Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,312 Reviews
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Belgium | website

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:
1,312
Ratings:
3,808
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
19.52%
 
 
Wants:
298
Gots:
780
For Trade:
3
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,312 | Ratings: 3,808
Photo of xodin
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark mahogany with minimal head fading fast. Aromas contains some spice, roasted malts, and a hint of fruit, but dissipate soon after the pour. Taste is comprised of rum-like spice notes, dark candy, and roasted malts with a hint of bitterness from the hops peeking through. Smooth and sweet through the swallow with a slightly dry and bitter finish. Fairly well balanced, and warming, but lacks significant complexity and character. An above average brew, but nothing overly exceptional about its quality.

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Photo of greg202stewart
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For the price I was expecting more. It was dark brown with little head and came out like liquid caramel. It went down smooth unfortunately, like caramel it was way too sweet and reminded me of a Sam Adams Seasonal. It is very unique though. Just not my bag baby!

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Photo of association330
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 mL bottle, no freshness date

A - Pours cloudy brown with a faint reddish tinge. A half-finger of tan head drops to a thin cap and thick ring of bubbles. Fair spots of lace.

S - Complex malty sweetness, caramel/brown sugar, hints of dark fruit and Belgian yeast. Faint pepper and alcohol.

T - Follows the nose. Sticky sweet, complex malt character. Dark fruit, faint orange rind, Belgian yeast. Vague pepper and alcohol notes.

M - Medium-bodied, but carbonation is too low. Noticeable alcohol warmth.

D - Nice sipping beer. Needs a touch more crispness, but a bit too sweet and alcoholic to be a real quaffer.

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Photo of hardy008
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reddish brown color with a 2 finger off white head with large bubbles and decent lacing. Smell is dark fruit, especially plums. raisins, and cherries, as well as sweet caramel malt. Same for the flavor which mixes sweet malt with some bitterness to make a pretty nice beer. Creamy, full bodied, and nicely carbonated. The only drawback is the alcohol is not hidden, and packs quite a punch at 10.5%. Still quite good though.

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Photo of divineaudio
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle into a tulip.

a - pours a deep chestnut shade with a huge, 3 finger, cream colored head. after calming i get a thin cap and thick swaths of lacing in the glass.

s - sweet bread, clove, carmel.

t - bready carmel malt with notes of clove and candi sugar. a nice earthy bitterness comes in at the end to finish it out.

m - lighter side of medium with lots of carbonation. medium co2 profile with a slight alcohol warming.

o - abv kicks in fast. enjoyable though and a nice beer overall. i probably wouldn't buy this often but it seems like a good candidate for holidays and special occasions.

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Photo of MarcatGSB
3.84/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from the Shelden Grill in Houghton, MI. Served with a frosted mug (yep), so that is what I used.

Appearance: pours a real nice brown color with a frothy white one finger head. Great lacing remains on the glass.

Nose: Nice esthery clove and banana nose. Sweet toffee and candies fruits. Borderline dried figs or raisons.

Taste: Dried fruit with a nice peppery alcohol feel. Good phenol and sweet balance.

Mouth: Viscous. Really nice and inviting. The alcohol is not noticeable and a sweet sipping treat.

Drink and overall: Nice Belgium triple. The color is beautiful and the brew is inviting.

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Photo of WetCoaster
3.84/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Tight sturdy off-white head. Great lace and insane retention -- it's like concrete. Nice carbonation. Somewhat pale, but a terrific clear reddish amber. Nice.

Smell: Sweet mother of god! Massive, overwhelming aroma of ripe fruit, spice and everything nice. A bit cakey. Bit of pissy yeast funk. Seriously, this is off-the-charts huge, one of a kind.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Whoa, know where the nose is coming from. Punishingly sweet. Just... yeesh. Grapey, mildly tangy, cakey, a bit of chocolate -- didn't see that coming -- a bit spicy. Not too much alcohol, but a bit of burn on the tongue at the end. Kinda thick and dumb, frankly. Mouthfeel is smooth and dense. Nice.

Drinkability: Well, nose is off the hook, amazing. Taste, though, is too much, waaay too sweet for me. Still, at this ABV, you'll feel good about it in the end -- trust me. Enjoyable in moderation.

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Photo of ksmi116
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Koningshoeven goblet.

A - Dark brown body with a good sized tan head. Dissipates eventually with some solid lacing on it,

S - First smell is a bit of an alcohol burn, then dark fruits and candied sugar smells. Quite good smelling so far!

T - Raisins, candied sugar, bitterness at the finish. Less impressive taste than the smell, which really threw me for a loop. I tend to have a problem discerning Belgian style flavors though, not sure why.

M - high carbonation with a medium body.

D - Overall, a good beer, just I expected more with the hype

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Reviewed 11/5/2008 (bottle):

Pours a dark chestnut brown body, clear. Average creamy light tan head, somewhat diminishing. Very floral aroma, some dark fruit. Some alcohol in the nose. Some nuttiness too. Somewhat watery body, soft. Floral taste, some fruitiness like strawberries. Toned down taste compared to the nose. Maybe some toasted or roasted notes. Definitely some dark fruit.

