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Gouden Carolus Classic - Brouwerij Het Anker

Not Rated.
Gouden Carolus ClassicGouden Carolus Classic

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

670 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 670
Reviews: 378
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.95%
Wants: 38
Gots: 48 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 670 | Reviews: 378 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ballewblake
2.73/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from bottle into a Bush Beer Chalice.

Dark brown with a thin tan head on the top. Gentle pour didn't give much head and the glass is too small to swish around. Lacing looks good initially. Smell is light malts but really I'm barely getting any smell off this. Taste is flat and and muted belgian yesty malt. Medium sweetness, medium carbonation. Drink ability is alright, not the best Gouden Carolus I've had.

ballewblake, Jul 03, 2008
Photo of NoonanDBarbarian
4.68/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First I have to mention that I am trying a 2000 edition and todays date is 6-25-08. The glasses appearance was a very clear red color that held good carbonation and head. The smell seemed to hold the same attributes as the Grand Cru (almost like licorice). The taste was exceptionally smooth. It was almost as it skipped the aroma and goes start to the Flavoring and finish. To me the beer felt very nice like every other Belgian Ale.
If you can find this beer I recommend getting it. Definitely one of the best beers I have had

NoonanDBarbarian, Jun 26, 2008
Photo of yemenmocha
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown (normal viewing) to dark amber (with light). Very light brown head holds well for first few minutes.

Nose is a delight - holiday spice cake, molasses, cocoa powder, & brown sugar. Some bready/yeasty aromas too, as well as bubblegum (in a good way).

On the palate the malt sweetness has a smooth, roasty component with brown spice flavors. Holiday dessert cakes come to mind again - a nice mixture of sweet candies, spices, & dark bready flavors.

Carbonation gives a nice tingle towards the end to remind you it is a beer, and the body is medium. Long, sweet finish.

yemenmocha, Jun 16, 2008
Photo of joezak5
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a Duvel sniffter; real dark clear brown, nice tight off white head with good lacing, little retention.

Smell: Real heavy and syrupy toffee and sweet malts with honey-like herbal background.

Mouthfeel: Nicely lighter and bubbly in the mouth, malty and sweet.

Taste: The sweets and malts are there, but the earthy tones really come in on the taste that were hidden in the nose. Suprisingly dry, grassy finish.

Drinkability: Light and balanced for the alcohol level. I could definitely enjoy another. This one warmed up nicely and I found myself enjoying the aroma before each sip.

joezak5, Jun 16, 2008
Photo of Risser09
4.65/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter - 2007 - Cellar temp

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with orange and red highlights. A 1" head is ivory in color.

Smell: A very rich aroma is quite unique. Butter, fresh wood, dark overripe cherries, tanned leather. Sweet black licorice. Outstanding.

Taste: Sweet malts. Fruity flavors of cherry, fig, plum, blackberry and many more. Highly complex with tobacco, leather, sandalwood and candi sugar. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Plenty of sugary sweetness without the alcohol. It is very well hidden. Medium high body. Ample carbonation activity.

Drinkability: I could drink a six pack of this stuff easily. It is so damn tasty. An awesome beer worth seeking out. I will buy more and cellar it.

Risser09, Jun 04, 2008
Photo of hoegaardenhero
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: opaque maroon brown w/ a smidge of tight white head

s: alcohol and warming brandy; prunes; buttery caramel; brown sugar; chocolate cloves and cinnamon

t: quite mellow compared to scent; raw wheat; cherry and apples; caramel malts; rum and alcohol; darker fruits; spice

m: smooth maybe a little syrupy with light carb

d: definitely worth a try and an overall good beer

hoegaardenhero, May 17, 2008
Photo of dogboy
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not much wrong with this beer. Not too much head retention and for once for a Belgian beer, not overly carbonated (a good thing). Smell is fantastic and invites the first sip. Smooth and delicious in the mouth. Mouthfeel and taste are up there with Rochefort 8.

I necked this one too quick and will slowly savour the next one. Fantastic example of the Belgian art of beer making.

dogboy, Apr 17, 2008
Photo of seanyfo
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

2006 33cl bottle poured into chimay chalice

A- 2 finger creamy head that disappates quickly to leave a crown. Very dark mahogany body.

S- vanilla, full cream, a little prune, raisins.

T- Some nice prune and dark cherry fruits start with a creamy milky vanilla finish. Alcohol is non existent as its masked by a sugary syrup.

