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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
91
outstanding

204 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 204
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 13.09%
Wants: 17
Gots: 18 | 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
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Ratings: 204 | Reviews: 103 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Chaney
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
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...

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 Knapp85
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
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 Beaver13
3.13/5  rDev -22.7%
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 jayhawk73
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a medium gold w/ a two finger head. You could take a picture of this beer as the standard for the style, it's just about perfect. Carbonation, lacing, head, color- everything is just about perfect on this one.

S- Smell is that of spice, fruit, corriander, slight pepper.. Just about a perfect balance of smells. The sum of the parts is greater that you would think. Again, the standard in this style.

T- Wow. This beer rockets up the list of great beers I've tried. It's not at the top of the list, but it's really far up there. Everything is just about perfect. All the flavors are perfectly balanced and work in harmony together. Truly at the head of the class for this style. I really can't imagine improving the taste in any way.

M- Perfect. Again, balanced- creamy, goes down super easy. The best of the style.

O- Super glad I found this beer in the DC area. It's truly one of the better beers I've ever had, regardless of style. It's the prototype great Belgian beer. You owe it to yourself to pick this beer up. I know I will whenever I see it!

Photo of sk8man121
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml. bottle poured into goblet. According to the label, only 200 cases brewed.

A: Pours a deep crimson with ruby highlights. 1-finger beige head leaves little lacing on the glass. Champagne-like bubbles rise to the surface.

S: Strong Belgian yeast profile; banana, spice, and hospital. I tossed a batch of beer that smelled like this because I thought it tasted off. Maybe I should've bottled it after all.

T: Wow. Spice (cloves and cinnamon,), dark fruit and Belgian yeast dominate the flavor, with a strong aftertaste of alcohol and licorice. Finish is reminiscent of toasted brown bread. Sweet, but not cloying.

M: Mouthfeel is typical of a quad; silky smooth with a good amount of carbonation present. Ideal for the style.

O: Ok, so Easter is over a week away and I cheated. I must say, though, that I'm glad I did. At this point in the evening, I'm not going to be able to finish this ridiculously heavy bottle, but for a BDSA, this is difficult to beat.

Tastes like a classic in every regard.

Photo of BretSikkink
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a burnished golden color, hints of orange and brown, but quite bright. Head is bone white, quite tall, and in the full and creamy section. Great lacing. This is a Belgian pale ale extraordinaire.

Nose is fruity and spicy, with loads of phenols mingling with the apple and pear. Clove and banana mostly, along with coriander. Pale malt sweetness.

Flavor is about the same. Full body even with the pale malts. Fruity and strong, with notes of citrus fruits, apple and apricot, and phenolic banana and clove. There's a lot going on here. Peppery. Body is smooth and full.

This is a hell of an effort. I'm sad to report that this is the first I've seen of G.C.'s Easter Beer. This should be around more!

Photo of brewdenver
4.97/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle; Poured into a New Belgium Tulip.

A: Dark brown a bit cloudy in bottle. When poured into a tulip it produced a low head slightly dark and creamy in color. Cloudy in the glass as well. Medium fingers and lacing around glass.

S: Very aromatic with caramel, raisins, honey. Esters from the yeast produce a fruity but nothing specific aroma. Don't even notice the 10% from the smell. Also a bit spicy on the nose. It reminds me of cloves but not offensive. A joy to bring to the nose before taking a sip.

T: What a delight on the palette. The carbonation in the beginning hides any amount of alcohol it might have. Producing a delightful middle. Caramel, candy, raisins a bit of a spice and some fruit esters. It finishes with a flurry of complexities compelling you to grab the glass for another taste.

M: Carbonation is spot on. Keeping the alcoholic strength to a minimum in the beginning. leaving the palette clean to enjoy the nuisances of the malt, hop and yeast profile in the middle and end. Medium bodied in the mouth letting you know this is not lacking true malt characteristics.

O: This is truly a great Belgian Dark Ale. It is not lacking anything that you would expect. There is not much to say about the overall beer that has not been said already. I will leave you with this though. The Belgiums have been perfecting the art of strong ales for sometime. There is an ability to give it a kick without you ever knowing it from smell to taste. Its a passion a lifeblood if you will. I've had the Pliny The Elder and one even better in my opinion the Seven Seas Double IPA from Dry Dock in Aurora, CO. Where a balance of hops and malt are used to produce a strong American double IPA. With that said. I am a greater fan of what has been perfected not over Decades but Centuries.

Photo of Pencible
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a nearly opaque mahogany with a little tan head.
S: It smelled like sweet caramel and raisin, with wild yeast and toffee and a bit of biscuit and alcohol.
T: It tasted like nutty and caramel and raisin and buttery malts, with some wild yeast and a bit of waxy hops. It had a bittersweet aftertaste that was a little dry.
M: It was slightly thick with lots of carbonation.
D: This had a great scent and taste, with sweet and complex and delicate character. It had nice body also, and hid the alcohol well, so it was easy to drink. Listed as an amber ale on the bottle, this was surprisingly dark and malty, like a Belgian barleywine. It could probably age well, too. Very nice!

Photo of jnn4v
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

Photo of bobsy
4.13/5  rDev +2%
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.

Photo of beerbrains
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
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 chaz410
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of cMonkey
2.3/5  rDev -43.2%
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

Photo of jfmorey
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
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

Photo of Xul
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of clickpush
4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

Photo of GilGarp
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
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 Beerenauslese
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Photo of rapidsequence
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
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!

Photo of crossovert
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Photo of Jwale73
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Photo of david18
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Gouden Carolus Easter Beer from Brouwerij Het Anker
91 out of 100 based on 204 ratings.