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

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1,314 Reviews
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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

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Reviews: 1,314 | Ratings: 3,818
Photo of cjgator3
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of its short and stubby white painted 11.2oz bottle into a tulip glass. Body is dark brown with a monsterous head with great retention that produced lacing throughout the duration of the drink. Smell is sweet dark fruits (plumas and raisens) and alcohol. Taste is fruity with a potent alcohol bite dominating the very dry finish. This brew definately gets better as it warms up in the glass. While it is not an absolutely stellar brew, it sure does hold its own as a great beer.

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

The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear deep amber wtih an off-white and frothy head which rose tall and fell slowly to coat the glass.

The aroma was strongly fruity, even before being brought to the nose. The character was earthy and lightly spicy with some definite alcohol phenolics and dark fruits. The dark fruits were muted but contained raisins and cherries.

The flavor was deeply malty with a strong dark fruit and caramel presence. The dark fruits were raisins and prunes with a excellent melanoid character. Alcohol played a strong part in the flavor and the earthy and spicy attributes were present.

The finish was dry with a lasting dark fruit and caramel flavor long into the aftertaste with a nice peppery spice. The body was medium full and with a moderate carbonation. The alcohol was very strong and caused the drinkability to be lower due to the strong warming after consumption. Tread lightly.

11.2 ounce bottle.

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

bought a bottle at world market in lansing, michigan. ($9.99 750 ml)

pours a deep mohogany with a fluffy beige head.
the aroma is sweet, spicy, citrus, spice maybe corriander?
the flavor is rich malty, orangy, spicy, bit of alcohol, drops off very rapidly, great aftertaste a meddle of citrus, alcohol warmth, and a pleasent hint of herbalness.
man i love the draak, of of belgiums best exports, a world class beer.

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Photo of Absumaster
3.43/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A mahogany dark colored beer with a big head. Smell of candy sugar and some esters, layered with alcohol.
First taste made me frown, the alcohol almost numbed out my mouth! Is this the beer I tasted a few years ago? This tastes far more alcoholic and other tastes are pushed to the back. The burning sensation of the alcohol together with the bitterness (which was present and OK) are sort of in balance. After biting through the alcohol, I an taste some malty whiskey-like and smokey flavors. A lot of sugar has been added, resulting in a rather thin body and should give it a better drinkability, but this is not the case, the beer is syrupy and sticky.

All together a pretty disappointing beer, which is way over the top
in alcohol.

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Photo of Prufrock
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

stubby little 11.2 oz. white bottle poured into a pint glass.

murky light brown with an effervescing off-white head that falls quickly. a few chunky globs (coagulated proteins?) that settle after a few impatient minutes.

sweet, sugary, fruity alcoholic aroma. caramel, carob, yeast, prunes, and candi sugar.

sweet and incredibly pleasant. candi sugar and prunes appear once again in the flavor, with a touch of sweetness and alcohol in the finish. sweet but in a subtle, enjoyable way. prickly carbonation and a medium mouthfeel. nothing incredibly adventurous about it, but it could be a regular dessert-type sipping beer.

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

Who doesn't love this bottle?! It pours out dark red/brown with a big off-white head with some staying power. The strongest scent I could detect was, strangely, rootbeer! It doesn't taste like a rootbeer of course. It's more like a roasty wine. Very smooth though. And pretty drinkable, but not entirely my style.

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

Pours dark auburn with minimal cream colored head and moderate carbonation. Smells of faint spice, fresh malt; not an overwhelming nose for a Belgian but definitely smells fresh and inviting. Mouthfeel is very heavy, the weight of the ale virtually sinking down on the tongue; dense tingling carbonation Tastes of coriander, licorice, a bit of hops and alcohol at the finish. Overall, the alcohol is not overwhelming tastewise but will certainly creep up on you. This is a find Belgian easily consumed in moderation due to the availability in smaller 11.2 oz bottles, although in my area these are less frequently found than their bomber counterparts.

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Photo of wjimson
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opened and poured the 330ml bottle dated best before 08/06/07. Slighly dark brown colour with lots of head. The smell is of sweet wheat with a light trace of alcohol. The initial taste is of a sugar like sweetness. This is followed by plunge of slightly smokey raisiny taste. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and quite tart, a tartness similar to the white layer of Brie cheese. The alcohol taste is well camouflaged, but its definately there. I wished I hadn't knew that this beer had 10.5% alcohol content before I tried it.

