Gouden Carolus Classic - Brouwerij Het Anker

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Gouden Carolus ClassicGouden Carolus Classic

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759 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 759
Reviews: 387
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 48
Gots: 98 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-13-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 759 | Reviews: 387
Reviews by ArtZan:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown with a blooming head that leaves some great lacing,aroma is orangy and softly spiced.Taste as well has nice orange flavor with some real nice spicey notes.A light sour note in the finish that actually went well with the malty sweetness of this beer.a classic and joy to drink.

Photo of Popsinc
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A dark brown pour with only a very small tan head.

Smell: A semi-sweet nose that is highlighted by molasses.

Taste: Smei-sweet and good maltiness gives it some backbone. Hints of maple syrup and dates. Quite sweet but then again, not too unusual for a dubbel.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Somewhat lively.

Drinkablility: I dunno...it just didn't strike me as a great beer. I was expecting more. I think i would definitley have to give this one another try.

Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Nice brown color with a tinge of orange and a gorgeous, thick head.

Smell – This one has a musty malty orange aroma and a plethora of fruits. I can pick up oranges, cherries, and plums along with various types of melons and maybe some raspberries.

Taste – This is a mouthful. The fruits are exceptionally chewy and come out in the taste complimented with table sugar. The malt base is well blended as if it was soaked in the fruit mixture for a week. The finish finds the orange syrup with a very mild cinnamon spicing.

Mouthfeel – Very creamy and smooth with little carbonation. This ale is medium-bodied and shows just the slightest hint of the 8.0 ABV.

Drinkability – If you enjoy the style this one is a must try.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours into the brewery’s glass a dirty, nontransparent red oak color. Froth is thin and short lived. Aroma is peppery with a surprising amount of sour lemon peel, cloves, and banana. Taste is fermented dark fruit such as cherries, plums, and also some melon. Pepper is evident as well. Mouth feel is medium bodied, light and tingly on the lips and tongue although it becomes chewy as it warms. Drinkability suffers slightly from fruitiness. There is simply so much big fruit. It’s overwhelming. ABV is covered fairly well but some shows through. Very good but not outstanding.

Photo of MadScientist
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A deep copper with a red hue and decent clarity. The head is a long lasting off-white foam that leaves a fine lacing on the glass.

S: Like caramel coated prunes soaked in alcohol with a medium-strong fruit aroma of dark dried fruit with a medium caramel malt sweetness. There is a medium-low floral alcohol aroma and a low spice aroma.

T: A fairly sweet and fruit beer with rich dark fruit flavor, mostly of prunes and plums with some raisins. There is a medium-strong malt sweetness with medium-low chocolate and some caramel character. The alcohol is a prominent feature of the flavor especially towards the end bring some additional sweetness. There is definitely a moderate Belgian character there with more of the pepper coming through and fruit getting lost under the dark fruit flavors. The finish is sweet and the aftertaste is a quick to finish fruity and caramel flavor.

M: A medium-full bodied beer with a strong level of carbonation. A substantial amount of warmth.

O: A very good beer with a strong fruit character, a fair amount of sweetness and some spice. A good example of the style.

Photo of kaimcm
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Almost opaque body with snowy white head. Pour yields a big glorious head but it doesnt last, does leave nice spider webs all down the glass though.

S: green apple, butter, brown sugar

T: smooth with a very balanced sweet malt. Body is a little thin but a rich creaminess follows it up to help fill out the mouthfeel. Alcohol is evident but not a problem. Finishes creamy with loads of green apple (must be a house yeast by product because its extremely obvious in their portfolio), some pear, chocolate. sugar lingers on the finish.

M: Very easy drinking, good weight, medium bodied but coats the mouth well.

very nice brew. not overly serious or complex like some of thier other styles but delicious and highly drinkable. Kick ass beer.

Photo of Todd
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: on-tap at the Kulminator, Antwerp.

Appearance: Dark toffee brown in colour with an off-white sticking lace and admirable head retention.

