Gouden Carolus Classic | Brouwerij Het Anker

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
884 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good
Read the review
Gouden Carolus ClassicGouden Carolus Classic
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker
Belgium
hetanker.be

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
884
Reviews:
414
Avg:
4.11
pDev:
10.22%
 
 
Wants:
69
Gots:
150
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 884 |  Reviews: 414
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.

36 characters

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.

 1,928 characters

Photo of Yoann
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to a snifter
A - Brown with a light foam
S - Some roasty malts with herbal and spicy hops
T - Perfect balance of the aromas
M - Correctly carbonated
O - A good example of a Belgian dark ale, nothing is out of place, this can be used as a reference.

 269 characters

Photo of Jerk_Store
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of EmperorBevis
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled and possibly bottle conditioned
Pours a dark brown cola body with decent enough tan head
Big molasses and treacle aroma.
Chocolate and pear flavour
Solid amazing dark beer

 182 characters

Photo of yancot
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Foley67
4.56/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of Jaisell
3.89/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of rickklein9
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of Zet
3.81/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Brown colour with an amber hue and a decent and steady head of foam. The smell is very promising: buttery, with flavours like caramel, chocolate, malt, alcohol, liquorice and hops. The taste however does not deliver: it is not bad, but it is too sweet in my opinion, and with that masking a lot of flavours. I taste chocolate, malt and caramel, but mostly molasses. Mouth feel is smooth, heavy bodied and easy too drink. Would have been a great beer, if it wasn't for the sweetness...

 484 characters

Photo of DenisKolkin
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330 ml bottle served at cellar temperature into a chalice. Been hanging onto this bottle for about 3 months.

Appearance - dark brown, opaque and pours a glorious finger and a half of tan head. The head retention is impressive and leaves behind a giant swath of lacing,

Smell - sweet all the way with hint of molasses and caramel with a giant fruit addition. Cherries, apples and especially pears stand out here.

Taste - quite sweet again with cherries and pears dominating. Slight malt flavors of marshmallows and caramel. Belgian yeast and the booze content isn't too much.

Mouthfeel - smooth, chewy and heavy bodied with soft carbonation and surprisingly easy drinking.

Overall - a really good Strong Belgian Dark Ale. One of the better ones on the market, and certainly worth a try and even more so if you like orchard and dark fruits in the taste of your strong Belgians.

 884 characters

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

Photo of brbrocc
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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Gouden Carolus Classic from Brouwerij Het Anker
4.11 out of 5 based on 884 ratings.
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