Gulden Draak is a dark triple, pouring with a dark brown color and the slightest reddish tinge. The initial nose of the beer provides imbibers with a guarded introduction to the beer, as an initial sip is necessary to truly understand the full array of flavors that are present. The high ABV is hidden well with Gulden Draak, as sweeter elements (sugar, caramel, and raisins) mixed with spicier notes (whiskey, pepper, vanilla). There is a mild effervescence here to cut through the thicker elements, making for a beer that can go down easily considering the stronger flavors present here.
The profile of Gulden Draak would lend itself well to sharp cheeses, lamb, beef roasts, or nut blends. While the brewery touts this as a dark triple, there are enough facets to this effort that fans of old ales and imperial porters will be able to find something delectable. As the beer continues to warm, the overall focuses begin to change. The sweeter elements are intensified with hints of molasses and toffee taking over as a smaller hint of alcohol burn adds additional depth to the effort. One or two bottles of Gulden Draak should be sufficient for setting a night off perfectly; imbibers will have enough in the ways of twists and turns to stay interested from the beginning of the first bottle until the end of their session.
Gulden Draak is available in the United States courtesy of the Global Beer Network. For a full list of the beers that the company imports, visit their website at http://www.globalbeer.com/ .
Gulden Draak Ale / Brouwerij Van Steenberge / 10.5% ABV / http://www.vansteenberge.com/ / http://www.globalbeer.com/belgian-beer/gulden-draak