Saturday, 29 December 2012

The Golden Dragon of Beer

Absolutely not for the faint of heart, I decided to embark once again on a delicious trek to where my taste buds have gone before. I first received this beer as a gift from an awesome co-worker, as she said it was recommended to her by friends.

You can probably tell by reading already, I've purchased it again, so it must be decent. What is this Golden Dragon of beer? I decided to purchase Gulden Draak (Alc. 10.5%) from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. in Belgium.

As you can already see, it's 10.5%. This baby packs a punch, a delicious one at that. On first pour, there is a slight bit of head that dissipates very quickly. This brew is a strong ale, and smells like it too. On first sniff, I get some dried fruit hints I don't normally smell. I think I smell figs, and I can't honestly tell what the rest is, but it smells like it'll bite me in the face. It's got some acidity to the smell, that's for sure.

On first sip, the beer is gently carbonated, and it forms a thick flavour, along with a solid punch. The flavour is so complex, between dried fruits, perhaps a banana even, and caramel? I don't know, there's so much going on it's hard to pin-point. Either way, it doesn't taste as strong as it is. If I didn't know the 10.5% beforehand, I would have guessed something closer to 6.5%.

Beginners beware, this is for the more experienced brew-lover. If you're feeling adventurous however, then by all means, dive in! Just don't chug this one. It's definitely a sipper, seeing as it matches the strength of some wines on the market.

For the package it's in, the taste it delivers, and the satisfaction left after downing the brew, there's not much to dock away from the score of this beer. For me personally, I would have preferred a little more concreteness in knowing what flavours I was tasting, but that's just personal preference. The Belgians sure got it right this time around, and I definitely recommend this purchase.

This brew is available at most BC Liquor Stores, at $3.51 for a 330mL bottle.


Gulden Draak gets a golden 8.5 / 10

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