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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
Ratings: 662 | Reviews: 440 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of zac16125
zac16125

South Carolina

4.34/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750mL into a tulip
2013 Vintage

Pours very dark brown almost black, 2.5 fingers width of tan head and a small amount of lacing. Aroma is heavy black licorice, anise , and peppery spice. Taste follows the nose with black licorice, but also has lots of dark fruits, a bit of clove spice and toffee. Mouthfeel is full bodied, heavier carbonation, no hint of ABV and good drinkability. Overall, a great BSD Christmas ale. I really enjoyed this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2013 17:13:12 | More by zac16125
Photo of farrago
farrago

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2013 01:40:33 | More by farrago
Photo of tillmac62
tillmac62

South Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2013 21:09:03 | More by tillmac62
Photo of dcmchew
dcmchew

Romania

4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black, 2 finger beige head, really sticky.
Smells sweet and fruity, of banana, dark fruit, ripe fruit jam, also lots of caramel and traditional spices. This should be tasty, if not overly sweet.
Very sweet malts, with truckloads of caramel and chocolate, but there's also a dark roastiness, creating notes of (very sweet) coffee. Doughy yeasts creating a "Christmas cake" kind of taste, but they're also very spicy, with nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, cocoa powder, hints of vanilla, faint licorice, prickly peppercorn and minty notes of anise seed. Fruitiness is lower than expected, but brings dark fruit jam, slightly acidic red apples and some sweet red grapes with a musty characteristic. The herbal spices lead to the hops in the end, mildly bitter, with a nice finish.
The mouthfeel is chewy, chunky, sliding down the throat, with a mild carbonation. Alcohol is a bit more than warming, with a faint (very faint) booziness, not ruining the beer though.
A nice Christmas ale, not the sweetest of the bunch, but still for people with a sweet tooth. Perfect for the season.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2013 18:17:28 | More by dcmchew
Photo of zookerman182
zookerman182

Alabama

4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy red color with a very small and non existent head.
Aroma is very boozy and full of dark fruit and cherries.
Taste is cherries, raisins, prunes, figs, very nice holiday beer.
Mouthfeel is really nice, almost creamy.
Sweet tasting beer with nice carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2013 18:24:49 | More by zookerman182
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: 2012 Vintage

A: Pours a murky reddish brown in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation visible along the edges of the glass and some amber highlights. The beer has a two finger tall creamy foamy beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark fruit malty sweetness (plum and prunes are most dominant) along with just a hint of spices/anise/licorice.

T: Upfront there is a moderate amount of malty sweetness with stronger flavors of dark fruits (plum and prunes). That is followed by a light to moderate flavor of anise/licorice and Belgian yeast. Light notes of alcohol in the finish as the beer warms up.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with some light notes of alcohol warming in the finish.

O: This is a great beer for the winter/holiday season - perfect for sipping along side the fireplace on a chilly. A very nice representation of the BSDA style, especially since it has strong dark fruit aromas/flavors but without very much sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2013 01:52:44 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of WillCarrera
WillCarrera

Ohio

3.21/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle, bottled on 09/08/11, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a slightly weird shade of murky, dark brown, topped with a nice, thick off-white head that leaves good lacing.

S- Interesting aroma, lots of sweet dark malts, fruit, and a lot of christmas-ey spices (clove, nutmeg, allspice).

T- Lots of sweet dark malts, fruit, and some light spiciness, but from the middle through to the finish the flavor is dominated by a huge combination of vinous, anise and boozy flavors. It's simultaneously too sweet and too vinous. Weird. Bad.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel, the booziness isn't quite as noticeable here and is only a bit warm.

O- This was pretty bad. The anise, sweetness and vinous flavors are all in the wrong proportions, and produce a beer that doesn't fit together and isn't fun to drink. Pass.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2013 05:26:47 | More by WillCarrera
Photo of KTCamm
KTCamm

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from champagne bottle into perfect pint glass.

