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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.
very good

682 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 682
Reviews: 444
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 14.9%
Wants: 20
Gots: 32 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker visit their website

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
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Ratings: 682 | Reviews: 444 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pzrhsau

District of Columbia

4.2/5  rDev +6.1%

A nice little bottle i sat on for about 5 months and my will to let it sit any longer broke.
Appearance: Nice rich brown color with hints of orange and a superior head accenting the cloudy beer.
Smell: Very spicy and malty with scents like cinnamon and other christmas spices we expect from a beer during the holidays.
Taste: Good balance of flavor and alcohol. Very warm and filling with a good bready spiciness from the yeast.
Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Very drinkable for such a big beer. Smooth and full with a good carbonation.

04-04-2010 21:23:28 | More by pzrhsau
Photo of wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +6.1%

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into corsendonk chalice on aug24 2009

A dark brownish amber when held up too light, fast falling three finger head that leaves a fair amount of lace from nothing more then a film of bubbles

S lots of spices and over-ripe banana, i smell booze but not the 10.5% i see on the bottle.

T different but good, as it smells but much more. I get some brown sugar/caramel, dark fruits and licorice. The booze i could smell is there but not as strong. Interesting indeed

M not too thick, good carbonation about what i hoped for

D overall i was happy with this beer, pretty easy too drink and well worth trying

This one kept me interested, i found myself taking sip after sip trying too place each taste. although i found it unusual, i must admit it grew on me as i got too know it.

(The third time I've had to edit this review before i finished the bottle) as it warms the flavors really come through and add to its complexity. Please don't drink this cold!!

08-25-2009 06:23:16 | More by wordemupg
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev +6.1%

Mild dusting of a head across the surface, dark tan brown, swiftly pulls back to the glass sides, the lacing streaks are quite thin but have some stick to them. Murky dark brown colored liquid with more of a yellow tint than anything else, not a lot of visible effervescence, nothing truly remarkable about how it looks. The nose offers licorice, cola, orange spice, lightly roasted chocolate, fig, date, banana and hint of green apple, pleasing for how it does not overdo the sweetness and stays openly knit and airy, finishes with lingering nutmeg, cinnamon and splash of witch hazel. Medium-bodied, for its relative sweetness and mouth grip it has decent fluidity. Carbonation is light but generally up to the task. Initially tastes like a root beer float. Vanilla, malted milk balls, ginger, licorice, orange citrus, Brazil nuts and butterscotch predominate. The fruit has a darker complexion here with prune and cherry trumping the date and fig, not really showing a lot of esters nor breadiness. Likewise, no boozy “heat” on display although you can feel it once a good portion of the bottle is gone. Gains peppery bite as it warms. Fashions a dry, punctuated finish which helps it marshal an argument for being a good food beer and not just an after dinner sipper.

12-18-2013 01:40:33 | More by farrago
Photo of tillmac62

South Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +6.1%

Pours a translucent dark brown with a thick tan head that lingers and laces well. The nose is of dark sweet malt with a hint of dark fruit and chocolate. Medium bodied and well carbonated. This beer is full of flavor that masks the 10% alcohol well. Extremely well balanced. The taste is dark malt, with chocolate undertones, blended with spice and licorice with a very slight alcohol finish. Finishes clean with a burst of dark malt against spice and alcohol. An excellent Christmas Ale. I just did a side by side against St. Bernardus Christmas ale, on 12/4/13. Gouden is far superior in terms of body, complexity and flavor.

11-19-2013 21:09:03 | More by tillmac62
Photo of Dogbrick


4.2/5  rDev +6.1%

2004 Bottle: Sample at WFM. Dark brown with a thin beige head and decent lacing. Lots of sweet malts and spices in the nose. The body is pretty chewy with more sweet malt, ginger and fruit flavors. The finish is flavorful, with more spices and a nice woody character. The alcohol is kept in check very well too, making for an enjoyable brew from start to finish.

11-15-2005 22:15:08 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of prototypic


4.22/5  rDev +6.6%

Gouden Carolus Noël pours a very dark amber color. It’s a little hazy, but light cuts through and shows nice burgundy highlights. A light tan head sits on top. It only rises to about a finger in height before falling back. It held steady on the surface for a bit. Lacing was sticky and moderate as it descended.

The nose is good. It’s definitely fruity. Dark fruit notes are relatively strong. Plum and raisin easily shine. Other fruit scents of apple, pear, and berries are also notes. It smells sweet and malty. Caramel malts are definitely in the mix. Perhaps a little bit of chocolate as well. There are earthy characteristics that linger throughout. It has light fruit cake-ish scent, but it’s not offensive. Belgian yeast and a host of spices emerge. Spicy notes include clove, ginger, and perhaps a little coriander. Alcohol is more prominent than anticipated. Smells good.

