Gulden Draak | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
3,918 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
Ratings:
3,918
Reviews:
1,336
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
11.43%
 
 
Wants:
305
Gots:
858
For Trade:
4
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,918 |  Reviews: 1,336
Photo of GameOfBeers
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Shadman
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nothing Golden about the colour of this brew. Dark, cloudy Chestnet brown. Very nice thick tan head, showed superior tetention and lacing.

Aroma wae nice in a not knocking my socks off way. Rich alcohol soaked fruitiness.

Took quote george from Seinfeld..." I'm blown away" Not incredibly complex, but what's there is amazing. As I'm drinking this I'm thinking why pair wine with food because this is better than most wines I've sampled. Rich malt fruitiness with amzingly well hidden alcohol. Finishes slightly dry and spicy.

Smooth and full bodied mouthfeel.

Still blown away @ how enjoyable this beer was. Smooth, flavourful, not overbearing in any category, yet makes me immediately wishing I had more in the cellar to enjoy.

 735 characters

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

33cl, Netherlands.

Sexy light garnet with a thick, bubbly light tan head. Thin layer retains, with a bit of lacing.

Aroma is outstanding with a rich, vinous alcohol note, along with ripe stone fruit, such as cherries and plums.

Flavor is warming as hell. This is a very strong beer, but it's pretty smooth. I like the concept of the dark tripel, though my favorite tripels are dry and refreshing, whereas this beer is quite sweet and pretty heavy. There's a big cherry sweetness, along with some brown sugar and molasses. This is a tasty beer, but the alcohol is quite present. The mouthfeel was well-carbonated and pretty slick and medium-heavy.

As a "dark tripel," Gulden Draak is a unique Belgian ale that makes for a great digestif...or nigthcap, in my case.

 767 characters

Photo of TubaDan
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

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

A: Hazy, redish brown; one finger head with decent retention
S: Belgium yeast strain; bananas and cloves are subtle; sweet maltiness and raisins are also prevalent
T: Bready and malty; banana/cloves; something slightly medicinal-it isn't off puting though; the alcohol is well-masked throughout
F: Well-balanced carbonation; farily even mouth coating; smooth but slightly thin on back end
D: So smooth and easy going for a 10.5% beer

 433 characters

Photo of laxer8811
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of mwar
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of ramrod666
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

gulden draak pours walnut brown with a huge rocky head that stays huge for 5-10 minutes before falling to a 1/4 inch towards the bottom. the smell of tart apples is big with strong sweetness and a bit of bubble-gum? taste is almost cidery. alcohol is present in the back but, a over 10.00 abv would you expect anything else. mouthfeel is moderately carbonated with a drying effect from the tartness and alcohol. heavy body. drinkabilty is high and dangerous considering the abv.. a delicious triple.

 499 characters

Photo of craft_shannie
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of mattsmith413
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of rand
4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle into a snifter

2012 bottle...been letting it chill for awhile

A: Dark-mahogany in color, super-effervescent, presumably from the extended bottle-conditioning. It's not as viscous as expected, and a giant head dissipates down to nothing.

S: Booze and esters dominate the bouquet. Sweet, biscuity, with notes of raisin and butterscotch. There's a touch of hop astringency at the edge of the bouquet, offset by a creamy, dairy-like aspect.

T: The butterscotch notes seem to hit the palate first, I think because they're so tasty and unusual. They're not cloying, and seemingly not from diacetyl, more like a palate-interpretation of the esters. Mid-sip there's a bit of earthiness - oaky and bready, but this brew is as smooth as they come. Aging probably helped, but the flavors here are streamlined and elegant. Medium finish with lingering sweetness.

M: Relatively light on the palate, at least for the style. Bottle-conditioning added a lot of carbonation that gives the brew levity.

I'm not really sure why, but this isn't as popular as some other examples of style, at least around San Diego. This deserves to be on a pedestal - a perfectly drinkable beer that blurs the line between a beer and a liqueur.

 1,252 characters

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

Served with a moderate sized, dense tan head atop a red copper body, the beer displayed excellent head retention. The aroma was a well balanced malt and hops aroma which was appealing and begged me to take a drink. Upon taking the first sip, I was hit by a very sweet kaleidescope of flavors, all soaked in alcohol. Then a surprising roasted malt note crept in, with an ever so faint note of hop bitterness in the finish to help sweep away the chewy sweetness. The mouthfeel is excellent, very moist and supple feeling as it coats the tongue. The drinakbility is good considering the sweetness in the flavor and the ABV. This was a very pleasant experience that I hope to repeat sometime soon.

 693 characters

Photo of beergeek279
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 12 oz. glass at Burgh's. The color was a dark brown, with a wispy white head. The smell was an appleish sweetness. The taste was very apply sweet, with lots of candi sugar sweetness, and an alcohol that was present but not in the least overwhelming. Mouthfeel was nice and thick. Drinkability, despite the 10.5%, would be excellent, and I would be happy having quite a few of these.

Amongst the best Belgians brought into the US. Beautifully sweet, and drinking much underneath its ABV, Gulden Draak is simply a fantastic beer, and certainly one that I will have again!

 585 characters

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

I bought this beer after seeing and hearing my buddy's raves about it. Sweet looking white bottle and who doesn't like a dragon...or serpent. Whatever it is, it's cool! I like the feel of the bottle too. The white coating is a nice change to the standard bottle. From reading the label I didn't think this would come out dark for a Belgie but to my surprise it is.

Major bubbly head that has major clinging to the glass issues. Fruity aroma with a nice dark caramal appearance. The taste is a little different than what I expected. I am partial to "original" Belgian beers taste so I can honestly say I am not digging this as much. My palate just prefers the lighter "apple" taste of non-dark Belgie's.

I would probably not buy this again but I would happily receive and drink it if it appears under the X-mas tree this year. Santa?

 834 characters

Photo of gleemonger
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of addiwilliams
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Tballz420
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew is a thick, cloudy brown/purple colored brew, decent sized tan foam head. Sweet grape, cherry, fruit scent, very nice. This brew is delicious. Lots of different fruit, sweet sugars, alcohol spice, hop bitterness on top of everything. This beer is damn good, and makes me quite interested in this style of beers.

 321 characters

Photo of Skunkdrool
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of CreekyJarls
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of gshak
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of tripledbrew
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of BostonHops
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle served in a snifter.

pours a mahogany tone while yielding a foamy 1" tan head. fades somewhat quickly into a thin cap, collar around the glass. nose is decidedly sweet with notes of candied / dark fruits, brown sugar, and caramel. good but nothing really remarkable.

flavors follows the aroma somewhat: sweet, yes, but carries none of the cloying sweetness i sort of anticipated. nice and flavorful with the fruitiness, brown sugar, some spice, and caramel all pulling through; there's even a secondary sour character to it. medium bodied mouthfeel with adequate carbonation. for me much better than i anticipated from the nose.

overall, an excellent beer. can't believe it's taken me this long to try it. can't place it among my favorite belgians necessarily, but very, very good nonetheless. a must try.

(originally reviewed: 08-30-2011)

 856 characters

Photo of Archemedies
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of huntermop
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of delgotit99
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gulden Draak from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.2 out of 5 based on 3,918 ratings.
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