1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Gouden Carolus Tripel - Brouwerij Het Anker

Not Rated.
Gouden Carolus TripelGouden Carolus Tripel

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

712 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 712
Reviews: 413
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 46
Gots: 56 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker visit their website

Style | ABV
Tripel |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: marc77 on 08-12-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 712 | Reviews: 413 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PatrickJR
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into red wine glass.

A - Golden with a slight haze. Massive 5+ fingers of head foam up. Excellent retention with a thick cap that remains. Abundant lacing as well.

S - The first whiff is quite interesting; floral, a little fruity, and with noticable phenolic character. All together it reminds me of some sort of cleaning product; maybe a pleasant smelling liquid soap or sanitizer. Specifically there are notes of banana, savory spices, flowers, and a nutty/bready backbone.

T - White bread with nutty accents and a banana overtone start things off with a moderate sweetness. Fruit and sweetness soften mid palate giving way to a mild wheaty flavor. Bitterness begin creeping in from the sides of the tongue and back of the mouth with a good deal of spiciness akin to witbier; a bit of saltiness with coriander and modest chive/onion-like notes. A touch of sourness finds its place in the melange of flavor. Phenolic character is rather strong in the finish in the form of lemon peel. Bitterness grows and lingers into the aftertaste. Alcohol is well hidden.

M - Medium bodied, a bit creamy at times, with low to moderate carbonation. While decent, I actually found myself prefering a bit more carbonation.

D - Another fine example in the wonderful world of tripels. Though it doesn't stand out as much as Karmeliet or St. Bernardus, I certainly wouldn't pass this one up. Easy drinking (as most tripels are) and recommended for anyone who digs the style.

PatrickJR, Jun 23, 2009
Photo of SleepyMonk
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle poured into a Goulden Carolus chalice glass.

Color falls somewhere between amber and orange however the color is very opaque so definition with light is difficult. Produces a very honest 2 fingers of head that dissipates slowly thanks to healthy retention.

Creates a lively and pleasant smell with malt as its centre piece. Fresh citrus notes spring forward along with garden herbs and fresh spice. Mild alcohol notes combine to promise a pleasant beer.

In the mouth it definitely doesn't disappoint. Malt and wheat are present of course and these flavors are a them throughout with a suitable addition of citrus rinds. Carbonation is at a hard to pick level, a little more than medium yet no where near high.

Regardless finishes nicely with a pepper touch.

An excellent sample of the style and a great offering from one of the best beer makers in the region. Highly recommended to fans of GC and/or Tripels

SleepyMonk, May 16, 2009
Photo of weeare138
3.08/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appears a hazy light gold with a fluffy white cap. Scattered bits of tubular lacing left around the tulip glass.
Smell is of grains of paradise, and light citrus. Wheat notes similar to a witbier.
Taste is of a hybrid wit/tripel. Odd spicing and dry wheat flavor sort of clash.
Mouthfeel is chewy, dry, with spicy dryness, after a weird sweetness of peach.

weeare138, May 15, 2009
Photo of biegaman
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Glowing apricot with a shiny bronzing complexion. The flurry of bubbles will largely obstruct one's view of the other side of the glass and, despite the vivid clarity, reduce transparency to a matter of squinting. The head is so super, duper, fantastically creamy that it looks uncannily like frothed milk. So much so, it looks delicious enough to drink on its own!

Speaking of whipped cream, I noted on a previous occasion such an overload of banana that I likened it to a banana cream pie (an attribute most appreciated by these nostrils!) Tonight, however, I'm finding more similarity to lemon-meringue pie (which is equally as delightful in my books.) Either way you slice it, dessert is served!

The beer's appearance and aroma should be considered nothing short of remarkable and its flavour profile no less so. A taste grounded in lightly toasted, very bready malts begins with drying notes of hay and straw and then quickly turns fruity, followed by spicy. Peach and apricot, pepper and ginger are noted. Mace and anise seed coated apple seems most prominent throughout this tasting.

The mouthfeel is interesting too. It leaves a unique texture in the mouth, one I would liken to yogurt. The presence of a drying, straw-like yeast also factors in. The alcohol will, on occasion, show face but it fades very quickly against the backdrop of flavours. One glass is extremely satisfying but a whole bottle (even the 750ml) is not at all unrealistic for a beer this well made, even if it is 9%.

Despite all the fruit (apple, pear, apricot, nectarine) and spice (mace, allspice, ginger, pepper, clove) neither is used. All this complexity and flavour is derived from a time-tested, antiquated Belgian yeast strain. As any homebrewer will tell you, Belgian beers are not as complicated to make as it would seem; the yeast does most the work. The exclusion of real fruit and spice is actually an act of addition and not subtraction.

