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

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,311 Reviews
Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Belgium | website

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:
1,311
Ratings:
3,800
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
19.52%
 
 
Wants:
294
Gots:
770
For Trade:
3
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,311 | Ratings: 3,800
Photo of Amdahl
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark brown with more than ample white head. The aroma is sweet. The smell of fruit is dominant. Raisin is the first smell, but this smells like a very complex beer. The taste is very smooth and sweet. There are not a lot of hops in the flavor; it is really malty. There is a definite warming as this beer goes down. Medium bodied. This is a beer that I will try again and again until I completely figure it out.

 434 characters

Photo of davidfoley
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Orange, Burnt Caramel, Light Ruby, colour. Moderate head retention. Strong carbonation.

Smell - Malty, Spicy, light hops. Hints of Orange, Apple, Banana, Apricot, Vanilla, Alcohol, & Fig

Taste - Well balanced, tangy sweet with lots of fruit. Hints of orange, rhubarb, summer berries, & lime. Smooth, mild bitterness with some tangy fruity malt in the after taste. Quite sweet and fruity. Mild alcohol presence. Strong sweetness from the malt

Mouthfeel - Smooth, slightly syrup with string crisp carbonation.

Drinkability - Good beer, a little fruity for my taste. Heavy Alcohol weight, 10% ABV, so not a session beer. A nice winter warmer.

 656 characters

Photo of SpencerSauce
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a scary looking beer haha. Tasted awsome. Popped the cork off like a rocket.

A- Dark reddish, with a dark head. almost brown.

S- caramel or something sweet , black cherries are prominent. Boozy smell.

T- sweetness of caramel, brown sugar or toffee. Cherries for sure.

M- coats the mouth nicely, smoothe though

D- easy for a while then gets slightly harder.

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

Pours good with a thick head. Color is dark, but does not taste like a dark beer. It smells rather good, but nothing too special. A little dry in the taste, but nothing too bad. Goes down smooth with no real after taste. Not a bad beer, but nothing too special other than the oddity that it does not taste like a dark beer.

Verdict: Try this beer.

 348 characters

Photo of Maurod4d
2.91/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer was served into a goblet and poured from an 11.2 oz bottle.
The color was a rich amber not quite brown to my surprise, with a very thick foamy head.
On the nose I got tons of honey... Then with the taste I got tons of honey as well and that to me is where it went down hill.

In my opinion it was a much to sweet beer in an attempt to mask the high alcohol content.

None the less it was unlike any other beer I have ever tasted before in my life and was quite an experience and pleasure to taste this beer, just not up my alley as far as favorite tastes.

 565 characters

Photo of BassBone
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay chalice from the standard 33 cl. bottle. This beer poured wonderfully dark almost opaque brown/red with a one finger tan white head that dissipated somewhat after a few minutes. Moderate lacing as the beer went down.

The nose is sweet, somewhat fruity, and malty with a small hop undertone.

The taste is complex and again sweet and fruity with heavy malt and underlying hoppy spice and a wonderful lingering finish. The 10.5% abv is not readily apparent in the taste or the mouthfeel.

This beer feels like liquid gold in the mouth and goes down especially smooth.

This is definitely something I could drink a lot of, but slowly. This is a beer to savor, not chug.

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Photo of vikingmike
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy, muddy tan coloured...like aged leather

S: Candied fruits with a hint of something citrusy

T: Distinct malty sweetness. This IS a very sweet beer, but not cloyingly so. Tastes of pepper and a spice which I can't place. Very warm in the finish...reminds you that its 10.5% ABV

M: Thick, viscous, slightly syrupy

D: Like a lot of Belgians, this one conceals its ABV extremely well. You don't feel it until you stand up. Extremely tasty beer, one that I wish were more widely available in my area

 505 characters

Photo of Andrewtherooster
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown with a nice cloudy white head. Great lacing.

Smells of dark fruits--plums and prunes. I got a little whiff of some green pear qualities, as well as plenty of alcoholic esters.

In the taste there is a reoccurrence of fruits with a big, warming alcohol. Finishes with a roastiness that I'm not sure if it's coming from the alcohol or the malt. While drinking this, I could not help but think about how well this would go with a spicy green curry, or even something like fried plantains. Absolutely delicious beer that I could see going great with food.

Mouthfeel is medium and heavily carbonated. Perfect to the style.

I would whole-heartedly recommend this beer. It's very drinkable, is complex without being overbearing, and absolutely delicious. Well worth the $5 I paid for the bottle.

 810 characters

Photo of xodin
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark mahogany with minimal head fading fast. Aromas contains some spice, roasted malts, and a hint of fruit, but dissipate soon after the pour. Taste is comprised of rum-like spice notes, dark candy, and roasted malts with a hint of bitterness from the hops peeking through. Smooth and sweet through the swallow with a slightly dry and bitter finish. Fairly well balanced, and warming, but lacks significant complexity and character. An above average brew, but nothing overly exceptional about its quality.

