Gouden Carolus Easter Beer | Brouwerij Het Anker

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Gouden Carolus Easter BeerGouden Carolus Easter Beer
239 Ratings
Gouden Carolus Easter BeerGouden Carolus Easter Beer

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by paterlodie on 04-29-2005

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 239 |  Reviews: 120
Reviews by RedBaron:
Photo of RedBaron
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Do the Belgians celebrate Easter with the Easter bunny? Apparently on this import bottle, they do! (Cool label).

A - Pours with a brownish-red hue; nice, moderate carbonation throughout (proper); enticing
S - Fig, maybe banana, and lightly toasted malt aroma. Nice, and not ordinary.
T - Dark fruit, raisin, currents all over this one; the yeastiness in the finish adds a component that is welcome.
M - This is a complex spice and malt assault, but meticulously balanced from start to finish. If your drinking this one solo, take your time (as I write I about an hour+ into this 25 oz, 9%abv brew. Oh, and hopheads be warned - this is probably not YOUR bag.)
O - Fantastic beer, certainly worthy of the Resurrection (and bunnies) it associates itself with on the label. Gouden Carolus rarely disappoints, and this Easter offering is worthy of praise. Again - savor it!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of merlin48
3.28/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750 ml bottle, corked and caged, with 310107(best by date) stamped on the label. Easter scene, with three colored eggs and a bunny on the label. Label is bilingual, Flemish and French, and recites that Belgian hops are used, and a blurb about the brewery's history.
Appearance: Pours into a St Bernardus goblet a slightly hazed, ruby orange body that clears up over the course of an hour and displays some glowing mahogany hues. Khaki head is small, quickly falling to a cap and collar. Smooth sheets of lace decorate the goblet.
Aroma: Banana, clove, and licorice are up front. My girlfriend said this smells like a banana split, but I digress. Figs and prunes lend some dried dark fruit notes, and some freshly cracked black peppercorns add a rough spicy edge. Dry sherry like phenols are also prominent.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full body has soft carbonation and some alcohol burn.
Taste: Opens with spicy anise and clove, atop some scorched caramel malts. Alcohol is more hot than warming, giving this a rough edge. Hop bitterness is assertive, in an earthy and herbal nature. Very little yeast character is noted, seemingly obscured by the high ethanol. Hefty notes of dry sherry emerge as it warms, with some cherry cough syrup phenols. Star anise notes are heavy handed here, and at times this was like nibbling on a licorice stick that had been soaked in vodka. Finish had a long and lingering anisette aftertaste that required a couple of IPAs to eliminate.
Drinkability: I enjoy a subtle hint of anise in a big stout or strong dark ale, but it's really a distraction here. Alcohol is a bit rough and hot, as well. No doubt, this is well crafted and complex, and the flavor does have some banana and orangepeel notes, but I simply didn't care much for this one. If you like anise and hot ethanol, you will like this. It reminds me a bit of the Greek liqueur, Ouzo.

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Photo of BrewMaster
3.16/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

750 ml bottle purchased for 2.50 Euro at Delhaize in Verviers, Belgium. Labeled with an easter scene with bunnies and eggs and such. Best before 010107.

Appearance: Dark brown to black with very pretty much no light showing through. This beer has a thick and fluffy tan head on top. The head is not terribly creamy looking otherwise it would resemable a porter or a milk stout in color and proportions.

Smell: Anise (black licorice), pepper, sweet malts, brown sugar, cloves.

Taste: Malty with flavors of sage and more anise. It's lightly creamy in the middle with a crisp finish. Notes of rye, orange peel, spice cake, and a touch of smoke. This beer is alive with lots of flavors, they're just not my kind of flavor. I tend to hate anise flavored things, so that kills it for me.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, smooth, creamy.

Drinkability: This beer is good but it really is not my kind of flavor. The anise flavor is a bit strong and off-putting to me. This beer is also tremendously swee considering the other strong flavors. I thought I found a gem hiding in Delhaize, but it turned out to be a dud.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice slightly hazy deep amber brown with an off-white and medium head that fell slowly, yet lasted with persistance to lace the glass.