I first had this beer at the Poechenellekelder in Brussels and scored it very highly. In the two years that have passed my understanding and appreciation for Belgian beer has only increased and so too have my thoughts on this beer. As different as they may be, all of Belgium's great tripels are just that and together, as a group, Gouden Carolus' included, comprise one of the greatest ensemble of beers known to Earth.

biegaman, May 11, 2009
Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was in biegaman's cellar for a couple of years, thanks for sharing. Wow! This is one of the finest beers I've had in a good long while, really impressive. Two finger foamy white head atop a honey gold coloured brew featuring large quantities of very tiny bubbles in a Chimay glass. Well carbonated, the bubbles never quit and that regal white head took on a heavenly appearance with spotty clouds superimposed on one another. Excellent sheet lacing and retention. Vanilla wafer nose initially, ginger, spearmint, toffee. Taste was as complex as much as it was delightful with minced tart, christmas cake cherry, spice apple and cinammon with a backdrop of caramel and yeast throughout. Wonderful balance of bitter and sweet with a smooth velvety texture, perfect harmony. The alcohol is well played, this is a superb tripel.

ThatWineGuy, May 11, 2009
Photo of matty
3.6/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale yellow colored beer witha slowly fading head,it actually looks like a macro.Aroma is sour apple.Taste is apple with hops and malts thrown in.This is a pretty good beer with a little kick to it.I think it should be tried at least once,and as for me I will be trying it again.

matty, May 10, 2009
Photo of Jeffo
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this at Bert's Bierhuis in Utrecht.

From a bottle into a chalice.

APPEARANCE: Pours a big 2+ finger medium looking white head with decent retention. Lots of active carbonation everywhere and colour is an amber yellow orange. Head settles to a decent film cap and leaves lots of nice lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Toasted malt with a touch of sweet apples and lemon citrus. Lots of spicy notes, cloves and coriander in particular, and a heavy show of spicy alcohol. Quite nice.

TASTE: Toasted malt with some sweet red apple and lemon citrus, just like the nose advertises. Lots of spicy stuff going on and a good hit of spicy alcohol at the end. Medium strong and long lasting aftertaste of sweet apples and spicy alcohol. Alcohol is very present, but surprisingly not overpowering or overwhelming.

PALATE: Medium body and higher end carbonation. Goes down surprisingly smooth for the ABV and finishes slightly dry on the palate. Not bad here.

OVERALL: An enjoyable and drinkable brew, one that drinks away well despite the heavy alcohol presence. This one reminds me of the Westmale offering, though I think I enjoy the more mellow interpretations with less of an alcohol punch, such as the Chimay Triple. That said, the label says they hope the brew pleases our palates, and it certainly did mine. Well done.

Jeffo, May 05, 2009
Photo of JAA
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a Duvel Goblet/snifter today. So i decided to grab a couple Belgians, but they didn't appreciate me touching them.
I came home with some beer instead.

This here "tripel" poured out of it's black and gold bottle, hazy and yeast particle laden. A HUGE head filled up half the glass. The not-so-dense head dissipated rather quickly.

Smells like sour apples and golden raisons. Apple juice, also. Just sweet fruits, not much hoppyness. A quite pungent odor, though.

Taste of floral hops and lavender tea. Fresh oranges. Really not what i expected from a tripel. A light and floral like version of a tripel, very refreshing.

Easy to drink, refreshing, and worth the money. Very good beer.

JAA, Apr 27, 2009
Photo of sweetbrew82
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

330 ML bottle/ no freshness date

P: Sits a honey-gold color in the glass with a lot of yeast floaties that I couldn't prevent from leaving the bottom of the bottle, even with a very gentle pour. The inch & a half white head is thick and frothy with pretty good retention. Formed a thin cap of foam on top and left hardly any lacing behind.

A: Big, toasted malty sweetness with tons of light fruit reminiscent of overripe bananas and sweet apples. Also, a little spice, some floral, and soft alcohol.

T: On the palate, this tripel is just as malty sweet as the nose indicated. It's got a pale-tasting, grainy flavor that provides a more-than-sturdy backbone for the rest of the profile. Fruits consist of those same bruised bananas and sweet apples, but also has an orange and pineapple kind of tropical fruitiness as well. The spiciness seems to be coming from white pepper, yeast, and the earthy/floral-tasting hops. I will say, however, this is not as explosively spicy as others. It's more on the restrained side but still manages to prance on the tip of my tongue. The soft alcohol is not very noticeable at all. The warmer this gets, the more honey seems to come out.

