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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

699 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 699
Reviews: 446
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 14.94%
Wants: 23
Gots: 38 | 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: 699 | Reviews: 446 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark cloudy brown with some white head. Great aroma of choclate and spice, vanilla, and citrus orange. Very smooth mouthfeel, and while all of the tastes do not materialize boldy, it is very tasty and refreshing.A great brewery.
thanks for bringing in IPFreely.

Sammy, Mar 04, 2007
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.

ocelot2500, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

metter98, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of Derek
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Chestnut brown without any sediment, tan head, little retention, nice lace.

S: Dark fruit, orange rind (Curacao?), pleasant non-descript spicing, floral hops, fruit bread with candied fruit. More alcohol as it warms.

T: Very fruity, candied fruit, dark fruit, bready, nice spicing, marmalade, slight bitterness, alcohol is remarkably subtle.

M: Well-attenuated moderate body, moderate carbonation, warming alcohol finish.

D: Quite drinkable for its strength.

Derek, May 14, 2008
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.

beveragecaptain, Dec 14, 2005
Photo of ProudBeerSnob
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into Hoppin Frog snifter. Beautiful mahogany color with sparse head, but impressive considering I've been cellaring this for 2 years. Smells of dried fruit and a faint barnyard funk. Nice.

I've heard this beer is notoriously sweet. So true. Normally this would be a drawback as far as I'm concerned, but in this case, the sweetness accentuates ands is accentuated by the Belgian yeast flavors. Flavors of dark fruit, a sweet biscuit, and tart limes.

Will be enjoying this one again next christmas.

ProudBeerSnob, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of orfeu
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into my new AleSmith tulip that I received from b0ldfacelies -- a perfect vessel for a special Xmas beer. Cherry-blood bronze with a smooth and creamy dust-khaki foam cap. Aromas of overripe banana, nutmeg, clove, powdered ginger, cinnamon, farmyardy yeast funk, lemon zest and a finishing scent of earthy grain husks. Tart applesauce and raisin puree flavor mixed with mashed banana and a funky vegetal spiciness in the aftertaste -- sort of like brussels sprouts. Lingering "country" yeast flavors. Noticeable alcohol buzz all around the flavor and mouthfeel, but nothing that's too distracting from the overall taste experience. Surprisingly light in body for such a big, flavorful beer. Moderate alcohol slickness is barely perceptible, leading to extremely easy drinkability, especially given the big flavor and high alcohol content. In all, a very nice choice for a special holiday beer.

orfeu, Dec 23, 2006
Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a mysterious brown color with a nice beige head that drops to a film but leaves a curtain of lace

Smell: Dr. Pepper and licorice are most apparent, along with tones of cinnamon and nutmeg; clearly some alcohol, too

Taste: Starts out with the licorice and Dr. Pepper taste, which gets sweeter by mid-palate; after the swallow, a whole range of fruit and spices appear, including cardamom, vanilla, pineapple, orange peel and cinnamon. There are some dark fruit flavors in there, too. Some alcohol is apparent in the finish as well.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy with plenty of carbonation

Drinkability: Well here we have Christmas in July; the beer has settled down somewhat, based on some complaints about fusel alcohol; it should be cellared for six months to a year to let everything mellow out

brentk56, Jul 20, 2007
Photo of clayrock81
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%

Had a 2008 bottle last week and here is review. Poured a reddish brown body with minimal head and lace and a velvety aroma that is boozy and woody while giving off spices like pepper and ginger and dark fruits like black cherry, figs and raisins.
The beer is oh so sweet and smooth and for the booziness and flavors it packs it really is only medium bodied and not thick/syrupy at all.
Maybe too sweet for some, and with the aged bottle I had too boozy, but the sweetness from spices and fruits, such as candi sugar, figs, hints of toffee and caramel, spices like anise and ginger, and vanilla bourbon sweetness, just really pack a great punch for me.
I found balance in the beer with touches of bread like malt and yeast so no too sweet and has a mild finish thanks to well hidden booze.

clayrock81, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of wl0307
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As a revisit, this is the 7th beer on my 2008-9 Belgian Winter Ale tasting "panel"; no freshness info. is provided on the label/bottle, served just cool, not chilled, in Hapkin's tulip-shaped bowl sniffer.

