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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,310 Reviews
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,310
Ratings:
3,789
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
19.52%
 
 
Wants:
292
Gots:
761
For Trade:
3
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Reviews: 1,310 | Ratings: 3,789
Photo of Sammy
2.59/5  rDev -38.3%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | 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.

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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.

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Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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

Dark reddish brown with a huge, foamy, coffee-colored head - looks like a dark Belgian ale, basically (which is to say that it looks awesome).

This beer has a really powerful aroma. The sweet malts are very prominent, bringing to mind brown sugar and molasses.

The taste is dominated by sweet, syrupy malt and dark fruit (black cherries, raspberries), with a hint of brown sugar. Most of the bitterness seems to be provided by the particularly high alcohol volume, rather than from any particularly distinct hop presence. It sounds excessive on paper, but it actually works really well. Though I probably couldn't drink more than one of these in a single sitting, it's one highly enjoyable glass.

The mouthfeel is a bit overwhelming at first. It's heavy like a stout or barleywine, but extremely carbonated. In fact, if this were (much) less carbonated, I'd probably have mistaken this for a barleywine. While I enjoy the richness, it loses some points here because of the almost excessive carbonation at first; you really need to let it sit for a minute before drinking.

I've had this twice and find it really enjoyable, nearly comparable to to Belgium's Trappist beers. The smell and taste are exceptional, but that same richness makes it suffer a bit in mouthfeel and drinkability.

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Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy ice tea color into my Gulden Draak tulip; the rocky head sticks nicely and provides a few streaks of lace

Smell: Dark fruit (figs and dates), caramel, brown sugar and a bit of yeasty spice

Taste: Figs and dates at the outset, with a growing rum-soaked aspect developing by mid-palate, along with yeasty spice, candi sugar and spice cake flavors; after the swallow, there is a bit of hoppy bitterness, but the sweet and spicy flavors, with a hint of vanilla, dominate the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

DrinkabilityL: My bottle has a bit of age on it so the hops that others have tasted are somewhat muted in my sample; nevertheless, this is a very fine Strong Dark

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.98/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Huge dark head that disapear a little bit too quickly for my liking (this seems to be a problem withVan Steenberge). Really yeasty but not as thich as I was expecting from the description. The ABV level is too much apparent for my liking. Extra point for trying to be different: dark triple and cool bottle.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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

Big light tan head settles into a pretty nice lacing above a well carbonated dark reddish amber colored beer.

Dark fruits (grapes and apricots) and sour grains dominate the aroma that is tinted with a bit of alcohol.

A light alcohol undermines a dark fruits and roasted grains and a slight sour taste.

A dry aftertaste with some of the dark fruits and light sourness stick around on this medium to full bodied beer.

A bit to much of the sour grains or sour grapes maybe on this for me, it seems it starts out pretty good and as I drink it the more the sour grapes keep coming to the forefront.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright, deep gold bordering on amber with a nice white head. Smell has a bit of hops alongside some citrus and sweet, sweet malt. Taste is quite sweet as well with a good amount of grassy, floral hops to balance is out. The mouthfeel is quite full. Nice body without any real alcohol taste. Drinkability is on the high side. High in ABV, but quite delicious. This is a sipper.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.4/5  rDev -19%
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.

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Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of nickfl
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - One finger of light brown head on a dark brown body with good clarity. The foam dissipates quickly and leaves moderate lace.

S - Lots of malt and fruity belgian yeast. Notes of caramel and raisins with sweet chocolate and more dark fruit. Some herbal hops in the background.

T - Lots of raisins and dark sugar. Sweet caramel and molasses with figs and plums. Strong note of chocolate and caramelized sugar in the middle, very candy-like. The finish becomes more phenolic with some clove and tobacco notes as well as the pervasive chocolate and caramel notes.

M - Medium-thick body, high carbonation, and a semi-sweet finish.

D - Very drinkable, it never shows its alcohol or becomes cloying. The malt character is complex and spectacular. I really can't come up with anything critical to say about it. A very nice example of the style and much more drinkable than most.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish brown under an off-white head which fades slowly. Aroma of dark fruit, caramel, brown sugar. Flavor is sweet and the alcohol is noted along with the sticky fruits.

