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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

676 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 676
Reviews: 442
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 14.9%
Wants: 20
Gots: 31 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas Alström Bros
Ratings: 676 | Reviews: 442 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rustymoore
rustymoore

Tennessee

3.38/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours an deep brown with large creamy tan that seems to last forever with excellent lacing. Easily best part about this beer.

S: Interesting but nothing that could really pick out...I think there might be too much going on in the aroma.

T: Ok but really just tastes more like a mediocre Belgian rather than much of a Christmas beer. Very sweet (too much so in my opinion) somewhat watery with several fruit notes coming through as well as caramel.

M: Somewhat flat after I expected a good amount of carbonation.

D: Definitely wouldn't recommend more than a sampling of this...too sweet.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2010 19:56:01 | More by rustymoore
Photo of Buttermaker
Buttermaker

California

3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not much on the nose but a nice creamy head. Taste: Holy Caramel Bomb! This Belgium Ale tastes like a double bock crossed with a root beer. It's still very drinkable, especially on a cold December evening. There's plenty of depth (cinnamon, prunes, banana), but I prefer something with a little more balance. (I'm not sure they used hops at all.) They do great job of disguising the 10.5% ABV, it's wonderfully warming but not at all harsh.

Recommended music pairing: Ray Charles - That Spirit of Christmas

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2010 03:51:15 | More by Buttermaker
Photo of ianjsullivan
ianjsullivan

Maryland

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

Serving: 750 ml poured into a Duvel chalice

A: Reddish brown with a nice thick brownish white fluffy head. Nice lacing and retention. When held up to the light the color is red like Santa's suit, nice carbonation can be seen.

S: Malt and sweet spice, fruity, banana and kiwi.

T: Quite a complex amount of flavors, malt and bread yeast, fruity notes on a pleasing long finish. Alcohol is present at the end, but, over all, nicely blended.

M: The ample carbonation stops the beer from being cloying. It beings creamy and finishes with cream, only at the end turning to a crisp clean.

D: 10.5 does not make this beer one to be consumed in earnest.

Overall: I don't know if they have changed the recipe since the Bros reviewed it, but, it was a great beer for me. There is a lot going on, and it could be restrained a bit better, however, the flavors do work together, particularly in the finish. There is a bit of sweet and alcohol that is not blended completely out by the hit of spice at the end. Overall though, one of the better noels I've had this year.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2010 02:42:34 | More by ianjsullivan
Photo of rebel1771
rebel1771

Florida

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

A: Pours a dark reddish brown color with a tan head that fades quickly.

S: Banana nut bread right up front along with candied fruit and a malty twang.

T: Bread flavors start out with a heavy alcohol kick. Heavy candied fruit flavors with a decent malt body finished with a spicy banana note.

D: This is one tasty brew, along with one heck of a heavy hitter. A couple of these and you'll be wearing the old wobbly boot.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2010 23:41:10 | More by rebel1771
Photo of eduardolinhalis
eduardolinhalis

Switzerland

3.23/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

0.33l bottle poured in a chalice.

Decent Belgium Dark Strong Ale. Nice spicy and fruity perfume.

A: Nice Brown/Amber color. Quite clean
S: Dark fruits (plum and grapes) and spices
T: Strong. ABV is high and you can fell it. Sweet toffee. Belgium yeasts (less relevant). Rum. Smells better than tastes
M: Sweet in the beginning and bitter in the end. Soft carbonation and strong alcohol taste
D: Low drinkability. Too strong taste for me. Might be a good beer but overloaded me...

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2010 22:51:18 | More by eduardolinhalis
Photo of DaveJanssen
DaveJanssen

Germany

4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slpit a 750mL two ways, poured into Russian River globes.

Ar: Super fruity an floral, plum, rich fruit dark heavy grape, *licorice, rummy spice, alcohol, raisin, caramel and toffee, spice, chocolate, overall a rich, sweet and full aroma

Ap: Low light tan head, hints of lace, good retention, clear brown with red highlights

T: Rummy, heavy toffee, plum and raisin, sweet and fruity, caramel, light whiskey spice/oak, dried fruit, light herbal hop in aftertaste, complex, chocolate, a rum and coke like sweet and spice quality, unique

M: Full wet and sweet, alc warmth but clean alcohol and appropriate, low/medium carbonation

O: great sipping beer, very rich and sweet, nice spiciness, complex, very quad-like

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2010 00:05:19 | More by DaveJanssen
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

3.33/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I drank this from a tap at the Map Room into a chalice.

