Van Steenberge Gulden Draak 9000 Quadruple Ale

This is not my first of the Gulden Draak family, but this is (to my own surprise) the first Quadruple Ale that I've reviewed here. This is also slotted in-between the 10.6% and 10.8% ABV beers - and it's another first. Honestly, I'm just as surprised as you. Moreso, in fact, as you probably don't care, and that's fine; don't invest yourself in some strange blog on the internet. Also, I am drinking this from the goblet that came with this beer. I wouldn't normally go for such an ostentatious design, but this is what the brewery intended.

The beer is a somewhat murky copper. It's not gold (or guld) and I didn't really expect it to be. After all, it's also not a dragon (or draak). It has an immense and impressive head that takes quite a while to dampen down. What is left is still a half inch of gloriously thick bubbles forming an uneven cap and leaving a smattering of lacing on the sides of the glass.The aroma is dark Belgian yeasts with earth and dark fruits scattered about in abundance. This is going to be good.

First sip is very good. The yeast isn't overwhelming anything, but it is contributing to the beverage in a very significant way. The sweetness from the malt is caramel and toffee, and it pervades the entire mouth while it skids to the back of the throat. It's almost a sham to drink this quickly, as the sip is so delicious and would last a lot longer. But, we follow the process.

Tip-in is very gentle carbonation tickle with brown sugar mixing with caramel as the yeast plows headlong toward the middle. The center is smooth as earth joins the mix and the dark fruits (and very light spices) make the beverage so much more enjoyable than it even was in the sip. The finish is a little bit of dough with bitterness and fruit rinds joining in the trail off.

Bottom Line: I understand why this beer is typically so expensive. It is darn good.



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