M: Medium-full bodied with an expansive carbonation that gives it a lusciously creamy feel underneath the prickly bite.

Notes: This is more of a subtle tripel, in my opinion. There's a nice fruit profile, and tastes quite good. But, it's not that classic marriage of fruit, spice, and alcohol that I look for. It lacks that explosive spiciness that really tickles my fancy when it comes to tripels, and is a little too malty sweet. Having said that, this is still very good beer. Just not within my personal preferences for the style. Still recommended for anyone who loves good beer.

sweetbrew82, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of weazal
4.83/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A very potent blend of fruity sweetness and peppery alcohol. Honey lemon and sweet bananas are pretty detectable.

T: Sprinkling of carbonation up front which gives birth to a very recognizable anise that is oh so slowly carried out on a wonderfully smooth finish. The flavor just doesn't leave your palate, either. Light, but full of long-lasting flavor - a real pleasure to drink!

weazal, Apr 01, 2009
Photo of PhillyStyle
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Brasserie Beck, Washington, DC:

Serves up a very nice golden, opaque with a nice big white head that had decent retention. A thin layer lasted throughout the beer.

The beer had a nice Belgian aroma to it, sweet, citrus and maybe a hint of alcohol and yeast. Very well balanced.

The taste was good, although appeared to be a little watered down. A little sweet, strong, citrus. Very well done.

Medium body, but a little watered down. Smooth, rich, creamy and very drinkable. Overall, I really enjoyed the beer and will definitely try again if given the opportunity.

PhillyStyle, Mar 30, 2009
Photo of janubio
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gouden Carolus glass. Cloudy fainted yellow colour, an abslolutely enormous head that lasts for all its life in the glass. Fresh floral aroma, wet earth, clove, coriander and citrus.Harsh in the palate, with orange, cookies, dust, acidic finish. A very good one.

janubio, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of Lexluthor33
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a Golden,honey color with a bit of haze. Patchy lace with a decent head and overall a good looking beer.
The aroma was of fruits,some malts,alcohol and a hint of caramel.
The taste starts off sweet with some spicy character. Light hops and fruit flavors follow.I really can not say for sure which fruit,but a fruit so that should do.
The feel is medium carbonation,medium body with a creamy texture.

Notes: I liked this and I did not want to review it until it warmed a bit because initially the carbonation seemed higher and some flavors seemed mute. As it warmed a lot came out and turned into a fine Tripel experience.

Lexluthor33, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of jujubeast6000
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 1/29/2008 (bottle from AZ):

Pours a very pale golden yellow color. Somewhat cloudy. Big foamy white head, big bubbles, mostly lasting. Floral sweet aroma, light. Light grapes, sugary. Some alcohol,a little hops. Soft floral taste, some rubbing alcohol. Warming up...less alcoholy, a little warming. Very light flavor.

jujubeast6000, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Poured ontap into a Gouden Carolus glass. Hazy straw golden color to it with ample bone white head and wonderful lacing.

S. Smell is belgian yeast in the nose with some citrus tones.

T. The flavor profile does not deviate from the nose much, nice belgian yeast kick, notes of lemon. Noble hopping adds to the mild citrus. Sweet bread notes, wheat like at times, but finishes clean and strong.

M. Light to medium bodied, fairly smooth.

D. A very nice tripel here, definately in my top 5.

Stinkypuss, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of hellomcfly
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright golden color with a big off white head that can easily get out of control. The nice fluffy head is quite persistent.

Aroma reminded very much me of ginger ale. A somewhat flowery smell is detectable as well.

There is a nice fruityness as well as spicyness too it. It has a distinct ginger character as well. There is a nice bitterness to it that I feel really makes it quite balances. So many tripels seem to be boozy sweet but this is well rounded and subtle.

M - Smooth and creamy despite the prickly carbonation.

D - I find one to be highly drinkable. Don't know that I would want more than one in a sitting though.

hellomcfly, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of Beerenauslese
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy gold into a Gouden Carolus D'Or chalice. Lots of foam, excellent head retention and lace.

Very aromatic. Tropical fruit smells, ginger, and sugar.

This is one of the best tripels I have had. Lots of tropical fruits coming through, butterscotch, ginger, caramelized sugar.
This starts off creamy, buttery, and silky smooth, then finishes dry. It is almost like a brut. Can taste the alcohol, but it is very well balanced.

A tripel that defines the style, very enjoyable. I can drink this beer 'till I get to heaven (in moderation, of course).

