Gouden Carolus Easter Beer | Brouwerij Het Anker

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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

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Reviews: 117 | Ratings: 233
Photo of janubio
4.97/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml. corked bottle. Hazy golden-amber colour, pours a dense, compact head that doens't hold too long, but leaves crown and lace. Smells of tropical fruit (mango), bananas, maybe even some apricot and/or peach. Spices, clove or cardamom, coriander, hints of vanilla, wood aged oloroso or amontillado sherry. Viscous or sticky flavour, brandy notes. Taste is more of the same, here is the mango and bananas, the spices, the wood and the brandy feeling, some oranges too. Very brandy like aftertaste, a really great great one.

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Photo of brewdenver
4.97/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle; Poured into a New Belgium Tulip.

A: Dark brown a bit cloudy in bottle. When poured into a tulip it produced a low head slightly dark and creamy in color. Cloudy in the glass as well. Medium fingers and lacing around glass.

S: Very aromatic with caramel, raisins, honey. Esters from the yeast produce a fruity but nothing specific aroma. Don't even notice the 10% from the smell. Also a bit spicy on the nose. It reminds me of cloves but not offensive. A joy to bring to the nose before taking a sip.

T: What a delight on the palette. The carbonation in the beginning hides any amount of alcohol it might have. Producing a delightful middle. Caramel, candy, raisins a bit of a spice and some fruit esters. It finishes with a flurry of complexities compelling you to grab the glass for another taste.

M: Carbonation is spot on. Keeping the alcoholic strength to a minimum in the beginning. leaving the palette clean to enjoy the nuisances of the malt, hop and yeast profile in the middle and end. Medium bodied in the mouth letting you know this is not lacking true malt characteristics.

O: This is truly a great Belgian Dark Ale. It is not lacking anything that you would expect. There is not much to say about the overall beer that has not been said already. I will leave you with this though. The Belgiums have been perfecting the art of strong ales for sometime. There is an ability to give it a kick without you ever knowing it from smell to taste. Its a passion a lifeblood if you will. I've had the Pliny The Elder and one even better in my opinion the Seven Seas Double IPA from Dry Dock in Aurora, CO. Where a balance of hops and malt are used to produce a strong American double IPA. With that said. I am a greater fan of what has been perfected not over Decades but Centuries.

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Photo of TheGrunt
4.83/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Truly a wonderful Belgian masterpiece!

Colour is dark brown, but after pouring and looking through the glass towards more bright lights you see deep rosy or cherry colours with the deep, chocolate brown.

Foam is medium.

Smell tells nothing of the greatness of this beer. It is of course good, but I've had stronger smells. It is good though, with a good, balanced mix: Malt, hops, fruits with a cherry and hint of oak.

Mouthfeel is awesome! It is silky soft, without any bitterness. Low to medium carbonation tickles on the tongue a bit.
Taste is abosultely great! It is extremely soft for a pretty strong alcohol content beer: in fact no hint of strong liquor taste at all. Hop taste isn't as strong as it is in smell, but the taste is extremely smooth with malt, bit of hop and fruity flavor.

Antyhing in the taste wasn't exactly as I expected, but this is truly amazing beer IMO. It is somewhat "heavy", so it isn't a summer beer of choice at least for me (good Hefes are better), but this is definitely good choice for the colder part of the year and not just the easter as it is marketed, and those who seek dark beer with smooth flavor shouldn't hesitate with this!

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.7/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a medium gold w/ a two finger head. You could take a picture of this beer as the standard for the style, it's just about perfect. Carbonation, lacing, head, color- everything is just about perfect on this one.

S- Smell is that of spice, fruit, corriander, slight pepper.. Just about a perfect balance of smells. The sum of the parts is greater that you would think. Again, the standard in this style.

T- Wow. This beer rockets up the list of great beers I've tried. It's not at the top of the list, but it's really far up there. Everything is just about perfect. All the flavors are perfectly balanced and work in harmony together. Truly at the head of the class for this style. I really can't imagine improving the taste in any way.

