TheBeerLover (1025) - DC Metro Area, USA - JAN 26, 2006
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
The bottle I sampled is the 2000 vintage, so this beer has just over 5 years of age on it, and according to the brewery, it can be cellared for much longer. This is a rich, delicious, complex, and flavorful Belgian brown ale, coming in at a hefty 8% abv. Later vintages has increased in abv. It is sedimeted with yeast for a secondary fermentation in the bottle where it continues to condition and develop. I believe I made the correct decision in passing on this beer when I first saw it come out. The few years of age, has really brought out lots of complex flavor development in this beer, that might have been a bit too un-polished if consumed too young.
Gouden Carolus Grand Cru of the Emperor pours to a beautiful, murky, deep caramel to brown color, with a thick and rocky tan head, and a lively carbonation. The nose on this beer is just packed with a multitude of complex aromas. Big aromas of candish sweet malt, caramel, raisin, peppery alcohol, and some spicy aroma of coriander flood the nose. The palate is rich and full with layers of flavors. Caramel, toffee, candi sugar, spice, and fruity esters of raisin, and black currants coat the tongue. Grand Cru of the Emperor finishes with more flavors of sweet malt and fruit up front, then ends with a spicy, peppery alcoholic burn.
This is an absolutely delicious Belgian brown ale packed with big aromas and flavors. I really enjoyed this one, and believe this beer would work exceptionally well with a number of dishes, especially rich and chocolatey deserts. For me though, this beer is enjoyed best when consumed alone, so you can really work on this beer, and sip and savor the flavors and aromas.
RAYBOY01 (2012) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 22, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Spectacular Strong Ale with rich roasted grain base and plum, raisin, and brandy highlights, all on top of a robust hop bitter bite. Very well hidden alcohol, which tends to reveal itself only as a peppery finish.
frylock (1135) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JAN 17, 2006
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Chestnut color with a frothy white head. Rich malty aroma with notes of dark fruits, nuts and maple syrup. Plums, nuts and a touch of roasted barley come through in the flavor, with slight notes of pear and cocoa as well. Excellent Belgian Strong.
SimonLarsen (210) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - JAN 17, 2006
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Thick and dark body with a thin creamy head. Strong aniseed and bitter fruit flavours with thick sweet follow up. Makes me wish for some snow and a fire dammit.
vanvenlo (1229) - Glen Iris, AUSTRALIA - JAN 16, 2006
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
18 Dec 05 (2004 vintage) - Luscious cherry fruit, big malt and spirit. Light cloudy medium brown-red colour with a great head and lacing. Melt in the mouth malt and cherry fruit complex hoppy flavour. Thick malt hop finish and a nice tang.
GarethYoung (1109) - Glasgow, SCOTLAND - JAN 15, 2006
4.2 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
[bottle from dorsvlegel 2002] excellent aroma, liquorice, dried figs, sherry, fruity and complex. full body, finish is dry witha little sweetness.
YogiBeera (2472) - New Jersey, USA - JAN 1, 2006
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Nice mahagony colored brew with a big fizzy head on top. Almond malt, some alcohol and also yeast and ginger in the nose. Quite delightful. Almond, cloves, raisons and also banana bread traces and caramel taste. Suprisingly the body is not as thick as expected. A nice Christmas Eve treat!
BobbyW3363 (154) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 30, 2005
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JAN 2, 2006 This is an excellent winter Belgian. This must be a 2003 vintage becasue the bottle says it’s 10% ABV. Pours out a reddish brown color with a large whitish head that stays around for a while. Great vanilla aroma. Malty vanilla taste. Thick, smooth mouthfeel. Overall an awsome beer; one of my favorite Belgians to date.
Edit: I noticed later this was a 2005 vintage.
Choos (596) - Taylors Hill, AUSTRALIA - DEC 28, 2005
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van De Keizer 2004. Aroma: massive malt, hint of cherry chocolate and a bit of spiritousness. Apperance: reddy/brown, perfectly clear with a tan head made from big bubbles. Head was solid to the touch and left sheet lacing. Flavour: powerful malt and liquer cherries, as it warms brandy, butter and vanilla flavours come to the forefront. Palate: thick and gently carbonated. Does it get any better than this?
JensenTaster (1719) - DENMARK - DEC 26, 2005
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
(on bottle 2002 edit.) Clear rubyred, with a small, lasting white head. Dry, woody nose. Powerfull on the alcohol and malts, but not many fruits here. The taste gets more full, port, but the woody feel continues and becomes dominant in a mouthfeel, a bit too thin.The finish becaomes bog, though; lots aof red grapes and raisins here.