Gouden Carolus Classic - Brouwerij Het Anker

Not Rated.
Gouden Carolus ClassicGouden Carolus Classic

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715 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 715
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
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Ratings: 715 | Reviews: 381 | Display Reviews Only:
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

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.

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.

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

A: Deep brown almost ruby colored with foamy off white head and good lacing.

S: Phenols and clove, caramel and malt, candy sugar sweetness with brown sugar depth and molasses with dark chocolate hints. Very complex aroma.

T: This was interesting to me. I thought the taste would be more complex due to the depth of the aroma, but it wasn't really. It was very well balanced with no peaks or valleys, everything meshed well. I tasted a hop note follwed by a molasses and brown sugar depth and some lingering alcohol on the finish.

M: I felt the mouthfeel was perfect on this beer for a Begian Strong. It was lightly carbonated and smooth as silk.

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

A dark mahogany color, cloudy, with a small whitish foam head which turns quickly into a ring on the glass.

It's smell is rich, a sweet smell, with raisins and brown sugar.

A creamy mouth feel, with the taste of caramel, spicy alcohol and toffee. Very pleasant.

The after taste, you can taste the alcoholic warmth, turning to a dry mouth feel.
This is some great Belgian beer, very tasty.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a bottle at CK Diggs in Rochester MI. The appearance was murky burgandy brown, seemed to have some floaties and a nice off-white non-lacing foam. The aroma is very sweet, caramelly and toffee, a very unique beer combination. The flavor is the same, with a slightly medicinal component to it (phenol?). I actually like the flavor a lot, but the cough medicine component tempers the experience. Mouthfeel is medium to medium heavy, and the beer is as drinkable as liquid candy.

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

Beautiful semi-dark brown with a reddish-orange hue. Head is frothy and short-lived and leaves moderate lacing.

Alcohol is readily apparent and fruity. Rich and perfumy cloves, with oak and dark cherries hanging in the background.

Taste is spicy and sweet. Rich cherries and oak once again, alongside a soft, light and oily texture.

This is a sweet and woody Belgian that starts off delicate, but is ultimately quite cloying. Rich and somewhat complex, I would treat it as a digestif with some light chocolate or fresh fruit (chocolate fondue maybe?). A nice cheese would go really well, a creamy havarti or a bold blue.

Delicious but it can be excessive and slightly off-putting. Similarities to a rich sherry.

Photo of techdiver
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy deep chestnut with substantial head that dissipates slowly leaving modest lace.

Sweet malt, raisins, and molasses nose.

Sweet malt, caramel,and chocolate taste. Complex with dried fruit and faint hop bitterness, slight alcoholic finish.

Medium bodied with good carbonation, very good mouthfeel.

Pretty drinkable BSDA, but still prefer Odyssey, Triple Imperiale, and Oerbier.

Gouden Carolus Classic from Brouwerij Het Anker
92 out of 100 based on 715 ratings.