The aroma was fruity and citrusy with a strong bready/biscuit character. The fruity citrus was lemony and grapefruit/orange, but not like a hop attribute, like citrus itself. As the beer warmed a nice earthy character emerged.

The flavor was malty with a strong biscuit and more strong citrus flavors, lemon, lime and orange. Some dark fruits existed, raisins and prunes, but they were not front and center as were the breadiness and citrus. Also present was a light spice and a slight alcohol flavor.

The finish was just even with a lasting alcohol spice and citrus with a light caramel malt into the afteraste and beyond. The body was medium and the carbonation a bit low. Alcohol was present throughout, but was really strong in the warming after consumption. Tread lightly. A nice beer, but nothing overly complex, more a mixture of flavors that don't quite come out harmonious.

750 ml corked and bailed bottle. 310107 on bottle. Purchased at Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, VA. Tons of writing on the bottle, none of it in English. Maybe a future reviewer can find a bottle and tell us what it says.

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Photo of joe1510
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Binny's, Plainfield

10.5% abv

This has been in the cellar for 18 months or so. Gouden's Easter beer pours an unexpected sunset orange with a touch of haze and a few floating particles. Streams of carbonation rush up the sides of the glass to the clean, bright white head. The head grew easily to a finger on the pour and slowly settled to a skimming with a super thick collar that leaves impressive Belgian-esque lacing.

The nose on this beer is unique and one that I can't decide if I hate or enjoy. Actually, the more time my nose spends in the glass the more I enjoy the aroma of this beer. Brown sugar coated apples and a very candy like citrus quality take center stage. The nose on this beer is all about the fruit with the citrus being soft but coming across as candied orange, grapefruit, and lime peel. There's even a touch of honey and a dense floral quality that makes it hard to pull away from the glass.

The flavor mimics the nose in every aspect. All the flavors remind me of very sweet foods but surprisingly the overall flavor isn't overly sweet, or even really that sweet at all. Candied orange peel, cotton candy and brown sugar sautéed apples make up the main body of this brew. The other candied aspects mentioned in the aroma find their way into the flavor in lesser roles including strawberry bubblegum. This beer has an interesting flavor profile to say the least.

The mouthfeel is spot on like so many of the best Belgian brewed beers out there and Het Anker brews some of the best out there. A moderate body kicks things off before the soft but active carbonation kicks in and lends an airy mouthfeel to the beer.

This happens to be an easy beer to put away even when taking all the candy-like qualities into consideration. The light body keeps this beer flowing easily.

I wasn't all that fond of this brew when I first poured and smelled it but it grew on me to the point I'm really enjoying it right now. I'm impressed with yet another Gouden brew. They make some of the best beer in Belgium.

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Photo of wl0307
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Coming in a 750ml brown bottle, corked and caged, at 10.5%abv.; BB 02/02/2010, served lightly chilled in Hapkin's branded tulip-shaped bowl sniffer.

A: pours a very clear, dark burnished orangey-golden hue, coming with semi-lively streams of very fine carbonation and a slowly settling off-white frothy head.
S: richly mango-ish and banana-oil-ish esters plus citric syrup, overripe green apples, and sweet breadiness; the estery bouquet dominates the aroma, leaving very little space for other elements to penetrate through, but the thick, sugary maltiness with a somewhat oily touch does provide some sort of a backbone overall.
T: yeasty-savoury & sour-sweet in all fruit esters one could imagine from a Belgian beer, but not in an "overdone" way, with the banana-oil elements leading the chorus and orangey-citrusness playing the bass line... gradually leading towards a mixed aftertaste of dried hawthorn fruits, sweet spiced-olives, a touch of root vegetables, sweet green beans, abundant dried tangerine-ish citrus fruits and enjoyable grassiness of hops. Malts are more pronounced in the backbone and, flavour-wise, only the syrupy feature remains. The finish has random, mild bitterness of hops wandering around alongside sour-fruitiness.
M&D: the palate is quite soft as well as semi-refreshing, the alc. strength is pretty well hidden, the body is not heavy at all for a 10.5%abv. beer, but alas the flavour seems to be overwhelmed by yeasty elements - overall, the drinking experience is somewhat less than ideal. On the balance, the flavour is well-executed if it's meant to taste like this, but it fails to compete with many other sister beers due to the lack of MORE complexities that one'd naturally expect of any Het Anker nectar.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bold lemony gold with tons of settling yeast and scads of rapidly rising bubbles. The huge alabaster colored head is fantastically rich and creamy and is plastering the glass with an impressive amount of lace-like lace. I'm not sure what else one could ask for in a Belgian golden ale.

