Gulden Draak | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
3,951 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
Ratings:
3,951
Reviews:
1,344
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
11.43%
 
 
Wants:
313
Gots:
874
For Trade:
4
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,951 |  Reviews: 1,344
Photo of jeffjfindley
3.12/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A tawny amber gem in the glass, champagne bubbles like fireworks, and an incredible mountainous head. Smell disappoints a bit after this, as in addition to the suspected notes of bananas, cloves, etc, I found it a bit metallic. Upon ingestion, the front half of the tongue is coated with syrupy rum raisin flavors, with little on the back. The mouthfeel is ok, until late in the game when one is left with a sensation not unlike one might experience after dispensing the contents of one's piggy bank into ones one's mouth. I've been craving a great Belgian all day, and frankly I'm disappointed. Especially after I spend 12 bucks on the damn thing.

 648 characters

Photo of physicccs
3.14/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

very alcoholic , can feel the alcohol when drinking, too sweet

62 characters

Photo of brakspear
3.14/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a murky deep brown with a explosive and billowing head...looks nice in the glass.

The aroma is sickly sweet bubble gum, raisins, plums. Too much for my preference.

The taste is evidently complex to some, but to me it is too muddy sweet and rife with the flavor of overipe and rotting fruit. The bite of the alcohol also sears the tongue. The body seems about right to support the heavy sweetness in this beer.

Perhaps I am just not a Belgian triple fan, but this beer...with its high alcohol content and overwhelming sweetness was a chore to drink.

 573 characters

Photo of Cresant
3.16/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured this undated 11.2 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Created a very tall off-white creamy head. A cap of foam remained throughout the entire leisurely session. Body was a nearly opaque burgandy/brown color.

Smell was primarily of sweet malts. Grains. Dried fruits and alcohol.

Taste reflected the aromas. Sweet. Raisins. Alcohol.

Mouthfilling creaminess.

High alcohol ensures that I do not drink this one too quickly. However. for the high ABV it is quite drinkable. There are too many excellent Belgians available for me to return to this one for a long time.

 580 characters

Photo of brdc
3.16/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beautiful beer with a strong dark color and a nice tan head.
Smells like roasted malts, somewhat like a porter which I thought it was odd.
Taste is also peculiar for a belgian strong dark ale, with the usual heavy malts but a bitter taste that I cannot relate to hops and it just feels different, although not unpleasant.
Full bodied, however, it has that strange bitter taste that makes me wonder if this beer was not too long on the shelf.
As it is, I do not really like it, but will give it another try.

 510 characters

Photo of BcCraft710
3.17/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not a fan of this flavour, but can appreciate the brew

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Photo of HeroJH
3.18/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm having trouble liking this one, or wanting more. I think I just have to get used to this kind of belgian. I find the sweet tangy ness a bit much for my palette and I find I pucker a bit after I take a sip. I'll keep trying though. And I'll probably get this again eventually once I become more familiar with these.

A - Dark dark brown, nice lacing

S - Sweet/ Sour, caramel

T - Sour and tangy

M - sweet finish on my palete

D - Better once it warms up, you get more of the body and fullness to offset just the sweet.

 524 characters

Photo of bucko
3.18/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours with a nice carmely-brown color, almost opaque, or at least very dense. The head is off-white and at least a couple of inches which settles to about 1/2 inch after some time. The smell is sweet with hints of fruit and perhaps cake, perhaps even a little nutty. I'm not so crazy about the first sip, all I'm tasting is alcohol. Second sip I the sweet malt takes over. The aftertaste is powerful and not unlike that of a good port, albeit a bit smokey and most noticably not a port. Long term after-taste is almost astringant and I can't help but want something else to wash it away. The mouthfeel is odd to me. It looks like it should be heavier, and it's anything but light, but it isn't heavy, either. Confused? So am I. Very complex. Perhaps too much for my taste. I think I'll have to try a few more before I have a solid opinion.

 844 characters

Photo of synesthesiam
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%

Photo of gc0801
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

Had: 2 months ago, from notes
Serving type: Bottle, interesting shape/design/texture, certainly unique. Bottle was on on sale for 8.00, usually is 10-12 or so.
Poured into a regular glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark color, petrol dark+some brown, legs of alcohol down the glass. Nothing much to say here. I like the color/legs of Strong belgian beers (and really, who does not?)

Smell: feint alcoholic burn, dark fruits, caramel, smells like a heavy beer

Taste
The alcohol burn is much more felt here. Overpowering sweetness and harshness due to the alcohol burn. Dark fruits and caramel still comes through. Actually tastes good but the high burn level prevents much enjoyment sadly. It becomes more enjoyable after the first few sips however curiously.

Mouthfeel
Too much of an alcohol burn to really feel much else, not that enjoyable compared to the taste.

