Brewed by Brouwerij Het Anker
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Mechelen, Belgium


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1723   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.01/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
Every year on the 24th of February, the birthday of "Charles the fifth", the Brewery brews the Gouden Carolus "Cuvee of the Emperor" in a limited quantity and with an eye on the highest quality and tradition. This unique brewing, with only extra fine Belgian hops and with a higher alcohol level, guarantees a better evolution in the time, than the already known Gouden Carolus. This beer, as all our beers, is 100 % natural, with no preservatives, no adjuncts and no chemicals. We bottle it in bottles of 75 cl and closed with a quality cork. Excellent to store several years. Every year the public is invited to assist to the brewing process.
Was 8% abv in 2000-2002, 10% in 2003 and 11% in 2004.

DISCLAIMER: This is a dark beer and the label has a blue diagonal line.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - AUG 4, 2007
8/4/07. Poured out of 750 mL bottle, purchased at Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, CA 1/5/05. 2004 Vintage. Deep copper-bronze color with a dense, creamy, tightly-formed, medium-sized sandy-tan head. Lacing is sticky, slow, and falls in blotchy, thick ribbons, with swift but respectable sub-surfacing reverse-lacing. The head retains very well for the style in a thin wafer. Aroma is very strongly reminiscent of bananas foster, with caramel sauce and lots of rotten banana fermentation character, slight hints of black pepper, some warming alcohol (even in the nose), and other assorted dark fruits (dates, mostly, but some raisins too), all outlined by a slight toasty presence. But this is like toast that is very slowly browned (not burnt at all), then saturated with a fresh, deep brown honey to serve. Delicious. Flavor follows to fit that same mold-- caramel/rotten banana, some spice hints, a touch of cherry-like acidity (though no cherry fruitiness), and an earthy leather. Finish adds a very light bitterness which, when paired with the leather, makes for a nicely drying and gently massaging combo. There’s even a vague lime note to the acidity that helps with the balance. Body is medium-full, with just enough creamy carbonation to offset the sugary sweetness and soften the alcohol point. I do get a slight solventy note with the alcohol, humming in the retronasal like a super-smooth whiskey. Not an offensive alcohol presence in the slightest (but it’s worth noting that, despite the Commercial Description here on RateBeer, my ’04 bottle said "Alc. 10% Vol."-- whatever). Slight baked pear flavor in the finish. The beer is extremely sweet, for sure, but I’ve never shied away from that; the balance is fantastic with hints of dry leather and a quick lick of alcohol to scrub the syrup from off your tongue. The toast and dark honey/banana flavors linger forever. Probably the best $9.39 I ever spent and left sitting in the beer fridge for 18 months. When I open my own dreampub, I’ll be sure to have cases of this "on reserve" all the time-- only to be offered after they’re at least two years in the cellar. Here’s to aspidites for the jazz recommendation-- Chick Corea was a perfect pairing.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Schultsc (572) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 4, 2007
UPDATED: MAR 1, 2009 On tap at The Gate in Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY - 08/07. Really quite wonderful on tap--with a substantial puffy medium off-white head over mahogany with garnet highlights. Aroma is sweet and fruity with easy-going fermentation characteristics--not funky--malt, alcohol, golden raisins, dates, and prunes. Maroon berry fruit flavors with dark cherry, some molasses, candied dates, and fresh figs. Alcohol flavor is strong but tightly woven into the complex tapestry of flavors--dark malt sweetness, some oxidation, some bitterness--leaving a perfectly-balanced body despite its massive weight. Certainly a treat.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
slang (654) - Columbia, South Carolina, USA - AUG 3, 2007
2006 750ml. This beer looks simply amazing, right off the bat. Deep brown at first but a strong red / mahogany in the light. The taste is in yo’ face, strong alcohol balanced w/ sugar & deep,dark, & fruity flavors. The yeast & all its flavors are there but easy, sleazy eazy. A must buy!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
BeerBiker (1414) - Odense, DENMARK - AUG 3, 2007
[Sampled at DØE-festival, Valby, 2007 with svoger AT THE LAWN.]
Taste it vintage and you are in heaven. Lots of dried fruits, alcohol, bombed with ingredients, warming, yeast, licorice and yeast.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
jalichio999 (502) - BRAZIL - AUG 3, 2007
UPDATED: SEP 7, 2008 Sagra 2006. Coloração escura, avermelhada, com um creme bege denso e persistente. Complexa. Consistência cremosa e aveludada. Notas de torrefação, café, floral, licor e frutas vermelhas. Carbonatação média, no ponto. Álcool muito bem inserido. Fantástica!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Harsebrau (227) - Kansas City, Missouri, USA - JUL 27, 2007
Vintage 2006. 750 ml bottle. Okay, so I probably shouldn’t have had this with Thai food. I thought it would provide a fruity sweet balance to my spicy meal. Did I burn my taste buds? Was I lost in a flood of robust flavor and spice from the dish? Yes. I was. So I stopped drinking the beer, had some water, and finished my meal. 750 ml is a lot beer so I had a good amount left for a fair tasting. Upon pouring the head suprised me. At first nothing. Hmmm. Then, from the depths, like a great beast surfacing for the kill...here came the head. Tan and full and quite yummy looking. Then it went away. Aroma is is like bread pudding. Rich bread pudding. Flavor is of the darker fruits with sugar and alcohol. Robust and rich. This beer is a chewer. Quite good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
RagallachMC (631) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - JUL 26, 2007
750ml bottle. 2005. Aroma: Very rich. Bread dough, molasses, raisins and plums. Some light spice as it warms. Appearance: Deep brown in color with mahogany highlights. Head was medium khaki in color, full and creamy. Great retention and lacing. Flavor: Rich maltiness with notes of bread dough, caramel and molasses, vanilla, dried cherries and raisins. Some light smoke and spice. Alcohol is soft and pleasant. Medium dry finish. Palate: Medium bodied. Medium-high carbonation. Light alcohol warming in back of mouth. Overall: Exceptional. Well crafted and packed with flavor, but never a chore to drink.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
JoeZasada (306) - Beaumont, Alberta, CANADA - JUL 25, 2007
very aromatic when you open the bottle! malty, but sweet, like caramel with some fruitiness. Perfect head on the beer, great flavour! You don’t even notice the 11% ABV....

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
xmarcnolanx (929) - Kirkwood, Missouri, USA - JUL 25, 2007
Pours a nice tan rocky head and exudes a caramel and dark raisin, plum aroma. Great aroma, but I get a little carbonation up my nose when I inhale too deeply. Actually, tonight, i have found that problem in all of the large brews; whether that means that the beers should be aged much longer and allowed to lose some modicum of carbonation, or whether that is how they are supposed to be drunk, I am not sure. I do know that it slightly detracts from the beer. Otherwise, I think this is a super-sweet, fruity, not overly complex, but good beer. Very palatable and decent. I am glad I tried it, but this would be something I would age for about 10 years to get some of that oxidized flavor and hope that the sweetness levels out into more balance. Next to westy 12, 8, Bernardus 12 and the 60th anniv. Bernardus, this is above average for the style, but pales in comparison. Not a fair rating in terms of what it is drunk next to, but overall I believe this to be a fair interpretation of a decent beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
tjthresh (1867) - Greenfield, Indiana, USA - JUL 24, 2007
750 mL bottle. 2006 Vintage.
Pours a dark ruby reddish-brown with a light brown head. Aromas of caramelized raisins, cherries, licorice, and alcohol. A lot of the same flavors with a touch of smoke and heavier on the cherry. Full body with lots of carbonaton. Semi sweet finish. This is pretty damn yummy.

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