1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Gouden Carolus Easter Beer - Brouwerij Het Anker

Not Rated.
Gouden Carolus Easter BeerGouden Carolus Easter Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

198 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 198
Reviews: 102
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.81%
Wants: 16
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 198 | Reviews: 102 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of corby112
5/5  rDev +23.2%

corby112, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
2.9/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Normally I miss this guy when he comes around every Spring, so I was more than happy to see my local store still had one of this year's still hangin' around. It pours a murky garnet-sienna topped by a finger of off-dirty ash foam. The nose comprises black licorice, toffee, brown sugar, and Belgian candi sugar. The licorice dominates everything else, making it hard to pick out most of the other scents. The taste is similarly constituted, with a domineering licorice flavor strangling everything else out. Some mild cocoa notes can be found in the mix as well, but they're similarly faint compared with the licorice. Honestly, I winced with every sip... The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a pretty smooth feel. Overall, a surprisingly one-sided brew, which unfortunately was a bad side. Way the hell too much licorice for this to ever be any good.

TMoney2591, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of bigdaddypolite
5/5  rDev +23.2%

bigdaddypolite, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of Jspriest
5/5  rDev +23.2%

Jspriest, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of taigor
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into small goblet.

A - Poured non-transparent dark mahogany color with big tan head that slowly dissipated leaving light lacing around the glass.

S - Mostly malts and yeast with slight scents of dark fruits like plums, raisins and figs.

T - Sweet malts and brown sugar upfront followed by belgian yeast and raisins, figs and plums. Has a dry finish.

M - Full bodied with average carbonation.

O - Great BSDA with ABV well hidden. I would highly recommend it.

taigor, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of eric5bellies
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from my Duvel Tulip, with Sam and Daz

A - Pours a dark Mahogany colour with a nice Ivory coloured head that retains very well.

S - Nice plum aromas with sweet stewed dark fruits,molasis and aniseed.

T - Up front some nice stewed fruits with some strong molasis and aniseed flavours on the finish.

M - Medium to full body with minimal carboantion.

O - A nice beer that is boosted by the aniseed. The alcohol is well hidden and overall it is unusual enough to want another.

eric5bellies, Oct 01, 2011
Photo of Meerkey
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Huge, beige, foamy head. Ruby red and brown. Very nice.

S: Very fruity - dates, peaches/apricots. Some spices and champagne. A bit of alcohol.

T: Very alcoholic and fruity. Sweet, sugary - honey and brown sugar. Dates, oranges, and peaches. A little tart in the back of my throat. Syrupy.

M: Some carbonation, heavy sweetness; smooth, but a little thin.

O: Nice. I think the fruity sweetness overwhelms everything else a bit. I like it, but I probably wouldn't have another for a while.

Meerkey, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of AgentMunky
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Gouden Carolus chalice.

A: One finger of head. Dark, dull brown in the shade, but gorgeous translucent ruby in the light. Good lacing.

S: Magnificent! Sweet-dark fruit with spices. Anise. What I want a BSDA to smell like. Somehow evocative of Easter...maybe a candyish character? Quite sweet; chocolate syrup? As it warms, the fruit gets brighter.

T: It is syrupy in taste, not texture...almost cough syrupy. Hrm. Not as bad as it sounds. It's just an odd mixture of dark/overripe fruit, medium-heavy spice, and sweet malt. Bit of licorice, perhaps, or menthol. Definitely anise, almost like sambuca, which makes me happy even if it's strange. Orange marmalade. The aftertaste is a bit malty-tart. A complex, confusing beer.

M: Spicy, smoothish, and pleasant. A bit of fruitiness.

O: Very good beer, but can't compare with the Classic or the Christmas. The odd fruity-medicinal-licorice element of the beer makes it a bit off-putting for me. Still, as with all Gouden Carolus -- save the Ambrio, which I always forget -- recommended. I might not have it soon, but if I saw it, I'd pick one up.

AgentMunky, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of clareo
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Thick, raisin-y brown color. Small bit of off-white foam that mostly dissipates with moderate speed.

S: Not much complexity; characteristic Belgian notes of banana and clove.

T: Sweet and strong; banana aroma manifests in the taste; a bit of toffee stickiness.

M: Very silky and full. Surprisingly light.

O: A nice Belgian with some unique characteristics. Very drinkable for its high ABV, which is mostly undetectable.

clareo, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of July2Nov
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A ruby tinged dark amber color. Very beautiful! Had a larger head on it, but overall is=t tends to a have thin lacing.

