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Gulden Draak | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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Gulden DraakGulden Draak
BA SCORE
4.24/5
Exceptional
3,985 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:
1,351
Ratings:
3,985
pDev:
11.32%
Bros Score:
4.42
 
 
Wants:
315
Gots:
890
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,985 |  Reviews: 1,351
Photo of KeefD
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with hints of amber, decent amount of foam in the snifter that goes away quickly, leaving no lacing. Smell is super sweet, grassy, and slightly herbal. Taste is ultra-malty, slightly fruity, with hints of dark fruits (plums, raisins) and roasted malts. Good mouthfeel, very high carbonation gives this one a nice body. A good BSDA.

 350 characters

Photo of ritzkiss
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

 644 characters

Photo of Benesi88
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of addiwilliams
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of neonbrown82
3.56/5  rDev -16%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is one of the first belgian beers I ever had, before I even knew anything about belgian beer. This is the first time I've tried it since I was 16, and it's not nearly as awesome as I remembered it being 6 years ago.

The beer pours magnificent, however. It is a rich brown amber color with a burgundy hue when held to the light. The head is a fluffy inch thick and seems to have flowing currents through it from the carbonation jets that stream all along the edges of the tulip glass, creating a brilliant trail in the beer.

The nose is incredibly candi sugar sweet, bordering on the unpleasant side. Lots of malt, dark berries and fruity esters help to balance it out a bit, but it is quite overwhelming.

The taste is an assault on the palate. I think every inch of my tongue shuddered on contact, especially upon the heavy ethanol finish. Very sweet but also has some sour and bitter in the finish. The dark berries and alcohol are strong in the end. Somewhat barleywine-like.

I most definitely could not drink more than one of the 330 mL bottles of this even if I wanted to.

 1,093 characters

Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A - A dark brown color with a frothy, two finger, deep tan head. It has great retention and nice little rings of lace. A pretty beer for sure.

S - Oh my! Fabulous odor! Pineapples, dates, currants, vanilla, molasses malt. The abv is undetectable.

T - Strong molasses malt accompanied by sweet dates and black currants. There is a bitter aftertaste paired with a sweet date and pineapple flavor. Abv is well masked, but detectable. Very good.

M - Smooth and viscous. A bit too frothy and it kind of leaves a film in your mouth. It is neither dessicating nor refreshing .

D - This is strong and sweet, yet I had no trouble drinking it. I tasted it before and had to have a full one for myself. Very nice. I just wish it were cheaper.

 784 characters

Photo of rrski198
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of Dzu
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Gulden Draak dragon egg glass.
L: Dark ruby a massive foam head.
S: Smells dark-fruity, raisin.
T: Sweet, wine, caramel a little bit.
F: Warm and massive, a little boozy.
O: Definitely one of my favourite!

 220 characters

Photo of npendres
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of SStein
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Fordknox
3.79/5  rDev -10.6%

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This bottle is at least 2 years old.

Pours a beautiful mahogany body. Aromas of brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Flavors include cola, cherry, brown sugar, and cinnamon. But, it is not sweet at all. Pairs perfectly with the Belgian waffles down at the Cheeky Monk.

Man, I love this beer. Rich and malty, smooth and easy. A real creeper of a beer. You don't know its 10% while you're drinking it, but in 10 minutes...

 421 characters

Photo of beerhunter13
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of Scott_McCool
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of MaxOhle
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of rand
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle into a snifter

2012 bottle...been letting it chill for awhile

A: Dark-mahogany in color, super-effervescent, presumably from the extended bottle-conditioning. It's not as viscous as expected, and a giant head dissipates down to nothing.

S: Booze and esters dominate the bouquet. Sweet, biscuity, with notes of raisin and butterscotch. There's a touch of hop astringency at the edge of the bouquet, offset by a creamy, dairy-like aspect.

T: The butterscotch notes seem to hit the palate first, I think because they're so tasty and unusual. They're not cloying, and seemingly not from diacetyl, more like a palate-interpretation of the esters. Mid-sip there's a bit of earthiness - oaky and bready, but this brew is as smooth as they come. Aging probably helped, but the flavors here are streamlined and elegant. Medium finish with lingering sweetness.

M: Relatively light on the palate, at least for the style. Bottle-conditioning added a lot of carbonation that gives the brew levity.

I'm not really sure why, but this isn't as popular as some other examples of style, at least around San Diego. This deserves to be on a pedestal - a perfectly drinkable beer that blurs the line between a beer and a liqueur.

 1,252 characters

Photo of CaptainNomihodai
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of eulerthegrape
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of martyl1000
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of elgiacomo
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip and chalice. I think this is about two years old. Pours brown with ruby highlights, nice big beige head, very foamy, retains nicely, Some large clumps of lace. Quite attractive.

Aroma starts yeasty and a bit funky with raisins, apples, banana, balanced with healthy dose of sweet chocolate, caramel, and toffee malts. Complex and very nice.

Flavor sweet chocolate, caramel, malty, with a good balance of apples, raisins and other fruits, some candy sugar and yeast/bread. Sweet overall, but incredibly complex and delicious. Some alcohol warming, but not hot in any way. I can see a fresh bottle having a bit of alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel is full and rich, yet prickly carbonation, especially when first poured. The sweetness and fullness can become a tad cloying toward the end.

I had passed this by many, many times, despite the beautiful bottle, being under the assumption it was a golden triple which isn't one of my favorite styles. Really glad I tried this, Gulden Draak is incredible, highly recommended. Great depth, evolves tremendously with temperature. Not your average Tripel by any means.

 1,138 characters

Photo of PeakedInHighSchool
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

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

Photo of mattsmith413
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of axeman9182
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle from Amanti Vino's Beer of the Month club March package. It was poured into my Duvel tulip.

Gulden Draak pours a hazy chestnut brown, with a voluminous four fingers or so of very light tan foam. Head retention is outstanding, it positively creeps down towards the body of the beer. Lacing isn't quite up there with the best Belgians though, it's fairly spotty. The nose is wonderful, heavy on figs and raisins and brown sugar, with just a little bit of alcohol creeping in in the background. The flavor profile can't quite follow through on all that though, as it's very heavy on plums, and the booziness (while still not harsh) is a bit more prevalent here. The brown sugar is faded significantly, an the dark fruit aspect of the beer doesn't have the same depth, it's much more one note here. The body is sufficiently light for a high ABV Belgian beer, but the carbonation just doesn't quite have the activity/effervescence that some of the best do. This is my first time trying Gulden Draak in a couple years, and I'm enjoying it a bit more now than I remember. It's a well above average Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

 1,131 characters

Photo of cosmonick
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Gulden Draak from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 4.24 out of 5 with 3,985 ratings
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