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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

717 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 717
Reviews: 450
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 15.48%
Wants: 24
Gots: 46 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas Alström Bros
Ratings: 717 | Reviews: 450 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Quite a good look as it pours; nearly black with a healthy tan head which recedes a bit too quickly. Not so much lace.

S - It has a somewhat minor aroma, mostly malty, with nuances of caramel, citric-7up , spicy alcohol, and a bit of hazelnut-cocoa.

T - Flavor-wise, it has a lot in common with a Doppelbock. Raisin and dark bread dominate the palette, punctuated by a spicy alcohol twang. As it airs out, the malt acquires suggestions of nutty cocoa fused with plum and prune flavors, anise and cardamom, and perhaps a bit of nectarine as well. Though the alcohol component is a discernible flavor characteristic, it does not drink 'hot', and generally it hides the ABV fairly well.

M - Softly carbonated, with a big, rich vinous feel to it. It is, however, not dry or astringent in any measure; indeed, it is quite the opposite.

D - This brew is very nice, not tremendously challenging, but very easily appreciated and enjoyed.

Photo of karait95
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: very nice dark color, with some reddish when against light but in general dark brown almost not transparent, the carbonation is rich forming a big head over the beer that dissipates not too fast leaving a permanent well formed layer on top of the beer, the color of the head is a light brown formed of small condensed bubbles.

S: Fruity aroma, specifically prunes can be sensed at once, a back support of toasted malts can also be tested and at the end a little strong alcohol presence can also be smelt.

T: Taste is pretty good also a complex combination of fruits, toasted malts, hops (but not too much, just enough for little flavor) and of course the alcohol of a strong ale.

M: Even the alcohol is high in this beer the sensation is not bad, it start with some sweetness and changes slowly and smoothly into a little bittersweetness with a pronounced ending that remains long in the back of the mouth.

Photo of gerardoluna
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sep 15, 2008
[Eyes] Dark brown like the classic color with a moorefoamy white head.
[Nouse] The aroma is festive and strong... Christmas 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. mmm!

Serving type: bottle

Photo of Shiredave
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one poured a dark red/amber color with a clotted tan head that slumped quickly leaving lacy spatters behind. Very clear with slow carbonation visible.

Aroma is classic Belgian holidaleish - rich toffee and deep fruit notes along side some dark grain and chocolate scents. Alcohol is evident but not quarrelsome with the softer aromas.

Flavors of the same ripe fruits and candy sugar sweetness flood the mouth up front. Rich, dark malt flavors mix in and then vanish to leave a strong smokey bitterness and lingering caramel and alcohol sweetness.

Body is medium to almost full tho something seems missing- this has all the components yet fails to impress. I think this may mellow in the bottle in 2 - 6 months into something a little more rounded and complex - complexity and meshing of flavors may develop with a few months age. Very easy and tasty to drink - went real well with roasted and salted pecans and brie on crusty bread.

Photo of gford217
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 750 mL bottle poured into a goblet.

Pours a clear copper topped by a one-finger creamy head that lingers as a small cap for a few minutes and leaves good lacing.

The aroma is fairly subtle and mostly sweet caramel malts and candi sugar. There are hints of spices but not much and certainly less prominent than the alcohol whiffs I got.

The taste amps up the spices a bit with a definite peppery finish. The sweetness of the candi sugar and dark fruits are dominant up until the finish where the peppers and alcohol are more detectable.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth with decent carbonation. It's sticky sweet on the palate with the peppers tickling the tongue at the end.

This is one of the better Belgian holiday ales I've had, mainly because I actually enjoyed having that slightly peppery finish which differentiated it from a normal BSDA. Tasty.

Photo of scruffwhor
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle. Allowed this beer a few months in my cellar before opening.

Appearance- Yielded a spritzy head with bad retention but very good lacing consistant throughout the beer. Color was a russett, ruby, amber, dried blood color.

Smell- Bananas hit the snoot pretty hard with some tart red apples and sweet licorice to balance the chiquita onslaught.

Taste- This brew starts with bananas and then leads into some candied apples and caramel. The middle follows seemlessly with black licorice and slightly toasted malt. The finish is a tart yet sweet apple brandy.

Mouthfeel- Good carbonation and a pretty light body make this beer very enjoyable. It is nice to notice the flavors change with each degree rise in temperature. The licorice flavor becomes more prevalent as the bheer warms.

