Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas - Brouwerij Het Anker

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

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BA SCORE
88
very good

730 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 730
Reviews: 455
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 15.48%
Wants: 24
Gots: 52 | 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
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Ratings: 730 | Reviews: 455 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kiddynamite920
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A reddish, dark brown with a head that is a mix of tight laced bubbles and large bubbles. Showing signs of lacing with some short legs.

S: Aroma is quite full of Belgian yeast characteristics. Sweet, banana and bubble gum with some alcohol esters. Also picking up some mint but nothing along the lines of cinnamon or clove. A bit of prickly alcohol.

T: Taste is actually quite crisp, sweetness of the Belgian yeast at first that finishes quickly with a good carbonation. Alcohol is very well hidden here and can only be detected on the very end of the sip. Big on the banana and sweet estery notes. Dark fruit notes with some bready qualities. Still having a hard time deciphering this from a BSDA, looking for something wintery here.

M: Carbonation seems low on the initial sip, yet builds as it begins to sizzle on the teeth towards the end. The body is nice on this beer and you certainly get no heat indication of the abv.

D: Very enjoyable beer, very drinkable. Not what I would expect from a Christmas style beer though. So judging this stylistically it is a great beer, but when they slapped the word "Noel" on it I would hope for something that reminds me of the season.

Photo of rarbring
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A light hazy brown orange beer, a solid off-white head leaving good lacing, and is having curtains.

The smell is fruity, sweet syrup, licorice, like stepping into a fine candy shop.

The taste is complex, swinging between licorice, green Stilton, dried figs and port wine.

Medium carbonation, soft and a full complex body.

A very nice Christmas beer, rewarding to just sip and enjoy.

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 BMoney575
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 11-29-10
3-8-10 date on bottle.
10% abv.

Pours a very deep and cloudy brown color, with just a slight tan head right in the center. Very thick and viscous-looking.

Smell is intense caramel malt, sweet and buttery, with lots of alcohol to really liven things up. Aromas of nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove are there, adding a nice complexity.

Taste is the same caramel as the smell at first, followed by an unexpected kick of hop bitterness. The booze comes in next, accenting the bitterness. The finish is tart and earthy, will more bitterness on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is very slick, with a nice thickness. Mild carbonation keeps things suits the flavors well.

Drinkability is quite good, the flavors are big but well balanced and the abv helps more than it hurts.

Overall, a very good beer, if not particularly unique.

Photo of mithrascruor
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a solid dark brown/black color. Head is off-white and slightly tan; fairly creamy with some big bubbles. Slowly dissipates into a heavy film.

Smell: Initial aroma of fruits (cherries, pear, and plums in particular). There's a hint of sourness in there too.

Taste: Again, quite fruity with plums and pear. There's a great level malt sweetness - not too sweet, though. A bit of honey, anise, and other spices come out later, and then there's some bitterness at the finish and into the aftertaste (which is mostly honey and bitterness). There's some warmness, but no outright taste of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and quite smooth. Doesn't feel dense at all. Moderate amount of carbonation, but it is very light and tingly; not distracting at all.

Drinkability: Very drinkable - despite the high alcohol content, it isn't present in the flavor. And the taste is good without being too intense.

A very nice Belgian Christmas-time ale. The flavors here are a bit different from some others, but it works quite well. The alcohol gives it a nice "winter warmer" effect too, without actually tasting the alcohol.

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

Pours with a short, creamy tan head that hangs out forever as a thick film over a deep brown body with orange edges. Plenty of carbonation present. Great lacing.

Light, citric aroma, touch of peppermint, and then licorice root comes through as it warms.

Flavor is of black licorice candy, with a touch of ginger and honey. Fruitcake-like candy / candied fruit comes through as it warms.

Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth and creamy - almost reminded me of a nearly flat ginger ale, with more depth/body.

Big points on drinkability - this would be a lot of fun on draft, and if you ever need to choke down grandma's fruitcake, just pour one of these to pair with it - it would make it taste good.

