Gulden Draak Vintage | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

very good
78 Reviews
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Gulden Draak VintageGulden Draak Vintage

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-17-2006

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Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 148
Photo of Chronofied
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Reviewed just below room temperature in a tulip glass.

Appearance - Reasonably clear with vaguely visible sediment, warm golden brown color with a little bit of ruby when held to the light.

Smell - Sweeter malty smell that is slightly remniscent of caramel. Overall a pretty clean aroma that implies a hoppy taste.

Taste - Taste confirms the smell; malt is prevalent, but not too strong. Caramel taste isn't as acute as the smell. A slightly cozy spice taste comes through, but subtle to the point that you only notice it from a long sip.

Mouthfeel - The feel of the beer is lighter than expected from the smell, but still on the thicker side. It is quite festively carbonated, but still very smooth.

Drinkability - This beer is very drinkable; it has a fantastic smoothness to it, maybe in part due to the light caramel, that bonds extremely well with the malt and leaves almost no alcohol heat behind.

Definitely comes recommended.

NB - The pressure inside was enough that when I popped the cork, it put a mark in a ceiling tile... more pressure than many champagne bottles I've opened.

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Photo of crossovert
4.52/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2007 Vintage.

750ml white coated, red foiled, corked, and caged bottle.

It pours a nice brown/plum with a hint of ruby. It has nice clarity and a big foamy tan head. The ehad sticks for a bit and recedes to some excellent lacing.

The smell is intoxicating, just sweet, dark bread, simple but just enchanting.

The flavor is amazing. It has perhaps a bit more of a spicy/herbal note than the regular gulden. It is definitely lighter, but more complex. There is a huge toffee presence, and some barleywine-like flavors. This is almost like a light Belgian dark barleywine. There is a nice hit of fermented dark fruits and a pinch of alcohol. The malt is traditional and bready, providing a hearty base.

The mouthfeel is right on, it has a full body, but a decent carbonation level.

Just an outstanding beer. I would consider buying another one to age for even longer for sure.

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Photo of pants678
4.51/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An opaque amber that leans more toward brown than red. A head that's beige and frothy and thick that retains throughout.

Hops come through the nose as well as rosemary, plum and a nutty tinge.

A subtlety compared to the fresh bottle. A fruity sweetness comes through the brown sugar flavor in the middle with a welcomed shot of alcohol with a charred base. Takes a turn to effervescent and spicy strawberry. Well defined, not sure if it's a different recipe.

Fine and persistent bubbles.

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Photo of NorCalYeti
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

taste- wood, apple, sweet malt, effervescent

color- brown-ruby

clarity- opaque but it pours clear

smell- cedar, apple

body- full, nice finish, quietly complex

appearance- great color, lively carbonation, nice head

overall impression- great tasting beer, 2.4.2.

notes- refermented in the bottle, natural malt sweetness with a hoppy gentle touch, creamy head. could probably be aged another year, easily. 7.5% abv. this review is for a 2007 vintage tasted in 2008

glassware: tulip

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Photo of oelergud
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage Ale 2007.
Corked and caged opaque white bottle with a red collar. Gold mystical flying creature wearing a santa hat on the label.
Dark opaque mahogany body. Tan head of small to medium bubbles. Good retention and clumpy lace.
Sweet spiced malt scent with abit of pear. Caramel and brown sugar.
Delicious sweet spiced malty goodness. Strong and robust. Plenty of hops with a mild spiked character. Aftertaste of great malty hoppiness, very well balanced.
Full body, good coating and nice and slick.
Great drinkability. Very nice to see a special belgian with a moderate abv. Warmth is an absolute must for this brew. Drink it cold and you will not enjoy it's many nuances.


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Photo of yemenmocha
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with light brown head.

Nose is filled with apple, figs, raisins, and slight grassy herbal components.

Flavor is raisiny malty sweet, with more fruits that were from the nose - apples, raisins, and yet some figs also.

Full flavored ale. Not as hearty as the standard G.D. but worth trying for sure.

