Gulden Draak Dark Triple
Gulden Draak is a dark brown Triple Ale, which makes it an exception among the Belgian Triples. The second fermentation offers the nice creamy head, the full body and all the vitamins of the centuries old brewers yeast. It is a "thick" beer, that you can actually "nimble" to adventure the complex taste. Gulden Draak balances a natural malt toffee-like sweetness with a mellow happiness and some hoppy accents. The aroma is round, sweet and reveals the 10.5 alcohol by volume. Another name for this type of rich beer is: "Barley wine". You sip and enjoy this beer slowly, probably as a dessert, or as a treat you definitely deserve.
Holland International Beer Festival - Haarlem 1995: overall winner - best beer.
Silver medal in the International Beer Competition: Chicago 1996.
Silver Medal Dark Ales.at the California Microbrew Beer Festival 1995.
FOOD-COMBINATIONS: Dessert-beer after dinner. Or just before bed. Some like it with a cigar, others match it with chocolate.
Sealed from light in the white painted bottle, which is recycled as candle-holder. You can age the Gulden Draak for many years, just like wine.
The battle for the "Gulden Draak"
On the top of the Belfry of Ghent, one of the proud cities of Flanders, you can find the Gulden Draak or Golden Dragon, a large statue of the famous animal. In all fairy tales, in all cultures, it is always the dragon who defends the treasure. In their belfries, the European cities kept their treasures that included their gold and also documents proving the privileges they received from the monarch.
Legend tells us, it was the Norwegian King Sigrid Magnusson who granted the exotic statue to the emperor of Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey) during the crusade of 1111 CE. If you look closely at the picture, you can recognize Scandinavian cultural influences. The dragon looks almost like a Viking ship. The beast has no legs, it has wings, a sharp tongue and pointed ears. You clearly see the seams between the armor-pieces.
A century later, during another crusade, is was the Fleming Baldwin IX, who had become the emperor of Constantinople. He liked the animal so much, that he moved the golden statue to his home country. Since he was the emperor, he wasn't really stealing. He brought it back to his hometown Biervliet, a small village north of Ghent. It must be a coincidence or maybe it is providence, but "Biervliet" means "stream of beer'.
A few years later, the guys from the high spirited city of Brugge (Bruges) couldn't stand the fact that a tiny village as Biervliet had such a nice statue. Thus, one cloudy night, they attacked Biervliet and captured the Golden Dragon to take it back home. I guess again, you cannot talk about theft, when you take the prize after winning a battle, can you?
The very, very proud citizens of Ghent, didn't like it at all, that the team from Brugge (which is the 1996 soccer-champion of Belgium, by the way) played in their backyard at night. So, when the time was right and the power balance shifted in their direction, Ghent went to war with Brugge in 1382. Prize: the Golden Dragon. From then until now the statue of the "Gulden Draak" sits on top of the Belfry. Except for the short periods, when the beast has to come down to take a bath, to be reinforced, maintained and to be put some more golden shining armor on.