Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

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:
3,786
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
11.43%
 
 
Wants:
292
Gots:
761
For Trade:
3
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,310 | Ratings: 3,786
Photo of goodbyesoberday
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a very loud head that subsides to a thin layer.

Rich dark red maple colour, opaque thanks to my pouring of all and everything into the glass.

It's rich, very rich. Chocolate coated fruit, I'll get back to you on the particulars someday. Dark brown sugar but no burnt toffee. The alcohol steps up and says hello. Very fiery but the dragon's breath hath no boot polish.

 384 characters

Photo of JMforman
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I wasn't real impressed with the first beer that I had from Brouwerij Ban Steenberge (their Dubbel), but this one was great.

A- Big head with a deep amber body and good retention.

S- Very earthy: must, hay, alcohol, cherries

T- Alcohol, cherries, dark fruit, and bready malt up front with burnt sugar/ molasses filling the middle, and then a bitter finish

M- Very coating with a medium to full feel

D- Oh yes.

 414 characters

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

A - Deep amber colored body with very light haze. Creamy tan head that leaves strong lacing and slow to dissipate.

S - Somewhat complex malt smell. Fruit esters comprise the middle palate and a light spicy phenol character compliments it. Very soft alcohol scent.

T - Moderately sweet from malt at initial taste. Middle flavors of light esters and mild spice phenols give strong complexity. A very light bitter finish exists, but balance is definitely toward sweetness. Alcohol and spice phenols create a smooth blend to the palate.

M - Medium body with high carbonation. Warming sensation from ABV is noticable, but not overpowering.

D - Complex, smooth, and blended flavors make you want to experience more.

---

One of classic Belgian Strong Dark Ale examples.

 768 characters

Photo of MikeGill
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a Duvel glass.

Dark burnished copper with a big beige head that has very good retention. Somewhat cloudy. Sweet on the nose with aromas reminiscent of lemon tea. I also smelled a little grenadine syrup as well.

Sweet and a little yeasty. Sour cranberry and grape flavors up front then some orange and a tiny bit of ripe banana. Big caramel malt and mellow spicy hops. Alcohol is right out there but for some reason still seems very balanced. Finishes with some toffee.

 497 characters

Photo of luvND
4.78/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: 330 ml white bottle, attractive package, golden dragon on label

Appearance: Best, thickest head retention that I have ever seen. Beautiful dark brown color.

Smell: Sweet, brown sugar, caramel, some ripe fruit and a hint of the alcohol.

Taste: I drank this first on its own and it was very nice, sweet, nice malt, all Belgian. Then I had it with some turkey sausage and what a pairing, sweetness complemented the spice so well. Finally, I finished it with desert, coffee ice cream and hot fudge and I think it was the best match of the evening. The slightly bitter coffe ice cream with the rich hot fudge brought out flavors in the beer that I hadn' t yet tasted.

Mouthfeel: As smooth and rich as possible. Not too thick though.

Drinkability: Scary at 10+%

Overall: A friend gave me this one. Never heard of it. Now I will confidently rank it as one of the best beers that I have ever tasted, Belgian or other.

 935 characters

Photo of velo343
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - A deep amber, slight crimson, with a thick, beige head that really sticks to the sides of the glass.

Smell - Bready, caramel and a chalky yeast aroma. Some fruity esters, golden raisins and a bit of spiciness. Really pleasing.

Taste - A strong yeast taste at the finish. There is a peppery spiciness and some phenols that come through the sweet maltiness. Some alcohol is there in the mix.

Mouthfeel - The beer is quite thick and syrupy, like honey, but really finishes quite dry.

Drinkability - A good beer that has a lighter body than the color implies. A great match to Indian food and other foods with a bit of spice.

 648 characters

Photo of deruiz10
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A - A towering, soapy tan head retains well throughout the drink. Pour is a cloudy brown with orange highlights.

