1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas - Brouwerij Het Anker

Not Rated.
Gouden Carolus Noël / ChristmasGouden Carolus Noël / Christmas

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

685 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 685
Reviews: 445
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 14.9%
Wants: 20
Gots: 33 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Gusler on 11-24-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 685 | Reviews: 445 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pmcadamis
5/5  rDev +26.3%

A - Purple-black like a ripe plum, this supports a MASSIVE head that rolled over the tulip glass and never started to settle during the few moments that I waited patiently for the foam to go down a little so I could smell this beauty. The head is tannish light brown and snaps and pops as it gets rocky and pitted like the surface of the moon.

S - Dark fruit, molasses, and boysenberry pancake syrup. I can smell plums, red wine, dates, and thick sugary fruit flavored syrup. Intensely complex, this nose is gloriously good... I could sniff this one all night.

T - Much like the nose, this has dominant dark fruit notes with secondary IHOP fruit syrup flavors that blend well with a touch of hay-like hops. I taste big fat purple grapes, ripe plums, boysenberry syrup, dark blackstrap molasses, and what tastes like how violets and lilacs smell.

M - Full bodied, but never flabby. This is muscular, but delicate and feminine at the same time (like Fabio on the covers of those old lady romance novels). Sweet and fruity, but not overdone.

D - This is the apex of Belgian brewing. One of the finest brews that I've ever had the pleasure of enjoying.

pmcadamis, Jan 11, 2009
Photo of dougnboston
5/5  rDev +26.3%

One of the best holiday beers made. It sells out very quickly, so if you are lucky enough to find one, grab it.

I've visited the brewery. There are about five people working there and they can't make a lot of beer. It's a wonderful thing that their beers actually are distributed in the US.

This beer is warm, soft feeling yet powerful in taste.

Take the time to find one every year.

dougnboston, Aug 05, 2004
Photo of Snellgg5
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Snellgg5, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of CWhite
5/5  rDev +26.3%

CWhite, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of josefnewsong
5/5  rDev +26.3%

josefnewsong, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of goalie33
5/5  rDev +26.3%

goalie33, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of brdc
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Large corked bottle in a series of Christmas beers. Have to say right off the bat this is hands down the best one.

Poured into a goblet, it shows a deep burgundy color, perhaps one shade darker. Like the true belgian masterpieces, it has a fantastic creamy, dense light tan head that grows and grows, lasts forever, and coats the sides of the glass. I have mentioned this before, but nobody beats the belgians in presentation, even though I lack buckeyenation's eloquence.
Aroma is just as fantastic; it comes strong right out of the glass as you pour it, sending layers of dark fruits, caramel, candy sugar, and a multitude of spices. Right after Scaldis Noel Premium, which was a great beer, this one just built on that flavor, as incredible as it might have sounded after the Scaldis.
Full bodied and creamy as it crosses the palate, the flavor keeps up with presentation and aroma in this outstanding beer.
Heavily malted, obviously on the sweet side but never cloying; abundant fruitiness, caramel, balanced by lots of spices and just a hint of alcohol that just warms up, but never really creates an unpleasant "heat".
An absolutely spectacular nightcap, which won many people including non beer geeks. Definitely need to get more for next year. An absolute must for a Christmas party finish.

brdc, Dec 10, 2009
Photo of jeezie
5/5  rDev +26.3%

jeezie, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of bigdaddypolite
5/5  rDev +26.3%

bigdaddypolite, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of kayrex
5/5  rDev +26.3%

kayrex, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of pipinmalikonj
5/5  rDev +26.3%

pipinmalikonj, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of xmorgan
5/5  rDev +26.3%

This beer in this instance is better in bottle then on draft. Many will say Belgians are that way, that is what I got from people recently in Belgium (I was recently there).

I have seen it both ways, I had the draft version of the same in Oakland at a really excellent Belgium beer bar called "The Trappist". They love Belgiums and treat them like a parent lovingly treats a new born. So I don't believe they or the importer really did wrong by the draft version. It was certinally tasty, however I would say the 750ml Bottle was better.

The powerful yeasty (like bread just starting to bake yeasty bread smell is pleasant and warming.

The Appearance brownish rusty color is inviting.

The taste is rich, warming and a slight current fruit taste. Carmel comes through on the finish and it is so good to sip and enjoy.

