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Gouden Carolus Easter Beer - Brouwerij Het Anker

Gouden Carolus Easter BeerGouden Carolus Easter Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

171 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 171
Reviews: 99
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 13.3%

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: paterlodie on 04-29-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 171 | Reviews: 99 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of JohnGalt1


3.54/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Surprised I haven't reviewed this one yet... Picked this up at Brewer's Haven on Vista a couple weeks ago... Pours a fairly standard dark amber.. perhaps a little hazed.. 1" off white head has great retention and lacing.

Nose is weird.. tons of anise... lesser clove and some dark plum.. "Belgian", yes but more "spiced" than Continental.

Flavor has the same elements but with a little more dark sweet plum up front that actually helps magnify the anise/licorice notes...

Body and carbonation are fine for a BSDA... I am just not digging the heavy licorice component.. I don't remember the anise being so pronounced, but I haven't had this one in years either... Oh well.. I doubt I will buy this again just based on my personal prejudices.


Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 05:01:29 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of clayrock81


4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a brown body with one finger head and lace patches. The aroma of anise first hits me, along with candi sugar, and then dark fruits like black cherry and figs, possible plums. The dark fruit flavors are more pronounced in as there are strong flavors of cherry, figs and plum along with the anice/candi sugar crushing my tongue at times. The beer is balanced with fruits and sweetness but overall I'd describe it as a "sweet beer". There are spices lie pepper or coriander that are waiting to be picked out to and I get them on the backend in the finish. Complex, medium bodied beer that is chewy at times and a wonderful beer to enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2014 10:45:18 | More by clayrock81
Photo of superspak


4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 2/5/2013. Pours fairly crystal clear deep ruby-brown color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, clove, pepper, licorice, toast, toffee, dark candi sugar, bread, herbal, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, light banana, licorice, toast, clove, brown bread, dark candi sugar, light pepper, herbal, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Slight fruity tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, licorice, light banana, clove, dark candi sugar, brown bread, herbal, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, slick, and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian strong dark ale. All around great complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast and dark/bready malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2014 07:01:25 | More by superspak
Photo of falloutsnow


4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From: Binny's, Bloomingdale, IL
Date: 2012 release
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

I happened upon this bottle, unexpectedly, during a visit to a Binny's in Illinois. For an easter beer, I was expecting something lighter in color and aroma/flavor, but this was not the case: the beer is a slightly lighter version of the Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw. Quite good, but I'd probably choose the slightly deeper, richer Blauw instead, though I am of course happy to try this mysterious, "rare," Easter beer.

Pours a 2cm tall mass of khaki colored foam, made up of tiny bubbles, creating a very dense, nearly meringue-like texture. Retention is good, the foam lasting two minutes in a slow decline to a thick ring and thin cap atop the body of the beer. Lacing is good, with semi-complex dots and lines clinging to the sides of the glass. Body is dark brown to black in color, light bringing out a very dark amber brown hue to the beer. Carbonation not visible through the functionally opaque body.

Aroma of dried and fresh plums, raisins, dried dates, dried black figs, candi sugar and Maillard reaction caramel-like sweetness, anise, modest mustiness, and very light molasses.

Flavor of dried and fresh plums, Belgian amber candi sugar sweetness, dried dates, raisins, dried black figs, anise, and slight caramel: like a lighter version of the Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw. Front of palate is of substantial dried and fresh plums, amber Belgian candi sugar sweetness, raisins, slight caramel, and anise. Mid-palate of dried and fresh plums, amber Belgian candi sugar sweetness, raisins, slight caramel, and anise. Back of palate detects strong anise, raisin, and dried plum, with lesser Belgian amber candi sugar, dates, black dried figs, and ethanol. Aftertaste of dried plums, raisins, dates, dried black figs, lesser anise and ethanol.

Beer is medium-bodied, with carbonation of medium intensity, resulting in a smooth, foamy mouthfeel that is never prickly. Ethanol is mildly noticeable in the nostrils and back of throat, but never detracts from enjoyment. Closes quite dry, with medium-low stickiness clining to the lips and palate.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2013 05:21:33 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Will pour a 5+ finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving an excellent lace. Dark amber/mahogany color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Dark fruit and orange nose and flavor is sweet spice and dark fruit and a little alcohol. $9.99 for a 750ml bottle from Julio's Liquors Marlboro, MA. Labeled at 10.5% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2013 22:42:10 | More by jdhilt
Photo of coreyfmcdonald


3.76/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a clear, dark amber color with two fingers of fluffy off white head. Retention and lacing are excellent.