M- Perfect. Again, balanced- creamy, goes down super easy. The best of the style.

O- Super glad I found this beer in the DC area. It's truly one of the better beers I've ever had, regardless of style. It's the prototype great Belgian beer. You owe it to yourself to pick this beer up. I know I will whenever I see it!

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Photo of ales4baldo
4.67/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle

P-Simple corked 750ml bottle with an Easter illustration on its label.

A-Poured into a Gouden Carolus glass. Pours thick and silk like. A finger of head that washes away slowly. Bubbly and crisp. Foggy and cloudy dark brown with nuts.

S-Sweet Belgian matls and candy. Nice hints of booze and spices that follow through. Black licorice and dark plums. Raisins also creep their way in there.

T-Beautiful sweetness to this beer. Lots of Belgian candy and smooth malts and yeast. Subtle booze sits nicely atop licks of black licorice and raisins.

M-Nice and full bodied beer with tons of flavor and booze on the back end. Crisp and crackles of carbonation. Smoothes out nicely and the finish lingers.

O-Really nice beer. Ive let this one cellar for almost a year and its nice and sweet and smooth. Really good beer.

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Photo of clickpush
4.65/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour: 750ml to wide mouth glass. Maple syrup colored beer, much darker than I was expecting with gorgeous ruby hues. One finger of tan head tops the liquid. Plenty of carbonation visible inside. Head retreats to a healthy coat of lacing and hefty halo around the edge.

Nose: Huge malty, biscuit-y aroma. Banana salt water taffee, alcohol, strawberry Twizzlers. Very robust.

Mouth: Flavor is equally as rich, diverse, and complex as the aroma. Some roasted barley notes, soft hops, and tons of fruity esters. Warming alcohol. Gorgeous. Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated yet creamy and smooth.

I could drink this all night. Another knock out from Het Anker.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.63/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark lemony gold color, glassy yet smeared body. Huge topping of white puffy foam lasts for good length before settling to an always present thick skim. Lots of sheeting lace trickled with tattered strings hanging on.

Aroma is soft and round with a dull lemon candy and honeydew ascent, good amounts of caramel malt and a good touching waft of ethanolic, yeasty heat.

Flavors are absolutely spectacular. Wow and yum combine to make scrumptiousdillyumscious! Great candied lemon, honey, and caramel are thickly laid upon the palate quickly with a heavy notion of stick and creamyness. Nice light addititons to yeasty spice thats airy spiced with light white pepper, flowers, and bright earth tones. Oh, its yummy. The caramel is damn right awesome as it covers all the small notions of citrusy notes. Very impressionable palate soaking.

Creamy, lush, full, and down right smooth with just a heavy malt that is toned just right without any cloying. It is liquid candy. Or so it seems. Man its good. I really enjoyed this beer. Its seemingly more like a Tripel than a Dark, but anyway you look at it, its phenomenally enjoyable and well worth seeking and trying. Gouden Carolus has themselves another winner here with this one.

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Photo of larsee01
4.58/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big, corked bottle poured into Chimay chalice.

A--Cloudy by ascending carbonation. Unyielding creamy head. Tons of consistent carbonation release. Strong lacing. Lovely deep reddish amber color.

S--Creamy honey. Heavy malt sweetness. Figgy. Not a hint of booziness. Scent milder in glass than when cork popped off bottle.

T--Tasty with lots going on. Hits lips with golden raisin. Sweet, but not overly so. Balancing white pepper spiciness. Musky earthiness in the middle, but complimentary--not distracting. Where is the 10% ABV?? Wow! Delicious. Quite mild and a little dry on the palate.

M--Creamy and mild. Dry for a malty mutha! Clean on palate. Soooo well balanced.

D--A pleasure.

