Gulden Draak 9000 Quadruple | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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Gulden Draak 9000 QuadrupleGulden Draak 9000 Quadruple

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 08-11-2011

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Reviews: 258 | Ratings: 1,228
Photo of Mindcrime1000
3.86/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from single-serve bottle

Appearance--Pours the color of a dark honey or amber, and doesn't look like what it purports to be (a quad). Not unpleasant looking, just unexpected. The head is a little thin and the lacing is as well.

Smell--Sweet maltiness, booze, and background fruitiness--that's about it.

Taste--I am trying very hard to not rate the "9000" against the original Gulden Draak, but it is difficult. I love strong Belgian beers, and the original GD has complexity and balance to challenge the best of them. Like the original, the "9000" has some great flavors here, but the lack of balance is startling. The most forward element is the booziness. There are some nice dried fruit and candy sugar flavors happening as well as spice notes, but it is difficult to define them because the alcohol is at "burn" rather than "bite" level. I wonder if some age would tame this monster down. The potential for greatness is there--it's just out of balance.

Feel--Probably the best aspect of this quad. The carbonation and alcohol do keep this brew from getting to sweet and sticky. For all of the balance issues above, and despite the forward nature of the booze level, it is still remarkably drinkable.

Overall--I'm a nitpicker on this style, so take my "balance" comments with a grain of salt. This might not be a top-tier quad, but is still an excellent beer with good complex flavors and, other than it's color, is a nice take on the style. I'm going to cellar a couple of bottles of this and see if some age provides some much-needed balance.

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Photo of captaincoffee
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep brown, mostly opaque, with a medium creamy head that leaves some lace. Nose is caramel, boozy malt, and complex sugars. Taste is rich as you'd expect from a 10.7% beer. However, it (pleasantly) doesn't just go for a slap in the face. There is some complexity and is actually on the "drinkable" side for the ABV. Overall, a very good choice when you need something to keep you warm.
Edit: with a year of age, the nose and taste improve with more intensity of dried figs and dates. More mellow and better integrated. Excellent.

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Photo of sherillc
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Cloudy Amber with thin, long lasting foam. Aroma is quite sweet and primarily suggests wildflower honey, raisins, a bit of treacle and a hint of citrus. Flavour is initially less sweet than the aroma suggests. Initially slightly bitter, malt, pumpernickel bread, burnt honey, dark raisins transitioning to a richer, more honied, spicy flavour when the carbonation disperses. A good balance between carbonation, sweetness and alcohol. Creamy mouthfeel. Rich flavours seem to improve as you savour this quad. I enjoyed the last few sips more than the first few but it almost seemed like a different beer from beginning to end which was intriguing.

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Photo of Buck89
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A mildly hazy orange-amber color with a thick but fleeting rocky off-white head. Somewhat muted aromas of raisins, plums, cherries, and brown sugar. The taste outshined the nose. Candied cherries and plums. Oranges, floral notes, and toffee. Full-bodied, dry, and warming but not overly boozy, given the high ABV.

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Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330 ml bottle, Lidl, Bristol - Pours cloudy amber with a large white foamy head. Medium carbonation. Nice lacing. Aroma - bready/yeasty forefront, ripened orchard fruits at the back as well as a grassy feel. Taste - sweetish forefront , bready malts, ripe fruits, light crisp finish. Nice Belgian quad which hides the high ABV well.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. "Gulden Draak 9000"
330 ml brown glass bottle, production coded but without freshness dating
$5.49 @ Total Wine & More, Claymont, DE

Appearance: Hazy deep-amber/copper body beneath a creamy head of off-white.

Aroma: Malty and caramelish, backed by some mildly tart fruitiness.

Flavor: The gently tart fruitiness appears upfront before quickly opening into a wide golden caramel maltiness. The blend of the two across the middle brings about a third component in itself, and that's then followed by some delicate herbal hop notes and a light touch of spiciness which is probably from the alcohol. Despite the maltiness it finishes dry, and fairly quickly as the alcohol helps to usher out any lingering residual sugars.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth with a dextrinous medium body and fine-bubbled, seemingly natural carbonation.

Overall: Unique. Not what you might expect from a quadruple because the malt is more golden. That of course leaves it with a little less complexity, but there's still enough there that it remains interesting. Completely enjoyable in and of itself, it really doesn't need to follow expectations. Why make just another Quad anyway?

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Photo of qrazvan
3.49/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Light brown colour; pours with a medium head.
The alcohol and sugar is present in the smell. The taste is similar to a stronger triple, with a very sweet aftertaste.
For the fans mainly.

