Gulden Draak | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Gulden DraakGulden Draak
BA SCORE
90.6%
Liked This Beer
4.24 w/ 3,967 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:
#802
Reviews:
1,347
Ratings:
3,967
Liked:
3,594
Avg:
4.24/5
pDev:
11.32%
Alströms:
4.42
 
 
Wants:
315
Gots:
881
Trade:
4
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,967 |  Reviews: 1,347
Photo of WVUbrew
4/5  rDev -5.7%

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

This is a dark brown ale with mahogony highlights and a foamy dark tan head that leaves some lace. The aroma has a plummy rich dried fruit characteristic that sheilds most of the high octane alcohol from your nose. That same sweet dried fruit characteristic starts up the flavor and blends nicely with the peppery hop finish. Then you get that tummy warming alcohol sensation. Yum.

 381 characters

Photo of Shadman
4.73/5  rDev +11.6%
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 Zylod
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of gshak
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Auraan
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep ruby red, semi-opaque, with a one finger off-white head that receded to a white ring rather quickly. While the head was nothing to write home about, the body color was fantastic. Scents of bubblegum, apple, pear, banana, fruity esters of a less describable sort, Belgian yeast, candi sugar and faint hints of alcohol. A good, fruity, yeasty, sweet and complex Belgian aroma. Taste begins with candi sugar, notes of apple and pear and some yeasty dark bread, moves into raisin, prune, sweet bready malts, caramel and some earthy Belgian yeast. Finishes with more bready malt and just a touch of alcohol. Quite nice, rather sweet, but not overly so and very complex. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied, with moderate carbonation, a slight alcohol burn, and a drying finish. Very nice sipping mouthfeel. Overall this is an excellent Belgian Strong Dark. Its got the complexity in both aroma and flavor that defines the style, and a very nice profile to both to boot.

 975 characters

Photo of Dzu
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Gulden Draak dragon egg glass.
L: Dark ruby a massive foam head.
S: Smells dark-fruity, raisin.
T: Sweet, wine, caramel a little bit.
F: Warm and massive, a little boozy.
O: Definitely one of my favourite!

 220 characters

Photo of dasenebler
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
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 +0.2%

Photo of Exeter
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of dbossman
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
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 +6.1%

Photo of mwar
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of craft_shannie
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of ramrod666
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
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 cavedave
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pour produces a thick, glowing brown with red highlights, cloudy with fine yeast to the point of opacity, beauty of a beer. It is topped by a finger's worth of beige head, which diminishes languidly to a bubbling cap. Lace splotches cling momentarily to the snifter, then fall.

The smell is a hypnotic bouquet of yeasty notes of a sweet and spicy variety, candy sugar, earthy tones, and a malt presence that is hard to finger, not a bready smell, not caramel, all wrapped in a fruity, and herbal edge. Man, this is complex, and balanced. I could keep my nose here until supper burns. I feel a buzz from just the aroma, if that's possible.

The beer is warmed to where I like drinking tripels now. Good gosh, the flavor of this is staggeringly fine. The yeast is more subdued in the sip than in the aroma, but still it finds a rhythm right away, leading into a sweet rush of caramel, plum, subtle earthy notes, leading into a juicy finish that stays clean and pure, with hints of herbs and spice lingering seductively. Alcohol is present like a ghost, felt but not tasted; there, but not.

Mouthfeel is the perfect combination of thick but not cloying, and low carbonation. Somehow it does the impossible, supporting a long finish, and clearing out. I like the clear out of Unibroue beers, but this is even a better clear out.

Drinkability? Triple red flag warning for extremely, dangerously, fantastically drinkable. This beer fucking rocks. Wish it were less expensive. Lotta nickels for this one!

 1,504 characters

Photo of CreekyJarls
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of aaronh
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
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 +6.1%
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 tripledbrew
4/5  rDev -5.7%

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

Photo of gleemonger
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of Tballz420
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
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 -5.7%

Photo of BostonHops
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
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

Gulden Draak from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 90.6% out of 100 with 3,967 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.