Gouden Carolus Cuvée Van De Keizer Imperial Dark
Brouwerij Het Anker

Gouden Carolus Cuvée Van De Keizer Imperial DarkGouden Carolus Cuvée Van De Keizer Imperial Dark
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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #3
Ranked #628
4.34 | pDev: 10.14%
Brouwerij Het Anker
Gouden Carolus Cuvée Van De Keizer Imperial DarkGouden Carolus Cuvée Van De Keizer Imperial Dark
Notes: Formerly Gouden Carolus Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw.

Every year on the 24th of February, we celebrate the birth of Charles Quint. Therefore we brew a special beer in limited edition called Gouden Carolus Cuvée van de Keizer Imperial Dark (‘Grand Cru of the Emperor’).

This exceptional ale ages well, developing a refined complexity and intense aromas. With powerful notes of roasted malts, caramel and plums, its surprisingly soft and fruity aroma combines a warm roundness with a refreshing taste.

It is imperially crowned with a cork so it can be preserved for a long period of time at a constant cellar temperature of 12° C (54°F). An imperial beer to cherish and enjoy in moderation.
Reviews: 932 | Ratings: 1,977 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of hman43
hman43 from North Carolina

4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: It pours dark brown with a tan head. Head retention is medium.

Smell: Malty rich aromas with strong dark fruits. It has caramel notes with plums and dried cherries. There is some spice in support. It also has light perfumy notes in the background as well.

Taste: The malt flavors are highlighted by deep caramel and a bit of bread. There are plums and dried cherries with a bit of a molasses like element to it. There is a bit of spice well in the background.

Feel: It has a medium full body with a dry finish in spite of the initial sweetness.

Overall, for such a strong alcohol beer, the alcohol is pleasant and warming without any harsh alcohols. A good combination of flavors from the malt, hops and yeast.

Mar 27, 2021
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Sigmund from Norway

3.99/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, RBESG 2005 Grand Tasting. Golden brown colour. Vinous aroma, oaky and sherry notes. Oaky flavour, brandy notes. Quite sweet, but a very good beer.

Mar 18, 2021
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JonnoWillsteed from England

2.93/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Blind-tasted except for the beer's name, ABV% and brewery/country, zero reviews below read (yet!)...
L- Beautiful very dark ruby/chestnut-brown. Worth holding up right by a halogen type bulb to see it clearly. On which note it has poured clear, with a 2Cm creamy looking pale-tan head. [ps @+20mins, holds well, forms much lacing on the way down]
S- Very deep rich roasted malts.
[Off-topic: Right at this point I received a text from the NHS inviting me to go for my 1st Covid vaccination this week; hurrah! If this were a monastic beer I might give my thanks to 'Him upstairs' hehe. A few minutes replying to that had had the side benefit of raising the temp a touch from fridge cold :) ]
T- Deep, pungent, notes of deep roast fruit (akin to British Xmas pudding). There are some sweet notes coming in as it warms a touch but capped by a mild ABV% + hoppy-dry lick across the palate into the finish.
F- It is pushing the line between rich (=fine) and sweet (=not fine at all for me) very hard. In fact it crosses it, for me this is beyong rich and into outright sweet. Seems I shouldn't have been distracted, shouldn't have let this warm at all... hehe...
O- It looks and smells great. Unfortunately the outright sweetness here overwhelms just about everything else for me. And it's not like I'm into hop/dry dominated beer at all, this just is sweet. Not one I would drink again even if offered a glass of it; a big shame as I was anticipating that this would be something really impressive. I mean you don't buy 750ml bottles of a new $-beer without high expectations.

--Review/scoring all done, now the reveal, I get to read the bottle lables to see what I missed! -> Nope, no real surprises from the ingredients/description etc.
750ml bottle £9.95 BB: 31/12/2029 Bought from BeautifulBeers/BurySt.Edmunds as part of a large pick-your own consignment to London.
ps Appears to be filtered, zero sediment in glass or bottle.

Feb 19, 2021
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jkblr from Indiana

4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

11.2oz bottle vintage 2018 poured into a tulip glass at just above fridge temp 11% ABV. The beer pours dark chestnut in color with light brown head. The head recedes to an irregular ring and single layer of bubbles. Streaky, but complete lacing. The aroma is mild with malt, candi sugar and dark fruits. The taste is a semisweet mix of dark & rich caramel, malt and dark fruit (raisin, date, plum) before a mild to moderate final bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with average carbonation and a mostly dry finish. Nicely balanced. No sign of the ABV in the taste or aroma. Overall, excellent. Outstanding example of a BSDA.

Nov 24, 2020
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PathofChaos from Maryland

4.82/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A murky, burnished bronze topped by a fluffy lather of tanned beige.

A brisk updraft of single malt grain, like the kind they use for whiskey. A cape of molasses blended with brown wheat bread billows from its shoulders, set aloft by a gentle breeze of oaked vanilla. Miles and miles away from this gregarious forefront, the teeniest, tiniest molecule of milk chocolate can be detected by those with a gifted sense of smell.

