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

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1,311 Reviews
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)

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

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Reviews: 1,311 | Ratings: 3,800
Photo of Murchmac
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a really pretty wooden amber with lacing you'd see on the pussycat dolls.

Some stingy alcohol smells, some figs/raisins, Like the breath of a california raisin out on a belgian beer bender...

Pretty sweet taste too. The taste follows the smell, but a candied sweetness pervades this like that Iggy Pop song.

The Rochefort 6 is my measuring stick for all these styles, and while this one is tasty, I wish it had a little more Jesse the Body Ventura than Jesse the Mind Ventura.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - pours a muddy red into a Belgian glass. Large tan head recedes to about a finger, forms a creamy topcoat, and holds. Lots of bubble streamers around the perimeter providing ferocious re-supply for the head. Quite a show.

Aroma - raisins and plums are the main components, even a little cocoa-like aroma. The malts are a little over-shadowed, but they are detectable. As it warms it develops some warm fruitcake smells.

Taste - that first sip is a blast of fruit, malt, and alcohol. Borders on the medicinal. Not the most pleasant start, but it gets better. Lots of plum flavors, and some smoky caramel (but not burnt or charcoal tasting). Very warming, the alcohol is mixed in well but is definitely noticeable to these taste buds. A rather strong hop ending at first mellows to a softer bite and aftertaste. Big taste from a small bottle.

Mouthfeel - pretty heavy beer, syrupy as well. The residue clings to the mouth lining and the alcohol vapors are easily felt in the oral cavity if you swallow and open your mouth a bit. As alluded to in the appearance, this beer has lots of bubble play as well.

Drinkability - definitely not one to handle lightly. Refill with caution, this one will get you there in a hurry. If you're at home, fine, but I wouldn't have a 2nd one otherwise.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried on tap at Silver Creek Brewing Co., 6 Jul 2011. Served in an ~8 oz. snifter.

Small light brown head. Moderate carbonation. Medium brown in color. Aroma is a bit light, maybe because it's a bit cool, maybe some apple and dark fruit, alcohol. Apple, slightly bitter, some dried fruit. Somewhat warming. Medium body. Slightly fruity sweet finish.

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Photo of bitterdestroyer
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

appearance: malty amber brown. nice thick head, and enticing lacings throughout my glass

smell: sweet, light hops, plums, brown sugar (?), hint of booze

taste: much like an in depth version of it's smell. sweet, malty, fruity, sugary, and just a hint of alcohol. a nice mix of everything goin on here. all in it's right place on my palatte. gets sweeter as it warms.

mouthfeel: robust, and malty. dense, but not too thick. just the right amount of carbonation.

drinkablilty: one bomber was good enough for me. felt full once i was done. like a hearty meal

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This curious little white bottle finally got to me today.
A careful pour produces a clear ruby brown liquid with an overflowing beige head that dissipates rather quickly. Smells of wet cardboard, rich caramel malts, bits of dark fruit. Airing it for a bit thankfully removed most of the aromas of oxidation. The flavor is sweet with lots of brown and caramelized sugars. Deep rich dark fruits mixed with a hint of alcohol round out the flavor quite nicely. Medium to thick body with a moderate to high level of carbonation and a sweet bubbly mouthfeel. This is a nice dark ale I quite enjoyed it.

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Photo of KeOw
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed yesterday (12/9/2010), transcribed 12/10/10.

Haven't had Gulden Draak in about half-a-dozen years. Poured a 330 ml bottle into a Delirium Tremens tulip. No freshness date.

Appearance: After a standard (not gentle) our the head is underwhelming, less than a finger-width of off-white fizz, lacking lacing from beginning to its end, which occurred long before I drained it--negligible carbonation could not replenish it. I recall an impressive head in the past, so it's possible I picked up a quite old bottle. The body is a hazy, dark copper, showing no carbonation.

Smell: Heavy, dark malt, full of dark bread, cookies, and molasses.

