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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: 45 | 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
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Ratings: 721 | Reviews: 450 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 77ships
3.2/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2009 Vintage, tried it Feb. 2011
From notes, on-tap@Kulminator:

A: very dark brown, cannot see through it, white head that leaves plenty of lacing
S: dark fruits (including the typical Belgian raisins), sweet malt, toffee
T: like pure liquorice, liquorice taste dominated so strongly that it was almost as if I was drinking liquid liquorice, also toffee, dark fruits, sweet malt, brown sugar, it is sweet to top it off
M: on the heavier side, certainly not thick but somewhere in that direction, certainly up there for a Belgian beer, not a lot of carbonation to speak of
D: this is basically liquor liquorice to me, quirky once but could not even imagine drinking this ever once again but who knows

Photo of teromous
1.95/5  rDev -50.6%
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 AlexF
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pour a deep ruby-brown colour. Creamy head that disappears quickly.

Fragrence of cooked grapes, anise, brownies, overrippen fruits.

Holy damn anise-sweetness-coholy! This is an intense brew. Could have use a little more subtelty. But still, it's a straight to the point X-mas brew that will warm you up. Syrupy, heavy, intense.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a mini Tripel Karmeliet tulip. 10% ABV, 03/08/10 printed on the label.

Thanks to bnieman for this brew!

A - The brew pours a dark brown, almost impossible to see through. Held up to light it's a hazed-over dark mahogany color. A nice tan head springs up and lowers slowly but with very little lace left over, especially for a Belgian.

S - Notes of pine and juniper add spice to the otherwise low nose. Deep malts and dark candi-sugar present sweetness but it doesn't stand out big. Molasses and maple are suggested too. Smooth and round, Belgian yeast and dark fruit esters are present as well but low. The heavy but low aroma lets out fig and plum as it warms.

T - Mild spicy esters give Nöel a nice little kick. Notes of pine and juniper from the nose with fig and plum bring out good characteristics. The roasted chocolate malt never gets bitter in part to the Belgian dark candi sugar. Lingering coffee flavor on the finish.

M - Medium-full bodied and smooth with a touch of crisper carbonation through the finish. Nöel has a mild spice and balanced sweetness that lingers.

D - The alcohol is very well hidden in this brew. While mild, the spice and fruit aspects really make Nöel a nice holiday brew.

Photo of wmtxbb
2.68/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Bottle poured into pint glass

Appearance: Hazy dark brew with a finger sized head on top.

Scent: Pears, dates, cinnamon, pepper and a little alcohol.

Taste: Liqourish, an assortment of fruits, molasses, maple syrup, toffee, sweet malts, peppermint, and alcohol. Finish is dry. Flavors don't seem to mix well.

Drinkability: Incredibly complex. Not something to drink on a whim. By the time I got to the end of the bottle I poured the rest of this beer out. It's a shame; I really can't put my finger on what's wrong with this beer.

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - slightly hazy deep purple, tall tan head retained very well, settling at a solid covering
S - bananas and sweet plumb, light cloves, licorice, and alcohol
T - rich plumb and grape, sweet licorice candy, clove spiciness, and a phenolic finish
M - full bodied effervescent, smooth and spicy with the high alcohol blending fairly
D - generally sweet and rich fruitiness, the alcohol is strong but well balanced and works with the flavours, a high octane holiday treat

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into snifter. Clear dark brown with ruby tinges and a thin, tan head. The aroma immediately lets you know what youre in for. Rich winey alcohol hit followed up by powerful orange-tart fruit notes with cinnamon and spice in the background. Flavour is packed with dried fruit, dark muscovado, figs and cherries. Chocolate malts also feature. Superbly balanced sweet-spice finish. The alcohol has an immediate impact with a warming glow spreading outwards. Very rich, full palate with light carbonation it carries the alcohol well.

Photo of Radome
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 330 ml bottle into a snifter.

A - Beer is dark brown and cloudy. The head is tan with tiny creamy bubbles. It maintains a thin layer throughout and has nice lacing.

S - Very rich aroma. Biscuity malt, plums, raisins, alcohol notes that remind me of port. In the background there is a vinegar smell that leaves a cloying or heavy impression at the end of the sniff.

T - The taste backs up the aroma. Plums, raisins, malt and alcohol mix together, but a heavy sweetness detracts. There is a vinegar or soy sauce hint in the background that I don't care for.

M - Body is heavy. The alcohol is detectable but not burning. Carbonation gives a smoothness but not real fizz.