Hours of time can be spent with this Wonderful Christmas Beer, contemplating the end of the free world, or enjoying an Episode of Southpark.

xmorgan, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of oneturbucfan
5/5  rDev +26.3%

oneturbucfan, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of cld253
5/5  rDev +26.3%

cld253, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of bkaj21
5/5  rDev +26.3%

bkaj21, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of fastd03
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Through my extensive beer sampling over the past decade, the tap version of this beer remains the single best beer I have ever had. While the bottled version has slightly less vibrant color and isn't quite as flavorful, the tap version I had several years ago at The Brickskeller in Washington D.C. remains the only beer I have ever gone back and ordered a second time the The Brickskeller. It has a beautiful color, and more importantly, the warm, rich flavor of a Belgian winter ale, topped off with a hint of sweetness. Fresh off the tap, served in a thick goblet, this beer is truly unequalled.

fastd03, Aug 08, 2011
Photo of swean
5/5  rDev +26.3%

swean, Jul 27, 2014
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of Campodog
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Campodog, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of clickpush
4.97/5  rDev +25.5%

Pour: 750ml bottle to tulip glass. A large light tan 2-3 finger head appears over a dark copper body, and just a couple trails of tiny bubbles coming up the side of the glass. The head lasts several minutes and leaves a fluffy layer on top of the beer that looks as thick as meringue.

Nose: Smells like gumdrops and a lit up pine tree sitting in someone's living room. Allspice, black pepper, cinnamon, and a faint dustiness to it that does a good job at keeping the alcohol at bay.

Mouth: A huge warm alcohol spiciness combines with the above mentioned spices, raisins, and bananas to make an extremely complex and enjoyable dessert beer. Hardly any hop presence at all, but it's really not needed in this one.

With this beer you can taste Christmas all year round!

clickpush, Jun 19, 2006
Photo of airlift
4.9/5  rDev +23.7%

I visited my family in Germany early september. took a trip to Belgian beer weekend in Brussels. My son and I were tasting for about 3 hrs. I'm 63, think of myself as one who enjoys good microbrews,never wrote a review before now so, I really can't get "descriptive" in my review. I will tell you this.After tasting many the only one that really sticks in my mind is the Gouden carolus noel/ christmas. It had a deep dark and heavy fruit bread flavor. I beleive the Alc. was 10.5 I hope I hope can find it at home in MA.

airlift, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.88/5  rDev +23.2%

Bottle of 2007 vintage at Brouwer's Cafe in Seattle.

A: 3/8" mocha coloured head that left a nice lacing over dark mahogany coloured liquid.

S: Cloves, cinnamon, apples and cherries.

T: Peppermint, cinnamon, apple and malt. A beautiful taste.

M: Medium viscosity with a medium level of fine carbonation.

O: This beer fast-forwarded me to Christmas with its spices and other flavours. A beautiful and smooth beer.

DaftCaskBC, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of 6string
4.85/5  rDev +22.5%

Hands down, the best Christmas brew I've had so far in my quest for good beer. My wife first picked one up for me in France, so when we made a 2nd trip, I picked up two more bottles (and continue to regret not buying more!).

Poured in my Delirium glass, mild head, poured a dark but clean (no sediment) appearance. Hints of chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, a real Christmas aroma, if you will. The taste was very smooth rich, leaving hints of caramel, coffee and chocolate. No bitter aftertaste, and you can feel the 10% but there's no aggressive attack. My first bottle cooled in the fridge just over two hours and was nice and frosty when it came out. I let it warm a few minutes before I really dove in!

I know 5's are supposed to be rare, but I truly believe, personally, that for me this beer could not be improved. It's an awesome beer, I'd easily buy a case to keep on hand for friend and family occasions.

6string, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of jenjenbelanger
4.85/5  rDev +22.5%

This is my very first review so please bear with me! I will get better at this!! Had this beer on draft just before Christmas at my local pub. Served in a snifter. Smell extremely aromatic. Taste Heavenly. Definately a holiday beer with many complex spices and fruit flavors. Heavy, full bodied, nothing missing in this beer. One glass per sitting for me. Loved this beer so much I searched high and low to buy some for my Christmas Eve party. Needless to say, everyone wanted more and it can't be found!!! Next year I will buy a case and HIDE IT!

jenjenbelanger, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.83/5  rDev +22%

As I pop the cork on the 750 a blast of raisin aroma emanates form the bottle. Plum aromas mixed with alcoholic rum like notes escape as I pour this lightly hazy amber-brown beer. A dense tan to light brown head tops the Noël. There are some notes of dried fig in the aroma as well, overall a phenomenally enticing aroma to this beer, and I have yet to taste it.

The taste; a rich brew, though light bodied given its 10.5% alcohol by volume, by no means light though. There is some definite spiciness here, seems like some coriander along with some other spices have been used, though because this beer is so rich and fruity it may just be the Belgian yeast character. This beer finishes with a definite alcoholic bite, though it is not overbearing and goes well with the spice notes. Lightly sweet with raisin and other dark fruit notes are in the fore front of this beer. There is no real bitterness, the spices and alcohol counter-point the sweetness and fruity flavors. This beer is incredibly good, and incredibly under-rated. I am certainly going to get a couple more bottles of this to age, next winter these could be stunning. This is just a damn good winter seasonal beer, certainly the best I have had yet this year.

Gueuzedude, Nov 23, 2003
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
89 out of 100 based on 685 ratings.