Beer Review – Gulden Draak

I made a big fuss last time about people potentially poisoning me with beer. This week, all doubt has vanished. Someone is trying to kill me with beer. No fancy ingredients with this one though, just 10.5% alcohol. Like wine, but beer.

Once again, we have a beer with “gold” in the name that isn’t gold in colour, but in fact a deep, treacly copper. I feel like I should have a word with these brewers about their metallurgy knowledge (I didn’t spend four years at metal school to have people try to mislead me like this). Draak has a light, beige head, sort of like Bailey’s Cream. It’s a very attractive beer, especially served in its oddly shaped glass.

Gulden Draak beer
Verdict on the somewhat veiny glass from my friend: “It looks like a dragon’s testicle”

Draak smells of toffee and cloves. I’m reminded of the sweet Biscoff biscuits you get with coffee in fancy Italian cafes. The taste is more caramel, with notes of cola. Clove shows up to the party in the aftertaste. It’s damn strong, but there’s nothing harsh about the alcohol content. It just leaves a lingering warmth to the beer that stays with you for a good few minutes.

That’s partly down to the thick texture this beer has. Yeast isn’t terribly picky about where it gets its sugar, but it does mind what kind of sugar it is. More unusual, complex sugars such as dextrose get left behind and give the beer that slightly thicker mouthfeel, as well as a lasting sweetness. It’s done very well indeed here.

Gulden Draak is a bull on a tightrope – scarily strong, but surprisingly balanced. I’d order a second bottle if I thought I could handle it. 4/5

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