To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Gulden Draak the brewery decided to create a new quad(ruple) version to stand alongside the successful tripel. The packaging is the same; dumpy bottle with plastic coating and the golden dragon; the only difference, the 9000 under the words Gulden Draak.
The beer was originally named after the golden dragon that has adorned the belfry in Ghent since its completion in 1380. Ghent is the the main town of the region, about 10 miles from the Van Steenberge brewery in Ertvelde.
The new beer was typically Gulden Draak but at the same time a typical quad; malty sweet with a low bitterness and the alcohol well up front. So as not to forget its heritage the name remained the same with the addition of 9000; nothing to do with the beer itself but the origins of its name; 9000 is the post code for Ghent.
Quad, not being my favourite type of Belgian beer is always a challenge for me (St. Bernardus 12 excepted), but I’ll keep an open mind.
Pours a dark amber with a tight head that stays for a while ; malt and caramel immediately apparent. Caramel sweetness is right up front in the taste, but give it time and it mellows down to a nice sweet malt and the fruit starts to come through. The bitterness at 23-25 IBU ought to balance well but I found the sweetness just a bit too much. A good carbonation doesn’t allow the alcohol ( 10.5 alc. Vol.) to sit in the background but keeps the overall feel smooth. The follow through tends towards sweet caramel but with some fruit and residual bitter tastes is O.K.
Not all beers are for drinking alone; try it together with some ripe Camembert or a Dolcelatte and the tastes blend perfectly.