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: 115 | Ratings: 230
Photo of clareo
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Thick, raisin-y brown color. Small bit of off-white foam that mostly dissipates with moderate speed.

S: Not much complexity; characteristic Belgian notes of banana and clove.

T: Sweet and strong; banana aroma manifests in the taste; a bit of toffee stickiness.

M: Very silky and full. Surprisingly light.

O: A nice Belgian with some unique characteristics. Very drinkable for its high ABV, which is mostly undetectable.

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Photo of July2Nov
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A ruby tinged dark amber color. Very beautiful! Had a larger head on it, but overall is=t tends to a have thin lacing.

Smell: Big complex malt smell. Sweetness.

Taste & Mouthfeel: That is one robust beer. Banana flavor is very prominent, along with a syrupy dark fruit and bready flavor. The alcohol gives off a little bit of a sting but settles down with that mouth warming feeling. So good.

Overall: Why wait for Easter dinner to enjoy this? I could drink this one on a regular basis. Just wish I had bought more bottles of it. I could envision this a s a perfect accompaniment to a cold night and a warm fire. Since I have neither, I will still enjoy this on the back porch under a hot sun.

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Photo of RickS95
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
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 bylerteck
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from ABS Drinks outside Brussels. Split with a friend. From notes.

A - Poured a brown/red colour with medium carbonation and a one finger tan head that went fast. Bright.

S - Dark fruit, yeast, some floral notes. There was an element that was grassy but in the way an Easter basket smells which was somehow quite appropriate.

T - Sweet and malty. Caramel was good. Spices were subtle and blended with the alcohol nicely. Sweetness stood out alot.

M - Some chew with a mild carbonation and full body.

O/D - No wow factor bringing all the elements together but a nice, and very tasty beer. Had the potention to be much better but how it looked and smelled brought it down.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to the always generous coastiesimon for sharing this brew.

A - It pours a ruddy chesnut-brown hue, and is capped with a short-lived ecru dollop of froth. Not stellar for a Belgian, in terms of looks, but pretty damn good everywhere else.

S - The nose is pure malty deliciousness. Expressions of character include myriad vinous notes from heavy raisin and jam, to light berry-like Shiraz notes, as well as molasses, honey, caramel, toffee and biscuit. The booze is nowhere to be found.

T - As Simon noted (not in such words...), and I agree with, Gouden Carolus brews seem to be less yeasty than their stylistic brethren; this is a trend that seems to favor a more complex flavor profile. The flavor is best described as, again, a total malt-bomb; molasses-raisin-toffee are immediately discernible, but there is also a fair dosage of the nuances of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and cardamom. The 9% ABV is indecipherable, too. This is not quite as good tasting as Cuvee VdC Blauw, but it is of the same ilk, and in the same league.

M - The feel is expansively soft.

O - I like.

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

Poured from a bomber into my snifter.

A - A deep brown poor that is slightly hazy and murky with a dark kahki tan head that was bubbly and lacy.

S - Very nice fruity sweet smell (not citrus). I detected some lemon on the front end as well but the fruits were mostly mild and sweet. Then the malty carmalized sugar bombs came in with great aroma.

T & M - Carmalized sugary malt are the base of this taste. There are good notes of fruit, vanilla, and toffee. The yeast and lemon pepperyness came in on the middle and I also noted a somewhat floral airy taste on the back end. All in all very interesting and complex. The creamy medium body mixes with a nice level of carbination to make a well balanced and zesty beer.

O - A great easter beer and a great beer in general for that matter. I love the compexity of the taste profile. The mouthfeel was great as well. The ability to get some light fruit and floral notes into the heavy ABV and malt was impressive.


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Photo of RedBaron
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
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 Reagan1984
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Special Thanks to ML67 for this gift. Mark gave me this bottle last year shortly after Easter and I cellared it until Easter season 2011. OK, so I meant to drink it on Easter but was traveling and forgot to bring it. So I am drinking it one Sunday too late…. Still Easter season!! Mark many thanks!

Pours with a loud fizzy head that turns into a creamy milk shake topping to the beer. Very thick with excellent retention. It does eventually fade to some thin foam atop the beer. Surprising amount of lacing for a 10% abv beer. The beer is a deep ruby color with excellent clarity if/when you stare deep inside.

Aroma is very deep and thick. Full of dark fruits and almost a sense of menthol. Not sure if there is any spice introduced here… But it’s got something nice happening. A rich sweetness here. A sense of grape as well.

Now I see why Mark enjoys this beer so much. Excellent. There is a subtle herbaceous note here in the flavor as well. Again a slight menthol note. Black cherry, fig perhaps some plum jam. A sense of red licorice. Plenty of complexity. The layered malt flavors are awesome. Very nice!

The body is so silky smooth it’s amazing. Tiny pin prick carbonation gives way to a long velvety feel on your tongue.

Good thing the Sox and Celtics are on this afternoon. It will take all afternoon to enjoy this wonderful beer.

Happy Easter and Thanks again Mark!

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Photo of rsdaugherty
3.45/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap into goblet at Cheeky Monk downtown Denver
A – 1 finger tan small bubbles head faded to a thin layer, a dark amber & burgundy, clear… but too dark to really tell 3.5
S – Sweet toasted malts, slighty fruity, yeasty 3.5
T – Full bodied malt from the start, slightly spicy, sublime bitterness through the taste, a slightly char flavor 3.5
M – Full body & flavor with a thin mouthfeel, expected a more creamy/syrup mouth feel 3
O – Not the easiest drinking beer, alcohol becomes apparent as it warms, I’ll pass on a second to try something new 3.5

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber to light brown in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, spice and caramel, yet both are quite faint. In the taste, caramel, toffee, and cinnamon like spice. A spicy bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with and a semi dry caramel like aftertaste. A nice spice and a nice caramel presence, quite nice with Easter dinner.