The flavor is excellent. The malt base consists of sweet caramel and cocoa-esque chocolate. It’s flavorful and sturdy. A host of fruit flavors follow – raisin, plum, light berries, and a little apple. Belgian yeast is noted and tastes delicious. Spices quickly follow and complement the fruit flavors extremely well. Ginger, coriander, and clove are the most notable, although there are surely others. It does taste a little like fruit cake, but it’s really not bad. Just very deep and complex. An interesting smoky flavor winds up each sip. It’s nice and really adds something. I like it. Alcohol is there in flavor, but it isn’t warm or hot. Finishes malty and sweet with a host spicy notes.

Gouden Carolus Noël has a medium body. Carbonation seems active, but the bubbles feel light and soft. It is nice and smooth. This 750 is disappearing quickly. Finishing it off will not be a problem.

I’m yet to have anything close to a bad beer from Brouwerij Het Anker. That places brews high quality beer. Gouden Carolus Noël is exactly that. It’s deep, complex, and packed with flavor. It’s impressive. If you see a bottle around, grab one. You’ll thank yourself for it.

12-27-2011 04:12:07 | More by prototypic
Photo of Kegatron


4.22/5  rDev +6.6%

12oz bottle into a goblet.

Pours a deep, dark amber with a fairly nice sized poof of tanish white head retained well into a nice foamy covering. Lacing was good. Aroma is sweetness, yeast, deep notes of dark fruit, and alcohol.

Taste is dark malts, candy sweetness, mellow dark fruits, spices. Finishes with a fizzy bitterness and then a splash of sweetness and warmth. Mouthfeel is effervescent yet velvety. Alcohol is present but not overly noticeable, instead imparting more of a warming sensation.

Lots of deep notes of sweetness and spices and a warming alcohol effect make this a perfect Belgian beer for sipping by the fire during those cold winter nights.

12-17-2007 21:50:48 | More by Kegatron
Photo of hdofu


4.22/5  rDev +6.6%

Had a bottle aged a few years and dang was it good. it was lightly headed an light colored tasted initially sweet with a tangy sour finish. Smell was also sweet. The predominate flavors were almonds. It had a smooth flavor. I could have sipped on this all evening.

12-26-2009 00:20:41 | More by hdofu
Photo of arguemaniac


4.22/5  rDev +6.6%

An aged example from… Damn, 2003…

A strong and delicious Belgium ale with multi-faceted fruitiness: certainly dark fruit flavors (raisins, dates, etc) but also some light fruits as well, such as some appely sweetness up front and a touch of acidic green grape in the finish (just a hint though). Of course there is the robust, sugary maltiness with notes of caramel, toffee, and even chocolate. Thrown into the mix is a pleasant spice profile featuring nutmeg, cinnamon, and some clove. A sharp alcohol bite tops of this brew’s flavor pretty much from start to finish. Highly recommended!

01-03-2006 05:47:50 | More by arguemaniac
Photo of Dithyramb


4.22/5  rDev +6.6%

Presentation: Big bomber as pictured with no freshness dating to spot. Purchased from the great beer joint in Hamden.
Appearance: Poured a ruddy soupy brown with a pretty limb half inch head. Okay retention, but excellent lacing on my Unibroue tulip.
Smell: Sweet spicey alcohol
Taste: Full flavored brew. Predominantly running the show is a spicey malty goodness. Loads of caramel and toffee mix about with anise, cinammon and coriander. As it warms, you get a bit of brown sugar soaked in some strong alcohol.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, yet weighed down by a sugary sweetness and warming alcohol.
Drinkability: Nice winter warming, sipping brews and unwrapping presents beer.

01-18-2006 14:01:49 | More by Dithyramb
Photo of OWSLEY069


4.22/5  rDev +6.6%

Pours a brown-ish amber color with a light tan head. In the aroma, cinnamon and licorice. In the taste, licorice and hints of alcohol and cinnamon. A spicy and alcohol bite in the mouthfeel and a dry cinnamon and sweet alcohol in the aftertaste. Shows a small amount of alcohol but mostly hidden, nice flavors and very tasty.

12-26-2007 20:58:18 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +6.6%

Appearance: pours a cloudy brown color with a one finger head. The head slowly falls to a spotty surface foam. Some spotty lacing develops through the drink.

