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

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1,313 Reviews
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)

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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Reviews: 1,313 | Ratings: 3,817
Photo of Zraly
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful garnet-brown with a delicate, off white head. Tight, compact bubbles present the appropriate carbonation.

Wonderful smells of spice, malt and alcohol permeate my nose. Upon first sip, the carbonation tickles the outside of my mouth, basically teasing me and preparing me for what stands before me...

A most perfect tasting ale. Loads of sweet malt and fruits dominate, with an intoxicating candy-like and phenolic backdrop. A strong notion of creme brulee (burnt sugar and all) purrs through. The alcohol hums its way around my mouth and eventually my bloodstream. Smooth, dreamy finish that is warm, luscious and invites another sip.

Classy and a benchmark for the style, this is an all-around selection of goodness in a bottle. I am splitting a glass with my girlfriend pre-dinner. It's starting the evening off on a most sultry note.

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Photo of blitz134
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I’ve had this one in the cabinet for a little while now and finally decided to pop the cap on this one to celebrate the end of a day of working on a project paper. Little victories are what really matter in the long run.

This bottle has always intrigued me with its opaque white color and the quite odd robot dragon on the front. Last time I checked robot dragons didn’t drink beer. But the good thing is: no chances of being skunked by light with this one. The pour wasn’t very vigorous by any means but the head formation nearly filled my oversized wine glass with a huge frothy light tan head. While the head reduced by quite a bit but it still seemed to linger around in a thick layer on top of the nearly opaque dark garnet coloration. This is truly a beauty. This is the most opaque dark Belgian I’ve had to date.

Typical of Belgians there is the aroma is dominated by the sweet malty dark fruit characters. Mainly raisins and plums with this one with a little clove spiciness in the background. Not an overpowering smell but it is good nonetheless. There is a hint of alcohol underneath the nice aroma.

I don’t find the taste quite as complex as some of the other dark Belgians I’ve had but this one is still quite good. There is a sharp spiciness with hints of clove that sting the cheeks and lingers for quite a while with a definite belly warming sensation. Along with this spiciness there is also sourness from the tart fruits which this beer conjures up. Good flavor overall, but the spiciness skews the lines between many of the individual flavor profiles.

Mouthfeel is quite awesome. It seems almost chewy while still seeming light bodied in a way. Drinkability is brought down a bit with how much the alcohol sensation lingers. Not a session beer by anymeans, but something I’ll be sure to return to.

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Photo of OatherS
3.38/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Short stubby white bottle with a black label with a gold dragon on the front and cap. 330 cL bottle.

Appearance: Loud foamy pour. One finger head that is bubbly. Dark color with a hint of amber.

Smell: Winey and alcoholy odor.

Mouthfeel: Sharp, bubbly, alcoholy hit to the taste buds.

Taste/Drinkability: A nice malty flavor that is a little bit too strong and striking for my tastes.

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Photo of AlexJ
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 750, the beer is darker than I imagined, almost a glowing caramel brown. The head is explosive, and ridiculously thick with staying power that is not often seen. Lacing is a spectacle itself with clinging sheets of beige hued clumps.

The aroma is a mix of clover honey sweetness, grassy herbal notes, and dark fruits. There an abundance of spicey yeast flavor complimented by a suble hop dryness in the finish, almost white-peppery.

Sweeter than the nose would indicate, but full of enough interesting complexeties to balance it out. Candy sweetness, lemony grassy hay, medicinal minerality, and plum, fig, prune, and black cherry fruits.

Mouthfeel is large, full, and sticky. Yet is finishes with a deliacte dryness that is unexpected. Not an everyday beer for sure. But a welcome change when you're in the mood.

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Photo of Boto
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draught@ Sharp Edge Creekhouse: They had this listed on the menu as a "Barleywine" which is obviously wrong. This pours a cloudy, reddish brown color. It had a fairly large off-white head. This was a very nice beer. The aroma has notes of yeast, alcohol, caramel, fruits, and probably a lot of other things. It is very rich. The taste follows suit. This is a wonderful variation of a Tripel. Full bodied and smooth.

