Charles Quint/Keizer Karel | Brouwerij Haacht NV

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Charles Quint/Keizer KarelCharles Quint/Keizer Karel
Very Good
Charles Quint/Keizer KarelCharles Quint/Keizer Karel

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Haacht NV

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

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User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 34
Photo of BigCheese
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap in Brussels

Tasted kinda like a quad, very sweet with dark fruits, and belgian candy coming through. A great sipper, not entirely unique but very tasty. Very rich syrupy quality to it. Served in opaque funky 4 handle chalice. I'd recommend trying it but dont go to far out of your way.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber to brown in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, mellow fruitiness. In the taste, dark fruits, mainly figs and raisins. A small bite and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry dark fruit in the aftertaste. It kind of drinks likes it wants to be a quad.

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Photo of stonesean
4.04/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a "Kaiser Karel/Charles Quint" champagne saucer at "The Pegasus" bar in Diest, Belgium.

Appearance: Nice brownish head, not very heavy dissapated quickly. Left a substantial amount of lace. Appeared brown, until held to light to reveal a ruby red. Yeast "trails" visable in light as well.

Smell: Brown sugar. Maple syrup. Perhaps some dark chocolate too. Put this smell in a bottle, and I'd buy some.

Taste: Far too drinkable! Raisiny to the extreme. Reminds me a bit of a few German dunkel weizens. Creamy notes as well. A good post meal beer. Not quaffable, but I'd probably never turn it down.

Mouthfeel: Not very fizzy. Expected more with the alcohol content. A bit watery actually. Weird, because I quite liked it otherwise. Perhaps a temperature problem?

Overall: A dark ale I'd have no problem serving to anyone. I'd love to know more about who Kaiser Karel/Charles Quint was so I could have a good story to tell. This would go fine with a big plate of Carbonnade and Frites.

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Photo of Sigmund
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draught, as Charles Quint, at the "Belgian" restaurant Den Tatoverede Enke, Copenhagen. Deep brown colour, moderate head. Moderate aroma of malts, caramel and brown sugar, not unpleasant. The flavour is malty sweet with spices, brown sugar notes.

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Photo of Wegomlegging
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Perfect head tops a dark clear amber liquid. Fresh fruity and slightly metallic scents and a hint of yeast. Flavor is great with a dry sour/sweetness in the malt that is understated but complimentary to the slight bitterness in the finish. A very pleasant beer to drink, but not too many due to sweetness. Overall this beer is done very well, and is without successful emulation.

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Photo of SmokinSmyth
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice dark ruby red color, pours with a head with staying power, but not overpowering on the pour. The aroma is pleasant but not too strong.

I had this with souvlaki turkey kebabs for dinner, a nice compliment. Nice malty flavor, but not too much. A fairly average but still tasty beer.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.09/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this from a 11.2 oz bottle into a Rochefort chalice.

The beer pours a super dark amber that is incredibly clear. The head is a very light tan that only rises about a finger but is gone way to quickly with no lacing.

The aroma is super malty caramel with tons of dark sinous fruits(prunes).

The taste is pretty malty a little to sweet, more sweet than I was expecting. More dark fruits and at the end a little bitter at the end.

The feel is medium dry at the end.

Overall, this is ok, pretty similar to Gouden dor, but not in that league.

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Photo of davidchollar
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark ruby color. Dark brown like the bottle in the middle, with red highlights similar to the label around the edge. Great thick head that sticks around for a minute!

Surprisingly boozy smell. I figure the alcohol nose is obvious because the last beer I had was an English pale ale, so this seems real strong in comparison. The more I consider it, this is a really nice BSDA smell. Reminds me of the classic Chimay blue. Subtle dark fruitiness with that delicious Belgian yeastiness.

This one grew on me. (Preaching to the choir, I know but..) One of the brilliant benefits of typing up reviews for the beers you sample is giving a big ale a chance to open up. My Keizer Karel really came around. That head is still there! Medium-full body on the tongue, quite delicious. Good stuff (but definitely not one of the greats, not bad, worth a try but not a top 100)

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Photo of biegaman
4.6/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A visibly aged - incredibly dusty - 330ml bottle enjoyed at La Villette in Brussels. With a best before of 31/03/06 this bottle is aged (I estimate - at minimum) three and a half years. ABV listed as 9%.