S: Intense and complex. A strong dark fruit base with both plum and fig. Lots of orange zest, black licorice, and an overall mustiness that balance the dark fruit sweetness.

T: Quite different from the base. There is some dark fruit and a bit of cocoa, but it's much milder than the nose. The esters are still there, but they are milder, too. A bit of nutmeg along with a hint of orange zest and black licorice. Lots of booze. Not bad, but not great.

M: Moderate thickness with extremely creamy, yet fairly strong carbonation.

O: An amazing aroma, very complex and intense. The flavor is simply not bad. I'm amazed that I'm smelling and drinking the same beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2013 02:49:34 | More by coreyfmcdonald
Photo of IPA35


4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Delirium Café.

A really dark brown beer much like the Classic or the Christmas (both very very good beers, highly recommended). Some tannish head.

Smells much more spicy than the Classic. It has the same maltiness but this one is pretty big on the anise and liquorice unlike the other which is more fruity.

Tastes much the same as it smells, a rich dark beer with anise (I am pretty certain they added anise in this brew). Not overpowering though.

Nice beer, lucky I got to try it as I won't buy such a big bottle of this for myself.

Serving type: on-tap

04-24-2013 18:53:52 | More by IPA35
Photo of draheim


4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750mL (best before 5/2/2013) into a tulip. Pours a clear mahogany w/ a 1-finger khaki head.

Aroma is dark fruits, brown sugar, molasses and spice.

Taste is dark candi sugar, figs and dates, residual sugars, spice, and warming booze. Sweetness coats the palate.

Mouthfeel is sticky with a dry finish.

Overall this BSDA is par for the course for Het Anker. They tend to like their beers sweet and sugary with a dry finish, and this one delivers. Still, glad I found this bottle while I was visiting the Midwest. For some reason this one doesn't make it to Seattle.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2013 23:05:39 | More by draheim
Photo of beerpirates


4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at bruery het anker ,

Gouden Carolus Easter pours a deep mahogany body with a thin off-white head.
Anise and spices is the primary aroma with plum and banana rounding out the bouquet. Darke fruit , fig, caramel, anise , spices and clove are just a few of the many flavor components of this complex ale.
Medium carbonation , high in alcohol and high in drinkability.
Realy one the best easter beers i had so far !

Serving type: on-tap

04-15-2013 12:11:53 | More by beerpirates
Photo of hardy008


4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with ruby highlights, and has a two finger light tan head with small bubbles, and very good retention and great lacing. The aroma has dark fruit, apples, bubble gum, Belgian yeast, spices, caramel, and brown sugar.

Tastes much like it smells with dark fruit, apples. caramel, Belgian yeast, bubble gum, spices, white grapes, and cola. There is also a little hop bitterness at the end. This is a nice sweet beer, which is not overly sweet. Very nicely made.

Medium bodied with lively carbonation. Smooth and very easy to drink. Het Anker has been one of my favorite Belgian Breweries for a long time, and this beer is another winner from them.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2013 02:10:46 | More by hardy008
Photo of Treebs


3.54/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml C&C bottle served in a Funkwerks snifter. Consumed on Easter Sunday. A gift from my fiancee's mother.

A: Pours a murky dark brown color with a light khaki head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thin ring that leaves sticky sheets of lace down the glass.

S: Rum raisins and some brown sugar. Wet oak with boozy dark fruit. Pretty sweet malt bill as well, slightly bready.

T: Pale cracker malts. Pretty sweet with some brown sugar. Dark fruits, figs and raisins, with some spicy Belgian fruitiness. Wet oak as well.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation level. Sweet and spiced finish.

O: Nicely made Dark Ale. Not my favorite style, however, and I probably wouldn't revisit if I was given the opportunity.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2013 15:03:27 | More by Treebs
Photo of CrazyDavros


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown with a fading head.
Nose shows chocolate, caramel, burnt figs, spicy Belgian notes, rum and raisin.
Flavours are very similar at first with more chocolate and raisins before falling flat in a weaker finish with a bit of booze.
Needs more carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2013 05:35:55 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of socon67

New York

4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours brown with a distinct maroon tint. Settles with little if any foam. Lacing is minimal. Slight carbonation.

S - Strong smell of bubblegum (first time I really smelled that as potent in an beer). Semll of licorice, candy, and cherry cordial.

T - Taste is an intense blend of sugary fruit and spice. Very strong flavor of yeast. This is a robust beer with many layers of complexity.

