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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

721 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 721
Reviews: 450
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 15.44%
Wants: 24
Gots: 46 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas Alström Bros
Ratings: 721 | Reviews: 450 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of carln26
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper to brown in color. Very hazy with a light fluffy tan colored head. The nose is a mélange of toffee, nuts, dates, cinnamon, all spice and mild orange on the finish. The flavor is spice up front. Coriander, and orange peel. There is a lot of malt sweetness. Figs, dates, and toffee come through in the middle. Then some fresh bread. Mild bitterness throughout accentuated by the orange in the finish. This has a thinner mouth feel than the Cuvée Van De Keizer. A bit slick. Mild alcohol warming and a nice drinkability. Merry Christmas.

Photo of bitterdestroyer
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

wow another awesome xmas ale. wow another good gouden carolus...

appearance: nice dark brown amber. lacing was sparce. nice thick head.

smell: somewhere in the vein of chocolate covered bananas. a bit of hops and slight traces of alcohol, sugar cane, and plums.

taste: man there's a lot goin on here. sugar cane, plums, raisins, a nice bouquet of spices; cinnamon or nutmeg perhaps?

mouthfeel: nice and robust. the flavors really showed through as it warms to the taste. a lil hoppy.

drinkability: excellent. despite the high alcohol content, this beer could be drank, or sipped and enjoyed rather, until memorial day.

Photo of davidchollar
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a very dark brown with red on the edges when held to the light, thousands of tiny bubbles make an active carbonation leading to a massive tan head that stays forever. this looks similar to others of this style, and it looks so so yummy.

smells like raisin bread beer. fruity, wheaty, even some sweet bubble gum. definitely a strong abv but pretty subtle considering. there is a lot going on in the nose, and the alcohol takes a back seat to the complex bouquet of aromas.

i'm never going to drink wine again. why waste your time with that shit when there's beer out there like this. complex, powerful, creamy, bitter dry and strong. if i had to come up with any negatives, i would say this is perhaps a bit rummy. maybe it's intentional for the christmas style, but i taste rum and eggnog. not a bad thing at all. this is an excellent one to sip and quaff, sip and quaff ...

Photo of farHillsBrewer
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tasted 3 Belgian Christmas Ales and prefered this one.
The color was reddish brown with a slight brownish head.
The taste was quite complex: bread pudding, plums, caramel, cinnamon and just the barest trace of alcohol.
Wonderful warming mouthfeel and quite drinkable.
After the other 2 I tried, I wanted another of these.

Photo of beveragecaptain
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml corked bottle. Gouden Carolus Noel pours out a dark brown color with a big tan head. The aroma is nutmeg, licorice, and fruit. Lots of licorice flavor in this beer, along with dark fruit and spices. A little caramel and some flavor that is sort of smokey. Surprisingly smooth mouthfeel. Alcohol is pretty well hidden. Great drinkability. This 750 ml bottle went down very easily, and it's at 10% abv. Perhaps not as complex as some Belgians, but the flavor is very nice anyway.

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.

Photo of stof0048
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 Bottle
A: Dark brown/red, mildly cloudy, nice fluffy white head about 1/8" with moderate lacing.

S: Plums, dark sugars, touch of alcohol... nice sweet smell.

T: Hints of anise, plums, brown sugar, dark malts... This one has a slightly "bitier" taste than the 2003 I recently had. Somewhat stronger taste of alcohol than '03 as well.

M: Moderate carbonation on the tongue, rolls over the palate smoothly, medium body.

D: A little on the strong side to drink more than one in an evening, but a wonderful winter beer nevertheless. This is one of my all-time favorites!

Photo of veggiemafia
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Fathead's in a goblet.

Good dark ruddy reddish black with some remnant of a light bone colored head. Almost no lacing.

Smell is nice, rum, cherries, honey, and a good bit of alcohol. The alcohol has a character like bourbon or something.

Taste is big on a few things to me, cherries, plums, honey and alcohol. The cherry component though tastes kind of sour, like wild cherries, but it tastes somewhat artificial, and I thought it was just me, but my buddy said the same thing when he tried it. It's kind of like whatever artificial cherry flavor they add to Pepsi.

Mouthfeel is substantial and sticky, pretty nice, and carbonation really makes a pleasant appearance when you take a big sip.

I probably couldn't have more than a couple of these, that cherry thing is weeeeird.

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.

Photo of JanM
3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is supposed to be an exceptional beer but I have to say that I was not that impressed. It had a nice dark red-brown color and good beige foam. But the smell was rather faint. The taste was sweet and fruit-candy like with a streak of must. Alcohol burn in the throat and some liqourice taste after a while. It's a beer that will not disappoint anyone but I think it lacks a distinctive character. Maybe I got a bad bottle?

Photo of Dogbrick
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2004 Bottle: Sample at WFM. Dark brown with a thin beige head and decent lacing. Lots of sweet malts and spices in the nose. The body is pretty chewy with more sweet malt, ginger and fruit flavors. The finish is flavorful, with more spices and a nice woody character. The alcohol is kept in check very well too, making for an enjoyable brew from start to finish.

