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

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,318 Reviews
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)
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
Reviews:
1,318
Ratings:
3,840
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
19.52%
 
 
Wants:
298
Gots:
809
For Trade:
3
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,318 | Ratings: 3,840
Photo of geetlord
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was a rich dark amber with a thick creamy head that subsided to heavy lacing. there was pleanty of yeast making the beer a littel cloudy.
The aroma contained malts flowers herbs, and fruit.
It tasted richly of molasses and cloves and nutmeg allong with tou8ches of dark chereries, black currents, cinnamon, and dark breads.
The mouthfeel was heavy but pleasantly carbonated.
overall i felt that this was an excelent rich beer and will definatly get it again

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Photo of vwcraig
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured 330mL bottle into a Duvel glass.

Dark brown with a two-finger high tan and rocky head. Head really retains well and laces nicely as the glass is emptied.

Can really smell sweet malts, prunes maybe even some apricot in there.

First taste was able to sense a coffee-like bitterness. Taste really follows the nose with this one. Quite smooth.

Sharp carbonation in mouthfeel. Experienced slight numbing on tongue.

Not as smooth as Chimay Blue but still very enjoyable. This is a good one for the LAST beer of the evening.

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

The guy at the store shouted the name of this beer at me (with a faked accent) when I asked where the beer was. He said they just got it in and popped a bottle and loved it. I can see why. The bottle was a bit bigger than the one in the picture here and was corked, not capped.

A- Dark brown with a nice thick head that rest nicely as does the beer itself

S- Sweet smelling with lots of caramel and maple syrup scents

T- Sweet syrup and a hint of chocolate with some coffee aftertaste

M- Very smooth for a beer of its dark color and it settles nicely

D- It didn't last long for me but I was a little light-headed after. One at a time people, if it's the size I had.

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Photo of Mark13
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Bottle 27.01.17, stored about 9 months. Aroma of flowers, fruits, caramel, bread and little alcohol. Ruby coloured beer, slightly hazy. Two fingered tan head, reduces to flat with little lacing. Sweet in taste - fruits, caramel, bread. Sour aftertaste of plums, grain, yeast. Low bitterness, very high carbonation, which spoils tasting. Alcohol is strongly perceptible. Full body, thick texture are tiring even for dessert beer. Not bad, but I’ve expected more.

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

Picked this up for Sunday dinner with the family.... most were too intimidated to try it for some reason.

The beer pours nicely, yielding large ammounts of slightly tan head on top of a rich red-mahogany.

The aroma I first picked up was grapes... wine grapes. This was followed closely by a sweet-orange peel and rich malt aroma.

The taste was very well balanced: nice full malt body (was this beer based on munich malt?), the toffee-like (candied apple and toasted malt?) sweetness being balanced by the dry, crisp finish of warming alcohol and light hop citrus-tones.

Overall, an excellent beer to accompany any meal, especially on a cold autumn day.

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

750ml poured into a Stone Brewery tulip.

Appearance: purple mahogany with small white head and minimal lacing.

Aroma: iron, figs, roasted malts, syrupy and nutty.

Taste: fruity sweetness, malty goodness and belgian spice.

Mouthfeel: medium body with medium carbonation and dry finish.

Overall impression: tasty and sweet, this is an incredible beer. anytime. any day.

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

750 ml bottle poured into a tulip

a-pours a deep auburn with off white mocha two inch head

s-Belgian yeast, caramel, dates

t-hits your taste buds with tons of flavor including sweet caramel, fruity dates and raisins, yeast and malt

m-lots of light carbonation that brings out the flavor

o-really great tripel, lots of complex flavor and perfect for unwinding after a long day

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Photo of martinpfal
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Have had this one I the past and not sure why I haven't rated it.....until now.
Look is dark brown Amber. Plenty of head that dies quick. Smell is bready/boozy. Medium body with yes some sweety maltiness which I generally don't like but it completely makes this beer and knocks it out of the park. A delicious Belgian that even at 5.99 a bottle is still one I'll continue to buy.

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Photo of KKB
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A – A deep ruby-amber with a voluminous khaki head, carbonation slowly flowing from the bottom; the tight fluffy bubbles on top of this gorgeous looking body make my mouth water a little bit.

S – As one person put it, “it’s malty sweet, scotchy and dark fruity.” I think that is an utterly appropriate explanation. The sweetness invades your senses but it has a juiciness to it that is definitely the product of dark fruits and it has a slight alcoholic aroma to it as well. A slight bready backbone holds all the aromas together and they form a chorus of delight singing hallelujah into my welcoming nostrils.

T – Oh sweet ambrosia thy name is Gulden Draak! The taste of this beer is simply divine, something the Gods most certainly would find an adequate form of sustenance. It is both sweet and sour with the tones that I discovered in the nose following through onto the taste buds: dates, black cherries, raisins, plums, brown sugar, cocoa…then as it warms a sort of clove, cinnamon, butterscotch, tobacco, yeasty-spicy goodness invades the pallet, with maybe, just maybe, a hint of hops in there as well.