Smell: Big complex malt smell. Sweetness.

Taste & Mouthfeel: That is one robust beer. Banana flavor is very prominent, along with a syrupy dark fruit and bready flavor. The alcohol gives off a little bit of a sting but settles down with that mouth warming feeling. So good.

Overall: Why wait for Easter dinner to enjoy this? I could drink this one on a regular basis. Just wish I had bought more bottles of it. I could envision this a s a perfect accompaniment to a cold night and a warm fire. Since I have neither, I will still enjoy this on the back porch under a hot sun.

July2Nov, Jun 06, 2011
Photo of RickS95
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

RickS95, May 28, 2011
Photo of tbeckett
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from ABS Drinks outside Brussels. Split with a friend. From notes.

A - Poured a brown/red colour with medium carbonation and a one finger tan head that went fast. Bright.

S - Dark fruit, yeast, some floral notes. There was an element that was grassy but in the way an Easter basket smells which was somehow quite appropriate.

T - Sweet and malty. Caramel was good. Spices were subtle and blended with the alcohol nicely. Sweetness stood out alot.

M - Some chew with a mild carbonation and full body.

O/D - No wow factor bringing all the elements together but a nice, and very tasty beer. Had the potention to be much better but how it looked and smelled brought it down.

tbeckett, May 23, 2011
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to the always generous coastiesimon for sharing this brew.

A - It pours a ruddy chesnut-brown hue, and is capped with a short-lived ecru dollop of froth. Not stellar for a Belgian, in terms of looks, but pretty damn good everywhere else.

S - The nose is pure malty deliciousness. Expressions of character include myriad vinous notes from heavy raisin and jam, to light berry-like Shiraz notes, as well as molasses, honey, caramel, toffee and biscuit. The booze is nowhere to be found.

T - As Simon noted (not in such words...), and I agree with, Gouden Carolus brews seem to be less yeasty than their stylistic brethren; this is a trend that seems to favor a more complex flavor profile. The flavor is best described as, again, a total malt-bomb; molasses-raisin-toffee are immediately discernible, but there is also a fair dosage of the nuances of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and cardamom. The 9% ABV is indecipherable, too. This is not quite as good tasting as Cuvee VdC Blauw, but it is of the same ilk, and in the same league.

M - The feel is expansively soft.

O - I like.

ktrillionaire, May 13, 2011
Photo of CuttDeez
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into my snifter.

A - A deep brown poor that is slightly hazy and murky with a dark kahki tan head that was bubbly and lacy.

S - Very nice fruity sweet smell (not citrus). I detected some lemon on the front end as well but the fruits were mostly mild and sweet. Then the malty carmalized sugar bombs came in with great aroma.

T & M - Carmalized sugary malt are the base of this taste. There are good notes of fruit, vanilla, and toffee. The yeast and lemon pepperyness came in on the middle and I also noted a somewhat floral airy taste on the back end. All in all very interesting and complex. The creamy medium body mixes with a nice level of carbination to make a well balanced and zesty beer.

O - A great easter beer and a great beer in general for that matter. I love the compexity of the taste profile. The mouthfeel was great as well. The ability to get some light fruit and floral notes into the heavy ABV and malt was impressive.


CuttDeez, May 12, 2011
Photo of RedBaron
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Do the Belgians celebrate Easter with the Easter bunny? Apparently on this import bottle, they do! (Cool label).

A - Pours with a brownish-red hue; nice, moderate carbonation throughout (proper); enticing
S - Fig, maybe banana, and lightly toasted malt aroma. Nice, and not ordinary.
T - Dark fruit, raisin, currents all over this one; the yeastiness in the finish adds a component that is welcome.
M - This is a complex spice and malt assault, but meticulously balanced from start to finish. If your drinking this one solo, take your time (as I write I about an hour+ into this 25 oz, 9%abv brew. Oh, and hopheads be warned - this is probably not YOUR bag.)
O - Fantastic beer, certainly worthy of the Resurrection (and bunnies) it associates itself with on the label. Gouden Carolus rarely disappoints, and this Easter offering is worthy of praise. Again - savor it!

RedBaron, May 05, 2011
Photo of Reagan1984
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Special Thanks to ML67 for this gift. Mark gave me this bottle last year shortly after Easter and I cellared it until Easter season 2011. OK, so I meant to drink it on Easter but was traveling and forgot to bring it. So I am drinking it one Sunday too late…. Still Easter season!! Mark many thanks!