Pours very dark brown, some maroon hints and a layer of foam. Chocolate cherry nose, and other assorted fruits. Cola too. Sweet belgian candi sugar taste but balanced well. Earthy hop close - not in a bitter sense, but in a flavored one. A bit boozy. Rich.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2013 12:24:24 | More by KTCamm
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Murrhey

Montana

3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 330-ml bottle into a tulip glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Reviewed live. Expectations are relatively high. Either bottled date or best-by date is Jan. 8, 2012. I really hope it is the former and not the latter. Although with the high ABV, I imagine it wouldn't be ruined by a year anyway. I could be wrong.

A- Three-finger thick, attractive light brown color. Amazingly long retention for the ABV. Thick fluffy core with fairly large bubbles. Lasts about three minutes. Clingy spotty lacing. Murky walnut colored brew with very little clarity.

S- Deep alcohol notes and spicy. Very fragrant and boozy. Nice notes.

T- Boozy and nice even-handled flavors. Spices and yeasts are very present here.

M- Vinous and wet. Sticky remainder on the feel.

O- Booze-bomb and it tastes like it.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2013 02:50:16 | More by Murrhey
Photo of beerthirtysa
beerthirtysa

Texas

4.44/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a: nice ruby-red color, but almost brunette unless held directly in the light. weak, off-white head with decent, but not thick, lacing.

s: alcohol predominates along with malt overtones. some gentle hops and plenty of dark cheery and blueberry.

t: smooth as silk. sweet, chewy malt with hints of molasses. alcohol noticeable. slightly hoppy finish.

m: a bit oily in consistency but very inoffensive. lusciously rich texture. carbonation effervesces only slightly on the way to the back of the throat.

o: a very pleasant ale that, though high in alcohol content, is extremely drinkable brew. one to enjoy with friends on a cold winter evening.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2013 18:55:48 | More by beerthirtysa
Photo of newton99
newton99

Belgium

4.55/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2013 09:45:55 | More by newton99
Photo of silverking
silverking

Florida

4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First off, let me say that the cork is a nice touch. It pours a deep, beautiful, transparent Mahogony with a tan head. The head begins to recede, but never really dissapears. The lacing is exquisite. It holds for a second or two and then forms rivers and trubutaries through itself that all eventually lead to the sea of delectable belgian ale that lies below. The aroma carries warming notes of anise, dark fruit, yeast, and alcohol. The palate is very much like a nice glass of cabernet. It is a bit tart up front but then it rounds off nicely with rich notes of bread and anise. The anise carries over into the finish and joins yeast in a wonderful union of flavor. The carbonation is a little heavy, but its full mouthfeel counteracts it. It leaves a slight tackiness on the lips from it higher than average gravity. I usually frown upon this and I think that it is the downfall of many winter brew's, but somehow this beer makes it work. This beer forced a smile across my face from sheer joy.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2013 00:15:42 | More by silverking
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.41/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz. bottle served in my Gouden Carolus chalice. Lot number 12071 indicated on the back label. Pours a dull mahogany hue with a consistent, 1.5 inch, light tan head the sizzles and pops as it slowly recedes into a clumpy quarter inch cap. Nose suggests dark fruit, anise and orange Aspergum. Tastes pretty much like it smells - no real surprises here. There's also a slightly oxidized quality that comes out towards the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium (but closer to light) with an even carbonation that falls just shy of being lively. There's also just a kiss of residual heat that lingers between quaffs as well as a slight acidity. Overall, not a bad example of the style, but not my favorite from this brewer. Not sure what a little age might do to this, but it might be worth laying down a bottle for a year or two.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 00:55:29 | More by Jwale73
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82

Virginia

3.3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle in tulip glass

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 lingering aftertaste that tasted somewhat like a mix of warming spiced mulled wine and cough syrup.

