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Gulden Draak | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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BA SCORE
4.24/5
Exceptional
3,994 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
Ranking:
#817
Reviews:
1,353
Ratings:
3,994
pDev:
11.32%
Bros Score:
4.42
 
 
Wants:
317
Gots:
891
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,994 |  Reviews: 1,353
Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Single, Duvel-like bottle from the LCBO. Very excited to see this brew on the shelves, and at a good price too, I snapped up a fair few.

Poured into my Duvel goblet. Nice caramel amber, with a sturdy inch and half of head that slowly recedes into a thick ring. Good lacing and retention. Brew's got some legs to it.

Nice nose to this, although I'm getting a strong whiff of yeast that isn't all that agreeable. Nice fig/raisin caramel sweetness though, with some brown sugar and light medicinal quality.

Ah, there it is! Terrific taste on this, and thankfully the yeast is far more muted here. Lovely sweet fig and raisin, slight puckeryness in the mix, and a nice nutty finish. Alcohol accentuates, rather than fights with the flavors of the brew. Candied fruit and caramel.

Mouthfeel is a big hit here - the carbonation is mild enough not to become abrasive, but sufficient enough to give the brew a creamy, airy quality. Very nice.

Very fine dark ale. This is what Belgian ales are all about.

 1,003 characters

Photo of heddar33
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of NYR_Rob
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of mjtiernan
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a goblet at slightly above cellar temp. No freshness dating found.

A: Deep ruby red body sits below a frothy off-white two-finger head. Real nice retention.

S: Dark fruit, butterscotch, vanilla and grain.

T: Raisins, dates and apple cider. A little of the sweet malt caramel comes through.

M: The alcohol is warming but the flavor is difficult to perceive. Body is medium to full, texture creamy and the carbonation is lively. Finish is slightly chalky.

O: A nice dark belgian that’s a bit atypical to many others. Although the alcohol is high, this seems like it would be fairly approachable for Belgian newbies.

 645 characters

Photo of atpca
3.52/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DruC4
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of jjayjaye
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours rich tea color with reddish hues and a small loose light tan head that recedes quickly, but is kept alive by small surface pools of visible effervescence. Spotty lacing observed. The smell is sweet, dark fruits and yeast. Medium-light bodied, the mouth feel is conditioned by tiny little bubbles that lend an overall smooth and creamy character. Full flavored, the taste is mush the same as the aroma. The 10.5 is extremely well hidden...i would have never guessed that it weighed out that heavy. Really glad that i had the opportunity to try this one.

 558 characters

Photo of ommegangpbr
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On first sip I can tell I'm going to enjoy the life of this bottle of beer. This is pretty much spot on for what I want and expect from a strong Belgian dark ale. Head and lacing for days, light having a hard time getting through the color of this brew. I've seen prettier colors regarding the style but I'm not complaining.
Smell has depths of yeast and dark sugars. Homebrew and bread.
I don't mind this at all when on the colder side of the temperature scale but it really opens up when warmer. Dark, fermented fruits, mostly in a prune and raisin way. Black cherries are in there. An edge of roasted bitterness is there but mostly you get a tasty fruitcake type of thing.
When my finances allow this beer will be a regular part of my beer rotation. As it stands it will make for an enjoyable time to time treat. Smooth and tasty.

 835 characters

Photo of bschinelli
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of dipso123
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jason1337
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of pjkelley82
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Brushkanna
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of kevgod
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of sammyg832
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of Naerhu
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An annoyingly large tan head on a completely opaque body.
Spicy dark bread aroma fills the room upon opening. A little pastry sugar and molases and a herbaceous hoppyness as well.

Long lasting dark sugar flavor, though not a sweet beer. Bitterness on the back of the tongue is outstanding. Caramel maltiness.

The bitterness, though appreciated is also a bit rough.

This is an enjoyable beer. I cannot imagine why I would ever buy one again, though. I mean it does not go with food, and if we are thinking of an after dinner drink, then port wine or barley wine has my vote.

 585 characters

Photo of CityofBals
3/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of soulgrowl
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A blend of coffee and root beer with a smooth, beige head that retains well. Excellent, Swiss cheese-like lacing.

Smell: Very fruity, full of banana and strawberry, plus chocolate and nutty malts. Almost like a sundae!

Taste: Excellent. Starts with coffee, then segues into banana and chocolate, and ends with roasted hazelnuts and a vodka-like alcohol flavor. Sweet and brown sugary, especially towards the end. Very complex and well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Tingly yet chewy with a slight alcohol burn on the way down.

Drinkability: A tad heavy, and the elevated ABV is somewhat prohibitive, but besides that this is very drinkable.

 654 characters

Photo of kornkid8600
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of DavidST
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

 411 characters

Photo of TwelveOunces
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 poured into a snifter

A- Pours almost black. It is a murky dark brown/red with some light around the edges. A massive three finger off white thick head.

S- Belgian yeast. Caramel, toffee. Dark fruits like raisins and grape. Some alcohol. A slight spicyness.

T- A huge beer. This a massive carbonation and some alcohol sting up front. It follows up with a lot of caramel and a very creamy malt profile. There is some alcohol taste in here but it helps cut the other flavors. A big dark fruit profile. Raisins, figs, a lot of spices. A beast of a Tripel.

M- This a big one. Massive carbonation up front. A lot of alcohol in here, very warming. Has a very pleasant feel to it and is quite creamy.

O- This is a monster of a beer. I think with time it may lose some of the alcohol and really let the dark fruits pop out. Awesome stuff.

 842 characters

Photo of lonewolfcry
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of tlema1
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: murky mahogany color, with a thin off white head
S: some dark fruit, not a huge nose
T: caramel, dark fruit, candy sweetness at the end
F: medium body, most of the mouthfeel is up front
O: a great Belgian dark ale

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Photo of mwilbur
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 330 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a dark coppery brown hue with high carbonation producing a 2-3 inch light tan bubbly head. Excellent retention (lasts many, many minutes). Nice lacing too.
S: Dark dried fruit (especially raisins), sweet bready yeast, and notes of spice (cinnamon, clove, and a hint of white pepper). Aroma aerates the surrounding few feet around the glass.
T: Follows aroma perfectly and yet adds strength (the alcohol note) to augment it even further. Simply tremendous. ABV is high and yet the alcohol is perfecting blended in and hidden. Notes of toffee and caramel emerge with warming.
M: Medium body (feels lighter than the ABV would suggest). Sweet and full feel. Alcohol provides only a gentle, background burn. I don't think I've had a 10.5% beer before that has hidden the alcohol so well. Lingers and matures on the palate for several minutes after the sip.
D: Overall this is a phenomenal brew and an outstanding example of style. Excellent drinkability, especially given the ABV.

 1,024 characters

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer i suspect will get better with age. It pours looking like a dubbel, and is kind of a mix between dubbel and trippel. It pours dark brown with a thin white head. smells like a strong ale, but doesnt taste like one. at first it feels and tastes like a dubbel in the mouth as the carbonation is more flat than most trippels but more abrasive than most belgian strong dubbels. an interesting and certainly good beer but i found it a bit watery by belgian standards and for its color. But nothing to snuff at. I bet it will be delectable with three or four years of cellar time. abv is hidden well

 602 characters

Gulden Draak from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 4.24 out of 5 with 3,994 ratings
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