Gulden Draak Vintage | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

BA SCORE
86
very good
148 Ratings
THE BROS
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Gulden Draak VintageGulden Draak Vintage
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Belgium
vansteenberge.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
148
Reviews:
78
Avg:
3.83
pDev:
14.1%
 
 
Wants:
21
Gots:
11
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 148 |  Reviews: 78
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Seemingly a highly drinkable version of the original Gulden Draak due to its lower gravity and reserved sweetness level.

The Vintage Dragon pours with a billowing light tan head that surges to the top of the chalice. The color is a deep mohogany-amber color with mild haze. Rocky with foam, the head also has creamy intermitten pockets. Sticky lacing aggressivley adheres to all sides of the glass. A very nice looking beer.

Aromas of sugar plumbs, candied cherries, ripe berries, light spice and tartness, malty rich fruitcake, dates, raisons, figs, plumbs, and grapes: all play into the complex nose and with a sorghum hearty sappiness to pull all the scents together.

Fruity, malty, sugary and grainy to taste as well. There's a very direct and consisted carry over from what the aromas are into what the tastes are. Stone fruits/dehydrated fruits combine with rum-soaked fruit cake for a complex yet melded flavor. Orange zest and light pepper add to alcohol flavor for balance and intrigue.

The mouthfeel has modest early creaminess that whisps away with an evaporative wetness. Warming alcohols steer away from bite or heat, allowing for high drinkability. The beer carries a light feel from early creaminess into a long linger of fruit and sweetness.

This beer has all of the flavor and quality of the 11% Draak but in lighter tone and tenner. Perhaps aiming towards Dubbel character, this beer reminds me of Ommegang Abbey Ale. Absolutely delicious.

 1,462 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear brown color ale with a super huge light brown color head with great retention and perfect lacing. Aroma of candi sugar with nice Belgian malt and notes a dry hops and a peppery yeast. Taste is also dominated by sweet creamy malt which are well balanced with candi sugar and a spicy and peppery yeasty finish. Body is quite full with great carbonation and very light alcoholic ester are noticeable. Well done and a very good example of Belgian ale.

 470 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Chestnut-colored with faint translucency and about an inch and a half of head upon first pour. It looks great, especially compared to most dubbels.

Smell - Brown sugar, black cherries and a bit of spice.

Taste & mouthfeel - Caramel, roasted nuts, maraschino cherries. Lightly spiced with moderate sweetness. Medium-bodied; smooth, silky texture. Pretty light on the palate overall; it's extremely easy to drink despite the rather high ABV.

Notes - This isn't merely a spiced holiday version of Gulden Draak, it's an entirely different beer brewed in the Belgian dubbel style. Quite a bit lighter than the regular Gulden Draak, but still very good.

 663 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Lunch. Served in a snifter. 2008 vintage.

Pours a medium golden color. Fairly thick with a bit of a white head. Not much lacing. The nose has a bit of sweetness and fruit with a touch of malt in the background. Flavor is fairly similar. Some caramel malt with some brown sugar. Semi sweet and a medium body. Low carbonation. Pretty good.

 357 characters

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

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.

 783 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml opens with a resounding pop!

Pours a super bubbly caramel/garnet with 3+ fingers of sand colored head. Good lacing & head retention

S: Bananas, dark fruit, white pepper & cloves (not much)

T: Bananas, appleskins,a touch of caramel & oaky dryness up front. A bit of booze sneaks in as this warms along with apricot, candi sugar, & more apple skin, plus just a touch of toastyness. finishes dry with slight phenol flavor, then much green apple peels & dark candi sugar; almost pulled a 4.0, some age should help the cause

MF: Medium bodied with fairly lively/too much carbonation

Drinks okay, a bit too carbonated & flavors aren't really meshing for me. Probably would be better with a a year+ minimum aging; at least I have a base-line for it now

 759 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From 02/25/12 notes. 750ml bottle shared by Lunch; bless you Paul. 2008 vintage.

a - Pours a dark mahogany color with one inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dark fruits, raisins, spices, bready malts, grain, light sugar and fruity malts, light caramel malts. PRettynice nose.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, sweet dark fruits, spices, sugar, bready malts. A little too sweet, a step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, almost nonexistent. Undercarbonated and a little too sweet.

o - Overall a decent beer, but the taste is a tiny bit too sweet and it was undercabronated. Nose was nice, would try it again.

 665 characters

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.)

 530 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of GClarkage
3.47/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

4/13/08- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle caged and corked. No freshness date, but I am assuming it's late 2007 as I think this is the first year they have brewed their Vintage Ale. Poured into my Koning chalice.

Appearance- Deep copper or amber colored. Starts off with a 3/4 inch head which soon mostly evaporates. Leaves behind very sparce if any lacing.

Smell- Picks up a bit more scent as it warms, but still a real sniffer. SOme spices such as clove and maybe a touch of cinnimon, maybe a bit of a dark fruit note.

Taste- Drink at room temperature number one. Even if a tiny metallic note comes out as it warms. Definite clove in the flavor along with a little plum and fig note. Seems about 7.5% as listed, but it's a burning hot abv.

Mouthfeel- Brisk carbonation, light sweetness in the aftertaste.

Drinkability- Wasn't blown away by it, but did enjoy it. Probably don't need to visit again though.

 953 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from 9/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours dark cloudy orange brown with an off white head. Burst out of the bottle and foamed everywhere. Slightly sour dark and light fruit aroma. Taste of dark and light fruit, high carbonation, somewhat sour, but mitigated by a caramel sweetness. Sour finish with light spice and hops. A fleeting metallic aftertaste drops the rating. Tasty, but too carbonated.

 420 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Paul, 2008 vintage, the little dragon is wearing a Santa hat, odd , OK.

Beer served in a snifter, beer is brown and hazy with a thin brown head, high heavy carbonation, moderate retnetion, no lacing.

Aroma is sweet, raisin, a little oxidized.

Beer is light in body, completely thinned out on the palate by the over the top carbonation, illogically overcarbonated. It is a little sweet with a dryish finish, decent but not great.

 439 characters

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +4.4%

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.

 841 characters

Photo of afsdan
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

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?).

 1,163 characters

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