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Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas - Brouwerij Het Anker

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

766 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 766
Reviews: 470
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 15.23%
Wants: 27
Gots: 65 | 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:
Beer added by: Gusler on 11-24-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 766 | Reviews: 470
Photo of arguemaniac
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

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

750ml corked and caged brown bottle. No date on cork or bottle.

Pours almost clear red-tinged chestnut. Little head and thin lace, but relatively good carbonation for a strong aged ale. Pretty strong smelling. Lots of alcoholic grape bubble gum, banana, black pepper in the nose. Bitter-sweet tasting. Heavy bubble gum stickiness vies uneasily against spiced medicinal alcohol notes. Some toasted malt shows through in the finish, but not enough to offset the tenacious bubble gum. Body is heavy and limp; sticky and not very exciting. I don't particularly enjoy the other Gouden Carolus beers, and this one is in the same mould.

Photo of ultralarry2006
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle. Leaves a two finger head that quickly fades to a long lasting surface layer ( i.e. excellent retention ) , and leaves excellent lacing. Body is a hazy garnet.

Smell - medicinal alcohol, solvent alcohol, horse blanket, raisins, and a hint of malt bread.

Taste - figs, raisins, horse blanket washed through with phenolic, medicinal alcohol. Solvent alcohol present in the nose, just does not show up on the palate, and the alcohol ends up being pleasingly warm and medicinal, not harsh like I had feared from the nose, nor is it overly dominating.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, semi-dry, and somewhat fizzy.

Drinkability - this is very good, but the high abv makes it not sessionable.

Photo of silverking
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First off, let me say that the cork is a nice touch. It pours a deep, beautiful, transparent Mahogony with a tan head. The head begins to recede, but never really dissapears. The lacing is exquisite. It holds for a second or two and then forms rivers and trubutaries through itself that all eventually lead to the sea of delectable belgian ale that lies below. The aroma carries warming notes of anise, dark fruit, yeast, and alcohol. The palate is very much like a nice glass of cabernet. It is a bit tart up front but then it rounds off nicely with rich notes of bread and anise. The anise carries over into the finish and joins yeast in a wonderful union of flavor. The carbonation is a little heavy, but its full mouthfeel counteracts it. It leaves a slight tackiness on the lips from it higher than average gravity. I usually frown upon this and I think that it is the downfall of many winter brew's, but somehow this beer makes it work. This beer forced a smile across my face from sheer joy.

Photo of dragonWhale
2.33/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The most intriguing thing on tap at Washington Commons in BKny. Well, the 2nd most, but that wasn't on tap anymore.

Brown and murky. Mysterious and dangerous. Smell of spices, malt and anise.
I sip, anise. I gulp, anise. Everything I taste, anise. Bullshit, anise. Unbalanced, overspiced, kinda gross. This will be my last affair with this beer. I'm actually exceptionally puzzled that this was deemed a worthy affair by these brewers whom I consider to have mastered the art of not deluding me into thinking their beer is good. Unfortunately, this will make me think twice of ordering any of their beers in the future.

Photo of sbanacho
2.25/5  rDev -42.9%

Photo of Luiz0930
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of janubio
4.41/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep broown colour, with red reflections to the light. Medium beige head that does not hold for too long, but leaves a good lace. Smell of earth, spices, maybe pepper, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, dried fruits, candy, anis, licorice... Medium body and carbonation, it felles great in the palate, creamy and rich. Taste of licorice, dried fruits, clove, vanilla, cinnamon, caramel. Great.

Photo of chanokokoro
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33 cl bottle poured into an unbranded goblet

Pours a dark amber with a one and a half finger off-white head. Above average retention and abundant lacing. The nose is complex, some orange peel, boozy, rum-soaked burnt raisins, light earthiness and a bouquet of spices. Caramel and vanilla notes right off the bat, prunes, date, dried black cherries join in complemented by brown sugar, anise and ginger. Finishes semi-dry with warming alcohol. Smooth, silky, light syrupy mouthfeel, low carbonation. Overall a very nice holiday brew. Throughly enjoyed this one and won't hesitate to revisit it next year.