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Photo of jeranbrews
4.41/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

* 2009 vintage. Consumed in a 500ml official GuldenDraak glass

A - It has a dark stained redwood color. Fluffy yeasty beige head. A bit cloudy but not overly so. There is a pleasant archipelago of lacing around my tulip glass 4.5

S - faint fruity malty smells. Strawberry tart and pancake syrup. Improves with warming. 4

T - It's initially sweet lacking the alcohol burn of regular Draak. But also lacking the complexity of regular Draak. Aftertaste slightly bitter from hops. And as it warms slightly figgy. Want more complexity. 4

M - A bit too loose. Sugary, a kind of fuzzy fizzy syrup. Still very nice. 3.5

D - I want to have this 2009 in one year and test it again. It's very good but original is better. Normal Draak is Nirvana at the beginning and just good at the end. This beer is pretty good from start to finish. A must try. 4.5

(REVISITED Aug 2015, opened up a saved bottle of 2009 vintage 5 years later)
A - cloudy cedar brown. Low quickly evaporate head. 3.75

S - sour stone fruits. Fig dates. Molasses. Brown sugar. Starchy brothy smells.4.5

T - sweet subtle finish. Fantastic aftertaste. Subtle initial tastes. Sugary sweet. Malty but unspecified. Abbey yeast flavor. 4.25

M - touch of the abv burn on the back of the tongue. Highly silky and smooth. Needs more fizz. 4

D - yummy. Great. Highly enjoyable treat. 5

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Photo of endincolorado
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep copper with some lighter highlights, a huge, fizzy, off-white head that settles with an audible quickness like soda.

Aroma is of roast, spice, and some interesting herbal notes in back- along with a sweetness reminiscent of apple.

Flavor also has a nice appley flavor like a good cider, along with a very nice yeasty spice, and some roasted malt.

Mouthfeel is medium-light with a very fizzy carbonation.

A tasty offering with a moderately high abv. Price tag is a bit high, but why not spend the extra couple of bucks? After all, it is the holiday season.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage. From a bottle stamped 31H1-14:02. Sampled on December 21, 2012.

The pour is a handsome looking brown with a silky, delicate beige head that lingers ion top of the beer for the entire session.

The aroma is full of the Belgian esters one hopes for when sampling these beers. Notes f sweet Belgian malts, dark fruit, butterscotch, toffee and the slightest hint of hops. But all in all the sensations are mellow thanks to 3 years of cellaring.

The body is better than medium but it is so smooth and creamy.

The taste is alive with barley malts that make me think of an aged barleywine with a good dose of caramel, licorice, and a dash of spice. The hop bitterness at the end is mellow and subtle. I wish I could have more beers like this.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Gulden Draak Vintage Ale (2009), poured from a white painted bomber into a chalice. Pours an impenetreble ruby with a soapy off white head.

Smell: Bready malts and some distant noble hops.

Flavor: Light fruit from the malts intermingles with a spicy hop. Grapes and fig, juicy malt. A flash of tartness soon subsides to an appetizingly dry finish. Similar to regular Gulden Draak with alittle less booze and over the top fruit esters, and markedly drier.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth with the aforementioned dry finish.

Drinkability: The mellow little brother of Gulden Draak. I found this beer to have its charms and certainly was worth the try. I would definately have this again sometime.

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Photo of Blakaeris
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich, but hazy mahogany brown, with a thick frothy tan head that leaves sheets of lacing. Complete lack of yeasty chunks.

Aroma is candy sweet with rum soaked dark fruit. Yeasty and powdery, with a mild musty quality.

Taste is sweet an malty up front. Bready with a mild toasted character. Generous dark fruit - plum and date really stand out; along with orange, apricot, apple, and melon notes. Finish is dry and musty, with lingering yeasty spices and a mild alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, light and drinkable.

A very interesting beer. The fruit aspect is really something to enjoy as each sip brings another flavor. Overall this is a very balanced and drinkable brew.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gulden Draak makes a Xmas ale? Easy decision, grab the bottle and pay the $14.99 for the corked and caged magnum. On to the beer:

Smoke, then a rush of bubbly liquid come out of the bottle after the cork is popped. The head on top of this dark auburn liquid is very airy; it apears very soapy looking, but time makes the texture more compact and creamier. A few trickles of lacing are left on the glass. Smells like happy; choolate covered raisins, brown sugar, plum, figs. Soft, yet exhilirating, The outlook for the rest of the journey looks really good.

