The GSN staff doesn’t only enjoy spirits and liqueurs, they also appreciate that old favorite, beer. So, on a recent evening we cracked open a bottle of Flanders brewed Belgian ale aged in whiskey barrels. So, there is a spirited connection after all.
Gulden Draak (literally “golden dragon”) is the last operational brewery in the Meetjesland region of Flanders, dating back to 1784. This particular “limited edition” was crafted by the grandson of Jozef Van Steenberge who had taken over operations of the company in 1962. Jef Versele honored his elder’s memory as well as the 230th anniversary of the brewery itself.
This is a hearty brew coming in at 10.5% abv, so definitely a sipping experience rather than a quaffing one. But, this also makes it perfect for mixing in cocktails. The sweetness of the malt works well to balance the slight oakiness of the barrel aging. The slightly spicy and yet fruity aspect of the flavor will work well with rye, bourbon, aged rum and even cognac. Try sipping a bit of Gulden Draak between sips of liquor and you’ll see what I mean.
Overall, this is a very nice and easily enjoyed beer. GSN Rating: B+