D - Overall, I don't care for this as much as the standard Gouden Carolus. There are nice flavors and aromas, but they get muddled by a heavy sweetness and vinegar note that leave an overall cloying impression.

Photo of rudzud
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes taken at the Armsby Abbey's yearly Belgian Christmas on 12/15.

*2008 Vintage*

A - Nice dark mahongany pour with a one finger head that is super thick leaving massive side lacing along with big thick clumps atop the brew.

S - Mostly subdued muted notes of dark fruits and licorice. Really nice sugar notes.

T - Powerful almost salty fruit notes. Kind of weird but theres a light olive and prune/dark fruit notes. Very random flavours with that salty interplay but there is some nice strong earth notes.

M - Light body with low carbonation. Not syrupy at all. Just feels great on the tongue.

D - Tastes really good but that odd saltyness throws me off. Light mouthfeel is good but some aspects of this dark ale could be better.

Photo of ocelot2500
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown, almost black color with a tight off-white head that leaves a god amount of lacing.

Smells of sweet, dark fruits and some alcohol.

Tastes of deep fruit notes with a spicy notes. Fruits are characterized by raisins and figs. Sweetness is moderate. Spicy notes of ginger, clove, and anise add depth to the sweet fruits. Alcohol is noticeable, but is pleasant in its presentation as it does not overpower anything else presented.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation. Has a sticky, syrupy finish which works well with the sweetness.

Photo of kwjd
3.1/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap at Burp Castle in New York City. Pours a dark brown colour with thin off-white head and nice lacing. Smells strongly of black licorice, with cinnamon and brown sugar. I cannot stress how strong the black licorice was, which was too much for me. Trying to keep an open mind since it isn't my favourite flavour, but it was too much. A little bit boozy as well. Big carbonation level. I could only get through about half of this and gave it to a friend. Though he did enjoy it.

Photo of dragonWhale
2.28/5  rDev -42.3%
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 mdagnew
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle bought from Beersofeurope.co.uk... aged for about 18 months...

Poured a deep dark burgundy red colour. Creamy head poured quite loose and foamy then faded to just a thin ring around the edge... light carbonation... some sticky lacing...

Aroma - Dark spicy fruits (raisins, prunes, some blackcurrents, light banana), strong toasted toffee maltiness, some molasses notes, light aniseed hints, some light rum traces, vanilla, light oakiness, some nuttiness, peppery hops...

Taste - Quite spicy vinuous fruits (definite raisins and prunes, spicy apples, some strawberries and blackcurrents), brown sugar / toffee sweetness, toasted bready maltiness, strong Belgian yeastiness, light brandy notes, Christmas spices (nutmeg and light cinnamon), nice warming alcohol, liquorice hints, spicy hops...

Feel - Quite sharp and dry then some smoothness coming through after.. Medium / full bodied... Pretty drinkable considering the strength...

Overall - An excellent Christmas beer - perfect for a cold winters night. Highly recommended...

Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hard to get all the "Noel" festivities accomplished during the holidays proper, so, now, while things have calmed down, and the Canadian Juniors have driven me to drink...

This beer pours a cloudy, over-mixed iced tea brown colour, with two thick fingers of thin billowy off-white head, which settles at an even pace, eventually rendering just a low ring of lace around the glass. It smells of stewed fleshy fruit - banana and plum, primarily, some brown sugar, and straight, edgy booze. The taste is big, big fruity malt - dates, raisins, and sweet cherries - nougaty, nutty thin toffee, boozy, fermenting red grapes, and muddled Christmas spices - cinnamon and cloves being at least somewhat discernible. The carbonation is noticeable, but fine and agreeable, the body pretty full and creamy, yet still a bit airy. It finishes with a zingy, soused fruitiness, and an echo of toasted caramel malt.

A whole lot of modern Christmas jammed into this bottle, yessiree. However, it's less the obvious sweet and spiced usual suspects, and more of the relaxed and mellow, but also an underlying restrained insanity so currently associated with the season - simpler than you imagine, but easily dismissed until it's all over...

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 12/23/2010:

#9 - 12 beers of Christmas. 750 mL bottle at 42* into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: This pours a very dark brown color with amber hues and a thick, two-finger head of heavily carbonated white foam.

S: The nose shows aromas of bananas, booze-soaked dark fruits, and spicy earthiness. I wish there was more to it.

T: The taste is of plums, ripe red grapes, bananas, brandy, and a spicy yeast character.

