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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

193 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 193
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.81%
Wants: 15
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker visit their website
Belgium

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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 193 | Reviews: 101 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jnn4v
jnn4v

Virginia

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

A: Chestnut color with slight amber hue. Little head. No sediment. Moderate haze.

S: Smells fantastic. Toffee. Caramel. Belgian yeast.

T: Taste that is on par with the scent. Caramel, toffee, hints of citrus. Slightly sour notes to balance it out. Grape juice. Dry aftertaste.

M: Moderate body and texture.

D: 10.5% ABV is totally hidden. Very tasty, well balanced beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2010 18:09:38 | More by jnn4v
Photo of bobsy
bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

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

I always thought this beer was the same as the cuvee van de kaiser rood, but with a different branding, but a recent side-by-side with that very beer has made me change my mind. Here's an ammended version of my review for taht beer:

Pours deeper than the rood and somewhere between s strong pale and strong dark. Its an amber brew and a huge white head crowns this beauty, and leaves big patches of lace as it recedes, never diminishing further than a tight cap.

Full-on Belgian yeast aroma, with grain and tropical fruit thrown into the mix, and a touch of drying alcohol. Nice estery flavours off the bat, with some peach and mango, subtly flavoured with clove, coriander and maybe even pepper. After the initial hit we experience herbal hops in the middle, accompanying a shovel of grain, before closing in a drying, lightly alcoholic finish. Slightly grainier than the rood but just as smooth. The alcohol is excellently hidden, the flavours are well-melded, and its a delightful all-round experience. The age of the bottle (I believe this is a four year old) has tempered the carbonation to make it delightfully smooth and easy drinking. In fact, the carbonation is almost too subdued for a Belgian!

A great beer that showcases the commesurate skill of this brewery. The side-by-side showed me that at some level there are significant differences to its supposedly relabelled brother, if on appearance alone. Its a fine brew and well worth purchasing.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2010 00:59:32 | More by bobsy
Photo of beerbrains
beerbrains

Nebraska

4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-13-2010 05:17:30 | More by beerbrains
Photo of chaz410
chaz410

North Carolina

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

Bottle's about 5 months old.
Pours a deep brown/amber body that's very hazy and has a finger and half slightly tanned heat.
Smells exceptionally malty. Very thick flavors of caramel, apple, dark cherry hints, vanilla and brown sugar. There's some nice belgian sweet funky notes on the nose that give it a little bit of a melon-like background.
Taste very sweet. Lots of caramel and lots of apple-like sweetness. There's a good amount of molases and pear notes floating around.
Very thick mouth feel without much of a burn.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2010 02:56:48 | More by chaz410
Photo of cMonkey
cMonkey

Pennsylvania

2.3/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: Poured a lighter brown with minimal head.

Smell: Aromas of sweet banana and fruits like pineapple or citrus.

Taste: Overly sweet, fruity, banana, licorice. No spice like a Christmas Ale. Alcohol noticeable.

Mouthfeel: Great feel, but was drinking it faster due to flavor.

Drinkability: Not a drinkable beer to me. I see others enjoyed it, but it was way too sweet and fruity for me.

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2010 13:26:26 | More by cMonkey
Photo of jfmorey
jfmorey

Virginia

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

Served in a tulip at Pizzeria Paradison in Dupont Circle, DC

An inch of creamy head with good retention
Dense, almosts opaque amber brown

Faint smell of raisins

Taste was full, raisins, plums, brown sugar with some herbal notes; complex and interesting but perhaps a bit too sweet compared to others of this style

Good mouthfeel, almost thick

Very drinkable, no hint of the ABV

Serving type: on-tap

05-25-2010 22:14:21 | More by jfmorey
Photo of Xul
Xul

California

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

A: Pours a translucent, very dark amber capped by a two finger pale mocha head. Retention is good and lacing is left behind on the glass.

S: A licorice aroma is the first and most prevalent characteristic, but not overwhelming. Dark fruits, belgian candy sugar, yeast, and some dark malt base.

T: Follows the nose, with a licorice note being right up front. Dark fruits are more up front than in the nose, with a lot of plums along with some dark grapes. Belgian candy sugar and some honey come in later along with some yeasty notes.

M: Moderate body with moderate to high carbonation. Could be a bit less prickly on the tongue, but erring on the side of carbonation is preferable to letting it become syrupy.

D: No sign of the ABV and the licorice characteristic really makes it interesting and separates it from the rest of the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2010 22:34:41 | More by Xul
Photo of clickpush
clickpush

Pennsylvania

4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour: 750ml to wide mouth glass. Maple syrup colored beer, much darker than I was expecting with gorgeous ruby hues. One finger of tan head tops the liquid. Plenty of carbonation visible inside. Head retreats to a healthy coat of lacing and hefty halo around the edge.

