Gulden Draak | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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Gulden DraakGulden Draak
BA SCORE
4.24/5
Exceptional
4,073 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
Ranking:
#1,756
Reviews:
1,370
Ratings:
4,073
pDev:
11.32%
 
 
Wants:
320
Gots:
928
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,073 |  Reviews: 1,370
Photo of Sammy
2.59/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Way too sweet for me and friends. Too carbinated. Too high in alcohol. Too creamy. Maybe as dessert beer, but much better competitors there. Comparable to soft drink when you are expecting beer.
Interesting range from this brewery though. And great
bottle.

 259 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

not as good as i wanted it to be. pours a mahogany brown color with a bubbly tan head that almost immediately fades away. smells like dried fruit, belgian yeast, and big bready malts. flavor is less fruity than the nose but otherwise similar. the yeast is rich and unique in this one, really imparting an interesting flavor. mouthfeel was a letdown for me. it got flat as it warmed up and didnt hold any of its nice initial head. flavor was fine, but it didnt stand up well to highly seasoned prawns, which i was hoping it would have done brilliantly. in any event, its a good beer but at 16 dollars a bomber, ill drink another belgian.

edit: i actually am finding myself liking this more and more each time i drink it, and while its still a little thin for what it is, i may have been overly critical in my initial review. the spice profile of the yeast is excellent, and the is a fruitcake wintery festive vibe that i get more here than in other beers of this style. i like it in small doses, but this is better than i originally gave it credit for being...

 1,060 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brown with a tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form all over the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and spice aromas. Taste is much the same with a mild spice bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some nice aromas and flavors but I am not too sure I could drink too much of this one at a time.

 494 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of kjkinsey
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of Knapp85
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
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 spycow
3.25/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of nmann08
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured dark brown into a snifter glass with a thick, beige head. There's a moderate level of carbonation and good head retention.
S: There are aromas of sweet malts and dark fruits, along with some hints of spices.
T: The taste is rather complex. There's an overall sweetness from the malts and the fruits but this is balanced to a large degree by the hops. The finish is slightly dry and flavors of spices are evident in the aftertaste. The amount of sweetness increases as this beer warms up.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and the carbonation lends smoothness.
D: It's rather drinkable and the alcohol is hidden very well, although you really need to sip this beer because it's strong.

 709 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml painted white, distinctly shaped bottle - kind of reminds me of those increasingly antique Old Spice containers.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, dark reddish amber hue, with a teeming tower of finely foamy and puffy ecru head, which leaves a few streaks of broken sudsy lace around the glass as it slowly and steadily retreats.

It smells of sweet, reduced brown sugar, strong dark fruit (prunes, dates, and raisins), a softly bready caramel malt, earthy yeast, and a mildly astringent booziness. The taste is dark, sugary candied fruit (the very same from the nose), with a more bready caramel malt backbone shoring up the sweet side of things - keeping this from being a saccharine wank-fest are some waning yeast, a nice earthy, musty hoppiness, and a timid alcohol warming.

The carbonation is moderate, manifesting mostly in a trilling frothiness, the body a rather hefty medium weight, slickly smooth, and perhaps a tad creamy. It finishes still sweet, the fruity malt maintaining a certain religious level of consistency, while the other esters dial it down to a mere murmur.

A decent strong Belgian dark ale - fairly rounded, despite the obvious focus on the fruit character, and a pleasant and recommended version of the style. Oh, and that 21-proof dragon of booze? Well domesticated, to say the least.

 1,323 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.4/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle served into a Gulden Draak goblet in Ghent, Belgium. Reviewed from notes.

A: 1.5 finger head of nice cream. Respectable retention for the high ABV. Dark amber colour. Could be black as well. Or perhaps ruby. Hard to tell with the darkness.

Sm: Dark fruity esters. Lightly fruity hops. Maybe some caramel. Certainly caramelized malt.

T: Dark fruit body. Hops linger through the finish. Complex and layered esters comprise the general tone of this beer, but they work together rather than ringing distinct, which is as it should be. Balanced. Some indeterminate cream, perhaps on the open and/or finish. It's buried, anyway.

Mf: Smooth and wet.

Dr: Hides its ABV quite well. Affordable and worth a try for any beer fanatic.

 738 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A treat for all the senses. Looks dark ruby to dark brown in color, nicely carbonated for a Belgian. 1/2 inch head, laced wiell, and shows nice legs (sounds sexual). Aromas and flavors meld together nicely. Thick and creamy with barley malt, caramel, toffee, port wine, good hop flavor and balance, noticable alcohol throughout. Full rich body--would make a great after dinner beer. Finishes sweet, alcoholic, and tingly. It's a sipper, but worth the patience. I had this on tap durring the winter and it was more creamy and more refreshing.

 541 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, 8/20/2012 bottle code. Pours lightly cloudy deep ruby red color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy cream colored head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a lot of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big pear, apple, grape, raisin, plum, banana, clove, pepper, dark candi sugar, honey, herbal, toast, brown bread, and yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and big complexity of fruity/spicy esters with moderate malt sweetness; and good strength. Taste of pear, apple, grape, raisin, plum, banana, clove, pepper, herbal, dark candi sugar, honey, toast, brown bread, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of light and dark fruits, banana, clove, pepper, dark candi sugar, honey, herbal, toast, brown bread,and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Awesome balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast ester flavors; with a moderate dark malt balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a slick, crisp, and moderately prickly mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic Belgian strong dark ale! Big complexity of fruity/spicy esters with moderate malt balance; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,415 characters

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, dark burgundy color with a thick, long-lasting, two-finger head. It left behind, patchy, sticky trails of lace.

S - It smelled of dried fruits (cherry and apple) with a sweet caramel notes.

T - It tasted sweet and a little boozy. Nice dried fruit flavors with rich, biscuity malt flavors.

M - It was smooth, soft and somewhat creamy. A medium to full-bodied ale.

D - This is a pretty solid Belgian ale. Great flavors and aromas.

 458 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

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Gulden Draak from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 4.24 out of 5 with 4,073 ratings