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. Both were alright for the style as the higher carbonation and medium body made it a little easier drinking even with some of the more harsh tannin and boozy flavors that were at the taste at the end.

Overall- Not really a Christmas Belgian strong that I would go to again. It was a little too harsh at the end of the taste taking on a boozy cough syrup like flavor.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2013 02:27:10 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

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

750ml bottle poured into my Pumking chalice. Dark brown in color with a thin, sticky head to it. Really nice lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a big dark fruit presence to it with notes of plum, fig and raisin all present. I get some notes of clove and anise to it as well. The spices are nicely balanced with the malty flavors. Nice aroma for a holiday spiced beer.

The taste follows up with some very rich and sweet dark fruit flavors. Fig and plum seem to lead the way. The spices are a little more reserved but I do get more of the clove and anise towards the finish. Enough bitterness comes out in the finish to keep the sweet dark fruits from becoming cloyingly sweet. It comes together very well and again the spices are nicely balanced with the malt flavors.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being about average for the style. Overall, I thought it was a very good holiday spiced beer. They didn't go overboard on the spices, which I appreciate. The dark fruit flavors were also particularly nice in it. It came together very well and is one of the better holiday spiced beers I've had in a while.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2013 23:30:25 | More by billab914
Photo of JeffreyJDavis
JeffreyJDavis

North Carolina

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

Poured from a corked 750ml into a Chimay Chalice.

A: Pours dark chestnut / mahogany with a one finger toffee colored head which dissipates relatively quickly to a thin cap.

N: Very strong licorice / anise nose when cold, this settles down a bit once the beer warms, but never really goes away. Additional scents of rum soaked stone fruit, vanilla, spices. Smells relatively boozy.

T: Follows the nose. For me the licorice is pretty dominant when the beer is cold. If you like that, pop and drink this pretty cold. If anise / licorice is not your thing , open it and let it warm for 20 minutes, a totally different beer. Nice dark fruits , bourbon / rum notes, vanilla, spice, and a little peppery on the finish, which is nice. You might almost guess that this was aged in bourbon barrels or similar. Nice complex warming booziness, without burning.

MF: Quite nice and silky, with a medium to heavy body but balanced by solid carbonation which helps to spread the flavors out.

Overall, a nice Belgian strong Christmas ale, but probably not my favorite (Corsendonk, Delirium or St B). The licorice notes were a little offputting for me. Nevertheless a relatively complex and well-assembled ale. I recommend letting it warm to 50 - 55F.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 00:32:53 | More by JeffreyJDavis
Photo of rickyleepotts
rickyleepotts

Arizona

4.8/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Oh man, I am excited for this one! This season I decided to try every Christmas beer that came out. I started at Total Wine & More and made my way through the list. I also attended a winter beer class at the Scottsdale location, and this beer was on the list. Nearly every seasonal beer I tried was boring, and didn’t live up to my expectations. Not sure what my expectations were, but nothing like what I was tasting. Then I tried this one… and my mind was blown! I was SO impressed with the flavor in this beer. It is sweet, loaded with booze, and has a LONG lingering aftertaste. Everything about this beer is enjoyable. The only thing I have had recently that comes close is the Terrible from Unibroue. Guess this is why I like Belgian beers!

I hope Total Wine & More lowers the price on these before they are gone. I would love to have one of these sitting in the cellar. Let’s start drinking. I can’t sit here and smell this any longer! Bottoms up, people.

In the Glass: I don’t even want to drink this. It looks GREAT in the glass. The head has been sitting there for a good five minutes. I could literally take a spoon to it… it’s that thick! The tasting notes mention red… but there isn’t any red here. It’s black. Coffee black. Hence the style, I guess! This looks nice and thick sitting there, and just begs for me to smell it! Let’s see what she smells like.

