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Gouden Carolus Tripel - Brouwerij Het Anker

Not Rated.
Gouden Carolus TripelGouden Carolus Tripel

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728 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 728
Reviews: 414
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
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Ratings: 728 | Reviews: 414 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PapaEugene
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This must be my fourth tripel after I tasted the Karmeliet tripel and concluded that I had to change my views about tripels in general. I went to my friend Geert who just has tripels in his fridge. No escaping.

A: Dark golden color and an incredible thick foamy head.

S: Grains, herbs, honey, peach, pear.

T: LIke the smell. Grains, sticky honey, pear and now cloves is clear in the mix. Some pleasant warming alcohol.

M: Medium carbonation and a medium body. Very dense texture.

D: I wouldn't buy a full box of these, but a few will do. Again a tripel that I like.

PapaEugene, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of Pencible
3.4/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured a hazy straw color with tons of white head (had to be scooped out with a spoon so I could continue pouring). It smelled like sour yeast and fresh wheat and lemon zest, with some salt and vinegar, and a bit of Belgian sugar. It tasted like waxy lemon and sour yeast, with salt and vinegar and a bit of spicy ginger and alcohol. It was watery with moderate carbonation, and had a sour aftertaste. Overall this was not really what I enjoy in Belgian pale ales, but it was acceptable for the style. It had a clean taste and wasn't difficult to drink, and the flavor and body improved as it warmed and opened up. Perhaps age would help further improve this, since the 1.5 year old pale Van De Keizer I had was significantly better than this. This isn't a bad beer, and others might enjoy it, but I wasn't a fan.

Pencible, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of Brabander
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first report in spite the fact that i have drunk a lot of different kind of beer the last 40 years. I've had two of this Carolus Triple bottles at a friend where we played a game of Colonists of Catan. It's tradition to play this game where the men drink a strong beer.

I drunk the Carolus Triple in a Westmalle glass so the setting was allright. Good smell, i had a very nasty cold but the smell was OK. Tasting the beer is comparing it with some other triples. I have to say this triple can be shared under the group Westmalle kind of triple.

I liked the triple very much because of its characteristic smell and good taste exposure in the mouth.

Brabander, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of praufs01
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Hazy Golden yellow with a huge frothy white head

Aroma - Pear, apple, and orange zest with a wisp of alcohol

Mouthfeel - moderately carbonated, thin to medium bodied ale.

Taste - Slightly tart and fruity, with an earthy white pepper and alcohol middle, that finishes dry and spicy. The finish reminds me of fine aged (Anejo) Tequila.

Overall - Excellent triple. Very complex and satisfying. The 9% alcohol will sneak up on you if you're not careful

praufs01, Oct 01, 2009
Photo of Rayek
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: The deep gold color has good clarity for a bottle conditioned beer. Hyperactive carbonation holds up a huge and foamy eggshell head. Retention is excellent and a very heavy lace is left behind.

S: Very spicy, with strong scents of pepper, caraway and clove. A mild fruitiness of apple and pear adds extra complexity. A bit of alcohol rounds things out.

T: A pear and green grape sweetness starts things out. A powerful clove, pepper and anise bitterness quickly follows. Alcohol warmth comes in sharply at the end. Finishes warm and dry, with lingering flavors of pepper, apple and pear.

M: The body feels lighter than the beer's strength would indicate. It has a vigorous carbonation that suits the style, but feels a bit over the top to me.

D: The strength makes this a good sipping beer. A most excellent example of the style. I'm very happy I grabbed a bottle.

Rayek, Aug 28, 2009
Photo of brendan13
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a tulip glass a hazy dark golden straw colour with a huge fluffy white head that slowly falls away.
S - Sweet honey with some vauge bready maltiness, light lemon and orange fruity character and some clove spice notes.
T - More honey sweetness in the taste with a touch of bready malt followed by lots of fruitiness and yeast spice notes.
M - Medium bodied, medium to high carbonation, slightly dry finish.
D - Dangerous. In a good way. I'm guessing that no honey was used but the honey quality is pretty intense at times. I'd drink it again though.

brendan13, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of medic25
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy golden color with a thick, persistent white foamy head. Sweet, light aroma. Taste is classic Belgian Tripel; sugary sweet, malty with a little spice and peppers. Very little evidence of the alcohol, despite the 9% ABV. Extremely easy drinking, with a sugary aftertaste. Made a great nightcap for my birthday!

medic25, Aug 20, 2009
Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at Leon's in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy yellow-gold color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of light fruits - pears and bananas, and even hints of tropical fruits - along with very mildly spicy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet malt flavors up front are soon joined by a myriad of light fruits. Near the end of the sip spicy hop flavors join in, keeping the beer from being overly sweet.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this is a solid tripel but nothing is outstanding. Still, a very good choice and one that's worth a try.

glid02, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours an appetizing golden yellow with a very thick, fine-bubbled, persistent head. Aroma is rather strong, fruity, yeasty and malty. Flavor is rich and mouth-filling, fruity and malty with a yeasty undertone. Texture is delightfully fizzy and tingly, smooth underneath. Worth finding.

