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Gouden Carolus Classic - Brouwerij Het Anker

Gouden Carolus ClassicGouden Carolus Classic

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

603 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 603
Reviews: 372
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.22%

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 603 | Reviews: 372 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of goodbyeohio


4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a dark, deep red color, and if you're not careful, you could end up with glass full of 90% head. i did this, since i havent drank these since belgie.. bought some 11.2 oz bottles and lugged them back- reviewing one now.

aroma is unique.. like an angel food cake with alcohol and malts in the finish.

tastes smooth, with alot of butterscotch and buttered popcorn.. butter! smooth! malt! yeast! almost no detectable alcohol. a beautiful beer and the 2nd best carolus.. try the noel! this one would be a perfect session beer if you were rocking the hotel erasmus in brugge..

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2005 15:03:42 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of granger10


3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a really dark auburn brown color. Good amount of yeast floaties in there and a solid tan head. Really dark for a Belgian. Smell is intensely alchoholic mixed with a strong raisiny flavor. Its nice, but I don't know if that will translate to a good flavor. The body is a bit weak which doesn't help. There's lots of dark fruits with plums, raisins, and figs. I don't really notice much else other than fruits and alcohol. Well, as it warms I get more of a nutty/yeasty flavor for the base which helps this beer get a little bigger in body. But the super dark fruits and alcohol sting are wearing on me after a bit. Finish is acidic and mildly dry. Really sharp flavors around the edges, I bet this mixes well with sharp cheddar cheese, unfortunately I'm eating it with hambuger helper. I think a small bottle would be enough, but I'm going to finish the 750 anyways. Good beer in small amounts or with sharp cheeses (guess) but nothing I'd have too often.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2004 02:01:27 | More by granger10
Photo of schemb


3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this twice over the course of 9 days at Redbones. Initialy a nice standard Belgian dark, similar to some of the Binks. It was the second taste that really merits a review. By the ninth day it had mutated into liquid candied sweet potatoes - the kind with generous amounts of brown sugar and molasses. I swear some of RB's sweet potato pie and sweet bbq sauce had changed the keg by osmosis. Probably not what was supposed to happen but truely groovy decay.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2004 19:27:04 | More by schemb
Photo of Boto


4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught: This one poured a dark reddish-brown with a thick creamy off-white head. I was suprised that the aroma was a bit weak for the style. There were some noted of fruits (plums et. al.) and caramel. The tatse was much better than the aroma. It had a caramel sweetness, with fruits in the background. The after-taste was a bit sour/tart. A very nice beer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2004 03:31:04 | More by Boto
Photo of GreenCard


4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: on the light side of chestnut brown, good clarity, medium layer of tan foam with OK head retention, some lace

Aroma: spiced rum, roasty malt sweetness, tequila(?), wood tannin, bubble gum, clove, light Belgian hops, speculoos, licorice, bananas

Flavor: mild malt sweetness with some burnt caramel, hint of licorice and clove, alcohol, touch of coffee roastiness, slightly tart, finishes semi-dry with an aftertaste of clove and roasted chestnuts

Mouthfeel: medium body, tight carbonation, alcohol warmth

Other comments: I was briefly reminded of Rocheforte 8 when I took my first few sips. It's a bit cleaner than that beer, though. I was surprised to see that it is not bottle conditioned (at least that is the case for the 33cl version). Quite a delightful beer!

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2004 16:36:14 | More by GreenCard
Photo of woemad


3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle purchased at The Viking in Spokane for $5.

Poured a hazy dark brown with a big, light tan head. Lots of lace.

Smell was very malty, but also with a certain nuttiness and spicy notes. Not as rich or balanced as the aroma from a St. Bernardus Abt. 12, but good nonetheless.

The taste of this was of sweet maltiness balanced by a coriander-like spiciness, along with a nutty taste. While not exceptional tasting, this was still quite good.

Not as full-bodied as I thought it would be. In fact, I think it's a trifle thin for the style.

This a rather nice, drinkable Belgian. The 8.5% abv is difficult to detect, so I'd be careful with repeated pints. The biggest problem I have with this is the price. A similar quantity of Chimay Blue is over a dollar cheaper at The Viking, and Gouden Carolus, while good, isn't worth the added expense.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2004 22:37:54 | More by woemad
Photo of rdrummer

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one surprised me. I had read some lukewarm reviews and had passed it by in the liquor store any number of times. I had the chance to try it on tap and gave it a chance. It pours a hazy amber color with a brownish head that lasts for quite a while.

The aroma is sweetish with some sweet malt and fruitiness but balanced at the end by some pepper and citrus. The taste is fruity as well but is not overly sweet being balanced by the malts and a peppery kick. There are hints of berries, citrus, and grapes with a balancing spiciness. The grapiness was the most surprising element.

