Gulden Draak The Brewmaster’s Edition by Brouwerij Van Steengerge is a 10.5% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale aged in Whiskey Barrels.
Our brewmaster, Jef Versele, crafted this exclusive Gulden Draak Brewmasters Edition as a tribute to his grandfather Jozef Van Steenberge and the 230th birthday of the brewery. His inspiration came from his numerous trips to the United States and his deepest respect for the craft beer culture. This exclusive Gulden Draak combines the technology and the craftsmenship of the traditional brewing process. By letting the beer mature on whiskey barrels it gives it a distinctive and gentle finish that you have never tasted before.
Obtained this at the local Bevmo as I was intrigued when I saw a video review of it. I also wanted to try it as it was made aging in whiskey barrels. There is this crazy mysticism when doing this process especially when you do with an already mystic style such as the Belgian Strongs and Quads. These to me are already some of the best beers in the world. So with that being said, I could not pass up the opportunity for this one. At the price of about $18 to $21 you gotta wonder. Even so, I have not gone wrong with some of the other Belgian Strongs or Quads before like the Straff Hendrik 2011 Belgian Quad II that was aged in Bourbon barrels and came in a crazy crate that was delivered by an old woman in a cloak telling stories of magic and the unknown. (All is true except for the old lady… magic is true though… magic rules!) Anyways, let’s see if the beer is worth you hard earned cash. Cheers!
Rich honey, waffle cone, Belgian Candi sugar, Bananas, clove spice, bubble gum, Stone fruit peaches, apricots, pears, apples, mango hints, waffle cone, marshmallow, toffee, biscuit bread, Rock candy, apple pie, pecan pie hints, hints of Whiskey, vanilla, oak, brown sugar and crème brulee.
Stone fruit peaches, apricots, pears, apples, mango hints, dark fruit plums, figs, dates, white grapes, pineapple hints, hints of Whiskey, vanilla, oak, bourbon, waffle cone, marshmallow, bubblegum, bananas, clove spice, toffee, biscuit bread, Rock candy, Belgian Candi sugar, apple pie, pecan pie hints, butterscotch, tangerine preserves, floral hop notes, dulce de leche caramel, crème brulee, sweetened condensed milk, honey, piloncillo sugar cone and brown sugar.
Finishes with rich candi sugar notes, bubble gum, peppercorn, bananas, clovey notes, waffle cone, vanilla and caramel. No alcohol in the taste, rich golden honey full body, smooth, silky, crisp and refreshing mouthfeel and a moderate to sipping drinkability.
Damn!! Now that’s a good Belgian. Yes, the whiskey aspect is subtle indeed, but over all a well made Belgian Golden Strong as it is more of a Golden strong than a dark strong. I think if you like Belgians, you can definitely pass this one up if the price is too much. You can get other delicious Belgians for less. Now if you want your money worth, look for the 2011 Straffe Hendrick Bourbon Barrel Aged Quad or even the Apple Brandy Oak Barrel Aged St. Bernardus 12!
Blackbird vs Veloce from Carciphona by Shilin (Ashen-Ray.com) were used in this pairing to represent the dynamic meeting of the Whiskey Barrels as it meets the mighty Belgian Strong Ale. The colors work so well with the label and the aspect of the golden dragon. The red colors represent the darkness of the whiskey barrels. The overall gold background goes well with the colors of the beer but also the golden label.