 521 characters

Photo of itsfreeasinbeer
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Reddish-mahogany with a ½ inch of finely bubbled beige head that has serious staying power.

Smell: Smells like plums and apricot. The aroma is very fruity.

Taste: bready malts complimented by floral fruitiness from the yeast. It has a very sweet plum flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: Not heavily carbonated.

Drinkability: definitely a great choice for a dessert beer. At 10.5% abv, it is deceptively balanced. This is a little too sweet to drink much of.

 466 characters

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

Big fizzy cream colored head which recedes within the first couple sips leaving a small amount of lace. Smells of alcohol and sweet roasted malt, raisins(?), sweet bread. Pours a very dark colored brown. Some light visible through the glass, but not much. A kick ass Belgian Ale. This is what Belgium is known for. So so smooth and a “big” beer for sure. Very complex. It only gets better as it warms. Enjoy with a hearty meal.

 431 characters

Photo of Meganomiidae
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Beautiful scorched honey brown body, with a thick and quickly dissipating tan head, leaving minimal lacing.

S: Seductive raisin and fig, mingling with dessert pull-apart bread sweetness. Slight coconut and rum undertones.

T: Honey, caramel, and stone fruits mingling with an ever so slight black pepper that boldens with increasing temperature. Lesser hints of deep red grape. Finishes slightly sweet leaning more towards dry.

M: Smooth, effervescent, fun. Not quite champagne level carbonation, but fairly high. Nice and light, like a tripel should be.

O: Can't believe it took me this long to get around to trying this beauty. Generally a bit cheaper than most belgian beers in my neck of the woods, and thus certainly worthy of repeat.

 755 characters

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

had this beauty at lucky baldwins in pasadena. good times. the appearance was a murky brown with a think, thick head, reminding me of a root beer float. the aroma is full of fruit, yeast, tiny hint of sweet malt and hop spice. the taste was floral and fruity. with sweet and almost sour at times mild grape flavor. it is a medium bodied beer with sweet fruity yeast aftertaste.

 377 characters

Photo of OtisinAZ
4.76/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As i am not a big fan of the Belgiums (too sweet) this triple was one hell of a surprise.
The pour - dark with a nice tan head that settled fairly quickly.
The taste - WOW!!! perfect balance of sweet with a caramel malt perfectly carbonated. Easy drinking and enjoyable.
The smell - slight nutty and candy left me wondering what I was in for. Turns out it was one of the finest beers I have ever had.

 400 characters

Photo of ksmi116
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Koningshoeven goblet.

A - Dark brown body with a good sized tan head. Dissipates eventually with some solid lacing on it,

S - First smell is a bit of an alcohol burn, then dark fruits and candied sugar smells. Quite good smelling so far!

T - Raisins, candied sugar, bitterness at the finish. Less impressive taste than the smell, which really threw me for a loop. I tend to have a problem discerning Belgian style flavors though, not sure why.

M - high carbonation with a medium body.

D - Overall, a good beer, just I expected more with the hype

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Photo of HuskerTornado
4.96/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

330ml bottle poured into Gulden Draak tulip glass. Pours a cola brown color with ruby undertones and a medium sized caramel colored head that dissipates slowly, leaving a quarter inch head and a nice amount of lacing in the glass.

Smell is a dark fruits, plums, cherries, raisins, sweet caramel malt and alcohol.

Taste is just as it smells. Sweet, dense malt upfront with a myriad of dark fruits lending support, including raisins, cherries, and plums. In addition to the sweetness, there's also an herbal quality towards the finish, and some peppery notes. Aftertaste reminds me a bit of cinnamon swirl raisin bread. The 10.5% alcohol is there throughout, with extra punctuation towards the finish. This is a big beer, very complex. Mouthfeel is on the medium-heavy side with a slick, smooth and creamy quality due to the healthy carbonation.

Overall, one of the best strong dark ales in the world and one of my favorite beers period. A treat for the senses, always worth having some on hand. Ages very well. Delicious.

 1,023 characters

Photo of 4thoseabout2bock
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

strong, dark, sweet, lovely
don't be confused by the Gulden -- its not Golden, its a dark triple
packs a punch too
reminds me in that respect of Gouden Carolus Grand Cru/Emporer

pours a dark but clear ruby brown

smells sweet and toffee

taste toffee, plum, belgian spice and a little burnt brown sugar

A wonderful beer that you probably shouldn't drink all night, but given the chance I probably would

Its gonna be a rough Tuesday
this beer is delicious and strong

 482 characters

Photo of jimbomill
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The white bottle with the Black label, which is adorned with a golden dragon (the gulden draak) complete with red and subtle white lettering stands out.

The pour yields a bit of foam atop a rich dark brown body, highlighted by the golden "Duval" lettering on my glass. First taste is rich and creamy, with a hint of toffee/coffee taste.

