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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

673 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 673
Reviews: 442
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 14.9%
Wants: 19
Gots: 31 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas Alström Bros
Ratings: 673 | Reviews: 442 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SShelly
SShelly

Oregon

3.2/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at verdugo, labeled as christmas not noel,

I feel like this is a different beer from the "noel" ive had in the bottle...

aroma is a big shot of anise/black licorice with a little bit of sweet malt behind.

flavor is dominated by the same anise, some dark fruit, sweet malt and a light blend of other spices.

not the most enjoyable christmas beer ive had, way too much licorice not enough malt...have had this out of a bottle and dont remember it being like this...

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2009 04:57:14 | More by SShelly
Photo of noslenwerd
noslenwerd

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Brownish Magenta color, typical creamy looking head.

S: Spicey and sweet

T: Wow... this is a great noel beer. Might be a little sweet for some but just perfect for me. Lots of brown sugar/molasses taste, with light christmas spices. Reminds me a lot of Kasteel Donker, but not as sweet.

M: Typical Belgian Dark Ale Mouthfeel. Creamy and smooth.

Summary: One of my top three winter warmers. I will undoubtedly be drinking this one again.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2009 02:08:50 | More by noslenwerd
Photo of TLove
TLove

District of Columbia

3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2009 bottle, poured into Chimay goblet. This beer comes alive once the top cracks open.

Excellent color but little to no retention and a thin, almost nonexistent brown head. Beer warms quickly and gives off some heavy dark fruit scents, coupled with currant, quince, and chocolate. Brown bread and black cherry in the mouth with some ground anise, licorice, and coriander seed (kind of like a sugary Anisette, which is made using these ingredients). A little cinnamon and nutmeg to throw in some complex Christmas flavors and give some serious spice depth to this beer.

The sheer viscosity and complexity of the beer can be a bit overwhelming at first, but as the carbonation winds down and the beer warms up, the beer reveals a sour, unbalanced construction that I did not expect from Brouwerij Het Anker. It doesn't break the beer, but it does make it a bit difficult to drink.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2009 02:01:47 | More by TLove
Photo of Travlr
Travlr

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 1 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark reddish brown color with a thick white long lasting head. Chocolate and roasted coffee aroma. Very strong alcohol taste throughout. Some notes of semi-sweet chocolate and malt with used coffee grounds. Slightly bitter finish. Average all the way.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2009 01:14:33 | More by Travlr
Photo of Hojaminbag
Hojaminbag

Colorado

3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A body that looks dark brown but when held up to the light is actually a deep ruby color at the center, lightening to an orange hue at its edges. About a finger of light tan head has OK retention and leaves a few scraps of lacing behind.

There are some spicy/herbal characteristics in the nose such as nutmeg and cinnamon. The strongest aroma is that of dark fruits including cherries especially.

As you would expect, the taste follows the aroma. Up front comes a distinctive cinnamon taste followed by just a touch of nutmeg. "just a touch" is pretty relative, as nutmeg is very powerful. In Gouden Carolus Noel I would say it is equal to the cinnamon flavor. After that is a dash of anise. Next is the dark fruit that might a bit of prune, but is mostly dark cherry. Actually, the more I drink of this and the warmer it gets, the harder it is to distinguish whether the spices are first, or the fruit comes first, or they all occur at once. Either way, each sip brings something just slightly different. The back of my nose hairs burn a bit from the alcohol, and a touch of alcoholic taste comes a long with the warming. Underneath all of this is some malt, which I would say taste like a biscotti with a slight almond flavor to it that pairs with a toasted flavor. Maybe this is a bit strange, but just saying "biscuity" didn't cut it here.

Moderate body, but fairly high carbonation. I think the body works for the flavors here.

Pretty drinkable beer overall; a little boozy-tasting though.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2009 21:48:53 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of mdmako
mdmako

Michigan

3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - colored dark brown with light tan head. The head retains beautifully and there is a ton of lacing. Looks incredible!

S - Bananas that are beyond ripe mixed with much spice is very powerful. You can also smell the high alcohol content. There is almost a creamy smell to it as well. Comes together to give off a solid "christmasy" smell.

T - Much more balanced than the smell. There are a lot of spices, mostly the ones associated with christmas. Maybe a little cinnimon and nutmeg. Still some banana flavor but not very powerful. Some alcohol taste but between that and the spices you get a nice warming taste.

