Gulden Draak | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Gulden DraakGulden Draak
BA SCORE
90.6%
Liked This Beer
4.24 w/ 3,965 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:
#803
Reviews:
1,347
Ratings:
3,965
Liked:
3,592
Avg:
4.24/5
pDev:
11.32%
Alströms:
4.42
 
 
Wants:
315
Gots:
879
Trade:
4
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,965 |  Reviews: 1,347
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4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

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3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of Mervjahn
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of mrzazz
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of KrisDLSmith
3.25/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of Sparky44
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of artoolemomo
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Another Belgium with tons of head but smaller bubbles. This doesn't look like it's going to dissipate as quickly as it is already leaving lacing. The foam is light yellow/beige and the body is maroon/light chestnut brown with a hazy orange that reveals itself when held up to the light. It is receding quicker than expected with slight wisps of lacing. There is much more lacing left after an additional pour but it is pretty much a line around the top of the glass. There is a lot more lacing after a third pour.

Nose- Very odd nose. I got a whiff of pinto bean/black eyed peas. A very umami smell. Better than it sounds. Sort of cheesy, savory. Some notes of Belgian spice, yeast, and apple lingering around the edges. The aroma is quite inviting. There are also some sour notes and rich, appetizing mustiness. I'm quite curious as to whether the flavor profile expresses this.

Taste- It begins with sourness match with citrus fruits and pretty much continues in this manner. You can taste some of the savory, umami aspect at the back of the throat. Not as complex as I would have hoped but that may change. More spice and yeast make themselves known on the second taste. The yeast continues to climb as the sourness descends. Pretty tasty. Could use a couple other notes to put it into truly exceptional territory. Some fungal/funky notes are beginning to appear but with too much malt. It's not an overwhelming amount but starts to appear near the finish.

Mouthfeel- Fairly creamy. Medium bodied with some thinness. It could perhaps use a little more carbonation but overall, it's a pretty solid mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Pretty accessible. The alcohol doesn't really show itself at all. Not as easygoing as Orval but fairly close.

Overall- A very good beer. A. It could warm up and reveal more character and become an A+, but I'm pretty sure this is a solid A.

 1,886 characters

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4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

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2/5  rDev -52.8%

Photo of DiscLizard
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of CurtFromHershey
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful ruby brown with fizzy khaki head which quickly fades to a thin ring. No lacing.

Smell is sharp, poignant, but not entirely unpleasant. A bit of chocolate and spiciness.

Taste is pretty boozy. Fairly bland BSDA flavor, which is not a knock. Nothing sets this apart from other beers of the style I've had though.

Mothfeel is creamy and well carbonated. After it settles in my mouth, it's much thinner than other Belgians.

Overall not a bad beer by any means, but not something I'll likely crave in the future.

 529 characters

Photo of cdmillard
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of harpus
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

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4/5  rDev -5.7%

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4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

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3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

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4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of grahamboudreaux
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of Damian
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 750 ml/25.4 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA
Served in a tulip

Hazy, deep crimson-mahogany. An enormous, bubbly, rocky, sea foam, ecru colored head topped the liquid. As the crown fell, it became frothier and eventually turned into a thick dollop of foam. Sheets of drippy lacing clung to the glass, lasting the entire session.

The nose was outstanding. Super complex and enticing. Tons of banana and clove. Strong raisin and dark fruit notes. Very bready and sweet. Loads of dry, Belgian yeast notes and dark candi sugar. Spicy alcohol. Phenolic, fruity and rich. Hints of apple and pear came through as well.

Like the nose, the flavor profile was also robust and complex, but quite harsh on the finish. Strong malt presence up front. Loads of spices (allspice and clove). Good amount of raisin and dark fruit notes. Banana was also apparent. Initially, the finish contained strong metallic notes and a surprising amount of alcohol heat. As the beer warmed, the metallic notes subsided but the booziness increased.

On the palate, the beer was highly effervescent with lots of tight, tiny bubbles. Super frothy, creamy and slick.

Gulden Draak is a classic Belgian ale and a gateway beer for many. At its price point, it cannot be beat. My only complaint was the amount of alcohol heat on the finish. Even with a year-plus of age on this bottle, it was still quite hot.

 1,409 characters

Photo of mwilbur
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 330 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a dark coppery brown hue with high carbonation producing a 2-3 inch light tan bubbly head. Excellent retention (lasts many, many minutes). Nice lacing too.
S: Dark dried fruit (especially raisins), sweet bready yeast, and notes of spice (cinnamon, clove, and a hint of white pepper). Aroma aerates the surrounding few feet around the glass.
T: Follows aroma perfectly and yet adds strength (the alcohol note) to augment it even further. Simply tremendous. ABV is high and yet the alcohol is perfecting blended in and hidden. Notes of toffee and caramel emerge with warming.
M: Medium body (feels lighter than the ABV would suggest). Sweet and full feel. Alcohol provides only a gentle, background burn. I don't think I've had a 10.5% beer before that has hidden the alcohol so well. Lingers and matures on the palate for several minutes after the sip.
D: Overall this is a phenomenal brew and an outstanding example of style. Excellent drinkability, especially given the ABV.

 1,024 characters

Photo of kawilliams81
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a Pipeworks snifter.

A- pours a dirty, dark copper with a 2" light tan head. Bubble blotches and some trails of lacing remain on the glass.

S- caramel, toffee, brown sugar, dark fruits, bready yeast

T- toffee, brown sugar, dark fruits, bread, spicy Belgian yeast with slight metallic taste.

M- medium body and high carbonation. Light syrup feel with dry finish and slight alcohol burn.

O- good strong ale, nice sweet flavors and dark fruits. I bet with some age the alcohol would mellow and the carbonation might lighten as well.

 567 characters

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3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

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4/5  rDev -5.7%

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4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

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4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Gulden Draak from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 90.6% out of 100 with 3,965 ratings
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