Gulden Draak | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
3,946 Ratings
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
Ratings:
3,946
Reviews:
1,341
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
11.43%
 
 
Wants:
311
Gots:
869
For Trade:
4
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,946 |  Reviews: 1,341
Photo of VeganUndead
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Dicers
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of smartassboiler
4/5  rDev -4.8%

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

08/11/06- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz stubby bottle. No freshness info, but there is a small stamped code at the bottom of the label. Poured into an oversized wine glass that looks remarkable like a St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- Liquified caramel coloring. One maybe 1 1/2 inch larger bubbled head forms upon the pour. Remains at a good 1/5th inch thick and creamy head. Minute yeasties float around. Spalltered lacing all around. It was a crapshoot between a 4.5 and a 5. Did a coin flip.

Smell- This is a caramel/fruit cocktail. Doesn't fume out like you would hope, which is the only strike against the smell. Melted fresh made carnival caramel like the kind you would dip an apple into. Dark fruits galore. Figs, plums, prunes, raisins, plus some licorice.

Taste- Big and bold as you would expect from a 11% or so brew. Taste mirrors the scent to presice pinpoint. Like a liquid Caramello bar. Anise and liquorice jump out after the caramel coats your tongue. The dark fruits follow. Prunes and figs are predominant. Plums and raisins meld in nicely.

Mouthfeel- Slightly drying. Full and thick...even a bit vinous mouthfeel. Medium carbonation (just about right). Really makes you crave another sip.

Drinkability- This dude is strong. Drank this on an empty stomach right before lunch (may regret that, but I still have a bottle of Beatification and Stone 2006 Old Gaurdian to consume before the day is over). Quite the tasteful one and worthy of considerable praise. Will have to find a large bottle of this. Still trying to figure out what bottle I am going to break open once my child is born in March...this ain't a bad prospect. Again, will have to steal the Rachel Ray catch phrase..."YUMMO"!

 1,770 characters

Photo of sendbeer
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a slightly hazy red orange with a one finger off-white head with good retention and nice lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, dark stone fruit, sweet and slightly boozy. Flavor follows, with caramel and bready malt, rich fresh and dried plums, hints of tart apricots, Belgian yeast. Finishes warming with a hint of bops and lingering dark fruit. Medium bodied with light creaminess. I can't believe I never reviewed this beer; it was one my first "wow" imported beers and introductions to Belgians. Possibly one of the top 10 Belgian beers I've drunk all my life. As a matter of fact, this Belgian ale inspired me to buy my first dedicated glass, a Gulden Draak tulip that I still use frequently today, so much the gold trim around the lip is worn off. This is a classic Belgian strong dark ale, with great fruit notes and big supporting caramel malt. It's presentation in an unusual bottle, look, smell and taste are all great. A classic, and one of the ales I miss in my quest to try so many different beers; it's been years since I had one of these. A genuine pleasure.

 1,107 characters

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

750ml
Caged/Corked

Poured into a chalice a nice light brown color, nice carbonation (Big POP on opening), nice little creamy tannish head, some sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, nice touch of dark fruits, and caramel. The taste is malty, dark fruits, caramel. The taste is also slightly sweet at first with a nice tangy finish. The alcohol is hidden very well for a brew with this high of an ABV. Medium body, complex brew. Very drinkable, I like this one, at first I thought it might be like the Piraat Triple, but a dark version, too my surprise it is an excellent BSDA, and very tasty, recommended.

 610 characters

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was poured into a chalice every time I’ve had it. The appearance was a nice gentle golden hazy orange to brown color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within about a minute leaving a nice clingy foamy lacing gracing the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of a light Belgian spice of clove and coriander to adequately weave itself in and out of some nice sweet candied fruits such as plums, apricots and peaches. The taste took all of those previously mentioned flavors and wrapped them up into a super nice sweet and spicy package to grace my taste buds in a very nice way. On the palate, this one sat right at about a medium on the body with a fairly decent sessionability about it. However, I find myself sipping this for the most part. Overall, this one was a mighty fine Belgian Strong Ale. Everything just seems to fit nicely.

 857 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.

 261 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an brown color with a thin head that stuck to the sides of the glass. A pleasant aroma that borders on flowery with some lingering yeasts. Strong malt flavor with a good balance of hops. The higher alcohol content did not overpower the flavor like some others do. Extremely drinkable as malt aftertastes linger nicely on the tongue. Once my glass was empty, I wanted more but I only had one bottle. I will definitely buy it again.

 437 characters

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

What can I say about this beer that hasn't already been said. 11.2 oz bottle served in a goblet. Beer is dark brown, nearly black, nice head, steady carbonation. Beautiful ether smell associated with strong Belgians. Taste is sweet and balanced alcohol. No hint of roasting in the flavors, except maybe slightly. One of my all time favorite beers. Excellent, you have to try this beer.

 385 characters

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of Sweffin
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of stevoj
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Superlative beer. Pours dark brown with silky beige head. Sourish, wine-like aroma, prunes, raisins, peat, wood. Taste recalls dried fruits and oak barrels, whiskey, wine. Finish is abrupt, and although flavor is full, there is little lingering on the palate. Truly gorgeous, a real sipper to enjoy.

 299 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from an LCBO giftpack, 330ml into a tulip. Best before June 14, 2013.

Poured a cloudy reddish brown with a light tan head and some sticky lace. Good head retention. Nose has some dark fruits, grapes and raisin, and some gentle spicing. Taste has more dried dark fruits and grapes, some vinous notes, booze and some toffee-like sweetness. High carbonation that is a bit peppery in feel, and a heavy moderately boozy body. Long sweet finish. Solid but not great, I wouldn't have this as a first option in light of other BSDA's on the market.

 547 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

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 afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of outoffocus
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of tommy5
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

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

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy off-white head. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty aroma which boasts of Belgian caramel malts and a fruity yeast finish. The taste is good. It has a rich malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes fruity, yet dry with Belgian yeast. It is a smooth beer with a creamy malt palate. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine triple. It has good flavor and aroma; a quality brew.

 481 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We're getting into the meat and potatoes of the Stubby Belgian Invite with this beer at hand, and tommorrow will conclude with another strong beer. On to the beer:

A foamer into my snifter, a ruby brown color highlights the beer's appearance. Head retention is very good. Whiffs of phenolic and dark fruits in the aroma. There's a touch of pepper too.

The high alcohol level and smoothness of the beer are the first things to be noticed in the mouth. Typical dark fruit flavors found in this style are juicy and dominant. Touches of prunes and raisins, then a drying grain note. Goes peppery at times towards the end of the sip. Oh, and it's very alcoholic.

What a kick and what a taste. This is the boozy man's Chimay Blue, and a score that should put it in the competiton for winner of the Stubby Belgain Invite. We'll comclude the Stubby Belgain tomorrow night with, wait for it....another Belgian beer in a stubby bottle.

 930 characters

Gulden Draak from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.2 out of 5 based on 3,946 ratings.
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