Gulden Draak | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

3,932 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: 3,932 |  Reviews: 1,339
Photo of Lawnboy33
5/5  rDev +19%

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4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

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3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

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5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of sjstraub
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of jmhart
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -4.8%

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3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of Jspriest
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of justintcoons
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of TurdFurgison
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Agold
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of liquoredgoat
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with an aggressive near-caramel colored inch thick head that dissipates to a lingering foam, now ivory. The beer is an autumn leaf, syrup brown with golden hues.

S - Nose is sweet with honey, plums, whiskey, and faint cinnamon.

T - Palate is honey, dry cereal, alcohol, wheat grass. The finish is white wine dry, with alcohol nuzzling the throat for a good while.

M - A medium body with great carbonation. One of those Belgians that you just hold in your cheeks for a stretch simply for the frothy sensation.

O - This is world class stuff, and definitely a definitive example of the style. Maybe the best example. In order to see if it trumps Chimay Blue, I will have to do repeated tastings of both. Lucky me.

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Photo of Teleweizen2
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - this beer pours a murky, opaque burgundy/brown. a light tan foam dissipates quickly to a mere film, leaving just a slight bit of lacing.

S - the aroma is quite unique. chocolate is most prominent. notes of caramel, banana, raisins, and spice round out the complex aroma.

T - a toasty, nutty malt character on the forefront, which adds a light herbal bitterness as it warms on the tongue. the notes of spicy yeast, dark malts, and high alcohol elicit flavors of rum raisin and banana bread. the finish is long and sweet.

M - the ale has an almost buttery character. medium bodied with a mild carbonation.

O - a very interesting ale, perfect for winter/cold weather consumption.

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Photo of barleyroad
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is amber in color and pours nice with a nice balance of foam. Smell, there is a hint of hops and notes of roasting. Mouthfeel is clean and crisp, no after taste. Taste, HOPPY, yea, Oh this is a barley wine in our book. Overall this is a nice drinking beer. This will go well with fried oysters..

 306 characters

Photo of spinrsx
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a brown colour with a large fizzy beige coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some great lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for 4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Chocolate, butterscotch, malts, raisins, yeast, spices

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste lots of dark fruit - cherries, and raisins, mixed with malts and a hint of chocolate and butterscotch. There is also some banana taste and a bit of coriander/all-spice. It ends with a dark fruit sweet aftertaste.

Overall – What a fantastic tasting beer. I can't believe how well the alcohol is hidden and it is truly a dream to drink. I was a little disappointed in it's boring appearance in the glass but the taste and smell more than makes up for it. This is a world class beer that is a must try.

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Photo of evlu1441
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a mixed sampler six-pack from van Steenberge. This is probably their most famous beer as far as I can tell (maybe tied with Piraat), and I'm very excited to see what it has in store for me.

It pours a dark, murky, reddish-brown with a substantial head that settles down to about a finger over the beer. There is a lot of carbonation rushing to the top and some slight lacing as well.

The aroma has lots of banana and sugar cane/rum coming through to start. There is also a distinct aroma of leather and it is also is slightly doughy with a hint of black pepper. A fantastic aroma if you ask me!

The flavour is much lighter than I would have expected for such a dark beer. That doesn't mean that it's lacking flavour by any means. It is very sweet off the bat, with notes of banana and graham cracker coming through clearly. It also has some dark dried fruit flavours in the background and some faint toffee as well.

Overall, this is one of the best beers I've had in a long while. Great stuff!

 1,009 characters

Photo of jsprain1
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Cocoa brown with a thick tan head that drops down to a quarter inch. Some lacing.
S- Smell is a rich malty dark fruit quality. Dark cherries and there is a light banana like quality.
T- It's very heavy on the dark fruits. It's very fig like. There is also a dark caramel flavor to it. There is also a sugary, like brown sugar, flavor. Finish has a bourbon-like note to it.
M- Fairly firm body. Aggresive carbonation. Finish is overly hot though. Uncomfortably so.
O- A well-made BSDA, but in comparison I'd prefer Trois Pistoles, especially given the price.

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Photo of BMoldy
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Large frothy light-brown head crowns an almost opaque chestnut brew. Fantastic retention and good lacing as well.

S: Lots of dark fruity esters complemented by rich toasted malts and rounded out by a lush herbal hoppiness.

T: Dark, caramel-like sweetness mixes with ripe plums and almost earthy raisins. Mild bitterness mostly serves to hold back the malt. The dark fruits are what really stick out here. Long, complex finish with hints of licorice and toffee.

M: Heavy mouthfeel with a very robust carbonation that renders the beer slightly creamy. Slightly astringent on the finish and maybe a tad hot as it goes down.

