Gouden Carolus Easter Beer
Brouwerij Het Anker

Gouden Carolus Easter BeerGouden Carolus Easter Beer
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Brouwerij Het Anker
Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
4.01 | pDev: 12.72%
Feb 28, 2020
Apr 29, 2005
Gouden Carolus Easter BeerGouden Carolus Easter Beer
Notes: None
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Photo of maddogruss
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75
by maddogruss from New Jersey

Based on a review from 2012. Had this on draft.

A: pours dark red body with small white head with nice retention and lacing
S: sweet, fruity beer; somewhat banana esters and yeasty
T: sweet, banana ester taste with subtle, clovey and yeasty aftertaste
M: medium bodied and pretty smooth; decent overall
D: nice feel and taste combo; nice drinking beer overall

Feb 28, 2020
Photo of stevoj
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by stevoj from Idaho

Black licorice jelly beans, an Easter tradition, now in a bottle. Lots of anise and licorice in the aroma and taste, brown/black body with silky, but full, beige head. Sweet malt smell, licorice and ouzo on the finish, some slight alcohol warmth. This a new Easter tradition I could get used to!

Apr 11, 2018
3.99 by rangerred from Tennessee on Mar 19, 2018
Photo of Ricelikesbeer
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
by Ricelikesbeer from Colorado

I found this for around $11 and was pretty pumped to find something from Gouden Carolus I've never tried, as its one of my favorite Belgian breweries. I figured it would be a good holliday Strong Dark to serve for family.

L: pours murky red-brown with very little head whatsoever. very light carbonation. Upon popping the cork there was no audible noise- very strange to see no carbonation for a Belgian beer.

S: Very spicy and malty nose smells delicious and quite spiced. A bit of booze is there too.

T: This one is pure malt and spice, and sooo much anise flavor! that one ingredient really stands out, probably too much, and overwhelms anything else. The malt character is nice but the spice is overwhelming. Alochol is well integrated.

F: slick, oily, light body. The lack of any carbonation makes this seem a bit watered down.

O: Overall this one was disappointing considering the awesome beers I'm accustomed to drinking from the Golden Coin. I'll pass on this in the future. The anise was way to overwhelming. While the Noel also has a good amount, its not completely one dimensional like this beer.

Dec 18, 2017
4.14 by reitzbrewing from Pennsylvania on Apr 27, 2017
3.64 by 6thstreetbrewpub from District of Columbia on Apr 17, 2017
Photo of mynie
2.66/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75
by mynie from Maryland

750 ml bottle. The cork is yanked out with only the tiniest of squeaks. The pour is placid, very nearly still. The beer has to be swished around before the smallest bit of fizz makes itself apparent.

Smells like raisins and caramel and alcoholic. Pretty intense, but also pretty one-note.

Tastes a little smoother than the aroma, but the thin and flat body really weighs things down. Tastes like a solid tripel up front: chocolate, heavy yeast, biscuits, and then it just melts away and comes back with some stale fruit and booze at the end. Uneven and not good.

Apr 12, 2017
Photo of teromous
3.43/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5
by teromous from Virginia

From the rear label: "16/01/2015 15006 10:40"

Appearance: It has a very murky brown appearance that can't be seen through. There is no head and no foam on the surface at all.

Aroma: I get a clear alcohol aroma and what smells like plums. The aroma is reminiscent of plum dumplings. There is a bit of a sweet smelling molasses scent similar to the scent that hits the nose after opening a bag of brown sugar.

Taste: There is a very rich caramel and toasted bread flavor that comes up at first. It has a bit of a nutty pecan-like flavor.

Mouthfeel: It feels pretty lifeless on the palate. There just isn't enough carbonation to bring this heavy beer to life. The texture is smooth. It's easy to drink as the alcohol is not too strong.

Overall: The bottle I got wasn't very well carbonated and it really hampered the drinking experience and the visual appeal of the beer. That aside, the aroma was great and it worked nicely with the flavor of the beer giving it wonderful notes of sweet caramel and nutty bread. I would probably drink it again but I really would hope that the carbonation would be better on the next bottle. If you are willing to take a chance with the carbonation, or don't mind it, then I would recommend the beer.