A: pours a deep mahogany hue with very moderate steams of carbonation and a huge dark beige froth that sustains remarkably well, leaving untidy lacing all round as it finally dissipates... Considering how clear the liquid and the bottle are, I suspect this ale might be filtered rather than bottle-conditioned?
S: utterly aromatic, with lots of caramelised apples, overripe black plums, and sweet herb-tea to ride on top of a deeper layer of jammy dark fruits/black-berries, hawthorn-fruit candy, highly fruit estery notes, black-sugary bitter-sweetness with a touch of treacle. Thickly fruity, showing a great depth and body already on the nose, but never alcoholic or sharply estery.
T: a smooth and lubricating swallow of syrupy black malts, jammy black/blue-berries, raisins, plus mild spiciness (like a treacle fruit-cake flavoured with cinnamon, ginger and powdered licorice), is subtly balanced by a mixed herbal essence like black herb syrup plus an intriguing flow of flowery/grapey fragrance (almost like the Muscat grape). Lightly oily in the finish, but not thick or cloying at all due to the contribution of a deepening bitter-sweet herbal touch from hops and yeastiness.
M&D: incredibly smooth on the palate with a lubricating mouthfeel and very little carbonation, this is a dangerously drinkable X'mas ale that has a 110% flavour and body to offer than meets the "tongue"... The overall complexity is decent, but somehow the sweet side of the story does manage to dominate the second part of the mouthfeel and renders an eventually, slightly sour-fruity edge like all sweeties. Apart from this, I have no complaint at all about this ale.

* Tasting Date: 07/06/06
Coming in a 330ml brown bottle, BB 09/08/08, served lightly-chilled in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass.
4 A: deep dark ruby hue, creamy but restrained layer of off-white head, slowly settling down and leaving very tight lacing.
4 S: deeply perfumy fruit-esters and sticky sweet fruits (ripe black cherries+fig jam+raisins+banana-oil yeasty), slightly alc. winey, but less syrupy than the tap version; an assertive, thickly-textured caramely maltiness stays firmly in the background, laced with a touch of creamy coconut-milk and burned palm-sugar. A touch too sweet to my liking, but not cloying by any means.
4 T: a mildly sour-sweet raisiny flavour comes along with plenty of preserved fruits upfront; the ensuing profound dark-malty overtone comes rather light, neither heavy nor sticky on the palate; gradually a semi-dryish sweet undertone of dried fruits, licorice and yeasts develops, leaving a faint trace of warming alc. lurking deep down the throat.
5 M&4.5 D: incre...dibly smooth and light on the mouthfeel, where the ultra-subtle carbonation is balanced well with the velvety-smooth texture and a slightly tangy kickback as a healthy balancer. Overall, not terribly complex, but this bottled-version outperforms the tap version by a mile, for its delicate body and balance, easily tricking one (me, at least) to believe it's a 7-8%abv.(at most) dark ale. Extre...mely dan...gerously drinkable it is, yet utterly enjoyable be it X'mas, Easter, Chinese New Year, summer solstice, or whichever else occasion.... Cheers!!

wl0307, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of essie
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

essie, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of SLeffler27
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

SLeffler27, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of DutchcdnTEXAN
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%

DutchcdnTEXAN, Nov 20, 2014
Photo of ccrida
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml poured into my Gouden Carolus chalice, the Noel is a hazy caramel with a small off-white head that quickly settles, leaving moderate lace.