The beer pours dark brown with a light tan decent retention and lacing.

The aroma is light with a little spice, same thing with the taste.

The feel is ok, the drinkability is limited.

Overall, not a great the feel is to light, the taste is light and too much spice.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2010 19:34:58 | More by jrallen34
Photo of CMW
CMW

Missouri

3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark brown. Much darker than I expected, almost like a porter. The head is at least two inches and tan in color. Retention is massive as it is taking me at least five minutes to let it settle enough to drink.

S - Smell is dominated by candied dark fruits, yeast, and alcohol.

T - The sweeter is definitely noticeable up front. The taste reminds me of candied figs and raisins. After the sweetness fades, the malt is noticeable along with the yeast. There is some balance but the sweetness is definitely more powerful. Slight warming in the end.

M - Medium carbonation but this has more of a syrupy feel.

D - I like this beer quite a bit I will definitely buy one again next year.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2010 05:13:14 | More by CMW
Photo of ritzkiss
ritzkiss

Ontario (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml brought by my dad from Alberta, shared with him. Pours a cola brown with a finger plus of head that slowly dies down, doesn't leave any lacing down the glass.

Nose is hints of ginger and anise, a nice toffe-ish malt base. Intriguing, unique.

This is a really tasty yet unique Christmas ale. Ginger and anise play a major role in the spicing giving it almost a cola flavour, nice plum fruits coming from the yeast, well attenuated body without being overly thick - medium mouthfeel, a hint of spiciness, a light sweetness weaving through to balance all the spices and the light drying in the finish. Just a hint of booze, especially as it warms but nothing distracting, just warming.

Very pleasant, another winner from Het Anker. Not your typical Christmas fare but I would gladly grab for this one again next Yule season.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2010 00:12:00 | More by ritzkiss
Photo of bort11
bort11

Missouri

3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml corked bottle, poured into a St. Bernardus goblet. This fizzy dark tan head that is quick to recede. Small spots float on the surface with a pencil thin ring around the edge. Color is a dark ruby red. There are nice refracting effects when held to the light. Not the most visually fascinating Belgian, so we'll see how the rest stands up.

Smell has that distinct musty Belgian yeast aroma, but there are some some fruity notes as well. I'm going to go with a dark cherry. Taste brings in more spices. There is definitely some orange peel, and there is a little cinnamon and ginger.

Mouthfeel is a little thin for me, but the carbonation is pretty crisp. I think is would go with more body and less carbonation, but that's me. For a 10.5 it goes down really fast. There is a mild alcohol burn, but the spices keep it shadowed.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2009 03:51:26 | More by bort11
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 release, on-tap 12/29/09 at Julian's in Providence, RI, served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a bright crimson color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, Belgian yeast, dark fruit and some spice.

T: The taste is fruity with strong flavors of cherries, other dark fruits and brown sugar. Then a bready Belgian yeast and hearty malt character follow. The hops presence is mild but complementary. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean for the style.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, deceptively strong kick, good representation of style, this is a nice stronger Belgian-style beer to drink for a while until it starts to catch up with you.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2009 17:10:56 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of Absumaster
Absumaster

Netherlands

4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark brown/reddish beer with a faint head.

Smell is malty with strong notes of candisugar. A spicy addition of what we think is staranise and coriander.

Taste is malty and sweet. The beer is syrupy without being overly sticky. The spices are a little less present than the smell would make me suspect. Some Christmas beers have a thin mouthfeel, but this beer is full-bodied. The mix of the malt and the spices combined with the strong caramel malt base make this a great Christmas beers.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2009 18:21:32 | More by Absumaster
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate

New York

3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours emerald with a loose tawny fast-fading head that leaves only trailers of lace. Nose is strawberries and clove with some bubblegum and caramel - mouthwatering! Light chocolate and all spice up front, Belgian yeast is there, an ester pop, and tutti frutti to finish. A tight ginger beer linger. Chewy and fizzy with plenty of burn.

Some interesting flavors but too hot and estery to be very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2009 22:40:11 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of hdofu
hdofu

Maryland

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

Had a bottle aged a few years and dang was it good. it was lightly headed an light colored tasted initially sweet with a tangy sour finish. Smell was also sweet. The predominate flavors were almonds. It had a smooth flavor. I could have sipped on this all evening.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2009 00:20:41 | More by hdofu
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gouden Carolus Noël conceals its Christmas cheer. At a glance it might appear dismal and dusky, like a cold winter night, but if you hold it right up into the light you'll see that it is in fact bedecked in a glinty scarlet red wrapping. Its head, though much dissipated, is just like a garland wreath and steadily remains tightly knit around the beer's perimeter.