S - Sweet smell of raisins, yeast, alcohol, and some grapefruit and fermented apples.

T - Sweet malts, apple cider, yeast, mildly spicy hops, and some gruit flavor. Finish is mild alcohol with raisin sweetness.

M - Highly carbonated, borderline fizzy, but it works well.

D - A little too sweet for my palate, but it's got an excellent complex flavor.

 508 characters

Photo of staubot
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy Caramel colour with a thick golden head that remains for awhile to seal things in and decent lacing

A nice strong floral malt scent permeates the layer of head .

A sharp karate chop of flavor to the mouth gives way to a caramel chocolate cherry mix with a alcoholic taste that is not off putting or a astringent but goes well with the more complex taste

Crisp seltzer-like with e pleasant aftertaste.

I never give spoilers by looking at rating here first and figured I was somehow over rating but this is just a damn good beer. So complex and full of life packaged in a great bottle!

 595 characters

Photo of geographie
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A :: Clear redish-amber hued beer with weak, white head. Some signs of lacing.

S :: Coffee, then toffee, then cocoa fill my nasal cavaties. This beer reeks of well-roasted goodness - so unexpected from such a light looking beer.

T :: Very sweet toffee front - this flavor is incredibly apparent, consuming your mind. After comes the raisins in the middle. Malt takes a back seat here and rides on a very sweet wave of unfermented sugars. This finishes with style -- a modest exit with only the tiniest trace of bitterness egging you on to have just one more sip.

M :: Strange, but good. Airy, creamy, and filling my mouth all at once - almost a whole body experience. This begnign seeming ale packs quite the punch!

D :: Whoa - one is enough for me. Overly sweet to continue drinking (unless you've got a sweet-tooth), but darn good!

 845 characters

Photo of jhicks12
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured a nice Brown amber burgundy color with a fluffy with head.

Smell: nice sweet malt and citrus and a little alcohol in there as well.

Taste: Nice balanced malt sweet nice with a little clove and citrus in the finish

Mouthfeel: Nice Bubble carbonation and smooth feel. Gulden Draak has a nice balance

Drinkability: One of the more drinkable Belgians in my opinion, I would actually beable to drink more than one. Most Belgians are either too sweet or a little to dry. The

 499 characters

Photo of disastermouse
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this in the big bottle.

A - Dark brown Root-beer dark. White-brown head that dissipates into little circles on the top of the beer after a few minutes.

S - Belgian with a vengence. Has a maple-y, 'wet-leaves' smell. Brown sugar with a hint of whiskey.

T - Belgian but more burnt - the alcohol is there, but better hidden than in some strong ales. Phenol-rific. I remember thinking the first time I drank this beer that it was a VERY different beer. Now that I've had a few more belgian strong darks, I STILL think it's a very distinctive beer. More than a hint of apples in this one.

MF - Carbonation holy cow! Big mouthfeel, fizzle-rific.

D - I don't know about you, but I can't put back too many 10.5% beers in a night without getting sloppy and slow. That said, this would be the beer I'd get tanked on if that was my goal...

 839 characters

Photo of TheStig
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Golden Dragon indeed!

Aggressive is a good place to start with this. Popping the top resulted in a louder "crack" than I was expecting, and a substantial tongue of fog licked out of the top. I liken it to opening a bottle of ginger kombucha-- thankfully, the contents of the bottle didn't spill all over the floor (like kombucha sometimes does) but even my most gentle of pours produced a violent three finger head that threatened to creep over the top of the glass. I waited five minutes for the head to subside, and it left a sticky trail of lacing that resembled a cross between spiderwebs and Swiss cheese.

Color was a foggy, rich amber.

Scents that jumped out at me were black grapes, spicy wine notes (think Shiraz), grapefruit, pomegranate and cherry.

They do a very good job of taming the alcohol burn, folding it into layers of spice that compliment the heavier fruity sweetness.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly less aggressive than it would appear, but it still has a healthy carbonated bite. Sip gently.