This is very satisfying on the palate with the right balance of carbonation to make it peppy and the sweetness to provide the body. This would be more drinkable if it was just a little less sweet.

Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2004 23:08:59 | More by rdrummer
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy mahongoany hue, cool woody brown, with a with a nice bit of froth, if short-lived.

Aroma, sour, citric, and spicy, from the start, lemon peel, clove, and pepper.

Taste: big, brisk, fruity blast on the palate, softly fading into a firm malt base. Cherries, berrries, bananas, melon, all accompanied by a tidy peppery kick on the side, and the flavor never fades, nestles well in the mouth, offering a resilient, bright tingle on the tongue.
Great texture, wonderful play on the palate, a genial joust of tastes in the mouth. Fruity, to the point of being wine-like, but with plenty of it's own individual charms to make it a supple, special little thing in the mouth.

Very special ale, hunt it down, if you must!

Serving type: on-tap

05-02-2004 08:38:45 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of PopeJonPaul


4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep orange color with a milky caramel\orange smell. Creamy white, thin but durable head with good lacing. Tastes like a spicy orange caramel candy with a tiny bit of sour malt flavor in the sweet finish. Goes down smooth, probably helped by the lower carbonation on tap (will have to try this in a bottle as well.) I never would have guessed this was an 8 ABV, the alcohol is quite muted in this beer. All in all, quite impressive.

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2004 19:52:04 | More by PopeJonPaul
Photo of Crosling


4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It has been 29 days since I have had a beer from Belgium. Lately, I have been enjoying a lot of different styles but I feel that it is time to get back into them and I am hoping this one will once again make me a Belgian freak.

The color is delightful. It is bright but gloomy and displays shades of orange, burgundy, green and maroon. Initially the lacing and head retention struggled but I poured the beer into my St. Bernardus Goblet instead of my Gouden Carolus chalice (The glass I poured it in to begin with) and everything was much improved. The lace was amazing. The type of lace that you have to scrub off the next time you wash it because it stuck and dried throughout the night. Yeah.

The aroma is enjoyable. Delicate fruit and spice. Lots of fruit in the aroma, especially plums and oranges. The malt provides a lot of sweet scents. Lovely.

Very dynamic flavor. Licorice characteristics up front, red and black, but mainly black. Caramel and toffee come about next and shortly there after, it moves to the fruit with plums and candied coated raisins. The finish is moderately yeasty, somewhat dull and displays flavors of banana and cookie crumb with a well known alcohol kick. I really like this stuff. It tastes very good. I have been very impressed with Anker's offerings so far and am planning on visiting the brewery while in Belgium this summer.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2004 04:59:47 | More by Crosling
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bronze in color with a thin head and no lacing. The aroma is of malt and oranges. The flavor is of malt, caramel, orange, and a tinge of spice. The sweetness level is somewhat high with this one.

The mouthfeel is smooth. This is a medium bodied beer with a good carbonation level. There is a citrus finish that lingers on the tongue after swallowing. I think this is better much better on tap than in the bottle I sampled before.

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2004 02:15:41 | More by Gavage
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2004 02:57:09 | More by oberon
Photo of dansteino


3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark Mahogany. Decent head. Good lacing.

Smell: Ripe fruits (Raisins, Plums). Cloves.

Taste: Fruity. Honey. A little too much on the sweet side.

Mouthfeel: A little watery.

Drinkability: Smooth. Light. Very drinkable. Alcohol hardly apparent.

I had to try it since it was the last one on the shelf. Nice beer, but I prefer my Belgian strong dark ales to have a little more thickness and/or bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2004 07:51:42 | More by dansteino
Photo of diablo14


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

this is without doubt one of the worlds best brews, screw rodenbach grand cru, even orval or many other strong belgians, ill drink this ahead of just about any beer. maybe only st bernardus excepted as far as this style goes. its a desert island beer all the way.

pours a bold orange color with a massive rocky head and has great jets of bubbles flying all around. looks a treat, and backs it up for the rest of the journey. first time i had this it was fairly fresh. it had a great malty presence and sweet sugar candy aromas on the nose and an incredible level of orange zest. taste was mammothly full, boasting the same characterisitics on the palate as on the nose, that were incredibly robust. had the right level of tartness backed with massively rich and complex flavors. there were generous amounts of toffee and nuts in there, and may i say, after six months ageing, these come fully to the front of the beer. its almost a totally different beer. wonderfully crisp and dry, it feels full and slightly syrupy, but ends up not resembling the same on the back palate. an amazing finish for such a robust beer to be so smooth an bitter at the end.

a dead set ripper in anyones language. this is a brew that is impossible not to like. there is no way anyone can dispute its class. and you gotta love a beer thats good at any stage, but gets better with age. yummo!!!