Smell: Light molasses and a soft herbal aroma up-front. Phenolic. Gummy. Candy-like.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Quite the malty sweet beer. Rough with a dirty-earth edge. Sharp peaking bitterness riding off of a crisp carbonation. Leafy, dry mouthfeel. Herbal character is quite tea-like when blended with the sweet malts of chocolate, caramel and more molasses. Distinct clove backbone. Spicy, warming alcohol.

Notes & Drinkability: A pretty damn delicious brew.

Photo of Doomcifer
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The label says Gouden Carolus - Carolus D'or but labels it as 8.5% Classic so I am assuming this is the "classic" version. Attractive labeling with some history of the brewery on the side.

Pours a dark, ruddy brown color with a ruby hue and a gorgeous 2-fingered frothy head leaving behind mass amounts of lacing. The aroma is of bananas, dark fruits like plums, dates, some brown sugar, maple syrup, yeast, caramel, tropical fruitiness, cherries, just extremely complex. So many subtleties all mixed in together. Then the taste gets even more complex. Tastes of banana esters of yeast, plums, raisins, toffee, clove, vanilla, candies, extremely ripe dark fruits...it has it all. Just amazing. With an alcohol% of 8.5, you would NEVER guess. The ABV is extremely well disguised. Mouthfeel is airy and slippery on the tongue. Medium-Heavy bodied with moderate carbonation, not too much. This is one of THE best Belgian Strong Dark Ales I have ever had. Every sip brings about new delicious flavors and nuances. I am amazed at how well crafted this brew is. A+

Photo of Billolick
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Belgian bomber, caged and corked. No freshness/brewing date/vintage info to be had. Opened with just a mild "poof", then pours into my Belgian tulip, dark mahogany, short lived dark tan head, that leaves better then average, sticky,extensive and splotchy lacing. The pungent nose is of sweet raisins,vanilla, light rum and also some cola. Plenty of flavor and complexity packed into this one. Notes of rum soaked raisins, more cola, sweet sugary malts. Hops well in the rear. High quality, but not quite world class BSDA.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an Affligem goblet. A dark, opaque ruby-brown hue, with about a half inch of pillowy head that dissolved quickly into little islands and a ring. Some lacing, but not much.

The nose is rich and malty, with notes of grapes, raisins, toffee and crystallized fruit. A bit of yeast character as well.

This brew is terrific! Malty and fruity, with notes of grapes, pear and cherry. Toffee and caramel in the mix as well. Finishes dry and tart with a touch of hop character. The alcohol comes in to play here, but it doesn't detract. Reminds me very much of Affligem Dubbel. A great sipper.

Silky and smooth, with only light carbonation. Went down amazingly well; if I had a few more of them, they'd go down fast.

Just a terrific BSPA, enjoyable from start to finish. I tend to like sweeter strong ales, and this one truly did it for me.

Photo of Byeast
3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark dark brown , nearly opaque , slight reddish hue , large offwhite head.

Smell: very sweet , darker fruits , plum , fruitcake maltiness , caramel.

Taste: sweet and malty , caramel/toffee , chocolate , bit of warming alcohol , very slight earth and tinge of herbal hop.

Mouthfeel : full , slightly chewy.

Drinkability: A tasty , sweet brew. Definatly worth a try.

Photo of ADR
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Small 330 ml bottle...hazy dark brown appearance with little in the way of noticeable highlights. Nice frothy tan head, lots of thick laces stick on the glass in sheets. Muted aromas, a sense of woodiness and musky leaves, perhaps lacking in a big statement. Medium body, nice active carbonation. Well-composed flavors, definitive yeasts, some almost strident notes of currant and berries subsiding in a nice transition to an overall pleasing maltiness. Still, lingers as light and not ponderous from beginning to end. Some senses of earthy tannins with a contrasting sense of accented brightness. A very pleasant and quaffable beer.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.18/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the 330 ml bottle, I picked up one of these from a four pack because I love their tripel and dubbel so much. Appears a ruddy mahogany brown with a nice sized beige head forming thick above the rim of my tulip chalice. Fine scattered Belgian lacing lines my glass, pretty impressive look to it. Aromatics offer up brown sugar with alcohol infused raisins and a touch of faint anise in the background with some Belgian candi sugar adding to the sweetness and level of fermentation this brew has. Not boozy in the nose in anyway, but the flavor has a nice rolling profile of semi tart and sweet berry jam notes, more raisin accents compliment the malt profile. Kind of a dry yeasty nuttiness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied but not as effervescent as the bigger bottles offerings from Gouden Carolus quite airy with sticky cloying edges from all of the sweetness. Drinkability is decent a complext Belgian style brown ale, that I enjoyed but would much rather enjoy a slightly hoppier American version without the extra alcohol and sweetness.