M – Velvety cream, a medium-full body with a fine carbonation that makes it oh so smooth to drink. Followed by a nice alcoholic burn that does not overwhelm but merely holds you ever so tenderly, and as my dear friend Harris once said about a cabernet sauvignon, it’s like the last fold of the blanket being pulled over you as you tuck into bed.

O – This is a beer to grow old with, I love this beer, I will have this beer countless times again over the course of my life. I’m sure I’ll find beers I enjoy more in the years I have left to me, as my exploration is still just in it’s infancy, but this beer is one of the first beers I have ever fallen truly in love with. It is a sonnet, a cool and refreshing breeze, the welcome company of a good friend, and a solemn promise of good things to come. Thank you gulden draak.

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

750ml caged and corked bottle with no apparent date. I love the idea of an absolute lightproof bottle. Poured a very dark garnet/brown color with an almond head that reduced till it sat on top. Initial aroma from the bottle was cotton candy, but when poured it was spicy and like a fresh cut field. The taste was heavy malts and brown sugar with brandy soaked cherries and plums. There were some faint hints of caramel in the finish, perhaps burnt. There was a little hoppiness to the finish, but not much. Alcohol is masked well, making this quite drinkable. A complex ale in a sweet-kinda way, would have liked to see more hops here. But over all it was a great experience that I would love to have again.

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Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- A lovely copper with nice white head

S- The smell of alcohol slightly cuts through the sweet aroma of dark fruits.

T- Very sweet. It is almost as if it is a dessert beer. Albeit, the taste is very complex with a sweet mixture of several fruits such as raisins and prunes. Additionally, there is a subtle sour cherry flavor that blends well with the high alcohol.

M- The high carbonation tickles the palette and the tongue.

D- Not very drinkable due to the combination of high alcohol and high sweetness. One bottle of this every once in a while more than does the job.

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

A: Medium-brown and cloudy. The pour from the tap left very little head. It looks heavy and almost daunting.

S: Syrupy, caramel-malt aroma hints at slow-sipping beer: what I'd expect of a beer of this magnitude. The smell is dominanted by raisins.

T: Excusite and complex. The malty sweetness is actually quite mild and finishes relatively dry.

M: Smooth and a little sticky given its associated mild-sweetness. It's not as heavy as I thought it was going to be.

D: Remarkably easy to drink given the alcohol content. If I wasn't told the ABV ahead of time, I would've ordered more and eventually been in trouble.

Draak is one of the best belgian strong ales I've ever had. Highly recommended!

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Photo of L0ne
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From backlog. On draft, February 2015.

Classic Belgian flavors. Fruity from the Belgian yeast, banana, cherry, lots of spices. The spices, spicy alcohol character (a bit too booze forward for me though), and prickly carbonation all work hand in hand to create a unique drinking experience.

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Photo of norwichboy
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation deserves a mention with a white coated Duvel shaped bottle, with a striking black label with gold trim and gold dragon print above red lettering "Gulden Draak".

Appearance: very deep golden colour with a large very thick creamy biege head, excellent retention and glass-coating lacing. Smell: very sweet alcohol, bubblegum, caramel and fruit aromas: pear, some cherries and banana too. Taste: woomph, there's the alcohol; dark fruits, some spiciness. Very sweet plus sour and bitter. A very long bitter-sweet aftertaste. Lightly carbonated. Drinkability: there's certainly reward for the very strong alcohol sweetness, and I'm left wanting more. This is a beer to grow and grow on you.

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Photo of jerryjeff
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma
Nice and spicy in character, getting hints of raisin, fig, and clove maybe with the malt scents intermixed.

Mouthfeel
Medium in carbonation, a bit of oiliness on the palette remains.

Appearance
Pours to medium dark amber with some reddishness. Not much in way of initial head from pour, but what is there is hanging around and lacing a bit (poured to chimay goblet).

Taste
An almost brandyish character, the alcohol is fairly well hidden in there (10.2% abv) with some slight warming. Some clove in the taste maybe, and there is some residual malt but not too much sweetness.

Drinkability
I really, really like this. I don't know how many I'd want at a sitting though, it's a beer to drink slowly and taste fully.

Overall
This stuff is really great, one of my favorites I've had recently.

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Photo of ivehadthatbrew
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Look (4): An unfiltered ruby red and brown hue. A pretty beige head, but that doesn't really stick around.

Smell (4.5): Big thick biscuit bready aroma with caramel malty sweetness. The boozey smells are also there, which is expected once a brew hits double digits in ABV.

Taste (4.25): All of those amazing smells are definitely prevalent in this brew via taste. You can also pick up delicious dried raisons and plums. This is pretty fucking good dawg.

Mouthfeel (3.75): Not as smooth as I'd like, but there is a nice creamy feel there. Still more course then I'd like it. Medium plus to full bodied. Definitely on the sweeter side. The after taste sticks around for a while, so theres a nice ending to it.

Overall (4.25): This is a sexy ass beer. I've got my hands on most of the variants. I'm excited to try them all! Just probably not in one night...

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

Appearance - Reddish/Brown, not much of a head on it but it sticks with the drink all the way down. Some lacing

Smell - Dark fruits right off the top with a slight apple smell and malts.

