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

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,317 Reviews
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)
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:
1,317
Ratings:
3,839
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
19.52%
 
 
Wants:
298
Gots:
809
For Trade:
3
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,317 | Ratings: 3,839
Photo of stevoj
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Superlative beer. Pours dark brown with silky beige head. Sourish, wine-like aroma, prunes, raisins, peat, wood. Taste recalls dried fruits and oak barrels, whiskey, wine. Finish is abrupt, and although flavor is full, there is little lingering on the palate. Truly gorgeous, a real sipper to enjoy.

 299 characters

Photo of Tone
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, dark amber color. 3/4 inch head of a pale tan color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of hops, sweet malt, yeast, dark citrus, alcohol, and slight bread. Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of dark citrus (cherries), sweet malt, hops, yeast, and slight alcohol. Overall, a good body, blend, alcohol is well-hidden, and good aroma.

 433 characters

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

A nice dark pour with a bit of head. Smells spicey with a little dark fruit. Tastes nice, but is a touch simple for such a strong belgian. Flavor sticks with the belgian spices and dark fruit and does expand within those tastes. Yes there's a nice figs flavor, but thats it. No alcohol present, and thats inpressive for a 10.5 beer. It's a good dark belgian, but I didn't find anything new or surprising. Reminds me of Chimay Blue.

 431 characters

Photo of Duff27
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Cloudy brown with a short lived head. Lacing present.

S- Raisins. Sweet.

T- Delicious. Grapes. Belgian yeast. Sweetness. Almost finishes like grape kool aid.

M- Smooth. Thin to medium body.

D/O- No way is this 10.5%abv. Entirely too drinkable. Definitley would sneak up on you if you let it. Very nice beer.

 315 characters

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

Poured an brown color with a thin head that stuck to the sides of the glass. A pleasant aroma that borders on flowery with some lingering yeasts. Strong malt flavor with a good balance of hops. The higher alcohol content did not overpower the flavor like some others do. Extremely drinkable as malt aftertastes linger nicely on the tongue. Once my glass was empty, I wanted more but I only had one bottle. I will definitely buy it again.

 437 characters

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

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy off-white head. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty aroma which boasts of Belgian caramel malts and a fruity yeast finish. The taste is good. It has a rich malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes fruity, yet dry with Belgian yeast. It is a smooth beer with a creamy malt palate. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine triple. It has good flavor and aroma; a quality brew.

 481 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We're getting into the meat and potatoes of the Stubby Belgian Invite with this beer at hand, and tommorrow will conclude with another strong beer. On to the beer:

A foamer into my snifter, a ruby brown color highlights the beer's appearance. Head retention is very good. Whiffs of phenolic and dark fruits in the aroma. There's a touch of pepper too.

The high alcohol level and smoothness of the beer are the first things to be noticed in the mouth. Typical dark fruit flavors found in this style are juicy and dominant. Touches of prunes and raisins, then a drying grain note. Goes peppery at times towards the end of the sip. Oh, and it's very alcoholic.

What a kick and what a taste. This is the boozy man's Chimay Blue, and a score that should put it in the competiton for winner of the Stubby Belgain Invite. We'll comclude the Stubby Belgain tomorrow night with, wait for it....another Belgian beer in a stubby bottle.

 930 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from an LCBO giftpack, 330ml into a tulip. Best before June 14, 2013.

Poured a cloudy reddish brown with a light tan head and some sticky lace. Good head retention. Nose has some dark fruits, grapes and raisin, and some gentle spicing. Taste has more dried dark fruits and grapes, some vinous notes, booze and some toffee-like sweetness. High carbonation that is a bit peppery in feel, and a heavy moderately boozy body. Long sweet finish. Solid but not great, I wouldn't have this as a first option in light of other BSDA's on the market.