A small trace of tapioca head that parts to the outside but trickles into the center where it swirls to form a vortex like shape. A dark brown colour with butterscotch complexion. Quite attractive, an appearance akin to port if not for the large yeast floaties.

A rich and sticky caramel aroma. Considerably decadent with a strong coating of chocolate and french vanilla. Mellowed malts with bittersweet character - the vanilla, the chocolate, the caramel - rich and bittersweet.

The carbonation is low with no trace of the 9%. This is about as quenching any strong, dark Belgian can be. The taste is dominated by raisin and chocolate, hints of dried apples. The raisins especially stand out in the aftertaste. It actually taste a fair bit like creme brulee. Indeed The chocolate became very rich. The taste continued to resemble creme brulee more and more.

This was delicious. I would compare it (maybe even prefer it) to the Gouden Carolus Classic; to which I found it very similar.

I can't help but notice my impression and overall score are both much higher above the mean. I can't speak for others, but I was tremendously impressed with this beer. Perhaps it was the fillet mignon steak and melted Trappist cheese it was paired with, or perhaps it was the three something years it aged, or perhaps it was simply the quaint ambiance of La Villette and lively atmosphere of Place St.Catherine - but my bottle was honestly something quite special.

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Photo of janubio
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a pack with two blondes, two rouges and the four handled mug. This one pours a pale golden colour, with a correct head that doesn’t last long, but leaves a good lace. Spicy aroma of coriander, cloves and maybe cardamome, with vanilla notes. Taste is spicy, but with some sweetness. Coriander, cinnamon and a bit fruity. Alcoholic, and a dry aftertaste.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From my notes 6/3/2007 pours a one-finger light tan head that fades quickly to a ring leaving some lace. Deep mahogany color. Sweet malty nose. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is a mellow caramel, clean finish. On-tap €3.00 ($4.11) for a 330ml glass from Brasserie Le Fiacret Brussels, Belgium.

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Photo of stcules
2.78/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark amber color, average creamy head.
Fullmalty nose, with a strong yeast hint, caramel, and red fruit.
Resolute maltiness in the taste, with a resolute sweetness, cane sugar, red fruit.
Average body.
Sweetish aftertaste, with malt, marziopan, red fruit, and a bit of bitterness in the end.

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Photo of Absumaster
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown color and has a small head which forms circles on the beer.

Smell is nice, molasses, raisins, a little tobacco. There is also a husky and malty backbone, but this comes second.

Taste: Raisins and a good alcohol kick. Bitter with caramel and candisugar, slightly roasted and the obvious maltbitter. Especially the raisins are quite unique and really give the beer it's originallity.
Aftertaste is dry and body is medium, which fits the style.

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Photo of DrJay
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy brown with a reddish hue, topped by a tan head with spotty lace. Fruity aroma of strawberries, quite malty, some yeast. Malty caramel flavour and quite sugary, some fruit and mild alcohol at the end. Dry starting at the mid-point, palate coating, medium body due to residual sugar. Not bad at all.

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Photo of Viggo
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy brown/orange, small white head forms, some nice lacing on the glass. Smell is very malty and fruity, honey, flowers, strawberries, toffee, and some alcohol. Taste is sweet and a little sugary, with fruits, caramel, some spice and very rich malt. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Not bad, a little interesting.

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Photo of Sammy
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice brown colour.Aroma-licorice,yeast,malty,strawberry.Nutty, some sugar perhaps to offset Drying finish. Yeast and nutty aftertaste.Dubbel,went down easy, nicely drinkable pint. 9% will sneak up on you. Middle mouthfeel.Above average beer, average style

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Photo of BrewMaster
2.88/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served on tap in a Charles Quint / Keizer Karel chalice at an unnamed cafe in Framerie, Belgium.

Appearance: Slightly cloudy dark red to brown color. There's a bit of a golden hue when backlit. Slightly stiff tan head with decent retention.

Smell: Strong caramel and malt scent. It smells very sweet.

Taste: The caramel flavor dominates this beer but in a rather uncomfortable way. I don't really know what it is, but I don't particularly like the taste of this beer. It's slightly fruity (cherries?) but it's not good. I think it is just too sweet and the caramel flavor is over done. Lots of maltiness all around and some sourness to boot. The alcohol flavor is a bit out of whack and slight off-putting. It's strong, too strong.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a very good ability to coat the palate.