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

Scarlet-infused tawny; a gorgeous hue. The orange tinted, light caramel colored head fills at least half the glass after a gentle pour and has gone nowhere in the several minutes that I've been staring at it. The foam is gently pitting on its upper surface and is tight-bubbled where it meets the glass. Unfortunately, there's almost no lace; a shame since the color of beer and head, and the combination of the two, is something to behold.

The nose, although good, doesn't quite reach great. It's malty sweet, Scotchy and dark fruity, but doesn't come together as well as it might. Even though the aroma lacks a certain amount of depth and complexity, it's clear that it belongs to a quality beer.

'Golden Dragon' still doesn't impress me as much as I'd hoped it would. The first impression I have is of sweet and sour fruit; in particular, dates, raisins and black cherries. I also taste mild cocoa and almost a cola quality (I mean that in a good way). The flavor profile is opening up as the beer warms and I can now appreciate sweet tobacco and dark butterscotch. Clove and cinnamon round things out quite nicely.

In terms of flavor sensations, the beer is sweet, sour and bitter (in descending order), but isn't so sweet as to be cloying or to impair drinkability. The medium body/mouthfeel needs to be a bit bigger if world-class status is to be bestowed. Update: both the flavor and the body improve a great deal when the final third of the bottle is added to the chalice and the scores have been increased as a result.

Gulden Draak (I can't say the name without sliding into a bad Scottish accent) is a beer that grew on me substantially over the course of the bottle. When--not if--I drink my next one, I'll allow it to warm and will gently mix the bottle before opening to get bring the good stuff into play from the start. I'm sorry I doubted you GD, you're pretty G-d good after all.

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

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark brown body with a huge, frothy, off-white head.

Smell: Full aroma brings forth notes of dark caramel malt, plums (and prunes), dark candi sugar, and even brown sugar. You can smell that alcohol lurking in there, too, along with a noticeable sourness.

Taste: Sugar-infused caramel maltiness. A distinct fruitiness delivers a taste of stewed plums. Dash of brown sugar liqueur, if there was such a thing. Small hint of dried banana chips. Sour yeastiness. Warming finish with lingering tastes of fruit and sugar.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body with some chewiness to it. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: It's a tripel wrapped in a +2 Cloak of Maltiness. For that, it's okay, as long you don't mind the high level of sweetness and glaring alcohol presence.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy brown with a burgundy cast and dark amber highlights when held to the light; and a full, rocky head of light tan foam completes the appearance. It holds exceptionally well and leaves solid sheets of lace, although they eventually reduce to just some spotty residue. Some chocolate and dark fruit (raisin, plum/prune, cherry, red wine) appear in the nose. The body is medium and nicely creamy due to its very fine, natural carbonation. The flavor is as the aroma indicates with a combination of rich cocoa and ripe dark fruits. It warms across the palate to reveal some softer caramel and alcohol; and a touch of background floral hops. It's very well-balanced by a solid, low-key bitterness. The finish is dry with some residual dark fruit; a wash of alcohol; some leafy hops; and a dull, lingering bitterness. Impressive!

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

Finally have gotten around to trying this one after staring at it for what seemed like years. The pour was very nice, and highly carbonated. A rich dark reddish tinted brown liquid came forward and offered a very thick presence in the glass. Absolutely opaque with no light coming through on this at all. Really quite impressive. A huge tan colored head of lace popped on top of this one, with a force that caused me not to be able to pour the entire contents out at one time. Really quite full. After letting the four inch high head of foam calm down I was able to get the rest of the bottle into the glass, but it had a good layer of lace that stuck around for the entire session and copious amounts of side glass lace that permeated throughout.

The aroma was very big and full of spices, as I would have thought it would be. A very nice overall presence on this one, with big hints of plums, and figs mixing though as well as a sort of spiced rum alcohol. Some grainy notes in the back as well, but this was dominated by the dark yeast that was at hand. The flavor followed through perfectly, with a full, yet smooth balanced profile. Notes of raisins and plums were dancing about, as was a noticeable amount of alcohol. Lots of dark yeast flavors, but as it warmed, it really mellowed out and some light hop notes started to percolate through on the back end. Really very complex with a smooth Drinkability that I did not think would be there for something that was well over 10%abv. It was definitely a sipper, however it was dangerously smooth, as I could have easily had another before it really caught up and put a hurting on me.

Overall, I would have to say that this one was excellent. Really, a top notch brew that I would love to be able to try again. Luckily, it is everywhere that would not be an issue. One of the most solid representations of the style, and truly an ale that cannot be ignored.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 12/28/08 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color, with a short foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of spices, cherries and other dark fruits, Belgian yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is fruity and malty up front with flavors of cherries, Belgian yeast and caramel but it's not overly sweet. There's a hearty but not too heavy malt character and a mild but complimentary hops presence that provide a good balance. The after-taste is tart and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean for the style.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this beer takes flavors that I don't normally like and used them well to make the beer quite pleasurable to drink.

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Photo of chinchill
4.46/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle from a Belgian sampler 6-pack served in a large glass wine goblet.

Bottled under pressure, as evidenced by the soda pop sound (psssfft) upon opening. The beer has an generous but not overwhelming fizzy head that quickly settles to a lasting but irregular tan top coat with a thick ring. The liquid is a hazy near-opaque brown that has a reddish-orange glow when backlit.

S - Moderately strong and rich aroma that is primarily fruity/yeasty and malty, with a medium/dark blend in the malts. I found it quite appealing, and near the 5 mark. There's little hint of the high ABV.

T - Sweet, but with enough bitterness to keep this from detracting from my enjoyment. And I suspect this sweetness helps make the alcohol largely disappear. Rich and complex, with plenty of dark fruit from mid-taste on, and traces of spices including cinnamon. A fine flavor mix that changes with temperature and from the start of a sip to the finish. Previously, I found "A tiny bit too much sourness in the finish for my taste", but this was absent in the more recent tasting. In either case, the finish remains a bit sweet ... nicely so.

M - good, if somewhat high, carbonation helps produce an excellent mouthfeel that is neither too heavy nor too light. Very smooth. Finish is a bit less dry than I'd expect given the ABV.

O - an excellent Belgian dark tripel (or BSDA or Belgian barleywine). Good enough to be a reasonable inclusion if you ever get the chance to do a side-by-side taste test of world-class Belgians; I wouldn't expect it to win, but it wouldn't be out of place and is usually less expensive (vs., say Chimay, Delirium or Rochefort) in the U.S.
(revisited and tweaked in Jan. 2015).

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Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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

A: The pour is a dark amber color, definitely some brown notes to it with a finger and a half of khaki head.

S: Tons of bubblegum and banana aroma. Some clove notes to go along with it. A bit of caramel and brown sugar along with dark fruits such as plums and black cherries.

T: Quite sweet with tons of banana, dark fruit, and dark sugar flavors such as brown sugar and caramel. Quite a bit of bubblegum flavor as well. Mild alcohol and spice notes, as well as some yeast, provide depth.

M Medium in body with a fairly high level of carbonation.

O: One of those classic beers and one that I still enjoy a decent amount. Not a favorite, but solid.

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

First had: on tap at Eulogy, Philly, PA

When you see a tap head that's a huge golden dragon, you have to sample the beer that it guards. Strong? Yes. Dark? Yes. Belgian? Yes.

Poured into a signature stem glass. Rich, hazy, dark, mahogany color with a nice tannish finger of head that retains well. Toasted biscuits and dark fruits in the aroma. Taste starts off with toasty caramel malts and some caramelized sugars and a touch of molasses, with yeasty biscuits and grainy, unsubdued alcohol following. Dark dried fruits in the background. Medium mouthfeel, and can be a bit syrupy, but overall nice and drinkable, though on the strong side.

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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 1,310 ratings.
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