Photo of grittybrews
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured cola black with a finger of fluffy khaki head. Strong, sweet aroma of molasses and licorice spice.

Moderate carbonation and a thick, creamy, borderline-syrupy mouthfeel. Intense, almost overpowering black licorice sweetness up front with caramel and hints of banana, citrus, and spice. Quite a bit of boozy warmth on the finish.

Sugary licorice really overpowers this beer, rendering it cloying and almost Jägermeister-like. Hard to have too much.

Photo of rand
3.45/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From bottle to wine glass

Aged for 1 year

A: Pours out a dark brown, completely opaque, forming a big fluffy head. Amazing retention - as it very slowly recedes, the brew leaves a wall of sticky lacing.

S: The nose is ripe fruits and freshly baked sweetbread. Big tropical tones accent the fruity profile...mango, papaya, banana. Alcohol volatiles and carbonation stream the yeasty brew - powerful aroma.

T: The fruity esters dominate the front of the sip and the tropical tones of the nose are immediately noticed. Figs, raisins, and a raspberry/strawberry candy tinge join in. The alcohol warms but doesn't bite - surprisingly subdued for it's style and ABV. Although there are the many described layers of flavor, there's little to balance the sweet, fruity onslaught, and the sugary sweetness can be a bit much. Finishes sweet and sticky.

M: Rich, creamy, frothy. Carbonation is light, and the full-bodied complexion leaves a trail of residue with each swallow.

D: Definitely meant to be sipped. This brew is far from boring, but it's not delicious: there are a lot of sweet fruity layers to be pondered and observed, but the flavor profile is disjointed. It might take me awhile to drink through this.

Notes: The brew has a lot of interesting characteristics and an expansive flavor profile. And I love Het Anker. But ultimately there's just too much going on and the multitude of tastes almost confuse your palate. Although I like beers with unique and complicated profiles, I like the flavors to blend into a sort of singularity. This brew's flavors, although interesting and distinct, are conflicting and awkward.

Photo of nerdrocker101
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with ruby hedges. The head is tan and lays on the body like a blanket of dirty snow. Lacing linger mostly at the ring but become sparse below the surface.

The nose is spicy with hints of mint. An odd description I know, but nothing I haven't experienced before and certainly not a turnoff.

Sugary and malty. Like some sort of holiday pudding or bread. Somewhat spicy with an almost dry characteristic like cinnamon gives off.

Warming with a medium-full body. Not too bubbly, but enough to accentuate the warmth of this brew.

Very good Christmas ale. This would make an excellent accompaniment to Thanksgiving dinner.

Photo of jsh420
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

guessign this bottle to be 2 years old

pours cloudy amber brown with a 1 finger tan head that left no lacing

smells of nutty fruit malts belgian yeast and some booze

taste - oh yeah thats the stuff - semi sweet nutty caramel toffee fruity malts leaves a nice aftertaste of chocolate malt

mouthfeel is light little thin with low carbonation - very smooth

drinkability is good - very easy driniking for a 10.5% brew

Photo of adrock7309
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 2010 bottle i picked up at Four Firkins into a small Chimay goblet.

Head was small and what little was there faded quickly.

Aroma was typical belgian with some bready yeast, dark fruit, cherry, and plenty of candied banana. There was also some mild spice.

Flavor early on was mostly dark fruit and bananas. As it warmed the banana flavor faded slightly and a ton of koolaid like cherry introduced itself. I was patient with this beer as I thought it would be more quad like and less fruit. Overall i was satisfied but wouldnt buy it again.

Photo of Trizzle
1.65/5  rDev -58.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours lively - a shaken coke, and like a shaken coke it's big sparse head fades in seconds. Body is a not unpleasant red brown but hazy even at room temp.

Aroma is big and there is plenty going on.. Candy sugar, acetone, cherrys, stale port, orange rind, alcohol and some Belgian yeast. A motley and jarring combination.

Taste? Fuck. Well, nail polish remover and cherry sherbet dominate. Cheap white rum, more stale port , some cola and toffee syrup' Very cloying. I know I've mentioned white rum but the alcohol is actually reasonably well hidden. (behind cherry sherbet and acetone)

Medium light in the malt, low carbonation.