Smell is very rich, caramel and cured dark stone fruit like dates, raisins and fig. Also a nice buttery diacetyl. Awesome

Taste is rich dark malt, spicy yeast and carmalized sugar with lots of phenols. There's also a hint of allspice and a vinous, port like quality as well, but with a dry, dusty finish. Overall very spicy, but pleasant and not at all astringent. Much better then I remember.

Mouthfeel is sticky syrup, but light in the belly.

Drinkability is rather high, as the taste is good and the finish is pretty clean and quick. If you like it, then you'll probably really like it.

ccrida, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of corby112
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

corby112, Dec 01, 2008
Photo of spiffylubes
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown/amber with about a finger of slowly dissipating head, leaving a couple millimeters of creamy head at the top. Little lacing while head dissipates, but considerable amount while being drunk. Very strong smells of cherries, spices like cinnamon and maybe some clove. Slight alcoholy sweet smell as well. Similar tastes, with loads of cherry and sweet alcohol. Mouthfeel is smooth, slight warmth from alcohol, with a sweet aftertaste. Fairly drinkable, one bottle is more than enough (as it is with most 750 mLs for me)

spiffylubes, Jan 17, 2006
Photo of elricorico
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before says 03/08/09, unless Alberta received old beer, this is the 2006 edition. I've yet to be disappointed by this brewery, so I was really looking forward to this one.

In the glass this beer is the colour of a brown crayon. No head could be coaxed out of it. Not exciting, but nice enough colour.

The smell is fruity and has a spicy alcohol kick to it. Red licorice sweetness, cherries and grapes. Pleasant to smell over and over.

Smooth and warm in the mouth, the alcohol is there but not biting at all. Malty sweet, red licorice and raisins. Slightly spicy finish, and faint coffee rests in the lingering flavour.

Dangerously drinkable, slightly thinner than I expected, but still very smooth. Het Anker is still yet to disappoint. I plan on aging a couple of bombers of this one.

elricorico, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of Cheesemoose
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not sure on vintage. 750ml served into my St. Feullien chalice.

A murky brown brew with a lovely fine khaki head, and even though it recedes quickly. does leave a nice edge.

Sweet, luscious, rum soaked dark fruits dominates the nose. Some cherry, vanilla, and oak remnants, though the malt base is on the rather extreme side of things. Some notes of brown sugar, clove and cinnamon. A bit boozy, though approachable nonetheless.

Approaches with such a fruit filled boquot your mouth starts watering even before your lips reach the glass. The experience really plays off the mid palate, dancing between the rum soaked raisins that dominate the malts to the spice notes that trickle down your throat. Well spiced. Excellent flavors, lovely balance and a nice warming kick that says this is a winter beer through.

A bit sticky, though not thick. Well balanced. Fine, fine compliment to the style though out of place with the majority of the BSDA's you see out there today. Looking forward to my next.

Cheesemoose, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of rarbring
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A light hazy brown orange beer, a solid off-white head leaving good lacing, and is having curtains.

The smell is fruity, sweet syrup, licorice, like stepping into a fine candy shop.

The taste is complex, swinging between licorice, green Stilton, dried figs and port wine.

Medium carbonation, soft and a full complex body.

A very nice Christmas beer, rewarding to just sip and enjoy.

rarbring, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of pzrhsau
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice little bottle i sat on for about 5 months and my will to let it sit any longer broke.
Appearance: Nice rich brown color with hints of orange and a superior head accenting the cloudy beer.
Smell: Very spicy and malty with scents like cinnamon and other christmas spices we expect from a beer during the holidays.
Taste: Good balance of flavor and alcohol. Very warm and filling with a good bready spiciness from the yeast.
Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Very drinkable for such a big beer. Smooth and full with a good carbonation.

pzrhsau, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of wordemupg
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into corsendonk chalice on aug24 2009

A dark brownish amber when held up too light, fast falling three finger head that leaves a fair amount of lace from nothing more then a film of bubbles

S lots of spices and over-ripe banana, i smell booze but not the 10.5% i see on the bottle.