Nose: Huge malty, biscuit-y aroma. Banana salt water taffee, alcohol, strawberry Twizzlers. Very robust.

Mouth: Flavor is equally as rich, diverse, and complex as the aroma. Some roasted barley notes, soft hops, and tons of fruity esters. Warming alcohol. Gorgeous. Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated yet creamy and smooth.

I could drink this all night. Another knock out from Het Anker.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2010 01:24:28 | More by clickpush
Photo of GilGarp
GilGarp

Colorado

4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
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...

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2010 01:58:26 | More by GilGarp
Photo of Beerenauslese
Beerenauslese

California

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle. Described on the label as a Golden Ale, it is decidedly not golden: it is almost as dark as a Black Butte porter. Produces a substantial, creamy tan head that dissipates after several minutes, leaving a fine ring of foam and lots of fine lacing that clings to the glass.

Aromas of roasted malt, dark fruit, yeast, sugar, honey, and licorice.

Lots of flavor in this one; I am tasting roasted, caramelized malt, toffee, prunes, raisins, and dark fruits. It is quite sweet and a mild licorice taste gives it an unusual dimension, but one that seems suitable for Easter. Maybe one of the three special spices added is sweet root? Reminds me of those sugar coated licorice candies of many colors. Finishes dry with a taste of ginger. A little metallic cola too. The tastes are complex and reveal themselves as time elapses.

Body is medium to full, the carbonation up front makes it very creamy, but it can get a bit flat if you wait too long.

This is a special beer brewed for Easter and is limited in production. It is a holiday ale and a bottle should be consumed amongst family and friends, preferably at Easter. Very drinkable under those conditions. My bottle label states that the ABV is 9%, so maybe a little less alcohol than previous vintages.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2010 03:25:57 | More by Beerenauslese
Photo of rapidsequence
rapidsequence

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged 750. $10. Easter beer consumed on Easter. My 200th review.

Appearance: The bottle calls this a golden ale, but this website and the reviews suggest it has been both a golden and dark over the years. This one is this year's I believe, and is definitely a dark. Pours a deep garnet, nice and clear. Nice fluffy head with great retention and a lot of sticky lacing. I like it.

Smell: What a great smelling Belgian dark. Complex malt aromas, bready yeast, dark fruit, and spice. Tiny citrus hint. Almost vinous or port-like.

Taste: Delicious. Sweet, malty, fruity, bready. This one is not overly spiced or peppery. Smooth, rich and sweet. A little ethanol in the back, but then a sweet and bready finish.

Mouthfeel: Very full and smooth. I like the high carbonation.

Drinkability: This is the kind of beer I don't mind spending ten bucks on every now and again. Way better than their Christmas beer. Praise Zombie Jeebus!

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2010 01:44:15 | More by rapidsequence
Photo of crossovert
crossovert

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle. I think it is a 2010 bottle but I didn't check.

Pours a dark brown with hints of ruby and a fizzy off-white head that leaves some lace as it quickly recedes.

The smell is very sweet with a noticeable licorice and clove smell. Underneath that is dark fruits and yeasty twang. It smells delectable.

The spices really come out in the flavor. There is a huge amount of liquorice and it melds with the dark malts and yeast very nicely. There seems to be perhaps some nutmeg, sage, or mint as well. The mouthfeel is pretty carbonated but it is full bodied.

I love the holiday Belgian Strong Dark ales, they are always exciting and complex, this one is no exception.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2010 02:54:51 | More by crossovert
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip. Appearance was a beautiful mahogany-brown with plum colored highlights around the the bowl. Head was a creamy, quarter-inch, off-white cap. Nose was slightly vinous, with impressions of figs and currants. Taste consistent with nose; however, an herbal/minty quality comes out in the flavor profile. Mouthfeel was medium-light with a pleasant, even carbonation level. Interesting Belgian Strong Dark, with a very well-hidden abv at 10%. Unfortunately, not my favorite offering from this brewer. The herbal flavor was a bit of a put off for me.

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2010 00:09:56 | More by Jwale73
Photo of BradLikesBrew
BradLikesBrew

Missouri

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

Gouden Carolus Easter pours a deep mahogany body with a thin off-white head. Anise is the primary aroma with plum and banana rounding out the bouquet. Sarsaparilla, fig, caramel, and clove are just a few of the many flavor components of this complex ale. This is why we love Belgian beer so much. When done right, a good Belgian beer is both flavorful and refreshing, high in alcohol and high in drinkability. If you want a bottle of beer to savor with your holiday meal, look no further.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2010 17:02:48 | More by BradLikesBrew
Photo of david18
david18

New York

3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Any time I hear a holiday or season before the name of a beer I get worried. I don't like winter beers, Christmas beers, etc. When I heard easter beer I thought Uh Oh. But I really liked this one a lot. Not too much in terms of outside flavors (spices, etc). Just a great dark malt with great balance between malts and alcohol.