Smell: spices, caramels, and alcohol.

Taste: this beer is flavor packed and fits the season it is brewed for. Cinammon, raisins, brown sugar, caramel, ripe plums, hints of licorice, yeast, and alcohol are neatly balanced with a spicy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium to heavy in body. Lightly crisp at the start with a long smooth finish of the sugary sweetness, spiciness and alcohol.

Drinkability: this is a wonderful "sittin' by the fire" sipping type of beer. I finished the bottle in a little over an hour. Worth seeking this out.

01-11-2006 12:06:58 | More by Gavage
Photo of riversider76

New York

4.22/5  rDev +6.6%

Pours redish brown,with a thin tan head. Not much retention,and just a bit of lacing. Aroma is of cherry cola,licorice,spice,and dark fruits. Body is medium to heavy with a bit of carbonation. Taste is of dark sweet cherries,spice,and black licorice.Excellent!

11-18-2007 04:08:37 | More by riversider76
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +6.6%

The beer poured a clear golden deep amber with a tan small bubbled head which was compact and laced the glass.

The aroma was banana and fruity with a substantial malt backbone and complexity.

The flavor was malty and fruity with more banana and a very complex maltiness that becomes alcoholic.

The finish was dry but left a malty impression long into the aftertaste. The body was medium.

750 ml bottle. I've had this puppy in cold storage for quite some time just waiting for the right chance to open it.

06-30-2004 23:43:41 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of ngandhi


4.22/5  rDev +6.6%

Tawny port and alcohol nose that opens to a wildly sticky sweetness reminiscent of toffee and candy corn. This beer is held together by a solid bittering and light graininess that isn't as yeasty as most Belgians. The finish has a touch of alcohol and spice, perhaps licorice. Gouden Carolus is an angry mother -- punishing, bitter, and firm, but ultimately warm and sweet.

12-01-2003 02:15:08 | More by ngandhi
Photo of capeannbass36


4.22/5  rDev +6.6%

Had on tap at the Amesbury Ale House. Served in a Boulevard Brewery tulip.

A- A cloudy cocoa brown with slightly red highlights. Small tan head. Minimal lacing.

S- Sweet and spicy. Caramel.

T- Caramel. Sweet malt. Clove and coriander. Dark fruits. Pretty complex for my semi-educated, beer related taste buds.

M- Light carbonation. Slick. Smooth.

O- Definitely a taste bud pleaser. Could not imagine attempting 3 of these. Atleast not if I were driving. YUM!

12-29-2011 00:00:31 | More by capeannbass36
Photo of argock


4.22/5  rDev +6.6%

Poured from 11.2oz brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. Refermented in bottle on 03/08/10. Purchased at Market Street Wineshop for $2.75.

A: Thick honey-amber with short and quickly dissipating off-white head with minimal lacing.

S: Strong caramel maltiness with dark fruitiness like raisins and figs with a short blast of berry alcohol and herbal, earthy hops.

T: Flavor mirrors the aroma very closely with muted spice notes a big caramel maltiness, fig, date, raisin, and some heat that is not overbearing. Hops are earthy and smooth out the finish.

M: Very thick and lush with low carbonation -- very elixir-like.

D: I really enjoyed this, but I can see how people see it as a jam-like sugar fest as it is very sweet. I am glad the spice components are background but they don't forget the hops and the alcohol contributes a warming, complement to the sweetness.

12-30-2010 00:59:41 | More by argock
Photo of thierrynantes


4.22/5  rDev +6.6%

Beer bottle (33 cl.), tasted in 2007.

Appearance : dark red amber color, with tan foamy head.
Smell : sweet and fruity aromas, with notes of caramel.
Taste and mouthfeel : sweet malty with liquorice and spices flavors.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style Belgian strong dark ale (to drink at cellar t°).

07-28-2009 18:42:24 | More by thierrynantes
Photo of Chaney

District of Columbia

4.22/5  rDev +6.6%

My first Christmas beer of the season. Merry Christmas everyone! ....but let us all celebrate Thanksgiving first.

Vintage 2010 (aged for a year).

A: Poured a dark, dark, brown/maroon color, with a half inch head that melted down to a healthy ring around the brew... with added benefits on the side of the glass.

S: Faint/moderate licorice first, much like their Easter entry, but I also got a bit of fruity figness for sure.

T: Licorice, with fresh filtered water, and dark fruit: figs, prunes, and Christmas spices that should be familiar to the novice - pro beer peep... The Belgian character of this one was there, but wasn't in-your-face.

M: Ridiculous lacing that was in the shape of bats on my glass. The carbonation was fine for this style.

