Gulden Draak | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
3,932 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
Ratings:
3,932
Reviews:
1,339
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
11.43%
 
 
Wants:
308
Gots:
862
For Trade:
4
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,932 |  Reviews: 1,339
Photo of johnnnniee
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This curious little white bottle finally got to me today.
A careful pour produces a clear ruby brown liquid with an overflowing beige head that dissipates rather quickly. Smells of wet cardboard, rich caramel malts, bits of dark fruit. Airing it for a bit thankfully removed most of the aromas of oxidation. The flavor is sweet with lots of brown and caramelized sugars. Deep rich dark fruits mixed with a hint of alcohol round out the flavor quite nicely. Medium to thick body with a moderate to high level of carbonation and a sweet bubbly mouthfeel. This is a nice dark ale I quite enjoyed it.

 596 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This a beer that I order when I bring people to try good beers at the Sharp Edge for the first time. Most people are impressed by the 20oz. tulip shaped glass with the golden dragon on it, plus I know that the imbiber is going to get happy real quick. Appearance: Deep mahogany huge velvety tan light brown head extravagant fine lacing very detailed and webbed. Aroma: Deep mulilayered with fruit and fusel alcohol contains a nice balance between sweetness and the herbal hop profile. Taste: Mild chocolate notes with raisin and apple tones that come out slightly caramelized ripened fruit with a toasted nut edge to it all with a slight spiciness that brings the mouth a full orgy of flavors. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied effervescent a true gem in the realm of Belgian beer. Drinkability: Dangerously easy to consume try to keep it to just one of these bad boys in a sitting, definitely one of my all time favorite Belgians.

 922 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Cloudy maple syrup body with a small cream head.

S - Sweet malty syrup and dark honey crystals. Brown sugar and a faint rubbing alcohol note. Faint fruit skin, raisins, and spice notes.

T - Spiced alcohol and sweet, viscous, dry malt. Bitter grape skin and tingly clove effect. Warming alcohol and touch of dark sugars.

M - Warming and drying, this BSDA has a strong effect.

O - A sturdy, strong beer with a complexity and roundness to it.

 448 characters

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

Stubby 330ml brown bottle that is powder coated with a white (paint?) in a clever way to both prevent the light from intruding and make the bottle immediately recognizable. Pours a clear amber color with more than 2 fingers of somewhat yellowish/tan stained head. Significant amount of lace clings to the glassware and the head retains fairly well. Continuous bubbles rise to the surface in support of the head. Nose is fruity sweet and quite pleasant with the malt character being a mix of something like caramelized raisins and a bit of nuttiness with alcohol coming through from the back and a faint touch of hops make themselves known in a partially grassy way. Taste has a big alcohol presence that is somewhat solvent and quite warming. Upfront the flavors of malty sweetness meet the bittering hops and are eventually overtaken by the big alcohol character. Alcohol reigns supreme throughout the tasting experience with notes of caramelized malt sweetness and slight bitter hops in the finish. There is a lingering taste left in the mouth that is a mix between the lingering alcohol, caramelized malt sweetness and hop bitterness all fighting for the attention/last impression left in your mouth. Feel of this big beer is medium with a moderate amount of carbonation that fits the bill perfectly. Clearly a sipper, it is strangely drinkable for how much alcohol presence is displayed.

 1,391 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of AlexFields
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of tdm168
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at World of Beer Raleigh. Served in a tulip.

A - a dark plum color with a thin lacing of head

S - bready, spicy

T - bread, caramel, toffee, sugar, alcohol

M - medium to full bodied, warm, crisp

This is a really nice beer. It's malty, sweet, balanced, and complex. This is probably one of the better beers that I've had in this style. I will have it again.

 367 characters

Photo of rolltide8425
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of chippo33
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of rab53
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy brown that has a big touch of amber to it. Minimal head. Nose is slight with a lean towards marshmallows. Touch of citrus. Flavor is very well balanced with a strong sweet tone that stays constant. Strong and steady. After a while you get a slight alcohol tone that has stayed masked consistently as you drink. Tons of things rolling over your tongue on this one. Caramel is another. Mouthfeel is a bit too high on the carbonation, which drops the drinkability just a touch. Overall damn good. Worth trying. Worth trying again.

 542 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of the bottle into a tulip glass. KABOOM!! Man this thing didn't wait, cage unhooks and cork goes flying. Bit of a gush but not totally at least I was near the sink.

Looks like a fairly good sized head but falls kind of quick with a nice light tan. Foamy on top but bigger and soapier on the bottom. Body is a caramel dull red and mostly opaque. Not that too exciting looking but certainly appealing.

