1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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

690 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 690
Reviews: 445
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 14.94%
Wants: 20
Gots: 35 | 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: 690 | Reviews: 445 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Sammy, Mar 04, 2007
Photo of t0rin0
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

t0rin0, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Lucky Baldwin’s Delirium Cafe in Sierra Madre, CA.

Pours a murky dark brown with a foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, medicinal spices, and licorice. Taste is much the same with a licorice flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some nice aromas and flavors that make it easy to drink.

UCLABrewN84, Aug 14, 2012
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

djrn2, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +1.3%

zestar, Sep 17, 2014
Photo of Thorpe429
3.2/5  rDev -19%
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.

Thorpe429, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of nmann08
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

nmann08, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

metter98, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
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

brentk56, Jul 20, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.6/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Murky tawny with bright cranberry, orange and lemon highlights. As wonderful as the liquid itself is, the head is even more gorgeous. The golden brown sugar colored crown filled more than half the glass on the initial pour and was a reverse cascader that would have made a nitro pour blush. It's also a lace maker extraordinaire. A fantastic look.

There's no letdown in terms of the aroma. It's heavily spiced and dark fruity with a whiskyish edge to it that I love. It smells like this will be a big, bold, fascinatingly complex beer. I hope so since those are the best kind.

Gouden Carolus Noel is everything that I hoped it would be and more. I was impressed with Gouden Carolus Classic so I know what to expect from Brouwerij Het Anker. As the nose portended, this is a big, full-bodied, sweet, spicy BSDA. I wish I knew the spice additions because they add so much to the flavor profile.

The bottom floor is a massive malt base that brings to mind heavily roasted barley, molasses and raisin puree. The next few floors are occupied by Scotch whisky-soaked figs, dates and plums. And the penthouse suite of this towering skyscraper of a beer is where the spices live. I'll take a stab and say... ginger, clove, nutmeg, anise, coriander and sweet orange peel. Oh yeah, and chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

Quite a few Christmas beers remind me of fruitcake. This one reminds me of mincemeat pie (minus the beef and the suet, of course). Its sweetness won't be to everyone's liking, but I absolutely love it. I'm having a hard time thinking of another beer that I'd rather sip at the conclusion of a multi-course Christmas feast. Just make sure you pour it into a crystal snifter.

The mouthfeel is pure pleasure. It's heavily silky, and even sticky on the finish, without being the least bit heavy. In my experience, only Belgian brewers are able to create big beers with such light, almost ethereal, mouthfeels. A typically Belgianesque amount of carbonation would not have worked, so it's a relief that the bubbles are so well-behaved. Noel is still far from subdued in the mouth, however.

Gouden Carolus Noel is one of the best Christmas beers that I've ever had the pleasure to drink. I'll have to check my reviews to be sure, but it might be the single best. I haven't yet completed my Christmas list this year. Given the fact that I've thorougly enjoyed the top half of this 750 (and can't wait to savor the bottom half), I'd have to say that a case of this incredible ale has just made its way to spot number one. I'm feeling pretty merry right now and expect to feel even merrier with each passing ounce. This is glorious, glorious beer.

BuckeyeNation, Dec 17, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In true Gouden Carolus brand fashion, the namesake carries a breath of flavor that's equally as succulent, rich, and drinkable as their Cuvee van der Kiaser- exceeding expectations.

Upon the pour, the beer revealed a deep brown, solid ruby hue, with a mild murky translucency. The head retention was uncanny, with a great ability to lace.

Aromas are big, plump character of malt, berries, fruit, earthyness, and mustiness. Flavors are sweetly malty, toasty, tart, sweet, fruity (plumbs, dates, figs, grapes...) woody, nutty....I could go on for hours. The beer just has a tremendous amount of complexity and well balanced to boot.

The texture is a soothing, alcoholiclly thinned, mildly tart, rich, mouth filling roundness. Finishes with a balanced dryness and sweetness and a lingering grape, malt flavor.

This one is certainly a classic. Possibly even better than the Kaiser.

BEERchitect, Jan 26, 2007
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a deep burgundy brown color ale with a huge foamy head with great retention and good lacing. Aroma of sweet candy and anis is dominating and quite enjoyable and almost reminiscent of Rochefort. Taste is a nice mix between strong Belgian malt, sweet candy and anis. There is some sweetness but it never goes overboard and provides great balance with some light typical Belgian yeast. It appears that this brewery just won’t stop to amaze me with all those great beers.

Phyl21ca, Feb 27, 2007
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

ygtbsm94, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

jaydoc, Nov 03, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark chestnut brown body topped with a quarter inch off creamy, off-white head. Very thick, very coating lacing as it goes.

Smell: Earthy, spicy, malty nose with notes of anise, prune, black currants and, wait, is that Jäger I'm smelling?

