Gouden Carolus Classic | Brouwerij Het Anker

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Gouden Carolus ClassicGouden Carolus Classic
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:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 421 | Ratings: 913
Photo of Gavage
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bronze in color with a thin head and no lacing. The aroma is of malt and oranges. The flavor is of malt, caramel, orange, and a tinge of spice. The sweetness level is somewhat high with this one.

The mouthfeel is smooth. This is a medium bodied beer with a good carbonation level. There is a citrus finish that lingers on the tongue after swallowing. I think this is better much better on tap than in the bottle I sampled before.

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Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown with a blooming head that leaves some great lacing,aroma is orangy and softly spiced.Taste as well has nice orange flavor with some real nice spicey notes.A light sour note in the finish that actually went well with the malty sweetness of this beer.a classic and joy to drink.

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Photo of dansteino
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark Mahogany. Decent head. Good lacing.

Smell: Ripe fruits (Raisins, Plums). Cloves.

Taste: Fruity. Honey. A little too much on the sweet side.

Mouthfeel: A little watery.

Drinkability: Smooth. Light. Very drinkable. Alcohol hardly apparent.

I had to try it since it was the last one on the shelf. Nice beer, but I prefer my Belgian strong dark ales to have a little more thickness and/or bitterness.

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Photo of diablo14
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this is without doubt one of the worlds best brews, screw rodenbach grand cru, even orval or many other strong belgians, ill drink this ahead of just about any beer. maybe only st bernardus excepted as far as this style goes. its a desert island beer all the way.

pours a bold orange color with a massive rocky head and has great jets of bubbles flying all around. looks a treat, and backs it up for the rest of the journey. first time i had this it was fairly fresh. it had a great malty presence and sweet sugar candy aromas on the nose and an incredible level of orange zest. taste was mammothly full, boasting the same characterisitics on the palate as on the nose, that were incredibly robust. had the right level of tartness backed with massively rich and complex flavors. there were generous amounts of toffee and nuts in there, and may i say, after six months ageing, these come fully to the front of the beer. its almost a totally different beer. wonderfully crisp and dry, it feels full and slightly syrupy, but ends up not resembling the same on the back palate. an amazing finish for such a robust beer to be so smooth an bitter at the end.

a dead set ripper in anyones language. this is a brew that is impossible not to like. there is no way anyone can dispute its class. and you gotta love a beer thats good at any stage, but gets better with age. yummo!!!

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Photo of crookedhalo
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coppery brown color with light tan head. Slightly hazy. Aromas of sweet dark malts, coriander, significantly low alpha hops, cocoa and maybe some french roast coffee. Tastes rather malty and sweet, again with some coriander coming through. Sweetness goes through to the finish. Rather thick, yet effervescent, making it very drinkable.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Nice brown color with a tinge of orange and a gorgeous, thick head.

Smell – This one has a musty malty orange aroma and a plethora of fruits. I can pick up oranges, cherries, and plums along with various types of melons and maybe some raspberries.

Taste – This is a mouthful. The fruits are exceptionally chewy and come out in the taste complimented with table sugar. The malt base is well blended as if it was soaked in the fruit mixture for a week. The finish finds the orange syrup with a very mild cinnamon spicing.

Mouthfeel – Very creamy and smooth with little carbonation. This ale is medium-bodied and shows just the slightest hint of the 8.0 ABV.

Drinkability – If you enjoy the style this one is a must try.

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Photo of Popsinc
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%
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 BierReise
3.97/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep reddish brown ale witha beige head that dissapeared quickly.Strong sweet malty aroma with hints of prunes and figs.The malt is really impressive in this ale. Has a nice lively mouthfeel with a nice crispness. First flavor that stands out is cherries and malt. Doesn't seem as though the yeast is playing as big a part in this belgian compared to others I've had. This is a very flavorful easy to drink Belgian in my opinion.

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

Tasted on draft at Het Anker in Mechelen. Appearance: Rich, reddish brown. Thick head, crystal clear. Aroma: Malty, some roastines. Flavor: Sweet, slight spiciness, rich caramel flavors. Very clean. Finish: Clean, malty flavors, slight spiciness in finish.

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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 beergeek279
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Burgh's Pizza and Wing Pub. The color was a rust brown, with a fair bit of head retention. The smell was sweet malt. The taste was well-balanced.......somewhat sweet with a bit of spicing; alcohol was well-hidden for an 8% ABV. Mouthfeel was fairly heavy............reminded me more of a stout than of a dubbel. Drinkability-wise, another one I'd have a few of.

This one sadly kicked out while my pint was pouring, but the bartender was kind enough to give me this sample, and I was glad that he did. A very enjoyable beer, quite complex, and one that I would certainly have again if and when I can find it.