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Photo of rudzud
3.95/5  rDev -2%
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 pzrhsau
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Clear dark amber body. The beer does have a slight haze and a decent head.
S: Smells like winter spices and has a good maltiness to it.
T: Slightly sweet and has a nice dark bread flavor that has some slight spice on the edge. Very taste with definite presence of alcohol.
D/O: Very crisp and drinkable. The weight of the beer does make you want to sip it a bit more. Great beer to open this easter sunday.

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Photo of Chaney
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My pick for Easter beer 2011!

A: Dark, dark brownish red, that when held up to the light, glowed a bright ruby red. Tight, beautiful foamy head retained its frothiness throughout the session.

S: Straight up licorice... along with raisons, prunes, figs, and more than a little bit of Belgian funk. However, did I mention that this smelled like licorice?

T: How unique! It's as if licorice was steeped in prune juice for days, Belgian yeast was added, the thing was carbonated, then sent to market. The most port-like of the Het Anker brews I've tasted so far.

M: Thick, bubbly, yet sweet as hell.... but I didn't mind that. The carbonation was moderate and flowed really well with the complex flavors presented here.

O: I really need to let at least one of these age. There's an A - A+ brew in there somewhere...

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Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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 Knapp85
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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 Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
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 Beaver13
3.14/5  rDev -22.1%
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 jayhawk73
4.7/5  rDev +16.6%
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 sk8man121
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml. bottle poured into goblet. According to the label, only 200 cases brewed.

A: Pours a deep crimson with ruby highlights. 1-finger beige head leaves little lacing on the glass. Champagne-like bubbles rise to the surface.

S: Strong Belgian yeast profile; banana, spice, and hospital. I tossed a batch of beer that smelled like this because I thought it tasted off. Maybe I should've bottled it after all.

T: Wow. Spice (cloves and cinnamon,), dark fruit and Belgian yeast dominate the flavor, with a strong aftertaste of alcohol and licorice. Finish is reminiscent of toasted brown bread. Sweet, but not cloying.

M: Mouthfeel is typical of a quad; silky smooth with a good amount of carbonation present. Ideal for the style.

O: Ok, so Easter is over a week away and I cheated. I must say, though, that I'm glad I did. At this point in the evening, I'm not going to be able to finish this ridiculously heavy bottle, but for a BDSA, this is difficult to beat.

Tastes like a classic in every regard.

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

Pours a burnished golden color, hints of orange and brown, but quite bright. Head is bone white, quite tall, and in the full and creamy section. Great lacing. This is a Belgian pale ale extraordinaire.

Nose is fruity and spicy, with loads of phenols mingling with the apple and pear. Clove and banana mostly, along with coriander. Pale malt sweetness.

Flavor is about the same. Full body even with the pale malts. Fruity and strong, with notes of citrus fruits, apple and apricot, and phenolic banana and clove. There's a lot going on here. Peppery. Body is smooth and full.

This is a hell of an effort. I'm sad to report that this is the first I've seen of G.C.'s Easter Beer. This should be around more!

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Photo of brewdenver
4.97/5  rDev +23.3%
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 Pencible
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a nearly opaque mahogany with a little tan head.
S: It smelled like sweet caramel and raisin, with wild yeast and toffee and a bit of biscuit and alcohol.
T: It tasted like nutty and caramel and raisin and buttery malts, with some wild yeast and a bit of waxy hops. It had a bittersweet aftertaste that was a little dry.
M: It was slightly thick with lots of carbonation.
D: This had a great scent and taste, with sweet and complex and delicate character. It had nice body also, and hid the alcohol well, so it was easy to drink. Listed as an amber ale on the bottle, this was surprisingly dark and malty, like a Belgian barleywine. It could probably age well, too. Very nice!

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Photo of jnn4v
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
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 bobsy
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I always thought this beer was the same as the cuvee van de kaiser rood, but with a different branding, but a recent side-by-side with that very beer has made me change my mind. Here's an ammended version of my review for taht beer:

Pours deeper than the rood and somewhere between s strong pale and strong dark. Its an amber brew and a huge white head crowns this beauty, and leaves big patches of lace as it recedes, never diminishing further than a tight cap.

Full-on Belgian yeast aroma, with grain and tropical fruit thrown into the mix, and a touch of drying alcohol. Nice estery flavours off the bat, with some peach and mango, subtly flavoured with clove, coriander and maybe even pepper. After the initial hit we experience herbal hops in the middle, accompanying a shovel of grain, before closing in a drying, lightly alcoholic finish. Slightly grainier than the rood but just as smooth. The alcohol is excellently hidden, the flavours are well-melded, and its a delightful all-round experience. The age of the bottle (I believe this is a four year old) has tempered the carbonation to make it delightfully smooth and easy drinking. In fact, the carbonation is almost too subdued for a Belgian!

A great beer that showcases the commesurate skill of this brewery. The side-by-side showed me that at some level there are significant differences to its supposedly relabelled brother, if on appearance alone. Its a fine brew and well worth purchasing.

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Photo of beerbrains
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
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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Gouden Carolus Easter Beer from Brouwerij Het Anker
4.03 out of 5 based on 230 ratings.
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