M - Heavy belgian beer that will dominate any food, so it is best as a sipper.

O - Great beer that in the right occasion will stand out. Not sure of the connection to Easter, but I'd have this any time of the year.

Serving type: on-tap

09-11-2012 00:11:13 | More by socon67
Photo of impending


4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


750ml into a tulip. Pours a deep garnet copper, minor cafe au lait colored head, minor lacing.

Aroma is spicy, anise, caramel, malt ball and camphor. Fennel perhaps.

The spices carry through strong into the flavor. Very spicy. Figs and plums. Anise and phenols swirl. Sweet with a piercing dry twang that sets the stage for the finish. Long lasting heavy phenolic aftertaste. The alcohol contributes nicely as a flavor component. Medium bodied mouthfeel.

Warms wonderfully. This is classic belgian seasonal, expressive and big. A spiced blue.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2012 05:17:36 | More by impending
Photo of TheGrunt


4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Truly a wonderful Belgian masterpiece!

Colour is dark brown, but after pouring and looking through the glass towards more bright lights you see deep rosy or cherry colours with the deep, chocolate brown.

Foam is medium.

Smell tells nothing of the greatness of this beer. It is of course good, but I've had stronger smells. It is good though, with a good, balanced mix: Malt, hops, fruits with a cherry and hint of oak.

Mouthfeel is awesome! It is silky soft, without any bitterness. Low to medium carbonation tickles on the tongue a bit.
Taste is abosultely great! It is extremely soft for a pretty strong alcohol content beer: in fact no hint of strong liquor taste at all. Hop taste isn't as strong as it is in smell, but the taste is extremely smooth with malt, bit of hop and fruity flavor.

Antyhing in the taste wasn't exactly as I expected, but this is truly amazing beer IMO. It is somewhat "heavy", so it isn't a summer beer of choice at least for me (good Hefes are better), but this is definitely good choice for the colder part of the year and not just the easter as it is marketed, and those who seek dark beer with smooth flavor shouldn't hesitate with this!

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2012 19:27:25 | More by TheGrunt
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Burgundy with backlighting shows a quick paced medium dense effervesce. A spongy, khaki colored head sits atop with some resilience. Good amount of lace coverage.

S: The aroma is sweet of cola and candy apple. The cola is really dominate and what really stands out to me with some accents of apple, sugar plums, banana, and a light mention of clove.

T: The flavor is spicy alcohol and fruit, plums showing sugary and tart notes with some sweet licorice and black jelly beans. Warm apple, sweet caramel instances and a warm boozy touch of dark fruit sweetness.

M: The body is light with a decent amount of carbonation. Spicy dark fruit alcohol leave on the tongue.

O: Overall a spicy dark fruit beer with a beautiful warming of alcohol delivers on that easter feel. Solid flavor, clean and easy to consume. Limited to 2000 cases yearly. An easter treat indeed.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2012 19:22:04 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of CuriousMonk


4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Only 2000 cases are brewed each year, so I am glad to have tried this one (2010 vintage). Poured into tulip glass. Pours amber haze with a beautiful and strong off-white lacing that lasts throughout. Aromas of bubble gum, Belgian candi sugar, Belgian yeast, and orange peels. Flavors definitely pick up the bubble gum, grapefruit, and Belgian candi sugar. Thin mouthfeel and well carbonated. Overall, an excellent brew from one of my favorite Belgian breweries!

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2012 17:37:35 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of zeff80


3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Bleu Restaurant in Columbia, MO

A - Poured a cloudy, dark burgundy color with a small, tan head of foam. It left sudsy rings of lacing.

S - It smelled of dried dark fruits with some bready malts.

T - Raisins, figs and plum create a fruity balance to go with bread crust, caramel and sweet malt. There is a mild hop bitterness for balance.

M - This is a crisp, smooth beer. A medium bodied Belgian ale with a dry finish.

O - This was good. A nice find on tap at a place that's improving its beer options.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2012 20:31:09 | More by zeff80
Photo of Stinkypuss


2.93/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Gouden Carolus Easter beer

Pours a bright amber color, off white head and little lace.

Smell: anise, Belgian yeast, caramel, spices, and alcohol.

Taste: strong aniseed, with a minty menthol kick, Belgian yeast, toffee, brown sugar, caramel, raisin. Touch of alcohol, and lots of flavor, making for a somewhat complex sipper.

Mouthfeel: medium to full bodied, well carbonated, anise in the finish.