Mar 19, 2017
Photo of chakadrum
3.26/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
by chakadrum from Pennsylvania

I'm generally a fan of the Gouden Carolus beers and this was the first time I spotted their Easter beer. I had to give it a try. I hadn't researched this beer at all so had no idea what to expect. The idea that it was to somehow represent Easter intrigued me.

Minimal head. Light lacing as I drink. Color when held up to a light is a ruby hidden among an autumnal maple leaf. Not much viscosity or carbonation to this beer so it slides down easy and for a 10%+ I hardly noticed - no heat at all.

I don't know if this was the intent but I can see a clear connection to Easter - if you like the black jelly beans. If there were ever a black jelly bean beer, in other words, licorice beer, this is it - the smell and taste. So, if this is your thing you'll love it. If it is possible to be on the fence about black jelly beans I am and the same for this beer.

Mar 14, 2017
4.19 by tzinto from New Jersey on Mar 04, 2017
Photo of patre_tim
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by patre_tim from Thailand

Dark brown and filtered with a moderate amount of bubbles. Has a slight amber tinge. Topped with 4 fingers of brown tinged white head.

Smells of dark fruits, cherries, raisins and plumbs. Brown sugar and caramel.

Tastes of dark fruits, raisins, cherries, and leather. Its quite a sweet beer, very Abbey style dark Belgian ale.

Thick, syrupy body, highly soda like carbonation.

Got this one over two years ago in Chicago at Whole Foods Market. Cellared for 2 years, I drank it in New Hamburg, ON, after being away in Asia. What a return home! Been waiting for this one. Really solid for the style, typical to the brewer its quite sweet, and this one is dark and Belgiany.

Sep 23, 2016
3.75 by CharlesK from Pennsylvania on Aug 01, 2016
3.69 by Wisconsin_IPA_Lover from Wisconsin on May 20, 2016
3.15 by AlpacaAlpaca from New York on Apr 29, 2016
Photo of mobrado
2.68/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75
by mobrado from California

As other reviewers have noted, this is full of anise. I don't think it is well-integrated at all. My bottle was almost completely flat too, which is obviously a fault of the particular bottle, but I still wouldn't buy it again.

Mar 28, 2016
Photo of Beginner2
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Beginner2 from Illinois

My favorite reviewers have an unusual spread of opinion on this.
There probably is only one way to narrow that spread: let the ale warm-up in the glass.
The carbonation calms down and the sugar/fruits counteract the strong anise/licorice.
This is one of my favorite makers of Belgian Darks, so I won't be too hard on my rating.
But.... the licorice is too strong for me to go back to this again.
Instead, I recommend their other more commonly available beers.

MJ's "Great Beers of Belgium" lists this without review.

Mar 12, 2016
4.27 by JMS1512 from New Jersey on Jan 17, 2016
3.76 by DOCRW from Washington on Dec 27, 2015
Photo of jzeilinger
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

A - Pours a dark raisin burgundy color but nice and clear with no haze or floaties, no carbonation, and no lacing ring.

S - Dark fruit, anise, black licorice, figs, - Very aromatic.

T - Light notes of anise and licorice, toffee malt, spice, figs.

M - Thick velvety body, low to no carbonation, sticky on lips.

O - Unique.

Nov 01, 2015
4.15 by JamieDuncan from Maryland on Oct 19, 2015
Photo of bubseymour
4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by bubseymour from Maryland

Strong liquorice flavor. Decent unique Belgian beer.

Oct 17, 2015
4.34 by RochefortChris from North Carolina on Oct 16, 2015
3.83 by bf7 from Pennsylvania on Aug 06, 2015
4.25 by lzepplin01 from Arizona on Jul 09, 2015
4.13 by REVZEB from Illinois on Jul 03, 2015
3.9 by mattyrubes from New York on Jun 21, 2015
Photo of Stevedore
2.8/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75
by Stevedore from Oregon

Pours a darker brown body, dark purple hue. Smells full of dark fruit and licorice, but it doesn't prepare me for what comes on the palate, which is full of anise. I'm really not an anise fan at all, in fact it's one of the flavours I dislike most overall, so as you can imagine I did not enjoy this one at all. Mouthfeel is medium-thin bodied, lower carbonation, and again full of anise. Overall, I don't like this because of the anise. If you like it, tread carefully. If you don't like it, don't bother.