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

Semitransparent deep ruby shifting to maple suryp brown at the edge. Lots of carbonation. Creamy tan head mostly tiny bubbles with a ring of medium bubbles along the edge of the glass. Dissipates to a thicker than normal float. Good lace.
Very strong burnt molasses and concentrated suryp, raisens and dried prunes in the nose. High ABV not detectable directly but certainly inferred but the sheer intensity of it all.
Taste is equally strong and burning sweet on the palate. Brown sugar, prunes and raisens all over the place. Alcohol detectable but not blaringly so. Aftertaste is strong and longlived with sweet malts and then the spicy hops come through.
Full body and chewable but not that slick and maybe a little dry at the end.
Very drinkable, intense and interesting.


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

Dark amber/caramel in color with a creamy tan head. Smell is fruity and spicy with some rubbing alcohol twards the bottom of the glass. Taste is fairly boozey, not well masked for a belgian, and very sweet, with some rough yeast flavors as well as fruit and spices. Mouthfeel is real heavy, not enough carbonation, but has a mellow charecter because of that. Overall, not my favorite. Seems like a lot was sacrificed at the expense of an extra 1% in the ABV, but still a fairly enjoyable brew.

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Photo of monkeytoe
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(April rotating tap at Chumleys--combined notes from several sessions)

Dark ruby-brown with the lightest of pale gold heads covering the surface and lacing the sides of the generic heavy-glass goblet.

Candy, caramel smell with orange-lemon, light toasted grain, and peppery herbs.

Sweet, sugary heaven: milk chocolate, dried cherry, burnt sugar, caramel, Darjeeling tea, spicy pink peppercorns, and sweet herbs. Warming alcohol comes in the later sips. Aftertaste of sweet herbs and dried cherry.

Creamy, velvety and slick all at once.

A little "too" drinkable for this amount alcohol.

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Photo of geetlord
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was a rich dark amber with a thick creamy head that subsided to heavy lacing. there was pleanty of yeast making the beer a littel cloudy.
The aroma contained malts flowers herbs, and fruit.
It tasted richly of molasses and cloves and nutmeg allong with tou8ches of dark chereries, black currents, cinnamon, and dark breads.
The mouthfeel was heavy but pleasantly carbonated.
overall i felt that this was an excelent rich beer and will definatly get it again

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Photo of bennetj17
3.89/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep tan/amber, glows red in the light, mostly clear, full one-inch head with amazing retention, stong on bubbly carbonation

S: Slightly weak nose, raisiny malt aroma with hint of spiced fruit and alcohol

T: Sweetness of cinnamon raisin, with a slight tartness to balance it out. Strong on alcohol in finish.

MF: Medium thickness, decent carbonation, slight watery feel takes away a bit.

D: A bit strong, but nice drinkablility overall. Lacking the complexity to make it a top beer in its class.

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

I poured this beer improperly, because an accident has left me without the use of my left hand. Colour looks like tanned leather and dry apples. HUGE head due to improper pour. After 10 minutes, it subsides to about 2 fingers of tanned, dense foam. Smells of caramem malts, citrus(lemon? grapegruit?), spices and... the smell of a mowed lawn about 4 hours and the cut grass has dried in the sun. Big malt and candy sugar taste, with some maple syrup. Very sweet. Any sweeter, and it'd be nauseating. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, with an almost syrupy texture. Very drinkable and goes great with a heavy meal of beef wellington.

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

Appearance: Dark drown body, still clear enought to let plenty of light though to reveal active carbonation.

Smell: Sweet toffee and plums, honey, raisin, very complex and "Belgian".

Taste: Coffee and roasted malts, honey sweetness and dark fruits. Flavors are all well-blended and work together nicely. May be an older bottle, because everything seems slightly muted (i.e., not much of a hop bite).

Mouthfeel: Very smooth going down, chewy, and moderately carbonated. Good.

Drinkability: I definitely appreciate this one more than the first time I tried it, 2 1/2 years ago. It is a solid and delicious example of BSDA, a style crowded with so many great beers, this one definitely brings it's own qualities to the table, and doesn't dissapoint.

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Photo of haz77
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark chesnut with a tight tan head that sit a finger deep. Looks to have very little carbonation.

S - Sweet spicy alcohol. Some plums and other fruit in there too. Smells utterly delicious.

T - Doesn't dissapoint. Not quite as good as the smell, but very very nice. Big mouthful of sweet malts and fruit up front and moves onto brown sugar. Finishes up with some alcohol warmth, but not as much as the smell would have suggested.

M - Heavy, smooth and lightly carbonated.

D - A bit too heavy to have more than 2 or 3.

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

White painted brown glass 330ml.bottle pours a dark, slightly cloudy
mahogany brown ale. The head 1inch thick and foamy off-white with some nice lacing as well.

Smells sweet and malty with plum and fig fruityness then alcohol comes through with some authority. Nice aroma.

Sweet malt fills the mouth with a fruity bouquet as the alcohol amplifies
the flavor. The hops come into play and pan the sweetness to a well balanced finish. Very tasty and not too sweet.

