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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

764 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 764
Reviews: 469
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 15.23%
Wants: 27
Gots: 64 | 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: 764 | Reviews: 469 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gford217
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 750 mL bottle poured into a goblet.

Pours a clear copper topped by a one-finger creamy head that lingers as a small cap for a few minutes and leaves good lacing.

The aroma is fairly subtle and mostly sweet caramel malts and candi sugar. There are hints of spices but not much and certainly less prominent than the alcohol whiffs I got.

The taste amps up the spices a bit with a definite peppery finish. The sweetness of the candi sugar and dark fruits are dominant up until the finish where the peppers and alcohol are more detectable.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth with decent carbonation. It's sticky sweet on the palate with the peppers tickling the tongue at the end.

This is one of the better Belgian holiday ales I've had, mainly because I actually enjoyed having that slightly peppery finish which differentiated it from a normal BSDA. Tasty.

Photo of Shiredave
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one poured a dark red/amber color with a clotted tan head that slumped quickly leaving lacy spatters behind. Very clear with slow carbonation visible.

Aroma is classic Belgian holidaleish - rich toffee and deep fruit notes along side some dark grain and chocolate scents. Alcohol is evident but not quarrelsome with the softer aromas.

Flavors of the same ripe fruits and candy sugar sweetness flood the mouth up front. Rich, dark malt flavors mix in and then vanish to leave a strong smokey bitterness and lingering caramel and alcohol sweetness.

Body is medium to almost full tho something seems missing- this has all the components yet fails to impress. I think this may mellow in the bottle in 2 - 6 months into something a little more rounded and complex - complexity and meshing of flavors may develop with a few months age. Very easy and tasty to drink - went real well with roasted and salted pecans and brie on crusty bread.

Photo of Chinon01
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Rum butter, toffee, candied fruit, roasted malt, a little chocolate, and bubble gum sneaking through; but intensifying in the finish with chocolate covered raisin and blue fruit. Gentle hop bitterness in the back. Fantastic mouthfeel and very good drinkability.

Photo of pinotboy007
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased as a (chilled) single at Arrowine, Arlington, VA.

A - Held up to bright light it reveals a gorgeous, deep, very dark mahogany with garnet accents. The head is decent with moderate lacing.

S - Spice cake and leather.

T - Delicious and the best Christmas ale I've ever tasted. Has a splendid array of sweet fig, dates, a touch of toffee, and even some cola. It's not THAT sweet, but the flavor profile is amazing.

M - Liquid velvet.

D - Even with the high ABV this is more than drinkable and will be a total pleasure to enjoy during the coming holidays. Cheers! :)

Photo of bigkahunas4
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served from a 750ml into a wine glass.

Poured a rich cola body, with hints of cranberry. A nice tan head emerged, with some really nice lace. The nose revealed some serious sugar, with notes of raisin.

This smoothness of this is second to none - incredibly velvetty. Taste is rich in fig, with hints of nutmeg bringing in a winter warmer profile. Slight alcoholic finish.

Quite spectacular. Perhaps a bit too sweet, but a really nice bottle to pick up for the holidays.

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a dark mahogany color with two fingers of foamy tan head.

Aroma of Belgian yeast, dark ripe fruits, figs, licorice, brandy, and an earthiness.

Taste is sweet with dark ripe fruits, licorice, raisins, candy sugar, with a cocoa and malt finish. The 10% alcohol is definitely present.

Medium bodied, smooth and creamy, with very light carbonation.

A big beer as far as Christmas ales go. Slow down and enjoy this one.

Photo of Brianmerrilyn
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this one when waiting for a Bear Republic tasting at David Copperfields.

A: Served in goblet to reveal a murky velvet dark crimson color with a khaki 3/4 finger of a head that settled into a tight cap with strong retention.

S: The nose was full of dark fruit and coco but not overpowering.

T: I knew the abv of this beer before I ordered and could not believe how undetectable it was. Gouden Carolus is the most lucsious Belgian Dark Strong Ale I've ever had. Enormeously rich cand Syrupy sweet. The malts do not have a spicy bite at all. Brown sugar, dates and figs mix together to deliver a smooth fruity package.

M: The smoothest delivery I can recall in some time. The rich texture of this beer slides through your lips around your mouth and down your throat with complete ease, all along tasting yeast, spice and lost of candy.

D: I could not think of a better beer to go with various occasions. A wallop of sweetness packed with power and a smooth delivery make this an exceptional beer.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - an 11.2 ouncer poured into a standard tulip yields a brownish amber brew in the bottom half and a creamy light tan pack of suds in the top half. Very sticky as it falls back, leaving thick trails and waved of sheeted lacing. Some big bubbles popping leave craters in a few spots, messing up the even drop of foam.

