Gulden Draak | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,332 Reviews
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
Reviews:
1,332
Ratings:
3,897
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
11.43%
 
 
Wants:
304
Gots:
846
For Trade:
3
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,332 | Ratings: 3,897
Photo of abriggs1
4.9/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Not-so-simply-put, this beer is a Druggernaut of boose, malt, and complexity. I just bought a four pack of this stuff to age, and of course I had to get a single to drink now. The smell is of caramel, toffee, and butter scotch. It's intensely rich, and very complex. I can't wait to get into some of these years down the road. Warms the soul as well as the brain. Truly one of the world's great beers. When I die, I hope to be embalmed with Gulden Draak.

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Photo of MEsoJD
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Full bodied, brown/ruby color. Creamy/Long lasting head.

S: Figs, raisins, sweet malt, and honey. There's a lot in there.

T: Taste Sweet/Creamy with subtle hops and spices. Alcohol warms as you finish. The taste of Cherry also lingers in my head.

M: A little dry, smooth, good carbonation, and a little heavy.

O: A unique Belgian triple. A delight with every sip. Maybe needs a bit more hop, but other than that. It's pretty much perfect in my eyes. Would recommend and buy all the time. You can also have this at room temp. Doesn't need to be that cold in my opinion.

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Photo of Pabs311
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- beer pours a nice hazy dark copper-brown with a good froathy beige head that settles slowly leaving a decent amount of lacing on the glass.

S- Smell is of sweet mlatiness. dried stone fruits and raisins are apparent in the nose as well as some spice yeastiness. don't really notice to much alcohol considering the ABV

T- The same dried fruits found in the nose carry through in the taste of this beer. then there is also some yeasty/bready flavor and then some spice in the finish. overall sweet flavor. very little alcohol in the finish for the ABV.

M/D- medium-full bodied. light carbonation. good mouthfeel. very pleasent and drinkable, could be dangerous due to alcohol content + drinakability

not a huge fan of belgian beers but i'd give this one another shot. pretty complex beer with a good amount of layers in the smell + taste. well done.

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Photo of RodneyFarva
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a chalice

a: pours a dark brown ruby with a two finger fluffy head. decent lacing. very nice color.

s: aroma of malts, brown sugar sweetness, dark fruits, strong alcohol heat.

t: brown sugar sweetness, raisins and plums. quite boozy and syrupy, and overly sweet. alcohol quite apparent.

o: lots of different interesting flavors, but the alcohol presence and sweetness really got to me. at the end, it was difficult to finish rather than enjoyable once it had warmed up considerably. interesting beer, but flawed.

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Photo of Merticois
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look - Beautiful dark amber/brown color with a thick foamy head.

Smell - A very strong aroma of brown sugar, caramel, vanilla and alcohol.

Taste - Dark Fruit, Caramel, vanilla, sugar and very strong alcohol flavor.

Feel - Thick and zingy. The finish lingers on the tongue a while.

Overall - The flavor is quite good but the alcohol flavor almost overpowers the rest of the beer. Still a very good dark Belgian.

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Photo of amicar
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours out of the cool ceramic- like bottle a murky red tinged cloufy brown with tan head. Smells of noble hop, slight apricot and apple. Taste is really something- caramel, toast, fig, sherry. Very malty and filling in the mouth- I mean, tremeandous mouthfeel. Definitely a little bite and warmth when you swallow. Mine had a tiny but of harshness that I'm sure would mellow if I was a little more patient and gave it some age.

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Photo of goblet
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured this into my goblet that is always hungry for a new beer style ,the bottles a chubby milk white 330 ml with a date of 01/2010.

A,this beer is a dark brown with reddish tint to it .i got a froth head but it went away it left some spotty lace .

S, some fruity ester and a nice malt aroma a minor citus and alcohol scent to it,not much hops .

T,this has got some full body and creamy flavor going on. the alcohol is there ,fruit and malt sweetness that hold it`s taste this beer knows you like it,and it right .

M,it`s got some good malt and alcohol feel in my month, brown sugar,lite fruit that has a sweet after taste ,pleasant ,rich and flavorful.

D, it`s a very cool beer, from the bottle to the pour and all the way until your finished it`s a exciting beer to drink . cheers..

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Photo of Mdez
4.79/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I tried this because of all the good things I've read about it. Even though it's a tripel and "should be" lighter, the darker appearance was intriguing. Once I tasted it, I decided that I would always have some of this around; it's just too good to pass-up; maybe even too good to share. Now I know one more place to stop when I eventually take that beer/winery trip to Belgium...

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Photo of Chincino
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer on-tap yesterday and this was my first time trying this beer.

It poured a dark brown color (slightly cloudy).

The beer had an aroma of fruit (apples mostly) and malt.

Sweet taste, but not overpoweringly sweet.

Definitely could tell the high ABV with this beer.

I would definitely try this beer again.

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Photo of Nutleybeer
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got an opportunity to try Gulden Draak on tap at the Waterfront Alehouse in Brooklyn. Anything Belgian is worth giving a shot, even at $6.50 a pint.

It poured really nice, with a smooth creamy head. The head remained in tact the whole time; releasing a pleasant spicy scent. The color is dark, reddish/brown.

The taste was enjoyable. I was reminded of a honey like quality in each sip. There was a subtle sweetness. Overall, a good drinking experience. I will be looking on the shelves for this beer in the future.

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Photo of beerkittycat
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearane is a murky deep amber brown with a lingering frothy tan head. Malty aroma laced with essence of plum, cherry and very faint flowery hops. Taste is full of the same malty flavors of plum and cherry. Low hop flavor and bitterness takes a backseat to the malt flavors but complements nicely. Mouthfeel is bordering on chewy but not quite like a barelywine. Finish is slightly sweet and dry but not cloying. A beautiful beer all around.

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

I tried this brew on tap at The Good Life in Massapequa Park, NY. The brew poured a dark mahogony with a cream colored head. The ose was of malty sweetness. The taste was sweet and not the least bit boozy for such a high ABV. This is a very drinkable brew and will certainbly be on my list for years to come. A mainstay ond always front and center on tap at TGL. Enjoy!!!

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Photo of DubbelTrubbel
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite beers for my first review!

750ml bottle into Gulden Draak tulip

A- rich dark ruby, creamy head- large bubbles.

S- candy, sugar, only a little alcohol. Heavy on the fruit- an incredible belgian aroma.

T- Just enough bitterness to balance intense sweetness and slight mustiness. Lemony aftertaste.

M- Nice balance between heavy and light mouthfeels.

O- Great, complex beer. Very drinkable for the alcohol level.

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Photo of Paddez
4.46/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This came in a white 33ml bottle with a classy looking label. Poured into the offical glaas wich is a Duvel shaped tulip with a golden dragon printed on its side. Excellent presentation.

The beer itself pours a dark & hazy orangy brown brew. with a huge, slightly tan head. Great retention.

Smell: Smells of sweet malts & caramel and sweet candy fruits can be picked up. There were also some less likable aroma's though: there's something awkward & muddy I disliked and the fruit element is a bit too sweet and over the top making it smell as if the fruits are really overripe.

Taste: This is good stuff. Sweet, dark fruits, spices and malty caramels flow out in a dry, long-lingering aftertaste. The sweet complex taste is very similar to that found in good Quadrupels like the Rochefort 10 and the St. Bernardus Abt. 12.

Mouthfeel & Drinkabillity: Full and thick, yet smooth and creamy. The alcohol has a warming effect, but is otherwise hidden really well. The 10,5% really doesn't show, and the beer is -surpisingly- not very heady and amazingly drinkable.

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Photo of Raven3464
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It pours a brownish-red body with a huge three finger head. Retention is incredible.

Smell: The initial pour releases an incredibly inviting aroma of clove and dark fruits like raisins, plums, and cherries. As the beer warms the smell starts to resemble rum with a punch of alcohol and caramel. The booze smell never takes over despite the high ABV. A slight yeast aroma can also be noticed.

Taste: Brown sugar is the first flavor which comes to mind. This is followed by hints of clove, cherries, plume, and caramel. There is a good balance of hops, as the aftertaste is sweet but with a hop bite still lingering in the back of the throat. There is enough alcohol to let you know you are drinking a bold brew but it is never overpowering. Surprisingly, hints of Belgian yeast (i.e the Belgian twang) are not so apparent.

Mouth feel: This is like alcoholic syrup with just the right amount of carbonation. In other words, it is thick and yet still easy to drink.

Overall: This is one of the overall best dark ales I have ever had. I highly recommend it.

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Photo of dpool
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first thing that struck me about this beer was the deep amber color; holding it up to the light I could barely see through. The smell was amazing and reminded me of sweet cinnamon and brown sugar. The first taste was just as sweet with a stong hint of alcohol at the end.

I enjoyed this beer after a long night of work and it definitly hit the spot. I will be sure to buy this one again and again.

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Photo of soccerman7
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A nice dark brew that has a nice head that slowly faded down the goblet

S - Russian Pumpernickel bread and candy sweetness.

T - Boozy upfront that hits to sweetness and then turns to bread and crust flavors. Really interesting.

M - For a tripel it is very nice and as smooth as the style could be.

D - A most certain sipper but really worth trying. Great brew.

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Photo of JohnnyI
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I absolutely love everything about the look of this beer. From the iconic white bottle, ominous red letters and legendary dragon ship, it promises to be a bad ass experience. Very medeval. The appearance of the beer itself is equally impressive. Like rich, raw maple syrup in color. It poured in to a small snifter with a towering head of loose foam. The beige 3 finger crown resembled swiss cheese, with its loose, large bubbles of varying size and consistency. The beautiful and unique cap settled gradually, leaving soapy residual lacing on the glass. The nose on this beer is incredibly complex. As the beer reached room temperature more and more layers of aroma continued to present themselves. Toffee, burnt caramel, banana esters and slight booze come together in such a wonderful way as to conjure thoughts of bananas foster. Slight mineral notes and clover honey add even more depth to the bouquet. The taste is brimming with candy sugar sweetness and a little fusel alcohol heat. Sweet candied fruits, dried banana chips and a honey crisp character yield to a tart, tangy finish of mild puckering green apple. A peppery spice from the alcohol compliments the assortment of flavors. The finish imparts a slight suggestion of pumpernickel & caraway seed. Extremely complex. As I sample each sip, I believe I could continue to pull additional flavors and aromas out of the experience. Remarkable. The mouthfeel has a lively, creamy texture. Rich and inviting. You just gotta love the big authentic Belgians. They're just so full of character and complexity. A+

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

Poured this 330 into my chimay glass. Dark bronze color, head is was kind of weak and hard to produce, almost like soda fizz, retreated quickly. Carbonation slowly trickles to the top. Fruity raisin-like and a bit of alcohol in the nose. Alcohol is prevelant in the beginning, as it warms and the flavors come out it is masked a bit more. It tastes like what it is: a dark tripel. Almost like "hey, you got your dubbel in my tripel". Fruity flavors. Mouthfeel is enjoyable, it doesn't fizz away immediately like the head. Solid beer, maybe not for one of the hottest days this summer so far, but I will return to the one in the future.

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Photo of jonmikel
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter from a 330 ml bottle bought at a small shop in my home town Getxo (Spain).
-Very very dark amber color. Almost no foam (it disappeared very quickly).
-Very profound smell. Spices at first but it gets more alcoholic if you approach the nose.
-It tastes quite well leaving the flavour in the tongue for a while.
-The carbomation is felt. The feel is much heavier than usual beer.
It has got 10,5% alcohol so you can feel the burden after drinking it.

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Photo of OatherS
3.38/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Short stubby white bottle with a black label with a gold dragon on the front and cap. 330 cL bottle.

Appearance: Loud foamy pour. One finger head that is bubbly. Dark color with a hint of amber.

Smell: Winey and alcoholy odor.

Mouthfeel: Sharp, bubbly, alcoholy hit to the taste buds.

Taste/Drinkability: A nice malty flavor that is a little bit too strong and striking for my tastes.