Photo of Bonhoeffer
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Utterly fabulous. I poured the first glass of this baby and just inhaled the aroma for a matter of minutes. Without a doubt the best aroma i have yet encountered in a beer. It had me entranced.

Flavor is just a *tad* forward on the alcohol, but still marvelous. Quite drinkable considering the intense flavor, ABV, and complexity. Definitely spiced, but subtly so that nothing jumps out at me. I'm drinking it thinking "this is spiced" but i don't think of one spice in particular, which is how spicing should be. Hops are present on the follow through, but just enough to keep the balance.

World class all the way.

Photo of tesguino
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Abelgian corked beer in 3/4 of liter bottle; smell tarred scent, also presents displays fruity touch, carbolic too; full bodied taste, thickness, a little carameled; serve in a belgian goblet glass, try with variety of goat mexican cheese, a premium gourmet beer, try too with mexican haute cuisine, like appetizer; 90% recommended.

Photo of ypsifly
4.53/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Undated 750 that is corked and caged poured into a chalice.

Deep brown with slight reddish edges and two dense fingers of light tan that has unreal retention and leaves a lumpy sheet of lace that coats the inside of the glass. Beautiful!

Lots of yeast and spices in the nose. Bananas, bubblegum, clove, nutmeg, dark sugars, raw fruitcake dough, and something that smells a bit like a freshly made holiday wreath. Awesome!

Malts and dark fruits upfront with something that tastes like Pepsi, licorice, nutmeg, sweet yeast flavors, and a dash of peppery alcohol in the background. The flavor reminds me of the '96 Anchor OSA, but much bolder with a sweeter finish. I really like this one.

Nice full velvety mouth, no oils left in its wake. Delicious. If it wasn't for the abv I could sip this in front of the fire all night.

Photo of Sigmund
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle, corked "champagne" style. ABV is 10.5%. Deep chestnut colour, large light tan head, nice lacing. Malty sweet and spicy aroma - aniseed, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cloves(?) Notes of oak and leather too. Flavour is also dominantly malty sweet (too sweet) with caramel and spices, a certain hoppy bite too. Alcohol is evident, but not overwhelming. A fairly complex beer, but too much malty sweetness keeps me from giving it a top rating.

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.7/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, no evidence of dating of any sorts.

brilliant ruby color, smooth re-forming thin layer of tightly microscopic bubbles.. lacing dries hardcore quicker than i can drink the beer. gets your fingers all sticky. aroma exemplifies the perfect boozy belgian.. big candi sugar with muted cherries, green apples, and a large biscuity heaviness in the nose. caramelized sugar. slight perfumed spice in the end of scent absorption. at a barely-cool temperature, the flavor expands on the tongue from the more pronounced flavors (warming liqueur like estery alcohol) to the lesser quirky notes (pear, caramel, apple).

thicker mouthfeel without being syrupy.. moves around spryly and goes down easy. gravity serves more to encourage sipping than to limit drinkability. very sweet for the holiday beer requirements, but big helpings of malt and yeast balance the nectar qualities with beeriness. cherries soaked in brandy.. clean herbal botanicals. liquor sting is expected like it is with a nice sipping scotch.

this is a huge beer, a special occasion beer. as far as their dark offerings go, het anker remains one of the top shelf belgian breweries doing business today.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Cork released without a struggle into a Duvel tulip that filled ‘er up with an impressive 50/50 pour of head to body. Let’s describe: Body is of dark ruddy brown cloudy pour without any light escaping save for the bottom of the tulip. Could this get any better? No. A superlative tan khaki head cap of two inch froth that is statuesque and smooth containing pour dents and thick painted on lace.

Sweet nutmeg, cinnamon and dark fruit malts pervade the nose. Some bunt cake, musty biscuit and spice aromas. [Jeepers, is this head cap incredible or what???]

First swigs: Dessert like spice wafer malt treat. Spiced dark fruit of plum, date and cocoa. Caramel and Dr. Pepper meet roasted malt notes. True to style, bold Belgian Ale with almond extract and maple syrup.Yeasty slightly coconut and bread dough. Dry lingering molasses aftertaste.

What a creamy smooth texture that needs to be experienced. Soft yet cushiony spongy and medium to full body. A bit complex and malty to be overly quaffable.

Last swigs: Molasses and sweet cocoa rummy Noël. Borders along Englisg style BarleywineAt $8.25 for a 10% ABV 1 PT 9.4 Fl OZ bomber. What a killer deal!

Beer is good. Happy beering.

Photo of tavernjef
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Everything about this beer seems to be black - color is a super blackened ruby oil capped by a tall, softly whipped yet lumpy, cinnamon dusted, light tan head. Settles off to a thin, uneven skim and the lacing is whimsically placed in thin and webby broken sheeting.

Aroma is airy and pleasantly soft yet robust of black licorice, dirt, and the blackest of black malts without much sweetness at all. Cindering hints of bright pepper phenols and anise percolate right over the top.

