Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,318 Reviews
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)
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:
1,318
Ratings:
3,840
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
19.52%
 
 
Wants:
298
Gots:
809
For Trade:
3
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,318 | Ratings: 3,840
Photo of thierrynantes
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33cl.), tasted in 2000.
The Gulden Draak is served in a bottle painted white and decorated with a nice golden dragon.

Appearance : great autumn brown/orange color, with tan foamy head (but not persistent).
Smell : alcohol aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : malt sweetness, nice long caramel notes, persists long in the mouth.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style Belgian strong dark ale (too strong). To drink at cellar t°.

 437 characters

Photo of jeffboo
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A volcanic eruption of bubbles greeted me as I poured this one into it's, short term, new home. It is dark brown with some reddish/orange highlights and an airy tan foam, with lots of carbonation at first. After it settles down it has a big candy sugar aroma with raisins, syrup, and alcohol. Taste, at first, is obscured by the carbonation,this leads to an airy texture that improves if you give it time.The flavor is lightly fruity with powdered sugar, baking spices and a bit of plum, as the carbonation relaxes I can get tobacco and cedar in the finish with plenty of alcohol. The slightly lighter texture and womp of alcohol is a bit much for my 'buds to carry it to the higher scores. A great cigar beer I would imagine.

 726 characters

Photo of cooch69
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice bright white coated bottle.

This beer pours a bright medium brown with a compact one finger off white head.

Smells of caramel maltiness, a little bit of the alcohol comes through. Dark fruits, including raisins and figs. And a very doughy breadiness probably coming from the yeast.

Tastes semi-sweet with dark fruits and a bit of alcohol in the finish, but over all the alcohol is pretty well hidden. Also there is dark candied sugar and a bready caramel backbone with only a trace of hops.

This beer is a good guideline for what this style should taste like.(in my opinion anyways).
That being said the beer itself was good at best. A beer I'm glad I tried but there are many in the same style that are more unique or tasty.

 738 characters

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gulden Draak pours a dark brownish color, with a nice large and lacing head. There is a sweet and slightly sour aroma. The taste has a profound sweetness and a slight sourness. Good full flavor, and nice to drink. Overall a very good solid beer, there is a nice fruitiness that is similar to a nice wine.

 304 characters

Photo of impending
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

33cl into a tulip. Pours a dark rusty amber bronze - unexceptional when the glass is full gorgeous when only an inch remains. Careful pour but surprisingly little head considering, decent lacing.

Aroma of dark candies, malts and spices. While the dark fruits are there they do not dominate. A solvent is present.

Tasty malts not too sweet, mild phenols and the dominate peppery alcohol finishes, especially as it warms. The warm alcohol is appropriate for this style brew and abv. The mouthfeel is slightly viscous in spite of a thin body

kudos for the effort to keep this brew in the dark!
cheers
jd

 603 characters

Photo of xodin
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark mahogany with minimal head fading fast. Aromas contains some spice, roasted malts, and a hint of fruit, but dissipate soon after the pour. Taste is comprised of rum-like spice notes, dark candy, and roasted malts with a hint of bitterness from the hops peeking through. Smooth and sweet through the swallow with a slightly dry and bitter finish. Fairly well balanced, and warming, but lacks significant complexity and character. An above average brew, but nothing overly exceptional about its quality.

 521 characters

Photo of greg202stewart
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For the price I was expecting more. It was dark brown with little head and came out like liquid caramel. It went down smooth unfortunately, like caramel it was way too sweet and reminded me of a Sam Adams Seasonal. It is very unique though. Just not my bag baby!

 262 characters

Photo of association330
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 mL bottle, no freshness date

A - Pours cloudy brown with a faint reddish tinge. A half-finger of tan head drops to a thin cap and thick ring of bubbles. Fair spots of lace.

S - Complex malty sweetness, caramel/brown sugar, hints of dark fruit and Belgian yeast. Faint pepper and alcohol.

T - Follows the nose. Sticky sweet, complex malt character. Dark fruit, faint orange rind, Belgian yeast. Vague pepper and alcohol notes.

M - Medium-bodied, but carbonation is too low. Noticeable alcohol warmth.

D - Nice sipping beer. Needs a touch more crispness, but a bit too sweet and alcoholic to be a real quaffer.

 617 characters

Photo of hardy008
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reddish brown color with a 2 finger off white head with large bubbles and decent lacing. Smell is dark fruit, especially plums. raisins, and cherries, as well as sweet caramel malt. Same for the flavor which mixes sweet malt with some bitterness to make a pretty nice beer. Creamy, full bodied, and nicely carbonated. The only drawback is the alcohol is not hidden, and packs quite a punch at 10.5%. Still quite good though.

