Tonight’s brew was a Belgian Tripel brewed by Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. This one’s name has an interesting back story:
“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.”
A dragon this important deserves a world class beer to represent it, and that’s exactly what The Golden Draak is. Here’s my review:
Final Rating: 4.46/5
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Poured from a 25 oz bottle into a La Trappe goblet. Purchased in North Providence, RI.
Appearance- Pours a muddy brown, slightly hazy body with bright cherry highlights. A fluffy, airy, generous khaki colored head rises and reduces slowly to a frothy layer, leaving thick lacing. Very inviting.
Smell- Lots of fruity aromas coming through here.. dark fruits, white wine, plums, and raisins are all present upfront. There’s definitely a roastyness coming through too.. lightly roasted malt, citrus, and a slight alcohol aroma.
Taste- Sweet caramel, toffee, and brown sugar upfront.. raisins, plums, candied sugar, bubblegum soon thereafter. The finish leaves an absolutely delicious roastyness on the tongue that I really love about dark Belgian beers. Some booze present , the 10.5% is not hidden well (-.25 for that).
Mouthfeel- Medium-heavy body, medium-low carbonation. Pretty rich.
I was highly impressed with the Gulden Draak. It was highly complex, flavorful, and full bodied. Sits up there with some of the best Belgian tripels. A must try.