There's nothing wrong with the flavor of Gulden Draak Vintage. It has a little bit of a tradtional Belgian-made Xmas flair to go along with the traditional flair of dark Belgians. Biting dark fruit flavor hits, some grassy hops provide a surprise to me. Little dabs of caramel and unsweetened chocolate work their way into the profile. The carbonation is soft for the most part, the texture being creamy. Surprisingly dry with just a teeny touch of bitterness and leftover cocoa powder going on in the aftertaste.

I like it. I could see this being part of a hearty wintertime dinner (poutine anyone?).

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Photo of bashiba
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was an 07 Corked 750 version. Lots of pressure on this one, I thought the cork was going to bust through my ceiling.

Poured a very clear dark amber with some nice Mahogany highlights. The head was huge and thick and a bit sticky.

Smell was mild with hints of dark sweet fruit, banana, yeast, vanilla, and a bit of cedar and oak.

The flavor is very sweet and fruity with a big banana rush up front, some nice clove, vanilla, and nutmeg come through with a very yeasty finish along with some long lasting woody qualities.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy with lots of carbonation and just a touch of heat.

Good Drinkability for this solid belgian Dubbel.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage Ale 2007. Corked and caged 750ml bottle, split between two hefty 'Gulden Draak' tulip glasses. The snow-whiteness of the bottle, the red foil wrap, and falling snow and a Santa-cap atop the label's 'draak' lend a decidedly 'Holiday' feel. Big thanks to Team melbatoast93/mheisler76 for this one.

Christmas Day 2008, watching the falling snow and the 'Christmas Story' marathon with guldengirl.

A: Looks a rather mundane brown at first glance; lift it to light and it shows the gorgeous deep-red glow of garnet. Head is fluffy topping of beige, rising in each glass a full 3-fingers, then dropping to denser froth after a few minutes. Many streams of tiny carbonation creep up the sides and rise at the center. Lace sparkles in random patches.

S: Sweet nose: full of raisins, carob, a little cocoa and plenty of spice (that 'Belgian' yeast, so identifiable).

T: Ripe fruit, raisins, licorice, black tea, molasses and a tangy/zesty dose of spice. Spiced apples, really, and the drying bittering of darkly roasted malt in the finish. It's got everything the 'regular' Gulden Draak has, just a bit more subdued. Neither too sweet nor too bitter; complex enough, though I can't help but compare it to the stronger Gulden Draak (and it pales next to it).

M: A springy prickle, softening to a creamy, but rather thin coating. Lasting spice and a sleight grainy sweetness in the finish. Medium body, veiled alcohol.

D: I'm an unabashed fan of the regular version of Gulden Draak, so it's no surprise I enjoyed this. Flavor on this is a bit more subtle, aroma a bit weaker, but it's still a terrific beer. Kinda liked the fact the ABV was reduced by several percent, a supremely drinkable beer made even MORE drinkable. Merry Christmas indeed.

Thanks again, H & M.

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Photo of Dankuel
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured the beer into a balloon goblet, has a nice deep, red/brown color but with weak bubbly head that is more like carbonated soda pop than a beer head. The beer has a very complex aroma: pears, apples, bananas and tint of nail polish remover (i forget the name of the compound that smells like this)

The beer is extremely fruity, everything you smell (as stated above) is in the taste. The beer has a champange like feel in the mouth, but disapates quickly. This is a decent brew.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber color with a big light tan head. In the aroma, small sugar and faint plums. In the taste, sugary plums, touch of hops and candied sugar. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry plum and dark fruit aftertaste. More mellow than standard but good. Thanks go to Jef from Van Steenberge, I was honored to share the bottle with him.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 Release.

A: 1/4" tan coloured head that left a nice lacing over a deep reddish-amber liquid.

S: Sweet dark fruit that is associated with many beers which use Belgian yeast as well as a refreshing citrus smell to it.

T: There is quite a bit of different flavours here including: citrus, pepper, candied apples and figs. The aftertaste is reminiscent of cranberries.

M: Thinner viscosity than expected with a relatively high level of fine carbonation.