M - Warming yet medium carbonation. A crisp start with a somewhat smooth finish.

D - A definate choice for those christmas times. I drank it in the summer and still enjoyed it though.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2009 03:01:49 | More by mdmako
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!!

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2009 06:23:16 | More by wordemupg
Photo of dankbrew21
dankbrew21

Missouri

3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 5/27/09

Bottle has a picture of Santa riding a sleigh pulled by horses instead of reindeer. Pured into my widemouth kasteel glass. Beautiful big head. Dark brown, almost no light coming through.

Aromas of sugar, slight banana and lots of spices. Tastes full flavored and warm! Has a slight coppery taste to it. No unpleasant alcohol burn but the warmth lets you know it's there. Some brown sugar and cinnamon come through. Very tasty indeed.

Medium drnkability.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2009 16:22:42 | More by dankbrew21
Photo of thierrynantes
thierrynantes

France

4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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°).

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2009 18:42:24 | More by thierrynantes
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a raisins, dark friluit and some pine. Estery as well.

The taste consisted of a sweet caramel, raisin, candy sugar and a touch of alcohol.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty and complex strong ale.

Serving type: on-tap

07-23-2009 16:55:35 | More by plaid75
Photo of jjboesen
jjboesen

Maryland

4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A loud "POP" of the cork and off we go .... Into the glass goes the "Noel;" up from the bottom arises a cream colored lather that settles into a russet liquid, dark and impervious to any natural light. Some carbonation bubbles escape from the bottom. The lacing on the glass is of a moderate proportion.

There is, upon initial nose, a subtle, but sweet, whiff of cherry supplemented with a slight caramel ester. The palate is overwhelmed by a pervasive cloyingness that brings one to mind of raisins carmelized in brown sugar. Sweet.

Nevertheless, there is airiness to the body, but a heavy induction of alcohol is there to tweak the mouthfeel; the balance is subliminal.

This Noel is a fine Yuletide quaff that makes me realize why I like the holidays. Bon Noel!

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2009 22:12:58 | More by jjboesen
Photo of meatmallet
meatmallet

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown in color with a thick foamy tan head. Head is creamy looking and lasts forver.

Smell: Smell is full of dark malts, orance peel, spices, and vanilla.

Taste: Taste has the sxpected spice flavors with a little hint of pepper. The alcohol mixes nicely with carmel malt and toffee. A little bitter on the finish.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Full body and medium carbonation make it easy to drink. The after taste is not as good as should be expected.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2009 19:12:19 | More by meatmallet
Photo of goblet
goblet

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the bottles size is 750ml with a nice christmasy label with a date of 8/21/2010 popped the cork and gave it a pour into my goblet.

Appearance:nice fadeing fast frothy head ,little retention time the color is a deep brown with reddish highlights, after a few sips got specks of lacing .

smell:lots of malt and whisky alcohol aroma with fruits perhap prunes and figs ,very little hops are evident in this brew ,some spicy grains.

Taste: the whisky/scotch alcohol flavor jumps out at you, an odd blend of maltiness some weird spice that i can`t quite place .it`s complex and all over the place ,some dark fruit some grains,interesting.

Mouthfeel:medium body and malty and very spicy feel on the palate,very complex with alot of alcohol after taste .

Drinkability:it`s very complex and open to alot of interpretation ,is it christmasy ? i don`t know, maybe with a fruit cake but that has alot to say .

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2009 15:17:44 | More by goblet
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a dark mahogany color. A large beige head forms on first pour. Good retention, and lots of sticky spiderweb looking lace down my chalice.
S: A sweet and fruity aroma. Dried dark fruits. A dry wood aroma. Plenty of alcohol burn from the start.
T: Follows the nose. Sweet malt and dark fruits. A bit on the dry side.
M/D: A full body with a moderate level of carbonation. After a quick snap on the tongue, a good creaminess follows. The alcohol shows a bit to much for me. As it warms the alcohol comes out even more.

An enjoyable beer. I can tastes every bit of the 10.5% ABV. Similar to Cuvee Van De Keizer. Fans of that beer (like me) will enjoy this, but this seems to lack some of the complexities that Van De Keizer has.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2009 01:22:06 | More by champ103
Photo of raoulduke37
raoulduke37

California

4.63/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Toronado SF in December, and now in a bottle that I purchased from Healthy Spirits. I've been looking for this one for a while.