Aroma - licorice, a fruity dark spiciness of some sort. An essence of estery vapor hints at the potency of the brew. A touch soapy at times and I sometimes think I'm picking up a touch of metal, but it could just be the anise with the other spices.

Taste - anise immediately, some chocolate notes, wow, some serious abv warmth at the back of the throat and on down into the belly. Sweet malt sugars pair up with the anise for a sugary, estery rush. Some spicy, earthy depth to the anise on the swallow. The finish doesn't stray too far from that; a dry, berry sort of flavor, some chocolate still (chocolate covered cherry?).

Mouthfeel - very full in the mouth as the high carbonation really blossoms this open once you get a sip past the teeth. Slightly syrupy and heavy, I think it does the beer well.

Drinkability - I enjoyed it. It is a slow sipper, a good choice while watching Christmas shows or wrapping gifts. Probably worth aging one to see what time would do the the hotness. A fine choice to celebrate one more week until Christmas Day. :-)

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

Appearance: Pours a dark cranberry-ruby-orange. Nice head and lace

Smell: Heavy and dark with a touch of whiskey. Dates, plums, figs, cherries, malts, brown sugar, black licorice, tobacco, molasses, dark rum. Also some spices - black currants, clove, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, coriander.

Taste: I never noticed any alcohol. A little wine-like, but thicker. Very similar to the smell, with emphasis on the dark fruits. Delicious.

Mouthfeel: Good, but not as good as the brewery's top offering. Heavy and almost a little sticky.

Drinkability: Excellent. I had it by itself, but would be perfect for an after-christmas dinner treat.

Photo of SFLpunk
3.46/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750mL brown cork finished bottle. 2008.

Appearance: Poured into a Duvel goblet. Rich mahogony (reddish brown) color with a thick, fluffy tan head. Nice lacing as it receeds.

Nose: Orange peel and a little manure (barn yard) are the first things to hit my nose. Lots of corriander, a little funky wool (horse blanket), and a nice meaty smell.

Palate: There's a sliver of cork in my beer! Ok, now that was unfortunate after all the barnyardy smells to feel something like that in my mouth. Moving on: Big orange peel, corriander, and that meaty/wooly thing. The palate is spicy, like fresh cracked black pepper. Medium-bodied and a little wooly on the texture. Finish is more balanced and everything falls into place.

Notes: A little out of balance right now, it might fall together better with some age. The spices are really loud and I can't hear the beer itself. A decent effort, but I'll stick with the Cuvee and the Classic.

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

Freshly tapped in a Gouden Carolus chalice.
Cast a dusky magenta, showing lighter crimson at the edges.
Slim beige head.

Gorgeous aroma. Sweetness. Cocoa. Dark fruit. Creamy. A raisin wrapped in chocolate, dipped in brandy, set on fire. Wine-like, at times.

Slick, sweet and delicious on the tongue. Slips through the mouth and tickles the senses. Warm, and wonderful. Molasses, brown sugar, figs, and carob. Then the booze speaks up. And I agree with everything it's saying.

Long, warming finish. Never too hot, never too sweet, just right.
Spice + fruit + magical Belgian malt and yeast = perfection.
Yum meets yum.
This is just right for tonight. It's what 3 below? Holy Cow!
I have half a mind to stay right here and finish the keg. Sounds like a plan...

Photo of rtepiak
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

somewhat violent pop. pour was at first 80% latte head with tight bubbles. let it sit for a few minutes. head is still belgian massive. tastes quite nice and creamy. nice contraction. big lace. beer is a dark chestnut, almost cola. nose is light belgian cane and malt... st. bernadus proir 8 style. cotton candy and cardamon and sweet orange peel. quite a nice density. cane sugar is there but not masking everything else. honey malt, banana, orange peel, cardamon, walnut, pollen and very gentle cane sugar floral led hop finish, clove maybe. lots of stuff in here but it seems the beer takes a bit to open up due to that aggressive carbonation. don't burn on the palate though so its not that harsh. burps up banana/pumpkin bread. the alcohol is faint on the nose but hidden quite well in the beer. i like the foam but i can see it being a turn off for some.

Photo of johnd513
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a redish brown color with a nice two finger tan head. I gotta say this one looks great in my Duvel tulip. Smells of sweet fruits - cherries, figs and raisins and a cherry, a liquor smell that i can't quite place and alcohol at the end. Tastes of tart/sweet fruits - raisins, dark malt and alcohol at the end. The mouthfeel is light yet very smooth. Drinkability is decent but I don't think I would have another because of the high alcohol content and high price tag.

Photo of illidurit
3.31/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Dark cloudy brown color with a creamy tan head that leaves nice lacing. Aroma is boozy with lots of orange peel, cinnamon, and fig. A little too boozy for me though. Flavor is similar; there's a sweet dark maltiness doused in fusels with tropical and dark fruits and heavy spicing. Full bodied and warming, not hugely drinkable from all the alcohol.