Taste - Can taste the fruit flavor and maltyness. Not getting a whole lot of alcohol flavor. Very well balanced. This is one of the tastiest beers I have had recently.

Mouthfeel/Drink - Not as heavy as I expected, good carbonation. Deceptively easy to drink for it's ABV.

I have had this beer prior to reviewing it. Last year my mom bought me a bottle for Christmas, and I liked it, but that was before I was really into beer. So I decided to revisit it and I was not disappointed.

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Photo of kbanks13
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz poured into a tulip

A: Pours a clear copper/burgdy color with almost a finger of frothy tan head which disappears almost immediately. There is virtually no lacing on the glass. Color was nice, but the rest was a bit of a dissapointment.

S: Warm alcohol up front followed by currants, anise, sweet plums and caramel. Some toasty grain too.

T: Alcohol hits hard immediately, but not harshly. Tart cherries and sweet dark fruits come up. A hint of caramel which fades to a toasty grain/malt flavor that lingers on the tongue.

M: A bit thin but coating and slick for sure. A bit more carbed than other examples of this style that I've had.

D: The alcohol content of this beer was very apparent in this brew's smell and taste. More so than the other styles I've had at comparable ABV. This is only something to keep in mind, not something to discourage me from buying more in the future. It had lots of great flavor and had a nice smell to it too. I enjoyed this and would buy more later. Wondering if a little age might dull down the aggressiveness of the alcohol here though, I will have to try later.

 1,111 characters

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

Served out of a bottle and into a stemless wine glass.
Appearance- dark brown, light to medium carbonation, two finger head that quickly reduces.
Smell- notes of rasins, ginger and figs, wonderful aroma.
Taste- Dark fruit and Belgium yeast shines through balanced with malt and hops, alcohol warms at the end.
Mouthfeel- very pleasant.
Overall- Very Drinkable Belgium beer that is acutally rather complex.At 10.5 abv you wouldn't know it as it is so well balanced.

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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 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 jporf911
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle into a standard glass.

Appearance- Ruddy brown with a one-finger tan head. The fizzy nature of the head makes it seem as though there is significant carbonation, which is not true.

Smell- Sweet hints of molasses, toasted grainy yeast, and lemony spice.

Taste- Given its color, I was not at all expecting the wave of flavor that exploded into my mouth. It strikes a splendid balance between sweet and toasted flavors. Tart dark fruit and malt make an interesting combination. There is almost no alcohol taste at all. There is definitely a bit of mild spiciness, but it fades. The flavors change as the beer travels-- sweet, then toasted and spicy, then a pleasant, mildly sweet aftertaste that lingers for an impressive length of time.

Mouthfeel- Some have described it as "syrupy", but "creamy" is a more accurate adjective. It is somewhat thick but not heavy. It is slightly crisp and definitely refreshing.

Drinkability- This beer is dangerous because you can hardly taste the alcohol at all. I've been drinking it over the course of this review, and my typos have increased substantially by this point. It is supremely drinkable and a wonderful experience. If only it were more affordable.

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Photo of bucko
3.18/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours with a nice carmely-brown color, almost opaque, or at least very dense. The head is off-white and at least a couple of inches which settles to about 1/2 inch after some time. The smell is sweet with hints of fruit and perhaps cake, perhaps even a little nutty. I'm not so crazy about the first sip, all I'm tasting is alcohol. Second sip I the sweet malt takes over. The aftertaste is powerful and not unlike that of a good port, albeit a bit smokey and most noticably not a port. Long term after-taste is almost astringant and I can't help but want something else to wash it away. The mouthfeel is odd to me. It looks like it should be heavier, and it's anything but light, but it isn't heavy, either. Confused? So am I. Very complex. Perhaps too much for my taste. I think I'll have to try a few more before I have a solid opinion.

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Photo of VikingBeer
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle, poured into a tulip glass. This beer is a classic for a reason. Pretty, dark-brown liquid with a nice head; not a lot of lacing, though. Smell is vintage quad, with a textbook spicy Belgian-yeast aroma and a nice whiff of caramel/toffee sweetness. Flavors are also textbook: toffee, roasted apples and bananas, plums and cherries, toasted walnuts, a hint of coffee, and cocktail-rye bread from the malts lead; pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, from hops. Very nice indeed.

 480 characters

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

Company travel offers the benefit of fine dining. As the waitress at Sullivan's steakhouse in Indianapolis rattled off a very common beer list, I resorted to my standard reply that I enjoy the fancier beers. Fortunately somewhere in here training she remembered that they carried Gulden Draak, which she advised was a German beer. It sounded enticing so I ordered it.

Much to my suprise she came back with a 750 ml corked and caged bottle. She even had a special snifter glass with the Gulden Draak name. She poured it perfectly with a thick and foamy three finger head. The aroma was wonderful and the taste sublime. Slightly chilled, the malts imparted a cacaphony of flavors. This triple was so fine that I never noticed the 10.5% ABV. At $19 for the one bottle, thank goodness for business trips.

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.2 out of 5 based on 3,840 ratings.
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