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Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas - Brouwerij Het Anker

Gouden Carolus Noël / ChristmasGouden Carolus Noël / Christmas

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

662 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 662
Reviews: 440
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 14.65%


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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas Alström Bros
Ratings: 662 | Reviews: 440 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Fatehunter
Fatehunter

Oregon

3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thin head with a reddish/brown colored body.
Smell is a hefty dose of licorice and chicory coffee. Heady but nice.
Taste is licorice also. Quite sweet overall. While it's good, it lacks complexity.
Texture is sticky, medium to thicker body and low carbonation.
A warming ale for sure but the licorice was a bit strong for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2012 01:50:11 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of Vec2267
Vec2267

Florida

4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - murky brown, ample tan foam that comes back to life with a swirl, nice lace

S - anise, sugar, dark fruits (raisin), orange, alcohol - incredibly aromatic

T - anise dominates, molasses/brown sugar, raisin/figs, cinnamon, alcohol not evident - very complex - lots of dark fruit flavors

M - lush, rich, enough effervescence to not become syrupy

O - fruitcake in a bottle - everything from Het Anker is a malt bomb - this is no exception, but there is a ton of spice to provide balance and contrast - the complexity is what makes this beer

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2012 00:05:58 | More by Vec2267
Photo of MadScientist
MadScientist

New York

3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is a dark copper with excellent clarity. The light tan head is rocky with decent retention and leaving moderate lacing on the glass.

S: Moderate raisins and red cherry esters with a some alcohol sweetness and very light molasses are the first smells to greet you. There is a light aroma of dark malts and some prunes as well. No hops a light diacetyl. There are very light spicy phenols.

T: A mix of dark cherry fruitiness, caramel malt sweetness and alcohol dominate the flavor at moderate levels. There is a moderately-low hops bitterness and no perceived hops flavor. The spiciness is far more pronounced in the flavor than the aroma coming to dominating in the finish with the alcohol and some slight bitterness. The balance is fruity and spicy with a slight tilt towards the bitterness while having a dry finish.

M: A medium-light body with moderately-high carbonation and a light slickness that makes it feel a bit heavier on the palate. There is a substantial amount of heat with out being hot and some creaminess.

O: This is a dark complex beer that doesn't hide the booze but certainly makes it go down some. While not my favorite style this one hits most of the style points but manages to be a bit of a mess for my taste with a syrupy fruit start and a fairly dry finish.

Bottle mark is "26/08/11"

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2012 01:27:00 | More by MadScientist
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4/5  rDev +1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-14-2012 01:11:02 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Eddxii
Eddxii

Florida

3.05/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled in September 2010, this particular bottle of Gouden Carolus Noël has definitely had some time to ferment further in the bottle. The result is enhanced sweetness and an unfortunate muddling of its several spicy and fruity flavors into a solid, if uninteresting, dark strong ale. It pours a cloudy dark amber with a medium head that dissipates immediately. A healthy off-white lacing around the surface carries on from start to finish.

It begins with a medium body, but as it finishes the syrupy side comes though to add thickness. The aroma is soft and sweet, but overly underwhelming. I will say that for a 10%ABV, you can hardly taste the alcohol elements behind the dark fruit. The Noël carries the spiciness you’d expect from a Christmas beer, but nothing too overpowering and nothing too “Christmas-y”. The sorts of spices that come out beneath the fruit notes are just as welcome in May as they are in front of the fire in winter. A subtle licorice pervades every taste, but it never goes fully into raw anise. Its muddy nature does a disservice to the various fruit flavors therein, with only a dark cherry really emerging from the more general dark fruit flavors.

Overall the Gouden Carolus Noël represents a decent Christmas beer. There are better and there are certainly worse. Though on tap this beer was not the best, the flavors that emerged from that serving far outweigh the cloudiness of tastes that take over after aging.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2012 15:18:54 | More by Eddxii
Photo of falloutsnow
falloutsnow

Illinois

3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle from Beertopia in Omaha, NE
Bottled 2010-09-16
Poured into a New Belgium globe glass

Gouden Carolus Noel is one of my preferred winter Belgians, as I can always expect it to feature robust anise and malt flavors blended to perfection. While a bit "hot," the spice and malt flavors are strong enough to overpower this in all but the mouthfeel. A nice, pleasant, warming beer that is superb for winter sipping.