Beerenauslese, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of smcolw
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Explosive and extensive white head; leaves lumpy lace. Greenish yellow liquor color. Cloudy like a wheat beer.

Light malt and strong Belgian yeast aromas. The alcohol is quite present.

Light malt and soured cream flavor up front. The finish continues the sour flavor with what seems to be a very strong wheat component. This has a lower level of carbonation, which makes this a creamier tripel.

smcolw, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of steinlifter
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This poured a hazy bright copper, with lots of bubbles rushing to the top. Thick rich,white,foamy head with great retention.
very fruity aroma.
The taste on this is incredible,mild hop tang,fruity citrus flavors,a bit of sweetness as well, but very well balanced.
mouthfeel was bubbly and slick on the tongue.
Drinkability is absolutely fantastic, what a wonderful beer drinking experience, I will re-visit this one.

steinlifter, Feb 09, 2009
Photo of Tone
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, yellow/golden color. 5/4 inch head of a white color. Very fine yeast are noticeable suspended within the brew. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malts, some fruit (banana), and spices (maybe coriander). Fits the style of a Tripel. Mouth feel is smooth and slightly chewy. There is a very high carbonation level. Bitterness levels are noticeable, but not too great. Tastes of sweet malts and strong tart malts up front and then some banana flavors come through strongly. An alcohol flavor comes through in the middle of the brew. A slight hop flavor is present in the finish along with some more of the banana. Overall, this is a great beer and definitely worth a try.

Tone, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a chalice.

This beer pours a deep golden almost amber. Had a dense rocky white head.

Smell was candi sugar sweet with a hint of spicyness.

Taste was like a sweet spiced cake.

Very creamy and delicious mouthfeel.

Overall, a very tasty brew. Recommended for sure.

bluegrassbrew, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of cjgator3
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle

A- Poured into a Duvel tulip glass, pours a golden yellow color with a HUGE white head that takes up half the glass. The head possesses amazing retention and lacing as well. This is a very pretty beer!

S- The aroma is lighter than expected with some fruit, citrus peel, spices and Belgian yeast. The aroma is very light but very pleasant as well. The array of fruits dominate the aroma with some citrus peel and clove. Very nice!

T- The taste like the aroma is very fruity with some spices added in there with a dry yeasty finish along with some alcohol.

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

D- This is one of the better Tripels that I have tried, fantastic stuff! Recommended!

cjgator3, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of morimech
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, vibrant golden color with a large, dense head that had good retention. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. Has an aroma of honey and the hops give off a floral, almost perfume like smell when combined with the alcohol that lifts off the beer surface. The taste was a bit of a surprise. It was not as sweet as what I was expecting. Somewhat dry and has a vinous quality about it. Light fruit, honey, and cloves are detected. Finishes with a dry, alcoholic taste. The body is a bit light and the carbonation keeps things lively without being harsh. I enjoyed this Tripel and would definately buy and drink this again.

morimech, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of raoulduke37
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Father's Office in Culver City, CA. Another gem in that fine establishment. I was very surprised to see this not among the top 100. This seemed a little light to me for a tripel, and the smell threw me off, thinking that at best it was going to be "good." The tasted, however, was a light but complex wonder - very malty and sweet, but balanced perfectly with modest hops. Sweet fruits and honey, like a Greek dessert. I could sip this again and again and again. Mouthfeel was smooth and rich. Fantastic Stuff. This one should climb the charts.

raoulduke37, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of biboergosum
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle.

This beer pours a hazy pale golden yellow hue, with an insane amount of puffy, foamy off-white head - I had to pour it in three stages. The head is actually courteous and doesn't take too long to gamely disappear, leaving some dense striated and webbed lacing around the glass.

It smells quite spicy - cloves and ginger, mostly - with some grainy pale malt, a touch of honey, and bitter perfumed florals. The taste is semi-sweet pale and caramel malt, muddled coriander/clove, white pepper, lemon zest, pear and apple concentrate, a bit of dry rock candy, and bitter floral aromatic hops, with a subtle booze warming.

There isn't much carbonation to speak of beyond a weak frothiness, surprisingly, after that initial teeming outburst, the body a stolid medium weight, and generally smooth, the spice and alcohol having a minor stultifying effect here. It finishes off-dry, and less sweet than I had anticipated, the hops and fruit mediating somewhat.

For its strength, in true to form flavour, and alcohol, this is actually fairly drinkable. It may be pretty intense at first, but it mellows out quickly when that warm fruitiness settles in. A decent example of the style.

biboergosum, Jan 24, 2009
Gouden Carolus Tripel from Brouwerij Het Anker
92 out of 100 based on 712 ratings.