Gouden Carolus Tripel
Brouwerij Het Anker

Gouden Carolus TripelGouden Carolus Tripel
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Belgian Tripel
Ranked #12
Ranked #2,199
4.16 | pDev: 10.34%
Brouwerij Het Anker
Gouden Carolus TripelGouden Carolus Tripel
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Reviews: 464 | Ratings: 1,003
Photo of Gehrig
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So, SOOOO glad I grabbed this and especially the big, 750 mL bottle. What a treat. Three lush, dense, durable fingers of white head adorn the Ommegang glass. Ample lacing rings the glass and the thick layer of white foam hardly dissipates during the first glass full of this beauty. A tremendous first impression.

Phase two, the nose--flush with banana, orange, and apricot but also no shortage of spice, especially clove, ginger, and a dash of pepper. What a remarkable taste, full of fruit such as those mentioned above but also apple and pear, sweet but also spicy, and that hop finish that is slightly bitter but, when mixed with the dense malt and ample spice, only adds to the rich melange. Just wonderful.

It all comes together in the mouthfeel--lush carbonation that is such a trademark (among many) of Belgian beers but never overdone, allowing the rich malt to work in harmony with the hops, sweet with spice and a touch of bitter, yet all very smooth.

This is nothing short of a masterpiece, one of the ten best beers I've ever had and certainly my favorite Tripel, supplanting the wonderful Westmalle Tripel from atop my personal perch. Five stars.

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Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.99/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Excellent beer. Pours golden, hazy with a nice thick foam head. Smell is complex, fruity, alcoholic, spices, malts and floral hops. Taste is great, strong, mildly sweet, great exponent of the style.

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Photo of WhiteOak
4.95/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Comparatively clear and bright medium yellow color. Big, rocky, soapy, white head with copious quantities of huge, thick, foamy lacing. Looks wonderful!

S- Yeasty bread dough, over-ripe banana, melon, nectarine, juicy fruit, flowers, spice, volatile ethanol. Smells very appealing.

T- This is a delicious tripel. Sweet caramel, yeasty dough, banana. The lingering, lush finish is of caramel and lemon cookie. This finish, like Karmeliet's, is what I want in a tripel; I want the sweet maltiness, not a hop-dominated, thin dryness. Very satisfying.

M, D- Lovely, lush feel & drinkability. Palate-coating and full, and not overly dry. Perfect CO2. The ethanol is apparent in the olfactory, but the structure exists to balance it.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A huge, white, sea foam head blooms over a cloudy, cherry/honey elixir and clings to the Carolus chalice. As the head recedes, legs form with gentle swirling and small bubbles continuously rise throughout the session.

Subtle sweet spices and complex fruit notes envelop the olfactory, tantalizing the senses. The complexity improves with added pepper as it warms.

The malt profile includes fruits like banana and perfectly-ripe cantaloupe, followed by orange peel in a slightly bitter finish.

This one is spectacular as it grabs the tongue, coats it with flavors, and has a crescendo of alcohol finish.

This is the feel-good beer of the night. Dangerously smooth. Keep 'em coming, but remember to sip and enjoy as 9% is pretty high.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lemon-tangerine pie with an enormous head of oven-toasted ecru meringue. Actually, the cap is so impossibly creamy that it looks like meringue prior to baking, not after. The bubbles have now quieted themselves and the head looks even more spectacular as it slowly melts. This is a classic looking Belgian beer.

It's difficult to get the full measure of the nose through so much thick foam, especially since I poured a second time before taking a sniff. What I can appreciate is very good. GCT smells like shortbread cookies containing chunks of candied lemon peel and a light sprinkling of ground clove. My hope is that I'll get a better crack at it in a few minutes. I did and I love it.

Gouden Carolus Triple is one of the best versions of this style that has ever crossed my lips. This is outstanding beer, there's no question about it. I'm not sure that I've ever had a more tropical fruity tripel. The cornucopia-like flavor profile is overflowing with banana, pineapple and buttery pear.

