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

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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:
297
Gots:
809
For Trade:
3
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Reviews: 1,318 | Ratings: 3,840
Photo of kmo1030
4.01/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

deep dark brown with ruby highlights and a good sized tan head that has some staying power.
sweet and spicy aroma, with some peppery citrus, and some dark fruitiness.
the taste has lots of dark fruit, but also a surprising amount of spicy citrus, like lemon pepper. red grape juice mingles with the other flavors. makes me think this would be a great marinade with all the tang. there is also some light brown sugar in there that is tied to a pretty strong boozy component. there's some powdered cocoa type flavors and it's got a little toffee with hints of butter in there too. it's also got a light candied flavor that maintains a strong sweetness without being overpowering. very sweet but avoids being grossly sweet.
the mouthfeel is lighter than expected. i find it hard to tell though if this is actually a little on the light side or if it is due to it's active airy carbonation.
reasonably light with strong sweetness but also pretty boozy, good drinkability, but not great.

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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.

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Photo of BabaJohn
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is effectively a joint review I did with my friend westvleteren21 a few nights ago. At the beginning of the summer we each purchased this beverage as a birthday gift for the other, however my friend became sick after a very suspicious Japanese steak house meal and we were unable to enjoy our delicious beverages. As it turns out, he moved from MA back to MD so they’ve been sitting in my fridge all summer, taunting me. At last, he came back to visit, the beers have been consumed, and the wait was well worth it!

A light brown head formed but faded relatively fast. The coloration was a very nice chocolate brown with some pleasing gradations, looking a bit like cider and sometimes wine. Some vinegar-like sourness found it’s way into the nose, which was also reminiscent of cider and cherries. The taste was, well, absolutely fantastic! A nice balance of malts and alcohol persisted, with caramel, cider, apples, rum, and maple tastes. In some ways, this reminded us of Chimay. The mouthfeel was thick and delicious; carbonation just right. Of course, this is a fairly heavy, alcoholic, dessert-like beer and so a bit less ‘drinkable,’ but let me tell you that, aint stoppin’ me. My buddy suggested warm apple-pie a la mode as a pairing, and I think that sounds great. Van Steenberge once again ladies and gentlemen!

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Photo of atigerlife
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've reached for this bottle in the store many, many times. Always figured I'd get it next time. Finally had it in a bar. Wow!

Pours a dark brown with a big, brown head. Good lacing.

Aroma was of dark fruits, alcohol with some bread. Hard to smell in a bar.

Taste was sweet with dark fruits and roasted malts. Also some spicy alcohol and I detected some hints of citrus in the background. Delicious.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and creamy.

Overall, a very impressive brew. I will definitely have this again very soon to see what else I can add to this review. Amazingly drinkable given the ABV. Certainly one of the best in this style.

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Photo of supercolter
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is quite delightful. Three finger head that dissapates slowly and excellent lacing on the sides. Dark brown in color.
Smell is fantastic as well. Sweet malt greets your nose followed by both citrus and dark fruit (apricot, and plum are most noticable)
Taste is good as well. The taste is a bit drier than the smell led me to believe it would be. A lot of wheat and oat taste, but there is a hint of fruit.
Mouthfeel is nice and frothy but still drinkable.

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Photo of MichaelMeister
3.41/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice tan head on this beer. Malt aroma hits you hard after pouring. The first sip smacked of the 10.5% abv right off the bat, but seemed to settle down after several more (sips), but the warming feeling as it flows down the esophagus is actually nice. The taste is slightly sweet and pleasant. It's a decent beer, but I've always felt that higher OG beers detract from the flavor a bit. No different with this one, but still a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Slight spice, maybe gingerbread, and hints of alcohol. Always hard to nail aroma in a bar.

Appearance: Ruby amber and very clear. Long lasting dirty white head left tidemarks of joy.

Flavor: Rich. Dark. Trappist yeast. Chocolate, burnt sugar, and roasted grain. Words, just words, they don’t capture the essence.

Mouthfeel: Velvety! Low carbonation makes it hard to resist chugging like a college freshman.

Overall Impression: Fantastic! Served on tap at the Staminee De Garre with a side of mild cheese, simply heaven on earth. One of the best beers of my Belgian trip!

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Photo of aforbes10
2.58/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Crimson, with a big white head. not much odor, some alcohol noticeable. ethanol is the main flavor of this beer...it hangs out in your mouth along with a sweet flavor like unfermented malts. alcohol hits hard with this sucker. it is a real bastard. mouthfeel quite thick. not easy to drink because of the alkee-hol. unfortunately it packs a punch without any real desireable flavor to go with it. an experience but not necessarily a delicious one.

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Photo of cbl2
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

8/29/2005 $2.00 12 oz. on draft from Cable Beverage 10.50%

Appearance:

Fresh on tap, poured into a chalice, this is a murky brown with a swirling effervescene in the glass, though very little head, more of a thin film, and a bit of lacing.

