Van Steenberge ‘Gulden Draak’ Belgian Imperial Stout


“Dark mahogany colour. Aromas of fruitcake, bubblegum, rum-raisin, nutmeg, and spiced pumpkin with a satiny, bright, effervescent, very sweet medium-to-full body and a medium-length egg custard, nut shells, and parchment finish. A very sweet beer that might be a nice holiday desert pairing.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pours quite light for an Impy Stout. Looks more like a Quad or a Brown Ale with deep burgundy hues. It caps off with two fingers of finely beaded head which retains. Healthy lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Intriguing to say the least. We can’t get past this pronounced burned plastic scent which also hints at band aids and a touch of chlorine. Definitely an undesirable and points to poor rinsing of cleaning products in the tank. Luckily it fades out and the classic Quad-like yeast-driven esters, dark fruits i.e raisin, prunes/dates and plum, carob, burnt brown sugar, all spice and toasted pumpernickel come through.

Flavour: Far better than the nose. That gross burnt plastic note has completely vanished and the rich Quad-like flavours dominate; sweet and sugary dates/prunes, raisin and fig, yeast esters, spice, carob, rich toffee, molasses, pumpernickel and mild roasted malts on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Super smooth and creamy, full bodied. Very finely carbed. The astonishing thing is the totally hidden 12% ABV…that is dangerous!

Overall: We thought we had a spoilt beer initially but it came back from the brink. Big time! We’d say it’s more Quad than Imperial Stout though. Still, a bloody decent drop in the end.