Jun 13, 2015
3.75 by RMentair from Panama on May 21, 2015
Photo of keithmurray
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by keithmurray from Connecticut

Appearance - Reddish brown color with off white head

Smell - caramel, menthol, mint, molasses

Taste - caramel, molasses, fig, raisin, menthol, mint, black licorice

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, sweetness upfront, minty menthol in the back end

Overall - decent beverage. If I didn't know any better, I would say that this is the same beer as the Gouden Carolus Noel

Price Point - $10.50/ 25.4 oz bottle

May 16, 2015
3.75 by Hayley_86 from Netherlands on May 10, 2015
Photo of Braz
3.31/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
by Braz from Washington

Interesting beer. Has the feel of an almost beer mouthwash. Anise and licorice flavors prominent to me. Hints of cola with a clean cleansing aftertaste, not mint though, hard to pinpoint. Moderate sweetness. This was enjoyable but not great.

May 01, 2015
4.09 by BeerForMuscle from New Jersey on Apr 20, 2015
Photo of Slack
4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4
by Slack from Virginia

Deep mahagony in color with minor head and significant lacing
Smell is fig / plum, sugar, black licorice
Taste is similar to the smell with fig / plum and sugar dominating. Am also getting some spiciness- maybe pepper and banana/bubble gum.
Mouthful is medium with medium carbonation, finish is a bit of cloying sweetness.
Overall a nice sipper that has a wealth of flavors but is a bit too sweet for me.

Apr 18, 2015
Photo of Ozzylizard
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

$ 10.99/25 oz bottle from Craft Shack
Undated bottle at 45 degrees into a hand washed and dried Tripel Karmeliet chalice
Aroma faint, slight spices and some licorice
Head average (5 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, creamy, diminishing to
Lacing good – complete rings of dripping tiny to small bubbles
Body dark brown, opaque
Flavor begins slightly sweet, with dates, figs, a slight amount of licorice, and some nutmeg. No hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate medium to full, creamy, lively carbonation.

Appearance 4.75, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4.5, Overall 4.5

Apr 06, 2015
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by UCLABrewN84 from California

On tap at Basin 141 in Montrose, CA.

Pours a clear dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of fruitcake, dark fruit, grape juice, and spice aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, dark fruit, grape juice, and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice mix of fruit and spice aspects all around.

Serving type: on tap.

Apr 05, 2015
Photo of ljdrinksbeer
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by ljdrinksbeer from North Carolina

2013 bottling past its prime but can see that it had some nice complexities.

Edit: 4-5-15
Had another bottle and it deserves a bump uo in the score. Nice head that recedes quickly, a lot of malt sweetness with a hint of roasted bitterness, grape soda like finish.

Still need to try it fresh.

Feb 01, 2015
Photo of Jeffreysan
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Jeffreysan from Virginia

2013 vintage 12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, clear, deep, dark mahogany color with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic, with lots of dried stone fruit, such as raisins, prunes, dates and candied sugar, but not much in the way of malt.

Taste: Very similar to that aroma. Lots of stone fruit, dark molasses, and candied sugar. There’s some strong flavors of malt and Belgian yeast, but the predominate flavors are of delicious dried stone fruit and candied sugar.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy. As there is no carbonation what-so-ever, this beer is extremely smooth. With an ABV of 10.5%, there is a very pleasant alcohol warmth present on the palate.

Overall: This is an extremely delicious beer, but I expect no less from Gouden Carolus. This will definitely be a yearly beer!

Jan 14, 2015
3.5 by olradetbalder from Sweden on Dec 04, 2014
3.75 by djrn2 from New Jersey on Oct 24, 2014
Gouden Carolus Easter Beer from Brouwerij Het Anker
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 240 ratings