 386 characters

Photo of Night
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours hazy red-brown with a bit of a diffuse vermilion glow - rather gorgeous color. Head is massive and all bubbles, no cream whatsoever; very odd. Dies down quickly to thin, bubbly lacing here and there. Aroma is deep and rummy with characteristic Belgian yeast tones. Notes of walnut and honey dominate with nice raw malty undertones and cake sweetness. Mouthfeel is surprisingly hot and sharp with a medium body that has a lightly juicy character. Flavor is very well matched to aroma, but the sweetness comes through a bit more than the nutty flavors. Molasses, dark fruits - raisin, prune, tempered by a touch of apple skin and flour. Fairly strong cake and cookie malts. Yeast comes through present but nicely rounded out. Finish is sweet and lightly sour with a long, warm, and dry aftertaste.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a light brownish color with a light tan colored head. The head is a little fizzy but does have a little bit of retention to it. The lacing isn't strong but it's got just a little bit going on from time to time. The smell of the beer had an earthy spiced aroma to it mixed with some bright fruity notes and a touch of booze. The taste of the beer had a subtle sweetness to it upfront and had a slight bite to it in the aftertaste from the settling spices. There's a little bit of bread in the taste too. The mouthfeel is well carbonated and almost medium bodied. Overall this beer is good on mostly every level and really worth trying if you haven't already.

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Photo of henrysunset
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

very dark, probably filtered from what little light made it through, enormous imprssive head.

s: sweet... floral bitterness, but very very floral,

t: very sweet, malts galore.. little alcohol flavor upfront, but increasing on second sip...

very smooth, reasonably drinkable, but I've had easier drinkers at 10%.

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Photo of BitteBier
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bar area was dark, but so is this beer itself. Some crimson peeked out from the dark murk when I exposed it to the light. A really nice, foamy, off-white head on this one that persisted long enough that I had to ingest some of it to get at the liquid foundation. The nose is potent, though less of alcohol than sweet grains and dark, fruity notes. The taste is sweeter than I had expected, and the alcohol was not quite in balance, though also not unduly assertive. A bit of chocolate/red wine and hops makes things interesting. The mouthfeel is nice--substantial but not clingy. Our server pushed this as "what some have called the best beer in the world." That lowered my expectations for it, actually, but I'm glad I gave it a try.

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Photo of lowbrau68
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz stubby bottle.

A- Dark, chocolate brown, amber notes along edge of glass when held up to light. Tan, pillowy head.

S- Floral, spicy, with the characteristic Belgian yeast aroma.\

T- Spicy, malty and, surprisingly, not much ETOH character despite 10% ABV. Roasted malt flavor w/notes of coffee, medium mouthfeel and silky for it's overall complexity and malt character.

I think this is a relatively drinkable beer given its strong alcohol content but I wouldn't want to drink more than 1 or 2 in a row. Overall this is a flavorful, complex beer and I can see where Unibroue gets its inspiration for Chambly Noire. Not personally my favorite beer but objectively speaking, this is a great Belgian beer.

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Photo of nd5282
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A carmel cloudy appearance that expels notes of coffee and chocolate. Crisp and bold at the first sip followed by a sweet and smooth sugary finish. This beer was very easy to drink and full of flavor, the only problem that I had with the "Golden Dragon" was that it became a bit too sweet for my palate towards the end.

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Photo of MikeGill
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a Duvel glass.

Dark burnished copper with a big beige head that has very good retention. Somewhat cloudy. Sweet on the nose with aromas reminiscent of lemon tea. I also smelled a little grenadine syrup as well.

Sweet and a little yeasty. Sour cranberry and grape flavors up front then some orange and a tiny bit of ripe banana. Big caramel malt and mellow spicy hops. Alcohol is right out there but for some reason still seems very balanced. Finishes with some toffee.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy red with some dark orange hints with minor head and lace. Citric smells or orange and lemom with some spice and faint malt. Flavor is much stronger than aroma, peppery with some malty, almost molasses like sweetness. Aftertase has some serious residual sweetness, yet it is not cloying but rather neat sweetness.

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Photo of shanecb
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice dark amber/brown color that's very clear. Attractive carbonation constantly rising, just enough to look pleasant. A little but of an off-white head, but just coats the top of the beer. No lacing.

S - Rather pleasant. Lots of maltiness and sweetness to the nose. Also a little something else, maybe dark fruit or licorice. After awhile I definitely started to notice some alcohol smell coming through, which wasn't all that pleasant though it was muted.

T - A lot of what was in the nose. Sweetness with maltiness is rather overpowering at first. Also maybe a little honey to it. I wanted to give it a higher rating, but I really seem to get a slightly metallic or rusty aftertaste, which I saw a few people mentioned. It seemed to go away as I drank it but that might have been my getting used to it. Also, some sips have a rather unpleasant alcohol twinge to it.