 424 characters

Photo of divineaudio
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle into a tulip.

a - pours a deep chestnut shade with a huge, 3 finger, cream colored head. after calming i get a thin cap and thick swaths of lacing in the glass.

s - sweet bread, clove, carmel.

t - bready carmel malt with notes of clove and candi sugar. a nice earthy bitterness comes in at the end to finish it out.

m - lighter side of medium with lots of carbonation. medium co2 profile with a slight alcohol warming.

o - abv kicks in fast. enjoyable though and a nice beer overall. i probably wouldn't buy this often but it seems like a good candidate for holidays and special occasions.

 601 characters

Photo of MarcatGSB
3.84/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from the Shelden Grill in Houghton, MI. Served with a frosted mug (yep), so that is what I used.

Appearance: pours a real nice brown color with a frothy white one finger head. Great lacing remains on the glass.

Nose: Nice esthery clove and banana nose. Sweet toffee and candies fruits. Borderline dried figs or raisons.

Taste: Dried fruit with a nice peppery alcohol feel. Good phenol and sweet balance.

Mouth: Viscous. Really nice and inviting. The alcohol is not noticeable and a sweet sipping treat.

Drink and overall: Nice Belgium triple. The color is beautiful and the brew is inviting.

 611 characters

Photo of WetCoaster
3.84/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Tight sturdy off-white head. Great lace and insane retention -- it's like concrete. Nice carbonation. Somewhat pale, but a terrific clear reddish amber. Nice.

Smell: Sweet mother of god! Massive, overwhelming aroma of ripe fruit, spice and everything nice. A bit cakey. Bit of pissy yeast funk. Seriously, this is off-the-charts huge, one of a kind.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Whoa, know where the nose is coming from. Punishingly sweet. Just... yeesh. Grapey, mildly tangy, cakey, a bit of chocolate -- didn't see that coming -- a bit spicy. Not too much alcohol, but a bit of burn on the tongue at the end. Kinda thick and dumb, frankly. Mouthfeel is smooth and dense. Nice.

Drinkability: Well, nose is off the hook, amazing. Taste, though, is too much, waaay too sweet for me. Still, at this ABV, you'll feel good about it in the end -- trust me. Enjoyable in moderation.

 885 characters

Photo of ksmi116
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Koningshoeven goblet.

A - Dark brown body with a good sized tan head. Dissipates eventually with some solid lacing on it,

S - First smell is a bit of an alcohol burn, then dark fruits and candied sugar smells. Quite good smelling so far!

T - Raisins, candied sugar, bitterness at the finish. Less impressive taste than the smell, which really threw me for a loop. I tend to have a problem discerning Belgian style flavors though, not sure why.

M - high carbonation with a medium body.

D - Overall, a good beer, just I expected more with the hype

 564 characters

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Reviewed 11/5/2008 (bottle):

Pours a dark chestnut brown body, clear. Average creamy light tan head, somewhat diminishing. Very floral aroma, some dark fruit. Some alcohol in the nose. Some nuttiness too. Somewhat watery body, soft. Floral taste, some fruitiness like strawberries. Toned down taste compared to the nose. Maybe some toasted or roasted notes. Definitely some dark fruit.

 386 characters

Photo of Night
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours hazy red-brown with a bit of a diffuse vermilion glow - rather gorgeous color. Head is massive and all bubbles, no cream whatsoever; very odd. Dies down quickly to thin, bubbly lacing here and there. Aroma is deep and rummy with characteristic Belgian yeast tones. Notes of walnut and honey dominate with nice raw malty undertones and cake sweetness. Mouthfeel is surprisingly hot and sharp with a medium body that has a lightly juicy character. Flavor is very well matched to aroma, but the sweetness comes through a bit more than the nutty flavors. Molasses, dark fruits - raisin, prune, tempered by a touch of apple skin and flour. Fairly strong cake and cookie malts. Yeast comes through present but nicely rounded out. Finish is sweet and lightly sour with a long, warm, and dry aftertaste.

 802 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a light brownish color with a light tan colored head. The head is a little fizzy but does have a little bit of retention to it. The lacing isn't strong but it's got just a little bit going on from time to time. The smell of the beer had an earthy spiced aroma to it mixed with some bright fruity notes and a touch of booze. The taste of the beer had a subtle sweetness to it upfront and had a slight bite to it in the aftertaste from the settling spices. There's a little bit of bread in the taste too. The mouthfeel is well carbonated and almost medium bodied. Overall this beer is good on mostly every level and really worth trying if you haven't already.

 681 characters

Photo of henrysunset
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

very dark, probably filtered from what little light made it through, enormous imprssive head.

s: sweet... floral bitterness, but very very floral,

t: very sweet, malts galore.. little alcohol flavor upfront, but increasing on second sip...

very smooth, reasonably drinkable, but I've had easier drinkers at 10%.