Photo of glid02
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a surprisingly (for a BSDA) apricot-copper color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin pancake on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of green apples a bit past their prime with good amounts of pears and figs.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Lots of fruit flavors up front, including apples, pears, and to a lesser extent figs. Malt flavors and Belgian candi sugar come out more in the taste than the smell led me to believe. Ending is solidly sweet.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass rather quickly and could drink a few more as the 8.5% ABV is very evident.

Overall this is probably the lightest BSDA I've had and the flavors are certainly a bit on the lighter side than I'm used to. That being said, this is still a very good beer and well worth a shot.

Photo of rastaman
3.33/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty good little brew, lots of malt flavour in here and hints of caramel and toffee, but quite yeasty aswell, which was the only downer.

Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle, staid and ever so stoic Old World label.

This beer pours a clear, dark brassy amber hue, with a fistful of puffy, densely foamy, and eventually creamy beige head, which leaves some rather pervasive Swiss cheese lace around the glass as it gradually melts away.

It smells of semi-sweet, bready caramel, boozy black fruit, green yeast, a touch of clove/coriander spice, wet leather, and meek earthy, leafy hops. The taste is hefty, yet well meted-out caramel/toffee malt, spicy molasses, brown sugar, tangy dark orchard fruit, a huddling yeastiness, and surprisingly fresh leafy, earthy hops.

The carbonation is moderate, just a wee lilting frothiness pervading, the body sadly on the wan side of medium weight, and sugary, fruity, and smooth by those very same swords. It finishes off-dry and warm, just, as the booze barely seems capable of taking the edge off of the lingering malty sweetness.

A nice, strong, fruity BSDA, with a well integrated and elevated ABV. Not a whole lot more to wax eloquent about here - this is just some good, good stuff, full stop. Funny how that is with these old-school tropes for a given style - ain't no equivocatin' with this one, no sir.

Photo of mintjellie
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear dark brown turning ruby red when held to the light. Half-finger light-brown head with fairly poor retention, but a decent amount of lace. Huge banana cake and prune aroma complemented by notes of caramel and booze. The scent is deep, warm, and inviting, and I find myself impressed by this beer before even taking my first sip. Prunes and raisins are first on the palate, followed by banana and a hint of vanilla. There's a treacle sweetness throughout; a spicy, warming kick of alcohol in the finish. Approaching medium in body with somewhat low carbonation. Lightly syrupy and deadly drinkable. One should be enough, but I still want more.

This is the second brew I've had from Brouwerij Het Anker, and both have been delicious. I really hope the LCBO brings in more of this brewers products in the future.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice brown, and more of a ruby color when held up to the light. A one finger, light brown head forms and has nice staying power.

S: I smell some banana and dark fruit as well as some spices and brown sugar.

T: This is a pretty good tasting beer! There is a nice flavor from the dark malts. There are also some cloves and dark fruit, specifically raisins.

M/D: Medium bodied, but smooth easy drinking. Can't taste the alcohol, and glad I picked this bottle up.

Photo of asabreed
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure what's going on with this bottle. It has Gouden Carolus Carolus D'Or on it, but it hasn't been added yet, so I'll just assume this is the classic since I imagine someone would've added what I have already.

Poured into a wine glass.

Appearance: Nice dark amber color with lots of tiny bubbles floating to the top. Head is an off-white that stays mightily clinging to the sides. And the lacing's balanced between the caked on remnants of the dried and the clumpy wetness of the new with each pour.

Smell: Wonderfully complex with ma ny dark fruit and tropical fruits such as cherry, apple, and plum. Also there's a sweet sugar cookie aroma with some vanilla and maple that's also very nice. Possibly the slightest hop bitterness in the nose too. Amazingly balanced to boot.