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Photo of zao77
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The first thing I look at when pouring beer is its head and how sustaining it is. It didn't really matter how slow I poured this beer, I still had to let it set for awhile just to see any beer at the bottom. The head is extremely thick and isn't tamed too easily.

The smell is quite pleasent presenting a variety of fruits and traces of honey. The taste brings the honey straight out and I could swear I tasted some vanilla.

The main reason I gave this a 3.5 in drinkability is mostly due to its sweet nature. It's like eating too much pecan pie. It tastes really good at first bite but it is just too rich to eat the whole pie. I will have to say that like wine, it gives you a great relaxed feeling.

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Photo of Citadel82
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation Bone white stubby 330ml bottle with the Global Beer Network seal on the label. No date visible.

Smell is sweet rich malt, dried fruit...apples, raisins, dates...vanilla?? and strong aroma of alcohol that fades as one becomes accustomed to it but never leaves entirely.

Taste is sweet malts, pepper, tobacco bitter lemon, orange, with strong hop almost quinine bitterness appearing in a long dry finish. There is so much alcohol it in the palate that it is very nearly overpowering. This is a powerful and complex brew. the spiciness especially the pepper numbs the tongue for a time.

Mouthfeel is thick almost buttery, sticking to the tongue and roof of the mouth and sending waves of hop bitterness cascading around the mouth as you swallow.

This is a beer for the one beer a night plan. I cannot imagine tasting anything after this one. There is nothing subtle about this brew. It assaults your senses and takes no prisoners. Like sipping a fortified wine or a dry cordial. A night cap of a brew if there is a such a class.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Liquid pumpernickel. The beer looks like liquified pumpernickel and smells like it. Filtered mud. There was a thick and stubborn head on top. The nose is bready and yeasty. The taste is very fruity--but dried and earthy fruits like raisins, prunes, apples, apricots and bananas. Also, just a hint of honey. A very full bodied beer that clings to the palate.Would make a great beer to go with a dessert tart.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Scarlet-infused tawny; a gorgeous hue. The orange tinted, light caramel colored head fills at least half the glass after a gentle pour and has gone nowhere in the several minutes that I've been staring at it. The foam is gently pitting on its upper surface and is tight-bubbled where it meets the glass. Unfortunately, there's almost no lace; a shame since the color of beer and head, and the combination of the two, is something to behold.

The nose, although good, doesn't quite reach great. It's malty sweet, Scotchy and dark fruity, but doesn't come together as well as it might. Even though the aroma lacks a certain amount of depth and complexity, it's clear that it belongs to a quality beer.

'Golden Dragon' still doesn't impress me as much as I'd hoped it would. The first impression I have is of sweet and sour fruit; in particular, dates, raisins and black cherries. I also taste mild cocoa and almost a cola quality (I mean that in a good way). The flavor profile is opening up as the beer warms and I can now appreciate sweet tobacco and dark butterscotch. Clove and cinnamon round things out quite nicely.

In terms of flavor sensations, the beer is sweet, sour and bitter (in descending order), but isn't so sweet as to be cloying or to impair drinkability. The medium body/mouthfeel needs to be a bit bigger if world-class status is to be bestowed. Update: both the flavor and the body improve a great deal when the final third of the bottle is added to the chalice and the scores have been increased as a result.

Gulden Draak (I can't say the name without sliding into a bad Scottish accent) is a beer that grew on me substantially over the course of the bottle. When--not if--I drink my next one, I'll allow it to warm and will gently mix the bottle before opening to get bring the good stuff into play from the start. I'm sorry I doubted you GD, you're pretty G-d good after all.

