Gouden Carolus Classic | Brouwerij Het Anker

406 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 406 | Ratings: 862
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.

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think this beer is underrated here. It's really a great beer. It has the complexity of a quadrupel but it's much more drinkable. It's o lot on caramel, dark fruits (prunes and figs mostly), spices and esters. Great beer

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Photo of kitschiguy
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle / 8.5%

Poured a nice deep reddish brown - head is a typical belgian; rocky, off white and lingering.

Malty sweet nose with spice, caramel, toffee..

Palate has dried fruit, fig, toffee and brown sugar and a great mouthfeel. Very nice. Perhaps a little sweet. Not boozy.

Overall a very good beer and highly recommended for the style.

I've got the Gouden Carolus Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw 2015 & '15 to try also - lookiing forward to those.

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Photo of scootny
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Lovely dark liquid. Plump head and sheets of lace. Sweet malty nose. Lots of dark fruits. Raisins,dates,figs. Some overripe banana. Fusel alcohol wafts in sweetly. Great taste. Rich and sweet malt. Those dark fruits I mentioned. Light molasses. Cloves and spices. Light earthy hop bitterness. Surprisingly light feel given the weight. The beer's richness balances the gently crisp carbonation. A great fall and winter companion. Yum

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Photo of sherillc
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aromas of stewed fruit, baking spices, honey and vanilla. Flavours of honey, cloves, raisins and a nice herbal bitterness that almost reminds me of amari. Very light foam, ample carbonation.

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

A wonderful beer, a classic indeed, setting the stage for their special Gouden Carolus Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw release, which is one of the best beers.
Certainly, out of the four beer found in the taster's pack here in Toronto, this is the best. Try it today!

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Photo of drmeto
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

-pours a clear brown with ruby tinges and a big,foamy,sand-coloured head
-low to medium carbonation visible
-medium carbonation
-light to medium body
-no alcohol detectable
Tastes more like an English Strong Ale rather than a typical Belgian Dark.
I really like this.

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Photo of Silke_Neryn
4.53/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A wonderful juxtaposition between a doppelbock and a classic Belgian Dark.

In a way, it feels completely new, in others, it's like a gathering of the oldest of friends.

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Photo of Dzu
4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 0.33 bottle into chalice.
L: Turbid deep rown color wih a no foam head.
S: Plums, caramel, roasted rye bread, raisin.
T: Sweets , dark fruits.
F: Low carbonation, medium tight.
O: Very good example of bsda. Smells incredible, tastes great.

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Photo of nout72
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

And yet another great Belgian dark ale.
Very smooth and only a bit short on spicyness, in comparison with a Chimay Blue or St. Bernardus Abt 12 or Prior 8. The mouhfeel is fuller and rounder than the Chimay though. The sweetness is ideal, the aftertaste isn't too lingering.
Again, rating beer is ridiculous, because honestly I am not sure if I like this beer better than Chimay or a Rochefort, and really is it important? Price-wise this beer is in the same range as St. Bernardus Abt 12, and slightly pricier than a Chimay.
Let me say that it is good to know that there are many Belgian dark ales I enjoy and I will just pick the one by lowest price or just at random, you certainly never can go wrong with any of them.

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Photo of teromous
3.51/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The back of the bottle has 04/05/2014

Appearance: Dark brown opaque body that shows some lighter shades of brown around the edges as light shines in. The head is this massive fluffy cap of creamy fine bubbles. The head is a light shade of khaki and it has very good head retention and lacing.

Aroma: The head tends to obscure the aroma quite a bit. I ended up having to work the glass a bit to get any real noticeable aroma. Mostly it is just this really sweet smelling caramel aroma that is even a bit buttery.

Taste: That sweet caramel makes an appearance in the flavor as well. It doesn't taste buttery like it smells. There is just a touch of a woody character and some maple syrup but the flavor as a whole is very watered down and light. No bitterness at any point while drinking the beer.

Mouthfeel: It is extremely velvety from the carbonation but the body is surprisingly light. It doesn't have much of a finish. There is really no finish at all; it just ends abruptly.

Overall: It's not a very impressive Belgian Strong Dark Ale. It feels extremely light and at times while drinking it even felt thin. I am having this beer a little over two years from the date listed on the bottle. I would try a fresher bottle to see if maybe more flavor is present. It is still a very enjoyable beer to drink and the delicacy of the beer is applaudable but overall I think it wouldn't be a beer I would buy more than one of.

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Photo of OlaB
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Black color, gives of a good top of head, really nice lacings on the sides of the glass

A: Raisins, cherrys,roasted malts, some hints of cocoa and chocolate

T&F: Starts with malts that gives a nice sweetness , goes over to the fuity flavours in the middle. Dark fruits, cherrys and burned sugar, The flavours are very well balanced in this beer. alcohol content are very well masked.
The finishing and aftertaste is a nice bitterness that last for a good while and almost reminds me of cherrys

O: A great belgian dark ale that i enjoyed every sip off. It was also great to finally try one of the carolus beers since i heard a lot about it but not been able to find before today

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Photo of spacecake9
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Ommegang goblet.
A - Pours a dark reddish brown with a tan head that does not go away and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.
S - I mostly smell dried raisins or prunes.
T - Flavor is more raisins and dark cherry.
M - Mouth feel is medium, carbonation is above medium. Alcohol is not noticeable.
O - I'm a sucker for Belgians, and this did not disappoint. Let this warm a bit so all the flavors come out. Het Anker has become a new favorite brewer for me.

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Photo of chinchill
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

cellared 330 ml bottle from Asheville (NC) served in a Belgian snifter. June 2013 bottling date.