A huge amount of pale malt is the bedrock that allows the rest of the flavors to shine. And they take the opportunity to shine like a thousand suns. I'm amazed at how much sweet banana saturates each and every mouthful. I don't mean to forget the delicious spiciness of the Belgian hops and the Belgian yeast. They're as perfectly integrated and as beautifully balanced as all the rest.

The mouthfeel is pure magic. I can't imagine a more lusciously creamy, more silky smooth, more mouthfilling ale that this. Each sip seems to expand in every direction until it seems as if my mouth won't be able to contain it. I keep taking mouthful after mouthful, not believing what I'm experiencing. If ever I wanted 750 ml rather than 330 ml, it's right now.

I didn't realize how much I love Brouwerij Het Anker beer until I glanced at the reviews of the two others that I've had. Classic is an exceptional BSDA and Noel (also a BSDA) is one of the best Christmas beers in the world as far as I'm concerned. Triple is right up there as well. Is there no end to the number of fantastic tripels that one tiny country can produce? This is one for the ages.

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Photo of GoodBeerTire
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a straw gold, slightly cloudy, with a huge head. I'm glad I had a large enough glass to contain it. The lacing was nice, all the way down the glass.

S - Tropical, slightly citrusy. Very pleseant.

T - This is a nice tripel. So flavorful, with tropical hints. This has a nice balance with hops, malt, & alchohol. Nothing bitter, nor skunky. This is how I think a Belgian Tripel is supposed to taste. Not too sweet.

M - Full, but not thick. Perfect carbonation.

D - This one is like Eddy Haskell: Nice & polite, but has a mean streak when the parents are away. I could drink this all night, but @ 9%, I might get into trouble.

I will buy/drink this one again when found.


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Photo of olmatty
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance-Pours a lightly clouded glowing yellow orange color with a thick, persistent, rocky head.

Smell-Creaminess, Zesty citrus fruit peel and some earthy spice, a complex and intoxicating aroma.

Taste-Creamy as the aroma implies, grainy and alcoholic hints of curacao orange and a distinct peach brandy sensation that is at last overcome by a clove and light hop bitterness finish.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, and smooth, alcohol is blended well into flavors, but apparent.

Overall-So complex in every respect. What a wonderful beer.

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Photo of nortmand
4.82/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presented in a brown, corked 750.
Pours brilliant, clear golden, with a lingering white head, but little lace. I think it's a bit cold.
Sweet smells of clove emenate, which are immediately incorporated into the deep spiciness.
At first taste, there is a tingling pepper that mingles with the carbonation. The taste then spreads into a sweet spiciness, reminiscent of Chai latte, but due to the clean fermentation of the Belgian yeast.
The perfect amount of carbonation rounds this beer into near perfection as it broadens into a silky, smooth delight.
Needless to say, quite drinkable.

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Photo of Epicedion
4.82/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle, Duvel tulip.

A: Bronze and shiny. Considerable head (conservative pour with a little splash at the end) with nice lacing. It looks very good in the glass

S: Most beers I smell don't have a very strong odor, but this one has a very powerful smell of spice and citrus. Very complex, with combinations of orange and lemon.

T: I enjoy tripels very much, and this one is a step above all other contenders. Up front there is a sweet lemon/orange zest flavor, backed up by a rich, complex spice and banana. It really fills the senses and stays with you in a very persistent but pleasant way. The hops really help keep everything else in check by providing a clean bitterness that provides contrast for all of the flavors in this beer.

M: Perky, carbonated, alcohol without astringency. This beer has a medium body, and coats the palate with a smooth, fruity taste that lingers.

D: This beer is perfectly drinkable, but it will ruin your palate for all other beers. If you switch to another beer after this one, you'll constantly be picking up notes from it. I could drink this until I was comatose.

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Photo of joezak5
4.79/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured into a Duvel sniffter and a La Fin du Monde when the head went wild; this head just went crazy from the start, gurgling out the bottle while lightly pouring... what settled down was a clear orange gold with incredible meringue like head and excellent lacing and rentention... I'm lucky I had and extra glass hanging around.

Smell: Lightly spiced lemon shortbread cookies, candied ginger and cloves, cream... lemon curd.

