Gouden Carolus Classic | Brouwerij Het Anker

411 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: 411 | Ratings: 874
Photo of Trizzle
2.26/5  rDev -45%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Dark brown, murky body with a thin tight white head, good sticky lace.

Smells of acetone, raisins, prunes and strangely enough: carrot cake.

The flavour is unfortunately rather 1 dimensional.Sweet brown sugar and christmas fruits. A touch cloying. Waiting and waiting for some dryness/bitterness but nothing. No hops, no dark roasted malts. Just sweet with a light nail polish remover funk in the aftertaste. Conditioned in too hot an environment??

The mouth feel is a tad thin with some quite astringent tanins.

The nail polish, tanins and unbalanced cloying sweetness really kills any kind of real enjoyment of this puppy.

I know I have bashed this beer a bit but I am a huuuge Gouden Carolus fan and their Cuvee Van Der Kaiser Blauw is one of my all time favourites. Perhaps unfair comparisons but this guy didn't stack up. I may also have gotten a dodgy bottle.

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Photo of tesguino
2.32/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

In general a deepy brown color, strong beer for the most mexican beers, i try this in a 12 oz bottle, my wife gift me this beer and the christmas carolus in december 2004, and this beer it disappointed to me; its color may be is for its malt, i can compared wit st sebastiaan dark in its flavor, try with mexican food, and german cuisine, drink direct from the bottle or in a goblet; 70% recommended.

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Photo of scooter231
2.56/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a deep brown, ruby color with very little head. Smell is raisiny and chocolate sweet- too sweet for me. Taste is also too sweet- reminds me a lot of raison de etre. Mouthfeel is flat. Just flat. Eh. I'm a fan of the dark Belgians but something about this one just didn't fly with me. I feel like I have a cavity now.

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Photo of ballewblake
2.71/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from bottle into a Bush Beer Chalice.

Dark brown with a thin tan head on the top. Gentle pour didn't give much head and the glass is too small to swish around. Lacing looks good initially. Smell is light malts but really I'm barely getting any smell off this. Taste is flat and and muted belgian yesty malt. Medium sweetness, medium carbonation. Drink ability is alright, not the best Gouden Carolus I've had.

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Photo of Zimbo
2.73/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

When poured in a Duvel glass it made quite a hissing sound. Tasty looking deep brown in colour with a full rocky head. Deep nose of figs and prunes.
Shame about the taste. Far too dominated by a ridiculously concentrated sugary confected quality on the tongue. Quite a disappointment compared to the last time I had this.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.05/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz bottle from Total Wine.

Appearance: Looks nice. Dark red-brown. Nice Thick off white head leaves pretty good lacing.

Smell: Smells nice. Belgian yeast, spice, dark fruit, sweet malt.

Taste: Does not taste nice. Up front I briefly taste what I smelled, then I'm overwhelmed with a taste resembling sour milk. Its also overly sweet without balance. It finishes sour and bitter, folowed by lingering cloying sweetness. How can something smell so good and taste so bad.

Mouthfeel: Despite hating the taste, the mouthfeel is fine, maybe too thin, well carbonated, generally style appropriate.

Drinkability: I had this once before a year or so ago and seem to remember liking it. I hope this is a bad bottle. Its barely drinkable with the overpowering sourness and sickly sweetness. Its especially disappointing after recently having the Gouden Carolus Cuvee van de Keizer which is Belgian strong dark ale perfection.

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Photo of Mar02x
3.17/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

With thanks to BA Andrejes, I was able to try this beer. Andrejes brought his beer to a tasting organized by Fiona de Lange (the Dutch beer lady). Andrejes cellared this beer for 23 years!!! Yes people this beer was bottled in 1989.

A - A clear brown fluid with no head whatsoever.

S - It has got the smell of a medium dry sherry.

T - Dry, watery en lots of taste. It is like drinking a watery sherry.

M - A light to medium carbonation, no bitterness.

