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Gulden Draak | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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Gulden DraakGulden Draak
BA SCORE
4.24/5
Exceptional
3,996 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:
#819
Reviews:
1,353
Ratings:
3,996
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: 3,996 |  Reviews: 1,353
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%

Photo of StephRai
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Exeter
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of ridgeline23
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Eighty
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of joepais
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle poured dark reddish brown whith an off white billowy head Aromas of grapes (almost vinegar) and yeast fill the nose thru the tulip glass . Smooth rich palate with a slight alcohol burn . The taste of malts, fruits, and alcohol are wonderfuly filling my mouth a well made ale and great bottle design keeps out the uv’s

 332 characters

Photo of Allurex
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of gshak
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of captaincoffee
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours brown with a medium head that leaves some lacing. Nose is sweet caramel, malts, and a touch of booze. Flavor matches with raisin malts, dark sugars. Lots of flavor, lots to like here. I half expected this to be a boozy mess, but it is quite well constructed. Great beer.

 281 characters

Photo of little_star
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of cdkrenz
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my wonderful wife for snagging this brew for me.

A - Dark copper body topped by a two inch medium brown head that fades with the look of lava.

S - Strong aroma of sweet appricot and figs. The nice presence of a floral Belgian yeast is prevalent amidst an alcohol scent.

T - Strong Belgian floral yeast, firm and sweet malt, just enough spice, and the evaporating precence of alcohol make for an extremely unique and tasty Belgian Strong Ale.

M - Light, somewhat airy, moderately corase, and sticky in the finish.

~ There's a reason this beer is considered one of the best on the planet. Try one for yourself so that you too can witness a great beverage.

 669 characters

Photo of cavedave
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pour produces a thick, glowing brown with red highlights, cloudy with fine yeast to the point of opacity, beauty of a beer. It is topped by a finger's worth of beige head, which diminishes languidly to a bubbling cap. Lace splotches cling momentarily to the snifter, then fall.

The smell is a hypnotic bouquet of yeasty notes of a sweet and spicy variety, candy sugar, earthy tones, and a malt presence that is hard to finger, not a bready smell, not caramel, all wrapped in a fruity, and herbal edge. Man, this is complex, and balanced. I could keep my nose here until supper burns. I feel a buzz from just the aroma, if that's possible.

The beer is warmed to where I like drinking tripels now. Good gosh, the flavor of this is staggeringly fine. The yeast is more subdued in the sip than in the aroma, but still it finds a rhythm right away, leading into a sweet rush of caramel, plum, subtle earthy notes, leading into a juicy finish that stays clean and pure, with hints of herbs and spice lingering seductively. Alcohol is present like a ghost, felt but not tasted; there, but not.

Mouthfeel is the perfect combination of thick but not cloying, and low carbonation. Somehow it does the impossible, supporting a long finish, and clearing out. I like the clear out of Unibroue beers, but this is even a better clear out.

Drinkability? Triple red flag warning for extremely, dangerously, fantastically drinkable. This beer fucking rocks. Wish it were less expensive. Lotta nickels for this one!

 1,504 characters

Photo of blabaer
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of GameOfBeers
4.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Shadman
4.73/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nothing Golden about the colour of this brew. Dark, cloudy Chestnet brown. Very nice thick tan head, showed superior tetention and lacing.

Aroma wae nice in a not knocking my socks off way. Rich alcohol soaked fruitiness.

Took quote george from Seinfeld..." I'm blown away" Not incredibly complex, but what's there is amazing. As I'm drinking this I'm thinking why pair wine with food because this is better than most wines I've sampled. Rich malt fruitiness with amzingly well hidden alcohol. Finishes slightly dry and spicy.

Smooth and full bodied mouthfeel.

Still blown away @ how enjoyable this beer was. Smooth, flavourful, not overbearing in any category, yet makes me immediately wishing I had more in the cellar to enjoy.

 735 characters

Photo of Kenai4
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of sommersb
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted On: 07-17-2011
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 330 ml brown bottle
Glassware: Tulip
Purchased: Single from Frugal MacDoogals, Nashville

A: Color is a light to medium brown, with reddish accents, with a somewhat opaque clarity. The head is creamy, tan colored and 4 fingers high. Excellent lacing and good head retention.

S: Smells are strong of spices, dark fruits and alcohol, reminiscent of a whiskey. Also dark, roasted malts and caramel notes.

T: Taste is very rich and complex. Flavors include semi-sweet chocolate, licorice and dark, ripened fruits. There is also the taste of funkiness of Belgian yeast. I get quite a bit of alcohol warmth in this strong brew, with whiskey-like flavors. Also a spiciness that is difficult to pinpoint.

M: A full-bodied beer that's also highly carbonated. The finish is dry (maybe in part due to the wine yeast used in secondary fermentation), with lingering notes of spices, caramel and alcohol.

O: A very luxurious ale that should be sipped slowly to enjoy all the flavors and because of the high alcohol content. Highly recommended!

 1,092 characters

Photo of WVUbrew
4/5  rDev -5.7%

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

This is a dark brown ale with mahogony highlights and a foamy dark tan head that leaves some lace. The aroma has a plummy rich dried fruit characteristic that sheilds most of the high octane alcohol from your nose. That same sweet dried fruit characteristic starts up the flavor and blends nicely with the peppery hop finish. Then you get that tummy warming alcohol sensation. Yum.

 381 characters

Photo of Quafftastic
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Auraan
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep ruby red, semi-opaque, with a one finger off-white head that receded to a white ring rather quickly. While the head was nothing to write home about, the body color was fantastic. Scents of bubblegum, apple, pear, banana, fruity esters of a less describable sort, Belgian yeast, candi sugar and faint hints of alcohol. A good, fruity, yeasty, sweet and complex Belgian aroma. Taste begins with candi sugar, notes of apple and pear and some yeasty dark bread, moves into raisin, prune, sweet bready malts, caramel and some earthy Belgian yeast. Finishes with more bready malt and just a touch of alcohol. Quite nice, rather sweet, but not overly so and very complex. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied, with moderate carbonation, a slight alcohol burn, and a drying finish. Very nice sipping mouthfeel. Overall this is an excellent Belgian Strong Dark. Its got the complexity in both aroma and flavor that defines the style, and a very nice profile to both to boot.

 975 characters

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

33cl, Netherlands.

Sexy light garnet with a thick, bubbly light tan head. Thin layer retains, with a bit of lacing.

Aroma is outstanding with a rich, vinous alcohol note, along with ripe stone fruit, such as cherries and plums.

Flavor is warming as hell. This is a very strong beer, but it's pretty smooth. I like the concept of the dark tripel, though my favorite tripels are dry and refreshing, whereas this beer is quite sweet and pretty heavy. There's a big cherry sweetness, along with some brown sugar and molasses. This is a tasty beer, but the alcohol is quite present. The mouthfeel was well-carbonated and pretty slick and medium-heavy.

As a "dark tripel," Gulden Draak is a unique Belgian ale that makes for a great digestif...or nigthcap, in my case.

 767 characters

Photo of fx20736
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 330ml bottle into a chalice, served at cellar temp.

Turbid lignite brown with a cappuchino head that leaves decent lacing.

Aroma of plums, dates and cocoa.

mouthfeel is soft and supple.

taste: 3 words come to mind; boozy, hot and sweet. Imagine plums, raisins and dates macerated in dark rum and drenched with Black Treacle. There is a sting of hop bitterness on the fade.

notes; WOW, what a great beer!!

 423 characters

Photo of TubaDan
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Gulden Draak from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 4.24 out of 5 with 3,996 ratings
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