Gouden Carolus Classic
Brouwerij Het Anker

Gouden Carolus ClassicGouden Carolus Classic
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Brouwerij Het Anker
Belgian Dark Strong Ale
Ranked #30
Ranked #5,748
4.11 | pDev: 10.22%
Feb 19, 2022
Jun 13, 2002
Gouden Carolus ClassicGouden Carolus Classic
Notes: Gouden Carolus Classic, the ‘Grand Imperial Beer’ from Mechelen, is brewed with dark, very balanced dosed caramel and aromatic malts. This unique beer combines the warmth of wine and the freshness of beer. This makes it very suitable in combination with culinary specialties such as stews, pâtés, ripened or strong cheeses.

Elected Worlds’ Best Dark Beer (World Beer Awards 2012).
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 3.94 by zknight from Korea (South)

Feb 19, 2022
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Reviewed by KotR from Belgium

4.66/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Excellent beer for the colder time of the year to enjoy, by an open fire.
Drink slowly, best with friends.
Could be used for cooking, but what a waste. So much better when drunk.
Raisins, caramel, somewhat bitter but nice aftertaste, full. Serve not too cold.
Dec 14, 2021
Rated: 4.5 by doctorgary from New York

Dec 12, 2021
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Reviewed by mothman from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Bottle. Khaki head with lace. Copper color. Clear.

Raisins, plums, figs, caramel, toffee, cocoa. Smooth, warming, soft. Very complex, very enjoyable. Full bodied.
Aug 14, 2021
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Reviewed by DCurrier from California

5/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
This is perhaps my very favorite beer. Next to impossible to find in the USA, it is very popular in Belgium. Very well balanced with no bitter aftertaste. Malty but not too sweet and not too heavy. Just the right carbonation. Wonderful flavor. A hint of fruity smells like banana but not too distracting from the dark almost caramel flavor.
Apr 20, 2021
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Reviewed by dbrauneis from North Carolina

4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
A: Pours a cloudy almost opaque dark mahogany in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising along the edges of the glass and moderate dark amber + chestnut brown + ruby red colored highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy tan head reduces to a medium to large sized patch of medium thick film covering a little more than 50% of the surface of the beer surrounded by a large patch of thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark fruits (plum + prune + raisin + cherry + currant) over the top of moderate aromas of caramel + toffee + toasted malts with moderate amounts of dark candi sugar sweetness. Light to moderate aromas of Belgian yeast along with light aromas of spices (coriander + clove). Hints of booziness.

T: Upfront there are moderate to strong flavors of caramel + toffee + toasted malts with moderate amounts of dark candi sugar sweetness. That is followed by strong flavors of dark fruits (plum + prune + raisin + cherry + currant). Then there are light to moderate flavors of Belgian yeast along with light flavors of spices (coriander + clove). Finally there is a hint of booziness. Moderate amounts of lingering dark fruit sweetness in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth but slightly chewy with a hint of dryness in the finish.

O: Drinks fairly easily though this one is more of a slow sipper for me. Can’t believe I have been reviewing beers for almost 10 years before I finally got around to reviewing this one (thanks for the jumpstart thread on the Beers of Fame) though I have had it many times before. Very enjoyable and definitely a classic example of the style.
Apr 02, 2021
Rated: 4.5 by carolinabeerguy from North Carolina

Mar 21, 2021
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Reviewed by Sigmund from Norway

3.39/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
330 ml bottle, at de Klomp, Nice, France. Deep ruby colour, large head. Malty sweet aroma, notes of caramel. Malty sweet flavour, notes of molasses and sweet wine.
Mar 21, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by eawolff99 from Minnesota

Jan 25, 2021
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Reviewed by BGDrock from Canada (ON)

3.86/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Light-medium brown body with hints of amber, clear, with a sand coloured head that builds big and holds good retention of several minutes.
Dark dried fruit aromas or rum soaked raisins, ripe banana, almond and vanilla extract, the sweetness balanced by soft alcohol heat.
Flavours of date syrup, molasses, raisins, sticky toffee pudding; satiny feel feel, owing to very fine and light carbonation, and a decent share of sugar of course; sweetness is balanced by warming alcohol heat that lingers in the semi-sweet finish; medium body, it goes down easy.