Aroma:

Cherry cordials comes to mind, with the alcohol shining through a bit more than I would like, though it is tempered by the fresh fruit.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Ultra smooth, with an immediate warming quality in the mouth, imparted by the high alcohol. Alcohol is cut by fresh dark ripe fruit (cherries, plums). Finish is chewy and textured with a long intriguing aftertaste. Not the greatest belgian ever, but this is quite tasty, and worth seeking out. Nicely complex, though marred by too much alcohol presence.

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Photo of trevorwideman
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into a snifter. So nice to see this on the MLCC Shelf. Unfiltered, deep red, rich, almost mahogany in colour. A fair bit of carbonation is seen even through the darkness. Poured with a substantial head that stays around and keeps a good lace. Aroma is pungent, lots of spice. Some raisins and plums, a slight sweetness and a bit yeastiness as well.

Taste is very rich. This beer packs a serious punch, chock full of fruitiness. Definitely dark fruit flavours, some breadiness and nuttiness in there, caramel, figs, and a very pleasant yeastiness. Mouthfeel is strange, thick like molasses, very creamy, but very carbonated and zippy as well. I like a tangy mouthfeel so that dosen't really bother me much. Good for dessert or relaxing after dinner. Not one you can chug but one you can enjoy sipping for an hour. Lovely.

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Photo of Doomcifer
3.41/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

The first time I had this beer, I was overwhelmed with delight. I remember it being absolutely amazing. Now this time...

Poured a dark, ruddy, raisin color. Like liquified figs. Extremely sweet aroma with notes of raisins, prunes, caramel, and slight yeast. The appearance and smell of this beer are the best traits. The taste is exceedingly of prunes and alcohol, with lesser notes of raisins, molasses, and winey tastes. Mouthfeel is EXTREMELY thick and creamy, moderate to high carbonation, which is an odd mix. Not very drinkable at all. I had a hard time finishing just one. First and foremost a dessert beer if you are a fan of dark, extremely ripe fruits like prunes and raisins. I remember this beer being better last time I had it.

Perhaps I just got a bad one. I am in no way discarding this beer based on this try. I will be buying Gulden Draak again based on my first exhilarating experience with this brew.

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Photo of trep
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle caged n corked.

An elegant ruby body, crystal clear, with a massive frothy tan head. Lacing lasts throughout the beer which is gravy.

Ripe fruity aromas creep from the over-sized wine glass. Grapey, winey, honey, and a faint nutty aroma all meld perfectly together.

Incredibly smooth for the 10.5 that this brew boasts. A nice mix of caramel, molasses, dark ripe fruit, and nuttiness. Finishes nutty and has a sugary malt aftertaste.

Medium body with nice amount of carbonation. Incredibly easy drinking for something 10%+

I just got my Mug! Hell yeah.

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Photo of acoatley
4.82/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Characteristic thick Belgian head, moderate retention, reddish brow but crystal clear

Aroma: Caramel and vanilla no hops just a hint of sweet malt and butterscotch it’s like a candy factory

Flavor: Delivers maple syrup, butterscotch, definitely some characteristics of that Belgian yeast dark cherries

Mouthfeel: moderate to low carbonation silky smooth full body definitely makes my top 10

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Photo of tempest
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice dark pour with a bit of head. Smells spicey with a little dark fruit. Tastes nice, but is a touch simple for such a strong belgian. Flavor sticks with the belgian spices and dark fruit and does expand within those tastes. Yes there's a nice figs flavor, but thats it. No alcohol present, and thats inpressive for a 10.5 beer. It's a good dark belgian, but I didn't find anything new or surprising. Reminds me of Chimay Blue.

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Photo of AaronHomoya
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL corked bottle.

Appearance is a lovely dark auburn color with a great, thick head that lasts pretty well for a beer of this strength.

Smell is complex. A sweet, spicy aroma with figs and dark, dried fruits with a hint of alcohol.

Taste is an interesting mix of malty sweetness with some fig and raisin flavors and hints of roasted malt as well. A bit sweet and raisin-y for my tastes, but still quite good. The alcohol is also masked well.

Mouthfeel is medium-thick, with fairly low carbonation and a somewhat sticky, syrupy feel.

Drinkability suffers a bit due to the strong sweetness and the high ABV of 10.5% that becomes more noticeable as the beer warms.

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Photo of SilentSabre
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I have had and reviewed this before about 2 years ago, but a friend of mine gave me one and I figured I revisit it simply because my palate may have changed a bit. Poured a red/orange/copper colour with a bit of chill haze. Khaki foamy head subsided to a patchy frost in only 40 seconds or so. The smell is very sweet with lots of stewed fruit, a bit of candy sugar, and lots of alcohol. Smells fantastic. The taste is quite good, with the exception of a very pronounced bitterness on the finish that I could do without. Plenty of sweet fruit flavour profiles present here. Also, they seemed to do a wonderful job concealing the 10.5%abv. Mouthfeel is fabulous with an amazing carbonation. It's perfect. It's enough to "stir the senses", but it isn't offensive and it doesn't "sting". I have had plenty of good beers before with a pleasant level of carbonation, but this is really nice. Even though the high abv is concealed well, it is still a big beer, but considering what it is, I still think drinkability gets a 4.

