"Did you know the Gulden Draak (Golden Dragon) owes its name to the gilded statue on top of the Belfry in Ghent?
The legend says the gilded dragon first featured on the prow of the ship with which the Norwegian king Sigrid Magnusson left on a crusade in 1111. He offered the statue to the emperor of Constantinople (the current Istanbul) to put it on the cupola of the Aya Sophia. Some hundred years later, the Flemish count Baldwin IX had the showpiece transported to our regions. Here, the Norwegian dragon ended up in the hands of Bruges. After the battle on the field of Beverhout in 1382, the inhabitants of Ghent took the dragon as war booty and put it on top of their Belfry. In the Belfry all communal charters were kept. The dragon had to protect these documents and it was also the symbol of the freedom and might of the city.
Such an imposing symbol that has lasted for over 6 centuries needs an equally imposing beer. Like the dragon shines at the top of the city, the Gulden Draak is part of the international top of beers. It is a dark triple, which in itself makes it an exceptional beer. But it is the complex taste with hints of caramel, roasted malt and coffee in combination with the creamy hazel head that makes it unique. It is a beer that is worthy of its name.
Like the other special beers of the Brewery Van Steenberge, Gulden Draak is a high fermentation beer with secondary fermentation. For the secondary fermentation, wine yeast is used. This also contributes to the unparalleled taste.
And of course, a unique beer deserves a unique presentation. That’s why Gulden Draak is presented in a white bottle. 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.
Tip: Replace the whiskey in Irish coffee by Gulden Draak or have Gulden Draak with Pas de Bleu: surprising and typical for Ghent. You will be amazed.
Gulden Draak: discover its enchanting charm and taste how different it really is.
In the glass
Color : Dark with caramel-colored foam head Alcohol content : 10,5%
23° Plato Aroma : alcohol, burned malt and coffee
Taste : very full in the mouth with touches of chocolate, caramel and alcohol After taste : bittersweet and very long
Packaging : bottles 33 cl, 75 cl, 1,5 l and barrels 30 l
Fermentation both in the bottle as in the barrel, ensures a preservability for years with evolution in taste."
Grabbed a 6-pack box of 330 ml bottles with glass from By The Bottle here in Vancouver, WA. Served at about 58 deg. F.
- Frothy light tan fingers of foamy creamy head, settles to pillowing blankets and spotty patches all about the tulip. Dark filtered ruby red/brown brew. This puppy looks wicked.
- Sharp fruity esters. Belgian yeast galore. Sweet fruits, strawberry, banana, and some clove spice. Herbal and grassy. Sweet malt without a lot of bready and biscuit character. Certainly a unique smelling brew. Light alcohol aromas.
- Oh my. Esters, fruit, prune, light bitter strawberry, fig, and many herbal notes all over the palate. Lots of raisins. Sweet without being overpowering. Alcohol is absent in the flavors, but only shows up later in the stomach. Candy sugars, clove and molasses. Slight bready yeast notes. Fantastic brew.
Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- As usual,I have a slight beef with Belgian yeasts. I love the flavor character of them, but I rather dislike how bubbly they are. I like more mild carbonation in my beers. As it sits and warms, it remains quite bubbly. It's sticky, and cloying. Slight dry feel. Overall expected and not bad.
- Hard to find, expensive, and rare in these parts. I'm glad I ran across it. Your average consumer won't be out looking for it. I suggest anyone reading this to go seek it out. It's a stellar beer. It's to be had slightly warm, and is a sipper. Drink it, and pair it with some nice red meats and crisped veggies. Perhaps some spicy stuff as well. It's solid and truly shows the art form of brewing.
4.3/5 rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5
(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)