O: If it's Christmas time, you know an unbecoming beer geek, who is just getting into the hobby, and Belgian beers are his/her thing... direct them to this beer.

11-10-2011 00:01:28 | More by Chaney
Photo of tenesmus

United Kingdom (England)

4.22/5  rDev +6.6%

On tap in a straight half glass at the Sand Bar Manchester.

Minimal off white head that soon faded, vigorous carbonation, the beer had a dark, almost black appearance, although held to the light one could see it was not as dense as first appears - not dissimilar to Coke to be honest.

Fragrance was enticing, of liquorice and stone fruits.

First impressions when tasting was of a velvety smooth beer, any heaviness lifted by the carbonation, a great wet kiss of liquorice dominant in the mouth with a complex aftertaste, plenty of spice such as anise, cinnamon, plus sweet malt. Very pleasant, hardly notice the alcohol content and a real hit with the Badminton group.

01-21-2012 15:07:21 | More by tenesmus
Photo of Truh

New Hampshire

4.22/5  rDev +6.6%

Spied a partridge in a pear tree with this one on 11/26/2004. 10.5-oz.-looking stemmed glass pour at the right-on ACPH.

Just a hinted swirl of carbonation to begin, with more piling up on the edges. Claret, thick brown hue that echoes. Juicy plums, raisins, and juniper on nose, with a touch of port-like sweetness. Lovely malt gush with a brown sugar melt on the tongue. Lucious overall, and one I would gladly order up continuously throughout the holiday season, and beyond.

11-29-2004 21:59:35 | More by Truh
Photo of ummswimmin

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +6.6%

I picked this up a couple weeks ago in "holiday" themed beer purchase. I bought many different Christmas beers, and this is one of those purchases.

This beer has a sweet and sour smell. You get fruity sweetness, almost like fruit loops. The sour is from the belgian influences. The flavor has as many layers to it as well.

This is a very good sipping beer. I really enjoyed sipping it while watching the Jersey Shore. They paired well.

01-07-2012 02:20:09 | More by ummswimmin
Photo of adamette


4.22/5  rDev +6.6%

Live review. Poured from the 750ML bottle that I purchased yesterday for $8.89 at Save-On Tobacco & Beverage in Mentor. "Belgian Ale" printed on top of right side of label and the following code printed on left side of label: 0970 but I am not sure what that means. Poured into my silver rimmed Westvleteren goblet.

A Light brown creamy head over dark brown body that glows a nice mahogany in front of direct light. 4.0

S Some dark fruits but a nice sweet malt predominates along with a warmth of alcohol to the nose. The dark fruits that I smell here are similar to that of the Carolus D'Or (Van de Keiser) but they are more nicely balanced in this beer. Welcoming, warming, interesting, inviting. 4.0

T Just as the smell suggested, the dark fruits are nicely balanced with sweet malt, warm alcohol and a nice Belgian yeast taste that all works very nicely. I don't know about the "Noel" aspect of the beer but I could enjoy these every day of the year. 4.5

M Big beer with high ABV, sweet malt, dark fruits and Belgian yeast tastes competing for the taster's attention. There is an apsect of syrupy stickiness as well. The significant, creamy head adds a welcome smoothness to all of it too. I cannot imagine a better, more interesting feel. 5.0

D This is one hell of a big beer so I will only be drinking this bottle (which I likely should have shared with someone else!). The style, the ABV and the sheer bigness of this beer drives down the drinkability. All of that being said, this is a delicious beer so repeated sips were a pleasure. 3.5

Notes: The final in my short series of Het Anker beers, likely my favorite.

01-29-2010 23:14:42 | More by adamette
Photo of Jeffwildcat


4.23/5  rDev +6.8%

The anise and clove hit you immediately on this one. Bottle date is August 2013 so it has aged quite a bit. Abv says 10.5 but seems closer to 12. Very smooth and abc doesn't hit you you until 1/2 way. Certainly more of a Christmassy beer but had to open 1 of 2 I had. Glad I did.

08-02-2014 04:00:17 | More by Jeffwildcat
Photo of lordofthewiens


4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

A 750ml bottle. Medium brown color, thin head, well-carbonated. It had a fruity and spicy aroma. A dark fruit taste, with warming spices. Pleasant enough, but I wouldn't want a lot in one sitting. I'm not sure the fruit and spice combination works that well for me, but at the same time it does seem a little different from the typical Christmas beers.

02-07-2007 21:42:25 | More by lordofthewiens
Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
89 out of 100 based on 682 ratings.