O: A nice, rich beer that packs a kick and represents its style well. While the mixture of fruits and sweetness was appealing, I would have liked to see a slightly more complex malt bill. I imagine some more burnt notes would go well with this beer. But hey, that's just me. Definitely a keeper, though, and worth going back to.

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Photo of Digimaika2
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have been holding on to this bottle for about a year. Bottle labelled best before: 3/6/2012.

A: Pours a dark amber or bloody orange colour with a hearty foam head that quickly dissipates. Thin blanket rests on top with sporadic patches of foam throughout.

S: Caramel-like malts, tropical fruits (banana & pineapple), dark fruits (figs & cherries), bittersweet molasses, and maple syrup qualities. Very nice.

T: Taste is actually a little more subdued than the aromas indicated - I'm assuming as a result of the aging. Malts aren't as biting and upfront and are mellower with only fragments of caramel and molasses coming through. Fruits are more subdued as well, and take on more of a very tasty berry quality (raspberries & strawberries). Slight sour notes poke through which I'm favourable of. Alcohol superbly hidden considering the ABV.

M: Medium body with a medium carbonation. Appropriate for the style.

D: I might have to put aside a couple more bottle of this to age (although it will be hard to do). Without a doubt, aged or not, one of the best belgian strong ales I've ever had. This is definitely the measuring stick for me when it comes to this style.

 1,171 characters

Photo of CowsCanBark
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a single 12 oz. bottle of this at my local store. Poured it into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Just beautiful. Pours out a dark brown with a thick, pillowy light brown three finger head. The head slowly dissipates into a one finger head. The color is a dark amber when held up to the light. Nice, very nice. There is a bit of lacing as I drink.

Smell: Smells of sweet booze, floral notes, malts, caramel. Just a bit of metallic smell, but not that it takes away from it.

Taste: Taste is amazing. It is very sweet, boozy, and tastes of caramelized fruits, like plums. Not really any bitterness, and the alcohol is hidden exceptionally well.

Mouthfeel: So nice. Very light carbonation with a very light syrupy kind of consistency. The drinkability is very high, which is surprising for the alcohol content.

Overall: A great beer that gives an amazing head with the sweet smell of caramelized plums and an almost syrup like mouthfeel, much like the women I prefer. Highly recommended.

 998 characters

Photo of ericj551
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Gulden Draak pours a hazy red brown with a beautiful fluffy, foamy off white head that doesn't quit. The aroma is sweet, with tons of ripe fruit and estery, slightly chalky yeast. Sweet, syrupy malt hits upfront in the flavor, dying down just a bit as the esters fade. The fruitiness in there, with some nice, slightly burnt caramel. There is some bitterness in the finish, and the fruity esters linger. Dark malty flavor lingers in the aftertaste. The alcohol is present, but light considering the strength. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with plenty of fizzy carbonation.

 578 characters

Photo of ikantspel
4.74/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle served into a duvel tulip

pours a dark oak brown. creamy 2 finger head.

dark fruits with toasty malts. a little bit of banana in there. can this smell any better

slightly boozy at first. mostly taste a kinda maple syrup and malt flavor. this is beyond good

this is so damn good. i really cant wait to try their quad thats coming out.

 351 characters

Photo of Jimmys
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle into long stemmed tulip.

A: gotta note the head first, brownish/white head begins bustling, diminishes, but still has good retention. beautiful sticky lacing all over the glass. very hazy reddish brown hue.

S: apples and pears. so fruity. grapes. figs. what other fruits can i pick from here... otherwise, brown sugar and a little bit of heat.

T: maple syrup. a lot of sugar on the palate. works very well with the fusel alcohol flavor. fruitiness similar to the nose. definitely apples in the finish. a spicy pepper flavor as well.

M: moderate, a bit on the lighter side, carbonation on a full body.

D: nice to see such a recently bottled brew that is not too hot. especially on this big of a body. great fruit and sweetness. very enjoyable belgian.

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Photo of minnesotaryan
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep dark amber with a lot of cream colored foam on top of it.

Smell: Sweet dark fruit, yeast and alcohol.

Taste: Caramel malt, dark cherry, the yeast provides some spice, very sweet, very complex, a nice alcohol burn is ever present.

Mouthfeel: medium mouth feel, not too heavy and not too thin. It lingers but not in a bad way.

Overall: This is a wonderfully complex beer, very much a sipper. I do not think I could drink these every day, but when the opportunity arises, this is a great beer for sharing with friends.

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Gulden Draak from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.2 out of 5 based on 3,932 ratings.
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