Pours a 2cm head of light tan bubbles, small in size and fairly dense, with good retention, eventually descending to a 0.5cm cap atop the beer. Head leaves a complex labyrinth of lacing as it descends, and is modified and reinforced with every sip. Body is a very dark brownish-red amber color, fairly transparent, with plenty of visible carbonation streaming up along the sides of the glass.

Aroma of strong anise atop caramel malts, dried cherries, and modest ethanol. The dominant scent is definitely anise, but it's supported nicely by the other fruit and malt components.

Flavor opens with a complex arrangement of spices that range from anise to mild cinnamon and cumin. Just below the spices is a rich, dark maltiness, very similar to a dubbel malt bill, that introduces some caramel or diluted molasses flavor with dark Belgian candi sugar. Belgian yeast esters add dried cherries and dates. A mild flash of ethanol in the close, more complimentary than anything else, leading to an aftertaste of candi sugar sweetness and some residual anise flavor.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy bodied, with medium level carbonation that is rather "soft." Alcohol is fairly well felt, warming and mild burning along the tongue, nostrils, and back of the throat. Aside from the ethanol, the beer is pleasant to sip, the mouthfeel being smooth and pillowy, aside from the heat of the fusel alcohols. Finish is semi-dry with little remaining stickiness.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2012 04:32:36 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of jeremy13586
jeremy13586

Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A bottle from this past Christmas that I found tucked away.

The color was a very deep amber, with ruby around the edges. The head was a shade light of khaki and it disappear rather quickly.

I didn't get too much in the nose other than spice and alcohol. Some faint dark fruits.

Spicy and herbal. Some mint and booze. A bit of a sweet backbone. A bit muddy. Finishes with the slightest hint of chocolate.

Pretty smooth overall. Medium bodied.

I've had this in years past, but found it pretty unexciting this time around. I've only had it on draft before and found it to be more enjoyable in that format (or at least from what I can remember). I'll have to buy and drink a fresh bottle next winter and see how it compares.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2012 06:01:17 | More by jeremy13586
Photo of Ricelikesbeer
Ricelikesbeer

Colorado

4.55/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I made sure to buy one of these (750 ml bottle) around Christmas time this year to see what I thought of it at a later date. Today is 4-14-2012. The date on the bottle reads 9-8-2011.

A:

Hazy pour, heavily carbonated, The bottle gave off plenty of smoky-looking fumes from all of the co2 escaping. the beer is a murky dark brown, almost a purple-ish color with red highlites held up to light.

S:

A heavy whiff produces plenty of spice character, mostly licorice or anise. There is a sweetness there behind that smell, but it is pretty overpowering. I can pick up a slight hint of bready malt as well.

T:

A deep gulp gives me a huge burst of flavor on the tongue, mostly sweetness up front, then spice and more anise, then booziness and a good balanced dryness. This is a big beer all around, and the dryness really helps drink this beer. I get a lot of the typical gouden carolus candy sweetness. I am reminded of gummy bears or jolly ranchers. The maltiness is really juicy and complex. A bit more layers even produce the typical stone fruit flavors. This one is really quite sweet though, which I typically enjoy. There is no hop presence here anywhere in the experience.

M:

Medium-heavy body, but the carbonation/dryness of this lends to a velvet-like smoothness. Their is a lot of alcohol and warming sensation, but the alcohol isn't super solvent.

O:

This is a big/sweet monster. The anise flavor is almost overwhelming, but the overall complexity of the yeast and other sugars dials this one in for me. It is very sweet and more of a nightcap or dessert beer, but I really enjoy it. I'll buy this one each Christmas time, and I even was inspired to brew something quite similar.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2012 02:48:16 | More by Ricelikesbeer
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle, best by 3rd August 2010. I bought this at Chevy Chase back in 2008 IIRC.

Pouring a very dark brown, black almost, with reddish brown highlights, this beer is capped with a dense, light brown head with excellent retention and very nice lacing. The nose is a spice bomb. A blend of mace, nutmeg and anise, with some eucalyptus, cola, mildly burnt sugar, this is a little too spiced for my liking. The cola notes here bring to mind discount sodas. Alcohol is reasonably well hidden. In addition, there's quite a bit of dark fruit present, with prunes and figs.