Photo of Greggy
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- 1 finger toffee/tan head, nice dark red/brown color. Decent lacing is present. A thin sediment is suspended in the glass

S- Malty, Candy, Butterscotch, anise, green apples, black licorice. Alcohol is present.

T- Starts out with green apple, black licorice, loads of malt with plenty of spice. The finish has some heat on it that is pretty warming and almost cloying.

M- Low carbonation with thick mouthfeel. Alcohol can be felt, however.

D- Because of the heat, this isn't extremely drinkable, but wasn't un-drinkable. I'd say, worth a shot.

Photo of glid02
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a clear deep brown color with a one-finger white head. The head dissipates into a patchy layer of bubbles on top and a medium-sized ring around the glass. The lacing leaves a nice webbing on the glass.

Smells of licorice and anise, alcohol, and dark fruits, in that order. Very interesting.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet Belgian candy sugar hits up front for a split second before it's overtaken by licorice and anise. The licorice and anise stick around all the way through the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a very nice thickness that's backed up by subtle carbonation. This goes down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I'm not the biggest fan of licorice, but I still like this beer. Just know what you're getting yourself into.

Overall this is one of the more interesting Christmas beers that I've tried. Give this one a shot if for no other reason than for how unique it tastes.

Photo of essie
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I tried this on tap several months back at the Kulminator (it was only a couple weeks old from the brewery), but my notes were unfortunately somewhat sparse. That said, here's what I wrote down:

Dark in color with a nice off-white head. Smells and tastes of dark malts with a heavy anise overtone; very smooth and rich, with a medium body. Drinkability suffers a little from the heavy taste of anise and the high abv, but it's still an awesome beer that's definitely worth trying.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
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!

Photo of dino213aa
2.74/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This syrupy sweet dark ale just leaves me a bit flat. Originally poured with a one inch head that quickly dissipated never to be seen again, no matter how vigorously I re-pour. The Bros did much better at spotting individual flavors although the cumulative taste and mouthfeel resembles cough syrup... maybe an essence of NyQuil.. lol

Pretty weak offering from an otherwise strong brewery.

Photo of corby112
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours a dark chestnut brown with a large forhty head. Very malty, spicy aroma with hints of dark fruit, chocolate and pepper. Sweet matly alcohol taste up front with a dry, peppery finish with hints of raisin and dark cherries.

Photo of jwc215
3.4/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 ml cage-corked bottle:

Pours hazed brown with a tan head that descends to a patch.

The smell is of caramel candy, vanilla, and alcohol.

The taste is of caramel candy, vanilla, and a subtle apple/pear fruitiness. Very sweet - almost sticky.

It has a thickish medium body. A bit syrupy.

A bit too sweet, boozy and almost too syrupy for me to really enjoy this one too much. It has a nice enough sweet candy, with a bit of a fruity character for slow sipping, but too sweet for the whole thing - Glad to have shared it.

Photo of Flup
2.48/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

For the first time I am dissapointed witha beer from Het Anker

A. Red/brouwn colour; almost no foam, no retention

S. Spicy dominated by Liquorice

T. Too much of lis liquorice with a bit of fruits (orange?)

M. Persitant liquorice taste

D. I probably expected too much? but is is not a bee I will recommand, tomorrow I will have a hopsinjoor in order to go on with a positive image of Het Anker

Photo of gerardoluna
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sep 15, 2008
[Eyes] Dark brown like the classic color with a moorefoamy white head.
[Nouse] The aroma is festive and strong... Christmas fruity with hints of banana, malt caramel, yeast, vanilla, and brown cuban sugar.
[Mouth] Great Full body with nice and gentile carbonation, notes of flavors of sweet, strong fruits, sugar and yeast. The Afther taste is long and sweet with a touch of caramel and vanilla. mmm!

Serving type: bottle

Photo of rye726
4.51/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark mahogany with a thick tan head. Excellent lacing. The nose has spices, Belgian yeasts, dark malts, ripe fruits and candy. The taste is again a delicious blend of sweet fruity malts and Christmas spices. Full body holds a delicate carbonation. Another great brew from Het Anker.

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

A: snifter. dark, opaque mahogany color. light brown head. outstanding retention and nice velvety lacing.

S: aromas of apples, figs, plums, clove, some nutmeg. hints of anise. black currants. huge malt aroma. some honey.

T: very malty. dark honey flavors. black currant, huge spice notes, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, some light coriander. some alcohol esters. a little too fresh/hot.

M: full-bodied. bigger carbonation level than expected. big bite. a little chewy.

D: wonderful beer. needs a little time to mellow out IMO. very nice flavors and a great seasonal belgian strong.

Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
88 out of 100 based on 764 ratings.