Gulden Draak | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,335 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:
1,335
Ratings:
3,905
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
11.43%
 
 
Wants:
307
Gots:
852
For Trade:
4
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,335 | Ratings: 3,905
Photo of ski271
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Medium-dark ruby-brown with a medium-sized, light tan, slowly diminishing head. Smell is sweet and malty and big. Belgian yeast, candi sugar, dark fruit and alcohol. The taste is huge. Very complex. Figs, dark cherries, raisin, and tobacco to name a few. It's complexity is matched by thick, full body and syrupy texture. This is one beast of a beer. Fantastic! I definitely recommend seeking out this beer.

 407 characters

Photo of monkeytoe
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(April rotating tap at Chumleys--combined notes from several sessions)

Dark ruby-brown with the lightest of pale gold heads covering the surface and lacing the sides of the generic heavy-glass goblet.

Candy, caramel smell with orange-lemon, light toasted grain, and peppery herbs.

Sweet, sugary heaven: milk chocolate, dried cherry, burnt sugar, caramel, Darjeeling tea, spicy pink peppercorns, and sweet herbs. Warming alcohol comes in the later sips. Aftertaste of sweet herbs and dried cherry.

Creamy, velvety and slick all at once.

A little "too" drinkable for this amount alcohol.

 601 characters

Photo of NODAK
4.74/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is amazing. Full of fruit, banana and there's some cherry in there as well. Booziness is also evident.

Pours a beautiful, cloudy dark brown in the glass. Small head.

Brightly sweet in the front, with tons of banana, dark fruit and a distinct note of cherries. Almost a wine quality to it. The finish is sweet with a candied sugar taste and booziness together, at this ABV it'd be hard to completely cover. It isn't too distracting, but it's there. A small citrus peel bitterness creeps in at the end to finish it off.

Tasty!! A sweet treat, like a dessert to itself. I definitely enjoy this beer, but at this price and ABV, it's a sipper. Even after one, I could feel the warmth.

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Photo of sjccmd
4.74/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After opening carefully, it began to gush a bit, but not enough to cause any beer lossage (phew)...poured into a Duvel tulip glass, even with a careful pour, an immense and lively light beige head formed, I would like to call the color of the body ruby brown...

wonderful smell that was apparent as soon as I opened the bottle of brown sugar, molasses, spice cake aroma, like a honey cake, light alcohol warmth at the end

the taste was along with the smell but with more dark fruit flavors being more pronounced, nice bready finish with a hint of chocolate

sparkly mouthfeel that finishes smooth, on the light side, but not at all watery

goes down easy, it's on the sweet side, but it's pretty well balanced

 711 characters

Photo of Rayek
4.74/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at City O' City in Denver. Served in a Gulden Draak tulip, the beer arrived with a slightly hazy deep mahogany hue and a billowing cream cap. The head slowly fell to a blanked of foam and left behind bits of lace.

"Heaven in a glass" was how I described this to my son, who chuckled at my comment. Dark dried fruit of currant, raisin and cherry get things going. They give the beer a strong vinous quality. Bitterness is quite mild and a little peppery. The alcohol adds nice warmth going down, but is well masked in the flavor. Letting the beer warm a bit makes the experience even better. The medium body has soft carbonation and could stand a touch more heft in my book. Overall, I found the beer fabulous.

I was having a really bad day when I ordered this. When my glass arrived, it improved eleven fold at the first sip. A truly great beer.

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Photo of ikantspel
4.74/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle served into a duvel tulip

pours a dark oak brown. creamy 2 finger head.

dark fruits with toasty malts. a little bit of banana in there. can this smell any better

slightly boozy at first. mostly taste a kinda maple syrup and malt flavor. this is beyond good

this is so damn good. i really cant wait to try their quad thats coming out.

 351 characters

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 celldog
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Simply the best beer on the planet. I get my Gulden Drak from Yardhouse restaurants. Have never had it from the 12 oz or 750ml bottles.

The explosive flavors of this tripel are so wonderful. Nothing I have tasted compares. This is not for the bud light drinker. This beer is only meant for those who appreciate quality and substance in their beers.

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Photo of Cuttooth
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

After giving the worst pour of all time into my Duvel glass, I think that I am ready to try Gulden Draak. Thankfully I am not disappointed. The smell of this beer is almost that of a tripel, with clove and banana flavors. On the other hand, it also produces a dark fruit smell, of plums and licorice. Alright, I'm pretty intrigued, so let's get into the taste. Holy damn. I am not disappointed, as a rush of plum, fig, raspberry and clove come to destroy my palette. The lacing on this beer is extraordinary, as it goes down all the way throughout the glass. Mouthfeel is pretty good, with high carbonation, not as much as Duvel, but still pretty high for a BSDA. Overalll, this is one of the best dark ales that I've had, and am looking forward to trying this again in the future.