 547 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a slightly hazy red orange with a one finger off-white head with good retention and nice lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, dark stone fruit, sweet and slightly boozy. Flavor follows, with caramel and bready malt, rich fresh and dried plums, hints of tart apricots, Belgian yeast. Finishes warming with a hint of bops and lingering dark fruit. Medium bodied with light creaminess. I can't believe I never reviewed this beer; it was one my first "wow" imported beers and introductions to Belgians. Possibly one of the top 10 Belgian beers I've drunk all my life. As a matter of fact, this Belgian ale inspired me to buy my first dedicated glass, a Gulden Draak tulip that I still use frequently today, so much the gold trim around the lip is worn off. This is a classic Belgian strong dark ale, with great fruit notes and big supporting caramel malt. It's presentation in an unusual bottle, look, smell and taste are all great. A classic, and one of the ales I miss in my quest to try so many different beers; it's been years since I had one of these. A genuine pleasure.

 1,107 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle. The beer pours a dark brown color with a large off-white to tan head. The aroma has a lot of Belgian candy sugar as well as some dark fruit and a little bit of toffee. The flavor is full of dark fruit. I get a lot of raisins, as well as some cherry and plum notes. There is a little bit of sweetness from the candy sugar, as well as some brown sugar and molasses notes. The alcohol is very well hidden and is barely noticeable. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice beer.

 500 characters

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

750ml
Caged/Corked

Poured into a chalice a nice light brown color, nice carbonation (Big POP on opening), nice little creamy tannish head, some sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, nice touch of dark fruits, and caramel. The taste is malty, dark fruits, caramel. The taste is also slightly sweet at first with a nice tangy finish. The alcohol is hidden very well for a brew with this high of an ABV. Medium body, complex brew. Very drinkable, I like this one, at first I thought it might be like the Piraat Triple, but a dark version, too my surprise it is an excellent BSDA, and very tasty, recommended.

 610 characters

Photo of tone77
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a white 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of dark fruits and alcohol. Taste is good, fruit and spice, some alcohol. Feels full bodied in the mouth and has decent drinkability. Overall this is a high quality brew.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.67/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle into a regular snifter very carefully as this bottle is ceramic making it impossible to see where the yeast starts. Not sure on the bottle date.

A- Gulden Draak has an incredible deep dark ruby color consisting of mix of red, brown and maroon. With a tilted glass i could see the head forming and once i was done pouring I had a two finger beige tan head on my hands. This foam was enormous with some areas slightly bulging above others. The head never left throughout the entire hour plus I enjoyed this. I was unable to see through the glass even held right up to light. Great lacing.

S- A fruity and floral aroma that is entirely Belgian, having a somewhat similar but more refined scent resembling some de dolle dark offerings. Dark fruits galore and deep as I am getting some sweet cherries plums and grapes. Some spices also including cinnamon and brown sugar. A belgian yeast is abound and creeping. A bit of hops and malts but not this BSDA strong suit.

T- Gulden Drakk is strong on the fruit presence with the aforementioned smells going along in the taste and getting berries also. GD has a very sweet taste during first sips but evolves into other depths. Also getting some caramel and other dark malts along with slight maple syrup. Some hops and the yeast come out to play a part with warming. Some pepper spiciness with some dates coming in at the end. GD leaves a candy like impression, perhaps being a tad to much on the sweet side

M- A very full mouthfeel that is felt in the pits of my stomach after enjoying. Because of this thick and full mouthfeel GD has a sweetness to it that lingers for a while, no getting around it. This sweetness is ever present on the tounge. I like the carbonation that is felt in this. A nice warming sensation comes forth after 5oz or so than fills the body. Alcohol is not completely masked but not fully on display.

D- At 10.5% this one is nothing to take lightly and I would take my time with it to get the full effect, Letting the flavors integrate & develop more. Glad i bought a small version as anymore would be overkill for me, but i would share a big bottle in a minute as this is quite accessible given the style. This would go great during a holiday dinner.

 2,237 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.6/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well, despite its name, this beer pours a deep amber color, with ruby highlights when held up to the light. The head is midsized and light brown in color. The aroma is of dark fruit (plum and raisin), rum, and a sort of spiciness that reminds me a bit of coriander. The beer is fairly well carbonated as it fizzes on my tongue. It is sweet and fruity with raisin definitely dominating the fruit component, but notes of figs and prunes are evident as well. The combination of the sweetness and fruitiness gives this beer a certain richness that I was not expecting (you can tell it has been quite a while since I last had this). Overall this is quite a tasty beer, nothing that really makes it stand out and perhaps a bit too sweet, but it is a well built tasty beer.