M: The body is medium with average carbonation and a sticky and somewhat hot finish.

D: This is a bit boozier than I'd prefer and it wasn't very complex.

Photo of willjschmidt
3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Sierra Nevada 30th anniversary glass.

A: Pours a very murky brown with a thin tan head.

S: Sweet toffee malt, a bot of booze.

T: Slightly sweet malt in the form of toffee and brown sugar. A bit of spice and white pepper. Very hot and boozy in the finish. A bit muddled.

M: Medium bodied, highly carbonated.

D: I did not enjoy this one as much as I had hoped I would. The hot alcohol in the finish is not very pleasant.

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

Pours a clear, dark brown color. 3/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of mint, spice, slight hop, sweet malt, and slight licorice. Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of spice, slight sweet malt, cream, licorice, and hint of yeast. Overall, an interesting beer - good appearance, aroma, and blend.

Photo of pioppo
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark amber. Very fine and quite persistente beige foam.

S - Very spicy aromas. There's something of winy marked by ethylic aroma.

T - Ethylic is predominant. It seems something like Porto.

M - It's like a Rochefort 10 but with less body and more spicy. Also the high level of alcohol is hidden by 2 years (from 2008 to 2010) of maturation in cask.

D - A fantastic way to celebrate Christmas!! Drink this beer it's very very easy!!

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

Photo of largadeer
2.1/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Draft at The Trappist. Dark amber-brown with fair clarity and a sticky off-white head. Smells strongly medicinal; herbal with black licorice, cough syrup, menthol, caramelized malt and solvent. Palate is similar, huge kick of anise and mint, strong on the herbal/medicinal flavors. Alcohol is less noticeable on the tongue. Finishes with semi-sweet dark candi sugar and an herbal astringency that reminds me of bitters. Not particularly enjoyable.

Photo of BeerDawgs
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - A dark brown. Nice head retention. Nice lace on the glass.

S - Sweet. Bubblegum flavors.

T - Sweet. Malts are overwhelming. Honey flavors. Orange. Syrupy possibly

M - High carbonation. Medium bodied.

D - Its very tasty, but you are done after 1.

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

750 ml bottel poured into my cantillon glas

Mild fruity and spicy aroma. Deep reddish brown body, light tan head. Flavor is very rich, moderately sweet. All kinds of ripe fruits, yeasty malt, and a lively highly carbonated mouthfeel. Warming alcohol in both the flavor and the finish. All in all, this is a extremely tasty beer.

Photo of Haybeerman
3.13/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown color; a little ruby on the edges. Poured a 2 finger tan head that dissipated to a bubbly skim. Patches of lace dotted the glass.

S: Caramel, candi sugar and spice. Plenty of alcohol.

T: Dark fruit and alcohol up front; a it like cough syrup. More malt character as the beer warmed. Dry and hot.

M: Light to medium body. Moderate carbonation. Warming alcohol.

D: Between the sharp sweetness and the alcohol I didn't find it very drinkable.

Photo of argock
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2oz brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. Refermented in bottle on 03/08/10. Purchased at Market Street Wineshop for $2.75.

A: Thick honey-amber with short and quickly dissipating off-white head with minimal lacing.

S: Strong caramel maltiness with dark fruitiness like raisins and figs with a short blast of berry alcohol and herbal, earthy hops.

T: Flavor mirrors the aroma very closely with muted spice notes a big caramel maltiness, fig, date, raisin, and some heat that is not overbearing. Hops are earthy and smooth out the finish.

M: Very thick and lush with low carbonation -- very elixir-like.

D: I really enjoyed this, but I can see how people see it as a jam-like sugar fest as it is very sweet. I am glad the spice components are background but they don't forget the hops and the alcohol contributes a warming, complement to the sweetness.

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a review of the 2008 brew which was stored at the brewery for two years and opened at the 16th Essen Christmas beer festival 2010.

My bottle review wasn't overly kind to this beer, what a diffence a couple of years in a cask makes!

The liquorice flavours that almost ruined my bottle review were almost completely gone, to be replaced by blackberries and plums.

The aroma was Port like with sweet molasses and Christamssy spices added, as was the rich taste and mouthfeel. Someone mentioned 'cough sweets' in the beer tasting notes at the festival and that is a good choice of the words too. That liquorice flavour from my bottle review now coming back into play as the mouth dries giving the beer an alcoholic, malty, cough sweet sort of taste.

Anker matured this specially for two years, I thank them for that.

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