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Photo of horndecker
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep mahogany color, with a prodigous head, rocky and persistant, it's a tan foamy latte over a clear and polished mahogany.
The nose is bright and yeasty, with caramel and toffee, bread and chocolate, with cabbage bringing up the rear.
The taste is big fruit with a tart center; prunes marinated in chocolate liquer; Dr. Pepper (10-2-4); A lot of concentrated malt flavors, and persistantly sweet, though it's not just a simple sweetness.
The alcohol is apparent but, surprisingly, not overwhelming.
Nice big frothy mouthfeel. Quite an interesting brew.
I'll need to try this again to really get a handle on it. Happily.

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Photo of redmosquito
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Am I confused? I expected the Piraat and the Draak to be exactly the opposite in color than they really are. The Draak pours a nice mahoghany color with a slightly off white head. It has a wonderful malty aroma, a blend of sweet caramel and nutty Munich malt, and a nice yeast finish, that reminds me more of a lager than a Belgian ale. The taste is similar to the aroma, malty with some bitterness, and surprisingly no sign of that 10.5% it lists on the label. The body is also good as well not dry as one might expect with a strong Belgian. Overall this is an excellent beer that is highly drinkable, especially for a big beer.

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Photo of Andreji
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice brew from a steenberge assorted pack.

Pour is clearly a belgian dark, with a big, fizzy head with an amber fade, much as the rest of the caramel, carbonation-less fluid. slightly translucid.

The smell, quite rich, is malty and somewhat soury. red fruits are a bit perceivable.

The taste, strong malty with a cola-ish feel is very nice, very slightly bitter at the end and primarily soury throughout. practically uncarbonated and the body, despite being translucid, is quite thick, and tasty. Slightly alcoholized.

The ABV is questionable for this reason, because it's well hidden and very, very slightly felt afterwards. this is an excellent brew. best i've had in a while now.

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

This isn’t golden! And it doesn’t smell like spicy mustard, either. Goddamn Belgians. They are always out to trick me.

Pours really pretty and dark. Plum colored with an retentive, foamy head. Lots of sediment floating around, despite a good pour—I dunno if this bottle was jostled in the store or if it’s just supposed to be that way.

Very rich, sweet smell. Usually odors that are this sweet are accompanied with a little bit of an alcohol zip, but that’s not the case here. This just smells like tart fruit. Or Fruits, actually. Dozens of fruits. Apple, pineapple, plums, grapes, mango, passion fruit, orange.

Tastes like complex fruit, like the nose, only zippier. A harsh but nice ZING hits you right up front, along with the more sour fruits, then that dissolves into a rather dry, juicy flavor containing for the richer, less tart fruits. This is incredible complexity.

The flavor can be overpowering—I can’t see myself drinking more than a single stubby of this (the 10.5% ABV also factors in), but this is a truly great beer that everybody should try.

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Photo of ramrod666
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

gulden draak pours walnut brown with a huge rocky head that stays huge for 5-10 minutes before falling to a 1/4 inch towards the bottom. the smell of tart apples is big with strong sweetness and a bit of bubble-gum? taste is almost cidery. alcohol is present in the back but, a over 10.00 abv would you expect anything else. mouthfeel is moderately carbonated with a drying effect from the tartness and alcohol. heavy body. drinkabilty is high and dangerous considering the abv.. a delicious triple.

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

Another one of the great beers on tap at the Moan and Dove for their "2nd Annual Belgian Beer Festival." Poured into a tulip. Big ol' foamy head on this one. Dark brown in color. While the foam settles I get a good chance to pick up the aroma. Nice and bready, sweet malts, with spicy hop characters butting in. Taste is complex, as expected. Sweet figgy plum malt taste and spicy herby hops and warm alcohol. Nice woodsiness too. Musty. Real smooth mouthfeel and easy enough to drink, especially for the
%10.5 ABV. An exceptionally well balanced Belgian.

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Photo of tomthumbsblues
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A two and a half finger foamy head was produced and went down relatively slowly with practically no lacing. The color was a nice ruby with just a hint of brown. Some cloudiness and bubbles from the bottom. The smell was peach and strawberry with a sour backbone. The taste was spicy, hint of cherry and strawberry, very slight, and clove. Wine-like lightness and feel. Mouthfeel was not heavy or overbearing but left a nice coating in the back of the throat. Not that bad at all.

