Brewed by Brouwerij Van Steenberge
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Ertvelde, Belgium


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 2518   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.8   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
Gulden Draak is a high fermentation beer with secondary fermentation. For the secondary fermentation, wine yeast is used. The white bottle, the black banner, the golden dragon and the red letters, constitute a stylish result that has no equal among the many Belgian special beers. Gulden Draak can be drunk as an aperitif or dessert, or whenever you have the time to sit back and relax. But this barley wine is also perfect with and in stews, especially the Ghent variety. It is also a plus in sauces for red meat, such as a bordelaise. It is particularly suited as a dessert beer, especially in combination with dark chocolate.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - SEP 27, 2004
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, couldnít 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 itís 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, Iíll have another"...some other day....

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Jeppe (2631) - Brooklyn, Alabama, USA - SEP 17, 2004
Pours foamy light tan head on an unclear dark brown body. Lots of roasted malt, dark fruit and spices in the aroma. Tones of raisins, prunes, toffee oranges and citrus. Heavy malty flavor, mostly sweet with some bitterness in the end. Prune, brown sugar, hop, caramel notes. Warming from the high ABV. A really tasty belgian ale.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Cornfield (5570) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - SEP 13, 2004
UPDATED: OCT 22, 2005 This pours a splendid nut brown colour with a creamy white head. Sweet aroma, sweet taste, syrupy finish. The alcohol presence is hidden beneath the fruity aroma/taste and the fairly strong malt mouth-feel. Very nice.

<font size=-4><a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Liquors, Oak Forest, IL<font size=-1>

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Padron4KM (690) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - SEP 5, 2004
Pors a murky brown witha large tan head. Head melts away rather quickly, and leaves just a thin cap.
Aroma is very sweet, toffee, toffee, toffee. some fruitiness too. (fig, prune)
Flavor is sweet, but nat as sweet as I thought given the aroma. Caramel, prune, sugar.
smooth and creamy mouthfeel.
High ABV is well hidden.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
vanvenlo (1469) - Glen Iris, AUSTRALIA - AUG 28, 2004
8 May 2004 - Intense toffee fruit malt aroma. Murky dark brown colour. Intense malt, vinuous spirit malt flavour. Fizzy dissolve flavour that melts in the back of the throat.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Cobra (1100) - - AUG 22, 2004
11.2 oz. / 330 ml. white plastic coated brown stubbie Belgian bottle. Golden Dragon, huh? Maybe the guy who brewed it first drank too much of his finished product. Because, thereís nothing golden about this beer. Loud ppfftt when opened. No freshness date seen, but a cryptic date code seen on the back label. Part of the Belgian Ale six pack I got at Rips. Lots of good beers in here, gang. Anyway, it poured out a deep, dark, caramel color, with an enormous tan colored head at first. I served it in my Chimay chalice, and even though it was only a 11.2 oz. bottle, I had to wait for the head to subside enough to finish pouring it. What a tan monster! Aromas are of burnt sugar, strong caramel notes, and maltiness. Sugars abound in both the flavors and aromas. Sweet, malty, complex, but never cloying. Slight alcohols in the nose, and finish, but none really in the taste. Some phenolics, but nothing like a band aid or anything. Alcohol sneaks up on you, however. Itís not over the top, like a Double Bastard or anything, but itís definitely noticeable. Warming and malty in the finish. A top-notch Belgian dark ale. I can only hope to brew something this complex as a homebrewer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
grant60 (185) - Perth, AUSTRALIA - AUG 18, 2004
massive off white head and a red brown colour. tastes of grape, molasses, citrus and alcohol. Very thick and sweet. canít have more than one at a time.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
BierBauch (784) - Cape Coral Waterfront Wonderland, Florida, USA - AUG 18, 2004
Clear ruby reddis brown with a thin layer of film on top. Strong malt aroma with notes of caramel, cherries, alcohol and dried fruit. Smooth medium body with velvet like texture. Flavor is super malty and sweet with toffy notes and a bitter finish. Overall not the best in flavor although a decent ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
bitter (1136) - Henderson, Nevada, USA - AUG 16, 2004
on tap porte noire brussels: this one is dark molasses brown wiht tan head and haze. nose of sweetness dried raisins and figs. the taste follows with rock candy sweetness and a nice heavy feel in the mouth somewhat chewy . not as strong as description and others rate. good and BIG.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jtw (1144) - farmington, Michigan, USA - AUG 11, 2004
UPDATED: JAN 27, 2009 original 8/11/04 rating:
authentic gulden draak tulip glass. absolutely phenomenal aroma. raspberry cheesecake and cotton candy aroma, raisins, sourdough bread all there in the nose. looks great, deep dark brown with a huge lasting sticky head. taste is a lot of malt, caramel/toffee with some yeast and bread. some residual bitterness alcohol is hidden very well, except in the [dry] aftertaste. awesome beer!! 9/5/8/4/17/4.3
updated 1/27/09:
out of the gulden draak glass, itís a sweet and alcoholic aroma of raspberry and cream, with little hops to balance and tons more heat deep in the nose. candi sugar and yeast, with woody and lightly tart raspberry. overall, itís sweet and hot but never cloying nor boozy. enjoyable sipper for every once in a while.

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