O - A real different taste compared to the original. A funny experiment and my first experience of a beer this old.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.18/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the 330 ml bottle, I picked up one of these from a four pack because I love their tripel and dubbel so much. Appears a ruddy mahogany brown with a nice sized beige head forming thick above the rim of my tulip chalice. Fine scattered Belgian lacing lines my glass, pretty impressive look to it. Aromatics offer up brown sugar with alcohol infused raisins and a touch of faint anise in the background with some Belgian candi sugar adding to the sweetness and level of fermentation this brew has. Not boozy in the nose in anyway, but the flavor has a nice rolling profile of semi tart and sweet berry jam notes, more raisin accents compliment the malt profile. Kind of a dry yeasty nuttiness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied but not as effervescent as the bigger bottles offerings from Gouden Carolus quite airy with sticky cloying edges from all of the sweetness. Drinkability is decent a complext Belgian style brown ale, that I enjoyed but would much rather enjoy a slightly hoppier American version without the extra alcohol and sweetness.

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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 Yoonisaykul
3.28/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Big, smooth, chewy head is an extremely light-brown. Cloudy chestnut body. Whispy lacing.

S- Caramely-grainy malt. Butterscotch. A bit metallic. Yeasty. Burnt cream of wheat. Cream soda fruitiness.

T- Burnt malt. Lots of alcohol. All of what I found in the smell is here. A little sour all the way to the finish. Bitterness is herbal and a bit anise-like. I can taste it's a good brew but I dislike most of the flavours I'm tasting.

M- High carbonation makes it all foam up in the mouth. Medium body. Not dry but still crisp.

O- I can see the quality but don't like it. Recommended if you're into the style but I myself, don't think I'll be tempted to try it again for a while.

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Photo of schavuytje
3.3/5  rDev -19.7%
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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Photo of Graham5161986
3.31/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: pours a clear, dark brown with an off-white head that dissipates into a thin film. Leaves little lacing on the glass.

S: sugary caramel malts, dark, dried fruit and a touch of coffee.

T: sweet and rich fruit, strong caramel malts, a bit of cotton candy.

M: medium bodied and a bit oily from all the sugar.

D: this is an ok dubbel - a bit sweet for me, hurting its drinkability score. But, it does offer some decent complexity. I would buy it again, but there are better ones out there for the money.

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Photo of froghop
3.35/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a dark brown with a red tint, has a medium size beige head, and some lacing.

smell of caramel, dark fruits, some spice, and roasted nuts.

taste is a bit flat, dark fruits, brown sugar, caramel, roasted nuts, a bit on the sweet side, some malt, ends with a little bitterness.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.35/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Small head, cloudy deep brown (sienna). No lacing.

S - Banana, cloves, caramel malt, a touch of cherries and a very, very faint grapefruit flesh aroma.

T - Caramel malt, a touch of citrus, bananas, a faint citrus. Aftertaste is faintly fruity and has a touch of lingering caramel malt.

M - Smooth, frothy, prety refrehing.

D - Alright. Worth a try. I think the yeast carries this beer, but other Het Anker Gouden Carolus beers are superior (the tripel comes to mind).

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Photo of TPSReports
3.38/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Dark rudy amber color with nice head -- reddish light brown.

Strong fruity nose with alcohol. A bit of malt here too.

Taste doesn't mask the potency here. Strong fruit, with large sweet flavor. The sweetness of this brew is a surprise.

Mouthfeel is very nice and creamy with appropriate carbonation.

For me, this beer is too sweet to drink regularly.

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Photo of mnj21655
3.4/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 fl oz. bottle poured into my Orval chalice.

Pours a dark ruby red/brown in color with a minimal off white head that vanishes almost instantly. Aroma is fairly complex, lots of dark fruits namely figs plums and raisins, sweet malt, some caramel and a whiff of alcohol. The figs are almost overwhelming and seem a bit like rum. I found the fig presence not just dominant but overwhelming, the other aromas really weren't allowed to make their presence known. The taste is similar to the aroma with all of those flavors but significantly more harmonious. There is a perceived sweetness that is present near the finish. There is also a noticeable alcohol presence that while not hot is a bit much. Mouthfeel is ok, medium+ in body with moderate carbonation, this brew seems a bit too "heavy". Drinkability, for me, is average. I really didn't enjoy this beer very much and I don't really care to have another. I found it to be a bit unbalanced, heavy on the alcohol, and generally not enjoyable. i will say that the intensity of the aromas and flavors seemed to die down a bit by the end of the glass making this more balanced but my taste buds may simply have been dulled by the earlier assault and decided to turn in early for the night.

