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
Ratings: 690 | Reviews: 445 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of EdFed
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

EdFed, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of deac83
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

deac83, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of josefnewsong
5/5  rDev +26.6%

josefnewsong, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of BeerNemesis
4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gouden Carolus Noël | 330 ml. | 10.5% ABV | 2010

Brewer: Brouwerij Het Anker
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Glass: Ommegang chalice

Appearance:
Murky brown with ruby highlights; There's little foam and it falls quickly.

Aroma:
Remarkably pungent and boozy. Plums and prunes come through amid heavy spicing. There's a whisky-like background.

Taste:
Commanding notes of alcohol wrapped in dark fruit--figs soaked in single malt, dates, plums, and raisins--and spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg. There is a panoply of flavors, including something like licorice and others I can't quite identify. All of this rests on a substantial, porous malt base, oozing chocolate, caramel. The finish is roasty, almost charred, and the alcohol leaves a tingle on the tip of my tongue. There's an almost meaty aftertaste, that I think can be attributed to the char.

Mouthfeel:
Thick but slick, it glides along the tongue as the ample carbonation leaves a prickly sensation in its wake.

Harmony:
I was suspicious at first, but this just goes to show you never to let preconceptions get the better of you. Brouwerij Het Anker has concocted an amazingly flavorful and complex brew that is a feast in and of itself. I don't know what to say about balance, other than that all the flavors hit the taste buds within such a short span, you end up processing them seconds later. This isn't bad, but it seems just a little clumsy. Otherwise, a great brew.

Would I get it again?:
Yes, actually.

Bottled: ?
Served: 01.03.2011

Price = $4.99 at Whole Foods

BeerNemesis, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of jmsedgwick
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

jmsedgwick, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of Popsinc
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: a brown pour with a minimal tan head.

Smell: the nose is sugary sweet with a large amount of organe essence and cotton candy to boot.

Taste: a nice sweetness again highlighted by oranges and light spice....cinnamon and nutmeg...the sweet n spice combine nicely to represent a Christmas kinda flavour.

Mouthfeel: a smooth and medium bodies beer. good balance

Drinkability: not my favorite of all the christmas beers but a fine drink nonetheless.

Popsinc, Nov 05, 2003
Photo of zapahoppa
4/5  rDev +1.3%

zapahoppa, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of Hobbit
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Hobbit, Aug 02, 2013
Photo of Nutwood
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Nutwood, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of Dreamer
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Dreamer, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of ianjsullivan
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: 750 ml poured into a Duvel chalice

A: Reddish brown with a nice thick brownish white fluffy head. Nice lacing and retention. When held up to the light the color is red like Santa's suit, nice carbonation can be seen.

S: Malt and sweet spice, fruity, banana and kiwi.

T: Quite a complex amount of flavors, malt and bread yeast, fruity notes on a pleasing long finish. Alcohol is present at the end, but, over all, nicely blended.

M: The ample carbonation stops the beer from being cloying. It beings creamy and finishes with cream, only at the end turning to a crisp clean.

D: 10.5 does not make this beer one to be consumed in earnest.

Overall: I don't know if they have changed the recipe since the Bros reviewed it, but, it was a great beer for me. There is a lot going on, and it could be restrained a bit better, however, the flavors do work together, particularly in the finish. There is a bit of sweet and alcohol that is not blended completely out by the hit of spice at the end. Overall though, one of the better noels I've had this year.

ianjsullivan, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of kiddynamite920
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

kiddynamite920, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of sinistrsam
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a dark-amber pour, with a small head dissapating quickly. It smelled of cinnamo and sweet malt, with dark fruits and a lot of complex spiciness. The taste definitely confirmed all of this; lots of dark fruits and spices (cinnamon, nutmet, pepper), alcohol, hops, malt. The finish was once agin very smooth and crisp, pleasant, very warming.

sinistrsam, Nov 29, 2005
Photo of Harkrank
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Harkrank, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of TLove
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

TLove, Nov 18, 2009
Photo of zookerman182
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy red color with a very small and non existent head.
Aroma is very boozy and full of dark fruit and cherries.
Taste is cherries, raisins, prunes, figs, very nice holiday beer.
Mouthfeel is really nice, almost creamy.
Sweet tasting beer with nice carbonation.

zookerman182, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of illeagle05
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

illeagle05, Jan 14, 2014
Photo of bigdaddypolite
5/5  rDev +26.6%

bigdaddypolite, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of chris1919
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

chris1919, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of KindaFondaGoozah
4/5  rDev +1.3%

KindaFondaGoozah, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of beerceller99
4.6/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

75 cl. bottle from 2003. Pours a garnet color with an off white three finger head. Smells of black pepper, vanilla, mint, and caramel with a whiff of alcohol. Has a creamy yet lively mouthfeel. Medium to heavy bodied. Has a complex fruit, spice flavor of plums, apples, cinnamon, and black pepper, among others. Finishes with a nice peppery alcohol tang.

Another excellent brew from Anker.

beerceller99, Sep 30, 2004
Photo of dmk91
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

dmk91, Jan 22, 2014
Photo of planbee
4/5  rDev +1.3%

planbee, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of John_Squires
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

John_Squires, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of Sephiroth
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think this is a 2005 bottle. Pours a nice rosewood, with a lasting head. Some lacing is noticed. I could not begin to discern the individual aromas. Spices abound.

Taste is really good. I usually steer clear of holiday spiced beers, but Brennan at Kahn's seemed pretty stoked to have this on the shelf, so I got two. This beer is heavily spiced, and I expect to buy more for cellaring until next year. Mouthfeel is heavy, and moderately carbonated. More drinkable than I expected, 750ml is no problem.

Sephiroth, Dec 13, 2005
Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
89 out of 100 based on 690 ratings.