Dubbell smelling like in style dry yeast and malt, with a hint of cherries too. Hints of alcohol and definitely heat on the nose. Almost gets into wine territory.

Steely like dark malts borderline scotch ale, and a hint of sweet caramel. Palate exercises some good carbonation but finishes with refreshing caramel sweetness and tripel like brewed yeast punchiness. Hints of cherries and soft berry like fruit.

Overall not too bad an interesting take, not getting the hop presence it mentions so much on the bottle but an otherwise enjoyable beer.

 962 characters

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

On tap at the Tap Room in Bedford NY. In a Gulden Draak Belgian style glass. Yeehaa, top rated brew on tap in the appropriate glass. This stunning brew pours ruby, brownish, and cloudy. Dark tan head, leaves nice wavy lacing. Exotic nose of cherries, fruit,alcohol,cloves,apricots. Flavor notes figs, raisins,nuts, sweet malts,vanilla,oak, Belgian yeastyness. Can you say complex? Soft mouthfeel, this is terrific stuff, bold flavors, strong and intense. A Belgian lovers dream. Seek this stuff out and enjoy!

 509 characters

Photo of mklisz
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of jwc215
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml faux ceramic cage-corked bottle, poured into a tulip glass:

Pours dark brown with a thick, foamy/creamy off-white head. The head thins then stays around, leaving some broken rings of lacing on the glass.

The smell is of caramel with earthy notes and dark fruits. A nice spiciness mixes in.

The taste is of sweet caramel/toffee, a bit toasty, with earthy/peppery spicing and medium to dark fruitiness (some raisins, esp. as it progresses). Some sharp, grassy hops come through to help the herbal spiciness balance the sweetness. Very complex and tasty.

Medium-bodied, sharp yet creamy.

The alcohol/spicy bite slows it down a bit, as does the lingering sweetness (though it never reaches cloying). No complaints, here though, as it is meant to be sipped slowly anyway.

A complex, delicious sipping treat!

 815 characters

Photo of Lare453
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A deep, dark, burgundy brown color, and a thick, full, rocky, tannish head. Aroma sizzles over with all things good, a sensory overload of hop sensation: fruity notes, earthy notes, hints of leather and lavender, grapes, wines, figs, raisins. One of my all-time favorite aromatic brews. A full pallet-load of hops on the palate (sorry, couldn't resist trying that one out just once!) A flood of brilliant bitterness on first sip, that just keeps giving and giving and giving. Solid malt here, too, holding everything together. Fierce and fiery, like the breath of the beast that graces the label and gives this ale it's name. Hot, substantial, and impressive, the dragon is formidable!
One drawback is the "drinkability" issue. My first time with the Dragon, I shared a750ml with a friend, and still woke up the next AM, moaning and groaning, able only to utter: "Guuuulden Drak...guuuuuulden draaaaak....."
Had a 11.2oz.er for the purpose of this review, and I felt it terribly the next day. How to rate the ease with which one drinks the Dragon, when the Dragon always slays you? "Yes, I'll have another"...some other day....

 1,129 characters

Photo of 22Blue
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Duff27
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Cloudy brown with a short lived head. Lacing present.

S- Raisins. Sweet.

T- Delicious. Grapes. Belgian yeast. Sweetness. Almost finishes like grape kool aid.

M- Smooth. Thin to medium body.

D/O- No way is this 10.5%abv. Entirely too drinkable. Definitley would sneak up on you if you let it. Very nice beer.

 315 characters

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

Poured on-tap and served in a chalice, the beer is a clear, dark, orange-hued brown coloring with no head. Beer is very clean in the glass. Aromas of toffee and caramel sweetness, with a slight hopping to balance. The nose is balanced amazingly, and very subtle. Extremely smooth in mouth, with a boozey kick right off the bat. Flavors are toffee sweet malt with a ton of old world fruit charcteristics, including dates, currants, and some raisin. The aftertaste is rich and tangy sweet, with a touch of toffee and hops, and a little bit of warmth at the end of the palate. The finish is slick, and almost creamy. Delicious beer! Masterfully blended and balanced.

 663 characters

Photo of Dicers
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Tone
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, dark amber color. 3/4 inch head of a pale tan color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of hops, sweet malt, yeast, dark citrus, alcohol, and slight bread. Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of dark citrus (cherries), sweet malt, hops, yeast, and slight alcohol. Overall, a good body, blend, alcohol is well-hidden, and good aroma.

 433 characters

Gulden Draak from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.2 out of 5 based on 3,932 ratings.
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