Nose: The nose is insanely fruity. I am getting a ton of raisins right off the bat. On a second whiff, I am picking up additional dark fruit notes… think plums and apricots. The beer looks great. Now it smells incredible. I can’t imagine what this will taste like. Like I said, I had this in a beer class a few weeks ago. I am sure a few months in the bottle and my attention to detail here will help me enjoy this beer even more. Let’s drink!

(Oh, I forgot to mention the lace. When I swirl this, the head just sticks to the side of the glass. It’s like glue. PERFECT lace.)

Flavor: Holy crap. This is just as good as I remember. The raisin flavor kicks things off, and your mouth just journeys through several dark fruit flavors including those same notes I was grabbing in the nose. You would never know this is 10.5% ABV. The mouthfeel is also nice, but we will get to that. I am just so impressed with the flavor. I can close my eyes and imagine myself by a fire just enjoying good conversation and good food. I wouldn’t even know where to begin pairing this with food. From meets and cheeses to breads and salads, this is a beer best served with a meal. Such a great flavor!

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel here is incredible. It is thick, almost like syrup… but drinks and goes down nice. The burp is also amazing. Those same flavors I was talking about come rushing back, and while a burp is not an enjoyable experience, you will want to burp to this one! The mouthfeel also gets smooth as this beer heats up. The flavors change, and the overall beer drinking experience changes.

Aftertaste: This might be the most impressive aftertaste I have had to date. It is not overwhelming, but there is a subtle sweetness that just sits on your palate for a while. As the beer slides down your throat, the fruity flavors turn dry, and the sweetness kicks in. Every time I swallow the flavor profile changes just a little, and I have a hard time going back for another sip!

The beer manager at Total Wine & More loves Belgian beers. He likes this one and the Gouden Carolus Easter. This is better than the Easter offering. But they are both good beers. We drank this one cold, but it has been sitting out for a good thirty minutes. If you have the chance to try this, get two. Throw one in the cellar for a few years… because this beer will only mellow out with time. Hands down the best Christmas offering of 2012. Can’t wait to try this again next year!!!

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 00:16:42 | More by rickyleepotts
Photo of Hopswagger
Hopswagger

South Carolina

2.5/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

P: Dense mahogany body with bright ruby highlighted edges. Minimal silky khaki head that dissipates to a cola like roof. Beautiful lacing that climbs the glass.

S: Licorice bomb! Notes of candied malt, oak, caramel apples, pepper and a pinch of cayenne.

T/M: Taste follows the nose but more aggressive spices and spiced rum soaked figs. Full sticky body with spicy numbing carbonation. Finish is dry with lingering smoke, aggressive booze, apple peels and pepper.

O: I was let down with this one. The licorice was way too powerful and the customary flavors were faint and hidden. Once it warms it become much easier to drink but is still far from great. A hot mess of a BSDA that is not one to hunt down.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 03:08:45 | More by Hopswagger
Photo of Tupperwolf
Tupperwolf

Washington

4.7/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Merry Christmas to me!

Pours a thick, extremely dark amber into a tulip glass, a 1/4" blonde head cap soon falling to a sticky ring that clings to the walls as I sip.

The smell is sweet and cloying, and immediately hits me with licorice or anise; There's a definite festive sweet spiced quality to this, bringing to mind Christmases past.

Each sip is a massive burst of flavors - licorice and aged whiskey with lots of vanilla, rum and blackcurrant, lemon and orange. So many flavors my palate hardly knows how to separate them!

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a light fizz on each swallow that spreads the delicious flavors of this brew over the tongue.

Overall a fantastic brew, this one really hits the spot on Christmas night. I love licorice and this beer has that flavor in plenty, but if you're not a licorice fan it has much else to recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 01:30:51 | More by Tupperwolf
Photo of Pegasus
Pegasus

Texas

4.48/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Opaque amber body, surmounted by a small, dense off-white head., which quickly fades The lacing is thick and unbroken.

Aroma: Lots of dark fruit, bourbon, burnt caramel, sugar, molasses, and earth. It really is as complex as that.

Taste: Opens with molasses, brown sugar, soon afterward, sweet alcohol, then dark fruits. Midway through the taste, there are a profusion of spices: cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. Dark fruits are also a dominating presence, particularly plums and raisins. Throughout the taste, there is a strong presence of whiskey flavors, as if the beer had been fermented in bourbon barrels. The ABV of this beer (10.00%) makes itself known with an strong undercurrent of sweet, vinous alcohol. The taste draws to a close with a lingering , sweet whiskey note and a strong licorice presence.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft and velvety. Simply superb.

Drinkability/notes: An over-the-top example in terms of quality.

Presentation: Packaged in a twenty-five point four ounce Belgian-style brown glass bomber with a cork and cage, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2012 23:20:50 | More by Pegasus
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the caged, corked 750 ml. bottle. 2012 batch with a marking of 08/09/11-11066. Sampled on Christmas Day 2012.

It pours a very dark amber brown with a small beige head that does not linger terribly long.

The aroma has a lot of character including dark malts, Belgian sugars, yeast, cranberry, cherries, and licorice but despite all of that the main character is hard liquor.

The body is strong and bold

The taste is like a fruity barleywine with lots of alcohol-enhanced malts, sweetness, and a kind of dark fruit juiciness with a slightly lingering finish. Something I will remember.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2012 20:55:44 | More by puboflyons
Photo of scottyb88
scottyb88

Maryland

4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a very dark, almost black, cloudy brown with a really nice head and decent lacing

S-brown sugar, pecan, a little bit of spice like nutmeg or cinnamon, apple skin, a doughy smell as well, some raisin

T-up front sweetness with a dry back end; apple skin soaked in brown sugar syrup with pecans; the spice, whatever it is, is faint-might become more noticeable as it warms; it's well balanced, but doesn't pop out at me

M-a little more carbonated than expected, but fairly smooth with pleasant aftertaste

O-a solid beglain dark ale with spices. Its dangerously drinkable at 10%. Either its so well balanced out, or I can't detect it as easily anymore. I have other favorites out there when it comes to xmas ales (corsendonck probably still being my favorite), but this holds up pretty well. A bit disappointed, however, being that I really enjoyed this brewery's kaiser blue I had too high expectations

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2012 03:01:10 | More by scottyb88
Photo of chanokokoro
chanokokoro

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33 cl bottle poured into an unbranded goblet

Pours a dark amber with a one and a half finger off-white head. Above average retention and abundant lacing. The nose is complex, some orange peel, boozy, rum-soaked burnt raisins, light earthiness and a bouquet of spices. Caramel and vanilla notes right off the bat, prunes, date, dried black cherries join in complemented by brown sugar, anise and ginger. Finishes semi-dry with warming alcohol. Smooth, silky, light syrupy mouthfeel, low carbonation. Overall a very nice holiday brew. Throughly enjoyed this one and won't hesitate to revisit it next year.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2012 03:49:41 | More by chanokokoro
Photo of hackmann
hackmann

Michigan

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

Appearance: Brown body with a light tan head

Aroma: black licorice, sweet fancy raisin, coffee,

Flavors: the black licorice stands out to me … reminds me of Smith Brothers Licorice Cough Drops, then the coffee hits the palate and then hints of sweet fancy raisin, fig, and a touch of chocolate. I do not notice the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: low carbonation, very light bitter note hits the mid palate if you are paying attention, black licorice and a light roasted coffee with milk lingers on the aftertaste. Body weight seems to be medium-full. That 10.5% abv does not even seem to be a factor so, watch out.

Overall: at first I did not like this and then when I started to think about what I was smelling and tasting then, I started to like this ale. After all I love a good stick of black licorice but, this strong of licorice in beer ...

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2012 03:00:06 | More by hackmann
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ProudBeerSnob

New York

4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2012 02:36:36 | More by ProudBeerSnob
Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
89 out of 100 based on 662 ratings.