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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,310 Reviews
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,310
Ratings:
3,787
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
19.52%
 
 
Wants:
292
Gots:
762
For Trade:
3
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,310 | Ratings: 3,787
Photo of captaincoffee
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours brown with a medium head that leaves some lacing. Nose is sweet caramel, malts, and a touch of booze. Flavor matches with raisin malts, dark sugars. Lots of flavor, lots to like here. I half expected this to be a boozy mess, but it is quite well constructed. Great beer.

 281 characters

Photo of champ103
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Have had this many times over the years, and surprised I have not reviewed it yet. Most recently on tap at a neighborhood bar close to me that is not known to have a good beer selection. Poured into the proper Gulden Draak tulip.

A: Pours a dark ruby/brown with a dense two finger white head that forms. Which has excellent retention, and beautiful lace all the way down the tulip glass.
S: Peppery yeast and fruity easters are the show up front. Banana, cloves and light bubblegum aromas. Sweet malts, and dark dried fruits of raisins. Fantastic.
T: Like the nose, peppery, clove like yeast up front. The fruity esters are to die for here. Banana, apples. Dried dark fruits of raisins and figs. A toffee sweetness, and candied sugar, that gives this almost a fruitcake like flavor. Outstanding, and complex as hell. I am not doing justice here.
M/O: A big full body that is creamy and smooth. Beautifully crisp carbonation that becomes so smooth this is otherworldly in that regard. Light warming alcohol, but other than that, something I can keep coming back to over and over again. Superlative drinkability (yes I used that word).

A fantastic example of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. While sipping on this at the bar, some of my friends had been raving about a wine they were drinking at the moment. I know it is hard to compare these two beverages, but having some of the wine I could tell it was flabby, week and nowhere near the depth of this. Which shows some beers, and this one in particular can compete in every respect to its grape based companion. Fantastic all around.

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Photo of anon
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of those beers you look at over and over and finally get. One of those beers you wondered why you waited so long to do so.

A deep, dark ruby/bronze hue. Thick, creamy two finger head that sustains itself for quite some time. Over the top retention, a small layer of foam never ceasing to dissipate, even at the end, with traces of lace hanging on throughout.

Smells quite sweet. Candy, berries, toffee. Dark fruit; raisin, plum, fig. Black cherry, Oak, soil, malt, booze. Sweet forward on the tongue. Lucious candy and caramel sweetness coats your mouth and leaves you smacking your lips. Very fruity and tasty; raisin, plum, fig, juniper berry, grape. Heavy grain and malt undertones. Leathery and earthy. Boozy and heavy. Light spice.

Definitely full bodied, thick, rich, creamy, smooth and boozy. The heavy sweetness lingers but gives way to a slightly bitter earthy attribute that mellows things out. An absolutely excellent ale overall. I can imagine drinking this back in the times it was inspired. A somewhat simpler time. The Golden Dragon leaves it's mark.

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Photo of Bubshab
4.71/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into an over-sized wine glass. Probably gave about 1.5 fingers of head. Stayed around for a while before receding to the edges. Golden-bronze coloured hue, with a little light getting through.

Smell: Awesome, almost like a 'dark stone fruit-bowl', toffee/caramel, sweet bread

Taste: Just like the smell, perfectly sweet, boozy in the finish

Mouth-feel: Nearly full, low carbonation, boozy fruit in the aftertaste.

Overall: An excellent beer, equal to the (if not the) best beers I've had.

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Photo of f1nke
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into small snifter. Dark color.
Fruit, almost sour smell.
Lots of flavor profiles. Fruit, nut, oak, candy, etc. Very bubbly. Smooth start and slightly rough finish. Not enough to make me stop drinking though.

Great overall brew, looking forward to discovering more in this style.

 287 characters

Photo of Dinglehacker
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into snifter. Persistent beige head that fades to faint lace. Dark, dark ruby color.

Faint sour berry smell, with roasted nuts.

Taste: nut brown, strong alcohol undertones. Finish is a little rough. Challenging feel, leaves the mouth a little dry.

Heavy beer. Good beer. One to savor. Since it comes in a four pack, make it last.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.79/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer pours a dark ruby color with a large sustaining head. The aroma hits me with fresh dark fruit, red currant, plum, black cherry, as well as bubblegum and rose hip. The flavor starts with red currant and black cherry, with a nice tart-sweet balance, as well as bubblegum, subtle banana, and a rich candy flavor at the end. The mouthfeel is full but wonderfully fizzy. Overall this is a spectacular beer providing waves of flavor that crash over my tongue, each proving a new level to examine.

 500 characters

Photo of NateDyk47
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: medium brown, light tan head, minimal lacing
S: raisins/prunes
T: sweet, raisins & plums, mild bitter aftertaste
F: heavier body, but light carbonation

Typically not a fan of this style of beer, but this one's pretty good.