O: The thinness and refreshing citrus flavour profile of this beer make it strange for a Christmas seasonal release. I think I would prefer drinking the original Gulden Draak for Christmas and have this during the summer months instead.

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4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle.Westmalle Chalice glass. Enjoyed on feb´12. Dark copper color.Off-white,large size bubbled,froth. Quickly dissipated crown. Sugar, toasted malts & notes of cinnamon to the nose.Flavors are sweet, malty, spicy with very subtle cocoa.Medium body,medium carbonation. Dry finish. Fruity –sweet plum & dark fruits- aftertaste.Nice drinkability.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ, unknown age,

A: Pours a deep red umber with a medium white head, spotty lace.

S: A Belgian malt bomb of esters and sugar. Very appealing and distinct.

T: Quite malty, but well balanced. Caramel, sweet estery malt with a hop presence that's understated but provides backbone. Tasty BSDA.

M: Medium-bodied, smooth though a tad thin at times, very light carbonation.

O: Another classic from the Gulden Draak family, glad I finally got to try it.

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml caged and corked, purchased about 4 months ago. Abundant frothy vanilla to tan head with a deep walnut brown body and endless tight carbonation bubbles subsiding to a loose but constant lacing. A bit lighter and much greater head than the original.

Wow, you do not have to get very close to enjoy the aroma of this specialty. The sweet, dark fruits such as figs and raisins are instant. The spice notes waft from the goblet through the remaining 2-inch head.

Flavor is slightly lighter than the original. Dark fruit is abundant through the carbonation to accompany the caramel and spice. I think there are even some very faint citrus notes hidden here as well, but as the beer warms, the spice and deep-rooted sweet fruit are more prevalent.

Medium to light in body with generous carbonation offsetting the delicious flavors.

Always a crowd pleaser that Golden Dragon! I can enjoy this beer over and over.

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Photo of HeyItsChili
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the CBX.

A - 750 ml poured into a tulip glass. Pours ruby-brown semitransparent with an off white head that is gloppy with well defined small bubbles in it.

S - Earthy caramel sweetness enveloped in rich malt.

T - Manages to blend a good amount of brown sugar sweet and a clean crisp hop profile. The hops never veers towards acidic but stays clean with plenty of sweetness to mellow it out.

M - Effervescent, bubbly, alive. Great.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a wine glass.

Where can I get a Santa hat for my dragon? No matter, the beer pours a clear sienna topped by a healthy tan froth. The nose comprises cherry, fig, brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The taste follows this same path, though some nice black pepper mixes in there as well. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a nice version of the Draak, though I'm not sure I got too much of a difference between the two. (Not too much of a bad thing, there, anyway.)

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep, dark reddish-brown body with a tall, foamy, khaki-colored head.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, pleasantly fruity nose with notes of toasted caramel, similarly toasted grains, plump plums, and, lastly, a few cloves.

Taste: Flavors of toasted dark caramel and dark candi sugar deliver a moderate amount of sweetness (and rightly so). Splash of plum wine. ¼ teaspoon of freshly-ground, peppery spices. Little zip of booze. Touch of fruit and toasted grains on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Though I was initially taken aback at this being a relatively light beer when compared to the standard stalwart, Gulden Draak, I ultimately found it to be exceedingly more drinkable and more enjoyable than the original.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured an opaque chocolate brown with ruby highlights that had a half finger of head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma was similar to the regular gulden draak which consisted of caramel, brown sugar, dark fruits, pear esters, and for sure some belgian yeast. It also did have some booze presence. The brown sugar and caramel flavor strike first along with pear dark fruit accents but the booze was not quite hidden. In the mixture the belgian yeast did help on the sweetness and to tone down the boozy bite. The brew was medium to full in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, boozy, dark fruity, and malty finish. It drank alright but was kinda tought due to how boozy it hit the palate. Even though it was a little tough to take down I always enjoy gulden draak wether the vintage or the OG.

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

Perhaps a bit smoother than the regular Gulden Draak, some of the sharpness scaled back. Belgian candy sugar predominates in the malt. Yeast notes are a bit muted, and the alcohol lends a distinctive black peppper bite at the finish. An interesting nightcap.

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Gulden Draak Vintage from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
3.83 out of 5 based on 148 ratings.
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