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Gouden Carolus Easter Beer - Brouwerij Het Anker

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Gouden Carolus Easter BeerGouden Carolus Easter Beer

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205 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 205
Reviews: 105
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 12.59%
Wants: 17
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: paterlodie on 04-29-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 205 | Reviews: 105
Reviews by kylehay2004:
Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -1.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bold lemony gold with tons of settling yeast and scads of rapidly rising bubbles. The huge alabaster colored head is fantastically rich and creamy and is plastering the glass with an impressive amount of lace-like lace. I'm not sure what else one could ask for in a Belgian golden ale.

One source says that this Brouwerij Het Anker offering was a BSDA up to and including 2006. Beginning with 2007, it's a BSPA, or a 'Golden Ale' as the label now reads. That's funny, I was sure that I bought this bottle in late 2006. Guess not.

Gouden Carolus Easter Beer smells most like a tripel, keeping in mind the great amount of overlap between tripels and BSPAs. It's muskily golden fruity (apples, buttery pears and apricots) with a clove and coriander spiciness. The former is probably yeast-related and the coriander would have to have been added, although I'm not sure it was.

This isn't one of my favorite Belgian breweries for nothing! GCEB is tremendously delicious beer with close to unfathomable depth and complexity. It isn't as good as Gouden Carolus Tripel, but then those that are can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

There's a generous amount of pale malt that gives the beer a luscious sweetness that is right up my alley. It's far from gooey or sticky, though. Sweetness is perfectly countered by a moderate bitterness and a mild tanginess. Everything works in such perfect harmony that each sip is pure pleasure.

Warming brings out even more coriander. White pepper and clove are, again, probably esters from a magnificent house yeast strain. An orange and lemon citrusiness adds a witbier flair, but this is first and foremost a golden fruity Belgian tripel.

The mouthfeel is all kinds of wonderful. All that malt and an ideal amount of carbonation give this ale a lithe, supple, creamy expansiveness that is exhilarating. Why can't more American brewers give their Belgian-style ales this kind of mouthfeel?

According to the label, Easter Beer has the most limited production of any Brouwerij Het Anker beer (only 2000 cases per year). I'd like to take mine off the top every Spring and leave the other 1999 for the rest of you.

Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beer made for the greatest day of mankind.Poured into a chalice more of a russet color,it's not golden like the bottle says,not even close,a well formed tannish colored head atop.Fruit cake and clove spice really stand out in the nose,its very cakey and very spiced.Flavors of fig and some raisin,the spiced notes come in the finish with some clove and allspice,the allspice gives off a little peppery shot.I am not drinking this with Easter dinner,I think savory food wouldnt go so well with such a spiced beer,drinking alone it is almost a meal itself in a glass.Not something I normally would seek out but for this awesome day I did and enjoyed it.

Photo of Beaver13
3.14/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle. Pours a dark reddish amber brown with a big fluffy off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is earthy yeast, some sweet malts and some alcohol with some bubblegum and cola.

The flavor is sweet sugary (molasses) malts and dark fruits that just pop out initially. There's an earthiness from the yeast and some banana and clove notes. The finish has medium dry bitterness with a bit of alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with soft carbonation.

Overall, an OK Belgian. The flavors didn't work for me, and the alcohol and sweetness was a bit over the top.

Photo of merlin48
3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750 ml bottle, corked and caged, with 310107(best by date) stamped on the label. Easter scene, with three colored eggs and a bunny on the label. Label is bilingual, Flemish and French, and recites that Belgian hops are used, and a blurb about the brewery's history.
Appearance: Pours into a St Bernardus goblet a slightly hazed, ruby orange body that clears up over the course of an hour and displays some glowing mahogany hues. Khaki head is small, quickly falling to a cap and collar. Smooth sheets of lace decorate the goblet.
Aroma: Banana, clove, and licorice are up front. My girlfriend said this smells like a banana split, but I digress. Figs and prunes lend some dried dark fruit notes, and some freshly cracked black peppercorns add a rough spicy edge. Dry sherry like phenols are also prominent.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full body has soft carbonation and some alcohol burn.
Taste: Opens with spicy anise and clove, atop some scorched caramel malts. Alcohol is more hot than warming, giving this a rough edge. Hop bitterness is assertive, in an earthy and herbal nature. Very little yeast character is noted, seemingly obscured by the high ethanol. Hefty notes of dry sherry emerge as it warms, with some cherry cough syrup phenols. Star anise notes are heavy handed here, and at times this was like nibbling on a licorice stick that had been soaked in vodka. Finish had a long and lingering anisette aftertaste that required a couple of IPAs to eliminate.
Drinkability: I enjoy a subtle hint of anise in a big stout or strong dark ale, but it's really a distraction here. Alcohol is a bit rough and hot, as well. No doubt, this is well crafted and complex, and the flavor does have some banana and orangepeel notes, but I simply didn't care much for this one. If you like anise and hot ethanol, you will like this. It reminds me a bit of the Greek liqueur, Ouzo.

Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Happy to find this nugget on draft at Holy Smokes in Mahopac, NY

Pours darker brown and murky, creamy, darker tan head, leaving all shapes of fine lace on the glass.

Sweet candy and malt infused nose.

Nice beefy malty base, toffee, candied fruits, vanilla, honey all picked up and savored.
Finish is slightly less flovorful, Enjoyable and dangerously easy drinking. Alcohol notes hidden, but jolt from this beer is not. well done, more quality brew from GC

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of RobertH50
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage 12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, clear, deep, dark mahogany color with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic, with lots of dried stone fruit, such as raisins, prunes, dates and candied sugar, but not much in the way of malt.

Taste: Very similar to that aroma. Lots of stone fruit, dark molasses, and candied sugar. There’s some strong flavors of malt and Belgian yeast, but the predominate flavors are of delicious dried stone fruit and candied sugar.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy. As there is no carbonation what-so-ever, this beer is extremely smooth. With an ABV of 10.5%, there is a very pleasant alcohol warmth present on the palate.

Overall: This is an extremely delicious beer, but I expect no less from Gouden Carolus. This will definitely be a yearly beer!

Photo of Loveyourbeer
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of GilGarp
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL brown bottle with cork and cage. Served cool into my St. Bernardus glass. Label says 9% ABV as opposed to the 10% listed here.

Aroma is impressive right from the start but I'll get back to that.

Easter Beer is a dark redish brown Belgian ale. It has good clarity and creamy head. Not very good retention but pretty lacing.

Back to that aroma - it's immediately evident as the cork pops - a big burst of fresh banana with a milder but still wonderful sweet spicy chacter. Together it's almost like a banana bread got together with a coffee cake. Both would be nice on a sunny Easter morning.

Flavor is unusual too but very impressive. It has great depth with mild tropical fruit (that banana is strong here too) but also some rye bread, warming spices, and black licorice.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with ample carbonation. It's not too much of the latter like many Belgians seem to me. A nice balance of flavors and the alcohol is not too strong.

Overall it's very tasty. Just as the wise (beyond his years) young man told me at the store, it's basically a blend between dubbel and quad. Not a bad thing in my opinion. Still not sure why it's an Easter beer...

Photo of beerbrains
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 2010 notebook....

Dark Syrupy sweet. Dark malt with a slight sour tang in the back of the throat. Dried fruits. Fennel or black licorice fills not just the nose but all of the sinus cavities. Alcohol warmth. Heavy in the stomach, not really filling, just a heavy feeling.

This beer gives the impression that it has been brewed just like this for a very long time.

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber just released at abbot on the Hill. Bubble gum yeast nose, pleasing though on intentionally sweet side. Rising carbonation bubbles on dirty blonde body with elaborate lace scultuled glass. Full mouth yeast with fruitiness. Above average carbonation and still very drinkable to the end, with a friend.

Photo of socon67
4.39/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of RickS95
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep rich brown with a huge off white head. The beer is not the darkest thing in the world, but you can just tell it's rich. The head is comprised of small bubbles with good staying power. As the head dissipates, it leaves its tracks all over the glass.

Dark, ripe fruits fill the nose. In addition, it's got a spicy scent, notably pepper. Has a slight bit of port wine in it as well.

The taste is what you're thinking after seeing and smelling it. The dark fruits are there, as well as the peppery spice. Also noticeable is a faint alcohol taste in the finish.

For as strong as the beer is (9% ABV), it's got a soft mouthfeel. Sure, there is some carbonation and some spice, but for the type it's pretty gentle. Also, there is some complexity as it starts off sweet, moves onto spicy heat, then finishes with a bit of dry heat.

This isn't a sissy beer, but it's pretty easy to drink, despite its high ABV. Nonetheless, there is a smoothness to it that the Belgians have mastered. Really a top notch beer.

Photo of freewill35
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of aztraz
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of Glibber
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Hobbit
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of Stugotzo
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of mscudder
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of jtierney89
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Photo of JeffreyJDavis
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of beerthulhu
4.05/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of bonbini26
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

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Gouden Carolus Easter Beer from Brouwerij Het Anker
90 out of 100 based on 205 ratings.