A sumptuous, syrupy full body whose imminent smoothness is given a spark of life by a calm, consistent current of carbonation. Finishes with a cozy, grain alcohol warmth.

Here, characteristics of the bouquet are regally magnified on the palate: sugary vanilla and brown wheat with a firm core of oak. Behind the balanced sweetness lies a languid, tingling whiskey heat with candied figs in the aftertaste.

Special notes:
Bottle aged for 3 years

Sep 25, 2020
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86sportster883 from Maryland

3.96/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 ml 2016 bottle. Looks good, smells very rich with hints of fruit, roast and strength. Tremendous dark fruit and dark bready malt flavors blend well with yeast spiciness and abv to create a powerful, sipping, after-dinner beer that is both filling and intoxicating. Very well balanced, but at the top end of my sweetness scale.

Aug 02, 2020
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octortus from Canada (ON)

4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 mL Bottle. ABV 11%.
Appearance: Walnut brown, Half a finger of creamy light tan head, Fairly clear, Soft carbonation, Ok retention, Creamy collar and thin broken cap remains, Slight sheets of lacing.
Aroma: Dried dark fruit (raisin, prune, plum), Caramel, Dark bread, Green apple, Brown sugar, Slight molasses, Fruity (Maybe a hint of banana), Very nice complexity and balance.
Mouthfeel: Above medium body, Slightly boozy, Syrupy, Smooth, Velvety.
Flavour: Caramel, Dried dark fruit (raisin, plum, fig, plum), Dark bready malt, Fruity, Candi sugar, Spice.
Overall: (Shhh! This is better than Rochefort 8). Wow! Truly exceptional BSDA! I actually cannot wait to have this again. I hope I have enough restraint to cellar the rest... or do I just enjoy?

Review: 152

Mar 18, 2020
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emerge077 from Illinois

4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark reddish auburn color, ample tan foam depositing a halo of lacing around the edges, long lasting surface coverage. Ruby highlight glints in the meniscus of the glass.

Aroma is malt forward, toasted bread crusts and caramelized sugars. A touch metallic initially when opened, but it passes after a few minutes.

Creamy malty base with ample dried fruit esters. Plum and raisin, dark fruit forward. Bready malt with creme brulee sweetness, lightly phenolic and warming. Medium bodied, with a very smooth creamy texture. Dry aftertaste, mild leaf tobacco.

Overall this is a classic BSDA, and I might enjoy this even more than Rochefort 10.

Dec 15, 2019
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Bierman9 from New Hampshire

4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I had two 0.25l glasses of this at the Anker brewery on 25SEP19. Now called Cuvée Van De Keizer Imperial Dark, each glass cost me €5.00.

It was a deep, dark, chestnut-mahogany colored libation. Had a creamy, thin, fine beige head with solid lacing. Nose had some caramel and dark fruit, like raisins and dates. Body was medium, and it was quite smooth going down.

Taste had lots more dark fruit - raisins, plums, dates, black cherry. Also found it to have suggestions of port - dark and rich!! Mmmm... oh my, I found this quite tasty! Prosit!

4.34/5 rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5


Oct 29, 2019
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Harrison8 from Missouri

4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown with two fingers of khaki foam. Head retention is great. Aroma is toasty, nutty, earthy, bready malts with plush sugary notes of plum, dark fruits, toffee and molasses. Really great, round and robust nose. Flavor profile is roasty, toasty, earthy, caramely, bready malts with splendid sugary notes of plum, dark fruits, brown sugar and molasses behind. Initial malts along with very slim sugary qualities gives the start a very lightly sweet consistency, that crescendos into a more sugary, flavorful finish. Great dynamics. This bottle is a 2016. Can't help but think age has done it well in shaping a delightful flavor profile. Mouth feel is medium-thick with a very fine, crushed velvet texture that has a hint of creaminess. Overall, really sublime from start to finish. Its sugary qualities are great, but pull-up shy of being cloying or overly sweet. The only problem with this particular beer is that it's in the 11.2oz bottle vs. the 750mL.

Served in a 15.5oz Speigalau tulip from a 11.2oz bottle.

Oct 19, 2019
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rex_4539 from Greece

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

L: Very deep red color, one finger tan colored head, ok lacing, light carbonation.

S: Belgian yeast, sweet wine, alcohol.

T: Belgian yeast, sweet wine, alcohol. Wow, so smooth and silky. Delicious!

F: Full bodied, full flavored. Smooth as silk.

O: The top Belgian Strong Dark Ale out there. World class.

Sep 25, 2019
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Lanas from Greece

4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another high quality Belgium beer.. The colour and the taste is almost similar to the other high quality Belgium beers like "Chimay blue" "Gulden draak" ect but i feel this is more sweet and more complete..
First of all the taste is really very nice and satisfied. And is very rich beer with amazing finish.. The 11% is very well hidden and not distract you like some other beers.. On the other hand the carbonation has a medium profile but is there..
Lastly this beer has and one more benefit.. Is very drinkable and when become hot.. Very important thing to me. I have all the time to enjoy it.