Belgian Strong Dark Ales - the good ones, anyhow - all smell of spice and sweet malt and yeasty dried fruit-like esters. This has all those qualities as well as something extra. There is the distinct scent of black licorice (the alcohol combines to make it resemble a throat lozenge); if anise wasn't used in the recipe I'd be shocked. The aroma, I finally realize, smells exactly like how plum pudding tastes - how appropriate for a Christmas beer!

Every Het Anker beer I've tried to date has tasted fantastic - this one included. Once again, plum pudding makes a convenient way of summing it up. To leave it at that, however, would be being too simplistic; the beer is layered with flavour. A gift basket of spices - anise, coriander, clove, ginger root - spruces up the taste of brown sugar-coated roasted yams. Sweet, toffee-ish malts and dark fruits are also ever present.

This thing has legs - it keeps running from flavour to flavour. The mouthfeel, too, has plenty of dimension; it shifts between sticky-sweet and spicy. It's like drinking caramelized brown sugar and a liquefied plum pudding. The texture is lush and the alcohol procures a Grand Marnier-like aftertaste. It will warm your holiday spirit but isn't likely to burn it.

Of all of Belgium's great breweries I'd have to say that Het Anker has to be one of the greatest. And while I recognize this as just my opinion, I'd leave it up to anyone to try this Noël beer (or their Tripel or their Classic or their Cuvee de Keiser, etc) and try and argue me. I just assume the town of Mechelen has a traditional Christmas carol that makes some mention of this beer - because if it doesn't already, it definitely should.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2009 05:31:42 | More by biegaman
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a dark mahogany, burnt umber colour, with a nice finger of off-tan head, good Brussels lace.

S: Definite candy sugar, candied fruit, butterum candy, sweet smelling if you get my drift.

T: Heavy notes of brown sugar and characteristic Belgian fruit esters. Chocolate covered cherries, orange marmalade, molasses and raisins are clearly evident. Clear Belgian flavour and character.

M: Smooth and silky, not terribly robust, but it's there for sure. Very soft carbonation.

D: Way too drinkable for it's size, great flavour, this beer could be dangerous at a Christmas party.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2009 22:16:21 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of elgiacomo
elgiacomo

Georgia

3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

2008 750ml bottle. Pours brown with a small light beige head. Leaves a little spotty lacing.

Big fruity, malty aroma, some yeast.

Flavor is dark fruit, raisin, plums, prunes, some cherry, light notes of apple, banana, yeast. Some alcohol. Sweet malty finish.

Some stickiness. Medium carbonation.

Very nice. Excellent Belgian style Christmas beer!

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2009 19:18:39 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of lackenhauser
lackenhauser

Maryland

4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Decent chestnut hue with a sizeable tan head-typical big Belgian carbonation level. Nicely sweet and deep aroma-a lot of dried fruits and caramel sugars. Very malty and sweet flavor. Mildly spicy but more from the yeast then any spices per se. Sugary. Lingering bite though not bitter. Heavy mouthfeel. I quite like this though I could se how someone might find it over the top in sweetness and the like. Taken for what I think it is I like it in moderation. Nice full dessert like beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2009 05:20:38 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of rapidsequence
rapidsequence

Virginia

3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Corked and caged 750.

Appearance: What a great looking beer. Clear dark ruby color with a big frothy, rocky head. Every pour leaves another huge head that fades to 1/2 inch or so, leaving some nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet, spicy, and richly malty. Chocolately, bready malt. Licorice, orange, and alcohol. Interesting, complex, but not as broad as some.

Taste: Bready, spicy, boozy, and sweet. Midway back, there is a fair amount of bitter/sourness that I assume is from orange peel. The licorice I smelled is also a pretty prominent flavor. Lots of other spices and pepperiness too. Sweet, bready finish. A little too sweet and too orangey. Nice though.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation, creamy and pretty nice in the mouth.