Pours with a loud fizzy head that turns into a creamy milk shake topping to the beer. Very thick with excellent retention. It does eventually fade to some thin foam atop the beer. Surprising amount of lacing for a 10% abv beer. The beer is a deep ruby color with excellent clarity if/when you stare deep inside.

Aroma is very deep and thick. Full of dark fruits and almost a sense of menthol. Not sure if there is any spice introduced here… But it’s got something nice happening. A rich sweetness here. A sense of grape as well.

Now I see why Mark enjoys this beer so much. Excellent. There is a subtle herbaceous note here in the flavor as well. Again a slight menthol note. Black cherry, fig perhaps some plum jam. A sense of red licorice. Plenty of complexity. The layered malt flavors are awesome. Very nice!

The body is so silky smooth it’s amazing. Tiny pin prick carbonation gives way to a long velvety feel on your tongue.

Good thing the Sox and Celtics are on this afternoon. It will take all afternoon to enjoy this wonderful beer.

Happy Easter and Thanks again Mark!

Reagan1984, May 01, 2011
Photo of rsdaugherty
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap into goblet at Cheeky Monk downtown Denver
A – 1 finger tan small bubbles head faded to a thin layer, a dark amber & burgundy, clear… but too dark to really tell 3.5
S – Sweet toasted malts, slighty fruity, yeasty 3.5
T – Full bodied malt from the start, slightly spicy, sublime bitterness through the taste, a slightly char flavor 3.5
M – Full body & flavor with a thin mouthfeel, expected a more creamy/syrup mouth feel 3
O – Not the easiest drinking beer, alcohol becomes apparent as it warms, I’ll pass on a second to try something new 3.5

rsdaugherty, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber to light brown in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, spice and caramel, yet both are quite faint. In the taste, caramel, toffee, and cinnamon like spice. A spicy bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with and a semi dry caramel like aftertaste. A nice spice and a nice caramel presence, quite nice with Easter dinner.

OWSLEY069, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of rudzud
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up at Julio's in honor of Easter. Cracked it after work, poured into my Palm tulip.

A - Pours an almost crystal clear mahongany with a rather weak quarter inch head. Much to my surprise though it never really fully fades, just condenses on the center and leaves a nice halo as well.

S - Rich deep malts, dark fruits, and even some chocolate. Very sweet, and like someone else said, licorice like.

T - Some almost winter warmer type spices here. Getting some cloves, more dark fruits and sweetness. Not getting as much licorice though.

M - Its a bit too heavy/syrupy for me. Low carbonation keeps things a bit heavier.

O - This is a nice belgian strong dark ale. Think the mouthfeel could use a little work though. Wouldn't mind trying this with a little age on it, see how it holds up.

rudzud, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of pzrhsau
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Clear dark amber body. The beer does have a slight haze and a decent head.
S: Smells like winter spices and has a good maltiness to it.
T: Slightly sweet and has a nice dark bread flavor that has some slight spice on the edge. Very taste with definite presence of alcohol.
D/O: Very crisp and drinkable. The weight of the beer does make you want to sip it a bit more. Great beer to open this easter sunday.

pzrhsau, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of Chaney
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My pick for Easter beer 2011!

A: Dark, dark brownish red, that when held up to the light, glowed a bright ruby red. Tight, beautiful foamy head retained its frothiness throughout the session.

S: Straight up licorice... along with raisons, prunes, figs, and more than a little bit of Belgian funk. However, did I mention that this smelled like licorice?

T: How unique! It's as if licorice was steeped in prune juice for days, Belgian yeast was added, the thing was carbonated, then sent to market. The most port-like of the Het Anker brews I've tasted so far.

M: Thick, bubbly, yet sweet as hell.... but I didn't mind that. The carbonation was moderate and flowed really well with the complex flavors presented here.

O: I really need to let at least one of these age. There's an A - A+ brew in there somewhere...

Chaney, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

oberon, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours out as a brownish color that fairly translucent, the head is a light tan color with a very nice lacing down the glass. The aroma is yeasty, sweet and floral. The taste is sweet and slightly metallic up front then settles down in the aftertaste to some silky soft earthy dark fruit flavors. The mouthfeel is drinkable and is on the medium side. The carbonation is pretty good too. Very enjoyable brew for the holiday.

Knapp85, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
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

Billolick, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of Beaver13
3.13/5  rDev -22.9%
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.

Beaver13, Apr 17, 2011
Gouden Carolus Easter Beer from Brouwerij Het Anker
90 out of 100 based on 198 ratings.