 228 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A; cloudy; medium brown in color; 1 finger khaki head that receded to a splotchy cap; no lacing;

S: raisin, cherry, black pepper, a little perfumy;

T: vanilla, raisin, over ripe peach; the grape in canned fruit cocktail; lightly bitter finish that increases slightly in the aftertaste;

M: medium bodied; moderate to high carbonation - prickly; alcohol is warming, but not hot;

O: very nicely done;

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Photo of woodychandler
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I know that I am supposed to be laser-focused on CANs right now, but a) I purchased a mixed-six box of Belgian bottles recently and b) a homebrewer friend wants the stubby empties. That's fine with me since I usually just fill them with gasoline, get a paper towel wick, light it aflame and pitch it through either a Starbucks or a Wells Fargo Bank window. This way, it keeps me a) out of mischief and b) in beer. Win-win, I think it is referred to as being.

I gently prised the cap off of the bottle, but as I was finishing Pop!ping it open, I began to get some foaming through the neck of the bottle. Consequently, my pour was extremely gentle, so as not to rouse any potential lees. A swirl in the glass raised a finger of fizzy, deep-tan/light-brown head with extremely limited retention. It was as if it could not wait to lay back down & take a nap. Or maybe that was me, extrapolating. Color was a hazy Brown to Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27). Nose smelled of dried, dark fruits - (think raisins, prunes, dates, figs) as well as caramel, treacle/molasses, leather and a simple fusel alcohol heat to remind you that the Draak (Dragon) is in charge! Time to hop on its back & go for a ride! The first sip landed on my tongue like it had been scooped out from its source and plopped onto my tongue in a dollop! The taste was neither as sweet nor as hot as the nose had led me to gird myself for. The leather was certainly there and it it was more towards dates & figs than raisins & prunes. Still, it was not playing around. I drank a cheap Minhas product on Sunday & it had the same effect, just much less subtle. Then, it was a sledgehammer to the back of the head while now was akin to an iron glove enrobed in velvet & to my mouth, rather than my brain-housing group. Warming, I began to get notes of brandy & sherry & my thoughts wandered to all of the strippers that I have known over the years: Brandy, Sherry, Cinnamon, China, Candy et al. I kid you not, my 1993 deployment to Roosey Roads, P.R. saw me spending a LOT of time at the sadly now-defunct Papa Joe's! My second gentle pour from the bottle saw a little more clarity beginning to develop, but I do not know how I could have gotten around that initial foaming. Being that it was warmer than it had been initially, it was really starting to bring the heat! I would like to add port to that earlier list. If this were the days before I contracted adult-onset asthma, I would be smoking a cigar with this! Finish was hot, dry, very much a sipper. The leathery fruitiness lingered well after each swallow & I waved with a heavy heart as Draak the Dragon flew off to her next stop. At least, I have a lovely bottle opener to remember her by!

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Photo of Mark13
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Bottle 27.01.17, stored about 9 months. Aroma of flowers, fruits, caramel, bread and little alcohol. Ruby coloured beer, slightly hazy. Two fingered tan head, reduces to flat with little lacing. Sweet in taste - fruits, caramel, bread. Sour aftertaste of plums, grain, yeast. Low bitterness, very high carbonation, which spoils tasting. Alcohol is strongly perceptible. Full body, thick texture are tiring even for dessert beer. Not bad, but I’ve expected more.

 463 characters

Photo of mkh012
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark maroon or purple with a finger of chunky tan head. Smells of grapes, plums, brown sugar, a slight medicinal phenolic note. Taste explodes with sticky-sweet grape and plum, slight vinous notes, a balancing breadiness. World-class and classically Belgian in its ability to be both medium bodied and rich and still somehow effervescent. I find this one a bit more tart and bright than other BSDAs, but in a good way. More grape than traditional "dark fruit" like raisins or figs. Over $20 a 4-pack where I'm from but worth it. An A+ Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

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Photo of outdoor7or24
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz poured into snifter.
A: pours a deep burnt orange body, frothy off white +1 finger foam head, spotty lacing, carbonation
S: apricot, toasted malt, caramel, oak, boozy
M: medium creamy body
T: sweet apricot, fruits, boozy, oak, vanilla, some spice, Belgian candy sugar, some phenolic taste
O: great brew, solid triple Belgian

 337 characters

Photo of staubot
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy Caramel colour with a thick golden head that remains for awhile to seal things in and decent lacing

A nice strong floral malt scent permeates the layer of head .

A sharp karate chop of flavor to the mouth gives way to a caramel chocolate cherry mix with a alcoholic taste that is not off putting or a astringent but goes well with the more complex taste

Crisp seltzer-like with e pleasant aftertaste.

I never give spoilers by looking at rating here first and figured I was somehow over rating but this is just a damn good beer. So complex and full of life packaged in a great bottle!

 595 characters

Photo of tekstr1der
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Looks about as Belgian as it gets, this pour murky brown with lasting, clingy tan pillow top. Aroma is rich - sweet candi sugar, toffee, and malt. Flavor is almost the same - sweet malt and dark fruits - raisins and plums - with a twang of yeast, finishing ever so slightly tart and dry. This is what I like in this genre. Wow.