Photo of Daniellobo
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

lHefty and boozy dark ale with a great sipping quality.

Presentation: 330 ml capped brown bottle. Black label with a festive oval illustrated with a snowed scene where Santa rides with the "horses" in the sky. Side narrative offers background of the brewery, with general brew notes. Notes Alc. by Vol. (10.0%) Served in a snifter.

A - Dark brown pour with dark burgundy edges, generous foamy head, good retention and surface memory and some touches of lacing.

S - Nice nose, sweet, hinting at molasses and dark fruits, Belgium yeast sense with a boozy whiff.

T - Complex range, pretty hefty with a prominent boozy edge that rides pushing up with strength the caramel, raisins, plums. dash of anise. Yeasty touch in the back with a hint of spiciness.

M - Medium-full body with generous carbonation that fades adequately as the brew progresses. Boozy lingering finish.

D - Nice and pleasing sipper. It comes together as a notable drinking experience.

Notes: Sure the booze has a bit of a prominent edge, but it is not out of sync with brews offering a similar profile or some of the other Gouden Carolus I've tried, for instance it may lack some of the nuances and complexities of the reserve but this is worth picking up and repeating in any case.

Photo of Tedro
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Great beer! For Me definitely something to reserve for the cold weather. It definitely has a holiday flair to it. My friends took a taste and they said they'd drink it year round. Not a year round beer for me personally but delicious nonetheless. An herbal and licorice flavor is prominent. Cheers

Photo of Hopscat
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful look to this , black and very opaque .Beige head about 1/2 inch that settles slowly to good cover with nice lacing on sides of glass.
Smells of dark char, licorice, dark fruit, some herbal hops and candi sugar and licorice or allspice ?
Tastes rich with malts / sweetness - molasses upfront and then the spicey shows up with licorice- allspice - and some other stuff - 6 spices are added per the notes. I'd rate higher but the licorice is too strong for me. Alcohol is well masked even with warming.
Mouthfeel is med heavy with about right carbonation . Creamy feel invites more sipping.
Overall this isn't my favorite style. The licorice flavor just overwhelmed the rest though my second bottle a couple weeks later wasn't so overwhelming. Only my third strong dark belgian so experience is limited. Like Delirium Tremens much better.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours dark brown with little head, but more than classic. nose is spicy and sweet. at first one tastes the sweet ambree taste of most het anker brews, but quickly licorice and alcohol tones, maybe some coriander emerge. not as smooth as i expected from one of belgiums finest brouwerijs, but very unique in style and a great winter warming effect.

Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark cloudy brown with some white head. Great aroma of choclate and spice, vanilla, and citrus orange. Very smooth mouthfeel, and while all of the tastes do not materialize boldy, it is very tasty and refreshing.A great brewery.
thanks for bringing in IPFreely.

Photo of ocelot2500
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown, almost black color with a tight off-white head that leaves a god amount of lacing.

Smells of sweet, dark fruits and some alcohol.

Tastes of deep fruit notes with a spicy notes. Fruits are characterized by raisins and figs. Sweetness is moderate. Spicy notes of ginger, clove, and anise add depth to the sweet fruits. Alcohol is noticeable, but is pleasant in its presentation as it does not overpower anything else presented.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation. Has a sticky, syrupy finish which works well with the sweetness.

Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very dark reddish brown in color. It poured with a finger high dense beige head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: There are moderate to strong aromas of dark fruits in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, flavors of dark fruits—particularly plums and prunes—stand out in particular. It has a light to moderate amount of malty sweetness. Hints of licorice are noticeable in the aftertaste, particularly as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of warming from the alcohol.
O: This beer is a good representation of the style and has good drinkability because it’s neither too fruity nor too sweet and has a nice malty backbone. It is a good selection so sip next to a fireplace on a cold winter night.

Photo of Derek
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Chestnut brown without any sediment, tan head, little retention, nice lace.

S: Dark fruit, orange rind (Curacao?), pleasant non-descript spicing, floral hops, fruit bread with candied fruit. More alcohol as it warms.

T: Very fruity, candied fruit, dark fruit, bready, nice spicing, marmalade, slight bitterness, alcohol is remarkably subtle.

M: Well-attenuated moderate body, moderate carbonation, warming alcohol finish.

D: Quite drinkable for its strength.