One source says that this Brouwerij Het Anker offering was a BSDA up to and including 2006. Beginning with 2007, it's a BSPA, or a 'Golden Ale' as the label now reads. That's funny, I was sure that I bought this bottle in late 2006. Guess not.

Gouden Carolus Easter Beer smells most like a tripel, keeping in mind the great amount of overlap between tripels and BSPAs. It's muskily golden fruity (apples, buttery pears and apricots) with a clove and coriander spiciness. The former is probably yeast-related and the coriander would have to have been added, although I'm not sure it was.

This isn't one of my favorite Belgian breweries for nothing! GCEB is tremendously delicious beer with close to unfathomable depth and complexity. It isn't as good as Gouden Carolus Tripel, but then those that are can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

There's a generous amount of pale malt that gives the beer a luscious sweetness that is right up my alley. It's far from gooey or sticky, though. Sweetness is perfectly countered by a moderate bitterness and a mild tanginess. Everything works in such perfect harmony that each sip is pure pleasure.

Warming brings out even more coriander. White pepper and clove are, again, probably esters from a magnificent house yeast strain. An orange and lemon citrusiness adds a witbier flair, but this is first and foremost a golden fruity Belgian tripel.

The mouthfeel is all kinds of wonderful. All that malt and an ideal amount of carbonation give this ale a lithe, supple, creamy expansiveness that is exhilarating. Why can't more American brewers give their Belgian-style ales this kind of mouthfeel?

According to the label, Easter Beer has the most limited production of any Brouwerij Het Anker beer (only 2000 cases per year). I'd like to take mine off the top every Spring and leave the other 1999 for the rest of you.

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Photo of hawksfan82
3.76/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into a La Trappe Chalice.

Pours a great light amber with maybe a finger high head that dissipates quickly. You can tell that there's a lot of carbonation in this brew.

Smell doesn't really tell you much. You get a bit of sweet honey, and the smallest bit of flowery hops. The alcohol (10.5%) came through for me in the smell as well.

Taste is very sharp at first. I usually don't get the alcohol until the end of the beer, but the alcohol comes in right away at first, along with the carbonation. Afterward is a nice mix of flavors that includes a combination of hop spiciness with some floral accents, a small bit of bitterness, and a nice sweet honey undertone to give it a good balance. The finish is crisp and dry, with a little bit of alcohol and some hop bitterness remaining on the tongue. This is a nice complex belgian, but it's not overwhelming. It's definitely worth having it in the 750ml bottle as it gives you a chance to get everything the beer has to offer.

Compared to some, the drinkability may not be all that high, but I think this is pretty good for it being a 10.5% beer. I also think it take more than just a glass to appreciate what this one has to offer.

Not the best beer I've ever had, but a great brew to sit down with and enjoy for an hour or two while watching a movie.

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Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beer made for the greatest day of mankind.Poured into a chalice more of a russet color,it's not golden like the bottle says,not even close,a well formed tannish colored head atop.Fruit cake and clove spice really stand out in the nose,its very cakey and very spiced.Flavors of fig and some raisin,the spiced notes come in the finish with some clove and allspice,the allspice gives off a little peppery shot.I am not drinking this with Easter dinner,I think savory food wouldnt go so well with such a spiced beer,drinking alone it is almost a meal itself in a glass.Not something I normally would seek out but for this awesome day I did and enjoyed it.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.14/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle. Pours a dark reddish amber brown with a big fluffy off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is earthy yeast, some sweet malts and some alcohol with some bubblegum and cola.

The flavor is sweet sugary (molasses) malts and dark fruits that just pop out initially. There's an earthiness from the yeast and some banana and clove notes. The finish has medium dry bitterness with a bit of alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with soft carbonation.