Photo of teromous
1.94/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Dated 23/09/09 on bottle. 1PT 9.4FL.oz in a corked bottle.

A: Pours a medium brown color into what becomes a very dark brown and nearly black glassful. It has a substantial cola-tan head. The lacing consists of very large bubbles and the head stands up pretty well.

S: It smells sweet and slightly fruity (prune-like), with some of the malt coming through. It has a hint of licorice smell. I can smell the alcohol, and there is a hint of metal. The scent isn't all that pleasant because the alcohol and metallic scents mask most of the complexity.

T: It has a strong flavor to it, almost like a barleywine. It tastes a little off compared to similar style beers...it could just be the age or a difference in brewing methods. It's authentically Belgian but it doesn't taste quite right. It's a little sour and I can taste the hops but it's not bitter. I don't get any "Belgian Yeast" character at all. It's very roasty.

M: The mouthful is a little raw. It bites back with an unpleasantness which makes it hard to drink. On a positive note it is a large bold beer that says "I'm here".

D: I can't drink more than a bottle of it. It has a very high alcohol content, and when drinking it you can taste it. The roasted flavor amplifies the alcohol flavor somehow and just makes it hard to stomach. It's not blended together well. I would not drink this again.

Photo of jjboesen
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
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!

Photo of Snellgg5
5/5  rDev +26.9%

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 roblowther
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of wiscokid920
4/5  rDev +1.5%

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

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.

Photo of EdFed
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of KindaFondaGoozah
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of deac83
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of fx20736
4.67/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 4pk from Beers of the World in November 2013. Poured from a 330ml bottle into a St Bernardus Chalice. Served at cellar temp.

Appearance: very dark with a tan, foaming head, scant lacing.

Aroma: Licorice. Lots of licorice i]with a touch of cloves in the background. Maybe some earthy spearmint too. Very unique, quite intoxicating.

Mouthfeel: soft, supple, bouyant.

Taste: Burnt brown sugar/ molasses with a spicy, spearmint kiss.

Notes: Unlike any other Belgian Dark Ale, this is a unique, interesting and tasty beer. Wish I had more of it.

Photo of letsgopens
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

This BSDA pours a cloudy woody brown with some bright amber highlights. The fluffy off white head recedes to just a bit of spotty lace.

Sweet molasses and fruit come out initially in the nose; dark and lighter fruit alike. Some toasty dark bread and a buttery character as well. Lots of sugary, candy-like sweetness as well.

Very sweet with lots a dark fruit; raisin, date, and some nice warmth. Rum soaked raisins come to mind. Again very candy-like in the sweetness. Raw sugar and somewhat syrupy. Some maraschino cherry and toasty bread in the finish. Like a old style fruit cake in a glass. The loaf kind soaked in rum or bourbon. Not this pansy bunt cake stuff!

Smooth and a bit syrupy with a velvety texture on the tongue. Plenty of warmth and moderate carbonation. A nice fruity/sweet/Belgian holiday treat. Not something I would necessarily drink during the warmer months though.

Photo of lmaduells
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of hurshybear
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of sweethome
3.23/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours with cloudy dark amber to brown color. An off white head, leaves little lace. Poured in a belgian goblet.

Nose of coriander and anice. Fruitiness present - dried cherries and plums. The mouthfeel is full and quite alcoholic. Rather chewy malts, but the spiciness just overpowers the malts. Hops can't cut through the spice either.

It does not take long for the alcohol strength to show itself - provides quite a warming feeling.

The spice just dominates...anice is most powerful, with plenty of coriander. Some dried fruit in the midmouth, but spice lingers on the finish.

Tone down the spice and this 750 ml would be much more drinkable. My belgian beer fan friend I shared this with couldn't drink much more than a few sips due to "over spicing." I concur.

So close, but yet so far from being a great belgian Christmas beer...

Photo of reitzbrewing
4/5  rDev +1.5%

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Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
88 out of 100 based on 766 ratings.