Brouwerij Van Steenberge - Gulden Draak Calvados
Serving Temperature:50–57° F
Suggested Glassware:Chalice, Goblet, Tulip, or Pinot Glass
Gulden Draak Calvados is the second release in a series of barrel-aged Gulden Draak quads, and we think this one in particular turned out expectionally well. This limited release starts as Gulden Draak Quad 9000, and gets aged in Calvados barrels for around four to six months. This beer was a one-off first released a couple years ago in very limited quantities stateside, and we think this barrel-aged quad has just started hitting its prime.
This barrel-aged quad pours a deep, golden-orange color. There’s sturdy, mousse-like foam composed of miniscule bubbles, showing great retention and lacing. A beautiful Belgian strong ale. Substantial amounts of warming honeyed and apple notes lead the aromatics. Gulden Draak Calvados offers an exceptionally smooth aroma, with subtle fruity warmth and lots of well-rendered caramelization. The combination of a delicious, densely layered quad and those apple-brandy barrels works exceptionally well throughout this beer.
The nuanced packaging of this quad particularly comes through in the subtly effervescent carbonation; the spritziness provides balancing lift for all of the heavier malt elements here. Full mouthfeel with rich caramelization, touches of cotton candy, some subtle warmth that seems to at least partly come from those Calvados barrels. There’s deeply rendered honeyed maltiness, and all the dried dark fruits and caramelized notes you’d want from a world-class quad. The base beer’s exceptional, and that bright fruit and subtle barrel expression from the Calvados impact take this beer to another level. Delicious and super smooth throughout.
Gulden Draak Calvados should continue to age gracefully for at least a couple years, perhaps longer. For food pairings: we’d use the combo of honey, caramelization, and apple notes as ideal counterpoints for fare like pork tenderloin or grilled chicken-apple sausages.
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