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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1573   WEIGHTED AVG: 4   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
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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 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
aspidites (1272) - manteca, California, USA - MAR 3, 2005
UPDATED: FEB 21, 2006 Liquid sex, just incredible nose with plums and black currant, cocoa and coffe beans, raisins and merlot grapes. a beer to enjoyed with good jazz, great food and better company.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
tigersguy (1) - Portland, Oregon, USA - NOV 16, 2005 does not count
As close to perfection as I have tasted.Beautifu; reddish brown pour with thick vanilla colored head that clings to the glass. Aroma is tantalizing mix of toffee and fruit with a hint of alcohol. Mouthfeel is just right...not too sweet and for content alcohol is not overpowering at all. Overall this Grand Cru is worthy of your attention not to mention consumption!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
TheBeerLover (1025) - DC Metro Area, USA - JAN 26, 2006
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.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Carolus (3) - BELGIUM - JUN 15, 2006 does not count
I LOVE this beer, I like it especially when it lies a few years in a basement (min 4)! The evolution is huge, for me this is the king of beers :) Very dark with a lot of yeast, the way I like it!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - OCT 2, 2006
Wow! Pours a mahogany brown but settles in the glass a blurry black with a dark cherry glow. Immense capping of orangey tinted ivory foam thats very smooth, thick, and fluffy. Sits without moving as it barely reduces itself to take on a thicker, cake batter appearance as the fluffyness dissolves into the foam. Lacing coats the glass in thick moth-holed sheeting all the while that cap hardly diminishes. Aroma is of old, soggy, sugared banana bread thats dark, deep, and dull with slight plum, raisin, fig, and molasses soaking within the deepness. Quite deceptive on the nose as it seems to build while it sits and gets fairly deep and complexly so in that deepness. Nice little noting of spicy orange zest, cinnamon, and cardamom is evident as well. Oh, my what incredible soaking smoothness and softness this stuff creates as it floats across the palate with amazing ease. Mild, dull flavors of dark fruit bread sink in with raisin, plum, dry fig, molasses, and soft citrusy orange notes that tender up a warming sense of spicyness with cardamom, cooked sugar, and raisin skins making for a lengthy finish. Middle has a creamy center of caramel, banana, and dark sugary sweetness. Its ever changing in its profile, sometimes more warming and spicy, other times, super tender and malty with dark dull sugary stuff. Wonderful play on the palate and on the mind. Feel is perfect. Soft, supple, giving, full, smooth, warming, sweet, a little bit spicy, and a whole lot of yum! Amazingly soft texture of sugared bread thats soaked in dark fruityness. There’s even a slight hoppy, vitamin coated, citrus bittering that comes across within certain sips thats very intriguing. The smoothness is incredible; top notch. The warmth will catch ya every time, nearly every sip in fact, which slows it down for enormously fine, big, sippage. Damn fine stuff!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
lagomswedish (213) - Umeå, SWEDEN - JAN 1, 2007
Served before the stroke of Midnight on New Years Eve 2006/7. My last beer of 2006 was also arguably my best of the year (and ever). A 2002 vintage corked bottle that I shared with great friends. Poured a slightly hazy chestnut brown with a wispy head. The aroma was quite light, with subtle brandy/caramel notes. It somehow doesn’t do justice to what comes next. A sip reveals a deliciously balanced sweetness of figs, melted brown sugar and nutmeg. The five years in the bottle have softened out any bitterness, imparting a feather-light mouthfeel. This beer was right for so many reasons. It converted a table of non-beer drinkers to the possibilities of great beer, and for me it was the highlight of a great beer year. I’ve got a 2004 vintage bottle in the cellar and will be reserving it for a very special occasion.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
broken013 (7) - lebanon, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 1, 2007 does not count
very strong and intense beer. so many flavors hit you at once that its hard to discribe. if you can find this beer drink a few and then let the rest ferment for years to come

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
fbennett (293) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAY 2, 2007
This offering has been aged since 2004, so it is about 3 years old. It pours a dark brown, with some light penatration. Leaving no head at all, the aroma is dark pitted fruit, plum, pears, raisins, dark syrup, wow so complex and sweet leaving a port like quality for all to admire. The taste starts cordial, moving to just a faint amount of hops but showcasing a malty, sweet, syrupy delight. The taste mirrors the nose dark fruit, raisins, plums, prunes, and finishes syrupy in the back of the palate. This is one fanastic aged brew and I’m glad I got a full growler of this one.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
rjglory (7) - Den Haag, NETHERLANDS - JUN 8, 2007 does not count
The aroma is delightful. It seems more like a fine wine than a beer. This brew is far and away the best I have ever tasted. A wide open decanter is a must. I prefer to sniff, sip, and spool slowly so that I can savor every moment. An empty glass/bottle is the only disappointment. The newer 11% versions are still great, but the 8% has no distraction from the full-bodied flavor.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Hazmatt (363) - Virginia, USA - SEP 5, 2007
Bottle. Pours a deep amber/mahogany with ruby edging. Full head with plenty of lacing. Warm, malt aroma with notes of amaretto and anise. Effervescent and medium to full bodied but not heavy or syrupy. Has an almost creamy texture. Toasted malt, alcohol and caramelized sugar dominate the flavor profile. Layers of toffee, dark fruit, cherry, banana, caramel and chocolate follow. Hints of fusel alcohol as it gets warm. On par with the best Belgian ales.

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