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Photo of EPICAC
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy brown with ruby edges. A thin beige head tops the beer and quickly fades to a very persistent layer.

Smell: Sweet malts, dried fruits, dates, peppery spice, yeast and moderate alcohol.

Taste: Sweet and bready upfront with notes of dried fruit. There's a slight tartness before the spicy alcoholic finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-bodied, creamy, tingly-carbonation.

Drinkability: The alcohol is pretty strong, but the flavors are very nice.

Overall: A nice sweet, spicy and strong dark ale.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a warm brown dense body with a thick mousse light tan head. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles in this one.

S- This beer has a nose of sweet dark malt with brown sugar, dark raisins and a dark rum alcohol smell.

T- The taste of dark sweet malt has a dark caramel note and a vinous taste to it. The faint note of coffee candy comes through in the background. The finish has a nice alcohol bite that balances the sweetness.

M- This beer has a medium light mouthfeel with a alcohol warmth.

D-This beer has nice dark malt flavors and the alcohol helps keep it in check.

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Photo of mcallister
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wicked devlish appearance; scarlet/fire orange, very dense in color. Whipped creamy cream head thick and frothy, leaves trace lacing behind.

Smells very spicey, different fruit aromas consisting of star fruit, peach, blood orange, fig, alcohol, yeast, with some caramel entertwined malt.

Terrific elegance and complexity, thick malt, sweet belgian yeast strain, spicey flowery esters, fig, blood orange, caramel/toffee end with a medium 30 second long finish.

Mouthfeel is supple and succulent but there is some alcohol burn in the throat and chest hence a hit in drinkability. Great belgian!!

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Photo of cjgator3
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of its short and stubby white painted 11.2oz bottle into a tulip glass. Body is dark brown with a monsterous head with great retention that produced lacing throughout the duration of the drink. Smell is sweet dark fruits (plumas and raisens) and alcohol. Taste is fruity with a potent alcohol bite dominating the very dry finish. This brew definately gets better as it warms up in the glass. While it is not an absolutely stellar brew, it sure does hold its own as a great beer.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear deep amber wtih an off-white and frothy head which rose tall and fell slowly to coat the glass.

The aroma was strongly fruity, even before being brought to the nose. The character was earthy and lightly spicy with some definite alcohol phenolics and dark fruits. The dark fruits were muted but contained raisins and cherries.

The flavor was deeply malty with a strong dark fruit and caramel presence. The dark fruits were raisins and prunes with a excellent melanoid character. Alcohol played a strong part in the flavor and the earthy and spicy attributes were present.

The finish was dry with a lasting dark fruit and caramel flavor long into the aftertaste with a nice peppery spice. The body was medium full and with a moderate carbonation. The alcohol was very strong and caused the drinkability to be lower due to the strong warming after consumption. Tread lightly.

11.2 ounce bottle.

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bought a bottle at world market in lansing, michigan. ($9.99 750 ml)

pours a deep mohogany with a fluffy beige head.
the aroma is sweet, spicy, citrus, spice maybe corriander?
the flavor is rich malty, orangy, spicy, bit of alcohol, drops off very rapidly, great aftertaste a meddle of citrus, alcohol warmth, and a pleasent hint of herbalness.
man i love the draak, of of belgiums best exports, a world class beer.

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Photo of Absumaster
3.43/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A mahogany dark colored beer with a big head. Smell of candy sugar and some esters, layered with alcohol.
First taste made me frown, the alcohol almost numbed out my mouth! Is this the beer I tasted a few years ago? This tastes far more alcoholic and other tastes are pushed to the back. The burning sensation of the alcohol together with the bitterness (which was present and OK) are sort of in balance. After biting through the alcohol, I an taste some malty whiskey-like and smokey flavors. A lot of sugar has been added, resulting in a rather thin body and should give it a better drinkability, but this is not the case, the beer is syrupy and sticky.

All together a pretty disappointing beer, which is way over the top
in alcohol.

 742 characters

Photo of Prufrock
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

stubby little 11.2 oz. white bottle poured into a pint glass.

murky light brown with an effervescing off-white head that falls quickly. a few chunky globs (coagulated proteins?) that settle after a few impatient minutes.

sweet, sugary, fruity alcoholic aroma. caramel, carob, yeast, prunes, and candi sugar.

sweet and incredibly pleasant. candi sugar and prunes appear once again in the flavor, with a touch of sweetness and alcohol in the finish. sweet but in a subtle, enjoyable way. prickly carbonation and a medium mouthfeel. nothing incredibly adventurous about it, but it could be a regular dessert-type sipping beer.

 632 characters

Photo of JayTheFinn
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Who doesn't love this bottle?! It pours out dark red/brown with a big off-white head with some staying power. The strongest scent I could detect was, strangely, rootbeer! It doesn't taste like a rootbeer of course. It's more like a roasty wine. Very smooth though. And pretty drinkable, but not entirely my style.

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