Gouden Carolus Classic - Brouwerij Het Anker

Not Rated.
Gouden Carolus ClassicGouden Carolus Classic

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

714 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 714
Reviews: 381
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.71%
Wants: 44
Gots: 63 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gouden Carolus Classic Alström Bros
Ratings: 714 | Reviews: 381 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BlackHaddock
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My 596th Review on this site.

A brown 33cl bottle, best before 12st Oct 2011, drank on a damp and cold Jan evening in 2009.

Poured into a Corsendonk tulip shapped glass.

Deep red, dark ruby when held to a light source with a good solid foaming head, tan in colour.

Sweet liquorice hits my nose, candy without the floss, a realy interesting aroma.

The sweet liquorice smell is in the taste too, very prominent. Red and Blackberry tones bring the sweetness into check and the beer is a fine blend of differing flavours which merge into a great tasting beer.

The 8.5% ABV isn't masked completely, but it is well hidden by the richness of the beers body adding a luscious, sumptuous, mellow feel to the experience.

An elaborate and elegant, highly-flavoured beer that was a joy to drink and review. There are not many beers better than this out there!

Photo of cjgator3
3.63/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle

A- Pours a dark brown color with a huge light tan head that sticks around forever and leaves a lot of retention along the glass. This is a really pretty pouring beer.

S- The aroma features some caramel, spices apples and dark alcohol soaked fruits.

T- The taste has some dark alcohol soaked fruits, sweet brown sugar and caramel with a warming finish.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a high amount of carbonation.

D- The higher alcohol limits the drinkability of this a bit, I'm ready to move on to something else after one bottle.

Overall, Gouden Carolus Classic is a solid beer that is worth a shot. Recommended.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from morel's in beijing.

330ml bottle. importer's label is dated may 6, 2008, with "best by" date of 3 years later. poured into tulip.

dark cola, reddish brown. no haze. red under the light. decent off-white head fades to wispy layer and ring. very nice lacing.

aromas of dark dried fruit, plums, brown sugar and tamarind. hints of cinnamon and cocoa. grassy hops and a trace metallic whiff with faint alcohol and phenols.

palate welcomes with a playful amalgam of: dark caramelized malts that hint of molasses and cola, light fruitiness of raisins and dates, and a faint balsamic acidity. all this interplays with the grassy hops, which give a gentle-to-moderate hop bitterness to round things out. phenols and alcohol are faint and don't get in the way, but rather add to complexity.

smooth, not too thin although not too substantial either. hint of acidic and astringent texture in the finish. moderate carbonation gives a tingle and can be fluffy.

a very nice brew.

Photo of froghop
3.35/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a dark brown with a red tint, has a medium size beige head, and some lacing.

smell of caramel, dark fruits, some spice, and roasted nuts.

taste is a bit flat, dark fruits, brown sugar, caramel, roasted nuts, a bit on the sweet side, some malt, ends with a little bitterness.

Photo of erratic
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Picked one up at Total Wine on a whim. I love me a dark belgian!

color is deep, dark, yet clear red/brown. Head a mix of fine foam and larger bubbles. ivory colored. Thick lacing.

banana bread, olives, spices, fruit, ginger. Big, big aroma

ripe bananas, spices, alcohol, hint of Belgian yeast, malts. very well balanced taste. sweet at first, a little bit bitter and malty-er on the finish.

creamy, silky mouthfeel. carbonation is on the low side.

High alcohol and strong flavors make it super easy to drink all of one, difficult to drink more, sadly.

would love to have this with some cheese and olives!

Photo of corby112
5/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a dark purplish brown with a foamy beige head. Wonderful aroma of chocolate, raisin, plum, grape, toffee, fig, and spice. Extremely smooth drinking because of the excellent balance of sweetness, spice and chocolate maltiness. One of my favorite beers.

Photo of aubuc1
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle in to a goblet.

Pours a hazy dark brown with a somewhat thin offwhite head.

Smell is fruity- grape and apple with yeast and some sour.

Taste is somewhat big initially with fruit, malt, and some sour pop.

Very good mouthfeel on an easy to drink beer. Different than many belgian strong dark ales with the sourness.

Photo of WHROO
3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: clear dark brown, nice off white rocky head. Ave head retention...good carbonation

S: Roasted nuts first up, caramel, very fruity (dark) & a hint of coffee.

T: Again roasted nuts up first (must of had a craving for them), palate was interesting, some dark fruits, sweet caramel, bready, biscuity, hint of sour even, along with some bitterness to finish (more coffee-beanish bitter over hop bitter). Definately a palate pleaser with something happening right across the tongue.

M: very soft...smooth, but very alive. This does test the whole palate for complexity.

D: Good, but being a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, I couldn't have a few of these in a row...

I found it very intersting & tasty, but maybe a little too complex for me.

Photo of Graham5161986
3.3/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: pours a clear, dark brown with an off-white head that dissipates into a thin film. Leaves little lacing on the glass.

S: sugary caramel malts, dark, dried fruit and a touch of coffee.

T: sweet and rich fruit, strong caramel malts, a bit of cotton candy.

M: medium bodied and a bit oily from all the sugar.

D: this is an ok dubbel - a bit sweet for me, hurting its drinkability score. But, it does offer some decent complexity. I would buy it again, but there are better ones out there for the money.