The palate opens with the mildly burnt sugar and cola being most noticeable, with the spices following. Again, the dominant notes are mace and nutmeg, with a little bit of clove and cinnamon thrown in. The burnt sugar does pair well with the fruity notes, making this rather dessert-like.The mid-palate is moderately sweet, with buckwheat honey, more cola and a mildly minty alcohol note. A little sweet yet drying on the finish with lingering burnt sugar, cola and mace, this beer is medium bodied and has a nice, creamy carbonation. One thing I haven't mentioned yet is the yeast, which adds a mildly bubblegum-like flavor. The flavors here are nice, but really, not quite for my palate. Recommended, this is one of those beers where the whole is better than the sum of the parts (and hence, my overall score of 4 despite the S/T/M being 3.5s)

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2012 01:18:52 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of SLeffler27
SLeffler27

New York

4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black walnut and cloudy with a modest, creamy almond head that lasts a while. Creamy lace follows each sip.

The Dogfish Head snifter nicely showcases aromas of plum pudding, clove, cherry cordial, and fresh, ripe fruits. Sweet malt is exquisite. With warmth one can perceive cantaloupe.

Flavors include fresh figs, plums, and some funky yeast. Light sweetness continuously unfolds with new layers and a background hint of bitterness just before the finish. The finish is long, subtle, and spicy. As anticipated, this beer warms well.

The alcohol is well controlled in this full-bodied beer with a velvety texture and modest carbonation.

A nice beer with conversation or reading. Late peppery notes lend themselves to compliment a sirloin in this excellent holiday beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 19:51:32 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of RickS95
RickS95

Indiana

3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep creamy brown, slightly purple hues mixed in. Very thick. The head is slow forming with small brown bubbles and good retention.

Lots of spices fill the nose, along with a healthy dose of malt and plenty of dark, ripe fruits. The high ABV also comes through giving it a port-like scent.

It's malty, very wine-like and even tastes 'thick.' Lacing is really good. Alcohol in the finish.

It's a bit on the sweet side. Can't say it enough, it's thick. It really coats your tongue. A bit of heat from the alcohol in the finish. Despite the sweetness and stickiness, it's slightly dry with an earthy finish.

It's not a bad beer and it's something I could drink a couple of an not be disappointed, but there are some rough edges to prevent it from being a really good beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2012 03:10:09 | More by RickS95
Photo of 6string
6string

Germany

4.85/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hands down, the best Christmas brew I've had so far in my quest for good beer. My wife first picked one up for me in France, so when we made a 2nd trip, I picked up two more bottles (and continue to regret not buying more!).

Poured in my Delirium glass, mild head, poured a dark but clean (no sediment) appearance. Hints of chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, a real Christmas aroma, if you will. The taste was very smooth rich, leaving hints of caramel, coffee and chocolate. No bitter aftertaste, and you can feel the 10% but there's no aggressive attack. My first bottle cooled in the fridge just over two hours and was nice and frosty when it came out. I let it warm a few minutes before I really dove in!

I know 5's are supposed to be rare, but I truly believe, personally, that for me this beer could not be improved. It's an awesome beer, I'd easily buy a case to keep on hand for friend and family occasions.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2012 20:14:06 | More by 6string
Photo of arizcards
arizcards

Arizona

4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle in late October from Total Wine for $8.99. The gabby guy from Diamondback Distributing mentioned this is the 2010 edition.

Beer poured brown with a decent off white head on the initial pour.

Nose is dark fruits.

Taste is dark fruits and some pepper. Balance is nice. A nice backbone and a decent hoping keep this from being overly sweet.

Mouthfeel is classic belgian smoothness, definitely medium to full bodied. Very satisfying to sip on.

Overall a very tasty brew, definitely fits the mode of the style. Glad i had a chance to try it!

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 02:12:57 | More by arizcards
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

4.65/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Two year old cellared bottle. Poured into an Ommegang flute. Pours a very dark red brown. Half finger fine light tan head with good retention and nice lacing. Looks good. Aroma of dark fruits, sweet dark malt, cherry and brown sugar with the dark sugar dominant. Delicious dark and light fruit, malt with the typical aged malt component. The sour fruit flavor has attenuated and blended in the the dark fruits and dark malts. Nicely integrated now. Full bodied and creamy, complex and a delight to drink. This two year old aged bottle is still an excellent strong dark. I'm not sure if it has improved, but it doesn't matter much.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2012 04:21:20 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark rusty copper/brown color with minimal cap of khaki bubbles, little lacing. Strong notes of anise with notes of prune and fig lead with notes of brown sugar and light molasses. Taste leads with initial bite of spice from the anise, sweetness expected from the nose isn't as pronounced and gives a light pastry like quality - pizzelle cookies come to mind and peg the season perfectly. Rum soaked prune and fig on the back end and settles into a pleasant, lightly sweet brown sugar note. Medium bodied, could use a touch more heft to stand up to the bold flavors. Overall, pegs the season perfectly and quite unique with its flavor profile - only a few minor concerns with body and ability to drink more than 10oz or so.