The nose is nicely coincident to the taste values. This sibling to the strong pale ale Piraat belgium is equally great. It is a tad heavier, consistent with the Strong Dark Ale belgium that is GD.

 541 characters

Photo of korndog
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Gulden Draak snifter at 57F. Massive head stuck around for a bit leaving some intricate lacing. Color is somewhat lighter and redder than I was expecting. A very presentable pour. Nose was malt, candi syrup, slight dark-fruit; not sure if it was my nose today, but not much happening on the aroma side for me. Taste was spot on, with fabulous carbonation fanning the sweet vapors back into my nose. Lots more going on here than in nose, with figs, tobacco, cherry notes. Belgian fruity yeast character present but not over the top. All in all, a fine beer.

 568 characters

Photo of jaymesbawned
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a ceramic painted bomber into a Duvel Tulip

Appearance-Very surprisingly dark for a so-called tripel. nice deep brown with tan head

Smell-Instatnyly get a banana smell, combined with the belgian yeast makes a kind of banana bread quality to it. a tiny bit of alcohol balances it out wonderfully.

Taste-follows the smell with a nice bananabready flavor, posibly some raisin.

Mouthefeel-coats well, but not to thick

Overall- Very solid beer, seems like it is it's own style as I haven't seen any other dark tripels one of my favorites now.

 554 characters

Photo of jaz
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say about this beer? IMO, if the gods had a favorite drink, it would be Gulden Draak! This beer poured a beautiful, slightly hazy, deep reddish carmel color with a generous, thick, creamy white head. The aroma was a fantastic blend of alcohol, carmel, and spices. As I tipped the tulip to my lips, I could taste the sweet juice before it touched my mouth! The taste was an extreme blast of sweetness, a complex and wonderful blend of malts and a definite alcohol flavor that swirled my taste buds into a frenzy. I swallowed, and to my delight a wonderful hops bitterness came through, riding along side the flavors of coriander and sweet orange peal. My mouth was in heaven, and my pallet demanded more of the heavenly nectar, but my brain cells warned me of the effect that 10.5% alcohol would have on my ability to drive home. So much for driving home, I'm headed to the store to buy more Gulden Draak!!

 916 characters

Photo of Rhettbuck
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is really quite amazing, but unless you are a large bear should only be consumed in moderation. I had it with a big giant burger and wedge fries. The pairing was nice, but it can easily overpower whatever you are eating with it. Definitely a beer that every dark beer drinker should have, but look for a good price. I paid five dollars just for one!

When I drank it, there was little to no head when poured. The taste is strong, and somewhat sweet. Color is dark, more so than a brown ale, but not quite what you'd get from an Imperial Stout.

 553 characters

Photo of baldmasterflex
3.04/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11oz Stepped stubby bottle (same as the picture) into a wine glass. Wanted to try this because of the interesting flat white bottle and the menacing sounding name. $5.99 at totalwine in delaware.

Dark dark brown with red lowlights when held to the light. White head that didnt accumulate much but lacing clings strongly to the glass.

Smell is very sharp, a little banana sweetness but i find it not very pleasant, peppery and alcoholic.

Taste is very flat, prunish and not much more. Not much like a "trippel" that i was imagining.

Mouthfeel is good, tiny tingly carbonation, not to sticky or thick. Does not taste like 10.5% alc.

 634 characters

Photo of jwheeler85
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass

A- Poured a deep rich amber/brown with a slight off-white head

S- Had a slight grassy and smoky aroma with some nice honey and dark raisin notes coming through.

T- Tastes pretty much like how it smells. Very round and oaky with a good alcohol burn to finish it off.

M- Had an appropriate medium to heavy mouthfeel.

D- I must have been in a good mood this night... all I wrote for overall impressions in my notes was "Great!!!." This one was very satisfying and the bottle is pretty neat too... looks good with the growing collection above my doorway. (Decorating tip: door + crown molding + hot glue = awesome bottle displaying potential). I chose this beer to make a clone of... currently in fermentation. I'm sure it won't be as good, but should be interesting to compare.

 805 characters

Photo of meday
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a short bottle into my Allagash tulip

Dark brown with a reddish hue. From the van Steenberge 6-pack mix I bought, this was the only beer that felt adequately carbonated and delivered a beautiful head.

It smelled of brown sugar and plum. Very inviting.

Deep, beautifully sweet first taste. It was nicely balanced, with caramel and plum overtones. After a couple sips, the sweetness mellowed, and the more earthy and rich tones emerged. I am eating a soft sheep's milk cheese with this, and herbal cream becomes much more prominent in the cheese. Not even a hint of alcohol. Brilliant.

Rich and statisfying in the mouth, with a complete finish.

Drinkability...is it gone already???

This is great as an appetizer with cheese, as the caramel sweetness paired great with a soft sheep's or goat's milk cheese.

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Gulden Draak (Dark Triple) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 1,311 ratings.
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