Gouden Carolus Classic | Brouwerij Het Anker

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Gouden Carolus ClassicGouden Carolus Classic
897 Ratings
Gouden Carolus ClassicGouden Carolus Classic

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-13-2002

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 897 |  Reviews: 416
Photo of WormGod
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HoppingMadMonk
4.46/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cliudy brown color,solid feel and decent carbonation. Aroma is a mix of different types of dried fruit,malt,spices,and some yeast. Aroma is strong and enticing and gives a great hint of the taste. Taste follows aroma,doesn't lack in flavor,the dried fruit really dominates rounded out by the spice and malt. A delicious beer thats slightly sweet yet has a slight bitter boozy finish

 382 characters

Photo of TheCrowsEye
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Afeo
4.06/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ControlVolume
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Absinthe beer. Goes for the anise instead of relying on heavy dark fruit sweetness. Unique

90 characters

Photo of Tschude
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of The_Bujon
4.58/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The Classic is just that, a true 'Classic', if you want a beer that typifies dark Belgian ale, this is it.

Pours a beautiful deep and full mahogany coloured body, with a two fingered head.
The head doesn't last too long which is a real shame because on first pour, this is the best looking beer you will find.

Aroma is lovely, really get those spiced figs, prunes and a tinge of malt.

Taste is sublime, all the aromas are there on the tongue also, but you get an extra kick of bonfire toffee sweetness, absolutely top drawer.

Feel is a slight blip on the otherwise perfect scorecard, while it leaves a lovely taste lingering in the aftertaste, it does have a a tiny artificial saccharin feel as it goes down.

Overall, a top top brew, one of the best available without doubt, and it is a toss up between this and the Carolus Christmas in my opinion, not much in it.

If you had to get only one Belgian beer to benchmark all other world beers, just use this, totally spanks the modern craft scene out of the park.

 1,016 characters

Photo of SpaethJam
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Mikexw
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dandy14
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of unclekeith
4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of steverx8
4.31/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of priley
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of sephyrott
4.66/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Jtee
4.9/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From a 330ml bottle served at 12 degrees Celsius into a Gouden Carolus chalice. Best before date: 18.05.2019 – I've had the bottle for more than six months.

Look: A fine looking beer indeed. It pours a clear, very dark brown with red highlights. 3cm of dense, creamy beige head remains for 2+ minutes after which it settles into a decent cap. Exceptional lacing.

Smell: "Wow, so interesting" followed by "OMG" and "holy shit". Rich and complex. Malt-forward with significant esters and a deep caramel character. Additional notes of raisins, plums, figs, banana, brown sugar, and chocolate.

Taste: Strong and deep flavour profile with sweetness that is not cloying. Absolutely delicious. Malty-rich with notes of chocolate, raisins, plums, caramel, honey, banana, brown sugar, and tea. The finish is long and sweet with a slight mineral quality.

Feel: Medium-full body with lively carbonation. Smooth, creamy, and round. A pleasant, restrained alcohol warmth.

Overall: Very complex and rich beer. Just wonderful. I don't know what factors are at play but this one's among the best beers I've ever had. Nothing I've tried from Gouden has fallen below excellent which makes them one of my favourite breweries at this time. I may like this even more than the exceptional Rochefort 10. World-class and a must-try if you get a chance.

 1,335 characters

Photo of Ryften
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2016 Vintage

Look: Pours a light, although opaque, brown color with a one finger head of beige foam that settles down quickly and leaves no lacing.

Aroma: Not too strong on the nose. Mostly chocolate roasted malt, akin to sweet milk chocolate and dry, powdered cocoa with a backdrop of bittersweet dark chocolate. That's really all I'm getting, but it's probably because my bottle is a little more than a year old.

Taste: Rich, but not cloying notes of sweet chocolate and dry cocoa nibs. There are some hints of candied raisins, caramel and plums in the background. A little bit of yeasty funk here and there along the lines of clove and white pepper. . . maybe some very mild banana, but it's mostly an afterthought. Some dry, floral bitterness just to round things out midpalate. It's a fairly straightforward beer. Not incredibly complex or intriguing, but what it does offer is done well.

Feel: Very clean and light on the palate, with no overtly hot alcoholic profile, and again the sweetness is not to that sickeningly saccharine degree. For the style, the body is light, but not thin. I would be remiss to imply the beer is watery. Mid-Heavy carbonation. Somewhat bubbly. Rather thirst quenching.

Overall: This beer treads the line on the "too sweet" category just barely, but the flavors are skillfully blended together here so it works. Not bad at all. If you like a sweeter BDSA, especially if you're looking for one with strong flavors of chocolate this is worth a shot. I enjoyed this quite a bit, but I have had more impressive interpretations of the style.

Rating: [B+] Great. 3.88/5

 1,605 characters

Photo of YvesB
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GoHabsGo
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 54V4G3
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of REDAMI
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into Westvleteren chalice.

L - Red-brown pour with a thin ecru foam.

S - Raisins, cinnamon, brown bread, molasses, sweet on the nose.

T - Prunes, fig, creamy butterscotch, cinnamon, treacle bitterness, toasted grain.

F - Smooth, easy on the carbonation. The alcohol is hidden, but hints at its strength at the end.

A solid BSDA. Slightly sweet, but comfortably so.

 398 characters

Photo of yaron73
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle from Supermarket in Brugge.

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Photo of Tcsox
4.56/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of logicalparadox
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of thehyperduck
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle from a mixed 4-pack picked up at the LCBO late last year. Best before May 18 2019 and served slightly chilled.

Pours a deep-hued mahogany brown with brick red highlights; meanwhile, seated atop is a half-centimeter of smooth, soapy, light beige-tinted head that weakens and wilts within a matter of minutes. A thin collar remains, but not much else. Sponge toffee, treacle and figgy, raisin-y fruit cake on the nose, with hints of prune, chocolate and some herbal anise, with some spicy notes that I can't quite put my finger on.

The first sip reveals this brew's true character - it's bold and flavourful, with a rich, dark malt sweetness that is somewhat reminiscent of a German bock. Sweet flavours of molasses and toffee are immediately apparent, with dark fruit flavours sweeping across the palate soon after - there's fig, prune, raisin, and even some black cherry and brown pear. Subtle notes of cocoa and cola are interrupted by a yeasty, herbal finish with hints of licorice and clove; lingering herbal, bittersweet aftertaste with a light brushing of alcohol warmth. Fairly saccharine overall, but that's par for the style (and the finish does keep things at least kinda balanced). Full-bodied, or at least in that neighbourhood; the carbonation is restrained and just about perfect for this style IMO, providing a moderately crisp bite.

FInal Grade: 4.28, a very solid A-. It's always a pleasure to sip a strong Belgian dark ale that is as well-made as Gouden Carolus Classic. The molasses, toffee and dark fruit flavours are both rich, satisfying sensations on the palate, while the presence of chocolate and herbal notes ensure an additional layer of complexity. An excellent beer - not necessarily the pinnacle of the style, but still highly recommended to all BAs with an appreciation for Belgian darks and quads. Wish this one was as easy to find in Ontario as, say, Chimay Blue or Rochefort 8.

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Gouden Carolus Classic from Brouwerij Het Anker
Beer rating: 4.11 out of 5 with 897 ratings
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