M- Creamy, full bodied

D- Nice, i loved the creaminess but felt it was too sweet for a dark belgian to drink more than 1 however thoroughly enjoyable on its own, some nice complex fruit notes make this a lovely dark ale.

seanyfo, Mar 02, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gouden Carolus Triple was one of my favorite depictions of the style, so I had high hopes for their Classic, which was purchased singly in an 11.2 oz bottle from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield for $4.99...
Pours a deep, dark, ruby-red, mahogany brown hue with a minimal frothy head that soon dissipated, leaving a fair amount of lacing...
Smell was replete with strong malts, caramel, and honey...
Taste complemented the aroma, with a noticeable suggestion of malts, very sweet candied sugars, honey, caramel, and a slight essence of vanilla...
One apparent characteristic about this beer was that it was extremely sweet and sugar-laden... The sweet factor was slightly cloying and overbearing and detracted from the overall quality of the beer... Althougth not a bad sample by any means, it was overall very thick, rich and sugar-laden... Still worth a shot...

dsa7783, Mar 01, 2008
Photo of avalon07
3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle to a chalice. Had a murky brown color and thick consistency. A good half inch head with lacing throughout.

There was a malty smell along with some fruits.

I wasn't wild about the taste on this one. Malts, dark fruits, maybe some sweets. It had an oddly thin finish to it. It just tasted kind of odd to me.

A solid amount of carbonation made for a good mouthfeel here.

This isn't a terrible beer, but I can think of other Belgian strong dark ales I would get before this. Not undrinkable, but not my style.

avalon07, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of Brad007
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: Dark brown/ruby red color with a one-finger head.

Aroma: Malty with an essence of fruit and raisin present.

Taste: Strong and malty with a strong raisin presence. Hints of brown sugar as well. Smooth.

Mouthfeel: Mildly dry with raisin flavors. Sweet.

Brad007, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of daledeee
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours a beautiful dark down with a nice foamy yet not thick head. The nose is very apparent even before I finished pouring this. Quite distinct Belgian aroma. Very caramel. The taste is a tad sweet with cherry, rum and figs. Alcohol is very warming. This is a great beer.

daledeee, Feb 19, 2008
Photo of markaberrant
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours slight haze, amber with ruby red highlights, a big fizzy head quickly recedes, but still leaves some lacing

S - dark rum and raisins, candied fruits, very fruitcake-ish, a bit of tartness

T - sweet caramel to start, shifts to some boozy fruit and spice, fair bit of molasses, with a lightly roasted finish leaving a pleasant aftertaste.

M - lively, airy but still filling, leaves a mouthcoating sweetness and gentle alcohol leaves a nice warmth long into the finish.

D - very satisfying, and the subtle roastiness is a welcome change in a Belgian Strong Dark

A solid beer that is approachable and easy to drink. It's not blowing me away, but I also can't say a bad thing about it (other than the lack of head). Right up there with the standards, but still no match for the mighty Rochefort. I prefer the Gouden Carolus Christams to this.

markaberrant, Feb 15, 2008
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange-ish/ deep amber color with an off white head. In the aroma, sweet candied sugar, and hints of alcohol. In the taste, malty, sweet caramel and small presence of alcohol. A medium body and smooth mouthfeel, with a dry sticky-sweet caramel in hte aftertaste. Alcohol is quite present and kind of sticky. However goes down easy, and good.

OWSLEY069, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of Lukie
3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Murkey dark red, with glints of blood red against the glass. Small head with little lacing around the rim.

Lot's of dark fig in the aroma, with some slight red apple, and caramels. The fig is so strong, it is like a Fig Rum Liqueur in smell. Amazing.

Sweet raisin and toffee are the main tastes. Candy sugars finish this with some slight alcohol tang. It finishes a touch dry aswell. Slight mineral finish they try and round out the malts, but it is still quite sweet.

It is a touch heavy, especially after drinking half of one. There is moderate carbonation, and the sweet malts mask any sign of high alcohol.

Lukie, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Came in a bottle mislabeled as "Carolus D'or", though the neck label read "Classic".

Pours a very deep and dark amber with a slight bit of cloud on it. Big head of course. Some lacing too. On the nose it is mildly sweet. The flavor is excellent. I would describe it as mature instead of mild. Kind of hearty on the start with a smooth fruit start, and then later you get a bit of the 8% alcohol, and then on the end you get a roasted flavor. Complex, but smooth, and not over-pronounced as a whole. Definitely worth going back to. I’d love to get some more of these and lay them down for a while.