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2012 15:17:15 | More by rfgetz
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2012 14:01:26 | More by metter98
Photo of tenesmus
tenesmus

United Kingdom (England)

4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap in a straight half glass at the Sand Bar Manchester.

Minimal off white head that soon faded, vigorous carbonation, the beer had a dark, almost black appearance, although held to the light one could see it was not as dense as first appears - not dissimilar to Coke to be honest.

Fragrance was enticing, of liquorice and stone fruits.

First impressions when tasting was of a velvety smooth beer, any heaviness lifted by the carbonation, a great wet kiss of liquorice dominant in the mouth with a complex aftertaste, plenty of spice such as anise, cinnamon, plus sweet malt. Very pleasant, hardly notice the alcohol content and a real hit with the Badminton group.

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2012 15:07:21 | More by tenesmus
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First beer of my Beer Nutz flight 5oz pour was $2.75

A - Very dark hazy brown with some tan colored head. Lacing is and head is nice on this one.

S - Smells of typical Belgium with dark fruits, mostly dried cherries, and some candied sugars with yeast notes.

T - Pretty balanced the ABV is kind of notable. The dried cherry aspect gives it a nice tartness which I enjoyed next to mild burnt sugars and other fruits.

M - Medium to heavy this one was a sipper for sure.

Overall not one of the best Belgium's I had on tap, sweet for sure but ABV was kind of noticeable.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2012 19:21:35 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

3.3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750mL bottle poured into large snifter

Pours a deep almost purpley blacked out color with a beige head resting on top. Faint retention with some spotty lacing on the glass.

Rich malts with a plethora of dark fruits. Candied notes with raisin, date, and fig. Sweet but still malty and somewhat boozy.

Dark fruits up front with a hint of burnt sugar. Dates and figs with some candied notes. Decent malt backbone, somewhat roasty, caramel and molasses notes are present. There's a faint metallic note somewhere in here too. Warming alcohol is present throughout, especially towards the finish.

Fuller body, decent carbonation, a little chewy and soft on the tongue. Pretty much middle of the pack for the style here, but not bad.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 04:41:38 | More by xnicknj
Photo of ummswimmin
ummswimmin

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up a couple weeks ago in "holiday" themed beer purchase. I bought many different Christmas beers, and this is one of those purchases.

This beer has a sweet and sour smell. You get fruity sweetness, almost like fruit loops. The sour is from the belgian influences. The flavor has as many layers to it as well.

This is a very good sipping beer. I really enjoyed sipping it while watching the Jersey Shore. They paired well.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 02:20:09 | More by ummswimmin
Photo of ales4baldo
ales4baldo

California

4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P-winter landscape with Santa flying over what probably is a small Belgian town.

A-foggy nutmeg brown. A bit cloudy and dark with a misty feel. Almost no head retention. Poured thick and smooth.

S-Belgian candy and ripe plum. Belgian malts and yeast as well. Black licorice and chocolate notes.

T-basically everything I mentioned above. Nice sweet notes and smooth alcohol hints roll on the tongue nicely. Belgian candy really keeps the beer nice and sweet but not overpowering.

M-really smooth and silk like. Alcohol presence is very soft and light. Carbonation is crisp. Full bodied and delicious.

O-this beer is going to age very well. Really good and smooth with lots of character and body. A really good beer and what I expected.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2012 04:58:34 | More by ales4baldo
Photo of psuKinger
psuKinger

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle given to me by my buddy Griff, because we didn't quite get to it during our blind Belgian Christmas Beer tasting. Poured into one of my New Belgium snifters.

A: Pours a deep deep dark brown, trending towards almost-black, with a thick frothy off-white head on top, with large pancake-batter like bubbles towards the middle.