Very impressive.

 1,034 characters

Photo of BricksandPorter
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured refrigerator cold into a crystal tulip.

P – A fine, cloudy mahogany brown, opaque with hues of purple and maroon. I almost overpoured – high carb. Took a minute to settle, before I proceeded with a slower pour. Punch you in the face wheat malt aroma. You can smell the alcohol on this one. Rocky, bronze one finger head with walnut brown edges, medium-large bubbles and good, ney GREAT, retention.

N – raisons, cherries, blackberries and apricot line the nose to really exacerbate the malt profile. A real definitive sour overtone indicates the ABV is for real. It has some hints of smoke and burning wood.

T – slick and smooth chocolate base (not stout chocolate - just balanced and light) with a great fruit profile. Blackberries, banana and sour cherries with a hearty sweetness that is smooth and really interesting. The alcohol on the nose is almost completely non-existent on the palate until the burp, when it really pulls through. Has a spicy finish and rounds very well for such a high ABV. Second time around I got a twiggy, wood-like earthiness that I didn’t get on the first taste. Not piney, but just earthy. Almost like roasting walnuts. Overall -- Grand!

M – a bit heavy on the profile. The carbonation makes the flavors stick around for a good long while. Not the smoothest Belgian I have ever had, and definitely on the higher “chunky” scale as far as tripels go. The bottle carbonation does the style right and this beer is no exception.

D – If for nothing more than the ABV, I’m not sure I could hold up to more than two or three of these. The alcohol hits you immediately, and the cacophony of flavors begins to take a toll on your tongue after the first one. I definitely recommend this for someone who appreciates great beer.

Cheers!

 1,793 characters

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

33cl bottle poured into a weizen

A: dark brownish carbonated cola look large sticky frothy tan head that sticks around for a bit

S: toffee, sweet, hints of dark red fruits and faint floral notes

T: caramel, grape, spicy pepper, bitter, noticeable alcohol taste as it moves over the palate and quickly dissipates

M: slightly carbonated mouthy feel. Sticky, hops balancing with malt to the brink of sweetness.

O: Very nice filling brew. Seems the warmer this beer, the more the alcohol aftertaste stands out. Will definitely buy more but not for the hot days.

 562 characters

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

Ah, the Golden Dragon. This Belgian brew pours maple syrup brown with a substantial beige head. The aroma is sugary and delicious, with notes of candied fruit, raisins, apple, and cinnamon.

This beer is huge; very potent with a liquour-like quality to it. It's sweet and nectar like, with burnt honey, raisin, and caramel flavors. A delicious cake-like mouthfeel carries all the way through. Yet, this sweetness is nicely balanced with a peppery alcohol presence that delivers flavor throughout the mouth and nose.

This is a Bentley of beers: big, powerful, expensive, rare, and intoxicating. Everything a Belgian triple should aspire to. Enjoy.

 651 characters

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!

 1,333 characters

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

Pours three inch off-white and highly carbonated head. Very cloudy, dark amber color. Smell has fruit and spice. Good lead it to a very good taste. Hints of ginger and other spices. also hints of some citrus. Very drinkable. pretty happy with this beer.

 253 characters

Photo of digitalbullet
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Apperance: deep brown with reddish hues. Medium head that dissapates fairly quickly.
Smell: sweet Candi sugar, molasses, and some fig notes. Slight scent of alchohol.
Taste: Candi sugar, vinous sourness, yeasty breadyness. Mild alcohol burn
Mouthfeel: thin. Good carbonation.
Drinkability: hardly noticed the 10.5%. Dangerous brew. Very tasty. Worth seeking out.

 366 characters

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

Beer pours a dark brown with little to no head. I poured super slow so that may contribute to the head. When I first started to smell the beer was during the pour. The yeast was definatly present. In the tulip I got hints of bubble gum and some ripe bannanas. A little alcohol. At first drink I get a caramel malt over powering flavor. Mouth feel shows plenty of carbonation from the second fermentation. I then get lingering bubble gum as it finishes. The beer will compliment some grilled potatoes. I enjoyed this one.