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Photo of Rijtjeshuis
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look (4.5/5) ~ Deep coppery with some really nice red and orange tones in it (the colour gives the impression of fullness and richness). Given the abv, the head was great: it was very moussy, and fell exceptionally slowly with some nice lacing. Towards the clear side of hazy.
Smell (4/5) ~ spot on for the style. Rich complex maltiness plays off of some really nice yeast notes with a subtle spicy and earth y hop presence. Malt is strongly of the Munich/Vienna type variety with some nice melanoidin notes (plums, prunes, dried apricots); there is also a faint smokiness to the nose. You get a lot of the fruity and floral notes that you’ expect from this style.
Taste (4.5/5) ~ very good. Maltiness was front and centre and the beer was malty-sweet in balance (though I’d still say it was in with the Trappist versions and not the very sweet Abbey ones). I get a whole lot of Munich/Vienna melanoidins and all the fruitiness they bring (plum, prune, dried apricot); but there was also a smoke – not burnt mind you – note that reminded me a bit of very fine tobacco, which I liked a lot. The finish, which would otherwise be sweet is gets a lot of spice and gentle alcohol to balance everything out well. Floral and fruity yeast notes round it out. Some very mild earthy hops and enough bitterness to achieve some nice balance.
Feel (4/5) ~ pretty much what you’d expect: relatively gentle carb and pretty heavy in terms of body. I’d describe it as achieving a pretty silky/velvety feel well.

I’ve had more a few of this style and I’d have to say that this is more of the most compelling versions. I really liked the complexity of the malts, especially with that cigar/tobacco note that was played up. I think the spiciness and bitterness were great foils for the otherwise overwhelming sweetness. Kudos to the brewers!

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Photo of Jra1985
4.92/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite beers so I will try not to be biased.

Poured from a bottle into a glass.

A- Dark brown and very inviting. Nice thick head that lingers for a little while.

S- Great aroma that has a very earthy smell to it. Malty and sweet.

T- An excellent taste. Sweet and Malty. Brown Sugar?

M- Warms the mouth. Good balance of carbonation and refreshingly smooth for a high abv.

O-Overall this is an excellent beer I that I enjoy alot. Reasonably priced and a top notch beer I would recommend to anybody.

I tried to not be biased in this review but its just an excellent beer that deserves high praise. A must try.

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Photo of larsee01
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz white glass bottle (brown glass with white cover) poured into glass goblet

Deep dark brown with cloudy body. Thick tan head ain't going anywhere.

Deep malt smell. Mild, with sweet molasses. Pronounced Concord grape with blackberry (?)

Deep rich malt start with grape/plum. Alcohol makes a brief early appearance, but 10.5 ABV would surprise many. Impressive! Heavy, syrupy malt balanced well with pepper and incognito hop bitter. Sweet molasses keeps appearing but again with an earthy balance. Quintessential balance to this one.

What can I say about mouthfeel? I'm glad it's in my mouth. Smooth, creamy and accomodating. Not too thick, but pleasantly lingering.

If this beer isn't highly drinkable, I'm going to MAKE it highly drinkable. 1/2 of a beer is an experience. A great session beer if you are in for a SHORT session. Lots of alcohol, hidden but substantial carbonation challenge your ability to continue enjoying this long term. But you know what? YOU are the boss of you.

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Photo of Moxley
2.8/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The white bottle and 10.5 ABV had my hopes high - and, it's Belgian, which is always great!

A - Poured a dark, cream soda like color, with a short bubbly tan head. Minimal lacing

S - Lots of sweet toasted malt, caramel, and a strong maple scent.

T - This is a crazy sweet beer, like liquid maple candy! You can feel the heat of the 10.5 ABV level creeping back up your throat and warming your ears after the first few sips. I got a bit of malt, but mostly straight up maple sweetness.

M&D - Lots of carbonation and a thick, creamy, sticky film coated my mouth. I think my teeth were aching a little from the excessive sweetness.

This is definitely a sipping beer, a good replacement for those who don't like wine, but are hanging out with winos. Somewhat reminiscent of Chimay, just not nearly as good.

I can appreciate this beer for what it is, it's just not for me.

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Gulden Draak from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.2 out of 5 based on 3,897 ratings.
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