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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Brouwerij Het Anker
Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #2
Ranked #1,164
4.31 | pDev: 10.21%
Apr 24, 2022
Nov 03, 2002
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.
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Photo of hopsputin
4.51/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by hopsputin from New Jersey

a: murky, deep dark red/brown/purple mixture. seeing some pale brown when held up to a light. no real head to speak of, though it has a tan film around the edge of the glass; to be expected with the abv i suppose

s: huge aroma on this. fig, plum, raisins, prunes. molasses, brown sugar, leather, and something like a roasted robust woody note. lots of sweet caramel, fruit bread, and candied strawberries. huge malty backbone. fantastic aroma

t: oh my, this follows the nose pretty close. huge caramel and fig upfront. plums, raisins, molasses, brown sugar behind that. big bready backbone. fruit bread, and caramel red apples. a little bit of sweet cherry juice as well. no real alcohol presence, which is impressive given the abv

m: full mouthfeel with strong carbonation

o: absolutely fantastic beer. the rating on here is definitely deserved - this should be a benchmark for the style. so robust and complex, while hiding it's abv. a great beer to share

Apr 24, 2022
4 by 1971bernat from Virginia on Mar 17, 2022
Photo of DaveMaciolek21
4.21/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

Pours brown with ruby highlights. The foamy tan head diminishes pretty quickly after pouring. Big time nose of raisins and figs. Very smooth on the palate--a nice medium-bodied ale. Told it ages well but couldn't resist this 2021 effort early in 2022. For a younger ale of this type, it was very smooth even without too much additional aging. The flavors are rich and as they are described, primarily dark fruit (plums), caramel and gently roasted malts. A treat worthy of an Emperor.

Feb 28, 2022
3.94 by TMoney2591 from Illinois on Jan 29, 2022
Photo of Ferengii
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by Ferengii

This is my favorite beer of all time!

Dec 26, 2021
4.44 by cozmo from New York on Dec 05, 2021
4.38 by LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota on Oct 25, 2021
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

2017 edition. From the bottle, it pours a brown color with reddish highlights and a nice light brown head that slowly reduces. Dark fruit, raisins, in the nose. The mouth gets that, along with expected malt flavors and a bready taste. Ages well!

Sep 14, 2021
4.82 by chiefz1 from New York on Jun 18, 2021
4.67 by beerrat from Virginia on May 23, 2021
4.96 by Burg from New Hampshire on May 05, 2021
Photo of hman43
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by hman43 from North Carolina

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
4.64 by kodt from Illinois on Mar 25, 2021
Photo of Sigmund
3.99/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Sigmund from Norway

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
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
2.93/5  rDev -32%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5
by JonnoWillsteed from England

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
4 by mrmsmith from District of Columbia on Feb 10, 2021
Photo of InternetDrunk
4.77/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by InternetDrunk from Colorado

Excellent...2012 vintage in 750ml bottle.

Jan 31, 2021
4.35 by Cpmitchno1 from Virginia on Dec 24, 2020
4.07 by trevorpost from Pennsylvania on Nov 27, 2020
Photo of jkblr
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by jkblr from Indiana

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
4.74 by AGoodStout from Kansas on Oct 30, 2020
Photo of PathofChaos
4.82/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by PathofChaos from Maryland

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
5 by doctorgary from New York on Sep 22, 2020
4.58 by XeroD from Germany on Sep 13, 2020
4.35 by Insomniac from Canada (ON) on Aug 18, 2020
Photo of 86sportster883
3.96/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by 86sportster883 from Maryland

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
3.25 by TallGuyCM from California on Jun 30, 2020
Photo of Scottsbeer
4.51/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by Scottsbeer from Florida

2016 bottle aged beautifully, nice way to get through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Apr 27, 2020
4 by dukeufo from California on Apr 19, 2020
4.5 by redfox405 from California on Apr 17, 2020
4.75 by steverx8 from England on Apr 13, 2020
Photo of octortus
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by octortus from Canada (ON)

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
4.96 by hopley from Massachusetts on Jan 23, 2020
4.4 by 10Crumra from Texas on Jan 19, 2020
Photo of emerge077
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by emerge077 from Illinois

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
4.71 by DannyBaldoni from Canada (QC) on Dec 14, 2019
4.14 by generallee from Virginia on Oct 30, 2019
Photo of Bierman9
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by Bierman9 from New Hampshire

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
Photo of Harrison8
4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Harrison8 from Missouri

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
Gouden Carolus Cuvée Van De Keizer Imperial Dark from Brouwerij Het Anker
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 1986 ratings