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Photo of aaronh
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at Burgh's in Bridgeville, PA. Served with a dense cream colored head atop a brownish red body. The aroma was sweet malt and a bit of a bready-yeasty note. The taste was very good, with solid sweet malt being well balanced with some hops and dark fruit flavors. I don't know what I was expecting from this, perhaps a Gulden Draak type taste, but it is much more balanced than that. The sweetness and alcohol are not as powerful. There's also a bit of a vanilla-nut taste. Mouthfeel is creamy with fine carbonation adding a silkiness to it. Drinkability is surprisingly good. I didn't notice the alcohol at all. I'll definitely keep my eyes open for this in bottles. A great beer to cap off the evening.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I purchased this beer, I thought it was their tripel. When I poured it, imagine my response when I saw the color! My disappointment was quickly disappated by the taste. Nice, dark malty taste. Extremely smooth and enjoyable. I cannot find a single negative about this beer. Creamy, fruity, and dark. Deep brown, initially a large head, some retention. Not quite a Rochefort 10 or Westy 12, but as good as any other dark Belgian ale, IMO.

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Photo of fattyre
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy medium dark brown/red with a moderate brownish quickly disapating effervescent head and a firm mouthfeel. The smell was sweet with a hint of butterscotch and slightly cedary. The taste is sweet malt with peppery alcohol and a cedary tasting hoppy finish. A sweet very smooth belgian with a nice hoppy finish. Very tasty.

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Photo of Darkale
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a dark, toffee-brown beer with a fast dark tan head. The head dissipates rapidly, leaving a skim around the edge of the glass.

The aroma is sweet, like burnt toffee -- there is a tang to the aroma that reminds me of a heavy red wine, like a cabernet.

The taste is honey-like -- lots of honey. Several fingers dipped into a warm honey bowl and then plunged into your mouth at once. Slightly roasted edge to the sweetness, and very, very creamy.

Like caramel toffee with a kick.

Very nice. Very sweet, but with just enough hops to keep it from being uncomplicated.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.62/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a dark, almost impenetrable brown Belgian Ale. Fruit-like aroma hits you instantly. I bought two 1PT9.4FL.OZ bottles and was awarded a free glass, so assume this is appropriate nose I should expect. A heavy malt body is intermingled with assertive hops, but as you drink on the sweet candy sugar and malt and somewhat strong alcohol prevail. The nice beige head dissipates too quickly. So if you enjoy a big lasting head (we're still discussing beer here), pour this straight down to the bottom of the glass and drink it fast.

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Photo of nomad
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Moderately dark brown color that is opaque. Fastly dissipating head. A caramelly spicy nose, almost toffee-like, in which you can smell the alcohol. A slight floral background in the nose, too.

Primarily a roasted malt taste (caramel) with a small fruity tone, which gives way to a buttery flavor that hides a soft bitterness in back high part of the mouth. Thin soft cotton mouthfeel that borders oiliness. Aftertaste sits calmly and nicely in the recesses of your mouth, makes it almost too easy to go back for another drink. Lightly spicy through out. A warming alcohol appropriately fits this dark, sweet and spicy type of beer (belgian dark ale) that is buttery and caramel.

Not bad but expected more due to hearsay. Maybe it was a bottle that's been tossed around too much? Maybe it needed age more?

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Photo of packetknife
3.71/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy dark orange, light brown. Frothy bleached white head that dissapaited quickly. Weak on the nose and nothing really discernable. Rolls across the tongue, thick. A bit tangy and a bit peppery. The ABV seems to be a moving target, my bottle said 9%. For a heavier beer it was very drinkable.

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Photo of Bunnyhop
4.74/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A hazy, medium dark brown-red Belgian Ale with a moderate, brownish, effervescent, quickly dissapating head. The smell reminds me of Madiera and butterscotch. The taste I can only describe as Madiera-like too, but also peppery. The texture is firm in my mouth. I really like Belgian beers, and this one is fabulous, it has a wonderful combination of taste and smell.

Label on bottle says 8% ABV.

(source: Paradise Alley, Jacksonville, FL)

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Photo of Todd
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: on-tap at the Kulminator, Antwerp.

Appearance: Dark toffee brown in colour with an off-white sticking lace and admirable head retention.

Smell: Light molasses and a soft herbal aroma up-front. Phenolic. Gummy. Candy-like.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Quite the malty sweet beer. Rough with a dirty-earth edge. Sharp peaking bitterness riding off of a crisp carbonation. Leafy, dry mouthfeel. Herbal character is quite tea-like when blended with the sweet malts of chocolate, caramel and more molasses. Distinct clove backbone. Spicy, warming alcohol.

Notes & Drinkability: A pretty damn delicious brew.

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Photo of mophie
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Many years ago, my dad visited Belgium on a business trip. It was a bit sentimental for him -- he was traveling many of the same roads his father traveled as a soldier with the US Army Air Corps during WWII. Anyway, one of the highlights of my dad's trip was a pub in Mechelen that served the local brew, Gouden Carolus. I recently found a few bottles to share with him; it was the first time he had this beer since his trip years ago. My review follows, but if I could rate this beer solely on the experience of sharing it with my dad, no doubt it's a five.

Gouden Carolus: A beautiful beer, deep copper/red, somewhat murky, with a rich, thick tan head. The head hangs on for quite a while, then slowly dissipates to form a lasting lace around the glass. Full, complex aroma, sherry-like, with hints of apple, some dark fruits. The taste is also like a sherry, with some vanilla flavors, a faint oakiness, apples; very smooth! Warm, slightly spicy finish, and a lasting warmth from the alcohol (8% abv). An outstanding beer.

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Gouden Carolus Classic from Brouwerij Het Anker
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 913 ratings