Gulden Draak | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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Gulden DraakGulden Draak
3,994 Ratings
Gulden DraakGulden Draak

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 3,994 |  Reviews: 1,353
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look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from the unmistakable white-painted 33cl bottle in a Chimay chalice at cellar temperature. A very cool bottle design that pretty much eliminates light degradation from the aging picture.

A - Crystal clear chestnut color with ruby highlights. Big, fluffy off-white head rises with attitude to a full inch in thickness, becoming creamy and dense on the top, buoyed by bigger, springy bubbles beneath. Lacing is decent and head retention is good.

S - Crystal malts with a burnt caramel backbone. Damp cardboard, which is just fine for the style. Rum soaked raisins and figs. Very faint toasted banana. Smells "authentically Belgian".

T - Assertively sweet right up front. Ambiguous at first, then revealing definite notes of the aforementioned figs and raisins. Throw in some plums -- perhaps prunes for good measure -- soaked in dark rum. Gets a little bit hot in the middle as the alcohol checks in. A mellow yeastiness then chills out the alcohol bravado, and the swallow becomes only slightly dry, allowing some sweetness to remain, but avoiding the discomfort of cloying.

M - Very vigorous puff in volume immediately after tickling the tongue with needling carbonation. Fluffy, but not thick. Slightly gassy swallow... belch inducing.

D - Delicious. Everything about this beer is top-notch, but in my opinion, it could use a little taming in the carbonation. This is probably the best Van Steenberge offering of them all and is worthy of its high accolades.

Important Afterthought... As with most bottle-conditioned ales, I swirled in the sediment after concluding the initial tasting and found what I usually do in instances where the addition of the yeast was a benefit: Fluffier head (+0.5 A). Smoother, creamier body and taste (+0.5 T). Tamed carbonation and huge improvement in the overall mouthfeel (+1.5 M). Better drinkability (+0.5 D). My final scores obviously reflect the addition of the yeast.

Tasting Note: After the rating, I popped a Cinnabon into the microwave to warm it up nicely, and had this beer with it. Holy cow! As I was enjoying the two together, I felt very reminiscent of the Holidays... I could actually imagine it was flurrying outside, and that I was going to see my Christmas Tree in the living room as I went to put my fork in the sink. Awesome.

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Gulden Draak from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 4.24 out of 5 with 3,994 ratings
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