Mouthfeel: Gel-like in the mouth, creamy and smooth, just wonderful light carbonation when agitated. Wonderful.

Taste: Lemony spicy yeast flavors with chewy malt overload. Wild fremented bananas, pineapples and oranges, hoppy cloves on the back of the throat, no alcohol presence except the light warmth at the end.

Drinkability: Light and complex flovors but at the same time overwhelmingly luxorious mouthfeel. Unreal; I'll take this over Duvel any day.

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Photo of weazal
4.79/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A very potent blend of fruity sweetness and peppery alcohol. Honey lemon and sweet bananas are pretty detectable.

T: Sprinkling of carbonation up front which gives birth to a very recognizable anise that is oh so slowly carried out on a wonderfully smooth finish. The flavor just doesn't leave your palate, either. Light, but full of long-lasting flavor - a real pleasure to drink!

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Photo of sterstar1
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

By far, the best Tripel I have ever tried. The color was great, the nose was very fruity and extremely pleasant . I poured a little too much head in my glass and my first taste was just the foam but holy cow! The foam was great. Once I got to the beer, I was flattened. It was wonderful! Now I just need to find more of this stuff. Cheers!

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Photo of atsprings
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer pours a slightly hazy pale orange with a thick head that is mostly lasting and leaves great lacing on the glass. The aroma is of sweet malts, spice and yeast. The taste is also a very nicely spiced sweet malt flavor with some very subdued hops. The beer is medium bodied and very crisp with very well hidden alcohol, this is one to be careful with. Overall, this is an extremely enjoyable Tripel.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 mL bottle served just a wee bit chilled in a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Hazy gold with orange highlights topped by an explosive off-white head that initially took up 2/3 of the glass. The head eventually settles down after a good 5 or 6 minutes, but ends up being a decent layer of bubbles on the surface. Lacing was not as impressive as I was hoping, but adequate gobbets of foam were left on the glass.

Smell: Wonderfully strong smells of orange, coriander, and heavy pepper. Mild alcohol, peach, and pineapple notes. Not overly complex, but still quite the sniffer.

Taste: Gorgeously brash spicy pepper and pale malt tastes. Alcohol is well masked. Yeasty and fruity with hints of oranges and apples on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Crisp medium body with great carbonation. A nice warming sensation on tha palate.

Drinkability: A damn fine and well made tripel. I can see why it won the award touted on the label. My memory says the the Westmalle tripel is better, but not by much.

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Photo of Hunter
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pale blond ale, slightly cloudy. Frothy white head of dense bubbles that sticks around longer than I would have anticipated. Several fine threads of very active carbonation coming from the bottom of the glass to help sustain that head. good tracing patterns as well.

Smell: Subtle and heady. Belgian candies, light spice, notes of alcohol in the background.

Taste: Light. Notes of hop, citrus, candied fruit. Palate clears almost immediately on the swallow, leaving behind a pleasantly faint aftertaste of sugar and spice. If there's a criticism to make, it's that this brew is not terribly complex. But it's a minor, minor consideration when what's there is so good. Liquid Zen.

Mouthfeel: Sharp, bubbly, bracing. Dry on the palate, clears itself almost immediately after the swallow with little else but a light trace of sugar on the tongue after.

Overall: It may be simply because it's the style of ale I prefer, but the Belgians are far and away the world's best brewmasters. Another choice for me to add to my regular rotation!

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Photo of nycwinter
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a gold rimmed chalice at The Back Abbey in Claremont, CA

A= Cloudy gold with minimal head.

S= Bouquet of floral and fruity hops. I didn't take notes on the details, but the overall smells and tastes are still with me.

T= Very fresh flowers with sweet honey and fruit. I couldn't pin point the details, but this was the most exceptional tasting tripel I have had lately. Complemented my almost raw beef cuisine.

M= Medium-light, alcohol was present but not solventy, dry in the aftertaste.

D= Very complimentary with a good meal, or as a sipper at a warmer temp.