I will get this again.

Serving type: on-tap

03-23-2010 21:18:30 | More by david18
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 3/6/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Poured a dark amber with an inch of white head.

s - Smells of sweet dark fruits. Plums, raisins, and figs. Hints of spices and yeast.

t - Also tastes of sweet dark fruits. Also some malts, spice, and hints of apples.

m - Medium body with high carbonation. Carbonation stings the tongue.

d - Pretty good dark ale. Nice spices, yeast, and dark fruits evident in the smell and taste. High carbonation hurts it a little bit. Would have again.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2010 04:22:15 | More by mdfb79
Photo of janubio
janubio

Spain

4.97/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml. corked bottle. Hazy golden-amber colour, pours a dense, compact head that doens't hold too long, but leaves crown and lace. Smells of tropical fruit (mango), bananas, maybe even some apricot and/or peach. Spices, clove or cardamom, coriander, hints of vanilla, wood aged oloroso or amontillado sherry. Viscous or sticky flavour, brandy notes. Taste is more of the same, here is the mango and bananas, the spices, the wood and the brandy feeling, some oranges too. Very brandy like aftertaste, a really great great one.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2010 22:35:33 | More by janubio
Photo of wl0307
wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Coming in a 750ml brown bottle, corked and caged, at 10.5%abv.; BB 02/02/2010, served lightly chilled in Hapkin's branded tulip-shaped bowl sniffer.

A: pours a very clear, dark burnished orangey-golden hue, coming with semi-lively streams of very fine carbonation and a slowly settling off-white frothy head.
S: richly mango-ish and banana-oil-ish esters plus citric syrup, overripe green apples, and sweet breadiness; the estery bouquet dominates the aroma, leaving very little space for other elements to penetrate through, but the thick, sugary maltiness with a somewhat oily touch does provide some sort of a backbone overall.
T: yeasty-savoury & sour-sweet in all fruit esters one could imagine from a Belgian beer, but not in an "overdone" way, with the banana-oil elements leading the chorus and orangey-citrusness playing the bass line... gradually leading towards a mixed aftertaste of dried hawthorn fruits, sweet spiced-olives, a touch of root vegetables, sweet green beans, abundant dried tangerine-ish citrus fruits and enjoyable grassiness of hops. Malts are more pronounced in the backbone and, flavour-wise, only the syrupy feature remains. The finish has random, mild bitterness of hops wandering around alongside sour-fruitiness.
M&D: the palate is quite soft as well as semi-refreshing, the alc. strength is pretty well hidden, the body is not heavy at all for a 10.5%abv. beer, but alas the flavour seems to be overwhelmed by yeasty elements - overall, the drinking experience is somewhat less than ideal. On the balance, the flavour is well-executed if it's meant to taste like this, but it fails to compete with many other sister beers due to the lack of MORE complexities that one'd naturally expect of any Het Anker nectar.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2009 19:00:12 | More by wl0307
Photo of larsee01
larsee01

Illinois

4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big, corked bottle poured into Chimay chalice.

A--Cloudy by ascending carbonation. Unyielding creamy head. Tons of consistent carbonation release. Strong lacing. Lovely deep reddish amber color.

S--Creamy honey. Heavy malt sweetness. Figgy. Not a hint of booziness. Scent milder in glass than when cork popped off bottle.

T--Tasty with lots going on. Hits lips with golden raisin. Sweet, but not overly so. Balancing white pepper spiciness. Musky earthiness in the middle, but complimentary--not distracting. Where is the 10% ABV?? Wow! Delicious. Quite mild and a little dry on the palate.

M--Creamy and mild. Dry for a malty mutha! Clean on palate. Soooo well balanced.

D--A pleasure.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2009 02:24:27 | More by larsee01
Photo of joe1510
joe1510

Illinois

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

750ml
$9.99
Binny's, Plainfield

10.5% abv

This has been in the cellar for 18 months or so. Gouden's Easter beer pours an unexpected sunset orange with a touch of haze and a few floating particles. Streams of carbonation rush up the sides of the glass to the clean, bright white head. The head grew easily to a finger on the pour and slowly settled to a skimming with a super thick collar that leaves impressive Belgian-esque lacing.