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Photo of Stubbie1
4.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby brown with a small tight slightly off white head. The head fades and leaves an island of foam in the middle that stays for the whole ride to the bottom of the empty glass. Dark fruit, figs, plumbs and raisins are the aroma. Mild tones of malt and hint of spice accompany the dark fruit.
First sip was WOW! I wasn’t expecting something to jump out. The dark fruit is dominated with a mild malt and spice. Even banana is present and a slight musty flavor mixed in. Hints of alcohol follow the fruit and finish with a silky smooth mouthfeel.
This is a simply wonderful brew and a new a favorite.

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Photo of aracauna
3.67/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark cloudy brown with a nice creamy head that lasts and sheets the side of the glass. Very fruity aroma of over ripe pears and banannas. There is also plenty of spice, mostly cinnamon and clove. Slightly sweet body. Caramel malt. Fairly creamy body. Not bad.

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Photo of bditty187
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a personal favorite of mine that I’ve failed to review, time to remedy that.

Hazy. Amber in hue, it is darker brown in the middle and tawny around the edges. The head was rocky, easily two fingers in height. The beige foam sat there like a rock, head retention was excellent to say the least. A modest, tight cap lasted the entire consumption. It was welcomed company. The subsequent lacing was spotty and fairly widespread. In honesty the appearance isn’t ground breaking in anyway but it is pleasant to look at. Hey, its beer! The nose has always been charming. Chocolate malts provide a lovely foundation that allows an array of spices, fruits, and phenolic characteristics to stand on. There are hints of sweetness upfront with figs, lavender, raisins, tropical fruit, alcohol, and cherries in the middle. Traces of medical qualities and even some herbalness, it is these aromas that I adore in this bouquet, as they really round out the nose. They are strongest at the finish. Moderate potency. The nose is articulate and I can smell, and thus enjoy, every little detail. Sure I wish it was louder but I can’t complain. The palate is lovely. Wonderful. It seems so simple but it is beautiful. At first there is a heavy, sweet maltiness that has influences of chocolate and cola. Cherries, prunes, and raisins are soaked in brandy and then they are added to a chocolate purée laced with medicinal spiciness. Clove with hints of banana. Band-Aids. Caramel is also in the mix. Hot alcohol that is close to being distracting, but “as is,” it adds a fantastic dimension to this beer. There isn’t much hiding the fact this beer clocks an abv over ten. The finish is juicy with dark fruits, alcohol heat, spice, and the medicinal qualities. Hot aftertaste, like sucking on rubbing alcohol and Band-Aids; who do that would taste so good? I really like this beer, is it the most complex Belgian I’ve tasted? No. Does it strike all the right cords with me? Yes. Medium-full in body, the carbonation is quite active but it feels natural and it works well for this beer, the mouthfeel is pleasant, I like the creaminess. I also like the heat that cuts the sweetness; at times this beer actually seems dry. Exceedingly drinkable, this beer is the perfect nightcap or serve it with a chunk of cheese and a hand of red grapes. I really wish this beer were available in Nebraska; of course it is not. I purchased this bottle as part of a sampler-pack in Ames, IA. Thankfully it can be had in Des Moines or Iowa City. I need to have this on-hand more often. It is a unique treat with enough uniqueness to make me want to come back for more. Recommended

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Photo of merlin48
3.57/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2 oz white bottle from a Van Steenberge sampler box. Served at cellar temperature into a chalice, it pours a clear, cola brown body with a small, large-bubbled head that left behind minimal lace. Aroma has overripe bananas, prunes, figs, raisins, a hint of spicy clove and pepper, and fusel alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with effervescent carbonation. The taste features candy sugar, prunes, nearly rotten bananas, danky yeast, clove, and warming alcohol. Finishes slightly bitter, leaving a feeling of alcohol infused prune juice. I really didn't care a lot for this one.