RblWthACoz, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of irishevans
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

the appearance is hazey reddish brown with a head that seems to float in the middle of the glass. the nose seems to have a strong banana smell, and maybe some prune? tastes like prune, nice viscosity, and a brief smooth finish. the mouthfeel is clean and lingering, and this ale drinks very easy,overall I'm impressed a favorite of mine from belgium. give her a try.

irishevans, Dec 15, 2007
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

AKBelgianBeast, Dec 14, 2007
Photo of Wasatch
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice a nice semi-dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy tannish head, some nice small islands and sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, slightly sweet, good touch of figs, raisins, plums and caramel. The taste is malty, slightly sweet/tangy, some dark fruits, and caramel. Full body. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty.

Wasatch, Dec 13, 2007
Photo of macster
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a viscous murky and muddy reddish-brown color. Creates a thick and tight, but thin beige head which fades quickly to a few isolated wisps of thin foam.

Lots of sweet fruity aromas ascend from the snifter with luscious notes of figs, raisins, black cherries, banana, cloves, molasses and caramel malts.

Palate was quite full and round with a touch of oiliness. Carbonation seemed a bit tame for a Belgian Ale however.

Flavor is very sweet and just shy of being a bit cloying. The alcohol comes through warmingly to cut through the sweetnesss. Delicious flavors of ripe and dark dried fruits, honey, spices, caramel syrup, toffee and slightly toasted malts coat the tongue. Finish is sweet and warming like a port wine.

A gentile but classy Belgian Strong.

macster, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of Gmann
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Originally reviewed on 12/26/06. I realized that I put this review on the Grand Cru version so I am just fixing.

Poured out of a 750ml cage & corked bottle. Color is of ruby brown, with a nice but not huge tan head, very good lacing. The smell is of sugary sweetness, dark fruit. The taste is of candy sugar, cherries, plums, a bit of spice. The mouthfeel is excellent, creamy, sits very well, a bit fizzy. This is a great complex ale, lots going on. Due to the overall sweetness and ABV the drinkablility is a bit limited. This is very nice.

Gmann, Dec 08, 2007
Photo of Nipitato
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a bottle at Julio’s in Westborough, MA.

A: Coppery brown hue. Good clarity, virtually no head. Slow, bubbly carbonation.

S: Strong sweet malt aroma. Slight peppery notes. Alcohol aroma is strong. Fruity ester aroma is vinous in character.

T: This beer is dominated by dark fruit (plum/fig) flavors and is also slightly vinous. Clean and sweet non bitter finish. Alcohol flavor is clearly noticeable – sweet/perfumy but not overpowering. No spicy character. Dry.

MF: Low carbonation. Medium light mouthfeel. Smooth. Dry. Noticeable alcohol warming.

D,notes: A rich sweet comfort beer. Pretty good drinkability. Quite vinous. Very much a perfect example of the style despite the missing pepper/spice notes.

Nipitato, Dec 06, 2007
Photo of irishkyle21
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with an off white head, doesn't hold up for long. Not much lacing and a deep copper color.

Smells of dark fruits ( plums, raisins and dates), licorice, caramel malt, and some spices.

Tastes of fruits ( apples, raisins), malt, candy sugar and a good spiciness.

irishkyle21, Dec 03, 2007
Photo of thierrynantes
3.45/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer bottle (33cl), tasted in 1999.

Appearance : ebony color, with tan foam head.
Smell : caramel and citrus aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : fruity notes of coriander and Madeira
Drinkability: a good beer in the style Belgian strong dark ale.

Review translated from french 5-14-2008.

thierrynantes, Nov 21, 2007
Photo of khiasmus
4.7/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Slightly cloudy copper color with a finger of head that, sadly, diminishes to a thin layer in moments. Leaves a decent lacing.

S- If you'd like to know what this smells like, go download the "bjcp guidelines" and read belgian strong dark ale. That's it. If you don't feel like it, then I'll describe a bit: Plum, fig, raisin, melba toast, a hint of peppery alcohol, and some dark malt sweetness, along with much, much more. This thing is a bombshell.

T- Much like the aroma, in fitting exactly to style as well. A slight bitterness comes out to balance all the malty, bready, yeasty and spicy flavors, but the finish is still slightly sweet with just a hint of dryness. There's also just a hint of licorice right toward the finish, but not part of the finish proper. Absolutely first class.

M- Fairly high carbonation, medium body, and a very slightly dry finish accented by the sweet flavor as it goes down. Just a faint hint of alcohol warming.

D- This beer is absolutely wonderful. It's almost... too good to want to drink a lot of. One feels the need to savor.

khiasmus, Oct 15, 2007
Gouden Carolus Classic from Brouwerij Het Anker
92 out of 100 based on 670 ratings.