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Photo of EatsTacos
3.4/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark chestnut brown with a foamy, thin head and no real lacing

The aroma is roasted malt, raisins, alcohol, licorice and toasted candied sugar.

This is quite a sweet beer, but there is enough complexity to keep things interesting. Candied sugar provides a sweet malt backbone that reminds me of black licorice, vanilla, and waffles. There is some black pepper spice and yeast character with an alcoholic warmth.

Mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied with a sharp carbonation.

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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 CaptCleveland
3.43/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330cl bottle purchase for 2.42 Euro at G20 Supermarches in Paris (their "supermarket").
Best by date 1/17/16.
Sticker on the bottle boasts the "Worlds Best Dark" award at the World Beer Awards.

Clear, dark amber elixir poured into snifter. Thick, off-white head, settles to thin rim with plenty of lacing.

Huge biscuit malt predominates, caramel, subtle spice.

Malt bomb, some caramel, sugar, alcohol. Dark fruit at the end--prunes.

Medium body, highly carbonated.

Hits the mark for its style, but within that category is above average.

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.45/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer bottle (33cl), tasted in 1999.

Appearance : ebony color, with tan foam head.
Smell : caramel and citrus aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : fruity notes of coriander and Madeira
Drinkability: a good beer in the style Belgian strong dark ale.

Review translated from french 5-14-2008.

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Photo of GbVDave
3.46/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a DT tulip. Bottle label says "Gouden Carolus Carolus D'or" and "Alc. 8% Vol." Neck label says "Alc. 8,5% Vol." and "Classic"

A: Pours a nice and hazy tarnished copper color. Off white foam skim with some lacing.

S: Caramel and malt. Slightly metallic. Some peppery alcohol notes as well.

T: See above plus bubblegum and bananas. Mildly tart, sweet fruit flavors in the finish. Just slightly more complex than the nose, but pretty one dimensional (too sweet).

M: Mouthfeel is where this one shines. Thick and creamy due in large part to how sweet this one is.

D: Underwhelming drinkability. I was put off by the nose on this one. Too sweet and medicinal for my liking. I've had this on draft and came away a much favorable impression.

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Photo of mmahut
3.46/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Dark-bronze colour with short-lasted carbonated head.

S: Caramel and sugar with fruity tones - apple, citrus, pear.

T: Complex taste matching the smell. Sugar with dark malt and fruits... alcohol is hidden.

M: Medium body with high carbonation.

D: If you like sweetness this is your beer.

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Photo of benfons
3.48/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice

This beer looks great. Nice thick head, amber colour.
Smells slightly burnt (but in a good way), hint of fruits and lots of spices.
The burnt, I guess, caramel taste really bothers the moment you start to drink. It's mostly noticeable as the first taste and in the aftertaste. In between some of the spices and fruits get through.
It feels pretty good in the mouth, carbonation is what it should be. It might be a bit dangerous because the alcohol isn't too noticeable.

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Photo of Popsinc
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A dark brown pour with only a very small tan head.

Smell: A semi-sweet nose that is highlighted by molasses.

Taste: Smei-sweet and good maltiness gives it some backbone. Hints of maple syrup and dates. Quite sweet but then again, not too unusual for a dubbel.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Somewhat lively.

Drinkablility: I dunno...it just didn't strike me as a great beer. I was expecting more. I think i would definitley have to give this one another try.

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Photo of granger10
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a really dark auburn brown color. Good amount of yeast floaties in there and a solid tan head. Really dark for a Belgian. Smell is intensely alchoholic mixed with a strong raisiny flavor. Its nice, but I don't know if that will translate to a good flavor. The body is a bit weak which doesn't help. There's lots of dark fruits with plums, raisins, and figs. I don't really notice much else other than fruits and alcohol. Well, as it warms I get more of a nutty/yeasty flavor for the base which helps this beer get a little bigger in body. But the super dark fruits and alcohol sting are wearing on me after a bit. Finish is acidic and mildly dry. Really sharp flavors around the edges, I bet this mixes well with sharp cheddar cheese, unfortunately I'm eating it with hambuger helper. I think a small bottle would be enough, but I'm going to finish the 750 anyways. Good beer in small amounts or with sharp cheeses (guess) but nothing I'd have too often.

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Gouden Carolus Classic from Brouwerij Het Anker
4.11 out of 5 based on 874 ratings.
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