Photo of mnj21655
3.4/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 fl oz. bottle poured into my Orval chalice.

Pours a dark ruby red/brown in color with a minimal off white head that vanishes almost instantly. Aroma is fairly complex, lots of dark fruits namely figs plums and raisins, sweet malt, some caramel and a whiff of alcohol. The figs are almost overwhelming and seem a bit like rum. I found the fig presence not just dominant but overwhelming, the other aromas really weren't allowed to make their presence known. The taste is similar to the aroma with all of those flavors but significantly more harmonious. There is a perceived sweetness that is present near the finish. There is also a noticeable alcohol presence that while not hot is a bit much. Mouthfeel is ok, medium+ in body with moderate carbonation, this brew seems a bit too "heavy". Drinkability, for me, is average. I really didn't enjoy this beer very much and I don't really care to have another. I found it to be a bit unbalanced, heavy on the alcohol, and generally not enjoyable. i will say that the intensity of the aromas and flavors seemed to die down a bit by the end of the glass making this more balanced but my taste buds may simply have been dulled by the earlier assault and decided to turn in early for the night.

Photo of Billolick
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
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 gerardoluna
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

[Eyes] Dark brown color with a mostly discreet, small white head.
[Nouse] The aroma is strong fruity with hints of banana, malt caramel, yeast, vanilla, and brown cuban sugar.
[Mouth] Great Full body with nice and gentile carbonation, notes of flavors of sweet, strong fruits, sugar and yeast.
The Afther taste is long and sweet with a touch of caramel and vanilla. An excellent beer.

Photo of Gehrig
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Snagged at the great Blind Pig in Champaign, Gouden Carolus pitches a deep orange-bronze with a thick finger of white froth, with moderate lacing on the way down. Lots of fruit in the nose, coupled with mild sugars. I'm impressed with the fruity complexity--orange, berry, banana--delicious, with mild amounts of hops blended. Well carbonated, this is an excellent representative of the Belgian style--bold, fruity, well carbonated. Easy beer to enjoy and consume, Gouden Carolus is outstanding, a gem well worth grabbing.

Photo of ryane
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep Red Brown, nice dense head that lasts, nice lacing

S - Sweet, Malty, Fruity

T - Very Malty, sweet, sublte fruitiness, low bitterness

M - Nice full body, med-low carbonation just about right

D - It would be fairly easy to drink at least 2, but it is a bit malty

Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This review was on a 33 cl bottle (one of a case I bought) Best by 28/02/11 reviewed on 10.08.08.
Poured into Chimay glass; a dark brown brew with a ruby tinge when held to the light. Topped with a luxurious cream coloured foamy head. I loved the sound the last few drops made as they fell and hit the head! Nice lacing on the glass as I drank.

Smell was roasted malty sweetness.
Taste was also malty; quite sweet and chocolaty (it tastes great WITH chocolate), some rum raisen fruits and touch of banana (?).
Mouthfeel was very very smooth.
Overall a delicious beer, perfect accompanying a fruit and nut chocolate bar.

Photo of pinotboy007
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep red-tinged mahogany with a dense, khaki-colored head that eventually settles with only modest lacing. A few swirls summons the head back in an instant.

S - Fruitcake, leather, molasses.

T/M - Dates, prunes, coffee, raisins, leather, black licorice. Soft, velvety, creamy with only a touch of carbonation to carry it across the palate.

D - In spades. Beautiful ale! :)

Photo of Beerzebub
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33 cl bottle, cellared for a few months, poured in a big wine glass at 57 F/ 14 C.

Deep red amber color, large beige head that subsides, solid speckled sheet of lace.

Smells malty, like sweet brown bread, toffee and brown sugar, with bubblegum, date, orange peel, warm spice, braised meat, and mild fruity solvent.

Tastes sweet and savory. Sweet malt, brown sugar/ molasses, date, honey and cookie spices. Orange peel and savory meaty notes join in and help the spice balance the sweetness. Some solvent. Cohesive and very tasty. Long spicy finish.

Smooth and silky, and very drinkable.

Great beer.

Photo of mynie
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33 cl bottle, purchased at John's in Iowa City. No dating on the bottle but it looks a bit weatherworn.

Pours kind of limp, for the style. Big and tasty brown, yes, but there's not much of a head to speak of. Nothing really worth talking about.

Smells dully of BPA yeast spices and sweet brown malt. Really tame but still well balanced, nodes of caramel and biscuit and nice alcohol burn.

Taste is bit more intesne but, sadly, not nearly as well balanced. BPA spice malt starts things off, peppry and with solidly burny alcohol. But the sweeter profile is subdued and a little off. The end is nice, again, nice and burny. But there's no zip, no zing, and not enough of a balance between mellow and harsh.

Photo of atigerlife
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown--like dark apple cider. Big, creamy light brown head. Good retention. Good lacing. Very nice to look at.

Aroma of malts, dark fruits [raising, plums].

Taste is dark fruits, malt, sweet and lightly sour fruits at the end.

Mouthfeel is medium body and lightly cleansing. Rather chewey. Smooth and lightly dry at the end.

Overall, very nice. Nicely drinkable despite the high ABV.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

Gouden Carolus Classic from Brouwerij Het Anker
92 out of 100 based on 714 ratings.