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 Sammy
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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 UCLABrewN84
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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.

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Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours out as a brownish color that fairly translucent, the head is a light tan color with a very nice lacing down the glass. The aroma is yeasty, sweet and floral. The taste is sweet and slightly metallic up front then settles down in the aftertaste to some silky soft earthy dark fruit flavors. The mouthfeel is drinkable and is on the medium side. The carbonation is pretty good too. Very enjoyable brew for the holiday.

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Photo of metter98
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear dark mahogany in color. It poured with a half finger high dense off white head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of dark fruits and candi sugar in the nose. As the beer warms up, smells of anise become very apparent.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of dark fruits and candi sugars and has a light to moderate amount of sweetness. Hints of licorice are also present and these become much more prominent as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium- bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a nice balance between each of the flavors and the anise adds uniqueness as the beer warms up. The alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

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Photo of emerge077
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review from notes.

A - Transparent golden amber body, with nice head retention.

S - Very floral, bubblegum, sweet and phenolic aroma.

T - Pretty sweet, dried wildflowers, cotton candy, drying alcohol.

M - Phenolic fumes, dry, with an effervescent feel.

D - Too alcoholic, definitely one to share, i'll pass on this one.

Thanks EehaiCJ for sharing this!

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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Bleu Restaurant in Columbia, MO

A - Poured a cloudy, dark burgundy color with a small, tan head of foam. It left sudsy rings of lacing.

S - It smelled of dried dark fruits with some bready malts.

T - Raisins, figs and plum create a fruity balance to go with bread crust, caramel and sweet malt. There is a mild hop bitterness for balance.

M - This is a crisp, smooth beer. A medium bodied Belgian ale with a dry finish.

O - This was good. A nice find on tap at a place that's improving its beer options.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 2/5/2013. Pours fairly crystal clear deep ruby-brown color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, clove, pepper, licorice, toast, toffee, dark candi sugar, bread, herbal, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, light banana, licorice, toast, clove, brown bread, dark candi sugar, light pepper, herbal, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Slight fruity tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, licorice, light banana, clove, dark candi sugar, brown bread, herbal, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, slick, and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian strong dark ale. All around great complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast and dark/bready malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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 dbrauneis
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 Edition opened and enjoyed on Good Friday.

A: Pours a clear dark mahogany in color with some moderate visible carbonation (only seen when being held up to the light). The beer has a finger tall creamy beige head that reduces to a thick layer covering the entire surface of the beer with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: The dominant aroma in this beer is the licorice but I also detect some dark fruits (plums and figs) and some candi sugar sweetness.

T: The flavor of this beer really starts out quite sweet with a heavy presence of dark fruits and candi sugar. The dark fruit is the dominant flavor and seems to be mostly made up of plum, fig, and date which imparts quite a bit of sweetness. The licorice flavor is very present in the finish and really lingers for quite a while.

M: Medium to full bodied with low to moderate amounts of carbonation. Velvety smooth creaminess.

O: This beer is very interesting and seems appropriate for the Easter holiday - the aroma is reminiscent of black jellybeans. The alcohol is very well hidden considering the fairly high ABV. I will definitely keep my eye out for this one again next year. More of a sipping beer than a session beer but very enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +9%
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 mdfb79
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 3/6/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Poured a dark amber with an inch of white head.

s - Smells of sweet dark fruits. Plums, raisins, and figs. Hints of spices and yeast.

t - Also tastes of sweet dark fruits. Also some malts, spice, and hints of apples.

m - Medium body with high carbonation. Carbonation stings the tongue.

d - Pretty good dark ale. Nice spices, yeast, and dark fruits evident in the smell and taste. High carbonation hurts it a little bit. Would have again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.93/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Normally I miss this guy when he comes around every Spring, so I was more than happy to see my local store still had one of this year's still hangin' around. It pours a murky garnet-sienna topped by a finger of off-dirty ash foam. The nose comprises black licorice, toffee, brown sugar, and Belgian candi sugar. The licorice dominates everything else, making it hard to pick out most of the other scents. The taste is similarly constituted, with a domineering licorice flavor strangling everything else out. Some mild cocoa notes can be found in the mix as well, but they're similarly faint compared with the licorice. Honestly, I winced with every sip... The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a pretty smooth feel. Overall, a surprisingly one-sided brew, which unfortunately was a bad side. Way the hell too much licorice for this to ever be any good.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into an official Gouden Carolus chalice glass.

Not much head or froth on this, but some faint caramel head manages to stick around. Lacing is slight and noticeable a little, but not much of the concentric rings that I associate with their strong dark ales. Body color is classic walnut brown, fairly see through to some extent when looking through the head and so forth. Look fine.

Nose is a simple dark malt and sweet Belgian candy sense. Chewy, hints at not too much just an even simple white sugar sweetness.

Taste hits with a real surprise. It's black licorice candy gumdrops, mixing with classic Belgian sweetness and dark malts. Chewy but with a slightly wet palate that hits like a licorice candy you've been chewing on for some time. Sweetness feels really balanced, nothing outrageous and sticky, or even horribly sweet. Maybe even a bit of menthol mint action.

