sweetness to it as well.

T: Brown sugar, chocolate, slightly fruity, Belgian yeast, mild booze, cinnamon, and baked bread

O: I really enjoyed this and could've probably continued aging it for another 3 years. Much better than any Rochefort or St. Bernard I've had. This is a real treasure and for $5 a 11.2oz bottle you really just can't go wrong with it.

 703 characters

Photo of fossage78
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Richie_C_Johnson
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Curiosibeer
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of travelguy
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Vantro
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Wow look at that head it's like a full two inches! Perfect topping for this dark copper dream.
Smells like banana and fruit
Tastes very sweet lots of malt and honey and dark fruits.
Mouthfeel is not too thick mild carbonation.
Overall it's got a quality a little like mead but not as thick.

 290 characters

Photo of Zet
3.84/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this one cellared, drank it eight months after its best before date. Then again, the best before date seems to claim that this beer expires two years after its bottling, which is a very careful estimate for a beer of this caliber. Lovely dark brown colour with a steady layer of foam that leaves nice lacing. Interesting smell of malt, wine, cinnamon, caramel and alcohol. The smell definitely has a vineous profile. The taste has fruit flavours like sweet apple and sour cherry. It has also reminiscent of brandy. Cinnamon is still there, but the alcohol is omnipresent here. It does mix well with the other flavours, but the entity is a tad too sweet and boozy for me. It's easy to drink though, and the alchohol gives a nice warming feeling. Derspite the strong alcohol presence, this beer doesn't lose its character, which is nice.

 839 characters

Photo of ChrisMartinez
3.52/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

alcohol and hops overpower

26 characters

Photo of Raime
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Have seen this a hundred times at my local craft shop but simply never picked it up until now. At $5 for the single I'm hoping for a solid brew.

Look - Ruby red with a brown twinge. Finger of off white head an ample carbonation on the appearance.

Smell - Cherry apple pie is the first thing that comes to mind. A fair bit of that typical belgian yeast as well.

Taste - Again, A mixture of cherry, baked bread, apples, with a moderate kiss of alcohol.

Feel - Very alcoholic and moderate bodied with a high level of carbonation.

Overall - At the price point I was hoping for better but this is still a solid, slow drinking and tasty belgian. Like a much smoother and less cloying dubbel for comparison. On a 2 degree Fahrenheit Michigan night, it's pretty nice for the warming effects. May change ratings as I finish the bottle if I feel a warmer brew experience is drastic enough from the experience fresh out of the fridge.


EDIT UPDATE : The flavors retained much the same but I must admit that this beer became aeons smoother as it warmed and that fact coupled with the ABV warrants a few changes in the ratings.

 1,120 characters

Photo of Cycle69
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Metalsnota
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Duncian
3.96/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of brew-Ed
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JuiceMan818
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Ichoosefiction
2.94/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of rodbeermunch
2.69/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

I'm frequently amazed how some thousands of reviews later, I keep coming across beers that I've drank for ~020 years that I haven't written a review for. Anyways, pours a light amber color with a thin white but not virgin white color that is thin and around 1/4" deep. The smell kicks down a hot alcohol burn, some caramel and apple notes.

Taste still drops the apple notes and the alcohol burn is still the most prominent thing about the beer. Every time I've had this, I have always wondered why such punishing alcohol gets a pass taste and mouth feel wise from people. It is really oppressive, there isn't much in the way of other flavors to help carry it. Its like those hot sauces that are just hot, that provide little other flavor to it. Once you get as accustomed as you can to the heat, you can pick up notes of raisin and other dark fruit from the yeast profile.

Sorry I can't endorse this beer. Typical American.

 935 characters

Photo of Nichols33
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Gulden Draak from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 4.24 out of 5 with 4,030 ratings