Monday, October 20, 2008


No doubt as you do, I carry around a supremely dorked-out list of the beers I need to try in the “notes” section of my cell phone; things people recommend, things I read about on blogs, in magazine, you know. I reckon everybody probably does this, don’t you think? High on the list of the must-try beers of late has been Belgium’s GOUDEN CAROLUS D'OR GRAND CRU OF THE EMPEROR, a Belgium strong dark ale from a exceptionally popular brewer, BROWERIJ HET ANKER. This particular formulation of theirs has shown up on tap at Oakland, CA’s THE TRAPPIST, and therefore showed up in my glass moments after I arrived there the other night. GRAND CRU OF THE EMPEROR is an 11% barrel-aged bomb that (thankfully) doesn’t taste particularly flamethrowing, as long as you take your time. It is a sweet but not cloying dark ale, with sugars rising to the palate pretty quickly along with the taste of dates and maybe even dark berries. I found it dosed just right when it came to the hops, and the beer it reminded me most of was probably the most recent of my high-alcohol, barrel-aged conquests, DOGFISH HEAD’s RAISON D’XTRA. I reckon that probably says more for Dogfish Head than it does this olde-world Belgian brewer, who’s been doing this sorta thing since god was a boy. I drank it nice and slow in the small-ish glass they gave me (of course at The Trappist you always get the perfect stemware for the type of beer you order), and after it was done I pronounced it an outstanding ale, just as they all said it would be. 8.5/10.

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