Taste: In addition to the above . . . BOOM goes the alcohol, warm and dominant, slightly spicy. Also, dates. Overall, it is extremely sweet, on the edge of excess, but still tasty. The dominance of liquor flavor, from beginning to end, is another sign of an "aged" beer. But, surprisingly, I don't taste any oxidation flavors.

Drinkability: Again, not like my past experience. Way too boozy for me to drink many.

I have to say that I am astonished by how well this flat, old beer tasted. I guess dragons don't lose much with age.

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Photo of drseamus
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy dark mahogany body with no head. The smell is very malty and fairly sweet with just a hint of spice. The combo of sweetness and spice is a bit overwhelming at first. The malt profile is a bit muted especially in the presence of the blast of sweetness. The body seems to get a bit heavier at the back of the palate and it's possibly the best part of the beer. Not a bad beer but a bit too sweet compared to the malt profile for me.

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Photo of decimator
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

330ml poured into a pint glass. ABV 10.5%.

A - Poured a dark mahogany with a 1cm bubbly head. Head dissipated to surface bubbles. No lacing.

S - Herbal, earthy, dark fruit, honey, some tropical fruit, alcohol. Not quite what I expected but it smells pleasant.

T - brown sugar, some dried fruit, some of tropical fruit (pineapple in particular), more brown sugar, the finish is medium bitterness that sticks around and some booze. As it warms I find there's a slight resin flavour coming through and the finish is a bit harsh.

M - Medium-heavy body, medium carbonation, syrupy, sticky, oily, the finish is dry with some heat.

O - There's a slight harshness in the finish that detracts from this beer. Hard to believe the ABV is that high as the alcohol isn't too obviously although it is noticeable. Still pretty good and easy to drink.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of its short and stubby white painted 11.2oz bottle into a tulip glass. Body is dark brown with a monsterous head with great retention that produced lacing throughout the duration of the drink. Smell is sweet dark fruits (plumas and raisens) and alcohol. Taste is fruity with a potent alcohol bite dominating the very dry finish. This brew definately gets better as it warms up in the glass. While it is not an absolutely stellar brew, it sure does hold its own as a great beer.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark cherry-burgundy with a monstrous 3 finger rocky beige head that lasted forever. The head was composed of large macro bubbles when viewed through the sides of the glass and fell around the rim leaving a billowy/towering center piece. There was a spotchy lacing with a good strong visible carbonation at first that soon receded to a slow steady stream of bubbles.

S: dark fruit, caramel raisins.

T: The initial flavor had a cloey, and overpowering malt sweetness with alcohol fusels. The flavor soon receded to a rich, caramel sweetness with some fruitiness (apples) and brown sugar. The beer finishes with a dark fruit, dark caramel and a nice alcohol warming. There was a slight sour raisin taste detected after the swallow.

M: full bodied, warm caramel, slightly creamy with a nice dry spicy alcohol fade.

D: A very nice finish despite an otherwise rough first sip. The beer progressively drinks better as you go along with a wonderful spicy dark fruit and caramel finish.

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Photo of StevenBilodeau
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is fantastic, it has a nice frothy/foamy head, that dissipates with great lacing. It pours out, thick, dark and like chocolate but without the favor of chocolate of course. This beer is excellent, it did not let me down. Good favor, all around good beer. Sweetness, but not too sweet or overwhelming. One of the best Belgian beers I have ever had. To beer lovers this is Gold.

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Photo of goodbyesoberday
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a very loud head that subsides to a thin layer.

Rich dark red maple colour, opaque thanks to my pouring of all and everything into the glass.

It's rich, very rich. Chocolate coated fruit, I'll get back to you on the particulars someday. Dark brown sugar but no burnt toffee. The alcohol steps up and says hello. Very fiery but the dragon's breath hath no boot polish.