Photo of beveragecaptain
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml corked bottle. Gouden Carolus Noel pours out a dark brown color with a big tan head. The aroma is nutmeg, licorice, and fruit. Lots of licorice flavor in this beer, along with dark fruit and spices. A little caramel and some flavor that is sort of smokey. Surprisingly smooth mouthfeel. Alcohol is pretty well hidden. Great drinkability. This 750 ml bottle went down very easily, and it's at 10% abv. Perhaps not as complex as some Belgians, but the flavor is very nice anyway.

Photo of ProudBeerSnob
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into Hoppin Frog snifter. Beautiful mahogany color with sparse head, but impressive considering I've been cellaring this for 2 years. Smells of dried fruit and a faint barnyard funk. Nice.

I've heard this beer is notoriously sweet. So true. Normally this would be a drawback as far as I'm concerned, but in this case, the sweetness accentuates ands is accentuated by the Belgian yeast flavors. Flavors of dark fruit, a sweet biscuit, and tart limes.

Will be enjoying this one again next christmas.

Photo of orfeu
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into my new AleSmith tulip that I received from b0ldfacelies -- a perfect vessel for a special Xmas beer. Cherry-blood bronze with a smooth and creamy dust-khaki foam cap. Aromas of overripe banana, nutmeg, clove, powdered ginger, cinnamon, farmyardy yeast funk, lemon zest and a finishing scent of earthy grain husks. Tart applesauce and raisin puree flavor mixed with mashed banana and a funky vegetal spiciness in the aftertaste -- sort of like brussels sprouts. Lingering "country" yeast flavors. Noticeable alcohol buzz all around the flavor and mouthfeel, but nothing that's too distracting from the overall taste experience. Surprisingly light in body for such a big, flavorful beer. Moderate alcohol slickness is barely perceptible, leading to extremely easy drinkability, especially given the big flavor and high alcohol content. In all, a very nice choice for a special holiday beer.

Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a mysterious brown color with a nice beige head that drops to a film but leaves a curtain of lace

Smell: Dr. Pepper and licorice are most apparent, along with tones of cinnamon and nutmeg; clearly some alcohol, too

Taste: Starts out with the licorice and Dr. Pepper taste, which gets sweeter by mid-palate; after the swallow, a whole range of fruit and spices appear, including cardamom, vanilla, pineapple, orange peel and cinnamon. There are some dark fruit flavors in there, too. Some alcohol is apparent in the finish as well.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy with plenty of carbonation

Drinkability: Well here we have Christmas in July; the beer has settled down somewhat, based on some complaints about fusel alcohol; it should be cellared for six months to a year to let everything mellow out

Photo of clayrock81
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%

Had a 2008 bottle last week and here is review. Poured a reddish brown body with minimal head and lace and a velvety aroma that is boozy and woody while giving off spices like pepper and ginger and dark fruits like black cherry, figs and raisins.
The beer is oh so sweet and smooth and for the booziness and flavors it packs it really is only medium bodied and not thick/syrupy at all.
Maybe too sweet for some, and with the aged bottle I had too boozy, but the sweetness from spices and fruits, such as candi sugar, figs, hints of toffee and caramel, spices like anise and ginger, and vanilla bourbon sweetness, just really pack a great punch for me.
I found balance in the beer with touches of bread like malt and yeast so no too sweet and has a mild finish thanks to well hidden booze.

Photo of wl0307
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As a revisit, this is the 7th beer on my 2008-9 Belgian Winter Ale tasting "panel"; no freshness info. is provided on the label/bottle, served just cool, not chilled, in Hapkin's tulip-shaped bowl sniffer.

