Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gulden Draak Ale

This is my (so far) all time favorite drinking beer. I love it for any time of year and I find myself in an uncomfortably dependent relationship with it. It’s an ass-kicker and after about 3 minutes, you know you’re drinking. Alternate with waters if you’re at a bar.

Yes, it is heady and has beautiful Belgian lacing and a strong, rich taste and I suppose there are some fig or plum or fruity overtones, etc. Maybe with some time and effort I’ll be able to refer to these attributes with less flippancy and more accuracy.

What you need to know is fairly simple. If you like dark, strong Belgian triples - this is one of the best. But then - if you already know you like these types of beers, then you’ve probably already tried this one. It’s one of the prominent Belgians in just about every self-respecting alehouse that serves them that I’ve visited.

I find that served cold from the fridge, or right off a tap - as with many strong ales, its flavor is really masked by the temp. My usual trick is to pour, let sit for 7-10 min. and then sip it slowly over the next 15 minutes. This allows the full flavor experience, which is what separates this beer from other similar styles.

To perhaps bring something new to the discussion, I can discuss the difference between the 11oz bottles, the 750 and the on-tap offerings, as I’ve experienced all three.

These conditions may affect many beers similarly, or they may not. Your mileage may vary, obviously. I find that of the three ways I’ve had it - the larger 750 bottle is my favorite. This beer isn’t served by more carbonation, and the big bottle has the least, while the tap version seems to have more. That may be dependent on the bar’s system. The differences are subtle, but the smaller bottle is the lessor of the three.

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