Taste: Sweet caramel, spiced molasses, black licorice, and candied fruits blended with a full shot, no, make that two shots of Jägermeister. The heavy malts, fruits, and bitter herbal liqueur all vie for dominance. Who's the winner? Well, I'll just say you get a bit more Jäger on the dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Chewy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Grr, when I get my hands on whoever dropped a shot of Jägermeister in my Gouden Carolus Noël, I'll take my shoe to them!

ChainGangGuy, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2/5  rDev -49.4%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +1.3%

JAHMUR, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of largadeer
2.1/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Draft at The Trappist. Dark amber-brown with fair clarity and a sticky off-white head. Smells strongly medicinal; herbal with black licorice, cough syrup, menthol, caramelized malt and solvent. Palate is similar, huge kick of anise and mint, strong on the herbal/medicinal flavors. Alcohol is less noticeable on the tongue. Finishes with semi-sweet dark candi sugar and an herbal astringency that reminds me of bitters. Not particularly enjoyable.

largadeer, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hard to get all the "Noel" festivities accomplished during the holidays proper, so, now, while things have calmed down, and the Canadian Juniors have driven me to drink...

This beer pours a cloudy, over-mixed iced tea brown colour, with two thick fingers of thin billowy off-white head, which settles at an even pace, eventually rendering just a low ring of lace around the glass. It smells of stewed fleshy fruit - banana and plum, primarily, some brown sugar, and straight, edgy booze. The taste is big, big fruity malt - dates, raisins, and sweet cherries - nougaty, nutty thin toffee, boozy, fermenting red grapes, and muddled Christmas spices - cinnamon and cloves being at least somewhat discernible. The carbonation is noticeable, but fine and agreeable, the body pretty full and creamy, yet still a bit airy. It finishes with a zingy, soused fruitiness, and an echo of toasted caramel malt.

A whole lot of modern Christmas jammed into this bottle, yessiree. However, it's less the obvious sweet and spiced usual suspects, and more of the relaxed and mellow, but also an underlying restrained insanity so currently associated with the season - simpler than you imagine, but easily dismissed until it's all over...

biboergosum, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Carefully poured, it's deep ruby body is just slightly hazy and appears almost brown beneath its full head of frothy tan foam. The head retention is quite good and it leaves some very nice lace as well. The nose is rich and exciting but not overtly bold, revealing more and more of itself with each sniff. Cola (cardamom) is evident upfront, backed by a note of sweet black licorice (from star anise) and some prune-like fruit. Nutmeg and cinnamon creep in along with some tropical fruit, the suggestion of caramel and cocoa, and a splash of thin alcohol. It's lightly tingly across the tongue with an exceptionally fine, median carbonation and a medium light body. In the flavor, fruit is initially suggested with a combination of berries, cherries, pluums, and tropical notes that quickly become drenched in cola syrup. Chocolatey notes approach but hesitate to actually make an entrance; and sweet anise becomes dominant at the swallow. Alcohol skirts around the edges as well, always present but without ever really making itself known. It finishes dry but with the suggestion of sweetness, similar to molasses; and with a light dusting of ginger and peppery spiciness. Quite remarkable! As complex as it is, it's actually very focused. An impressively spiced holiday ale that deserves a place at the dinner table: working equally well as an apertif, mid-meal accompanyment with a wide variety of dishes, balancing dessert beer, after-dinner drink or night-cap. A brilliant diamond in the rough!

NeroFiddled, Jun 28, 2004
Photo of Jason
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

Jason, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mad Mex Robinson I'm going to say thanks to Nick, he's one of the bartenders/servers who has had experience working at the Sharp Edge Creekhouse. Needless to say I know he's a fan of Gouden Carolus Tripel and if he saw that they could get a keg of the Noel I'm sure he swayed somebody to make that decision. Appearance: Deep ruby brown light white bubbly effervescent head scattered lacing on the chalice. Aroma: Deep plum spiced nutmeg and other chirstmas spices infused with warming alcohol fruit notes of raisins and apples, nice. Taste: Strong sweetness layers of spice, fruit, and alcohol complexities. Not quite as solid as it has been in the bottle, but damn good nonetheless one of the best Belgian Christmas offerings. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied solid carbonation effervescent tickles the palate a bit. Drinkability: A winter warmer of a devine caliber draft was an experience definitely amazing in the bottle but still great flavorful experience on tap.

WVbeergeek, Jan 17, 2006
Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +1.3%

nickfl, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Kegatron, Dec 17, 2007
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 release, on-tap 12/29/09 at Julian's in Providence, RI, served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a bright crimson color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, Belgian yeast, dark fruit and some spice.

T: The taste is fruity with strong flavors of cherries, other dark fruits and brown sugar. Then a bready Belgian yeast and hearty malt character follow. The hops presence is mild but complementary. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean for the style.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, deceptively strong kick, good representation of style, this is a nice stronger Belgian-style beer to drink for a while until it starts to catch up with you.

TheManiacalOne, Dec 30, 2009
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
89 out of 100 based on 690 ratings.