Overall, an OK Belgian. The flavors didn't work for me, and the alcohol and sweetness was a bit over the top.

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Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Happy to find this nugget on draft at Holy Smokes in Mahopac, NY

Pours darker brown and murky, creamy, darker tan head, leaving all shapes of fine lace on the glass.

Sweet candy and malt infused nose.

Nice beefy malty base, toffee, candied fruits, vanilla, honey all picked up and savored.
Finish is slightly less flovorful, Enjoyable and dangerously easy drinking. Alcohol notes hidden, but jolt from this beer is not. well done, more quality brew from GC

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Photo of reitzbrewing
4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of epfarida
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of RobertH50
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of JMS1512
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

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Photo of Loveyourbeer
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of GilGarp
4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL brown bottle with cork and cage. Served cool into my St. Bernardus glass. Label says 9% ABV as opposed to the 10% listed here.

Aroma is impressive right from the start but I'll get back to that.

Easter Beer is a dark redish brown Belgian ale. It has good clarity and creamy head. Not very good retention but pretty lacing.

Back to that aroma - it's immediately evident as the cork pops - a big burst of fresh banana with a milder but still wonderful sweet spicy chacter. Together it's almost like a banana bread got together with a coffee cake. Both would be nice on a sunny Easter morning.

Flavor is unusual too but very impressive. It has great depth with mild tropical fruit (that banana is strong here too) but also some rye bread, warming spices, and black licorice.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with ample carbonation. It's not too much of the latter like many Belgians seem to me. A nice balance of flavors and the alcohol is not too strong.

Overall it's very tasty. Just as the wise (beyond his years) young man told me at the store, it's basically a blend between dubbel and quad. Not a bad thing in my opinion. Still not sure why it's an Easter beer...

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Photo of beerbrains
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 2010 notebook....

Dark Syrupy sweet. Dark malt with a slight sour tang in the back of the throat. Dried fruits. Fennel or black licorice fills not just the nose but all of the sinus cavities. Alcohol warmth. Heavy in the stomach, not really filling, just a heavy feeling.

This beer gives the impression that it has been brewed just like this for a very long time.

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Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber just released at abbot on the Hill. Bubble gum yeast nose, pleasing though on intentionally sweet side. Rising carbonation bubbles on dirty blonde body with elaborate lace scultuled glass. Full mouth yeast with fruitiness. Above average carbonation and still very drinkable to the end, with a friend.

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Photo of socon67
4.39/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours brown with a distinct maroon tint. Settles with little if any foam. Lacing is minimal. Slight carbonation.

S - Strong smell of bubblegum (first time I really smelled that as potent in an beer). Semll of licorice, candy, and cherry cordial.

T - Taste is an intense blend of sugary fruit and spice. Very strong flavor of yeast. This is a robust beer with many layers of complexity.

M - Heavy belgian beer that will dominate any food, so it is best as a sipper.

O - Great beer that in the right occasion will stand out. Not sure of the connection to Easter, but I'd have this any time of the year.

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Photo of RickS95
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep rich brown with a huge off white head. The beer is not the darkest thing in the world, but you can just tell it's rich. The head is comprised of small bubbles with good staying power. As the head dissipates, it leaves its tracks all over the glass.

Dark, ripe fruits fill the nose. In addition, it's got a spicy scent, notably pepper. Has a slight bit of port wine in it as well.

The taste is what you're thinking after seeing and smelling it. The dark fruits are there, as well as the peppery spice. Also noticeable is a faint alcohol taste in the finish.

For as strong as the beer is (9% ABV), it's got a soft mouthfeel. Sure, there is some carbonation and some spice, but for the type it's pretty gentle. Also, there is some complexity as it starts off sweet, moves onto spicy heat, then finishes with a bit of dry heat.

This isn't a sissy beer, but it's pretty easy to drink, despite its high ABV. Nonetheless, there is a smoothness to it that the Belgians have mastered. Really a top notch beer.

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Photo of freewill35
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of aztraz
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

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Gouden Carolus Easter Beer from Brouwerij Het Anker
Beer rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 239 ratings