Cyberkedi, Aug 08, 2009
Photo of GoodBeerTire
4.88/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a straw gold, slightly cloudy, with a huge head. I'm glad I had a large enough glass to contain it. The lacing was nice, all the way down the glass.

S - Tropical, slightly citrusy. Very pleseant.

T - This is a nice tripel. So flavorful, with tropical hints. This has a nice balance with hops, malt, & alchohol. Nothing bitter, nor skunky. This is how I think a Belgian Tripel is supposed to taste. Not too sweet.

M - Full, but not thick. Perfect carbonation.

D - This one is like Eddy Haskell: Nice & polite, but has a mean streak when the parents are away. I could drink this all night, but @ 9%, I might get into trouble.

I will buy/drink this one again when found.


GoodBeerTire, Aug 08, 2009
Photo of Macca
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok I got a bit carried away with the pour and paid the price. This is a lively beer. A very generous fluffy white head. A cloudy dark straw colour.

A bit of alcohol on the nose but well balanced with some nice tropical fruit notes. A bit of spice.

For a 9% beer the alcohol doesn't really kick on the palate, which is a good thing. A bit of banana.

Big mouthfeel.

I like this a lot. The price and the ABV might make it a once in awhile brew thoiugh.

Macca, Jul 24, 2009
Photo of steveshields
4.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Carolus Tripel pours a striking gold. Thick head explodes when you open the 750ml bottle. Be careful, you don't want to upset the beer and have too much go to waste. Pour SLOOOWLY because the foam will be HUGE. This thing has 3 lines of bubbles on one side of the glass that constantly bubble to the surface. Not sure why that's happening but it is.

I get fruity citrus notes on the nose, and it's not overwhelming. Someone put off by clove would not be offended by this beer's aroma. A bit lemony/orange.

Taste? Delicious. Absolutely delicious. It's not completely dry, a bit sweet, but the finish is perfect. No residual poor aftertaste to speak of. I love this beer. I can't believe the BA Bros. haven't tried it! When we sampled it at work, a lot of people picked up notes of banana bread. I'm not getting that now but I can see where they're coming from.

The mouthfeel is perfect, but I'm not giving it a 5 because I'm new to reviewing and am not really sure what a perfect mouthfeel is. It is very highly carbonated, and I love that, but I know others don't. Someone called it "chewy"? I guess?

The drinkability is definitely a 5 because you would never guess you were drinking a 9% ABV beer.

The bartender at one of my local bars, Quenchers, got this beer in just last week, along with maybe 19 other Belgians. I asked him his favorite, and he gave pulled out this and Golden Draak. I told him I had had this beer and that I loved it. It's totally different than the latter, which i'll save for another review some day.

If you can find this beer, drink it up. It is delicious.

steveshields, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of WildMaverick1200
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Carolus tripel was poured gracefully by the waiter into a goblet. Boasts an inoffensive yellow color with, nice big foam which seems to stick forever in there, leaving some lacing behind.

Ah...remember the last time you smelled a basket of fresh fruit?? add some floral aromas, malt and alcohol background, and there ya go. It's irresistible.

Taste is noticeable malt sweetness, a complexity of fruit tastes, with a pinch of sourness in there. Just enough hops to balance this out, and a rewarding warmth from the alcohol. Awesome.

Sort of chewy mouthfeel with a unique texture. Very nice.

Drikability is dangerous. It's 9% abv, but so smooth and well balanced that it doesn't feel like a kick in the ass. This is one awesome brew.

WildMaverick1200, Jul 19, 2009
Photo of dstc
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy, yellow with a huge, foamy white head. Heads stays a long time. Big lace.

Nice spiced, floral nose. Clean.

Delicious flavor. Nice herbal hoppieness with hints of fruit. Malts present too with a sweet finish. You can taste the alcohol, especially as it warms a bit.

Medium bodied in the mouth, crisp.

Great triple from a great brewery. Very easy drinking.

dstc, Jul 16, 2009
Photo of adamette
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle purchased at the Poechenellekelder in Brussels 6 20 09, poured into a clean, clear tulip glass supplied by the restaurant. What a GREAT place to have a beer!

A 5 inch head under a tranclucent light yellow body. Nice look.

S Banana notes, nice malt sweetness. This is going to be a great beer!

T Malty sweetness, some light banana, sweetness, delicious!

M Full with big ABV, bountiful tastes.

D Good for a tripel.

Notes: What a treat to sample this one at the Poechenellekelder.

adamette, Jul 03, 2009
Photo of PsychoJedi
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well, I kept seeing where many reviews call the look of domestic lights as "like piss", but that is more bias than anything. If you want some TMI about myself, this looks like my piss. I put some points for the good head.

The smell is another story. I is a nice fruity smell that is crisp and strong. Rather inviting for me.

I can taste the alcohol. 9% and you should taste the alcohol. Has a slight difficulty going down, but not much. Slight aftertaste is covered up with the taste of alcohol. I little fruit, but not much. Rather unique for the taste and that is a plus.

Verdict: If you can get by the fact that is actually looks like real urine, try it.

PsychoJedi, Jul 01, 2009
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
Gouden Carolus Tripel from Brouwerij Het Anker
92 out of 100 based on 728 ratings.