Appearance: just OK, with a rather weak head over a dark, hazy brown body. Spotty lacing.

Aroma and Flavor: Superb, especially the aroma. Loads of toffee, dark ripe fruits and dried fruit. The flavor does have a touch more alcohol than optimal but I can't fault the enticing aroma.

Feel: medium carbonation in a medium-light body. 8.5% ABV is mostly hidden.

O: Excellent! Allowed to warm but continued to improve, gaining complexity, with further warming.

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

From bottle, pours a hazey murky dark brown with a small tan head. Aroma dark malts, prune, brown sugar, toffee. Taste prune, caramel, brown sugar, candy, toffee. Very nice.

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Photo of jonb5
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, poured into Kasteel goblet.

A: Very dark amber, just about opaque, one finger tanned head, moderate retention, decent amount of lacing.

S: Prune, not an overly pronounced aroma.

T: Prune, molasses, burnt candy sugar, no hint of booze.

M: Light creamy texture, not too much carbonation.

O: Everything that is to be expected from a BSDA, without doing anything to stand out from the crowd, hid the booze really well.

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Photo of gautch726
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An almost perfect beer. It pours an umber red-gold with a thick offwhite head. This beers strong point for me is the taste. It has a perfect balance of fruit and malt with minimal bitter aftertaste. It hits you hard and falls off easy. Well done by the brewer.

Feel of the beer could've been a bit heavier, but still nice. The smell had too much off a bite for my taste. Great beer overall.

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Photo of Kevin_Langford
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Overall, a great beer. This was actually a bit sweet mixed with a darker beer flavor, which I really enjoyed. At first, I was thinking there was some sort of liqueur mixed in or something. The smell actually wasn't my favorite, but the taste was good across the palate, so that made up for it. In spite of being pretty dark, it was smooth and not too oppressive. I'd get this again, for sure.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, almoust black with a two finger high, beige head. A lot of lacing stays on the glass.

Nose: Brown sugar, vanilla, caramel malt, molasses, dark berries, dried fruit, spice and toffee.
Taste: Caramel, toffee, roasted malt, dark fruit, molasses and brown sugar.
Body: Full body. Medium carbonation. Soft, rich mouthfeel.

A great strong ale! Love the sweet but not oversweet soft taste and the beatiful nose. Only 2.39 Euro at Beergium a bargain !

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Photo of sokol_1993
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a 330ml bottle in a Biere de Miel tulip at Monk's Cafe, Philly

Look: not too much head, dark black
Smell: a lot of sugary, molasses smell. Reminding me of Ayinger Celebrator, interestingly.
Taste: sweet, much tastes of molasses. Some faint dark cherry taste.
Feel: The liquid is very chewy, lusty. High viscosity
Overall: It's a really good BSDA with sweet taste. I'll have more of it in the future.

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Photo of PlutonowyManiek
3.41/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The head of medium size, beige and not very durable. All the time in the glass is foamed ring.
Fruit aromas: plums, cherries but also caramel and spices, crust of bread.
The taste and the first impression is that the Gouden Carolus is a "fat" but at the same time velvety.
It is rich in fruity notes like the aroma is sweet but without exaggeration and has a very clearly defined in alcohol, which intensely heats up, "burn" palate. Do not sensed gentian, or rather was very small. The beer is average or even low-saturated, is very drinkable. Maybe there is a little heavy but very enjoyable. Gouden Carolus is already a classic and is definitely a must to taste
on the list of every beer tastes.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.84/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours a nice off white head that takes a while to dissipate. The lacing lingers at the edge of the glass and some of the head lies on the top of the beer. The beer itself is an opaque dark brown that looks like toffee.

The beer smell is fairly malty with a bit of Belgian sugar notes as well. The smell has some nice dark fruit notes but they aren't very strong.

The beer taste is much more maltier and fruity with a bit of sugary flavor to it. The dark fruits are much more present and the malty is just as sweet. The taste also has a fleeting earthy note towards the end. There is also a slightly sweet alcohol taste to it and a bit of molasses as well. In addition to the dark fruits, the beer has a pear taste that gets lost.

The mouthfeel is heavy bodied with some biting carbonation. The beer is smooth but feels a bit lighter and watery than it should for the beer type.

Overall, not a bad strong dark ale.

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Photo of flyingpig
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle from Beers Of Europe website (£2.89):
An enjoyable beer that proved easy enough to drink but in truth didn't really strike me as a memorable offering or one that I'd be all that likely to go back to in the future. There was nothing wrong with the beer as such, it just seemed to be missing that special something that would have found be rating it higher. This was partially down to the beer following a fairly predictable pattern from nose to taste with the ripe fruits and sweetness staying consistent throughout; a decent beer but there are better Belgian offerings out there to be had.

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Photo of Mike_Aguirre
3.25/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

L: Looks very dark brown with an ivory one finger head.

S: Smells very alcoholic, with notes of dark fruits like plums and figs.

T: Tastes uncomfortably sweet almost not bitter at all, hard to finish like drinking from the mash tun.

F: Medium body with low carbonation.

O: It says that is the best dark beer of the world, I almost cound´t finish it due to it´s overwhelming sweetness.

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

Dark red/brown colour, weak head. Smell: cherry, plums. Taste: cherry, plums, red wine. Very malty and sweet, almost no hops. No match to blue Chimay or Rochefort 8 (painfully sweet for me), but I can understand why some people like it.

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Gouden Carolus Classic from Brouwerij Het Anker
4.11 out of 5 based on 862 ratings.
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