Taste: Also wonderfully rich and and balanced. Sour cherries and apple skin dominate at first, with a slight lingering hop bitterness at the finish, and the sour and sweet fruit flavors mixing extremely well with that. There's so much more too, with the hints of vanilla, cookies, and breadiness coming through also. Fantastic stuff.

Mouthfeel: Big, rich, malty, silky, and coating all in one. A spread out burst of rich carbonation tingles the palate near the end of the swallow.

Drinkability: I forgot I had this bottle in the cellar, found it, and decided to crack it open. I love the GC tripel and this is no different. One of the better BSDAs I've had the pleasure to try. I'll be buying more and cellaring them if I can indeed find them.

Photo of Stigs
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, no date but i've had this for at least a year. served in an Ommegang chalice...

A - poured light khaki colored foam, it is loose and bubbly, somewhat frothy. had to stop about 3/4 through the pour because the glass was overflowing. small specks of brown sediment on top. the beer is very dark brown with ruby highlights...weird floating specks of sediment here as well.

S - sweet malts right away joined by some belgian yeast. notes of dark fruits, slight funk, and very subtle sourness.

T - mostly follows the nose...begins with some nice sweet malt and belgian yeast. the hops are surprisingly still present at the end supplying a swift bitter punch right when its needed. there is also a very noticeable peppery spice to this, adds a nice dimension to the drink. impressed.

M - tons and tons of tight carbonation...sharp and prickly in the mouth and kind of distracts from the wonderful taste.

D - color me impressed...one of those beers i wasnt expecting a whole lot of but really surprised me. went nicely with European cheese and crackers I've been snacking on. I'd really like to know the age on this because I feel it may be in its prime now.

Photo of Mar02x
3.17/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

With thanks to BA Andrejes, I was able to try this beer. Andrejes brought his beer to a tasting organized by Fiona de Lange (the Dutch beer lady). Andrejes cellared this beer for 23 years!!! Yes people this beer was bottled in 1989.

A - A clear brown fluid with no head whatsoever.

S - It has got the smell of a medium dry sherry.

T - Dry, watery en lots of taste. It is like drinking a watery sherry.

M - A light to medium carbonation, no bitterness.

O - A real different taste compared to the original. A funny experiment and my first experience of a beer this old.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on tap out of a snifter, almost jet black with a tiny bit of transparency. strong belgian amber flavor common of het anker. spicy nose with a slight bit of licorice taste. very smooth mouthfeel and very drinkable, like a better, smoother version of la choullette ambree. wonderful beer, good with dark meats, or smoked salmon.

Photo of Daniell
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Very nice dark malty/amber red colour. Excellent lacing too. This is while the head/lacing lasts though, which isn't all that long. 4

S: ah now this is interesting. Vaguely funky? Yeast smell. Smell also reminds me of cherries. There is strong malt presence here giving it a sweetness. I really like the funky yeast, it coupled with the malt makes the brew smell really rich and almost chocolatey (and toffee-ey) in a dry, sulphuric, stouty way. 4.5

T: the body tastes like cherries also. Sweet and thick cherries blended with some other dark fruits, but still cherries. 4

M: thick and well carbonated. 4

D: The sweetness is perhaps cloying after a time. 3.5

While rochefort 10 is the plum of dark beers, this is the cherry. Very nice.

Photo of Sammy
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

better than a wine, better than a port. Beautiful wine dark. Like a great barleywine, and can be aged for years more.Gorgeous aroma, cherries. Sweet raisin, plum, light brown sugar dry mix. Complementary spices of clove and cinammon with cherry. Can drink anytime for satisfaction. Medium mouthfeel, not overpowering.

Photo of CanuckRover
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a burnt caramel with a large tan head. Spotty lacing.

Sweet on the nose... not too much else, just a malty sweetness.

This beer is loaded up with malt flavours. Date-like sweetness right up front giving way to burnt caramel and finally to some earthy tones. Warming alcohol brings up the rear.

Nice beer, but too sweet for more than one in a sitting.

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Gouden Carolus Classic from Brouwerij Het Anker
91 out of 100 based on 759 ratings.