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2003 15:06:34 | More by diablo14
Photo of crookedhalo


4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coppery brown color with light tan head. Slightly hazy. Aromas of sweet dark malts, coriander, significantly low alpha hops, cocoa and maybe some french roast coffee. Tastes rather malty and sweet, again with some coriander coming through. Sweetness goes through to the finish. Rather thick, yet effervescent, making it very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2003 07:57:31 | More by crookedhalo
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2003 05:12:08 | More by RoyalT
Photo of Popsinc

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2003 21:55:47 | More by Popsinc
Photo of BierReise


3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep reddish brown ale witha beige head that dissapeared quickly.Strong sweet malty aroma with hints of prunes and figs.The malt is really impressive in this ale. Has a nice lively mouthfeel with a nice crispness. First flavor that stands out is cherries and malt. Doesn't seem as though the yeast is playing as big a part in this belgian compared to others I've had. This is a very flavorful easy to drink Belgian in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2003 22:31:12 | More by BierReise
Photo of saltydog

New York

4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted on draft at Het Anker in Mechelen. Appearance: Rich, reddish brown. Thick head, crystal clear. Aroma: Malty, some roastines. Flavor: Sweet, slight spiciness, rich caramel flavors. Very clean. Finish: Clean, malty flavors, slight spiciness in finish.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2003 16:52:36 | More by saltydog
Photo of alexgash


4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this one in "the cellar" for almost a year. Deliciously muddy amber brown with a tan head. Smells of tart grapes, whiskey and alcohol. Taste is complex. Tart grapes, sweet malts, nutty oaky flavors, and the whiskey again. Warming. Great. Lively champagne-like feel, but quite a mouthful.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2003 17:38:58 | More by alexgash
Photo of beergeek279


4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Burgh's Pizza and Wing Pub. The color was a rust brown, with a fair bit of head retention. The smell was sweet malt. The taste was well-balanced.......somewhat sweet with a bit of spicing; alcohol was well-hidden for an 8% ABV. Mouthfeel was fairly heavy............reminded me more of a stout than of a dubbel. Drinkability-wise, another one I'd have a few of.

This one sadly kicked out while my pint was pouring, but the bartender was kind enough to give me this sample, and I was glad that he did. A very enjoyable beer, quite complex, and one that I would certainly have again if and when I can find it.

Serving type: on-tap

07-31-2003 12:49:50 | More by beergeek279
Photo of aaronh


4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at Burgh's in Bridgeville, PA. Served with a dense cream colored head atop a brownish red body. The aroma was sweet malt and a bit of a bready-yeasty note. The taste was very good, with solid sweet malt being well balanced with some hops and dark fruit flavors. I don't know what I was expecting from this, perhaps a Gulden Draak type taste, but it is much more balanced than that. The sweetness and alcohol are not as powerful. There's also a bit of a vanilla-nut taste. Mouthfeel is creamy with fine carbonation adding a silkiness to it. Drinkability is surprisingly good. I didn't notice the alcohol at all. I'll definitely keep my eyes open for this in bottles. A great beer to cap off the evening.

Serving type: on-tap

07-14-2003 17:36:43 | More by aaronh
Photo of JohnnyDuvel


4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I purchased this beer, I thought it was their tripel. When I poured it, imagine my response when I saw the color! My disappointment was quickly disappated by the taste. Nice, dark malty taste. Extremely smooth and enjoyable. I cannot find a single negative about this beer. Creamy, fruity, and dark. Deep brown, initially a large head, some retention. Not quite a Rochefort 10 or Westy 12, but as good as any other dark Belgian ale, IMO.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2003 20:38:37 | More by JohnnyDuvel
Photo of fattyre


4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy medium dark brown/red with a moderate brownish quickly disapating effervescent head and a firm mouthfeel. The smell was sweet with a hint of butterscotch and slightly cedary. The taste is sweet malt with peppery alcohol and a cedary tasting hoppy finish. A sweet very smooth belgian with a nice hoppy finish. Very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2003 20:00:22 | More by fattyre
Photo of Darkale


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

This is a dark, toffee-brown beer with a fast dark tan head. The head dissipates rapidly, leaving a skim around the edge of the glass.

The aroma is sweet, like burnt toffee -- there is a tang to the aroma that reminds me of a heavy red wine, like a cabernet.

The taste is honey-like -- lots of honey. Several fingers dipped into a warm honey bowl and then plunged into your mouth at once. Slightly roasted edge to the sweetness, and very, very creamy.

Like caramel toffee with a kick.

Very nice. Very sweet, but with just enough hops to keep it from being uncomplicated.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2003 19:46:15 | More by Darkale
Gouden Carolus Classic from Brouwerij Het Anker
91 out of 100 based on 603 ratings.