The nose on this beer is unique and one that I can't decide if I hate or enjoy. Actually, the more time my nose spends in the glass the more I enjoy the aroma of this beer. Brown sugar coated apples and a very candy like citrus quality take center stage. The nose on this beer is all about the fruit with the citrus being soft but coming across as candied orange, grapefruit, and lime peel. There's even a touch of honey and a dense floral quality that makes it hard to pull away from the glass.

The flavor mimics the nose in every aspect. All the flavors remind me of very sweet foods but surprisingly the overall flavor isn't overly sweet, or even really that sweet at all. Candied orange peel, cotton candy and brown sugar sautéed apples make up the main body of this brew. The other candied aspects mentioned in the aroma find their way into the flavor in lesser roles including strawberry bubblegum. This beer has an interesting flavor profile to say the least.

The mouthfeel is spot on like so many of the best Belgian brewed beers out there and Het Anker brews some of the best out there. A moderate body kicks things off before the soft but active carbonation kicks in and lends an airy mouthfeel to the beer.

This happens to be an easy beer to put away even when taking all the candy-like qualities into consideration. The light body keeps this beer flowing easily.

I wasn't all that fond of this brew when I first poured and smelled it but it grew on me to the point I'm really enjoying it right now. I'm impressed with yet another Gouden brew. They make some of the best beer in Belgium.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2009 02:19:22 | More by joe1510
Photo of palmer69
palmer69

United Kingdom (England)

3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from bottle with about 1-1.5 in. of head (which quickly discipitated), orange golden color. smells hopy, orange/lemon citris. Tast is light carbination with a cooling spicy effect like a light minty taste that cools mouth down when you breath in after sipping. orange citris flavor, hopy, fig with a miner bitterness taste. definantly tastes like easter.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2009 23:01:23 | More by palmer69
Photo of hawksfan82
hawksfan82

Kansas

3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into a La Trappe Chalice.

Pours a great light amber with maybe a finger high head that dissipates quickly. You can tell that there's a lot of carbonation in this brew.

Smell doesn't really tell you much. You get a bit of sweet honey, and the smallest bit of flowery hops. The alcohol (10.5%) came through for me in the smell as well.

Taste is very sharp at first. I usually don't get the alcohol until the end of the beer, but the alcohol comes in right away at first, along with the carbonation. Afterward is a nice mix of flavors that includes a combination of hop spiciness with some floral accents, a small bit of bitterness, and a nice sweet honey undertone to give it a good balance. The finish is crisp and dry, with a little bit of alcohol and some hop bitterness remaining on the tongue. This is a nice complex belgian, but it's not overwhelming. It's definitely worth having it in the 750ml bottle as it gives you a chance to get everything the beer has to offer.

Compared to some, the drinkability may not be all that high, but I think this is pretty good for it being a 10.5% beer. I also think it take more than just a glass to appreciate what this one has to offer.

Not the best beer I've ever had, but a great brew to sit down with and enjoy for an hour or two while watching a movie.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2008 21:41:59 | More by hawksfan82
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review from notes.

A - Transparent golden amber body, with nice head retention.

S - Very floral, bubblegum, sweet and phenolic aroma.

T - Pretty sweet, dried wildflowers, cotton candy, drying alcohol.

M - Phenolic fumes, dry, with an effervescent feel.

D - Too alcoholic, definitely one to share, i'll pass on this one.

Thanks EehaiCJ for sharing this!

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2008 20:24:34 | More by emerge077
Photo of FtownThrowDown
FtownThrowDown

Ohio

4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color with a nice frothy half inch head. Smell is very spicy and earthy. Taste is much the same, but I'm getting a bit of lemon and some sort of mineral flavor as well. I don't know, but I know this is a good beer. Very creamy and easy drinking. Also a bready, biscuity like quality as well. Way too easy drinking to be over 10%. Gouden Carolus does nothing but make standout beers.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2008 02:49:17 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of brewandbbq
brewandbbq

New Hampshire

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

Pours hazy gold with a one-inch head of whipped egg whites. Persistant carbonation keeps the surface covered with a fine, dense head. Moderate lacework.

Aromatics are filled with oranges, honey, coriander, cotton candy, apples, and gumdrops.

Light to medium bodied, very lively and crisp.

Light malt on the pallet with plenty of citrus fruits, clove-studded bubblegum, and blossom honey. Fairly spicy and quite snappy.
Coriander, orange zest, and pixie dust. Slightly grassy and earthy.

Finishes with warming alcohol, lingering fruit, and some residual honey overtones.

Quite dry for the style, and tasting damn fresh. There's some bitterness also, along with some spicy hops.
Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2008 00:56:23 | More by brewandbbq
Gouden Carolus Easter Beer from Brouwerij Het Anker
90 out of 100 based on 193 ratings.