 766 characters

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

Poured ontap at Burgh's

14 oz snifter. Appears mahogony with just a bit of head, which is fine, more Draak for me.

Nose is sweet fruits and dark malt.

Tastes; Fig, At times Apple. Dark chocolatey malt with a vaguely pernicious roasted edge. Wonderful.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and incredibly smooth.

Easy drinking, powerful, and delicious.

 344 characters

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

33cl bottle, with best before of 05/07/08. Purposely and properly aged for curiosity's sake, enjoyed June 2008. Little change has been observed, the beer has always seemed this sublime to me...

Sandbanks of beige head peak and trough throughout the surface; they seem to only thicken throughout the tasting. This has more colour than most dark beers. The complexion is highly concealed despite having warm tones. The colour, to the light, is a glowing crimson. Hold it up, it is simply cunning.

Freshly baked bread meets sun-drying figs and prunes. The aroma showcases all that is wonderful with Belgian yeasts: the fruity esters, undertones of grape, plum and raisin; scorching Scotch like malts and musty hints of molasses, ginger, cinnamon and brown sugar.

A marriage of lightly tart, fruity tones and bready, biscuit, toffee laced malts. Honey sweetness overcoats the dark fruit flavour of plum, red grapes, and dates. The yeast imparts a hint of esters and spice - cinnamon, molasses, ginger, cookie dough, burnt sugar, tart apples and prunes. Contrary to the popular expression, this is thought for food.

Carbonation is at an ideal level; the body is ever lively, but far from syrupy, allowing flavours sparkle and then dry out on the palate uninterrupted. The tastes stick and reside in the mouth. It's a paradox: every sip makes you fretfully agog for the next, and yet, it is enormously satisfying.

This is certainly one of the most gratifying Belgian Strong Dark Ales there is. Fresh and aged, I have had this now on many occasions and never finished the glass anything but satisfied. This is an essential for the cellar and to have on hand. I'm glad this is exactly as it is.

 1,691 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 mL bottle,

A: Pours a dark brown with a medium tan head into a snifter, pretty good head retention, some lace.

S: Smell of dark fruits, raisin, plum, fig juice, hint of acidity.

T: Dark fruits make up the main flavour. Primarily fig, light raisin and brown sugar. Booze comes into play at the end, solventy finish.

M: Medium-bodied, it does seem a tad thin at times for 10.5%, slightly medicinal, smooth drinking beer.

D: A good Belgian, not amazing in my opinion. It's relatively inexpensive, drinkable, and easy to find, I'm sure I'll have it again at some point.

 574 characters

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

Super dark brown beer, cloudy but I can pass light through it.

Smells like Chocolate and Vanilla and Bananas, with a touch of Brown Sugar.

Tastes better than expected. Lots of brown sugar and spice. This is sweet. Tastes like Date Pudding with spices. Very Complex flavor that can't be summed up in one sentence. Has a soft spice taste. Tastes like German Christmas Cookies! Lots of Brown sugar flavors, this is a Christmas brew, not quite as good as McChouffe, but close. Delicious!

Hearty Mouthfeel.

Drinkable? Just keep them coming Bar Keep!

 556 characters

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

In 2008 I reviewed this in bottled form: on 17th Oct 2012 I had it again but on-tap in the lovely De Garre in Brugge (something I've done a few times over the years, but never wrote about).

Deep ruby red in colour with a large off-white foaming head, it looks a picture: just like its bottled brother, the correct glass adding another dimension to the overal appearance.

Rich, strong and powerful malty aromas just ooze out of the glass. Malt loafs, christmas pudding, creamed plums, caramel chocolate bars and dark molasses can also be found in the smell. The taste is an explosion of the same flavours found in the aroma, yet with a mild hop bitterness that prevents the beer being too sweet

This is just one beautiful beer and one I'll never tire of: the alcohol isn't even well hidden, but I don't care, it just helps to make this an exceptionally fine beer.

