Beer Wednesday: Cuvee van de Keizer blue by Gouden Carolus

The Cuvee van de Keizer Blauw (blue) by Gouden Carolus is a big beer. I mean BIG. Not dark like a big imperial stout, but big in the sense that it's got a very heavy mouth feel, it's thick and viscous, and it's super sweet and rich. It was described to me as a quadrupel, but since I don't know exactly what that means I'm going with the description I see online of a "belgian strong dark ale."

Understand that this beer is extremely heavy and sweet. But if you're okay with that basic profile, then you'll find some really complex and delicious flavors in this beer. Most prominent is a really bold raisin and prune component that dominates the palate. As the beer transitions through the mid-palate rich toffee comes through. I also immediately thought "nutmeg" at one point; not sure what to make of that. For my palate this is a really enjoyable and complex flavor profile. It's made very drinkable because those flavors are superbly balanced.

Despite the richness and heaviness of the beer, it's surprisingly smooth. So smooth that I forgot how potent it is made the mistake of pouring myself a second glass. By about halfway through that glass the Cuvee van de Keizer had knocked me on my ass. It's strong at 11% ABV and costs $12.35 for a 750mL bottle. That makes it one of the more expensive beers I've had, but I still recommend it if you are down with heavy beers. It is unlike any other beer I've had and very fun to drink.

I totally agree with the opinion of the topmost review on ratebeer about it. Reviews on Beer Advocate are equally as positive. A great experience.


  1. Given the cost, strength, and heaviness of this beer I strongly recommend you split it with one to three other people.

    The Blauw (blue) name distinguishes this beer from its similarly-named cousin, the Cuvee van de Keizer Rood (red). The red is apparently a strong blonde ale, as opposed to the darker blue.

    I have heard good things about the red and about Gouden Carolus generally. I'll be trying their beers again for sure.

  2. Royce, this is your first description that has convinced me to try the beer. I have tried other beers you have recommended, but that was more because they were already in my queue rather than due to your specific recommendation. I consider this a big step forward for Wet Wednesday. Thank you Royce.

  3. Um, you're welcome? I can't tell if that was a backhanded compliment. But I thank you regardless.

  4. My significant other (Bill) just tried this over the weekend, and I think it has become his favorite beer. It's quite outstanding.

  5. Hey Sharon, his favorite beer eh? That's quite a compliment... I have to agree that it's outstanding and also unique, which is a great combo.

    I will have to report back when I've tried other beers by Gouden Carolus.