Gouden Carolus Easter Beer | Brouwerij Het Anker

117 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 117 | Ratings: 233
Photo of draheim
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750mL (best before 5/2/2013) into a tulip. Pours a clear mahogany w/ a 1-finger khaki head.

Aroma is dark fruits, brown sugar, molasses and spice.

Taste is dark candi sugar, figs and dates, residual sugars, spice, and warming booze. Sweetness coats the palate.

Mouthfeel is sticky with a dry finish.

Overall this BSDA is par for the course for Het Anker. They tend to like their beers sweet and sugary with a dry finish, and this one delivers. Still, glad I found this bottle while I was visiting the Midwest. For some reason this one doesn't make it to Seattle.

 566 characters

Photo of beerpirates
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at bruery het anker ,

Gouden Carolus Easter pours a deep mahogany body with a thin off-white head.
Anise and spices is the primary aroma with plum and banana rounding out the bouquet. Darke fruit , fig, caramel, anise , spices and clove are just a few of the many flavor components of this complex ale.
Medium carbonation , high in alcohol and high in drinkability.
Realy one the best easter beers i had so far !

 424 characters

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.

 661 characters

Photo of Treebs
3.54/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml C&C bottle served in a Funkwerks snifter. Consumed on Easter Sunday. A gift from my fiancee's mother.

A: Pours a murky dark brown color with a light khaki head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thin ring that leaves sticky sheets of lace down the glass.

S: Rum raisins and some brown sugar. Wet oak with boozy dark fruit. Pretty sweet malt bill as well, slightly bready.

T: Pale cracker malts. Pretty sweet with some brown sugar. Dark fruits, figs and raisins, with some spicy Belgian fruitiness. Wet oak as well.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation level. Sweet and spiced finish.

O: Nicely made Dark Ale. Not my favorite style, however, and I probably wouldn't revisit if I was given the opportunity.

 724 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown with a fading head.
Nose shows chocolate, caramel, burnt figs, spicy Belgian notes, rum and raisin.
Flavours are very similar at first with more chocolate and raisins before falling flat in a weaker finish with a bit of booze.
Needs more carbonation.

 272 characters

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.

 610 characters

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.

 558 characters

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!

 1,177 characters

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.

 870 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Only 2000 cases are brewed each year, so I am glad to have tried this one (2010 vintage). Poured into tulip glass. Pours amber haze with a beautiful and strong off-white lacing that lasts throughout. Aromas of bubble gum, Belgian candi sugar, Belgian yeast, and orange peels. Flavors definitely pick up the bubble gum, grapefruit, and Belgian candi sugar. Thin mouthfeel and well carbonated. Overall, an excellent brew from one of my favorite Belgian breweries!

 461 characters

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.

 518 characters

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.

 559 characters

Photo of AdamBear
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-dark cherry colored with a thin cream head

S-smells like dark belgian sugars and bubble gum with caramel hints. strong scent

T-comes in with a decent taste of dark roasted belgian sugars. much like bubble gum. ends with a burnt weedy taste. its a good and complex taste.

M-low carbonation with a dry finish

O-it's a pretty complex belgian. its definitely good though maybe not as crisp and drinkable as other good dark belgian that i've had.

 447 characters

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.

 1,038 characters

Photo of jtierney89
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep deep amber, close to brown. Very good clarity for a big Belgian brew. Sizable crystal like off white head. Very subtle nose, touches of dark fruit, some phenolic presence. Some bubble gum.

Flavor is a lot bigger than the nose. Big sweetness but incredibly clean finish. Sweet dark fruits up front. Touch of sweet bubble gum. Rides into some very spicy clove flavors. Some phenols. All do a good job of balancing. Alcohol presence is slightly noticeable but adds to the balance. Very good and inedible rare, i'm glad I got a case.

 543 characters

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.

 813 characters

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.

 1,263 characters

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.

 685 characters

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

clear brown with lots of hints of ruby and a touch of amber. lots of off white head that sticks around for ages, leaving lots of lacing.

smells spicy and full of dark fruits. seems to be hints of mint and maybe some vague alcohol notes as well.

taste is slightly medicinal but with a heavy amount of fig and raisin and maybe a touch of dates. still getting a lot of spice and alcohol as well. also there is light sour flavor.

mouthfeel is creamy and full bodied, carbonation is light and maybe a touch foamy.

this beer is a bit much to be very drinkable but interesting enough to warrant a few tastes.

overall nice and interesting but a bit too rich for any kind of sessioning. yummy.

 689 characters

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

A: A murky reddish-brown pour. Huge, dense tan head atop it. Retention is quite good, and the lacing sticks well.

S: Lots of sweet raisins, plums, figs, caramel and brown sugar. Fairly boozy, almost smells like rum. Perhaps a touch of anise in there?

T: Overload of dark fruits as mention in the smell. Raisins, figs, plums, maybe a touch of grape or cherry? Hard to say. Molasses, caramel and a touch of brown sugar. A touch boozy but not as bad as I was expecting. Quite a bit of anise in the aftertaste.

M: Quite thick, like watered down syrup. Not unpleasantly so.

O: A nice BSDA. Big on maltiness and dark fruits, and not a whole lot else. Big in general. Pleasant to drink but nothing unique stands out. Just a good beer, period.

 740 characters

Photo of ksimons
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No date listed on the bottle or the cork

A-pours a dark mahogany with ruby highlights, head is minimal but very creamy looking and sticks around for the duration of the glass

S-Picking up a lot of alcohol which has a sweet port like quality to it. Also has a lot of spices, dark grapes, figs, and raisins, and a rum cake smell. Might be too heavy on the alcohol but still has other interesting qualities.

T-taste matches the smell well. Very sweet, alcohol drenched dark fruits, dark malts, and a light licorice taste. Alcohol is well hidden even though the smell comes off strong.

M-medium body, light to medium carbonation, a smooth syrup like texture

Overall a very interesting beer which I am glad I tried, but this is a very sweet beer that I wouldn't want to drink to much more of right away. Another very nice beer from Het Anker.

 842 characters

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.

 834 characters

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.

 915 characters

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.

 469 characters

Photo of eric5bellies
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from my Duvel Tulip, with Sam and Daz

A - Pours a dark Mahogany colour with a nice Ivory coloured head that retains very well.

S - Nice plum aromas with sweet stewed dark fruits,molasis and aniseed.

T - Up front some nice stewed fruits with some strong molasis and aniseed flavours on the finish.

M - Medium to full body with minimal carboantion.

O - A nice beer that is boosted by the aniseed. The alcohol is well hidden and overall it is unusual enough to want another.

 482 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.