Gouden Carolus Classic
Brouwerij Het Anker

Gouden Carolus ClassicGouden Carolus Classic
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Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Ranked #15
Ranked #2,522
4.14 | pDev: 10.14%
Brouwerij Het Anker
Gouden Carolus ClassicGouden Carolus Classic
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Reviews: 422 | Ratings: 916
Reviews by schavuytje:
Photo of schavuytje
3.3/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper tan body color with a thin white head with a gentle scent of orange and spices, delicate tones of sinaadappel taste complemented by spice tones then show slightly sour and sweet corn, not complicated or outspoken but decent

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Silke_Neryn
4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
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 Cramshawbar
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
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 thehyperduck
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
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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Photo of taxandbeerguy
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
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 IronDjinn
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Came in a 4-pack, same as the tripel, same 330 ml brown bottles. No translation quirks on the importer's label on the back of the bottles as with the tripel.

This is a very sexy appealing ale, a luminescent cherry oak body with bright garnet highlights, when held to direct light it almost gives this seemingly nutty opaque brown appearance a glow from within.

Wood chips, blackstrap molasses, and an earthy soil character strike me first on the nose, along with salted black licorice and husky dark nut shells, and the faintest impression of anise trying to claw its way to the surface of such a thick and musky profile. Then I get a whiff of rum-soaked cherries, perhaps just the molasses shape-shifting over time.

Nutty, woody, earthy, this is all what comes to mind upon the first sip, and yet none of them really pin it down. Peaty.... The flavour is very dry, a dry sherry character lasts throughout as well, with bright points of sweetness in the guise of white grapes, sweet cherries and dried figs. Bloody hell, this flavour is more complex than it seems, and difficult to follow and pin down, it tends to metamorph after each sip. Halfway down the glass a milder, sweeter presence appears, on a bed of dried fruit pulled along by the molasses, with a rich, rummy brown sugary finish. The aftertaste leaves my mouth sticky with the presence of fig newtons.

The mouthfeel starts out thickish and dry, but towards the end of the glass it become thin and vinuous, sticky sweet.

Very curious indeed, I'm not sure what I really think about this stuff at the end, except that it's an ale that gives you a lot to contemplate and explore and decipher. Definitely not a session beer, but more for those who like solving mysteries and pouring over clues that tend to shift and morph over time--like a Scooby-Doo mystery that DOESN'T end with the surly old neighbour dressed up as a monster or alien, who would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for those meddling kids. I am left with the traces of thick crumbly brown sugar-coated date bread in my mouth as I finish this glass and this review, if nothing else this is a very filling ale.

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Photo of ujsplace
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice.

A: Pours a thick, bulbous head that is off-white and lasts a good while with very nice lacing. The brew is slightly lighter than the bottle. Sort of like an old worn copper penny that has taken on that dark brownish color.

S: Bready yeasts, sweet dark fruit and some alcohol.

T: Sweet malts, herbal hops, dark fruits, hint of chocolate and a nicely spiced alcoholic finish. Pretty complex to my palate, there seems to be a lot of flavors here that meld together very nicely.

M: Thick and carbonated, creamy good stuff.

D: This is one hell of a dangerous brew. I think that most people would really enjoy this. Overall, the warming effect is very nice. I could definitely get into this with good friends, just hanging out..

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Photo of estevaom
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of matias-
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of WesWes
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber, almost brown color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice crystal malt scent along with a subtle Belgian yeast fruitiness. It's sweet smelling with a wonderful caramel aroma. The taste is incredible. It's so smooth, yet full of depth and complexity. It has a rich, caramel sweetness that goes down without effort and finishes with a gentle yeast character. It's fruity, but not overly so. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is as drinkable a Belgian ale as I've ever had. Recommended.

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Photo of randylangford
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Dirty25
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of crosbyms
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of ybnorml
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A dark brown beer with deep mahogony highlights. Has a big creamy off white head and good lace. The aroma is like a basket of goodies Vanilla, chocolate and dried fruits. The taste starts with chocolate then vanilla. The finish is dried fig with a sparkle of alcohol as it goes down.
Note my bottle claimed 8.5% Vol on the neck ring.

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Photo of curlybird
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of samEBC
4.26/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of R_Kole
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of woemad
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle purchased at The Viking in Spokane for $5.

Poured a hazy dark brown with a big, light tan head. Lots of lace.

Smell was very malty, but also with a certain nuttiness and spicy notes. Not as rich or balanced as the aroma from a St. Bernardus Abt. 12, but good nonetheless.

The taste of this was of sweet maltiness balanced by a coriander-like spiciness, along with a nutty taste. While not exceptional tasting, this was still quite good.

Not as full-bodied as I thought it would be. In fact, I think it's a trifle thin for the style.

This a rather nice, drinkable Belgian. The 8.5% abv is difficult to detect, so I'd be careful with repeated pints. The biggest problem I have with this is the price. A similar quantity of Chimay Blue is over a dollar cheaper at The Viking, and Gouden Carolus, while good, isn't worth the added expense.

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Photo of davidwhatshisnam
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of mscudder
4.62/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer well over a year ago and loved it. Having it again with a more primed palette. Poured into a snifter.

A - A beautiful deep opaque black body with a royal ivory head. Solid.

S - Vivid nose on this one. Caramel apples, cherries, fresh spices, chocolate and some smooth malts. Fantastic complexity with refined balance.

T - What a rich, sweet beer at this level of ABV. Starts with some aggressiveness rich flavor; namely cherries, caramelized sugar and a touch of licorice. Follows with some complexity and a creamy nature which matches the slowing sweetness with perfection. Concludes with just a touch of warmth (I would never blindly guess an ABV above 7%) and a bit of dryness. Truly excellent.

M - A large medium body with average carbonation that compliments the style well.

O - I really love this beer. The sweetness is crisp and delicious while retaining a degree of drinkability. The heavy malt sweetness is a pleasure for a closing drink. Not quite sure I would have this aside from a desert occasion (similar to La Fin Du Monde) but I really enjoy it!

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Photo of Sathanas
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of alexgash
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this one in "the cellar" for almost a year. Deliciously muddy amber brown with a tan head. Smells of tart grapes, whiskey and alcohol. Taste is complex. Tart grapes, sweet malts, nutty oaky flavors, and the whiskey again. Warming. Great. Lively champagne-like feel, but quite a mouthful.

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Photo of pjs234
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Rwalford74
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of RZachLamberty
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Gouden Carolus Classic from Brouwerij Het Anker
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 916 ratings