S: Lots and lots of candied sugars and sweetness, a touch of bready yeast notes, and maybe a hint of dark licorice.

T: The dark licorice notes are more clearly expressed in the taste. In fact, I think it might be the most prominant of flavors. Candied sugars and a touch of raisins are underneath. The finish is dry with just a touch of bitterness.

I genuinely enjoy the black licorice notes here, but I feel as if it may be a touch unbalanced and overpronounced.

M: Light and creamy, with decent carbonation and plenty of dry sweetness left behind on the finish.

D/O: This is a prime example of why I disagree with people who write reviews based on a 2-ounce pour. 2 ounces into this glass, and I was really digging the strong licorice notes. Half way through? I'd grown weary of it, it's imbalances became more noticable, and notes of banana started to show through as it warmed, which I really didn't think worked with this brew. Drinkability is not "high" here. I suppose I would be willing to revisit at some point, but this is far from a "must have" Christmas beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2012 00:47:45 | More by psuKinger
Photo of Vixie
Vixie

Illinois

3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours what at first looks black, but when held up to the light it is actually a deep ruby red. Forms a large tan head which lasts for a bit.

Hard for me to tell exactly what this smells like, but it's is nice. Reminds me of Christmas goodies being bakes, fruit and cinnamon and spiced cider.

Very spicy beer here. Starts out hot, a lot of spice and the alcohol is very much present, a surprise for this style of beer. Tastes a bit like cinnamon candy as well as raisin and a bit of pepper, all backed by alcohol.

Feel is smooth and full.

Very much an interesting beer, it's a bit spicier than I expect for the style. There is no doubt this is a holiday beer, the smell and taste fit in perfectly with that time of year. A bit too strong to drink a lot of, but a good one to have on a cold night, it will warm you right up.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2012 02:08:41 | More by Vixie
Photo of thecheapies
thecheapies

Pennsylvania

3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

*2011

750ml bottle into two brandy snifters.

Dark, plummy brown. Bubbly head recedes to a static ring with some washy surface foam.

Big yeasty aromas with loads of fruity esters, vinous qualities, and spice notes. Sweet licorice, rum raisin, attic, blackberry jam, clove, and booze.

Spice notes on the tongue with big, dark, toasted malts in full force. Very tiny on the hop. Boozy finish with a warming throat-swallow. The licorice is there again, but more subdued. Winey, in a light-bodied red sort of way. A little metallic or tinny. A lot happening on the roof of my mouth as well.

Leading into mouthfeel, this is a wet and milky brew. Medium-high carbonation. Feels like a Belgian Strong Dark, for sure, but this one's still a bit hot. More complex than most Belgian Christmas offerings on the nose, maybe not so much on the taste. I remember it being much more satisfying when I've had it on tap.

*2012

2012 Gouden Carolus Noel, assumedly. 'L0870'. Poured into a Corsendonk Christmas goblet.

Pours a dark brown with lots of swirling floaties. Hard to control the head during the pour, but it's sitting at a nice cropped lip--khaki in color.

Nutty Belgian yeast, raisin, dried trail mix fruits, candi sugar, and other quad-like aromas. A little vinous, a little bit of red currant.

Surprisingly, not the licorice bomb that were the last few years'. Unhumble yeast strain exercises nutty and sweet esters. Candi sugar, raisin, desserty breads, dried dark fruits, alcohol, and a hint of sweet licorice rope. Standardized versus previous vintages; it's more of a typical Belgian Strong Dark, but not exceptional or exciting. Still an elegant holiday beer. A drink I want to drink.

Hefty in the body with some added creaminess. The carbonation picks up in the back of the throat. A rich feel.

A beer enjoyed more by myself in the past two years. It's been ramped back on the spices, but it still fits for what it is... a well-made Belgian Christmas beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2012 03:51:51 | More by thecheapies
Photo of Brabander
Brabander

Netherlands

3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, this is a funny beer with a taste and smell which is totally different from other Christmwas beers.

I bought this beer in the shop of Bierparadijs in Meer, Belgium.

Poured in my Struise glass this beer looks very nice, deep darkbrown with four fingers head. Nice, no... superlacing. Bottle best before november 2014.

They trew a lot of 'anijs' in this beer and that makes this beer very nice to drink. Very soft and round drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2012 21:30:45 | More by Brabander
Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
89 out of 100 based on 662 ratings.