Gulden Draak | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

3,951 Ratings
Gulden DraakGulden Draak

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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Ratings: 3,951 |  Reviews: 1,344
Photo of MassiveBeerReviews
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of mlhenson
2.5/5  rDev -40.5%

Photo of BeerzMcKenzie
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of DavyJones
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of draheim
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330mL into a chalice. Pours a crystal-clear mahogany w/ a 1-finger off-white head, ample carb.

Aroma is rich bready malt, dark sweet fruits (raisins/plums); pretty subtle but nice.

Taste is sweet dark malt and candi sugar. Really clean & simple; booze is imperceptible.

Mouthfeel is smooth and velvety, w/ a crisp dry finish.

Overall a classic example of a traditional Belgian strong dark ale.

 397 characters

Photo of mikeycambridge
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of JEdmund
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Maroon/brown body with an off-white foamy head. Head fills the top of the glass nicely, and settles out fairly fast, but leaves behind some good lacing.

Smell is really pleasant and not what I’d expect for a 10.5% dark beer. It reminds me of a nice German dunkel with its apple skins and wine qualities. Certainly fruity, and not at all sugary sweet like I’d expect for a dark Belgian.

Gotta love that bottle conditioning! It’s so carbonated and light and fluffy going down. Really keeps the drinkability dangerously high. Plus it’s dried out enough that it’s far from too sweet. It’s a nicely balanced beer, with good tart qualities that I especially enjoy. There really is a wine- and almost cider-like quality to the flavor. It’s actually pretty refreshing (and I even just mowed the lawn!). As it warms, I get some more sweetness, especially in the finish; it reminds me a bit of the Belgian candy sugar flavor you get in quads. But the finish is still very light and dry thanks to that conditioning.

I can add this to the “Why did I wait so long to try that?” list. Gulden Draak is a widely available, high quality Belgian offering everyone should try. I will look forward to having this again. It would be a good one to split between friends for a nightcap.

 1,284 characters

Photo of twowheelssoar
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of JacobNeverWins
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of soulfly1492
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Sweet and sour. Lots of esters, dates, apple and plums. Dark spices, cinnamon. Peppery. Soft spicy alcohol. No hops. Rich malts, caramel, bread, and just a bit of Munich-like bitterness. Huge, bold aroma.

Appearance: Deep, deep amber. It's hard to tell without the use of a flashlight, but it's very cloudy with lots of tiny particles in suspension. Pours a tall light brown head. Good retention.

Taste: Tons of esters. Raisins, apple and plums. Overall very sweet. Some bitterness associated with the apple, and some spiciness from the cinnamon and alcohol flavors. Just a bit of brown malt flavor. Tastes like a delicious apple cider with cinnamon and a bit of a brown ale mixed in, if that makes sense. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Lots of carbonation, fizzes on the tongue. Medium to full body, which is unusual considering the carbonation level. Quite slick and oily. Just slightly dry at the finish.

Overall: Lots and lots to savor here. Just excellent. I used to be a fan of exclusively US craft breweries, but this one is hard to top by any US brewer. You just can't find a perfect balance like this anywhere else.

 1,126 characters

4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of jmbraxton
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Kirdo
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Jhatwig
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of gnow
1/5  rDev -76.2%

Photo of GregF78
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of Dweedlebug
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Ishogai
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of MattyG85
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark and hazy brownish amber with some ruby red. Pours with a huge off white head that easily takes up the entire space of the tulip. Head slowly fades into a bubbly patchy layer leaving a good amount of lace on the glass.

Smell: Some spicy Belgian yeast and a huge aroma of dark fruits. Big hints of prune juice, raisins, and cherries with some brown sugar, banana, and clove. Also some hints of sweet roasted caramel malts. Alcohol aroma is actually fairly mild.

Taste: Upfront is some Belgian yeast and clove spice. Then comes a big taste of dark fruits with notes of prunes, cherry, and raisins. Also some brown sugar and a hint of banana. A nice taste of roasted caramel malts towards the finish give a bready aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Creamy, juicy, and somewhat prickly. Very smooth with no noticeable alcohol heat.

Overall: A great Belgian ale. Vibrant dark fruits and complex.

 1,021 characters

Photo of buckyp
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of gcgarcia
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of filmguy
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of airbag11
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of adamcthomp
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of JLapadura
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Gulden Draak from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.2 out of 5 based on 3,951 ratings.
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