Overall though, fun beer, a nice take on the licorice anisette angle. Candy beer without the sugar bomb, I did enjoy it this Easter indeed.

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Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
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 feloniousmonk
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into my small Gouden Carolus chalice...seems appropriate...

Hazed golden/orangish hue...solid white head on top.

Orange and lemon zest hits the nose. Lots of lovely spice, some coriander, some ginger, maybe...lovely aroma. Airy, creamy, sublime. Big rewards for this one.

Taste: big carbonation, lots of spritz, tons of fun on the tongue...plenty of fruit, and then that spice again...big carbonation, sweet flavor, plenty of spice, easy to drink, absolutely delish...

the het anker/gouden carolus Easter Ale, listed here as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale tastes all the world like a witbier. Perfect spring brew that I got on sale in December. Zesty, lively, delicious, ...

Although this is not what I'd yearn for at this time and place, it's a damn good brew, and would make an excellent Easter feast.
Some astringency. some bitterness, but very drinkability, quite smooth and flavorable.

A super-wit is what I'd call it, very good stuff!

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Photo of Gavage
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a hazy brown color with a 1" head that slowly falls. Some spots of lace develop.

Smell: big licorice tones and dark fruit sweeteness comes through.

Taste: nice malty beer here. Loads of licorice, plums, raisins, a hit of rum, and some alcohol are the main flavors. Bitterness is moderate.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Light crispness to start, smooth and velvety at the finish. Long lasting aftertaste.

Overall: a bold flavored belgian ale that is a slow sipper but satisfying. But sorry to say this won't work as a pairing with some yellow Peeps or a chocolate egg even though it's called an Easter beer. Great drink for when the kids do the Easter egg hunt.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
2.96/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Gouden Carolus Easter beer

Pours a bright amber color, off white head and little lace.

Smell: anise, Belgian yeast, caramel, spices, and alcohol.

Taste: strong aniseed, with a minty menthol kick, Belgian yeast, toffee, brown sugar, caramel, raisin. Touch of alcohol, and lots of flavor, making for a somewhat complex sipper.

Mouthfeel: medium to full bodied, well carbonated, anise in the finish.

Overall: a decent offering from gouden Carolus, like their other holiday beers, heavy on the anise, but still nice and hides the strength for the most part.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.54/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5


Surprised I haven't reviewed this one yet... Picked this up at Brewer's Haven on Vista a couple weeks ago... Pours a fairly standard dark amber.. perhaps a little hazed.. 1" off white head has great retention and lacing.

Nose is weird.. tons of anise... lesser clove and some dark plum.. "Belgian", yes but more "spiced" than Continental.

Flavor has the same elements but with a little more dark sweet plum up front that actually helps magnify the anise/licorice notes...

Body and carbonation are fine for a BSDA... I am just not digging the heavy licorice component.. I don't remember the anise being so pronounced, but I haven't had this one in years either... Oh well.. I doubt I will buy this again just based on my personal prejudices.


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Photo of clayrock81
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a brown body with one finger head and lace patches. The aroma of anise first hits me, along with candi sugar, and then dark fruits like black cherry and figs, possible plums. The dark fruit flavors are more pronounced in as there are strong flavors of cherry, figs and plum along with the anice/candi sugar crushing my tongue at times. The beer is balanced with fruits and sweetness but overall I'd describe it as a "sweet beer". There are spices lie pepper or coriander that are waiting to be picked out to and I get them on the backend in the finish. Complex, medium bodied beer that is chewy at times and a wonderful beer to enjoy.

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Photo of rudzud
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up at Julio's in honor of Easter. Cracked it after work, poured into my Palm tulip.

A - Pours an almost crystal clear mahongany with a rather weak quarter inch head. Much to my surprise though it never really fully fades, just condenses on the center and leaves a nice halo as well.

S - Rich deep malts, dark fruits, and even some chocolate. Very sweet, and like someone else said, licorice like.

T - Some almost winter warmer type spices here. Getting some cloves, more dark fruits and sweetness. Not getting as much licorice though.

M - Its a bit too heavy/syrupy for me. Low carbonation keeps things a bit heavier.

O - This is a nice belgian strong dark ale. Think the mouthfeel could use a little work though. Wouldn't mind trying this with a little age on it, see how it holds up.

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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 jzeilinger
3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Burgundy with backlighting shows a quick paced medium dense effervesce. A spongy, khaki colored head sits atop with some resilience. Good amount of lace coverage.

S: The aroma is sweet of cola and candy apple. The cola is really dominate and what really stands out to me with some accents of apple, sugar plums, banana, and a light mention of clove.

T: The flavor is spicy alcohol and fruit, plums showing sugary and tart notes with some sweet licorice and black jelly beans. Warm apple, sweet caramel instances and a warm boozy touch of dark fruit sweetness.

M: The body is light with a decent amount of carbonation. Spicy dark fruit alcohol leave on the tongue.

O: Overall a spicy dark fruit beer with a beautiful warming of alcohol delivers on that easter feel. Solid flavor, clean and easy to consume. Limited to 2000 cases yearly. An easter treat indeed.

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Photo of wl0307
3.78/5  rDev -6%
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 Stevedore
2.8/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

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.

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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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