Overall: a decent offering from gouden Carolus, like their other holiday beers, heavy on the anise, but still nice and hides the strength for the most part.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2012 23:36:57 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of AdamBear


3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-dark cherry colored with a thin cream head

S-smells like dark belgian sugars and bubble gum with caramel hints. strong scent

T-comes in with a decent taste of dark roasted belgian sugars. much like bubble gum. ends with a burnt weedy taste. its a good and complex taste.

M-low carbonation with a dry finish

O-it's a pretty complex belgian. its definitely good though maybe not as crisp and drinkable as other good dark belgian that i've had.

Serving type: on-tap

04-13-2012 01:59:17 | More by AdamBear
Photo of smakawhat


4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into an official Gouden Carolus chalice glass.

Not much head or froth on this, but some faint caramel head manages to stick around. Lacing is slight and noticeable a little, but not much of the concentric rings that I associate with their strong dark ales. Body color is classic walnut brown, fairly see through to some extent when looking through the head and so forth. Look fine.

Nose is a simple dark malt and sweet Belgian candy sense. Chewy, hints at not too much just an even simple white sugar sweetness.

Taste hits with a real surprise. It's black licorice candy gumdrops, mixing with classic Belgian sweetness and dark malts. Chewy but with a slightly wet palate that hits like a licorice candy you've been chewing on for some time. Sweetness feels really balanced, nothing outrageous and sticky, or even horribly sweet. Maybe even a bit of menthol mint action.

Overall though, fun beer, a nice take on the licorice anisette angle. Candy beer without the sugar bomb, I did enjoy it this Easter indeed.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2012 03:44:29 | More by smakawhat
Photo of jtierney89

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep deep amber, close to brown. Very good clarity for a big Belgian brew. Sizable crystal like off white head. Very subtle nose, touches of dark fruit, some phenolic presence. Some bubble gum.

Flavor is a lot bigger than the nose. Big sweetness but incredibly clean finish. Sweet dark fruits up front. Touch of sweet bubble gum. Rides into some very spicy clove flavors. Some phenols. All do a good job of balancing. Alcohol presence is slightly noticeable but adds to the balance. Very good and inedible rare, i'm glad I got a case.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2012 03:32:09 | More by jtierney89
Photo of metter98

New York

4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear dark mahogany in color. It poured with a half finger high dense off white head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of dark fruits and candi sugar in the nose. As the beer warms up, smells of anise become very apparent.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of dark fruits and candi sugars and has a light to moderate amount of sweetness. Hints of licorice are also present and these become much more prominent as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium- bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a nice balance between each of the flavors and the anise adds uniqueness as the beer warms up. The alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2012 07:39:16 | More by metter98
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 Edition opened and enjoyed on Good Friday.

A: Pours a clear dark mahogany in color with some moderate visible carbonation (only seen when being held up to the light). The beer has a finger tall creamy beige head that reduces to a thick layer covering the entire surface of the beer with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: The dominant aroma in this beer is the licorice but I also detect some dark fruits (plums and figs) and some candi sugar sweetness.

T: The flavor of this beer really starts out quite sweet with a heavy presence of dark fruits and candi sugar. The dark fruit is the dominant flavor and seems to be mostly made up of plum, fig, and date which imparts quite a bit of sweetness. The licorice flavor is very present in the finish and really lingers for quite a while.

M: Medium to full bodied with low to moderate amounts of carbonation. Velvety smooth creaminess.

O: This beer is very interesting and seems appropriate for the Easter holiday - the aroma is reminiscent of black jellybeans. The alcohol is very well hidden considering the fairly high ABV. I will definitely keep my eye out for this one again next year. More of a sipping beer than a session beer but very enjoyable nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2012 01:39:12 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a hazy brown color with a 1" head that slowly falls. Some spots of lace develop.

Smell: big licorice tones and dark fruit sweeteness comes through.

Taste: nice malty beer here. Loads of licorice, plums, raisins, a hit of rum, and some alcohol are the main flavors. Bitterness is moderate.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Light crispness to start, smooth and velvety at the finish. Long lasting aftertaste.

Overall: a bold flavored belgian ale that is a slow sipper but satisfying. But sorry to say this won't work as a pairing with some yellow Peeps or a chocolate egg even though it's called an Easter beer. Great drink for when the kids do the Easter egg hunt.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2012 19:41:26 | More by Gavage
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Gouden Carolus Easter Beer from Brouwerij Het Anker
90 out of 100 based on 171 ratings.