 781 characters

Photo of Shadman
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nothing Golden about the colour of this brew. Dark, cloudy Chestnet brown. Very nice thick tan head, showed superior tetention and lacing.

Aroma wae nice in a not knocking my socks off way. Rich alcohol soaked fruitiness.

Took quote george from Seinfeld..." I'm blown away" Not incredibly complex, but what's there is amazing. As I'm drinking this I'm thinking why pair wine with food because this is better than most wines I've sampled. Rich malt fruitiness with amzingly well hidden alcohol. Finishes slightly dry and spicy.

Smooth and full bodied mouthfeel.

Still blown away @ how enjoyable this beer was. Smooth, flavourful, not overbearing in any category, yet makes me immediately wishing I had more in the cellar to enjoy.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a snifter

A: Pours a hazy mahogany brown color with a ton of fizzy light tan colored head that lingers extensively, pours really beautifully, leaves a decent amount of spotty lacing
S: nice licorice note from the star of anise and something warmer and deeper that lingers at the end
T: wow immeditely hits with the star of anise which is incredibly intense, i once chewed on a small piece of this herb at brewery ommegang while drinking their abbey ale during a tasting, this beer really reminds me of that experience, just such incredible taste and flavors, intensely strong but in the best way, spot on, actually backs off the palate rather rapidly and leaves the mouth pretty clean of taste, really awesome, absolutely no taste of the 10.5%
M: medium carbonation tingle then moves into a bit of an odd feeling on the palate, almost spiced up i guess is what id call it, leaves the mouth just slightly dry
O: incredible, this beer has such incredible taste and flavor profile, this is absolutely going to be purchased again and again, wow

 1,052 characters

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

Bought a single 12 oz. bottle of this at my local store. Poured it into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Just beautiful. Pours out a dark brown with a thick, pillowy light brown three finger head. The head slowly dissipates into a one finger head. The color is a dark amber when held up to the light. Nice, very nice. There is a bit of lacing as I drink.

Smell: Smells of sweet booze, floral notes, malts, caramel. Just a bit of metallic smell, but not that it takes away from it.

Taste: Taste is amazing. It is very sweet, boozy, and tastes of caramelized fruits, like plums. Not really any bitterness, and the alcohol is hidden exceptionally well.

Mouthfeel: So nice. Very light carbonation with a very light syrupy kind of consistency. The drinkability is very high, which is surprising for the alcohol content.

Overall: A great beer that gives an amazing head with the sweet smell of caramelized plums and an almost syrup like mouthfeel, much like the women I prefer. Highly recommended.

 998 characters

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

Gulden Draak presents three fingers of highly durable off-white froth on a mahogany body with ruby trim--incredible. The nose is good and improves as the beer warms, with plenty of berry, grape, and overtures to banana and chocolate emerging with patience that is not one of my trademarks.

I cannot say enough about the taste--flush with fruit, chocolate, perfectly carbonated, and with a head that won't quit. I'm completely wowed. The very high ABV (10.5 %) catches up eventually, but this is not one to be missed. A beer that deserves to be described in superlatives, Gulden Draak is sumptuous, serious, and outstanding, a gem of a BSDA and superior to most I've had, and I've had a few. Great.

 699 characters

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

I'm working my way through my second four pack. This is what beer should be!

Dark and beautiful color with ominous highlights.

Smells of ancient victories over fire breathing foes.

Oh, the taste of Paradise! This is the stuff legends are made of...

Carbonation is a celebration of cream and honey in your mouth.

Strong as a knight of valor and smooth as a dancing princess.

Now this is beer!

 397 characters

Photo of 1759Girl
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: warm brown chestnut in color. Lively, cloudy, with a big belgian head, and lacing that probably could last through until tomorrow.

Smell: yeasty, estery

Taste: Complexity you'd expect from a tripel. Tangy start that hits the tip of your tongue with ferocity. A big full yeast and malt flavor rounds this out quickly, and lends itself to the chewy character. Finishes with a mellow sweetness.

Mouthfeel:Kapow! This beer invades your mouth, and I'm happily pillaged. Others may find this a bit over bearing. They should probably avoid strong beers.

Drinkability: I could probably drink a lot of this, but I have a big love for the golden dragon and the town of Ghent... oh and a bigger love for tasty beer.

 720 characters

Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a short, stubby, three tiered, white bottle. This brew pours a very dark brown, almost black color with a wonderfully thick cream colored head.

Wow! This is the most aromatic BSDA I've had so far. Smells of sweet candy sugars, dates, grapes, beet sugars... A veritable cornucopia of intense aromas.