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

I love the white opaque bottle with black label, very curious as to what lurks inside. Pours a dark cloudy mahogany, with a big sinister off-white head. Aroma was floral and fruits, with a very seductive alcohol vapour that is very appropriate somehow. Taste was strong caramel, with a lot of warming alcohol as well as dark fruits and toffee. Very smooth, and while the alcohol is prevalent, it was also very tasteful and appropriate to such a sinister brew. I was almost positive at one point I could see the alcohol vapours on my breath. I want to find a big bottle of this for New Year's...

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Photo of Cwrw
3.43/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Brought back from Brussels. BB: 30/03/06

Pouring from the faux-ceramic white bottle with the strangely Asian-looking black label, Draak poured beautifully into my abbey-style glass, revealing an extrememly rich-toned beer. At first I seen light ruby, and a dark brown with hints of red, with the slightest touch of light orange.Thick, sedimentary and caramel-thick in body-appearance. A mocha-coloured head formed, which was solid and thick, but was not very consistent throughout my drinking it. Swirling the glass from time to time kept it creamy. Patchy lace, sticky but not screening the glass. The aroma is rather complex, with dark mustiness and phenols dominating. Dark fruits, richly sweet malt. Hints of licorice and leather, horehound, medicinal syrup. Prunes and dates also were quite easy to smell. Initially, the aroma with the glass a good distance from my nose was mouthwatering fruitiness; in closer, the alcohol is immediately evident. Later I sense sourdough and sharp blue cheese. Beastly malt, huge alcohol, and yeast. The flavour at first was metallic, like iron, followed by intense fruit like a cherry brandy, or mollasses. A finish of yeast and oiliness, the everpresent alcohol, and a great deal of bitterness for me. The aftertaste is initially all sweetness, but after a few seconds it leaves the throat very dry and dusty-feeling, which is why I rated mouthfeel and drinkability quite low. The feeling left in my mouth disappointed me: alcohol combined with extreme must is far too dry; mouth-puckering muskiness. Dry tannins as in a rich red wine. This beer literally seemed to purge all saliva from my mouth, and I could actually feel my glands pumping to hydrate my mouth. For me personally, this greatly reduces is drinkability value. Others may not have the same experience. The least taste is in the middle, though it remains full-bodied and resiny. Oily yet gaseous in the mouth. The lees were less sweet, with a strong iron taste. I enjoyed this beer up until the mouth could not handle the dry dustiness. Too much alcohol in the character of it.

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Photo of chunkylover53
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mmmm. I like this beer a lot.

It's full of heady goodness - huge bubbles that stack up way above the glass. And the smell - very caramelly with a hint of fruit and very very strong. I could smell it from 4 feet away.

It pours a dark, cloudy mahogany and laces really thickly.

As for the taste: Lots of caramel, and very warm from the alcohol, but smooth.

I wish I could get this on it's own instead of in a gift set with a bunch of other beers.

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

This a beer that I order when I bring people to try good beers at the Sharp Edge for the first time. Most people are impressed by the 20oz. tulip shaped glass with the golden dragon on it, plus I know that the imbiber is going to get happy real quick. Appearance: Deep mahogany huge velvety tan light brown head extravagant fine lacing very detailed and webbed. Aroma: Deep mulilayered with fruit and fusel alcohol contains a nice balance between sweetness and the herbal hop profile. Taste: Mild chocolate notes with raisin and apple tones that come out slightly caramelized ripened fruit with a toasted nut edge to it all with a slight spiciness that brings the mouth a full orgy of flavors. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied effervescent a true gem in the realm of Belgian beer. Drinkability: Dangerously easy to consume try to keep it to just one of these bad boys in a sitting, definitely one of my all time favorite Belgians.

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

This is a dark brown ale with mahogony highlights and a foamy dark tan head that leaves some lace. The aroma has a plummy rich dried fruit characteristic that sheilds most of the high octane alcohol from your nose. That same sweet dried fruit characteristic starts up the flavor and blends nicely with the peppery hop finish. Then you get that tummy warming alcohol sensation. Yum.

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.2 out of 5 based on 3,817 ratings.
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