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Photo of Maudite
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. I am destroyed by this one, and I am not just talking about the abv. This beer was better than I expected. Grabbed it from the shelves of the City Beer Store in SF because I had neither tried it nor heard of it. Glad I did.

A=Somewhere between summer apple cider and a Sunday morning mimosa; bubbly, golden-orange.

S=Pleasant aroma. Apples, a hint of pear, orange blossom, a slight buttery diacetyl lacing toward the end of the nose.

T= Pleasing. A slight sweetness, apples, honey, a bit of a toasty malt somewhere in the middle, and a delicate hop finish that is almost not there. Well constructed. Like eating a piece of crisp bread with an apple slice and some brie.

M= Had my last sip about 3 minutes ago, and i can still feel it. I think the abv lends something to that... More sudsy than bubbly, coats the mouth like a chardonnay or reisling, but falls off slowly and gently so as to not feel syrupy or sugary. One of the shining attributes is the way this beer feels in your mouth.

D= Pretty strong. Although very tasty, not sure I could have more than one back to back, but I'd like to try.

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Photo of steveshields
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Carolus Tripel pours a striking gold. Thick head explodes when you open the 750ml bottle. Be careful, you don't want to upset the beer and have too much go to waste. Pour SLOOOWLY because the foam will be HUGE. This thing has 3 lines of bubbles on one side of the glass that constantly bubble to the surface. Not sure why that's happening but it is.

I get fruity citrus notes on the nose, and it's not overwhelming. Someone put off by clove would not be offended by this beer's aroma. A bit lemony/orange.

Taste? Delicious. Absolutely delicious. It's not completely dry, a bit sweet, but the finish is perfect. No residual poor aftertaste to speak of. I love this beer. I can't believe the BA Bros. haven't tried it! When we sampled it at work, a lot of people picked up notes of banana bread. I'm not getting that now but I can see where they're coming from.

The mouthfeel is perfect, but I'm not giving it a 5 because I'm new to reviewing and am not really sure what a perfect mouthfeel is. It is very highly carbonated, and I love that, but I know others don't. Someone called it "chewy"? I guess?

The drinkability is definitely a 5 because you would never guess you were drinking a 9% ABV beer.

The bartender at one of my local bars, Quenchers, got this beer in just last week, along with maybe 19 other Belgians. I asked him his favorite, and he gave pulled out this and Golden Draak. I told him I had had this beer and that I loved it. It's totally different than the latter, which i'll save for another review some day.

If you can find this beer, drink it up. It is delicious.

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Photo of boudreaux
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours an opaque, cloudy golden color, with a huge, billowy white head; head is a good 3 fingers thick (had to pour 2/3 of bottle, wait for a good 1 minute for head to dissipate, and pour the rest) and finally dissipates to leave a memory foam with sticky lacing

S: This brew has the perfect aroma; very delicate flavors play on the nose, with malt and the candy sugar familiar to Belgian beers present; slight malty notes also present, evidenced by the bready aroma; banana and clove spices also sneak in

T: Hello, fruit! Apricot, banana, and fig flavors sweeten the taste up front; the Belgian candy only sweetens the deal; a hint of malt (caramel) exists, and the spices make their presence known late in the flavor profile, with clove and nutmeg coming out; the bitterness from hops are barely noticeable, but do balance the flavor well

M: The sticky, thick mouthfeel from the malt and Belgian candy overwhelm the mouth upfront; almost syrupy thick; however, the hops provide a biting effect, and the spicy alcohol notes provide warmth and balance; very complex mouthfeel

O: This Tripel sneaks up on you. The flavors are complex, delicious, and perfectly balanced. The alcohol hit me about 3/4 of the way through the bottle. It has a perfect aroma, a great taste and mouthfeel, and is overall wonderful. May be my favorite Belgian beer.

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a nice golden color, that is slightly hazy and with a beautiful white head that is soapy in texture. This head is about 2.5 fingers thick and has excellent retention....turning more into a froth on top of the beer itself. Lacing is nice as well and I think this yeast suspended brew looks very nice!