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Photo of Gusler
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On the pour a murky plum color with a prodigious beige head and tons of lace to conceal the glass. Nose is malt, earthy, sweet, also a bit like an over ripe apple. Starts malt, top is light, potently acidic, scantily hopped, long lasting somewhat sour aftertaste. Alcohol also makes itself known as there is a bitterness I attribute to the high ABV. Not bad, different for sure, will have to sample a few to make a true determination about its suitability.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours into a Gulden Draak glass with a deep amber hue, with a off white lacing of foam. In the nose, I get dark fruits and a small presence of alcohol. It has the characteristcs of a nice barley wine, with the smoothness of a great Belgian triple.

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Photo of smcolw
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Easy near-white head, great lace. Light brown color...cloudy.

Sweet aroma with some nuttiness and spiciness--like a cinnamon candy.

Strong sweetness is counterbalanced by a dry finish. Complex flavors featuring a touch of sourness. Strong alcohol warmth. Full body with high carbonation.

Traditional trippel--high alcohol and high malt flavors. Smooth and full flavored.

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Photo of DavidST
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a goblet, no bottle date.his pours a reddish brown tea color slightly cloudy with a nice tan head which dissipates down to a thin head. The smells are somewhat good, you get some dark fruit, candied sugar and alcohol. The feel is medium high carbonination. The taste is good but very potent alcohol burn and a level of booziness, the taste is also of candied sugar and dark fruit.

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Photo of ypsifly
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from an undated 11.2oz into a tulip.

Burnt amber with lively carbonation and a huge frothy head of light tan. Good retention and sticking.

Smells of candied lemons, spicy yeast, with a touch of malts paired with floral hops. Complex, balanced and very mouth watering.

Tastes very sweet. Borders on cloying. The sweetness is paired with alcohol and pepper in the finish. There's a slight lingering tartness on the palate. Doesn't taste near as interesting as it smells.

The mouthfeel is full enough for the style, but the alcohol and carbonation make it a bit awkward. I love BSDAs, but this one doesn't do it for me. My next round would be something else.

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Photo of Sixpack595
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep and cloudy chestnut brown with a fair amount of tan foam. Aroma is sweet and spicy. Flavor is spicy with a lot of dark fruit and sweetness barely reigned in by the bitterness. Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy, and with the sweetness has a sticky quality to the aftertaste. Strong but still quite drinkable.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a mixed 6-pack from the brewery which I bought for $16. Comes in a 11.2 oz painted white bottle. 10.5% ABV. A "dark triple", which really means a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Pours out to a slightly hazy dark amber, forming a small off tan head with poor retention and weak lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate, much less than expected for the style. The aroma is sauce, dark candi sugar, cola, and caramel. When swirled, I get light molasses and alcohol. The mouthfeel is syrupy with a medium-dense body and cloying sweetness of dark candi sugar. The taste is of carob, cola, soy sauce, and caramel, with a very mild bitterness. Some phenols are evident in the middle, and there is a slightly oxidized, but not irritatingly so, finish.

I have mixed thoughts about this beer. It's just OK. The amount of candi sugar they put in this is overwhelming. I'd rather have more malt and less sugar so it didn't taste like cola, but as it is, it's drinkable...just not something I'm inclined to purchase again.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 mL bottle,

A: Pours a dark brown with a medium tan head into a snifter, pretty good head retention, some lace.

S: Smell of dark fruits, raisin, plum, fig juice, hint of acidity.

T: Dark fruits make up the main flavour. Primarily fig, light raisin and brown sugar. Booze comes into play at the end, solventy finish.

M: Medium-bodied, it does seem a tad thin at times for 10.5%, slightly medicinal, smooth drinking beer.

D: A good Belgian, not amazing in my opinion. It's relatively inexpensive, drinkable, and easy to find, I'm sure I'll have it again at some point.

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Photo of celticfutblclub
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A - comes out dark brown with a reddish hint and a big inch head with a lot of carbonation that recedes to a thin line that lingers.

