Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cellar series: Het Anker Gouden Carolus Van de Keizer (Red, 2008)

type: belgian strong ale
origin: Belgium
price: $13/ 750ml
ABV: 10%
NSP: 5.8

If you're at any beer fest and they have either of the Gouden Carolus', do yourself a favor and gorge. It's delicious when it's fresh, but here we are--five years out from a 2008 vintage Cuvee Van De Keizer (Red)--wondering...does beer even keep that long??  Well, let's find out.

This was a Belgian strong blonde ale, originally, and since 2008 the yeast have added an overwhelming level of fruit on the nose and tongue: apple and peach, mostly.  The yeast didn't destroy the beer, they just wore out their welcome a bit.  But, hey, what else should we expect from little microorganisms that like to swim in their own excrement?  Besides the fruit, there was still plenty of carbonation, and so signs of spoilage (it was a corked bottle).

Chris was convinced they used candy sugar to make the beer, but the website is not overly forthcoming on the recipe, and it's hard to judge with such substantial modification (the aforementioned fruit).  We did come to find, through the web, that they lager it for three weeks.  Huh??  Anyone care to explain why you would do that for such an apparently short period of time?  The website also claims the tenability of cellaring is 3 years (they did not give error bounds so I'll say +2 years is reasonable), so I'm surprised this lasted so long.  There was some metallic taste to it, but it's five damn years old!  And at least it didn't give me a hangover the next day.

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