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
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Ranked #3
Ranked #577
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: 926 | Ratings: 1,959 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of octortus
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

 770 characters

Photo of emerge077
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.

 644 characters

Photo of Bierman9
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


 636 characters

Photo of Harrison8
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.

 1,031 characters

Photo of rex_4539
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.

 307 characters

Photo of Lanas
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

 630 characters

Photo of andypeters1971
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

 224 characters

Photo of puck1225
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!

 395 characters

Photo of BeerLegend27
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.

 337 characters

Photo of bigbillyt
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.

 322 characters

Photo of osheamatth
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.

 606 characters

Photo of GuyFawkes
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.

 269 characters

Photo of arzt
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.

 158 characters

Photo of Bruno74200
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.

 306 characters

Photo of Beersnake1
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.

 385 characters

Photo of PatrickCT
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.

 159 characters

Photo of bbtkd
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.

 325 characters

Photo of jamesefleming
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.

 306 characters

Photo of stevoj
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.

 243 characters

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

Revisited 10/31/19

A-Pours a very dark amber color with a generous head and lacing
A-Generous complex fruity aromas
T-The taste follows the nose with abundant rich and complex fruity flavors
M-A medium bodied well carbonated beer
O-A very well done, very well balanced beer with a lot of character that hides the high alcohol content very well

 344 characters

Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 750ml bottle into glass. 2017 bottling.
Dark brown colored body, with garnet red highlights when held to a light. Bubbly, light tan head (one finger thick upon pouring), which settles but maintains a bubble fed ring, along with a thin cap. Strings of lacing cling to the glass.
Aroma is dark roasted malts, caramel, and dark fruit (plums and raisins), along with the hint of candi sugar.
Taste is sweet candi sugar, roasted malt, caramel, and lots of dark fruit (plum and raisin especially). Includes yeast spiciness. Has a slight alcohol burn, but ABV is quite well hidden.
Fuller mouth feel, smooth texture, with good carbonation.
This drinks like a celebration beer, with its balanced tastes of sweet, dark fruit, and a solid malt support.

 754 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

In review is a 2017 vintage.

A - Deep burgundy raisin colored pour with a billowy, rocky light caramel colored head and steady carbonation. Clarity is good but with a few floaties. The creamy top layer clings to the sides of the glass like glue.

S - Big dark fruit nose with plumbs, raisins, a little bit of yeasty breadiness, dark Belgian candy sugar.

T - The alcohol is definitely present but for 11% it's appropriate and in no way overpowering or detracting from the beer.
Dark Belgian candy sugar, a little bit of plumb zing, prunes, semi-sweet toasted caramel, and some slight spice.

M - Full bodied with a chewy, velvety texture.

O - This is a fantastic beer. Will be buying this one again. Recommended.

 720 characters

Photo of leffebrown84th
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

This for a bottle of 2014. Tastes like cherry, plum, and maple. On the sweet side but not too much. Low carbonation but silky smooth mouthfeel. I love it.

 155 characters

Photo of Spechopper1007
4.59/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this on tap at Hop City Birmingham today and it was very complex and fullfiling. It pours a nice tan head with the color of murky dark brown. The aroma is hoppy but with overtones of dark fruit and coffee. The taste is sweet, tangy, slightly bitter and with a string hit off hops. Overall a great and I mean great beer.

 325 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark brown to cola in color. There's a fingernail of of brown around the rim and covering about a third of the middle. The aroma is of figs, dates, and dark Belgian candy sugar. i'm tasting a lot of caramel upfront along with figs and dates. The mouth is lightly syrupy and sticky, but remarkably smooth for the ABV.

 320 characters

Gouden Carolus Cuvée Van De Keizer Imperial Dark from Brouwerij Het Anker
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 1959 ratings