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Photo of bunsteve
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

First impression was very bitter, but it smoothed out after the first couple of sips. Not particularly smooth in my mouth, and had a strong chemical smell. Dry on the center of my tongue - not crazy about that.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle, it pours a nice amber with a moderate head. Some fruit in the nose. The mouth tastes a smooth toffee like creaminess that fills the mouth with a luscious flavor. Yum!

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Photo of Jimlikesbeer
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Look is translucent that gives you the feel that this beer has body. Poured into a tulip glass with nice head and lingering retention. The alcohol taste is definitely there but not over powering to me. Belgian style beer worth the price.

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Photo of delta490
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Lighter than I was expecting, it is a deep amber with just a smear of white head. The aroma, though has nice dark fruit and some sugary sweetness. The taste is much the same. Neither is overwhelming but both are very good. The body is lighter and very smooth.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.74/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark amber with a large beige head.

One of the most prominent caramel noses I've ever smelt, so much so that the Belgian yeast is subdued to great effect. Some hops are present, herbal maybe.

Taste is sweet, smooth and luscious toffee, buttery even. It's really like a melted caramel candy treat. There is even a flavor of cotton candy.

This is unlike any Quad I've ever had. I need to try more of these, especially actual Belgian versions. I've had a very wide array of attempts at this style and now I'm not really sure exactly what the originals were aiming for.

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Photo of Hanglow
3.76/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Looks great, pours crystal amber with large inviting head

Standard sweet, spicy belgiany aromas

Typical sweet, dry, carbonic, yeasty spice. Little to no bitterness. Alcohol present. Too sweet for my tastes but it is a good beer

Does what it says on the tin

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From bottle, pours a hazey amber colour with a large bone coloured head that disapates to a small half finger. Aroma caramel, candy, fruity. Taste malt, candy, sweet, clove, fruit. Very nice.

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Photo of Everydayoff
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle poured into a goblet.

The pour yields hazy deep amber liquid and a thick velvety off-white head with exceptional retention, it just slightly dissipates and withstands until the end also leaves plenty of nice and sticky lacing along the glass-side, high visible carbonation.

The aroma is predominated by its sweet and fruity profiles, led by sweet caramel, honey, candy sugar, ripe fruity ester that is reminiscent of citrus, peach, cherry, and pineapple, also a glimpse of crackery malt at last.

Kick off with really sweet crackery malt as well as a bold touch of candy sugar and honey, fruitiness poking through at the middle where same time hop lends its herbal and peppery notes trying to attenuate all the sweetness. Hop bitterness draws in at the almost end as a reinforcement still trying to counter the persistent sweetness and it did well. There is slight astringency in the aftertaste where sweetness, fruitiness, and bitterness come back to wrap up and provide a pleasant aftertaste.

Semi-syrupy body, super smooth mouthfeel with lively carbonation generates nice crispness and a wave of soft effervescence covering through the palate, dry finish.

Even it is not overwhelming sweet by the resistance of other flavors, anyway, it still can consider as a brew for sweet tooth. Quite complex but same time easy to enjoy with, alcohol is well hidden but of course it is there. You can just feel it when bottom up already.

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Photo of Ant777uk
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Initial impressions, cool and smooth bottle. Look is a bit too bubbly and like washing up liquid.

Aroma, amazing! Up there with the best.

It has a fruitiness and intensity that is highly admirable. Fairly good balance.

Highly strong and intense flavor.

 256 characters

Photo of tlema1
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L: cloudy Amber, thin , long lasting tan head
S: candy, toffee, caramel, Belgian yeast
T: tastes like it smells
F: carbonation, sticky mouthfeel
O: good sipper, not the best Quad I've ever had

 194 characters

Photo of mmmbeer89
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It's on the sweeter side for a dark beer. sweeter than i expected but its decent tasting and as long as it has a 10.7% ABV i wont complain about the taste.

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Photo of SirLoopsAlot
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma and flavor seemed very similar. First thing I got was an intense cherry, almost brandy-like flavor. Also malt-bread sweetness with raisin and apricots. Doesn't hide the high alcohol content at all, as it has a boozey finish. Overall effect is balanced yet on the sweet side.

Was pleasantly surprised by this one and will definitely get it again.

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Photo of chinchill
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

330 ml stubby bottle with ABV listed as 10.7%.

Surprised that I haven't yet rated this outstanding beer which I have had at least once before.

Pours with a cloudy copper colored body that is covered by a large, off-white, somewhat bubbly head. Good looking but the appearance is certainly not the strong point of this stellar ale.

The aroma and flavor are nuanced, moderately strong and highly complex. They are just short of magical: not without some magic, I suppose, but not above nit picking. Actually, I have no criticisms of the aroma, but others may find the strong dark fruits notes, including dried plums, to be too prominent. The flavor is rather sweet: worked for me but may seem a little too high for some.

Feel: medium+ body with prickly, medium-high carbonation.

Overall: Superb!

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Photo of Beginner2
4.04/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I get 9000 often because I often buy the Global Beer sampler which, if anyone is listening, is one of the best ways to promote different Belgians. All usually are good to great. And all, as I recall, are from Van Steenberge; making it 18 Hads and the most from any Belgium brewery (and up there with New Belgium at 19 which, of course, is not exclusively in the Belgian tradition.)

Back to the beer in hand... 9000 stores well, so I have built a small inventory. I just had one and find it as I have found the others: it is a barely above average representation of this style... that I particularly love to warm Chicago's winters.
I believe Quad quality hinges on making sure the sugar leads to fruit flavors... instead of syrup.
I taste both here, but more fruit than syrup. The yeast is effective, but not great as 9000 could get closer to syrup as it ages.
But 9000 starts with great aromas of fruit and malt. Taste tells true. But I've noticed that while the mouth often starts rich and soft, some bottles have too many bubbles... even ones that I cellared. But... all gets better as the glass warms as do I.

Review revised and re-rated slightly upwards on 12/5/16.
Review revised and re-rated slightly downwards on 2/15/17 as the bubbles persist on a bottle cellared for 2 years..

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a rich orange-copper with a huge head. The aroma offers up apricot jam, a little banana, clove, maple, and plum. The flavor offers up strong notes of apricot, lemon curd, plums, sweet cherries, banana, clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The mouthfeel is full and rich with a lot of carbonation. Overll this is a very tasty beer, but a bit different for a Quad. That said, I prefer this to a more typical quad.

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Photo of f1nke
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a small snifter. Nice deep color, medium head.
Fruity, earthy smell.
Complex flavor. Fruit, nut, earth, etc. Somewhat of a hard alcohol flavor.
Medium carbonation, good mouth feel.

Outstanding beer, will buy again.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.52/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I know that I am supposed to be laser-focused on CANs right now, but a) I purchased a mixed-six box of Belgian bottles recently and b) a homebrewer friend wants the stubby empties. That's fine with me since I usually just fill them with gasoline, get a paper towel wick, light it aflame and pitch it through either a Starbucks or a Wells Fargo Bank window. This way, it keeps me a) out of mischief and b) in beer. Win-win, I think it is referred to as being.

From the bottle: "Gulden Draak 9000 Quadruple Ale with an exceptional and complex taste sensation and a deep golden amberblonde [sic] colour. An ode to the city of 9000 Ghent with the golden dragon on top of the belfry."

The Pop! of the cap was much less exciting than it had been for the earlier bottle of standard Gulden Draak, but I still employed a very gentle pour in deference to any extant lees. A light swirl of the glass raised a finger of tawny head with great retention. Color was a slightly hazy Amber to Deep Amber/Light Copper (SRM = > 9, < 13) (Golden AmberBlonde? My draggin' a**!) Nose was rich with a butterscotch sweetness & where that may be indicative of Diacetyl, I am doubtful as I have a very high threshold for sensing it and as such, it often goes unnoticed by me. Mouthfeel was medium. The first thing that I noticed was a fusel heat that acted kind of cooling on my tongue as it evaporated. I really need to be honest here - this was just a really big beer that masked any flavors with its alcohol. I kept trying to taste something, anything, but my tongue was reeling in a state of shock. Finish was dry, but mostly due to its inherent heat. I would definitely stick to regular Gulden Draak.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Deep and glowing amber orange body, with a good middle column of roaring carbonation in the centre. Head manages a light cream quality, about two fingers with a good appearance of pinhead bubbled puck, that keeps getting repopulated on the sides. Looks like a slight vanilla whipped top for the head too.

Aroma is soft bisquit like malts, large vanilla cream sensations too, and classic fruity Belgian esters and sweetness. Candi like sugar gives way to accenting the malt sweetness more so, in an almost pastry bakery like flavor. Really does smell like a soft vanilla white cake.

Palate makes no mistakes about what it is. Spicy warmth and a big clove and nutmeg hea hit the palate on first sip. Sweet malts come in even with a mild astringency of bitterness on the finish, and coat with a warm brandy like booze warmth. Finishes a bit clean as well, and a good accent of caramel sweetness and softness continue in the palate. With the hot phenols a sense of almost tight carbonation feels like it's coming in, but ends up more simple and just a little higher than moderate. Playful. Bakery sweet. Excellently balanced seeming less hot than it's ABV indicates.

A real interesting take, and not what I was expecting on a quad as I was expecting darker and more fig/raisin qualities. That being said I can take this in a heartbeat anytime and probably would prefer it to the former. Love the bakery sweetness and feel to it too.

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Gulden Draak 9000 Quadruple from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
4.08 out of 5 based on 1,228 ratings.
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