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Photo of hardy008
4.53/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with ruby highlights, and has a two finger light tan head with small bubbles, and very good retention and great lacing. The aroma has dark fruit, apples, bubble gum, Belgian yeast, spices, caramel, and brown sugar.

Tastes much like it smells with dark fruit, apples. caramel, Belgian yeast, bubble gum, spices, white grapes, and cola. There is also a little hop bitterness at the end. This is a nice sweet beer, which is not overly sweet. Very nicely made.

Medium bodied with lively carbonation. Smooth and very easy to drink. Het Anker has been one of my favorite Belgian Breweries for a long time, and this beer is another winner from them.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
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 Beerenauslese
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle. Described on the label as a Golden Ale, it is decidedly not golden: it is almost as dark as a Black Butte porter. Produces a substantial, creamy tan head that dissipates after several minutes, leaving a fine ring of foam and lots of fine lacing that clings to the glass.

Aromas of roasted malt, dark fruit, yeast, sugar, honey, and licorice.

Lots of flavor in this one; I am tasting roasted, caramelized malt, toffee, prunes, raisins, and dark fruits. It is quite sweet and a mild licorice taste gives it an unusual dimension, but one that seems suitable for Easter. Maybe one of the three special spices added is sweet root? Reminds me of those sugar coated licorice candies of many colors. Finishes dry with a taste of ginger. A little metallic cola too. The tastes are complex and reveal themselves as time elapses.

Body is medium to full, the carbonation up front makes it very creamy, but it can get a bit flat if you wait too long.

This is a special beer brewed for Easter and is limited in production. It is a holiday ale and a bottle should be consumed amongst family and friends, preferably at Easter. Very drinkable under those conditions. My bottle label states that the ABV is 9%, so maybe a little less alcohol than previous vintages.

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Photo of seedyone
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

12/25/13 At Rattle n Hum, NYC. On tap. Part of a flight. 10.5%? Yes I'm going there. The depth of the flavor matches the depth of color. A sweet almost piney/maple aroma is way up front & doesn't give way. There it is. Like it or not. Me? Me likey! Do it, you'll thank me later. Disclaimer - **10.5% ABV**

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Photo of davidchollar
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Turbulent bronze and extremely bubbly, with a nice dense head. Decent retention, a little lace but only in certain areas of the inside of my Duvel tulip. A very good-looking pale ale.

As others have pointed out in their reviews, this is definitely not a BSDA, although it is currently classified as one. It's also 10.5% ABV according to my bottle, which otherwise looks the same as the one in the picture.

Pretty intense smell. It's weird. Maybe it's just the fact that it's advertised as an Easter beer, but this really reminds me of Easter. Candy. Caramel green apple, jelly beans. Honey on toast. There's even a hint of chocolate biscuits, like Tim Tams. There's also a heavy dose of that good old Belgian yeasty goodness.

Velvety, full-bodied mouthfeel compliments a complex and delicious taste. The high ABV is not exactly hidden, but it doesn't take away from the flavor. I'm not sure if this is a BSPA or a tripel, but I know it's awesome. I had high expectations for this one because of their Christmas beer, and Gouden Carolus Easter Beer did not disappoint! Definitely try this if you get a chance!

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged 750. $10. Easter beer consumed on Easter. My 200th review.

Appearance: The bottle calls this a golden ale, but this website and the reviews suggest it has been both a golden and dark over the years. This one is this year's I believe, and is definitely a dark. Pours a deep garnet, nice and clear. Nice fluffy head with great retention and a lot of sticky lacing. I like it.

Smell: What a great smelling Belgian dark. Complex malt aromas, bready yeast, dark fruit, and spice. Tiny citrus hint. Almost vinous or port-like.

Taste: Delicious. Sweet, malty, fruity, bready. This one is not overly spiced or peppery. Smooth, rich and sweet. A little ethanol in the back, but then a sweet and bready finish.

Mouthfeel: Very full and smooth. I like the high carbonation.