 520 characters

Photo of A380
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark brown colour with a nice head that stays forever :) Initial smells slightly fruity with a nice caramelized sweet malt and hops and alcohol. Tastes quite the same. Very nice finish and all around very distinct taste. Very nice beer, could go for another one but i would have to stop at two or three as the taste is not exactly my favorite style out there but it is definitely enjoyable and at 10.5% abv it sure makes for an enjoyable time. This is my first belgian strong dark ale and thanks to gulden draak im not afraid to explore it. good stuff!

 565 characters

Photo of BarrelBrother
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My son knowing my love of complex beers and the Belgium "Dubble" style told me he had to take me to the Map Room in Chicago. They feature numerous Belgium brews on tap and he said he had found one that would knock me out. He wasn't kidding! Gulden Drak, WOW.

Appearance: Dark. Cloudy. Mysterious. But I like the deep amber presentation. Solid lacing after pouring.
Smell: This got my attention immeadiately! Nutty, carmel, sweet date like aroma. I had to revisit this sensation a couple of times to make sure I got it right.
Taste: One of the most unique treats to every touch my palate! I must have tasted and pondered the flavors tickling my taste buds over and over. I finally decided on almost a buttery, malted milk flavor with a toasted almond finish. Superb!
Mouthfeel: On tap, it was so smooth! Most Belgium brews seem almost silky when gliding down my palate. This one is no exception, but I like the nutty aftertaste as I drained this goblet of joy.
Drinkability: OK, here is where I got in trouble. I liked this offering on tap so much, I enjoyed 3 large, Belgium tulip glasses in less than 2 hours. It was my birthday and everyone was buying me a round, so I couldn't resist. Long story short, the Drak kicked my assk. I should have known better to do a session with a potent brew like this, but it was pleasure and then pain the next morning. Overall an enlightening experience one I won't forget!

 1,417 characters

Photo of nbree00
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Color was a deep brown with some reddish hue to it. Wasn't that thrilled with the appearance, reminded me of weak poorly brewed coffee for some reason, well carbonated though with a head that never seemed to quit.

S: Smells of raisins and honey with a hint of chocolate.

T: Taste is nutty with flavors of dark caramel, raisins and coffee coming through. Quite a complex array with the malt and hops serving to balance just enough so that it is not overpoweringly sweet

M: Feel was not to bad, stroke me as alittle thin for an unfiltered beer.

D: Did not seem like a 10.5% ABV beer at all. For its class found it very drinkable, which for me would mean once in a while given its richness.

 694 characters

Photo of midworken
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Extreme amount of head. The body was dark brown and was nearly opaque. Smelled like it should: malts with a slight hint of nutiness. Taste upfront was of fresh baked bread and lingered from the beginning until the sip was long gone. Although this is a sweet brew, it was balanced nicely with hop characteristics represented as a pecan/pine flavor.

 347 characters

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

L: rather surprised this is a dark brew, in Flemish Gulden means golden, and I always thougt this would be golden colored.

S: peaches to me, fruity, soft oak

T: Sweet, fruity, detect some peaches, some reminders of an oak aged quad, alcohol is present, and I think the taste note of the alström bros 'cake batter' is spot on! Had a lot of cake batter shakes in my time and I love it!

O: very pleasantly surprised by this one! Never was appealed to the bottle, but once poured, loved it. This one isn't a fast drink, alcohol definitely is present. Will buy some more and see what a couple of month time will do

 615 characters

Photo of mmthompson33
4.76/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Definitely an exceptional beer. Hard to find here in the states, but a treat when you get a bottle. It's a classic example of Belgium's best. This one will lay you down if you're not careful!!

 195 characters

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 1,310 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe