Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas - Brouwerij Het Anker
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Ratings: 682 | Reviews: 444 | Display Reviews Only:
4.97/5 rDev +25.5%
Pour: 750ml bottle to tulip glass. A large light tan 2-3 finger head appears over a dark copper body, and just a couple trails of tiny bubbles coming up the side of the glass. The head lasts several minutes and leaves a fluffy layer on top of the beer that looks as thick as meringue.
Nose: Smells like gumdrops and a lit up pine tree sitting in someone's living room. Allspice, black pepper, cinnamon, and a faint dustiness to it that does a good job at keeping the alcohol at bay.
Mouth: A huge warm alcohol spiciness combines with the above mentioned spices, raisins, and bananas to make an extremely complex and enjoyable dessert beer. Hardly any hop presence at all, but it's really not needed in this one.
With this beer you can taste Christmas all year round!
06-19-2006 20:55:00 | More by clickpush
4.45/5 rDev +12.4%
If I was having a bad day, this is certainly a beer I wouldn't mind coming home to. Pour is a tad more brown than amber, with tan head sealing the deal. Aroma is sugary sweet, like a black cherry pie out of the oven. Taste is brown sugar, cherries and a bit of buttery maple syrup. I'd say this is devine. Mouthfeel is good and velvety. I bought one bottle but certainly will buy it again. This is a fix for a Belgian craving.
Paired it with some smoked gouda and that worked well. However, I would choose something a bit more sharp next time.
04-21-2006 07:28:03 | More by TheBungyo
3.88/5 rDev -2%
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
12-18-2009 00:41:05 | More by Brez07
1.95/5 rDev -50.8%
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.
02-26-2011 19:47:04 | More by teromous
3.85/5 rDev -2.8%
Reviewed at the 2007 Strong Ale festival
A- Murky amber hue, thin layer of white frothy head, spotty lacing
S- Licorice and spice, dark fruits (raisins and plums), floral hops and spice
T- Initial taste dominated by licorice/anise and raisins, touch of chalk and smoke, dark plums and figs, slight berries and brown sugar, warming alcohol
M- Medium-bodied, watery texture, mild carbonation
D- Smooth and fruity beer full of winter spices, alcohol presence is stiff and limits drinkability
12-02-2007 17:28:10 | More by Stoneman78
4.68/5 rDev +18.2%
Bought a 4pk from Beers of the World in November 2013. Poured from a 330ml bottle into a St Bernardus Chalice. Served at cellar temp.
Appearance: very dark with a tan, foaming head, scant lacing.
Aroma: Licorice. Lots of licorice i]with a touch of cloves in the background. Maybe some earthy spearmint too. Very unique, quite intoxicating.
Mouthfeel: soft, supple, bouyant.
Taste: Burnt brown sugar/ molasses with a spicy, spearmint kiss.
Notes: Unlike any other Belgian Dark Ale, this is a unique, interesting and tasty beer. Wish I had more of it.
12-25-2013 00:51:37 | More by fx20736
4.38/5 rDev +10.6%
Deep ruby color, smallish head, nice lace.
Sweet smell of banana bread, cooked figs, fruitcake, alcohol, sweet hot spices. Some sweet corn, like fresh cornbread. Heady. Good.
Tastes of sweet malt and dark candy, fig and candied fruit, plum skin, warm gingery spice, alcohol. Well balanced, and very tasty. Long dark candied fruity boozy finish.
Great smooth textured carbonation, and almost syrupy but not cloying.
Heady and warming, yet very drinkable. Great enjoyable beer.
12-14-2007 07:35:47 | More by Beerzebub
4.22/5 rDev +6.6%
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.
12-26-2009 00:20:41 | More by hdofu
4.58/5 rDev +15.7%
A slightly hazy deep reddish-brown in color, with a cream-colored head that disappears quickly. Very nice aroma. Many spices are present. Belgian candy sugar, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, even some eggnog. Banana and yeast spiciness also play a part. Alcohol is noticeable. Quite complex. On to the flavors. Cloves, candy sugar, and sweeter winter spices (nutmeg and cinnamon) are noticeable at first. Yeast spiciness comes in next, along with some bready malt and alcohol. I think I'm picking up some caramel malt as well. It's such a complex brew, it's hard to pick out everything. Definitely Christmasy. Full-bodied and rich. Nice and smooth in the mouthfeel department. Excellent brew! It could definitely be cellared for a while. My mom bought this bottle for me for Christmas. It's very much appreciated and enjoyed!