Sweet but not cloying, with rich fruity flavours, though not particularly complex to my palace - would like to see a bit of spice character and more heat.
Jan 16, 2021
Rated: 4.27 by jhlosito75 from Pennsylvania

Jan 16, 2021
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Reviewed by Robinshutedrums from England

4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Gouden Carolus classic 8.5%

Deep red brown color, beige head. Belgian yeast nose, caramel, raisins, hint of brandy. Taste is Slight Sweet taste, dried fruit, raisins, Belgian yeast, slight dark rum and Medium body. Lovely
Jan 11, 2021
Rated: 4.18 by dbauer from California

Dec 24, 2020
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Reviewed by milkshakebeersucks from Maryland

4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Mahogany appearance with a large, firm, tan head and very good lacing. Multi layered aroma of yeast, dark fruits, chocolate and caramel malts. Sweet, yeasty flavors with a variety of fruits, some spiciness and a passive amount of hops. Well concealed alcohol in the full bodied, moderately carbonated mouthfeel. Medium length finish remained sweet but not cloying.
Dec 13, 2020
Rated: 4.29 by Insomniac from Canada (ON)

Nov 24, 2020
Rated: 4.25 by eldoctorador from Chile

Sep 09, 2020
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Reviewed by JonnoWillsteed from England

3.79/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
L- Very deep chestnut brown, clear, pours with 3mm pale tan head.
S- Some richness, a caramel note.
T- Rather lovely! Some caramel/toffee, but also a deeper baked raison/Brit Xmas pudding note too.
F- It isn't too much of anything, including rich, pungent, obviously a high(er) ABV%, in fact for an 8.5% I think it decidedly understated.
O- It's very nice, and would make a lovely slow-sipping beer for winter. Nearing the end of the glass it is beginning to get a bit warmer and richer than I'd wish, I'd suggest not loitering too long!
330ml bottle. Euro 2.60. BB: 16/10/2022 Bought from: BelgiumInABox Antwerp/BE for home delivery to me in London/UK
Jul 14, 2020
Rated: 4.06 by Quafftastic from Virginia

Jun 01, 2020
Rated: 3.56 by mcbridec6 from New Jersey

Apr 25, 2020
Rated: 4.14 by Houborg1 from Denmark

Apr 25, 2020
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Reviewed by shambeano from Australia

4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
330ml bottle, best before 11/09/2021, poured into a tulip glass.
Look: Pours a dark brown, with about 1.5-2cm of fluffy off white head. Head sticks around for a little bit, leaving some nice lacing. Looks good.
Smell: quite fruity upfront, fig, plum, raisin, a little toffee sweetness, a little spice (allspice maybe) and some alcohol in there too.
Taste: sultana, prune and burnt fig, toffee, sweet malt, a little spicy.
Feel: Mid bodied, mouth filling, a little bit of prickly carbonation at the back of the palate. A slight dryness towards the end and a good length of flavours.
Overall: delicious.
Mar 14, 2020
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Reviewed by Mugman8 from New York

4.44/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Taking a rookie tour of Belgian beers that I purchased at Total Wine. This one is a cloudy mahogany on the pour, with a big fluffy beige head and deep lacing. Aroma is sweet and a little musty. Has a sweet complex taste of raisins, figs and other dried fruits. ABV is over 8.5% but you would never know it, as it is warming but not too strong. This is a top notch brew that is worth the price!
Feb 22, 2020
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Reviewed by KooVee from Finland

4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
750ml bottle, bb in 2.5 years, so still quite young.

Clear carmine colour, fizzy beige head that rises fast, recedes more slowly and leaves very fine lace.

A lush nose, with brown sugar, fig, prunes, a hint of alcohol. Bread. As the beer warms, a bit of pear. Overall a subtly complex mixture of fruit, grain and sugar.

Taste is delighfully drinkable. Not tiringly sweet, a supple body that glides over your tongue smoothly, enlivened by the considerable (in-style) carbonation. Raisin and the smallest hint of coriander bitterness in the aftertaste. Alcohol is totally hidden.