Served it into a goblet for myself and a large Duvel tulip for a friend. Head looks phenomenal in the tulip, but not so great in the goblet. Beautiful dark black with ruby highlights.

Smell is subtle but molasses, figs, and raisins are detectable.

Taste is spicy up front, followed by bananas, chocolate cake, and some ripe fruit, spice on the exit, too. Very complex and tasty.

Much smoother than Cuvee VDK, which is also very good. But this is creamy and leaves only a slight tingle on the tongue. Despite the high a.b.v., I'd still love to drink these all night. Just wish it was easier to find.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 04:56:51 | More by raoulduke37
Photo of NoHipTee
NoHipTee

Washington

3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a chilled bottle.

A: dark amber appearance. Medium head that leaves a moderate amount of lacing. Thinnish froth that quickly settles to a pleasing "just big enough to touch my mustache" thickness.

S: a sweet odor that does hint at the high alcohol content a caramel and "old english" after shave scent.

T: a sweet almost dessert type of belgian ale that leaves a hint of licorice and anise on the palate. Not bitter at all. Not a very complex beer.

M: somewhat thin and watery for all the flavor and odor packed into this bottle.

D: Drinkable but not at the top of its class. Smooth but not good enough to linger in my memory much past my next trip to the bathroom.

A good beer but not a great Belgian.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2009 04:59:44 | More by NoHipTee
Photo of wl0307
wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
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!!

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2009 20:07:51 | More by wl0307
Photo of bobsy
bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at the Abbot on the Hill. Pours a lucid mahogany with a generous tan head that slowly fades, and laces well. Very spicy, sweet aroma, with hints of caramel and cinamon. I'm getting lots of caramel in the flavour, which is very malt-forward. Lots of dark fruit too, with cheeries, raisins, aniseed, chocolate and spice. There's a lot going on here, and I don't think I'm quite nailing it. The carbonation contributes to a smooth body that goes down well. An excellent winter beer that disappeared all too soon.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2009 23:10:58 | More by bobsy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Lucky Baldwins 10th Annual Belgian fest on 2/15/09.

Pours a clear dark brown/red color. 1/2" head. Decent head retention and lacing.

Aroma is of a belgian brown ale. Sweetness and black licorice are present.

Flavor is of roastiness, sweet cherry, black licroice, and caramel. Wonderfully complex and interesting. A little peppery too.

Body is medium and very drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2009 20:55:30 | More by t0rin0
Photo of tai4ji2x
tai4ji2x

Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle. best by date of 20/08/11

dark, dark ruby color, almost opaque. no sediment at all. nice beige head slowly recedes to a wispy layer. nice lacing.

aroma of licorice and sweet caramel candies. rasins, cherry and plums, then more licorice and maybe cinnamon or nutmeg. more malt, caramel and cola. grassy hint from the hops in the back?

cherry fruit and maple syrup sweetness on the palate, with more caramel. licorice, cinnamon, anise and nutmeg to the spice note. gentle hop bitterness. cherries mix with gentle phenols and trace of alcohol.

not too thin, smooth. finishes with slight texture. lively carbonation is almost spritzy, but backs off just in time to remain subtle and complementary.

nice, but overall just a little TOO much going on with the sweet/spice spectrum.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 23:45:55 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of ChillMike
ChillMike

Alabama

2.95/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked this up on sale at BevMo, they were trying to get rid of some of their holiday brews so I couldn't resist.

A: Very opaque mulberry red color that has a nice medium sized tan head that recedes quite quickly but leaves a nice bit of lacing around the glass.

S: Scents of cloves, bananas, brown sugar and almost a wine-ish alcohol smell. Almost reminds me of Glühwein you'd have during Christmas time at a German outdoor market.

T: Very sweet taste, overly sweet, wow like tons of sugar sweet. A bit of some spice, but I can't seem to get passed the sweetness of it, it's like drinking bubblegum juice that has been saturated with more sugar. Then again it does have an oddly sour type taste as well. Sweet and sour should be reserved for chicken not Belgians.

D: Nothing too drinkable to me about this beer, it's a bit pricey, the taste is just a bit too off for me and the alcohol a bit much.

