The Tasting: GULDEN DRAAK
Gulden Draak is a dark heavy beer with 10.5% alcohol by volume. Gulden Draak, just like Augustijn, is a beer that undergoes secondary fermentation in the bottle or in the keg.
Gulden Draak is a beer in a class of its own. It is a beer that is so rich, so glowing, so full of its very own characteristic flavor, that it reminds some who try it of chocolate and others of coffee. The English call this type of beer a Barley Wine. Gulden Draak (Golden Dragon) smells of triumph. It is a definite party beer. It is no wonder that Gulden Draak was crowned best beer in the world by the American Tasting Institute in 1998! This beer won many other awards as well.
Did you know that the Gulden Draak is named for the golden statue at the top of the clock tower of Ghent? The statue was originally given to the city of Constantinople (now Istanbul in Turkey) by the Norse king Sigrid Magnusson in 1111, during one of the first crusades; hence of course the form of a Viking ship that the beast was given. Approximately one hundred years later, Boudewijn IX, Count of Flanders, was the Emperor of Constantinople in one of the following crusades. Because he found the statue so beautiful, he simply took it back to Flanders with him. In 1382, the cities of Bruges and Ghent even did battle for this statue. And who do you think won?
Technical file for Gulden Draak:
10.5 % alcohol by volume, 23 ° Plato
dark beer with secondary fermentation in the bottle or in the keg
shelf life: at least 2 years after bottling date