A justifiable classic. And an epitome of Belgian brewing. Sweet yet not tiring, subtle in a hard to break into constituents way like a top restaurant dish. Yet very simple and traditional. No gimmicks here.
Feb 16, 2020
Rated: 4 by Cesar1016 from Florida

Feb 15, 2020
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Rated by EzkatonL from Mexico

4.44/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Went in expecting another meh beer, left honestly surprised. Great, just great.
Nov 05, 2019
Rated: 4.16 by Robertas from Lithuania

Oct 28, 2019
Rated: 4 by generallee from Virginia

Oct 24, 2019
Rated: 4.25 by chebode2 from Germany

Sep 24, 2019
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Reviewed by Lanas from Greece

4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
For sure i don't expecting to be so good beer this one.. I expecting something good but this one surpass my imagination..
First of all is one refreshing beer and you drink it cold because some other good Belgium beers serving at 10-14 serving.. This one is very punchy because has very high carboration and can fill very well your mouth with the awesome taste and the power it has.. The after taste remind you little the "Gouden carolus Imperial Dark" and general the whole taste but it seems different beers. The imperial Dark is much more sweet and rich..
Overall a very strong and good all around beer to drink in the summer.. Amazing power and taste..
Sep 13, 2019
Rated: 4.37 by XeroD from Germany

Sep 09, 2019
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Reviewed by RayCannata from Louisiana

4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Great looking mahogany toned quad from Belgium. I actually liked their Christmas beer better -- richer and boozier than the classic. But this is a tasty, if reserved, quad. Love it!
Jul 18, 2019
Rated: 4.25 by mattreitz49 from Florida

Jul 14, 2019
Rated: 4.28 by arzt from Germany

Mar 26, 2019
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Reviewed by TheBierdimpfe from Canada (QC)

3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Medium: Capped, goblet glass.
Opacity: Deep hazy and cloudy.
Color: Dark brown with a copper hue.
Head: Creamy light beige 1 finger.
Legs: Good with decent swirl reaction.
Smell: Brown sugar/Cinnamon/Toffee.
Taste: Dark berries/Molasses/Coriander/Nutmeg.
Feel: Spicy/Estery/Earthy/Yeasty.
Body: Medium smooth and light creamy.
Carbonation: Moderate crisp.
Overall: Warming and slightly alcoholic, still easily drinkable and not overly rich.

High quality.

Visual 7/10 - Flavors 7.5/10 - Sensations 8.5/10 - Balance 9/10 -
Freshness 5/10 - Intensity 7/10 - Complexity 8/10 - Appreciation 8.5/10
Mar 18, 2019
Rated: 2.37 by Macamah from England

Mar 10, 2019
Rated: 4.25 by mmilyko from Nevada

Mar 09, 2019
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Reviewed by Gajo74 from New York

4.01/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Pours a clear dark brown color with notes of ruby. Medium large frothy head displays good retention, a creamy layer of film and lacing throughout.
The aroma is complex, with dark fruit, cherry, plum, raisin and berries. Notes of toasted malt, graham cracker and honey. The sweetness of the aroma is complemented by spices, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg, along with floral hops notes. However, what stands out the most midway through is a vinous red grape aroma that becomes thematic to this beer.
Sweet and fruity all throughout. Big vinous flavors of red grape, cherry, plum and raisin; it drinks like a full bodied fruity red wine. Moderate spices balance the sweetness somewhat. Full malt flavors evoke honey and graham crackers.
Full bodied and vinous. A moderate carbonation. It hides the alcohol flavor well, yet, there is a touch of alcohol warmth and a spicy linger in the finish.
Although I found this beer to be a fit on the sweet side, it is possible that perhaps I just wasn’t in the mood for it. Nevertheless, technically and stylistically speaking, its right on point, and thus deserves a good rating. I would be happy to revisit.
Jan 12, 2019
Rated: 3.95 by Eltrandos from France

Dec 21, 2018
Rated: 4 by CMA from New Jersey

Aug 17, 2018
Rated: 4.14 by Curt3 from New Jersey

Apr 28, 2018
Gouden Carolus Classic from Brouwerij Het Anker
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 943 ratings