S - dark fruits are noticeable having a hard time discerning anything else in there maybe a bit of nuttiness in there.

T - again dark fruit is very apparent plum with some nice maltiness in the background. good amount of alcohol hits but is not overwhelming especially given the ABV.

M - smooth drink definitely fits the style but appears a bit smoother to me than other belgian strong ales which I like.

overall this is a good beer not as crazy about it as other people are but its a very solid belgian strong ale.

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Photo of MadeInOregon
3.69/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had Gulden Draak about 3 or 4 times in the past and remember liking it a lot so I wanted to give it another go and see if it was as good as before. Unfortunately I was a little disappointed, but it's still an enjoyable drinking experience.

The body is dark amber accompanied by a thin, tan head which sticks around for a while. In the glass it looks like a barleywine and looks very strong in general.

Gulden Draak smells syrupy sweet and astringent. Though the aroma is interesting, it's actually not very pleasant and kind of overwhelming.

As for taste, I should have trusted my instincts and let it warm up a little before tasting as it's much tastier and drinkable when it's closer to room temp. When cold it tastes syrupy sweet very much like a barleywine--making me wonder if this really is a "Dark Triple" and not a Quad (?). Regardless of temperature this beer is very strong and warming, which is nice if you're in the mood for it.

As it warms up the hops are more evident and the yeast is present in the aftertaste. The consistency is highly carbonated just like a triple but with a more warm and creamy feel.

I wouldn't ever turn this beer down when offered, but from now on I will definitely make sure to drink it after it's been out of the fridge for an hour. That's when it moves from being just a strong and interesting beer to one that is smooth and enjoyable.

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Photo of ncfranklin
3.69/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stubby bottle poured into a goblet.

A : Pours a gritty, earthy, dirt brown with a tiny tan head that fizzles to a slight rim that causes some light lacing. Overly, not the most appealing looking beer, somewhat dull.

S : Dried dark fruits specifically prunes/raisins, maybe a light note of caramel.

T : Heavy on those raisins all the way through, with a big dry fruity finish. No alcohol burn really at all. Tasty, unique.

M : Heavy as one would expect for the style, but very smooth. A dryness hits the mouth on swallow, something I did not expect.

D : The unique flavor and 10.5% ABV keeps this from being overly session-able. The dark fruit flavors and dry finish make this a specialty brew for specific occasions and pairings.

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

33cl white labeled bottle, pours a dark mahogany with a creamy creamy tan head which has great lasting power, leaving streaks of lacing.

Nose is earthy and bready, candied sugar and dates. Maybe a hint of pumpernickel and plums.

Here is where the beer falters a little, loads of candied sugar, hints of plums and dates, caramel, bread, fruit cake, licorice - seems pretty simple compared to many Belgian darks, maybe more in line with a dubbel but even then, the mouthfeel feels quite thin, especially in light of the sweetness. Creamy but thin mouthfeel.

No hint of the ABV, though the sweetness deters the drinkability. Middle of the pack.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle into matching Gulden Draak tulip.

A: Pours a very dark ruby amber with a billowing dark tan head that really frothed up with the pour and took forever to fade into a thick bubbly layer with a solid central butte. Crazy sheets of sticky lacing were left down my glass.
S: Powerful notes of very sweet dark fruits including plums, raisins, prunes and red grapes. There some ripe banana in there too along with some coriander and
T: Syrupy sweet fruits with the spices coming through in the finish. All the flavors from the nose are there, and I get a hint of tobacco, vanilla and milk chocolate in the finish. The alcohol is just barely noticeable in the aftertaste, and I get flavors of red grapes, spices, and tobacco.
M: Medium-thick body with a slick mouthfeel and hidden alcohol. Carbonation is tingly but drinkable.
O: Very fruit and sweeter than most but it’s still a pretty good beer. There are other’s I’d pick first though.

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 1,311 ratings.
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