Tastes of grapes and sweet malts. Maybe a bit of fig or date in there as well. Very full, creamy mouthfeel. The only downside at all is the drinkability. Very powerful abv. Just one of these belgian behemoths and I've got a mean buzz.

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Photo of qwert59
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've recently been on a quest to try all the Belgians I can, and every time I've talked to someone about Belgian beers, Gulden Draak comes up, but it's been impossible to find in my area. I guess you could say I've been chasing the Gulden Draak.

But I finally found it. And I was not disappointed.

The nose is largely spiced apples and yeast, but is very pleasant and warming.

Gulden Draak pours a hazy redish amber with minimal head, but nice, active carbonation.

The first taste is amazing. This is an incredibly complex beer which almost refuses to show itself to you. My initial taste said that it was just more spices and apples. But as the beer opened up, I noticed pears, apricots, slight notes of dark fleshy fruits like cherries, raisins and currants, and also touches of cinnamon.
Very little alcohol taste for a 10.5 per cent beer.
There was a nice slight touch of sweet malts on the finish.
The carbonation was just right, it kind of rolled over your tounge, but it was not overpowering. The carbonation added some body to the beer, and made it's physical presence a little more noticeable.

The after taste is reminiscent of the nose, spcied apples and yeast again.

Overall, this is a super complex, well crafted beer. I like how the nose and after taste are similar, it kind of bookends the massive complexity of the flavor, although this bookending can be deceiving (i.e., my inital response was "apples and spice! apples and spice! apples and spice!). But this beer could definitely show me something new each time. It's also surprisingly drinakble for something of this complexity and magnitude.

I highly recommend Gulden Draak.

 1,675 characters

Photo of Tballz420
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew is a thick, cloudy brown/purple colored brew, decent sized tan foam head. Sweet grape, cherry, fruit scent, very nice. This brew is delicious. Lots of different fruit, sweet sugars, alcohol spice, hop bitterness on top of everything. This beer is damn good, and makes me quite interested in this style of beers.

 321 characters

Photo of jballeng
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.5 oz bottle. Poured a dark chocolate with a very small creamy head. Aroma of figs, brown sugar, and hops. Alcohol subdued for a 10.5%. Accents of cherries, bread, bleu cheese, and brown sugar. A magnificent beer, and a meal in itself. Thicker than a normal triple. Would probably very nicely compliment a piece of fresh bread and a nice salty piece of gorgonzola or stilton.

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Photo of Katolu
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Wonderful flavor. Smooth start with nice Carmel and fruit back end. The only down side is that's a little thick on the tongue, but that's very minor. Other dubs and trips are overly sweet, The Draak isn't. Would love to find bars that have it on tap.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.71/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance: Dark brown with ruby port hues. A huge creamy head that takes a long time to recede. I can't imagine a better looking brew.
smell: Impressive hops and malt. I very good nose but a little subdued for a monster.
taste: Oh man! Hops, and malt in perfect balance. A sherry hint.This is just amazing.
mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy.
drinkability: This beast is amazingly mellow.

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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.

 892 characters

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!

 329 characters

Photo of Aiptasia
4.71/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased as a six pack at a local craft beer store in a christmas set with a tulip glass, and enjoyed from that tulip glass. Enjoyed with Thanksgiving turkey dinner!

A: Pours a deep ruby red with a massive kakhi head on it, which lingers for eons. Rich dense lacing coats the entire glass with each pull. The head never settles.

S: Smells of dense raspberry, mango, hay and toffee. The tulip glass really features the scents well.

T: Considerable amount of esters and alcoholic warmth with little noticeable hops bite. What hops are there, are merely the rythem guitar. Slight diacetyl lends to the toffee taste in the middle. Very warming and completely dangerous.

M: You'll have to drink through the head to get to the liquid. Some alcoholic bite, yet once the sting is gone and you reach the middle, a very enjoyable drink. Overcarbonated IMHO, but pleasing to drink.

O: An outstanding example of the style. This would be a great standard to judge others of this style against.

 986 characters

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

Poured into an over-sized wine glass. Probably gave about 1.5 fingers of head. Stayed around for a while before receding to the edges. Golden-bronze coloured hue, with a little light getting through.

Smell: Awesome, almost like a 'dark stone fruit-bowl', toffee/caramel, sweet bread

Taste: Just like the smell, perfectly sweet, boozy in the finish

Mouth-feel: Nearly full, low carbonation, boozy fruit in the aftertaste.

Overall: An excellent beer, equal to the (if not the) best beers I've had.

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Gulden Draak from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.2 out of 5 based on 3,905 ratings.
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