Taste nearly mirrors the aroma with a tender sweet black malt, fainter dark fruity nuances, and cola sryup masked in a ever present black licorice spice. Finishes with shadowy cinnamon, anise, ginger, minty skoal tobacco juice, earthy pine needles; quick, yet muffled, phenol laced alcoholic heat, some leftover cola sweetness and a drying of light throat burning sweetness.

Complexly characterized in girth that sits just above a medium body but somehow keeps a general softer sweetness and spice that's magnificently handled. Lots of subtle spicy layering and a finely heated throat burn, belly warming, and mind-boggling play between sweet and dark; and, warm and spicy. Fun stuff. It really grows on ya as you engage in its presence.

Even with all its finely set warming and spice this makes for a really nice drinker and an even finer treat. I'm becoming more of fan to these Noel/Winter Warmer-type brews and I'm thinking Winter isn't really that bad here in MN as long as I have this kind of beer around to keep me company.

Photo of merlin48
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml, corked and caged bottle with attractive winter scene art on the label, as shown in the pic. Pours a clear, ruby chestnut body with a thick and creamy tan head that rises to one inch in height in my goblet. Excellent retention and lots of clingly patch lace.
Aroma begins very fruity, with overripe bananas and dark fruits. Prunes, figs, and currants are picked up by the nose. A prominent note of black licorice is a bit distracting.
Mouthfeel begins with a chewy note of black licorice that seems to stick to the roof of my mouth. Medium to full body with effervescent carbonation.
Taste feautures lots of dark fruit esters. Prunes, figs, and currants mirror the aroma. Bitterness is served up by herbal hops and earthy yeast notes. The dominant flavor, as room temperature is reached, is chewy black licorice and spicy anise. Some clove and cinnamon are also noted. The 10.5 % abv is also noticed, and could have been better concealed.
Overall, a pretty fine winter sipping Belgian strong dark ale, but the black licorice/anise component is somewhat overdone.

Photo of Winter
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy leathery brown with a bubbly tan head that flattens out and breaks up across the surface of the body. Sweet candied aroma with a pleasant fruitiness. There's some yeast and anise in the nose also. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with moderate carbonation. Sweet molasses-like front with a nice candied fruitiness to it. Bready malt steps up right behind it. Black licorice follows. Somewhat sour and vinous finish has some very subtle and slight chocolate tones to it. Alcohol is masked nicely when chilled, but becomes more noticably when the ale warms to room temperature. This is a nice Chirstmas/Winter brew to warm the heart during the cold winter months.

Photo of ppoitras
4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at The Moan & Dove, Amherst, MA. Presented in a almost straight-sided Saison DuPont glass.

Arrives with a 1/4" beige head above the dark caramel-hued brew. Head is somewhat short-lived, yet exhibits good lacing. Aroma is sweet malts with an alcohol tinge. Taste follows the nose, with spicy Belgian notes. Mouthfeel and drinkability both excellent. Excellent holiday brew.

Photo of Padron4KM
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle no date code, poured into a grottenbier glass.
Pours the color of maple syrup, with a creamy short lived head.
Alcohol floats on top.
Big fruity aroma, melons, dates, raisins, with some brown sugar and spice thrown in for good measure.
Flavor is sweet, prunes, oranges, anise, candied fruit. a little pithy on the finish. after it warms it takes on a cream sherry like feel (with carbonation) almost a dessert type beer.
ABV is well hidden, so use caution when drinking.

Photo of Billolick
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large bottle, cork and cage, pours dark brown, murky and cloudy, dark tan head, good retention and well developed sticky lacing. Nose is strongly anise, ginger, alcohol and burnt fruits. this is a lovely and complex BSDA. Alcohol evident, warming. Notes of dark sugars, burnt fruit, smoke, vanilla, bananas, jam, dark malt. This strong brew has it going on in many directions. Fine winter treat.

Photo of GClarkage
4.65/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

01/07/05- On tap at the Toronado in San Francisco.

Presentation- Served in a tulip glass.

Appearance- A dark reddish-brown pour. Almost like liquid milk chocolate. 3/4 inch head with above average lacing.

Smell- Full of fruits. Mostly muted citrus fruits. Maybe nectarines, peaches, maybe plums?

Taste- Lots of licorice, which I normally dispise, but in this case it served it's purpose. Lots of sweet toned down fruity tastes also. Maybe a bit of burnt banana taste.

Mouthfeel- Very lightly carbonated and a full mouthfeel made this one super to enjoy.

Drinkability- Very new and odd taste to me, but was fantastic. I will be looking for this one in a bottle if I can find it around here. Glad I venutred off my path to try this one at $7.00 a glass.

Photo of RBorsato
4.8/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky copper color with a low light brown head. Strong spicy aroma (coriander and black pepper) with lots of phenolic alcohol overtones and dark fruits. Tastes much like it smells with lots of dark fruit and spices; Big and Rich !! Medium-full bodied and very warming.

Not just another Double-Dubbel ... !!

Per Label: Since 1369

($8.09 / 25.4 oz corked and caged champagne style bottle)

Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
89 out of 100 based on 721 ratings.