Gulden Draak | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,325 Reviews
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
Reviews:
1,325
Ratings:
3,872
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
11.43%
 
 
Wants:
305
Gots:
838
For Trade:
3
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,325 | Ratings: 3,872
Photo of bylerteck
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Brown to dark brown with red notes when held up to the light. Hazy with strong carbonation and a half finger off white head that sticks around.

S - Yeast, alcohol, prunes, dates, molasses, candi sugar.

T - Tons of boozy prunes and dates with some of that molasses again. Candi sweetness that might be a little too much for me but still works.

M - Very smooth with a little bit of carbonation.

D - Great flavours but far too sweet. A good beer nonetheless. A good dark strong Belgian ale. One of the first where I began to pick up dark fruit notes so it has a bit of nostalgic clout in my books. Mellow, smooth, boozy, and highly drinkable.

 648 characters

Photo of Mosmo
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle poured into a weizen

A: dark brownish carbonated cola look large sticky frothy tan head that sticks around for a bit

S: toffee, sweet, hints of dark red fruits and faint floral notes

T: caramel, grape, spicy pepper, bitter, noticeable alcohol taste as it moves over the palate and quickly dissipates

M: slightly carbonated mouthy feel. Sticky, hops balancing with malt to the brink of sweetness.

O: Very nice filling brew. Seems the warmer this beer, the more the alcohol aftertaste stands out. Will definitely buy more but not for the hot days.

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Photo of Admiraldinty
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brownish amber in color (not an especially appealling hue) with an incredibly fluffy head. Very honey-like smell with a honey-like sweetness and a bit of peppery spice towards the end. Somewhat smooth-drinking, however the high alcohol content, and overpowering sweetness cause this beer to lose points in the drinkability category. Definitely an after-dinner beer.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown with orange highlights. A HUGE head nearly explodes out of the glass before receding slowly over 5 minutes or so to a thickish film which stayed to the bottom of the glass. Head is a nice tan color but dichotomous in nature; creamy on top with much bigger bubbles below.
Smell is rich, sweet, malt, spice, dark fruits with a hint of hops and smoke. Wonderful balance.
Taste is malt, spice, alcohol, rich dark fruits(raisins, plums, figs?) & oranges, and hints of hops and smoke again. Alcohol is noticeable but far from overpowering. There is a touch of a metallic taste in the aftertaste which is otherwise quite smooth.
Mouthfeel: medium bodied, light carbonation, smooth, semi-rich, warming slightly.
Drinkability: even at 10.5% ABV I'd gladly drink several of these bad boys (11.2 oz. bottles). Not the greatest of the style but well up the ladder and well worth the time.

 899 characters

Photo of mattcrill
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

What a pleasant departure for me! Not sure I would do this very often but a nice change of pace. Served in a brandy snifter type glass which helped bring out the nectar-like aromas. Color is reddish-brown with a nice but not over-powering head. Very silky in the mouth and a sweetness that could get over powering. A good starter or finisher but not sure I'd hang my hat on this one the whole night. If you want a refreshing change, this is a winner. Went great with the chicken quesadillas I had.

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Photo of Prufrock
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

stubby little 11.2 oz. white bottle poured into a pint glass.

murky light brown with an effervescing off-white head that falls quickly. a few chunky globs (coagulated proteins?) that settle after a few impatient minutes.

sweet, sugary, fruity alcoholic aroma. caramel, carob, yeast, prunes, and candi sugar.

sweet and incredibly pleasant. candi sugar and prunes appear once again in the flavor, with a touch of sweetness and alcohol in the finish. sweet but in a subtle, enjoyable way. prickly carbonation and a medium mouthfeel. nothing incredibly adventurous about it, but it could be a regular dessert-type sipping beer.

 632 characters

Photo of audiojon
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid brew, the 10.5% abv is not noticeable at all. Nice appearance, dark ruby w/ beautiful lacing. Aroma is good, not great, but inviting. Taste is solid, but nothing shocking. Not extremely complex, I've come to expect more from Belgians than this has to offer. I'd drink it again, but would probably gravitate towards other Belgians when given a choice.

Worth a try, I could see it being a favorite for some.

 416 characters

Photo of korndog
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Gulden Draak snifter at 57F. Massive head stuck around for a bit leaving some intricate lacing. Color is somewhat lighter and redder than I was expecting. A very presentable pour. Nose was malt, candi syrup, slight dark-fruit; not sure if it was my nose today, but not much happening on the aroma side for me. Taste was spot on, with fabulous carbonation fanning the sweet vapors back into my nose. Lots more going on here than in nose, with figs, tobacco, cherry notes. Belgian fruity yeast character present but not over the top. All in all, a fine beer.