A: pours a deep mahogany hue with very moderate steams of carbonation and a huge dark beige froth that sustains remarkably well, leaving untidy lacing all round as it finally dissipates... Considering how clear the liquid and the bottle are, I suspect this ale might be filtered rather than bottle-conditioned?
S: utterly aromatic, with lots of caramelised apples, overripe black plums, and sweet herb-tea to ride on top of a deeper layer of jammy dark fruits/black-berries, hawthorn-fruit candy, highly fruit estery notes, black-sugary bitter-sweetness with a touch of treacle. Thickly fruity, showing a great depth and body already on the nose, but never alcoholic or sharply estery.
T: a smooth and lubricating swallow of syrupy black malts, jammy black/blue-berries, raisins, plus mild spiciness (like a treacle fruit-cake flavoured with cinnamon, ginger and powdered licorice), is subtly balanced by a mixed herbal essence like black herb syrup plus an intriguing flow of flowery/grapey fragrance (almost like the Muscat grape). Lightly oily in the finish, but not thick or cloying at all due to the contribution of a deepening bitter-sweet herbal touch from hops and yeastiness.
M&D: incredibly smooth on the palate with a lubricating mouthfeel and very little carbonation, this is a dangerously drinkable X'mas ale that has a 110% flavour and body to offer than meets the "tongue"... The overall complexity is decent, but somehow the sweet side of the story does manage to dominate the second part of the mouthfeel and renders an eventually, slightly sour-fruity edge like all sweeties. Apart from this, I have no complaint at all about this ale.

* Tasting Date: 07/06/06
Coming in a 330ml brown bottle, BB 09/08/08, served lightly-chilled in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass.
4 A: deep dark ruby hue, creamy but restrained layer of off-white head, slowly settling down and leaving very tight lacing.
4 S: deeply perfumy fruit-esters and sticky sweet fruits (ripe black cherries+fig jam+raisins+banana-oil yeasty), slightly alc. winey, but less syrupy than the tap version; an assertive, thickly-textured caramely maltiness stays firmly in the background, laced with a touch of creamy coconut-milk and burned palm-sugar. A touch too sweet to my liking, but not cloying by any means.
4 T: a mildly sour-sweet raisiny flavour comes along with plenty of preserved fruits upfront; the ensuing profound dark-malty overtone comes rather light, neither heavy nor sticky on the palate; gradually a semi-dryish sweet undertone of dried fruits, licorice and yeasts develops, leaving a faint trace of warming alc. lurking deep down the throat.
5 M&4.5 D: incre...dibly smooth and light on the mouthfeel, where the ultra-subtle carbonation is balanced well with the velvety-smooth texture and a slightly tangy kickback as a healthy balancer. Overall, not terribly complex, but this bottled-version outperforms the tap version by a mile, for its delicate body and balance, easily tricking one (me, at least) to believe it's a 7-8%abv.(at most) dark ale. Extre...mely dan...gerously drinkable it is, yet utterly enjoyable be it X'mas, Easter, Chinese New Year, summer solstice, or whichever else occasion.... Cheers!!

Photo of essie
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I tried this on tap several months back at the Kulminator (it was only a couple weeks old from the brewery), but my notes were unfortunately somewhat sparse. That said, here's what I wrote down:

Dark in color with a nice off-white head. Smells and tastes of dark malts with a heavy anise overtone; very smooth and rich, with a medium body. Drinkability suffers a little from the heavy taste of anise and the high abv, but it's still an awesome beer that's definitely worth trying.

Photo of SLeffler27
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black walnut and cloudy with a modest, creamy almond head that lasts a while. Creamy lace follows each sip.

The Dogfish Head snifter nicely showcases aromas of plum pudding, clove, cherry cordial, and fresh, ripe fruits. Sweet malt is exquisite. With warmth one can perceive cantaloupe.

Flavors include fresh figs, plums, and some funky yeast. Light sweetness continuously unfolds with new layers and a background hint of bitterness just before the finish. The finish is long, subtle, and spicy. As anticipated, this beer warms well.

The alcohol is well controlled in this full-bodied beer with a velvety texture and modest carbonation.

A nice beer with conversation or reading. Late peppery notes lend themselves to compliment a sirloin in this excellent holiday beer.

Photo of strandm
4.16/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of DutchcdnTEXAN
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of ccrida
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml poured into my Gouden Carolus chalice, the Noel is a hazy caramel with a small off-white head that quickly settles, leaving moderate lace.

Smell is very rich, caramel and cured dark stone fruit like dates, raisins and fig. Also a nice buttery diacetyl. Awesome

Taste is rich dark malt, spicy yeast and carmalized sugar with lots of phenols. There's also a hint of allspice and a vinous, port like quality as well, but with a dry, dusty finish. Overall very spicy, but pleasant and not at all astringent. Much better then I remember.

Mouthfeel is sticky syrup, but light in the belly.

Drinkability is rather high, as the taste is good and the finish is pretty clean and quick. If you like it, then you'll probably really like it.

Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
89 out of 100 based on 717 ratings.