M - Wonderful! Feels creamy and full in the mouth. Carbonation just flirts with the tongue and is wonderful. This is one of the few 5s I've given for mouthfeel, but it definitely deserves it.

D - Alright, because it has a rather nice flavor, but due to the alcohol and metallic tastes I'm getting I don't think I'd drink more than one at a time.

Overall, I really wanted to give this a little bit of a higher rating, but it just has a few things I had to knock off points for.

 1,354 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a big off white head. The aroma is sweet with caramel tones. The taste is as big as the smell. Dark fruits, caramel, and alcohol. The mouthfeel is thick with low carbonation. Overall, this is a pretty good brew. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of crnipeter
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

330 ml into GD tulip.

Dark coppery brown with reach light tan head that rather quickly fades into thin sheet of lace. Effervescent.

Raisins, cherries, prunes, caramel, red vine.

Raisin-dominated dark ripe fruits with accompanying sourness, caramel and rich sweet malt. An interplay of sweet and sour. Although close to, it never gets syrupy. Hops are apparently absent. Overly sweet and to much malt based.

Medium bodied, smooth and creamy.

Particular and quite decent one, but there is an undefinable something that I dislike in this beer. One at a time is enough.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

(poured into a snifter)

A: solid standard brown in color, sharp-clear, with a jewel-like glow.... very high stand of foam on the pour, off-white in color, decent lacing and retention.... strange, but you can sort of surmise that it's low on hops and perhaps has a good portion of sugar in the bill.... how do i know? imagination?

S: some spicy aromatics, though weak.... dark candy sugar or demerara.... vague roasted/toasted grain....overall, weak and uninspiring with a touch of hot booze

T: way more expressive on the palate than in the sinuses.... dark sugar comes out more... supple yet mellow maltiness w/o being sweet.... quite dry, dropping off and disappearing by the finish, with little residual flavor outside alcohol aromatics....

M: delicate, slightly silky at first... quick shift mid-sip to a rush of boozy warmth that fans out across the palate.... has sort of a soft flare/burn-out effect (zapping out any sweet flavors in the process).... overall, great feel for a triple

O: I could perhaps agree that you could think of this as a "dark triple"

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Photo of hwwty4
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 11.2oz stubby into my Bell's tulip. This beer pours a dark, prunish brown with a massive, three inch, beige cap that leaves sticky lacing all the way down the sides of the glass. The aroma reminds me first of dark fruits. Hints of ripe, red apple, sour cherries, plum and just a bit of prune. Carmel and toffee come out in the middle of the nose with just a hint of Belgian candy sugar at the finish of the aroma. The flavor is rather vinous to me. Grape jelly, apple and just a bit of prune come through. To me, it reminds me of a sweet wine, where the grapes flavor is very concentrated, like an ice wine. Big sweet malt notes dominate the middle of the flavor profile and it finishes with just a hint of booze mixed with brown sugar. They really do a wonderful job at covering the 10.5% alcohol. As it warms, sour cherry notes really start to dominate. The mouthfeel is light for as dark as the beer is. I understand, it's a stereotype that darker beers are normally heavier in body, but this one really surprised me. The carbonation is crisp and fits really nicely with the body. All in all, this is a really good beer. I'm sure it won't be the last time I drink it.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I waited a long time to try this one, and I finally grabbed both a 750 and a small bottle. I had the small one a couple of weeks ago, and the 750 tonight. Unfortunately, I really didn't like the flavor that much either time. A strange, almost soy-sauce like taste, different than any Belgian I've had previously. Lots of foam, nice looking glass of beer. Smell doesn't put me off, but that strange taste never really fades. Also, not as rich in body as the true greats of the style. Worth trying (and a cool bottle), but I'm disappointed after the hype.

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Photo of scoobybrew
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was poured from the bottle into a Piraat snifter-like tulip glass. It has a deep amber color with a nice head that is well retained. The aroma has fruity yeast scents - apple-like. There's also a very sweet malt scent. The flavor is very sweet with alcohol definitely up-front. The malt tastes very caramel-like and biscuity. The finish is somewhat dry. It has medium-light body with high carbonation.

This is a very strong beer. You really have to drink this one with caution. It would be a dangerous session beer. None-the-less it's very tasty.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This looks as it should, dark and ruddy topped by an off white head. Nice head retention and lacing. It certainly looks the part.

The aroma is very sweet and plummy with notes of brown sugar, caramel and vanilla. It smells rich and decadent.

Whoa. This is very strong. Very rich and sweet with a candi sugar aspect but not treacly or cloying. Dried dark fruits--prunes, raisins--with a burnt aftertaste followed by a lingering warming fusel alcohol. The sweetness is kept in check more from a phenolic plasticity than from any hop bitterness. Almost tastes like sucking on an orange pekoe tea bag.

Mouthfeel is thick and viscous. Very full bodied.

In one way I like the over-the-top heavy sweetness, which is good for a long winter's night of sipping. But for the style, I prefer something a little drier and lighter in body. So I'm torn even though I dig it. Either way this is not for the feint of heart.

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.2 out of 5 based on 3,808 ratings.
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