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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:
#818
Reviews:
1,350
Ratings:
3,983
pDev:
11.32%
Bros Score:
4.42
 
 
Wants:
315
Gots:
889
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,983 |  Reviews: 1,350
Photo of wingnutz27
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Beer_Belly
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%

Photo of IanSpindler
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of imfrigginfly
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Rollzroyce21
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of diodeelph
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

Photo of JokineAugustus
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of alelover
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Abnrml
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Herky21
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of beeragate
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of Element1290
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Michael_d_Thompson
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of jamiecoppin
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of ADTaber
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of HollyHops
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Cuttooth
4.73/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

After giving the worst pour of all time into my Duvel glass, I think that I am ready to try Gulden Draak. Thankfully I am not disappointed. The smell of this beer is almost that of a tripel, with clove and banana flavors. On the other hand, it also produces a dark fruit smell, of plums and licorice. Alright, I'm pretty intrigued, so let's get into the taste. Holy damn. I am not disappointed, as a rush of plum, fig, raspberry and clove come to destroy my palette. The lacing on this beer is extraordinary, as it goes down all the way throughout the glass. Mouthfeel is pretty good, with high carbonation, not as much as Duvel, but still pretty high for a BSDA. Overalll, this is one of the best dark ales that I've had, and am looking forward to trying this again in the future.

 781 characters

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