 568 characters

Photo of krisandajt
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark, cola-brown color with a huge 2+ inches worth of slightly yellowish head. Fairly impressive retention, thick chunks of lacing.

Smell: Sweet, almost like molasses it's so sweet, with some dark candied fruits. Not overly complex, and a bit underwhelming IMO.

Taste: Sweet, but not as much as the nose indicated (thank goodness). Still getting plenty of sweet candied fruit, raisins stick out the most. Getting a slight hint of booziness, but at 10.5% ABV it's almost expected.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium body, good carbonation. Drinks pretty nice.

Drinkability: An enjoyable beer with some good flavors. I could definitely see myself picking up some more of this brew.

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Photo of bobhits
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

These Belgian beers always do an amazing job creating massive head. This beer has the near explosive levels of carbonation of a Duvel, but is vastly thicker and more creamy. The body is cherry colored, extremely cloudy, and dense.

A blend of cherry, date, fig, rum, and finishing a few spices.

I don't really get the hype on this one. A lot of complex fruity flavors soaked in spiced rum. There's a lot of intense flavor here which I suppose is a big selling point, but the strong alcohol notes really confuse this one. The finish as it warms is taking on a butter scotch flavor that is drowning out some of the alcohol. I really like how this beer is warming up, this one i think is best room temp.

Rather thick with a lack of carbonation in the glass. A bit too much alcohol at first, but it subsides a good bit.

Beautiful beer that has an extremely unique flavor profile for this style. I very well might consider trying this one again. That said at 10.3% it isn't something I'll look for often.

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Photo of jlb307
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a goblet.

A: Pours a nice clear dark reddish brown. Not many bubbles, but had a nice off-white fluffy head that retained well. Developed one or two pools of bubbles on the surface as well.

S: Maybe I'm just not feeling too well, but I wasn't getting much of an aroma. I caught mild hints of ripe fruit and a little malt.

T: Very smooth taste with a little alcohol bite to it. Mild notes of malt, vanilla, and cherry with a yeasty aftertaste. Very pleasant taste. Almost like a mild quad.

M: Just the right balance with the carbonation. Velvety smooth with a little spice.

D: Really good beer that's not too powerful, but definitely a sipper.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big light tan head settles into a pretty nice lacing above a well carbonated dark reddish amber colored beer.

Dark fruits (grapes and apricots) and sour grains dominate the aroma that is tinted with a bit of alcohol.

A light alcohol undermines a dark fruits and roasted grains and a slight sour taste.

A dry aftertaste with some of the dark fruits and light sourness stick around on this medium to full bodied beer.

A bit to much of the sour grains or sour grapes maybe on this for me, it seems it starts out pretty good and as I drink it the more the sour grapes keep coming to the forefront.

 597 characters

Photo of CanuckRover
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark cloudy copper. Soap bubble head with good lacings.

Blackcurrants and alcohol on the nose.

Creamy mouth feel at first followed by some hot carbonation under the tongue. Bittersweet malt with lots of vinous fruits. A sharp, long finish with warming alcohol.

A bit strong to toss back, but certainly a tasty beer.

 326 characters

Photo of tempest
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice dark pour with a bit of head. Smells spicey with a little dark fruit. Tastes nice, but is a touch simple for such a strong belgian. Flavor sticks with the belgian spices and dark fruit and does expand within those tastes. Yes there's a nice figs flavor, but thats it. No alcohol present, and thats inpressive for a 10.5 beer. It's a good dark belgian, but I didn't find anything new or surprising. Reminds me of Chimay Blue.

 431 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at World of Beer in WPB. Served in a tulip.

Appearance - Murky brown body with an ample cream colored head. Surprising head on it, but maybe just because it's on tap. A minimal amount of lacing graces the surface of the beer.

Smell - I get bananas and apples. The apples have a slight tang to them. Some dark fruits. The description on the menu said toffee, but I don't get that over the fruits. A bit of booze in the nose, too.

Taste - Again, a bit of banana from the yeastiness, followed by a strange citrus tang that accompanies the dark fruits prevalent in Belgian darks. It's not bad, it's just not what I expect at all. A complex flavor, to be sure.

Mouthfeel - The flavor is good and I guess they're going for the tripel style, but I'm not liking it. It makes it dry and spicy in the finish when I want it thick and smooth. A strange hybrid of styles that I don't necessarily appreciate.

Overall - Good flavor, for sure. Nothing I haven't tasted before, but still good. I just don't like the dryness in the finish.

 1,033 characters

Photo of tone77
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a white 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of dark fruits and alcohol. Taste is good, fruit and spice, some alcohol. Feels full bodied in the mouth and has decent drinkability. Overall this is a high quality brew.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark, red bronze in color, with a very minimal head that dissipates super fast.

Aroma is bready, sweet caramel malts, with some noticeable alcohol and roasted notes.

