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Gulden Draak | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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Gulden DraakGulden Draak
BA SCORE
4.24/5
Exceptional
3,983 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:
#819
Reviews:
1,350
Ratings:
3,983
pDev:
11.32%
Bros Score:
4.42
 
 
Wants:
315
Gots:
889
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,983 |  Reviews: 1,350
Photo of Honus1
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

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4/5  rDev -5.7%

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4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

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4.75/5  rDev +12%

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4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of RyanTheLion13
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

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4/5  rDev -5.7%

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5/5  rDev +17.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

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4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

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4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

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4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of MaximalC
3.6/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a stately, translucent plum color with a modest khaki head (courtesy of a moderate pour) that soon recedes. Not much lacing to speak of. Aroma has a complex sweetness consisting of dark fruit, grapes, pear, and brown sugar. Alcohol is also evident in the nose. The big malt sweetness is fully forward in the taste as well, along with a bit of cherry kick that accentuates the alcohol flavor (which isn't especially well concealed). Some apple skin also sneaks through in the finish, as does cinnamon after some warming. The sweetness is pronounced to the point of being cloying (there could be some straight-up candy sugar in there). Between the dark, sweet malt and big ABV, this almost evokes shades of Samiclaus, albeit not quite to that extreme. The Belgian yeast character adds some texture and complexity, but it's pretty muted for Belgian ale.

Overall, this is a massively sweet yet complex brew that demands sipping, and were it not for the bomber, I doubt I could have a second glass in succession. Not my favorite big Belgian ale.

*Addendum: To echo the advice of BuckeyeNation, do be sure to incorporate the sediment at the bottom of the bottle into the pour (especially with the bomber). The difference in balance is like night and day. The sweetness is tempered a great deal, thereby making this much more drinkable. I wish I would have known in advance, as my palate is probably pretty well skewed at this point, but the difference is hard to miss nonetheless.

 1,482 characters

Photo of rjholcomb
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours a beautiful deep mahogany with reddish highlights. The beer was initially capped with a finger and a half of off-white foam for a head that quickly dissipated into a thin halo of foam that gripped the glass, and formed wispy clouds of foam over the center of the beer.

Aroma: Dried stone fruit like cherries and plums and raisins. Alcohol, but in a good way, like the way wine smells, but better. Malty, like freshly baked dark bread like a loaf of pumpernickel.

Taste: Fruity with the afore mentioned cherries, raisins and plums. Notes of spices like clove, allspice, cinnamon, vanilla. Some slight molasses sweetness to help round out the slightly sour notes of the Belgian yeast.

Mouthfeel: Chewy. Very, very chewy. Nicely carbonated, but the beer doesn’t cleanse the palate, rather it coast the mouth like velvet. At 10.5% ABV, you do taste and feel the alcohol, but in a good way!

Overall: Belgian strong dark ales are among my favorite styles of beers, the Gulden Draak is an exceptional example of such a beer. If you like Belgian quads and other strong dark ales, and haven’t tried the Gulden Draak yet, do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle. You won’t be disappointed.

 1,209 characters

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3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

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4/5  rDev -5.7%

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4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

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4/5  rDev -5.7%

Gulden Draak from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 4.24 out of 5 with 3,983 ratings
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