Obviously not my sort of drop and very undrinkable for mine.

This was supposed to be my after work Friday treat. I'm tipping it and switching to my Bunnahabhain single cask. So there.

Photo of impending
4.11/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml into a tulip. Pours an opaque mahogany with medium coffee ice cream colored head which receded fairly quickly.

Aroma of port wine reached me from the bottle. Nose is strong, intense, dark fruits about to rot which someone spilt port wine upon - wonderful, very interesting.

Full bodied chewy mouthfeel. Definitely a Noël brew. Sweet, figs and other dark fruits plucked from a rum cake. Anise and nutmeg are prominent, excellent complexity. Phenols can be the bane of a belgian, here they are aggressively, exquisitely blended. The warmth of the alcohol keeps the taste in balance. The aftertaste which is the sum of all the flavors lingers nicely.

A good example of a brew only the Belgians provide.
cheers
jd

Photo of Thorpe429
3.2/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice dark brown with some garnet hues. Nice of white head. The nose brings forward some dark fruits, booze, and quite a bit of wintry spice. Lots of black licorice. The taste is caramel, bread, dark fruit, dates, alcohol, and some nice nutmeg, clove, and a bit of other spices. Loads of anise. Overpoweringly so. Medium mouthfeel; a bit creamy. Drinks quite well and is a nice addition our holiday lineup.

Photo of bamadog
3.03/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Review is from notes taken on 10/9/2010 and poured from the bottle to a tulip.

Appearance: Pour is a dark cola brown and starts with a 2 finger fluffy tan head with decent retention; body is dark and murky, almost entirely opaque; thick fluffy strands and webs of lacing are left behind as the fair head slowly dwindles to a full and uneven frothy cap.

Smell: Smells like a TON of over-ripe, dark fruits, Belgian candi and spices; definite presence of alcohol. I'm a little nervous about the sweetness now as I'm feeling it's going to be cloying... Not awful and nice and robust, but damn, that sweetness...

Taste: Yep, overly sweet and ripe dark fruits and lots of them; lots of the Belgian candi and what would be a nice backing of caramel malts if they weren't totally owned by the fruits and near-cloying sweetness; definite booziness and presence of the Belgian spices (cardamom, cloves, etc.); bit of a mess and medicinal (not in a good kind of way, but like a syrupy sweet cough syrup or flu medicine) and alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Body is of medium weight with moderately strong carbonation that is not overpowering and very fitting for the style; a moderately thick and semi-dry coating is left behind and the belly is left feeling just a little bit warm from the ABV.

Drinkability: Meh -- not something that I'll be seeking out as it's too sweet and medicinal; the ABV would also prove to be a bit much as well; ultimately, if the sweetness is something you like, this may be your beer, but as for me, I like a bit more balance with the spices, and if it's going to be sweet, I like it to be more from the caramel maltiness as I feel it blends better and allows other aspects to come through.

Photo of megahurts4
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gouden Carolus Noël (Christmas)

Appearance: Brown, medium head, and good lacing.

Smell: Figs, dark fruit, cotton candy, and alcohol.

Taste: Dates, figs, malts, and cotton candy.

Mouthfeel: Medium thick.

Overall:
Wow, this is tasty! It starts off with the figs and dates with a finish that is sweet like cotton candy. This is a great noel.

Photo of flagmantho
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip. My bottle indicates 10% ABV rather than the above-noted 10.5%.

Appearance: deep, rich, hazy brown with one finger of tenacious light tan foam head. Quite attractive.

Smell: sweet, rich & complex dark fruity malt aromas: plum, loose tobacco, cherry, pear; quite a delicious aroma indeed.

Taste: flavor has much of those aforementioned characteristics but is at the same time brighter and mustier. The flavor starts off with a bit of a dusty flatness and then morphs into a brighter (though still understated) tartness at the side of the tongue. Both of these states readily complement and amplify the tasty fruit flavors. I'm loving this brew.

