A recent incarnation of one of my favourite dark beers, a beer that takes its name from the golden statue that adorns the top of the bell-tower of Ghent.
To give it its full name Gulden Draak 9000 Quadruple (the 9000 refers to the Ghent postal address) was launched amid much hype and publicity back in October of last year - and to talk about publicity around the same time brewery Van Steenberge came up with a great idea to generate massive free advertising.
They launched a competition to find a Gulden Draak Ambassador for each country. Entrants were encouraged to collect votes via Facebook, forums etc - the person with the most votes from each country won, was elected as Ambassador and in return received a special package.
So I entered...........and WON!!! yes folks I am the UK Ambassador for Gulden Draak.
Well enough of the self promotion and on with the beer, GDQ pours a lovely chestnut brown, unusually light for a Quadruple (akin to La Trappe Quad or Urthel Samaranth) and is topped by the trademark towering, tan coloured creamy head.
Taste......WOW! another winner from Van Steenberge. Big and bold with caramel sweetnes at first then biscuity, doughy malts coupled with dark fruits (cherries and red grapes) though not as heavy as other Quads - more berry like than dried fruits.
A slight tartness from green apples and pears cut through along with just the right amount of clove spicing. Mild hops and a warming alcohol note finish things off perfectly.
Thick, sweet and syrupy yes........delicious YES.