T different but good, as it smells but much more. I get some brown sugar/caramel, dark fruits and licorice. The booze i could smell is there but not as strong. Interesting indeed

M not too thick, good carbonation about what i hoped for

D overall i was happy with this beer, pretty easy too drink and well worth trying

This one kept me interested, i found myself taking sip after sip trying too place each taste. although i found it unusual, i must admit it grew on me as i got too know it.

(The third time I've had to edit this review before i finished the bottle) as it warms the flavors really come through and add to its complexity. Please don't drink this cold!!

wordemupg, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of Darkmagus82
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a snifter

Appearance – Pours a chestnut/mahogany color with a two finger tan colored head. The head has a good level of retention slowly fading over time to leave a great level of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma has a big spicy and roasty aroma. There is a strong roasted bready aroma mixed with notes of Christmas spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, anise and licorice). These stronger aromas are accompanied by notes of dark fruits, a lighter yeasty smell as well as a moderate presence of a boozy smell.

Taste – The taste starts with flavors a blend of roasted malt breadiness and some dark fruit flavors of raisin and prune. Spice flavors of nutmeg, licorice and anise then come to the tongue. At this point the tastes create a rather smooth flavor on the tongue. The breadiness and sweeter flavors of the dark fruits start to fade. A more red wine like flavor then starts coming to the tongue. It starts out light and smooth, but gets more tannin like in flavor as the taste moves to the end. At the end, the boozy taste is quite strong and with all the flavors it leaves a nice warming aftertaste that tasted somewhat like a mix of warming spiced mulled wine fruity brew to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is on the medium side in its creaminess for a brew of 10.5 % with a carbonation level that was a little on the higher side. for the style it was rather nice creating a good drinkability but yet keeping one in check of its strength.

Overall- This is a rather nice Belgian Christmas brew. It has a decent boozy flavor, but yet is still very flavorful and pleasant to drink.

Darkmagus82, Jan 07, 2013
Photo of farrago
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Mild dusting of a head across the surface, dark tan brown, swiftly pulls back to the glass sides, the lacing streaks are quite thin but have some stick to them. Murky dark brown colored liquid with more of a yellow tint than anything else, not a lot of visible effervescence, nothing truly remarkable about how it looks. The nose offers licorice, cola, orange spice, lightly roasted chocolate, fig, date, banana and hint of green apple, pleasing for how it does not overdo the sweetness and stays openly knit and airy, finishes with lingering nutmeg, cinnamon and splash of witch hazel. Medium-bodied, for its relative sweetness and mouth grip it has decent fluidity. Carbonation is light but generally up to the task. Initially tastes like a root beer float. Vanilla, malted milk balls, ginger, licorice, orange citrus, Brazil nuts and butterscotch predominate. The fruit has a darker complexion here with prune and cherry trumping the date and fig, not really showing a lot of esters nor breadiness. Likewise, no boozy “heat” on display although you can feel it once a good portion of the bottle is gone. Gains peppery bite as it warms. Fashions a dry, punctuated finish which helps it marshal an argument for being a good food beer and not just an after dinner sipper.

farrago, Dec 18, 2013
Photo of tillmac62
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a translucent dark brown with a thick tan head that lingers and laces well. The nose is of dark sweet malt with a hint of dark fruit and chocolate. Medium bodied and well carbonated. This beer is full of flavor that masks the 10% alcohol well. Extremely well balanced. The taste is dark malt, with chocolate undertones, blended with spice and licorice with a very slight alcohol finish. Finishes clean with a burst of dark malt against spice and alcohol. An excellent Christmas Ale. I just did a side by side against St. Bernardus Christmas ale, on 12/4/13. Gouden is far superior in terms of body, complexity and flavor.

tillmac62, Nov 19, 2013
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.

Dogbrick, Nov 15, 2005
Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
89 out of 100 based on 699 ratings.