Drinkability: The weird and uncomfortable flavors make this beer less drinkable. The only reason I finished this glass was because I was with my cousin who was eager for me to try a Charles Quint and I didn't want to hurt his feelings. It's not terrible but it will certainly be my last Charles Quint.

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Photo of tomthumbsblues
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque brandy-colored beer with light film of foamy head. Smell reminiscent of caramel, and wheat bread. Tastes smooth with light roasted or smoky feeling. Clove in the background and burnt wood. A balanced mouthfeel. Very good, and not bad enjoyed on La Grand Place in Bruxelles.

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Photo of downes51
2.87/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I just had a couple of these in the 'Valk' bar in central Antwerp. I only gave it 2.5 for appearance because I never actually got to see it on account of it's served in an opaque 3-handled pottery jug.

I thought it was pretty average. A pleasant caramel odour and a fruity taste.. somebody mentioned bananas and I wouldn't disagree. Pleasing enough, but not worth seeking out.

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Photo of Bierschenker
3.62/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

*Bottle: 33cl
*Alcohol: 9%
*Special beer category is not noted
*Brewery: Brouwerij Haacht N.V., B-Boortmeerbeek, 3190
*Place beer was reviewed: Café Classics, stasiestraat, B-3200 Aarschot

I had of course heard a lot about Charles Quint before as he is a very important figure in Belgian and world history. He was born in the city of Gent and he loved our beers. The legend has it that whenever we went to the empyreal court, he took some beer with him. And when he was travelling through his vast empire, he would always try to make a detour trough our regions to take some for the road.

So much for the history. When I first drank this beer, it was served to me in a stone baked pull with three ears. Also this has a reason connected to a legend, but I can’t remember it.
It pours out a very dark brown / copper colour. The head looked very thick and creamy and had a light brownish colour. The smell on the other hand, I never liked, it always seemed very foul. The beer is well carbonated. Maybe more than is to be expected from such a dark beer, but isn’t out of balance. Although I very much like dark brown ales, I always seem to have had enough after one Keizer Karel. So be it. It will never be my most favourite beer, but it a good attempt by the Brouwerij Haacht to develop a Trappist style strong dark beer.

Ut vivat, crescat, floreat!

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Photo of Paddez
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper/amber coloured brew with a nice, thick head that lasts for quite a while. The smell is pleasant and rather sweet. The aroma itself is full of fruits (mainly banana), caramel and some hops. Goes down very smooth although I'm not sure how many of these I could have before getting tipsy. The mouthfeel is nice, the beer is pretty thick and well carbonated.

All in all a pretty original and extremely enjoyable beer.

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Photo of ark57
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is a dark amber color with a creamy, tan head. The aroma has some metallic and biscuit notes as well as being malty and spicy. Banana and clove hit up front and for a second I think this is a dunkle weizen. It is complex with a lot of fruitiness and malt. It finishes with spicy alcohol.

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Photo of Globetrotter
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this little jewel in a big Moscow supermarket. Brown 33cl bottle with a label featuring the bust of Charles V, described on the back as a "lover of life and beer. He would have liked this beer." I tend to agree. The ingredients conform to the purity law. Label said this was bottle conditioned, although I didn't see any sediment. The expiration date, if I'm reading it correctly, is January 2003. I bought it a few days ago, and opened it on September 4. Hmm...

Pours a beautiful dark amber with a thick creamy almost tan head that is in no hurry to hit the road. Lace covers the glass as we head towards the bottom. Even the last gulp in the glass included some head. The nose if full of flowery hops and a touch of sweet alcohol. The mouth is sweet with fruit and well (not overly) carbonated. Lots of fruit, mostly cherries, comprise the opening taste, balanced by some nice malt. A bit of hoppy bitterness comes out in the finish, but not much (I would have appreciated more). The aftertaste is sweet and fruity, but not overwhelmingly so like a Kriek or a Framboise. The alcohol is there, but it is well hidden. This is quite an excellent beer!

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Charles Quint/Keizer Karel from Brouwerij Haacht NV
Beer rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 34 ratings