S- Very nice aromas that are initially of fresh orchard fruits....peach/nectarine/apricot...even hints of blueberries. Honeyed malt sweetness, that could be from Belgian candy sugar compliments a yeasty biscuit smell too. Finish is floral....muted rose petals and various hibiscus....

T- Tons of fruit and candy on the palate!....Apricot, peach/nectarine juiciness and slight banana fruit and cantaloupe melon. Brown sugar/caramel sugars in terms of sweetness....rich and robust Belgian yeast strains that have some tang yet is robust like a light rumcake! Finish becomes dry quickly and the floral tones found earlier show themselves on the palate right after the swallow....almost astringent in dryness.

M/O- Medium bodied, and super smooth carbonation makes this a very unique beer unto itself, even within the style of Tripel. It's almost of milky/creamy structure....nearly buttery. I quite like the flavors found, and this is second to none in terms of how balanced and rounded this is....alcohol is very well hidden! I aged this one for a couple of years (2013 bottling) and would like to investigate this one further for sure!

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Hazy brone body. A few columns of carbonation going up to the top of the beer. Head is beautiful and huge, filling up to the top of a 16 oz. goblet.

Smell: Sweet, malty, funky, fruity. Belgian yeast perceptable. Slightly peppery.

Taste: Full and malty, spicy with alcohol and yeast. Hops are also well represented. What more do you want from a triple? Big and spicy, but also not cloying or grating in any way.

Mouthfeel: Slick, but full from the perfect amount of carbonation. Alcohol warms the mouth on the way down.

Drinkability: Up there with the best Triples I've had. Lots of character, not a flaw to be found.

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Photo of Rapax
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden color and an enormous white head with tiny bubbles.

Smells initially sweet, with a fair amount of spices. Coriander. Complex. Intoxicating.

Taste is not as sweet as one would expect from the smell. Mint, citrus peel, and again, coriander. But there is more. A slight bitterness, precisely as much needed to balance the sweetness. A touch of rosé pepper, herbs, bay laurel leaves and an english style hop flavor.

Body is medium, with high carbonation.

I cannot drink this beer without hearing music. It is an angelic choir, a symphony, an ode to belgian craftmanship.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a golden hazy beer with a huge head with perfect retention. Aroma is quite complex with a mix of yeast, hops, malts and something sweet like some orange. Taste is just incredible with a perfect mix between sweetness (this beer gotta have some candi sugar in it) and the hops. Alcohol is not noticeable at all, which is great when you have a 9% ABV beer. Overall, this is just wonderful, probably one the best discovery from my recent trip to Belgium.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden orange with a dense white head that leaves loads of lacing on the glass.

Smells of sweet bread, honey, apple, lemon, and some spiciness. Lots going on in here.

Tastes of the apple and bread upfront with plenty of sweetness to back it up. Clove comes through strong to cut the sweetness and some warming alcohol rounds everything out. More going on in the palate than I could wish for.

Mouthfeel is more of a medium but still has a creaminess that makes me want more.

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Photo of jwc215
4.69/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml cage-corked bottle, poured into a glass chalice:

Pours hazed orangeish golden with a white head that thins and becomes a lasting, swirling patch. Surprisingly, and unfortunately, the glass is left almost clean as a whistle (though there are a few vanishing dots and a thin film.

The smell is of spiced, bready yeast (a nice one), apples, oranges with earthy/grainy, caramelish notes.

The taste is complex, in a mellow/subtle way. Fruity - apple, melon, a bit of pear, a hint of orange with a balancing earthy/herbal, grassy spicing - hoppy without becoming too herbal/medicinal. This is all held together by caramel and a nice yeast strain. Wonderful balance of malt, hops, and yeast. Just a hint of soft alcohol that lends dryness and a touch of peppery spice more than it does heat.

Lighter-side of medium-bodied, but still rich. Creamy, yet lively. Very refreshing.

Considering the abv this is wonderfully drinkable. Complex, robust in a mellow way. Refreshing. Hits the spot on a warm day, though I could easily appreciate this year-round. For wine-drinkers coming over to beer (graduating?) substitute this for pinot grigio.

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Gouden Carolus Tripel from Brouwerij Het Anker
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 1003 ratings