Mouthfeel: plenty of body and an extremely smooth, well-crafted creaminess. An excellent experience.

Drinkability: I've a hard choice here, as it is hard for me to rate something with 10+% ABV as very drinkable. But I love the flavor, so here goes: I would go out of my way to have this beer again.

Photo of ricke49
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown with as much lacing as i've seen anywhere.

S: fig pudding

T: Fruity with lots of subtle alcohol at the back

M: Very enjoyable; good body (though thiner than expected).

D: would be better in winter or at least on a cool day....but even on a warm day the alcohol taste was not over the top and blended well with the figgy, date, raisen essence.

Photo of brystmar
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage on draft at the Freakin Frog in Vegas.

A: very dark brown, mostly opaque, one finge of off-white head. Lots of white lace adorns my glass.

S: tons of winter spices...mmmm!

T: fruity, sweet, spicy, and delicious. A tiny bit overly sweet, but balances out nicely with the sharp spiciness and alcoholic warmth.

M&D: full-bodied and delicious. Easy to drink if you're into spicy winter brews. Recommended!

Photo of bonsreeb85
4.63/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

X-mas 08

Lasting tan head over a drk brown body.

To sum up the smell: Spicy, malty and rich. Lots of drk fruits with assorted holiday spices, run soaked raisins and whiskey notes.

Flavor you ask?? malt biz-omb! Super sweet at first followed my lots of spice. The alcohol is pretty well hidden. Very rich and did I mention delicious?

THe feel is full bodied but not heavy in the slightest. Not as super carbonated as many other Dark Belgian ales, but isn't flat either. the texture is super silky and slightly syrupy.

Wow, I gotta say that nearly 2 years did wonders for this beer. Very balanced and delcious. Another winner from GC. Cheers!

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a chalice)
A- This beer has a deep dense brown body with a fizzy sounding light tan creamy head that beads lacing on the glass with each sip. There is a sea of microbubbles that glide up the side of the glass.
S- This beer has a brown sugar aroma with hints of cider and a slight woody note that takes on more of a cardboard quality as it warms but in a pleasant way.
T- The slightly sweet dark toffee flavor has brown sugar notes and some brown malt qualities about it with a soft alcohol note. The dry caramel flavor blends with a cider hint and a dry spice flavor in the finish grows as the beer warms but still remains soft and mysterious.
M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a very fine fizz that fills out the mouthfeel with each swallow. There is no real alcohol heat noticed.
D- This beer has a dry but fruity quality to the flavor and it rich but well blended in its complexity with flavors working well together. The alcohol is very well hidden.

Photo of DaveHS
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish brown with a thin, dark tan head. Almost no lacing. Aromas of dark stewed fruit, anise, chocolate covered cherries, pumpernickel and the obligatory nutmeg and cinnamon. Strong flavors of brown sugar, overripe banana, caramel, and anise. A flavor reminiscent of "circus peanut" candy in the back palate. The body is milky and rich. It seems to melt into the palate, creating a lingering finish. Very pleasant fresh, but I prefer bottles with a few years on them.

Photo of voteforgoat
2.7/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

From Winter 2009, drank May 2010

A - thick tan foam, almost black beer, with ruby highlights in the light

B - smells sweet, and slightly like bread dough, can smell the alcohol. Gf says it smells like Rodenbach, which totally surprised me, but decided there's some truth to that. We both agree it tastes nothing like it of course.

T - sweet taste, can taste the alcohol, malty, spice and gingerbread flavor

M- medium thickness, coats the tongue, lightly carbonated once the foam settles.

D-not as drinkable as other Gouden Carolus I've had ( a little cloying) but I'm still enjoying it. Have a bottle in the cellar. We'll see how it ages.

addendum - by the end of the bottle, I was not enjoying it much at all. Quite cloying, a little bit like cough sirup or herbal.
Really lingering taste still hours later. Unpleasant.

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 pzrhsau
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
88 out of 100 based on 730 ratings.