Drinkability: This is the kind of beer I don't mind spending ten bucks on every now and again. Way better than their Christmas beer. Praise Zombie Jeebus!

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Photo of alexgash
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, served at 45 degrees F.

Glowing, yet hazy golden apricot body. Thick, creamy, rocky, glass-crawling off-white head. Very Easter-y nose of sugar-coated candy, fresh hay, perfume-y hops, candied pears, other sugary fruits, brandy, and yeast.

Tastes like Easter too! Candy coated fruits; sweet and rich and powdered sugary. Pears and tropical fruits mix with boozy esters and delicious, drying grassy herbal hops. Yum! Full-bodied, mouth-coating feel.

A great addition to the stellar Gouden Carolus line-up.

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Photo of mgobrew
4.48/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml Bottle decanted into a tulip glass.

A: Pours nicely with a thick white head rising to well over three fingers. Dark tan straw color with noticeable haze and sediment is suspended. Lace remains as the head slowly dissipates.

S: RAISENS, RAISENS, dark brown bread toasted like raisin bread.

T: The raisins are overpowering and then a bitter finish hits but still it reminds me of a piece of raisin toast.

M: Thick but carbonation is noticeable. This is a very filling and robust beer.

D: This is a very good beer and I would like to cellar one to sample next year. It is smooth and crisp with a warming and bitter ending.

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Photo of IPA35
4.48/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Delirium Café.

A really dark brown beer much like the Classic or the Christmas (both very very good beers, highly recommended). Some tannish head.

Smells much more spicy than the Classic. It has the same maltiness but this one is pretty big on the anise and liquorice unlike the other which is more fruity.

Tastes much the same as it smells, a rich dark beer with anise (I am pretty certain they added anise in this brew). Not overpowering though.

Nice beer, lucky I got to try it as I won't buy such a big bottle of this for myself.

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Photo of taigor
4.48/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into small goblet.

A - Poured non-transparent dark mahogany color with big tan head that slowly dissipated leaving light lacing around the glass.

S - Mostly malts and yeast with slight scents of dark fruits like plums, raisins and figs.

T - Sweet malts and brown sugar upfront followed by belgian yeast and raisins, figs and plums. Has a dry finish.

M - Full bodied with average carbonation.

O - Great BSDA with ABV well hidden. I would highly recommend it.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.44/5  rDev +10.4%
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 jnn4v
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Chestnut color with slight amber hue. Little head. No sediment. Moderate haze.

S: Smells fantastic. Toffee. Caramel. Belgian yeast.

T: Taste that is on par with the scent. Caramel, toffee, hints of citrus. Slightly sour notes to balance it out. Grape juice. Dry aftertaste.

M: Moderate body and texture.

D: 10.5% ABV is totally hidden. Very tasty, well balanced beer.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.41/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Will pour a 5+ finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving an excellent lace. Dark amber/mahogany color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Dark fruit and orange nose and flavor is sweet spice and dark fruit and a little alcohol. $9.99 for a 750ml bottle from Julio's Liquors Marlboro, MA. Labeled at 10.5% ABV.

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Photo of RedBaron
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
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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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$ 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

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Photo of socon67
4.39/5  rDev +9.2%
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 impending
4.39/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


750ml into a tulip. Pours a deep garnet copper, minor cafe au lait colored head, minor lacing.

Aroma is spicy, anise, caramel, malt ball and camphor. Fennel perhaps.

The spices carry through strong into the flavor. Very spicy. Figs and plums. Anise and phenols swirl. Sweet with a piercing dry twang that sets the stage for the finish. Long lasting heavy phenolic aftertaste. The alcohol contributes nicely as a flavor component. Medium bodied mouthfeel.

Warms wonderfully. This is classic belgian seasonal, expressive and big. A spiced blue.

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Gouden Carolus Easter Beer from Brouwerij Het Anker
4.02 out of 5 based on 233 ratings.
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