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Photo of chicagobeerguy
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

L: A dark dark maroon, small head, lacing

S: Dark fruits, chocolate, smores, a forest floor, the color purple, lightly toasted malts and graham cracker

T: Very complex, are variety of flavors and feels, starts off dark and chocolaty with the grapes and dark fruit and then turns into the sweet malts and toasted graham cracker.

F: Quite carbonated although feels smooth going down, quite light for a dark ale.

O: Quality brew, could see myself drinking this with a nice chicken or pork dish

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Photo of Moose90
3.42/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Stubby white bottle, served at room temperature and poured into a 16oz tulip for tasting.

A — Pours out with a dark ruby brown hue into the glass, there is a very tall, bubbly cream colored head that forms and resides above the beer. The head settles a bit and leaves behind spots of lacing along the inside of the glass that are quite thick and heavy.

S — Smell is strongly phenolic and brings some sharp notes of dark fruit, yeast, pepper, cherry, caramel.

T — Taste is much like the nose, though not as assertive, there are notes of sweet caramel, light chewy tannic fruit character, roasted malts, light bitter coffee component. Big yeasty kick to round things out.

M — Medium-Full bodied and a bit sharp with an apparent alcohol heat.

O — A fine beer in its own right, it is just a bit too sharp and hot for my tastes, perhaps this should be chilled slightly before consumption.

 900 characters

Photo of Capn_Offal
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A delicious and beautiful brew, which wisks you away on a cloud of pearlescent bubbles over a smooth yet undulating amber sea of dreams. The refreshing breeze of hops gently carries you through flights of golden dragons all drinking flights of this glorious beer. Take time out of your day to experience this beer if you have yet to do so. From pour to finalé, take in every drop and take your time while doing so. You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From bottle, pours hazy dark brown with big head but disappeared to a half finger or just under. Aroma plum, dark fruits, caramel, brown sugar, prunes. Taste caramel, toffee, plumes, raisin, spices, the alcohol is very well hidden.

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Photo of josanguapo
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From elcervecero. In La Trappe chalice. Watching Worst Week 1x09-10. After the Westy12, and very close to it, this is the best in ita style. I only miss a bit more carbonation.

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.81/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Interesting little stubby bottle that is Hugglemonster white in color....the beer?...well its a rich dark ruby/brown color and is yeast hazed in a very creamy way....the head is caramel colored, densely built, and retains very well, leaving behind a thick-ish layer over the beer itself! The lacing is excellent with a nice uneven bubble grid all around, however, it doesn't cling very well after movement, and is slightly oily on the side of the glasses' surface....still, a very impressive look!

S- Deep, rich caramel notes, with yeasty, malty molasses and brown sugar/sugar cane....nearly mapled aromas. Milk chocolate, dark fruits such as honeyed prunes, hints of boozy banana, and slight malted booziness. The finish is long and cloying....intense all throughout!

T- There is an entire medley of exploding flavors on the palate....most likely too many to analyze! Deep toffee/caramel/molasses, slight maple, autumn/pumpkin pie spices,(think nutmeg), light cinnamon notes, dried dark fruits such as plum, figs, raisins, black cherry....even apples.....Slightly rummy! Yeasty cake like sweetness that could be taken as ginger bread/cake...semi sweet, with a finish that reminds me of milk chocolate blended with a small amount of freshly brewed coffee....the finish on the plate is surprisingly clean, yet there is a lingering sticky depth that makes me want the next sip immediately!

M/O- Overall, this is an incredible brew that I cannot believe I have not had up until this point! I can only imagine this on tap and can only imagine even more how this would be aged! Tight carbonation, buttery smooth and this is probably the most well hidden alcohol that I have ever experienced within a beer, especially for 10.5%! I need a case of this on hand at all times and look forward to a trip to Belgium because of this lovely nectar! Most recommended......

 1,873 characters

Photo of flyingpig
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle from Beers of Europe website (£3.49):
Really nice with lots of complexity & a huge amount of flavour backed up with strong alcohol & a nice, warming feel that makes it ideal to sip away at over the course of an hour or two. Despite still being noticeable, the alcohol content certainly isn't overdone with the dark fruits & sweetness helping mask some of it & helping the beer down easier.

 403 characters

Photo of gfanikf
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The light color can throw you off at first, but once you get past the first taste, you get an incredibly rich and flavorful drink that doesn't feel heavy or oppressive to the tounge like many other high abv beers.

 213 characters

Photo of Arthuros
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Great dark blonde triple, with a honeyish taste and a strong sweetness. Strong ABV, strong taste, little happiness.
Quite refreshing if cold, gets heavy if warm quickly, avoid pints.

A great beer though, probably goes well with cheese.

 237 characters

Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark Triple? Interesting description of the style. Brown sugar, caramel, toffee notes throughout. The ABV is very well masked. I would like to try their Quad (9000) and compare. This beer is well worth a visit.

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 1,310 ratings.
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