Big in flavor, big in body with a smooth, yet tingly mouthfeel, high ABV is very warming and ever so present.

Easy to drink but take it easy and savor it a bit. I recommend this to lovers of strong ale...Cheers!

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Photo of BadBadger
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yum, Yum, the Gulden Draak is certainly a beverage taste treat. Pours a nice dark cloudy color. The head is off-white and plentiful. The smell is malty. The taste is malty sweetness, There is a malty after taste, but this does not really distract from the overall pleasure of this brew. Highly drinkable at relatively high ABV, be warned and enjoy!

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the benefits of Beer Advocate is finding out about beers such as this one, which I probably would never have tried on my own. This beer poured a cloudy brown color with a small head. It had a sweet fruit odor with a little malt in there. Wonderful taste: sweet, dark fruit with some hops. Slightly noticeable alcohol. A very robust beer. Eminently drinkable, but at 10.5%ABV, you've got to take it easy.

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Photo of JohnfromDublin
4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted a bottle on March 31st 06 in De Kuppe, Brugge, Belgium (cost €3.50).

Poured into the correct glass (Duvel-like) a light tan (beige) decent head on a ruby red to brown body. Hazy. Nice lacing on the glass.

Smell was the best. I don't think I have given a 5 for smell before. Blackberries and other fruits of the forest, malt later. Superb.

Taste: it had a nice tang to it, more raspberries than blackberries, some rust. Aware of the alcohol in the background.
Smooth silky mouthfeel.
Drinkability; well maybe one or two, but at 10.5% I'm not so sure.
Very nice.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Whoa! This is rich...beginning with the gorgeous white bottle.
Pours deep amber with an incredible cream head that stays full for a very long time. Laces nicely while you slowly finish the drink.
Aroma is sweet dark fruits, sweet malts, light alcohol.
Mouthfeel is creamy and very, very full.
Taste of dark ripe fruits, raisens, sweet malts, heavy alcohol.
Definate alcohol burn going down with rich dark fruit aftertaste.
Make this the last drink of the night...preferably with dessert and take your time sipping it.
Like fine sherry or brandy...definately as rich, filling, and warming.

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Photo of sabrills70
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz brown stubby bottle painted white with no freshness date. Pours a dark amber with a good frothy 2 finger head and very ggod lace. Good strong malt aromas with some sherry and brandy like aromas. Dried dark fruits - raisins etc. Again with big malt flavors and dried dark fruts. Alcohol is present but not overpowering. Sticky on the lips and warming all the way down. Definate winter beer. Creamy and smooth. Not a beer to gulp but for one with an ABV of this magnitude it is very easy to drink. Tasty and well made.

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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.

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

Appearance: A blend of coffee and root beer with a smooth, beige head that retains well. Excellent, Swiss cheese-like lacing.

Smell: Very fruity, full of banana and strawberry, plus chocolate and nutty malts. Almost like a sundae!

Taste: Excellent. Starts with coffee, then segues into banana and chocolate, and ends with roasted hazelnuts and a vodka-like alcohol flavor. Sweet and brown sugary, especially towards the end. Very complex and well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Tingly yet chewy with a slight alcohol burn on the way down.

Drinkability: A tad heavy, and the elevated ABV is somewhat prohibitive, but besides that this is very drinkable.

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

What strange beer. It is like a stout/Belgian.

Appearance: The darkest Belgian I have seen. It pours a completely opaque Maple syrup brown.

Smell: It has a strange dark musty smell that made me think of my immediately of my boots. I don't think it is a foot odor smell I think it may be the smell of leather that I am picking up. I have also heard before about a beer described as smelling like a horse. I think that would apply in this case. Anyway, it also gives me a huge amount of dark fruits and shoo-fly pie, brown sugar, molasses, caramel, very toasted malts and blueberries. Under everything else there is the tiniest bit of alcohol that does creep out into your nose.

Taste: Extremely sugary. Tons of dark brown sugar. Well toasted almost burnt malt taste along with the plums, red grapes and dark fruit sweetness. It has a bit of the alcohol showing through (in a wine like attribute) which definitely dries it up in the mouth a bit. It has the most gentle floral hop character that you could ask for. There is just enough subtle sour (tart) in the aftertaste to balance out the immense sweetness on the front end.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy and very thick. This is a very heavy big beer from all measurements.

Drinkability: I am giving this a 4.5 drinkability not because it is an easy drinking beer but because I LOVE drinking this beer. You must be careful with this bad boy. Seriously; it is more than the 10.50 % ABV it is very heavy and if you don't take it slow you WILL regret it. This is a nightcap beer. I certainly don't want to put anything on top of this, other than a glass of water and a good night sleep.

Hope this is helpful.

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.2 out of 5 based on 3,818 ratings.
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