 865 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into a wine goblet.

Appearance: deep, dark red-brown. Thin but attractive head, with a nice lacing.

Smell: caramel, hazelnut and maple aromas. Sweet and malty; smells quite like a nut brown ale.

Taste: malty, a little fruity and a little nutty. A lot like a nut brown ale. Sweet, and not particularly bitter.

Mouthfeel: medium body, but a little syrupy; nice carbonation.

Drinkability: good flavor but it's more of a slow sipper.

 461 characters

Photo of tobelerone
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big fluffy head on a dark, amber colored beer. Long lasting retention. Nicely clinging lace.

Aroma is defintitely boozy, sweet with toffee, raisin, yeastiness. Touches of malt and citrus as well.

Tasty and strong. Booze is there in every sip as well as in the finish. Peppery, citric, sweet, low bitterness levels. Big and boomy flavor. Pretty unforgettable. Not an every day drink, this one will lay you out quick.

Mouthfeel pleasantly combines bubbly carbonation and somewhat chewy viscousness. The booze and malty sweetness linger on.

Very complex, intriguing beer. Not for the faint of heart!

 601 characters

Photo of John_M
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Was very pleased to see this beer on tap at Max's the other night. This beer has long been a favorite of mine, especially when I can find it on draft (which is not all that often).

The beer is a beautiful dark amber brown, with excellent head retention and impressive Belgium lacing. On the nose one gets sweet caramel and Belgium spice, a promise of what's to come when you taste this bad boy. On the palate the flavor profile is incredible. This beer tastes initially of cherry cough drop, wrapped around flavors of caramel, butter, honey and cream. The beer is very sweet and rich tasting, but is not cloying. For the abv., it's surprisingly drinkable (though certainly still a sipper). As the beer sits in the glass a lot of the medicine flavor fades away, and there's more of an outright cherry, vanilla and almond flavor. This beer is quite luscious, and has a very long, lingering sweet finish. On the mid palate one gets a viscuous, creamy impression that completely fills the mouth.

An excellent beer. An absolute treat whether on draft or on tap.

 1,062 characters

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

A: Pour is murky deep copper with a large, large lovely off-white foamy thick head that slowly dissipates into decent lacings.

S: Smells almost like sherry. Lots of fruits, dark dried fruits; figs, cherries and rasins. Some spices and yeast.

T: Very sweet, syrupy malt. Candylike sweetness. Dark dried fruits but also fresh cherries and oranges. Vineous and molasses. Really lovely.

M: Aftertaste is rather short, but sweet and faint bitter. Body is full and carbonation very mild. Very smooth, syrupy.

O: This is a very, very nice Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Complex but still modest.

 588 characters

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

From the 11.2 fl. oz. bottle no. 01LI. Sampled on July 31, 2010. The pour is dark amber with a finger or so of foamy beige head that bubbles slowly down but hangs around for the full period. A nice smokiness erupts from the yeasty, malty aroma. The texture is on the chewy side and the taste combines a number of ingredients in a delightful way including malts, hops, and some kind of pepper-like dash that gives it a little bit of a punch. Very nice.

 451 characters

Photo of Derek
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This "dark triple" is really more of a quadrupel... but the line between a "Belgian strong dark ale" is certainly blurred.

A: Copper-brown, off-white head, nice retention and lace.

S: Dark fruit bread (fruity, bready, nutty), a little caramelized sugar.

T: Very Belgian (special B malt?). Sweet caramel, bread, fruity (raisins, prunes, figs, pineapple), fading to a slightly bitter/burnt aftertaste. Alcohol is warming and certainly apparantly, but it's not at all assertive. Well balanced, but there's a slight hint of something burnt in the aftertaste (that isn't appealing).

M: Moderate body is highly carbonated, finish is dry.

D: Quite good, especially considering the strength.

 698 characters

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.2 out of 5 based on 3,839 ratings.
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