Drinking Temperatures:10-12 °C

Sep 02, 2019
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andypeters1971 from Georgia

4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

pours out a very deep hued brown. Could not be any smoother and with a raisin/fig/molasses taste profile that's hard to beat. Like your favorite Belgian Strong Dark, only better. Had it in a bottle, would love to have on tap

Jul 21, 2019
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puck1225 from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had it on tap at Morte Subite in Austin as part of their Christmas in July celebration.

Poured into a brand designated chalice. Dark ruby red color with excellent head and beautiful lacing. Fresh, sweet berries smell and taste. Flavors are bright and striking without any booziness. Flavors of caramel, cola, chocolate and a bit of tart cherries. A bit of booze as it warms. An excellent beer!

Jul 20, 2019
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BeerLegend27 from Latvia

4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Hot diggity dayum..
If you ever need a beer to rip you off your feet like a typhoon on a monday in California... This is it...

Just one glass and it ripped my socks off the bad... felt like an ice cream truck had hit me with all the best flavours and left me with a concussion that made me forget my own name.

5/7 would drink it again.

Jul 09, 2019
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bigbillyt from Florida

4.77/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Holy smokes! This is the delicious soda pop of beer! The lovely pour with a slight head of gentle foam is perfect. The heady aroma of light sweet yeast and spice is incredible. The taste is a great combination of malt, sweet bread and caramel with hints of vanilla and molasses. Scrumptious from the first sip to the last.

Jun 08, 2019
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osheamatth from New York

4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Two vintages 2017 & 2018 tasted side by side. Couldn't discern much difference between them and they were both outstanding strong dark ales. Brewed only once a year on February 24th. Deep deep brown body almost a mahogany hue. Pour with typical Belgian ale headiness that dissipates quickly leaving a nice ring clinging to the glass. Nose of caramel malt, prune and some mocha. The palate is rich and sweet and syrupy but not cloying. Flavors match the nose with malty caramel dominating with undertones of dark fruit with a little Christmas style spice. Rich and thick mouthfeel a tremendous beer overall.

Jun 01, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Murky dark brown color.

Nice khaki head; nice lacing as well.

Caramel cherry nose.

Medium/thick mouthfeel.

Taste features caramel & cherry again, joined by raspberry & cinnamon.

A lot going on, & this borders on cloying, but is truly a wonderful beer. Unique.

Apr 01, 2019
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arzt from Russian Federation

5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tested 2016 vs 2018.
Teku glass.
Both are great, may be top1 beer for me.
Old is better. So i have some 2016 bottles and going to test every year till 2026.

Mar 26, 2019
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Bruno74200 from France

4.91/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2017 vintage enjoyed in the last days of 2018
Maybe one of the most balanced beer I have ever had and one of the greatest ones I've had this year.

Smooth as hell with a lot of dates, prunes, toffee. Very delicate, very sophisticated. It's a delight.
The carbonation is fine and the mouthfeel silky.

2016 vintage enjoyed in 2020
Stil a big wow

Jan 04, 2019
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Beersnake1 from California

4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from fridge temp into appropriate glassware. Pours dark brown with LOTS of tan head. Nose is dark fruits, figs, caramel, malts, bread, ports, almonds. Taste is exquisite. Sweet upfront, with toffee and fruity notes. A nice yeast backbone comes through after. Raisin, cherries, and nuts come through after that. Mouthfeel is creamy and viscous. Overall, a phenomenal Belgian ale.

Dec 20, 2018
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PatrickCT from Connecticut

4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very complex if a little raw after only a year. I have had this beer many times and I would have to recommend letting the beer sit for at least a year longer.

Nov 21, 2018
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bbtkd from South Dakota

4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Brouwerij Het Anker Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw, 11% ABV. Pours dark brown, with a 2+ finger beige foamy head that left lots of lacing. Nose is sweet dark fruit and slight alcohol, taste follows with almost no bitterness. Outstanding thick mouthfeel, overall phenomenal. This has to be one of the best beers I've ever had.

Sep 08, 2018
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jamesefleming from Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The greatest of them all (the strong dark Belgian ales). Whenever I have a party or dinner party, I serve the blue. Everyone who tastes it says it is the best beer/ale they have ever drunk. I have made pilgrimages to Belgium for quads and strong dark Belgian ales. This is indeed the greatest of them all.

Apr 28, 2018
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stevoj from Idaho

4.51/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Grunt fill from Albertsons. Right from the start, this a gorgeous beer. Ruddy brown with small cap of beige head. Fruity, sugary aroma wafts up, sweet. Taste follows with figs and raisins, prunes, and molasses. Just plain exquisite and smooth.

Apr 11, 2018
Gouden Carolus Cuvée Van De Keizer Imperial Dark from Brouwerij Het Anker
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 1977 ratings