01-04-2003 02:33:33 | More by hyuga
4.58/5 rDev +15.7%
A - pours clear, deep amber, but hard to keep chunks of yeast out of glass with the bottle still being over 1/3 full. Visible carbonation streams. Light tan head, creamy and persistant. Leaves a sheet of lace.
S - great malty aroma, fresh, very nutty. Some fruit and spice are in the background, but rather faint. Spice more noticable as it warms. Outstanding.
T - rum soaked pears, caramel, unique spice note in the finish - nutmeg perhaps? Also some toasty biscuit in the aftertaste.
M - exceptionally smooth, not heavy bodied, but it does feel a touch sticky and coats the mouth. Alcohol is barely noticable until a warming slowly builds in the throat. Lively carbonation is not prickly, which I think matches the beer perfectly.
D - this is like heaven in a glass. I'm kicking myself for waiting almost a year to finally try it, and for only picking up 1 bottle!
This is a damn near perfect beer. In my opinion, it is everything Maudite wishes it was.. a kick ass strong red belgian. I am drinking this bottle way too fast, but I honestly don't care. It's THAT good. Can't wait to try out the other offerings from this brewer that are lurking in my beer fridge...
01-27-2008 02:06:07 | More by markaberrant
4.43/5 rDev +11.9%
Gouden Carolus Noël | 330 ml. | 10.5% ABV | 2010
Brewer: Brouwerij Het Anker
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Glass: Ommegang chalice
Murky brown with ruby highlights; There's little foam and it falls quickly.
Remarkably pungent and boozy. Plums and prunes come through amid heavy spicing. There's a whisky-like background.
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.
Thick but slick, it glides along the tongue as the ample carbonation leaves a prickly sensation in its wake.
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?:
Price = $4.99 at Whole Foods
01-03-2011 23:57:20 | More by BeerNemesis
3.9/5 rDev -1.5%
Appearance: a brown pour with a minimal tan head.
Smell: the nose is sugary sweet with a large amount of organe essence and cotton candy to boot.
Taste: a nice sweetness again highlighted by oranges and light spice....cinnamon and nutmeg...the sweet n spice combine nicely to represent a Christmas kinda flavour.
Mouthfeel: a smooth and medium bodies beer. good balance
Drinkability: not my favorite of all the christmas beers but a fine drink nonetheless.
11-05-2003 05:27:56 | More by Popsinc
4/5 rDev +1%
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.
01-22-2010 02:42:34 | More by ianjsullivan
3.68/5 rDev -7.1%
A: A reddish, dark brown with a head that is a mix of tight laced bubbles and large bubbles. Showing signs of lacing with some short legs.
S: Aroma is quite full of Belgian yeast characteristics. Sweet, banana and bubble gum with some alcohol esters. Also picking up some mint but nothing along the lines of cinnamon or clove. A bit of prickly alcohol.
T: Taste is actually quite crisp, sweetness of the Belgian yeast at first that finishes quickly with a good carbonation. Alcohol is very well hidden here and can only be detected on the very end of the sip. Big on the banana and sweet estery notes. Dark fruit notes with some bready qualities. Still having a hard time deciphering this from a BSDA, looking for something wintery here.
M: Carbonation seems low on the initial sip, yet builds as it begins to sizzle on the teeth towards the end. The body is nice on this beer and you certainly get no heat indication of the abv.
D: Very enjoyable beer, very drinkable. Not what I would expect from a Christmas style beer though. So judging this stylistically it is a great beer, but when they slapped the word "Noel" on it I would hope for something that reminds me of the season.
12-09-2010 04:51:58 | More by kiddynamite920
4.03/5 rDev +1.8%
This was a dark-amber pour, with a small head dissapating quickly. It smelled of cinnamo and sweet malt, with dark fruits and a lot of complex spiciness. The taste definitely confirmed all of this; lots of dark fruits and spices (cinnamon, nutmet, pepper), alcohol, hops, malt. The finish was once agin very smooth and crisp, pleasant, very warming.
11-29-2005 22:59:25 | More by sinistrsam
Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
89 out of 100 based on 682 ratings.