MF:Kind of a thin body but pretty good for the style.

Overall I just didn't really care for this one too much, it's a shame I was really looking forward this one as I usually really enjoy winter Belgians.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2009 07:30:35 | More by ChillMike
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked & caged bottle 2008 version. I shared this one with some friends as I thought it would be a chore to kill the whole bottle. Into a snifter.

A-Gouden Carolus Noel pours out a semi thick looking syrup. It has a dark brown to mahogany/copper like color. A very weak head tries it's best to even reach 1/2 of an inch in height but it doesent have the legs to achieve it. Maybe a bad bottle?

S- A whole lot of dark fruits including those in the citrus category. Ripe banana % spicy yeast. Some figs, dates and a lot of prunes in the nose. As it warms some candy like gum comes up as well as spices.

T- Follows the smell with the prunes overshadowing the banana. Some raisins and caramel with a pinch of chocolate. Nutmeg and cinnamon and toasted malts. A lot of sweet sugars with some cherry & licorice in the finish.

M- Light to medium bodied with some carb make this one an easy drinker. This is a little flat at times and could be more lively. A bit of alcohol in the mouth plus some warming effects.

D- At 10.5% this one's a sipper for sure and i'm glad i shared the bottle as I probably would not have finished this alone. Not the best BSDA but worth a shot. The balance of the flavors could improve.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2009 17:35:12 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of Suds
Suds

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This dark reddish-amber brew has a fantastic aroma. The smell is, at first, dominated by lightly roasted malts, but soon a load of esters pop forward. Banana, clove, and peach are prominent. By the time the beer warms a little, though, the aroma is full-on licorice. The licorice flavor is intense and penetrating. Wonderful range of smells! The flavor is also interesting, although it tends to be a little too sugary for my tastes. Malt is the foremost taste. Lots of residual sugars (you can taste them on the lips). There's a little yeast, and a little alcohol. Nice warming...nearly tongue numbing by the end of the bottle. The beer is medium in body, and lower in carbonation than it could have been. Firm, long lasting, soapy head too. Not bad at all..

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2009 20:21:38 | More by Suds
Photo of LennyV
LennyV

New York

3.15/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Growler purchased at halftime. Pours a dark mohagoney into my Leyerth Breweries glass. Small tan head with some nice lacing.

Smells of alcohol and malt.

Taste if full of ,at with some mouth warming alcohol. Finish is dry.

Mouth feels silky smooth, nicely carbonated.

Not my favorite. This brew is all malt. I prefer some more hops to balance the tastse. Abv is 10.5% so drink carefully

Serving type: growler

02-01-2009 03:01:43 | More by LennyV
Photo of Raligitano
Raligitano

Slovak Republic

3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pardon me, I get carried away. It's easy to get sucked into the multihued eye of this beer. Glows. The pink grapefruit edges gradually deepen as you approach the middle of the glass, where the center radiates the darkest of grape purples. A whisky meregue finger of head lightly laces the glass; it's hard to disturb this beer.

Oven's open and there's chocolate-cherry cookies baking. I'm the hungry blue monster, roaring for that bready, sweet maltiness. And the other odors just overwhelm me. I'm sure some of you pro-drinkers out there with bloodhound noses can distingush a lot more scents that I can. At best, I'd say this stinks like a hard fruitcake that's been regifted one too many times. The kind that's solid enough to wrap a death threat around it and chuck through someone's window.

Everybody raise your hands: who likes fruitcake?

It tastes better than the one I dared to eat so many years ago (shudder). Take raw cookie dough and throw a sugarload on top. Add dark plums, prunes, bananas, cherries, and...uh, what the hell are those evil, green cherry-looking things on fruitcakes? Bake it. Pass the brandy cognac. Booziness dominates here and burns on the finish. Biting. Serve shots of this beer at the bar. There's a rich and creamy mouthfeel like the melted center of a posh, chocolate truffle.

I'm not too far removed from my paperbagging 40oz days. Some think too much alcohol and sweetness ruins a beer - too bad for them. Not amazing, but on a lonely Christmas Eve, I'll curl up next to a warm sidewalk grate with one of these bottles.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2009 09:23:44 | More by Raligitano
Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
89 out of 100 based on 673 ratings.