Overall
It is hard to say whether I like this or not. I enjoy the taste but the alcohol is just way too overpowering.. It is simply too strong to be a SDA but somehow it does not have the balance of what I usually see from a Quad. Has some of the bad qualities of both as well as well as most of the good qualities. Would prefer there to be slightly less alcohol. Simply too much burn.
If the alcohol was half-way hidden, this would get a 3.5-4 easily, if it was fully hidden (as beautifully as some other Strong Dark Ales/Dubs/Quads/ I have had) 4-4.5 or higher, easily.

2.75

Edit:
Retried it to give it as second chance. Sipped it slowly and had it in a proper glass. A bit more balanced now. going up to 3.25

 1,584 characters

Photo of radio_bc
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.21/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

After all the hype, this one just did not do it for me. Too sweet I guess. Pours a mostly clear light brown color with a light, fluffy cream-colored head. Nice lacing and retention.

Smell is of minerals, earth, yeast and sweet malts. Hints of champagne and scotch ale, has a pretty big nose in general.

Thin, sweet and different are the first things that come to mind upon quaffing. I also taste some fountain cola syrup and heavy toasty malts. Almost seems like it has too much unfermentable sugars, and that may be on purpose, but it does not quite do it for me. Fun to try, but at nearly $5 a pop, I believe I'll pass next time.

 633 characters

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 .

 227 characters

Photo of Rumrunner
3.23/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle

Pours a mahogany color. It looks like a thick iced tea. Good foamy head at the start but it disappears quickly. The scents are strong brown sugar, some caramel and a deep wet grass finishes the smells.

A very malty brew. The sweet brown sugar is very dominant. A caramel syup adds to the flavors and a sweet fruit finish. A very sweet overall flavor for this ale. Too sweet for me. It is like candy. The sweetness is also an after flavor. The alcohol is very present in the flavor of this ale.

It feels bold and crisp. A heavy touch to the mouthfeel. If you like sweet brews give this one a try.

 618 characters

Photo of mctizzz
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of jennybeer
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

It's a little too strong for my taste.

38 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I was given a bottle of Brouwerij Van Steenberge's Gulden Draak. I was pretty sure I've had this beer before, but when I looked it up it showed that I hadn't reviewed it, so I don't know if I tried it or not, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a white Belgian style bottle into a chalice.

A- The bottle looks nice, it's got a distinctive look to it that makes it stick out a little. It poured a muddy brown color that took on some crimson hues around the edges when held to the light with about a fingers worth of bubbly tan head that quickly faded to a thin ring that eventually disappeared and it didn't leave any lacing behind This was a decent looking beer, but I wish the head and lacing were a little better.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness and it's followed by a fruity aroma being the first to show up and that seems like a pretty even mixture of dark fruit and apple juice like aromas. Up next a slight brown sugar aroma along with some caramel and light toffee like aromas and there's a some spicy Belgian yest showing up in the background. The aroma was decent, but the apple juice aromas were unwanted.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar and it starts off with a lighter amount of high sweetness that had a brown sugar like flavor to it and it was followed by the same fruity aspects that I got in the aroma, but this time they are lighter with neither aspect sticking out the most. Up next comes the malts which impart a sweet malt, light caramel and light toffee flavors with some brown bread and spicy belgian yeast in the background. On the finish there's a slight boozy flavor with pretty much no bitterness and it had caramel, toffee and dark fruit like aftertaste. This was a decent tasting beer, but I thought the sweetness was a little too high.

M- A little smooth, slightly cloying, a little sticky, fairly crisp, on the lighter side of being full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was decent, but I wish it was a little smoother and not so sticky.

Overall I thought this was a decent beer and I thought it was a pretty average example Belgian Strong Dark Ale, the brewery claims this in a dark Tripel, but to me it's just an average Belgian Strong Dark Ale and there isn't anything about it that immediately makes me think of a Tripel. This beer didn't have the best drinkability, it was a little smooth, slightly cloying, a little sticky, fairly crisp, a little filling and the taste didn't do the best job at holding my attention, so I think one bottle would be my limit and even that is a little more than enough, I wouldn't want to have another one in a row. What I like the most about this beer was nothing, there wasn't one single aspect that stuck at as being better than the rest. What I liked the least about this beer was the sweetness and lack of complexity, that seemed to be this beers biggest downfalls. I might buy this beer again if I knew it was fresh, but I'm in no hurry to find a fresh bottle and as it stands now I can't say I would recommend it. All in all I just wasn't too into this beer it seemed a little bland and with the sweetness sticking out the most it didn't really make for the best introduction to a dark Tripel. This isn't my favorite beer from this brewery or my favorite BSDA. Better luck next time guys, this one just wasn't for me.

 3,390 characters

Photo of ImpactDan
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of Karo
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of Hellpop65
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of JLapadura
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of Gotti311
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of RTHKI
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of spycow
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of Cramshawbar
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Gulden Draak from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.2 out of 5 based on 3,951 ratings.
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