Taste is much of the same with sweet malts, caramel and noticeable alcohol sting, along with some brandy-like qualities.

Feel is solid medium in body, minimal carbonation and a slight creaminess.

Very enjoyable, but the alcohol puts a damper on the drinkability. 1 is satisfying.

 450 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.

 340 characters

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

Brouwerij Van Steenberge 'Gulden Draak' @ 10.5% , served from a 330 ml bottle purchased for $3.60
A-pour is gold from the bottle to a murky amber in the glass with a medium size beige head leaving a streaky lace along the chalice
S-big & boozey from the pour
T-start is big & boozey , with a bitter finish
MF-ok carbonation , full body
Ov-big beer for such a small bottle
prost LampertLand

 389 characters

Photo of Sigmund
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

RBESG 2006 in Göteborg, Grand Tasting. 750 ml bottle, ABV is 11.5%. Chestnut colour. INTENSE sweet aroma of oak and fortified wine, spicy notes. Oaky and spicy flavour, warming mouthfeel as expected from an 11.5% ABV beer. No thirstquencher this one, but an interesting sipping beer.

 284 characters

Photo of berley31
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured with a small head that dissipated to a thin film. Body is a dark brown color, and very hazy. Tiny bit of spider-web lacing on the glass.

S: VERY fruity aroma, with the dark fruits most apparent. Grapes / raisins shine through over everything else.

T: Sweet at first, with the raisins coming through again. Actually finishes fairly dry, which quickly keeps the sweetness from lingering on the palate. Surprisingly, the alcohol is barely detectable.

M: Light-body, medium-creamy texture, and very fizzy carbonation.

D: A tasty, fruity Belgian Strong Dark.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is a dark amber color, definitely some brown notes to it with a finger and a half of khaki head.

S: Tons of bubblegum and banana aroma. Some clove notes to go along with it. A bit of caramel and brown sugar along with dark fruits such as plums and black cherries.

T: Quite sweet with tons of banana, dark fruit, and dark sugar flavors such as brown sugar and caramel. Quite a bit of bubblegum flavor as well. Mild alcohol and spice notes, as well as some yeast, provide depth.

M Medium in body with a fairly high level of carbonation.

O: One of those classic beers and one that I still enjoy a decent amount. Not a favorite, but solid.

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Photo of JAStheAce
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Gulden Draak pours out steaming from this very cool white-washed 750 ml bottle which masks the beast's secret! Dark brown with fiery red accents. I was shocked to see the bottle say "tripel" and have it pour out dark brown as I am used to seeing tripels in their traditional golden color. very nice looking rocky brown head about that took up about half my my tulip glass. This beer smells fiery peppery and fruity. Taste overwhelms the palate at first and is hot and spicy throughout with some serious alcohol and flavor. Substantial body and did I mention it is a spicy brew that really warms you up. Good stuff here.

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Photo of mickstepp
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was lucky enough to find this on tap at Teller's in Hyde Park. Served in an authentic Gulden Draak tulip glass. Dark brown/amber pour with a nice frothy head. Spicy nutmeg aromas. Silky mouthfeel. Light malt profile. Lightly hopped. Very yeasty and bready. The taste of the high alcohol is muted by the spicy malty notes. Very nicely balanced. A good beer.

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

Hard to tell from the dating code, but I think this bottle is from 2010.

Dark chestnut in color. Tripel Karmeliet glass gave the head some oomph. Started with a solid two inches. Lacing is having trouble committing to stick, but the cap is nice. Buttermilk-colored foam with glistening bubbles.

Indescript aromas of dark fruits, yeastiness, and nuts. A very sweet alcohol note asserts itself as the undercurrent. Raisin, creme de cacao, dried fig, and toffee notes. A pretty creamy aroma that I forgot that it had. That booze is under a pretty big blanket of Belgian malts and yeast strains. There's even something green in the nose, like aged hops.

Dried fruits and nuts, like trail mix, plus lively yeast esters and a strong booziness dominate. Some light cherry, fig, raisin, hints of overripe banana, and a touch of apricot. More of a roasty character to this beer, like coffee, than in most other Belgian Strong Darks. Clove-y spice. There's a milky flavor that adds to the other components, like fruit cake dredged in half-n-half. Finishes on the clean side, with nuances from the yeast carrying over slightly.

Body is surprisingly thinner, like a staunch medium. Carbonation still has a little fun driving bubbles around. Can't really fault the booziness. It's the nature of the beast.

I haven't had this particular brew in awhile (and, it used to be a Belgian bar staple for me back in the day). I can't say that I still enjoy it as much, but it's still a fine ale, worthy of a recommendation.

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Gulden Draak from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.2 out of 5 based on 3,872 ratings.
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