Style: Belgian dark ale
Brewery: Gulden Draak
Origin: Gent, north west of Brussels
I will always have a special place in my heart from Gulden Draak beers. Every single one is well made, delicious and extremely drinkable. When I realised they were releasing 2 special edition beers though, I literally jumped at the chance to grab some. I bought a couple bottles of both the Laphroaig edition and bourbon edition, as I wonder if there would be a big difference in flavour between them. I can definitely say there was, and one of these is my contender for best beer of 2021!
Both were very dark brown in colour, with slight amber touches. With medium to low carbonation, the fizzy head held for a while but faded softly. The sweet aromas of both beers were excellent, with the bourbon version displaying some lovely oak and caramel notes, whereas the Laphroaig version has smooth peated whiskey character. These aromas followed into the taste strongly as well. The bourbon version had amazing toffee, raisin and oak notes, but as expected the smokey whiskey flavours really made their presence known in the Laphroaig version. Both hid their alcohol well, with the warmth slowly settling in the chest after taking a big gulp. They both made the palate sticky and left a beautiful sweetness to the mouth.
These were both exceptional, but the Laphroaig was just a tiny bit better. The smokey character really helped to lift this beer up even further, and I couldn’t get enough of it. I’m so thankful that I bought a bottle of each that I will store for a little while longer, then crack open for a special occasion. Quite simply, both were 10/10 beers!