 321 characters

Photo of BitteBier
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bar area was dark, but so is this beer itself. Some crimson peeked out from the dark murk when I exposed it to the light. A really nice, foamy, off-white head on this one that persisted long enough that I had to ingest some of it to get at the liquid foundation. The nose is potent, though less of alcohol than sweet grains and dark, fruity notes. The taste is sweeter than I had expected, and the alcohol was not quite in balance, though also not unduly assertive. A bit of chocolate/red wine and hops makes things interesting. The mouthfeel is nice--substantial but not clingy. Our server pushed this as "what some have called the best beer in the world." That lowered my expectations for it, actually, but I'm glad I gave it a try.

 738 characters

Photo of lowbrau68
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz stubby bottle.

A- Dark, chocolate brown, amber notes along edge of glass when held up to light. Tan, pillowy head.

S- Floral, spicy, with the characteristic Belgian yeast aroma.\

T- Spicy, malty and, surprisingly, not much ETOH character despite 10% ABV. Roasted malt flavor w/notes of coffee, medium mouthfeel and silky for it's overall complexity and malt character.

I think this is a relatively drinkable beer given its strong alcohol content but I wouldn't want to drink more than 1 or 2 in a row. Overall this is a flavorful, complex beer and I can see where Unibroue gets its inspiration for Chambly Noire. Not personally my favorite beer but objectively speaking, this is a great Belgian beer.

 712 characters

Photo of nd5282
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A carmel cloudy appearance that expels notes of coffee and chocolate. Crisp and bold at the first sip followed by a sweet and smooth sugary finish. This beer was very easy to drink and full of flavor, the only problem that I had with the "Golden Dragon" was that it became a bit too sweet for my palate towards the end.

 319 characters

Photo of MikeGill
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a Duvel glass.

Dark burnished copper with a big beige head that has very good retention. Somewhat cloudy. Sweet on the nose with aromas reminiscent of lemon tea. I also smelled a little grenadine syrup as well.

Sweet and a little yeasty. Sour cranberry and grape flavors up front then some orange and a tiny bit of ripe banana. Big caramel malt and mellow spicy hops. Alcohol is right out there but for some reason still seems very balanced. Finishes with some toffee.

 497 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy red with some dark orange hints with minor head and lace. Citric smells or orange and lemom with some spice and faint malt. Flavor is much stronger than aroma, peppery with some malty, almost molasses like sweetness. Aftertase has some serious residual sweetness, yet it is not cloying but rather neat sweetness.

 325 characters

Photo of shanecb
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice dark amber/brown color that's very clear. Attractive carbonation constantly rising, just enough to look pleasant. A little but of an off-white head, but just coats the top of the beer. No lacing.

S - Rather pleasant. Lots of maltiness and sweetness to the nose. Also a little something else, maybe dark fruit or licorice. After awhile I definitely started to notice some alcohol smell coming through, which wasn't all that pleasant though it was muted.

T - A lot of what was in the nose. Sweetness with maltiness is rather overpowering at first. Also maybe a little honey to it. I wanted to give it a higher rating, but I really seem to get a slightly metallic or rusty aftertaste, which I saw a few people mentioned. It seemed to go away as I drank it but that might have been my getting used to it. Also, some sips have a rather unpleasant alcohol twinge to it.

M - Wonderful! Feels creamy and full in the mouth. Carbonation just flirts with the tongue and is wonderful. This is one of the few 5s I've given for mouthfeel, but it definitely deserves it.

D - Alright, because it has a rather nice flavor, but due to the alcohol and metallic tastes I'm getting I don't think I'd drink more than one at a time.

Overall, I really wanted to give this a little bit of a higher rating, but it just has a few things I had to knock off points for.

 1,354 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a big off white head. The aroma is sweet with caramel tones. The taste is as big as the smell. Dark fruits, caramel, and alcohol. The mouthfeel is thick with low carbonation. Overall, this is a pretty good brew. Definitely worth a try.

 265 characters

Photo of crnipeter
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

330 ml into GD tulip.

Dark coppery brown with reach light tan head that rather quickly fades into thin sheet of lace. Effervescent.

Raisins, cherries, prunes, caramel, red vine.

Raisin-dominated dark ripe fruits with accompanying sourness, caramel and rich sweet malt. An interplay of sweet and sour. Although close to, it never gets syrupy. Hops are apparently absent. Overly sweet and to much malt based.

Medium bodied, smooth and creamy.

Particular and quite decent one, but there is an undefinable something that I dislike in this beer. One at a time is enough.

 571 characters

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.2 out of 5 based on 3,840 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe