Review #32 – Gulden Draak 82/100
Named after the golden dragon that sits atop the belfry in Ghent, Gulden Draak is one of the most critically acclaimed beers to come out of Belgium, it is widely available, and one of the finest triples I have ever tasted.
Before trying Gulden Draak for the first time many years ago, I had never heard of it, in fact it was simply the white bottle amongst a wall of brown bottles that caught my eye and made me order one at the bar.
Out of the bottle and into the glass the Gulden Draak pours a very dark brown colour which reveals a deep ruby red hue when held up to the light. Upon pouring, the Gulden Draak produces a large, lively, cola like head which remains present for as long as it takes to finish the glass.
On the nose the beer produces strong ester aromas of banana, raisins and tinned strawberries all entwined within layers of barley and the faint aroma of an old cellar.
The Gulden Draak introduces itself to your palate first with notes of rich brandy seasoned oak, moving on to complex flavours of soft fruits: figs, dates, tinned pears and raisins, all delivered with the accompanying sweetness of muscavado sugar. The beer finishes up with a slight spiciness of nutmeg, mace and pine nuts. Not too much alcohol flavour considering it has an ABV of 10.5%.
A great beer and one that will always be on my list of regulars.