Drinkability: Its a nice beer, a Christmas treat, but not something you'd really want to buy over one of several better Belgian darks. The sweetness would be fine, but there's not quite enough huge maltiness to balance it. The bitter orange and pepper also becomes overbearing.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2009 00:59:30 | More by rapidsequence
Photo of dqrull
dqrull

Sweden

3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Kinda boring looks on this one, little to no head, minimal lacing on the glass, a dark hue of red/brown that is quite appealing though.

Damn! This smells really nice of star anise, liqourice is abundant, but it really seems to be well fitted into the brew, I get some sweet notes of malt and some other spices as well, but the liqourice is slightly overpowering.

A bit on the boozy side, and the sweetness doesnt really match it. A great deal of liqourice in on the palate as well, really lots, almost a bit too intense, some other spices that are hard to place, maybe ginger? Anyway, the liqourice is well integrated into this brew, if they just had kept it a little bit more mellow, as it is now it is a bit too overpowering.

Feels a little too boozy in the mouth, and it has a fairly weak carbonation not the creamy muouthfeel I usually delight in with this kind of belgian brew usually.

Still a very interesting beer! Love how they have gotten such an intense liqourice-attack without it just mashing the rest of the brew to shit, try it if you can, special!

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2009 22:01:24 | More by dqrull
Photo of Brez07
Brez07

Maine

3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing from last night's notes. On tap at Novare Res, 10oz pour into a Goulden Carolus chalice

A: Dark, murky red hue with no head. Doesn't leave any lacing

S: First thing that strikes me is that this beer smells like black licorice. A nice anise scent with some other spices including ginger

T: Very smooth, black licorice taste. Malts make their presence known. The alcohol is fairly present, similar to sambuca. Nice at first, but tough to bear as I continued to drink

M: Creamy and smooth. Good carbonation. Light to medium bodied

D: Incredibly easy, although the anise taste is a little much towards the end. One and done for me, but glad I could try this

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2009 00:41:05 | More by Brez07
Photo of CharlatanSin
CharlatanSin

Connecticut

2.98/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A 2008 version served on tap into a tulip at Amsterdam Ale House. Pricey, but hey, it's the holiday season, so why not?

Appearance: A nice dark reddish brown, with a big honkin' tan head that leaves big time lacing.

Smell: Picking up a good dose of yeasty white bread, and then the sweetness pounds you. Brown sugar and plum mostly for me.

Taste: Well...not so good. The sweetness is overpowering. It tastes like purple Robitussin. If I start tripping balls, I'll think the bartender switched it up on me. The "tussin" taste is a mix of plum and strong alcohol. Now, generally I don't mind a boozy beer, but this one's all out of balance.To be fair, it gets better as it gets warmer, as some nutmeg and other festive spices start to show their head.

Mouthfeel: The booze dominates the mouthfeel as well. I don't mind that all that much. Other than that, it's got a medium body and good carbonation.

Drinkability: The tussin quality kills this one for me.

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2009 05:55:09 | More by CharlatanSin
Photo of sirdrinkwell
sirdrinkwell

Florida

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

a: pours a hazy, molasses colored ruby with bountiful off-white head that patiently subsides to cake the sides of the glass...

s: richly sweet, i'm reminded almost of bubble gum in the yeast and malt combination, light and fresh florals..

t: sappy sweet in taste, on the backend the malts again meld into the breadiness of the yeast...

m: very smooth and sweet on the palate, balanced carbonation...

d: surprisingly light and refreshing given the +10% alc. content, this brew is a nice treat that i wouldn't mind trying again...

salud!

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2009 03:15:27 | More by sirdrinkwell
Photo of Pencible
Pencible

Virginia

3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured a hazy ruby mahogany with lots of light tan head. It smelled like licorice and dark toffee and dry roasted barley, with some creamy yeast. It tasted like banana nut bread and cocoa powder, with some pear and licorice and creamy yeast. After warming some, it tasted much like root beer. It was oily with some smooth carbonation, and had a mild aftertaste with slight alcohol warming. Overall this had a good clean taste with great body, although I wasn't a huge fan of the flavor. I really prefer the rich maltiness of Van De Keizer, and would love to try that with a bit of added spices.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2009 19:33:40 | More by Pencible
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a dark, semi-translucent brown, definitely a good start. Aroma is strong, sharp and more like a good rum than a beer. Biting flavor is fruity, syrupy, sweet but not cloying. Texture is smooth and yet rough and strongly fizzy, biting the tongue and leaving a finish like an angry tomcat scratching on its way down.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 04:09:12 | More by Cyberkedi
Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
89 out of 100 based on 676 ratings.